Spirits open to the thrust of grace

Alec and the plants are getting along cheerfully, if non-dramatically. He’s not holding conversations with plant spirits or anything like that, but he’s drawn to the lau mafiafia in the sunroom. There are obvious enough reasons for that — it’s a beautiful plant, the flowers smell wonderful, and the sunroom is a pleasant place at this time of year — but when I pointed out that he makes an effort to sit by that particular plant when he’s out there, he looked a little surprised and embarrassed, shrugged, and said he just likes it. Relationships with spirits have started from less, and I can see an energy flow has already begun between them.

I regret all the more that the government says I’m too incompetent to use ‘ava safely, and they’ll deport me for having it. The reasons are so incredibly stupid, and based on crap science. I think ‘Ava-spirit would absolutely love Alec. But the warrior dead say he knows and will provide the path — and he certainly responded as if that’s true — so as much as I’d like him to get to know the plant spirits in the ways I know and understand best, this one is out of my hands.

And yeah, I did have that conversation with him. Sort of. But he still understood.

me: “This is the first time in my life I regret not having more time ahead of me.”

Alec: “Well, I love you, too.”

You know, because something Virgo in me isn’t capable of this, no matter how much I feel it:

I haven’t forgotten that I was told to enjoy all this, too. It’s easy to do. Tam and Alec are determined to deconstruct my orderly life a little when I’m in Glasgow — a lot of food eaten out of takeaway containers in bed, a multi-chapter ongoing failed attempt to explain the rules of cricket to me (leading directly to Tam’s existential cry — “Fucksake, you understand baseball!”), a tendency to send me home wearing one or the other of their shirts. I’m happy around them, simple as that.

Alec gave me a serious case of fuzzies by asking if the spirits’ rejection of pain work as a gate to them meant they were also going to be angry if we go on doing it for our own pleasure and exploration. I’ve had no sense of that, and I wouldn’t expect them to interfere in our relationship that way to start with. Not wanting to be contacted that way is one thing; telling us how to live would be another entirely. More people really should take hold of that concept.

And with the subject of people who try to force others to live by their rules firmly in mind, I decided it was time to go and see Louis and/or go see if the London-spirit wanted my help.

In spite of the situations that triggered the journey, I went into the Middleworld rather than the Lowerworld for it because the spirit of an existing city is alive, current, and very connected to the flesh world. That meant walking along the river when I reached the bottom of the levee, rather than crossing. I didn’t see Louis, but it’s very likely given his nature and what he does that I won’t see him anywhere other than the Lowerworld unless he also journeys and meets me elsewhere.

I started walking north along the river (in orientation to the flesh-world version of the place), but before I got far, north became south. That’s always been a Middleworld thing for me; the rules of this world often apply in odd or modified forms, and are just as often broken as the journey requires. I’d go north in the flesh-world place; but I need to go south from Inverness to get to London, so south I went, and never mind that the river I was walking along is in Colorado to start with.

I started out looking for the city’s skyline, but I quickly realized that was the wrong approach; I was looking for the spirit of the city, not for spirits that had left it. Almost the moment I realized that, I saw him sitting on a bench next to the river (which, I assume, was now the Thames as it appears in the Middleworld).

He looked younger than I expected, and was wearing a shirt that reminded me of a patchwork quilt. I’ve seen dress of that nature a few times on city-spirits, always on those of larger cities with clearly defined neighborhoods or districts; as a symbolic representation of a whole made of diverse parts, it’s lovely and effective. He looked like someone in the midst of hard grieving, which was hardly a surprise. He did notice me, though.

You aren’t one of mine.

No, but I come as a friend, to help if you’d like. May I do what I can?

Yes.

I really wasn’t sure what to do beyond expressing sympathy. Can you do a soul retrieval for a spirit? That was a thought to think more about at another time, though. I was here, now, and this wasn’t the time for experimentation. I sat with him and did what I know works: I held my hands over his heart (or where it would be) and opened up to energy flow.

Not surprisingly, it works about a million times more easily and effectively on the other side of the veil. I was surprised when he took my hands and put them down on his chest. (I was holding them slightly away, as I do with anyone I don’t know well.) Had this been a human being I was working with, I’d have picked my hands up again; with him, I didn’t. Different rules of conduct, and safe space to make different assumptions (such as that he was doing what would make the work more effective, not setting me up for a lawsuit). We stayed there for a while — it’s also the nature of the Middleworld, where you can travel through time very freely, that time is wonky, so I don’t know how long — and then he picked up one of my hands and gently kissed it. I took that as a signal to move the other hand, too.

Thank you.

You’re welcome. If you know other things that would help, we can talk about them. Just tell me.

You’ll come back?

Whenever I sense I’m needed. You can call me over, too. It might not always work, but it usually does. I’m good at bird messages.

He actually smiled, which did my heart good. It was a little wavery, but it was there. I’m very good at pigeons.

That would be good. I don’t see many around my house. I have lots of other doves around, but feral city pigeons, rarely if at all.

My impulse was to hug him, but I thought even with the willingness to be touched, this was still London. A hug would probably be just a bit too American on first meeting. When he rose to help me up, he kept my hand a few moments longer than necessary, and gave it a gentle squeeze before he let it go and I went on my way.

I can send energy from this side, as well, through meditation and healing grids, and I’ll do that. I’ll also be looking out for unusual encounters with pigeons. For some reason, I smile like a goof every time I think of I’m very good at pigeons. I need to stitch that as the caption on a cross-stitch of the London skyline…which, actually, I have one of in my to-do stash.

When I first got involved with the guys, I was told through divination that one of the things they would give me (other than lots of happy orgasms) was a community to be part of and to serve, something I haven’t had for any real time my adult life. I thought that meant the two of them, but they quickly showed me there was a lot more to it. They’re part of a somewhat shifting group of a dozen or so friends who are a lot more like a family, or a tribe. Most of them (that I’ve met, at least) are artists. There’s a lot of shared living space, fluid and open poly relationships, pooled resources, and some very Uranian attitudes toward all of the above and about art’s place in society. In other words, I love being around them. That I’ve met so far, there’s two painters, a metal sculptor, a photographer, a potter, and Tam’s cousin who makes jewelry. (Tam’s a tattoo and body-mod artist; to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what Alec does. I suggested drug dealer because nothing ever seems to interfere with or have to be rescheduled because of work; Tam fell over laughing and said no.)

When I first started meeting them all, they made me feel really welcome, as a poet and as a healer. There was a lot of interest in what I do as a healer, and even some in learning it. I’ve started finding my way back in among them — the easiest way, through Tam’s bearhugging Viking metalsmith cousin, who said the interest is still there. And then he squished me and gave me a beautiful, teeny dragonfly earring I haven’t taken out since other than to sleep. It’s a lovely way to call on my oldest energy-focused ally, and a lovely welcome back.

(photo: everywhere there’s internet, apparently)

CP: Father’s Day Card

It’s been a busy posting week for me. I got word today that the card arrived, so now I can show it. :)

I have to work a while ahead on things for Tama because of the time it takes for mail to reach Samoa. We’ve started a kind of tradition for Father’s Day in which I find something a little silly or kitschy to stitch on a card for him. This year’s was a bit more sedate than usual.

The chart is a freebie from Leila and Stitch. I played with the suggested colors because Tama likes purple (I used DMC 550), and I added the gold band and ornaments on the crown points.

(photo: original work)

WIP: Dewdrop Faerie (3)

I’m close now to finishing the center panel, and have rolled up since the last update. You can see why, as I’ve mentioned before, I dislike the faces on all the projects in the series.

And I’m happy to report that my somewhat ancient camera still works with my considerably less ancient “new” computer. :)

(photo: original work)

Fortune breathed into my ear, mouthed a simple ode

I’ve been thinking of you. Like to know what I’ve been thinking?

Instant blush, hairline to collarbone. Hi, Alec. I wouldn’t have looked at my phone at all, not with Mark sitting right there across from me, but it doesn’t ring. Or chime. Ever. My airtime usage is about 15 minutes a month, and that’s mostly calls I make about immigration whatnot.

“Now, there’s a lovely shade of pink. Made a new friend?”

I just said sort of and left it at that. Mark’s a sweetie, and I’m only getting more fond of him as time passes, but we’re not in a place for that kind of chat. And texting away when you’re sitting with an actual human being is inexcusable, so it was a while before I got back to Alec.

Sorry, I was with the guy who has me face-down every Wednesday.

What, no video?

My phone’s too old. After which I explained.

Face down AND in pain. Do I have a rival? I want to see you. Will he let you up long enough?

If I ask politely.

And will you tell me where you are if I ask politely?

I’ve done nothing but miss him, even with all the recent adventures I’ve been having. I’ve tried to get around it, and to ignore it, but it’s still there: He’s who I want. Poet-me has known it all along, as the last few poems I’ve written make clear enough.

It did indeed rain finally. So I took the advice of the dead and found something else to do. Be aware of the ways masculine energy is manifested in my life? Oh look — there’s one!

Seriously, though, that is one kind, and he’s a hell of a jolt of it. And it does heal me to have him around me. He takes care of the energy problem very thoroughly, and the healing they spoke of is there, too. I know my self-image hasn’t been what it probably could be for a long time now. (Hello, Chiron return.) He gets in underneath that mess and starts fixing.

I’ve gotten better. I used to meet Let’s leave the lights on with Nononononofuckno. Now I can usually manage to meet it with If you insist. Alec finally had enough of that, I guess.

“Is the sight of me so horrifying?” (But never enough of being a wiseass.)

“You know better.”

“Aye. But I like seeing you. You’re beautiful.”

Sometimes only a snort will do.

“What? I’m sexy as fuck, and I look like I was hit by a train.”

I think I want to stitch that and hang it over my bed. There is literally no way for me to not have a ridiculously huge crush on this man. :)

“We all have flaws. Can nothing be beautiful if it’s not perfect?”

Of course it can. Flaws make some things more beautiful, even. But I’m not a quartz crystal, and a first 25 years spent hearing “Oh, you’d be so pretty if you’d just…” (which of course is the final word in passive-aggressively calling someone ugly) will beat you down.

“Maybe everyone has their voices to contend with, aye? Flaws aren’t what I see, you know. I see the funny wee face you make right before you come.”

Which of course meant that when that moment arrived, I got the giggles. Not a bad thing during sex, really. Especially during orgasm. He pretty obviously enjoyed it, too. :)

And he’s right, of course. No, not that I make funny faces, though that’s likely. That I’m far from alone in the world in having flaws. I have a hard time seeing past them, but obviously he doesn’t. He does my soul good. I like being around him, the sex is just ridiculously good, he makes me laugh until I snort, and for some reason being with him really does make me feel like I’m sexier. Go figure.

We managed to talk, too — about what went wrong, and about how things have changed. His way didn’t work out so well for us, so he’s willing to try mine: I need to be here, and he needs to be in Glasgow, so we’ll work around that. We’ll see each other when life lets us, let things unfold as they will, and not try to push this to be what it isn’t meant to be, especially given the recent insights I’ve had into why the picket fence thing doesn’t work so well for me.

He said he needed time to get his mind around the mistake he made — letting the voices that made his growing up so difficult tell him he didn’t deserve me, when those voices weren’t even real any more. I made a mistake, too; I gave up too soon on a man I very much didn’t want to give up on. That didn’t send him so great a message, either, did it? That’s cleared up, from both sides, and if he has to face those voices down again, I’ll help, not just mutely stand there and wait.

In the absence of going out this week, I decided to touch base about the work I’m doing, the playing I’m doing…my life in general, really. It’s all feeling very good to me; it will feel even better if the spirits say all is well. (And anyone who’s interested gets a peek into an actual houses reading for someone whose astrological info and life circumstances I’m of course thoroughly familiar with.)

***

*House 1 (identity, self-worth, self-awareness) Union
Getting it together at last; merging of the inner and outer life; being at the center; completion

*House 2 (money and security) Liberty
An emerging and powerful sense of personal freedom; release from limiting circumstances

House 3 (mind, intellect, communication) Angel of Science
Pure, abstract thought; objective, unemotional, unbiased thinking; mental speculation, exploration, meditation

House 4 (home, childhood, mother, women, emotions) Sublimity
A gift of love, especially in a relationship or marriage; finding happiness in hearth, home, and hospitality

*House 5 (fun, joy, pleasure, children, creativity) Magic
Outstanding opportunity for communication; creative tools and skills are available

*House 6 (healing and service) Stars
Renewal of hope and of connection with cosmic energies; doing your own thing, no matter what

House 7 (relationships, partnerships) Passion
Release of emotions that will carry you away; unlimited potential and wanting the situation to rise to it; vulnerability and openness

House 8 (sex, death, regeneration, basic life resources) Pleasure
Reunion; reforging of links and bonds; happy memories

*House 9 (higher education, philosophy, religion, travel, expansion, growth) Moon
Psychic insights; relying on dreams, intuitions, and instincts; exploring taboos, mysteries, and contradictions

House 10 (career, father, men, later life, social standing) Restriction
(see interpretation)

House 11 (friends, social activities, greater humanity, hopes and dreams) Child of Poetry
Seeking appropriate direction for self-development and creativity; looking for inspiration in your environment

House 12 (secrets, self-undoing, delusion, completion, inner self) Division
Feeling overwhelmed and unable to address a problem as a whole; a need to cut loose and find a new outlook; feeling divided

[The asterisks mark where major arcana fall.]

A lot of the spiritual work I’ve done in the past few years has been about getting the scattered parts of myself and my life together, and the 12/1* interchange here says I’m finally getting there — chasing down those last bits, pulling it all together, and making a coherent whole of it, especially my inner and outer lives. Hello again, Chiron return.

There’s a strong focus on the (opposed) houses of the mind; house 3 holds a lot of intellectual energy, which sits there naturally. There’s also a lot of higher-mind activity in house 9*, where it’s also naturally seated. That all ties in to a boost in creative energy shown in houses 5* and 11 (which are also opposed) — not only the energy itself, but looking outside myself for the inspiration to put it to use, then gathering my tools and getting to work.

But the cards want to talk relationships this time, and quite loudly. Security in freedom has become a theme in my life recently, especially on the emotional front, and it turns up strongly here (house 2*) as we’ve begun exploring the ground of a different kind of relationship. The cards are also touching on what’s happening now in other ways — reunion and reforging of ties (in house 8, with all its influences), a loving relationship seated in the 4th house of emotions (along with a warning not to pack up house again because of it), and passion and all that goes with it (emotional intensity, vulnerability, openness) in the 7th house of relationships.

Then there’s house 10 and the card seated there (which is in the photo above). I tend to pull this card in relation to Alec, and in this layout it usually falls in the 8th (sex) or 10th (men and power/authority, and by far my most activated natal house). This is where a personal relationship with a deck kicks in. The card has a negative standard interpretation, but I don’t feel it that way for myself. The man has tears on his face, but he doesn’t appear to be in pain or distress, or even struggling against his bonds. To me, he looks like he’s meditating or chanting, maybe even singing…or journeying. This is the voluntary restriction of the Hanged Man, not imprisonment. Others may not see that (and I would almost certainly offer someone else the standard interpretation first), but my life and nature make the positive and spiritual sense more prominent. The extended interpretation in the full text does explore that side of the image: “Or perhaps you are restricted by circumstances for the purpose of concentrating on spiritual matters. The closed eyes indicate a focus upon an inner reality.” The kink energies that flow between Alec and me tend toward that kind of engaging with the spirit through physical ordeal, which connects up with house 6*, where renewed connection with cosmic energy, likely in an unusual way, resides; that in turn connects up with the 12/1 focus on unifying the inner and outer. He and I have some happy to be, but we also have some work to do.

***

As I did the reading, iTunes reminded me that it has a sense of humor, and provided this entry’s song. But of course:

I found tiny dragonfly and crow cross-stitch charts that I think will make an appearance on my eventual casting cloth. The original design has the runes running down two sides, and I don’t want them there; they’re visual noise during casting. Strings of dragonflies and crows, on the other hand, works for me, and they’re good allies for divination. I’m also considering another free chart that would make most of the design structured around four large dragonflies. They’re old allies of mine, but their return now seems odd to me in a place where there are so very few.

(photo: card from reading, for illustrative purposes)