The Magician - Tarot Apocalyptica - 11-2016
No. I wouldn't fuck with her either.
Serendipity. When it hits, it hits, and you pray to be in the right place, at the right time, with a working camera. This counts as the Arrested Moment. This is what I was waiting for.
Mistress before Gods or man. You do not doubt her mastery or her power. The suits obey her and her Will is total and complete. Her war rig awaits, the Wheel in her hand. The World is laid at her feet.
Now. Pick up what you can carry. And run. *
*I still don't have a REVERSED meaning, but I'm sure it will come to me in time. For now, this is the card meaning.
* * *
Okay, this one is gonna get REALLY long.
Tell the truth and shame the devil. That's what I kept telling myself as I drove over the hill to my appointment with Dr. Z. I had to be honest with my doctors. I could not. She had asked me to titrate off the Klonopin, because she was concerned about addiction issues. So I had. But that meant, back to the constant anxiety with gigantic panic attacks for growth and profit. So, with the Klonopin gone, I had gone out (with huge support from the husband) and gotten my medical marijuana card.
And it worked. It worked so well that I wanted to weep in relief.
I was terrified that she'd tell me to stop. But if she wasn't going to let me incorporate it and said no, well, I was going to do it anyway. But I had to inform her.
And that freaked the fuck out of me, because the panic doesn’t want confrontation with anything or anyone and fuck that noise.
She didn't even blink. Didn't even ask questions. In fact, when she heard how awful I had been doing, she wrote me another scrip for Klonopin and put a refill on it.
All that terror...
So needless to say, I drove home like a limp rag, drained of adrenaline.
So no opposition from the doc. Yay. That was great, but the resistance to me working on the Magician continued. What gave? What was I fucking afraid of?
And the sub thoughts immediately provided the reason.
The final image wouldn't be what I wanted or described and no one was going to like it.
And that broke the hold they'd had on me.
Forgive me, but y'all didn’t have to fucking like it. I just had to do it. The only person I had or have to please is me. I have to work with what I have.
Yeah, I really REALLY wanted a fucking war rig. Guess what? No one fucking got back to me. That was not my fault. It just didn’t fucking come together. That’s the problem with production of anything, still or moving image wise. It fucking sucks and I was really fucking disappointed and I really didn't want to admit defeat, but you know what? Defeat would be if I froze and didn’t move fucking forward. So.
I needed to grieve the artistic loss of an awesome war rig and how cool it all would have looked and move the fuck on.
So. I took a day and allowed myself to feel all the disappointment and grief that I didn’t get the shiny red fire truck of my dreams. Damn it. Oh well. Shit happens. It just would have been so wonderful. Fuck it, maybe I’ll revisit the image some day. Nowhere does it say I have to do these only *once*.
And then, one early morning, in that place halfway between sleep and dreaming, I wrote a poem. It was a long one and it cracked my heart wide open. All about pain and suffering and black dogs and what my Goddess has said to me over and over and over the years. That every time I have kept my silence, it has been an affront to Her.
Which I understand.
And I also understand that I was programmed by a woman who demanded silence and demanded that I never think of myself. Only of others. And anything I wanted was not worth wanting.
I didn't remember the whole thing, except for one part clearly.
I see you
I honor you
I know you for the gift you are
I know you are asking me
As I was asked so many years before
To take this grief
To take this pain
The way I took my anger and used it as fuel to run
But you don’t want me to run
You want me to fly
And you want me to take this now and craft wings of sky
And that was not all of what I dreamed, but clearly I had words waiting for me, so I wrote. I promised myself that I would open a document in Word as soon as I woke up that would be called 2016 4th Quarter Dump File. And every quarter, I’ll open a new one.
Not to write a novel in. Not to write a thing that needs to be written. But to write whatever else came to me in dreams. Something I haven't allowed myself to do for years.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Because you know what? I am melodramatic and flamboyant and euphoric. I like Happily Ever Afters and stories that say the World is more than grief. I love them. I love people that curse as fiercely as they love and the characters that live in my head who are homages to those heroes.
Because I have known heroes and I know that I am not one. I’m just me. And me is enough. So much more than enough.
So I am allowing myself time to play. To write as floridly and flamboyantly and as poetic as anything that Cal’s Mad Mooney uncle** would have extemporized. The world is a poorer place for having so little of it.
Non sequiter, but this totally explains why I love drag queens. They are the epitome of that soul. And apparently epitomy is not a word.
What is the point of living if not living it to the fullest? What is it Auntie Mame always said? Life is a banquet and most poor souls are starving to death?
I was done with starving. I meant to feast.
So one morning, I took my coffee outside and watched the dawn. Saw four crows. Forgot what that meant. Needed to look it up, and discovered it meant wealth or a boy or birth. Hmm. I was not pregnant.
But birth resonated. I was giving birth again. To myself. Re-birth and molting my wings. I needed to make my peace with the Underworld, but I also needed to take to the sky. Air and Earth. I wondered what it meant in combination.
Well, apparently, it makes for an individual who is well-versed in contradiction.
And then the World decided to go fucking bonkers. I had to stop reading the #notokay thread, let alone the news feeds that I normally swam in every day like the internet whale that I am. I read a huge amount every day, because in another life, I went into politics as a staffer. But all that shit was starting to trigger me, In the case of the #notokay thread, because the thread. Just. Didn't. End. It just kept going. I couldn’t find the end of it. What the ever loving fuck? How was this okay?
And that was the point. It was not okay. And we have been silent for too long.
Silence = Death.
Tell the truth and shame the fucking devil.
So I got up the next morning and wanted to take care of myself. Wanted to take a shower. Wanted to take my time and breathe.
I also had an ENORMOUSE perspective shift. Out of nowhere this amazing peace and gratitude washed over me.
I am beautiful and large and strong and powerful. I take up space. I am loud. Like my Aunt Marilyn who I adore. I discovered that I love everything about myself. And I am commanding and dominant. And I am fucking allowed to be. If people don’t like it, they can suck my dick or politely ask me to stop. No one gets to shame me ever again for being myself. For being loud or euphoric or happy or strange.
And anyone who tries is going to get my foot in their crotch. HARD.
I felt like a queen. I’ve never felt like a queen before. King or prince, yes. But never a queen. But now I did. Black Queen, Black Dragon. No wonder I'd been wanting nothing but all black jewelry lately.
So what does a queen do?
Apparently she bakes a pie.
And then there was the experience of what the high CBD strain cannabis was doing for me. I had no pain. For the first time in years, I was pain free. The lack of pain was and is a fucking gift.
And the next day, I wanted to run. I actually looked forward to getting outside and listening to my music and moving. Whoa. Fuck you depression and anxiety and pain. Jesus.
By the way: Om nameh Shivayah. Great Shiva, Mother Kali, thank You for this sacred plant. I had no idea. I built them an altar and I'm learning how to plant and I mean to gift Their blessing.
Guess what? I had another dream then.
A goddess came to me. She only gave her name as Devi at the time, dressed in green and gold, with green skin. She was checking in very gently to see if I meant what I said, if I would share what I grew. And told me, oh so gently, that I was never to sell it. I could barter it, but never sell. It was to be given away, manna from another heaven, and meant to ease grief and pain.
I totally agreed to her requests.
Holy crap, I was totally not used to feeling good and like myself. Seriously, where had this shit been my whole life?
I felt like a whole human being for the first time in years.
Then my birthday came and I turned 46.
So, now being able to sleep solid and through the night, I found myself waking easily before dawn. I had forgotten how much I love sunrise. I had forgotten that I really do love getting up that early if no one else is up with me. It’s the same reason I used to stay up till 4 AM. For the solitude and silence.
And then it came to me. Of course I wasn’t going forward with the Apocalyptica if I just treated it like it was a regular art project. It was and is meant to be sacred ritual.
Along with it came so much more compassion and grace for myself. So much more acceptance.
My body has done so much for me and gotten me so far. I vowed to take such good care of it. I am going to love it and take care of it and if it wants cake, we’re having fucking cake. Life is too fucking short and gods, if nothing else, how awesome would it be to love myself if only to fucking spite my mother?
Yeah. I could and can do that.
The Husband and my fourteenth wedding anniversary rolled around, sixteen years together. As the Husband pointed out, our relationship was now old enough to drive now. o.O How ‘bout that?
I put a new daylight bulb in my desk lamp and had immediate improvement, which is new. I had been starting to lag and drop down again. So. Yeah. I’m solar. Always have been, always will. The body confuses me because I think, “Humans aren’t solar!” Except we are. We wouldn’t have SAD if we weren’t.
And then there was this: I was watching another internet friend publicly die on the internet*** and I just… Okay. I get it. I’m the Crone. I get that I hold the Door and bar the Way.
But it was hard. This one was not going easy, and neither did the last one. So I sat, and I held space, and felt helpless that I couldn't do more.
* * *
Then the next revelation.
I’m allowed to be human and frail and flawed. I am not Superwoman and I don’t want to be. Supergirl is fucking awesome, but I’m not her and I don’t have to be her.
“Life is bad and hard,” says the sub thought. Really, baby? I don’t think so. I think that we are done living in shame about being me. It is hard. But the hard is what makes it great. There is, after all, no crying in baseball. It’s the mastery that I love. So. It’s all good.
Oh. And then... The Curse and Quanta books woke up in my head.
I had Misha talking in my head, which was more than Angie had been doing.
And then Mer (Meredith Yayanos)’ released Wandering Room on Samhain which was just gorgeous and eerie and I am totally stealing it for writing music for Armageddon Bringers. It’s too perfect. Everything was coming back together again.
Then NaNoWriMo began.
And my head filled with some esoteric shit about oracles and realizing that magick, by and large isn't particularly dramatic. It’s bath oils, and soaps, and shampoo. Meddling with people’s love lives. Reading the lines in their hand. It’s quiet and deep and certain and does not need enormous fanfare. It is the depth of the endless ocean and the endlessness of the sky.
It is not a riot.
It is a requiem.
Is that not staggering? Is not solemnity it’s own drama? Well, no.
We were leaving drama behind. At least the kind of drama we were running before. More adventure and wonder and awe, less with the screaming and the dying.
So I had to plow through ALL OF THAT to get to...
I woke up excited on the day of and full of ideas for how to make the card shine. Yeah. I really had let the artistic let down and perfection demon eat my head. Which was okay. It’s one thing to know that a project is going to fuck you up. But it’s another to actually experience the first time it fucks you up and go, oh yeah. It said it was going to do this. Fuck!
I also took half a Klonopin because I knew the day was going to be particularly challenging and I didn’t want to freak the fuck out. I got prepared and put some ornamentation on the Cup. Necessity would have to be the mother of invention.
But the card was more solid in my head. Finally.
I felt in and out of my body all day. Disassociated in a way that wasn't bad, but was instead a complete connection to whatever this thing is that I’m channeling. And the other cards started talking in my head too. Like the clouds for the aces and setting up the studio to be fire safe.
There’s a lot to be done.
In the meantime, I moved slow and saved my spoons. Ran on the batteries before starting up the reactor.
And here's where the wheels came off.
I lost the light and had to go full on camera flash, but whatever. I got useable shit. The stuff that I shot without the flash has a lot of noise, but fucking whatever. I love noise. If you’re not gonna give me film grain, at least give me noise.
But the card is done. It’s done, it’s finally done and I feel like I can actually move on and forward with a little more alacrity. Yeah, every card is going to fuck me up. I owe Kirsty Mitchell an apology. Yeah, six months between photos? It's been nearly five for me. Gods, my arrogance. At least I know I come by it honestly.
You can't work balls to the wall forever.
If you work like that, someday you are going to fucking crash.
So yeah. I did everything in my power to sabotage myself. Flash problems. Daylight, lost. No buttonholes on the corset like I thought I had done. No belt holes on any of the belts but *one*. And I know I did that, but clearly, ha! No.
No purse. No ID. No vape pen and no rescue meds. I mean, the only thing that didn’t fail was my camera and praise Apollo and Hecate that it didn’t. But it did show me I need a backup camera body and lens so much sooner than later. Because that was the only thing that didn’t break or go wrong.
Granted, Mrs. Peel would never let me down like that.
I got it done. It was in the can.
I took a week off rolled into the High Priestess and the next campaign, this time for the Imperator.
Life is and was good.
I may have tried to cut my own neck, but I’m good at this. I am really good at photography. I’m really proud of myself. I’ve worked so hard and so long to get this level of skill.
There’s still more to learn and levels of excellence that I haven’t reached yet, but for sheer ability to just get the shot?
I am grateful. So grateful.
And if you hung on and read this ENTIRE thing, dear gods, you are a fucking saint.
But I thought it was important to tell you the whole sordid saga of How Anji Found Every Way to Sabotage Herself and Still Got the Job Done.
There are worse things.
And that, as they say, is that.
I don't know about you, but man, I am still fucking tired. Here's hoping that the next card doesn't kick my ass as hard as this one.
I don't believe it either.
** It's a reference to Clive Barker's Weaveworld. You should read it.
*** The first was Jay Lake.