Hey folks! Hope you all had fabulous weeks!
To kick off your weekend, here’s a picture of a li’l robin that comes in every day while Sandy and I are having a morning cuppa:
Storm Gertrude hit Skye at 3am yesterday and boy was wild – she knocked down two trees and smashed a window here on the rubha (and in Omagh, Ireland, she blew a rabbit onto a roof! I’m not even joking.)
The upshot of this (the tree bit I mean, not so much the bunny) is that I’m getting chainsaw training. Watch out world.
In other news I had a day’s wifi connection this week (!!!) and managed to download the first four episodes of War and Peace. Is anyone watching this? Andrei’s dad! Oh my goodness, he’s awful but he’s brilliant. Sunday-night BBC period dramas have a very special place in my heart.
What else, what else, what else? I went otter-watching and saw my first ever otter! I’ve learned a lot about compost! And my new friend Sandra is a woman after my own heart. The other day, she suggested we drive for an hour to go skip diving. It was worth it cos look what we found:
Just a bit too perfect.
Speaking of finding brilliant things, here’s a round-up of this month’s internet awesomeness. It’s a long one! Get yourself a brew and snuggle up for a cosy weekend lie-in.
Let’s begin with a song! Hit play:
It’s Imbolc on Tuesday 2nd February | Here’s a wonderful introduction to this mid-point between earth and air on the wheel of the year, an extract from Glennie Kindred’s Sacred Earth Celebrations (which I’m currently reading).
Full Moon Song | Ellen created this beautiful work in oil pastels:
Full Moon Song by Ellen K
Taking a leap of Faith – The Fool | Want to read a really, really in-depth, thoughfult exploration of the Shadowscapes’ Fool? Brilliant tarot blogging from Adam.
What I meant when I said #BlackLivesMatter | Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, reflects on the tremendous work still to do to ensure all Black lives are defended from the damaging and murderous results of structural racism and white supremacy.
Fool’s Journey: Oracle decks as an addition – or alternative – to tarot | Got an oracle, but not sure how to use it? Or are you a tarot snob (as I used to be)? Read this for ideas and inspiration!
Did you see that the Next World Tarot is funded? Whoop! Watch that space!
From the forthcoming Next World Tarot by Cristy C Road
There is no fixed recipe for a healthy life | Carrie at Happy Fish Tarot on the Two of Pentacles, with some really interesting reflections on life’s balancing act, and how health and happiness are a continuous process of checking in and tweaking.
Notes from a Week in the Winter Woods | A lovely diary of a silent, solitary retreat, sharing some of those quietly profound realisations that can only emerge when we consciously create space for them.
Shadows at the Altar: A sacred combination of spiritual practice and self-development | Kelly-Ann Maddox of the Four Queens writes a lot of amazing stuff about shadow work – this video is great.
Healing is ugly as fuck, and it’s something I have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to do.
(Also from Kelly-Anne: a free zine full of blogging inspiration!)
Tarot of the QTPOC: Daughters of the Moon Tarot | A really though-provoking review of a feminist tarot deck on Asali Earthwork (this is an amazing blog, by the way – you should follow it!)
Adele: Reckoning with our Future Selves | Katharine Rose explores new depths in Adele’s music.
Adele sings of love and heartbreak, regret and nostalgia, fear and desire, insecurity and hope. These are universal feelings and experiences that have long defined man’s tumultuous journey in life, but she engages them with a conviction and legitimacy that can only come from having turned inward to grapple with those very things. And that takes time, and effort.
Astro DIY #13: Understanding Minor Aspects | Tabby’s brilliant ‘learn astrology’ column continues. If you’re new to astrology and want to learn to understand your birth chart, here’s the whole course! In a few weeks, part 14 will wrap up this accessible walk through your natal chart, and Tabby and I will be talking about what’s next for Astro DIY.
Also in astrology news! Star School Lesson 1: Meet your teacher.. and the symbols | Theresa Reed has started a new astrology column, huzzah!
2016: Alive | Esme Wang shares a personal essay on her chosen word for this year – ALIVE – and the challenges she faced in just the first few days of the new year.
“Don’t Date Anyone Who Treats You Like Shit”: An Interview with Author Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha | Kai Cheng on how Leah’s writing saved her, made her a writer, and revolutionised her love and sex life.
Any sad queer girl of color with a notebook knows: sometimes, books are the only family that you can trust. Dirty River is proud, strong, no-shit-taking, tender-advice-giving Aunty of a book; a sweet herb-smelling, tarot card fortune-telling, crystal earring-wearing embrace that squeezes the tears out of your bruised femme heart and reminds you: You are stronger than you think. You words are truer and more important than you know. You can get cute clothes at Value Village for a dollar on a good day. Don’t date anyone who treats you like shit, even a little.
On the Inevitable Pettiness of Creative Work | Apparently, everybody’s artistic vision is constrained by what the public thinks. What do you think?
The Body as a Bridge to Intuition: Developing Awareness of the Subtle Signs | A guide to listening deeper to your body, from Psychic Betsy.
Urban Exploration and Why I’m In Love | Mindy explains why she got into exploring and photographing abandoned buildings and what it means to her.
Photo by Mindy Galloway
Remembering Bowie: The Man, The Music, The Sexual Abuser | As the world mourns David Bowie and celebrates his role in shaking up gender, it’s so important we don’t ignore or pretend away the fact that he was also accused of several rapes and sexual assaults.
Back to the land: from London to sheep farming on Eigg | Former music journalist Sarah Boden returned to her childhood home on the isle of Eigg (a small island close to Skye) to become a sheep farmer.
I am master of my own time but the day’s activity is usually dictated by the weather. If there’s a strong south-westerly wind, it feels like a layer of your skin is being scoured off. Leave your mouth agape too long and a powerful gust will involuntarily inflate your lungs. On a calm day, it can be quiet enough to hear the muted whisper of passing birds on the wing. I love it out here. The scale changes your perspective: people and their problems feel insignificant when set against the hugeness of the landscape.
Let’s Be Artists | Want to make a zine, documenting your life, this year? Head magician Mandy Steward has a really wonderful programme launching soon.
Rule of Threes: How I keep motivated and on task | Practical advice for to-do-list affictionatos, from Nikkiana.
FEMME SHARK MANIFESTO | Yes!
Write your manifesto | Yes!
‘The Fridas’ and censorship of women’s bodies | Bri at the Hoodwitch shared this photograph by Spencer Tunick, taken at Frida Kahlo’s home, Casa Azul, in Mexico City. Just as interesting is what she shares about Instagram’s censorship of non-sexual nudity…and the removal of the ‘goddess’ hashtag.
The Fridas, Spencer Tunick
Follow Your Arrow: Plumber Hattie Hasan and her army of female tradespeople | I interviewed the world’s greatest plumber – this is a brilliant account of women in trades, and taking sole-tradership to the next level. Inspiring!
Why Black Girl Magic is a vital proclamation | from Janet Mock.
We exist in a culture where our baby hairs are not ours, where our full lips are not ours, where our cornrows and our fros are not ours, where the magic we create is not ours…it’s everyone’s. To be simultaneously copied and erased is our plight.
On boundaries: Why every wild rose needs thorns | A great guest post from Andi Grace on the importance of boundaries, and how these intersect with gender and sexuality.
This weekend, I’m heading out with my camera and some of the artsy film I got for Christmas. I’ve been playing with a digital camera lately, but for me, nothing beats shooting with film on a simple Canon AE-1.
Other than that, we’ll see what little jobs come up. Maybe I’ll finish the signs I’ve been painting in the workshop, or hang my renovated lanterns in the faerie glen. On the other hand, the ‘hurricane Gertrude’ warnings remain in force, so I may just curl up with another episode of War and Peace.
Whatever you’re up to, have a wonderful weekend,
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.