happy new moon, lovelies!
i love new moon. and i love the taurus sign (hello, sun sign.)
the new moon gives a feeling of emptying. turning in ward. beginning again.
the moon has given as much as possible away, and now it's time to rebuild.
this is a perfect time to set goals, to begin building yourself and your work back up.
taurus season is upon us so here we go... a solid, stable foundation to work on. a perfect place to invest in yourself and what makes the world matter to you.
the thing is, remembering to enjoy life shouldn't be expensive. mostly, it's leaving my brain a bit to stay where i am. to taste coffee. to listen to the song. to watch the tree and the veins shivering in the leaves, leaves i haven't seen on trees in months.
balance between self indulgent and grinding.... noticing the ruts in which we freeze with indecision. explore. take your loves seriously, but your self less so. try something new. go there. breathe. go.
go in peace,
ps. i have illustrations. shout out to the website for not pulling thru. oh well. everyone deserves a new moon chill out.
I started reading tarot in the Spring of 2015, which was most definitely a Bad Time in my life – head full of deep, cakey mud that made it almost impossible for any wheels to turn. I stopped not long after. That’s why when people ask me when I started reading tarot, I usually say: December 2016. Because that’s when I really dedicated myself to it as a practice.
One card I never really understood was the Knight of Pentacles. I have a notebook in which I jotted down thoughts regarding each card’s meaning. Most cards have elaborate flow charts and mind maps. The upright Knight of Cups page just read “hard work”… for over a year and a half. Seriously. Two words.
I was fortunate enough to find The Creative Tarot by Jessa Crispin at my library last summer. In it, Crispin goes through every tarot card and illustrates it through famous artists or artworks, creativity-related anecdotes, etc. Bear in mind that this is most definitely not an introductory book; I would suggest a certain level of familiarity with the cards before reading this (i.e. being able to read each card comfortably with or without notes).
It would not be hyperbolic to say that this author revolutionized my understanding of the Knight of Pentacles. It’s true. Of course, between “hard” and “work”, there wasn’t much to revolutionize, but still.
Crispin relates the Knight of Pentacles to a particular number in The Rite of Spring, I think, or in The Afternoon of a Faun that had been produced a few months prior, I can’t remember. Point is: erotic ballet in the 1910s causing upheavals and controversy.
Jessa Crispin also mentions ballet in the discussion of the Nine of Pentacles, saying that the Nine of Pentacles looks like a ballerina floating onstage, but that, like the case is for the ballerina, a whole lot of hard work went behind it. This is something that helps me understand the use of the erotic ballet metaphor with the Knight of Pentacles. Another thing that helps is the reminder that the Knight of Pentacles is earth (Pentacles) and fire (Knight).
I got the Nicoletta Ceccoli deck in January 2017 and it is one of the two decks I am still using today (the second one being the Circo Tarot by Marisa de la Peña, which I got in August 2018). In that deck, the Knight of Pentacles is portrayed with a discarded heart-shaped sign on the ground on which the words “Hate me” can be read.
I never understood the point of that sign until I read Crispin’s Knight of Pentacles chapter. I feel so moved when I think of the vulnerability in that “Hate me” sign. I think that sometimes we ask for hatred because we’re tired of asking for love and being met with indifference. When we get past this need to claim others’ hatred – the moment I think the card may be portraying – we are ready to dare in the most authentic way possible, not to get reactions, but because that is what we feel in our gut we must do.
We’ll never know what Vaslav Nijinsky was trying to do with his erotic ballet, if he wanted to shock or if he was just going for the frankest form of expression he could imagine. Some people say The Rite of Spring was a publicity stunt, created entirely for its shock value; yet, others disagree. Did Stravinsky, Nijinsky and the others ask themselves “What is the most shocking thing I could make?” or “What is truest to the feeling and the vision I have inside?” Call me idealistic; I like to think it’s BOTH.
Because I’ve felt that way. So huge and electric and intense inside and like nothing I can make will shock others enough to make them understand. I can relate to the need for the high-pitched bassoon tune, for the dissonance, for the confusing rhythms, for the weird melodies. I’ll never know if Igor Stravinsky wrote those elements in his music because there was no way for him to create anything that satisfied him otherwise, or because he just sat down at his desk and thought something like: “Alright, let’s shock these rich Parisians and get me a lot of press attention.” But I like to think there’s an element of honesty in The Rite of Spring, and for the sake of this post – discussing the Knight of Pentacles – let’s say there is.
And so, I sense a duality in the Knight of Pentacles. On one hand, the training, the work, the physical care, repeating exercises over and over, bandaging our feet, showing up, buckling down. On the other hand, daring in the most authentic way possible.
See you in the next one: the inevitability of death.
Until then, I wish you the courage to channel your inner Knight of Pentacles.
my alternative title is "emotional release is good for you, but still kinda sucks!" hah.
i don't know about you, but pisces season seems to be digging deep and asking the hard questions.
on one hand, i'm feeling it and watching others, a collaborative bloom within our creative habitats. artistic partnerships, louder than a bomb, publications, new projects, fixed vintage cars, promotions, and love and love and love... it's here, and i feel it. personally, i am so thankful and inspired, and watching others wear themselves more fully is such a blessing. all the love and power to you. spring is sneaking among us.
yet tuning into intuition and escaping reality has not been easy. whether it's by phone or text, i've been hearing much of the same themes lately: loss, confusion, anxiety, guilt, some of which stemming from the exact thing we're so happy about: coming into ourselves and developing, creatively and personally.
it is strange how absolutely scary it is to become your self, and to befriend who you are. it's the most obvious choice, i think, because we are... who we are. it simply is. disconcerting, yes, especially if mourning a past self. yet at the same time, if paired and intentional, it can be the utmost release... just read jenny slate's tweet above. i can't tell you how many times i have printed and taped it into journals and slipped it into interviews. it's true. the more tender and precious i am to my self, the less i feel fear. i am confident in my identity, and how i am loved by my self, my loved ones, and the divine. i soften.
it's a battle, of course. i remember seeing a t shirt for trans rights several years ago reading "don't hate on my happiness," and i think it changed me. it changed the way i speak about other people, and (thankful) hindered my ability to laugh and grate on others. it made life so much more smooth and gentle and empathetic. remember this: don't hate on others, but also don't hate on your own happiness. if what you want separates from the status quo, detach. find your people elsewhere. your joy is not worth a warped perception of joyful other people might project onto you.
a friend texted me today, having chosen herself over warped and unhealthy expectations: "i'm never going to be a cool person im gonna just accept it." broke my heart a lil bit, because i love this girl, but it sent me back to the first time i walked into a coffeeshop my senior year of university, thinking "you know what, i'm not going to feel guilty for choosing to spend this time alone, in a coffeeshop, doing what i love. this is what brings me joy, and i am the only one who has to experience my self and my life." i was alone, not investing that time in those i couldn't stay authentic with. i'd never felt that at peace, happy, creative, and readiness to be alive.
choose yourself and your happiness and health. it can feel like stagnancy, esp in a world where pushing our own boundaries is considered healthy growth. it is, to a point. but serenity and stagnancy are not the same, even if both are still. it's okay to just be. to stay. to run away, and towards authenticity.
and if they hate on your happiness? they weren't on your side anyway. get out. love your happiness. love others' authentic joy and health. have grace for everyone.
(by the way, "cool" is a subjective descriptor. no one has the same definition. find your own, based on the way it feels.)
obviously, it's not easy. it's a lifelong process. never ending. but our growth, also, is never ending. every changing. it's a good thing, i am trying to decide. staves off the boredom in the most annoying way.
today, writing this, i pulled six of cups, reversed, and six of swords.
unrealistic, ultra-ideal viewpoints might be sticking around, becoming a perceived threat or simply causing disappointment. maybe something's not the way you imagined it would be. maybe it was oversimplified in your head. maybe there's trauma resurfacing. but you're still breathing and moving. six of swords looks heavy, but the figure isn't crushed, or drowning; the blades are beneath the surface. they might feel real, there's your validation, but they aren't necessarily relevant or necessary or here. maybe they're just internal. it's okay to feel them; those feelings are real. but remember this. you're still here, pushing through, breathing okay. maybe it's a matter of reclaiming and turning the six of cups card right side up, rediscovering wonder and curiosity and redirected expectations.
pisces. expression of emotional capacity. empathy. escaping reality. selflessness. intuitive and smart and creative. divine love.
it's who you are, even when it's frightening or challenging, and difficult to live into.
are you making excuses, defending who you are, and the choices you've made, where it is unnecessary to do so? are you just coping with something you haven't accepted yet? i am! dig into it. have grace. it'll be okay.
i want to start this month off reminding you that who you are is important, as is what you want.
the practice of remaining in tune with what we want and need is never-ending and challenging, but i promise you, it shifts your life.
find your truth. hold it close. embody it.
much love. let me know what you're thinking.
ps. we have content waiting for you. i'm smitten. stay tuned.
pps. my poems happened to be published yesterday. i wrote "the nature of nothing" about two years ago, and it's breathing over at rogue agent. feels fitting for this post. be sure to read the rest of the contents of the issue. it's lovely.
ppps. i want to hear about your truth. head on over to the submit page and let me know what you're thinking.