HOW NOW MERCURIAL COW

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Hello, hello. I’m Tango, a mercurial multipotentialite.

I’m 25 with a BA in the back of a cabinet somewhere. My love for all things academic matched with a deep disdain for modern academia has led me out of Hell and into my own personal Wonderland. I’ve begun shedding the philosopher to reveal the mystic underneath, the witch that 12-year-old me predicted and 22-year-old me never saw coming.

queer. feminist. chronically ill. neurodivergent. singer. dancer. writer. talktalktalker. astrologer. tarot reader. energy worker. budding herbalist. ruminator/facilitator of compassion & consciousness.

Presently, I live on a sailing troller in Southeast Alaska with my lady love and our two meows. We’re both itching for world travel.

This blog is where I shall practice organizing words into sentences & paragraphs while giving space to my auto-didactic tendencies and probably, like, some feelings.

[Header art by the glorious Jane Goebel.]

Morning thoughts on Mercury

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Oh Mercury, sitting in my 7th house, sitting in my shadow. You activate around others, around partners. But I need you when I call you. Can I be my own other? Can I be my own partner? You sit there in steady-as-she-goes Taurus, whispering visions of beauty in my ear – but not allowing them to pour from my mouth – somehow both calming & teasing my solar Gem tendencies. I must swallow all your tasty morsels, sharing your sweets with only my sweetheart. I can’t live like this.

I can’t live for only one other. I live for myself. And all others are a part of the one. I love them, but I do not live for them. Oh Mercury, let’s make our own partnership. Let’s build our bond. When I integrate my shadow, I’m confident you will be there. I’m confident we will dance. Once you’re permanently housed in my throat, your nectar ever-seeping from my lips and fingertips, then our every movement will be the fluid step of a grand dance. I can spread my web where ever I desire, not just in this dreamscape of duality.

Parker’s comment on Mercury aspecting Pluto: “If Mercury and Pluto are personal planets, the need to explore the self will be just as powerful as with the conjunction, but a result may be more easily achieved.” Mercury and Pluto are my ruling planets. And they’re opposed. And I love them both dearly. Their conversation fuels my introspective Cap Moon, who sits trine to both, absorbing all their juicy dialogue.

The dialectic is frustrating, though. It’s like tumbling down a mountain, rolling rolling, head over feet – I find myself, I lose myself, I find myself, I lose myself. I know my self, I re-invent myself, I know myself, I destroy that self.

Thankfully, everything is relative. Mercury & Pluto have taught me that creation and destruction are the same thing from different perspectives. I am just as much the same as I am different, but I would like to be just as much whole as I am fragmented.

weekly update: vacationing with queers

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My friend Thax vacationed on the boat this past month. If you add up all the time we spent talking, it would probably consist of an entire week. Every conversation hovered near or on: queerness, anti-capitalism, wholeness/duality, consciousness raising, feminism, prison abolition, trans/misogyny, astrology, or tarot – usually a combination. They are family to me.

Since they left, I’ve been busy planning my own vacation! Meanwhile, I’ve also been drafting a couple writing projects, working on fishing preparations with my partner, playing with wildcrafted tea combinations, and developing my grounding abilities by making art (mini terrariums, collages, pocket altars, personalized walking stick).

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My vacation will mostly be spent in Tennessee, and I’m positive the sunburn I return to Alaska with will be well worth it. The plan is to visit chosen family before & after attending an epic gathering of queers for a 5-day music festival lovingly named the Idapalooza Fruit Jam. Delicious. I haven’t been down to the Lower 48 in over a year and I have the goofiest to-do list. Including: thrift store clothes, disgustingly delicious fast food, long baths, possibly seeing a dentist, & fro-yo.

Planning this vacation has been both thrilling & stressful (yeah, I see all y’all retrograding out there). Thankfully, I have epic friends. They know what resources best aid my chronic pain and have already acquired them in preparation for my arrival. And I’m eternally grateful, because 12 hours of airplanes and ports will bring on a migraine if not full body joint pain. Yay!

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On a different note, my partner Abby and I have been playing more and more music together. Neither of us has much experience playing with others – actually it makes both of us really anxious – but playing with each other is like a whole new facet of intimacy & creativity we’ve stumbled upon. Her old recording equipment is broken, so after this fishing season we’re going to invest in something new. I hope to find a good piece of software & a USB mic, so I don’t have to worry about plugging anything into the 12-volt system on the boat. We don’t want another toaster incident…

I’m still bubbling with excitement about my recent past, I’m up to my chin in good vibes surrounding my present, and I’m squealingly pumped for my upcoming future. It all tastes so good, I could cry.

 

 

weekly update: picking flowers, picking brains

I’ve been regularly foraging this month, shifting my studies from mind to hands, from abstract to concrete. It’s been tenderly fulfilling. Dandelions. Violets. Salmonberry, huckleberry, and blueberry leaves. Groundsel. Fiddleheads. Yarrow. I’d mostly been experimenting with teas & poultices until my friend Thax (who’s staying on our little boat for a month) encouraged me to cook with them: salad, pizza, soup, stir fry. We really want to experiment with pesto next. I know there’s comfrey, nettles, and chickweed to be found in the area as well, but I haven’t found it/been drawn to it yet. Which honestly, is probably for the best, since I’m prone to overloading myself on information.

Thax has been here about a week now, and they’ve really been helping me put all my thoughts & feelings together surrounding a piece I’m drafting about the archetypes of ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’. My swirling web of notes, connections, and revelations on the topic expanded via critical discussion (where we both got overly excited, started talking really fast). Bloated and overwhelming, my web finally exploded, leaving a palatable & accessible core, which I can use to move on to the next stage. Huzzah!

The three days leading up to the full moon in Scorpio were sunny & dry, priming all the beach wood for an epic bonfire. We ceremoniously burned our recently-removed mizzen mast, celebrating both the Ebb & Flow’s beautiful past and bright future. The moon put on a dazzling light show from behind the clouds whilst rising, stepping forth from behind the curtain only once directly overhead. Oh so mystical, oh so Scorpio.

A couple months ago, I put together a deck review for the COSMOS tarot & oracle deck. I spent a weekend compiling my thoughts and shooting video. However, when I went to edit all the pieces together, I accidentally deleted everything. So..I stepped away from that project for a hot minute. And I’m so glad I did! That weekend brought all of my criticisms about the deck to the surface, and then they mostly blew away in the wind. I think most of those critiques were automatic responses to not having my exact expectations fulfilled. Since then, I’ve spent more time with the deck and given it more space to ‘explain’ itself, to relay its message (I also started shuffling the tarot & oracles cards together, inspired by Lauren Kayes). When Thax leaves, I believe I’ll be ready to re-approach that review. It feels necessary due to the deck’s unique structure/qualities. It’s a lovely [challenge of a] deck, and I want folks to know what they’re in for.


I plan to write a general update every week. Sometimes it will interesting, sometimes it will for the sake of maintaining a writing habit. Mars is in retrograde and everything feels so slow. And slow doesn’t feel wrong. (How often have you heard a Gemini Sun say that?)

mail day

Well Spring is bursting forth here as the berry bushes all race to bloom first. I’ve been gossiping with the bumbles and no one expects a freeze. I sure hope they’re right.

The weekly mail boat arrived while I was filling my stove fuel tank this morning. After sealing everything up and putting away all my tools, I went to poke around for presents. I have all sorts of bobbles on the way, but you never know when anything will actually show up.

The envelopes and small packages get sorted in the tiny official post office building, while large boxes are left of the dock for folks to collect and deposit directly into their skiffs. The dock yielded a single hefty box for me, which I was hoping contained my 7-flavor assortment from Peanut Butter & Co. Yes, seven flavors of peanut butter. But no, it was a giant bag of grain-free cat food for the spoiled meows.

Thankfully, I hit the jackpot at the post office. Four puffy packages: three books and some dried Skullcap. Three! new! books!

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The first is my second Marcia Stark text Earth Mother Astrology. I picked this up on recommendation of Alexis Cunningfolk of the Lunar Apothecary (and Worts + Cunning). I’ve been loving Astrology: Key to Holistic Health, so I’m sure this will yield oodles of wisdom as well. Balancing herbal studies with my pursuit of tarot and astrology has been oh so grounding & rewarding.

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The second is half of my order from Glennie Kindred, Herbal Healers. I love the size of this book and how it’s organized. Great for the kitchen shelf and to be tossed into the backpack before foraging missions. There’s room for notes in the margin, and I look forward to coloring the illustrations the hues that remind of each particular plant.

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The third is a series of short narratives by one of my all-time favorite authors, Italo Calvino. In The Castle of Crossed Destinies Calvino constructs stories around tarot spreads. I immediately melted to the floor drowning in the introduction after I loosed it from the packaging. It’s gonna be so delicious.

 

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But I can’t really dig into any of these books until I finish The Navigator’s Dream: Riverlog. It’s the first of a fictional trilogy following my current favorite tarot deck, The Navigator’s Tarot of the Mystic SEA.

 

It came in last week’s mail and I’m about three quarters of the way through its visceral imagery and occult puns, so it shan’t be long now.

 

Today was the first day in more than two months that the mail came on time. Hello again, Spring.

Some reiki practices meditate on these five principles:

  1. Just for today, I will not worry / I will trust.
  2. Just for today, I will not anger / I will love.
  3. Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
  4. Just for today, I will be grateful for my many blessings.
  5. Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbors and all living beings.

Trust, love, integrity, appreciation, kindness–got it. But why, “just for today”?

I connected the idea back to a self-help book I read recently called Mini Habits by Stephen Guise. I came by the book in a weird meandering way; it’s not something I would normally spend my time with. But I’m glad I read it.

It’s a habit-forming system based on “stupid small” steps. Want to form a habit of exercising 30 minutes a day? Start with a mini habit of one push-up a day. Want to form a habit of writing 2000 words a day? Start with a mini habit of 50 words a day.

The author goes into the science of goals and motivation and self-esteem and whatnot. By keeping the daily goal “stupid small”, failure isn’t an option (and you’re even likely to do “bonus reps”). In other words, every day is a success. He doesn’t come out and say this, but basically, it sounds like building a positive emotional foundation allows the mental and physical to follow.

It’s hard to be kind to everyone at every moment. It’s difficult to maintain constant integrity. It takes training to never spark to anger and practice to remain ever grateful. So when bringing these principles into your life, it’s helpful to take small steps. Start with just today.

The reiki principles are like moral mini habits.

Failure is still an option here, but I’d rather fail at not being kind today than not being a kind person. Instead of aiming to transform yourself into some pure archetype, and instead of running away and drowning your sorrows when you can’t uphold yourself to those standards–just focus on how you could act today, on who you could be today.

Focusing on how it feels to take on those principles will build a foundation from which you can think and act on those principles.

Inspired by Autostraddle’s Laneia, I bought a Passion Planner for 2016.

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It addition to monthly & weekly organizing pages, each month ends with a set of reflection questions like: What was the most memorable part of this past month? What were the three biggest lessons you’ve learned in this past month? How are you different between this month and last month? What or who are you especially grateful for this past month?

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It occurred to this morning that the Monthly Reflection was essentially a tarot spread.

 

 

 

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So basically I had a lovely premier de mars, beginning with a ten-card reflection on February.

Long story short, I made mistakes but I’m moving; I’m actually doing something. I have broken free from that very necessary healing cocoon, and I’m here to kick some ass. Err, read a lot of things..

After meditating on opening my throat chakra this morning, I felt an urge to learn a new song on/for Lola m’lele. While the urge to sing comes to me daily (if not hourly), the urge to learn to new song does not. I could sing Regina, Florence, and Ani for the rest of my life in utter contentedness.

Anyways, here’s me after about 20min of playing around with “Hey Ya” by Outcast. I don’t have the words memorized and there are certainly a few mistakes, but this little vid makes me happy, so I’d like to pass it on. Enjoy. ❤

Don’t Ignore the Signs of a Feline Fortune-Teller

For a week or more, I knew something was coming. Something bad.

There were many signs. One, for instance, was this odd wave of melancholy. What? I’m not sad. Look how great my life is right now! I couldn’t reason out the signs, so I ignored them. Well, okay I didn’t ignore them, I just waited. I waited without taking any action. (Is that ignoring?)

Was I waiting for a more specific sign? A sign the made ‘sense’? A sign that it was going away? I don’t know. I just know that I knew this was coming, and I know I didn’t do anything about it.

I’m still learning what my intuition sounds like. The melody, tune, and timbre differ oh so much from my good friend Logic. Without enough confidence in my gut, my ability to follow through falters.

Last week, we were gifted some halibut, which fed us for a couple days, with the last of it going to the meows. Lure [the Insatiable] didn’t eat any of their halibut breakfast, and just as I realized I wasn’t feeling well, Mercury ralphed theirs. It looked completely undigested, and I immediately knew I would be up all night snuggling a large pot. Cats are excellent at recognizing & expelling toxins; they’re much more proficient at it than humans.

And I have the opposite of an iron stomach.

I spent the afternoon, evening, all night, and all the next morning crying, whining, moaning, and vomiting while trying to distract myself with movies and card games.

I found some peace around noon (meaning I was able to lie flat without pain) and managed to finally catch some Z’s. Three hours later, however, I was rudely awoken by every muscle in my body screaming from dehydration. Abby brought me back to life with a tasty, made-from-scratch veggie & lentil soup.

If I had taken more precautions by pulling my nose out of my studies to fortify my body, this might not have been a 4-day ordeal.

I am feeling better now and more solidly human. Drawing a card for strength in putting myself back together, I came face-to-face with the 8 of Wands.

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I love the simplicity of this card; it’s very to-the-point: eight wands coming from above towards the ground/earth. I need bring all my little ideas & ambitions out of my abstract mindspace and into tangible reality.

Rather than one strong force, this card features eight separate bits all headed in the same direction. Breaking my projects & goals into digestible bits it’s actually a grand idea–both for slowly bringing my body back to life and for finally bringing my career plans to life.

This deck is often painfully direct with me, but here I think it’s being gentle. Instead telling me to pay attention to the earthy parts of my life with a Pentacle card, it’s validating my ambitions and offering a pathway to express them while still being kind to myself.

And I appreciate that.

Perspective: November in Port Protection

I’ve been a studying fiend lately, feasting on knowledge.

Learning the difference between trolling coho and king salmon. Learning about phytic acid and how to build a diet to strengthen teeth and ditch plaque. Learning the lunar mansions and the gifts/challenges of each natal moon. Learning the cleansing & medicinal properties of local plants and how to build my own materia medica. Learning how to track dreams and interpret them with the aid of tarot. Learning how to read the landscape to predict the weather. I get easily caught up in airy pursuits.

My current transient office space is the Wooden Wheel Trading Post in Port Protection, the only store in town. I like chatting with the folks who pop in, but the connection speed is not great and the TV is highly irritating. I generally work until I’m un-ignorably hungry or Abby scoops me up for an adventure.

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Traveling amongst the bush towns of Southeast has made this past year an endless adventure. The landscape beckons the soul to expand. The creative use of resources brings a fresh perspective to human ingenuity. And the people are brimming with stories of wisdom and whimsy.

NatGeo has a program [ingeniously] named Port Protection, but it really misses the nuances of all those things. Okay well, some of the nature shots are breath-taking, but the people and lifestyle are awkwardly framed and hyperbolized. Yes, there is a tight community out here, but the show forces folks together who don’t normally interact. And yes, folks go hunting  frequently, but the only people hunting bear are out-of-town trophy hunters. Bear is not tasty, and the folks out here are not starving.

It’s rather disappointing that NatGeo is more interested in emotion baiting rather than knowledge spreading. I haven’t watched much television in the past 5 or 6 years, aside from Netflix. Is this just what it’s all like now? When I think of the brand that is National Geographic, I think of cultural exploration, but these Alaska shows seem more like cultural exploitation.

I learned pretty much zilch watching Port Protection. They glazed over the didactic opportunities and ripped sarcasm out of context to create the most extreme emotional situations possible.

Lame. I’ll stick to my own studies.