Moon and Salt Water

On the eve of my 37th birthday, on this hottest recorded day in my city, on this new moon – a tarot spread and a candle and a crystal and a mirror for reflection.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Isak Dinesen quote, ‘the cure for everything is salt water; sweat, tears, or the sea.’

I’ve been thinking about ecological grief. How we sweat in the new temperatures, how we cry for what we’ve lost and will lose, how we are killing the oceans. Not the cure, but a necessary invitation into knowing the illness. Naming it. Making space for it. Salt water selves. Salt water solace. Salt water sadness.

Stasha pointed out how Tahlequah and her dead baby are all three, also. The effort, the grief, the ocean and the ocean of loss.

I am usually all about my birthday. In the past, I’ve planned a whole week of adventures and joyful connections. I’ve gone on retreats, or hosted theme parties, or booked a hotel room, or gone out to a club.

I haven’t been feeling it this year. I didn’t have any plans until this afternoon, when my sister pulled together a little dinner. I’ve been sad. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.

But today I had a tender conversation with my beloved Stasha, and another with my beloved Nathan, and with my sister, and with Scott, and spent time with Joe and with other humans of various sizes, and I am ready for my birthday now. I’m ready for this coming year. 

Nathan and I talked about how powerful it is that the moon is new, and there is a lunar eclipse, and the moon is so strong in my chart – so I’m thinking about how to focus on the moon this year. How to invite that energy in, and find my way through it.

I’m looking forward to this.

I am ready for my Moon and Salt Water year.

My birthday spread. (The spread is from Beth Maiden’s Little Red Tarot Spreads, and the deck is The Darkness of Light.)

1. What to leave behind. Ten of Blades. The melodrama, maybe even the martyrdom, but also the crushing despair.

2. A lesson learned last year, to carry into the next. Five of Cups. I love this card, and its invitation to mourn what needs to be mourned, to recognize what needs to be grieved and to honour it, and also to recognize what cups are still full.

3. The next thing you will learn. Eight of Wands. Energy, forward movement, action! Endings, and also beginnings.

4. The theme for the year ahead. Ace of Coins. I find this card so hopeful, particularly when I read it through Cassandra Snow’s lens. “[W]ith a queer Ace of Pentacles we see an aspect of the card that we haven’t before: healing from past trauma and moving forward confidently, even if the manifestation of that is material and worldly.”

5 and 6. Something to celebrate, something to do. Page of Coins and La Stella. Begin! Strike out on an adventure! Bring hope to the beginning!

7. A message from ancestors. Three of Cups. I need community. And specifically, I need community when it comes to my magic and spiritual practice.

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