Leading into it, I had some plan to honour the Leo (Strength) full moon (The Empress) by doing fiery, action-oriented things like cooking the spicy mutton vindaloo I had promised Fafa; or at least clock in more kilometres while running.
But instead, I woke up feeling exhausted with no reason. I had to drag myself out of bed and go through the work-day motions with low energy; skipping cooking, running even meditating.
We still went out for dinner; delicious African cuisine at Nyala but only with one glass of wine I was ready to crash on the bed. So yeah, looks like the Full Moon in Leo managed to burn my energy completely today. So I am going to bed now, even though it’s only 9 PM. Hopefully, I woke up the next day feeling a lot better.
I haven’t been writing for a week here, the longest period since I started this blog last year. I am feeling a wee bit of a writer-FOMO, so here are some random observations I noted down in the journal recently —
I use a 400-page black Moleskine to journal. It was a birthday gift from Fafa. At first, I thought it would be my annual journal. But now, only five months in and having used up 3/4 of it, I think I will be getting myself a new journal for my half-birthday in March.
One of the reasons that I haven’t been writing much on the blog is because I am hitting a tarot-reading wall. For some reason, I have been feeling a little less excited about journaling about tarot recently. Not sure whether I am even allowed to say that, but that’s the truth. I have come up with solutions, though. I have started journaling tarot with prompts given by the Moon Void Tarot‘s creator, Stefanie Caponi to honor the Aquarius season (my Moon sign).
I also bought another tarot deck—my first-quarter purchase (hey, I lasted 20 days! Now, I have to go through the next 70-something days without buying another deck). It’s the Fifth Spirit Tarot which sits on top of my 2021 tarot deck list. Yesterday, I saw that Two Sided Tarot has it listed on their website and with only AUD10 shipping, I knew I shouldn’t wait any longer.
One last thing about tarot: I am looking for a tarot deck with continuity or a similar theme throughout the deck. The Moon Void Tarot deck has been the closest I’ve got, but the non-human court-cards broke the singular theme thing that it had going for it.
Even though I haven’t been writing much here, I have been compiling random notes I wrote here and there — paper and digital — into my Day One App. Maybe I can share some of the not-super-boring ones here?
Also, even though I haven’t been writing much, I have been running. I registered for a measly 10km run in October. That gets me going. I am clocking in 3km every run, but with an embarrassing pace to be shared here.
The last best coffee I had was well, not a coffee. We went to Brunswick last weekend to feast on a crab at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack. On the way back, we stopped at one of my favourite coffee shops in Melbourne for some sit-down coffee chai.
This month, I dreamt of Fafa bringing and or showing me a ladybug. Twice. Google told me that it’s a symbol of good luck.
This week, I tried a new Thai dish called Hor Mok for the first time. It’s steamed fish cooked with coconut cream, curry and basil leaf served banana leaf cup. I ordered it because it reminded me of Kerala Meen Pollichathu, but it tasted closer to Cambodian Fish Amok.
Yesterday, I found out that all this while I have been cooking and eating butter that has expired in 2019.
Today, I woke up reminiscing about my Uni time. Jik and I used to sneak into each others class. Even though we majored in different subjects and went to different Universities. And hers was more fun than my boring Accounting lectures. Then, I realized that taking up CPA is like adopting the worst part of schooling-the studying and exam parts. Ugh!
I realize more and more that I am a creature of routines and rituals. So instead of ignoring it, I should use those things as a foundation of my daily life.
My 5 AM thoughts visited me again today, only that it came at 3.30 AM.
It has been three days in a row that I haven’t been sleeping peacefully, but today it was much worse since I could not go back to sleep anymore.
I refuse to self-diagnose myself with insomnia. Self-diagnosing when it comes to health is a trait that has become second nature among my extended family. Hence my conscious effort to stir away from it. Even at 3.30 AM.
I think I just overstimulated myself yesterday; both mind and body. The brain has been forced to work since 8 AM yesterday, and it didn’t stop even until I went to bed. From office work, blog posts, personal errands and reading heavy stuff until I fell asleep.
Meanwhile, I also let myself binge-eat yesterday using the period excuse. From sugary drinks, spicy chips to late-night garlic rice.
As a result, the heated stomach and buzzing brain refused to let my tire-soul rest.
I thought about how it has been a while since I share my coffee-diary entries here. How I forever chase the golden-light in life, both literally and figuratively. Both topics are unrelated.
I wondered whether I would have developed a deeper and layered understanding of a language if I was not raised to be multilingual. Since even until now, I struggle to express myself a bit more in-depth. In any language. Not only that, I have passed an embarrassing number of reading materials, just because it’s too hard for me to digest.
I felt like there is a version of me who I want to be (the one who reads daily, who cooks often, who goes on hikes on the weekend and who runs a marathon) and there is the current me that is not there yet. This year is about closing the gap between those two MEs, or at least minimize the gap.
My thought then went to the unwrapped gifts in the living room. It’s for a party that I have been invited to, by someone I wouldn’t invite to mine. Funny, isn’t it? Someone can be your VIP, but it doesn’t always mean vice versa. If you think I was being mean, hey at least I got them a gift 🤷🏽.
I wrote a reminder to finish reading Patti Smith this month – preferably this weekend if I am good. And to visit a new-to-me neighborhood cafe before we move out from here. Also, to get a tarot journal.
With space as the guiding word for my year, I went through my tarot-mental Rolodex, to pick a card, which best represents space for me.
Not able to associate the space I have in mind with any major arcana cards (not even The Fool nor The World), I moved to the minor ones in sequence starting from the Wands suit. It was then it clicked, without needing to review the rest of the cards on the deck – the space energy I wish to invite for this year is represented in the Seven of Wands.
TBR, the Seven of Wands has never been a favorite – both as a Seven (I prefer Seven of Pentacles) nor in the Wands suit (I favor the Eight of Wands). It’s also the only Seven suits that I haven’t journal-ed about as I had never put much thought into it, until this week.
Also, the image of the card in the classic Rider Waite Smith deck is not pretty. It shows a man, with mismatched shoes, standing on a higher ground, ready to fight other wands pointing at him. But then, when I envision conquering 2021 by claiming my space, I so want to be that man. Ready to defend my place, come what may!
In tarot, Seven of Wands traditionally means courage, persistence, competition, challenges. It can also be about:
Perseverance, defending one’s territory and expansion which for me translates to space, space and more space.
My tarot teacher asked me when we practiced reading tarot with a spread.
I told her that:
“I always feel a strong connection to the moon. I also find The Moon card on most tarot decks attractive”.
She seemed a bit relieved by my answer, before going on explaining that tarot readers have divided perceptions about The Moon card; some consider it as a good card, while others find it difficult.
I looked at the card on the spread. We were using the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck. There a few things going on for sure. The lobster, the howling dogs, the towers with the dark sky draping the background. But nothing calls out to be as a problematic.
Yes, the moon can be emotional, but so are we, are we not?
I put my thoughts aside and continued reading the spread. I interpreted The Moon as I needed to wait for a whole month before being able to see any progress.
It’s time to let the moon illuminate our dark side. For us to embrace our shadow-self, to go deeper inside, in the effort of understanding ourselves better.
The other day, I meditated under the full moon on Aries. Again a homework from my teacher. I took out all The Moon cards my all the tarot decks (excluding Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, as these days I only use it as a point of reference) I owned to contemplate more on it.
The depiction in The Spacious Tarot deck is my favourite. The card is dominated by a large moon – which reminds me of the time I went to Uluru and saw the moon up close point. It also has two mushrooms on it, which reminds me of The Lovers tarot card.
After spending sometime with The Moon tarot cards, I journaled about it – a whole three pages in my Moleskin. I am not ready to share it here yet. Thought at this rate, I have a feeling that I will eventually share it with you but for now, do know it has been cathartic.
That night, I honoured the moon’s energy by drinking Lavender tea and going to bed with Selenite charging me from the bedside table.
While tarot muggles usually fear the Death card (thanks to the pop-culture), some tarot readers find The Hanged Man as one of the most challenging cards, both to read and in reading.
The Hanged Man traditionally drawn as a man being hanged upside-down by one ankle, but he looks calm as if he is doing this by his own choice. The interpretation of it varies from self-sacrifice, waiting, being stuck to contemplation.
At the beginning of my tarot journey, I tended to put a little importance on The Hanged Man. if I pulled it in the mornings as a daily drawing I deemed it as:
“it’s going to be a chill day”
Or if it’s a yes/no question or as the answer to a situational question as:
That’s pretty much it.
Until I learned that The Hanged Man is my birth card.
After sulking why my birth card wasn’t Strength, The Star or even The Tower, I slowly built a connection with The Hanged Man.
I made an effort to understand it. Starting by deliberately spending more time with it to reviewing the same card on different decks.
I have since learned that The Hanged Man is about the liminal space (what a cool term, might make it as a blog name).
The difference though, The Fool is more like taking a deep breath before stepping into the next thing. It’s the space between two things, two actions; sort of like a comma. Meanwhile, The Hanged Man ranged from meditative breaths to being or choosing to be “stuck” in that space for a certain period.
Hence the need to be thread it a bit more mindfully.
I find this interesting, especially relating to it being my birth card because if there is one thing I can’t stand in life, it’s the feeling of being stuck. A situation that I have been avoiding and wriggled-out-from all my life. Being stuck, restrained and controlled is entirely against my nature. Which is why when I realized that Hanged Man could also be a deliberate choice of not to be grounded, it made much more sense to me.
And I could relate to it to a T.
I also learned that The Hanged Man is the most potent tarot card in Shamanism. As the person who looks like he is hanging in our world, essentially is standing in another world. They are also often seen as the meditating Buddha.
Numerical wise, The Hanged Man equates to number three, which is a powerful number in witchcraft and represents growth in the world of tarot.
All these and more learning only grow my fascination with The Hanged Man.
Image-wise my fave depiction of The Hanged Man comes from the Spacious Tarot deck (no surprise there I guess, it’s a favorite deck of mine). In here The Hanged Man has been renamed to The Hanged One — which I appreciate as it’s more of inclusive rep — accompanied by the image of half earth floating in the galaxy seen from the Moon’s vantage point.
In a word, it’s gorgeous.
It also made me wonder whether we all are in a perpetual hanging position, floating in this world.
Being the in-between beings.
It serves a great reminder that we are just passing through this world while paradoxically asking us to hit a pause and enjoy the moment.
I feel like I am going on this trip with highly-strung energy. Not the good kind. These past few days have been a bit too much. I have started feeling the tiring Thursday energy since Tuesday morning, dragging myself to get through the rest of the workweek. And the reversed position confirmed it.
It looks like this trip is going to be dominated by the Swords energy. From my own vibe to the lesson to learn from the trip. Even the Strength from the Spacious Tarot deck is depicted by prickly cactus, and if I push it, the Wands hold by the tail of the Salamander (to focus on) looked like a sword.
Which means, I might have to put my drink-all-the-wine-all-the-way-to-our-Airbnb-until-I-pass-out plan on hold and embrace the what looks like might be an intellectually stimulating trip?
I packed a couple more books and an extra pen anticipation extra journaling time.
I also told Fafa, not to his delight, to be prepared for deep conversations and mini self-discovery sessions, in case we are called to do so. He finally agreed, only after I promised to draw him a bubble bath at the end of the day.
Happy Friday the 13th! I always feel like this day carries more woo-woo energy compared to most days, and the witch in me always gets excited about it.
My first memory of Friday the 13th is when my very hipster music teacher told us about the Jerusalem virus which has been attacking computers all over the world every year on Friday the 13th. A fact that is a bit morbid for a 13yo to remember, but I have always been a bit weird 🤷.
My fascination on Friday the 13th was established that day and it has been growing ever since.
This Friday the 13th is a bit more special.
It is the second Friday the 13th in 2020. Marking the end of the self-isolation period which started on the first Friday the 13th of the year, in March. It was the last day I went to work and living life, as usual.
Today, 7 months later, after passing through, in limbo, the uncomfortable adjustment and somewhat painful learning period, I feel like I am being invited to finally turn over a new page—a milestone.
Officially marking being completely hatched, reemerging fully into and totally embracing the new normal.
I celebrated the day with a fun breakfast date with Fafa at The Top Paddock. It’s the first breakfast place I had been to by myself when I moved to Melbourne years ago. We reminisced our first months here (his was a year before mine) and other travel memories.
I still have to do a massive task before logging off of work. But later, I have a coven meeting for (yes, it’s a thing). And after that, I plan to finish The Alchemist and do some night-journaling accompanied by a mug of hot Gluhwein and both The High Priestess and Death tarot cards (New Moon on Scorpio). It feels like the right way to honor the day—both Friday the 13th and the new normal milestone.
Of all the “bad cards” in tarot, the Tower is something I am comfortable with. Maybe even a little too comfortable.
The 16th card from the Major Arcana, the Tower is traditionally seen as the representation of disaster, sudden change, significant disruption and chaos.
Those are enough reasons for people to not want to see it in a reading.
It makes sense. We, human beings, tend to seek stability in our lives. I am no different. As I write this on top of my picnic rug, in the park soaking the sun, eating the cheese and getting a bit buzzed from the wine, I too don’t wish for the rug to be pulled from under my feet. Both metaphorically and literally.
But it didn’t start this way for me.
I came from a somewhat traditional Indian family. I say somewhat because my parents are smart people with kind hearts who want nothing but, what they think, as the best for their daughter. But at the same time, they are bogged down by society and at times dated and jaded traditions. Growing up, it had always been a constant struggle between following the social values and just being a child, and later, a teenager. For example, they would let me wear whatever I wanted, which was more than most Indian girls growing up in a traditional family could ask for. But at the same time, I wasn’t allowed to date.
I did both. With that, I turned into the rebel of the family and started what I called as my Tower moments.
My Tower moments started when I, as a teenager, laughed on the face of the priest who told Amma that he could magically make me stop rebelling. A major tower moment was when I cancelled my wedding a couple of weeks before the day. Another one, when I moved to Singapore without a job and proceeded to live there for almost a decade before uprooting the somewhat comfortable life I had built for myself to go back home because I wanted to heal my relationship with my parents. Again without a job. I also summoned The Tower when I migrated to Melbourne, and again when I married someone from a different background in Bali. This time without any priest.
The Tower is a shadow self that I have accepted. It taught me to be calm throughout chaotic periods in my life. From the period when my dad stopped talking to me to being bullied; even when I was made redundant. I went through these with a zen-ish outlook.
And I know I can go through similar shit moments in the future because I had deliberately chosen to walk through worse things, either because it aligned with my values or to chase my dreams.
I also learned that even though I always have plans for my life (Virgo baby!), sometimes the Universe grants my wishes in different ways. And based on my past experiences, it could just be in the Tower mode.
It’s good to remember that fundamentally the Tower is about radical changes. A reminder to:
“Be positive, it is time to replace the old foundations of the past with something that is more genuine and will serve better in what is to come”
Not gonna lie, knowing that — if tomorrow, something happens and I have to uproot my life yet again — I can do it, feels pretty empowering. And I blame my semi-traditional Indian parents for it. They shouldn’t have instilled the value of resilience in the young rebellious me.