Fundraiser for Puerto Rico

Three Card Reading, $5.00

The entire amount is donated to Unidos Por Puerto Rico, a charity recommended by PBS and started by the First Lady of Puerto Rico. I have already managed to send them $80.00. With your help, I can send more. Please reblog, send your friends. Fundraiser ends 11/1/17.

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I have been reading tarot since I was 16. Family lore tells that my mom went to a tarot reader because she was having a hard time choosing between my dad and another man. The tarot reader said that the cards chose my father, and my parents had a wonderful 40 year marriage together, until my father died. So we take our tarot seriously.

PM me for details at venusiangold@gmail.com

Thank you for your consideration. Here’s a link to the charity I have chosen:
http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Concert Telethon:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/7980787/puerto-rico-benefit-concert-marc-anthony-luis-fonsi

10 Things You can do to Help via Fast Company:

https://www.fastcompany.com/40472650/how-to-help-puerto-rico-10-things-you-can-do-for-hurricane-maria-victims-right-now

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Freyja, Fairest

 

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Laura Daligan

 

Cunning woman, Burning Heart

Joy arrive and harm depart

Flowers blossom, lovers swoon

Amber Necklace Honeymoon

Prowling cats with Golden Fur

Let’s all praise and welcome Her

Lady Freyja, hear us sing

This song of praise and offering

Magic rise and Blessings flow

Teach us what we don’t yet know

 

This is a ridiculous piece of writing, but I’m ok with that.

 

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Defiance by Faery Tale 

An interesting article on Faery tales and resisting tyrants. 


Faery Tale Resistance

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Nin to Ponder

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Anais Nin; difficult, more than a little mad, and enduringly inspiring. It upsets me when my friends, who calmly accept the madness of Poe, Degas, Miller, or Hemingway- lash out at Nin as if she should have somehow been different- or not herself. As if they can only blindly accept brilliance coupled with trouble from a man. Such a double standard.

She’s a part of my soul, and I will always adore her.

NIN

“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.

“There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.”

“It’s all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.”

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Portrait of Madame X,
John Singer Sergeant, 1884

“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”

“I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.” 

For more Nin:

The Diaries of Anais Nin
House of Incest
Little Birds-which is less famous than Delta of Venus, though I like LB far more.

For Nin with a Dash of Henry Miller:

A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin and Henry Miller

 

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Beauty of the Day

The Gift of Everything

by Ashley Josephine 

 

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How inspiring, a modern day “Empress”, meditate on the idea that you have been given everything you need. That your whole life is in homeostasis.

More of Josephine’s work can be found here:
https://www.thirteentwentystudios.com/paintingportfolio/

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Beauty as Resistance

Recommitting to Beauty

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Onset Bay, image by me

Recently, I’ve Begun Again, selling the house in OR and moving back to MA, about two hours from where I was born in Onset, MA. I was incredibly amused to learn that “Onset was developed in the 1880s as a summer camp meeting for Spiritualists. Many of the existing cottages in Onset were built as second homes for individuals from BostonTauntonBrockton and other northeastern cities who gathered to hear mediums communicate with the dead. While it was run by the Spiritualists, the village was known as Onset Bay Grove.”
source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onset,_Massachusetts

I was back there, recently for the Cape Verdean Festival, with my mother and I went  to the shore to ponder “My Great Work”. Starting again will make you do that, and I was encouraged by an exercise in Deborah Castellano’s Glamour Magic wherein, one enters the wild and sits there past the boredom and distraction in order to uncover their next Great Work.

As I did, I discovered that vague and seemingly unhelpful information I always uncover, “I want to live a  Beautiful Life.” Not only have I known this since I was a child who was obsessed with whether or not things were beautiful or pretty enough, at this point in my adult life I’m frustrated with “How” (notice my answer wasn’t “become a florist” or “see more ballet”…) but also as I search for my next job “Who will pay for this?”.

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As Living Beautifully is my Life’s Great Work, I have to decide how to achieve that in a hostile society that doesn’t see beauty as an important necessity, the way I do, and doesn’t even see my Afro-Latina self as beautiful, and in some cases worthy. Great horrors are visited upon all of us every day, I don’t deny that, I even do what I can to address them.

I do not however, allow them to get in the way of Living as Beautifully as possible. Nothing is perfect and some days are undeniably bland or ugly, but here are some ways that you can achieve your healing and recovery and personal aesthetic, that are affordable and doable, even as you sign petitions and call your ancestors to help you handle this legislation.

Decide what is Important and Healing for You

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For me it’s Beauty, I can’t define Beauty for you, but I know it when I see it, I know it when I feel it.
I quite literally am refreshed and revived after walking through a garden. That’s my jam. I love flowers and get them as many ways as I can. Whether that be in a garden, watching them bloom in a video, wearing them as jewelry, wearing them as a print or a perfume, taking flower essences, or meditating with a plant. None of these things cost very much, a floral top will often cost as much as a plain top of the same style, and they make me happy. It’s about effort and self care. I may be writing my legislators, I may be currently unemployed, I may be hexing, but doing these things in a garden or wearing pretty things makes me feel better than if I were wearing sweats and yesterday’s mascara.

Escapism Helps Us Refuel

Plan escapes carefully.

Curate your allies.

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Find a poem, a song, write a story, find a story, create a Pinterest Board, of uplifting things that you can call on when you’re having a wretched day. Escaping into your “Desired Future” via pinterest, a world you want to live in that’s been carefully created by you, can do a world of good. Performing a self blessing can remind you that you are sacred, you’re important, and spirits are on your side.

Natalie Merchant writes songs I want to live in, I imagine myself surrounded by so many wonderful people that I’m moved to write a song of gratitude, a’la “Kind and Generous”. Tori Amos helps me feel less lonely in my rage and myriad emotions and Bjork is so ridiculous and inspiring, I sometimes need the irreverence to lighten up.

Theodora Goss, Angela Carter, Anais Nin, Alice Hoffman, Francesca Lia Block~have all rescued me from this world when I’ve needed to get away.

Renee Magnusson gets it, and has helped me to develop more “Devil may care” with my “joie de vivre”.

Find or create your muses.

Sabrina

Who has the grace, charm, or sass that you admire? Buffy? Sabrina? Dean Winchester? Josephine Baker? Frida Kahlo? James Bond? The “What Not To Wear” style gurus, Stacy and Clinton? Endora?

Make a list of the qualities that you believe they have and then figure out how to enhance them in yourself. If you admire Buffy’s ability to fight, find a self defense class. Appreciate “Chocolat’s” Vianne, played by Juliette Binoche? Learn a fancy chocolate recipe, share it with your friends. Adore a friend’s grace and charm? Read Kelly Williams Brown’s Gracious.
Can’t decide? Create a Servitor. I created a Bon Vivant based on “Sabrina” (the film, not the Teenage Witch)  and “La Dolce Vita” and “La Vie en Rose” which by the way, is *not* seeing the world through colored glasses, as many would have you believe- it’s actually “a state of bliss wherein everything around you delights you” which is exactly what a garden gives me. Her job is to lead me to delightful things, no matter what.

Which is the point of this entire life, make it beautiful, no matter what.

Resources:

The Atlantic on the Beauty/Happiness connection

On the importance of beauty

The work of Renee Magnusson

http://www.reneemagnusson.com/

All about roses

The work of Deborah Castellano

http://www.charmedfinishingschool.com/

 

 

 

 

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Simple Pleasures

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Courtesy Ashridge Trees
Lavender Oatmeal Skin Cleanser
My skin has been unhappy since I moved to Shutesbury, MA. Maybe it’s a mineral in the well water or the humidity, but it’s been cranky.

Enter Oatmeal, which moisturizes skin, protects from exterior irritations, and retains moisture. Add Lavender, which is soothing and gentle to the skin and both antiseptic and antifungal.

The simplest way to make the skin cleanser is to mix:

1 Part Lavender Buds

1/2 Part Coffee

1/2 Part Chocolate

2 Parts Oatmeal

3 Parts Baking Soda

To use form a paste with any of the suggested fluids, apply to face, wait 2-3 minutes and rinse off.
I suggest honey, rosewater, lavender water, 1 part apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 part water, or aloe juice.

If you make a big enough batch you can use it on your entire body.

Store in an airtight container.

 

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