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Finding shadows and creeping back toward the light.

Finding shadows and creeping back toward the light.

Hello, world.

Words that I’ve typed more times than I can count, as a child of the Internet and a software architect who had computers in my home while the Internet was new and still forming. See, I still capitalize Internet, like an old-school user who remembers when it was something most people didn’t understand or use. They still don’t understand it, but everyone now uses it.

I’d hoped those words would lead me to what to write next. I hadn’t wanted to stop blogging or writing in my journal, but between the pain of grief at personal and world events, pain in my body, and taking on a magic new identity, a law student of all things, I didn’t have the energy to write. My entire being was sapped by stressors, for months.

And now that I have a break from school, I’m still not sure how to get back to writing. And everyone talks about healing, and I know that’s part of what I want and will be, but I don’t know how to heal the gaping wounds in my self. To be truly honest, I don’t know how to love myself, flawed and broken and hard. I take comfort in the fact that others love me as I am, and that keeps me going. But if I’m going to learn about healing, shouldn’t I extend the same unconditional love that I give others to myself? I don’t. I hate my body, I hate my past, I hate how I got to where I am. Everything I do extends from wanting to prove to others that I am worthy, I am capable of being loved. It works for others, my wonderful community of supportive friends, quasi-coworkers, and foster-family. It doesn’t work for myself.

That’s not where I thought I was going with this. But the words write themselves, and if I’m going to take myself where I want to with Witchling in Flight, I have to let myself be vulnerable: because that’s where the healing magic will take place.

It’s hard to come to this conclusion, and it makes me want to reach for chocolate (which I’m not allowing myself for a month; more on that later, perhaps). Somehow, I need to give myself space to be vulnerable and empty out a dark space in my psyche, so that I can shine brighter and for more people than my close set of friends.

Time will tell if I’ll ever be ready.

Having it all figured out

Having it all figured out

You know, a lot of blogs tell you they have the answers to everything, and I’ve always been staunchly against having the answers. I have what works for me, I have ideas and opinions, but answers? If I had the answers, where would I need to go next in my spiritual path? The search for truth and mystery is a journey that never ends. So while I’m here, I’ll share my journey and the insight I have gained from it, but I will never have everything figured out—and that’s okay.

A lot of blogs put me off because the authors make it seem like they have everything figured out and that they’re going to help you, too, learn How To Life, and yeah, nope. I’ve internalised the idea that I can’t post something unless I have something big to say, something well thought out, something that will enlighten readers. That’s a lot of pressure! Why do I let it get to me?

I vented recently to a friend that one time, the internet was all about what we could create with it. We teenagers made web sites to our favorite musicians, movies, and TV shows, worked pretty graphics, learned every bit of HTML and CSS we could to make web sites that shone our love for the creations. Then Google Adsense came out, and suddenly people were growing up and learning the importance of having money for sustenance, and adults were figuring out that the Internet could be “monetized” and suddenly blogs and web sites weren’t about talking about the things that made us happy and excited, they were working on gaining audiences so they could make money. So of course they’d put themselves in a position of authority—who would buy their books or e-courses or sponsor their speaking fees if they weren’t an authority?

Then there were blogs about how you, too, could make a lot of money by blogging, and then people clamored to write their own blogs to make money, and then suddenly there were all these people on the Internet blogging with the goal of making money instead of talking about the things they’re interested in. Now it seems like ALL blogs out there position themselves as an authority on something, relying on the capitalist structure where if your authority isn’t behind your product, you aren’t doing it right. And we the people writing the content ARE the product.

That’s a structure that just doesn’t work for me. I’m a person first, and can’t turn myself into a sellable product without repressing what makes me me. (Though I’m more than happy to charge for services rendered—want a Tarot reading? Maybe you’d like some advice on web sites? I’d be happy to charge for those things, but I won’t tell you I’m THE authority, just what I’ve learned on the Internet over the last fifteen years.) I won’t write about how to do this thing or that thing and expect you to believe me as the last word. I will write about what I’ve learned while figuring myself out, and how I came to the conclusions I’ve come to, and ask questions to get to more answers.

Getting my groove on

Getting my groove on

Thank you, friends (do you mind if I call you that? It’s hard for me to make friends, but I treasure you), for commenting on my previous post. I’ve been working hard on managing my energy and talking to my therapist about establishing some Best Practices and Habits for me to make the most out of the energy I have each day. I think I’m just scared of fucking everything up, and that’s stopping me from doing the things I want to do. So I’m trying to breathe through the fear and keep going. Man, is it hard.

I signed up for an Instagram account today (sjwitchling). I’m skeptical of all social media, pretty much, but now that I’m signed up it reminds me of Flickr in the days when Flickr united people and let everyone make friendships. Here’s my first post:

My housemate encouraged me to start the morning with good things. So I did. #knitting #chocolate #tea #journal

A photo posted by SJ Witchling (@sjwitchling) on

(Follow me and tell me your username so I can follow you back!)

I don’t like that it excludes people without a smartphone, and I don’t like that I can only add pictures from my phone. (At least I’m in love with my phone camera!) But I am hoping it gets me to look at my surroundings more and appreciate them. It’s the little things that make it worth it, am I right?

Today’s little things will include processing some things in my journal and studying for the LSAT some more. I’m feeling pretty confident, but studying every day is a good idea anyway! Hopefully I’ll also grab some Tarot cards while it’s this bright outside. I would like to take some pictures, and I would like to get to know them again. We’ll see how I feel after hitting some books!

My city is grieving.

My city is grieving.

This is an email I sent yesterday to far-away family and friends. It contains racism, police brutality, and violence.

If you don’t think you can read it all, please consider donating to Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. They are on the front lines of this fight. They need our support.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this, because I don’t trust the media, but we live under a militarized police force this week in Minneapolis. I’ve spent a lot of this week in grief and anger and hearing from people who are going to the site where on Sunday morning yet another black man was murdered by the police. I can’t believe this is still happening here. And I can’t believe that the police’s response is to armor up and threaten all the people there.

Read More Read More

When each step is a hurdle

When each step is a hurdle

I can tell winter is looming from my desire to never empty my pot of tea. I have candles burning in the room I’m working in almost daily, and my cat requires serious pushing to get her to stop snuggling up against my wrists. It’s been grey out. Getting myself out of bed to face another day has been a challenge I’m not sure I’ve overcome. I have so many things I want to be on top of, but really all I’ve been able to wrap my brain around is my knitting.

Happily, it’s been so long since I last was able to knit regularly that this is a wonderful source of delight. But it doesn’t keep me on track with my few real-world commitments. I spent seven hours last week trying to figure out the design for this site, and then got frustrated, or scared, or some feeling that’s stopping me from setting it all up again and trying again. I need to try again, because I have some better ideas of how to go about coding the things, but it’s so hard to just start. I’m afraid I’m putting something else out. I have a lot of emails I need to catch up on, because I have had such a hard time working on that lately. I have some kitchen reorganization that would be helpful to have. And I have the demons in my head telling me that what I’m doing right now is not good enough, and will never be good enough, and that’s not fair to me, either.

So I’m taking baby steps to getting back in the game. I should have gotten up and grabbed some paper to write down the List of things I should take care of, but I started a list in my head. Today so far I’ve figured out how to get to the Overcoming Racism conference I’m going to on Friday and Saturday. I’ve done some reading and responding for a workshop I’m attending next week. I’ve started boiling some tins to sanitize them. I’ll use the tins once they’re dry to store tea and to make some lotions (though those things don’t have to happen today, although getting started would be great). I’ve snuggled my cat and written a list of the people I need to email to follow up with.

Baby steps. I can do this. You can do this. We can do this.

That said, how about a draw from the Fey Tarot about what to focus on right now?

Three cards from the Fey Tarot arranged in a triangle
4 Pentacles, 6 Chalices, I – The Magician

It seems like you’re juggling everything right now, but with a focused will you won’t lose your balance. Good luck.

How to take myself seriously

How to take myself seriously

My post on navigating the road blocks to getting started with a Tarot business was inspired by a previous post on cleaning up your “money is dirty” mindset. I had a complicated relationship with the first post, and especially because there’s a section on the power of positive thinking: it took me a long, long time for the phrase “positive thinking” to stop being a trigger for my depression and anxiety. It also mentioned a few tips for taking yourself seriously with money, but it seemed like the same things people say all over the internet. I want the nitty-gritty. How do you set up a PayPal account for business? What about keeping track of receipts for growing your business? Is the IRS going to care about what I’m doing?

Some of these questions are also barriers to getting started for me, because anxiety likes to latch on to “what ifs” and turn them into full-blown awful scenarios. So yesterday, inspired by my therapist telling me to Just Open For Business Already, I sat down and tried to figure out the answers to some of my questions.

  • How do I accept payments? Is PayPal the only way to go? Haven’t I heard of a Google option? Are there any other, better options?
    I’ve heard of drama with using PayPal in the past, and I’m wary of supporting a company that limits free expression. However, after asking around for similar money-processing sites, I think PayPal will be the best option because it’s better-known and its terms of use are not as ridiculous as Google Wallet’s. Google Wallet’s terms are trying to dictate moral behavior, whereas as near as I can tell, PayPal’s are “don’t use it for anything illegal”. Other sites just are not as well known for me to start with.
  • What’s the best way for me to put aside money that’s specifically for Witchling in Flight purposes?
    I’m going to open a separate bank account purely for this. That will make it easier to track fees and income. I’m sure there will eventually be business-related expenses (though, actually, this domain itself is an expense), and it will be good to be able to see straight from a different account what kind of expenses I will have and how much I’ll get from it.
  • How do I want to word my code of ethics?
    Call it a code of ethics or a disclaimer. I want to put into writing before I do Tarot readings for people who aren’t friends what to expect from a reading and what not to expect. While I doubt I’ll run into trouble with clients to begin with, it never hurts to have a disclaimer in place. Still, figuring out what I care about is time- and energy-consuming!
  • And, the “duh” question, what spreads do I want to offer and for how much?
    I’m still figuring out this question for now! Along with what format to email the querent the reading, do I want to make a super-shiny PDF to send people, if so how should it look, etc.! And that doesn’t even begin what I want the design on this site to look like—since I had to get Witchling in Flight started somewhat quickly, I had to use the most bland theme I could find right away. Now I’m trying to figure out how I want this to look, and that is decidedly not my specialty, but I’m going to figure it out.

I think taking these questions seriously, and starting with a conscious mindset that I want to provide this service to people, is taking ME seriously. I could probably be running for the hills right now, putting fingers in my ears and yelling “na na na na I can’t hear you” when I think about being an adult with responsibilities, but instead I’m researching my options for getting started. No, I doubt I’ll make enough money in the next few months for the IRS to take notice, but if I set things up so that I have records for the future, that’s taking me seriously enough to flourish. Not haphazardly putting up a “donate” button and getting an investigation into my account once (not if!) I make enough money. This is a real investment in myself, and if I take it seriously, maybe my readers will, too. I certainly hope you do!

The bonus is that if you search for blog posts on the topic of setting up your blog for business, none of them talk about the actual logistics of earning income. In fact, my search resulted in the first 6 or 7 articles looking like they had all been written by the same person! The tips were all geared toward finding readers, which is an important first step, but real logistics of how you’re going to get that income and keep track of it is a great thing to set up in advance.



Dealing with exhaustion is tiring. I’ve spent the last week wondering where all my energy has gone instead of where all my time has gone. I know where my time is. I just can’t seem to do things as quickly as I used to, nor can I do as much as I used to.

It’s frustrating to think that a couple of years ago, if I were on a trip, I’d be out and about all day and able to keep going the next day. This week, I can only stand to be out for a couple of hours before I lose all my energy. I’m not particularly asthmatic, I seem to be getting enough sleep, I’m eating good amounts through the day… I want to be patient that this too will pass, that this is just my body recovering from a few months of too much stress.

But it’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to let myself take a break. I’m breaking up with societal norms that people can just work all the time and not need breaks. That the body is a machine that keeps on going whether you like it or not. And breaking up with that means wrestling with my doubts about it and the approval of others’.

And yet my body won’t let me NOT take a break. So here I am, doing the best I can to shut down the brain weasels and keep resting, while yearning to go out and do lots of exciting things. It’s a struggle to be okay with where I am right now.

Slowing down

Slowing down

Hello, Luminous Emporium! I’m currently on my lunch break at work and working out all sorts of raging thoughts. It’s hot, humid, and air quality hasn’t been great over where I live right now, so I’ve been escaping to a friend’s house with central air conditioning. Meaning I haven’t gotten much done the last couple of evenings with regards to study and building new routines into my life, but you know that we ALL need breaks from having to do things all the time, right? Right. (Why yes I do remind myself of this often!)

Since I’ve been so lax in my Looking Forward posts recently, I’ve been toying with the idea of building Tarot reading into my daily routine: maybe draw a card in the morning to study and start my day, or in the evening? Evenings tend to not work well as I get caught up in some exciting thing or another, then act like a toddler at bedtime, too excited about what’s going on but too tired to go to sleep. I have been picking up my spiritual and Tarot books with more regularity, so I am counting this as a win!

While Becky is monopolizing the cool artsy lifestyle, I’m brainstorming lotions and potions to make. I’m a big fan of homemade deodorant, and I figure if I can make my own deodorant and a lotion that works really well for me, why not also make some special lotions and potions for you all? Use the tidbits of aromatherapy knowledge I’ve picked up from one place or another over my life for good, right? Maybe even put some spells into it, for added witchyness!

I’m slowing down in the sense that it’s hot and to properly take care of myself, I need to make sure I am resting in the evenings. “Go go go” simply doesn’t work for my body, and that’s okay. Meet yourself where you are, right? Still, it’s hard to be patient and take it easy when we’ve got so many ideas and plans to develop and unveil!