Hello hello! Happy Saturday, happy weekend!
It’s July, already! It’s pouring with rain, there’s a nip in the air, and Em and I have the night to ourselves. We’ve got junk food, we’ve got wine, we’ve got a fire going, a bath planned, and the whole of Orange is the New Black downloaded and ready to go. I’ve got a weird summer cold coming on, which is just making me relish this cosy night in all the more.
A wee life-update: Em and I are living with some good friends, Marylou and Ed, and their two kids, Arlo and Gilbert, in a lively, funny family home. This is a queer space and a feminist space. It’s also a creative space. It’s a place where it feels like needs can be stated and solutions found to meet them. A home with foundations of acceptance and warmth. It is so completely opposite to the place I was living previously, it’s awakened this whole new level of gratitude in me. I’m grateful that I wake up each day with the freedom to do as I please. I’m grateful that, right now, I don’t live with anxiety. I’m grateful to be surrounded by love and support, and by people who are open to receiving love and support in return. We’ve decided to stay for the summer.
Having spent a few weeks processing, I’m emerging and feeling excited about the next few months. Em has the car each day, and my home is in a particularly isolated spot in south Skye. There’s the house, the garden, the beach and the hills – there’s no shop, post office or pub within walking distance, and no phone signal either.
So, I’ve decided to devote my summer to art. After years of saying I want to ‘rediscover my creativity’, and ‘I always used to make things, but nowadays I never find the time’, I suddenly find myself with no excuses. My housemates, a neighbour, a long-distance friend and I have formed an artist’s collective, with the intention of encouraging and supporting each other to simply get on and make art. How cool is that? I’ll be sure to share my first creation (in progress already!) right here.
But enough about hopes and dreams. Here’s a whole load of links for your weekend pleasure!
Let’s begin with a song. Hit play! (If you’re reading this post by email, click through for the media player.)
This is a song sent to me by a reader, Amo, after I receiving my last newsletter on Monday. Though the song is short, the lyrics touched me deeply and I played the song over and over. It’s been a while since I listened to the queer woman singer-songwriters I loved in my teens…Amo set me off on a voyage of rediscovery of female voices and feminist feelings.
Interview With Bone Reader Iyanifa Ayele Kumari | Iyanifa Ayele Kumari is an author, a healer, a priestess, and a diviner. Here, she talks to Michele Jackson of Bones, Shells and Curios about her bone reading practice.
Here are your queer horoscopes for July | Corina Dross’ Satellite of Love is awesome as always.
We made Neko Atsume tarot cards | An offering from NYLON magazine, for witchy cat ladies.
Feminism’s Class Divide | Kashana Cauley on how modern mainstream feminism focuses on middle class consumer aspirations, at the expense of poorer and marginalised women’s issues.
LGBTQ people can’t have safe spaces but we still need community | A heartfelt, thought-provoking essay in response to Orlando, from Autostraddle CEO Riese Bernard.
Follow Your Arrow: Elizabeth Cooper on grounding her business in self-care | I interviewed coach Elizabeth Copper, founder of Queer Body Love, about her life and business.
Soulspeaks Tarot Writing #1: Strength | Pagan Pol muses on the Strength card and its message of self-acceptance.
Patti Smith’s Just Kids belongs to lovers, artists and outcasts | Reading this gorgeous review had me running to the barn to dig out my copy of Patti Smith’s amazing autobiography, which tells the story of her years in the New York punk scene.
Space for declaring. Say it is so. | Mandy Steward makes collages. Here she shares some reflections on her process and its meaning.
One of the things that naturally happens when I use the medium of collage is I end up creating little spaces to invite declarations. I am always finding words, whether in junk mail marketing or a magazine or pages of an old book, and much like black out poetry, I am being selective about which ones I want and being creative with what they could mean when applied to the context of my story.
8 signs your yoga practice is culturally appropriated, and why it matters | The discussions and arguments around yoga and appropriation can be confusing. This helpful post cuts through the nouse and makes things clear.
On flying ointments as medicine | Sarah Anne Lawless explores the history of some of the herbs used by witches in flying ointments, and the intersection of magic and healing.
10 people-free tarot decks for your collection | Because many of us don’t connect with the often-homogenised people shown in our tarot cards.
The Tarot of Trees by Dana Driscoll
Queering the Tarot: 17. The Star | Cassandra Snow continues her awesome column with the card of hope and healing.
Thanks, Dad | Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha reflects on the lessons her father – ‘a beautiful, angry, complex, brown man – gave her.
The Circo Tarot is funded! | Lots of us backed Marisa de la Peña’s tarot deck, which is circus-themed and heavily influenced by her Mexican-American upbringing. I’m excited to receive my copy and hope so much to sell this one in my shop!
Caring for our needs: The new moon in Cancer | The next new moon is this Monday and it’s in the sign of Cancer. Here’s Chani Nicholas’ interpretation.
The House of the Heart tarot spread | Alexis J Cunningfolk’s new tarot spread is based on the idea that there is a sacred home for each of us, and that we can listen to our heart’s wisdom to find out more about it. I’m saving this one for the new moon on Monday.
To wear your heart on the outside | Little Red Tarot columnist Andi Grace got a profound tarot reading from Lettie Laughter of High Moon Femme. Here’s how it went!
In my reading Lettie touched on ideas and themes that rung so true for me, they stopped me in my tracks. They touched on my desire to learn to live with my heart on the outside. They identified aspects of my story I hadn’t shared with anyone – in some ways I think they were able to get in touch with pieces of my truth I didn’t even know were true yet.
The Empress in Taurus | Asali shared this heartfelt post on self-care during a low swing in her mental health.
Old friends, new circumstances | What happens when a friendship looks to be rekindled after a difficult parting? This thoughtful post from Maven Unmasked finds lessons and ideas in tarot cards.
How to use nettle for energetic cleansing | Shaheen Miro’s tips.
Five tarot experts explain how tarot works | Shelley at Sparrow Tarot asked her friends for their views – this is a great read!
“Could you just pull a quick tarot card for me… for free?” | Hands up who’s sick of this question.
After weeks and weeks of anxiety and dysphoria, I finally make it to a barbershop. A tall, buff, tan-skinned man approaches me in the narrow, empty salon and asks what I want. I say, “A skin fade.” He says, “Have you had a skin fade before?” I lie and said yes – confident in what I want – pretending this isn’t my first time. He calls me “bruv” and I have to stop myself from staring at his huge, perfect arms and focus on what my voice is going to sound like when I next speak.I mentally construct a narrative for myself, building a new back-story to calm my nerves.
The problematic idea of success | Omid Safi’s speech to new university graduates has sound advice for all of us.
Reclaiming and Chaos Witchery | I love Lee’s response to the reclaiming tradition in witchcraft.
A ritual for love in a painful time | After a tough week, I felt the need to create a personal spell to send love out into a world that felt so filled with fear and hate.
Some EU referendum reading
As Priyamvada Gopal has put it, a vote for Brexit is a vote for the “magnificent lie that exploitation, austerity, greed and impoverishment have all come to Britain from the nasty outside”.
What vision of hearts and minds, as well as of nation states, are we being asked to buy into? It is the curse of masculinity that men are expected to shed any sign of vulnerability, to hold themselves erect as they strut across the world’s stage, above all behave as if they have always, with no flicker of doubt, believed in themselves.
+ Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon’s response (whilst the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU, every single constituency in Scotland voted across the board to remain.)
And on Labour party fuckwittery:
On that uplifting note, I’m off to see how my dinner is doing. A glance at Em, snuggled on the sofa with her laptop, doesn’t look promising. Guess I’d better get cooking…
Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope it suits your body, mind, belly and soul.
Loads of love,
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