October. An Dàmhair in Gaelic, bringing with it a cool sense of relief, long rainy weeks and gorgeous autumnal sunshine.
Em and I are preparing for another move, into a new home – a holiday let – for the winter. Our housemates are preparing too, for a move down to lovely Argyll where they’ve been offered a woodland croft to work and build a home. I’m loving the sense of change and anticipation in the air, and the sadness that is just beginning to bubble up as we realise the goodbyes that will soon be said.
Marylou chopping wood in the barn
‘Home’ is a word that’s been on my mind a lot lately – a big theme for this year, largely because of not actually having one. Em and I are busy building our tiny house – despite having nowhere, yet, to put it. We’re exploring the Highlands, looking for land, a house, or maybe a derelict cottage to re-roof and call home. Scotland lies all around us, mountainous, windy, mysterious and wild. I’m torn between loving this exploratory feeling…and just desperately wanting to know where we will eventually land.
Of course, we’ve thought a little about going back to England, too. The small Yorkshire town where I lived for the ten years following university was the first and last place I really called home – it’s where many of my dearest friends live, where I really ‘found myself’ for the first time. But life changes, cycles turn, and I needed something different.
And then I listen to Theresa May and the rest of the Conservative party setting out their anti-immigration vision for the post-Brexit UK. And I watch Nicola Sturgeon respond from Scotland with words of welcome to immigrants from every corner of the world, declaring that diversity is a big part of what makes Scotland such a great place. And I read the endless messages of pride and inclusivity from people of all backgrounds who’ve made a home here unfolding under #WeAreScotland…and I well up and hope so hard that I can find a way to make Scotland my home, too.
Meanwhile! Here’s a list of exciting and/or interesting and/or important and/or beautiful things to read.
Grab a cuppa, get comfy and enjoy.
Let’s begin with a song. Hit play! (If you’re reading this via email, click through to use the music player)
PoC Magick WandaWoman | Here’s a new YouTube channel for witchy people of colour.
Follow Your Arrow: #periodpositive Creator Chella Quint | I interviewed period activist Chella for Autostraddle and she gave us a glimpse into what it’s like creating and working tirelessly on a feminist, trans-inclusive menstruation campaign.
A journey towards: Meeting the Wanderer’s Tarot | Have you seen this lovely, unusual, witchy deck yet? It’s so intriguing! In this post I share photos of some of my favourite cards, first impressions of the deck, and a short conversation using the tarot deck interview spread.
Talkin’ Tarot with Desmond Stern | Desmond’s perspectives on tarot are thoughtful and intelligent and gave me some new ways to describe what I feel is happening when we carry out non-psychic readings.
Belonging to Wilderness | Asia Sula spent a week in the Gila of New Mexico, and wrote about it in her characteristically beautiful way.
Spirit Medicine: Healing with our ancestors | Black Girl Dangerous has a new podcast that focuses on providing accessible conversations, tools and rituals that support the healing, wellness and liberation of people of coloor, with a focus on queer and trans POC.
All that glitters: Queer adornment and ethical small business with Brettley Mason | Andi Grace spoke to jewellery-maker Brettley about the right-on principles that inform their business practice. (Also: Brettley’s jewellery is *beautiful* – after reading this I couldn’t resist treating myself to a pair of rainbow quartz earrings…)
Showing up whole, despite all the risks | On Being is a website filled with ideas and philosophies and approaches to being human in this messed-up, beautiful world. Courtney E Martin is one of my favourite columnists and this recent post is a gem.
Here’s what I’ve discovered. In a world where we are crafting our identities more conscientiously than ever before — picking particular shots of our lives to share on Instagram, liking certain posts on Facebook — it takes a certain kind of modern courage to stop crafting. To say, enough with the curation. Enough with the control. I’m just going to be myself — warts and all.
Courtney E Martin, On Being
Clarity in the Darkness: Working with the tarot to let go | Gabrielle Herstikts thoughtful, relevant-to-your-life interpretations of some of tarot’s tougher cards really struck a chord with me.
There is, of course, a Twin Peaks tarot.
Asali made an itchy throat easing tea.
Fool’s Journey: Where is my path leading? | A (rather full-on) tarot reading for a person who is into many different creative pursuits, but wonders how to pull it together and forge a career path.
Herbs of the new moon | The next new moon is 30th October (the second of this month). Alexis J Cunningfolk has this really detailed, informative post about using herbs to work with new moon energy.
Satellite of Love: Queer horoscopes for October | It’s not too late to read Corina Dross’ forecast for your lovelife this month…
The new age cybertrash experiment | Cynical? Yes, but revealing, too. If you’re as tired of Instagram-perfect magic – the kind that looks super pretty but seems devoid of real meaning – as I am, you’ll appreciate this ‘crystal mandala’ experiment by Lee at the Chaos Witch.
10 questions every tarot reader should answer | Marianne tackles Dana’s ten questions. I’m a fan of Marianne’s work, so it was lovely to read what she came up with.
The Tarot Lady’s ultra-deluxe superbly astrology guide for 2017 | Theresa shares this helpful guide every year and 2017’s is better than ever. Print it out, stick it on your wall and use it to plan your year!
If you want to be a professional writer… | Alex Franzen gives it to you straight.
Elderberry elixir | I gathered so many elderberries this week – here’s the recipe I’m using to turn them into a powerful immune tonic.
Two weeks | A touching, borderline heartbreaking personal essay about fostering a dog in the wake of a breakup.
Hilary Clinton, Betty Shelby, and ‘solidarity’ with powerful white women | Zoe Samudzi explains how the ways we show support for powerful white women tends to compromise intersectional feminism.
Betty Shelby and Hillary Clinton comprise an interesting type of victim: the white woman with proximity to power and capital within whiteness. White women’s rallying cry for solidarity requires women with less proximity to power to abandon an intersectional framework of womanhood and marginalization in order to support these white women’s further attempts to assimilate into power structures.
Zoe Samudzi, Black Girl Dangerous
Achnacloich, September | I shot a roll of film on a camera I suspected was broken. Many didn’t come out, but here are a few that did. I love the sense of intimacy in these shots of the land surrounding my home.
Have a beautiful October, folks! Next time I write one of these posts I’ll be ensconced in a rather lovely holiday home, with views of the ruined castle at Knock Bay. Can’t wait to share it with you!
Loads of love,