I’m settling into my new home with the help of a fun weekly routine that’s focused more on getting me out of the house and learning new things than ploughing through to-do lists. Life is cheap here, everything I want to do is accessible by foot, and I feel like a retired person re-discovering all the other things they enjoyed in life before work took over.
Community Welsh class! I can proudly tell you (probably incorrectly) that “dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg bob bore Mawrth yn Y Plas.” Also “Mae hi’n oed a gwlyb heddiw” (it’s cold and wet today) and “Dw i’n mynd i’r sinema heno” (I’m going to the cinema tonight). Whoop!
In a bizarre plot twist where my personality has clearly been swapped for someone who likes working out, I’ve taken up spinning. (As in, the kind with stationary bikes, disco lights and mega loud house music, not the fibre craft.) It’s bizarrely addictive! I’m the one hiding at the back with her eyes closed, pretending not to hear that we’re now ‘powering up a hill’…)
The lovely lovely housing co-op across the street puts on a Sunday night film club, where we all take turns ‘hosting’ a film. It makes for free, friendly nights-in-as-nights-out and I get to see films I wouldn’t normally glance at. And the best part is I can go in my PJs.
There’s a beautiful monthly open mic night that honestly just makes me cry – folks just get up and share what they have, a song, a tune, a poem, a story… all abilities, all ages, everyone gets a go. I love it.
A new friend, Steph, is building a straw bale house and runs regular volunteer weekends where a gang of us muck in with the work – I’ve spent some happy days meeting new people and learning the art of clay plastering straw walls.
And there’s so much more. A big part of my 2017 resolution was about connection, about connecting with others, connecting the politics in my head to the streets I walk each day. Now, in the last quarter of this year, I feel like it’s happening. Yay!
What I love most about small communities is how people don’t mess about when it comes to creating their own entertainment. From pop-up poetry workshops to meditation tasters to refugee-awareness-raising to lichen-drawing to ‘mapping the blood’ (an upcoming queer-friendly workshop on menstrual cycles and creativity), my normally reclusive self is getting a lesson in getting out there and making friends…and I’m loving it. I’m even (re) preparing my own community tarot workshop for the new year.
Meanwhile if you fancy staying in, be my guest!
Here’s lots of lovely stuff to read this cold, wet weekend…
Let’s begin with a song. Hit play! (If you’re reading this by email, click through for the music player.) Check out Angel Haze getting experimental… gorgeous sounds.
I need to talk to spiritual white women about white supremacy – part 2 // Layla Saad continues her letter to white women with this incredible list of actions we can take to dismantle white supremacy, beginning, of course, with our selves. (If you missed part 1, it’s here.)
In the starkly lit room where the yoga classes take place at the shelter, there are no incense sticks and there is no soft music. There is barely enough space for ten mats. Halfway through the class, young boys bang against the door, calling for their mothers. Yet the sessions continue unhindered under the watchful guidance of volunteer instructors, who initiate gentle stretching, deep breathing and (wobbling) partner exercises. There is a lot of laughter. A few headscarves come off and stiffness is released.
UK folks: Write to your MP about protecting children under the Dubs amendment // The UK is neglecting its responsibility to rehome 480 refugee children after the demolition of the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp – many are back in northern France living in even worse conditions than before. But you can take action today! It will take you a couple of minutes.
You’re allowed to stop if it’s not working // Just because everyone else is doing XYZ business thing (social media, one-to-one) doesn’t mean you have to too.
Technology, peace, and sanity // Alex Franzen takes a mindful approach to the *stuff* many of use assume we have to have or use.
App alternatives and screen-free solutions for the modern heroine // There you go!
Read like nobody’s doing anything on social media // Milla Prince’s favourite herbalism books.
From the Dark Days Tarot by Wren McMurdo
I’m scared I’ll end up alone: On boundaries and grief // Through experience, Andi Grace has become something of an expert in boundaries, and I find all of their writing on this topic helpful, practical, compassionate and real.
Astrologer Luke Dani Blue’s RESIST! series offers short, brilliant advice on how and where to focus your energy if you want to up your activism game.
Shining light in the face of hate // Shree on the meaning of Divali, the ‘festival of lights’, and the latest Nazi rally in Gainsville, Florida.
The Devil of the Witches’ Sabbath invites us to tear down the structures of the Hierophant and think about who we are once those structures are gone. Who are you in the woods? Who are you in the dark?
Brittany, Meadow Queen
A guide to keeping your head up // Heartfelt advice for difficult times, from herbalist and healer Asia Sular.
Scottish folk magic and the dead, Part 1: Funerary customs // Fascinating!
Skeleton Talk: Audio bones for Samhain and Halloween // Kelly-Ann Maddox is offering four talks diving deep into four key themes of the spooky season.
Between the light: An introduction to tarot shadow work // From the wonderful Alexis J Cunningfolk.
Holly Simple’s Fuzzy Prism Oracle is now available in the Little Red Tarot Shop!
From Devil to Fool // A short and helpful introduction to Jungian symbols and tarot.
Tarot certification: Do you need it? // I’m indifferent to certification, but I can see pros and cons. Here’s Theresa Reed’s take.
The Queen of Cups and going with autumn’s strange flow // This queen encouraged me to stop beating myself up about ‘not working hard enough’.
Witchcraft + Weeds: Healing and magical practices for autumn // More goodness from Worts + Cunning.
A review of the Ostara Tarot // Jack of Wands on this beautiful new collaborative deck.
#YouToo: We need to talk about loophole women // Andi Heisler critiques the #MeToo hashtag.
So while it’s tempting to believe that this #MeToo moment can be the tipping point, the canned apologies, well-I-never media posturing, and performative allyship that have characterized it tell a more familiar story.
“After everything I’ve done for you!” – If you feel bad while or after you give, it’s not giving // I’m pretty sure every single one of us can learn from Natalie Lue’s post on this particular kind of resentment.
Keep on fighting // Rookie’s Tavi Gevinson interviews Malala Yousefzai.
If you love femmes: pay us well // I love this post on valuing women’s and femmes’ work, on asking for what you are worth, and on why this is activism.
i care deeply about accessiblity and solidarity and i believe there are healthier ways to create access to my work than giving my genius away for less than it’s worth. i don’t want the price of my work to be rooted in scarcity because unlearning scarcity is one of the main goals of my work. and what kind of teacher would i be if i didn’t practice what i teach.
Andi Grace, Witch Cabinet
That’s enough from me! Going out, staying in, going in, staying out… have a fab weekend whatever you’re up to :)