There is something peculiar about this Autumn, that differs so greatly from the last few years of my life. There is a bone-deep appreciation. There is a new gratitude in my blood. There is a level of ease, a level of curiosity, a level of hope, that I am not familiar with. What a goddamn delight, to see the world anew, day after day after day.
& there is a measured pace about the world that I haven’t noticed in this season in years. The leaves take each minute of each day to turn themselves into a riot of color, inch by inch. My morning commute through the hills & valleys of Western New York feels like a practice in magnification, like every single detail of the world is readily available for my perception. I stop my car along the side of the road time after time to marvel at the sun rising in the sky, to bathe in the color of the trees beside the road as the sunshine bursts through them. An age old practice of mine–the art of details–given a whole new shine in this season of descent.
Perhaps this is the world after the summer of slowness. A whole season of so many celestial bodies moving backwards in the sky, asking us to strip down to the painful honesty of a true reality. So much fell away from me this summer. So many waylaid plans and broken connections. The tower beneath my feet rumbled and the lightning struck and the whole mess of it all came tumbling down. There are connections that I thought would be lifelong that snapped like a fragile stem this summer. And there are connections that I thought were withered that are putting down new roots and producing new flowers.
That age old story where the universe takes away
what you thought you wanted and
gives you what you actually need.
I spent a large part of the last 3 years of my life dumping my precious energy into the void, without being fed in return. I kept bottoming out. I kept finding new levels of emotional rock bottom. And I kept telling myself this is what it takes–you have to give to get. I kept plucking my own petals to beautify someone else’s rooms. I had to learn. I had to learn. I had to learn.
This summer, with my grief and the land, was a solid lesson in looking for reciprocity. The simple and exquisite lesson shown in the garden that grows and gives back to me with color and beauty and taste, because of the love and work and hope I poured into it. Thank the fucking stars for the land. For holding me when I am confused and scared and low. For showing me that my energy and effort will be returned to me in the right circumstances, and if that circle isn’t being completed–then those circumstances need to be changed or left. And for showing me over and over again that my mistakes still teach me beautiful lessons and can still yield unexpected but wonderful results.
And all of this culminates here–in this place in space//time. This is the first Autumn in many years that I have met with joy & wonder, and that is such a wonderful thing. I feel like I am overflowing with gratitude to greet the sun each morning, to walk the map of the day ahead of me with absolute delight. It is a true pleasure to meet this season of reflection with my head held high & to open the door to somewhere new.
I love y’all.
I’ve been waist deep in my own vicious internal monologue these days, the one that plagues us all so terribly--that I haven’t been doing enough and that I’m too far behind and that there are so many others who are doing more, doing better, doing all the things I should be doing and then some.
That fine capitalistic programming at work in the back of my noodle brain.
I wrestle with the “worth through productivity” problem more often than not lately, which I find especially troublesome because I’ve managed to make most of my life unfold outside the bounds of typical societal guidelines. I live & work in ways that I find suitable to me and my temperament, which is extremely fortunate, don’t get me wrong. However, in recent times, I find myself lashing my back extra hard because of this, feeling as if I have to prove that I am successful at living because I’m trying to do it in a socially-unconventional way.
The idea that if I can’t hold up the standard criteria that we are “supposed” to compose a life with, that I have to show some other standard of proof that I’m not irrelevant, not a waste--that I am, in fact, worthwhile of time, attention, understanding & affection.
“I’m a mess, I guess…
It’s what I’ve asked for.
It’s what I’ve needed.”
This current state has grown from changes I’ve been trying to make lately. Coming out of a difficult winter and slowly recovering myself & my strength, I fell back into an old habit I’ve had the last few years of this strange independence--taking on more than I can really handle. I have a terrible habit of trying to accomplish everything, all at once, on my own. And pushing myself to do so. For the past few years, I’ve managed to pull off having way too much on my plate all summer long, and I’ve certainly enjoyed it in plenty of ways. But year after year, I slide into the finish line of late fall feeling like I am going to collapse and having no support to pick up my slack if I do so.
And the fact is, even if that support was there, that cycle I’ve been running is simply unsustainable.
The joy I’ve found in getting older now is figuring out what holds deep meaning to me, and that I have a finite amount of energy to put out into those things. And the simple lesson is, if I’m pouring energy into every single cup that appears, I find myself depleted & lacking rather quickly.
However, in making decisions as to where to better spend my energy, and wrapping up commitments that I made when I wanted to just dive headlong into my same old bullshit, I wasn’t prepared for the mental backlash that would occur from having to let things pass me by. And I wasn’t aware of the weight of the work that would show up in just trying to be kinder & gentler with my goddamn self.
There’s so much content out there these days around the ideas of self-care and deprogramming that it almost seems inappropriate if you’re not making strong strides on “becoming your best self.” But the truth is–that whole process is consumingly messy and unexpectedly painful. Self-care for me right now is intentionally slowing myself down, committing to way less projects and events, allowing myself to rest some days without the idea that my little nap is going to let me do so much after I wake up. But, when wrestling with that cranky little voice in the back of my head, all of this adds up to the days where I make myself feel awful for not putting my nose to the grindstone in my craft work. The days that I’m scolding myself for not signing up for more tables & more places to be seen. The days where anxiety grips me because I haven’t made the progress with my gardens that I thought I would by this point in the season.
The process of deprogramming yourself from capitalistic ideas of self worth can be absolutely maddening. When self-care isn’t just the treats and the netflix nights and the bubble baths, but the work of trying and failing and trying again to build a brand new skill set around letting yourself just fucking BE. To be out here, actively creating a new framework for comforting yourself when your own brain is telling you you’re not doing enough. Rewiring pathways to allow yourself space to not compare yourself to those around you and whether or not you measure up is messy and wholly consuming. In my current experience, creating more inner space to allow all of your different voices to exist without grasping onto them and getting carried away is a whole other type of labor, and if just getting through the day without scolding yourself for not doing enough feels exhausting, it’s because it fucking IS.
I’m here on the map, halfway through 35, in the middle of a 12th house year, and I am cracking open doors into rooms in my psyche that still manage to choke me with dust. But, the act of cleaning them out and finding new ways to exist with them is the whole reason why I’m here in this segment of time // space. Creating a new tool set that allows me to be comfortable with myself in times of productivity, as well as spaces of rest, is absolutely crucial if I want to be able to expand my existence further. And all of this to say, simply, that if you’re out here, trying and failing and trying again, to simply be better to yourself when society tells you that you should be pushing harder--I see you, I feel you, and please don’t give into that little voice that tells you you’re not good enough.
Because we’re all here,
walking each other home,
and learning how to take better care of ourselves
and each other along the way.
All of which wrapped my noodle brain up into contemplating the Sagittarian archetype, which influences my life so drastically. If you haven’t done any natal chart diving with me, you should know that I am overwhelmingly Sagittarian in my placements. I have a large stellium in the later degrees of Sag that wrap my Rising, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Saturn & Uranus into a little gaggle of strange friends that are all up in each other’s business. It is a double edged sword in many ways, but having the blended energies of all of these placements so wonderfully linked in this sign is something I have come to relish as I’ve gotten older. With me, oftentimes, what you see & hear is what you get–and it can be A LOT!
Particularly on this drive, I got thinking about the stereotype that so much of what I refer to as “clickbait astrology” gives you about Sagittarius–that Sag is never serious–always flighty & flakey; that Sag will be the character to ghost you; that Sag is the sign that will buy the plane ticket and simply disappear without warning. Mainstream astrology has this stereotype going for Sagittarius that perpetuates this association of a love of travel linked heavily with unrelenting unreliability.
Which I personally resent, to put it bluntly. LOL
Hold my coffee while I explain my take on that whole vibe.
For me, Sagittarian energy is all about the matter of perspective. I find the essence of Sagittarius to always be attempting to widen the perspective– a near-constant personal challenge to see what else they can include in the big picture they're staring at. And travel, in all of its forms, can be such an effective way to widen the keyhole we’re peering through.
And within widening that keyhole, for anyone who might experience a strong perspective change in their existence, you get this very novel feeling of newness. The inner excitement and delight that can come with realizing that everything is not what you thought it was, and that you get a whole new landscape to explore. With any perspective change, I think the ideal situation is that the widened perspective is changing that landscape inside oneself, as well as how you’re viewing & contemplating the outer world–at least that's how I try to process it.
And here is where I think that flighty, never-serious stereotype arises from--changing one’s physical locale, and in turn one’s physical perspective, results in this novel experience of “the new;” seeing things from a different light, from a different perspective, from a different angle. But, unless you're willing to travel inside and move around the new interior landscape and contemplate the new interior spaces in a new light, in a new perspective, from a new angle, that feeling of “the new” is going to burn out and fade away rather quickly.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s exhilarating to find yourself in a new place, thinking about your life from a totally new perspective. But if one isn’t taking that new perspective to the inner realms and actively working to let that landscape to be changed too, then the search for “the new” will find you metaphorically or actually buying the ticket and disappearing more often than not. Without the ongoing interior digging, I feel like that feeling of newness that one is reaching for is where it’s going to stop. And the moment that feeling of newness fades, you’ve got someone looking for the next novel experience–looking to buy the ticket and check out.
So I think the energy, the archetype of Sagittarius, demands a high level of refreshing one's perspective, for sure, but it requires also re-calibrating the perspective internally as you seek these new places and new vantage points. I think this is the antidote to that stereotypical way of thinking in the realm of Sagittarius, because when you can take that new vantage point into the internal landscape, you’re creating that feeling of newness that then becomes a tool you can call upon when needed. The expansive experience of travel can then be transmuted into a resource that you can fall back upon when the world feels stale and needs a refresh.
And it isn’t simply physical travel that can conjure this perspective change and populate these new resources–it can be mental travel too; it can be stories and podcasts and books and conversations with people, all of which are just as valid forms of travel as the idea of jetting off to a new location. I think the vital concept is to be conscious of the effort to bring that newness inside one’s self and let it bloom, as opposed to just changing the physical vantage point as soon as you’ve memorized the landmarks.
By the end of my drive, I found myself renewed by just seeing the physical truth that in some places, the lilacs were still just buds, and in other places the lilacs were fully and magnificently in bloom. And isn’t that the same as the expansive world I’ve got inside of myself–some areas of my life are fully blooming and fragrant, while others are still just tender buds that need to be cared for before I’ll see what they grow into.
Do you have any placements in Sag/what house of your chart does it rule? Do any of those thoughts and ideas resonate with those parts of your psyche or that area of your life? Let me know, I love a good Sag chat!
In the interest of introductions, I’ll take a moment to bow; to offer my hand; to tip my h a t . . .
During that quiet period, I've spent a lot of time wrestling with how to make my multi-faceted creative existence palatable & marketable, like “successful” businesses "should be." But try as I may, I just cannot make myself fit into these usual roles. I love getting my hands & my mind wrapped up into so many different kinds of making–I’m not easy to put an exclusive label of “jeweler” or “candlemaker” or “sewist” on. And my vending booth is often a strange cavalcade of various disciplines, based on what’s calling to me at the time. I am, an ever-shifting collection of techniques & tools that grab my fascination at that point in time//space.
And this ever-present wrestling with how one should have artistic definition doesn't even begin to touch on all of the other creative facets of my life–my relationship with the land and the many plant friends I get to cultivate; my interests in astrology, tarot and herbalism/plant magick; & my love of the stories we tell each other over & over in different forms throughout time, just to touch on a few. The entirety of my existence feels like I am pouring my heart & soul into it continually in search of magick, and the struggle to contain a tiny, single facet of that into one marketable face online simply wasn’t calculating in my alien noodle brain, and as such, I just let it sink into the ether.
And as such, I’d like to start sharing that, with all of its mess and nonsense, with the world at large. I want to continue to dissolve the idea that my creativity is only "shareable" when it is something that would be appealing to be consumed in the capitalist landscape. It is my vow to stop deciding that some parts of my life are worth sharing with enthusiasm while others are not. I want to lean into expressing every delicious detail that I feel called to explore in this strange, wide world, I want to joyously show every last facet of my existence that I get to learn from, that I feel enriched by, that adds more beautiful, twisted & strange blooms to the garden of my life.
So here’s the first small step into a wider creative expression for me. A small step into sharing more of the abundance & wealth I am so deeply blessed to be surrounded by on this plane. I’m excited to see the ways in which it might grow & teach me even more.