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Five-card spread [Mar. 6th, 2016|04:19 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Five-card spread, Mar. 6

I haven't done a five-card spread in a while! Well, I haven't done a reading at all in a while, to be honest. I decided to do this one because it's fairly quick and I really ought to spend the rest of the afternoon either reading or writing. I should probably spend it writing. I may more likely spend it reading.

I had forgotten how simple the five-card spread really is. My little book gives just one sentence for each position.

First card: The Six of Pentacles: Generosity. The first card represents "influences leading up to the present situation," which I did not specify when shuffling, so perhaps the current situation is just my life in general, although from the number of pentacles in this spread I'm going to assume it refers to the material/logicistical parts of my life--money, work, living situation, etc. This card in its upright position refers to "Getting what you deserve," and keywords mostly have to do with gratitude, material gain, helping people, work paying off, that sort of thing. This card may be reminding me of the generosity of others that has helped me; it may also just be noting that I am in a fairly decent financial situation and in a position to save. Both are true; I'm almost done paying off the Car Repairs Credit Card Balance from Hell, which I was able to get a handle on due to the cessation of bimonthly expensive car repairs, which was a result of buying a new car, a venture towards which my mother generously kicked in a few thousand dollars. (I've also wrested my finances under control right before going to Ireland to run my balance up again, an endeavor towards which my father contributed several thousand frequent flyer miles.) So many, many thanks to both my parents for continuing to help me out even though I'm 28 and supposedly a grown-up. Mom, next vacation is the two of us.

Second card: Four of Pentacles: Holding Tight. The second card represents my "current thoughts, feelings, and actions," and this card in its upright position means "Maintaining the status quo." Things have been going pretty decently lately and I am indeed trying to maintain the status quo in a lot of ways. Possibly this card is, however, also hinting at my maintaining the status quo in ways that are not working for me--I'm thinking back to older readings that suggest "necessary cutting" and changing my priorities; also, I am maintaining the "first draft of my novel is not finished" status quo and did not make my word count for February. This card represents financial security (yay) but also sometimes "warns of . . . you fear taking a risk" and that "You may be afraid to let go of what you have carefully acquired." This appears to be a safe card, rather than an explicitly positive or negative one.

Third card: Nine of Swords: The Nightmare Card. The third card apparently represents "hidden influences" and the Nightmare card in its upright position means "despair." This is why I was a little worried about the "status quo" card--am I holding on to the way things are out of giving up on the idea that they could be better? This doesn't sound like an enormously hidden influence; more like one I am periodically trying to shove to the edge of my consciousness, at least as it concerns things like "How long am I going to stay in Boston?" It may have something to do with why I keep piling projects and obligations on myself; too many to ever really excel at any of them, probably.

Fourth card: Five of Pentacles: Poverty. POVERTY. Jesus. For the record, the fourth card in a five-card spread is the advice card, and the Poverty card in its upright position represents "down and out." Keywords include a lot of starving-artist-sounding things like "Risky self-employment." As a situation and advice card, however, it makes more sense and echoes some themes that have kept cropping up in my 2016 readings: "If financially secure, you are realizing that money can't buy you love." (Eugh, the Beatles.) "You may be overextending yourself. Now is the time to rid yourself of unnecessary expenditures and other confining situations in your life. This card raises the possibility that you are not putting your talents to good use." A lot of my readings lately have echoed this theme--basically, that I need to cut the fluff out of my life so I can be more awesome--but I guess I have despaired that I can actually do that, or something.

Fifth card: Major Arcana 0, The Fool. This is the final outcome card, supposedly the most likely outcome if you follow the advice in card four. In its upright position, The Fool represents "The beginning of a journey. A leap into the unknown." He "appears when you are about to move into a new phase in your life" and warns (?) that you "may be called upon to make a major decision that will lead you down new paths." It also "suggests the need to take a risk with childlike innocence and optimism," apparently in contrast to clinging to the status quo out of a hidden motivation of despair. The Fool is right at the beginning of the story cycle told by the Major Arcana, which makes it a rather ambiguous outcome card.

I've had these themes of new phases, radical changes, major life shakeups of unspecified sorts, in nearly every reading I've done this year so far, and I don't feel like I'm particularly any closer to deciding what needs to change and when. I rather like my life, at least most of the time! But there are other things I'd like to do that I'm not doing; and I'm still not sure what I'd be willing to give up in order to do it.

Anyway, for the rest of this evening at least, I'm going to go back to my life of quiet desperation, as Thoreau said, and read a book and pack a healthy lunch for tomorrow and all that boring stuff. 
LinkI do believe in fairies

Tarot reading: Celtic cross [Jan. 17th, 2016|10:00 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Tonight I did Celtic Cross spreads for myself and both my roommates! I think they went well.

My question for this spread was about the time until I go to Ireland, which I've bookmarked for sort of winter hibernation, to stay home and do all sorts of productive things and not spend money or party too much. Which is why I am not at Arisia now.

1. The cover card: Major Arcana VIII, Strength. Strength in her upright position represents Moral Force, with keywords that include "Self-confidence. Inner strength," "Ability to overcome problems through willpower," and "Self-discipline." As a situation card, it advises that "You will need to rely on inner strenght, patience, and gentleness to solve your problems" and that "Your position is strong." It suggests that "You can channel your animal passions constructivey to achieve good health and success."  This is, indeed, the question I was asking, basically: If I'll have the self-discipline to hold myself to doing all the things I've decided to use this time to do. This is going to be tough since I have a pretty long laundry list of things I want to do during this time.

2. The crossing card: Major Arcana VII, The Chariot. The Chariot represents "Progress through balancing opposing forces." I think this is a warning against nerd single-mindedness; some of this pops up later in the reading, but overall I think it's telling me that the key to achieving what I want to achieve is to keep things balanced and not get too wrapped up just one thing and burning out. Key words for this card include "Clear purpose. Determination," which is good, as is "Self-assertion. Willpower," "Self-control" and "Victory resulting for personal effort." All that is very much Yes, good, I can do this. The other keywords that jump out at me are "Steering a middle course," "Balancing conflicting emotions" and "Triumph over obstacles," which is a bit tricker. (There is also "A new car," which, yes, I will indeed have a new car through this time period. It is shiny.)

Put together, the situation at hand seems to indicate that I can do what I've set myself to do if I can keep myself and all my various I-wannas in balance. WHICH IS HARD. Makes me think of my New Year's reading, about priorities.

3. The beneath card: Six of Swords, The "Leaving Your Troubles Behind" card, in its upright position it represents "Brighter days ahead." This card means pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. 2015 was a bit of a shitshow but I think I've gotten most of the shit out of the picture, so this all makes sense in this position as the "backstory card."

4. The behind card: Five of Swords, Empty Victory. In its upright position, this represents "One-upmanship. Negative energy," and its placement in the spread indicates that this is passing out of influence, which is good. It advises me that I may need to "swallow your pride and accept your limitations before you can proceed." Le sigh. There is some other stuff also about putting energy into things that do not make one happy, and I hope this means I'm ceasing to do that.

5. The crown card: Ace of Swords, The Power of Intellect. In its upright position it represents "A sense of power" or more classically "Strength in adversity." As a crown card, it shows potential. As the root card for the element of air, it seems to show potential regarding intellectual enterprises, and "suggests the beginning of a promising venture that develops out of adversity." Which intellectual enterprise will it be? I have committed myself to too many of them.

6. The before card: King of Cups, Wise Counsel, in his upright position representing Compassion. Among other things, this card can represent a person, most likely one's father or a father figure. As a situation card, it can indicate a situation in which compassion and empathy are required; it can also indicate that one's father may figure prominently in upcoming events. I'm going to guess the father-related stuff is most likely, since we are still in the middle of trip planning and the timeline in my question is bookended by our Ireland trip.

It interests me that in my elemental system for reading court cards, the King of Cups is an air card as well as a water card, which makes the circle part of my cross all air cards. However, this card also transitions us into the run of cups that fills up most of the pillar.

7. The Self card: Ten of Cups, Joy, representing "Harmony in personal relationships" in its upright position. Essentially seems to be pointing out that I am feeling pretty good with the people in my life! Which is true; I got rid of all the shitty ones last year (or in some cases, they got rid of me, but whatever). It is a very positive card and contrasts fairly sharply with the previous cards which are all about intellectual pursuits; clearly the support of my friends and family has some sort of role to play in my other endeavors.

8. The House card: the Knight of Cups, "New Relationships," a card of earth and water, but going the other direction from my Queen of Pentacles signifier card. This card may represent people who are concerned with material or financial matters but come at it from an emotional and intuitive standpoint. The card may also represent eithe "Romance" or "Artistic talent," because those are totally the same thing, thanks so much, card. Since this card is supposed to represent one's surroundings or the opinions of other people, it seems to mean either that I am surrounded by "Idealists. Dreamers. Refined, artistic, intuitive people"--which is pretty cool--or just that other people are having Opinions about either my artistic talent or my love life, which, if its the second, they can feel free to keep to themselves.

Alternate reading: The card represents my current obsession with the Hamilton musical and the obligatory accompanying Historically Inaccurate Crush on the Major General. *fills house with Hamiltunes, again*

9. The hopes, fears, and expectations card: Nine of Cups, The Wish Card. In its upright position, the Nine of Cups represents "Desires fulfilled," and its key words include "Enjoyment. Contentment. Pleasure" and "Happiness. Plenty." The card "promises material benefits and physical luxury," which, y'know, yes, I would definitely hope for all that! While a straight reading of this card seems a bit on the pointlessly obvious side--obviously I hope that whatever the outcome is, I'll be happy with it--I think its showing up in this spread is basically a sort of warning, a reminder to step back and remind myself why I made the goals that I made and to consider whether accomplishing these goals will actually make me happy. As a nerdy-type person with occasional cases of intense-ness, it's not impossible for me to get so self-competitive about doing something that I forget why I wanted to to do it in the first place.

10. The final outcome card: Three of Swords, Heartache, representing "Necessary cutting. A bleeding heart." WHAT NO. This showed up in my New Year spread as well, with its theme of changes and prioritization, and I think here it's saying that I'm either currently on track to "have something to mourn or cry about" or I else I am on track to cut out something in my life that has to go but that will hurt. I'm not sure which. I think it does still somehow tie into my last spread and is indicating that things may be out of balance or at risk of getting out of balance, which is a bit disheartening but probably a good word of warning.

And things were going so well until this card, too.

Overall I think this spread is reasonably positive, indicating that I do have the strength and will to do what I set out to do, but warning me to take a good close look at what it is that I'm dedicating myself to doing at any particular point.

Anyway, I just booked a hotel room in Ennis and now I'm off for brunch.
LinkI do believe in fairies

New year, new wordcount meters [Jan. 2nd, 2016|04:55 pm]
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Aight, here goes . . .





Theoretically, to meet my resolutions, I need to write 167 words per day.
LinkI do believe in fairies

New Year Tarot reading [Jan. 1st, 2016|12:49 pm]
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I'm using a new spread I found via cupcake_goth on Tumblr; you can see it here.



Card 1: What do I leave behind in the New Year? The King of Cups: The King of Cups in my old elemental system represents someone who is predominantly concerned with issues of rationality, intellectualism, abstract though, logic, etc., but approaches these issues from an angle of emotion or intuition. As a positive trait, he brings an element of humanity to abstract issues; as a negative trait, he intellectualizes and rationalizes his emotions instead of seeing them for what they are. I don't know whether this card refers to leaving one or another of these approaches behind myself -- hell, perhaps it would be good for me to chill out a bit with the academic-theory-ficitation of every little damn thing that happens -- or whether it refers to a person I should stop allowing to take up my time and energy. I thought I had left most of these people behind, but perhaps I need to find a way to cut them out of my brain as well as my life.

My little book calls this card "Wise Counsel," and in its upright position it represents Compassion. I hope I'm not really expected to leave either of those behind this year, as I think both are good things to have on one's life! As a situation card, it predicts that "a man of culture and intelligence will listen to you and offer sound advice," and that "a mature, emotionally stable man will offer you sympathetic understanding." Perhaps this card is telling me to rely less on validation and advice from others and to go do my own thing more this year?

Card 2: What do I open up to in the New Year? The Tower: This one worries me; the Tower is one of the cards I feel I do know on sight. It pretty well sums up last year, in my opinion. It's usually a bad card; even when it's not entirely bad, it represents major upheaval. In its upright position, my book describes it as "A bolt from the blue. Collapse of a structure." Apparently, it often heralds "swift, shocking, and dramatic change," and that "the usual structures of your life begin to crumble, and you must deal with the collapse of an old way of life." The purpose of all this upheaval is to get rid of the "structures imprisoning you" in order to "achieve enlightenment." I suppose in this part of the spread, the card is saying I need to be open to making big life changes in order to prioritize what I really want to prioritize instead of cluttering my life up with things that are less valuable to myself. I do have a tendency to clutter my life up with a lot of stuff, admittedly. Too many goals and concerns and hobbies and timewasters. Maybe I should get off Facebook.

Card 3: Key Opportunity of the New Year: The Queen of Pentacles: This is interesting to me because the Queen of Pentacles is my significance card; the card that represents myself. I'm hoping this means that this year I have more opporunity to become more truly myself, since sometimes I do feel I wander away from that. The Queen of Pentacles focuses largely on emotional issues but approaches them from a very pragmatic, concrete direction. I really could stand to do more of that; I feel like I've been a bit of a flake this year and not as good about making sure I do what I actually need to do in order to get where I want to be (see: prev. post, it's been a terrible year for writing). So perhaps my key opportunity is to buckle down and retake concrete control over what I'm doing to make myself happier.

My little book calls the Queen of Pentacles the "Practical Manager," and in her upright position she represents "A sensible approach." Her key words include things like "Organization," "Prosperity," "Responsibility," "Steady employment" (I could use some of that!), and "Taking care of one's physical and emotional needs." She signals that "A sensible, practical approach brings steady progress." Especially in conjunction with the last cards, I think this is a pretty good one: If I can keep my shit together and approach things the way I'm supposed to be good at approaching things, I hope I can weather whatever "drastic changes" are coming my way and perhaps even make the changes myself because they're smart changes to make, rather than having shit just happen to me. That would be pretty great.

Card 4: Key Challenge of the New Year: The Devil. In his upright position, the Devil represents "Bondage. Self-imposed limitations." Thus far, I am getting a sense from this spread that the only thing holding me back in the new year will be me. The Devil represents such concepts as "The power of negative thinking," "Heavy commitments," "Confronting your personal demons," "Excessive attachment to material goods" and "Inhibitions. Fears. Hang-ups." As a situation card, he warns that I could end up "feeling trapped in an oppressive situation that may be of your own making" and advises me to "Take a good look at reality. How are you enslaved in your life? . . . Are you acting out of greed and fear of material loss?" I think this ties in well with the last two cards, where I'm going to have to use my practicality and what sensibleness I possess to make some "drastic" life changes and clear out the things that are getting in the way of making me happy. This is gonna take some self-discipline. Aiee.

Card 5: Hidden Concern: The King of Pentacles. I've got a lot of pentacles going on in this spread. In the elemental system, the King of Pentacles is concerned with abstract and intellectual issues, coming at them from a material perspective. Like Karl Marx. DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM. I also do a lot of this type of thinking; my dad was an economics major and I am a big nerd. I'm not sure if the concern is that I will spend a lot of time brooding over this sort of subject or if the hidden concern is an actual issue of dialectical materialism, like what will happen to all my life plans if Donald Trump becomes President and completely FUBARs the country. Possibly this card is telling me to either get more involved in politics or give less brainspace to them. My current habit of paying a lot of attention but not doing much is probably not the healthiest.

In my book the King of Pentacles is the "Worldly Success" card, and in his upright position he represents "Security-minded. Sound financial advice." I'm not sure how this is a concern, unless being "security-minded" is going to get in the way of other things, or perhaps I run the risk of not being sufficiently sound financially when I make my drastic life changes (again: aiee). This card is much easier to interpret when it's not placed as a warning. The King advises that "A practical, conscientious approach brings success," which is fairly in line with the Queen of the same suit.

Card 6: Deep Wisdom/Advice: The Star. The Star in her upright position represents "Hope." She is a very positive card, and represents things like "Inspiration. Luck," "Faith in the future," "Relief. Renewal. Happiness," and "Emotional and spiritual riches." The Star recommends relying on "intuition, inner wisdom, and guidance," which is an interesting contrast to all the Pentacles cards that seem to be stressing pragmatism. The Star also portends that "This is a good time to exert yourself because you can achieve your ideals" and she is often "urging the querent to develop a special talent." Perhaps this ties in with the making big life changes to get out of my own way.

Card 7: Key Themes of the New Year: The Knight of Pentacles. (Lemme guess, this is gonna be the card of Getting Off Your Arse and Out Of Your Own Way.) In the element system, the Knight of Pentacles is actually the root of Earth, being someone concerned with practical matters who approaches them practically, which I always thought was sort of boring, but as this is a theme and not a person I think it's saying that the key theme of this year is going to be Earth things: concrete, logistical issues and actions taken. The card in this system doubles as an Ace of Pentacles, which stands for "Firm Financial Foundations" and in its upright position can represent "A windfall. A helping hand," and seems to be largely about fiscal improvement.

In my little book, the Knight of Pentacles is the "Slow, Steady Progress" card and in his upright position represents "Tangible Progress." I'm not entirely sure how this squares with the Tower card, but perhaps I will make slow, manageable, tangible progress towards big drastic changes. I'm very glad that the entire rest of this card seems to be tempering the general earthquakiness of the Tower card, although perhaps that gladness is the opposite of being "open" to the Tower. Anyway, the Knight represents "an important event related to material concerns" and "Careful planning pays off," among other things like "Diligence. Dependability. Patience. Perseverance." As a situation card, he portends that I might be "on the verge of a new or unexpected source of prosperity" and that "Your diligence, hard work pays off."

Well, you heard the cards. This has gotta be the year that I stop making excuses and letting shit happen to me and kick me around, and to get back on top of my life with careful thought and discipline. Overall, I think this is hopeful. Wish me luck!
LinkI do believe in fairies

New Year's Resolutions roundup [Jan. 1st, 2016|11:16 am]
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Well, I flubbed last year's resolutions wicked bad. 2015 was full of shit happening, and it happened all over what I really thought were relatively doable resolutions!

1. I made my 50 book challenge on Goodreads, barely, and managed to scrape up reviews for 50 of the 51 books I read so it's officially logged as Winning. I read exactly 10 nonfiction books, but I did not complete either my Women of Genre Fiction challenge or the Speculative Fiction Authors of Color challenge; I was 1 to 2 books short on each.

2. I only made 10,000 words per month for two months, which were the months we had retreats. I did not finish my draft of Tess. This year really sucked writing-wise.

3. Due to (a) car troubles, (b) Les Batshit Crazy Roommates From Hell, and (c) buying Gomez after I realized the car troubles had hit critical mass, I did not save $2,500 this year. Instead, I ended the year down just over $2,600. BUT I suppose that is not all that bad considering I bought a lovely fancy new car.

Next year's resolutions:

1. I'm gonna pull my savings goal down to a more modest $2,000 flat. This will be a little harder than previous years since I have a car payment every month, but since it is a newish car it should hopefully not blow up and need super duper expensive repairs all the time.

2. I'm gonna halve my previous word count coal and try to get back into doing 5,000 words per month. And I really do need to fucking finish my first draft of Tess already, although at this point I'm a little afraid that committing to it will just jinx it again. But I will write 5,000 words of something. which actually works out to a measy 167 words per day, or one-tenth of NaNoWriMo goals. Hopefully I can pull this one off!

3. Gonna do another 50 books Goodreads challenge, but I'm not going to doing any spec-fic-related challenges or set number goals for other kinds of books. I'm just gonna read what I want.

4. I'm already in this habit, but I'm gonna keep up with doing Duolingo every day. And I'm gonna try to get back into the habit of logging what I eat every day. Maybe. If I feel like it. La de da.

5. I should journal and Tarot more. Oh my god five resolutions is too much. WHATEVER.

ETA: I totally forgot that one of my ideas for this year was to play more poker. Just for funsies. My ultimate goal is to be comfortable going to the actual poker room in the Wynn Everett when/if it ever opens up, which gives me a couple of  years to work on my game.
LinkI do believe in fairies

2015 book poll [Jan. 1st, 2016|10:56 am]
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I baaarely made my 50-book Goodreads reading challenge! I flubbed both of my Worlds Without End ones, though. Ah well.

So which of these books have you read?

Poll #2032425 2015 books

Click if you've read it!

Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
13(6.1%)
Dark Triumph, R. L. LaFevers
0(0.0%)
Pyramids, Sir Terry Pratchett
7(3.3%)
Valour and Vanity, Mary Robinette Kowal
2(0.9%)
Half-Resurrection Blues, Daniel Jose Older
3(1.4%)
Salsa Nocturna, Daniel Jose Older
2(0.9%)
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
9(4.2%)
Texts from Jane Eyre, Mallory Ortberg
4(1.9%)
Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link
7(3.3%)
Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
1(0.5%)
Mortal Heart, R. L. LaFevers
0(0.0%)
Guards! Guards!, Sir Terry Pratchett
11(5.2%)
Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
9(4.2%)
The Grammar Devotional, Mignon Fogarty
0(0.0%)
The Best Punctuation Book, Period, June Casagrande
0(0.0%)
The Elephants of Style, Bill Walsh
0(0.0%)
The Associated Press Stylebook 2011, Associated Press
0(0.0%)
Eric, Sir Terry Pratchett
7(3.3%)
The Copyeditor's Handbook, Amy Einsohn
0(0.0%)
Dirty Old London, Lee Jackson
0(0.0%)
Corpse, Jessica Snyder Sachs
0(0.0%)
Deryni Rising, Katherine Kurz
6(2.8%)
Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, Sir Terry Pratchett
1(0.5%)
Silver Phoenix, Cindy Pon
1(0.5%)
Seven for a Secret, Lyndsay Faye
0(0.0%)
China Mountain Zhang, Maureen F. McHugh
6(2.8%)
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
7(3.3%)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie
8(3.8%)
Right Ho, Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse
9(4.2%)
Prudence, Gail Carriger
2(0.9%)
The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
6(2.8%)
Moving Pictures, Sir Terry Pratchett
10(4.7%)
Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon
5(2.4%)
The Fatal Flame, Lyndsay Faye
0(0.0%)
Seek the Fair Land, Walter Macken
0(0.0%)
The Killing Moon, N. K. Jemisin
2(0.9%)
Reaper Man, Sir Terry Pratchett
9(4.2%)
Shadowshaper, Daniel Jose Older
2(0.9%)
The Crossroads of Should and Must, Ella Luna
0(0.0%)
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
11(5.2%)
God's War, Kameron Hurley
5(2.4%)
Witches Abroad, Sir Terry Pratchett
11(5.2%)
Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson
2(0.9%)
Voyager, Diana Gabaldon
5(2.4%)
Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, Mary Norris
0(0.0%)
Hild, Nicola Griffith
3(1.4%)
Small Gods, Sir Terry Pratchett
9(4.2%)
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
7(3.3%)
The Book of Three, Lloyd Alexander
5(2.4%)
How to Make Tea, Brian R. Keating and Kim Long
0(0.0%)
Drums of Autumn, Diana Gabaldon
5(2.4%)
Link1 clap of the hands|I do believe in fairies

(no subject) [Apr. 14th, 2015|04:53 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Crying log [Apr. 3rd, 2015|04:38 pm]
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Wednesday, April 1: 9:10 am or so, immediately after leaving Flour and had no one to angry-rant at for five seconds. Had been running on pure unadulterated anger for at least a week; largely on anger for about 3. Later that morning, had nice Facebook messages when checked Facebook at T station, began crying on train.
Thursday, April 2: 3:30 pm-ish, at the gym, sad song came on the iPod, had to leave weight room.
Wednesday, April 3: 4:00 pm. Nice email from former coworker.
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Tarot reading, 3/6/15 [Mar. 7th, 2015|02:00 pm]
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I did this reading last night, although I didn't type it up because I didn't feel like going online--just took a photo and some notes. It's a Celtic Cross done with my old Vampire deck, because it's my most familiar.



I didn't so much ask a question as think on all the badness at work lately--the stress, the dumb office politics that I wasn't really aware of and have no idea how to navigate, the feelings of frustration and impotence and being set up to fail, embarrassment, the terror of possibly losing my job, the feeling stupid that I'm not doing as well as I know I could or should be doing, helplessness at feeling like my attempts to improve are being stymied and resentment of the inkling of an idea that it' on purpose, hopelessness at the feeling that the only person whose opinion of my performance really counts doesn't really want me to succeed. Feeling like a failure from the constant job-hopping, stressed out from insecurity, afraid that if I screw up again I will be basically unemployable. I didn't have the courage to straight-up ask the cards if I'm going to keep my job or not, and they didn't tell me.

The first thing that's odd about this reading as a whole is that it doesn't contain a single Pentacle card, which is the suit related to issues of career and finance and all that practical keeping-a-roof-over-your-head stuff. On the other hand, there are three Knights--the Knight of every suit except Pentacles--which, in my old court card system, usually represented a person concerned with those sorts of matters, although in this reading I can't really tell if they are actually supposed to represent people or just matters of more import than the regular suit cards. Wands, swords, and cups are all here, with swords somewhat overrepresented--not usually a great sign.

The cover card is the Ace of Cups, the root of the suit of water, which refers to matters emotional and intuitive. I thought this was definitely strange, but it seems into indicate that this reading may be how I feel about things rather than what's happening externally. Or it could be about what's happening externally but mostly about how everyone's feelings are running rather than the concrete facts of what's happening. Which is a little terrifying, as that's precisely what I'm afraid I'm up against. Like, I know I have to step up my performance, but all the weird shit that's been happening makes me afraid that that's not the whole issue and I'm mostly up against my boss' dislike of me, which may be a lot harder to fix even if I do manage to learn everything I need to learn in the next few weeks. Weirdly, my little book tells me that the Ace of Cups, "The Stirring of the Heart," represents "New love," and can represent "Emotional Renewal," "Friendship. Kindness. Peace," and "Partnership. A positive work relationship." As a situation card, it represents "a new beginning in your emotional life" and "You are about to be blessed with love and happiness." So... that seems a bit out there. Although I perhaps it means the substance of the question is whether I can somehow forge new good working relationships where I need them.

The crossing card is the Knight of Swords, in my old system someone who concerns themselves with material matters and approaches them from an intellectualized, abstract, or cerebral place. My little book calls the Knight of Swords "Rapid Coming and Goings," which is just mean, all things considered. He represents "Fortrightness. Sudden changes," and the key words are things like "An important event related to a matter of intellect or conflict." As a situation card, it's giving me "You may enter a conflictual situation with frenzy and excitement, only to have it pass quickly and chaotically out of you life," which does not say anything about the manner of its passing and is therefore giving me a stomachache. It also says that "Swords often herald a period of struggle or competition in which you need to take quick and firm action," which I do. Its advice seems sound if easier said than done: "Now is a time to follow your head rather than our heart. Be strong and decisive, and approach situations with a steel-trap mind. Sound professional advice can spell the difference between success and failure." As a modifier to the previous card, it seems to be saying that the challenge to all the emotional stuff is either just being in a period of strife or perhaps, more specifically, the need to keep my head on and do everything I need to do perfectly correctly. As a person, the Knight of Swords can mean "Someone who involves you in a conflict," "Those who are bright and successful in business but also somewhat ruthless or selfish in pursuing their goals," "One who gets what he or she wants," and "A professional advisor," among other things. So that's the "crossing" card. As a microcross I think it's got a lot of possible things going on, all of them big and exhausting.

The third card, the "beneath" card, shows "where the question comes from... the roots or foundations of the current situation" and is the Page of Swords, "Quick Thinking," who represents "Decisiveness. Unexpected or upsetting news." Key words that jumped out at me included "Constructive criticism," "Defensiveness. Delayed plans," and "Professional advice." In my old system this card represents someone focused on ambitious matters or personal passions and who considered them from an abstract or logic-oriented approach. As a situation, which I think is most likely for this reading, it can mean that "You may find yourself in a situation where discretion, quick analysis, and decisiveness are of the essence" and advises to "Know what you are committing yourself to and what the future ramifications of your current decisions are." Negative readings include "Upsetting news may be on the way" and "you may find yourself in a situation where gossip or rumors play a significant role."

The fourth card, the "behind" card, is the Knight of Wands--earth of fire, in my old system, someone concerned with earthly matters and coming at the with a lot of drive and passion. This is the "passing out of influence" card, which worries me, because this card is in my little book as "Escape from Difficulty." It would be a great future card, but it's a bit ominous in this place in the reading--it seems to imply that the period of having escaped difficulty is drawing to an end. The card also reads "Change is in the air. Creative energy," which basically leaves me guessing at what kind of change will be no longer changing. And I don't feel like I've had much creative energy of late, anyway. Some key words that jumped out at me include "Not wanting to settle down" and "Change of environment," which seem to indicate that the change of environment has already happened and will not be changing again in the present or near future? I don't know what to make of this card, really. As a situation card it again seems to be very future-oriented, which makes it a bit odd in this spot in the reading: "Change is in the air... You may be about to move or embark on a creative project or long journey, possibly related to business. You are entering or leaving a significant situation... Perhaps you are changing jobs or residences." That already happened; does being in the "passing out of influence" stage mean that the events themselves will revert or that the period of change is over?

The fifth card, the crown card, shows potential--opportunities, possibilities, goals. In this reading it is the Nine of Wands, "Strength in Reserve." (So far so good.) Representing "Stand Your Ground. Defense," this card apparently "suggests a need to stand up for yourself" and possibly to "defend your reputation or a decision you have made," and assures the querent that "Although the situation looks demanding, you are on firm ground. Once you overcome this final challenge, you are on the way to success, so don't give up." So apparently it is possible for me to overcome this mess, which is good, although actually doing it may be another matter. The card tells me "You have the strength in reserve to tackle any problem... Your position is strong, and you have the courage and determination to achieve your goals when the time is right."

The sixth card, the "before" card, is the Knight of Cups. In my old system, he represents someone concerned with material matters (as all the Knights do) and in this case, who approaches them from an emotional and intuitive standpoint. In my book, this card is titled "New Relationships" and represents "Romance. Artistic talent," which ties in with the Ace of Cups at the very beginning but otherwise seems a bit out of left field. Key words include "An important event related to relationships and emotional concerns," so that's possibly ominous. As a situation card, it predicts "Someone may present you with an offer that is hard to resist" and "An invitation or an opportunity for a new relationship may be in the near future." It warns to be sure of my own feelings "to avoid being easily led by others" and says that "Your greatest assets at this time are your gentleness, sensitivity, and idealism." For people, it may represent "Idealists. Dreamers. Champions of the underdog" or "A passive person who is easily influenced by others."

As a cross, it all seems a bit of a jumble, but one thing is certain: there are a lot of powerful cards here, and I have my work cut out for me. The three Knights seem to indicate that there is a focus on "earth" matters, but it seems like all the real action is going to take place in other realms--my ability to keep my emotions in check and bring my intellect fully to bear on the situation; other people's feelings and goals and perceptions; if I can somehow manage or influence those perceptions. But there seems to be an indication that I can do it.

Moving from the cross to the pillar, here's the first thing that really jumped out at me when I was laying down the cards: the seventh card, the "Self" card, is Major Arcana 13, Death, in its upright position representing "Major transformation." In my sense of self? That's a little terrifying! The very first key word is "Necessary and profound change," followed by "Liberation." So... thanks, but probably a fair cop, and I hope whatever profound changes I am going through are indeed liberation, although I actually feel more like I am being stuck in myself. When the card represents people, it can mean "Those undergoing major life changes" or "Agents of change," so... I really don't know. As a situation card, it can mean "A major change is about to take place" (which sounds external) or "Transformation is imminent" (which sounds internal, and therefore probably makes more sense for this place in the reading. The card doesn't predict if they're good or bad changes, but it advises, "Now is a time to rid yourself of attitudes and situations you have outgrown to pave the way for a new stage in life... All that is useless or outmoded must be discarded... You must let go of old unproductive ways." This seems relatively in keeping with other advice throughout the reading, especially in being nerve-racking.

The eighth card, the "house" card, is Major Arcana 10, "The Wheel of Fortune," representing "A change for the better." The house card represents the current state of "your environment and those around you," which I desperately hope does not mean "are making a great change by getting rid of me." One possible reading of this is that it "reveals how outside influences and environmental factors... might affect the outcome" so hopefully that means they will help me out. At any rate, the Wheel of Fortune means "Good luck. Advancement. Opportunity... Rapid change," "A lucky break" and "Improving circumstances." I'm hoping this means there's a big change for my better in my environment, not just that there's a change of some sort that benefits the people around me, although of course I wish everyone around me the very best. As a situation/advice card, it says I am "entering a new cycle involving a fortunate set of circumstances that promise beneficial change and continuing progress" and that "Rapid changes offer new opportunities to improve your life... A chance circumstance may bring an end to past difficulties and herald a period of good fortune and success." It also says I (or my environment?) "may need to make an important decision that will influence the unfolding of events" and more stuff like that that seems to tie in very closely with my Self being Death right now.

The ninth card is "hopes, fears, and expectations," and is the Five of Wands. The first two of the three pip cards in this reading are both Wands, which is the suit of fire. The Five of Wands is "A Mock Battle," representing "An exciting challenge," echoing the conflict alluded to in the crossing card and possibly the crown card (the other Wand pip). Key words here include "Struggle. Rivalry. The need to prove oneself" (definitely that last one), "Success through formidable effort," "A conflict of interests," "Too many irons in the fire," and "The need to set priorities." So that's all a lot of fun. As a situation card, it discusses a "need to compete or face an exciting challenge" and advises me to "Avoid passivity at this time. Success will come as a result of your assertive efforts to overcome nuisance and obstacles." The card suggests that I am dealing with "contention and rivalry," or in this position, I guess that I fear that I am dealing with "contention and rivalry." It recommends that I "set priorities to avoid excessive stress" which I guess means I'm scrapping a lot of my nonessentials from my to-do list. This isn't really a predictor card, but it seems a fairly accurate summation of what I at least think is going on.

The tenth and final card is a sword card, which is usually not great! This one is the Eight of Swords pip, "Restriction," which represents "Feeling trapped" and is indeed not great, as I remember this card fairly well--it refers to basically having a mental block or working against your own interests, "An oppressive environment" and "Lack of empowerment." So whatever happens to me, it looks like the likely outcome is that I will still feel stuck and disempowered about it. It "represents fear, blockage, limitation and restriction that are often self-imposed" and says "You may be acting as your own worst enemy." So that's a shitty note to end on. It advises that I must "face your fears before you can make an important decision. With courage you can transcend your anxieties and resolve the problems that surround you." It also advises that I "seek wise counsel and heed sound advice," which I will certainly be doing my best to be doing.

I'm not sure this really makes me feel all that much better, but I do sort of feel like it gives me a better sense of direction, even though it probably didn't. It mostly just seems to reflect what I was already worried about. But it could be worse.
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New Year's Resolutions [Jan. 1st, 2015|10:44 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
[Current Location |lower allston]
[Current Mood |productiveproductive]
[Current Music |roommate's dance party]

I don't appear to have written my 2014 ones down anywhere! But they involved the Goodreads challenged, which I passed (and extended--did 75!) and finishing my novel. I actually finished the draft of a different novel than the one I intended, but still, I finished a novel draft so it counts. I'm also gonna pretend that "faithfully keep budget spreadsheet for the entire year" was a resolution, because I think this is the first year I've managed to do that (I've done off-and-on budget spreadsheeting since college).

I think I also resolved to wear more side-braid, which I kinda blew. I did a couple side-braids, but not that often.

2015 resolutions will be:
1. Another Goodreads challenge (starting at 50 books). These will include at least 10 nonfiction books and at least 10 books by authors of color.
2. Write 10,000 words per month, for a total of 120,000 words for the year. Ack!
3. End the year at least $2500 ahead. This year I ended the year about $2200 ahead, so I think aiming for $2500 is a manageable increase. This includes the $100 that goes into savings every month, which is not a NY resolution but an ongoing practice (along with my monthly Roth IRA contribution and keeping the spreadsheet up-to-date) (apparently I am more fiscally responsible than I feel like I've been lately!).

Another thing that is not a New Year's resolution is my ongoing project to kick the weight I gained last winter, since that is, as was mentioned, an ongoing project, which I started in September. But I haven't given up.
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Writing goals! [Jan. 1st, 2015|05:47 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to write 10,000 words per month.






The ideal breakdown here is one thousand words per day for the first ten days of every month, and the last twenty or so days off to outline, plan, revise, cogitate, or do other things entirely. We'll see how that goes.
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2014's Annual Book Poll [Jan. 1st, 2015|11:53 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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It's that time again! I'm a day or so late on this, I suppose, but whatever. Starred books are rereads.

Poll #1994099 2014 Book Poll

Have you read any of these?

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Niel Gaiman
8(3.4%)
The Technologists - Matthew Pearl
0(0.0%)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - Tom Stoppard
9(3.8%)
Juniper - Monica Furlong*
4(1.7%)
Throne of the Crescent Moon - Saladin Ahmed
4(1.7%)
The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash - Charles R. Morris
0(0.0%)
The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch
2(0.9%)
Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine*
5(2.1%)
Changeless - Gail Carriger
3(1.3%)
Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede*
7(3.0%)
The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
7(3.0%)
Blameless - Gail Carriger
3(1.3%)
Searching for Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
4(1.7%)
The Kingdom of Gods - N. K. Jemisin
4(1.7%)
Flaubert's Parrot - Julian Barnes
0(0.0%)
Shattered Pillars - Elizabeth Bear
1(0.4%)
Granuaile - Anne Chambers
1(0.4%)
Heartless - Gail Carriger
4(1.7%)
Calling on Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede*
5(2.1%)
Deep Secret - Diana Wynne Jones
7(3.0%)
Farewell, My Lovely - Raymond Chandler
3(1.3%)
Timeless - Gail Carriger
3(1.3%)
Doll Bones - Holly Black
0(0.0%)
The Catacombs of Paris - Gilles Thomas
0(0.0%)
The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett*
11(4.7%)
Terrier - Tamora Pierce*
1(0.4%)
Talking to Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede*
5(2.1%)
La Princesse de Cleves - Madame de Lafayette
1(0.4%)
Operation Mincemeat - Ben MacIntyre
1(0.4%)
Troubling Love - Elena Ferrante
0(0.0%)
The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett*
11(4.7%)
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons*
6(2.6%)
All You Need Is Kill - Hiroshi Sakurazaka
1(0.4%)
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
3(1.3%)
The Irish Quotation Book - Mainchin Seoighe, ed.
0(0.0%)
Curtsies & Conspiracies - Gail Carriger
3(1.3%)
The Red and the Black - Stendhal
4(1.7%)
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black*
2(0.9%)
New Girl on the Job - Hannah Seligson
0(0.0%)
Just Kids - Patti Smith
3(1.3%)
Ireland: A Terrible Beauty - Jill and Leon Uris
0(0.0%)
The Lady and her Monsters - Roseanne Montillo
0(0.0%)
Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett*
11(4.7%)
Blood and Chocolate - Annette Curtis Klaus
1(0.4%)
The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn't, the Mummy that Was, and the Cat in the Jar - Gail Carriger
0(0.0%)
Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor
0(0.0%)
The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition - University of Chicago Press
0(0.0%)
Bloodhound - Tamora Pierce*
1(0.4%)
Raising Steam - Terry Pratchett
4(1.7%)
Colman - Monica Furlong
2(0.9%)
The Graves Are Walking - John Kelly
0(0.0%)
Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal
6(2.6%)
Mort - Terry Pratchett*
10(4.3%)
Ireland Past and Present - Brendan Kennelly, ed.
0(0.0%)
Glamour in Glass - Mary Robinette Kowal
4(1.7%)
Wicked City - Alaya Dawn Johnson
1(0.4%)
Unspoken - Sarah Rees Brennan*
0(0.0%)
The City & the City - China Meiville
6(2.6%)
The Mortal Immortal - Mary Shelley
0(0.0%)
Untold - Sarah Rees Brennan*
0(0.0%)
Sourcery - Terry Pratchett*
9(3.8%)
Unmade - Sarah Rees Brennan
0(0.0%)
A Stranger in Olondria - Sofia Samatar
3(1.3%)
Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers
0(0.0%)
Carmilla - J. Sheridan le Fanu
4(1.7%)
The Gods of Gotham - Lyndsay Faye
0(0.0%)
Mastiff - Tamora Pierce*
1(0.4%)
True Irish Ghost Stories - St. John D. Seymour and Harry L. Neligan, eds.
0(0.0%)
Waistcoats & Weaponry - Gail Carriger
1(0.4%)
Without a Summer - Mary Robinette Kowal
3(1.3%)
Coraline - Niel Gaiman
13(5.6%)
Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett*
10(4.3%)
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus - Robin LaFevers
0(0.0%)
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh - Robin LaFevers
0(0.0%)
My Man Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
8(3.4%)


Plus I've read three unpublished manuscripts for BSpec.

In total, that's 75 books with 51 distinct authors, including 27 books by 22 distinct male authors, and 47 books by 28 distinct female authors. I am not counting the University of Chicago Press as either male or female, but books with both male and female listed authors have been counted in both categories.
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(no subject) [Nov. 18th, 2014|10:27 pm]
The Cynical Romantic


Yee.
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Rainy Saturday Celtic Cross [Oct. 11th, 2014|07:57 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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It has been a while since I've done myself a proper Tarot reading! This is partly because I have been super busy with my family moving and a lot of stuff in general, including my new actual-full-time-not-a-contract real job that I am still somewhat terrified to speak of aloud in case I draw the attention of the Universe again. (Because that is a totally healthy way to react to good stuff happening.)

Anyway, today I was supposed to go to Faire, but it got cancelled due to rain, so I cleaned a bunch of stuff and did a reading, and later I will probably make oatcakes or something. And watch more Peaky Blinders. Peaky Blinders is everything I love about stupid gritty gangster shows. (Except the hair. The hair is terrible.) Anyway.

Today's deck is my comfortable old favorite, Nathalie Hertz' Vampire Tarot.


The first card, the Cover card, is the Four of Pentacles, Holding Tight. While in its upright position this card is labeled as representing "Upholding the status quo," the little book also explicitly states that "The Four of Disks represents financial security." It can represent either a form of miserliness--being "afraid to let go," "being too conservative or miserly because you fear taking a risk"--or it can represent "good business sense and a willingness to work hard," or, I suppose, both. I didn't ask a specific question for this reading, but this card turning up is making me think of something Dan said to me at Thirsty Thursday, especially since it is the Cover card ("the substance of the question," or, more specifically, "representing where the querent is at in regard to the question").

The Crossing card is the High Priestess, Major Arcana II. The Crossing card shows "conflicts, hang-ups, challenges. . . opportunities and resources." The High Priestess in her upright position represents "Intuitive awareness," and, like many of the female archetype Arcana, has a lot of meanings about hiddenness and the subconscious--"Mastery in the internal world," "Psychological insight," "Looking within." The ones that stick out to me here are "Past conditioning" and "Hidden influences." She appears "when you need to attend to your innermost feelings and listen to your inner voice," and "when you need to tap into your hidden potentials, psychological depths, or unseen talents to achieve success." The card suggests that "Past conditioning and early memories are affecting the current situation." They may well be.

Together, I think the micro-cross here shows that the essence of the question is about me psychologically adapting to my new work situation--the work bit is fine and I am hopefully more financially secure now (UNLESS I JUSTJINXED IT i need to calm down) but I need to figure out how to become more comfortable and integrate myself into the environment and not just be Obedient Work Robot since it is actually not an obedient-work-robot sort of place.

The third card, the Beneath card, is the Six of Swords, Leaving Your Troubles Behind. in its upright position meaning "Brighter days ahead." As a beneath card, which represents things in the past that are influencing the current situation, I think it means that I have already left behind the "period of strain, worry, and anxiety," but it is still affecting me? That would mesh fairly well with the "Past conditioning" from the Priestess card, possibly as an explanation for the "fear taking a risk" of the Cover card. The Six of Swords advises me that "This is a time to review past difficulties with an eye to assuring a better future," which I think I was doing a lot of over the summer, so either (a) I did it and it's informing what's going on now or (b) maybe I need to keep doing it?

The fourth card, the Behind card, is the Nine of Wands, Strength in Reserve. In its upright position it means "Stand your ground. Defense." The Behind card represents past events that are passing out of influence, suggesting that I will soon no longer need to be on the defensive, I guess? The Strength in Reserve card has key words like "Fortification. Guardine oneself. Protecting old wounds" and "Wariness." It suggests that "You have been hurt in the past and have therefore assumed a protective posture." Uh, possibly? Overall, though, this is a fairly hopeful card, suggesting that one's position is strong and the querent has the strength to overcome the challenge that they will face--hopefully, the "passing out of influence" placement of this card means that the challenge has passed or is passing away, not that my strength is declining. (Although it might be if I can't get my arse to the gym sometime this week. Last week was a bust.)

The fifth card, the Crown card, nearly made me laugh out loud--the Crown card is a potentiality card, and in this reading it was the Queen of Wands, Career Woman. In my old system, this card represented someone who, as with all the Queens, directed most of their energy to issues of emotion and intuition, perhaps someone who is concerned with people's emotional wellbeing and who evaluates questions based on how it is likely to make them or others feel, and who approaches these concerns in a passionate, ambitous, or possibly volatile manner. (Wands people think big.) In my little book, the Queen of Wands in her upright position represents "Balanced family and career interests," which is certainly a good thing to potentially happen. She is described as "A career-minded woman who can also be the life of the party." That is a good goal, I think. Key words include "Success of an enterprise" and "Independence of thought."

The sixth card, the Before card, is the Eight of Wands, Speed, in its upright position representing "Full speed ahead." You mean the past month and a half hasn't been full speed ahead already, cards?! It does say "A period of stagnation or delay is ending" and that "You are moving rapidly toward achieving your goals." It also says "Efforts to promote yourself succeed," so I should probably do some of those? Maybe it means I'll get some bloody writing done in the future. Or maybe stuff will pick up speed at work, since some of my projects have been slow lately.

Moving from the cross to the pillar, the seventh card, the Self card, is the Knight of Wands. There have been quite a lot of wands in this spread! The Knight of Wands, according to my old system, is a person concerned with earthly and material matters--perhaps domestic, perhaps financial--and who goes at it with a lot of drive. In other words, this person COULD be a money-grubbing asshole. I hope I am not being a money-grubbing asshole right now (if I were, would I not have more money?) but I have definitely been focusing on a lot of material and physical aspects of my life lately, like work and making the apartment functional and losing some weight, and I have probably been going at these with more ambition than sense. (This could be why I'm not getting as much done. I need to make myself more manageable plans.) My little book calls the Knight of Wands Escape from Difficulty, and in his upright position he represents "Change is in the air. Creative energy." When representing people, it can mean a number of things, including "Fun-loving people who have trouble committing themselves as they are given to many interests and distractions." Sounds like me.

The eighth card, the House card, represents the environment and the opinions of people around you. In this spread it is the World, Major Arcana XXI, the last of the Major Arcana, in its upright position representing "Reaching a natural conclusion." As a situation, it suggests that "All is well and success is at hand." Key words include "Change of job or residence" and "Fulfillment. Attainment. Culmination." So, I guess other people feel like I've accomplished something or have reached the end of some sort of journey.

The ninth card, the Hopes, Fears, and Expectations card, represents. . . well, my hopes, fears, and expectations. Interestingly, the Hopes card in this spread is the Fool, Major Arcana 0, the first of the Major Arcana, and representing "The beginning of a journey. A leap into the unknown." So others see me as at the end of a journey, but I see myself at the beginning of one. Although due to the cyclical nature of the Arcana, perhaps they are not really opposites after all--just looking in different directions. The Fool can represent "A new chance. A novel experience," and "Significant and unexpected circumstances." As a situation card, it "suggests the need to take a risk with childlike optimism and innocence" and advises that "you should remain open to new ideas." Perhaps more pertinently, in conjunction with some of the other cards that have cropped up, it advises that "You would be wise to leave the past behind and get on with starting something new." (It also advises that it may represent a literal trip somewhere, "especially if other travel cards appear in the spread," which apparently include "the World, Six of Swords, Eight of Wands, or Knight of Wands" OH HEY.)

The last card, the Final Outcome Card, is the Seven of Wands, Holding Firm, in its upright position representing "Holding your own. A position of advantage." Well, that answers my question about the Behind card. Key words for the Seven of Wands include "Maintaining your position. Having an advantage" and "Self-confidence. Assertion." As a situation card, it forewarns of some sort of coming conflict or argument (aahh!) but says "You have the advantage even if you don't realize it" and advises, "Do not give up the struggle." It promises that "Your hard work and thoughtfulness will pay off" and suggests being "especially observant." To which I say: Huh.

I think, overall, that I am going to continue to be busy, which is good, but supposedly I should be prepared and able to come out on top if I can stop being defensive and anxious and can be more awesome.
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Daily Tarot, day 25 [Aug. 27th, 2014|11:03 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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[Current Location |lower allston]
[Current Mood |crankycranky]
[Current Music |lovely breezes 'n' shit]

Today's card is from my vampire deck, because it may be the last daily Tarot that I can post for a bit. We're switching Internet providers, so our current Internet is going away today and the new Internet is being set up Monday.

In other news, there's only one more day of random strangers living in my house, this should be the last day that it is 11 am and I am still in my pajamas because somebody I've never met and have no idea who they are is in my shower. I hope they hurry up.



Today's card is the Three of Swords, Heartache, representing "Necessary cutting. A bleeding heart." Key words include "Loss. Woe" and "Turbulent emotions." The card also "sometimes represents a need for major surgery or dental treatment," which I hope is not the case--although I do finally have a doctor's appointment today and I'm fairly certain I'm in need of minor surgery. Perhaps this card only represents my impending separation from my beloved Internet? Or else something big and unpleasant is going to happen today. I'm also working on accepting that I'm never going to go home to the Candlewood house again, and I don't know when I'll again be in Madison. Or maybe the cards are just picking up on how irritable I was when I was shuffling, because I wanted to take a shower before doing my daily reading but I can't because I'm a wuss who reacts to batshit crazy assholes with confusion and withdrawal instead of putting them in their place and telling them that no, they can't have random strangers staying in my house breaking my shit and preventing me from showering.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Daily Tarot, day 24 [Aug. 26th, 2014|03:57 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
[Tags|]

One-card spread today.



Today's card is the Eight of Swords, Restriction, which represents "Feeling trapped." Man, and I've been so productive today too, although let's be real, not quite as productive as I'd hoped. This card says that "You are stuck in a rut of your own making," which may in fact be true. I have some thoughts about this, actually. The little book mentions that "If you can't see things clearly, this is a time to seek wise counsel and heed sound advice." Hrm.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Daily Tarot, day 23 [Aug. 25th, 2014|05:11 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
[Tags|]
[Current Location |lower allston]
[Current Mood |Productive]
[Current Music |"Blueprint for Armageddon, Part IV", Dan Carlin, Hardcore History (podcast)]

Today's daily card is back to the Scapini deck.



Today's card of the day is the Three of Cups, Celebration. Threes have been fairly prominent in my spreads since I started doing this not-quite-daily project. In its upright position, the Three of Cups represents "A time to rejoice. Having fun." I have been somewhat terrified of rejoicing, as I believe I mentioned yesterday, since I am afraid of tempting the universe to put me in my place (again). So this is a bit of a relief. Key words include "Hobbies. Things done for enjoyment" and "Good fortune." As a situation card, it says "There is something to celebrate; now is the time to have fun. . . Now is a time for celebration, but there is still work ahead." I don't doubt that, and am definitely keeping it in mind. 
LinkI do believe in fairies

Tarot, Day. . . 22 [Aug. 24th, 2014|05:30 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
[Tags|]
[Current Location |lower allston]
[Current Mood |Calming down]
[Current Music |"Finnegan's Wake," Irish trad., arr. Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem]

I'm just gonna pick up counting from the last post since I haven't done this in over a week. It's been a very eventful week, involving a lot of packing and a lot of interviews and my damn usually-reliable car breaking down again (second time it's broken down in a month and neither time did the shop even do me the favor of offering an oil change; I had to go get one yesterday!). But today I did all sorts of productive things, so it's time for a good proper Celtic Cross spread to make up for the time. Using my vampire deck, because it's time.


The first card, the Cover card, is today the Four of Pentacles. The cover card "reveals the substance of the question," essentially showing what the spread is about. The Four of Pentacles, Holding Tight, symbolizes "Maintaining the status quo." This seems like an odd choice of words for the symbolization because the key words include a lot of stuff like "Enrichment" and "Gain of money," and the Situation section of my book says straight out "The Four of Disks represents financial security." The card may be warning of being "too conservative" or "miserly" and that I "must learn to delegate rather than do everything yourself," which I suppose is possible. The book notes that "If your question was about finances, the Four of Pentacles assures security and material acquisition." I could certainly use some security about now. The spread as a whole also has four Pentacles in it, so it seems to be staying closely on topic with a focus on financial and material matters.

The second card, the Crossing card, is Major Arcana XI, Justice, symbolizing "Being judged. A fair outcome." This is one of those cards that is basically what it says on the tin--it can represent legal affairs, but more often it represents getting what you deserve and having to deliberate wisely to make decisions, that sort of thing. In its current position as the crossing card, it represents obstacles, opportunities, resources, and other factors modifying the question raised in the cover card. Together they create a "micro-cross" representing the essence of the spread. In this case, it seems to be revealing my central worry about whether or not I succeed at my new job--will I get what I deserve and will I deserve for it to go well? Hopefully, this micro-cross is indicating that if I am careful and diligent, I will get the stability I want.

The third card, the Beneath card, shows "past influences affecting the matter, past experiences, repetitive behavior, motivations, where the question comes from," etc. In this spread it is Major Arcana I, The Magician, representing "Mastery of special knowledge. Focused energy." Key words include "The cumulative result of disciplined training" and "Marketing yourself." As a situation card, it says "You are about to take advantage of the expertise you have gleaned from a period of disciplined training. . . . You are able to promote and market yourself to those who are interested in making use of your special skills and knowledge." Whether this refers to my editorial skills or my skill at getting interviews (which seems to have been pretty good this time around), I do not know, but it seems fairly on point. I have tried to "observe, experiment, remain adaptable, refine your skills, and learn about how to manipulate the world" this summer, so hopefully the placement of this card means I have managed to do so to some degree.

The fourth card, the Behind card, shows "influences that are just passing out of existence," and in this spread is the Two of Swords, Stalemate. This card symbolizes "A tense situation. An impasse" and since it is the behind card I hope that means the stalemate is over. MOVING ON.

The fifth card, the Crown card, shows "ideals, goals, option, intentions, avenues of development, possibilities, and opportunities." While that makes it sound like it would usually be a positive card, in this spread it shows up as Major Arcana XV, The Devil, who represents "Bondage. Self-imposed limitations." I suppose that's a warning, then. Key words include "The power of negative thinking. Finding it hard to let go" and "Unnecessary guilt. Heavy commitments. Confronting your personal demons. . . Excessive attachment to material goods." I guess it's warning me that I am at risk of getting too attached to job- and money-related things, which is possibly true. Apparently, when the Devil appears, it's time to "review your bondage to material goods, unbridled passions, harmful relationships, and financial security." I will certainly have to keep that in mind.

The sixth card, the Before card, "reveals forthcoming circumstances and influences coming into being in the near future," and in this spread is the Knight of Pentacles. Under the element system, this is the Earth aspect of Earth, occupied solidly with physical and material issues--for me, probably job, housing, finances, and physical health. All of those are going to go through some changes or need some meticulous sussing-out in the next few weeks.

Moving on from the Cross to the Pillar, the seventh card, the Self card, "symbolizes where you stand on the issue." In this spread, my Self is the Page of Pentacles, a card of fire and earth, representing someone taking a practical and materially-based approach to their grands passions. I. . . will have to think about that for a bit, actually. My little book characterizes the Page of Pentacles as Studiousness, representing "A small financial gain. Education." Key words include "Good news about money and finances" (!), "Slow and steady progress," and "Eagerness for learning." As a situation card, it claims "You may soon be presented with an opportunity to make money or engage in a new business venture. Be sure to do your homework so you can be in a position of advantage." Note to self: Do more research on content marketing. "You could become involved in some kind of research involving close attention to detail and lots of paperwork." Sounds like my life. "Education can benefit you at this time." Education can always benefit you, little book.

The eighth card, the House card, is about the querent's environment and the opinions of the people around them. The house card here is Major Arcana XVII, The Star, representing "Hope." This may literally refer to hope for an improved living situation in the coming week; it may also mean my Team Me is rooting for me; it may mean both. The Star indicates that "This is a good time to exert yourself because you can achieve your ideals." Overall, this card indicates that my environment is positive and optimistic.

The ninth card, the Hopes, Fears, and Expectations card, shows (obviously) one's hopes, fears, and expectations regarding the question at hand. This is our last Pentacles card for this spread, the Three of Pentacles, A Job Well Done, representing "Beneficial use of talents." This is extremely accurate, I think! Key word include "Early stages of accomplishment," "Employment" (yes that is a hope!), "Professional growth" (dear god yes that is a hope too), and "Competence. Sincere effort. High standards. Expertise. . . . Doing a job the right way." A lot of my anxiety revolves around my ability to meet my own standards, I think. Anyway, as a situation card it says "You will be rewarded for doing a competent job and making use of your skills, knowledge, and talents" and that "You will have an opportunity to earn money professionally for what you know." It also accurately points out that I "desire status, recognition, or approval from others, and you feel a sense of accomplishment for a job well done." I do miss that feeling.

The last card, the Final Outcome card, is here the Nine of Cups, The Wish Card, representing "Desires fulfilled." Another "exactly what it says on the tin" sort of card, its key words include "Enjoyment. Contentment. Pleasure. . . . Comforts, Health. Happiness. Plenty. . . . Financial well-being." It also includes "Smugness," but hey. The S&A commentary says "When the Nine of Cups appears, especially as an outcome card, you will get what you desire. This card promises material benefits and physical luxury." Huzzah! Now I just have to not get so attached to it that I turn into a soulless miser, as per my warning of The Devil. At any rate, I think this reading has calmed me down a little from the overweening paranoia I've been feeling since I got my offer letter on Thursday, and has restored a bit of my confidence, which is good. But just a bit; I don't want to get cocky or lazy--that'll bring the eye of the Universe back onto me, and I was hoping it had wandered off to fuck with somebody else for a little while.

Since I feel so much better, I should maybe get back to doing these daily.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Daily Tarot, day 21 [Aug. 15th, 2014|12:37 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
[Tags|]

One-card spread plus clarification card. Scapini until I can shuffle the deck without dropping any cards.



The card of the day was the Queen of Swords, Intelligent and Solitary, representing someone concerned with emotional matters and approaching them in a logical and intellectual manner. I drew her on Day 10 as well, so most of that commentary is the same here.

Since I wanted more information this time on what precisely sort of emotional situation I am possibly overanalyzing, I picked a clarification card, which turned out to be The Emperor, Major Arcana IV. Symbolizing "The father. Order. Control. Power," The Emperor is a sort of general kingly archetype card. It concerns "The structures of society. The order we impose upon the world." The card "shows you becoming your own person as you establish yourself in the world" and that "Now is the time to act responsibly and organize a structured, stable environment."

I have a lot of Thoughts on this but I'm going to keep them to myself at the moment. Instead, I'm going to go put pants on and go to lunch.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Daily Tarot, day 20 [Aug. 14th, 2014|04:02 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
[Tags|]

Wow, today is day 20 of my Daily Tarot already! And I have only missed. . . uh. . . three of them?

Today is just a one-card spread.



The Nine of Pentacles, Self-Reliance, symbolizing "Relying on oneself. Being self-sufficient." Key words for this card include "Self-mastery. Attainment. Gain. Desire for financial security." Yes to that last one, certainly. "Prosperity as a result of past efforts." I do hope so! In a situation, it "represents the desire for financial security and carries the promise of physical comfort and material benefits." Hopefully that's not just for today? Today is like that though, as I am home in NJ (for the last time!) and it is nice and quiet here. The little book is giving me advice that "When this card appears in a reading, we should review how we spend our solitary time." I probably should; I've been glued to the (terrible, terrible, constantly escalating) news all week and need to chill. Except my leisure reading book right now is on the Great Hunger in Ireland. It may be time to watch Hook and cry like I've been intending to do all week.

LinkI do believe in fairies

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