If you are reading this Monthly Word of mine, chances are this isn’t your first time. You might have noticed that these messages are cryptic & heavy on the metaphor. If you are a Constant Reader (shout out to Stephen King), you’ve likely made peace with the Words not making sense to you until later, if ever. To be honest, even though I write the posts, I don’t always understand them myself. These messages come to me & through me but they are not mine. There is no discrimination, either in the reception or the transmission. Once the information is deciphered, anyone can tune in, regardless of their comprehension. Or intention.
So. If these Words are warnings, then those who are in danger may read them, as well as the very same folks being warned against. If these are predictions, then those who want them to come true may read them, as well as those who don’t want them to come true. No matter how good a plan is, if the opps overhear, it’s going to be thwarted. This is why no matter how many tools of divination we have at our disposal, the fact is the future is not yet written. Our power lies in one place only: NOW.
And the best part is that it is always now. You will do well to remember that, Constant Reader, regardless of your intention. If you are the Warned, then hopefully you have read between the lines all these months, & you have (despite all opps & odds) done what you needed to do. If you haven’t, read again: the time is NOW. Your power is NOW. Guard your heart, gird your loins & get it done.
However if you are the Danger, it should be dawning on you (right about now) that your time is up. Your stolen blueprints, down to the last detail, were coded for your demise. In your arrogance, did you fail to notice your castles were built on quicksand? Were you too busy rushing up to your towers, that you didn’t notice a wobble in the stairs? Quicksand isn’t like in the movies, silly rabbit. In real life, the sinking happens so slowly, you barely notice...until it's too late.
Oh well, the sand is past the locks now, higher than the doors. The windows you so cleverly designed to let secrets in yet keep reality out, will never open widely enough for your escape. Yet they are still so pristine, so crystal clear. From solid ground, we can see your panicked confusion. Your shouts ring out for miles. Desperately you cling to the last word you overheard:
One of my favorite movies is Kill Bill Vol. 2. Most of you have likely seen it, but indulge me if you haven't:
It stars Uma Thurman as "The Bride," a deadly assassin codenamed: Black Mamba. A continuation of Vol. 1, the sequel provides her back story. I won't detail the saga too much here, but suffice it to say, she is a woman who has been very, very wronged, & she is on a personal mission to make it right. There is a scene where two men, afraid of her vengeance (rightfully so), briefly get the better of Black Mamba by burying her alive in a coffin. They don't just want her to die, they want her to suffer. At this point in the movie, the audience realizes our heroine is in serious trouble. She is facing impossible odds & quickly running out of time.
In this (literally) breathless moment, the movie cuts away to scenes of Black Mamba's years-long training with Taoist Priest Pai Mei. She arrives a young, eager, already accomplished (read: arrogant) fighter, & he quickly deflates her ego by nearly snapping her wrist with a flick of his finger. She realizes she has much to learn, & humbles tf outta herself. During her extensive, bloody, exhausting, humiliating tutelage, Pai Mei teaches Black Mamba that the deadliest assassins kill up close & quiet, after luring their prey into striking distance. She learns the two subtle, effective tactics that eventually save her life & assure her vengeance: the three finger punch & the five finger exploding heart technique.
Once the audience understands the extent of her mastery, the movie cuts back to our heroine, still buried. She uses a knife hidden in her boot to slash her hands free, & then three-finger-punches the coffin until it snaps. Then she claws out of six feet of dirt & emerges filthy but alive.
Over the last few months or years (take it how it resonates), you may have questioned why the Most High Pai Mei put you through such grueling tests & challenges. You may have cried yourself to sleep many nights & struggled bewildered through your days.
Do you see now that God saw fit to prepare you for danger you couldn't possibly fathom? Can you recognize that your life was a sword in the Lord's hand being sharpened for battle?
We may have wondered why the Creator allowed our assailants to wound us & gloat in our misfortune while circling in for the kill; yet at the last moment our training kicks to remind us we are the danger (ha!) not them. Though our hearts thump we lie still, luring the over-confident enemy closer. We cough & splutter, whispering a bloody "last" word until they bring their ears to our lips, fatally dismissing our hands. Gotcha.
(Touch not my anointed, do my prophets no harm- Psalm 105:15)
This message is weird af, irritating af. Mercury Rx lowkey got me tweaking. Over the last week I've sat down to pull cards / write this post four different times, & each time the message was a little bit different. The first time it was about falling down 7 times & getting back up 8; the second time it was about losing your way to find yourself; the third time it was about how life happens live & unscripted. Which brings us to the fourth & current version about my bike
which was stolen this week. I locked it up at the train station & when I came back to it, the lock was there (still locked, mind you) but the bike was gone. I was sad/mad (actual tears), but also oddly relieved bcus it was a really nice bike & I was starting to feel... clutchy about it. I was starting to worry about where it was locked up at night, & whether somebody would try to steal it, blah, blah, blah. I don't like to worry about possessions because it's a slippery, stressful slope from look at my shit to stop looking at my shit lol. Do I like to enjoy my things? Yes. Do I want to feel protective over objects? No. So I guess if you think about it, the bike getting stolen was the answer to a subconscious prayer, because now I certainly don't have to worry about that bike anymore.
That kind of accidental-reverse-manifestation is the hallmark of Mercury retrograding through Aquarius all month long. In the tarot, Mercury in Aquarius is the Six of Swords, also known as the Magician (Mercury) in the Star (Aquarius). Upright, the Six of Swords is about using the healing power of the mind to think better thoughts that manifest as an improved experience. When Mercury is direct in Aquarius, even rock bottom is a blessing because it inspires hope, & hope leads to expectation, & expectations lead to results.
However with Mercury being retrograde right now, the incredible power of the mind is fixated on the negative- who's against us, what's gone wrong, what can still go wrong. Remember that the universe only hears what we say, not why we say it- & the universe knows only one word- YES. So if I'm saying some version of everything's all right (even at rock bottom), then the cosmos creates events to affirm that belief. And if I'm saying some version of it's all bad, then the cosmos creates events to affirm that belief.
With this particular transit (until mid-March), it's going to be so much easier for us to believe the bad things rather than the good things, which will create an atmosphere of paranoia & accidentally trigger the worst in ourselves & others. However we can start turning this boat around by remembering what Mercury Rx is for in the first place. Retrogrades don't occur to make us miserable, they are loving reminders of one very important fact: We're in control. Not the cosmos, not the universe, not the sun or the moon or the stars- US. What we say goes. If when we say, "I betchu that bih gon' start some ish," & sure enough that bih starts some ish- we shouldn't get frustrated at the bih or address the ish- instead we need to congratulate ourselves on the ability to speak events into existence... & then say less.
In the scroll of our lives, our thoughts & words are the bullet points .
Until Mercury turns direct its best we live with the silencer & safety ON.
Life is something else, boy I tell you. As soon as you think you got shit figured out, it switches up on you. Welcome to 2021, y’all. 2 + 0 + 2 + 1 = 5 & 5 means CHANGE. This is a change year, where our only choices will be to go back from five to zero or full steam ahead to ten. In other words, go hard or go home. Round down or round up. Attitude is the deciding factor for the win.
First things first- thanks & praise. An attitude of GRATITUDE is what makes the day. Regardless of what the morning brings, we must appreciate the ability to see it, feel it, touch it, taste it- even if we want to close our eyes, look away, clench our fists, spit it out. The ability to choose to embrace or deny in itself a blessing because it means we’re still here.
& The reason we know that even denial can be a privilege, is because we were DENIED all 2020. Maybe even all 2019. Maybe since we can fucking remember, folks been telling us no. We learned that somehow - despite being ignored, rejected, dissed & dismissed, that we’re still here. We don’t need anyone’s permission to breathe, to exist. We learned to make room for our own selves, invitations & acceptance be damned. We’ve gotten pretty good at it too- being different, independent, self-reliant, resilient. Instead of living in the gutter, we created a lane. Without even noticing, we started picking up speed. Maybe gaining on folks who thought they left us behind, except now we’re rocking shades & blinders + earbuds (the better to dance to your own beat, my dear)- so we don’t even notice the stares.
If you resonate with this message, you’re probably a weirdo & your strange-ness is why you were cast aside. It takes work to understand those who defy definition. It's easier to define boundaries & draw a line in the sand than to find common ground. It's like choosing chicken over sushi. Chicken is easy. Chicken is familiar. Chicken never changes; its either a nugget or a tender; either fried, baked or roasted; breast, wing or thigh, saucy or naw. Easy.
Sushi on the other hand, lawddddd. So many choices. So many things you can’t pronounce, most of them delicious (according to your tastes). You might have to ask the waiter to explain it to you; you might even have to look at the pictures to understand, but you’ll be so glad you did! Because once you eat sushi, it's like, TO HELL WITH CHICKEN. But the thing about sushi, is it's so different, that no one ever wants to try it until someone else tries it, & then reports back how good it is.
Our whole lives, us weirdo rejects were the sushi. Time & time again, the ones we begged to give us a try pushed us away for chicken. Sadly but surely, we found a tribe of folks able to appreciate us for who we are, instead of rejecting us for who we are not. This month (& all of 2021 probably), the picky eaters of our lives have realized they are sick to death of chicken. They have chicken coming out of their ears. Every meal, their eyes roll & their feet stamp, begging the gods for some other cuisine, heaven help me, ANYTHING but CHICKEN.
It’s gotten so bad they’ve gone on hunger strike, like petulant children. Their feeders frantically try to force them (open your mouth!) or use scare tactics (you’ll die if you don’t eat!) because deep down inside they know that 1) it's true there’s wayyyyy more to life than chicken & 2) they don’t have the ingredients to make any of it.
& Then here you come (you weirdo, you!) looking all delicious, wasabi & soy sauce just dripping, a line of folks begging for a taste. Inevitably the ones who dismissed you as disgusting (ewwww!) will finally see you as irresistible, divine.
This month, don’t be shocked when the same folks who showed you their back, suddenly become obsessed with your face. You’ll say, but I thought you didn’t even LIKE sushi??
And they’ll shrug, just as perplexed as you are.
This month we have to talk about the difference between being nice & being real (especially during the holiday season). When my daughters were toddlers they were spicy af (they still are tbh). It used to throw my mama off & she would always reprimand them with, Don't you want to be NICE little girls? & they would tuck themselves in a bit (around Grandma) but as soon as Grandma was gone, they were back spicy again. I didn't like watching my babies contort themselves into two different people so one day I told my mama, I'm not raising them to be nice, I'm raising them to be themselves. Maybe they are just not nice & that's ok. Seriously, my oldest daughter told me in every Disney movie she watched, she related more to the evil queens than the princesses, because the queens were powerful & the princesses were weak. Even back then she intuitively knew that people may villainize her for standing in her power but she could not relate to... not standing in her power.
My mama looked at me like I was crazy when I told her my girls don't have to be nice & I get it; my mama was born in 1945 & from her generation's perspective, being black & mean = dead. However from my generation's perspective, being black & nice can also = dead, so you might as well be yourself & live or die with respect. (This isn't about race tho)
Speaking of respect- according to Google, the word is defined as: due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. This definition sounds simple enough, but just like the words "going home," there are hidden implications. For instance, what is "due regard?" Google defines "due" as expected or planned at a certain time, & "regard" as attention to, or concern for something. So that means that at a "planned or certain time," respect is shown by "showing attention or concern," to the "feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others."
So on the flip side, not giving af when someone else believes you're "supposed" to give af is disrespectful. Interesting.
But what if you really, truly, honestly aren't interested? What if being your authentic self means acknowledging & expressing (through heartfelt apathy) that you just can't care on cue, even if "holidays," are the "expected time to regard the traditions of others?" In this case, a sign of respect (to others) means being fake as a four-dollar bill.
So...what about showing respect to yourself? Google defines "self respect" as "a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity." Which means that during the holidays, many of us have to choose between respecting others & respecting ourselves because how can you "feel as if you're behaving with honor & dignity," if you're cringing behind your mask?
But in the reverse, anyone who would ask you to dis-respect yourself as a show of respect to them, doesn't respect you in the first place, because if they did, they would "show attention or concern," to your "feelings, wishes & rights."
Lowkey, this post is giving me a headache. Wordplay & conjecture is exhausting. Y'all know what I'm trying to say if & if you don't already, more paragraphs won't help. What's understood doesn't have to be explained (which is a clue for your post-holiday plans).
This month remember that your skinfolk & your kinfolk are not always the same people. After "respectfully" spending quality time with your family, you'll recognize your tribe as those sitting gratefully alone, massaging their temples & pinching the bridge of their nose.
One of you will ask, how was it? & The other will answer, nice.
For those of y'all who follow my readings on YouTube, you know I like to read the backstory from the bottom of the deck. Those are the cards that explain what happened leading up to the current situation. I looked at the bottom of the deck for this reading too, but there was too damn much to explain. I think that's the point actually- that there is too much history, too much backstory, too much water that drowned the bridge. One thing was clear- if we are to move forward into a new story, it's time to leave the past in the past.
Somebody might think we're f***** up for moving on (or vice versa) & I understand their objections because tbh I saw enough love in that backstory to power a sky full of stars & fill an ocean of tears. It was such an overwhelming, all consuming, always & forever, die-without-you kind of love that I lost focus for a second & had to drag myself out my feelings back to the task at hand. Even after an eternity of forevers, it was the kind of love to make you beg Father Time for 'please just one more day.'
But Time said naw. Time said issa distraction.
It kind of reminded me of Adam & Eve. Remember how at first Adam was focused af, naming all the plants, birds, creepers, crawlers & swimmers? He worked so hard he wore himself out & his soul longed for a help-mate to share the load. God saw Adam's work was good so he rewarded him with Eve, but Lawd Adam wasn't ready for such a measure of grace. Poor baby couldn't concentrate no more at all & Eve too, all she wanted to do was lay up. Both of them started making poor choices for the sake of prancing 'round naked till death do us part. Truthfully Eve should have been looking for greens to boil & bird to fry (Queen shit), but Devil said 'apples easier.' Adam should have sat her down for a lecture about order, function & following rules (King shit) but Eve said 'Devil said apples easier.' & Just like that their quest for ease led to the discovery of dysfunctional.
Over the next 30 days, if we find ourselves longing to reunite with an easy lover, we should know that's EXACTLY why Time forced us apart. Here it is the whole damn world is on fire & all we wanna do is make love in the flames.
Time said make yourselves useful & cry me a river instead.
(& when you through, there's work to do.)
I used to watch a show on HBO called Weeds, & there was a scene where a teenaged boy named Silas told his deaf girlfriend, "I love you." To which she replied, "You fucking better." It was funny because she had that speech impediment that many deaf people have when they can't hear to adjust the sound of their own voice. You would think she'd be insecure but she was far from it. Whereas some girls more genetically fortunate might respond, "You do?! I love you too!", feeling lucky to be loved, this inexplicably secure child wasn't confused at all about who was the prize in their relationship.
One of the reasons she was so confident was because she worked her ass off despite her disability. She'd faced & conquered obstacles that gained her own respect. It was this inborn bad-assery that got her accepted to a prestigious ivy league university, & her beloved was NOT happy for her. He knew he hadn't worked hard enough to join her, so for the sake of loooooove, he asked her to stay behind. She was like, boy bye LOL. Not to be deterred, he switched tactics. He told her they needed to get busy as much as possible before she left, to preemptively make up for the time they'd be apart. Then he poked holes in all his condoms, & she was pregnant by mid-summer. His plan backfired of course- her father forced her to get an abortion, beat Silas up, banned him from her life, & packed her fast ass off to school a few weeks early. Welp. I guess real life happens when you're making other plans.
This anecdote is a metaphor for the perspective we should hold this month. We've graduated from asking whether or not we are loved (of COURSE we are loved! What's not to love??) - but a better question is, what kind of love is this? What is the quality of this love? What effect does this love have on my life?
In the tarot, love is represented by water. You know that phrase, "Water seeks its own level...?" It's like that. No matter how much someone loves you or you love them, if y'all ain't flowing from the same source or seeking the same end, winding up together means somebody has to sink or somebody has to rise, or both. Otherwise, separation is natural (but not necessarily forever).
With the couple from Weeds, they actually did end up together. Several seasons later, they randomly bumped into each other & he confessed she was the only woman he'd ever loved. They were in much different places in their lives than before; she was an accomplished, degreed professional, & he was a highly sought after, hard working herbal entrepreneur. Suddenly the water between them didn't require stagnation or manipulation & it just... flowed. They got married, had their baby & enjoyed a pretty good life.
But imagine what would have happened if lil' his plan had worked...? Imagine if she'd agreed to stay home from college, or had their baby before her time? Their relationship would have been fraught with resentment, insecurity, rage. As soon as the going got tough, she would have disassociated, wishing she had chosen differently, & he would have lashed out, demanding she prove she still thought him worth the sacrifice. And somewhere a baby would be crying.
Shout out to the young girl's father, the real OG of the story. As the original source of his daughter's self-esteem & impressive accomplishments, he was not about to let some wayward, half-raised child mess up all his hard work. He did what he had to do to get that young man the hell away from his daughter, as he should. Over the next thirty days, if we find ourselves wondering whatever happened to that person who was supposed to love us (never mind how we had to flip the dimmer switch lest we shine too bright on our beloved), DON'T. If they gone, it's because Daddy wanted them gone. If nothing else, the Most High protects His investments. You cannot lowball God's children. You cannot covet a holy treasure so much that you damage it to win by default. That's called stealing & shoplifters will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
This month, as we learn the difference between those who want us & those who can afford us, we are meant to bask in our worthiness.
(& know that one way or another, somebody gon' pay...)
You know, many of the advanced videos games people play didn't originate as games, but as training simulators for soldiers before military combat. The brain learns better when it thinks it's having fun. These "games" help fortify our reflexes, resourcefulness, strategy, critical thinking & common sense.
Another game that can be used for a similar purpose (don't laugh) is PacMan. PacMan is a perfect training module for the game of life, where we routinely gobble up an endless supply of breadcrumbs, ever hopeful for the rare taste of fruit. And true to life, as soon as we make progress on our quest for elusive moments of satisfaction, here come those damn ghosts.
There are four ghosts in PacMan, named (in no particular order) Inky, Blinky, Pinky & Clyde, each with his own assignment for distraction and destruction. Inky scares PacMan into making the wrong move, Binky chases him relentlessly, Pinky ambushes him strategically & inconsistent Clyde taunts our hero by keeping his distance while moving in unpredictable ways.
But low-key, this foolishness teaches a wise PacMan player valuable skills. Through these attacks, the player learns how to pivot (move around these mf's), how to plan (stay a step ahead of these mf's), how to prey (the jail these mf's dug for you is the one they're gonna rot in), & how to prioritize (focus only on the mf's who focus on YOU).
Understand, that if you play the game & you acquire those skills, you've WON, regardless of the score. And once you accept you've been thoroughly trained, you can quit playing.
This month, it's time to put the games away, because there is a real war brewing outside. Yet we need not be afraid because it turns out that what we thought was persecution was merely loving preparation. As a result, there's nothing left to do except show up & show out.
And the best part is that unlike stupid games with stupid prizes, the spoils of war are real.
First we conquer. Then we collect.
Sometimes when I shuffle the cards for the Monthly Word, I hear messages. This time I heard: “Count your blessings, not your money.” Welp.
One thing I’ve learned about blessings AND money, is that they both come from the same source: relationships. All forms of currency, whether earned (money) or unearned (blessings), exist only in transference from one person, or conduit, to another.
Money is kind of predictable. In most cases, you know how you got it, you know exactly what you can & can’t do with it, & (ideally) you know how or when you can get some more.
Blessings on the other hand are unpredictable. You don’t know how you got them, & you aren’t positive what you can or will do with them, & you have no idea how or when you can get some more.
Money is a timing thing, hence the phrase, “time is money.” Money is currency, which is nearly identical to the word “currently.” The word “currently,” is a couple letters longer than the word, “current,” which defines what is NOW (currently) happening, but also defines the movement of water, i.e. the ebb & flow of the tides. The tide comes & goes just like money. Therefore, as long as the sun continues to rise & fall, and as long as the moon orbits the earth, then the tides, & the current ( i.e. the ebb & flow of currency) is guaranteed. You don’t have to watch the waves to know that as surely as they go out, they will be back. The tide is time, is clockwork. What goes around, comes around, what is spent will be replaced, forever & ever Amen.
However blessings are not a cycle (like money), blessings are a storm. You don’t see blessings coming & just as quickly they are gone. They are sudden, powerful, whimsical, illogical. A blessing demands to be watched, thunders for your attention, screams for a moment of your eternal awe & then disappears into placidity as if it never was, like childhood. Like children.
This month, the Most High asks us why we spend so much time watching our money instead of our blessings, when one is statistics & the other is fireworks.
The Most High wonders why we are like busy parents herding our kids through a crowd, distractedly counting the same dollars in our wallet, while paying no attention to the fact that the loved ones we came with are disappearing into the fray one by one. The Most High wonders how we would feel if we arrived home with a wallet full of dollar bills and our babies grown & gone.
This month, perspective is needed. We are called to ponder the cost of the priceless, & ask ourselves why we are fixated on coins when we already have SO MANY THINGS no amount of money could buy.
The assumption that blessings are unpredictable is only half true, by the way. It is true that the timing & circumstances of their arrival is uncertain, but the length of their stay is exact & inextricably tied to our level of attention to & appreciation of their presence. When blessings (like children) don’t feel seen, loved & appreciated, they tend to wander off when nobody’s watching. The Most High doesn’t send storms of goodness for them to sit around & be ignored.
Therefore, we are encouraged to stop counting our eggs when we need to be feeding our chickens.
And on the flip side, if we are the chicken & folks full from our yolk keep counting our eggs without giving a cluck, we are encouraged to shut it down & starve ‘em out.
This month, what is not loved will surely be lost, & what is not appreciated will be dried up & given away.
Luckily it’s free to pay attention. (It’s a blessing, actually.)
Beloveds please forgive the monthly reading being late once again. I pulled the cards for the collective days ago, wrote a rough draft, & then was inundated with a series of mildly fortunate-disguised-as-frustrating events which prevented me from putting out the final copy, & then when I went to put the reading up, I realized the energy had shifted (full moon/ eclipse/ retrogrades, oh my...). So I pulled the cards again & the message was totally different, & (imo) better.
I lowkey think that is the message.
A minute back we asked the Most High for something. Even if we didn't ask for it out loud, the quiet longings of our heart yearned a prayer into the cosmos. Whatever it was we wanted was too fantastic to hope for, yet too wonderful not to dream, so we indulged ourselves a bit. If you're a kid & you want a pony but you know you're not going to get a pony, there's no harm in letting your imagination run away with you a bit, yeah? Might as well ask for two ponies... better yet, a unicorn family with rainbow hooves... better yet, the unicorn family is the starring act in a travelling circus, complete with games (where we always win the prizes), unlimited rides on the Ferris wheel, laser tag, bottomless cotton candy, & free nachos for all. Since there's not a risk of fantasy becoming reality, we might as well dream big, if for no other reason than it makes the hours go by.
You know what else makes the hours go by...? Adulting. Details. A thousand tiny disappointments piling like sticks. Distractions. Sleep. Resignation. Working hard & then working harder. The sudden shock of results. The slow growth of patience. The realization that the meantime is the only time there is. Acceptance. Lemonade. Laundry. Grace.
Sidenote: Y'all know I love my movie metaphors. Have y'all ever seen the movie "Practical Magic...?" Among other things, its about a woman-who-when-she-was-a-girl, decided she never wanted to fall in love. To make sure of it, she wished for an impossible partner: someone who could hear her call from miles away, with one green eye & one blue. She figured if she gave her soul to someone she'd never meet, then her heart could never be broken. Then she grew up & married a perfectly nice, brown eyed man, & that man died. The woman grew very depressed, & threw herself into her work & her children to keep her head above the wave of sadness that threatened constantly to drown. And then wonder of wonders, through a series of mildly-fortunate-disguised-as-terrible events, the blue eyed/ green eyed man she'd wished for arrived perplexed on her doorstep.
Have you ever heard the Rumi quote, "What you are seeking is also seeking you...?"
In the month of July, against all odds, we may hear faintly carousel music in the wind, or whiff the scent of freshly roasted peanuts. There could also be a series of inexplicable rainbow hoof imprints rumored through the town. Despite the joy threatening our bellies, skepticism will be our most natural response.
Be that as it may, a self-conscious circus master (people tend to stare at his eyes) is searching high & low for a spot to graze his ponies, & the empty field next door to our quaint little house is the best spot for miles around. We might want to pluck some lemons off our tree & make a tall pitcher of cool drink, since he's hot & thirsty & headed this way.
a monthly message, alchemized from the tarot cards, seasoned with intuition and life experience, served with love (sometimes with a side of spicy cussin)