April 16, 2020 11:05 am

Tarot: A Spread For Hope

I’ve been getting into witchcraft classes and doing some small tarot readings for myself, and I am going to post some of them here in case that is also an interest of yours. I am new to tarot card reading, so I’ll be showing the booklet interpretations here so I can refer back to them.

The Spread

Something Beautiful I've forgotten / Something magical I should embrace / Something useful I can do or offer

The Cards

Photo of three cards: the six of wands, the hermit, death. The cards are colorful and have circles and stars in each of their corners.
Six of Wands, The Hermit, Death

Something Beautiful I’ve Forgotten: Six of Wands

This booklet description of the Six of Wands didn’t really resonate with me, so I looked it up online. According to BiddyTarot, “The Six of Wands suggests that not only have you achieved your goals, but you are also receiving public acknowledgement for your efforts” and HOO BOY, my work is good at this and yes, now that I’m off work and stuck at home, I’m not feeling super successful or recognized or like I’m making any progress at all. It’s hard to remember that even if you have done well in the past, now that things are different, it doesn’t erase what you’ve done and also: have some self-compassion! Things are weird!

Something Magical I Should Embrace: The Hermit

The Hermit could not be more apropos now that most of us are stuck at home! It’s hard to think of this time as “magical” though. I’ve been doing a lot of introspection and retreat during this time, that’s for sure. And I think you do have to embrace the hermeticism! If you’re not making peace with the idea that we’re all going to be inside for a very long time, you’re going to have a rough go of it. Better to embrace it than fight it.

Something Useful I Can Do Or Offer: Death

I feel like the Death card here is symbolizing that there’s a Before Times and and an After Times. Nothing is going to be the same now that we’re in the throes of a global pandemic, and we need to grieve the loss of what we had before and embrace the new beginning that will come. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’d like life to look like once we are in the recovery phase… things like universal healthcare, maybe a universal basic income, hazard pay for the people that have/had to work during this time to keep us healthy and fed… There are a lot of things that I want to see happen anyway and the pandemic is showing us how important those things are!

In terms of it being something I can do: I can fight for these things! I can donate to politicians I support who espouse these ideals and I can volunteer for causes I support. I personally really like participating in Postcards to Voters – I like sending mail, it’s a very effective form of voter outreach, and I can do it from the comfort of my own home.

Spread: 3am Tarot
Deck: Star Spinner by Trungles

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April 6, 2020 7:25 pm

Face Mask

The low-grade fever I mentioned in my last post? It lasted TEN WHOLE DAYS. I never did get any respiratory symptoms, though I did have a “bounding pulse” (where you can feel your pulse throughout your whole body) and the occasional terrible headache. The pulse thing lasted for a couple of days after the fever stopped and it felt awful so I’m very glad it has pretty much gone away.

Did I have COVID-19? I have no idea. Since testing isn’t widespread and I didn’t have any respiratory symptoms, I assumed I wouldn’t be able to be tested and just waited it out at home and figured I’d try to get a test if respiratory symptoms set in, which they did not.

I was pretty much a human slug with cotton balls for brains for those two weeks and ignored the children’s schooling and all responsibilities except my tiny allotted amount of work hours per week that I can do from home. Immediately after the fever went away I looked up Duolingo and began learning Norwegian. Jeg er en kvinne og jeg heter Meggan! I have also been very tempted to buy this guide to kulning but haven’t gone through with it yet. Kulning is amazing, I watched this guide by Maria Misgeld and it really made me think I could do it.

Today marked week three of filing and certifying for unemployment and the stupid website still says “Pending Issue Stopping Payment” and I haven’t received any money. The first week is typically a waiting period (though that was waived after I applied) so I wasn’t expecting it right away, but come on! Three weeks?! I have paid into this my whole life, just let me access these funds so I can buy groceries. If you think you’ve given money to me in error, fix it later!!! You know where to find me! Bills don’t wait so I don’t see why unemployment funds wait.

A face mask with elastic ear straps and a floral lining.

I sewed Daniel a face mask today because he has to physically go in to work tomorrow for the first time in three weeks. I’m sure it’s better than nothing but I’m also sending him with a leftover N95 mask from when we redid our living room floor in 2015 because I think it’ll be more effective.

Coffee needs to be roasted and I’m glad he’s still employed, but it does make me nervous.

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March 25, 2020 5:43 pm

Schrödinger’s Coronavirus

We are, like many other people around the world, holed up in our house and have been since last Wednesday.

However, what I did not expect during this quarantine was to have developed an intermittent, very mild fever.

I feel mostly fine during the day and my temperature is always normal in the morning. Toward the afternoon, my head will start feeling slightly throbby and my temperature is 99.0°-99.4°F. I did have some mild throat discomfort (I wouldn’t even call it a sore throat as it didn’t really hurt; mostly I was just aware I had a throat when normally you don’t notice it) for the first couple of days, and a headache for one or two.

I have been quietly panicking and waiting for the other (respiratory) shoe to drop, but it’s been six days of this and it has –thankfully– not yet dropped. I think there is a smallish but non-zero chance I have COVID-19 given that there have been several tests performed in our town and all of them have come back negative, but I am still scared.

The trouble with having Schrödinger’s Coronavirus is that without adequate testing and timely results, you have to assume it is Coronavirus and proceed accordingly. With my symptoms, I doubt I’d be able to obtain a test and even if I did, I’d be doing the same things – staying at home, resting, hydrating, and not being in contact with anybody else. I’m currently unemployed (though I theoretically have a job to go back to once the immediate danger has passed) due to COVID-19 so work has not been an issue. Daniel developed a fever the day after I did, so he’s been in the same boat. We had a friend pick up our online grocery order this week since we didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house, just in case.

Wesley’s 10th birthday is today.

We had to cancel the small trip we were going to take him on for his birthday. I felt like a hypochondriac canceling it and that was only twelve days ago – now I can’t imagine voluntarily taking a trip ANYWHERE, and our Governor has forbidden nonessential travel now anyway. We had planned the trip in lieu of a party or presents because it felt like a nice, non-consumerist thing to do and I felt would probably be more memorable than whatever toy we’d buy him, but functionally what this meant was that he ended up with no trip, no party, and no presents.

I had a last-minute brainwave and remembered that our local Waldorfy-type shop does online orders and has a local pickup option. I asked a friend to get my order for me, and voila! Wesley got to open a new game (Set) and some of those fancy Waldorf giant clothespins for blanket-fort-making today. Daniel included a dozen doughnuts on our grocery order so Wesley could have the doughnut breakfast he asked for. It wasn’t the giant glazed doughnut he wanted but it was the best we could do given the circumstances.

I have a feeling his birthday is still going to be memorable but for all the wrong reasons.

The things getting me through our quarantine have been:

  • Disney+ – my first emergency quarantine purchase and it has served us well so far.
  • Instagram – I have thoroughly enjoyed watching @danielkanter painstakingly restore his entryway, @instadanjlevy cooking and telling everyone to stay home, and @roxanegay74 baking all the things. I have also enjoyed keeping up with friends and family even though we are forcibly parted during this time.
  • The NIN album “Still” which I somehow completely missed in 2002 and am making up for now.

Thora has been having daily meltdowns, and I think it’s a combination of being hangry and all the upheaval to her life. Her kindergarten teacher was out on maternity leave for the last couple of months and was supposed to return after spring break. With the extra school closures (we’re off until April 20th at the earliest) I think there’s a distinct possibility she won’t get to see her beloved teacher again this school year and I’m so sad for her.

She is otherwise having a great time on quarantine – crafting up a storm, making her own math worksheets, playing with LOL dolls and narrating her entire life out loud.

The most difficult thing for me has been the overwhelming noise. The other night, Daniel tried to play me The Gambler by Kenny Rogers because I was insisting I’d never heard it, and Thora began loudly narrating the fruit snack math she was doing and Wesley took that opportunity to galumph through the house like a herd of elephants and I burst into tears. I knew it was silly so I started to laugh too, but it really was so overwhelming that my brain short-circuited and I cried.

Speaking of crying… this upcoming paragraph is a whole series of blog posts unto itself, but I grew up in a family where feelings were not a thing and you don’t talk about them and also you don’t have them. Outwardly displaying my emotions feels like an enormous, manipulative burden on other people, so I try my best not to do it, and part of me prides myself on not burdening people. The thought of crying in front of other people is so tremendously embarrassing!!! I still have flashbacks to the time I was so thankful for my coworker who stepped in to help while I was recuperating from my leg break that I blubbed in front of everyone at the company holiday party (it was mostly therapists, but still). I don’t often cry in front of my husband.

I sobbed in my car after Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race. I had gone to a slow flow yoga class and silently wept during savasana and then I got in my car to leave and just… lost it. Full, heaving sobs about sexism and injustice and patriarchy and all of it. I’m still not really over it, to be honest. I don’t know that I will ever be.

I knew that a Trump presidency would be bad. As the meme says, I did not have being unemployed and forcibly shut in my home during a global pandemic on my personal Bingo card, but I knew it would be bad. This administration’s response to the pandemic is actively making the problem worse and I just feel like my brain cannot comprehend A) how bad it currently is, and B) how bad it’s still going to get. We are nowhere near the end and I am terrified he is going to insist we reopen businesses and schools to boost his own investments and I’m really afraid of what that will do to us, collectively, physically and emotionally.

This has been an enormous brain dump of quarantine thoughts, but I am also genuinely interested in how everyone else is doing. I’m still too unfocused too read anything so I’ve mostly been trawling social media to keep busy.

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Unemployed? How are you holding up?

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