How Do You Keep Your Balance?

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My second night back at the phone bank job went well. I’m losing some of my anxiety and hesitancy to ask for money when a potential donor says no right away.

I woke up feeling ok this morning. I sold plasma and got to see the end of the movie Passengers at the plasma center. I bought a few groceries – but spent too much on dog food that was marked down but still too expensive.

I still don’t feel safe most of the time. When I read my cards, I’ve had bad cards come up a few times, including the 10 of swords, which could mean someone planning to stab me in the back. I keep wondering if it’s my roommate. She said she was glad I worked things out with our landlady, but I have a hard time trusting her completely. We’ve got one of her friends living here now, taking over my landlady’s old room. Maybe she wants to get me out so she can have another of her friend’s here? She and her friends are all young and smoke weed for fun. I probably seem like an old fuddy-duddy. I think being witchy is not seen as a bonus for most people either. That probably either spooks people or makes them think I’m weird. I try to stay out of the way and in my room most of the time.

How can you tell when your intuition is good vs. just being paranoid?

The betrayal and abandonment I’ve already experienced in my life makes me hesitant to trust people. When my roommate throws out my food, puts her stuff on my bathroom shelf, or when I can’t find things, I immediately think she’s trying make me feel marginalized. When I find the things I misplaced though, I’m glad I didn’t say anything about it.

Am I misreading the vibe I keep getting that she doesn’t really want me here?

I’m not happy. I’m still scared. I still don’t feel safe.

Lately I keep wondering if I should move to Vacaville, to be close to my new job. I don’t have money to move though. I don’t even have enough for the rent I’m supposed to be paying where I’m living now.

The next payday will bring some money, but it probably won’t be enough. As long as my blood protein level stays up, I’ll be able to get some money for my plasma though.

I wish I could be feel safe and be safe.

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My Ancestor Altar (Soul Collage Cards)

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My mother isn’t actually dead, but she’s not the person she used to be. Alzheimer’s has slowly eaten away at her brain for the last ten years, so now her mind is like that of an infant. As my Soul Collage card for Mom shows, ours was often a strained and difficult relationship, though we had some fun times too. I admired her for her independence, strength, resilience, humor and “joie de vive”.

My relationship with my father was better, despite him being married to another woman other than my mother and how he abandoned me after I graduated from collage. He looked after me after school when I was younger, helped me do my homework, read with me, taught me how to ride a bike and swing a bat. He taught me a love for science and logic, as well as for keeping an open mind about hidden creatures and paranormal phenomena. He gave me my allowance and bought me ice cream when I got good grades. He shared with me the poetry he wrote about fallen comrades in WWII. When he left, he gave me the items he’d kept in a safe deposit box while I was growing up, including a little poem he wrote about me as a small child.

I put a cup of coffee with lots of sugar and milk in it on my ancestor altar for him today. Next to that I put 3 butterscotch candies. He liked coffee candy too. Maybe because he grew up during the Great Depression, he learned to add as much cream and sugar into his coffee as he could? He had a harder childhood than my mother did, but she also had her share of hardships. He was named after an earlier sibling who had died in infancy.  He always hated that, because he felt like the “ghost” of that other child made it hard for him to be his own person when he was young. He used to do his homework in the local pool hall, because there was too much yelling and noise at home. He hung out at the local brothel and was sent to buy little necessities for the prostitutes, because they weren’t allowed on the proper side of town. He probably left home pretty young to make his way in the world. He never said much about his father, who I gather wasn’t very nice, but he loved his mother, who was probably kinder.

I used to have a few black and white pictures he gave me of himself as a baby, his mother, himself as a young man, and the house he was born in, but they were all lost when I became homeless last year. I have a few other pictures of him with me as a young child that I rescued from my mother’s house before the squatter took it over and changed the locks.

I have a picture of my sister and her boys on my altar. She has them to mourn her and think fondly of her. My father probably only has me.

I have a picture of my dear wolf-dog Tasha, my “fur-daughter”, who was the closest I’ll ever have to a child of my own.

These are the 3 passed-over relatives I think of most often, though I sometimes think of  my mother’s aunts and parents too. Her mother died when I was a baby, so I only know her from the stories my mother told about her.

Once she sent my mother out to pick a bucket full of cherries for a pie. My Mom thought she couldn’t fill the whole bucket, so she put dirt in the bottom and cherries on top. When my grandmother dumped the bucket out into the sink, my mother ran, thinking she’d get in trouble. My grandmother just laughed though, realizing my mother hadn’t meant any harm. My mother said her mother often cried, so I suspect she suffered from depression. She said she was thankful for her wonderful children though, so I imagine she was a pretty good mother.

My mother and my sister took their middle names from my grandmother. When I was born, my mother gave me my sister’s name for my middle name. My grandmother complained that I should have been named after her too, because a child is supposed to be named after their grandparents, not after their siblings. My mother laughed and said, “You already have 2 named after you.” I’m glad I was named after my sister, but I used to think that if I ever had a daughter, I would name her after my grandmother to continue her remembrance.

On my mother’s side of the family, I’ve always felt like the “throw-away child”. My mother put my sister’s and brother’s names on our great family tree,  but she never put mine on it. My mother used to tell me that she thought my father had a son by another woman, but he never spoke of any other children, so I think I was probably his only child and the end of his line.

I think he tries to look after me now, so I don’t feel quite so alone.

Running Out of Time?

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I expect my landlady may show up tomorrow and try to hand me a 3 day notice. She sent a copy of one to my roommate to give me today, but if it’s dated for tomorrow, that’s probably not legal. I didn’t respond to her text notice last night, and I don’t think sending a text like that is legally binding anyway.

I  filled out online forms for my new job today, the one that doesn’t start until November 28. I also talked to a hiring manager who’s interested in hiring me for my old job at the company that’s now under new ownership. That would be closer and probably easier, if my old supervisor wouldn’t stop them from rehiring me.

Almost all the tarot readings I’ve done for myself or that others have done for me say everything’s going to be fine, Success is either here or right on the horizon, but I still need money that I don’t have. One guy did one reading for me with the 5 of Pentacles (Poverty and Suffering) in the future, but that card was pretty much the exception from the rest of the reading.

My roommate wants me to talk to our landlady and explain to her that I’m about to get a job and rent money. I feel like I want to hide from her until I have the money to hand to her.

The job in Vacaville scares me, mostly because the company is so strict, but also because the long drive might be hard on my car and the long hours might be hard on me.

Taking my old job seems easier, but every time I dreamt of going back there to work as a temp, the same management problems from before were still a problem. In my dreams, I always leave thinking I don’t have to work there anymore and it’s not my fault that they’re still so messed up. In “real life” people seem to be leaving that company like rats leaving a sinking ship, so I don’t think that’s actually a secure job either.

I wish I could get something NOW, to start Monday or sooner, so I can pay my rent and other expenses that will hit next week.

I sold plasma this morning and put $20 of that $25 into gas money. New California gas taxes hit tomorrow, so I wanted to fill up my tank today. I can get another $30 for selling more plasma on Friday or Saturday, but I can’t continually give twice a week, because my blood protein levels would drop too low.

A Devil & Paper Horses – part 2 (dream interpretation)

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The Devil in tarot can represent being bound by addictions. For me it represents depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s the force that tries to destroy me, the self-destructive force which I have to continually fight against.

According to this page – http://www.spiritanimal.info/horse-spirit-animal/ ,

The horse spirit animal symbolizes personal drive, passion and appetite for freedom. Among all the spirit animals, it is one that shows a strong motivation that carries one through life. The meaning of the horse varies depending on whether this animal spirit guide is represented as wild, tamed, moving freely or constrained.

Horse spirit animals are likely to represent your inner strength and driving force in life. A typical symbolism for the horse is one of an animal representing physical strength, vitality, but also our psychological or emotional ability to go on in life.

Depending on what this spirit animal means to you, it could symbolize your ability to overcome obstacles in life and pursue your goal no matter what may stand on your way.

According to psychologist Carl Jung, horses symbolize natural forces mastered by human beings. Just like we harness a horse to ride it or use its power, we can harness our own energy or nature’s to serve us and bring us further.

A horse spirit animal, especially when it appears to you in a dream, is likely to represent your energy or drive to express your authentic self and succeed in life. This spirit animal could also be a reflection of how well you deal with your primitive desires and urges, whether you live with them in harmony or if they are difficult to control.

If your horse spirit animal appears to you in a bad dream as a weak or suffering animal, it could characterize a mental or emotional state you experience in your waking life. If the horse is mistreated or suffers in the dream, your animal spirit guide could warn you to take your needs seriously before you’re going deep in trouble.

Such an image is likely a call to consider what supports you and brings your energy and joy in life as opposed to confining yourself into limiting beliefs or other people’s expectations. For instance, look at constructive ways to support others while taking into account your own needs.

White is associated with elevating your mood or spiritual aspirations; the white horse is a symbol for developing awareness of your instincts and intuition. [End quote]

For me, the 3 white paper horses are a direct corollary to the 3 white puppies in the previous dream. The puppies represented my child-like vulnerable side that needs to be protected, but is in some way being neglected and starved.

The paper horses may represent writing, as well as the antidote to the negative thinking which the devil symbolizes. In some way this negativity creates my desire to write, and thus to harness and transform my negative emotions into something positive and aspirational.  The Devil in Tarot is not entirely negative, but is rather something that challenges us to overcome it’s negative aspects, while incorporating it’s life-affirming positive aspects. Horses represent a similar kind of physicality and life-affirmation, but controlled and thus without the negative side that the Devil represents. The color white further emphasizes positive spirituality.

In the earlier dream with the puppies, the one told me it was in need of nurturing. In this later dream from the same night, I helped rescue the vulnerable pets, then went back to rescue the paper horses – symbolizing my desire to live and create meaning and purpose in my life.

The clock tower building represents time somehow – either the pressure of time or learning through time? – Note also that I’m not alone in this fight against the devil, but have the help of some friends or a kind of community of like-minded people. Battling this devil is my own fight, however, even though I have their help in establishing a place where we can all feel safe.

Why are there multiple pet animals? Just now I’m reminded of the animal spirits called daemons in the book, The Golden Compass. Perhaps they represent the daemon spirits of the other people too?

 

 

A Devil & Paper Horses – part 1 (a dream)

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I’m writing this dream here instead of in my dream journal. It’s an anxiety nightmare.

I’m looking over a big dark room below me, like a basement full of clutter. I’m standing at the top of these stairs after just climbing out of the room myself. Maybe there’s a storm coming and water threatens to flood the room? There were other people and a bunch of small pets in the room that I just helped climb out, and I think they’re on their way to a safer place. Then I look back and see 3 more small animals. They seem to be tiny white horses. I walk back down the stairs to rescue them too. They’re small enough that I can hold all 3 of them in my hands, but as I pick them up, I realize they’re made of paper. They’re just slips of paper that have somehow been magically animated. They still seem alive though. They still seem to have individual “souls” of some kind. As I hold them, I can feel the paper softly brushing against my hands. I know I’m dreaming now, and the physical sensation seems very unusual and wonderful.

I realize the devil or a devil is down there in that basement too. I think he created the horses to try to keep me down there longer. He’s trying to trap me again, but I’ll keep fighting him. I’m also not going to abandon these amazing little horses just because he’s trying to use them to make me vulnerable to him. I hold the horses in my hands as I run away from here and find the place where my friends and the other animals have gone for safety. It’s a tall brick building. The upper exterior looks like a clock. I fly up to a balcony and go inside. There’s a big room here too, dry and well lit, full of furniture and shelves full of all kinds of things. I put the paper horses down on the ground, and they run around as if they’re alive, just like the other pets here. There are dogs, cats, and rabbits.

Everyone here seems safe, but I still worry about the devil chasing us. I fly outside to look around, then try to come back into this room. Outside are dark, narrow, winding city streets, with tall buildings flanking them. The space inside looks a little different now, maybe not as safe and comfortable, but I know places keep changing in dreams, so I tell myself this is the same place and we’re all still safe. I know the devil is still out there too somewhere. I can feel him still stalking me and trying to get me. I wake some time after this.

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My Soul Collage card for my “Devil”.  It represents depression and suicidal thoughts.

 

I’m trying to get ready this morning for another interview at 11 am, for a chemistry lab technician job. It would be a little closer and probably pay better than the one I interviewed for yesterday. – Wish me luck.

Anxiety go away – pretty please with sprinkles

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I’ve spent a couple hours tonight wondering how to post an update while also getting distracted on Facebook. Maybe getting distracted was a good thing, because my anxiety did go down.

I want to explain how I’ve been feeling, but I don’t want my negativity to draw more negativity. Maybe a picture can be a kind of spell, so I picked this shiny gold spiral for my illustration – rather than one about how worried and anxious I’m feeling.

My interview this morning went fine. I have another tomorrow that I hope will go fine too.

On the opposite side, not having rent money is making me sick to my stomach with anxiety and dread. My landlady is supposed to come back on Wednesday. If I still don’t have money, I’ll want to run away and hide again. When I’m this upset, it’s hard to put in more job applications. I’m mostly focused on managing my emotions and not sliding into catastrophic thinking that could make me go suicidal. (I don’t have the means or will to do it anyway, but the thoughts alone are bad for me.)

Today I started worrying, what if I get this job an hour out of town and don’t have money for gas to drive there? What if I lose my home and have to live out of my car? I said I wanted the swing shift and would take the day shift as my second choice, but if I have to live out of my car because I don’t have a house to live in or money for gas, I thought maybe I could work the night shift and sleep in my car during the day? It’s safer to sleep in a car during the day than at night. It’s easier to find a safe place to park during the day, when cops or private security won’t chase you away. If I have to sleep in my car though, I won’t be able to take a shower and change my clothes easily, and my dog will have no place to live.

I want people who read this to understand how this anxiety feels, but I think my friends and family get annoyed with this kind of post. Last night I started freaking out that I wasn’t prepared for the interview questions this morning. ( I managed to read the 5 most important ones before the interview, so I was ready for them.) Last night I worried that my interview blouse should be blue instead of grey. ( I looked for a better blouse in a thrift store and discount store this afternoon, but none was better than the one I already have.) If I didn’t have this lack of rent money problem right now, I would not be freaking out like this, but lately this is making me kind of crazy.

I can cast all kinds of money spells – fast money, happy money, easy money spells – but they can’t work without a means for them to work. I’m not inclined to beg from strangers on a corner or to write bad checks or otherwise try to steal money. I sold some plasma today, but that was only worth $ 25, not the $ 300 I need. I want to earn my money, but even when I do get a new job, the money won’t come fast enough to pay my rent and phone/internet bill.

Money, money come to me.
As I say, so mote it be.

10 And given Free

Potions & Emotions

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I’ve still paid only half my October rent, so even though I’ve had a couple job interviews and have two more early next week, I’m struggling against supreme anxiety when I think of being confronted by my landlady.

I take about a third of the dose for St. John’s wort that’s suggested on the bottle. It says to take 2 capsules (300 mg),  3 times per day.  I usually take 1 capsule in the morning after breakfast and another at night before I go to bed. This is to help keep my anxiety and depression from spiraling out of control into catastrophic thinking. I don’t take anything else to relax except essential oils and herbal teas.

Lately I’ve also been taking hoodoo-style baths, some to draw money and some just to make me feel calm and spiritually protected. The lemongrass, lemon and rosemary bath I described in my previous post seems to work well. I’m using the same blend in a battery-powered diffuser at night.

The last three days I’ve gone to free events to get out of the house and be around a supportive group of witches and pagans. Thursday evening was their new moon ritual. Friday was a hoodoo class on “smelly stuff” (mostly incense). Yesterday was an informal  “Coffee and Conjure” class.

After the Thursday night ritual, we all took home small beeswax candles to burn for what we want to manifest. I don’t usually put much stock in interpreting candle drippings, but I think mine looked pretty good. (I’m trying to not discuss the details of spells that aren’t yet finished, so I’m not saying more on this.)

I was expecting my landlady to be home Saturday, so I was scared and upset yesterday about still not having the rest of her October rent money. It felt good to be able to spend a few hours in a safe place with supportive people at the “Coffee and Conjure” class. (When I was first homeless and went to another pagan gathering, one woman complained about the anxious energy someone was giving off, which made me feel like she only wanted to be around people who didn’t have serious problems in their lives.)

After the class, I went home to feed my dog, but still didn’t want to be here when my landlady came home, so I drove to the Sacramento Co-op and hung out there for a few hours. I bought a few bulk herbs for a relaxing tea and sat in the cafe area for hours, trying to feel safe and protected. I must’ve looked a little crazy, reading my tarot cards and drinking tea alone until 9 pm. I even sprinkled a little salt and pepper to the sides of my table for spiritual protection.

If you don’t experience extreme anxiety yourself, you probably won’t understand how I’ve been feeling. Luckily it’s not constantly this bad, but sometimes I think, “I feel like I’m dying”. Then I remind myself this is just a symptom of my anxiety. I’ve learned that going away from the house is better than hiding in my room, but sometimes I still go into my room and lock my door. In colder weather, I may wear a hoodie when I feel overwhelmed, so I can feel like I can block out some of the world around me. When my other roommate and her boyfriend are here, I may put on headphones and watch YouTube videos in my room.

Obviously, this is not an ideal emotional state for going on job interviews, so I’m trying to compartmentalize my emotions and only allow myself to feel my anxiety on the weekend. By the time Monday comes around, I need to be able to drive an hour to Vacaville for a 10 am interview, then act confident and professional. Tuesday morning I have another interview an hour away in the opposite direction. Thank God my landlady probably won’t be here, so I won’t have to think about dealing with her on these days.

Spiritually I’m also compartmentalizing my immediate need for rent money vs. my more important need for a good job. I’ve basically given the job of getting October rent money to St. Expedite, and as I said in my previous post, he still needs to finish that job. Meanwhile, my work on getting a good job is a reasonable split between putting out applications online, doing a little magic work, then dressing appropriately and trying to put forward a good face for my interviews.

I’d rather not have to drive more than 30 minutes to work, so I’m worried the job in Vacaville may not be ideal. It doesn’t pay that well either, but they’re hiring a lot of people to pick up production for a plant that was destroyed by the recent hurricanes , so my chances of getting hired are probably pretty good.

Last night and this morning I drank a homemade tea of chamomile, St.John’s wort, spearmint, basil, and rosemary. Chemically, chamomile is mildly relaxing, St, John’s wort is a mild serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, spearmint tastes good, and rosemary helps reduce headaches. Magically, chamomile draws money and happiness, St. John’s wort dispels evil spirits, spearmint and basil are protective and draw money, and rosemary helps with mental abilities and is also strongly protective.

I think the chemical qualities of herbs have much to do with their traditional magical qualities, but I think there is also a spiritual quality to things that goes beyond science. Maybe it comes from the connections we humans have made with them in our collective consciousness over the centuries. Maybe it comes from the magical doctrine of signatures or where a plant grows in relation to it’s environment and other plants. In any event, there is more to Life than just molecules and scientifically proven forces. Science is real and should never be ignored, but I believe the elusive qualities of magic are also real and can also be utilized to one’s benefit.

I’ve got emotions moving like ripples in a stream though my brain, but I’ve also got potions to try to calm them down. It doesn’t matter to me whether the potions are based in science or traditional healing and magic.  It doesn’t matter to me if they work because of chemistry, magic or psychosomatic belief. What matters to me is whether they help me get through a rough day, week, month or year in my life.