Archive | Sacred pop culture

On Repeat

Ya’ll I was downloading some music this weekend and realized I did not create ANY playlists for myself in 2017. What. The. Fuck.

I date and name my playlists and there were none for 2017. Granted, it was a tough year. And I didn’t download much music- I needed my old favorites. But music is a source of so much joy and creativity for me, I was really stunned by the fact that I didn’t make any playlists last year.

So.

Since it’s my last day of being 42, I got a little playlist por moi and por vou. It’s the stuff I’ve had playing on hard repeat (meaning, 20 times in a row or more) for the last few months. They say INFJ’s like to do that- play a song on hard repeat- but it’s not usually my style. I guess I’m changing.

Here’s what’s been keeping me musical company.

Intro | The xx

This track is only 2:07 minutes long, but I could listen to it on repeat for a good long time (which is basically what the people in the link did- awesome). The rest of the album I don’t care for. The Intro, though- yum.

 

Into the Ocean | Blue October

When toxic masculinity gets you down and you want to commit suicide- that’s what this song is about. Only it’s the loveliest way to say those things (almost Alt-J levels of wordsmithing). Let the rain come down. (Also: dude’s eye makeup is sexy af.)

 

On and On | Stephen Bishop

For three weeks I was all “…she just keeps on tryin’ and she smiles when she feels like crying…on and on…” This song is an aspirin when your heart aches.

 

On the Dark Side | John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

Played this 15 times in a row while I emptied the dishwasher and moshed at the same time. (It can be done. Don’t break the dishes.) ‘She’ll never know just how I feel…slip to the dark side, across that line.’ I’m gonna cross that line someday, I just know it.

 

Life is Beautiful | Vega 4

Soft and sweet. A good reminder that life is complicated but also so very beautiful. There are miracles.

 

Sunday cereal with iPod and insulin pump. A good life.

 

Tiny Dancer | Elton John

Who doesn’t want someone with pretty eyes and a pirate’s smile? Lovely. Always lovely.

 

Somebody Else | The 1975

This is one of the cruelest sentiments ever: I don’t want you, but I don’t want anyone else to have you, either. And yet, this song makes it sound palatable. I, myself, could never do that or claim that- I either want you or I don’t. But I get how it feels. The song is clearly a walk through bittersweetness, which is my favorite emotion, so it gets a pass on cruelty.

 

I Like Me Better | Lauv

This song is full on pop, but I really love it. It reminds me of when my husband and I were falling in love- he made me feel like I was my best self all the time, and that it was easy to stay there and be that way. When someone makes you feel like that- lit up, good, whole, accepted – don’t let them go. It doesn’t happen very often.

[For whatever reason, though, the energy of this song doesn’t belong to my ‘falling in love’ feelings. Some songs have people attached to them or ideas or information- this is what happens when you’re in touch with other realms. And when I dance to this one, it belongs to N. No idea why, tbh. It’s just that his face is there when I open myself the alternate dimensions of the music. Weird, but true.]

::: ::: ::: :::

This is what has occupied my mind and heart for the last few months, loves. Hope you enjoy something here, too.

All my love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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America is a 15 year-old boy

Specifically, a 15 year-old cis, hetero boy. And one who needs to get his shit together.

I should have written this post months ago. And that fact that I’m still capable of writing it- because nothing of significance has changed – kinda pisses me off. Alas…we’re here and there’s nothing to do but accept it.

Think of each country in the world as a person unto itself. We might imagine Ireland as a beautiful red-headed woman of about 30 years. She’s been through some violent growth spurts, raging inside herself to decide who really rules her, but she’s finally come to peace in the last few years. We can imagine England as a an older man, still white and cranky, but not so hell-bent on penis-waving conquering as he was in his 20s. (I think of England in its empire-building stage very much like Maverick from “Top Gun”- ready to prove its superiority at every turn, no matter the cost. These are simplified metaphors in many ways, but still valuable for examination and insight purposes, I think.)

And then there’s America. How can we tell America is a 15 year-old boy and not something else? We look at American culture and see: what does America like? What does it value? Uphold? You can tell a lot by what a culture produces and prefers- just like what a person produces and prefers.

Kardashians.
Sex.
It could give a shit about education or facts.
Addiction, and social circumstances that cause a fuck ton of depression.
Lack of critical thinking skills.
Prefers short-term solutions.
Political masturbation of the lowest sort.
Personal (white) supremacy. In other words, ‘if they ain’t me, fuck ’em.’
A distinct lack of wisdom.
Blaming others for its circumstances.
Just wants to go fast and fuck.
Playing power games with bravado and stupidity.
Easily entertained with bright lights and not much substance.
Heroics instead of actual care.
Lack of compassion.

[[I apologize to 15 year-old boys who don’t fit this mold; I know your smart, compassionate selves are out there.]]

And you can most certainly tell that America is a 15 year-old cis-het boy because a significant portion of the electorate felt Donald Trump was a good leader. A man who said so little of substance that everyone could project their hopes and ideas on him- and look at what they projected. Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, class warfare, and white supremacy for miiiiles.

We’re kinda disgusting. And I say “we’re” on purpose- because even if we didn’t vote for the Trashman, we are part of this culture and contributing to it with our every decision and indecision. Unless we are actively fighting it, we’re contributing to it. And I include myself in that judgement.

 

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

 

Here’s the thing, though. America has a better side. It has a better persona that is fighting to make its way out. Which is also how we know America is a 15 year-old; it’s still deciding who it is, and probably will be for a while.

What I know about the other side of America is that it is a side that it holds the opposite of most the qualities I listed previously.

The other side of America, the side that is fighting for its very breath, is so much better. It contains a lot of white supremacy still, but it also contains:

Compassion.
Acceptance of science and facts.
It reads books.
It imagines.
It’s gone to therapy for its issues.
It has broken, wailed, and healed- it knows the path of growth.
It knows that the value + integration of diversity and equality are necessary.
It might like sex, but it asks for consent.
It values transparency, vulnerability, and honesty.
It takes responsibility for its actions.
It seeks long-term solutions that are both efficient and effective for the Earth and its people.
It applies wisdom.
It upholds the feminine.
It doesn’t put up with immature bullshit.

There are people fighting daily to keep this America alive inside the body of the 15 year-old boy version of America. It’s a hard fucking fight- most especially for those who are fighting despite marginalization and resources withheld by policy and policing (and they are often the groups fighting the hardest. A lot of white ladies who marched in pink hats last January are still stepping on the necks of black women).

Here’s the thing about 15 year-old boys, though- nobody really wants to be around a kid like this. Most (not all, but many) other countries have gotten past this age and while they will nod and smile, they’re not about to let this dolt do any damage to the greater good of the planet (thank god). And 15 year-old boy America can stand around and swing its dick everywhere, but eventually everyone gets tired of the show (and really, 15 year-old dicks have no useful experience to offer us anyhow).

I believe that the majority of America, who voted for ‘not Trashman,’ have the upper hand and will eventually win out. It may take a while to undo the pissing contest mess that’s been created in a single year, but I trust it will be done. And I trust that actual jobs bills will be passed and single-payer healthcare will finally get rooted, and maybe even basic income will become a national thing. Because the one thing about fighting with ourselves is that we either die psychologically in the process (which would be fine, we can begin all over again, in that case) or the more evolved side wins out (check your personal experience with 15 year-old boys and see if I’m not right). Human culture always wants to move itself forward, and so I trust in that.

In the mean time, give yourself to the fight for America to grow up and get its shit together as often as you can. Our daily choices spread out beyond us in the same way that stones dropped in a lake make waves and eventually change the shoreline. America can be something smarter, more compassionate and fair, and a good person in the world again. I believe that because I know the sorts of people who fight for this- we are healed, we are aware, we are compassionate and intelligent. And there are more of us.

I’ll leave you with the words of our great leader, Beyonce: boy, bye.

 

 

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New Moon in Sagittarius

Good evening, fellow travelers. Tonight we find ourselves with the new moon, dark moon, in Sagittarius. The new moon is my favorite, generally. I often feel calm, open, aware, and grounded. But the last two weeks- perhaps because it’s Mercury in Retrograde? – have been quite the roller coaster ride.

I was watching Love, Actually today (I know it’s sexist and awful, but it’s still a holiday fave at my house) and it is the perfect parallel for my life these past few weeks- hope, elation, joy, fear, disappointment, confusion. Up, down; up, down. The storyline also reminded me that there are lots of Joanna’s (in the film there are two: one who dies and one who is loved by a central character) and that as long as I’m taking action, with my best intentions, using the tools I have available, something useful will come of this phase. [I hope.]

The new moon signals the end of the last moon cycle, but also the beginning of the next one. This is the time to plant our dreams and hopes in the dark of the new moon, and take action to nurture that to the next full moon. I know that the only thing I can plant tonight is the thing I always pray for: the highest good for everyone.

Here’s what’s on the menu for the new moon in Sagittarius:

From The Sky Priestess:

Remember that in this time powerful seeds are being set. And they´re not about today, tomorrow, or even a few years from now. We´re talking about decades.

That might feel intimidating, but it does not have to be.
If you don´t know where you´re meant to be headed, make no decision except that you choose to be aligned to the path of your greatest evolutionary potential, grace, joy and blessings – for yourself and all others…

…There is no magic spell or healing modality that will do that for you at this time. Only your conscious will and intent. As we are entering a time in which (eventually) no intermediaries will be required in accessing the frequency of Divine energy.

We will have to re-think, re-learn and develop entirely new languages of what ´healing´ looks like. An extraordinary threshold exists between what aligns with the old Piscean paradigm, and that which we are all aligning towards creating.

Reclaim your identity as a Sovereign Being, a Co-Creator alongside or within Divine Consciousness.

 

From Chani Nicholas:

In Sagittarius, Saturn has demanded that we understand the limits of our beliefs. Where they are faulty. What about them needs to be developed. Which of them are too ill-constructed to be of service to our truth. Unstable theories needed to be put out to pasture. Philosophies that proved themselves unworthy of our dedication needed to be done away with. Only beliefs that can withstand the austere glare of Saturn should be taken into 2018.

The rest should be left in the past.

The new moon also trines Uranus. The deity of innovation, breakthroughs and boundless insights blesses this new moon with its gifts. Since Saturn and Uranus have been in an ongoing trine with one another this past year, the theme this new moon picks up on is not new, but timeless in its wisdom.

The right commitments will set you free.

Being bound to our becoming requires ceaseless work but offers us unending freedom. Without discipline, consciousness escapes us. It takes rigorous effort to look at ourselves. To witness where we shrink away from accountability. To spot the times we slip out of our integrity. To notice when we have chosen an easier route around the truth. To love ourselves enough to forgive ourselves and do the hard work of healing.

Honesty opens up every possibility for evolution. Without it we are just roaming around the same issues thinking we have gotten some place new. This new moon asks us to embrace the strides we have taken to push past the barriers of self doubt and to embrace the effort it takes to truly mature. Efforts that will, in the end, bring gifts so abundant we wonder why anyone would pass up such a sacred task.    

 

If you just want some personal guidance, I always love Rob Brezsny’s Freewill Astrology. His perspective is a little different, and I dig that.

And this is from Mystic Mama:

There are 5 planets in Sagittarius at this New Moon, so the cosmos wants us to pay attention.

“Sagittarius is the sign honoring truth, vision, belief and optimism that can light a fire within each of us.

“Occurring during the darkest time of year in the northern hemisphere brings the image of Light into clear focus.

“In the dark, we seek the light.

“Our purpose (Sun), our emotional body (Moon), our mind (MercuryRx), our body’s wisdom (Venus), and our authority (Saturn) want to be clothed in that light…

“This New Moon is seeded in the Galactic Center, so let the eternal truths of the cosmos take root in your hearts so they blossom in these next, oh so important years for humanity.

“Let go of old perceptions and open to extraordinary possibilities that might whisper in your hearts during meditations and journeys.

“Trust that the Universe knows what It’s doing when it chooses YOU to channel its creativity and vision.

“Mercury is retrograding back over the Galactic Center degree, so it will go over this degree three times – and you know that the Goddess always works in 3s.

“So just let the information come in – you won’t know it all until after the New Year.

::: ::: ::: :::

It appears to be a time of decision-making and action, but only after we’ve examined our deepest hearts and listened to whatever guidance The Something offers us. If you need me, I’ll be meditating for my own heart and guidance. Come sit with me.

Big love, fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

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Full Moon in Gemini

Well, ya’ll, I’m a day late with this. My apologies. The full moon was yesterday, December 3rd. But it still looks real pretty tonight, so squint your eyes and pretend it’s still full.

It was also a super moon.

And Mercury in retrograde started yesterday as well. (You know I love me some Mercury in retrograde.)

I think tonight we’ll start with a short definition of terms for the newbies.

The full moon generally signifies shedding light on things or the fruition of intentions set in the darkness of the new moon. It also symbolizes wholeness and completion. The Chinese associate the full moon with the femininity, which is yin energy. Several cultures understand the full moon to be part of the natural cycle of life, moving though light and dark, death and birth.

A super moon simply means the full moon happens when the moon is at its perigee with the Earth- the closest to Earth that it will reach this cycle. Energetically, this just means whatever is already going on with the moon itself is now amped.

Retrograde planetary motion is an optical illusion which makes it appear that the planet in question (in this case, Mercury) is moving backwards. The opposite of retrograde motion (or Rx for short; I also use MiR to keep it super short for Mercury) is direct motion. Of course, the planets are not really going backwards. And, as my friend, X, pointed out, Mercury is in Rx half the time, so that feels a little more like yin/yang balance than something to be feared. But, choose your own adventure, folks.

The Tarot Lady continues:

“Mercury is attributed to communication, travel, electronics, thinking and mechanical objects – so when this planet begins to stall, we may experience problems in those areas.

The transit lasts for approximately three weeks.  And those who are sensitive to this transit may actually begin to feel the energy early during the shadow period, which begins about three weeks before the actual retrograde.” (For more info, see her article here.)

For most people, shit tends to go wrong in the areas listed above during Mercury in Rx, but not for moi. I love Mercury in Rx because my life tends to run better during those weeks. No idea why.

Anyhooo….now you have your terms. Let’s see what’s being served up with this super, full, Mercury in retrograde moon.

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In thinking of the week leading up to yesterday’s full moon, Chani Nicholas writes:

This is a weekend where folks will want to reach for the ideal scenario. A weekend that can remind us of the exquisite importance of optimism. A weekend that makes known the consequences of mistaking a mirage for a final destination.

As Jupiter trines Neptune (the first of three transits between these two over the course of the next year) the urge to connect is magnified. These two together want to bring out the best of our human hearts. They want to elevate our minds to places where we might remember how incredible a gift it is to make even the smallest acts of kindness central to our everyday life. They want to bring us back to the importance of striving for some larger understanding of our little human life and extending that out to all we come in contact with.

It’s a high worth riding.

::: ::: ::: :::

Photo by David Zvonař on Unsplash

 

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Over at Empowering Astrology, they’re saying:

This is the time in the lunar calendar when the spotlight shines on communication and the mind, from writing and speaking to classes and learning. Gemini is driven by a need for information and new ideas. It’s a sign that also shows us that there is two sides to every story.

On paper Gemini is fun. It likes play, especially if it involves language. It likes to keep things fast and loose. It’s generally not a sign known for its committal…So, what happens when Gemini has to make a choice? And choose just one?

The story that this full moon is highlighting is far from over. Mercury Retrograde means that we have to go back and reexamine our beliefs or how we see something, double check the facts, and do more research. Mercury Retrograde means that whatever we’re working through has karmic underpinnings. Have we made the right decisions? Are we open to new ideas or are we shut down by inflexible beliefs? Mercury won’t get back to 29 Sagittarius until January 10, so this story will play out into the new year.

The best remedy for this full moon is to find a quiet place to reflect. Neptune wants us to find our intuition and find the truth within. Spend time meditating over the next couple of days. Journal your feelings if you like to write. It is in the quiet that we can take awareness of our choices and be conscious of how we use words, language, and ideas. By the new year we’ll have a clearer idea of how to move forward.

::: ::: ::: :::

Mystic Mama writes:

SuperMoon in Gemini is prismatic with information, able to shapeshift into multiple expressions.

Not an easy path to discern. Best not to get swept up with the tides of misinformation, instead ground into your own center and listen deeply to your Soul.

With Mercury just having turned retrograde, there is much to reflect on. This a healing time as well as a time of self-mastery where we have an opportunity to cleanse our perceptions and open up to a new way.

Time to upgrade our thinking and remember that we are free to perceive our experience in what ever way we choose.

We are powerful beyond measure. Trust in your process and trust in your heart.

 

::: ::: ::: :::

Trust in your process and trust in your heart. Good advice, fellow travelers. I’m trying to do that here, too.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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