Lughnasa and the Michaelmas Moon
Wednesday gratefuls: Orgovyx. Biologic Pharmacies. Money. CBE. The New Year. Rigel, sweet girl. Kep, happy boy. Dan Herman. Rich Levine. Alan Rubin. Marilyn Saltzman. Jamie Arnold. Judy Sherman. The Ancient Ones on peregrinatio. Safeway pickup. Cool breeze last night.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Dan’s honey
Tarot: Ace of Swords
Big news. $800 a month co-pay for Orgovyx. Not my first encounter with the predatory pricing of American pharma. Kate had a drug, I can’t recall the name right now, that was $500 a month. I’m applying for assistance. Yes, that’s enough, with the hit I took from going to one social security check and losing a third of my pension, to bite. In the decision making process between Orgovyx and Lupron. Lupron has a higher incidence of cardi0-vascular side effects. But, it’s only once every three months and covered by insurance.
Can’t imagine what folks do who don’t have resources at our age. And, that’s the bulk of us, I understand. What if you had to choose between rent and your cancer drug? Or, between food and your cancer drug? Self-triage.
On the other hand life is valuable. Sure. And, I want to do what I can to sustain mine. Let me see? Universal health care, anyone?
Boy, that Safeway really steps up. I put in a pick-up order for 8 am. They sent me a text at 6:00. Ready. Come whenever. I’m glad. It makes the morning simpler.
Barring more illness on Jon’s part or another wreck on Ruth and Gabe’s, we’ll finally distribute some of Kate’s ashes at Upper Maxwell Falls this Saturday. When Jon, Ruth, and Gabe can make it. Ruth told me she wanted some of my chicken pot pie so I’m making some on Friday. It’s been a while. Usually makes four to five full pie tins. Freeze well, too. I’ll give her two and keep two here. A good incentive to actually cook.
This will be the last of the family remembrances originally planned for August 18th. I’m planning a Kate offrenda for Dia de los muertos. I’ll burn a yahrzeit candle. (a twenty-four candle burned on the death date, but it seems appropriate.) Mix up the cultures a bit.
Which brings me to Yamantaka. The mandala at the MIA. Where I learned to accept death, my own. Long meditations on my corpse. Greeting the change, the transformation with excitement. Still sad. Yes. But also, what a moment!
Realizing I’ve been such a flat-earth humanist for so many years. Death=extinction. No god. Life is absurd. Don’t give me any of that metaphysical stuff. Changing.
Oddly, part of the stimulus for the change is a Korean tv show I’m watching, Hotel de Luna. It’s on Netflix. Instead of seeing a psychologist, Seoah saw a mudang, a shaman. Kate and I met him. The Korean worldview is a complicated mix of ancient folk traditions and high-tech, global capitalist culture.
Hotel de Luna includes an Asian emphasis on ghosts, vengeful ghosts, shamans, an afterlife, and reincarnation. I’ve always dismissed reincarnation. Part of my existentialist, humanist, empiricist worldview. But. Kabbalah includes reincarnation. Buddy Mark Odegard once said he believes in reincarnation. The Buddhists, do, too. Hindus. None of this is evidence of more than a human desire to continue life in any way. Or, is it?
I’m beginning to open myself to the idea. What does it mean? What could it mean? I can feel the consolation it brings and consolation is pretty important. I know that right now. What about my embrace of the Great Wheel? Was I a Druid in a past life? Or, at least a believer in the auld religion?
When I mentioned how hard I find the idea of synchronicity, Jamie said, “Ah. The inner skeptic.” Yes, exactly. What if the inner skeptic needs an equal, perhaps stronger inner believer? What if I could find him again? I knew him once, right after college and on into seminary. He got a lot of learning from Christian mystics, ascetics, the Celtic Christian Church. He saw Jesus, Moses, and Abraham perched together on the sliver of a crescent moon while meditating.
I miss him. That guy that could embrace the irrational, the possibility of an Other World. And not cringe. Not shrink away. He was a bad boy of the Enlightenment. Oddly, the place I’ve retained most of him is in my Taoist thought. Wu wei? Yes. Sometimes. Follow the chi? Yes. Always. Experience the contradictions of consciousness and dreaming? Oh, yes. Follow the I-Ching? Yes.
Then there’s this Tarot. How can it be so damned meaningful, so consistently? Sure, it evokes archetypal thoughts, realizations. Yes. But, where do those archetypes come from? Is it the collective unconscious?
Changes on the horizon, I can feel them. Not there yet. The inner skeptic is still ascendant, but maybe not for long.
Ace of Swords:
“Keywords: Clarity. Clean break.” DTB
For example. I drew this card before I wrote this post. I didn’t look at its meanings until I finished. I mean… How?
The two commentaries below are from the Rider-Waite card, but the Druid Craft card I drew differs from it in a way especially important to me. This is Excalibur, lifted up by the Lady of the Lake. The intellect (the sword) rising from the unconscious.
The Dawn breaks at an inlet between the Loch and the Mountains to either side. I can see those Trees as Birch or Aspen. The Flowers look like Blue Bells. Both Minnesota and Colorado have the unaltered Natural World as substantial aspects of their identities. Birch or Aspen. The Mountains. A Lake.
This card speaks directly to my inner world. The Celts, Jung, my two favorite places on Earth. Appropriate that it should signify a break through. There are dark clouds there, too, and a Bird, maybe a Heron? The Heron is the on the card for the King of Vessels in the Wildwood Tarot.
I drew that card two nights ago. I’ve begun drawing a card at night, something to meditate on before I go to sleep.
Here’s a description: “As a bird that welcomes the dawn and often lives alone, the heron is known for its awareness and spiritual thoughts that its creator offers. This bird, defending ancient secrets, is said to stand at the gate between life and death, acting as a mediator between the Celtic’s journey of the soul to another world and reincarnation.”
Don’t understand how these things can be so closely linked, but perhaps that’s the point. I don’t need to understand, but accept.
“New ideas, new plans, intellectual ability, victory, success, mental clarity, clear thinking, breakthroughs, ability to concentrate, communication, realising the truth, vision, force, focus, intensity, stimulating people and environments, new beginnings, new projects, justice, assertiveness, authority, making the correct decision.” Tarotguide.
“As with all the aces, the Ace of Swords indicates that one is about to experience a moment of breakthrough. With its sharp blade and representing the power of the intellect, this sword has the ability to cut through deception and find truth. In layman’s terms, this card represents that moment in which one can see the world from a new point of view, as a place that is filled with nothing but new possibilities.” Labryinthos