so, here’s to new beginnings.

I think I’m coming to the end of a cycle.

Have we chatted about that?

For years, my Bipolar II felt unnoticed by me. I think because I have lived with it since I was 15, I just got used to always feeling off with brief times of not, you know? But, as I have gotten older and have tried to be more self-aware, I can see the markers now.

It’s like walking into the ocean knowing there is a huge drop off, but also not knowing exactly where the drop off starts.

I know I will slip off, even when I am slipping.

I cannot stop it, but I know.

All that to say I am resurfacing. It’s ugly and messy and sometimes I feel like I am flailing, but I’m getting there.

I can breathe again.

The words came back a few weeks ago, followed by the cards, and with the arrival of August (a blessed and happy First Harvest or Lammas to you and yours!), I thought I would attempt some tarot challenges being hosted on Instagram.

You know, as a way to help me wade back to shore.

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It’s a lot, I know, but I’m an all-in type of person.

I used my Nomad Tarot deck for @bujowitchcraft’s Tarot for Growth challenge, finding that the II of Swords—or making the decision to stop avoiding making decisions—may help me grow my patience.

For @wildsoulhealing’s Tarot for What is challenge and @owlandbonestarot’s August Tarot Challenge, I used my Lovely Omens deck. My card for the month of August is the inverted V of Cups, suggesting I am ready to move forward from past hurts and difficulties, while my month’s forecast indicates I may accomplish this through the inverted Queen of Cups, an archetype who speaks to self-care and trusting one’s knowing.

Lastly, and just for fun, I tried @mnomquah’s “Why am I so fucking awesome” spread. According to my True Black Tarot deck, my strength can be found in the inverted Magician’s never-ending potential and will to keep trying, while my ability to walk with my darkness and use it to thrive, as seen in the IX of Swords, is a great asset. And, not to be outdone, my talent lies in my gift of seeing what is hidden, in my inner clarity and intuition, as suggested by the inverted Ace of Swords.

So. Not a whole lot of surprises, really. Which is how my readings—for myself and others—tend to go; I am just connecting with what is already true, you know? But, when I’m in a cycle, what I know to be true can feel like a weighted vest, one even the water cannot help me carry.

Right now, though, what I know to be true feels like a life raft.

003.

We turn out the porch light and sort through the candy.

I see him picking pieces out of the cauldron.

My heart sort of sinks when I watch him. I feel . . . bad? Guilty?

Guilty.

I look at the teenager and say, “Maybe you should have gotten candy tonight, then the two of you could have traded like you and your sister used to.”

“What,” the littlest says, overhearing and grabbing a chair at the island, too.

“Yeah,” says the teenager, “Sis and I used to pour our candy on the floor, sort it, and trade for our favorites. Like, I’d give her a Snickers for two Milky Way.”

The littlest thinks for a moment and says, “Well, Sis isn’t here anymore* and you don’t Trick-or-Treat, so I don’t have anyone to do that with.”

Guilt. Definitely guilt.

*Sis is our college freshman.