Every November, I experience a particular, familiar fatigue, the same repetitive thoughts from the year before. It is the season when chronic suicidal ideation strengthens, when it takes root and rapidly solidifies itself in my brain, my blood, my heart and I want to give up. My neighbours choose one sad song and listen to it on repeat for hours, and I cannot escape for my body is in pain, it’s raining, and I cannot afford a coffee every time my home feels to confining for my weakened joints and scattered brain – so I teach myself a cognitive trick, pretend my neighbours know how I’m feeling, care how I’m feeling, and are playing my favourite song in an effort to comfort me from the other side of our too-thin walls, in a crumbling building older than my grandparents, walls with more stories than I’ll ever be able to know.
Each morning, I wake up surprised to begin another day. I slip off my eye mask, put on my purple glasses, take out my swimmer’s ear plugs and place them back in their plastic case, and turn down my white noise machine – not off, just down. I have lived through days that felt impossible, I have felt like the cliché of the phoenix rising from the ashes again and again, I have felt like a caricature of a borderline, and I have felt both re-energized and motivated, and lethargic and fucking bored. My heart feels heavy and my limbs feel weak.
A small corner of my birth chart. Every Scorprio season, the Sun sets aflame the influences of Saturn (rules, structure, boundaries…), Mercury (communication, connections, processing), and Pluto (darkness, shadow sides, destruction of illusions…), as well as my South Node (habits, lessons from the past, gifts, & un/learning…), and asteroid Juno (relationships & partnerships, issues with jealousy & trust…) all at once. Fuck you, Scorpio season.
Lately, I’ve been crying everywhere. I cry on every transit ride I take, I cry in waiting rooms and cafés, I cry at home, in bed, and on my floor; I cry at the post office, the park, bookstores. I cry while I’m performing, cry when I hear about another event I’m missing out on, cry when I feel left out or forgotten, cry when I’m bored of crying. It’s still new to me to be able to cry, especially to be able to cry in public, without also wanting to die – the first time it happened, I was on a bus, on my way to a doctor’s appointment, and the driver had scolded me for not waiting close enough to the bus stop, but remaining at some distance, where there was a bench – he did not want to hear about how I can no longer stand up for the length of a song, let alone an unpredictable bus schedule. So I cried, but I wanted to live. And that was new.
It’s not always like that, though, especially in November – sometimes I do still want to die. It’s always been a difficult season for me, but with my ability to walk becoming less reliable, and with less access to basic needs, each struggle compounds one another until it seems futile to continue – embarrassing, even. When I imagined making art, offering Tarot readings, writing another zine – I felt this awful foreboding, like anyone who saw it would think, How dare you? How dare you try to live? How dare you try to connect, to support, to share, to ask? Why bother?
I turned thirty a month ago. My twin came to the city, and we launched our split zine, Telegram #38 / Critical Breakfast #1. Among other things, we wrote about our Return of Saturn, which happened last November. Although it is not uncommon for me to cry while reading, it surprised me when I did at our launch because I hadn’t been feeling anything beforehand, hadn’t been feeling anything as I was reading. I laughed about it and kept reading – my throat choked and tears appeared, but I didn’t feel much. I am accustomed to feeling numb. Afterward, I offered pay-what-you-can Tarot readings, shuffling the vibrant cards of my Magic Mirrors deck, holding a small space, sometimes painful and sometimes sweet, for each question, each story.
You can buy our split zine through my Etsy, schoolformaps.etsy.com or my twin’s zine distro, Fight Boredom. In Telegram #38, I write about my Return of Saturn and turning thirty, learning how to interpret my birth chart, astrology as a method of self-exploration & healing, reconnecting with past selves and memories of being a teenage witch, practicing Tarot in daily life, lost time, friendship & jealousy, fragmentation, learning how to love myself, and recovery with trauma and chronic pain. In Critical Breakfast #1, Amber Dearest writes about her Saturn return, synchronicity, a bad landlord, working as a lab rat, sobriety, building self-confidence, and an auspicious Tarot reading.
I had no plans for this age, and I still don’t. I have no solid goals. My health is too unpredictable for long-term plans, too precarious for creating step-by-step guides to making dreams come true, for “manifestation,” for imagining anything beyond next week. But despite not knowing where the water will come from, not knowing what the harvest will look like, despite the seemingly toxic soil and shadows obscuring the sun, I plant seeds. I scatter them, not counting them, not noticing their shape or colour, not knowing if they’re root vegetables, healing herbs, or trees where squirrels will play; maybe they’re nothing. Maybe they’re already dead. But I have them. They’re mine.
This Fall, I began offering online Tarot readings through my Etsy shop, and I am now offering readings in my home in downtown Toronto as well. I live in a little bachelor apartment I’ve named Amethyst Cove, and I’ve set up a small space, deep violet meditation cushions on a fluffy lavender rug on my kitchen floor, where we can explore the cards together. My spirituality is grounded in my ongoing experiences with madness and disability, and my Tarot practice prioritizes mad folks, crazy people, disabled folks, queers, trans folks; and writers, artists, and weirdos. Let’s collaborate with one another to create a space that is healing, inspiring, compassionate, wise, re-energizing, and caring – and, of course, confidential. My readings are also pay-what-you-can! Please read on for more information.
Zines, Tarot readings, blog entries, texts to friends, appointments, workshops, books, a cup of coffee – to carry the lazy but apt metaphor – they’re all seeds. I dare. This is how.