Full Moon, Hibernation, and Readings

(Cover art by the author)

I, and consequently The Slow Down, have been on a bit of a hiatus. The past month or so has been distracting and overwhelming. The oppressive heat of the summer -- not to mention other multitudinous oppressions -- have really been weighing me down as season wraps up.

Astrologists and woo masters of all stripes tried to warn us that this late summer "Eclipse Season 2017" would be a damn doozy. Well I dare say it's nearly done me in.

And I know I’m not alone. Most of the online creative folk I follow have retreated in some way, taking social media and writing breaks, noting their spiritual inertia; and, when they do publish, posting lightly-edited heartfelt rambles that were real kicks in the gut to read.

Although I've been in good company, I've missed blogging and creating and connecting. It seems that with today's full moon and Mercury's stationing direct, I'm finally able to emerge from the mental fog that drowned August and parts of July, and shake off enough of the UGHs to get some writing done.

 by author N Marie

by author N Marie

While my muse was taking a stress nap...

It’s not that I haven’t had ideas for posts, although my creative well has felt a bit dry. When my muse/"genius" has brushed past me, I've been too lethargic to reach out to her. I've mustered some neat embroidery and a few decent illustrations, but a combination of poor self-care and an absence of creative discipline has stymied any acceptable output worth sharing.  

Mostly, I’ve felt burnt-out/exhausted AND consistently overstimulated to the point of immobility.

And I’ve been thinking.

A lot.

What about? Oh just...

  • Capitalism

  • Social Justice

  • Solidarity

  • Allyship

  • Personal Liberation

  • Community

  • Community Liberation

  • Monetizing Creativity

  • Identity

  • Decolonization

  • Magic, knowledge, and tradition

These are things I often think about, but in recent weeks they've consumed me entirely. Which is fine, I think, considering the state of things.

A few half-formed articles on these topics have percolated in my brainspace, but I could never find better words than what was already out there. I still plan on covering these issues in later posts, but I couldn't in good conscience provide, for example, recommendations for opting out of capitalism, when I was myself reviewing my own complicity in the oppression of others via political, social, and economic regimes.

I couldn't give y'all fluff posts either. Or entirely personal reflections. Each option felt irresponsible.

Mercury's big Reveal

So far, personal liberation has been my main motivator and the initial aim of this blog. I’ve found freedom in small measures in dozens of places and have been working to pull it all together to provide a sort of toolkit for myself and others, and especially for folks with similarly marginalized identities. Community care, which I had hoped would be fostered by this blog, is so much more elusive -- and, I've come to recognize, so much more urgent. Besides, community liberation is actually integral to one's own personal liberation, and it's not possible to completely achieve the latter without the former.

Building community is so damn hard though.

And it's been designed that way, on purpose.

(By capitalism.*)

When we collect, we are power. Every effort is made to keep us from collecting in meaningful ways. This has become ever more apparent in since January.

Recommended Readings

I don't have many answers yet. In fact, some of the resources I've already shared or planned to either 1) no longer align with my awareness, or 2) are too problematic to be worth reviewing/spreading.

The essays below discuss how white supremacy and "new age" spirituality intersect, and each piece has improved my understanding of contemporary healing work and what the world needs instead. They address some of the toxic themes perpetuated by the work I've rejected:

  1. "Where Does a Healer's Anger Go? Beyond Love and Light" by Asali at Asali Earthwork

  2. "I need to talk to spiritual white women about white supremacy (Part One)" by Layla Saad

  3. "Calling in the New Age: Identifying Oppressive Ideals in our Spirituality" by Molly

  4. "6 Ways Spiritual Thinking Can Reinforce Oppression and Racism" by Virginia Rosenberg

  5. "The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand: A Definition" by Kelly Diels

  6. And finally, not a reading but a podcast episode to listen to: Rising Signs & Anticapitalist Poetry with Adèle Barclay on Secret Feminist Agenda

Ultimately, I'm glad to have paused and digested these messages and I hope to be able to better embody the values of The Slow Down going forward.

With renewed energy, I intend to continue learning, creating, and sharing with my nascent online community and beyond.

Keep an eye out for some more writing, embroidery, illustration, and ethusiastic attempts at system-smashing.

Your Turn

So what has the late summer season illuminated for you? Leave a note in the comments below!

*For more information on this, check out Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation, by Silvia Federici. It's available here for free! Also lots of other books talk about the tranisition to capitalism and what that meant for community and peasant relations. Reading is good.