I have a public Voice: Deciding to create is scary, deciding to create in a field where there are already thousands of products is scarier. That point of pressing the go button that I realised this project will have so many eyes on it, and that my art is out there for public opinion is daunting. To be rejected and criticised is the tax I will pay on having a public voice. Even really the loudest critic I have to work with is the one that lives inside my own head. Radio K-Fuck has been saying all these things to me in the last few weeks:
I wanted to go, but $80 was too much. She was coming I thought it would be wonderful to see her again… I said
“I’ll be yours for the night if you have a plus one.” It was too late, I’d said it and she’d said yes. I was going and I was quite excited.
A bold move on my part, such bolshy confidence I hadn’t felt in such a long time, metered with the overthinking after thought of “was that rude, what if she says yes, what does that involve, what have I signed up for?!” It was too late, I’d said it and she’d said yes. I was going and I was quite excited. I knew one of my best friends would be there if I needed so I knew I’d be safe, but the adventure of the unknown was intoxicating. I’d not been out on a wild unknown limb in a while, and certainly hadn’t let anyone any near my body. The day grew closer and she sent me a picture of a pony bridle and bit, and asked if I was into pony play. My mind raced, I didn’t know what that would entail for her.. I’d participated in a few other play scenarios before mind you, with less industrial equipment shall we say. Unicorns are ponies I thought, I love those rainbow tails you can get, I jumped online and put one on a wishlist, thinking the always come with such wee plugs, maybe that’s so it’s more comfortable to wear over a longer period of time.
Anyway back to the story. The day arrived and I’d cried three times before it was near time to get there. I’d woken up feeling low, tired and lonely… tears flowed in the shower as I pulled myself together to face the day, dance practice was next. I was looking forward to this, a blat of exercise to shake up the adrenaline and shift the mood so I’d be bouncy and ready to dance later. Queue a wonderful lesson, on preparing for dance competitions by being kind to your inner child – and tears. I love this work and have much to say to my inner child and much to re-write. Shaking that off I was on to the next thing. I don’t do busy days by halves I thought, and at least it was a comedy show, laughs and light heartedness that I love to shift the mood so I’d be bounce and ready to dance later. The universe really had other plans for my day. Hannah Gadsby was doing her retirement show “Nannette”. She’s an amazing woman, and boy did she share her story and the ringer she’s been put through. Powerfully she announced she’s retiring. Boldly exposing how so much comedy is based around self deprecating, self humiliating and reinforces one’s own attachment to emotional repression, an inability to communicate or ask for help when hurt, frustrated or angry.
That much “humour” is mocking someone, something or calling oneself terrible things in order to garner a laugh from an audience. She was standing up for herself, her self worth and refusing make herself the brunt of the joke anymore.
Humour is amazing but boy does it conceal or shut down emotional openness and deflect from a world of hurt or acute fear of vulnerability. Queue more tears, me and the rest of the entire theatre.
This isn’t the sexy story you thought you’d be reading but it has a happy ending I promise.
I was shaken, the universe had wanted to get a point across to me, and I was listening. I was fragile but being kind to myself again. Sitting in my vulnerability, I thought “I guess I’m ready for a dance now”. This was not the mood shift or energy I had been expecting. The club was dark, mirror ball covered dangly light installations decorated the ceiling and rainbow flashes danced about the walls and across the faces of all the shadowy people in the venue. I was late, they’d all been there for a few hours, but I crept in ready to be swallowed by a crowd of faceless bodies, rolling to the waves of the bass as it thumped from the speakers. I wiggled my way to the midst of the madness, my skin taking in the temperature difference from outside to the damp warmth inside. And there she was.
Legs crossed in lotus position, arms out beside her, oosing the power of the goddess to the very tips of her long tallon’d fingers. She was floating a good metre off the floor, a spider web of ropes woven all around her in a beautifully symmetrical arch that made her look like she was floating on a throne.
She didn’t move, her limbs hugged tight by beautiful purple bonds, “it is her favourite colour”, I thought. Her head masked in glossy black latex, like a bald cap that came all the way over to mysteriously hide her eyes, ending elegantly just above her nose, highlighting her cheekbones. The mask sported a glossy black latex halo, a solid dark shiny disk that framed her head, with silken tassels hanging down past each ear. This was a powerful goddess of the night.
I was barely clothed, covered mostly in golden bronze metallic paint. Feeling freer without clothes trying to force me into a certain shape or cover up the beautiful ink that I’ve etched into my skin over the years. My hair was high, and filled with colourful flowers, my neck draped with a heavy necklace of tiny cocaine spoons. My body strapped into a beautiful pink harness that glowed like magick under the lights. My boobs sported matching weighted twirling tassels that I knew I’d show off later. The music was hypnotic, wooing me into it’s dark rhythms, most of the humans that surrounded me, naked or equally dressed in little clothing. I’d brought my flogger with me, feeling proud it was a well made piece and beautifully colour coordinated with the other harness pieces I was wearing. My mind had started to wander, so I asked a person dancing close to me if they’d want a gentle flogging or if they wanted to flog me. My offer was quickly accepted and we moved to part of the club there was room to swing.
My body warm, my skin warming up too as the sensation of tickling, teasing, and soft leather smacking into me repeatedly building up to an intoxicating sting.
My shoulders leaning into the pleasure of this pain, the thud then the tickle of the ends of the straps as it brushed up my bare back. The sting and tingle as it flicked around to the soft sensitive skin of my inner thighs. My butt cheeks framed by a little delicate black hassling and hanging sequins were bare and flushed pink with the blood flow of excited skin. My body didn’t wince, or jump, it leaned into the intoxicating sensations all over my skin. My mind ceased to be in my body, it felt like it was simply consumed by sensation. A gentle hand runs over the raised skin checking in to see that I am okay, and if I wish to continue. Hips press onto my ass, my body leans closer into the brick wall in front of me as I feel skin against skin, and breath whispering into my ear. I haven’t had another person’s skin against mine in what feels like an eternity. I return to my body, suddenly feeling very raw and vulnerable. The music floods back into my brain as I come back down to the environment around me, and we slink back to the dance floor to be enveloped again into the safety of the crowds, suddenly aware of the audience behind us hiding in the shadows enjoying the play we were having, sensing the energy of wild abandon and tactile pleasure.
She was there in the crowd, released from her suspended throne of purple ropes. She kissed me on the cheek and I blush. I feel like a kid around someone they admire and look up to. Suddenly all my experiences of kink and all things of the underworld melt away and I feel like an innocent creature next to her.
She is covered in beautiful tattoos, the long silken tassels from her latex halo frame her as she looks around then back to smile at me. I tingle with excitement and uncertainty. These things are never rushed, or non consensual but still I was still feeling very vulnerable. Where was the sassy creature that wanted to be hers? I didn’t know but I was enjoying myself regardless. My energy open with a “wise” innocence calmly just letting what ever was going to happen unfold around me. I sighed, this was beautiful, I was safe, cared for and surrounded by wonderful humans who knew what they were doing and had warm sexual energy and love. Flash forward through my body moving and getting lost in the hypnotic rhythm and thump of the music, I was warm sweaty and happy, some how letting go over the tension that had built up and the emotional overwhelm of the day. This was the energy and and mood I’d hoped for… the universe had rewarded me for my patience through the lessons I’d needed to learn that day.
There was a small room off the side of the dance floor, it’s roof a web of shibari rope she and I had woven for hours the day before. Suspended in the middle was a giant tire, as if it were her prey and she were the Queen of her web and it was caught in her clutches. The master behind the rope works of art lurked in the shadows, as we pressed our bodies together. A few moments later we are lashed together, a happy sweaty pile, teasing, scratching and writhing around. It’s curious, I thought, this is not quite what I expected tonight. Later I sit on a little crate as she is pleasured by the master, and the other person I’d played with earlier with the flogger. The exhibitionist in me is excited, I am not yet ready to participate, but I love being a voyeur. My body is excited by the unfamiliarity of it, yet not surprised that this beautiful collision of sexual energy has culminated in a beautiful puddle of wonderful people. We all writhe around in pleasure, me on my wee crate and them on and around the suspended tire ropes, with plenty to grip as our legs turn to jelly. Someone, maybe the rope master, I don’t remember – grips, pinches and roughly twists and squeezes my nipples as the tassels had come unstuck from my sweaty skin.
Fingernails scratch my skin. The tattoos on my back are dancing with sensations raised above my skin like icing on a cake.
I remember how much I love roughness, that fine line between pleasure /pain and being thrown around, and my body sighs in pleasure. Willing to take risks, willing to adventure to push my boundaries and grow. Learning my limits by testing them. Taking my philosophy on emotional intimacy and connection and put it to the practical test. Living life to the fullest, putting intellectual beliefs to the front of my lived experience and holding space for myself and where my mental headspace was at. My body, glowing, glistening with dampness, the taste of my pleasure on my lips. My limbs shaking, overwhelmed and on sensation overload – torn between wanting more and not being comfortable all at the same time, outside of the four walls of my temple boudoir.
I was in my power, open and vulnerable, willing to share intimacy and connection.
Rewriting rejection with scratch marks, practicing self love with welts across my skin and positively reframing ‘neediness’ with raised red lines over my body. That desire for affection, craving intimacy and wanting the comfort of physical touch are not weaknesses, and nor should I be ashamed of my desires and emotive affections.
I am not broken, I am just rediscovering my sparkle – she is wonderful, but tonight I reclaimed that devilish part of me and fell in love with myself again.
Queering the Emperor Tarot Card:
– The Slow Holler Tarot – The Navigator http://slowholler.bigcartel.com/
– Osho Zen Tarot – The Rebel
– Doreen Virtue – The Organiser
– The Wild Unknown, the cards have less gender influences.
This life is too short not to connect on a spiritual, mental, philosophical and physical level with those who’s magick is in the same language as yours… ♡
When considering energetic climates and their influences on the newborn, there are some particular astrological alignments that us amateur astrologers are the most familiar with. Nicknamed the ‘Big Three’, the positions of the Sun, the Moon and Ascendant are amongst the most discussed placements in personal natal charts. The Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is the zodiac sign that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the time of ones birth. It changes every two hours on average (emphasising the importance of knowing ones correct birth time when calculating a chart reading).
A person’s Sun placement directly influences their temporal self. The Sun represents life itself, and is much more tied to the physical than the Moon. While the placement of ones Moon pertains to their soul knowledge and eternal essence, the Sun’s placement is indicative of our current Earth-bound self.
The Sun influences the ego, personality and conscious expression of self. It is much more visible in the day-to-day than ones Moon expression (the ego’s whole purpose is to keep us alive and, thus, its cries are heard the loudest). Thus, ego (the Sun) tends to dominate over intuition (the Moon) in our expression and experience of self. It is a common challenge balancing the light of our Sun’s expression without it totally blinding us to the messages of our Moon.
Our emotions are intuitive messages themselves, and are the language of the Moon. Moon placement reflects the eternal self, also known as the higher self. It is the divine link between our physical embodiment and our eternal essence. It reveals our innermost nature, emotional nature, moods, instincts and intuition. As it is our most vulnerable aspect, it’s the most likely aspect of our expression to be hidden, or suppressed (seeing as it is our most vulnerable self). A person’s emotional needs are told here; what makes us feel stable.
Many astrologers look to a person’s Sun placement to identify major life lessons. For instance, a person may choose to incarnate under a Gemini Sun so as to amplify themes of interpersonal connection and finding ones voice in this life. We choose a specific Sun influence to amplify specific rhythms in our lives. If the Sun is our head and the Moon is our heart, the Ascendant is our skin.
Our Ascendant (also known as the Rising Sign) is the expression of self that is automatic upon social interaction, and it is largely protective. Some astrologers consider it ‘the mask’ we wear. The Ascendant marks the beginning of our 1st House of Self, which can fall anywhere, in any sign. This chart point is important to identify, as it informs us of all a person’s house positions, 1 through 12.
A person’s House positions are incredibly telling. But that’s for another time.
We choose our birth time prior to life here on Earth. Specific planetary alignments create specific energetic climates, and by opting into the energetic climate present at the time of ones birth, one harnesses specific influences. These influences add ingredients to the embodiment and experiences we intend to create. The parents and circumstances we opt into add further ingredients. All come together to propel us in the direction of fulfilling our specific missions, intentions and ‘life purposes’.
It is not often that we have just one life purpose upon coming to Earth – our eternal perspective (or higher self) usually has a range of life purposes, or pre-birth intentions. Mirroring this is the range of astrological influences present at our time of birth.
If you want to work out what your Sun, Moon and Rising signs are use these links for free Natal charts:
Interestingly in most Tarot depictions of the Hermit tarot card, they are never hiding away in a cave. Rather, they are out wandering, seeking their own truth and magick.
I’ve big plans; travel, exhibitions, work, creative projects, so to cope I have been introverting like a mo-fo. Working really hard is easy for me, managing myself so I don’t burn out is not. I wish it was, but unless I eat well, get at least 8 hours of sleep every night I turn into an emotional wreck, and a bundle of germs. This moment, feels like I am the artist who hides away for days then emerges to paint a masterpiece. My favourite Instagram brand is “Stay at Home Club” and the way their humour makes it okay to choose to not go to the party. Giving myself this quiet time allows my body to re-charge, and all the confused pieces of my mind to fall into place. My mind is alive, overactive, and calming it down allows me to see things I wasn’t able to see before.
Removing ourselves from the barrage of external chatter – we are able to finally hear the small voice from within that leads us to higher ground.
Recently a friend asked me, “Florence how long did it take you to ‘know / find yourself?” The first thing that popped into my head was my inner critic saying “What – no, you don’t, you’re still learning!” but what came out of my mouth surprised me. I was home schooled, for the most part of my childhood and teenage years I was surrounded only by my parents and my two younger siblings. I had no school bullies, no keeping up with the cool kids, and no TV in my life.
Basically it was a very sheltered life where I only knew me as I was, and what I thought I should be, leaving aside parental expectations from a strong religious perspective of course. I loved my own company. My imagination was my best friend, I lived in a fairy world in my head, made love to ghosts and could speak to animals. I miss being able to escape into another world, away from the noise in my brain. Spending time alone, clearing and settling, taking back control of my the junky thoughts in my brain feels like I’m getting closer to that young imaginative child again.
Remember, the person in the Hermit Tarot Card is holding their own lantern: they are lighting their own path.
I have been reconnecting with my free-spiritedness, my independence, as a single person finding my feet and confidence again. Rediscovering my natural self-reliance and pulling away the layers of fear from my ability to access the deepest magick and my highest spiritual self within me. Relying on myself, and not being willing to rely on others is something that comes very naturally to me, from a fear of being let down or abandoned, so rewriting this pattern in my head as a more relaxed attitude has been wonderfully challenging. Accepting that I can’t go through this world not trusting in anyone, and letting go of disappointment if something doesn’t happen the way I planned. Releasing the rigidity and fear in me, stopping grasping onto my expectations and letting myself be carried along with whatever happens. Planning ahead and being proactive when it matters but allowing space for changes in plans and outcomes without having an adverse emotional reaction.
While I don’t have any signs in virgo in my astrology chart, I feel the virgo energy as we move through the earth and planetary cycles. Much like my feelings about my strong Capricorn energy, the Virgo is grounded and stable. My growth through change is taking its sweet time, much like my Hermit tarot card friend. The Hermit isn’t about fast, practical, or quick small changes; it has all been big shifts, lots of learning and challenging emotional growth. I am making solid change in my energy; it feels completely earthy. The Hermit tarot card relates to Virgo, one of the four mutable zodiac signs (Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces), and embracing my Hermit journey has thrown lots of change, need for flexibility, and lessons about adaptability at me.
My head has been battling through what a relationship means to me, what I want out of one, what my expectations are if I were to be in one. How I change or my demeanour changes when partnered. It’s been really challenging to spend time alone with my brain and unpack where my desires for a certain type of relationship have come from. What fear drives those desires, and work through how I want to rewire my brain, and rewrite those patterns. Essentially I have not changed, I still represent the sustained personal identity I have kept throughout my entire life, I have just unpacked, and removed a layer of fear and bullshit.
Prioritising space for my mind to turn inward and allowing myself the time and space to think, feel, to hurt, and meditate on what it is that I truly want in and from my life isn’t easy. Feeling lost is crappy, but the more I unpack that lost feeling I can see what drives it. Fear of abandonment, feelings of insecurity and imposter syndrome. All feelings I am familiar with but didn’t realise drifted over into my desire to love and be loved. Checking in on these feels validates them, but slowly takes the power out of them for me. When I feel abandoned, I put into perspective how much love and support I have around me. Am I really abandoned or have I pushed people around me away because I feel scared?? Am I really insecure or have I listened to my inner critic for too long and am self doubting things I know I can do, and the confidence I know I have? When I feel like I don’t belong or an imposter in my own life, where is that negative chatter coming from, why am I comparing myself to an imaginary reality?!
Sometimes this ripples over into my relationship with my family. My Queerness makes me feel like I don’t belong. My inability to ever meet or live up to their religious and social expectations of me as a daughter creates a feeling of “Other-ness” in me. This feeling is both terrifying and powerful. And while it is not something that is exclusive to queer experience, it is all too common in our community who don’t have close or accepting families in their lives. It is terrifying to come face to face with a solo journey, but it is also powerful as it it forces me to throw off anything that is holding me back, seek out my own truth and my inner magick.
If you feel drawn to The Hermit, or if it comes up in your reading, ask yourself:
- What negative self talk am I holding onto?
- How is that is affecting my current state of mental health?
- Do I have fears about my present and future?
- What is holding me back from fully in and enjoying the present moment?
- How do I let it go?
- What positive change can I make to create a shift?
- Is that fear irrational?
- What can I do today to stop, enjoy and be present in my own Power?