Colorado Springs & Club Q

Why? Why must it be? Why must it always be that the first name, the first face we see, is the one who has committed the atrocity?

Just once can we mourn the dead, pray for the injured, praise the heroes and give succor to the survivors before we turn our attention to their murderer, their foe, their victimizer?

Hail to the fallen and hail and healing to those left behind.

“Why: (c) Geoffrey Stewart 2022


By now you have heard, we have all heard of the events at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado just before Midnight November 19th. 5 people dead as of this writing, 25 injured. The ‘suspect’ was subdued within minutes by heroic club patrons and beaten with his own gun, apprehended by police a few minutes after midnight in the first hour of November 20th 2022 the Trans Day of Remembrance. This is not the first time in my 50 years that I have woken up to learn of some atrocity committed against LGBTQ people, my people; sadly, it is not likely to be the last.

As much as I might wish it otherwise. Holy Dead, Holy Spirits, Holy Gods do I wish it were the last.

I have spent most of the last 36 hours, compressed in between intermittent sleep and a work shift where I was at least physically present, scrolling social media & sharing links to news articles and sharing other folks posts and takes. Unable to find my own words, not really entirely ready process things. Fear, anger, outrage, grief, rage at the insincerity and hypocrisy of those who have stoked the fires of Homophobia and Transphobia and Conspiracy Theories and Hot Takes; those same people who have fanned the flames of the Culture War for their own financial and political benefit suddenly offering up their “shock” and of course their “thoughts and prayers.”

You would think after 4 of my 5 decades of waking up to similar stories and similar atrocities, and similarly insincere “thoughts and prayers” from the same basic cast of characters; you’d think I would be better prepared to deal with the horror of it all. I mean hell, I grew up as a Queer kid in 1980’s Reagan America in the shadow of the specters of nuclear war and the HIV/AIDS crisis in a world where Rightwing politicians and thought leaders and Religious Fundamentalists were very clear (without, of course actually coming out and saying so) that it was perfectly fine if people like me died of a horrific wasting disease or were murdered in the streets, as long as the right kind of people were dying, people like me. You would think after years of such things one would get a thick emotional skin or be inoculated against the horror of it all.

Honestly, sometimes… kind of? Sometimes it just hits like a numbness and a muted sense of grief or something. Sometimes you are able to move on, muted, but reasonably functional.

Sometimes though, it hits you full force; bringing not only its own horrors but dragging horror and grief and insecurities hidden away in the corners of your mind and soul, all of them dancing within you and around you. Sometimes you just have to process the horror of it all in whatever way you can for a time before something kicks in and you start pulling yourself back together.

36 hours is NOT that bad a turnaround time, I guess, all things considered.

Bliss and Blessed Be your journey,

Pax / Geoffrey

When Tarot Cards Attack!


So roughly a week ago I was relaxing before work I was checking out my podcasts and decided to check out something from Down at The Crossroads.  My app, or my phone, in their finite wisdom decided that their interview with Mat Auryn was just the thing and it started to play.  My phone or app do that occasionally, opening up a song or episode at random, and I decided to roll with it.  That night, when I returned home, I found some sort of cardstock business card / flyer thing tucked in between the door and the doorjamb.  It’s in Spanish but appears to be an advertisement for a spiritual counselor or psychic reader of some sort and if my imperfect command of Spanish is serving me well, she has a 100% guarantee of some sort and the first consultation is free!

Never one to waste a good synchronicity, I pulled out my Tarot cards and started reading.  Now it has been a while since I had worked with my cards as a LOT has been going on in other parts of my life, this may be important to our story in a few moments.  Anyway, I was feeling psychically frisky so I decided to do a Celtic Cross layout.  I tend to not do self-readings with a specific question in mind, other perhaps than, “What do I need to know?”.  I will also usually pull out my ID/Driver’s License, or if reading for another ask them to, to use as the significator; an idea I came up with in the early days of my work with Tarot cards because I felt it was important to have every card of the deck available for readings, and there is a certain argument that we have a much more intense personal and energetic relationship with our ID/Driver’s License than a particular Court card.

Some of your may be wondering how I think Tarot cards work?  Do they have some sort of spirits to them that are your allies and give you information you couldn’t normally have access to?  Do they somehow trigger or activate your own psychic abilities or intuition?  Is it all psychological?  My answer to all those questions is some variation of Yes and it depends on what day you ask me.

So I shuffled the cards several times.  I remember thinking that I wanted to make sure to mix upright and reversed cards for some reason, maybe my intuition was already kicking into gear at that point?  Or perhaps the Universe and my deck have warped senses of humor to rival my own…

Here is what I pulled…

Photograph of 10 Tarot cards, colorful deck of cards with pictures of symbolic paintings used for divination, laid out in a Celtic Cross layout against a dark wooden table top.  The cards are...

1)	Judgement (Reversed) 
2)	The Moon
3)	10 of Wands (Reversed)
4)	5 of Pentacles (Reversed)
5)	6 of Cups (Reversed)
6)	Ace of Cups (Reversed)
7)	Ace of Wands (Reversed)
8)	King of Cups (Reversed)
9)	6 of Pentacles (Reversed)
10)	Knight of Pentacles (Reversed)

No, that picture is not upside down.  I managed to get a layout of 9 out of the 10 cards reversed, and the only reason I didn’t get all 10 reversed is because the 2nd card in the pull is always read upright!  Now I know, I know, I KNOW that a reversed meaning is not necessarily a negative message, or an omen of doom and a lot depends on the question and the placement of the card and the relationship between their meanings and positional interpretations.  I will however admit to having had a minor melt-down at this point.

I tried to remind myself that the Tarot has many uses and like many divinatory systems it is not necessarily about predicting The Future™ so much as about getting a bigger picture on current events and trends; that’s part of why you consult an oracular system, to get a better understanding of what is going on and what you might need to do about it.  I also tried to remind myself that of the many forms of divination used out there, Tarot cards have a reputation for this sort of behavior.  They are like that friend who will hold your earrings for you if you’re in a fight but will not hesitate to turn around and read you to FILTH for getting yourself into such a situation.

In the days since, I have been reshuffling and sorting through my cards, rebuilding my relationship with them and with my own intuitive abilities.  I have done a few 1 card pulls for contemplation, all reversed cards so far, from 2 different decks.  I have been rereading on the meanings of the above reading and my 1 card pulls with a variety of resources.  I have also been dealing with some difficult truths about my life and situation right now.  Money is tight, bills need paying, everybody’s hours at work were cut, and I have a lot of worry and stress right now and a LOT of things that need to be done to get my life and home back in order.

A whole lot of introspection, contemplation, and some journaling has come out of this.  Which is certainly a good thing and something I needed to get back to doing as a part of my journey. This is one of the more important ways we can use divinatory systems, not to predict a future-set-in-stone, but to get a snapshot view of current events and trends; and then we have to do the work of seeking to understand our situation and what we can do about it.

I have been able to set aside feelings of being overwhelmed and helpless with some sound strategies and ideas of how and where to make progress on all these things.  Now comes the effort and the waiting, because I didn’t get into this situation in a day and getting out of it will also take some time.

Let me know about any of your misadventures with Tarot cards, or other divination systems, or any questions or thoughts, in the comments below?

Bliss and Blessed Be,



PS- here is a list of the Tarot resources I am working with…

1. Complete Guide To The Tarot by Eden Gray
2. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack
3. Labyrinthos App
4. Galaxy Tarot App (from Google Play)
5. Numerous internet searches…

Notes Upon the Journey: November 12th 2022

11/12/2022 Saturday the day of Venus cusping towards The Day of Saturn
4:36am The Hour of Mercury cusping towards The Hour of The Moon
Waning Gibbous Moon


Over the last couple of days as Tropical Storm Nicole has left Orlando and headed elsewhere, I have found myself inspired by my last post into paying more attention to the signs in the weather around me and what it can tell me. Framing it not merely as the observation and interpretation of natural phenomena, but as an act of listening to what I am thinking of as The Hidden Language. I am, at best, an imperfect animist yet at the same time something about this process of metaphorical active listening has been a blessing and a bit of a revelation.

The first night after the storm for example the clouds were swiftly sailing across the sky, the breezes playing amongst the branches were gentle, rustling, murmuring to themselves as they sought to catch up with Nicole. The Waning Gibbous moon was at times obscured by a veil of clouds. A few stars and planets could be seen in the sky through the lights of The City Beautiful. The temperature felt cooler, properly autumnal.

The second night has seen clearer skies with wisps of clouds now sailing more leisurely Northwards. Cooler temperatures and the merest hints of breezes.

On the physical level the Storms passing was pulling humidity and air pressure in it’s wake as it dropped its rain and blew its winds elsewhere, traveling North and then Northeast. The air cooled down as the humidity flowed Northward. On the spiritual level, a sense of calm as if taking a deep relaxing breath after a time of stress. A sense of changes and processes in motion. Tough times will pass, new blessings and challenges upon the horizon.

I find myself contemplating past times where this practice of actively listening to the world was either second nature, or was much needed.

I find myself thinking about how in my late teens and twenties this sort of active engagement and active listening to the world around me, to the worlds hidden language, was much more a matter of course for me. Growing up in a less developed urban environment so much closer to the wilderness in what was at the time an eminently walkable city… I was in a much more active relationship with nature and the worlds around me than I have been in, on a regular basis at least, for too many years.

Some of this comes from having moved from a largish town into a big city. From a very walkable and easy to get around, and out into nature, environment; into a huge metro area where one has to have a car to get by and walking/biking places is either not an option or profoundly convoluted and time consuming. Some of this also comes from a period of years where I struggled when I first moved here to find my place, to find friends, to find a stable job. Then too there was a period of years where the majority of my time and energy went into a job that I had mistaken for a career or calling. As I have written before, I told myself that I could jump back into my Craft and my writing in that ever elusive ‘later’.

I am picking up so many pieces of my Self, and my Craft, and my creativity and inspiration that I had set by the side of the road to come back and pick up later like in a fairy tale where someone lost in the woods leaves behind breadcrumbs or ribbons only to find they have disappeared when they try to backtrack. At the same time, I feel as if I can see light through the trees, signs of either the old path I was on or perhaps some new path to safety and selfhood.

What obstacles or detours or side quests have you run into in your own journeys? Let me know in the comments, and as always…

Bliss and Blessed Be,
Pax / Geoffrey

Some Thoughts on Language as a Tool of Art

“Hear Now the words of the witches,
The secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny’s pathway,
That now we bring forth into light.”

­~The Witches Creed © Doreen Valiente 1978 in Witchcraft for Tomorrow


The recent upheavals in the Twitterverse, and my own recent explorations on Mastodon, have me thinking once again about the importance of language…

In Magick we weave together our own Will and actions and symbols together in specific ways to affect change within ourselves and the world around us.  Sometimes in our Work we are calling upon the assistance or participation of various Ancestors, Spirits, or Gods; sometimes Magick and ritual are framed as ways of being in a direct communication with the universe itself.  How are we communicating with Them?  How are we communicating with one another or the universe around us to work our Wills and desires into reality?

As children, one of the first tools, the first symbols we learn to wield to affect change in our condition and to affect changes upon the world around us in seemingly mundane and practical ways, are our words.  The language that others use around us and towards us, the words, and thoughts we use to describe ourselves and our condition, all of these can have powerful and lasting and life changing consequences.  Entire branches of psychology and so many battles in the public spheres of politics and society revolve around language, around words, the words we say or are forbidden from saying.

Isn’t it surprising then that we do not see more discussions about the use and power of language and words in our magickal work and lives?  One will often see suggestions of books for beginners, but you never see a dictionary, or a particular style manual listed.  Where are the recommendations of poetry and prose?

I believe it is important to ask ourselves as practitioners what poetry and prose, as the saying goes, speaks to us?  What moves us?  What wording or style of language stirs our heart and mind and touches our soul?  Are we moved by a particular writers work because their ideas or baseline assumptions of how the world works or should work agree with our own, or is there something about the way they are stringing words and phrases and ideas together that touches the deepest part of our minds and souls where Magick stirs?

We should also explore the idea of language in the more metaphorical sense of visual language.  People will dismiss other practitioners as being ‘only in it for the aesthetic’, without sparing a moment of thought for the intense power and subtle influences that the visual language we use can have.  In contemplating the question of language as a tool of ones Will and magick, being willing to expand ones understanding of language beyond spoken or written words can become especially crucial in many ways. 

For one, given the nature of the social media sphere in our digital age with the ways machine learning and algorithms influence our daily lives.  Algorithms take what we post, what we like and share and then can determine what we see, determine the sources and ideas and images and philosophies we are exposed or even have access to all based on what we have communicated to them what (they sometimes imperfectly ‘think’) we want to see.  What are the offerings are you making to your local digital egregores and internet genius loci telling them about what you want in your life or for the world?  What is what you share or post or the signals you boost communicating to other people in your life?  Are you sure about that?

Another good example is in our own awareness and interaction or engagement with the world around us.  As I write this, I am waiting on the landfall of a Category 1 hurricane on the Florida coast.  By the time Nicole reaches The City Beautiful, she will be passing through as a Tropical Storm.  Earlier today I was amused to think about how before moving to Florida I thought of the saying “the calm before the storm” as purely metaphor.  But, if you’ve been here long enough and you pay attention, you can feel it.  The dry coolness in the air, the movement of the clouds, the slight but unrelenting breezes playing with the tree branches; there’s a storm a commin’!
It’s reminiscent of how on a hot humid day you’ll feel the air turn suddenly colder and you’ll know that the humidity has moved quickly elsewhere and you’re about to get caught in an afternoon thunderstorm?

Our words and the languages we use and how we use them are all worth some contemplation and care in our journeys as practitioners!

Bliss and Blessed Be, Pax / Geoffrey

Notes Upon the Journey November 1st 2022

11/1/2022 Tuesday the Day of Mars
9:20pm The Hour of Mars
Waxing Crescent Moon

*Insert record scratch sound here*

11/1/2022 Tuesday the Day of Mars
11:30pm The Hour of Venus
Waxing Crescent Moon


Money is tight.  Prices are rising.  Hours are being cut at my job.  Times are tough.

Yes, I am doing all the necessary mundane things one does in these situations, but as I started writing this update I realized I was in the Hour and Day of Mars, associated among other things with Jobs requiring energy and with overcoming obstacles, and being an Aries whose sign is ruled over by Mars; it felt like a good time to sit down and do a little rough draft work on a sigil and come back to this update later?  I found a few good resources, here and here and some ideas on prosperity work here and here. I also checked a few of the books in my library, and did a rough draft of a sigil, and identified elements and styles for the crafting of it that called to me in my moment of fear and need. I also wrote out a few rough notes that I will return to tomorrow.

I am wrestling with a lot of fear and worry over finances.

I feel like I am stumbling somewhere through the Two’s of the Tarot deck, getting smacked around by the Two of Swords and difficult choices while I struggle to get myself more towards the easy and balanced juggling of the Two of Pentacles.  I’d love to write in more detail about the personal background of my current state of financial worry and woe, but for the moment I am not able to.  So, I thank you for putting up with my vague posting!

(Has anyone done a filk of Madonna’s song Vogue about vague-posting yet, cause that should really be a thing?)

What I can comment on is that it occurs to me how one of the juggling acts I am dealing with is the same one a lot of spiritual and religious folks go through, which is juggling the mystical and spiritual with the practical and mundane.  It is all too easy to look to one thing to solve all our problems or to want this-one-thing to be the answer.  To look for easy answers and simple solutions when the Truth is so often found in wrestling with the complexities of life.

“Bit by bit, wrung by wrung, until the work is done…”

I will find myself muttering as I complete one piece of the seemingly ten-thousand things that need doing around the house, and in different parts of my life, to get myself to where I want to be for myself and my family.  Both a note-to-self, that sometimes change happens in small but important increments.  Also, a sort of charm to seal my intent to keep whatever I am working on in mind and seal the results as either a step towards the new normal, or simply the way things need to be or be kept going forward.

I had the day off from work today and spent most of it asleep as I had worked a couple of overnight shifts on the 30th and 31st, I will be going to bed soon as I need to get several things accomplished tomorrow and have a 7am shift the day after.  Although even as I write this the day has passed into the next, but it never seems like it’s actually tomorrow until I have had some sleep!

So for now, I will wish you all a good night and, as always,

Bliss and Blessed Be, Pax / Geoffrey