We really like the paper we're using - and obviously also want to make sure that all the cards are on the exact same paper so they harmonize well... so we went ahead and bought a couple more notebooks of the same type. It's going to take basically exactly two of these notebooks to make all of the Tarot cards - and while we already have one, we already used up a bunch of pages in it on other stuff, and having a bit of extra is always good!
We've been kind of dreaming of using an Art Nouveau tarot, but all the ones I see… Don’t interest me? They’re too human-focused.
So we were just thinking - we could make our own mini-deck! :DEspecially since we're trying to brush up our art skills to make a couple of decks we have in our mind, but in the mean time we'd still like to explore some of the symbolism that will be in them some day... now! And mini-decks, besides being easier on the hands, also need less finicky perfection of detail.
Art Nouveau is a much loved an powerful style for us, one we've always admired. And has links to romanticism, especially german romanticism. It just has a lot of feelings for us.
The Fool The High Priestess
The Magician The World
Yes, these are square instead of the typical rectangle! But e figured if we're going to do this weird, we might as well go all the way and mess around!
We considered hexagonal or round cards, but we found a place that will print custom tarot decks, and the hexagonal and round cards are quite a bit more expensive, while there are some quite reasonable square sizes! And we like how these are looking in the frame!
My veins feel like they are full of life but also ashes and poison.
I can feel weariness and death like slow poison swimming in them and mingling with life and blood.
Dragging us down towards we know so well what. Just as our blood buoys us up.
A few times I’ve gotten lost in it and the agony and weariness became a sort of sweetness. And the intensity of this awareness burned through my body like a flame.
Unmoving but filled with it. Unable to move, to cry out - but crying out inside in pleasure just the same. Caught up in Death's embrace (and Life’s) and then everything…
Left with a faint residue of heat and healing.
After this we had a day where we had the first real solid meal in ages. A big one too! (as opposed to one snack a day with solid food and the rest being yogurt and Ensure) Actually we had 2 meals that day! And felt good after instead of every system having difficulty with it!
Before this, we spent some time in the crypt (not quite literally, we'll explain later, but an actual place.) With "A Nervous Splendor" And "The Road to Mayerling: Life of Rudolf" and "Elisabeth" so near... The two serpents inside us. Just lying on the floor sleeping, shivering faintly, and weeping. We felt so heavy after that we didn't know how we would make it to see the next night.
Also, things have actually been pretty bad lately, almost as bad as the Bad Times - and one of the reasons that we've been basically ok as opposed to how we were then *is* because we're working together and take care of eachother.
And it made me think of the little, nice things that people might not immediately think of - but are still pretty much down to us being 'Kin in a "butterfly flaps it's wings" kind of way.
And one of those is Guild Wars 2! I mean, in some ways, we pretty much got it for 'Kin reasons. There is one species you can play as - the Sylvari - who are basically plant people who are part of a hivemind and who don't have the same conceptions of gender as humans. Hey, it's basically us! :P
And so we decided to get the game. Now , we have a mixed history with video games, where there are a lot we can't play "well enough" due to movement issues. And others we love. And we had friends actually being concerned that we might spend money on this game and then not be able to play well enough and just end up frustrated. But we knew that we would spend enough time playing with the character creator if nothing else. :P
Well, it turns out we're actually good at this game! And we have really gotten into it, both on a gameplay/strategy level, and on a worldbuilding level. (The worldbuilding and backstory is interesting as hell!)
And we now have one character who's reached Lvl 80, and one at 79!
"There's recently been a push to say that otherkin and trans are completely different. However, while they definitely aren't the same and there are some pretty serious differences in how the two things interact with society* . There's still definitely a lot overlap and some possibilities for talking and learning."
So here's an "Open Thread" for Trans people, 'Kin (Otherkin, therians etc.) and others with similar issues to talk and compare notes.
The people who seemed interested were Trans AND 'Kin, but you don't have to be both to talk here. Just if you AREN'T Trans, don't try and tell the trans people what it's like to be trans. And likewise, if you aren't 'Kin, don't make assumptions about what their feelings are.
Basically - please listen and be respectful.
It's a fiction book, set in a (slightly) alternate universe in Paris and the surrounding countryside. In this version of France, besides a few minor technological and political differences, there are also winged people who have emigrated in and chosen to make France their home. There is also a girl/young woman who wants very much to be winged, herself. And the story follows her.
The book has a lot of slice-of-life aspects, which I found very enjoyable, but it's very hard for us to describe that sort of thing without sounding rather dull. So maybe we'll try to describe some of our favorite details later when we're in better form for language. :)
In any case, when it isn't describing flying backpacking trips or french (and winged-person) food... It gets incredibly real. Some of it is obviously based on trans experiences, both of transitioning and how others react to you. And a lot of that... either I had experienced or someone I know has. The description of how information and support gets passed through the grapevine to those who need it made me feel especially warm.
And their descriptions of dysphoria... fuck, too real. But also hopeful in a way because they are tied to the joys of the "other" form.
On the other hand, it's totally possible to read it more literally as talking about otherkin/therian things.
There's recently been a push to say that otherkin and trans are completely different. However, while they definitely aren't the same and there are some pretty serious differences in how the two things interact with society* . There's still definitely a lot overlap and some possibilities for talking and learning. For instance, this book mostly hit me with feelings on a transexual level - even though it's literally about some people's Wing!Feels. And I have had some pretty useful discussions with other trans 'kin - and it's not always the trans stuff in one conversation and the 'kin stuff in another and never the two shall meet.
On a different note, I'd also be very interested to write something from the perspective of someone who's in the process of "losing their wings". (They exist in this universe too :) ) The book doesn't go very much into that because it's focusing on other stuff and it can't tell all the stories at once. :) But given how serious it is about the joys of flight, it would be neat to see the other angle.
I can feel how it might end up feeling more connected to the earth, having the weight and solidity slowly flow (back) into your bones (for the first time) now that you don't need them to be hollow for flight. Based on the way this book describes it, I can see being rooted as a process of "losing your wings" and then "losing them again". The ones that let human feet float above the ground so much when you run. And feeling another layer of gentle weight settle around you and in you.
*(The big one being there's no real way to "pass" as whatever creature, and so there's also not the same safety issues and tangled politics around passing.)
This article describes one big piece about what's up with us movement wise.
Having "triggers" is like having a helping hand bringing the motion in the real world.
If there aren't the right triggers around, what often happens is the movement gets done perfectly in headspace.
While outwardly our body is sitting still, doing nothing.
When the same triggering thing is present in headspace and the outside world, then the two become the same. And motion can move between them with ease.
I mean, I won't say that we're typical. And there certainly isn't a lo of straightforward uncomplicated humanity here, even when we're not speaking with one voice.
But the fictives among us and some of our more unusual members have been involved and helpful in a lot of everyday stuff. Like, even "things we get payed for" stuff. (And that's even leaving aside that there's a lot of important stuff that people do in this society that you basically can't get paid for.)
Sorry for any inconsistencies in pronouns, it happens when shifting between being one and many.
Plant-ness – plants may not have eyes, or nerves. But they do have senses, responses. Noticing light and shadow and by chemistry sending messages to grow in a different way.
Plants have a way of being in the world. Patterns which are familiar to me. Patterns of being aware, of responding to sunlight, to shadow, to water, to all the people and creatures and sensations in the world.
There is a time for everything, a time for sun and a time for shadow. I know the sun can burn, both my human skin and my inner heart. But in general, even though I know my human body eats food (and I enjoy that a lot), sunlight and rain feel like joy to me, like sustenance, like rightness.
A while back when I was taking a plant evolution class, the teacher said something interesting – I forget the exact words, but the gist was this: In order to understand why plants do things, you have to think differently, you have to think passively. That's the greatest hurdle to most people understanding. When something bad happens, you move away. For a plant, when something happens – they cannot move, they have to deal with whatever is happening right where they are so what do you do then? But I have a movement disorder, this is my life. If something happens, I can't always run, smooth talk my way out of it. So this is what happens instead - Learning to deal with things right where we are.
We've learned a million ways to deal.
And when I do move – to move is to change. A million cells growing. Chambers filling and emptying of liquid. To move you have to become a new person, a slightly different one that can do what you need to do. Movement is a process and it isn't simple.
So where does that leave us?
Chemistry – changing what exists into what is needed.
Changing scents to colors, colors to feelings, until I find the thing I need to go forward. This is also called synaesthesia. Outward changes, too. Hearing someone's difficulty, listening, taking it in, turning it around in my head until it falls into a new configuration, giving them that new understanding back. Maybe they see something they didn't before. Shaping clay. Making bread - turning raw ingredients into food. That is a familiar purpose to an orchard tree. :)
"If you can't find your heart's desire in your own backyard, you never really lost it to begin with"
-Angels in America by Tony Kushner