Seven of Pentacles, Ace of Wands, Ten of Cups
We are born into it. From before our first breaths, we are rocked by our mother’s dancing, soothed by the songs on her lips. We sway with our first steps, we sing before we can speak. And underneath it all, the knowledge, the promise, that all of this down for Her. That all things of the body are Li’Daea’s gift. That all our pleasure is done in offering to her.
But, when touch isn’t a pleasure, when song doesn’t move your heart… Because you know every drumbeat carries expectation. Because that thrill of nervousness in the pit of your stomach isn’t excitement. It’s dread.
We are born into it. This idea that love and beauty and song and flesh are one and the same. That to celebrate the Goddess that made us all, we are to worship with tongues and teeth and body, that every body is her temple and every prayer is whispered on lovers’ lips, pressed and sealed with a hungry kiss. She is craving, she is Life, and what speaks more of life than the act of creation itself? Even those pairings that don’t result in children…
It is still expected. We are born into it. We are serpents. We dance, and the Goddess smiles. We sing, and she sings back. We kiss, and the world is made anew.
And we hide…
Why would we hide?
I am thirteen and have never felt the stirrings of desire. It will come, they tell me. No rush to spoil my youth. But every smile is knowing. Every eye is casting about that that special glance, that certain someone. There is no one. And I do not feel it a lack. But soon…
I have watched my friends couple off one by one, swelling in the flowers of their adulthood. It will come, they say. No need to rush.
But no need at all?
We are born into it. We are serpents. We dance.
So why does the thought turn my stomach?
Star, Hierophant, Knight of Pentacles
“What makes you think there’s something wrong with you, dear?”
Mikey squirmed in the doorway. He hadn’t even come all the way into the room, and already Adelina had cut right to the root of the problem. Of course.
(break to find what Queen of Swords has to say, cause that’s clearly the advice Addy’s gonna give him)
Six of Pentacles, Queen of Swords, The Devil–Be yourself, Dingo 😛
“You have to make time for just yourself, Mikey. I know you love Donnie, and you’re right, he does need you. But you need you too.”
He stared into his teacup, watching the leaves swirl around the bottom. “Is that even allowed?”
So many things he wasn’t sure of. So many questions—no, not questions, really. Things he wanted, and knew he couldn’t have.
Adelina’s answer startled him. He’d forgotten he’d even asked a question. Probably because it wasn’t one, really. They both knew that. But she did him the courtesy of acting like it was one. That was one of the things he liked best about Adelina. She went along with him, pretended his worries and concerns carrying just as much weight as real problems.
A spill of pale hair fell into his vision. He looked up.
Adelina was kneeling in front of him, waiting for his eyes to meet hers. He hesitated, but the other choice was staring at her chest, or letting his eyes fall back to his cup. Both seemed equally stupid. So he met her gaze, even though it made him want to just curl in on himself.
“Why not, Mikey? Why don’t you think what you want counts? Why aren’t your problems real?”
He couldn’t look at her and speak. He just couldn’t. Her eyes were too intense, too focused. She really saw him, and that made him nervous.
“I don’t like it when people look at me.”
“I know sweetie. But you’re not looking at yourself. Somehow has to.”
He gave in to the urge to ball up. He felt bad about his sneakers on her couch, but he felt worse under the demand of her gaze.
“I don’t matter. This is stupid.”
She didn’t even have to speak. He could feel her watching, waiting patiently for him to acknowledge what was truly stupid about this whole exchange.
“I know I matter.” The silence stretched, everything about Adelina perfectly still and perfectly at ease. It was almost like she wasn’t even there. Just a quiet… openness, waiting for him to continue. The pressure built in his chest, sending his words spilling out when he finally gave them voice.
“But it so much easier to just ignore it! When I’m focused on Donnie, I can– Usually, I just… It’s not so bad. Not really…”
He was going to throw up. Gods, there wasn’t even anyone else around, and he still felt like he always did when people were… doing things…
“Why do I feel this way? Everyone talks about butterflies, but they say it like it’s a good thing. I feel like I’m literally going to be sick, and if I could just throw up and get it over with—but it never gets any better. When I think about—when I try to imagine what it would be like…”
“I feel him sometimes. Donnie. I can feel him… doing things. I can tell he likes it, but it makes about as much sense as liking eating live slugs. I feel like the whole world is crazy and I’m the only one that understands that having someone else’s tongue in your mouth is just awful! Why do people do it?”
“I can’t say.” Adelina’s voice was soft, patient. Her usual easy, neutral calm. “No one can, I’d imagine. It’s for each person to discover what they do and don’t like in a partner. If anything.”