I’m pretty sure my astrology-related pursuits are the only reason I know what day it is. But then, that’s not really a pandemic thing for me. I almost never know.
Back in my former life, I worked a nine-to-five office job, with a schedule filled with meetings and pre-planned phone calls. When I left that life behind, I swore I’d never own a watch or a Day Runner again–so much did the idea of being kept to a schedule give me trauma-shakes.
I kept that oath, more or less, right up until my daughter reached school age, and I basically became her personal assistant.
Anyway, here’s a picture of one of the marigolds my daughter and I planted yesterday. (My segues are the best.)
The light wasn’t quite right for a decent shot of my whole garden, so I settled for close up of this little guy. He’s store-bought, but I’m not holding that against him.
Still, I’m just a little bitter about it.
I harvested a truly ludicrous number of seeds from the marigolds I planted last year, but absolutely none of them wound up sprouting. So, a trip to Home Depot it was! It’s a bummer, but there wasn’t much more I could do about it.
So what else has been going on?
I spent most of the weekend in a haze of reading, magic, and day drinking. Then I spent most of the last couple of days doing more reading, more magic, and trying not to yell at people on Twitter.
I’ve gotten pretty good at not screeching like a loon on social media, though that’s mostly because I hardly ever post there at all. My Facebook timeline is an absolute ghost town, and I mostly use Twitter to “Like” animal pictures and block people.
There’s been an uptick in the “Hot Takes,” though, that’s got my inner keyboard warrior chewing off his arm to escape the shackles. Social isolation and anxiety seems to have brought on an even worse vibe than the Democratic Primary, which I hadn’t thought possible.
I’m not diving into the drama, though I’d be remiss if I said I didn’t want to.
Alright, fine, let me just say one thing that’s been irking me for months so I can maybe get it out of my brain.
Back in March, when most folks were just starting to think we all might be in serious trouble, I saw a surprising number of magically-inclined people posting variants of: “Lose your crystals, incense, and candles. Woo won’t save you. Wash your hands!”
There were a lot of takes like this, with many explicitly saying that magic won’t do anything for the virus.
That was…weird to me. Both because “magic doesn’t work” is an odd position for a magician, witch, or worker to hold, and also because magic can absolutely help people during all of this, even if magic is utter nonsense.
First, yes, wash your hands. Social distance, wear a mask, don’t go out unless you have to, etc. Do all the things that the vast majority of epidemiologists are advising people to do.
We’re in Pascal’s Wager territory here.
Most of the advice from the medical community regarding what individuals should do is essentially free. It costs nothing to stay six or more feet away from people when out on a walk. It costs almost nothing for most people to wear a mask. So even if these pieces of advice turn out to be little more than virus-themed “Duck and Cover,” so what? You’re out nothing, but have a not-insignificant chance for a potentially huge gain: not contributing to the death toll.
That said, also do your woo.
Carry your crystals, burn your candles, make your prayers. Why, because we’re in Pascal’s Wager Land? Nope. We can stay purely in the Kingdom of Mainstream Psychology.
Meditation, prayer, and “personal talismans” make people feel better. They mellow us out, give us comfort and hope, and even (especially in the case of meditation) can be and have been proven to help with all kinds of physical and mental conditions, from hypertension to insomnia.
I think magic does more than this, obviously, but it doesn’t need to in order for it to be useful.
Do the science things. Do the woo things.
Let more than just the days of the week blend together.