On Sunday mornings, I try to get up early and post up in a neighborhood coffee shop for writing practice. I read a chapter of Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life and spend 10 uninterrupted minutes capturing my surroundings.
“Shining star for you to see / what your life can truly be…” is a Sun anthem. That’s what I tell myself, at least, when it plays on my “Good Morning” playlist, a playlist I greet the week with when I want the week to go well.
It’s Sun worship. A petition to a power I’m not sure I believe in but beseech all the same because the ritual grounds me. On Sundays, we pay homage to the Sun. There is a “Leo” candle, purchased from Target, burning on my bar cart turned not quite altar because I’m not quite sure I believe in this. Also on my not quite altar: a Queen of Wands, from the Light Seer’s Tarot, a short-haired black woman with a gleeful smile and fire in the palm of her hand; a portrait of Bastet, a black Egyptian cat goddess, once associated with the Eye of Ra; and a wine bottle — Orin Swift Machete, the label boasts an afroed woman in a desert, standing beside a white Oldsmobile, wielding a machete as long as her legs — that I’ve repurposed as a vase. Last week, it held orange alstroemerias. This week, I’m thinking we’ll go back to yellow.
I have a fallen Sun, you see. In Libra, the sign it likes the least, which wouldn’t be a huge deal, but with Leo Rising… Well. A lack of solar energy — vitality, confidence, creativity — could characterize my life. My weeks go better when I acknowledge this and make time to call the Sun in. Not that I believe in all this, but I operate best when my lights are turned on.
And what I do believe: this little ritual reminds me. “Throw some wood on the fire. Create some shit. Write some shit. Sit in the space that’s all you, pure fire and self-expression, without the pesky editor who needs her I’s dotted and T’s crossed before she’s allowed to like herself. Be ‘so hip, even [your] errors are correct.‘”
As the timer runs out, Phonte’s verse on “All in a Day” plays from my kitchen. “Know thyself, and the lights from the scene won’t blind,” he says. “Just work. Because well-oiled machines don’t grind.”