Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ringing in the New with Blue Moon Magick!

We've got a wonderful opportunity to kick-start 2010 and our desires to manifest what we really want with the full blue moon at the gate between the old and new years.

Basically, the energy of the full moon is used to catalyze and add energy to whatever you wish to manifest into your life. A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. As blue moons happen roughly every other year, its energy is extra potent.

The blue moon is going to hit its peak at 7:15pm GMT on 12/31. (This works out to 11:15am PT, 2:15pm ET, on 12/31 in North America. It will be New Year's Day in Australia.) From my personal experience, I have found that there is a window that opens 24 hours before the peak time and closes 24 hours after the peak time when the energy is at its most potent.

During this time, why not choose the dream you most want to manifest and concentrate on it. Give it your full attention; visualize it in as much detail as you can. Affirm and claim this dream as yours, then release it into the Universe as you see fit.

Now is the Time;
This is the Hour.
We have the Magick;
We are the Power!

Let us use our power to dissolve all obstacles and step into our true lives! HO! :-D

Thursday, December 24, 2009

swimming below the hoopla @ yuletide

After the Solstice, the Light begins to return, a tiny spark in the thick dark Night...

Many peeps have their big celebration today and tomorrow. Many others had it about two weeks ago with their Festival of Lights. I fall somewhere in between; these days, I'm all about the Winter Solstice, and Yule.
Some years I gladly dance and prance about in celebration. This year, it's been very low-key. I think the Soul Retrieval has recentered me, and now I see the world rushing around like a collective chicken with its collective head cut off and I blink in bemusement, before I go rejoin Grandmother Bear in her cave, and step back into the Dreamtime.

I find myself these days very quiet, very contained, but not at all afraid or anxious.
I have just finished catching up with my bestie Maitri's blog, and I thought about reaching out, to say I was swimming below the hoopla with her. Then I grabbed that thought and pulled it back down to me before it had a chance to float off, because that sounds so perfect!
This is exactly what I'm doing...I see the lights and hear the songs and nibble at the food (Great Mother, has there been a LOT of food! I'm very thankful to have a low sugar tolerance at this point, because as a foodie, this time of year has been Big Trouble to me in the past! As it is, I have a "winter belly" and am in resistance to that, now and again - but I'll save that for later) ...yet it's as if I'm following the deeper current through Winter, allowing all the glitz and merriment to glide above and around me, as I carry myself close and marvel at being a Whole Soul once more, for the first time in a Very Long Time. Born anew~born again. I'm getting the holly-jolly I need by osmosis this year.

So I swim below the hoopla, aiming for the lights around New Year's Eve, when Yuletide winds up with a bang, literally, in shows of fireworks. I will be out & about this year, bundled up against the cold and ready to experience the magick of 2010.
I know already: this is going to be a Year of Awesome for me. If I don't check in between now and 1/1, may it be a Year of Awesome for you and yours as well.
Peace out, yo.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Third Birth

(Blooming lotus flower. SRF Gardens, 7/09. Photo by moi.)

A petite woman is in the hospital, trying her best to birth a "normal-sized" baby. The doctors are monitoring her closely. They suddenly notice the baby is in distress. They make an instant decision to go get the baby.
Thusly did I come into the world as Julius Caesar is supposed to have entered it...they cut mom open and pulled me out. (now you know why it's called a caesarian section!)

1999: A woman enters a park close to her home, a park that is partly cultivated, but mostly "feral." She wanders about with her walking-stick until she finds a tree besides a slow-moving stream. She plants the end of the walking-stick among the tree's roots, and sits at its base. She reads aloud a statement she found in a book about Wicca, then adds her own words. She sits in silence before and after she speaks aloud. Then she leaves, seemingly unchanged. ;-)
Thusly did I dedicate myself to following the ways of Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky, and chose to adopt a new spritual path, after free-floating for several years outside the comfy confines of the scientific laboratory. Little did I know where this path would lead me...!

2009: A woman drives up to a house decorated for Christmas. She rings the bell and is greeted by a shamanka she recently (re-)connected with. The two women go out into the backyard, into a screened-in space. The first woman talks; the second woman listens. Then she uses her rattle and goes on a journey into the Dreamtime, while awake. She tracks down three "lost" pieces of soul, which she brings back and blows into the first woman's body. She relates the stories of these three pieces, and the other Work she did in the astral. The first woman cries, and smiles, and nods. Eventually, they return to the home and part ways, for now...
This is the barest sketch of what happened when I visited Lady~M. and had my Soul Retrieval experience. In truth, I don't feel a whole lot different, but that's only because I've done so much Work on my own. I have, however, noticed that I look different - I seem to be a bit softer, a bit more femme, when I behold my own reflection.
Also, when I was out walking today, I also felt the difference in my energy: the crazy patchwork of sometimes conficting shielding that had surrounded me was gone; stripped away, with full permission. Now, there is an openness, yet I'm still very solid and protected.

On some levels, the Work is now done. On others, it has just begun. (again.) ;-)
Let the shape shift subtly, yet let the result be profound...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

~in the liminal time~

Liminal: adjective - of, pertaining to, or situated at the threshold.

(Nearly at the end of the long dark tunnel. "Portrayed" by the SRF Gardens (7/09). Photo by moi.)

As a child of Sirius, and a daughter of Changing Woman, I was born a shape-shifter.
In the eleven years since I made a New Year's resolution to "cultivate a light side of my personality" and brought a copy of SARK's Living Juicy along with me, I have lost count of the times I have reinvented myself.
I have rediscovered the mysterious ways and magickal stories of Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky.
I have opened up the treasure box within and found gifts, realized talents, and stepped into Power that I would never have suspected resided within me...

And then I entered this year, 2009. I said "Yes" once more to Adventure.
In a forest in Northern California, I was struck by lightning - a lightning bolt called Love.
I have recapitulated my entire spiritual journey in this one singular year...dancing into Shadow and out into the Bright, again and again. Remembering, recovering, and reclaiming my Authenticity. Naming and owning my Power.
The recapitulation has brought me back to the limen, the threshold, once more. I stand just outside my one true home: my*self.

I descended anew at the start of Winter, and realized that there were pieces of my puzzle that were still missing, little ones still lost in the Void, not sure how to come home - pieces of yin energy, little daughters of Eve. Femme essence.
So once I'd returned to the cave with Mother Bear, I began to make space within myself to re-house these missing bits...reclaiming empty space, transforming "cold and foreboding" to "warm and comfortable." Meanwhile, I have made arrangements to co-create a Soul Retrieval with one of my sister shamankas. This will unfold next week, in the time of the new moon.

When I went north in January, I had an agenda.
What came to me at the start of the year was something that had not been on the agenda: Integration.
This word has carried me through the entire year, and is depositing me at this place, in this time.
I float now in the liminal time, on the verge of the Solstice, and the one thing it is known for, regardless of spiritual orientation: Re~Birth!
After the Solstice, I will not be the same person.

I would be completely arrogant to believe this to be my last shifting of shape, "ever."
However, this is definitely a completion of a cycle, probably several cycles, of transformation.
As it's said in shamanic traditions: Complete Healing. Healing Complete.
Perhaps I have reached the completion of healing - at least, what I can do on my own.
For even as I finish this phase, I am finding myself beginning to work with others to co-create healing... :-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Completing another circuit :-)

Pictures are in this entry; all of them are from my camera. Enjoy. :-)

Way back in March, I took a trip to the Self-Realization Fellowship gardens in Encinitas, and was asked to take a rock to the desert. The one that volunteered accompanied me to Joshua Tree in October, and found a place at the feet of a statue of Mary, the Blessed Mother, that is on the property...
Here is The Ambassador in his new home.

After placing the rock in the sacred space, I was invited by Mary to take a rock from Her space and carry it with me back to the SRF Gardens.
"Are you sure?" I asked. The invitation was totally unexpected, and I wanted to make sure I'd heard it correctly.
I sensed great amusement from Mary. Yes, I'm sure, She said.
So as my gaze fell to the sacred space at Her feet, looking for a volunteer, I heard a clear voice declare: I want to go home. Please take me home. It wasn't from a rock, but I had no doubt as to what I was going to take back with me...
This is Shell, pre-anointing. Isn't she pretty?

So Shell hung out with me in my room while I waited for an opening in my calendar. She did NOT want to go with me to Questhaven and spend time with the statue of Mary there; although it's lovely land, it wasn't anywhere near close enough to the ocean for her! All righty then...! (lol)

Finally a day opened up in my calendar: November 21st...a month after my most excellent adventure of Dancing in the Desert. So I packed up Shell in the car and we were on our way. I had intended to visit Questhaven, but no - timing was a bit of an issue. As it turned out, the SRF Gardens provided a perfect respite for me on this day...
Sampling of the botanic loveliness of the SRF Gardens. 7/09

When I turn onto the 101 to get to the Gardens, I get a lovely view of Moonlight Beach. I pulled Shell out at the stoplight to show her the view. Her response was immediate: an overjoyed squeal of, "HOME!" I offered to take her directly to the beach, but no - she would honor the agreement...the Gardens were close enough to the beach for her! (I'd never heard a seashell squeal before. Interesting.)

So here is where "home" is for Shell...A pepper tree dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. I used Shell to libate the tree at its base. I then anointed her with what remained of the libation, a special "potion" I call Mother's Blood.

A close-up of Shell at her new home.
I don't know where the objects go after they've been on the altar for a while, for I know it's cleared periodically. Perhaps she will make it back to the sea after all...

And that is how I complete a circuit. :-)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

~in the quiet time~

This is the quiet time of the day...when I am up by myself, mother having gone to bed, the cat perhaps with her, perhaps on my bed or (as is the case tonight) on the couch behind me.
A wee bit later than this is when I normally come home from work, and if I'm not totally blitzed, I'll do my yoga after my nocturnal ablutions are out of the way: changing into pajamas, hanging up those clothes that don't need washing, popping what does need washing into the hamper, and taking care of my teeth. With all the mixing, matching, and adding I've done, my practice lasts just under an hour now; my body never does the exact same thing twice, either.

In the deepening of Winter, I find that the "inertia" that settled around me in Autumn is not going away, not entirely. I kvetched about it at first - but I have so much work to do, so much that is on my to-do list, people to meet and projects to work on, and I need to get moving! I need to push through this and soldier on!
Then I received a very firm response: No. You. Don't.
So I stopped, and pondered, and checked in...and found that I'm very soul-weary, shall we say. Not body weary, gods no! The yoga and the dietary changes and the chiropractic and the massages are wonder*full! ~ and as it turns out, just the beginning.
Look, I was advised. You've done a LOT of shapeshifting this year. You said yourself, out of your very mouth, that you were grateful for the upcoming season of Winter to rest and allow time for the seeds that were planted to germinate! So it's time to REST now, darling one!

So I've gotten a very good lesson in Letting Go this past month. There are days when, yes indeed, I feel like moving mountains, and things do get crossed off at least one list...but I'm also allowing in more days where I do "nothing constructive," and just lie on the couch, listening to the rain and catching up with my newspaper reading - as I did today.
Of course, when it's raining cats and dogs outside, raining like some Divine CEO of Weather is making up for all of the dry days/weeks/months by dumping it all in one go, and it's a cold Winter front blowing down from way up in Alaska somewhere bringing all this much needed moisture...then it's really easy to say, "Meh, not today. Maybe tomorrow."
Add in working five and something of the previous six days straight, toss in the insanity that surrounds a major holiday the day before and after said holiday, and one really looks for an excuse to do Lots of Nothing during one's downtime! (lol)

Thus and So: in the quiet time, I'm balancing days of do-ing with days of be-ing. A bit of a new concept for me, as I alluded to in one of my recent Tweet-clouds. Seriously ~ the more I've reflected on this, the more I noticed more motion in this past decade, now just about to become decade-plus, than pausing and resting and allowing the Changes to really take root and marinate within me. High time to give myself marinating permission!
So...Permission Granted! *ping*

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Descent, redux.

Heading into twilight. Joshua Tree, 2009. Photo by moi.

As fun as the retreats are, transitioning back into "normal space" from them can be a bitch & a half.

Three retreats, three transitions:
The first transition was a physical one - I had eaten raw food for five days straight to start the New Year in January; I had been rather nicely vegetarian - nearly vegan - afterwards. When I got back, I needed a degree of stillness for my body to catch up to all of the Work I had done energetically...believe me, when you get struck by lightning, you find a LOT of Work is done upon you! Some of the changes you don't even realize have been wrought within you until you're days, weeks, even removed from the time you were catalyzed! (I know several people who are nodding their heads in vigorous agreement with this one...y'all know who you are...) ;-)

The second transition was a mental/emotional one - I found myself needing to do some very serious course correction in myself and my plans when Coyote came to me and showed me I was acting and reacting based on illusions I'd built up in my head. The Trickster's teachings may be harsh, but more often than not, "tough love" is exactly what's called for; it certainly was for me! So I did some Shadow-work, and shape-shifting, and succeeded in bringing about a LOT of healing for myself as summer ended and autumn began...Work that stood me in very good stead prior to the October retreat!

The third transition has been a emotional/spiritual one - I found myself in an "altered state" of consciousness for an entire week after the retreat...feeling "here," yet not completely "here." (Others reading this entry will know exactly what I'm talking about; for the rest, bear with me.) The first day of November, I came back fully into "normal space." Hard. It was like waking up in the center of the faerie ring and finding myself completely alone; more, finding myself in the middle of a land of ashes and dust. Let's just say the first few days going back to (muggle) work were rather challenging for me, to stay centered!
Part of the situation was that I had brought a lot of my integrative journey this year to a point of completion...part of it was that very deep, primal Shadows were finally moving to the center of my awareness; they would no longer be ignored. Judgment, Rejection, Mortality - these are the scars that are in my be*ing, that are needing very much to be healed before I can move on, move into Right Relationship, in an open and intimate way, with a Beloved.

Along with this Shadow comes the knowledge that I have reached the point where I can no longer do the Work I need to do by myself. I need others to help me. So I am reaching out, and getting responses, getting assistance. One of the things I will be guided to do in the near future is a session of Soul Retrieval...the Gateway through which I passed from girl to Maiden was wrought with much trauma and drama, and this is a point where I know there are missing pieces to my personal puzzle. It's high time I go find them!

This is the best time of year for me, or anyone else for that matter, to do this sort of deep, dark Work...for this is the time of Descent, when natural forces are going within, going underground, bedding down and entering the Dreamtime. This is the time to follow in the footsteps of Inanna and Persephone, early shamanic archetypes, as they journeyed to the Underworld in their own personal quests. This is not my first journey of Descent, either; the first time, I began in 2003 and would not "return above" for a bit more than a year (in 2004). This time, though, promises to be much briefer...after which, maybe I'll be a wee bit more talkative in cyberspace. ;-)
Maybe. (lol)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dancing in the Desert - the Big Glow in Joshua Tree

Be advised, this post will have its fair share of photos in it, most all taken by yours truly. So...

Two weeks ago, more or less, two of my besties in the whole universe flew out to SoCal to stay with me, as we prepared to visit our next retreat site: Joshua Tree Retreat Center, roughly two hours away from where I live. It's in the high desert, and it has the beauty of the high desert, along with its own special qualities...
Fountain over by the Friendship House complex, where we stayed for the weekend. As seen from the balcony.

At the main office building, they have a little metaphysical boutique adjacent to the "official" office. There's a case with crystals in it; the moment I walked in the door, my spidey sense went crazy. Somewhere in that case was a member of the Brun'gavoda, the collection of crystals that's re-forming at this time to help me with my healing work. I was able to return to the boutique later that day (Friday) to find the crystal, and purchase it. So here's the family now:
The Brun'gavoda, almost completely re-gathered. There's one space down below to be filled...

At the retreats, we consume fine organic vegetarian/vegan/raw cuisine, provided by a shopping trip at Trader Joe's. (Hollah!) This retreat was no different, and I bow to the culinary maven who generously and selflessly volunteered to prepare the meals for us, along with her inspired assistants who helped. (Lady-R., you are a jewel!) We shift for ourselves, you see, coming together to cook, to eat, and to clean. I place myself more in the "cleaning" position, at least until I have the opportunity to practice and expand my (admittedly) woefully under-utilized cooking talents. Though as Lady-R. will attest, I do make some mean scrambled eggs... ;-)

Saturday was a day of devotion for me, as I visited various sites:
A natural rock cairn, where I placed a rock upon the top of the pile on the lower right.

Statue of Mary, the Blessed Virgin~Mother, where I placed The Ambassador in the shrine at Her feet.

Dry fountain at the center of the labyrinth, with offerings. The double-green line encircling the round seed of the fountain is my offering, a strand of peridot. (Photo by OakKing-R.)

The Medicine Wheel, where I gave thanks at each of the Four directions. Note the Joshua Tree guardian at the far end, as you're looking straight on...

A natural power center to the right of Mary's space. The white spot in the middle is a gypsum stone from Jacumba that I placed there.

The day ended with a gorgeous sunset. One of several pics I took of it:

Then, during the night, I was blessed by a visit from an owl. She was gorgeous; her presence touched my in ways that words fail to express. Suffice to say it was a huge confirmation from the Universe, validating all the Work I had done - that day, this past season, this year-to-date, this entire journey I've been on!

Oh, and true to the title of this blog, I did dance in the desert...
Uber-cool action shot by OakKing-R.

Sunday we gathered together for one last meal, and deep farewells; not forever, just for a little while. Merry Meet, and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again, as the pagans say. Then it was me and my besties heading home after loading the car - and locking the keys in the trunk! - and retrieving them. (lol)

And who are my besties, you ask?
Well, you know about Brian already...

...and this is my succulent Pixie-friend...

This time around, I felt as though I was bringing parts of my journey to completion, along with holding space for others to be kick-started on their significant journeys.
Each of these retreats is better than the last one - looking very much forward to what happens next! :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Emerging from the Mystery on a Monday... I guess, technically, this would qualify as a Mysterious Mondays post. The banner is still on holiday until next week, though. ;-)

Great Mother, it was an October to remember! I was not disappointed, although I was surprised on several occasions...

I was surprised to find I had to do some more heavy lifting in my soul with Coyote. This led to a check-in with myself, to ask myself if my life was really headed in the direction I wanted it to go in, and who within was resisting, and why the resistance was there.
With answers in hand, I put out one more significant pulse of Work, and I was done. My "fallow fall" came to a graceful conclusion a little early, as it had started a little early, and I began to peek above the edges of my life again.

A conclusion that came to me during this pulse of Work, which I have reaffirmed several times since: I have done all the Work I can do on myself, with myself, by myself.
I have reached the point where I cannot do any more Work alone.
I need support. I need community. I need to love, and to be loved, deeply.
I need to "go home" and be with my home tribe, in actual physical space, at a specific and different geographic location.
I hear the call in my bones and begin to prepare myself to relocate, to move.
By myself, most likely.
Yup, this fledgling is thinking about leaving the nest! Shock and awe! (lol)

The Work was done, just in time for my birthday - which unfolded with me sleeping most of the day. I was truly in an altered state of consciousness, having attended a marvelous chanting and light show the night before...which apparently pushed the "reset" button in my system! Fortunately, I came out of it just in time to pull off my latest workshop at the Well Within on Saturday, the 17th. People showed up, so I was happy; now it's time to start dreaming a little bigger, to hold a vision of more people attending... :-)

Then there was Joshua Tree last weekend. Oh mah gawds. "Beyond Awesome" would be something of an understatement. The experience was so juicy and profound, I don't think one entry will be sufficient to contain it! So I'll have to prolong the mystery and spool things out over a small stretch of time. For the moment, though, here's a little taste:
High desert country. The complex as viewed looking west. Photo by moi.

Topped off everything with a pair of deep and spicy rituals this past Samhain weekend, which apparently kicked up a little detrius that had settled at the bottom of my soul. I'm working though the last bits of feeling disconnected right now, and working my way back into connection. Hence, the blog entry.

I've just skimmed the surface of all that has unfolded for me in October, so I promise I will go in depth more this week, and maybe into next as well. Winter has arrived in my neck of the woods, so there's absolutely no need to rush. This will allow for things to percolate and simmer, combining all the juices together to make an absolutely fabulous stew. I think this would be good spooned over some rice, with a small side salad to munch on, and some hot apple cider as a chaser... ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Personal Mystery has deepened the Clouds...

Yea, to finish out my fallow fall season, Coyote insisted that we do a little more heavy lifting together. So I did. Now the lion's share of the spiritual Work is done - just in time for me to concentrate on the material work that I need to do (tidying up the house!) to prepare for this weekend which promises to be beyond awesome as I go Dancing in the Desert with my home tribe!

So that is the reason why I've dropped out of cyberspace, Yet Again, and will be scarce for a least, on ze main blog. Here is where Twitter comes in really handy, yo. I can microblog updates on a regular basis so my faithful followers - the dozen or so of you who actually read these missives of mine on a "regular basis" (lol) - will know that a) I'm still alive, b) I haven't been abducted by aliens, and c) I haven't fallen for my soulmate from Sydney, Australia, eloped in Vegas, and will next be blogging from Down Under. Yet. ;-)

(The first two options are given. The third, well, I'm open to that possibility...)

Once again, then, your patience will come in most handy, and will be most appreciated, until I've regathered myself sufficiently to post something coherent, and longer than 140 characters. I'm thinking a week or so, though I've been wrong before...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting all's a Mystery! ;-)

What's this all about, you ask? Click on the picture and find out - after you read this entry, natch ;-)

Back to exploring the senses on this magickal and mysterious Monday...staying with the instinctual and primal, we come to the sense of touch.
Having pondered the senses over these past few weeks, I now think touch is even more primal than smell. You can take all the other senses away, but touch would remain. It's also the most universal of the senses - where we may disagree on smells and sounds and sights, touch is the one thing that binds us together; without it, it's the one thing that can drive us apart. It is the mother's touch that greets us in this world, and it is the touch of a loved one that guides us across the Great Veil to the other side.

Many of us are starving for touch, and don't even consciously know it. I have felt it come into my awareness - quite keenly this past year, in fact. One of my excellent friends (and fellow blogger) came up with an excellent descriptive for it: skin hunger. So many of us just want to be touched in a gentle, loving way; so many of us are driven, when you get down to it, by a simple need to connect with one another. In our desire to be independent and self-reliant, we are in danger of losing the very thing that makes us whole and human: basic contact. Sharing ourselves with others. Think about of the deep mysteries of our lives.

The key, of course, is right in the descriptive. Touch is so very important to us because of our skin. Not only is it the biggest organ of the body, it's also the biggest receptor of the body. You can't go through life without getting sensory input from your skin. Some of this input, however, is so routine that you take it for granted - and then a mystery arises when you look down and see a new cut or scratch or bruise that wasn't there before! Now how did I do that? you wonder. (which is what I did yesterday when I beheld a pair of small scratches on my right arm. I think it was from one of the pieces of wood I carried over for the bonfire that we lit for our drumming circle on Saturday...)

Within the last two years or so, my horizons of touch have been expanded, in mysterious ways... ;-)
First, I've become a kinesthetic healer. That's fancy talk for being able to feel energetic patterns and currents with my hands. I'm going beyond feeling just "material" things with my hands; I can now feel the ebb and flow of energy, in people, plants, and objects. I can even "see" a color in the energy of a person/plant/thing - very mindblowing to a former "classically educated Western scientist!" (lol)

With this greater awareness of "other" energy comes a greater awareness of "my" energy, and what influences it. Last year I put on a tank top made from organic cotton...and felt my body sigh in relieved pleasure! I kid you not! Since then I've made a concerted effort to get more natural clothing in my closet - cotton and organic cotton - while eliminating everything made of polyester from my closet. I didn't believe my "more enlightened" friends when they told me of the ills of polyester, but I do now! My goal is to be polyester (and nylon) free by forty, and have a completely (organic) cotton wardrobe by fifty. I've got to give myself a little time on the latter goal, because high-quality clothing is not cheap! Why not? Well, that is a mystery unto itself, yes? ;-)

Touch does not have to be literal; it is often metaphoric as well. Our hearts can be touched by a kind gesture. Our minds can be "touched" by alternative thinking. (Yes, to be considered touched in this way is often derogatory, but that changes when you think outside the box.) And many of us feel that we are touched by the Divine, however you envision Him/Her/It. When we are opened up in this way, life can become quite mysterious and magickal, indeed!

I will conclude by saying I hope this exploration has touched you, somehow... ;-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Napping on a Mysterious Monday...

Yes, it's Monday - so that means 'tis a Mysterious Monday.
No, there's no logo here. No worries. It will pop up now and again as a reminder about what all the fun is.
Right now, it's taking a nap. ;-) Which is what I did before logging on before posting this entry...which is why I'm inspired to write about them.

The first mystery is why we humans go through a phase where we believe we don't need them once we're out of kindergarten. Seriously, all the other animals that compose the great Web of Life take naps. Long ones. Some longer than others. I'll put my cat against any other animal to compare how much napping gets done. She's 14, so I cut her a little slack, but still - I've never known any other cat to nap as much as she does...and there have been many cats in my life.

The second mystery is why they are so foreign to American culture. In Europe, for example, there are many place where napping is a national institution. La Siesta, anyone? Two hours of "doing nothing" in the middle of the day? Now that, my friends, is the sign of an advanced civilization! (lol)

Seriously, though, napping has benefits. It's a time where you can carve some solitude and serenity out of what may otherwise be a frentic, frantic day. It's a time when you can regather yourself before moving into the day ahead of you. It's a time to check in, and/or check out, for a little while. And to quote a line from The Princess Bride: "Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something."
So I go into my room, shut the door if I have to, undo my hair, remove my glasses, lie down on my bed, and shut my eyes. My breathing slows. My mind sighs, and will often slow down. My body stills. I go into that wonderous strange, mysterious place between full sleep and full wakefulness. Sensation bends and contorts itself in interesting shapes and patterns. Occasionally, I even dream. Half an hour later (most of the time, unless I'm in the Moon Lodge - then, gods only know), I wake up, oddly and mysteriously refreshed. I'm ready to return to Life.

In a sense, I need this recharging respite during the day, since I work deep into the night, and unfold in my yoga practice when I get least, in theory. In practice, not always, but I'm working on that. ;-) So when I got tired of feeling, well, too tired to do yoga when I got home, I set my intention to bring La Siesta into my life. So far, so good. :-)

I'm not the only one who favors naps. Ask around. Or you can ask SARK. She loves napping so much, she wrote an entire book about it! Check it out on her website if you don't believe me. One of her sayings is, "the more naps you take, the more money you make." My pursestrings are open. :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Giving Thanks (pagan style)

It's the fall equinox in my neck of the woods - the Second Harvest. This is when we (as followers of Earth-centered spiritual paths) partake fully and completely in the blessings and the bounty of the Great Mother. We reflect upon what we have harvested so far in this year, and give thanks for it.

Today, I give thanks for...
~my health, which has never been better.

~my chiropractor, who has helped me feel this way.

~my friends, both close and distant, who walk with me on this journey. Thank you SO very much for being a part of my life! :-D

~the roof over my head, the food in my pantry, the money in my bank account. It is enough, and a little bit more. ;-)

~discovering yoga. I'm not practicing it consistently yet, but my body is in bliss after I have moved - and gently reminds me that it's really time to move again. Now. (lol)

~being a citizen of a country where I can BE openly pagan, and not have to look over my shoulder all the time, for fear of my liberty or my life. May that remain the same, even as all else changes!

~being alive, awake, and aware in this very moment, at this very place. It is truly a marvelous time to be alive, during this season of significant Change! :-)

~and lastly, but far from least, to the Changes I see arising in my life in the future, both sooner and later. She changes everything She touches; everything She touches, changes. I am touched, and changed...and changing.

Or, perhaps, to sum it all up simply:
More, Please - and Thank You. :-)

Harvest blessings to all of my friends. Ho.

Monday, September 21, 2009

All in good fun, but not always in good TASTE!

What's this all about, you ask? Click on the picture and find out - after you read this entry, natch ;-)

According to my calendar, it's Monday, so I'm going to return to my romp through the senses. I started out with smell; closely related to that is taste, since the two have a very subtle, yet profound, connection. One will confirm the other, good or bad, in the arena of food - and both can be knocked askew with a strong head cold. Believe me, I know. (lol)

Although one's tastes, both physical and mental, can and do change over time, our taste receptors (aka taste buds) are changing and regenerating constantly. I forget the actual timeline, but I think we have a whole new spectrum on the tongue, ready to mix and match taste, every two weeks or so. This comes in very hand when you take a bite of something scalding hot! (which is the very reason I like the water for my tea just beginning to boil, instead of boiling fast and furiously. This, then, would be an example of "mental" taste.)

To further combine the two tastes: growing up, macaroni and cheese, a traditional staple of childhood, was not only my favorite food, it was my sustenance. Looking back now, sometimes I wonder how I managed to subsist on it and it alone! (lol) I did manage to get of the mac-n-cheese rut in college, but it wasn't until after I'd graduated, and discovered this lovely company called Sunrider, that my taste buds were cleansed, and my preferences exploded. My father's genetic legacy unlocked within me, and I dove headlong into the world of Real Food. The one thing I didn't inherit from him was his love of ultra-spicy food. I prefer to let my taste buds heal naturally, and not to short-circuit them prematurely! (lol)
This year has seen/is seeing a significant shift in the way I'm eating. Although the smell of meat (cooking) still appeals to my olfactory sense, the taste of it is, well, rather "meh." Honestly? I can take it or leave it - and I'd rather leave it. Even tuna fish. Now that's saying something, since tuna fish stayed with me throughout my initial foray into vegetarianism. Sugar, now, is a bigger challenge. I still love sweet stuff, but I have to be way more selective about what, and how much, I ingest these days. The consequences of "overindulgence" are NOT pleasant...and now that I'm thinking about it, are starting to feel more like I did when I ingested alcohol for the first (and only!) time of my life!
As I've doubtless mentioned earlier, my watchwords these days are fresh and organic. Raw? Not really, though I rather enjoyed my raw food diet for a week, I must say. SOLE? Working on it. :-)

Now, as for the other taste, that of personal preference - the title of this little Mysterious Monday missive is my tag line in several of the online forums I frequent. Personal preference is wider ranging, and can be rather hit-and-miss at times; hence, my little "disclaimer." What I want to know is: what has happened to people's personal preferences? On the one hand, so many people seem to get SO bent out of shape over things that are actually quite funny. On the other hand, what people can consider "funny" these days makes me want to roll my eyeballs back into my head, now and again! (For examples of both in action, in the same forum, see Borat. If you dare.)

One final mystery to consider: how on earth can you take such widely, wildly varying and vibrant flavors and break them down into the four "simple" components of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter? Surely there is more to chicken curry and spotted dick, my dear Horatio, than is dreamt of in your kitchen!

With apologies to Shakespeare (and fingers crossed behind my back), I will leave it at that... ;-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Bucket/Life/Master "To-Do" List :-)

This idea has been spinning around in my head for quite a while now.
Recently, while going through my email files, I came across one of the many gentle prompts I've received to write it. So, for whatever reason, pen finally found paper and transcribed it.

Of course, I reserve the right to come back and update/edit/ change it wholesale, however many times I want to. So, in no particular order, here we go...

~a succulent week in Hawaii (done! as of January 2010!).

~Japan, September, 2011 (for my 40th birthday, which is actually in October 2011, but I want to take in part of a sumo tournament)

~returning to Australia (with a short jaunt over to New Zealand), Canada, Salem (MA), New Orleans, San Francisco (done a few times, but there's still yummy things to do, like Chinatown, in depth!)

~visiting England, France, Germany, Italy, and my parents' birth cities: Independence, MO (for my mom) and Sanderson, TX (for my dad).
~revisiting my grandmother's resting place in Flemingsburg, KY

~going on a sea cruise (I don't care where.)

everything else:
~living outside of my mother's influence! (this is really beginning to gather momentum!)

~swimming with the hammerheads (something that's been added and removed several times! lol)

~ridding myself of all polyester/nylon clothing in my life by age 40. Having only natural (cotton) clothing by age 50.

~finding my Beloved and entering into Right Relationship.

~experiencing a non-autoerotic orgasm. (Go ahead, take a moment to figure that one out. I'll wait...)

~owning my own business. (I've had various ideas at times, but now I'm thinking something where I can get my mojo working - and having it work for me, ya know?)

~deepening my abundance: health, prosperity, friendships, travel (I am already blessed with all these things; to which I say, "more please, and thank you." That's why it's here.)

~making out my will (I really need to make sure my stuff doesn't get trashed or burned after I depart this plane...which might happen if my family happens to get a hold of it! boo hiss!)

~shaving my head. (Seriously. I want to do this one time. When my mother dies, I'll have my "excuse." lol)

~seeing my non-fiction work published. (I've seen my fiction published, in the art magazine my college put out while I was there. Now time to get the non-fiction out. I have the outlet, just need the material!)

~Meeting two people who I adore online in real life: Miss Leonie and Madame Maitri. (I've plugged 'em both on here; I have badges for their sites on here. I've heard both of them talk. Now I just need to see them with my own eyeballs in ze flesh!)

...and here are a few things that I've scratched OFF my list:
~visiting the hammerhead in Vegas. (Did that on my birthday in 2004, back when they had an honest-to-the-Gods hammerhead in the main tank at Mandalay Bay. Saw the Star Trek Experience while I was there as a bonus.)

~learning to bellydance. (Learn, not really...took some courses though, and integrated what I learned into my own rhythms.)

~Visiting San Francisco (first time: February 2004), Austrailia (February 2007)

~Meeting SARK in person (a very lovely woman in ze flesh! Trust me.)

So you see, if you envision it, it will manifest! :-) Although the exact form may take you by surprise... ;-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

We like da mooooon - full or new - on Monday

What's this all about, you ask? Click on the picture and find out - after you read this entry, natch ;-)

Well, I was planning to continue my romp through the senses, but the moon has been rising and setting in the back of my mind, and as she disappears into the mystery of Darkness, she has been pulling me to write about her. So. Here we are.

Monday is actually the moon's day, for this was Moon's Day once upon a time, back in the days that are surrounded by mists and memory in the human collective awareness. Fitting, really, since the moon's day follows the sun's day, just as the moon follows the sun in the sky. The rest of the days of the week are shared by various Norse deities, save for old man Saturn, who refused to cede his Day to these younger upstarts! (Saturn is the Roman name for the Greek god Kronos, who came to be associated with matters of chronos, or time itself. No wonder he wanted to stay pat!) Since I'm in danger of wandering very far off topic, I think I'll save this discussion for another time. Help me remember that I've bookmarked this...? (lol)

Anyway, back to the moon: she illustrates the greater mystery of life, in her emergence from the Darkness, only to return to it. Her cycles are constant and unchanging - although the occasional lunar eclipse throws a bit of spicy variety into the mix. Unlike the sun, with his unchanging form, the moon is continually shifting her shape. She speaks of the mysteries of birth, growth, maturing, decline, and death - and the changing one constantly does through all these phases of life. But after she disappears, she doesn't stay "disappeared" forever; no, she returns again, to start a new cycle, whispering of the mystery of re*birth! Same old moon, but a new cycle. More food for deep contemplation...

(Now, back in those misty days of memory, some will recall the moon was more likely to be referred to as "he," and the sun as "she." Over the centuries, the genders have been reassigned. I resonate more with the current assignations, but I respect those who want to kick it old-school, if you will. Just flip-flop it in your mind and you'll be fine. That's what I do quite often.) ;-)

When you look up at the moon, what do you see?
For a long time, I saw a face in the moon - the wo/man of the moon. As I started reading Chinese and Chinese-inspired literature (translated - I don't speak or read it in this lifetime! lol), I came across the idea of the hare in the moon. So I looked again, with new eyes, and there it was! Now I see the hare instead of the face. For those who are interested, you'll need to turn your head sideways to see it. When the moon wanes, the ears of the hare disappear first.

I have found myself aligning more and more with the moon and her cycles of shapeshifting over these last few years, particularly with my studies of (Divine) Feminism. I find myself counting the months more by the moon, rather than the formal, solar-anchored (and much altered!) calendar. Not surprising, since the months used to be meted out by the constant waxing and waning of the moon.
All the other female mammals have solar-based estrus cycles; human females are the only mammal to have lunar menstrual cycles. We freed ourselves from the cycles of the sun to gain a competitive edge, perhaps...or perhaps to enable ourselves to experience pleasure when it comes to procreation! Either way, this was the first shape-shifting of the human species, and the opening of the gate of human evolution. The second shape-shifting has yet to take hold fully - and that will be another topic of discussion.

For now, I will keep an eye on the little lunar advisor I've added to my blog, since the seasons are changing, and the marine layer has returned, thick and gray and dense, obscuring the sky and blocking the view. I feel my energies re-aligning themselves with her gentle, constant waxing and waning...even if my menstrual cycle feels like keeping its own rhythm. Ah, the quirks of being something entirely else in the world! (lol)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Considering smelly mysteries today...

What's this all about, you ask? Click on the picture and find out - after you read this entry, natch ;-)

My sense of smell was not knocked completely out of commission with this last cold/allergy attack/whatever the sam-hill it was that I experienced. This is entirely a good thing.
As I have been rather focused on my nose for this past week or so, I thought it would be entirely appropriate to have a smell-o-rama version of Mysterious Mondays.

So let us consider the sense of smell...It has the unique and mysterious capacity, out of all the senses, to transport us instantly back in time, and to another place, at the first whiff of a familiar scent. When we are mindful, it warns us of danger; alternatively, it invites us to relax and experience bliss. Since smell is so simple, yet so profound, I suspect it's deeply connected to our more intuitive, instinctive natures (from which our appreciation of mystery and miracle arises).

My top six fave smells - subject to shift at a moment's notice:
~Woodsmoke. This scent can calm me and excite me all in the same breath. I feel most Authentic and Power*full and Mysterious when I take it in. I joke that "eau d'woodsmoke" is the preferred perfume for pagans. ;-)
~Rose. If woodsmoke brings out my inner pagan, then rose awakens my inner Goddess. Rose is the scent most affiliated with the Great Mother. I am at my most yin when I am resplendent with Rose.
~Lavender. My "go-to" summer scent. It cools, calms, refreshes.
~Vanilla. My "go-to" winter scent. It warms, calms, soothes.
~Pine. The scent of pine trees in the breeze stirs feelings of freedom within me. Between their delicious smell and the sound the breeze makes as it passes through their needles, I could stay in a pine grove for hours.
~Ocean. Often imitated but never truly duplicated. The smell of the sea also stirs feelings of freedom within me. It clears me out and lifts me up, when I'm in need of a boost. Combine the scent with the sound, and here's another place I could stay for hours.

Now for a couple of personal mysteries around smell...
~I have a pair of "eco-friendly" candles that say they're lavender. Yet when I sniff at 'em, I catch the distinct smell of patchouli mixed in. I am not fond of patchouli. Nowhere does it say that patchouli is a part of the candle scent. So why do I smell patchouli? :-o
~My mother and I are "triggered" by different sets of smells. By "triggered," I mean at the first whiff of something, the immediate reaction goes along the lines of "ye-gods-get-that-offensive-odor-out-of-nasal-range-Right-NOW!" Mother reacts most adversely to nature-based smells (we have a cat, so I think I don't need to elaborate too much on that! lol). I, on the other hand, react most adversely to artificial chemical smells. Mother's favorite cleaner, for example, is this stuff called BAM. Yes, it's really good - but when she starts using it, I have to leave the room. Sometimes I have to leave the house.
Certain chemical cleansers just set me off, and I have to remove myself from their vicinity. I think it goes back to a lab-session in an Organic Chemistry class, when I mixed two things together, got overwhelmed by the fumes, and had to all-but-run from the room to inhale some fresh air At Once!

An interesting "side effect" of my journey has been a greater appreciation of food. I find myself attracted more and more to the scents of cooking, and will often stop in a doorway and inhale deeply, throwing my head back so that I can take in the scent fully through both nostrils. It doesn't matter what's cooking, really; I love most all the food scents. I even still appreciate the smell of meat on the grill. I have been known to stop in my tracks and breathe deeply, now and again, to pay homage to the rich and tangy scent of meat as it wafts by. Eat it, though? No thanks, not these days.
Maybe I won't be completely vegan until the pleasure I derive from smelling cooking meat disappears from my being. There's a Mystery for you to ponder...! ;-)

So on that note, toodles, peeps!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

~but first, i am a drummer~

As I've made my way through this decade-plus of my glorious Re*Invention and Real*I*Zation, there has always been one touchstone on this journey that I've been able to return to, again and again, on a regular basis. It is the drum. Before I was a Witch, an Energy Worker, a Priestess in the World...first, I was a drummer, and in a very real sense, it opened up all the other doors.

I changed jobs in January of 1998, the year I began my Journey of Spirit. Through this change, I kept in touch with a co-worker in my previous job (at a photography studio). Miss W. and I had struck up a friendship, because both of us had a quirky view of the world around us - and we each recognized this. Without even knowing it at the time, she would be my first pathfinder. It was at Miss W's invitation that I went Sufi-dancing at Questhaven to ring in the new year that was 1998, and received my first exposure to Something More that was present in life. She would later introduce me to a marvelous circle of women who gather monthly, on the Saturday nearest the new moon, and I would experience my first feelings of homecoming. But, I digress...

In May of '98, Miss W. invited me to meet a woman who was teaching a drumming class at the Philosophical Library. Miss Verdante had set up shop in a back room, with a variety of drums. So at that class, I was joined by W. and a few other folks. We drummed. We changed rhythms now and again. There were times when I would make a mistake and (gasp!) lose the rhythm, or (gasp again!) change rhythms midstream...and it was completely okay. No one critiqued me. No one judged me. I was allowed to find the rhythms that suited me, and change rhythms now and again. For a woman just beginning to make her way through Shadows, this was huge.
But wait, there's more! Miss Verdante saw how I was struggling a bit with the small gourd drums, and suggested to me, "Why don't you try this drum?" She gave me a taller, larger drum, with a large head adorned with spirals, with thick black ropes securing the ring around the head and meeting in a large cable close to its base. So I played this drum, and found a part of myself. I played this drum, and found an aspect of my Voice that had been silent. I played this drum, and knew that I had always had this rhythm inside me; now was the time to remember it.

I was sad to see the drum go back home with her.
When we crossed paths again at the new moon circle, she brought that drum to the gathering. Soon enough, it came home with me. "Azaethlin" was the first drum I bought, and has been with me the longest. I still take it to the new moon gatherings, when I can go.
I started with one drum in 1998. Now I have six drums.
I started with one circle in 1998. Now I have two, and have drifted in and out of several others.

I had an awesome experience in 2003, at a Renaissance Faire, when I was with my coven: we had driven up to the Faire to look around. By and by, I found myself a group of drummers wailing away. I tried to resist the pull, but it was too much. I eventually had to excuse myself for a time and walk over, find a resting drum, and join in with the rhythm. I was part of a group of perfect strangers - men and women who didn't know each other from Adam's cats - yet we meshed our individual rhythms perfectly. When we finally came to a collective stop, we thanked each other with wide grins (and sore hands! lol) and dispersed back to our own lives. This taught me how people can come together in true community...the first lesson I was to receive in this, but far from the last. :-)

There is one drum circle that I gather with most consistently. It meets on the first Saturday of each month. It is a women's circle. It is a fantastic circle. I drum there, with two of my drum posse: "Chanel No. 5" (a djimbe that I purchased at that circle), and my hand drum, Anna Sexta. (You can check them out here.)
Now and again, I'm known to put down the drums and dance. I started dancing at the drum circle (I think) in 2002...which has also proven to be extraordinarily liberating.
But always, I return to the drum, and the playing of the drum, and the evocation of my own rhythm.

For first, you see, I am a drummer...and that, unlike everything else in my life, has not changed.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Props for my Peeps #3

I've bragged on Miss Leonie before. I love her website so much, she's one of my featured posse. (She's the one who can "see the Goddess in you.") And now she's serving up another slice of beyond awesome to the global peepulation.

I took this e-Course the first time around. It was something of a last-minute choice; I'd been hemming and hawing about taking it for a few weeks beforehand. So finally I said yes...and it started a bit after the NorCal retreat I attended - you know, the one that's changed my life as I know it. ;-)
I wound up taking this six-week course in eight weeks. It also changed my life, but in different, more subtle ways...
I've always considered myself a Creatrix, but this course solidified a few things. I also stretched my creative muscles in media I hadn't explored before - like working on a 3-D piece. And painting. On canvas. Freehand! Considering I am rather challenged in drawing a straight line with a ruler, this was significant! (lol)
The biggest breakthrough I had, though, came at the end. I won't spoil anything for anyone, but suffice it to say that this e-course provided just the inspiration I needed to get my CD online for public consumption. When I had finished uploading all the audio tracks onto Lulu, I literally squealed in my chair, then leapt up and did a happy dance. The rest, as they say, was gravy.

So if you've lost your creative spark, or need a little somethin' to fan your spark back into a flame, take this e-course. Miss Leonie is offering this e-course at a ridiculously great price: six weeks for $67. Where else are you going to find someone offering a globally available course for a smidge more than $11 per week? Really? It's worth every penny, I can assure you!

PS - because of this course, I was also inspired to go through all my art supplies and consolidate them into one place. Who knew I had gathered so many variations on sky blue alone? (lol)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Play Date #2...or should I call it a "Pray-Date"?

For the last several weeks, I've been feeling a pull in my spirit. The pull has been westward. The pull has been to the coast - to the beach - to the sea. And it's taken these past several weeks for me to hit critical mass and just do it! like the famous slogan says.

Last week, I was all set to go...until I stepped into the Moon Lodge, and profound spells of sleeping. I emerged - into a nasal blockage, and more sleeping. So I went slowly for a while.

Today, wouldn't you know, I had to go to the coast. I've been wanting to re-book myself at the Well Within, so I could have more fun with people and establish that thing called presence in the community. So I got myself up, got food in my tummy, got myself dressed, got my bag packed with what I wanted to take, and got out of the house. Let the adventure begin!

Do you know, every time I've been to the Well Within, there has been a parking spot waiting for me? Every single blessed time? Talk about your pronoiac co-creations! (lol) And the people who run this place are totally made of awesome! :-) So, I am now re-booked for 10/17! Don't worry, I'll remind y'all again, several times over. ;-)

Once I was done there...I loosed myself from the bonds of time and slipped along the Now, free of "obligations." Now it was time to take care of the Real Business. So my next stop was the SRF Meditation Garden, a stone's throw away down the 101. It is an oasis in this dry land, both literally and metaphorically. (This is the former home of The Ambassador, the stone that will be accompanying me to Joshua Tree in a bit less than two months. Points for you if you remember that little detail! lol)

I visited a few spots in the Garden and, well, prayed. I took my juju bundle with the Sparks of Hope into my hands, feeling its energy merge with the energies surrounding me. (The Garden is a major high-frequency place, yet grounding at the same time. All the flowing water, methinks.) At one particular spot, which is a pepper tree dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, I released the last bits of the Transformation Arrow - the pennies and crystals that I could not burn in the fire. I had planned to take pictures of the tree and the offerings, but I was strongly advised against it, so I left well enough alone. So I took oodles of pictures of the main koi pond instead. (Note to self: look up koi fish! This is the second time I've been drawn to them!) I did some serious meditative prayer at this pond, before I affirmed it was time to move on, to my principal destination; the sea was waiting patiently for me...

I skipped up to Moonlight Beach, and lo! Miracle of miracles, there were parking spaces open! I secured one, grabbed my beach chair, and went down to the beach. My sandals came off the moment I hit the sand. Along with feeling absolutely delicious on your feet, beach sand is an excellent exfoliant - and believe me, the soles of my feet needed some exfoliating at that point! I found a suitable patch, plonked my chair down, and sighed in bliss. Just as I can feel myself open up in the silence at Questhaven, I felt myself open up here. This was another part of me that had needed refueling for a long while, and again, I didn't realize how much I'd really needed to sit at the beach and Do Nothing (okay, I read a couple of chapters of my current book) until I was sitting at the beach and Doing Nothing. I sat. I prayed a little more with my juju bundle. I walked along the beach and gathered a few can you NOT gather treasures when you're at the beach? I even sang a little as I walked.

When it became obvious that the sunset would not be visible due to the encroaching marine layer, I folded myself up and went back to my car. Dinner was al fresco at a little place in The Lumberyard (a somewhat modest outdoor mall) called 3rd Corner: a goat-cheese salad and a cup of skinny, parmesean-enhanced, fresh fries. Yes, fries. With catsup. That didn't make me sick! That's how fresh they were! Dessert followed, from a little gelato place a few doors down. A small cup of chocolate fudge was mine...and it didn't make me sick, either. :-)

With the last of the sunset, after some more walking and nosing about, I was finally ready to return home. The loveliest of sights greeted me as I nosed the car eastward: the Harvest Moon, full and bright, rising majestically in the deepening night. I think I grinned all the way home.

So there's my play/pray date.
Tomorrow is the fun date - drumming!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The "Trippy Tuesday" edition of...

What's this all about, you ask? Click on the picture and find out - after you read this entry, natch ;-)

Yah, I know it's Tuesday, and not Monday, but there's a good reason for this.
I've had a cold in my nose. I hinted at this in the last blog entry I made, but it became official on Sunday. Lovely times...NOT!
(Here's a mystery for you: how do people get/pass along colds in the middle of the hot weather season? Don't colds thrive in cold weather? Just thinkin...)

Yet this is the happiest time I've ever had while completely congested - because I didn't fight it. It was, okay, I've got a cold. I've already slowed down; I guess I'm continuing in the slow lane for a while. And the weather being absolutely gorgeous (for dragons like me) hasn't hurt at all. I dined "al fresco" last night at work, in fact, enjoying the cricket symphony in the lovely balmy evening. Delicious! :-)

During this nasal experience, I stumbled across a massively mysterious item which has been a great help to me: Breathe Right nasal strips.
It's just a Band-Aid with a spring in it, basically. How could such a small little thing help with my congestion? Yet it does! I put it on, and within a few seconds, I can breathe again! :-o Your nostrils are pulled just slightly wider, and that seems to make all the difference. Magical! Mysterious! and Most Appreciated!
And here's a little bonus Mystery, if you find yourself in need of one of these little nasal strips...
If you peel the outer wrapping off of it in the dark, it will spark blue-green! The quicker you peel, the bluer the luminescence is! Try it! (and yes, you can turn the light on after you peel off the outer wrapping; this way, you'll be able to put the strip on your nose instead of, say, your third eye. lol)

Next week, I'll be back on Monday, with more mysteries to ponder, and perhaps solve. Hopefully I'll be breathing nicely without the aid of one of my nasal strips...but I'll never open one in the light of day again! ;-)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Slowing way down...

Thanks to some Divine Perfect Timing, my stay in the Moon Lodge came over the three days I had off from work. I moved in the world only as I needed to, staying home, staying (mostly) indoors.

The realization hit me on Saturday, as my nose became congested and my throat started getting sore: When was the last time I'd spent all three days of my "weekend" at home?
Like, um, never?

You know when you can't remember the last time you did something, doing that something is way overdue...or in this case, NOT doing something. ;-)

This cold/allergy episode/whatever this is, this is simply reinforcing the lesson that was introduced to me in the Moon Lodge: s l o w
d o w n. Check in with myself. Be still in the center, in my center. Open up and soften. Observe. Pray. Reconnect with my own innate holiness. Allow the subtle forces moving around and within me to work their magick of Change upon me...

Reinventing myself, yet again.
So we'll see what this iteration brings. ;-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

snapshot of my life: saturday, 8/29

I thought I'd start lifting the veil now and again and give y'all a look at the ordinary moments, quickie summations about what's going on around me, and within me...

~We're having a good ol' fashioned heat wave in my neck of the woods. About bloody time. (lol) Seriously, while my friends and co-workers may wilt in the intense heat, I thrive. I romp. Give me unlimited access to water and I can go from sunup to sundown, as they say. Were it not for my intense connection with the ocean, I'd probably be living in Sedona these days. Or maybe somewhere around Area 51. ;-)
A/C? I don't need no stinkin' A/C! We have it anyway (and it's on right now, because I'm the only dragon in the house). I can totally hear the droning of everyone else's A/C units when I go get the mail in the later afternoon...
See, I live in a condo complex with my mom and our cat. We're toward the front of the complex, and the mailboxes for the complex are in the back. So I make it a point to go walk to the mailboxes to fetch the mail and come back again. I may bend many of my other guidelines for myself, but walking to get the mail isn't one of them. Cold? Ha, I'll just throw on an extra sweater and walk really fast! Rain? Pish, I'll take an umbrella!

~Speaking of rain...we haven't gotten a lot of it these past few years. We're in a drought situation, which means we have to watch our water consumption very closely, and more closely by the week, it seems. It's raining back east, where there's supposed to be tennis, and Little League - and many SoCal peeps would give their eyeteeth for a few inches of that moisture to come our way. Weather is a strange thing, and getting stranger by the year.
Ah yes, Little League: one of the US teams is from Chula Vista. They're rather south of where I live, but they're technically local, since we share the same county. So everyone around the San Diego area has been right chuffed, as some of my Commonwealth friends would say; depending on the outcome of the weekend's games, we may well wind up totally & fully stoked, as we say in Cali. Now, can we pass some of that luck onto the Chargers this year? (lol)

~Sports: pretty well the only tv I watch these days...the only tv worth watching, these days! Even if you follow a team who's made more of suck than awesome, these days. ;-)

~Skype totally rocks. With it, I can talk to my friends who are scattered all over the country - and the world. I reconnected with one of my dearest Aussie chums last night after she downloaded Skype for herself. The fact that we can talk all we want to, for FREE, is so ridiculously groovy it's insane! We need more of this kind of insanity in the world!

~Switching topics entirely: during the summer, my favorite food is fresh. Salads, sandwiches, snacks - I want them freshly made, or I want fresh ingredients to make them myself. My ambition has kicked in; I purchased myself some hard-boiled eggs from Trader Joe's so I can try my hand at making myself some egg salad. (Yes, they're already hard boiled. Go ahead and laugh; I'll wait.)
This is the time of year, from midsummer through the autumn equinox, that my diet is the most organic and least processed. Maybe I could even make a bit of claim toward being a raw foodie. Should I make the commitment to being totally raw, this would be the time I started that particular lifestyle, fer sure.

~And a different kind of ridiculous...I live maybe half an hour away from the coast. Times I've been to the beach this year? Zero. Taking the beach for granted? Yup, guilty, yer honor. On the other hand, I have been feeling the craving to go beachside for the past few weeks - just haven't crossed that threshold from feeling it to DOING it. Yet. Not that the beach is going anywhere, ya know? ;-)
Had been planning on getting out today, but there's this tickle in the back of my throat that I'm not liking. (I'm sucking on a throat lozenge right now.) I think the culprit is this bloody A/C! Lovely as it is, it does make it more challenging to adapt to the weather changes as they happen!

Off to get my water bottle, with one final question - why is my mother watching the Raiders, FFS?!? (lol)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Notes from the Moon Lodge...

First, a translation:
When I say I'm "in the Moon Lodge," it's the same thing as being in the Red Tent, or the Menstrual Hut/Cave. Yup, I'm doing my monthly bleeding, and I'm staying close to home, not doing a whole lot.

So many women are told and taught to believe this is, at best, a significant inconvenience, and at worst, a horrible "curse" that leaves you "unclean."
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The time of menstruation reconnects us to one of our great Mysteries, reminding us that we can (co-) create and nurture LIFE within us. Woman's blood was once universally regarded as a source of Great Power. Women used to bleed together, in harmony with the lunar cycles; each dark moon, you would find many women together in their sacred space, resting and dreaming the future into the present moment, collectively envisioning the shared destiny of the village/tribe for the next month/season/year.

Many of us are rediscovering the truth about our Moon*Time and sharing it with our sisters, shattering the myths that have been passed down for generations. That whole PMS deal? That's your soul telling you to prepare to Go Within, ladies. Shed the concerns and chaos of the outside world, pack lightly, and head to the Menstrual Hut. Prepare yourself to dream...and be extra gentle with yourself, for your emotions are running just under the surface, now. They will return to their depths when you have finished your bleeding.

When I am in the Moon Lodge, I find my creative juices flow very easily, as the red river flows from me. I also find myself growing quieter, observing more, speaking and acting less. When I begin my Moon*Time on a non-workday, as I did this time around, I can tune in to the sacred and the mystic more easily, noting the holy in the ordinary, and bless it and give thanks. When I am in the Moon Lodge, there are fewer "obstacles" between my inner world and my outer world. I am more fully and completely in my Authentic Power.

No, I haven't always been this way. I bought into the myths myself when I was in my teens and early twenties. At one point, I couldn't wait until I turned 21 so I could get a hysterectomy! :-o
See, I've had hormonal imbalance issues most of my life. I was on "the pill" for twenty years. I began to wean myself off of artificial hormones after I "messed up" my schedule of taking them in Australia. I have been "hormone-free" for a little more than a year, now...and save for one hiccup where I visited the Moon Lodge twice in a three week span (!), I've been pretty regular.

I have noticed that if I'm due to start bleeding, doing or participating in sacred ritual will get me started without fail - sometimes quite abruptly and explosively! (lol) After one such ritual a few years back, I compared notes with two other women...and we discovered all three of us had started overnight, in synch! Rather than be horrified, we were (virtually) high-fiving each other. Such is the gift of following an Earth-centered tradition! ;-)

So I shall continue, for a few days more, walking in relative silence and serenity. Then, I will begin my outward swing back into the world.
If all women who still bleed could take a few days for themselves in the Moon Lodge, there would be more miracles and less strife! Word up!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Props for My Peeps #2: Mysterious Mondays

Time for a little fun, and another faboo person I'd like y'all to meet, if you haven't already.
Everyone, meet Mother Maitri.
We first "met" on the SARK forum, in one of its earlier incarnations. I was immediately drawn to her website: a mix of mirth, compassion, and authenticity. If nothing else, she is authentic, in her beliefs, her words, her narratives. She is a most lovely being, strong and tender and silly and poignant - and many more things, equally applicable, all in one. I dare you to look at her blog/s and NOT want to bookmark at least one of them at once! Oh, and did I mention she was Authentic? ;-)

She started a little somethin' last week called Mystery Mondays...viz, the lovely little graphic that's (hopefully!) at the top of this entry. Each week, we'll talk about "things that make us go hmm," from the simple to the profound.

I thought I'd start off by solving a mystery (hey, I'm a shamanic priestess; we solve mysteries now and again! lol) before posing one of my own.
So - Maitri considered this topic as her first mystery: Ouija boards.
I used one in the past. I don't anymore, since I've found other divinatory techniques that answer my queries much quicker and more efficiently. Don't get me wrong; they are good tools to use - IF you've cast sacred space first!
See, using a Ouija board is just like any other spellcasting...and if you haven't established clear boundaries, and invited only help*full guides & spirits in, you're bound to get tricksters coming in to give you messages that will mess with your head. They will, however, tell you some interesting stories as they're playing you...maybe I'll share that another time, closer to Samhain.

Anyhoo, here are some mysteries I've been pondering:
~Speed limits. Is it just in SoCal, or are speed limits regarded as "this is the minimum speed you need to go, lest you become a speed bump"? I do admit to going a wee bit over the speed limit now and again, but there always seem to be several people who think the freeways are their own personal Autobahn. There are speed limits, and then there's "Keeping Up With the Traffic," and rarely the twain seem to meet!

~My dear cat, Princess Joey Fur-Purrson, was raised with two other cats. So she should Little Miss Social with other members of her kind, right? Um, that would be a no. Nine times out of ten, she sees another cat and the hackles rise, the spitting begins, and if she's really feeling her mojo, she will bull-rush the door/window, screaming, "It's ON like Donkey-Kong, FOOL!" How did she become so antisocial? (le sigh)

~Why is it that when I mention a product, even generically and in passing, on Twitter, a dozen spambots suddenly want to follow me? That's what happened when I wrote "DVD" in one of my tweets. (note to self: don't mention material things on Twitter. Ever!)

~And to finish off, the mystery that inspired me when I was first gaining awareness of my surroundings, years and years ago: Why do the heads of hammerhead sharks look like hammers? (maybe it truly is a raven-and-writing desk thing! Ooh, Scary!!) ;-)

If nothing else, this will inspire me to blog on a more regular basis, non?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thoughts during the New Moon...

There was a new moon Thursday night/morning.

Today I wrap myself in a blanket of self-love, as I did yesterday and the day before, and as I will tomorrow.

I am disinclined to move a whole lot. I am craving stillness.
The quiet within me reflects the quiet around me - overcast, with just a touch of rain.
They said there was a chance of thunderstorms, but I don't think so; otherwise I'd be bouncing off the walls. (lol)

I am not speaking as much right now.
I can't do a "word-fast" entirely (mom would freak her freak), but I can conserve my words, and be more non-verbal, listen more to the silence.

Fasted on Thursday, for the new moon.
A moderate fast, this time, to push the reset button on my digestive system.
(Had a sugar purge to kick off the week. NOT fun!)

With the sunrise, I will start moving again, after a fashion.
With the sunset, I will gather with my sisters and aunties, and share secrets and mysteries.
Soon enough, I look forward again.

Right now, I am still, in the darkness of the new moon.
Right now is a good night for pondering, and prayer, and dreaming the new month into existence...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Heavy Lifting with Coyote (the rest of the update)

The further I go into this year, the more meaning the word integration takes on for me.
Entering 2009, I thought I was a well-integrated person. I'd done lots of Work during the previous ten years, a lot of Shadow-assimilation and radical healing. I would've said I was really coming into my own as a Priestess.
I had no blerking idea how true my words were - or what was to begin unfolding for me.

The retreat I went to in January...people, I am not lying when I tell you it was a homecoming. The men & women I met there, and have gotten to know better since, are beautiful souls. Awakened souls, like me, who are wanting to take it to the Next Level, and are Doing Something about it! (I have a portal to my new fave e-place on the right-hand side of my blog; it's the first one listed under "My Posse," since they are a major part of my posse. Scope 'em!)

I am also not lying when I say I've done more Work within myself in these past seven-odd months than I have done in years. It's basically been an ever-unfolding challenge: You think you're ready to do this brilliant blossoming? Well, you really need to resolve some basic business first, m'dear!

Hence, this last month or so...under the tutelage of the Trickster.
I felt the interplay of brightness and Shadow arising into my awareness over the Fourth of July weekend. As the interplay within manifested without, I found a huge stuck place within myself: I had never fully resolved the trauma of junior high school. Acknowledged, yes, Worked on/with, yes - but it still lingered within the still depths of my being. I found myself reacting to circumstances not as a thirtysomething Priestess - but as a thirteen year old girl.

So I found a starting point. What do I need to do to heal this fully?
The vision-quests I had planned on doing turned into sessions of Deep Trance, something I rarely did before.
I sat with the feelings swirling within me and allowed certain themes to emerge.
I got messy, and exploded within myself. I shared the messiness with my new/old friends, something I rarely do until whatever journey I'm on is over, and I can present the nice neat airbrushed version, like I'm doing here. ;-)
I captured the most relevant negative thoughts, and put them on strips of paper. I made a juju bundle with them, to pray over them and transform them. I had interesting experiences with said bundle.
Eventually, the positive thoughts arose to repudiate the negative ones. They are waiting for their own juju bundle, to be made in a few days, with the new moon. As for the negative thoughts, they have been bound onto a Transformation Arrow, to undergo final release in a few days!
The whole process hit its crescendo right around 8/3, with the anniversary of my dad's passing (gee, what a surprise! NOT!) and finished itself around the full moon a few days later. The Arrow has come together over the course of the waning moon.

I am finding myself in a space of stillness, as things realign themselves around me. I acknowledge this Fallow Time in my life, and allow it to unfold as it will.
I am also pleasantly surprised to find my theme for this year's Harvest season: Love. Again, I will allow this to unfold as it will.

I can't think of any "cutesy" way to wrap this up, so I think I will leave it at this...