Thursday, December 29, 2011

More ritual thoughts

I'm still trying to figure out how to let go of the sadness I found under my anger.  So far, I've been unable to unwind it... so I'm looking for strategies.  I enrolled in SouLodge for the winter session... hoping that going within will help.  Might as well try to align with nature to help me through... right?

My other strategy is to dismantle this stuff from my own energetic field.  Think of it this way.  Imagine that the energetic structures are made out of things that resemble Tinker Toys.  All of the possibilities are present "out there".  As I move through life, I meet someone who says... "here... you need this piece" and they hand me a tinker toy that says "nice".  Because I trust this person I take the tinker toy and add it to my structure.  Many come from well-meaning people... trying to teach you how to be in the world... many come from parents... we tend to build our structures when we're young the way our parents built their structures.  After all... they survived... didn't they?  So something about what they did works.

Now, imagine that I've got this huge, unwieldy thing that is my energetic field... and I become aware that some of these tinker toys don't even fit with my sense of self.  These pieces that don't belong to me are heavy, they require lots of energy to carry, and attract feelings of frustration... and maybe anger... or sadness.  The way to heal the heaviness, fatigue, and negativity is to get rid of what doesn't belong.  Unfortunately, some of the things that don't belong now hold up much larger structures... and they're not easy to remove.

In this vision of tinker toys... I have started to find structures that I want to get rid of, and I am doing it in meditation.  I am sitting down, naming the structures I don't want... and I'm returning them to the "out there" place that holds all possibilities.  Someone else might want these... after all!  :)

I've named several triangles and removed them... sad, pathetic, unworthy... sad, worthless, unwanted... sad, victim, gullible... and on and on.  I actually think I'm starting to feel lighter.  Clearly, some of the structures are still in place, even though I've removed these little pieces.  I think it's losing its structural integrity... and it's just a matter of time... and a few more tinker toys... and I'll find a momentary place of ease on the other side of this ritual.

The way I see it, this is coming into alignment with the creator within.  I have the power to choose what I carry, how I build my Self... and I might as well connect with the very center of that to take care of this shit once and for all.  I've done tons of work where I pick up each ill-fitting piece, turn it over, examine it, open old wounds, and then put it right back where I found it... in my own space.  This time... I want to resolve this.

Monday, December 26, 2011


On Thursday night three friends and I gathered to make releasing bundles (like the one below by Pixie Campbell) and drop the figurative backpack full of bricks that were old grudges, outdated agreements, and hurts that we still carried even though the people who caused them were long gone. 

We had a very casual gathering to make the bundles.  We went down to the beach to build the fire while we stated the things we were wanting to leave behind.  We threw our bundles of herbs and pieces of  paper containing our "bricks" into the fire, and watched them burn.

Then we invited into our lives what we DO want in the coming year.  We spoke of peace, joy, ease, strength, compassion and so many other things.  We laughed and we were serious... and most of all... we were casual.  It was a co-creation that took all of us... just perfectly as we were.

It wasn't as cathartic as I'd hoped... it didn't "fix" all of the issues I had hoped thought were simply a problem because I held on to old anger.  In fact, releasing the anger left me with sadness.  My asthma has been worse the last few days... and lungs are a common place to hold sadness.  It's a little much for me right now to examine my anger... only to find the sadness underneath.  I didn't want more work... I wanted more ease.  But I guess that's why this is called a path... there's really no destination, now, is there?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Solstice ritual

So, I have begun planning my solstice/new moon anger transformation ritual.  I've invited four other people... so it's a small group.

Right now the plan is to make the releasing bundles at my house... then go out to the beach to build a bonfire (which I imagine is going to be really really cold!).  We'll do the ritual, then head back to my house for some tea and a snack before we disperse back to our lives.

The ritual involves acknowledging the pain that initiated the anger.  Little pieces of paper stating the pains are part of the releasing bundles that we'll make before going to the beach for the bonfire.  We will drum to raise the energy to be transformed.  At the peak of the energy we'll throw the releasing bundles into the fire for transformation.  This will be done by acknowledging the unexpected gifts we received from the situation... probably things like "knowing myself more fully", "gaining my strength", "clarity about the relationship", etc.  At the end I want to state the intention for the new space without the anger.  What do I want to nurture in the coming year in myself?  I hope to do each of these steps with people feeling able to just speak out as they are moved... without needing to be overly organized.

I've never created and held any kind of ritual with other people.  I'm a bit nervous about including others, but it seemed so clear I didn't want to do this by myself... like it was anti-climactic or something.  I've reached out, and I was very careful about who I reached out to... so that it was people I felt comfortable with... and people that I knew I could let be co-creative with me.

So, there we are... I've evolved to a place where I'm inviting people into my spirituality and self-growth.  Wow... I feel like I've come a long way... which reminds me of one of my favorite songs if you care to take a listen... Come A Long Way by Michelle Shocked.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Anger Transformation Ritual

Well... I have a date for my ritual... it's been building for awhile... all the talk of Hecate and such... and I'm going to do it on December 22, the shortest day of the year.  There is promise in the returning light, and I can leave behind what does not serve me as I move forward on my path.

Pixie Campbell is organizing a Mother of All Releasings Ceremony for that dark night... and I'm going to participate.  In fact, this is exactly the kind of thing I needed.  I think I may add to my ceremony making the Releasing Bundle... even though I have most of my ceremony written out.  I have many of my ritual elements figured out... but part of my hesitation was trying to decide if I should have people with me or if I should do it alone.  Now I get both!

This fury that I carry is very personal, very deep, and very sensitive.  In that sense I wanted to do this ritual alone.  And yet, there's power in the resonance of people doing the same thing at the same time... and I want this to be a powerful experience.  This is a transformation of dark energy that I've used to define myself.  I want to carry this no longer.  I have a much better way ahead.  So, this is huge, but it's also sensitive and private... so I'm glad to have "stumbled upon" this larger ceremony going on.

If you have anything you'd like to transform at the solstice the group is still gathering.  Just check out Pixie's blog for details.

The winds of change are (literally) blowing here... I've been watching the wind strip the last of the leaves off of my birch trees... and I feel like it's doing the same to me.  I'm being cleansed down to my core... my essence... getting ready for this ritual.  I will transform all that does not serve me, all that has become a habit to carry... I am going to step into my Self.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Following Hecate's lead...

I spent a whole lot of time after my surgery and around Samhain reading and thinking about dark goddesses.  I mentioned awhile back that I am feeling Hecate in my life... taking me to examine things that have been dormant for a long time... and are now just baggage that is holding me back.  This isn't an easy journey... but I've embraced it... how else can I move forward?  Besides, even though I have the option not to look, it really is feeling like there is no other good choice for me, other than to meet Hecate at the crossroads and see what she shows me.  Oddly... I live at a crossroads... at a "T"... such that there are three streets.  Interesting placement, eh?

My favorite interpretation of Hecate - by Thalia Took

So, as I've been investigating these feelings that are suppressed... I'm finding that I have a lot of unacknowledged anger in my world.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's fury.  This awareness has sure brought cohesiveness to a lot of the symbolism that's come into my world lately.  I am being initiated into a shamanic healing awareness called Munay-Ki, and when you begin your process you get a stone... and I've always thought mine was ugly.  In the spring I mentioned that I thought my stone was ugly to a friend... who said she thought she knew what that meant.  I thought about it... and realized that I did too.  It was time to look at things I didn't really want to look at... the ugly stuff... which is what brought Hecate into my life... the one who would lead me to see the "ugliness" in myself.

Now... I'm realizing that what Hecate wants me to see first is anger.  I don't think I know too many people who were taught how to deal with anger.  Mostly, we're taught to suppress it... especially women... because we're supposed to be "nice", and it isn't comfortable for most people to deal with anger.  Usually, when a woman expresses anger she's shunned and referred to as a "bitch".  We're not encouraged to express our truths and wield our power.

So, I'm working on a ritual to address and transform anger.  I've got a few ideas... but I'm still working on the details... I'll post more about it when I've made some progress...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Samhain!

 Oh yes... it is starting to look like fall...

Which... here... can only mean one thing... All Hallow's Eve is nearly upon us!

....Who goes there???...

Trespassing is not taken lightly...

If you come to seek the witch... but do not ask permission to travel... you may become a permanent resident... aaahhhaaahaaaa....

Wait here... I'll see if she's willing to speak to you...

What are these,
So withered, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on 't?

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes....


Thursday, October 27, 2011

All is well

I made it through.  Honestly, I think all of the anticipation is worse than the actual recovery.  Tomorrow we do a wound check to make sure I'm healing well... and then I can start moving around a bit more.  So, until then... thanks to those who sent well wishes...

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I'm making plans.  Seems it's time to do a surgery that I knew was coming... I have to replace my pacemaker battery.  It's not THAT big of a deal... it's outpatient, and I'll recover quickly (I've done this surgery once before... and it's not nearly as bad as the placement surgery).  So, I'm getting chores taken care of so that I can rest easily in the days that follow the procedure... I have a tendency to get bored and try to do stuff. 

So, I'm stacking books, tarot cards, and paper and pens by my bed.  I've cleaned my room and done the laundry and organized carpools and meals.  The last thing left is to organize myself.  It's hard for me to face the surgery... mostly because of the traumas that resurface about the original pacemaker placement.  I was 21 and terrified.  It did not go smoothly.  I spent my Christmas vacation from my junior year of college in Cardiac ICU.  It was awful... and I remember it vividly.

But I'm not really sure what to do for myself.  I can't carry any talismans or anything into surgery, so I'm limited in what I can do for something tangible.  Whatever I do has to be an internal state of readiness and "go with the flow".  And yet, I feel resistance. 

I've done some things... I've arranged to hang out with a friend in the "cosmic waiting room" during the procedure.  I've consulted my tarot cards about anything I need to do before surgery... but it's not clear to me what they're saying... so I'm a little lost there.  I'm not getting Strength and King of Swords to tell me to just buck up... so I don't know.  I'm also getting scared, just a tiny bit, which I suppose comes from being a mom this time.  I've never gone into surgery being a mom before... I'm not crazy about the idea.  Or maybe it's just my generalized anxiety finding a new outlet...

At any rate... my surgery is Wednesday morning.  And if you have any suggestions about things I can do to prepare myself I'd love to hear them!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good and evil?

For awhile I've been wondering about good and evil.  I'm not sure I believe in the evil.  I understand that people do try to hurt other people... but from my perspective they're reacting from a place of pain.  Some kind of social interaction goes badly, there are hurt feelings, and people often say or do things just to hurt someone else.  That's not evil.  That's human nature (at least, it is for my 5-year-old).  Most are never taught how to manage their emotions (anger is often taboo and rarely are people taught how to process anger without lashing out).  People act from hurt place... often without thinking... and it gets perpetuated by a string of people who don't have the coping skills.  But I don't think I've ever met anyone or felt any spirits that were just evil.  Maybe I'm just lucky.

Or maybe, we have a hand in creating what we believe in.  Maybe we can only see what we believe it's possible to see... thus creating our own reality.  So, someone else wants to see something "bad" as outside of them... so they call it an evil being... and I want to believe that people are basically good... so I attribute it as processing (badly) some kind of hurt.  But then, I suppose, the question still stands... is there such a thing as evil?

Maybe we get into "good" and "bad" because our brains like the easy dichotomy.  My experience is that people really don't like grey areas... where there can be paradox or a scale of responses.  They want to categorize so that they can take short cuts and not think it out.  Isn't that how stereotypes work?  And the result of the shortcuts is that things get unfairly categorized... one aspect of a situation defines the whole (like the color of the skin determines a "good" or "bad" person)... and the underlying truth that we're all people is removed from consideration once categorized.

So I'm acknowledging that it's my conscious preference not to have "evil" wandering around where I cannot control it... where it can strike anytime and without warning... or someone might put an "evil spell" on someone else... that I am going to hold onto my belief that we all carry the potential to inflict pain on others, as well as the potential to be kind, compassionate, and generous with our fellow humans.  I reject the notion that there is an evil entity out there just screwing with people... we do so much of it to each other... do we really need random evilness out there helping us?

And that brings us back to... do, re, mi... ahem... I mean... back to my word for 2011... proportion.  Meaning the "relationship between quantities such that if one varies then another varies in a manner dependent on the first"... such as a single person having varying amounts of asshole and charitable fellow citizen... rather than being entirely one thing or another.  

Monday, October 10, 2011


Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post, sharing your own perspective on how you incorporate your solitary pagan ways into family events... and into everyday teaching of your children (or how your parents did for you).

Though I haven't taught my kids about any particular symbolism or anything, I've noticed a few things in the kids' art lately that inspires me to just keep doing spirituality as an every day occurrence.  This is the only picture I have at hand in this moment... but this isn't the first piece of art to come home.  There's a picture around here labeled "Mother Moon"... but I can't find it.  I'm not sure what this means, if anything.  At least these are familiar and ancient symbols.  Maybe the rest will come later.

I do know that my kids are good at noticing when life is really good.  One day, my five-year-old was sitting in the breezeway between our garage and the house, eating an apple just off the tree, as the late afternoon breeze blew... and she made a comment about how great the moment was.  That's spirituality too... and I had forgotten that until you all reminded me.

The bottom line is that I've noticed how much spirituality is in our everyday lives... so that it isn't something you can point at... a time or place when we do something in particular... but it's every moment.  And that feels good to me... to acknowledge that our spirituality is not different than the "rest" of our lives.

So, the art, and the recognition of beautiful moments gives me hope that even if I can't point to the "church" we go to, that at least I can see that we live in it through each moment that we are connected to ourselves and nature and each other.  And all feels well... for me... right now... *sigh*

Monday, October 3, 2011

Organization... or lack thereof...

I've struggled for 40 years (well... for part of that) to find my own place in the world. I have been to more types of churches than most people could come up with names for (but apparently I didn't spend enough time in English class... yikes!). Anyway, all of this searching (and probably a good dose of introvert) eventually led me to being a solitary pagan.

My 7-year-old daughter has started asking me about church. Hmm. Clearly I can't dump on her all of my church baggage... so I opted to try to find something that I could swallow. Now, no offense to church-goers... everyone has a different sense of feeling comfortable... but I, personally, just am not sure what to do here. Obviously, 7yo is asking for some structured spirituality, but I've got none to offer. I can't even structure my own expressions of spirituality... which often seem to come and go with how much time I think I have. I have no dedication... at least not to ritual... and certainly not anything I'm prepared to share with anyone else.

We tried the local Unity church... which just feels like a couple of people gathering until they think the other 10 people are going to quit showing up... and they had no real children's group to speak of. I thought of trying the Calling-All-People-Spiritual-Center type facility... but I hear they're a small group too. I can't go back to Catholicism... I left for some damned good reasons that I'm not ever going to swallow to make a come-back. And I just don't know what to do. Honestly, I think I just have a problem with the "organized" part of organized religion. Which, if you look at my own practice, I seem to also have a problem with the "organized" part of un-organized solitary paganism. Sigh.

How do ya'll organize yourselves and keep yourselves on track? How do you let your family know that the Equinox (or whatever) is a special day in between carpools, homework, piano lessons and whatever else? How do you decide to follow through when your spirituality is roaming around a hundred different stories and deities and facets? How do you stick to something that becomes a ritual?

I teach my kids my values, and hope that it means something later... but right now... I just don't know how to teach my kids the nature of spirituality... especially since I'm still trying to put the pieces together myself.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Getting settled...

Whew... I think we're finally settled into school a bit. It's taken quite awhile to work out all the mundane aspects of school... carpools, extra-curricular activities, play time, and down time for mama. Sheesh.

Anyway, in the down time that I've carved out for myself I've managed to drum up more stuff to do! I've worked on figuring out a good season wheel for my area, and I determined which holidays I felt connected with enough to keep up with. I think I actually have a do-able calendar for myself. I won't bore you with the details... but I am feeling good about being able to incorporate my pagan values into a cycle that makes sense for me and my family. That said, my first attempt was at the equinox... and though we made the bread and soup, said the appropriate harvest thanks... the social aspect of the meal was less than ideal. I need to figure out a good social context (even if it's just the immediate family) that fits with the tangible stuff. That shouldn't be hard... it'll just take time to sit down and do it.

I've also been pretty clearly hearing a call to Hecate. I know that she's considered a dark goddess... and there are warnings about not taking her lightly. I guess what I'm feeling a connection with is the earthy and humble part of her. She doesn't seem flashy to me (although I think that people have tried to portray her that way... a bit dark and devilish). She's all about being present as tough times unfold... she's about crossroads, changes in life, big events like birth and death... but she's understood to carry a torch in the darkness... to be wise in the face of the unknown... steady and earthy and present. I like that, although she did persist for some time in the Greek mythology... her roots go waaayyy back... and you can feel that about her. I've read some, but already I'm getting the feeling that it's a relationship we have to build, not one that you can read about and absorb somehow.

I've also been thinking about gods and goddesses and who they are to me. I know that some people have extremely close relationships with deities that almost seem like the god or goddess is another 'person'... some neighbor or teacher. I don't know that I have that. I've not had many dieties that I felt close to... Hestia, and maybe Ogmios, being the only others that I've felt any attraction to. I still don't see them as 'people'... but more as archetypes. An my relationship with them seems to be more with exploring that archetype in my own life. Is that something you can even call a relationship with a deity?

Anyway, with the kids in school I might not have a lot more answers. But I do have more time that I've used to contemplate my questions, and I do think it will get me somewhere eventually.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New friends...

So, I'm settling in to the idea that my kids go to school. They're insanely happy and doing extremely well. I guess I have to stop wanting them to stay home and keep me company. I gotta find something to do. Well, as it turns out... I'm making good friends with the tarot deck I bought on a whim over the summer. It's the Sun and Moon Tarot by Vanessa Decort.

I think it's just because I LOVE the pictures... so simple and elegant... and definitely modern.

Each of the minor arcana have their own feel... corresponding to their element.

And though they're simple, it feels to me that most of the time I can get to the gist of what the card is about.

I think that maybe when you are starting out with tarot... too much symbolism isn't helpful... it just detracts from the message. I guess what I'm saying is, that I'm a beginner at tarot, and it's possible that these simple pictures speak to me because they're simple too.

Or maybe I'm just a sucker for the color palette... ahhh...

I'm choosing a card each day, and trying to find the vibration of that card in events as I move through my life... trying to get in touch with each card's energy.

I also did a quick online basics course by Joan Bunning that was helpful. I never really understood the Celtic Cross spread before, and now it makes tons more sense and I even like it!

I also bought a book that I'm just starting called Tarot for Your Self by Mary Greer, that I believe is a staple in learning to do tarot work. I like the book because I appreciate the card meanings in the back... as the drawback to the Sun and Moon deck is that it just comes with a little pamphlet of meanings... which I find to be nearly useless. The other drawback to the deck that you may have noticed, is that the pip cards all have words at the top. I suspect that the intention was to help you out with the meaning... but I don't agree with some of them... and that just makes the cards harder to read, rather than easier.

All in all I'm loving the deck... and finding that it is very helpful when I need some insight in order to stop a cycle of behavior. I finally have a connection with a deck that I had so longed for. YAY!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to school...

Oh goodness... it's time to go back to school next week. I'm not excited. I'd prefer to have the kids with me... to go do all the fun things that were on my list for summer that we did not get around to doing. Sigh. Besides. I'm just not much of a morning person.

It's just starting to get warm in my neck of the woods... summer is always foggy and cool. And this year has been more than most. For goodness sake... I haven't even harvested a ripe tomato yet.
I bring this up here because I have to admit that I'm just not feeling the harvest festival cycle that started on August 1st. Honestly, I'm thinking I might have to rearrange the sabbats so that they make sense to me. I don't suppose anyone would notice (as I'm a solitary... and I don't do rituals all that much anyway). But somehow it seems dishonest... as the wheel of the year is supposed to be the one thing that unites pagans... right? If I give that up it feels like I'm just a lone person on my own anyway... so what's the point.

(Isn't this beautiful though? Makes me want to redouble my efforts to fit into the pagan wheel of the year...
I found this at if you're interested in a sticker version of it)

I suppose I could commit myself to the lunar cycles... as that's more my calling anyway... but ignoring the seasons seems unfair even to me. I just don't know... I think it's going to take some real thinking... figuring out what's important to me, what kind of yearly rituals I want to have, which ones will strike enough of a chord with me that I'll follow through. The way things are right now I just feel guilty for missing those sabbats as they pass me by.
(I actually like this graphic too... the author says he or she uses it as a baseline to add more symbols...
and I liked the designs on his/her flickr page...)

So... I guess I really wish I had another month of summer left... to play with the kidlets and just be mellow. But here we are... and it's time for me to exercise that old addage that constantly comes my way: Go with the flow!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My new creative passion...

So, awhile back I told you that I was trying to find ways for my 7-year-old to pray because she's been asking for some guidance. I thought that besides the kneeling-at-the-edge-of-your-bed kind of prayer I'd find some alternatives.

As I was searching around the internet I found a book on prayer beads. I decided that I'd take beads and the book with us on vacation... and if we needed to do a quiet activity for awhile we could work on prayer beads. I have to say, that with this book the prayer was pretty much in the making of the bead... rather than counting prayers on something like a rosary.

This is the one I made for a friend...
It's a hand-held size... like 10 inches long or so.

And this one was for my 5-year-old... she chose the primary beads she wanted, and I made them for her. She went for a simple look... as fits her personality.

And she requested the pendant be made... just-like-that...

I have started a strand for myself that looks a bit different... more blue and green. I have also started one for my 7-year-old... but we needed to go buy a few bits-and-pieces before we could finish hers up. I'll post pictures as soon as we do.

I've spent so much money on beads (this is a bit of an obsession now... I'd say)... I will have to start giving them as gifts. I'm also looking into making some prayer beads that are more prayer placeholders... like the 108 bead mala prayer sets or catholic rosary beads... rather than just a set of beads that contain a prayer of mine.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fairy gardens

The girls and I have been making fairy gardens... inspired by the gardens submitted to The Magic Onions. I don't know if we'll submit anything or not... but it was fun to look through some of the entries. And... it was inspiring. We went and bought some plants, and gathered up many rocks/shells/sticks/other stuff that we've had laying around for eons... just waiting for a project!

We made them in hanging baskets (which are probably a little small... but I wanted us to be able to complete them quickly. Later we might be able to take on larger fairy gardens... but I wanted this to be a satisfying first go at it.

This one belongs to the 5-year-old... she was so proud of her work. She kept adding things, then taking them away. Finally deciding that the fairies needed small sticks for a fire, and a shell full of water for washing up.

And this one was made by the 7-year-old. She went for more plants and less "stuff"... and it turned out beautiful also!

I even did one. It was so fun to play like that! I love the gardens... and I hope we'll get to do that again... it really does make you feel closer to something when you put yourself in their shoes... trying to figure out what they need. Lesson for my life with my children??? You betcha.

Oh... and this is random... but I wanted to show you the doll we made for the 5-year-old's preschool teacher. It is an 'ocean fairy'. I like it, but somehow it still seems that something is missing... I just haven't put my finger on it yet. Can you see what's missing?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Organic Art...

So, a few weeks ago my youngest daughter and I were in Palo Alto, CA and found this fantastic piece of art. It was built by Patrick Dougherty and he's done TONS of other cool stuff.

It's an amazing piece of public art, and my youngest and I spent an hour or so running back and forth through this thing... laughing and screaming in surprise... it was wonderful. What a gift... and how cool is this anyway??? I'd die to have one of his sculptures in my back yard!

It's like a big playhouse that adults can play in too... and I'm all for the realization of childhood dreams in adulthood.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I just spent the last two hours on the computer looking for prayer cards for children. Just to save you a couple of hours... there aren't any.

Awhile back I bought a Buddhist Prayer Deck for my seven year old... I know... what was I thinking??? I guess I thought there could be some beautiful simple prayers mixed in... but really there aren't... not simple ones. She has repeatedly tried to teach herself how to pray, but doesn't know what to do. I've tried some instruction, but she gets frustrated quickly if it seems that I'm trying to "teach" her... and she shoves me away. I can respect that... I think it feels like the prayer that she wants to do is being minimized with the idea that it can be taught... and yet... I feel like she wants something she doesn't have in her life.

So, I pored over other possibilities... like affirmation decks (I bought one for teens... when it gets here we'll see how much of it I am willing to turn over to her)... and I ultimately decided that I'm going to have to make one for her. I bought some pagan prayer books (I already have one that I love), and I figure that I'll write some for her. Maybe I'll have them ready for Yule! ;)

Giant hurdle #1... learn a little bit about PhotoShop... grrr.... despite having to learn a new program, I AM trying to keep it simple. I want them to look like cards in the sense that I want them to have a front and back, I want them to be attractive (but all the backs will be the same) and the prayer will have a "wallpaper"-like background... though I think I'm going to try to make those all different so that it will be interesting... probably nature scenes mostly.

Wish me luck! Although, if I do learn PhotoShop then maybe I will finally illustrate my book of children's wand spells (we bought the kids wands one year at the Renaissance Faire and there was some discussion of how to use one and what kind of things to use it for... so I wrote up a "manual") and self-publish it. Hmmm... this may turn out to be good for me after all!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Anyone else having a lot of dreams since the solstice? I've been dreaming all kinds of stuff, some new, some old recurring dreams. All seem to have messages in them... about who I am, what my personal characteristics are, and situations that play out in integrity. It's been amazing to watch this unconscious life evolve lately... I hadn't dreamed reliably in years... well, since the kids were born. Honestly, I didn't get much sleep for the first few years the each of my kids were here... which really calculates out to almost 5 years without all-night bouts of sleep. I've been kinda worn out.

But, back to the topic of dreaming. Last night I had a dream that is, in its basic form, a recurring dream, although the details of the dream often change. It's a dream where I'm in an airport... trying to catch a flight. The planes are often different... and the origination and destination are often different... or sometimes I don't even know that part... but it's the classic dream of angst about being on time or finding my way around. Some people dream about school this way, or work, or they've transformed it into their very own story. Anyway, last night my dream ended with me missing my flight... which is very odd... I almost always end up getting there, and somehow I knew this dream was a culmination of a few events... stick with me for a second while I tie some seemingly unrelated things together.

I woke up, with some kind of odd knowing... that something that I had been holding on to, something that was no longer serving me, had been released. I do a lot of work with the Chinese meridian system, and the clarity was in the Gall Bladder/Liver pair of meridians. These are the "wood" meridians... which are associated with creativity, the ability to see (both physically and intuitively), and the emotion of anger (commonly held in the liver meridian).

Now, rewind to the day before the dream: I've been reading a book called Plant Spirit Healing by Pam Montgomery... and I had JUST read this passage about the Wood Element in Chinese medicine. I had identified strongly with the Wood Element in this framework, and felt that the imbalances in that element had been strong in my life. They were the issues that led me to growth, and to identifying with who I really am. In summarizing the Wood Element Pam Montgomery says that the key to the element is to be flexible and to "go with the flow". Damn... now that phrase "go with the flow" has come up for me over several years, in many places, and out of the mouths of many people. I wonder if that will shift for me now.

Reading this Plant Spirit Healing Book had me thinking about plants I feel connected to. I decided (yesterday) that I was going to try to form stronger relationships with some of the plants in my yard... some I've planted, some are relentless "weeds", and then there are some plants that just don't seem like they are willing to grow here, no matter what I do. But, I digress. Yesterday I laid down under my favorite tree in my yard. It's a Liriodendron tulipifera, or a tulip tree, and is quite beautiful. Its leaves look like little birds and they dance in the breeze. I was hanging out with this tree, trying to deepen our relationship, because me and this tree have some history, but I'll save that for another post. Initially, when I put a leaf on my cheek, I got a strong vision of a geometric pattern... like through a kaleidoscope. Unfortunately, I didn't get far with this exploration because the kids were hungry and life in general got in the way. But I don't think it's a coincidence that I had the dream following this initial connection.

The dream (where I go with the flow, but am ultimately thwarted at getting to my destination... thus a block), the book (the Wood Element and the Gall Bladder and Liver meridians), and the tree (where maybe more happened than I had understood)... seem to create a triad of symbols that indicate to me that something important is happening... and after this SUPER long story, I was wondering if it was happening to anyone else?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fairy gifts...

Over the winter I planted a few cool-weather veggies and sowed some seeds into my garden boxes... mostly flowers... just hoping for something to fill the box. We have mild winters, in fact, Feb-May is sort of the natural growing season here. Then the rains stop and things get dry.

(As planted in November)

Anyway, the plants were decimated by snails/slugs/whatever and none of the flower seeds sprouted... although some mysterious plants grew in one box. I thought they looked like potatoes... but couldn't imagine how that would happen... although, maybe I put some compost in there? I just don't remember... but somewhere around April I realized that they actually were potatoes... and I started tending them!

But, I went out yesterday to find that the snails were after them again... so I thought it was probably time to harvest them...

And... there they were! Little golden orbs of food, given as a gift, something I did very little to support. I giggled as I dug in the dirt with my hands... pulling out these magical little treasures! I so love gardening.

In my mind I could hear the fairies laughing with me. I knew that these were gifts for us. I felt so amazingly light and happy... I felt connected and blessed and full of gratitude.

The kids and I left offerings to the fairies last night... I hope they had a party to celebrate!

Monday, June 6, 2011


I don't know about ya'll but my family can use some coming together. I think it's some uncertainty as school ends (my kids are in 1st grade and preschool)... and for the 7-year-old the trial-and-error process of trying on new personas and figuring out who she is. These things come together to make us feel like we're going in a million directions, and we lose our harmony.

As I've become somewhat re-inspired to do more magic... I thought that a spell for familial harmony was in order. I chose colors of candles for each of us, and one in the middle to represent family. I put an spiral of ribbon (yellow because *I* associate it with balance... and there's that 2011 New Year's word again...). The small individual candles are intended to "feed" the taller family candle with those things that each of us bring to make our family what it is. With balance and harmony we will uplift ourselves, each other, and our family unit to be united for our common good.

I was very careful when choosing the words for my spell NOT to make this a binding. The intention was VERY clearly to allow the individuals to be individuals that contributed some energy of themselves to the family group in order for the family to function in its highest well-being.

It didn't make us all get along beautifully, or anything, but I do think that it reduced a little tension about the partitioning that was going on... "I don't have to clean that up, I didn't get it out"... or "but that's not mine". We've been talking a lot about chores in a context of caring for our objects and cooperating as a family so that our house runs smoothly. Sometimes they seem to understand, and sometimes they don't!

Unfortunately for me, their favorite way to help is actually to "help" me cook... which I like the idea of... but it's not really helping... which you know all about if you have or have had small children in the kitchen.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Today has driven me to my books... I mean... it's perfect book weather. Don't get me started about how it's June though... and the kids get out for SUMMER VACATION next week... *sigh*...

It's not just raining... it's stormy... windy...

Anyway, I went back to my shelf of magic books... and coincidentally we had a picnic on the living room floor in front of a fire...

...and I started thinking about candle magic. It's never really fit for me before... I didn't feel connected to the idea. But now... I don't know... maybe it's the dark and wet days... but I think I'm feeling it.

I have two books on candle magic, Raymond Buckland's Practical Candleburning Rituals, and Patricia Telesco's Mastering Candle Magick. I think I prefer the latter, but I'll let you know as soon as I get a chance to really look through the books. I've lit candles and made a few oils for my oil burners... I'll share those next time too. The kiddos are needing some attention... wanting to make paint butterflies. I guess they're dreaming of summer too!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some random notes...

I feel silly, in a way, apologizing for being gone for so long... as if you've been waiting for me to reappear. And yet, I am sorry. I've met a few people through this blog, that I really enjoy keeping up with... and though I've been reading blogs, I haven't been keeping up with my own. And it's not for a lack of keeping up with my own spirituality.

I've been going to the meditation hour at the local Vipassana Center. It's been good for me, although, to be completely honest, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do during that hour. Sometimes, I've actually found, that just sitting there is the best thing. For an hour. Sitting. Quietly. Just being. Doing nothing. It's awesome! :) Maybe that's just because I have two small children... and quiet time is like a precious diamond!

I'm feeling some guilt over letting the pagan holidays pass me by. I didn't even acknowledge Beltane, though it's probably one of my favorite of the holidays. Unfortunately it falls in a horribly busy time of year, and so, the density of writing on my calendar seems to decide whether or not I make the effort. This year I did not.

Since I was raised a Catholic and am good at turning things in on myself, I feel some guilt for not maintaining some kind of dedication to my practice of Paganism. On the other hand, I'm extremely dedicated to the doctrine (inward practice)... though not so much to the holidays (outward practice). Does that mean I'm failing in some way at my spirituality. Sometimes I can let it go, other times I do feel like I'm failing. I guess that's why I didn't show up here for so long... I just wasn't doing my rituals, observing my feasts, and "looking" pagan. I had very little to share as it's all going on inside me... without much ado on my part.

While I feel like things are moving at lightning speed inside of me, I also feel like I have very little control over it. Do any of you feel that way too? That the energy shifts constantly, causing responses in you, but without your direct participation??? I've felt a shift to very calm, hyper-aware of others and their motivations, and watching things spin around me with little emotion about it... and yet, I'm not sure where this is going, or what I'm supposed to be doing. Sigh. I know... I just don't make sense anymore.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Yesterday I went to a meditation hour at a local Buddhist center. It was the most pleasant, easiest, fastest hour I've had in ages. Seriously... I was sure not even 20 minutes had passed when the bell rang signaling the end of the 45 minute sit. Cool!

And yet... it makes me wonder what it is about my own house... my own space... that makes sitting and meditating so difficult for me. Maybe it's the clutter... it was so nice to have a space with a pillow on the floor... a statue and a few candles... and not much else. If it's clutter then I'm on my way to meditation at home as we're doing a HUGE spring cleaning... getting rid of stuff... finding a true space for the things we do want to keep.

Anyway, I'm starting to broaden my idea of "ritual" from the obvious magic to daily observations. I'm interested in whether people have daily practices that support their spirituality? Do you? What do you do?

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I know spring is here now... I can tell because we have three birthday parties to attend in just one week, and eight... yes EIGHT birthdays in April. Geez... was EVERYONE born in April? Is July/August really that romantic?

Anyway, spring is here... and it means that our calendar gets full and it gets harder to find time for myself. So, I've been trying to make the most of what I do have. Meeting that goal is taking two forms right now.

The first is that I'm taking 5-10 minutes every morning and doing a little ritual. It consists of going outside, facing east, honoring the morning, setting my intention to do my highest good, and running my meridians to set my energy for the day.

And second, I'm trying to live mindfully. I'm reading Thich Nhat Hanh's The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, and it's making me think a great deal about simply living in the present. Things are as they are... if I'm running late, then I just am. I am more aware that the reactions that I choose to different situations are much of my own consternation. I create my day... and if I'm mindful... and I choose Right Mindfulness... then my day goes more smoothly.

This is not easy... particularly with two small children... but ESPECIALLY with two small children it's important to me that I show them my values. I have not been particularly good at modeling my values over the winter... and so mindfulness is part of my goal this spring. Hopefully the mindfulness with help with that old proportion thang that keeps popping up. Finding ease in my day will go a long way toward addressing the lack of balance/proportion that was brought to my attention at the New Year.

Monday, March 28, 2011


As much as I've been complaining about this weather...

This last storm ended up being my wildly lucky day! I've been hoping for years to come across some nice tree rounds for seating and such things. This crazy weather we've had caused many trees to fall around here... blocking roads and creating havoc... but... it also meant that my wishes were answered!

Yup... tree rounds. A tree fell down the street from us... and the guy whose tree it was said we could have the rounds! YAY! For FREE! I love it when there's something I want so much... and if I'm patient it comes to me as something someone else is trying to give away!!!

I have plans for these beauties... the big one in the above picture is about 2 feet tall and about that in diameter. It took two of us to load it in the back of our van. It's beyond awesome! Anyway, four of them will live at the "directions" of my witch's garden (otherwise known as my circle garden), four will likely find places as seats, and the others are undetermined.

The day we picked up the wood seemed to be the first day of spring... it was cold and POURING rain all morning... then at noon the clouds parted and out came the sun! It's been nice since... and the weather report suggests that it'll be in the high 70's by Thursday. Bring it on, I say!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

That orb in the sky...

Seriously... what is that bright thing in the sky? It blinds me. The world may be coming to an end. I'm so uncertain...

...for this is my recent memory... I have no others...

It's rained here for 11 straight days... all day... hail... rain... then back again...

The equinox passed with little fanfare here... we have been stuck in a winter rut...
Today some bright thing in the sky casts dark and light spots on the ground... I do not understand...
The weather report shows another 5+ days of rain ahead...
I remember hearing a story like this once... and I think the guy built a boat...
I best get working on that...