I was reminded today of how quickly I make assumptions. The need for something solid to use as a framework for new ideas sometimes overrides my ability to slow down, and let the new idea emerge in its own good time. Slow is just not something I do well. Perhaps that is why the universe gives me so many opportunities to slow down, to experience something slowly. Because if I had my way, I'd often be out the door and down the street before I found out dinner was followed by dessert!

Today was also a difficult one because of a small event that cut me to the quick. It is so very hard to break a tendency toward emotional self-denial. We stop paying attention to our internal processes for a week or two, and suddenly we are flooded with emotions that surprise us in their intensity and focus. For me, this was the experience of going to the volunteer arm of the Small Business Association, and talking with a marketing coach. With two, actually. They were both clearly experienced, intelligent, and capable. I'm sure they've had (or continue to have) highly profitable careers in the field of marketing.

But one had never heard of an Aura before. And the other tried to connect with me by adding "Feng Shui" to the list of my possible skills as an Empathic Listener and Tarot Healer, because it was the only other semi-respectable alternative healing thing he knew of that didn't require a certificate on the wall. Both of them felt that the best thing I could do for my business was drop the word "Tarot" from my job description and from my marketing. I have to believe that it was good advice. But it cut me to the quick.

And I went in there KNOWING these people were probably not going to speak my language, nor I theirs. I've always been rather dismissive of the cliche about "snuffing out the sunshine," but not after this. I felt like suddenly nothing about me was worthy of success. That I'd have to make-do and half-exist all over again if I want to pay my rent again next month. Like I did in other jobs. I may still have to do that. Although my clientelle is growing faster than most new small businesses collect new clients, and I really appreciate and honor my clients and the opportunity to facilitate their healing process, it still hasn't grown enough to support me fully at this point. I suppose two part-time jobs DO add up into one full-time one for now...

The good news is that I went straight from that dis-heartening marketing meeting to a Tarot client. And my internal balance was thus restored. I hope the session was as beneficial for my client! I also got out for a brisk walk just as the sun was low enough to make the yellow and red leaves on the trees glow. THAT was a magic moment.

It's hard to head into the unknown. It's hard to cope with the stress of a down-economy and a difficult job market. But it's even harder to deny our inner selves, as we make our way in the world. And really, the more skills we have, the more resources are waiting in our back pocket to remind us of how beautiful the sun's illumination can be in our lives. Maybe it's time for me to start learning yet another something new.

So I scrubbed the frown off my face, washed the stress from my fingers, and decided that a positive outlook, and a strong resume, are worth their weight in gold. Or gasoline, that being slightly more expensive at the moment... I also realized that if I didn't post a blog entry QUICK, I'd miss October all together.

As the observant author wrote about the confused cat, "When in doubt, wash."
Autumn Blessings to you.

Be Well, and when frustrated,
Be Cleansed.

Almost October

The Autumn Wind is blowing, whooshing through dry leaves, and stirring up the dust. It is a warm wind tonight, strange for almost-October. It is a relief from the unmoving oppression of the summer sun that we continue to experience during the day.

I recently read Tarot for a good friend, someone who speaks the Pagan language of Earth and Energy and Elements and Change. She told me that the "homework" I had given her-- just hearing about the ceremony I described for her to do-- it had shifted the energy in her body. It had created the opportunity for the healing of a wound that she's slowly cleaned of all it's filth over the course of many decades. She was exhausted. She was excited. She was surprised that the ceremony I described, and the pieces of it that I suggested for her to perform or work into the whole, fit so perfectly her need.

It was a gift, her description. I give all of my Tarot clients "homework." It is always unique to them and their personal path to healing and positive change. It is always about moving energy and about communication and intentional connection-- with a partner, with our own bodies, with our feelings or fears, even with ancestors or animals. I hadn't thought too closely about these "homework assignments" other than to know that if the person could find the energy and the courage to do these things, however small they might be, a shift would occur.

Sometimes the work is as simple as picking a special scented candle, and lighting it for five minutes every night, at a time when that person knew she was safe. The bigger goal was to help her associate that smell with safety, so that she could eventually use that scent as a tool for managing her panic attacks. The first step was becoming conscious of the times that she did feel safe. Learning to recognize the good feelings, and finding a positive trigger to balance out the many negative triggers she holds in her subconscious.

Sometimes the work is harder. Asking the person you love to give you what you need. Just something small-- a hug, or to be left alone-- one thing every night, for a week. Learning that it is okay to ask. That it is okay to receive. That love is a two-way street, and being able to give is in equal importance to being able to receive. Or watching for the tell-tale gut-clench that always happens when you feel helpless and out of control. Learning to identify that physical feeling so that you can stop, and recognize the emotions underneath.

Or even intentionally giving up control of a project or activity to someone who may not do the job you would do on it, but will free you up to do other more important jobs. Yes, you could make that call and get the exact info you need in ten minutes. Yes, it'll take five to tell your assistant what you need, and it'll take her another 20 to get all the information-- 30 minutes of work for the ten minutes it'll take if you do it yourself. But that 30 minutes of work mean she can do the same thing for you in ten minutes next time around-- and you have five free minutes to spend somewhere else on your over-crowded work schedule.

Anyway, having these "homework assignments" explained as ceremonies that shift embodied energy was a really affirming thing. It clarified and increased the way that I value and offer these projects for my clients. It added to my resume. I offer personally tailored ceremonies to shift my clients' embodied energy into alignment with their higher purpose or goal. I offer opportunities to create space for the best self to develop. Truly, I offer healing when I Read Tarot, and my empathic listening skills are a central key to my work.

I thank the Goddess who set me on this path for the gift I now wield of embodying connection between injury and healing, between desperation and intention, self-exploration and universal knowledge. Wisdom and Intuition. Isolation and Acceptance. Loss and Love. Living and Growing/Changing/Improving.

May my blessings continue in the winter, and the new year that follows the old.
May my words and understandings continue to heal.
May all that is needed be known.


Hearth Friends

When we were little (especially if we were little in the '50's), we often immortalized our friendships by carving everybody's initials with a heart between-- S.B. -heart- R.O. or I heart Johnny, for example. It was a way of saying we loved someone-- they were a friend of our hearts. It was a hope that we would always have that loving connection in our life.

I have just returned from a Fall Festival. I went there with a friend, I came back from there with many friends. Friends of my heart. It was a very intense event, and yet also very restful. I learned so much from the experiences that others shared with me while I was there-- and I was also able to facilitate the learning of others. My favorite times were sitting at my booth, working through some big self-realizations with a Tarot client... and the evening bonfires.

For me, those bonfires were a gathering of family around the sacred fire-- the hearth fire that represents both home and safety, blessings given and received. We beat drums, we danced, and we cemented friendships new and old. These were our offerings around the hearth altar of our sacred gathering. These were the times of true community.

Our blood relatives and our "parents" are often chosen by biology or by someone else's decisions about marriage or responsibility. As children, we rarely have the opportunity to choose our family. Many of us are lucky. We have a parent, or maybe two, who really love us and wish the best for us and work hard to help us grow. Many of us cope instead with adults who hurt us, or who are hurt. As we mature, regardless of what came before, we learn to find folks we can trust outside of our original family.

Often, these people begin as friends, and then we realize that our bond is deeper than mere friendship. We share a connection that is truly special, truly magical. These people become our chosen family-- our "spiritual family," if you will. The folks who love us and who we love as if they have always been a part of our lives, as if they always will be. Understanding that we can create a support network that is stronger (and often stranger) than the family we were born into brings a special kind of freedom with it. Particularly when this is a community in which we can truly be ourselves-- fully reveling in the release of our unique and healing energy into the universe. A community of individuals. A community of acceptance.

I deeply enjoyed the friendships and experiences of this past Festival weekend. I look forward to our next meeting, whether at an organized retreat or at a local coffee shop. And I know that just because I don't hear from someone I really felt a moment of connection with-- it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate what that moment held. The time I spend with this special community-- with these friends-- is carved into my heart. Each meeting is a gift, and all the distance in between visits can never take that gift away from me.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again.


Leaning Into Life

I've been going to school and working hard to become a professional librarian. I finished my degree in December, and have spent the months since applying for job after job-- and not getting anywhere.

At the same time, I hoped one day to use my income from library world to start up my own Tarot life coaching practice, maybe even get a second degree in Counseling or something official like that. I already knew I was a gifted listener, and I read Tarot for anyone who was the slightest bit interested in it. I studied like a maniac, attending to my own personal and spiritual growth as I struggled both financially and directionally over the past few years.

Every couple of months, I'd read Tarot for myself, trying to find some affirmation out there that being a Librarian was a part of my life path to abundance and fulfillment. I know I'd be damn good at it-- and I studied long and hard to get the degree that makes me employable in my chosen field. But somehow, the Tarot readings I saw before me were never really in tune with my professional aspirations.

I finally stopped forcing myself to take steps along a now painful path, and looked at what I was doing and why I was doing it. I realized that without pain and without going out of my way, I'd acquired four or five Coaching clients-- and hadn't been invited to interview for a Library Job in something like four months. Looking closer, I saw that the clients for whom I read Tarot pay me the most, and are the most consistent of the clients I'm currently working with as a life coach.

Suddenly, it was a no-brainer to put all my energy into building a practice and a client-base for my Tarot Life Coaching NOW-- and watch for something part time to come up in the local library world, something to help pay the rent while I cement my new career. How could it have taken me five months to see this? I'd put so much of my time and energy into getting that library degree that I wanted it to mean something. I wanted to put that knowledge to use. I'm just grateful that I've seen a better path now.

The point to all this is that I finally had time to perform my birthday reading earlier this week. It was amazing how clearly the cards I pulled lined up with my new purpose and professional goals. I even feel more energy and more excitement and more certainty flowing through me every day as I work to establish myself. The cards just confirmed and affirmed what I already felt-- and it was such a relief to have them do so! The pieces of my life are falling into place wonderfully. I'm so very excited to see where this new path leads, and so very full of hope and joy for my future.

I started on the path to Librarianship with three basic goals in mind:
-To make a career out of helping people.
-To want to get up to go to work every day (even if work was hard at times, I know I have to want to be there in order to keep showing up in the first place).
-And to have a retirement fund grow from the income my job generates. (basically, for my work to pay me enough to live comfortably now AND meet future financial needs)

My new work meets the first two requirements in a much more holistic and glowing way than being a librarian ever could (though I know I'd have enjoyed it, too)... And as for my third goal? Well, only time can tell. The funny part is that by the time I realized I was ready to take the leap, I already had.

I am an Empathic Listener, and the Tarot are but one of my tools.
I connect my clients to their inner wisdom. I encourage them to be conscious of the patterns that weave through the tapestry of their lives, and assist them in clarifying and honoring their own skills, abilities, and values. I read Tarot, but I don't tell the future. Instead, I tell the present, and together we explore the possibilities of what could come next. I look forward to working with you.



It has taken me several years of hard work to be able to identify my emotions. I had emotions, and I expressed emotions (usually, the ones that got expressed were what I thought I was SUPPOSED to be feeling)... but I had become so focused on figuring out the emotional needs of the people around me that I actually lost track of my own.

Anger was one of the hardest emotions. To recognize that a behavior or situation made me angry was to put my own needs first, and I loved the people I was with too much to do that. It took a lot of hard work for me to realize that I HAVE to put myself first-- I MUST respect myself and my needs-- because if I don't, NOBODY ELSE WILL EITHER. It was a painful lesson, and a long time coming.

Often now, I take an hour or so at the end of a conversation to re-evaluate what was said, and really check in with how I feel about it, and about what was or was not done before and after the conversation. Conversations become a two-part process, wherein I check back with the person I was talking to, and clarify any reactions that I've had since we talked.

I know now that I cannot actually control my emotions-- and that suppressing them is bad for my health and for my relationships. I know that what I CAN control is how I act in a given situation, or as a result of how I feel. I don't have to act out every emotion I have-- and I can find healthy respectful ways to share how I'm feeling-- or to release the emotions privately.

I'm getting better at admitting it when something does make me mad. I realize that usually, there's a very good reason for me to feel that way. And out of respect for and love of myself, I deserve better than that. It's not that I ignore or discount the needs and feelings of the people around me--far from it. Instead, I recognize that life is about change, and about working with others as a community-- for the greatest good. For the good of the whole-- including me.

Life energy-- Goddess Energy-- flows through us all. To disrespect or disregard ourselves is to dis Her. Take responsibility for yourself-- your actions, your reactions, how you interact with other people and with the Earth, AND take responsibility for your needs. It is up to you to satisfy them.


Being Present

I woke up to the sound of drills and hammers this morning, and the occasional circular saw. My neighbors are remodeling-- directly across from my open bedroom window.

Then, sitting there trying to recapture my dream (I'd just rescued some VERY TINY puppies and was getting them to nurse on a very accommodating mommy dog who wasn't theirs.)... I realized that even through the stressful noises of the remodel, I could hear the birds singing their bright hello to the sun. I had a warm bed, a purring kitty, a good breakfast to look forward to (and leftovers in the fridge for lunch-- yum!). I'd even slept well, and I've finally figured out that my kitty is allergic to fish and shellfish, so the floor this morning is still as clean, dry, and puke-free as it was when I went to bed. I feel physically fit-- better than I have in a good six years-- though I still have some work to do before my body matches my healthy and realistic goals.

I realized that this morning is a wonderful metaphor for my life at the moment. I'm awakening to possibility. I'm making a lot of changes in what I do, how I do it, and why. Remodeling. And it's stressful, and sometimes noisy and disturbing... but the end result will be a self I can really live with and enjoy-- someone beautiful from the inside out, and sound of mind, body, and spirit. I may be stressed, and still looking for work... but under it all, I still feel great joy to greet each day, and I am grateful for all that I do have right now.

It's a funny sort of kinship I feel with those birds this morning-- I feel the sun. I love the beauty of the dew and the new spider webs. I think I'll catch a good fat job offer, or maybe just a juicy bit of breakfast to share with the other birds sharing my nest today. I'm getting ready to spread my wings-- and soar upward toward possibility.

For all the "I'd rather's" in my life... I'm so glad to have today! It's nice to be able to appreciate the moment I'm in, especially after living so many years on dreams of "someday, it'll be okay." I know I'm on a good path, and I feel the energy of the Earth and the Mother flowing through me. I may not be able to see my next step yet, but I trust that it's there, and that everything around me will be beautiful.

Blessings Be.


Summer Journeys

Well, there went June... and hey-- most of July, too!

June was amazing. I joined in the Sun Fest celebration 2008 in Oregon, and met many new and wonderful artists and friends. Because of the rain, we were able to build our bonfire high every night, with sparks shooting 10 and 20 feet in the air. Gorgeous!

Truly, I celebrated Midsummer in all her glory and release.

Since then, I've struggled with my proclivity to expect the universe to order herself to my expectations. I'm learning, slowly, to let go, and to be open to possibility. Amazing and serendipitous events occur if we are only open and available to notice and enjoy them. Truly, it has been a magickal summer for me. My body is healing, my network of healthy and intelligent friends is growing, and my life tastes very sweet. Almost as sweet as the berries that someone hand-picked and left as a surprise on our doorstep one early morning! Such a loving and thoughtful gift from someone.

Blessed Be...


Finding Time

This is actually a post about Yoga. Or maybe it's about what I think it means to honor the Goddess with my life. Maybe I'm just talking about how hard it is to take time out of my day for me... and how I connect that with being female in this time and place. Maybe it's something else all together. As I wrote it, the post just kept getting longer and longer... I think I'm worried that I didn't share this lesson well enough, or that I'm talking to people who only exist in my head... I'm worried that I will sound pitiful, or worse-- preachy... I sometimes think that we, as women, often have too hard a time recognizing our own wisdom and our own worth... So I'm not going to cut this one down to a more manageable size. I think it's important. Whatever it is.

See, there's this list of "someday" goals in my head. The ones I never do find time to commit to-- ones that don't put food on the table, a roof over my head, and don't benefit anyone but me. This is where I keep my desires like spending a whole week at a bed-and-breakfast on the beach, instead of using my vacation time and money on a trip to Michigan with my family every year... The list that has my wish to learn how to make bread-- good old hearty nutty flavorful bread. My desire for a gym membership ended up on this list, too. With a limited income, a weekly lunch with the people I love is just more important, for the price. And I still haven't found energy or supplies to build that Navajo Loom I want to play with-- nor research what kind of string I'd need to warp it with. Come to think of it-- when would I have time?

I'm not willing to give up my sleep-- the whole "get up 30 minutes earlier" plan just sounds like a way to substitute one healthy thing for another when I hear it. Less sleep, but more exercise... is that really helping me? Or less sleep but more time to write, more time to meditate, more time for a walk every day, more time to fix a healthy lunch before I go to work-- Suddenly I wonder if I shouldn't just be staying up all night to find the extra time I want for ALL the things I want to enjoy in my day!

So I'm not going to give up sleep to improve my life. That's an oxymoron waiting to happen. But I do want to include more good stuff in the time that I'm awake (and fewer morons). Maybe I don't need as much time checking email before I start my day. Maybe I don't need as much time watching movies to unwind at night before bed. Maybe I need to start out slowly. Maybe I already have.

I found a book on Yoga-- it has a 5-minute routine in it. And once I made time for five minutes of yoga in my morning prep... it wasn't so hard to move up to the 15-minute version the book also offers. Heck! I might eventually work my way up to the 90-minute yoga routine the book includes before the year is gone! And I found a book called Gardener's Yoga, by Veronica D'Orazio (Sasquatch Books, 2006).

The book is split into three sections. The first section is a preparation for working the earth, and coincidentally contains about ten minutes of "getting started" Yoga poses. The second section is another ten minutes of Yoga, this time geared toward stretching out the kinks that come from all that weeding and squatting down. The last ten minute section is for the end of the day, to help your body relax after hard work. I love how well the poses flow into one another, and I love how well they are integrated into the seasons and the phases of the garden.

I've realized that the hard part about taking care of me has always been getting started. I've had trouble committing myself to spending large chunks of my time doing selfish things. And in my head, I thought of the things I want to do just for me-- like Yoga and writing and meditating and weaving... I've thought of them as a selfish way to spend my time. But on the days I do them, I'm a better worker at my day job, and I grow stronger as a person. I feel healthy, and I have more patience with the world. So for now, I may only spend ten minutes doing Yoga in the morning, but I'm learning to feel good about that. I see it as a foundation for more good things to grow from. I'm learning that taking good care of me has a good impact on the people around me, too. It's not wrong to love and care for myself. In fact, nobody else can do it better.

Even better, I've learned that there are specific poses in Yoga that are meant to unblock and open a body's Chakras-- and I'm incorporating some of the poses for stimulating the First Chakra into my routine. Maybe I didn't have to find the time so much as I had to convince myself that I am worth spending quality time on. ...And that I don't have to start doing it all at once. I certainly didn't learn that one from my mother, or my ex-husband. In fact, most women I know have a very hard time (there's that word again!!) doing things for themselves in a consistent way. There's always something more important they could be doing. But here's the challenge-- if YOU don't think you're important, nobody else will either. And that is wrong. You are important. Worth doing good things for.

I don't mean the extra chocolate bar when you've had a bad day... (well, not JUST that!) I mean that 20 minutes of uninterrupted meditation in a quiet room every night so you can sleep comfortably. I mean that hour on the phone with your family or your best friend who moved away five years ago-- every weekend, without trying to multi-task while you talk. I mean the five minutes you spend standing still to enjoy the beauty of a tree, and just BREATHE for a minute, as you rush between buildings, meetings, and soccer practice every afternoon. I mean that 10 minutes I'm spending on my Yoga every morning before work, and the effort it takes to keep a clean spot on the floor big enough to do it in. I mean refusing to stay up that extra half an hour at night to get everyone else ready for the next day-- while they sleep.

Somehow, we've learned that the job must be done right, and we're the only ones who can do the job that way. Somehow, we've agreed to take on the responsibility for the success or failure of every dream our family (even our society) has-- without including our dreams on the list. We take the leftovers. We take the hand-me-down computer. We don't ask for someone to do their share of the chores-- we ask them to help us out a little with the chores we do. We make the kids' lunch and work a 60 hour week. We scrimp and save our pennies so someone else can have their heart's desire. Someone who already spent their pennies on something frivolous and fun.

I don't mean to dishonor our sacrifices, and I know this isn't everyone's reality. I actually hold a great respect for the importance of compassion, of love. But that's just it. Compassion, Love, long-term planning, Sharing and Giving are IMPORTANT, and WORTHY OF RESPECT. And another thing I've learned-- from my own life and from watching those I love-- is that if we continue to give and give without ever replenishing ourselves, we burn out, and we eventually have nothing left to give to anyone.

So-- please-- make a difference in your own quality of life, long-term. Like ten minutes of Yoga before breakfast, or ten minutes of solitude before bed. Now that I've learned how to find the time, I am determined not to lose it again. I want to enjoy my life. I want to experience abundance so that I can share it whole-heartedly, without running dry. I want to honor the Goddess by honoring myself, and the women around me. I'm worth it. She's worth it. You're worth it. Slow down, and give yourself time to recharge.

I am doing my best to honor my Goddess, the Great Spirit, with my life. I want to be my best self while I do it, and that means loving myself just as much as I love everyone else. That means it's okay to put my own needs first. To ensure that I have the strength and endurance to be there when others need me. It's okay to teach by my example that compassion and respect belong to everyone, not just an exclusive few.

So... What will you find time for today?... what about tomorrow?


For Every Season a Purpose...

There's an old song that my parents used to listen to about how everything and time turns turns turns, and for every season there is a purpose, for everything... At least, that's my vague memory of it. My parents were fringe hippies, and are now in denial about it all. At least when their daughter might hear them.

And I really think this is a great time, and it is serving an important purpose. On many levels. We're coming up on Midsummer-- on the Summer Solstice. We celebrate our parents on their special days. We celebrate the turning of the Earth, and the longest day of Sun. We're coming to the fulcrum of change. On this day, traditionally, bonfires are lit, and couples dance around them and leap over the flames for good luck and prosperity. They celebrate courage and fire and the importance of the hearth and the home, around which the rest of our lives spin. From Spring Maiden to Summer Mother to Fall Crone to Winter's rest-- around and around we go.

Coincidentally, I've been doing a bit of deep research on Wisdom, on Hestia (Goddess of the Hearth) and Athena and a host of other central Goddess figures from the Ancient Past. Astarte, Inanna, Ishtar, Saraswati and others. Midsummer is a celebration of the Goddess, and a celebration of Abundance. An opportunity to ground ourselves in the warmth and the strength of the Harvest and the central hearth. I learned that Hestia is the One who receives first and last offerings-- always. Every altar and offering fire was considered a hearth, and Hestia-- who was first and last daughter of the ancient gods, and both oldest and youngest sister of Zeus-- Hestia's right was to receive the first of any offering or any meal or any honor.

Without grounding ourselves, without being centered around our home hearth (whether our childhood home, the home we created for ourselves as adults, or the core grounded center of our being-- the deep red of the root chakra at the bottom of our spine)-- Without that strong base on which to build, our lives would be only dreams and ideas and wishes and wind. Every chakra-- every sense and energy center in our bodies-- is important. But MOST important is our individual connection to Mother Earth-- to our root and our foundation of being, of existence.

Following this train of reasoning and awareness (it may not be yours, but it makes sense to me), I suddenly remembered that my journey into Paganism and into self-hood started with my root chakra. I was searching for a way to feel sturdy on my feet. My whole life was new, with only a few blocks for a foundation and the rubble of my old life laying all around. (divorce, move, new job, buy a mattress and a chair, start going to school...)

I found a book about Chakras on sale, and picked it up. It reminded me of the wise woman (my Aunt) who had once been my anchor, so I took the book home and began to read. I realized that I felt no connection to my physical world-- to my reality-- and I started to follow many of the book's suggestions about unblocking the first chakra, about strengthening my roots and my spiritual/energy foundation. This led me to remember my wise Aunt's work with Essential Oils, with crystals and rocks. And that, my friends, is how everything started. One random book.

It was exactly what I needed. More books followed the first, and I learned that there were names for the things I believed, for the energies I sensed and the ideas I had about how one could truly connect with Spirit. Other people had the same ideas, and had more knowledge to share with me-- via their books-- me, to whom each thing was somehow new. I became caught up in my journey of exploration. I studied herbs, crystals, oils, symbols, tarot cards and trees. My intellectual and spiritual world expanded. And I forgot about my root, my need for a sturdy foundation.

So here we are, nearly two years later. About to celebrate the foundation of society-- the Earth, her Bounty, the Goddess who gives us Life and Courage and Love, and the Fire that gives us light, heat, and a place to call home. And I am reminded of my own beginning steps along this path. I am reminded that my own foundations still need attention. I've been dreaming of my ideal job, living on student loans, and wishing for something amazing to happen. I've been searching for a job (which means I'd finally live someplace intentional-- have a home; I'd finally have a livable income-- have security and a way to create the things I've only dreamed; I'd finally have started a career-- have a foundation for my future to grow from) ...I've been searching for a job for six months. Granted, part of that time was spent still in school, but it's been long enough for something good to manifest.

I just couldn't figure out what was missing. Why all my aspirations remained as dust in the wind, and none of my grand plans seemed to work out in real life. But that's the thing of it. I may have built a foundation of education, of knowledge and ideas (all related to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chakras)-- but I didn't build a physical foundation, I didn't ground and center my dreams and my efforts in reality-- not even my Spirit had a solid grounding. How could I hope to build a fine big (earth-friendly) structure if I didn't have anything to build it ON?! So I've returned to my Root Chakra practices. I'm unblocking my connection and my Earth Energy. I'm choosing to embody my dreams in a very real sense, and I look forward to experiencing the results.

Best wishes this Season, to you and yours. May your harvest be plentiful, your family strong, and your dreams of a beautiful future grounded in the reality of today.


Earth Path

For all my lofty goals, I have been sorely disconnected of late. You can see it by the dearth in posts to this blog, and by the dearth in the love and hope that maintain my heart.

Part of this pain, this sadness, I know comes from my deep connection with my friends who are currently in crisis. I'm an empath, I find, and so it makes sense that I often take on the feeling (even the physical pain) of those I feel closest to in daily life. But I've learned that there are ways to help, or to shield myself, that do not leave me as drained and dispairing as they currently are. And I need to set aside time to practice these ways so that I can continue to function, to offer aide, and to move forward on my own path while still walking beside them on theirs.

Balance can be so elusive... And with my own future in chaos, it is even more important to maintain. The constant challenge of the empath is to actually put his or her own needs first. I need sleep. I need time to write, time to be still, time to walk in Nature and sink into her beauty. Without these things (and healthy amounts of water and organic foods), I am living less than I am. I cannot be the person I strive to be for myself, let alone for my friend. And yet, how can I turn away? There is someone suffering before me, asking for my hand to ease the way. It is in my Goddess nature to think first of my community, of the whole circle and its turnings...

But it is not the common thought. It is not the usual way, here in America. With a land full of "me-first" lifestyles, and only a few voices raised in hope of compassionate living (living in tune not just with one's community of people, but with respect for Mother Earth and all her children taken equally into account)... It is not hard to be overwhelmed, to give until only your shell and your critical cynical humor remain. We are needed. Our spirit, our skill at smoothing the way, our love for all people, all plants, trees, animals and Earth. We are needed, and without us, the world would be very bleak indeed. Perhaps it is with this in mind that we must ensure our own health, our own balanced living, and our own movement forward along the path. We must not only assist others, but serve as an example to them. And in this, we find our bliss.

The balance of building with straw, of shaping with simple and recycled goods. The balance of eating well, living well, and walking lightly upon the earth, that great Turtle on whose tired and scarred back we must all so carefully balance, and upon whose great strength and continued movement forward we so dearly depend. It is a day to remember our gifts, to honor the giver, and to be greatful for each tiny new leaf and shoot and bud that proclaim to all seers how beautifully the circle continues to turn. It is Spring. Welcome to the changing times.
Blessings to the Mother who cradles us and keeps us safe in the palm of her hand,
Live in Beauty, see Her beauty surrounding you,
and your words
your LIFE will be

Equinox, Full Moon, Eostara

This is an auspicious few days! We have an intersection between the Spring (vernal) Equinox (today), a Full Moon (tomorrow), and the official day of celebration for the Goddess Eostara, whose symbols include red, eggs, and bunnies. Officially, this became Easter, the day Jeasus rose from his cave, I think. Funny that the day of fertility, celebrating birth, mothering, and the Goddess should be turned into the day of rebirth-- but keep it's symbolic eggs, bunnies, and dyes.

I know Astarte is usually celebrated around the Winter Solstice, but I truly feel a connection to her today. As if the evening star has some greater significance in the advent of Spring. She, like Eostara, is a mother figure, and Spring is the time of birth, or rebirth of the son and the Sun... Perhaps it is not so strange that I should be drawn to Goddess as Mother at this time, then.

To celebrate, I'll be doing a bit of Spring Cleaning, taking a walk in a truly beautiful garden that bursts with fresh new leaves and growing things, and laughing with an old friend. Today it is my gift to honor the Mother that encourages me to spend time preparing my home and hearth, and to spend time honoring Spring, honoring changes and growth, new possibilities, and Creative Energy. I also intend to devote some time to my crafts today. Mixing ointments for healing, sewing a few final touches onto my latest hand-crafted Tarot Bags for PaganFaire, and of course, loving the bold beauty of the full moon as she bathes me in hope for the future and in the wilde pagan light of my ancestors this night.

The world is full of possibility, and all that is needed is hope, intention, and good living.
Blessings Be.


Lunar Eclipse

Tonight is the last full lunar eclipse for three years. Interesting.
I hope you are able to see it-- both with your eyes and through the weather where you are.
As beautiful as the Mother is at Full Moon, she is also beautiful at Full Dark-- and to have both at once as we do tonight, I think that is a portentious and gifted moment. We are so blessed to be alive at this moment, because we are alive and in tune with Mother Earth and Mother Moon and Father Sun for this moment, if for no other.

Blessings Be.

Fighting for Equality

So... nobody tells men under what circumstances they can use viagra, pay for sex, make family decisions, career decisions, etc... People assume that most of the time, men make the best decisions they can for themselves in any given situation.

But with women, it's a bit different. People often seem to think that a woman, given the choice, would not make such great decisions for herself. That she might panic or do something rash and stupid just for money or take advantage of services offered to help people in bad situations. (Take advantage as in "use inappropriately," not as in "these services are HERE FOR PEOPLE IN HER SITUATION.")

... Take Roe v. Wade, for example. Women had to go to court-- repeatedly-- to get the right to decide if it is a good personal choice for them to have a baby or not. And to get appropriate medical help, legally. And even today, that right to decide for herself is being eroded and contended. Many people believe that a woman is not equally important as a child or a man, not equally as capable of making the best decisions she can for herself in any given situation, and that she shouldn't have the right to make her own choices about her life path. That somehow, her life can be sacrificed for others' desires.

(Here's my personal rant: If you don't think someone should think for themselves, then you must think they are incapable of intelligent thought, or that they are inherently predisposed to make bad decisions. Just because they are born female?? As women, we were once seen as spiritual, social, and political leaders in our families and communities. As women, our intelligence, clarity of thought, and ability to capably care for large groups of people was unquestioned-- for over 20,000 years, according to some interpretations of archaeological record. Men have actually only been the "superior race" culturally for about 4,000 years throughout most of the world. So if you look at it that way, they have only 1/5 the experience in leadership and decision-making that we women do. ...and they probably don't want to give it up. Although records also show that during the time women were in charge, society was based on the good of the whole, and not just "what's best for me" as it is today... just a thought.)

And often, the best decision a woman makes is that she will keep her baby. And that's great. It should be her right to make that decision as much as any other. But if she knows the baby will grow up in squalor, without love, without food or clothes or a safe place to sleep or be born addicted to drugs... If she knows the best thing she can do for herself and her pregnancy is to not become responsible for another person... she should have the right to make that decision, too. It's her body, it's her responsibility, it's her choice. And I, for one, generally believe that a woman is wonderfully capable of making the best decisions she can for herself in any given situation.

Today just happens to be the day that Roe v. Wade was decided. So, believing in the Goddess and believing that women are intelligent, capable, wise and wonderful-- I celebrate the few victories we women have, where someone in power actually agreed with me on these points, and gave her the right to choose what she does with her own body.


Archaeology and the Goddess

I was hunting through my Pagan Library recently, looking for information on a couple of aspects of the Goddess, and ran into some old favorite books. I thought I'd share them with you, as I found them very empowering and enlightening. Whether you take the information as fact, or as possibility, these books opened my eyes to our power and our history as women.

The Grandmother of Time, by Zsuzsanna E Budapest
This book was out of print when I went searching for my copy, so you may want to try used bookstores first. Worth the search, this book is divided into months, with information about appropriate colors, stones, trees and magic for those seasons, as well as information about specific holidays and Goddesses. It also includes autobiographical stories about the beginning of the current Feminist Pagan movement in America, and about Z. Budapest herself.

Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood, by Merlin Stone
This book is a collection of Goddess stories, arranged by the original nationality of their storyteller-- from around the world. The prefaces and introduction are worth reading to get a better perspective on how, why, and with what information this collection was written.

The Chalice & The Blade, by Riane Eisler
This book is an examination of sociological models of being, with an archaeological twist. Her focus is on early social practices, as informed by religious beliefs, and the changes in social structure and harmony that the invading Judeo-Christian God evoked. Eisler uses her extensive research into and knowledge of prehistory to describe the functioning of Goddess-worshiping societies, and to explore the possibilities of such a society reemerging today. While she begins by tracing probable prehistory, she ends by discussing the possible future. Inspiring.

When God Was A Woman, by Merlin Stone
This book traces connections between various pre-historical cultures via their worship of the Goddess. It takes this theory of connection to the conclusion that, whatever name She had, worship of the One was pretty much everywhere at one time... A great re-visioning of history, and of today's Judeo-Christian religious practices and stories. Her retelling of Adam and Eve in the Garden as a fable meant to bring moral (and mortal) fear to those who still practiced Goddess Worship made more sense to me than any amount of demanding that I believe an original Garden actually existed.

Just some books to get your self-respect and your hope for what can be (because of what once was) flowing!


With the New Year

So at midnight last night, several people in my apartment complex lit fireworks, banged pots and pans, screamed, laughed, had sex (yup, heard that, too), or smoked one last cigarette (apartment below mine, and boy did it smell bad!)... It was the end of 2007 and the start of 2008.

But that's not really the schedule I follow. New Years, roman-christian style has just never been an amazing moment of connection with the world for me. It's actually a pretty young holiday, as human history goes. I celebrate Candlemas, usually February 2nd, as the first day of my New Year. It is the coming of the light, the dawning of a new cycle, the precursor to Spring. And I always feel infused with new life energy at that time of year. So that is what I celebrate.

Oddly enough, I do also agree with Wiccan teachings that All Hallows Eve is the LAST day of the old year. That is the time when we begin a deeper connection with the dead, the decomposing, with rest, sleep, decay, and remember-when's. We spend the time between November and February in a half-sleep, hibernating, sluggish, grateful, thinking about what was, and what might be next, spending time with family, talking about family (present and past), and trying to keep warm until the sunlight returns to the earth. It is the between time for me.

So I honored the Day of the dead (early November). I celebrated Winter Solstice, and had a moment of silence on December 24, looking up at the crisp dark sky, for Astarte, whose time it was, she of the holy mothers and the stars. I responded jubilantly to my friends' phone calls as midnight happened in their time zones across the world, and I stayed up to comfort my cat when all the noise started around midnight here. But for my conscious and subconscious awareness of history, time, tradition and Earth's Cycles... I will celebrate the new year on Candlemas. The year 9008, in honor of our recorded history as wise women. With wishes and goals scratched onto bay leaves, with a lighting of candles and a blessing of my home for the coming year. I will celebrate the turning of the wheel, and I will dance along the spiral that is my life path, ever deeper into the mystery.