Autumn time, red leaves fall while the weeping sky looks overall.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Look Out! Zombie Cats is Free Today.

 
The description for my short story Zombie Cats: A Semi-true Story of Horror asks "Is it a short horror story with an edge of humor or a humorous short story with an edge of horror? Much depends on how you feel about cats as zombies."

Whatever it is, Zombie Cats if free today, October 1, and I thought you'd like to know. Buy it now and read it later to get in the Halloween mood. Pass the word and I hope you get a good scare, or a good laugh -- or maybe both!

Fall Cleaning Rituals

As the Wheel of the Year turns, and each new season brings its gifts, part of my observance is to clean all the thresholds of my home and beautify the entrance. I sweep away cobwebs and remove spent plants. Dusty windows and ledges "magically" transform into shiny, dust-free surfaces with the help of a homemade cleanser and a bit of scrubbing. The last season's d├ęcor gets wiped down and hauled back into storage while new items revive the energy.

Most of my housework chores are completed without a great deal of thought, but on or around the eight holy days I take my time. Fall cleaning rituals are similar to those practiced in spring. At each season I work widdershins to remove the old and tired then deosil to bring in the new. I pray and meditate. I ask Goddess to keep our home sound and our family safe within its walls. I give thanks for all we have and remember those who have not.

A broom, a bottle of rosemary cleanser and a bundle or two of sage provide both physical and energetic cleaning. I anoint front and back doors with a pure essential oil -- whatever my intuition calls for that season -- and visualize positive energy entering while the negative exits. Some new wreath or decoration, made with magical intent of course, adorns the front entrance.

I feel better when I'm done, more connected to the natural world. Acknowledging that the season has changed, that summer is different from fall and fall is different from Hallows yet to come helps me keep magic alive in my life and in my home. It's a small thing, yet powerful. To change with the seasons and not with a linear calendar is a powerful thing.

On the weekend closest to Mabon I begin my fall cleaning ritual. Sometimes it takes an entire week to finish, to wash all the windows inside and out, to plant a few mums and make a new wreath from sticks and feathers, to start in the east and walk a full circle around my home with a wand of smoldering sage, but I'm not in a hurry.

Autumn isn't one day, it's a full season. Autumn doesn't mind if my steps are slow.


Magical Cleansing Potion:
  • Decoct a strong tea of rosemary using several sprigs of fresh rosemary and two cups of boiling water. Allow the tea to steep for at least ten minutes, and let it cool. Discard the spent herbs. 
  • Pour the cool liquid into a spray bottle and add an equal amount of white vinegar.
  • Add 2 to 3 drops of eco-friendly liquid soap. Shake lightly.
Use this cleanser for windows, doors, sacred objects and regular household cleaning.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Synchronous Inspiration

Ever since I read Richard Bach's Illusions back in high school I've been fascinated by the phenomenon of synchronicity. Yes, blue feathers (or red leaves or yellow shoes) will start showing up in your life if you take a few moments to focus on them. Notice them. That's why I'm extra happy about some of the new opportunities, inspirations and connections that have recently come my way.

After months of meditating about and talking about how my spiritual life is not as fulfilling as it once was -- how I've "lost the spark" so to speak, and thinking about ways to reignite the fire,  new gifts keep trickling into my life. I am paying attention and I'm grateful. The FB Women Who Run with the Wolves book club is so full of creative, thoughtful women. Their art and comments spur me to try new things and go deeper. Thank you Angie at Pagan Writers Press for sharing the information.

As you know I was also gifted with the opportunity to review "Soul Path" magazine and that inspired me to make some magical potions (aka homemade bath salts and a facial mask) and give myself a day of pampering as every goddess deserves. I do love kitchen witchery!

So in a manner of a few weeks I've gone from lamenting my somewhat rote, dry spiritual practice to having a calendar full of red circles marking all the fun events and projects coming my way. Just today it was confirmed that I'll be teaching a class on faery magic for Tribal Whispers next summer. Yipee!

Juicy creative soulful exploration of the natural and supernatural worlds is part of what drew me to the goddess path more than 20 years ago. Not many spiritual traditions give you an excuse to dress like a wolf or spend the day making art out of acorns all in the name of sacred play, and sacred play is what's been missing from my life. By recognizing the lack and naming it I was able to find the remedy. I've called it to me. As each gift arrives I say "Oh, this is an answer to my prayer, how lovely!" And I give thanks. More come. More gratitude.

What's that quote from Emerson -- When you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen.

When we make a decision about our lives synchronicity goes to work. Doors open, teachers come, opportunity knocks. Interconnected "coincidences" lay a path in front of us that ultimately leads to our desire. And that's true, I believe, whether my decision is that I'm a failure and this will never work or I'm going to succeed.

Because I'm a writer and writing is how I navigate myself through life this recent renewal of juiciness has also inspired a new project. More on that next time. I'm thinking I might blog parts of the book here. Is that tedious or interesting? In the meantime I encourage you to be on the lookout for blue feathers. They're every where, each one a gift from the Universe.
 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: Soul Path Magazine


I recently got the opportunity to read “Soul Path” magazine, a goddess-based publication created and edited by Lyn Thurman – a talented witchy woman I hope to get to know better! I really enjoyed the magazine and will definitely become a new subscriber. You can learn more about Lyn, Soul Path magazine and Soul Path Tribe at http://soulpathtribe.com/.  

I especially liked the way the themes were carried throughout the articles. Freya is the goddess for the September issue and not only did we learn about her mythology, Lyn’s team of talented writers also provided ritual ideas, recipes, a Tarot reading, crafts and products that give a reader the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and relationship with this aspect of the Divine. Loved it. You could spend the whole month immersed in the study of Freya with little more that this edition of Soul Path as a resource.


Goddess Guidance by Doreen Virtue
Loyalty, a trait which relates to Freya’s story, is the other theme for September and was also woven through the magazine in an effective, uplifting way.

I also appreciated the contributions from Bernard, the intuitive color reader and Paul Thurman who wrote a touching and personal article about loyalty. Yes, men writing for a goddess magazine! So healing to hear from brothers who are in touch with goddess energy and want to share their experiences.

OK, in the name of fairness I have to admit there was one thing I wasn’t crazy about – but that’s all, one. In my opinion there were too many articles. I know that probably sounds crazy, but I could have done with fewer but longer articles that went a little deeper into the subject.

I don’t always like reading online publications but Soul Path gets high marks for visual appeal – no funky background colors or fancy fonts, just well laid out print and clear, attractive graphics.
As is usual, the Universe brought this gift at a time when I’d put out the call for new ideas and connections to enliven my path. So thank you Universe and Lyn for bringing this gift! I highly recommend Soul Path magazine and I look forward to future issues.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Archetype and Myth

Having just spent a weekend at Pacifica Institute in Santa Barbara my mind is still marinating in the rich stew of myth, archetypes and heroic journeys. Sometime during the third day of the writer's conference titled "The Writer's Journey: Inside Out and Back Again" I realized how deep my understanding of myth and archetype is -- that I live this stuff.

My year revolves around the myth of Persephone and Demeter; in the fall I begin to put down my roots, stay home more and explore the shadows, and in the spring I yawn and stretch and try to find new ways to put winter's lessons to work in every day life. Each Hallows Eve I walk to the nearest crossroads and leave an offering for the great Queen of Witches, Hecate. On Beltane Eve, well never mind what I do on Beltane, but you get the idea. My spiritual and mundane life are guided by the myths that guided my ancestors to plant, tend, harvest and rest.


Artwork by Demeter23triplemoon on Photobucket
Of course none of this makes me particularly special because most witches do live this stuff. Those big pointy hats we wear aren't dunce caps you know, they're vessels to hold all the information on folklore and myth and symbolism we absorb while learning spells about how to get a better job or protect our backyard rites from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, a living goddess herself as far as I'm concerned, was one of the conference presenters and I suggested to my myth-challenged good friend that Bolen's book "Goddesses in Every Woman" would be a great primer if she wanted information that delved deeper into the idea of archetypes, not just a retelling of myth. She bought the book and thumbed through it on the way home. As I drove we discussed a variety of goddess myths and she asked which archetype I felt connection with.

Hmm.

Venus of Willendorf
Lately I've been wondering that myself. I came out of winter's cave truly transformed this spring -- I am officially a moonpause woman. It's not simply this physical fact that's changed my relationship with the Mother archetypes I've always felt connected to: Demeter, Isis, the ancient Venus, it's the emotional and spiritual work I've been doing to support that physical change that now has me wondering just where I fit in.

Who am I now? A baby crone, a matriarch in my family but not yet Hecate and no longer Demeter. I'm something in between. I'm a woman in search of a new myth and it dawns on me that the in-between seasons are the place I might find a new archetype to lean on and learn from as I continue more fully into my transition from mother to elder.

Any suggestions?

Friday, April 19, 2013

She Changes and Changes

Beautiful Spring Goddess
I've been a bad blogger. Just when I get a few people actually interested in what I'm writing here I stop making posts. All I can say is that I've had a hard time coming out of the cave this spring -- a case of "be careful what you ask for."

If you've read earlier posts you know I set intentions to go deep into the dark this past winter. Not only did Persephone call, Nyx, Ereshkigal, Lilith, Hecate and the whole gang of dark goddesses wrapped their sinewy arms around me and would not let go. Or maybe it was me who wouldn't let go of them.

My circle experienced grief, confrontation, anger, fear, change and change and change this winter, as did I. Of course change is a blessing, a sign that the goddess is present in your life because She changes everything She touches. But I know you feel me when I say change does not always feel like a blessing when it's happening.

And there are so many bad things happening in the world. And so many bad things, and so many bad things.

Spring arrived fully in my neck of the almond orchard right on time last month. Some sunny days I think I hear the Maiden dancing in my garden so I leave the dark cave of my writing space to go look for her. She coaxes me into pulling weeds and planting fresh flowers just to please her. I'm enthusiastic about the garden this year which I am not always so it's a good sign.

I hope you are planting seeds and lingering on the soft scent of jasmine as it wafts into your open door at night. And if spring is not yet that present where you live I hope the changes in your life are as gentle as the waiting green grass.

Blessed Be

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Haiku Sunday -- After Valentine's Day

Aphrodite by Susan Seddon-Boulet




Love Magic

I bind myself to
myself in a sacred act
of love magic now.