Baring it All

This morning, after my shower, I wrapped a towel around my hair and another towel around my body. As I was about to leave the bathroom I stopped, because out of the blue, like a slap on the butt, I decided to do something completely out of character. I dropped the towel I had wrapped around my body and courageously stood in front of the bathroom mirror naked as I wiped the steam from the mirror unveiling my body; baring it all.

I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my naked self. I’m not sure if it’s pure avoidance, some kind of shame or form of embarrassment. Maybe it’s simply fear, because fear will branch out into all of those other things; (avoidance, shame, embarrassment). But there’s a part of me that is downright angry at my body because when the pain flares up and things seem like they’re spinning out of control, I feel so fragile; like a raw egg that could crack at any moment. But I was tired of looking the other way unless I was clothed and in front of a full length mirror.

On the contrary, at this moment I stood facing myself, looking into my own eyes. Was I seeking an ally? Some sort of approval? Would I find that part of myself that sees beauty in all things, even the physical me? I think I did find it because I took a deep breath and relaxed, allowing my eyes to move slowly along my body.

My eyes were immediately drawn to the deep surgical scar that ran vertically from my navel down to my pubic bone. The evidence of a failed back surgery. My gaze then wandered across my lower abdomen, along the faded yet thick scars from two C-sections. Just above those were five small incision scars scattered across my lower belly from a laparoscopic uterine lysis surgery to remove scar tissue adhesions.

Then across my torso were four puncture-like scars from when I had my gallbladder removed. There was a small scar that ran under my left breast from a cyst removal when I was fourteen. I knew without looking that I had a five inch scar down the middle of my back from another failed back surgery; the one that caused permanent nerve damage.

Ah yes, I mustn’t forget the faded stretch marks that had inched their way across my belly and ended in thin tendrils along my hips.

What I was looking at was a roadmap of my life.

Then in a flash of clarity, like another slap on the butt, came the realization that my avoidance of looking at my body wasn’t just the physical scars, my widened hips, my enlarged breasts that fed and nourished my children, or the little laugh lines forming next to my eyes.

It was the lack of willingness to really see.

Each of those things are filled with strength, hope, survival, nourishment, laughter, love, and life itself.

Each one of those things are a facet of me.

I looked again, this time more closely at myself and searched for the strong woman that I know I am. I want to get out of the habit of feeling like a failure as a wife, a mother, and a witch. I must truly look at myself and honor my many strengths while acknowledging my many weaknesses. I know in my heart that I need to surrender and trust in the fact that my physical body, even though its limitations and pain, holds me and supports me through the good times and the bad.

I want to enrich my life and let go of The fear, judgement, and the ugliness of self-doubt that holds me back from living my life to the fullest. Gazing into the reflection of my own eyes, I saw the warmth and comfort within. Now is the time to shed away all that doesn’t serve me. This will be a perfect starting point on my journey towards re-balancing and repairing my body, mind, and spirit.

I am not a failure. I am a strong, independent, loving woman and I need to be proud of all the things I have lived through and fought for in my life. It’s time for me to be proud of all the things I am currently living through and fighting for at this moment and those moments yet to come.

I then spoke gently to myself.

“You will no longer be a victim. You can face your pain and fear head on because you’ve done it all of your life; you just didn’t realize you were successful at it. You now know you are. You no longer have to pretend you’re not in pain or overwhelmed. It’s okay, and it doesn’t make you a failure. It’s time to claim loving acceptance of your physical body, trust in the knowledge your mind now holds, and align with your spirit exactly as you are.

Only I have the power, knowledge, and control to overcome the obstacles in my life to promote healing on every level.

Now, where do I begin? Hmmm….Actually, I think I already have.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(


That Which is Me

There is a special place for me that is down a little path. It sits between two giant cedar trees and is far enough away from the main house to feel like I’m away from it all. I suppose it’s really a private place where I can deal with my life in general. It has a door that locks and three windows that let in enough natural light when I want it and blackout drapes for times I need darkness and privacy. I appreciate this place I have and am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to enjoy it (“it” being what I affectionately call my “Lair”) as much as life allows.

It’s my office and workspace with a big desk where I can write, draw, or waste my time. There is another craft table for collage/mixed media projects, painting, etc. I find that the cycle in which I move through these different projects remains in harmony with what my spirit needs; the nourishment coming from the creative flow of what I choose to do. There are walls with bookshelves stuffed with way too many books, and 2 reading chairs where I can read or crochet. It also has a massage table and placed in one corner is my altar and in front of that is my ritual/meditation space.


There are many times I have to tuck back the sheer nettings, stack the pillows, and roll back the sheepskin rug to make room for my sewing table or to pull the massage table away from the wall. Sometimes the entire room is a cluttered mess with projects in progress.

Today I thought about all the reasons I go out there and what I use that quiet place for. The list got ridiculously long, so I decided to pare it down to describe what I feel is the most important and basic need I have of it. My altar.

The one thing in the “Lair” that never gets moved, untidy, or packed away is my altar.
It’s the one place in my life that I know will be there the way I need it to be at any given moment. I love being in that spiritual space in front of my altar, but it’s not limited to one location….. Yes, it’s a physical space, but it’s also with me by being within me. The only boundaries are those that are created by me whether on purpose, accidental, or coincidental.

When I clean my altar, rearrange the items on it, change the cloth, or update the essentials, I commit the changes to memory so that I can access it anytime, anywhere. I can be in the middle of the grocery store and feel the familiar spike in anxiety or pain. I can choose to tense up and try and rush through or I can close my eyes for just a moment and allow the image of my altar to flow into my mind. I can reach out and touch an item, smell the incense, and feel the warmth of the candle flame all within a moment and a deep breath.


Meet Seymour, Guardian of my Altar

I need that place, not just the physical location, (although that’s also nice) but the true nature of what it embodies and my accessibility to it. It exists far beyond my physical reality. It’s teeming with emotions and memories; it’s a vessel of intention and magick; it’s about love and passion; music and poetry; it’s brimming with mantras and dreams; it’s overflowing with my wishes and desires; It’s a place of creative prompts and encouragement to do what it is that makes me happy and fulfilled. This is the altar of my private sanctuary, and mine alone. It’s where my heart can dance because it is simply me.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

Salty Magick & Elven Speak

Here I sit at the dining room table in the midst of lovely chaos. The t.v. is turned up way too loud, the washer and dryer are both running simultaneously nearby, the kids are tossing a balloon back and forth, giggling while trying to keep it airborne (in some strange, made-up game only they know the rules to), my husband is animatedly discussing football plays with fellow coaches and all the while I am sipping on lavender chamomile tea wondering how on earth I’m going to get my lines memorized for the upcoming ritual I agreed to be a part of.

I’m in the thick of things because I became lonely after having shut myself in a quiet room, far removed from the action which (interestingly enough) proved to be no less distracting than the present moment. I’ve lit a candle to help remind me of the task at hand and, for some reason, I have found that if I sit facing towards said chaos that I am more able to focus on what I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve taken over the entire circumference of the dining table with my ritual notes from last night’s rehearsal, some files and a binder, along with my cellphone and laptop; not to mention way too many pens in varying shades of purple.

I kind of feel like the Queen Bee of the dining room, looking out over the workings of a household gone mad while I ramble on about the defining qualities of a sturdy potato chip interspersed with seemingly random words of an obscure and unique language.

“Rrrrruffles have rrridges…Rrrrruffles have rrridges…Rrrrruffles have rrridges…formenel…dorhiron……ennorath..…”

This strange babbling initially drew attention from the others but they’ve since moved on to more interesting things and have pretty much left me alone ever since.

I’m not completely bonkers (although I’m sure there are many that would be eager to challenge me on that), I’m simply supposed to learn how to speak a little bit of Elvish and I’m trying to practice rolling my r’s eloquently. Out of frustration I was about to call it quits when my eyes landed on a half-empty bag of Ruffles potato chips laying the kitchen counter flanked by empty bottles of hefeweizen (the by-products of having several football coaches in my house). I don’t know how I know this, maybe I saw it in a movie once, but “Rrrruffles have rrridges” was a way to practice those rolling r’s.

As most things of this nature, it all began innocently enough when I was asked to call the North at a Wiccan ritual that will be open to the public for this upcoming Spring Equinox.

I thought, oooh, I haven’t called a direction in a public ritual for quite a while, and I most certainly haven’t called North since…well…ever!! A picture immediately flashed in my mind…It would feel amazing to raise my arms to the sky as I invoked the Northern Watchtower, speaking freely from my heart and hopefully stirring the souls of those who heard my words as we welcomed in the grounding Earth energies; I could almost feel the winter North wind whipping my hair around wildly as leaves twirled and spiraled upward. Ah, the magick! But, I’m a practical witch, and a realist to boot, so I reigned in my imagination a bit (plus I already knew it was going to be indoors so the wild wind whipping my hair around was probably out).

I quickly answered with an enthusiastic “yes!” anyway, before learning little details like my invoking the Watcher of the Northern Tower would be done in both Elvish and English.

I never paid a lot of attention to Elvish unless it involved Legolas. Is that bad of me?

So I will learn my lines like the good Witch I aspire to be and not just because I care for, admire, and deeply respect the women who have worked so hard to create this ritual. I believe in the work we do and that public ritual can help create change for the better. I’m excited see how the community receives this well written ritual. It’s an interesting blend of The Blessed Realm and Goddess creation myths from around this world with some other interesting tidbits added. That’s the beauty of eclecticism.

Public rituals are unlike most of my solitary rituals where I can fly by the seat of my pants until it comes to the actual spellwork. On the contrary they are organized, well-planned events with a basic structure necessary in order to have a successful outcome that promotes religious tolerance, acceptance, and open-mindedness. A ritual for a large gathering of people in a shared public space needs to have that organization or it will quickly lose focus, scatter intentions, cause disinterest, or worst case scenario lead to friction and/or fear. I know from experience that there will already be enough of that from well meaning bible-thumpers trying to save our naughty souls from eternal damnation.

The beauty of individual self-expression lies within the center of Paganism and is vital to Spiritual Awareness and growth. It’s often found in drumming and meditation circles, solitary work, etc. This is where ideas form and inspiration grows. It’s where we find our voice and feel comfortable to finally having it be heard, sometimes for the very first time.

Large public rituals are similar in that they create a welcoming sacred space to everyone, regardless of gender, race, experience, faith, or culture. However they differ from drum circles and many types of mystical gatherings in that they have a central theme that weaves together a magickal story to be shared with the community through careful outlining of thought, action, and intent; the stuff magick is made of but in a specific order that can be easily carried out with (hopefully) few hiccups. They rely on building the energy through deep trust in the person you are holding hands with. The experience is a collective effort and no matter the level of experience, the energy naturally directs itself towards the Priestess acting as Centerpole. These people of diverse backgrounds who chose to be a part of the Circle will feel the release as it trembles the earth. There will be a quiet stillness that tingles the skin and stirs the soul as we connect with others through a collective consciousness and a shared understanding of the moment. Most bystanders will feel something too. Maybe there is something to this Magick thing after all.

Strangely enough, a half-empty bag filled with high fat, overly salty, virtually no nutrient value crumbs might just help me be a successful part of this amazing ritual. An extreme example of finding magick in the mundane, yet no less magickal.

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

Something Sweet; A Baking Tale of Woe

I will try my best to explain the painful, frustrating experience of trying to put together my daughter’s birthday cake.

And the unexpected outcome.

My youngest daughter just turned 10 and It’s a family tradition that I make everyone the cake they request on their birthday. I don’t really like to bake. It’s a science which means I have to follow some rules. I don’t like following rules. Luckily the requests that come in are usually pretty easy. However, a 10 year-old little girl is too big to want a pink princess cake again this year, but not quite old enough to realize that asking for a homemade Black Forest Cherry Cake was a little out of my comfort zone. But I knew that with some simple modifications I had this one in the bag. At least I hoped.

She must have read my mind because she pointed her finger at me with a sly smile on her face and said, “Homemade Momma. That means no Betty Crocker.” I was sure I saw a glint in her eye. Would she know? Probably. Damn. So I wasn’t going be able to get away with a boxed cake mix and can of cherry pie filling then dump it all in a bundt pan (which in my opinion is pretty good stuff). But I figured I could probably still cut a corner or two.

I inwardly cringed when she offered to help me individually pit the cherries. I thanked her but quickly pointed out (with relief) that cherries weren’t in season. She would have to settle for frozen pitted cherries in her dang cake. This was just getting worse and worse.

Did the bakery in town have Black Forest Cherry Cakes ready to go?

I was standing at the kitchen sink when I felt the warm sun peeking through the dark clouds. I closed my eyes and spoke gently to myself. “You can do this. Ground and center. Your feet are firmly planted on the earth beneath you. Feel the roots spread out from the soles of your feet…reach deep, deep into the soil and find your strength…pull that energy up through your body………

Later when I had finished gathering my wits about me, I found and read through my old recipe for the cake. Other than a boxed cake mix and canned cherries, there were a couple of other ingredients I would have to do without. Cake flour was one of them. (Do people really buy that stuff?) The other one was Kirsch, but I was the only one who would know it was missing anyway. I held onto a nearly full bottle of that stuff until about a month ago because it had done nothing but gather dust from the last time I made that cake; 14 years ago. If only I had waited a little longer because at that moment I could really have used a few shots of that stuff.

My littlest girl was turning 10 and if she wanted a Black Forest Freaking Cherry Cake then that’s what I was going to make for her; to the best of my ability. So suck it up Buttercup, I told myself.

I didn’t really believe she was expecting a perfect cake. In fact there’s probably no one who expected Black Forest Cherry Cake Perfection from me more than I expect it from myself. It’s why I cringed at the thought of making one of those cakes again in the first place.

It wasn’t going to be the end of the world if it didn’t look like a picture perfect Black Forest Cherry Cake because it might still taste good. I had to at least believe in that part.

And when things I cook or stuff that I make don’t turn out quite perfect I can usually just call them “Rustic” with some degree of success.


So far so good…


Smells divine!



Chocolate whipped cream sounded better than just plain whipped cream for the filling. Besides, I don’t think the recipe said not to tweak the filling (where is that recipe anyway?)


It’s taking a while. Even my faithful dog can’t wait around forever. Besides I don’t think she can stand the mess in the kitchen any longer and has decided to leave me. And lo and behold, there’s the recipe on the floor next to her. I wondered where that went…(I would eventually find it…after the cake was done).


Not bad for the third layer. The chocolate frosting seems to be a little sticky, but I’m sure it’s fine. I’m not sure but at this point I think the recipe says I’m supposed to put one more layer of cake on. But first I must sneak a cherry. I think I deserve one.

When I was almost finished I set the cake in the fridge before the final touches because the whipped cream seemed to be getting a little warm and runny and the impromptu chocolate layer was becoming more and more sticky by the minute. I did my best not to panic reassuring myself that a little change in consistency was probably normal. While it chilled, I made some more whipped cream to frost the outside. Twenty minutes later when I removed the cake it was immediately clear that the cake wasn’t going to even come close to looking like it should. My 19 year-old son came over early for dinner and after one look at the cake said, “Oh man…well, just call it a ‘deconstructed’ Black Forest Cherry Cake.” Smartass. But wait, that was actually not a bad plan! But hope slowly faded as the cake began to fall apart even further right before our eyes. In a matter of minutes the cake had split into three uneven sections and though we did our best to try and save the dying cake, we were still quickly losing it to gravity.


Please tell me this is all just a bad dream….

At the final attempt to push it back together I finally called it. “It’s over. We did all that we could.” I was looking through tears of frustration at the big mess and was sad that I failed my daughter’s request for a birthday cake. Never had I ever created such a mess of a cake as this. Not even close. But I sucked it up and piped on the rest of the whipped cream, filling in the holes as best as I could. I then took my nerve pain meds and went to bed with an ice pack while taking deep breaths and accepting my major screw-up.

But it was far from over. We still had to transfer the cake to the car and drive 20 minutes to my parent’s house where everyone was going to meet. (The only one that would be missing was my oldest daughter). I absolutely dreaded the unveiling of the disasterpiece so I made my husband do it.

My daughter stood next to him, excited to finally see her cake that I had spent the better part of the day on. Her sweet, accepting demeanor naturally came through because her reaction was of honesty, acceptance, and above all else, appreciation and gratitude. “That looks delicious Momma!” That’s why she’s so peculiarly amazing, my perfectly imperfect child who still comes in from playing outside with skinned knees and twigs tangled in her hair. A child with a passion for taking care of animals, and is not afraid to discuss how she feels about religion and politics with anyone who will listen. A daughter who will spend hours and hours reading, singing, or writing books about magickal animals.

The cake ended up more like a chocolate cherry/brownie (brownie because I got distracted and I think I forgot the baking soda) with chocolate frosting and whipped cream. A real mess but even I must admit, it was pretty darn good. Perfectly Imperfect. The fact there were no leftovers or any thrown in the garbage told me it wasn’t a total disaster after all.

I’ll probably keep a better eye on the recipe next time and hopefully that will make a difference.

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

The Art of Distraction

I woke up at 6 a.m. to my hips and thighs aching, not unusual after a long weekend. I tossed and turned a bit, took my pain meds, then tried the heating pad. Today is a holiday for crying out loud, President’s Day to be exact, and I so badly wanted to sleep in with the rest of the family. But when I couldn’t stand it any longer I got out of bed, grabbed my laptop, and trudged my way to the living room where I reclined my reading chair and decided to look over the emails I (un)intentionally ignored over the weekend.

However, I tend to get sidetracked and an hour later I was perusing the White House Historical Association’s website, wondering how I got there in the first place. I traced it back (as best as I could remember) to it starting innocently enough on my MSN homepage. My intentions were good, but before I signed in to my email, I saw the evil slideshow that stopped me dead in my tracks, like always. First pause and click: “Meth in Bra Leads to $712m Seizure”. Then, “ Malawi Gets Its First Grammy Nomination, With Album by Prison Inmates”. Followed by a story about how a rescue dog became mayor. I mean, come on, I had to know how that happened. I was just about to shift gears when I saw “Strange Facts About Every American President.” So in honor of President’s Day I figured I should read it. You know, out of respect. That somehow led me to reading a tweet from Hillary Clinton, and somewhere between there and here I ended up reading useless facts about the White House. But did you know that the most famous of the White House ghosts is Abraham Lincoln? Well, if you didn’t, you do now.

I have yet to read one single email.

But I did manage to waste and hour of my life. But then again, I learned some things. And learning is good, right?

Finally I realized it was time to truly wake up to the day. I’d had my fill of both dark and uplifting news stories, tempting links to Wikipedia, and all the other website diversions that seem loosely joined for no other purpose than to keep me unfocused, emotional, numb, or all of those things at once. Or perhaps none of those things at all.

The sun is shining, at least for the moment, a promise of a productive day. I have a list of things I need to get done and as I mentally tick them off one by one I can only think of a few things on that list that is truly important today;

Get some vitamin D (which I am deficient in) by spending some time outside with the family. Maybe I’ll even hug a tree, and if I ask nicely maybe it will allow me to suck in some of its vitality. That sounds really good right about now.

Work on the quilt I’m making for my daughter’s birthday gift from me. I have two weeks to get it finished and for once I’d love to finish a project ahead of schedule instead of pulling a painful all-nighter.

Other important to-dos:

Take a nap.

Make some scones.

Eat a scone.

Straighten up my altar.

Play cards with the family.

Eat another scone.

Try not to take another nap.

Choose a working Tarot deck for the week.

That’s about it. I understand that some of these may seem like distractions from what I probably should be doing but I have the rest of the week to worry about those things I don’t really want to do. Like laundry. Blech. The way I see it at the moment is that If we all have clean underwear, it can wait another day. Besides, all of the other things “to-do” are necessary to set my Spirit straight and kick my butt in gear for the week. I hope.

What’s on your to-do list today? I hope you can find time and a willing tree to hug today too. We could all use and share the love.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

The Comfort Zone

You have probably heard that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing. Stretch your wings. Aim high and venture forth.

But honestly I don’t want to.

I like it here in our little house in the trees, where I can’t see the road, or neighbors, and where the deer bed down in the meadow at night. It’s comfortable, it’s isolated, and it’s far removed from the outside world. Yes, I am a hermit, one who imagines herself being just fine with living out here in the woods alone. Someday I want to be the crazy old woman in the forest with a big cauldron in her front yard and everyone will think I’m completely nuts. Even the UPS driver will wish I wasn’t on his delivery route. Of course I’ll have a few cats and a pet crow that likes to perch on my shoulder and whisper secrets in my ear.

And if that’s all I had for companionship I think I’d be alright. Besides, other than my cute cats and cool crow, I’d have myself to talk to.

Anyone like me who suffers with Social Anxiety Disorder, whether it’s from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. can relate to what I’m saying and know how debilitating it can be.The truth for me is the longer I stay away from people and public places, the more I stress about doing so. The more I don’t want to. And there are more of us than people think there are.

Over the entire month of January I left the house for only what was necessary; my kids’ basketball practices & their Saturday games, which of course puts me in a social situation with other parents who (more times than not) are overly aggressive. I’ve been to doctor’s appointments, and the grocery store. That pretty much sums it up. I don’t think the art studio counts.

This is coming from a woman who traveled to Europe to meet up with her girlfriend back in the day. Wow, a lot has happened over the last 15 years.

But I ventured away from my house last night, just for fun, which was something I fought really hard against. I knew this outing would put me in a public setting that I wasn’t used to. It was far away from my comfort zone, like the little town 12 miles up the road. It wasn’t the elementary school gym and it wasn’t my doctor’s office. I was headed into the metropolis of busy freeways, lots of bridges, and narrow city streets. There would also be people. A lot of people. My level of anxiety was high when I put on my coat and several times I wondered if I could just maybe, somehow get out of it. But I sucked it up and spritzed on my best perfume then smiled at myself in the mirror because my husband and I were going on a date. The first one in many moons.

We saw a movie at a theater downtown then walked along Hawthorne where we spent way too much time in Powell’s Books. We skipped the trendy restaurants and Portland’s food trucks and finally settled in at our favorite burger joint. We both ordered pepper bacon cheeseburgers and waffle fries. We kinda shared a large milkshake- I say “kinda” because I slurped down way more than my fair so I could get the most (I’m bratty that way). It was an absolutely disgusting meal, and I enjoyed every bite.

It’s times like last night that I’m reminded of the good things that exist outside my comfort zone. There’s no guarantee in life that I won’t be in a car accident, mugged, or worse. But then again there’s no guarantee that I won’t slip and fall in my own home while holding scissors the wrong way or not get trampled by a deer (that actually injured me once, but that’s another story) while wandering along our trails.

Ask me today and I’ll tell you I’d love to see an old friend and catch up. Hell, I’ll even drive to the mall and do some shopping in the Macy’s store where that horrible shooting happened a few years ago. If I keep pushing myself, especially in times I don’t want to, I may begin seeing the world from beyond my comfort zone as somewhere I sometimes would rather be!

As much as the eccentric crazy old woman who lives deep in the forest spending her time conjuring magick and the occasional mayhem just to keep things interesting sounds fun, maybe I don’t really want to be alone. At least not yet.

But if I finally do find myself there I really hope I will have earned it. That I’ll have come full circle by venturing out of my comfort zone. I’ll travel and do great deeds. I’ll meet new people and hopefully share lots of laughter and joy. I’ll spend years and years loving my grandchildren, and teaching them the Ways of the Witch.

And there’s so much more. I want to give more time and energy to charity. I want to sew quilts for the newborns in the neonatal unit (I’ll never forget that small yet caring gesture from a stranger and how it gave me and Atticus so much comfort when he spent his first month of life there). I want to spend oodles and oodles of time with my husband, walking on the beach, playing chess, watching stupid movies, and laughing together until it hurts. And of course making love. A lot.

I want to see Greenland one day. I want to watch a play on Broadway. And while I’m at it, I want to have backstage passes to a Duran Duran concert and a private dinner~and stuff~with John Taylor (hey, a girl can dream)….He’s the one “free pass” *wink, wink* that my husband has given me, no questions asked. I only said okay because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings (another *wink, wink*). But gosh I love my man.

I want to keep making time for my watercolor painting and Soulcollage work. I want to continue guest speaking at Tarot workshops and at the University. I want to write a book. And I want to blog.

I suppose I have a lot of living I want to get done.

I know there will be bad bouts of pain where days and weeks will easily slip by, but I know that I have to fight to be a part of the outside world and push through my comfort zone once the pain episode subsides. Who knows? Maybe something greater than I ever thought possible will come out of it all. But before I get busy, I think I’ll go and call my friend and catch up. Maybe meet for lunch…. In the city.

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

The Force of Nature


I can’t believe that Imbolc is here which means we’re already halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Although it doesn’t really feel like it, the quickening of the earth has begun. To remind my kids (and myself) of this reawakening, I rummaged through the junk cabinet, you know, the one underneath the junk drawer, (no junk cabinet? I send great kudos to you, but you can’t convince me that you don’t have at least one junk drawer somewhere) and I found the crumpled paper bag at the very back. I’m not sure but I think I may have heard a chorus of angels because in that bag was the Holy Grail of possibilities and new beginnings. So out of the bag and onto the kitchen counter roll several small, strange looking brown blobs of promise.

And every year my kids will ask the same thing, “Are they dead?”

One of my favorite things to do a week or so before Imbolc is to force bulbs to grow in my kitchen window.

At the end of January that statement makes me feel so empowered! In midwinter I can’t do much of anything outside because of the thick mud and my little Summer herb garden seems like a distant memory. Sure, I’ll feed and water the houseplants but even they start to look sluggish. But believe you me, I will force those bulbs to grow!

And they do. They always do. Rain or shine, their vibrant green shoots will burst through the surface within days of planting, and before I know it they’re blooming with confidence and sheer force of will. And every year I am humbled by their elegant beauty, knowing full well I didn’t force them to do anything. I simply gave them a place to start and in return they shared their lovely blooms with me and my family.

That’s the power of Nature. All around us are reminders of Gaia’s strength, compassion, and never-ending gifts of beauty.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(


This is How I Spent Most of my Day


I’ve been enjoying one of my favorite novels all over again. I have many “favorites” across many genres but time travel and 1700’s Scottish Highlands were calling out to me.

Although I’ve had too many cups of Tazo today, it feels good to indulge myself in a world that I find easy to daydream about. Years ago this story opened my heart to the possibility of enjoying a fantasy/time travel/historical romance, which was something I had never before considered to be my “taste.” But my own little daydream was born within the pages of this book. It was a little seedling of fantasy that grew with my imagination, further fed by my new-found desires; ones I never even knew I had. Before I knew it I was daydreaming about wandering around a medieval Scottish castle where I purposefully stray from the tour group and sneak beyond the roped off area. This of course leads me to a mysterious chamber in which a time portal opens up (you see, it was waiting just for me) and, not surprisingly, I lose my balance, fall through and travel back in time. I reappear just outside the castle walls in the mid 1700’s. I’m immediately found by a big burly Scottish Highlander in a kilt who sweeps me off my feet and plants me on the back of his horse. I hold onto him tightly as he whisks me away to…..well I don’t always know where exactly….the locations vary….as do a lot of the other parts, but you get the gist.

Losing myself within the pages of what daydreams are made of is a good thing. At least until 3 p.m. when the kids return from school, running inside the house, dropping their backpacks on the floor, arguing about who’s more annoying, and complaining about how hungry they are. 

For me, revisiting those familiar characters and settings is an ongoing adventure because each time I return I find something new, like catching sight of a gem caught in a stained glass window. It’s a long, luxurious bubble bath for my soul, an extended Calgon moment I suppose. And until tomorrow, my bookmark will act as my tether to that other place.

So daydreams are encouraged! May you spend some time revisiting one of your favorite books too.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(



A New Journey for our Beloved Feathered Friend

My youngest daughter buried her pet parakeet today. She had received the blue budgie she named “Sweetheart” for her birthday two years ago after she begged, and begged, and begged for a bird. I wasn’t sure if she was ready to care for a bird because it needed more than just interaction, it also needed basic care and frequent cage cleaning. She insisted and promised that she was ready but I still had my doubts.

So I had her research the parakeet species and write a five paragraph essay on how to care for one and what her expectations were. She did a lot of research online and checked out all the library books she could find about them. What she ended up creating was two pages (which is pretty good for a second grader) filled with heartfelt words of persuasion (so persuasive that any and all spelling and grammatical errors were immediately and easily forgiven) so needless to say, she won what had become the “Battle of the Bird” hands-down.

And she stayed true to her words and was a brilliant pet budgie owner. There were no regrets and the entire family enjoyed her company.

There were no signs of any illness or distress at all. She was eating well, and played with us the night before, chirping to the t.v. and seemed content. And like any other night, my daughter took her to her bedroom and sat her on the perch next to her bed and read to her.

Then this morning I made the unpleasant and sad discovery. Luckily we were running late for school and I hadn’t had the chance to uncover her cage until the kids were off to school. It bought me some time to first figure out how I was going to tell my daughter Sweetheart was gone, to find a proper box, and think about how we were going to handle the final goodbye.

My husband broke the news to her and talked with her for a little while as she asked questions that he could readily answer in his special way because he is both a biologist and a druid.

She then came to me and climbed into bed and I held her and stroked her head as she cried. After some time we dried her tears and began the task of saying goodbye.

Her little coffin was a cedar box with a hinged lid that hadn’t yet been painted for one of my Tarot decks. We placed muslin in the bottom with cotton batting underneath. The bird was gently placed in the box and at our daughter’s request we left the two of them alone until she was ready to close the lid. She had taken a piece of millet (Sweetheart’s favorite treat) because she wanted to tuck it into the box with her bird. We found a spot under an umbrella shaped deciduous tree that is deeply shaded during the hot summer months. My husband used the shovel and began digging the hole then handed it to our daughter and we each took with the shovel. She placed the box into the earth and began covering the hole. My husband finished and smoothed the top.

She rewrote a prayer from the book “Circle Round” on an index card and read it out loud.

“Sweetheart, fellow traveler and my trusted friend. I am sad to see you go. I will miss your funny chirps, and your soft feathers. I will miss reading to you at night and will always smile when I think about how much you liked sitting on my shoulder and how you loved to have conversations with your own reflection in the bathroom mirror (we then went around and each of us shared something). May your journey be peaceful, happy, and free. As you join the great dance of creation, we thank the Goddess for your time with us, and we will hold you forever in our hearts.

Blessed Be”

We are going down to the creek bed tomorrow so that my daughter can find a special rock to use as a marker for Sweetheart’s grave.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

Cherry Tarts~ Retro-Style

Mercury Retrograde.
It’s a time to say what I should have said when I felt what I meant to say. Or something like that.

Discombobulated anyone?

Just blame it on Mercury. Like the most of us tend to do.

 I’ve been on the alternative route long enough to have been duly warned of all the do’s and don’ts during this “troubling” time. I am well aware of the more-than-likely-mishaps and frustrating malfunctions, dumb misunderstandings and deals gone bad. I’ve been there, done that. And so have you.

 No need to fret, It’s just Mercury Retrograde doing it’s thing; and we all have our thing.

When things go awry like your printer takes a nosedive or you accidentally hit “send” when you really shouldn’t have then it’s time to pay more attention to the little wisps of luck in your life like getting out of a speeding ticket, finding a $20 bill in your coat pocket and then find the bakery is making your favorite cherry tarts again (I must admit I worked hard on making that wheel squeak).You know, the important stuff in the Grand Scheme of Things.

Besides, Mercury isn’t really moving backwards, it’s all just an optical illusion…but I really shouldn’t spoil the mood so I’ll stop there.

Life speeds by on its endless course and dear Mercury Retrograde can be that slap in the face you need in order to get a grip on life.

Many Blessings on Your Journey )O(

The tarts are calling my name. Mercury Rocks!