Craft your Light


Some carry a light to show the Way,
For others to follow behind,
Some carry a Light to light their own Path,
without regard to others’ Mind.

For everyone’s journey is not the same,
although we may want it to be,
So keep on talking and carrying your Light,
It will set a lot of Souls free.

Fear not of that which you need to say,
it’s probably part of your mission,
Fear not of being viewed as different,
or being the brunt of derision.

For who you are is of need to all,
especially to those like me,
For what’s in your Heart is your greatest gift,
Let it out for all to see.

–Author Unknown

A person’s path is never stick straight and without pot holes. It bends around hills, swerves around detours, and gets stuck in construction. Sometimes there are little MPH signs to tell you to slow down and actually take a LOOK at where you are traveling, other times it lets you figure it out on your own. I’ve been following such a path, though I have to admit on more than one occasion, it feels like I’ve been taking the scenic route. Or better yet, I’ve been stuck idling in perpetual YIELD.

While experiencing that metaphorical YIELD, my dear friend Jaymi who is adept at tarot, gave me a career card reading. In the end, what I had to do to prepare was to embrace The Hermit. The Hermit is the wise old person who guides and seeks. Who follows the light Divine set forth, but also holds the lantern the light emanates from. I am always seeking, but the time has come for me to embrace the mastery of my craft I know I am capable of attaining. But to do that, I must take hold of my inner strength and heart and step outside my comfort zone.

So. Here I am.


Late Night Afterthoughts

tag-icon-set-1098659-mFor a pagan community who despise labels, there is sure a lot of labeling going on.

Calling myself Wiccan is equivalent to trying to fit into a size 8 little black dress.  I’ve expanded to where it does not fit my needs anymore and the size 12 version does not interest me.  Neither does Pagan, but I suppose it’s the closest one of the bunch.  Mystic is probably more accurate, but why do we care?  Why do we care so much about what label we identify ourselves with?  Blame society I suppose, but on some level we see ourselves as a Product and Products need labels.  Because to be complete as human beings, we must offer a service.  Simply Being will not do.  One can BE creative or BE spiritual or BE wise but if you don’t put an action behind that Being then you are a half empty container.  DO something creative, DO spiritual action, DO wise counsel.  Become your Service.

I have a thousand labels and not a single one defines Me.  Am I nutty and wise?  Am I inspiration and destruction?  Am I woman and soul?  Am I stubborn and complex?  Am I fierce and undiluted?  Yeah.  Uh-huh. Absolutely.

When people in the pagan community ask who I am and what my calling is, I falter.  I feel like they are asking for my Pagan Approved Credentials.  Thoughts of insecurity and wanting to “measure up” within the community flood my mind.  Then I wish I could embrace the simplicity of one traveling Time Lord.

“I’m the Doctor.”

“Sorry?”

“I’m the Doctor.”

“Doctor of what?”

“That’s right.”

“You are a Doctor?”

“The Doctor.”

“But what precisely do you DO, Doctor?”

“Exactly!,” I say as I go bounding off with a grin on my face and sonic screwdriver in hand.  The Doctor is all encompassing.  He cannot be defined; neither can any human being.  He does not tell people what he does or who he is, he’s not obligated to.  Instead, he shows them.  When strangers ask his companions who he is, they falter because no single label can fit him perfectly except for one; one he has given himself.  One that empowers him.  “He’s the Doctor,” they say with an impish shrug.

I am singularly neither Pagan nor Mystic nor Healer nor Shaman.  What do I do?  I search.  I search for a Word.  Not The Word because there are so many out there, to restrict myself to just one would be silly and unproductive.  I search for a Word, a Word that can be shared and in turn have it inspire or awaken or shaken when it is given form.

I deliver messages.  I am one of thousands.  One of hundreds of thousands who write and say what they are compelled to say in that perfect tick-tock moment in time.  You can label me a Writer, but as we’ve mentioned before labels can be limiting if we overuse them.  Labels can also be empowering, but they should never be definitive.

So the next time I’m asked, should I explain I’m a Priestess, Mystic, Scribe, Messenger, Geek, Redhead, Cis-Woman, Pagan, Wiccan, Magician, Truth Seeker, Dancer, Mutant, Poker of Finger?

No.

Hello.  I’m The Ember.


TARDIS, Drum and the Dead: PantheaCon Day 1

2.15.2013

First day at PantheaCon was slightly surreal.  My friend and I arrived the afternoon before with such slick travel chemistry, we suffered not a glitch, bump or delay in our flight.  Our room was ready ahead of schedule and luggage exploded as we settled in for our stay.  Friday morning we woke up at 6am (OH GOD THIRTY to others) and vowed to start each day with a healthy, robust breakfast. We rendezvoused with our friend and Tarotist, Jaymi Elford, as we talked about which panels we would see while inhaling eggs, hash browns, bacon, orange juice, bacon, coffee, toast, bacon and bacon.  Jaymi had to dart to the Vending Room to help set up the Tarot Media Company’s booth.  Meanwhile my friend, who from this point forth shall be known as Hedwig, and I stood in line for our coveted badges.

I found it rather humourous I was standing in line behind the same man I stood behind last year.  The difference being, last year we were newly acquainted and this year we were Con Friends.  That was surreal part number one (Pinch me!  Am I really back at PantheaCon?).  The second was seeing Selena Fox the day before, greeting her with a smile and having her come over with such genuine enthusiasm, you’d think we’d been friends for decades.  I adore Selena.  Not just as a very capable priestess but as a human being.

Badges were successfully acquired (Achievement unlocked!) and I opted to kill time waiting for the Vending Room to open by scoping out the booths in the main hall.  Overall, I purchased a new belt and bustle from Blue Moon Designs, a drool-worthy TARDIS mug from Gaean Allusions and some Doctor Who themed buttons (“Are you my Mummy?”).  Oh yeah, and I bought a new drum.  *face palm*

Holds infinite coffee on the inside.

Holds infinite amount of coffee on the inside.

I wasn’t planning on it.  I really, really wasn’t.  My beautiful custom made djembe sits by my altar at home; patiently waiting for me to give it more attention outside of festivals.  Practically speaking I really don’t need another drum; however, the PTB thought otherwise.

Walking into Don Shultz’s booth, The Different Drum, my eyes scanned what was hanging off the walls and all of a sudden it felt like a vaudeville hook grabbed me by the neck and pulled me towards one particular drum.  It was large and brown.  My fingers gently thrummed against the skin and a rich, deep tone resonated out into the open.

Oh dear.

The vendor suggested I take if off the wall and try it with a beater.  I picked a red beater and started the basic rhythm of a heart beat.  Hedwig stood there smirking the entire time.  “I am not saying a word,” she said.

Placing the drum back onto its wall mount, I originally decided to simply write it off.  I don’t need another drum.  But then I tried the other drums (out of curiosity, of course) and they were all too high or too sharp.  “I’ll think about it,” I said to myself.  It was a bit spendy, but that was not was deterring me.  The drum was worth every penny:  hand made, 18″ in diameter, buffalo skin.  No, what bothered me was did I deserve such a drum?  It was a magnificent piece.  A piece that needed to be played and loved.  My djembe and other round Elk drum see my hands once every month or six.  They don’t get the consistent attention they deserve.

The buffalo drum was shiny.  Folks who had witnessed the “ensnaring” commented how the drum was calling me and calling me to it for a reason.  Maybe that concern of mine, that fear of not deserving it will propel me to drum more.  Perhaps this drum is the catalyst to get me off my ass and use all my drums.

So I bought it.  That evening for the 11PM Drum Circle 101 class, led by none other than the drum maker himself, I learned how to rock my new drum, respect it and help find its place among the layers of rhythms.  Headbanging included.

My Unnamed Drum

My Unnamed Drum

Or not.  How does Captain Tightpants sound for a drum?  It is brown.  And tight like Captain Mal’s pants……..right then.  I’ll think about it.

Later in the afternoon I attended the “Osiris Ritual to Honour the Dead” led by Tamara Suida.  I’ve been to a few of her Houdou panels and one Damballa, so it was interesting to see her honour her other path, the Kemetic Tradition.  The ritual was simple and lovely.  Tokens of the deceased were placed upon the altar and their names were written upon a large scroll of paper by the attendees.  Tamara explained that every sixth day of the month, they remember the Dead and Ancestors by reading their names from their book of the Dead.  The names we had provided would be added into that book, so every month my beloved Dad, Friend and Grandmother will be read aloud and honoured.  Tears were shed as the names were spoken with power.  One woman offered up a song to the Dead and it was riveting.

I wish to incorporate honouring my Dead and the Dead connected to me every month.  It’s been a lingering thought since November 2011 and I believe I’ve healed to the point where implementing this practice has finally arrived.

Next Episode:  How Ivo Dominguez, Jr. Blows Up My Mind


Get Off Me!!

photographer unknown

I’ve been feeling very on edge all day.  Annoyed.  Frustrated.  Angry.  The slightest interpersonal gaffe would send me into a virtual frenzy of wanting to punch the client on the other side of the computer in the throat.  Perhaps poke an eye out.  Or two.

This low tolerance of every day bullshit surprised me.  Normally, I can take most things with a grain of salt; a shrug of “Well, it is what it is.”  Apparently not today.  Today wanted me to bark at the client of how asinine they were behaving.  How I wanted my cube mate to stop yammering on so I could have some peace and quiet.  How I wanted to shove my dual monitors off my desk, leap onto my chair and scream, “GET OFF ME!!  ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT!!  I’M THROUGH PLAYING NICE!!!”

By the time I got home, the grating feeling had intensified and decided to invite along Restlessness and Sadness for the ride.  I felt like I wanted to break out of my skin.

In the crux of the moment, I posted this to my Facebook:

I’ve been feeling very on edge today. Annoyed. Frustrated. Angry. Feels like stuff that was once buried is bubbling up to the surface for release. All hail the Thinning Veil. Not only is it a time to honour the Final Harvest and our Beloved Dead, but it’s also a time to embrace your own Shadow and get rid of shit you can’t hold onto any longer.

A few of my friends commented saying they had been feeling similar.  Then Sandy mentioned, “Don’t forget the Mayan calendar thing as well; the turning of the wheel is turning us right into a new world. It’s not surprising that some of us need to transform a bit along with it.”

Oh great.  That would explain it.  Toss in the approaching Full Moon and Samhain and you’ve got a party.  It would also explain the low growl and snarl I hear at the back of my mind.  A Wolf telling me to get rid of this shit and he would protect me in the process.  Another Transformation.  I love them.  I hate them.  Love them for the outcome, hate them for the process because the process HURTS.  And I’m no fool.  I know full well what it is I need to finally deal with and let go, not just gingerly pat the surface.  Oh no.  I need to full on acknowledge my pain, anger, hurt, sadness and loneliness.  Undiluted.  No watering it down for later or burying it for “I’ll deal with it next week”.

It truly is the time of the Thinning Veil. Not only between worlds of the Living and the Dead, but between our own Selves and the Masks we wear.  Illusions are being stripped. The glossy, foggy Veil is being pulled back from our eyes so we can behold Truth.

It’s time.


Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal focuses on our multiple lives.  Read it, then go create something.  Do whatever it is you always wanted do.


To Be Danced

I came upon this poem from a friend’s Facebook wall.  It brought tears to my soul as I remembered the zen and grunt of when I dance.  Of when I stop thinking and allow my body to move in ways my consciousness had never considered.  Of when every bend of my knee, every flick of my wrist, every shift of my hips becomes a spell….a ritual….a celebration and communion with the Divine.

By the Gods, I need to dance more.

WE HAVE COME TO BE DANCED…

We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
of our hands and feet dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
But the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama shaman shaking ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into the luminous skin of love dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath and beat dance
The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I? Yes you may take ten giant leaps dance
The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.

We have come to be danced
Where the kingdoms collide
In the cathedral of flesh
To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced! We have come.”
~ by Jewel Mathieson from her book This Dance: A Poultice of Poems (jewelmathieson.blogspot.com)


World Tarot Towel Tea Party Day 2012

May 25th marked the third year my dear friend, Jaymi, and I celebrated World Tarot Day.  As it also coincides with Towel Day, we decided we’d create our own holiday mash-up.  The first year I believe we actually did our readings on towels laid out on the floor, while sipping tea.  To commemorate this occasion, I brought my newly acquired (and heavily lusted) Steampunk Tarot deck to work with me.  I wanted it to get out in the world.  Since owning the deck, I’ve only done one two-card reading and it was basically me asking the cards (aka “Steamy”) what kind of relationship we would have.  Quite promising, it displayed my Life Card and Judgment — a good connection where the messages will be strong and clear.

A co-worker wanted to see my deck.  I saw no harm in it, but then quickly thought differently as she went through the images and made remarks of “Oh, THAT’s a BAD card……that one too…..that’s pretty…..that’s BAD….Death, that can be terrible….oooo, I like THIS one.”  Ironically the one she liked was the Tower.  With every negative comment she made, I cringed.  I could feel my deck slowly pout with this vibe of, “What did I do wrong?”

Nothing.  Not a damn thing.  You are a beautiful, amazing deck, and we will work together for the good of all.  C’mere and let me give you a hug.

I’m not joking.  After such a harsh critique from someone who doesn’t know tarot and with me still working on that “New Deck Bond”, during my lunch break I took my deck outside, sat in the sun, and spent some positive quality time with it.  I even did another two card reading and the results were strong and clear.

Over at Jaymi’s house later in the afternoon, we shared tarot spreads and did a quickie reading on ourselves with our respective decks.  I pulled one card — Knight of Swords.

“Look at my plan; have you ever laid eyes on anything so lovely?” is the snippet from the book by Barbara Moore.  It goes on to say: Someone whose actions are motivated by new ideas, systems, and communication.

Well, I heard something else from the Knight.  The pen is mightier than the sword.  Write more.  Blog more.  Movement….effort….chug chug chug.

Jaymi and I discussed strategy on how I can be better, more consistant with my blogging because, gosh darn it, I do have things I want to say and share.  Problem being, when I get home from work I’d rather veg than continue to be productive.

That very evening, during a rather awesome Pacific Northwest thunderstorm, we drove to a friend’s Tarot Party.  It was an intimate gathering of other tarot enthusiasts as we drank wine, nibbled on hors d’oeuvres, and danced to disco music in the kitchen.  We gathered to share decks and talk shop.  At one point, one of the ladies wanted to see my Steampunk deck.  While she was looking through it, the still new gloss of the cards made them very slick to hold and soon went spilling across the floor.  All were accounted for, but what made Jaymi and I laugh was all the cards were face down except for one — the Knight of Swords.

Persistant isn’t she?

 


Create Your Own Adventure

A few weeks ago I had a weekend free of obligations. No chores, no visits with friends, no meet-up with like-minded writers – simply me and my space. My first reaction was to strip down naked and run around my fledgling apartment bellowing, “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” The sense of expanding freedom lifted my spirits to where I wanted to flame on and SOAR.

But soar where? Where would I go? What would I do?

Quickly my sense of freedom morphed into a daunting sense of dread. I had to do something, right? I couldn’t have a day free and simply not accomplish anything. Productivity was in order! I needed to embrace that Effort Engine and chug-chug-choo-choo to something wonderful or I’d feel guilty!

Whoa there, Nelly. Who said it had to be productive? Why not just get your ass out of the house?

So I did. For one day I pretended my life was one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. Want to explore that cave — turn to page 23. Say yes to the handsome man offering you coffee — turn to page 17. Save the dragon from the army horde — turn to page 5. I changed my perspective from Getting Shit Done, to “How many cool experiences can I rack up today?”

I did some journal writing at my favourite coffee shop. I treated myself to an awesome lunch of awesomeness (with bacon!). I walked spontaneously into a salon where they were able to fit me in for a much needed hair cut and then I walked out thirty minutes later lighter on my feet. I knitted in public. When the day was slowly drawing to a close, I found myself at the neighborhood pub having a pint and a devilish dessert (regardless of the fact I didn’t finish my dinner. What would mother think??). Jotting some last thoughts in my journal, a bell went off in my head.

*Ding!*

“Create your own adventure,” I wrote, “don’t wait for someone to offer you one.”

How amazingly simple. So simple, we tend to forget it in this age of RIGHT THE FUCK NOW and TWEET ALL THE THINGS and FB POKE ALL THE FRIENDS. The best way to connect to the World is to disconnect. I had conversations with real people in real reality. I interacted. I watched birds bouncing around for muffin crumbs. I laughed with a nearby toddler. I smiled at the sun. I thanked the Gods for a truly satisfying day and the delicious stout I was drinking.

Lately that has become my motto. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it’s partly due to one of my best friends dying back in October and then having my 42nd birthday. One could call it a Mid-Life Crisis, but I don’t believe it’s anything that shallow. I’m not dating a younger man or driving suped up classic muscle car. I believe the PTB (Powers That Be) are reminding me how fucking lucky I am to have a body that works, a mind that’s still sharp, a heart that’s strong, and a sense of child-like wonder and play that has not diminished over the years. Lift is too short to simply sit around and wait for someone to offer you an amazing experience. You have the power to create it all on your own.

So go do it.


The Angry Eye

Have you ever been racist? Or ageist? Or sexist? Or homophobic? If your answer is a confident “No!”, then watch and listen to this video and ask yourself that question again.


Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea. ~ Julie (JC) Peters | elephant journal

The timing, as they say, is impeccable, especially with what I’ve had to recently endure.

The Crocodile has smacked me with its tail and now I see where I am, where I’ve been for weeks. This amazing blog article resonates. I shall embrace my flux. I shall be own prism.

Moving Beyond Suffering And Fear.

via Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea. ~ Julie (JC) Peters | elephant journal.


A Wish for 2012. Thank you, Neil Gaiman

“A decade ago, I wrote:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

And almost half a decade ago I said,

…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.

And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.

And it’s this.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Link to Mr. Gaiman’s original post: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/12/my-new-year-wish.html


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