Gratitude as Expansion

Gratitude and appreciation require only true sincerity and the willingness to keep an open mind. ~Alan Joel Perhaps it’s because I’ve been working with the expansive energies of Jupiter since September that I’ve come to fully grasp this as Truth: When I move away from feelings of gratitude, I correspondingly move into a place of contraction, compression, and restriction. When we are suffering for whatever reason, it can be so easy to forget that we are not the only ones suffering, or who have suffered, or who will ever suffer.  It’s very “me”-centric…and there is actually nothing at all wrong […]

Progress Not Perfection

We aren’t meant to be perfect. We are meant to be whole. If you allow yourself, you can become stronger in the very places that you’ve been broken. ~Jane Fonda I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea—Family? Friends? Society in general?—that everything needs to be done perfectly all of the time, but that energy sure runs deep.  And, if I’m not careful, this is the time of year it emerges with particular force.  Seeking out the perfect gifts, decorating the house perfectly, preparing the perfect meals… But this year is different.  As I honor my grief, other things […]

She Who Unveils the Mystery: Part 1

In the velvety blackness of Lunar Samhain our coven, Sisterhood of the Sacred Veil, celebrated the Dark Moon with our annual overnight gathering. The synchronicities, both by timing and by theme, were perfect for me. I’m currently digging down into my own bedrock in a class in which we’re exploring working side-by-side and hand-in-hand with our Shadows. The information that is pouring forth from my inner essence as a result is almost too much to become conscious of all at once, and I’m feeling spectacularly connected to the mistiest, most profoundly obscure and mysterious parts of myself. As I engage […]

Grief as a Holy Offering

The rivers are rough right now; the seas are high. The dams have broken, and all the lakes have emptied. Over the past few weeks, I’ve experienced profound connection coupled with astounding rootedness punctuated by loss–the deaths of Beloveds–precipitating violent heavings of emotions, like so much jetsam arising from the depths of the oceans. I return again and again to the questions: How does grief fit into my everyday life? How can I feel this pain without becoming lost in it forever? Will it ever hurt less and, if not, how will I learn to bear this? ***** I am ceremonially […]

Ritefully Bewitched

All I do as a community Priestess considered, ritual creation and facilitation is unequivocally my greatest delight.  I remain thoroughly inspired and amazed by the transformation that occurs in these rites, both within myself and in others, even after leading hundreds of rituals over almost twenty years.  I now recognize that the swift, hot spark leading to my understanding that I had a vocational call to priestess is directly linked to my enduring wonder and awe of the lasting change that comes—successfully, over and over and over again—from a gathering of less than two hours between doors opening and closing. […]

Priestessing Through the Waves of Life

One of my two dads is dying. Or maybe not. My family has been on this journey now for a decade, two decades, more. This year has been more challenging for him—and us—than most others, a never-ending pattern of hospital, rehab for physical therapy, home…hospital, rehab for physical therapy, home…hospital, rehab for physical therapy, home. We’ve been told that this time, perhaps, he might not be going home. I flash between numb and overwhelm over and over and over every day, the days running together like watercolors. And I live 3000 miles away. Messages beam through over text from my […]

Pilgrimage as Ritual

Pausing at the entrance between the stones, you take a breath and touch the Earth, humbly asking permission of the Ancestors of this place to enter the labyrinth in front of you.  In your hand is the offering you created for the Goddess of Labyrinth.  You breathe here for a moment, opening yourself to the energies of the Earth beneath your bare feet and the Cosmos above your uncovered head.  Sensing that you have been granted permission, you take the first step forward. Connected with your breath, the now, you contemplate those things you have come here to release.  With […]

But First, Self-Care

It may initially sound counterintuitive: I’ve found that leadership must begin with exceptional self-care.  The perhaps-overused phrase “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others” is inherently and unquestionably true.  Our individual needs must be met by and for ourselves before attempting to meet the needs of any group.  To do anything else over time courts burn out, dissatisfaction, bitterness, illness, and/or antipathy. I’ve learned this through excruciatingly painful, intimate experience, at times as frustrating as trying to draw water from an arid well.  In holy desperation I may be able to squeeze some drops out of the heat-baked […]

The Underground Stream: An Introduction

The High Priestess sits upon the seat she has earned over years filled with effort, anguish, and exhilaration, all freely offered in service; in this moment, she is serene, centered, and focused.  Her hair is dressed around a slim silver circlet high upon her head, gold glitter and dark black kohl lining her eyes.  Radiating both wise calm and exuberant sparkle, she transmits a certain visceral electricity which whispers out and gathers all who are near. Around her are displayed her sacred tools and the harvested fruits of her loving labors. In front of her chair is a large, many-phased […]