Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Breath, Blaze, Blood, Bone: Invoking the Body Elemental

I had an absolutely wonderful time co-teaching the Breath, Blaze, Blood, Bone workshop with Pamela/Boneweaver at Grove of Gaia Fest today. For those of you that have my personal contact info in lieu of a Bone and Briar card: you can connect to the Bone and Briar website here and we are also on Facebook.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Getting Out of My Own Way

The Wookie formerly known as Kiki
J and I adopted a dog yesterday. She was called Kiki, but her new name is Wookie, as she is very reminiscent of Chewbacca.

At our first meeting, she seemed very hesitant and shy. She barked at J a lot, which made us wonder if she had a bad experience with a man in the past. Still, she came over to me and tried to squeeze between me and the wall I was sitting up against. She nuzzled her head into my leg and licked my hand and was so sweet and vulnerable. I know she had my heart in that moment, and I'm pretty sure she had J's heart, too.

Still, she had to get along with Porky, so we had a "meet and greet" for the two dogs yesterday. Porky seemed out of her element, but still responded well, while Kiki was obsessed with Porky. All signs pointed to this being a good match.

And still, I was very nervous. Adding a member to our family is a huge step, and adding a member that has a mysterious past is a bit of a gamble. Over the past few months, J and I had talked frequently about getting another dog, but were concerned about what that change would mean. You see, we had our routines down pat. We knew what to expect from our household, and it was difficult to comprehend what adding another bundle of fluff would mean for our day-to-day lives.

And yesterday, when we just decided to get Kiki, and just figure it out and make it work one day at a time, I realized that the aphorism works: I can jump and build my parachute on the way down. It is good to take a risk in the name of love and snuggles, and it is possible to get out of my own way and choose the life I want even if I don't know how it will work. Leaping into a Mystery is a grand statement of faith, is it not?

And I have a sneaking suspicion that life lived in this manner is not only possible, but also a pretty flippin' sweet life, indeed.

One day at a time, now with an added Wookie.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Power in Mystery

Some Rights Reserved by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region
I recently signed up to take a sacred branding class using spirit animals, created and facilitated by the lovely Kelly Eckert. And to be honest, I was somewhat skeptical at first, as I was thinking "Business branding? With spirit animals?" And I know, I know, you all are probably like "You of all people are skeptical about spirit animals?" but yes, even I have my moments.

But...

The class is really wonderful, and I'm getting a lot out of it. We did a guided meditation to find our spirit animal yesterday, and a totally unexpected ally came to me:  Fox. And Fox is really potent energy for me right now, and totally aligned with the changes I am making with my life and my Life's Work.

I keep hearing the phrase "crazy like a fox" in my head. I'm hearing that I need to be able to retreat and withdraw when I need to, to stay at the edges and observe. I am learning that Silence is Powerful, that there is Power in Mystery, and that I don't have to reveal everything. Revelation is something that can't be forced.

So, yeah, spirit animals for business branding - who knew it would work so well? I'm excited to see what the rest of this class will bring.

Are you working with something that is pushing your boundaries or running into your skepticism? How does it feel?


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gratitude

Today, I'm grateful for:

1. J, my lovely life partner
2. Porky, my four-legged-n-furry lovely life partner
3. Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies
4. Gluten-free sugar cookies from Gluuteny
5. The perspective and distance that time can bring


Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Wisdom of Pattern

Some Rights Reserved by CC Chapman
I really want to write something tonight, but I find myself at a loss, with no serious thoughts/observations of my own to share - though I will nudge you toward reading this amazing post by Danielle LaPorte on building a spiritual practice. (So good!)

I suppose I do have this to say:  I am grateful for the pause. The gears feel like they are in sync. Possibility is just around the corner.  And I know I won't feel this way forever, but right now, I have a needed break in the intensity that comes with growth and change. I have a moment to pause and reflect.

Sometimes, life feels right, and I get a moment to breathe a thank you to the gods.

There is time to reap.  There is wisdom in the pattern.

What part of the ebb/flow cycle are you in? How do you know?


Monday, March 11, 2013

The Good. The Bad. The Real.

You are sometimes radiant. You are sometimes stagnant. You are transient.

Put your self on display. Taste the real. Paint with all the colors in the palette.  

There will always be critics. The voice in your head is merely a soundtrack. What station do you listen to?

None of it matters. All of it matters.

Get your warpaint on for a life of love. Love is not for the faint of heart.

Walk the graveyard and ask, "Where should I be right now?"

Are you there? 

How about now?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When Change Comes Slowly

Pick up the stones
one at a time.
Build your monument
toward the kneeling sky.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

We Want You!

Spring Is Coming. I Promise You That Much.

Some Rights Reserved by nutmeg66
Spring is coming.

You may not believe it, though you pray for it in your bones. You may not believe it, though you sing for it with your blood.

Get ready.

River Roberts, in her article The Courage of Spring, writes,


... when I truly thought about it, I realized that spring is far from young and fragile.  It takes great courage to crack through the ice and be that first crocus that peeks through the mounds of snow.  It takes strength to be the season that promises life after death.  When Persephone returns to the world of the living, it is not just the return of warmth and abundance that we celebrate–it is the courage and power it takes to make that journey back.

I know you have it in you.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quotes for Waking Your Inner Badass

Some Rights Reserved by Clover_1
Badass: of formidable strength or skill

I know I have an inner badass. I know this because some deep part of me grows stronger when challenged. I know this because a deep part of me resonates when I experience others living out loud, in a no-holds-barred way. A part of me wakes up that shouldn't have been sleeping in the first place.

I normally loathe Ayn Rand's work (let's just leave it at that.) I did, however, recently come across one of her quotes that, taken on its own and without any Randian context, fills me with badass energy:


"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."


A Few More Quotes for Owning Your Inner Badass:

She's mad but she's magic. There's no lie in her fire. ~Charles Bukowski

Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be. ~Clementine Padford

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. ~Winston Churchill

Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred years as a sheep. ~Madonna

Grow up and let anyone try to contend with the adult you. ~Margaret Cho

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Don't teach a man to fish - and feed yourself. He's a grown man. And fishing's not that hard. ~Ron Swanson


Do you have a favorite badass quote? What awakens when you read it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wonder is Worthy Work

An Open Letter to Jane Kenyon

Jane, please-
It is possible to pick a flower and
not trip over the husk,
to squat in pure rejoicing
without looking forward
to the demise of the coffee cup
or the shards of your lover, broken on the floor.
Eat a sandwich.
Walk your dog.
Live your life.


Potential Energy

The seeds (sealed in a pocket
squashed in a small pot
with spongy, thirsty dirt
and simple instructions for planting,
a gesture, an idea of green)
surprise themselves and sprout.


I wrote both of those poems last year, during a shifting and fruitful time of my life. The first, "An Open Letter to Jane Kenyon," was written as I was reading Jane Kenyon:  Collected Poems. I remember very clearly being overtaken by both the beauty of her imagery and the depth of her depression. Jane Kenyon did suffer from depression, and to be clear, I do not mean to make light of that. Dealing with depression myself, I know that  does not allow the luxury of a choice of perspective. Thus, the poem has always felt awkward to me in that "What do you mean, writing to a depressed poet, telling her to stop being depressed? That's really insensitive!" kind of way...and still, something was there that I knew had truth.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

April 12-14: Nettles to Nirvana: A Personal Practice Boot Camp


Many advocates of having a personal practice will smile serenely and say a practice will give you balance, personal peace, and enough Zen to cover your house. Yay for Zen wallpaper!

We will tell you that having an effective personal practice means reaching to your core, grabbing a handful of your deepest Self, pulling it out and examining it under a bright light.

Are you looking for a practice that will kick your ass? Transform you? Change your life? Then you need this! You need BOOT CAMP!

Join us for Nettles to Nirvana: A Personal Practice Boot Camp! (See what we did there? You'll still get your Zen wallpaper. It just may have some rips in it.) Our weekend intensive will take you on a deep and focused journey to develop and sustain a meaningful personal practice that will transform you, and thus your life.

Are you ready for Boot Camp?

About:

This is a Pagan spiritual intensive, but it is open to all that are open to working within a pagan context to achieve their spiritual goals. We will be exploring the 12 Wild Swans story to discuss the usefulness of personal practice, but to also work with the challenges that arise from serious, devoted and life-changing Work. By the end of the class, participants should walk away with a clearer sense of what they are looking for from a personal practice, knowledge of what methods appeal to them, a better sense of their personal blocks when it comes to sustaining Deep Work, and an opportunity to experience more clarity and focus for their personal journey.

Teachers:

Amoret: A Feri/Reclaiming Witch, Amoret’s passions are the search for Truth and Desire, co-creation and manifestation, community building, ecstatic ritual, poetry, divination and whatever good book has currently captured her attention. Committed to teaching in the Pittsburgh pagan community, she brings her experiences in leadership training, small group facilitation, personal transformation work, tarot, trance techniques, and ritual arts to the teaching table.

Boneweaver: I followed a fairly generic Pagan path until meeting members of my spiritual family and focusing on Reclaiming/Feri. I've been in a variety of leading and teaching roles within the Pittsburgh Pagan community for about a decade. I am an optician by trade and an artist by desire. I work the edges between life and death and shadow work calls me (sometimes calling me Silly Names). I value a sense of humour and a sense of purpose. I seek those who are seeking me.

Time Commitment:

The intensive will begin at 7pm on Friday, April 12th and run through 1pm on Sunday, April 14th. On Friday evening, we will come together and bond through discussion of the story and a trance to start our journey. On Saturday, it gets personal. We focus inward to discover and then outward to manifest as we weave the story throughout the day, breaking as appropriate for restful reflection and informal discussion. On Sunday morning, we will reconvene for wrap-up and farewell, our boot camp asses having been kicked.

Friday: 7pm-10pm
Saturday: 10am-9pm
Sunday: 11am-1pm

Location:

Pittsburgh, PA; traveling participants welcome

Requirements:

- An open heart
- A sense of humour

Cost:

A "you decide" sliding scale of $75-$150 includes the weekend of instruction and supplies. You decide where you fall on the scale, no explanation needed.

To Register:

Send an email to Amoret and Boneweaver at witches2brew@gmail.com. A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the workshop fee will be due on registering, and is the only way that we can hold a space for you. Registration and full balance must be received by March 31st. Payment should be made via Money Order. Please contact Boneweaver and Amoret at witches2brew@gmail.com to arrange payment.

Because we wish for The Work to reach all who are called: if the sliding scale is out of your reach but you wish to attend, please contact us privately at witches2brew@gmail.com. Limited partial and full scholarships available.

Though we do not anticipate this occurring, if for any reason the class would have to be cancelled full refunds of monies paid will be given.