May’s Flower Moon Ritual!

Hello dear readers! As I am unable to host a ritual at Witch in the World’s Cottage for May’s full moon, I thought I would give you this ritual that you can perform in your own groups or even as a solitary practitioner. Feel free to use all or any of the components given here. Change it up! Make it your own! And Enjoy! Happy Manifesting!

The Flower Moon is about expansion, blooming, bursting forth with life and color and beauty. It is a time of awakening, turning outward, expanding energies.

In preparation for this ritual, set yourself an intention which will be the focal point for the magickal working of this ritual. This should be some area of your life where you want grand, quick, explosive, expansive growth. Do you want your business to boom? Or your love life to be suddenly action packed? Would you like to have sudden prolific creativity for your art or work? Think it over a bit and discover what specific are of your life needs expansion.

Now you will prepare a talisman to be used in ritual. I used rocks on which I painted flowers, but be creative! Think of a talisman that is representative of the energies of blooming flowers and have it (or them) ready before your ritual. As you choose and create the talisman, think about your specific intention.

Make your altar and ritual space flowery and colorful. If you include worship of god and goddess in your rituals, choose representations of them for your altar, like candles or statues or images.

Create Sacred Space!

There are many ways to do this. Without going into excruciating detail, I’ll share my usual process.
1. Cleansing and clearing the space: I will typically smudge and use consecrated water and salt mixture to sprinkle around the space, as well as incense and a candle representing the light of spirit.  This consecrates the space with the elemental energies.

2. Cast a circle.  There innumerable incantations which can be used to do this.  Visualize a space around you and your company that is intended to protect, and shield as well as to contain the energies and powers raised during the working.

3. Call quarters.  I tend to call guardians from the four cardinal directions, invoking the elementals that correspond.

4. Invoke Deity.  Bring in the generic god and goddess or the god and goddess of your choosing.  Always invoke with respect and gratitude.  I usually light a candle for each to represent their presence in circle.

5.  The working!  I designed this particular working specifically for May’s Flower Moon.  Place your talisman or group of talismans in a bowl on the altar.  At the right moment you are going to direct the energy that you’ve raised into the talismans.

And you will be raising that energy by Blooming!

Here’s how?  If you are in a group, form a spiral in the center of the circle.  This should be a very tight spiral, like a bud, everyone’s head is bowed.  Link your arms together, close in shoulder to shoulder, as close as you can get.

The acting high priestess  should be on the outside end and will read the following visualization.  But this is not a calm, serene, meditative  visualization.  This should generate energy, beginning with a certain amount of tension between the participants as they stand shoulder to shoulder.  I chose to set this to a karaoke version of “Right Now” by Van Halen.  It had the right tempo and the right rise of the energy of the song. It also begins with a piano that sounds a bit like rain.  But choose whatever music works for you.

During the “blooming” think about flowers bursting into bloom – high speed, one after the other – every beat of the music will be another bloom – until – when the high priestess says “Right NOW! BLOOM!”   everyone takes a step back, opening the spiral and raising arms to the sky, placing all the energy into the cone that forms at the top of the circle.  As the priestess is reading this, her voice is rising in excitement and volume until it is practically a scream by the end.

The high priestess will then use a sword, athame, wand or her fingers to collect that energy and direct it into the bowl of talismans.

If you are performing this ritual as a sole practitioner, you’ll have to read through the visualization several times before the ritual and practice running through the scenario in your mind’s eye, until you feel confident that you can raise energy with it.  You would simply crouch down and make yourself small, arms folded, head down, until the right cue in the music comes and then you stand and bloom as above.

The Music Starts..
“ It’s raining. You’re in a field of green. Vast, endless green, leaves, stems and buds, ready to bloom. You actually feel the pressure of growth around you. You become aware that you are one of them, one of these wildflowers. Your roots, delicate but strong, stretch and intertwine into the ground.

You can feel the nutrients drawn up from the earth to your stem, to your bud. The tension and energy is building. The rain has stopped and the clouds are clearing now. The warmth of the sun beats down on you… enticing your bud to open.

You are at the ready – with an urgent need to burst forth in color, in brilliance. You notice some of the green field in the distance changing.

Sudden color begins to transform the field. One flower after another explodes open with it’s beautiful petals encouraging the bloom next to it. The full spectrum of colors is represented here… the rainbow, the bursting open spreads towards you.

Each bloom more vivid than the one before… closer to you. Continue seeing the flowers bloom!

Every beat of the music is another bursting forth of color! And another …. And another!! … they keep coming. You look to the other side of the field and see the color and blooming spreading there as well.

The power of the sun and the earth and the energy of this full moon are coursing through you… stronger and stronger. It’s so hard to contain!

Another bloom and another … nearer they come….

All you need is the energy of a close-by bloom to fulfill your purpose… they keep blooming … closer and closer, a red, a yellow one – a brilliant blue, a purple so bright it hurts your eyes… one bloom another!
Another Closer to you and Closer . . . see each one in your mind’s eye – how beautiful… how much you long to become – to open – to LIVE in the Sunshine! …
until finally…. RIGHT NOW! BLOOM!

The priestess now gathers the energy raised and directs it into the talismans.  When she gives the sign that this is done, each practitioner is invited to take their talisman.

6.  After the working, in my tradition, is the celebration of the Great Rite.  But this can be a celebration of any kind you like.  This is a time for joy and confidence in the work that you’ve done.  You must contain within yourself a solid belief that your magick is powerful and is successful.  This is also a time for some form of exaltation of the god and goddess.

7.  Cakes & Ale.  At this time I usually pass around cakes and ale (or cookies and wine or fruits and champagne, whatever you like and think is appropriate).  These are shared among all the practitioners as a final celebration.

8.  Bidding farewell to the god and goddess and the elemental energies that were invoked.  They are usually dismissed in the opposite order in which they were invoked.  Last in, first out, etc.

9. Opening circle.  Again, this can be done in many different ways.  The idea is that the sacred space that you have built should be taken up again, as though cleaning up after yourself.

 

And there you have it.  The Flower Moon!  Use it as you like and may your magick be powerful!

Please feel free to put questions in the comments at the bottom of this post if you have any!

Blessed Be!

 

 

Note: all sources for pictures are linked to the images except for the author’s original photography.

Magick is Real and It’s YOU!

water-bubbles

I want to share with you, dear reader, some of my struggles. We’ve all been there, right? Sometimes life is just damned difficult.

In this blog, I’ll share with you about a time when I was deeply struggling with a lot of things, motherhood and sobriety in particular. It was when I began to discover what was inside of me, or perhaps what I was, what I am… what we all are- Magick.

You see, Magick is REAL. In fact you’re made of it. And because you don’t know/believe this down to your core, you’re playing way too damn small.

Even many self-proclaimed witches who practice spell-craft on the regular are playing too small. Because wielding the power of Magick in your life can change everything. It’s not just the ability to manifest that career or love-life that you desire (although it does that too!). It’s the ability to change the world, starting with yourself.

You and Magick are one and the same. But perhaps you haven’t met your personal Magick yet. I know a way that you and Magick can become intimately acquainted, leading to the intuitive and pervasive knowing that you ARE Magick.

I did not always have that knowing. At a time in my life, in early sobriety, I was experiencing panic attacks, night terrors and uncovering memories of a deeply traumatic childhood. I was being tossed about in the waves of my live with nothing to reach for, nothing to hold on to.

I also had a toddler; Maggie. She was beautiful, bright and willful as hell! And with all of the emotional upheaval I was going through, Maggie flung the most difficult challenges at me. I was drowning in the depths!

drowning-depths
I remember a day when visitors to our home brought her a little gift. It was an M&M shaped tin, full of M&M’s, so, basically a million dollars to a three year old.

We were still in that phase where she needed prompting for polite behavior, so, as the tin was handed down to her, I reminded her, “Say Thank You.”

Maggie looked at me, doubtful, with her hand on her million dollar green tin full of happiness and remained silent. I said “If you don’t say Thank You, you can’t have it.”

She shot me a look full of baby daggers and much more disdain that a three-year-old should be capable of mustering, and, Little Miss Maggie turned her little body around and walked out of the room, without saying Thank You – and without the tin.

I felt my head dip under the surface of the water. Clearly, I was in trouble.

Maggie’s defiance and attitude had me screaming at her daily, right in her face, at the top of my lungs. Honestly, it amounted to child abuse and my lack of self-control had me crying myself to sleep every night over how horrible a mother I was.

I went under the waives again, unable to draw breath.

My emotions were ragged and I felt like I had no control, no ability to pause and think before blowing up at her over something. I’d heard a lot about the idea of “responding instead of reacting” but I had no idea how to get there. I was deeply worried that, because of my childhood, I couldn’t be a good mother to my child.

A part of the treatment I’d found for my own emotional difficulties was meditation. And when I first started to learn meditation, with the help of a teacher, I was convinced that I just couldn’t do it. I believed that I was simply a person with some kind of mental flaw that rendered me incapable of deep meditation.

My mind would race with a million thoughts that I couldn’t seem to quiet. One thought would lead to another and another until meditation was the farthest thing from what I was doing. I was told by someone that I had “monkey brain”. I assumed that, for me, this was a permanent condition.

I was given a number of different techniques to try, such as staring at a candle flame, listening to certain sounds, walking meditation, etc. And still, those thoughts would abound in my head and I felt like a meditation failure.
And with my daughter, when she would act out and I would still yell at her, I felt like a parenting failure as well. And for the third (and final?) time, I went under. Would I simply be swept out to sea? Would that be better for all concerned anyway?

lady-float

 

What I didn’t realize at the time was that there was progress. The number of thoughts had decreased over time and with practice. And I just kept trying.

I found a guided meditation tape that seemed to help me move a little further along. The words and the imagined journey helped me focus and get to a place where the thoughts would subside for a bit.

And with Maggie, I was becoming aware a little sooner, each time I screamed, that she had triggered some painful switch in me that caused me to react that way.

I was failing forward. A life preserver appeared.

And then came the day when I was listening to that guided meditation and I lost time. I ended the meditation and realized that, for part of it, even if just a few minutes, “I” was gone. The awareness of “self” that we all walk around with had vanished for a while. And the relentless thinking had stopped.

What took the place of all that thinking was just bliss. It was utterly indescribable but in that bliss I felt the whispered, pervasive and irrefutable truth. “You are VASTLY more than you believe yourself to be.”

And I took a deep breath of air.

Then, one day, not long after that brief but blissful success in my meditation, I responded to Maggie instead of reacting.
She was throwing a crying fit about the way I cut up some vegetables and I knelt down at eye-level with her and I became fully attentive to my child in that moment, simply, totally present. I said nothing, but I looked at the pieces of broccoli and looked at Maggie with a concerned expression on my face.

And she stopped crying and stared at me. We both looked at the broccoli and suddenly I took a piece and popped it in my mouth and chewed in an exaggerated way. She smiled a little at that. And so, I wondered aloud whether the broccoli tasted differently, having been cut this way.

So, she tried one and very thoughtfully chewed and tasted it. Then she looked at me and said, “Nope! Tastes the same!” and took the plate back to her seat at the table and happily munched and suddenly, I could swim.

mermaid
It was a miracle. I had met my personal Magick. My meditation practice was the first step in discovering the Truth of my vast Magickal self. And I was beginning to discover how to wield it with power and purpose.

Maggie’s 24 now, and we have an awesome relationship. I’ve been practicing meditation and witchcraft for over 20 years and my personal Magick has helped me through many other struggles as well. I’ll share some of those with you some time.

How can you meet your personal Magick and take that first step towards being the active creator of your world?

If you’ve tried meditation and struggled with it like I did, or if you’ve never tried it but are looking for a way in, I have a gift for you.

I’ve developed and recorded a 20-minute guided meditation (similar to the one that sparked my first success) utilizing my years of experience and my desire to liberate souls.

It is backed by music which features binaural beats which are formulated to help your brain reach more relaxed wave-states and aid in your ability to find deeper meditation.

This guided journey incorporates the six elements I’ve discussed before, bringing you through connection to Earth, Fire, Water and Air, to Spirit and finally to Void, where your Magick self is waiting.

Start your journey by signing up for Inner Court emails to receive your free guided meditation to try it out. As an Inner Courtier of Witch in the World, you’ll be the first to learn of events, workshops, freebies and specials.

To subscribe, scroll up and enter your  e-mail in the Subscribe window in the left-hand side bar.

And we’ll talk some more about other ways to rescue from the depths, that limitless Magickal power that is YOU!

Suicidal Teen to Warrior Witch: How Does THAT Happen?

When I was 14 years old, I was suicidal. I was an outcast who didn’t fit anywhere. I was the poor girl of divorced parents in a private Catholic School. I kind of hated everyone.

suicide-girl

At school, I was ridiculed by students and teachers alike because I was so awkward, depressed and different.  Teachers looked at me like I was some kind of a bug under a microscope, as if maybe they could figure out what kind of disease I was.  The other kids barely looked at me at all, but when they did, they just flung insults at me.

I had this fantasy, at the time, where I was sitting on a cloud, hovering above it all.  Each hurtful word or look that sailed my way, I saw as a stone that I would catch and use to build a rock wall surrounding me.  I had no desire to fit in.  What I really wanted was to disappear.

At home my family had begun treating me like a bomb that might suddenly explode. The year prior to this I had been raped by the man who was keeping company with my mother. He disappeared from our lives right after that but he left his mark on the whole family.

I was told that it was very important, for my reputation and for the whole family that we keep that “situation” very hush-hush. Don’t talk about it.

No, of course it wasn’t your fault, but don’t you dare tell anyone. They’ll think horrible things about you, and us! Just… get over it.

My way of “getting over it” was to just stop being. I made a few cowardly and not quite-strenuous-enough attempts at suicide. And then, one night, there was a school dance. Someone I barely knew gave me a fifth of Southern Comfort. I drank it, blacked out, passed out and was dumped by the kids who gave me the alcohol at my doorstep.

dead-inside

 

When I came-to in the morning in my own room the first thought in my head was, “I don’t have to kill myself!  I can just drink!”  It brought me to that place of nothingness that I desired. I decided to continue technically living. But I was mostly dead inside.  And I did drink, whenever possible after that.

Fast forward about 14 years and my husband of 2 years, whom I loved deeply, was looking at me in disgust and giving me an ultimatum. I had to get help and quit drinking, or we were done. I remember feeling, suddenly, like I was underwater and couldn’t draw a breath. I didn’t want to lose him, so the next day, I did get help and I stopped drinking.

Three months after quitting drinking, I discovered that I was pregnant. So, it was quite a whirlwind first year of sobriety. New home, new life, and I was doing all the “right” things. Under my “keep-it-together” exterior, I was terrified of the changes, of becoming a mom, of everything.

I felt as though I’d better have something to hold onto after my child arrived because I felt like I was rattling apart. I felt like my whole body, mind and soul were being shaken with the fore-shocks of an earthquake that were increasing in intensity. And childbirth would make me just crumble into a million tiny, broken pieces.

But when my daughter was born, everything changed. I fell so hard in love with her that, if the shaking continued, it just couldn’t touch me. My early days with my baby were idyllic and peaceful and just so full of a love I’d never even imagined was even possible before. The quiet and calm were positively blissful.

But when she became a toddler, with high intelligence and a gigantic (Leo) attitude, the world began quaking again. I was almost 3 years sober and the reasons I started drinking in the first place started rearing their ugly heads.

I began having horrible night terrors and full blown panic attacks during the day. Memories jumped at me like the slasher in a horror film and stopped my heart in the middle of a sentence sometimes.

I began to have dreams that uncovered older memories; memories of molestation when I was very young. And all of this was going on while I was trying to navigate early sobriety and early motherhood.

One day, while grocery shopping, I was beset by a panic attack. My daughter sat in the child seat in the shopping cart as we started to check out and she watched as my hands shook and my face turned red and my breath quickened to sprinter pace, while sweat poured out of my body. She gaped up at me with wide eyes saying, “Momma? Momma?”

I had to grab her out of the seat and just leave. I left my basket and the groceries half in the cart, half on the check-out conveyer, and I just ran. I ran, with my baby girl in my arms, like we were being chased by a murderer. But we weren’t. It was just my past chasing us.

I managed to get her buckled into her car seat and myself into the front seat and I just sobbed.

crying-woman

I cried with frustration and fear over the panic attack, I cried over all those things that happened to me as a child that I never acknowledged or dealt with, but mostly I cried because I NEEDED to be a better mother.

I couldn’t have this MESS of a woman that I had become be an example for this precious, innocent child. She was looking to ME for guidance, for information about how to go through the world. I couldn’t have that.

So, once again, I sought help. I’ll spare you the stories of the months of seeking for the right kind of help, and let you know that I finally did find it. And I was introduced to meditation and I became what I would describe as a spiritual seeker. It was kind of like I just found a new addiction. But this one was healthy.

Little by little, my “episodes” slowed down and finally stopped all together. My meditation practice grew, my spiritual practices evolved. Through all of this, I came to understand, and eventually appreciate, ALL of the experiences of my life. And I became the role model that my daughter deserved.

(And what I mean by evolved is, Catholicism to other “lighter” forms of Christianity to agnosticism, to spiritual-not-religious to Buddhism to an eclectic combination of practices with a healthy dose of Hindu philosophy I saw as “Renee-ism” to atheism, to Wicca to a more general paganism to the weirdo-crone  warrior witch that defies description that I have become today!)

renee-sun-orb-copy

I sought out personal power in every arena. I learned how to govern my own life and I won my freedom. After years of this practice, every aspect of my life changed for the better, and I began to encounter other women who were in need of healing in ways that were similar to mine and in ways that were different as well.

What I understood was that, having come through these difficulties, and finding solutions, I now had a responsibility to share what I know. I was finally armed with enough information, personal power and experience to help others strategize their battles.

This is just one of the reasons I became a Diviner, spiritual adviser and coach. And today, I absolutely LOVE seeing the women I work with improve everything about their lives.

 

City Witch? 7 Ways to Connect to Mother Earth

Update to this post!  This blog post was inspired by my Facebook friend Cinnamon Carriere.  She is an awesome Shamanic Witch and I suggest you check out her website!  Parts of it are available now and parts are under construction, so I encourage you to check back frequently and see what she is up to!  Thanks Cinnamon!

And now, my dear City Witch, Read on, for your 7 tips!

 

For 10 years I lived here.

odyssey-view

I had three dedicated ritual circles on the property.

faerie-circle

This one is the Faerie Circle.

It was the second largest at about 35 feet in diameter. The main circle, was about 70 feet. And there was another one, deep in the woods behind the house, with a natural stone altar and thousands of ferns surrounding it.
I made a Labyrinth that was 100 feet by 120 feet.

odyssey-labyrinth

I held festivals on this property.

odyssey-solstice

(BTW – The above photo links to the Facebook page photo album for the Summer Solstice Festival of 2012. Check it out)

There was a Hiking Path, called the Long Path. Here’s what the New York and New Jersey Trail Conference’s website has to say about it:

Extending 358 miles from the 175th Street Subway Station in New York City to John Boyd Thacher State Park near Albany in New York, the Long Path is a thread connecting many of New York’s parks, preserves, and state forest lands.”

I had access to this path about a third of a mile from my doorstep via a trail I bushwhacked myself through the woods at the back of my property. Here’s one of the many views along that trail.

long-path-view

 

Yes, I lived in a Witch’s paradise. My house was basically made of windows and Mother Earth had no trouble reaching in. The mountain I lived on was made mostly of quartz and the connection I felt was constant and deep.
After 10 years of this idyllic life, due to financial (and other) reasons, I packed up, gave away most of my things and moved with my love and our dog to a 600 square foot apartment in the city of Phoenix, AZ. I was worried.
How would I find my communion with Nature? How was connection to the Mother going to feel in the desert, in a city, in an apartment which looked out on a parking lot? Would I even be able to feel Her?

 

I’m happy to tell you that I did. And I do, very well and in an extremely fulfilling way. She is everywhere. I just had to look with new eyes.
So, dear city witch, fear not. Here are some of the tips I learned along my journey.
#1.            Look up.

The sky is the one thing in nature that you can always see just by going outdoors and raising your gaze. In a city setting, you have to open your awareness of nature to a wider degree.

You have to consciously try to notice the colors of the sky, the way the clouds move and the play of sunlight or moonlight. And realize that, although you may be looking at something that appears to be distant, it is right there, touching you.

Think about it. Where does the sky end? Only where the earth begins. So you are in it. If you ponder on that notion, you can feel it. Air is part of nature. The Goddess provides us with this breath of life that is so vast, that we can only really look at it from a great distance.

But it is right there, touching your skin, filling your lungs, oxygenating your blood. Take the time to feel your own merging with sky, day and night, every chance you get. And thank Her for it.

 

#2.         Become as a child.

Expand your sense of wonder.

If you make a conscious decision to have a child-like awareness, wide-eyed and accepting, you will see more. More beauty, more newness, more everything.

As my beau and I traveled across the country from our former home in the woods, we would stop whenever the truck needed gas. Somewhere around Oklahoma, I began to notice a type of bird that I’d never seen before. At the gas station stops, there would always be a group of them near a landscaped corner or in a nearby tree.

I could tell they were urban birds, scavengers of sandwich crusts and cold French fries. They were all black with yellow eyes and a tail shaped like a ship’s rudder when they flew. And they had amazing calls, many different tones and pitches and rhythms. I absolutely LOVED them and began to wonder what they were.

Within seconds of my wondering something in my head said, “Maybe they’re Grackles”. Now, I’m no ornithologist. I wasn’t sure that I’d ever even heard of a Grackle before! They were certainly not present in my former town. But for some reason, that popped into my head.

I wondered why that would have occurred to me, assumed I was wrong or just making things up and sort of dismissed it. But once we arrived in our new home and I  unpacked my books I came across a field guide to birds and decided to check it out. Sure enough, Grackles! They are city birds. And they are every bit as fascinating and fun to watch and listen to as the red tailed hawks and great horned owls that occupied my former property.

When you look at the world with wonder, the magic follows you. That is all.

And since we’re on the subject…

 

#3.             Urban Animals.

 

I’ve always loved wildlife. I used to get such a charge out of seeing a bear on my property or finding bobcat tracks in the snow.

But we tend to dismiss things like squirrels, pigeons and raccoons, because they seem common in an urban or suburban setting. But I encourage you to take a closer look. The Mother made them and sustains them just as she does a wolf in the wilderness.

I’ve forged a bit of a relationship with one of the aforementioned Grackles who visits my backyard each day at a certain time. I always talk to him and he delights me with his varied calls.

Now, grackles are categorized by city dwellers as nuisance birds, just like pigeons in New York City.  But I saw beauty, fun and value in them and I wanted to learn more about these charming birds, so I did some reading. In Chinese folklore it is said that the Grackle has 7 calls, representing the 7 human emotions; Joy, Anger, Anxiety, Pensiveness, Grief, Fear and Fright. So I listened, and I think I can identify most of them!

My advice is to use that child-like wonder that you’re cultivating and mix it with your own intuition to discover some urban animal in your area that fascinates you, and learn more about it.

And a last note, there is one particular animal of nature that you will encounter every single day in an urban setting. Humans. As pagans we are consciously aware that “Nature” is not separate from us. But our society operates in such a way as to make us forget this. So, when you look at other people, remember that they are every bit a part of nature as a beautiful mountain vista or the grandest tree.

Make your connection with that beating heart, that movement of breath, that symphony of senses and take it all in. The Great Mother created and sustains us all.

#4.        Appreciate the Landscaped Beauty
I was fortunate, when I began working in my new city, to be living less than a mile from my office. So I took to walking to work.
People expect “the desert” to be quite barren. But on my daily walks I discovered plants and trees and flowers that I’d never seen in the northeast. An abundance of flowers, in fact!

chihuly-flower

This picture links to the photo album “My Walk to Work” that I created on my Facebook page! Feel free to peruse the beautiful photos!  (And while you’re there, send me a friend request!)

On my walks, I took to greeting the trees and flowers along the way.  They were such bright spots in my day!  And I definitely felt the Mother walking right beside me with every step.

The more you give thanks for the beauty that you notice, the more you WILL notice. So, just look closely at what is around you and you will find it. I promise!

 

#5.              Seek Out the Nearby Wilderness

Most cities set apart “wild spaces” within their borders. Phoenix is a valley, which means that it’s surrounded by mountains. There are quite a few mountain areas preserved for hikers and explorers. They are not vast, like the actual wilderness, but in a good number of these preserves, you can hike to a spot where no sign of civilization can be seen.

Research the places that your city sets aside as “green spaces” and go exploring.

Very early one morning, well before dawn, I packed up my portable altar and went to the top of a beautiful nearby mountain preserve to perform a full moon ritual. As it turned out, I wasn’t as alone up there as I thought I would be and some very interesting shenanigans ensued.

That is perhaps fodder for another blog post, but I bring it up here because I found that whole experience, ultimately, very rewarding to explore new places and find new ways of doing my thing in the beautiful outdoors.

Go on an adventure and explore your area as much as you can. It’s worth it! You will find an oasis that is just right for your thing!

 

#6.           Farmers Markets and Kitchen Witchery

One of the great things about living in a city is convenience. There is everything you could want. And many cities have farmers markets. In the warmer climates they occur year-round.

I have found several markets with wonderful offerings from farmers who come from the more rural parts of the state to pedal their wares. And when I visit, it’s not just a grocery shopping trip.  It’s a treat!

All of the fresh produce and beautiful herbs and homemade goodies make the farmers market a destination in and of itself. While strolling in the sunlight and stopping from booth to booth I am taking in the aroma of the perfectly ripe strawberries, or marveling at the colors of the heirloom tomatoes and receiving samples of a giant and ridiculously sweet casaba melon.

Look around your local market and see what appeals to you. Talk to the farmers about their work and how they grow and how beautiful their fruits and vegetables are. It’s a wonderful place to commune with others who commune with nature.

And then, you get to bring some of those goodies home and prepare a nourishing and delicious meal to share with your family. Or perhaps you’ll just watch a movie and snack on fresh cherries until you’re stuffed!

As you are enjoying the bounty of the earth, realize that you are integrating that into your body, and may the Great Mother bless it into your body, “bestowing health, wealth, strength, joy and peace, and that fulfillment of love that is perpetual happiness.”

 

#7.              Get Outta Town!

 

Sometimes, there is just no substitute for real wilderness. Check out the area within driving distance of your city and plan some getaways.

I am very fortunate to live where I do because within a 90 minute drive, I can be HERE: Beautiful Sedona, AZ

sedona-tree

And a few hours of HERE: The Grand Canyon

edge-sitting
antelope-slot-canyon

 

 

 

 

…and HERE:  Antelope Slot Canyon

 

And there may be places like this within your reach as well. So get outta town and get into the earth.

Happy Naturing!

5 Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction

woman.demon.witch

Woman. Demon. Witch.

The patriarchy IS going down, but not without a fight.

Women are still being demonized the world over.  In fact, it seems to be getting worse.  From the Free the Nipple movement to the Burkini controversy, women are constantly being told exactly how to be.  Frat boys are still receiving slaps on the wrist for violating a woman’s body and politicians are still vying for control over our sexual freedom.

The safe passage of women through life is conditioned upon their behaving and appearing a certain way.  We are all TOO something; too thin, too fat, too pretty, too ugly, too fashionable, too disinterested in fashion, too smart, too dumb.  Who among us can strike that perfect balance of meeting that razor’s edge of societal acceptance?

None of us!  It’s a fabrication.  It’s fake! And women are evolving into their own personal realness.  This is why it seems that the patriarchy’s oppression of women is waxing rather than waning, as it should be.

It is because we are growing stronger, and they are becoming more and more frightened. When any entity (a human, a butterfly, a society) goes through a transformation, there comes a time of war, a time when two opposite notions the entity has of “self” are clashing and causing extremely uncomfortable dissonance.  This happens just before the Truth wins out and the entity changes.  So take heart.  I believe this is happening and we as Witches can help to bust open the chrysalis.

The number of self-proclaimed Witches in the world is increasing exponentially.  Think about that.  As Witches, we can’t agree on much, but I’m pretty sure we can agree that everything is connected.  Every thought and action sends out a ripple of energy into the world.  That’s why magic works!  The connection; the web of reality.

To claim the title of “Witch” is to openly fly in the face of convention.  We tell the world, “I am embracing the fact that I don’t fit in.  I AM different.  I AM Powerful.  And your thoughts on the matter are of no concern to me.”

A self-proclaimed Witch is an uncontrollable entity, an unknown.  A Witch, by her very existence, is an affront to the patriarchal powers that be.  But I believe we have a greater responsibility to our sisters and to the world.

As Witches we’ve honed our magickal prowess.  We’ve worked to form our hearts and minds into powerful forces for change.  The thoughts and actions that WE send out to the web of existence are more potent because of that.  So we need to use that power for good.

So what else can a Witch do to finally turn this proverbial Prince (of patriarchy) into the toad that it truly is?

Toad

 

Ok… before I go any further – I’m reminded of a little story I must share with you my witchy friends!

A princess frolics through the forest, you know, as princesses are wont to do, and she happens upon a toad which has a tiny crown on its head.  She is fascinated. 

Even more amazing, this toad can speak!  It croaks to her, saying that it is, in reality, a handsome but enchanted prince.  The toad brags on and on about his beautiful and expensive castle and how many beautiful princesses like her he has “conquered”.  He regales the princess with wonderful stories about how much land he owns and how that land has been passed down, from father to son, for generations.  He expounds on how he must produce a male heir for all of his riches. And then, he offers her the great honor of becoming his bride if she will only give him a kiss and break the enchantment. 

After hearing all of this, the princess levels her gaze at him, which the toad, of course, takes as a sign of interest.  She asks, “And what might such a bride do as mistress of this elegant and wonderful House of Toad?”   The toad answers, “Why, you would serve me, of course!  You would be at my side whenever I wish!  You may also prepare glorious meals for me, attend to my washing and you would be in charge of keeping the castle just so!”  He said this as if this would be a dream come true for any princess! 

The Princess blinked, and then moved closer to the toad and leaned in, only a hair’s breadth away and….  Could later be heard to say (as she enjoyed a lovely meal of sautéed frog’s legs and a glass of fine wine), “I don’t fucking think so!”

[Insert evil grin here!]

And now back to our Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction!

  1. Cultivate an awareness of subtle sexism.

We can all easily notice sexism such as the toad in our story telling the princess that she can cook and clean for him.  But do we notice when we are “innocuously” given the task of calling the caterer for the office party?

We may be perfectly aware when some misogynist questions our moods by referring to a certain time of month.  But do we sense ourselves censoring our own emotions when speaking to a group?  Is there a thought, deep down, that if your emotions show, you won’t be taken seriously?

It’s true.  Studies have shown that women are more likely to be interrupted during conversation and more likely to be perceived as untrustworthy for expressing emotions.  And those interruptions and perceptions of lower value are perpetrated by men AND women.

If you’ve ever used the euphemisms that equate parts of women’s bodies (Pussy) with weakness and parts of men’s bodies (balls) with strength, that’s something to become aware of.  I’ve taken to using the words “Uterus”, “Vagina”, and “Yoni” in place of balls.  It wakes people up because they’re not expecting it.

cartoon-Betty-White-on-Balls-jpg

Sexism rears its ugly head in our society in many ways and we need to be aware of these subtler expressions of it, so that we can…

  1. Call people out on their sexism. Male AND female.

Whenever you notice sexism in action, with your high-powered awareness, say something. Whether it’s some internet troll objectifying a woman or a woman who is begrudgingly accepting a role put upon her by the patriarchy.

Speak. Up. Every. Time.

Know this. You will be attacked for it.  Because How dare you point out a man’s foibles, you uppity *%$# (fill in the derogatory term of choice; bitch, feminazi, perhaps even Witch!)  In which case, you can slow-grin at them and give them a proper education.

I read an article recently called “Girls’ Guide to Calling Out Sexism Without Being Attacked”.  I prayed it was meant to be an ironic title, but I really couldn’t tell even after reading the article, which suggested we adjust our tone when calling out sexism, and advised us that we might be seen as “shrill” or “preachy” in doing so.   The article gave no advice as to how to call out the sexism of the attack itself.  And <heavy sigh> it was written by a woman.  Obviously not a Witch.

Don’t be like her.  Don’t tone it down for the sake of peace.  That’s how we got here in the first place. Fear.  Don’t let that be you.

And while we’re on the subject of fear…

  1. Empower others.

Do your best, as the witchy, wise, persuasive powerhouse that you are to bring those affected by sexism out of their fear.  Be an example but also be a shoulder.

One of the things that Witches are great at is bringing the love.  If there are women around you who are giving away their power, show them how to do things differently.

If they show interest in growing and becoming more empowered, help them discover ways to do that.

I volunteer at a non-profit for women teaching them workshops in self-discovery, finding their power and transforming their lives.  It other words, I’m teaching them to be Witches without calling it that.

Do the same for those you care about because, as I mentioned before, the more Witches, the better!

three-witches-gardner

And so, Witch… what’s next?

  1. Do Magick!

So you know how to cast a love spell and you can conjure up some cash when you need it.  You can witch some weather for your special event and call on Jupiter to expand your business.  And all of that is awesome.

But every once in awhile, consider doing some altruistic magick.  Goddess knows the world needs it in may ways.

Be creative!  Come up with a spell that helps to open the eyes of those who appear to be blind to casual sexism.

Practice a daily devotion to Diana requesting that she increase women’s power in the world.

Hell, masturbate with a sense of adoration and respect for your yoni and expand that feeling to the universe.

You’re a Witch, you can think of a spell that suits your purpose.

And if you are part of a group of Witches and you work together for the end of sexism in our society in some way, all the better.

Use your powers for good.  The world will thank you for it.

  1. And finally, continue to be your witchy, wise, bad-ass self unapologetically!

Beyonce

** NOTE:  Image Sources are embedded in each image.

In the Company of Yin

cover yin yang

There was a time in my life (in that maiden to mother phase) when I naturally fell into a routine of caring for my mate and child, spending more of my time on them than on anything else.  It’s easy to do and I think many American women can identify.

Your girlfriends are in the same stage and it’s easy to let those friendships fall by the wayside.  It’s easy to allow yourself the joys of family and immerse yourself in your relationship with a significant other.  With the exception of lesbian couples, this is almost always a male dominated time in one’s life.

Family

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I know, for me, it was a time to explore the Animus side of my own psyche.  I spent a tremendous amount of time trying to put myself in my husband’s shoes, in order to better understand him.  It was part of my endeavor to be a good wife/partner in our relationship.  And much of this time in my life was worthwhile and valuable and enjoyable.

But something was still missing.  I realized, one day, that so much of my life revolved around Husband and Family that I no longer had strong bonds with women.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I ever had.  I seemed to hold a belief in the back of my mind that I’d always identified more with men anyway.  In hindsight, this might have been a “sour grapes” sort of attitude.  I felt obligated to that life… even though, when I got honest with myself, I had to admit that I chose it.  But there was, at that time, a bit of a feeling of being trapped in that.

In my marriage, our friends were HIS friends.  My women friends were the wives of his friends.  So I thought I’d try to cultivate some real bonds in that pool of choices.  I decided to have a party just for the women in our social group.

High Tea

I devised a beautiful, pampering “High Tea” sort of soiree.  I called it my Sereni-Tea Party, during which each woman would receive massages, manicures, a soak in the Hot-Tub and all sorts of pampering.  I also devised a small ritual, where each woman was crowned as a Goddess.

The idea was to remind each of us that we are sovereign in our lives, that we may choose, daily, how (and for whom) to live.  It was a big hit.  Everyone loved it.  No one loved it more than I did.  It sparked some changes in my life that are still in the works, I think.

aphrodite

I’m not sure if anyone else at that party “got” what I was trying to convey… but I did.  I claimed myself that day, and again and again on many days that followed it, I claimed my own sovereignty.

The experience sparked a new way of thinking for me.  I had one close female friend and I forged deeper into that bond.  She supported me and cared about my outcomes.  It was a really good start.

friends

I began to embody the Queen archetype.  And that sovereign queen of her own life was not the woman my husband married.  So in some ways, I could call that the beginning of the end of my marriage.  It’s okay.  It was a marriage that needed to end. And when it did, those women (the wives of his friends) shunned me like an Amish photographer. And that’s okay too. They were not “my tribe” anyway.

After the divorce I began to create more and more relationships with women.  I came honestly and openly into groups of females sharing my experiences and my ideas, and offering my empathy for the things that they may have experienced as well.  And that’s when the magick started to happen in my life.

I joined a witch’s grove of learning.  We met each week to discuss books, teach and learn and challenge each other toward excellence.  In the process we also loved, nurtured, supported and cheered each other on.  The grove developed into a coven.  I served as one of the leaders of that coven for quite a few years.

circle of women

I learned and grew more in those years than any other time in my life that I can recall.  I increased my personal power exponentially during that time, because of the company of other powerful women, all striving for their own excellence and the collective excellence of the group.  It created such momentum.  We were all swept along in it.

My leadership role in that group led me to more leadership.  I formed a non-profit spiritual center in my own home.  We offered worship services of an inclusive nature. We provided workshops, support groups, had festivals.  And I gained all of the experiences of facilitating that. And I could not have done it without the blessing of a number of breath-taking feminine souls who were regular members at the center.  They enriched me and the others in our group tremendously.

Life changed, as it does, and eventually I closed the center and moved clear across the country.  In my new home town, I volunteer and teach at a non-profit which supports women in ALL their endeavors to improve their own lives. It’s called Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

And now, I also facilitate women’s spiritual retreats.  The latest installment of that happened in Sedona, AZ last month.

(There’s a new one coming up in November – Click here for more info!)

Six women from different backgrounds, understandings, beliefs and challenges came together.  We discussed and explored our hopes and fears. We worked towards our dreams.  We shared laughter and shed tears.  We moved forward in our lives, powerfully and magickally.

Above is photographic evidence of the goddess power we generated around us.  (Watch the orb at the foot of each goddess.  This showed up on 3 different cameras!)

owl yin yang

Yin in Taoism is the Feminine Principle.  The feminine aspect of this dualistic reality in which we live occupies the “dark side” of the yin yang symbol.

In Wiccan circles the Goddess is represented by the Moon, the night, while the God is represented by the Sun and the day.

This, in no way should be interpreted as meaning that the feminine principle is “bad” or “wrong”, although that is the way that much of our patriarchal society defines it.

But the divine feminine is a mystery.  The High Priestess card in Tarot holds a scroll, which is half hidden and sits before a curtain, beyond which are mysteries and wisdom untold.  There are even popular jokes about how women are complete mysteries to men.

High Priestess

There’s a reason for that.  And I think it’s our power.  This kind of power cannot simply be offered to everyone.  The power of the Feminine Divine is hidden for a reason.  The right to exist in its web must be earned.

And the women whose power is blatant and obvious to the world have been called everything under the sun, from demon, harlot, bitch to witch, activist, boss and Goddess.

The fact is that all women possess this power.  The degrees may vary or the power may be more or less suppressed by this patriarchal jailhouse, but, make no mistake, it is there.  It is present and can be awakened to greater strengths to greater missions and to the greatness of all things touched by such power.

I’ve found that when women come together in any kind of group, there is a magickal phenomenon that takes place.  There is a heightened power, an increase in intensity, like a spiritual battery being turned on.

A woman is powerful.

A couple of women, or a group, aligned in their Will, connected at their hearts and clear in their intentions, are UNSTOPPABLE, and deeply magickal.

Goddess Group

I’m not talking about excluding men from your life, by any means!  Today, I am in a committed and happy relationship with a loving, wonderful man. In fact, I believe that the time I’ve spent loving and nurturing other women (and myself) is a direct contributor to my finding him and to my being worthy of him.  Our relationship is very strong.  We believe in each other. We encourage each other. We acknowledge each other’s sovereignty.  And I adore spending time with him.

But these days, as the sovereign queen/goddess that I am, I choose to also spend a lot of quality time in the company of Yin.

Goddess Divine Empowerment!

How I went from Playing Way Too Small to Being an Empowered Goddess and So Can You!

oppressed-women  My last blog post ended with me in the depths of addiction and and suffering the pain and humiliation of a terrible marriage.  So, how did all of this turn around?  I’ll tell you!

A few years into that marriage I finally decided to get a handle on my addictive, self-destructive practices. That makes it sound like it was easy, like I made a decision one day and then got clean. That’s not what happened. There was a LOT of “Facing my Shadow”, and “embracing my darkness” at that time. I was introduced to the concepts put forth by the noted psychologist, Carl Jung and began to study the practice of uncovering and accepting our “Shadow” aspects, those parts of ourselves that we would rather deny. I had a lot of that. Also, during that journey, in my twenties, I was introduced to the concept of spirituality as opposed to religion. Cultivating a connection with some “unknowable force” helped me greatly in my recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, and I became a seeker. Learning about spiritual practice became my new drug of choice, I believe, because it touched on that true nature and those gifts I was denying. Some part of me recognized that something here might actually have an effect on the root cause of my destructive behavior. I wasn’t consciously aware of this, of course, but I believe it was there.

So I read everything I could. I spent many years investigating different spiritual practices. I studied, and continue to study, world religions, and philosophies like Catholicism and Christianity in general, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and so on. And while I can’t say that I felt a deep connection to any one religious view, what I did find was the practice of meditation. Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

I’m going to repeat that here because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT!

Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

empowered goddess   My studies continued and began to include more philosophy, psychology and mythology. I read some classics by great scholars such as Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, Plato and added in some more modern works by the likes of Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Campbell. My views continued to expand as I continued to grow in every way that I could manage. During all of this, I became the mother to a beautiful old soul, a daughter. Witnessing the miracles of her birth and growth and my regular meditation practice were putting me in connection with the divine on a daily basis. Everything changes then. You see, when you meditate it puts you in touch with that ineffable ground of spirit that permeates all that there is. It verifies the unbreakable connection between these bodies we are currently inhabiting and that limitless “other” which we discover is not “other” at all. It’s like plugging in to a vast switchboard where everything is accessible. The miraculous is occurring all around us at every moment in time. I began to notice, is all.

All the while, I was still married to that overbearing, narcissistic man. And during most of our marriage, because there was still that part of me aiming to please and eager to be seen as “the good wife”, we got along fine. But then I began to grow a spine. I began to understand that I had to set an example for my daughter. And I began to disagree with some of the decisions he was making for us and for me. And that was when it got bumpy. I won’t go into the details here of the ultimate awakening that brought me out of that marriage, but know that I did break free and I did so in a meaningful and mindful way, understanding my part in all of it and understanding what I would no longer accept for myself or for my child.

In the following years I was inspired to study the many connections between science and spirituality and became very interested in (um, ok, obsessed with) quantum physics and the philosophies of mind over matter, what some call the Law of Attraction (what I call witchcraft). There was a wonderful feeling of being carried along on a wave of new information and discovery. One insight led to another. One book led to a dozen more. With a broader understanding of myself and the concepts of energy, I renewed my interest in divination and I studied the Tarot, with all of its wonderful Archetypes and insight into the human journey. I also began again to experiment with Skrying. All of this brought me to the study of Nature-based religions like Wicca and Heathenry and paganism in general. And a new wave of discovery launched me into practice with others and the structure and benefits of ritual, shared energy and sisterhood. I delved deeply into the study of mythology, especially the Goddesses which re-energized my desire to facilitate women’s empowerment. I was given the opportunity to expand my leadership skills as a founding member of a coven, often presiding over Ritual as Priestess. And, finally I put that into practice in my own spiritual Meetup Group and opened an inclusive spiritual center from my own home where I hosted many, many workshops, ceremonies, rituals and festivals before moving to Phoenix, AZ.

Aphrodite2   So here I am today, wanting to share some of this learning and insight with you, the seeker with the Goddess hidden inside. I can help you find your inner Goddess because I worked so hard to find my own. And I’ve distilled all of the seeking and struggles and mistakes and successes into some very essential lessons to set you on your personal journey to Goddesshood. Join me and a number of your sisters on this amazing, life-changing adventure. Simply email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details.  There is absolutely NO obligation, NO spam, NO sharing of your email address and a free gift!  This retreat will fill up, so don’t hesitate!  

With Love and Sisterhood,

Renée

Blessed Be

… How I went from Natural Psychic to Natural Disaster…

This series of blogs is dedicated to  Goddess Divine -A Spiritual Retreat for Women which will be taking place in Sedona, AZ in May.  Email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details! When last we connected, dear reader, I had given you a brief overview of my “qualifications” to help you bring forth your inner […]

Goddess Divine Women’s Retreat – Why You Need It!

Sedona

So there’s this amazing event coming up!  The Goddess Divine Retreat for Women in Sedona, AZ on May 20, 21 and 22, 2016 will bring you into deep connectedness with your Sacred Self.  In this way you will discover and form a truly rewarding relationship with your inner Goddess and be excited to share her outrageous beauty and light with the whole world!  If you’re even the tiniest bit curious, do yourself a favor and e-mail AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com right NOW!   There is no obligation and you will receive a valuable FREE GIFT – and even MORE valuable information about how you can be a participant in this wonderful weekend of Sacred Sisterhood! 

In a previous post, I promised you more details about ME Renee Damoiselle of Divining Damoiselle, your retreat facilitator.  So, What qualifies me to prepare you for Goddesshood?

Well, to begin, I will tell you that, as a much younger woman, I was very focused on being perceived as “good” and on not being too noticeable (all the while fearful that my “freak-flag” would be uncovered at any moment!) In other words, I was very much NOT living like the Goddess that I am!  Today, however, I enjoy referring to myself as a Badass Witch Priestess of Warrior Deities, with a divine mission to save the world, one woman at a time.  In other words, I successfully grew a spine and stepped into my Goddesshood, after a time of hiding my light.  It was not easy.  It took work and desire and commitment, but because I’ve been there, I can show you the way.

Shine

That’s me now.   Along my journey, I’ve met many other women whose light has also been kept hidden.  The reasons may be varied (patriarchal society, misogyny, trauma) but the result is actually tragic, for the individual woman and for the world.  The divine feminine light that glows within every woman is meant to be anchored in this world and to shine brightly.  What a woman can achieve once she embraces her true divine nature is limitless.  The healing ripple effects of her efforts will be felt universally.  This is my mission because I know, intimately, what it feels like to break free in this way, and that joy must be shared.

Looking for a juicier story?  Stay tuned for the next blog, where we’ll get down and dirty with the details of that amazing journey!

… to be continued… 

Goddess Divine

Goddesses dancing

The first week of 2016 was rough for me.  I’d failed to reach some of my goals for 2015 and was, at the moment, failing miserably at my “Healthy Lifestyle” goals.   I was pretty down on myself, which, as a spiritual adviser, I know is self-defeating. But, as a human being, I say, “Hey!  Sometimes I get mad at myself!  That’s life!  Deal with it!”

Funny, I’ve been contemplating hard on doing some more Shadow work lately.  The Universe says, “Your wish is my command!  You want shadows?  Here ya go!  Self-loathing!  How’s THAT for Dark?!”, she proclaims with pride.  (HeHe)

The fact is that this whole thing (yaknow- life, the universe and everything) is a process.  You think you’ve learned a lesson and then you discover another layer of the same lesson hidden underneath.  It’s cool!  I’m not ready to be “Done” yet.  I kinda like it here.

So, there I was, in my MOOD; cranky, frustrated, restless – STUCK!  And when I’m stuck, I think about my spiritual practice.  It has always been what has saved me.  I realized I wasn’t finding enough time for it;  Meditation, Ritual, Offerings.  I was “fitting it in” here and there, instead of making it central to my life and my days.  And, for me, that means I need a sort of shock treatment – a BIG DOSE of my medicine to bring me back from this profoundly human habit of pleasing others and attachment to outcomes.  (All those goals = outcomes, for me.)  I need some “freedom from the lust of result”.  (Thank  you Mister Crowley!)  The fact is that those “goals” I had set for myself, in truth, were largely rooted in that particular aspect of my Shadow that says “Prove yourself.  You’re no good unless others recognize your successes.”  And that, dear readers, is ego and nothing more.  The goals I’d set for myself were not meant to feed my soul but to prove myself.

In my ponderings on Shadow and my moments of self-loathing, I realized that I had entered the auto-pilot mindset of dealing with things like the day-job and the mundane “have-to’s”, “Need-to’s” and “Get-to’s” of life.  I was embracing the lazy routine of working, and doing what I thought I had to do, then coming home to much deserved “relax” mode (doing nothing!).  I had allowed myself to slip into the comfortable groove of the “normal”, “mainstream” life.

This witch, dear readers, is far from “normal”… even for a witch!  In this realization I felt that I needed to firmly establish my “witchy-ness”!  In an expression of my MOOD at the time, I thought I’d change my entire wardrobe to nothing but black, flowy dresses! As black as my soul!  Then I laughed at myself, realizing, of course that it’s not about appearance at all.  In fact, it’s about the opposite.

So I  asked my brooding, black, moody soul what it needed.  The answer was SILENCE!!!  I realize that’s a bit of a paradox – a shouted “SILENCE!!”  But that was what I got!

I thought, “I need a couple of days away – a sort of Spiritual Immersion retreat.  You see, in the time before I moved to Arizona, I LIVED at a Spiritual Retreat.  I was in need of total immersion in my practice, no distractions, no excuses.

I happen to live about a 90-minute drive away from “Spiritual Retreat Central” aka, Sedona, AZ!  So I began researching what was available.  None seemed totally suited to my needs and ALL were EXTREMELY PRICEY!  So, since I didn’t win the Powerball, I started thinking, “Well, I know of this lovely, small (affordable) Inn in the heart of Sedona and I have hosted numerous Spiritual events; retreats, workshops, festivals, you name it!  I’m a goddamn High Priestess of Warrior Deities!  I’m a Badass Diviner, Channeler, Intuitive!  I can come up with my own weekend, filled with that BIG DOSE of Spiritual Practice (with lots of silence) that I need.”

So I began planning.  And then what happened was pure Magick, the kind of Magick I’d become accustomed to when I WAS honoring my spiritual practice.  You see, when you decide to give to your soul, when you honestly ask it what IT wants and when you are willing to face that Shadow side of yourself, well, everything aligns.  The universe will marshal its every force to help you.

So, as I was planning my own retreat, I realized that many other women I know have felt this way.  I understood that, yes, I could get away in a month or so and give myself this gift, but why leave it at that?  I could create this gift of an affordable retreat for others as well.  Since coming to that understanding, I have been OBSESSED!  I’ve blown through goals like there’s no work involved.  Yesterday, I spent 16 hours learning new software, creating a new meditation recording, planning the event, getting ready to launch this creative baby to which I am giving birth.  Those 16 hours went by in a flash.  I’ve been so IMMERSED in this creation that I’ve lost track of time.  My previously moody, black soul has exploded in color and joy!  THIS is (part of) the food that my soul has been starved of!  I’ve been extremely present in the planning of this and nowhere else, because I’ve no desire to BE anywhere else or to DO anything else!  This is BLISS!  And I’m following it! (Thank you Mister Campbell!).  It’s happening!  Goddess Divine – A Spiritual Retreat for Women.  May 20th, 21st and 22nd in beautiful Sedona, AZ.

And so, dear reader, if you have identified with any of these feelings, and if you feel that you’d like to get away for a bit and maybe even examine a bit of your own shadow in order to emerge on the other side with a goddamn FORCEFUL PURPOSE, then email AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for more information and for your FREE GIFT of that Meditation MP3 that I spent so many hours creating.  More information can also be found at my Goddess Divine page here on wordpress.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Bright Blessings!