Friday, January 27, 2012

Beloved Dead a Love Story - Sort Of

On Sunday I went to a memorial service for a friend who passed over.  I've only been to a few funeral/memorial services in my life and for some reason this one was really frustrating.

On one hand it was great, but on the other hand I wanted to tell everyone else that they were going about this all wrong!

My friend was a beautiful, vibrant, spiritual woman just shy of 80 years old.  She loved life and she made connections with people everywhere she went.  She understood that life was about love and truly touched everyone who ever met her.  As we sat there in this funeral home, I felt like we were doing her spirit a disservice.

Instead of sitting in this bland, dull, boring mortuary space, we should have been somewhere lush and beautiful.  We should have spent our time honoring her in a place that honored her spirit.  Instead of playing watered down versions of her favorite songs, we should have been playing Nat King Cole and dancing; like her daughter said she loved to do.  We should have been celebrating her vibrant life and sharing stories that brought tears, laughter, and memories of her bright inner spirit.

I know that everyone needs to grieve in their own way, but this didn't feel like a service to honor the woman that I knew.

The good news is that what is remembered lives and it was clear that everyone in that room knew her the same way that I did.  Her vibrancy, light, and love of life will be carried on.  For that I am grateful.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Boredom The Art of Transformation

I primarily practice in the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft, which is considered to be an ecstatic tradition.  This means that our rituals have a lot of singing, dancing, and intense experiences in them.  I love this about my tradition.  It is alive, exciting, and juicy.  But there is also something to be said for boredom and in an ecstatic tradition this can get overlooked.

I have heard plenty of ritual feedback over the years where I was told, "that one part of the ritual was boring".  Waaahh!  (I don't mean to be snarky, okay, maybe I do, a little bit.)  As ritual goers and participants sometimes we can get caught up in the flair and the drama.  Sometimes we can miss the point of the inner work because we are waiting for the moment when the fireworks go off.

Guess what people?  In life, fireworks don't always go off.

If there is one thing that some of the other non-mainstream religious practices can teach us, is that the ecstatic can often be found right on the other side of that boredom.  We are so used to going at the speed of light; checking our email, catching up on Facebook every ten minutes, and tweeting our hearts out, that if we don't have flashing, lightening, and high intensity we feel like we are missing out.

The truth is, just beyond that place of being bored and distracted is a place of powerful transformation and transcendence.  Sometimes all you need to do is sit with that boredom to experience something more powerful than even the most dramatic fireworks show could ever offer.

It sounds crazy, I know this.  But life is paradox and this is just another example of it.

So, the next time you are at a "boring ritual", I challenge you to keep at it and see what is waiting for you on the other side.  It might just blow your mind.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Avalon or My Secret Obsession

I'm not really sure when my relationship with Morgan LeFae started, but it has been a long and mysterious journey.  In my late teens she tapped my shoulder and took me under her mantle.  For many years I heard the whispering of the Fae ones, not really understanding what that meant or even what was happening.

Because of my connection to Her I was introduced to the Mists of Avalon, (I mean c'mon what Pagan girl doesn't love that book?)  When I lived along the Russian River I read each and every book that Marion Zimmer Bradley had written connected to the Holy Isle and the Priestesses that were a part of it.

I dreamed of walking up the Tor.  I wished to walk on the holy grounds where I felt my spiritual ancestors would have called home.  I was desperate to taste the water of the Red and White Springs.  And  luckily I got  my wish...

Several  years after my foray into the fantasy world that Marion Zimmer Bradley had created I found myself on an airplane on my way to England. 

After many magickal discoveries that I was not expecting I finally got the one that I was.  As the bus turned a corner and revealed the valley below I got my first glimpse of the Tor off in the distance and I knew that this was home.  This was the place where I belonged more than any other place in the world.  Once in the town I walked down the narrow streets that all seem to wind their way to the top of this magickal peak and it felt like I had done it a million times.

At the top of the Tor I sat and looked out over the land.  My partner made a joke, asking if I was in the process of calling the mists.  Shortly thereafter the mists started to fill up the valley and I felt as if Morgan herself was welcoming me home.

Every step that I took around the town of Glastonbury felt like I was treading on familiar ground.  There wasn't one place I went where I felt lost, confused, or out of place.  On my last day I felt as if my heart were breaking.  I didn't want to leave.  I wanted to stay there forever.

And now my longing remains.  It has been several years since my trip to England and every single day I have a longing to go back.  I check the weather in Glastonbury often, I pull it up on Google Maps to get a peek at  my homeland, and I look at pictures to remind me of what I am missing.

So yes, it is my secret obsession.  Everyone knows that I want to live there, but the intensity of my longing is something that words cannot express.  I don't live there right now for a lot of reasons, but I know that I will, and in the meantime I love Avalon from a distance and hold Her hand while waiting.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Agreements.  This is a word that gets a lot of use in my spiritual community.  We talk openly about the agreements we have in our romantic relationships.  We share agreements with our magickal circles.  We explore and discuss the agreements that we make with Deity.  All of these things are freely talked about and shared with others..."what are your agreements?"

I might be missing this, but I don't think I've ever heard someone talk about their personal agreements. 

What agreements do you make to yourself?  How do you hold yourself accountable to keeping those agreements?  How do you honor your need, wants, desires, and still push your edges and grow?

This blog is one way that I am answering that question for myself.  This is the first in a weekly, year-long, agreement that I have made.  A series of synchronicities led me to taking on this challenge; which is why I know it's right.  I know that it is going to be hard.  I know that it is going to challenge me and probably annoy and frustrate me at times, but I made the agreement. 

I made the agreement with myself and I intend to keep it.