Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Free Readings!!!

Tonight, from 6-9 p.m., Eastern Time, I will be offering free Tarot readings on the new site! Here's where you can find me! http:ht

Also, this is the last day of the Tarot of the Boroughs sale. If you purchase a copy today, I will give you a free 15 minutes reading on the time and day of your choice!

So, come see me for free on Shindig today--purchase a deck and save that reading for a rainy day!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Resources for LGBTQ recipients of violence

If you are in the New York area and have been a recipient of violence (or have a community member who has been the recipient of violence), please check out the Anti-Violence Project. They provide advocacy for those wishing to report violent incidents to the police, as well as counseling.

Don't be silent. To be silent is to be complicit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weighing in on the Five Fold Kiss

Society of Diana posted a blog about her concerns over the Five Fold Kiss and its inherent sexism in its traditional text. She asked me to comment and I did! Here's what I wrote (you'll want to go to the link above to see the original discussion).

Our Coven uses the Five Fold Kiss when intending to draw a Deity's influence into a person. The kisses are used to focus Etheric energy into those regions to better connect the person to the Deity. I encourage my members to not stick to text, but develop their own with the intention of Deity connection. I actually did not learn the words of the Five-Fold Kiss to say, "Formed in beauty" or "Formed in Strength." I learned it as "Blessed be thy breasts that encase the powerful heart within," which is used on either a woman or man. I think it is a useful ritual tool, but like all ritual tools, if it not examined and is instead treated dogmatically, it could become archaic and in this case, understandably received as sexist.

I'll be teaching the Mechanics of the Five Fold Kiss at Laurelin in August and then at Harvest Gathering in September! Please join me! I am very excited to be teaching this class to the public!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Going the best way possible!!!!

I just saw THIS INCREDIBLE ARTICLE about a grey seal hanging out on the beach where I've been leaving offerings to Ochun and the Mother Hudson. (Those of you who remember my story about getting smacked for not leaving the Hudson an offering? This is where it happened.) Just recently, I did a spell for eco-consciousness on this same spot. And the seal arrived!!! I don't even know what to do with myself--except run down there and pick up trash so the seal is more comfortable.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Festivals this summer! Come hang with me!!!

We're still in the midst of Beltaine planning (Our crew's celebration is tomorrow!!!) and I'm trying to keep my head down and focused on my finals...but I can already hear drums and smell bonfires.

Here are a few places where I'll be teaching this summer! Please come and hang with me!!!

Brushwood Summerfest--Craftwise College!
July 18-24
In gorgeous upstate New York. I'll be teaching my (in)famous Tarot classes: "Voice of the Tarot" and "Burn the Fucking Book." I'll also be leading my "Ethics of Spellcraft" workshop at Craftwise. I'm soooooo stoked....because my friends and mentors Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone will also be leading their incredible workshops...and my dear friend and sister in Brid Bernadette Montana of Brid's Closet will be teaching at the festival, too!(Both Summerfest and Craftwise are at Brushwood the week of July 18th!)

Laurelin Sun, Moon and Sky Magick Lughnasadh Celebration
Bethel, Vermont
August 3-7
At my good friend Kirk White's gorgeous farm in northern Vermont. They EVEN HAVE A PAN GROVE AND A NATURAL SPRING!!! It's even more exciting for me as two of my Students/Covenmates are also teaching: Lisa Vazquez and Noelle V Dor. HPS BEAMING SUNSHINEY-RAINBOW-SPARKLY UNICORNS OF PRIDE!!!!

And the end of August....returning to my hometown of Portland, OR to show them all the cool things I learned while in the far East!

DeForest House
Portland, OR.
Thursday, August 18, 7-9:30
These kind souls endured my renditions of Lady Gaga and AC/DC at their New Year's Eve drum, they're kind enough to let me teach "Burn the Fucking Book!" and show off Tarot of the Boroughs!

***Vancouver, WA date in the works...will have more information soon!!!***

Sacred Mists Store
Napa, CA (The live, in-person store!)
August 24 and 25
Wonderful opportunity. :) I will be the first presenter this little gem of a store has had, in person! Many of you are familiar with Sacred Mists's Online College--but just this past August, they opened their doors as a store with doors and a roof and stuff inside! I will be teaching "Voice of the Tarot" and an introductory Wiccan Ritual workshop. I'll also be doing readings! Thank you, Lorien, for giving me this fantastic opportunity!

San Francisco!!! California!!!
August 27-28
The last time I went to San Fran, I was with a Catholic School choir tour led by a bunch of nuns. I totally had a good time. We went to Six Flags and everything. But I think I'm going to have just as much fun as a 30 year old (yipes!)Witch and Tarot freak running around with a bunch of other Witches and Tarot freaks. I'll be presenting a talk on Tarot of the Boroughs. Maybe I'll even do Power Point! Yay!!!

If you are on the Left Coast and interested in coming to hang with me at any of these events, please register at the above links or email the stores if registration is not yet available. As registration does become available, I will update this blog. I never miss a chance to self promote--if you haven't noticed.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sorrow, forgiveness and healing--plus Tarot.

Well, FIRST Tarot.

I'm still coming back to Earth after a world-turning weekend at the Reader's Studio. A swift lesson that I've been trying to avoid for months--even if you study Theology, even if you run a group, it is NOT a substitute for doing your own self-work. So now, armed with more things to reflect upon and investigate, I wade through the Beltaine tides (which have led to some very embarrassing Freudian "slips" at work...) and embrace the brightest part of the year in hopes that it will shine its light on the places in my soul that need illumination.

The Death of Bin Laden
This epic conclusion to the nearly mythic search for Bin Laden has shaken up painful memories for many from the tragic September day. The news broadcast cheering the streets of New York (I was asleep on my couch, processing my weekend), but much of it was mixed with tears. Facebook (stupid Facebook...) exploded with conspiracy theories, arguments as to whose victory it "really was," joy, anger, attempts at peace.

Revenge, for lack of a better term, is a complicated state. We fantasize about seeking revenge on those who have harmed us. Some of us may even receive the opportunity to reap what we consider revenge. But revenge is a shallow victory. It can feed the ego, but it leaves the soul in an extended feeling of hunger and want. During our trials of suffering at the hands of others, our souls are promised healing once revenge has been completed or "justice served." But when those moments come, the satisfaction is fleeting. Revenge does not undo the suffering we've undergone. It does not replace what was lost. Bin Laden's death may be providing closure for those who lost family and friends in 9/11--but it does not bring those lost back to life. Nor does it re-write the past ten years as glorious ones, filled with laughter and light instead of grief and pain. The soul is still left suffering after the revenge is complete, without the promise of an end in sight.

So what is the other option? Forgiveness? As a young Christian, I would grit my teeth and do my best to forgive the bullies that taunted me at school. Sometimes, I would succeed in doing so, only to be bullied again. I would "turn the other cheek" so friggin' often and simply allow the bullying to continue because in my young mind, it was the "good, Christian thing to do." Yet, there were also times both in my childhood and adult life, when someone who had done me wrong came forward with a heartfelt apology and I forgave them. And there have been individuals who harmed me in my past who never did apologize, and yet in hindsight I was able to forgive them. I am very thankful for those who have forgiven me when I've done stupid-ass things. The gift of forgiveness is peace in one's own soul. We no longer have to carry hot and self-poisonous grudges and perhaps we can even start anew in our own journeys with the people that either we've hurt or that have hurt us.

But the problem with forgiveness is the assumption that it's always necessary or always good. Can any of us really ask a woman who has been brutally raped to forgive her attackers? Or, back to the subject at hand, will it really serve anyone who suffered a loss in 9/11 any good to forgive Bin Laden for plotting the monstrous attacks? Would we be encouraging healing or the suppression of one's own pain? It is not fair to comfort one by saying it's part of their journey to experience that pain, or promise them that it will make them stronger. It minimizes and trivializes their experience.

When it seems impossible to forgive a person, group or situation who has harmed us, the only tool we can embrace is acceptance. We accept that a pain occurred. We also have to eventually accept that there may never be an answer to why something painful happened to us or those we love. Accepting does not mean condoning. Accepting also does not mean forgetting. But accepting that a pain happened may allow us to move forward and stop existing in the "Why did this happen? Why would this happen to me???" We accept that we will not know the answers, but we also accept the reality that our pain can be temporary, if we allow it to be.

My heart goes out to those who suffered directly or indirectly due to the attacks of 9/11. I am not excited about Bin Laden's death, as I do not believe his death will truly alleviate the suffering of the present. But nor do I mourn his death. Yes, he was a person--but he was a person who caused severe suffering and perhaps I am not compassionate enough to mourn the loss of a person who committed those acts. But what I do feel is hope that a benefit of this situation is the closure for those who suffered because of it, and hope that it moves forward the healing process. I hope those who lost are not pushing themselves to forgive Bin Laden, if they feel they cannot. But I do hope that all who suffered can reach a place of acceptance.

Peace, blessings and healing to all in this Light time of the year.