Sunday, December 31, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
F*&%ing scary, peeps. Let's all unplug our cell phone chargers when not in use, k?
Monday, December 25, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Stolen from the journal of haphazzard:
1. Ever punch someone in the face?
2. How old are you?
3. Are you single or taken?
4. Eat with your hands or utensils?
5. Do you dream at night?
6. Ever seen a corpse?
7. Have you ever wished someone dead?
8. Do you like Bush?
9. Whats your philosophy on life? and death?
10. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
11. Do you trust the police?
12. Do you like country music?
13. Do you think I'm attractive?
14. If you could change anything about yourself would you?
15. Batman or Superman?
16. What do you wear to sleep?
17. Have you ever peed in a pool? while you were still in it?
18. Would you hide evidence for me if I asked you to?
19. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together?
20. Will you post this so I can fill it out for you?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This is kind of long, so I put it behind a cut...
"The Best/Worst Thanksgiving ever"...
The stress started a little over a month ago when Patt (Chas' mother) told me that she wouldn't be joining us for Thanksgiving at my mother's house this year. Under normal circumstances this would be fine, but our circumstances are far from normal: Patt is in constant need of care and supervision having been mentally and physically disabled almost four years ago by both a series of brain surgeries that sought to treat a previously undetected birth defect, along with Parkinson's disease, and a degenerative spine condition. She is often confused, cannot walk on her own, and requires assistance for almost every act of living, save perhaps eating. When I explained to her that not only would it be a fun time, and that since Chas and I both really wanted to go she would need to go with us, she simply refused saying that she would be fine on her own. Of course, that's her dementia talking... she needs someone to walk with her, to bathe her, and to change her diapers, so it's safe to say that she would not be fine on her own. But she just doesns't understand that. It's really only been this year that she stopped asking when she was going home. ("You are home... you live here now. See? All of your things are here.") ("But I don't stay here. When do we leave?")
A lesson that I learned in all of this was that you cannot reason with someone who has dementia. Actually I thought I had learned this a long time ago; I've been caring for her consistently for almost 4 years now, but this time it just sort of crept up on me and caught me off guard. My default stance with people is to communicate and reason, and so it is very difficult to be in a situation in which that modality is not effective; it seems to go against everything in my nature. Like switching seats on the Titanic, it's really just futile.
So we decided to simply change the subject and avoid taking it up again. The bottom line is that we all needed to go... I wasn't fond of the idea of leaving Chas behind on Thanksgiving to care for her while I went to see my family an hour away... especially since Chas really wanted to go, too... but there is no one else to care for Patt, and we have no money to hire someone to come and sit with her. So Thanksgiving morning came and Chas got her showered and dressed and she began telling us how she was not going with us and Chas protested a little but then decided to not fight with her. We just got our stuff together, loaded up the car, and then put her into the car, ignoring her protests.
See, here's the thing: she will often protest leaving the house no matter what we are doing... taking her to lunch... to a doctor's appointment... to see her family... even if she has previously asked to go, when the time comes she protests and gets nasty. It's just what she does, so I'm used to (politely) ignoring that part of her behavior. After all, it's not her fault... her brain is broken.
After an hour and a half, we get to my mom's house and suddenly Patt is so very happy to be there. "How lovely everything looks!", she says. "We're going to have a wonderful time!"
My mom's house was beautiful, all decked out in holiday swag. The table is set with her finest china, and the scent of roasting turkey is in the air. My mom herself wasn't there, having gone out to pick up my sister at the airport, so we waited and had snacks while we watched TV.
My friend David arrived, and then soon my mother and sister did too and we began the first of several courses, each paired with a particular wine that my mother had found during one of her winery trips. Patt refused to eat, however, and I wondered if her change of heart had been short lived. Soon we realized, however, that her stomach had begun bothering her, and when we sat down to eat the main course, he asked to lie down. We made her a bed on my mother's couch, and were already feeling bad about the situation, but as soon as we sat back down to eat, she began to get sick. I felt bad for her... and for Chas who insisted on single-handedly cleaning her up and caring for her while the rest of us finished our meals. At one point Patt berated Chas saying "I told you I didn't want to come!" and of course this was within earshot of my mother.
Now, had she expressed a stomach ailment (or any other ailment for that matter) before we came then of course we would not had brought her. But her protests had come a month earlier and had more to do with her trying to express the very last power that she has in life: to be contrary. Eventually Chas got her all cleaned up, and we reheated his meal so that he could enjoy it as best he could and after pie we said our goodbyes and left, exhausted. We got home, Chas put her to bed, and then we talked about what happened as Chas tried to decompress. We came to the conclusion that we simply cannot take her out with us, unless it's to a nearby public place (such as a restaurant, or movie theater) as at least they will have handicap accessible restrooms, and we can get home quickly, if need be. My mother was not too happy when I later told her that we wouldn't be able to bring her over to her house anymore when she realized that it also meant that WE wouldn't be coming for holidays. My mom really likes to entertain in her house, which is understandable, but she really fought with me and insisted that next time we hire someone to watch Patt so that Chas and I could come and spend the holiday at her place. I'm assuming that she was just being emotional and that she really wouldn't expect us to abandon the woman on a major holiday... I sort of think there's a special place in Hell for people who would do such a thing, but I guess I'll find out for sure next year. There's absolutely no way that I would even consider doing that. I can't think of many more depressing things than leaving a helpless old woman alone with a stranger on a holiday, especially when it's perfectly easy to have the holidays at my place. Our house is huge, and my mom's is quite small. We have handrails on Patt's bathroom, and all her stuff is here if she has trouble. It just makes sense to have it here... especially since my mom has already told me that all Christmases from now on will be at my brother's house in Nevada (since he had kids) and that means I no longer get Christmas with my family, both since I can't afford to leave here, and because my brother has some unexplained issues with me that I can only assume are related to me being gay. So I should get one of the holidays, right? Again, I guess we'll find out next year if she'll understand, but either way we will have a big holiday party. Maybe more than one. So, there.
But, as always, there is a silver lining to this otherwise depressing cloud. Chas and I have recommitted to going out at night after his mom has gone to bed, which means that we will once again be making it out to a club every now and again. We did that for awhile, but stopped, because Chas was uncomfortable leaving the house with no one here with his sleeping mother, but now since we realize we can't even go out with her, we need to do this or else we will spend the rest of her life trapped in this house. So I am looking forward to this being a good step for our marriage. We need a break.... if only for a few hours.
In other news, some friends and I went to see Kathy Griffin live at the Warfield on the 24th. I laughed my ass off. Well, OK... actually I still am in full possession of my ass (one of my better qualities, I am told) but did suffer from acute cheek-ache the next day from the ordeal. She is so causticly hilarious. Highlights included comment on the Foley scandal ("Delicious", she said) and clearing up the confusion as to whether or not Paris Hilton is actually as dumb as she appears ("She's Corky from "Life Goes on", retarded!") plus lots of descriptions of her encounters with various celebs, including a meeting with former President Bill Clinton at an event for California governor hopeful Phil Angelides while she was wearing a "silver whore dress". She says she probably scared the shit out of him with her crazy awe-struck babbling as a result of having just bombed while telling jokes based on some remarks that Ann Coulter made about Clinton being gay. Too marvelous.
And then later...
On Saturday, my mother and sister came over and we went out to lunch. My mom was depressed at just having been told about our inability to spend holidays at her place in the future and so we needed some time to go out and have fun. By the end of the lunch all were in high spirits (not the least of which was due to some Towering Iced Teas and Pomegranate Margaritas) and when we returned to my place we got to work scanning a children's book that my sister made for our niece, Leah, in which she took old snapshots and pieced them together in a story about Leah finding the perfect place to plant her own tree:
We spend a good amount of time scanning, and then printing a copy for my mom, who also (at the last minute) brought some family photos of her own for me to scan and arrange so that she could have a collage to give for a Christmas present. After all this we spent some time burning CD's, enjoying some gingerbread cake and some really good port. Mmmm... port. It was a nice time, and they didn't leave until 1am! But that's my family for ya... we like to party until we can't stay awake anymore.
During all of this the business has been slowly growing... I'm still working on my next wave of meditation CDs, as well as some writing projects. Things have been more creative in this house since our house guest left early this month... I guess we just have more emotional space in which to work. My spiritual practice has been improved since then, as well. These things tell me that we are now on the right path for our lives... but still, at times, the house seems empty with just us. After Patt goes to bed Chas and I usually retreat into our creative spheres and the house is filled with silence. But this will also change... I'm looking forward to going out more and playing.
Monday, November 20, 2006
He and I have talked a bit since all this and I'm still unsure as to where his head is at... He actually texted me (4 days after he left) to tell me that he now hates me, but then took it back about a week and a half later. Now he just seems to think that his actions, while unfortunate, were nothing extreme or anything that he needs to take responsibility for. I let him know that I deserve an apology and that in MY world relationships demand honesty and communication or else they are meaningless. He felt that he told me about his decision quick enough by "his standards"... I told him that I didn't share that view and that Chas and I should have heard about it BEFORE he even came to a decision, because when you are in a relationship with someone, then you are all a part of the process together. Apparently this is a foreign concept to him. WTF?!?
I honestly hope that his life is a good one, and one that is preferably lived far, far away from me. No... I'm actually not bitter. I'm just done. Maybe if he takes responsibility then we can at least be friendly (I won't close the door on that possibility... I believe that people can change) but I'm not holding my breath. ;)
Thanks to all who offered me support when I needed it. Much love and hugs to all.
Life is actually pretty damned good right now...
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
You are The Magician
Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.
Eloquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.
The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Monday, November 06, 2006
First some background. A little over 5 years ago, I met this really sweet guy (name withheld to protect the guilty) on the internet. We chatted about Paganism and I gave him a link to my website. We later met and there was definitely a connection, and so soon afterward we started dating. Chas was brought into it a bit later and a little after that the new guy's husband was brought in as well. It was a great summer... full of passion and connection. Unfortunately the factory that they both worked at was already in the process of closing down and they had already made plans to move to Minneapolis to go to school. So we ended our relationship as they moved away... but we kept in touch.
Over the years this guy would tell me how much he wanted to move back to California... how his heart was here... and how he missed that time spent with Chas and I. This eventually gave way to him telling me that his relationship was unfulfilling, and how he suspected his partner of cheating, but they (in true WASP fashion) would never actually talk about it. Eventually he and his husband would meet someone else and open their relationship into a triad. I was a bit jealous when I heard, but was glad that he seemed happy.
But it was definitely short-lived. I later heard that he and his husband were planning to move back to CA but that they had opted not to tell their third because they were afraid that he would try to talk them out of it! I was put off by it, and told him so, but then plans dissolved and they all seemed to be happy once more so I forgot about it.
Not long after I was hearing again how unhappy he was... how he couldn't get motivated to finish school... how he wasn't happy in his relationships, and again how he longed to return to California. Chas and I offered him our place so that he might find it easier to return since it seemed apparent to us that the reason that he was so unhappy was that he was trapped in an unhealthy, uncommunicative relationship. After awhile, though I figured it wasn't going to happen any time soon, and that he needed to find his own process. I would continue to get reports from him and eventually heard that his husband had moved out of state to pursue his career, leaving him and the third in Minneapolis. Again I started hearing that he wanted to move to CA, and a few months ago he asked if the offer was still open to come and stay with us. Of course it was; I have held a torch for him for the past several years and welcomed a chance to help him out, especially if it meant that I could see him again. In August he arrived with the idea that he was going to figure out his life, get a job, and find a place to live. The official story was that he was going to find an apartment and then his husband would move out to CA to be with him, but I soon started hearing how their relationship was basically over and that he needed to figure out what he wanted to do. He had until the end of the year to figure it out, during which time he would look for a job in his field (tech writing) but said that he would take anything in the meantime.
He soon started telling us that he wanted to move in here permanently, and that he still loved us and wanted to build a life with us. He told us that he was in the grieving process for his other relationships and that they were over, but that he just needed to find a way to talk to them about it. We knew that this needed to happen before we progressed with anything with him and so were in a space to give him as much time as he needed.
Later he and I would go to a party and met this really nice guy named Steve. He and Steve clicked and over the next couple of weeks they started having a phone relationship. I asked him if he wanted to date this new person, and he told me no, that he just wanted more friends in the area. Later I found this was not true. I asked him what he wanted. He said that he just got out of a relationship and so he needed to be free to do what he wanted to. We understood. Then he told us that he really wanted to be in a relationship with us, and had for the past five years, but needed time to work everything out. Perfectly understandable. After a long talk in which boundaries were discussed it was agreed that we could pursue a triad between us AND he could date outside it IF the three of us were happy and fulfilled first. It was a big talk in which we all shared our feelings. At the end he told me that he wasn't used to talking about his feelings like that and it felt really good. I was happy.
The next day was his day off, so he wanted to go out and see this guy. Chas and I agreed and then said that because it was so new it would be nice if he would join us for dinner that night and we could talk about his day then do something special for the three of us. He agreed and we went on with our day.
Dinner came and went. He never showed. Like a fool, I thought "Oh, he must be having trouble on BART". An hour and a half after he was to be home he called --still at this guys house-- saying they "lost track of time". We were upset but things happen, right? Two more hours go by and he shows up. Now telling us that he actually realized what time it was a half hour BEFORE he had said he'd join us, but decided not to call because he "didn't want to get into it" in front of his date. Ouch! Wrong answer.
Now keep in mind that had he simply called and said that he lost track of time or needed more time or whatever, then we could have rescheduled our date, but instead we were left hanging. Again I asked him what he wanted and he said that he wanted to build a life with us... that he was committed to the triad and understood that he had "fucked up". We talked... we shared... we came to an understanding; he was not going to date outside the triad for awhile while he got his life together and worked out his other relationships and his job situation and his unfinished school. We said we could re-visit the open triad idea later, but that for now we needed to focus on the here-and-now. He said that he agreed and that it was actually for the best for him; that when he got overwhelmed that he had a tendency to jump into something new without regard to what was going on around him.
Things seemed great since then, although he had a strange habit of disappearing into his room for lengthy phone calls. I didn't think much of it. He and I went out the Sunday before Halloween to meet artist Paul Rucker at Ancient Ways in Oakland. While Paul and I chatted, he got a tarot reading. Afterward we all went to Walnut Creek for dinner and had a nice time. At some point in this period he made tentative plans with Chas for themed Christmas decorations for the house.
Tuesday was Halloween and we had my mom and best friend over. We all had a nice time dining on hor d'ouvres and cocktails. Wednesday my mom was still there and we watched a Japanese animated movie ("Spirited Away") that he had got from NetFlix. Good times.
Thursday night the three of us sat down to watch the next installment in our Buffy saga. It was the one where Buffy and Riley break-up. After it was over he said, "It's ironic that this episode was tonight." I was honestly thinking he was going to tell us that he had finally found a way to tell his guys that he was moving on but instead he said "I'm thinking I should move back to Minneapolis" contingent on him getting his old job back since he had no money and no place to live and since his old boyfriend had moved into a smaller apartment that didn't take dogs. The decision, he said, was made a week ago, and solidified by the tarot reading the previous Sunday. He had been making plans with his (almost?)ex and was going to start setting things in motion. I was shocked. Although I should have, I never saw it coming. The reason that he gave (at first) was the job market, saying that while the job market was improving he was competing with people who had lost their IT jobs in 2001 and so it was going to be impossible for him to get a job until he finished his schoolwork, which is very little, but he seemed to not be motivated to actually do it while he's been here, contrary to the whole reason for him coming. A strange reason, but I sadly accepted it. He said that he had thought things were over with his "husband" but that he had heard second hand that his husband was waiting for him to figure out what he was doing in order to get on with his life. So my previously nice guy decided to give it another shot with him. I understood and told his so. Then he said that things had never been the same between the three of us since the Steve thing, and that he felt that we had put unnecessary restrictions on him as he wanted to be in a relationship with us but that he didn't want to have to answer to anyone about sex (or love) outside the relationship. He said that Chas and I could have picked any other night to have our special dinner with him, but that we chose that night and it made him feel restricted. I reminded him that he was an adult and he didn't need to agree to the dinner if he didn't want to. Instead he agreed to our faces and felt restricted in secret. Then he tried to blame us for it.
So... Friday morning I talked to him again. I told him that his moving out was NOT contingent on him getting his old job back but in fact was going to happen no matter what. I knew he had no money, no job, and no place to go, so I told him he could stay until the end of the year (the original agreement) but that I felt strung along and lied to and so our relationship was definitely over. I told him that I was not anybody's "back-up plan". He said he felt bad because his other guys felt the same way and that now he had effectively made all the men he loved feel bad. I sat in silence.
He started packing almost immediately, and then told me that he was going to be staying at a friend's house in San Jose for the weekend and then leave for Minneapolis on Monday (today). I was sad, but knew that it was for the best. I asked him where he would be staying and he said he didn't know, but that he would find friends to couch surf for awhile. On Saturday I was to go to San Francisco with a friend from out of state and so I left thinking that I would see him on Monday when he made his final trek out to the mid-west. A couple hours later I received a text message from Chas telling me that he packed up his car and his dog and left. He wouldn't be back. I was surprised because he told me that he was leaving on Monday, but apparently he was leaving from San Jose instead. So I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye, hence this post, since I really need some closure.
I guess the good thing is that I can lay down my five-year torch for him finally. It sucks though because in handling things this way he lost a really good friend. I mean, how can you be friends with someone who lied to you like that? I certainly can't.
So... I'm sad. I loved him. I still do. I'll miss him. But I guess it's not really him that I'll miss, but the beautiful illusion that he projected. Now even that summer five years ago will be tainted in my mind. Hopefully after some time has passed I'll be able to separate them and cherish those memories again, but for now they are just another example of the selfish deception that he wove.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Witch Eye is going s--l--o--w--l--y. In part because we just don't have the funds to print it right now... although that looks like that might change in the next week, so keep your fingers crossed for us.
I'm working on some really cool Feri stuff with a fabulous accomplice. I'm looking forward to having something to show for in a future issue of the zine.
Speaking of Feri... the details are coming together for the 2nd Feri Camp to be held in Diana's Grove, Missouri this next May. I will announce it when everything is all worked out, but it's looking really cool, folks. It's longer and there are more teachers this year. I'm excited!
I realized the other day that I can now viably tuck my shirt in. I can't remember the last time that I was comfortable doing that. I still have a ways to go, but in the last year-and-a-half I have lost over 32 lbs. (And about 10 pounds of that in the last two to three weeks.) It all started last year when my doctor told me that I needed to drop a few pounds because my blood pressure was slightly elevated. They told me "12 pounds" (which I never quite understood, because they didn't know how much I weighed... it was all from the blood pressure readings) but with that figure I thought they were being kind. I mean, I was definitely carrying more than an extra 12 pounds. So I decided to get started... The main difference that I can see is that I am eating breakfast (OK.. well, a Carnation Instant Breakfast... but it's close) and I cut WAY down (like almost to nothing) on the soda, as well as really cutting down (although not yet completely) on fast food. (I do still love me a Taco Bell run, every now and again.) ;) When I do have a soda it's diet now... but usually I drink water, and the fast food is down to twice a month. I still need to start exercising (and to give up the occasional cigarette that I seem to be clinging to, off and on) but I am feeling more energetic, more healthy, and (dare I say it) more sexy. I celebrated by buying some new jeans and shirts which I haven't been able to do in I don't know how long. It's neat to be able to actually show off the belt I'm wearing. ;)
I have been working on a meditation CD project and it is going rather well. I set-up a home studio and recorded a 20 minute grounding meditation and am now offering it on Carnivalia. Soon to be released is a series of five CDs for working with the elements. Each will include two meditations: one for invoking the elemental power (by using symbols, chanting, and guided imagery) and well as a meditative ritual for consecrating the tool of that element. Future projects include visiting the Faery Rose Tree, a Three Souls alignment, a Journey into the Faery realm, the Amethyst Pentacle, and even the Iron Pentacle. Stay tuned!
I have a children's book series project in my head that I want to get out there... "The Adventures of the Wild Bandaloop" will feature my dog Bandaloop Photoshopped into a variety of nonsensical settings, likely in the form of childlike drawings. We'll see when I can get to that one...
Today I need to work on some design stuff for the zine and then I an to watch "V for Vendetta" with Scott. Then later I am hoping for the hot, hot sex. Hopefully it will actually be with another person besides myself. ;)
That's all I can think of right now.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" - Ernest Gaines
EDIT: I removed the "chain letter" part of this "meme"... the quote's the important part anyway. :)
Friday, September 29, 2006
The 'human' and the 'faery' are two poles of our being between which we oscillate through our transmigrational cycles of rebirths, our countless discarnations and incarnations. In other words, the Sidhe are ourselves awaiting birth in middle-earth and we ourselves are the Sidhe awaiting our return to Elfhame. The faerie Craft is concerned with regaining the totality of our awareness, bridging our human and faery natures and activating the 'Sight of the Two Worlds' or 'Second Sight', the faculty of trance-seership and direct spiritual vision into Elfhame.'
-Nigel Aldcroft Jackson,
The Call of the Horned Piper,
Chapter 9: "Faerie Witchcraft & the Geography of Elfland"
Thursday, September 28, 2006
There is no way to dilute Feri. Nor can you protect it. Feri is not a collection of techniques that can be codified and shared. Feri is a personal relationship with the Omniverse. Sure certain techniques have been seen to be effective and so have been handed down, but the second that we think that these things are Feri means we have missed the point.
The time for blindly accepting what our teachers hand us (no matter how popular they may be, or how eloquent they are, or even how long they have been in the tradition) is long past. I know it's tempting, but none of us can really afford that. I have a deep respect for my teacher, but I do not idolize him, and if I notice that a student of mine is looking at me with that starry-eyed wonder particular to potential cult-members then I will quietly usher them off into the world of freedom to find someone else to play with... I just don't have the time nor energy to foster those kinds of negative relationships and wish to stay way clear of Nikes and Kool-Aid, thank you very much. I often tell my students that, ultimately, my way is only right for me... what I teach is a way of figuring it all out for yourself. In the end your practice will look different than mine, because you are, in fact, a different person. "If you're doing it my way, then you're doing it wrong!" (No, really! It's true!) ;)
It's extra frustrating because some adherents of Feri cite certain "truths" about our path, but when we look at those statements in relation to the various claims being made then we see how something just doesn't jibe up.
"Feri is a primal, wild path focused on achieving states of ecstasy."
OK... I rather like this one. This is one of the reasons that brought me into Feri in the first place. The statement, unfortunately, begins to break-down when you hang out long enough with a large group of Feri practitioners as there always seems to be a faction that is more concerned with "the TRUE Feri tradition" as opposed to what you can actually do with it. How can you simultaneously praise the form-dissolving nature of ecstasy, and then turn around and disparage others for not adhering to the same forms as you? And don't hand me that "Feri is paradox" bullshit, because that's a cop-out. (Yes, I know... Feri is paradox... but I really think many of us are abusing that term in order to not have to deal with the glaring logic-hole staring us in the face.)
"Feri rituals are often spontaneous and diverse" and "Feri has no pantheon."
Really? Then why are there people arguing over whether or not the use of particular Guardian names are an indicator as to whether or not someone is 'really Feri'. Why then do some people seem to freak out when you say that you might have a different relationship with a Deity/exercise/symbol/tool/fill-in-the-blank, than they do? ("What? You don't work with __________? How can you call yourself Feri?")
The sad thing is that it's all been done before. Every religious group breaks into factions that start warring with each other at some point; leveling the charge of being "impure", "misguided", or simply "not correct". In my naivety I had thought that perhaps with all of the emphasis on diversity and spontaneity that we would be less likely to have to suffer from that particular mindset. But, no. Apparently spontaneity has its limits... and those limits are usually defined by the opinions of ones' teachers. So much for thinking for ourselves, I guess.
But let's not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater... There is a lot in Feri that when used consciously will serve to allow the practitioner a space in which to evolve and to touch the deeper powers, and there are a lot of people doing just that. Let's all just try to remember that if we are busy poking our noses into other peoples practices, then it likely means that we are not spending enough time on our own.
'Real Feri' has nothing to do with what names you call, what gestures you use, or which tools inspire your work. On one level it is the same as what has been called 'the Sabbatic Craft'; 'the Nameless Arte". It is that immanently transcendent experience of communing wholly with the 'Other' and allowing that communication to inform your unique and growing practice. Victor reportedly said, "Perceive first, then determine what is to be believed". Good advice!
On another level Feri is chaos magick. We can adopt different ritual modalities on a whim depending on the needs of the moment. If Mari comes to me and I have a relationship with her then I will invoke her in my rites. Later, if it is Hecate who comes through then it is certainly no less Feri for me to be working with her. Likewise if I use techniques from Thelema, Qabbalah, Hermeticism, or any other set of magickal technologies. Feri embraces them all because Feri is magick.
In the spirit of your unique and growing practices, I ask, "What does your practice lead you toward? Why Feri?"
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Well... I have another art piece done. Click above image to purchase, or for more information
This one is inspired by Paul B. Rucker's piece, "Melek Ta'us" that appeared on the cover of the (now defunct) Pagan magazine "Green Egg" back in (I think) 1995. It was, in fact, his piece that first inspired me to begin making art as a devotional to the Blue God of the F(a)eri(e) tradition.
I present, "Melek Ta'us, the Peacock Angel":
I had originally intended to use this piece in my Tarot deck... but now an a bit unsure. But the good news is that I can always decide to include it later. For now, back to the art room to work on my next piece!
Click above image to purchase, or for more informationI took the ideas for several elements from Paul's composition: giving him peacock feather wings... him sitting facing the viewer meditatively before the sunrise... Venus (the morning star) directly overhead... the (Promethean) flames burning brightly as his command... And then I added something new... the black heart of Feri burns bright in his chest, while the flames that he hold are the blue fire of our tradition. Further, I incorporated the stars from below to represent his association with the Luciferian Gnosis; the claiming of Divinity within matter. I also added earthen jars, reminiscent of the myth of how Melek Ta'us collected his tears in them to later extinguish the fires of hell.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
But without further delay, I am proud to present...
Paintings category before this.) I will likely be doing more Guardian projects in the future. For those of you keeping track these paintings are loosely based on some little sculptures that I did of the Guardians several years ago that I then photographed and turned into a collection on my website, as well as into LiveJournal icons (see above).
After these new pieces were complete, I decided it might be fun to incorporate them all together into one digital image, so in addition to the above I present, "All Four Stars are One" (and the cover for the upcoming Witch Eye #14):
Comments are always welcome.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Oceans of Garbage
There is also a link to a five-part LA Times story about the oceans. Chilling.
Friday, August 25, 2006
After having dreams all night about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (we are watching the series from the beginning with iamthespark who has never seen them before) I woke up this morning not with thoughts of television, but with a memory from when I worked at the metaphysical store years ago. A woman who was a regular customer came in and spoke to me one day, telling me that her husband was not "into any of this" (I guess meaning spirituality) as he was a successful corporate type person. He apparently tolerated her spiritual notions but regarded them as nothing more than a fanciful waste of time. On one occasion he accompanied her during one of her visits to the store and sat in one of the reading chairs near the front of the room while she did her shopping and chatted with the staff. At the end of this visit I spoke to her about something that for the life of me I can't remember; probably about some type of spell-working or meditative process, rang up her purchase and they were on their way. On a subsequent visit she told me that while her husband had always regarded "this stuff" as being worthless, his attitude began to change simply upon seeing how happy I was. "Obviously," he told her, "he must be doing something right."
Where do you find your happiness? What drives you and makes your life filled with joy? How do you cultivate happiness in your life and in the lives of those around you?
And if you can't think of something... what can you do right now (no matter how big or small) to bring some happiness for yourself or others into the world today?
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Here is a Witchboard that I designed for Carnivalia:
I was originally hired to produce the above design for a small movie company for an upcoming horror film, but when they flaked I decided to make it available from Carnivalia instead. The original specifications had me design a board in the style of the old world boards that were popular in the heyday of Spiritualism. They wanted it to appear to be on ancient wood, complete with wormholes. We plan on offering a special version, complete with the worm-eaten effect for Halloween. For now here is my take on an 'old-school' spirit board. Each element was hand drawn by me, including the font which is based on Berylium, one of my favorites. The faux wood-grain is from several photos of wood that I combined together. The planchette is an original design by chas_bogan.
I am also working on some new paintings, some of which will make an appearance in this next Witch Eye, which we are busily working on as I write this. It should (hopefully!) be available in the next couple of weeks.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
You fit in with:
Your ideals are mostly spiritual, but in an individualistic way. While spirituality is very important in your life, organized religion itself may not be for you. It is best for you to seek these things on your own terms.
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
Monday, August 14, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I've been really busy lately. For the past couple of weeks we've been getting our house ready for Scott (iamthespark) who will be staying with us for the next several months from Minnesota. We've been painting, cleaning (LOTS of cleaning) and generally beautifying our place so that his first impression would be a good one. Truth be told it's all stuff that we've been talking about doing for a long time, but this just gave us an opportunity to actually do it.
Here are some pictures of before and after. "Before" pics are what the house looked like when we bought it a little over three years ago. "After" is, well... now. ;)
Old view from when you enter the front door (sorta):
New (this is a more accurate view of entering the house):
Old view of stairs:
Old Formal Living room (get a load of that teal leather!) The front door would be just to the left of this picture:
Old Upstairs (Loft) Living Room:
and, finally the New view of the upstairs living room:
Right before Scott arrived with boyfriend in tow, Chas got a case of strep! Yuck! So I've been taking care of everything... him... the house... his mother... our business... my classes... trying to keep everything running smoothly until Chas can get better and I can have a break.
Scott's boyfriend Sean will be leaving on Thursday, but Scott will be staying (along with his dog) while he looks for a job and such. We've been trying to get him to come back to California for years and were rather surprised that it suddenly is happening. Surprised, but happy. He's to be staying in my temple room, 'cause we just don't have any other space for him. Luckily we can work it out so that it wont affect my classes, but I still wish I had a dedicated guest room. No matter how big a house you get, it's always one room shy, right? ;)
I've also been compiling the submissions for the latest edition of Witch Eye, which I am hoping will be available sometime in the next three weeks. There's some really good stuff that has been sent in this time. I'm really excited! I have also been working on some new art (paintings, mainly), some of which will make an appearance in the latest issue.
So... busy, busy, busy... but there's a break on the horizon. I'm hoping to be able to get back into the swing of things in the next few days. It largely depends on how soon Chas gets better, and whether or not his mom comes down with it. (She's on the fence right now, so keep your fingers crossed for us.)
Monday, July 17, 2006
Here's how it works:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
elorie asked me the following questions:
1) If you could run a town, and assuming that people would go along with your schemes, how would you do it?
An interesting question. Considering that you say people would go along with it, then I would probably run it as a benevolent dictator. ;) I would hope that I would run it with compassion and integrity. Actually I think I would like to have a council of both pre-selected and democratically elected representatives who would debate and decide on issues, with me making the final decision based on their input.
2) What's your favorite flower, and why?
I love brugmansias (Angel's Trumpets) because not only are they related to the very Witchy datura (Devil's Trumpets) but they have this amazing fragrance that only is present at night. That plus we used some from our garden in lieu of incense at Chas' Feri initiation so now that association is forever drilled into my fetch. Mmmmm... very sexy aroma. Intoxicating, in fact.
3) What's your weirdest skill? I don't mean witchy skills, everybody we know has those, unless it's REALLY strange. I mean like the ability to play "God Save the Queen" on water glasses or something.
I do a mean Harvey Fierstein impersonation. ;)
4) What's your street skill? That is, if you got stranded far away without access to bank accounts or Western Union, how would you earn the money to get a bus ticket home?
I don't think I have much in the way of street skills... barring washing dishes or reading tarot on the corner, I'd probably have to resort to prostitution. So I might be workin' it for quite awhile before I got enough for that ticket. ;)
5) Who is your favorite historical person?
Well, that really depends on the day (I'm very Pisces) but right now I would have to say Oscar Wilde, not only because of the flair and courage by which he lived his life, but because he brought to light the prejudice faced by openly homosexual men at the time.
How did you come to the Craft?
I was always drawn to the idea of the Craft, but when I was 14 I found my first books on practical Witchcraft. After reading from as many different sources as I could find at the time, I wrote my own self-initiation and performed it under the full moon in my suburban backyard. I have since been formally initiated into various traditions of the Craft, but I consider this personal rite to be the moment in which I officially became a Witch.
When did you realize the Craft was for you?
I was always drawn to magick and the occult ever since I was a small child. I instinctively knew that Witchcraft was my calling. (I even told my mother at around age 2 that when I grew up I was going to be a Witch!)
What ethics do you think are necessary for Witchcraft?
Honesty, first and foremost with yourself.
Do you think everyone should or could be a Witch?
No. There is no path that everyone should be a part of. The universe is much too large to be serviced by any one religion. And of those who are called to follow Witchcraft, some will find that they are not able to do the Work; meaning that not everyone can become a Witch.
How do you view God and Goddess?
I view God Herself as the source of all things, of which we are a part. >From this incomprehensible source flows many forms, including those intelligences and powers that we might call gods and goddesses. I do not see 'God' and 'Goddess' as being separate beings, or at least not entirely so. I see them as temporarily differentiated energetic forms that arise from the androgynous source, that itself has arisen from the great Void.
What do you think is the importance of different traditions, and can anyone practice any of them?
I think that different traditions of the Craft (and of spirituality in general) offer the practitioner a wider array of choices and ideas when it comes to working with Divinity. What may work for me might not work so well for another. Not everyone can practice every tradition, as some will have core beliefs that are not in resonance with an individual practitioner.
What do you call yourself in terms of polytheist, monist, monotheist, etc.
I usually think of myself as a pantheist, as I hold that the universe, and God/dess are one and the same.
How did you find your own path?
The path that I identify with is the Feri tradition of Witchcraft. I first heard of 'Faery' (as it was commonly spelled then) in the pages of Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance.
How has it changed?
When I first came to Feri, it seemed rather secretive and elitist, and certainly those elements are still present in some factions of the Feri community. But the more that I worked with different lines of our tradition, the more I realized that this perspective was not universal. This realization was a sort of validating catalyst that enabled me to more fully embody the lessons that the gods and spirits had been teaching me; that my path was that of sharing what was necessary in order for the world (or at least an interested segment of it) to spiritually evolve. This has led me to create art and writings about our tradition, as well as offer traditional Feri teachings to a wider audience.
What does the Great Rite mean to you?
To many Witches of the British Traditionalist flavors, the Great Rite is the unification of the male/female Divine polarities; the marriage of the God to the Goddess. Because of the obvious gender polarity at play this is usually performed (either "actually", i.e. with sexual intercourse, or symbolically via athame and chalice) by practitioners of the opposite sex; a priest and a priestess. The magickal goal of this interaction is that of fertility. My understanding of The Great Rite differs somewhat. When we strip it to its core, The Great Rite is simply a ritual whose purpose is to unite Divine energies in a way that is sexually potent. One need not restrict it to an interplay of polarity, but may instead invoke the current of resonance. With this in mind there is no barrier to same gendered Deities (and practitioners) performing the rite, either symbolically or in actuality. Instead of the sole focus on fertility as evidenced in the previous definition, this understanding of the rite has ecstasy as its magickal goal.
What rituals do you do commonly with other people vs. alone?
With others I am more likely to perform rituals that honor the seasonal Sabbats, engage in Divine possession, or to perform larger spell workings that would benefit from the energies of larger participation.. While by myself I tend to work on cultivating a deeper understanding of the self, as well as interact with various spirits and inner contacts that are integral to my personal practice.
Are there rituals you do that you have never come across elsewhere?
In Feri there are certain rituals and exercises that I have not found in any other branch of Witchcraft which constitute an inner practice. In addition I have written some rituals and exercises to help achieve what I think are common magickal goals, but I have not as yet encountered similar in other traditions.
How did you find your patron deity(deities)?
I am primarily a devotee of the Blue God, who some in Feri know as Dian y Glas or (in another manifestation) as Melek Ta'us, the Peacock Angel. I first heard of the Blue God in the pages of The Spiral Dance and something inside me immediately 'clicked'.
Do you think every Witch needs to (or has) one specific skill they exceed in? And if so why?
I think that Witches (and people in general) tend to have a skill that they can cultivate and refine, but I do not think that excellence in any particular talent or field is necessarily required in order to be a Witch.
How do you view the elemental?
It all depends on how we are using the word. We might see 'the elemental' as referring to the realms of the five elements; earth, air, fire, water, and ether. When taken this way then I view the elemental as being a fundamental core of all life; these five powers being interconnected in all energetic patters throughout the universe to one degree or another.
In another sense, 'the elemental' can refer to a magickally created being (sometimes called a servitor, egregore, or thought-form) that is ritually brought to life for the purpose of performing a certain task or tasks. It is usually charged with energy of one or more of the five previously mentioned elements, as well as by the life force of the participants who are creating it.
What was most important in your life as a teen? And now?
In my teen years probably the most important goal in my life (although I would have been loathe to admit it) was to be liked and accepted by my peers. As a gay pagan teen I was often ridiculed and ostracized, leaving me feeling that I was outside normal society. On one level this served to become a great source of power, but at the time it was quite painful. I do think that I have carried this desire into my adulthood, but now have the tools necessary to consciously examine this drive, and to transform it into something that is useful. When I feel threatened socially I just remember that integrity is more important than popularity, and that (often) they are mutually exclusive.
Do you think there is a line drawn between Witches and magicians?
I think that Witches and magicians overlap in terms of certain practices and outlooks; a Witch can also be a magician, and a magician can also be a Witch. But they are not automatically synonymous.
If you have students coming to the Craft as teens, what things do you think are most important for them to learn first? Practice most?
First and foremost I think it is important to learn to meditate and to begin a spiritual practice. Grounding, centering, cleansing, and aligning to Divinity are the four most important practices that one can learn which form a foundation of one's practice. It is these tools that the practitioner will refer back to again and again, regardless of whatever other work he or she might also be engaged in. In fact, for any other work to become (and remain) potent, then one must be proficient in these foundational aspects of a spiritual practice.
What’s on your altar?
Symbols and statuary of various Gods and Goddesses, some of which I have made... a crystal ball, a couple of bells, my knife, my wand, a pentacle, a polished obsidian heart, a box of sea salt, a small bowl, a cauldron, a box which contains initiatory regalia, various candles, a wolf statue (my personal totemic symbol) and a raven statue (my husband's personal totemic symbol). I tend to change things on my altar every so often, and may include different herbs, flowers, crystals, and other symbols that I find appropriate at the time.
If you could give any piece of information to every teen seeking a spiritual path, or every teen Witch, what would it be?
While it is ultimately more important to follow your heart than it is to slavishly follow any particular tradition, there are many gifts that traditional practice can bring that are not at first apparent to the beginning practitioner, and in fact may at first seem silly, restrictive, or even "wrong". Only by working with a traditional practice in the way in which it is transmitted can allow the practitioner to fully master it, which will then enable one to effectively transcend it and steer clear of the trap of dogmatic thinking.
Do you use a broom and/or an aspurger? If so, what herbs do you use in it?
I own a besom which is largely decorative. Among other things it is decorated with hazel nuts.
Do you use a wand? Athame?
I own both of these tools, but do not use them very often. To me they are symbols of the elemental powers which they represent. I might use my knife to cut a cord or thread in ritual, and even to cast a circle in group rites, but when I am working on my own then I tend to not use tools unless specifically inspired to do so.
Do you have a daily meditation practice?
I have a consistent meditation practice, but I would not say that it is everyday, at least not formally. I have gone weeks or months without a formal sitting practice, but I have still practiced daily. I think that it is just as important to maintain an informal practice, which might consist of working with art and poetry, physical exercise, gardening, philosophical exercises, or simply "tuning in" and then mediating Divine presence. Part of the reason that I teach classes is that it keeps me working with certain elements of practice in a formal way, which when combined with my informal workings is enough to maintain a momentum in my practice.
How often do you meditate a day?
At least once a day. Sometimes it might be sitting formally at my altar and lighting a candle and speaking certain words. Sometimes it might be just sitting quietly and centering myself. At others it might be performing certain exercises while in the shower, or out walking. The combination of all of these types of meditation is what fuels a healthy spiritual practice for me.
What was the first meditation you learned?
A grounding meditation, known as "The Tree of Life". It is a simple meditation in which one energetically connects with the planet in order to reinforce one's presence in the here-and-now, as well as aligning the self with a larger body of physical energy.
Do you think meditation is a necessity in Witchcraft?
I do, but not necessarily in a formal sense. It can be just as effective to quiet the mind while tending a garden, or looking at great art, or while out walking. Spells and rituals are also a type of meditation practice. Ecstatic dance is another.
What type of things do you think meditation can help with?
It can certainly help with one's physical health, by lowering blood pressure and decreasing our stress levels. Emotionally it can allow us an opportunity to examine aspects of ourselves that might otherwise go unnoticed which may be causing problems for us. Spiritually it can cause us to be able to work directly with our own energy fields, which will give us greater understanding of our own lives and existence.
Do you think Inner Work is important? If so why?
Absolutely. Without an inner practice (in whatever form) one will likely not be able to tend and refine their own personal power, which is the ultimate goal for any Witch or magician.
A lot of people teach grounding using the Earth. My High Priestess taught me to ground in the other elements as well. Do you use this? (This question will be rephrased later, but it works for right now)
If one is grounding in the Earth (i.e. the planet) then one is grounding in all five of the elements. It is the difference between earth (the element) and Earth (the planet/planetary consciousness). By sending one's "roots" into the planet, one is connecting with everything that Earth (i.e. physical manifestation) has to offer; we ground/connect in the soil and stone (earth), we ground in the atmosphere and wind (air), we ground in the molten core and magma (fire), and we ground in the oceans, lakes and rivers (water). We also ground in the consciousness of the planet itself (ether) and relate ALL of these energies back to ourselves in order to reinforce that connection.
Does active meditation or quiet work better for you?
It depends on the situation. Sometimes I feel that quiet (passive) meditation is what is best. This is especially good for me in the morning before I start other activities. Sometimes I even do this in bed before getting up. Other times I feel that something more active is called for, and so will meditate while walking, while in the shower, and (occasionally) while driving.
Does your family know you’re a Witch? If so, how did they react?
Yes. I told my parents back when I was 19. I had already moved out on my own and so did not have the extra burden of needing to rely on them for my living situation if they did not approve. My mother was very curious and asked a lot of questions, which I was more than happy to answer. She is a big supporter of my spiritual life today.
Do you have any personal traditions you keep for the Sabbats?
The only Sabbats that I celebrate formally are Samhain and Beltane. For Samhain it is customary in the line of Feri in which I was taught, to revere the ancestors and to feed them with a rite known as the "Dumb Supper". After having prepared a meal for the ancestors, the Western Gate is opened and the ancestral spirits are invited to join us, as participants enjoy a meal in complete silence. In this we provide spiritual nourishment to our ancestors, who are an important part of the traditional Craft.
Have you found that your family history, or ancestry, has influenced your Craft?
In my early days I was drawn to all things Celtic, based on my Irish ancestry, but have since found that I do not connect with the specifically Irish gods. I do think that the overall Celtic world view (if one may be so bold as to make a gross over-generalization) has led me to my current understanding of the universe; that this world intersects with others that are largely unseen, but that can affect us nonetheless. The Irish tales of the faerie-folk (and especially the idea of the faerie realms) has certainly influenced my understanding of how the worlds work, which serves as a foundation for my magickal Craft.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Wynyfryd's Meditation Room
If you are interested in various meditations then check out her PodCast site... She makes them available for free, giving credit to the original authors and musicians.
The Meditations of mine that she did are:
The Tree of Life (original text) (MP3)
Earth (Elements of Witchcraft series) (original text) (MP3)
I'm glad that someone thought my work was useful enough to make more readily available. It also is a nice reminder to me that I need to continue working on a similar project that I have had on the back burner for years; that of recording my meditations and making them available on CD.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Here's how it works:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
swansister asked me the following questions:
1. What makes you stand out from others?
I think that if I stand out it would be because I am often able to live from a place of joy and passion. I think of myself as an eternal child. I try to go into a situation with my eyes filled with stars and to really "feel" something first, as opposed to judging it. (A fetch perspective, as opposed to a talker one.) Some days I am better with this approach than others, but it is always my initial intent. I have often mused that I cannot be depressed for more than 15 minutes because of my short attention span! ;) In part this is true because when something does not resonate with my core then I become bored and need to move onto something that does. I do try to live in the moment as often as possible, and I'm getting pretty good at it. I tend to be able to find joy in almost every situation that I am in, and this experience tends to be infectious. In fact I do believe that part of my spiritual work as a priest of the Goddess is to meditate Divine Presence into the World; often in the form of joy, laughter, and beauty.
2. What does your dream house look and feel like to you?
It looks spacious and warm... very earthly with a lot of natural light. It is surrounded by lots of trees and plants, and has a pool and a hot tub! ;) I've often been drawn to spaces that are "cottage-like", but that provide a feeling of airy openness, while being grounded in an earthy setting. It has to have a garden, and enough land to be able to have some private spaces for ritual and meditation.
3. What is your favorite music? Instrument? Singer? Band?
That's so hard! Music wise I am very eclectic in my tastes, ranging from Modern Rock to Classical, to New Age, to Pop. Instrument-wise I am drawn to harps and hammer dulcimers... In terms of singers, I am in love with Lisa Gerrard and Loreena McKennit. Band-wise I love Dead Can Dance.
4. Who or what has most inspired you in life? What are they like?
I would have to say that my mother has been one of my largest inspirations. She is an intelligent woman who is also very warm, caring, and spiritual. When I was very young she would talk to me as if I were an equal and shared many spiritual ideas that even in some circles today are considered to be revolutionary. I grew up believing in God, but not the small definition that Christianity espouses. The God that my mother taught me was immanent in nature, and was not separate from cosmic creation, nor from ourselves. It was very 'Pagan' without being labeled as such. What I learned from her is an ability to think for myself, to connect with others in a space of compassion, and to stand up for what I believe to be right, sometimes especially when that truth is not popular.
5. What story would you most like to read aloud? What is it about the story that speaks to your heart?
I would love to read any of the Harry Potter series. The prose is so rich and fun that I think it lends itself well to being spoken aloud, rather like poetry. And the story itself is so life-affirming and emotionally vital that it feels like my soul is getting cleansed and charged each time I visit the literary dimension that Rowling has created. I can't wait for the next book!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.
It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.
When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your LJ and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
It's a great one... cheesy and wonderful. Set and filmed in Paris it was co-written by Douglas Adams (under the pseudonym David Agnew), and even has a cameo from John Cleese.
Bidding ends on Sunday (June 25), around 4pm Pacific time.
** EDIT: Bidding has ended.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
So last night I went out on a date with my honey suthrnboyinca to go and see the Shakespeare play The Merry Wives of Windsor at the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda. We met up with dhuskins and missweezie (who own the really fantastic season ticket seats, i am told). It was a fabulous production, and quite surprising to me as it was portrayed mostly with puppets.
Yes... puppets. With some non-puppet actors. But mostly puppets.
It was like watching a really cool live-action cartoon.
You can click here for more pictures from the production. And here for a preview video (Quicktime format).
We arrived and brought a nice picnic dinner of nibblies... crackers, cheese, salami, flatbread and hummus... (even some cantaloupe. Yum!) and of course, good wine. And some chocolate covered raspberry thingies. (I love chocolate covered thingies.) It was also one of their "tasting nights", meaning that there was free foods (some type of delicious sausage, I can't remember what kind) and, perhaps most importantly, FREE BEER. Now, I'm not usually a beer fan, but the Chocolate Stout wasn't something that I could resist. Upon seeing that there were in fact two sizes of cups available at the beer booth, missweezie asked the person serving the beer if you had to "be a good girl" to get the larger size. Needless to say we returned triumphant with large cups of beer. Thanks, Weezie! :)
It was a beautiful setting... the whole place is just nestled in the hills, and the weather last night was beautiful... not cold at all, which apparently was something of a fluke but one that I and my short sleeves (and shaved head) appreciated. It really was amazing... out underneath the stars, watching Shakespeare with a man I love and with new friends. I was in heaven.
Suddenly I'm feeling patriotic. ;)
** EDIT: I just found out that the above image was created by artist Glen Hanson... check out his website for more cool (queer, sexy) art!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
Hogwarts Sorting Hat: Based on Myers-Briggs Personality Typing
You are a RAVENCLAW!As a Ravenclaw and as an NFP, you value imagination, ideas and intelligence. You are probably somewhat of an individualist and avoid conforming just for its own sake. You are insightful and perceptive, and since you are empathetic and value harmony, you usually try to avoid conflict. Of course, you may enjoy participating in heated debates, but only as long as they remain on an intellectual level and not a personal level. In general, you are open-minded and curious, and set high standards for yourself.
Take this quiz!
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Friday, May 26, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Returning from the first ever inter-lineage Feri Camp I was struck by how far we have come as a community. It had often been said that it seemed an impossible task to get two Feri initiates in a room together at the same time, a trend that began to change back in '99 with the production of Witch Eye. After that there were a couple of "All Feri" Samhain gatherings, which consisted of initiates and their students. But old habits die hard; almost as soon as the trend toward community began, it receded again and such gatherings were but a memory.
I had talked to a few people about trying to set something up, but it never really materialized, in part because everyone is busy... in part because the time wasn't right... and a large part because I am lazy and a terrible organizer. ;)
Luckily someone put the idea into Thorn's head, and she decided to organize an event and make it a place where different lines could share different perspectives, a value that I have long supported and worked toward with my own efforts in producing Witch Eye. We spent four days at Diana's Grove in Missouri, an amazing and beautiful place in which we shared stories, food, ritual, and magick. It was truly an historic event. Thorn, Anaar, Michele Jackson, and myself shared our Feri magick with a diverse group of really amazing people, most of which were Feri students, but there were even some who had no formal face-to-face Feri training at all. This last part was especially important as it reflects a new trend in Feri. By making some Feri tools available to a wider audience, it is our belief that we are helping to make the world a better place. When more people align their Three Souls and mediate their own Divinity, then nothing less than evolution is at hand. Admittedly there is some resistance to this idea within the Feri community, but there is also a lot of support.
I had an opportunity to meet many amazing people, both initiates and students alike. I was struck by how respectful everyone was, and how dedicated they were to the Work. It was also a great opportunity to get to know my fellow teachers a bit better (OK... a LOT better... we shared a really small cabin after all... we probably know more about each other now than we had expected.) ;)
I was really happy to be able to work closely with Anaar as we taught a course together based on a Feri view of Sex. For three days we shared ritual and energy and I think that we were both pleasantly surprised at just how well we worked together. It's funny... we've been friends for a few years now, and we have intense and satisfying conversations about Feri, life, art, and everything in between. I've been over at her house, and she's been to mine... but we had never actually worked together. With that hurdle now joyously behind us I am hopeful that we will be able to do more of it in the future.
I was really excited to be able to be a part of rituals led by the other teachers, as well, taking note of what seemed different from my own practice, and what seemed the same. It was a constant reminder that Feri is about the energy, and not necessarily about the form. Feri is too wild and changeable to stick to one form for too long. Michele led a simple, beautiful (and amazingly powerful) ritual to honor the ancestors and also taught using artistic process. Anaar led a rite around a mandala created by her and her students, focused on expressing the desire of our own Divinity. Thorn taught devotional dance. I taught some core-Feri exercises. It was a Feri smörgåsbord. I think that there was something there for everyone, regardless of level of experience.
We invoked. We meditated. We drummed. We danced. We sang. (On one occasion Thorn and some others started singing old Prince songs... let me tell you ... you haven't lived until you've heard Thorn sing "When Doves Cry" to the beat of a tribal drum around the bonfire. Or "Little Red Corvette". Or "Darling Nikki".) I figured it was time for me to leave when it later descended into show tunes and then finally "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog". Peace out! (I love you, Thorn!) ;)
It went so well that I'm fairly certain that we will do it again next year. (So stay tuned!)
In the end I made some amazing connections and I learned a lot. I was reminded how much I enjoy teaching larger groups and so am now thinking about how to start doing that again. I'm even thinking that some level of travel might be good for me... getting me out of the house for a few days every now and again. I put the intention out there and let's see what the Goddess has to say about it.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Witch Eye #13 is finally here!
I'm really proud of this latest issue... Chas did a great job with layout and we have some amazing pieces, mostly focusing on the practice of working with Pentacles in the Feri tradition, but with a few other juicy tidbits thrown in for good measure. Click above image for a full list of contents and contributors or to place an order.
This is a compilation of several pieces from the first seven issues (now out-of-print) plus some brand new never-before-published material. Click above image for ordering or more info.
Now that it's all done I can finally rest! Waiter? Bring me a drink! ;)