Magic is God Herself

Patriarchal theology establishes hate as the basis of physics, of the natural world, and of life choices, disguising the actual innate core of physics, of Gaia’s realm, and of healthy decisions: love and magic. And thus are people disempowered.

Note: God in this blog refers to my Goddess. When I refer to Her, assume I’m also referring to my God because He always stands next to Her. I’ll also use God to refer to the Biblical God a few times; such times will be obvious.FDG2018ProudLove is magic. Magic is love. God is love. Magic is God. Those four sentences are not just pretty words or metaphors to me.

Acts of love create miracles. An atom is made up of particles of love. The spaces between particles are love. God is manifest in all things—every particle, bit of energy, empty space—and thus is magic God incarnate.

Through its theology that establishes hate as the basis of physics, the natural world, and life choices, patriarchy disempowers people. The theology of hate disguises love and magic as innately the core of physics, Gaia’s realm, and healthy decisions, and thereby robs people of their power.

Example: an angry punishing God throws people into the eternal torture of hell. God’s subjecting countless people to everlasting torment surely is surely His being against them. His followers follow His example and polarize against others. Their mindset becomes either/or—“It’s me or them,” so a model of scarcity prevails, with its dog-eat-dog hateful greed. And it’s “Me against nature—evil wild nature. I’ll tame and maim nature to take what I want from it; it’s against me, so I must fight it to get my needs met.” The hell myth, by building a foundation of hate that snowballs into an entire societal norm, obscures that love is the essence of God and of atoms, and is the innate foundation of our lives.

Patriarchal religious myths are an intricately woven fabric of lies that seem tailored to hide God’s loving magic.

Another example is the biblical God outside of nature, standing far apart from us, harshly frowning as He judges our every act. I have no use for a God Who lives far away, withholding love. My God is in nature, in its greenery, luscious food, nurturing peace, uplifting beauty, and joyful sensuality. My God is in nature, and magic permeates nature. It is the biblical God, not magic, that is supernatural—outside what is of natural. Magic is in nature.

My God is incarnate in love and magic.

My belief that love is everything does not mean I’m a pacifist, doormat, or person who buries her head in the sand about oppression. I believe, for example, it is possible to stop someone who is robbing others of their rights, and still try to have an attitude of love for that person. (I do not expect to be anywhere near perfectly free of anger in this lifetime. I’m a human being.)

My belief that love is everything does not mean I can forsake my moral sense of right and wrong, or my responsibility to stop what is wrong.

My belief that love is everything does not mean that, if I reason in a loving manner with a Nazi long enough, he’s inevitably going to change his heart and behavior. Just because I’m feeling love doesn’t mean he will. He might only change when forced to. But my hate will not help me force that change. The ways to force it, at least for me, are things like voting, campaigning for candidates, signing petitions, civil disobedience and, as my stepfather did in World War II, signing up for the military—these can all be acts of love.

And a belief that magic is everything cannot be an excuse to forsake concrete acts of love, such as civil disobedience.

Love is magic. Magic is love. God is love. Magic is God.
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Emptiness Is Alive: Releasing the Self

emptyliveBoSNwsltrSmI needn’t fear becoming empty that God may reside within me. God Herself is empty.

The Bible lied about Her emptiness, portraying Her as a mere absence that a patriarchal Deity breathed life into in order to create the cosmos. That myth would keep me from my emptiness: I’d revolt against it or, thinking I strived toward it, pursue a loss of wholeness.

I prefer this myth: She is the vast eternal living void, the Tao, the first source; from Her virgin womb came all that is.

In releasing self, I am not making space for a bullying God who’ll eradicate me. I do not need Him to bring me to life. In my emptiness resides all life and all power and all love. So mote it be!

La Vecchia Religione

LVROnline Course:
La Vecchia Religione—
An Inside View of Traditional Italian Witchcraft

“La Vecchia Religione” is Italian for “The Old Religion” and refers to the traditional practices of a strega. “Strega” translates into “witch.”

I was born into a Italian shamanic family tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Our family has many magics. This online course focuses on one of the most pivotal. Traditional magic is taught contextually, so lessons also provide a mystical overview of La Vecchia Religione.

The Strega practice we’ll focus on is considered the most advanced magic possible, can magnificently improve every aspect of life, yet is accessible to a magical beginner.

stregamoonThis course has five powerful aspects:

One) Weekly lessons received by email. Each lesson is a digital Book of Shadows entry (PDF).

Storytelling relays a great deal of the course’s information, making lessons easy and fun for you. I’ll share my personal tales of being in an Italian shamanic family tradition.

stregaroseI’ll add other relevant chronicles, too, as well as additional material needed to understand the aforementioned pivotal strega practice and traditional Italian witchcraft as a whole.

La Vecchia Religione is a shamanic path. Some shamans invoke magic simply through their personal, quite human stories. If you want strega magic, it’s in such stories.

Your reading this course’s stories, with no more effort on your part than when you read a fantasy novel, magically transforms every part of your life—large improvements everywhere. After the course, a special enchantment remains available forever to continue creating numerous, marvelous changes for you.

Benefits of merely reading the stories:

* You automatically start becoming a new you, with greater wholeness of being and peace. You notice your power growing magically and in other parts of your life, so you have better access to all the inner resources needed to reach your life goals.

* Your circumstances automatically start improving. Your most cherished goals become more viable and attainable.

* The stories transport you to a Fey-touched realm. And this course’s stories are true-life Faerie tales with real magic that helps you live in your own special Faerie tale: dreams can come true.

Our lessons will bring us into the presence of Diana Magna Mater (Great Mother Goddess). She gave humankind magic so we can live free and prosperously, overcoming challenges, including liberating ourselves from oppression. She will protect and guide us in our journey.

Lessons also provide easy shamanic exercises that reinforce the tales’ enchantments and deepen your relationship to them.

stregamoonTwo) My full-color art ornaments the PDF Book of Shadows pages, including new paintings created especially for this course. I joyfully painted for ages to create fifty new page ornamentations specifically for these lessons! I wanted imagery to convey the enchantment of Italian sorcery.

Three) Nine audio files recorded expressly for this course. The spoken word is a way you and I can be in sacred space together. So I recite excerpts of the PDFs.

stregamoonFour) Two fun, easy crafts projects. I’m thrilled about my Pagan-style craft ideas because they’re sooo magical: they help you experience the power of Italian witchery, deepen the magical journey, and increase its benefits. I’ve never seen anything like these projects, and I’m not going to say here what they are, heh. They’re special, and I’m saving them for you.

I painted art specially for these projects, making your part easy: you receive full-color digital files of my Pagan art, so you only need to print the artwork and follow a few simple instructions. I can barely wait for you to have the art! Heck, I’m chomping at the bit, waiting for you to have the rest of the course, too.

stregamoonFive) One-on-one support. I’m available by phone for up to 45 minutes. If you have questions about the material, need help because your commitment to doing the lessons falters, want to further explore a particularly tantalizing part of the curriculum, or have other concerns, feel free to phone.

You can divide the 45 minutes into two or three conversations. Conversations must occur during the span of the course or within a month after.

stregarose2I love integrating my art into my writing. Ditto creating audio portions and being available by phone. The five parts of the course (text, art, audio, etc.,) weave together to take you on a mystical journey into the heart of Italian witchery. During it, along with the benefits already listed:

* You gain confidence in your own journey—its spiritual, magical, and mundane aspects.

* You find confidence in yourself, just as you are, right now.

* Important insights come to you—wisdom needed to get the maximum out of life.

* You claim your birthright—your heritage of magic and wildness as a Fey-touched child of the Old Gods.

In addition to being transformative, this journey is core to understanding Italian witchcraft as a whole. In other words, along with improving your life, the journey is also an experiential lesson that conveys a mystical overview of: traditional Italian witchcraft as a magical culture, its otherworldly sensibilities, and its history.

stregarose3Though they impart an overview and history, lessons are easy, not like reading a textbook. This is not dry history, not dry material, not a dreary recitation of facts, charts, and lists that you have to memorize, plod your way through, or otherwise labor over. You experience La Vecchia Religione in your spirit.

This look into my family’s magic is traditional Italian shamanism no one else teaches. A lot of this is material I’ve never taught until now.

stregastarThe course starts April 30, with your first lesson. You receive one lesson a week by email for 11 weeks.

If an unexpected event makes me unable to send one week’s planned material, I’ll extend the course an extra week.

Tuition is $250. Scroll down to pay securely with PayPal:




No experience needed. But even advanced practitioners will enjoy this. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. No refunds. My online courses aren’t transcriptions of oral tradition lessons. (I teach oral tradition by phone.) The online courses are special unto themselves—magic tailored to be spectacularly effective, relevant, exciting, and safe when learned online.

Trapped by Lore

Guardian111WTTraditional lore can inform, gently point to mysteries, and outright open gateways. But, nowadays, in the Pagan community, rigid interpretation of lore often becomes a stranglehold on magical and spiritual practices.

I’ve spent years learning lore, meditating on it so it can inform shamanic lessons I give, and creating ritual based in lore. So I’d be the first to insist that, sometimes, lore provides definitive, irrefutable facts. However, common sense is needed.

My mother taught me to think for myself. It was one of the greatest gifts a parent can give.

Furthermore, growing up in a shamanic family tradition (specifically, Italian witchcraft), I got a sense from how mom lived her life that traditional shamanism is far more fluid than usually represented. Yet I see many magical practitioners trapped by lore, which is one way their personal paths and viewpoints are squelched.

An example: one of my students was utterly devoted to Hecate. He was told by another of his teachers that he was incorrect to honor Hecate as Mother Goddess since She is the Crone of the underworld. My student felt crushed. He knew from personal interaction with Hecate that She is an utterly loving mother, and he loved Her dearly as such. Yet a teacher whom he respected was telling him his whole relationship with a deity was wrong.

That teacher probably had the best intentions but nonetheless was unwittingly trapped by lore and unintentionally trying to do the same to the student. Had the teacher actually spoken to Hecate, She would’ve revealed Her motherly traits. But the teacher let lore take precedence over the student’s personal revelation.

Furthermore, had she known more lore, she would have realized that, though one culture’s lore of Hecate says She is the Crone Goddess of the underworld, another culture’s lore shows Her as the Mother. If memory serves me correctly, Hecate was known in Thrace as Mother, but then She traveled to a place where people did not have actual sleeves on their clothing. The sleeves on Hecate’s image were considered bizarre. Hence, it was decided She Herself was bizarre and, as such, must be an underworld goddess. (Please correct me if my history is wrong here.)

The sort of invalidation my student met squelches people’s spiritual explorations and hurts their hearts. The teacher used lore to invalidate someone’s belief system and actual interaction with a deity—a deeply beautiful, meaningful, and pivotal personal revelation. How awful!

Lore is often simply one person’s experience or the experience in one group/culture. A single experience should not be taken as a rigid overview of the matter at hand, a definitive sense of all that ever was and ever will be, of all that is possible for anyone anywhere. The traditional Italian magic I grew up with is not the same as that of some other Italian shamanic family traditions.

Another example: there is Italian lore about threatening the Gods, telling Them that, if They don’t give you such and such, you will revenge yourself upon Them. I can assure you: when you try to bully a God, there’s no telling what the backlash is going to be. I learned this from personal experience, in my younger days as a priestess, and all it took was one such incident to realize I should never threaten a deity again. I told my Gods that, if They wanted me to continue to priestess for Them, They had better give me such and such.

They gave me what I asked for, and They gave it to me in a way that devastated my life. It took years to recover. The false sense of something being okay to do just because it’s lore is too prevalent. I got trapped by lore! When viewing lore, I try to use common sense, look to my own experiences, and think things through. But instead, feeling desperate about needing change in my life, I let myself get trapped.

Lore is filled with starlight, sunlight, moonlight, illuminating the mystical path. I want to dance along that road joyfully, not turn my back on it by using lore to create dogma. So mote it be.

Be a Goddess Training

beagoddess

I’m going to lead a group
through the training in my book
Be a Goddess!:
a Guide to Celtic Spells and Wisdom
for Self-Healing, Prosperity, and Great Sex.

For details, keep reading.

Be a Goddess! is a down-to-earth training in Celtic shamanism, showing you how to:

* Cast spells for abundance, a happy home, and romance.

* Love your body, be cleansed in spirit, and increase wisdom.

* Enjoy more passion, sensuality, and individuality.

* Use the simple, potent magic of the Faerie folk.

* And get just about anything else you want by using The Spell Itself.

The book is written for independent use, so lots of folks completed this bestseller on their own. But for folks who prefer a more personal approach, I’ll lead a group through the lessons, via group-phone-calls (aka teleseminars). During meetings, you:

* get whatever particular support you need to do the book’s lessons

* have your questions answered

* and otherwise receive pivotal camaraderie and motivation.

Just dial the phone to participate.

Plus, I’m available one-on-one by phone, for up to 45 minutes total, during the course of our lessons, if you have questions, your momentum doing the lessons falters, or you have other concerns.

BaGCertWTReceive the above certificate of completion by email. Your certificate will not have a watermark on it. Fill in your name and the date to take pride in yourself.

Super-special free bonus: an exclusive online forum. Between phone meetings, benefit from a private space where students can receive support from each other, share victories, and ask each other questions. This is solely for students, no “teacher looking over your shoulder.” I will monitor only for unkind remarks; you deserve a safe space.

The group meets every other Sunday by phone, starting April 8, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM EST, for a total of eight meetings. Just dial the phone to participate. Reserve Sunday July 22, same time, for a makeup session, in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned meetings.

Total cost: $250. Your particular carrier may charge you for the calls. Scroll down to enroll: enter your phone number and pay securely with PayPal.


Pls give yr phone number.



Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved. You receive event phone #, etc., by email. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call me at 814-337-249O. No refunds.

There are no prerequisites. You simply need the book with you at all meetings.

I probably won’t offer this event again for five years.

This Faerie magic book is considered an irreplaceable classic. Though released in 1998 to a niche genre, present-day sales outstrip those of many recently published mainstream titles. I had no budget to promote this book. I worked eight years writing it because I wanted it to live on long after me, as a step-by-step program that could guide unusual individuals toward profound personal transformation and inner wisdom.

Our process during meetings will be based in my book and, as such, will not be part of Third Road’s oral tradition.

Kitchen Moon

KitchenMoonBtmNewsltr

If you can’t see the graphic at the top of this post, here’s its text and photo:

You Needn’t Leave Yourself to Find Magic
Diana Magna Mater Is Everpresent

KitchenMnSm

After glancing down into my sink, I was thrilled by what I saw there, snapped the above photo of it, and wrote the following:

Quarter moon tide does not arrive pounding at my winter door, but sneaks into my kitchen sink, as clever as steam.

Moon tides are everywhere—dark moon tides, whole moon tides, quarter moon tides. That is my safety, solace, and soul: moon tides are everywhere.

You need not leave yourself to find magic. To walk into Fey lands, walk into yourself, just as you are; live there; you can then recognize the entry to Faerie.

Calligraphy to Ornament a Book of Shadows Page

Below is a stop motion vid of calligraphy I did for my upcoming online class in Italian magic. I’ll use the calligraphy in a Book of Shadow page for the course (unless something unexpected stands in the way. And I might keep tweaking it, I never know because I am very fussy, but so far I am happy with it).

If you want to see the vid again after it’s played, click the arrow that’s kind of circular or refresh the page.

I attempted to calligraph the word “Strega” in a way that conveyed the power of traditional Italian witchcraft.

Art is magic!

To receive announcements of upcoming classes, subscribe to my free newsletter here: http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Ask a Strega to Teach You a Spell and …

Strega2018Ask for a spell from a witch raised in a family tradition of Italian magic that reaches back centuries, and the witch might change the topic so smoothly that only hours later do you realize your question was avoided.

Ask that same person how their aunt Teresa is doing, and you’ll hear an hourlong story about Teresa’s new boyfriend, during which tale you’re also taught the exact rite you requested … though you may have to watch carefully for it.

A few days later, you drop by the witch’s house to ask a vital question about your magical path but, when you show up at the door, the witch greets you with, “Hiya, I need to run out for a minute to pick up some groceries.”

If you choose to tag along, your question is answered … though you may have to watch carefully for that reply. Or the witch might give it to you outright: perhaps, at the grocery store, while examining cabbages, looking for the best one, the witch uses clear, precise words to express her or his thoughts about your magical journey. But, just as likely, while shopping, the witch does something that, on the surface, seems unrelated to your concerns, but that thoroughly resolves them.

Or perhaps, walking down the grocery aisle, the answer you need pops into your head.

During the grocery trip, something else might happen: a door opens to a world your heart has always longed for, a world you’d so hoped the witch would show you. You have been taken to the heart of the mysteries … if you were paying attention.

In fact, this breakthrough was the real reason you’d shown up at the witch’s door that day, though you may or may not have realized it until she opened that other door for you, a portal that appeared in a supermarket and opened to Faerie.

However, none of the above scenarios might come into play. You could ask the very same witch to teach you a ritual, and she or he might immediately give it to you, undisguised, in clear-cut, straightahead language, and answer questions you have about the spell just as quickly and clearly. In fact, you might get taught in that manner on a regular basis, so you easily learn a lot of spells and charms, and receive a great deal of valuable input about your overall witchcraft journey. You are the exact same person, and the witch is the exact same witch, so why might there be different scenarios?

Other scenarios could occur.

A multitude of them might all happen between you and the witch, so you learn not just in a single manner but through various modalities.

The above post is an excerpt from one of my online courses on Italian magic. To receive announcements of upcoming classes, subscribe to my free newsletter here: http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Laughing Vulva, Goddess Womb

Laughing Vulva, Goddess Womb:
Claim Your Divine Feminine Power.
A Three-Month Ritual Group

We’ll meet by group phonecall to do the ritual, seven times over three months.

Fontaine2

The womb and vulva metaphysically embody everything—everything! Abundance, power, confidence, sexuality, creativity, personal authority, and more. I mean, look at the picture above. Even the devil was frightened by the woman’s display of power.

Want her audacity? This three-month rite centers you into laughing vulva, Goddess womb, ferocious vulva, inner-temple, so you:
* Step into full inner authority in all parts of your life.
* Have the confidence needed to create prosperity and happiness.
* Feel safe in any circumstances.
* Enjoy a sense of power—and safety—that allow creativity to blossom.
* Know in your bones that your power is equal to anyone and any situation, so you can handle anything and come out on top.

Scroll down to enroll: enter your phone number and pay securely with PayPal.


Pls give yr phone number.



This issue can be triggering so do not read further if you might get triggered.

IrisMiniThis event is not just for individuals with physical wombs and vulvas. This is about your psyche, the spiritual anatomy, its power, overcoming the suppression of it, and reveling in your female aspect.

Everyone has a female aspect. It is called the “anima.” Most individuals bear an archetypal wound of the anima, regardless of whether they have physical wombs and vulvas, medical problems with their pelvises, are mothers, or were born physically female.

This core cultural wound and core wound in our psyches affects every part of our lives. Every part. The wound is healed by this ceremony.

IrisMiniEven powerful individuals—savvy witches, individuals deeply ensconced in their feminine power, and alpha males—can suffer from this wound. It might cause them great pain or inability to take the next step toward their cherished goals.

Since the anima touches every aspect of life, symptoms of its wound can vary from person to person. This is discussed below.

For many individuals, spiritual injuries are reinforced by physical trauma to the pelvic area, from rape to unnecessary C-sections.

The injured anima creates messages that invalidate our claim to the very help we need to heal the anima. For example, the first time I offered this rite, someone said,“My hysterectomy left me emotionally shattered, so I don’t qualify for this ceremony,” but that was why they desperately needed the rite.

In other words, the wounded anima can make someone unknowingly view a symptom of the wound as an invalidation of needing healing.

Here are common expressions of feeling the anima wound is irrelevant or feeling barred from my ceremony. They keep someone from getting support:

* Hope and effort are pointless.
* There’s no point when I feel such emptiness inside, hollow longing and loneliness.
* I can’t have a child.
* I lost my child, who died young.
* I lost my child—she hates me.
* It’s all my fault anyway, everything I do is wrong,

There are many more symptoms, and not everyone has the same ones. Whatever reason you as a unique individual need healing and empowerment of the anima, I can hold you and your needs.

Enrollment is limited. I gear the ceremony to the specific ways the anima wound has impacted the rite’s participants. If you’re unclear about some of the anima wound’s specific impacts on you, I’ll help you figure that out during our meetings.

Every session I also send you soul healings.

We are not powerless in the face of society’s and nature’s forces. In our womb power and laughing vulva, we find the sure ground of our being. We find the bottom line within—our essence, its irreplaceable and irrepressible power and joy, and our connection to Divine help. We accept our faults and find our glory.

Beautiful anima! I’m happy about of my two-word poem “Laughing vulva,” because it helped me convey a joyful power I’d once found difficult to express: the power this rite gives you.

This ceremony requires no ritual experience.

The group meets by phone; just dial the phone to participate.

IrisMiniStarts February 21. We meet seven times, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM EST, every other Wednesday. Reserve Weds May 23, same time, for a makeup session, in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned meetings.

Tuition is $250. Your particular carrier may charge you for the calls. Scroll down to enroll: enter your phone number and pay securely with PayPal.


Pls give yr phone number.



Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved. You receive event phone #, etc., by email. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. No refunds.

This ceremony can be used as one of the two qualifying electives required for Third Road advanced shamanic training.

Embrace your laughing vulva and Goddess womb to know your full potential. Embrace your Cosmic Source—you. You are the residence of mysteries, starlight, and love, a deity within. Think of that woman lifting her skirt to scare off the very devil himself. I bet she felt powerful and had a good laugh.

Ancestor Magic: Mothers

Honoring Our Human Mother

By blaming all problems on the mother, an oppressive society deprives many individuals of immense power to create an amazing world for themselves and for All Our Relations.

MomTeacupSm

Our repressive society has fostered an attitude of blaming the mother for everything. Constantly portraying moms as monsters who cause any and all psychological damage and blocks to success we suffer is an effective way to hide many a woman’s goodness and power. If we honor our mothers—by seeing their full power and goodness—we acquire abilities to create an amazing world for ourselves and All Our Relations.

Such capacity for freedom is threatening to oppressors, which motivates them to make it hard for a person to see their mother’s goodness.

This post paints a picture that may not be relevant to everyone, but please keep reading because it might be more relevant to you than it appears thus far and empower you greatly.

Honoring moms is not solely a matter of rituals that honor them, though ancestor rites can add a vitally important aspect. And, though Mother’s Day is a wonderful chance to love your mom, that annual event and ancestor rites can be just lip service unless the core of honoring is present.

The core is seeing their full power and goodness.

Truly honoring one’s mom can be difficult. In my case, I had to break through resentments, societal conditioning, and other blocks to see my mom in all her glory, beauty, and humanness—more special and less at fault than society would have me believe. That respectful, compassionate viewpoint honors her.

And an amazing thing unfolded from it. The more fully I see my mom’s powers and goodness, the more my magic and other powers reach a new level, and this happens automatically without any effort on my part to increase them.

Let me give a more specific example. I’ve felt a hollowness—a loneliness—inside that was once constant and then became occasional. It returned horribly one night, after reading my mother’s diary.

I called upon her spirit, asking her to heal me by giving me the love and presence that I felt she’d never given me.
ToniDiary

I received a surprising message: she in fact had loved me dearly and had been there for me, but because she had been married to a batterer, she was fighting for her sanity—and, I suspect, for her life—so could be there for me only to the extent she had.

Once I was able to say to her spirit, “We were there together, we were together, females together,” I could see that our sweetness as women had been somewhat stifled. Sweetness is the perfect word for it. And, just prior to this occurrence, several people had said that sweetness is one of my powers.

I kept saying those words, “We were there together, we were together, females together,” and felt my mother’s love in its fullness, healing a pivotal aspect of my hollow loneliness. My sweetness as a woman blossomed more than ever.

My sweetness as a woman is an example of one of my powers automatically becoming more full when I see my mother’s goodness.

When women display sweetness, oppressors call it bitter, trying to confuse us. Or they depict sweetness as vapid, syrupy, minor, and silly. Or as being a doormat. Or as being a repressed caretaker. They do not want us to see the immense power of sweetness.

Later, I really started seeing, more than ever before, how brave and strong my mother had been to keep doing everything she did despite the nightmares she was living through. She’d continued to nurture me any way she could, brought physical and spiritual beauty into our home, retained a wondrous belief in magic that filled my childhood and fills my soul still, and so on.

Seeing and reveling in her bravery, I was able to affirm my own. Oppressors don’t want you to see your mother’s power, so disguise it by blaming everything on the mother. They don’t want us to have models of people who triumph despite all.

Nor do they want you to have full access to your mother’s love. Love is the greatest power of all.

Going through a box of mom’s documents recently, I noticed the box smelled of old paper. Not moldy or bad, just old. The papers were also faintly sweet, remnants of mom’s perfumes. The exquisite *sweet* scent of mom’s papers was subtle. Much that is old can be revisited and found sweet and kind, instead of bitter and harsh. When I look past the fraud—loud broad strokes painted by an oppressive society—sweet subtleties emerge to enchant me and my life.

BYABar4