Notre Dame Is Burning

As devastated as I feel about the fire, I also have feelings at the exact opposite end of the spectrum.

I didn’t know about the cathedral fire, until I received an email that happened to mention it. The friend writing the email was grief stricken and hoping the stained glass would not be destroyed. I checked online for more info. Good Gods!

I felt terrible grief and started to express that in response to the email, when the phone rang. It was one of my shamanic students. Before discussing my upcoming class in Faerie Druidry, she mentioned her sadness about the beautiful art in the church being ruined, specifically the same window that was mentioned in the email.

I have the same feelings about the art. Plus I have a special memory of visiting that church years back. Very special.

Despite being devastated by the destruction of Notre Dame’s beauty and by losing a piece of my own personal history, I have other feelings that are at the opposite end of the spectrum. The following information is from https://www.eutouring.com/facts_notre_dame_cathedral.html: “The Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris is often affectionately referred to as The Forest because of the many wooden beams that have been used in its construction, and each of the beams came from a different tree, many of which were around 300 to 400 years old.  In fact this building is made up from 1,300 oak trees that represents approximately 21 hectares of forest.”

That cathedral required acres of trees being wiped out to support so much stone masonry.

During the phone call, I was hit with a past life memory. They chopped down my sacred groves, to build yet another church on a sacred Pagan site. They killed ancient living beings to create a monument solely to their own egos, for no God would have exacted praise that cost those oaks. 

So, even greater than my immense grief is the jubilant cry in my heart “Let it burn!”

How an Empath Can Protect Themselves from Group Discord

If you’re an empath being hurt by a group’s emotional distress, the following liturgy can help safeguard you. The liturgy is also a good idea when you see a group’s emotional uproar on the horizon.

The group could be a family, nation, all nations as a whole, colleagues at your workplace, or other group.

The liturgy also helps provide defense against troubling emotions that an individual in the empath’s vicinity has.

Background:
* An empath is a person who picks up and actually experiences other peoples’ emotions. This experience can be distressing and overwhelming, especially when someone near the empath is having immense rage, terror, or comparable distress.
* An empath can use psychic safeguards to keep those disturbing feelings at bay.
* I believe an empath might pick up terrible national or international ambience—feelings of terror or other anguish. Such a huge group’s uproar can slam into the empath. Safeguards are needed.

I also believe the blows suffered from national or international distress are likely to hit the empath’s subconscious mind. The empath suffers without knowing the source of their pain.

If the liturgy discusses issues that feel irrelevant, I suggest you use it anyway, unchanged, as an experiment. Some things don’t seem useful until you use them. For one thing, the liturgy’s ideas and magics are geared less to how your mind reacts to them, and more to how your gut instincts respond.

Also, I boiled down some of my theories into this liturgy, so this brief poesy covers a great deal of ground, both by implying it and through outright statements. In addition, the best means for conveying my theories was through lyric, to provide experiential learning of the liturgy’s overt and implied ideas.

To use the liturgy, simply recite it, silently or aloud, very slowly, perhaps pausing after each line. The liturgy has two parts, both of which have a title. Those titles, as well as the title of the piece as a whole, are part of the liturgy’s magic, so include all the titles in the recitation.

Empath Protection Liturgy

Part One:
I Repudiate, Reject, and Repel
Invaders and Presumptions:

I am not a dark hole you have a right to fill or to feel.
I am and own the dark emptiness
that is the source of all creativity,
from which springs projects and progeny
I myself—not you—initiate.
My life and soul
—my empty darkness—
are filled and felt by me;
they—not you—are my source.

Part Two:
I Claim My Life; I Live My Life;
I Love My Life; I Myself Fill My Life:

I am and own the dark emptiness,
the originator of all creation and creativity,
the original creation and creativity,
the source of all creativity.
I am the source of projects and progeny I initiate.
My life and soul—my empty darkness—are filled and felt by me;
they are my source.
They are the source of all goodness.

So mote it be!

An aside, which is a theory of mine: one reason a patriarchal culture deprives women of control over their own bodies is it’s an effective way to make women view themselves as mere receptacles for other people to use/fill however they want. Once that idea is instilled, it affects all parts of a woman’s life; she is supposedly an emptiness someone else has the right to fill for childbearing, sex, negative shadow projections, and more. Even when a woman knows better, such a belief can operate powerfully in her on a subconscious level, causing major problems. The feminine void is the original power, but oppressors, not wanting women to know that, try to reduce a woman’s emptiness to a commodity that she has no right to, but that greedy people have the right to use/control. End of aside.
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Peaceful Prosperity Now! So Mote It Be!

For me, prospering financially, emotionally, and spiritually requires fully engaging in life, not backing off from whatever’s occurring. Being human, I readily forsake the moment, but if I move into the now on a somewhat consistent basis, abundance comes, accompanied by serenity. One of my blocks to being in the moment is finding glory in self-pity. I try to avoid it, even when things are at their worst, because self-pity makes my defeat more likely. For example, when we thought I had only months to live, trying to avoid self-pity and instead committing to the moment and being of service to it allowed triumph; now I have another 20 years in me.

I want to feel my life is of epic proportion. However, I don’t want to create that feeling by constantly dwelling on my problems, making them grow in my mind, so that I view myself to be an abandoned, struggling hero.

Mind you, my problems are constant. Some are dire. And, as is the case with many individuals, there are ways I am an abandoned, struggling hero, who should be widely admired and is, instead, viewed as complaining about nothing. (Has this happened to you?) Stories of my heroic achievements despite great odds have been stolen to be portrayed as someone else’s, usually one of the very people who tried to block my goals. (Has this happened to you?) I don’t want to ignore any of that.

I do not want to dwell on any of it, though, with the gorgeous self-pity in which I, too readily and too often, indulge. Goddess, please help me not use atrocities perpetrated on me as an excuse to indulge in self-pity. Compassion for myself is not the same as the glory of self-pity.

I want a life that feels huge from the joy I experience, my awareness of my accomplishments, a commitment to live in reality good or bad, and the attempt to be fully who my Gods made me. I’m grateful my Gods give me the ability to constantly do the things cited in this paragraph. I want to do them more. More! Living myth is an ancient magic, one of the most powerful spells I know. It has not prevented all my misfortunes. Tragedy is part of life. However, living myth has made enough differences that my existence has been filled with beauty and abundance, instead of being a tragedy as a whole.

I imagine many people, like me, feel huge one moment because they’re living fully, kindly, and gracefully, and the next moment feel huge from having mesmerized themselves with a self-pitying tale that, even if true, is self-damaging when recited over and over to oneself. (There are times when repeatedly telling the same story of a problem is part of a healing process. That’s not the sort of repetition I’m referring to here. … If you view existence panoramically, a constantly repeated, self-pitying tale is part of a healing process, but the panorama might have to provide such a widely sweeping view that we’re looking at that self-immolation in the context of a healing process that happens over several incarnations. Or, if looking at a single lifetime, every detour from healing and empowerment is part of moving toward that healing and empowerment because every step along the way to health is needed. But I want to avoid as many detours as possible, which means being honest with myself about how self-pity derails me, damages me, and makes me feel powerless so that I am deterred from taking action to stop other people from hurting me.)

I want a life that feels huge and abundant because I face problems as if I have a sword in one hand and a tea cup in the other. I’ll deal with the problems with sword or tea cup, depending on which is most suited to the problem meeting me. If I only use the sword, I’ll hack away 24/7 until my life is shredded to ribbons. Sometimes, I can best solve a problem by sitting down and savoring a cup of tea.

I want to be a mythic, mystic, enchanted servant—to the Gods, the Tree of Life, all its inhabitants, and my oh-so-flawed-yet-perfect-and-beautiful self.

I will have peaceful prosperity now! So mote it be!

Note: if you don’t see how my above thoughts are related to having peaceful prosperity or having it now, trying to figure that out is a shamanic ritual. Even spending two minutes trying to figure it out will move you toward peaceful prosperity, whether you can find your answer or not. I’d love to hear from you about how that goes. If you already see the relationship between this essay and peaceful prosperity now, and apply it in your life, please tell me the results.

Tree Magic

Tree Magic:
A Ten-Week Druidic Journey with Sacred Trees
for Prosperity, Protection, Personal Growth,
Inspiration, Magical Prowess, and Lots More

This ten-week course reveals simple, quick, effective enchantments for all parts of your life. Learn:

* how to use the magic of twenty trees sacred to the Druids

* the ancient Ogham alphabet and how to apply it magically. (I painted tiny Ogham alphabet letters to put throughout this announcement to bless this event. There is a large Ogham painting of mine towards the top of the post.)

* a wonderfully innovative, effective metaphysical principle that can make all your tree witchery more powerful. I’ll teach you lots of tree magic principles but wanted to mention this particular technique here. I discovered it experientially and then developed it over time. It is natural, easy, strong, and joyful, and is an underlying principle for all my tree enchantments. I can barely wait for class to begin so I can teach it because it’s so happy-making for me.

* how to have a personal relationship with sacred tree magic, including the Ogham alphabet. In other words, you won’t need to rely on books for information because you’ll receive information through direct experiences with tree magic, and you’ll discover how the trees work their enchantment specifically for you, as they wisely honor your unique character and path. You’ll learn a style of tree witchery that shapes itself to your physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. A personal relationship with the trees is joyful. If you already learn directly from trees, this course will help you do it at a whole new level.

Mind you, I will teach you about each tree’s specific metaphysical nature, but I’ll also show you methods for learning directly from trees, so you can continue to gain new powers from them for decades, if you so choose.

Along with everything above, this event is a true shamanic journey facilitating major transformations. These transformations will happen during our time together and probably snowball long afterwards.

Since there’s so much to this course and its journey, at first I wanted this event to take a year. But I realized a few things:

1) Many people can’t fit a yearlong event into their schedules, or pay the fee for a yearlong course.

2) The Gods didn’t want that long an event anyway.

3) I could create a spectacular ten-week event. What a journey this will be!

4) I developed building blocks for journeying with magical trees. During this intensive, we’ll use them, so they’ll be in your magical repertoire when the ten weeks end. Then, if you’re like me and want to continue journeying with sacred trees over the decades, you’ll have those building blocks, that foundation. I love offering that to you.

To pack everything in, this event has four powerful aspects:

One) Ten lessons, one per week for ten consecutive weeks. Lessons are via group phone calls. To participate, just dial your phone.

This is old-style oral tradition, which allows immense headway quickly. Enrollment limited to 16 people, so we can perform traditional Faerie spells that can only happens in a small group, and so each participant can receive individualized attention if they want it.

Two) Direct spiritual transmissions during meetings help make lessons powerful and safe, further your personal growth, and grant good luck. The transmissions also kickstart your magical prowess or bring it to the next level. They do the same for your mundane powers.

Here’s a quick definition of direct spiritual transmissions. I can’t tell you what it means for other practitioners, but in my case: I was born a good luck charm who automatically generates a field of energy that provides the benefits outlined in the previous paragraph. As such, I don’t do anything to you; I don’t inject you with energy, rearrange your energy, or even dust off your aura, LOL. I simply give off an energy during a lesson, the same way burning incense gives off a magical energy in a room.

Three) Twenty-five pages of digital handouts ornamented by my original full-color talismanic art. This witchy artwork adds further power to your journeying, both during the course and after it is over. These pages make a beautiful addition to your personal Book of Shadows.

Four) In addition to individualized attention during class, I’m available outside of class for one-on-one time by phone, should you need to privately discuss any class material or your personal issues using it, or you need support because your commitment to doing assignments falters, or you have other concerns. Private dialogue can happen after the course ends; it is important an oral tradition teacher be available one-on-one even long after a course ends; I commit to my students.

No experience needed. But even advanced practitioners will enjoy this course.

I’ll be leading two separate groups. One will meet Sundays, noon to 1:00 EST, starting February 3. The other will meet Mondays, 6 to 7:00 pm EST, starting February 4. Both groups run for ten consecutive weeks. If you choose the Sunday group, reserve Sunday April 14, noon to one, for a makeup meeting, in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions. If you choose the Monday group, reserve Monday April 15, six to 7 PM.

Tuition is $354. Your carrier might charge you for the call. Pay securely with PayPal. Choose from two payment options:

Option 1) Use the Pay Now button below to pay $354 now. No PayPal account required.

Immediately after payment, email me to say whether you’re choosing the Sunday or Monday group. Or tell me in the reply field below this post.





Option 2) Use the Subscribe button below to pay in two installments: $177 now, followed by an automatic $177 payment a month later. Payments appear on the credit card associated with your PayPal account.

Immediately after subscribing, email me to say whether you’re choosing the Sunday or Monday group. Or tell me in the reply field below this post.





Once I know whether you’re choosing the Sunday or Monday group, your place is reserved. You receive course details—e.g., the phone number to dial to participate in the meetings—by email. No refunds. If you need more info, or want to discuss another payment plan, trade, scholarship, or semi-scholarship, call me: 814-337-2490.

The course’s approach to tree enchantment is unavailable elsewhere. Though you’ll learn traditional lore when relevant, a great deal of what you’ll receive isn’t the easily available traditional material, but is what I learned from the trees themselves—in direct experiences interacting with the druids’ sacred woods—and from the Goddess, combined with past life memories as a druid, my channeled information, and sensibilities from my family tradition. In my family tradition, I was raised to be a creator of new material. I call my approach Fey Druidry.

I don’t expect to offer this course again for at least another three years. And I turn 70 this year so, if you’re planning on studying with me, now’s the time. Yay!

Winter Ceremony

Moving into the Quiet Core of Winter’s Joy and Beauty:
A Seven-Week Ritual Group,
Centering You into Your Power and Essence

Miracles become commonplace, when your magical and mundane powers and essences come forward. Dreams impossible to fulfill become viable. Major insurmountable problems, both inner and outer, give way to a miraculous improvement. A success you’ve achieved is followed by even greater successes.

Spending a big chunk of my time on mystical practices can be the thing that creates what’s described in the above paragraph. And, though I can’t always apply my shamanism anywhere near as consistently as I want, my attempts to do so still cause major triumphs.

Though I do need to attempt consistency with shamanic practices, they don’t always have to be difficult or serious. Winter months have subtle Faerie gifts that make shamanism easier, and I’ll show you how, in this seven-week ritual. No need to always be struggling to cope or grow. During our meetings, which will be peaceful, revitalizing, and individualized to participants,

* Enjoy quietly whispering wintry magics that help manifest what you need inside and out, on both the mundane and spiritual planes.

* Create a successful winter and year ahead, as we travel into a lush hidden realm—the heart of reality; the starlit center of Goddess power—where we can manifest miracles.

* Be immersed in a peace that provides mental, emotional, and psychic clarity. We’ll draw on wintertime’s intrinsic ability to root us in the core of our own being and Gaia’s rhythm.

* Receive direct spiritual transmissions that foster good luck, physical health, and spiritual wholeness.

We meet via group phone calls. To participate, just dial your phone.

The ceremony is without prerequisites and suitable for both newbies and adepts.

I’m jazzed that this group’ll happen through the absolute darkest part of the year! Doing this rite at that time is sooo relaxing and powerful.

We meet seven Thursdays, 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST, starting December 6. The Thursdays are consecutive, except we’ll skip Thursday Dec 27 and Jan 3, for the U.S. holidays. Then we pick back up on January 10, continuing through till our culminating session on Jan 31. Reserve Thurs Feb 7, same time, for a makeup meeting, in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.

Enrollment: $250. Your carrier might charge you for the call. 

Click here to enroll securely using PayPal: http://www.outlawbunny.com/special-events-registration/

Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved, and event details emailed to you. No refunds.

If you need more info, or want to discuss payment plan, trade, scholarship, or semi-scholarship, call me: 814-337-2490.

Blessed be the lushly beautiful witch-powers and wisdoms residing deep within the winter and ourselves.

Bar1

An Empowering Definition of Karma

A misrepresentation of karma serves those who want others powerless and desire an immoral society.

It’s no surprise many people reject the idea of karma. An oversimplified understanding of it is disempowering—e.g., shaming people visited by unfortunate circumstances. Let’s look at a definition of karma that is empowering and joyful.

Karma is usually defined as “If you do good, good comes back at you. If you do bad, bad comes back to you.” While I believe that is an important truth, it is also so oversimplified as to be dangerous. Psychic physics aren’t that simplistic. Instead, it seems to me karma is the unfolding of the specific repercussions of whatever you do. Example:

If you cut down a tree, you end up with wood. That’s one possible repercussion. That’s one possible repercussion. But, when the tree falls down, it might hit you on the head, which adds an additional repercussion. Or the tree might hit someone else, and then their son kills you in revenge.

Or you use the wood to build beautiful furniture, which you sell, and its buyers are happy, and you have money for groceries, which helps support the local grocer.

We’re all aware of the threats posed when too many trees are killed. Those threats, too, are possible repercussions. And, if cutting on a smaller scale, a space you clear can be a bane—or a boon—to the forest’s animals. If some of them leave as a result, each refuge will have its own impact on its new home. E.g., a possum who takes up residence in your yard could eat a lot of ticks, which might lower your chance of contracting Lyme disease.

Karma, as defined in this post, has three large benefits. It helps us
1) Understand that reality is an unfolding series of events that we affect.
2) Take responsibility for how much our actions impact the rest of existence (All Our Relations!).
3) Claim the beauty, power, and magic of such an intensely intricate weave.

Replacement of those three enormous strengths with “The bad you do comes back at you, as does the good” can rob us of power as well as the chance to be morally accountable for the chain reactions caused by our actions. There are also enormously positive chain reactions, in which we can take healthy pride. Misrepresentation of karma serves those who want others powerless and desire an immoral society.

Embracing karma’s full ramifications might seem grandiose but is actually humble. Humility is knowing one’s strengths as well as one’s weaknesses.

Humility is also knowing one’s place in the universe, but not in the way it’s meant when someone tries to make you feel worthless by saying, “You better learn your place instead of being uppity!” When we understand karma, we can see our place in life’s weave in terms of our immense power to do good or wrong. Again, humility is acknowledging both your strengths and weaknesses.

Another way understanding karma can help us see our place: we might start to actually experience the incredibly vast and complex weave of life. That can be simultaneously self-enlarging and humbling.

Self-larging because we can see ourselves both as part of something magnificent and as a magnificent element of the larger magnificence.

Humbling because, for one thing, the grandeur of the cosmos provides perspective that can remove any over-inflation of self. For example, we might start to sense there are millions of factors influencing the outcome of any situation; we can see how powerless we are by comparison to all those factors. (I cannot use that as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for consequences of my own actions.)

The humility gained by acknowledging the consequences of my actions and inactions, and by acting accordingly, improves my life. For example, when I make reparations for wrongs done, I more fully engage in life, which frees me from any unhealthy preoccupation with self that has trapped me; I get swept up in the World Tree—the larger picture, the Gods’ plans. Being caught up like this is humbling on some level. But it is also empowering and even ecstatic.

The idea of “Your good acts generate good acts coming back at you, and your hurtful acts generate hurtful acts coming back at you” remains important. But reducing Karma to only that ends up blaming and shaming good people for the unfortunate events they suffer. Life is more complex than that. The World Tree—life—is a sophisticated organism. It consists of many parts: branches, trunk, leaves, roots, bark, sap, etc. Those many parts are made up of innumerable cells. All this weaves together in a complicated synthesis. Our own actions are only a part of that tapestry.

Spell to See One’s Karma
and Enjoy Life’s Weave

There are constant contradictions that, in fact, are not contradictory. Each one, when riddled entirely by the intellect, seems unable to abide as a reality. But, if entered into as an experience, the supposed contradiction has the chance to be understood, because we get to experience it as a living, breathing fact.

Later, that reality may seem impossible again. That is because, when we retire too fully from action into intellect, we might lose touch with reality again. Our minds are wonderful tools to use constantly, but they get in our way when we think the only way to discover whether something is a truth is to keep it spinning in the mind instead of applying it as an experiment.

So it goes with understanding karma: sole intellectual analysis of it will not work. But when I try to live according to it, it makes sense experientially. That is one of a witch’s powers: to know something is true because you feel it with your gut and in your soul. Witches use their fine minds without being trapped by their limits; instead, we use the whole being—mind, spirit, and body. The following spell helps us do that.

Optional: after putting a purple candle in a candle holder, sprinkle a teaspoon or so of lavender by the holder’s base. If you prefer, use the candle and no herb.

Recite the following. To what extent you can manage, say it from the bottom of your heart.

May I honor and celebrate
my place in the weave of all existence.
May my Pagan heart thrill
to the beauty and magic
of the intricate, powerful weave that is life.
May I see the ripples from all I do.
May I take responsibility
for my place in the weave,
so that I act with good intention
and make reparation for wrongs I’ve done.
May I understand that these words I say echo through the World Tree, as do all words and deeds.

Now say, “So mote it be” (while lighting the candle, if you’re using one).

Let the candle burn down. Or extinguish it after a few minutes to relight again, should you want to repeat the recitation some time soon. If leaving the building or going to sleep, extinguish the candle and relight it when you have a chance. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Claiming My Power as a Trauma Survivor

I can act effectively in crisis only if I’m doing shamanic practices on a regular basis.

There are times survival takes every single ounce of one’s time. And it’s vital to do everything one can on the mundane plane to take care of a crisis. But, when crisis looms, I have the self-destructive knee-jerk response of automatically focusing solely on survival. I’ve learned that usually does not turn out well, not for me.

So I choose to instead focus on staying balanced, serene, and connected to my Gods in order to receive Their power and guidance. To accomplish all that, I need a lot of time for my shamanic practices and have to use a crisis as an opportunity for spiritual and shamanic growth.

If I, instead, frantically chase after money, security, a resolution of crisis, etc., then the money, resolution, security, etc., don’t manifest anyway. If I stay on my shamanic journey, then money, resolution, security etc., come.

When crisis hits, I need shamanism more than ever.

Historically speaking, shamanism as a means for healing from trauma—and keeping a disaster from damaging one’s psyche—has been a cultural norm. It has surely been a means for my survival and wholeness in rough times.

Shamans have also, since ancient times, used their traumas—even the worst traumas—as irreplaceable chances to manifest great magical and mundane power. This was surely my own experience.

After 9/11 traumatized U.S. citizens, and our government used that tragedy as an excuse to further traumatize us, enrollment in the shamanic classes I teach dropped for a while. When crisis hits, or appears as a possibility, some people believe they can’t afford the time or money for their shamanic training. They don’t understand that continuing their training can be pivotal to overcoming crisis. I provide scholarships, yet few people requested one in the year after 9/11.

One power of being a trauma survivor, for me, is that overcoming disasters left me with shamanic tools I can apply during this brutal administration. Another power is that I’ve learned the need for complete focus on survival is often a mirage. Mind you, I know it’s not always a mirage. But when it has been an illusion, living in that lie almost destroyed me. I’m lucky to be alive, considering what a lifestyle of overwork and worry did to my health.

“Long-term trauma” (LTT) is a worse diagnosis than post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Examples of an ordeal that causes LTT: being kidnapped and held hostage for years; and being married to a batterer for years. Quite a while ago, I suffered LTT. Not to worry, I took the necessary steps to be on the other side of that now, happy and whole. It’s all behind me. I bring up the diagnosis only to point out:

As someone who used Fey-touched tools to survive longterm horrors and come out the other side whole in spirit, I learned that serenity is possible during a horrific situation. Not always, for sure, but tranquility is not constant even in the best of circumstances. Though peace is often impossible when first in a terrible crisis, knowing that peace can develop—albeit sometimes only painstakingly in minuscule increments—is a power I’ve gained from being a trauma survivor.

When I create a calm place inside myself, I find strength and wisdom there to change a situation.

My familiar hangs out with a poppet. I made it probably in the ‘80s.

Like many survivors, I’ve been triggered by recent national events. Like many individuals, I started having trauma symptoms in response to national events. But now, screw Trump, screw his ilk. I decided I don’t have time to let fascists’ behavior traumatize me anymore. I’m doing everything in my power to keep their behavior from getting to me mentally anymore.

I affirm: They no longer will have space in my head. Heck, I’ve known all along that what’s going on in America right now is nothing new. That’s an advantage I have from being a trauma survivor. The horrific injustices currently widespread in our country are what I observed as a child in the ‘50s and throughout my whole life. I suffered terribly from some of these things My point is that what’s going on has been happening since humans first congregated, so I don’t have to lose my mind over it, but can carry on the same way I did the day before Trump got elected—fighting against such atrocities and living my life with joy.

I affirm: I can feel my indignation, rage, and even terror, but not sit in them. I can simply feel them, and then move on to feel my joy and love.

I affirm: Living in terror and rage would keep me from maximum effectiveness as an agent of change in the world. I want to help individuals upon whom horrors are being perpetrated, so I feel my indignation and rage, but do not reside in them.

In this post, I speak only for myself and of my experiences. I want every trauma survivor to find what works for them. So I support those who say a constant rage helps them fight oppression, even though that wouldn’t work for me. I used to walk around angry all day. That hurt my health and made me miserable.

Though I didn’t take my anger out on other people, furious thoughts consumed my mind, time, and energy, distracting me from doing what was needed to be as happy and productive as I became when I let go of constant angriness. Now, with less anger, I’m more likely to take positive action, more effective when I do so, and experience life’s joys more.

Wee shaman

Back to the idea that what’s going on in America is nothing new. I’ve physically, emotionally, and spiritually survived grueling ordeals that started in childhood. Some of these situations were next to impossible to survive, let alone survive spiritually whole. But I did it. For various reasons, I’m a person at risk in Trump’s America. Yet, because of the traumas I’ve gotten through in the past, I know how to find joy, peace, and beauty in my day now.

A few weeks ago, the current events in our country stopped triggering and traumatizing me anywhere near as much because I started taking advantage of being a trauma survivor in the ways I’ve described above.

In other words, I remembered that I’ve been through all this before, that I survived it, and that the horrors reported on the news every day have consistently been part of human society. I reminded myself that I learned tools to overcome crisis, shamanic tools that can keep me whole so I can enjoy my life and keep fighting oppression. I affirmed my commitment to devote as much time possible every day to shamanic practices and to spiritual and shamanic growth.

My shamanism centered me again, moving me miles toward inner wholeness. I intend to keep that movement going till I feel back to normal and then maintain that state through an ongoing abundance of shamanic practices.

I don’t bury my head in the sand about what’s going on in the world or what risks I am in. However, constantly thinking about the terrible state of humanity, or what bad things are happening to me, or that might happen to me, or the very real fact that I may not survive this current administration, will help ensure I don’t survive because unceasing worry would hurt my body badly. For one thing, the stress of nonstop worry exacerbates Multiple Sclerosis symptoms.

I will think about terrible things only to the degree needed, e.g., to minimize my risk, to change bad situations for myself and others, to discuss with my students the problems they face. Today, I signed up to be a phone volunteer for the upcoming elections. That felt great.

Nightmare monsters hide under my bed. They’re close by, threatening, trying to freak me out. I refuse to dwell on them. I prefer to use my time and the spaces in my head to celebrate existence and see its beauty.

If I focus on my shamanic practices and inner growth, I have the strength and bravery to not take the bait—in other words, to not freak out when monsters taunt me with cruel words—and to instead enjoy life.

I’m getting into top form for battling monsters. Staying serene and joyful and in pursuit of beauty help me achieve—and remain in—top form. Vehemently, passionately serene. Joyfully, loudly seeking beauty. So mote it be!

The Most Important Magical Tree

The Most Important Magical Tree
Are artists and shamans faithless, committed to the moment and nothing else?
Sept 21, 2018 (Fall Equinox)

I fall in love with every bit of wood that I craft into a talisman.

As I’m sanding, doing pyrography, and otherwise working with a piece of wood, I start to realize how special it is.

A lot of the time, mind you, I see how marvelous it is to begin with but, oh, when I work in depth with it, I become enamored. When I strip off a layer of bark, nuances emerge. As I sand, the grain shows more and more. When I tenderly apply a beeswax finish, the wood’s mystical powers electrify my fingertips so I come to know both those powers and my skin.

It is through such thorough interactions that I understand wood, other people, the Gods, the emptiness from which of all creativity springs.

Often, the process of crafting a morsel of wood sends it and me into another world, where we rebuild Faerie.

Here’s that piece of wood when I first started working with it:

The sort of pyrography I tend to do is challenging to execute on some woods I use. Perhaps that’s because, unlike birch and basswood, which are the pyrographer’s staples, many woods that visit me tend to be ornery about pyrography. The wood-burning I usually see folks do on these woods is minimal and straight-lined—e.g., a solo rune or pentacle—whereas I attempt designs that are, by comparison, complex and detailed, and that include spirals, twists, and swirling flourishes.

Each difficult wood I pyrograph might have its own way of being ornery. Once I’ve figured out what will work on that type, it won’t necessarily work on another. I have to start figuring out a new way all over again. But determining how to pyrograph whatever wood is in my hand is giving me an understanding of the tree the wood is from, how different it is from all other trees. The realization that it would be too difficult to pyrograph more than a simple ogham or the like on some woods would be equally informative about the nature of the tree the wood is from.

From the toil that arises from committing to work with the wood as it is, from such thorough interactions, I can better understand that wood and do a better job serving it. When acting as a shamanic guide, the toil that arises from committing to work with a client as they are, such thorough interactions, allows me to better understand that individual, and thus do a better job for them. Such thorough interactions foster relationship. I fall in love with my clients.

My analogies between woods and clients do not extend to the orneriness of some woods. My clients aren’t ornery. I must have the easiest clients in the world. I wonder why the Goddess sends me ornery woods and easy students.

When I see what pyrographed design the wood in question will allow, that is part of my falling in love. The more I work with a piece, the more I adore it.

I am eternally fickle, wholeheartedly deeming each piece of wood my new favorite. Each one shows me how the tree from which it came is the most beautiful, important, and magical in all the planet. Each piece of wood is my new friend, gifting me its secrets. It has exactly what I need to make my life the way I want it.

It doesn’t matter how many pieces of oak (or elder or willow or other tree) have found their way into my hands, each oaken (elder, willow, or other tree bit) is the new and only path to power and ecstasy.

Within days, another piece of wood catches my fancy.

Whenever I work with a client, I am in love with that individual, eternally fickle, wholeheartedly deeming each client my favorite, the teacher’s pet. Each is the most beautiful, important, and magical being on all the planet. Each is my new friend, gifting me their presence. Serving that client is exactly what I need to transform my spirit into how I want to be.

I am eternally faithful: regardless of how many clients I work with in a given day, or how many folks are in a class, or how many times I’ve worked with a given client before, each time I work with a client, I understand how irreplaceable and essential they are to the universe and to me. (I usually keep class enrollment small, to have time for thorough interactions.)

Do I seduce wood, do I coax it to cooperate with my desire for it to be the most important piece of wood so I can be in union with it? Do artists and shamanic guides practice serial monogamy, devoted to each art piece or student, but only until it’s time to turn their attention to the next art project or client?

Artists and shamans are faithless, committed to the moment and nothing else. No, that’s not true. They’re also committed to crafting the next moment, so that it will be beautiful, so that it will best serve the client. The job of artists and shamans is to craft the next moment. … They are faithful to that job. … It is a prevalent lie that they are faithless. They serve. They serve. They belong completely and unceasingly to their students and the Muse.

I revel in the void of outer space, from which all creation comes. There, I constantly feed the stars. There, I am faithful to the needs of wood, clients, Gods, and self.

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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!