Medicina

I've been told eres demasiado sensitiva, that I feel too much.

It's true.

I howl in sorrow and cackle in joy

from my belly, sin pensar.

I've been told aquella medicina puede ayudarte a encontrar calma,

balance between extremes.

But, I don't want that kind of medicinal equanimity.

Mi medicina es la brisa fría soplando desde el Pacífico

as I drink my coffee on the balcony in the morning.

Mi medicina es el zumbido del colibri darting through the sky.

Mi medicina es el sol calentando mi espalda,

as my toes dig into the moist grass beneath my feet.

Mi medicina es estar en círculo con hermanas cada luna nueva,

as we come together to share in life through prayer and visioning,

support and friendship.

My medicine is honoring the dead and the earth,

a travéz de memoria y relación con aquellos que viven en mi.

Radical Magic, Deep Intimacy, and Resistance

 Today, January 20, 2017 at 12:05pm EST, Donald Trump became president of the United States.  I'm feeling angry, sad, and impotent that this tragedy and all the events that led up to it has happened.  So, instead of just sitting here and feeling my chest constrict and my heart hurt, I've decided to write.  I'm currently visiting my mother in Florida, which is Trumpland, and the nearest protest is almost two hours away in St Petersburg.  I don't know if I'll be able to make it down there to join others in raising their voice against racism, misogyny, homophobia, intolerance, bigotry, and hate (the list could go on)- for now, my act of resistance is writing.  

 In the midst of grief and uncertainty the question that has been haunting my sleep at night is "What can I do as a magical practitioner, what can I do as a witch"?  The answer that comes up for me is practice Radical Magic. To me, practicing radical magic means living an unapologetic lifestyle where Love is at the center, where Love creates worlds, and where Love moves mountains and oceans.  I'm not talking about Love in the light and romantic sense, I'm talking about Love as Source, Love as life-force that permeates all-things.  As a witch it's imperative that we are able to "see" Love, its ebb and flow through form and the formless so that we can shape and direct its course.  

 I've always loved Starhawk's definition of magic as "the art of changing consciousness at will" because this idea denotes intentionality.  For those of you that don't know Starhawk, she is a witch, activist, and one of the foremothers of the women's spirituality or Goddess movement.  Another definition of magic I heard recently that I'm quickly falling in love with comes from Bayo Akomolafe, who is an academic, poet, and activist- "magic is the dissolution of distance."  I love this definition because it seems to stress the importance of relationships and relationality. I firmly believe that the in-between places, the places where merging happens, where thoughts and bodies come together, is where magic occurs. Magic is seeing the threads of Love in all things, and then shifting consciousness at will by making distances disappear.  This is what the witch does!  

 Now, the question becomes, what distances do I want to make dissolve?  In these times where there are so many unknowns what do I want to draw near? What do I want to engage, to participate with, to become, if only for a moment to know it more intimately, so that I can understand its perspective and see through its eyes and heart?  Deep intimacy such as this creates empathy and dissolves fear because we become the "other" and the "other" becomes us. The known touches the unknown and intermingling occurs, leaving both different from when they were "separate" (or at least when there was the illusion of separateness). 

 I feel like I've gone off on a side road with all these thoughts, but it comes down to this- activism and action for me in the coming times will be to practice Radical Magic and deep intimacy with the world in a new way. I want to make distances disappear between me and others that have a difference of opinion, between me and people that are differently gendered and able bodied than me, between me and those that are a different skin color, between me and those that practice a different religion or belief, between me and those creatures that are winged and furred, between me and the stone people, between me and the green world, between me and the ancestors, between me and the spirits. Every being has a story. I promise to humble myself and listen. Listening and coming to stillness is the first step before action. Even though I am uncertain what concrete actions I can take to change a world that is full of fear and hate, I do know for certain that I can listen and open to the story and song of all beings so that I may be more aware of the way that I walk in the world and through the multiverse, and so that I may be more compassionate and understanding towards all the inhabitants I meet on my journey. 

Unlikely Altar

1 cup sea salt- for cleansing

1/4 cup ash- for nourishment

Hibiscus flowers- for love and beauty

 

Directions:

Pour the salt and ash into your bath water, mixing well until

dissolved. Add the hibiscus flowers a few moments before stepping in. As

you sit in the water, steeping like tea, remember that the bath

is an altar too. As Goddess embodied you cleanse and nourish yourself,

letting love and beauty soak into your bones. Love is the mantle

you wear for all to see, blooming from your heart, rooted in

self-love and sovereignty.   

Cosmic Maps

We are stars walking upon earth leaving stardust in our wake. These luminescent trails form images and patterns of divination. Shadow and light play, weaving a tapestry that is full- 
A text of living stars and dark matter. 
A glowing map of starlives to come.

All with fire in the head, connected to starsource, with songs of love and light dripping from honey lips to kiss the sweetness of fecund soil and become pregnant with earthwind and starfire. 

A Year and (Two) Days

      It's literally been a year and two days since I've posted anything to this blog. I've started writing pieces to post several times and then just lost momentum. To be fair, I have been working on my dissertation proposal and that's taken up a lot of my psychic writing space. But, I think it's time to share that psychic space with other magical bits that want to be written. I've written several poem-reflections this past year and will be posting them in the upcoming weeks. I've also written an entry on anointing and Mary Magdalene that I will post in the next few days. 
          In Wiccan traditions it's common to wait a year and a day for initiations to occur. It's the seasoning period in which the practitioner has time for all that is learned to seep into their bones and really practice their craft. This tradition is based on the fact that a spouse had to be wed for at least a year and a day in order to inherit property if their spouse died. This was the case is some places like Scotland, England and Ireland. The contemporary idea that a year and a day is a sort of trial period in a handfasting, to see if the couple wants to stay married, is based on fiction and historical novels. Nevertheless, a year and a day is firmly rooted in the imagination of modern neo-pagan traditions.
          Anyway, with this detour into arcane and contemporary marriage customs I am calling to me a year and a day of fruitful writing! May my year and two days of written silence (on this blog!) have made the hidden depths of my mind and soul a fertile place for creative spirits to play... May they help release the word-hoard within! May the word-hoard also spill forth into my dissertation writing! So Mote it Be!

Stone Stories

Today, I'm thinking about modernity and fragmentation, transformation and shapeshifting. I was sitting on the roof of my building a couple of mornings ago looking at the world around me. In front I could see the expansive ocean. I saw some white capped peaks as the waves crashed in on itself. I saw a boat on the water, trailing a small darkish cloud. To my right there was the tree line of Golden Gate Park. I could see the tops of the their leafy heads. I heard the cry of an eagle and lots of crows, the squeaky kiss-cry of a hummingbird, and other feathered beings that I can't identify. Periodically, there was also the electric hum of Muni and the sound of cars floating through my awareness.

I was laying face down breathing it all in and giving thanks for all the natural beauty around me and, all of a sudden, I became aware of the small rocks that were under me. These small shards that were at one point run through a stone grinder to be used for construction wanted thanks too. This shocked me a bit! But, I realized that these stones are holding the pain of modernity and fragmentation for us. In a lot of "new age" spiritual circles crystals and stones are immensely popular. Especially if these are beautiful, sparkly, and have a purpose in healing. I will admit to absolutely loving crystals and pretty stones and collecting these since I was a small child but there's also something to be said for all the "normal" stone that is around us. The gravel in our driveways, concrete buildings, decorative pebbles in vases in hotel lobbies- stones are literally everywhere!

These stones hold the earths history and their stories as well. We walk on stone and live in stone structures and don't take time to give thanks to them and, maybe, even to listen to their tale of changing form. They speak to us of fragmentation, loss of identity, and displacement just like humans do in today's world across cultures. Even the stones are displaced beings, mined from one location and then transported to another. Does identity loss occur for the stone people? Do they long for their ancestral homeland too? I think they must, but they are also holding a larger memory and story inside, the story of the earth and the cosmos, the story of their interactions with humans. The pain of fragmentation and dislocation that they have undergone mirrors our own in a way. Maybe they are showing humans what is happening to their flesh and bone. Perhaps they want to awaken our bones, remind us that we hold creation, change, and destruction within. I think they are reminding us of our original separation from the realms of the ancestors and spirit. I also feel they are reminding us of our place in the cosmos and why we are here, regardless of the numerous dislocations and fragmentations that we may have gone through.

Stones found in our cities and in civilized places can also teach us about transformation and shapeshifting. This idea may seem a little counter intuitive since stones are strong and seemingly unchanging, they are long-standing structures. But they also go through transformations and have the capacity to become something else, like the marble floors in your house or the stone statues standing watch throughout the city. These stones were at point part of the natural landscape and still are but in a different way, they have been taken out of the wild and introduced into "civilization". They have shape-shifted (mostly because of humans) and speak to us of the many stories that are coming together in our cities. Stories that are being forgotten, broken, shaped by others, rewritten, and co-opted.  Stories that are being shared and expressed nonetheless. Some of these stories speak of love and joy. All of these stories are full of life and memory. Let's not forget our stories (and secret her/histories) of shapeshifting amidst the chaos of modern life. 

Oracles

          The reflection I posted about a week ago had been written for about a month before I decided it should go up. As you can probably tell, my mind has been on divination and the otherworlds for quite a while. I wrote this piece thinking about what it means to see in the dark. 
          As part of this, I've been thinking about oracles a lot lately too. What does it mean to be an oracle and what is their purpose? Who do they benefit- themselves, the community, both? On the surface being an oracle or visiting an oracle sounds mysterious, exotic even. Prophecies, soothsaying, proclamations- all of these are in the domain of oracling and fall under "oracle job description" in the minds of many people. But, is this truly the job of an oracle, to issue proclamations?  In various spiritual traditions oracles (diviners fall under this category too) are the ones that help keep the balance between the human world and the spirit world. They are the ones that maintain a connection to the Divine and they help laypeople touch and access these worlds as well. 
          My favorite description of an oracle comes from Jennifer Posada, she says that an oracle is one who remembers. I heard this description in her online self-love course but she has a book you can check out that is pretty amazing titled, The Oracle Within: Living the Intuitive Life (see notes at end for reference). 
         This definition is simple, easy to understand, and resonates as truth in my heart.  One who remembers their connection to Source, one who remembers that they are Source. One that maintains this knowing regardless of life circumstances- both  beautiful and horrible. One that sees possibility in remembering. This remembering business is powerful stuff! Perhaps oracles remember histories and possible futures because they are those, they carry those memories and potentialities inside and know how to access them. Through remembering and accessing that place where all is Source they can speak to that which is needed for right-relationship with various worlds and their inhabitants, both human and more than human. 
          Recently I encountered a paper by goddess scholar Max Dashu describing and detailing evidence that in Early Greece the first oracle was Gaia or Earth (see notes at end for reference). Although this makes sense I was blown away by this notion. It's similar in Dagara cosmology as described by Malidoma Some (see notes at end for reference) the element of nature holds the secrets for those that can decipher its language- cycles of sun and moon, wind rustling the leaves on a tree, birdsong.  Perhaps an oracle is one that remembers the Earth. The histories of Earth and its place in the larger cosmos and our place as human beings in this vast universal song. After all, humans are literally made of stardust. It seems to me that it's a blood-bone-and-breath remembering. I think it is this remembering (in an infinite variety of iterations of course!) that oracles call into being and call us toward.  
          As I'm currently wading through research for my dissertation I wonder what the role of oracles are in today's world.  Can women recovering from patriarchal soul-wounding be oracles?  If many women are experiencing soul-wounding as a spiritual emergency of sorts, delving deep within and finding the jewels in the darkness of remembering trauma, can this be considered an oracular function? I think it can.  Much of this remembering is centered on finding or remembering their wholeness as women and reclaiming this knowing in a world where it is still largely devalued. If oracles are guides and give counsel, these women have something to say about the (imbalanced) state of the world and may be able to give good advice on ways forward that are rooted in right-relationship and visions for a just and sustainable future. If woman is the medicine there will more than likely be truth and remembering coming from her lips; lips that have long been silent in fear and pain will open to remind us of the beauty way found in spite of/because of the deepest darkness. 


The Oracle Within: Living the Intuitive Life by Jennifer Posada

The Pythias and other prophetic women by Max Dashu- academic paper, book excerpt
https://www.academia.edu/9745250/The_Pythias_and_other_prophetic_women

The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Rituals, and Community by Malidoma Patrice Some

 

 

The Heart of Darkness

Gaze into the Dark-                                                                                                                                               What do you see?                            

Stars speaking in Tongues.                                                                                                                                      Planets spinning endless Songs.                                                                                                                                  The moment before breathe.

Twisting pathways of possibility                                                                                                                         shrouded in mist and soft light.      

What you choose takes you                                                                                                                                            Deeper;                                                                                                                                                       into Unknowing and Truth.                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Solstice Ritual

I'm excited to say that I'll be helping lead the Seven Sisters Solstice Ceremony 2014: Group Trance-Formatonal Journey from Darkeness into Light on Dec 21!  Folks from Seven Sister's Mystery School have collectively created a potent evening for you in which we'll honor what ails us personally & globally, and experience healing & illumination as we move into the seeding of the light. Join us in the velvety darkness as we rest, incubate & stretch ourselves awake! It will be a truly sacred, transformative experience! To register & for more info, visit http://www.sevensistersmysteryschool.com/solstice2014/

Moon-Kissed


Some call it madness
But I know what it really is- 
We are Chosen, kissed by the moon, you and I. 

Feeling shadows wrought by human greed and arrogance
Opens a gash in my belly.
Red spills onto soil until I am drained,
creating a desert in my heart.
Black crow cries at unbalance, whale mourns the loss.
Snake waits patiently for the right time to slip out of skin.

Dry barrenness and thirst mirrored in the eyes of countless women passing.
Thirst so deep that it was felt by my mother and her mother and her mother's mother before her. 
Thirst felt by First Mother as she looked to the sky,
starry eyes of her ancestors 
praying for guidance and safe-keeping, longing for home and tribe.

Moon-kissed child feels the thirst bone deep, water deep
Flowing through blood and lodging in flesh, in movement, in breath, in sound.
This thirst is not satisfied by blood spilled in violence and death.
Only life sates this thirst.
The living waters of spirit pour through me
A nourishing stream.
Falling from eyes.
Falling from mouth.
Falling from womb.
Carrying memories of Love,
memories of fecund soil and warmth.

From this water-memory, worlds arise, barrenness recedes
Begging us to remember, dream, sing, and dance 
New possibility into becoming.
Blessings to the moon-kissed children.