Archives for posts with tag: magic

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i had a really beautiful moment last saturday as i was walking down the street to go teach a yoga class. i was on 8th street, a corridor of shops and restaurants, and as i approached the corner, i saw a husband and wife and their very young daughter. she was maybe 2. dressed in her fuzzy petal pink leggings, a cropped soft wool coat, and the most impossibly tiny and stylish shoes. but the beauty of this image was that this tiny girl was stopped on the sidewalk, dancing. music was being piped out onto the street from the restaurant and she was peering into the air wondering where this music was coming from, and moving, bouncing, stomping, rocking and waving her arms. she was entranced and utterly engaged and unselfconscious.

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so as wonderful as this scene was, the thing i loved the most was that her parents were letting her dance. they were not pulling on her arms and trying to hurry her to the destination, which is all too often the case. “no, we don’t have time for you to look at cars, or smell flowers, or pet dogs, or touch the rough wood, or the smooth wrought iron, or the warm stones or the cold water, or dance. we need to get to point B. NOW!” the only time in our lives when we are constantly delighted with the world around us and we are forever being pulled away from it’s magic. her parents did not do this. but smiled and laughed and danced with her. no hurry to move on. i stopped as i approached them and told them how they had made my day, and i told her to never stop dancing and being delighted by the world around her.

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i am a pretty magically engaged person in the world around me, but lately have felt that i have been forgetting that. missing that. this was such a sweet reminder of the magic that is always there. to listen for the music and dance like no one was watching you.

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as i went to teach class, i shared this story and asked that we find our playfulness and curiosity in our yoga. we do yoga because it feels good. because we want to delight in our bodies and in our senses, not because it is a punishment that has been foisted upon us. we need to remember that. each and every day. find the joy in your life and reacquaint yourself with your inner tiny dancer.

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I am gifted beyond belief to be surrounded with friends who are artists of one kind or another. my friend heather is a renaissance woman of the highest order. self taught musician, singer, teacher, writer, poet, artist of all mediums, plant whisperer, communer with bees, all round good witch and now stepping deep into encaustic magic. what better medium for such a girl, than to work with bees wax…?

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a few months ago, I approached her about doing a piece for me. marking this time in my life. I put total trust in her and asked her to let her own inspiration drive the project, asking only that butterflies be included, as she has called be “butterfly” for as long as I can remember and I gave her a bag of my hair, (post shaving) saying that if she felt drawn, to use it in the piece, other than that, it was her process.  the result of this is astonishing.

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I chose a triptych format. past, present, future. maiden, mother, crone. she delivered it 2 weeks ago. I was speechless….every element is loaded with meaning….

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the moon. a huge constant in my life. she is part of my moon circle and the poignancy that it exists no more in it’s original form. she and I the last two standing. the x-rays of flowers, mimicking the x-rays/tests/science experiments of my existence, the last two years. two years…. we are coming up on one year from my mastectomy…might as well be 20 years ago…..lifetimes ago…

these strange sea creature/ ameba like creatures with the red nucleus, trailing tendrils of my hair….like cancer cells…?

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the embedding of basil and thyme seeds….basil, representative of mars, a fire sign…that would be me…love, protection, good luck and a potent anti-cancer herb.

thyme,: love, purification, restoration of physical power and frequently used in healing rituals. especially powerful coming from the master magical gardener…

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the third panel pulling away from the other two….their connection, a constellation, a subconscious constellation, she says….what does it look like to you?  made up of string and nails….hmm….not sure….but there are 15 nail heads…15 in the tarot is the “art/temperance” card. “the creator, the alchemist” one who achieves balance and integration through the creative process. the ability to balance and blend the masculine and the feminine. merging fire (spirit) with water (emotion) which makes a new element, steam (mental and spiritual creativity with passion) integration and synergy. in order to come into the  artistry of who we are, we must balance the apparent paradoxes, oppositions or polarities within our nature. the union of opposition to create something new.”

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15 : 1+5 distills down to 6, “the lovers”. “the synthesizer of dualities, polarities and oppositions. the art and craft of relationship. the highest card of balance in the deck. the love  of truth and beauty for its own sake. the highest art form is that of artful relationship.” Image

the butterflies….well…enough said…..transformation doesn’t get much bigger than that…right after I had my mastectomy, she gave me a precious necklace, that is one silver butterfly wing. I wear it all of the time.

lastly,  “I am not like I was before.”…I am all that I was before, and yet not arranged in the same way, so i am not like i was before. I am something more. somehow there is more power, strength and passion and yet also more softness, quietude and tenderness.  not sure how that works, but there it is. take the paradox and create something new and beautiful from it.  fire/water/steam. creating something new each day. making and remaking.

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thank you heather bee for creating something so beautiful and so powerful for me to look at every day and remind me “i am not like i was before”. you are a true artist and a true friend. i love you mermosa.

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(interested in having her do a custom piece for you…? )

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“hey,do you want a free goddess statue?”

not a phrase that one hears very often. the timing of it sort of stunned me. i had just come back from dropping a friend of mine off at the airport. a wildly fun, and magically witchy friend of mine from san francisco. she had come up for the weekend to offer a clearing and claiming ritual for my home. my husband and i had just split, i was in the house with my daughter and feeling the need to shift the energy and make it feel like it was more my space now. i had invited 5 women who were the kind of friends i thought would weave into this kind of energy. be open to this. 

I was in the parking lot of our neighborhood co-op. the woman who ran the plant, flower and outdoor department was addressing me. in her arms, was an unknown goddess, grecian sandals peeking out from below her wrapping of plain brown paper and twine. 

“i can’t sell her. somebody snapped her head off. if you want her i will put it in your car for you.” she hands me a small, round paper wrapped bundle the size of a tennis ball.  her head, presumably.

“of course, “ i say. “absolutely.

it had been a very potent and powerful evening. my marriage had ended with much sadness and confusion. “how did we get here, when we were so sure we had been paying attention?” but nothing  really ugly, no hatred. i was not seeking to banish what had been, but to honor it and then reclaim this space as my daughter’s and mine. to reclaim myself again, as i had long ago disappeared. the evening was  a joyous bonding with these beautiful women. a bond formed that would stretch forward almost 5 years. they are my chosen family and i rely on them and draw strength from them every day.

we load the unknown goddess into my car and i make my way home. i carry her up the stairs to my front door and unwrap her, wondering who is waiting under the plain brown paper. she is lovely. grecian, strong yet undeniably feminine. curvaceous body, flowing gown. athena. athena,  after a shower, a glass of wine and a change of wardrobe, unwinding from a hard day as a warrior/hunter.  then i unwrap the small morsel of her head. hair piled up on her head, soft eyes. gentle mouth. peaceful, not coy or demure. she is not playing at anything. straight up. honest and clear.

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i take the head and find that it fits perfectly on the neck. perfectly. just a hair line crack. i use super glue to afix my super heroines head in place.  her gaze dropped to look over her right shoulder and breast. i find a ribbon to wrap jauntily around her neck and she becomes my guardian to the portal of my home.  she makes me smile each and every time i enter the house.

later, i sell this house and buy another. she graces the entry to this cottage as well. there has been/ is no, man in my life. only my daughter, my cats, my friends, my moon tribe. i am a strong self contained woman. it is the most peaceful, strong and sexy i have ever felt in my life. just me. this house of female power. i believe i will be just like this forever. the world’s sexiest nun.

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then i meet a man. a precious beautiful man. who touches my heart so deeply. awakens me from my self emposed exile. my life explodes.  i drown in this mythical love. no edges. no boundries. no separation. it is a love that seems to have a timer on it for us, and the clock ticks loudly and relentlessly day and night. but there is no choice but to love NOW. none. no matter what. i am stunned at how easily i am lost again. my beautiful self no where in sight.

a new goddess had graced the front entrance of the home we share. quan yin. goddess of compassion, “the one who hears the cries of the world”. the one who chose to return to earth, instead of enter heaven, wanting to alleviate all of the suffering on earth before she would move on. taking care of everyone else on the planet…”

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the day he moves out. i am pulling weeds outside and watering plants, reclaiming. again.  i use the back side door, the one i never use. my goddess statue sits at the back door. covered in dirt and cobwebs. the ribbon around her throat faded and tattered. i lovingly pick her up and move her to the deck. i  wash her gently. remove the ribbon and see the hairline fracture around her neck. i had forgotten that was why the ribbon was there. to cover this line. the evidence of her decapitation. her throat chakra, “speaking her truth. finding her voice” cut cleanly thru. leaving her scarred. i find a new vibrant purple ribbon for her throat. a color of power. my grandmother’s favorite color. a woman who never used her voice or spoke up for herself until making her decisions about her cancer treatment, after my grandfather was gone. before she passed she saw purple everywhere.

i take my goddess upstaris and place her at the entrance of  my bedroom. her soft wise gaze looking down over her right shoulder and breast. i no longer have a right breast. i run a finger over her face and say, “ i am sorry i neglected you. i am sorry that i lost you and forgot where you were. i am sorry i seem to not know how to love and not lose you in the process, yet i can love no less firecely. i cannot hold back, give less, play games. no one has ever forced me in any way to give myself up, i just did it willingly, because i could not imagine that anyone would stay with me if i did not. so in giving myself up, i had nothing to give. in giving myself up and trying to merge so totally with someone else there is insane pressure on them. demanding that they love me as hard as i love them. they do not stand a chance to living up to that. i know in my heart that there is a way to be me in all of my strength and fullness and truth and, to love, holding nothing back. the very essence of  being in love is to get lost. to lose control. it is imparative. the trick is to not stay lost. i can be the fiercely independent warrior goddess and the compassionate nurturing mother figure. i do not need to choose one over the other. i can figure this out. i am committed to this and i will keep on loving and, i promise i will not leave you again. “ 

she smiles knowingly. and i feel safe again.

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the magical yew tree

the tree of life
the tree of resurrection
the tree of immortality
the tree of transformation