Beginnings’ End

“Once there was an idea. It laid sleeping till the first brush stroke was made. Its beginning was its end, and in its harvest it was born.”

-Skyfae Laveau

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Of Wind and Willpower

Today I pulled cards from a couple different decks. One was for Will of the Way on Facebook, and another was for my Keen blog to help build visibility and prosperity.

What touched me was not only that I drew the Eagle card from the Animal Messages deck by Susie Green but also He of the Fiery Sword from the Faeries’ Oracle by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth.

In regards to the Eagle, they have some of the best vision of any creature (you try to zero in on a rabbit from a ridiculous height and calculate wind, drift and rapidly approaching hard surface..).  Eagle teaches us the benefits of having an eye on the big picture as well as not losing sight of the smaller goals and hanging onto our vision when so much in the world can distract us from our goals.

Point in fact, I’ve been stuck in YouTube and Facebook videos for hours this week. Yes I was multitasking but it wasn’t mindfully, it just happened and I lost a lot of time this week just getting distracted. This is a constant struggle for someone who is of the Fae – or as I refer to it sometimes as Fae-Brained or ADH-OH SQUIRRL!

Combine this input from Deity with that of ‘He of the Fiery Sword’. Now normally swords in Wicca are considered to be tools of Air and thought. In Faery however, in my personal vision, swords are linked to the element of Fire and action.

To that thought the Singer who carries the aspect of He of the Fiery Sword is one that is filled with that resolution to act and needs help in the department of willpower and strength. This is a Fae that can help you buckle down and do what needs to be done and adds energy to your endeavors.

Willpower has been a recent lesson for me. I’m getting better at boundaries and expectations and self-care, but now comes the hard part of knowing everything that I should be doing, and DOING THEM. So, if you are like me in this regards perhaps you too can call upon ‘He of the Fiery Sword’ to aid you in kicking your butt into gear and doing what needs doing.

 

Paths to Prosperity

Merriam-Webster defines prosperity as the condition of being successful or thriving; especially: economic well being’.

In my experience the modern definition of prosperity is only ‘economic well being’.  We are missing the first part of the definition to be inclusive of every kind of success which is simply defined in part as ‘turning out well’.

Turning out well.

That’s it? Simply turning out well indicates success, which indicates prosperity? This doesn’t match up with my distorted cognitive thought processes at all.

You mean it’s not in the careers we enter into, or the cars we drive, or the wardrobe we can afford, or the fancy dinners we eat, or the homes we live in?

I’m finding myself overwhelmed by societies definition of success, which also means that if I do not feel I’m successful then I must be failing. Then I have to remind myself, yet again, that perspective is not a mathematical equation. Just because you feel one is true, does not mean the inverse is true as well and should not be taken as FACT.

I am a minister. I work to support my spiritual family and its work to share meaningful personal religious experiences and emotional evolution of the spiritual self. This is not a path that lends its self well to a 9-5 job, a dedicated money making career, or the popular views on what makes us successful.

In the Pagan path, our religious houses are still very new.  They are not as well developed as our Abrahamic brethren whose religious organizations can better support its ministry staff. We are still trying to break through that stage of growth so those who dedicate themselves to our communities can do so and still thrive (or at least have enough for groceries, maybe holiday, or continuing education).

Therefore, as I struggle with my own means of support (tarot readings, writing, reiki healing, crafts, house cleaning, administrative work) I do not perceive success in the way that society has told me it is measured (in cars, homes, or the money in your bank account).

This leaves me feeling like a failure which leaves no room to manifest success, or prosperity, or joy. It’s a terrible cycle that almost demands a childlike optimism to overcome.

No matter what happens, my needs will be met.

There’s a lot of faith in that statement, and I have tried to hold that close in my heart over the years. While materialistically I’m destitute by modern standards I am prosperous in the actual meaning of the word.

“Understanding definitions can help us better understand our own boundaries which help create the foundation for our own joy. ” -Misty Taylor

May you always know how to best define your personal joy, your prosperity and your success.

Cascade Writers Review

Earlier this year, a friend of mine reminded me of a non profit organization she worked with called Cascade Writers. She iterated that I should check it out if I wanted to explore my writing abilities and network with other authors, publishers and editors. Thankfully this once, I listened.

In the last 20 years of working in the background of conventions, organizations and festivals I realized that I cannot remember the last time I attended an event as a spectator! The whole thing was unprecedented and I was worried I would be bored, or ill at ease with all the new people!

I was very surprised just how intense the panel topics were and how many of them were! They included things from beginning in short stories, to sentence structure to editing to decolonizing our stories to avoid toxic tropes.  Among it all was a wealth of acceptance, and camaraderie.

People were kind and curious.

I know, I know… I didn’t know what to do either but I did something unprecedented in such a new environment. I made friends. I talked about my ideas. I was listened to and I listened and offered constructive thoughts in turn. It was three days of a creative conversation with like minds with various backgrounds all bringing their own flavor of perspective to the whole experience.

To top off my experience, I was talking with a panelist for the Religion, Faith and Myth in writing discussion. It turned out she was a Christian minister, and I shared I was a Pagan minister. Even in Seattle Washington, in the heart of liberal ideas, I get nervous talking about being a Pagan or Wiccan Minister. Not only was I welcomed as a fellow person of the cloth but invited to work with her on her panel.  It was my first panel and I had a BLAST and would do it again in a heart beat. Hopefully we can get a Rabbi to join our discussion and do it again next year!

 

Photo Credit:
2018 Cascade Writers Staff

Spring Mysteries: Graces

One fateful day, after Lammas Monologues, hosted by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, I gave my permission to be cast as a Grace for Spring Mysteries Festival 2017.  Little did I know, how demanding, and how rewarding this role would ultimately prove to be.

While I cannot give many details about the journey of Spring Mysteries, because it is something we all must experience for ourselves; I wanted to share my journey as a cast member for this intrinsic and profound experience.

The rehearsal schedule was demanding. Just like any production worth their salt, the ATC takes their responsibilities to the travelers to Eleusis very seriously.  By August the previous year, we knew our roles, and shortly after Hekate’s Sickle Festival in October our schedule began. Every Sunday was spent rehearsing lines, energies, costumes and more.

Silly me, I had thought that being one of the Graces would be a simple role. Just sing, and be merry right?

The Goddess has many faces, and in this assumption I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Being a Grace, means not only working with the energy of one of the Graces, but of the Furies, and the Fates as well. There is a triad of energy one learns to manage and maintain, while still memorizing lines and songs. Learning to balance, and interweave that presence with the Gods, the cast, and the participants was life changing.

One energy is that of new beginnings. The Grace energy took me on a ride of gently but firmly mastering the ability to see the new, to nurture love and joy. The second energy of the Furies is intense, and obviously angry.  For myself it was easy to become the Den Mother of the ritual, the bridge between the pilgrims and the Gods. However, it was not easy to let myself be angry.

So much of our society has no place for true rage to be channeled in a healthy way. Rehearsal after rehearsal, I struggled with this emotion. How to emote pure primordial rage without succumbing to it? I tried different props, I tried different makeup, I tried screaming exercises.  It really wasn’t until it was that weekend, that the energy finally fell into place and allowed me to be terrifying, and angry while consciously not invoking the Furies, or bringing unwanted energies into the Holy Rite and Sacred Space of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The third and final energy is that of the Fates. They watch, they witness the travelers on their path. This was the eternal quiet. There was no place for ego, there was no place for false modesty. This energy was almost like the witching hour. We’ve all felt that one time during the day, where we realize and acknowledge our own power and we realize that we are ‘the most powerful thing on earth’ and can do anything! Yet, with that knowledge is also a profound sense of understanding of where that energy can be channeled to the best benefit.

Graceful joy. Enraged Fury. Fateful acceptance.

Three energies, combined into one like a pyramid sheltering all those who came to seek the mysteries.

I now sing a little louder.

I now communicate my feelings more clearly.

I now wait patiently and powerfully as I observe my path and the direction I walk without guilt or fear.

Being cast as one of the Graces, was NOT simple.

This being said, there is no ‘small’ role in the Mysteries. There is no ‘throw-away’ part for the mildly committed. Every single aspect is vitally important, and touches every cast member as well as those attending in new and transformative ways.

Origionally appeared in this Post The Aquarian Tabernacle Church’s blog on PaganSquare, run by Witches and Pagans and xposted to Panegyria in 2017

Tarot lessons in Pop Culture

In the Tarot there are many who feel that the Fool begins his journey new-born and unaware of the dangers they may face. He seems reckless and headstrong because the Fool only acts on instinct. The Fool has no concept of others, only self. I agree with this assertion, though I urge everyone to do their own research and meditations if you practice reading or are just vaguely interested in it.

The card I want to talk about today is the Hanged Man. I love listening to music of all flavors, and whenever I hear Mumford & Sons – The Cave. I feel they are speaking on many levels of sacrifice, awareness, and emergence that ring in close harmony with the Hanged Man (or Woman!).  I also have a part-time hobby of listening to songs and trying to feel what tarot card lesson the song brings out for me.

“…..So come out of your cave walking on your hands.
And see the world hanging upside down.
You can understand dependence,
When you know the makers land.”

If you look up some of the discussion about the lyrics that make up this spectacular piece of work, you will find many people who find correlations to Plato’s Cave as well as Homer’s Odyssey. I see no reason to refute these opinions, and every reason to agree with them.

In Plato’s Cave, Plato talks about how people who are under no other torture are forced to sit chained in the dark, unable to move their heads and watch shadows of people walking by behind them back lit by two fires. It talks about how this perspective becomes their reality until the point where they conceive no other thought about their reality, until one crawls away and experiences the outside world. They try to come back to impart their wisdom to the others in the cave, but many disregard the truth spoken to them because they cannot see it.

In Homer’s Odyssey, one of the stories talks about the lesson of the Sirens who try to pull Odysseus’s ship off course and crash it and kill everyone on board. The others didn’t understand the sweet song they heard was actually heralding their doom. Odysseus did and managed to steer the ship rightly back on course and away from the Sirens call.

​​”….So make your siren’s call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say…”

In the story of the Fool, when he comes to the stage of the Hanged Man, he has begun to understand the world outside of himself (I’m only using masculine because of ease with the name of the card. It could be man, woman, child, non-binary, dog; anyone). There is sacrifice here, there is awakening and a new urge to bring balance.

The sacrifice of the Hanged Man is made because a person feels that they will come out of the situation more enlightened than when they went into it. It’s not the sacrifice of worldly goods for personal gain, it is a sacrifice made for the world, the greater community of mankind.

“…’Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be.”

This concept is also explored with various beliefs and deities such as Jesus, Prometheus, Odin and Dionysus to name a few. With this sacrifice, we begin to see our world a little differently because we see it from another perspective. One corner stone of witchcraft talked about by Lady Belladonna LaVeau is perspective reality. In short, your interpretation makes up your understanding of your reality. Change your perspective, and change your reality.  For more information, I highly suggest WiccanSeminary.EDU.

In the Hanged Man phase of lessons, the Fool has decided to change his perspective reality, quite literally. With this he begins to realize that he has a subconscious mind, and that his subconscious affects the reality he finds himself in. Not only that, but the reality that others around him may perceive as well.

His experience touches more than just himself.

His actions touch more than just himself.

“Oh boy,” the Fool thinks. “Maybe I’ve messed up somewhere. Am I living the life I want?”

For some of us, this lesson comes later than others. Some of us like to repeat this lesson often with gusto… (looks in mirror…chuckles). So I urge you all, to take a listen to the song and come to your own conclusions as mine is just one among many possibilities. Perhaps take a moment to think about the kinds of sacrifices you want to make, and what the outcome of that exchange you want to experience in your life.

“I will hold on hope and I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck
And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again.”

Bright Blessings upon your journey!
-Skyfae Laveau
Article originally posted 4/19/17 on Panegyria

Looking in from the Outside: Current retrograde cycles of our outer planets

At this time, we have safely emerged from a Mercury retrograde, and a Venus retrograde and a Mars retrograde. These planets are all close to the Sun and therefore we tend to be a little more familiar with their comings and goings in the space of our universe.

The outer planets however tend to “walk softly and carry big sticks!” These guys go into retrograde for longer periods of time in the year because they are further away from the Sun and ourselves. This can at times, mean that their affect on us may take longer to realize though the learning curve is a little easier than the “younger” planets zipping through their orbits.

Slower orbit can make the lessons they bring a little easier on those of us who choose to listen for them. Their retrograde cycles are longer and full of space to reflect and make our choices.

Right now Saturn, Pluto and Neptune are all in a retrograde cycle. Uranus is about to start its retrograde cycle at the end of this month, and Saturn will be going direct around the second week of August.

Some of you may only know about our more vocal retrograde cycles from planets like Mercury. Perhaps you may not know about these other planets and this is a quick little guide to bring your awareness level up and hopefully shed some light on any challenges you may be facing.

Retrograde is when the planet appears to move backwards in its orbital progression. This manifests as the inverse of the typical characteristics and energy of the planet in question. This tends to be a good time to work on different aspects of the self and reach new conclusions about our realities that enable us to manifest our greatest good!

Saturn

Saturn is considered to be all about boundaries. Being focused. Saturn is about our expectations of ourselves, of family, of loved ones, of society and the global culture and where we fit into that.

Saturn helps give us that narrow focus to achieve our goals. Its energy allows us to stick with something difficult because when it comes through to completion it brings such a sense of reward and accomplishment! You know that feeling… deadlines.. Check…. Made that meeting… check… completed that project… check… organized your bills.. OH YES!

This is Saturn in it’s day to day forward momentum and some of the energy it brings to us. Now, we put it into Retrograde and all these aspects are suddenly running in counterpoint. Loss of focus, easily distracted, we begin to question everything and everyone in our path; especially ourselves.

What am I doing here? What am I accomplishing… Who do I want to be? Who am I now?

These questions are invaluable to growth, though they can be difficult to experience.

However, there is a fun point I’d like to make to Saturn in retrograde. Rules… GONE. It’s time to let your hair down metaphorically, and shake it out. Boundaries and expectations you have placed on yourself may suddenly be lessened… or gone. This is where we stretch our limits. We explore new aspects of ourselves and what we want.

What do you want?

Such an important question cannot be ignored for long.

Pluto

Pluto went into retrograde in April and will be coming out in September. Now Pluto, lovely little planet that has been through quite a lot of this nonsense about being a planet, then not being a planet. No wonder Pluto likes to really tear down all the walls we make.

When running normally Pluto’s energy helps us break down the things that no longer serve us. Pluto helps you see your delusional mask and rip it right off your face leaving nothing behind but your best possible self.

When Pluto is in retrograde, as it is now we have the opportunity to address our shadow-selves. Our shadow-self can be characterized as the darkness we feel inside, the things that we do not want others to see. The things that we work hard to control, to force into submission and to adhere to norms. Jealousy, greed, unproductive selfishness could all be considered shadow-traits.

When Pluto is no longer moving in an apparent forward motion, our awareness of our shadow-self intensifies. This is not a time to dread, it is a time to celebrate! We have an an opportunity to give ourselves permission to feel what we feel without judgment. One of the lessons of the Buddha is the acceptance of now…. ‘Good’ or ‘bad’. And it is through acceptance that enlightenment (our highest possible self) can be realized.

Pluto’s retrograde motion is its gift to us to help us learn acceptance. Once we accept, can we account for ourselves and make new decisions if we so choose.

Neptune

Neptune went into Retrograde in June, and will be there till November. Normally Neptune is all about dreams, fantasy, psychic awareness and all things we hope for as a society. What we dream about for ourselves. What we desire to come to pass. The key here is when Neptune is direct its energy is that of the collective consciousness dream.

This can sometimes be very confusing but it does help realize certain global desires such as an end to hate. When Neptune is direct sometimes we may feel overwhelmed by all the energy of Spirit.

When Neptune is in retrograde however, the energy inverses. It becomes easier to see, like a fog lifting from a meadow to reveal the fairy ring inside. You now have a choice of going into the ring. When Neptune is in retrograde you now have easier access to your metaphysical awareness. Dreams come more easily, and may be less complicated to understand.

This works very well with Saturn’s retrograde action of trying to discover what you want, because Neptune wants to show you how to get it.

Uranus

Uranus frankly has had enough of everyone’s excuses and would like to introduce radical and unconventional ways of accomplishing new ideas. Uranus is about innovation, new beginnings, revolution and challenge!

We all have that one friend that challenges us, that sometimes we don’t get along with because they ALWAYS see an opportunity for something to be better, more radical, more significant. Sometimes, we don’t answer that person’s call or text because we are feeling lazy.

Well it’s really hard to ignore a planet’s energy here. Uranus wants to remind you that you need that spark. This isn’t about the boundless energy of Mars… this is calculated meham. Sometimes that can be a bit much for us and we need a break.

Luckily Uranus will be going into retrograde at the end of July and give us all a break. This radical self reflection, awareness, and opportunity to address our challenges can be exhausting.

I know I’m tired, how about you all?

Did I say break? Well, depends on what you mean by break…..

During its retrograde cycle Uranus energy will tone down and become more focused inward. More self reflection I know, it’s good for you! However, now that the apparent motion is in reverse the energy is not as combustible as it is when it is in direct.

You may start to experience a slower, more reflective observations. Instead of the radical change and leap, you will have time to explore the why behind the change and address psychological and mental triggers. This is also a great time to work on overcoming addictions.

Just know, wherever you find yourself challenged in the retrogrades going on around you, that you retain total control. Knowledge of the energies at work in your reality give you the opportunity to embrace your joy, to find your dreams, to explore your limitations and see if they can be stretched.

xPosted to Panegyria August 2016