Author Archives: Mary

About Mary

I am a Priestess, a Healer and a Mother. I have three children, and a circle of spiritual people who lovingly refer to me as “Mother Mary”. I have studied Usui Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique and Quantum Touch healing. I have led a spiritual Circle for nine years. My mission is to help others uncover the Divine within themselves, to reconnect to their Soul’s wisdom, and to help them find their path.

Bittersweet SMF(ony)

Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony this life ~The Verve

Just over a week ago was the Lammas Monologues at the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (#GODCON). This event is an opportunity to honor the Gods by showing off our talents, particularly the talents of invoking. It is also (essentially) the auditions for the festivals that the ATC puts on.

Demeter and KoreAnd this year was the first year I have attended and not presented a monologue. I’m feeling a little conflicted.

On the one hand, it was so amazing to get to watch everyone else strut their stuff. We have some amazingly talented people in our Church! And I didn’t have to come up with a costume, or worry about what I was going to say, or deal with performance anxiety. It was awesome!

On the other hand, I actually enjoy performing – the rush, the audience reaction, and being the center of attention for just a short time. I even received a message in my morning meditation while I was there, and had no way to really share it. Talk about bittersweet.

And… I chose this. Last year took a lot out of me. I pushed myself to exhaustion. I know I need a break. I also know that other people need the opportunity to shine, to learn these lessons and mysteries and step into their own power. So why am I sad?

I’m not even fully stepping away from Spring Mysteries. I’m still the ritual director, which means I still have to go to rehearsals, and I’m very much involved. It will be easier to focus on directing when I am not also playing a role. I can work on liaising with the technical crew. I don’t have to memorize any lines.

Logically, it is a great choice. It makes a ton of sense. Yet my heart is still a little heavy. Performing and invoking facilitating ritual experiences for people is like a drug. I want more.

I’ll still be doing some of that. And I will get to witness and experience the Mysteries in a way I haven’t for seven years.

Will you join me at Spring Mysteries? And Hekate’s Sickle Festival?

Blessings,

Mary

Family time!

This picture is from last year’s visit, when Mom and Dad renewed their vows.

Quick post today – my parents are visiting, so I have been spending as much time as I can with them while they are here. Unfortunately, I still have to work, however, Mom and I went to the spa on Saturday. I always love the Kingfisher Hydropath. And it is good to pamper ourselves once in a while.

Next weekend I will be off visiting my friends and spiritual family at the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. Mom and Dad are coming with us there. I love that my bio family gets along with my spiritual family!

Until next time,

Blessings,

Mary

Living the Nine of Pentacles

I call myself the Prosperity Priestess, and I want to let you in on a little secret. I’ve made mistakes when it comes to money. I mean, I’d love to say that I’m rolling in the dough and you can, too, if you just follow these easy steps…

pot of goldWell, that’s not true. If I said that, I’d be pitching you a pipe dream. I would be no better than a snake oil salesman. That’s just not in integrity for me.

The truth is, I’ve made bad investments. I’ve been in debt way over my head. I’ve worried how I’m going to pay all my bills. I still have moments when I engage in retail therapy. I will be the first to admit I’m not perfect. I’m a work in progress.

Lately, I’ve really been feeling like I’m living the Nine of Pentacles. I’ve worked hard, and I’m at a place where I have some ease. Not a lot of ease, a little. Enough to not sweat the small stuff, anyway.

It’s a lot of work to maintain, though. Full time job, teaching in the evenings, reading tarot on the weekends, making the occasional sweater coat… It takes effort. And, it’s what I need to do (for now) to live the life I want to live.

For example, last weekend we went on a family trip. I had saved up some money, and I was prepared. At least, I thought I was. It is not cheap feeding six humans on a road trip! Especially when one of those humans (me) has food restrictions. So when the brakes also needed to be replaced on our vehicle this past week, and it was more expensive than anticipated, I almost panicked.

Almost. A few years ago, setbacks like this would have put me in a tail spin. I would have been freaking out, or getting depressed, or panicking, or all of the above. I didn’t fully trust the Universe to support me. I didn’t really believe there was more than enough. Oh, I said the words. I just didn’t live them.

Now, I’m a lot closer to living that. I feel the stress, and then I remind myself that I live in a supportive Universe, that I am worthy, and there IS more than enough. I remember that I don’t have to be the one to figure out the how – that’s not how manifestation works. I have to put the intention out there, hold a positive expectation, and use the tools and skills I have to work to make it happen.

I finished a sweater coat late Friday night to have ready for the weekend markets. I stayed up late, and got up early to make it to travel three hours to the market on Saturday. And lo and behold, that coat found it’s home this weekend, and we earned enough money to keep moving forward; to take a deep breath and not panic.

It has taken a lot of work to get to this place – a lot of work on myself, changing my beliefs and my mindset; and a lot of physical work at my job and my passion. I’m not where I would like to be. Yet. So I will keep doing the work and know that it gets better and better.

Wishing you lots of abundance and blessings,

Mary

Rites of Passage

It is wedding season, and one thing I LOVE about being ordained is performing handfasting (Pagan wedding) ceremonies. I don’t have the opportunity to perform them as often as I would like, yet this month I have been invited to perform two of them. Hooray!

age-cycle-womanThe first one was this past weekend, in the beautiful city of Kelowna in the interior of BC. My family took the weekend for a family trip, and visited my husband’s mother, and connect with a student of mine for an initiation. The next one is next week, near the beach on the Island. I’m looking forward to that one as well.

Marriage is a rite of passage, a celebration of the love between two people. The ceremony acknowledges that love, and shifts the relationship, affirming the commitment of the couple to each other, surrounded and witnessed by loved ones.

Because of one rite of passage, I missed another. The celebration of life for my friend Shelby, who crossed over several weeks ago, was also this weekend. That rite of passage was more for the people left behind than for Shelby.

We underestimate the importance of these rites of passage. Rites of passage change the participant, and mark a shift from one stage of life to the next. Marriage and death are obvious shifts. There are other moments in our lives that ought to be celebrated – birth, becoming an adult, achieving a big goal, separation from a partner, becoming a crone or sage… anything that feels significant.

Our society marks some of these moments – bachelor or bachelorette parties; baby showers; graduations; funerals. The goals, and endings (whether jobs or relationships), and aging – those we often let pass without recognition. And when we let them pass, we soon forget the importance of the lesson, or the things we went through to get where we are.

So mark those moments, as I did with my tattoo. I’m not saying you ought to get a tattoo at each of these points! Do *something* to acknowledge the moment. Go out for a nice meal. Light a candle and make an offering to the God or Goddess you feel most connected with. Throw a party. Make the moment special.

What moment would you like to recognize with a rite of passage?

Blessings,

Mary

When one is committed…

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this quote before, because I love it:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”

– William Hutchison Murray

I have wanted to be a priestess ever since I read The Mists of Avalon in high school (thanks, Bill and Cole). Reading about Morgaine, and the House of Maidens, I wanted to go there. I even went to Glastonbury when I went to England in university. And yes, I *did* get up before dawn on Beltaine morning and climbed the Tor. Sadly, I did not cross through the mists. 🙁

Fast forward many years, and I am now a priestess. I’ve gone to school and received an Associate Degree in Wiccan Ministry. And I’ve been thinking about getting a priestess moon tattoo on my forehead. It’s a big step. There’s no hiding a facial tattoo. (I know, I know. Makeup. Bangs. There are totally ways to hide a tattoo on your forehead. Go with me here.)

So I’ve thought about it quite a bit. I would want it to mark a significant moment. Or maybe I ought to wait until I can retire. But that’s likely to be a long time off. I thought about getting it when I received my 3rd degree initiation. I wasn’t quite ready then. Like I said, it’s a big step.

A few weeks ago, I helped my friend Shelby cross over. Afterwards, I felt it was finally time, that I had earned it. The next question was when to actually do it. For such an important rite of passage, I didn’t want to just do it “next Tuesday”. I reached out to a friend of mine who is an astrologer over at Hestia’s Muse. Wendy gave me some great guidance, and I booked my appointment with Grey Owl Tattoo.

I asked three of my priestess friends to join me to support me through the process. Thankfully, Jenny at Grey Owl is quite spiritual, and was super accommodating with my request to make it a ritual. It probably helped that Cece put in a good word! They chanted to raise the energy, and I meditated and prayed my devotion to Goddess. Dawne even sang a song she wrote. It was powerful and moving and I felt so honored to be surrounded by powerful women. I’m so happy I got my moon tattoo. It’s empowering, and it feels so right for me. I know it’s not for everyone, though it is right for me. It was definitely a rite of passage that I am grateful I went through. I am committed to my path, and I look forward to Providence moving.

Blessings,
Mary

Patriotism Week

All week I was super excited to share with you about a rite of passage I went through last week. I even started writing the post. And then, I attended the Canada Day festivities…

flags Canada USIt was a lovely day! Vendors, food, live music, all the weather (seriously – it was cool and overcast in the morning, then hot, then rain, then wind, then sun and wind), and, of course, fireworks to end the night.

I had a booth, and we did pretty well. It was lovely to see my community gathered in celebration.

Then I started thinking, here we are celebrating our nation, and there are people who can’t celebrate. People who are locked in cages for trying to escape the atrocities at home. People who have been separated from their families. People who had their homes stolen from them. People who fear for their lives because of the color of their skin.

And it is hard to feel patriotic knowing that the leaders of your own country are doing these things. This isn’t some history book, or a nation half way around the globe that you can pretend it isn’t happening. This is here. At home. In countries that are supposed to hold freedom as their highest values.

Yes, you read that right. Countries. Canada is not immune to prejudice and atrocity. We are a country that stole land from the First Nations people, not unlike our cousins to the south. We ripped First Nations children away from their families and sent them to residential schools, abused them, and didn’t let them see their parents or speak their language. And before you say, “But Mary, that’s in the past. The government has apologized!” The majority of children in foster care in Canada are First Nations. We may not be locking them away in residential schools any longer, but we are still taking children away from their families.

I read stories every day about the suffering that we inflict on others because of our differences, and I feel so small and insignificant. What can I do that will make any significant difference?

Then I remember that I am not alone. I don’t have to change the world all by myself. However, I can’t do nothing. Doing nothing empowers the hatred. I can make a difference with small actions. I can be kind to everyone. I can reach out and support people in my own community. I can honor the land, and the people who were here before me (there are three First Nations bands in my city). I can speak out in support of diversity. I can talk to my local representatives and request that they take action. I can support those on the front lines who are doing the even tougher work.

Keep acting. Keep loving. Keep raising the vibration. Remember, we are all one, and THAT is something to celebrate!

Blessings,

Mary

It’s Not About the Money

Working with Lakshmi, however lightly, is teaching me about being in the flow of abundance.

Lakshmi ~ Flow of Prosperity, from the Ascended Masters Oracle Card deck, by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D

Lakshmi ~ Flow of Prosperity, from the Ascended Masters Oracle Card deck, by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D

When you’re working with a deity of prosperity, you don’t just go in making demands and asking for money. It’s not as simple as lighting some incense and saying a prayer and poof! You’ve won the lottery or got that raise! (If it were that easy, everyone would do it.)

Working with deity of any sort requires building a relationship. You have to get to know them. Read their myths. Make offerings of their favorite items. Spend time meditating and connecting with them.

It’s like making a new friend. You don’t just ask for a loan from someone you just met. You start by going out for coffee, and sharing small details about your lives. You go out for lunch, then maybe go to a movie or a concert together. You start spending more and more time with each other, on the phone or in person. And through all of that, the motivation can’t be to ask for a loan.

So my motivation in working with Lakshmi isn’t about getting rich or asking for money. Lakshmi reminds me of the abundance all around me. She helps attune me to the flow of prosperity, to be open to receiving and giving generously.

When I am able to be present, and share my gifts with an open heart, it is a very different energy than sharing because I feel I need the money. I read tarot and coach and teach because I love to see the growth in others, the awareness and the a-ha moments. I love to bring clarity and confirmation to people. (Let me be clear, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy receiving money. Getting paid is definitely a good thing! It also happens to be the easiest form of energy exchange.)

Abundance isn’t really about money, not at its core. It’s about having more than enough, whether that be food, or energy, or love, or any form of blessing. And yes, it can be money. Abundance breeds happiness, because it it is rooted in gratitude.

So thank you, Lakshmi, for helping me to see the abundance all around me, and helping me to be in the flow.

Blessings,

Mary

Crossing Over

Content Warning: Death and Dying

Last week, a friend of mine crossed over, and I helped her do it.

A little over a year ago, Shelby had a headache that she couldn’t shake. She went to the doctor, and it turned out that her headache was due to a brain tumor. She had surgery, and they successfully removed the tumor. However, the tumor was near the part of the brain that controls anxiety, and hers became very difficult to control.

Her husband, Jon, and her best friend, Lisa, were incredibly supportive, doing everything they could to help her heal. In spite of that, eight months ago, she was hospitalized.

Unfortunately, because of my schedule, and living in a different community, I was not able to visit her very often. Between my few visits, and through updates from Lisa, I witnessed her slow deterioration.

And then, just over a week ago, the update came that if we wanted to visit Shelby, we needed to do it soon, because her time was almost up. I stopped by to see her on my way home from my girls weekend. I don’t know how long I sat with her. Not long enough. I talked to her quietly while she slept, gave her Reiki, and prayed to Goddess that if it was her time to pass, that she do it with peace and ease. And if it was not her time, that Goddess would kindle within her the will to live.

I planned to go back on Friday, because I had classes all week, and my son’s band concert. Thursday the word came from Lisa that Shelby might not make it to Friday. So after my class, I headed out, not sure when, or if, I would be home.

There was quite a crew in Shelby’s room when I arrived; Jon, and Lisa, and another friend of Shelby’s, Debbie. Her sister, Nikki, also came by. We talked, and laughed, and shared stories and favorite (and sometimes irreverent) memories of Shelby. The Gayatri Mantra played on repeat in the background.

During this time, Shelby’s breathing was labored, gasping and with long pauses. She was not conscious, though I swear she reacted to some of the stories. I sat near her and gave her Reiki, and I could feel her discomfort from the pain, and fear, both of the pain and of dying. There was too much activity in the room for her to really be peaceful.

Eventually, almost everyone went home to get some rest. Lisa stayed, planning to spend the night in the hospital room with her, and I stayed to minister.

I talked to her, held her hand, and stroked her forehead. Lisa sat with her, also maintaining contact with her. She shared with me that the Goddess Shelby felt most connected with was Diana, so I called on Diana to be present, as well as Hekate in her role as psychopomp to help guide Shelby’s passing. I could feel that she was ready to go, and also afraid. And I could feel the presence of her mother and father, watching and waiting to welcome her.

Lisa told me that Shelby really enjoyed my healing waterfall guided meditation. I had given it to her when I first learned that she was unwell. So I played that for her. During the meditation, Shelby started to relax, and began to release her bonds with her body. It was gradual, and tentative. Her breathing became less labored, though there were still long pauses. The tension in the room, and in her body, began to ease.

Though I didn’t speak out loud, I felt connected with her, and we were definitely communicating. I encouraged her through the whole process. At the end of the healing waterfall meditation, I sensed her confusion, because it talked about rejoining spirit and body, and she had already begun leaving. I reminded her that it was okay.

Then I played A Walk with Artemis Guided Meditation, since Diana was her Goddess. Her spirit began releasing even more, once again in cautious stages. Shelby became very relaxed, all sense of fear and anxiety and tension disappeared. By the point in the meditation where you spend time in the pool with Artemis and the nymphs, her spirit was free. The sense of joy was euphoric!

We waited a bit before calling the nurse, to make sure she had actually passed. We didn’t want to jar her out of her peaceful state. And we kept thinking we saw or felt breath. Finally, I read a prayer from A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith:

Old Man, ferry this one across safely, bringing her swiftly and without detour to the other side of the great sea.

Pole your boat here to this place and perform your duty.

Her fare is paid, her place secured, so take her aboard and carry her away, over the sea, following the setting Sun, to the landing place before the great city where the Lord of Death rules.

Bring this one before he  who sits on his throne.

Make her name known to the ruler there.

Make smooth the way, open the doors, clear the path, unlock the gates.

Gerontos, this one is starting on a great journey.

Stand by her until she is safely home!

It was an incredibly powerful, beautiful, peaceful and loving moment. She was supported by her best friend, and… me. I am so grateful and honoured to have been there, to have been able to give her one last gift. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about it, not with sadness though, with overwhelming gratitude and the beauty of that moment.

I’ve been thinking about her, and that night, all weekend. There’s a part of me that cannot believe what I experienced. That’s the stuff of fantasy and science fiction, right? And another part of me feels I’ve uncovered a gift I didn’t know I had. I keep coming back to gratitude. I’m sad to have lost a friend. I have wonderful memories with her to smile about. I’m glad that we were friends. I’m thankful that Lisa was able to be with her, and keep me updated. I’m grateful she found the peace she wanted in her passing.

Blessings,

Mary

PS. There is a fundraiser for Shelby’s family. She is survived by her husband and three children, ages 9, 11, and 18, and all funds raised will go to support them.

Girls Weekend!

I don’t often take a trip just for pleasure. I travel often for festivals, and rehearsals, and sometimes for work. Seldom for pleasure though.

Girls Weekend!This past weekend, the friend that I stayed with in Schenectady came to Victoria (Sophia). She was visiting another friend of hers in Seattle (Tara), and they planned a quick trip up to the Island. So I went down with another friend of mine (Dawne), and we met yet another friend (Bonnie) down there to spend the weekend together.

I got up early Saturday morning, and met Dawne at her home. We then drove the almost 4 hours to Victoria. We found a place to park near the hostel we were staying at, and then made our way to the inner harbor to meet up with everyone else for lunch and to plan what we wanted to do.

The one thing on my agenda for the weekend was to go to the Royal BC Museum’s Egypt exhibit. Other than that, I was open, and I wasn’t fussy about when we went there. Since several of us are theatre folk, we wanted to see what was on. Big city like Victoria, there had to be SOMETHING playing, right? After unanimously passing on the dance recital, we found something called Atomic Vaudeville Cabaret. We had no real idea what it was, but it sounded interesting!

We were going to head out to Butchart Gardens, however, we ended up shopping most of the afternoon on Saturday (um, I didn’t know Fluevog’s came in size 12 – that is really dangerous!). There are a lot of cool stores in downtown Victoria! By dinnertime, though, I was hurting from all the walking. I even wore my runners with my orthotics and the socks that help stability and balance and reduce pain. We went to dinner, and then to the show.

The show was amazing! Funny and weird, and we laughed a lot! Then back to the hostel, and some tarot card readings before bed.

Sunday morning I was still hurting a bit. Sophia and Tara wanted to go on the tour of the Parliament buildings, so Dawne and I hung out for a while. Bonnie met us after brunch, and we went to the museum. If you have an opportunity, go check out the Egypt exhibit. Lots of wonderful information, and beautiful pieces.

Even though I didn’t get a ton of sleep, it was so wonderful to spend a relaxing (emotionally, anyway, if not physically) relaxing weekend being a tourist with some wonderful women. It was so rejuvenating (yes, the retail therapy probably helped a bit!). Thank you, ladies!

Blessings,

Mary