Journey to Eleusis – It’s a LONG Journey

I’m probably more than a little crazy. Almost every weekend from January to Easter, I make the long, long trip from my home to Seattle (or sometimes Index) for a four hour rehearsal for Spring Mysteries Festival.

Is it worth it? Yes!

Whole30 update: Woo hoo! I’m half way through!

View from the ferryI’ve been having “food dreams” the past few days. I wake up feeling guilty about cheating. In my dream, I will have had a huge bottle of (not natural) lemonade, or a giant chocolate Santa. I don’t even wake up craving or wanting those things, just guilty that I consumed them, or disappointed that I have to start over.

And then I’m super grateful that I DON’T have to start over!

On a positive note, it’s easier to climb the stairs at work. We have two very steep sets of stairs at work. We jokingly call it our work out program. Before the Whole30, I would get quite winded climbing them. Now, I am much less winded when I get to the top. OK, still a little. And it is so much better! I can go up more quickly, too.

So, I’m starting to see improvements. Yay!

How was your week?

Blessings,
Mary

Journey to Eleusis – First Rehearsal

I’m very excited to be at “The Tab” (The Aquarian Tabernacle Church), reconnecting with some of my spiritual family that I haven’t seen in a while, and getting ready for the first read-through of the script for this year’s Spring Mysteries Festival.

I also give an update on my first week of the Whole30. (It’s not entirely easy to manage while eating out, and I made good choices!)

If you haven’t registered for Spring Mysteries Festival, and you would like to go, you still have a couple more days to get in on the Early Bird pricing! Go. Register now!

Blessings,

Mary

Moving Into 2017

It’s been a while since I did a video blog post. I’m going to be traveling a lot on the weekends going back and forth for Spring Mysteries rehearsals over the next few months, and I’m not going to have as much time at my computer as I normally do. So I’m hoping to do more videos while travel.

This week, I say goodby to 2016, look forward to 2017. And I’m starting the new year with a Whole 30.

Whole30 ChallengeI see the Whole30 as a modified elimination diet – removing potential irritants from my system as a reset. I’ll be eating only whole foods for 30 days. No grains, no dairy, no legumes, and no sugar. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can find out all the information on the Whole30 site.

Wishing you many blessings and all you desire in the coming year,

Mary

All Hail the Tech Crew

Home sweet home from Spring Mysteries Festival. As usual, it was an exhausting, yet fulfilling weekend.

For me, Spring Mysteries is an opportunity to spend time with my spiritual family, and to be of service. It is a a weekend full of ritual and community.

tech_crew_godsBeing a part of the ritual presenting crew isn’t all glamor and accolades. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. There’s a crew of people who go largely unnoticed and unrecognized, and yet, they are vital to making the event a success.

My family has been involved with both the ritual presenting and the technical crew. Tech crew works very long hours to make the ritual presenters look good.

Tech has been near to my heart for a very long time. In high school, at summer theatre, I was involved with makeup, props, and set crew long before I appeared on stage as an actor. In the university theatre program I attended, tech was a very important aspect. We were required to participate in work weekends and technical practicums. I understand and appreciate the importance of technicians.

Last year, while holding the role of Demeter, I also helped to hang and focus the lights. My eldest son was a major part of the set crew, helping with both lights and set construction. The younger two helped wherever they could.

This year, I wasn’t as involved with the setup, though my eldest sure was, even in between parts of the drama (the good kind) that he was involved in.

I did help with the tear down, though. Clean up of the site started early Sunday morning. We kept at it, other than a single meal break, until everything was put away in the storage locker at 8 pm. Many of the ritual staff and all of the crew kept at it.

They don’t always get a lot of recognition, but I saw and I honor their work. All hail the Gods of Eleusis! All hail the Tech Crew!!!

Blessings,

Mary

Journey to Eleusis: The Final Stretch

By this time, next week, the 31st annual Spring Mysteries Festival will be over. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost upon on us.

Euphrosyne - Spring Mysteries FestivalThis has been the shortest rehearsal period since I’ve been involved with the ritual presenting crew. That’s because Easter is very early.

Do you know why the date for Easter changes from year to year? It is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. And this year, the stars have aligned for all of those events to happen within a week! So Easter, and therefore Spring Mysteries, is about as early as it possibly can be.

I alternately go between feeling confident that we are going to rock it out of the park, and freaking out that I have no idea what I’m doing.

That’s the nature of theater, though. Some people say that an awful dress rehearsal means a fantastic performance. And really, for 5 hours of performance time throughout the weekend, we do amazing work with only about 48 hours of rehearsals.

Each person does their own work to learn about the particular deity they are portraying – reading up on their myths, and connecting with their energy through prayer or meditation.

It’s been a little challenging for me this year, having three deities to work with. After our dress rehearsal yesterday, I was physically sore. I didn’t feel like I had done a lot – certainly not a lot of physical work. And yet, running energy for 4.5 hours is not easy! It’s hungry work, and it can take it’s toll on your body if you don’t take care of yourself.

So the next couple of days, I’m going to be taking my vitamins, drinking lots of water, and getting as much rest as I can. Because once the Festival starts, sleep is something we do AFTER Festival.

Because I will be at the Festival all weekend, I won’t be writing my usual post next week. I’ll see you all on the other side!

Blessings,

Mary

I Don’t Want to Jinx It…

I don’t want to jinx myself. I’m a little nervous even bringing it up. I think I just might be beginning to feel better.

fingers crossed

I even sang “Laundry Day” to myself while doing laundry yesterday!

I’ve had an upsurge in energy. I went for walks twice this week. It would have been more if it weren’t so stormy. I haven’t wanted to exercise in weeks.

I’ve worked on sewing projects. I’ve actually completed one, and made progress on another one that has been on my agenda since the end of January.

I’m getting energy back. For the first time in ages I’m starting to make plans for farther ahead than my next medical appointment.

My meditation practice has been more on than off. And trust me, it was off for longer than I would like.

I don’t know if it is the combination of supplements that I have been taking, or the amazing acupuncture treatment that I had that released a ton of stuck energy, or that it is spring, or that I have simply finally had enough time for things to shift.

I’m ready for a shift. I’ve been in limbo for months. No, that’s not right. I’ve been in limbo and just getting by for more than a year. The last few months I’ve really been working on surrendering and not having any attachments to any particular outcome. Every time I’ve thought that I knew what was going on or what was going to happen, something changed, and I was back to uncertainty.

I feel like I’m starting to get my power back. By power I mean personal power, self confidence. It’s still a bit tenuous, and needs some care and protection. I’m not quite ready to take on the whole world. Yet. Baby steps.

I’m continuing to trust in the Universe, trust that the Universe is supporting me. And trust that this upward swing is going to continue. Fingers crossed.

Blessings,

Mary

Another Turn Around the Sun

Yesterday (for you reading this, for me writing it’s today) was my 41st birthday. That’s right. I’m not ashamed of my age. I’m very proud of it, actually.

image

Unlike a couple of months ago, at the end of one calendar year and the beginning of the next, I didn’t spend the day looking backward. I didn’t do a whole lot of reflection at all. I went to rehearsal for Spring Mysteries.

My trip began on Saturday, traveling from my home on Vancouver Island to the mainland, and spending the night with a friend and fellow actor/priestess. She is also one of the Grace/Fate/Furies, and so we talked about, and worked on, costumes.

Yesterday was up early for the trek to Seattle. We met up with a couple of other lovely humans, also in the Mysteries, for the carpool down to rehearsal. Lots of stimulating conversation and laughs in the van, along with baby coos!

Rehearsal was tremendous. People had most of their lines down, and our trio of trios connected better than we ever have. We sang, and it sounded great. And they brought me birthday cake!

I also connected more strongly with the energy of the Graces, the Fates, and the Furies. Our spiritual director has been opening each rehearsal with a guided meditation designed to help us connect more and more with Eleusis, our deities, and the people who have served them in the past. Up until this week, I have struggled with the meditation (something VERY unusual for me!), feeling pulled in three different directions and not sure which way to focus. This week it came together, and I was finally able to see the three strongly diverse energies braided together, harmonizing and strengthening each other.

It is late Sunday night, and I need to get some sleep. I’ll be traveling back home the rest of the way tomorrow, or today really, when you’re reading this. I apologize that it’s not as shiny a post as many of my other posts – the joys of working on a mobile device instead of a computer!

Thank you, Universe, for another turn around the sun, and another opportunity to make changes and improvements in my life!

Blessings,

Mary

Journey to Eleusis: Split Personalities

I haven’t written much yet about this year’s Journey to Eleusis, probably because of all of the other challenges in my life right now – the Journey to Eleusis has taken a bit of a back seat.

Spring Mysteries Festival is still on, though, and my family is attending once more. Actually, four of the five of us have roles as ritual presenters! Thankfully, we have been able to borrow a lot of costumes this year, at least for the others.

I have three roles this year, as do two other priestesses – together we are the Graces (Charites), the Fates (Moirae), and the Furies (Erinyes). And wow! Is there energy ever different!

three gracesThe Charites were most commonly said to be daughters of Zeus (because wasn’t everyone Zeus’ progeny?), with various mothers given, though some accounts list them as daughters of Helios, Hera, or even Dionysus. They are the personification of Grace and Beauty, and were often pictured as attendants of Aphrodite or Hera.

The names and numbers of the Charites also varied. Once again, we are following the most common myths and depictions of three Graces: Euphrosyne, goddess of good cheer, joy, mirth and merriment; Aglaia, goddess of beauty, adornment, splendour and glory; and Thalia, goddess of festive celebrations and rich and luxurious banquets. They are the “hostesses with the mostesses!”

Their energy is very light and fun, almost air-headed.

FatesThe Moirae are goddesses who determined a person’s fate in life. Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured the thread of life, and Atropos cut the thread of life at its end. As with just about everyone in Greek mythology, their parentage is given differently by different authors. Zeus, of course, is given as a father of the Fates, but others credit Nyx, the goddess of night as their sole parent.

Disney depicted the Fates as sharing a single eye and tooth between them, and Percy Jackson depicted them as blind and sharing an eye, however, that description belongs to the Graiai, another set of three sisters that features in the myth of Perseus. To know a person’s fate, they must have been been able to see, and they were also known for prophecy.

The Moirae are alternately depicted as ancient and crone-like, or young and fair. Their energy is deep, and calm, and ancient.

William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_The_Remorse_of_Orestes_(1862)The Erinyes were the avengers of crime, particularly murder. My favorite, and the most common, version of their parentage is that they were born of Gaia from the drops of blood that fell when Cronus castrated his father, Ouranos. That parentage makes them sisters of Aphrodite, who was born of the drops of semen that fell in the ocean and created a sea foam. Their names were Alecto, the unceasing; Tisiphone, the avenger of murder; and Megaera, she who holds a grudge.

Other versions of their birth are similar to the Fates, being born of Nyx. The Fates were often said to dispatch the Furies to avenge a crime, and thus bring a person to their rightful fate. They pursued the criminal relentlessly, often driving a person mad or inflicting illness or disease. Anyone attempting to hide a criminal would also be subject to the wrath of the Furies.

The energy of the Erinyes is angry, furious, and demanding of justice.

Though this year’s journey has a few more twists and turns for me, I’m really looking forward to it. I hope you’ll join me!

Blessings,

Mary

Heart Full

Thank you to everyone who has reached out in the last little while, sending supportive messages and energy and encouragement. I was really on the mend already by the time I wrote last week – the worst was over. And it was wonderful to receive your comments. Thank you.

My-Heart-is-FullUnfortunately, I am not able to share details of the drama in my personal life. Those who know me personally are aware of the situation, and maybe one day I will be able to share what has been happening. I can share that my family life is good.

Progress has been made, though resolution is still some ways off, as is healing. I keep having to remind myself that things didn’t get this way overnight, so they are not going to be resolved overnight.

My mind still blows things out of proportion, for example, when plans change unexpectedly. For example, last night I received an email that I had been expecting earlier, and it threw off my evening plans. It took me a while to calm down. I still want to escape and just watch Netflix or sew.

That said, I am having more positive moments. I am slowly feeling more social, or at east less anti-social. I met with a counselor last week, and he was able to help me to find some good insights. I’ve even started creating again. I’ve got a Celtic knot purse on the go, and another one planned as well as a couple of sweater coats on the go.

And, of course, I’ve got rehearsals for Spring Mysteries Festival to keep me busy. (You can still register at the Early Bird rate until January 31st!) Yes, it is time to journey to Eleusis again.

Anyway, I reassure you all that I am on the mend. Thank you for helping fill my heart. I really appreciate it!

Blessings,

Mary

 

Shattered

That’s it. It’s over. There will never be another 30th anniversary of the Spring Mysteries Festival. And I’m broken-hearted. The long road to Eleusis comes to journey’s end. At least for this year.

The world breaks everone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. -Ernest HemingwayI’m sad that it’s over. I’m sad that I have to leave my spiritual family and come back to my other life. I’m sad that people I love and respect were not able to be there.

I’m shattered to “regular” theatre. Ritual drama is incredibly intense, emotional, and change-provoking. “Regular” theatre can be all of those things, too, of course. And yet to marry that with a spiritual experience…

I thought for a bit that maybe I was doing something wrong. People kept asking me, “How are you doing?” in that are-you-really-ok-I’m-afraid-you-might-burst-into-tears kind of way. Some people experience Demeter’s Mysteries in a very challenging way.

I felt really good, though. I allowed the energy to move through me. I could tell it was affecting others strongly, and I received many such comments. And yet, in spite of a couple of hiccups, we ended on a high note. Demeter was happy at the end of the ritual.

I was asked if I would participate as a ritual presenter again. Absolutely! I’m hooked! It was extremely fulfilling to be the vessel of the Goddess in this way.

I have had the blessing of learning lessons of grief, depression, anger, joy, love and change. It was an exhausting week, in a very positive way. I stayed up way too late to spend time and share stories and laughs with people I love. I moved a lot of energy and emotion. I released a ton of sh!t. And I did good work.

I look forward to doing it again next year. I hope you will join me!

Blessings,

Mary