Thoughts on the Eclipse

I’ve been contemplating different things to write about this week. There are a few things going on in my life that I’ve thought to share with you. And yet, the eclipse is so timely.

I went out this morning and sat in my yard with the sun shining on me. We had light cloud cover. I meditated about connecting with the earth and sun and moon, and the intention I have for this eclipse.

Homemade Eclipse ViewerI felt the moment the eclipse began. Well, I felt a shift, around the time the eclipse began. I asked the Dark Mother Goddess, (Kali, Ereshkigal, Hekate, Morrigan, the “mean” mom) to take away the negativity and fear and hate and greed. I asked Her to take into herself anything that does not serve the highest good of humanity and our beloved planet Earth, and transform it.

I took turns with my husband and our boys looking through our homemade pinhole viewer, and watching the image created from a hole punched in a piece of cardboard projected onto a piece of paper. Because of the light cloud, we weren’t able to get any crisp images.

A wonderful neighbor came by with a pair of eclipse glasses, and allowed us to have a look through them. The eclipse was only about 30% by that point. Still, it was fascinating to see the clear image of the orange crescent sun. It was even more fun to see the look on my youngest son’s face when he took his turn looking through the glasses.

Crescents from the eclipseWe looked at the crescents that were made on our van by the light coming through the leaves. We listened as the crickets increased their chorus. We watched the quality of the light change to a strange combination of overcast day and twilight. We felt the temperature drop.

As the eclipse reached it’s maximum (I don’t live in the path of totality, so our maximum was about 86%), I imagined the union of the God and Goddess, the Sun and the Moon, giving birth to a new reality of love and joy and compassion and understanding and appreciation – appreciation of the diversity of our experiences as humans and appreciation of out Mother Earth. I held the vision of increased vibration, increased trust, and increased awareness of the effects of our choices.

We came inside and witnessed the diamond ring of totality flare on the computer screen from somewhere in Oregon, sealing this intention for a new reality. May we all work together to bring this vision to fruition.



PS. Do I think the eclipse was a magic pill that will allow us to suddenly wake up in an alternate reality? No. And, it is a catalyzing moment. It will take a lot of work to make this vision a reality. I hope you’ll join me in my commitment to making it happen.

Pagan Pride and Protests

This weekend was the 13th Annual Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day. And it took over my life for the past week several weeks.

Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day 2017

Circle of the Sacred Muse book at Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day 2017

I’m really pleased with how well the day turned out. My team of volunteers/friends pulled together, got over the rough start to the morning (the sprinklers were on for the first hour we were supposed to be setting up and marking out vendor spaces), and made the day a fantastic one.

The smoke was more or less cleared from the sky, the sun came out, and there was a gentle breeze throughout the day.

The main ritual touched many people, and I am so grateful for Bella and Dusty coming up from Washington to perform the White Goddess ritual for us, and for Michele and Erik coming up from Duncan and supporting us throughout the day.

The organizers went out after the event and had a lovely dinner. I crawled into bed after unloading my van at about 11:30 pm, and it still took me a little while to wind down, even though I’d been up since 4:30 am. That’s when I checked back in with the rest of the world and learned a tiny bit about what happened in Virginia.

Demonstrators clash late Saturday morning in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo credit

On the same day that our peaceful Pagan Pride event was going on, people gathered on the other side of the continent to spread, and protest, hatred and fear. White supremacists clashed with counter protesters in violence. People were injured and killed.

My initial reaction was shock. I wanted to bury my head in the sand. I didn’t want to know what happened. I wanted to just write a blog post about how wonderful Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day was.

And yet, my heart is heavy. I may not know exactly what to do, however, I know I can’t ignore what has happened. I’m white. It is my responsibility as a conscientious white person to speak out and loudly say “THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.” We are all people. We all deserve to live in love and safety.

I have friends who are Black, Native, Syrian, gay, lesbian, trans-gender, gender queer, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan… They don’t fit the “white Christian” mold, and have been living in fear of exactly what happened in Charlottesville. That the hate and fear that has been hidden below the surface would not be hidden forever. That racism, sexism, and religious bias would once again become okay. That the rights and freedoms that they have fought so hard to gain would be ripped away, because they haven’t even been universally supported.

My friends are tired. I don’t experience even a fraction of what they do, and I’m tired. And it’s precisely because I DON’T experience what they do that I need to speak up. I need to fight harder. I need to support them. I need to educate myself, because it is not their job to educate me. It’s not enough to dismiss the current events as a one-off, as not my problem because it’s too far away/I’m not racist/I didn’t vote for the president. That’s a cop out. And as much as I would like to turn a blind eye, I can’t. People I love are hurting. They are terrified. And history shows that not doing anything allows it to get much, MUCH worse.

If you want to know what you can do, here is an excellent article: White Feelings: 0-60 for Charlottesville

Read it. Take action. Call out your friends when they are being insensitive. Do not stand idly by while hate consumes and destroys.



The Cost of Business

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of you. Running a business is expensive! Even if (especially if?) it is a part time business.

time and moneyIt’s on my mind because I have had to order more supplies recently. More business cards. More marketing. More website resources. More product.

And more time. (I wish I could buy that as easily as I can the business cards, although I’m sure the time would be MUCH more expensive!)

When you run a business, there is always something that needs to be done. There is content or product to create, networking to be done, and marketing. There is always more marketing that can be done.

And it’s probably the place I miss the most opportunities. I love creating content. I love designing. I love teaching. I know how important marketing is. I even know a lot of the “how to”. I still struggle with it.

It takes time. The resource I struggle to manage the most as I follow my passion. It’s a good thing I love what I do!



Honouring the Elders

Last week, the BC Elders Gathering was held in Campbell River, near where I live. As part of the Gathering, they set aside a space for pampering the Elders. There were people cutting hair, giving manicures and pedicures, cedar brushing, and giving readings. All of these were free to the Elders attending the Gathering. I was invited to participate as a tarot reader.

All I can say is wow. What an amazingly powerful gift I was given.

I used to be one of “those” people. I didn’t understand why there was such animosity between Aboriginals and Whites. Yes, White people took their land, and confined them to reservations and broke promises and… but that all happened generations ago, right? Can’t we just get over it already? Move on from today? I used to compare Aboriginal/White relations to a scene from Babylon 5:

Please forgive me my ignorance.

Now I’ve learned more about the horrors of residential schools. I’ve learned more about the cultures of the people around me. Understanding brings respect.

Over the course of the three days of the Gathering, I met a lot of Elders. I sat with them and witnessed their joys, their struggles, and their pain, as it was shown to me through the tarot, and through what they were comfortable sharing with me. And let me tell you, there is a lot of pain.

These people have had their entire culture, and their entire way of life, vilified and squashed. There are beautiful customs and language that are remembered by only a few. And those few are working hard to bring them back.

I saw a lot of wands. The wands represent the passion these Elders have for their people and their culture, as well as the struggle to bring it back, and to bring healing to their communities.

The 6 of cups came up frequently as well. This is about nostalgia, looking backwards and missing the way things used to be. I experienced this not so much as missing their own childhoods (because no one wants the residential schools back!), as missing the way things were for their ancestors. Life was simpler, the land was respected, and communities looked out for one another.

The Hermit, The Emperor, and Judgement came up in quite a few readings. The Hermit is about dealing with your “stuff” – working on your own healing so you can be a brighter light and help others better. Pulling all the skeletons out of the closet and determining what you need to accept, what you need to change, and what you need to forgive. (I’ll come back to forgiveness…)

And Judgement is about letting go of the baggage of the past, letting each day be new, and making your choices and decisions be made from today, and not what happened yesterday or 5 years ago or 20 years ago. It doesn’t discount what happened. Just like forgiveness doesn’t make what happened ok. It means taking back your power and making choices consciously and not from a place of reaction.

The Emperor is about authority and boundaries. Some Elders have a strong sense of their own authority and healthy boundaries, and others struggle with that because they were punished if they did not obey. So there is a sense of reclaiming their power, and not allowing others to dictate their circumstances just because they are in a perceived position of authority.

Some Elders aren’t ready to forgive yet. Given the horrors they have experienced, I can understand. Forgiveness isn’t always easy, especially when the pain runs generations deep. It is a process, much like grief, and it takes as long as it takes.

Speaking of grief, there is so much grief in the First Nations Elders. There is grief about what has been lost – language, land, customs, and culture. There is grief because parents are burying their children, whether because of alcohol, or drugs, or depression, or suicide, or violence. There is grief about the effort of healing, and being the ones left behind to do this work.

I’ve spoken a lot about the pain, but I also witnessed a lot of joy and healing. Many of the people who sat with me for readings are incredibly strong, talented and gifted. They were beautiful in their wisdom. They were so grateful to be able to come together with family and friends from near and far. And even through the grief and the pain, they have a strong desire to be a part of the solution, to find ways to bring healing and reconciliation to their loved ones, as well as the greater community.

I am truly humbled and honored to have been able to witness and serve this beautiful group of people.



I Miss Them Already

The week before last was crazy. It was extremely busy, and good.

My family was here for a week (it wasn’t long enough). My parents have visited before, though my sister and her family have not. Well, my sister visited, but not to our current home (and we’ve lived here over a decade). We also had friends from Winnipeg out during the week.

Usually when my parents visit, we keep things pretty low key. We do a little sight seeing, and mostly we visit and catch up with each other. When we visit my family, there is usually a lot planned, and I know my sister and her boys like to be active. So I had a busy week planned.

We went to my eldest son’s graduation. We went to the suspension bridge at Elk Falls. My mother, my sister and I all got matching tattoos. We played in the waves on Long Beach on the west coast of the Island. We walked through Cathedral Grove, and saw the Goats on the Roof in Coombs. We ladies relaxed in the hydropath and pampered ourselves with pedicures while the boys and the children explored the Air Force Museum and played at Nymph Falls. We celebrated Canada Day and my parents renewed their vows in celebration of their 45th anniversary.

Like I said, it was a very busy week!

Unfortunately, because of my dad’s health, he wasn’t able to join us on many of the excursions. I felt bad that I wasn’t able to spend more time with him. With all of them. I also really enjoyed being a tourist on my Island, visiting places I haven’t been as well as sharing beloved spots with people I love.

While the week was busy, and I am glad to have my home back to relative peace, I do miss my family. I don’t know how long it will be before I see them again.

Hug your family. Tell them you love them.



Being and Doing

A good friend and mentor of mine reminded me lately that I am a human BE-ing, not a human DO-ing. She’s told me this in the past, too, as a reminder to slow down, and not be so busy all the time.

being and doingIt’s been going through my mind more recently than in the past, maybe because I’ve been super busy (and the schedule doesn’t seem to be getting any lighter in the near future).

It occurred to me that part of my do-ing is tied to my be-ing. I AM a priestess. I can’t stop being a priestess. I have responsibilities as a priestess, which include ritual, and ministering to people in my community.

Ministry is a HUGE job. Listening to challenges, visiting people, helping out wherever they can, providing emotional support, teaching the spiritual path, being an example of living that spiritual path… That’s why pastors and ministers in the larger faiths don’t usually hold other jobs.

My congregation may not be as big as those of larger faiths. I still do a lot in that role as minister. Which means I be a lot.

One of my greatest joys is being in service to my community. I feel like I am making a difference. Yes, it’s a lot of work and yes, there are times that I just want to hide away. That doesn’t mean I want to stop.

So yes, it is healthy for me to slow down, take breaks, and make time for myself. I appreciate that reminder from my friend. And, I’ll keep doing much of what I do, because it is meaningful and in alignment with my being.



My One Addiction

I am an addict. It hurts to admit it.

Sugar Candy BowlsMy grandmother was a chemical dependency counselor – an addiction social worker. She went to AA and Al-Anon meetings. My grandfather was a recovering alcoholic. I don’t remember him when he was drinking. He (thankfully) was sober by the time I remember him. He even went back to school and became an addictions counselor himself.

Growing up, I was very aware of my family’s predisposition to addiction. And if any astrological sign is likely to be an addict, it’s mine – Pisces the escapist.

Because of how I was raised, I’m not a smoker. I’ve never done drugs. (Well, almost never. I did have that one special cookie…) I never acquired a taste for alcohol. I can take or leave caffeine. And yet, I’ve still managed to become addicted. To sugar.

I’ve managed to give it up, briefly. During my Whole30, I went a little over a month without it. And at times in the past, I’ve cut it down significantly.

The last couple of months, though, I’ve been binging. Each day, I tell myself I’ll cut back. Or stop. And each day, I have some. Sometimes more than others.

I know how bad it is for me. It’s terrible for my liver. It packs on the pounds. There’s a history of diabetes in my family.

I know how bad I feel when I eat it. It makes me feel gross. I don’t sleep as well. I feel lethargic and tired.

And I still can’t stop myself. I tell myself that as addictions go, it’s not that bad. It could be a lot worse. And it could. That doesn’t make it good.

Telling myself I’m going to quit obviously hasn’t worked for me. So I’m telling you. All of you. I’m probably not going to quit. I AM going to cut back. Tomorrow. 😉



Graduation Time – Almost

Here in BC, school is not yet out. There are a couple more weeks, mostly of field trips and celebrations for the kids. And part of those celebrations include graduation.

Alex and Henry AbGradMy eldest graduates from high school in two weeks. My middle son moves up from middle school to high school, and my youngest is moving from elementary to middle school. How did that happen? Where did the time go?

Last week was all about the graduation celebrations. I went to an Aboriginal graduation ceremony for the oldest on Wednesday. Though I personally don’t have native ancestry, my husband does, and so my boys do as well. It was amazing to be part of the ceremony in the Big House, with the dancers honoring the grads. It was also a very long ceremony, with lots of speeches! My son was presented with a Metis sash and a cedar headband.

Marcus GradOn Thursday, the elementary school held a lunch and ceremony to recognize the students moving on to middle school. We went out to lunch at the Driftwood Restaurant, a local (and tasty!) Chinese buffet. The students behaved themselves quite well, actually, though it did get pretty noisy! After the lunch, we headed back to the school for a “graduation” assembly. The students all gave short speeches about their memories of the school, where they see themselves in 20 years, and who their role-models are.

I was really grateful that I was able to go. It made my son’s day for me to be there with him. Because of my work schedule, I’m not able to help out with his class, or attend a lot of events at the school. When my middle son was moving from elementary to middle school, the teachers were on strike. Some of the parents still went for lunch with their kids, however, I was not able to go. This is my last child in elementary. So it was especially poignant for me to be able to be there.

Thursday evening was bursary and scholarship presentations for the oldest. He received a bursary from the local festival of film. We’re still working on the deposit for the film school he’s been accepted into (if you can help out with that, we’ve set up a YouCaring drive here).

I’m not as emotional about it all as I thought I would be, though maybe that is because there’s still time. Actual graduation is still two weeks out, when family will be here, and his girlfriend, and so it’s not quite real. We’ll see how I manage when he actually moves on.



A Weekend of Library and Film

I had a very busy weekend, as usual. I didn’t get to sleep in, but I still managed to have a refreshing weekend.

Saturday morning started with North Island College’s Living Library as part of the Elevate the Arts celebration. I had the privilege of being one of the human “books”. The “Living Library is an event that brings together people who may not normally have an opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion, with the purpose of increasing awareness of diversity and fostering empathy and acceptance in our community. During the event, Readers ‘check out’ Books for 15 minutes at a time in order to hear their story and ask questions.” (from the NIC website).

I got to meet a lot of people, and share about Wicca, and my journey. And I received the gift of hearing some of their stories. It was an incredibly rewarding experience. The one thing I was disappointed about is that I didn’t have an opportunity to check out any of the other Books and hear their stories.

However, I did get to reconnect with a friend that I haven’t seen in years. After the event was over, we sat and had lunch together and caught up with each other. It was so refreshing, and energizing.

And THEN, I met another group of strong, amazing women, and we saw the new Wonder Woman movie together. Wow. I loved it. Themyscira was gorgeous (Can I live there?). And let’s face it, Gal Gadot is gorgeous. The Amazons are gorgeous. And Robin Wright is badass. (I didn’t even recognize her.)

There are many good quotes from the movie, which you can find on many websites. The one that hit me the hardest, though, was by the character Sameer. Unfortunately, I can’t find the exact quote online anywhere. What I remember is something like this:

We can’t always be what we want. I didn’t want to be a soldier. I wanted to be an actor. I’ve always loved acting. But I’m the wrong color.

The diversity in the film was wonderful. Still primarily white, though there was a lot more representation than I have seen in many other films.

Sunday was Market day, and writing. The usual.

Even though Saturday was jam-packed, I thoroughly enjoyed it. How was your weekend?