Jet Lag!

I’m tired. So very tired!

I have to admit, I’m a little bit crazy. I had a wonderful time in New York. It was a dream meeting my favorite comic book artist, and I got to spend the week learning and sharing about the software I use for work. I also was able to see a production of The King and I at Proctors Theatre!

I stayed with a wonderful friend that I met last year. She was a wonderful hostess, and we stayed up late in to the nights talking and socializing. The down side was that I didn’t get much sleep!

I was planning to meet up with some friends at the end of my trip, and hoping to catch a show on Broadway. Unfortunately, neither of those actually happened, for one reason or another. I did walk around Times Square late at night, amazed at how many people were out, and how busy the retail shops all were.

I didn’t get to go on a tour of the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. I tried to sleep in, except housekeeping woke me up. I tried to go back to sleep, and failed. I DID go to Liberty Park and see Lady Liberty from as close as I could get on land. She was amazingly inspiring! I honestly did not expect the emotional response I had to seeing her.

I got home very late on Friday night, after a very long day of travel. And I was silly enough to get up early for a Spirit Fair on the weekend! In hindsight, I’m really not sure what I was thinking. I’m still feeling tired today, and I’ve got a very full week ahead of me.

Maybe I’ll get to sleep in on Saturday? ZZZZzzzz



Fan Girl Moment

This week am at a conference on the East Coast, in upstate New York. It’s a conference for work, and I went to it last year as well. I met some lovely people, and I’m excited to be back.

I booked my flights months ago. The plan was to arrive on Sunday, because the conference started on Monday, and the transit from west coast to east coast is not a short trip. Back in February, the airline cancelled the flight I had booked, and I had to re-book a different flight. My only option for a Sunday arrival was an overnight flight, which got me in at 6 am.

As the trip got closer, I started thinking about what I could do with the extra day (knowing that I was going to be arriving somewhat sleep deprived). I figured I could do a little sight-seeing in New York City before driving upstate.

Me with Wendy and Richard PiniOn Friday, I saw a post from the author of the one comic book that I have followed (admittedly on and off) since I was quite young – Richard Pini of ElfQuest. He posted that they were all set up at the Comic Con they were at for the weekend.

It got me thinking about how much I would like to see them some day. They’ve been out to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle in the past, and I was even IN Seattle the weekend of Emerald City when they were there, but I had another commitment, and I was not the one driving.

I started poking around on their website, looking at upcoming appearances. My brain didn’t register at first where this Comic Con was. It was in New Jersey. Actually, just outside NYC. Then I thought it ended Saturday. Finally, I looked at the calendar and realized it was on until Sunday, and I was going to be arriving in NYC on Sunday!

I went to the website of the convention, and found they had Sunday-only tickets. Was it a good use of my resources, though? After much internal debate, I decided to go for it. I’ve wanted to meet them for so long, I would surely regret it if I didn’t take this opportunity.

After a long night of travel, and navigating through NYC (thank the Goddess for the GPS navigator on my phone!), I had a bit of a rest before the Comic Con opened.

Skywise by Wendy PiniI met Wendy and Richard Pini, creators of ElfQuest. I grabbed a few signed prints for my family. I got a book signed. And I totally splurged and bought a drawing that Wendy did, for me, right there at the Con. It was wonderful. I really wasn’t much interested in the rest of the Con, which was mostly a room of exhibitors. I stuck around for their panel, (in spite of the spoilers – I haven’t finished reading the Final Quest yet) and then headed north for the real purpose of my trip.

Wendy and Richard are lovely, down to earth people. I’m sure they must get tired of all the people at all the events they go to, and yet they take the time to connect with their fans. It was wonderful to interact with them, even just a little, and watch them interact with other fans. I’m so glad I went!




I’m Happy For You!

I’ve noticed an interesting shift in myself recently. I’m genuinely happy for other people’s successes. Not that I wasn’t happy for people in the past. It’s different now, though.

I'm so excited for you! Tell me all about itAlways in the past, whenever someone would share good news with me, I would express happiness. Inside, though, I would often feel jealousy. Not much, just a twinge. OK, sometimes a lot, depending on how big the news was. My happiness for others was tainted. Why wasn’t that, or similar, good fortune coming my way?

Lately, however, that twinge is gone. I honestly feel excited for others’ happiness. I want to see my friends joyful and successful!

Sure, there are still some things that I would like improved in my own life. There is always room for improvement. And I enjoy celebrating my own achievements.

Right now, though, I want to celebrate YOUR achievements! What is going well in your life? What’s new and exciting? Drop me a comment and let me celebrate you!




Leadership Can Be Lonely

You’ve heard the phrase, “It is lonely at the top”? I may not be at the top, however, I have had a taste of this loneliness from time to time.

When I first started running a Women’s Circle, it was more a group of friends getting together, and I was just the organizer, the party planner if you will. Most of the women who attended were my friends, or became my friends.

Through education and training, I became a teacher, and more and more a leader. It also began to separate me from my friends. I was driven. I knew what I wanted, and I devoted myself to my spiritual pursuits. That is, in addition to my family and a now full time job.

My increasingly busy schedule certainly didn’t help me remain as closely connected to my friends as I would like. Their lives shifted and changed as well, and many of them moved away. My Circle shifted and changed as well, and new friends came and went.

I started teaching at the Wiccan Seminary online, and taking more students in real life as well, teaching Wicca and Reiki. My new students didn’t know me as well, and by this time I had achieved some status in the ATC. I wasn’t one step ahead anymore. I was several. So I was put on a pedestal. Not by everyone, and not about everything. However, I have at least some of my personal sh!t sorted out, so I look pretty well put together.

Then, of course, there’s the rule of leaders not sharing problems down. There are not a lot of people that are willing to put in the work to progress. So the farther I go, the fewer people there are to connect with and talk to.

Thankfully, some of my students are able to clear the illusion that I am perfect (I can tell you I am DEFINITELY NOT perfect!), and treat me like a person. Yet I’m still separate. They can connect with each other in a way that I cannot, because I am the leader.

I was reminded of this at Spring Mysteries. I was so happy so many of my students were there, connecting with each other and bonding through this shared experience. Yet I was unable to spend much time with them, because I had other work to do. There we were, together yet separate.

It is definitely a case of “be careful what you wish for”. I wished to be a Priestess, a Healer and a Teacher. I just didn’t realize back then how lonely leadership could be.

I am grateful to every one of my students, online and in person. I am grateful for each of you who read my blog. And I am grateful for my teachers. I look forward to all the moments I get with each of you. Our connection is valuable to me.



Back to Mundane Life… Sort of

I’m finally back from Spring Mysteries Festival, and it’s taking me a while to recover. It’s always challenging returning to the mundane (“normal”) world after spending the better part of a week in magical space.

Persephone Returns HomeI think this was more challenging than in the past because I really pushed my limits this year. Besides being the Vessel of Persephone, I was also the ritual director for the event, and I was part of a couple of other rituals leading up to the main rituals on the weekend.

Leading up to Spring Mysteries, I had already drained my reserves pretty low. I’ve been working with my naturopath to figure out what has been causing fatigue, and we are finally getting closer. However, I’ve been dealing with fatigue for months, and keeping a very busy schedule in spite of the exhaustion. There was only one weekend I had off rehearsals since January, and that weekend was spent sewing costumes.

The week before I left for Mysteries, I stayed up late every night to get the final touches on my (and my husband’s) costumes finished, and packing everything we would need for our week plus trip. We arrived at the last rehearsal ready to drop.

I recovered a little during the couple of days between final rehearsal and the event itself. The cold I had been fighting off for weeks threatened to take me out, but I managed to ward it off, using every natural remedy I had on hand.

The event went BEAUTIFULLY! There were only a couple of minor hiccups that were barely noticeable. Many said the event was one of the best yet. My Circle mates made me proud with how much they helped with the clean up on the final day.

And then, I crashed. I was pushing through, because there was more to be done, when Bella came and took my hand, and told me to come with her. She made me rest, and took care of me, and so many people loved on me. It was absolutely, positively, exactly what I needed. I cried and cried and cried from the release. There wasn’t anything wrong, there just wasn’t anything LEFT.

Once home, I slept, and had a massage, and went to the chiropractor, and slept. I ended up taking an extra half day off work and slept. On the weekend (I had a weekend!) I slept until noon, or almost noon. I allowed myself to NOT get into any of the projects I’ve been putting off until after Mysteries. I read a book that had nothing to do with Greek mythology, or self help, or school (it was an autobiographic look at one woman’s family and their experiences with residential school in BC).

I’m back to work now, and teaching, and so many other things. The Goddesses are with me, behind the veil, though I can feel them and connect when I want. I can feel that my energy reserves are still low. I’m working to rebuild. We’ll see how long I can keep still the pace slow slower than it was.



The Countdown is on!

I can hardly believe it is almost Spring Mysteries (Happy Equinox, by the way). This coming weekend is the last rehearsal before we are on site for the Festival. Which means I have less than a week to finish my costumes, and my husband’s costumes, and a few other details.

persephone returns by madam monte cristo

persephone returns by madam monte cristo

I’m feeling the pressure! I’m tired (it’s been a really long run this year). I’m feeling cranky, because stress. I’m making good bad choices – I REALLY want junk food, because I tend to eat my stress – but instead of getting Cool Ranch Doritos, Dr. Pepper, and peanut M&Ms, which are all full of foods I am nit supposed to eat, I am getting salt & vinegar chips (the ones WITHOUT milk – and as an aside, who needs milk products in salt & vinegar chips???), and kombucha.

I wonder if Persephone feels like this every time she goes between Underworld and Earth?

You won’t hear from me now until the week after Spring Mysteries Festival. I’ll be up to my eyeballs in preparation, and then recovery. See you on the other side!



Pomegranates and Poppies

One of Persephone’s main symbols is the pomegranate. Homer tells us that Persephone ate 6 pomegranate seeds in the Underworld, and that is why she must spend six months with her husband and six months with her mother. We have winter when Persephone is with her husband because Demeter mourns. When the daughter returns to the mother, she is happy and the world blooms and grows once again.

Besides the pomegranate, though, I wondered what some of her other symbols might be. I mean, she has a lot of epithets – among the most well known are Kore (maiden), Cthonia (of the earth, especially deities who lived in the Underworld), Daeira (knowing one), Praxidike (exacter of justice), Iron Queen (for a longer list of Greek epithets, click here) – and I wanted to know what other symbols are sacred to her.

poppies in wheat fieldFlowers are an obvious one. Persephone is the Maiden of Flowers. She was abducted while picking flowers in a meadow. The narcissus is the flower that captured her attention and allowed her to be taken. Early on in my journey with her, she told me to walk on lavender flowers –

Lavender oil is known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also has antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive and sedative effects. 

Meditating with Persephone, and the poppy came to mind. I remember from when I was working with Demeter that the poppy was often associated with Demeter, because you often find poppies in wheat fields. I found some references online to a myth that the poppy was created to help Demeter sleep when she was in her deepest mourning searching for her daughter, though I couldn’t find an actual myth reference to that. I did find this very brief reference on Theoi:

MEKON (Mecon) A man loved by the goddess Demeter who was metamorphosed into a poppy flower.

And this interesting tidbit:

Virgil, Georgics 1. 208 ff (trans. Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.):
“When the Balance [Libra] makes the hours of daytime and sleep equal [in autumn], and now parts the world in twain . . . then is the time to hide in the ground your crop of flax and the poppy of Ceres [Demeter].” [N.B. Poppies and flax were apparently planted to revitalise the soil in the crop rotations.] 

So, the poppies were sown in the autumn… when Persephone left for the Underworld… They revitalized the soil for the next growing season. They literally transformed the Earth so that it would be fertile in the spring.

Another fascinating connection between poppies and wheat is as a cure for ergot poisoning.

Poppy leaves when bruised and mixed with vinegar, barley meal, and hog’s grease, will cool all inflammations and the disease called St. Anthony’s fire [ergot poisoning]

Ergot is a fungus that grows on grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Some scholars suggest that psychotropic substances, like ergot or amanita, were a part of the rites at Eleusis. If this theory is correct, then the poppy mixture would have been a key medicine to have on hand in case of adverse reaction.

The more I search, the more I feel that poppies in the wheat fields are a visual and herbal representation of the Holy Daughter and the Great Mother, Persephone and Demeter.

What if the poppy was a gift from Persephone to Demeter so she could rest and revitalize through the winter, and also be reminded of her daughter with the bright red flower? As well as make the fields ready for the spring planting of the wheat? And to heal from the poison of her anger and depression?



Food Issues

Once upon a time, I said to myself (and the Gods apparently) that I was not going to have food issues. I was going to eat whatever I wanted.

And the Gods laughed at me.

no wheat no dairy no eggs no sugarI discovered I had a sensitivity to dairy after my second child was born. It had been suggested to me several years before, on more than one occasion, but I was NOT willing to give up milk. Or cheese. Or yogurt. Or ice cream. Especially not ice cream.

However, after developing eczema, and having stomach cramps after every meal, I finally decided it might be worth a giving up dairy. Lo and behold, the stomach cramps stopped, and the eczema cleared up! I was cured! (As long as I stay away from dairy…)

Until the eczema started coming back. Not as bad, but still. I didn’t want MORE food issues. So I just dealt with it.

Fast forward several years. I’ve had a number of health issues come up, one of them being fatigue, which I’m sure I’ve shared about before.

The latest effort to alleviate fatigue is searching for food sensitivities that might be blocking the absorption of nutrients and supplements that would otherwise help me feel great. I went for the blood test. It may be more expensive, but it’s faster and easier than a total elimination diet. It tests various food groups, and searches for the inflammation markers in the blood. There’s also a psychological difference with having on paper the foods that bother me, as opposed to guess work on my own. When it comes from outside, I generally have an easier time following the “rules”.

Dairy came back with a very high inflammation response, which was no surprise at all. Wheat and similar grains, including amaranth and quinoa, also came back with a fairly high marker, which I suspected after my Whole30 testing. The surprises were almonds (almond milk has been my go-to replacement for dairy!), blueberries, cranberries, eggs, string beans and tomatoes. Other nightshades were okay, as were potatoes and rice, and most vegetables and fruits (thank goodness!).

Starting now, I’m eliminating the foods that show the inflammation markers. I’m looking forward to more energy and less pain, and if that means dealing with these food issues, that’s what I’m willing to do.

Have you had food issues? Did you resist, or deal with them graciously?



Happy Birthday!

Tomorrow is my birthday! I’m taking the day off work, sleeping in, going for lunch with a friend, getting a massage, going for coffee with my husband, and then going for coffee with more friends!

Red Hat FairyI am extremely blessed in so many ways. While there are some things I might want, I have almost everything I need.

So I’m borrowing a hobbit tradition, and giving away a guided meditation for my birthday!

Now, before you get too excited, there is a caveat. You have to be subscribed to my e-newsletter. (If you’re not a subscriber, you can join using the form below. And yes, I will be checking before I send you your gift!)

Leave me a comment on this post before March 7th, and I will send you a download link for Playing With Fairies Guided Meditation (one of my most fun and playful meditations).

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Thanks for playing with me!


Persephone Speaks

I was meditating with Persephone this morning, and my mind wandered. I kept thinking about the things I had to do for work, or how I was going to do a sewing project, or… any tedious thing.

So I apologized to Persephone, for not being able to stay focused.

The Blood of a Pomegranate by Stephen Mackey

The Blood of a Pomegranate by Stephen Mackey

“It’s all right,” she told me. “I understand. You have a lot of burdens and responsibilities. So many of them. I know you dream of getting away. It would be nice to crawl underground and rest. However, I have even more responsibilities in the Underworld. Here I am Queen. Even when I do go back, while it seems like a break to be the Maiden of Spring, my responsibilities are still here in my kingdom. They don’t go away.

“There was a time where I wanted more – more responsibility, more respect, more adventure, a greater feeling of contribution. Be careful what you wish for! Though I would not trade my story for anything.

“Remember that my power came through adversity. Your strength and your power also comes through your challenges and adversity. Use it. Hone it. Own it. Transform it. Allow it to transform you. You have no idea how strong you really are, how much you can accomplish. Keep pushing.”

This message was meant for me. Hopefully you find it meaningful too.