The purpose of attention to detail is because it is detail which can make or break a description. The purpose of description is to invoke a feeling.
A good writer is someone who has to, by nature, be able to feel in high definition. A good writer is a magician, an alchemist. Someone who is able to transmute energy through the arrangement and structure of symbols on a page, (it doesn’t get much more magical than that!).
Therefore, committing to the craft of writing is not for those lacking in courage. It is not for the faint hearted. You cannot let yourself feel in HD without becoming completely receptive and vulnerable. There is no way around it, and for most people, this is a very scary thing…
You can only excel at this craft if you consciously and frequently throw yourself whole-heartedly into observing, into experiencing , LIFE. You must know how to live, and not simply go through the motions.
In order to make your descriptions believable, whether the writing is fiction or non-fiction, in order to entrance, enchant, and earn the empathy of the reader, you MUST be able to surrender completely. This surrender is what allows your senses to fully open. It is through your senses that you understand and interact with your reality. It is how you perceive the world, and as a writer, it is the difference between trying to describe a scene witnessed through a dirty, foggy, mud-streaked window, or smashing the window and stepping into the world beyond.
Smash the damn window. There is no better moment than this one…
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass. ” -Anton Chekhov
Dream Journaling- Have you heard of it? If you consider yourself even a bit on the mystical side, I am sure you have. While it can take some times to get used to this habit, I fully believe it is one worth cultivating. Really, it’s quite simple: Get yourself a pretty notebook or journal you adore and just can’t wait to run your hands over each morning. Get a pen to match. Set both on your bedside table or somewhere within easy reach upon waking. Remember, sometimes you may wake from a dream you’d like to record at a unusual hour of the morning or night, and stumbling around in the dark or pre-dawn haze searching for your instruments is a sure way to loose all the glorious details of your dream state mind, so make sure they are easily accessible. When you wake in the morning, before anything else, record everything you can remember about the dreams you had that night. And I do mean EVERYTHING. Colors, characters, sights, sounds, activities…they all may seem silly and nonsensical as you write them out with your rational mind, but I assure you there is magic hidden there. You will find that as you do this more regularly, the ease with which you can remember your dreams will greatly improve. How does this improve your life? Dream journalling isa surefire way to tap into and develop a dialogue with your subconscious. Your subconscious can be either your greatest ally or your worst enemy, depending on the relationship you’ve cultivated with it. As with any relationship being able to be fully present and to listen to the other party is vital. By recording your dreams you are sending a powerful message to your subconscious that 1) You are here, 2) You are listening. Once this message has been internalized, the subconscious flood-gates tend to burst open with new insights and information about the world and your place in it because, hey! now you’re actually paying attention and your subconscious knows it! No one, (including your own Self), wants to converse with and give information to an individual who completely ignores them and all their messages, pretending like they don’t even exist! This is often how we treat our dream guides. Now dreams and dream guides don’t often give straightforward information. Usually, the message or lesson is delivered with archetypical characters, situations, and symbols, and this is why it is so vital to write down every dream detail you can remember. What may seem like nonsense now may suddenly reveal itself to be key in understanding a solution to a pesky problem or the spark that ignites a new creative fire in your soul. Conversations or interactions you have with dream beings may seem upon waking, unforgettable, but you will find, to your great sorrow, that the details of these interactions will bleed from your mind like water through cupped hands and before you know it you will be left with but a few drops where there was once a bubbling spring. Preserve that wellspring! Write it down!
Gratitude List- Alright guys I know you’ve heard of this one! Everyone from Oprah to the Dali Llama to your therapist recommends it. But do you actually DO it? It is so simple, and so much fun! It is the easiest way to feel better about your life instantly, no matter what you’ve got going on. True, there are some periods in our lives that for whatever reason are just super challenging and down-right suck, but I have found that during these times, even writing things down like: I’ve got food to eat and clean water to drink. My children are safe, happy, and healthy. We have a roof over our heads and cloths to shield us from the elements. I have use of all my senses…. simple things like this that many of us tend to take for granted can really put things into perspective when we take note of them and appreciate how fortunate we are to enjoy such luxuries. There are actually quite a lot of people in the world who are no so privileged, and when I find myself in a grouchy, negative slump, it always helps to pause and reflect on just how much abundance I am surrounded by and how fortunate I really am. Do you have a friends or a friends you can always count on no matter what? Write it down. A mother and/or father who tell you they love you, (and more importantly, show you they love you? Write it down. Are you healthy? Are you literate? Do you have internet? List them. If you are really stuck, start with, “I woke up this morning and my lungs still work. How delicious this air is!” Seriously. If you begin the day with dream journaling, as mentioned above, why not make a habit out of ending the day with a gratitude list in which you take stock of all the blessing that were bestowed upon you this day? Keeping a gratitude journal has been proven time and time again to rewire your brain to seek out the positive, find the silver lining, and unearth the multitude of life little (and not so little) gems that many folks miss while immersed in the rat-race. Slow down, breathe, be grateful. This advice has never done anyone wrong. You can start simply; make it a goal to list 3-5 things each night before you turn in. Soon you may find that you want to extend your lists, and that they easily consume several pages at a time before you are through. You will fall asleep with a smile on your face and a receptive subconscious for all the wonderful messages your dream guides are waiting to deliver 😉
I recommend getting another journal specifically designated for your gratitude lists. But I will admit, I am a woman who doesn’t believe its possible to have too many journals/notebooks on hand. In order to keep the stacks somewhat manageable for myself I have been known to use one notebook as both Dream Diary and Gratitude Journal. I will use the beginning normally, to catalogue my dreams, and work backwards from the back of the journal, to create my gratitude lists until they meet somewhere in the middle. This way, both are on hand and easily accessible to me first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I definitely recommend doing this by hand. While I of course adore technology that allows writers to live, thrive, and survive in the modern world, digital list making just does not allow for the sensual, kinetic experience and the thoughtful awareness it brings to the task at hand. Plus we all know that screen time before bedtime is a bad idea right? Riiiiight???
3) Nature Journaling- I love love loooooove nature journalling. There is so much to be gained. So many ways this writing practice adds sparkle to your every day. This is why I make it a point to do this AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Preferably every day, at least once a day, for at least 30mins. But don’t be too hard on yourself. If all you can realistically manage is once a week for 10mins, start there. You may find that as you begin to reap the benefits you suddenly think of ways to carve out more time for this delightful practice. What are the benefits anyways? And how is it done? Simple. Just do what naturalists everywhere have always done: Step 1) Get out in Nature. Step 2) Observe Nature. Step 3) Record your observations Step 4) Take note of how wise you are becoming and how you now fully understand that Mother Nature really is our greatest teacher.
The key here is to be able to be still and silent enough to really observe. This can be surprisingly difficult for many of us who are used to operating in “Go, Go, Go” mode, those of us who tend to glorify “busy”, which is a prevalent theme in our culture. Remember what Rumi says: “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” There is no greater symphony than the one produced by Nature. Allow yourself to just BE. Even before you start writing. Give your self sufficient time to become the empty chalice into which Nature will pour her secret wisdoms. THIS IS YOUR DESTINY!!!! jk. sorta…
Pay attention to detail and record everything you can think of, not just the sights, (although you may want to adopt the practice of sketching your surroundings as well!). What smells surround you? What do you hear? What direction in the wind blowing and what does it feel like? Where is the sun in the sky? What is going on right there under your feet? What is the furthest thing you can observe. Look high, low, near, far, over, under, but do so in the spirit of open receptiveness and discovery. So back to what life changing benefits are to be gained. I believe too many to list, but here are a few of the most immediately noticeable:
–Enhanced senses. Ever hear the saying ‘Use it or loose it.”? Well—it’s true. If you live in a city where the noise never stops, work in an environment where the artificial lighting never changes and you are not required to look further than the screen in front of you, the walls of your house, or the bumper of the car in front of you, chances are some of your senses have atrophied from lack of use. Think of your senses like muscles. They may be weak and deteriorated at this point, but with a little practice, their strength and sharpness will come flying back joyously. Remember, our senses have been honed by hundreds of thousands of year of human evolution. They are designed to work optimally for us to ensure our survival. They want to, and given half a chance, they will explode with their sensitivity and perceptiveness. This means that suddenly, you are experiencing the world in High Definition, perhaps for the first time in a long time. The world literally shimmers, the caress of the breeze feels like velvet, and the kiss of the sun like a long awaited lovers lips against your exposed skin. It’s not a bad way to go about your day.
– A deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all things in existence. This is huge. And a little difficult to explain to those who have not yet started on this path. Yet if you allow yourself to become truly still and observant, in body and mind, it is impossible to miss the intimate relationship all beings share on this earth. You watch this unfold right before your very eyes. And it is not limited to people and animals. Plants, minerals, insects, seasons, the elements, geographical features… all of these forms are in constant and more often than not, collaborative communication with one another. It seems to be only us humans who have taken ourselves out of the convo. Rude. We’ve been acting like we are the only ones worth listening to, and whats more, the only ones with anything important to say. In doing so, within a few short generations, we have forgotten how to listen altogether. If you’ve removed yourself from a conversation and want to rejoin it, it would help if you take some time to quietly listen to what the other speakers are saying before you jump in with your own ideas and opinions. Carry this same attitude with you as you Nature Journal. Don’t head out with a specific goal or agenda in mind. Do not try to project your ego and aspirations onto the landscape. Your only mission is to be the invisible observer. The record keeper for the beings most of our species won’t even acknowledge have souls/feelings. Once you begin doing this, you will understand your own place in the grand scheme of things so much better, and this is a very liberating feeling.
– Psychic Powers and an almost Infallible knowledge of what is happening in your environment here and now. Two words. Bird Language. Learn it. Love it. Live it. I mean, you might as well if you are going to be spending any significant amount of time in Nature to keep your writing skills sharp and enhance your sensual capacity. While you may or may not suddenly develop the power to read minds as a result, you most certainly will develop a proficiency in reading the signs and sounds of natures feathered friends to the degree that you will be able to fool your friends and family into thinking you are the new Ms. Cleo. They will be astounded to here you say, “There is a feral cat coming this way.” Minutes before it is sighted at your fence line or “There is a group of hikers heading towards us” with more than enough time to pull all your cloths back on before your skinny dip session is interrupted. The cliff notes version is to basically do your regular nature observations, but with paying special attention to observing and recording the sounds and behaviors of any birds within the vicinity, which there are almost always sure to be. If you don’t see or hear any initially, it is most likely because you scared them away with your loud, blundering, human intrusion. But never fear, most birds will return to business as usual with 10-15 minutes after determining you pose no immediate threat to them. You can save yourself time and the birds energy however, if you learn to move through nature slowly, softly, and quietly. Take a few moment to acquaint yourself with the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, also known as ‘forest bathing’, and learn how to ‘fox-walk’. When it comes to bird language, you cannot pass up reading “What the Robin Knows”, by Jon Young. Plus, any writer knows it is equally important to read, and read often. Make it worth your while.
Some other works which speak loudly about the wonders of Nature Journaling and finding a “sit-spot” are “Dawn Again”, by Doniga Markegard, “The Science & Art of Tracking”, by Tom Brown Jr., and “A Witch Alone”, by Marian Green.
4) “Spirit Writing”– I do this a LOT. I also call it “Dear Abbey” writing for myself. Basically, whenever I am confronted with a tricky problem or challenge, I write it down in my journal as if I were writing into an advice column. I get it all off my chest and down onto the paper in front of me. This step in and of itself is often massively relieving. I then light a candle or incense, or both, take a few deep, grounding breaths, and read over my letter as if I were THE Dearest of Abbeys. I look at what I have written with a completely detached and objective mind-frame, and then I pen a response. What often happens is that I often find myself crossing the threshold into something like ‘automatic writing’, where the words are coming from a place beyond my mind. It is usually a female, goddess-type, mentors voice I hear, and my pen flies in attempts to capture in written word all the insightful information coming through. Something about this process has allowed me and many others I have shared it with to access a direct line to the Higher Self. This is life enhancing because your Higher Self is always looking out for you and always has your best interest at heart, unlike the Ego which tends to dominate most of our waking mental activity and can be, well….somewhat self-sabotaging at times.
5) Love-Letters to yourself– Maybe this is a woman thing, a mother thing, or just a human thing, but I have experienced that females, and especially the mothers I know (myself being no exception), tend to be ridiculously hard on themselves. I mean RIDICULOUSLY HARD! We are often our own harshest critics, riddled with guilt about not being good enough, pretty, or young enough, not doing enough, being productive enough, or generally feeling like we just aren’t enough. You can pick your poison as to what characteristic you apply it too but it is a poison most of us have tasted and continue to sip on from time to time, even when we know better. Let’s go easy on ourselves shall we? And remember that we grew up in a culture that is hell bent on making us believe we are not enough in X, Y, or Z, in order that they might sell us something that will somehow, suddenly, make us good enough according to our perverted societal standards. Well I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Fuck you, European Patriarchy and your soul-crushing, earth-destroying ideals! I don’t need your concealer, your wonder-bras, your sexy SUV’s, your newest diet fad or fashion must haves, in order to love myself. And I’m gonna prove it right here and now by writing myself a letter about all the ways I rock and all the reasons I am proud of the person I am. And how, you might ask, does this improve your quality of life? Well for one, it feels good to give the finger to “the man”, which I feel I do each time I am strong enough to resist the medias attempts to make me feel small, weak, broken, damaged, and afraid. I know that focusing on all the things I like/love about myself is exactly what big corporations and greedy companies DON’T want me doing, and I take a wicked delight in doing exactly the opposite of what they want me to be doing, which is absorbing the message of “you are not good enough as you are”. Secondly, it feels just as good to treat myself to some heartfelt, loving, healing, sentiments as it does to tell consumer culture to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Both facets of this practice just feel good. There is an art to saying ‘fuck off’ and ‘I love you’ to the right entities. YOU are always deserving of love, especially from yourself. So indulge yourself, including your ego a bit. Furthermore, how can you expect another to love and treat you right if you don’t even know how to do this for yourself? The relationship with yourself is the single most important one you will ever have in this life. So treat yourself right, like your own best-friend or most cherished lover. Gooey love notes included.
What are some of your favorite ways to keep that pen or pencil moving and how have they enhanced your life? Share your ideas in the comments, I am always on the look out for more inspiration!
“A WRITER IS A WORLD TRAPPED IN A PERSON”- VICTOR HUGO
Did you ever wonder what motivates a person to begin to identify as a WITCH? Well here is a brief(ish) rendition of my own story.
I have been told that 1 person in 25 is a natural witch. This is a calling so undeniable and present from such a young age that those who I have spoken to who consider themselves natural witches, myself included, can usually recall always feeling “different” from their peers in some undefinable way, and once they surrender to the calling there is a huge sense of relief, acceptance, and inner peace. That is not to say there are never moments of doubt or uncertainty, but attempts to leave this path are usually temporary and sometimes even result in personal stress on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Most find the calling so strong that they soon return to their witchy ways, and this is often accompanied by a sense of “coming home”. I liken this “calling” to the way some people are born artists or musicians, doctors or dancers, atheletes or teachers. You know the people I’m talking about. Those who seem “born into it”, who from a young age know that all they want to do in life is care for sick animals or work on cars. Their passions drive their actions and feed their souls. These are the lucky ones. I think most people are so out of tune with their true selves that it can take years to find their path, and sadly some never do, ignoring their inner natures until it is too late to act upon. Additionally I think witches in society are just as valuable and indeed necessary as doctors, mechanics, professors and entertainers. We are an important thread in the vibrant tapestry of society, and it is our responsibility to live a life which honors ourselves, Mother Nature, and the all…
I think the easiest way to tell my own story is to share a letter I wrote to an independent author after reading her novel “Dragonhorse and the Seeker of the Forgotten Knowledge” which I highly recommend. Here is a copy of the original letter, which I wrote shortly after giving birth to Mayla, my eldest daughter.:
Dear Mrs. Denice Garrou,
I feel compelled to write to you having just finished your book Dragonhorse….
First let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Sara, I am a 26 year old new mother to a beautiful baby girl who lives in California with her husband and small dog, Nala. I have always been interested in mysticism and the metaphysical, for as long as I can remember. Also, for as long as I can remember, I have loved horses and rocks/crystals. As a child I rode on an Arabian mare named Kobi we leased from a nearby ranch, where I also volunteered, working with the more neglected horses, and practiced my horse whisperer techniques I had learned from a Monty Roberts book! Sadly, I have never owned my own horse, as circumstances have never been right, but I still hope to have that pleasure in the future. I also collected rocks and crystals. To this day I have stones I’ve had since before I was in the double digits that I simply cannot part with. My husband probably wonders why there are always rocks stuffed into my bags whenever we move!
I love to read and the most exciting thing for me as a child was when Barnes and Nobel was added to our local mall and I discovered the “new age” section of the bookstore. I was not brought up religious and fortunately my family never raised an eyebrow when the books I selected were titles such as “A Witches Guide to Fairy Folk”, “How to See and Read the Aura”, “How to Develop Psychic Touch”, “Animal Speak”, and so on. However as I got older, around jr high I think, for no other reasons than my own insecurities, I began to feel extremely self conscious about my interest in magic (which I believe is simply a persons natural state of existence and capabilities). So I would sneak over to the new age section when no one was around and read secretly in my bedroom about casting circles and writing spells.
Now, despite my interest in earth based religions, magic, healing, and other such topics, I never really began practicing or delving into any such practice, as Wicca, paganism, Celtic magic…all topics I read about and was interested in, but weren’t quite resonating with me. Maybe it was the formality of the spells, the chants, the rules, or maybe it was just my own prejudice and the shameful fact that I was torn between the fact of wanting to be a witch and at the same time thinking people who claimed such practices were “weirdos”. So I quietly kept my own beliefs to myself as the years went by. Then, when I was older, probably a junior or senior in high school, my mom gave me for my birthday a book called “Natural Witchery”. She said it reminded her of me. My mom is not a witch, (that i know of), and I remember being both excited and a little embarrassed by the gift. But that was the first time something clicked with me. This book described a practice based solely on your intuition, personal experience and relationship with nature, and I liked it. It still contained spells and rituals, but it was more along the lines of what I had been searching for. I kept this book with me, (I still have it now), but unfortunately at that time I was more concerned with getting into college and subsequently, living the college life-style, (aka…partying way too much). My spiritual quest had been put on the back burner, but not forgotten.
This august I gave birth to my daughter Mayla. Being a mother really got me thinking: What kind of mother do I want to be? What is it I want to teach my child? While academics are no doubt important, I have always thought there are more important things to teach children. I want her to know how to be in tune with the subtle energies around her, how to see the magic and miracle in everyday, how to heal herself and others, be self sustainable and compassionate…
I am lucky enough that my husband has fully supported my decision to be a stay at home mom, and since having her I have resumed my “studies”, of developing aura sight and meditations, healing and psychic touch, and other natural abilities I hope to teach and nurture in her. I am writing to you because these past few months things have been happening at such a rapid pace and I just cannot keep the succession of events leading up to the purchase of your book and the effect it has had on me to myself.
This October two things happened which I feel created a domino effect in my life. The first was my dad giving Mayla and I two small gifts out of the blue. For Mayla, it was a small orgone to put in her room, for myself, an orgone necklace. He told me both had been blessed with Reiki. Now I had never heard of Reiki, or orgones for that matter. He briefly explained both to me and that was that. I found the ideas interesting but spent more time researching orgones as I found them beautiful and wanted to make my own. I kind of just disregarded the Reiki aspect to be honest. However, a few weeks later, a girl who I am friends with on Facebook, (we must have gone to college together but truthfully I’m not quite sure how I know her), posted something about her Reiki master giving classes. For some reason this time the term stuck with me. It really rang a bell. Then I remembered my necklace. I rushed to find the little card that had come with it, and there it said “each item has been blessed with Reiki”. That’s where I had seen the term! I felt a very strong urge to learn more, and over the next few days schemed of a way to learn Reiki myself. The main hurdle was the cost of classes, we are now living off of one income only. But wouldn’t you know, there just happened to be classes being taught less than five minutes away from me that were based on donation only! I called my mother and told her about the classes and she decided to join me. So on Nov. 16th we each donated $50 and became level one certified under a woman whom I am very pleased to have as my Reiki master. Since that class I have been practicing every day, with saying and meaning the principles, meditating, and giving Reiki to myself and family as well as reading several different books on the subject. It has been under a month since I was attuned and already I feel so different. More peaceful, centered, and just overall positive. I feel great! I really could relate to the whole concept of Reiki, as it fits perfectly with my own ideals of the natural divinity we are all part of.
So- I was on Pinterest the other day looking up “Reiki” to add images to my Reiki board. This eventually led me to search the term “Reiki master”, under which I came across an image whose caption read “wisdom of the divine feminine”. This term hit me hard as I had once read an article in a magazine with a similar title that I very much enjoyed. I then searched this term on meetup.com and this led me to the group “the women’s spirituality meetup” which had been created just this month and has but one member, the creator. Researching her I learned she teaches “mystical dance”, which again, stirred something inside me as I love to dance, especially flow arts like belly dance, poi, hoop, aerial tissu, and aerial hoop. I dance around by myself or with Mayla quite often at home. So I started looking up this mystical dance stuff which led me to the studio it is taught at called “The Sanctuary” which offers yoga, Reiki, massage, and various other classes including ‘crystal healing’. Again, something that struck a cord in my heart. I got on Amazon and looked up “crystal healing” then sorted the results by customer reviews. Your book was one of the top ones.
Even though I was at the time looking for a book about crystals, your book caught my eye because of the horse and gypsy on the cover. As well as loving rocks and horses, I also have a special place in my heart for gypsys, and there were suddenly two together in front of me when I had been searching for the third, so on a whim I clicked on it, saw the good ratings, and downloaded a sample which I immediately started reading. Imagine my surprise as I read the prologue…to hear you speak not only of Reiki, but to the exact circumstances of that which I had been feeling my whole life. It really is like something I can’t describe clicked in that moment. Like being struck by lightening. I had to stop and write what was happening down in a journal I’ve been keeping since the Reiki class. I knew I had just fallen down the rabbit hole. Especially as I started reading, (I bought the book as soon as I had finished writing about the preface), and was again shocked to have Shion speaking of the persecution against women (which is something I am also passionate about and part of studying the divine feminine), as well as the atrocities against the “indigenous people”. For the past week or so I have felt a profound connection and true, almost crippling at times, heartache for the Native American people. I had actually discussed it with my husband, mother, in laws, and even brother in passing, mentioning how tragic the loss of such a beautiful culture was to the world, and started watching a documentary about the portrayal of natives in film, simply because I was for some reason very drawn to them in that moment, perhaps because I know I have Native in my heritage. And to have them described so eerily similarly in your story with the gypsies…
I don’t know if this is all really making sense, but one thing is just leading me to something else that will also have a profound impact on my life. I feel as though for the first time in my life I am truly on the right path. I feel as though I have remembered something. Remembered who I am. Since I started reading your book I have started using magic again. I say again but really I mean for the first time, because it never felt natural to me before. It always felt hokey and forced. Now I am suddenly so comfortable with it. I see the ritual aspect of it as a method simply for directing attention. And when attention is focused anything truly is possible. I have been suddenly struck with ideas that I feel in my bones about the things that are woven into my everyday life. Like when I am singing a lullaby to my daughter that my mother sang to me, and I’m watching her eyes droop shut and realizing all the women of my family’s past generations are connected by this song. This song has comforted countless infants and sent them off to their dreams. And if not this specific song in this specific family, than the mere act of a mother singing to her child, of lullabies being passed down from one generation to the next. Chanting. EnCHANTment. There is magic in that. Or of teas. It suddenly hit me that teas, while sold and enjoyed almost everywhere by everyone and being a part of the norm, they really are a beautiful blend of nature that, with the right intent, could have potent effects. What if these different blends and varieties of teas are just what this ancient wisdom has had to become to survive? I suddenly thought the same about cooking, music, art…it is all miraculous…and with intention, so so powerful. Not only am I thinking these things, but I am feeling more connected to nature, wanting to know more and more how to live with her and protect her.
I feel like I have gotten off track and started rambling. But I really wanted to thank you for your story and the door it has opened for me, or should I say in me. I don’t know what it all means yet, but I don’t think that happening upon your book about witches and dragons while I was looking for a book about healing crystals was just a coincidence. I was led there by a very specific course of events (and granted, some pretty advanced internet algorithms I’m sure. But that’s besides the point hehe), which each seemed to unlock something within me. Nor do I think my life is going to be quite the same from here on out. I thank you for such a gift.
Denice was kind enough to respond immediately, and recognized me for what I was, encouraging my development of the craft. We even became Facebook friends, and she posted on my wall something to the effect of “thank you for the friend request! Let me know if you ever want to talk about, well….you know ;)”.
I was mortified.
I promptly thumbs upped her comment to show I appreciated her support and then deleted it. I was not ready to come out of the broom closet to my family and my peers. I was not even sure what this discovery meant for myself. How would I explain to my husband or best friend who this woman was and what we had to talk about? I also began to doubt myself. Was I going crazy? Grasping at staws? Was motherhood making me loose my mind? And at such a young age! Was I tossing my lot in with a cult of weirdos and social misfits? I literally felt a brief sense of panic following the illuminating and liberating epiphany I had had about being a witch. However, the very next morning, after waking with a sense of tredeptation, I logged onto Facebook to see if any damage had been done to my social image as a result of Denice’s comment. The first thing that popped up on my news feed was an article someone had posted about hospice workers revealing the top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed. Wouldn’t you know it, the #1 regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life that was true to myself, rather than the life others expected of me”. I took this as a sign of the universe kicking me in the ass, and the rest is history. This all happened five years ago, and it has been one magical and wild ride ever since.
Today, as I write this, I look around myself and marvel at what aligning with the Universe and trusting in the Goddess has manifested in my life. Challenges and obstacles, for sure, but more than anything, an overwhelming sense of beauty, abundance, and heartfelt gratitude.
It is 7am, I am sitting in our vintage trailer I’ve re-designed into a gypsy vardo and designated as my writing space. The baby monitor is on but the girls remain asleep. The girls. I have two daughters. Two beautiful baby girls who absolutely light up my life. There is nothing I had ever wanted more in my life than to have two little girls and my greatest wish has already come true. Along with their daddy, my husband. A man with a heart of gold and the patience, presence, dedication, and overall strength of a true champion. The handsome man who was there to bravely catch both of our children alone, with his own hands, when each time my birthing times progressed so fast they entered the world before the midwives had arrived. The man who accepts me with all my flaws and treats me like a queen despite them. Who loves me unconditionally and whom somehow manages to steal my heart away time and time again, growing sexier as the years go by. Our king who provides for his family and supports me unflinchingly in the only thing I have ALWAYS been certain I wanted to do as an adult; be a Mother.
Cool morning air flows in through the trailers screen door and rustles the wide green leaves on the sycamore tree dominating the view of outside of the trailer door and window I am facing. Once I asked the tree her name, and she gave it to me, but I never really took it much past that. Now I am looking at her, seeing her again for the first time, how she moves and how she feels, how she gives a place for the birds to come and sing to us, which they are doing at this very moment, and I think, “I am going to make friends with this tree.”, having been inspired by Chelsea Steinauer-Scudders’ article in Emergence Magazines entitled, “Befriending a Tree”.
A steaming cup of green tea is within reach and I have a heavy, hand-knitted blanket, made and gifted to me from a brilliant aunt, thrown across my lap. I turn my head to the right to take in the view outside the trailers long, back window and look out across our land. Our land. Or at least as much as land can really be owned by anyone, and to be clear, I don’t believe it can. But I like to think of it more like the legal right and honor in this day and age to be the responsible keepers and ambassadors to a tiny eco-region of our Great Mother. For this privilege, I feel so blessed every day.
It is a little piece of property, not quite a full acre, but it is beautiful. The tan sand literally glitters with minuscule pieces of granite, quartz, and silver, washed from the high peaks of the San Bernardino mountain range we a nestled up against, whose dramatic form dominates the views to the South, close enough that I can make out the individual pine trees standing tall atop the ridge-line.
Right now the pale brown ground is speckled with green, and if you look closely as you walk, you will find little splashes of color, reds, blues, purples, and yellows, the deserts tiny wild flowers. It is springtime, and to be honest, this spring seems to have missed most of its greening. Compared to the the past couple of seasons we have spent here, this year seems far drier, silvers and browns already making it look like summer has arrived when past years saw this time of season almost lush with the amount of green spring growth that carpeted the desert floor, (and later matured to vicious weeds). I know it is due to the drought. We lack water here. and we barley even had a winter this year. It seems the plant people are really starting to show the symptoms of this depravation. But that is another story for another time. For now, I appreciate and enjoy what is.
To the North, the direction the back window of my writing sanctuary is oriented, an inspiring vista of open desert landscape, dominated mostly by the distant expanse of the massive dried lake-bed and off-road destination, ‘El Mirage’. And Clover, my horse, there she is, head down, eating her breakfast. Bless the Goddess, I have not only two little goddesses now in my life, with the man of my dreams besides me, but a horse! A real horse of my own, a regal little mustang who moves like magic, is smoother than honey, and is challenging and teaching me in all the right ways. I see her every morning as soon as I look out the kitchen window and watch her as I wash the dishes. Still in disbelief. Is this life even real?
And then there is Iya, the wolf-looking dog I dreamed of befriending as a child, and my first “real” dog. (Moment of silence for Coco and Nala. The two little fluffs I had the privilege of previously loving).
Iya, (named so by Mayla, my eldest), whom we have had since she was 3 weeks old, (she will turn two this October, and the story of how we ended up with her when she was far too young to be away from her mother is again, another story for another time), has truly become one of my most brutally honest mirrors, and also my best friend. Something subtle and almost undetectable has happened over the past few days that is strengthening our connection in leaps and bounds, even despite having been her mama for over a year now. I can’t describe it except to say it has been a shift in my own energy, to which Iya is extremely sensitive to.
And then there are Arwen and Vanessa Ives, our two absolutely adorable Nigerian Dwarf milk does, who turned out to NOT be pregnant as they were said to be when I purchased them, but add such a sense of charm and hilarity to our tribe I’m not even upset about it…
Our little tribe huddles on this modest spot of land that despite being in the “desert” is positively bursting with life. Birds of every color call this yard their territory. Reds, blues, yellows. White, browns, blacks. Feathers and voices of every color make up the background symphony I delight in each day. I am particularly fond of the massive and mischievous Ravens, who play by their own rules and are never far if I’m looking for some magical inspiration. I try to tell them to stop harassing the red-tails who hunt over our area, for I adore the raptors as well, but the Ravens of course ignore me. They don’t have time for a silly human such as myself. I humbly watch them as they dance and sing through the skies and can almost feel how wonderful it is to have the desert breeze lifting you effortlessly into the heavens.
Then there are the rabbits. Adorable cottontails and jackrabbits so huge they make you do a double-take just to be sure it wasn’t a coyote that darted into the brush. The coyotes. Coyote, you are such a dear friend and source of wisdom.
Ground squirrels, chipmunks, kangaroo rats, mice, bats, owls, lizards, snakes. Together, we each make up a thread of this ecosystem, and I delight in sharing this space with them all. Even the insects have found a special place in my heart. The ants of every size and color. Spiders ranging from the size of a confetti flake to the size of my palm. I used to be terrified, TERRIFIED, of spiders. Thankfully, at some point in my adult life I realized this was an absolutely ridiculous fear and that my life would be a whole lot more pleasant if I laid this phobia to rest. Now, when I find a spider in my house, I leave her be. Perhaps attempting to connect with and commune with her a bit, for they have their own kind of magic, an energy that is particularly suited to weaving stories and connecting threads. They have become a sort of ally and mentor, and I welcome their presence now, appreciating both their mythology and their contribution to the health of the planet.
And my house. Our first official home. The sacred ground where I brought life forth for the second time. The place that shelters us from the deserts violent winds, frigid winter storms, and blistering summer sun. Where we sleep, eat, love, relax, and build our life together. It is small, easy to manage, and absolutely perfect for us. We, (meaning Andrew, at my request <3), recently painted it green. I LOVE it. I am trying to convince him to let me paint the front door purple, but thus far, he remains unconvinced. While I truly enjoy traveling, vacations, and exploring new places, I can honestly say that there is no place I would rather be than my own home sweet home, even if I know in the future I am going to want more space for more horses, and more access to undisturbed wilderness… I have plans to turn our home into a mini ranch and native perm-culture garden. And I love the joy it has brought us over these past couple of years.
I take all of this in with humble appreciation for the abundance that surrounds us. I know it has been made possible by the generosity and support of our friends and family, the hard work of my man, and the trust and faith in myself, each other, and the unknowable plans the Universe has in store for us.
There is magic in the everyday. There are little gems of pure bliss waiting to be discovered in every waking moment. This is what my magical path has taught me so far. And I cannot wait for the adventures and the new lessons ahead.
For those interested in the book which truly changed my life, here is a link to purchase it on amazon: Dragonhorse . If nothing else it is a very entertaining read, and you are helping to support a homegrown author and independent publisher, which is nice of you and will score you good karma.
How did you experience the calling? Were you afraid of the challenges it would bring to your life? What changes have you undergone since donning the witches’ mantle? Tell me in the comments, I am so eager to hear of others experiences!
No, friends and family, I am not pregnant. But I am happy to say I have reached the end result of a true labor of love!
At the start of 2018 I decided this was the year I was going to actively pursue a career in writing. Because you all have been telling me I should since I was a pre-teen. Plus my mama started calling me on the regular, which is not unusual, except that now she kept asking, “So when are you going to publish? You need to publish soon. What do you need in order to get published? Do you need an agent? I’ll help you find one. Do you need money? I’ll give you the capital. Do you need me to keep calling you every week and reminding you? Because I will.”
Ahhh The Mothers’ Wisdom.
She was right of course. I had been running from my destiny. And no one can see that more clearly than a childs’ own mother.
I am and always have been a writer. But my library of personal writings has been kept mostly under tight under lock and key.
Yet I realized in the depths of winter last year, that I owed it to my mother, my husband, my daughters, and most of all, to myself, to really commit to pursing my craft and being who I am meant to be. To NOT write, to NOT make books, and to NOT share them with the world, means I am I direct opposition to the universe and who I am, on a soul level.
So it is with a sense of relief and inner peace that I am proud to announce I have not one, but THREE books that will be launching within the next 9 months.
The first title to hit the shelves is one of my personal favorites because it is so near and dear to my heart, having been seeded many years ago when I was transitioning from maiden to mother. It is called, “The New Witches’ Handbook”, and will be launching on October 1st of this year, to celebrate the Witches New Year. Click HERE to read more about it, and if it speaks to you, and you,like myself, are a wee bit impatient, be sure to subscribe to receive the first 6 chapters absolutely FREE!
And be sure to comment to let me know what you think about it. Much love everyone. Thank you for sharing this experience with me.
I’m here because I love to write. I NEED to write the way bees need to make honey.
I also love reading, (obviously. What writer doesn’t?), and learning new things. Especially about the things I am passionate about.
What am I passionate about, (besides reading & writing)? I’m so glad you asked! Here are some of my faves:
*Magic, Witchcraft, Paganism
*Conscious Parenting, Un-schooling
*Re-wilding & Decolonizing
*Sex & Sensuality
*Eco-feminism, holistic land-managment, and permaculture.
*Homesteading and sovereign lifestyle design.
*Horses, dogs, birds, all animals really.
*Plant medicine, herbalism
*Primitive & Ancestral Skills
*Travel, Exploration, Adventuring, and HAVING FUN!
No matter what twists and turns life brings our way, I believe our time here is meant to be thoroughly enjoyed and that our greatest purpose is to generate unconditional love. To be able to give and receive love freely and without fear. And to always remember to enjoy the process and be grateful for the blessings we are gifted with.
I also believe writing is an art and form of activism, and that we as individuals have the duty, privilege, honor, and responsibility, to use our voices and our words to create and collaborate rather than to destroy and compete. We can add something of real value to the world if we choose to do so, and leave it in a more harmonious, peaceful, and beautiful state than the one we found it in if we are wise enough and so inclined.
Change comes first from within the individual, and then within the community. Meaningful change comes from the ground up. It is rooted in the earth and rooted in community, both local and global.
And so we get to my M.O. I am here to share. To learn. To grow and evolve. To collaborate with like minded individuals and to empathize and respect with individuals whose views differ than my own, so that we can find our common ground and move forward as complimentary forces. I want to broaden my horizons, to inspire, and to be inspired.
I am here because I want to meet YOU, my fellow human being. What is your life like? What are you most passionate about? Do you share any of my interests? What role do they play in your life? Let me know in the comments! I look forward to hearing from you.
“A drop of ink may make a million think.” — Lord Byron