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If you’re curious about the Illuminated Priestess Path but want more information before contacting me, please enjoy this Free online offering! The Illuminated Priestess Path Free Preview can be found by clicking here. It should only take you a couple of hours to complete.

The Preview includes information–text and a short video– on each of the Seven Themes, a short, opening meditation and a closing meditation that will, I hope, fully activate your Illuminated Priestess archetype.

Obviously this is only an amuse bouche for the actual process but it will definitely give a taste of who I am, what my personality might be like and how the process is put together.

If you are a woman who is doing her spiritual work, who is ready to move into your own powerful, Divine Feminine Presence in the New Earth, then this process is for you. If you aren’t ready to change, if you would prefer to check out rather than to check in, this is not for you.

My next circle begins on January 12th, 2018 at Four Oaks Sanctuary in Chesapeake, VA.

Blessings on You, ~Be~

burningbowl

Sending Prayers into the Galaxy using flame and smoke

On New Year’s Day, on day 1 day of 365 gifts of time and new energy, we have an opportunity to set intention and to create openings for this energy to flow through. On New Year’s Day, or very soon after, I love set my intentions for what I’d like to call in during this year.

Much of this ceremony replicates the Burning Bowl Ceremony posted just one day ago and useful on New Year’s Eve, or on the Full Moon.

There is power in burning our intentions, sending those out with the smoke, but there is also power in ‘burying’ them in a box, bowl or basket to be reviewed the following December 31st. Do what your heart tells you to.

If you are choosing to ‘bury’ your intentions, find a container that can hold the 13 for this year, and which you can keep as a sacred object, using it only for this purpose, for one year.

If you are choosing a burning bowl ceremony, or fire ceremony, read the following section.

 

What You Will Need for a Fire Ceremony:

firepits-02-kaufman-885

>A flame proof dish. Things that work well are: a cast iron sauce pan, cast iron, deep frying pan or cast iron dutch oven; a pyrex bowl; a metal bowl; a stone or concrete bowl. Please be sure that whatever you’re using as your burning bowl is safe for the oven and stove top, unless it is specifically designed to be a burning bowl. We don’t want the container to crack and spill flame all over your living room floor.
If you have a fireplace, you might consider using that rather than a bowl for your ceremony. If you are doing your ceremony outside, you may not need a bowl. A firepit–either in the ground or a free standing one–both work beautifully. In this case (using a fireplace or fire pit, rather than using a bowl)  you will want to lay your fire before beginning the ceremony and possibly light it. This is up to you. You may also choose to light your fire during the ceremony and to spend more time flame gazing and awaiting the proper moment to add your intentions to the flames.
If you’re doing your ceremony in a firepit, or fireplace, please skip down this list to the bottom, to the line beginning with, ‘Your intentions…’

>Epsom salts, enough to cover the bottom of your bowl by at least 1/2″.

>Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or grain alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is about $1 per bottle at your local drug or dollar store and that                 bottle will last for many, many burning bowl ceremonies.

>A stick lighter or long matches.

>A folded towel or flat potholder to place beneath the bowl to protect any surface from heat damage.

What You Will Need For the Intentions and Other Parts of Ceremony:

>Your intentions written on paper. It’s great if you have handmade paper or paper you’ve charged under a full moon. But notebook paper or a piece of a brown paper bag, are perfect. Please only use things that burn cleanly, for your own safety.

Smudge

Smudging a table top Medicine Mandala at Four Oaks Sanctuary.

>Smudge such as sage, sweetgrass or charcoals and resins, or incense. If you have problems with smoke, or prefer not use it, you can use a spray bottle of water. You might add a pinch of sea salt, flower essences, homeopathic remedies, or essential oils (or all of these!) to the spray bottle. You could also just use a small bowl and sprinkle or flick the water with your fingers.

>A dish or shell to burn the smudge in, if needed.

Writing Your Intention:

Be as clear as you possibly can and as concise as you possibly can. Muddy intentions bring muddy results.

Shorter is better.

Spend time with this. Consider all of the things you would love to manifest in the coming year, if you’re doing this on New Year’s Day. One year. Today the time frame is very specific. If you’re doing this on the New Moon, choose your time frame. A month, year, longer? If you’re doing a fire ceremony or burning bowl, it’s okay if you want to photograph or make a copy of your intentions to look back on later.

Be specific. I’d like a new job is not as focused as I will be loving my job as a flight attendant for Southwest airlines. 

The Ceremony:

Put your materials together in your ceremonial space.

If you have an altar for the season, or a working ceremonial altar, this would be the perfect spot to place your bowl for the ceremony. If not, find somewhere quiet and safe, where the flames won’t be able to reach anything flammable–the center of a room, on a kitchen table, or out of doors in a safe location.

Once you have your space prepared, it is time to open the ceremony.

Light your smudge and waft it over your body from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet, if possible. As you smudge, focus on any areas where you feel like you’re holding tension, or an energetic feeling of heaviness or stickiness, anywhere in your body that tends to hold illness or where you feel called to spend more time clearing and upgrading your vibration. This is the beginning of the releasing ceremony. Allow yourself to be in that energy.

as-within-so-without

Next, you will call the directions. The intention here is to create sacred space and to surround yourself with beneficial energy. There are so many ways of doing this and I can’t list them all here, but know that you have at your disposal the options of calling in: angels; your ancestors; goddesses and gods, including those from all traditional and mainstream religions; animal totems; light workers; guides; the devas; fairies; colors; light; happiness; the winds…whatever energies you are called to work with. In each direction I ask specifically for only energies that are absolutely beneficial and who come to ceremony with the greatest and highest good.

This is your ceremony, please edit the script to accommodate your needs, preferences and beliefs. This is a place where you can be in your own power without the judgment of anyone.
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Facing East, “I call on the Spirits of Air, the flying ones, bald eagle, hawk and the song birds; the clarity of conscious of thought, and the winds that blow away the stuck energies and the cobwebs in my mind. I also call on the energies of the goddess Arianrhod, Lady of the Silver Wheel, Celtic goddess of Air, full moons, time, karma and retribution. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the East Wind to bring clarity and to clear all that no longer serves. Blessed Be.”

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Facing South: “I call on the Spirits of Fire, the healthy predators and tricksters who teach us life’s lessons with humor and fun. I call on the energies of Coyote and Wolf.  I call in the cleansing, violet flame of St Germain, and the power of creative thought, of the generative mind, for while fire cleanses and burns away things, it is also the flame of creativity, the spark of passion, and the spark of life within the seed, that from which things grow. I call on Brigid, the Celtic goddess of Fire, and of poetry and inspiration, midwifery and healing. She of the Eternal Flame. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the South Wind to bring energy and passion. Blessed Be.”

lady_of_the_lake_by_lilithhades-d4zhh0s

Facing West: “I call on the Spirits of Water, the slick, cool creatures who live in this element of mystery, the otter, dolphin and whale, the muskrats and frogs. I call in the flow and power of water, the ability to stay the course, to wear down obstacles with patience or to move around them with ease. I call in our ability to ‘go with the flow’ and also to ‘be in the flow’. I call on the mermaids and mermen who are able to move between the Worlds and the Celtic goddess Sulis, who is known to reside in the hot springs at Bath, England. I also call on the Lady of the Lake. Water is mystery, the Lady of the Lake lives in the mystery, a life beyond a veil. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the West Wind to bring purity, to wash us clean. Blessed Be.”
diapo_histoirer01_0

Facing North: “I call on the Spirits of Earth, the four-leggeds, horse, bear, the white tailed deer, and the White Buffalo; I call on the grounding and nourishment provided by Earth which holds us and feeds us and provides us with all that we need to sustain physical life; I call on the Celtic goddess Danu, the mother of all Irish people and of the Tuatha de Dannan, who is the producer of life, Earth Mother, goddess-healer of the land. I also call on the spirit of Gaia, the Earth herself and on White Buffalo Calf Woman, who brought the 7 Sacred Rituals to the Lakota people. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the North Wind to bring nourishment and growth. Blessed Be.”
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Facing the Center or East: “I call on the Spirits of Center, the as above, so below; as within, so without, mysteries. I call on our connection through all of the dimensions, honoring the 9 dimensions I am aware of, from the iron core crystal at Earth’s center, to the 9th dimension and the great sun at Galactic Center. I call in Unity Consciousness and the Sacred Marriage, the heiros gamos. I call on the Spirit of the Divine Sophia, the creatrix of all that is. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirits of the Spiral Winds to bring connection as we move higher on our path. Blessed Be.”

You have now created Sacred Space. You are in ceremony. Breathe quietly for a few breaths and feel the energy. Know that what you do is Sacred Work.

How to make the bowl burn: Pour enough Epsom Salts into the bowl to cover the bottom by at least 1/2″ and then add enough alcohol to dampen the salt. Be careful with the alcohol as it is highly flammable and too much will be dangerous.
Using your stick lighter or long, wooden match, light the alcohol ablaze.
If you’re using a wood fire, proceed with lighting or blaze gazing, if you lit the fire beforehand.

Once you’ve taken a moment to see the blaze, add your intentions to the bowl and say a prayer (or whatever term you use for sacred words) of releasing. Here is a suggestion: Mother/Father/Divine, As my intentions are released into the purifying flame, please clear me of all that no longer serves me, so that I vibrate at the highest frequency of  love, and am rooted into my true spiritual power. Please seal all voids, cracks and openings with the golden substance of Divine Love. I ask that you open my heart to the vibration of Cosmic Unity-Consciousness. So I speak and so it is. <looking into the flames> I release you. I release you. I release you. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Once your flames have died, or your intentions have burned completely to ash, and you feel complete with the releasing ceremony, it is time to thank and release the directions and guardian spirits who you called in. I like to do this in reverse order, beginning in the center and moving from North, to West, to South, and finally, to the East, saying words such as: Thank you Spirits of the —– for being with me/us in ceremony today and offering your strength, blessings and power. I honor and thank you for your presence here today. Go if you must, stay if you will, Blessed Be. And repeating something like that in each direction until finishing in the East.

Now clean out your bowl, offering the salt to the Earth if you can, and blessing it as you place it into the dustbin, if you cannot offer it to the Earth.

This ceremony is also a good one to use each month on the New Moon.

I hope that you are blessed by this ceremony and that you find yourself more clean, clear and current. ~Blessings on you. Be~

 

burningbowl

Releasing all of that which no longer serves.

It is traditional, I think, that on New Year’s Eve we review the year just past and the things that worked, as well as those that did not. We might consider where we are in our career, how our families are, our health (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, sexual), where we feel that we are succeeding and where we feel that we are falling short. On the Eve of a dawning year, we might ponder ways to change our lives, what we’d like to be rid of in order to create space for vibrant, full-on, life force to flow through us and into all that surrounds us.

A burning bowl ceremony is a great thing to do on New Year’s Eve. In a burning bowl ceremony, you set intentions to release everything, or a few things, or one thing–whatever it is that you are focused on releasing at that time.

As I’m writing this, it is New Year’s Eve, 2017. A perfect time to release old energies, patterns, stories, hurts, wounds, and etc. For me, this is a time to do a big releasing ceremony. I hope you will join me from wherever you are!

What You Will Need:

firepits-02-kaufman-885

>A flame proof dish. Things that work well are: a cast iron sauce pan, cast iron, deep frying pan or cast iron dutch oven; a pyrex bowl; a metal bowl; a stone or concrete bowl. Please be sure that whatever you’re using as your burning bowl is safe for the oven and stove top, unless it is specifically designed to be a burning bowl. We don’t want the container to crack and spill flame all over your living room floor.
If you have a fireplace, you might consider using that rather than a bowl for your ceremony. If you are doing your ceremony outside, you may not need a bowl. A firepit–either in the ground or a free standing one–both work beautifully. In this case (using a fireplace or fire pit, rather than using a bowl)  you will want to lay your fire before beginning the ceremony and possibly light it. This is up to you. You may also choose to light your fire during the ceremony and to spend more time flame gazing and awaiting the proper moment to add your intentions to the flames.
If you’re doing your ceremony in a firepit, or fireplace, please skip down this list to the bottom, to the line beginning with, ‘Your intentions…’

>Epsom salts, enough to cover the bottom of your bowl by at least 1/2″.

>Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or grain alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is about $1 per bottle at your local drug or dollar store and that                 bottle will last for many, many burning bowl ceremonies.

>A stick lighter or long matches.

>A folded towel or flat potholder to place beneath the bowl to protect any surface from heat damage.

>Your intentions written on paper. It’s great if you have handmade paper or paper you’ve charged under a full moon. But notebook paper or a piece of a brown paper bag, are perfect. Please only use things that burn cleanly, for your own safety.

Smudge

Smudging a table top Medicine Mandala at Four Oaks Sanctuary.

>Smudge such as sage, sweetgrass or charcoals and resins, or incense. If you have problems with smoke, or prefer not use it, you can use a spray bottle of water. You might add a pinch of sea salt, flower essences, homeopathic remedies, or essential oils (or all of these!) to the spray bottle. You could also just use a small bowl and sprinkle or flick the water with your fingers.

>A dish or shell to burn the smudge in, if needed.

Writing Your Intention:

Be as clear as you possibly can and as concise as you possibly can. Muddy intentions bring muddy results.

Shorter is better.

Spend time with this. Think of all of the things you want to clear out of your life: clutter in the closet; emotional baggage; that stupid co-worker who talks all day without taking a breath. Think out the repercussions. If you release that co-worker, it may mean you’re releasing the job that requires you to work with him. Think ahead!

It’s okay if you want to photograph or make a copy of your intentions to look back on later.

The Ceremony:

Put your materials together in your ceremonial space.

If you have an altar for the season, or a working ceremonial altar, this would be the perfect spot to place your bowl for the ceremony. If not, find somewhere quiet and safe, where the flames won’t be able to reach anything flammable–the center of a room, on a kitchen table, or out of doors in a safe location.

Once you have your space prepared, it is time to open the ceremony.

Light your smudge and waft it over your body from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet, if possible. As you smudge, focus on any areas where you feel like you’re holding tension, or an energetic feeling of heaviness or stickiness, anywhere in your body that tends to hold illness or where you feel called to spend more time clearing and upgrading your vibration. This is the beginning of the releasing ceremony. Allow yourself to be in that energy.

as-within-so-without

Next, you will call the directions. The intention here is to create sacred space and to surround yourself with beneficial energy. There are so many ways of doing this and I can’t list them all here, but know that you have at your disposal the options of calling in: angels; your ancestors; goddesses and gods, including those from all traditional and mainstream religions; animal totems; light workers; guides; the devas; fairies; colors; light; happiness; the winds…whatever energies you are called to work with. In each direction I ask specifically for only energies that are absolutely beneficial and who come to ceremony with the greatest and highest good.
image_2.jpg
Facing East, “I call on the Spirits of Air, the flying ones, bald eagle, hawk and the song birds; the clarity of conscious of thought, and the winds that blow away the stuck energies and the cobwebs in my mind. I also call on the energies of the goddess Arianrhod, Lady of the Silver Wheel, Celtic goddess of Air, full moons, time, karma and retribution. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the East Wind to bring clarity and to clear all that no longer serves. Blessed Be.”

f7cea274f0b1d6a22ecd6d268f58e9b4-celtic-goddess-celtic-mythology
Facing South: “I call on the Spirits of Fire, the healthy predators and tricksters who teach us life’s lessons with humor and fun. I call on the energies of Coyote and Wolf.  I call in the cleansing, violet flame of St Germain, and the power of creative thought, of the generative mind, for while fire cleanses and burns away things, it is also the flame of creativity, the spark of passion, and the spark of life within the seed, that from which things grow. I call on Brigid, the Celtic goddess of Fire, and of poetry and inspiration, midwifery and healing. She of the Eternal Flame. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the South Wind to bring energy and passion. Blessed Be.”lady_of_the_lake_by_lilithhades-d4zhh0s
Facing West: “I call on the Spirits of Water, the slick, cool creatures who live in this element of mystery, the otter, dolphin and whale, the muskrats and frogs. I call in the flow and power of water, the ability to stay the course, to wear down obstacles with patience or to move around them with ease. I call in our ability to ‘go with the flow’ and also to ‘be in the flow’. I call on the mermaids and mermen who are able to move between the Worlds and the Celtic goddess Sulis, who is known to reside in the hot springs at Bath, England. I also call on the Lady of the Lake. Water is mystery, the Lady of the Lake lives in the mystery, a life beyond a veil. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the West Wind to bring purity, to wash us clean. Blessed Be.”diapo_histoirer01_0
Facing North: “I call on the Spirits of Earth, the four-leggeds, horse, bear, the white tailed deer, and the White Buffalo; I call on the grounding and nourishment provided by Earth which holds us and feeds us and provides us with all that we need to sustain physical life; I call on the Celtic goddess Danu, the mother of all Irish people and of the Tuatha de Dannan, who is the producer of life, Earth Mother, goddess-healer of the land. I also call on the spirit of Gaia, the Earth herself and on White Buffalo Calf Woman, who brought the 7 Sacred Rituals to the Lakota people. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirit of the North Wind to bring nourishment and growth. Blessed Be.”0d9c7e0c1e9cbd6d1f24fdcfdfde27e1Facing the Center or East: “I call on the Spirits of Center, the as above, so below; as within, so without, mysteries. I call on our connection through all of the dimensions, honoring the 9 dimensions I am aware of, from the iron core crystal at Earth’s center, to the 9th dimension and the great sun at Galactic Center. I call in Unity Consciousness and the Sacred Marriage, the heiros gamos. I call on the Spirit of the Divine Sophia, the creatrix of all that is. I ask that all who heed this call come with pure and positive energy for me/us and for this ceremony. I call on my ancestors and the spirits of the land, both those who are land spirits and those who are spirits who have lived on and who continue to protect and guard this land. I call on the spirits of the Spiral Winds to bring connection as we move higher on our path. Blessed Be.”

Once the directions have been called, I will make a prayer to Mother/Father/Divine of which I am part, asking that my intentions be seen and sealed as I offer them into the fire for release and clearing. See below.

Now it is time to offer the intentions to the fire.

How to make the bowl burn: Pour enough Epsom Salts into the bowl to cover the bottom by at least 1/2″ and then add enough alcohol to dampen the salt. Be careful with the alcohol as it is highly flammable and too much will be dangerous.
Using your stick lighter or long, wooden match, light the alcohol ablaze.
If you’re using a wood fire, proceed with lighting or blaze gazing, if you lit the fire beforehand.
Once you’ve taken a moment to see the blaze, add your intentions to the bowl and say a prayer (or whatever term you use for sacred words) of releasing. Here is a suggestion: Mother/Father/Divine, As my intentions are released into the purifying flame, please clear me of all that no longer serves me, so that I vibrate at the highest frequency of  love, and am rooted into my true spiritual power. Please seal all voids, cracks and openings with the golden substance of Divine Love. I ask that you open my heart to the vibration of Cosmic Unity-Consciousness. So I speak and so it is. <looking into the flames> I release you. I release you. I release you. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Once your flames have died, or your intentions have burned completely to ash, and you feel complete with the releasing ceremony, it is time to thank and release the directions and guardian spirits who you called in. I like to do this in reverse order, beginning in the center and moving from North, to West, to South, and finally, to the East, saying words such as: Thank you Spirits of the Center, for being with me/us in ceremony today and offering your strength, blessings and power. I honor and thank you for your presence here today. Go if you must, stay if you will, Blessed Be. And repeating something like that in each direction until finishing in the East.

Now clean out your bowl, offering the salt to the Earth if you can, and blessing it as you place it into the dustbin, if you cannot offer it to the Earth.

This ceremony is also a good one to use each month on the Full Moon.

I hope that you are blessed by this ceremony and that you find yourself more clean, clear and current. ~Blessings on you. Be~

 

Ripples

drawn-waterdrop-ripple-12

Months ago a woman in another country, an ocean away, a woman who I don’t know at all, gave birth to a babe who would most likely not be long in this world. After a very short time, she lost her infant daughter. At the time of the birth, I prayed fervently for both of them, placed 2 rose quartz stones in the center of my labyrinth, 1 for each of them, and when the babe’s spirit passed from this world, I relocated her stone to a different place on the labyrinth.
As time went on, the color completely leached from the rose quartz stone I placed for the babe, while the stone of the mother retained it’s color. Pale, yet incredibly vibrant and beautiful.
Today I found the infant’s stone lying on the ground as I walked the labyrinth. Today, I carried both out with me as I prayed for them both again, but mostly the mama, left here and who must be still bereft. As I said, I don’t know her, I only know her story, can only imagine her thoughts and her pain.
The water in the river this morning is mirror-still and I cast the babe’s stone into it, into the river of timelessness and the river of life that continues flowing all around us whether we are attentive or completely unaware.
The small stone flew surprisingly high before landing and I stood and watched the ripples as they circled out and out, farther and farther.
I thought that perhaps, someday, this mother would stand with her feet in the sea, maybe next summer, maybe a year from now, and one of those tiny ripples will reach her and wash over her feet and that she might, for just a moment, know that she and her daughter’s story opened up hearts the world over. That she may for moment understand that there is love coming to her from places she has never seen and people she does not know. And that this may somehow soothe her, even for just that moment.
This is how we all are, you know? Most of us are not tidal waves but only capable of sending a little ripple out, here and there. What sort of ripples are you sending into this wide open World?

c6285e3f0a83603f1c4cdb81d7628199-twilight-sydney

I’m supposed to be taking a FB break but today I just can’t. I’ve read too much from women who are so overly identified with Patriarchy that they think that women who have been raped or abused should just shut up and get over it, slap the guy, or something.

And there are also all of those #notallmen men, talking about how they should have grabbed more asses while they still had a chance.

And last night, Martina and I watched Wind River and I knew what the movie was about and wanted to watch it because of the topic, most of my accidental Anthropology degree was due to my intense interest in Native American culture but still, I went outside and prayed like a fire goddess for all Native women and those who have been murdered, raped, and the utter lack of care they’ve gotten in this New World, that is their Old World and has been forever. I offered tobacco into the wind, for them, for the prayers, for the old god/desses who I call out to.

Sometimes the pressure to be pretty is too much and it tells a story of what women are taught about our value. It tells a story, too, about how we can never actually *be* pretty enough to satisfy this fucked up world we live in.

I’m also posting this for my cousin, who shared a photo of herself that she didn’t think was pretty. You are an amazing woman. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

WE ARE NOT HERE TO BE PRETTY.

It’s Not Your Job

when your little girl
asks you if she’s pretty
your heart will drop like a wineglass
on the hardwood floor
part of you will want to say
of course you are, don’t ever question it
and the other part
the part that is clawing at

you

will want to grab her by her shoulders

look straight into the wells of
her eyes until they echo back to you
and say
you do not have to be if you don’t want to
it is not your job
both with feel right
one will feel better
she will only understand the first
when she wants to cut her hair off
or wear her brother’s clothes
you will feel the words in your
mouth like marbles
you do not have to be pretty if you don’t want to
it is not your job

“it’s not your job”

Caitlyn Siehl

And a bit more, from the article linked here.

“Women are victims

  • One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape). A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. (Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998)
  • In 2002, seven out of every eight rape victims were female. (2002 NCVS)
  • 75% of female rape victims require medical care after the attack (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1994)
  • While about 80% of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be attacked. Lifetime rate of rape/attempted rape (women) based on 1998 NVAWS:
    • All: 17.6% (approx. 1 in 5)
    • White: 17.7%
    • Black: 18.8%
    • Asian.Pacific Islander: 6.8%
    • Am. Indian/Alaskan: 34.1%
    • Mixed Race: 24.4%

Men, too

  • About three percent of American men — a total of 2.78 million men — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. (Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women 1998)
  • In 2002, one in every eight rape victims were male. (2002 NCVS)”
Bettina Colonna July 1980

Me at 16. Leaking depression and self-loathing.

At first glance this may seem to be a story about lack. It may seem to be about wounding. It used to be about those things, but it is now a story of abundance and a story about how we can and will manifest all that we desire.

I come from a wealthy family. Some people believe that this makes me wealthy as well but that isn’t true. I’ve always struggled to make money, though I’ve had a life abundant in healing and rich with the love of the people who matter most. Money though? It’s always been hard for me.

At some point in my childhood, I forgot what I was born knowing: I am fierce, worthy and incredibly valuable.

A big part of the reason for this is early programming around money and my ineptitude with it. At age 9, I was put in charge of a checking account that paid the bills for a future barn to hold future horses. At 9 1/2 I was torn a new asshole by my step-mother for not knowing that the bank took money out of that account each month because that’s what they did with low-balance checking accounts. I was called all sorts of names: stupid; incompetent; failure…Who was I not to believe it? She was an adult and I was a small child, or at least a mid-sized child, who had not been told nor taught anything about banking or balancing a check book, only about what a loser I was. I took her word for it.

I grew up in a nice home, with nice furniture, and we usually had a housekeeper who made beds and cooked supper. I was told that if I ever needed anything, just to speak up. So when I needed things, I spoke up. For example, when my last pair of underpants had holes it it, I’d ask for some new ones. And when my shoes had rubbed my toe nails off, I’d say that I had outgrown them. If I asked for what I wanted, I was told that it was déclassé and given whatever the adults in my life thought I should have. It wasn’t actually punishment having to wear Keds instead of Chucks, or riding a beach cruiser style bike instead of a BMX, but it sure as hell wasn’t what the cool kids were doing.

This really isn’t a ‘poor me’ story, so if you’re thinking ‘Rich Girl Probs’, you’re right, but you might want to continue reading because this is simply a little bit of back story. You might also consider reading on if you’re thinking that, because you are part of the problem in a world where devaluing human pain is seen as normal and acceptable.

My belly was full. My bed was warm and clean. My Dad loved me. Mom did, too, though I didn’t see her much while she in the mental hospital. After that, I still see her much and had the added bonus of her husband, who hated me so hard that she had to put me to bed with weapons. I wished I could use them at my other home, where I was never safe from sexual abuse. From the time I was 3 until I left home at 17, I on constant alert to avoid situations where I might be alone with my abuser.

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We’re talking a recipe for a kid who fully believes she doesn’t matter. My self-worth is what suffered. I felt myself to be without value.

This, obviously, carried through into my adult life.

Is this your story, or similar to your story? We all have one, a story, and all of us were raised to either believe we were worth everything, or a little, or nothing…we were very clearly taught what others valued about us, if anything. And as kids, we believe what we’re taught. As adults, we have to figure it out for ourselves and it is hard work!

I have always had a hard time making ends meet. I’ve never managed to have a career, or even a job that paid well. I have overly relied on men to take care of me–my father or my second husband. I’m now 53 years old and don’t want to be living this any longer. I want to be able to support myself and my home. I will. I’m also deeply called to my spiritual work which is of great value to women.

There are so many story lines here, so many knots and tangles to unravel, but unravel them I will.

The first thing I’m doing, which is not actually the FIRST thing but the thing that is *right now* is to look at these story lines with an eye to whether or not they are real. Am I actually incompetent? Am I really stupid? Am I actually the only human being on Earth who is completely without value?

No. No. No.

Bettina Colonna December 1965

Me as a toddler. I was one fierce little kid! Looking like I was ready to ride some dragons back then.

Those are other people’s story lines, and even in my darkest suicidal moments, I never believed them completely. The more I heal, the less I believe any of it. Thank you Aries Rising for giving me enough fire to burn through this and to finally come into the realization that I’ve carried these beliefs with me for agonizing decades and that I can finally lay them down and create my own life of abundance and worth. I can. I will. Do this.

A few days ago a friend reached out to me to do some work for her, a Clearing to create some energy flow in her business. As I was preparing to go to work there, I realized that I had a dialogue running in the background of my brain. As I listened to the dialogue, what it was saying, I was absolutely appalled. The phrasing was something like, “This poor woman. She must be really desperate to hire me. Too bad she didn’t hire someone who actually knows what they’re doing.” It is HARD for me to write this. To share it. It is so ugly…and so telling. None of this had anything to do with the friend who hired me. It had everything to do with my own assessment of my value as a human being.

Immediately, IMMEDIATELY!, I intentionally changed that dialogue.

The new one is more like this, “I’m so glad that my friend understands how amazing I am at Space Clearing! I’ve done extensive training, I’m deeply grounded and connected to my work and I allow grace and love to flow through me to create that resonance as I work. My friend is an amazing woman who understands the value of this work. She also sees that we have the great good fortune to live in a community brimming with opportunities for connection and healing *in person*!”

That day I went to work on her business with the new dialogue of gratitude and abundance running, intentionally, in my mind.

The next day my friend called. She sounded really happy! Not only had her business had a burst of income, people had noticed the shift in energy *and* she had been called to her own dream job, leaving her business in the capable hands of her manager.

This. This is what comes of unraveling the stupid story lines we carry around with us. This is what happens when we tell ourselves the truth about our own value. Not only was my client thrilled with the outcome, she has hired me to come back weekly! Imagine!

Keep doing your work, people. Hang in there. We can and will manifest our desires.

 

 

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It can be easy to feel diminished by our lives, to feel as though the daily grind is more than we can bear or that love is waiting out there somewhere, rather than right here, right now.

It is easy, for me anyway, to fall into a negative space where I focus on the challenges rather than focusing on all of the blessings encountered every single day, all of the things that are wonderful and should be encountered whole heartedly and with our complete attention. When do we lose this ability to truly root ourselves into our joy. Remember being a small child so filled with happiness that your small feet bounced or danced or trotted? How your body simply expressed the feelings of overflowing excitement so powerful that you could not contain them. Imagine, if you can, that no one ever led you to believe that you needed to contain your joy, or to deny it!

It can also be easy to believe that wholeness lies outside of us, rather than inside of us. Ditto for love, as if we are incomplete on our own. ‘My other half,’ or, ‘my better half,’ are examples of this. How can we understand our own massive power if we are only half of something? How can we possibly be sovereign, in charge of our own lives, if we are less than whole?

You know the answers.

I’m reminded of a passage near the end of my favorite poem, Anna Liffey by Eavon Boland:
“Consider rivers.
They are always en route to
Their own nothingness. From the first moment
They are going home. And so
When language cannot do it for us,
Cannot make us know love will not diminish us,
There are these phrases
Of the ocean
To console us.
Particular and unafraid of their completion.”

Imagine how life would be for us were we not afraid of our own completion. Imagine. Completion meaning our own melting away, or flowing away to merge completely with…everything. Sovereign, complete unto ourselves, and yet also unified, edgeless, a part of everything that exists. Imagine if we knew that our joy could not diminish us, or that love could not diminish us. Imagine us believing that we are ‘particular and unafraid of’ our own completion.

Imagine.

 

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I often read Social Media questions about why people charge for Spiritual Work. Sometimes this is an earnest question by someone who truly doesn’t have an answer. Sometimes it’s posed by someone who has listened to the judgments of people who have been indoctrinated by mainstream religion to believe the only way to heaven is via asceticism. Other times, it is a projection or energetic spear, thrust by a person who is unable to understand how much time, energy and money are behind our offerings. I’ve definitely been attacked many times by people who just don’t get it!
I began writing a response to one friend’s question last night and then decided that my wording was awful and that I needed to create a blog post around this.
For those of us who have spent our lives and massive amounts of time and energy learning, as well as a lot of money learning, it doesn’t make sense to then offer our work free of charge. It would deplete us completely.
To be completely transparent: I spend about 20 hours preparing for a weekend circle and 20 hours per weekend with the circle. I hold a strong container for women to process what they need. I buy toilet paper and plates and Kleenex. I pay the water and power bills for the space. All people doing this sort of work will have similar infrastructure to pay for, one way or another. That’s leaving out thousands of hours of education, reading, travel and doing the work, recording meditations, and preparing the daily practices.
I bring in about $8000 per year from doing my spiritual work. It is not enough to pay many bills but it’s enough to make me feel like I can continue. I LOVE the Illuminated Priestess Path, the women in circle, and the word ‘work’ isn’t completely accurate but it’s short, so I’m using it.
Loving what we do doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to paid for all of the hours we put into it. The mythology that spiritual teachers should do without in order to offer their work to the world is just that: a myth. Asceticism is great, if you are drawn to it. It’s not so great if you aren’t.
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This is not me.

There’s a premise in Reiki about energy exchange. Master Usui treated people without charging them when he first discovered Reiki. Here is a quote,
“[Usui] decided after a few days to go to the beggar city in the slums of Kyoto to treat the beggars and help them lead a better way of life. He spent seven years in the asylum treating many illnesses. One day, however he noticed the same old faces kept coming. When he asked why they had not begun a new life, he was told that working was too troublesome, and that it was better to go on begging. Usui was deeply shaken and wept. He suddenly realised that he had forgotten something of great importance in his healing work, namely to teach the beggars gratitude. In the following days, he thought out the Reiki principles…”
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Think about what it’s like being a mother, or try and imagine what it’s like if you aren’t one. Consider how drained you feel…How depleted you can be by the end of a week. Then think about doing it for people who you didn’t voluntarily give birth to, who don’t live with you and who aren’t willing to give you anything in return. In a nutshell, that’s the answer. The analogy here isn’t about comparing Priestesses or clients to children, it’s about people expecting a teacher to give them time, energy, education, space in their home or classroom, handouts, reading lists, playlists, etc and to not charge a fee.
Once you think about it, feel into it, it is more than simple to see why people charge for spiritual mentoring, guiding, teaching, or coaching. Most of us have the equivalent of a Masters Degree in our area of focus. You wouldn’t expect to take a college course on Shakespeare and not pay, would you?
Edit: A friend pointed out to me that for low income women, paying in cash is not always an option. That’s true and is the reason I changed my fees for Clearing from a flat-rate, to an energy exchange. This work, the Priestess work especially, tends to draw comfortable, white women. I seek to change that, to have much more diversity in my circles, and am happy to barter. Energy exchange is about *energy* after all. Money is a form of energy but it isn’t the only option.

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Today I was driving around thinking about my Clearing work and how it seems to be viewed in my community. Yesterday someone, in a truly energetically funky house, said to me, “…came by and waved some sage around. I think that did it.”

So many people believe that sage does it all. Sage is wonderful. I totally for sage! However, there are times when I despair of ever finding enough work that people will begin to realize that what I do and waving around some sage are not the same thing. Sage is great! I use it all of the time. I find that it is wonderful to set and help maintain a resonance but will not rid you of all of the things a space clearing will.

The Space and Personal Clearing protocol I use incorporates information learned in a very long process during which I worked on homes and businesses in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The work calls on information from my teacher, Melody LeBaron, and from Denise Linn and Eric Dowsett. This is like an MFA in Clearing Work!

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Back to today, in the car, I suddenly thought: I’ve got it!

And here it is:

Let’s say you make some broth. The vegetables you put into the soup carry the energetic imprints of the person who grew and sorted and bagged the seed, of the farmer who planted the seed and the ground they grew it. The vegetables also carry the imprints of the person who picked them, sorted them, washed and bagged them and of the grocery clerks who shelved them and the one who rang up your grocery order. Then there’s you. What sort of mood are you in when you cook? That goes into the pot as well.

If you’re cooking with meats or bones, you will have similar energetic imprints from the life/lives of the animals who go into your pot. Was your beef raised knee deep in feces and mud, fed chicken manure (it’s called something else on the feed bags, rest assured) and then rushed onto a huge, loud truck and shipped to a torturous facility where it was (hopefully) killed before being slaughtered? You toss all of that into the pot along with your 8 ounces of ground sirloin.

So now you have your soup. It’s ready and smells delicious. You’re home alone and decide to eat while you watch tv so you grab your bowl of soup and head for the couch when, EEK!, you trip and spill soup all over your gorgeous, new carpeting.

What do you clean it up with? Do you grab a broom and start sweeping it out the door? Of course you don’t! You choose smarter tools to clean up with because you know that the broom won’t pick up the liquid and will smear those soft, yummy veggies and pieces of sirloin into your brand new carpet. Sure, the broom will pick up the most obvious pieces and chunks and if you leave the soup alone there might only be a little spot that’s noticeable (especially once the dog licks the carpeting all day while you’re at work). But that soup is still going to be there, molding, festering, growing bacteria.

And this, folks, is what happens when you wave some sage around. The obvious chunks of stale, fusty energy disperse but there’s a lot left to live with and it doesn’t get better with age.

Consider me the Molly Maid of Energetic Clearing Work! I come into your home with the equivalent of a magical soup remover and a steam cleaner and I get that stuff out.

Sure, I might use sage at the end of a clearing, the sage sets the tone and besides, it smells really good. It’s what I do before that that’s going to help your home look brighter and feel happier immediately.

If you’re ready for a clearing, get in touch or explore my Clearing heading under Work With Be for more information on pricing and services.

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