Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Magic

Winter Magic
Open House

Sunday, December 12, 2010
Northampton, MA

join Dori Midnight and Brittany Wood Nickerson for a winter open house

Warm yourself by the fire, gather together in community, sip magical teas and snack on delicious treats, and a chance to see what we've been brewing in out herbal apothecaries: elixirs, cordials, Charmed Honey, salves and creams, teas and tinctures, and more...


for more info, please contact dori@dorilandia.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the well of wellness: a tale

a tale...the long version.
(the short version follows below if you don't have time for fairy tales.)

Once upon a time there was a very small, but mighty witch who lived in a village in a wee cupcake castle with her baby unicorn and a miniature tiger. She dedicated her life to helping people heal from all the things they went through in their lives. She loved the people who came to see her for healing so much- all so beautiful in their own ways. When they sat across from her, she'd pour tea in their cup and see things- things that made her love them more. She could see their magic and the special light inside. She'd give them delicious elixirs or lay them down, put stones on top of them and wave plants over their bodies to make the light grow. When they left, they walked out of her cupcake house shinier and more themselves.

One day, she got sooooooo tired she thought she might like to find a nook in a tree with a mossy pillow and lay down for one hundred years.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

fall is falling

It's Autumn, people!
It's the new moon!

The trees are totally on fire, the ground is golden and so soft under my feet, and everything is turning inward. I though this would feel so scary to me, as I am a Californian to my core and basically like to channel lizards in the sun, but I am diving into the dark time with total abandon. It makes sense to my body to let my sap flow downwards and be underground for a while. The bears and turkeys have been feasting on the apples which land on the grass behind the house with a sweet thunk every so often, scaring me and Rainbow.
I am putting things in jars, making teas to support me in this transitional time, eating soup for a village, going to bed at 9:30, and sporting a new/old look of a lot of layers, including really warm wrist cuffs knitted for me about one billion years ago when I was but a wee lass by my fellow canning maven and cat whisperering magician, Jen Smith. Thank you Jen Jen!

Full moon: on healing justice

I am excited to be going to this workshop through C-integral tomorrow.
It seems like more and more people are integrating healing work and activism, the spiritual and the political, and personal transformation and social justice. YES!
Here is what the organizers of c-integral say:

A new philosophy of leadership and practice of social change is emerging, one that grows out of an ethic of liberation, interdependence of all life, and the fullness of who we are. It values strategies and actions that embody courage, compassion and wisdom-directed social action for transformative change. This new leadership archetype is committed to service, personal transformation and spiritual growth; it takes on difficult issues and acts from inner sources of empathy, solidarity and love. This new leadership paradigm argues that personal transformation and the evolution of human consciousness manifests in social and planetary transformation.

Transformative practice holds personal and collective liberation at the center and develops balanced, harmonious and soul-filled leadership. In concert with skillful group process, reflective practice builds a reservoir of energy, a deep center of resilience, passion, hope and commitment that is always available to individuals in the midst of chaos and crises, great turmoil and difficulty, tension and conflict. These practices help us perceive incongruities in our own beliefs, values, feeling and behaviors, and seek to address these. At the same time, these practices enable us to bear witness to seemingly contradictory, irreconcilable and opposing views and perspectives—in ourselves and in others—without needing to resolve them. These practices help us learn to be comfortable with not knowing, with ambiguity and uncertainty. Through these practices we relearn how to see and be in the world.

While transformative practices are a critical ingredient that can help shape the direction of social action, these practices become more potent when skillfully applied to social injustice in its many forms. To this end, they are most useful when combined with critical awareness and understanding that oppression —cultural, institutional, interpersonal and psychological manifestations of separateness, ranking and imposition— is the historical root cause of social and environmental injustice and continues to stand as a major obstacle to solving the most pressing issues of humanity and our planet today.

Hallelujah and blessed be!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

taking heart in uncertain times

Hello everyone!
there is still some space in this workshop I am co-facilitating on Saturday. It's a great opportunity to be in community - especially if you find yourself carrying around a lot of grief, despair, anger, fear, and overwhelm about the state of things here on earth. It is based on Joanna Macy's The Work that Reconnects.

I am really excited about it and just wanted to pass the info along as a reminder... also if you know of anyone who might be interested, please share with your people!

Thank you!
much love,

An experiential healing and empowerment
gathering for those who care passionately
about our Earth and future generations.

Saturday, October 2nd
9:30am – 5:30pm

Through this healing gathering, together we will explore our deeply
felt responses to living at this moment in history, experience the
power of our intimate connection with the vast web of life, and learn
to support one another in creating life-sustaining cultures.

led by Paula Hendrick, Dori Midnight, and Luke Woodward
Paula Hendrick is a member of the Interhelp Council (www.interhelpnetwork.org) and a long-time student
and facilitator of Joanna Macy’s “The Work That Reconnects” - which is the foundation of this workshop.
Dori Midnight is a community educator, interfaith minister, and herbalist. She teaches workshops, leads rituals, and has a private counseling practice in Northampton, Ma and San Francisco.
Luke Woodward is a community organizer who works at the intersection of economic and racial justice issues in queer and transgender communities. He is currently studying at the Smith School for Social Work.

$40 – Pre-registration required - no one turned away for lack of funds
All are welcome!
The Sacred Living Center
140 Pine Street, Suite 11, Florence, MA

Thursday, September 23, 2010

FULL MOON: magical arts!

a little movie the wonderful Loren R. Robertson made about the classes I teach...

Magical Arts with Dori Midnight from Dori Midnight on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

free world conspiracy/japanese knotweed

Today I made an essence from the flowers of the tenacious Japanese Knotweed in the woods behind my house. I can see this grove of green from my window and this week, I noticed it has fountains of frothy white flowers like an art deco painting gone wild. It's a huge thing- it towers over the goldenrod and yarrow and roses that bend over themselves with the weight of a bumblebee. It's woody stems are thick and stiff, like bamboo, and because it takes over completely, people talk trash about this plant, to the point of having parties to eradicate it.

I may really upset native plant societies here, but it's hard for me to get worked up about invasive plant species without talking about colonialism and stolen land. I deeply believe in habitat restoration and protection for native plants, and I also want the complexity of the issue to be on the table- why are we so excited about plant restoration but can't talk about colonialism and land rights for First Nations people? Anyway, these invasive plants are often good medicine and some people believe that they show up, ready for action, in response to imbalances on the planet.

Japanese knotweed, for example, is one of the primary anti-viral remedies used in treating Lyme disease and coincidentally has been spreading north up the Eastern Seaboard at the same rate, in the same areas as the spread of lyme-carrying ticks. The land has her own wisdom and sometimes we have to trust it.

Here are some of the medicinal properties of this plant, which is going wild in a patch of land behind my house: An anti-inflammatory, it helps the immune system to combat various infections, since inflammation helps blind the immune system to Borrelia and the activity of other infections in the body. The anti-inflammatory actions are exceptionally useful for Bartonella, which relies upon inflammation for its proliferation. And, as an anti-inflammatory, japanese knotweed relieves symptoms of arthritis.
Japanese Knotweed also modulates and enhances immune function in a number of ways, and is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. It is known to kill some varieties of spirochetes, and that may even include Borrelia (though data on its effectiveness as a Borrelia killer is unknown to me).
Japanese knotweed protects the body against neurotoxin damage, so that central nervous system symptoms are reduced, at the same time that it increases blood flow and transport of Lyme treatments to hard-to-reach areas of the body, such as the eye, heart, skin and joints.
It is an antioxidant that also helps to reduce Herxheimer reactions. Finally (but not, since it does so much more) it protects the heart and helps reduce symptoms of Lyme carditis.

I have been thinking of my friend Colby, who has been battling late diagnosed Lyme disease and it's co-infections for a while. Colby is an amazing and inspiring human with a huge heart and a fierce commitment to justice. While I was making this essence, she was on my mind and in my heart big time.
The existence of Lyme disease makes a lot of people, including me, afraid of the woods and freaked out by being in nature. I come home from my daily walks and strip down, examine every nook and cranny, and take a fine tooth comb to my wooly dog. Last week, after pulling 5 deer ticks off Rainbow, I held one in my hand. I tried to look at it with eyes of love and forgiveness, to pour compassion on this creature, who was possibly carrying spirochetes in it's tiny body that destroy so many people's lives. It was work, I tell ya. Instead, I felt such a geyser of anger rise in me- a very specific anger at this sesame seed sized being, for Colby and for Judith, my friends whose lives are completely changed by this. So, as it crawled around the piece of paper on my hand, I screamed at it about consipiracy, health insurance, misdiagnosis, ketamine drips, brain inflammation, the prison industrial complex, chronic pain, not being able to relax and lay down in the grass ever again, migraines, medical bills, and babeseosis.
I ended up crying on the floor. No one, not even me, loves the ticks. I mean really, what is it like to be a being who everyone hates/fears, like a tick or an invasive plant that people organize to eradicate? And what about my commitment to "all of us or none" and non-violence? It's there, but so is my anger. I realize that the ticks are suffering too. It seems like no coincidence that the plant that is rising up to help us heal from this disease is an invasive plant, encouraging us to bow to what we fear and find the remedy in what we are taught to hate.
I said a prayer for healing, healing for the deer and the mice, for the ticks and the bacteria, for the people struggling daily with lyme disease and other chronic conditions, and for all of us.
Then I flushed it down the toilet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lady's Mantle

August New Moon
drinking the dew from the mantle of the lady
Alchemilla vulgaris

Sunday, July 11, 2010

love lies bleeding

JULY new moon: Love Lies Bleeding in the garden

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

solstice gathering

I'm feeling a real need to acknowledge what's happening in the gulf right now. I've been getting so many emails from people who say they are crying their eyes out or having trouble getting through the day or from people down south feeling isolated and like the rest of the world doesn't care about what happens to them.
I think this (as well as the attack on the flotilla in Israel and all the other injustices we hear about or witness), is weighing heavy on us and it feels like it's time to come together in community and be in solidarity with all life. As much as the earth needs our tears and for us to feel what it is happening, we also need to ensure we don't get stuck in despair, shut down, or isolation. The solstice is a beautiful opportunity to make magic.
If you're in Western Mass, come out on Sunday, rain or shine.

Solstice Gathering for Healing the Waters
Sunday June 20th
~ meet next to the boathouse at Smith College
2:45~ we'll walk together to a quieter spot on the river

In this time of great devastation as over 75 million gallons of oil continue to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, many of us feel heartbroken and overwhelmed. Some of us feel shut down as well, because of the enormity of this disaster. Let's get together to stand in solidarity with the people and beings of the Gulf, honor the oceans, and do what we can to help the waters heal.

Bring a bucket or bowl and your songs, children, instruments, offerings, prayers (or whatever you want to call it), silence, plants, healing gifts, etc... and a snack for sharing at the end (we need to be well fed!)

Please pass it on

any questions or if you want to help/have ideas: dori@dorilandia.com

Friday, June 11, 2010

dark moon, decompose


It's the dark moon, the edge before it's born again tomorrow. It's a good time to slough off, clean the house, unload.

I've been thinking about this blog. It may seem to some that I live on dew drop soup and cobweb salad and my days are strung together with magic thread and every morning my clothes are sewn on by sparrows (well, that actually is true). I want to dive into the shadows for a moment, into the space held by this silent moon.

As a practitioner, I am feel honored that people allow me to really see them, to see them whole and all. When I do a session, I am opening up a circle that welcomes all the grief and sorrow and addiction and trauma and shadow. It's in that shadow that I see beauty; and what I get to do is tease out the gifts from this wounded place and hand them back to that person. It doesn't make me psychic or more special AND it certainly doesn't mean I don't have my own challenges. In fact, it is essentially because I have touched the floor of the ocean of grief and walked with so much pain that I can sit in compassion and love with people in their darkest and most confused moments.

I don't get to say these things to you when we are having tea in a consultation because, well because for one that's not why people come to see me and also because that would be bad, bad boundaries. But it feels important to say this.

I took a workshop with Joanna Macy recently, who, if you haven't heard of, you might want to find a book by her or become a roadie. I really can't say enough about this human being. Just being in her presence is healing. She said that when she was young, she went to a dance and stood there feeling terribly lonely and awkward. At that moment, she had an insight that has carried her for all her life. Looking around at all the people, chatting and flirting and dancing, she realized that all people everywhere are lonely. In those moments when we feel the most isolated and we begin to compare our sorry selves to everyone around us and we end up with the genius conclusion that we are the pitiful one while the rest of humanity has some how made it out well adjusted and intact, we have an opportunity to actually connect with everyone else here on this spinning planet with this fact: we are all lonely. We all long for connection. And we're all carrying some pain in our hearts, along with all the glittering shiny stuff in there.

I always give an offering around the new moon- I like to plant and give something of myself. I have wondered about my own sadness- is this really a good present? Wouldn't the universe prefer a pretty little necklace of joy or a shiny box of bliss? Who wants my trash?
Turns out, the world loves our scraps and bits*- our orange rinds and eggshells and bones and the birds can't get enough of the bits of hair I pull out of my brush. The earth loves the dead trees and the leaves, just fallen. The world loves death as much as it loves life, it needs death and decay. And we all need to see each other's mess and shadows and pain, as it is what makes our beauty whole.
And so on this dark moon, I offer my own heart, full of sorrow and despair, full of longing and loneliness, and full of buoyant gladness and light, knowing that these rich gifts poured into the wet earth are like seeds which under the soil, get loved into new life.

*Even though I know you know what I mean, I feel like I need to say that obviously the world does not love all kinds of trash. The world does not love and does not want any more plastic or petroleum products. But I do believe the world needs our grief about what is going on here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

spirit garden and the sea

It's hard to believe, but this is my first real garden.
It's shocking, I know! I am a person who is meant to be carrying on about my garden and bringing bunches of dirty leaves to potlucks and getting up first thing in the morning to sing songs to zucchini and have non-violent communication with the snails and aphids. But I've been a city girl for a while with little access to garden. So I am kind of just making it all up as I go along, basically using witch skills to figure out what to do. We'll see if it works. I mean they're just plants, right? I've been talking to plants since I could talk.

I have carried a vision of my dream garden for a long time- a big circular garden full of herbs, oriented by the directions and elements, kind of like Juniper's garden in Wise Child. If you haven't read Wise Child by Monica Furlong, you should stop reading this blog and go to the library and get it and stay home and read it. I'm serious. Go.

Here is the beginning of the dirt patch with the huge crystal I dragged from California:

Now it is filled with yarrow, angelica, rosemary, calendula, echinacea, lavender, lady's mantle, sage, chamomile, love lies bleeding... just sitting in the dirt together, being all beautiful and everything.

I tell no lie, this gnome just showed up in a garden one night. He's protecting the strawberries from thieves and scoundrels. This is in the lasagna style raised bed we built from logs we found in the woods next to our house. Yes, I will be eating a lot of kale this summer. and fall. and winter.

Gardening seems like a miracle to me. Every morning I wake up and run out there and exclaim to no one that everything has grown. Overnight! 

This has been such a huge balm for me these days when I feel like my heart is breaking from the devastating situation of the Gulf. Some friends and I are starting a study action group focusing on water and I will write more about this soon. I am finding it so important to be in community- everyone I know is feeling this and holding a lot of grief and fear about the planet and all beings right now. We need each other and we need all the support we can get. Last night, when I couldn't fall asleep because of thinking about the sea turtles and the people of the gulf, and the ocean herself, I sang myself to sleep with this song I learned from Starhawk at a witchcamp many years ago:

The ocean is the beginning of the earth
The ocean is the beginning of the earth
All life comes from the sea
All life comes from the sea

Thursday, May 27, 2010

hello bear

It's the full moon so it's time to write. I can't really decide what to write about. One thing is that I looked out my window yesterday and saw a bear in the backyard, just snacking on some pear tree.

Then the bear gingerly tried to knock over the compost bin. I felt like a sour adult yelling at a teenager doing something stupid/fun. I was like, "Hey bear! No! That's not cool! Stop!" and the bear looked at me like I was harshing his/her mellow so bad. It just walked away, stopped to eat some apple tree on it's hind legs, and then gallomphed into the woods. As Luke said, the most important thing is that we don't know this bear's pronoun preference.

The photos kind of suck, but I took them through the window. I had a moment where I thought about getting a better angle from outside, but then I heard the voice of my father who is terrified of pretty much anything that isn't wrapped in plastic or from a deli or on a leash, say "Bears are not cuddly even though you want them to be. They eat people." So. Sorry the pictures are just so so.

Another thing is that my new friend Angie, who amazingly runs a diaper service and is so special, took me to her elder harvesting spot and I cried. I have never seen so many elders. Angie said, "there are enough elders here to make elderberry syrup for the whole town." I brought home enough elder flowers to cover the kitchen table and make 2 gallons of elderflower mead. I can't wait til August to get those berries.

elderflower mead

Saturday, May 1, 2010

may day

I love May Day. May Day, or Beltane, has a long history of being a wild and free frolic in the woods fairy magic celebration, and then, like you're making a delicious sundae, you pour the hot fudge and whipped cream and toppings of choice of workers' rights and labor history to make it such a deliciously substantive day.

To honor the workers, I built a fairy house. See above.

I used all locally sourced materials such as violet leaves and moss. 

I had a whole imaginary TV show in my head which was like one of those reality home improvement shows, but for gnomes and fairies, where the gnome lady is like, "His rock collection is really getting out of control. They're everywhere! When I'm trying to cook my snaketongue stew, I can't find any of my pots, because this kitchen is so disheveled. Can you help us?" And the gnome man is all, "I'm a gnome. I collect rocks.  What do you want from me?" And then I come in and not only do some gnomemediation, but re-vamp their house, creating a highly organized rock storage space and a new gnome kitchen and gnome entertainment area- with everything found right there in the woods. I mean, doesn't that sound like an amazing show? It would be on after the TV show my friend Dean Spade and I made up, called Fairy Court. Please somebody let me be on public access so we can create elaborate court disputes about dew drop privitization and toadstool custody.

Anyway, after the gnome home construction, I collected exactly one jillion violets in the yard to make violet jam. I learned this recipe from a woman I met named Blanche Derby, who lives in Northampton and is so beautiful and magical. She rides around on her bicycle with a bunch of baskets on it collecting cattail pollen and nettles and making muffins out of dandelions and braiding her exquisite long white hair into intricate shapes. I invited her over for tea and a walk,  on which we were rewarded with an amazing oyster mushroom harvest! 
Here are the beautiful violets awaiting their fate of being pulverized into hot pink jam. This jam tastes like the perfumed inside of grandma's pocketbook. In a good way. 

Violet Jam Recipe 
from Blanche Derby's My Favorite Plants

1 cup packed violet blossoms
1 1/2 c water
juice of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups sugar (I used like 1/4 c sugar because I am sort of avoiding the white devil)
1 package of pectin (I use Pomona's, which fyi is made by my friend's landlord/neighbor here in greenfield, ma! who knew? pectin always seemed like it just magically/alien-landed/happened- i didn't know some human made it. duh.)

place violets in blender with 3/4 c water and lemon juice. blend and add sugar til it dissolves. (it turns bright pink because of the acid in the lemon juice. if you decide to make violet vinegar, the alkalinity turns the violets blue.) Heat 3/4 c water in pan, stir in pectin  and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour that into the blender and blend for 1 minute. Pour into sterile jars and seal. This will keep in your fridge for about 3 weeks. Eat on toast, pancakes, over porridge or ice cream.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

chop wood, carry water, swing on tree swing.

Hi. This is my backyard.

My new morning practice involves a tree swing and bare feet on the grass.

I don't even want to be inside ever. Well, okay, maaaaaybe I'll go inside when I am being swarmed by mosquitos at dusk. Does anyone have suggestions on how to invoke feelings of love and compassion towards bloodsucking parasitic creatures like ticks? I want to love them. I do. I know they are just trying to get their needs met like all of us, but why does it have to involve my blood? This is an edge for me: learning to love parasites. 

Did I mention that on my first evening here a mama bear and two cubs walked through the yard? BEARS! The yard I speak of, by the way, is 6 acres of swampy foresty magic which then at some mysterious point unfolds into 600 acres of conservation land. 

I will try to write on more serious things soon, but right now I am too busy testing out which moss is the softest to lay on.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

fare thee well, california.

I love you

It's my last full moon in California. It's bittersweet, this move. I am going to a place where everything will smell different and I might not know anyone's name (the plants names that is). I love California. I love my work. I love my communities. I love all my clients. I love Rainbow Grocery. I love the cherry trees in spring and how the sidewalks look like a princess parade went by. I love the hot days on gay beach. I love the sea. I love the wild oats getting golden and rustling and eating my way through blackberries on Bernal Hill. I love my family I have woven together for 15 years here. I love rituals in my living room with everyone squished together singing and feasting. I love walking the dog and everyone shouting, "Rainbow!" as he goes by. I love the bearded boys as the corner store. I love Community Thrift. I love the fairies and the queers and the kids and the witches and the activists and the marches and the bicyclists and the fog and the pigeons and the buses and the stories and the murals and the produce and the succulents and the oaks and the cypress. I love the mountains. I love my life here.
And off I go.

Monday, February 15, 2010

overflowing with potions

Potions class was so fun (check it out- photos!) And so full, we are doing it again.
If you couldn't make the first one, now is your chance to come make yourself a magical delicious potion! for love! for passion! for healing! for protection! for creativity! for dreams! for whatevs!

with Dori Midnight
4- 6pm
$20-$30 sliding scale
open to witches and magical creatures of ALL ages and magical abilities

love love love,

Friday, January 29, 2010

FULL MOON, much news!

Dear everyone,
happy full moon!
 I am still in the woods by the sea, but there is so much news to share!
Many happenings (Potion Making Workshop, Valentine's Herbal House Party, and Equinox Open House) below.
Also, more about the big move to spread my magic across the land.

What's Happening

Potion Making Workshop at Gravel and Gold
Sunday, February 7th 4pm

Come make your own healing elixir for what ails you or your deepest heart's desire with local beloved Witch, Dori Midnight. Dori will lead us through a little visualization to get focused on exactly what is called for, then choose from many flower and gem elixirs such as: Love Potion, Sweetness and Light, Fairy Magic, and more to create your own personalized blend. Each potion maker will get to take home a 1 ounce bottle of potion, which you can drop on your tongue with delight!
 Open to witches and magiciennes of all ages. 
Please RSVP by Feb 2nd
$20-$30 sliding scale

Herbal House Party - Valentine's Love Potions 
Saturday, February 6th, 5-7pm
I will be bringing my Charmed Honey and other elixirs to this delicious event, hosted by the amazing Atava Garcia Sweicicki of Ancestral Apothecary

Hosted by Marie Kyoko Morohoshi at her home in Bernal Heights
Please RSVP to atava@ancestralapothecary.com
You are invited to a playful and sensual evening exploring the world of botanica erotica.  Learn about how to use herbs to boost your health, vitality and libido.  There will be a presentation on herbal medicine with a focus on herbal aphrodisiacs.   We'll taste herbal elixirs made with herbs like damiana, vanilla, cardamom, chocolate and rose and talk about how to use them to spice up your love life.  Herbal recipies will be presented and we'll also demonstrate how to make some of your own botanica erotica products.
Lecture and discussion led by local grass-roots herbalist, Atava Garcia Swiecicki.  Atava has been studying herbal medicine for 20 years and loves to turn people on the amazing world of medicinal plants.  Atava teaches herbalism, sees clients in her private practice and runs her small herbal business, Ancestral Apothecary, in Oakland . 
Ancestral Apothecary products will be on sale at this event.  Products include Power Mushrooms Extracts, Elderberry Cordial, Damiana Cordial, Siete Flores, and some few special sexy Valentines gifts.  

equinox Open House
Saturday, March 20th, 1-5pm
My door will be open for the day and you can come and have some rose tea with me at my kitchen table and say our farewells for nows.  Visit with Rainbow and Pagu and take home something magical. I will have all kinds of herbal treats and treasures for give away and for sale, like teas, bath salts, elixirs, Boundaries in a Bottle and other trinkets as well. 

About my move:
Most of my family heritage is tough and tiny Eastern Europeans- romanian, latvian, ukrainian, and Roma.  My great grandma told me we've got wandering blood and yet still I crave a home, a garden, some roots. I've lived in San Francisco for over 13 years (except for a 10 month stint in Bisbee, AZ in an old bordello in the canyon and in Barcelona for a year, during my Saturn Returns) and SF feels like home- mostly. There is a big part of me, deep in my heart, that keeps being called to live on some land, out of the city. I want to walk out my door and into the woods. I want to harvest mushrooms and lichen and herbs and get to know trees in a daily way- trees that have been there for hundreds of years. I want to sleep where it's dark (my sleeping accessories are becoming ridiculous at this point to emulate dark and quiet- I'd be embarrassed for you to see me.)
And so, it is time for me to step out into the unknown and cart my apothecary and magic across the country to live in Western Massachusetts, in the hills outside Northampton. I will be writing (I've got books up my sleeve!), teaching, getting to know new plantitas, and expanding my witch queendom throughout the land. This will be a trial year- I'll see how my thin California blood can weather the weather and if I miss the foggy pink and gay city too much...or maybe this will be the beginning of the Dori Midnight Magical Arts Camp/Healing Retreat Center/Fairy Land/ Rewilding Village/Beekeeping Farm, which you of course will be welcome at. Only the goddess knows.
I will be somewhat bi-coastal this year, visiting SF in the late Fall and Spring for a chunk of time to do sessions with people and maybe a ritual. 
Beginning in May, I will be available for phone consultations, which even though you don't get tea and cookies in my sweet smelling office and lay down on the satiny table and have Pagu lay on your heart, I will be doing distance healing, which I must say, is just as potent.

In fact, here are two testimonials from people who I have done phone sessions/distance healing with:

Twice I have had the pleasure of receiving a distance healing from Dori Midnight. The first began with a talk over the phone, the second over email. After a check in, she then sets aside a time to do her thing, journeying into the wise of the spirit, facilitating radiant healing, to where it is called. 
 I have experienced from these sessions:   movement of blocked energy that seemed to be gently reminded of my highest good,  wise and helpful insight strengthened by Dori's  years/life times of practice,  practical and totally magical self care suggestions, spiritual guidance that puts me in touch with my own self healing/higher self AND positive change on many levels including past, present, emotional, energetic, spiritual, etc. I am grateful for her consistency, and constantly loving work and would recommend a distance healing to any one. 

And words from someone who has monthly phone sessions for the past year and a half:

My first session with Dori was in person - each subsequent session has been via phone calls.  Initially, I wondered if sessions by phone would be helpful... 1.5 years later it's clear to me that Dori's abilities operate independently of our physical proximity.  I just ramble away (in linear and circular fashion) and then Dori does her thing.  She reflects and re-frames in ways that have supported me in moving through crisis to a really sweet place in life!  Her skill working with silence on the phone is also particularly appreciated.  When we talk she is present with me.  Our connection is loving, clear, useful and quite powerful.  I've searched for many years to find my path to do this healing work.  I'm super happy that geography isn't a barrier to such a good thing!

See! Magic works! 

I will be available for phone sessions beginning in May. We'll talk for 45 minutes, I'll do some distance healing, then we'll have a 15 minute check in sometime in the following week. I am offering these initial phone consults for a special intro of $65-$85, sliding scale. 
My last day of work in my office in San Francisco (for now) will be March 16th. If you'd like to see me before I go, please contact me! And if you know people on the east coast, please pass along my name- I will be teaching and doing healing work as soon as my enchanted forest den is ready to receive people.

Both scary and exciting, I can't fight the river, so I just have to trust that it is taking me where I need to go next.

with much love,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Magical Arts: stone stories

"Fennel is for Farting!"

Amaranta and Malcolm, two graduates of Magical Arts, teach the younger students about the magic of Fennel- a beautiful and very useful plant that grows all over wild near parking lots and abandoned hillsides by the school. A tea of fennel will really help when you are a wee bit gassy.

After our herb walk, I did a class on Crystal Magic. I brought in all my most magical stones and introduced the kinder- 4th graders to Lapis, Amethyst, Malachite, Rose Quartz, and more. I led the class on a guided journey inside the stone to meet the spirit and ask for it's story or any healing it wanted to share. Here are some of the tales:

Diego, 10 yrs old, with Labradorite: "His real name is Luma. He is of the stars. He fills you with starlights and gives you magic."

Ruby, 7 yrs old, with Rose Quartz: "She told me a story how one day there was a clear crystal and it fell in love with a rose. They loved each other and wanted to be with each other forever and so they became this stone. It is for love. It is for your heart."

Lorelei, 7 yrs old, with Obsidian: "This stone took me on a ride through a volcano, into the earth to show me where he or she or whatever where they came from. I saw all the way into the past and under everything. Then it rolled me back into my heart."

Lucy, 9 yrs old, with Smoky Quartz: "This stone protects you. It helps you when you feel afraid and afraid to be alone. It is a friend and helps you help the earth heal."

They are geniuses, it's true. I love love love them sooooooo much.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

dark moon, radiant sprites

Tonight the moon will eclipse and the Sabian Symbol for the moment (11:11pm here on the west coast) is "Radiant sprite dances upon the mist of a waterfall (each degree of the wheel has a symbol channeled by a person in 1925. weird and amazing.
here is more.)
I am absolutely staying up past my bedtime (a very reasonable one for a grandma) to go out and make an essence in the garden tonight and bathe all my special rocks in this dark moon.
This moon seems to be about remembering the spritely selves we carry in our bodies which are often subdued by city living and work and getting older and eating crappy food and it reminds us to remember to see the invisible.

The kids I teach often ask me if I've ever seen real fairies and as their teacher, ie authority figure, I have to model good magical things, so I reply, "Of course, all the time." The truth is that while I have had a multiple experiences as an adult with nature spirits (another story), they don't look like glitter-y lithe pointy ear-ed teenage ravers with wings at all.
This is much like when my students ask when they will learn to ride broomsticks in my class, to which I say, "Graduate School, " which actually IS true, because by then, if they have retained any shred of what I have taught them, they will know that they can fly if they keep practicing.
This is a tricky thing- the importance of feeding the imagination with fairy tales and magic stories that open one's mind to new possibilities (even things like harry potter which I personally can't stand, but here is why starhawk loves it)... but then it's essential to release one's expectations about what it will be like based on what other people said. We are so dependent on the media and our easy access to knowing and seeing everything in a second, we forget what it's like to wonder or not know or figure something out yourself. I have one student who told me last week that she actually saw the tooth fairy this time when she put her tooth under her pillow. Guess what? She said she looked exactly like ME! I can't believe the tooth fairy has a big ol' gap tooth- you'd think she have better access to orthodontia.

Tonight under the dark moon, I will also do some earth acupuncture that I learned this summer and send it to Haiti. Here's how you do it, if you too want to send some healing to the people of Haiti: find a good spot on the ground (this involves dowsing, but you can also just feel what spot feels right, like a power point) and slide a special twig, stick, needle, or rock into the spot. I am going to drop some Crisis essences onto the stick and ask the healing to travel along the earth's meridians to Haiti. While this is a natural disaster, it's clear that the devastation is totally exacerbated by the United States' unjust policies that continue to impoverish and disenfranchise the Haitian people.
Tonight I send my prayers out to the dark moon, to the eclipse, which carries the energy of releasing and renewing. May all the beings in Haiti- the babies, grandmas and grandpas, beloved pets, children, travelers, their relatives all over the world , and the workers of good find safety and healing. May they all have clean water to drink, nourishing food to warm and comfort them, and may they have all the medical care and support they need to grieve, to heal and to restore their homes.
Blessed be.