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:

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