Hearth and Home Vol. 6: Where We Shine

Foundations

M

iracles,

I am wishing you all a blessed and beautiful New Moon in Leo and Happy Eclipse! This New Moon marks the final leg of the Eclipse Magic rituals I have performed for a handful of gorgeous souls. I am always so honored when people ask me to create ceremony on their behalf, especially when they themselves are seasoned sacred arts practitioners.

If you would like a New Moon blessing for Leo, you can snag one here; and if you want an eclipse blessing, I have one here. As I have written elsewhere, I see eclipses as the best time to break patterns. For me, that is also what get-aways and vacations are also really useful for. For the last month and change, my family has been in our home away from home in Northern New Mexico. We have had the privilege of taking this time out (and getting away from the INSANE south-central Texas heat) for a couple of years now.

For the boys this time away from and outside of our usual routine means that there is a lot of unscheduled outdoor playtime – something that I think is deeply endangered in the lives of far too many children. Heath had the one month old version of outside playtime – hanging on the porch in his bassinet and allowing all of our friends and family who visited to love on him! For my husband and myself, I see this time as a needed break from our routine – not because we want to “get away from it all” – when you love your work and love your people like we do there is nothing to get away from – but because it allows us to learn from the interruption to our usual flow. Here are some of the things I remembered this time around:

  • Traveling with a newborn baby is actually easier than you might think.
  • Carrying ritual goods on the road can be trickier that you might think.
  • Outdoor time is precious and one of the greatest privileges. The corresponding responsibility is to make sure that our children and their children and their children can also have an opportunity to be outside and active and to safeguard the various wild plant, animal, and mineral people who we commune with when we are outdoors.
  • When your best friend comes to visit you to see your new baby, even though she has been in the wilds of Canada for a month, you will be SO. HAPPY. to see her.
  • Meeting up with friends you have made online in real life is THE BEST. Especially when they are incredibly gifted and generous artists.
  • Discomfort can be a great teacher.
  • I love waking up to cool weather that requires a sweater.
  • Cooking for a big group of people is something that I actually really love to do – especially when I do it with my mom.
  • Seeing old friends, beloved teachers, and soul kin is deep medicine.
  • Patronizing independently and locally owned stores and boutiques is a good thing. This last was really driven home to me during this visit. I re-acquainted myself with a number of artisans and store owners in Northern N.M. who make beautiful things – many of which are magical. In the age of ordering everything online I have re-committed to calling up my friends who own businesses, letting them know what I am looking for, and getting it from them.

That is a short list, there is so much more. And if you want visuals, go check out my Insta feed. Jasper, our seven year old, loves Northern New Mexico. He takes art galleries by storm and always engages with artists. People don’t believe he is seven. When they ask him if he is an artist, he tells them loudly and proudly that of course he is, that his favorite medium is drawing and clay, and that art is foundational to life. He is opinionated, and has priced his recent spate of drawings between 200k and 500k – so you know, no issues around art, pride, and money for this kiddo! Now he is getting ready for the beginning of school (well, we all are). I cannot believe my little boy is going to be a first grader!

Heath is growing incredibly fast as those of you who have little ones know they do. On August 13th he will be two months old and he is wearing clothes meant for a 3- 6 month old – of course he is. My boys are giants! He is smiling and giggling and trying his best to join the conversation (Gemini!!!). He is a snuggle bug, loves his big brother, and is so fun to watch because, as a little baby, you can see how clearly they are in between worlds and at the same time firmly planted in themselves.

While we have been tucked into the mountains, I also completed the first round of micro-edits on Making Magic. I think it is a good sign when you are down in the dirt and the details of your writing and you are still really excited about the work you have created. My beloved husband has been so essential in the writing of this book in every way, and when it comes to the fine editing process his high school English teacher mojo came to the rescue once again.

A few days ago we opened up registration for Spinning Gold. I am so excited about the course this year – we have created an amazing resource library for the students and I will be sharing goodies from the book with the Spinning Gold group that are exclusive to them. We already have had a bundle of beautiful people sign up for this year of gold spinning and I look forward to welcoming more!

I’ll leave you with this Ancient Greek quote that my husband shared with me in the wee hours of this morning:

“As long as you live, shine! Life is short. Be not overly distressed – time demands fulfillment.” – epitaph by Seiklos.

Shine on, sweet things.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Protected: Star Stories: August 2018

Ceremony and Ritual

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magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Communities of Intention and Intimacy

Ceremony and Ritual

M

iracles,

Blessed Full Moon in Aquarius and Lunar Eclipse to you all today!

I am writing this while sitting on a porch in New Mexico while the wind blows, the fountain in front of me burbles, and the birds swoop down to catch bugs and water as they can – it is so lovely and restful both for me and the baby.

Aquarius, the sign that the Full Moon occurs in today is very focused on the themes of community and congregations – how they work, how they can work, and also when and why they do not work. The eclipse gives us an opportunity to break cycles. So, when we put the two together we discover that today we have a potent opportunity to break certain cycles, habits, behaviors, and/or compulsions around communities and congregations that no longer serve us or are relevant. Given that this is the vibe in the air, I thought I would share a bit about our own community, how it has formed, where it currently lives, and how it might change as we go forward.

It was a question asked in one of the online groups that I belong to that got me thinking about this. Under discussion was the issue of intake forms. These are forms that must be filled out before certain service professionals agree to work with you. Gyms, doctor offices, mental health professionals, and tarot readers all often have some version of an intake form. Think of it as a kind of application that ensures that the individual seeking out the service and the service provider start out their relationship on the same page. I mentioned that I have used intake forms in the past but that now I do not since many of my services, especially my one on one services, are only available to my students – current and past. A dear friend inquired how this came to be and so it got me thinking about our Sacred Arts community and how it has grown over the years, as well as where I see it headed.

The fundamental question anytime you are creating or, as I prefer to think of it, cultivating, a community of brilliant folks is, what is the intention for this community? I knew early on that the community I was dedicated to is the community of soulful seekers – people who come from all walks of life who are dedicated to asking hard questions, seeking out real answers, and putting what they discover along the way into practice in their lives right here and right now. My intention for our community is to support the good, deep, and vital work of soulful seeking with the remembered ways of the Sacred Arts.
Throughout all of the years that I have been dedicated to this work and sharing it online, the common thread that has always tied our community together is this lunar letter. I have gone through phases where I sent out one a month, four a month, or two a month (current phase), but I have always made sure to touch base with everyone via this email letter at least once a month. This email list has been my community constant and the size of it testifies to that.

I have experimented with creating spaces for our community through various social media channels – and indeed the Sacred Artists group on Facebook is our virtual meeting space – as well as through in-person events. All have their positive attributes and negative drawbacks. Recently I asked a number of my students about their experiences in a virtual group and the feedback I had was unanimous: while it is nice that there is a FB page to like and follow, a big FB group for everyone interested in the Sacred Arts, a Twitter account, and an IG profile, their most favorite way to contact me was still one on one via email and their favorite way to hear from me was via email notes delivered right to their inboxes.

This revealed another component of the intention I hold for our community and that is that we have intimate and deep connections. I don’t think that depth or intimacy are mutually exclusive to large numbers of people, but I have found that we have to choose which one to prioritize: numbers or quality. We can have both but not in equal measure and not by equal effort. This reminder, when coupled with the privacy issues many of us have been concerned with on various social media platforms, and my personal experience of having so much more energy and insight to do the work I love when I am not constantly checking my social media feeds, revealed to me some of the changes that I am beginning to make in our community. There will be less of me on social media generally speaking and there will be more of me via these letters and the Resources list where I share my offerings (I keep this list commercial free). The social media places I currently show up at will still be regularly updated, but my favorite way to talk to you is like this, through a long form piece delivered to your inbox.

The containers we work with to house our communities are one part of the depth + intimacy puzzle but there is more. As I have brought more courses to the fore I have also had a community form within our greater Sacred Arts community, I have been graced with a community of dedicated lifelong learners – my students.

A couple of years ago I was feeling deeply overworked. My students had first priority always when it came to scheduling readings or ritual services with me, but members of the general public were also clamoring to work with me. My calendar was booked out months in advance and it was hard for me to take an afternoon, much less a day, off without feeling guilty. At that time I realized I had been given a gift. I had enough students to ensure steady work for myself. I could remove several of my more popular offerings from the public eye completely and make them only available to my students and been-with-me-forever clients and I would receive the double prize of not being grossly over scheduled so that I could make time to do things like write the book, AND I would be working with people who were intimate with my approach and understanding. People who I knew would also show up and do the work required of them – because magic works when we do.

Logistically it was easy to make the switch. An email was sent out, my website was nipped and tucked, and I created a pdf menu of offerings and services only available to students and loyal clients. I still have several goodies both free and inexpensive available to the newcomers in our community and the general public because I love to meet and welcome new Soulful Seekers. After I made that transition I did feel closer to our community as a whole. A year later when I decided to start offering special student pricing and discounts on goods and services that are available to the general public another level of depth to our community was achieved – I am able to commit deeply to the people who commit deeply to me and this reciprocity is foundational to the fierce devotion I have for my people.

The point of this letter though is not to give you a blueprint to follow when it comes to cultivating your own communities (I don’t believe in blueprints unless they are the kind my dog makes after stepping in blue ink). The point is to say that in order to create an intentional community you need a clear intention and you also need to be willing to re-examine and refine (two great Mercury Retrograde activities!) that intention throughout the years. For me, and our community of Soulful Seekers I am committed to more intimacy, depth, and and closeness. I want a community that may be virtual in space but is face to face in practice and feeling. Every time I send out one of these letters I receive many emails remarking on my thoughts – those are the kinds of interactions I cherish. May they continue and may the roots of our community grow ever deeper, the branches ever wider, so that all Soulful Seekers find succor and sanctuary here, as I hope each of you have!

Under this Aquarian Full Moon and Eclipse, with your divination tool of choice, consider asking the following:
What intention do I want to see in my communities and how can I open the road for it?

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home, Vol. 5: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Uncategorized

M

iracles,

Happy upcoming New Moon in Cancer! If you need a blessing for this New Moon I have one for you right here – it is all about the ways that we can honor our armor. This New Moon finds our family getting ready to make our annual pilgrimage to the blood red mountains of Northern New Mexico where we will spend the next few weeks.

So as I have been packing and doing laundry (so. much. laundry.) and gathering various bits and bobs that will be needed during our trip I wanted to share a few gathered loose ends with all of you that may have gotten lost in the excitement of baby-having and book writing.

First things first though – the family update. Heath is doing beautifully. Thanks in no small part to all of you and your beautiful prayers and well-wishes for him and for us. Jasper, our seven year old, maintains his position as best big brother EVER, and Heath is full of snuggles and love. He has started cooing and focusing more with his uncanny blue eyes, and he loves nothing more than to snuggle (preferably against my chest for all the obvious reasons). We are looking forward to the cooler weather in New Mexico and the opportunity to do some hiking and exploring with our sweet boys!

Our animals have been so interesting to watch with the new baby. Each one of them guards him in their own special way. The cats circle around him, especially if he is fussy, trying their best to soothe him with their purrs and the dog will come and get me anytime anything seems slightly amiss. (Speaking of cats, that is Hades, our beautiful black boy, lounging on the bed that my mom brought for the dog…yeah, we see how well that worked out).

Since we are on the topic of animals, I have some exciting news to share. Earlier this Spring I was invited to contribute to an anthology that will be released in 2019 from Sounds True – the Karma of Cats! Dog-lovers don’t be jealous, Sounds True released the Dharma of Dogs awhile ago. This is an anthology where various writers, spiritual teachers, and animal lovers were invited to share the lessons they have learned from their feline friends. I was honored to be included and look very much forward to introducing the world to Hades and Aphrodite, two kittens that came to our family in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Another exciting tidbit is this little podcast I recorded with Theresa Reed aka The Tarot Lady on how to cleanse and bless your Tarot decks. Enjoy it and as always let me know if you have questions.

We have entered into the launch season for Spinning Gold! The course is not officially open until August 7th but through the months of July and August we are sharing samples of the wonderful guest teachings that are new to this year’s program – so much goodness here. You can get a taste of Spinning Gold and check out the guest teachers yourself by signing up for the mailing list here.

I’m still taking time off and won’t be back full time to work or social media until August, my plan for the next four weeks is to fully enjoy the depths of summer and embrace this magical and liminal time. Wishing a gorgeous season to all of you too!

In love and blessings always,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Protected: Star Stories: July 2018

Ceremony and Ritual

To enter this space, please provide your password.


magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Shining the Light

Lineage and Legacy

M

iracles,
​​
​​On Wednesday, June 13th, in the wee hours of the morning my beloved and I welcomed our second child, Heath Henderson Saussy, into this wide and wonder-filled world. The snapshot above is one of the first we took of him. He is held by his big brother Jasper and me, and we are all held by my incredible husband who is behind the camera. Though the image is blurry, it captures the closeness of our family and the feeling of these early days of getting to know this new bright soul.
​​
​​Many of you have checked in on me and us, sending sweet messages and gifts and all kinds of love. Again, words cannot do justice to how much love I feel radiating from our community. We are all settling in really well. I am healing quickly from labor and delivery, Jasper is taking to big brotherhood with his characteristic sensitivity, insight, and good-heartedness; and David, my ever-more-amazing husband, partner, and love, is making sure that not only baby H is well-taken care of but that we all are.
​​
​​The hours leading up to the birth were full of that stillness and depth that I have long associated with the most potent kinds of magic. One of the first things I did as early labor began was to call in my ancestors, for our lineage loves nothing so much as to welcome new legacy, the new stand ever strong upon the shoulders of the old; they are our foundation.

My ancestors form a colorful quilt around me – they hailed from the shores of Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, and France. They came from Mexico and Eastern Europe. They were among the First Nation peoples indigenous to this country. My ancestors were all, with the exception of my Native American and Mexican relatives, immigrants to not only the United States, but the entire continent of North America. All seeking out the promise, possibility, and safety that eluded them in their native lands. And so, enfolded by my ancestors, and doing the serious work of bringing new life into the world, I was also deeply aware of the crisis occurring at the border, which, as a San Antonian, is my backyard. Aware, as I held my own babies, that thousands were having their babies forcibly removed from their arms because they too, like my ancestors, wanted something in the way of promise and possibility; something in the way of safety.
​​
​​Summer Solstice is today. It is the day when the light shines the longest, a threshold moment that ushers in the second half of the year wherein the light will slowly begin to lessen a bit with each day. It is also a reminder that though the days darken and the shadows grow longer, the most essential light is not the one emanating from the Sun but the one we carry in heart, mind, and eye – the light by which we are seen and the light by which we see.
​​
​​And so a poem prayer for this Solstice – dedicated to my sweet babies and to the families that have had their babies taken.
​​
​​Light our way.
​​Not away from the dark, but deeply into the shadows, carry us.
​​So that we may see into the corners of cages,
​​And beyond the barrier of barred windows and doors,
​​Light our way, steady now, so that we do not, cannot, pretend to unsee what has been seen.
​​
​​Light our way.
​​Into the tear streaked sands of soul and soil.
​​So that we may touch and hold the outstretched, empty hands,
​​Grasping at the thin air that is rent by the mourning keen.
​​Light our way, steady now, so that we do not, cannot, pretend to unhear what has been heard.
​​
​​Light our way.
​​Back to the place of firm and strong standing.
​​Where the foundation stones are named decency, compassion, mercy, faith, hope, justice, truth, and love.
​​So that we may know ourselves both as we are, and also as we can be – best and worst.
​​Light our way, steady now, so that we choose ever and again to show up as our best, even and especially when we see how short we fall.
​​
​​Light our way.
​​Reminding us that it is never too late to right the wrong,
​​to lay down the threads of safety, protection, and connection.
​​Threading what has been into bright and blessed weaving of what is yet to come.
​​Light our way, steady now, so that we choose to heed the old stories and remember the old teachings as we create new tales replete with hope and hard truth and love that endures.
​​
For those who refuse to look away, you can support efforts to reunite families torn apart at the border by donating to RAICES directly, purchasing these scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs (with all proceeds going to RAICES), and/or supporting the ACLU.

From my family to yours,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home, Vol. 4: Make Space for Life

Foundations

M

iracles,

The above photo gives you a glimpse of what our garden looked like right around Beltane, May 1st. We had entered into a period with our land where certain plants needed to be uprooted, soil turned, and bedrock prepared for the coming of new life. It has been deeply allegorical for where our family and our work has been too. Since the last New Moon I entered into the final month of my pregnancy and this week our second little one will be arriving at some point! Plants have rooted down in the garden while pictures have gone up onto the walls of the nursery, and baby clothes – some old, some new, – have been placed in drawers.

As is always the case with life, it doesn’t take much to get things started if you are willing to make space. Plants are placed into the ground, fed with water and the right amount of sun and moonlight, and with a little time and attention (and daily offerings to the faeries and our Holy Helpers) our stone and cardboard covered garden became a lush and beautiful wonderland – no small feat in South Central Texas during the hot month of June! The same has been true for the life of our family and home – a little attention here, some detailing there, making sure that we all have plenty of time not just for work but for rest and dreaming and creating – these have been the priorities as our family makes room for the newest addition.

My book and writing have also been reflective of this process: the completed manuscript was sent in to my publishers on May 1st. A few weeks later I received notes for the first round of edits and so dove into them. Fortunately there were not that many and the entire process struck me as a tightening and refining that felt fantastic. It reminded me deeply of stories I have been told about my great-grandmother.

She was a Cherokee woman who lived in rural East Texas and kept a chicken snake in her kitchen cabinet – to keep away mice or to startle visitors or maybe both – and one of the tales that has been passed down about her is that she would braid her long dark hair tight, tight, tight, into a braid, and then take a lit match and run it down her braid singeing off any errant hairs. This, she claimed, was how she kept her hair smooth and glossy. Editing felt like that to me. Taking the tightly braided words and then running a match over them – gently, but firmly, burning away the excess and the loose ends so that at the end of the day we are left with something more potent and refined.

It has touched me deeply how our community of soulful seekers has also been making space for life and what sings of life. Personally I have felt this in all of the well-wishes that I and the family have received from so many of you. I have experienced it too in the generous gifts that have been sent our way – some for the baby and some for me!

Over the past week as the news has been filled with the tragedy and the deaths of luminaries who touches the lives of so many, I have also been humbled to see how our community comes together to create space for hard discussions, thoughtful takes on controversial issues, and perhaps most meaningful of all, a sense of not assuming that we understand what another soul is encountering in their deepest hour of shadow. For these things too are part of life and cannot be overlooked, swept away, or ignored. I appreciate the nuance, and the time and thoughtfulness that seem to have become ever more endangered, that our community takes in feeling and thinking and speaking – we lead by example, it is the only way.

And amid the sadness that has been so thick in the air I hope that you too are making space for life, in all of its divine mess, radiant beauty, breadth and depth. As the below picture of my garden shows you, we do not, any of us, flourish in spite of the hard, we flourish right along side of it. That is what it means to make space for life.

In love and blessings always,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.