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.

Protected: Star Stories: July 2018

Ceremony and Ritual

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magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Protected: Star Stories: June 2018

Ceremony and Ritual

S

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magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Protected: Star Stories: May 2018

Ceremony and Ritual

To enter this space, please provide your password.


magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home, Vol. 3: Book Cover, Baby, and the Magic of Mercury Retrograde

Ceremony and Ritual

M

iracles,

Happy New Moon in Aries and Happy Mercury Direct!

As you may know, one of the most effective things we can do when “Mercury Retrograde” or Mercury RX hits is to review, clean, organize, and make efforts at self-maintenance, inner and outer.

Here are just a few things that have been happening in my neck of the woods, under the auspices of the wandering planet:

1. Last week, we finalized the cover design for my book Making Magic, which you can see above. I was over-the-moon thrilled to find out that Sounds True had enlisted the brilliant art of Cassandra, who has done all of the art and site development for my website and is a beloved friend and my collaborator in the daily blessing collection. I received four images, but the above was the one that made the cut. We – including my husband and son and the creative design team at Sounds True and my fantastic editor – all agreed this one was just right. I’m so in love with it and I hope all of you are too!

2. One of the ways I’ve been working with that pesky Mercury RX energy has been to review and edit and re-structure the first manuscript of my book. I finished the chapters since the last time I wrote you, so the timing has been just perfect. For a couple weeks I have been in the refining part of what is a very sculptural act. The form is present, the various parts are mostly in the correct places, and re-arranging does have to happen. There are places where the work sings and others where life must be breathed into it anew. Even though the weather has been gorgeous I have been tied to my computer, and at the end of the day I feel covered in the glimmering dust of words and ideas and, of course, magic…

3. We have also been working with the frisky Mercury RX energy to get a ton of repairs done…our home is almost 100 years old and so there are little cracks here and crevices there that have to be taken care of. The magic of skilled handy people is a magic I have come to deeply appreciate – especially when I see them through the eyes of our seven year old – he knows that all handy people – the plumbers, painters, and masons are absolute wizards. He follows them around asking a million questions (I don’t know where he got the habit from…) and they are so patient and kind and they actually take the time to teach him little bits of their trades. We are also putting in some new landscaping (yes, more herbs and more roots for the making of more custom magical goodies)! This is part of my extensive Uranus into Taurus personal magic making protocol. I’ll be posting pics on insta as we go.

4. My belly is so big now I not cannot see my feet (sigh), and I am in the waddling phase. So many of you have written to me to ask me how I am feeling and how I am doing, and I am happy to report that I am feeling really well as I whoosh into the third trimester. The baby’s nursery is 90% there with the other 10% being the challenge of putting away all of the adorable clothes I have been gifted and lent by friends and family. Whatever else happens, this baby is going to be well-dressed, my friends! As I have told a few beloveds, we also have the car seat, so if the little man decides to come tomorrow we are ready to rock.

In other exciting news: just yesterday Jasper picked up his first real book to read just for pleasure. He has been learning to read over the last couple of years and has been working with the smaller books that are divided into various reading levels, but yesterday was the first time he pulled a book down from his bookshelf and started to read it just for fun, just for pleasure.

What was the book? My Spinning Gold students will not be surprised to hear that it is a collection of fairy tales; he decided to start with Sleeping Beauty…that thirteenth fairy is SO curious!

And so on that note I am sending love on the gorgeous spring breezes and the goodness of all growing green things!
xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

The Feast Day of Candlemass and Imbolg

Ceremony and Ritual

B

rigid, Maman Brigitte, Bride…by whatever name you know Her, she is the one who calls us back home to ourselves; the one that endures, the one that reminds us that no matter how difficult things become and no matter how broken our paths and promise might be there is a constancy running through our lives and testifying to our essential ability to be whole and intact. Imbolg and Candlesmass are the names given to her specific Feast Days.

Bride reflects us back to ourselves in the waters of her sacred well, and in the telling of her tale. Click to Tweet

Her beginnings are in ancient Ireland where she did not easily fit into any single category:

Is she a mother? Yes.
Is she a maiden? Yes.
Is she an ancient and wizened one? Yes, that too, and everything in between including the occasional white cow, sheep, or goat.
Is she a Goddess of fire? Indeed.
But also a Goddess of water? For certain.
Is she a witch? Most certainly.
Is she a holy woman and Saint? Of course.
Is she a healer, a poet, a fertility bringer? Yes, all of that.
But then is she also a warrior, a blacksmith, one that might show up in the tavern with the best stories to tell? Yes, she is all of those things as well.

Some would say that she only became associated with the Dead and with the Ancestors when her veneration was brought into Haiti by indentured servants from Scotland and Ireland, who shared their love of Bride with the African slaves as both groups were forced to work the sugar plantations.

It was in Haiti that she became Le Grande Brigitte and/or Maman Brigitte, a powerful lwa in the Voudou pantheon recognized in the Caribbean as well as New Orleans and the Deep South.

But Bride’s strong and timeless association with the fey people, the Little Ones, in old Ireland tells me that she, like most Goddesses who know something of baby making and birth blessing also has known for aeons how to walk the tracks of the Underworld and be in congress with those who have passed beyond the veil – for the Ancestors and the faerie folk know each other quite well.

Her skin color, hair color, eye color, and accent changes from place to place, just as we change. Her refusal to fit neatly into any one box mirrors our own inability to do the same – we are after all miracles, containing an entire cosmos without our beating, sacred hearts and our inability to only be or do one thing does not mean that we are without unity.

The core of Bride holds strong and she endures as we do too and it is here we find her deepest teaching and the deepest way of honoring her.

For there are many ways to love her and many offerings to make; so whether you know her as the sheep milk and cheese loving great Goddess of Eire; the butter loving Saint who blesses all of the candles that will be used throughout the year, or the raucous woman who knows the cemetery like the back of her hand and likes hot peppers in her rum, Bride’s request is the same:

Bring all of who you are to my table. Leave no part behind, hold no part back. Remember the touchstones you call upon day in and day out, remember the deep unity you carry within you at all times, wherever it is, there you will find me waiting.

Bring all of who you are, including all that you need aid with, all that you wish to bless and honor, all that is heavy on your heart to her table. She is there. She has always been there. And she will continue to be there, always.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.