Discovering our Descendants

Learning and Community

I

just finished teaching a two week long training for a group of radiant souls (many of you included!) on working with Ancestors and Descendants in order to create a future that we love.

One of the things that I knew going into this teaching but that I really found to be the case was that the concept of Descendants is still so fuzzy for many of us.

That makes total sense because, as my students can tell you, working with our Descendants is intense – even more so than working with our Ancestors.

Descendant is a term that applies to anything or anyone that comes after you and whose life has been touched by and influenced by you in some way.

If you have children then they are your Descendants. If you have children in your family that you are Auntie/UncleFriend/Godmother/father to then they are also your Descendants.

For all of us, the concept of Descendant goes beyond children.

The secret book locked in your desk drawer, the socks you knitted last Friday, the meal that you are going to make tonight – these are ALL Descendants.

I discovered long ago that working with our Ancestors was only part of the equation. In order to live a fully enchanted life, we need to honor our lineage AND our legacy, our Ancestors, AND our Descendants.

There are a bunch of reasons for this but one of the best is that while our Ancestors help us understand our past and history, our Descendants prepare us to create and hold a particular vision of the future and what is possible.

If the concept of Descendant is new to you that is totally OK!

Start by making a list of who/what your Descendants might be – that’s a very good first step in building a relationship with them.

And if the idea of Descendants has you intrigued and you want to learn more, enroll in the Story Threads Autumn 2020 class – there are two weeks – 10 days of live teaching recordings, over 20 lessons including two original stories and lots of magic ceremonies and rituals to support you in your work, and a wonderful community of brilliant students.

If it sounds like something you might be interested in you can enroll directly right here or feel free to email me and I’m happy to chat about it with you!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

The Medicine We Need

Ceremony and Ritual

W

e need to make sure we have all the medicine we need.”

My husband tells me this offhandedly, on his way out of the kitchen with the two boys, the screen door shutting firmly behind him. I open the cabinet, what looks for all the world like an altar to health and convenience and choices. Cough syrups and lozenges, prescription medication to manage my chronic asthma, tonics and tinctures in strange brown glass bottles sitting side by side the Tylenol and Motrin. This is, after all, the medicine cabinet of someone experienced with specialized medicines for serious chronic illness – but it is also the cabinet of a witch. I would expect some dark glass bottles and dried bundled of herbs and homemade balms and I am not disappointed.

I stare at the shelves running through the lists of things a family of four, with two active young children, might need to see them through the Winter. I know I can go to the store to pick up whatever I don’t have, but I don’t take that knowledge for granted the way that I did before Covid, before March of this year, before going to the grocery store became a fraught affair.

How to know, I wonder? How does one know what is needed? The irony of a professional diviner asking how one knows what is needed, how one knows anything really, is not lost on me. I have an answer. I wrote it down in my first book. Pay attention. That is what I have to do, what we have to do, ever and always, pay attention. I look again and wonder aloud: what is the medicine we need?

Candles flicker on the Ancestor altar and the air is full of the golden spice scent of marigolds. Soon I’ll add the sugar skulls. Soon we will write the names of the Beloved Dead on each one. There is one medicine we need, a medicine easily forgotten: the act of remembering. Remembering our Beloved Dead, our lineage of blood and choice, and all of the tangles and gorgeous colors it contains, the stories of our Ancestors.

My gaze drifts over to the charm bag that contains the first locks of hair from one of my baby’s head. We need the medicine of memory and also the medicine of possibility, of dreams, of aspirations. Those are carried in the words I write, the seeds we plant, the sparkle of a gorgeous boy’s eye when he wins the game, and the salty tears of defeat when the day was hard.

I tiptoe out into the garden under the waxing moon, sit on the wooden swing with my cup of steaming coffee and watch as the little opossum we rescued earlier this year noses about in the plants and then scurries up his favorite tree. When he was brought into the kitchen, furry body hanging out of our proud dog’s mouth, I thought for sure he was dead. Then I remembered that opossums are quite good at playing dead. Later that day I watched him move, thinking, mmm, surely his back is broken, this looks bad. A day of recuperation at our local Wildlife center, prayers to St. Francis, and now he is rummaging about the garden as if nothing happened. Resiliency then, that too is a medicine that we need to carry with us through the Winter.

This year marked my 40th birthday. I rang it in by standing in line for 4 hours so that both myself and my beloved could vote. A group of women stood behind me. They all wore black shirts with silk screened lace collars. The shirts said: “We are Ruthless” in a nod of respect to Justice Ginsburg’s recent death. They brought doughnuts to the party, knowing it would be a while before we could cast our vote. Commitment to the possibility of something better. There is medicine we need always, and with plenty of back stock.

The Full Moon is on Halloween. Every elementary school aged child’s heart swells as this undeniable, unbelievable, too perfect to be true, fact. It is proof among the dead grass, sticky caramel-kissed fingers, and October pumpkin-filled air, that magic exists. In this year of all years, that too needs to be carried forward. The magic of an October Full Moon hanging low in the sky as the goblins and ghosts come out for tricks and treats while witches wait for the new year to be ushered in.

Now I’m paying attention. Now I see what we need and I know what to do. In addition to the tried and true medicines of the body, I’ll gather up some further things: Remembering, Stories, Dreaming, Hoping, Resilience, Recovery, Commitment, Betterment, Magic. Pour them into brown glass bottles, braid them together while the leaves are still supple, make a balm with them for chapped hands and lips and souls. I’ll tuck them into the cabinets in between the pain relievers and the thermometers. Now we have the medicines we need.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

HOW Do We Honor our Ancestors?

Ceremony and Ritual

I

t’s the final day of our exploration into the practice of Honoring Our Ancestors and today is all about the gritty details, the HOW.

So, you know what Ancestor you want to work with, you have found an object or item that brings them to mind for you, and maybe you have set that in s specific place where it won’t be disturbed. Now, what do you do?

Here are a number of different ways that you can begin engaging with your Beloved Dead:

• Building an altar, shrine, or house for your Ancestors. This is probably the most common way to begin developing a relationship with them and it does not have to be elaborate. You can simply set out a fresh glass of water by a picture or object you associate with your Ancestor and light some incense as a way to begin.

• Offering favored foods, drinks, clothing, objects, and flowers

• Representing the Ancestor with images, their handwriting, objects they treasured in life, graveyard dirt from their grave, ashes from their body, or other personal concerns

• Keeping a clean home — it is widely agreed that the Ancestors do not like to travel to or hang out in messy, cluttered spaces.

• Working with scent/incense — many cultures agree that of the five primary senses after death only our sense of smell remains fully intact. This is why pungent flowers like marigolds are used to mark out an Ancestral altar because they have a strong fragrance. Incense may be used for the same purpose. When working with scent think of it as building a road to the altar that the Ancestors may follow

• Party at the gravesite! Bring the favorite foods and drinks of your Ancestors to their gravesite where you can sit and have dinner with them!

• In some cultures the Ancestors are understood to remain in/at the altar or shrine all the time, in which case incense may be burned as a regular offering

• Food and drink should either be consumed by the living after remaining on the altar for a set amount of time or it should be discarded

• Consider the altar space of co-creation between yourself and your Ancestors. The primary objective is to honor them but you also want to use items that please you and put you in the right frame of mind to work with them.

• DO NOT offer alcohol to Ancestors who are alcoholics. DO NOT offer chemical substances (like nicotine) to Ancestors who had an addiction to that substance.

And remember, if you are beginning to explore a relationship with your Ancestors for the first time, it is perfectly appropriate to work with ONE at the time.

Now I know that there are a lot of suggestions and directions to go in with this work. You might be feeling a bit overwhelm and when you start receiving signs and communiques from your Ancestors that may leave you feeling ALL the feels.

This is why it’s a really good idea to have a relationship with a Go-Between.

A Go-Between is literally that. A Holy Helper who mediates between one thing and another – in this case the Living and the Dead.

Developing a relationship with a Go-Between gives you a place to begin focusing on your Ancestor work and also provides an extra layer of protection to you and your household as you begin this work.

There are many different Holy Helpers that are appropriate Go-Betweens to work with and I taught at length about this practice in the first week of Story Threads – which opens for registration today! You can learn more right here.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

WHY Should We Honor our Ancestors?

Learning and Community

Y

esterday, we talked about WHO is an Ancestor and today I want to dive into the question of WHY we would choose to work with our Ancestors at all? Why do people do this work all over the world? Well, there are reasons: honor

• First and foremost because our legacy is connected to our lineage. This means, simply put that we can’t really think or feel into our future and what is possible for us and our people, if we are not in right relationship to our past and our lineage.

• Our Ancestors often see patterns and cycles that we might miss. Here we have one of the most traditional reasons for working with and honoring our Ancestors. They were called on for Divination purposes because they have an understanding of where we are and where we are headed that far exceeds our own.

• Our Ancestors often participated in patterns and cycles that we can see once we honor them. If you are doing any self development work you have probably come across ideas like “mindset” – certain attitudes that you may have about things like romance or money or success that actually, in the long run, limit your abilities.

Mindsets are often rooted in our lineage – our Ancestors had certain experiences that were traumatic (or were not able to have certain experiences that would have been uplifting and healing), and as a result, we have inherited attitudes, stories, and perspectives that are not necessarily helpful to us. When we begin Honoring our Ancestors we begin to understand what they experienced, why we react to things the way we do, and what unique healing is available to us.

• Our Ancestors inspire us. Working with our Ancestors can give us ideas, dreams, and goals that are inspirational and aspirational. Our Ancestors love us, they want our success and happiness and often remind us of the tools and talents we have at our disposal to make and do wonderful things.

• Our Ancestors can warn us. Just as Ancestors are viewed to have a much broader and truer sense of history, they are also understood to be able to foresee events that we need to be warned about or aware of.

• Honoring our Ancestors is polite. Finally, it is simply polite and good spiritual manners to identify and honor our Beloved Dead.

After all of that, it’s a much better idea to ask why we WOULDN’T want to honor our Ancestors!

So now the obvious question is HOW. HOW do we Honor Our Ancestors? Stay tuned because tomorrow I’ll be sending out that information!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol. 23 ~ How Diamonds are Formed

Ceremony and Ritual

B

lessed New Moon in Libra, Miracles! diamonds

First and foremost, in honor of relationship-driven Libra, I created a new online community for all of us! If you have not yet checked out the Sacred Arts Academy please do! Joining is 100% free. Your request to join will have to be approved by me but I check in with the Academy pretty much every day so I’ll be happy to let you in! This is a community hosted on Mighty Networks and I am pretty impressed with their entire set up. One of the big challenges for me and our community of Soulful Seekers is that a lot of what we want to discuss is private, deep, and potent. My people have never been super comfortable sharing these aspects of themselves on the usual social media subjects but the Sacred Arts Academy feels different. People feel able to share in a safe space. And…it’s really pretty! Join right here.

One of the amazing things about the Sacred Arts community is that all of my courses and teachings are able to be housed there as well. I experimented with running my first course through this platform during the first full week of the month with about 60 other intrepid souls as we went Gathering the Bones with Santa Muerte. This was a week long training in Ancestor work, including some intermediate and advanced techniques and it was powerful, fun, and I learned a ton! That’s one of the main reasons why I teach – because I learn SO much along the way! We are gathering for the second and final week of training in November and we will be working with Hansel and Gretel as our guiding tale – I cannot wait! My students really responded beautifully to the new course design, layout, and dedicated forum – this stuff might sound boring to some of you but if you are running a web-based business or a magic’preneur then you know that finding the right platform is HUGE. I’m so glad I found this one!

In the middle of my teaching week, David and I celebrated 14 years of marriage and 17 years of togetherness! Thank you all for the incredibly sweet notes and congratulations. I wake up every day and feel so deeply blessed to have this man as my partner, helpmate, and best beloved! We kept our celebration low-key this year – both of the boys were in school – so mom and dad got to hang out together, have lunch together al fresco and without interruption, and then immerse ourselves in some serious big picture thinking, scheming, and dreaming. All I can say about that is…EXCITING THINGS ARE COMING!!!

Next, I celebrated my 40th(!!!) birthday first and foremost by VOTING. Early voting in Texas kicked off on my birthday this year and being the astrologer that I am, I wanted to vote BEFORE Mercury actually went retrograde. My husband and I are PROUD to be Ridin’ with Biden and Harris. We masked up, made our voices heard, and then took off to spend the rest of the day in frivolity and fun. Thanks too for all of the birthday wishes – ya’ll are the best!

This New Moon sees me walking along the edge of the shore down at the Gulf Coast, speaking to the Mother Ocean, and listening to what she has to say. It’s the perfect liminal place to be in a liminal year. Despite the awfulness of 2020, turning 40 this year feels very appropriate. Those of us who are were born in 1980 are a liminal group – the last year of GenX or the first year of the Millenials depending on who you talk to. Most of my friends are older than me and my husband is older so personally, I identify more with Gen X but there are also plenty of aspects of the Millenial generation that I appreciate – I feel like their conscience-raising awareness is the perfect pairing with Gen X’s wryness and cynicism. Most of all, I think those of us born this year can be translators between two generations and that is a needed thing.

I feel that 2020 is a year that will go into the history books not as the annus horibilis – the most horrible year, but rather as a year that made diamonds out of so many of us. We have been under such pressure in so many parts of the world – economic, political, legal, ethical, medical, etc, etc, that many of us have had no choice but to become harder, more resilient, more brilliant, and perhaps most importantly of all – more clear.

October is a blue moon month, so you will hear from me again before the month is out as we celebrate the Full Moon in Taurus on Samhain, October 31st. As an October baby, I LOVE Halloween and typically we have a big fiesta at our house celebrating this day and the season of the Dead that it ushers in. This year it will be different. We will be out on the land I grew up on, there will be bonfires and candy, the sweet scent of copal burning and offerings for the faeries, there will be sugar skulls and white bones, and blessings for and from our Beloved Dead. Back at home, my front steps will have some candy and books available for those who do venture out. It’s not the Halloween I was hoping for or expecting, but it does call back so many memories from my youth as this entire year has done.

And then the Wheel will turn and the cycle will begin anew.

From our family to yours ~ shine on, sweet Miracles!

xoxo diamonds diamonds diamonds diamonds diamonds

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Venus as Holy Helper

Foundations

S

he is the morning and evening star, the five-pointed pentacle, the sweet bite of an apple, and the heady scent of rose. Venus is the tang of salt on your tongue and the song of sensual pleasure thrumming through our bodies.

She is Venus but behind her stands Aphrodite, behind her we find Ishtar, Isis, and Inana – to name only a very few. She preceded all of the Olympian Gods and Titans in her form as Aphrodite Urania, heavenly Aphrodite, as she sprang from the blood and seed soaked waves in the wake of Uranus’ sacrifice.

She is lust, desire, and love in all of its many forms embodied. She is the ripening fig, the rich red wine, the golden honey, and the decadent cream, but she is also the sacred spring and the wind through her beloved Cypress trees, trees that like her, know something of the Underworld and Shadow.

She shows us that it is possible for Love to vanquish War, for beauty and harmony to outsmart perfect strategy and pure power. She has bewitched the most powerful of witches and spurred on fierce battles.

Most often we think of her as a rather conventional beauty, full hips, and breasts, slender waist, nubile position, forgetting that in some of her greatest statues she could easily be mistaken for Athena, appearing as she does in full battle armor. The teaching of course is that no force knows how to battle the way that Love does.

Traditionally she was petitioned to bring a lover, keep a lover, and deepen a current love relationship. Her blessing was sought on all marriages and unions of all kinds, her provenance extended to bring beauty, music, laughter, dance, and joy into the hearts of mankind. She is both a breaker and healer of hearts, the desire that can set us on the right course or drive us mad. She is often perceived as the weakest and flightiest of the Divine, but anywhere depth happens, she is present. Hekate, Titaness of the Underworld, and Guardian of all Thresholds is her protector because Love is the most precious of all.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Uranus as a Holy Helper

Foundations

H

e is so ancient that his presence pre-dates both Gods and Titans seen less a God-like figure and understood more clearly as the Sky itself, the realm of heaven which is exactly what his name means – heavenly. As such, Uranus is the Holy Helper most capable of seeing the whole, of knowing all that is under the sky, cultivating the bird’s eye view.

He fell in love with Gaia, Earth herself, and as a result, he is called on even today when the Earth needs protection and defense. With his love, he had children, the first of the Titans, the beginning of a divine legacy. In this way, he helps us see our own legacy as well and he is especially helpful when we need to cultivate both vision of the future and the actions that make it possible. He was castrated by his children in a clear need to ancient sacrificial practices around kingship, reminding us that claiming our future requires we leave certain parts of our selves in the past.

When his sex was thrown into the sea, magic occurred, and among the beings called to life was Aphrodite herself, bringing to our attention the essence of vision, future building, care for the Earth, and life itself: Love. Uranus

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.