Spinning Gold Back to School Essentials

Learning and Community


elieve it or not, September is closer than we think. Which means that the fall semester of Spinning Gold is about to begin! And you know what that means:

Back to School Supplies!

For those of you already registered and for those of you planning to register later this month, here is a list of school supplies that you might want to begin gathering.

1. Self-care essentials
2. A dedicated space
3. Journal and favorite pens
4. Divination method of choice
5. Three pieces of yarn
6. Pictures of  important people
7. Computer/tablet/mp3 player
8. Smart Phone to share pics


1. Self-care essentials — Let’s face it, y’all. We’re older, and (hopefully) wiser! So we all know the most important items in any back to school supply list must begin with self-care essentials we love.  We’re going to be doing some good soul work, but that means we have got to take care of ourselves and surround ourselves with a lot of love.  My list? Good conversations, plants and flowers,  rocks and minerals, candles, incense, rich coffee, fabulous chocolate, ritual oils, and wonderful aromas, bath salts, creamy lotions, my favorite pens, white sage, morning walks, pilates, and spinning.

Oh, and let’s not forget buttery popcorn and a movie, a margarita at my favorite restaurant, and good times with friends!  Self-care items and activities really ARE essentials because they are some of the many doorways through which the sacred walk into our real-time, real-world lives. Spinning Gold is designed to work with your life, not your ideal life but the life you lead right here and right now. There is really no other place for the sacred to show up, right?

our writing rookery

2. A dedicated space to work in —  That said, it is a good idea to set aside some space where you can begin developing your daily practice. Space isn’t exactly a “thing” to buy at a store, but – like “time” – it should be considered one of the indispensable conditions of learning. Create a lovely space for yourself so you can return to it again and again, diving back into the thoughts, feelings, and inspirations that this course will bring up for you. You want to create a place so you can surround yourself with the things, ideas and images that feed your soul. You can hang up photos, drawings, notes to yourself, things you find on walks, tokens, and reminders to beautify and energize the space!  I like to work in several spaces, but one space in which I return again and again to journal, write, and do other creative work and hard thinking, is a simple little desk next to a window. We call the space the Nook or the Rookery Nook (after egret rookeries which we have in our area).

 3. Journal – A journal is the next most essential item on our list of back to school supplies. Why?  Because a journal is also a kind of dedicated space.  It is a gift of space you give yourself, a space dedicated to your own thinking and feeling. It is an act of forgiveness, and also provides the impetus for discovering new possibilities in your life.  At the end of the day, the connections you make within your own experience and the thinking you do will be the most valuable takeaway from this course.  To help you make those connections more powerfully, along the way, we will discuss three different methods for sacred arts journal keeping at first, and then as the class progresses, I will give you all some more advanced journaling techniques. I recommend that your journal be paper and that you physically write in it.  Many studies indicate that when we hand write, physiologically our brains are more stimulated, and our level of thought is clearer and deeper. Of course, if you are a die-hard tech-lover that is fine and you can keep your sacred journal on your computer or tablet.

4. Divination method of choice – we will begin working with divination throughout the course so you will need a deck of Tarot cards or another divination method at hand.  I will be using Tarot throughout the course because it includes imagery and signs we find in many different traditions of Sacred Arts.  Nevertheless, I welcome most divination techniques. As far as the Tarot is concerned, I recommend either the Rider-Waite-Smith (the classic deck) or the Wild Unknown.  There are many tarot decks out there – you may use whichever one resonates with you most.

5. Three pieces of yarn, silk, or some other fabric that can be braided together in 3 of your favorite colors and cut to your height –  we will put this to use in Module One.

6. Pictures of family, ancestors, historical figures or people who resonate for you. Place them in your dedicated space as we will work with them throughout the year.

7. Computer/tablet/Mp3 player – almost all of our lessons in Spinning Gold are delivered via audio recording as well as in written pdf form. I recommend that you make six files on your computer now, titled: Spinning Gold Module One, Spinning Gold Module Two, and so on. That way you can download the audios and any corresponding pdf’s right into the file, put them on your Mp3 player or smartphone, and listen to the lessons wherever you go.


8. Smartphones to share pics – part of acknowledging the role that the sacred arts play in our everyday lives involves images, so those who want to can begin Instagramming their spinning gold experience.

Ready to rock your back to school supplies? Register for Spinning Gold 2016 and come join us for a year of magic making!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

When Self-Care is Required

Right Relationship


ear Miracles: The notion of self-care is one that many of us who are called to be of service both preach to clients and those we assist, while then turning around and not taking the time to do it for ourselves. It was best explained to me like this: if a little child was tugging on your skirt and saying, please feed me I’m hungry, please let me rest, I’m sleepy, we would do so, in a heartbeat. And yet. When it comes to our own needs, rhythms, cycles, and creature comforts so often it is a constant mantra of “wait just a little longer.” Wait just a little longer until this final paragraph is finished and then you can have lunch. Wait just a bit longer until the final stroke of paint is applied and then we can go to the bathroom. Wait just a little bit longer until there is more money in the bank, less war in the world, no suffering and then finally, maybe, you can rest.

As someone who has had a history of driving her body to the brink of exhaustion I relate to this, strongly. And yet as I have matured and now especially that I am a mother, I see that the old saying about an ounce of prevention is so very true. This lesson really came home to me last March — I was attending an intense workshop led by two of my teachers. For three days we were deeply immersed in other world work and then it was back to work for me, seeing and speaking with clients, creating ritual, lighting candles — doing all of the work that I so love to do. I knew by the third day that two days from now I would not be ready to speak to clients as I would still be allowing the words, ideas, images, and promises made to settle into the many layers of skin. So I doubled up on my vitamins, took extra supplements, made good use of my flower essences, and allowed myself to simply be, to rest, to make soup, read novels, and listen to music. It worked so well that I have started building in these little moments into my weeks and months.

In the Waldorf educational system they refer to these moments as “in-breaths” and I really love that. For every out-breath, outer activity, external engagement, social event there must be an equal in-breath — a time to reflect, relax, and recollect ourselves. We are often told to do these things so that we may go forth and be of service — the illustration of the oxygen mask is one I have both used and heard others use too, you know the old canard, put your mask on first and then assist your child? But I think it goes deeper than that. If we do not know how to serve ourselves, if we cannot make the time to care for our own bodies, then our service to others is but a shadow of what it might be.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.