What Football Taught Me About Magic

Alchemy and Magic

M

iracles,

You’d never know it was early September here in San Antonio. Every so often we get a thrilling hint of the big change coming, but most days the 100 degree temperatures will throw us off track. I was sitting at the edge of the sandy pitch of a field watching a football game the other week while the sun pounded down on top of me, wondering, how did this happen…? What wrong turn did I take?

It wasn’t just the heat. I was in this field, in the sun, to watch my son play football. This was not something I could ever have seen coming. Growing up in Texas there were a few things I made it my business to avoid: pushy Bible-thumpers, getting married too young, irresponsible gun owners, sport hunters, and…football.

Although there was a very brief period where I waved pom-poms and shouted cheers on the sideline of football fields, and the time I sang the national anthem to open up a state championship game, I did not like the sport. From my viewpoint, it was the source of never-ending budget woes for the fine art departments all across the state. Football was always the reason we couldn’t afford new costumes or light gels or sound systems for theatrical and choral events. But even more, I bought into the notion that all football players were dumb jocks and chose to ignore or overlook the fact that there were quite a few of them in my honors and advanced placement classes. Football was huge at my rural high school. It was everything to many people, life itself, and I wanted no part of it. I didn’t like it and so I paid zero attention to it.

After high school, I went to a very small liberal arts college tucked away in the mountains. The college did not have a football field, much less an athletic team. (We did, however, have “Spartan Mad Ball”, but that is a story for another day.) So I never really thought much about the game after the age of 18. I would watch the Super Bowl with my family for the commercials and I cheered when the New Orleans Saints won one year and when the Eagles won a couple of years back because I like come-from-behind victory stories of any stripe. But generally speaking, football was not a part of my life in any significant way.

Our oldest child is a gifted visual artist and musician. He likes playing basketball and soccer, and so I never really had cause to think about his relationship to football other than to look at the data around concussions and decide unilaterally that he would never play full contact unless the game radically changed.

Then, last spring, talk of flag football came up. Then again, in summer when registration opened. I found myself in both cases writing my son’s name on the lines of various lists, and it was like the experiences you hear people report when they die – of seeing themselves from a far off distance…it was like that, disembodied.

Before I knew it, a team had been formed and my son came home and told me he was playing “center”. My husband told me that our son would be responsible for “snapping” the ball. He said this as if it were perfectly obvious what all of those words meant. And all I could think was “damn, damn, damn, damn…I have no idea what is happening!!!”

If you know any kids, you know that every now and then they talk about stuff with this air of confidence and you maybe know .05% of what they are talking about. But you still know .05%. In this case, I knew precisely 0%. This was a first for me. So I woke up early as I do, worked on the upcoming book, and then found myself in the unfamiliar world of ESPN. And friends, it is a WORLD.

I learned the basics about flag football, the names of the positions for starters, and delved into the craziness of different plays. I discovered that many of the best college players are also outstanding academically and that some of the greatest pro players of all time were also dancers. I saw lots of articles on the various problems and hypocrisies of the NFL and of pro sports in general, but I also saw community outreach and the ways that these organizations are trying to do better. I was humbled by how much I didn’t know, and by how many wrong things I had assumed. I talked to a mom friend of mine who is sports savvy and I confessed my ignorance and new-found knowledge to her while she benevolently chuckled.

Now I am not sure that I could call myself a fan of football. In fact, I am pretty sure I can’t call myself that. And I have no clue if my child will play after this season or if his little brother will want to play at all. But none of those things are the point of this story. This is not about how I came to love football. Rather, this is about how I thought I knew something for sure – about an activity, the people who do it and the people who enjoy it – and how I crashed, face-first into how wrong those assumptions were. It was painful, what they call a “growth” experience, but it was also direct teaching about magic.

Think on it. Take whatever situation you would like to magically charm this way or that and ask yourself what assumptions underpinning your intentions you are carrying about the situation, about the people involved, about the external conditions, and most of all about your relationship to those things. What if your assumptions are off by just a little? What if they are dead wrong? What if there is a lot more territory to roam and explore within the situation than you originally were able to see? How does that change your magic? How does that change you?

You know if you’ve read my book “Making Magic”, that I never give a “definition” of magic. In my view and experience, no such thing is possible, because magic is radically particular to each person and each situation.

But we can describe some conditions for magic, and this is one of them, the moment when one of your most cherished beliefs is given a vigorous shaking by some experience.

Magic happens in the space these questions create. the changes that could flow from them, and our ability to follow them out where ever they may lead. It happens in the completely unexpected, un-looked for, and least likely places…like a hot football field in South Central Texas.

So, I’ll continue to sit there in the 100 degree heat watching a game that challenges all of my assumptions, because I want to see where all of this leads not only with my child but with my relationships and with my life as a whole. What friendships will be created, fostered (or even dissolved)? What new insights will this experience afford all of us? What magic will be made?

We are celebrating a Full Moon in Pisces today, and Pisces loves challenging assumptions. Let yourself celebrate by paying close attention to your dreams and taking a magical sacred bath.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury RX in Pisces: Do’s and Dont’s

Foundations

M

iracles,

I hope that this little series on what to expect as we prepare for Mercury Retrograding through Pisces has been useful to you all. We are concluding today with a handy tip sheet of Dos and Dont’s.

Do use this time to brush up on your intuition.
Don’t give into impulsive decisions based on your intuition right now.
Do engage in a comprehensive review of your nighttime routine in order to encourage better dreaming.
Don’t try to numb out or hide from the tough stuff with booze, drugs, sex, or food.
Do make sure you drink plenty of water and get plenty of sleep.
Don’t go into any romantic connections with unchecked assumptions or expectations.
Do consider re-structuring your daily spiritual practice so that it is on point and relevant for right now.
Don’t join cults or follow cult-like personalities – guard your energy.
Do maintain your boundaries.
Don’t over commit yourself.
Do make time for deep intimacy with your lover.
Don’t give in to toxic relationship patterns.
Do engage in creative and artistic work – especially wrapping up any creative projects that need to finally be completed.
Don’t run away from difficulties – they will only meet you later.
Do invest in art, creative pursuits, spirituality, and healing.
Don’t overspend your money, time, or any other resources.
Do review your health (on all levels) and if healing is needed, seek it out.
Don’t give into sham cure-alls.
Do understand that you are more likely to be sensitive and easily triggered at this time.
Don’t forget that the same holds true for everyone else.
Do be prepared to learn secrets and discover things that have been hidden – even from yourself.
Don’t be surprised when secrets spill out or when you accidentally share something you were supposed to hold in confidence.
Do believe.
Do not be gullible.
Do dare to go deep – this is the time for it.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol. 12 These Things Will Change

Lineage and Legacy

L

ast October, my friend Danielle came to my home to take photos for my business and my family. One of the great things about having a professional photographer come into your space is that she will see things you might otherwise miss. Turns out I’ve been missing a lot!

Danielle gathered bunches of beautiful shots, including the unlikeliest — for example, our corner shelf which sits right by the piano (pictured above). This is the shelf where we drop our coats and jackets, bags, and purchases, and where we leave our shoes upon entering the home. It is not unusual to find an assortment of baby gear and toys, school papers, sports equipment, and a magical spray or two tucked into it this way and that. Danielle saw it and immediately captured it on film because as she said “This is precious. These things will change.” She went on to explain that the way that the corner shelf looked on that day in October will be radically different from the way it looks next year at the same time.

I’ve returned to this observation in the months since Danielle first made it because I find it to be such a potent reminder — these things will change. Big things change, as we know. We find new jobs, new lovers, we get married and go through divorces, we get sick, we heal, maybe we have children, eventually those children grow up, our dog dies, a little kitten decides we are their forever person…we’ve all experienced these types of changes. But in the background, humming away, are constant, much more subtle changes that, when properly grasped, can show us the progression of our stories with great detail. If we pay attention, we can find places that bear witness to these small changes. Becoming aware of and finding those places is one of the reasons I wrote Making Magic in the first place. They are often not the obvious places where you think alchemical transformation might happen: they are part of the every day – your closet, your morning cup of coffee, your front door, your corner shelf.

When it comes to magic, we tend to focus on the big stuff, the significant life changes. We seek ways to slow them down or speed them up, to get them jump started or to stop them altogether. In short, we often come to magic as a way of managing the big shifts and changes in our lives. When we approach magic in this way and pair it with wisdom and discernment we can experience awe-inspiring results. But seasoned soulful seekers look closer and go deeper, understanding as they do that the real sauce of magic happens not in the big moments and rituals and ceremonies but in the everyday knowledge that these things, all of these things, will change.

A trite saying is that every change carries with it an opportunity. I prefer to think that every change is an offering, cosmic hands stretched out holding a variety of choices and asking simply: What will you do today? Who will you be? How will you show up? Those options…and the ability to choose the best ones — that too is magic, some of the strongest that I know.

Some of the changes we have been experiencing in Casa de Saussy include:
Heath is this close to crawling!
Jasper loves playing basketball and Bach.
My book, Making Magic, is now available to pre-order and you can snag some lovely bonuses when you do so.
One of those bonuses, an audio recording of me reading the guiding story from the book was sound engineered by David (my beloved) who did an incredible job and delivered something fresh and gorgeous.
There are lots of new blog posts up at canto – some are talking about the upcoming Mercury Retrograde in the sign of Pisces that starts on March 5th and others teach rituals for having a healthier relationship to social media.
We are all obsessing over this album and I am loving this song which my husband introduced me to.

May you have a gorgeous New Moon in Aquarius and whatever else you choose – choose to be blessed and a blessing in turn.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury RX in Pisces: My Favorite Magic

Purification and Cleansing

J

ust a short and sweet note for you all today to share with you my favorite kind of magic when Mercury is retrograde through Pisces. If you have a rough day during this RX period, or if you just want to start the RX period off (or end it, or celebrate its midpoint) in an effective manner then Sacred Bathing and Spiritual Cleaning are your new magical BFF’s. Both of these acts rely on the power of water to cleanse, purify, and restore – these are elements that are native and deeply resonant to Pisces and they will serve you well during this particular RX period.

Happy Bathing!
xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury RX in Pisces: Decoding Intuitive Messages

Divination and Dreams

M

iracles,

When Mercury goes Retrograde in the sign of Pisces one of the areas of our lives that springs into action are our psychic sensibilities and our intuition. Despite what some may say, the truth is that we ALL have psychic abilities and intuition. The big difference between “psychic” people and those who are less so is that some folks choose to exercise those particular muscles and other people choose not to.

Another difference is that everyone’s intuition works in different ways – some people are really good at intuitively understanding what’s wrong with a person’s body and physical health. Those people often become doctors, nurses, or health practitioners of some kind. They rely on hard science, data, and test results but underneath all of that is usually an intuitive sense of things that they themselves may not be aware of. The same is true for every field and industry – from business and finance to law enforcement and school administration.

So as you can see, the question is not whether you are intuitive or not but rather how to start relating to your intuition, getting to know it, and putting it to work. This particular Mercury Retrograde is all about that action! Pisces is the sign that rules our intuition – our deep sense of knowing so when Mercury retrogrades through this sign we cannot help but all feel a bit more psychic.

In the classical world Oracles always delivered their predictions in the forms of riddles, proverbs, or aphorisms – the information was always there but only a wise person would actually see it because a bit of unscrambling or decoding was needed. To some extent, this is just how intuitive knowledge works but this is especially true during Mercury in Retrograde.

So the rule of thumb when Mercury is retrograde through Pisces is that this is a great time to either commit to or brush up on a divination skill. Courses like this one or books like this one are great places to begin that process. My favorite way of learning a divination skill is to pick the skill I want to learn and then get readings with that particular format. You will meet a lot of cool people, invest in the art, and learn different styles and approaches to the same basic process along the way. If you let your reader know that you are a student of the particular divinatory art then they may even throw in a lesson – I often do!

While we are on the subject, it is useful to recall that your dreams are also part of your intuitive knowledge and that dreams are their own kind of divination. Pay attention to your dreams and begin journaling about them or discussing them in a dream group so that you can glean information from them.

While the above two approaches are highly favored during Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, it is equally important to remember that now is not the time to go off acting on every intuitive impulse that you have. Often during this period our intuition flows strong but in weird ways. For instance, we might need to do the opposite of what our intuition is telling us, or we might need to focus on every third word or image. (I know those sound like bizarre examples but I have actually seen both of them play out during certain Mercury Retrograde periods).

Dive into your oracular powers, learn to work with them and express them during this period. But be aware that you are doing just that…learning, so as I tell my 7 year old – double, triple, check your work. Don’t go acting impulsively on an intuitive flash and be open to second opinions from folks with more experience.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces: How to Dream Deep

Divination and Dreams

O

ne of the areas that Pisces is especially attuned to is sleep and dreams. In fact, Pisces is the sign of the bedroom so any bedroom spiritual cleansing, magic making, or protection ceremonies are highly effective at this time.

When Mercury is retrograde in Pisces it is a great time to take stock of your bedroom, remove anything that doesn’t belong there, add whatever you want to add and give the entire room a good cleaning. Change, clean, or buy a new set of sheets, pillowcases, and/or a comforter for your bed. This is a great time to buy a new mattress or flip the mattress over as well. Dress your mattress, sheets, and pillowcases with your preferred oils, sprays, perfumes, or sachet powders.

A lot of these little practical acts will also speak to your dream life. When I talk to my clients and students one of the areas with the Sacred Arts that they most want to explore is their dreams. Every night we each have 5- 7 dreams and rarely do we remember 2 or 3 dreams much less 5 or 7. If you have been yearning to go deeper into your dreams then this retrograde period is one of the best times to do a bedtime/sleep ritual review and set yourself up for success.

Begin by looking at your current bedtime and sleep habits. Not what you wish they were but what they actually are.

– Do you go to bed at about the same time every night or does it vary? (Studies show that going to bed and getting up in the morning at about the same time everyday lead to better sleep and better sleep leads to better dreams).

– What is the ambient light situation in your bedroom? Do you need more darkness? (Light pollution has all kinds of negative health effects). If you feel there is too much light in your bedroom and you don’t want to go in for window treatments try a sleep mask.

– What activities do you engage in right before you go to bed? Are you working on your laptop? Watching t.v.? Snuggled down with a good book? A good rule of thumb for deeper sleep and deeper dreams is to turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before you hit the sheets. Hint: this is a great time to REplace your smartphone alarm clock with an actual alarm clock.

– Do you have a bedtime ritual to signal to your physical body and your Holy Helpers that it is sleep time now? This can be anything – the traditional goodnight prayer is one example. You might want to light a special dream candle, cense your bedroom with an aromatic smoke or spritz the sheets with a relaxing linen spray. Personally, I like taking a few drops of this flower essence and rubbing this cream into my hands and my feet.

Cultivate Calmness, or engage in another stillness practice before sleep.

– If something is weighing on your mind and heart, try writing it down before you go to bed. You can write it as a question that you are seeking insight on or just write a couple of lines about it – you may end up dreaming the solution to the quandary!

– Keep a notebook and pencil by your bedside table for jotting down the dreams (or impressions) that you remember upon waking.

– Make dream discussions part of your daily routine. There are social media groups and forums dedicated to dream discussion and analysis that you can make use of, you can keep an ongoing journal of your findings, talk about dreams with your family members (this is one of the easiest ways to introduce children to the Sacred Arts) or discuss your dreams with a friend! One of my favorite books about dreaming is this one – it looks at the role dreams play in African American culture – a culture where dreams are still tended, nurtured, and taken seriously – as they are in so many parts of the world even today.

These are some useful starting points and as you go through this review you may discover other elements that come into play for you. Pay attention to your findings and then implement whatever needs to be acted upon. May you sleep deep and dream sweet!
And…if you want to truly optimize your Mercury RX experience do the Mercury RX Survival Kit – it opened for registration today.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury Retrograde in the Sign of Pisces

Divination and Dreams

I

mentioned before that it is super useful to know what zodiac sign Mercury is going to be retrograde in. So let’s take a look at that now.

From March 5th through March 28th Mercury goes retrograde in the sign of Pisces. So what does this mean? Well, first off it means that if you have Pisces as your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant sign then you can expect to really feel this particular retrograde period and be extra sensitive to it. Since Pisces has two planetary rulers, Jupiter and Neptune, this also means that folks with Jupiter and/or Neptune in strong positions in their charts (like conjunct your Sun or at your Midheaven) will also really feel this RX period.

If you don’t know about any of the above that is OK – the rule of thumb with Mercury Retrograde is to assume that you will be affected. If you aren’t then awesome and no harm, no foul. If you are sensitive to these times of year then you will be ready!

Pisces is the Fish, the final sign of the Zodiac, and the ruler of the 12th house. So what happens when Mercury crabwalks backward through this sign? Because Pisces is a water sign and the water signs all bring us into contact with our emotions one of the first things that happen is we all start to feel more thin-skinned. We wear our hearts on our sleeves. And the words that we use with one another can often be more hurtful during this time than we anticipate – so we have to be extra thoughtful and discerning with not just what we say, but also how and when we say it.

Another thing that occurs when Mercury Retrogrades through Pisces is that our speech and our thinking are not at its clearest. Pisces is the sign of dreams. Archetypal symbols, ancient motifs, and powerful faerie tales complete with riddles are the natural lexicon of this sign – straight forward, logical thinking and analysis – not so much. It isn’t that Pisces is not capable of rational thought (Einstein was a Pisces) but rather that the way we arrive at our rational conclusions when guided by this sign is more circuitous (Einstein also famously dreamed about the theory of relativity).

Over the next week, I will be touching on some of the other themes that come up with Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, including the influence that this retrograde can have on our dream lives and intuition. I’ll also share my favorite kind of magic to make for this retrograde season and more!

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.