Nourishing Hope

Art, astrology, Events, Mundane Magic, Services, Tarot

Well… we’re in it, folx. We have speculated, wondered, had concerns, prophesied, read the theories and waited for THE event that would begin The Unraveling of structures and societies as a whole: but now it’s here.

We have already endured so much trauma: continents on fire, unarmed citizens of color being murdered in the streets by police, super-storms destroying entire islands, the election of a sociopathic rapist in a prime leadership role, countless wars, multiple economic travesties, immigrant children being locked in cages and more. Being alive has felt bleak for so long.

However, we are now enduring the fall out of a very contagious disease that threatens every single human on this planet. This is the moment where we look back and say to ourselves “that’s when everything really fell apart.”

Image: 9 of Swords tarot card with rolls of toilet paper

I know it’s a lot. I know we’ve all been inside for too long: nervously coping as best we can. I have found myself sitting a lot, packing my guts with sugar to get myself through this mass-trauma. I stay as informed as I’m able and open my heart just as often. It. Is. Rough. Right. Now. And the future? After I stop wearing slippers more than shoes and (hopefully) get back to work after being laid off? It’s taken two months of being quarantined to my home to even begin considering what the next month, three months, year and even few years might look like after Covid-19.

Right now, I’m grateful for the ability to detach enough from my chronic fight-flight-freeze-fold responses to look to the astrology of our situation: checking in with the stars and cycles of things. I wish I could say that this is the worst of it… That we’ll just have to make sure to wear a mask in public places, wash our hands more than we’re used to and get on with living like we aren’t confined to our homes. But this is the beginning of a mass-transition of power, ideals, community-living, and sustainability that is coming in a rough package.

Image: Judgement tarot card among outdoor debris next to a human skull wearing a mask

One of the current transits that I have been thinking about lately is the shift of the Nodes from Cancer and Capricorn to Gemini and Sagittarius. If you aren’t familiar with the Lunar Nodes of astrology, I like to think of them as our collective invitation to evolve based on poles of archetypal energy. These are the arenas of life that are ripe and ready for us to change: and if we really dive into the signs of the zodiac, we find that the way to remedy these situations is almost laughably obvious. Like caricatures that emphasize what we love and hate about ourselves, the South Node (our collective baggage) and North Node (how we can heal this baggage, together) are key to growing as human beings on earth at this time.

We have been experiencing the karma of Capricorn/Cancer nodes since November 6, 2018. Since then, the south node (baggage) of Capricorn has unearthed cold-heartedness, overly prioritizing work, and abuses of power: revealing the shadow nature of this sign that can only be remedied with the care, prioritization of home-life and commitment to doing everything we can to take care of each other: all things that a North Node (healing) in Cancer brings to the table. Now, since the signs shifted on May 5th, we get to explore the space between a South Node in Sagittarius and North Node in Gemini.

Image: 7 of Swords tarot card in the center of an opened Bible

What is the baggage of Sagittarius (The Storyteller)?

Beliefs super-ceding reality. Propaganda. Limits of education and religion. “Teachers” and cult-leaders telling irresponsible and dangerous stories.

How can we heal with Gemini (The Researcher)?

Doing accurate research. Informing ourselves and each other. Thinking things all the way through. Paying attention to and embracing facts.

That’s right: Plandemic came out right as soon as we entered this healing cycle and there is a lot more of that coming in the next year and a half. These “theories” are coming when we are most vulnerable and their impact could be devastating if we are not prepared to verify their accuracy and ground ourselves in reality. Is the spectrum coming alive yet?

The thing about Gemini is that Gemini is THE most anxious personality of the zodiac. This mutable energy is restless, impulsive, relentless, quite chatty and constantly changing on a good day…. And we are supposed to savor this flavor of healing at this time? How can we possibly take on MORE anxiety? Choices? Thoughts? Current-event conversations? Reading? Possibilities? Politely informing our misinformed neighbors? Over and over?

Image: 3 of Swords tarot card surrounded by broken glass

Like it or not, Gemini is here to nurse our collective belief systems in the coming year. Serving as:

1. a North Node of evolutionary potential
2. the source of vital energy in June when the sun cycles out of Taurus
3. our experience of art, beauty and relationships when Venus does an extended residency in this sign come May 13th

If we are to steward the change that is truly needed at this time, we must adapt our lifestyles to Gemini’s reality-checks.

We need to earn our knowledge and learn from each other, which means giving our brains as much support as possible.

Anyone interested in a super power readily at our disposal for this work? THE INTERNET. Our ability to check Snopes, assess the validity of Facebook “news” stories, or even do a quick type-click-and-search to get instant results (another vice of Gemini: immediacy) is one tool that often gets taken for granted.

This gift is something we need to responsibly embrace as individuals with agency during this era of karmic healing: access to limitless information at our fingertips. Does anyone remember the energy it once required to ask a question, use a card catalogue, open more than one book, compare sources and devote an entire afternoon to a trip to the library?

Image: Queen of Swords alongside many non-fiction books

Gemini is STIMULATING, which means as we do this work, we must also remember that spending so much time in our heads takes a toll on our physical bodies: figuring out ways to diffuse this often intense energy is crucial… especially when reading often invokes trauma to our nervous systems as we figure out how to move forward with our lives right now.

I am not sure about anyone else, but I have noticed an almost Pavlovian response when I read the news: with each word, I brace myself. I hold my breath. I skim ahead, hoping that reading just some of the data will give me less emotional responses, but enough information to get the jist of what the writer is trying to say (big no-no’s with Sagittarius baggage ripening before our very eyes.) I need to figure out how to take care of myself while also doing The Big Work.

I have decided that if I am going to even pretend to have hope, courage, joy, faith and a willingness to undergo these changes, I need to also feed myself sensory pleasures that fuel my body and soul.

I need embodied practices that bring me back to my physical-self, give me mental-breaks when I become exhausted, initiate the energetic boosts that are necessary to get back to the facts of life and even enjoy myself every once in a while. I cannot expect myself to perform at my highest potential without rest, relaxation and reminders that this work is only a part of the importance of being alive right now.

Image: Strength tarot card resting gently on my sweet sleeping cat

If any of the above has resonated for you and you’re interested in joining me in this work, here are a few options:

#venusretrogradechallenge2020 : on Monday, May 11th, I will reveal on Instagram my challenge to myself (and you!) for the 40 days that Venus dances backwards through Gemini for the purposes of rest, release and reflection. This endeavor will use this social media platform to call back the creative energy that we have already put out into the Universe that no longer serves us or the world. We will reclaim the threads of ourselves that we so desperately need at a perpetually exhausting time. The best part? It’s free. More details to come! Be sure to follow me for further instructions and guidelines: auroradawning

Queering the Planets : beginning on May 22, Tere Parsley Starnes and I will co-facilitate our second online course on the planets of astrology. My section will focus on the embodiment of each Planetary Godd within our lives as they are now, using methods and practices that titillate our senses: music, digital art, and daily contemplation that embraces both the traditional foundations of astrology AND fresh, queer associations that have been overlooked. This class is three months long, takes place on Discord and is $liding $cale. We would love to taste the visceral flavors of Mars, catch a whiff of uplifting Jupiter and feel the tendrils of Mercury’s wisdom tingling our scalp with you! Registration is open until May 21.

Readings : as always, I am available for tarot and natal chart readings at a safe, convenient distance over the internet. Check out my tarot and astrology pages for more info!

Image: The Star tarot card in the center of a chalk-drawn seven pointed star on concrete

I’ll admit my heightened interest in this cycle of healing: my Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Uranus are in Sagittarius, all of which oppose my moon in Gemini. I simultaneously understand the need to trust people at their word (Gemini) and also love a good theory that illuminates “The Greater Meaning” of things (Sagittarius).

I know that Change beyond what I can even comprehend is on the way, but right now: tending to my needs means nourishing hope for the future. I need this change to be worth the devastation that it’s causing and I intend to do my best to serve the dawn of that vision.

In Prayer to Aries

astrology, Mundane Magic, Poetry
Hail and welcome: Aries Sun
Spirit of Bold Risks
Rays of Essential Growth and Change.

You have arrived again
to Fuel our Collective Will,
Open our eyes to Potential,
and our hearts to the Unifying Power
of Conflict.

May your Essence inspire us
to Act Now and hesitate later
for fear only helps
the sprout crack the seed.

May all of our Souls be on fire
with Resilience

Against
the
Odds.

This Choice is as natural
as the worms
rising up.

May we endure
in ways we cannot even conceive yet.

May we be reminded
of just how Worthy
we are of Vitality and Life.”

The Importance of Online Community

astrology, Events, Mundane Magic, Services

COVID-19 aka the Corona Virus: heard of it? Chances are if you are reading this on a media device you have. There are so many questions swirling… How have you been feeling lately? How can we keep ourselves, loved ones and vulnerable populations safe? How long will the outbreak last? How can we best prepare our households? How concerned should we be?

One answer that applies to many of the above questions is to self-isolate if you are prone to respiratory illness, over 60 years old or show any signs of infection. If you are one of the privileged individuals who are able to financially make this choice not to go to work, this seems to be a great option: so long as you have support to help with grocery delivery and a willingness to put the external world on hold for half of a month. If you cannot afford this option, this puts the population at a greater risk: spreading or catching potentially deadly germs everywhere you go.

The thing about isolation though is that it’s….. isolating.

Being stuck inside and away from friends, family, co workers and friendly faces is lonely business. And being out in the world? When many others are sick and fearful? Intense. I know that the tendency for those who are a part of supportive, loving, inspiring communities is to get together. However, Health officials say that’s not a great idea right now.

So how do we take care of ourselves while also remaining connected and hopeful?

My answer? Online! What a time to have “social media” at our finger tips. We intend to offer the ability to talk instantly with other queers, witches, astrologers and guides without the trauma of the Facebook news cycle. We are building a Sacred Space online that will hold us as we share our array of experiences and lift each other up when things feel overwhelming. We will craft opportunities for introspection to ground ourselves and remind us of the things that we CAN control. Like Our Self.

We know that time off from work, buying supplies or just living in poverty can be expensive. We have done our best to make tuition affordable while also allowing the Work of facilitator to be sustainable for us. Interested? Check out our FAQ and Tuition pages for more information!

We have five courses planned for our 2020 cycle, which begins on March 24th. My co facilitator, Tere Parsley Starnes, and I hope that each one will serve as supportive, soul-healing that can be done inside, with slippers on. First up?

Magic of Earth and Sky

DATES: March 24th – April 22nd
DURATION: One month
COST: All 2020 courses (one time fee) =   $240 – $345 | Monthly subscription =  $20 – $30 | Just this course = $40 – $50 (sliding scale)

“If we surrendered to the Earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted like trees.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Starsdance magic honors the wisdom of the Earth as we look to the stars for inspiration and guidance. This class offers a framework for using astrology in magical practices. We will cover philosophical and ethical approaches to queer magic, which honors our birthright of joyful authenticity grounded in sacred relationship. Love fuels our magic and extends to encompass both Sky and Earth. Inspired by the stars, we will create altars, set intention, practice divination skills, ritualize the transits of the moment, and deepen devotional relationship with the Sky, Earth, and Mystery. 

This class begins at the Aries new Moon. Together, we leap into astrology-based magic to nurture fresh beginnings. All our classes include at least one webinar that students will be able to attend live or view later, instructional materials, portions of the Starsdance Mystery School workbook, and online discussion.

Radical inclusivity is important to us!

We are working to dismantle oppressive capitalist practices by offering sliding scale payment options. We also ask that those who are interested in our offerings, but perhaps unable to afford our prices right now: will you send us a message? We would like to make this school available to those who are committed to The Work and would like to join our community.

Follow us on social media:

Facebook: starsdance mystery school
Instagram: starsdance.mysteryschool

Become a student:
REGISTER: fill out our form

Stay safe, healthy and snuggly out there!

Invocation Preparation

astrology, Events, Mundane Magic

I am finding myself thinking about preparedness more than usual. With the sun and half of the planets above in Capricorn right now (the sign of structure, long-term planning, responsibility and preparation) it feels like a worthy theme to explore.

In a world that is rapidly shifting shape: as a magician, what are my strategies to prepare for whatever comes next?

In the short-term, my magic is based on the moment: I notice what’s happening in my body without judgement so that I can feed it with what is actually needed (Do I need an extra hour of rest? A vegetable-centered meal? A treat that pleases my senses?) I reflect back on my actions from where I am now to make sure that I am living in line with my Truth (Am I taking care of my emotional needs? Do I need to make amends with someone? Have I been working too hard?) I choose to make authentic decisions that serve as reflections of my values (chatting with stranger to cultivate a friendly neighborhood, regularly showing up on time to maintain the trust of my employer, allowing my friend to vent without trying to manage their situation.) The only true power we have is in the moment, which is where the most potent magic is available to us.

Long-term strategies are more difficult. Our social, political and environmental landscapes are changing form: my five-year goals may not be options within the next six months, cause and effect seem less predictable, the practical planning that I was taught and have become used to might not be enough… I am a witch and my power is real but attempting to tailor the outcome of the future to my liking as one human being is not only unreasonable, but unmanageable. However, techniques are available to those who choose to utilize them.

There is invigorating magic that can be done to help prepare us for What’s Coming.

Astrologers are like meteorologists of the Higher Skies. For the same reasons that we might check a weather app before choosing an outfit or making plans for a picnic, astrology allows us to forecast how the interaction of the planets Above might impact our conversations, creativity, mood (or weather) of our day, week, month or year.

I use the sacred science of astrology as a mapping system. Each year on my birthday I treat myself to a transit reading with Tere Parsley Starnes, which helps me identify how the movements of the stars in the coming year might impact me personally based on my birth chart. An act of divination, counseling and numerical calculations of geometry, this reading reveals: when the best dates to start a new health-centered routine will occur, time periods that support radical self-expression, opportunities to heal old wounds, events that strive to inspire courage within us and so much more.

After the reading, I use the information discussed to influence my doings each month: observing each movement that was recorded then figuring out the best way to physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually approach it. These considerations (grounded by my short-term preparation magic of self care) help me to march my Capricorn hooves up the mountain toward my goals while remaining true to my Self and my needs. Even if the exact location of that goal changes or the parameters of the goal shifts, I know that I did my best to achieve it and have faith that it’s evolution is in unison with the pulse of our galaxy’s heartbeat.

Forecasts show me how I can make the most of the energy that Our Universe is providing for me to grow. It also serves as a reminder to release the temptation for me to try and dominate the happenings of my life or assert control over The Mysteries of being alive.

Many astrologers can help create customized calendars for their clients and translate the symbols into an arc of energy for the year. Good astrologers use these same skills to show their clients how they might make the most of the energy that’s on the way. Great astrologers empower their clients to explore what these transits might mean for them before they occur and inspire them to conjure the magic that works best for their lifestyle, while still surfing those same waves of energy.

I will be co-hosting a forecast webinar for 2020 with Tere Parsley Starnes this Sunday, January 5th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm EST. While this event will not serve as a custom made guide of how this year’s astro-weather will impact each attendee, it will serve as a general guide to the significant planetary movements in 2020, what those movements might mean for us and ideas for magic that support our individual and collective endeavors.

If this approach and evening appeals to you, make sure to register to save your spot!

We are being challenged to change as an initiation into the next era of life on this planet: how will you answer that call this year?

Channeling Change

astrology, Mundane Magic, Tarot

Gemini season is upon us. Astrologically speaking, it’s the prime time for mental fluidity, inspiration, experimentation, innovation and change. As a magician, I use those same aspects of Gemini to peel away layers of ambiguity and illusion from all of my spell work. Everything from rituals in space I make sacred to conversations I have with total strangers: when invoked with intention, the potential for expansion right now is limitless.

The best part of astrology magic? It’s power is omnipresent. As the physical sun shines in the sky overhead, the astrological sun beams energy down through the lens of whatever zodiac sign is above us on the ecliptic. Similar to white light glowing through a stained glass window, that light shifts it’s form into whatever colors are present. It illuminates and gives life to the artwork it travels through.

Solaris spotlights Gemini from May 21st through June 20th. This flavor of Universal life-force is gifted to all of our lungs, all of our eyes, all of our souls for the next few weeks. For better and for worse: these qualities are experienced by us all whether we acknowledge it or not.

As I continue my journey through the decans on Facebook, Gemini II (the center of this sign’s season) has seized my focus and empowered me to Reclaim the name of this decan in spirit of Gemini: shifting it’s shape to enhance the integrity of our collective awareness.

With the help of my beloved trans community of magic-makers, I have intentionally changed Austin Coppock’s name of this decan in 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans from Hermaphrodite to Androgyne in support and celebration of the energy that it generates. While Hermaphrodite is considered “a slur used to describe intersex people in places where they were seen as problems to be fixed through medical intervention,” Androgyne encompasses and celebrates the full dimension of Gemini II without excluding important aspects of it’s essence.

I do this not to shame those who may not know, but to center and respect the pioneers who Work this energy every day. I do this in honor of the season that guides us to increase our awareness, cultivate diversity and create space for That-Which-We-Do-Not-Yet-Know-But-Will-Soon-Discover. I do this in gratitude for all beings that bring their vision of utopia a little closer to earth at all costs.

Behold, the quirky character of Gemini II: Androgyne in a fresh new suit

The limitlessness of imagination has created a paradise in the mind of the beholder: dimensions of wisdom, unity and wonder known only to the psyche that conjured them, untouched by the parameters of any other finite being. Now, that mind must take the plunge of incorporating that heightened vision into realities seen by all, shifting the surrounding paradigm into something greater.

Boundaries of the mundane are playfully expanded. Opposites dual one another in the name of discovery and solidarity within the whole. Radical authenticity beams like light through a prism: shining a rainbow of possibilities upon a realm that has never witnessed such a bright signature of vitality. This shift is powerful, vulnerable, dramatic, inquisitive, charming, whimsical and non-conforming: challenging everything that came before it because it must.

The air in the world that existed before Gemini II is infused with awe and confusion: opinions are formed within and without. Curiosity is on over-drive. How did this paradox come to be? How can introductions and incorporation begin? When it seems like sense has been made, Gemini II shifts again. Refusing to commit to anything other than the Truth of the Moment.

How does contradiction make you feel? What is your response to something you have never seen or experienced before? How do you act when opposites are actively challenging each other within your Self? What surprises have recently caused you to change your perceptions?

#blacktranslivesmatter #translivesmatter

Creation as Prayer

astrology, Jewelry, Mundane Magic, Updates
Custom prayer beads for Medusa

There is nothing that lights me up more than my Work as an intuitive jeweler. It’s a niche field, but one that holds a special place in my witchy heart and spiritual practice.

A few years ago, I opened my soul to the possibility of making jewelry my official occupation. I found such joy and thrill from sitting at my desk for hours at a time cranking out earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more to be sold at markets, in stores and online. The demand was high and I did my best to keep up… However, this initial approach caused me to injure my hands, revealing to me that mass production was not in the cards for my future. This set off an array of emotions and choices that I have more or less dealt with: physical craftsmanship is not meant to be a part of my daily life at this time.

Yet…. I am still creating for those who continue to reach out to me and the final products have been following a very specific pattern:

Commissioned prayer beads for Brigid

My clients are often spiritual people committed to Work with an array of Deities. Many shops online do not offer the devotional pieces that fit their specific needs, which is where my services become useful. I create customized prayer beads made of the gems that energetically suit the Entity, intentional elements from nature (often bones, seeds, acorns, etc.) and whatever else they feel is important to their spiritual commitment.

This process has become much more intimate than my previous work as a mass producer of jewelry artistry. I often light candles, ask Them for insight after the project is underway and receive messages through my process of creating each piece. These messages apply to me as the maker, but more so they are intended to be translated and relayed to my clients. Every message is intentionally incorporated into each piece which then becomes a potential bridge to an avenue of personal Work between my clients and their Guides.

Commissioned prayer beads for Hecate

After recently finishing my most recent commission, I have realized the importance of serving as a Creatrix of beauty that holds personalized Messages from the Divine. This source of support is vital lifeline (sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally) for my clients who are doing their best to authentically navigate life’s challenges during these dark times. I am honored to use my gifts to co-facilitate clarity, hope and purpose to those in need of my services.

I am not sure of what’s to come of this work. What I do know is this:

I have prayed for Guidance.
In return, I am inspired to create custom jewelry.
These devotional pieces invoke Prayer.

Prayer that initiates more Prayer:
A beautiful cycle that completes the circuit
of community, purpose and divine connection.

My greatest challenge is a combination of pacing and pricing: both contributing to the sustainability of this Work. I am only able to take on a few pieces per year, which sometimes take months to become fully ready for my clients. I choose to vulnerably approach these challenges with humility and right-sized Pride: Bringing these pieces to into Being means that they must nourish every One of us involved in the process. Until full clarity has been achieved in this arena, I will continue to price each piece on a case-by-case basis.

I come to these realizations during a very astrologically fitting time of the year:

I am also reopening my list of commissioned devotional jewelry. If you are interested in scheduling a consult with me (and willing to wait months for your sacred gift) please:

Contact me and select “commissions” from the drop-down menu
★ Share your vision of what is needed in a few sentences
★ List physical elements that you would like to have incorporated into your devotional piece
★ Reveal which Deity or Intention that will be incorporated into this magic

I will reply to your messages in the order that they are received and do my best to keep up with the traffic of inquiries. I will also give you a pricing estimate as well as a general timeline that may very depending on the needs of each project.

Thank you Taurus III for your insight and potency. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am willing to continue opening myself to the Unknown and devoting my efforts to midwifing the magic that the World needs into Being.

The Art of Reclaiming

Events, Mundane Magic

It has been my experience that most (if not all) people have opinions about Valentines Day. To some, it’s a frantic search for a date and a gift: the pressure to perform when expectations are high. To others, it’s a spotlight on their loneliness or a ploy of Capitalist society to suckle the bank accounts of romantic souls. Whether reservations are made or heads are low, this day carries a charge.

Witches Know that energy is a real thing and use it for channeling purposes to produce desired results: the more potent the charge, the more dynamic the results. There are countless sources of energy, but a common one is holidays and it’s safe to say that there will be many people participating in various types of “ritual” today.

Reclaiming witches recognize and honor the power of names/sacred days/life on this planet that is often taken for granted. This is the reason we call ourselves “witches”: there is a charge to this word that ranges from “scary, old, green hag” to “wise woman with plant-knowledge” to “the devil who will rid your body of an unwanted child” to “a person that will do the forbidden.” We reclaim the word “witch” for it contains a rich legacy of Wisdom and doing what Must Be Done. In calling that word ours, we give back to it with our thoughts and actions: knowing that both are enriched by the energetic current also known as “meaning.”

I believe that we have the right to reclaim words from toxic roots, so long as we have true knowledge of the source, integrity supporting our intention of its use and full awareness of the communities that have been impacted by said word (and whether or not it’s ours to claim.) I also believe that Valentines Day is an opportunity to practice the Art of Reclaiming: from consumerism, from gas-lighting and guilt-trips, from sexual violence as well as from hopelessness.

This tradition began during the Roman Empire when marriage was banned by Emperor Claudius II because he believed it made soldiers reluctant to leave for battle. A priest known as Saint Valentine married couples in secret and was later put to death for violating this law, though the lore reveals that he valued empathy and connection more than domination and obedience… An act, some might say, of True Love.

A wise witch once said “Don’t deny the gift just because you don’t like the package it came in.” There is an allegory present in Valentines Day, and humans have been feeding energy into it for centuries. While there is use in creating new words and philosophies to represent something important, why not use something that is already available? Does Valentines Day (or a pre-planned, widely known occasion to dedicated to expressing Love) deserve to remain hijacked by consumer culture or a bitter attitude?

So today, I challenge the willing: tap into the currents of love in whatever way feels right to you. Maybe it’s choosing to cook a nice meal for a beloved. Maybe it’s being clear with an employer about what you need as an act of self-care. Maybe it’s scheduling time to have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe it’s something that isn’t listed here, but feels right for this day. Regardless of what it is (as long as there is consent if another person is involved!) I hope everyone chooses to have a wonderful Valentines Day. I know that’s my intention.

Thanksgiving is a Lie

Mundane Magic

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Today, as many white people celebrate the colonial Thanksgiving, I am choosing to dedicate the center of my table to the native tribes whose land we stole.

Today, our home cooked meal centers the memories of the Osage tribe and Haudenosauneega Confederacy, who were violently removed from their lands: murdered by my greedy ancestors with narrow minds and cold hearts.

Today, I refuse to participate in any narrative about a “Thanksgiving™” that supports the belief that pilgrims were peaceful or that this day is anything other than white-washing the truth.

Today, I acknowledge my privilege, which has allowed me the luxury of forgetting the real history of the United States for most of my life.

Today, I mourn for those who died on foot at gun point as they were forced to “relocate.”

Today, I commit to saying their names aloud, learning their correct pronunciation and participating in this dark conversation with family members who may wonder why we have invited these names and bones to dinner.

Today, I choose what ancestor I am becoming by serving the memory of these tribes as we raise our glasses at this table and express gratitude for the animals and crops that gave their lives for us to live.

What are you doing today?

Want to find out what land you occupy? Visit: https://native-land.ca/

Naming Transformation

Mundane Magic, Updates

I have changed. Four and a half years of deeply personal, magical work has crested to become a wave of change that I cannot reverse. It signifies both an end and a beginning. In my tradition, we call it: Initiation.

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What is it?

Initiation is a sacred contract with the Universe: a declaration that one is willing to sacrifice their comfort and perception of the worlds as they know them. These things are handed over to carefully chosen initiators and The Powers That Be in exchange for deep Wisdom and a customized journey to one’s own source of Personal Power. This is done so that these witches can be reborn and give back what is needed in the world in their own unique, authentic way. It is done knowing that this evolutionary Work is never finished and serves as a commitment to being challenged to change over and over again in this lifetime and the next.

In the Reclaiming tradition, initiation is not a requirement. Many witches who attend our rituals and have their own daily practices are not initiated; contentment can be found in maintaining one’s own spiritual hygiene through Reclaiming’s Principles of Unity and connecting with others in our communities. It is not a badge of honor that shows superiority or a “deeper dedication” to Reclaiming, but a personal choice that one makes on their own if they feel Called to it.

Why I chose Initiation:

My desire for initiation came in the form of a wish: to love myself and be proud of my life. It arose during a time where I felt lost… where the choices I was making were unhealthy and everything felt disastrously unmanageable. I could not have fully understood what I was in for at the time when I asked to be initiated. All that I Knew was that deep transformation was necessary and that Reclaiming witchcraft was the way that I felt it needed to happen so that my Soul could be truly revived.

Choosing initiators:

My experience of choosing initiators was a two-fold task of vulnerability. First, I needed to find the witches that possess the qualities that I aspired to have within myself. Then, I had to ask them for their consent and help in shifting my energy so that I could become empowered and, in turn, a spiritual leader.

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I chose two bold, powerful people who still intrigue, bewilder and deeply move me.

Independently, they are two enchanting women who call themselves witches: an oracular rose within a patch of briar and a weaver of bones that reveals deep Truth. Together, they are a facilitation team that compassionately revealed to me What Must Be Done. I admired their integrity, active resistance to codependency, ability to be fully present with others and balance of self-care with community service.

They began as my guides. Now, they are my family and I am eternally grateful.

Doing the Work:

Transformation requires a willingness to grow: and growth is often painful.

In order to shift my energy toward that of a priestess, my initiators gave me challenges to address problematic behavior, ignite awareness through first-hand experiences and directly confront my fears . Some challenges required repetition to incorporate magical Will power into my daily habits. Others challenged me to break out of my comfort zone. For me, this Work meant investigating the root of my wounds, choosing which relationships to nourish and serving my communities with humility.

What made this process so unique for me was that I was not always directly told to do these things. I was just told to cast a circle every day for a month, shovel snow for my neighbors without being asked, and make very conscious choices about physical intimacy. It was performing these tasks of growth that allowed for experimentation with support and coming to my own realizations about why they were so necessary in my Becoming.

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The contract for initiation is at least one year and a day. For some (myself included) it takes much longer. A revolution-from-within does not come with it’s own egg timer: time, trust and commitment eventually reveal when a priestess is ready to become initiated.

Initiation Day:

Initiation rituals are secret Workings and vary per line of witches. What I will say about this very special day that happened on the 4th of August, 2018 is that: I felt completely supported. I was fully present. The transformative energy was incredibly potent, yet tender the entire day. And I will never, ever forget it.

This experience was a Rite of Passage that signified the end of my life as I knew it. It was also the birth of a priestess with a new legacy riddled with it’s own challenges to be experienced and fulfilled. This transition becomes official when this priestess accepts her new name and says goodbye to the old one that no longer suits her or her Work.

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It is with great pride and honor that I reveal:

Vasalisa is dead,
and
Aurora has been born.

✸ ✸ ✸

The other side:

In the weeks after my initiation into the Bone and Briar line, I can say that things feel very different. I am in the process of reassessing what still feels important in my life. I am also realigning my priorities and discovering how I may best be of service in all of my communities. I don’t have clear answers about a lot of these things so far, but one thing that I can say for sure is that nothing feels certain…. which is intimidating, confusing, thrilling, and empowering.

My Work now:

Vasalisa ventured into the darkness to find her light. It was that brave adventure which caused her to become the light: bringing the dawn, with it’s brightness and magnificent color, back to the place where she once lived. I can’t say that I fully understand the magnitude of what it means to Be the light, but I know that Aurora is here to stay for now and very excited to meet you.

Taking Action

Events, Mundane Magic, Tarot

It has been over one year since my last post and I find myself in a state of reflection. 2017 was a time of great transition: uprooting myself and moving twice; serving as a ritualist for a Reclaiming witchcamp; beginning an apprenticeship with a seasoned astrologer; adopting a kitten and shifting my daily life to embrace deep levels of intimacy with another person. Sure blog posts could have been written that narrated this journey of new magic in the mundane (and trust me, it was there) but these were things that I felt oddly compelled to keep to myself. I chose not to over analyze my experiences, remaining as present as possible as everything unfolded.

However there is something calling to be shared about where I have been, where I am now and what is coming to be. The story that connects the ends of that bridge happened last summer during a festival where I was offering tarot services to the public.

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Doing this outside of pagan circles is always interesting as society tends to associate this work with fantasy movies and phonies declaring when your doorbell will ring next. Most people came and went, likely more excited about the fire juggler nearby, except for two visitors passing through whose eyes I caught.

It was an aunt and her niece who was about seven years old. When they slowly made their way over to my table, I assumed that it was the older woman who was interested in some advice to pair with the drink in her hand. I was stunned to watch her bend down to the girl and ask, “do you want to talk to her about your dad?” As the three of us chatted I was told that recently her father had passed on and a tarot-witch might be someone who she could talk to about death. The young one, seemingly unfazed by her question, plopped herself in the seat across from me. The aunt promised she would be nearby (allowing for some privacy) and told us that we should let her know when the reading was finished.

Normally, I do not perform readings for anyone under the age of 18. However, my agreement with the event organizer was to spend just ten minutes with each individual that was interested and willing to donate some funds, plus I had the consent of her caretaker. So I handed the deck over to be mixed and prepared to do some deep listening. When it finally came time to ask the tarot-witch a question, I found myself delightfully surprised:

“Are fairies real?”

This charmed me for two very specific reasons. First, I had just returned from co-facilitating SpiralHeart‘s annual witchcamp where we Worked the Ballad of Tam Lin: a myth of love between human and fae (so I certainly had some opinions.) Second, this kid chose not to do what her aunt had suggested. She did what made most sense to her: she asked the witch about magic.

We both decided that we knew fairies were real, but that finding them could be tricky. So we consulted the deck about where and how they could be found. The Empress arose and we learned that being creative was a signal for them to join her. The Nine of Cups revealed to us that making wishes was a good idea. We pulled another and she just kept smiling: likely satisfied that a grown up confirmed something she Knew to be true. She politely said thank you before she walked off with her aunt and I was left alone with a feeling of pure love swelling in my heart.

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As months have passed and I witness the world today, I have been wondering how our interaction will serve that girl in the future (or if she will remember it at all.) We are living in a time of national trauma. The news cycle reminds us daily of how our leaders are betraying us. Kids are murdering each other in the hallways with military-grade guns. Storms due to climate change are devastating entire communities. Healthcare is denied to those in poverty and we are regularly taunted by the threat of nuclear war. Hopelessness has become a disease that seems to be swallowing the vitality of so many people.

What about the next generation? What do they have to work towards and dream into being? How will they relate to or use magic? Will they be able to find it amidst everything else demanding their attention?

I recently read that witchcraft was originally gifted to the poor from the Gods as a way for them to fight back against the oppression of unjust rulers. This idea has me thinking back to spells I have done, difficult conversations I have had and choices I have made among friends that have empowered me and created change in my surrounding community. I would not have these memories if it was not for what I have read about witchcraft, the lessons of priestesses, refining my magical skills and connecting with those who are willing to stand up for what they believe in. I am grateful every day that I found the witches’ road. I know that it is my responsibility to give back to those who are doing their best to find the same path towards right-sized pride and power-from-within.

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This is the year I break out of my comfort zone. This is the year that I initiate alliances and create opportunities for others to learn. This is the year that I say yes and take action. This is the year that the gifts that have been given to me must move; because there is a generation on the rise that desperately needs guidance and support. Faeries, magic and immanence need to be acknowledged by humans so that our Work together may be strengthened.

Brave leadership is required or else those being told they “have no power” and “resisting does not matter” will actually begin to believe those lies.

I am scheduling events online and in-person this year with other witches from around the world: offering them to everyone who is willing to do the Work. I am also nurturing a local community of Reclaiming witches in Pittsburgh, PA with other priestesses so that our city will be resilient amidst conflict, empowered to speak up, willing to demand better and welcoming to all.

Stay tuned and take action, because now may be your time too.