August 25, 2018

STURGEON MOON / CHAKRA RISING

This full moon was spontaneous. I felt more like a witness than a participant. My altar never felt “finished” but I stopped messing with it anyways. Kwan Yin said she wanted to be in the water. So she is! Later in the day, Amanda Light came over the house to catch up. She’s an incredible ink-on-paper artist. We’ve known each other for some moons now. She is also a tarot reader, a paper maker, she intuitively connects people, and truly lives by her last name, Light.

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As night fell, we went in the Zenhouse for a chakra visualization. We used our words to describe each chakra, the color, the personality. One by one, we took turns. I began with the Root and Amanda continued with the Sacral. We alternated. She said many things I’ve never considered before. We rose up to the Crown–where we both spoke of its violet light, sharing truths of our own.

I began studying chakra visualizations two years ago. It was when I left America for the first time. I went to Mexico with two lady friends. I remember feeling so vulnerable. The world is so big, ya know! I needed to ground myself. I signed up for circles, meditation classes and energy-work events. Chakra visualization got me. Closing my eyes and stacking the red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, indigo, violet lights. Exploring the symbolism and meaning of each energy center. The story of each Chakra and how its archetype can manifest.

In Mexico, Mother Guadalupe is honored and praised all over. With large and prominent altars in her image, these thrones are installed in front of houses, on street corners, in public parks. We noticed she was everywhere. When we found her in a new place, we would stop for a moment. Sit down on the ground and pray. One time, I asked my friends permission to lead chakra visualization. It was the first time I led more than just myself. It was magic! Soon after I led another one, and another one, and so it goes.

This month, I began leading Chakra Visualization at PANJA, as part of an ongoing series for 2018.

The room was set with music, candles, flowers, and comfy spots to sit or lie down. Six of us showed up at eleven in the morning. We released our muscles and tuned into our internal dialogue. We explored our metaphysical bodies for 45-minutes. Our practice was followed by fresh smoothies and warm teas at Panja’s drink bar.

I’m looking forward to channeling this creative imagery of the chakras and evolving my own practice. Learning what others have to say and listening to how this energy medicine is received.

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August 20, 2018

Sunday Srvc

I went to Brooklyn to support the first official Sunday Service party. Sunday Service is a new-music & new-artist playlist updated each Sunday by my sis Loni. You can stream the playlist on all major streaming platforms. I’ve discovered so many gems listening each week. Loni is putting in the work to curate a listening experience–she’s currently at playlist #83! She is finding her love through music and I love watching her cup overflow.

In the Polaroid: Elle, Loni, Kisha & me. We’re all nostalgic from the 21-7 Magazine days.

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August 11, 2018

Welcome, I am the Medicine Woman

I co-created an installation for Dusklit: the East Coast's annual one-night interactive art festival. Here’s a photo essay. Before I dish all the details. The process began on the peak of my *favorite* mountain, harvesting one jar-full of blueberries and huckleberries.

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The sign up sheet was full. I was squeezing people between time slots. The concept was developed by me and Fon Borrello. The installation happened within a 10x10 octagon tent I designed and constructed. Truth seekers were invited in, one by one, to talk purpose, ancestors and guidance. Plus, oracle readings! Using the Fourfold Oracle Deck (by me and Fon, coming early 2019). Participants were provided with a one-card reading, “a word from your angels,” this card indicated a number 1 to 4 which indicated which a medicinal drink and a soundtrack followed. There were 4 different experiences available to tap into ~ all based on the participants choice of card.

This project was crafted in reflection of shamanistic journeys, where one goes on an unknown journey to know thyself. This process evoked the healing, magical and playful elements of ritual. But the true value is in discipline and prayer.

I'm a teacher. I'm a student. This is it!

July 27, 2018

Buck Moon

I held this full moon ritual alone. I've been surrounded by friends this Summer in an abundant, delicious, forgiving way. I took this as a time to rejuvenate, retreat and reflect. Honestly, I didn't feel as prepared for this moon, because I've been used to sharing the moon with friends. So in the morning, I made time for myself. I began to take a part the altar from the previous moon. And the Buck Moon began...

Buck Moon because July is the time when Bucks grow new antlers. Male deers are unique in this way–they lose and regrow their antlers every year. 

A few months ago, I found the skull of a Buck on the side of the road (#blessed). I chose a fabric that I love but barely use. I added more antlers I bought from a neighbor down the road. As always, Ganesha, Hanuman and Kwan Yin hold the altar down through their mythology. I picked fresh Sage from the garden, Echinacea and Veronica. The splash of colors are blues and purples, associated with the brow and crown chakras.

I cleansed, grounded, mediated. Read a random page in a book. Affirmed my intentions. Conversed with my ancestors. Offered a song, played on the steel drum I got for my birthday.

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Later in the day, I met with my galfriend Helen Michelsen. I mostly admire this woman from afar, but we are becoming closer in orbit. Helen is a powerful presence. I am in awe of how she speaks so honestly, and her beauty! She is a metal worker, fabricating detailed necklace pendants, as well as candles, soaps, fragrant oils and water.

We spent hours at the stream. Walking barefoot. Trying to catch frogs. Sharing stories. Eating strawberries. Making an altar. Offering to the water. We saw a hummingbird in flight and found one pop of color, beside all the greens–a vibrant Scarlet Lobelia.

<3

 

June 24, 2018

Strawberry Moon

This full moon I am joined by Stella Lee Prowse. We've never had a moon ritual together, I am both–nervous and excited. But I know, we need this alone time together. And it's perfect, because Stella brings strawberry offerings everywhere she goes. And this is the Strawberry Full Moon–marked by the time when June strawberries are ripe for harvest.

In 2016, Stella and I launched Chime In, a pop-up shop in downtown Newburgh, NY.  It was a jam-packed, super successful time. We're at a standstill as we lock in where to go from here–as a business. So, I added our handmade Chime talisman to altar, to celebrate all of that lively good juju.

The altar is fresh with reds and yellows. Spring water, hand dipped candles. Wildflowers from the backyard. Strawberry offerings and velvet cake. 

It is raining on and off. We go into a meditation. Our eyes are closed. We visualize the heart chakra. A green ball of energy in the center of the chest. Represented by the Lover versus the Performer. The issues have to do with love and relationships. This chakra is about compassion, unconditionality, forgiveness. The heart is the final test to move to higher levels of functioning. The sound of a heavy rain pours on the roof. We're silent. 

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Fun fact: Stella taught me how to embroider at a Chime In workshop <3

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June 1, 2018

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Stella’s House

Sleepovers are magic

Giggles and all

Romantic dinner

Candles to cleanse

Split the dessert

Mirrors everywhere

Stella let me borrow her book, "Living on the Earth" by Alicia Bay Laurel

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May 27, 2018

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Flower Moon

The reason I gather at the full moon is to connect. I want to connect to my family, my friends, my higher purpose, the world.

I am alone in the Zenhouse most of the time. It's very nice when my sisters show up.

I need a steady pace of reminders.

I am an energy worker.

Hanna Wallis is a talented photographer & filmmaker (and so much more). We met while enrolled at the Salt Institute in Maine in 2014. We rubbed shoulders a lot, saw each other again this January, and planted a seed to hang soon.

For the full moon, Hanna visited. She brought her close friend from Spain, Mariona. Mariona is so much fun, a bright spirit. Her presence showed me a new depth of sisterhood. Elle came up from Brooklyn! Elle is so warm and forgiving. She brought her tarot magic and a steady thread of sweetness throughout the night. Anusha drifted in shortly, in perfect timing, with poetic wisdom.

We gathered for ritual. Hanna, Mariona, Elle and I mingled in the kitchen, ate some food, then we gathered in the Zenhouse. We added personal items to the altar. Hanna brought Palo Santo wood from Columbia and smudged everyone. We said the Vows of the Priestess

We closed our eyes and eased into a chakra visualization. We sat in a circle, knee to knee. Elle pulled a card for the theme of the day: Knight of Wands. We each evoked an elder. We affirmed our intentions in writing and burned them later, as an act of faith:

These words are words –great spirit guides us –we need nothing –we are a wheel –a channel -constantly conversing with the great spirit –we go forward -with or without!

VOWS OF THE PRIESTESS

I choose to walk my path fearlessly,
to live with my heart wide open,
to be grateful for my experiences
which led me straight into the arms of the goddess, and taught me compassion for all things. 

To forgive and forgive and forgive again,
while maintaining the boundaries of my own sacredness, not resisting life but allowing it to be. 

To transmute my fear and suffering into joy, and just by being,
give others permission to do the same. 

To know that everyone is a mirror reflecting the light of the goddess, all with truth at the core of their being, all unique, all beautiful,
all different aspects of her.

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We went deep. We trusted each other. We told our truths. Our truths told themselves. We cried. We laughed. We laughed! We fell in love. We forgave. Forgave again. We were allowed. We did what we needed. We learned. We ate food together. We shared water bottles. We fed the fire together. We grew! Then, we returned to our worlds.

May 21, 2018

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Chocolate Mint Smudge Sticks

There is an abundance of Chocolate Mint in our garden. The plant hopped 10-feet west of its original location–like all of the mint in the world, this is an invasive plant. I don't mind. It hasn't spread completely out of control yet. And even though it sounds nice, Chocolate Mint hasn't anything to do with chocolate. 

I pulled up a bunch of the herb from the garden. I wanted to find a use, rather than compost. The plant is invasive enough to be weeded frequently...so smudge sticks? Let's see!

 Chocolate Mint gone to flower.

Chocolate Mint gone to flower.

 Weeding &amp;&nbsp;Harvesting Chocolate Mint

Weeding & Harvesting Chocolate Mint

 I dried the mint for 2 days before wrapping it

I dried the mint for 2 days before wrapping it

I've heard of medicine women using mint in smudge sticks. This is an herb I am friends with, it grows on my land, is readily available. I want to see for myself, if this is a relationship that can work.

I used hemp cordage. I couldn't decide on one color because I was so attracted to them all. I chose all the colors, so each stick can take on energy of its own.

The sticks are drying in a safe place in the shed. Will report back on the drying process and the scent/energy of the herb when burning.

Symbolism of Mint

  • Resilient

  • Grows quickly

  • Pleasant

  • Uplifting 

  • Hospitality - given as a gift

April 28, 2018

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The first fire of the season.

Soon after, it started to rain.

What does that mean?

Lesson number one: things don't always go as planned. Or, things go as planned but details change.

This moon showed me a few things.

  • Be flexible
  • Continue on

Oh, and

  • Move with grace!

Maybe the entire day was for this moment. What you see here.

The fire burning, us, in a triangle, together.

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March 19, 2018

Elle Santiago

East New York is the place that raised her, Elle Santiago, my go-to tarot reader. Whenever I visit her in BK, we share our new projects, ask each other for feedback, laugh our assess off with her housemates, and in the morning we get breakfast at this one mom/pop spot.

Elle is sweet, she is kind, honest, a writer, stylist, designer, great dancer, great dresser, and one of my favorite people in the world.

Elle has a powerful ability to connect to the deck. Her readings always channel a deep truth, a message from the one name! The past two years, Elle has been reading about my journey toward to making my inner visions a reality. We have developed a beautiful relationship through these readings. Sometimes she lets me read for her too. Maybe its because we've been friends for a long, loving and eventful time. Whatever it is, I am thankful for this special woman in my life. Love you Elle <3

February 1, 2018

Anusha Meher

This past full moon was exhilarating! Anusha and I have this special language. An unspoken balance. An evolving admiration. For this gathering, I felt I was supposed to watch her, listen to her, do as she does. Among many things, Anusha is firstly a writer, a poet. Its apparent that her words are channelled from great source. This time, Anusha shape-shifted into a shewolf and the moons theme was about "being in-between."

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We spent the early day in my dinning room with my nieces and my sister in law. Anusha finished up what she had to do, making phone calls and some work on her laptop. I painted my niece's face and her cousins too. Anusha painted a beautiful, powerful butterfly/lady on my cheek. I made a line down the bridge of her nose. As the sun fell behind the western mountain, Anusha and I stood at the backdoor, mesmerized by the layering of the colors. How the sun goes down, inch by inch. We were so comfortable, standing there, at the backdoor, between the warm house and the winter air. We leaned in opposite crevasses of the doorway, telling what we've made of our words and our thoughts. Anusha said we should go for a walk. 

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We went across the street and entered the woods. Anusha said she had to make one last phone call, so she did, as we walked, separately but together, toward the stream. We arrived to a steep hill.

All throughout the woods, there are areas enclosed with rock walls made by farmers, many, many years ago. We stood on top of one rock wall. I noticed that Anusha looked up. I was looking down. Basically digging my grave, ready to lay in it. I followed her lead, and joined her in looking up. It was beautiful up there. The canopy spread into a a perfectly interesting shape to frame the sky. With a little bit of sunlight left. We heard an owl, hoot, hooting. Dogs barked in the distance. As much as I wanted them to shut up, their barks made me feel safe and protected.

Anusha closed her eyes and inhaled. I closed my eyes and inhaled. She exhaled. So I did.

We stayed here for a long time. Time we didn't keep track of. The stream was rushing, as it does this time of the year. The underground aquifers are filled to the brim from the abundance of rain and melted snow. The Winter stream widens twice its Summers width.

I wished I would have brought a musical instrument to play. Anusha suggested I sing without one. I made a beat on a tree trunk with my hands and sang one of the first songs I ever wrote.

"You're a chimer, just leaning on your friends
Such a chimer, when will the bells stop ringing
It's so
beautiful, looking out the window
It's so wonderful, hearing the wind blow on you
Chimer, just leaning on your friends
Such a chimer, when will the bells stop ringing, ringing, ringing, ringing..."

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We looked to the moon, rising over an eastern mountaintop, peaking through the clouds. There were distant lights in every direction. Behind us from the houses, up to our right were airplanes in the sky, a tower, and what appeared to be the headlights of cars turning a corner far away.

The entire night, Anusha held a book at her heart, a manuscript by her grandfather. He left it to her to complete. Her hands were freezing and so were my toes. Anusha howled farewell to the moon. I howled. The dogs heard us and howled along. It made us laugh. So we howled and howled and howled some more.

January 4, 2018

Full Sisterhood

In 2016, I gathered with two friends for 6 full moons. Those six months were as if I enrolled in a sisterhood school. We all were from different towns but came together multiple times each month to plan each full moon ritual at the Zenhouse.

Our monthly ritual woke me up in new ways and made a special room in my life for sisterhood. Each of us called our meetings by a different name: Wytches, Goddess, Power, Circle, Gathering, Group. We aligned for the same reasons: to align with the moon cycle, share what we know, to listen to each other.

I never did this before. We set our intentions together. We had a mission:

  • We practice through ritual

  • We communicate with clarity

  • We prepare with discipline

  • We protect the process with structure

  • We surrender to results with playfulness

  • We continue sacred knowledge & celebrate collective energy

Each ritual had a theme of its own, based on what interested us, experiences we had, and the time of year. We rotated each of our roles in preparation. Kept track of our ceremonies by writing post-ritual notes in a shared document. And my favorite part, we recited this poem each and every time we came together:


VOWS OF THE PRIESTESS

I choose to walk my path fearlessly,
to live with my heart wide open,
to be grateful for my experiences
which led me straight into the arms of the goddess,
and taught me compassion for all things.

To forgive and forgive and forgive again,
while maintaining the boundaries of my own sacredness,
not resisting life but allowing it to be.

To transmute my fear and suffering into joy,
and just by being,
give others permission to do the same.

To know that everyone is a mirror
reflecting the light of the goddess,
all with truth at the core of their being,
all unique, all beautiful,
all different aspects of her.


 The  Zenhouse  was built in 2014. It serves as the temple for moon ceremonies.

The Zenhouse was built in 2014. It serves as the temple for moon ceremonies.

 The entrance to the grove. Under the snow,&nbsp;a stone walkway marks the four directions with a firepit in the center.

The entrance to the grove. Under the snow, a stone walkway marks the four directions with a firepit in the center.

After our 6 months of rituals, I was kickstarted into honoring the cycles of the moon. Every moon has a ritual. I was alone in the Zenhouse for the next year. Being by myself was necessary, it was beautiful and rewarding. But as the second winter came near, alone started to become plain lonely.

There is beauty in having friends add their items to the altar, bringing in a new energy as they enter the door, collaborating, unique ideas, telling stories, talking about our ancestors. This year I have planned a date each month, where I coordinate with a sister, and any other sister who is interested. We gather. 

Nothing compares to ritual commitments with a sister.

 Sister Anusha is fearless and bright, giving me the confidence to walk through the moonlit woodlands.

Sister Anusha is fearless and bright, giving me the confidence to walk through the moonlit woodlands.

 She brought two Lady Guadalupe candles.

She brought two Lady Guadalupe candles.

 The first full moon of 2018 fell on the very first day of the year.

The first full moon of 2018 fell on the very first day of the year.