Are you craving a tribe, your own sacred sisterhood?

When I first started gathering women together under the Full Moon all I knew was that I was craving sisterhood and that somehow we were able to tap into an unseen energy and make magic if we came together when the Moon was full.

I made a lot of magic happen creating Full Moon dreamboards and I learned to recognize my intuition through that process, but I didn’t yet really understand the connection I had to the Moon, the connection that all women have with the Moon, which is ancient and our birth right.

As time goes on, I continue to study and learn (I’m creating a Goddess book club so we can explore together in the New Year) about the Divine Feminine, the Goddess and goddess archetypes. What I’m coming to understand is that women have a rich and ancient history with the Goddess, which existed long before there was a singular, patriarchal ‘God’. As it turns out there is a wealth of archeological data and many, many wonderful books written about the ancient history of our matrifocal heritage.

It seems that humans have been seeking connection to Spirit for as long as we’ve existed and that the Goddess played a major role in our understanding of our connection to the natural world and the cosmos.

So ancient is the reverence for the feminine that it even predates modern humans. The oldest known figurine of a woman is from 250,000 to 800,000 years ago, it was carved by a hominid tribe that walked our Mother Earth prior to the Neanderthals.

The Moon, the Goddess, and a reverence for women lasted many epochs, although this is not something that is openly discussed or taught in our modern patriarchal world where we’re lead to believe that there has never been another way in which people lived.

Over the years I have been blessed to gather a tribe, my sacred sisterhood, and I create opportunities to come together in a sacred way whenever the possibility arises. One of my great joys is hosting Moon Lodge on the Full Moon, another is joining a friends New Moon circle. I have also enjoyed creating sacred ceremonies and ritual for just my daughter and me.

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The time has come to reclaim our ancient heritage, to gather together and celebrate one another, to lift each other up in loving support. We  will sit under the Moon and weave powerful magic. I’m looking forward to gathering with my ladies next week!

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On another note I have FINALLY finished the Art of Sacred Living Magical Planner, which I will be posting this Sunday right here for you to download and print out. It’s my gift to you.

Microsoft Word - 2017 Magical Planner_Final.docx

Every December,  I spend time (which feels really nurturing in the madness of the holiday season) reviewing and reflecting on the intentions and goals I set at the beginning of the year, as the New Year rolls in I plan out the year to come. This practice has helped me live with sacred intention and enabled me to create a life I truly love living.

It is my hope that you will enjoy this practice as much as I do.

Bright blessings,

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Part 1 – Journey to the Goddess

Last year I was reading the Red Tent by Anita Diamantand and I was struck by the story of the teraphim, the small, carved goddesses kept by the wives of Jacob, who were incidentally sisters. The little statues or teraphim were the sister’s family deities.

Somehow those little statues captivated my imagination. I can’t tell you exactly why, their story in the book didn’t take up more than a few sentences and of course the sisters were forced to destroy them since their husband, Jacob, worshiped the patriarchal god yahweh, who is notoriously jealous, and they were considered ‘false idols’.

I googled teraphim and this is about all I could find:
ter·a·phim
ˈterəˌfim/
noun
small images or cult objects used as domestic deities or oracles by ancient Semitic peoples.
Teraphim is a Hebrew word from the Bible, found only in the plural, of uncertain etymology.

My curiosity definitely was not satisfied.

I think I next googled ancient Goddess statues and was astonished at what I discovered! There is a carving called the Acheulian Goddess.acheulian-goddess

She was carved by a nomadic hominid tribe who predated even the Neanderthal era and has been carbon dated between 232,000 and 800,000 years ago (mind blowing!). My imagination was on fire by this discovery and I would find that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

I continued my search and found that hundreds of Goddess figurines from the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras have been unearthed in recent years. The ‘Venus’ figurines are the most well known.

venus-of-hohle-fels

The Venus of Hohle Fels, which is dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago, belonging to the early Aurignacian, at the very beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, is associated with the earliest presence of Cro-Magnon in Europe. This female figure is the oldest undisputed example of a depiction of a human being yet discovered.

The Venus of Lespugue, a statuette of a nude female figure of the Gravettian, dated to between 26,000 and 24,000 years ago, these are but two examples.

venus-of-lespugue

I started compiling a list with photos and whatever information I could glean about each Goddess, I printed out a time line, taping pages together to form a long ribbon, I made boards with pictures and descriptions and decided that at the next Moon Lodge our project would be to sculpt our own Goddess sculptures.

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The conversation that night was impassioned. We were wondering why this history (or herstory) isn’t more well known? We had been lead to believe that history began with gods and kings, and that men invented everything. There was no mention in our history books of successful matrifocal societies, in fact the mention of such a thing is often scorned as impossible, a feminist fantasy. Even the archeologist Marija Gimbutas, who was hailed by academia as one of the greats when she was studying and writing about the Bronze Age (patriarchal), was deeply criticized when she unearthed, and wrote about the matrifocal cultures of the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages. She has been labeled as ‘controversial’.

The spark had been lit and the fire for discovery was now burning bright, from that moment on I have been inspired to learn about our (women’s) history, which I have discovered is rich, vast, and very ancient. It turns out that we women invented everything (more about that in Part 2). Well maybe not everything but many, many important contributions to civilization.

One discovery I’ve made is that a Goddess movement emerged around the same time that the feminist movement was gaining traction, which makes sense. Again I was left wondering, how did this movement completely passed me by? Perhaps I’m of that in between generation and was too young while the movement was at its height. I think I would have been deeply moved and inspired by this information in my youth had it been introduced. Alas my family of origin is very patriarchal and both the men and women were conformists. The 1960s completely passed my parents by, no Vietnam for my dad, no women’s movement for my mom, just cookie cutter, nuclear 1950s style family life.

I digress… In my search I’ve uncovered some brilliant writers and researchers. When God was a Woman by Merlin Stone was a revelation for me on the one hand, but on the other, I feel like I’ve known on some ancient, genetic level the truth revealed in those pages. It was more like remembering than discovering.

The Great Cosmic Mother by Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor* is a much more in depth book and should be required reading for all women in my opinion. Men would benefit too as we are faced with the necessity of shedding the oppression of the patriarchal regime and reshaping of our world. We can learn from our ancient lineage of a better, more sustainable way of living.

I am anxious to start a conversation with you. I would love to hear your thoughts, would be over the moon if you decided to read either of the books mentioned and wanted to begin a discussion. Or to hear reading recommendations from you. Please leave me a comment or visit my on facebook.

Bright blessings,

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*Monica Sjoo is often credited with writing The Great Cosmic Mother and in fact she wrote the original article which lead to the writing of the book. However, the book was written almost entirely by Barbara Mor as stated in the introduction, and yet Barbara is rarely given the credit due to her. The book is a masterpiece of research, all of which is beautifully organized into a eloquent and exciting to read history (herstory).

I just wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge Barbara Mor and her brilliant work/contribution to the Goddess/Feminist movement.

 

Twists and turns + landing on your feet

Well there is so much to say, so much to share, where to begin…?

Exciting news is that Mindy Tsonas invited me to be a guide for her next Inner Alchemy class: Wishcraft: Creating the Tarot.

These are the cards I made in Inner Alchemy: Water class. SOoo fun!SWoracle_deck02

Woot!!! I am over the moon thrilled and will share more in the next week or so. It would be so fabulous if you would consider joining the class.

As I mentioned in my last post, my Bali retreat was canceled (such a big bummer) at the last minute but I ended up going with the Mr. It was fun, super duper hot and humid, stunningly beautiful, sometimes relaxing and quiet an adventure. I thought I’d share some pictures with you.

Pool side (that didn’t suck)bali1Lush and oh so green.bail4We did a culinary tour and made a trip to the local market. bail2Bustling and so colorfulbail3

We stayed with a friend in Hong Kong, which I wasn’t expecting to love, but it turned out to be the highlight of the trip.

View of the harbor from Peter’s rooftop garden, WOW.hongkong3Hong Kong’s an interesting contrast between shiny new, ultra modern and very old school.hongkong2When you go to the market to buy chicken to make for dinner you choose from live chickens not chicken meat packaged in styrofoam with cellophane wrapping. I think many Americans have no idea that the meat they buy in the store actually comes from animals that were once living beings. This seem a much more honest way to sell meat.hongkong4hongkong5I never had any interest in visiting Asia, this trip changed that, I will definitely go back to explore. I loved meeting people whose lives are so very different from my middle class Californian existence, and yet the same in many ways as well. We are all humans with the same human history, we’re all here together sharing this beautiful planet whether we believe it and whether we like it or not. We’re connected in more ways than we’re separate. Knowing this makes our current US situation that much more heartbreaking.

Personally, and I know I’m not alone, I was devastated by the results of the US election. While intellectually I knew this outcome was a real possibility, emotionally I just wasn’t, am not, prepared to accept it. There is so much I could say on this subject and there are conversations that need to be had, but this is a sacred space for me and I’m not ready to take that plunge into political discourse here just yet. (The time will come soon as I begin to share what I’m learning about the history of the Goddess, more will be revealed soon)

What I will say is that traveling to the other side of the globe reinforced my knowing that we are one people and that we should be coming together not polarizing even more. I always land on my feet and I have the hope that we will collectively land on our feet so to speak. Rise up, wake up, and take the actions that are required to bring about the changes that will benefit us all, and I mean all, humans, animals, plants and our beautiful Mother Earth.

Sharing:
Art of Sacred Living is moving along at a snails pace, but progress is being made. In collaboration with Jen Davis from Peach Tree Pottery, I’m creating a beautiful line of teapots and bowls.

I tried this beauty out yesterday, serving tea to my beloved friend and tea mentor. pot1The wood handle is driftwood that I collected last summer from my happy place, Whidbey Island.IMG_3634

I’ve been working like crazy on my alter project and will soon (finally) have some finished pieces. I would really love to have a gallery show in 2017… Let’s see if I can make that happen. I’m thinking YES.alters Ready to paint and decorate. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.altertree

Finally, if I can birth the new Art of Sacred Living website by the end of the year (sooner would be better) I will be thrilled! I am never at a loss for ideas and I work tirelessly on my projects, but I struggle with completion.

I will finish my website, I will finish my website, I will finish my website. There that should do it🙂

More will be revealed so I hope you check back soon.

Bright blessings,

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i am sisterhood CANCELLED!

I’ve been looking forward to my I AM SISTERHOOD retreat in Bali since I booked it in January.

I was just finishing up the online i am sisterhood course when I got an email about a live retreat in Bali. I have wanted to go on a woman’s retreat for YEARS and finally, finally I made it happen.

In the past I’ve hemmed and hawed so long that I always missed the opportunity, but not this time. I loved the online class so much that I immediately committed to the Bali retreat. I’ve had ten months of anticipation.

I booked my flight, business class, splurging. Since it’s such a long flight I decided to stay an extra week so I booked a stay at Kamandalu Resort in Ubud for a few days, looks amazing,

then a few more days at the beach in Iluwatu at Sal Secret Spot to surf. salsecretspotOh and since I was already going to be half way around the world I decided to spend a couple of days in Hong Kong to look for fabric for a line of floor pillows I’m working on.

Did I mention that since my daughter doesn’t want to stay with her dad I had to figure out who would come stay with her? Luckily my childhood BFF’s mom said she was game so I bought her a plane ticket. It’s taken a lot of planning with multiple people to make this trip happen!

Now that the time has come (I’m SOooooooO excited!!!!!) I email Anni because I still don’t know where we’re staying in Ubud and I leave this Friday. I have a funny feeling as I press send because it doesn’t seem quiet right that I haven’t heard a peep from her about the retreat so close to the start date.

Sure enough she emails me back that the retreat is cancelled… CANCELLED, WTF?!!!! Okay her mom is really sick, dying actually so what can be done? Of course she has to cancel and be with her mom as she transitions from this life. I understand, I really do but I’m still SUPER sad. Look how awesome this was going to be!

Welcome to I am
Night One: *I AM* UNFOLDING ME
Welcome to I AM SISTERHOOD
*Welcome to I AM SISTERHOOD
*Circle check in + sacred space building
*Magic talk + unfolding the divine feminine consciousness
*Finding your Spirit Color + Essence
*Prana Path Meditation
*MOON MEDITATION (CIRCLE UNDER THE MOON) + singing
*Moon Oil + Magic Moon Water
*Breaking Free to Be Me : 6 line poetry slam
*Sisterhood Moon Essence

Day Two: *I AM* WOMAN TRIBE
AIR : Understanding Divine Mind
*Claiming the Sacred Writer Within
*Sacred Journal Time
*Claim Your Super Power
*Self Care
*Loving Yourself : make rose anointing oil
*Heart to Heart
*Soul Sister Match Up
*Goddess Gift Exchange

FIRE: Understanding Our Will + Action
*Black Protection Salt
*Fire Release
*Understanding the Pendulum
*Sexual Fire
*Desires: Poetry Slam
*Being WITNESSED + personal pacts
*Raw Witness Dancing
Day Three: *I AM* my PASSIONS

WATER: Understanding Our Emotional Flow
*Gratitude Practice
*Living in Abundance
*Release Lack with “Bay Leaf”
*Create Money Abundance Oil + Money Spell
*Drink from Chalice of Manifestation
*Living my Passion Dreams…no matter what
*Defining Your Dreams

EARTH: Getting Grounded
*Gratitude Practice
*Mother Nature Grounding
*Drum Circle
*Create Crystal Wands
*Safe circle + Spirit Path Cards + Meditation

ENDING : *I AM* DEFINED
Living in Sacred Freedom
my name : be gifted your spirit soul name
my vision : small steps on the path : today *i will* life mapping….
my purpose in the world : dig deep to see your highest good vision
Special “RED BOLD” Ceremony
**Going to the BOWL**

There are some tears, feelings of major disappointment, and then…rallying. I mean what can be done? I’m not going to cancel the whole trip, I can’t I’ve already made too many arrangements and damnit I want to go to Bali!

Wipe my tears, pick myself up and figure out a new plan. Surrender to the moment. What else is there?

I’ve done some looking around online and I think I’m going to stay at Hotel Tugu, they have availabilitytugu-bali-1  and it looks really nice…tugu-bali-5 And there’s a yoga studio that looks awesome close by. thepractice1

So instead of I AM SISTERHOOD and kumbayaing with my sisters (which I really, really love and don’t get enough of) I guess I’m going on a solo yoga retreat.

And yes this is absolutely a first world problem. I like to remind myself of this when I start to feel sorry for myself. Boohoo my luxury woman’s retreat in Bali got cancelled so now I have to rearrange things a bit. Just to keep things in perspective. ☺

Finally the Mr. will be joining me for the later half of the trip so it’s all feels pretty great even though I’m still super sad about i am sisterhood. At least there will be a little romance.

Bright blessings,

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Small moments

Brave Blogging
No. 3 Small moments + a peek at No. 2

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For me authentic sharing online takes practice. I have always tried to put my best foot forward, to offer inspiration or some such thing, but I think it’s true that the real deal, the nitty gritty is actually more interesting. That’s not to say I’m not authentic but it is saying that I’ve been very one dimensional.

Yesterday we listened to an interview with Laurie Wagner of 27powers.org  (I am so taking a writing class from her!) and it was so inspiring that I’m rethinking how I put myself out into the world as a blogger. Our assignment was to write something that we were afraid to share. I got a start on that this morning In the notes on my phone at coffee, and I may even share it at some point.

So small moments… I love the small moments, those seemingly insignificant times throughout the day that  I often don’t notice, but every now and then catch a glimpse of. As much as I try to stay mindful much of my day often passed by in a blur.

 

This is one of those time that I took notice. At this very moment I’m taking a break in my day to slow down and lounge by the pool after a morning of manual labor.  (I’m writing this on my iPhone:-)

S E L F  N U R T U R I N G is a must in my book.  My thinking is that if I don’t choose to take/make time for some yumminess then my whole life might be a blur. Lord knows the last four decades went by in a flash!

So I’m going to sit here by the pool reading Red Hot & Holy until I have the go pick my kid up from school and I’m not going to feel guilty about it thank you very much.

I hope you take a moment for yourself today.

Thinking of you with love,

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