Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Mystery of Ariadne

So, I'm in office yesterday afternoon (5/21/10), working when a strong presence showed up. Whoever this was actually causing a strong pressure in my left temple. They didn't feel like anyone I knew.

After some detective work, we were able to determine the presence was the Cretan Goddess, Ariadne. I had never met her before yesterday.

I don't know why she is here, hence the mystery, but after seeing the movie "Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief," I have been bulking up on my Greek mythology. Many of the deities that have come into our group have come in because someone brought them in, the list of divine ones who have shown up out of the blue is short. Real short.

Maybe the timing is related...or not.

She is definately a love goddess and has strong connections with the deep ocean and the deep earth. She feels peaceful. Besides my temples, I can also feel her in my heart chakra.

She likes caves and mazes and I have already made plans to visit a large cave formation here in Central Texas next weekend. I'm hoping she'll come with us and maybe we can glean a little more info from her.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Economics of Beanie Babies

I was listening to the radio this morning and the topic of discussion was the Broadway play “Enron” based, of course, on the fall of Enron the energy company. There were discussing economic boom and bust cycles referred to as “bubbles” which took my mind back to my own family boom and bust experience.

Years ago, one of my family members (“Lana”) started investing her money into beanie babies, which were shit hot at the time. She bought a magazine dedicated to Beanie Babies and used that to guide her in her investment purchases. She estimated she probably spent a couple of thousand dollars went it was all said and done.

Then, something happened…I seem to recall it being medical in nature…Lana and her boyfriend needed cash fast. They finally decided to liquidate to their Beanie Baby collection. They were shocked when their collection didn’t yield the return they were expected. After all the time, money and energy they sold all of their collection for a couple of hundred dollars.

Lana and I ended up having a conversation about it. I explained to her that the magazine she was using had a vested interest in hyping the Beanie Baby craze so that people would continue to purchase both the stuffed animals and the magazine. All the hype fed on itself, right up until the bubble burst and a lot of people like Lana are left holding a bunch of mostly worthless junk.

Whether you are talking about the stock market, the .com industry or the house-flipping crazy, I have seen many bubbles blow up and burst and I always go back to Lana’s Beanie Babies. Lana kept of a few of her favorites and she can take comfort in knowing those stuffed animals are still worth more than Enron stock.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Inner Artist

I was watching a youth football game yesterday with the mother of my step-children when a little boy ran by in a homemade mask, to which she commented “don’t you wish we were still that creative?” I responded with “what are talking about…I am still creative.”

I went on to explain that because I am doing web design and graphic arts stuff, both at work and for my personal websites, I get to be creative all the time. So this got me thinking…how many adults are like her, feeling they have no creative outlet in their life.

We force our children to take art in school, usually through high school, because we know that exposure to art in its many forms is critical to developing a well-rounded person, yet how many adults completely abandon any sort of creative activities when they get older.

While I still draw like a drunken second grader, I can use digital tools to create my masterpieces. Instead of displaying my macaroni collages on the front of the refrigerator, I display mine on the internet, for the whole world to see.

Does this make me a happier person…yes, most definitely. I think everyone needs to have a way to express themselves, either by creating art or even just appreciating it. Last year I took a friend to an art museum who had never been to one. She loved it. She had a fabulous experience and she left feeling great.

The medical experts have recommendations for how much exercise we should get a week and how many fruits and vegetables we should consume per day so how about a recommendation on how much finger-painting time we should get in per month?

Can't you just see it?...“The art institute for good mental health recommends every adult gets at least three hours of coloring a month.”

I like it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Moron in the Garden

So, picture a beautiful day last week and I was lucky enough to have taken the day off. I headed out to our local botanical gardens, camera in hand to snap some pics and soak in some plant vibes.

Throughout the gardens, there were these gorgeous red ornamental poppies. I got several great pics of them and I wanted to know what they were. I asked several people but no one seemed to know. On my way out, I asked the guy at the front desk and he said he didn't know but there was an older gentleman standing there who asked me to show him. We walked outside and I pointed at them and the gentleman explained that they were an ornamental hybrid. He also explained that there was a native poppy that was closely related which confused me cause while I'm not an expert, I couldn't think of a native poppy that looked anything like that one.

We continued to talk and then the guy tried to explain to me that our local Prickly Poppy (Agremone spp.)wasn't a poppy at all, but a member of Euphorb family. I had to stop him at that point and tell him that he was mistaken. He just kept insisting that he was right.

Mr Moron went to use the facilities and the guy at the counter explained to me that Mr. Moron has worked at the garden for 28 years and his expertise was in cacti. I left the gardens scratching my head. I headed home and immediately looked up the Prickly Poppy. Good news, I'm not crazy and it is in fact a member of the poppy family.

I think the guy was a moron not because he was wrong, but because he kept insisting he was right and wouldn't even consider the idea that he might have been mistaken.

I don't ever want to be that way. I'm human and I make mistakes. I am open to the idea that no matter what the subject matter, there is someone out there that knows more than I do.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Fog

Yesterday morning was quite foggy in South Central Texas. I love the fog and I would like to tell you why.

A long time ago in a place far, far away, I was dumb enough to get myself involved in a nasty little witch war. For those of you lucky enough to not know what that is…consider yourself lucky. Witch wars are when two or more groups started throwing some very nasty energy at each other. Everybody gets real paranoid and suddenly you can’t tell if that hangnail is just a hangnail or the result of some bad spell hitting you in the tuckus. It’s the kind of thing that makes solitaires go running for their broom closets.

Anyway, the one and only witch war I got myself into got quite ugly and in the midst of it, my marriage ended, much to my surprise. In the course of a single evening, I packed up all my crap and had to find a place to live, quick. I called an acquiantance, whom I had only known for a short time, and arrange to rent one of her bedrooms in her large house out in the country.

The next morning, I moved in what belongings I had and within a couple of hours, a wonderful dense fog had descended and stuck around for about three days. It was the first real peace I had experienced in almost a year. I asked who was responsible and was told and old, African deity named Nyambe (sp?). For three days I was able to walk around the country in complete and utter silence. It was a wonderful, almost womby feeling. I was able to spend those days dealing with what had happened to me and come to peace with the knowledge that I had to take responsibilty for my part in the craziness.

When the fog lifted, I was ready to face the world again. I spent the next six weeks figuring out who were my friends (short list) and who were not (long list). Those foggy days gave me the confidence to know I was being protected and I felt after that I knew I could face anything.

I love foggy days now. They bring a smile to face and I enjoy embracing the quiet. They also serve as a reminder not to allow myself to get into silly situations.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A good passing


When the time has come for a loved one to pass on to the next stage, my recommendation is always the same...ask Oya for a safe, quick and easy passing.

The father-in-law of a friend just passed this morning from a terminal illness. He took a turn for the worst a few days ago, and we sent our prayers to Oya. My friend reported that he passed this morning with a peaceful smile on his face.

Praise be to Oya for helping our extended family once again. May his spirit move on quickly and he be taken into the fold of the creator of his choosing and may his family find the love and comfort they need at this time.

Ache and blessed be.

Friday, April 9, 2010

An Unusual Initiation

A priestess, like a parent, should never show favoritism. A priestess is going to have students that he or she likes more than others. I want to talk about the one student I had that I really didn’t like. This student, that I will call Zoe, is why I now stand firm with my year and a day rule.

Zoe was a friend of a friend that came into my life almost a decade ago. She was a bit older but I actually prefer older students (less drama) and she seemed very eager to learn. After a couple of months, she asked to become my student and I said yes. At first, everything seemed to be fine but after awhile Zoe became this whiney, bitchy lump that constantly complained about everything. She also had very strange habits (dietary, lifestyle, etc) with no sense to them. Some stranger would tell her some wild ass thing and it would be gospel but when I or our group elder would try to tell her something she would become very hostile…almost combative.

We just couldn’t wait for her year and a day to be over so we could initiate her and get her on her path and out of our lives. I know that sounds terrible, but I was very honest with her. I told her that she just didn’t seem to be thriving with us so once her initiation was done, she would be free to see other witches.

So, the day of her initiation came and I was determined to give her a good one. I didn’t want my personal feelings to interfere with her experience. I felt strongly that Chango was going to be involved, although I wasn’t sure why. He hadn’t shown much interest in her until now. I collected leaves of the China Berry tree, which is strongly connected to Chango.

During her ceremony, I took the bunch of leaves, wet them, and briskly wiped her down as a cleansing. I can’t tell why Chango led me to do this at the time, although I later found out this is common in multiple cultures as a cleansing ritual. When it was all over with, she was very upset. She claimed that by touching her with the leaves, I had caused her a great deal of pain. This was interesting because in the year and half we had known her she never mentioned that tidbit. She went on to explain that spirituality should never be painful. We were dumb founded. Not painful? Are you kidding me? I wanted to give her this long diatribe on cultures and systems throughout the world that would torture their initiates and your complaining because I wiped you down with a few leaves?

I then had to remind myself that you can’t fix stupid and sent her on her way. Chango was probably laughing the whole time.

I now require that I get to know people for a year and a day before accepting them as a student. More than once, this has paid off because the candidates have either left, lost interest or showed their true colors.

Sometimes you learn truth from the people you don’t like more than the people you like.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Chicken Man

I’ve been following the case of the spiritual guru that killed a couple of his students in the sweat lodge incident in Sedona, Az. For those of you who haven’t been there, Sedona is a beautiful area, nestled in the the red rock formations between Phoenix and Flagstaff. There is a large community of new ager’s that live and work there. Unfortunately, there are some very unscrupulous people selling snake oil there too.


The sweat lodge story reminded me of my first trip to Sedona. I had actually never been there until I was 28, when I went on a trip with my family.

Now, let me preface this story with, I can get pretty new agey myself and I am not against spiritual seeking myself. By the time I got to Sedona, I had been a priestess for several years and I am very good at feeling energy, especially earth energies. So, I was very excited to be going to this new age mecca and feel the vortex energies I had heard so much about.

We arrived in Sedona and went to the vortex closest to our hotel. There was a bunch of spiritual tourists there and everybody was talking about this vortex energy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling jack shit. I tried really hard but I got nothing. As I’m standing there trying my best to feel even a whisper of energy, a man in a chicken hat walks by with three little old ladies trailing behind him. Chicken man was wearing a ridiculous cowboy hat covered in multicolored feathers. I almost pissed myself laughing! And there were 3 little biddies (“the flock”) who were following him around hanging on to every freakin’ word.

Chicken man was “lecturing” his flock about the power of the vortexes and how they will cure everything from a hangnail to hemorrhoids. According to chickenman, the vortexes had the power to fuel your car, unclog your drain and clean your cat’s litter box. With every word he uttered, I was having a harder and harder time not just losing it. Keep in mind this whole time I’m not feeling anything. After a couple of minutes of this, I had to leave and go back to the car. As I was leaving, my mom asked my why I was leaving and all I could do was point and laugh.

So here this guy is, selling the flock a complete line of crap, and I all I can think is how much those ladies probably paid him for the service.

How much do dyed feathers cost anyway? I think I’ve got an old cowboy hat in the closet somewhere.=)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Karmic Balance in a World of Facebook


Like many people, I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances on Facebook. This weekend, I reconnected with an old friend to whom I owed an apology.

A few years ago, I had an epiphany that there were four people I needed to track down and apologize to and with the help of the internet, I was able to do just that. It was a very liberating experience and one of those people was my sister and now we have a close relationship. Over the years, I’ve come up with a few more names of people that I should say I’m sorry to if I ever get the chance.

“Kandi” was one of those people. We were very good friends once and then had a falling out. In the end, I was a complete bitch to her (more than I had a right to be) and I’ve felt bad about the situation. I don’t know what made me look for her, but I did and much to my surprise she accepted my friend request. I was able to apologize and she accepted graciously.

I used to live my life with the idea that when I left a place, I would probably never see those people again. The internet and social media has changed all of that. Unless someone drops dead, the odds are much higher that you may run into someone or they may look you up. Either way, does this have the possibility of having a positive affect on our karma?

The Jews have this concept of atonement that involves of making amends to the people you have wronged. The digital age had made that easier then ever. As the digital world shrinks the geographic size of our communities, will that force us to resolve past hurts? Or better yet, be less likely to hurt people at all?

Yeah, I don’t think so, but it has helped in my case. Kandi and I may never be as close as we once were, but at least I’ve had a chance to tell her I was wrong and know that she is okay.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The rest of the coffee story

So several days last week, my regular coffee gas station had been closed so I had to go to my alternate coffee gas station. On Friday, I stopped by Starbucks and paid over $4.00 for coffee, essentially clearing my free coffee karma (whew!). Since the gas station was closed, I thought maybe they had fired the free coffee girl which might have explained the free coffee.

I stopped by at a normal hour on Saturday (after my workout) for coffee and there was a note on the door when I went in that said they would now be closing overnight. I got my coffee, paid for it (yeah!) and I asked the day girl if it was a temporary closing or permanent. She said it was probably permanent because they weren't making enough money.

So I have to wonder at this point, did the girl give me free coffee cause she knew that she wasn't going to be working that shift long or did the profits suddenly drop so drastically (because of my free refills) that they decided to change their whole business model? Could go either way.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Another good plant day.


So I went to the farmer's market this morning and it was crazy busy. This made me happy even though I was having trouble finding parking. The vegetables looked fantastic. I picked up some broccoli, swiss chard, spinach, green onions, carrots, lettuce.

At some point, I lost my mind and picked up brussel sprouts. I hated these things as a kid but then I again my mom served the frozen, out of the bag kind. I've been told by several people that cooking fresh ones yourself are delicious

I told my sister about them, she was stunned.

I also picked up a sweet basil and a chive plant.

Later on in the day, I went back to the nursery and rounded out the plant gardem with thyme, golden sage, celery, spicy wild greens and fernleaf lavender. I love fernleaf lavender because you get terrific lavender sent through the leaves. I also replaced my lone casualty, a rosemary plant.

I called my friend Rosemary and yelled at her for the sins of "her people."

The nursery was also super busy. They have an extensive garden of their own that they allow you to take pictures of so I think I will take my camera next time.

I still have some potting soil left, I think I'm gonna have to pick up a few more plants.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ladybugs are invading my life!

I don’t know if it’s coincidence or providence ( "I do not see coincidence, I see providence."-Morpheus) but it seems that my lady bugs have invaded my life.

A couple weeks ago, I went a local favorite nursery of mine to buy some starter plants. They are right next door to a local compost producing company…let’s call them company X. I had several other errands to run so I was in a bit of a hurry and didn’t want to make a second stop so I went ahead and purchased their potting soil. Much to my surprise, they didn’t carry company x potting soil anymore, they carried Lady Bug brand potting soil instead. She swore up and down that it was great stuff and I went ahead and purchased a bag. Mainly ‘cause I like lady bugs. I like them a lot.

I didn’t get out of the driveway before I called my good buddy Nathan, who used to work for company X. I told him my experience at the nursery and he was not surprised. He told me that company X’s quality had detoriated since going corporate and a lot of people were unhappy with it. He agreed with the sales lady at the nursery that the lady bug brand was great stuff and I should be happy with it.

On Wednesday, a co-worker and I were walking on our lunch break and we found a some Thistles covered in lady bugs. Yeah! Lady bugs! Did I mention I like lady bugs?

This morning, at about 6:45 am, I discovered a lady bug in my car after I parked it for work. I have no idea how she got there but I got her on my hand and was trying to free her but she refused to leave my hand. This is quite odd because lady bugs normally don’t tend to stay on my hand for very long.

We only worked a half day today (due to it being Good Friday) and when I was walking out of the building at noon, a lady bug bopped me on the head. I finally got the hint…I think the lady bugs are trying to tell me something.

When I got home, I grabbed a Ted Andrews book off the shelf (“Animal-wise”) and looked up the lady bug. According to Mr. Andrews, lady bugs herald a time of good luck, protection and wishes being fulfilled. Woohoo! There was also a warning about doing too much so I’m going be careful about overextending myself.

Did I mention I like lady bugs?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pan (pt II)


Pan showed up a couple of weeks ago. Now that we've gotten to know each other better, I'ld like to add some more information.


First off, Pan doesn't like excuses. He can be quite the task-master and is driving me pretty hard. I've got a really busy agenda and I'm doing my best to stick to it 'cause i can feel him over my shoulder.


Next, Pan is not a fan of the TV. He doesn't mind having music playing but he's guiding me to turn the TV off if I'm not watching something in particular. He's really not into alot of talking and prefers actions to words...just shut up and do it already.


Pan is also filthy. He loves dirty jokes and some of the most awful thoughts have come out of my mouth the last couple of weeks (some of which weren't from my head).


He prefers the bedroom wombish and dark. My husband isn't a fan but even he has admitted we've both been sleeping so much better since I put two dark blankets up on the bedroom walls. Not only are we sleeping better, but we've both been having LOTS of dreams.


With Pan, I've been working really hard at connecting with my new patio garden plants. I am able to feel them more but I will continue working in that direction. My chamomile, fennel, mint and lettuce plants all seem really happy. BTW-fennel likes it when you breathe on it.


I definitely need to get out into some woods this weekend.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thanksgiving and Cooking for Morons

I didn’t really cook until I was 29. Before that my rule was if it took more than five steps I didn’t cook it (and opening the can was a step).

That being said, my mother is a fantastic cook and so I at least know what good food is supposed to taste like. My cooking career began with a Thanksgiving dinner. For my first Thanksgiving dinner here in Texas, we went over to a friend’s house (like always). Having spent the holiday before at my Mom’s house, I was very disappointed in the food. It was so nasty I just couldn’t eat anything.

I got back to the house thinking I just can’t do another bad Thanksgiving dinner. I spoke to my mom about it and she wrote up six pages of instructions for my very own turkey dinner. The next year I made my own Thanksgiving dinner. It took 7 hours and dirtied every dish that I owned but the food was GOOD. Real good.

My next cooking adventure when my boyfriend at the time starting grilling. He was fantastic on the grill but lousy in the kitchen. He was creating works of art for the meat but serving it with terrible side dishes. I picked up the cooking for morons book he had purchased, kicked him out of the kitchen and a foodie was born.

I don't know if it's genetics or upbringing but I cook like my mother. Throw some stuff in a pot, add lots of flavor and recipes are for pusscakes. Okay, I followed a recipe once. I didn't like it. The only problem with that method of cooking is when people asked me how I made the dish I get a blank look on my face..."um...I don't know...I just cooked it." Not very useful instructions.

So more than a decade later, I cook a lot. I love cooking for my family and friends. I get such enjoyment from being able to whip up something tasty & delicious…food is love after all. Thanksgiving is especially important. I have found memories of the food at Thanksgiving when I was a kid, and now I get to pass that on to my children.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I heart Itunes

I am addicted to Itunes.

There, I've said it. And no, I don't want to join a support group.

I love Itunes more than I loved two of my three husbands. Okay, to be fair, I love athlete's foot more than I loved two of my three husbands.

Itunes is fabulous. Not only can you spend hours searching for music but it has the best recommendation feature I have yet to come across. It will recommend a long list of songs to you and you have the ability to tell it you hate it. Watch and learn Facebook!

I used to spend quite a bit of money on cd's. I used to have tons of cd's that I bought for one song only. Then, as a starving student, I discovered a wonderful used bookstore chain we have here called Half Priced books and I would spend lots of time and somewhat less money scouring their racks for used music. Then I discovered Itunes and never looked back.

My strategy is this: 1. Any holiday in which someone (to whom I am not married to) asks me what they can get me for said holiday, I respond with "an Itunes gift card." 2. Every month, $10.00 of my budget is dedicated to Itunes. 3. At the end of the month, if I have more than $100.00 in my bank account, then I can go spend another $10.00 at Itunes.

So, you are probably thinking that's not so bad right? And it's not, accept I've been doing this for more than 5 years now. Add my monthly budget to all of the gift cards I received over the years and that means I have bought over a thousand songs. I'm really not exaggerating.

Did I mention I LOVE music. LOVES it!

Not only do I have lots of new music, but when I split from hubby #1, I lost a ton of cd's that through the magic of Itunes I have been able to get back. And I have some pretty wide ranging tastes. Rock, pop, punk, country, new-age/world, classical, R&B, dance, 80's, Hawai'ian death metal jazz, you name the genre and I probably have bought a song or two.

There are actually two songs I have not been able to find on Itunes. The first is a cover of the song "Ain't gonna eat out my heart" by the Divinyls. It appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The second is "Rooms for the Memory" by Michael Hutchence off the Dogs in Space Soundtrack. Dogs in Space is a movie that came out in 1986 that like 3 people in the world have seen and I am one of them. I own the soundtrack on tape cassette but the cd (when you can find them) go for crazy amounts of money...the kind of money that would take away from my Itunes budget and we just can't have that.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

No more free coffee!

I am a creature of habit. Every morning I buy my coffee from the same gas station (bite me Starbucks). I’ve scouted every establishment on my route and I have settled on the one that has the best quality coffee, hottest temperature and the flavor of creamer I like. Oddly enough, they are also one of the cheapest…go figure.

So, all of that being said, I’ve been happy with this particular gas station for sometime now until this week. The regular overnight guy is no longer there (don’t know yet if he left or is on vacation) and there’s a new gal in his place.

On Monday morning, I go in and get my coffee refill and the new lady is kinda busy doing something and tells me I can have it for free. This does happen on occasion when the clerk is busy and doesn’t want to stop what they are doing for a coffee refill. I say thank you and get on the road.

Tuesday morning, I approach the register with my dollar in my hand and she tells me I can have my refill for free, again. I leave confused ‘cause she wasn’t busy and I had my dollar. Okay, I decided that on Wednesday morning, I would pay for my coffee and give a dollar to a charity thing they got going on there.

Wednesday morning, I have my coffee and my two dollars in my hand and quicker than anything, she tells gives it to me for free. I said no, it’s okay but she insisted.

I worked from home on Thursday so I made my own coffee but I brought it up to my husband. As my partner and my life-mate he wanted to be supportive but as an accountant he was confused as to why I was complaining. I told him that it was making me feel creepy. He suggested that on Friday I buy something along with my coffee. I thought this was a brilliant idea.

Friday morning, I purchase a Nutrigrain bar and my coffee refill. Hah! I’ve got her now…she is going to be forced to charge me! She rings up the Nutrigrain bar but not the coffee refill. AHHH! Son of a biscuit! You may have won this battle free coffee lady but you will not win the war!

I’ve come up with three equally plausible scenarios:
1. She was badly trained and she doesn’t actually know where the coffee refill button is located on the register.
2. She actually hates the company she works for and is trying to slowly bankrupt them one coffee refill at a time.
3. She thinks I’m cute.

Frankly, that last one bothers me ‘cause while I don’t put butter on that side of my pancake, I would be flattered if she was cute…but she AIN’T cute.

A co-worker suggested that I actually forget my cup on Monday and pay full price for coffee and see if that forces her hand.

I’ll keep y’all posted on the results.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Embracing My Fun


I was thinking to myself last night how strange it feels to be an adult. I’m going to be 40 years old in a couple of months and I don’t feel like a grown-up. How is it that I still listen to my 80’s music, watch Southpark and giggle at poop jokes but yet I’m a professional at work and provide adult supervision to my wonderful step-children?

Do other people my age feel this way? Did my parents feel this way? Has this always been this way?

Both my husband and I are very responsible people. We pay our bills, take care of our family, pets, plants, job responsibilities and our gods but yet we both still have fun and play. Neither of us can remember our parents having a lot of fun. Is that normal? Did our parents say the same thing about their parents? Did Mr & Mrs Caveman sit around their cave wondering why they seemed to have more fun then their parents?

Will this ever go away? I look around at the friends I have my age and they all seem to be fully in touch with their inner child. Are we going to be senior citizens playing video games with our grandchildren, reading Harry Potter and planning for the zombie-pocalypse? I hear the Wii is a huge hit with the over-60 crowd these days so who knows…Will they make game controllers with larger buttons and call it the Jitterbug for the PS15?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

IT”S SPRING!!!


One of the things I love about this time of year is the bloom of the Texas Redbuds. Within the last 2 weeks, the Redbuds have just exploded with flowers here in Central Texas and since pink is my favorite color, this makes me very happy.

The Texas Redbud, a small tree native to this area, produces a beautiful pink flower prior to leafing out. In full bloom, a Redbud is very showy and stands out for quite a distance. It serves as a wonderful announcement of spring.

The tree itself has a warm, inviting energy. The bright pink flowers are edible and have a slightly sweet flavor to them.

On my webpage, I link the Texas Redbud to the Pomba Gira. If you have ever met any of these ladies, you would know that they never enter a room quietly. They want banners flying, horns blowing and strobe lights flashing when they show up. The Redbud tree is the exact same way, she announces spring with loud music and jazz hands.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Can't we all just get along?

My intent when I started this blog was for it to be spiritual, not political. There are lots of blogs out there dedicated to politics and the world probably doesn't need another one.

That being said, something interesting happened today that I just want to share.

Yesterday, at the gym at work, 2 men were having quite the loud conversation about the health insurance bill that just got passed. Their tone was horribly disrespectful and so shockingly negative that I had to get myself out of there before I started screaming at them.

To be fair, yes, I am a left-leaning Democrat but I have many friends, family and acquaintances who lean the other direction and we are normally able to carry on serious political discussions like civilized people.

So, this morning, in my office, 2 older gentlemen that I work with started having a similar conversation, although their tone wasn't nearly as disrespectful. This time I couldn't run because it was my office.

I let this go on awhile before finally explaining my own personal experience. I told them that I was recently diagnosed with a serious health issue that had gone undiagnosed because for the five years I was a graduate student, I couldn't afford health insurance. I then told them that because my condition was undiagnosed and therefore untreated, it has probably shortened my lifespan. I then went on to explain that due to this condition, I will probably not be able to get health insurance coverage and unless something changes, I will have to stay with my current employer, whether I want to or not.

Both men went on to explain how they had family members with similar stories.

I asked both of the men if the had ever heard anyone talk about how much they loved their health insurance and both men said "no."

I then said, so we can all agree that the current system is terrible and needs to be fixed, we just don't agree on how it should be done. They both said "yes."

At that point, the two gentlemen quickly changed the subject. Maybe they were afraid I was going to ask a follow-up question like "So how should we go about fixing it?"

A Hawai’ian Heart


Several months ago, I participated in the Reiki initiation of a friend of mine. My friend just happens to be Hawai’ian. During his initiation, several Hawai’ian deities showed up and a couple hung out for several weeks afterwards. One of those individuals was Hina, the goddess of the moon.

Hina is one of the ancestral goddesses of the Hawaiian people. She is queen of the female goddesses (akua) and watches over pregnant women and childbirth. Besides her connection to the moon, Hina is also connected with cloth making, the island of Moloka’i, the sea and medicines from the sea. She is often described as a very beautiful, smart and determined young woman who is pursued by men and other creatures. She has many forms including a coral reef and the leaves of the limu kala seaweed. Hina is normally linked with the god Ku and her yin nature often balances his yang.

Hina immediately grabbed a hold of me and spent the next several days working on my heart chakra. It was like I could feel her delicate fingers actually inside my chest cavity messaging my heart. This means, of course, that I spent about week crying for no reason.

Due to pain I suffered when I was younger, my heart chakra has always been a weak spot. I’ve worked on it through the years with limited success but she was able to heal more scar tissue in a few days than I have in a couple of decades. The interesting part of this story is I lived in Hawai’i when I was in my 20’s and spent 2-1/2 of the most peaceful years of my life there. I don’t think it was an accident that a goddess from Hawai’i helped me find a little more peace.

I’ve continued working on my heart chakra and whenever I have trouble getting that chakra to open, I just call on Hina. Other then my sincere gratitude, Hina asked for nothing in return so I have tried to share her spirit by performing chakra-healing work on other people.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Zen of Migraines or How I Learned to Love Kale.


I used to suffer from severe migraines. At my worst, I would get 6-8 a month, and it was not uncommon for them to be so bad they would cause me to vomit. I suffered through them for years before finally getting them diagnosed. I didn’t even know that they migraines until I was at the doctor’s office for a physical when I had a major migraine going on and I fell over during the eye exam. The doctor put me on some pretty good meds that took away the pain but left me groggy.

After some research, I figured out that consuming large amounts of dairy products was a contributing factor so I switched to soy milk and greatly reduced my cheese intake. That reduced the migraines to 2 or 3 a month and frankly, I was happy with that.

Five years ago, my mate and I got memberships to our local gym. We incorporated regular exercise into our lives and I was surprised that regular exercise (3-5 times a week) reduced the frequency of my migraines even more, about 1 a month on average.

Over a year ago, I was diagnosed with a certain type of kidney disease. As part of my treatment for this I have had to change over to a diet low in protein (especially animal protein), greatly reduce my salt intake, eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and pretty much eliminate fast food out of my diet. I can’t have any alcohol or ibuprofen and I have to get lots of exercise. And guess what…my migraines are gone, completely. Like I haven’t had one in over 6 months.

Apparently, all of the things that were causing them to begin with were the same things that I now need to do for myself and my kidneys. Isn’t funny how everything works out sometimes?

This last weekend, I was throwing a bit of a food tantrum and ate some stuff on Saturday I shouldn’t have. Sunday morning I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine. That gave me such a jolt that I immediately threw out the leftover bad stuff in the fridge and begged the health gods and my body for forgiveness.

Go vegetables!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Be very afraid.


This is face of true evil. He is Bouncer T. Kitty, Darth "Boo," the Dark Lord and Emperor of all he surveys (including the porch and the back yard and the fence that seperates this complex from the one next door).


He will stalk you like wild game under the darkness of cover, pounce on you like a fat kid on a cupcake, sink his sharp teeth into your ankle like a tiger killing a gazelle and run away like the little bitch that he is to get out of butt-swatting distance and mock your ability to bleed profusely.


He will also meow loudly at you for no reason whatsoever. He will hide anything small and valuable. He will poop in your shoe.


This is the face of true evil. Don't let the little pink ball fool you.


Hunt for the Alarm Clock Bird

Everyone has an arch nemesis; a mortal enemy if you will. James Bond had Dr. No, Superman had Lex Luthor, SpongeBob has Plankton and my husband has the alarm clock bird.

My husband (let's call him Greg) has many names for the alarm clock bird ("ACB") and most of them are not repeatable. Two years ago, we moved from the front of our apartment complex to the back. We needed a larger apartment and we were tired of being next door to the pool. For the most part, this side of the complex is quieter, except for the ACB.

The alarm clock bird wakes up at dawn every single morning and has a high-pitched call that consists of a series of three loud notes in rapid succession. Apparently the ACB's call is at the exact pitch and timbre to drill directly into Greg's brain and wake him up instantly, pissing him off to no end.

Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea, my husband loves all animals and nature and he is not a violent guy however he has put out a hit on the ACB. He promised our cat the large can of t-u-n-a if he killed the alarm clock bird. The cat has so far not been interested in the deal so my husband suspects the cat may now be working as a double agent. Perhaps the ACB is a nip dealer on the side.

Anyway, Greg has been trying to figure out what species this bird belongs to (although he was almost certain the genus name started with the f-word) and we may finally have an answer. Greg caught site of an LBB (Little Brown Bird) the other day and after some investigation, the alarm clock bird maybe a Carolina Wren. Now that he knows what he is up against, he might finally be able kill the little bastard and get some sleep.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chickweed



Several years ago, I got serious about working with plant spirits. I was able to make contact with several plant spirits including: honey mesquite, hackberry, lavender and chickweed.

Chickweed, Stellaria media, is a annual plant that thrives in cool weather. It creates mats and has small white, star-shaped flowers. Edible and nutritious, chickweed is often eaten in salads. There was a large mat of chickweed growing next to the apartment we lived in at the time so finding living chickweed wasn't an issue.

My first contact with the spirit of chickweed actually made my finger tingle for several minutes. I remember her (she felt feminine) hanging around for a couple of days. She had a airy, nuturing feel to her. The impression I got from chickweed was that she could help support a person (nutritionally and emotionally) as they face difficult times. I believe the energy of this plant can help you find your destiny. She was a very friendly spirit.

Like many people in the area, I lost a lot of plants this winter due to the weather so I have begun clearing out the dead plants to make way for the new. Imagine my surprise when I found bunches of chickweed in three different pots. I don't know how she got there but I'm gonna try to keep her going in at least one of the pots. Maybe this is the plant kingdom sending me some support in the form of a friendly star-shaped face.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Goddess and the Riverwalk


I moved to San Antonio because both Oshun and I fell in love with the riverwalk.

I had come to San Antonio over a decade ago to visit a friend on my way back home. While I was here, my friend and I visited the the Alamo and the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio. For those of you who haven't been lucky enough to visit our fair city, San Antonio was founded over 300 years ago on the banks of the San Antonio River. The city grew up around the river. In the 1930's, development of the banks of the river itself began. Pedestrian only walkways with lush trees, waterfalls, fountains and landscapes were created. Many waterfowl (ducks, geese, egrets, etc) reside at the riverwalk. There are also bars, restaurants and lots of shopping. Now our famous riverwalk is a gorgeous paradise 1 story beneath our downtown area that gets visited by millions every year.

So, to recap...river+nature+partying+shopping=Oshun. Her and I immediately fell in love with the Riverwalk area and a 18 months later, we moved here for good.

With all that being said, whenever the mood strikes or I have company come to town, I head down to the Riverwalk. As many times as I have been down there, I am still amazed at how strongly the goddess energy flows through the area. Oya, as the breeze that constantly blows through the area; Nana, as the stately Bald Cypresses that stand peacefully by the river; Ochumare, who loves the tickle of the waterfalls; Yemaya, at the several popular marriage spots and Oshun herself, meandering through absorbing all of the fun.


Some out of town friends and I went downtown a couple of weeks ago, to shop and see the sites. While we at La Villata, I noticed a quiet little pray spot close to the bead store. There was a carving of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the recess of the wall that surrounds La Villata. I had to giggle because she seemed perfectly at home there, along with the rest of the goddesses.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pan




A few days ago I had a chance to chat with Baron Samedi and I asked him if he was related to the Greek god Pan. Both the Baron and Pan have strong shamanistic ties and a deep-earth energy. Baron certainly deals with people more than Pan but both have their connections to death and the subconscious mind. They also invoke similar feelings in me…they make me horny and sleepy. Both entities are connected with nature, sex and the cycle of life…you know, the uncontrollable wild things that frighten us most.

Anyway, Baron replied that they are of the same wind. I thought that phrase was so beautiful that I had to immediately write it down. We are of the same wind. Oh my, that is poetic.

I never thought much about Pan until I read the book, the Findhorn Garden. In the book, Robert O. Crombie (“Roc”) tells of an encounter with Pan that greatly influenced his (and my) life. It’s hard to think about Pan without recalling the energy I felt when I first ventured into the plant spirit path. Many people talk to their plants but few of us wait to hear an answer. Unlike Roc, I have yet to have a conversation with Pan but I can feel him in the silent forest, when the smell of earth is thick. Pan smells like compost.

Pan is of the old, silent chthonic energies, the type of energy that really scares people. I never experienced true silence until I found myself alone in a thick German forest. The type of silence only allows for deep introspection and some find that silence to be terrifying. I admit, as I have gotten older I have more appreciation for silence.

While I enjoy walking around in any form of nature, I can only sense Pan in the forest. We are lucky in Central Texas that we don’t have to drive too far to find some woods. However, as development increases, we are left with fewer and fewer patches of woodland forest, pushing Pan further and further away from us. I seem to recall in the Findhorn Garden that in traditional gardens a part of the garden would be (and should be) left wild and undisturbed. This is probably to leave space for the wild things.

Leave space for the wild things. I think I’m gonna make that my new motto for life.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Irish Orisha

Most of my students study more than one spiritual system. I’m not gonna call it a requirement but I certainly encourage it.

Now with that being said, I have one priestess, Amber, who has only learned the Orisha based systems. Chango is her father and the running joke is when you ask Amber for spiritual advice the answer is always the same. Chango. Feelin’ blue? Chango. Pimples? Chango. Broke? Chango. Hangnail? You guessed it, Chango.

A couple of weeks ago, Amber called and told me that she had some new Orisha show up in her life and was speaking directly to her. She then said that this Orisha was 6’4” tall, Irish, with red hair and red beard and a pretty thick Irish accent. I then explained to her that I really didn’t think she was talking to an Orisha. She was kinda confused at that point as to why an Irish god was speaking to her. It took a while to convince her that the world was a great big place inhabited by lots of different folks. She decided at that point she was just gonna call him the “Irish Orisha.” I can confirm at this point that he found her to be quite amusing and was in fact, laughing at her.

After some detective work and several phone conversations later, we were able to identify the Irish Orisha as Miach, son of Dian Cecht. Miach has a fantastic sense of humor and is a lot of fun, especially considering his story does not end well. His dad offed him in a fit of jealousy because Miach was the better healer. Miach was wearing a short, sleeveless white shirt with leather cuffs around both arms which showed off his hairy chest. Amber also described him as having an intense face with bright green eyes. Oh, and he loves the lesbians. Amber knows many lesbians so she suspected that may be how he ended up at her house.

So, in honor of all of the Irish Gods, Goddesses and Orishas out there, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Random thoughts about spring and bad manners.


I've spent a couple of decades following my spiritual path and yet I still want to choke the life out of the woman in front of me in line at the grocery store because she was too busy reading the tabloids then to put her freakin' groceries up on the conveyor belt. Is that wrong?

Seriously. Would it have killed her to take some precious moments away from her what-is-tiger-woods-doing-now reading time to get her crap in place so the rest of us could move on with our evening?

Does this make me a bad person? I don't know. Is it better to think evil thoughts about a person than to ram my cart into her obnoxious butt accidentally on purpose three or four hundred times until my arms cramped up? Not sure.

Anyway, on a happier note, spring has sprung here in South Central Texas and everybody seems to be feeling it. It seems that everyone I know is planting something for a garden or getting out more or cleaning out the clutter in his or her life. This year it actually feels like spring. We should have a bumper crop of spring flowers this season so besides replanting my herb patio garden I also gonna try to get some great pics this season.

On the bright side, my cat is now trying to drive me crazy. Occasionally, he will start meowing very loudly at me and when I stop what I'm doing and run over to see what is wrong with him he looks at me is if I'm crazy. Last night, he came into the bathroom while I was trying to take a shower and started up again. I pull the curtain to see what was wrong and he would just stare at me with that vacant look. I would close the curtain to get on with my shower and then he would do it again. AHHHH!!!

Maybe he's in cahoots with the woman at the grocery store. Maybe there is a conspiracy out there to drive me bonkers and I am afraid it may be working.