Monday, November 22, 2010

Note from Gede Parma re: Hope

Gede Parma, author of several Craft books including "Spirited" and "Of Earth, Sea and Sky" wrote the following note on Facebook about hope and his reflections on American Paganism. Frankly, it gave me hope, too. Plus, he mentions me, which totally tickles my inner Scorpio. ;)

Thank you, Gede, for your inspiring words and thoughtful compliments.

As the weather (even here in the high desert, Placitas, NM) becomes colder and the wind changes, I reflect on my journey of the past 3 weeks. I have now been travelling for nearly 11 weeks. In that time I have visited the West Country of England, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In my time in the US I have spent sacred time and space in NYC, Collingswood and Cherry Hill (NJ), Philadelphia, New Hampshire, Boston and Salem (MA), the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego of California, and most recently Phoenix (AZ) and Albuquerque and the surrounds (NM). I have watched and witnessed the land change dramatically as I have wandered this holy land. I have come to have a great deal of respect for the generally left-of-centre (if you will) undercurrents of political America. I have been confused and confronted by the over-culture of the States that, in seeking to monopolise, capitalise and constrain, deplete the precious resources of this continent (and others) and fly in the face of civil liberties and the principle of sacred equality, which as a walker of the way between I find to be an essential understanding of Life. But I have found seeds of hope planted in the many communities I have been welcomed into. I have encountered members and groups of a diverse array of Pagan and other Earth traditions in my travels: Reclaiming, Feri, Temple of Witchcraft, Gardnerian, West Coast Eclectic, Golden Dawn, Progressive Wicca, Stryxian, Asatru, Heathen, Clan of Tubal Cain, and many I am probably forgetting (including the vast eclecticism that is a living, thriving component of the ‘NeoPagan’ scene). I have always regarded the diversity and multiplicity of the Pagan traditions as our inherent strength, and I still do. These differences in path and persuasion do not separate us so much as distinguish us, and yet we are joined by our experience of the Earth/World as sacred, as living, as intelligent. This is the philosophical precept of all Paganism in my mind, and beyond this simple understanding, the rest are out-growths of paradigms that have evolved, hopefully organically, from the breathing soil of the Great Mother.

Something that I find absolutely fundamental to all levels of my health and balance (including energetic) when travelling is the introduction to the spirits of place, the genius loci, the potencies within the Land. Whenever I reach new land I delve into it; my roots through every layer of soil, compacted rock, veins of mineral and gold, deep pockets of underworld water and chthonic gas, until the fine filaments of my ever-searching roots reach the molten core of earth-fire that is the beating pulse and shining star of the Earth. I draw up that vitality, I drink deep of the silver-white light of the camp-fires of heaven, and I then bring these energies to the wellspring of love that sits in the Centre (the heart - the transmuter of life-force). I am then at home and settled upon the land that I find myself with/in. I charge and bless my offerings and set them upon the ground or on the branch of a tree, perhaps I might even scatter the offerings to the winds; whatever the moment and spirits inspire. I affirm this: “Spirits of this holy place, may you welcome me as I welcome you” and thus is the relationship imbued with deep and abiding respect and a friendship that goes beyond the superficial. The Air, the Fire, the Water, the Earth, the sacred community that forms and is formed by place is then woven into my being and bones and becomes a part of me. As a wandering centre, as a Shamanic Witch, my relationships with the world/s around me and within me are decidedly conscious and thus return the gift of consciousness to me. I can not count the synchronicities anymore because when Magick is your charge, your guiding sacred principle, you become Magick and you are Ignited Mystery. As an initiate, as one who begins again in every moment, I am both elevated and deepened by my relationship with Life, and thus Mystery, however, beyond all else, I am humbled. As my dear friend Courtney Weber would say, “we are novices, not because we do not have knowledge or are not experienced, but because we are always beginners in the eyes of the Gods.” To accept this and surrender to this does not repress, suppress or oppress, it enlivens, deepens, moves and shakes, until we are made anew, again and again, reforged by the fires of creation/creativity and awakened to purpose - and whatever that is, is surely self-determined, resting upon your sea of karma.

I have walked amongst the Redwoods, and been held close by the sweating bodies of the people of the Earth in the mighty spiral-dance; I have been thrown into currents of ‘coincidence’ so overbearing that I forget the struggles against such a word, and I have witnessed the wonder of the blue-jay, the jack-rabbit, the crane, the hawk, the humming-bird and the vole. I can not forget the search for the spirits of place in what felt at first like a hollow void of senselessness (my visit to Philadelphia); and in the deep pursuit of such a communion I came across a sun-lit green square. I was alone and I sat on a remarkably ordinary bench. On one side of this square I was flanked by one of the oldest churches in the US, by an antiquarian bookstore, by empty store lots and by a main street; and yet, all was hushed. I looked down and there beneath a faded yellow autumnal leaf, I spied a vole (a field-mouse). Adorable was my first thought; dead? was my second. Then the vole moved, ever so slightly, and I realised that here, in the innocence and humility of the vole, scurrying to hide under fallen leaves, was the quintessence of the land spirits of Philadelphia - a city known for its bright hope and renewed political vigour focussed on the sanctity of autonomy, freedom and justice for all. And yet, perhaps, here also was the beginning of a ‘fall from grace’ of sorts in which these principles were gradually abandoned and compromised to make room for a capitalistic nation whose only goal is to homogenise, compartmentalise and dominate. Here, the spirits of the land, met with a struggle that they in their infinite wisdom and endurance could not oust…here, was the innocence, in a place remarked of as the centre of modern-day civil liberty, but also the beginning of a tide of desecration and degradation on land, spirit, people and principle.

And yet…I can not help but to have hope. Inside of me the flame has burned brighter than ever before. The Star Woman HerSelf, the mighty Weaver of the Fabric of Life, she who holds the distaff and the wheel, has placed the blue flame inside of me on the night-journeys of the long-ago; and the flame conjured in love, compassion, unity and strength have been kindled at almost every class and talk I have done in this country; at every circle, ritual and ceremony I have been a part of, alone or with other human company. I am walking a trail of quivering flame and its impact is that the Mirror of the Soul that is Me and You, and All, is reflecting a Truth undivided, and yet found in every part of the differentiation.

I have not forgotten what it means to be powerful. And as I sit here, in the home of woman who has opened her door to me with grace, I see the golden light of the oncoming winter dancing through the cold breath of the Great Spider who has spun her web in this land, and for the people here, for a timeless time. It is to the native peoples (including the non-human) of this land now that I am in: Placitas, Albuquerque, New Mexico, that I dedicate this blog: to the sunset and the Sandias that is turned the hue of rosey-pink by the dying light that will ever-return.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Been awhile...but here I am!

School and Samhain ate October. I haven't seen a lot of people outside of my crew in awhile. I've been blessed in that one of our members, another daughter of Brid, has returned from FL and has been taking care of me and my home while she adjusts to living back in NYC. I've been absorbed in adjusting to school work, all the while holding up my day job, which has been the busiest it's ever been. I had the privilege of attending the Hekate Ritual at the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel's Autumn Magick Festival. Between that and my own Crew's Samhain celebration, in which we invoked both Hekate and San Miguel in a Wiccan version of a Misa, our Lady of the Crossroads swept a lot of crap I really, really needed to stop carrying out with Her and I am deeply thankful. With a little more clarity and a little more time, I can catch everyone up on Witch In Seminary!

I had a lot of curious glances and received many nervous questions in my first few weeks at Union. In fact, I felt like I had a neon sign over my head that said, "THAT'S THE WICCAN GIRL." It was to be expected. Most of my classmates are new to New York, many coming from tiny Bible schools in tiny parts of the country. They were adjusting to not only life in the city (which is MORE than enough to adjust to, as is...), but also rubbing elbows with classmates from other Christian denominations--many of which many were taught were "wrong." Suddenly, a Wiccan chick is in the mix. Hair blew back all over the place. However, I was pleasantly surprised at my reception. There were a lot of respectful questions about Wiccan practices. Many were quick to let me know that they knew the Pentacle wasn't attributed to Satan. Several asked how we were all faring during the Christine O'Donnell debacle. It was sweet.

The main question I get from people both inside the Seminary and in the Pagan community is "Why a Predominantly Christian Seminary?" So, here goes:

1.) The Wiccan/Pagan community does not yet have accredited seminary schools that I am aware of. We do have institutions run by very fine teachers, but I personally wanted to go to a place with accreditation.

2.) Most Wiccan schools and Colleges are solely online. I learn best in live, face-to-face interaction.

3.) Union, while predominately Christian, is officially non-denominational. Hell, if they accepted an out-of-the-broom-closet Wiccan, they must be. I'm learning alongside people of many faiths. It's fun.

4.) Union's focus on social justice was appealing. I want to learn how I can help, both inside and outside the Pagan community.

5.) The classes are awesome. I'm thoroughly engrossed with Depth Psychology.

6.) Union is right across the street from my day job. That's convenient.

7.) My job is paying for a portion of my tuition. That's also convenient.

Do I feel out of place at Union, alongside so many would-be Christian ministers? Surprisingly, no. I feel quite at home. In discussions about speaking in tongues and Pentacostalism, I had plenty of contributions from my experiences in ritual possession and Trance Prophecy. When my classmates talk about being saved by Jesus, I say, "Yes, I understand. I was saved by a Goddess named Brid." But most of all, I'm surrounded by renegades.

My classmates are deeply spiritual people who, frustrated with their denominations, left to go to Union in order to find answers that challenge the notions they were raised with. While I feel I'm there more to find tools than answers, I'm a renegade within the Wiccan community. I was trained by renegade teachers who taught me to break the same rules and guidelines they gave me. When presented with a new structure, I'm likely to try it out and then reshape it just to see if it works in a different fashion. Just like my classmates are doing in their own faiths.

I respect tradition. There is a place for tradition and structure, just as there is a place for the non-traditional and un-structured. In the forest, it is the diversity of the ecosystem that allows it to survive as a whole. The same is true with our spiritual and/or religious traditions. A Wiccan Priestess attending a Christian Seminary is about as non-traditional as any of these things are going to get. I guess I consider this my contribution to our own eco-diversity and helping our own survival and growth.

There are more stories to tell--of my classmates realizing their religion's Pagan roots, Harlem Ministers reflecting on the Goddess and Witches dancing on the Chapel Altar to a Ra Ra band. There may even be a book in here, somewhere. Stay tuned. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Craft Services.

OHMYGODIAMSO FUNNNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if most of you aren't going to get that joke.

So, while stories of me bringing up Trance Prophecy Regression in the middle of a discussion about speaking in tongues at Seminary are yet to come, I pulled some things from an essay I submitted in class last week. One of my classes has me thinking quite a bit about service and what it means for the Pagan communities. I'll let you know what kind of feedback I get.

At our Spring Equinox Sabbat (a holiday to honor the beginning of Spring), I led my congregation through our normal pilgrimage of silence through Fort Tryon Park. Annually, we honor the return of the living Earth by silencing our chatty mouths for a bit, and community with nature—even if she’s still a little frosty at the end of March. Many of the members had brought along young children who, hands clasped, ran ahead of us through the paths to where the park is wild. Because of a then-recent storm, many of our sacred spaces had been demolished due to fallen trees. We would need to find a new space to honor the beginning of Springtime and the awakening of the Great Mother. We followed the kids.
They took us up to a space worn between the trees by foot, littered with human garbage—paper waste, condoms, soiled clothing, even human excrement. Worse than the sight and the smell was the feeling of the space. Something damaging had occurred on the spot. Whether it was an act of violence upon another human being or through the waste, an act of violence upon the Earth Herself, the presence of Spirit was weak, injured and disturbed. Several of our members asked if we could find another spot to welcome the Spring. I left it up to them to decide. One woman raised her hand and said, “I think this place needs healing.” In short order, the rest of the community agreed. We rolled up our sleeves and began collecting as much trash as we safely could. The presiding Priestess, wrinkling her nose against the foul environment said emphatically, “What we are experiencing here is the antithesis of the Goddess. This is all that She shouldn’t be. Let us make it right.” We continued with our ritual, dancing and singing on a space that had been injured in the name of peace, light and healing. When the ritual was over and we had gathered back in my apartment for a community meal, I said to the cramped crowd in my tiny living room, “Spirituality is not always pretty. This is not a vacation. If you want to follow this path, you are going to have to get your hands in the dirt, like you did today.”
The Craft shows great promise for contributing and shaping our personal communities, but we are not there yet. This is mostly due to its age. We cannot discern what we can do for others until our own needs are met—defining who we are, what we believe and where we can help. I was moved by the efforts of the preachers and organizations who noticed needs in New York City in the early 20th Century and moved in to help at a time when the city was little more than a collection of bars and brothels and slums--not to convert, but to provide medicine for the sick and food and clothing for the very poor. This answered many a question I have about my own faith community and where we can contribute.
In many organizations, the idea of how to help is framed in ‘how many resources do we have?’ or ‘will our infrastructure support that?’ For a few years now, I’ve cut the Pagan community a lot of slack for its comparative lack of contributions to community causes due to its lack of infrastructure. However, the lack of infrastructure is what gives us the freedom to explore our spirituality further than in most mainstream religions. Also, the missionaries and groups that went into the slums of New York may not have had exorbitant sums to assist, either. The core of their mission’s success lay in two areas: 1.) identifying the need and b.) recognizing and utilizing all possible resources.
While we may not have the organizational resources of larger faith groups, there are still many ways that we can help. I was encouraged by Pagan Pride Day on September 25, 2010 in Battery Park, New York, where 600 pounds of canned food was collected and an animal rescue mission found at least one home for a pet in need. Maybe it wasn’t a huge ripple compared to organizations who are starting hospitals and schools, but it is a start and maybe it’s all that we can collectively do right now. Since beginning this reflection, though, I have heard of other Pagan organizations who are coming together to set up counseling and/or healing centers. We are growing in our capabilities to help others—but we are growing slowly.
I think there is a danger in not wanting to act when you are not able to act “the whole way”, meaning finishing a broad-project. I believe the goal ought to be to do whatever is in your power at the moment—just like the woman in the Gospel story who only had two coins to give to charity, and so that is what she had. Maybe the only thing my community was able to do that early spring day was to clean up the park and infuse the land with healing. But maybe the even greater message was the one we left with the children and young adults of our community—spirituality is about service, at its core: healing of the land and healing of one another. We start with only the steps we have in front of us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

An Urgent Message to all LGBT and questioning teens and young adults....

Hi guys,

If you're reading this, you may or may not know me. But even so, I care about you and your well-being, even if I seem like a snarky bitch most of the time on this blog. :)

If you are a Gay, Lesbian, Bi or Trans teen or young adult and you're struggling right now--please, please, PLEASE know that you are really not alone, even if it feels that way. If you are being bullied at school, you will NOT be in that school forever. You WILL eventually graduate and move on to a bigger and better place where you will find community for people who love you for who you are. If you are being abused and/or hassled at home, there are resources out there for you. One number you can call is 866-4-u-trevor for 24 hour support. There ARE ways out of your situation other than suicide.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem which will hurt those who love you and deny yourself of incredibly beautiful experiences in your future. I myself am not gay, but I could not imagine my life without several wonderful people in my family, friends and spiritual groups who are gay themselves. If any of them had chosen to not finish the path they were born to live, my existence would have suffered, severely.

When I received my ordination as a Priestess of Pan, our Grove's May Queen blessed the initiation with inspiration from the Goddess, Herself. I'll never forget the words she said that night: "We are meant to live our lives in joy." That statement has guided me through the work I've done for the Craft ever since. The woman I speak of is a lesbian herself and is one of the smartest, kindest, most spiritually endowed people I have ever met. I cannot imagine my spiritual path had she not crossed it.

I think of many of the teachers and mentors I had in the theatre world when I was studying in college and working as an intern. These individuals imbued in me a rock-hard work ethic, as well collaborative team skills and creative vision. It was this skill set that enabled me to work in New York City immediately after graduating college. Coming from the West Coast with nearly no contacts in the City, that is an incredible feat. Nearly all of the people I'm speaking of were gay or lesbian.

In my path in the Craft, a huge number of my most influential, supportive and inspiring teachers and mentors have also been gay or lesbian. I consult their books. I seek them out with magickal or spiritual questions. I email them on a regular basis. Where would I be had I not met them? Not nearly as enriched, protected and empowered as I am today.

I type this with tears rolling down my face. If you are in a dark place in your life right now and feel that your life is not worth living because you feel alone, please know that this time and place is temporary. A brighter day is coming for you. You too, are meant to live your life in joy. Your community, your future, the partner you will one day have, the children you will one day have--should you choose to--are all waiting for you. Know that each day that passes is one day closer to the light. Don't extinguish it before its time. We all want you here, just as you are.

I promise. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ms. O'Donnell, may I see you in the kitchen, please?

First of all, if you haven't seen it, yet:

Second of all, write to her. Let's make the best use of this recent slander against our community. If we could get one of the Tea Party Members to publicly acknowledge us as NOT being affiliated with Satan worship, it would do so much good for us.

If you write to her, be nice or we'll get ignored. The phone number to her campaign office is here: (302) 468-7010

Here's what I wrote:

Dear Ms. O'Donnell,

Congratulations on winning the Delaware Republican Nominee for the U.S. Senate seat. Although our politics may differ, I commend you for your hard work and dedication to your cause.

My name is Courtney Weber. I am an ordained minister in the Wiccan community and therefore, a practioner of Witchcraft. I am also a Masters of Divinity candidate at Union Theological Seminary--a seminary which has trained many of the finest theologians in our country's history. I have trained under the guidance of several of the most respected Witches in the world. The information you presented regarding Witchcraft on "Politically Incorrect" in 1999 was absolutely incorrect and unfortunately misguided. Witches do not acknowledge the existence of Satan and therefore, do not worship such a being. I have traveled the world in my study of the Craft and have never met or heard of a Witch who would leave blood on their personal altar or have anything to do with the concept of Satan.

What you experienced in your past was not--I repeat, NOT--Witchcraft. You were severely misinformed and it is my hope that in the years that have passed you have been better educated on the religious beliefs of Wiccans.

You live in a state with one of the largest Wiccan populations on the Eastern seaboard. If you desire the support of the majority of your state at the ballot box, you will apologize to the the national and global Wiccan communities.

Very truly yours,
Rev. Courtney Weber
HPS, The Novices of the Old Ways

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It's here! It's here! It's finally, finally here!!!!

Come out and party with us this Thursday to celebrate the birth of our Elephant Baby!!!!

Thursday, 8/26/10
8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery Btw. Bleecker and Houston
F to 2nd Ave or 6 to Bleecker Street
($4 Magic Hat on draft!!!)

Already a cult phenomenon, Tarot of the Boroughs is the sensational new Tarot deck set in New York City and composed of spectacular, original photography. Inspired by the classic Tarot, Tarot of the Boroughs captures the Tarot's timeless images in contemporary incarnations, replacing the esoteric with the familiar. Tarot of the Boroughs features New Yorkers from all walks of life as well as well-known ...faces including Moby, Jonathan Ames, Reverend Jen Miller, Lilith Dorsey, Velocity Chyaldd, Larkin Grimm, Reverend Billy and Imakhu Mwt Shekemet among many, many others! Join us for an evening of performances by several of our illustrious models, readings by dynamic Witches, raffle give-aways of the new deck, Q and A with the creators and more!!!

Performances by:
Imakhu Mwt Shekemet
Reverend Jen
Francis “Faceboy” Hall
Master Lee and Chink Floyd
And more!!!

****The deck will be there and available for purchase!***

Say you were there at the debut of a classic icon!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lessons from the Moon-as said by Noelle

Sometimes, the battle in Witchcraft is to keep from over-complicating it. In the end, it's simply communion and worship of the Moon. One of my personal spiritual tasks is to remind myself to go back to being the young solo-witch, chanting to the Moon in my parents' backyard. Running Covens, writing books and blogs, publishing Tarot--those are all delicious and adventurous additives, but not the core of the Craft. It's easy to forget that and hard to remember to go back into the backyards of our own souls, and gaze up on the cool, white globe that brought us to this Path in the first place.

Thank you, Noelle, for this reminder today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Subway Spells and Fuckwads

Yesterday, I rode the subway downtown.

The subway lends itself to underworld experience because it IS the underworld. It's underground. But this experience wasn't so much underworldly as it was defensive.

Somewhere between Times Square and 34th street, a douchebag boarded the train. This one had a Bible in his hand and announced to the car, "ALL GAYS WILL BURN IN HELL!"

I'm not gay. But I was definitely burning. If I were stupidly brave enough, I would have called him out. But I'm intelligently cowardly. You never know what kind of weapons a douchebag will carry.

The Douche went on and on. He was "eloquent", so to speak, in that he was able to deliver a sentence from beginning, middle, and end in a loud and clear voice.

I got mad. I invoked Brid. "Brid, this asshat is hurting your children with hurtful words in a confined space." I began chanting a little spell to make him silent. I wanted him to get a coughing fit and stop speaking all together. I really wanted him to leave the train. He didn't do any of those, but as I continued chanting, I envisioned a steel spike through his tongue and superglue to seal his mouth. "Seal his lips and seal his tongue," I chanted. The chanting increased in intensity until I was rocking in my seat, my crown chakra buzzing.

He didn't stop speaking, but he lost all eloquence. Instead of finishing full sentences laced with hate, he began stuttering. "So...let me tell you about the bible...I the says that gays are.....well....let me just tell you about GAYS."

But he was suddenly unable to say shitty things about gays.


So there, Mr. Hating Douchebag! You mess with lots of juju when you say shitty things.

And for the rest of you Witches out there, invoke your powers to stop hate and irritations wherever they are. Maybe this will work for public masturbaters, too.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Hi Hunnies!!!

I'm back in NYC, catching up on all the projects I've been neglecting. Including this blog.

But not today! Will catch up soon.

Damn, I'm a flaky blogger.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

In Ireland.

So, please pardon me if it takes me forever and a day to get back into the groove of blogging!!! I'm too distracted by green and beer.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tarot Decks Take Time.

Well THAT was the fucking UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR!!!!

Word is currently: August 18th.

Mother. Of. Gods.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shit MY Dad says...

Dad: So, whadya do this weekend? Did you stay in town?

Me: I went to Cornwall! I taught a Tarot class.

Dad: Oh! So, hanging out with those anarchistic--vegan--Wiccan--people out in the woods sacrificing animals and Republicans and stuff?

Me: No. And no, we don't sacrifice animals or people.

Dad: You don't? You don't sacrifice anything?

Me: Sometimes we sacrifice vegetables.

Dad: I think you Wiccans should sacrifice Sarah Palin. And just eat the vegetables.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Five Agreements by Courtney A. Weber

A guide to a fulfilling existence:

Be Impeccable With Your Word.

Don't Take Anything Personally.

Don't Make Assumptions.

Always Do Your Best.

Never eat anything with a main ingredient called "defatted peanut flour."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How it would sound if I were a Christian.....

Would the following sound kind of...dumb?

"OOh! A cross. You know what that means, don't you? Crosses are some freaky shit!!!"

"Hey, Courtney! Haven't seen you in awhile. How's all that...what do you call it...Christian-Churchy stuff going?"

"Oh, meant to tell you. Found out my co-worker is a Christian! I suggested you be friends on Facebook."

(Upon meeting my boyfriend.) "Oh, wow! You're wearing a cross, too. Were you into that before you met Courtney, or did she suck you in?"

"So, it's Easter, right? That's kind of an important holiday, right? Are you going to nail someone to a cross? Isn't that what you guys do on your Holy holiday?"

"Hello, everyone. I'd like you to meet my friend Courtney. She's a CHRISTIAN!!! No, like a REAL one."

"I just want you to know that I don't care that you're a Christian. Even though I'm not supposed to be friends with Christians, I don't think you're a bad one."

"Are you a Good Christian? Or a Bad Christian?"

"You're not going to launch a Crusade on me, are you?"

"I just want you to know that I don't agree with anything you do and that I think you and your 'people' do dangerous, scary things. But I'm up for a new job this week, so if you wouldn't mind praying for me, that would be great."


Friday, July 9, 2010

Goddess, Speak

(Nabbed from my friend Sylvie...)

A girl whispered "Goddess, speak to me"
And a meadowlark sang but the girl did not hear.
So the girl yelled "Goddess speak to me!"
And the thunder rolled across the sky.
But the girl did not listen. ... See More
The girl looked around and said "Goddess let me see you"
And a star shone brightly.
But the girl did not notice.
And the girl shouted "Goddess show me a miracle"
And a life was born.
But the girl did not know.
So, the girl cried out in despair.
"Touch me Goddess and let me know that you are here!"
Where upon Goddess reached down and touched the girl.
But the girl brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

(Stupid girl.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tweet Tweet

I think I'm going to start a Twitter account and talk about Tarot.

If I do, will you read it?

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Wedding.

Last night, I went to the wedding but fortunately, did not have to go alone! ABL and NVD came with me, but they got there after I did. The first people I ran into were a cluster of my Tarot clients! I only recognized one, and then felt really dumb when the other two introduced themselves to me. They'd been in my house for readings and everything. I couldn't remember their names. I couldn't remember what I told them, either (I never do), but I did remember what they came to see me about. They gave me updates and also said, "You were SOOOO right." It made me feel good.

Also, as it turned out, the bride's bachelorette party was filled with clients of mine.

"All everyone said was, 'ohmigod...she was sooooooo accurate'!" one of my clients said.

"I should have jumped out of a cake," I replied.

Reading Tarot is fraught with insecurity. Was I wrong? Was I mean? Did I fuck up someone's life who should have never listened to me? Do I owe refunds to everyone who has ever hired me?

It's nice to get good feedback once in awhile.

Now, I want a Jewish wedding when/if I ever get married. The canopy was so pretty.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Live readings onstage

Last night, I read Tarot ***LIVE*** onstage. I've done Tarot readings in front of an audience before, but it's normally in a class. It was scary to do a reading at an open mic, where there are lots of rancid skeptics in the audience.

I got to read for Chemda, a woman I know from the Artstar scene, who is "The Girl" of Keith and the Girl, one of my favorite podcasts.

I think I did okay! She said I did okay, anyway. But maybe she was just being nice to me.

Honestly, what's more important than doing a public reading is doing something that scares you. Try it. Every day. Okay, I don't do it every day, but I do it when I've got the chance.

Tonight, I have to go to a wedding and probably have to go alone because Jorge double-booked himself. That's okay. I've never been to a wedding alone before. That's kind of scary.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Enlightenment through Dog Shit.

I love Summer Solstice, by the way. Some of the most important revelations I've had have occurred around the Midsummer Sabbat. Usually, like love, when you're least interested in being Enlightened, the Great God Pan will appear in full form before your very sober eyes. Or you learn that your altar blew the fuck across the room on the same day your life was being turn upside down--while you were 2,000 miles away from it. Those were mine, anyway. Some of them.

This weekend, though, I celebrated my ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of getting my SUPER IMPORTANT THIRD DEGREE. Or something like that. I celebrated it by walking the labyrinth in my boyfriend's back yard.

(For the record--it is insanely awesome that I have a boyfriend with a labyrinth
in his back yard.)

B was at school and I spent the early twilight of midsummer in the labyrinth. My NYC head is constantly cluttered with all the projects I have going on, and all the ideas I want to make into form, and there's usually a soundtrack of whatever band I've been listening to too much of, plus a few voices from awkward childhood memories that never got thoroughly sanitized by therapy. Don't gasp. You surely have them too, if the pills haven't taken care of them.

I decided to walk the labyrinth with no thoughts. This was hard. I would only take a step if my mind was completely without thought. This meant I would take one step and then stand there for another several minutes while waiting for the projects-ideas-bands-awkward childhood memories to dissipate. "Oh wait...I have no thoughts--step NOW! Wait...that was a thought... shit."

I couldn't get my mind to go fully blank. That's a hard thing to do. We're born with the ability to do it, but we're also born with the ability to wrap our legs around our heads and suck our toes from the opposite sides of our mouths--but most of us adults can't do that. It takes a lot of training to get back to your natural state. The best I could do was focus on one item at a time. "Walk to weed." "Walk to wood chip." "Walk to rock"

Walking the labyrinth, it would take about a minute and a half to get to the center. It's not that big. At the rate I was walking, though, it took me almost an hour.

One thing I did not focus on while walking was, "What's my message? What am I meant to learn?" All I focused on was one weed after another, knowing I'd eventually get to the middle, but only focusing on the small steps in the meantime. I wasn't even concerned with GETTING a message, just so long as I got to my goal.

But when I got to my goal, I saw indeed the message I was supposed to receive from the labyrinth.

There was a big pile of dog shit crusting up on the little trail where I'd walked. I didn't walk through it, though! I didn't even see it. I'm sure if I had nearly walked through it, I would have seen it and avoided it. But because I was focused on "Next weed..." I did not even see the pile of shit. I passed right by it.

Okay, Gods. I got my message. If I stay focused on what I'm doing and don't allow myself to be distracted by crap, I miss the piles of shit all together.

Good to know, as I navigate the final months of my Saturn return.

P.S. What a difference a year makes. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Creating a Tarot Deck--Getting Started

I need to stop verbally wanking it and actually put something of substance in this blog--if I'm going to be all serious n' stuff. Until that day comes, you're going to have to hear about my road to Tarot Deck Creation....

Creative processes are frequently likened to birthing a child. Jorge and I call Tarot of the Boroughs our "Elephant Baby" being as it's been in creative utero for over two years. Almost three, in fact, if you count the span of time I spent kicking the idea around in my head.

I don't remember when I had the "Wouldn't it be great if I made a fucking Tarot deck?" thoughts began. Probably when I was doing a lot of readings for individuals and parties in New York--just before the crash came and my corporate party jobs vanished. People often like to know what specific cards mean and I would try to find contemporary correlations.

"See this guy?" I'd say, holding up the King of Coins. "This dude sitting on a throne surrounded by coins and fruit and stuff--that's your boss." I started seeing the Coin Court cards as CEOS and office workers, the Wands' Court as artists. Cup characters seemed pretty obvious--they were all of us falling in and out of love. I hadn't a clue where to start with the Swords.

I'm going to tell you one secret of the Creative Universe: It's not about you--it's about the project. Art is the vehicle for the Divine to speak through us, and It will shout out Its message to whoever can hear it. So if you have an idea for a book, a painting, an installation, a performance piece--whatever project is lurking around in your mind, I guarantee you that 700 other people out there are thinking up the same thing. The Gods will shout out what They want to see in the world, and will come by to help along anyone who is planning on getting it out there. I'd had this happen with several of my 10,000 failed attempts at writing novels and screenplays. If the Urban Tarot deck was in my consciousness, it was surely in the consciousness of others, too.

(Brace yourself for cliche....)

When I was in traveling in Ireland, where lots of good inspiration comes from (see? cliche....), I turned to a friend and asked if she felt like working on a Tarot deck with me. It seemed like it was a good time to go ahead and do it. She agreed! This was good. My friend was a very talented visual artist and I can't draw worth shit. But I had good ideas and I could run around taking pictures of the things I wanted drawn and could send them to her. She would draw the cards and I would find someone who would publish us. Hooray! We'd make a million dollars in no time.

When I returned to New York, I got started right away. Except for one problem: I didn't own a camera.

This was when I wrangled Jorge on board. We'd been friends in the Artstar scene of New York for awhile, and he'd attended a few rituals and meditations that my old Coven led. He was also interested in learning to read Tarot. Seeing as he had a camera and was quite photogenic, I asked if he'd be willing to lend me a point and shoot, and if he wanted to pose for me as "The Fool," which we later re-named, "The Seeker."

Jorge did not own a dinky point and shoot camera, but a super-nice camera with a strap and a big lens. Although he would have been nice enough to lend me the camera, I know my clumsy limits. Plus, he was curious about the project and offered to take all of the pictures.

Check out this G-Crack exchange! This is where it ALLLLLLL began, folks.....

4:09 PM George: hey. no I am actually non busy actually

me: Cool!
I was wondering two things....
one, if you had a digital camera I could borrow (not one of your really nice ones, something simple) and two, would you be willing to pose in a photo for me?
Clothed. I won't make you get nude with the weather this cold. :)

4:13 PM George: lol, Well I actually only have one camera. I could maybe take the pictures for you. Oh and sure I pose for you.

me: Cool!!!! I couldn't pay you, though....I'll buy you beer!

4:14 PM George: Sure I'll do it for some beer.

me: My friend and I are working on designing a tarot deck. She is drawing the cards from photos of real people. I would love for you to be The Fool (that's a good thing--not a bad thing.) The Fool is the first card in the tarot. He's young and optimistic and starting a journey. He's only called The Fool because he has yet to attain knowledge--not because he's foolish or a dumbass. You look young and have a natural optimism that shines through. I would love to photograph you in a train station with a large backpack--as though you were coming to NY for the first time.

4:18 PM George: alright, well that sounds like me, I still have a lot to learn. I have a plain black backpack about medium sized. Train station, maybe one of the above ground stations? Or were you thinking of a more Grand Central cross roads.

me: Grand Central, yes
Some photos of you in the center of the terminal, and some getting off a train.
To see which one works better.

4:20 PM George: alright thats sounds like a good idea. For the getting off the train perhaps above ground station, more light is what I am thinking. Oh and let me know about any other photos you need taken for the rest of the project. At the moment still waiting to see if I get rehired, not sure if the people in my department will still be there.

4:23 PM me: are AWESOME...

4:24 PM There are 78 cards in total, but we're only concentrating on 4-5 at the moment. We already have photos for two, so we'll need to work on pulling a couple more before the New Year.

4:25 PM What are your plans for Sunday?

4:26 PM George: Sunday is open for me all day. Alright, sounds like you guys are working on a cool project.

There were many days when Jorge deeply regretted this decision.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Totally have nothing to say today.



Monday, June 14, 2010

Places to send your cash to do something to help

I don't have a lot of information about these places, so I would welcome feedback if you've got it--but here are three places that are working to help animals affected by the Gulf oil spill.

National Wildlife Federation

Audubon Society

International Bird Rescue

These are pretty much solely bird places. But, since we're bringing in Branwynn at our Summer Solstice and She's really into birds (starlings...), it seemed a good match to donate next Sabbat collection to help the winged friends. Now, my Crew my overturn my suggestion and say we've got to donate the money to the Save the Crabs foundation or's wholly within their rights to do so.

Oh, and I'm tired today. It's a day when I wish Pan hadn't made me give up caffeine.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ugh..the oil spill, the oil spill.....

I wanted to go. I was ready. Get me out of my sensible, second-hand Admin outfits, strap me into a pair of haz-mats, and pack my ass to the Gulf. "I'm going to fix the oil problem!!! Who's with me?????"

Then I realized something. I don't know how to clean up an oil spill.

I have a hard enough time unblocking my shower drain. Maybe that can be my contribution. I'll suck the shit out of my shower plumbing and ship it to BP. Whatever is in there could stop a Tsunami.

At our last Full Moon meditation, where we focused on the Cauldron of Rebirth, I spoke about letting go of feeling responsible for the things which I had no control over. Like whether other people liked the rituals I created. The feelings of other people about my work. The oil spill in my beloved Atlantic.

"But the truth is," I said. "I don't know how to fix the oil hole. I would not be any help at all."

"Don't worry, Courtney," said one of the Crew. "Even BP doesn't know how to fix the hole."

I'm wasting a lot of time crying over images of oil-drenched pelicans on the web version of the New York Times. Of course they're worth crying over, but wringing my hands because I can't go clean them myself is pointless. I have no skills in oil clean up. If I went down there, the people who know what they're doing would waste more time in training me than cleaning, itself.

What I CAN do is call a group of people together energetically to heal the ocean. It's not going to stop the oil by itself, and the damage has already been done. But it's something on the energetic plane that may help this thing from ever happening again.

Also, we can put our cash together. Giving money is not always the favorite option of the bleeding heart. We'd rather give our old clothes, canned food, or in this case--cut hair to aid in disaster. But we must remember that disaster teams are trained in this. They have access to sharply-discounted resources that we do not have, but they don't always have the cash to make it work.

We of course want to select reputable organizations as much as possible when choosing where to send our monies. So, if anyone reading this can make a recommendation of a place working to help the people of the Gulf region or the clean-up itself, please let me know!

And if you're coming to our Summer Solstice celebration, the money will be going to that cause.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Been a little emotional as of late

Especially today. I took it out on the people at Verizon internet tech support. But they deserved it.

If one of those tech support people heard from me today and heard all the bad, nasty things I called you, I apologize for my rudeness. But you really do work for an asinine company.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Returning from MIA

Hey dudes,

I really fell off the blog wagon, but you can all blame my deck for that. And if you haven't had a chance to buy it is!

In other news, I was accepted at Union Theological Seminary. (!!!) Yes, they know I'm Wiccan. No, I didn't "mask" or hide anything. There's a stirring the community for leaders to obtain more formal training. As soon as I started talking about starting seminary both in workshops and online, I started getting questions from people who have been looking for seminary training, but have yet to find one that is well-suited to their Pagan practices.

It's a tough one, yes. My recommendation is that you go into your research into seminaries with as open of a mind as you would like to receive when the Admissions board reviews your application. Most members of traditional and mainstream religions want to be accepted by you just as much as you hope to be accepted by them. If you are open and accepting, chances are you will be received with open arms. The Gods aren't through with us yet (thankfully...) and our own Wiccan and Pagan pantheons have been raising a hell of a lot of noise lately, trying to get us working alongside the bigger religions.

Just give it a shot. Talk to the people. Be honest about yourself. Hear what they have to say. Both of you decide together if you will be a good fit for the school and vice versa.

And...once I finish the ultimate battle with bad, bad Verizon, I'll be spending more time on this here blog. :)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finally ready to roll!!!

Hello loves!!!

We've got the Tarot of the Boroughs site up and ready to roll. We have just opened pre-sales for our Limited Edition copies of the deck. Check 'em out!

Tarot of the Boroughs

Maybe you've seen gnarled old ladies reading Tarot cards on 7th
Avenue. Maybe your college roommate gave you a reading. Maybe you
even own a deck yourself and maybe you even use it once in awhile. In
case you haven't had a reading, or seen one on t.v., or in the movies,
Tarot cards can help you understand the present and maybe even figure
out a few things about the future through the little pictures on the
cards. Unfortunately, most of those pictures confuse people, which is why
most people consult Tarot readers instead of reading their own. But
now, enter "Tarot of the Boroughs!"": a glamorous oracle
that can tell you everything you never wanted to know about your past,
present and future--and easy to read. Tarot of the Boroughs is a full 78 card
Tarot deck composed of spectacular original photography, set in New
York City. Inspired by the classic Tarot, Tarot of the Boroughs
captures the Tarot's timeless images in contemporary incarnations.
Tarot of the Boroughs replaces the esoteric with the familiar, easily
taking the reader into the heart of the Tarot’s stories. Mystical
tarot decks are easy to find. Tarot of the Boroughs is unique and
features New Yorkers from all walks of life as well as well-known
writers, visual and performing artists including Moby, Jonathan Ames,
Reverend Jen Miller, Lilith Dorsey, Velocity Chyaldd, Larkin Grimm,
Reverend Billy and Imakhu Mwt Shekemet among many, many others! The
deck will include a little how-to book that will help you along, if
you've never read the cards before.

Before these beauties hit the stores--we are pre-selling 150 limited edition
copies at $30 each. (Price will go up to $6,000,000 after the first
150 are sold.) These copies will arrive in your mailbox autographed by
George and Courtney and include free-shipping, a free-blessing and a
bag of sacred mojo. That's right!!! FREE SHIPPING! FREE BLESSING!

Order now and give us a couple of months. Then, share with friends!
The sooner we sell 150,. the sooner you can uncover the secrets of the
Universe! It will be soooo worth it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good news....and dumb people....


Now, here's why I can be even happier that I did...

So I can call out morons like this guy here who are calling themselves High Priests....


So I can call out writers of article posted above who say nasty-ass shit like this:

Practitioners of Wicca are nothing more than 14 year old girls emotionally and spiritually, and are too poor and stupid to join a better cult or religion. Seriously, Wicca is just Satanism with Downs Syndrome. Blessed Be!

Seriously. It's only 7:25 in the morning and already I feel like putting a fist through the wall. I won't, because that would hurt, but yeah. Feel like it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

IO PAN!!!!

Hi! Been away. Missed you, completely. Anyway, the application for Seminary is in. My blood pressure has gone back down. And I am devoting my time to finishing the damn Tarot deck and raising money for its publication. Meanwhile, I'm posting an invocation to Pan I took from Janet and Stuart Farrar's "The Witches' God", which I adapted to a modern, urban Lupercalia event. The event was lots of fun, just so you know.

Great Pan, Lord of the Arcadian paradise,
Inspire our hearts with Your Presence.
Thrill our minds with your pleasant notes.
Lord of the clubs, the festivals, the bonfires,
Answer our wills with Your perfect magick.
Let hare and hind, otter and badger,
The vixen and her cubs, the trannie, the nymph,
the gay, the straight and those of mixed preferences
all the families of our brothers and sisters of the wild
find comfort in Your touch.
Let Your young men, women and gender-bending children
find Your power under the flash of the strobe and around
the pounding of the bonfire drums.
Let the birds of the air and the bats of the night dance freely
to Your piping, and the fish of the rivers and the great seas
find peace at the echo of Your call.
Teach us through gentle lessons how to care for our Earth
within the Urban jungle we inhabit.
Let all small things nestle secure against Your mighty legs
protected by the Goat-Foot God.
Listen to the call of the Great God Pan:
Brothers and sisters of the forests, children of the night:
Who among you will run with the hunt?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Even more thoughts on anger...

I was meditating on the causes of anger last night and this morning, pulled the Wheel card from my new Tarot deck. (Afro-Brazilian Tarot. Gorgeous.) Also this morning, my friend Rachel posted this on her Facebook page:

Anger is the one thing that you feel more than other emotions. It will overshadow your interpretation of messages and lessons sent from the divine. Anger is so assuming that it will melt it's way into your very core, so much so that it can only be released by the hand of the divine, whose words it will mumble in your head. It takes away your tact, and fills acts of compassion with pride. It causes The Wheel to spin round and round again, cause anger won't let you meet your intended end. --a message from the divine that I'm told to spread around to everyone

Thank you, Scrump!!!! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Taking a blogging hiatus....

I am determined to finish my grad school application this week, and that is eating up my mental energy. So, I won't be around to fill you up with quibs and crusty bits until I finish the fucker.

I love you more than you know. Most of you, anyway.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Sad today.

It's hard to be a smart ass when so many people are suffering. I guess that's true every day--that people are suffering, somewhere. But I think we're all really feeling it, today.

I have no medical training, so I wouldn't be of help in that way. But I just wish I could be there and hold their hands. Maybe I can on the astral plain tonight. I just wish I could tell those people that everything is going to be okay. More than that, I wish it were true.

Haiti, the world is thinking of you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Message to Haters....

Dear People Who Are Bored and Lonely Enough To Waste Time By Being Douches To Me and My Friends,

When inflicting insults, be sure to use correct spelling, grammar and syntax. Otherwise, you won't sound like a jackass--but a STUPID jackass.

Go spend your time reading your Bible. There's something in it you must have missed--something about not judging others. (Matthew 7:1)

Besides, you're only encouraging us.


Friday, January 8, 2010

"When Pagans Attack!!!"

HHAHAHAHA!!!! I'm just so very, very clever.....;)

One of my crew members emailed me a few days ago concerned over something she'd seen about primitive Europe on the History Channel. In one reenactment, a Pagan Priestess performed an act of ritual sex with a young man and when the act was completed, another Priest or someone snuck up behind him and strangled him to death. That was how, according to the History Channel, the Gods were pleased and the people lived happily ever after.

"Cool!" I thought.

Just kidding.

The member brought up a good point--it bothered her that she was now part of a religion that had such violent origins. As usual, I had a bunch to say about it.

One, sensationalism. How else is the History Channel going to compete with "The Biggest Loser" without a little bloodthirsty, sex-rape-murder? They're not. "Real" history can sound droll and show producers are going to focus on the macabre and lazily skip over the reason behind the ritual or the more benevolent aspects of the practices. Sensationalism is not new, either. Much of what we know of ancient Pagan practices (Within and outside of Europe) came from letters sent by soldiers or missionaries. In the case of the missionaries, facts were frequently inflated or outright omitted in place of sensational fictions in order to encourage the Church to supply more funding for their causes. In truth, we don't know a lot of what the ancient practices were like outside of questionable authority, folktales and some archeological findings. Despite what many books preach, contemporary Paganism is NOT "The Old Religion." Thank god. Contemporary Paganism may share similar concepts (but we don't even know for sure about that....) but has fortunately left its bad, nasty and messy pieces for archeologists to wonder about.

However, that being said, many primitive religions did incorporate human sacrifice into their Rites and yes, the Europeans as well as the Aztecs. Archeology has indeed supported this conjecture. But remember that most world religions have dark roots. Judaism used to embrace the slaughter of enormous amounts of animals for the sake of pleasing Jehovah. Christianity, in addition to hanging heretics or burning them alive, launched the Crusades which killed enormous innocents as well as condemning basic human hygiene as sinful, which was a main contributor to the Black Plague---which killed about 1/3 of Europe. Yet, these religions have evolved out of these practices and the reclaiming tradition of Neo-Paganism is no different. Humanity as a whole has evolved past the need to outright sacrifice other humans in order to please our gods. Any religious sect that killed a human to please its God would be disbanded and locked up by local authorities and if it had any connection to a reputible religious community, it would be exiled from it. It is my belief that if we were somehow able to transport one of the Priestesses you saw on television from primitive Europe to a modern day Pagan gathering, I doubt she would even recognize it as a descendant of her faith. What we share in common with those ancestors is a connection to our planet and its seasons as well as a love of many Gods and Goddesses, but we have fortunately left the nasty stuff behind.

While the growth of Christianity encouraged many good things (the abolition of the practices as you mentioned, the notion of a God of peace and forgiveness), one of the damages it committed was the mentality that this world we live in was created by a God for us to consume. This has permeated much of the world and has placed us in the the most dire ecological situation our human race has ever faced. The reclaiming of Paganism may just be what the world needs to save itself. What we Pagans can offer our non-Pagan brethren is to see that we are part of the earth, not merely renters waiting for the day when the God who gave us this planet can get us off before it collapses. Don't be afraid or ashamed to be part of a religion that was once extremely violent. Be thankful that you are part of a religion that has let go of nasty practices which are no longer necessary and is focused on fixing the future for the next seven generations.

That's all for now. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Who wants to go to Ireland??????

Hi Guys!!!

Want to go to Ireland with me and my friend Liz? We are organizing a trip to the Emerald Isle which will be based around several workshops with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone. Many of these workshops will take place at sacred sites in Ireland including (but not limited to....) Newgrange, the Hill of Tara, the Four Knocks Burial Chamber and Ciaran's Well including a Lughnasa ritual!

About Janet and Gavin:

Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone are practicing Wiccans and authors. Janet and her late husband Stewart began publishing books on the Craft in 1971; joined by Gavin in 1993. Recent books include The Pagan Path, The Healing Craft, The Complete Dictionary of European God and Goddesses, and Progressive Witchcraft. Published in the U.S, Britain, Brazil and Japan, Janet and Gavin are globally recognized authorities on Witchcraft and Paganism.


Tuesday, 8/3/10 Depart JFK on Aer Lingus

Wednesday, 8/4/10 Land in Dublin Airport and travel to Kells to settle into B&B

Thursday, 8/5/10 Opening Ritual with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone. Workshop: Working with Earth Energies. Visit the King Stone and Lough Crew (Includes Dowsing Workshop)

Friday, 8/6/10 Workshop: Understanding and Connecting with the Gods & Goddesses of Ireland as Ancestors. Visit to Fourknocks Burial Chamber (includes Descent to the Ancestors Pathworking in tomb)

Saturday, 8/7/10 Workshop: The Tree, the Well and the Dolmen: Physical and Spiritual Cosmology of Ireland . Visit Tara Hill, the Royal Seat of Ireland. (includes Pathworking with the spirits of the Well and Tree at Tara).

Sunday, 8/8/10 Traditional ceremony at Ciarans Well and visit to Teltown for Lughnasa Ritual with Janet and Gavin.

Monday 8/9/10 Visit to Boyne Valley to Bru Na Boinne, (Newgrange) and Knowth. Evaluation, questions and answer session. Closing and farewell Ritual

Tuesday, 8/10/10 Last day/night in Dublin City.

Wednesday, 8/11/10 Fly home

$2,050.00 for a double, triple or quad
$2,250.00 for a single


* Round Trip Airfare from JFK Airport
* Transportation while in Ireland
* Accommodations
* 7 Breakfasts
* 5 Lunches
* 5 days of Intensive Workshops

If you are interested in joining us, you can find the website here. Or, please feel free to email me at

This is going to be the trip of a lifetime. I know a lot of people say that, but this time, it's true.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Big words and good books

Egotistic: Yeah, but who isn't?

Megalomaniac: Possibly. But when on your time?

Messianic: Shouldn't we all be? Well, maybe just a little bit?

Verbose: got me there. Can't argue with that assessment. :)

Hey, kids!!!

It's time for A Girl Called Woo's book suggestion of the week! Not that I'll have one every week. Sometimes it takes me longer than a week to read a book. Sometimes I don't want anyone to know what I'm reading. But because I don't have anything egotistic, megalomaniac or messianic to say, I'll just stick with being verbose.

Aleister Crowley's "Book of Wisdom or Folly"

Papa Crowley details 200+ lessons for basic spiritual survival in this classic tale of seeking out the Divine. While I admit that most ritual magick books published before the 1960's (and many published after that...) take enormous concentration and will to keep from falling asleep on their pages, this one makes me actually to turn its coffee-stained pages. I even opted to stand up and read on the subway this morning instead of clawing my way to a seat to write.

Bottom line, Crowley is funny. Cryptic, esoteric, elusive, but really, really funny. Any examples I put up here are going to be out of context and will miss the point, so I encourage you to read and see for yourself. I think it's the tone in which he writes. Even the title, "Wisdom or Folly" goes to show that even he isn't nearly convinced that he knows what he's talking about--which is refreshing when so many books written by spiritual people try to boast that they know everything.

The basic thesis is there is a singular life path for each person and to find true happiness and spiritual fulfillment, one must figure out that path and stick to it like gum to a boot-sole. He calls it, "The Will." And when you "Do What Thou Wilt", it means you're following your life's calling. It's not clear whether Crowley believes this divine will is congruent to the heart's desire or not. He also doesn't give a lot of advice on finding out what your will actually is.

On the downside, Crowley doesn't think very highly of women. In fact, one of his chapters is entitled, "`On Truth, Which Should Not Be Told To A Woman." The editors try to cover for him, saying, "He means the truth should not be told ABOUT women!", yet his reference to women as "Sirens", "Witch-Women (and not in the good way)", and insists that women are too gossipy to be told "The Truth." Dude. Really. I do not know any man who is less gossipy than the average woman. It's a human trait, not a gender thing.

BUT! On the upside, he really does have some good things to say. He talks about temperance in all things, encourage sex but only if both parties are amicable, and despite his nasty feelings about women, honors the Great Mother and reveres Nuit. One of my favorite passages reads, "Thus it is written in the Book of the Law: Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all sorrow are but as shadows; they pass and are done; but there is that which remains." This verse was particularly soothing on a PMS-laced crying jag that hit last night.

Not everyone likes Crowley. But even if you don't like Crowley, I strongly encourage you to read him, anyway. Many of the contemporary Wiccan rituals have at the very least been influenced by the work of the Secret Societies--including Crowley's O.T.O. We talk about "Do What Thou Wilt," but few Wiccan text really meditate on what this concept means. Crowley provides thought fodder for this idea.

It's so cold in this room that my fingers are shrinking inside my pentacle rings. Oy. Oy. Oy. Time to go home, eat soup, do an assignment my HPS gave me, and maybe watch some Dark Shadows, which my sister gave me for Christmas!!!

By the way, another super-creepy vintage class is this one. I've been getting creeped out by it since the 4th grade. Now. That's enough advertisement. They're not paying me anything. Just so you know.