Wrapping up a fitful dream: The Diver Fish with Wings

Lughnasadh has passed, and Summer is unraveling. It's still hot outside, still too much, still exhausting.

This Summer has been a death/rebirth/death/rebirth kind of Summer. I left home, came home, left and came home again. I fought, made-up, fought, made-up, and fought made-up with my partner, again.

I've been personally digging into some anti-racism work. Dismantling inner white supremacy, and it has not made light work of my closest relationships, either.

Hot, heavy, hot heavy hot heavy.

I've been taking time for making art by the lake. I've made time for popsicles, and giving of my time. I've made time to move my body, even if only for a little bit. I've made time to meditate.

I've had to. I've had to come crawling at these practices in desperation, which, as my Ancestors and Guides would tell me, doesn't have to be the case. I can practice... all the time. In sickness and in health.

I've been taking solace in The Many Moons Workbook by Modern Women, designed by Sarah Gottesdiener. I've taken solace in my Cards. I've read Octavia Butlers' Parable of the Sower. I've been reading Jardana Peacock's Practice Showing Up: A Guidebook for White People Working for Racial Justice, alongside The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys by James Fadiman.  There's something to bridge there, for me anyway.

During my last psychedelic experience, I came up against a difficult truth: my threshold for joy and pain are in direct correlation. This might be the case for others, I'm not sure. But I liken this to when we cry; tears of laughter happen. Tears of grief, and of anger happen. So, cracking open is really in my best interest. But that doesn't make it easier in the moment. The well of grief can go on forever. I might never find the bottom. I'm not trying to find the bottom. I'm trying to swim deeper, hold my breath longer, and surface, fly higher, inhale, expand my lungs further, each time I make the pass. It's a back and forth journey, but also spiraling. Kind of like a growing ball of yarn.

That's a comfortable image. Waxing moon, growing ball of yarn, diver fish with wings.

It is my path to live a fierce life of joy. I have been named Bliss, after all. It is also my path to feel, everything, d e e p l y .   D  e     e      p          l                     y.

Our culture, (here in the US, anyway) is caught in a trauma loop.

Something is a-stirring. Reckoning for healing.

And I don't know how to close this out... this journal entry. It doesn't have an end right now. So many things don't know how to end right now.

Preparing: a prayer.

Let this not be a time of going back to sleep.
It's so easy to be lulled into what's "comfortable,"
after a life-storm.
Decisions I've made have not come without
consequence. My decision to go to Tending the
Threshold has not wrought simplicity in my
personal life.


My body is somewhat in protest. Particularly my
right knee and shoulder.
Something in my mouth, too. A sore. Plus
my jaw, clench, click, release.
Always returning to the jaw, my rage, my right,
my fear: to speak.

I've got to stop holding it all in.

I'm scheduled for an energy healing session tonight.
So ready.
After that, I'm headed to the airport, to Oregon.

I'm showing up for Tending the Threshold,
which is a conference dedicated to coming
together over the pain of our times. It will be
about healing, but not about fixing.
It will be about feeling, and tapping into,
practicing new paradigms of relationship.

May we recognize our differences, as people,
and honor them, knowing we have much to
learn from what we, as people, would say is
"not me."

And may we own what is ours, when we say it is
"not ours."

May we grieve and come undone, and re-weave
what is still true and good after the process, in activation of that Arachne medicine.

May we not avoid conflict for the sake of a
preened peace, but engage in healthy conflict
for a sustainable peace in Truth.
In this way, we integrate.
This is how I integrate.
This is my deepest prayer, for myself.
May I engage in healthy conflict for sustainable
peace in Truth.

Since I have booked my flight and motel room
for this conference, I've been still resistant in
my mind.
Coming up with ways in which I'd find myself
geographically there, but couldn't go through
with showing up, in full Brianna force, for the
work.
One coughing fit and:
 "oh, I feel a respiratory thing coming on"
or "my mouth hurts in one particular spot;
what if I need emergency dental care?"

So. Energy healing tonight, with Health by Hillary
at Haylo Healing Arts Studio. To get at some
of what's ailing me (it's in the body, as a LAST
stop.)
And this begs me to question: how do I want
to show up to Tending the Threshold?
-fed
-well-rested
-grounded
-connected to the something greater than myself
which brought me there
-in dedication to Love and Justice
-as a student-teacher
-vulnerable


I trust I will be in a safe space,
supportive of vulnerability as a radical act in these
strange times of living on Earth, our dying planet.

And I will also show up all three days in a state of
wonder, which can translate to awe.
I intend that I will not pretend
to seem as though "I'm cool," or that "I have it
all figured out."
I hope I feel comfortable enough to geek
out and show all of my Self, even the parts
that make me feel silly.
 I'm a spring
Lamb.
This kind of event,

while in alignment with
all ways I wish to move about in the world, and
in alignment with years of my own previous
studies in realms of Sociology, social justice
work, the occult, embodiment,
and in line with my own
Earth-based animism as spiritual practice,

this event will be so new. To count myself among
the folks whose work I follow and admire will
be so new. To work with. To converse.

Putting myself on that plane at that conference:
This is another way I'll be looking at myself to
take responsibility for being a leader.
Which remains, daily, the most difficult thing I
ever do.
But,
"someone has to take responsibility for being
a leader." -Toni Morrison

And so that is my call. To do this in the ways I am
able to, in the ways that are most impactful
to my own community.

Where can I affect greatest change for those
hurting?
I'm here, on this planet
to Tend the Threshold, this time of collapse,
of a society caving in on itself,
to find out
what makes it tic, how
to ease the suffering.
 And then do it.

April 1st. 2018

I spent my Sunday morning sitting in a wooden pew, tucked in small white church between an east and west window. To my left I could see our gorgeous moon (in Libra) setting, and to my right I could see the beginnings of the sunrise. Everywhere there were trees. Nearby, one of the oldest cemeteries I'd been to.

We were all holding candles in the dark. Until the service began, a string band quietly played.

If a witch is to celebrate Easter, this is how.

It's a long and winding road, healing. One moment we feel like a black sheep outsider, and the next we are enfolded with great welcome back into the safety-net of our roots. I am re-learning that despite the manifold "sins" (to use the terminology) of Christianity against humanity, and its sins against my Self-hood, my divinity in a female body,

It's still only a tool. Neutral.

And in these quiet moments of an early morning, in the Machpelah Presbyterian Church (built 1890...9?) It was a beautiful vehicle for a celebration of one of the more ancient rituals: welcoming Spring Renewal. This happened through the archetypal filter of Jesus as Christ (and I am comfortable celebrating Jesus the Man, as he lived and as he rose from death.) And that was okay.

I didn't run to the bathroom (or in this case, the woods) crying.

I did not feel assaulted by the content of the service. All was well. And I experienced God and Love as I first had when I was still a young girl: ageless, genderless; more or less a feeling of ecstatic joy and sweeping emotion. The swell of an upright bass, rain of a Hangpan, and sitting under the protective wing of my mother.

January 31, 2018 The Full (Super Blue Blood) Lunar Eclipse in Leo

***Today it is actually February 2nd. I'm post-posting this... I needed to process some life before I let this be something open for the public, whoever that may be who reads this. ***

I'm not an astrologer, just a student of cosmic wisdom, so I'll only say this. The skies... are a lot right now. Here are some intentions and thoughts.

Today I am not what I have or who I'm related to.
I am unlimited by my circumstances.
I dare to dream my life into existence, with a perspective as wide as I can manage.
I call on owl, eagle, and hawk, to help expand my awareness, fully.

I am not my limitations. No, I am not.
I am not the way I am moody and feel defensive on an evening when I'm having dinner and the conversation turns toward a triggering topic.

I am not the way my friends see me, or how my colleagues think of me.

I am not the way that I felt so powerless against Duke Energy and Dominion, and the ACP, that I didn't even go to the Duke Energy rate hike public hearing. I am not the way that I was hurting, too exhausted to show up. I am not the guilt I feel for prioritizing lying in bed with blankets over my head and headphones in my ears. I am not my inherent need to curl in and tune out.

I am not my sensitivity. Except when I am that.

I am not the breakouts around my mouth denoting that I have some difficult things to say that I'm holding in.

I am not the way that I feel un-abundant sometimes.

These are limitations, but I am not them.

I tie a pretty bow around yesterday and burn it to the ground.


It feels so good to start new, skin raw and flaking and healing fast. I call on lizard, skink and snake so that this process becomes back-of-hand as I morph, again.

I call on salamander, so that I survive a cleansing fire.

It feels so good to cry. My eyes are faucets and they say that there's a lot in me that needs to get out so it can be let go.


I am the way I feel when I hear a tree ask me to put hands on it, so I can learn a subtle bit of its energy. I am the way I feel when I lean against it, and recognize what support is.

I am the way it looks when raindrops hit the surface of a lake, coming from a still-sunny sky.

I am the way it was when I found two spirals amid decaying leaves on the ground. Not one, but two whole universes; so fragile they would crush beneath a foot or fallen branch in any second of any day.
But they hadn't. 

I am the way it is with all beings, capable of creation and destruction in every moment.

In my life, lately, I feel overwhelmingly stuck. So on the move, that I feel caught in my everyday life. Suffering through.
 

I'm not happy but I keep waiting to get happier. Like something will shift and I won't have to step out into so many other levels of discomfort. I keep waiting, hoping that I get softer, or hoping that I won't have to say the hard words, or do the hard things.
 

To ask for the help I need. To make the jump.
 

I don't know what to do.
 

But so, on this Full lunar eclipse, within this intense portal of energy, I say this:
 

I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'm going to start. I'll begin. Suspended no longer. Baby stepping it.

January 19, 2018

At this precise moment, I'm sitting in my favorite chunky sweater, pajama pants, and eating gummy bears, in the middle of a "gif party" on GroupMe with some of my favorite people I've ever had the pleasure to work with.

I'm in sheer excitement. Later tonight I'll gather with those folks, and a group of Charlotte- area teens to begin our Visual Art Experience sessions. I'm a supporting advisor this time, for PFO, in a visual art group. Since the teens aren't aware of the details of our project yet, I'll only say this: that it's fibers-based.

To be in this position, to make art for a living, in service to higher good for my community, is at essence purity of blessing. I can sense the magic here; I am in awe of it, and in awe that I'm a part of it. 

That I find myself as a member of this project, in a place in my life that I can indeed be of service here, that this project happens to coincide with creative media that I personally want to expand on in my creative practice... All this alignment is dizzying. When I think of it, just for a moment, my Cup is so, so full.

And knowing I can tap into this feeling of gratitude at any time is also a blessing. Whenever I need to remember that I matter, that I can make a difference, and whenever I need to quiet voices of anxiety within, I can come to this understanding. I am here. It is well.

Tonight is our kickoff. Some preparation for sacred space within myself, so that I can radiate this from me, is in order. I'm going to light a stick of dragon's blood incense and go have a cleansing shower. I'll use frankincense and myrrh soap for grounding and a salt scrub to clear my energy centers. Then I'll make a cup of dandelion root tea and slip into a guided Higher Self meditation. And after that I'll work in my art journal, just for pleasure.

Just about one year ago today I was on a bus to Washington, DC, to become one more voice of millions in protest of our governmental administration's inherent bigotry, based on white supremacist capitalist hetero-patriarchy. This year in memorial, I'll be making art as a collective force for good in my community. Grassroots change is lasting impact. And thank the Divine that this is so; that there are so many ways to resist.

 

One

Essay: August 5, 2017

I’ve been resisting writing for this site, even though I am a writer “first.” Meaning, it is what comes most naturally. It has always been the medium of expression I turn to without consideration.

I think my resistance comes from lately being in a space where my gifts are converging and I can’t stop it. My desire to compartmentalize my talents, passions, spirituality, career, and my life remains strong, but my ability to do so is coming to an end.

I am just me. Artist, activist, Earth-worshiper.

I’m always getting into something new. An endless rotation of different books from the library; fiction and non. Various mediums of expressive experimentation.  New movements, new connections, new flavors. New paths to explore spiritually. And, Goddess bless, always, always always new modalities for healing.

I’m figuring myself out and I surprise myself every day.

What’s at the core is my desire to heal and serve my community.

To heal myself in order to heal my community.

I will let the rest arise as beautiful instances of joy.

Painting, writing, performing, facilitating, guiding, divining Truth.

Always creating.

It’s time simply to begin. I’ve lately made a practice of saying yes to what opportunities scare me the most. Embracing roles and responsibility that I don’t quite yet feel qualified for. When that voice in my head (one I’ve affectionately named “Mags,” short for “Magpie”) begins with “Who am I to…???”

My higher self bids me : Yes. Say yes. Just do it.

For we are all student teachers. And we all have something we can share to help others on their journeys, even as we navigate our own. A freeing concept; a new- paradigm  framework of leadership I absorbed while in an intensive led by Angelique Arroyo. 

***

 Alchemy: as above, so below. As within, so without. Micro to macro, from the dinner table to the White House.

This world is where we live right now, in that putrid “unholy trinity” of white supremacy, patriarchy, and Christianity.  And this is why I’m choosing to say yes even when I’m scared.

Because it’s not about me anymore. This isn’t about whether I’m “enough” and it isn’t about my comfort zone. I am a champion for my own expansion, yes, because what I gain will be shared. I don’t have time to shrink back. There’s work to do so we may rise together. Time for shields up, boots, masks, and gloves on. Time to prime spaces and future generations to sow only what serves highest love. When offered these opportunities, the answer is always Yes.