Diary of an Earth Daughter: A Visit to HeartStone House

.Beginnings.

How could I have known that I had masters in my class, ones that were so full of heart, unconditional acceptance and compassion, ones that would draw me to inner worlds of new truth and of Love. Not the sappy romantic stuff, nor some lofty ideal of how we think we are supposed to conduct ourselves. This Love is Source in action. A living energy and magic in which each of us is composed. Our spiritual DNA, origin, some call it Presence, consciousness. I call it Love with a capital L. And somehow, I was lucky enough to have a couple attending that were oozing it. Not long after I met them, it was clear that my role as “teacher” was relative.

Pat and Norm. They enrolled into a series of workshop intensives I taught a few years back at ZuZu’s Healing Arts. The Heitmann’s, like Z and Rebecca, whom I met through Pat and Norm, are rare specimens these days (but hopefully not for long). I refer to the four of them as, “My Mainers”, and as you may know residents of Maine have a reputation all their own. Sturdy, resourceful, stoic, practical. Nothing much ruffles them: not the first snowfall in October, and not several feet of it falling over and over during the course of any given winter. Nor did they blink an eye at the prospect of driving five or six hours in a day to take a workshop with me. Therefore, it is no surprise that spending time with them is grounding, nurturing, reassuring, like laying back on a warm heap of leaves on a late autumn afternoon, soft sun lulling you into a daydream of mossy glens and bubbling streams. They take you as you are, shine light on all the best of you, and remind you to laugh, to take in stride life’s moguls; the knicks and battle scars you’ve collected over time only make you more intriguing. They keep it real. They are ones  you can’t help but want in your life, they are easy to be with and you feel good around them, really good. I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve actually been in the same room with them, but like many exceptional things in life, a little can go a long way. So, yeah. Lucky me!

Norm and friends reading Stones and Bones in my class at ZuZu's.

In class: Pat, third on right, and Norm first on right.

.Connections.

Pat and Norm have a knack for bringing others together, too. And that is how it came to pass that I met Z and Rebecca. And how Z and Rebecca met each other, too (but that is a story for another day). Maybe it’s something in the air up there in those mountians or just a simple natural law of like attracting like, but Z and Rebecca hail from the same capital L. Universe. Hugs, not handshakes are the greeting given. Guests are family. A sign in the living room invites you to “Make yourself at home.” And you do believe your hosts mean this. A current of honest caring and warmth envelops you. I had a profound healing or I think the better word is opening, while I was there. It was an unraveling of an old story line that required I shield myself against other human beings as a normal course of action. Tales of a wounded past, no longer pertinent, dissolved. Armor was removed and I was offered an opportunity to feel what Love without strings felt like- simply as a vibration of Life. It was much bigger than either of our hosts- it was more that they acted as conduits, conveyors of this force and it radiates, pulses, reaches out and wraps you up when you are in their proximity. Moreover, I felt myself able to absorb this Love and let it flow through me. Now nearly a month later, I am aware that this shift continues on and has taken root.

Z & Rebecca, My Mainer Masters. 

 

And here we thought this road trip was about talking soul bowls, burls and pizza making!

I can only hope the videos and photos here do HeartStone House and her stewards justice. For this installment, we highlight Z and his story as wood whisperer, pizza wizard, and craftsman extraordinaire. He’s been fast tracking his healing journey these past few years and has such a lovely joy and peace about him. A heart the size of the Grand Canyon, and with a generosity you won’t find in many, he is a special guy.

Rebecca, a true Renaissance woman, mother, healer, and ok, let’s just say it, Goddess incarnate, requested to stay behind the scenes- she almost got her wish- you’ll see what I mean in the video! She’s asked us back to visit over the summer, and you can be sure we will feature her then in her own issue.

May you enjoy your visit now as much as we did. And welcome to capital L. Universe.

The entrance to HeartStone House

A sculpture comissioned by Z for Rebecca.

Rebecca's now grown childrens' skates adorn the porch.

Main(e) living space.

Gong + bunt pans = impressive percussion experience. Workshops are held here from time to time.

Luscious light filled sanctuary.

Z and Rebecca.

Believe, indeed.

Birch hearts and stone.

Mantle with lanterns.

Still life sparkle.

Tranquility.

HeartStone House mantra.

This sentiment sits by the House phone.

The House namesakes are plentiful....

About to begin a morning stroll.

Only in Maine??

Sticks to roast the marshmallows.

Insert Pizza.

Z not only makes the pizza, but made the pizza maker!

Even Buddha hibernates.

Z and friends built the meditation house, much of it with wood from the site.

 Beauty in the details.

Enter.

One of the resident buddhas. Not pictured but so enchanting, a fireplace!

Corridor to an Otherworld.

Pat & Rebecca warming by the woodstove. almost time for pizza!

 Chef Z.

Pie in the Sky. Steve captures the action.

Steve setting the interview scene.

My boys, Niko and Steve: creative forces, tech wiz's and co-adventurers. Big thanks for all their help. Nothing better than having them along for the ride! And...I was moved to create an Aromatherapy Sacred Mist in honor of Z, Rebecca and StoneHeart House. It is named, Heart (of, course). You can find it right now in my Esty shoppe, the Magic Apothecary.

My boys, Niko and Steve: creative forces, tech wiz's and co-adventurers. Big thanks for all their help. Nothing better than having them along for the ride!

And...I was moved to create an Aromatherapy Sacred Mist in honor of Z, Rebecca and StoneHeart House. It is named, Heart (of, course). You can find it right now in my Esty shoppe, the Magic Apothecary.

 

~~Before we part company, if you would like to contact Z you can do so at:

floorman25@msn.com/www.zopherwoodart.com

~~Pat & Norm Heitmann host gatherings teaching about the Akashic records & offer private sessions blending Reiki w/Akashic work:

akashicexperience@tds.net

~~If you would like to have Steve produce your vlog or create a stunning promo piece, show for your business, or video for your website reach him here:

steve@creatingtelevision.net

 

.

Until next time....

 

Blessings of the Green & Wild

Deborah Fay

Diary of an Earth Daughter Vlog Debut This Weekend!

HeartStone House, Hampden, Maine

HeartStone House, Hampden, Maine

 

This Saturday we debut our first issue of Diary of an Earth Daughter's travel vlog! My intent for the Diary is to make worlds of beauty and nature, people and stories that are near and dear to me or that have moved me in a very real way, or have added value and meaning to my daily rounds accessible to you- realms that you might not otherwise have had the chance to see and feel. I hope that when you step over the threshold you will be transported, just as we were, into magical spaces and conversations, to share the laughter and joy, the deep learnings, luminous scenery and imagery and be left with an imprint that enriches your own spirit, fosters a deepening of your path, opens you to new wonder. I hope this offering will bring you back from the edges of a world gone mad to act as your sanctuary and safe haven, a home that builds you back up and fills your love tank to overflowing.

The post contains 2 videos + a photo journal and personal reflections from our time at HeartStone House with Z (Don Dickel) and Rebecca Nelson. Partners in life, love, creativity and healing and with a powerful connection to the almost 11 acres in which HSH is nestled, I consider the two nothing less than modern masters of humility, generosity, and grace, visionaries of grand possibility,  living their truths with a rare awareness and peace. They are the kind of folk that hold a vibration that shifts one UP simply by being in their presence. Truth. I am still in the afterglow, nearly a month later!  More on that to come....

And....


This was the first time I traveled and worked with the boys (who acted as video production crew) and it was such a pleasure to merge my personal and professional worlds. We made a great team (if I do say so), each adding our own expertise and know-how to the mix. Both Steve (aka Dino), my hubs, and Niko, my son, share their thoughts on camera as well- so you'll get to meet them :). 


Blessings came in so many forms, all for you to share in. 

ALSO....New in the Apothecary

I
n honor of HeartStone House and Z & Rebecca, I've crafted a brand new Sacred Aromatherapy Mist for the Magic Apothecary: Heart. It too, will debut this weekend and will be available through the etsy shoppe.

Rebecca & Z photographed in front of Z's workshop/showroom in Winterport, Maine.

Rebecca & Z photographed in front of Z's workshop/showroom in Winterport, Maine.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Divine Download: You are the Beginning of the Transformed World

Each week when I teach the Magical Monday Musing magical tarot class, I work with a card that was pre-selected by a class member (or myself) back in December of last year. We pulled the cards face down so they couldn’t see what we chose. I recorded them on a calendar so when the week arrives that corresponds with the card picked, it becomes the featured card we study.

This week the card is the Wheel of Fortune. Not only do I blend my and others’ interpretations from an array of resources to describe the card and its archetype, but I also work with spirit to provide channeled messages for the class. These past few weeks the hubs and I have put together a video clip for you to get a glimpse into the week’s energy dynamic and highlighting a few of the messages that have come through- Divine Downloads.

The Divine Downloads tie in beautifully with what seems to unfold in the members’ lives plus what is happening in the outer world. This week the messaging reminds us of the importance of taking up our “responsibility” as in our response – to what is happening in our lives, paying attention and acting accordingly. The video clip speaks to The Wheel’s suggestion for us to be prepared to risk or take a gamble. Will you be called this week to step out of a comfort zone, to respond-to, something that is yours to do even if it seems too big or too much? Will you find the impulse within to take a risk and dump an old story, to scratch a way of being you are ready to banish? Will you allow yourself to birth a brand new personal paradigm in response-to a soul service you might feel called to, a sphere of influence you may be able to contribute to, a cause that is yours to speak to? Is your heart opening to a population you’ve never interacted with before? Do you sense a need to get involved with a community or tribe of kindred spirits that inspires you? Are you being pulled beyond old boundaries seeking new skills or taking them to another level? Are you feeling an inner nudge to study, advance, reveal your indwelling greater, wiser, holy you?

Accepting a calling is a holy act. It ushers you through a doorway to self-transformation. When you agree to take the initiation, you enact an irreversible decision to shift into a new form of yourself. You become a transformer, you radiate this, emanate it, are it. Your field pulses with this new you and it can be contagious. Others are drawn to you, often having no idea why! They just want to be near you because they want what you have. They want that same sense of connection, of self-possession, of power that comes from working your path actively and to the best of your ability. You raise consciousness by being conscious. You raise awareness by being aware. You heal by accepting healing. You spread joy when you are joyful.

In this way, you are the beginning of the transformed world. This week the Wheel is spinning and as Kim Krans, author of The  Wild Unknown Tarot writes, “..when this card appears the eye of the wheel is fixed upon you. Don’t be surprised if there’s a change of course heading your way, something you’d least expect. Whatever happens to you during this time know that it is bringing you closer to your life’s purpose.”

Blessings of the Green & Wild

Deborah Fay

New Video Clip + The Divine Call to Action + Last Day!

Whew, the times we live in, eh? I feel like we are deep down into the birth canal, no turning back, but neither far enough along to know what we are delivering. Birth is messy and this one is certainly no exception, is it?? What we are birthing as a world has yet to be revealed, but there can be no doubt we are laboring through history making moments that will define us forever.

How have you been doing, friends? So many of us seem to be body and soul-whomped, hurtling on waves of chaos, fear and rage, crashing onto shores of despair and disbelief. Some are floundering, strung out, hostile, bewildered. Every media outlet is lit up with the latest debate, report of today’s fake news, outcries of horror, stories of misery, alternative facts, conspiracy theories. We ride a toxic merry-go-round, each day another round begins, many succumbing to the rogue vibe through mental fatigue, physical illness, emotional exhaustion.

In the midst of this, however, the Divine Call to Action is rising up.  Some are called as Resisters and have even laid claim to a Beautiful Resistance. They fight the good fight, they’re demonstrators, justice seekers, rally marchers, activists supreme.  They are the, “it’s gonna be a loud four years”- voices that demand to be heard. They affirm the times require more than hitting the send button, they bring their bodies to their causes (for some their bodies ARE the causes), they show up in the flesh. Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. writes of the Women’s March on Washington in her recent newsletter:

Of the women I knew who were marching, and those I met on the plane, and those I talked to there, most were participating in their very first demonstration, and like me had felt “called” to be there.  The same could be said for those who organized these marches. We had responded from inside, from a heart that moved into action. This sense of being called or of saying “Yes!” is something important to remember: recollect other times in your life when you felt called to do something, to make a commitment, to change direction, to do what you felt was yours to do—from inside out..”

Others are Healing (R)evolutionaries. Back in October I went on an immram, an Irish form of vision quest. In it, I was transported to a place where the night was black, hushed, cold and clear. Suddenly two fierce warrior women appeared fighting each other both riding glorious white horses, swords flashing and ringing out as they struck one another. After a time, they battled off the screen in my mind’s eye their mounts whinnying, teeth gnashing, eyes rolling. Then I saw myself standing in the doorway to an ancient round house. I understood it to be a place of healing. The glow of the hearth behind me shone around my body, glowing like a fiery aura. I wore a floor length linen dress and over it a white apron. I wish I could describe to you the feeling of peace and calm. It was clear I was no warrior woman. I was a healing woman. And I felt completely myself and exactly where I was meant to be, doing precisely what I was meant to do. Utterly right.

I was reminded of this vision recently when chatting with my friend and extraordinary woman and healer Rebecca (whom you’ll get a glimpse of soon in our first Diary of an Earth Daughter vlog when we visit her and Z’s Heartstone House in Hampden, Maine) When the topic Inevitably turned to politics, Rebecca said she takes to prayer and meditation as her chosen forms of activism. From Darcey Blue’s recent post on Lights in the Dark at Imbolc:

“But I am not a fighter...I have always been a healer, a beacon, a teacher...at times I have described it as a "harbinger of another way to live in this world."  I fall outside the cliques and crowds, and I'm standing here on the edge, raw in my feeling the death throes and labor pains of this world.
This time is asking us to become the lights in the darkness.  Imbolc, that time of darkness, when we light candles, we burn fires to keep the winter at bay.  This time when the sheep begin to lamb. This time when sap begins to rise for a new cycle.  
How are you becoming a light?  What is your gift in this time of transformation?  How can you feed this fire? What can you offer the world to bring and share hope?”

Like these women, I find myself called to act as healer, providing sanctuary, refuge, solid ground in wavering times. To hold space for the quiet, the reflective, the gentle, the unfurling, the mystery, the revealing, the magic of (r)evolution. Writer Laurie Penny says, "All kinds of activism will be needed in the coming months and years. Including the quiet, gentle activism of quiet, gentle people."

Rider-Waite Deck

Rider-Waite Deck

From this week’s Magical Monday Musing class and the major arcana card, Judgement, we worked with understanding that we might indeed be called to act. To enact or allow our death, to let parts of our self die so that we could be birthed into something different than before and accept this as a rite of passage into a new phase of life. We are being asked to birth higher purpose. The week’s work coincides with world events and responses on so many levels and offers an empowered foundation for us. The Judgement card can also teach us about the nature of being the judge and judged. Sound familiar too? What a gift to have the cards and spirit to keep us focused and in the deeper and higher perspective right now. I’m profoundly grateful to this group- a form of my healing activism. The women here are ones you’d want to sit elbow to elbow with, all of us in support of each other’s journey as we each make our ways through the choices before us now and in the days ahead.

Wild Unknown Tarot

Wild Unknown Tarot

Today is the last day to join for February’s class. I hope to see you there.

May you hear the call clear and bright and have the courage and wisdom to follow where it leads.

 

 

 

Diary of an Earth Daughter: Road Trips & Coming Attractions

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

– Ibn Battuta

 

It’s finally happening! The gypsies are gearing up for our first series of vlog / blog destinations. As you know, I’ve wanted to bring you along with us on the new adventures underway at Circle Magica and Of Root and Rave Wing. Now through our latest feature, Diary of an Earth Daughter, I will be able to just that.

January:

Zopher's meditation house, built with he and friends

Zopher's meditation house, built with he and friends

Vlog edition with Steve and Niko joining in. Come with us to heartstonehouse, Hampden, Maine. Hosts and friends, Zopher (aka Don Dickel) and Rebecca Nelson welcome us. We’ll take a tour of heartstonehouse and Z’s workshop where he crafts Zopher Wood Art. Z surprised me with a vessel several years ago and you’ll hear the story of how we met and how I came to be the owner of one of his treasured bowls. In his words, “I love the connection that I have with wood, nature and spirit . My bowls are like someone reading tea leaves. It's the same thing, it's just a vehicle for spirit’s message. I'm amazed at what I've found and other people in these vessels that I turn…” Handmade pizza from the outdoor stone oven Z made, rural Maine beauty, deep winter stillness, living room rap session on vision, purpose, spirit, callings, living in these extraordinary times, “reading” our bowls, and the healing that goes on at this unique space + more.

February:

one of Valerianna's paintings

one of Valerianna's paintings

Blog edition with possible podcast. I head to the western hilltowns of Massachusetts to visit with friend and the multi-talented Valerianna Claff. Valerianna is a professional artist and educator, storyteller, healer, ritualist and steward of RavenWood Forest. I first came to know of Valerianna by way of my coach at the time, Donna Johnson, who gifted me with a CD of Valerianna’s. Many years later, synchronicity led me to Valerianna through Facebook and we met face to face at a mutual friend’s wedding last summer. I’ve long admired her talents as an artist and vocalist, and while we will undoubtedly touch in with these topics, we will also speak to her stewarding journey at RavenWood Forest as well our common love of the land, plants, trees, healing, shamanism, earth based spirituality, woodstoves and feline companions…..

March:

great grandma penley and donkey companion

great grandma penley and donkey companion

Vlog with Steve, Niko and I-Hillfolk Homecoming Pilgrimage to the Ancestors, Greene County, Tennessee. After two years in the making, we are finally headed to Tennessee to trace my paternal roots, visit with aunties, cousins, and other distant relatives, trek to “the old homeplace”, family cemeteries, and other family haunts. Our aim is to document the stories, preserve the history, understand their customs and ways of life so different from our own New England perspective, and get to know our kin better. It’s time for us to answer the question “Where do I come from?”

 

Please plan to adventure along side us!

Choosing Between Right & Easy + Manifesting Video

This scene from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire has been running through my mind lately. It seems prophetic for our times and is one I remember when I need a mythic boost to get through muggle-ridden moments. Dumbledore’s words, “Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy” anchor us back into simple truths for complex times. Pay attention to our choices and know they shape the kind of moments and day we will make for ourselves. In the coming week as the world prepares for the inauguration, energies will run hot and high. We will have choices to make. What kind of people will these choices prove us to be?

Each week I host an online magical Tarot study class, Magical Monday Musing Private Membership. We work with The Wildwood Tarot and the Rider-Waite deck as a secondary reference. It is uncanny how “on” our card picks are not only with our private group, but with the larger scheme of life too. Last week we worked with the card, The Forest Lovers/ The Lovers. One aspect of the card that I found haunting and highlighted was the warning to watch how tempted we might be to go against our usual morals or truths or to become ensnared in our shadow, to be seduced away from what we know is “right” in favor of the lure into an act, behavior that doesn't support us. Though I teach, I also follow along with the class and do my work with the cards. I was tempted into fretful thoughts about future possibilities and small ideas I have about myself that derailed my sense of peace and security and I faceplanted into a panic that took over and lasted for the better part of a day and lingered through the week. But working with the cards with deliberate effort certainly curtailed what could have been a humdinger of an episode into one that I could manage.  Our spiritual practices can have practical and valuable applications for our day-to -day lives. Tarot for panic management? Yep.

The Wildwood Tarot

The Wildwood Tarot

Rider-Waite Tarot

Rider-Waite Tarot

This week we study the Ace of Vessels: The Waters of Life (Wildwood Tarot) / The Ace of Cups (Rider -Waite). Not only do we learn about a specific card each week and do a guided Shamanic journey with it, but I also offer intuitive messages for the group. In the clip above you’ll see I do this in the moment and messages come in spontaneously- here we learn how to create a manifesting field, a technique I use regularly and highly recommend. This would come in handy to use should you be tempted this week to “lose your mind” with all the wild vibes out there! Stay in charge and awake, my friends! And with a bit of forethought and focus you ‘ll shape the field you inhabit to your best advantage.

The next monthly session of Magical Monday Musing begins on Monday February 6th. I find the group helps me, as a member, to stay in touch with my deeper Self and having an archetype from the cards to mentor us weekly gives a distinct leg up and pointer inward from which to view our week from. I feel more informed and bolstered for whatever might come my way having the musing to refer to.

I’d love it if you’d join us! Learn more here.

May your week be a magical and powerful one. May you choose wisely.

Diary of an Earth Daughter: Where Do You Belong?

I saw myself waking up to the nascent promise of each new dawn, taking my morning tea outside, listening to birdsong and the bark of a vixen in the wood. I saw my hands in the soil, my feet cold and bare in a fast-flowing river. the person I saw wasn’t anxious, alienated, brittle. It wasn’t her job that defined her, but her way of being in the world. She looked as if she belonged. Not just to a star, and a hill, and a cottage; but to herself and the calling owls, and the wider world she inhabited.
— Sharon Blackie from If Women Rose Rooted; The Power of the Celtic Woman
spring stradddle shadow pic.jpg

This morning I chose an oracle card to begin the day. The message was all about cycles, change and phases. In perfect timing with the new year wouldn't you say? It fits in with what's happening around here too. This post marks the beginning of a new feature I'm trying on for size at Circle Magica and within the pages Of Root & Raven Wing- Diary of an Earth Daughter. In it we will visit with others who are living lives close to the Earth, beauty, artistry; who are ardent lovers and caretakers of nature, her creatures, who have stories to tell that enchant, inspire, inform. I'll also be posting on how I am redirecting my energies to become the Earth Daughter I believe I am meant to be, and continuing my journey of discovery as a Saging woman. 

To get underway there's this. Over the summer friend, Valerianna Claff , introduced me to a book that has become a constant companion and mentor, If Women Rose Rooted; The Power of the Celtic Woman by Sharon Blackie. (The title has since been altered to, If Women Rose Rooted: A Journey to Authenticity and Belonging, as you'll see through the link). Sharon discusses the importance of crafting a connection to place and especially to the land in which we find ourselves as a way of re-enchanting, re-empowering, re-sourcing and rooting us firmly in our lives. She speaks of the Eco-Heroine's Journey:

"The Eco-Heroine's Journey which we 've followed in this book is a path to understanding how deeply enmeshed we are in the web of life on this planet. In many ways, it is an antidote to the swashbuckling action-adventure that is the Hero's Journey: it is a woman's journey, based on a woman's way of being in the world. This path forces us first to examine ourselves and the world we live in, to face up to all that is broken and dysfunctional in it and in our own lives. Then it calls us to change-first ourselves, and then the world around us. It leads us back to our own sense of grounded belonging to the Earth, and asks us what we have to offer to the places and communities in which we live. Finally, it requires us to step into our own power and take back our ancient, native role as its guardians and protectors. To rise up rooted, like trees."

I savored this book over the course of the summer and it spoke to that part of me that longs to tend land once again and to be with others that do so. In the nearly two years since we've sold the Hobbit House, I have felt orphaned and marooned. I realized while descending into Sharon's world and ways that I had made an assumption when we left our home; that I couldn't do what I wanted with someone else's land. That I had to neutralize my habitual pattern of interacting with my home-based surroundings. That I needed to step back from my instincts to be with this place. But within the pages of the book I found a message that contradicted this and made me sit up straight and think again. 

The directive here is one of immediacy and accessibility. No matter where we are, we are meant to be tenders of the place we find ourselves. Doesn't matter if it is alot of land in the suburbs, like our nearly 7 acres, or a balcony on the 20th floor in Brooklyn. Doesn't matter if we "own" the land. After all, does any of us really own Earth? Sharon drew me into wondering if maybe I could rewire my thinking and start fresh in my relationship with this place. I imagine going forward with garden plans, and fantasize about building that chicken coop or maybe making room for ducks.  Dreams of a wee donkey, pygmy goats and a greyhound to roam with. I think about herbs, for eating, magic and medicine. I notice a re-emerging interest in natural landscaping, permaculture, four season harvesting, and dipping my toes back into MeetUps to get back around earth stewards and champions who are full of wisdom, resources and passion.

Mary Reynolds, author of The Awakening Garden: Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves, reminds me to make room for the land to tell me what it wants. I set out walking the boundaries, an age old practice of communion and connection, to listen and learn, to properly introduce myself with offerings, and song and conversation. What I heard was that like me, this land feels orphaned. Once it was a family homestead and horse farm. Over the years, the horses disappeared and the barn fell into disrepair. Brambles, bittersweet and invasive flora claim the space. The family rents out the Little House and tenants come and go. After once providing a tangible usefulness and purpose, and being appreciated for its value, it seems to feel abandoned and I even felt an anger and resignation with that. I could feel its depletion, like it has been stripped bare.

When we moved here the plan was to use our time renting to re-group while Niko finished his senior year in high school and to consider living options once he got settled in college. But with our lease up the end of this month, we’ve decided to renew and stay on. I wasn’t ready for the upheaval of a move just yet and we are comfortable for now, so we are committing to the Little House and her surrounding lands for a while yet. And as we do, I am reconsidering what it means to belong. I can’t say I’ve ever felt I belonged in or to North Andover. While it was a deliverance from an economically depressed and sadly dismal central Massachusetts town we lived in prior to moving here, and an ideal location to raise our child, it fails to quicken my pulse like other homes I’ve had. It misses the mark lacking the wildness, quirkiness and unique personality of the mostly seaside oasis’ I’ve been lucky enough to dwell in and visit frequently like Cape Cod, Ipswich, and Encinitas. My rhythms better sync outside of a frenetic hub spilling over with racing residents and the blur of luxury sedans, mini vans and high end SUV’s. I often feel like I need to armor up when I head out the door, the chaos and bustle, the quintessentially chilly and occasionally hostile New England persona is so palpable. The blind race to nowhere, the acquisition game, zip code comparisons are the norm and acutely alienating.

All that being true, thankfully we have met some lovely authentic folk who have become friends over the years. I ‘ve discovered a few spots in nature, my sanctuaries away from the manic, ultra-competitive, superficially and outwardly focused mindset so prevalent in these parts. Nooks removed from the big box chains, the strip malls, the McMansion cul de sacs. Quiet spots where I can hear my heart beat again, watch the sun set through bony fingered branches, visit with a sparrow who lands nearby, breathe salty air that moistens my upturned face. At the conclusion of If Women Rose Rooted, Sharon offers us an invitation to the Eco-Heroine’s Journey. In it we are welcomed to the Heroine Path.  Under “The Heroine’s Return” we learn that it is possible for us to create a deep sense of belonging. Sharon tells us no matter where we are it is important we “learn to belong”. She continues by suggesting we dive in and learn about the history of our place, ferret out the stories, unearth its secrets, educate ourselves on its geography, ecology, landscapes.  What are the weather patterns? The native flora and fauna? Do we know the phases of the moon? The position of the stars? She asks, “In the context of your own Return what do you think is the unique gift that you are bringing back to the world, or your community?”

I am not prepared to fully answer this question  right now. However, I think for me to rise rooted I would indeed explore this place with a new born enthusiasm and perspective. I would and will continue to ask questions and wait for responses from this land that is mine to tend. I will invest my energy and attentions on what might delight and teach me what has yet to be revealed. I will roll up my sleeves digging for answers and making room for roots that will sustain me for however long I remain.  This much I do know: belonging, in this next chapter has everything to do with the giving, coming together, creating for tomorrow, and for the days when I no longer walk this planet. Belonging to something much grander than this town or that neighborhood. Belonging to this Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

Mercury Retrograde: Perfect Way to Usher in 2017

MERCURY RETROGRADE is to be honored and seen as a blessing in our lives because THIS IS a quarterly opportunity that arrives each year to help us SET THINGS STRAIGHT.

This is when ALL THINGS WRONG come up to the surface and slap you down so that you can really see them and see that changes need to be made.

This is going to be such a productive Mercury Retrograde session as we go back to REBUILD and really think through how to RECREATE a life that makes us feel YES!

We are thinking about how we want to GET THIS RIGHT and fully go over the steps WITHOUT RUSHING, so that we really do the best job possible at whatever is a dream in our lives right now.
— KV/Aquarius Nation

(An herbal and moon calendar for 2017, www.thymeherbal.com. Also available at a new shoppe love of mine: www.crosenest.com.)

Goodness, how precious life is. The late afternoon sun is warmer today-temps reaching nearly 50 degrees- it softly streams through the picture window I'm nestled beside. I sit snuggled under a thick mossy green blanket pausing, thinking about this time as one year wanes and  the next has yet to arrive. The mantle's fairy lights twinkle, the christmas tree keeps me company. All is still here except for the occasional whir of a passing car. Moments like these are special and welcome, and the news just in of actress Carrie Fisher's death on the heels of singer George Michael's passing on Christmas day, make them all the more appreciated. Death, the ultimate attention grabber, sobers me, providing its perennial message of urgency. Don't fritter away your time, be about the business of living. Enjoy, connect, use your gifts, make a difference. Show up for the messy and hard stuff. Leave this place better than you found it. 

I like what KV has to say about this Mercury Re-trograde, productivity through Re-building, Re-creating. I've come to understand these astrological influences in a more constructive way, moving beyond the typical doom and gloom, duck and cover reaction it garners. The message fits in with the upcoming New Year (though I celebrate mine on Samhain-the Celtic New Year on October 31st/November 1st). As many sift through the past year taking stock of what has passed and consider what may come to be in 2017, it is only natural to look back to Re-examine what worked and what didn't. We might take to heart the advice to work with the energy of this Re-trograde to lay a foundation of greater strength and cohesion based on learning from our past actions and outcomes. We could slow the pace, here in this last week of 2016, and make time for the stillness of a special moment to influence us, carry us across a threshold into the realm of spirit and truth. We might listen deeply, expectantly, discerning the path that will lead us to our yes. 

A significant yes for me this year is indeed found in looking back- to the tracks of my ancestors. This March the boys and I are trekking "down South" to Tennessee on a pilgimage to trace roots and belonging. We will visit with my paternal relatives and journey to the homes of my family present and of yesteryear. We will bring the video, audio and photography equipment to capture the stories and sights along the way. Place, belonging, the land and my relationship to it, is a central interest, theme and direction for me as I enter my Saging years, and this trip is one that will bring so much to us, especially Niko, and I -as we really don't know much about the history of our roots. I sense that a Legacy will be born from this experience too. A looking ahead to what I can give back to those whose shoulders I stand on. That if not for them, there would be no me, no crazy D'Onofrio family, here at the Little House. What can I pay forward, what can I continue on with, keep alive or perhaps even Re-surrect in their memory, in their honor, in homage to what can be.

We have much to consider this year in particular, as history takes a turn with the insertion of this new president.  I wonder if you feel like I do- the time of living history is upon us. The time to live our legacy is now. In whatever ways the stillness reveals your mission for the year ahead, may you strike out on the road full of vigor and willingness. May you make the most of what was, and kindle the future with its lessons. May you be full of yourself. May you bring that self to everything you do, with awareness, fully invested, sails billowing, compass pointed true North. 

To 2017, and to working your Mercury Re-trograde with grace!

 

 

And the Winner Is...

Thank you to all who entered the Grace Giveaway. Tussler, our resident troll, chose Cinde Perdigao! Congratulations to Cinde. 

And for those of you who would like to Steady & Ready yourself, either in the Sacred Mist or body oil, just leave a comment on the blog here or on Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/deb.donofrio.3-(this offering is not on the etsy Magic Apothecary site) and I'll get yours out to you asap. ($10/bottle for either, free local broomstick express delivery, pick up at the Little House or $4.00 US delivery, will work out with you for Int'l pricing.)

Blessings of the Green & Wild

Deborah Fay