Friday, November 14, 2014

Last week I lost my first teacher and mentor of esoteric things (also poetry, wine selection, and many, many other things). This past spring I lost my mother. The number of people who I can consult for reliable and wise advice is dwindling, and I am rebelling against being pushed to the front of the generational train, as it were.

I have been thinking about the concept of gift giving. In the Germanic tradition, this was the glue that held society together. And while coming across things people have given me--objects, writings, letters--it has struck me how deep the roots of a gift can run. Every time I read an article with my mentor's notes, every time I perform a task following my mother's instructions, every time I wear or use or look at the various gifts that have been given me by friends and kinfolk over the years, I think of them. I remember where we were and what we were doing when the gift was given, and I remember them--their words, their lives, their essence. I will always think of them when I see or use those things, and as long as I do, they will live for me in my memory.

If I give or bequeath these things to others, along with the stories that go with them, when I die or beforehand, those people will then think of the givers when they see or use those things. And thus, by the giving of gifts, they achieve a kind of immortality.

Friday, October 24, 2014

I have been working hard this year on a number of projects.

I am excited to announce that Inner Traditions/Bear Company is re-publishing my book on Norse goddesses and tranceworking (formerly published as Magic of the Norse Goddesses by Rúna Raven Press in 2004).

The forthcoming second edition will be called Norse Goddess Magic and will come out in May 2015:

Norse Goddess Magic : Tranceworking, Mythology, and Ritual

(So hopefully this will inspire me to get going on some of my other projects)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Back again after all these years...

Well--been on quite a hiatus, haven't I?

Despite the optimism expressed in my last post, 2010 was not my friend.  A plumbing leak from my upstairs neighbor caused a worse disaster than Hurricane, which only goes to show that man-made troubles are worse than Nature's.  I won't go into depressing detail, but it took most of the year to get things back together (on my neighbor's insurance, fortunately). 

By 2011 I had realized that this place just does not want me living here.  I certainly didn't seem to want to live there--after my boxes were returned from the temporary storage facility to which they had to be moved during repairs, I saw around for another 6 months without opening them.  I think I had a superstition that once I moved in again, another disaster would strike.  Anyway, even though the real estate market hadn't bounced all the way back, I decided condo ownership was not for me, and I sold the Condo-From-Hell in the late fall.

I spent a peaceful year recuperating in a small and charming 1950s complex, which I loved, until the elderly landlord retired and sold it to a developer, who kicked us all out, tore it down, and is currently in the process of building a row of ugly stucco townhomes.  So I moved again in 2013--to an apartment hastily chosen and further from my job.  I like it better than I thought I would, though the evening commute is an aggravation.  Still can't decide whether or not I would rather tolerate this arrangement for another year or go through the hassle and expense of moving yet again later this spring.

But I have no regrets--ever since I dis-encumbered myself from that condo, I have been able to sleep soundly again, without waking in the middle of the night thinking I hear water dripping, and without getting constantly distracted by mundane problems, I have finally begun to work on some new projects again--writing, music, and of course, theatre.

So--sometimes you have to be willing to put yourself through a lot of uncomfortable and laborious work in order to get out of a situation that is sapping your power and your creativity.  "Need is heavy on the heart, yet it often proves a help and salvation to the children of men, if they heed it in time."  Don't put up with situations that drain your life of energy and joy--it's like pulling band-aid, it hurts at first, but it only lasts a minute.