Almost two years ago, I heard a call from within, and even though it was a scary one, I answered. This was a very clear call to shift the way I offer my medicine and gifts to the world. It needed an update, a refresh, and to realign with my authentic Self - a Self who had been changing all along, who was waking up into a new chapter of her life. I paused the part of my work that involves in-person private psychotherapy clients, and followed my gut and heart into a soul searching expedition.

This time has been (& is) a gift — rich with quiet, deep self inquiry and fiery, raucous dances with my inner teenager. I’m catching up to who I’ve been becoming on the inside over this past decade when I was keeping my head down in parenting-a-tiny-human mode & in career mode. This discovery time precipitated my family’s upcoming move to Boulder and juicy personal developments. Since last June, I've been part of an ongoing council and ceremony designed to take a deep-dive into how I can walk as my medicine. It has become so clear to me, through that experience with a tribe of soulful women, how much we need each other's reflection in order to adequately see ourselves.  

I am relearning how to value BEing as much as (or more than) DOing. At a dinner party, wouldn’t we all rather be asked “who are you?“ than “what do you do?“ Sure, I’ve got artsy side gigs here & there, I do some remote supervision and consulting work, and I’m momming nonstop, but without clients walking into and out of my office, “work” has been less visible. A few weeks ago my daughter asked, “Do you even have a job anymore?” Honestly, the question struck a nerve... likely because of my own accidental indoctrination into & expectations about work/worth culture, and also that she may have already absorbed some of that bullshit just by breathing the air. So, I took the opportunity to talk about the importance I place on reevaluating, reinventing, recreating — on BEing. On aligning, centering, and getting into right relationship with the Self. How it’s a socially unsanctioned and radical act in our current culture. How it’s the opposite of glorifying busy-ness. And how slowing down to listen is an extreme privilege I absolutely recognize and for which I feel immense gratitude. While putting “work” on hiatus to explore myself (& as a biproduct, how I can most authentically be of service in my next “professional” incarnation,) I hope I’m inadvertently modeling for my daughter the supreme value of simply walking as one’s medicine in the world.

I feel so much more ME, and it is only from that place that I can know what is mine to offer, and offer these gifts wholeheartedly. I’m trusting that the service/doing part will unfold, once I’m settled in my new Boulder digs, and with divine timing. And for now, I gotta finish packing up my studio and dusting off my wings... almost time to fly!

Making Mabon Magic

The upcoming autumnal equinox (in the Northern hemisphere,) or Mabon, is a perfect opportunity to create a ceremony to mark a seasonal transition. Ceremony is a sacred and active prayer that opens communication with spirit. It can be as modest or elaborate as you'd like, as long as you infuse your ritual with clear intention and heartfelt meaning. Here is a loose guideline for a very simple, personal autumn equinox ceremony:

1) Gather materials: You'll need your journal, a piece of scrap paper, pen, candle, lighter, favorite scents (oils, smudging plants) and any other objects that speak to you in this moment (stones, bells, photos, jewelry, flowers, etc.) 

2) Carve out a sacred space. It can be in your home or yard, the forest or beach -- anywhere! You may wish to create a small autumn altar on a shelf, table, or near your yoga mat or meditation space. If outside, you might use a stone or tree stump as an altar, or create a beautiful spot at the base of a tree. Place your special candle on your altar. You might also include seasonal objects you've gathered, such as leaves, acorns, stones, fruits.

3) Set your intention for autumn. Reflect on what you want to manifest by writing or making art in your journal. Then write a your intention statement on a small piece of paper to use in ceremony. You may wish to flow with the energy the fall equinox offers naturally, such as:

  • Recognizing and honoring the balance of the light and dark within you, as there are equal hours of each on this special day.
  • Harvesting, expressing gratitude for, and celebrating the bounty and abundance from the seeds you've sewn earlier this year.
  • Soulful planning for the cooler, darker, introspective months ahead. The seed you plant now can bloom next spring.
  • Making a commitment to open your inward eye during these darker months, discovering more about your unfolding, authentic self.
  • Replenishing yourself - mind, body, and spirit. As reflected in the plant and animal life around us, we are also moving into the time for dormancy, hibernation, rest, and renewal. 
  • In this season of roots, spend time honoring your ancestors, calling on them for guidance or protection. 

4) Open the ceremony by marking the time as sacred using a symbolic act. This can be done any in any of the following ways: Crossing a threshold; lighting the candle on your altar; sounding a bell, gong, drum, or rattle; using a scent to bring you into the dreamtime (diffusing or anointing with essential oils, lighting sage or palo santo, misting rose water, etc.)  

5) Now call your guides into the space. Your personal guides might be your spirit guides, angels, gods/goddesses, animal spirits, ancestors or any un/seen entity that feels good and clear to call on in support of your highest good and your intention.

6) Cast a circle, calling upon all directions. You can do this however you prefer. I like to speak the following:

Facing east: "Spirit of the east, great spirit of air, cleanse this space."

Facing south: "Spirit of the south, great spirit of water, bring peace to this space."

Facing west: "Spirit of the west, great spirit of fire, energize this space."

Facing north: "Spirit of the north, great spirit of earth, ground this space."

Directed upward: "Great father sky, protect this space from above."

Directed downward: "Great mother earth, nurture this space from below."

7) Say your intention aloud and/or meditate on it like a mantra. Allow the intention statement to flow through your body in both directions -- inhaling the earth's energy up from the bottom of your feet (or base of your spine if sitting) from root to crown until it ascends from the top of your head to the heavens. Then exhale it down from crown to root, grounding your intention into the fertile soil of the earth.

8) Place the small paper with your intention on your altar. I often place mine under a candle or a stone to ground and enliven it. 

9) Close the ceremony circle by offering gratitude to your guides. Also you may want to repeat or reverse the act you chose for opening your ceremony, such as snuffing the candle or herbs, sounding the bell, or crossing back over your threshold. 

10) Allow the ceremony live in you as you move through the season ahead. Interact with your altar and/or journal, revisiting your intention and noticing the ways you are actively manifesting it in your life. 

New moon, new web site

It's nearly Halloween, and I'm all dressed up as myself in this shiny new web space. I've been spiffing up my web site, bringing it into modern times after having had the same look for the past 12 years. While I'm not completely settled into these new digs, I still decided to have you over for a little housewarming tea, because I'm exercising the muscle that doesn't have to make things all perfect before sharing them. So, welcome. Come in, and have a look around. Let me know what you think.

I'm really feeling today's new moon in Scorpio. The smoke from my palo santo is swirling across my desk as I write this tonight, with the veil between worlds thinning, the leaves and rain falling. 

Today I read Mystic Mamma's post about this new moon, and these words spoke to me: 

New moon in Scorpio heralds in the witching hour of magic and mystery and the depths of our soul. 
The spirits of our ancestors are with us. As we call forth their wisdom, they remind us to awaken to our fullness before we shed these skins. 
Scorpio brings her alchemy of transformation and reminds us to shed outmoded forms of being, so that we can shapeshift ourselves into a new reality and our eagle spirit can soar to new heights.

I am living these very sentiments at the moment, as I am dreaming into what these new heights will be for myself and my business. I'm certainly in a transformative space and trying to cherish the mystery and possibility of all that's brewing. Stirring my cauldron and listening deeply to what I'm called to make. do. offer. be. You'll be the first to know.   

The Saturn Return (aka: Why the late 20s are a beast!)

One of the most profound periods of my adult life thus far was my late twenties - a time when I stepped more concretely into the woman I am becoming, but not without turbulence, hardship, and a fair amount of freaking out. All are characteristic of what is known as the Saturn Return. In my practice, I enjoy working with women as they undergo this important, rich, and often difficult transitional time of life. So, what's Saturn got to do with the internal earthquakes of the late 20s? Here's just a bit of astrology and mythology: Saturn takes 29.5 years to make one orbit around the sun (because it's so far out there,) and each time Saturnreturns to the spot it inhabited at the time of your birth, it is typical to feel your own mortality and the anxiety of being an adult. In myth, Saturn represents the Father archetype, the God of the harvest, God of time/aging, bringer of periodic renewal and change.

Between the ages of 27 and 31, you are close to your first Saturn Return. You are likely feeling the ripples of Saturn returning if things are feeling chaotic, your romantic relationships are shifting, your friendships are changing, you are having issues with your parents, you are questioning your career, and perhaps questioning your purpose in this planet. In the socially sanctioned Western culture, the twenties constitute college, and maybe graduate school, and then an effort to apply one's college major to join the work force -- harvesting and reaping what you've sewn. This is a decade that, for many women, can feel like trying on costumes to see what fits -- changing jobs, relationships, locations, clothing, identities. It is a time that can be both exciting and confusing - full of experimentation, risk-taking, openness, discovery, and heart-opening heartache.

The first Saturn Return is a marker for independence from our families of origin, or our parents and siblings. This is a period when one is often estranged from the external support systems of childhood, finding strength in one's own wings after leaving the nest. Relationships to one's family is often in a transitional state because at this stage, we are finding our adult footing and identity. Some are creating and growing families of their own at this age, with new sets of rhythms and rules. Then when re-entering the childhood home at this age, we are often expected to behave in the set role in the family that we inhabited in childhood -- a story that may no longer fit or serve who we are. Family relationships have the opportunity to be challenged and reestablished during this time.

At this stage women are often taking inventory of romantic relationships, feeling the pressures from past generations to couple up and procreate by the age of thirty. As Saturn is the archetypal, universal symbol for Father, often women will look deeply into issues they may have around their own father during this period, and to the masculine energies we've attracted into in our lives, perhaps in an unconscious attempt to heal the father relationship.

The planet Saturn is associated with aging and mortality, and this is often our first awakening to our time clock ticking down. External influences regarding an "acceptable timeline of adulthood" have often been internalized and plays out in some way --  whether it's embracing the idea of this timeline, rejection of the suggestion, fear that it's not happening, foraging a new path proudly, etc. (Yes, men feel the Saturn Return too, but social impositions are different for men at this stage.) Some of why this time period can be so difficult is that there's a cultural (American) pressure that one "should" have their adult sh*t together by this point. And shoulding oneself is the opposite of self-compassion, so this can feel rather icky to face.

The planet Saturn is the instigator of change. Often there is a crisis at this life stage that puts you face-to-face with your fears, allowing you to unplug from that which is not really YOU (imposed by family, society, or some other outside force or voice) and to then find your true course in adulthood. We are all born with the inner knowing of who we are - we have internal compasses guiding us, but we meander and get lost when we follow the directions given by others. The Saturn Return can be a time to tune back into yourself and get back on a course that feels right with your spirit.

Many of us will get to do this again around age 57-60, and perhaps a third time between 86-89 years old, but rest-assured, the first time around is generally the most arduous. The first Saturn Return is a prime opportunity to forage your uniquely beautiful path into your awakened, connected, and authentic adult life.