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The Lake Where the Black Swans Swim December 7, 2014

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The names of the ancestors have been lost in the ethers of time, but the blood scent of these women still calls us to cross thresholds and gather in circles, holding hands, raising our voices in boisterous song, dancing to the music of the stars. Women who make lists, follow rules, and set daily goals to be ticked off as completed sometimes find our gatherings to be too loose, too ethereal  . . . at first. But when we finally cross the lake where the black swans swim, taking the Bridge of Light to the isle hidden by the fog of what is called by those who have no sense of its meaning: Truth, always, always, those who leave their shoes and their heavy limiting goals on the shore (where the black swans feast on the discards) step on to the island barefoot and, hand-in-hand, find themselves ready to dance in joy with the rest of us. Once the decision is made, I have never known the transformation to fail and have learned in this way that the only truth worth hanging on to is the belief in magic.

Dream: Fear Is Toying With Me November 18, 2014

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The dream started off innocuously enough. I was making up a bed in a child’s room. There were toys in the room, mostly piled up in the corners and along the walls – not messy, just a lot of them. At some point I heard music, the kind that an electronic toy might make, and I looked around to see which toy it was and why it was making noise. At first I couldn’t tell, but then decided it was a toy in the far corner of the room, opposite where I was standing next to the bed. Many of the toys in that corner began making noises, and some of them even started talking, and though I couldn’t make out what they were saying, somehow it sounded sinister. They were scaring me, so I picked up something off of the floor and threw it at them and told them to be quiet. One of the toys caught what I threw and just laughed – an evil laugh that frightened me even more. That’s when I knew I had to get out of that room.

But the bed was between me and the door, and to get around it I would have to walk past the very scary toys. I was thinking maybe I could climb across the bed (it was small) but I sensed the toys would never let that happen. I was so frightened, all I wanted to do was escape. And then realized I was in a dream and willed myself to wake-up. Some part of me, though, would not let me waken because there was something important for me to learn here, a lesson. I tossed and turned and fretted about the sinister toys, neither fully awake nor fully asleep, until I finally had that aha! moment: I couldn’t escape my fears, I had to face them. So I walked right over to the scariest bunch of toys and said “You have no power over me, you are only toys!” Immediately they quieted and became inanimate, benign toys once again, and I fell back into a deep, restful sleep.

The lesson: Fear has no power over me when I confront it head-on. In my dream, I had to walk right up to the thing that frightened me, not run away from it. Escaping would have left the fear alive and powerful and I would have never been truly free of it, never again able to enter that room, or perhaps any other, without wondering what fearful thing might show up. I had to face the fear to banish it and release its power over me.

Cytherea September 10, 2014

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The Destroyer slipped from the darkness of the cave into the wan light of a weak-hearted morning. All around her she could feel the apathetic lethargy that encouraged those who inhabited this valley to disengage, to withdraw, to forget their connection, their shared experience of this journey. If she closed her eyes, she could feel, though not see, the source of this muddied, gray energy, and she moved resolutely in that direction. Though she walked freely, in the open, neither hiding nor altering her appearance, no one approached her, no one noted or questioned her presence among them. To do any such thing would have required engagement of a sort and these people were past any ability to do that. Maybe the children, she had thought early on in her progress through the village, but they too seemed to be mere shadows, as insubstantial as vapor, their vibrancy and innocence stolen and replaced with a naive humility that didn’t allow for anything save mere existence. That — the will to survive — was reinforced, though not supported by any appreciable means, and so the people suffered.

Her job? Destroy the suffering!

The Destroyer used no name and hid herself well, when necessary, behind her cloak of anonymity. Here in this abysmal place, there was no need to hide, but this unknowablity had always been her most potent weapon, the sword she used to slice through illusion. It had served her well . . . until now. Now the gray veil of apathy that hung over the village threatened to drag her down, pull her into the abyss of the unacknowledged along with all the others. She felt herself slipping, slipping . . . and then she met the child: One little girl, unlike the others, her bright face a lone shining beacon in the sludge. Eyes open. Watching. Watching her.

She had felt the girl’s gaze before she could see her. Because of the powerful energy, she had expected to meet, perhaps, a seer from one of the other realms. But no, there was only this one, tiny human, following her approach with her eyes. When the little one spoke, she changed everything.

“I am called Lona,” the child said, her voice resonant with fairy dust and the bittersweet earth from which she was born. “I know you. I know why you are here.”

The woman was taken aback. No one had ever seen her before.  She looked into the child’s eyes and knew she could not hide. “You may call me Cytherea,” she said to the child, knowing that it was as close as she could come to a name — Cythera, the place where she was born. “How is it that you are not blind to me, like the others?”

“I have been watching and waiting,” said the girl, taking Cytherea’s hand. “My apprenticeship began before my birth, in another place and time. The details have been wiped from my memory, to help me fit in here. But the lessons have stayed with me. I am here to help you.”

Cytherea’s eyes flashed. “I work alone,” she thundered. “I need no help!”

The child only smiled. “You do,” she said.

Lona stood before Cytherea, unmoving, her green eyes glistening like clear emeralds. In their depths, Cytherea could see the vast wisdom of long-forgotten ages, times, seers, fused  into the rock-solid gem that was this wisp of a child. “Indeed,” she said finally, “you may be right.”

Cytherea was not one to back away from any battle which must be fought, but she knew better than to engage in futility. To argue with Lona would have been not only useless, she realized, but possibly fatal. The girl was that powerful.

Once Cytherea had acquiesced, the child’s eyes lost their hard gleam, but remained open, aware, alert. “This way,” she said, leading Cytherea away from the village and toward a tall mountain in the distance. The mountain’s peak was obscured by gray clouds, but Cytherea knew from the shape and the texture of its surface that it was volcanic and wondered how long it had been dormant.

“Oh, it is not dormant,” Lona said, just as if Cytherea had spoken aloud. “It is still very active and spews hot grey ash on the village from time to time.” She pointed to the tiny holes that peppered the fabric of her dress and Cytherea realized that the people had fallen into a despair born of nature and then exploited by forces whose only desire was to manipulate and control. The mountain, the ash provided the means for fear and apathy to take a stranglehold. She also realized that Lona’s answer was no coincidence and stared at her small companion with new admiration.

“Yes,” Lona said, even before Cytherea could fully form the thought. “I know what you are thinking, even before you do. As you have stayed hidden behind your anonymity, I have worked behind others’ thoughts and ideas, and have kept this gift to myself.” She smiled and her eyes shone with a feeling that Cytherea could only call compassion, though it was not a word that felt comfortable on her tongue. “I have to protect the others,” the girl said, before Cytherea could comment. “All of them. I love them.”

“Yes,” said Cytherea, shocked at the depth of the girl’s feelings. “I can see that. But isn’t that a problem for you? A stumbling block? To care so much?”

Lona looked at the woman so deeply that Cytherea felt the emerald-green point of recognition pierce her heart. “Oh!” she said, clutching her chest.

Lona seemed satisfied and softened her gaze. “Love is my power,” she said. “In the end, it is all we need to survive.”



Awakening August 30, 2014

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She is offered the cup, takes it in both hands, and drinks deeply. Ancient stars explode in her head and her vision clears to a crystal clarity that allows her to see what has been unseen, hidden right in front of her, within her, all along. The moon shines full and a cascade of starlight illuminates the scene before her: Her childself who still believes in fairies and magick, eye-to-eye with the child whose stories have become clothed in practical concerns and the mandatory adherence to dry, out-dated customs long past their usefulness. She — this young, purposeful, practical self — stands strong but bewildered, wanting so badly to be her “other,” to don her fairy wings and fly . . .

Fast forward . . . 40, 50, 60 years, it matters not. It is no accident that she has been led to this place again, this point in time/no time, every moment, every life experience strung together on a necklace of pearlescent wonder. She wants to reach out, trust herself. Trust her own true nature to lead her on a path of healing and a bliss that transforms not only herself, but the world — the planet, her sisters and brothers, all beings. To know the self that sprinkles fairy dust onto the chaos and stands back to watch the result: A world in which we all reach out for each other — to help and be helped — without recrimination or judgement, but rather with joy for the opportunity to love deeply, freely, completely.

Her magickal self, the fairy child, laughs at her hesitation and reaches for her hand. “You’re making this too hard,” she says. “It’s simple really: Remember you are magick! Just come with me, spread your wings, and dance, dance, dance!”

The Dancer & the Warrior June 30, 2013

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The dancer and the warrior met for the first time on the path by the lake, both drawn by the iridescent bubbles that shimmered in the sunlight and floated, whimsical, on the soft breeze. The dancer had followed the bubbles because she was intrigued by their fragile beauty. The warrior came to discover the secret of their strength: They seemed too ephemeral to last, and yet, they did.

Prancing on the path, the dancer had seen the warrior first. He was standing still, intent on a shimmering bubble that had alighted, shivering but unbroken, on a leaf attached to the narrow limb of a small tree, just at eye level.

The warrior had stiffened when he felt the dancer’s eyes upon him, and he turned slowly, not knowing if he would find friend or foe at his back. He cursed the curiosity that had allowed him to be so careless, and his hand found the hilt of his sword, almost of its own will, though he did not draw it.

The dancer, unaccustomed to warrior ways, merely laughed and tip-toed up to the tree, ignoring the stunned warrior, who was used to being in charge, and blew gently on the bubble, a breath so light it nearly knocked the warrior off his feet, and allowed the bubble to take flight and continue on its journey.

Once I Was a Butterfly June 11, 2013

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Here’s a chance for you all to read the piece I wrote for “Essence of Laurel”: Once I Was a Butterfly.   Enjoy!!


Expansiveness: The sum of who you are is bigger than all the parts of you May 25, 2013

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In the dark, in the night, under a smiling sliver of moon and the spreading limbs of the old Grandmother Tree, she sits in stillness as the music continues to vibrate within. Individual molecules dance, coming together and moving away, forming new shapes and structures until they settle on a honeycomb form that encompasses the essence of all their parts. Separately, they are powerful, but together they create a force that is unstoppable: strong, cohesive, centered, and focused. She feels their energy like a sharp sword moving through her, into the rock on which she sits, and on into the roots of the great tree, where it climbs the trunk and excites each limb, each leaf, to release its song into the star-studded sky. She is an open vessel, attuned to all-that-is, separate yet one.

In the darkness, a door opens and she brightens in the deep blue light of The Feminine. A polar bear ambles past the door and offers his assistance, though she hasn’t asked for it. “I am strong,” he says, implying she is not. “I can protect you.” She is grateful for the polar bear’s offer, grateful for his presence; though, bathed in the blue light, she can see clearly that brute strength is not enough. It can only go so far before greater forces have their way and what was once seen as strength is diminished and eventually disappears.

But there is something in what the bear has to offer, an energy that moves through the root of the tree and is changed and deposited into the honeycomb, like nectar that is transformed inside the hive by the sister bees into sweet, thick honey. What is brought forth from this hive is true leadership. Strong, yes, but strength that does not force, that leads by example. That incites “obedience” through beingness. True leadership that requires no laws, rules, or regulations to enforce, but elicits compliance through a shared vision of communal responsibility and mutual benefit. Leadership that grows from the seed of oneness and the knowing that when we tap into the eternal oneness, we are all bigger than the sum of our individual gifts, talents, and abilities.

In a flash, she sees that the Sword of Wisdom, which is embedded within the deepest essence of her being, does its work cleanly, slicing finely and neatly, cutting away illusions, and allowing her to see that she is so much bigger than she believes herself to be.

Wisdom April 3, 2013

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The dancer of lif

reaches for heaven . . . earth,

goes deeper into the shadow

where ordinary circumstances

take on the cloak of the sacred,

weaves a thread of continuity

from day to day,

word to word,

ideas to

dreams to



Nourished and nurtured in secret:



Womb-en . . . 

It is time to speak!

Dancing Under the Grandmother Tree March 2, 2013

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Why dance?  A story . . .

Under the spreading limbs of the Grandmother Tree we set the bowl of fire. We light the fire with the flame in our own bellies and begin the dance. As we dance, Grandmother draws on our energy and becomes once again as she was when she was young and supple, before she gave birth to so many, before she was battered by storms and cut by sharp knives and sharper words. We dance, we hum, and Grandmother opens her throat and her heart, blessing us.

We dance all night, and as our bodies tire our minds fall into deep quiet, and it is then that our hearts open and we hear Grandmother’s voice fully, because now we are one, speaking heart-to-heart, without words, transmitting our story: the one we must never forget; the one we carry in our bones, our blood; the one that is not yet finished, that will both end with us and continue on as long as there are women with breath and blood and dance.

What do you really want? I hear. And my heart answers:

I want to dance under the Grandmother Tree with my sisters, and open the space for a world of peace and plenty, where the word “war” is not in our vocabulary, and violence is not seen as a solution to anything, but is recognized as a random act that is a cry of pain and a plea for healing.



Incubation December 14, 2012

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The embryo splits, cracks open,

empties itself, oozes its way


into being.

Fully formed twin selves



two sides of one truth:


not me.


can never be not me,

only and always me.

Yet within the I/she that is me

resides that which is so not me

as to be truly me.

Me holds not me,

not me does not

hold me


but falls into the soft sureness

of the truth.

What is birthed?

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