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Rae du Soleil
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"I learned how to give up hope, in a way. How to give up wishing things would be different, in favor of just taking care of what is right in front of me as best I can. I learned a new level of honesty with myself and others, how to let go of my story about what’s happening, and just be with what’s real– this is not always pretty, or media-friendly, or happy, and once seen, cannot be unseen." - Yeshe Rabbit, speaking of her trip to Tibet


Reading a piece about rebuilding a temple in Tibet, I'm struck by a few sentences that resonate more deeply. They seem to say a lot of what I feel these days.

They say when you study the alchemical paradox, you can go mad. The ubiquitous-yet-unknown "they" are right, for it allows you to stare at the hideous contradictions that arise in human culture and life as though through a microscope. My spiritual community definitely has a couple, and it's my inability to sit with one of them and hold space with it that really is at the root of my discontent.

My friend actually knew she was dying. Not her main personality, I was told not to tell 'her' but one of the others was very forthright about it, in her non-human way. While I was living in Vegas over the winter, I spent as much time with my friend as I could bear, as I knew it would be our last times. There was a period of time when she was calling people from her past, people she had not spoken to in years. She apologized for stuff she knew she'd done and stuff she knew she didn't. She was making her peace before she died.

Some people had great phone calls with her. Some people cried with her, realizing they would never talk to her again. A few got some stuff off their chests right back at her. (Apparently she really liked those calls) And some decided to not return her calls at all and shun her. That last behavior came from members of the actual Vegas community, not people she had been estranged from for more than a decade, but people who actually spend a lot of time talking about community, and how great their community is, and how their community always meets its members needs. People she thought were her community.

I'm going to go to this memorial and wind up listening to someone talk about how special and wonderful my friend was, knowing full well that the speaker shunned her utterly and would not even take the time to hear my friend speak. After spending several hours with my friend, holding her hand while she sobbed, asking me why they wouldn't even return her calls, while all I could do was sit there and think about how I was going to talk to them the very next day. I totally get why she used to sneer "all are welcome, all are one....unless you don't agree with us." She was absolutely right.

When I have people telling me they are going to met my needs, and they are the people who shunned a dying woman they had known for decades, I have to leave the table. I didn't sit with her for hours, hanging out in the midst of a hoarder heap of Goddess-knows-what and art supplies and strange food, watching her dig into her skin with jewelers tools because she thought she extruding plastic, for fun.

I sat there because this person was my friend and they needed me. I sat there because when people die, you get what you get, and I wanted more than anything to make sure she knew we were friends even as it got ugly and painful and scary. I wanted her to know that being with her, even if we weren't doing something, was what was most important to me.

I'm okay with all this. Blessedly, I reap the benefit of this lesson now. I will not be learning as I die that my community doesn't respect me and isn't actually there for me.

Metal, heated by fire, then pounded, gets stronger.





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It was my delight this morning to learn that the root of the word "heresy" comes from the Greek, from a word that meant "choice."

It has been my pleasure to evolve into a heretic in my alchemical community. I'm very proud of myself for that.
From Jonathan Woolley: What lies at the heart of heresy is not the intolerance of Inquisition, and the heat of a burning stake, but rather a firm commitment to truth.
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Tim Wilkerson offers good insight into alchemical timing. I've seen him present a few times, but now he's sharing his alchemical calculations more broadly.
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Back in November, when I was getting ready to go to Vegas for the winter, the people who bought the house next door about a year previously said they would demolish the house in January.

Today, that home is finally coming down. The man operating the machinery is friendly and of the opinion that this will be a straightforward and easy job for him.

There is just a few feet between that house and our home. We welcome that the new structure will have to be further away. You can sort of tell the house wards and spirits are all lined up along our eastern border today.
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This piece really got the lid off the jar in my head. My favorite bit comes near the end, "I don’t know the answers, or more likely I’m terrified by the answers in front of me. What I know is that we need those on the edges: the radicals, the queer, the marginalized, the ones who speak up and remind me of what I’d want to ignore. These are the voices that see we are the Titanic plowing heedlessly into the ice and shouting for us to stop. We need these voices if we’re going to survive the changes that are already happening."

I know I'm in a revolt-or-die position so that's not the issue. I guess the debate for me is do I want to continuing to struggle to effect change in a larger whole that isn't interested in what I value or find a new Petri dish and get culturing? I know my interests in body politics and #freethenipple aren't shared, especially as keeping just nipples covered is such a disgustingly-huge part of Vegas culture. If, as a woman, you ever want to really learn how much misogyny you've internalized, just go to Vegas.

I know there are a lot of humans who spend time doing healing and supportive work around the casinos, working in spas and the like, and they talk about how it balances the harshness of the casinos. To me, that's just farm hands making the animals more comfortable so they panic less in the slaughter yard. Of course, none of them know this because we never actually talk about the real world at any of these gatherings. In fact, at many gatherings I attend, people tend to state how the event is "the really real world" which sets up the most effective New Age sense of disconnection from reality you could ever hope to induce.

A mediator friend of mine talked recently about how the problem a lot of the time is that people put such a massive effort into hearing and honoring everyone's feelings, but then they never actually move forward on any genuine issues. I've had years of this. I can sit in circle and get buckets of well-wishes and whatnot for days, weeks or months, but at no point does any of that turn into anything productive or functional back in the actual reality.

When I look at what I consider community building, I see a social group, not a community. Really, it's the usual feudal structure of a few better-off households acting as home bases for everyone to gather for parties. But when the economy slides and the town contracts, the survival line is going to slice very unevenly through the community. Who will still have work and can afford to stay, and who can afford to move is going to be a small fraction of the whole. If you look at it from a position of even a big natural disaster, they don't even seem to be in a position to close ranks and care for themselves in that event.

I don't want to be a part of a community where the main forms of expression and that which triggers the most validation from others are performance-related, just like how I have learned I do not want to be in community where the group and social approval are dominated by design and making. My present community tolerates that I am not as into their stuff as they are, but they endlessly radiate the attitude that if you just did it more and practiced as much as they, then you would be into it more and everything would be more fun. I'm exhausted from enduring the unspoken social pressure.

I sadly learned what's with the thing where any hint of rope tying is mentioned, and my sexuality is suddenly a joke for the whole room. I was recently informed by a person more widely and well-read than I that the behavior is a concept from Carnegie's How To Make Friends And Influence People, which once explained, left me distinctly nonplussed. It turns out the rope joker at some point in the past fixated on this particular detail about me, to make it seem like he remembers important and relevant points about me, and thus he can "prove" we are friends. After these random ropey intros, I get men coming up to me asking me if I'm a whore or a pro-Domme. And when I tell other people in the community what happened, they almost always think that's funny. Are you ready for really fucked up kicker? The person who makes these jokes about my sexuality is one of the community leaders.

I get that for fourteen years I have been seeking a community in which I can reside, trying to find work that is both meaningful and gainful, and searching for a life partner. Clearly, I have not found squat but equally clear is that the search will continue. What I don't get is why I looked at this community and developed tunnel vision?
From Anthony Rella: "...we need those on the edges: the radicals, the queer, the marginalized, the ones who speak up and remind me of what I'd want to ignore. "
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Here's the bit that really stuck with me in this piece,

"Wanting so hard to do a thing that you’re willing to subject yourself to a series of “trying ordeals” and tribulations is not the same as “trying” to achieve them. The first meaning of the word used is easier, as it requires only struggle and hardship and is equally valid with or without successful achievement of that which you wanted so hard to do; failure is acceptable here. The second meaning — by which we mean actually attempting a thing with an informed aim for successful completion — is more challenging, as it requires that a person know what a completed task might look like, know at least some of the steps likely to bring them to that state, and what tools, accessories or skills might be called upon in the doing. The pursuit of the second meaning — “try” as in meaningfully undertake an attempt — may actually include the experience of the first meaning — “try” as in struggle — because that’s life, and kiddies, sometimes life is hard."

For fourteen years, I have had a venue for many trying ordeals, and, as the author remarks, I was "rewarded, congratulated, praised, trophied and bejeweled" regardless of the effort or outcome. And I get a lot of what's not working for me with that process.

The wackiest (and most beautiful) part of this has been the few random people who have actually chosen to seek me out, who are wondering if something is wrong, who have the beautiful f-ing balls to ask me if the community leaders "did" something to me to make not want to be there. Thank goodness there are humans who are curious. When I confess how I feel unconnected and how I feel my true one friend from the community is now gone, what I've been getting back is.... similar confessions. People telling me if they don't bring close friends from outside the community to gatherings, they wind up feeling like an outsider because despite attending events for years, they don't feel they have friends in the community either. The person who said they purposely made sure not to get to know the main people that well because they feel like such a clique. The person who sighed heavily into the phone and shared why they don't hardly come to events anymore.

I changed the quote on my bathroom mirror the weekend of the summer solstice. I write things up there that I want to steep into my consciousness. It reads, "If your love requires me to hide parts of who I am, then you don't love me. Love is never a request for silence." Fortunately the shower steam cools the smoke from my brain as I cogitate on that.
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An excellent take on what can be a tricky ethical situation.
 
One of the most debated issues in magickal defense is whether or not you should do magickal defense for someone else without their permission.  In this post I'll take a look at a few of the situations where you might be tempted to do defensive work for another without their permission and the various issues they entail.
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I hope as humans we can stick with this one.
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I'm glad for the internet because I don't know anyone who seems to be paying attention to the European Union. Both my parents and the table next to us at breakfast yesterday were focused on the prison escape of El Chapo.

 
Greece & the EU
So I've been trying to get up to speed on what's really happening with Greece and the EU. My man Paul Krugman says: The European project — a project I have always praised and supported — has just been dealt a terrible, perhaps fatal blow. And whatever you t...
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In that way where reading one blog finds you another, I discovered The Decolonial Atlas.

"The Decolonial Atlas, started in 2014, is an attempt to bring together maps which, in some way, challenge our relationships with the land, people, and state. It is based on the premise that there is no such thing as “truth” in cartography. Only interpretation. The orientation of a map, its projection, the presence of political borders, which features are included or excluded, and the language used to label a map are all subject to the map-maker’s agenda. Because most maps in use today serve to reinforce colonial understandings of the Earth, we are consciously creating maps which help us to re-imagine the world – to decolonize."
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Jane Austen's The Terminator. Delightful, really.
 
**
This may be my favorite literary mashup, and since the text is getting to be linkrotted away, I'm hosting it here. “Indeed,” said the man (whom Patience could not help but think of as
made of clockwork, though he manifestly was something far stranger), “I
s...
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Various Virgo proclivities, the gift of gab and sundry eclectica
Employment
  • Various Content Sites
    Freelance writer, 2006 - present
    Writing and Editorial experience in online sites, researching and writing with the object of telling and explaining. Forum moderation and community building.
  • The Grey School
    Marketing Manager, 2010 - 2013
    Also, professor in the department of alchemy and publisher of Grey Matters (the school eZine)
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Story
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you can never be too rich, or too purple...
Introduction
Greeting, fellow aliens and alchemists... so nice of you to drop by.  Browse around, I'm sure you'll find what you came here looking for.  If not, don't hesitate to inquire...
Bragging rights
I (probably) have more tattoos and piercings than you do
Education
  • Academy of Art University
    MFA - Fashion Textiles, 1993 - 1995
  • Clarion Writer's Workshop - Michigan State Univ
    creative writing, 1989 - 1989
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
    BA - Theater Arts (Costume/Makeup Emphasis), 1985 - 1989
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