Patti Smith's advice to Artists, Musicians and Writers

I'm sitting at breakfast with my Mom and her sister in a hotel in downtown Seattle. It's a LOVELY breakfast and beautiful view of the rain and November foliage outside... all of a sudden I feel this presence behind me. I look to my right and.... and.... is that Lenny Kaye? Why yes as a matter of fact it is! He sits down at the table next to ours with another gentleman I don't recognize. I steal a few glances but I don't want to be invasive, so I keep chatting with the relatives.

But then a woman walks up to Lenny Kaye. She's about 5'7" with long darkish gray hair, dark masculine clothing and a presence that shakes the room. I know in a flash it's Patti Smith. I had seen her speak the night before, and she had chastised audience from coming up and bothering her at breakfast, so even though I was squirming with excitement I knew to give her space. But it was fantastic. I wrote on a napkin "Mom don't say ANYTHING but Patti Smith is sitting behind Aunt Debby" and handed it to her. Mom gleefully took the note, but didn't really know who or what I was talking about:)

Little did she know we were sitting next to one of the most inspiring women of modern times.

Today is Patti Smith's birthday. She is one of my heroes: my female role model for living a full life as an artist and writer, and becoming an empowered and fascinating older woman.

(She's a Fire Dog by the way, 1946.... her and David Bowie...)

I had the good fortune to see her speak at this conference, but I've never posted my notes on her speech until now. They could be a Manual For Living for ANYONE. I really took her to heart, and this is pretty much how I live my life now.

Check it out:

The artist has a specific calling that the people need
Their gift belongs to the people - not the artist
The artist is to animate God, and inspire, inform and lead the people
The artist MUST take care of their own house (health, finances, etc..)
Being a musician is a sacrifice - doing the work, dragging equipment, being disciplined
Absolutely market yourself! You are sharing and spreading the word... "hear ye hear ye"

Female rock artists are not well represented in the music industry. Women do well in country music and as singer songwriters.... but not in rock music.
Everyone has the right to make money from their art.

Patti is often asked, "How do I make money from my music?" Her answer - "Get a Job!" Take care of your responsibilities.
Patti Smith worked from 1967 to 1974. You have to work hard and get funding for your work.
The important part is to tell yourself "I am not my day job. I'm doing this to fund my music."
She watched her mother work all day. When they didn't have enough money she would sew and do laundry for people at night. It gave Patti a strong work ethic.

Her mantra - People have the Power to change what's around us and within us.
Her favorite poet - Arthur Rimbaud

She saw the birth of rock music, and she's seen lots of ups and downs in the industry and society in general. But the times we're living in are the most corrupt, demoralizing, fearful times she's EVER seen. You have to be really tough to make it in the world today.

The answer is to work diligently on the things you CAN control. Make them your whole focus.

One thing you can control is your health. Work on your "inner house" - what's your nutrition?
Are you taking care of yourself?
Your teeth?
We have to be strong, clean and aware because the world is fucked up.
Get yourself together - get it physically together.

Conduct yourself in a manner that commands respect.

She also said, when people march together, or meet at conferences, we let each other know that we exist! Try to strengthen the numbers in your community.

Happy Birthday Patti Smith!


Winter Solstice

It's the Winter Solstice... the longest night of the year. Tomorrow morning the Sun will be Reborn for the next solar year. From this point on the days increase in length.

Hail Unto the Return of the Light!

So I ask you, what would you like to leave to the darkness tonight? What do you want to let go of and release to 2009?
What would you like to give birth to tomorrow morning when the Sun rises on a new year? What would you like to set your energy to for 2010?

Health, peaceful relationships, Love, prosperity, effortlessness, JOY, healing


Sex Addiction goes mainstream

First there was "Sex Rehab" on VH1, and now today we have Rehab (and Dr. Drew) appearing on Oprah! Really amazing stuff. "Sex Rehab" is a fascinating show and I'm glad to see it receiving mainstream attention.

I can relate to it. I've struggled with dysfunctional relationships in my own life, and I've seen the ravages of addiction in our society, on the news, in advertising and in my community. I hope this new exposure will open the door of healing and transformation for addicts that aren't aware of their addiction, or aware that there is a different way to live.

As I watched I decided to take some notes on Oprah's show to share with you here. Most of these facts and perspectives come from Dr. Drew and the guests on the show:

Sex Addiction:

Sex addiction is harder to deal with than drug addiction.
One orgasm releases as much dopamine in a person's brain as one alcoholic drink.
At it's core, it's about your sense of value and how you relate to yourself.
Sometimes it's a way to feel power over others.
Sex addicts often feel unlovable.
When children become sexual at a young age, Dr. Drew says it's from chaos in the home.
Most addicts seek recovery when suffering with consequences and feeling a loss of control
About 80% of partners of sex addicts will stay with the addict.
It takes 3 to 5 years to treat sex and love addiction

Love Addiction:

...is more common in women
It's an intimacy disorder
The people that terrorized us in our childhood become our fixation in our adulthood.
A love addict can't tolerate intimacy
The person becomes addicted to the feeling of being in love.
One of the symptoms is obsessing over a love interest - making the guy or girl your everything.
If rejected, the addict becomes suicidal or severly depressed; can't work or function.
If you're in a relationship with someone who doesn't respect you, there is an element of addiction involved.
Addiction requires interpersonal and spiritual experiences to heal.
Humans need intimacy; it's a basic need.
There are so many social networking sites (like this one:), and everyone's talking.. but there's no REAL intimacy (I thought this was an interesting observation!)

So that's it. For more info check out Dr. Drew's site!


Dumbledore vs. Voldemort

One of the best scenes in film in my opinion. Two well matched and powerful magicians doing battle and invoking each of the Four Elements in the process....

Happy Halloween everyone!


Libra and Love

As you may or may not know, the Sun entered Libra recently - the sign of scales, of balance, and the sign of LOVE! I came upon this great post by Derek Sivers about love... what are your thoughts about love?

What's the difference between like, love, and in-love?

How do you know when you love someone instead of just liking them a lot?

How do you know when you're “in-love” with someone instead of just loving them as a person?

I asked a bunch of friends these questions, and got a huge variety of answers:

    “If I like anything about someone, I like them. If I like everything about someone, I love them. If I like everything about someone and we have great sex, I'm in love.”

    “Like is liking someone, but conditionally. Love is liking someone unconditionally. In-love is just glorification of a temporary infatuation. Eventually it becomes love.”

    “This sounds morbid, but I think of it in terms of how I'd react if they died. If I like someone and they died, I'd be sad and cry once or twice. If I love someone and they died, I'd be devastated and cry for days or weeks. If I'm in love with someone and they died, I'd want to die too.”

How do you know?


Mercury Retrograde in Libra & Virgo

Long time no see! You know why? Cause my computer DIED the day before Mercury went retrograde! (see article below)


But I'm back now with a new found appreciation of electronics:)

Here's a great article I found about Mercury Retrograde that I want to share with you. I'm waiting to find out who wrote this so I can give them proper credit, but in the meantime I think you'll find it very informative!

Mercury, the Divine Messenger

Mercury Retrograde in Libra & Virgo [Sep. 7 – Sep. 29, 2009]
At 04:46 UT (Universal Time), on Monday, September 7th, 2009, Mercury the cosmic trickster turns retrograde at 6°13' Libra, in the sign of the Scales, sending communications, travel, appointments, mail and the www into a general snarlup! The retro period begins some days before the actual turning point (as Mercury slows) and lasts for three weeks or so, until Sep. 29, when the Winged Messenger reaches his direct station. At this time he halts and begins his return to direct motion through the zodiac.Everything finally straightens out on October 18, as he passes the point where he first turned retrograde. Mercury normally turns retrograde three times a year, but this year he turns tail four times, which is unusual. The effects of each period differ, according to the sign in which it happens (see box for Retrograde Periods in 2009).
A planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. According to modern science, this traditional concept arises in the illusory planetary motion created by the orbital rotation of the earth with relation to other planets in our solar system. Planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way due to this cosmic shadow-play. Click here for more on the science of retrograde planetary motion.
Retrograde periods, although often problematic for us earthlings, are not particularly uncommon. Each planet retrogrades, except the Sun and Moon. Although a powerful astrological influence, Mercury is quite a small planet that travels at a relatively fast speed through the zodiac. Despite being the closest planet in our solar system to the Sun, he is not always in the same sign as the Sun. This time, Mercury turns retrograde in Libra (relationships; tastes; harmony) while the Sun is in Virgo (analysis; critical ability), but retrogrades into Virgo at the Virgo New Moon on Sep. 18 (while the Sun of course is still in Virgo). The Sun moves into Libra at the Equinox on Sep. 22 while Merc is still in Virgo, but Mercury soon heads back to join the Sun in Libra on Oct. 10.
Fated Events: As a rule, retrograde planets mark a period of seemingly inevitable or fated events that relate to their sphere of influence. Unresolved issues from the past tend to rear their heads. Retro phases present us with a series of events over which we seem to have little or no conscious control, relating especially to the sign in which the retrogradation occurs. For example, Mercury retrograde in Libra (relationships; tastes; harmony) awakens quite different sets of circumstances from those generated when he retrogrades into Virgo (analysis; critical ability).A retrograde period is best seen as a cycle, beginning when a planet begins to slow to a halt before travelling backwards through the zodiac, and ending when it returns to the point where it first paused. However, during the cycle, a planet's energy is most powerful (and more likely to generate critical events of universal importance) when the planet makes a station: appearing motionless in the sky.
These stationary periods occur near the beginning of the cycle (when the planet first halts as it prepares to move backwards) and midway through the cycle when the retrograde planet slows to a stop before moving forward again. The direct station (when the planet halts before moving forward again) is the most powerful and can be used for maximum benefit.

Many astrologers consider that the "Mercury Shadow" begins between two and three weeks before the actual retro station, so the "shadow phase" begins on August 18, when Mercury passes the point of direct station for the first time in this cycle. This period of "Mercury Shadow" extends to the Return date, something under three weeks after the direct station. Bear this in mind, because experience shows that the effects of the retro period are still marked during the shadow phase. Some of the most characteristic annoyances often occur just after Mercury makes the direct station, while he is crawling forward before picking up speed.

What does Mercury affect? In general, Mercury rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information and all means of communication, commerce, education and transportation. By extension, Mercury rules people who work in these areas, especially those who work with their minds or their wits: writers and orators, commentators and critics, gossips and spin doctors, teachers, travellers, tricksters and thieves. Mercury retrograde gives rise to personal misunderstandings; flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications, negotiations and trade; glitches and breakdowns with phones, computers, cars, buses, and trains. And all of these problems usually arise because some crucial piece of information, or component, has gone astray or awry. It is not wise to make important decisions while Mercury is retrograde, since it is likely that such decisions will be clouded by misinformation, poor communication and careless thinking. Mercury is all about mental clarity and the power of the mind, so when Mercury is retrograde these intellectual characteristics tend to be less acute than usual, as the critical faculties are dimmed. Make sure you pay attention to the small print!

The key issue here is one of focus. Mercury sets out to restructure our thinking processes and for many of us this is painful and frustrating. Unresolved issues from the past tend to push themselves forward. Moreover, these experiences reveal flaws in our internal organisation as well as our external planning, which can make us feel foolish and inadequate. Mercury retrograde, like any cosmic aspect, affects people differently, depending on where it hits their personal charts. Some people actually prosper under a retro Mercury, especially if Mercury is retrograde but otherwise well-aspected in their birth charts. It is also a time when matters begun under a previous retro period will come to fruition, or completion as the case may be. Firm decisions that have been previously made when Mercury is travelling normally through the zodiac may be implemented or finalised while Mercury is retrograde without too much worry, for experience shows that this can be done without undue problems arising.


Full Moon in Aquarius

I had an ELECTRIC ritual last night for the Full Moon in Aquarius! It's the brightest full moon of the year, and since Aquarius is ruled by Uranus (the planet of sudden events, electricity and invention) I decided to draw down some truth and inspiration. Silver has a mercurial quality to it, so I grabbed a silver candle.

I've long heard that Tonka bean is ruled by the planet Uranus - it's this weird, black, shriveled seed thing that smells AMAZING. A lot like vanilla. It's often used in Hoodoo, but I use it in spells relating to Aquarius or Uranus. I also brought out some lavender oil last night for Mercury (Mercury being a lower octave of Uranus) and I couldn't believe what I came up with!
I've never mixed it with lavender before and it's an amazing scent! The dreams I had last night were very vivid and I awoke with some amazing revelations about my life.
Magic Happens.


“I guess it shouldn’t surprise us to find ourselves linked with the stars.
Every atom of gold or silver jewelry was created in supernovas. The
water we drink, the air we breathe, the ground we walk, the complicated
pouch of fluids and salts and minerals and bones we are — all forged in
some early chaos of our sun. I think it was the astrophysicist John
Wheeler who remarked that we are the sun’s way of thinking about
-Diane Ackerman, *A Slender Thread: Rediscovering Hope at the Heart of Crisis*



magic (ma' jik), n. 1. A mysterious event or process that seemingly refutes the known laws of science. 2. A willed transformation of one's own state of mind. 3. A surprising triumph that
exceeds all expectations. 4. Something that works, though no one understands why. 5. The impossible becoming possible. 6. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." (Arthur C. Clarke.)


Paganism on the Rise: Everyone's a Pagan now

Paganism is going mainstream. It's about time!
Check out this article I recently found.

This is such great news. I've felt I needed to hide my beliefs from people or risk being instantly judged. In fact, creating this blog was hard at first, but has been very helpful for me getting used to being open about my magic.... and it is something I would like to share with others.

Many times I've told people I'm a witch and watched their eyes get wide and their bodies get tense. After awhile I would avoid the subject of religion, but it's such a huge part of me I felt I was hiding 75% of who I am. I would try to "water it down" with the phrase "oh I'm a goddess worshiper" or "I'm a wiccan". It's true, those phrases DO apply to me, but when I became a witch in 1988...I called myself a witch.

It's hard to get past all the fear and programming that have saturated our society for so many centuries about pagans. I hope that this article signals a new era where nature religions are celebrated!!


Happy Summer Solstice

Today is the high point of the Sun
The longest day of the year
The highest point of Light
The marriage of the Sun King with the Queen of Summer
The day when fairies are most active

Go out! Frolic in the Sun and be sociable today!

Be in the Sun


narcissism vs. self esteem

Hey there!

The sun is currently in Aries. It is a time of rebirth for our lives, our planet and our year. Aries is the sign of initiating new projects and ideas - the driven idealist who takes on all challenges! Sometimes beautifully...sometimes recklessly.....

So what's the difference between healthy self esteem/ assertiveness, and narcissism/ arrogance?

Here is some FABULOUS information I found on the subject!


New Year quote of the day

If you think you can do a thing or you think you can't do a thing, you're right.
-- Henry Ford