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Lessons from Dr. Who

I woke up this morning with some thoughts rumbling around.

Many of us are being called to step away from our boring lives and do something just a little bit more to make our worlds safe again. This is a call to change, one happening on a much larger and more obvious scale than previous occurrences. If you’ve ever wanted to participate in history, rather than reading about it, the time is now. We have LGBT rights to retain, systemic racism revealed that must be dismantled, a climate on the brink of devastation, and a huge number of people in danger of losing what little support they have for staying alive.

It’s overwhelming.

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Ok, I had to get ‘creative’ for a few categories, but I have successfully completed the 2016 reading challenge!

I love to read, I also read for a living (thanks Facing North!). So you’d think these reading challenges would be easy.  .  .

Here’s is the complete list:

A book based on a fairy tale — Cinder, Marissa Meyer
A National Book Award Winner — The Blue Sword, Robin McKinley
A YA bestseller — Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
A book you haven’t read since high school — Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
A book set in your home state — Fire Touched, Patricia Briggs
A book translated into English — The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
A romance set in the future — Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishigurp
A book set in Europe — The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World, Anthony Amore
A book that’s under 150 pages — In the Night Kitchen, Maurice Sendak
A NYTimes bestseller — Dead Heat, Patricia Briggs
A book that’s becoming a movie this year — Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
A book recommended by someone you just met — Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble by Baniel Lyons
A self-improvement book — Yoga Therapy for Stress & Anxiety, Robert Butera PhD, Erin Byron MA, Staffan Elgelid PhD
A book you can finish in a day — Venus Envy, Rita Mae Brown
A book written by a celebrity — Don’t Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes From the World’s Greatest Chefs, Various (bonus: — Steps in Time, Fred Astaire, extra bonus! The Measure of A Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier)
A political memoir — Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright
A book at least 100 years older than you — Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
A book longer than 600 pages — Summer Tree, The Fionovar Tapestry (book 1), Guy Gavriel Kay
A book from Oprah’s Book Club — One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A sci-fi novel — In Conquest Born, C.S. Friedman
A book recommended by a family member — Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
A graphic novel — Grendel Omnibus, Matt Wagner
A book published in 2016 —Leonard, My Fifty-year Friendship With A Remarkable Man, William Shatner
A book with a protagonist in your occupation — Personal Finance for Professionals by Susan Berson (yes, this is stretching it . . . but how many books feature an Administrative/ HR professional as the protagonist?)
A book that takes place during the summer — The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
A book and its prequel — The Naked Sun, and Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
A murder mystery — The Family Vault, Charlotte Macleod
A book written by a comedian — Bossypants by Tina Fey
A dystopian novel — Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
A book with a blue cover — Anodea Judith’s Chakra Yoga
A book of poetry — Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
The first book you see in a bookstore — a blank journal
A classic from the 20th century — Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
A book from the library — You Have it Made, Ellie Krieger (cookbook)
A book about a culture you are unfamiliar with — — Dead End Gene Pool: A Memoir, Wendy Burden
A satirical book — The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
A book that takes place on an island — Frommer’s EasyGuide Kauai 2016*
A book guaranteed to bring you joy — Taltos, Steven Brust

*what?

How are you doing?

Samhain Ritual 2016

I don’t often mention my Samhain ritual here . . . I’ve written about it elsewhere (notably, The Virtual Pagan), and it’s very different from the one I’m usually doing with the class & coven. This  year I was simply solitary, and so I share with you my evening.

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It makes me so VERY happy to announce that the Art of Ritual class has started a new year!

With a much-revised lesson plan that takes advantage of new technologies as well as recent research on adult learners, this year-long class is even better than before. And it was great before.

This class will be giving me a lot of feedback and helping me refine our processes. We’ve got ten students from all over the world: Japan, Canada, South Africa, and the United States. I’m incredibly pleased at how well our re-launch has happened.

I look forward to mini reports during the year!

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Words of Me: Two

Creating a kind of mission statement.

1. My mind, body and soul are very important to me. I promise to take care of them by…

Treating my body with respect for the hard work it does so elegantly. Cherishing its strength and helping it achieve its best level of health. Feeding my brain art, literature, music, and puzzles to keep it sharp and active. Filling my soul with art and music, and beauty so that I might maintain my divine connection with the Lord and Lady.

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This ritual was intended to be a test of our new ‘live’ class technology (Zoom), all but one other participant couldn’t make it. So I did the ritual on my own. I’ve already seen results as two former coven members have come forward and asked to be mentors with us in the coming year.

I love it when magick manifests!

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“Lemonade”

Last night I finally witnessed Beyonce’s Lemonade. I use the word witness in full knowledge of its religious meaning: I was given a powerful narrative of the desperate erasure of black women in America that has nonetheless birthed a Queen. When she quoted Malcom X:

“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman
“The most unprotected person in America is the black woman.
“The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
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Cheap Travel

It doesn’t always work out this way, but in a little bit I’ll be spending a week in Paris with my sister and the plane and lodging will cost me less than $300.

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My Mabon Ritual

Just past Mercury’s backward dance this year, I held a Mabon ritual on my own.

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Words of Me Project: One

What’s Your Routine?

“I know that by simply sticking with the process and being open to the unexpected, I create a channel to creative inspiration and that’s a mighty powerful thing.”

~Jennifer Lee, artist

This last year has been a challenging one for me in a variety of ways. My recent review of my goals set and achieved was a revelation as always, but not a true surprise. There are so many difficult goals I set for myself that I achieve (write a book; publish a book; create a class; teach a class; etc.) it’s extra frustrating and bewildering to always fail when my goals have to do with my health.

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