I’m teaching an advanced tarot class to my coven mates. (We do a basic one in the year-long class.) Right now we’re getting used to the cards by pulling one every day.

Today I drew: The High Priestess.

Keywords: Serene, Balanced, Mystery(ies), “Be still and know that I AM.” The feminine principle. Secrets. Wisdom.

Opposite: The Magician

Complements: The Hermit, The Hanged Man

Just in time . . .

This month we have an eclectic group of offerings:
Horses with a Mission
Pagan Astrology
The Imperial Guide to Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology
Earth Day: An Alphabet Book
Autumn Shadows in August
Magical Housekeeping
One Soul One Heart, One Love
Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlighted Work & Play
Mala of the Heart
Encyclopedia of Spirits
(clicking on a highlighted title will bring you directly to the review)

enjoy!

. . . and nearly tidy to boot.

I promised pictures, and here they are.

First, the guest room:

Clean, calm. Just where you want to lay your head down for a nap, right?

Then, my office:

Makes you just want to come in and read in the sun for awhile, doesn’t it?

Then, John’s office:

He’s still unpacking (work hasn’t given him a lot of ‘down’ time).

Sasha likes where we’ve put her beds.

Speaking of beds, our bedroom:

Isn’t that blue restful? Between the color and the blackout shade, I swear I am sleeping better than I have in years.

This is the view into our bathroom:

sorry for the darkness, it was a bright day outside.

And this is the view from our bathroom:

Our sideboard goes beautifully outside the library, and holds ALL of our games.

Speaking of the Library . . .

We’re really happy with how well this room turned out. I mean, look at what you see from the bed . . .

and . . .

and we even have room to add more . . .

Finally, all of the China (aka ‘loot’) has a home:

Things look the same, otherwise.

Apparently, being an American citizen, he thought he could build a community center. He also though that since his community are Muslims, like him, and much of the funding was coming from his community, it would be ok to include a mosque in this community center. Everything seemed to be going well, he got approval from the zoning board, worked out a reasonable budget and went abouthiring the necessary people to make it happen, everything looked great. He even figured out a way to make it LEED certified.

At the same time, there was a powerful group of politicians who were having a hard time coming up with a winning strategy for the upcoming elections. Their candidates were getting tough questions about why they weren’t looking for ways to cut government spending, even with a $1+ trillion debt. They were being asked what they were doing to sanction BP, and clean up the economic mess BP caused. They were being asked why they seemed to be very content to criticize the President and the Democratic party, but weren’t doing eff-all to actually FIX the problems. It was very uncomfortable for them because their usual answer of ‘poor people want to be poor, it’s easier than working’ wasn’t getting the usual nod of the head from people, their supporters, who have been out of work for a year, or lost their house, or have loved ones who are unemployed. People who used to trust them to make them feel better were suddenly wondering when the politicians were going to make it better. But their oil-company friends, and wealthy supporters didn’t have an answer either.

Then one day — a miracle!

*briinnnnng*  Hello?

Hi, this is Rick Lazio, the guy running for Governor in New York? Yeah, it’s been tough, but look, I have a situation here that might just be perfect. Did you know that an Islamic group is building a mosque — well actually, its a community center, but there will be a mosque onsite! — just TWO BLOCKS AWAY from Ground Zero?

*dancing commences in GOP headquarters*

I hate to be so cynical, but . . . can’t you just see it happening that way? Because suddenly its all about how this community center will be dangerous, if not then in the future. Mr. Lazio, in fact is quoted in the NY Times as saying

“This is about getting questions answered,” Mr. Lazio told reporters. “This is about transparency. This about the safety of the people of New York.” “Religion has nothing to do with this,” he added.

Really? Religion has nothing to do with this? Perhaps that is why there was no problem with the strip club just down the street from Ground Zero. Then answer me this: How is a community center an issue of safety? It’s the pool, isn’t it? You’re worried about people drowning. (See this look on my face? It’s SCORN.)

Being Muslim, being a follower of Islam, doesn’t not equate with being a terrorist. Building a community center does not mean it will be a breeding ground for terrorist training. Or that is a ‘monument to victory.’ There are 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and 2.1 billion Christians. (There are 1.1 nonreligious/atheists worldwide, but that is beside the point.) Are you telling me that all followers of Islam are terrorists? If so, then I must logically believe that all followers of Christ are pro-life activists who believe that bombing a healthcare facility because it might perform abortions is the right response.  They all also believe that a woman’s true place is in the home and that following the wishes of her husband is her proper moral compass while raising their children.  (And I won’t hold you to everything in Leviticus. Not this time.)  I’m not a Christian, but that’s what the media tells me you believe in.

But, you see, I’m not going to get any more distracted than this by the gadfly of this so-called ‘issue’. It’s not an issue, it’s just more posturing and hand-waving by the GOP so that we won;t keep asking them these hard questions. And looking for answers.

I have to say, I am SO TIRED of the politicians telling me it’s going to get better while they do crap-ola to actually fix the problems. Time to get tough people! This is why we hired you and pay you a good salary. Now, do your job!

The move went well, if long. I theoretically took the week afterwards off from work, but the reality was that I still ended up working almost every day, which made for long, busier-than-I-wanted days and a very tired me.

We had a few mishaps: the ‘swedish’ daybed didn’t fit – by ½”! – into the library, one bookshelf (one of the newest ones!) completely disintegrated, the china cabinet didn’t look ‘right’ where we originally placed it. John was shuttling art, electronics, and plants back and forth, and we frequently missed one another between the houses. But we worked everything out (John bought a saw and took an inch off the legs, we decided to buy a replacement, and we had the movers move the cabinet to an alternate location, where it did look right).

Here are the promised pics:

The library (did we mention that we painted it before the move with the same color that was in our old living room?)

Yeah, it’s not so bad in the living room. . . looks almost normal.

The kitchen is bad. We just discovered that the new place has only 2/3 the cabinet space of the old place. I’m daunted by the idea of putting it all away.

The bedroom was also pretty easy to put away. Recognize the curtains? They were in the living room of the old place during the winter.

So now we’re in, and settled. Sasha seems to be ok with it and has picked out where she wants her beds to be.

As a follow up to this post, I’m doing much better (thank you for asking. :-).

Y’all may or may not know that I am the primary leader of a coven that has been in existence (in one form or another) since 2000. Back when I found out I had cancer I (of course) reached out to everyone in the group and was very forthright about the fact that I was really going to not be doing much leading. The group said, in effect, we’ll keep it going.

Or so I thought.

It turns out that the newer members though my High Priest would step up and take over my duties and go forward. He thought he would do some things, but not all. Furthermore, he felt that since he was going to be channeling the energy of a large number of people towards me for my use during cancer time, he wasn’t always going to be able to do what the group might need.

A lot of expectations were formed. A lot of expectations were never discussed. So, we made plans, and then I’d be unable to attend. I thought they were meeting on their own and going forward without me. I didn’t follow up, trusting them to be doing what I expected, and being just a wee bit distracted.

The bad news I refer to in that earlier post is that one of the members of my group was frustrated by how the group was dealing in my (essential) absence. Missed rituals, rituals canceled at the last minute, the lack of conversation amongst members, the lack of leadership by my HP, and the fact that I didn’t help out with advanced lessons like I said I would. All of these things really bothered her. She felt let down and like the group was going nowhere, like it was too-dependent on me to make things happen because no one would make things happen other than me.

All of those criticisms are 100% valid and true. Eventually she decided that she’d had enough and she decided to leave.

In leaving, she shared her reasons and she declined to let us try to fix the problems so that JaguarMoon would be a better group, one that would be worthy of her time and attention.

That is why I felt bad: I felt like I’d failed as a leader (and I had to a certain degree) because I hadn’t done enough checking in and hadn’t done enough to make sure that people felt they could step up and take over things in my absence. That they were doing rituals and developing lessons and that they were talking without me.

Our expectations — all of us — were based on our internal perspectives, not reality. And in never being shared, they doomed us to frustration.

So last week my coven met and I shared her critique, and we all owned up to it. (I’m so proud of my group.) We didn’t debate whether she was right, we sucked it up and said “yup, we failed.” Then we said “how do we fix this?” and we started working on that. It took several meetings, because we didn’t want to rush through it and overlook something. We all weighed in. We asked questions. We talked.

In the end, we each shared our expectations. For ourselves, for the group, and for the future. We have a conversation coming up about specific roles within the coven and our expectations for those roles.

Now, we have clarity, and a living document to refer to and change as time goes on and new members come and go. Now, we know we can talk to one another when we aren’t meeting expectations. Now, we know how to work out what to do to get there or how we have to change the expectations to better reflect a new reality.

So, I was sad. But then the members of JaguarMoon came together and did what a good group does and we’re moving forward once again.

This morning, August 12, 2010 at approximately 8 AM ET, Isaac Bonewits passed away peacefully in his sleep. All his brothers and sisters arrived at his side last night. His family and friends surround him now.

from Isaac and Phaedra’s facebook page.

tears are in my eyes, not for his death, but for our loss.

Isaac, I never met you in person, but I am proud to have been a supporter of yours and will continue to do so for Phaedra. May the Gods and Goddesses receive you with a glass of mead, a hug, and a new collection of songs.

This is it until we’re in the new place, and have Internet access again. Here’s hoping the move goes well.

We’re not completely packed, but we’ve run out of room to stack boxes. So I’ll be packing the kitchen and closets while the movers do their thing. After J. drops off Sasha at Soos Creek Kennels, he will be ferrying artwork and other precious items up to the new place.

It’s finally happening. After months of prep and work, its finally here.

Until the next time . . .

Hair! (I’m told it’s kid of cute.)

Energetically I’m doing well. I still get tired long before I used to, and I’m not sleeping through the night, which isn’t good for my energy.

Today I am not doing well at all. I got some bad news that I am struggling with. I don’t mind the criticism I received, I just mind that it came out of nowhere and there was no discussion. A decision was made and I didn’t get to have a chance to change, or offer input, or anything.

Worse, the decision was based on my performance during chemo. So, at a time when I was struggling, daily, I was being measured against a very high standard. I failed, and now I’m being punished.

I have to be fair: you aren’t hearing the other side of the story, and — as I said — the criticism is absolutely true as far as my part goes. I’m just feeling really bad right now. REALLY bad.

I am now the proud, poor, owner of two domiciles. I owe so much money to large institutions I am more than a little freaked out.

I am so grateful for J. and his calm calm calm demeanor.

I kind of feel like this:

funny pictures of cats with captions

(and yes, I am sure I will feel happy, excited, and all of that good stuff soon.)