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(I almost can’t write this, I still feel intense shame.)

There were two times in my my life when I was poor enough to feel actual physical hunger. The first was when my parents first separated and I was living with my mother in a commune in Berkeley (CA).* I’d been wrested from a typical middle-class (white) suburban lifestyle full of meat and bread in unlimited quantities and thrust willy-nilly into a hippie commune. No sugar. Homemade bread. No meat, except when we killed a chicken or rabbit. Nothing processed.

I hated it.

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Seven ago today I began a process of deliberately poisoning my body; in the medical profession this is called chemotherapy.

It was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life. Partly because it wasn’t a one time even, but a whole series of sessions. And it got worse as time went on.

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Last night’s class was on Deity, and I found myself talking about how Kali is the one Deity I have a hard time with. I spoke about how I’ve done dark god/dess work for years as part of the class cycle, and quite a bit of it touches on Her, but I still have trouble.

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It took almost 18 months, but I finally broke my write-a-blog-post-every-week streak. Ah well, guess I’m not perfect.*

To be fair, breaking the streak meant traveling to Paris, San Francisco, and then Georgia within a month, along with some personal things that I’m not ready to share here (yet), so it wasn’t anything small that broke the mold.

So, here I am, catching up a bit.

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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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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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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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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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