Sunday, July 29, 2012

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” ― Mitch Albom

So last week I posted about herbs, and thoughts on Death from the perspective of the experts.  I am no means an expert I am a human being.  Today, less than an hour ago actually, my mother in law let go and let her essence leave her physical form. 

Southern Fried Pagan has talked about how my Mamaw died on my thirtieth birthday, and how my Great Grandfather died on my day of birth, and how two of my favorite Highpriestesses died...and now it is my Mother in law.  I do not dwell on death; I live.  Loss, and letting go is part of all of it.

But for a woman who raised and gave me such a wonderful Husband and Highpriest and Clifton (my son) Stepdad and baby Cayden a Dad.  I feel she deserves something great.  The best I can do for her right now is Give her a memorial on this page....

In my tradition you light a candle to help the Spirit of the deceased to cross over.  So I am lighting for Mamie a candle, and on this page giving her a space.

Thank you Mamie for being a wonderful Grandmother, and an interesting Mother in law.  May your afterlife be all you wanted and more.  May you dwell with your son, and your Mother and Father and Brother and Sisters.  Thank you most of all for the gift of your time and for leaving so much abundance behind left the world a better place than when you found it.

"May the choirs of angels come to greet you.
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you in his mercy.
May you find eternal life."-----------------The Christian Song of Life

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I got a quarter for the trolley man, I hope he slows down for me I know he can.....

Life.  It is a huge cycle.  Birth and Death.  Yeah, living is great.  Weddings and Wiccanings the bomb...but what about those Crossing overs, Funerals, Grief Counseling?  Yeah, that ain't so hot is it? 

In our Western Culture we either romatisize death through horror flicks or Gothic sensibilities or we tend to sweep it under the carpet.  Ignoring little telltale signs like skeletons, road kill, brown leaves (we even sweep these up and bag them to be taken away).  We shuttle our elderly off to the nursing home, and we act as if decaying, death, and all that comes with it is a mental disease called morbidity.  I am here to tell you it is not.

As a Pagan we celebrate the Dark Mother.  My best bud Allison seems to be an expert on her...but myself I tend to hold tight to the Dark God.  I have learned alot from the Dark mother do not get me wrong...but I find that the Dark God is where I am dwelling right now.  The God that puts me on the boat and rides me to my destination.  The god that recalls for me my life in the form of Thoth.  The God that when I die I greet and judges my actions as either pleasing or needing rectification; Osiris.  So here I stand; with new information and wonder; what should I do?  I decided to share with you all today some gathered stuff I have in my BOS about Dark Gods and herbs, etc.

Death and the Modern Pagan
by Melissa Pinol
Even though they may look forward to an afterlife in heaven, many people traditionally view death with fear and distaste. Death is sometimes seen as a tool of the devil, or as a force sent by God to punish sinners. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and others natural disasters are sometimes called "Acts of God", as if God had nothing better to do than sit up in heaven conjuring up disasters to punish unbelievers.
Part of this fear of death comes from the belief that we have only one life to live, and death is really the end. Mixed in with this fear is a large amount of uncertainty. When someone dies, how can they really tell where they will go? In this article, I will attempt to explore the alternate perception of death held by many modern Wiccans and Neopagans.
Gods of the Gateway
The Earth-Based, Goddess-Centered Pagan traditions, including Wicca, have a very different attitude toward death in general. Most of the Pagans I have spoken to over the years believe in reincarnation in some form, so that death is seen as a change, a "shedding of the skin", rather than the end. For this reason the snake that sheds its skin is viewed as a symbol of rebirth rather than as a symbol of evil. Pagans see life and death as two sides of one coin; one leads into the other, unendingly.
Deities of birth and sexual passion are often associated with death as well, because death is the gateway into another life. Nothing is permanent, and at the end of suffering there comes peace, rest, and the opportunity to start over again. Many Wiccan traditions believe that the souls of the dead rest for a while in an Otherworld called the "Summerland" where they are healed of the traumas of their last life before being born again.
Pagans also tend to see the natural world as a system that was set up in the beginning (or evolved, depending on your view) to function a particular way. We are part of that system, but not the rulers of it, nor does it single us out for special attention. The Earth is a dynamic unit, every function is important to all living creatures.
When Earthquakes happen, the movement of the tectonic plates helps to maintain a temperature that can sustain life on the planet. Sometimes cities are destroyed in the process, sometimes the quakes will happen in a completely uninhabited region like Antarctica. It's not personal. Those who are killed are comforted in the arms of the Goddess and given another chance next time. Diseases occur because the process of evolution created many types of diverse life, and some of those types of life are harmful to others. Again, it's not personal.
Creation, movement, and the ongoing process of change leads to both death and new opportunities for life. When forest fires occurs, new plants and trees have the opportunity to grow. In Hindu mythology, Shiva the Destroyer dances on the burning ground before coming together in Sacred Union with the Goddess to create anew.
Ancient mythology and religion is filled with literally thousands of deities that combine both creation and destruction within their aspects. In Wiccan theology, the Goddess is triple in form, appearing as either the Maiden, the Mother, or the Crone. The young maiden who symbolizes new life and potential, the Mother who gives birth to all, and the Crone who cuts the thread of life and scythes down old growth are all aspects of the same being.
Likewise, the God can appear as the Green Man, symbolizing new growth, the Lord of the Animals, wild and sexual, and the Dark God or Sage, the Lord of Winter who carries the dead through the gateway. In some mythologies, he takes on the even more fearsome aspects of Lord of the Wild Hunt, the one who hunts down and carries off souls who may not be willing to move on to their new lives voluntarily.
The ancient Irish even portrayed a figure, the Sheila-Na-Gig, which combined death and sexuality together in one being. The Sheila-Na-Gig commonly appeared as a withered crone spreading her legs and displaying her sexual parts, a shocking figure to modern sensibilities. The Sheila-Na-Gig was considered a powerful protective symbol, and was carved on doors to ward off evil. This symbol was so important to the Irish that they were reluctant to give it up with the advent of Christianity, and Sheila-Na-Gigs have even been found on the doors and walls of old Irish churches!
Hecate, the three-faced Goddess of the crossroads, is said in one ancient Greek invocation to be "strong to shatter every stubborn thing". Deities who are strongly associated with death are also deities of change and transformation, another manifestation of rebirth. Death is the greatest transformation, but there are also transformations that occur within life that are equally terrifying.
Wiccans and other Pagans do not avoid these energies, but invoke them and work with them carefully and respectfully. The "Stubborn things" that the Goddess shatters are often personal illusions. It is when you avoid dealing with these illusions that you begin to have problems: self-denial, addictions, interpersonal problems, and lack of motivation. Change is essential to the process of continued growth.

The Last Sacred Space
Just as we do rituals to celebrate life, Pagans also hold rituals to honor the dead and the aspects of the divine that deal with death. On October 31st, we celebrate Samhain (pronounced Sow-in or Saw-wain), the Celtic New Year. At this time, we gather to honor our ancestors and other Beloved Dead. Many Pagan traditions prepare a special feast for the dead and invite them to come back and eat with us, a practice very similar to the Day of The Dead as it is still celebrated in Mexico. 

We recite the names of the dead and talk about their lives, their deaths, and the way we felt about them. Many Pagans act as if the dead were literally present and talk to them directly, perhaps also taking the opportunity to tell them things that we did not have the opportunity to say while they were alive.
At this time, we also recognize that the old year and the summer have died, and the older, darker aspects of the God and Goddess now reign. We welcome these essential, sometimes frightening beings and acknowledge their ascent into power for the duration of the winter months. We dance with the deities and the dead, feast with them, and wait to receive any visions or insights that they may bring with them.
With their radically different view of death, it is not surprising that Pagans often deal with literal death in their own unique way. In the Pagan community, as in many other communities in recent years, there have been deaths from cancer, AIDS, and other incurable illnesses. Rather than trying to avoid being around sickness and death, Pagans often gather in hospitals and hospices to surround the dying person with love and support, even to the extent of sometimes irritating the medical staff who wants only "Immediate family members".
Efforts are often made to remove a hopelessly terminal person from the hospital to a home environment where they will be allowed to have all the visitors they want and perform their own death and transition rituals without interference from outsiders. If this is not possible, efforts are made to carry out the dying Pagan's wishes even in a medical setting. I personally know of several people who literally died in Sacred Space created surreptitiously in the sterile hospital environment by their supporters, who made every effort to stay with them up to the very end.
The dying person is touched, sung to, talked to, and allowed to discuss their fears and feelings about their passing. This is radically different from the way in which most modern Americans die, and is probably a lot closer to the way our ancestors dealt with death. Even in the last century, people commonly died at home surrounded by their extended families.
At some point in the last hundred years, attitudes shifted. Death became a taboo subject, a distasteful thing to be avoided and left in the hands of medical personal, much to the detriment of those who were actually going though the death process. Though people today usually do not have large extended families to offer support, the Pagan community has tried to recapture that sense of compassionate involvement by creating an extended family of our own.
This voluntary involvement in the death process can even extend to pets, and I have known of many Pagans, myself included, who had to make the painful decision to euthanize a suffering, gravely ill pet. Instead of leaving the room and letting the vet take care of the "distasteful" process, Pagans will commonly insist on being present during euthanasia to comfort the pet and ease its passing, often holding it in our laps during the actual death.
We may do a silent ritual to assist the dying pet, creating Sacred Space and invoking deities associated with particular animals (Hecate, the "Mistress of Hounds" for a dog, or Bast, the Egyptian Cat Goddess, for a cat.) Seeing the suffering actually end brings closure to the human, and the presence and support of a loved human calms and soothes the animal, giving it a "Good death" rather than a cold, impersonal one.
Ashes and Wailing
When death, human or animal, actually does occur, I have noticed some observable differences in the way Pagans deal with their feelings. In the novel Catmagic, Jonathan Barry and Whitley Strieber erroneously claimed that "When a Witch chooses death, the whole covenstead celebrates". Though we accept death as a sacred part of the life process and even welcome it when it is appropriate, I have never seen anyone rejoicing at the death of a loved one.
While we may be relieved that suffering has ended and are not worried about punishment in the afterlife, the deceased person is definitely missed and mourned for a time. Most of the Pagans I have known have generally been more comfortable and open about expressing their feelings than most of the general population, even the "negative" feelings like grief or rage that may surface after as intense an event as a death.
When one very well-loved Pagan Bard died in the 1980's, his funeral was attended by both his family and the extended Pagan community. From what I have heard, the Pagans sat on one side of the church and the family on the other in a somewhat uncomfortable truce. It was the Pagan contingent that did most of the crying, wailing, and heartfelt grieving, to the visible discomfort of the more composed and stoic family.
There are reasons for these actions. I believe that this intense, cathartic expression allows us to purge our feelings more quickly than someone who "holds them in", and then move on more calmly to a place of release and acceptance.
This funeral was also an example of an unfortunate legal oversight on the part of the deceased Bard, who had often said during his life that he wanted a Pagan funeral, and to be buried on Sacred Pagan land. When he was killed unexpectedly in a car accident, his family seized the body and insisted on dressing him in a suit rather than his Bardic robes, and performing a Christian funeral.
He had left no Will to state his wishes in this matter, and there was nothing his Pagan friends could do. Many Pagans took heed of this incident, and are much more careful now to leave legal documents with instructions on funeral arrangements.
At the present time, there are no Pagan cemeteries or Memorial Parks. Though we hope that this will eventually change, at the current time the presence of such a facility would probably invoke feelings of discomfort or possibly even protest from our Non-Pagan neighbors, who do not really understand our beliefs and practices. Because Pagan groups do not generally tithe or collect dues, we also lack the monetary assets to back such an undertaking.
As a result of this lack of formal, established Memorial sites, most Pagans currently opt for cremation rather than burial. Some Pagan groups chose to keep the ashes close by in a shrine or on a memorial altar, others choose to scatter the ashes in some designated setting depending on the wishes of the deceased. The act of scattering the ashes often helps the survivors to feel the finality of release. As the ashes fly off on the wind, you can imagine the soul of the deceased flying into the next world.
After someone has died, we often perform a ritual called a "Soul Release" to bid them farewell and help them go through the gateway into the Otherworld. This is particularly important when someone has died an unexpected or violent death - we believe that in such circumstances the soul may be confused and need some extra assistance.
After we sense that the spirit has departed, we try to compose ourselves to go on with life, but the deceased person is still very much a part of our community in spirit. It seems the dead sometimes become "Guardian spirits" of the particular group or tradition they belonged to in life, and some of us believe that they may come back to us in dreams to give advice or warnings. At the very least, they are never truly forgotten, and are welcome back to feast with us every Samhain.
Sometimes we notice that a particular soul will stop coming back in dreams and does not seem to be present at the feast at Samhain. We hope that their absence in an indication that they have been born again, and see this as a cause for rejoicing. (COPYRIGHT 2009)

Well Known DARK GODS:
Whiro (Mayan)
Yama (Hindu)
Pan (Has this side)
Dionysus (has this side)


The Charge of the Dark God
Copyright by Christopher Hatton

Listen to the words of the Dark God,
Who was of old called Iakchos, Donn,
Anubis, Hades, Setesh, Hoder,
And by many other names:
I am the shadow in the bright day;
I am the reminder of mortality at the height of living.
I am the neverending weil of Night
Where the Star Goddess dances.
I am te Death that must be so that Life may continue,
For Behold, Life is immortal because the living must die.
I am the strength that protects, that limits;
I am the power that says No, and No further, and That Is Enough.
I am the things that cannot be spoken of,
And I am the laughter at the edge of Death.
Come with me into the warm enfolding dark;
Feel my caresses in the hands,
In the Mouth,
In the Body of one you love,
And be transformed.
Gather in the moonless night and speak in unknown toungues;
The Dark Mother and I will listen.
Sing to us and cry out,
And the Power will be yours to wield.
Blow me a kiss when the sky is dark,
And I will smile,
But no kiss returns;
For my kiss is the final one for all mortal flesh.

WORTCUNNING:  The art of learning herbs for magical purposes


- By: Selena Fox


Since ancient times herbs have played a part in funerals. They've been used to
scent graves and cremation fires, to fill amulet bags and in making wreaths to
decorate burial places.

BASIL: Protection, Love
BAY LAUREL: - Communication with the dead, protection, triumph, used in 
              funeral wreaths.
BIRCH: Rebirth.
CEDAR: Prosperity, Purification.
COMFREY: Healing.
CYPRESS: Endings.
ELDER: Transformation
FRANKINCENSE: Purification, Spiritual Transformation.
GARLIC: Protection.
HOLLY: Renewal, Resurrection.
IVY: Rebirth, Celebration.
LAVENDER: Memories, Peace.
LEMON BALM: - Immortality, happiness; used in a tea for emotional cleansing
              and uplifting.
LILY: Resurrection.
MINT: Joy, a stewing herb.
MISTLETOE: Protection.
MUGWORT: Inner Sight
MULLEN: Cleansing.
MYRRH: Healing, Purification, Protection, Used in Mummifying.
OAK: Strength.
PARSLEY: - Good luck in here after; decorating tombs.
PERIWINKLE: Immortality, " Flower of the Dead, " Placed on graves.
POPPY: Restfulness.
ROSEMARY: - Friendship, purification, happiness; thrown into graves " for
            remembrance, " burned as incense, sprigs carried in funeral
ROSES: Love Purification.
RUE: Karmic Completion.
SAGE: Wisdom, Purification.
SANDALWOOD: Purification.
THYME: Purification.
WILLOW: Releases, Cleansing.
WORMWOOD: Transformation.
YARROW: Protection, Healing.
YEW: Immortality, endings; once planted in graveyards to protect bodies of the departed.

Herbs for Death Southern Fried pagan Style….:)

ACONITE is a VERY POISONOUS herb, and should only be administered by a qualified healer. It has been used to help the dying (at the time of death) transition comfortably to the stage after death. It can be planted on a burial, and used in an incense in ritual. The roots can be placed on an ancestor altar, especially around Samhain.

ANEMONE can be used in a ritual fire after the deceased has past over to encourage reincarnation.

ASPHODEL has traditionally grown on graves and washing the corpse. Gather in a bunch and tie in a red ribbon to aspurge the body in ritual.

BASIL is associated with love and protection, and is excellent to be used in an incense. It is used to help bring dignity and courage to one facing death. Can be incorporated into the ancestors' feast on Samhain.

BAY LAUREL is used for communication with the dead, and is sometimes used in funeral wreaths. Can be used in dishes for the ancestors' feast at Samhain.

BIRCH is often associated with rebirth and reincarnation. Blessings for the deceased can be written on birch bark and can then be buried or burnt with the corpse.

BLUEBELLS are planted on graves to bring peace and blessings, and may also be used to decorate the altar at the funeral, or on Samhain.

CHERVIL can be drank to aid one to in rituals of communing with the dead.

COMFREY is a helpful herb to help one get over the loss of a loved one. Excellent to plant in the garden in memorial of the deceased.

CYPRESS is associated with endings. Can be used to ritually bathe the body of the deceased.

ELDER is an excellent wood for a cremation pyre, or a sprig of elder can be buried with the deceased. Elderberries are excellent to decorate the funeral altar, or the altar at Samhain.

FRANKINCENSE can be burned at the funeral ritual, or in ritual while communing with the dead for purification, and spiritual transformation.

GARLIC is used for protection, and can be put on a grave, and cooked in dishes for the ancestors' feast at Samhain.

HOLLY is associated with resurrection and renewal, and can be buried with the deceased or used to decorate the funeral altar.

IVY can be planted at a grave to celebrate the life of the deceased and to encourage rebirth.

LAVENDER should be planted in memory of the deceased either on the grave or in the home of a living loved one to bring peace.

LEMON BALM is associated with immortality and happiness, and can be drank in a tea to lift spirits of the mourning.

LILY can be planted on a grave to represent resurrection.

LOTUS pods can be used as an incense burner to aid the soul seeking reincarnation.

MANDRAKE root can be buried with the body to protect the spirit and send it safely on its way. It also can be used to decorate the ancestor altar at Samhain.

MARJORAM can be planted on a grave and used in the ancestors' feast at Samhain.

MINT can be used as a strewing herb to bring joy to the mourning.

MISTLETOE can be buried with the deceased for protection.

MUGWORT can be drank by the dying to gain inner sight.

MULLEIN can be used to cleanse the body of the deceased.

MYRRH was once used in embalming, but can now be used as an incense at the funeral to bring healing, purification, and protection.

OAK is a tree of strength, and is an excellent pick to plant in the memory of the deceased.

PARSLEY can be strewn on the path of where the body is being transported, and can be planted at the grave site for good luck in the after life.

PENNYROYAL is used to bathe the corpse to assist in the soul being reborn.

PERIWINKLE is a herb of immortality and can be used in a funeral wreath or used to decorate tombs. Often used in the passing of children.

POMEGRANATE can be eaten at the ancestors feast on Samhain to represent rebirth.

POPPY can be used in funeral wreaths or planted at a grave site to bring restfulness to the deceased.

ROSEMARY can be thrown into grave sites, carried on funeral processions, or burned as an incense. Can be used in the ancestors' feast at Samhain, especially to commune to deceased friends.

ROSES represent love and purification, and are used in funeral wreaths and planted in memory of the deceased.

ROWAN is associated with protection. The berries can be buried with the deceased or used to decorate the funeral and ancestor altar, and can be planted on a grave site.

RUE can be burnt for karmic completion.

SAGE can be used as a smudge for purification, and ingested when communing with the dead, and to bring wisdom.

SANDALWOOD is an excellent purification incense that can be used during the funeral ritual.

TANSY was once used for embalming. It can now be used to aspurge the temple and the body of the deceased, and used to decorate the ancestor altar.

THYME makes an excellent ritual cup to drink before communing with the dead, and can be used in a ritual incense or bath for purification.

VIOLETS are appropriate flowers for the graves of children.

WILLOW is said to ease the soul at the time of death if it is planted by the deceased in their lifetime. Willow baskets can be used as offering containers for ancestors.

WORMWOOD can be used as an incense for transformational healing for the mourning, or to bring insight to the dying.

YARROW can be grown on graves in in the gardens of the mourning to bring protection and healing.

YEW is associated with immortality and endings, and was often planted in graveyards to protect the bodies of the deceased.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"You don't need to go to college to learn how to juggle, that is at the circus..."

When you hit around 27 leading up to 30 a weird thing happens to you as a human; you start to find yourself digging as deep as you can within yourself and reaching as far as you can outside of yourself for answers.  Answers to questions that are important to you and you only. Did you know that scientifically we can prove that this is because the planet of Saturn in your chart is returning?  Here you find yourself planning for a future with you in it.  Not a “dream” future with a perfect Barbie home and a picket fence (well you might) but a more realistic future like I want to be married and have a kid, I believe that there is or is not a Supreme being or plan to this universe, and family is or is not important to me.  This all being said I did not expect any kind of “inventory” of this type to happen to me again until I was at least 48-50 since I was told it happened about every twenty years.

I am not telling you a tale when I say to you the Saturn return in my life was a HUGE experience for me and has everything to do with the choices I made that have led me here to the deep south, my husband, my little baby Cayden, the TEMPLE which I adore, and our current little community.  All of these things make me happy and just throb my heart when I am around them or think about them.  About 35 I stopped long enough before my Birthday to think about where I was and was I on target again?  I liked my results and soldiered onward constantly aiming for the goal.

This past year I turned 40.  I did not get depressed like my father or my mother did; it really did not bother me. Getting older I found that if anything, it made me more determined and pushed me harder to reach some goals I had.  One was procuring a building for us to worship in down here in these parts.  A couple of months ago that occurred and one month ago we had our GRAND opening and there were so many people at the Temple that the cars wrapped around the parking lot.  It was not the numbers that astounded me (or the other clergy) it was the feeling one gets when they realize that their idea hit on something. 

At the Temple of the Sacred Gift-ATC (yes we are an organization) most of our members are family oriented.  Many if not half of us have children, some of us have grandchildren, and the ones coming up behind us just like family and friends as a feeling.  The amazement of this to me was that someone who has tattoos and piercings, unusually loud hair and eccentric ways could be right about ONE thing…there were people out there like me who wanted a safe, clean, place to worship their Gods in.  This week we are putting the altars up on the wall and all people that worship there and many who do not can have altars on that wall and candles lit to their Gods 24/7 by the Clergy who are so happy to worship their Gods in a Temple again.
So, I am going to run backwards to my topic…Saturn returns and taking stock. 

  I did not think that at 40 I would take inventory but I found right after we accrued the building and everything came together perfectly from the Universe and coordinated with the People and our Gods that I was stumped.  Yes, I was jumping for joy…but have you ever been so busy fighting, pushing, shoving, running, accruing that sometimes you forget what it is for?  I think I might have.  I think I had no clue as to what I was supposed to do with myself once we had the Temple building.  I know that sounds odd; but apparently I had not made a plan as to what to do with all of this bounty when we had acquired our goal.

This month, I have been “re-claiming” my home.  I have taken on re-decorating my retro bathroom and it now has comic book pages on the wall and this week I will varnish those and slowly paint the trim and cabinets white to make everything look fresh.  A zombie pinup shower curtain,  Betty Page painting, and Maenad with a wolf at her side round the look off and I find that when I brush my teeth or wash my face at night or in the early morning it is hard to be too grumpy surrounded by my favorite things.  Next, I am taking back the yard.  I had planted several herbs that I had always been interested in now I am rotating them cultivating them studying them more closely and finding that maybe if I take the time I might have a greener thumb than thought.

When I was pregnant with Cayden all I did was read about homesteading, “living off the grid” and survivalism and the topic fascinated me for the whole ten months.  Because I was chasing the Pagan dream however I did not take the time to put in motion my dream.  Yesterday, we finally bought three hens and built a pen.  I went grocery shopping slowly but surely eliminating things like Margarine and processed flours and sugars out of our diet.  Jars were bought, and I know now that I want to can and “store back” food in a deep freezer and can.  If you look at my facebook page you can see this is my interests (other than retro clothing and pinup girls) but as much as I liked these things they all took a back seat to the Temple.  

Worship occurs at the Temple of the Sacred Gift-ATC every new and full moon and Sabbat as always.  I love these times, my spirit soars and I learn as much as anyone else I feel.  Litha we had a pool party and a ritual to Saule; this new moon it will be to Freya and Odin, next moon Allison will teach us about Hindu deities, and Lughanasa John will share with us Ogdi and a burning purification ritual.  This does not count the classes and workshops in-between these worship rituals that are offered constantly that I am excited about.  We are having bellydancing classes (I have always wanted to take this but never took the time), self defense workshops (nope I never took the time), classes on “how to regress people”, Channeling, Breathing techniques, I am offering Tarot readings.  So my spiritual table, plate, and cup is running over…and it is time to let it spill over into my mundane life.

I love the fact that my Gods do not want me to be “miserable” or “punish me cruelly” all the time for actually being human and making choices or acting in ways that are not for my highest learning.  I love that when I complain to them and say “hey I want something for me” they point out that I did not “make something for me” thus I had nothing for me.  I laugh at this because I feel my Gods are not coddlers but truthful and full of joy and mirth.  I love that last night after driving to Ripley Tennessee with my husband Brian and our baby Cayden with our three new Golden hens that I slept with the image of me and the God dancing the WHEEL OF FORTUNE to the tune of “I could have danced all night” from the King and I.

What do I like most about 40?  The fact that I can look backwards and smile, the fact I can notice that now is imperative to the door I am opening with the huge keys I posses on a ring on my waist.  I find that “blaming others” is unacceptable and taking accountability for myself and learning how to juggle has become one of my favorite things to do; and I am so blessed and happy that next to me and all around me are people who smile laugh and cheer me on even when I do drop a plate while riding a unicycle because that is how I roll…silly, whimsical, always reaching and trying to experience more.

I hope you find that no matter where you are in your life, 20, 30, 40 or even more (yay for you btw) that you realize it is never too late to try new things, pursue personal dreams, choose a CAUSE and back it 200%.  We all know life is short, but what makes it full is friends, family, accomplishing, things and painting the world the way you want it to be (while respecting that others are doing the same). 
Thank you for giving me a brief sabbatical from this blog; I needed to re-gather my thoughts and ideas and dreams for a bit.  Most of all, thank you for the gift of your time and love!