Archive for March, 2015

Tania Marie Shares Her Peru Journey

My sweet faery twin Tania Marie and I are always so linked that I end up empathing much of her journeys, but I only see the sights in dreams until she posts her photos! One morning I commented to her that I hadn’t slept a wink due to extreme “Fire in the Head. I swear, when I close my eyes, it’s brighter than the Sun!”

I got an LOL back, as, unbeknownst to me, she and her shamanic crew had been doing a Sun ceremony the day before. Throughout her journey and continuing even through today, a very out of season black butterfly has been fluttering by the window on the north side of the house — the window I most often look through during sessions. I knew Tania was having butterfly synchronicities in Peru, including a black butterfly, but I didn’t realize the extent of magical butterfly action until I read today’s two posts.

Even if you opt not to read all the fascinating details, do yourself a favor and just bask in the powerful, rejuvenating beauty and energy of the photos. There are many ways to do Earth healing, and sacred ritual in sacred place is a powerful counterpoint to the day in, day out grit of digging in the dirt and planting trees. We need both. Recognizing and honoring the beauty that still exists on this planet reminds us of our connection to our Sacred Mother — of what a healed Earth looks and feels like — and why we need to give and receive in harmony.

Thanks and love, Tania!

Nokan Inti Kani ~ I Am the Sun: Our Sacred Journey to Peru Through My Eyes – PART 1

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Nokan Inti Kani ~ I Am the Sun: Our Sacred Journey to Peru Through My Eyes – PART 2

Joanna Macy’s “The Work That Reconnects”

On Saturday, I mentioned attending a Joanna Macy inspired ritual in Elkhart as part of my friend Nicole’s birthday celebration. David and I had the pleasure of hearing Joanna speak in 2012 when we lived in Madison, but we had not ever attended any of her workshops. This ritual was based on her concept of the Work That Reconnects:

“The activist’s inner journey appears to me like a spiral, interconnecting four successive stages or movements that feed into each other. These four are:

  1. opening to gratitude,
  2. owning our pain for the world,
  3. seeing with new eyes,
  4. going forth.”

We really didn’t know what to expect, but we love Nicole and what she and her friends at Prairie Wolf Collective bring to life, so we went with open minds and hearts. We found there an intimate group of mostly strangers (to us), which oddly made the Work That Reconnects feel even more reassuring and powerful. Respecting the privacy and sacredness of the group experience, I’ll just share some of my own observations and takeaways.

First of all, as I’ve mentioned before, Joanna Macy is up there as one of my most admired people on this planet. I love that she has created a process that communities can repeat for themselves, helping people to tune deeply into both ecology and the people around them. Nicole’s community actively facilitated the entire process, dramatizing the destruction of our ecosystem, and leading various exercises, group sharing, songs and rituals.

I have to agree that “gratitude grounds us.” After watching the interpretive Dance of the Waters — from their original freedom to pollution and corporate control to their healing through love and effort of individuals, I was afraid I might start bawling and not be able to stop. The gratitude exercises, circling through the group with why we’re glad to be alive at this time (The Great Turning), memories of a sacred childhood place, someone who made us believe in ourselves and something we appreciate about ourselves really did anchor me back into a position of strength, despite reeling from the magnitude of our task to heal this planet and return to a culture of life.

Next, we moved to the Element of Fire — outside — building a bonfire with bones and sticks, each of us speaking to the group before adding our piece. This was the “honoring our pain” portion, and for me, living in Northern Indiana, I am never far from the pain of what we have done to this planet. It hurts. I have lived in many of the most beautiful, pristine places of North America, and until moving here, I always chose my locale for its proximity to some gorgeous, large natural feature. From Seattle to Santa Fe to Sedona to Lake Tahoe to Monterey to the shores of Lake Michigan … on and on through 43 addresses, I’ve always made sure to live and breathe the beauty. The landscape has always been a part of who I am.

It took six months of recurring dreams in 2009 telling me to move from Sonoma County California to Northern Indiana, and even then, I did so by way of daily walks by Lake Michigan and then Madison, WI and the nearby woods and lakes, only moving here because my true love needed to care for his parents here. He asked, and I agreed, because six months of such bizarre dreams is no small thing.

But it hurts to live here.

When we first found this property, I felt the pain of neglected land that had had its trees clear cut in preparation for the gut rehab of the house. I saw the dry, cracked earth, full of scraggly weeds and dead tree stumps — and I knew that if we did not take this rental, that it would take hundreds of gallons of toxic RoundUp, imported topsoil and sod to make this yard “acceptable.” I could feel the Nature Spirits traumatized, the animals bereft of shelter, and even though the neighbors all swore this was such “an improvement” over the way it was, every fiber of my being recoiled at the trauma.

Beyond our yard, we have a factory across the street, a caved in garage roof two doors down, and some of the most impoverished, tiny neighborhoods I have ever driven through, let alone lived near. Our rivers are filled with so many chemicals that a local scientist tells me the fish are hermaphrodites, and Monsanto rules the roost with GMO corn and soy fields all across this flat expanse. I learned on Saturday that for a hundred years, Indiana had 10 square miles of trees cleared per day. Diana is the Goddess of the Woodlands, making the name In-Diana as ironic as naming a state after the indigenous people forcibly marched out on the Trail of Death. Along with the real Indians and the Goddess of the Woodlands, straight streets, flat plowed fields and extremely patriarchal, stark religions have managed to squash almost every remaining vestige of the Sacred Feminine.

Ninety trains per day shriek their brakes and toot their horns, while transporting car after car of RoundUp-sprayed GMO high fructose corn syrup. Huge trucks rattle right through Main Street, and illegal immigrants inhale toxic fumes and dust particles in RV and other factories. When the economy crashed here in 2007 — before the rest of the nation — some neighborhoods experienced 80% unemployment, and with such high illegal populations that few could collect any benefits. With such challenges, maintaining yards, sidewalks or caved in garages were hardly priorities.

All of this and more I see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Daily.

This is why I garden. This is why I have hauled over 25,000 pounds of wood mulch, over 10,000 pounds of compost, coffee, potting soil, and manure to heal the soil. This is why I plant ornamental fruit trees and fruiting shrubs, why I obsess over an eight foot tall grape vine trellis, sunflowers, scarlet runner bean tee-pees, and morning glories. This is why I just ordered a Sweet Mock Orange to create a fragrant hedge on the north edge of the front yard, why I’ve got five profusely blooming, tough-as-nails Robinhood Rose bushes to form a hedge out front, and why I choose ornamental varieties for all my vegetable crops. This is why the inside of our home has become a different universe, one that welcomes faeries, the Goddess, and sacred rituals celebrating the Wheel of the Year. This is why I continue to paint portals towards a better future, why I keep interfacing with locals who look at me like I have three heads or don’t belong, why I offered two Reiki certification classes at a Mennonite church last year, and why when people compliment my garden, I admit to receiving faery help.

Confession and perhaps not a surprising one: during the winters in Elkhart County, Indiana, I fantasize about living elsewhere. Without my garden or mature evergreens to clean the air and remind me why I’m here, I cocoon deep inside our faery cottage. Except after the quiet, magical snows that temporarily beautify everything, in winter, I often go weeks without leaving the house, looking at nothing besides my paintings, indoor plants, tarot cards and books. Piles and piles of books about gardening, food forests, and the Faery Realm. Whenever people visit, they immediately notice the “other realm” nature of our home. The energy sparkles inside, and until things start pushing their way back to life outside, my heart can’t stand the brutality of what humanity has done to Northern Indiana.

I didn’t say all of this on Saturday as I picked up a bone to place on the fire, but raw emotion flooded through what I did manage to share. I felt the tears, hot, like lava in my stomach, exploding from my heart, and cracking through my voice, and then it hit me: I’m not just feeling Northern Indiana in contrast to Monterey or Lake Tahoe. I am feeling Gaia Herself, weeping for the way Her children have used Her, beaten, raped and overpowered Her. Everywhere. Elkhart County just forces me to recognize and feel that pain, to own it instead of blissfully pretending it doesn’t exist as I look at waters filled with invisible radiation or land parched by geo-engineered drought. There is one Earth, and all of Her is sacred. Some parts need more help than others, but all of this planet needs healing. As much as I would love to run away, to distract myself from this visceral pain, truly, where would I go?  If I don’t heal this land, my little spot in Goshen, then, tell me, who will? 

Who else would have looked at hundreds of tree stumps, tens of thousands of dandelions, quack grass clumps, a creeping field of garlic mustard, sorrel and poison ivy and thought, “Permaculture Paradise”? Who else, right here, right now, would have spent the hours and money to heal, regenerate and harmonize this land?

On Saturday, I remembered my place — not just via remembered recurring dreams, but in my body and in my soul. In the gratitude section, I realized that what I’ve done with this land is no different than what I do with discarded doors — purifying them, cleaning them, sealing them, and painting them into portals that lead to preferred destinations. This time on Earth — what Joanna Macy calls “The Great Turning,” in which everything falls apart with unknown outcome but enormous potential for healing — is really no different than individual coaching sessions in which I help people move through their worst nightmares into a magical, healed, and preferred life. It’s not easy, but I love it. I love showing up at these moments of incredible odds and almost unimaginable creation.

The next part of the spiral had us back inside, literally walking backwards, around and around the circle, metaphorically moving back through time to all the challenges our ancestors have faced. This portion was the least new to me, since I spend so much time doing past life readings. I’m quite familiar with perennial challenges facing humanity, as well as my own soul’s history, even though I don’t know my family history much beyond my grandparents. I still enjoyed the exercise, appreciating how fortunate I am to experience such a vast temporal perspective on a daily basis. “Seeing with new eyes” for me meant recognizing how blessed I am to live so far out of ordinary life.

The final part of the spiral was “going forth,” and it involved wandering aimlessly around the room until we were told to stop. Then, we paired up with the closest person to us, holding hands, gazing into each others’ eyes and silently participating in whatever exercise the facilitators read. I ended up taking the opportunity to offer a huge surge of Reiki and Runic healing to whomever I paired off with. The energies just surged through me, and I realized another key difference between my regular life and that of most people’s “ordinary life”: Presence. I spend my days in sessions, deeply honoring the being of each client, and David and I have a strong, soulful connection with each other. I had given up on most other people here being able to connect anywhere near that level. I always feel the walls of culture, religion, repression or distraction. So many walls wherever I go here, but in this exercise, for those brief moments, I realized, “Wow! This capacity has not been completely bred out of people in this area. Some are capable of this level of presence. Good to know.”

I felt my own energy expand in a way I rarely allow it to here, out of respect for the extreme Anabaptist infiltration of everyday life. Mystical it is not! In those moments of feeling the Reiki and Runes surging through me and having an unknown other actually trying to connect instead of running from that level of soul communion, I let my energy relax even more, not caring if magic happened around me, as it usually does when my energy moves — freaking out bookstore clerks, baffling salespeople or other shoppers when books or objects I need appear out of nowhere. Here, in the course of “going forth,” I thought, “Ahhh, yes, I will continue to go forth, and maybe there are receptors for what I have to offer in Elkhart County.” I looked forward to conversing afterwards with those I’d connected with in silence.

The ritual ended, and poof! Presto, change-o, I felt all the walls re-erect themselves, and I smiled to myself. Patience, grasshopper. The first three people I connected with seemed to pointedly and awkwardly avoid me for the rest of our time there, but the last one spent hours talking with David and me. We connected with others, as well, not to the degree we are capable of connecting with others, but more deeply than usual in this reserved area. I left the gathering recognizing just how much this community (and probably many communities) need(s) The Work That Reconnects, and I felt grateful that we have people willing to show up. I feel grateful for Nicole and her dozens of friends who took the time on a Saturday afternoon to drum, to cry, to share, and to build — to recognize the pain of our planet and to commit to doing our own part as individuals and as a community to heal ourselves and our Mother. I feel grateful and humbled to heal this yard and to teach and live in this county, in this state, which people on either coast usually dismiss as backwards, redneck and ugly.

In many ways, they would not be wrong, but to dismiss Elkhart County whole cloth is to miss the subtle beauties of regenerating land, economy and soul. I, of course, went home and ordered a bunch more plants, because you always need more flowers, ground cover and nuts. Can’t forget the hazel nuts! In the process of determining which hedges to put where, I heard from a local gardening friend about the Arbor Day Foundation, an organization devoted to growing more trees all over the US. They want to encourage people to plant more trees, so they sell them to you for very low cost, enabling more people to afford more trees. Even if you live in a less obviously hurt spot of Mother Earth, I encourage you to check out the Arbor Day Foundation to see what trees grow well in your zone and area of the country. You can even leave a will of trees, gifts that last a lifetime.

I will leave you with the words of Chief Seattle, quoted recently by Ann Kreilkamp, a friend and fellow InDiana resident from fellow Transition Town, Bloomington:

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people.

Every shining pine needle,

every sandy shore,

every mist in the dark woods,

every meadow,

every humming insect.

All are holy in the memory and experience

of my people.

This we know.

We belong to the Earth.

The Earth does not belong to us.

Chief Seattle, from his Letter to All the People

(ASTRO-ALERT!) A DOUBLE T-SQUARE WITH THE NODES, URANUS, PLUTO, THE MOON … and more ..

Thanks to Lance for pointing my way to this one. It certainly makes sense of my yesterday! I’ve got Capricorn at 8 degrees in my North Node, so yep, I was feeling this — particularly in my body: “Those with placements at 10 Capricorn +/- 7 degrees will experience this as a Powerful Grand Cardinal Cross (Remember the intensity of late April/early May 2014? Yes, that kind of energy).”

There’s all sorts of stuff happening in the skies right now, so have a look if you feel some otherwise inexplicable shifts. I’m excited to have these potent energies holding my friend Nicole’s birthday celebration this afternoon — complete with a Joanna Macy inspired group and Earth healing ritual. Perfect timing!

Dr Bairavee : The Sky Priestess

Volcano

We’re about to experience a POWERFUL Lunar Nodal T-Square, meaning the Moon at 10 Cancer will be in potentially tense aspects to the North Node (10 Libra) and the South Node (10 Aries). Navigating this T-Square will be a challenge for some, others will see it as the kind of challenge you need to push through into a new phase (like birthing). The Moon will be the apex (pinnacle/peak) of this T Square and so the focus is upon our emotions, our relationship with the Sub-conscious, issues surrounding the domestic sphere, connections with our Mothers/Motherhood/The Divine Mother, and so on.

The lessons that the Node teach us, or rather, the karmic experiences they ask us to face are ones that focus upon the idea of balancing the needs of the self with the needs of others in partnerships, and for integrating both aspects of self (known/unknown, light/shadow) into harmonious balance…

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Love Trees

Thanks to Julianne Reynolds of Romanski Films, who took this fabulous tree photo on Bainbridge Island. For those who don’t know, Julianne makes documentaries honoring and celebrating the Sacred Feminine. She’s a woman worth keeping an eye on, and how can you not love someone with such an eye and heart for trees?

Photo by Julianne Reynolds

Photo by Julianne Reynolds

Top gov’t. scientists say no to vaccines for their kids

“This is called a Clue.” Another well researched piece from Jon Rappoport!

The Sacred Feminine: A Teaching by Aleutian Elder Ilarion Merculieff

Great talk on the Sacred Feminine, the Shadow and the deepest, deepest fears, and why we need to face these and reclaim our own power in order to return to balance on this planet. Thanks and love to Jamie!

Sophia's Children

In this short video talk, Aleutian Elder, Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff speaks about the vital re-emergence of the Sacred Feminine, the long-ago prophecies and the ultimate effects of the cycle of “masculine imbalance,” and the roles of women and men in this re-emergence of the Feminine.

Note: the audio on this talk isn’t ideal, particularly at first, so listen closely; it’s an inspiring message, so worthwhile.

You’ll also see another, longer talk from Mr. Merculieff on “Going to the Heart of Sustainability.”

Big Love,

Jamie

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The Visit

A story of restoration … and love. Thank you to Colette and her brother Felim for sharing Bealtaine Cottage through this beautiful poem!

Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Recently, I had the pleasure of welcoming one of my five brothers to Bealtaine Cottage.

Felim had visited very briefly once before, some years back, but this visit was different…something here, on this sacred little piece of Ireland, connected with him.

The energy that thrives here and the sheer joy of the living Mother Nature around him, touched his soul.

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Felim spoke little about his feelings at the time, but this week I received a poem he wrote, inspired by Bealtaine Cottage.

I have decided to share it with you, for it truly expresses an awakening deep in the heart of one who now “gets it!”

Here it is…

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BEALTAINE COTTAGE

A bruised and battered Mother Earth,

Driven to despair by the dearth

Of man’s ignorance of her needs,

Has found a nursery for her seeds

In the soil of this marshy slope.

Here she flourishes in hope-

In this…

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Upcoming Classes in Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern Indiana

Mikao Usui ~ founder of Reiki

Mikao Usui ~ founder of Reiki

REIKI LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATION CLASSES

Reiki Level 1 Certification Class in Goshen, Indiana
Saturday, June 20, 2015
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hosted at my home in Goshen, IN (address given after sign-up)

Reiki Level 1 Certification Class in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Saturday, July 18, 2015
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hosted by my sweet, artistic and very groovy sister in Allentown, PA (address given after sign-up)

Reiki is an ancient healing method rediscovered in the 19th century by the Japanese monk Dr. Mikao Usui. The “Rei” in Reiki stands for “universal” or” spiritual,” and the “ki” corresponds to the “life force energy” known as “Chi” or “prana” in other Eastern systems of healing and energy work or yoga. It offers an easy, non-draining way to provide hands-on or distant healing through energy exchange and profound relaxation, allowing the recipient’s body, mind, soul and spirit to access their own deepest healing. Reiki can be practiced professionally, or as an adjunct to one’s own spiritual path and holistic lifestyle. I teach the Usui Method of Reiki, which is the most traditional style from which all other types derive.

Students will learn and/or receive:

• History, nature, and science of Reiki.
• Experiencing Reiki energy.
• Using Reiki with other healing arts.
• Discussion of 21-day cleanse.
• Treating animals and plants.
• Essence scanning process.
• Establishing a Reiki practice.
• Practice self-treatment hand positions.
• Handouts and resource list.
• Reiki Circles.
• What a Reiki lineage represents.
• Giving a Reiki treatment with hand positions.
• Ethics and Legal Responsibilities as a Reiki Practitioner.
• Reiki Level 1 Attunement.

Certification: At the end of the training, each student will receive a certificate acknowledging completion of Reiki Level 1, as well as recognition as a Reiki Level 1 Practitioner. Taking any Reiki training with Laura Bruno also qualifies each student to audit (at no cost) any additional Reiki classes taught by her, up to and including the level completed with her (space permitting).

Fee: Regular rate for Reiki 1 Certification is $175. If prepaid in full two weeks in advance, cost is $150.

Pre-registration and a $25 non-refundable deposit are required to reserve your spot.

About the teacher: Laura Bruno, MA, RMT has taught Reiki Certification classes around the United States since 2002. An internationally known Medical Intuitive and Intuitive Life Coach, Laura has authored three books and hundreds of articles on natural healing, mind-body-spirit-soul connections, raw food, and intuition. She has spoken at health conferences and has appeared as a guest on numerous radio shows and blogs.

For more information or to register, please contact Laura Bruno.

back gardens 7-13FAERY WORKSHOP IN GOSHEN, IN

Sunday, June 21, 2015

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Hosted on Summer Solstice at my own “Faery Hof” and gardens in Goshen, IN (address given upon registration)

This workshop is offered by popular request and will be tailored to the day’s participants. Likely topics include:

Faery lore and history

Faery healing and divination

Tour of the faery gardens and portal doors on site

Connecting with the Faerie Realm, Nature Spirits and Elementals

Exercises, recommended resources and techniques for finding Faery Guides and Allies

Rules of engagement so you don’t accidentally offend the Fae

Inviting faeries into your home and/or garden (living in harmony with Nature and all Her creatures)

We will share a light, working lunch, including fresh homegrown and local produce

In honor of Summer Solstice and the transition from one season into the next (the Fae like thresholds), we will finish this class with a short faery ritual to welcome Summer, followed by “tea and cakes” (gluten-free, sugar-free vegan options available). Please note that I have scheduled this class after the Reiki 1 Certification Class in Goshen, in case out-of-town students prefer to make just one trip to Goshen. Lodging recommendations available upon request.

Fee: $125, which includes a $25 non-refundable deposit to reserve your spot. Space is limited, and I’ll need to know numbers several days ahead of time in order to harvest/prepare food and materials.

For more information or to register, please contact Laura Bruno.

UPDATE: Only three spots left!

It’s Time

Welcome back, Tania! <3<3<3

Tania Marie

It's Time

This message and image so perfectly capture and mirror the essence of our journey in Peru. Wow!

Thank you to Christopher, who shared the journey with us, for sharing this image and quote with me.

Feeling really invigorated and hugely empowered upon returning home. I will be sharing the experiences we had with you this week. So stay tuned. Just getting myself integrated back.

Much love to all. I hope everyone had a beautiful Equinox and is feeling the power of this now moment to create anew from your wholeness that you are.

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Fairies in the News

It always warms my heart when mainstream media redeems itself by reporting on the Fae. Indeed, both The Guardian and the BBC have given real coverage to a high controversy in Wayford Woods:

“Trustees say cherished elfin estate of up to 200 front doors, in Wayford woods, Crewkerne, is gobbling up too many tree trunks – and the spritely speculation must be hobbled.”

No, this is not a spoof but an actual debate about the pro’s and con’s of limiting the over-development of an elfin forest. Living in a home in which we are fast approaching the manifest destiny of portal doors, I completely understand the dilemma. After my next door arrives on March 28th, I really will need to make some adjustments, perhaps switching only to canvases lining our stairwell, since, alas, too many faery doors really can overwhelm a space! You can read two delightful, yet serious viewpoints on the doors of Wayford Woods by clicking the following titles, both from the Guardian:

Fairies’ woodland homes face planning control

Don’t do away with the fairies: we need to relearn our sense of the magical

Meanwhile, a bit closer to home, I have this faery news to report:

It’s official. Leprechauns are terrific cobblers. I mail ordered a pair of boots that arrived in January, but much to my disappointment, they were so uncomfortable on my left foot that I could barely walk for days after wearing them only a few minutes. I loved the boots (very faery and, in theory, great for snowy woods walks), but I just couldn’t wear them long enough to break them in. I tried multiple shoe inserts — gel, foam, arch support, ball support — yet the pain remained. Determined to keep these boots, I asked the faeries for help. They told me to ask a leprechaun for help, because “leprechauns are good cobblers.” I hadn’t heard this before, but upon research discovered that, yes, indeed, leprechauns have a reputation for fixing shoes! They also like to make deals (this I already knew).

True story here: a leprechaun appeared and offered to fix my boots — for a price. I asked the price, and it was an airline bottle of Irish Whiskey and seven quartz crystals. I had the crystals and left them outside, but I needed to procure some whiskey. Hey, I was desperate! David and I ran some errands in Mishawaka, and I explained my dilemma to him just as we happened to drive by a liquor store. He humored me, and we asked the clerk if he had any airline sized bottles of Irish Whiskey.

“Is Jameson alright?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I said, looking at David. “Is Jamison ‘Irish Whiskey’?” at which point David nodded, then winked at the clerk and announced, “She’s buying it for a leprechaun!”

The clerk cracked up, and so did David, but for different reasons — the clerk because he thought it was a joke; David because he knew it wasn’t.

I got carded buying Jameson for a leprechaun!

When we got home, I placed the bottle between my boots, and the magical cobbler indicated it would take two nights. I had already placed the seven crystals outside. I left my boots alone for three nights, just in case, and I put a coin under the whiskey bottle as a tip. In all honesty, I must report that when I tried the boots on again, they no longer hurt my foot. In fact, they felt springy, and I wear them all around town now. They were fabulous for frolicking in huge snow drifts, and they make wearing skirts fun even on cold, windy days. I don’t know what the leprechaun did, but I would have to endorse his skill. In the event you ever fall in love with a pair of shoes that you simply cannot comfortably wear, you might want to inquire after leprechaun services. These boots feel extra magical now, like they squirt out pixie dust wherever I walk, and truly, I tell you, nothing else worked.

Leprechaun cobbled boots

Leprechaun cobbled boots

In even more personal news, I’ve been spending a lot of time inside with the magical portal doors, reading about faeries, the Feri Tradition, researching my novel, planning this year’s flowers, and doing this month’s special, “The Faeries’ Dream.” I snapped this photo of myself the other day, since my sweet Tania Marie had wanted to see what was going on with my crazy hair these days. I know people think I look like a faery, but this photo really caught me off guard:

Fae me

Apparently, we really do become those with whom we associate.