Two Witches Crafting: jennette & lindsay

TWO WITCHES CRAFTING: JENNETTE & LINDSAY

alchemizing the mystery of *two witches crafting* ...see offerings tab!

alchemizing the mystery of *two witches crafting* ...see offerings tab!

 

*our spirit story = it’s a both/and world, sisters* 

within the auric field of a sun drenched clearing lined with 13 monolithic river stones, deep within a dark luscious evergreen rainforest portal of the pacific northwest, dripping with velvet moss and enveloped in mist, lived two venerable earth witches, one with yarrow in her braids and her loyal dog by her side, the other with mugwort in her dreads and her adoring cat beneath her bare feet. these were wise women they say, who had embraced many long illustrious decades as ethereal yet grounded sentient beings full of love and forgiveness.

side by side in their hand hewed, cedar shingled, tin roof cottages, with a massively overflowing medicine garden of shimmering orchards, high vibration food grown from last years heirloom seeds, hundreds of healing herbs and explosions of vibrant fragrant flowers between them, these two cackly elders were blissfully living out the rest of their days in active peace and conscious inter-dependence with each other, the pulsating land, the ancient stone people, the flourishing and tenacious plant nations and the highly attuned wild animals surrounding them ever so benevolently.  

as they milked their goats for cheese and soap making, fermented their veggies in great stoneware crocks for kimchee and kraut, tended their sweet honeybee filled apiary, collected pastel-hued chicken eggs among the ferns, brain tanned bow hunted hides, wove baskets from wild foraged flora, fauna and gnarly roots, mended their skirts and overalls, painted their totemic visions, collected pottery clay creekside, mixed batch after bowl of botanical teas and talismans, and roamed the hills and hollows to refill their apothecary, they reminisced about all the good ol’ high times they’d had in the past, cultivating creative collaboration, with a mischievous twinkle in their sparkly wrinkle surrounded eyes. 

they giggle-snorted and guffawed heartily recalling that the collaborative culture and reciprocal trust of their creative collusions of long ago began with a mutual understanding, respect and awe for one another’s innate and refined gifts, each desiring to bestow both the diversity and the continuity of their distinct skills in intentionally evocative and untamed myth-streams, song-lines and cosmic dream-time fables and folklores, all honed within the framework of raising families and doing their esoteric soul work, while recognizing full well that the vibration of their individual hand-making was as well a collaboration between Goddess/Spirit/Great Mystery and themselves.  

they recollected in hushed whispers of awe, the pooling of their collective perceptions,the bridge of commitment and the expanse of vision that aligned them many moons previous in brewing their veiled-in-secrecy but oh-so-delicious #twowitchescrafting seasonal offerings: to provide rich witchy nourishment, maverick heart thumping beauty, rampant pleasurable restoration, copious unfettered joy, and lavish hand picked inspiration, all conjured through the potential of a wild, strange, mysterious, transformative alchemy that only they and Spirit could summon, spark and dispense each burgeoning season. 

they never forgot their tender muse-inspired beginnings, where they grew from, who supported, buoyed and kept them spiritually tethered, how they were generously held, and the beauty of the ebb and flow. they always remembered. and so the story goes….

curious? we are too. it was precisely intentional and full of our love for magic and mystery that we’ve been dropping hints (#twowitchescrafting on instagram) about what will begin in the East this Spring, when the equilibrium of light and dark at the Spring Equinox is at hand, when inspiration, rebirth and new beginnings abound. we’ve wanted to excite your active imagination with what perfectly peculiar and fantastically odd invitation we might make to you, our trusted and trusting dearies. we are exploring together, calling on you, our enchanted allies and exquisitely subversive friends, what a kept-mostly-secret spectacular seasonal offering: spring equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox, winter solstice, might activate and amplify as, season to season. 

in keeping with bending assumptions, reciprocated mystery and our love of divine ambiguity, we will not be revealing the exact package contents on our VERY LIMITED EDITION curated boxes but you can expect distinctive, one of a kind, hand made and found objects from each of us. for jennette’s part, among other bespoke treasures and surprises, you can expect an exclusive piece of pottery, not to be released or sold at any other time, which will be unique and special to each seasonal invitation and never exactly duplicated. for lindsay’s part you might anticipate small batch hand blended teas, elixirs, honeys and uncommon accoutrements to tantalize your senses. your box will be gorgeously and generously packaged by lindsayso as usual you can expect excellence, allure and delight in the ambrosial unwrapping experience ahead of you. of course, it’s your call, but do know that you can purchase one season or opt in each time as we envision the pieces, both the pottery and the other remarkable regalia and paraphernalia, fitting together in a way that creates a story, as well as a set of utensils, tools and findings, centering on tea witchery, ritual, herbs, elements, honey and enchantment. 

gathering together the wild and the strange...

gathering together the wild and the strange...

on sale date will be on the Spring Equinox, Sunday March 20th, at 9am pst on lindsay's website!   

List price: $145 to include shipping and handling

we are humbled and grateful to be surrounded by such a loving and generous community.  thank you! 

Walking Toward the Mountain

Hello Sweet Friends

* I will go to a marriage with the owls and the vultures and the juniper trees and the rocks and I’ll not return, though some echo of my body will walk among you *

I am heading south east toward central Oregon right now, sitting in the backseat, stringing tiny rosebuds in long strands of Beauty. My Vision Quest is underway. From Tuesday to Saturday I will be out on the mountain, in nature, alone, with the clothes on my back and two wool blankets to keep me through the nights. I will be praying in my altar, 5 seven foot tall willow poles I harvested planted in the ground surrounding me, my 784 prayer ties strung across the tops, holding me in sacred space while I sing and dance my prayers to Spirit and Great Mystery. It’s really happening now, after 9 months of preparations, teachings, prayers and surrender. It’s time.  

I’ve been sleeping outside most nights since mid May, acclimating myself to the glorious wonders of night out of doors.  We were instructed to start out making ourselves as comfortable as possible. I set up the bed frame inherited from my granny on our little dark woods stage, where we usually hold concerts during the long days of summer, and popped up a canopy for bird poop protection. I went all out, full throttle cush! I slept on my big sheep skin, covered in a down comforter, quilts and wool blankets, favorite pillows to prop my head. There are groups of candles on nightstands and rugs laid to pad our feet. It’s a sweet set up. But more recently Ive had to ween myself from that stellar situation and get myself used to what I am truly in for: 4 nights of sleeping on a bed of cedar, on the ground, with two wool blankets to comfort me.  I’m not too concerned about it, even though its not my norm. It’s only 4 nights and I wont be sleeping much anyhow, as per the phenomena of sleep being tied to digestion and since I won’t be digesting, I wont need to sleep. I can do 4 nights. Thats not the part that concerns me.  

I’m going to be vulnerable here and tell you what does concern me, where my fear creeps in and clouds my trust in Spirit, where I waver, where I wobble. It’s around reintegration after this Epic Quest.  How will I, what if I can’t, when will I know, where will I go, why does it concern me, who will I be? 

Have you ever read Hedgespoken Tom’s work on Coyopa? I’ve long loved his work.Sometimes A Wild God is a long time favorite and a quest sister just shared his Nettle-Eater with me. Like, whoa.  All in good time.  

Nettle-Eater is so beautifully compelling and spot on for me in this moment. It boldly addresses my greatest fear on the other side of the is quest and soothes its edges to a soft glow. The fear, that I might become so blessed out, so cracked open, or otherwise unraveled out there, that I might not be able to rejoin civilization, might not be able to come back and live low I’ve lived, might not be able to to be “normal enough” within the confines of the culture and society we reside in, is what has been so present during this long walk, all this time.  

Reintegration is what scares the ever lovin shit out of me. Not the dark, not the wild animals, not the no eating/drinking, not the being alone.  It’s having to come back, not being able to fully feralize, not having the skills or tools to fit myself back into the box I’ve left behind and have to come back and squeeze into. How will I survive the daily grind afterwards?  Will Spirit hold my hand? 

Another quest sister who is going out for her third time in nine years shared with me that she can't wait to get out there, that this intense prep stuff is the hardest part, that she looks at her mountain altar as a spa. It was such a gift to have her share this with me and I’ve been holding this vision, of my altar out there being a space of restoration and remembering…re-wilding… my version of a spa. But she said nothing of the return, the coming back, the blending back in that will need to happen. Will I be able to access my altar held self upon my return? Will I be unrecognizable? Will I be able to settle myself back in, meld, merge, intermingle? My mentor, Sweet Medicine Nation, assures me I will go back to my bad habits and old ways in short time upon my return, to not fear being alchemized and transmuted so hardily that I won't find comfort and community in this strange world. I suppose that’s its own kind of solace and I’m holding on to her cheeky advice, letting it nestle in where spirit meets bone.  

*I am looking at the world beyond my door and my life is on fire.  I am running, diving in, though surely it means death. I am seeking something unknown, unknowable.  I know the names of it but the beast itself roams out beyond the edges and in the deep center of things. *

As ever, I am living in the questions, these among many others. I imagine they will persist on the other side of this grand adventure, while the answers I seek will be revealed in right time.  All in right time, all in right time.  

In other news:

(if you'd like to get info every new moon on my offerings, whereabouts and transgressions, sign up for my newsletter by clicking the banner at the bottom of the home page on my website at jennettenielsen.com)

We have just 4 spots left for our upcoming fall Wild Roots Sacred Wings retreat in Ojai, California. Last year we sold out well ahead of time and this will be the last retreat we host in Ojai for the foreseeable future so now is your chance to gather with us in this magical spot. We have sisters returning to coven with us and we want you there too. Come along, dear one, there is a spot for you in our dreamscape, song-line, myth-time adventure.

Hey, did you know Erin Faith Allen included me in her Art Maker Soul Shaker film series? She did, it’s true. If you haven’t had a chance to view Erin’s series of short films you can rent or buy them here. Each of them have been unique and incredible, giving us an inside peek into creative womens’ work and process. Very inspiring and a visual feast, easy on the eyes! There are more to come in the series too, so keep checking back there for updates.  

I will be vending at the Tolt Yarn and Wool Summer Maker’s Market on Saturday July 18th in Carnation, Washington, 10-6.  I will have cauldron cups, driftwood handled spoons, vagabond bags, herbal potions, vision pillows, and lots more, including a handful of vintage treasures for you to peruse and purchase.  The other vendors are AMAZING and you’ll want to get their early before I buy all the cool stuff they have! Hope to see you there.

I hope this coming new moon is full of magic and inspiration for you.  Think of me in the dark of the moon, altar held and dreaming on the mountain top. I'll think of you too.  You'll hear from me again at the next new moon, so until then friends, fare thee well.

Bright Blessings from a Nettle-Eater,
xx
jennette

Surprise Treasure Walnut Ornament

this is a quick,  down and dirty little Make-to-Mend DIY on making surprise treasure walnut ornaments.  when we make and give/gift to others, we heal.  it feels good.  we can show our love and care by taking the time to hand make with loving healing intentions.  my kids and i made a lot of these sweet treats when they were small and since i just made one for a dear friend, i thought i would snap a few images and show you how simple, yet sweet, this easy Make-to-Mend craft is.  

a finished surprise treasure ornament

a finished surprise treasure ornament

English walnuts work best, because they are large and split easily down the side seams of the nut.  you can order them online if you don't have a local source where you live or ask a well connected friend to send/trade you some! 

i always start my Making sessions by smudging myself and my space with white sage, palo santo, or yerba santa, to clear the energy while seducing and welcoming in Mystery, Spirit and the Muse.  i also make my tea, tune in my music or podcast, and sometimes pull a card for insight and guidance.  

here i've used a regular old store bought walnut because i was out of the english variety. i use my nut cracking tools, namely a pick, and i do this part myself if kids are trying to help out, so that i am the only one with a chance of getting stabbed! once you get the nuts cracked open on the nut seam, scoop out the nut meat and set it aside for a snack or eat as you go! 

surprise treasure for a friend option 1

surprise treasure for a friend option 1

surprise treasure for a friend option 2

surprise treasure for a friend option 2

surprise treasure for a friend option 3

surprise treasure for a friend option 3

basically you will want to find any and all tiny miniature treasures that will suit your recipient and fit within the shell.  i like to fill one half of the shell with the loot and leave the other half empty. then i simply find a ribbon or string and make a loop for hanging while tying a square knot that will fit just within the shell when it gets sealed. (see next photo)

ready for the melted beeswax next...

ready for the melted beeswax next...

now you are ready to seal your walnut with melted beeswax.  i do this by lighting a beeswax candle and, over a paper plate, paper towel, or paper from the recycling, start dripping wax around the edge of the half shell that isn't filled.  i quickly press the empty side to the full side and left it sit a minute.  then i slowly and methodical drip melted wax from the candle all around the outside edge of the shell.  voila!  fini!  

there will be lots of drips so just be sure to protect your surfaces

there will be lots of drips so just be sure to protect your surfaces

while the wax is soft you can form it and move it around a bit with your finger or tool

while the wax is soft you can form it and move it around a bit with your finger or tool

you can scrape off extra wax for a cleaner, sleeker look or leave it a bit rough and natural, how i like it

you can scrape off extra wax for a cleaner, sleeker look or leave it a bit rough and natural, how i like it

i added this tag to the ornament i made before sending it off to my friend

i added this tag to the ornament i made before sending it off to my friend

so the fun and silly thing is, once you make and gift these, they get cracked back open!  it's like a sweet little surprise package.  a thoughtful small token of love.  my kids and i used to make several before winter solstice, tag them so we knew who they would go to, and then hang them on our tree until it was time to package and send them.  they loved making them for their friends and they also loved when i made them some in secret as well.  these would be a fun way to do advent for your kids or for someone you love, a fun hanukkah or twelfth night celebration gift, and would be fun at the spring equinox and Ostara as well.  

love, sweet love,

xx

jennette

Practice over Paralysis

this little blog of mine, i’m gonna let it shine.

paralysis.  it wrapped its sticky, long, binding, curling tentacles around me.  constricted my voice, filled my head full of doubt, turned my writing fingers to stone.  as each day ticked by since my last blog post It made the effort seem too epic and the void too astronomical, the gap in time too wide to leap gracefully back across. 

well today is the day i kick paralysis’s ass, with practice.  i’m back.  the tentacles have been weakened, released, returned to their rightful owner.   this is the longest i've gone without blogging. so I’ll tell you some of what’s been going on and coming up. 

i spent november making up a storm for the Maker’s Market i was preparing for at the beginning of december.  then i went to Mexico for 3 weeks. here are some photos i love from that trip:

whale, swim with me whale, we will go far, into the sea

whale, swim with me whale, we will go far, into the sea

she surfs

she surfs

love steps right up

love steps right up

solstice sunset selfie

solstice sunset selfie

Guadalupe altar

Guadalupe altar

41st birthday plunge

41st birthday plunge

in Mexico i had time to write, by hand, and read 4 books.  i devoured two Rebecca Solnit books and it stimulated some reflection, thank the Goddess.  mostly questions.  which I will try to articulate here so we all have something to chew on…

have you ever had the experience of having a long held wish suddenly and unexpectedly granted?  

what do you do, how do you respond?  does the abruptness startle you?  do you get confused, back down, back up, give up?  are you an automatic Yes?   is it a landmark or a dividing point?  is the voice of caution, duty, fear, appeasement or danger in your head?

does your adventurous streak go limp or get a boner? 

what’s your reflex, you impulse? have you turned down adventure for duty, safety, thrift or security?  have you reflexively dismissed or declined a wish come true and felt wistful, grieving or mourning that choice? 

do you surround yourself with beacons, people who light the way, go before you, that you can emulate, take inspiration from, follow in their steps? 

who is watching when you make these choices; say the Yes or No, to unexpected granted wishes? your kids, peers, parents, partners?  who is soaking it in, being tutored by your choices, taking cues on and internalizing how to respond when their own wishes are granted?  

stick with me…

how often do you choose the unknown? how often do you turn down a chance to live or be wild?

do you know yourself?  do you think you do? do you think it’s dangerous to not know yourself? what of your inner landscape?  do you suffer?  or hide from yourself through dissociation or projection, deceptions or justifications?

have you ever considered a wish granted as an intervention? a rescue? saving you from an arduous time?  a key to a prison door, a raft in a shipwreck?

granted wishes are doorways, portals, to adventure and possibility. 

you can step into the unknown, the wild, through a door you make of the word YES. 

i am practicing this as a small chunk of long held wishes are suddenly and unexpectedly being granted.  even practice takes practice.  

are you familiar with the term *wish granting jewel* or *wish fulfilling jewel* or the idea of a *philosopher’s stone*?   they are” jewels or substances” that have the power to produce whatever one desires: perfection, enlightenment, heavenly bliss and beyond.  they are metaphors for our minds. 

as i am my own anam cara, i am also my own wish fulfilling/granting jewel and philosopher’s stone. 

the power is within me to manifest and produce whatever i desire.  this is not at the cost of others but in fact in alignment to reflect and amplify other’s abilities to be their own jewels and stones.  to mineralize their own deep empowerment.  to become their own beloved. 

this is how i become my own jewel, how you can too:

1. A Practice of Permission. to want what i want and to allow myself the ability to go after it.  to let myself be capable, to belonging to myself, to not be perfect, to be a student.  i no longer withhold from myself.   i say Yes to myself to make room for possibility, adventure and wildness.

2. A Practice of Release and Shed. i examine shadow, deal with it, and move on.  no dwelling.  no regrets.  no clinging.  i am human.  and shedding/releasing makes room for more goodness.

3. A Practice of Curiosity and Observation.  i watch carefully for the teachable moments, the occasions that school me, comfortable or not, and be curious about them rather than judgmental, closed or shut against them.   i don’t know everything.  i’m still human. 

4. A Practice of Attention and Tracking.  Spirituality, Nature, Art and Community.  where am i in these?  too much too little?  if one is far out of alignment it is likely i am demineralizing! and then it’s time to tug on some threads. 

5. A Practice of Make-to-Mend.  daily attention to the creative self-expression of my fullness as a means to empowerment and healing.  it’s ceremony, ritual and prayer to energetically activate my well-being.  it keeps me alive and some would argue sane. 

so this is my off the cuff list.  by no means exhaustive and official but a rough sketch.  an outline of what I try to keep in mind and practice. practice over perfection. practice over paralysis. practice and process.  

it allows me to be my own jewel.  it lets me shine.  and be solid, semi-precious.   

mi casa de baratijas sagrada

 my home of sacred junk.

you're invited.  please, come in.  take a peek around or let your gaze linger.

(the spectator in me would call for a steaming cup of chocolate pu-erh and a long slow leisurely scroll through the photos...) 

what you'll see is parts of my unedited tousled abode on the day my pilgrimage sister, Katariina Agnes Fagering stopped by for a visit with her camera.  she captured my "real" house, how we live in it daily, how our loot spilleth over, how crammed with our personal significant treasures it is...

you've likely heard me blather on about my love of creating enchanted, bewitched, and spellbinding spaces.  about how our senses are nourished through a sacred visual narrative and about the amplified ethereal vibrancy and pulse lurking in the corners and just under the surface.  about creating expressive ambiance intentionally and deliberately so it is meaningful and revealing.  soulful, strange, ordinary and accessible.  it's creative assemblage with punctuated quirks wherein the collection of evocative objects speak a magical language to one another and exist in harmony. 

this is what i believe.  it's what i tell myself and my clients.  it's what i know to be true.

this is the space where i create my magic, that holds me, womb like, that comforts and consoles me.  this is where i do my make-to-mend practice. where i am reminded that spirit, peace and affluence abound and surround me. it's my space and i share it with you. enjoy.    

 

 

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An Open Letter to my Forage/Gather Supporters:

hello wonderful supportive you:

i am back from my priestess pilgrimage to the UK and i am recuperating as i type this.  jet-lag and re-entry have taken up most of the week so far.  i had a massage today in hopes of grounding back into my body.  the feeling of floating and buoyancy, as much of a natural high as it can be, does not mesh well with the daily grind of life.  so i look for ways to get present, be here, stay focused and regain productivity.  and too, i am happily arranging and rearranging all the blessed altar embellishments i brought home for myself, much of it the same adornments and trimmings i gathered for you! 

short of retyping it all here, i would ask you to take a peek at my blog post about what i managed to discover about myself, once again, while gallivanting across the land, visiting the sacred holy sites and flitting about, as if gossamer winged, in fae land.  the veil was growing ever thin there, as it is here as well, and it was most righteously noticeable.  you can read my account, i am a pilgrim, here.

i hope and daydream for each of you that one day you go to visit the hallowed and ancient sites of the UK and that you too get to experience the pulse and vitality present there.  the amplified divine left me weeping several times and found me speechless often. i peered into the eye of each priestess among us, when words failed us and our eyes spilled over with salty hot tears. in those hotbeds of truth you get to experience what is beyond the epic.  it was cleansing, reassuring, and solidified my dedication to sisterhood and adventure.  i am still unraveling and deciphering the throbbing secret messages, just for me, that the sea, land, wind, stones, and water offered up. 

in your forage/gather boxes you shall find what might resemble an altar, once you have it all unpacked and arranged just so.  there is a sacred visual narrative theme of natural elements, charms, enchantments and magic woven throughout.  You may find your arrangement is a meaningful and revealing display and not just a random collection of unrelated objects.  as pilgrimage loot, a spellbinding energy may be generated in the way each of the evocative objects interacts with one another.  there becomes a soulful vibration that is greater than the sum of its parts.  i will be curious to see if, after creating an expressive ambiance through altar assemblage, you feel a certain magnetism, a pull, in the creative collection of your pilgrimage treasures. based on my experience, it won’t surprise me if the combination of objects and the visual narrative they evoke disclose a spiritual awareness rather than a specific meaning.  the items chose me and they chose you. i hope you find yourself drawn in, bewitched, ever wonder-filled and craving more!

thank you for trusting me to tune in and essentially take you on this trek with me.  you were there with me as i traversed the Tor in Glastonbury, as i skimmed the stones in Avebury, dug the flint, scouted the chalk, picked the flowers, perused the books, became wind swept in Tintagel, climbed the steps, bent over the Chalice Well, watched the sun set while the mists rolled in, welcomed day break and bird song, tasted the ciders, scoured the flea markets in Bath and London, touched the ruins, shed the tears, and belly laughed while making up songs about sheep shit and practicing my british accent.  thank you for encouraging my journey by supporting my business.  thank you for allowing the seeker, wanderer and adventurer in me to partake in this excursion and settle into pilgrim mode.  thank you for your support, from my deepened tender heart.

i appreciate you.  thank you. 

I am a Pilgrim

listen, listen...

...

i kept having to pinch myself and i cried every few hours or so. 

is this my life?   am i awake?  am i dreaming?  am i here?

i could feel the salty hot tears on my wind kissed skin. 

i could hear the sweet cackle of my sisters and the gentle murmur of their song.   

i could taste the dry cider, streaky bacon and mushy peas.

i could see the rainless clouds, against the vibrant blue sky, over the dramatic stones,  as they sailed into the mystic.

so i asked her to pinch me and when she did i could feel it.  i was there.  it was real.

this is my life.

 

making out with sacred ancient stones in avebury

making out with sacred ancient stones in avebury

i attuned myself to this priestess pilgrimage, with this particular soulful coven of women, lifetimes ago...as it turns out...every cell in my body remembers them.  

and i understand why i was requested to be on this spiritual trek, this time, besides the reunion and communion.  

in this blessed lifetime i've been once again paired with my beloved sister-cousin who guided me through my formative years in the ways of wild witchery and pagan catholicism.  you may have heard me tell tale here.

so not only was i carrying out a portion of my personal manifest destiny as revealed and gifted to me throughout my life/lives, but i was also making waves, setting sparks, and honoring the magical realism, mythology and vision that is my birthright.  

 

the biggest henge that i have ever seen...a giant granite birthday cake...all i think of is stonehenge

the biggest henge that i have ever seen...a giant granite birthday cake...all i think of is stonehenge

on this holy land, stones, trees, wells, sacred flames, and wind collude with the elements they are born of to be the tethers that ground me and inform me.  they are the portals that allow my pain and suffering to be alchemized and transmuted.  air moves me, fire transforms me, water shapes me and earth heals me.  as i widen and expand the macro lens of my own perception, the high vibration and palpable heartbeat, just below the surface of things, Her heartbeat, Her ancient rhythm and wisdom, rise up to meet me.  and i am struck by a deep well of breathtaking awe.  i am comforted, i feel safe, i trust and i forgive.  i am here to understand the abundant affluence i am steeped in daily and i give way in gratitude.  

 

site of our new moon ritual, west kennet long barrow, avebury.  ceremony. celebration. 

site of our new moon ritual, west kennet long barrow, avebury.  ceremony. celebration. 

i ask myself:

what did i bring to release, let go, offer, breath out, heal, leave in Her lap? 

what did i take, come to understand, listen for, grow from, open to? 

in these energetically amplified spaces, where is my willingness?

how am i honoring my capacity to expand, take up space and be illuminated?  

 

new moon: ripe with power to manifest divine partnership to myself...i am my own anam cara

new moon: ripe with power to manifest divine partnership to myself...i am my own anam cara

i emerge from the nurturing, safe, and womb like space of venerable trees, elderly stones, antique barrows, indigenous wells and the energetic web of support from my priestess sisters...re-calibrated, equilibrium intact yet always shifting along the lemniscate of life, engaging the deepest parts of myself, alive and dancing.  as i say, i walk with my placental ancestors...i do not walk alone.  

 

daybreak tarot and tor

daybreak tarot and tor

 i've kept the wildness of my heart intact and i've let the imminent certainty of wild self-love inspire a serene courage within myself.

 

whispering the names of my beloveds into the holy chalice well

whispering the names of my beloveds into the holy chalice well

awakened and emitting my own frequency.  

imprinting my intent for forgiveness, love and trust.  

still feral, ambrosial and strange. 

more soon... 

xx

jennette

p.s. posts by other priestesses here, here, and here.

Get Up Stand Up Headdress

so i made a series of headdresses.
it was a make-to-mend project.
and an accessory-as-medicine project.



and i created a sweet little DIY for these beauties.
you can get in the Spring issue of Amulet.



so bounce over to Amulet and Make-to-Mend a 
Get Up Stand Up Headdress.
keep this in mind...





how does using our hands in self-expressive adornment heal us?
can we draw down or root up healing by imploring our hands to follow our heart in embellishment?
will mindfully fabricating a hand worked narrative alleviate some of our suffering from old wounds?




expand. release. heal. 
awake. rise. vision.  

xx
jennette












Blame It On My Wild Heart

Shapeshifter 

i spent a good portion of my life thus far trying to cover up, bury, cloak and avoid my past.  for years, in my longing for control, safety and normality I employed perfectionism and being bossy pants to mask any little bit of weird that might slip through the cracks and expose me for the odd, damaged, freak I thought I was.  i knew it was my job to be the secret keeper, a role heaved on me without my consent, due no doubt to the mortification truth-telling would unleash in my mouse’s view of the world, then only seeing what was right in front of me.  that was before soaring…before embodying the eagle’s gesture and flying high with a wide open view from above. 

from an eagle’s vantage point, the expanse of space is vast, unrestricted and capable of holding all kinds.  who am I then, while eagle incarnate, to keep my story and experiences to myself, if through tender transparency I might be able to comfort another wounded sister?  it has been a long hard road, as they say, a struggle to survive my past and arrive at the point of wanting to expose myself, to throw it all off and become naked and so new.  unearthing, digging up, excavating and going public with our personal stories of living wounded from experiencing trauma is not selfish, it’s self-care.  and it’s sister care in that telling our stories, crafting our personal narratives, are our greatest tools in healing, for ourselves and those who listen.  i am not the only one who has been there, with the deep throbbing scars of a survivor, working out the kinks of our pasts.  we all experience trials, hit bumps in the road, and our healing involves feeling our pain, embracing it, naming it, having a grief ritual for it, and then shedding and releasing it, starting a new chapter, a new story, a new page about ourselves.  when we shine light in the dark secret corners, we set ourselves free.  the telling and sharing and owning become a portal to healing, transformation and change, where we awaken to the deep truth of who we are. 
i am done with the business of living wounded.

i am fermenting my past by sharing a previously published piece of mine here on this page now, letting the alchemy of it nourish and tonify us all.  this “going public” is part of the ritual, part of the unraveling and reclamation that gets me to my next step of Make-to-Mend, where in community we support one another in a rhythmic daily practice of creative self-expression,  Making to heal the wounds of developmental trauma and adverse childhood experiences.   in the telling, the sharing, the writing, the making, the crafting, the deep soul dive. i am free.  we are free.  wild and free.

wild and free
(from here)
by the time i was 4 years old my mom had married a monster, unbeknownst to us all at the time.   we didn’t know he was a monster at first, because he didn't look like one.  he didn’t appear scary, mean, nasty or vicious. he didn’t present hideous skin, oversized appendages or snarling teeth.  this monster passed off like a gentle human, smelled clean and fresh,  faithfully attended church and lived a moderate middleclass life in the suburbs.  no, visually,  your eyeballs would have never registered monster, or even crazed lunatic.  but those amazing globe-shaped orbs inside their sockets cannot always ascertain sly, sneaky, cunning monsterishness by observing an outward appearance.  this person was a deviant, conniving, covert monster on the inside.  a putrid, sick, less than human, life-sucking leach, of the lowest form. yes,  he most certainly was.  he was a child molester and i was his darling, tricked, sweet, confused target for 7 long years.
i am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.don’t feel sorry for me.  just see me where i stand.  behold me.i tell you this in an effort to take back my power: to become empowered, to become real, to shed the prickly cloak of secret keeper and rebirth myself  anew.  i tell you this to lean into and live up to my calligraphied arm tattoo:" i choose authenticity. i am brave, vulnerable and imperfect.  i am enough." i tell you this to be seen: honest, bare, revealing.  i tell you this to cultivate my own shame resilience: ordinary courage, dream weaver, creative wise woman .   i tell you this because i have survived, sometimes barely intact, more often than not hanging on by a thread, yet alive, and living with the battle scars, bruises and bewilderment of being knocked the fuck down, so to speak.  i tell you this to do something big.  yes, this is my truth.and yet.  still i journey. still i dream.  still i seek healing.  a wanderer, always and ever spiraling inward and outward, grasping elusive bits of star dust and slippery magical moon beams. me,  burning bright, shining, electric, pulsing,  reaching, soaring, stretching.  but always, always, furling back again, folding inward, dark solitude, a hot mess of  fear, questioning, angry, rageful, blaming and untrusting. temporarily defeated, the wall goes up, old wounds fester and seep, vulnerability sprouts wings and vanishes while i  choose smallness and jealousy, in a wicked shame spiral of despair and humiliation. this one beautiful life: seemingly stolen, subverted, mangled, ruined, corrupted.
and yet, i refuse to let it have me, to own me, to work me like a puppet.i am giving myself permission to fly because i have been told there is life outside the cage.don’t feel sorry for me. my life is not horrid.  i have had many years worth of smiles, belly laughs and high times.  I am college educated in the arts, i am a trained community centered herbalist, i have two beautiful sons, and a partner who continues to allow me to grow, die and be reborn again.  i have submerged myself in a community of women and friends that i can trust, feel safe with, let see me and be real real with.  I am an artist, a maker, a studio and vintage shop owner.  Boho-Naturalist styling, decoration and design is my gift and prayer. i am a honeybee keeper,  a mother-ocean loving surfer, a horseback rider and a wanna be world traveler. and here i write.  i am a writer, a weaver of words and a teller of truths.  i am me and here i am: aspiring to live and love with my whole heartthis one beautiful life was cobbled together on a marathon,  a running, if you will, away from and back to myself, depleted,  over and over again, tired, cyclical, exhausted, a pattern. Therapy, and therapy, and more therapy.  tiny  bits of me unearthed and exposed, little by little, dusted and shined but not always lovely.   a crystal in the rough.  in fact, rather mostly hard to look at, the shattered edges, the sticking stinking mucky grime, unbreakable, unuseful, old protective modes, wounds that won’t rest in peace, sending me running from myself again.  untimely attempts at shifting the energy leaving me sprinting like a rat on its wheel, wondering when to jump but instead just hanging in there, one more round, utterly thirsting to run into myself, me, myself, hoping to find me, myself, like an old friend waiting with open arms.  but no, the running went on and on and on.but now it's done.  i've crossed the finish line of this 39 year marathon.   i'm jumping off the wheel.  and i'm two things.  I am thirsty and i want to fall down.  hard.  and  i want the running me to splatter on a surface that will crack me wide open and let all the dis-eased, unfulfilling ,broken down bits of me  scatter to the healing eastern winds.  and i want to drink up,  gulp down and cultivate the pieces of me that serve me, the seeds that help me serve others, the bits that give me purpose and light and freedom.  i will grow, nourished and fed, ever reaching, thickening, becoming succulent and juicy in my new skin, tendrils finding their hold.  i will live and love with my whole heart and i am hot-damn determined to reclaim what is rightfully mine and be fully selfish in my loving myself, tending my inner fire, stoking a life that is abundantly full of star dust and moon beams.  there shall be no end to me, just wide open space and affluence, glowing and radiant.  beauty, love and passion.so blame it on my wild heart.  it has been broken and busted flat yet it won’t give up.  it just keeps asking the questions, searching for answers, growing stronger with each veil lifted, with each step toward the signs that reveal answers, to a hoped for understanding, a making sense, a wanted deep knowing of direction, path, meaning.  what to do with this one beautiful life and this incessant mocking awareness?  what is my convergence?  where will my skills join a valued need in the world so i know how, where and in what form to give. Catherine Deane Moore says, "Your calling is at the intersection of your joy and the earth's deepest need."  where is my joy?  what is Her deepest need?   i'm investing in me because being the best me is the gift i can give the world today.  my preferred self, me breaking inherited patterns, me taking flight.   
this is my gift to me.  
And this is my gift to you. 

Recognition & Belonging

i finally belong to myself.
I recognize me.

a week or so ago i was shootin the shit with a real life friend online, since we aren't quite neighbors and we can't sit in each others kitchens at 10:30pm, half cocked and telling the truth.
this beautiful sister of mine mentioned that she manifested me in her life, many moons ago, and now here we are, 2 or 3 years into our current friendship.  she said, "i mean, what if we were in a place on a day at a time looking at the same sky, the same star and saying this. her. please. someday..."

it made me cry a little.

we were exploring our connection, our six degrees of kevin bacon,  how we came to know each other, this time, and i agreed with her that in so doing, it is easy to see that it's all one. only us. no them.  both/and.  no real divisions.

indeed.  

sisters.

so i sent her this riff from lang leav called soul mates: i don't know how it is you are so familiar to me- or why it feels less like i am getting to know you and more as though i am remembering who you are. how every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that i have known you before, i have loved you before- in another time, a different place- some other existence. 

and she said to me: Anam Cara

well friends, i had to look that up.  
utter cluelessness on my end.  

Anam Cara = Soul Friend

lifted from wikipediaAccording to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the body like a luminous cloud. When you are very open, appreciative, and trusting with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found your anam cara, or "Soul Friend." Your anam cara always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are. In Celtic spirituality, the anam cara friendship awakens the fullness and mystery of your life. You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy, and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home.

so a fabulous mr. john donohue wrote a book called Anam Cara, in which he offers wisdom and insight on the themes of love, friendship, solitude and death.  

i am hooked.

and i have not been able to help myself, while reading his words on friendship between two souls, to take notes, in my own way, twisting and turning the reading to make sense for me and my personal journey.

now it does feel obvious to me that we have soul friends.  of course.  when we get vulnerable with others and behold each others light and beauty, a connection sparks.  yes. ancient recognition. home. i get this.  

and of course we need others.  of course we do.  like clean air. and fresh water.  essential.  

but we also need ourselves. healed and loving, whole. i need me.
  
one of the deepest longings of the human soul is the desire to be seen and to belong. i want that. but more so, i long to truly see myself and belong to myself again, to remember myself, since my ability to do so was greatly compromised.   one of the horrid after effects of developmental trauma and childhood wounding is that we often can no longer grasp our potential. our potential was seemingly snuffed out. well, i for one can no longer hand my power over to the people who hurt me, letting their maniacal acts rule my life forever. fuck them.   
i am reclaiming my possibility and it starts with self-love and self-acceptance.  

but what of it when we FINALLY sense a deeply felt bond with OURSELVES?  when we finally come to love and accept ourselves enough that there is a deep ancient recognition?  if friendship is always an act of recognition then is befriending ones self an act of self-recognition? can self-love be manufactured or achieved by an act of will or remembrance? what does it take to enter into friendship with ones self and if that can happen do we recognize our selves?  our souls?  who do we become? our own soul friend?

it fascinates me to no end to consider that deep, true, hard won friendship with oneself comes with self-recognition.  that it comes with self-love and self-acceptance. when we accept and discover ourselves, the ancient recognition settles in.
perhaps we used to love ourselves, before the childhood trauma and post traumatic stress brought the division and separation of liking, knowing, loving and accepting ourselves. after adverse childhood experiences our (secret) memory mourned the loss of us, without us even realizing it...for a while.  some of us have wandered for years, the longing to love ourselves and accept ourselves barely recognizable, sometimes masked by obsession, compulsion, addiction, sabotage. for some of us the desire to belong to ourselves was not all together forgotten but faded to the dimmest random flicker. 

i think it must be in doing our work, deep soul diving into the truths of ourselves, letting go of the past, healing, tracking our time spent doing what's most important to us individually, making-to-mend, and reclaiming the power we have to mold our lives, shine our souls, and live in joy, that the tides begin to turn and we can consider leaning into self-love and self-acceptance.  in loving ourselves an ancient circle closes.  that which is ancient within us, when recognized and accepted, will tend us, protect us, shelter us and hold us together.  when we fall in love with ourselves we come out of the loneliness of exile, of self-loathing, of shame and unworthiness to find home and belonging within ourselves.  it is here where we can begin to consider cloaking ourselves in our own friendship and self-recognition.  where we begin to belong to ourselves.  we decide what we want, who we want to be, how we will get what we want, do what we want, live like we want. 
we think: oh, this is me, hi you, welcome home, i remember you. 
i know you. i recognize you. you belong here.  

i know me, i recognize me, i belong here.  

it's the awakening. the spark, the flash of recognition, self-recognition, re-cognize, re know, knowing and befriending ones self, a sense of ancient recognition and belonging.
Self-Love opens the door to recognition and belonging.
we enter. and we come home to ourselves at last.

i am my own Anam Cara





Ask Her


i had the unusual privilege of spending time with a friend last night who i don't get to see very often.  i miss having her in my weekly life but evidence suggests that when i do finally get to be with her, we will deep dive and be satisfied, filled up and nourished. 
   
we don't mess around.  

its straight to the: what are your fears?  how is the hard work of parenting going?  how are you feeling about intimacy?  what about death, any ideas about that?  have you done any shamanic journeying lately?  how is that working for you?  what have you discovered there?  how are you taking care of yourself?  do you need support in that?  have you declared any new boundaries lately to protect and nurture yourself?  are you keeping your possibility in the pitcher?!  do you want to?  are you willing?  do you have any retreats planned?  what about pilgrimages?  where will you travel?  what do you dream about?  is your partner feeling supported?  are you feeling supported?

you can see the potential for several hours not being near enough time to begin touching the tip of the iceberg.  
i always depart from this goddess feeling like we could spend several more hours and still not scratch the itch.  
do you have these beauties in your life?  who do you trust?  are you willing to get vulnerable, raw, real?  can you share your triumphs and your pains?  joys and sorrows? will you get home from spending some time with her and long for her to be your neighbor, daily on your path?  i wish all my besties were near by or that money were no issue so continuous travel were a reality or that i could just get on my broom and fly.  
if you have sisters in your life that you can ask and be asked the above questions...honor it.  if not, cultivate and create it. we all just want to belong and we have to get vulnerable and trusting to find it.  be yourself.  don't front.  shed the masks.  get real.   word. 

ever feral, ever ambrosial, ever strange LOVE,
xoxxx
jennette 

Witch Roots


i am shimmying out on a wavering limb here and sharing a piece of writing with you so you can know me better, even still. if you've been here much you may know that i have been opening these little doorways, deeper into myself, letting you peep through and take me all in.  
i cherish your willingness to see me and stick around.
  
the piece below was written this past fall in a local yoga/writing workshop i was doing with my full-of-overflowing-love and gratitude yoga mentor/soulsister Sara and my brilliant, whip smart, hilarious writing mentor/soulsister Betsy.   this was for our final piece wherein we had to stand before an audience, at our local coffee shop and read into a microphone...  
an electrified microphone.
it felt undoable.  i went first to get it over with. i was all sweaty with my tummy doing flip flops. there is a video of it somewhere.  if i were to show that, you'd see that i take a break half way through, trying not to cry. and what you wouldn't see was that when i looked out at the seemingly huge audience gathered there, they were crying too.  
with me, they were crying with me.  
and it felt so good, like i was supported, held, seen.  
and i was able to finish reading.
you will notice that since i was writing it for a local audience, i use a lot of place names from washington state, where i was born and raised.  it also feels, to me, like an abrupt ending.  i was already way over the allotted words/time so i ended it...and i've never gone back and reworked it.  
so it is what it is.
welcome to a peek at my life:

Witch Roots: true confessions of a part-time crystal squeezer…from memory
she clutched the lustrous gleaming red apple in her hand.  the sanguine orb trundled finger tips to palm as she spoke.  and before I could inquire about the masses of blood-red spheres, she devotedly clasped her athame, dividing that suffused ruby-red ball perfectly to reveal the star.  do you know of this? Are you privy? if you slice an apple in half, just right, it will gift you with the star symbol, precisely in its center, its belly, where the seeds live.  i was in awe.  i was jejune.  I was 11.  and she was the most magical, mystical, and enchanted person i could ever imagine containing and including in my lackluster life.  she was my cousin.  my seven years older companion. my dad's sister's daughter.  and i was genuinely in love with her.

the alluring red apples were ubiquitous on that visit.  she had them all around her room,  in every quarter of the basement cave in that old gorgeous house in Wallingford.  and we were continuously left to our own devices there in that deep, cozy underground hollow.  it was a safe and bewitched space.  and i was privileged enough to be permitted in.  and there was shimmering candle light,  lots of luminescent candle light.  and hazy incense,  one after another with the enticing smoky incense. i asked her why red and not green with the apples.  and she said red, always red, never green.  she spoke to me of the symbolism of apples:  love, youth, beauty, happiness and immortality.  she whispered dreamily of the isle of avalon being apple island. and she made sure i understood that our scandinavian roots, being nielsen's and all, were bound to the legends of our scandinavian gods and goddesses, in the other world, who were fed an apple, the life-giving fruit, every evening by the guardian goddess Iduna,  the goddess of spring and youth, who nurtures an apple orchard in Asgard.  it was all about magic, mystery, the mystical, and the sacred.  my witchy cousin was ensuring that i too would be passed the gift of understanding symbolic meaning, gaining the ability to use herbs and potions to heal, and have knowledge of our pagan roots that informed our quasi-catholic upbringing.  she was initiating me.

the apples are just one of my first significant memories surrounding this idol of mine, my cousin, my sister.  she was just enough older than me that she had a "real" job, first at rainier bank, and then whatever it morphed into, when i was still quite impressionable.  i was open and she was willing so i was bestowed her imprint and i lavished in it.  in those glory days the money flowed like liquid gold and she had a no holds barred attitude where i was concerned.  especially when it came to supplying her agreeable petite apprentice with paraphernalia, tools, essentials on the journey into teenagedome and becoming a free thinking iconoclast.  this is how she justified her untethered spending on me: it was crucial to her that i was schooled, prepared, and developed within a certain elemental specific spiritual framework to make it thru the coming passage with as much room for growth and gaining knowledge and as little pain and agony as possible in my juvenile years.  it was of the utmost importance to her that i knew i was enough, that i understood the long line of strong creative women i came from, and that i trusted she was there to have my back in case i faltered.  she could not completely insulate me, by a long shot, but she gave me the securest cushiony landing spot and room to flail.  she held the space for my breakdowns and dissonance during my teen years in a way that supported and didn’t stifle. she was present and alert.

my ambitious mom divorced and left my sad dad by the time i was four.  pa stayed in windy, dusty ellensburg, where my 18 month younger brother and i were born, while my determined mom relocated us to the west side.  my temporarily heartbroken dad was a firefighter and had an irregular schedule.  my parents agreement was that dad would have us once a month.  it fuckin sucked.  it was hard and harsh.  And we missed him like crazy.  but when he finally showed up each month, it was like christmas morning, a celebration, a festival of love, longing, and reunion.  it was the best and we unquestionably endured our separation from him hungering for reunification.  and since he came over snoqualamie pass to retrieve us, we would most often spend the weekend with our grandparents in renton, instead of heading back over the cascades to ellensburg.  looking back now, my folks being separated and having been afforded a weekend nearly every month with my paternal grandparents, was one of the utmost gifts of my childhood and my parents’ split.  A hankered for blessing in disguise. basking in the ecstatic love and adoration of my grandma, in person, once a moon cycle, jam-packed me up with the love i craved and ached for and wasn’t getting elsewhere, namely from my distracted mom, whose attention was laser focused on her fresh rebound husband, while his attention, in turn, was laser focused on me.  but that tale of preoccupation is an account for another time.  and so, occasionally, instead of shacking up with my beloved and darling grandparents, we would hightail it across the 520 bridge, venturing into the big, bright, bustling city toward my dad’s sisters, and stay, at first on palentine, and then on latona, with my aunt, uncle and cousin, in seattle.  it was on those rare weekends, in the early years, that i was sanctified by my cousin and aunt's devotion, love and pandering.  it was these too far and few between journeys that my cousin would entice me subterranean to her chamber to be marinated in her glow, sequestered, in secret, the outer world shut out and time standing still. it was entering another world entirely and it was profound.

from time to time, and especially as i did actually near my teens, the older adults would "allow" my cousin and i to venture off into the heart of the mysterious city on our own.  she, of course, had been roaming, carousing, and taking seattle by storm since her very early years but for me to be allowed to go out with her, walking long distances or taking the city bus, since she didn’t drive, was a big deal.  through the years, and once i could drive into the city myself, we had several spots that i call the "usual haunts" on our route.  when i would get to her house each time, whether when i was much younger with my dad in tow, or a little older and on my own, she would have some variety of multi-layered gift for me and some portion of the gift was always an indulgent wad of cold hard cash meant to be spent on particular items in specific locales.  often the other components of the gift were small indicators as to the wondrous places she would take me by the hand to discover.  there was always music, incense, herbs, crystals, vintage trinkets, clothes and jewelry .  all riches to my naïve, rural, bugged out eyes.  for me they were otherworldly treasures, not the kind of stuff you could acquire or procure in the suburbs.  once gifted my supernatural loot, we were off to peruse the brick and mortars ourselves so i could see, feel, pick, choose, and buy, with her endowment of funds, more of the same.  it was a veiled dream come true and i lived, really longingly and anticipatorily existed, to fulfill my burgeoning wanderlust in her sorority.

one of our usual haunts was tower records, in the mid-80s still a block off mercer street, and quite near my uncles offices at seattle center.  it was actual records we were after, back in the day, albums, not cassettes, and cds weren’t even available yet.  she knew I scarcely possessed any music but there I was, trailing behind in her herbalicious fragrant wake, as she called out, do you have this?  What about this? oh you must have this…you won’t make it thru without this.  essentially and effectively the message came across loud and clear: you won’t endure the passage to enlightenment or survive your coming of age if you don’t listen up….literally. i just stared, wide-eyed, chin on the floor and gulped it all deep soul down.  i couldn’t get enough. and so then there we hovered, with a mass of albums, her trying to decide which mound of lyrical poetry i MUST obtain that interval.  there was the Stones (her fav), fleetwood mac, Janis Joplin, and the Doors. then later the indigo girls, REM, and U2.  and there were many many more:  punk, reggae, blues, indie, world, new wave, ethnic, alternative, jazz, cajun, rock a billy, etc, but the others were the most conspicuous.  she and we would pick 3 or so for me and a few for her and off we’d fly to our next lair.  i still have all my albums and then some and since my 3 guys bought me a new turntable a couple years ago, I get to listen to them.  and it takes me back.  deep soul down.

additional habitual sanctums we craved were zenith supply on roosevelt or tenzing momo in pike place market.  back in the day these became our everyday, routine, normal, go to hamlets for crystals, pendants, wands, incense, candles, oils, books, herbs, and all things witchy, occult and esoteric.  i was being steeped and brewed in the ancient wise woman path and yet I was none the wiser in that moment.  i was squarely thrilled and awed by all she knew and her precious gift of instilling it on me.  i remember specifically twice that she guided me in choosing crystal mineral and gemstone pendants for myself.  one was a marbleized green malachite crystal set with a small fiery opal cabochon in the center and another was a dark stripey obsidian crystal with a midnight blue lapis cabochon in the center.  I wore both of them religiously and I was the only schoolgirl in junior high who dared be so bold and untrendy.  our favorite incense was night queen by primo.  we would also get frankincense, patchouli, or amber once in a while, along with stalking up on whatever other occultist accoutrements we needed for the season at hand.  now, if i smell any of the aromatic zephyrs we regularly consumed then, the scent memory is so durable it tugs me right back to that cherished and lusted archetypal age.

When I recount the spellbinding emporiums as becoming common for my cousin to expose me to, it is only in sheer contrast to our annual pilgrimage to seattle center, for the folklife festival.  The other harbors grew inevitable and orthodox while still evoking giddy delight upon pursuing them.  But folklife, when my uncle was the director of it for 16 years, was the yearly local holy grail of whimsical nonconformity, celebrated diversity, a musical, theatrical, performance tribe and wild circus clan descended and created a world all its own where we could get it all and have it all over one long provocative weekend.  we lived for it, we dressed for it, we prepared for it and we became one with it.  We would save our money for weeks and months to take possession of the fantastic worldly ethnic goods we had held our breaths 4 lengthy seasons for. There was much planning, prep, scrutinizing the schedule and dissecting which vendors were where.  (as an aside, the only dreamy and bewitched vendor we were willing to drag our lazy asses out of bed for on the first day, and wait lined up early for outside the exhibition hall doors, was our very own duvall handcraft legend, the goddess paula strobel, whose dolls and enchantments were collected by us with sheer panic and hysteria!  Imagine my frenzied delirium many years later after having moved here to discover paula worked in the bookstore. and boy howdy was she ever so humble and even embarrassed with all the feverish gushing I spewed upon realizing her in the dusty stacks.  she has been ever so gracious and charitable in symbolically patting my eager head while my tail still wags in her presence all these years later.) but back to folklife. my cousin and aunt had taught me to love well and deeply great fancy feasts of food.  real, fresh, made from scratch honest to goodness food, in all its varieties, colors, flavors and textures.  i was used to government cheese and there wasn’t a brown packaged brick in sight.  that said, the availability of diverse fare at folklife was staggering and gorge worthy, thus the poring over of the scheduled food vendors and thus we stuffed to bursting.  and none of our moolah had to be spent acquiring this gastronomic bloating of our own gluttonous epicurean ways.  which was just one more charmed home-run for these kin of mine I revered so severely.  all we had to do was trot around the grounds with my uncle, the bigwig, the director of the festival, whenever we got hungry and he was offered food left and right, hand over fist, more than he could every put away himself.  so there we were to take up the slack, help him out, and make sure he didn’t need to reject his vendor’s culinary advances.  it was our pleasure to proffer this favor so he didn’t look rude.  it was wholly fantastic for a girl who was raised on frozen cardboard pizzas, metallic canned veggies, and free public school lunches. 

so, without exception, i was nourished entirely and completely under the protection of my kinfolks.  their generous tutelage allowed me to propagate, mature and ripen into my own as a young adult. i am the unconventional parent, the eccentric and eclectic woman, the redemptive partner due to their planting of seeds. I have chosen authenticity, braveness, vulnerability and imperfection as a lifestyle thanks to their initial tutoring. we aren’t all as close as we once were and lately i’ve been feelin like there is a massive jagged hole in my heart that only they can plug up.  i want to curl up with them, hold their fleshy hands, whisper what they mean to me and ensure they comprehend that i am me because of them.  i want to them to know.  i hope they know.


always feral, ambrosial, strange love, all the time,
xoxox
jennette

Unfurl


sometimes i forget that when i lean into whatever scares the ever lovin shit outta me, i am golden.
it's not a course of action for everyone, by any means.
you see, i have had to learn the same lesson, over and over.
do what scares you jennette.
ride your edge and seize the day by taking even one brave tiny baby step toward the thing that rubs, that seems too big.  the thing that stings and makes you start to sweat.  that thing that makes your stomach do flip flops, is the thing to lean into.
it's not for everyone.
i'm not for everyone.
but for me, deep diving head long into the unknown, unpredictable, uncontrollable, imperfect, is the fastest way to freedom and my own life of affluence.  
affluence, for me, looks like being on purpose, filled up by life, used up really.  affluence is an unfolding life of expansion, ease and authenticity.  it's having the ability to claim exquisite self-care by adventuring, seeking and discovering.  it's about being truly, madly and deeply in and about my life.  it's about being a legacy builder and a beacon.  for me it has nothing to do with money, prestige, or the 'normal' idea of success.  it has everything to do with the unfurling.

let us Unfurl,
xoxo
jennette

Big Sur


hello delicious friends...
i am feeling the inwardness upon returning from a 10 day retreat to san francisco, esalen, and santa cruz.  bare with me as i regain my footing in reality...i am a bit dizzy as of now.


i am holding space for myself in near silence and darkness, in order to do the work needed before my new ideas, visions and dreams burst through the earth.
much wants to be birthed but we are still in incubation with just the tippy tops of succulent new tendrils pushing through.
it's almost time. 
for now i will leave you with impressions of Big Sur and the california coast.  be still my heart.




















missing the warming heat and wild brightness of the sun
xoxoxo
jennette