Wow! Long time, no update, y’all. Sorry about that! However, life is finally settling down a bit for the winter. Well, a bit.
Let’s see, the last time I updated was on the eve of the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference (which seems like several lifetimes ago now). As I expected, I had a really powerful experience. It almost felt like an anniversary, considering that it was the 2010 Herbal Conference that got me interested in Western North Carolina and initiated my relationship with Earthaven. (Red Moon Herbs, the company that organizes and sponsors the conference, is based out of Earthaven.)
I took some awesome classes, but the two that really stand out for me are the two I took with Dr. Ada-Belinda Dancing Lion, whose perfect blend of humor, wisdom, and no-nonsense delivery made her one of the best teachers with whom I have ever taken a class. The first class was on the Wise Woman Tradition and how it differs from the Scientific Tradition and the Heroic Tradition. The most powerful take-home point for me was the importance of taking good care of myself first. No one else knows better than me what I need and no one else is better equipped to give it to me than myself. Radically intuitive, huh? The second class was entitled “Living Takes Life: Our Predatory Nature,” and it was incredible! We talked about how, as mammals with canines and eyes in the front of our heads, human beings (including women!) are predators. The word “predator” carries a negative connotation in our culture (i.e. sexual predatory) because it is misused. The only two reasons predators in the wild kill are to eat or to defend. (By this logic, “sexual predators” are not true or healthy predators; they are mentally ill, which is to say attacking for reasons other than defense or food, and the term predator doesn’t really even apply.) Anyway, in reclaiming our predatory nature, we reclaim our right to take care of ourselves first, which is the only way we can truly take care of anyone else anyway. You can’t give something you don’t have. As Dancing Lion said, “Your nice is killing you.” Also, we reclaim our power to protect ourselves, even in the subtle realm of our energetic field. Predators aren’t “mean;” they have good boundaries. They know and are present with their own limits. Plus, they let you know where those boundaries are with a low growl before they attack to defend those boundaries, which is so healthy and so helpful. It’s powerful stuff.
Also, my work trade position for the conference was fire tender during the late night drum circles on Friday and Saturday nights. I still am not sure what sort of magickal transformation I underwent, but it was pretty powerful. Something about building the literal fires that provided warmth and light for the drummers and the dancers fed my internal fires, and I sang and danced and chanted with wild abandon both nights. I like to think of it as having opened my throat chakra, allowing my voice and my creativity to flow freely. I came back from the conference so much… freer, less inhibited, more empowered, more vocal and communicative. It has been great!
After the conference, I worked two solid weeks with Brian Love, finishing up the house, which is beautiful. (I’ll get pictures up soon!) And when I say I worked two solid weeks, I mean I worked two solid weeks – 110 hours all together. I got it while the getting was good, and I am very proud of that. Now, I am glad to slow down… a bit.
As much as I would love to update more about those crazy hours and the feats that I accomplished, I have got to get going. More later, though, now that things are slowing down a bit.
Love to all!