August 28, 2009

Day of the Doves

Two doves flew INTO The Sacred Well last Sunday.

No joke.

They were Mourning Doves, which make one of the most beautiful cooing sounds I have ever heard. "Oooo-eee-ooo-ooo-ooo." I grew up hearing that sound outside my bedroom window in the mornings. It followed me to college, where a pair of doves roosted in the eaves outside my 3rd story apartment roof.

But rarely do I hear the soft sound of Mourning Doves in this urban environment. Occasionally I see a pair at the Berkeley Marina if I go for a morning walk, but that's about it.

Last week, the planning committee for Harvest Home Magick and Music Festival ( was meeting here to hash out the schedule and plan more of the many details we are attending to. All of a sudden there was a great fluttering of wings, and in flew the doves. One flew immediately to the bookshelf and landed atop a dish of black obsidian (a message from my Ancestors, perhaps? A message of protection from Aphrodite?) The other hopelessly fluttered against the window, desperately trying to escape. I watch my friend Molly Blue Dawn lovingly cradle the bird in her bare hands and bring him to the door, where we took flight into the nearby tree. Artemisia and I then graciously ushered his mate out the door by whooshing our skirts. She stepped out into the bright sun, looked confused for a moment, then took flight as well.

I wondered about this pair later: in the crazy traffic hectic noise dirty smog bustling bodies of the city, would she find her mate? Doves do not mate for life, but they do mate monogamously for at least a single season. This partnership may continue into winter if it is promising. No guarantees are made for the following Spring.

I do hope this pair found one another, if that was what was meant to be for their common comfort and survival. Call me a romantic. Call me a Priestess of Aphrodite. I love the love story of it. It was the same day as my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. A good omen. May these doves enjoy many a long mating season, and may my folks enjoy many more joyful years to come. Biology encourages us to seek out another body to help us stay warm. We all have our struggles from time to time. Choosing to stay together for a full season, or a lifetime, involves daily practice. Rose quartz, anyone?

August 10, 2009

New Magick Festival!

If you know me, you may have heard me talk about all the fun I've had at outdoor pagan festivals back home in the Midwest. It may seem counter-intuitive, but since magicians and witches are so spread out in the middle of the country, we have even more reason to gather together as often as we can. I've attended Pagan Spirit Gathering in Ohio (now held in Missouri) and Heartland Festival (in Kansas). An interesting fact about these festivals is that they generally require you to volunteer to help out at some point during the gathering. So, even though I was going for fellowship and magick, I often found myself hauling trash and recycling, directing cars in the parking lot, or playing with kids at the daycare tent.

Even with all the work, I love camping festivals! Meeting new people, really big rituals (up to 1,000 witches in one space!), and the drumming, campfires and music! I love the idealism of living in intentional community even for a sort time!

It's true that PantheaCon is a great time, and that it's got lots of people. I will attend PCon as long as I am able. But someting about being in a hotel; no incense, no fire, no need to borrow a cookpot from a neighbor, no getting to know you chats while waiting in line for a (much needed) shower; it just doesn't do it for me.

So, knowing all that, you will understand why I am so pleased to announce to The Sacred Well community that my other spiritual community, Come As You Are Coven, is putting on our very first Harvest Home Magick and Music Festival taking place Mabon (Equinox) Weekend, September 18-20. Link and Official announcement below.
Blessed Be and Happy Camping,

Harvest Home Magick & Music Festival
Sept. 18, 19 & 20, 2009
Stone City Pagan Sanctuary
Livermore, CA

Early registration:
$80 per adult before September 1,
$40 per child under 18 (children under 3 are free)

Regular registration after 9/1:
$100 per adult, $50 per child under 18 (children under 3 still free)

You’ve been to our fabulous rituals, you’ve attended our wild ‘n wacky social events and parties…

Now, join us out in nature for the very best of what CAYA has to offer!

3 days of workshops, rituals, and musical performances by CAYA clergy and local performers, outdoors at a beautiful pagan sanctuary where magick and wonder abound! This is an opportunity for us to spend some time soaking up one another’s knowledge and talents, settling in to deep sacred space with one another, and opening our hearts, minds, and third eyes to the long-term vision of The Land! Many of you have heard us in CAYA animatedly discussing our goal of acquiring land to become a pagan retreat, sanctuary, and sustainable community. Now, it’s time to practice for that goal! Part of our vision for the Harvest Home Festival is that we all, eventually, won’t have to go home from it because we will already BE home at a sanctuary of our own. Join us to support and contribute to this vision of a refuge for weary urban pagans who need refreshment and renewal. Practice makes perfect, so why not start by joyously camping with us now?

Plus, you’ll be so glad you attended! The workshops, rituals, and performances are going to be soulful, beautiful, and inspiring. In true CAYA fashion, we’ll be offering Interfaith, eclectic rituals and workshops, so there will be something for everyone. We’ll be posting more information about these as the Committee makes its final selections in the coming weeks, so watch this spot for more information, but make sure to reserve YOUR spot at this event now.