Tag: katrina rasbold

  • Musings From the Dark: Did 2017 Exhaust You Too?

    Musings From the Dark: Did 2017 Exhaust You Too?

    I love the dark. I also love the dark of the year. I live – on purpose – in a place that has no streetlights, no traffic lights, and no security lights. When my neighbors, who I can barely see, leave their porch light on, I am tempted to shoot it out. Until I moved up here almost fourteen years ago, I had forgotten the stars are so bright. I had forgotten that “The Sound of Silence” is not just a song, but a reality.

    The dark of the year gives me time to regroup from achieving, producing, and aggressing on success in any kind of meaningful way. I go into the dark and I close my door and it has never been more so than this year.

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”  Charles Dickens

    It was a dark, dark time…even in the spring

    What I am trying to say is that if this year lay upon a couch and let a qualified professional run through the DSM with a fine-toothed comb to find the perfect diagnosis, it would likely be bi-polar with schizophrenic tendencies and borderline personality disorder manifesting in self-destructive and sociopathic behaviors. There were super highs and super lows and rarely any in-between times. This year was whack. I cannot help but wonder what it will be when we come out of the dark and into the light of spring.

    My life coming out of 2017 is like night and day from what it was going into it. After three years of running the shop, running a circle, co-directing major festivals, creating new products for the shop, and marketing, marketing, marketing…my life is now very quiet.

    What keeps ringing in my ears when I think of 2017 is the question the Goddess asked of me as I went into my third level trials twenty-five years ago when I was working a different spiritual tradition: “Will you sacrifice everything for a promise of nothing?” My answer at the time was, “Uh..no, that would be stupid, wouldn’t it?” If you want the full effect, insert some nervous laughter into that reply.

    When She asked me that mystical question way back then and I resisted (appropriately, I thought), I lost my marriage, my home, my job, most of my friends, and very nearly, my sanity.

    In 2017, I guess it was that time again. When Her question came back around again, I hoped to rack up less damage with a better answer.

    From recluse to reluctant public person

    For most of the past twenty years, I have been a hermit. Twenty years ago, I worked full-time Air Force Civil Service as a telephone operator. I was “McClellan AFB Operator 12.” I loved my job, but the hours were terrible. I had the graveyard shift and got all of the drunks who thought they saw a UFO, interlaced with lonnnnng periods of no calls at 2:00 am and 4:00 am. I did not socialize, so really, even when I worked full time, I was still a hermit.

    <== See? That’s me, twenty years ago.

    As the base closed down, as so many have, we were cattle-chuted into other jobs. I became a HAZMAT professional, which meant I typed out waste stream allocation forms for various hazardous materials. It was absolutely as riveting as it sounds. At that time, I had a five-year-old and a newborn, as well as three teens who were 19, 17, and 15. After a long discussion, Eric and I decided that I would not look for another job when the base closed and would instead become – for the first time in my life – a stay-at-home mom.

    This year, my youngest child turned 18, graduated, and got a job that he loves. He is the only one of six who is still at home and he is very independent and successful. He doesn’t really need me for much and really, isn’t that what you work towards with your children? I had my first baby in 1978, so I have been raising kids for almost forty years. My grandsons are now almost the same age my oldest kids were twenty years ago. It’s funny how we give ourselves labels and when they are gone, we hardly know who we are.

    Books forced me to be social

    In 2013, I published my first book. How did I do it? In January 2013, I booked an author appearance at a local festival…for a book that was not written and did not exist except in my head. By the time the festival happened in June of 2013, I had written three books. By the end of 2013, I had thirteen books published. Energy Magic, my first book, which I wrote with Eric, hung out at the #1 bestseller position on the Neopagan category of Kindle for a ton of weeks. It is still one of my favorites.

    After that, I routinely did author appearances at local festivals and at Pantheacon in San Jose, CA. Over this time, I went more and more out into actual public. Eventually, it got so that most of my days, I spent with someone else and it was a luxury to have a day at home. I was hardly a recluse anymore. There years ago, I opened my little shop and that was such a blessing. I got to help people every week and to learn what it truly means to be in service to the Goddess. I learned what it is like to have healing energy flow through me to benefit another person. I learned what it is like to empower products that will assist others on their magical path and to be unafraid of putting my energy “out there” for others to use.

    After almost four years of self-publishing books and online journalism, 2017 was the year I contracted a book with Llewellyn Worldwide this year and turned in the completed manuscript this past October. That will be my thirty-sixth (I think – I lost count) book to publish. Number thirty-five, Lily of Avalon, will release early 2018. I never, ever thought I would go with a traditional publisher when I have been successful with self-publishing. Mostly, I wanted “new eyes” on my work and the push of someone who might better know what they are doing involved in the direction my career takes next.

    When someone asks if you’re a god…

    Dark Ghostbusters Quotes

    Eventually, I mastered at least some of the lessons that the Feminine Divine chose to send my way and I learned the “correct” answers to give. It took time and a lot of hit and miss.

    Beltane, May 1, 2017, brought the start of the whole “Will you sacrifice everything for a promise of nothing?” bullshit around again. I thought we were through that. When She asked me twenty-five years earlier, I declined, and She took the sacrifice anyway…with a major vig on top. This time, I was ready. Hell, I’d seen “Ghostbusters.”

    I was prepping our permanent circle out back for the Beltane ceremony and as I was doing so, I had the sudden, unsolicited, unexpected knowledge that I was doing this for the last time.

    What?? I actually said it aloud. “WHAT?!” 

    I had a thriving, growing, vibrant circle. Eric and I were in our 20th year of running the circle together. Why would this be our last ritual? Why would I even think that?

    I all but felt the *thump* on the back of my head and “I SAID…” 

    Well, shit.

    Like I pointed out earlier, I have learned that there are right and wrong answers when the Goddess asks you questions. She already knows the answers you should give. She just wants to see if you will give the right answer. There are no explanations good enough for why you should do something different from what She tells you. Her reply to any arguments will always be the same, “Girl, that’s ego talking.”

    But my circle needs me!  (“Girl, that’s ego talking.”)

    But my seconds-in-command aren’t ready yet!  (“Girl, that’s ego talking.”)

    But what will I be without my circle?   (“Girl, that’s ego talking.”)

    But how will I have a place in the community without a circle?   (“Girl, that’s ego talking.”)

    Demonstrating that I can, in fact, be trained, before the day was over, I consulted with Eric and with the Inner Court of the circle. It was agreed on the spot that my seconds-in-command would take the circle, although it was not announced until weeks later.

    And so, just like that, my circle went away. And yet another one of my labels in the world was gone.

    As time went on, the circle membership struggled with authority whenever Eric and I were present for the rituals and the new leaders were hosting, so we stepped away from attendance and then the circle was really gone. Samhain was our last attended circle with our group, to serve an overall greatest good. Now my circle is truly gone.

    I said “give up everything,” so more please

    When early October 2017 came around, I had a vibrant little shop that was growing in profit every year. I had regular clients who came in often and were and are dear to me. Earlier in the year, Eric wondered if I wanted to continue “doing” the shop since it took up our every single weekend. He knew that above and beyond the profit, my work at the shop fed something important in me. Of course, I wanted to continue, but I told him I would make a final decisions at Samhain when endings happen.

    To his credit, Eric, the business graduate who owns his own successful solar installation company, never once said, “Maybe we should look at the numbers and calculate percentage of profit increase over the past three years.” He never said, “You venue is struggling due to poor management decisions that were out of your control.” He never said, “I am confident you could build the online sales if you had more time to devote to marketing and building out the site better without the distraction of the shop.” He let the decision in every way be mine and once the Llewellyn contract came along, I knew that I would need the weekend time free to travel and promote the book. I knew that what I was making at the storefront was not worth the amount of time I was investing into it and what I was sacrificing to do it. I never got to go to a birthday party, a wedding, or any other event. They are always on weekends and we worked long hours on weekends.

    Within two weeks, the shop was closed, cleaned out, and relocated to various storage areas on my home property. We are now an online and festival business only. (www.gringabruja.com and www.twosistersbotanica.com)

    Within months, I wasn’t a mom anymore, except in that remote, distant, parent-of-adults way. I wasn’t a circle leader anymore. I wasn’t a shop owner or hands-on bruja anymore. My three primarily labels were gone. All in 2017.

    The way people is

    When you are no longer positioned to do the same things for them that you did before, people tend to go away. It is the rare gem of a friend who sticks around after your ability to give to them on a regular basis diminishes.

    Friends hurt me this year, I won’t lie. I lost a lot more than I expected. I released with open arms and when She asked me again if I would give up everything for a promise of nothing, this time, I said, “Sure thing, Ma’am.”

    I have seen the worst of people’s behavior this year, as have most of you on both a global and a personal scale. I had times when I was really struggling and needed help, needed compassion, needed friendship, and it just was not there. I had times when I felt lost and sad and yep, I was alone. But this year taught me to stand alone without the help I grew accustomed to having and without the warmth and friendship that I had comforted myself with for many years after I stepped into the public arena again.

    One person who I thought was my friend became disillusioned with me because she said I, “became a human right before [her] eyes.” After that, she was done with me. I had no idea where to put that, but it told me a lot about what needed to change in my life and the strength of commitment I needed from people moving forward. I could not live in a world where I could not be human, could not be fallible, could not feel, could not react in anyway other than within the capacity others prescribed for me.

    When I first became an acting High Priestess, my mentor told me, “In order to channel down the Goddess effectively, every female gendered person in your circle should want to be you and every male gendered person in your circle should want to be with you.” I thought that was a pretty tall order to fill, but as the years went on, I realized how many people wanted the High Priestess and not the woman, not the real person, and certainly not the human. The High Priestess gives of herself, but the human, the real person, the woman has needs. She is flawed and vulnerable and while she does the best she can, ultimately, that will never be enough. This is why you see so many circle leaders eventually walk away.

    The one person who was there through everything was Eric and he was my rock this year. I could not have asked for better support. We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year and did it big time. There is so very much politically, socially, and personally where he and I are on absolute opposite ends of the stick and that has caused more than one issue between us, as well as his lack of filter. I spent twenty years working hard to get him to believe that there is there is good in everyone, that he has to be more empathetic, has to make room for the view of others, has to be more compassionate. This year, I threw in the towel and said, “You know, you are right. Some people are just assholes.” Despite how different he and I are as people, he was there every step of the way.

    He asked me where I wanted to go for our 20th anniversary celebration and I said I wanted to go back to Scotland and the UK, so we flew over, rented a car, and drove all over the UK. We saw and did so much in just 10 days and it was an amazing experience. By the time we came back, I had found my peace with what I released. If you want to see a narrative and photo account of our trip, it is here.

    Into the dark

    As this year closes and we head into the dark of the year, I am reminded of a question a friend (one of my real ones who stuck around) who recently asked me. “If you could have any job and do anything you wanted in this world, forgetting about money, forgetting about fame, forgetting about everything except what you want, what would that be?”

    I thought about it longer than I should have. My answer was: “I would spend my days in my little house in the mountains and write my books, teach classes now and then, and work a few festivals.”

    As it turns out, that is exactly where I am. All of that loss, all of the ego struggle, all of the “giving up everything for a promise of nothing” brought me to exactly where I wanted to be and as we head toward the dark, I am at peace.

    I may have lost ways that I defined myself in the world from an ego perspective, but I gained a far greater understanding of who I truly am and who will be there for me and who will not. You learn exactly who your friends are when they are with you because they want to be and not because you can do something for them. I found a new definition of friendship this year. I got to see who can allow me to be human and having feelings and frailties and who only wants the High Priestess.

    So going into the darkness, I melt into the blackness of the Winter without grief or sorrow, but with gratitude and willingness. I open myself to what comes next and surrender to whatever manifest destiny the Goddess has in store. But man, this year was just exhausting.

  • Place Your Bets

    Place Your Bets

    “Well this low down bitchin’ got my poor feet a itchin’. Can’t you see the deuce is still wild? Baby, I can’t stay, you got to roll me and call me the tumblin’ dice.”  Rolling Stones

    I look at how long it has been since I updated this journal and it makes me uncomfortable, but then I think about all I have accomplished in the interim. I see the road clear, Abre Camino, as my favorite shop candle says, to return to routine writing and the idea excites me.

    Eric and I began the CUSP (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway) spiritual tradition back in 1997 and each year, it seems like it becomes more defined in our lives. This year, the pattern was undeniable. In CUSP, you work hard during the “light” of the year from Spring Equinox until November 1 and then you rest for the dark of the year. Since March, I have worked harder than I have ever worked in my life. For most of my life, even in the darkest of times, I have been able to look around and think, “I am blessed.” Sometimes, I had to reach for that feeling because wow, there were some truly dark times.

    Really dark.

    Scary dark.

    This year, however, I can feel the vibration in my blood as I process the full meaning of “I am richly blessed…abundantly blessed.”  Never in a million years would I, if I thought about it a year ago, or two years ago, expect that I would end up here. My life has been one of ongoing struggle. I am good at dealing with adversity, but in the interest of honesty, I have to admit that I have spent most of my life at the end of a fraying rope. My book Leaving Kentucky in the Broad Daylight talks a bit about growing up in Kentucky in the 1960s in a very eccentric family. For the sake of decorum, there were things I left out. That book goes up to 1978 and after that, spending time as the wife of a military enlisted man who struggled with his own set of emotional problems (<==not Eric), things were…complicated, to put it mildly.

    After he and I divorced for the final time (there were two of those) in 1996, I met and married Eric and although love and faith were rarely in short supply, we worked hard to overcome the oppression of other deficiencies. The ebb and tide of depression swept over both of us, usually not at the same time. Our communication often suffered. The bleakness of ongoing disenfranchisement wore on us. Next year, we celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. This year marks twenty years of being together. Two decades. I was with my first husband for seventeen years, so this is my longest ongoing relationship with someone to whom I did not give birth.

    This year, Eric made some career choices that took him to a good place and put his degree in Business to work, as well as his experience as an electrical contractor and business owner. His previous job was as a Veteran Service Officer, working through the Department of Veteran Affairs (the VA) to secure benefits for the clients who came through his office. When several years at that job began to trigger some of his own anxieties, he took time off to regroup, so this new endeavor was quite a change for him. It was different for us as well to suddenly not have him at home full time. I am grateful he got such intensive time to spend with our boys as they become young men. Dylan graduated from high school almost two years ago and was taking college classes online at home and Nathan is home schooled for high school, so the four of us were together most of the time. He got a unique opportunity to get to know his kids that most fathers do not have as nearly as I can tell.

    Now life is very different.

    Nathan is about to get his drivers license and is a senior in high school, eager to start work. He is the fourth of my six children who I have taught to drive, putting my life into their hands and sometimes hanging onto my last nerve by the skin of my teeth.

    Dylan just moved out and is working full time in Folsom, California at a call center and loves it. Eric works long hours and is tremendously successful as the licensed contractor for the solar power company, Sunfinity, in North Highlands, California. He has a long commute, but has managed it with tremendous aplomb.

    My time of mothering is coming to an end for the first time since January 1978 for my own children and since 1971 if you include my mother’s children. The croning is upon me and I welcome it. There are no lamentations for what was. There is joy for what is to come. I do smile nostalgically at the success of my children. I do miss their little arms around my neck, their sweet smiles, their young selves, but I do not grieve. They gave me the gift of that time and I celebrate the adults they are now.

    My own shop, the Botánica de La Reina is doing very well. It is still in its growing stages, but we have a loyal clientele and we are looking to expand into a full storefront with more than weekend hours in a year or so. The shop inventory, most of which I make, is now stable and it is just a matter of showing up for shop hours and making sure the inventory is never completely depleted. It is a joy to help so many people through magical advice, cleansings, and instruction. I love what I do and sometimes, it is difficult to leave my little shop on Sunday night, knowing I will not see it again until the following Saturday.

    Now that festival time is over and the dark of the year is coming, I look forward to a quiet descent and a transformative cocooning. I am paring down on obligations and energy drains. I am slowing my pace as we go into Fall and the days shorten. My focus is on writing, so I look forward to more blogging and to finishing Iris of Avalon, the fourth book in the Sisters of Avalon series. It is developing so nicely and I fully expect to hit my launch date of December 2016 or, as I did last year, maybe even publish earlier if I get through the rewrites and edits in time. I also plan a book called The Root, The Rose, and the Dowsing Rod on Southern American Folk magic. It complements my presentation of the same name that Pantheacon in San Jose selected for its agenda in February, so the clock is ticking on that one. I also intend to launch the “Little Book” series, which will involve literally “little books” on candle making, energy magic, ethics, numerology, dreams, etc. I am excited to get back into writing again.

    My other recent project is a different approach on my health and weight loss. A number of Universal pushes and shoves sent me to the Atkins diet, which I have tried before without success. I began induction almost two weeks ago and I have to say, after the first few days, it has been nearly effortless. I have lost five pounds, which is nothing in the yo-yo of my weight loss experience, but I can feel my body reshaping and test strips show I am in ketosis, burning fat instead of carbs. I have started taking prebiotics and probiotics to help my insides function better. For food, I have given up sugars, grains, anything that doesn’t swim, fly, run, or grow in the ground. I feel healthier and stronger. I have stopped taking supplements for heartburn and acid stomach at last. I sleep better. I have a bit of the “Atkins flu” where my energy is low while my body learns its new way of finding energy. I am good with that. My body needs “new” and needs to adapt its metabolism because the old way was getting me nowhere fast.

    My father died at age 51 of a ruptured ventricle due to occluded arteries. My mother died at age 60 from a systemic infection she got from repeated stomach cauterization to stop bleeding caused by decades of pharmaceutical drug use. I turned 55 in early September and I am not done by a long shot. If I die anytime soon, do not comfort yourself by imagining that I made my peace, lived a full life, and went quietly into that darkest night. It will be a lie. I have things to do of Grandma Moses proportions and if I do not get to do them, I will be sorely irritated.

    I have never had a birthday affect me before in terms of my own mortality. I love growing older and I love myself and my life more as I do. I have spent so much time in adversity that now that I am not quite so much in adversity, I want to plug into each moment and live it to the fullest. This birthday, I really felt the weight of the years. Maybe it was that I stopped bleeding shortly before. I do not grieve my fertility. Goddess knows I used it plenty. What I felt was a breathless anxiety that I might only have five years left, or ten, or even twenty. It felt like it was not nearly enough, that I had wasted so much time trying to survive that I never actually lived. Then I rationalized that any of us at any age could have only five years or five minutes left for all we know and the anxiety quieted. It did not go away, but it shuffled off into the corner, put its thumb into its mouth, and went to sleep.

    I see so many of my clients who do not enjoy the blessings in their lives because they are consumed with the fear that those blessings will go away. They give over their power to the demon of What If. I have no time or patience for that. I am going balls to the wall on life from now on, even if that means going balls to the wall on getting enough sleep, saying no to jobs I would have begged for a year ago, and disappointing friends who hoped I could say yes to this request or that. I will do less, but will put great quality into what I do. I need to focus my time and energy on what creates a positive outcome for however much longer I have. I am rolling the dice and taking a chance that what I am meant to do in this life will be what floats to the surface and the extraneous time and energy black holes will fade away.

    My goals for the dark of the year are to secure a working command of Spanish so I can have better communication with my wonderful customers, finish Iris, write The Root, The Rose, and The Dowsing Rod, and lose a bunch of weight. If I am going to gamble, it’s going to be on me.

    “When I awoke today suddenly nothing happened, but in my dreams I slew the dragon
    And down this beaten path and up this cobbled lane
    I’m walking in my own footsteps once again

    “And you say, ‘Just be here now, forget about the past. Your mask is wearing thin.’ 
    Let me throw one more dice. I know that I can win
    I’m waiting for my real life to begin”

     Colin Hay

    Update: Immediately after posting this, I found this article in my Facebook feed. How perfectly perfect:  http://www.rebellesociety.com/2016/10/14/caracampbell-aries-fullmoon/

  • Thank You GPS

    Thank You GPS

    It is not yet the end of February and already, this has been a rockin’ year. Last year was a brutal battle fighting (most with myself, as these things are wont to do) for my own sovereignty and creating space on which I could stand. I have been falling down a great deal over the past several years (likely all of my adult years) and I am very adept at creating excuses reasons for my failings. We are all flawed and I get that, but these are lackings based in cowardice and laziness. I can only see that in retrospect and this is not coming from a place of self-loathing but more from the relief a person feels when they escape a particularly oppressive situation.

    I had many signs along the way and believe me, I had more “buts” than a poker party ashtray. There was always a reason why I could not step up.

    Late last year, rather I just did it and the Reader’s Digest version of that story is that it is working and although there are times I hear myself saying, “Wait…you’re doing that thing again,” for the most part, the progression has been forward and swift, for which I am grateful.

    Google Chrome shows you a grid of your most visited websites so you can easily click on them. Mine pretty much tells the story of how my time is spent these days:


    Other than cooking for the family and going back and forth to work on the weekend, and making inventory for the store throughout the week, this is what I do. I have felt for some time that my energies are going in a lot of different directions: brainstorming and creating new products for the store, web design, Tarot readings (including the weekly general reading on Mondays), teaching, co-hosting our circle with Eric, and writing, plus being involved in the management of PanGaia Festival, trying to envision the next nonfiction book, being Mom, and working with Eric to take care of our home.

    Eric retired in March 2015, so he is here all the time to help with the overall home management and parenting, plus working on product development for the shop. He also makes wonderful instructional videos in English and in Spanish.  I am blessed to have help with what I do every single day.

    This past weekend, I went to an event called Panthacon, which is an annual Pagan event; four days of workshops, rituals, gatherings, fellowship, and spiritual exploration of all kinds. Thousands of people attend this event. I was honored with an invitation to present on Friday and Monday. In fact, I had the first presentation slot of the con and the last, which was a lovely bookending. I was available to read Tarot cards on Saturday and Sunday outside the vendor hall and I had a book signing on Friday afternoon. I presented on my books Weather Witchery and Goddess in the Kitchen: The Making and Magic of Food. I had an excellent turnout for both. The attendees were interactive, interesting, and plugged in. It’s always rewarding when the people appreciate and seem to get what you’re saying. Both went exceptionally well.

    So throughout the weekend, I had plenty of opportunity to take the pulse of the Pagan community and to see what interests people and what doesn’t. More specifically, I wanted to see where I should put my energy and where I should pull it back. I am spreading too thin to fully invest in anything and I wanted to know where my greatest success would lie. I already gave up writing my Patheos Pagan column, but I need to tighten up the reins even more.

    Before the weekend began, I asked that I be shown where my greatest success lies and where my energy could best serve the Goddess. Typically, those are one and the same.

    The results were overwhelming.

    Tarot: I got zero reinforcement for Tarot readings, so I will dial that back to my current clients and not aggressively market that side of what I do. I will keep the option available on the website, but not pursue that avenue to any tremendous degree. Current clients: I love you! I am still here for you always!

    Non-Fiction Writing: Got some redirects on that. I might work on one book for the year if I find inspiration, but I will wait for it to find me and not go looking for it myself. This one is a no-go unless something in particular strikes me.

    Teaching/Presenting: I love public speaking and teaching and interacting on that level. Pantheacon reminded me all the more of the reasons why. I hope to find a venue where I can teach in Sacramento and El Dorado Counties. That one is a go.

    Botánica de La Reina*sigh* I so love my shop and I missed it this weekend, even though I had a great time. LOTS of positive feedback about the shop and people interested in finding it, so that is a definite win. The customer base is growing steadily and I have a ton of fun, interesting people coming through the door every weekend. There was some interesting input about my pricing, which I will explore with deeper consideration.

    One interesting development that I did not foresee was that at a couple of points, Eric got uncomfortable with me telling people, “I own a botánica in Roseville…” when he was there with me. He wanted me to say, “WE own a botánica in Roseville…” I struggled with this because my impression was that I had built up the botánica and it was my heart and soul. He mostly runs the computer side and makes a few things like the cedar horns and the coffin nail crosses. I felt our egos each getting “all up ons” and yes, we had words about it. His position was that he found the business we purchased that became the botánica. He makes items for it. He is there every weekend just like I am. He is as qualified to answer any of the questions as I am. He is on the bank account. He is on the business license. All good points, but I could feel myself grasping for something in this world to be mine that I created and for which I could claim success. My interim argument was “I do own a botánica” and “You also own a botánica” and that it is not inappropriate for me to claim that I do, even if he is there. He disagreed and I clung even harder with mine, mine, mine.

    After I had too many hours some time to step back and think about it, I remembered my goal for the weekend, which was to get some strong direction for where to put my energy and here was Eric stepping up and saying that he wanted to be fully involved and engaged as an equal partner. With that in mind, I decided that I would not personally work on developing additional products for the shop for the time being. I will continue making what I do with Eric stepping in to work on the incenses, the powders, the candles, or the other items as he wishes. That will potentially free up more of my time while still letting me pursue the parts of it I love.

    So Botánica is a big yes, big win, but with me investing less time.

    That takes me to the major revelation that wow, just could not be denied.

    Those Avalon Girls: I got a reading from a wonderful card reader on Saturday night using a deck she designed herself, so there was no way I would know what cards were in the deck since it was a nontraditional deck. I chose three for her to read (from a face down fan):


    The reading is self-explanatory, but I was especially moved by the first card I drew considering that the best selling books in my thirty-two book collection right now are the Seven Sisters of Avalon books which take place forty years after King Arthur’s death.

    Later, Eric and I were taking outside stairs from one wing of the event center and I found these:


    At this con, people attach ribbons to the bottom of their con badges until they have a huge bandoleer of ribbons trailing down their front. These were ribbons someone lost off of their string and yep, they both happened to mention Avalon.

    When we left the event to go home, we stopped by Denny’s to get lunch and the woman at the table beside us was reading Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

    When we were leaving town, we passed some sort of establishment, don’t know what, but it had AVALON on its sign in big letters, just in case I missed the message the first three times, which is a reasonable concern.

    So most of my energy will go towards writing. I am about a third of the way through the Southern Conjure Woman first book. I am not sold on the title or on it being a series, but it is a lot of fun to write. As soon as it is published, I will get back to writing about my Avalon girls again.

    And that, my friends, is how magic works.

    My theme for this week has been:


    At least none that do not point to Avalon.

    Plus I am glad to be home despite a wonderful time.

    Be well, my friends.