Surrender Creates Victory

Roadblocks, Accidents, and Synchronicity:
Surrender Creates Victory in the Creative Process and the Rest of Life

After lucking out by acquiring gorgeous, large, old turquoise beads, I decided to make myself a somewhat monochromatic necklace. Sorting through my other beads, I found perfect pieces, but needed one more style of beads for the necklace to really kick, so I started making them, by felting.

I made six felted beads. I wanted them to be just plain turquoise-colored for the monochromatic look I’d envisioned. But the Corriedale Turquoise wool fiber I’d bought from Living Felt was temporarily hiding in my very messy crafting area.

I love it, though, when something limits me in my creative process, since whatever I do to circumvent the problem usually produces something better than my original vision. It always affirms that I needn’t let blocks stop me in any endeavor, whether creative, romantic, spiritual, financial, magical, or other.

The only pale blue wool I had from Living Felt (LF) was more like a baby blue, probably LF’s Corriedale Ice. So I needle felted that, using one of LF’s pink-handled needles (I think pink handle means their 36 triangle, but you can check that on their site). I needle-felted around a shish kebabs skewer, to make the beads’ holes.

Once the pieces were very roughly felted, I took apart yarns of various greens and blues and wrapped them around the beads, letting a lot of the pale blue show through. Luckily, I had a tiny bit of turquoise yarn, which I think made a difference.

Then I added wisps of one of LF’s dark greens, probably their Fir Merino top. Next, I wet felted, rounding the pieces into balls and firming them up, keeping the skewer in them to stop their holes from closing.

I’d hoped a portion of each bead would be turquoise-colored, and hadn’t expected what happened instead. Imagine my delighted shock when the colors and patterns that emerged made the felt reminiscent of turquoise. The resemblance was not strong enough to make the felt beads look like sleazy imitations of turquoise. Instead, the felt mildly echoes the necklace’s real turquoise, highlighting it. I mean, this is one of the necklaces I’m most proud of having made. And I feel elegant wearing it.

This happy accident was a wonderful reminder for me about how to deal with blocks in any part of life: instead of getting all frustrated, I went with the flow. Feeling frustrated is natural. But sitting in my frustration endlessly instead of going with the flow is unnecessary. Remembering that is always so freeing for me.

Going with the flow does not mean being a doormat. For example, often, when I surrender to the flow, it opens the door for the Goddess to create a pattern better than anything I could’ve come up with, whether it’s a pattern on a wool bead or a pattern for living. Going with the flow when a challenge hits any part of my life might help me come up with a pattern for overcoming that challenge.

The creative process informs the rest of my life.

As a witch, I strive to align with the flows that course through my day because there’s much magic in them.

Even when I almost died from multiple sclerosis in my early years of it—my utter feebleness and impending demise like a nightmare from which I just could not wake—leaning into that horrifying “flow” best I could (which was not very well, I’ll be honest) and trusting there was a Divine hand in it, brought me to a much happier place in my life than I’ve ever been in before.

Going with that flow, even though I couldn’t do it well, also helped create a mindset and events that made my health bounce back and will allow me to keep going well into my late senior years. I intend to enjoy every magical moment of it.

2018 note: this piece was written in 2016, but I hadn’t the chance to post it yet. Then I came across it today. It served as a good reminder for me. I’m not a pacifist. I fight for my rights and for the rights of all people. And I need constant reminders that spiritual surrender makes me a better fighter.


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Talisman Set #9: Birch and Elm

This talisman set has sold.

Continue to read this post anyway, to learn about one-of-a-kind sets.

This one-of-a-kind handcrafted set is available exclusively to one of my newsletter subscribers.

Consisting of two unique talismans, the set is suited to one buyer who’ll think, “This is mine.”

The talismans are each a different wood, from a tree sacred to the Celts:

I ritually blessed both amulets in a major Faerie rite.

The birch piece is a pentacle for your altar.

A pentacle will protect and bless the home, add power and protection to your rites, and honor your wild witchy spirit.

Whether on the altar or elsewhere in your dwelling, this pentacle will safeguard and bless the home. I display my wood pentacle by leaning it against a pretty vase.

A pentacle also symbolizes the wisdom and free ways of witches, and honors sexuality.

Birch trees hold the magic of new beginnings and renewal.

The pyrography is my original one-of-a-kind design that adds to the birch and pentacle’s powers. Home decor with mojo. (Pyrography is the art of burning designs in wood.)

The design is my usual insistent asymmetry. I won’t even make a pentacle symmetrical, usually.

If you rotate the pentacle, you’ll notice the design can be viewed any-side-up.

I pyrographed the birch Ogham on the back. I wish the photo showed how smooth it is.

I left the bark on because it’s beautiful. It might come off since I refuse to use a polyurethane finish or the like. I applied a lovely, natural, beeswax blend instead. Whoever buys this sacred artifact can enjoy its bark for as long it lasts then, if the bark comes off, still enjoy a lovely talisman.

The elm wood piece is a pendant talisman.

Elm is a high tree, so no surprise it traditionally represents seeing the large picture and being objective. My sense of the wood, when I hold it and tune in, is that elm helps me experience my feelings more fully and comfortably instead of suppressing them, so I can assess a challenge or other situation more accurately and wisely, and am proactive rather than reactive. I also intuit elm helps me stay down to earth when exploring strong emotions, remember my true goals, and act on them.

I thought all those traits might be desirable for someone who wants birch for new beginnings.

I looked forward to wood burning my first piece of elm but, when I finished sanding, the wood was so beautiful that I hesitated to cover it up with pyrography. Moments later, I learned that burning elm is verboten in lore. Interesting. I left this magical jewelry simple, showing its gorgeousness.

To benefit from the pendant’s power when you don’t want to wear it or otherwise carry it on you, put it on your altar or wall.

Cost for the set is $130 plus $5 shipping. I ship only to U.S. non-military addresses. Scroll down to pay securely with PayPal.

If this set calls, grab it. I’m constitutionally incapable of repeating my designs.

The birch is my first large, detailed piece. It was exciting to have developed my skill enough for this project and to obtain a large enough piece of wood. My sets have previously consisted of three pieces. Since the birch is a large and detailed, and I don’t want to raise my price, I’m offering this two-piece set. Is it yours?

Your set will arrive with simple care instructions to keep the wood beautiful. I’ll also enclose a print up of this post about the set.

Each amulet is coated with a natural beeswax and oil treatment. The pendant is strung on waxed cotton cord. All wood was ethically harvested.

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A Five-Day Blessing Rite, Done for You

A Five-Day Blessing Ceremony,
Done for You

In this ceremony, I bless you and your life.

You don’t have to attend an event or do any work. Just enroll, and I do the work for you.

This ritual blesses your circumstances, body, and spirit with what you need, even if you don’t know what that is. Heck, if compulsively reading social media non-stop robs you of the time you need to figure out how to improve your life, this ritual can help. This blessing’s energy shapes itself to meet your physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.

FallLeaf1Want more than one type of blessing? For example, desire more money and serenity and physical healing and …? I’ve got you covered. This rite takes good care of you.

Your five-day ceremony begins October 30 and continues through November 3. I’ll also do ceremony on Nov 4, if something unexpectedly keeps me from performing a rite on one of the five planned days.

The ceremony occurs at an enchanted time of year. This will amp up the ceremony’s magic.

The Pagan holy day, Samhain, falls between October 31 and November 2. Samhain, and the days immediately preceding and following it, are special magic that this witch loves. I’ll travel into other realms, to draw on Samhain week’s vast power to fuel your rite.

Scroll down to enroll: pay securely with PayPal.
Cost: $130.

Upon receipt of payment, I email you confirmation of registration. If you need more info, do phone me. 814.337.2490. No refunds. If you can’t afford the enrollment fee, phone to discuss scholarship, partial scholarship, payment plan, or trade.

FallLeaf3I strive to take the best possible care of you. This ceremony facilitates both inner transformation and improvement in circumstances. Examples of inner change: anxiety gives way to hope, a creative block is replaced by artistic action, confusion about a crisis turns into wisdom about what steps to take. Examples of circumstances changing: a long-wanted new home manifests, a surprising opportunity to start your own business appears, a crisis ends.

Magic is not a substitute for medical care by a physician, psychiatric counseling, or other therapeutic treatment. Participants are personally responsible for the consequences of their voluntary participation. This ceremony is extraordinarily effective, but may not work for some individuals.

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How to Teach Teleseminars

How to Teach Teleseminars:
A Four-Week Intensive for Writers

Teaching teleseminars—classes held via group phone calls—is a solid income source, a way to be of service, and a beautiful experience.

If you write articles, books, or blogs, about witchcraft, art, astrology, psychic readings, marketing, fitness, or anything else, this four-week course will show you how to:

* Turn your blogs, articles, or books into curriculums.
* Draw on your expertise in your field to create lessons.
* Use the easy technical basics of setting up and running teleseminars, including online payment options.

Also included:
* Pricing
* Promotion
* Choosing ideal teleseminar topics
* Turning your writing skills into teaching skills

I’ll work with you as an individual with your own strengths, weaknesses, goals, and concerns.

If you’ve ever wondered whether you want to try to teach teleseminars, how to turn what you’ve written into classes, or how to do so profitably, this course is your chance to know.

I’ve usually led at least two teleseminars a week, since 2002, producing and promoting my own events. I’ve been a professional shaman for decades, cited in major books for my marketing savvy.

I’m offering this course because leading teleseminars has been a joy for me, and I’d like you to have the chance for that experience. Sixteen years of teaching teleseminars has taught me a lot about the best ways to go about it. I look forward to sharing with you what I’ve learned.

This is probably a one-time event because shamanism courses take most of my teaching time.

I originally developed a one-hour version of this course for The American Society of Journalists and Author, an organization of professional writers of which I am a member. (Correction: currently, ASJA accepts non-professional writers as members.) Creating that presentation, I ended up with far more material than could be shared in an hour. That extra material is compelling, so I’ve kept waiting for a chance to offer this fuller version of the material. I look forward to sharing it with you now, and the chance to, in depth, meet your particular goals and needs.

Expect a special handout!

We’ll meet via teleseminar. Teleseminars are group phone calls: just dial the phone to participate.

Enrollment limited.

We’ll meet four consecutive Tuesdays, noon to 1:00 EST, starting Tues, October 9. Reserve Tues Nov 13, same time, for a makeup session in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned meetings.

Tuition: $160. Your particular carrier may charge you for the calls.

Pay securely with PayPal: Scroll down and click the Pay Now button.

Upon receipt of payment, you receive an email confirming enrollment. A few days before our first meeting, you receive event phone #, etc.

Feel free to phone me to discuss payment plan, scholarship, partial scholarship, or trade. 814-337-2490. No refunds.


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I Defy the God of the Patriarchs

Crafting a talisman can be a shamanic journey.

When I started to sand a piece of oak to make it into the above talisman pendant, it reminded me of a deer antler tip. This, in turn, made me think of Herne and Elen of the Ways, wild deer-antlered Gods of the forest. So I was very in touch with Them while I sanded, and thus my own wildness was coming forth.

As I sanded, my wildness more and more tried to flow, but I was visited by nasty messages; my mind was filled with shaming restraints. The messages were that I shouldn’t be doing art, that my jubilance and passion in crafting were wrong, that the passionate joy I took in the physical vigor of sanding was inappropriate.

Mind you, I know my passion, joy, art, and physical vigor are holy. And much of the way I act and feel is in accordance with that. But something deep down was sabotaging me, nonetheless. Those horrific messages weren’t overt, but quite faint; I barely noticed them when first sanding the pendant.

There is a well-known pattern of “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.” Examples: telling oneself one should do something other than what one is doing; thinking it would be better if one does something differently from the way one is doing it; insisting to oneself that one could do better.

Such statements can reflect a search to find and achieve high ideals, but might instead be shaming, a tearing down of healthy pride in one’s accomplishments.

Those messages can bind one’s energy, keeping it from flowing into feelings of joy, happily vigorous activities, and the passion felt when dancing, having sex, running, or playing sports.

Those messages can knot muscles to the degree that one might get injured when moving.

When I was sanding, those messages at first came at me in the faintest repeated whisper of “You should be doing something else right now.” I barely heard it or noticed its terrible effect on me.

But a friend of mine had suggested I start watching for such messages, so I found myself noticing them while I was sanding and, the more I noticed them, the more I realized how constant they were. And the louder they got, which was good, because then I could hear their underlying messages—I shouldn’t be doing art, my jubilance and passion in crafting are wrong, the passionate joy I take in the physical vigor of sanding is inappropriate—and I could deal with them.

They slammed into me, over and over—as I sanded—first only as whispers but eventually brazenly, like a demon visited upon me, hateful. I resisted the messages and moved through them and past them, so my strength and passion and joy gathered and flowed and mounted, until I cried out, fully passionate and released, yet choosing my words carefully for their magic to be potent but safe,

“I defy the God of the patriarchs.
I obey the Old Gods—my wild Faerie ancestors.
Because of that obedience,
They can protect me
in my disregard for a petty deity.”

The moon is in this wood. After I finished sanding the pendant and burnt the oak Ogham on it, I applied a beeswax oil finish. I couldn’t believe what happened once the finish was on: parts of the pendant shimmered like mother of pearl. The moon is in this wood. The moon always protects me.

It’s been a few days since I finished the pendant, and I have been freed: healthy defiance allowed my energy to soar more than ever.

More than ever, I am enjoying myself exactly as I am.

I had rebuked the patriarchal God in the past, but now I had reached a new level of rejecting Him.

I changed the piece, so it no longer is reminiscent of a deer antler tip. Originally, I’d left bark on at the top, and had sanded so that, bit by bit, the piece graduated from bark to utterly bare wood. Thus, the pendant was thicker at top, narrowing bit by bit, and its shading progressed from dark bark at the top to pale bare wood at the bottom.

But, as amazing as that looked to me, it was not the tactile sensation I wanted. So I stripped all the bark off. I lost the gorgeous look, but I enjoy touching the oak more when I wear it now, plus more of its silver light shows.

Redoing the amulet added another power to it:

I’ve been told that “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve” thoughts are not one’s own, e.g., were drummed into one during childhood.

There’s no point in dwelling in other people’s thoughts. I choose to disregard what my actions look like to other people. What matters is how my deeds feel to me. This amulet bolsters that choice because it doesn’t matter whether this oak piece looks antler-like to someone else. For me, it will always have antler energy, and I love the way it feels to the touch, and my Gods live in it, Their moonlight and starlight radiating from the wood as a sign of Their indwelling.

Hail Herne, God of the forest. Hail Elen of the Ways. Hail Diana, my moonlit Mother.

The pendant’s name is Defiance.

So mote it be!

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Talisman Set #5: Oak, Ash, Thorn

This talisman set has sold. I am working on another one. My semi-vacation ends soon, but until then I have time for magical wood-working.

Continue to read this post anyway, to learn about one-of-a-kind sets.

This set’s available only to someone traveling alongside me: one of my students or other newsletter subscribers. Being a shamanic guide keeps me too busy to create many talismans, except for myself. (Well, I paint original digital talismans for my students constantly, but the previous sentence refers to talismans on the physical plane.)

This handcrafted talisman set consists of three unique charms. The set is one-of-a-kind and suited to one buyer who’ll think, “This is mine.”

The charms are meant to suit that individual over the long haul, working both as a powerful grouping and also separately. In other words, when you want to use only one or two of the pieces, store the other one(s) away.

When the set has sold, I’ll update the listing to say so.

This set has three pieces. Each is from a tree in the witches’ classical triad: oak, ash, and thorn:

The first item in this set is an oak wand that feels like pure enchantment held in your hand. The cord is at the handle end.

I sanded any blunt edges off the tip end without making it pointed or rounded like a ball. I like to shape softly tipped wands. I almost kept this one for myself, it’s so beautiful physically and psychically that it will really inspire you to do magic.

Oak is a standard wand for witches, druids, and others, since it represents power.
Are you ready? I’m thrilled. During my entire process with this oak wand … drum roll … I crafted it physically and psychically to also function fabulously as a household lintel ward and blessing—in other words, it protects and blesses the home. When you’re not using it as a wand (or if you never use a wand), hang in your home as a blessing and protection.
This amulet will do its magic when placed by or above the door, another opening to the outdoors, or anywhere else in your dwelling. You could instead use this charm as a protection and blessing for a space other than a home.

Oak symbolizes strength, prosperity, protection, and overall blessings. Oak is also a door into Fey realms and their mysteries.

To add to the piece’s potency as both a wand and a threshold talisman, I pyrographed oak leaves and branches, spirals, the ogham letter for oak, and dots, on the wand. (Pyrography is the art of burning designs in wood.) The art and blessing I did on the piece call forth protection and blessings from Gaia, as well as from the Green God and Elen of the Ways (the Green Goddess).

Look at the handle end. I left a tiny bit of bark by one of the holes where the cord goes through. That wild touch represents Herne, the God of the forest, viewed by some as synonymous with the Green God:

The glass is Preciosa, a traditional Czech bead. Translucent cobalt blue is sacred to me and holds mysteries of the Green God.

This set’s second amulet is a pendant made from the wood of an ash tree.

The Tree of Life, otherwise known as the World Tree, is often often considered to be an ash. The Tree of Life represent the entire cosmos in union. This amulet embodies my experience of ever-present care from the Tree of Life. It gives us magic, as well as sweeps us up into its branches to hold us safely and grant us all its fruits.

When I remember that, in any situation, I’m held in the loving care of the World Tree, I can move fearlessly into the activities my Gods ask of me.

To add to the amulet’s power, I woodburned a spiral, a moon, and the Ogham for ash. The latter is the five burnt lines that start at one edge of the pendant. Oghams were often etched at the edge of a stone or piece of wood, the edge representing the perpendicular line of the Ogham.

Since most of this wood is not pyrographed, I found myself touching its nicely smooth front and back, just for the tactile experience. It felt calming.

I left the gorgeous bark on, and I sanded it so it’d be comfortable against your skin:
To benefit from the ash tree power when you don’t want to wear the pendant or otherwise carry it on you, put it on your altar.

This set’s third talisman is a hawthorn pendant.

In the triad of trees often associated with witches—ash, oak, and thorn—hawthorn is the “thorn.” It has become one of my favorite woods. This hawthorn pendant invites the Faerie Queen, drawing Her blessings, adding Faerie power to your spells, and bringing Fey enchantment into your day.

I experience the attributes of hawthorn viscerally, magic made tangible. The wood grants me an enchanted sense of itself that is deeply personal to who I am, moving me at my core. I don’t know if other people would have the same reaction, or it’s the result of my affinity for hawthorn. Many people view hawthorn as the quintessential Fey tree. I experience that myself (though, long story short, other trees can hold their own), and I myself am utterly Fey; perhaps the Feyness of the wood and my own being combine to create the reactions I note in this paragraph.

The green and white bead dangle at the bottom adds Fey colors.

This piece of wood has a history special to me. A friend gifted me a stunning, long, hawthorn wand from my favorite wand-maker. But I wasn’t using it because I prefer short wands. I cut the wand in four pieces: a short wand, and three pieces to craft into pendants.

The craftswoman who made the wand has high standards for her work. I have equally high standards, so I couldn’t just coast on her work. What makes a good wand does not necessarily make a good pendant.

The thick, rough bark was gorgeous, so I kept some of it on, but it needed to be sanded smooth to feel nice against your skin. I also sanded bark on a knot to reveal wood there.

But the big change was the overall shape. The wand maker had achieved a beautiful pointed wand tip, perfectly symmetrical all the way around. This pendant is that tip. In its new life as a pendant, the piece of hawthorn wanted to be organically shaped, crying out to be less pointed, more rounded, and a bit asymmetrical. And the bottom end of the pendant didn’t want to match the top; though the bottom asked for a good amount of narrowing and rounding, it was not as much as the other end has. This overall shape felt like organic harmony for that piece of wood.

I also sensed some beads added to the pendant would make the overall shape just right. Yup, I found the perfect beads. (I’ve had that little white glass bead at least 10 years, waiting for the right use.)

Since the pendant is strung vertically, it might rotate on the cord when worn. Each side looks different and, from some angles the pendant is slightly askew, clearly an organic little creation instead of machine-made.

From one angle, the pendant looks like a tiny Faerie cottage built into part of a tree—in other words, built without detaching the cottage from tree:
Hawthorn carries Fey wisdom through the veil, along with a wild otherworldliness. It makes sense this piece would look like a happy home for a wood sprite.

Cost for the entire set is $130 plus $5 shipping. I ship only to U.S. non-military addresses. Scroll down to pay securely with PayPal.

If this set calls, grab it. I’m constitutionally incapable of repeating my designs.

Your set will arrive with simple care instructions to keep the wood beautiful. I’ll also enclose a print up of this post about the set.

Each amulet is coated with a natural beeswax and oil treatment, and then strung on waxed cotton cord. The wood was ethically harvested.

I ritually blessed all three amulets. Now they can flow to whomever they are meant to serve.

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Creative KillJoys

Someone making you feel down about your writing or other art? You can be productive and joyful anyway. Check out this post.

A stranger emailed me, discouraged by their failed attempts to get published. An adapted excerpt of my response is below, in hopes it encourages you to keep going, no matter what:

After eight years of laboring over the text for Be a Goddess! , and equally sincere efforts on a manuscript previous to that, I was heartsick when both books were rejected. Be a Goddess! received 28 rejections!

But I kept on going.

Finally, Be a Goddess! was acquired by a publisher and became a bestseller. As such, it became widely available so could help a lot of people improve their lives. That was my dream.

Publisher after publisher said, “We don’t understand what you’re trying to do with this book,” when they saw the proposal for Share My Insanity: It Improves Everything, my self-help book that uses humor to show how divine madness can be integrated with chaos theory to create a better life for yourself.

Eventually, the book was accepted by a small house who totally understood the project. Almost as soon as it was released, it hit Amazon’s bestseller list.

If you believe in your art, believe in it. Don’t let anyone stop you. Good work often goes unrecognized. It’ll even be trashed by so-called supporters, so they can dominate your field.

Yes, we might become despondent, believing we can’t overcome the odds. It feels awful. Just awful. Hitting a lot of roadblocks can rob us of the drive, optimism, and other traits needed to strive toward our creative goals. Hitting a lot of roadblocks can fill us with various traits that keep us from striving. Take care of yourself when opposition has overwhelmed you. Give yourself love and self-acceptance. Reach out to others—and reach deep into yourself—for every bit of care you need.

And then pick yourself back up and move toward your goals again.

Find people who see your work’s value. Cleave to them. Let them help you remain productive and joyful.

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Two Events for Abundance

Fall is harvest time, with two Faerie events that are both all about creating abundance—financial, spiritual, creative, and/or any other abundance you need. Abundance of love, abundance of satisfaction, abundance of goals met …

Enjoy one or both events.

Event #1: The Prosperity Rite

This is a four-week intensive, via teleseminar. Teleseminars are group phone calls: just dial the phone to participate.

Enrollment limited. I’m looking for individuals willing to jump into this ceremony despite fear or other blocks. If that’s you, enroll now.

Enrolling means saying yes to prosperity and yes to life and yes to all its gifts for you. Abundance is fruit on the Tree of Life. Any move toward abundance is a move into the fullness of life. So this rite helps you have financial well-being and a wonderful life in all other ways too.

The group meets four consecutive Sundays, 4:00 to 5:00 pm EST, starting Sunday, September 23. Reserve Sunday Oct 21, same time, for a makeup session in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned meetings.

Event #2: The Prosperity Direct Spiritual Transmission

Enrolling for the transmission is an easy way to say yes to abundance, yes to life, and yes to all its gifts for you. This transmission helps you have all the types of abundance you need.

This is a month-long direct spiritual transmission, during which you receive the spiritual transmission five days of each week!

No need to attend an event, meditate, or do anything else. Just enroll for the transmission, and go about your business, while I do the work for you.

Whether you feel too blocked to take action toward abundance, are wholeheartedly committing to The Prosperity Rite, already experience great abundance, feel hopeless about getting ahead financially, or have something else on the table, the transmission adapts to you, providing what you need inside and out to move toward abundance.

The transmission starts Monday, September 24.

Tuition for The Prosperity Rite: $160. Your particular carrier may charge you for the calls.

Cost for The Prosperity Direct Spiritual Transmission: $130.

Reduced price to enroll in both events: $250. Separately, total cost for the two events would add up to $290.

In the drop down menu below, choose The Prosperity Rite, The Prosperity Direct Spiritual Transmission, or both. Then click the Pay Now button to pay securely with PayPal.

Three Great Choices

Upon receipt of payment, you receive an email confirming registration. If you enroll in The Prosperity Rite, you’ll also receive event phone #, etc.

Feel free to phone me to discuss payment plan, scholarship, partial scholarship, or trade. 814-337-2490. No refunds.

If you don’t know what a direct spiritual transmission is: it is a method I use to give blessings. If you want further explanation, feel free to call me. And if you don’t want to deal with all that verbiage, here’s the bottom line: the benefits to you are enormous.


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A Wild Rose Bush and Hidden Magics

A few years ago, a wild rose bush on my property grew to enclose a utility pole, like a magical thicket swarming over an intruder. Thorns were up against wiring, requiring I cut a lot of the bush back. The Faerie Queen blessed this undertaking and governed my actions.

In the following years, the bit of rose wood I kept cured beautifully, so this August I was able to make myself a pendant of three pieces of the wood.

When I sawed, and when I used a knife to remove bark, the scent was spectacular. I’d never experienced such a wonderful smell when working with wood. How interesting that this wood, a wood that bears such a wonderfully scented flower, would have a special fragrance of its own.

After I wrote that last sentence, I took a moment to smell the pile of bark I’d shaved off the wood. There’s actually a strong rose scent if you look for it, but also a scent unto itself. The combination is an enchantment.

Next time I saw into a piece, I want to check whether the lovely scent that filled the air came from the bark alone or from the non-bark part of the wood as well.

The wild rose here is invasive. In fact, while working on the pendant, I had to also be pruning the wild rose that’s dangerously swarmed over the utilities pole again. Harvesting new wood to cure while crafting the well-cured wood felt special.

Wood of the wild rose centers me into my Fey qualities, as well as helps me not be diverted from my true self by the Unseelie. (Note: Unseelie is the term for evil Faeries. They’re highly invested in distracting us from our true selves, including our true Feyness, go to great lengths to create such distractions, and are quite skilled at it. Truly mean beings! They’ll lead a person on a wild goose chase for decades, that seeker all the time thinking they’re traveling a rare path to power but instead are on the road to complete self-destruction.) Or, at least, the wood from this particular rosebush works those enchantments on me. Or perhaps only this batch of wood from the bush does so, since the Faerie Queen oversaw the pruning and harvesting.

Later: it seems the wood, not just the bark, is rose-scented, sweet full-bodied rose (unless a lot of dust from sanding the bark mixed in with the regular sawdust). Am not sure everyone would smell it, though. I have a really sharp nose.

… I wonder if the wood is not rose-scented or is scented only a bit, and I accidentally generated a perfume from the other realms. The Goddess has a trick She’s played on me a few times, to remind me I am Her beloved: She fills the air with the fragrance of roses. (I’m not so arrogant to think I alone am Her beloved, the one and only. Each of us is Her beloved, and that does not lessen how precious, unique, and special we each are to Her.)

She once filled a whole, huge bookstore—it was a Books and Borders. If you ever went to one, you know how big they were—with the scent. Everyone was wandering around asking where the scent was coming from. Oops.

I was at the store doing a book signing. My book signings tended to be unusual; I’d usually lead a ritual. I’m convinced the aroma, which started as soon as the ritual ended, occurred because all the ritual participants—not me alone, but everyone who attended—really put their heart into it.

Later still: stripping the bark from another piece of the wild rose wood, I was surprised and delighted to discover a lower layer of bark was dusky pink! It seems the entire plant is physically consistent with the qualities of its bloom. Well, this plant’s blooms are white, but I’m going to check them next year to see if there’s any pink on them. In any case, the deep, rich, dusky pink of the hidden bark is very rose energy. Magic in that hidden layer of bark.

So much magic is hidden, yet easily found when I play and work in nature. If I do my best to be fully engaged, wholeheartedly interacting closely with leaves and breezes and sticks and critters, they have a chance to reveal their gifts. Respectful proximity to Gaia—respectful in the sense of trying to fully engage—also allows shrouded magics to slip through the veil, like incenses wafting from the Gods’ censers.

Magic wants to come out of hiding in cities, too. A ritual done whole-heartedly in a bookstore (or other urban environment) can coax enchantment out into the open because, perhaps without your even noticing it, you’ve tried to fully engage with your own soul, the atoms all around you, and the Gods stealthily walking the store aisles.

An aside: After the ritual, in the seconds before the store became redolent with incense from the Fey, I caught a female and male in the corner of my eyes, walking past me, on my left side. Then I realized They were the Faerie Queen and King.

I was surprised. My otherworldly senses are finally tuned, I rely on them constantly throughout the day, and I’m used to feeling the presence of my Gods in a truly visceral way. But I don’t usually see Them so vividly that I mistakenly think They are humans in the mundane realm. Between the perfumed air and the sighting, my Gods were really trying to prove a point that day. Or, rather, several points.


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Exploring Ogham, Trees, and Magic

When exploring magically, I need to let the exploration go where it leads instead of following that direction only if someone else deems that choice “correct.” Exploring is just that—exploring! Entering new places without knowing what I’ll find there is one of my favorite activities. One thing leads to another to another to another, often in unexpected and seemingly tangential ways.

(Here are two views of a keppen pendant I made myself out of ivy wood:)IvyKeppen2018WT

A few years ago, I set out to spend a year meditating on the Ogham alphabet and its corresponding trees. I like to learn a tree’s magical powers by talking to it, being of service to it, having visions of it (visions are great when I cannot meet a type of tree on the physical plane, and also when I can be in physical contact), and otherwise experiencing it, instead of reading metaphysical books that list the various trees’ magical qualities. Mind you, I look at the books too but, for me, they pale in comparison to lessons learned directly from wood/tree.

Before embarking on this yearlong journey, I’d long been crafting with fallen wood from the oak tree on my property. Some years back, I also collected huge fallen branches on my property and turned them into a sort of temporary, makeshift headboard because I was performing a year-long ritual as Merlin sleeping in his tree. The ritual lasted two years, if memory serves. Letting the exploration go where it would. Did some human give me the idea of a ritual of Merlin sleeping in his tree, let alone such a ritual lasting for a year? No. Exploring unknown areas and seeing what appears, what ideas, visions, magics, hunches, insights come to me, has been such a blessing in my life.

Despite being a Druid in past lifetimes, I have no past life memories of either runes or Ogham. I don’t think my past life memories are incomplete. I was in a Druidic tradition in which neither Ogham nor runes were needed for full Druidic power.

This lifetime, I’ve been so enamored of oak and a handful of other trees that I felt no desire to thoroughly explore the rest of the sacred trees that are part of Celtic lore. The exploration I was already on was completely satisfying.

Then I longed to study the Ogham alphabet, which surprised me but I let the journey go where it would. That led to the recent yearlong Ogham journey. That year has turned into a year and a half and will probably end up lasting at least two years. Not that one could ever finish learning the Ogham and the related trees. But my immense focus will give way to the next of my journey’s focuses.

Studying Ogham led to learning pyrography, which led to learning about woodworking so that I could prepare wood for wood-burning. Here are four rough pieces of ivy wood, each of which I crafted into a talisman. The longest piece became the keppen shown at the beginning of this post:

I also fashioned myself an amulet pendant from one of the four rough pieces. Synchronistically, I had a fifth rough ivy piece, tiny and perfect for making into a bead for the pendant:

Learning to finish rough wood so I could wood-burn designs on it led to finishing some pieces just to show off their beautiful magic instead of adding pyrography to them.

Getting to work with wood as a craftswoman has been an incomparable magical experience and an irreplaceable way to discover the enchantments in different types of trees.

And it led to me handcrafting some wooden talismans for people traveling alongside me; it feels true to who I am and to my magic to craft amulets only for my students and newsletter subscribers, right now. Besides, being a shamanic guide keeps me too busy to create many talismans, except for myself. (Well, I paint original digital talismans for my fellow travelers constantly, but the previous sentence refers to talismans on the physical plane.)

One thing leads to the other. I started developing the idea of handcrafted talisman sets, each set consisting of three unique charms. Each of these one-of-a-kind sets would be just right for one single buyer who’d see it and think, “This is mine.”

My busy schedule may allow me to make only three or four of these sets, even though I spent real time developing the concept of the sets and how to explain them to people, but providing the sets will help lead me and the set owners to our next steps on our magical journeys.

The day I was born, a tree was planted in the backyard. The day I visited my stepfather on his deathbed in the hospital, I afterwards returned to the home in which we’d lived. I asked the current residents for a few sticks from the tree. I made hair sticks from them.

The tree is old and may be cut down soon. Last year, I got more sticks from the tree and recently made more hair sticks:


Here’s what the sticks looked like before I worked with them:

From past lifetimes as a Druid to the tree planted the day I was born to making talismanic sets for my beloved fellow travelers, and all the steps in between. In retrospect, the progression from each step to the next seems logical but, when many of the steps appeared, they might have seemed completely random, especially to an outside observer. Trusting my path however it twists and turns brings me maximum joy, maximum power, and maximum chances to serve.

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