#truthtimewithsugar I was perfectly happy with my quiet plans last night. "Was." My plans were to pass out candy to the neighbors and their kids. Investing in my neighborhood making it a better place for all of us. Watch some themed movies with Rocky Andreotti and have a quiet night in. I was exhausted from a very busy schedule and a quiet night in was just what I needed and wanted. Until all the pictures started flooding in from all the parties and events. The Ugly Voice said, "Why aren't you there?" "You should be out at a big party..." "Only a lame-o stays home on Halloween by themselves.." Honestly, If I had gone out. I wouldn't have had fun. I was tired and I needed to rest and sleep. I am very happy with where my life is at right now. I have finally found a bit of balance. Balance means pulling in sometimes and not doing #allthethings . Balance means honoring my needs and not listening to the Ugly Voice. Balance means just because someone is having success in one area doesn't mean that I am not successful in my own right. There is plenty of success to go around. While I understand and teach this lesson. I have a feeling it is going to be one that I will continue to learn for a while. #personalshadowwork
Finding the Goddess Within...
Women have more freedom now than ever in history because of the sexual and spiritual awakenings of the ‘60s and ‘70s. We are taking that freedom and forging our own paths. Some are becoming political leaders and CEO’s; breaking through the glass ceiling and stepping into roles routinely held by men. While other women take a different approach, taking a cue from our fore mothers and devoting themselves to their families. Either path is perfectly valid; for one is no less courageous than the other. These two types of women may be on separate paths and may have distinctly different life goals, but they still have much in common. Many women even fulfill both these roles and many more. All women, no matter their path, race, culture or creed share a common thread, their sexuality.
Despite all of our advances we are just recently empowering sexuality for women. Women are still fighting the battle that a sexualized woman is a negative thing. However, many women are taking up the charge and claiming their sexuality as their own. One of the many ways this is being done is by the Burlesque community. We Burlesque Ladies are taking the art of stripping a step back in time and putting a futuristic spin on it. Speaking for my peers and I, performing burlesque has opened a whole new aspect of confidence and happiness. By embracing my sexuality and revealing my skin, I have revealed a hidden layer within myself. I have found the Goddess within. Every night when I step on to the stage I leave behind my mortal shell with all of its flaws and become the Goddess. I am Aphrodite. I am Bast. I am the Goddess and so is every woman.
I am offering readings form the following tools.
Tarot of the Cat People- This is usually my go to deck and is very insightful for those looking for inquiries about serious situations.
Aleister Crowley Thoth Deck- When you need hard answer to tough questions and every other form of divination has given you the runaround.
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess - This for when you want to be pointed in the right direction of your spiritual journey and aids in the process of inward gnosis.
The Zombie Tarot- While this deck appears to be for entertainment purposes only. It is certainly most entertaining it also gives insightful information in its own comical way. Sometimes making that bitter pill at little easier to swallow.
Olivia's Bettie Page Playing Cards- Perfect for that general reading or for someone interested in the Romance department. These cards can also be used for more serious readings and are perfect for Yes or No questions. All with a Sexy Bettie on every card.
The Gothic Tarot- I typically use these for Necromancy (communioning with the dead) and / or working with Psychopomps (death deities). These cards are very serious and can be cantankerous. They prefer working with the dead.
Runes- I prefer to use Runes combined with other forms of Divination. Runes can be very broad in the meaning. Which makes them wonderful for general readings for more insightful information I like to layer them with Tarot.
Scrying/ Psychic readings- Using no tool at all or simply staring in a bowl of water. I can recieve messages from either those on the other side or spirits and deities. I prefer to use this again with Tarot or Runes to get more detailed information.
Photo Courtsey Oden Wise
Saturday was the day our performance was scheduled. I went up to the stage area and rehearsed for several hours before the show acquainted myself with the area. Making sure there were no hidden potholes or mud slicks as I am a dancer and tend to cover a lot of ground.
Later that even we had the interesting task of face painting and doing stage make up in the dark. I am personally still on a learning curve when it come to touring the festival circuit. Many things are taken for granted are simply not available unless you bring them yourself.
Boots laced and face painted we headed up to the main stage area. It had been a while since I had been on stage and my nerves felt it. I took a minute to visit with my Goddess and put my performance in her hands. To protect my safety as I was burning with fire and to protect my ankle as it had been trying to turn all weekend.
Charge with the energy of my goddess I took the stage like a lion on the hunt and my music didn’t start. So I started to dance to the tune in my own head until the sound difficulties were figured out and picked up wherever my choreography had left off.
In my second number I lit part of my skit which is always a probably when dancing with fire in loose flowy clothing. I caught the flame out of the corner of my eye and spun in a circle twice and the movement put the flame out. All part of the show folks. All part of the show This is why it is important to wear fire safe clothing.
After we were done performing Leo Starwind took the stage and sang. It had been several years since I had the fortune to share a stage with him. I sat out by the huge ritual fire and jammed along with him singing along. When he retired from his set the drummers all broke out their drums and I on my stage high wanted to dance my merry little heart out around the fire. I decided to go back to out camp to switch into my tennies as my fire boots have a slight heel to them and and my ankle was already being cranky from the uneven ground. I switch out to my old trusty knock off converses that I have had for years and start heading back to the stage and the main ritual fire where everyone was gathered. Behind the stage they had put in cobble stones so the area would not be a mud pit and one came loose on me as I was only feet away from my destination. My ankle had been trying to give on my all weekend and it finally had enough. I went down. This time it wasn’t so bad nothing like when I hurt it in the parade. I think it simply just had enough. I hobbled over to the ritual fire and didn’t say anything but I was pouty that I could not now dance. I finally let it be known that I hurt my ankle when I was asked to be the Valkyrie in the Symbol and I had to refuse because I couldn’t really walk.
I made it back to camp assisted by all my lovely family new and old. In the morning since I could not help break down camp and pack. I decided to cook for everyone using up all the food that would not make the trip back.
On the first morning we get up bright and early to start to set up our camp. We move our tent into the what will become known as the Trickster's camp and begin the process of unpacking. By early afternoon we have Merch set up and our sleeping arrangements made up comfortably. I was feeling off as my sugars were high, I hadn’t slept well and my eating schedule had gotten thrown off with the traveling and the late set up. Fyrbyrd and Loki come sweeping in about 3pm after the majority of the work is done. JERKS By this time we had gotten close with Sexy Jesus and his crew of people. While we knew the Sexy Jesus from previous festivals.
When you live in a communal living space brought on by hard camping, no running water, no electricity of any kind. You bond with people quickly, part out of necessity do to the harshness of conditions and part out of closeness. By the end of the event we were trading, giving and sharing all we had. It was this openness that made what could be a miserable time of being cold and hungry in the woods into a loving, warm, amazing experience. There was 10 of us all chipping in where we could all helping each other out whether it was sharing food, gathering wood to keep the cook fire going, taking turns cooking to feed everyone.
This is the kind of human companionship that makes festival FESTIVAL. This is the kind of event that when one starts to lose hope in humanity that can renew your faith in people and it is this kind of experience that truly makes you appreciate all the little luxuries like running water and electricity. Oh and the conversations that were had because not single person had cell service!
My two favorite things about the whole experience. The constant tribal drumbeats that stir your blood. The sound just makes you a little wilder and brings that animal part of you a little closer to the surface. The second is all the musician with instruments singing and playing around the campfire just rocking out. Going to concerts is wonderful and amazing but when you get to see that same musician playing for the sheer joy of it and everyone around joining in on the song. Well few things can measure up to that, very few.
Image courtsey of Oden Wise
Fyrbyrd and I at our vend booth with tent city behind us.
We headed out Thursday afternoon after driving all over the city picking up various things that we need for our adventure. We packed Freya (our old blue van) to the gills and set off on our adventure. Upon finally getting on the road for our destination we ran into rush hour and construction traffic on I-44. It was bumper to bumper for over an hour. We sat there singing songs and chit chatting like it was nothing. I curled up under my half open parasol to keep the beating sun off of me as I was starting to burn just sitting in the front seat.
We got into the last 10 miles of our destination as the sun was setting and had to navigate back country roads in the dark all while being followed by a cop. The turn on to Rocky Top Rd was on the right we saw it just in time to pass it. Rocky pulled over and was about to make a you turn when the cops pulls over behind us. We all suck in a breath and hold it. If you can’t tell we haven’t had good luck with cops in the past they tend to not like us hippie gypsy folk. The cop never turned on his Cherries and Berries so we slowly pulled out and looked for a more appropriate place to turn around. We get ourselves sorted and the cop merrily passes us by and we all sigh in relief.
Yet our escapades were not over, we just turned on to the road of DEWM. Back country road all in gravel and it is pitch black then add a 45 degree incline and potholes that would swallow a large dog. Dear freya was loaded down and her poor underbelly was scraping as w e inched down the road just praying we we in the right place and that no genuine damage was happening to the vehicle.
Eventually the road evens out and we come across a mailbox with a red ribbon tied upon it. Red ribbon are definite symbol of Beltaine and thats why we were there *smiles*. “Check the address,” Rocky says and sure enough. This was it. ALMOST there, by this time it was almost 9:30pm at night. We pull in and most of the vendor campsite are taken we still need to set up camp for the night so we can sleep and rest and we were all hungry.
So we picked a spot and started setting up. We have no flashlights I brought fairy lights candles in a jar but this is not bright enough to set up a tent in the dark with. On goes Freya and we use the headlights. Our neighboring campers all come over to help and check on us Newbie campers (were not virgins campers but damn close). I’m used to camping with my troupe or other groups of people and they usually take care of the logistics so this was all pretty new to me and I was grossly under prepared. It took a team effort of all of our neighbors but we got in and settled. Come morning we would end up joining camp with another group of people and creating a tent city, a loving family and a great experience.
Shaman fire fleshing for the first time.
My Gypsy traveling days have began again for the Summer. Festival season was launched by Burner Boot Camp a Fundraising event for Dragon's Gaze Fire Troupe. This event raises money for things like Fire Performer Insurance, New performing equipment and Portable Sound Equipment. You know things that fire gypsies need to be fire gypsies.
It was a damp weekend and we ended up sleeping in the basement of the main house at Serenity Pass instead of camping out. Air mattress to air mattress we had a slumber party as we sat around drinking homemade hooch after a long day of poi and staff spinning in the drizzling rain.
It was a nice relaxing way to start the Festival Season. Spending the day practicing, honing and learning new techniques to my craft. I have gotten to a point where I am comfortable enough with poi that I have decided to pick up and play with staff. I am no where near a perfect poi spinner but when I get stuck or grumpy with a poi move I switch to staff. Coming back to the poi later has helped me and my learning has significantly progressed in both skill levels.
This weekend was all about beginnings and the workshops were for entry level lessons for those wanting to get a taste for the flame. I even managed to get my dispersal down for fire breathing now I need to work on my aim . I did shoot some video this weekend so I will be putting together a teaser clip of the workshops so you can see for yourself what it was like.
Afterwards we all climbed in the packed vehicles and scattered to the four directions back to the daily grind but we will always have the fire and mischief with us.
I worked a New Modeling gig today it went well despite getting off to a rough start. I was 10 mins late because I couldn’t find the building. I hate being late. In an industry where people are notoriously flakey, being late is an even bigger no no. Sure you may only be a couple of mins late but you are going up against the preconceived notion because of the last person who no called no showed. So when you are late they immediately wonder if you are coming or not. Ah, Showbiz oh how I love you!
I have an article of the Newest Issue of Mystik Way Magazine that can be read HERE. It is about dance and spirituality.
I have turned down yet another opportunity to do burlesque. I miss the stage but I am not ready yet. My love got corrupted by politics and money and it became work. My muse still wants to play in other areas anytime I mention the “B” word my muse runs in the opposite direction. I can only guess that I am still grieving. When I love, I love hard, I love with my whole soul. And my soul got crushed. I am sure people are tired of hearing me bitch and moan about burlesque. Oh well...
I have written a short story a retelling of an ancient myth. I wrote all four pages of it in one gigantic burst. I am not sure what I want to do with it. Post it to my blog or submit it to be published. If I post it to my blog then that is considered self publishing and some of the more traditional publishing avenues won’t touch it after that. However, I hate writing something and not having it seen, it just seems like such a waste.
I really enjoyed the vending from the last couple of weeks. That just feels like what I am supposed to be doing. It makes me miss EWB. I loved running the store, counselling people and helping them shop. When I do go back to performing it will take a secondary position in my life. While I enjoy writing it may too take a secondary position. Why you ask? Well these are things I do because I love and I have learned the hard way that by trying to keep a rough over your head doing things you love changes why you do them. That when they become work and you start to resent them. Modeling is work, House of Cyanide Curios is work, writing and dancing I do that because I enjoy it, period. I lost focus of that, mainly because I was listening and trying to please everyone else. Hopefully I have learned my lesson THIS time. I really don’t want to have to repeat this lesson again. I know I am like the girl who never quits talking about her ex. It been a year and I am still whining.
C’est la vie,
La Femme Crève-cœur