We all got up early that morning to help cleanup the hall and take down all the decorations. Or I should say everybody else did while I roamed around aimless desperately trying to wake up enough to function. Morning Person I am not.
The after the clean up and breakfast we all went and explored Dragon Cave.
Photo Patrick Brehm
I just noticed that super creepy thing standing just to the right of my freind Amber.
Oustide of the cave. Photo Patrick Brehm
Inside looking out Photo Rocky
Another by Rocky
We were going to have a drum circle and play in the cave all night, but we got ratted out to the parks department shortly after this was taken and we had to leave.
Photo Patrick Brehm
Lunch at Denny's all 20somthing of us at once. We all looked like crap from hiking and no one cared
After regrouping for getting kicked out of the cave we took over a Pavalion by the hotels and partied into the wee hours of the morning.
Photo Patrick Brehm
Loki breathed some fire
Photo Patrick Brehm
FyreByrd danced with Fire
Photo Patrick Brehm
The rest of the night is a blur of Homemade meade and oaths and boosts.
Home from Epic Pagan weddingness. I'm exhausted and have a huge update for you. I will do that soon. I am going to relax and pass out.
I love wrapping and decorating presents, sometimes to me the act of wrapping can be silly or speacil. I like to use found items or reuse items I have had for wrapping getting creative in the process. Loki and Fyrbyrd are getting married this weekend and having gave them their preseant last night, I thought I would share the silly wrapping that I did for them. All of the brides maids have been meeting up every Monday for the last 2 months to help prepare for the wedding. It is a FOUR DAY EVENT lol, anyhoo one of the many jokes that got tossed around while crafting for the wedding was if it is messed up cover it in glitter and no one will notice. This joke stems from my being a burlesque performer and not knowing how to sew that well. So it was with this thought in mind while I was thinking of a way to wrap their gift.
It all started with this bundle of leaves.
I wrapped them together and then dried them out. Once Dry I spray painted them with silver metilac spray paint, their colors are black , silver and blue. One that was done I went to town with glitter, feather and glue.
This definietly their most uniquely wrapped wedding gift. Oh and I gave them dishes so I had to make the outside fun or at least weird.
If you are open minded and looking for a deeply spiritual experience then the Living Insights Center should be on the top of your list. I went for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It had been on my list for a while now and I never quite got around to it. Once there I fell in love. The L.I.C. is an all faiths temple. They have rooms set up with an altar to every main religion and lots of minority faiths. There is literally something for everyone. First thing upon walking in you will be asked to remove your shoes. So wear your nice socks *takes on a Mom’s voice and Points finger* and easy to remove shoes. The Eastern Religions are right up front and you will need to walk through their rooms to get into the Western Religions (Abrahamic) rooms. In the Judeo-Christian room there is an imposing statue of Saint Therese. Saint Therese is very active in the L.I.C. and many people have reported receiving miracles and messages from her. The spiritual energy can not be ignored, many people have had very moving experiences and many skeptics have been awed. One can drop in anytime during business hours from 12pm to 5pm and receive a full guided tour. There also many services and events throughout the month. L.I.C is a tax exempt Non Profit organization and is mostly run on donations. They do have a small gift shop and offer many spiritual one of a kind items. In short it is a wonderful place and when I am there I do not want to go home, you probably won’t either. The Living Insights Center
"Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a spirit that wanted everything.
At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!"
The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, "Story of a Soul". She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love." The above text from the Society of the Little Flower
*oil painting Gail Billings Beck*
I have been going through a period of great transformation. Like many of artists, who seem to continually reinvent themselves it may seem like a drastic change. However I am in a constant state of evolution and am merely ending one cycle and starting another. Throughout my adult life I have reinvented myself several times and in each phase, I had a change in name. As my out look is growing I no longer identify as who I was. I originally chose the name Sugar Cyanide as a symbol of my duality as a performer. Sugar representing the sweet side and the classic burlesque style performance and Cyanide representing the boundary pushing alternative performance artist. I still love the name Sugar Cyanide and it is a great performance name. HOWEVER.... I no longer solely identify as a performer. Thus the name does not fit all my purposes.
When you first start performing your stage persona is a character that you put on. You get into costume, do your hair and makeup. Voila! You are a whole new person. You act different, walk different and talk different. After spending enough time as “said” character you start to become that character. Eventually the person, who you originally were, changes into the Character. Now instead of two separate identities they have merged into one.
Having been away from the stage for the last six months. I have realized in that time, that my personality has grown away from the Sugar Cyanide persona. Yet I am still Sugar. *smiles* What does this mean? This means that I will be focusing in a slightly different direction. Performing will be taking a backseat to my other projects. Which it already has but it will continue to do so. I will still performing and doing Burlesque under the name Sugar Cyanide. However Sugar Cyanide will go back to being a character that I become to perform. My personal, spiritual and non-performances outlets will become Sugar C. De Vika or S. C. De Vika (Which is the name I publish under.)
S. C. obviously is abbreviated for Sugar Cyanide. Where the De Vika is a name I have been using privately in the Pagan community for years before I became a performer. De Vika is a butchered version of Devi Ka which means Little Goddess in Sanskrit. This change though subtle will mean a couple of things. I will try to maintain a distinct division between the two. Sugar Cyanide will be strictly performance related while Sugar C. De Vika will be everything else, specifically spiritual counseling, education and Craft work.
I realized the other day that I hadn’t written a blog since April. In May I ended up in the ER from a minor second degree burn not from playing with Fire but from water, boiling. I was making Tea and dropped the teapot and scalded my hand. Now normally a burn of this sort wouldn’t really land you in the ER but I am a diabetic and I went into what is known as Burn Shock because of the diabetes. Well while I was there they found a whole bunch of health complications. So for the past several months I have been trying to get used to my new medicinal regime which my body hates and has been fighting me on the whole time.
I have been working on my book and my Deadline is looming, like a shadow of a huge monster. Two weeks at this point is what I have left, roughly. I have also been making jewelry and doing tarot readings. My days are pretty quiet compared to what they were with the constant, performing and modeling.
I have been strongly re-connecting to my spirituality and have reached a place of deeper meaning and more evolved spirituality. I see the world clearer now than I ever did and am at a place of peace.
As for performing I know I will return but not as soon as I had originally thought. When I started performing, I would channel my goddess and my performance was a way to worship her. Bast is a fertility deity after all. However in the last year what was sacred became profane. It was a slow process one I didn’t realize was happening at the time, until it was too late. I started to let the business, the mundane side take over the performance. I became too scattered from herding cats, or Kittens as it were, to dedicate the stage to her. I neglected myself terribly and in doing so neglected HER. I have no one else to blame but myself. I have learned that as a Daughter of Bast I MUST take care of myself for I represent her. So I will no longer be putting everyone else’s needs before my own.
When you routinely sacrifice yourself and give of yourself away no one sees the value in it. Why would people “pay” for something they can get for free. If you always give of yourself, your efforts will not be appreciated. You have to put Value on them yourself or no one else will. It is a sad cold truth but there it is. People only appreciate things that they have worked for, if it is freely given then it holds no value to them. They must be made to sacrifice in order to receive, the greater the sacrifice they make the greater the value it is to them.
What does this mean for me? I will be more guarded and less giving. I will only give to those that return the favor. Please understand that this does not necessarily mean money or monetary things. This is not about greed or accruing wealth. For money means little to me. This is about emotional giving, support and love. I will no longer give of myself if the person doesn’t return the favor. I am no longer going to waste my time and energy on people and projects that do not find value in me.
This enlightenment has upset many people. However those most upset were the ones I gave the most to and saw the least return. The “TAKERS.” I am no longer giving to “takers” for they never return the favor, or if they do it is only for their own ends.
I like to be generous, it was how my family showed love when I was growing up. The more that was given the more we loved them. This could be anything food, hugs, presents. My mom is a food pusher. It makes her feel good to feed people and to give them food and to cook for them. To this day when I visit her she gives Rocky and I heaping plates piled high with food as a token of her affection.
Right now, I am just taking the days as they come. Focusing on me and my spirituality getting closer to my Gods. I am not really making any big plans for the future, for the first time in my life. I am living soley in the present.
So for the April Show, I announced that it will be my last show till August. I know for many this raised some eyebrows. I have been dropping hints about my new upcoming project. I am taking a break from the scene so I can focus on this project. I have told a select few people and I am now sharing this information with the world. I am writing a book. This actually has been in the works for several years, however it wasn’t until recently that the publisher and I were able to come to an agreement. I sincerely believe that the stars align for a reason.
Everything that has happened for the last several months has prepared me for this project. If it wasn’t for that which wasn’t needed, being cut from my life then I would not have the time to focus on this project. I will be accomplishing one of my life goals and embarking in a new stage in life. This is an opportunity that I believe will allow me move in a new and much more fulfilling direction. Does this mean I will stop performing all together? No. I believe not. The stage is a drug all of her own. She just won’t be my main addiction anymore. When your drugs aren’t fun anymore. You need to take a break from them.
For the last several years I haven’t been able to focus on what I truly want but have been putting my energy into other peoples projects. I realize now, that in order to accomplish my dreams. I need to focus on me and what is best for myself. I am re-evaluating what is important to me and many things I thought were important simply are not. I am cutting a lot of baggage emotional, physical and material. So that when I re- emerge I may soar higher than I ever have because I no longer have those things holding me back.
Remember, Never forget your dreams or you will spend you life lost, looking for them.
This past weekend I got to fulfill one of my childhood dreams I got to dance on stage with a professional dance company. I hope sometime in the future I may do so again. I had the honor of performing with Atrek Dance company. In two shows entitled “Conversations in Concert.” My parents attended Opening Night making it the first time that they have seen me perform as an adult.
Atrek Dance Company is a Not for Profit Dance Collective dedicated to the development of local contemporary modern dance programs. Conversations in Concert was a show based on the feminine experience. What it means to be a Mother, Sister, Mentor, Friend. Atrek was looking for women to represents the diversity of women. As Diana Barrios (Director) stated, she didn't feel she could accurately represent all womanhood with only a group of 20 something dancers. She wanted to bring in people from different backgrounds and experiences to complete the concept.
I wanted to push myself and try new experiences. This was a new experience for me to take a step back. To follow and not lead, to not be in control. I found it completely unnerving and had to face many of my insecurities. I took the opportunity to step outside my normal comfort zone, into a place where I wouldn’t be as good as everyone else. Where I even though I was well known and had more at stake if I publicly failed or made a fool of myself. I knew that I had to take that chance that this was an opportunity to grow as a person and as an artist. Growing is an uncomfortable thing. If it is not then it is not growth. Grow I did and I am forever thankful for the ladies of Atrek for allowing me to have that opportunity.
Being a part of this show was very important to me for several reasons. One of the many is that I could represent a plus size women in a field that being plus size is detrimental. I have been on stages all over the Midwest dancing in my knickers. Being plus size I had overcome the not just the usual roadblocks that every performer has faced but the additional hurdles that come with being plus sized. So while many women in the show represented Mothers, Daughters and Wives. I stood there for Plus Size Women Everywhere!