I am one grateful woman, to be able to live this extraordinary life. This past weekend, I gathered women once again for a Gaian Soul Retreat at our beloved Aldermarsh Retreat Center on Whidbey Island. I invited them to come away and drink of the sacred well of nature, spirit, creativity, and connection. They came from ...Continue Reading…

Not quite wordless . . . I’m over on Jennifer Louden’s blog today with some of my favorite smart & creative women, all sharing our morning rituals.

Each year, during the “time out of time” between Solstice and New Year’s, I work on a Life Review. I like to look back at the most significant moments of the year gone by, the creative projects, spiritual practices, work accomplishments, and sorrows and disappointments too. This past year was full of surprises. During the ...Continue Reading…

Yesterday I did my annual New Year’s reading, using this spread from the Gaian Tarot book. I used Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s Dark Goddess Tarot, and will be doing a comparative reading with the Gaian and the Victorian Fairy decks. I received 3 majors out of 7 cards, plus 3 Fire cards! Love this: What do I ...Continue Reading…

Ahhh. Hear that? It’s the sound of snowfall, of twinkling lights on a Yule tree, of children fast asleep. It’s the hush of Winter Solstice, this quiet, this stillness. Someone asked me how I celebrate the Solstice. My favorite way to mark the holy day is by honoring my own desire to withdraw into quietness. ...Continue Reading…

(The following piece is the Week 1 Reflection from Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices for Yuletide / Midwinter.) Finally comes the time of withdrawal, the hidden time. It is as though the world sleeps under a gray cloak. Everything is still and silent. It is as though the world sleeps under a gray veil. . . ...Continue Reading…

I am sending out the call for 5 wise, wonderful women to retreat with me and a circle of sisters next March on a magical Northwest island.  Might you be one of them, or perhaps know one of them? Gaian Soul Retreat: March 13-16, 2014 Imagine what it would be like to join the 14 of us already ...Continue Reading…

At this time of year, all of nature teaches us to release and let go. But we often struggle with the “shoulds” and “should-nots” of releasing roles, relationships, and projects that we’ve outgrown. We’re often afraid to let go of a familiar way of doing things, because we don’t know what will take its place, ...Continue Reading…

July 16, 2013 Dearest Joanna, I want to let you know what a life transforming experience it has been to have attended your Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices course for nearly a year now. There are different kinds of transformation. Some come quickly and can be dramatic. Some creep in slowly. In one respect Gaian Soul crept ...Continue Reading…

There is this. The place we go when we seek direction, when we yearn to pray, when we need to be still. We light a candle on the household altar, leave an offering at the temple door, place a kata around the teacher’s neck, slip into a pew and make the sign of the cross. ...Continue Reading…

“I want to inspire spiritual people to create what they feel, and lead creative people toward their relationship with spirit.” — Pixie Campbell, Visual Quest: An Online Shamanic Painting Exploration. I’ve been focused on writing as my primary art form this year. I write nearly every day. Some of it is project-oriented, some of it ...Continue Reading…

(I wrote this article as a guest post for Jo Crawford’s wonderful site Crafting the Sacred, back in January 2012. I realized that I wanted to share it here, as it expresses so clearly why making art is an act of magic and transformation. I’m indebted to Jo for giving me the assignment to write this ...Continue Reading…

My mermaid sister Nora, who is at end-of-life, dictated this letter to me and I typed it up. It is loosely based on a piece that Nora has used many times in her grief workshops, from the book “Life After Loss” by Bob Deits.  Every time I read it out loud to her so she ...Continue Reading…

In between the raindrops on the rhododendrons and the barely-open lilac buds, in between the anguished news out of Boston and the tunes out of Nashville, in between the lighting of the altar candle and the choosing of a pen for journaling, in between the conversation with a sister who had a rough night and ...Continue Reading…

Last Thursday morning, I kept calling my friend who’s been in the hospital for over a month. I usually call her every morning to check in, but that morning she didn’t answer her phone. I thought to myself: She’s in the bathroom. She’s having physical therapy. She’s talking to the doctor. She’s on the other ...Continue Reading…

Each year, during the “time out of time” between Solstice and New Year’s, I work on a Life Review. This year, I am aided and abetted by my friend Waverly Fitzgerald through her lovely little ecourse, “12 Days of Christmas.” As I responded to Waverly’s prompts this past week about the most significant moments of ...Continue Reading…

I wrote a series of blog posts last fall on “How to Make a Spirit Doll,” based on the dolls we made at the Gaian Soul Retreat last September. Those posts have turned out to be some of the most popular ever on this blog, so I thought it was time to turn them into ...Continue Reading…

Dear friends, A Blessed Winter Solstice to you! Early this morning I sat in my studio and gazed eastward out the window, steaming coffee mug in hand, with my cat Cleo curled up in my lap. My studio was lit only by candles and twinkle lights as I watched the dawn slowly emerge. It was ...Continue Reading…

I’ve just come home from an extraordinary retreat at my beloved Aldermarsh. This retreat, led by Christina Baldwin, was called “Self as Source of the Story,” based on her book Storycatcher. During the week, the Muses shook me upside down, spun me around, and put me back together again. This morning I resisted the urge to ...Continue Reading…

. . . whether or not we were directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, we all know someone who was. I can think of no better blessing than this lovely Beannacht by John O’Donahue (who is now with the ancestors. I’ll be honoring him at my altar tomorrow night.) Beannacht (Blessing) On the day when the ...Continue Reading…

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