Sunday, October 23, 2016


 We took a drive up the island yesterday and found these clouds lined up across the sky while we
 parked along the Western shore. The three above, were trailing along the three at the top.

Just a few minutes ago I received an email from our friend Eko who has newly moved from Whidbey to live in Portland. When she left, I sent along a safety pin attached to a simple and elegant silver button. "Common magic," I told her.
The message she left me today confirmed that the safety pin was doing what it was intended to do. She said the Japanese word for that was 'Omamori.' Omamori refers to Japanese amulets, talismans and charms commonly sold at shrines for good luck or protection.

This bit of communication was just the talisman of good luck and protection I needed today. My friend's message reminded me of a very special woman who was my source of good luck and protection when I was a little girl. Aunty Lily lived next door and among the many omamori she shared with me were these things: looking to notice and watch clouds (I have never stopped), and listening to her voice when she wrote me saying, "You are a good writer (I have never stopped).

The giant safety pin that dangles a paper Heron is our daily omamori. Common magic. Amulets, talismans and charms to keep life's challenges and struggles in balance. Sometimes we forget the simple and common role of such things.

Arigato Eko-san, you have brought balance to my day,

Monday, October 17, 2016


The three storms of the Full Moon in Aries passed through the Pacific Northwest and have shaken things up for us. The golden wagon, and the little light on the porch feels like home. A subtle and powerful shift has taken place. I've written more about that here.

An update: I'm thoroughly enjoying this feeling of being home. Just a few minutes ago Pete said 'This moon (cycle) has been really good."

I agreed, "New Moon in Libra committing to relationships here, between us, with this community. Believing we can do this!" Mahina is visible in the morning sky a La'au Pau moon. If you would like to read some beautifully written thoughts about home folklorist and fantasist Terri Windling's post "More thoughts on home" is a great read. I've just finished rereading the essay, and for at least the dozenth time finished rereading Windling's Wood Wife for reconnecting with 'home', magic, myth, Ancestors, edges, love.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pray and Tether Protocol

"We cross borders without regard, ignorant or arrogant of the protocol native to the transitional spaces that take us from this place to that place. Traditions remembered and practiced would maintain and pass along the right things to do, at the right time, and in the right frame of mind. Have we all become wanderers with passports unstamped with the memory of teachings from the Ancestors and Nature? There are rituals to remember and common magic to induce respect and reverence for the beings and places that share this planet." - The Safety Pin Cafe

We have tethered our golden wagon of a vardo, cleared and prepared ourselves for the predicted storms that are moving through most of the western shores of the continental United States. A full moon in Aries approaches, and it makes sense to take precautions and be the balancing act as Satori suggests.

While Pete has applied his practical magic, once again, pushing the wheel barrel filled with potential flying debris, lashed our home and stocked up on batteries and bolts to secure the physical, I applied the other side, the balance to what I am calling the Pray and Tether Protocol. The traditions remembered and practiced, the rituals to remember and common magic to induce respect and reverence for the beings and places that share this planet.

Last year at around this time I began writing a medicine story called Pine Needle Dancers. While we still lived parked in the growing thicket of wild Huckleberries and Wild Blueberries, Salal and the Tall Stands of White Pine, Hemlock, Cedar and Fir the winds and the wet of a Salish Sea sent me more than rain as messenger. 

Last year for the first time in five seasons I noticed and paid heed to the pine needles. There was and is a story of medicine to balance the protocol of practices. When Pete left for a morning of visiting with an old friend I read the weather predictions of storm coming; I did the work of acknowledgement, and began reading aloud (and recording) Pine Needle Dancers so the Pine could hear my voice, and the story written for him.

The medicine story Pine Needle Dancers begins here for you to read. I put it here, press the Publish key, and send love all around. Read it aloud, read it to yourself, or in the company of those who matter most to you. 


(If you like the story, I am working on creating a c.d. of this alive recording of Pine Needle Dancers along with a bit of written magic in an envelope to sell. It's a new venture of magic making and practical application rolled into one.)  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tool Box, or Boxing Gloves?

Temporary tool: a step stool 

The old steps we walked for six years

Astrologically Elsa P. describes this week with these opening lines:

"Mercury in Libra will conjoin Jupiter all week. Expect people to blurt, preach their truth and think they are smarter than they are.
This situation will be exacerbated as our collective big (Jupiter) mouths (Mercury) will be fueled and intensified by the square to Mars and Pluto in Capricorn.
Now if you want to mix it up, fine. But be prepared to lose (Pluto) your social connections (Libra) and status (Capricorn) if you fail to control yourself and hit someone’s sore spot..."
Elsa continues her blog post with suggestions, and directives to her astrological workshops (many of which I have taken). I highly recommend those workshops if you have a few dollars.

Along those same lines, periodically I update the content on the page "What is Makua o'o?" 
I'm doing that now making notes using the 9 Tools of the Makua o'o to reevaluate how this recent move out of the forest and onto the gravel parking lot utilizes those tools.

"The nest of a home we built has been moved, transplanted from the wooded surroundings onto the gravel parking lot just a few yards ... just here to there. I am writing about the small and potent move turning the experiences into art, using the tools of the 21st century to explain while almost unconsciously applying the 9 tools Aunty Betty shared with me. Those tools of  kupuna in the making fit anytime, if I pause to recognize that.
  1. Keep a keen sense of observation … NOTICE . Everything starts here. Noticing is not limited to what the eyes see though I am very grateful to be able to see the world with the aid of prescription lens. Sometimes, I don't put on my glasses, or forget where I left them. And then the next tool helps." (click here to read what other notes I've left on 'What is Makua o'o?')
 If you are new to this blog, the basic tools of an elder in training might be useful. A new tool instead of the boxing gloves might be a better choice. I admit, I've used the gloves as often as a tool. But at this age, my husband reminds me as he attempts to set us up with stairs to and from our golden wagon, "We can't afford to fall." The small hard plastic step stool with narrow steps and no rail has been a temporary tool, and solution as we make adjustments. Today Pete is working with his tools to reattach a version of our old wooden steps.

Just any old kind of stairs doesn't work for my highly sensitized body ... wet wood grows mold, my body collapses under mold. The old steps and rail have been washed of mold, and have been drying for the past week. It frustrates Pete to be stopped in his game; his drill is out and primed. I know it's a hard game to play this highly sensitive partnership. He blew when I mentioned the steps might not work.

He came in to apologize for his one-two punch of frustration. "I know honey," I said looking from these keys to his truly sad face. He and I have been at these cross-road so many times before. Without some tools, same tools, new tools, adjusted tools we would have split the sheets long ago.

As it is, we use the o'o (the digging sticks) or recognize the makua o'o is a maturing adult ripening over time; Pete works, I write. He rescues me, I rescue him.

If Elsa's right, refining the use of tools that work for you, for me, for us could be good medicine.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Spider Season, this season

"[M]edicinal" histories seek to re-establish the connections between peoples and their histories; to reveal the mechanisms of power, the steps by which their current condition of oppression was achieved, through a series of decisions made by real people in order to dispossess them; but also to reveal the multiplicity, creativity and persistence of resistance among the oppressed." - Aurora Levins Morales

The fragments and fractures reflect in the window of the small golden wagon. The effort and deliberation of moving, transplanting ourselves is being recorded into "medicinal history" as Aurora Levins Morales describes. Without knowing Aurora Levins Morales was alive on the planet, doing what she does, being who she is, I have been writing Medicine Stories of my own to do just what she speaks of reconnecting myself to the history of my past with the struggles, and the joy, of life now.

Now that we know of her, we conjoin, hold hands, and reevaluate. The Medicine Stories are the place of potency right now. The potency is over there.

Auhea oe, Spider? A speck, almost invisible she is a dot on the wall on the golden wagon, inches from the dangling brass bell. Potent, reserving her energy for the pounce.