Entering the entering.
Ah sweet friends, I have so much to say (and I just wrote up many thousands of words about alter egos and channeling incoming selves, and somehow still have even more to say?), but the Sorceress says to keep this missive simple and witchy.
Witchy is not a problem, there is no shortage of witchiness in my life right now, somehow even more than usual, but not sure about simple. We‘ll see.
Onward. LFG. To the words, and to the spaces between the words.
Invisible but present, palpable, clear, loving and right here.
I said recently to a retreat friend that my work is immense but also mostly invisible, and wow am I feeling the big wild truth of this now.
Maybe 97% of what I write is in invisible ink, and then of course there is the entire universal sea of wisdom that we can tap into when we need a direction, an arrow or a clue, so may these words be a portal to that.
(Anything can be a portal of course, this is just a reminder about intention.)
Do you remember when my hundred year old maple tree fell in Oregon, and then last year it fell again but this time in the form of an absolutely enormous agave stalk in southeastern Arizona?
Things are uprooting in the world.
This is powerful and also scary. Powerful and also disorienting. We are all waiting to see where (and how) things fall, aren’t we, and some of us are also trying to make our best guesses about where we might like to be standing when they do.
Intensity in the air, and in the ground.
I have also been noticing that a lot of people out in the world are deeply committed pretending that nothing is uprooting, and this dissonance is intense too, a steady cultural gaslighting, which is of course not new but the dissonance feels bigger.
The dissonance itself is an uprooting, or an uprooting that has become a chasm.
All that to say, these are intense times.
Intense times to be a person in a body with all this big energy in the air, big shifting on the ground. Intense times to be a tree. A breath for keeping at it.
Like what Maude said to Harold, do you remember:
A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They’re just backing away from life. Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room.
Let’s keep at it, friends. We need each other. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other, take chances when that is what’s indicated, layer on safety when that is what’s needed, breathe our way through.
I might be out in the desert, not quite the middle of nowhere though definitely nowhere-adjacent, and I don’t know if you can feel it or not from out here but I am glowing love and support and good things for us, for life and aliveness, embodied.
A tree again.
A couple weeks ago I encountered the most gorgeous clue on IG, a woman, Carmeline, 77, the epitome of Fierce Wild Beauty in my eyes, and she shared wise words.
She was talking about how beauty is not in fact dependent on any of the made-up things our culture wants us to believe it is dependent on. She said that when you visit a forest, each tree is beautiful because it is a tree, you would never think that an old tree is not beautiful, and we can look in the mirror and remember that truth: I AM A TREE.
We can experience awe and wonder at our tree-ness, our living breathing aliveness, our suchness, embodied.
I have been saying this, lately, to myself, I am a tree .
Sometimes while driving the back roads in the desert, sometimes while washing dishes, sometimes while getting dressed, I am a tree.
I am a bobcat. I am a sorceress. I am an assassin. I am a star.
I am a reflection. I am a spark. I am a force to be reckoned with. I am a tree.
All this and more. Multitudes. Embodied.
Fueled for the fight.
Every morning after my slow deliberate bobcat stretching and rolling, I do undulating sun salutations that I call sundulations, these are fueled by rage and fury at injustice, a purity of useful anger, may wrongs be righted, may my fiery fire be noted.
I was doing eighteen of these every day, but then Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, and it became thirty three, then the unsurprising and still devastating news about the vastness of the horrifying abuses of border patrol, and it bumped up to fifty, and so on.
After E. Jean Carroll was fired from her job for surviving and speaking truth, I had to go dark and take a wellness break, stop consuming news, up to a hundred and twenty one sundulations now, and if I keep reading about it, I will be sundulating all day long. Fueled by the injustice of it all. Fueled and ready. FIGHT ME.
Enough. To the sun!
I look at myself (I am a tree), and at the women and non-binary friends in my life (trees, glorious trees, all of us), and we are all survivors who have learned to mostly not speak truth.
We have the courage to speak it, that is not what is lacking.
We have just been told too many times that our anger is too much, too overwhelming, too unattractive, off-putting. Who knows, they say, maybe it was our anger that made the bad things happen. Then they add that we should smile more, they like us so much better when we are smiling, smiling and sweet. Enough.
Shoot it directly into the sun.
But in the meantime, patriarchy won’t smash itself, white supremacy won’t smash itself, hierarchy won’t smash itself, and so I keep leaping and bounding.
Leaping and bounding, sometimes hovering for a magical impossible half-moment, my anger so transcendent that we levitate, here is my fury embodied within this breath-centered form, ready, ready, ready.
Who knows, maybe today it will smash itself, implode, while I keep circulating, moving, expressing, going through my rounds.
I dedicate my morning sundulations to our lady of Fierceness, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may she have all the strength she needs and then some.
I think about her dedication to life, living through sheer strength and will-power and, who knows, maybe even a little by spite, but mostly just because this mission, however symbolic, of holding fast to whatever remaining shreds of democracy are left, has meaning, and the meaning is enough, the meaning holds itself.
This is also how I think of practice, everything I practice, all aspects of practice, physical, spiritual, whatever, the meaning holds itself. The ritual holds itself. The grace shows up if I show up. BYOG.
And however I show up is showing up.
If we ever get through this (what does that even mean), I want to see monuments of admiration and honor for RBG, for Erica Garner, for Christine Blasey Ford, for Iesha Evans.
Or maybe we will have some new way of marking honor. But my wish is a wish about may we be inspired by their stances.
Called on. Called up. Called in.
I have been thinking a lot about something Lisa Mae, the owner of the Bhakti Movement Center in Portland said in a class once, that in these difficult times we are being called on and we have to respond, and yoga and other forms of conscious movement become a place where we practice this.
I understood her words to mean on one level that practicing body movement/coordination/agility is itself an internal metaphor, how can we be good responders (systems organizing! we need strength and grace, we can call on them!), and of course this is ongoing practice for mind and spirit too, always about presence and readiness, not about completion.
We are never done with the work of undoing and reconfiguring, both internally and out in the world. Getting to a “there” is not the point. Undoing oppressive systems is the point.
Obviously practicing this stuff on the physical level is not available to a lot of people, and also not required, it’s just one way and it happens to be a way that’s working for me right now.
I am not recommending that anyone else do an outrageous number of daily sun salutations, it’s just how I am being pulled in the moment, as I am contemplating these themes of agile, ready, attuned, discerning, listening. In my embodied suchness. In my Prowess.
A breath for this, but also for liberation, justice, and a room of requirement for whatever is most needed right now.
I do my sundulations in compass rounds (eight points to a compass makes sixteen sundulations if you go clockwise and then counterclockwise, which I call a round).
Six rounds makes ninety six, and then however many I feel like after that, though recently one of my Incomings blew my mind by saying, “Just because you have reserves of strength and power does not mean you are required to use them in this moment.”
Still letting that one land.
Anyway, this morning someone was supposed to come give an estimate on hauling away the mighty fallen agave.
And Hellcat M (one of my Incoming selves) told me before my practice to pause my sundulations at exactly three rounds, or forty two sundulations, less than halfway through.
Hellcat M said, Understand that he will come after three rounds so if you’re going to start now, pause there or you’ll get mad at the interruption.
Obviously arguing with an Incoming is as useless as arguing with intuition. Sure, you can fight it all you want but that never ends well. House always wins. Better to just follow the guided guidance of wisdom and wild clarity.
And still, for some reason, I said, I don’t know, that seems unlikely. He called last night to say 9am, he called again this morning to confirm 9am, it’s still early, I have time to do the whole practice.
Hellcat M shrugged like okay babe do you want the intel or not.
So I stopped at exactly three rounds as instructed, and sure enough he was parking his truck in my driveway.
I have written so much about living by intuition aka listening to my incoming selves, and this practice has kept me from car accidents and from being drenched in bird poop, and still sometimes I argue, but that’s me, the rebellious one.
The rebellious one.
After a recent especially magical retreat at the dome in the desert, I had a breakthrough in getting myself to do things that need doing.
More specifically, I realized that in addition to ADHD and general witchiness (and how exhausting it can be to be someone who gets so much information from the world), I am ruled by a rebellious spirit.
I won’t do the things I want to do even though I want to do them because not-doing them feels like the rebellious option, and I will always follow the rebellion.
And so I began turning the things I want to be doing into tiny rebellions so that I can do them while still being true to my deep need to be a walking living breathing middle finger to the world.
Using my rebellious nature as motivation instead of trying to fight it or change it is such a capsule example of self-fluency (working with, not against). I feel so strongly about this.
People will tell you over and over again that the only way out is through, and guess what, my friends, they are wrong.
First of all, the line from Robert Frost that everyone misquotes is actually that the best way out is always through. There are always other ways, [directly through] is actually just one possible way and never the only way.
But also I disagree with the notion that through has to be the right way, I think that’s a very masculine get-it-done ass-in-chair no-pain-no-gain approach, which is often violent, usually unnecessary and pretty much always just a boring way to be in the world.
The best way out.
The best way out is often around. There are so many sneaky loving ways to heal and to live by Safety First, to take exquisite care of ourselves as we are going through (or around!) whatever it is we are experiencing, if you take nothing else from my work, please take that.
Going around does not mean ignoring the painful or the shadow, it does not imply an avoidance, a lack of acknowledging. In fact, it is the opposite of that. You can acknowledge this very painful thing and lovingly choose to alter your course in the interest of layering on experiences of safety.
(Oh wow I see this very painful terrain, I respect and honor this pain, let me get curious about this adventure, how can I learn about the pain from the edges, play from the edges, work around so that we can heal, grow, be in a process of recovery without subscribing to the idea that I have to be in it to survive it… )
Andante andante andante.
I have been really struggling with keeping the dome neat and tidy for all the many reasons it needs to be neat and tidy, and of course this is also the rebellious self who DOES NOT WANT to do any of that.
So I played around with anagrams and discovered that [NEAT AND] anagrams to Andante.
Andante aka the superpower of At A Moderately Slow Tempo, what if we take things at a Walking Pace…
Can we slow time, again, slow but not very slow, a medium slowing, a tempo that is deliberate, intentional and steady. Andante andante andante, I say in traffic as everyone weaves recklessly like furious clowns. Andante. I am a tree.
Andante is the name of the rebellious one. I know this makes no sense, and yet, that is the name she wanted.
I call her to me. Andante, Andante.And I remember to slow down, a sexy deliberate rebellion, doing through undoing.
Of water and before water.
There is being in the vessel of water (bath, float tank, mikveh, hot spring), and there is everything that happens leading up to this being in a state of being in water.
A body of water inside a body of water.
The pre- of immersion. The pre- of fluidity.
I do a lot of entry for being in water. I also do a fair amount of being in water for a desert enchantress. Maybe I will write a travel book about my favorite hot springs that is really about [all of this truth speaking], who knows.
Artemis the huntress, goddess of moon and birth and the powerful things, spoke to me in the water (through the water?) and said, very clearly and deliberately:
If you want to have more time, then you have to do everything much more slowly.
If you want to have more time, then you have to do everything much more slowly.
She kept repeating it and when I asked for more, she told me there is no more information to deliver until I can live by this. Embody it.
Artemis of the arrows, all pointing towards this. Everything. Much. More. Slowly.
I have an understanding of this concept on a spiritual level, and can definitely find some intellectual truth sparks in it, but I’ve got to say, on a more practical level of living life, I’m just like, WTAF.
When I look at my life, and the vastness of the disparity between what I think I can get done in a day and what actually can get done, the idea of going slower seems outlandish and honestly kind of obnoxious.
I know of course that in part I can’t get it all done because the game is rigged and even the idea of getting it all done is a SCAM, the hamster wheel of capitalism, the collective brain-washing that we need to be busy and productive at all times or we are useless and our life has no meaning.
And in part I can’t do as many things as I think because of what is sometimes called time blindness, a term that I think needs a new name but have not yet found one.
And in part I can’t do as many things as I think because there are just too many things, and I have to either choose or trust the fractal flowers.
Can I just take this concept on as an experiment, and be very slow and deliberate, strategic?
I spend so much of my time emulating the bobcat (devoted to sleep, to stretching, to pouncing, to being embodied, I want to be here now), but a thing about big cats is that even their stalking and hunting is patient.
Their stalking is mostly pauses, stalk and stop, slow movement, pause and pause, waiting for the exact moment to strike.
What would it be like to do less and slower, but to do it with that deliberate approach of intention and presence. Can I play with the power of Even Slower Than That?
Again, this requires trust at the fractal level. Yes, operations X, Y and Z all need my attention, but every time I give my full attention to X, this embodied attentiveness and everything I learn, practice or accomplish is supporting Y and Z.
Focusing on any one wish, mission, errand or project is helping the others, through effort, through clue finding, through skill development, through magic. I forget this and then I remember.
So even though there is so much truth and power in the phrase that efficiency is always violent, it is also true (what’s true and what’s also true!) that on the spiritual and magical level, we can work fractally, patiently, diligently, and things can move, shift and progress outside of time.
The Gathering of selves.
Speaking of fractal magic, I used to always have one Incoming Self to advise me at a time, and now I have many.
There’s the big three: the Sorceress, The Desert Assassin (who sometimes goes by The True Assassin), and Hard Femme Hellcat M who is nonbinary. But there’s also the Enchantress of silver snake skin, birthed by Artemis, who is hanging out with me for a spell (all meanings), and then Artemis has stuff to say too, and so there’s a lot going on. Working with multiple incomings at the same time is a trip.
My sight has changed, my insight has changed, everything has changed. I love it, and also it’s a wild upgrade of powers and I have been training hard to learn how to use them well. We are getting things done.
It’s fun and it’s intense, and I’m not sure I recommend it, but whenever I am getting ready to teach the 101 of something, I get hit with the 401, so here we are.
A Wild Outrage of Selves. Here we are. Let’s integrate.
A gathering of incoming selves.
I have been the busiest bee putting the finishing touches on an exploratory course (self-guided but with some online communal play space) on HOW to do this work.
That is, how do we find, meet, communicate with and integrate a wise, loving incoming self, because honestly having internal allies who love you unconditionally and tell you which clues to follow is the best?!
At first I wanted to call this a Gathering, but then this made me ask, what is the collective noun for a collective of Incomings? One of my clients refers to her Incomings as a posse, and I think that is completely brilliant.
What might be the collective noun for incoming selves?
An Integration of Incomings, an Intuition of Incomings, an Impossibility of Incomings.
A Spell of Incomings, a Fortune of Incomings, a Channel of Incomings.
A Sustenance of Incomings, a Shadow, a Murmuration, a Consultation, a Triumph, a Muse.
A School of Incomings (like fish but also like studies!), though possibly a Guidance, a Collaboration, a Felicity, or a Secrecy. Though I think my current favorite is a Pseudonym of Incomings!
You can share your favorites or other ideas for names in the comments of course, I am excited for more options!
An Integration of Incomings: the course!
In the interest of collecting the legacy of my body of work, I have been compiling everything I know about working with Incoming Selves, and here is some of what the course training material includes:
+ how to find them and get them to talk to you!
+ how to reconnect to them when they seem to be hiding or have gone silent
+ how to cultivate a good working relationship and bridge the distance between now-you and future wiser you
+ what to do when things get weird or scary (haha or sometimes weird and scary at the same time)
+ how to encourage Incomings to visit and spend more time
+ ahhhhh and so many other things, a delight
I haven’t made a signup page yet but we will embark April 20 and go through August 16, and instead of doing a birthday sale this week, I am just going to give you a VERY reduced early-bird price of $180 USD, you can secure your spot here! Unless you are in my Sorcery or Agency 2020 programs in which case I have already comped you in!
AND if you are not in my Sorcery program and are wishing you hadn’t missed it, I have three mores spots open, so grab one and you will also be enrolled in the Incomings course!
And so here we are (andante, andante)
I don’t want to stop writing, but we have reached the point where it is time for resting, integrating, letting all this digest, before it is time for the next piece.
Wishing you endless resources of love, trust, support, strength, good surprises, new superpowers, the best allies, whatever it is you need most.
You are WELCOME as always to hang out and keep me company in the comments (I love company), you can share anything that sparked for you reading this, or any wishes you are wishing or superpowers you are calling in, or anything you are hoping I will cover in the course, throw it into the pot.
Powers up, my friends. It’s rough out there and wild energy in the world, but we’ve got this, we are going to keep breathing, grounding down, powering up, humming our hum together.