Saturday, July 24, 2010

Aphrodite, Adventure, Amplification. part III

Doris Lake

Okay, so where was I? I feel like I have to write faster, as the feelings are already converting into the intangible. The memories becoming soft, malleable, and elusive. Like smoke, when I try to grab at it, it dissolves and scatters. I’m sad today, and I must prepare myself for all the work that is ahead of me. But for now, I’m going to allow myself to languish in my memoirs just a little bit longer.

Did I mention that when we were sitting on those flat stones by the river and hot springs, that every time a piece of sand or mud got on my legs, this guy would scoop up some of the cool river with his hands, and so very carefully trickle water over my chunky gams to clean me off? At first I was embarrassed. I get a little uneasy when people get very close to me. Just an example of one of the stored goods I keep in my social anxiety cupboard. I also haven’t shaved my legs (or anything else) for quite a few months now, and even though this is quite natural in many places domestic and abroad, in LA it is pretty much taboo. As much as I fight against the internalization of this stupid societal norm, I still get nervous when someone actually notices my legs.

Ya and I returned to my campsite at seven, two hours before dark. I opened up the cooler that my mom insisted on packing for me. She said that if I let her do this, it would relieve her anxiety about me going camping alone. In the cooler were a dozen eggs, ten boiled potatoes, ten pre-cooked chicken tenders, two bunches of bananas, a package of bacon, cans and cans of beans of every kind, a gallon of orange juice, a pitcher of homemade ice tea, tortillas, a Tupperware full of precooked rice, a steak, chips, home-made garlic salsa, saki, chocolate…I had enough food for a month, and I was only camping for two nights. She also packed me a really cool retractable knife, pepper spray, an axe, and a swiss army knife. She told me not to hike by myself. I agreed just to make her feel better. She also told me to wear extra underwear when swimming in the river, lake, or hot pools so that little fish and worms (ew!) wouldn’t be able to swim up my vagina. I told her that I didn’t think they had those there. She told me not to be so sure because on her island in the Philippines, there is a tiny fish that swims up men’s urethras. Gotta love my mom.

I built a fire and lay down for a bit in my car/tent. Suddenly I heard a whistle and I looked out to see Doug, the camp host standing at what could be considered the entrance to my campsite. Doug was thin, maybe in his sixties, with grey dread locks that went every which way.

“Come on in!” I beckoned.

He wanted to find out if I was leaving the campsite like the other folks. Oh wait. I totally forgot to mention this part. The precipitation up in the high sierra’s this year has been 200% more than what they have had in any wet season for the past 5 or so years. Because of this, water has to be regularly released out of some of the lakes. The company in charge of all this is Edison. Apparently by noon the next day, my campsite was going to be underwater. He said I could find another one but since I was planning on leaving the next day anyway, I just agreed to be out of the site by 10 in the morning. I was glad he was there because my stash was low and the guy I met earlier…oh I might as well tell you his name. Harboring it doesn’t make it any more extraordinary. It’s Michael. Michael told me that Doug was the man to talk to.

“Hey Doug, while you’re here, um, I’m a medical marijuana patient and I’m looking to find some medicine. Think you can help me out?” I don’t even know why I said it like that but I did. He told me he would be back in ten minutes and he was. He handed me an old jam jar with pictures of fruit on the tin lid. There had to be over an eighth in there. “I would love to contribute, Doug, how much can I give you for that?”

“Oh no,” he shook his head, “I don’t want anything, people give it to me all the time so I wouldn’t think of selling it. Just bring some up to share next time you come here.”

“Then please sit down and share a bowl with me.”

He agreed to that and sat down. He told me that he is the only person that stays in Mono Hot Springs year round, because the road becomes impassable from November to April. It only took a little nudging to get him to spill his story. Although he was raised in Oceanside California, he had spent half of his life sleeping on the ground in the mountains. What a people-less paradise it is in the winter! Blanketed in white, the hot pools melt the snow and remain always. He told me about how the bears played by his window because they liked his music. He straps on snowshoes and explores the forest, talks to the trees. He told me that when you live in the now, magick unfurls itself all around you and you can’t help but be in awe, you can’t help but have happiness. He didn’t want to define the Divine, but he said whatever it is, it’s his best friend. He talks to this indefinable divinity, asking it to please share some of the goodness with other people. That is his only sadness, that other people can’t experience it. When I asked him if he ever writes down any of his experiences he emphatically shook his head and told me that he quit reading and writing, and that he hasn’t picked up a book or newspaper in over ten years.

We had sat and talked for so long that it was only a few minutes after Doug left that Mike showed up. For a trip that was about becoming closer to Goddess and Self, there sure were a lot of men at my hearth. Aphrodite is trying to show me some of her sons, I think. I keep seeing the playful Pan archetype. Undomesticated, ungroomed, uneducated, rough and without a drop of elegance. No bling, no bullshit, no games. Spontaneous enjoyment and the ability to be fully present in a conversation. No ego. No need to dominate or objectify, just a childlike curiosity to lightly rub one soul against another. These are the qualities that most men I come across lack.

She was giving me a breath of fresh air. Making sure I’m not using biology to close up my mind. This is an example of how different Aphrodite’s teachings are from Morrighan’s. M comes from more of a …pick yourself up off the fucking ground, realize your own power and kick their fucking asses like you know you can.. school of thought. Rage is after all, a cure for depression. And when put to good use can fuel great change. Not to say that Morrighan’s arms aren’t nurturing and loving. Celtic warriors prayed to Her to embrace their souls when they died in battle, and carry them to the afterlife. It is for Her that we reach in our most vulnerable and miserable moments.

I’m trying to keep these posts at about 1000 words so I will rest here for the moment…

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aphrodite, Adventure, Amplification. part II

...Through the portal I went, nodding to the old guardians as I drove through. These Redwoods seem to grow right out of the sun baked rocks. I threw the car into second and as I came down the steep, one lane road, I could begin to hear the song of the river.

The River She is flowing…flowing and growing,
The River She is flowing…
Down to the sea…

From the High Sierra’s to the sea was a whole lifetime, more like many. I set up my camp, which was easy because I can put down the back seat of my hatchback and make a bed. I use a strawberry shortcake bed decoration that was given to my daughter as a mosquito net and drape it over the lifted back hatch door, making myself an open airy little house. I could feel that my LA rhythm was much too fast for this place so I opened a bottle of organic, Spanish white wine and lit a bowl of blackberry kush. Time to slooooooooooow…

Dusk began to drape Herself over the mountain and the three-quarter moon poured silver light into the mix. I decided to head over to the natural hot springs for an twilight dip. I brought Yaboo! and we walked up some wet, tall grass and came to what’s called, the rock pool. It’s a natural pool up against a flat rock face. I could see bubbles in the pool where hot water pushed itself up from deep cracks in the Earth’s crust. Warm water trickled over the edge of the pool and onto my feet. I slowly sank into the water and sighed deeply. I rested my head against the rock and gazed at the moon grazing the tops of the pines and redwoods. I called to Ya and noticed out of the corner of my eye a man standing on a wide flat rock across the river and up a hill. Yaboo! Didn’t like the hot water at first, but as I began to massage him, his body leaned against mine and he relaxed with pleasure. Mosquitos were biting so I spread some of the dark, mineral rich mud on my bare arms and face to keep from getting eaten alive. When I returned to the campsite, I had enough energy to build a little fire and lay down on a blanket in front of it. I watched as the fire danced itself into smoldering coals. Too tired to even make dinner, I crept into my car/tent and fell into sleep.

In the morning Ya and I went hiking. Four miles of climbing rocks, sometimes having to lift him over the bigger ones, as his body doesn’t allow him to jump so much anymore. We experienced the serene and wild beauty of the Ansel Adams wilderness. We found a reflecting lake and swam in its cool depths to ease the bright heat. We are both pretty out of shape so by the time we got back, we were very sore. Time for another soak.

This time I passed the rock pool and kept going, looking for a pool closer to the river so that I could cool myself off when I needed to and so that Ya Could swim and fetch sticks. I came upon a perfect spot where a hot pool and the cold river met and mixed. However, there was a man sunbathing down there nude, and I felt like I was maybe intruding. But I was so weary and didn’t want to hike around looking for another spot. So I decided to just try and be quiet and give him his space as he was sleeping. I noticed that his body was long, lean and practically hairless like a boy. He had burnt sienna colored skin and grayish hair that fell a bit past his shoulders in the back. He was laying on his stomach.

Soon, Ya’s gleeful splashing woke him and lifted himself up on his forearms and asked me if he was bothering me by being naked.

“Oh no,” I shook my head and smiled, “please just enjoy yourself and don’t mind me.”

I gave Ya another massage. I could feel the guy watching me and then he said that he could tell that I really loved my dog. We began to small talk, and I had to use much self control and concentrate on his face with all my might. He said that he liked my tattoo and if it were an Adam and Eve thing. I told him that the Bible stole the symbol of the snake and apple from an earlier religion and that the apple stands for women’s fertility and the snake is for women’s power, the power to shed skin and rebirth, as well as the ability to reach into oneself and find the wisdom of Goddess, of Nature Herself. His dark eyes took everything I said in like sponges. He smiled really big and the deep lines engraved into his face disappeared and he looked just like a teenager for a moment. Something about his smile was so familiar…what was it?

I felt really hot and realized that I needed to cool off in the river. I threw my baseball cap off and let my hair out of its bun. As my hair spilled down my back, his eyes widened and..BOING!…up sprang his penis, all engorged with blood and pointing right at me. He jumped up and scrambled over to his jeans, which he pulled up over himself in less than a second.

His cock was kind of beautiful, and big, and I couldn’t help noticing that his balls were tight with very little hair. I reminded myself that I find sperm repugnant and haven’t had more than a five minute conversation with a male person in months. Yet, it seemed that I had been conversing with this guy for over an hour now.

“I’m sorry…I have a thing for long hair.”

I just started laughing. “No worries, man, I take it as a compliment!”

We sat and talked for another hour and he showed me around the hills, pointing out all of the hidden springs that only the locals know about. I was starting to feel tired, and told him I was heading back. “Can I come visit you at your campsite tonight?” he asked.

I pondered for a second. “Okay. Come when it gets dark and I’ll be making dinner if you’re hungry.”

He smiled really big again and again there was something in his face that I recognized and understood, even though I still can’t describe why or what…

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aphrodite, Adventure, Amplification. part I

So much has been transforming lately, I really don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with the thing that I can’t stop thinking about since yesterday. The think that has me lost in this perfect moment to the point where I forgot to put my gas cap back on my car after filling up.

On Monday I left my house in L.A. and drove six hours up into the High Sierra Mountains looking for healing…and maybe something else? Mono Hot Springs, which border the Ansel Adams Wilderness. I brought my beloved Yaboo!, my black lab that has been my constant companion for the past 12 years. Last week when I brought him to the vet for a deworming, he was diagnosed with Lymphoma. His glands were really swollen and the vet said that he was dying.

“Are you going to put him on chemo-therapy?”

“No.” I couldn’t stand to put him through that.

“Then your only option is to give him these steroidal medications. They will help his body fight it for a little while, but then they will stop working and he will deteriorate quickly.”

“How long does he have?” Tears began to well up in my eyes. This was unexpected, even though I had noticed how I had to help him into the car lately, or how he smelled weird even after I gave him a bath. I just thought it was old age setting in. Not cancer.

“Oh, there’s no way to tell.”

“A couple years?”

“Oh no,” she looked at me with pity. “A couple of months at most.”

So let’s just say that is the reason I took off to the high sierra’s. To take my furry angel to soak in the healing springs. So much happened there. I felt things there that I have never felt before. I spoke directly to the awesomeness of nature and She spoke back to me! I saw things and met sages. I have so many stories from just the three days I spent there, but for now I am going to focus on that thing that put a smile on my face when I first opened my eyes this morning.

I am rising up like a phoenix from the fire…

I guess I have to preface this story again. In the beginning of the year, I began to transition patron Goddesses. Of course, the Roman Diana is the patron Goddess of my tradition (Dianic Witchcraft) but it has been Morrighan that has been teaching me since around 2005. My name became Boudica for a while even. I needed these sister warriors to help me figure out what to do with this anger that I have been carrying for many lives now. At Imbolc, I felt something new entering. Boundaries were dissolving around me. My skin began to become looser and detach. New cells beneath were dancing to become.

I am opening with sweet surrender to the luminous love light from within…

Aphrodite and water. But wait, I am fire grounded in Earth, not water. And Aphrodite is so…well…fem. Like, I don’t run around in lingerie getting fed grapes by chubby angels. But then I came upon some Aphrodite myths. I read about how she punished a disrespectful woman by making her lust enormously after a bull. The woman ended up having a friend make her a female bull suit so that she could hide inside and get fucked by huge bull cock. Maybe Aphrodite wasn’t so nicey nicey after all. She does seem to have a wicked sense of humor. So I started a relationship with her. I began to slowly realize that Aphrodite (or any of her many names) is extremely ancient and primal. She is desire, the most powerful force in the Universe. It is Desire that thrusts life into motion, propelling our genes to proliferate themselves, to get us out of bed every morning, to bring us to our knees in despair. She has been there since the beginning.

Woah, wait a minute. Do I want to be messing with such powerful and primal stuff? Should I call this power into my life? I was wary at first, but I began to call her in during Imbolc. Summer Solstice I invoked her. I invoked her again last week. I started to feel different, I began to not feel hungry and I am ALWAYS hungry. Before I left on my trip I purified and blessed myself. I thanked the water and asked that my body be Aphrodite’s temple. I promised to worship at Her temple and bring offerings every day. I asked Her to enter into me and spend some time with me to help build Her temple. This is different than invoking because usually you invoke in a circle and then devoke before opening. Always know how to banish what you conjure, that is the rule I was taught. But this is different because I was asking Her to walk with me throughout my days and nights. I felt different immediately. I don’t know how to describe exactly how strange I feel mentally and spiritually, but one of the physical manifestations is that I feel like there is clay in my stomach and I have to force myself to eat. I have a ton of energy though and no headaches. I’m extremely conscious about my health because I don’t want to desecrate the temple. It’s harder to escape out of my body and into my mind, as my body’s voice is much louder. I crave self care, I even went and got reflexology for the first time in my life. Have you ever had someone masturbate your foot? Oh Lordisa!

As I passed through two very gnarled redwood trees on the one lane road 7000 feet up the mountain, I distinctly felt that I was entering Her domain. And it was paradise. Little did I know that She had a surprise for me that I would never expect…but I am going to have to continue this story on my next post…

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tested and Failed

My feminist ethics were tested the other day, and I failed miserably.

Dear Woman who was being verbally abused and frightened by her irrational and irate boyfriend,
I was such a douche (and I mean that in the sense of bearing false advertising and being quite useless) and I'm really sorry and I really hope that guy didn't and doesn't hurt you.

Here is my confession:

Last Sunday I was in my house and heard random male screaming out somewhere on my block. I didn't pay it any attention, as Venice seems like the last haven for every homeless mental patient that our society has conveniently forgotten. There are plenty of crazy men screaming at any given time in this city and I have become de-sensitized to it.

My sister was walking over to meet me for our twilight bike ride on the beach so I went outside to wait for her. About 40 feet away, down my sidewalk, there was a couple arguing. The woman was telling the guy to give her her car keys, and he was screaming at the top of his lungs an inch and a half away from her face. He was accusing her of cheating on him. I stepped out into the sidewalk and glared in their direction, just to let them know that I was there. But then I sat back down on my front steps. This couple was a young, good looking couple. They reminded me of multiple past relationships that I have had (x husband included) where this very same scene played out, in almost the exact same way, and also in public. In fact, this scene has not only been played out by me, but by almost every female friend I've ever had, including my sister, who walked up to my steps at that very moment.

I said, "Is this shit the same fucking yelling I've been hearing for the past 20 minutes?"

"Yes," She shook her head, "I've been behind them almost the entire way to your house."

"Do you think I should intervene?" I'm cautious because honestly, I don't want to get shot or stabbed, and intervening in random folks' business is a good way to get hurt.

She pauses. I'm trying to gauge the situation by running scripts of past experiences where a guy has crossed the threshold from verbal abuse to physical. I think that she is too. She answers. "Yes."

Fuck. I walk out onto the sidewalk again and take a long look. The dude is around 20-23, black, wearing a white v-neck and pinkish-orange shorts. The woman has long dark hair, is young too. White, or hispanic/white maybe. Wearing jean shorts and a black tanktop with flip flops. Both of them are gorgeous. They were standing in front of a black Mercedes. Honestly, if the dude was wearing a crisp blue shirt or a white tanktop with some bright color bandanna or laces, I wouldn't say shit.

"Are you okay?" I call to the woman.

"Oh, yes. He's just..." She has that look on her face that I know so well. That embarrassed, -I can't believe this is happening so I'm going to pretend it's not - look. Still, she instinctively walks towards me.

The man turns towards me to follow her, as she is walking towards me. Fiery eyes are now fixed on me and he shouts, "WHY DON'T YOU JUST MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS!?" I was surprised he didn't call me a bitch.

"Well, you've been yelling in front of my house for the last 20 minutes so now you've made it my business. So, why don't you just give her back her fucking car keys!" I wasn't yelling, but I hardened myself up. In the back of my head I thought, Shit, I am waaaay too out of shape to take this guy on.


She responded, " I didn't do anything!"

She looked at me and shook her head in exasperation. "There was this stupid game on the boardwalk..."


"So what?!" she laughed, "It also said that you were gay!"

Both my sister and I burst out laughing. This infuriated him intensely.


My sister says, "um, hello?, I'm black."


My sister and I burst out laughing again. There is no ambiguity about her race.


"So what?" I rolled my eyes. "I have tattoos too. The reason you're scary is because you're screaming and acting crazy!" Why on Earth was I trying to reason with this guy? He is obviously trapped within his own reality. His behavior was unacceptable for my 7 year old, much less an adult. I began to get angry. This guy was going to make me miss my twilight bike ride too. What is the quickest way I could control the situation? These selfish thoughts led me to break my cardinal rule.

Suddenly, my mom appears from around the back of the house. I knew she would eventually hear the yelling, and I was just glad she wasn't coming from inside where she could get her gun. My mom always has a weapon. This time it was a large, pointy spade. When she saw the irate boyfriend her lips curled back against her teeth and she gripped the spade tighter. I grabbed her by the arm and told her it was okay, to get behind me. In the meantime, the guy had gone back to screaming at his girlfriend. Why wouldn't he just stop?

He was going on and on about how he was all alone, how his family is 5000 miles away and he's trying to fulfill his even though he was in three movies, it just wasn't good enough for a gold digger like her. She kept asking for her car keys, and he kept trying to get her to go into the car with him. She refused and said straight out that she didn't feel safe getting into the car with him. He then screams and punches a tree, then runs to the car and takes off. She tells me that she bought that car before she met him. I remember when my x husband punched out the front windshield of my new Corolla. This guy goes racing up the street, stops about 50 yards away, then hits reverse, screeching the tires the whole way. He double parks it, and then runs out of the car back towards us. I was baffled. I was done.

"I'm done." I said, "Give her the keys right now or I'm calling the cops!" That is my cardinal rule. Calling the cops. Having been sexually assaulted by a cop before, and the general treatment of people of color or the poor by the police brings me no faith in the LAPD. I swore that I would never call the cops on someone unless my life was in danger. He wasn't listening to me. "Fine! I'm calling them right now!"

"911 emergency..."

"yes, I'm at xxx address and there is this guy who is just being really aggressive to his girlfriend and won't give her back her car keys."

"Okay, calm down." What the fuck? I was calm. I walked a few feet away so that I could hear better, as the guy was still screaming at his girlfriend. My goal was to scare him into giving her the keys by calling the cops. However, I didn't think it through because he was imploring her to leave with him because I was calling the cops.

Suddenly, I noticed that both of my neighbors had arrived home and everything started moving really fast. Two roommate bachelors, white guys, mid 30's. Not very likable or unlikeable, but I never really talk to them. I was vaguely aware of what they were doing while simultaneously on the phone with the police operator, who had a condescending tone in her voice already.

"Ma'am, what do you mean, being really aggressive?" there was that tone again.

"I mean, he's not hitting her but he's yelling and screaming in her face."

"What is his race?"

What the fuck? I thought of Oscar Grant. "Um...I don't think that's important, I think you just need to send a car over here now."

"Ma'am! I can't send anyone out until you give me a proper description. Now I need to know his race!"


She made one of those exasperated breathing noises. She began to say something about a gang of young, male, mexican perps with white T-shirts tagging in the area or something, but my attention was now on one of the neighbors I recently mentioned.

He had money in his hand and he was holding it out and booming in a loud voice, " I WILL GIVE YOU MONEY TO GO AWAY AND TAKE THIS SOMEWHERE ELSE." His tone was also very condescending. He was treating them like hood rats.

"Ma'am! Can you at least tell me what he is wearing?"

"Pink shorts!"

Now both neighbors were yelling. At both of them. The one who looks like James Spader says that he doesn't want this shit in his front yard and they need to get the fuck off.

The tall neighbor with a missing tooth turns to glare at the woman. "THIS IS YOUR FAULT TOO FOR BEING SO PASSIVE AND JUST STANDING THERE! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, HUH?"

He was shaming her, and I guess she probably looked to me for support, but then saw that I was on the phone with the cops. Her boyfriend was not yelling at her anymore, but pleading with her to go. She let him grab her by the hand and lead her back to the black car.

"Well now they're leaving because you took so long with this race bullshit!" I screamed into the telephone before hanging up.

So she left with him. And I let her go. After she had stated earlier that she did not feel safe getting in the car with him she ended up doing it anyway. And I am partially responsible for that. I should have just had her come inside and offered her a ride home. Why didn't I do that?

My mom looked at my sister and I and said, "Who knew that the neighbor was such a passive aggressive asshole?"

My sister looked at me and said, "Why did you call the cops?"

I shrugged, "C'mon, let's go on this bike ride before the police really do get here." I did not want to talk to them, but they never did come. Even though I gave them the address.

Sometimes the Universe sends you a test. To see if you can walk your talk. And sometimes you fail (and by you I mean me).

Friday, July 9, 2010

new healthcare benefits explained has this really great link where senators explain new healthcare benefits. Knowledge is power, people, so lets stay informed.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I can't write poetry but here goes anyway

Inspired by the 4th of July. Where we light fireworks to symbolize bombs which we take to symbolize freedom.

Happy birthday America,

Land of the free.

Freedom to colonize what didn’t belong to me.

Freedom to get rich at the cost of Earth, people, soul.

Freedom to make dominating others my goal.

Freedom to grant liberty to any man.

Who is not brown, gay or poor,

Or holds a joint in his hand.

And if you’re a woman, your body is mine to control.

Just like the land that I took long before.

But Look!

What is that on the horizon I see?

A lion?

The Sun?

A Labyrinth?

A Goddess!

She holds a scale in one hand.

The other hand is pointed directly at me.

She claims that She is America!

The Truth and the Struggle.

Freedom of Infinite Creation.

Like light from a prism,

Rainbows of people emerge from within her.

Many rivers come.

Flowing with the blood of innocents.

Trees sprouting from its dark banks touch stars which fall upon me.

I look for my gold and my armies.

But they flit away on wings that whisper of false prophets.

I beg for the compassion that I never bestowed.

And She grants it to me.