Room to be Wild Part I

Homework Assignment from Deep Storytelling and Archetypal Activism: Sketch out the issue to be addressed, describe how it has spoken to you imaginally, outline the response this calls for, and mention how such a project could transform you and the issue.

Derby Playhouse production of  A Midsummer Nights Dream.   ©Keith Pattison 5 Swinburne Place Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6EA tel/fax 0191 2610884 mobile 07703 560871 vat no 605 6235 59 e mail:

Derby Playhouse production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. ©Keith Pattison


Our culture has lost its wildness. On the whole, we have lost the ability to feel the unfettered freedom and sense of belonging of a well-loved child. We have made nature dirty and a fearful place to be. And in doing so, we have squashed the most free-spirited aspects of our innate feral nature and in the same fell swoop cast ourselves outside of this veritable Garden of Eden. Without our wildness, it is difficult to access emotional honesty because such rawness must be contained as a rule of a dignified society. We cannot allow for the impulsive, unpredictable puckish

behavior inside, nor without. We condemn those who would take to wanderlust or spend days just being in naturally wild places. We have desecrated wild lands by covering them with asphalt and shopping malls and squeezed out the coyotes and rattlesnakes to make room for another subdivision. This sterile, linear civilization has become the mirror to our own taming and created a fear-based, trivial existence.

Comfort Creates Apathy

Millais_-_OpheliaWhen we strive for personal comfort and convenience in favor of connection and community we develop an apathetic indifference to the downstream effect of our actions. We pretend that we can cut the cords to our collective soul both from our ancestors and descendants. Even though this separation is imagined and not real, it is powerful enough to make it so that we cannot hear the voice in the wind or see the wisdom of the changing seasons as metaphors for spiritual awakening. We forget that the world is in constant communication with us and seek only to control and contain the mystery. We no longer know the phases of the moon or signs of impending rain or grow our own food. We no longer remember the power of one person or one act of positive thinking or connect to the value of tribe. The loss of our inner knowing that we belong to a loving, connected web of conscious souls in various forms whose lone purpose is to adamantly live the light of an individual spirit has plunged our society into a collective madness.


Announcing Mother Earth Creations

I just paid for my very first application to sell my wares (Mother Earth Creations – a consortium of ceramic mugs and bowls, mug trees, Goddess jewelry, organic bodycare and inspired mosaic art) at the Patchwork Show in Santa Ana. As soon as the mugs come of out the kiln, I’ll be at Company of Angels at Waldorf School of Orange County with mugs and bowls. Over Labor Day weekend teaching classes and selling moon bowls, books at Joyous Organics at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium.
Below are the moon bowls for the symposium. They are to rinse reusable menstruation pads. It’s been so long that I’ve watered my plants regularly with my iron. : ) But this is all about a return to Spirit, my Spirit. I’m starting to prep for teaching over Labor Day Weekend Symposium: Womyn Meets Death  all levels  all ages and Living a Magick-full Life  young women  ages 13-20 (more on that in an upcoming blog).
blood bowls
I’m a little nervous and feeling vulnerable about selling my ceramics. Pottery was just going to be a diversion – something to keep me busy. I was so depressed and sad that my writing was not able to support me and my boys. It was a death that I put in league with losing my dad, grandpy, divorce, broken family and the lost chance for reunion with my bio-father. But I absolutely need to play with the muse, so I decided to play with clay and get down and dirty with myself. And look what I can make!!
I glazed 18 pieces today, trimmed a bowl and threw five mugs and two bowls. When I first started I was happy to throw three bowls in the same session. Now this diversion has become a true expression of artistry and a way for me to play with Creativity Muse. I’m super excited, full of hope and desire. I’m feeling really good about being an artist. Really fulfilled with juicy living.  What peace that wheel brings me!!IMG_0788
And now, the time has come to share my work, my love made visible. Joey made this mug tree from a piece of wood we found on a burn site in the Eastern Sierras. I burned the sigil from my Native Name that Melinda gave me: Dancing Butterfly That Soars on the Wind. That beautiful necklace is made of jasper and amethyst. Sets or mix and match mugs will be sold with and without the tree. How cool is that?!
And I’m writing, writing, writing. It feels so good to be crafting stories again. What a beautiful world.

Dreams Come True at the Oregon Country Fair

Sometimes a highly anticipated experience can surpass keen hopes and dreams. Gratefully the Oregon Country Fair did just that. For nearly ten years I have heard of this free-spirited three-day extravaganza and let my imagination roll around, wondering what could make people sigh so contentedly when they thought of their days on the fairgrounds.

IMG_0640A road trip was in order. Our first stop was to visit my dear friend Ann in Upper Lake. We ate delicious calamari and wings and listened to jazz at the Blue Wing Saloon and perused her new store Upper Lake Mercantile where I traded my pottery for a beautiful recycled rug – perfect for camping… or should I say glamping.

IMG_0600Rambling through the Pacific Coastline we stayed next with Sageman Drums Familia – Kris, Jimmy, Althea and Finn in the Avenue of the Giants – surrounded by ancient redwood forests, ripe blackberries bushes and such amazing good friends and people.

IMG_0605We found Oregon campsites perfectly suited to our needs, bought local jam and rose quartz (definitely for glamping), ate local fish and chips, drank local beer and eased our way into Cascadia – a bioregion in Pacific Northwest, social movement and vision for a country of compatible, open, ecologically focused people. After five days on the road we set up camp at Elfen Wood campgrounds just 1,000 yards from Oregon Country Fair and took a nap in the hammock.

IMG_0678Oregon Country Fair invites you to be the kid running pell mell down a hill with your arms flapping or trying out cartwheels for the first time or dressing up like a cupcake or a tiger or a tree.FullSizeRender (7)

This buoyant open-hearted pulse vibrates through the entire grounds and forms a circle of protection for loving kindness. Its three days without hearing a sharp word spoken surrounded by hundreds of joyous people. Even or maybe especially the babies and kids emanate pure bliss and delight.

IMG_0675IMG_0674There is just so much to see and do with parades, meditation centers, yoga, sacred altars, vaudeville acts, belly dancers, ecology booths, tanning workshops and many stages and alcoves with performers of spoken word, ecstatic Kirtan, hip hop, classic violin, live drumming, rock, funk, on and on it went. The crafted work from pottery to jewelry to glasswork and metal work is so yummy, so dreamy. Joey absolutely spoiled me with treasures. And the food was so tasty and full of flavor.


My absolute favorite moments: trading The Wicca Cookbook for a t-shirt from my inspiration Jen Delyth, creator of the iconic Celtic Tree of Life, and when a girl of 11 or so screamed with sheer delight for her friend who juggled 14 times – absolutely thrilled for her friend’s success. Where else do you find that kind of support – but at Fair.FullSizeRender (6)

Here you feel your bigness and truest oddball self and know deep acceptance. This full expression of being opens possibilities of how to be in everyday life. It’s so tangible, so real that all the drive home I imagined stepping into the Light of My Greatness all the way home and was greeted by an email inviting me to Faeland Festival in New York. That’s what I call an
answer from the Universe.

IMG_7133“She’s an Artist. She don’t look back. She can take the dark out of the nighttime and paint the daytime black. She’s an artist. She don’t look back.” – Bob Dylan

Artist is a coveted word among creative people. Those driven to make things – whether books, music, pottery, painting or clothes – reach out with irrefutable courage and a sense of wonder to answer the call to play. For it is Divine inspiration speaking through and to us that allows us to create. Our lives and unique perspective carve the holes and chamber of the flute, the Divine is the wind. Our creationjamie5s are the byproducts of making love to our Muse.

It’s a vulnerable journey – to be an artist. We dive in, turn ourselves inside out and present our expression of the emotions and visions we feel and share this with the world. In my resolution to fully claim myself as an Artist, I turn to my dear friend Reem Khalil for inspiration and audacity.

Reem designs eco-friendly clothes, including the dying, cutting, sewing and merchandising of her line Refined Bohemian which she shows at festivals. She’s always growing, adding new designs and this year she expanded to include 2-D mixed medium art. Her booth at the Sawdust Art Festival is a cross between a museum and a fashion able boutique. This is how she makes a creative, juicy living.

Reem has her struggles like all of us, but she never seems to doubt herself as an artist. Some people hold a limited view of being an artist – you are only an artist if you have no mundane jobs and every single one of your bills is paid through vastly creative products – you are only an artist if someone important recognizes you as an artist – you are only an artist if you have maintained artistic status for a decade or more, etc. Reem busts through those incomplete and inadequate judgments and emanates the pure joy that comes from playing with the Muse. Period.IMG_0492

Her childlike enthusiasm and open demeanor draws a tribe around her that supports and encourages her work. I can only assume that most of us draw inspiration from her in the process of selling one of her exquisite bamboo vegetable dyed skirts. Her thirst for an ever-expanding creative lifestyle is unquenchable in equal measure to her ability to share and elevate her beloved to artist status whatever their chosen endeavor.

Summer Desires

stjohnswort-woodcutI’m feeling the growing light encouraging me to step more fully into my own light as we get closer to Summer Solstice. My herbal ally for this journey is St. John’s Wort which blooms at the Summer Solstice and has served to drive out illness and evils worldwide for centuries. The flower has been placed at the statues of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses and Christian saint to invoke protection through Light.  It affects our serotonin levels, which impact our ability to feel happiness, and it works as a nervine. The red spots on Saint John’s wort’s foliage are said to mimic the stigmata and the oil turns red like the blood of passion. St. John’s Wort reminds us that it is our Light that leads us to our greatest work in this life.

I find happiness and joy when my life is full of magick in nature and my work is centered on bringing a magickfull life to a wider audience. But that can be damn scary in a world where people get scared and intimidated by the word spell and are inspired and comforted by the word prayer.  Even though they are essentially the same thing. I have been denied work because a potential client read my website and saw my books were about magick. I have been ridiculed and challenged at book signings and radio interviews. I have been recalled from giving a speech at a public school and told to pick up my books because the board found my Teen Spell Book. I have had family members refuse to talk to me when articles about my writings have been published. Not to mention the fear memory of persecution.

prayerSo let’s move onto the Light and clear the muddiness here. In a prayer you seek a connection with the Divine and in this holy conversation you typically ask for something that you dearly want and sometimes, you simply express your gratitude. Commonly you find a quiet space, you may clasp your hands, get on your knees, close your eyes or cast them heavenward – you do whatever makes you feel closest to the Divine.

In a spell, you also find a quiet space and take a posture in which you can toIMG_0197 feel a close spiritual communion with the Divine. From this sacred place, you ask for something that you dearly want.

Perhaps the difference is a spell is considered an act of co-creation. In a spell you are speaking to a Universal Divine Being as well as the Divine Nature within You. Symbols are brought in that represent our connection to the Divine in All Things with sacred items that represent the four directions and this thing you want: the color yellow for courage, stones for strength, a picture of lovers, a feather for freedom, etc. We use rhymes that speak directly to the right side of our brain – the creative side that sees no limitations and speaks in the world of symbols.   Often thgoddess_of_light_by_razielmb-d88buhu.pnge spell is timed with the natural cycles of life, for example, during Spring we might ask for a boost of energy for a new project and during a Dark Moon we might ask to have peace with quiet and learn how to balance rest with doing-ness. A spell is a prayer in 3D. It is a Divine Play with All the World to Create a Magickfull Life of Our Choosing. The etymology of the word spell is simply to “cast your word.” You send out your pure, strong Word with the symbols and timing that emphasize your intention.

With the sacred freedom to create with the Divine, you must accept responsibility. Four questions for every spell: 1) Have you done everything in your power to bring about your desire? 2) Will this desire harm anyone? 3) Are you ready to accept full responsibility for your desire coming true? 4) Will this spell Serve Your Highest Good?
st. john's wort
These answers determine the outcome of every spell and in fact, every prayer. It’s a matter of stepping into the Light and claiming all that you want and well deserve. Herbal allies like St. John’s Wort are placed here on Earth to help us see the Divine in us and all around with their sunshine yellow for courage, history of protection, chemical constituents to lift our spirits and blood red oil to give us strength to sooth nerves. Magick is everywhere.

Pennies from Heaven

gRANDPYI absolutely believe in the power and protection of loved ones from the other side. One of my most favorite Angels is my GraChicamandpy Joe who once again has reached across the veil that separates the living and wherever he is at to provide for his family.

Skyler wanted to go on a surf trip to Chicama, Peru, home of the longest left, but couldn’t imagine how to pay for it. I suggested we ask for donations in his graduation invitation with the faith that the family would rally for him. He just needed to pay it forward and trust it would come back. Our family is crazy, dramatic and above all loyal. I knew they would come through for him.

I didn’t expect to reIMG_0194ceive a call from Grandma Chris and two huge jars of coins that Grandpy had saved. He’s been gone more than 8 years and still Grandpy has found a way to give my son $240 worth of spare change for a change of air.

Grandpy used to call just to ask, “Who loves you baby?” There was a call and response routine. I would say. “You!” and send a long kiss. He would say “Caught it!” And then we would  hang up. That’s it. And I would be all warm and cozy inside, feeling loved and positively protected.

Sometimes there is just no way to deny how harsh life can be. How bruised and battered we can feel when dreams die, love leaves and work grinds out the joy. But when the angels reach through the clouds to help lift the load, I am reminded that life is but a dream and I will get through. All will be well.  I just need to look for those penniesSkyler Graduation Invite email from heaven and one way or another, they will come.

“Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven
Don’t you know each cloud contains pennies from heaven?
You’ll find your fortune’s fallin’ all over the town
Be sure that your umbrella is upside down

Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love, you must have showers
So, when you hear it thunder, don’t run under a tree
There’ll be pennies from heaven for you and me.”

Pennies From Heaven is 1936 American popular song with music by Arthur Johnston and words by Johnny Burke. It was introduced by Bing Crosby in the popular movie Pennies from Heaven.

Ode to Faery Folk at Beltane

Twenty years ago on a crackling burst of Sagittarian fire, I abruptly left my corporate career, dropping the notion of high powered jobs and the money to takIMG_0162e a 10-day course at the Mueller College of Holistic Studies.

When we students squeamed about taking off our clothes in one large room to lie under transparent white sheets, founder Bill Mueller, exploded in frustration. “Your bodies are merely shells housing your spirits! That spirit is where your attention should be.” He then spoke of Esalen Institute in Big Sur, the rugged cliffs, windswept trees and green lawns where peo
ple roamed naked and were kind and joyous, taking classes and workshops on the expansion of their spirit and human potential. This became my elusive Garden of Eden, my Turkish Delight, or perhaps Eve’s Apple.

Several years later, a local took me to Esalen to see the preschool and marvel at the free-standing toilets on the hillside overlooking the expansive sea. They felt kids should not be shamed and closeted to do such natural business as elimination. The powerful vibration of Kwan Yin and Lemurian crystals was palpable.  Oh how I yearned to raise my boys in such a free-spirited, loving environment. But it was not to be and I was devastated.

Now that I had tasted the light, the ordinary world of southern California tasted of dust. I lived off slivers of raw energy from books, drum circles and sacred rituals. How difficult it was to hold onto the magic among the heaviness of the concrete, traffic, scarcity, fear and self-righteousness. I yearned for more and sometimes forgot what it was like to be surrounded by the power of the people attuned to nature, crystals, rocks, trees, streams. Mystical coincidences and serendipity happened, but I wanted to be drenched in such a landscape and bathe every day in luminescence and love.

RoaKobe n I in Ziond trips became the path to freedom, lucid living and dreamlike enchantments that absolutely must last through the drought of living in such a barren desert. When left to fumes, the faeries nudged me out the back door and off I’d be on a mad dash to the lighthearted ways …like a butterfly on a life-giving breeze Jamie Della at 5 dancing with a palm tree suring a Santa Ana wind
to clean air and minds. I let the winds carry my gypsy soul to encampments of like-minded beings where I saturated mind, body and spirit in magical, mystical, charmed, sometimes feral and sky

Back and forth I went for years as the burden of it pulled me down, down, down like leaden cannonballs, making it nigh impossible to fly. For when I did catch the impish breeze I never could completely shake the notion that I should keep my feet firmly on the ground as proof of love and dedication to my children. Unfortunately I fell into a maze of blame and shame to try and alleviate the agony as it ripped and tore at my gossamer wings.

Why do we faery folk tie ourselves to the rules and regulations of society when their ways are not our norms? We should not hold any allegiance to their customs and languages when they are so foreign to the jamiwmuseFae Folk light? Why do I hold my fragile self to their harsh demands and wonder why it hurts so much? The bane of my existence has always been to have a faery’s freespirit and a loyalty to tradition and hard work.  I am now exhausted, spent beyond endurance and must have Fae Magick running through my veins, green trees my canopy and open skies a regular – not simply occasional – bread. For freedom is my sustenance. It may not be their norm, but it is mine.

So how could Esalen possible live up to this dream? It simply did.

IMG_0166Last week, the full moon cast its bluish light on waves like sparkling crystals that crashed with a boom on the black sand and turned into foam of mermaids or white horses – depending on your chosen myth. As a Goddess I stepped into the buoyant mineral hot tubs on a cliff above this brIMG_0168eathtaking view – finally back in Esalen. It was like dipping into liquid moonlight. I dropped in, let go and floated in the warm water.  It smelled of sulfur and wet stone.  I was surrounded by fellow children of the light and the man I love, cushioned in the womblike love of The Mother, feeling peace at last.