Five Years Around the Fire

The last month has been very full, and I wanted to write about all the things going on in the background.

First, a correction to my last blog post. A Reader pointed out that my closing could be read to imply that I took it hard when someone declined to use BDSM as a path to growth. I've tried to correct the text as I see where that reading came from. My disappointment is when people choose not to find some path to growth, whatever path is right for them. It's also true that I do yearn to find people to more closely share parts of the journey with, but typically my reaction to seeing someone find a path to growth different than mine is joy and happiness.

Five Years around the Fire

This June, I was dancing around the fire and realized I had been dancing for 5 years, since June of 2011. I stood by the same lake where it all started, home in my community--my tribe. There was a break in the drumming and I began to speak. I told about how I came to that first fire those years ago. I felt at home; I felt like I had done this before. I wanted to dance; I asked if I could. It was "not recommended." I kept edging closer to the sand where the dancers danced. Soon, I found myself dancing, doing what I needed to do rather than what others told me I should do. I told how I found my goddess, my community, and how it changed my life.

Apparently that was what several people needed to hear. They came up after, and shared their stories of growth. It was good to hear that I had made a difference--that I had helped people.


The healing at Beltane was an important step, but I continue to struggle, filled with self doubt. I've been asked to help someone do some ritual work, asking Venus to help approach new skills of love. Approaching that has been hard: connecting with myself and connecting with Venus have all been difficult. Even preparing ritual space in my new apartment has been a challenge.

Finally, a few days ago, I tried to open myself. I'd dance, my mind drifting. I'd clear it, and some worry would re-enter. I'd clear again, and once more, some form of stress would intrude. Then, I began to be worried about being stressed. It's almost impossible to clear your mind when you're doubting even your ability to clear it.

I decided to grab a snack, return and see if I had more luck. I stood, a peach in my hand, prepared to bite into it. I remember at my second Fires of Venus asking someone who worked with Aphrodite how to offer to her. He talked about how she valued offerings of pleasure; even the pleasure of eating a peach can be offered to Aphrodite. So, rather than the three bites I planned, I slowly began to eat the peach, appreciating the juice, the flavor, and the texture between my teeth. I offered this to Venus.

"Ah! Finally," she said. "You're so stressed, so busy, that you don't even take the time to be happy."

As usual in such things, she was right. There are lots of wonderful things in my life right now; without a doubt I'm building my best of all possible worlds. However, I'm not there right now, and I'm frustrated at how slow I'm moving in some ways. She was right: even in my spiritual work, even when doing things I'm really proud of, the hustle, the struggle to do as much as I could got in the way of pleasure and happiness. It also gets in the way of being open to myself and open to connection.

"You're going to have to do ritual work to get to a place where you can plan the ritual."


She didn't bother to answer. By this point I ought to be able to put together such a ritual to help myself. After a few false starts, I had some ideas.

Since then I have gotten better at opening to pleasure, opening to her.


I'm at a point of transition. I'm starting to realize some important lacks in where I am. The love work is more important than ever. Every day, I learn of new incidents of hate, fear and disconnection. I don't know if my love work can make a difference, but it's the thing I have to give. Love is needed in the world like at no point previously in my life. I listen and it feels like I'm trying to sell last century's fashion as I strugle to find a way to interest a world ever-more-fixed-on-hate in the power of love. Yet, I know I've made differences to individuals, made differences in small communities. I know those differences ripple, and those differences are what I have to offer until I find some better approach.

So, I began to gain clarity in what I'm missing, or at least what I hope for. Soon, I suspect I will begin to approach how I would manifest those hopes.


I've finished a first draft of Lover's Shadow, my first novel-length fiction. I think there's a lot to be proud of in what I've written. I think it is more accessible than my writing hear, but explores important messages about how we might approach each other with love and openness across gulfs of disagreement and fear.


I've even found an editor to help me edit it. He's new to editing just as I'm new to writing. However, he has promise and dedication. He has the kind of detail focus I need. He started by jumping into working with me to revise my most challenging story, a monologue filled with idiom, some of it fabricated from my imagination. His approach is effective, and while I'm smarting from some of the criticism, it's exactly what I need to hear in order to grow.

I think I will have things to offer myself. In my own way I'm good at grammar, usage and language, and it helps to have a community one can trust for those discussions. Also, just as he's giving me new things to think about, I think I've challenged him to think about new dimensions in writing.

Give Thanks; for there is much of joy afoot!