Free Your Hair Bridal

A true love of mine is bridal hairstyling, and I want to take a minute to confess that love…..

I love collaborating with the bride on her hair vision, I love the artistry in the small details, the construction of the hairstyle, and then the day-of, when it all comes together in such a sacred space, a bride and her maids adorning and taking care of each other while the hair is being done. It is a very special space to be in as a hairstylist. 

(Photo by Rachel Sumner)

I also love working with hair and flowers together, and many weddings call for this beautiful synthesis. 

I am excited to announce that I will now be officially offering services in bridal hair styling, wedding party hair styling and documentation, groom hairstyling, and wedding floral hair adornment. I also do wedding hair consulting. 

If you are getting married and are looking for a wedding hair stylist, and like the feel of my work, please contact me at howtohairgirl@gmail and we can discuss your needs and desires. 

 

 

 

Aries Hairoscope

coverFriends old and new, thanks for visiting us today for the 4nd edition of the Free Your Hair HOROSCOPE honoring the Aries.

I offer this series to all as an ever-changing and morphing guide for Hair-Centered Radical Self Care, Ritual and Beauty in honor and tribute to each sign as they enter into their place in the Sun Rotation.

With this Hairoscope, we hope to inspire each sign of the zodiac to take some extra time on their birthday month to really love on and care for themselves. Every month, we will pull a card to share from The Moon Deck to inspire your monthly self-care ritual. With the sage advice of The Moon Deck, we will adapt our monthly mantras to bless and honor our own hair. We invite you to share these monthly Hairoscopes with your friends who are of that month’s astrological sign and help them take some time for self love!


For this series, I worked with artist Madison McClain to create our women of the horoscope, and with intuitive writer and healer Aarona Ganesan, co-creator of The Moon Deck, which is the Tarot Deck I use daily to inspire my own personal self-care rituals.

This month, we honor the Aries

Moon Deck Ritual:

(Words and Rituals adapted from the Moon Deck Guidebook, changed slightly to speak specifically to our hair.)

Hair Brush Mantra:

‘I am a Weaver of my own Reality ‘

Weaving our reality is a skill that begins on the Inside. It’s a creative practice that requires us to be attentive while setting clear intentions. The quality of our inner dialogue impacts how we feel and experience the world around us.

Call upon the Spider, who is here to remind you that you are a weaver of your own reality. She is a special creature symbolizing awakened creativity and determination, patience and grace when weaving her web, and the interwoven nature between past, present and future. 

If you find yourself in a position that no longer suits you, now is the time to look honestly, clarity what you want to design, and begin to change it. You are a resilient woman weaving your own story, embody it with your entire heart and spirit. 

Take 5 minutes today to brush this mantra into your hair, repeating it to yourself with every stroke. Be in a comfortable, calm place without distraction. Close your eyes and breath, centering your body as you brush. If you are not a regular hair brusher, here is why we think you should try it, and here is where to get yourself a beautiful hair brush to work into your hair care ritual. If you are more of the combing type, consider a wooden wide toothed comb or your own fingers for a relaxing scalp massage.

Earth Bath Ritual

Weaving from a Grounded Place 

Your self-care ritual for your birthday month, dear Aries, is an earth bath to bring you back to your self so that you can weave from a place of grounded power, bringing the fire with you as you begin your web, all the way through to the end.

Draw a bath

Add 2 tablespoons Sea Salt, and 2 tablespoons Bentonite Clay. Mix into bath with your hands.

Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. I love Cedarwood for this bath.

Soak as long as you can in this bath, allowing the earthy elements to bring you back into your physical body, to a grounded place from which to spin your web.

After your bath, take a walk around your neighborhood. Try and find a spider, and when you do, watch her weave.

 

 

Hair Advice:

Aries: While we are on the subject of bringing in the grounding earth elements to the tapestry of your life, lets not forget the power of earth in your hair. This month, play around with clay in your hair as a texturizer and thickener. My favorite way to use it: See the earth bath, above. Be sure to soak your hair in your salt/clay bath. Feel the effects of it as it dries in your hair. Dig that wild, earthy texture.

For very fine/fragile hair, use Kaolin Clay. For fine-medium hair use Bentonite clay. For thick, coarse hair use Arrowroot powder

You can also put a pinch of clay/powder on your brush and brush it through dry hair to gain the styling benefits of earth in your hair. If you want to use my homemade hair powder clay blend, it can be purchased here.

Now, with your hair all earthy-textured, check out this post on 7 Braid Secrets, and express your inner Spider as you weave your hair into a braid web.

Moon Phases in Aries:

The New Moon and Full Moon are the most potent times for setting new intentions for healthy habits and relationships and creating rituals that are potent in their action. I highly recommend this months Earth Bath Ritual be done around both the 28th of March to observe the New Moon, setting an intention of what you are ready to let go of in your life/in your hair/in your relationship to yourself in physical and spiritual form, and around April 11th to observe the Full Moon, setting intention for what you are ready to bring in to your life. What do you want to manifest? Now is the time.

And how do you set an intention? for those who haven’t practiced it……Speak a little prayer to yourself. Honor it with the ritual of taking an Earth Bath and watching spiders spin their webs.  Hold the prayer in your heart as you practice self love. Make it so!

Please check out The Moon Deck for more musings. Aries babes, may we suggest you get your own deck as a birthday gift to yourself and make a vow to love yourself and your hair more in this coming year.

What would you like to see woven into our monthly Hairoscope? I would love to hear your feedback! We are excited to watch this series grow and change with your input.

xo, HTHG and The Moon Deck

 

 

Ayana Young, Laughing with the Trees.

2 years ago, I found myself desperate for something I couldn’t put my finger on. I have had this feeling my entire life, off and on, that I was missing something really important. I experienced it as intense loneliness, deep grief, and an inescapable feeling of isolation and disconnection. I know that I am not the only one who feels this at times.

I found myself bumping up against these questions:

What fucking matters?

Is there some sort of spiritual path I should be following?

Where did I come from? Who are my people? Where is my homeland?

How do we make right that as a culture, we are so destructive and un-appreciative of this land that holds us? 

How do we fight for the earth that we love so deeply that sustains us and allows us to survive?

Where do we begin to cultivate the strength to look the crisis of of this earth straight in the eye without losing all hope? 

How can I raise my kids in this world with truth and reverence and an understanding of the fragility of our future lives on this changing planet?

Big Questions.

I was being called towards activism, and to the earth, and to some sort of spiritual experience, and I had no idea where to begin.

From the depths of the Russian Taiga, deep in the Boreal forests of the northern woods, a seed was planted long ago. Generations and migrations later, this seed showed up in full bloom, in the form of Ayana Young.

Have you ever been around someone who speaks profound truth in a simple, straightforward way so much that they catch you off guard and make you question what took you so long to see the light? That is what Ayana has been for me. In metaphor, meeting her and following her Earth Action work has been a light at the end of a dark existential tunnel.

Today, I want to honor Ayana Young as being a light and a bridge for so many of us from our own hearts back into the land from which we came. She is the facilitator of a beautiful space where the origin stories of earth love are contained. She is a mother of the wild, a mother of girl dogs, and a laugher with the trees.

Ayana is the creator of For The Wild ( formerly Unlearn and Rewind ) where she hosts podcasts which feature front lines earth activists, indigenous leaders, healers, authors, and politicians and engages them in conversations from the heart on issues related to radical earth renewal.

These conversations take us from the trees, to the oceans, to ancestry, spirituality,  politics, indigenous wisdom, anti-oppression, colonialism and de-colonization, the magic of mycelium, wild horses, psychology, death, birth, renewal, despair, and deep into the roots of the earth and the love that brings us to want to protect her. Activism rooted deeply in love, activism which deeply inspires.

Through these conversations, we learn that to act as stewards and protectors of the planet, we have to be able to understand all of nature as ‘being’, existing in more than just a physical form but in soul and in relationship to all other beings.

Within these relationships, there is a beautiful opportunity to live in reciprocity, give and take. There is an opportunity to lean in to the feelings of kinship we may feel with the natural world. To reconnect and find soul and earth healing medicine in these simple, beautiful connections. And to let them inspire us to act in protection and support of the earth from a place of deep love.

Through Ayana Young and the conversations on For The Wild, many of those questions of existential despair have been answered for me.

I am reminded that any path that leads us from our hearts into the land that we walk and all of it’s creatures is a path worth following. This path leads us to a deeper place within ourselves, and within the web that connects us all. This path leads us to live with more regard and in deeper reciprocity with our natural world. This path leads us away from loneliness and despair and it inspires a sort of activism that grows from a place of love, the sort of love that is needed to be able to keep pushing forward and finding solutions.

Ayana’s work reminds us that every act of love to the earth we walk is activism, and every minute we spend nurturing our own heart connections with the land is healing for both parties. Laughing with the trees, crying with the snails, praying, watering, nourishing and building relationships with the wild.

That is my love letter of the day. I had the pleasure of visiting with Ayana last week when she came through town. We had a lovely afternoon, chatted and laughed and then we visited some of my favorite trees and adorned them with flowers.

We talked about her upcoming Sisters Bonded in Action Webinar series with Spirit Weavers which feature women in activism speaking on the topics of:

Power, Oppression and Intersectionality featuring Barbara Jefferson

Decolonizing and Reclaiming Indignity featuring Jade Begay and Lyla June

Dismantling Systemic White Supremecy featuring Mollie Crittenden & Rain Crowe

Exerting and Expanding our Rights featuring Yasmin Christopher

Direct Action from the Grass Roots featuring Malia Hulleman

and Keeping Sane and Active amid Mass Psychosis featuring Joanna Macy

I highly suggest signing up for this series.

I got to braid Ayana’s hair, finally;) and also give her a little trim and some rose oil. Her braids brought out her inner Taiga Teenager, reminiscent of the Old Country and the sweetness of youth (her last name is Young, after all) I tried my best to encourage her to get deeper into self-care, something that can be hard for those who throw their hearts so deeply into their work. We truly cannot pour from an empty vessel. 

I fell in love with her sweet dog daughter, and she got to meet my human daughters. She left me with a full heart, a shit ton of hope, and 2 half-gallons of strawberry kefir from the farmer up the road from her land in the woods of Northern California.

xo.

 

 

Witches I Love: Sophia Rose

Friends, thank you for gathering here to read this post from my dear friend Sophia Rose.

These past few weeks have really got me thinking about this Witch series and what it means for me, and why it feels so important to share the words and thoughts of this community on the topic of Witches. 

There is something about the history and weight of the word WITCH, and it’s context in our culture, that implies a woman of great power. To be a Witch, we know inside that we have powers that transcend the shallow perception of POWER that is valued in our mainstream culture. To be a Witch, we claim these powers and we make the conscious choice to wield them.

Still with me? I’m really doing my best to grasp a concept that feels quite ungraspable, and perhaps that is the secret behind this power. It is a Beautiful mystery.

Recently, more and more, the word Witch keeps leading me back to the word Woman. Not because I think that all women are witches or want to claim the title of Witch, but because there is something universal about the dynamic and ungraspable strength of women, and the capability of females to heal, create and weave new realities. These are the pillars of Women and Witches.

Strength to be who we are.

Capability to take on anything.

Creativity to create everything from LIFE to ART to COMMUNITY to NEW REALITIES………

Healing the self, healing the family, healing the collective.

Weaving the fibers that patch the holes and bring strength to the places where the fabric of life has worn thin. Reintegrating the world back to balance.

Living in each of our DNA is the fear of being burned for wielding our powers. Quite literally for many of us, this fear is a deep seed which was planted at some point in our ancestral history. Though this series, Witches I Love, we are collectively summoning the strength to rise above these deep fears and own our power.

Today, these powers are needed in a big way. We, as women, are being called on to lead. This series is a safe place to germinate our deep seeds of fear with the safety and support of each other so that they may grow into the flowers of unflappable strength and grace….. and belief in ourselves to be the change and lead the way. 

When we combine our heads, hands and hearts together we move mountains.

Today, we talk with Sophia Rose. 

I have so many feelings and words that I could share about this woman. When I think about her, I feel it deeply in my heart. I imagine her, sitting on rose petals, inside my actual heart. Instead of love lettering her right here and now, I will just share a quick memory, and then she will speak. 

Photo Jess Kollar / the Heartbeat Retreat

15 women sit around a fire, late one night on a small island in the Salish Sea. We have just begun the journey of getting to know one another, each of us slowly sharing our voices at our own pace. Some share songs with confidence, loud and clear and unabashed. Some sit back to listen. Some women have drums. The female children take an opportunity to share songs in the safety of this circle. We witness them for the first time, finding their voices.

I sit with my song stuck in my throat. It was a song that I have held dearly in my heart since I was 5, and my radical Kindergarten teacher shared it with me. It is a song that has always felt like my secret weapon, my elixir, and my affirmation. I have shared the words to it, written from my fingertips on a keyboard and flung it into the abyss of the interwebs. But I have never spoken it’s truth with my own voice to anyone but my own children. I do not yet have the strength to share it.

Photo Jess Kollar/ the Heartbeat Retreat

And then, from beside me came a voice that sounded as if it was coming from a child, a woman, a grandmother, someone beyond the grave….all at once. A song that sung the story of what has been stuck in my throat all these years. A song that opened our eyes and opened the gates of something new. The fire roared. The air thinned. The stars sparkled in the children’s eyes. We listened and we knew. 

I will never forget this, and I will always feel deep gratitude for this moment that brought me a step closer to the song of my own heart. There is nothing more powerful than women empowering other women. And it can happen in so many ways. Thank you Sophia Rose for sharing with us today and always.

Please click over and play this song as you read on.


Witches I Love: Interview with Sophia Rose

// Throughout this interview I often use the word “she” to refer to Witches, but it feels important to acknowledge that each and every Witch has their own unique expression of gender, sexuality, as well as varying chosen pronouns. However you choose to identify, it is my hope and intention for you to feel seen as you read the words that follow and feel included and welcomed within the conversation taking place.

The photos in this series were taken by Jonah Welch in Lone Grove, TX on January 1. 2017​

 What does the term Witch mean to you?  

A Witch is someone who understands power and has cultivated the humility to weild that power wisely and for the greater good.  A Witch remembers the subtle ancient language that the whole world is always speaking but that most humans have forgotten.  A Witch cultivates and tends to a reciprocal relationship with the Land and Spirits where she lives. A Witch trusts her intuition about all else, yet remains curious, knowing that there is always more to know.

How would one know that one was a witch? 🙂

Like all things in life, I believe we must be self-defining.  Just as it is the domain of each person to define  their gender, their sexuality, their politics, so too is it with magic.  Some may also choose not to self identify in any of the ways I mentioned, prefering instead to honor their lived experience without labeling it.  I think that’s great too, and perhaps more honest.  But there is a power in naming yourself, in claiming what and who you are.

It is a cumbersome word at first, this Witch.  But when you begin to embrace your true nature, the essence of who you have always been, you begin to grow into yourself in new ways and to feel more at home in the world.  The meaning of words is always changing.  Language is living and it is shaped  by our use of it.  The word Witch does not necessarily have to be refer to any one static thing.  You don’t have to be a Woman to be a Witch.  You don’t have to memorize Spells or purchase esoteric ingredients at Santeria shops.  You can do those things, and many more — but they are not what will define you.  The strongest Magic is often also the most simple.  But it takes many years, or even lifetimes to reach this simplicity.  Sincerity, humility, and deep listening are at the core of my Magic and characterize the practices of other witches I admire as well.  The form and outward expression that that Magic takes is of far less importance than the Intention and the Spirit which animate it from worlds that cannot be seen, but only felt.


Talk about intention and manifestation.  How do they work together? Can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?

Intention is similar to Prayer, but more focused on action in the world of the living.  Intention is paramount in healing.  When I work with people in my practice as an Herbalist, helping them to clarify their Sacred Intention for our work together is the most important first step and the North Star to which we return again and again.   If you are uncertain of what it is you desire, then that thing is far less likely to occur in your waking life.  Most of us don’t really know we want though, at least in any kind of specific way — and that is where Prayer comes in.  Prayer guides us toward Intention.  Prayer means many things to many people.  It can simply mean getting still and quiet.  It can mean asking for Guidance from the Trees and the Rivers, or from your Higher Self, or from the Creator.  I pray all the time, but most of all when I feel lost and unsure and I need to be guided back to my Will, and to the place within myself from which my Intentions arise with crystalline clarity.  When I was in my early twenties, I started a journal of sorts, called Book Of Visions, To Call Into Being.  In it I wrote, often in great details, what it was I wanted to see unfold in my life.  Some of the things came true, others did not.  I am grateful for both.  Those Visions which did not come to pass, in hindsight, would not likely have brought me much real and lasting fulfillment, ultimately.  And those which did, I am enjoying the fruits and lessons of still.  There is a wisdom greater than yours or mine which decides our Fate.  We can merely steer the ship, not change the winds which guide its sail.

Right now, I really want to make my first vision board.  For many years I have judged them as being cheesy and overly-simplistic, dismissing them as something that privileged white women in college dorm rooms made in hopes of landing their dream job or perfecting their Spring Break beach vacation.  But I’m embarrassed to reveal that I once judged so harshly — for, as both my teacher, Sean Donahue, and his teacher, Karina Blackheart so wisely state “Witches work with all things.”  And I am coming to judge less and less, thank goodness.  For no matter what one is working to manifest, or what form their Magic takes for conjuring it, on a personal level we are mostly all striving for the same basic things in the end — Love, Community, Family, Home, Health.  

Update // vision board complete and on fleek


How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?

We are like bees in a hive.  Each essential to its functioning and interdependent with one another for our continued survival.  Witches are like crystal points, all shattered from the same original cluster and scattered across the Earth in a constellation of glimmering wisdom.  We touch in with one another here and there, and often find ourselves possessed of the same ideas, the muse having come to visit each of us with a similar tale to tell.  We are just people who remember to remember, who know how to listen, and who make space to speak what is true.  We often work in solitude, but remain connected through the mycelial web which weaves us together, mushrooms fruiting in unique shapes and colors and sizes throughout the forest, all springing from the same ancient and subterranean source.

Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (books? Plants? etc)

Dont’ be afraid of messing up.  Or saying the wrong thing.  Just listen to the magic that is your own, then do that.  If you feel called to sing to the waters of the Ocean, that is your magic.  Heal the Ocean with your prayers.  If it is stones which speak to you most clearly, ask them how you can serve them best.  Above all else, listen to the guidance that comes from the Natural World, from whatever allies you walk with — plant, animal, mineral or ancestral.  Answers for what your own magic looks like, will almost never come from watching another perform theirs.

Do what feels right.  There are magical teachers, and they important.  I have always just listened and followed the path that was spoken to me by Spirit. I think the best place to start is just by honoring yourself and listening to your own intuition.  The path will reveal itself little by little.  Do not rush.  Flower Essence of Impatiens is a good ally.

I also encourage you to make Relationship with the wild places where you live.  These places can teach you much about Magic, about yourself, and about, how to walk in a good way as a Human.


How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?

This is such an important question.  In a time where many people see “sending love and light” as a totally valid response to the problems of the world, just owning your shadow and showing up with something that is not pseudo-spiritual fluff is fucking revolutionary.  Because if we, as individuals, continue to live our lives under the false pretense, that we can simply “send love and light” to people who are dying and being oppressed as the result of very real systems of oppression, then we are in fact complicit with the violence that is being perpetuated through our silence.  And I believe that this begins with witnessing and sitting in our own darkness, our own fear, our own shame.  I’ve got it.  I’ve got a lot of it.  I have not spoken much about my early life [publicly, that is] but one day hope to come to a place of resolution and understanding that will allow me to contextualize what I’ve experienced and be able to share it in a way that is healing not only for me, but for folks who have gone through similar things and must carry on as though everything is just fucking peachy (read anyone who has experienced severe trauma and must continue to live under systems of capitalism and patriarchy).  I also believe that it is because of the difficulties that I faced early on in my life that I have grown into the woman that I am today.  Everyone says that right?  Well it’s because it’s true.  When we can sift through and sit with the shadow material in our personal lives, we are able to claim and express our brilliance and creativity and power in equal measure.


Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power, speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.

I really admire my friend Hannah Freeman, who has always said, with no bravado whatsoever, that she enjoys being uncomfortable, because of the opportunity that it presents to learn and grow.  I am not so brave as she, most of the time.  I really got a kick out of this meme I read on the internet recently — “You have no idea, how far out of my comfort zone my entire life is.”  And I think that’s a good thing.  I am someone, who if I succumbed to my introverted urges, would probably almost never leave my house, and yet there is a wiser and wider part of me which led me to drive around the country in a freakin’ huge deisel truck all by my self for half of the last year.  Our fear will always be there, and we can’t let it get in the way of the life we are each here to live.


Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey.

My journey is intimately interwoven with my Medicine Path as an herbalist.  I tell the early part of this tale here and relay more recent developments here.  But of course, I am living it still.  The work of a witch is in waking every day, and both finding and making meaning in the World in which she walks.


What is our role now, as witches of this world, and waht is a potent way that you would like us to be using our collective powers to heal?

1.  Every magical act is also a political action.  Right now, we must use all the tools at our disposal, including our voices (both online and in person) to fight hate, to fight racism, fascism, classism, mysogyny, homophobia, and so forth.  I believe that the Internet is Big Magic.  Use the Internet skillfully.  Use your phone as a magical tool.  Respect them both.  Understand their power and use them for good.  Organize your community and educate yourself.  Remember that knowledge is power.

2.  Many of our Magics are private and quiet and internal and unseen.  These are no less potent or important than the visible ways in which we wield our power in the outer world.  If anything, they are made more precious by virtue of their remaining personal.  Do kind things for other people, all the time, and don’t bother much about whether or not they notice from where the kindness came.  Create small rituals of daily self care that are for you and no one else.  This is foundational.  One of the greatest perils of magical work is the very real consequence of exhaustion.  This is something I have struggled with and tend to espouse ad infitum.  Self care is a radical act within a system that does not value the health of the individuals that make up that system.

3.  Nice is a four letter word.  I do my best to stay away from nice people.  Nice people are often being dishonest, not only with you but with themselves.  To be nice, you must compromise yourself and your own needs and boundaries.  To be nice, you must put yourself last.  To be nice, you must not let the world know, what it is you truly think, feel, or want.  Stop being nice, please.  Just stop.  For you see, niceness comes at an extremely high price, in the form of repressed emotions, internalized violence, and feelings of powerlessness which lead, ultimately to resentment toward others and sometimes even illness expressed in the body.

Kindness, in contrast, is honest; it is wildly brave and compassionate — but not always pleasant, and certainly not always nice, in the moment. Kindness is fierce and impersonal at times. It has taken me my entire life, thus far, to settle into this knowing, and to say with conviction that I am not a nice person, but that I am kind, through and through.  And I struggle with it still, often feeling misunderstood by the wider culture in which I am expected to play a certain role, in which I am expected to be unquestioningly nice. Recently a very good friend of mine, and a fellow witch, wrote this wonderful piece about the difference between being a nice girl and being a strong woman.  Everything in my body responded with a loud and clear yes as I read Asia’s words. And I imagine that yours will too. So please, stop being so damned nice and begin to explore what it looks like to be truly kind.  Oh, and while you’re at it, stop apologizing.

4.  Do what works. Working together, doesn’t always look like working together. For better or worse, I have never been much of a joiner.  This really rubs a lot of folks the wrong way.  When I receive invitations to collaborate or participate in a project, unless I sense a very clear and unmistakable YES, I know my energy is better focused elsewhere [see, point three]. When I feel genuinely moved to support someone or something — I will do so fiercely, naturally, and with my whole heart — and still, that does not always look like direct involvement in the outer world.   As my totally luscious friend Vanessa so eloquently states — “My work is not to please you, it is to give birth to Something.”  Sometimes that work is done in solitude and sometimes it is done in partnership, in collaboration, in a group, or as a community.  Always, it is done in cooperation and in respect.  Your work looks how it looks.  Do that. I promise your allies will find you.

5.   And finally, remember that this is not a competition.  Whether or not we are directly working together, it is vital to acknowledge that the success of each individual and is integral to the success of the wider community and cause of which we are all a part (read: smashing the patriarchy, honoring ancestral wisdom, creating safe spaces, and communing with Nature).  As a primarily femme and female-identified demographic, we been socialized to compete with one another and we have to actively work against that impulse in ourselves, remaining honest, humble, and curious when it arises. It is so crucial that we compassionately deconstruct this internalized social programming and recognize that the work that we each do individually is a uniquely meaningful and irreplacable contribution to the more beautiful world we are all working so hard to midwife into being. Because we got this, but we need all hands on deck to do the sacred work that we are being called to at this time. This includes you, your mother, your daughter, your sister, and all the bad bitches, wise witches, and fierce femmes in your life.

P.S. Happy Birthday dear Sophia Rose.

And thank you to Jonah Welch for the photos.

Thank you all for being here. xo

Witches I Love: Words with Siddal Farmer

Welcome back for our next edition of Season of the Witch, from our Witches I Love series featuring witchy women with unseen powers and beautiful insight on owning their inner Witch.

I am producing this series with the intention to be witness to a conversation that I feel is really important, in this time when owning our own powers and using them for good is of utmost and dire potency.

These women are ordinary, extraordinary humans just like each of you who are read this today.

 


Meet Siddal. She is a woman, a mother, a partner, a ceramic artist, a hairstylist and a Witch (to name just a few of the many things that she is.)

We met when we worked together as hairstylists. We bonded over motherhood and cooking and our partnerships and our families and all those little things that are shared in the back room of a feminist hair salon.

Siddal and I started sitting together monthly in a full moon circle with a small group of women last year, a tradition which started when the Summer turned to Fall but faded away with the Holidays. We are still working on getting the group together again. It will happen, and in the meantime, I observe the full and new moons with a new sense of purpose and intention. The circle remains unbroken.

What Siddal brought to the group was a deep knowledge and reverence for the Craft itself. Siddal comes from a traditional and disciplined practice of Wicca, which she has studied for years both independently and within the structure of a coven. She weaves this earth-based spirituality and tool-kit for divination very beautifully into her daily life…….Naturally, as a woman who has really inspired my path, I asked her if she would take part in this interview series.

Today, we thank Siddal for sharing her experience, and we hope that her words enrich your life and further empower your journey, whatever the path may be.

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What does the term Witch mean to you?

I came across the acronym W.I.T.C.H many years ago…Women In Total Control of Herself. Sums it up pretty well! A witch knows herself and strives to harnesses her power in all ways. Her shadow side and her sun lit side. She loves, protects and works in harmony with the Earth. She respects the balance of nature and acknowledges, embraces, and celebrates the cycles of the Earth and Nature. She celebrates the Goddess within herself and others. She is someone who doesn’t let stuff just happen to her. She is not passive and allows that the universe gives her lessons but doesn’t just sit back and waits…she takes action.

 

How does one know that one was a Witch?

For me it was something always under the surface, a sound, a mummer …when I finally recognized that part of myself it was like a chord was struck. I felt in harmony with the Earth and Elements….a coming home. I think it is different for everyone. Don’t be afraid to be quiet and listen to those inner voices. They are so wise!

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Intention and manifestation

Thought and action. But learning how they influence each other and how to focus is key. Your intention needs to be so clear and focused to manifest. For me prayer, spellwork, intention and manifestation are all one. Spellwork has been helpful because having concrete items or props (stones, herbs, food, candles) to focus my intentions helps me to stay clear and grounded. Also helps to keep that focus present so your higher consciousness can do its work. I’ve had many experiences with spells coming to fruition in amazing ways….. my husband was called forth from a spell in high school! I wrote my intentions for my perfect partner, with a long list of wants and needs…. we started dating the next year. I told him about the spell, he was skeptical! But we have been together for 18 years now. Even during our difficulties I remind myself that there is something to learn. I manifested this relationship and I asked for someone who would challenge me! Caveat- This was not a love spell. It was not directed at a particular person…I do not believe it is ok to mess with some ones free will. My coven once did work for a friend who asked for help. She was pregnant and was torn about what to do about it.… not an ideal situation for her. We focused our intentions on helping her with decisions, keeping her safe and the best outcome for all involved. She ended up miscarrying a few weeks later. Although a very difficult thing for her she did believe it was the best thing at that time. We did more work afterwards on healing, understanding, and forgiveness.

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How do you think a coven is magnified in power to an individual Witch?

Greater numbers = greater power. Laws of attraction…like attracts like. When I practice solitary I feel empowered but when I was in a coven or practicing with others I can really feel the magnitude of our collective power. It’s a physical thing, the power. A buzzing, thrumming, intensity. It’s magnificent! If all of the women in the world could focus their power together we would be unstoppable!

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Where would you direct a women who is interested in exploring her inner Witch?

I started with books, Im a voracious reader and really feel connected to books. Starhawks Spiral Dance was one of the first books I read that wasn’t mythology or fable. It made so much sense to me. Things started clicking after that. Really any of her books are wonderful. And if you are a fan of fiction her novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing is so powerful!! Other authors I’ve enjoyed –Scott Cunningham, Merlin Stone- When God was a Women, The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler….

But also learn to sit with yourself. Meditate under the Full and New Moon. Start paying attention to nature and the cycles of the Earth. Find the quiet in your life and honor it.

 

img_6643How do facets of our souls effect the process of owning our power?

I think some women shy away from owning their power because of a fear of the shadow side….but you can’t have light without dark. Balance is so important and needs to be considered with every intention. Delve into your shadow side, without knowing it you cannot be balanced.

 

Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our own power?

Partly the way most women are raised in our society…I’d like to think it is changing…but the fear that so many of us have and experience creates a block to access our power. Strong women are not looked kindly upon. You are a bitch if you speak up, a whore if you show any comfort in your own sexuality….

If we can learn to deal with our own fear then we can come in to our power.

Start small, work on yourself. Then you can start to make changes in the bigger world.

 

7u6a7125My personal Witch journey

I was always drawn to myths and legends, stories of Gods and Goddesses. I read two books in elementary school that really influenced me- the Egypt Game and Juniper. In the Egypt Game the act of creating altars and asking the Gods and Goddesses for wisdom and guidance spoke to me. It felt more real and connected than the Christianity I was raised in….and Juniper was all about a women in pre-Christian Europe. A witch who worked with herbs and was a healer. I think those two books helped set me on my path. I read a ton of mythology from all different cultures. In middle school and high school I started reading about other religions and found Pagan chat rooms on Prodigy (early internet chat). Others I spoke with started turning me on to Starhawk and other authors and I dedicated myself to the Goddess in high school. I was very private about this…not ready to share with others. My folks were pretty nervous but my mother tried to understand and read some books as well. She still doesn’t understand….she was raised Catholic and that resonates strongly with her. In college I was invited to be in an Alexandrian Coven. My High Priestess helped me work on much of my fear and helped me learn to focus my power. But I eventually felt that Alexandrian Wicca was too structured for me and left. I started a more eclectic coven with friends and that felt more in tune with what I was striving for. When I finished college and moved across the country I started practicing solitary again. Now I have been working on putting together a women’s group that can meet regularly. Hard thing to do! Making the regular time to meet can be difficult for everyone with families and life. But  I believe it is so important, especially now, for women to join together and share and focus their power and energies. Our world need us!

 

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