Friday, May 31, 2013

Painted turtle

Rob, Georgia and I went to Perry pond on this hot hot day.

I sat in the warm fragrant pine needles and tried to draw while they called me to come see the fish, turtles, newts and frogs they caught.

They found the sweetest baby painted turtle.
The birds were singing in the cool woods.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More Spring Rain

Brings frogs galore!

Including a great big bullfrog. 
And drippy apple blossoms, that are light pink until they open into white flowers.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

sunny weekend

More photos for the website.  Here's one under the peach tree that Rob took of me.  He finally got one where I am not making funny face, talking or laughing.  It is shockingly difficult to get an OK photo and everyone in the family is getting weary of me asking them to take pics, but I think I'm almost done.  Be careful; if you come over I might make you pose as a client for me!

Lily is tending to her Asian Pear tree in the front of the house.
Buzzy friends on the strawberries.

Georgia gives her frog a farewell kiss.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dumping the compost

can be a stinky chore, so Georgia found a way to make it bearable.

Monday, May 13, 2013


How I love it when all the peach buds bust open like bright pink sea shells!

You can see the green leaves shooting out, too.  The birds are singing constantly.  Winter seems so quiet and cold now.

Bee Priestess

More on Bee Priestesses!
Layne Redmond, the drummer I wrote about earlier at
has more information on myspace
where I found this poem that I have heard before and loved.  Martha Beck has mentioned it more than once when talking about failure.

The Gift Of Failure

Last night I dreamt, thank you God that I had a beehive inside my heart; and that Golden Bee's were making from my old and sad failures white combs and sweet honey.

Antonio Machado

Lovely.  I also found this image on her my space page and I love it so much I made it my screen saver.  Bees are sacred and connected to women throughout spiritual history in many different parts of the world.

                      Bhramari Devi, the ancient Bee Goddess of India

Then, Jennifer Posada, a wonderful teacher and Oracle, sent out an email for a Bee Priestess class!
I was so excited. I knew I needed to do it.  Just reading about it sent shivers all over my body.
I wanted to learn as much as I could about the Bee Nymphs and Priestesses and so I hoped to sign up an to save up the money, but weeks went by and I couldn't gather $895 for the class.  I was dismayed.

Here's the class listing from her website:

A Special Spring Oracle Course with Jennifer Posada

A 7-Session Course by Telephone Conference
Finally the world stands ready for the return of the Ancient Bee Priestesses…
Long ago these bee nymphs, part-woman and part-bee, lived as prophetic priestesses who received their revelations while in ecstatic trance brought on by sound, sexuality, nature and, among other things…honey.  The Thriai were three specific nymphs of the Mellissai, as they were also known, who lived in Delphi on Mt. Parnassus.
The Bee Priestesses knew about and used the power of sound, the buzzing of the bees, to heal and travel between the worlds to receive prophecy.  They were also masters of states of pure sexual wholeness, healing and bliss like their other nymph sisters, and in their own unique way, brought forward for the first time in this course.
In addition, the sacred honey they ingested brought them to levels of ecstatic bliss that were a pure communion with the universe and their own deepest natures.  They understood the importance of sweetness and nourishment in life in order for the soul to thrive.
Now it is time for their unique teachings to be brought back to the world, and for the specific messages of the Thriai to be spoken and sung again.  And with these activations to inspire our memories, it is we who will bring them back…
*Learn about the various Bee Priestesses and Nymphs and their special gifts…
*Understand how to move between the worlds with sound and vibration in the practice of the Thriai…
*Return to your own truest nature, and to your connection to the cosmos…
*Remember past connections to this ancient lineage…
*Access your pure, powerful, sacred sexuality through the sexual practices of the Bee Priestesses and Nymphs…
*Return to the knowledge of the sweetness of life, and how true sustenance can bring us to ecstatic states…
*Explore the role of bliss in your life and learn to access it on a regular basis…
Let the bee priestesses reach their hands across the many ages and shine forth from your very being.  Let them lift you and show you new lightness and truth, spreading honey, and deepest healing and wisdom, through your heart…
You will receive as a part of this Course:
~ 7 two-hour sessions by telephone conference, including the teaching for each week and a closing sound healing session
~ Optional weekly explorations and exercises for the time between sessions
~ The opportunity to ask questions and share live on each call
~ Recordings of each session that can be listened to online (in case you need to miss some!)
~ Membership in an online community so you can continue the discussions and sharing the experience after the course is complete!
This is a special 7-part course at the Oracle School offered by telephone conference.
April 22nd – June 3rd, 2013
Mondays, 5 – 7pm Pacific time
7-Session Course by Telephone Conference

The day the class was to begin I sent an email to Jennifer's people saying I was desperate to attend but I could not pay for the full class.  I was especially feeling the need to be a part of the class because I heard that Jennifer would not be teaching the class again in person!  (She is moving to pre-recorded video classes to give her the time and space she needs to write and make music!)
I was thrilled and shocked to get an email back saying,
"The course was full but a spot opened just yesterday, and though the two partial-scholarship spots were already given away, Jennifer said she would be happy to make this last spot another scholarship spot for you!  She was touched that you were so drawn and delighted that a space is indeed open!"
Hooray!  I paid what I could and got signed up for the class immediately and that night it began.  It has been magical and inspiring in so many ways.  I feel like I am in the painting below (which is also from Jennifer's website)  during the classes!  It feels so welcoming and beautiful to be there with 19 other women learning ancient practices.


I sit in my study with a beeswax candle lit and my beautiful local honey from my 40th birthday party

The family has been leaving me alone and quiet while I'm on the phone for the two hour weekly class and I am so grateful!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I had breakfast in bed and then a nice relaxed day, much of it outside.

The House Wrens have made a nest behind the basketball hoop, so no more hoops until after the birds fledge.

We snuck up on the ladder to take  a peek while the parents were away.

We took a nature walk and found a salamander.  I love the light green of spring growing everywhere and the tinkling brook.  I am ready for winter to finally be gone.
We explored abandoned yards and houses and tried to catch cray fish in the golf course pond.  Last year my back was so delicate I couldn't get down the hill to the little stream, but this spring I can do it.  How wonderful to be feeling stronger.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Plum Flower Essence

When my plum is in full glorious bloom I make a flower essense from some of its flowers.
I snip off some flowers into a clear class bowl filled with spring water and let the water soak up the vibrations of the floating flowers, being careful to use clean scissors and not to touch the flowers myself.

Once I have the right amount I place the bowl somewhere special until it's time to decant the water and mix it with oak aged brandy.

I put the bowl in the arms of the tree for most of the day, letting the water also soak up the energy of the bright sun and the singing birds.

When I decant it into sterilized glass bottles and place it on my Reiki grid to get charged up with Reiki energy I am hoping to put as much of the tree as I can into a bottle!   Like a Genie captured and ready to be released when I place it into blends and potions.

Spring Rain

Finally, it got wet and rainy.

The girls made a habitat for some frogs who quickly disappeared.

And the peach tree began to bloom!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Growth and Blooms

I love this time of year!  Claire Walker Leslie, an artist and naturalist I studied with as a teenager,
would say:

 "All Naturalists should get the month of May off.  There's just too many changes happening in the natural world around us.  We don't want to miss anything!"

She was right.  Every day glorious things are happening outside.  How can I worry about groceries and bills?!

The hops are emerging from their spot.  They look so bare and pointy.
The apple blossoms are so sweet, pink-tinged until they open white, fresh and fragrant,  I keep wandering around grabbing branches and breathing in the bright smell of the flowers.

Below is a peach blossom from one of our leaning trees.

Above is Lily's Asian Pear that is blooming like crazy for the first time (We planted it two years ago after her little pear tree didn't make it through the winter.)

Violets everywhere.  I am glad of Rob's loathing of mowing this time of year because the yard blooms purple and white.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I went to the laundromat to clean all the down comforters.

I go about once a year.
It is a huge production.
The dryers always take an hour longer than I think they should.
I usually forget detergent or run out of quarters.
Last year a mentally disturbed fellow patron threatened to kill me because I smiled at her (what was I thinking?)

But, I did it.  I didn't even run out of quarters.
The down comforters and sleeping bags are now hot and fluffy; free of any vomit and urine

 I feel so proud; it is absurd.  I feel like maybe for a moment, I am on top of everything and maybe I should be featured in a Real Simple article.

(A week has gone by and the sleeping bag in the bottom of the basket has been saturated with vomit.  It's in a bag in the basement waiting for the dump or my next trip to the laundromat.)


Oh Magnolia,
How we love you.
Your soft floppy petals and sweet pink face.

The tree was glowing with light and buzzing with bugs.  Petals drifting to the ground in the wind.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bee Priestess

Last year I read about a class at Rowe about the Bee Priestesses taught by Layne Redmond who wrote the book When the Drummers Were Women.  I got the course catalog and ripped out the page, carrying it around with me.  I wanted to go.  Something about it called to me.
Especially this quote:

"In the ancient Mediterranean world, the frame drum is associated with the Bee Priestesses, called the Melissa in Greek or the Deborahs in Hebrew. They served the Bee Goddesses: Aphrodite, Artemis, Cybele, Demeter, Persephone, Neith, and later the Virgin Mary. Many of the bee priestesses functioned as oracles, a highly valued and honored position. The drumming, humming, and breathing practices were traditionally used to develop the oracular aspect of the mind, along with healing physical and emotional imbalances."

It struck something in me.  I really wanted to go and learn more about the Bee Priestesses!  I loved the idea of serving the Bee Goddesses.  But, alas, instead I had back surgery in September and there was no possibility of learning about buzzing techniques and learning to think mythically.  Oh well.

I enjoyed the images on Layne Redmond's website, though.  Her book and her work document and bring forward the ancient sacred practices from when women were the connection to spirit in the community; when they would use drums to enter a trance or creative state.  She has found many images of women throughout history using the frame drum to create a sacred experience.  I have cut and pasted some below.

Procession of regional Goddesses playing frame drums at the Birthing Chapel at Hatnofer’s temple at Denderah.

(What?  Goddesses playing frame drums at a Birthing Chapel?  I want to know more!)

Persephonie with the sacred Omphalos/Beehive/Seventh Chakra crowning her head. From the Archaeological Museum at Eleusis. 


(A sacred beehive on her head?  What?  There is so much I don't know!  But I love that these stone images are still here in our world.)

Bee-goddess, perhaps associated with Artemis. Gold plaques, 7th century BC. British Museum. 

(Oooh Artemis, here you are again.  One of the Bee Goddesses.)

A Melissa, an ancient bee priestess. 

(I love this image.  The way her head is bent in concentration or deference, her bare arms and the big round drum.)

  Melissa is also the Latin name for Lemon Balm, one of my favorite plants I have growing in my garden.  So I looked that up.  And I came up with this.  Who knew?  No on else in the first page of my google search mentioned bee priestesses, but this guy.


To truly obtain a full understanding of lemon balm, within ancient historical context, we must look to the scientific name ‘Melissa officinalis’ for the beginning clues.  The mystique that surrounds lemon balm is rich and spans thousands of years beginning in ancient Ephesus, known today as Turkey.  It is here we begin to understand where lemon balm’s scientific name originates as well as its magical attributes and cherished healing powers. 

“ In the Ephesian ceremonial the life of the bee was the model:  the Great Goddess was the queen bee, the mother of her people, and her image was in outline not unlike the bee, with a grotesque mixture of the human form:  her priestesses were called Melissai…” (1).  Within ancient Greece religious doctrine, the Melissai priestesses served the Great Mother (Rhea or Cybele) or the Goddess of Earth and Nature such as Demeter, Persephone, and especially Artemis.  The honeybee was considered to be a form the human soul took when descending from the Goddess Artemis herself. (2) 

“It was only those souls who had lived a righteous life who were called Melissae, and afterwards they returned to heaven, just as the bee returned to her hive.” (3) Bees were not only important in the cosmology of ancient man but also in their commerce (honey, wax).  Thus anything that helped to attract the valued honeybees to a hive, or keep the honeybees from swarming, gained in stature and usage to man as well.  This is where lemon balm enters recorded history.  Lemon balm was a sacred herb in the Temple of Artemis/Diana, and the herb that assisted the ancient beekeepers in keeping honeybees happy and well fed with nectar."

Ok, he calls the the great goddess grotesque but the rest of the information is very exciting! 

  photo stripofmaenads.jpg

Here are the Melissae dancing.

More on bees later!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring walk

We took a walk up in the woods near our house this afternoon.
Last year my leg was so uncooperative and I had so much back pain that I never made it up into the woods to walk.
Today, I felt alot of sadness during our walk, sadness for the entire year of woods I missed and all the pain I felt when I would try to get outside.  It really sucked!  I'm so glad not to be in pain anymore. 
I'm so glad to be walking in the woods.
We found some emerging American Chestnut leaves and a tiny little red eft.  The birds were singing as the sun went down and the shadows stretched gracefully between the trees.

Friday, May 3, 2013

pug visit

I love the bright creamy color of all the forsythia lighting up the edges of  everyone's yards right now.  Holy crap; they glow!  Here are some branches from my neighbor's hedge.

We walked down to feed and let their pugs out;  it was so fun to see them wiggling with excitement.

Here's Rob and Olive.  She doesn't look like she wants a kiss!

It's a good thing pugs are so patient.

Look at those faces!