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Articles tagged with: writing


come along for the ride


Continuing to tail-wag my dogself back into a good flow, I give thanks for the reprieve from caffeine. Specifically, I give thanks for the reprieve from the tyranny of habit. Spirit guided me to notice that my caffeine intake had climbed to at least 500mg/day between various drinks and pills;  stubborn habit-clinger insisted this couldn't change. I give thanks for having been able to access the wisdom that so much caffeine is not bringing the specific results I desire and is very possibly doing harm. Taking so darn much, I feared the withdrawal. But this is day two of a much more moderate amount, and the withdrawal's as subtle as the caffeine itself had come to be.

Tolerance isn't necessarily a good thing. How much do we tolerate because it's slipped beneath the threshold of awareness?

Plant for the Chi-Cross Spell

a throwback post

Plant for the Chi-Cross Spell

In this spell so far, "it is what it is" is not the whole story, and a chiasmus, like that phrase, is an arrangement in the shape of the Greek letter chi χ, or of the cross.

Nice timing, yes? We're looking at the shape of the cross on Easter. Easter which coincides with Pesach this year, unusually but perhaps unsurprisingly in a year already so replete with astrological coincidences and cooccurrences.

Only if it isn't what it was

and other cliches

Only if it isn't what it was

"It is what it is."

How we love our cliches in our poetic little hearts. Those five monosyllables, comprising just three distinct words, symmetrically arranged, trip off the tongue. The vagueness of the "it" pronoun lets you feel just short of flat-out tautology, and with "the right inflection and body language, you could purport to be saying something quite deep.

Word of the Spell: Apprentice

catching hold, holding on

Word of the Spell: Apprentice

It seems appropriate that this spell's word should be


since we're talking about undertaking an herbal apprenticeship, and about apprenticing to the plants. There's a nice parallelism, word-wise, event-wise, life-wise, with my recent initiation into the Sufi order--both are part of my "spell" nexus, and both involve setting aside my own judgments, preconceptions, and stories, and opening my ears and heart to guidance.

The "surrender" piece is so important, but let's take a look at the etymology of "apprentice" and see how there's another side to the story.

Word: Remember, Two Ways

Spell: Part 2

Word: Remember, Two Ways

Since the first part of this spell was about remembrance as a tool for creating boundaries, the spell's word is


*The picture is of Mnemosyne, the ancient world's personification of memory, as portrayed by Rosetti.
This looks like an easy one, doesn't it?

  • Re = "back"/"again"
  • Member = "a part of an organized whole; literally a limb"

And with dis = "apart" and dismember as an apparent opposite, meaning "to break down into constituent parts," we can tell a fine story of how "remember" is a process of putting things back together, taking the separated parts and putting them back together, how all parts of a memory are essential constituents.

It's a great story, and I think it can be a valid story, but it's not the actual etymology of "remember."

New Format: Three Takes on a Spell

My New Year, New Gong

New Format: Three Takes on a Spell

Yesterday was my birthday, my personal new year. A good time to restart the broken Gong and to learn the lessons from having it break.

The Internet hasn't been available when I've needed it in recent days. An opportunity to go inward and let what's needed for this next phase bubble up spontaneously.

What does that mean for the blog? I'll tell you, and then I'll show you with the first post in the series, tomorrow..

I'll be continuing with the "cycles within cycles" format, including three blog posts in each nine-day period. This one, the introduction, is extra. But now, each of these nine-day periods will have a theme. Each nine-day period will SPELL something.

When Ignorance Was Bliss: A Look at Tetra pak

now what do I do?

When Ignorance Was Bliss: A Look at Tetra pak

Identifying threats and getting paranoid; insisting on optimism and burying your head in the sand--it's a daily struggle to find the balance. There are real dangers in all of our environments, some of them undetectable to us,  whether an odorless gas, a flavorless chemical, an attacker under the bed, a disruptive frequency. On the other hand, it's possible to become so stressed and doom-laden that we sicken and paralyse ourselves.

You might not have guessed, but my slight tendency is toward head-in-the-sand and hope for the best. Yes, I won't eat or drink out of plastic, but I still use the Vitamix with its "non-BPA-but-still-plastic" pitcher daily (although I'm saving for a stainless steel pitcher for it). I'm aware that electromagnetic frequencies can disrupt our own vibrations but I use Wi-Fi and a cellphone. I've been known to put oil in my car and not wash my hands right after, and to eat food that's burnt brown/black, known to be carcinogenic.

I pay attention, but I try not to be alarmist or strident. This time, though, I caught myself applying standards inconsistently in a way that, if the standard has any merit at all, is potentially dangerous. Sometimes a substance gets a free pass just because it isn't something else. Let's take a closer look at Tetra Pak.

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