Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Niece and My Beloved Stevie Nicks

Today is a special day. Two beloved females in my life turn another year older. The first is my amazing, beautiful niece who turns three today and the second is the one and only Stevie Nicks. 

Three years ago my only niece (for now) was born at nearly 5:30 p.m. She was tiny like me and not a monster like her father had been which I was glad for because I rather like my sister in law. hahaha It was an emotional day. My baby brother (he is only twenty-two months younger than me but because he is the only brother I had he will always be my 'baby' brother) became a daddy. That is a very grown-up thing for a guy I still see as a kid. But he and his wonderful woman have done an amazing job with my amazing niece and I know that no matter how many children they go on to have in the future, she will always hold a special spot in my heart. 

Today the little family came up to see us and in honor of Cadence turning three I broke out the fake tattoos and I got her properly sleeved out like her father. A sign of things to come in the distant future? Perhaps. She was mighty giddy about those tattoos. She seemed especially pleased because they were suns and moons. Now that she gets from me. ;) We listened to Elmo and The Beatles sing Happy Birthday thanks to youtube and she blew out all three of her candles in one clean swipe. I see great things for her future of course. She loves to play pretend and she is really good at it so perhaps she will be an actress. She always asks for paper so she can write so maybe she will be the next writer in the family. She colors in the lines quite well so an artist isn't far fetched. And she loves music so maybe, just maybe, she will be a rock star. What do you think?

And when you consider who she shares a birthday with, that would be just perfect, wouldn't it?

Yes, today the one and only Stephanie Lynn Nicks turns sixty four years young. Anyone who has read my happy birthday posts in the past knows that I usually add what that person and their work has meant to my life and Stevie is certainly no exception to that. The woman is one of my idols, after all. She has taken her lumps in life, she has loved and lost and loved and continued loving from afar, and still, after almost forty years in the spot light she remains a force to be reckoned with. She lives her life her way and she never apologies for that. She also lives it alone, more or less, without having some twenty-three year old stud on her arm even though she would certainly have no trouble getting one. When I am alone well beyond the age of sixty-four and I have people telling me that I "need" someone in my life (as they do now) I will think back on Stevie with a smile and continue to do as I please. I would be honored to be half as amazing as she is at any point in my life. And don't even get me started on her wardrobe! 

The first time I clearly remember seeing or hearing Stevie, I was ten years old. My mom, my grandma, and I were in grandma's room and we were watching Fleetwood Mac's The Dance as it premiered on VH1. I was playing with my little sister who was a wee one then and I heard my mom say to grandma, "You know she's a witch." I was still transitioning between Junior Bible Thumper and being a witch myself though I had not yet entertained the notion of the latter and I looked up to see who this person was that mom was talking about. There she was singing in a voice unlike anything I had ever heard in my life with her long black dress, her big boots, and her pretty shawl and I thought, 'Wow!' I watched the whole thing and I absolutely loved her. At thirteen I got her greatest hits, Time Space, and at fourteen I had Belladonna and Trouble in Shangri La. I was in love with her music, her image, and her story. Within six months of seeing her for the first time I made the choice to join the Craft (No, Stevie had absolutely nothing to do with that choice) and here was this beautiful, strong, woman that looked and acted nothing like the Wicked Witch of the West but when people saw her more than one was inclined to say or think, 'She's a witch'. Now, Stevie denied in the mid to late 80's that she is a witch. However, when you consider that time period and the fact that IF she is, she would have come into it at a time when you did not speak about such a thing, I am still inclined to think she just might be. It isn't just the way she dresses or her very open views on reincarnation, it is certain lyrics in her songs. Let's not forget Gypsy ("She was just a witch...) or Rhiannon which is an entire song to the Welsh Goddess. And of course there is Stevie's own label for her publishing rights. Welsh Witch Music. But either way, she seems to be a favorite amongst us Witchy folk. What can we say? We worship the ground she walks on. lol

Her music has gotten me through hard times in love and in life but mostly in love. Most recently it gave me the strength I needed to finally stop playing my ex's game last year. I listened to her music almost every single day last summer and it got me through the whole damned mess. Because when I listen to her, the music gives me strength. Songs like Crystal, Silver Springs and Beauty and the Beast were given to that first love of mine I've mentioned once or twice, Beautiful Child still belongs to my first 'real' boyfriend in honor of our fun, highly tumultuous year together one hundred years ago (he and I are still friends), and songs like Storms, Dreams, and the demo version of Smile at You are for when the love is over. Doing the Best I Can (Escape from Berlin) is the song I sing when I'm at rock bottom and all I am doing is the best that I can to make it to tomorrow. Gold Dust Woman is a song I listen to when I'm feeling tough, Rhiannon and The Three Birds of Rhiannon are for when I'm feeling 'witchy', and in my opinion Joan of Arc is one of the most beautiful songs of all time. Those are just some examples of how I have a Stevie song for every occasion. She has been a major influence in my life and, like all of the musicians I love, her music is always there when I need it to see me through a shitty day of one kind or another. I owe her a great deal. And that is why, if I ever have children and I happen to have two daughters the first will be Janis Pearl and the second will guessed it...Stevie Lynn. 

So happy birthday, Stevie! You are a beautiful soul and your fans adore you unconditionally. Your music is untouched, unparalleled, and completely unique just like you. We love you!

A Song for Love.....

A Song For Hard Times....

A song for feeling tough...

A Witchy Song....

And one of the most beautiful songs I know...

Happy Birthday, Cadence and Stevie. I love you both...even if you are Geminis. lol

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The First Anniversary of My Emancipation

Today it has been a year since my former fiance, on Mother's Day, left me with his child saying he was going to his friend's house for a little bit and....ummm...he never came back. I can't make shit like this up. hahaha I can laugh about it now, this new spin on the old 'I'm going out to get a pack of cigarettes' line. It wasn't so funny last May or June or July...It took me a long four months to let it go, to stop letting him fuck with my head, to wake up to reality. But since September when I opened my eyes at last and saw that I hadn't really lost anything with him as far as our relationship went, I've considered May 8th my emancipation date. I was set free when he walked out the door. So why didn't I simply leave him if things were as bad as all that? Well, there's a complicated story wrapped up in all of that...

He had a daughter and I started raising her full time and without any help from him in January of '09. She was not my biological child so of course I had 0 rights to her even though I was the one who fed her, clothed her, spent her every waking hour with her...I potty trained her, taught her her ABC's and her 123's, I read her stories and I encouraged her love of music...I was her mother. But my status as her mother depended on me being with her father because by the time he started behaving in a way that made me want to go I knew that he was spiteful enough to keep her from me because he could. And he did. By the time he put his hands on me for the first time the night before Thanksgiving of 2009 (a nice sound backhand to the face) I was in love with that little girl. The love of that child made me completely stupid. And I stayed. When he choked me out a month after the back hand and choked me again about a week after that (the first time because he knocked the hell out of his kid and I said something about it and the second time because I asked him about one of his whores he said he had deleted off facebook whose husband was sending me messages saying the two were meeting up and fucking) I stayed. A few months would go by and I would start to think that I had been crazy, that there was no way he had done such things. Then he would do something like get me and his child in the car and hold us hostage as he drove around telling me how he was going to kill me on a back road and he would be out of the county, maybe out of the state, before anyone realized what he had done. And I would lay awake at night beside of him thinking, 'I have to get the fuck away from him before he does kill me, before I end up a picture on the news'. And still...I stayed. His daughter's biological mother was a drug addict and she traded her kids for drugs, her whole family had beaten the kids, and he...well, you can see what kind of guy he is. I was all that little girl had. And when he left I tried first to get him back and then, when I realized that there was no way I could live like that ever again, I tried to get him to just let me have that child. He didn't want her. He could keep the check he got for her...whatever. Just let me have her. But he thought he had a pawn as long as he had her. So he kept her from me until I cut off contact. And with the exception of the e-mails he continues to send here and there that go unanswered, the phone calls from his mother that my family answer for me, and things like that, there has continued to be no contact and will never be any contact again. His daughter is now safe with his family and I am away from him. It was a win win for us both. I miss her and I will always love her. But I am alive. Another year with her father and I am not sure that would have been the case.

So why am I sharing this? Besides giving background on why I might be a little brighter in spirits today than usual, I hope someone might learn something from it. I was lucky. I was damn lucky! I have seen murderous rage in a man's eyes, a man that was far larger and more healthy than me, a man that could have killed me, and I'm still here to tell about it. If you are with someone and you find yourself laying awake at night thinking, 'I better leave before this fucker kills me' LEAVE. Whatever reason you think you have to stay, in the end will it be worth your life? He has been gone a year. I have not seen him at all in eight months. In early March he moved a thousand miles away. And I still find myself worrying sometimes that he'll come back and kill me and my family. My family doesn't know that I have that fear. They've never guessed at it as far as I know. But they've never seen that blank cold look in the bastard's eyes either. If they had, maybe they would share my fear. 

The thing that pisses me off the most is that I not only stayed, I still loved him when he left. I did. I got over that. And you will too. I haven't let myself think about one happy time I shared with him since the end of August. If I think of him, it's the bad times only and who the hell wants to do that? So I don't think about him. It kills the love, that mindset. It helped that there were many many bad times and that I had thought often of leaving for a year and a half before he walked out. Reconnecting with the man I wish I had spent the last eleven and a half years of my life with helped too. Even though he and I are still not together, even though I am not sure if I will ever hear from him again, remembering what that once in a lifetime love felt like helped me get through getting over what I had with my ex-fiance. So if you feel trapped, find a way to go. If you are being abused, do what you have to do but get out. Because no one is worth losing your life. And if you have recently come out of a breakup, there are better times a head. I promise.

In honor of my freedom, my second chance, I am making these promises to myself. Some are old, some are new (I have none that are borrowed or blue...that I am aware of. :) ) but they are all relevant to my happiness in the future. No matter what life or my body throws at me, I will continue to do everything in my power to shape my future the way I want it be. If that means getting five hundred rejection letters from agents who do not feel my 'project' is right for them at the moment, if that means paying off student loans with my retirement fund, if that means spending the next five years or the next fifteen working my ass off to get my doctorates, that is what I will do. I will stay true to myself no matter what. If who I am doesn't jive with who someone wants me to be, tough shit. That fire never left me even at my lowest points and it won't leave me now. And I will never again settle for anything less than what I once felt in the arms of a man a hundred miles away who continues to haunt my dreams and my heart. I won't settle for less than true love. How could I when I know what it is like to fall in love at first sight? I let myself forget that once. Never again. And if I stay alone the rest of my life because of that commitment, so be it. I have people who love me. And whether we are together sometime in the future or whether I never see him again, my one big love loves me back. Perhaps he will see that I really am strong enough to weather the storms. Or maybe I will find another who makes me feel the way he made me feel. But I won't settle for less....never again. I would be a liar if I said that I will never take a single day for granted. I'm human. Some days suck. That is life. But I will continue to always try to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining to every cloud. I will continue to take the bullshit in life and try to get something positive from it, to learn my lessons, and to always move forward. It's a good plan, these promises to myself, and hopefully one day I'll look back at them and know I stuck to every one and it led me to my happiness. Have a beautiful week, guys, and remember always to smile. :)

And for the future?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blessed Beltane!

It's Beltane, folks! Any Witches/Pagans who read this, blessed Beltane to you. If you do not walk a little on the witchy side and you are wondering what the hell I'm talking about, let me tell you about this Holy Day of ours. Practically speaking, today is the half-way mark between the first day of spring and the first day of summer. The lore surrounding today, the mythological story of it, says that today is the day that the Goddess became pregnant by the God, the child that she will birth on December 21st or Yule. One tradition attached to this day is to dance around the May Pole. The May Pole is a large pole that has bright colored ribbons attached to it. 
Besides the May Pole, another tradition attached to this day involved jumping bon fires for good luck. Many Pagans who celebrate this holiday incorporate fire into their rituals for its cleansing, protecting, passionate properties. 
Some observe this holiday on April 30th but I have personally always celebrated it on May First. Here is more information about the day courtesy of

Beltane Lore & Rites by Selena Fox

Celebrating the Seasons
Also known as May Eve, May Day, and Walpurgis Night, happens at the beginning of May. It celebrates the height of Spring and the flowering of life. The Goddess manifests as the May Queen and Flora. The God emerges as the May King and Jack in the Green. The danced Maypole represents Their unity, with the pole itself being the God and the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess. Colors are the Rainbow spectrum. Beltane is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight.
Prepare a May basket by filling it with flowers and goodwill and then give it to someone in need of healing and caring, such as a shut-in or elderly friend. Form a wreath of freshly picked flowers, wear it in your hair, and feel yourself radiating joy and beauty. Dress in bright colors. Dance the Maypole and feel yourself balancing the Divine Female and Male within. On May Eve, bless your garden in the old way by making love with your lover in it. Make a wish as you jump a bonfire or candle flame for good luck. Welcome in the May at dawn with singing and dancing.

Beltane Customs

Sacred Time

Going A-Maying & Bringing in the May -- Merry-making and Nature communion. * Midpoint between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. * In Pagan Rome, Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora and the flowering of Springtime. On May 1, offerings were made to Bona Dea (as Mother Earth), the Lares (household guardian spirits), and Maia (Goddess of Increase) from whom May gets its name. * Roman Catholic traditions of crowning statues of Mary with flowers on May 1 have Roman Pagan roots. * Marks the second half of the Celtic Year; one of the four Celtic Fire Festivals. Complement to Samhain, it is a time of divination and communion with Fairy Folk/Nature Spirits. * Pastoral tradition of turning sheep, cows, other livestock out to pasture. * In Pagan Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter and Summer were enacted at this time. * Building on older tradition of this time being a holiday for the masses, in the twentieth century, May Day has been a workers' holiday in many places. * Some say that Mother's Day, in the USA, Mexico, and elsewhere has Pagan roots.


Forms include pole, tree, bush, cross; communal or household; permanent or annual. * In Germany, Fir tree was cut on May Eve by young unmarried men, branches removed, decorated, put up in village square, & guarded all night until dance occurred on May Day. * In England, permanent Maypoles were erected on village greens * In some villages, there also were smaller Maypoles in the yards of households. * Maypole ribbondances, with two circles interweaving; around decorated bush/tree, clockwise circle dances.

Flowers & Greenwood

Gathering and exchange of Flowers and Greens on May Eve, pre-dawn May Day, Beltane. * Decorating homes, barns, and other buildings with Green budding branches, including Hawthorn. * Making and wearing of garland wreaths of Flowers and/or Greens. * May Baskets were given or placed secretly on doorsteps to friends, shut-ins, lovers, others. * May Bowl was punch (wine or non-alcoholic) made of Sweet Woodruff blossoms.

Beltane Fires

Traditionally, sacred woods kindled by spark from flint or by friction -- in Irish Gaelic, the Beltane Fire has been called teine eigin (fire from rubbing sticks). * Jump over the Beltane Fire, move through it, or dance clockwise around it. * Livestock was driven through it or between two fires for purification and fertility blessings. * In ancient times Druid priests kindled it at sacred places; later times, Christian priests kindled it in fields near the church after peforming a Christian church service. * Rowan twigs were carried around the fire three times, then hung over hearths to bless homes. * In the past, Beltane community fire purification customs included symbolic sacrifice of effigy knobs on the Beltane Cake (of barley) to the fire, or, in medieval times, mock sacrifice of Beltane Carline (Hag) who received blackened piece of Beltane Cake; Maypoles in Spain were each topped with a male effigy which was later burned. Contemporary Pagans burn sacred wood and dried herbs as offerings in their Beltane fires.

May Waters

Rolling in May Eve dew or washing face in pre-dawn May Day dew for health, luck, beauty. * Getting head and hair wet in Beltane rain to bless the head. * Blessing springs, ponds, other sacred waters with flowers, garlands, ribbons, other offerings. * Collecting sacred waters and scrying in sacred springs, wells, ponds, other waters.

Sacred Union & Fertility

Union with the Land focus, often with actual mating outside on the Land to bless fields, herds, home. * May Queen (May Bride) as personification of the Earth Goddess and Goddesses of Fertility. * May King (May Groom) as personification of Vegetation God, Jack-in-Green -- often covered in green leaves. * At Circle Sanctuary, in addition to May Queen & May King, is May Spirit Couple, an already bonded pair. * Symbolic Union of Goddess and God in election/selection, crowning, processional, Maypole dance, feast. * Morris Dancers and pageants (with Hag & Jack-in-Green) to awaken the fertility in the Land.
Feel in the know now? Good. You now know more about today that I did the first time I celebrated it. lol So how about some Beltane tunes? This first one I am going to post has the information about its significance in the description on youtube and it is a really interesting story. I am not sure why it is popular for Beltane but I love this song and it does seem to fit the celebrations of the day:
This one is a song by Lisa Thiel:
And this is a song by my beloved Loreena McKennitt that seems to fit with today as well:
Happy Beltane/May Day, everyone! I hope, whether you are Pagan or not, that today is full of magick and beauty for you. :) Tomorrow, May 2nd, is the Pagan Coming Out Day so to all of my brothers and sisters who are planning on coming out of the broom closet for the occasion, I hope that you are welcomed with warmth, love, and kindness and that those who love you accept you unconditionally for who you are! It can be tough in the beginning but in time, everyone tends to come around and accept you even if they don't agree with you. Family is good like that.