Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!
--William Butler Yeats
It's been a while since I've posted here...and that's because I've been busy moving country!
It's taken me the past year to move and settle in, with Gwyddie in tow! Yes, he went on a plane. Yes, he was ok. :) I almost had a heart attack, but he was fine.
And why Ireland?
I am here for love. What else is there?
That, and Art. And Magick. And Nature. And so many things I love, and that I have been connecting with in new ways since my arrival. I feel that my whole energetic system is recalibrating, adjusting to and taking in the land and its history and wonders.
As it happens, my ancestry (as I understand it so far) originates in part from this place. My ancestors left Sligo during the potato famine; indeed, the homes left behind are littered throughout the Irish landscape as "famine cottages", often roofless stone structures, sometimes with trees growing out of the tops. They are eerily beautiful and seem to have many stories to tell.
I also just recently had my DNA test done, and I am 80% Irish (and related isles). Now these tests reflect complex histories of migations of people throughout Europe, and can't be counted on to be extremely specific geographically, but still it was interesting to me. (That, and 5% North African....hello bellydance! haha ;))
I have been developing a new relationship to plants and witchcraft here, and to the Goddess Morrigan in specific. Those of you who have followed my work through the years are aware that I have a long relationship expressing Her energies through my dance and performance art. Irish people brought Her over to America in their DNA and collective unconscious, and She exists there as a diety. Think American Gods.
But now I am experiencing Her in a whole different way. Here She is truly The Great Queen...the Big fuckin' Mahoff. Do not play.
I was honored to have Samantha Bryan and the Scarlet Tongue Project come from the US to film me as part of their documentary on women and anger (as expressed through female artists). I danced as the Morrigan and was interviewed. There will be more about that this coming spring/summer.
I've had a profound Samhain season beginning with a visit to the Morrigan's Cave, aka Oweynagat, aka Hells Gate. It's an underground passage located within the ancient royal complex site of Ráth Crúachan, seat of the great warrior Queen Medb. (It is written in Ogham inside the cave entrance: ‘of Fraech, son of Medb’.) The Morrigan is said to come out of the opening each Samhain; going into the cave---and coming out--was a moving and transformative experience, bonding me further to the land. It was meaningful, too, to have my partner David (who had experienced the Cave himself on a Samhain a few years prior) on the outside with a warm coat and a loving embrace after crawling out covered in mud.
Within the dark chthonic holy place the Phantom Queen spoke to me (as she has several times now) in Irish--whether modern or ancient I do not yet know--and told me of my ancestors and my purpose for being here. As I don't understand Irish, it is a mystery that will be reveleaed to me over time. Lucky for me She also had some other things to say in English that I was able to take home and digest.
I was honored to also invoke the Dark Goddess as The Morrigan with dance and a new poem at the Samhain ritual with the Irish Order of Thelema in Belfast.
And, I was priviedged to afterward explore and climb Sliabh Crúb in the Mountains of Mourne, sacred to The Callieach (Winter hag goddess) and visit Legannay Dolmen, sacred to the goddess Áine.
This past summer, I visited Glastonbury, England, to priestess. I also went to hisrorical reenactments here in Ireland with David who is active in that community. One was at Shane's Castle which was pretty great.
I have a new piano (keyboard), I have been working on beautifying my studio (shout out to Sam for helping us paint when she was here!), and I've been writing poetry. I've been keeping my astrology business up and running. I had an injury last Aug (unfortunately due to negligance during an OTO ritual in England), so dancing has been happening again slowly and I'm just about healed. I've been getting acquaited with the plants here and learning about their traditions and lore...
There's been so much to adjust to...its been challenging and overwhelming!
Aaaaand...there is much more to tell you, but I will leave you with an excerpt from my poem, and some photos I took.
...I am lust for blood; nourished
by its emptying of every drop
into My reddened Mouth
raining into My belly
with each ecstatic strike--
spilled into this battleground
of ancient earth
that is Me.
Every clash of steel,
every fiber of fighting flesh
belongs to Me.
Your cries multiply My passion
Your bones decorate My vanity
Your giving decides your Victory...
Excited to be performing in Belfast this Saturday! I'll be with a lot of other wonderful people at the The Irish Order of Thelema's Three Days Celebration as part of the The Candle of Vision Exhibition.
In the Lucid Dream Room at the University of Northampton, UK. At Trans-States : The Art of Crossing Over
I am thrilled and honored to be included in the line-up of Speakers and Performers this year at Trans-States Conference at Northhampton University in England! Help me to bring my Lucid Dream Chamber, an experimental performance space where participants will be able to experience liminal states of consciousness in an interactive, one-on-one format.
I'm reaching out to ask for your support to get my art to England via my fundraising campaign: "Lucid Dream Chamber at Trans-States." Please take a look...
Trans- States is a transdisciplinary conference that will explore representations in contemporary visual culture of boundary crossing, liminality and queerification with specific reference to occultism, mysticism, shamanism and other esoteric and spiritual practices.
The proceedings will feature academics, independent scholars, practitioners and artists. Including the venerable Alan Moore!
I'll be performing my Lucid Dream Chamber, an interactive performance installation/ magickal working which immerses participants into a lucid dreaming experience in a one-on-one format.
There are a few ways that you can help...
Please share this post!
The link for sharing the campaign:
THANK YOU for your support!!!!!!
Very special thank you's to Brian Firefly Conroy, Tammy Cohen, K Lenore Siner, Jen Prestage, Cavan McLaughlin for helping me get my campaign launched!!!
It's been a wild ride lately. And this is an understatement! But here we are.
I'm very fortunate to be at Star and Snake for a few weeks, and taking advantage of this amazing space and working on my art.
Poems, spoken word recordings, piano practice, astrology, and, bellydance.
I'm also preparing for Trans-States in the UK, which I am very excited about!! This event is going to be epic. Cavan McLaughlin has put together a truly stunning line up of exceptional people. I am pleased to be presenting a performance of my Lucid Dream Chamber there in September.
Also on the schedule:
Women's OTO Symposium, Minnelapolis, MN, August 2016.
Sub Rosa in NYC, Oct 2016.
I've got two new improv bellydance-with-sword videos up on my Instagram account, so please kindly take a look if you have some time. The lovely music is by Chris Zabriskie. Swords are symbols of thought, and mastery of the sword is mastery of the mind. Through dance and music: connected with the body; connected with the heart.
"Friday practice part 2."
I also welcome hearing your thoughts in the comments, here and on my Facebook posts.
Love and LVX,
Some upcoming performances and events:
I was honored to accept an invitation to perform and teach again at the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference in NYC in June, where I will be teaching on Kundalini/Tantra/Bellydance, and on the use of archetypes in theatrical dance.
I am also scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires in August for Rara Avis, performing and teaching my bellydance based workshop called "The Sacred Whore", and another called "ORACLE", as well as lecturing on astrology.
More locally this month, I'll be performing at @michaelnaimogallery on Apr 14th in Salem, MA.
AND....I'm really excited about this one...
I'll be performing a piece later this month, to be filmed, to the music of Amodali Zain's Mother Destruction for La Lengua Roja, @thescarlettongueproject expressing the projects stated theme of "female rage", as BABALON.
Workshop I'm teaching on May 1 in Salem: Shakti Rising: Cultivating Awareness & Manifesting Your Passion and Power Through Bellydance and Yoga with Nicole Anastas.
Please sign up for my mailing list if you Will! Love and LVX.
It's my ambition to post at least once per week. But, given recent events, that has not been possible for me. Thank you to everyone who responded with such kindness and in such heartfelt and personal ways, both publicly and via private message, to my last post about the inner critic. I am seeing that there is more for me to say, as a human and as an artist, about my childhood experiences and their continuing effects on my life now. Everything that we go through personally is surely experienced by many; the more personal, the more universal it seems. I will have to see where my heart takes me.
For now, I am in the dance studio everyday, for several hours per day, getting ready for Germany next week. I am excited about this trip. This is one of my favorite bellydance festivals, as people come from all over the Middle East and Europe to attend. So many wonderful, perspective changing conversations! And my hosts Dieter and Artemis are super generous and just all around amazing. It's been good to get my mind off of other things that have been hurting my heart, and become music.
Struggling mightily with my "inner critic" today. Childhood memories with tentacles attached to my spirit, telling me that I am not, and never will be, enough. And, that I am too much. Too disorganized, too volatile, too emotional, too needy, too difficult, too unbalanced, too damaged, too late...too everything to actually get my shit together. Like there's too much to put in the suitcase, and it keeps popping open with all my shit flying everywhere. Like I seem to keep forgetting to bring my passport, even though I was so sure I had it. Knowing where this all comes from doesn't always matter...what I've survived, what an accomplishment it is to just be walking and talking. The part of me that needs compassion and the part of me that can give it don't seem to see eye to eye today. All I can do is feel. This, today, is my art.
Today was spent going back and forth between writing and dancing in the studio. Balancing/integrating mind, body and soul. I'm preparing for a few upcoming events that will have me traveling again, and working on several new projects. This Taurus does not love living out of a suitcase, but she does love going to new places and experiencing the wonderful conversation and connection that happens, with the welcome expansion in perspectives. I'm looking forward to what is to come. (My hand is blurry from trying to push my glasses back up in time for the picture!)