No matter what, no matter what those in economical and political power say, I believe, you believe and we are building something no one can ever take away.
Thank you Christine Blasey Ford for being our hero. On the heels of another hero, Anita Hill (all hale), who as a black woman in the early nineties paved the path that many of us have walked since then. This is all part of the foundation we, our ancestors of thrivors and survivors have been building. And now, the revolution is building dears. By 2026 (I’ve been studying astrology) this crap will be fully crumbling. Let your grief fuel your life right now, let your tears quench the thirst you are dying (this is literal, we and our planet will die if we do not release this grief and let it transform us) to heal.
Rage heals. Our anger is a storm, when the storm settles, the light of our bright souls shines through. When the sun comes out after a storm, we make rainbows. This time it’s a rage rainbow.
I’m realizing that the year I was raped as a teenager, was the year Anita Hill was making testimony. Wow, life has a way of circling us back around. Bringing us back to times over and over again so we can receive deeper healing.
Like the cycle of water are the cycles of our life. This year I have cycled back around myself, in a deep way. I’m humbled by the gratitude I feel at this moment in my life. The chance I get to heal something very deep with the land I am now on.
Forgive my radio silence dear ones. It has been an extremely full handful of months. I’ve finally landed, back in the land of rainbows: Olympia, Washington. After many moons away I have returned to this land of the Chehalis, Nisqually and Squaxin, on the Salish Sea.
For the most part I loved living in California and Philadelphia but the last year and nine months have been particularly challenging around home. I moved eight times, not the kind of diaspora I seek out. It’s also been three years of a heavy Pluto transit that rocked my ideas of relationship, family and home, calling me to some dark places. At times I embraced it and at times it just felt like living in a middle of a chrysalis (not fun actually). I have a home in Olympia and that was a big part of my decision to move back. (Plus a dream about a baby sperm whale, but that’s a story for another time!) Now that Pluto is cycling out, I am currently happily puttering around the house and yard, hanging out with the grapes and hummingbirds, honeysuckle and oak, and reuniting with human friends. A rainbow graced my neighborhood right before the close of Yom Kippor filling up the whole sky. I took that as a big blessing for the beginning of a year full of transformation and delight.
This weekend is the end of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, our last days of celebrations until Chanukah. Sukkot is the harvest holiday and the one where we pray, dance and sing for rain! Us Jews have been celebrating it up the last couple months. These last few holidays are the ones that soak us in love, help us create silos of love to last us through the winter, give us a chance to begin again, filled to the brim with community and celebration.
Autumn and the Land of Rainbows
Happy Autumn! Happy Sukkot! This is the time of year we reap the harvest. It’s also my favorite Jewish holiday. In ancient times Jews spent this week in a great festival dancing and praying for rain, giving thanks to the waters and earth and working hard, bringing the bounty of the food into the sukkah (impermanent structure that was open on four sides and you could see the stars from the roof). Sukkot is a week long, it began on Sunday and ends this coming Sunday.
I celebrated on Sunday by building the most beautiful sukkah I ever did see with friends here in Olympia. As the ancients did, we poured libations of well water over stones, beckoning the rains, acknowledging the holy cycles of water. I lit one of the soul candles I made on Erev Yom Kippor (the day before Yom Kippor, see Narrow Bridge Candles for more on this ritual) as a symbol of the lamps that were burned, soaked in old worn priests (and priestesses, as I like to remember it) clothing in the temple times. We sang our hearts out and gorged on dishes filled with garden vegetable delight!
My friend and fellow kohenet Nomy Lamm made a lulav (a bundle of plants most in need of water) made of skullcap, blueberry, willow and a gourd. My teacher Rav Kohenet Jill Hammer teaches that the lulav represents the four parts of the body. Traditionally these plants have been: the palm representing the spine and fire; the willow leaves, the mouth and water; the myrtle, the eyes and air; and the round citron, the heart and the earth. We called upon the dreams of our bodies and the dreams of the stars and plant spirits to source our joy and expressed our gratitude.
We welcomed in the ushpizin, the benevolent ancestors as is the tradition of each day of Sukkot, welcoming them into the tabernacle of the sukkah. Friends who are Indigenous to Turtle Island were also welcomed in our festivities. To me, this cultural sharing is an important part of being in diaspora. Where once I was withholding of my Jewish practices, scared that people would appropriate and misuse the rituals, I have become generous in the sharing. My Lakota friends who shared their ways so generously despite having experienced such extreme genocide on their land have inspired this in me.
As a Jew, I take to heart that I am in diaspora as an identity, a political and spiritual way of life. As Jews, our story is one of diaspora and that is where our strength lies. We have always had a culture of sharing our rituals with the people of the land we make home on. As an uninvited guest on Turtle Island, I feel there is healing in sharing and hope that the rituals of my ancestors will help bring healing to the destruction that’s been done here.
The last day of Sukkot, is the day of great praise, Hoshanah Rabbah, this Sunday. There is a practice of walking in a circle seven times behind one another (just like the Jewish wedding practice of circling seven times!), holding the plants of the lulav and etrog and reciting ancient poetry, asking for rain. Each time you complete the circle you ask for a different kind of fertility and each time around represents a different mystical attribute of Goddess. This circling ritual represents the cycle water makes. We use our water bodies, to praise and emulate the cycle of water.
This week is a great time to think about what you can harvest in your body, speak with a friend or journal about these questions. Pick a Moon Angel card or a tarot card for each of these questions. Feel the plants of the lulav living in your body.
· As the palm rises in your spine, what fire of gratitude do you want to stand up strong with, in your integrity?
· With the willow in your mouth, what words of gratitude do you want to flow out to the world?
· With the myrtle in your eyes, what visions of spirit do you want to blink into this present moment and then breath back in?
· With the etrog, the citron in your heart, how will you align your beating heart to the earth’s heartbeat? Can you feel a simultaneous pulsing? This is the care the earth has for you, she is ready to align with you whenever you want it.
(As with all meditation, only do this to the point you feel comfortable, some people experience a retriggering of trauma in meditation, if you feel that coming on, please stop and take care of yourself)
Water Meditation: Feeling the cycle of water in your body.
Find a place you can comfortably relax. Feel the places your body touches material, other parts of your body. Take some breaths, keep your eyes open or closed.
Imagine a light rain starting to fall on your body. Feel the water enter through the top of your head, the place that was soft when you were a baby. Imagine it filling you up, to the edges of your skin, as the culmination of all your favorite water forms: springs with moss, morning dew, a cold lake on a hot day, humid ocean breezes, summer storms, a jungle waterfall, a sacred well, a rushing river. As your body floods with water sensations, elicit a feeling of gratitude for the earth for providing you with all these thoughts. Sit with those feelings for however long you like.
Then, elicit all of your understanding of your water body functioning: Your tears, your cum, your drool, pee, blood. Breath with these understandings. Feel your heart pumping blood, your stomach gurgling, the sensation of having to pee, beginning to feel turned on, the saliva developing in your mouth. Sit with those feelings for however long you like.
Take some deep breaths, come back to your current space. Take a sip of water and integrate your water love.