These next two goals concern my work as an artist, teacher and priestess.
Share My Writings, Music, Art And Message With A Wider Audience
This goal was the hardest to craft. I feel like I am already doing so much in this area. But what this goal is getting at is my need to reach a wider audience. I cannot rely on my school alone to get my ideas out in the world. I need to publish, record and get on the road.
Traveling is truly very hard on me physically, so I definitely need to build more core strength. I can also put my technical skills to work by experimenting with other media besides books.
And I need time and space for singing and songwriting. And some new poems wouldn’t hurt either. I honestly cannot remember the last poem I wrote, it feels like it has been such a long time since I answered the call of my poetic muse.
One technique I tried flat out did not work. I burned out trying to work on my book every single day. It may work for other writers, but I fell hopelessly behind in everything else in my life. All my juice was used up within four or five hours of waking, which made it very hard to do things like teach, read, design or even just think about anything clearly after 1 pm daily.
I kept trying to figure out what was wrong late last year after I returned from Between the Worlds. But what finally dawned on me was that I was suffering from a case of pretty severe burn out. I managed to end one school year and start another one, and do a lot of amazing things while simultaneously living almost daily in a state of complete and utter exhaustion.
Even now, it is really difficult to write or think clearly. The class I taught a week ago was possible only because I could muster enough inner will to slog through it but by the time the class ended, I could no longer even think straight. My students hopefully had no idea how tired I was as I explained the intricacies of qabalistic reflection and symbolism.
So this year, I need to sharpen my focus some in my writings and stop dragging my feet in the publishing arena. I still need to figure out how to approach my book writing while leaving me some juice for the rest of my life. It really sucks having an illness that limits your energy output, but it has taught me a great deal about the need for planning, priorities and choices.
One idea is to stop sitting on the stuff that is in fact ready to be published. Another idea is to capture the teachings from Reflections in a written form. I also need to let people know that I am willing to travel so I have opportunities to teach in areas beyond DC. Weekend workshops and one-day classes on-the-road can be tailored to be okay with my metabolism. Week long festivals and hectic fast paced conferences do not work as well for me physically. And who knows maybe a regular podcast in addition to my blog might be in my future
Pagan Monastery And Temple
I often talk about the need for a pagan temple, but I realized that I seldom mention the monastery. In many ways I have created my dream right here in my home with Reflections. The whole house is my temple and monastery in many ways.
But my long term goal is a larger structure right here in the city, where people could visit during lunch or after work to light a candle, say a prayer, sit in silent contemplation or join in a service just like many folks do at many of the older churches around town. A respite from the world of stress dedicated to the gods and goddesses of old.
And I also want a monastery, where people who are committed to the work of the temple anchor the magic and offer space for others to take a respite from time to time. Many Buddhist monasteries allow folks to stay for varied amounts of time and this allows folks to participate in the life of a working monastery.
That is what I want for pagans. But I want it in an urban setting. Why? Because, I believe that is where it is needed the most. The cities need dedicated sacred space in the midst of the stress and density of urban life. People need the gods close by, and the gods need to be anchored where people actually live.
I feel like my school and tradition needs to reach a critical mass before we can manifest a place to call our own. I also realize that we may need to work in concert with others to make it a reality. An urban temple could fulfill so many needs within our community. I should probably investigate how others have approached this issue in other faith traditions and paths.
My annual goals in this area are focused more on building my tradition and school. I will continue to scan however for more information about modern urban monasteries and how other traditions developed and evolved over time.
- Psychology & Magick book proposal, final draft and literary agent
- Self publish two collections, Descent & Vocation
- Teach two classes or workshops out of town
- Document and publish Reflections teachings
- 2009 weekend intensive for Presidents Day weekend 09
- Reflections Mystery School
- Connect DC (public ritual group)
- Dark Flame Coven
- Elder / Mentor / Clergy (various communities)