Monthly Archives: April 2005

May Day cometh!

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May Day always takes me by surprise. It is one of the holidays we do up big every year, a glorious day with good friends, live music, lots of food, and a spirited maypole dance. We’ve been doing it for so many years now that even if we didn’t plan it, people would still come to our house to celebrate. And perhaps most importantly to me, our May Day party has become a real fixture in the lives of many children in our community. I love all of it, and the joy that is generated from that gathering keeps me going for weeks afterward.

Still, there is this feeling of whiplash that I associate with the ramp-up to a major holiday. I start by making room in my day for the tasks that prepare for the event: sweeping the porch, doing the big Costco shop, cleaning chairs and tables, ordering the beer, gathering ribbons—it all dices down to discreet tasks. So I start crossing off To Do items as I work my way down the list, and then the whiplash hits me: This isn’t just another chore, not just another errand. I am cleansing and purifying this ritual space, I am stocking up for a great feast of gratitude and shared blessings. Oh right, I have to move into Dreamtime.

That point came upon me today. In between selling a car, managing property, helping Jojo with her science fair report, feeding the elderly father-in-law, and washing our dog who’d just rolled in cowshit, I was attending to some of the many pre-May Day clean-up projects around here. It all got to be too much, and then I remembered, as I always do each year, that these chores aren’t just about making more efficient use of my time. They’re about entering the ritual zone. I had to slow down in order to realize it, but overall I don’t think it’s about taking a physically slower pace but a psychically slower one.

One of our kids’ favorite picture books—and one of ours too—was called Nata. It was about a fairy who loses her wings and grows new ones every year on Summer Solstice. But there’s some sort of a spell on all of her garden friends so that no one ever remembers why Nata is so cranky, why Nata can’t fly, why Nata is tearing about in a rage all of a sudden. No one, except the old toad who lives in the garden. The toad tries to tell everyone that this happens every year, but of course no one believes him. Sort of a Cassandra figure. Anyway, the story is humorous and charming, and my internal dialogue today (“It’s always like this, but you never remember”) really reminds me of the wise toad. (Find a link to the book Nata here.)

The Gnosis Cafe blog is up and running!

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I thought I couldn’t do it—navigate the back end of my server and set up a blog, but after an hour and some change, I think this thing is ready to run! All the while I was building it, I kept reminding myself that this goes against my business principles: I am creating something I don’t yet have a specific use for. But the gravitational forcefield of the blogosphere was too great to resist, so here I am with a blog of my very own.

I, unlike lots of my closest friends, don’t have a website under my own name (annehill.org, for instance). Rather, I have three websites for different stuff that I’m into. The first was the Serpentine Music site for my independent music label and distribution business. That has been running along quite nicely for several years now, and continues to be my main business.

Then, about 10 years ago I started writing a book with my friends Starhawk and Diane Baker, and it turned out that I was the most technologically inclined of the three of us, so I took on the project of creating a website for our book, Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions. I posted some articles, lots of reviews, a schedule of our author appearances, an expanded bibliography, and information on the music recording I made to complement the book, on our site.

Both of those sites were going along quite nicely, but then I decided to go back to school for a doctorate (Doctor of Ministry, to be exact), become a dreamworker, and write another book. Dreamwork and pastoral counseling/spiritual direction are things I’d already been doing anyway, but they started to take center stage in my world of interests. I started doing more and more professional dream work, incorporating it into my teaching and workshop schedule, so I decided a new forum was needed to express that. Hence, the Gnosis Cafe website, my newest creation.

Anyway, I may find myself blogging here about any number of topics, from music to my family to dreams to magic and back again. I don’t really want to be tied down as far as what musings I post in what website, but for those of you who are only interested in one or two of the above, I’ll create a few categories so you’ll be able to sort posts and only read the ones that interest you. Okay? Everybody ready? Right then, let’s go.