Oh my Goddess, I’m finally home and able to look at Facebook and email from someplace other than my broken, not-always-so-smart phone. Brenna Lynn had the house cleaned up and the energy as welcoming as we could have imagined. It was wonderful. Micah Mansur cooked us breakfast this morning, and I spent the morning listening to him and Tatianna Nitro Thompson sing songs and play together. Brian Linton stopped by and we caught up on the news of his life. I’m expecting to see everyone else in the next day or so. It’s good to be home.
But what a great trip! Spring Mysteries 2013 was an enchanted blur of magic and connectedness. I enjoyed seeing so many beloved members of my spiritual family. Terry Michael Riley and Amanda Riley were fantastic; many told me how much they appreciated getting to know our elders from other lands. We have an amazing group of talented affiliate leaders across the country, whom the Mother Church rarely gets to see. It’s been a huge blessing to be able to bring them to our gatherings and have them share their stories and wisdom with us. John and Jeanine Lesniak, from Golden Thread Grove in Idaho came and taught as well. There were seminary students that helped in the AAoP and so many amazing staff and cast members! We bonded together in what was nothing short of a trip straight into Eleusis. I’m so grateful for the experience. Dusty Dionne is putting together the behind the scenes video for the “Road To Eleusis” Project, and as I watch it, memories flood to my mind and I giggle with delight at the roller-coaster of experiences that wash over me. I am truly blessed.
The trip home was equally as wonderful. Rather than have a trip filled with speaking engagements and class dates, I just visited with my loved ones this time. I spent the night with my newest dedicated student, Tatsuwa, and her husband, Eoin. They fed me sweet potatoes and they were delicious, which ordinarily wouldn’t be a big deal, except that the cast’s inside mantra for the festival was “IO Yam” because of an offering of a huge Yam that was given to Demeter at the festival. I ended up having two more dinners of Sweet Potato during the ride home, to which I then succumbed to the Yam Gods and have agreed to add them into my diet.
We set off for Missouri and Wite Ravyn Wednesday morning. Note: Wyoming is 1) cold as hell, like colder than anything you’ve ever thought of. -21º on the way out and a mere 13º above freezing on the way back. DAMN IT man, cold and 2) Sparse on Gas Stations. Don’t let the gas get below half a tank. Cassie almost ran out of gas in Wyoming on the way out. I almost ran out of gas on the way back. We both ended up at the same closed down gas station. My mother called me in the middle of us looking for a gas station in the middle of the night, that was 10 miles away, and we had 8 miles of gas. We made it, but there was much prayer to many gods along the way. Offerings and thanks were given at the very odd “nobody works here” credit-card only, gas oasis in the darkness.
Alfred and Willow of Wite Ravyn were wonderful as always. It was good to see Nerissa again. Dusty had fun dishing with his publisher about his new book. Alfred, Willow and I talked shop into the night and early the next morning. Alfred is my doppelganger We have so much in common, talking to him is always exciting. We love each other’s ideas, and spin visions of educational excellence into the night. We made it to Terry Riley’s for dinner. They fed us meatloaf (mine and Terry’s favorite), and sweet tea. We sat around his kitchen table, and listened to him tell stories of Spring Mysteries, and how much fun we had together. They have done so much work on his place, due to the Home Depot grant he received. It’s amazing to see the transformation. It was so great to be in the south again and enjoying that southern cooking. Amberly Riley is an awesome cook, and they always are good to us at Southern Delta Church of Wicca.
We ended up in Memphis, TN about 9:00 pm, and enjoyed Sonya and Brian Miller’s company until I turned into a pumpkin, which is somewhere around midnight for those of you who have never stayed up late with me before. Then woke up to breakfast of bacon and eggs. I love their little house in Memphis. Such a contrast to the Arkansas and Missouri countryside. Seeing the pyramid always remind me that there is a new incarnation of Egypt on the Mississippi. Isis is Everywhere!
Leaving the Mid-South is never easy, no matter whose covenstead you’re at, but Home was beckoning and we left at noon as scheduled–regardless of Dusty’s continued please to stay longer at every stop. We arrived home to Micah, beer, and Tatiana’s singing. The house was clean and cozy and filled with Brenna and David love. We slept in our own bed and watched TV for the first time in almost four months. Yay. Sigh.
It’s been a gauntlet of a year. Becoming Archpriestess was intimidating and exhilarating I have had a year of meeting the most amazing people, and putting on the two most amazing pagan festivals that I can imagine facilitating. It’s such an honor to be able to serve Goddess in this way. I am so thankful to everyone that has supported me in the amazing journey. I can’t express the loving sacrifice that my family has happily endured, while empowering me to be able to do this work. I am eternally grateful to Pete “Pathfinder” Davis for entrusting me with this most holy charge, and to E’bet for taking care of the Archpriesthood while we carry this blessed work forward.
As I leave this first year and prepare for a new one, I am making plans for permanently relocating my family to Seattle. I think of all the many amazing experiences of the past two weeks and smile, realizing that it’s been a whole year of amazing new experiences as I walked the wheel as the “new” Archpriestess of the ATC. But, now that wheel has come full circle, and I am no longer the new Archpriestess. Now, I’m just the Archpriestess. Wow! Cool.