Sunday, September 28, 2014


It was at witch camp one year when Norman had a mystical experience. He was one of the campers, a rational man, mostly. He had been out in the woods drumming with some other campers. After awhile people wandered off to go to sleep but Norman stayed on, under the stars. As he sat there, he heard drumming and chanting. Thinking some other group of drummers had formed, he followed the sound but was unable to find any other humans in the wood. The sound of drumming, he said, was loud and clear.

He became uneasy, looked up at the sky. He could not recognize the constellations. He ran back to camp and sat, wide awake, shivering, next to the teachers' cabin, for the remainder of the night. I saw him from the window early in the morning, went to find out what was wrong. He told me his story and then said, "When the other campers find out, there will be panic." You can see why he would think that. But the thing is, mystical experience tends to be individual. I told him it was unlikely anyone else heard the drumming. Those who had experienced the mystic would know and understand, those who hadn't would think his story was the product of his imagination. In either event, the only person who was panicked was Norman. Poor Norman.

I think that's the last year he came to camp.

I mention this because I had one of the most potent mystical experiences of my life yesterday. Believe me I have had many contacts with the unexplainable. I'm a mystic - that's what we do. I'm not the first, nor will I be the last, to have this kind of experience, by the way. I scan for the mystic, since this is my calling. Likewise, I have spent most of my life studying the art of sensing subtle energies. When people tell me about their numinous moments, I sometimes say, Welcome to my life. Or sometimes I say, You can't make up this stuff.

It happens to me often enough that it takes a whopper to throw me into a fit of the shivers, like Norman, under the tree, in front of the teachers' cabin. Yesterday I had the same kind of shivers. I alerted my women's group, aka my sisters, asked for grounding energy. Energy arrived almost instantly that brought me back to myself. One of my sisters "saw" aspens in her mind's eye, and the thought came to her that we are connected through the roots. The perfect thing to say to me while I was quaking in my damn boots.

As for the content of the experience, it sounds as flat as Norman's story when I put it into words. I was with a Reiki student, we were sending long distance Reiki backwards in time to our fathers. At one point, I felt his presence in the room. It was unlike anything I've experienced previously with ghosts or spirits or other ancestors. He was there, flesh and blood. Some other hair raising stuff happened, too.

I sensed my father's presence. It sounds like nothing unless you've had a similar moment. If you have, you know how powerful it is, if you don't, you might be thinking, Oh that Reya. She is a few chips short of a fish dinner. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dancing through the Days of Awe

Happy autumn, happy new moon, happy Jewish New Year. Wait, the High Holy Days are not meant to be happy. The days of Awe are supposed to be serious, contemplative. Though there will be feasts this evening, (including here at the chateau) and the blowing of the shofar - which is pretty fun because it's so weird sounding - after that the holiday settles into a rather excruciating intensity for those who participate. Many Jews forget all about the days between Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur. There is probably wisdom in that.

I love the High Holy Days - of course. One of my favorite pastimes is contemplation. Intensity is my normal. I like taking my time. A ten day holiday is perfect for me - there's plenty of time to delve deeply into it. So hey what is not to love?

I've been engaged for the last 24 hours in some new year's eve contemplation, looking back over the last year, thinking about what I've learned, the mistakes I made, and such. It was a very dynamic year!

One of the most useful things I learned is that sometimes, during certain eras of life, it's best not to push too ambitiously to accomplish everything. Timing is everything when it comes to achieving goals. This past year was not in any way horrible or boring - just the opposite. As for accomplishing great things, it was a total fizzle.

What I learned is: that's OK! Every year does not have to be stellar. So be it.

Since I lowered my level of ambition, I've been sailing smoothly along through the days and nights. After a winter and spring in which I aimed high and failed repeatedly, I changed my strategy to great effect. Summer was lovely. I spent my time doing all the mundane things I enjoy most: walking, looking at art, taking pictures, spending time with friends, cooking, cleaning, working on clients. I didn't travel, I didn't get out of DC in August, something I usually think of as Absolutely Necessary.

It was fine! The weather was so nice and the city was so quiet. Sweet.

One thing you're supposed to do during the High Holy Days is make amends. The one big apology I owed has already been extended. I'm pondering whether I should apologize again. It's possible one sincere apology is enough. My spirit guides hate it when I over-apologize. I look forward to meditating on it.

Hear ye hear ye! The book of life is open for perusal between sunset tonight and Yom Kippur. I will leaf through the pages, as I always do, and happily say goodbye when the year ends on Yom Kippur. Though you could hardly call me an observant Jew, I do resonate with the rhythms of the religion. I can dance with those rhythms.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Never say never

It has been another surreal week in the Reyaverse, strangely hot and humid after a cool, dry summer. I've had the weirdest dreams, such as: I woke up with the thought in my head that I was compost made mostly of orange peels and leaves. I mean seriously - I dreamed that? I did. I'm certain I've never had any dream image as weird.

Fun to think about, though, as I've taken my walks and snapped my pictures. Hmmm. I'm certain the orange peels are related to my experience in Paris. When people ask, "How was your trip to Paris?" and are expecting a short answer, I say, "Enriching." It surely was. Now that enrichment is ready to be placed around the roots of something or another. What do I want to grow? What seed will I nurture, come spring? Fun to contemplate.

I also dreamed I was living in England, and so happy about it. I even dreamed I was driving a U.K. car. I can remember how cool it was to change gears with my left hand. England has been much on my mind. When I need diversion, what I tilt towards almost always these days are British TV dramas. I've watched all the Endeavors twice, most of the Morse series, and I love Foyle's War. I started reading Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking People, a four volume set. I wonder if I'll make it all the way through? He was very thorough! I'm enjoying it, thinking if we're in for another long, cold winter, it will be just the thing to get me through.

The dreams about being in England make sense because I've been daydreaming about a trip to that green and pleasant land. I said I would never travel again after I returned from Paris, didn't I? Oh I am such a hypocrite. Yes.

I would love to see London and of course see Steve Reed, a blog friend since the Stone Age of blogging and "real life" friend for many years, as well as my shaman buddy Elizabeth, who I met when I taught witch camp in Somerset County. I'm itching to feel Hampstead Heath underfoot again. It is such an untamed place. I also want to get out of London, go south and see Avebury again, drink a pint inside the circle, meet and greet the stones and the Longbarrow. I'd also like to see the coast, and have even - am I nuts? - imagined taking the Eurostar to Paris for one day - with Steve or someone.

London and Paris - twins

Also I'm going back to the mountains in Oregon for Thanksgiving. In fact all surviving siblings will be there. It will be an epic gathering. So what was I saying about never traveling again?

It's a good thing I've developed the practice of not taking myself too seriously, otherwise I could get into a big self blaming thing right now about wanting to travel after proclaiming just the opposite. Better to laugh at myself (I am so funny!) and return to my daydreams, yes? Why not?

For heaven's sake.

Happy Saturday, y'all. Shalom.

Friday, September 5, 2014

B Movie

Summer is officially over in DC. Almost everyone is back in town, the roar of traffic is almost as loud as the cicadas. It is September - except - all of a sudden we're in a little heat wave. After a blissfully cool summer of abundant rain, clean skies, dry air (which was really weird) now all of a sudden it's hot and humid like it was supposed to be a month ago.

It's September for sure. The angle of Brother Sun has changed dramatically in the last few weeks. But now - only now - are we getting typical summer weather. My body is so confused. I've solved that problem by way of a trip to the acupuncturist. Also I bought some super high quality tonic water. The gin I mix with it doesn't hurt either.

In the movie of my life, though I can remember far more traumatic years, I can't remember a year as surreal as 2014. It has been a B movie epic for me, no more, no less than that.

Every chapter has been bizarrely magnified. Simple tasks, such as buying a birthday cake, getting a new pair of glasses, humdrum events in the past, became epic stories. Weird!

Yes, I guess it had to snow on my birthday, a sleety, slushy snow that was no fun to walk in which is what stopped me from picking up the holy grail of birthday cakes from Baked and Wired in Georgetown, not to mention the cake slices from the Watergate Bakery on the day the health department shut them down.

The holy grail of eyeglasses was my plan to buy frames from Warby Parker, get a real eye exam from a doctor not as interested in the fashion of it, thereby being fashionable while still having top notch vision. I believed I could successfully buy a pair of glasses that didn't end up costing $1,000. (The lenses are always by far the most expensive part, should say.) It was my quest. Queue the music. Music sputters out.

I'm still wearing my old glasses. Yeah.

The longing to go to Paris was definitely a call to seek the holy grail. Paris was the holy of holies! Something important happened to me there that is bigger than the sum of the stories, though I did accumulate some very surreal stories indeed, such as the day I tried to go to Notre Dame and got spun around in the rain and the wind, totally lost even with my google maps, crossing back to the left bank no matter how hard I tried to go to the Marais. Finally I gave up, returned to the Hotel du Dragon where I lay in bed watching the Simpsons dubbed in French, and drank wine from the bottle.

That's a pretty funny story, especially the end. How about my soul retrieval at the Eiffel Tower? That was just like a B-movie, not elegant but lyrical nonetheless. Actually it was more like a student produced art film. The guy next to me was playing the theme to Titanic on one of those south American flutes, someone was renting time on his trampoline to passersby. There were other buskers about. That's why I felt no would notice me dancing around, rattling my glow-in-the-dark skull rattle, Eduardo. And then the sky cleared all of a sudden. Brother Sun was high above the tower. Sunlight streamed down the tower into me. A woman walked up and handed me a Euro.

A student produced art film, indeed.

This summer, too, has been surreal even though I have no dramatic stories to tell. I decided to abandon all ambitions for the duration of 2014, a wise decision I think. I've just been living out my life: seeing clients, walking around, taking pictures, cooking, hanging out with friends, going to the Matchbox bar, that sort of thing.

What was surreal this summer was the crazy cool, not humid summer. We had a Lake Tahoe summer with relatively dry air and highs in the 80s almost every day, lows in the 60s at night. That is unheard of here. It was a struggle not to take it for granted. It was surreal, a boring B-movie shot in lurid Technicolor.

Now it's September and hot, humid. Completely bizarre.

And the world seems aflame: Ebola, IS, Gaza, Ukraine, Ferguson, the children at the border, grisly beheadings, etc. Meanwhile, here on East Capitol Street, all is well. Today I'll walk, shoot pictures, sip a gin and tonic out on the terrace after I see clients. Then I'll cook a nutritious dinner and watch a British detective tv show. Peace is the prevailing energy at the chateau. The disconnect is bizarre.

2014: What a WEIRD year. I'm not complaining. I'm confused, also grateful for my good fortune in the midst of it.

Onwards to autumn. Shalom.