One Month Reflection: And The Why and What of an Illness

(cover, Magic Girl altered journal, (c) 2021)

Hello Friends,

Wow, Deb – an adventure, a pause, a blessing- we are so glad with the outcome.
-Kim, a friend’s Facebook message

An Adventure

I’ve been a why kid from the start.  Relentless in the quest to understand the world around me (and then later as I matured, the one within) I have an appetite to know stuff.  Once when my family visited my grandparents on their farm in rural southwest Virginia, the story goes I traipsed after my grandpa asking why -and rightfully so with all the curiosities- Why did I have to go the the potty shed outside that smells like poop and with spiders watching in the corners??  Why do you eat squirrels for breakfast?? Why don’t you have a faucet, why don’t you have heat, why is that stuffed raccoon with glass eyes that keep staring at me and bald patches on his head in my bedroom??

When he ‘d had enough, he made an excuse to go check on “something” in the upper pasture and slip out the back porch door. 

When Life, God, Source, soul, inner being, whatever your view of that which is bigger than our human psyche presents a surprise, we ask why.

Pause

I talked to my neurosurgeon, Dr. Safain recently, and I learned more about the tumor make up: not one but two types that perplexingly, I was born into this life with.  A slow growing tumor, a ganglioglioma which “is a rare brain tumor with both glial cells (responsible for providing the structural support of the central nervous system) and neuronal cells (the functioning component of the central nervous system)”, as well as a benign pituitary adenoma, whose perfect storm converged on July 23rd.  In fact, in all his years as a surgeon he’s only seen this presentation two times prior.  And astoundingly, my endocrinologist team (how truly bizarre to have a “team” of doctors now) says my case will be published in an upcoming medical journal because it is such a rarity!  Oh my stars.  What a specimen! I reckon that must make me Pituitary Tumor Royalty. Ha.

My doctors and I are geeking out on this. They beam when I go in for follow ups and I joke to them, “What, no red carpet?” I am such a freak of nature, it allows for stimulating conversations that get the why kid going all the more.  Spoiler alert: If you are not one who also geeks out at the scienc-y stuff jump down past the next 3 photos.

(My brain: the red circle was the tumor with the eyes above and the two black dots, the carotid’s in the body of the tumor.  Some of the tumor was left around the arteries due to risk concerns, but we (my prayer posse and I and to which you are most welcome to join in.  Nothing official we simply send up prayers with this intention on our own.) are intending for it to collapse and die out on its own and for the growth hormone to normalize so I will not need continuing treatment.)

(My vision test just before the surgery, July 25th.  The black denotes no vision. Yikes!)


(My vision when retested on Aug. 20th.  The dark dots are naturally occurring blind spots that we all have. Vision is perfectly restored.)

 Pause to ponder. 

Can we ever know the whole of the Why’s?

+Before we knew the full story of the tumor and when asked, Dr. Safain shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Bad Luck? Genetics? We really don’t know.”  Of course, now on a purely physical level, we have lots more information, that truly saved my vision and quite possibly life.

+ The subscribers to the sinner’s path might say I am being punished.

+Metaphysicians might conclude it must be karma since I was born with this tumor….

Good Karma?  When I reincarnated did I elect to take this on earning merits and knowing how the ripple effects would bring blessings, open hearts, draw my family closer together, deepen bonds between me and my beloved friends and community?  How I might rise up to thrive through this surprise and maybe write about it so another who faces their own hardships might rise up too?

Bad Karma?  Am I working off a debt (as some think) from a long ago demerit placed on my soul?  A dirty deed that has boomeranged at my head?

+Is it a spiritual imbalance left too long, as shamanism believes, and now long overdue for some clearing out and aligning?

+Or just time to remove  some low vibe matter that my body has no need of, allowing for a higher vibe future?

The Why Kid may never know.

A Blessing


(a page from altered Magic Girl journal, (c) 2021).

Thumbing through an unfinished altered book I made years ago, I was reminded of something I wrote about Fate and destiny:


(altered Magic Girl journal, (c) 2021).

“The choreographer of the spiral dance is our Fate.  Fate is a weave of soul blueprint, our unique potentials, combined with patterns laid out from long ago lives and the consequences of feelings, thoughts, choices, actions. 

Skills honed over the passage of the ages blend with presented opportunities to advance or lay fallow.

Stitched in are the predispositions of who we are right now; our personality, our nature and nurture, leanings and aversions.

Nestled in our infinite core, Fate is a seed, activated by our free will.  Fate then is not an inevitable fortune, or some logical predetermined end, but instead a cosmically potentized body and soul brew of what can be.

Fate, once set in motion can hint of destiny’s direction.

Buried in fertile soil, sprinkled with just the right amount of rain, and warmed with regular doses of sunshine, an acorn can grow into a mighty oak.

But because the variable of free will is involved, the same is true of our destiny.

The steps of our awakening cannot be foretold absolutely.

That acorn stuffed into the squirrel’s cheek becomes nothing more than a tasty snack.  Throw in divine intervention and we add another wild card to the mix.

This is what I suspect is happening to me…”


(altered Magic Girl journal, (c) 2021).

These days I’m increasingly interested in the What’s.  What do I do with what is given me?  What blessing or curse will I nurture? I may not be in control of what shows up on my doorstep, but I can decide how I will respond.

I’ll finish with a quote, and an anthem of sorts for the days ahead + how I would wish to make the most of the brain tumor blessings (B.T.B):


(altered Magic Girl journal, (c) 2021).

Dance to the rhythm of your soul.
Chase dreams growing in your heart.
Believe in your healing process.
Be gentle with yourself.
Be generous with the time it takes to grow.

Remember that our struggles are our testimonies.

I believe in you.
I believe the light is still there when all you see is darkness.
I believe our stories matter.
I believe in hope.
I believe in tomorrow.

There is hope to be found in the blank pages, in the chapters still to be written.

Your book of life is precious.

No one else can tell your story.
Let’s keep writing our stories.
Let’s keep dreaming and hoping.

-Dele Olanubi

To life,
Deborah Fay

Outrageously Blessed/My Brain Tumor Surgery Story

Hello Friends,

Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.
-John Lennon

My plan here was to pick up where we left off after Part I of my nature and spirit encounter. (If you missed it you can catch up here.) I was going to tell you about how after I left the woodland, crossed the stream and entered the meadow, I spied not one but two young bucks grazing in the tall grasses not thirty feet from me. And how I stopped in my tracks, awestruck. How while one buck couldn’t be bothered, the other whipped his head up and we locked eyes. Me quivering with excitement, him assessing danger levels. I had the impulse to sing to him. As I began, his ears, like a radar dish titled in my direction and he listened. Tears trickled down my cheeks, how much joy can one day bring? Soon enough, he resumed his breakfast and before long the two of them lifted off the way deer do, white tails skyward, legs and feet tucked up and leaping elegantly disappeared beneath a weeping willow swaying in the breeze.

That was my plan.

But instead another story, one that began two weeks ago today is what life had planned.  With worsening flu like symptoms and a negative COVID test, I returned for a second time to the emergency room, now with vision problems (imagine looking at your surroundings as if the brightness value on your computer screen was turned up high and one eye unable to detect anything in the lower half of its vision field).  After laying on a hallway stretcher for ten hours under nuclear white fluorescent lights and next to the lab tube delivery system (Thwunk! Twhack! Thwunk! Thwack!) we were unceremoniously given the MRI results:

You have a large brain tumor.

A what??!

I was tempted to look around and see if there was another patient this doctor had mistaken me for. Surely so. No?? It really is my MRI?

Quicksilver blips: Cancer?  Skull drilling? Head shaving? Well, if so, Niko and I will just have to get head tat’s together. That made me feel a little better. Ok.  Deep breath. Back to the moment.

Time to get me to Boston. But as 2 am rolled around, no one wanted me. No beds available. We decided to try again in a few hours once new discharge orders were posted. Steve crawled home to get a few hours shut eye and mercifully a room opened up here and I cocooned within four walls, a door and even a curtain. 

Finally, Tufts Medical Center agreed to take me. I had wanted Mass General, but now was no time to quibble, it felt right.  And from this point a high vibe and very tangible wave of excellent care on both sides of the veil began. From Rory and Cory (for real) my EMT ambulance guys (who gave me the siren VIP treatment through the city to cut through traffic and to which they admitted sometimes they use even when they don’t have a patient :)) to each nurse, doctor, bathroom escort and meal deliverer, I felt protected and oddly devoid of fear or worry.

But who had time for that?  It was boots on the ground. Tufts MRI with contrast painted the picture more clearly: a 4cm (@1.5in) beast that wrapped itself around the pituitary and carotid arteries and was pressing the left optic nerve. That explained the sickness and rapidly increasing loss of vision.  In a matter of hours it was into surgery to relieve the optic nerve, and take out as much tumor as possible and to get tissue for a biopsy. Too dangerous was any attempt to remove the entirety of the mass. But on the plus side, the overall the surgery considered, “low risk”, meant no skull crushing, or head shaving (opting to perform the procedure through the nose, blech). 

I took a mental snapshot of Steve just before I was wheeled in to the surgical suite.  What ever life I had before was a closed chapter now. What lay ahead was anybody’s guess. We hoped it would be just another boring day at the office for Dr. Safain and team. 

(Tufts gifts patients with mandala, puzzle and word search packets complete with colored pencil sets(c). 2021)

Three hours later the news was good- yep. another boring day at the office.  My vision returned to normal, and no unexpected concerns. 

Biopsy results were another 10 days out. But we cleared all the first hurdles. 

Niko came in from New Mexico for a few days-a break from his summer job as a ranger at Philmont, a Boy Scout camp he actually attended as a camper in 2015.  The boys surprised me when he came in on my discharge day. We hugged and I wept. We all needed this time together.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Outrageously blessed. My meditation practice was strong and sustained me throughout:

I was Thich Nhat Hahn walking to the bathroom arm in arm with my bathroom escort- heel-toe, heel-toe. 

I invented something I call: No Waiting, Be Curious Instead: Oh, how no control a patient has. We can’t get up to raid the frig,  pee when we feel nature call, brush our teeth, take a shower, get a drink of water. T.V. too loud next door? Hit the nurse button. Rather than feel like every request was followed by a waiting period, I got curious.  What could I hear? What was happening around me right now? How may beeps did my heart monitor make? Could I tell by the sunlight angle what time it was without looking at the clock? 

Metta practice:
May you be happy
May you be at ease
May you be free from suffering
May you be at peace- was my version.

The hospital was full of suffering. It only felt natural to offer aspirations often.

Breath brought me back to the moment over and over.

The prayers and love of my friends and family felt like filaments of white that surrounded me and I felt wrapped in love. Meals, flowers, cards, rides, texts of encouragement. I am outrageously blessed.

Steve and Niko have been pillars, poor Steve! No rest for the weary but he never complains. Outrageously blessed.

Healing has begun. When I get restless and often times during the wee hours I find ease stitching, coloring, thinking about what new creations I want to experiment with, about the days when I can resume my practice and be with you. 

We heard from pathology: benign. It’s possible the tumor remnants will die off on its own with out a blood source. We’re continuing to pray and intend for that option. 

What’s next? 

I’ll be back soon to visit.

Until then, take good care,
Deborah Fay

Ramblings of a Wild Magician: Deer, Bee + Morning Star

(Sit spot (c) 2021)
Ramblings Of A Wild Magician: Deer, Bee & Morning Star Part I
   Hello Friends!

Who is she that shines through like the morning star,
beautiful as the moon,
radiant as the sun
awe-inspiring as a cascade of starlight?”

-Janet Ruldolf

To have what I want- in this case private time in nature- meant heading out earlier than the rest. I am determined to get to the pond and find somewhere to sit and drum and write. It’s high time I beat the discord out with the drum beat. When I am full of summer’s creative fire, I tend to let the Task Master rule the roost. She is intense and relentless. So much to do, so little time, she says.  While she is a big thinker and doer, which when managed well is a huge boon- she’s also a big doubter, too. That doubt creates distance.

Nothing new. The human mind does what it does. It plays the reruns as long as we let it. But sinking down beneath thought I find longing. One we all share. To understand myself as one with the ALL. I mean understand in a way like the mystic in me yearns for. To know. To live from that knowingness, and not just some of the time. This is what we are capable in this lifetime. We are, especially if you are reading this, dialed into this and meant to develop this capacity. We’re living in this age precisely for the precious opportunity to do so. 

How like us then, when we overcome challenge after challenge, meet goals, achieve beyond our expectations, to slip back into forgetfulness when the next leap of faith emerges??


(A path of beauty reveals itself- roots, moss and wild (c) 2021)


So, I found a spot that was inviting, tucked off the beaten trail and unpacked my bag. Out  came my drum and journal. Of course, I anticipate magic. I prayed as I hiked to this place and asked to feel the connection strongly.

Leaning up against a delightfully mossy birch at the edge of the pond, I settled in and began to breathe, to expand my awareness, to quiet my mind and to merge with my surroundings. When I felt ready, I picked up my drum and began to play. Not a tune, but just what wanted to come through. A few moments later, a bullfrog started to croak with the drum beat, and a few moments after that another frog popped to the surface at my feet. He sat so still, eyes straight ahead, not looking at me, but aware of me. Frog magic, what a wonderful, wonderful healing they bring: they who clear and cleanse, they with the power of sure voice, vibrating sound, they who live between worlds of earth and water.  Steven Farmer writes in Animal Spirit Guides, “If Frog shows up it means: singing and chanting out loud will help you feel more balanced, at peace, and connected to the divine.”  I sang my soul song and beat the drum.

My Soul Song

My senses were heightened and I felt another presence behind me.  As I tuned in more closely, I recognized it as a Sioux woman with braids and penetrating black eyes. I learned her name was Morning Star. I was allowed to see her as it was time to receive her teachings. First she said, “Stay Awake!” Ha. Yes, that is entirely the point. But in this altered state I was completely awake, aware, at home, and felt my place in the web of life. Such joy and well-being. 

She delivered what I have come to consider “downloads”, telepathic teachings, immediate understandings. She taught about how this experience is our natural state, and that we have the ability to shift levels of awareness easily- as easy as changing lanes on a freeway. It needn’t be a big deal. She gave me a visceral body feeling of this to help my nervous system imprint it. Also, nature is a high vibe dimension, and in it we can and do attune to it’s state of oneness and remember what belonging is. While I communed with her, two chipmunks motored over to pause at my toes. They sniffed here and there as they do, but weren’t in the least concerned with me. It was as if I were part of the tree and they had no fear or instinct to bolt. Eventually, they scooted off single file into the woodland and out of sight. A first!



(Feeling at One (c) 2021.)

The witching hour was fading. Hikers’ conversations drifted through the air. Dogs rustled about the upper trail, rooting through leaves searching for traces of other canines. I climbed to my feet and packed my bag. In my peripheral vision I noticed a spirit herd of deer and a swarm of bees. Accompanied by them, Morning Star and I walked together along the water’s edge. 


End of Part I.
 
 

Stay tuned for what’s next,
Deborah Fay

 P.S. If you would like to come on your own Wild Magic Way walk to commune with Spirit,  message me here. 

www.deborahy-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com
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Wild Magic Harmony Podcast

 
(Our silouettes + heart leaf waiting at the trailhead. Rainbow Falls in Plymouth, NH)

 Wild Wandering: Farewell Faerie Forest   

Hello Friends! Now that Niko is an alum of Plymouth State and no longer residing in New Hampshire, I ‘m without that front burner reason to visit my now most special of forest locations, Rainbow Falls. And so while I may find a way back one day,  for now it is a bittersweet time to say farewell to these mossy paths and bubbling streams full of life force.  Here are a few last glimpses for you. 









Ah, life!
Deborah Faywww.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

p.s. Peace, stillness, time away can also be found at The Little House or via Zoom for a Spiritual Counsel Integrative Healing or Tend Your Soul, Mend Your Life session. Hope to see you soon. Book here

!Copyright © 2020 Deborah Fay D’Onofrio, All rights reserved.



 
ReplyForward

Hello Friends!

A Wild Wandering is overdue! Here is the first close to home adventure for the year: a sunrise snapshot of the ever beautiful Newburyport harbor and city. 

Waking up at 5:30am a couple days back and feeling cooped up, I jumped out of bed, threw on some sweats, grabbed the rucksack and piled in the car. By 6:15am I was sipping coffee and strolling the harbor. Soaking up those negative ions, getting a serotonin boost from the sound of lapping waves, the smell of the salty air, and taking in the rich blues of the water did much to improve the day.

Though I didn’t get a chance to snap an image of them, I saw over a dozen white swans breakfasting together on the way out to Plum Island! Magic.

BONUS: When you subscribe to my newsletter I will send you a free tutorial to make your own Mini Keepsake Accordion Travel Journal to remember one of your next adventures. All current subscribers will receive a separate email from me with the tutorial!  A few sneak peeks:

This wander is for you, my sister sea witches!


 If you look closely, you’ll see Yogis on the waterfront…


 How could anyone ever tire of this view?








Bittersweet to see closed shops, some but not all COVID casualties…









Gratefully, Best of British, a shop I’ve been supporting since Niko was a  kindergartener at the Inn Street Montessori School has survived- albeit with a change in ownership. The founder, Bernadette and Niko became fast friends and she always asked how he was doing over the years when he was no longer able to visit with me. I miss her and Bob, and hope the days have shown them kindness.


Art greets one everywhere…










Remembrance offerings….




All roads lead home….


Recent unveilings on the beach, the tides of change….


White witch, sea witch….



And last of all, but not least, the infamous  Pink House.

Until soon!
Deborah Fay

p.s. If can’t make it to the sea, and need your own reset and come for a visit to The Little House or Zoom- Integrative Healing, Spiritual Counsel and Tend Your Soul, Mend Your Life retreats are all $10 off through May’s New Moon on May 11th. Book here!

www.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

(Monarch emerging, Paisley Farm, Summer 2020. Photo Liz Auffant)
Ramblings of a Wild Magician: The Great Yes
   Hello Friends!

Big learning opportunities lately. Working with middle schoolers has given me more than my share of humble pie and chances to elevate my game. 

This passage from Eckhart Tolle speaking about a portion of his life before fame and how not taking on a limiting storyline transforms us and our lives.  Feel like it might be good to put out here for you, too. Hope you are faring well these days, and unfurling a bit in the longer light.

 Some people find that when problems come, they suddenly wake up and go, “Oh!” They become more alert and more present. When all is going well, alertness decreases and they go, “Okay, let’s have another drink. Where are we going on vacation next? Oh, let’s go to Bali. Oh, great!” And then they’re in Bali on the beach, or they’re getting a body treatment in a spa. And they might think, “Well, I’ve got exactly what I need for my full awakening because the outer conditions are now perfect.”

Yet, you may be surprised that it is quite possible that if you were wrongly imprisoned and put in a dreadful prison cell, the chances of you becoming present would probably be greater.

It’s the challenges that we need. Now, please don’t ask the universe to wrongly imprison you. The universe will give you what you need. However, to have what the mind calls the “most suitable condition for my spiritual growth,” is not necessarily the most suitable condition for your spiritual growth. “I need security. I don’t want to have to worry about money. I need people to give me enough space. My body needs to be looked after. I need to have the stimulus of travel.”

That sounds wonderful, but that’s not how it works. You’re more likely to find it when things go wrong in your life. Those can be awakeners.
There are some teachings that tell you your life is complete when you’re so good at manifesting that you always can manifest what you want. However, what you want may be a reflection of a certain egoic pattern in your mind and it may not be what is best for you. In many cases, what a person wants is not what they really need.

There was a time when I was completely lost, not knowing what to do. I thought, “I must get a job. Okay, what can I do?” That was already after my shift, but the shift was just inner. So, my outer life was a bit lost for a while. The job search never quite worked out for me.

Well, I wasn’t worried—but there was a continuous shortage. There is an example I gave in Stillness Speaks of somebody sitting on a bench, putting his hand in his pocket, and pulling out a pound or two, saying, “Oh, that’s all the money I have left.” That happened to me. On several occasions, I put my hand in my pocket and there was only a very limited amount of money left.

I wrote about that very briefly in Stillness Speaks as an example of what the situation would be like if I became invested in a story about myself, saying, “I’m ruined! I’ve thrown away all the great opportunities that life has given me and here I am stranded on a park bench. This is what my life has come to. I’ll have to go begging for money now. I have to do the most menial job just for money.” The story would go on and on in the mind. But I didn’t have that mind anymore, fortunately. If I had had it, the story would have made me very unhappy.

I gave that as an example because putting your money in your pocket without a story, you simply say, “Well, that’s the money left in my pocket. Is there anything I can do about it? Hm. Well, I can try to talk to that person or that person I know. Or I might see if someone will put me up for a few days. Or I can go to an employment agency and see if they have a temporary job.”

Without the story, there’s no suffering. With the story, there’s suffering.

And so, I stopped trying to fit in, and then people came to ask me questions occasionally. The teaching gradually started. Time came in. It took years to evolve—the ability to speak, the ability to help people using words and to find the right terminology to point to things. It just happened gradually.

Again, there’s the interplay of time and the Now. The horizontal dimension took time for the teaching to grow, for the new state of consciousness to become fully incorporated. And yet, there was always present moment awareness as the foundation.

So, when you’re aligned without the unhappiness of the story, you’re more likely to invite helpful factors into your life because—through that inner alignment—you are much more connected to the totality. You’re not cut off. When you’re connected to the totality, it can help you much more through synchronistic events. So, that’s the beauty of it.”
 

To our wild magic lives,
Deborah Fay

www.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

p.s. Check out the brand new Love Cards available now! Very limited first run, don’t tarry!

musings and adventures along the path

Hello Friends!

 From Pema Chodron’s Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change:

Heartache and Joy

The other morning I woke up worrying about a dear friend’s well-being. I felt it as an ache in my heart. When I got up and looked out my window, I saw such beauty that it stopped my mind. I just stood there with the heartbreak of my friend’s condition and saw trees heavy with fresh snow, a sky that was purple-blue, and a soft mist that covered the valley, turning the world into a vision of the Pure Land. Just then, a flock of yellow birds landed on the fence and looked at me, increasing my wonder further still.

I realized then what it means to hold pain in my heart and simultaneously be deeply touched by the power and magic of the world. Life doesn’t have to be one way or the other. We don’t have to jump back and forth. We can live beautifully with whatever comes—heartache and joy, success and failure, instability and change.


So many of you tuned in to the last post I thought I’d share some of the resources I use and find helpful to remind myself about including all the parts, all the thoughts, all the feels.  To get us going, the classic poem by Rumi:

 The Guest House​
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.​
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.​
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.​
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.​
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Resources:

Jack Kornfield podcast
Tara Brach podcast
*Pema Chodron podcast
* Eckhart Tolle anything

Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chodron
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown, Ph.D.
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach

And of course anything that helps keep you grounded in the moment. Getting in nature, movement, meditation, breathwork, chanting, art, writing, journaling…….
 
To our wild magic lives,
Deborah Fay

 
www.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

p.s. Check out the brand new Love Cards available now! Very limited first run, don’t tarry!


Ramblings of a Wild Magician

musings + adventure along the path

(altared image of one of my mixed media images, 2021)

This Too Belongs.

I’ve started subbing at the local middle school in the past few weeks. Being in a classroom with these alternately tender, sweet, annoying, exasperating, inspiring souls day in and day out opens the mind to wondering and reflecting. I overheard one student say she was held back to repeat a year and I can relate to that in how I have felt recently about my own earth school classroom. The scenarios we are, many of us facing, can feel literally like being “held back”. We may feel stuck in our circumstances, what with the limitations or even death to our once ordinary routines and daily rounds. Restrictions are placed on nearly any and everything we never had to think twice about. And with no real end in sight, for our household this means being suspended in a holding pattern that I have been struggling with and chafing against. Not wanting this. Resisting doing what I don’t want to do (yes, read subbing at a middle school, HA!). Not wanting being unable to retreat to the sanctuary of my beloved libraries to research, read, write, blog, muse. Not allowed to linger with friends at the coffeehouse, meet for gatherings with soul sisters for dinner and conversation. To meditate at the sangha. Not having the deep quiet and solitude I need for sanity sake in the home. Not wanting the difficulties I face in my personal life. Not wanting to gaze into that cracked mirror, see a reflection that pains me deeply. Depression, the black dog that skulks alongside whenever I stray too far into thinking about what is not working has me wondering: What will my future hold? What will become of me? How will I overcome all that has been lost? Can I create something better for myself?

And yet.

(altared image of Crane Beach, Ipswich, Ma. , 2021)

I’ve been reminded that This Too Belongs. Reminded that I do have a choice in how I hold my life right now. And that the not wanted belongs. The pain of what has ended belongs. The missing of friends, special places, of feeling safe; this too, belongs. Holding close and with compassion our human instinct to push away. And pause to reconsider. At times like this we can open our hearts to what we are feeling with care and awareness. The hurt belongs. The sadness and grief, yes, they belong. The worry of the unknown, belongs. Inviting the depths of Life in its many shades allows the heart to open with dignity and authenticity, to be truly alive. To accept with grace that today, the dishes may pile up in the sink. The big plans I had for de-cluttering, for dust bunny removal on an epic scale, for painting, organizing paperwork, wild wandering, have given way to another agenda. One that includes very little accomplishing outwardly. Writing today, acknowledging here, is a ritual of profound vulnerability that makes being not ok, ok. That makes not doing, ok. That makes accepting the wariness, weariness, the need for space to be and allow the yuck room to surface and be named in the light of day. The rite of including is a healing one, a transformational one, a humane one. Attending and befriending the unwanted today is an act of soul magic. And if I have also named a place you find yourself in too, may you join me in the circle of self-care, love and interconnectedness.

You belong, too.

A wonderful podcast to take a listen to:

Another rambling soon….

musings + adventure along the path

(Fungi, Willowdale, Ipswich, Ma)

Hello Friends!

The Abundance Model quote, from a beautiful book, Recipes from The Herbalist’s Kitchen: Delicious Nourishing Food for Lifelong Health and Well-Being by Brittany Wood Nickerson really spoke to me to share.  Although this applies to nourishment and food, it has overall applications too:  

“So often when we talk about our diet and our health, we talk about what not to do: what not to eat and why not, how not to be and why not, and what is wrong with the foods we eat. In these situations, our relationship with health becomes about establishing self-control and our thoughts become more focused on doubt, lack, and negativity. When we direct our energy and attention to what we want to do, what we are doing, and what we can easily and sustainability include in our life and in our diet, it is much easier to succeed because we are acknowledging ourselves for our capabilities and our accomplishments rather than our failures or limitations. With this “abundance model” in mind, over time you may find that your old attachments, self-criticisms, and “what not to do” list just sort of disappears. You will so busy being nourished by all these great additions to your life that the things that are not serving you just naturally fall away.”

food for thought….

To our wild magic lives,

Deborah Fay

See you soon for another Rambling….”
www.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

p.s. Check out the brand new Love Cards available now! Very limited first run, don’t tarry!

musings + adventure along the path

Hello Friends!

The Exact Way-

This from A Story Every Day email delivered today from Flying Edna (highly recommended!) 

“the exact way…

Both Fia & I are intrigued by way-finding. Which is all the ways that we, as humans, have mapped the places we live & how we navigate both from the known, to the unknown places…

Lately, it seems we find ourselves in a new world where all the signposts & well-traveled routes have been uprooted, or turned about. Not unknown, really, so much as unpinned. A place that requires us to carefully pay attention to each step as we discover the landscape all over again. To pay attention, with every sense alive, as we discover what gives us shelter & comfort & always, those moments we discover wild & unexpected beauty…

There are no real rules to this way-finding. It’s meticulous process of feel &  touch & listening to the quiet voice in our own hearts. It’s how it’s been for each one of us from the very dawn of things, trusting our own hearts & minds to find our way through the wild unknown until it becomes our home….

with love, kai”



“If a friend passed this along to you, here’s where you can sign up” 

To our wild magic lives,

Deborah Fay

See you soon for another Rambling….”
www.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

p.s. Check out the brand new Love Cards available now! Very limited first run, don’t tarry!

RAmblings of a Wild Magician

Ramblings of a Wild Magician

musings + adventures along the path…..

Hello Friends!

My stars, riding on wings of change, hope, liberation, creative inspiration, spirit murmurings, nature messages…. and so much on and in my mind that wants a home. Feels like it needs a dedicated space to nest- right here. 

For you who have read my creative writings, or personal sharings that have been sent to you over the years, they will continue on now under this Ramblings page. They may also include poetry, videos, photography….whatever is coming down from the muse. So many of the experiences lately seem to be not just for me, but for all of us and I’d like to put them out for you.

And so, on we go, soul kin + kith!

On Rhamanta: A Sin Eaters Guide to Signs + Messages

Today begins the adventure with a technique I came across in a book I’m devouring, Walking with the Sin Eater: A Celtic Pilgrimage on the Dragon Path by Ross Heaven. I ran across this chronicle online and got chills when I read the title, and that was enough for me to know to order it. I’d not heard of the author before and didn’t think I needed yet another shaman book, but there you have it. To listen to the deeper voice is an ongoing practice.

He speaks of the practice of Rhamanta, the “ancient Celtic practice of taking guidance from nature”:

“..relies on our surrender to chance and destiny. It in its simplest form, it means holding a question in mind and walking out into the fields and forests with a desire only to be led by the whispers of spirit. The flight of birds across a valley, the play of sunlight on leaves, or even a gust of wind might then become significant and provide the answers we are looking for, since …’nature is the visible face of spirit: a way of connecting with intelligent forces who know far more than we do’.”

He suggests, as his mentor in the book, Adam, did, to do a moving meditation with deep, slow breathing, slow steps and letting the eyes go soft and on the ground, with awareness in the belly, like you are being pulled by the land, so as to not feel as if you are guiding yourself.

He further suggests looking for three signs, or “allowing them to find us”. We can then check the information each against the other and then bring them all together to reveal a final answer.

I’ve done many kinds of divination over the years, but the idea of weaving the signs together this way was new and I wanted to give it a try. So on my walk around the town greene I did a modified version. I was walking alert and asking my question when almost immediately nature began to nudge me. You know how it feels when someone is reaching out to you to get your attention? Like that. A sound makes you stop to listen more carefully, or an object stands out in stark relief, or like it is glowing or willing you to notice it. 

I had this happen three times during the course of my walk and then as if to underscore it all, a fourth that catches my attention and breath, causing me to stop in my tracks and listen with joy. In the words of my dear friend and Irish author, Grace Clunie:

The wild Goose was a symbol of ‘Spirit presence’ for Celtic Christians. The symbol is about the strange cry of the Goose as it flies- usually ‘appearing out of the blue’ and startling the hearer- it’s an eerie unearthly sound. In the same way Spirit comes to us often unexpectedly, startling us, waking us up our to our mediocrity. Helping us to see the miracles in the mundane. “

So while I won’t go into my question itself, I did feel that 2 of the signs were meant to give you today:

Sign #1

The images above of the heart shaped impression on the sidewalk is one that instructs us to “walk a path of heart to be fulfilled and on course.” Whatever that means to you. For me, it is to be true to oneself, yes, and to come from a deeper place in these days, of the heart, rather than merely the intellect or mind. It is about living more deeply and taking our challenges to that place for guidance, which can be difficult when we don’t necessarily want to be in that gracious space….but yet it is the one we are all being invited to center ourselves in and from….I also think it relates to how “the heart of America is getting a chance to grow with the new President.”

Sign # 2

The Canada Hemlock

The two of them photographed felt like a gateway, portal to another awareness for sure. But there is also some lovely magic I learned about them while researching:

https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/tag/hemlock-tree-meaning/

“Hemlocks as a means of warmth and heat
Hemlock as an aid to magical transformation
Hemlock magically growing from a needle and offering aid”

https://treespiritwisdom.com/tree-spirit-wisdom/hemlock-tree-symbolism/

“Message: This is a time of change and movement. By approaching change with grace, we allow life to unfold before us without fear or anxiety. This may indicate that moving or travel is necessary to help gain a new perspective on a current situation. This is also a time to focus on long-term planning and visioning as you go with the flow in the present.

Challenge: Rigidity and inability to relax. Trying to control what is happening now and feeling ineffectual. Work with hemlock to loosen up and flow with more grace and ease.”

How spot on is this?

When I gathered all the messages / signs together, I did find they came together in a way I could pull from and not only was it reassuring, but meaningful. I had not encountered Hemlock on this level before, in fact how many times had I looped around the greene not having paid these two any mind?! Today when I saw them I greeted them and went over to visit for a bit. 

So there you have it. If you have yet to open to this dimension of relationship with nature I encourage you to give it a try, even if you ask a more general question like, “Do you have a message for me today?” And see what happens.

See you soon for another Rambling….

To our wild magic lives,
Deborah Fay

www.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

Hello Friends!

My advice to you now is to find a place that steadies you-a place that gives you courage, wisdom, and perspective.  Each of you knows the place I speak of.  Each of you has a place to go that centers you, because that place is your center.”

-From The Way of the Rose: The Radical path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary, Clark Strand + Perdita Finn


(image: https://www.pinterest.com/deborahfay6/)

If ever there was a time to come together, now would be that time. And yet it seems that forces conspire to keep us apart, separate, isolated, alone.  Instead of linking arms and holding hands, venting over coffeehouse tables or hugging out the sheer stress of the times, we shrink away, send regrets, “stay fluid” with the latest wave of cancellations, wash our hands for 20 seconds about a thousand times a day.

And while it is prudent and practical under the circumstances to follow such protocols for safety sake, what our human hearts need right now is connection: within, to each other, and  to the embodied divine, all often forgotten as we ride the emotional roller coaster new flash to news flash.

The good new is: Spirit has a plan. Gathering us together is priority number one. “Virtually” bringing us together to:

~Clear our energetic channels from chaos, confusion, and worry.  Release fear and anxiety.

~Root down into the security of our body’s holy ground.

~Find safe passage back to the Great Mother’s heartbeat.

~Open to the higher dimension of wisdom and knowledge.

~Re-establish and deepen links with our intuition and inner voice to discern truth + navigate successfully through these uncertain times.

~Assemble and direct the power of positive collective energy for not only our own well-being,  and those we know and love, but the good of the whole.

Well placed intentions + focused high vibration energy + group love =  real time magic + miracle curation.

You’ve heard it a kajllion times- “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”- and we know what to do.

A Month of Free Guided Meditations:

Dates: Wednesdays: 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8
Where: Via Zoom LIVE
Time: 9-10am Eastern Time

Find the weekly Link:

~within the body of this message (below) copy and save somewhere handy!
~ Email me: deborahfay6@gmail.com
~ look for weekly reminder if you are on the mailing list
~on our Facebook page: deborah fay (join to get automatic newsfeed notice)
~on our website: deborah-fay.com

ZOOM

Easy. Really. Don’t let a little technology scare you. Believe me, if I can wrap my brain around this, so can you 🙂

If you have a personal computer, laptop, smart phone or tablet, you can use Zoom (similar to Skype) to join in on group meetings. If your computer doesn’t have a camera, or if you wish to not use your camera, you can join in by audio only. 

Here’s a one-minute tutorial on zoom.https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting

 Please give it a try.  Unlike watching a video, Zoom allows us to interact with each other, making that heart connection and space for the divine to be present.
Lastly, please, please forward this event to your kindred spirit friends, family, colleagues, neighbors.  It is true there is power in numbers- Group energy is an enormous catalyst. We can change the tides of woe to wow.

ZOOM LINK FOR MEDITATION GATHERING:

https://zoom.us/meeting/565599715

(image:https://www.pinterest.com/deborahfay6/)

May holy grace + the power of the heart guide us,
Deborah Fay

Hello Friends!

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
― Virginia Woolf

(image: In Her Studio: Spaces and Stories of Creative Women, Aug/Sep/Oct Issue 2019)

The answer really, is that in my quest to create and command a space of my own, I have been able to do so through the support and inspiration of other women. “
-Janice Lowry


(image: Where Women Create, Winter 2010, Janice Lowry studio)


(image: Where Women Create, Winter 2010)


(image: Where Women Create, Winter 2010)

When we make a commitment to listen and follow the heart’s compass, part of the process can be recognizing how long certain dreams have been sitting on the periphery of one’s life; waiting, waiting.  It is sobering to see the pages that I’ve had pinned to my bulletin board of Janice Lowry’s studio, a dream space (pictured above) ripped from a magazine I read 10 years ago.  A decade! True, each dream has its own timeline, but I admit to feeling saddened when I let myself think about what might have been if action had been taken sooner.  Still, the dream breathes and I am midwifing her into the world NOW.

Driving this dream is an increasingly obsessive need, in the last year especially- to make, to create actively with my hands, and to be with other makers.  There are the things I’ve made (mostly knitted pieces, but art journaling, too), the things that want to be made or at least played with (dyeing with natural elements, upcycled clothing, bags, jewelry; crocheting, felting, weaving, sacred tool-making, shrine building, mixed media canvas work, iconography painting, mixed media assemblages and always more books and journals….) and especially important, a place dedicated to the making itself.  Included and important too, the space would host- other dreamers to dream, makers to make, kindred spirits to be, healing practices, sessions, gatherings to transform. 

Getting out of the house is a burning priority.  To be within a nurturing, beautiful and supportive space that is mine isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity. Home loses it’s haven-ness and becomes a distraction (think laundry piles, mounds of dirty dishes, the empty cupboard that needs filling, parched plants desperate for watering, precarious stacks of stuff that overwhelm) leaching productivity, focus, inspiration…..it is the double edged sword of the home based self-employed, no? 


( more images from In Her Studio)


Working from home means battling the seductive lure of rabbit holes (think the BBC’s 5:30 pm newscast, in my case)  and how easily one show bleeds into another and all of the sudden that quick 1/2 hr. break becomes 3 hours- the sun has set and one is sitting in a darkened room with a few informative headlines but not much else to show for it.) Dragging oneself up from that screen stupor and back to the study is usually impossible!  

And so, the first dream of studio space not only for my own making needs, and healing practice, but for classes and workshops (gatherings like: The Mindful Maker, Mindfulness + Meditation, Sacred Maker are a few + a healing circle and more) has my full attention and energy. 

Some ways this could manifest:


(another inspired space vision- one for us to gather and create, image: In Her Studio: Spaces and Stories of Creative Women, Aug/Sep/Oct Issue 2019))

~Space in a renovated mill building already dedicated to art studio work or not
~ A portion of a barn suited for art/healing/classes
~ A room that could be fixed up or repurposed within an outbuilding on an estate or home 
~A Baba Yaga woodland cottage 
~ Room within an existing healing arts center
~Space share with another creative/healer
~Or another venue that would support and allow this work to flourish and thrive

Funding for this space could come through a part-time work gig, barter, work exchange, benefactor donation, or other creative collaborative win-win.

Like Janice Lowry, I affirm the power of invoking and inviting the sisterhood into our manifesting.  We as women naturally jump in when a need is brought to our attention:

~We put on our thinking caps,: “Who do I know that I can connect you with?”
~We roll up our sleeves :”When are you moving? I can give you a couple hours.”
~We toss out ideas and helpful suggestions; ” Have you considered looking here?” 
~We rifle off a text to someone who knows someone
~We shoot emails to brainstorm
~We post on our social platform for each other b/c we believe in the magic of synchronicity and trust the process of how the universe connects the dots.
~We love the feeling of making a difference, helping a sister, joy begets joy,
~Good Karma- what goes around comes around

And so, dear sisterhood, readers, friends, and all those who have read through and are still with me- you are part of my dream circle.  I am asking for your sharp ears, wise eyes, nimble texting fingers, your divinely wired connections, your creative + out of the box thinking and good will.  If you have a place, person or scenario that comes to mind, let’s visit!

Sister dreamer, I leave you with this as we grow in making what we love real:

In praise of boldness, genius, power and magic,
Deborah Fay

Death Wish

Hello Friends!


I’ve spent the past two months reading cover to cover Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You’re Meant to Live . I’ve been captivated by crazy talented makers from all over the world, basking in their creative passion, determination, vision and ethos to build lives they cherish by the talent of their hands and vision of heart.

In one of the profiles, I found a quote that I’ve been reading most days as a way to remind me, much like Buddhist monks who contemplate death (and living fully) by sitting in a morgue, that this life has an expiration date.  Remembering we are all headed towards our own ending is a helpful nudge toward making the most of the time we have. 

I find as I creep day by day nearer this final passage, (barring any unwelcome surprises that might deliver me sooner), thinking about what I still hope to accomplish and experience-what I wish for is the fire to make it happen. This quote from Apple icon, Steve Jobs is one such ember:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.  Because almost everything-all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure-these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.  You are already naked.  There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

My heart consistently points me toward achievements and experiences bigger than what I feel equipped to handle, larger than I can accomplish. Maybe you too, have a heart with dreams and wishes that daunt you, but that won’t give you peace until you at least take them seriously, attempt to make something of them.

In that case, let me offer my dear poet John O’Donohue (who himself left this world at the tender age of 52) as another voice to turn to when clear and deep wisdom is needed.   I’ll leave you with his words on courage just in case you need them, and wish for you the joys of a life full of what you came to live for.

When the light around lessens
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone inside,

When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen,

When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,

Steady yourself and see
That it is your own thinking
That darkens your world.

Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light,

Know that you are not alone,
And that this darkness has purpose;
Gradually it will school your eyes,
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night-corner.

Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.

Close your eyes.
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive
To urge you towards higher ground
Where your imagination
will learn to engage difficulty
As its most rewarding threshold!

-John O’Donohue

Name It To Tame It: Name It To Claim It

Soul Collage cards: Goddess, Witch, Freedom-my collection

In ancient cultures shamans learned that to name that which you feared was a practical way to begin to have power over it.

from –A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils & Promises of Spiritual Life, Jack Kornfield

I get some of my most pithy inspirations while walking the treadmill in the morning. I do my best to get to the gym before 7am, with a book of some kind to read that bridges the inner connection while I tromp along. I’ve grown accustomed to being led to passages and pages, sometimes well away from the bookmark where I left off reading. I trust the flow. Once I read that Steven Spielberg got some of his best ideas in the shower, and studies have shown that we can open to a greater wellspring of knowingness, solutions to problems, answers to deep questions, and higher awareness when we are engaged in some repetitive task or routine that doesn’t require our single-minded attention. The combination of reading and walking is hypnotic and induces an almost trance like state that opens my mind to creative possibilities and options I wouldn’t sense in my everyday rational thought mode. It sets me up to begin the day feeling aligned with the something greater, divine.

Lately I’ve been savoring Making A Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live by Melanie Falick. Devoted to telling stories of makers near and far with story headings like , “A Weaver’s Prayer”, Dyeing For A Better World”, “Curiosity As Wayfinder”, “Work in Progress”, each morning I’m drawn into worlds of artists who are living lives of beauty, meaning, and abundance of their own design. As I clomp along, shaking off the cobwebs of the night, I am treated to viewpoints and lifestyles that broaden and enrich my own, that give me courage and fortify my forward momentum. In tandem with this joyful read, is the deep and nourishing; A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils & Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield. In Chapter Seven, Naming the Demons, Kornfield says:

We talked about the general principle of turning difficulties into practice. Recognizing these forces and giving them a name is a specific and precise way to work with them and develop our understanding. We can begin to name and acknowledge many beautiful states that grace our lives: joy, well-being, peace, love, enthusiasm, kindness. This is a way to honor and nurture them. In the same way, naming the difficulties we encounter brings clarity and understanding and can unlock and free the valuable energy bound up in them.

Making A Life and a Latvian Braid Folk Hat in progress

In the psychotherapy approach, Internal Family Systems, multiple sub-personality/ies within a person’s mental system are identified and addressed. Typically these represent the wounded parts and painful emotions that seek to control and keep a person from the pain of the wounded parts. PsychologyToday.com notes: “The sub-personalities are often in conflict with each other and with one’s core and undamaged Self, a concept at the core of every individual, and the essence of who you are.”

Reading the books together raises awareness of the various parts of me waving hands for attention. This year a more focused commitment to developing my education and experience in the fiber art world speaks to the Creatix in me, to the One Who Needs Solitude and Beautiful Space to Create. To follow the at times overpowering urge to make, and most often things I ‘ve never tried before like mixing natural dyes, dyeing yarn and fabric, and stitching and upcycling clothing, messenger bags, home decor, book covers, and accessories. Another possible direction is a movement, Craftivism, “the art of gentle protest”, that may fit in somehow with a course I am co-developing with a friend (more to follow on that). This also plays into what could be a natural fit to offer the combination of making and mindfulness into a class or group experience, so the Teacher/ Maker’s feelers are up.

At the same time, those sub-personalities wiggle to the spotlight for their say, and to do their best to save me from the hurts that they are sure will come from new growth spurts, putting myself out in different ways, and rescue me from the not uncommon frustrations that go along with learning curves. And make no mistake there are deep wounds around learning. I had forgotten the shaming that came with being a student over the years. But up it’s popped lately. The Shamed is front and center and so Name It To Tame It is part one of a powerful healing process. Whether shamanism, Buddhism, psychology or Soul Collage, each draws from the common well of getting to the root of what ails us and naming as a way to identify and clarify. Ultimately, when coupled with various activities such as making Soul Collage cards, art or written journaling, soul retrieval work through shamanism, naming and sitting with the energy and feelings, body sensations with Insight meditation techniques, guided imagery meditation to meet the parts that are in conflict with our next steps, we can work to reclaim lost or bound up energy within, and re-access the Self, the core and wholeness always present. We Name It To Claim It.

I’d love to hear about your learning adventures for the year. What are you setting your sights on? Are you doing your own Naming to Tame & Claim? If so, Brava! May you gain your freedom, joy and ease. See you on the path. xx

Wild Wandering: St. Scholastica

Only one hour away from North Andover, but worlds different from my daily rounds, is the St. Scholastica Priory. I first learned of the sanctuary when I needed a mama break, an overnight away from home to rest and regroup when Niko was an infant and while we actually lived in Central Mass. Located in Petersham, nestled amongst 200 acres of woodlands and surrounded by 10,000 acres of conservation land, the space offers a unique experience for retreatants.

Entrance

I stayed at the guesthouse for several days, with only one other occupant so quiet and peace were ample and welcome. The sisters and brothers participate in the seven hours of Divine Office (below, the weekday schedule) :

  • 5:55 AM Vigils (Monks: 5:00 AM)
  • 6:30 AM Lauds
  • 9:30 AM Mass and Terce
  • 1:00 PM Sext
  • 3:00 PM None
  • 6:00 PM Vespers
  • 8:00 PM Compline

and as a guest one is welcome to attend all, sung in mostly Latin Gregorian chant. One is also invited to eat lunch in silence with the sisters (or brothers if male) in their dining hall, with the exception of their Olde English Sheepdog pup who is not silent at all, but adorable nonetheless!

Heading in
Main worship center

I spent my days reflecting, meditating on the coming days of 2020 and doing some deep healing and processing. The first days were nourishing, bathed in the sounds of chanting and the devotional energy shed layers of stress and concern that have blanketed me for months. The rhythms of regular prayer were a salve and comforting. Having the sole purpose of devoting time without other agenda in this way allowed for a shaking loose of constraints and reconnection with essentials; breath, body, heart. The absence of duty, familiar surroundings and routine opened space to be with life and its spirit in undistracted ways.

Guest house with 18 rooms : separate wings for men and women
Guest house entrance
Entrance main worship center
Font door detail
Divine Mother and Child
Inner Sanctum
Inner Sanctum altar

Purposely setting aside distraction invites the arrival of that which needs attention, and so I spent a fair amount of my retreat sitting with and wrangling with shadowy messengers. And it was as it should be.

Room with a view
Guest house Nativity
Guest house dining hall
Guest house sitting room
Sisters’ quarters built 1929. Where female guests may take lunch with sisters.
Chapel within sisters’ quarters. Here, assembling for daily 3 pm Hour of Prayer called None.
Cozy study within the cloister. One of the novice sisters made the paper fire cut out with faerie lights.
Star to guide one on.

To book lodgings contact the guest mistress. While there is not set fee for visiting, donations are welcome.

to learn more about the sanctuary: St. Scholastica Priory

Witness + Watch but Wait No More

And it matters. Don’t for a second think it doesn’t. Or that you can put it off for another moment. Our world needs all the colour and innovation we can give right now. Our communities, global and local, are hungry for people of vision, projects of hope, people standing fully in their power not dominated by fear.

Lucy H. Pearce

(mixed media altered book page. Deborah Fay D’Onofrio, 2017)

My sense is that we as a species are becoming more aware of our spiritual senses and find our days are richer, more authentic and real as we embrace our divine nature and essence, grounding heaven in these earthy bodies. And for me, that expresses itself through a drive to seek out and write about the mystical, mythical, miraculous and mysterious we encounter on our journeys. I believe we are awakening our inner mystics and miracle makers now like never before, an en-mass quickening, shaking ourselves out of a bad dream in order to dream a new one of our conscious making, one that can re-enchant our existence, restore a wild love, holy inter-connectedness, and natural order to this tender world.

from Wild Wandering St. Anne Shrine blog post

(mixed media altered book page. Deborah Fay D’Onofrio, 2017)

Poet Mary Oliver asks us what will we do with our one wild and precious life- and as most of us are posing that very question as we cycle into a new year, I hope that you will give it its due and not reduce your potential to a few of the same old resolutions that will be broken in two weeks time. I hope you will dive deep below the surface to listen to inner nuances brushing up against your everyday life, willing you to pause and decipher. I propose that there is more for you this year. There is more for you to pull out into the open, to become, to create, to embody, to live.

Our times demand much of us. It may take courage like never before, to craft a new role in your family or community. To discard an ill-fitting identity, rock the boat of safety, reshape boundaries that fit your soul’s needs, walk knowingly into the unknown toward a future only you can reveal. If you’ve been standing on the sidelines witnessing, watching, maybe shaking your head at the mess of it all, or wondering how anything you could do could help to stem the hemorrhaging of the world’s heart, earth’s resources, protect her citizens’ sanity, safety, and even lives, or simply how you can restore balance and harmony to your own little life-wait no more.

(mixed media altered book page. Deborah Fay D’Onofrio, 2017)

Let this day, tomorrow, and each day that follows be one where you and I can truly “dream a new dream, one of our conscious making, one that can re-enchant our existence, restore a wild love, holy inter-connectedness, and natural order to this tender world. ” It has been said that changing the world begins with changing ourselves. How might you be willing to change this year? Not to become some idealized or improved version of yourself, but to become more of the already beautiful you that is here right now? The one that is as is, desperately needed?

Where in your life will you wait no more?

(mixed media altered book page. Deborah Fay D’Onofrio, 2017)

Wild Wandering: St. Anne Shrine

Interior view of St. Anne Shrine, Sturbridge (Fiskdale), Ma.

The introduction to the saints and mystics began early on my spiritual path. Theirs were some of the first stories and divine beings I learned about. They stirred my heart especially, thinking about the circumstances many of them endured and lived, loved and thrived through. St. Hildegard of Bingen  (1098–1179) , Benedictine abbess, visionary, composer, polymath was tithed to the Church at a young age-if one can imagine such a thing- and is reported to have become an anchorite, deliberately walled into the confines of a structure with only the barest living essentials, spending her days within the strict enclosure (at least until later in life when she became magistra of her own community of nuns.) in prayer, meditation, studying. She did not come into her own until middle age, as prolific writer, composer, orator, healer and more. Perhaps this restrictive existence contributed to the deepening of her gifts, or at the very least the removal of distraction to face them and surrender to bringing out into the greater world as she did eventually.

Enamored and fascinated by her and others: St. Joan of Arc, St. Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Bernadette of Lourdes, Gobnait, of course, Brigid, Mother Mary and others, I found a deep resonance with the mystic life; challenging no matter the century we find ourselves in. Like Hildegard who is quoted as writing:

 “Although I heard and saw wondrous and mysterious things, I refused to write them down because of self-doubt and my fear of the opinion of others,” she wrote. Weary and frightened, she gathered the strength to begin recording her visions. Once she started to write, her health greatly improved. “

Cynthia Overweg, Hildegard of Bingen: The Nun Who Loved the Earth
St. Anne

I’ve resisted opening up about some of the mystical experiences I’ve had. I, too, have found that as I have given up the struggle, surrendered to the life that wants to come through me, that I feel stronger and more alive. My sense is that we as a species are becoming more aware of our spiritual senses and find our days are richer, more authentic and real as we embrace our divine nature and essence, grounding heaven in these earthy bodies. And for me, that expresses itself through a drive to seek out and write about the mystical, mythical, miraculous and mysterious we encounter on our journeys. I believe we are awakening our inner mystics and miracle makers now like never before, an en-mass quickening, shaking ourselves out of a bad dream in order to dream a new one of our conscious making, one that can re-enchant our existence, restore a wild love, holy inter- connectedness, and natural order to this tender world.

Today Wild Wandering takes us to a shrine I first discovered in 2004: St. Anne in Sturbridge, Ma.

Located at St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish, Sturbridge, Ma.

The Parish website retells:

“In 1879, Monsignor Elzear Brochu, a Southbridge pastor in failing health, pledged to St. Anne that if he were to regain his strength, he would propagate her devotion by building a shrine in her honor. He did recover his health, so he purchased the land and had the present St. Anne Church constructed in 1883. He predicted that great wonders would be worked there. St. Anne Church as built in 1883 as a mission of Notre Dame Parish in Southbridge, MA.  Simultaneously, another mission was established under the patronage of St. Patrick.  Both missions were united in 1887 to form St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish. “

Other healings have taken place over the years and the shrine has expanded to include an outdoor service pavilion, Hall of Saints, Russian Icon Exhibit, Angel of Hope, Generations Statue, a number of outdoor tributes such as a Way of the Cross, large Crucifixion, labyrinth, and a number of assorted outdoor statuary.

I spent time in prayer in front of St. Anne and can tell you there is certainly an energy field held in this space. Even with a few fellow pilgrims coming and going, it was not difficult to stay in the quiet ambiance of the sanctuary.

Tokens of thanks, worship and crutches of the healed left behind.
Leg braces with dates worn and then, not.
Another attached shrine
Russian Icon Exhibit
Our Lady must be busy these days

Arch Angel Michael
Way of the Cross

Long view of the Way of the Cross
Joan of Arc
The Labyrinth- take note: the stones are currently mixed and difficult to walk, unless you walk your own path….
Hall of Saints
Tribute to the First Peoples
St. Patrick Shrine

The Shrine is open daily and masses are held throughout the week. Plan on spending some time, lots to take in.

Peace on you

Deborah Fay

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Hello Friends!

Welcome to our first blog, here at the brand new deborah-fay.com. This is a fresh approach for us and we ‘re happy for it. Join the hive here as the latest posts are available or be informed right away by subscribing to us HERE.

TODAY ONLY! Leave a comment below or join our deborah fay Facebook Group and you will be automatically entered into our Opening Day Raffle to win your choice of Spiritual Counsel or Elevated Energy session. Both are available either via phone, Skype or in person.

So,what will greet you at Weaving the Wild Wanderings? Part muse, travel journal, nest for beauty and nature connection, outlet to share creative, artful and expressive projects, meeting place for kindred spirits and space to visit with luminous places and people all over the globe. We are a refuge from the insanity of humanity, bridging higher and deeper energies for transformation, teachings for soul awakening, growth and expression.

COMING SOON: Mysticism, miracles and mystery revealed. What are we human beings really capable of? Are we living in times that are priming us to dismantle accepted conventions, cultural limitation, scientific norms and unleash our true potentials as an evolving species? Are we able to perform healing miracles, or welcome divine assistance to realign us? Are we moving into an era where illness and disease will become outgrown manifestations of suffering, separation, vibrational anomalies? Are we willing to be the mystics of a New Age, reaching levels of awareness, intuitive capacity and presence once only achieved by past masters? Are we on the tipping point of coming together to demonstrate miracles of global peace, unity, coherence as we practice the power of mysteries once known by an exalted few?

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To begin, through site visits to shrines, holy places, sacred ground & thin places across New England and beyond, I intend to witness and engage the energy, healing and to create my own tales of discovery bringing you along each step of the way. Because we now host a proper blog forum, we’ll be able to interact through the comments feature and create community in new ways. Through discussions, sharing ideas, writings and resources we can perform our own experiments, compare notes and manifest our own personal and planetary (r)evolutions. Opening to the flow of Life, who knows what we can accomplish?

I welcome you to share your thoughts or response, include your own travel photos, or creative project images, and spark conversations with other readers, weaving connections in real time, making room for deeper listening, finding common ground and bonding at the same time.

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Please make yourself at home and browse around the site, there’s lots to take in!

Her whole life led to the moment when she said, This is the life I want. And she never again wasted time on anything that wasn’t.

Kai Skye

Oh, to live the life we want! What a fanciful thing some will say. How Pollyanna, how child-like. You are naïve, they will insist. That isn’t how the world works, you know. Once my own mother, exasperated with my stubborn refusal to give up on Yes, dreams can too, come true…and with furrowed brow and finger stabbing the air in the way only a woman whose own dreams had been pressed from her heart with boulders of life’s burdens stated matter-of-factly, “Life sucks and then you die.” Luckily, after encounters like this, I could retreat to my safe haven where unicorn posters listened, ears perked and eyes brown with sympathy and staring up at pink and purple flowered ruffles that draped my canopy bed, I would wonder just what kind of place this earth was.

Over the years, I’ve never truly lost my child’s heart though I did spend a great many years with her banished to a faraway place for her own good. This is what we do, isn’t it? When the hurts of life become too great, we reach an arm around the tender bits and do whatever necessary to protect them. “Go, on you’ll be safe over there.” Well-meaning as we might be, hurt usually mingles with fear. And fear is a cruel master to entrust our futures to. If we let fear have its way, we risk its dark spell for our life’s entirety, frittering the days away. We may wave off bright experiences tapping on the window; the couch is awfully comfortable and oh, this is the re-run I love. Wary of failure, one of fear’s tastiest carrots, we sit on our hands, avert our eyes, take up the back of the line. No, really you deserve the promotion. He wasn’t my type. I’m not smart enough. Who has the energy for that?? What’s the use? Fear is only too eager to insist that the past repeats itself; if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. Therefore, the past becomes the present and of course the future. So, settle in right here. Better safe than sorry to have tried, sorry to have tested the boundaries, to have broken a mold with all that pesky, uncomfortable unknown to face.
Eventually if we live long enough in this way, a heart forms a crust. A barrier that deafens, distances us from our true nature, which is to say our magical nature. As it scabs then scars it becomes a forgetful thing, hardened, misshapen. It forgets that its pulse is singular and irreplaceable; a drum beat of joy, passion, ecstasy, living rightly. As memory fades, so too, does it knowing its song and place in the universe.

Worse still, it is tone deaf to the melodies it once played with the others. Insulated from its knowing, it views otherness with stranger’s eyes, no longer recognizing kin. Generosity gives way to mistrust, open minds close, kindness is reserved for like-kind, compassion portion controlled.

A lost heart is lost to all hearts.

A lost heart is not beyond hope, however. Nor is it forever out of reach to its greater whole. In fact, ours are times of reclaiming lost hearts. Of summoning our wild magic back. Of re-enchanting life. Sharon Blackie, author of The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday, writes, “it is founded on a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world; a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life.” With magic as a thread leading back to the land of the living, a lost heart can retrace its steps out of a maze of confusion, fear-filled experiences, and soul amnesia to emerge holding new possibilities.

With magic, we can co-create from a position of wholeness and whole-heartedness. As the force of creation, it reminds us that we are interconnected and inseparable from all that is Life, because magic is Life. It is ever present and available to us, like invisible air currents on which the hawk soars, or the blood that courses through our veins nourishing our each and every cell. Magic supports us. We can call aloud on magic to join with our intentions, to shape with us into being the life that we want. It has been said that that which we seek, also seeks us. I think of magic in this form as aware of us and a willing partner to share in the adventure of life that Blackie speaks of. We are magic, and magic is us.
Frequently, all a lost heart needs is a direct encounter with magic to jog its memory and change its trajectory toward this belonginess and re-enchantment Blackie describes. When you pay for the guy behind you in the drive thru line (and no, you don’t know him!), drop a note in the mail to a relative you haven’t seen in ages, offer to babysit for a mom with a newborn, run errands for a house bound neighbor, plant an edible landscape in the town center, these are everyday magics for and of the heart and transformative acts. In the great circle of life, getting and giving, giving and getting can beget greater acts of good and spiral into intentional practices as such.

The magics we need are the ancient ones: starlit skies to lie under, wise trees to lean up against, a child’s wonder-filled eyes to spark our imagination, lark song to sing with, a mountain stream lullaby to calm us. The wild magics reweave wholeness: fire dance and woodsmoke, storytelling and myth making. Speaking the poems, chanting the old words, worshipping at the holy wells, listening in the sacred groves, casting cares to the sea.

Beauty is one of magic’s most persuasive handmaidens. In Beauty: Rediscovering the True Sources of Compassion, Serenity and Hope, John O’Donohue writes, “The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere-in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, companionship, love, religion and in ourselves…. When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are of beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul.”

Ours are times of reclaiming lost hearts. Of summoning our wild magic back. Of re-enchanting life. In these momentous days ahead, we get to decide how we will contribute to this new world. Will we be the magic makers? At deborah-fay.com we are all about spreading magic because we are convinced that is the way to bring hearts alive, to remember our kinships, connection to one another and earth and do our part to live true.

Travel with me to nature, land and beauty-based destinations, come meet intriguing artisans, makers, healers, farmers, creatives, poets, bards; folks who make, live and breathe their own magic. Roll up your sleeves and create art, crafts, stories, stretch your imagination and talents with workshops and classes. Visit here to find space to just be, check our Instagram page for regular beauty posts. Shop for high vibe Sacred Mists and care packages to elevate and bring good energy into your personal space. Collect Keepsake greeting card sets. They are substantial, yummy to the touch, a delight to write in, and keepsake worthy, much more than a greeting card, they hold the unique energy of the place visited and nature itself! Schedule an intuitive healing session to stay clear and well.

Please do reach out with any questions, queries, and especially stories of how you are living the life you want, your own wild magic life!

musings and adventure along the path…

(winter altar)

The White Maiden

Hello Friends!

Here is a compelling excerpt from Walking with the Sin Eater: A Celtic Pilgrimage on the Dragon Path the book from my last post. In this passage Ross spends the night in a hollow tree trunk in Glastonbury, England and in an altered state meets The White Maiden. She is an oracle that recites the following message still so true today, even over 10 years after publication date:

“The moon has had its fill of sin on Earth.
The nature of man has changed
And become unpalatable to the sin-eater moon.
Once it was small and heartfelt concerns
That if fed upon:
Sorrows and regrets,
Passions and yearnings,
Acts which were still of love
Though misguided or wrong.
Now it is the loveless crimes
Of the wicked few who are so lost and hungry for power
That they will consume the world.
They have poisoned their homes and their souls
And made themselves tasteless to the spirits.
Without the moon to guide you
The tides of man’s fortunes will change
And the world will shiver in chaos,
The polluted souls of your leaders
Will express themselves
As the pollution of the earth.
The tides will rise and engulf them;
The flood will come,
And the sun will shine more brightly on the earth.
Then, through God’s illumination,
Those who have sinned will be transformed
From matter to spirit.
Those without true hearts,
Who have forgotten their purpose and origin
And fallen amongst illusion
Will be transformed,
Ravaged by waves and plague.
It will be an end and a beginning.
For Albion and Eden will rise again
from this great cleansing,
And Earth will become a paradise once more
For the righteous few
Who remain 
Aware
Awake
To love.”

Then: “The oracle is a channel for the earth.” 
Something to ponder…..

To our wild magic lives,

Deborah Fay

See you soon for another Rambling….”
www.deborah-fay.com
deborahfay6@gmail.com

p.s. Sunday is the last day to get your special savings on Valentine’s and gifts for the Heart