clara’s story.

The Conception and Pregnancy

Taken on my due date, December 6th, 12 days before she came earthside. Unfortunately this is the last belly picture. Everything happened so quickly that photos were forgotten.

Taken on my due date, December 6th, 12 days before she came earthside. Unfortunately this is the last belly picture. Everything happened so quickly that photos were forgotten.

I set the intention for this pregnancy in January surrounded by a group of women that exuded the feminine divine. I was pregnant mid March. The nausea started and didn’t stop for the entire 1st trimester, all day all night. It was havoc on my household. Everyone suffered. After that I got a month long sinus infection that was taken to pneumonia status. It seemed my health would never return. But it did eventually and I had a decent 6th and 7th month. The 8th month however was brutal. I got sick again, was not gaining weight and there was talk of c-sections for the babies safety. I put out gobs of prayer requests, set up an altar at home for the baby and did everything within my power to take care of myself. I prayed that I would go past my due date when it seemed that all odds were against it. The doctor that my midwife sent me to said I would never make it to my due date and if she were me she would just have a c-section. My midwife, upon hearing of my determination to have my baby at home no matter what, gave me a wincing face and would not share my faith in positive thinking.

Even through this crazy chaos, I was so grateful for this life inside me.

Blessedly I have an amazing husband and a group of phenomenal friends and family that all shared my faith.

I was set to defy my doctor and midwife of their reasoning and put myself into the hands of Spirit. I had daily conversations with the baby asking him/her to hang out until we were both ready for the healthiest birth. My due date came and went and I slowly started to feel better and more positive. I felt ready. I was 12 days late.

The Birth Day

The previous day (Wednesday) I’d been having lower back pain for a large portion of the day. I told Niko that I felt positive we would go into labor the next day, Thursday. Thursday dawned well after having mild contractions all night around 45 minutes apart. I felt good. I felt great actually. Daisy wanted to stay home but I told her no. I’d call her if things got serious.

My midwife called me early morning to see how I was doing and I told her about the contractions, that they were still far apart but I felt positive. She then proceeded to tell me if I didn’t have the baby by my 2 week late date (Saturday) she was required by law to send me to the hospital for care, and that we had to schedule a diagnostic ultrasound immediately because again it was required by law and if they deemed the baby less than 100% passing on their “test” they would send me in for induction immediately even if we hadn’t hit that 14 days. I told her my baby was fine. I was fine. I wasn’t comfortable going for the ultrasound but she said there was no choice. She then proceeded to tell me that her most recent client went 2 weeks over, failed the diagnostic, was induced at the hospital and after a horrendous labor had to have a c-section.

Yes. That is how she claimed my lovely morning and relaxed peace of mind. And I let her.

When I hung up the phone with her I was in tears. A complete basket case. My husband was amazing, as usual. He did what he could to calm me down. Told me we’d fire the midwife if necessary and that everything would be ok. We talked about the repercussions of everything and decided to just be in the moment as much as possible. At that point my contractions had stopped. Completely. Thank you, dear Midwife. I’d just read not hours before about trying to stay as relaxed as possible when contractions began to help along labor. I’d been spun in the complete opposite direction.

I sent out prayer/magic requests for the second time and asked Niko if we could go for a walk. So we put Leelu in her stroller and walked for more than an hour. It felt good and began to relax me again. The contractions returned 45 minutes apart. When we returned from our walk my friend Laura came over with some essential oils, a talisman, and love. She saged me and we meditated on some childbirth verses for awhile. Then she told me that she felt I should eat something comforting. That my body wanted to be fed something decadent. So she went and got me a slice of heavenly chocolate cheesecake from our neighborhood health food store. She had no idea that I’d been on a crazy strict diet for the last month plus of no chocolate or sugar, among other things and that cheesecake was probably JUST what my body was asking for. After she left it was around 2:30. I allowed time for some intimacy with my beloved, for the sake of ripening my cervix. (tmi? I’m all for full disclosure.) I was determined. Contractions were still 45 minutes apart.

He left for the store around 3:15 and called my sister to tell her where we were with everything because she was to be present for the birth. He told her it would probably still be hours (because that’s what I told him). My guestimate was 8ish. I hadn’t called my midwife back at that point because I was still 45 minutes apart and was feeling good again. I didn’t want to jinx it. Leelu was napping and Daisy got home a little after 3:30. I was in bed and we talked about our day. She started timing my contractions around 3:45 or so. At that point they started speeding up. Dramatically. I still felt it would be awhile though. I did the dishes, talked about showering and vacuuming, but when Niko got home I told him there would be no time to set up the birthing pool and he needed to call the midwife because my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart. THAT fast. It was somewhere around 4:20… My sister arrived and I was in the bathroom. I had her lay down a shower curtain on the living room rug and top it with a soft blanket. I was down to less than 2 minutes apart.

A very dark photo, taken from my phone. There are no others to show the magic we experienced. But that's ok. They are ingrained in our hearts.

A very dark photo, taken from my phone. There are no others to show the magic we experienced. But that’s ok. They are ingrained in our hearts.

Daisy took Leelu to our neighbors house (I’d given Leelu the option of staying) and when Daisy came back I was on all fours having decently wicked contractions. I felt I needed to push and did. I told Niko to take my pants off (yes, I still had them on. I could only think so far ahead 🙂 ) and look to see what was going on. My sister looked and saw the baby’s head crowning. With the next contraction I pushed her head out and Carrie reached in to help me deliver the rest of her. All in one single one minute long contraction. She was so ready. She was born into my sister and husband’s arms around 4:40 (no one thought to look at a watch) with my little sister and oldest daughter present. She was perfect and it was out of control magical. The midwife showed up about 15 minutes later and delivered the placenta and took care of the rest of the story 🙂 She and the doula stayed for the next couple hours and I was glad when she was gone. The pregnancy had been difficult. The worry and stress probably more than I’ve ever experienced, But the birth was perfect and our little Clara Magdalene is here, 7 lbs, 7 ozs. She latched onto my breast beautifully and slept most of her first night in the world, giving her mommy more sleep than I’ve gotten in a long time.

This girl is a remarkable piece of a Divine Plan. Thank you to everyone that played a part in the magic.

My 3 girls <3

My 3 girls ❤

The day after...

The day after…

2 blessed weeks old

2 blessed weeks old

prayer for release

I performed a ritual at my yoga studio during the waxing quarter moon. The waxing moon benefits growth and increase but the purpose of my ritual was for clarification and peace.

My studio is in a state of transition as my body is in a state of transition as our life is in a state of transition. What I needed was a sense of peace to let go and give it up to Spirit. It as in decisions, worry, grief, etc. The moon happened to be waxing so I had to adjust my intent. My intention was an invitation to my purpose.

I wish I had some pictures to share, especially being that it’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog with any content. But my cameras broken :(. I might find some related images on the net to share.

My rituals are often much simpler than this one. For instance, I usually don’t even cast a circle. But I was following an outline by Diane Stein and so changed my format a bit. Variety is good for the soul.

The entire studio was purified with sage and cleared with a singing bowl. I set up a Labyrinth in the center of the room made of tea lights and lit these before I cast my circle. I used amber incense for casting, as amber is excellent for clarity. Circling the area 3x I directed the smoke from the incense first low, then waist-high, and finally above my head.

I cast this Circle, not for protection, as I know I am protected in this sacred space. I cast this Circle to contain and heighten the energy to focus my will and clarify my intention. I cast this Circle for purity of purpose. I cast this Circle as an offering to Spirit to hold the sacred energy of manifestation.

I set the incense on the altar and took up a bowl of water.

Sacred element of water, I call upon you and ask that you be present during this ritual to aid my magic with your purification. I seek your constant flow to balance emotion. I ask that you be here now.

I lit a floating candle on the water.

Transformational fire, I call upon you and ask that you be present during this ritual to aid my magic with your power. I seek your burning flame to cut through barriers that may be holding me back. I ask that you be here now.

I blew my breath lightly over them both.

Winds of change, I call upon you and ask that you be present during this ritual to aid my magic with your lightness of being. I seek your cool breeze as a reminder that this too shall pass. I ask that you be here now.

I sprinkled sand in the bowl.

Solid earth. I call upon you and ask that you be present during this ritual to aid my magic with your stability. I seek your strength to be prepared for whatever comes. I ask that you be here now.

There was no rhyme or reason for the order of my callings. I simply did what came to me at the time.

Calling on the maiden and the moon.

I invoke thee, Great Spirit, maiden goddess. I seek your innocence and your purity. I seek these tempered as they are with wisdom. I seek your action and your potential.

I call upon the powers of the waxing moon. That time of increase, creativity, and manifestation. I seek your increasing strength for the purpose of this ritual.

Even this miniature version holds such depth, don't you think?

I walked the Labyrinth as the main body of my ritual, having placed a picture of the full moon at the mouth, symbolizing the completion of the journey and the point of knowing. I sought for my peace by the rise of full moon. As I walked, I spoke these words:

As the moon waxes and continues to grow with light, so do I become clearer in thought and direction. As the moon continues to grow with light becoming round and full in its power, so is my spirit full with contentment and peace. The moon growing in its power is me growing in my power. The moon growing to completion is this process coming to completion. The moon growing to its fullest clarity is me growing to my fullest clarity. When the moon shines bright and full in the sky I will know the studios future and have complete clarity and peace.

At the end of my walk I performed a self blessing with rosewater, for self-love and compassion. I used the blessing from Stein’s book, Casting the Circle, with only a few changes and then used a slightly adapted chant for raising energy.

*New moon rising. Shining, shining. Growing, ripening. Magic is happening.

*On a side note, I think this could be a really powerful chant if sung in a group, with each participant singing different parts at the same time, as the chant grows in length.

I always ground in child’s pose as my root, hands, and third eye center all rest on the earth.

Maiden Spirit and waxing moon, I thank you for your presence in my ritual. I open a pathway for your release. Spirits of water, fire, air and earth, I thank you for your presence here and your aid in my magical work. I open a pathway for your release. My Circle is open. So mote it be.

I’m recording this after the event, of course. Tomorrow is the full moon, and quite the extraordinary one I’ve read. I’ve already felt since the ritual a release of sorts. Though still heavy in my heart, a sense of calm and letting go is underway.

With the equinox just the day following, perhaps all of this will clear the way for bright beginnings.

rite of passage

the quote on the back of our invitations

The wind has been raging this morning, and now a light rain delivers some soft understanding for the purification ahead. This morning as I came into work there was a rainbow. Everything lately seems to signal transformation.

Yesterday was a stunningly beautiful fall day. Earlier when I was running errands a strong gust of wind blew through and my car got pelted with the fire of dancing leaves. I truly love this time of year. It is hard when things become bare, but to watch as nature handles death so gracefully is such a powerful lesson.

Saturday we celebrated Daisy’s Rite of Passage into womanhood. It was a beautiful yet simple ceremony and while Daze expressed mild embarrassment at times, I think overall she enjoyed it. It has been 4 months since the start of her cycle and there’s been a lot of drama going on in her little teenage life. As is to be expected during this late stage of jr. high. I hope that this ritual gave her a sense of empowerment. Surrounded by these amazing and powerful women, honoring their own sense of self worth and offering her a piece of that. We had all ages, from 5 months to late 60’s early 70’s. It was a gorgeous collection of feminine energy and I am honored that they took time out of their day to honor my daughter.

There were many systems of belief present and it was a beautiful thing to be together and acknowledge something that was a part of us all no matter the choice of our god or religion. To be able to commune as women, and recognize the divinity that we all hold, that we all share.

I hope Daisy remembers it. I hope they all do.

a circle of red

pampering the maidens

so she will be 'far seeing'

blurry... but what's a party w/o presents?!

calm & centered

I was rushing today.

I should have had plenty of time. But the ornery teenager that wouldn’t answer her cell phone (same said child that I sing praises of, yes.) and the fact that my favorite skirt got caught on the handle of the credenza as I was rushing by and therefore ripped a good portion of it all the way up my leg, rather cut the minutes down to zip. Having no time to cry like a baby, I merely gasped, frantic now, and ran to change. Said child would still not answer her phone. My stress level was on the edge of collapse. I was out of time. I hurried to my jewelry box, grabbed some amethyst earrings and an amethyst pendant and ran out the door.

I got a hold of the child, (who of course, feigned innocence ~ ‘what mom? the phone was in my back pocket, I didn’t hear it!’), made it to work only 2 minutes late due to my record setting race car driving skills, and texted my husband about my miserable afternoon. Then, I changed my earrings and switched out my pendant.

I felt the balancing effects immediately. Not like, oh yes! Bliss! but a soft sort of calm began to take over. So I took a deep breath and allowed the stone to work its magic.

I have always had an affinity for amethyst. And serendipitously so, it happens to be the stone I’m working with this week as part of my Path training. Perfectly fitted, as it’s a stone of receptivity and wisdom, and we just entered the 3rd quarter and a waning cycle of the moon.

Just holding an amethyst piece in my hand gives me a sense of peace and calm.

Other qualities of this wonderful crystal (by no means complete):

*powerful and protective

*guards against psychic attack~ transmutes negative energy to love

*high spiritual vibration

*enhances meditation/higher states of consciousness

*healer and cleanser

*opens intuition and enhances psychic gifts

*drives off insomnia and nightmares~good for prophetic dreams

Mostly when I think of amethyst I think of balance. Balance of the mind, body and spirit. So any time you feel unsettled emotionally or mentally, wear or carry an amethyst (preferably cleansed and charged). This also applies for physical conditions such as headaches, tension, and so many other physical ailments that occur when the body is out of balance. Of course, always trust your intuition (and your doctor if that’s your thing). I am not prescribing or diagnosing here. Just sharing my thoughts. Take them as you will.

On a different note, I did not hold ritual last night on the moon. I did not even go outside to see her. My husband came home from being away for a couple of days and I was distracted. Remembering later on as I lay in bed, I connected to her energies through time and space letting any guilt slip away for not celebrating in some physical way. Visiting a kindred soul’s blog0sphere, I was inspired by her simple yet beautiful post, which allowed me to connect with mama moon yet again. Thanks, M.

31 and 13

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be 31. I came to work today with thoughts in mind to journal about soul searching kind of stuff, you know.

It is still that… but deeper now. Deeper than soul searching? Well, sorta.

My daughter called me. She got her cycle.

And now the tears come as I write the words. They didn’t come as she spoke the words, for then I was trying to hold it together enough to make sure she was okay, that she had what she needed, and to accept the fact that I was at work, not at home where I could hug her. Oh my sweet little baby. Starting the maiden voyage.

Last night around midnight, she called me into her room with a worried tone. Instantly I thought period. When I got there she was crying, way overtired. A spider on her wall.

What is it that grandmother spider teaches us about the web of life?

And today, today she bleeds. Just over 2 months into her 13th year as my daughter.

Everything happens in its own perfect timing, yes? Yes.

I came to work today with a task in mind of setting intentions for a spiritual journey. Developing a course for my own growth to cover a years time. I claim no title for my spiritual path. None but Witch. I claim no god. None but Spirit, which encompasses all. So it is difficult for me to follow specific books that fall in similar lines. I work with bits and pieces. So I guess it makes the most sense to create my own outline. What I want is structure. Something I can follow.

My gemini nature has been fed well lately. I’ve been incredibly busy with work. Work being the retail store, yoga classes, and custom made fairy tale. I do best with multiple functions. So can I create a structured spiritual quest for myself? Lessons and goals? Can I travel my Path with more attention and intention.

Well, there’s only one way to find out. And that’s to just do it.

My idea is to set up a schedule for myself, to be traveled with over the course of a years time. I will have weekly goals, biweekly goals, and monthly goals. And I don’t know if goals is the right word to use, nor is tasks. Hmm… lessons, events, assignments, journeys, steps? Footsteps. Footsteps? I like it.

Footsteps to Cobblestones to Landmarks, traveling the Path toward the wise woman and witch that I long to be.

So what do I want? And what are the steps that will take me there?

I will write what it is that I want, as if I already am. And in most cases, I am already this thing. But I want to do it better, with greater intention, love and wisdom.

1. I am a healer and nurturer. A wise woman with many sources for her craft. I heal with hands, with herbs, with stones, with essence and magic. I have great knowledge for these things.

2. I am a mother and wife. I share divinity and wisdom with my child and partner and therefore help them see there own divinity and wisdom. It is important for them to know how much I love them, without question.

3. I am an artist, and the art that I create inspires me and reminds me of my Path.

4. I am a yogini. It is a step on my Path to magic and divinity.

5. I am a teacher and that which I teach flows out naturally to those that seek what I have to offer.

6. I am a Priestess. I am a vessel of the Divine.

So in the moment, these are the thoughts that come to me, and these are some of the things I need to program in.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Friday is a waxing 1/2 moon, and the Solstice is just around the corner on the 21st. I am 31 years old and my 13 year old daughter just got her moon cycle.

The universal timing could not be more perfect, I’m sure.

mother and moon maiden on the eve of my birthday

blog sharing

I’m posting a link to a fellow blogger’s post that I read recently. I really enjoyed this post. It resonated deep within me because I am so often trying to find my path and stay on it in this modern world. Her words spoke to that witch in me… the barefoot one wearing the robes and amber, standing in the forest glen under the dark sky, the shining moon…

Read it. You’ll understand.

Hecate: What I do

Thanks for sharing, sister.

a lil of this, a lil of that…

There is the scent of wild mint in the air. Thankfully my pungent friend grows like a weed without any assistance from me and my not so green thumb. It’s more like a black thumb, or by my daughter’s thought, red. Like blood. Because the poor lovely things die under my touch. She calls it murder.

Not this year though. This year my husband and I have a plan. We know it’s late in growing season already, but we’re looking towards summer veggies and top soil bag gardening. (Thank you Mother Earth News!) We are digging out one bed though. We have a good feeling about it. It’s our first attempt at really doing it well, and by the grace of the Goddess it shall be so.

Our greenhouse project is going well, though it’s been awhile since we’ve pounded a tire. We’ve both been incredibly busy, but we’ll be devoting the weekend to it. If you want to read more about the greenhouse project, visit my husband’s blog here. He hasn’t updated it in awhile, but you’ll get the gist. We’re pretty excited about it, as it’s just a small scale project for what we hope to turn into our home when we actually acquire mountain land. If you’re interested in Earthships (and you should be!), visit www.earthship.com and check out what that genius Michael Reynolds is doing out there. Also, put Garbage Warrior on your netflix list, because you know you have one.

diggin' out the site w/ a lil garden yoga

I’ve finally made a dent in my dress commission, so feel that I can put that aside at least until my client and I can schedule a fitting. My house has been completely neglected. So much for spring cleaning. How ’bout a summer cleanse instead? We’ll see. Procrastination central here. My studio closed so I also lost 2 classes in my weekly to~do list. You’d think that’d give me more time on my hands, yeah… no. There never seems to be quite enough of that.

My Yoni tree has lost her blossoms. Crap Crab apples will be coming in soon.

I believe we’re starting the second quarter of the moon today. The waxing 1/2 moon. I want to make sure we get our seeds planted before the moon is full. Like I said, we’re really trying to do it right this time.

I am so grateful to be married to my husband. That was a random thought stream, but it came to mind so there it is. I am honored every day that we walk side by side. I know that I am blessed.

I think I’ll do a tarot reading for my friend tonight. Emotion and instinct are heightened right now in the second quarter. Time to utilize mama moon’s mystery and magic.

As you may have guessed upon reading this post, my gemini mind is in overdrive today. One thought quickly making way for the next.

The lilacs are in bloom. 🙂