Women’s March – Washington DC & Nest Project

“Love is as Love does” – bell hooks

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That is me, marching with my mom Carol & her partner Michael, plus Judy and Mary from Michael’s family. The march happened on January 21, 2017 and was the largest protest in American history. Say hello to the energy of Awakening of WOMEN! (I talk more about the march on my personal FB page, and will be posting more here soon.)

I have been working on public art project with my friend, artist Debbie Baxter, since the end of last summer when she brought a human-size nest to BurningMan.

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Inspired by that trip, Debbie wanted to build another nest in Brooklyn. This nest landed on a Brooklyn ROOFTOP! That was another insane, and heart-opening experience.

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So, what inspired us to jump into the Nest with an American flag? The election of pussy-grabber Donald J. Trump to our highest office – President.

Read Heather’s story and what would become the Nest Project DC.

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After Debbie and I jumped into the nest, we found lots of people – wanting to do something, say something, make something – to represent THEM as part of the fabric of this country. After I left Portland to return to California, Debbie continued shooting images of folks under the flag in her backyard nest.

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Including this woman – whom we met in the vintage shop where we purchased the flag used in the images above the day after the election – thank you joni.

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We flew cross-country with thousands of women to march in Washington DC!

As we joined the other marchers on Independence Avenue… we could hear Gloria Steinem’s voice over the speakers – “God may be in the details, but the Goddess is in Connections” (view Speech)

You can see the behind-the-scenes Making of the Nest on my instagram, search under the hashtag #thenestproject, or follow Debbie Baxter.

From the first nest photo being shot in Warehouse 88 in SilverSprings MD…..

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To the final last nest shot at the Midlands Beer Garden in DC….

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We met every kind of person, had every age, size, color, orientation and combination get in the nest. We made so many PERSONAL connections and I believe THIS is what this time in our nations history is really about. Honestly, we can’t wait until you meet Chivonnie Gius (and her mom Nanci!)

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People don’t change when they feel comfortable.

It’s important to remind ourselves….

Magic happens OUTSIDE our comfort zone.

Everyone is being called, great and small, to make a stand and have their voices heard and bodies counted. Humans are here for connection.

Divine Mother, Give us the strength to MAKE an effort to connect, to listen to those who may appear different than us. Help us talk to strangers, make new friends and practice love. And when we struggle, help us to practice good boundaries and timely self-care, so that we may stay centered in ourselves and the truth – that only love is real – and reach out from there. And please, with all my heart I pray… Divine Mother, help us to MAKE MORE ART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let the art rain upon the earth! For art births the future, calls us forward, and connects in ways beyond the mind. This or something better. And so it is. xx h

ACTIONS: Post handmade signs in your yard, hang truth off our house, join groups, show up at the marches, make your voice heard & your body seen.

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Witch OUT xx heather


Heather talked about the experience making the nest, and about marching on her personal FB page here.

For more information about The Nest Project, visit Debbie’s website debbiebaxter.com.

Support PUBLIC ART – Buy a 2017 Nest Calendar and fund NESTS in more cities across the US.. #makeartnotwar


 

Artwork: all images © 2016-2017 Debbie Baxter and Heather Bleasdell. Please ask for permission before sharing photos. Thank you.


Allowing Things to End

15740884_10210138938263672_4845173851206430270_nWe do not need to shatter the patriarchy.
It is already done. It is burning right in front of our eyes.

Bow down
Stay rooted
Hold the line

Breathe
Our time is now

We HOLD SPACE for new beginnings, by acknowledging their intimate connection to endings. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two.

Hold the prayer
Ride the waves
Soft & strong

Breathe
Our time is Now

Standing in the truth – OUR FUTURE IS TOGETHER – we allow the old stories of separation, of lack, of competition, of power-over to rise up from within us… screaming, howling, begging our attention… but we stand firm in our knowing. Everything changes. We stand our scared ground.

Feel the pain
How the ego burns
Stand Witness
Bless & Release
Refuse to storyline

Breathe
This is OUR time
Our time

New Light springs fromholdingspace
Holy Darkness
Mystery
Not knowing
The void
The soil

What is awakening within you?

Feel it.
Resist assumptions
No naming…
not yet.

What is the dark good for?

Can you smell the opportunities, the richness in the rotting, the possibilities that awaken when old forms fail?

Relax.
Nothing is under control.
Not for anyone.
Readiness is an illusion.

We transform the world by owning it.
Within & Without

Own our influence.
Present Forward.
WE THE PEOPLE.

Never give up, always surrender!
This or something better. And so it is.

The Solar Year New of the WHEEL OF FORTUNE has arrived.
Witch OUT (or not) xx heather

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Winter Solstice Practice

“I am my ancestors wildest dream.” – Climbing Poetree

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-9-51-55-amThe Winter Solstice, the final exhale into our shared darkness in the western hemisphere, is Wednesday, December 21, 2016.

We empty out. We willingly lay down in our grave.

We hold space. We leave room for grace to enter.

Life is a process, not a destination or journey. The wheel turns.

To be ready for transformation… to be ready for our reBIRTH… is to stand with the energy of death.

Face the fear, the illusion, the way of being that no longer serves.
Feel it. Acknowledge it. Bless it. Allow it to move through. Resist adding to the story.

Living life is the art of letting go.

Magic, like orgasm, is the art of release.

The part of you that is screaming – stop – acknowledge this voice, this creature, this “I”, this storyboard of how life should be but isn’t yet. Bless this part of you that has been trained to fear change, distrust pussy and discount intuition. You are ready.

Sit in silence during this time. Breath yourself in from all directions – welcome home. Sit within the darkness. What do you notice? Is silence really quiet? Is darkness really dark?

Today

  • Surrender your thinking to Divine Mother, to God, to Mystery. You perception has hit a limit. You need a bigger idea than your ego can manage. Soften.
  • Hold Space. Give your heart room to breath. Take the time to gather yourself with a breath.

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Re-member life everlasting. Build altars of ever-greens, light candles, celebrate the nature of what this time of year brings forth. Collect items with your family. Cut paper snowflakes. Enjoy remembering what has gone before and the mystery of what is to come.

“When you find yourself falling, Dive.” – Joseph Campbell

Dive into the Dark

Magic happens OUTside the box

OUTside the comfort zone

OUTside the known.

Sit in silence.

Don’t push… breath.

Ride the waves.

Find your edge and see if you can SOAK in it.

The simplest truth is this – we are all made of stardust.

wintersolstice_stardust-bath-copyMy theme for 2017 is Soft. They may sound crazy when the world feels so hard, but in magic, “opposite day” rules, because it is through our wholeness, we heal ourselves. Softness heals hardness. And the mantra for 2017…

Never Give Up. Always Surrender.

Witch OUT
xx heather


Learn Magic: Books & Divination for Kids

These books aren’t necessarily “about magic”…. you won’t learn about how to create a ritual with your kids, or how to cleanse your crystals.

These books demonstrate how energy moves behind the scenes, behind the veils, within our dreams, though untamed imagination, passions and facing what scares us.

If there is anything we can “do” for a child (beyond basic love & care) it is this:

  1. protect their wild imagination at all costs
  2. feed & express our own creativity in front of our kids by making time for art, drawing, movement, sound, anything pre-language and process-based in nature.

Here is the undeniable truth –  imagination is our greatest resource. Keeping our imagination vibrant and flexible is the key to our survival.

Here is a PDF of the list.

Books for Kids under the age of 8 (except Dr. Suess)

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Alice the Fairy by David Shannon
Real-life magic, bridging inside out, mental agility. While she will likely not go to fairy school, she could have a fine a profitable life as a real-life witch. David Shannon is an amazing artist and captures the raw, lively and spirit-filled energy of the human body.

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Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers
A playful book that explores shadow, facing fears and acceptance.

Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin
Shamanic Journey, Power Animals, Dreaming adventure, relationships to other creatures and consciousness.

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Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
Curiosity leading to new experiences. Again, David Shannon’s amazing characters will having you laughing and seeing new details every time.

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Frédéric by Leo Lionni
Including imagination in the harvest. Valuing & honoring different skills and capacities within community. Fredrick collects colors and words to help the mice get through the winter. Watch it at the bottom of this page.

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Oh the Places you’ll Go by Dr. Suess
A great over-view of how energy works over time

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Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Together we are stronger. Despite what it may feel like, you are never alone.

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The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
New ways of seeing, shifting perspective (point of view), exploring “outside the box” energy. On thing I don’t like about this book – I believe in drawing outside the lines whenever possible.

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You are Stardust by Elin Kelsey
A good explanation about what life (energy) is about, how it works and the truth about who and what we are.

Divination (Kids 8 – 12)

Children’s Spirit Animal Card by Steven D. Farmer
24 cards & guidebook – very practical, accessible and well done

Note: I have also given Doreen Virtue’s divination cards – specifically the Goddess Oracle and Fairy deck to younger children. Reading is not as important as seeing and feeling the images that call to the spirit of the person.


Full Moon in Gemini

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Fuck the Plan. Your ego made that plan anyway.

The moon is GOING BIG in Gemini this Tuesday, December 13th. Usually a very social, festive energy, this year’s Gemini moon is offering us a different opportunity. She says, make friends with “the other” as if your LIFE depended on it.

Unity is not about becoming the same, it is about working together for a mutually beneficial outcome.

When sh*t in the world becomes exaggerated and unstable, the balancing energy is to re-member yourself by re-centering yourself, rather than abandon one’s self by disassociating, getting super busy or fleeing the scene.

We are entering a time of Re-Membering

Mercury (the planet of thoughts, communication, magic) is about to go retrograde 12/19 (think: standstill energy, re-view) so take the time to reflect on two things.

  • What is the Unfinished business of the late 196os?
  • What is the truth about power?

Power Comes from Within

the-lovers-tarot-of-thothIn the Tarot, the Gemini energy is encompassed in The Lovers (6) card – the art and craft of relationship; the ability to hold opposite energies, differences, loosely enough to maintain our humor, stability, sexual vibrancy and playful curiosity.  If we have lost this connection, or it feels diminished somehow, it’s a good practice to notice our be-devilment patterns – where the ego grabs us my the puss/balls.

EGO – “i” – breath constricts, contraction, flashback

Notice: what gets us, triggers us, captures us? Where are we over-sensitive, heavily storied, protective or righteous? How balanced do our personal & professional relationships really feel? Are we operating out of fear or love?  When’s the last time you whispered sweet-nothing to your own pussy?

SPIRIT – “breath” – expansion, possibility, newness

  • No hard & fast rules. Focus on an attitude of creative, problem-solving. Win-win.
  • Stabilize yourself first by clarifying your purpose & re-prioritizing humor
  • Connect. Utilize your natural (or unnatural) people skills. Reach out again. Reach out to someone new. Say good day to everyone you come across.
  • Don’t wait for fun & pleasure to find you. What are you curious about?
  • Hermit-out! Give yourself SPACE (emotional & psychological) regularly to maintain balance and humor

When we can laugh, we know we are back in our center. We reclaim our joy and our commitment to life when we let our breath return. Spirit work enacted in the real world fuels the soul like nothing else.

The egoic illusion of our separation is dying. We must summon the strength to let this illusion die within us first, to assist in our awakening to the next level of awareness our world is calling for.

The veils are indeed thin right now…. make some noise.

kaliDivine Mother, Kali MAHAHAHAH….

Hindu Goddess Kali, Kali Ma, the Crone plays a corrective force in any Dark Age. When shit has gone too far out of balance, she steps in with circumstances beyond imagining and a timely invitation to:

Confront your ego, your anger, your pain, your illusions. The portal you resist entering, is also the doorway to bliss. Hand her your blindness, your swirling thoughts, your fear of change. Feed her, Divine Mother, your prayer. As Gandhi said, a prayer is the longing of the soul.

Post prayer, notice (over 3 days) –  How is your prayer answered? Does your thinking change?

Kali is a protector who bestows liberation, but not always in the way we were planning on it. Fuck the plan. Make a prayer.

Witch OUT xx h

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NEW PSYCHIC READINGS with Heather
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American Nest Magic

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We had not planned on doing a nest shoot.

I was in Portland to visit Debbie and do a silent retreat in honor of the 10th anniversary of my dad’s passing. I had not planned on the election results either.

Walking to get food, we stopped into a vintage store and I saw an American flag. My kids love American flags. They point them out every time they see them – look mom, the flag! The flag thrills them. I, however, have always felt a little confused by the flag’s power and those who worship it.

As I pick up this small flag, I realize how disconnected I feel… not only from my flag, but from my nation right now. I think… not me, THEM! I am instantly reminded of my hero Bernie Sander’s message… not me, US!

At a time when I am feeling the most confused, angst-ridden, disgusted and ashamed of my country I think to myself – now is the time to own my fucking flag. And while I am at it, to own my pain, own my past, own my privilege, own the time I did not speak up to the postal worker who made a racist remark about a latino customer behind me. Next time, I will not remain “in shock”… I will be ready. The illusion of separation is not only over-rated, it’s out-dated and dying.

I get into this nest, on this day, to remind myself that this is my country, my people and OUR WORLD. This is not only my right, it’s my responsibility. Let us pray.

Divine Mother, soft & strong,

Thank you for the enormous gift of free will, the power to make a difference in our own lives. Help us to stand our sacred ground… to be willing to change, to see, to speak, to touch and be touched. And when we struggle, remind us to make art, to be present, to breath again and make friends with a stranger. And when we doubt, remind us of the truth – that only love is real – helping us to step wholeheartedly into conscious action that creates the world we know is possible.

May all being be free of suffering and the roots of suffering. This or something better. And so it is. Witch out, Heather

Photo by Debbie Baxter 2016. More about The Nest Project also follow #thenestproject


Gaga & Lama

Born March 28, 1986 Lady Gaga‘s lifetime symbol in the tarot is 10 The Wheel of Fortune. Her magic revolves around a wheel. She is incredible at creating opportunities and breakthroughs. Here she speaks with the 14th Dalai Lama. Born July 6, 1935 is 4 The Emperor in the tarot. His magic is about personal power and leadership.


Divine Mother

As I allow love to touch my wounds, may all beings be free of pain.

Dear Divine Mother,

Please hear my prayer. Thank you for holding us, me, your children, so many. I am so grateful.

I write you a humble letter. Forgive me. I have been so prideful.

It is hard for me to say I am sorry. I was wrong. You hurt me. I am vulnerable.

Thank you for giving me such good models. In my friend Debbie and in Molly.
And the dinner invite through Meno. Needed that.

Thank you for renewing connections with my artist friends! For Kara sending me a late night text to collaborate on a – giant group online art & magic ritual to bring down Trump – only to text me a day later admitting she’s totally pooped (being a working mom & active artist.) I love all of it. I loved that she thought of me. I can’t wait until will DO collaborate.

Thank you for this election. Holiest of Sh!t. What a wake up call.  I am happy to be seeing what is really going on under the surface. Thank you for Robert Reich and Van Jones and Sean King. Thank you for my hero, Bernie Sanders. I needed that. A little Divine Masculine goes a long way. #sopussy

And PUSSY, omg thank you for pussy being talked about in the mainstream media!!! Divine Mother, you work in mysterious ways – huge high fives!!!!!

And. This all feels big. Sometimes too big. And I slip into too much/not enough bs. I forget myself. I forget you. I forget the truth.14702478_10209736974493039_7811449586630790998_n

Please help me to be patient. To grow more and love more. Help me to stop hurting myself and others. Help me see more bigger, trust the silence, speak up. Allow love to touch my wounds.

This or something better. And so it is.

Witch out,
x heather


Magic Talk #3

For the New Moon in Sagittarius we dive into Pussy & Patriarchy. Bring a journal. Nasty Women and Men welcome. Free. Dec. 2nd
Eventbrite - Fall MAGIC TALK series Part 3 Pussy & Patriarchy

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Stuck Sucks – How to Move Energy

antonio-mora-collage-photography-1When we are mentally looping on something or repeating a pattern that feels self-sabotaging or self-hating, we may be stuck in a “small frame” of mind. As the Buddha said, all of life is suffering. And, suffering originates in the mind.

When we are stuck or unclear, it is a call to enter into healing.

From the perspective of magic, form reflects underlying energy flows. Rather than minimize or push away the uncomfortable feelings, chose to soften your story about “what happened” and move towards your own big feelings, hurt feelings, scary feelings… into your own unresolved pain.

Healing can only happen when we acknowledge pains presence, agree to discover it’s sources, and go THROUGH the process of releasing our pain by FEELING it.

OBSERVE

Take a step back. Begin self-inquiry. Write quickly.

  • What does this “situation” remind me of?
  • What is the challenge being presented?
  • What is the opportunity?
  • How do I feel about what is showing up? How do I want to feel?

Now, answer the questions above using your non-dominant hand to write. Go slowly enough to make words. Pay attention to your body as you write. The info from this side of the field is never different, and much closer to source energy.

What is showing up, is showing you.

HEALING

Once you have more consciousness about the deeper picture, it’s time to move energy. There is no such thing as getting rid of energy, but you can shift, change, recycle, upgrade, re-vibrate energy. Remember, healing happens in layers and there is NO FINISH LINE (Receive: Magic Talk #1).

In order to heal yourself, you must be willing to move THROUGH the layer of energy that is showing up in the present with compassion & curiosity. What we resist, persists.

Here are 4 simple ways to move through the energy while also opening up creative channels to increase the experience of flow and connection with our generous Universe.

  1. Visualize going towards it. What shows up. Work through this in your meditation. Use color separation, feel feelings, transmute energy. See yourself in the center of your own aura. Claim your 3 feet.
  2. Draw it out get a piece a paper and free draw/doodle. Draw out the situation with voice bubbles – have the people talk to each other. Notice what shows up. Then, draw how you want to feel.
  3. Lay it down call in a bigger energy (god/dess, divine, creator) to assist you in shifting your thinking. Imagine “laying it down” on the altar in the sky or in your home or garden. Pray (out loud) for the divine to shift you from fear to love.
  4. Obey the Muse what intuitive hit have your refused? Whether it is making an appointment with a counselor, signing up for a dance class, picking up your Ukulele or calling a certain friend – do it. This tells the Divine you are listening and more signs will appear.

FOR WOMEN

In magic, words have a huge amount of power and influence. Having internalized patriarchal culture, we must be extra sensitive with how we tend our energy and words with our sisters and selves.

Resist the temptation to over-process or gossip about other folks with your friends. Processing your feelings with 1 – 2 people who you trust is great (partners don’t count – talk away!) but when you move beyond that and find yourself repeating “your story” to 3 – 5 people or anyone who will listen you are most likely not doing your work.

Check IN
Ask yourself honestly: Am I dumping or allowing others to dump on me? Am I looking for agreement, being right or making others wrong? Am I feeling my feelings or am I talking about feelings? Self-care is a radical act for women – be radical.

Do you need more support?

We will explore this more in the next 2 magic talks – Love & Fear as well as Pussy & Patriarchy. Sign up below or explore getting a psychic reading with Heather for clarity and grounding.


Magic Talk #2

For the New Moon in Scorpio we dive into Love & Fear & Flow. Together we will explore what the FLOW feels like through our bodies & our words. Are we communicating from love or fear?  Bring a journal. Free. Oct. 25th
Eventbrite - Fall MAGIC TALK series Part 2 Opening Flow, Love and Fear

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Artwork: Head Collage by Antonio Mora, Graphic of Woman with Psychic Pussy by Heather

Resources & Recommendations: Astrology and the rising of Kundalini by Barbara Hand Clow,


Full Moon in Aries

“The word ‘Witch’ carries so many negative connotations that many people wonder why we use the word at all. Yet to reclaim the word ‘Witch’ is to reclaim our right, as women, to be powerful; as men, to know the feminine within as divine.” – Starhawk

Happy Rocktober!

402d6d498858f7c36d7fbdebcd0c084dIn meditation this morning, I met my current self at the campfire. When she sat down across from me, I started to cry. Heather was filled with grief. As I watched her, she slowly laid down and began to release. As if watching time-lapse photography, her body went to bones and dust.

Tis the season.

This month we rock the Crone, tapping the deep body wizdom born through experience. We build Ancestor altars and celebrate Day of the Dead. As the wheel turns in witch-landia, we celebrate Hallowmass and the Witches New Year.

With the veils thin, we are more likely to see between the worlds… beneath the forms and below the words… to the energies behind them. It is hard not to see our shit and everyone else’s. Though the awareness of our “full of sh*tness” can feel uncomfortable at times, the illumination can assist us in discerning what in our lives needs to be cut away. Grace needs an empty vessel in order to enter. Call in the great goddess of the crossroads Hekate for assistance. Lay your worries, prayers, looping-thoughts on her altar… and be open and curious to what shows up.

Disturbing children books that inspired Tony Skatona

Rocktober is a great time to HOOK UP with spiritual flows through drawing divination, creating ritual and making space for meditation. Pull a card, throw a rune, get a reading. It’s a good time to travel into the shadow lands.

This Saturday, we will all be experiencing a SuperMoon as October’s full Hunter’s Moon rolls through the astrological sign of Aries. Full Moons are all about release and celebration. Tension, discomfort, ego-cracks, triggers, and wounds. Unfortunately, avoiding doesn’t work… the only way through is THROUGH. So, I highly recommend having a good cry (or 3) in preparation of this full moon… or a private, full expressed tantrum.

Ritual for Aries Full Moon

  • Howl at the moon, stomp your feet, breath the air of the night
  • Move “stuck” energy by throwing rocks and sticks in the woods
  • Costume time. Answer – if I could be anything what would I be? Double down on the magic by embodying one of your personalities that doesn’t get much airtime.
  • Have a bonfire – write down your prayers and toss them in. Dance.

Moon Tip

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood – Tom Robbins

Ask a Child – This is probably my favorite tip and always surprising. Ask a kid you know for some advice regarding an issue you have been having. Keep it simple. If they have questions, answer them honestly. Receive the gift of THEIR wisdom. The younger the child, the closer they are to Source. If you are asking an infant or someone pre-verbal, pay attention. Let the answer come to you. It might be in the form of a gesture, an action, a sound or simply a thought might just pop into your head.

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Next Magic Talk

Tuesday, October 25 from 10 – 11 AM (pst)
Exploring the Flow through the energies of love and fear. This “talk” is experiential, so please bring a journal, call on time and from a place you will not be disturbed.

Eventbrite - Fall MAGIC TALK series Part 2 Opening Flow, Love and Fear

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Witch OUT!
xx heather