Well, it certainly took a while to post my next 'weekly' blog! It's been two months, and oh, so much has happened. When I last wrote I was feeling very down. I was away from Tim, my friend had died, and I was ill. I just didn't feel that I could write. My emotions were all over the place.
I'm very pleased to tell you the the wheel has once again turned, and the upswing has been magnificent. After my leap into the Autumnal Underworld of Melbourne, I re-emerged into the bright and pretty Springtime of America. I arrived in the States nearly 6 weeks ago and have had so many amazing adventures.
Of course my reunion with Timothy was all that I could have hoped for. Five weeks is a long time apart! After a decadent couple of days in Reno, we flew to Texas for the Lustration of the Ancestors Festival in Fort Worth, where I was made an honourary High Priestess of the Correlian Tradition. I was thrilled. It was a lovely gathering. From there we caught a ride down to Austin where we enjoyed performing a house concert with the wonderful Ginger Doss.
And then it was on to the East coast for the Spoutwood Faerie Festival in Pennsylvania. How pretty the land is at this time of year! Sweet little flowers everywhere, and everything bright, bright green. Here are some photos that I took whilst staying at my friends Mulina and Emerson's beautiful old Millhouse.
And a springtime game of badminton on the lawn was definitely in order. ( note the cocktail in the hand!)
We spent three days at the Spoutwood festival and performed five concerts. It really is a sweet event. Everyone goes to such trouble with their costumes, and the land abounds with real faeries. I did the full Faerie Queen thing for the first day, but for the second I found my Earth Faerie Artemis spirit.
One of the highlights of the festival was getting to spend time with the beautiful songstress Jenna Greene . Her voice is sweet and pure and she plays harp beautifully.
After a lovely house concert at The Mill, we flew to Denver for the Beltania Festival, just south of Colorado Springs. What a marked difference in the landscape! Beautiful rugged mountains were dressed in tall pines and strange gnarled little oaks, pushing forth the first signs of their tender leaves. The days were hot and dusty and the nights chilly. We bathed each day in an icy mountain stream. It was gorgeous!
|Dawn at Beltania|
|strange little colorado oak tree|
And wow, what an excellent musical line up! The musical highlight for us was definitely Lunar Fire , a wild and extravagant explosion of magic and sound. We performed two concerts and I also ran a workshop on The Voice in Ritual.
|Live at Beltania (photo by Sherri Seward)|
How wonderful it was to dance the Maypole on the Sunday afternoon, and celebrate the fertility of life.
|maypole photo by Sherri Seward|
After Colorado we flew to Kansas City for a concert at workshop at my friend Aislinn's shop, Amethyst Dreams. She kindly arranged for her friends to park their big RV in her carpark for us to stay in. It really was quite funny finding ourselves in the centre of the city, and crawling out of an RV each morning. Especially amusing was our washing day.
After a couple of days in Kansas City we arrived at last in New Mexico and began an amazing adventure. Tim's old school friends Soni and Lincoln, and their partners Rudi and Mary suggested we all go and sing some Karaoke. It didn't take much to convince Tim and I to take to the stage (well, maybe a wine or two).
Then on to the magical city of Taos. Nestled high in the hills and overflowing with art and ancient Indian culture. Magnificent! We explored the ancient Taos Pueblo, which may well be the oldest continuously inhabited building in America, at around 1000 years old. Then we crossed the Rio Grande and made our way west. We traveled across high mountains of pine and aspen, where snow still clung to the shadows. Then down into the broad dry lands around the Four Corners, where Tim grew up. He'd told me that he grew up in the middle of nowhere. Now I believe him!
One of our most magical days began with a trip to Aztec ruins, ( ancient Anasazi dwellngs),
then on via Durango to the incredible ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde. Oh, these were truly amazing!!! Built about 1000 years ago, they were abandoned in the mid 1200's, and no one can say exactly why. The cliffs that they are built into are epic, and mountain itself is very very high. I think it's around 8000 feet elevation. Imagine how cold it would get in winter! Here are some of our many photos from that magical day.
It was nearly sunset when we drove down the mountain, and the moon was almost full. We were tired and happy after a magnificent day of adventure. How lovely to round the whole thing off with this moonlit vision of Castle Rock, CO.
Another wonderful day followed, with a visit to the equally fascinating Chaco Canyon. More ancient ruins and gorgeous scenery. It's been really wonderful to connect at last with the ancient people of this land. I'm fascinated and want to learn more.
|Raven's Eve View|
And after another full day of exploring, we gently made our way to the beautiful spiritual retreat of Ardantane, in Jemez Springs, home of our friends Amber and Azreal. Oh, this place is stunning! High red cliffs and the scent of Juniper and Pinon. A small dry river canyon offered so many beautiful stones. We stayed in a sweet little cabin for three nights and played lots of music, and performed many magical rituals. The most special of these was on the Tuesday night, under the Scorpio Full Moon, when Timothy asked me to marry him!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
I went out the next morning and took a photo of the beautiful ritual circle where this magical event took place.
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! If ever you are fortunate enough to spend some time in New Mexico, please go and visit Ardantane. Amber and Azreal are both wise women, who offer workshops, retreats and rituals. I will certainly offer a fundraising concert for them when I return next year.
After all this exctitement we returned to Albuquerque aglow with love. We were thrilled to be able to share our magic in the form of our latest workshop, our Ritual Meditation Workshop. We'd spent our time in Jemez creating trance soundscapes for the workshop, to awaken and invoke magic into our lives. The workshop was a great success, and we're thrilled with the results. We offered it again a couple of days later in Phoenix, and i think it was even more powerful. I'm so excited about this new developement - this union of my music with my workshops. I can;t wait to offer it back in Melbourne, where hopefully Rachel will be available to add her gorgeous cello.
Yes, so Phoenix was a blast. We performed a concert with our dear friends from Of The Earth, under a warm night sky. There's actually a very cool art scene going on there. Very vibrant and free. We enjoyed a night out watching our friend Preston perform with his guitar trio, and were very happy when they invited us up on stage.
And now we;re back in Nevada, in the mighty metropolis of Winnemucca, taking a few days to catch our breath before heading off for the West Coast.
And I promise that it won't take me two months to share those adventures with you.