So, lots of things have been happening over here. It was finally confirmed that our loan is going through, so Chas and I will be buying (the unfortunately named) Dolphin Dream in Walnut Creek, a brick-and-mortar metaphysical retail store that I used to manage years ago. It’s a relatively successful store (est. 1989) and in a good location. We still have to jump through a bunch of hoops (meeting with the landlord, and signing contracts, and such) but we are hoping to take it over in the next couple of months. We do hope to make some changes to the store over the next few years, mostly in the area of decor, products (we will carry more Pagan items such as altar tools, specialty candles, and such), and also the general “vibe”, grounding it a bit and making it somewhat more earthy. But we are committed to taking it slow, so as to not scare off too many of the current customers. We *are* planning on having some Feri people do some stuff there, though, and the classroom in the back is large enough so that I might teach some larger group classes, both Feri and non.

Speaking of Feri tradition: a few months ago, I am honored to report, I was passed the Black Wand in a rite with Cora Anderson at her home. It was arranged by my friend anaar (who I actually thought would be doing the actual passing… but when we did the rite it was mainly done by Cora, with Anaar & her husband Steve, Thorn Coyle, Michele Jackson & her husband, and my teacher Mitchell in attendance to support and witness.) It was a very simple and beautiful rite and I am more than grateful to receive this honor from so many talented witches. A couple weeks later I was passed the Black Wand again, this time by Feri priest Dominic (elemirion) who has different lore concerning the wand system. Having both traditional methods of the wands passed to me in this way I feel empowered to combine them together to make them both more accessible, and less hierarchical, than some have interpreted them in the past. I made a pact with Michele after the first rite that I would announce my wand in my bio for Feri Camp and so now that the event has been announced (and also that I have already told my own students about it) I thought I should mention it a bit more publicly, both to communicate my availability to fulfill that role, but also to give the community an opportunity to “keep me real”, so to speak. I’m currently writing an article on the wands for this next issue of Witch Eye in which I talk about these two different traditional takes on the wand system, detailing the specifics of each of the three traditional wands, as well as introducing the possibility of several other wands as energetic symbols for additional schools of post-initiatory magical specialty. I’ll let my article speak more about how I view the role and honor of the Black Wand, but for now suffice to say that I do not feel that holding it entitles me to any additional authority over any other Feri initiate. What it does bring me, quite simply, is additional responsibility toward the community.

And now coming back down to earth for a bit…

Last week we went to see Avenue Q at the Orpheum in San Francisco. It was a birthday present from Chas and I for Philipsouthernpm (AKA the “weekend boyfriend”). It totally rocked. I especially loved the song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist”. And the fact that one of the characters was Gary Coleman tickled me to no end.

This past weekend Philip and I went to Anaar’s birthday party. It was much fun, although I had **way** too much to drink and paid for it the next day. (Philip makes a mean Pomegranate Martini, which incidentally I call a Persephone) and I stopped counting after 5. (Hey! I was there for about 8 hours! And I’m Irish. And I love me my vices.) I craved a cigarette at one point, but did not give in, even though there were several opportunities that presented themselves. I have it on good authority that I did not embarrass myself any, even though I barely remember leaving. I had a really good time. Thanks, Anaar, for inviting me. I hope I wasn’t too loud or obnoxious! I do remember not being able to articulate myself as well as I would have liked toward the end. Ahh… alcohol. Good times.

I’m gearing up to go to Between the Worlds in a couple of weeks. I’m very excited. Philip and I will be going. I wish that Chas could go, but he needs to take care of his mom. Hopefully after we get the store we will have enough money to hire someone to take care of her for a day or two and then we can get away just the two of us. It’s a hope, anyway…

We’re still accepting registrations for the Feri Camp in October. If you are interested you should check it out ASAP! We need a few more so that we can have it at the preferred location. (It’s happening no matter what, but the campground we had chosen as our preferred location is awesome! Help make it happen and sign up today!)

Well, that’s all I got. Today was my day off and I spent it just wandering around the house, reading, napping, and getting some writing done. (I’m putting the finishing touches on my wand article, as well as a Feri self-dedication rite that Chas and I have penned together.) We also just watched the movie Al Franken: God Spoke, a documentary on one of my favorite left-wing comedians turned politicians. Now we just need Jon Stewart to run for something.