Tess. Lotta Photography

“You find peace . . . by realizing who you are at the deepest level” – Eckhart Tolle

Posts tagged ‘Photo Witch’

Rebel Grrrl/Rebel Witch: The Magick of Love

As Mabon and Samhain approach, my focus is shifting to the dark mysteries. By Mabon (late September), I am in full prep mode for Samhain season, including lavish altar-making,  planning celebrations and dedications for Witches New Year, spell working Day of the Dead devotions to my ancestors and loved ones that have moved through the veil, and, of course, a Samhain ritual—all enchantments that explore an awareness of rebirth through death.

As a longtime practicing Modern Eclectic Witch, I am super comfy with spirits and spirit work. And, while I work on both sides of the veil throughout the year, at this time, I start to pick up on more “visitors” from the other side than usual. To honor travelers on both sides of the veil, I focus a good portion of my magick workings on Love.

In this life, we are blessed with countless opportunities to love. We are called to the love of family, friends, and children, as well as love for others we may not know in the forms of compassion and kindness. The uniquely incredible thing about Love is that when we commit ourselves to it, when we dare to stand up for the challenge that Love invites, it gives back the most incredible gifts. In these ways, Love is truly an adventure not only into the very heart and soul of the persons we love, but also the unfathomable depths of our own capabilities to provide comfort and kindheartedness for ourselves and others.

For your magickal workings this season, do an inventory of one or two issues with which you are struggling. Meditate, paint, write, sing…whatever method you use to go beneath and calm your busy mind. During this process, conjure a symbol, phrase, or image that symbolizes your compassion for yourself. Manifest this phrase or symbol in physical form: make, find, or purchase a symbolic representation of what self-compassion feels like. Consecrate this symbol and add it to your altar. Then, do the same for someone close to you or others in the world you know are suffering. Find or create a symbol of your compassion for others. Consecrate this symbol and add it to your altar.

This magick provides the very fortunate opportunity to invite acceptance, personal growth, honesty, generosity, dignity, self-expression, trustworthiness, and the giving and receiving of support.

Cheers to the season of the Dark Mysteries—may it be filled with spooky delights and meaningful merriments with those you love both here and there!

For my Witchy craftings, visit my Rebel & Witch store on Etsy

#RadWomenUnite: Fred Los Angeles

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I am psyched to feature Freddie McCullough for the next installment of my Rebel Beauty Project. Fred Los Angeles, as many know her, is a veteran of the LA and Northwest rock, punk, and queercore scenes. She has a knack for finding ground on the best side of all upsides. This magic owes its success to an easygoing, sociable charm and honest graciousness, qualities that underscore the work ethic of a serious musician dedicated to her craft.

At just 13 years old, Freddie began drumming in local swing and country music bands, a determination that later landed her at the Musicians Institute in LA and under the instruction of pro drummers like Joe Porcaro. After honing her chops in Los Angeles, Freddie made her way to Seattle in 1993, where she served as a founding member of the groundbreaking all-female punk band Rubber, as well as played in various bands, including the originative all-female Pink Chihuahua.

I met Freddie while also playing in the Northwest music scene, and, to my glee, she accepted my invite to play drums for Bobbitt (as in Lorena), a feminist metal band that I was forming with local Seattle vocalist Tonja Renee Hall.

Freddie headed back to LA in 2007 and jumped right back in with bands Kim D and The Killer Bees, Charlie Don’t Surf, and Kittenhead, and she has never stopped. Endorsed by District Drum Company, Freddie currently plays drums for Sapphic Musk and The Derolinas, as well as teaches private drum instruction, volunteers for Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls, and does session and recording work.

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What is your history with the drums? Why this instrument?

I tried piano, guitar, and accordion, but I didn’t have the patience to get past the rudimentary stuff. One day, I came home from school and my dad’s band was rehearsing in our living room. I had never really seen a band live before and had probably only seen a drummer on TV once or twice. I was blown away and immediately zoned in on the drummer.

So with a little bit of begging and pleading, I had about a year’s worth of lessons, and I just gained what I could listening and jamming to my mom’s records. I really loved Lou Reed, The Boys, Elvis Costello,The Talking heads, and the Ramones.

I’ve spent a lot of time playing punk rock, and I really, really love that genre—fast and interesting stuff. But, I grew up with a lot of R&B and pop. As a drummer, pocket and feel are important and exciting to me.

Do you think it is important for drummers to seek formal music education?

Oh yes, but I also think it’s an individual choice. For me, there wasn’t any question in my mind that I wanted to develop further than I could take it on my own, and the timing was right to take advantage of a great program. But, again, it really depends on the individual.

I’ve also known very successful killer drummers that are self-taught. It’s great to have mentors and inspiration. Music isn’t really something that you do alone, especially when you’re developing.

What are some of the challenges you have faced as a drummer and how have you personally overcome some of these challenges?

One of the hardest things I found was having a place to practice on the kit without disturbing others. You need a dedicated space. There are times I find myself without that.

Also, keeping it fresh and interesting has been another challenge. That means getting out of your space and watching and learning from others and listening to new or old great music….and playing gig’s….rock on!

Back when we were playing together in the Seattle 90s and early 00s, rock music was saturated with misogynistic and sexist attitudes toward women musicians. Have things changed? Is it just within certain communities, or are there some positives you’ve noticed about how female musicians are embraced in the larger rock music scene? 

Your are not always going to be accepted, but you could say the same goes for anyone. Still, while sometimes it was just hard to fit in with the guys, I have met and worked with many awesome dudes who totally support and are great friends and musicians.

Best thing, really, is practice and play as well as you can and hang and play with people you like that stretch your abilities and have fun.

But, yes, things have changed in a positive way. I think we are more accepted, and there are more of us, especially within certain communities. In the larger rock music scene, we are being embraced, and things are definitely getting better. Women musicians are way more present, available, and involved. It’s not 50/50, but we are showing up with skills, and that is the bottom line ultimately.

What do you think has brought about some of the positive changes? Would you agree that our generation of punk feminist musicians are part of the changes you see today?

Most definitely. I think the Riot Grrrl scene and female musicians who were shaking things up spawned activism and workshops. There was also a coinciding feminist presence in the spoken word scene with people like Tara Hardy, Annie La Ganga, and Michelle Tea bringing in even more activism and workshops.

Right around that time or shortly after, Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls came into being, and it’s become such a natural phenomenon. I don’t think we’ve ever had as many resources and safe cool places for women and girls to try out their creativity and build community.

Is that what inspired you to get involved with Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls?

Yes! The camp is so amazing, and the people that bring it together and the community that they serve….just rock!  It is a heartwarming and positive experience all around. It is a unique opportunity for the girls. I am thoroughly honored to be involved anytime it is possible. I am always amazed at what happens.

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Dial In:

Freddie’s website & Reverb Nation page

Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls

 

 

 

Rebel Grrrl/Rebel Witch: Litha/Summer Solstice/Midsummer – Align and Catch Fire

Fire & Stars in the Sequoias

Litha/Summer Solstice marks the astrological event when the Earth’s axis is aligned with the sun. As a result, we are provided the opportunity to revel not only in the longest daylight of the year, but also a powerful astrological configuration. And, thanks to the full moon on June 9, we are privileged with the opportunity for powerful complementary magic. A full moon ushering in a solstice equals an influential dyadic spark just waiting for us to tap in and ignite.

As an eclectic witch, my spiritual practices often veer from the strict adherence to traditional Wicca. While I embrace many of the correspondences related to Litha, including adding elements to my altars and ritual work that regard the associations that speak to me, I stray from idealizing the virility of a Sun god as the focus of ritual work and celebration of this Sabbat. Instead, my Litha is more about inviting the sun–its heat, illumination, radiance, and transformative power–to do its magic and teach its lessons.

This year, I have the great fortune of a long weekend trip to the Sequoias with a group of female artist friends. One of the things I love about these annual expeditions is the spontaneous magic that happens when chilling around the campfire with a pack of rad, strong women armed with wine, humor, stories, truths, creative insight, and self-reflection. Within that intention, our nightly campfire becomes a ritual space.

Protected by giant Sequoia Devas and surrounded by my sisters, this is my Litha—a time to recalibrate and set alight a freshly realigned inner compass. As the earth rotates away from the sun, the June 21 Solstice will wane, and the dark blue hues of night will begin to pierce the fiery oranges of summer light.

How will you catch the fire?

Rebel Grrrl/Rebel Witch: Beltane – They are Us

Dandelion in the Sequoias

Here’s to wishing….remembering that we are human. We suffer, love, lose, win, hurt, heal, push, acquiesce. We get crushed by sadness and are transformed by joy. We live. We die. Together. Inevitably.

Though our experiences are vastly different, we are each one of a species. Yet, as we use our differences to create lines between an us and a them, we forge an egoic position, as Eckhart Tolle would say, that weakens the bond of our common humanity. In that moment, we sacrifice our Higher Selves to strive for an identity that casts us as superior, more important, right.

Beltane, a fire Sabbat, reminds us to celebrate life with each other and ignite within ourselves our instinctual need to create and nurture love and friendship—community.  It seems an act of the Universe my weekend has shaped up to include a Beltane ritual tonight and parties with friends on Saturday and Sunday. Hells yeah!

I feel grateful and excited to celebrate my humanness with other humans under the fire of sun, stars, and moon. No lines drawn. No us or them. Just a circle cast in which all are welcome. Here’s to wishes come true.

Happy Beltane!