2.8.16

P O R T L A N D :: A Brief Guide to the City of Roses


While most of our time is spent in the wilds and woods, we do love a visit to the city every now and again.  Portland tops our list of fun places to visit, explore, and wander and indulge. While the list below is brief and far from exhaustive, these are the places that stuck in my mind.  Portland is truly spilling over with fabulous food to delight in, creative folks to celebrate, art to enjoy, and Nature to immerse yourself in.  It is a city we hope to continue to cultivate a relationship with -- home to many of the  friends and teachers we hold dear.  My only wish is that we could have seen and connected with more of the special Souls who make their home here.  we promise to be back, sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, we hope you'll be inspired to visit and enjoy some of the gems which brought us the most pleasure during our all to brief time in the City Of Roses.








D R I N K 


Kask



527 Southwest 12th Ave

I wandered in here on my first night in Portland, right before a really good ramble through Powell's Books.  This, I do and do not recommend.  Go to Powell's, but depending on how many of Kask's fine beverages you've already enjoyed, maybe don't buy anything just for the moment.  You may wonder at your choices later.  But I digress. This place has stupidly good drinks and a great ambiance.  It'll make you feel like you are cool in exactly the kind of way you'd hope to --  at least momentarily -- while in Portland.  It glows and beckons from within and the folks behind the bar are just darling. If you love a well made cocktail--I mean, a really well made cocktail--come here.  I ordered the Alexander Wept and the Penicillin.  Both excellent and very distinctive.  These folks know what they're doing.




3267 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard

We recommend stopping in for a cool moment of surrealist refuge on a hot afternoon. This lounge feels to me, like LA in the nineties in the best way possible. Although, I have only been to LA once, and that was in 2008. It is like something out of a Weetzie Bat book -- all dark vinyl and tall windows, surfer types and business men.  A dreamy soundscape punctuates the strangeness of an early afternoon cocktail, complete with all of the interesting characters you might expect encounter while indulging in such a thing. Let's just say, they were playing Moby and Air at one in the afternoon. And I loved it. Order the Blood Orange.  It's a ruby-hued delicate little drink, complete with a succulent and moist hibiscus blossom afloat amidst its mildly sweet and tart few precious sips.   After you've emptied your glass, you'll feel the psychedelic haze of adolescence wash over you, and be re-inspired to continue your exploration of Portland's many wonders. Go next door to Altar for a moment of magic, post-cocktail. 



4001 North Mississippi Avenue


There are apparently multiple locations, but the one I am pointing you toward is located on Mississippi and conveniently adjacent to the neighborhood of [relatively] quiet dead end streets where I spent many a night parked in my camper during my weeks in Portland. I love this coffee shop. It feels like a place that has remained largely unchanged amidst the wave of hip that has subsumed most of the city in recent years. I ventured here for quiet moments of internet access and electricity, the opportunity to use an actual bathroom, and of course their Nitro Cold Brew on tap. When I was in Portland seven years ago, I ran into an acquaintance of mine from the Mountains of Colorado. It's that kind of place. Old Austin Vibes and cute baristas whose style may or may not be ironic. Dig it. 





E A T


2029 Southeast 21st Avenue


This is, by far, one of the sweetest co-ops I ever did see.  They have bulk everything, incredible local produce, an astonishing selection of kraut and other fermented foods, kombucha on tap, and a commendable selection of dried herbs rivaled only by Mendocino's Corners Of The Mouth.  Visit the co-op for a full on epicurean shopping experience or stop in for simple trip to pick up some kale and nectarines.




2240 North Interstate Avenue


This is the breakfast spot I have always longed for, but never though existed.  Super cozy,  it is honey-lit and wood scented, and my ideal spot for a quiet and hearty weekday breakfast.  Go here with your lover on a cloudy morning to snuggle up with hot coffee and delicious food.  I ordered the corned beef hash with two eggs [perfectly cooked] over easy and some kind of crispy potatoes that I enjoyed so much, I can only assume they were cooked in Heaven.


5202 North Albina Avenue


Everyone will probably tell you to go here.  It's simple and very, very good, and it is oh so Portland.  I don't have much to say that has not already been said, but Sweedeedee is a sure thing.  They offer great coffee in even better ceramic mugs, there are truly kind people behind the counter, and a haze of vinyl sounds warms the already a bright space.  This is an ideal spot to admire all of the Portland people. I made it in twice for breakfast, but hope to return for dinner very soon.

I have been fantasizing about the hazelnuts I bought here last Summer -- All Year Long.  You may not know how to handle yourself here. It is really, really amazing.  Wild mushrooms, fresh salmon, peonies spilling from their buckets, the sweet scent of naan and thai chilis cooking, and -- did I mention? -- all of the beautiful Portland people.  This is one of my favorite markets in the country.  Make space in your fridge and clear your schedule to spend the rest of the day preparing dinner from the magnificent produce you won't be able to resist taking home.








S H O P 



319 Northeast Wygant Street


Maria, the proprietress of this low-key, one-stop magic shop, is one of the most incredible shop owners I've had the pleasure of meeting. As generous as she is knowledgable and intuitive, her shop is an unassuming hub for community, safe space, and radical magical healing.   Sea Grape tops our list of boutiques to visit in Portland. A visit to the store offers an incredible opportunity to follow your nose and follow your heart toward the medicines which will serve you best. It is worth a stop for a moment of olfactory revelry alone. Keep an eye on the evolving schedule of classes and events offered by some of the most grounded and gifted PNW herbalists, witches, and generally knowledgable folks. Be sure to carve out enough time to stop in at the other shops on the block, appropriately nicknamed -- the Mystic District.




315 Northeast Wygant Street


Located right next door to Sea Grape, Sugar Mountain Vintage offers a singularly groovy vibe that that I couldn't resist. A desert daughter through and through, Hannah's collection of vintage turquoise, silver, and coral beckoned me inside. The laid back feeling of the shop will make you want to sneak in and camp out on a Sunday morning wearing your favorite gauzy caftan, lounging in the dreamy interior. Oh, and let's talk about the music which fills this time capsule cool space. When I dropped by, Hannah was listening to something I'd never heard before.  It was at once psychedelic and folkloric, hauntingly beautiful and familiar though it was my first listen. This is a very magical place to find your new favorite treasure in the form of the perfect pair of vintage levi's, 1970's huaraches,  or in my case, the  Silver + Coral ring of my dreams... 





3731 North Mississippi Avenue

This small shop offers most of my favorite things under one roof.  Salt + Chocolate + Bitters + Fresh Flowers.  This place really does speak for itself.  The people who work there are very knowledgable and samples are available.  Go.  Buy your mom something nice.



3279 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard


When I walked in to Altar, I immediately understood why so many folks had pointed me toward it. These ladies get it. The aesthetic is dark + sparkly, smelling of moss and old wood and quartz. I loved the in-house clothing and jewelry they design as well as their enchanted collection of crystals and lingerie. Definitely a sweet place to indulge yourself and get lost in a moment of shadowy fantasy. Stop next door at Gold Dust Meridian before or after, to complete the experience. 



1005 West Burnside Street


This Portland Institution seems to me, such an essential part of the city itself, that I almost neglected to include it here. But duh y'all -- go to Powell's! Go to Powells and turn off your phone and don't tell anyone where you'll be for the next four hours. Go to Powell's and drink in the scent of wisdom + pages beloved. Go to Powell's and listen to where you are drawn, a sort of divination practice and bibliomancy.  I don't think I could ever get tired of being ensconced in the shelves of this heavenly place.



801 North Killingsworth Street

You will straight up wish you lived here. Alea Joy and her incredible team of radical babes have conjured some photosynthetic magic that is a force of nature all its own. This place is House Plant Heaven.  Floral Valhalla. All your Botanical dreams will come true at once as you step foot inside the spacious shop which seems to glow from within, and you'll know you have arrived somewhere wonderful, indeed. Verdant as can be, this lovely corner serves as both a retail shop and workspace for the epic floral beauty these incredible folks are known for.  It was such a treat to offer our Medicine Of The Rose workshop here during our time in Portland and we look forward to more collaborations still to come.  Be sure to venture the few blocks toward Peninsula Park after you visit the shop and go have a heart to heart with the Roses.




707 Northeast Fremont Street

I haven't actually been here in many years, but not for lack of trying.  On this trip I seemed to be forever arriving just as they closed, or driving by when I really, actually, had to be somewhere else.  I still remember the dress I bought here eight years ago though, and periodically grieve the fact that it vanished into thin air.  Re-Run is a totally great and affordable place to find used clothes, furniture, and stuff.   You know, if you like that sort of thing.  Located conveniently across the street from Irving Park.






R E L A X 



3525 Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard

Treat yo self.  Löyly is one of those places where no detail goes unnoticed.  You will feel instantly soothed upon entering the space. However, it is not a spa where the staff is stiff or judgmental in the least.  Rather, it is a welcoming place where I felt totally comfortable showing up just as I was -- a bit road weary and most certainly overdue for some self care (and let's be real y'all -- just overdue for a shower in general).  I opted for their monthly special which included a foot soak, face mask, hour long massage, and up to two hours enjoying the sauna.  It was really, really lovely.  The space is delightfully simple and clean, warmly lit, refreshingly spare.  If I lived in Portland, you'd find me here often.  Hydotherapy y'all.





2917 Northeast Everett Street

The Everett House is a great low-key place to take a steam + sauna and lay in someone's backyard naked while you pet a cat in the afternoon sun.  Or something... We recommend going during the daytime hours to take full advantage of the bare skinned, sunlit opportunities which await you.  Sip a seriously subtle and spot on Soma Oak Cask Jun after you've sauna-ed, soaked, sunned, and showered.






N A T U R E



Peninsula Park 

North Rosa Parks Way + North Albina Avenue

I basically lived here while I was in Portland.  Portland is a city rich in parks and green spaces to sprawl out, move your body, and generally get weird.  This is my favorite of them all.  A Rose Lover's paradise, if come during the Summer months you will not be disappointed.  There is also a certain kind of sacredness which resides in the places where the paths intersect and a tree grows on each of the four corners.  Go there.  Drink it in.



Council Crest Park

Also called The Bluffs, this is the perfect place to watch the sunset and reflect on the goodness of the day.  Bring a blanket and a friend and a bottle of hard cider for best results.  Be respectful of the residents who live on the street leading up to the park and leave your vehicle further back in the neighborhood.




Mount Tabor Park

Y'all -- this place is amazing.  I rode my bike to the top and sat in an ancient Maple, my heart afloat with love and levity.  Then a woman wearing purple fairy wings situated herself at a big white piano nestled in the trees just down the hill and started flawlessly playing Yann Tiersen's scores from the film Amelie.  I almost cried from the sheer perfection of the moment, as the familiar sounds filled the forest, and whispy fluffs of some faraway seed drifted through the shafts of light which poured in through the leafy limbs above.  Also, literally everyone who was not me  or my companion or the woman playing the piano was glued to their phone, looking for Pokemon, I think.  So, there was that...




Irving Park

7th Avenue + Fremont Street


This is the best place I found to stretch and move and generally work it out.  I'm also pretty sure I saw the dad from Actual Conversations With My Two Year Old on the playground with his kids the first time I stumbled into the park.  On a separate visit, I was at once delighted and perplexed to find a casual kind of festival happening amidst the maple shade, complete with incredible DJs spinning vinyl and beautiful folks dancing on the verdant lawn.  The music was really, really good. It sounded as though it was emanating from the trees themselves, pulsing up through the grassy knoll beneath me as the day faded to dusk and I stood triumphant and calm in Natarajasana, my body settling ever deeper into its recently remembered sense of strength and balance.








Where and what top your list

of Portland highlights?

Let us know where we should make

time and space to visit next time we
are lucky enough to find ourselves
in the City of Roses . . .

2.7.16

Ode To The Ocean

A Love Story In Two Parts








p a r t    o n e

S E L K I E    S O N G





we are the weavers :: we are the web

we are the flow :: we are the ebb

we are the Earth from which we are fed

yes, we are the Witches, come back from the dead


The words above have their origin in a traditional pagan verse which my dear sister Rachel elaborated on and set to music in her song, The Weird Sisters. Before you read on, listen to it here. It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful and stirring songs you'll ever hear.









It was a grey day on the Mendocino Coast and very much by accident, I found myself on the edge of the Ocean.  With Sisters, both new and familiar, I sat on the rocks and sang songs of thanks and longing to the Sea.  We prayed and offered Tobacco + Rose Petals and I felt as though I'd driven all the way from Texas, simply to arrive on this rocky crag with my Sister Sirens. A Selkie appeared before us, beautiful as anything I've ever seen -- speckled and pale grey, curious and filled with a mystery I long still, to know more of. 





+   +   +






p a r t    t w o 

T H E    S A L T    G A T H E R E R S









My devotion to her many mysteries grows deeper with each rise and fall of the tide I am privy to witness. I have learned that she is fierce; that she is generous; that she waits for no one. The Sea, as I see her, is like Kali, Great Mother of cutting and more-than-human compassion. I love her for this, for what she teaches me and reminds me of through it. We can hold onto nothing in this life; rather we are like bits of colored glass or fine agates upon the shore, polished to smoothness by so much pressure and chaos and force. It is through our surrender to the waves of life that we are shaped, our sharp edges softened, our surfaces polished and patinaed--forming each of us into the treasures we were meant to become, grasping nothing but the magnificence of our own experience which glimmers on silent from within.










24.6.16

Love Is Living Slowly




This morning as I gathered lettuce from the garden for our breakfast,  I thought to myself -- there is gathering the lettuce and then there is the experience of gathering the lettuce. It is a choice to really allow yourself to experience a moment, an embrace, a chore, even. It is a choice--that for me--has everything to do with pace.


In the forest, recently, my young friend, wise beyond his age, spoke these words to me softly, as a reminder, as an affirmation of the goodness that we shared -- "The only way to create more time, is to slow down."


The only way to create
more time is to slow down.

With experience comes steadiness. Those who rush to complete their projects, eager to realize the results, will only slow the process and hinder their progress in the long run.  I have heard it said that humans far overestimate what they are capable of accomplishing in the short term and far underestimate what they are capable of accomplishing in the long term.

By my estimation, the highest form of art is a life fully lived. A life, each moment of which is tended to with sincerity and presence, alive with curiosity and slowed to a pace that allows for experiencing the richness of the sensory information available to us in each moment. We can access this richness, by softening into and focusing fully on each task we undertake, by sensing with care where every object in our home wishes to live, by allowing the details and subtleties and countless small pleasures of this world to penetrate our awareness. And through this simple slowing down, we become -- without trying - grace, embodied.


Until I set out for this trip, I don't think I had ever spent any length of time truly living and moving and breathing at a pace which was my own. Now, I am settling into a daily rhythm of rising when my body feels rested, waking to the ecstasy of my [tiny] home, carefully tended to the evening before, and going about my day on a schedule that follows the directives which arise naturally from within me. Before I lived solely by the clock, yielding tirelessly to the looming and ever present to-do list I recited in my mind, and frantically committed to paper.  And I can see now, so clearly, the violence implicit in rushing the processes and stories of our lives in this way.

Each one of us has the most profound and impeccable ability to find and set a pace that is all our own. We must only listen to the steady metronome of our own hearts beating, the rise and fall of our breath as it enters and leaves our bodies.  It can begin slowly, with little more than a loving curiosity about our own cycles of hunger and satiety, our own longings for rest and exuberant exertion--because our bodies know, our hearts know.  And as a first step on the long path of cultivating a world steeped in real love and genuine caring, we have a responsibility to begin by tending to ourselves in this spirit first; by committing to care for and honor the precious lives being lived through us, in each moment.


Pause throughout the day to notice if you've taken to rushing. If you can no longer sense the beauty and softness, the vitality and possibility, both within and around you, take this as an invitation to slow down and step back into cadence with the rhythm of your body, the rhythm of your life.  It is a devotional thing, this living, this loving.

21.6.16

S P I R I T W E A V E R S . 2 0 1 6





L i s t e n     C l o s e     A n d

F o l l o w      U s     I n t o     T h e     F o r e s t



This year marks my second at the Spiritweavers Gathering. Both of the Gatherings I have been honored to be present at have held such deep and sweet medicine for me, teachings and tides which linger long after I leave the Land.  This Gathering has brought me Sisterhood as I've never known it before, communion with myself and my Ancestors, as I have never known it before.  I am forever grateful to each woman who chooses to walk this path and find her way into the wood, whether you gather with us in person or in spirit, you are deeply felt and seen and appreciated for all that you bring to this collective ceremony of remembrance and healing, honoring and releasing, inviting in the full spectrum of experience of Life on Earth.


At this year's gathering, I shared four different offerings -- 

The Medicine Of Pine + Pine Needle Basket Weaving

Herbs For The Feminine Heart

Sacred Moontime Rituals

Wild Edible + Medicinal Plants


You can learn more about them here



The photographs + paragraphs that follow are only an ephemeral glimpse into the depth and immensity of the Gathering.  Like so many sacred things in life, words cannot begin to express the nuanced complexity of one's felt experience.  I will say only that if you feel the call to join us next year, I truly hope you will find a way. Currently we are working as a community to make available more scholarships for women who would like to attend but are unable due to limited financial resources.  To anyone who worries that they won't belong, whatever the reason, put that thought aside and know that you are wanted and welcome. Never have I felt the embrace of such a sincere and inclusive community.  We are women with wings, with songs to call out, and we are waiting, waiting, watching, watching, praying, and praying. We see you, and you are beautiful.





L I S T E N


One thing I have been asking to learn, longing to embody, is the art of deep listening. I want all of my relations--human and otherwise--to feel deeply heard in my presence. One form I've watched this lesson take as women gathered together for the classes I offered during the gathering, was as an invitation to let go of attachment to form--to set aside agendas and outlines and class notes in order to simply be present with the people and plants before me in that moment, waiting eagerly to be introduced to one another. Teaching and staring from this place of spontaneity has required me to develop not only the skills of deep listening, but also to trust and humility.

My Moontime arrived late Friday night as I sat in my camper, stitching leather, stitching leather, stitching leather. This is a sacred time I do my best to reserve for silence and solitude, prayer and quiet, and rest. And yet, here I was--surrounded by so many beloved Sisters and with a commitment to S H O W • U P and teach for six hours the following day.

The photo above was taken by Alexa Rae during a walk I led around Camp Navarro -- three hours spent meeting the wild and edible species which make their home here. The previous week, during the Sun Session, the same plant walk had followed a predictable course and format, moving from one stand of plants to the next, sharing tales of their medicine and inviting folks to cultivate a relationship with those that they felt called to. This week, however, during the Moon session--I listened to my slow moving, Moonwise body and invited the women who'd gathered to join me in a moving meditation--over the hills and far away; to listen to the plants that spoke to them without my formal introduction. As we walked through this meadow, butterflies alighted with our every step until we came finally to rest and offer introductions and prayers in a forest glade held within the jeweled embrace of blossoming tiger lily, feathery horsetail, precious starry solomon's plume, fragrant bay and ancient redwood.

We moved slow and tuned into the wisdom of our own Hearts; washed our eyes with cool water from the creek, so that we might see more clearly the wild and wide world around us. En route back to camp, we met Horsetail and Oats, Blackberry, Ox Eye Daisy, Lemon Balm, Wild Strawberry, Plantain, Mugwort, and many others. the plants came through to introduce themselves in the end -- but by listening to and followed the path of the unexpected in that Moon-hued morning moment, it is my hope that the medicine and the teachings most potent for those sisters, at that time, is what I was able to call forth and share. So, all that is to say -- forget your plans and wake up to the life that is asking to be lived through you right now. This is real wisdom. This is real Medicine.



s p i r i t w e a v e r

f o r m u l a
A formula to nourish, soften, and bring unwavering resilience to the feminine Spirit. With herbs and flower essences included to embody Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspects of the Self—the Spirit Weaver brings you deeply in touch with the gifts of the archetypal feminine journey and your own Sacred Path in this Lifetime. This formula aids in healing the wounds we take on as Women of this time and culture, and replaces any sense of powerlessness or unworthiness with the pure Truth and Beauty that is your essence.
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The Spirit Weaver formula offers the empowerment necessary to do the work you came into this Life to do; to sing the song and forge the path that is uniquely your own. Helpful in moments when you feel unequal to the task at hand, find that you are comparing yourself to others, or are simply feeling the weight and intensity of the Earth's sorrow. In times such as these, this formula is a reminder of the Path of Beauty which you came here to walk, and to share with others for the healing of the Earth and all her Children.











What a sacred thing, these warm and healing waters from the Earth. This photo is from the first day of the year, a day spent dissolving in Love. During the Gathering, I had the opportunity to return here, to this very spot, beneath the brilliant night sky, the wise light of constellations framing silhouettes of ancient Redwoods as I sank deep into prayer. At the gathering, Violet, a Pomo Elder, native to this Land, shared with our community of women that the best way we can honor this Land, honor our Relations is through prayer. These last few days have found me sitting with two tangled threads in the woven story of my life. Not knowing where to begin, I take Violet's words to Heart and begin with prayers to the trees, prayers to the night sky, and it is enough.












s u n s h i n e • i n c a r n a t e


thank you for the nourishment, the radiance,

and the grace you bring to this world Angela






r e s t i n g . d e e p



In the days between the first and second weekend of the Gathering, I spent many hours at a stretch simply resting as we prepared as a community to welcome a second wave of sisters for the M O O N session. One of the lessons I integrated during my time in the Redwoods is the importance of silence, solitude, and self care, even within the context of such a sacred and nourishing gathering. The more I go inward and give myself time to be still and sit with all we are sharing here, the more beauty, grace, and presence I have to offer to my Sisters, to myself, and to this Land. I hope you too will give yourself the gift of your own presence and the simple luxury of ample time spent communing in quietude with the Forest, herself. May the experiences you share with others be that much richer for having done so.






My very special new friend, Milla




and wonderful neighbors, Nat + Diana



P i o n e e r s  ( + p a l s )








After two weeks spent in this space of gentleness and witnessing, I felt tremendously tender as I prepared to pack up camp and leave the Gathering. From there, my route was unplanned. I was to continue down an uncertain but certainly beautiful path, that led, I knew not where. This yearly ceremony of Sisterhood is one of the most potent and profound gifts in my life. Leaving the sweet embrace of the Redwoods and the unbelievable support of this community of women felt challenging, to say the least. I am so grateful to each one of you that I had the opportunity to sit with in ceremony, to hug, to share a meal with, to share a smile with, to shed tears beside. Thank you for your beauty. Thank you for your strength; your honesty; your impeccability. Thank you for holding me and for allowing me to hold you. Thank you for walking this path of Earth Guardianship and for choosing to remember the old and wise ways which live within each of us.