Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

New Year Intention Meditation December 31, 2013

drawing by jef murray

Happy new year!

From the composting wisdom of our past years, may we all grow a strong, supple new year of life; one that shelters and feeds the singing birds of the soul.

The environment has effects on us – body, mind and spirit. If we align our actions and thoughts with large natural movements like seasons, weather, lunar/solar lineups, night and day, etc., such powerful and pointed energies can help with the smaller echoed movements of our own lives.

January 1, 2014 brings a lunar perigee, a.k.a. “supermoon.” This means very special conditions. A lunar perigee occurs at a specific point in the Moon’s elliptical orbit dance around our planet: the moon is full or new, is lined up with both the Earth and the Sun, and finally, comes very close to the Earth. Balance and swing your celestial partners!  According to Cornell University’s astronomy site for laypeople, the Moon is slowly leaving us. Each year, the moon orbits earth about 3.8 centimeters further away. So the power of these lunar perigees will slowly lessen over time. Let’s enjoy it while we’ve got it. At the dark of the year with that supermoon inciting powerful tidal influences to boot, why not work now with intention setting?

On the eve of each New Year (as currently celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar), rather than setting myself up for sure failure by making soon-to-be regretted “resolutions,” I enjoy simply taking time to contemplate my life over the past year(s) and considering what I’d like to invite in for the new. These are not wishes for material possessions or specific adventures. Although both are indeed enjoyable, that’s not the point. These intentions are about habits like internal qualities, thoughts, and behaviors to further develop, or decisions about how to better relegate my time and attention, so my life is more connected and joyful.

To facilitate that process for you too, here is a simple, contemplative, intention-setting process.

Contemplative New Years Intentions

  1. Find a quiet place to comfortably sit still. Light a single candle if you like, to help focus your mind. Look into the flame and do some deep breathing to relax. Make a little internal offering of gratitude for your life and this moment.
  2. Then connect with your heart, soul, higher self, spirit helpers/ancestors/god(s)… whatever you resonate with that is larger than your ordinary-reality personality-level self; that which is vast and loving and wise.
  3. Consider the past year. Ask for help in seeing clearly, and with eyes of kindness, which aspects of your life are going well and which could use some changes.
  4. Feeling some regrets? Yeah, welcome to a human incarnation. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Kiss the regrets and let them go. You have the chance now to try a different way. If they really burden you, write them down and then set them to one side for now.
  5. Consider what you’d like to bring into your life now. What seeds do you want to plant now for germination or even full flowering over the coming year? What specific kinds of things should you consider for your intentions list? Which are simple, yet also deep leverage points for change? You can also ask for help with clarification. Choose no more than 5 intentions, maximum. (Make this an opportunity, not a burden. How much attention span, time, and energy do you really have? Only name those intentions you can, and truly want to, focus and work/play on.) Write these down on a different paper.
  6. Read each intention aloud. As you do this, connect with your heart and imagine your life with each of them coming to pass. Use all of your senses, if possible. Reading them aloud like this can bring more clarity: you may then wish to re-write them or change them. That is fine. Keep doing this process until the words feel right all through your body.
  7. Rewrite your Intentions list on a nice piece of paper. Place it on your bedside, dresser, or altar where you will see it often over the next months, reminding you to keep bringing the intentions into being.
  8. On New Year’s Eve before you go to bed, read your intentions list and feel each one in your heart.
  9. Do this again upon waking on January 1. If possible, go out into the sunshine to read them, allowing the warm golden light to energize them and you. After reading your Intentions that morn, become very still for a few moments and allow their meaning to settle deep within you. The new year has begun, and with it, your life’s potential.
  10. As the year progresses, keep asking spirit to keep giving you guidance about necessary course corrections or attitude adjustments – whatever’s needed to help what’s on that list turn into manifest reality.

May your new year of life bring you much joy.


The lovely drawing is by Jef Murray. See more of his work at



Calligraphy & Illuminated Mss. October 23, 2010

Calligraphy, or the art of beautiful writing, is one of those nearly-lost arts whose practice can virtually alter time. The repetitive, controlled scritch of pen on parchment can send the artisan back through the ages to where s/he can really feel a kinship with her brethren in, say, the stone abbeys of Ireland, keeping learning alive through the Dark Ages. And of course, new forms are always being developed too. Illumination denotes illustrative letters or borders, but is literally the bringing of light to the piece through the application of thin gold leaf.

Wer nicht mehr Liebt und  nicht mehr Irrt, der lasse sich begraben.

(He who no longer loves and no longer errs, should let himself be buried.) — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Besides penning names on diplomas and suchlike for such esteemed organizations as the High Sierra Chefs’ Association and the Ralston School of Massage, there were three times in my life when I did a lot of calligraphy and illumination (here shown in reverse chronological order).

1) When living in Switzerland and learning to speak German. Writing the language out helped, of course. Further, I had nearly no money to buy art supplies, so went around foraging for fallen leaves and wildflowers to press in heavy books for use as illustrative borders. You can also see evidence of my treasured bottle of glowing copper ink.

Animae Mundi Colendae Gratia (for the sake of tending the soul of the world…) — C.G. Jung?

Alles, was lebt, lebt im Licht. Alles, was existiert, strahlt Licht. Alle Dinge empfangen ihr Leben vom Licht, und dieses Licht ist in ihrer Wurzel selbst Leben.

(All that lives, lives in light. All that exists  radiates light. All things derive their lives from light, and this light itself is, at its root, alive.)  –Phillipus Aureolus Paracelsus

We can improve our eternal circumstances by exercising our basic human nature, which I believe is compassionate. At birth, we are free from religion but not from compassion, even though we don’t understand the concept of God. Religious faith is a luxury. You can survive without it.

Kindness, compassion, tolerance, and forgiving, however, are a question of survival.

— the Dalai Lama

The mountains, I become part of it.

The herbs, the fir tree, I become part of it.

The morning mists, the clouds, the gathering waters, I become part of it.

The wilderness, the dew drops, the pollen — I become part of it.

— Navajo Chant

In Schoenheit wandre ich.  Mit Schoenheit vor mir, so wandere ich. Mit Schoenheit hinter mir, so wandere ich. Mit Schoenheit unter mir, so wandere ich. Mit Schoenheit ueber mir, so wandere ich. Mit Schoenheit rund um mich her, so wandere ich. In Schoenheit ist es vollendet.

In Beauty I Wander.

With Beauty before me, I wander.

With Beauty behind me, I wander.

With Beauty beneath me, I wander.

With Beauty above me, I wander.

With Beauty all around me, I wander.

In Beauty it is completed.

— Night Chant, Navajo (aka Dineh)



2) I really cut my chops in calligraphy and illumination in my late teens/early 20s, when I was waaaay into living history and became a scribe with the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). Every little award was hand-made in those days, so we got a lot of practice. I also played with these ancient styles for my own amusement. An example is the piece shown here, “Christianity Attempts to Come to Ireland,” which humorously illustrates the newcomers’ interaction with an animistic country.

3) As a child, in an attempt to change self-destructive behaviors, I would create formal written contracts to seal the deal. (Shades of Faust.) They looked like medical diplomas with their enormous swirly capitals and Old English script and a place to sign agreement.

I’d copy the lettering styles out of my mother’s old Speedball books, first drawing each letter’s outline out with a pencil and coloring it in. After learning the shapes thoroughly, I began cutting goose quills to gain swiftness (one stroke!), and later yet gained access to flat steel pen nibs and good dipping ink.

This was how I learned to do calligraphy.

Try it yourself!

Ewige Blumenkraft! (Flower Power Forever!) –password of the Illuminati, revealed by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson.

For those who might be interested, this sentiment goes with its other half, “ewige Schlangenkraft” (Serpent Power Forever!)  Fives, evidenced here by the pentagonal border devices, are also important symbols in this particular imaginal cosmology, as is the golden apple of chaos. (Hail Eris! Hail Yes!)

Exclamation points also seem to be in favor.


Rocksong October 10, 2010


Tonight I go alone

to the Stone-People-Lodge

To the drumming in the lodge

To the people calling, chanting

down the bones of ancient eagles

and the deities of granite near

a pregnant fir tree humming,

offering sap that danced out freely

in the Dreamtime of our mothers

who perceive us in their future

which is Now, as we are waiting

in their lodge of seven colors

like a rainbow bridge of feathers –

insubstantial in our bodies;

only present in our yearnings

in our brayings

in our dreamings; there

our bodies they are gleaming

with the cleansing

and the healing

and the long-awaited joining

with the elder tribal peoples

sister raven

grandma mugwort

So then will come the sound of angels

tying all our lives together

in the falling of their fire

and the raindrops in their wingsong

Burning breathing

smokedeyes squeezing

as the tears release from from spirits

at the deaths of all our baggage

We are joined by silver navel cords

to all of Our Relations

we are dancing in the Moebius strip

of despairing elation

Dance the memory of Realtime

Dance the flow of sap in pine trees

Dancing out of sacred lodges

in the sun,

never alone.


This poem was written to the sound of an internal rattle while waiting for a ride (in a shopping mall, of all places) several hours before I was to go into my first Inipi ceremony with the late Wallace Black Elk. Everything that came in the poem also later came to pass in the tipi.  It was nice of the spirits to provide a program!


High Flying Witch October 6, 2010

A witch flies across the full moon on a broomstick. This is a classic Hallowe’en image; nothing more.

–Or is it?

Note how happy this witch looks. Then look for four entheogenic plants semi-hidden in the design.

Can you identify them?

Some say the use of such plant mixtures is how those witches, our European ancestors, actually went ‘flying.’  The broomstick provided a handy applicator of the “flying ointment” – a.k.a. witches’ brew? – to the mucous membranes.  (I am not making this up.)

My favorite thing about this drawing is the glee she exhibits. I get so tired of seeing witches depicted as evil, scheming, or just grumpy in their warts. I mean, really. When I was a little kid of nine or so, a teacher asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. The book suggested things like “nurse” and “fireman.” I wrote in “Philosopher. And witch.”

Silently flying out of the window at night by moonlight, knowing the world’s unknowable secrets, casting spells, healing people with wild materials free for the taking, talking with ravens?! Yee-haw! It’s good to be a witch.



And now, a shameless plug:

If you like this image and think, “wow, I sure wish this was a card! I’d love to send it to my witchy friends,” you’re in luck. I currently have an extremely limited edition of notecards featuring this image available for sale — 34 14, to be exact. Amaze, enchant, or horrify your friends with this esoteric knowledge in visual form!

The cards measure 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ and are blank inside, awaiting your own message.  Price: $3.50 each plus postage. Optional: Have the cards inscribed with a brief, personalized hand-calligraphed message of your choosing, for a mere $1 for up to 9 words (not including “antidisestablishmentarianism” or anything in Welsh.) Postage discount will be given for bulk purchases sent to one address – I’ll only charge what I’m paying. Or if you’re local, come on over and pick them up. Not only do you avoid postage costs, but I’ll make you a cup of hot brewed tea.

* Please contact me directly to order:  tfields8 [at] *

If you’d like this same design on a t-shirt or mug, you can get them via CafePress.

A single-color version of this original pen-and-ink drawing was the official t-shirt design for the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness conference in Seattle, WA.

Thanks for your interest (or endurance)!


Cartoon History of Psychology June 1, 2010

Filed under: Articles,Arts,Drawing,Humor — BrujaHa @ 10:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is a paper I wrote in graduate school, believe it or not. The class was Western Personality Theories. It didn’t take me long to realize that this particular assignment, to show our understanding of one theorist, bored me to tears. So I asked if I could literally illustrate my understanding – which, after all, is a lot more work than cranking out a pure-text paper. I was fortunate: the professor was Carolyn Foster, one of the best. (See her current activities.) Her response was priceless, including:

“While my EGO was thinking “My doesn’t Tina understand Freud well, Isn’t she talented…” my ID was going, “OOH GOODY, FUN PICTURES, WHAT’S NEXT, HEE HEE… but my SUPEREGO was harping away: What would [the department chair] think of this? Is this OK for graduate level work?”

She ultimately concluded that it was, and even though it is not fully finished since the assignment deadline was set for the writing of ordinary mortal prose papers, I passed.

The scholars among you will have picked up on the bit in that narrative that’s most relevant to you: the piece that follows isn’t completely finished. If you want more, hey, clamoring has often worked. Especially when accompanied by chocolate, or a series-publishing offer.

If you have trouble reading it at this size, you can click on each page to enlarge it.

Hope you enjoy this serious academic paper. Ahem.


post-perspective April 5, 2010

Writing these posts about perspective is reminding me to attend, attend, attend.

The implications are so far-reaching.

Today’s example:  I like to read while eating, but today I’m realizing how insulting my lack of attention is to the beings whose bodies make this food; who gave their lives so that mine might continue. Also, this multitasking likely contributes to my being not so skinny, since when we’re unconsciously shoveling it in, we don’t notice we’re satisfied. And to top it off, I’m also not giving proper attention to the wonderful gift of words from the minds of my favorite writers.

So this afternoon, just now, I ate outside and put down my book. Instead, I felt the sun and looked at the clouds while smelling and tasting and feeling the textures of the good vegies and rice and tempeh and garlic pickle as I ate, feeling all of this invigorate me.

Lots of ‘ands’ here!

Wait, here’s one more: And as I was eating, this crazy bird kept looking at me from atop a nearby roof. Then she flew over and landed on the fence right by my head, peered down, and deliberately gazed into my eyes. I tell you, I doubt that would have happened were I still in the world of my book; and even if it had, I would not have noticed.

That moment felt like a gift; a pat on the head from the universe, training me.  Good girl! Nice job!

Meta-observation: I think I’m finally learning how to blog. Short is okay! Man, it’s rough overcoming the learned tyranny of academia, where everything must be perfect; never show anything until at least the third draft, etc. Some of the stuff I’ll post here will indeed be very well-thought-out; I care about craft and beauty. But it’s also very cool to just say something quickly, like a conversation with you, O mysterious one who is reading this now, in my future. (Twilight Zone music here.)

You’ll know the difference and will be able to find what you desire.

And everything will still be spelled right.