A portrait of Anna. She looks tired and rests her head on her hand. She's wearing a pink cotton robe

Normality is Suspended

Normality is suspended until further notice. Everything you thought you knew is wrong.

Will you evolve? Or die on the hill of your own creation?

What ideas of your self must you slough off in order to flourish on the other side?

A useful first step would be to admit that the pain that keeps you small comes from a secret, taboo desire for rejection and humiliation (and that’s OK! It is perfectly acceptable to get taboo pleasure from those things; ask any domme/dom).

NOTE! If the pain you are experiencing comes from racism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia, or any other ingrained systemic prejudice, please fully disregard my previous sentence. This taboo secret desire is only really applicable where people are experiencing pain and difficulty on an individual level rather than a community level.

Assuming that this is in fact the result of a deeply held secret desire, then celebrate. Your ache is being fulfilled.

It has been my experience, through the practice of Existential Kink, that the more we give ourselves permission to take deep pleasure, to positively revel in the electricity of our most ’not-wanted’ feelings…

… the more we celebrate our virtuoso ability to create circumstances that deeply trigger those feelings that we ‘most-definitely-positively-absolutely-do-not-ever-want’…

… the more we adore and take joy in this beautiful incarnation and our adorable obsession with duality (the whole notion of ‘good feelings’ and ‘bad feelings’, or ‘want’ and ‘do not want’ as a perfect example)…

…the more that energy of fear transmutes into beauty.

A photo of Anna, she is against a white wall wearing a black dress, looking down towards the ground. Her face is mostly obscured by her hair.

Love Letter

As soon as I have published here I will compose a love letter. This relationship has struggled greatly over the years but after much work and willingness to change, it is now very secure and nurturing.

With my fountain pen, on heavy paper, I shall compose deep compliments and excavate my most tender feelings.

I will re-state my utter commitment to uncondintional, everlasting love. I expect I shall embarrass myself a little bit with my earnest phrasing.

Sometimes, the truth is bigger than words. I know I will come up against the limits of language.

As soon as I have published here I will compose a love letter to myself.

It’s time I put it on paper.

A Meditation for Anxiety

I’ve recorded a guided meditation for you because this practice is not widely known and helps me tremendously on days when I struggle under the weight of anxiety.

Thankfully, those days are relatively few and far between; but it was not long ago that the ‘ok’ days were rare as hens’ teeth.

The meditation is based on the Buddhist tradition of Tonglen, wherein we reverse our ego’s sweet but ultimately absurd insistence on going to any lengths to resist and resent suffering. Instead in Tonglen we open ourselves to pain and experience its transmutation.

The purpose is to more deeply awaken our compassion but also to recognise the very important point that ‘our’ pain is not, in fact, ours. It is ‘the’ pain, and widely or even universally experienced.

With much practice, I find I can now perform a few Tonglen breaths while walking through town, or preparing a meal, and feel an expansion of love and compassion that serves me, and by extension all of humanity, greatly.

It is my sincere wish that you find this recording helpful and might try it soon or bookmark it as part of your toolkit for when things seem impossible.

Let me know how you find it.

A traditional Anima Sola image on a small picture stand, with a shot glass of clean water and a lit tea light candle in front of it.

Memento Mori

Memento mori. Or, remember: you will die. Possibly today.

The idea, central to Socratic philosophy has been practiced for centuries and is currently espoused by celebrated modern thinkers.

And as an happy aside, it obviously combines effortlessly easy with ancestor worship; getting dead relatives on side powerfully supports magical growth.

Currently, this anima sola receives my morning ritual. Soon after my feet touch the floor as I rise from sleep, and certainly before a drop of liquid passes my own lips, I offer refreshment - cold, clean water - to the dead.

To my grandparents and great grandparents, uncles and cousin, dear friends who have passed, and the ancestors I never knew. I remember them, and ask them to remember and look favourably upon me.

To the dead whose bones we walk upon as we move about our life. I remember them.

To those long dead souls with none left to remember them. Their fate belongs to us all. I remember them.

To death itself - be a friend, walk with me, help me to die (release) every day and be fully present in this beautiful, miraculous incarnation, in every interaction with the people I love and the activities I engage in.

The morbid tone certainly appeals to the nineteen year old goth in me, but the practice also brings clarity, focus and motivation to live every day as if it were our last, through the profound question:

If this day were my last, what would matter?

Magical Consciousness: a primer

I’m keen to write about miracle farming, but first it is important to speak about magical consciousness.

You have heard, I expect, of the reticular activation system. Personally I have been lectured on the subject by uninspiring business coaches of various stripe, the most usual example given, being: we purchase a particular model of car, and suddenly we notice the same model wherever you go.

The lesson being: whatever you prime your mind to be alert to, you will be alert to. Imagine!

This is deeply and undeniably dull.


We can also apply the reticular activation system to joyful synchronicities, hilarious plot twists and enlightening messages from unexpected sources (including animals and inanimate objects), which is altogether a far more compelling proposition.

(Those of us with prior experience of psychedelics and/or mania will be at a positive advantage, but I have every confidence that it is within the grasp of everyone with an imagination.)

Here is an introductory exercise. Go for a walk, today if you can, with no destination or purpose in mind. As you walk, focus your mind on considering questions like: what is the meaning of that bright blue string, tangled in a fence?

What are those birds letting me know by flying in that formation? What does that snippet of a song, heard from a passing car, mean to me?

What are the Gods saying through those images in the clouds? What wisdom are the trees singing, in my direction?

Say: this a dream - I am the dreamer of this dream.

Allow your eyes to widen and your jaw to drop slightly at the incredible realism in this absurd hallucination where _everything_ is loaded with meaning, as you walk with loose, dreamy limbs towards yet more unexpected messages from every corner.

The more deep your sense of wonder, and the longer you can sustain it, the better.

Soon, your mind will start to present the messages, synchronicities and signs to you, instead of the sensible family cars it had mistakenly believed you were interested in.

Is it real magic if you’ve purposely generated it? Of course! Of course not! Either way, It doesn’t matter. The beauty is, you decide. Repeat this exercise as often as necessary.

A small skull carved from a piece of jet on a wooden surface, with a partial view of a candle holder in the shape of a pink lotus flower.

Loving Your Shadow

I had in mind to write a lovely essay for you on magical consciousness and the benefits of previous experience of psychedelics and/or manic states. But my office is already overheating and I must go and recline in a shaded hammock.
Instead, I pose this question:
What if ‘loving yourself’ meant actually *loving* all of those icky parts? Not loving yourself in spite of them - not loving yourself in order to ‘release’ them - but actually loving them;
Loving your struggling business; loving your emotional instability, even the fear and despair; loving the nagging pain in your hip; loving your propensity for rage; loving your apparent inability to apply yourself to that nagging work task;
Loving your inability to muster any motivation for housework; loving your daily frustration at the impossibility of juggling work and childcare over summer; loving your envy, greed and sloth;
Loving and celebrating that darkest part of you that revels in difficulty, disappointment and struggle with no interest in the ease and grace that your ego constantly searches for.
Does that feel impossible? Or very much within reach?
Because I promise you that this is when magic happens.

A pearl necklace on a wooden dresser. Interspersed with the pearls are eight Howlite beads carved into tiny skulls. In the background is a small offering plate with a bright feather, another necklace strung with a white tooth, and a small white horse figurine.

Skulls & Pearls

Daily affirmations. (*groan*) I KNOW. Although it pains me to deploy such a hackneyed trope, I am also forced to admit it has been remarkably effective.

Five minutes three times a day is the goal. Twice a day is the reality.

I added these howlite skulls to a freshwater pearl necklace with a dual purpose; first, to add a little more shadow to the jewellery, and also to use like prayer beads, or a mala, to count off affirmations rather than resorting to an electronic timer to interrupt the mantra.

And of course I wear the necklace for client calls or any other time I wish to feel formidable in a Babayaga way. Because not only am I wearing a string of skulls around my neck, it has also absorbed those hundreds of recitations of the outcome towards which my work points.

A semi-rural street intersection in Kent, UK. The intersection is a crossroads with a 'god cake' on one junction. A god cake is a small triangle of grass found at some rural junctions in the UK. The crossroads is a traditional site for many magical rituals.

Renewal of Word

When my magic doesn’t work - when I’ve been trying to create something for weeks and nothing seems to be incoming - it’s time to renew my word.

You see, in order to be a powerful magician, our word must mean something in the world. If, in a fit of masochism we decide to commit to jogging every day, or to decline second helpings of pudding, but give up in the first week, our word is broken.

Nobody is harmed! - except, of course and most importantly, our own relationship to our will and commitment.

I’ve been taught to treat commitments very seriously, and include an element of ritual to strengthen my word if it is broken.

This is the ‘god-cake’ at a nearby crossroads where I go when my goals are not met or my commitments broken. I leave an offering of coins and recite an invocation to Hermes to strengthen my will and my word.

July’s commitment was to desist from controlling and complaining: as you can imagine I was there often, and the neighbourhood children are all riding new bicycles.

A little girl riding a black pony, together they are clearing a small blue and red show jump set up in an arena. The sky is dark and stormy.

The Unicorn

I was quite clear (though, you will see, not clear enough), that owning equines was a *long term* goal.

The way it happened was this:

My sister gave me a card about ponies, for my birthday in July. Also, I had been playing around with sigils with my friend Stefanie. A sigil is a symbol representing a desired outcome. None of my sigils included owning horses…

(… although… now that I think of it … I believe an earlier batch may have done so. Oh dear.)

The day after our coven meeting a new book was delivered. It also included a chapter on sigils (so many of them seem to). I liked the author’s approach to identifying a desire: instead of, “I want £2,000” he used, “How did I come to own this beautiful piano?”

That weekend the owner of the yard where my daughter has a half hour weekly riding lesson told me that Mikey the pony was on the brink of being sold. She wanted to give us first refusal as she knows how much we adore him, but an enthusiastic buyer was calling her daily. I asked for a little time, but promised a decision by Monday.

For the next 24 hours I stalked the world with my hair on end from scratching my head, turning the question over and over in my head “How did I come to own this fantastic pony?”

The answer came suddenly, and extremely clearly. “You own this pony by paying for it with the money that is already in your bank account. You don’t need to raise extra funds to do this. And you will pay his keep with the money coming in through your businesses.”

And to my surprise and delight, my husband felt as confident as I did that I will be able to support this new addition. From someone as financially cautious as he has been, it felt like a tremendous validation and vote of confidence.

And that, friends, is my story about how I suddenly and unexpectedly came to be a horse-owner. Magic does indeed happen; but please learn from my lesson and be specific about your timeframes, if that is important to you.

Oh, and a final note. To the untrained eye it may not be apparent, but little Mikey is, in fact, a unicorn. In the equestrian world, a ‘unicorn’ pony is one who is safe, sane, sound and vice-free. So there we have it.

My little girl, riding a unicorn.

On a small altar sits a Lego Duplo piece in green and yellow plastic, a window frame building block. Ion the background you can glimpse a pair of orange candles, a small offering bowl, a tarot card, an orange post it note.

Dream gateway

Dear Uncle Carl (Jung) taught us that, until we make the unconscious conscious, it will direct our lives and we will call it fate.
I have very much enjoyed getting to know my own Inner Other a little better by, nightly, inviting her to supply me with joyful and informative dreams, that I will remember in the morning. The last part doesn’t *always* work (also; sometimes, foolishly, I reach for my phone on first waking instead of my notebook - we know how that ends).
Some things that have helped with accessing this rich seam of self-discovery are Mugwort (see my previous post: the picture of steps and door in a hedge), drunk, smoked, or an infusion in oil for anointing; direct communication with my dream genius (see above); making offerings; interpretation.

My method of dream interpretation was introduced to me by my mentor @carolynelliott_ and is deeply helpful - taking me from “Bryan as a psychopath WTFLOLZ” to ‘dear heart, this is your deep fear of forging a successful career’. Information that is both enlightening and actionable.

And today’s picture? A call to add an item to my altar to represent the gateway between consciousness and dreaming. Lego was to hand, as many mothers with children of a certain age will attest. It is doing marvellous service.