Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

Author Archive

NEWS: ArousedWoman Magazine PRE-SALE Premiere Issue or All 6 Issues


ArousedWoman MagazineComing soon!  ArousedWoman Magazine will hit the cyber-newsstands in August 2014.

You can pre-order and get yours reserved for $9.99.  Or get a subscription for all 6 bimonthly issues for just $49.99.

In order to be truly happy, you have to be happy (and healthy) on several levels.   The best way to accomplish this is with solid information so you can make informed decisions about your life, your body, your rights, and your peace of mind in this crazy, hectic world.

AW Magazine will be a digital publication, readable on any computer or mobile device.  The premiere August/September issue will be released in August 2014.

An extension of AW Blog and AW Radio, AW Mag is an in-depth look at various topics for women (and men!), including sex, health, fitness, nutrition, feminism/activism, original erotica, guest writers, spirituality, reviews, and more!

The August/September 2014 issue will feature articles and interviews on the topics:

  • Body image
  • California women’s Reiki healing center
  • Radiant pleasure
  • Finding our way back from patriarchy
  • Goddess-based spirituality
  • The new Atheism
  • Classical Tantra
  • Activist film festivals
  • Revolutionary Feminism
  • Painting female nudes
  • Healing yourself through meditation
  • Knowing your vagina
  • Massage & the importance of touch
  • Breast Health
  • Protecting your clit
  • Orgasm tips
  • New AskTrish letters
  • Sexual health
  • Overall nutrition
  • Recipes
  • Original erotica
  • Guest articles
  • OpEd pieces
  • Reviews
  • AND MORE!

Every issue will have new articles, new guests, new important health coverage, and new original erotica!

Pay using your PayPal account or your credit or debit card:

And please SPREAD THE WORD by sharing the link to this blog post.  Thank you!

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

link-fblink-twlink-pinlink-tum

 


Writing: The Journey from Novel to Screenplay to Stage Play to eBook


Trish Causey's Voices on the Wind Original ScreenplayI’m in the process of re-writing a screenplay I wrote years ago into an e-book novel.  It’s called Voices on the Wind, and the story takes place on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  As you probably already know, I’m a lifelong activist, and one of the areas I’ve always stood up for is the plethora of issues that affect American Indian tribes.  So after a good long time away from this story, I’m re-visiting it … and looking ahead.

I’ve revised the format a few times over the years — it began as a novel, but after four chapters, I stopped because the cost of printing books was just too high (at the time); so I switched gears and wrote it as a film screenplay, which turned out to be a colossus 184 pages.  I thought a film would be great because that would have the biggest potential audience to receive the message … or so I thought at the time.  I even went to the trouble of registering my script with the Writers Guild of America (WGAw) and copyrighting it.  However, the logistics of actually making my script into a film were daunting and expensive — even by the numbers of SAG’s low-budget contracts.

I tried writing VOTW as a novel again, but I simply loathed the process.  My background is in the literary classics.  I haven’t read much in the contemporary book market.  My mother was a literature professor, and my father was a scientist for the government.  My world was nerd-central.  I read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Hamlet by the time I was in 6th grade.  While I loved the plays — probably due to my burgeoning theatre obsession, I loathed the lengthy tomes with endless prose and little dialogue.  The idea of writing descriptive prose was not something I wanted to do.  In fact,  I still have heebie-jeebies from reading Silas Marner in high school.  I mean, did George Eliot really have to spend 2 to 3 pages describing a frickin’ tree?  I say, “No.”

A couple years ago, I had gone back to the revised-revised-finalized-final version of my Voices on the Wind screenplay to adapt it for the stage because I could finally admit that what I really loved was writing dialogue not descriptive paragraphs that go on for pages (this blog notwithstanding).  But I realized that in adapting my story for a screenplay, I had taken out a lot of the scrumptuous dialogue that actors love to deliver for the sake of brevity in the film medium whose motto is “Show.  Don’t tell.”  Well, screw that.  Actors like to talk.  And so do my characters.

Interestingly, in the past 10 years, writing in the mass paperback industry has changed considerably.  People like quick reads, and dialogue helps do that.  Descriptive writing is still necessary, of course, but not at the lengths that used to be the standard.  Also, with the advent of mobile, digital readers, more people than ever can afford to read (e)books because the costs are usually much lower than the physical book.  This means I can get my story into people’s consciousness everywhere, more quickly and less expensively.  Plus, the publishing industry used to be almost impenetrable for new authors; but the digital age has leveled the playing field for writers and placed the advantage squarely in the realm of self-publishing, while the cost of film-making has skyrocketed.

Now, here I am, going back to the tattered, worn, falling apart original 184-page screenplay of Voices on the Wind — barely held together with its tarnished brass brads — to reformat it as an e-book novel for your reading pleasure.  It has been emotional for me to revisit the story as I wrote it originally, to once again dwell in the hearts and minds of my characters whom I love so much.  Some things have changed on Pine Ridge since I was there in 2001, and some things haven’t.  As a writer, it will be such a relief to FINALLY get this story out into the world.

I admit, there is nothing like actually holding a book in your hands as you curl up in a comfy spot with a cool drink and a tray of assorted chocolates nearby.  Nothing will ever really take the place of the physical, printed book.  But for me, the world of the eBook is a great opportunity.  Therefore, the journey continues….

Even better, all these years (and this blog) later, I’m not afraid to write the sex scenes. :-)

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

link-fblink-twlink-pinlink-tum

 

 

 

 

 


AW Radio: Trish Causey discusses the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby verdict on Birth Control


Supreme-Court-Hobby-Lobby-protestersThe Supreme Court has once again determined that women are not people but corporations are and that corporations have more rights under the Constitution that human beings do.

Tune in for “Trish Causey discusses the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby verdict on Birth Control.”

CALL IN to (646) 787-8587 and voice your opinion on this ridiculous verdict, or post your comments in the online chat room.

Be heard!

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

link-fblink-twlink-pinlink-tum

 

 

 


NEWS: I Can Now Marry You


handfasting-marriage-wedding-handsI am now an official Marriage Officiant!

If you’re looking for a pagan, heathen, witchy, Wiccan, bohemian, theatrical, non-traditional, out-of-the-ordinary, non-Christian, and/or non-religious wedding, LET ME KNOW!  (I will be happy to officiate a Christian marriage, too.)

I want to provide an alternative to those who can’t or don’t want a Christian/church wedding but want more than the Justice of the Peace gig. 

If you’re in a state that allows GAY MARRIAGE, lemme know!  I will travel!

Feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below.

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

link-fblink-twlink-pinlink-tum

 

 

 


Dream: Losing My Hair and Going Bald


swept-in-a-bubbly-dream-gun-leglerThis morning I awoke from a dream, the kind I haven’t had in a while and a very specific kind I have never had.  Ever.  I dreamt all of my hair was gone, and I was bald.

My hair has been a distinguishing feature of mine since I was a child.  Hair stylists naturally gravitate to my tresses and touch my hair without asking.  But these guys are almost always gay, and they’re more interested in my hair than me, so I never really minded them.

However, on too many occasions to recount, I have been standing or sitting, minding my own business, only to feel something strange happening to the back of my head and realize some stranger was groping and fondling my hair.  From a guy at the mall when I was 12 — who wound my hair around and around his arm and said, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself”, to which I replied, “Oh, yes, you could have!” — to a creepo, sleazy, fat guy with one tooth at the circus who operated one of the rides, men are drawn to my hair.  An artist wanted to paint me nude because of my skin tone and my hair.  Because of these experiences over the years, my hair is definitely one of my sensitive spots.  These creepy follicular invaders somehow had the nerve to get offended that I was offended that they were touching and stroking my hair.  They would guffaw and sneer, “What do you care?  It’s just hair.  It’s dead.”

Newsflash:  As long as my hair is attached to my head, my hair is a part of my body and is off-limits to anyone unless I personally give permission for a person to touch my hair.  Period.

People are taught that hair is dead.  Sacred teachings say it is not.  In the ancient culture of the tribes of Ireland, Scotland, Gaul, and other European pagan traditions, hair was very sacred.  Most people never cut their hair; they let it grow their entire lives, for to cut your hair (nonchalantly) was to cut off your power.  In some instances just before major battles, some warriors might cut their hair as a sign of sacrifice to the gods, for blessing in battle.  They may also cut their hair while mourning.

The head was sacred to the indigenous tribes of pagan Europa.  The head is where we think, see, hear, smell, taste, talk, sing, kiss — all of which are extremely important to every person.  In fact, the head was so revered that warriors would take the heads of their enemies to prevent their power from transferring with the deceased to the Other Side.  If you’ve ever seen a depiction of the great mother goddess Kali from the Sanatana Dharma teachings, you know the head is a prized possession in several cultures.

Samson, from the Judeo-Christian bible, owed his considerable strength to his hair.  Some American Indian tribes have traditions that involve cutting their hair when a loved one has died.  Keeping the hair long is part of many yogic traditions that go back thousands of years.  The hair is thought to be like “antennae” to the surrounding environment, able to pick up on energetic vibrations, useful, informative sensations that are then transmitted to the brain.  Even beards were required of scholars in academia and holy men in some religions.

So hair has always been a very conscious matter to me…. The Broadway musical included.

Note:  I’ve never had a lucid dream, and the one dream in which I actively controlled what happened was a real doozy.  Oftentimes my dreams are like films, and at an important moment, I’ll get an extreme close-up, zoom-in shot to hone in on what is important.

I had already had my dreams for the night, gotten up to go to the bathroom, and gone back to bed, only to lay in bed for over an hour unable to fall asleep.  Sometime after that, I dozed off and had this dream.

I was looking into a mirror that was in my bedroom closet, brushing my hair with my hands.  Suddenly a clump of hair came out into my hand.  I was understandably upset.  My hair is one of my signature features.  More hair fell out.  I went to my bathroom to look in the bigger mirror, and my hair around my ears and the back of my head was gone.  Suddenly, a zoom-in, close-up showed my scalp, and the hair was cut close to the skin, but it was obvious that it had been cut, i.e., with clippers.

I was instantaneously back in my bedroom looking into the mirror in my closet, and I was completely bald.  But I wasn’t upset.  In fact, I ran my hand over my bald scalp and smiled.

Dream ended.

When I woke up, I was confused and slightly worried.  Losing hair so drastically is usually a sign of severe illness such as Diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, or worse, the effects of cancer treatment such as chemo and radiation.  I have dealt with my hair thinning out due to my thyroid dysfunction, but I’ve been able to regrow my hair now that I have my thyroid and insulin response under control thanks to a superb product.  And I would never do chemo or radiation if I had cancer, so I knew that this was not a precognitive dream, showing me a scene from my future (as I sometimes dream).

Having been immersed in the ballet world growing up, I know a ballerina in rebellion will cut her hair.  Remember when Rosie O’Donnell got her famous haircut and the media crucified her?  I’m not G.I. Jane or Sinead O’Connor.  I wouldn’t look good bald.  So I consulted the wonderful world of Google for some dream meanings to make sense of this dream that threatened to rock my body and cranial image.

Losing one’s hair in a dream spells gloom and doom according to some interpretations (particularly the religious interpretations).  But my dreams are never as concrete as many of the standard interpretations anyway, and I quickly found several interpretations that resonated with me and my current situation.

Losing power was associated with losing hair throughout the various interpretations, but they also noted that the hair that has fallen out (or been cut off) represents something you no longer need.  So losing a clump of hair could be a sign of getting rid of something that no longer serves you or an end to a stressful time of your life.  They also mentioned that losing hair to the point of baldness could signify a whole new chapter in your life because when you get rid of all that doesn’t serve you, you are left with a blank canvas — a bald head, in this case — to start over.  They note that being bald was seen as a sign of wisdom in some ancient cultures, as priests and sages would shave their heads to show they were on a path of knowledge and wisdom. The best explanation said, “You are at a stage in your life where you are confident in fully exposing yourself.” Hmmmmmmm…..

One important thing was whether the hair was falling out on its own or was cut off.  My zoom-in, close-up, Mr. DeMille shot clearly showed that my hair had been shorn off with clippers.  In effect, I was purposely getting rid of things that no longer served me.  I was purposely on a path to greater knowledge and, hopefully, greater wisdom.

I can only go by what I felt when I woke up.  And with this dream, though I was a little shaken at seeing myself bald, I did not have any bad feelings upon thinking about the dream.  This was one reason I didn’t freak out … like I did after the time I dreamt of all my teeth falling out.  Yikes!

This dream is accurate in my opinion.  Since I’m still processing my Congressional run and getting my personal life and my self back on track for what I should be doing with my life, I can see how this is a good dream to have.  My existence will be uncomfortable as I move forward and let go of the things (and people) that do not enrich my life or my work, but the path (to knowledge and wisdom) is most definitely a path I want to take.

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

link-fblink-twlink-pinlink-tum

 

 

 

 


DailyOJ 06-23-14: Getting Back Into My Body


nude-woman-in-solitude-peachI can’t believe how long it has been since I wrote my last true DailyOJ post.  It seems like a lifetime ago that I was on my regular meditation and awakening practice, but I felt I needed a break due to everything that was going on.

So on 02-03-14, I took a break from writing here on my ArousedWoman Blog as I officially entered the campaign to be a Congressional candidate.  I had started back to college in October, around the same time I finally decided to run for Congress.  The ensuing months were some of the most mentally stressful I’ve had in a while.  I was over-extended and being pulled in so many different directions — home life, rebounding from the loss of a job, starting my Musical Theatre Magazine for income, going back to college, throwing my hat in the ring for Congress, being a single mom, running this blog, trying to finish other writing and music I had started, my computer crashed in December, starting another fitness certification, and other things I can’t even remember now.  It was just too much.

In April, I had to take a leave of absence from school to focus on my campaign, but the campaign ended June 3rd, when I lost my bid to be the Democratic candidate for my district.  Which is fine.  What I learned about politics taught me that my place is here as an activist.

My second-to-last DailyOJ post was on 09-16-13, so to sit here and realize it has been over 9 months since my last real DailyOJ is just strange.  Nine months is the gestation period of a child, from conception to birth.  This impels me to wonder, what did I give birth to?  What was brewing in the womb of life experience these past nine months?  What did I think I was conceiving?  What do I have to show for this amount of time and work and stress and even grief?

Not much.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped doing yoga.  My three+ miles that I walked every single day rain or shine dwindled down to one on many days, and closer to the primary election, sometimes zero miles.  I had an allergic reaction to some store-bought bread (again), which made me gain weight and inner inflammation that I’m still dealing with.  The stress of fending off the evil ring-wing nut-jobs on social media sent my cortisol levels up, which didn’t help my body at all.  And mostly, I just didn’t like how being in the political arena made me feel as a person.

I’ve worked hard to overcome my natural warrior tendencies, to incorporate more yin wisdom.  But politics is all yang — and not the good aspects of yang.  Politics is an evil, dirty, money-driven business based on extreme competition that I personally found to be destructive on many levels.

For me and my body, what concerned me most was how my energy level dropped.  I don’t mean energy, as in feeling like getting up and going somewhere, I mean my true energy, my life force, my palpable connection to the universe and everything around me that actually matters to me.  Because politics is so based in low-energy matters like money (economy, budget/deficit, jobs, etc.), I felt my energy just fade away.  I no longer felt my energy buzzing up my legs, or my Kundalini spine-zaps that circle around to tickle my face, or the out-of-body heartgasms, or the energy that bounces off my arms when I think about something I love or something that makes me happy or makes me laugh.  Nothing about politics gave me good vibes.  I tried focusing on the fact that I was wanting to help the people of my area, and I focused on being me, not a puppet politician that the media expects a candidate to be.  I spent so much energy deflecting the negativity of the political scene, that I had no energy left over for me, my well-being, and my needs.

I had lost my connection to my body.  When I would try to do a practice session, my mind was on politics.  When I was sleeping at night, I’d wake up at 3 a.m., and think about politics.  Because I was virtually alone in my campaign, it all rested on me to do a good job.  I felt a responsibility to the people who saw themselves represented in me, a progressive liberal candidate in a Red State.

My sessions became less about my practice and solely about trying to have orgasms.  Therein was the major problem.  “Trying” for pleasure is a sure-fire way to ensure true pleasure eludes you.  My orgasms, while still amazing on any orgasm-o-meter, were different.  They were no longer full-body.  They were localized to my genitals.  They were rarely as emotional as I was accustomed to.  I didn’t know my body anymore.  And I couldn’t focus enough on my practice when I had them to raise my energy again.

I will say again as I’ve said before — My “worst” orgasm now is infinitely better, bigger, and more pleasurable than the best orgasm I ever had before my awakening.  But at this point, I’m used to a certain level of mind-blowingemotional orgasmic experience.  Regular, genital-centric orgasms simply will not do.

I’ve also said many times that orgasm is an energy, and when I’m in that energy, it’s like living in a completely different vibration.  I’ve told people the feeling is like orgasm is a higher vibration level, and whenever I’d want a sudden orgasm, I just stand on my tip-toes, and I’m there, in that energy field, and they just happen — whenever, wherever I want them.  My body is amazing.

Or she was … before I got the crazy idea that I should enter politics.

The primary was June 3rd.  I got 44.6% of the votes, but lost.  The follow-up after the campaign lasted about 9 to 10 days, and as voters began to focus on the unfolding dramas elsewhere in the crazy world of Mississippi politics, I bowed out, thinking I’d get back to doing what I do.  This is when my body crashed.  Simply crashed.  I spent a few days in thorough lethargy, allowing my body to release the pent-up exhaustion that had accumulated over the course of nine months on the campaign trail.  This was when I fully realized what I had done to my body and my psyche and my spirit by following a path I had intrinsically known was not for me, but that my activist self thought I could strong-arm my self through — for the greater good, for standing up for our rights, for speaking up for the right thing.  I have always despised politics, and now, I had reaped the lesson of what happens when you don’t listen to your true self.

Now, it’s summer.  I’m not home alone during the day … or night.  So I can’t do a full practice on a regular basis.  I still enjoy my stealth orgasms.  In fact, even my nipple-O’s and stealth clit O’s had begun to wane in intensity.  In the past week, I’ve been trying to get more sleep, and even though I’m still only getting five to six hours of actual sleep, I’m staying in bed to rest a few hours more to get at least eight hours of sleep/rest in so my body can heal.

Because I’m a single mom, I won’t be able to get back to my regular practice until the Fall, but I will do what I can with my stealth O’s through the summer.  That might be a good thing actually — allow my body to finish processing all this politics B.S. and regroup.  I will allow my fire to come back gradually.  I am focusing on positive, life-affirming, creativity-inspiring pursuits, like my new online workshop.  I am ready to help people who want to be helped.  I will get back into a regular yoga practice.  I will dismiss the wheat and sugar that somehow crept back into my diet (and devastated my body).

By August, I should be back to myself — or introduced to my new self, a woman who has learned so much on this journey and who is ready to be aroused in mind, body, and spirit once again.

Aroused and healing,

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

link-fblink-twlink-pinlink-tum

 


NEWS: Register for Tantra-based Orgasm Awakening Online Workshop


tantra_sexI am now offering group and private Tantra-based training via Skype in 6 two-hour classes.  Finally!

This training focuses on awakening sensual response, increasing sexual pleasure, reclaiming your body as yours, honoring the sacred nature of the body as a means of enlightenment, and connecting to universal consciousness.

The 6 group classes will be held on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT/ 6 p.m. PT) beginning July 24, 2014.  If taking the group course by yourself, the cost is $99, and it’s only $149 for couples.

Private classes can be arranged at the convenience of the participant(s).  Six sessions for a Single is $589.00, and Couples will be $879.00.

This workshop will incorporate the philosophy of Tantra along with anatomy and biology, the science of orgasm, exercises, journaling, homework in between classes, with plenty of time for Q&A during the classes.

This training is holistic in nature and covers other aspects of your well-being, such as emotional happiness, fitness, nutrition, physical health, and relationships.  This workshop is part of a larger project that I am developing but can’t mention to the public at this time.  But SOON!

More classes will be provided in the near future, but this introductory class is required for the intermediate and advanced levels.  Sexual orientation does not matter.  But you MUST BE 18 to participate.

You may sign up for the Group or Private classes either as a Single or as a Couple on the ArousedWoman website.

ALL SALES ARE FINAL.  Any questions should be directed to me PRIOR to purchasing any option.  Use the form below.

I look forward to helping you on your journey!

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:


AW RADIO: Trish Causey Discusses the Mind, Body, & Spirit Benefits of Meditation


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013Tonight’s show of ArousedWoman Radio featured the topic of meditation, and my guest was my friend, Beverly, who practices different types of meditation.

She shared her personal experiences with Vipassana and Transcendental Meditation as well as yogic-based meditation such as a Kundalini practice.  We also talked about focal point and guided meditation styles.  I related my experience using bi-aural brain-wave entrainment CD’s.

Check out the replay here on AW Radio, then leave a message below telling me your experience with meditation — why it has or has not worked in your practice.

Namaste,

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

 

 


OpEd: Summer Solstice – 18 Years a Witch


Trish 2012 -- 1000px Today is June 21, 2014, and it marks 18 years since I self-initiated as a witch.  The ritual took place in my backyard with a number of fellow witch-friends in attendance, along with too many mosquitoes and June Bugs to count.

I had been on this road to witchdom for a couple of years, having searched for a spiritual tradition that was in keeping with my ancient Gaelic ancestors.  I was even in a coven for a while, but their tradition was American eclectic and had way too much Wicca and ceremonial hogwash for my tastes.  Unofficially, I had been on this path my whole life; it had only been a couple years prior to my self-initiation that I had begun to take on the mantle of witch and pagan.

As I related in my Samhain post, being a witch in reality is nothing like what TV and movies pretend it is.  “Witch” is usually used as an insult, particularly against women.  This past Samhain, I bought a sign that says, “You say I’m a Witch … like it’s a bad thing.”  And for me, the word “witch” is utterly fabulous.

The word witch is thought to derive from a Germanic root word that alternately can mean “to be strong” and/or “to know” or “to be wise”.  The term witch was used to refer to the local wise woman, the woman who knew the healing arts, midwivery, burial preparations, and often, relationship advice.  Witches were the keepers of arcane knowledge from birth to death, and that scared the men in charge of Europe’s misogynistic religion and governments.  Insecure men have always feared women’s ability to create life, and that fear was never greater than in the centuries of patriarchal rule before modern science could explain some of the mysteries of human biology.

I have often said that someday I hope to be able to call myself, fully, a witch — to truly be a wise woman.  I’ve found that it takes much more than just calling yourself a witch to actually be a true witch.  I’m not talking about covens and initiations either.  You’re a person who strives to live in a wise way, a beauty way, the “Red Road”, according to the laws of Nature and Karma, or you don’t.

Trish-Causey-Mississippi-Pagan-Pride-Day-2004Many arguments can be made over who is a real witch and who isn’t.  That’s another reason I left a coven and ventured out on my own.  I just wanted to do what felt right to me and was in keeping with my Irish and Scottish heritage.  Along the way, I’ve studied many religions, and I’m particularly smitten with the teachings of Indian religions as they pertain to enlightenment, reincarnation, and expansion of universal consciousness.  While I will call myself an Energist, for reasons I’ll explain in another post, there is no actual name for what I do — it’s just Trish Witchyness.

Recently, an instructor from Pittsburgh University interviewed me for some doctoral work he is doing.  He wanted to know about my spiritual path and how I do my “thang” as a solitary witch.  We talked for several hours over the course of a few days, and it was a great conversation that brought back many memories along my journey.

I recounted a tale from when I was a child, about seven years old, when my mother wanted me to stop making mud pies in the backyard to get ready for church.  I asked why we had to go to church.  She said it was to worship god in his house.  I asked her why we had to go to church to worship god because a church was made by men while the earth and water I was concocting into mud pies was actually made by god.  Furious that I was questioning her religious bullshit, she growled for me to get inside and get cleaned up, and away to man’s building we went.

When I was nine, I was forced to become Catholic.  I knew instinctively the church was evil.  Maybe it was a past-life memory of being burned at the stake or something … or being an observant child, I could see through the hypocrisy and the double standards of the Catholic church when my mother, the recreational martyr, fell for all of it hook, line, and sinker.  One day when I was 10, I asked one of the priests, “Which is worse: always to believe and never to question, or always to question and never to believe?”  He sputtered, clearly unable to answer me, then a moment later began spewing some dogmatic drivel that I could tell even he knew was inadequate.

I hated the Catholic church, I hated my mother, I hated Catholic school, I despised it all.  When I was 17, I graduated from Catholic school, and I vowed never to return to the church.  I almost did not attend my best friend’s wedding because it was a wedding mass.  So was my sister’s.

At age 17, my life changed when I met an American Indian ballet dancer at a major competition.  His poetry about his spirit animal connected directly to the heart of me.  But I’m not Indian.  He suggested I begin searching for answers with my heritage, and so my journey into the incredible world of the Gaelic people and spirituality began.  I knew I was home as I learned more and more about pre-Christian Ireland and Scotland.  Even with the invasion of Christianity on the Gaelic peoples, many of the traditional stories and customs had survived.  Considering how much of the pagan culture was absorbed and outright stolen by the Christian church, finding the links back to pre-Christian European spirituality is doable and documentable.

When I was 21, I volunteered with a ballet company in New Orleans.  One day, I decided to go inside a huge cathedral — St. Patrick’s, I think it was.  I went to one of the last pews and knelt.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I looked around.  Nothing.  I bowed my head.  Nothing.  I looked at the shiny brass and gold trinkets, and the porcelain statues, and the stained glass, and the wooden reproduction of Jesus on the cross.  And felt nothing.  I began crying.  Because I felt nothing.  I left.  Still crying.  I wanted to belong somewhere, and this was never going to be it.

Trish Causey Autumn Queen CollageI didn’t have a name for what I was or what I believed at that time.  About a year later, a theatre friend asked if I’d heard of Wicca.  I hadn’t, but when I looked into it at the library and bookstore (this was pre-internet), I resonated with some of what I read, but not all of it.  Some of Wicca seemed as regimented and hierarchical as the dogmatic church I despised.  Turns out that Wicca was founded by two former Anglicans.  And as another friend used to joke, “Episcopal is just Catholic with an ‘E’.”

It was that journey (and the dawn of the internet) that allowed me to find other soul-path querents who go by many names: Wicca, Witches, Pagans, Neo-Pagans, Druids, Eclectic, Ceremonial Witches, Asatru, etc.  Too many to list.  The coven didn’t work out, but it allowed me to see what I didn’t want on my path.  I left in the Spring, and it was that Summer Solstice that I held my self-initiation in my backyard on June 21, 1996.

Walking the witchy path has not been easy, especially considering I live in Mississippi.  Being “out of the broom closet” has been a challenge from Day 1.  I have endured personal taunts and threats, rude comments left on my vehicle (thanks to my “Born Again Pagan” bumper sticker) whenever I went to the store, work, the post office, the gas station.  I even lost a job because I wasn’t Christian.  But like any other closet a person chooses to come out of, being free trumps being a slave to the ignorance of others, especially here in the Bible Belt.

Witchcraze-by-Trish-Causey-ASCAP-sq-300I composed a musical, Witchcraze, to correlate the terrorizing good ol’ boys of the Bush regime with the torturous witch trial masterminds of 1692 Salem.  Having studied in depth the arrest warrants, the trial transcripts, and the re-trial transcripts, I can say for a fact that nothing I have endured comes close to what was done to the women of previous centuries, when “witch” was a label that carried heinous torture and a death sentence.

So, I’m a witch.  And I’m a pagan.  And an Energist.  And a tarot card reader.  And a Libra.  And a Tatrika and yogini.  And a composer, and a nerd, and a bookworm, and a Democrat, and a Streisand devotee, and a single-mom, and a wannabe chef and cafe-owner, and a kettlebell enthusiast, and I’m right-handed.  Pick any of those labels, and someone is going to have a problem with me because of how they perceive that word and what they think it stands for.

I am a writer: a lover of words and sounds and syllables.  I know what “witch” means, and to me, witch is a beautiful word.  Witch is a sacred word.  Witch is a word women (and men) have died for, and it is a word I choose for my goal in this lifetime: to be a wise woman, to be a strong woman, to live a life of expansion and understanding.  Most of all, hearing or seeing the word witch makes me feel something.  I feel a connection to all the women (and men) who defied oligarchical, elitist oppression to live and die free as freethinkers and religious and political dissenters.  And that makes my activist heart proud.

Aroused and witchy,

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

 


NEWS: Alabama Finally Legalizes the Sex You Were Probably Already Having


hug from behindThe Alabama Court of Appeals has finally brought the Red State of Alabama into the modern era by throwing out a law that criminalized consensual oral and anal sex between unmarried people.

According to Alabama Code, Section 13A-6-60, “Deviate Sexual Behavior” is defined as, “Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.”

The reason, of course, for making such consensual sex illegal is to target members of the LGBT community, since Alabama and most Red States dwell in the God-fearing, fear-mongering, guilt-swilling Bible Belt.  In fact, other media outlets have claimed this is a victory for “gay sex”.

But hold on, there, sparky!  I guess no one realized that unmarried hetero couples also partake of oral sex and anal sex as alternatives to or in prelude to vaginal penetration …  such as when a hetero couple doesn’t want to get pregnant, or maybe the woman is in those six weeks after giving birth when the vagina is off-limits to the guy’s penis?  Or hey, maybe they just LOVE oral or anal sex?!  Quelle surprise!

With oral sex and anal sex being decriminalized, it means Alabama is one step closer to acknowledging grown, consenting adults’ basic human right to do what they want in bed.

America is coming around, albeit slowly, to the fact that sex between consenting adults is no concern of government or religious busy-bodies.

Pucker up!

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

ALA CODE § 13A-6-60 : Alabama Code – Section 13A-6-60: DEFINITIONS – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf
(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf
(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf
(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf

(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf

OpEd: Oh, to Belly Dance Naked at Burning Man….


woman-belly-dancing-toplessI have long had an interest in Burning Man, the bohemian, heathen, socialist event that happens in Nevada every year.  According to the website, Burning Man is an art event at which participants “dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.  They depart one week later, leaving no trace.”

As more and more people are awakening to the evils of crony capitalism and oppressive patriarchy, events that promote such blatant rebellion in the face of the prudish establishment are becoming more accepted and, hopefully, more common.

I used to do all sorts of ethnic dancing, and I particularly loved belly dancing.   It’s been a while, but I’m feeling the pull to get back into my shimmies and camel walks.

There is a powerful connection to the earth and goddess energy and being Woman that happens during belly dancing, Flamenco, or plain ol’ make-it-up-as-you-go-along free expression.  I was raised in ballet, which I still adore, but ballet is the opposite of everything that is free and lithe and curvy about belly dancing.

By the way, belly dancing isn’t just for thin women.  Women who are curvy have an advantage in belly dancing in that your extra jiggles cause extra jingles of your coin-hip belt.  Yes, it’s called BELLY dancing for a reason!

Recently, I’ve been looking into what all attending Burning Man would entail, and I don’t know that I can afford it this year, but I am definitely putting it on the books for next year.  A friend of mine in New York told me about something that happened in the temple last year that was a beautiful, amazing testament to what happens when people come together in unity.  He said after that, he will never miss another Burning Man.  The entire experience was just too incredible for words.

So, now I MUST experience Burning Man.  I NEED to experience this art event that is an example for all of society on how people can come together in love and harmony and respect the earth in the process.  And to have the freedom from neo-Puritanical laws that shame the human body — particularly women’s bodies and women’s nipples, to be able to dance naked amongst like-minded bohemian heathens is too tempting to resist, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde.

I encourage every woman to loosen up and try belly dancing as a way to connect to the sensual divine within you.  This isn’t about being perfect.  There is no judgment allowed!  And who knows, maybe next year, I’ll be amongst the living goddesses celebrating the beauty of the human body and the human spirit at the one and only Burning Man!

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

 


Yes, ArousedWoman Has a Facebook Page… Und You Vill LIKE IT!


ArousedWoman - icon- sq - 300 pxBecause of the delicate, activist nature of my site and blog, I never did a mass-invite to AW’s Facebook page.  So consider this your invitation.  Please LIKE ArousedWoman’s Facebook page!

AW’s FB page

One reason I’d like to boost the numbers on Facebook is so we can have longer conversations than we can in the 140 characters on Twitter.  I am definitely NOT forsaking Twitter — I LOVE Twitter.  But this will give us a chance to talk and share in ways we might not be able to in the Twitterverse.

Of course, we have to follow FB’s morality police, so it’s not as “open” as… say… AW’s Tumblr.  But I think we will manage nicely.

So please LIKE and share ArousedWoman’s Facebook page.

Thank you!

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

 

 


NEWS: The End of This Race and Looking Forward


by Trish Causey
Originally published on my Trish4Congress’ blog.

trish-causey-congress-sqIn February 2014, I entered this race because the idea of Steven Palazzo running unopposed made me nauseous. As an activist, I knew little of the inside political arena. I couldn’t get much help because there was a possibility of other candidates putting in and those with the Party didn’t want to show favoritism. I understood that. So I did the best I could with what I had and what I felt was right. I was just going to be me. And I knew this was uphill. My daughter even asked if I were going to vote for myself, and I said, “Of course. It might be the only vote I get.”

I wanted to run because the idea of the same (or yet another) GOP puppet having control over legislation that affects my body and my bedroom just pissed me off. I wanted to run for office because I wanted to see if there were other progressives like me, stranded on dwindling life-rafts in this deep, scary Red GOP Sea. I have always loved my home state of Mississippi, but I have never fit in. I’ve wanted to be on Broadway since I was 11, and I’ve wanted to “Be the Change” since I was 13. These two divergent paths have always been at the core of what I wanted to do with my life. So my life didn’t follow the usual “script” that so many other people followed. Yet, every chance I had to leave Mississippi, I didn’t; I stayed. Except for three months I lived in Memphis, and it was just like Mississippi.

My love of Broadway musicals led me to create Musical Theatre Magazine. My activism led me to create ArousedWoman, a site, blog, radio show, and an upcoming project all of which focus on women’s issues and women’s rights. “Arouse” means “to stir to action, to awaken”, and I felt it was perfect for my activism for women’s rights. ArousedWoman(TM) was borne out of the horrible misogyny of the 2012 campaigns that gave rise to Romney, and “legitimate rape”, and “binders full of women”, et al. With Palazzo’s horrible voting record, I had to do something, so in 2013, I began throwing around the idea of running for Congress. Years ago, I used to make the joke, “When I’m Governor of Mississippi…” and explain some egregiously progressive, liberal change I would enact to benefit the People and support social justice. In September 2013, ” When I run for Congress…” was becoming a reality, and one that I liked very much.

I had to raise the money for the $200 candidate fee because I am a poor single mom, the epitome of the “struggling artist”. In 2011, I worked as a writer for two companies in New York, but I lost one job to the economy later that year and lost the other to reorganization in July 2013. Since then, I have worked hard to build my theatre magazine from scratch. I live below the poverty line. For the most part, it’s okay. My daughter and I live very simply — no car, no TV. The only time it is hard is when my daughter needs extra money for a field trip at school — that kind of thing has to be budgeted in. Or when my daughter wants to do something after school but can’t unless she can find a ride because I can’t pick her up.

When I say, I understand what Mississippians are going through, I actually mean it.

After I put in for my candidacy, an email was sent out to local Dems, looking for a “well-funded, viable candidate”. This incensed me at the time, but as I introduced myself to more and more people, the first two words out of their mouths were always, “What’s your platform, and how much money do you have?” I soon learned that the entire conceivability to win was based on money. Raising money is not something I wanted to do. I raised a little and felt guilty doing it.

Every day, I wanted to quit because the more I learned about politics — even on this level — was disturbing and disappointing. Frankly, it seemed pointless because there are political machinations in play that cannot be undone single-handedly. But then someone would reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter and say how glad they were to see me running. And so every day, I had renewed energy for the idea of the process, while I rather loathed the process itself.

Because I am not financially invested in politics or the projects that politicians bend rules to protect or instigate, I felt a freedom to be me. I said what I felt and how I felt it. I am an activist and an artist, after all. I’m accustomed to my First Amendment privileges. Some people were taken aback by that. Someone in politics saying what they actually feel? Quelle surprise!

Things were going swimmingly as I ran my campaign by myself, until politics itself reared its ugly head. My opponent, the current candidate for the general election, made strange, passive aggressive comments about me on his Facebook page, but I had only met him a few days prior. As one Facebook viewer commented, he seemed to be taking cues from Palazzo. So it was very disheartening to see this sort of political play within the Democratic campaign. Silly me. I thought the dirty stuff wouldn’t happen until one of us went up against the GOP candidate. He deleted the comments, but I took screen shots, so I have it on record.

Fast forward to the past few days in which people all over the Democrat and left leaners’ Facebook pages were debating whether to vote Democrat or cross over to sink Palazzo by voting for Taylor in the Republican primary. It has been a whirlwind of hypotheses on which would result in a better outcome…. because apparently Democrats voting for Democrats is deemed unnecessary by some.

There were many angry words within the Democrats the past week or so, and this likewise was sad to see. Every single rights’ group I have ever worked with has fallen apart due to in-fighting: name-calling, labeling, inability to understand another’s perspective. Why do you think the right-wing is so successful? They are united in their narrow focus of protecting their power and their wealth for their little bubble. Activism caves in to in-fighting for the very quality that makes activists so strong — our diversity! Of course, we will disagree! We have so many diverse backgrounds and experiences that we have many choice personal stories to engage and learn from. THAT is the ONLY way we will ultimately defeat the united front that is the GOP.

Even with the Tea Party faction finally losing its stranglehold on the “stupid party”, the GOP is still rich and powerful. Instead of using our differences against each other, we should use our different but equal experiences as bricks in a foundation on which to build up our activist groups. THAT is how we create change that will rise up through society to our government. Government does not exist to be proactive for the People. The politicians are representatives; they take their cues from We, the People. And when We, the People don’t give a rat’s ass to vote or are too busy arguing amongst ourselves within our little groups, the united stupid party wins and the People lose.

Which brings us to tonight’s results for the 2014 midterms’ primary election for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Democrats reportedly crossed over to vote for Taylor, while Republicans crossed over to vote for my opponent. I will consider this to be a sign the Republicans were scared that someone like me could whip Palazzo’s ass in the general.

When the final tally came in, I had 44.6% of the vote. I wish I had had enough votes to go to the general, but that is not to be.

trish-causey-2014-run-for-congress-final-results

I have to remember that for most of these voters, I came out of nowhere just 4 months ago. I’ve been told that my running in this election has changed the political landscape of Mississippi. I’ve been told that my running has encouraged other progressives and liberals in my district to be more outspoken, now that they know they are not alone in this Red Sea.

I have to remember that I am unlike ANY candidate who has ever run for Congressional office in Mississippi. I was up front about my ArousedWoman activism, and my bisexuality, and my non-Christian, pagan beliefs. AND I AM A WOMAN. And I got a whopping 44.6% of the votes. Just today, I got calls from people in Taylor’s home turf, Hancock County, to tell me how glad they were to be able to vote for me.

At 44.6% (4,848 votes), I guess I did okay for a loudmouth, non-Christian, bisexual, pagan female candidate in Mississippi. Is this Red Sea looking a little purple, now?

I’ve already been asked if I will run for State office next year. If I recall, the people in my area really like their State legislators. But here is what you need to know….

I learned a lot from this process. I already knew that every major change in our society began with a grassroots movement within the People. Change trickles UP, not downward. And now I know why. The People must be awakened in order for government to awaken to the needs of the People (remember, “to stir to action, to awaken”?). As long as half the People are asleep in their bubble, the rest of us will suffer for their narrow-minded bigotries, while they decry our refusal to settle for oppression at the hands of crony capitalism, religion-infused politics, and good-ol’-boy games.

If I run for another office, I will be even MORE loud and proud about my activism for women. I will be even MORE persistent with fighting for equality and non-discrimination. And I will be even MORE up-in-your-face about saving Mississippi from the tentacles of the rabid GOP monstrosity that seeks to pull us under every time we catch a gasp of air in this Red Sea.

I will NEVER back down from the GOP’s misogyny, racism, homophobia, and selfish egotism. EVER.

If you want to support my activism, make a tax-deductible donation to my radio show.

But don’t ask me to run unless you’re really ready for my brand of full-throttle activism.

Until then, I love you all. Thank you so much for your love and support.

Namaste.

trish


OpEd: How to “Be the Change” After the Campaign…


trish-causey-glasses-hatI’m still recuperating from the end of the campaign (i.e., catching up on rest).  I’ve been staying up late on Facebook and Twitter as things wind down and going to bed around 6 a.m., then waking up around 9 a.m., facebooking and tweeting almost immediately.  The outpouring of support is as amazing now as it was during the campaign.

I just posted here on AW my last blog post from my campaign blog, since I will not be renewing that blog when the time comes.  I think it is important for people to know what it is like to run a political campaign and why it is so hard for “the little guy” to win.

I’m still processing everything, and getting back to my own projects of Musical Theatre Magazine and doing the interviews for my upcoming AW project.  And being a single mom.  And filling out my new FASFA for school in the Fall.

Locals have been stopping me about town, telling me they voted for me, and asking will there be a next time.  So here are a few tips I’d like to share with voters who say they want things to change:

  1. Your vote matters.  People need to understand just how important their vote is and not succumb to “why bother” syndrome.
  2. You are not alone.  You’re not the only one who is desperate for things to change, so don’t be afraid to speak up.  You KNOW the RWNJ’s will speak up. You have that right as well.
  3. Change starts from within.  Until more people change on the microcosmic level of humanity we won’t have change on the macrocosmic level of government.  Period.

Gandhi’s advice, “Be the change”, really is the key.  You have to be the change in your own life before you can change your family.  You and your family have to be the change before you can change your neighborhood.  Your neighborhood has to change before you can change your community.  When your community has the strength to speak up and demand change, then we can have the change we need on the larger scales of society and government.

And not until then.

If you’re a woman, this is especially important.  Women were not “given” the right to vote.  Women FOUGHT for the right to vote in this country.  Women protested, organized, marched, and fought for the right to have a voice in our government.  These women were also harassed, beaten, set on by police dogs, imprisoned, and some died for the right to be a part of this governmental process.  Do not disrespect these women and their struggle because you have succumbed to the right-wing saturating our local and national psyche with their propaganda.

We CAN win elections.  We put a black guy in the White House, yes?  But we have to care enough in our local areas to get off our ass and actually get to the polls to vote for change.

Until then, we have to be mindful that change is not a big swooping phenomenon that will — *KAZAM!* — make everything better.  That is the mentality that evangelicals have about Jesus’ second coming.  Change is the little things we can do individually on a daily basis that will add up to major shifts in the collective consciousness.  Remember, a pebble thrown into a body of water causes a ripple that can become a wave.

So throw that pebble each day by making a list of 3 to 5 things you can do to create change in your own life, family, neighborhood, and community.

Example:

  • I will not watch the news before bed (so I can get restful sleep).
  • I will take the spare change out of my pocket at the end of each day, put it in a jar, and at the end of the month donate it to a local shelter.
  • I will say hello to everyone I pass today and wish them a great day, especially people I don’t know.
  • I will be grateful for what I have rather than be resentful for what I don’t have.
  • I will go to my city council meeting and explain why it would be good to have a community garden that grows vegetables for local residents.
  • I will water the plants for the elderly lady next door.
  • I can volunteer 2 hours at the local animal shelter.
  • I can donate $10 for a local kids’ group to buy some art supplies.

You will start to change your thinking, which will change your body chemistry, which will change how you feel and approach the world.  Imagine, then, how this ripple effect will help change others and ultimately change society for the better.

Start small.  Be the change.  Surf the wave to awakening.

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

 

 


TOD: Mindfulness, Living with Purpose


mindfulness-brain-energy-kundalini-yogaThe Topic of the Day is MINDFULNESS.

A Facebook friend posted about a book she’s reading that suggests doing small, everyday things with purpose.  Our culture tends to celebrate the big, obvious accomplishments that are usually based in competition.  Therefore, when we look at the “small stuff”, it may seem inconsequential or a bother, an annoyance or meaningless task to hurry up and be done with.  But doing small things with purpose is a very good idea.

In Tantra and other yogic paths, this is called mindfulness, being present in the now and appreciating what is good and beautiful now.  Not dwelling on the past or worried about the future.  Or one can also observe an object, a person, or a situation without judgment.

Mindfulness does not have to be “meditation”, though it can be.  Meditation is usually an active practice with a specific routine.  Mindfulness can be applied to whatever you are doing right now, in the moment — watering the plants, eating an apple, walking along the beach.  You simply pay more attention to what you are doing without letting the monkey mind jump around and without judging the immediate situation.  It is what it is.

For example, I had to turn making dinner into a meditation, otherwise it was too much stress and frustration that was increasingly a literal and figurative chore.  I had to remember that making dinner was an opportunity to make sure my daughter and I had nourishment, that the food itself would nourish my body and my brain so I can continue to do my work and create.

I changed my perspective, then changed my intention.  This changed my approach.  That made all the difference.  Now, I love any chance to cook because it is “me-time”.  Quiet time…. unless I feel like blasting a Broadway cast album or some Irish music and belting along…. or some disco…. or opera…. or an extended yoga mantra on YouTube.  I changed so that the definition of the experience changed.  I allowed the experience to be better and received a better experience for it.

Allow and receive  mindfully. :-)

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:


OpEd: Do You Want Peace, Love, & Happiness?


Peace Love Happiness by iamscottiewWhy are peace, love, and joy so difficult to find for some people?

I can find it within myself and be perfectly happy.  But then people think I’m out of touch with the world.  Well, who wants to be in touch with a violent, unhappy, greed-funded, misogynist world?

Jimi Hendrix said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”  But so many people do not harness their internal power to create love and happiness in their own lives.  Is it because they are deluded by a culture that subscribes to messianic prophecies, that someone else will make everything all better; some superhero will swoop in and save them?  Or do they feel so defeated by a corrupt system, they don’t see a way of changing society for the better?

I’m having one of those days when my focus shifts from “Be the Change” to “Why Bother?”  Then I remember that too many people have the “Why Bother?” mentality, which is why we need to “Be the Change”.

I’ve always said that as an artist, if I don’t like the world I see, I create a new world.  This is also the foundation of my activism.  But so many people seem to prefer wallowing in their own misery.  They could get out, make change in their lives, if only they would take the first step.  No one has to live in pain or misery.

Try mediation to relieve stress.  Try a new type of exercise to get the good hormones flowing.  Look for a new job.  Look into starting your own business on the side.  Try new things, new cuisines, new adventures.  Stop to smell the roses, and the azaleas, and the hibiscus.  Stop and find your center.  Find your grounding to the earth.  Reconnect with yourself and who you always wanted to be, regardless of what path your choices lead you to travel.  You are not your mistakes.  You are, in fact, anything you want to be.  What do you want to be?

Change does not have to be big, swooping motions.  Change can be small.  Change can be a new habit done consistently that eventually leads to a result that is a big change.

I know it is not as easy as “just feel better” for some, but people need to “Be the Change” in their individual lives.  Be your own superhero.  If you need help, ask for help.  You’re not in this alone.  We are perfect in our imperfection.  And we certainly need more people who are approaching the world around them, connecting with the world and others from a grounded, heart-centered place.

Peace, love, and joy are possible.

Find your bliss,

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:


NEWS: ArousedWoman Blog Named a Top 5 Blog for Sexuality Advice & Relationships


ArousedWoman Blog Named a Top 5 Blog for Sexuality Advice & RelationshipsArousedWomanBlog.com has been named a Top 5 blog for sexuality & relationship advice!

Without knowing about this, DatingAdvice.com, ranked ArousedWoman Blog at the top of a short list of blogs that deal with sensuality and eros.  Best of all, they actually get what AW is all about.

From their site:

Our 5 Best Sensual Blog were selected for offering a consistent canvas for exploring what sexy actually means and where you can find it.

ArousedWoman Blog wants to stir your passions and feed your fire, but in a clever twist. They frame their erotic delights around empowering women, expanding sexual freedom, and defying a culture steeped in shame and guilt.

Well, “they” is actually just me, but WOW!  This truly is an awesome accolade.  This blog documents my journey in dealing with sexual trauma and reclaiming my body as MINE in my Daily OJ posts.  Along the way, I’ve helped lots of other women and men deal with their own issues and relationships in my AskTrish posts and helped them get in touch with their inner activist with my NEWS and OpEd pieces.

Oh, and anyone who holds any of this against me is an asshat and can buzz off.

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:

 

 


NEWS: Mississippi Should Take the Lead from Arkansas on Gay Marriage Equality


Gay-Marriage-EqualityCongratulations to Arkansas and to all the LGBT couples who have won an important hurdle in equal rights in regard to marriage equality!

Today, Judge Chris Piazza stuck down the state’s 2004 ban on gay marriage.  According to Piazza’s ruling, he said:

“This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality.  The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent,”

and …

“Although marriage is not expressly identified as a fundamental right in the Constitution, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized it as such.”

Citing the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia, Piazza addressed LGBT discrimination directly:

“It has been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice.  The hatred and fears have long since vanished, and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples.  It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters.  We will be stronger for it.”

These are powerful words backed up by important action on Judge Piazza’s part.  Unfortunately, the state’s Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will appeal Piazza’s decision, even though McDaniel himself is a Democrat who supports gay marriage.  But for now, gay marriage is legal in Arkansas!

So, Mississippi … Let’s get on task here and support our LGBT residents who have a basic human right and a Constitutionally-based guaranteed right to marry.  Please don’t let Mississippi be last in granting LGBT marriage equality!

trish

originally posted on Trish4Congress.me

LINKS:

CONNECT:


Witchy Woman: Happy Beltaine!


BRITAIN SCOTLAND FESTIVALHappy Beltaine, everybody!

Beltaine is an ancient Gaelic celebration of fertility and fire.  In fact, Beltaine means “bright fire”.  As with all holy “days” in ancient Irish and Scottish culture, this sun celebration traditionally begins on the night of April 30 and carries over to May 1 because the ancient Gaels started their “days” at night due to the rising of the Moon.  Beltaine is opposite the most sacred holy day in Gaelic spirituality, Samhain, and is thought to be a time when the veil between this side and the Other Side is very thin.

With modern versions of this fire festival, Beltaine brings out the pagan in everyone who attends — and rightfully so!  The famous Beltane Festival in Scotland is renown for fiery showmanship of reinvented revelry.

While the Romans were not pagan, the Romans loved a raucous festival whenever they could have one.  The Roman celebration of Floralia, in honor of the goddess Flora, began on April 27 and lasted six days.  This twist put an emphasis on flowers because of the new Spring blooms, so wearing flowers is a common accessory for Beltaine attendees…. But then, wearing vegetation and animal talismans is common throughout paganism.

The Beltaine fire is lit in a very particular way from several, specific woods.  Some traditions re-enact the birth of the May Queen from the sacred fire, as she transforms from the Maiden of Spring into her newly awakened, newly fertile sexual self, ready to make love with her male partner.  The May Queen then births four maidens from the fire, and these each represent the four directions and the four elements, and all their correspondences.  Yes, the emphasis is on the woman and all her representations, including the Moon, the land, even fire, which represents spirituality, passion, and creativity.

According to tradition, the flowers blooming and the crops growing in the ground are a sign of the Goddess and the God creating new life.  At Beltaine, the God expresses his love for the Goddess, resulting in a sacred union between the Sun and the Land.  For some, this joining is between the May Queen and the Green Man, the guardian of the animals and the forest.  Or you can get very specific and envision this union between specific deities in the Gaelic pantheon.  (A particular favorite of mine is Cernunnos, pagan stud-muffin of the forest that he is.)  The May Pole, with which most people are familiar, is actually a phallic symbol of the God, a.k.a. Green Man, Oak King, antlered stud-muffin.  Decorating the May Pole and dancing around it honors the male divine as he prepares his erect self for making love with the female divine, a.k.a. the Goddess, May Queen, etc.  This consummation of the life-affirming love between the Goddess and the God is enacted in the Great Rite, a sex ritual that can be conducted between a high priestess and a high priest or by any in attendance, in public or in private as the festival rules allow.

This divine marriage is symbolically represented by couples in the special joining ritual known as a Handfasting, called such because of the custom of the two lovers having their hands “fastened” by a strip of cloth or ribbon.  The couple would also jump over a besom (broom) to mark the transition from single life to being handfasted.  A Handfasting lasts for 366 days, sometimes called “a year and a day”, and at the end of this time (at the next Beltaine), the couple would choose to stay together or to part — no ill feelings, no shame, no messy divorce.  (We could learn a LOT from this!)

Other customs for a Beltaine celebration include building two bonfires and having a processional between them as a portal from Spring to the traditional first day of Summer.  In the Old Times, the clan would process the cattle between the bonfires and lead them out to the wide open grassy areas for the first time that season.  Cattle (and oxen) were vital to the clan’s survival.  Similar fire celebrations for Mayday exist in most of the modern northwestern European cultures, especially Ireland, Scotland, and Scandanavian countries.

The May Queen, indeed all women, represent the land — the entire earth, and the survival of all we know.  Honoring the sacred feminine is paramount, and yet 2,500 years of patriarchy and institutionalized religion would prefer women be subordinate and mere chattel to the wills of the patriarchs who plunder the earth for financial profit.  Pagan rituals such as Beltaine not only honor the sacred feminine but help restore balance between the male and the female in our society.

Happy Beltaine!!!

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:


OpEd: The Problem with Modern Journalism


Journaling - Writing Pen - CalligraphyRant o’ the day: A friend on Facebook rightly complained about the horrible writing “standards” in the local paper, which is read by tens of thousand of people every day.

The problem with journalism is the rise of the internet.  In days gone by, a paragraph had to be at least 2 sentences — usually 4 to 5 sentences, based on the standards of writing a paragraph with a topic statement, 2 to 3 supporting statements, and a conclusion statement that leads to the next paragraph — and vary from complex sentences to compound-complex sentences.  Also, there used to be a style flow of putting background info up front to inform the reader in the initial paragraphs and lead into the jist of the story in the subsequent paragraphs.  Nowadays, you’re lucky to see a paragraph that has more than 2 sentences, both of which usually defy the laws of grammar.

When I was a writer for an online site for The New York Times, I was told to put the point of the article into the first or second paragraph because most people don’t read past that; and they almost never click through to a second page (online).  The NYT sold that site to another major company, and as part of the writing standard, the writers were told we could write an article that went onto a second page, but we would not get paid for that page view.

(Note:  Back in the day, stories also required a minimum of 2 sources.  Now, you just need 2 juicy rumors on which to base your story.)

Additionally, most “journos” are glorified bloggers with little to no previous writing experience.  Worse yet, even the big online rags don’t pay their writers, so it’s not like they’re paying for quality writing.  I love blogging, which is more of a personal outlet for most people, but it can also consist of truly great writing depending on the site.  However, from the perspective of an industry standard, journalism should not adopt the informal mannerisms of blogging and the internet — not if journalism is to hold any credibility in the unbiased reporting of information and maintain a standard of exemplary writing.

While the faults of modern journalism are found mostly online, those trends have seeped into the print journo world.  And throw in some of the stupid rules imposed by the Associated Press’ writing standard, it’s no wonder journalism has lost credibility.  (Who made the AP the god of writing anyway?!).  Compound this with the atrocity that is 24/7 cable “news” (i.e., gross sensationalism for ratings), most of modern journalism would make Pulitzer roll over in his grave.

The rules for journalism have changed and not for the better.

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:


OpEd: Where Is the Body-Positive Body Image for Women in Media?


20140421-090750.jpgWhile I am a sex-positive & pro-sex movement activist, I think it’s sad that the majority of the body-positive photos of women I see are in and amongst the BDSM and sexualized violence porn of Tumblr. There are many amateur sites that feature full-figured women, but the amateur photo-snaps are not of the technical quality of a professional photographer. And where are the professional photographers taking professional photos of real-sized women, using beautiful lighting and honoring the female body? The average sized woman in the United States is a 14/16. You can be a size 14 or 16 and still be healthy. Why aren’t we represented in the media and culture? Do I really need to go into a rant about matriarchal cultures of the past and the ancient preference for curvy women, immortalized in goddess images like those found at Willendorf? Seriously?

Why aren’t women allowed to be “heavy” or real-sized in magazines and on TV and film? Why aren’t stretch marks a sign of accomplishment for giving birth rather than a source of embarrassment or shame because our skin isn’t flawless anymore?

Why is a thigh-gap so sought after by teenage girls and 20-somethings? Is it because they don’t know that thigh fat makes sex feel really, really good for the guy? AND for the woman?

I’ve seen a statistic that girls see 400 ads per day telling them how they should look. Is anyone telling teens and young women they are beautiful the way they are?

One of the best things about the amateur porn on Tumblr is the real bodies. The women have real breasts — large or small. They have thigh fat and butt fat. They look healthy and natural. Usually, the men are not overly muscled; they are athletic but not steroid- addicted, bodybuilder over-muscled. For the men and the women, their bodies look normal and natural. And the best part — the orgasms are real. Real people with real bodies having real orgasms. Who knew?!

We come in all shapes and sizes, and these shapes, sizes, skin tones, hair textures, and nose and lip shapes should be reflected in the media. Diversity is a beautiful thing. Women who are naturally skinny are beautiful, and so are those of us who are not.

Be you. Be proud. Be seen.

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:


OpEd: St. Patrick Can Kiss My Wild Irish Ass


St. Patrick - Not IrishI despise St. Patrick’s Day.  I love the connection to Irish culture, but celebrating Irish culture was NOT what “St. Patrick” was all about.  In fact, his mission was to do just the opposite.

To dispel the “St.Patrick” myth bullshit, here are some FACTS:

1) Padraic was Roman NOT Irish/Gaelic.

2) No archaeological evidence of snakes has EVER been found in Ireland because Ireland is COLD.

3) Though Rome was in decline, the church was on the rise.  Padraic was sent by the Christian church to convert the pagans/heathens/Gaelic ne’er-do-wells to the state religion of the failing Roman Empire: Christianity.  As became typical of the Christian church, their marketing campaign was “Convert to Jesus or die.”  Did the church really want to save souls?  Of course, not.  The first-century Romans actually detested the Irish and Scottish bands of Gaels, as well as the Picts (in what is now Scotland).  The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall to keep these rough barbarians from sullying their newly conquered Britannia.  Then why were the Irish and Scottish so important to the Roman church a few centuries later?  The church needed more people in its clutches to pay tithes and penances to fund its expansion and “crusades” (killing people in Jesus’ name).

Padraic used traditional Gaelic spirituality to correlate the Christian narrative of Iesus’ (Jesus) birth, life, and death, thus conning the Irish into accepting Christianity to go alongside with the indigenous Gaelic beliefs.  Thus began the systematic assimilation of a male trinity (supplanting the female trinity of the goddess culture of Ireland) as well as the now prevalent misogynistic patriarchal culture that has overtaken all matriarchal cultures in the Western world.

Remember, Jesus was killed by the Romans, and Padraic (Patrick) was a Roman infiltrator (emphasis on “traitor”) to “convert” Ireland’s pagans from their indigenous spirituality to the indoctrination and assimilation of the patriarchal imperial regime, whose intolerance, misogyny, and hypocrisy are still felt to this day via the anti-woman Catholic Church and even the rise of religious fundamentalism in America.

To learn about the indigenous spirituality of Ireland, watch the BBC program, “Sacred Wonders of Britain,” which looks at the sacred sites, the goddess culture, and the history of the native peoples of the British isles — before Christianity and the Germanic influx ruined it all.

So there you have it.  Please stop acting like “Patrick” did something good for Ireland.  He didn’t.  Patrick was a crucial part of the suppression of Ireland’s indigenous culture.  Wake up.

…. and if you’re going to shorten his name, it’s St. Paddy’s, NOT St. Patty’s.

…. and don’t get me started on use of the word “Celtic” to describe anything Irish or Scottish….

Erin (and paganism) go Bragh!
trish


NEWS: Wall Street Journal Editor Blames Intoxicated Sexual Assault Victims for Getting Raped


james-taranto-wall-street-journalToday, the endemic rape-culture of the United States is front and center again, only this time, it’s not Rush Limbaugh shaming women and victims of sexual assault or GOP gyneticians re-inventing women’s physiology — it’s an editor for the Wall Street Journal.

In today’s WSJ article, “Drunkenness and Double Standards: A balanced look at college sex offenses”, James Taranto makes a point to victim-blame women who are assaulted while under the influence of alcohol.  Just when you think the days of the Neanderthal have passed, one pokes his misogynist head up and says things like this:

“Had she awakened the next day feeling regretful and violated, she could have brought him up on charges and severely disrupted his life.”

Really?  “Disrupted his life”???  This isn’t like changing your lunch order from beef to chicken.  This is a life-changing event for the woman who is brave enough to report the assault.  Of course, it will “disrupt” the man’s life as well.

Taranto uses a drunk driving analogy:

“[W]hen two drunken college students ‘collide’, the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.”

I have recounted my own rape and my Steubenville-esque experiences, and I’ve heard from other women about their similar unintentional experiences.  So judging from his attitude, I’m sure Taranto has never been on the receiving end of an assault or rape.

Taranto goes on to say,

“What is called the problem of “sexual assault” on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike.”

I want to point out that the men who participate in these drunken assaults caused by “reckless alcohol consumption” never seem to feel as if they have been assaulted.  The women do.  Maybe it’s because of the mechanics of “reckless sex” and how a man pounds into a woman’s vagina when he’s “reckless” — he doesn’t feel the physical or emotional effects of the “act” the way a woman does, and perhaps the woman would have said, “No,” had she not been under the influence.  Keep in mind, that everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different.

In some areas, if a person has had at least two drinks, he/she is considered unable to give informed consent due to the effect of the alcohol on the brain.  Alcohol is an entrenched part of American culture as well as college campuses.  It’s no wonder that date rape and assaults involving alcohol seem to be on the rise.

The best thing is to steer clear of alcohol if you’re at a party like that.  Keep your wits about you at all times.  But if you do drink and are assaulted, please report the assault to campus police as soon as you can so a rape kit and STD tests can be done.

trish

LINKS:

CONNECT:


REVIEW: Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy


Tantra-Cult-of-Ecstasy-coverTantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is a large-sized paperback book originally published in Britain that covers some of the basics about Tantra, offering accurate information on this ancient, extensive, and often confusing topic.  The book features full-color photographs from the Tantra sutras, connecting the reader with Tantric history.  The author, Indra Sinha, focuses on the ancient paths of Tantra: the goddesses associated, sacred sites, mantras, and meditations, as well as explains the many misconceptions of Tantra as presented in the West.  Sinha was a Sanskrit scholar at Cambridge and also wrote one of the popular modern translations of the infamous Kama Sutra.

The reason I like Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is because it touches on so many important topics of Tantra but in manageable pieces, perfectly combined with the photos and visually-friendly layout. The photographs are taken from various primary sources – the Tantra sutras, and incorporate various symbolic aspects that the ancients readily understood but may seem shocking or just weird to the modern viewer. Some of the iconography includes blood-covered goddesses, wriggling serpents, and a plethora of yoni (vulvas) and linga (penises).  The book also features centuries-old Tantric drawings and paintings that depict maithuna (sexual union), so this book is “Not Safe For Work” and might be best for readers aged 21 or older.

This book touches on so many important topics in a thorough but easy-to-grasp manner that it makes a perfect beginner’s book to Tantra.  I heartily recommend Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy as a primer for Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine by Andre Van Lysebeth, Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by Dr. David Frawley, and Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga by Sally Kempton.  As the umbrella over all the yogas, including hatha and kundalini, Tantra is a shamanic science present in all forms of yogic practice, but the majority of Tantric gnosticism regarding sex is rarely presented at the average yoga studio while being hypersexualized in most New Age Tantric books and workshops.

Another book with a similar cover is Tools for Tantra by North Indian musician and writer Harish Johari, an excellent introduction to the yogic mandalas, Sanskrit mantras, and visual yantras used in Tantra.  However, this book is a bit of a dryer read, and so Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is still a better opener to Tantra.

As one writer has said, a book without Tantra’s yantra is not really a book on Tantra. Therein lies the great problem with researching Tantra. It is difficult to sort through the numerous books available to ascertain which one will have the best, most reliable information.  Finding a teacher versed in real Tantra is even more difficult.  Tantra is a way of life, not an hour-long yoga session Monday-Wednesday-Friday, nor a collection of kinky sex positions. Tantra literally means a “tool for expansion” and is thought of as a “web”, a connected yet expanding consciousness, bridging the microcosm with the macrocosm and back again, cyclically.

The author, Sinha, writes on page 15, “The basis of all Tantrism is the worship of Sakti and Siva, the female and the male principles…. Without Sakti, there is no Siva, and no Siva without Sakti.” Sinha states emphatically in the previous paragraph, “Siva and Sakti cannot be separated.” (14-15) This very specific religious and spiritual foundation is probably the reason most Tantrism in the West has been secularized, stripping the “foreign” and non-Christian aspects to make Tantra and sexuality more palatable for sexually-repressed Americans.  While I personally, do not subscribe to Sanatana Dharma (“Hinduism”), I appreciate the energies anthropomorphized as the balancing principals of Shakti or Shiva.  Sinha has included the “foreign” bits and ancient spiritual practices for the Tantra newcomer.

The photographs of the ancient depictions of Tantra, her goddesses, and the sacred symbols can be jarring at first.  The modern observer may find it odd to see detached penises and flying vulvas included in sacred sexuality.  I will admit, that it does seem a bit “J. Alfred Prufrock’ed” at times.  However, like all symbols, they are meant to jog the memory of the mind, the heart, and/or the subconscious self, not to be the whole story in and of itself.

Intriguing to some and perhaps shocking to others, Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy helps diminish the hypersexualized celebrity of Tantra and add fact where fiction has reigned in the popular consciousness.  Sinha perfectly synthesizes centuries of teachings into a helpful, 154-page book, including an impressive 9-page bibliography and index, that informs but does not overwhelm the senses.  Anyone looking to dip her or his toe into the expansive waters of Tantra would do well to start with Sinha’s Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy.

trish

RECOMMENDED:

LINKS:

FOLLOW:


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,734 other followers