Undiluted Type

Priestess. Writer. Geek.

Dear Muse,

Two years ago you shoved me to write more, blog more, and to share with others whatever was rolling around in my brain. You were relentless and I resisted.  I was too scared to share.  The itch to create has lost its urgency as I feel your presence slowly pulling away; your inspiring touch growing faint upon my shoulders.  I urge you, Muse — please hang tight.  Don’t let go.  Don’t give up on me just yet.  I know there is so much more we can accomplish together.

With Veneration,

Ember, The Distracted Writer


I shared this Facebook post from author and inspiring human being, Elizabeth Gilbert, on NYE  with the thought, “I did this once for 2014, but it was a different theme. It was a blessing/gratitude jar. I wrote down anything I was thankful for throughout the year. Not every day; only when something really stuck in my head as amazing.”

I did not do this for 2015. I think it showed because the whole year was a sieve; I was only able to collect a few positive blurs when I knew 2015 was filled with so much more.

Inspired by the slight change in theme, yesterday on January 1st, I swung by Goodwill and found my Happiness Bowl (Go big or or go home, right?). Grabbing a scrap of paper and a pen from my coffee cup-filled collection, I jotted down one from 12/31 and another from 1/1. It was not difficult to do and that moment allowed me to STOP, breathe, and reflect rather than get swept up in the DO ALL THE THINGS expectations we put upon ourselves.

Every night before bed, my intent is to focus on the small happys because those are the ones that get easily lost in the din of Life ‘N’ Stuff.

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Allow me to start this post off with a disclaimer:

I will NOT abide dishonorable people.  You behave without integrity and I will boot you from my life.

This is not a passive-aggressive disclaimer.  This is full-on aggressive.

If you witness a pattern of behavior that is unseemly and affecting someone else (e.g. backstabbing, cheating, manipulating), there is a 100% guarantee the same person will do it to you.  If someone cheats on their significant other with you, per the pattern, they will cheat on you.  If someone backstabs a co-worker to “help” you, they in turn will backstab you to help themselves.  Being a good person will not change their behavior.  In such scenarios you are not Special.  You are not Unique.  You are a means to their end.

Such is the law of living with human beings and working in large groups.  Oh, and trolls.

This especially holds true with Leaders in communities; pagan and otherwise.  One of the best pieces of advice I received from my former priestess — if the Leader’s life is shit and full of chaos, then they are not practicing what they preach.  If they are touting knowledge of how to be financially successful and they’re in bankruptcy….run.  If they insist they know the way to better life harmony or hold the secret keys to MAGICK ALL THE THINGS and all they do is talk, but not take action…..exit stage left.

Then there’s my personal caveat — it’s OK to call Leaders out on their bullshit.  Leaders who play the victim card or hide behind a creed are not doing anyone any service, let alone service for the community.  If they cannot handle a skeptical eye and honest questions, they are not meant to be Leaders in the first place. One of the rights as a thinking human being is to question authority.  Pagan Leaders / Elders are not exempt.  As a matter of fact, they should relish the opportunity to open up a dialogue with various not-likeminded people to share different ideas and possibly learn a new perspective.  It’s about connecting.

Pagan Leaders / Elders are not absolute; they continue to learn every day within various forms of study or by exploring new interests.  They are willing to look at themselves, even into their dank shadows, and uncover more insights into their character.  Some have rightfully earned the community’s respect because they have conducted themselves with integrity and honor; whereas others still behave with pettiness and power games.

So, don’t be the Petty, or the Stabby, or the Exclusive Victim.  Be transparent with others of your faults, take responsibility, and integrity will soon follow.


My spiritual practice has changed its course over many years.  What once began as a daily meditation, then grew to hours of religious studies, which in turn morphed into honoring the Gods, and eventually filling up my calendar with Sabbats and Esbats.  Every day had a correlated meaning, every element a symbol, and every goal a deity to invoke to help me reach it.  And this was before all the intricacies of spellwork was adopted into my repertoire.  I was overwhelmed.

It was too much spirituality for this pagan. I had become bogged down and cluttered.  I had too many tools I didn’t need.  My collection of blessed candles multiplied like tribbles.  Crystals collected dust bunnies.  My altar had grown into a monstrosity and had runneth over onto nearby tables and shelves.  Taking a step back I thought, “When did my spiritual practice mutate from a sound foundation into a horde of STUFF?”

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I love how art transforms.  It can transform perspectives, ideas, and even mediums.  How its beginnings can be a spark in one person’s mind and connect to so many others through inspiration.  I do not mean to sound all philosophical, but that is exactly what happened when it came to my Wonder Woman tattoo.

Roughly twenty years ago I acquired my first patch of ink.  It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted permanently placed upon my skin because I wanted it to mean something.  Something I’ve loved since childhood, not just in recent years.  A piece that I would still enjoy well into my sixties, seventies, and beyond with no regrets.  That is where she came in:  Wonder Woman, Amazon, Diana, Princess of Themyscria.  I owned towers of her comic books and watched the campy television show faithfully as a kid.  She was my symbol of Balance and all the fantastic possibilities a woman could be.  Wonder Woman was and is limitless to me.

Fast forward to my early twenties and you’d find me sitting in a little tattoo parlor on the Eastside, getting etched the WW symbol on my upper arm.  The tattoo artist even included hokey blue and red stars, but at the time I didn’t care.  It was my first tattoo and I was thrilled.  Over the years I protected that ink with sunscreen and would occasionally have to explain to strangers why it was NOT the World Wrestling Federation logo inked on my arm.

I don’t know exactly why this year I decided to make some changes in my life.  There is nothing particularly spectacular or relevant about the year 2014, but for the longest time as the ink thinned under my skin, I decided it was time for an upgrade.  The Powers That Be (TM) must have heard me because within a few months every little thing clicked into place like a Tetris game.

First, I was greatly inspired by Meagan Marie’s interpretation of Warrior Wonder Woman.  A professional cosplayer in her spare time, photos of Meagan’s cosplay were placed upon the interwebz and the moment I saw what she helped create, I KNEW that’s what I wanted for my tattoo.  I never considered Wonder Woman strictly a diplomat or Goddess of Truth.  At her core Wonder Woman is also an Amazon.  A Warrior.  One who defends the weak and brings justice to the guilty.  Megan’s artistic collaboration with illustrator Tess Fowler personified it.

If I am citing my sources correctly, Meagan approached Tess with an idea for a Warrior Wonder Woman costume.  They collaborated on the design and when it was finalized, Meagan created the costume. You may read about Meagan’s experience with Warrior Wonder Woman here http://www.meagan-marie.com/warriorwonderwoman/#more-3323 on her blog.  She goes into great account of what it took to bring this project to life.  

Once created, it was then photographed.  It was that photo session which created two of my favorites pieces. This one….

Meagan Marie / Warrior Wonder Woman

I bought a print of this particular shot when Meagan Marie had a limited time offer. Proceeds went to charity.

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