I approached this past weekend with excited anticipation of seeing Wendy Rule in person singing and also to take part in her workshop on Sunday. I was not disappointed: this weekend was renewing for me as I soaked in the amazing vibrations of love & joy that spread from within the heart of this woman outwards like the rays of the Sun. Earlier this year I was told that someday people will likely begin to say to me “I just feel better being around you!” and I had a really hard time envisioning what that would look, sound or feel like. Now I know.
The intimate setting for Wendy’s concert Saturday night was at the Metaphysical Research Society’s building at 7th & Ogden: an amazingly beautiful Victorian, painted in such that I felt as if I had stepped into an ancient temple. I am still riding on a wave of happiness from Wendy’s simple greeting as Doug & I walked through the front door “How Beautiful you are!” in my purple dress I wore for this year’s Hand Fasting with my Love: and I felt beautiful for her saying it. The room where she sang made me think of centuries ago when people would gather in rooms specifically meant to entertain with song, music, dance & laughter. It felt right.
From the first moment I listened to “Zero” I fell in love with her voice, her lyrics, the Cello played with such heart by her close friend Rachel Samuel. To hear the voice, unfiltered, unmixed and in person was to understand the value of the Opera hundreds of years ago-the spellbinding vibrations that is sound coming out of this woman have the power to bring tears to my eyes. Forget the truckloads of equipment, we enjoyed the evening of Wendy, Tim (the love between them is inspiring to behold) and 2 guitars-that was it (and a little help from a tiny amp). It was more than enough.
I will admit I arrived only owning 2 of her CD’s but left now having 5. You might think it less enjoyable to be entertained by an artist with songs you’ve never heard before. I think there is a subtle beauty for me in hearing so much of her work for the first time in person, then popping a CD into my player and hearing the mixed, mastered & recorded version. To me it will always be magic-this memory of hearing these songs for the first time in person.
Wendy started the evening by casting a circle, singing an invitation to the sacred directions & elements to join us and create space outside of time & space. I have not actually been to many group rituals, so I’ve been carrying around in my mind an idea of what it might look like for me to use song with ritual. Yes, yes, yes…the desire is strong inside to use my voice for deeper purpose. During the break Wendy was again at her table, selling & signing her CD’s and chatting with anyone who wished to talk with her.
Towards the end, Wendy & Tim shared a peek of what they will be soon birthing: a band they call “Don’t Be Scared” which will celebrate dark fairy tales and be elaborately costumed. Wendy openly admitted her love of any excuse to dress herself in delicious textures & colors: another “fantastic dress”. The dress she created for this tour, the “Guided by Venus” tour invoked a romantic memory of temples, Mid-Summer Celebrations, Romance and Grace. Most fitting for a tour celebrating Venus, Love and Magic! This was my first concert appearance with Wendy, but I will never miss the chance to see her whenever & wherever I can.
Sunday saw me returning to the beautiful Victorian to take part in a workshop Wendy hosted: “Our Sister the Moon”.
One of the wonders of being Spiritual in this way that I am is discovering that I can be quite comfortable in a group setting with the right folks. There is an automatic kinship with people who are inspired by Wendy’s celebration of Paganism. To be honest, I did not know until the night of the concert what concept the workshop would focus upon. I really did not care: I wanted to experience anything that Wendy was going to share. Not surprisingly we started with Wendy singing/chanting as she smudged us all with sage. Amusingly enough, the first uninvited thought in my mind as I tried to ground, center and relax was “WHY did I decide to wear mascara today!” because the tears were building up behind my closed eyelids.
The few times I’ve been in a small circle and the times I spent in my long-ago friends Sweat Lodge have always moved me to tears. I may not be consciously aware of energy as some people are, but when the tears come I know something very deep, moving & touching…something real, with meaning is happening in my life. Not that I won’t cry at the drop of a hat-sometimes I think I should have been an actress with my flare of being overdramatic in my rages and sorrows.
Joining hands in a circle while Wendy invited the sacred directions & elements to create our sacred space made me yearn for such a group that may someday meet in my own stone circle. Wendy breathed a sigh of relief and expressed her need of this: a simple circle, a time to enjoy this time with us. Her tour schedule is absolutely insane, given the delays and problems enshrouding her Visa and the full rescheduling of her tour. Within the span of 3 days she has now been in 4 different cities. Considering at times I wish I could stop the world just to catch my breath & have a fresh start somewhere-I cannot even imagine how chaotic such a schedule must be! Yet, you would never know the stresses of her schedule, she uses the strength of her Spirituality to carry her through. And, while I don’t wish stress or hardships on her, it was somewhat comforting to know she has ‘moments’ to. We ALL do, but what is it that carries us through, back to the center?
When I am in a moment where I need inspiration to find Grace, I will think of Wendy.
When I am in a moment where I need inspiration to find Acceptance, I will think of Wendy.
When I am in a moment where I need inspiration to find Courage to rise above whatever stress faces me, I will think of Wendy. As I reluctantly left the room I told her “You inspire me!” and I meant it so completely.
During our workshop about our sister the Moon, I had some moments of “Never thought of it like that!” or “Ohhh, that makes so much sense!” and believe me, it is a good thing that I spent the days leading up to the workshop tattooing the thought in my mind: “Do NOT talk every time something resonates within you a response! LISTEN and learn, observe & be present!” It seemed every sentence, thought & idea that Wendy presented or shared invoked in me the maddening desire to respond. Perhaps it is the writer in me: I want to share. I have really gotten over the idea that I am “shy”…I may be a quite person when the chatter is idle, but speak of something I have great passion for (horses, belly dancing, writing, animals, spirituality, music) and I become a broken beer tap. Thoughts escape me like a never-ending stream.
It was almost a year ago (during a sweet stretch of emailing back-n-forth with her) that the idea of Australia being in Winter while we are in Summer, that while we celebrate Samhain in this Northern Hemisphere they celebrate Beltane down below, really set in for me. Because Wendy tours on continents around the world, she sometimes experiences 2 Beltane’s or 2 Samhain's and has not lived through a straight changing of seasons in at least 10 years or so. Which is certainly not the only reason she has such a grand Love Affair with her Lady the Moon, but it certainly is a big part of it. While the sun creates the seasons and the changing quality of light we see life through, the moon is a constant. Right now Australia is watching the approaching Spring while we see the first hints of Fall here. Yet the moon provides her company to the entire world in the same way each night. So, no matter how far she travels, no matter the season where she is or what awaits her in Australia: the moon becomes as an anchor. It is full in Australia as it is full in Colorado or Scotland or Egypt.
When we are separated from loved ones by miles and hours we can look upon the same moon. I have always held some fascination at the fact that I look upon the same moon I looked upon over 1,000 years ago in another body in another land, another time, another reality. While we honor the sun we cannot look directly into his heart with our own eyes (unless you LIKE retina damage) but we can make ‘googly-eyes’ at the moon all night long if we can see her and wish to.
We all shared personal stories that expressed our love of the moon. I shared my Full Moon ride in the snow with Spiral Dancer, the glittering snow, the crunch of snow under her hooves, the breath from her nostrils billowing in the night air, our Moon Shadow cast upon the snow bringing to me a sense of memory: I’ve seen this shadow before, in other lifetimes. In the known & recorded history of humans, motorized transportation would probably not even be a noticeable blip…horses have carried us for eons. It is no lie: one of my favorite things about living in the country is the opportunities I have every month to see all the stars in the night sky, to watch the moon rise in her glory over the horizon. At times I have been tempted to learn how to use a nice camera, simply to be able to take advantage of the amazing photo opportunities every month!
Once again after the workshop I found myself moved to tears as I drove down the narrow streets of the neighborhood, late summer sun shining through the trees dappling the streets in a dance of shadow & light. I felt as though I was driving away from my own Sister, the sorrow of knowing it’s going to be awhile before I can soak in the rays of this beautiful soul’s energy. I do not want to BE Wendy Rule, I want to be the Moon to her Sun: I want to reflect the love & joy she radiated upon me, to those around me. It is a worthy goal, to be that beacon of light, hope, joy & love in a world that all too often makes little sense. It is not a new goal, but after spending the time I did with her, I now have a better idea of what that looks like.