Bodywork and spiritual practice

Ali giving massage

Here's a Friday treat: an interview with my friend Ali Bourgault!  I met Ali, who is an amazing bodyworker, when she was doing massage work at a Pagan gathering, and I love the way she focuses on results and on empowering her clients to take charge of their own healing.  She lives in Massachusetts and is the owner of A Healing Vibration, where she specializes in creating personally tailored sessions with unique combinations of therapies.How does bodywork connect to your personal practice -- o … [Read more...]

Five one-minute practices


We're all busy.  Here are five practices you can do in 60 seconds or less, although many of them are also lovely if you have a bit more time.1. Presence: Take three deep breaths.  Pay attention to each one as fully as you can.2. Ground: Think about your feet.  Feel them on the ground.  (Stand up if you can.)  Notice that you are pushing down on the earth, and the earth is pushing back up on you, supporting you.3. Gratitude: Say thank you to the air or yourself or your gods for some … [Read more...]

Practicing Together #7

Snow on trees and a roof

Hello, Monday!  We say hello.  And we practice.This past week, I noticed the restorative powers of taking a five-minute break!  I also noticed that switching tasks is sometimes a break, but not always; sometimes I need to put everything down for a few minutes in order to access those restorative powers.This coming week, I invite in ease.  I have been playing with how to balance the desire for integrity with wanting to avoid pushing or forcing, so this week I am willing to have things … [Read more...]

Informal practice


When we set aside time specifically to practice — at our altars, in ritual, with our covens, at our desks, or elsewhere — it’s formal practice.  For me, formal practice is where my spirituality sinks its roots into my life.  But as far as I know, there are no Pagan monastic orders, and that means that most of us spend the vast majority of our time away from our altars, living our lives.One of the things I most love about Paganism is that it firmly asserts that this, too, is holy.  Whatever fo … [Read more...]


Make Magic of Your Life cover

Desire.  Taste that word.  Roll it around on your tongue.  Feel it in your belly, your sex, the crown of your head.  What does it smell like?  What sound does it make?  How deeply are you willing to let yourself experience it?I love the word desire: for me, it conjures up images of watermelon juice running down my chin in the hot summer sun, the full-body relaxation of a baby who is soothed by being picked up, the delicious tang of anticipating pleasure.  In her new book, Thorn Coyle defines … [Read more...]

Practicing Together #6

Boston Public Garden

Ritual is important.  One of our rituals is that we practice together: here, in comments on social media, on our blogs, or in our heads.  Join us!This past week, I noticed that when I have a lot going on, I want both stillness (sitting practice, downtime) and movement (exercise).This coming week, I invite in the possibility of finding a third way.  Over the last few years, I've been practicing being a steward of my own time and energy, which means a lot of decisions to do this or that.  N … [Read more...]

Practice: Times of Day

beach at sunset

Both traditions I am trained in have a way of acknowledging various points of the day: the beginning and the end, and also midday and dusk.  The practice of bookending my day with a moment of connection is one that feels uncomplicatedly lovely to me.  While these times could benefit from twenty or thirty minutes of practice, they also benefit from one or two minutes of acknowledgement.The midday and dusk times, on the other hand, often come while I’m in the middle of something else, and so pu … [Read more...]