Magic, the Stars, and You: Checking in with Starsdance Mystery School

Starsdance Astrology

Classes are beginning again at Starsdance Mystery School. We launched the school in March 2020 and we are excited to welcome new students this fall with a years’ worth of curriculum grounded in queer astrology.

We begin with the foundations in The Magic of Earth and Sky. This 4-week online class, beginning September 14, gives a foundation for magical/astrological practice in the “Starsdance tradition.”

It feels kind of lofty to call our school a tradition, but we do have a unique way of approaching the study and practice of astrology. Our website gives a good introduction to our basic philosophy of community, magic, and astrology. Please look it over. I am really proud of it.

Core to our mission is a place where queerness is celebrated. There are many ways to practice astrology. Perhaps you are wondering if you are a Traditional Astrologer, Modern Astrologer, Archetypal Astrologer, Postcolonial Astrologer…

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Writing Your Witchy Bio

So many amazing and wonderful witches I know have struggled to know where to begin writing a basic bio for themselves. I created this set of questions to get you started. Start stringing together the answers and you’ll have your first draft in no time!

To begin with:

Write it in first or third person and then change it to the other after you’ve played with it (If you start with I am… then shift your writing to “Pond-Weed” is… see which one feels better to you, and ask why)  

Here are you starting questions:

  • What do you want to be called?
  • Who are you?
  • What does you’re magic look like?
  • How do you feel energy?
  • How do you operate in community or ritual space?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • How do you describe yourself in 3-5 words?
  • What is your Magical super power?
  • Who do you work with? Who are you allies and guides?
  • Why do you do what you do/practice magic?
  • Do you have a “witch” skill?
  • What do you bring to the table of community?
  • What do you do for yourself?

Registration Open for 2020 Magic in Pittsburgh

I am thrilled to be teaching and learning in Pittsburgh in 2020. Registration has opened for all 3 of the classes currently being offered.

Elements of Magic

Elements of Magic still has 2 spaces left! Registration Link: https://forms.gle/rxb9DgjGvaDz1tZJ8

Elements of Magic is the foundational course for all other Reclaiming Core Classes (like Pearl and Rites). This weekend workshop will take place January 25- 26 in Swissvale/Pittsburgh, PA. 10am-8:30pm Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday.

Pearl Pentacle

Registration Link for Pearl Pentacle: https://tinyurl.com/PearlRP2020

Pearl Pentacle is a weekend workshop taking place March 28-29, 2020 in Swissvale/Pittsburgh, PA. 10am-8:30pm Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday.

This workshop caps at 20 participants.

Rites of Passage

Registration Link for Rites of Passage: https://tinyurl.com/ritesRP

This Rites of Passage weekend workshop is May 30-31, 2020 in Swissvale/Pittsburgh, PA. 10am-8:30pm Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday.

 

Upcoming Workshop: Elements of Magic

Registration Link: https://forms.gle/rxb9DgjGvaDz1tZJ8

Elements of Magic is a weekend intensive with Juniper Caldera, Pigeon and Otter RiverRider. Elements is the first of Reclaiming’s core classes, but it is open to all levels of experience. Over the weekend, the goddess-saint Brighid offers an invitation into deeper relationship to the sacred elements of life. Along the way, we will explore some of the tools and practices that are a foundation of the Reclaiming Tradition, such as invocations, trance, divination, chants and ritual energetics.

Costs:
We intentionally model financial accessibility by setting class fees on a sliding scale. The scale for this class is $100-$250, with a reparations discounted fee of $75 for POC/Indigenous Person. $50 to hold your slot due within 5 days of registration, or by JANUARY 1, 2020, whichever comes first. Balance due JANUARY 10, 2020. We ask that those who are able to pay higher on the scale to please do so we can continue to offer deeply discounted slots to those more aggressively disenfranchised by capitalism.

****WE ARE OFFERING ONE disenfranchised by capitalism slots on a first come, first served basis ($0 fee)

**** WE ARE OFFERING ONE work study slot for $50.

This weekend intensive caps at 20 participants.

Timing:
This weekend workshop is January 25- 26 in Swissvale/Pittsburgh, PA. 10am-8:30pm Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday. This is a weekend workshop in which the content builds on itself over the entire weekend.

ABOUT YOUR FACILITATORS:

Juniper Caldera:
I am a Reclaiming Witch, artist, sex educator, and mother to wild and growing beings. My Work as a Priestess & Witch centers around the tactile experiences of embodied magic, art, and plants. My eclectic tastes run from throwing runes and pulling tarot cards to trance work and exercise. I am pulled to Reclaiming witchcraft through lived experiences and human-divine connections. I practice magic to come fully into oneness with my Godself. My work is like a volcano rising from the ocean floor, destroying and creating through beautiful lava flows and fermenting magma chambers. My magical superpower is childlike enthusiasm woven with my years of life experience. As a priestess my intention is to empower sojourners to be their own cauldron of transformation.

Pigeon:
Pigeon is a birb who lives in the city of Pittsburgh with a cat named Soybean. They are a mystic, a ritualist, an anarchist, a witch, a kinkster, an artist, and a healer. The magic that they bring to ritual and community is a deep empathy, groundedness, and fluidity. They are drawn to the Reclaiming Witchcraft tradition because the ecstatic nature of rituals speaks to their deep need for experience over observation.
Pigeon’s spiritual work is centered in reconnecting to their Catholic ancestry through heresy, sacred sexuality, pleasure activism, art, and mutual aid. They use their knowledge and energy to facilitate workshops, plan rituals with Reclaiming Pittsburgh, and create art with Garlic Witch Zines. They are an activist, and a sex educator and are dedicated to the exploration of pleasure, spirituality, and liberation. In their spare time Pigeon likes to forage for mushrooms, identify plants, and visit old churches.

Otter RiverRider
I am a story-yeller, truth-sayer, ritual artist, and an initiate in the Reclaiming and Feri Traditions. My magic is rooted in writing, sacred play, hearth-tending, social action, and keen curiosity in the worlds.

I am enchanted by the power of story to transform our lives. I find the greatest joy in exploring how these threads connect us to each other, our cultures and our gods. All stories are doorways to inner delving, and I stand at their thresholds with lockpicks in hand.

As a witch whose roots begin in the deep south, my magic is inspired by civil rights heroes and informed by my own time at the Capitol. I feel a kinship to wild storms that wound and heal, to the rivers of my life and locality, and the fertile ground that sustains community.

Credentials

Steel City Witch

I was recently asked to provide credentials on why I, and other Reclaiming Witches, have the right to call ourselves witches. Specifically, the concerns raised were that we call ourselves witches in the face of many ongoing deaths under the title, and that we are being culturally appropriative when we use the name.

I understand the concern. To be called a witch has been and continues to be serious accusation. Whether the accusation is of casting baneful magic on our human neighbors or of practicing illegitimate spirituality or magic, a witch is in many contexts not to be taken lightly. It stands in contrast to the joyful and sometimes flippant parade of altar pics on social media.

However, I cannot appropriate from my own culture, and the reclamation of the term witch is indeed that: a reclamation. We present day witches recognize that if we lived in a different time…

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A Year of Iron Magic

The Iron Pentacle hold these 5 points: Sex-Pride-Self-Power-Passion. They are our birthright, held in our blood and in our magic. Iron Pentacle is a tool from the Reclaiming and Feri traditions of witchcraft.

Join myself and Liam as we lead a year-long study of the Iron Pentacle. We are creating a community format for deepening personal practice, becoming familiar with the Iron Pentacle and refreshing the work of Iron for those who are experienced. This group is will not be a substitute for a Reclaiming Core Class.

While the Elements of Magic Reclaiming Core Class is not required, we do strongly suggest it as a foundation for this work.

This facilitated study includes resources, moderated text discussions, periodic in-person offerings, “homework,” and monthly video call discussions via Zoom that will help you to focus your Iron Pentacle Practice. Our discussion group will be on Discord. This Group will cap at 20 participants.

There is currently a waitlist for this group. Waitlist is open until January 15, should you choose to join the waitlist, please only register and do not send a deposit. 

First six-month zoom schedule: all calls are 7:00-8:30 p.m. eastern time (most dates are the 1st Thursday of the month) the second six months will be determined after the group has formed.

February 7, 2019, March 7, 2019, April 4, 2019, May 2, 2019, June 6, 2019, July 11, 2019

About the Sliding scale payment structure

We are asking participants to pay on a sliding scale of $60 to $300 for the year (12 monthly sessions, ongoing moderated text discussion, and periodic in-person activities over the course of the year). We ask for a deposit of 25% of your chosen rate when you register, and then either the balance in May, or to arrange quarterly payments in May, August, and November.

We want this study group to be available to everyone who wants to participate, and we also want to pay expenses and provide a stipend for our facilitators. Expenses include paying for the video conferencing account and various materials. We ask that participants carefully consider what they can afford to pay, and that those who can afford to pay at the higher end of the scale do so. This helps us keep the low end of the scale as low as possible for those who need it, and also helps to provide a level of compensation for labor for our facilitators, who put in many hours of work before, during, and even after the sessions.

Registration link: https://goo.gl/forms/iPTKEeOiBN82Sbop1

Facilitator Bios

Juniper Caldera 

I am a Reclaiming Witch, artist, sex educator, and mother to wild and growing beings. My Work as a Priestess & Witch centers around the tactile experiences of embodied magic, art, and plants. My eclectic tastes run from throwing runes and pulling tarot cards to trance work and exercise. I am pulled to Reclaiming witchcraft through lived experiences and human-divine connections. I practice magic to come fully into oneness with my Godself; my work is like a volcano rising from the ocean floor, destroying and creating through beautiful lava flows and fermenting magma chambers. My magical superpower is childlike enthusiasm woven with my years of life experience. As a priestess my intention is to empower sojourners to be their own cauldron of transformation. I look forward to focusing in on Iron Pentacle as a tool of embodiment and empowerment.

 

Liam

Liam is a witch drawn to playing with the Fae and the magic of the hearth. Their magic is wrapped in a song that wells up from the core and feels connection to energy as an electric current of music, running against their skin. Called to the magic through a radical faerie retreat, they were a solitary practitioner until being lovingly embraced by the Baltimore Reclaiming community. Reclaiming brought structure and a strong community of support to their practice. You’ll often find Liam with their spinning wheel, meditative but open to both jovial and heartfelt conversation. This year-long study in the Iron Pentacle is for them a way to deepen their practice alongside others.

 

Airplane Poetry

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the American Southwest. My many-houred flight gave the gift of poems. I am posting 3 here for now.

1.

1000 feet up,

a world in white.

Turbulence!

And yet,

I’m trusting these wings.

 

2.

Headed west

the rising sun

chasing us across the sky

 

3.

I am flying over places I don’t know.

Places where my feet will never touch the ground.

Seeing them and wondering

what that place would feel like

beneath my fingertips

and smell like

if I bend close down.

What caused these landforms beneath me

in this vast expanse of flat and brown.

Tarot Study

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things

Timeout. Stop stop. Wrong poem.

The time has come for me to dive deep into the tarot. I’ve done this before, about 6 years ago, a lifetime ago. I am feeling like it’s time to re-immerse myself in this divination medium. Really feeling the Minor Arcana as a starting place.

Regardless, looking forward to the journey.

Libeartion Is…

Flowered Being

Scent offerings abound

and I feel you close to me

 

Who knew that I’d be drawn to you

like a moth to a flame

 

Pulsating, the rhythms flow

your dance joyful

your song to be sung

 

What is it you want to me to see?

Where is it you want me to go?

 

You tell me to be patient

like a cat stalking a beast

wild and feral and free

 

You tell me

you tell me

you tell me

you tell me

I am worthy

 

Why don’t I see that for myself?