this all ends.

One of my favorite things to do in divination is set my iPod to ‘oracle’ (which is to say, “random”) and say, “Tell me what I need to know.” And it does.

And dear hearts, I just want to remind you that this all ends. Someday you will no longer exist, so live as much as you can, in your own way, as many days as you can. Whether your greatness is being kind to people as they walk the aisles of Target or whether your greatness is Oprah-level influence. Do it. Because once it all ends, you will know: it doesn’t fucking matter what you do, so do what you want.

If the last few days have been hard, old wounds have been touched, old hurts, old demons have arisen- you’re not alone. And it will shift by Saturday. Stay with it, face it. Whatever is hurting or painful is here to help you heal.

There is an old question on various social media platforms that I sometimes ponder: what would you attempt if you knew you would not fail? I think it’s an admirable question. But I prefer this one today: what would you leave if you knew it would not hurt? Because, of course, it will hurt. But the most painful thing is probably the one that needs the most healing. And that means we must face it, feel it, and reconcile it. (My favorite question to begin this journey? “When did I first feel this way?”)

But this is all to say: let go of whatever is painful. Find your freedom. And live in the best way you know how, as many days as you can. Because this all ends.

Some tunes for the journey:

Sound the Bells | Dessa

Bicycle tricycle | Rosie Thomas

Prayer of St. Francis | Sarah McLachlan

One Life | Hedley (for something uplifting)

Skankin’ to the Beat | Fishbone (because it’s such a great song for going crazy and saying “FUCK IT!”)

Big love, fellow travelers, for all that you are and all that you wish to be.
Joanna :: xoxo


Photo by Dustin Scarpitti on Unsplash




when prayer doesn’t work

‘nope. fuck that. your body is still your body. your arms still wings, your mouth still a gun. you tragic monster, misfiring bird. you have all you need to be a hero. don’t save the world, but do save yourself. when prayer doesn’t work: dance, fly, fire.’

Danez Smith || “Director’s note: a note on the body for my 20 year old self.”

::: ::: ::: :::

Sometimes prayer doesn’t ‘work’ because we don’t get what we want. And sometimes it doesn’t work because we can’t connect to Center, to The Something. I have had years of being disconnected, when prayer didn’t work in either of these ways. And it was always the body that carried me through. Something within me that would not let go- call it ‘faith’ or ‘heart’ or ‘soul.’ There are always paths to the sacred when prayer does not work: body, arms, mouth.

How do you save yourself, fellow travelers? When prayer doesn’t work, what is your path?

Big love from the trail,
Joanna :: xoxo




fuck your demons.

Do I mean like this?


No, I mean like this.


I mean, get off on your demons.


Demons: Dark and Light.

Traditionally, when we talk about demons, we talk about fighting against them. Demons are something we don’t like in our lives or in ourselves. They may be fear, depression, anxiety, illness, relationship difficulties, addiction, trauma, or even desire if it feels like a burden. Of course, none of us wants these things in our life. They tend to reduce our energy and leave us feeling ‘less than.’ So, of course it would be natural to want to fight them, to get rid of them.

But if we fight against these demons, we are saying that these parts of us are an enemy. I’m not sure anymore that is the healthiest way to view them. They are a part of us, and we are not inherently bad (we all contain the Buddha nature). So, what if we didn’t fight against them? What if, instead, we thought of them as useful? Maybe even as friends?

In her excellent article, “How to Feed Your Demons,” author and teacher Lama Tsultrim Allione shares a practice for making friends with your demons and learning what they are here to teach you or connect you with. This is the secret: the demons are actually here to help you grow. Tommie Kelly, over at adventuesinwoowoo, also talked about this idea on his podcast about demonising his problems so he could work with them more skillfully.

[Huge caveat here, though: organic issues, such as depression, anxiety, illegal sexual proclivities, etc. cannot always and should not be treated as ‘spiritual only’ problems. They need therapeutic and sometimes pharmaceutical support. Do not try to ‘pray away’ deeper problems, please.]

Your demons might actually have something beautiful to give you.


Sex Magic.

In Tantra, a person can cultivate sexual energy (that is, ‘turn on’ or orgasm) and send it to people or situations in order to heal them. People also do this to connect with things they desire (people, experiences, etc). Tantric folks call this ‘sex magic.’

It’s a really beautiful magical concept because you can really only send good things when you use it. I am a practitioner of ‘for the highest good’- meaning I don’t send bad energy to things, I merely pray or send energy ‘for whatever is the highest good.’ I pray this way primarily to reduce attachment to outcomes, but also because: what the fuck do I know about running the Universe? (Nothing. I know nothing. So it’s not my place to be creating any particular outcome.)

In the physical sense, when a person comes, it’s also rather difficult to send that energy with bad intentions. Orgasm is the energy of creativity, joy, sometimes love- those things are difficult to harness to darker emotions or intentions. I can’t imagine being in the middle of orgasm and thinking “Please send this energy to Linda because I fucking hate her,” can you? Plus, it’s just not what Tantra is about.

I have used this practice at different times over the years since I learned it, but I generally save orgasm energy for really important stuff, things I care about a lot or want very much in my life, or things that need deep healing. In any case, I believe it does work – not always in ways we expect, but it does work.

Sexual energy and orgasm are the highest energy we can give anything because it is the spark of the infinite, the moment of creation, a connection to god.


Voulez vous coucher avec moi?

I am a wild one/
break me in/
saddle me up/
and let’s begin. 
– Flo Rida ft. Sia “Wild Ones”

So, what if we didn’t just try to make friends with our demons, or to see their good, but what if we actually tried to give them sex magic? What if we gave our demons the best energy we could find on Earth, our sexual energy? Interestingly enough, giving our demons sex magic is a way into their beauty.

What if you could say to your demons, “I think you are so fucking sexy?” or “Jeeezus, you turn me on.” It would be pretty revolutionary, a very different way of interacting with our demons. in this case, we’re not fighting our demons, nor are we looking for the beauty in them, we are actually finding them attractive as they are. We are giving them our ‘turn on’ as a gift of connection so that we can blow them to smithereens with our orgasm.

For me, music is the key here. If I can find a song that connects with my demon and makes me feel the least bit sexy or turned on, I’m good to go. Imagination helps, too. If you can imagine your demon as a sexy, bad boy/girl lover, then it can be easier to cultivate the sexual energy you need for magic. The more you can embody it, the more you can laugh, grind, sway, touch yourself, moan- the better it will be when you and your demon orgasm together.

And in that moment, the energy of the demon is transformed. Quite often, my heart opens even more because I’m finally connecting with that demonized part of myself in a very intimate and enjoyable way. I suppose, from a certain perspective, it’s the ultimate form of the hate fuck.

I thoroughly recommend that you straddle your demons and let them penetrate you. Fall in love with them a bit, if you can. Enjoy the fact that they are dirty and naughty. And get off on them so that you can integrate them. They are the dark side of us, quite often, and the more we know them and welcome them, they less they will run our lives.

In a very real sense, treating our demons this way is exactly the way most of us want to be loved. We want to be welcomed into the arms of our lover or beloved as we are, warts and all, and to be enjoyed, integrated, and found so sexy our lover can’t  help but to scream out to god how grateful they are for us being there. And when we can do that for ourselves, it’s fucking gorgeous.

If you’ve got demons, welcome them in. They’ve usually got something helpful to teach us. If you can find a way into their sexiness and fuck them well, you’ll also get access to their power. And you can keep it for yourself.

Blessings on the journey, you sexy fuckers.
Joanna :: xoxo

[I recognize that if you a fully scientific type person this sounds fucking ridiculous and weird. Even from a psychological perspective, it’s personifying an emotion or experience and then interacting with that personification. But if you’re into spiritual stuff, you understand- it’s an energy and energy is capable of being manipulated and transformed. I like my science and my psychology and my spiritual shizz, but this is mostly spiritual. Take it as such.]




i sit with it all

I light the first candle, for the Infinite Feminine, the Creatrix.
The second and third for her guides, whoever I am worshipping at the moment.
The last candle is for myself, a representation of my devotion and my own light, small though it may be.

I sit on a child’s step stool. After years of searching for a comfortable meditation stool, this $4 plastic one is the most comfortable.

The meditation rug I found in Seattle, my spirit’s home. When I asked specifically for a prayer rug, the man at the store said, “Please do not ask for a prayer rug and then use it in your bathroom.” No, I assured him, it will only be for prayer. It’s the most masculine part of my altar. I love that it looks like ejaculating penises. How delightfully appropriate for my journey.

And I breathe. I say hello to my guides, ancestors, and deities. I humble myself and open my heart.

And then I sit.

I sit and focus on my breath.
The in breath.
The stopping point.
The out breath.
The stopping point.

If I’m lucky, I can stay with it for 5 or 6 breath cycles.
Most often, the monkey-mind sets in and suddenly, I am shopping at Target.
[So. Very. Normal.]

I sit through everything.


I feel certain these ‘items’ at the top of the rug are
meant simply to point towards Mecca.

But they look like more than that to me. 


I sit with sadness that hits my body like a hard rain. I am outside and naked. The sadness, the rain, is cold and breaks me.

I sit with happiness, like a river I floated down in high school. Warm and buoyant.

I sit with desire. So hot it burns me for years. But it also feels really good. Sometimes it is a tornado inside my body, it is so wide and tall and chaotic. I sit with it.

I sit with fear. Of myself. Of the world. Where is it all going?

I sit with the chatter. Sometimes I am completely swept away by it. The alarm chimes and I have not connected with my breath for a single cycle. “At least I got my ass on the cushion,” I say.

I sit with ‘downloads’ of information and ideas that I have no idea where they came from. I just know they are right. I offer gratitude to those who sit with me.

I sit with it all. And the one constant I know from this sitting is that things change. If we can simply breathe and let it pass though us, it will. We may grit our teeth as it passes, but it will move, if we let it.

It is impossible to ‘not think.’ Human brains are only made for thinking. But we can think about one thing- the breath- and let our brain rest. We can focus on a single sensation- the rising and falling of our chest- and it can give us space and peace.

The more I sit, the better I am.

::: ::: ::: :::

I have been meditating for more than 15 years now. I used to sit for 30 minutes, 7 days a week. Now I strive for 15 minutes, 5 days a week. The research is clear that meditation helps your brain function at its best. It regulates mood and hormones, reduces stress and increases resiliency. It certainly makes me less of a cranky bitch. And it is my home. My meditation practice is the place I rest all of who I am and also integrate all of who I am. It keeps me connected to my center and makes me a better person.

If you’d like to start a meditation practice, I recommend either Susan Piver (books and website) or Sharon Salzburg (books or website) for instruction and guidance. Both have very good beginners books. I practice in the Shambhala tradition, as it was specifically developed for the modern, Western culture and for those with jobs, families, etc. Books by the Shambhala creator, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, are worth your time, as are those of his son, the latest leader of Shambhala, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

I hope you’re well, fellow travelers. I’ve battened down for a new winter storm. Wish me luck!
More soon.
Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo




Full Moon in Virgo

Well, we’re out of February and March is starting out with bright lights. Tonight’s full moon (look! I posted on time!) is all about making choices, making changes, and moving forward.

Let’s see what the guides have to say.

Romy Wyser offers this:

“Now isn’t the time to become too fixed in your plans, the energy is moving too fast and we must flow with it. It is the time to recognize what isn’t working  and make the changes now before you are too invested down the line. 

…you might find your sensitivity gene just got triggered into a high alert status. So when I say to you “Don’t be so hard on yourself, ” “Don’t jump to conclusions,” and “Maybe not everything is as it seems” I want you to remember these words! … Try to find some soul soothing ways to keep distracted from the mind chatter as we hit these full moon energies. 

Do pay attention to the revelations under this Full Moon as they could be telling you where to make a shift, and where you need to be honest with yourself, this difficult Neptune energy can bring to light those things we tend to lie to ourselves about. … Let yourself off the hook and a find a deeper humility within. You are not powerless in this…”


::: ::: ::: :::

From Limitless Minds:

Full Moons are often released points. But under this Full Moon, we will feel remarkably guided. It is just like the radiating energy of this Moon will pull or shift us in the direction which we need to be heading.

Pay attention to what unfolds around this Full Crow Moon. It is expected that you may receive some insights or intuitive pings about areas of your life which have felt clouded and foggy.

Falling in the practical earth sign of Virgo, this Full Moon will help us make decisions in our lives from a place of practicality. It is likely that wherever we are guided will naturally feel like the right move. We are going to have the ability to find out confidence to forge ahead.

Virgo energy also rules over the digestive system and the integration of ideas.
What ideas or new life changes will you need to ‘digest?’
What energy are you absorbing and is it nourishing?

This Full Crow Moon in March is also going to be the perfect period of taking inventory of what you are filling your life with and if it is serving you. This can also be done on a physical, as well as emotional and spiritual level. To create a sense of balance and wellbeing.

If you have been struggling to “digest” recent life events, this Full Moon will provide you with some support. Perhaps you should keep an open mind and see if you can find the silver-lining or the positive aspects of what has unfolded.

Every experience which comes to us in life is there to help us grow as well as evolve.


Photo by Kristen Wyman on Unsplash



Virgo Full Moon themes:

Choose your destiny.
Express your truth.
Challenging beliefs and old stories.
Self care.
Focus on health.
Truth & revelations in relationships.
Awareness of judgement and being overly critical.
Work on the details.


::: ::: ::: :::

From Mystic Mama:

Full Moon in Virgo on the Pisces axis calls us to ground our roots deep into Mother Earth to anchor ourselves through the emotional seas that have been surging.

The more we open up, the more we feel, and the more attuned we become to the suffering of others and our dear planet Earth. The injustices and the tragedies are numerous and we are all aching for change.

Virgo is the healer within, reminding us to embody our Spirit so we can bring about forth real change in our lives for the benefit of all.

Her medicine is love in service, and her practical magic helps us streamline our directive so we can focus on how best to be in service of our collective healing. 

[Definitely click that link and read down to the bottom where one of her sources talks about the importance of artists, bards, dancers, and singers to be honest and come forward with their gifts right now. And to dance your own way through this full moon. Love!]

::: ::: ::: :::

I am in the thick of this advice right now. Things are becoming clearer to me. I am definitely grappling with what I ‘digest’ and what ‘nourishes’ me. And I’m freely letting go of things and seeing where the truth lands me and my connections. I hope this full moon gives you hope, clarity, and the desire to move forward in your truth, as it has for me.

Big love, fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo