Title: Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper...
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You know, gods turn up in the strangest places.
There I'll be, stopped at a light, thinking wholly unsacred thoughts.
And then I'll look up and there He'll be, looking me straight in the eye: the Ram that Walks on Two Legs. The Guy with the Horns. Giving me that Speaking Look.
Like they do.
Now the fact that a decidedly unsacred American auto manufacturer should choose the Ram ("You are a ram, lord, greatly to be praised") as its—shall I say—sigil for a popular model makes this neither an unlikely experience, nor (one might think) a particularly sacred one.
And yet. And yet.
I was a professional barista in my past life.* My job was more than just an after school or part-time college gig, and I was far more competent than those who steam milk into huge soap suds, who pull watery and weak shots of espresso, and who pump drinks full of syrup and sugar. I was bona fide. I had been trained by the best, award winning baristas in the area. I read all of the latest coffee trade news and gossip. I worked 40+ hours a week. My cappuccinos were crafted to such perfection that all of the Italians in town would come flocking to the shop, bringing with them their friends and family visiting from Europe. “The best cappuccino in town,” they’d say, as I poured the perfect micro-foam in the shape of delicate hearts, tulips, swans, or rosettas. I went to trade shows, conferences, and competitions. I had a job with benefits. I was a professional.
But those days are far, far behind me. I’m proud of my barista skills and training, but I am relieved that I no longer have to bust my butt for rude customers, demanding management, and lazy coworkers. I don’t smell like milk or coffee grounds, and my arms aren’t dotted with burns or rashes from constant exposure to scalding hot machines or water. It’s been years since I’ve slung espresso. Much to my consternation, however, when I’m feeling particularly anxious or dealing with an especially troubling conundrum, my unconscious and dreaming mind often returns me to coffee shops and cafes. In my dream worlds, coffee has become a literal manifestation of my anxiety....
I ran into the goddess yesterday. At the farmers' market, no less.
You know how it feels when you suddenly see the face of a friend in an unexpected place? The surprise, the delight?
That's just what it was like.
Heading back to the car with my bags of baby beets, new peas, and the season's first daikons, I looked up and lo! there she was, low in the southwestern sky.
The Moon, approaching her setting, now in the 21st day of her lunation: sun-washed and pale as a cloud.
But no cloud she. Oh no.
The Moon surprises us. We think of her as Lady of Night, but the night cannot contain her. She wanders at will wheresoever she please, ruled by her own inner life. The all-seeing Sun sees what is done by day, but the wandering Moon knows the secrets of both day and night.
Animals of the Heart are the animals who want to share their lives with you. Offering their friendship, these animals want to be a part of you. I prefer calling animals who bond with you as “Animals of the Heart.” For me, the terms of “totem,” “power,” and “familiar” are specific to their religious traditions. I know that people use these words interchangeably to mean the same thing. “Animals of the Heart” is a general term that I use to denote the type of animal that people feel a deep connection with.
Animals of the Heart come in all forms. Some of them have been with you since childhood. I have met people who have been happy with Goldfish as their Animal of the Heart because they had them as pets. Meanwhile, other people have been fascinated by unicorns or dragons as children. As adults, they look to these mythical animals for wisdom....
They say that he's god of women, and the artists show him naked amid the women's pulsing dance.
Verdelet, the witches named him: the Master-in-Green.
(They say that in the old days they greened him with copper and ground malachite.)
There's a shaggy crown of leaves bound round his head, and leafy ruffs at his wrists and ankles as well. He rustles when he moves. He's the Green.
Green lord of chlorophyll, twin to the blood lord of beasts: like his brother, both wild and tame. Of the two, he's the rooted, the calm one, the peaceful, the thinker of long thoughts.
Don't be fooled.