Hubble Bubble – August is Cauldron Month

“In all the old stories, the geilt is hypersensitive to the sights and sounds of the civilised world, finding them unendurable. She finds other people unendurable too; only alone in the wild, in nature, can safety and freedom be found.”
Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted: The Power of the Celtic Woman

While I claim not to be a crazy woman, I recognise that need to withdraw. The sights and sounds of this world, often larger than life, in technicolor and 3D, are overwhelming at times. Quiet is not just something I enjoy, it is something I need. Quiet and space. And I know I am not alone in this need. (I have witnessed it especially strongly in fellow HSPs). So, when I first heard Molly Remer talk about a cauldron month in 2016, it immediately resonated…

During August, I vow, I will take it all to the Cauldron…to let it bubble and brew and stew and percolate. I will pull my energy inward to let myself listen and be and to see what wants to emerge. I give myself permission not to create for public consumption during this month, but just to sit with myself and see what is bubbling, what is cooking, and how I might create a safe space for myself in which to stew up my truest magic.

Sustaining Myself by Molly Remer

I said to myself, that’s a beautiful idea, but I just can’t do it. I need to be connected, sharing my creations with the world, interacting with other people. I didn’t recognise that beneath that “need” for connection was fear. What would happen if I stopped?

The next few years I took a token Cauldron Month. I allowed myself to move away from daily posting on social media (and that is something that I have adopted as a habit all year round). But I was still blogging/ making videos/ writing and submitting. It was like I had a slow cooker month rather than a cauldron month. The alchemy was happening, but incredibly slowly (and it’s frustrating because you just want to take the damn lid off and stir and taste it, but you know you can’t because it will add another hour to the cooking time).

This year is different. This year I am going deep (which is appropriate, as Cauldron Month falls in the middle of my Depth Year). When I drew my cards for 2019 in my Wheel of the Year Spread, guess what came out for August? Yup, the Hermit! I took the hint (finally).

So, for me, the practical application of cauldron month means I will be removing all social media from my phone, including messaging apps like What’s App and Facebook Messenger. It says a lot that I have had to plan this in advance and let people know my plans. I am still reachable by phone or text for those who have my number, or by email (though I will be only checking email once a week).

But the HUGE thing is that, I am, like Molly, giving myself permission not to create for public consumption for the entire month! I won’t be posting any blogs, videos, articles etc. which feels like a huge deal because I have been consistently creating content for… well… a long time. It feels really radical. And just the right amount of scary. I have the whole of August to go deep into the cauldron of myself. Adding to the brew. Adjusting if necessary. Bubbling and boiling the raw ingredients into something tastier, more distilled – something ready to share. I can’t wait to taste what is in the pot come September.

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Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

So, that is what Cauldron Month looks like for me, for you it may be different.

Does Cauldron Month resonate for you? If so, you should check out Molly’s excellent resources here

See you in September.

I’ve Joined the Vlogosphere

Hi all, just a quick one to let you know I’ve started vlogging. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now (about a year!), and a couple of weeks ago I dived in and started posting videos. Just testing the water at the moment but aiming to do a video a week in 2018. Feedback greatly appreciated – but please be kind.

Here’s the link to my channel

 

 

 

Waking Mama Luna Launch Party

So, with no small amount of trepidation, I have decided to have a Waking Mama Luna Launch Party. Eek!

Waking Mama Luna Book Launch Poster

It’s going to be at the Old Library, Nantgarw Road, Caerphilly on Sunday 29th May at 7pm and will have…

* SIGNING AND READINGS BY ME

I’m going to be reading one or two stories from the book and signing copies (and trying not to get too overwhelmed by the whole thing).

* ART BY ANGELA FERREIRA

The fantastic Angela Ferreira, who did the beautiful illustrations for the book, is going to be displaying some of her fabulous art work. Some pieces will be available to buy on the night. You can find out more about Angela here.

* GUEST UKULELE PERFORMANCE FROM NEIL STARR

My wonderful musician husband has agreed (read arm-twisted) to perform some songs from his upcoming ukulele album. I’m sure most of you know Neil’s music already but if you don’t you can check out his YouTube Channel here.

* LIGHT REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED AND BAR WILL BE OPEN (YAY!)

I really hope you can join us. I’m excited (and terrified). There are 50 tickets available so it’s going to be a relatively small event. You can get tickets here or via Facebook.

PS. If you can’t make it but are interested in the book you can find out more here. Only the kindle version is available on Amazon at the moment but I’ve been told that the printed version should be there by the end of this week.

 

Waking Mama Luna Preorder is LIVE

It feels like it’s taken a long time to get here (well I guess it’s taken nearly 38 years if you count all my life from babyhood leading up to this moment, which, to be truthful, I do) but I can finally say…

Waking Mama Luna Preorder is live on Amazon Now!!!

Whoop!!

Waking Mama Luna by Jessica M Starr CoverBefore you rush over to buy a copy, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who have supported me in getting to this stage (you know who you are).

And if this is the first you’ve heard about it all, here’s a bit about the book…

Waking Mama Luna is a collection of five short stories, all linked by their connection to the motherline: daughter; mother; grandmother. All written between 2010 (when my daughter was born) and 2016.

I’ve been so happy to get some awesome feedback on the advance copies I sent out and was blessed to receive these endorsements from three women whose work I admire…

 

A collection of short stories – each a treasure in its own right – packed with wisdom and a haunting otherworldly sense. Deceptively simply written these tales and their truths will lodge in your memory and tug at your heart.

Lucy Pearce, author, Reaching for the Moon and Moon Time

Lyrical and enchanting, the stories in this collection will linger with you, asking to be turned over and explored and whispering to you of the stories of your own womanhood.

The five short tales in Waking Mama Luna could be used in many ways in the Red Tent or a women’s circle—as guided journeys, for journaling work, or for deep, heart-based story-sharing of our own.

Molly Remer, author and priestess, brigidsgrove

These short stories are steeped in an ancient wisdom, that will resonate and stir a remembering deep within. They’re so beautifully written that I read all of them in one sitting!

Rebecca Kane, Travel Guide at Your SHEro’s Journey

This is actually happening. It feels exhilarating and terrifying. What if people don’t like it? What if they do and then I can never write as well again (I’ve already started a novel and it’s tough sustaining the magic over longer narratives)? And, of course, what if nobody reads or buys it? (You can help with this last one by getting a copy here).

If you do read it I’d love to know what you think. I don’t have comments here on the blog but you can message me on Facebook or Twitter. Put me out of my misery. Please?

Waking Mama Luna Illustrations

I love the stories in Waking Mama Luna (of course, I wrote them) but I also love the illustrations. In this post I wanted to share a little about the process of working with the illustrator, Angela Ferreira, and why I’m really glad Waking Mama Luna features Angela’s work.

[quote author=”Pablo Picasso” source=””]Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things. 
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I hadn’t really thought about Waking Mama Luna having illustrations until my editor suggested that it would be a nice addition. I am so glad that I listened. I feel the illustrations go far beyond being a nice addition. Angela’s drawings somehow deepen and broaden the meaning of the stories.

illustration1

I have known Angela for a couple of years now and love her work, her fairy exhibition in Cardiff was brilliant! So, when I was thinking of commissioning drawings for the stories, she popped into my head immediately. She was in Snowdonia with rubbish phone signal when I messaged her but she managed to reply “I am the right person for you, speak soon”. Yes!

I sent her the manuscript and she read the stories. I didn’t give her any input into what I wanted the pictures to look like so it was a wonderful surprise each time she sent me one to look at.

Over the course of a fortnight all five were done. I didn’t request any revisions. I loved them exactly as they were.

The only one she didn’t draw specially for Waking Mama Luna was the drawing for Call of the Sea, which seemed unbelievable for me given how perfectly it fits with the story. I loved it so much, and the synchronicity that we also used it as part of the cover artwork.

The Call of the Sea

Waking Mama Luna: the stories behind the stories

People have been asking me where I got the ideas from for the stories in Waking Mama Luna.

Waking Mama Luna by Jessica M Starr Cover

Where do you get your ideas from?

It’s such a difficult question to answer, because often it just feels like they come from nowhere. Well, not exactly nowhere but somewhere that doesn’t exist in real terms. We all have ideas (we are all artists and creators) so we all know this feeling of something just popping into our head, like it was dropped or dictated there just for you.

For me writing is a spiritual practice that gives me direct connection to this creative source (or God, or Spirit, or whichever name works for you). How else could these ideas just flow into our heads? I believe our job is to notice, to take notes, writing down the words as they come, and then share them.

Anyway, all this is rather vague and perhaps useless. So, I have tried my best to answer in a more specific way…

Waking Mama Luna

I have long been fascinated with the moon. The way she waxes and wanes and how her ebb and flow affects us and our cycles as women. I love to take full moon walks and one autumn evening the moon was so huge and close I could feel her almost touching me. That night I had “the dream” and woke Mama Luna.

The Call of the Sea

In 2011 I miscarried our second child. A few weeks later it was a beautiful day and we went to Rest Bay in Porthcawl. I have always found being close to the ocean healing; the sand, the salty air. It sparked something and ‘The Call of the Sea’, was the bittersweet result. For me this story is about grief and loss and loving someone who is no longer here alongside us.

The Special Place

I heard a story about a woman who could carry a cow. When she was asked how she managed it she said she had cared for the calf as a baby and carried it each day (I can’t remember why she needed to carry it). Each day it grew a tiny bit bigger and each day she continued to carry it, until it was full grown. Those tiny daily increases felt like nothing but they added up to something so powerful and surprising. This inspired ‘The Special Place’. Again, a powerful mother-daughter relationship weaves through this story.

Iris’s Rainbow

I love Iris. I see her very much like my daughter Ella – though Ella is not as loud. This would make me her Mama, the one who dies. This story, for me, explores the motherline, that invisible thread which ties our generations together, grandmother, mother, daughter. It gives me faith that my children will be fine when I am no longer here to take care of them.

Breaking the Surface

Many moons ago I worked with GCSE English students. ‘Breaking the Surface’ came after a conversation with a student who was in a dark place at the time and feeling trapped. I understood those feelings. I knew them. I also knew the way out. ‘Breaking The Surface’ is my offer of hope.

Where do you get your ideas from? Is this the same for you? I’d love to know.