A good friend of mine asked recently if moving my body has affected my practice in any way. I’ve been thinking about it since and the answer is yes, though at this point, the effect is subtle. Unless you read my other journal, you may not know that I have been working with a personal trainer for the past four weeks. This is in addition to picking up bellydance with Cedar. Since I’ve been working at the gym longer, I’ll focus on that for now. The effect I’m seeing is still, at this point, predominantly physical. It’s related to stamina and what I’m willing to do to raise energy. At our last moon we danced to raise energy, different than our usual drum/chant routine. And it was fabulous, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it as well if I hadn’t been exercising and I imagine I’ll be able to do it better the longer I exercise. I’ll keep track of this here. I see my personal trainer once a week now. Our original “contract” is up on Tuesday. I think I’m going to propose that we go for another five weeks, but that we meet twice a week instead of once. I also bought a bike and plan to get out with that at least once a week, in addition to the exercise DVDs I have, and my weekly bellydance meeting with Cedar (which I hope to make bi-weekly once her time is freed up a bit). In this way, I’m working on the “finding non-edible ways to nurture my body” part of my Sapling Studies. This is also part of my dedication to Earth for this year.

Bellydance has really captured me on a deep level. I have dreamt about it two nights this week. I’m not sure why that is — why it seems to be speaking to me on a symbolic level. Maybe it also ties in with Earth, with getting in touch with my body and my sensuality. I’m not sure. But I am extremely annoyed that I had to miss a class with Cedar this morning because my family decided to have a sleepless night. It’s purely selfish. I just wanted to go. I had my cool unitard and my coin belts that I bought this week, as well as several CDs I made for Cedar last night with bellydance music and some trance-y dance music.

American Tribal Style bellydance is what I’m most interested in at this point. There is a studio in Tempe and there’s also one in Chicago. It’s very tempting to make a once-a-week trip to Chicago for that class. It’s in the evening, so it wouldn’t be too bad. I also have the set of videos from FatChanceBellyDance, which Cedar and I have both watched. I feel very LUCKY to have someone like Cedar working with me. How many people get to have private lessons their first time out?

I am behind on my reading and exercises, but plan to get caught up this weekend. As part of my magickal studies, I’m going to read some Crowley. Ever since I’ve been studying the Craft I’ve read what an “icky” person he was, and I want to judge for myself. I find it hard to believe someone who has had such influence on our spiritual path isn’t worthy of deeper study.

Things with my coven are shifting back into high gear, so that will keep me hopping too, along with the “Artist’s Way” study I’m undertaking. We are having a ritual for cleansing and release on Tuesday in regards to the ET situation. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since we had the problem. After that, Beltane, which I’m also excited about… we’re doing a dawn ritual at the park. One of our covenmates is taking sort of a sabbatical due to health issues. I feel sad, but I’m also glad that he could take it without a lot of drama. We will be sending healing energy his way and hoping he can rejoin us soon.

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