CAYA 2017: Seed, Sprout, Flower, Fruit

It’s time to unveil the new CAYA Daily Practice song for 2017!

Our theme for 2017 is Seed, Sprout, Flower, Fruit.  This song by High Priestess Stella Iris RedRaven expresses the theme perfectly!

We are all growing together in this community, and yet each seed carries a unique signature and a unique destiny.  We share so much, and we also give each other the space to grow in our own diverse and delightful ways! This year, we invite you to write your own verse expressing your own beautiful truth. Each day, we will all sing our shared verse and strengthen our unity, then each of us will sing a personal verse and celebrate our individuality!

Here are Presiding High Priestess Yeshe and High Priestess Quetzal presenting the song in English and Spanish:



Here are the lyrics in English:

I am the Root, I am the Tree, I am the Branches
I am the Spark, I am the Flame, I am Free.
I am the Wave, I am the Sea, I am the Splashes,
I am the Light, I am the Wind, I am Me!

Here are the lyrics in Spanish:

Soy la raíz, Yo soy el árbol, Yo soy las ramas.
Yo soy la luz, Yo soy el fuego, Yo soy libre!
Yo soy la ola, Yo soy la mar, Yo soy la lluvia.
Yo soy la brisa, Yo soy el viento, Yo soy yo!

Here is the model for creating your own verse for the song:

I am the _____, I am the _____, I am the _______
I am the _____
, I am the _____, I am _____.
I am the _____
, I am the _____, I am the _______,
I am the _____
, I am the _____, I am _____

Yo soy la _____, Yo soy la  
_____, Yo soy la _______
Yo soy la _____
, Yo soy la  _____, Yo soy la _____.
Yo soy la _____
, Yo soy la  _____, Yo soy la _______,
Yo soy la _____
, Yo soy la  _____, Yo soy la _____!

Blessed Be As You All Blossom Beautifully,

Molly Blue Dawn


CAYA Pagan Congregation’s Death & Wisdom Festival 2016

Come As You Are to...

Death & Wisdom Festival 2016
with CAYA Pagan Congregation

In honor of this, our 10th birthday weekend, we are inviting folks to join us for any or all of these FOUR Events:
Rite of the Underworld Crone, 10/28 - women only
Rite of Death & Wisdom, 10/29- open to all
Dark Moon Circle for Hecate, Queen of Crossroads, 10/30 - open to all
Dia de Los Muertos, 11/2- open to all

Rite of the Underworld Crone
Friday, October 28, 8:00-10:00PM
The Home of Truth Cottage (round back), 1300 Grand Street, Alameda
$10-$20 donation requested
Women-only, clothing-optional ritual

High Priestess Yeshe Rabbit and the Mothers of the New Time will be honoring Baba Yaga, and the ways in which wisdom emerges from the poisonous trials of life.

Rite of Death & Wisdom
Saturday, October 29,
Doors open at 6:30, ritual begins at 7:30

The Home of Truth, 1300 Grand Street, Alameda
$10-$20 donation requested
Open to all, children must be closely supervised by a parent at all times.

Our community gathers for our annual devotional to the Ancestors and the cthonic deities associated with the mysteries of death.
This year, we are especially honouring Inanna, Ereshkigal, Melinoe, Hekate, and Bassareus Dionysos. Please feel free to bring an Ancestor photo for the altar, and a clearly-labelled dish to share during the cakes and ale portion of the ritual.

Temple of Hecate, Queen of Crossroads
Sunday, October 29, 8:00-10:00PM
The Sacred Well, 536 Grand Avenue, Oakland
Donations gratefully accepted

Dark Moon gathering honoring the Queen of the Dead, and the wisdom Ancestors who have come before us. We do this each month, but this month we will have a special activity to connect with ancestral wisdom.

Dia de Los Muertos
Wednesday, November 2, Meet at 6:30PM
22nd and Bryant Streets, San Francisco

Our new Templo in honor of Santissima Muerte will be launching its activities at this celebration. We will be building an ofrenda and participating in the procession to Garfield Park. Ven con nosotros!

Singing to Survive, and Singing to Thrive

I'm a passionate person.  I have always cared deeply about people, about my world, and what I do in the world.  So naturally, when I take note of all the problems in my community and the world at large, it's really easy to get spun up, upset, and overwhelmed.  The full force of these feelings hit me hard as a kid, and when they hit, my breathing would get rapid and shallow, and I would begin to cry.  If my mom tried to get me to take deep breaths to calm down, I would fly into a rage.  She quickly figured out that the best way to get me to calm down was to get me to sing a song.  When we sang together, I was able to pull myself together, and we got to have some bonding time.

Music has pervaded my household since before I was born.  Both my parents play instruments, and met in their church choir.  My mom sang with a women's ensemble called the Vanderbelles when she was pregnant with me, and she knew she could always calm herself and me by listening to the opera Carmen.  Early cassette recordings of me showed an uncanny vocal facility; my early cooings as a baby could be downright operatic.  As a kid, I sang at the drop of a hat.  I made up songs about everything.  Growing up the weird kid, it was a pressure release valve for my feelings that kept me from harming myself.  In high school, as a closeted queer kid in a military town, singing in Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Barbershop Chorus and Quartet was a lifeline.  I credit singing with my surviving to adulthood.

There is actually sound science behind this phenomenon, and since I'm every bit as much of a scientist as I am a mystic, it behooves me to share it. Singing can increase our resilience for dealing with the world and with our own life stuff.  When you sing a phrase, your body naturally releases a long, drawn-out exhale.  This turns off the fight or flight response in your nervous system, and turns on the rest and digest response.  The vibration in your vocal cords stimulates the ventral vagus nerve which bolsters your emotion regulation and immunity, increases resilience, and lowers your risk for heart attack.  In short, singing is good for your health.

Magically speaking, singing is an excellent way to focus your intentions and give your invocations an extra oomph.  I employ singing quite often in my Priestessing, as I find it creates a powerful lens to focus my intention and my actions.  You don't have to be a classically trained singer to do it.  You don't even have to carry a tune.  Your focus and intention and heart is what is most important.  Singing with a group has a way of connecting all that focused energy into something that is far greater than the sum of our parts, creating a ripple effect through the group and out into the world.  Singing with a group is also a profound reminder that we are not alone.

In the wake of the domestic terrorist attack in Orlando, and the shooting at the vigil in Oakland last night, we really need our resilience more than ever.  Coming together in song by itself won't change the world, but if we raise our voices in song together and use it to galvanize our intentions for action, we can be a powerful force for change.

So let me ask you this:  What are you grateful for this past moon cycle?  What do you wish to manifest in the coming moon cycle?  During this upcoming Singing Moon, we have a potent opportunity to transform our wishes into focused song, and use that energy for healing and change.

Blessed Be.

Ravensong Phoenixfire, Wildflower Initiate 

Volunteers Needed for the 2016 Pagan Festival

This year’s Pagan Festival will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 11:00AM-5:30PM in Civic Center Park in Berkeley. The theme for this year’s event is Ancestral Wisdom. This event is the perfect chance to learn about many different traditions at the information booths representing Pagan organizations, to browse the treasures available from a variety of vendors, to enjoy music and dance performances, to meet authors, to hear speeches and presentations from our local Pagan luminaries (including current, past, and possibly future Keepers of the Light), to participate in community rituals, to honor the Elements and the Beloved Dead at the many altars set up in the park, and most of all to just be your Pagan/Witchy/Polytheist/Earth-based/Uncategorizable self among many other diversely like-minded beings!

The members of the Pagan Alliance put a lot of work into making this event a success - several of us spent all day yesterday at the storage space, working on the inventory and organization of all of the bins, tables, and magically odd-shaped items which will be packed into a truck early on Festival morning to be unloaded and set up at the park.  On the day of the Festival, we will also need a lot of volunteers to keep everything running beautifully.

There are a lot of different
volunteer positions and shifts which need to be filled before, during, and after the Festival.  From set-up to tear-down and a lot of Security, Stage, Author’s Circle, Children’s Craft Area, First Aid, and Information Booth running in between, it is volunteers who make this event what it is - a wonderful day for all those who attend and participate! Each volunteer will receive food, a t-shirt, and the enormous gratitude of the Pagan Alliance and everyone else who loves this event!

CAYA will have a booth, some our devotional groups will be creating altars and providing other exciting offerings, and members of CAYA will be conducting voter registrations and running a blood drive*! In addition to this, many members of CAYA will also be volunteering for the Festival itself - we had a
great time last year!

To find out more about the volunteer shifts and positions available and to sign up for the one(s) which suit(s) your preferences, skills, and schedule, please contact Arlynne Camire through
Facebook or email or text 510-872-1188.

Blessed be the Volunteers, for they shall make this event Awesome!


*Update: Unfortunately, there will not be a Bloodmobile available for the Festival this year. We do expect to be able to run a blood drive at next year’s event.


Maker's Moon: Making Warding and Shielding Talismans

It is the end of March which is the month of the Maker's Moon, but there is always time to make new ward and shielding tailsmans for your work and practice. Branwen shares her way of creating these useful tools that can help to keep you grounded, safe, and well protected.

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