I just spent the past couple weeks re-vamping my entire website. I got rid of almost everything “Life off the deep end” which was all about my family and our sailing adventures. Instead of celestialnavigationastrology.com being only the services page for the lifeoffthedeepend.com site, I changed it to the url for the whole site. I did it delicately, preserving memories and leaving space for those adventures to remain here. I read through 3 years of blog posts from my old Patreon and Mighty Network and copied them all here.
This is really hard to write and I don’t know if I’m ready to write it, but I’ve always understood that cruisers plans are written in sand at low tide. Sometimes change is inevitable. Sometimes change is regrettable. Sometimes change is unavoidable. Sometimes change is exactly what you need, even if it isn’t what you want.
I know this is going to be a huge shock to so many people (which is a big reason why it’s so hard to come up with words for it, or post it on any of my social media pages) but… my husband and I are divorcing.
I’ve known this man since I was 15 years old. We’ve been married for 21 years. I always thought we could get through anything together, but we can’t, and we aren’t.
I am not okay. I know that divorce is common and I know so many friends who have gone through this, but I truly did not understand the amount of heavy, heavy grief that comes with it. There is also lightness and a sense of freedom and optimism. I’m trying my best to embrace the latter part of this. There’s a lot of trauma I’m working through and I’m hoping that, in time, I’ll be able to help clients through similar trauma.
I have not lived aboard Litha since I got back from my pilgrimage walking the Camino in Spain in September (and holy shit was that ever divine timing. I’ll have to blog about that experience sometime soon). I have the coolest new apartment in a converted haunted old jail in Salem now with a view of the Howard Street Cemetery. I listen to walking tours outside my window telling tourists that it’s haunted. (I haven’t made any ghostly friends yet though, and I have not seen Giles Corey wandering the cemetery at night.) I have giant floor-to-ceiling windows and I’m really looking forward to watching the snow. I can also take long hot showers anytime I want. (Really, after living on a boat for 5 years, this is all freaking amazing. My daughter was hoping for a tub but she definitely loves her shower.)
Also, Litha has been listed for sale. I’m having a hard time with this. The kids are having a hard time with this. My dreams for the future have taken such a 180. I didn’t plan on living aboard forever, but I planned to have her forever… to always have the option to sail away. Reading through old blog posts that were meant to give people living on land a unique perspective as I lived on a boat, was really, really insightful to me reading it years later as I’m living on land again. It was like I was writing to my future self and I didn’t know it. Who knew I was so wise. 😉
2023 has been such a dark storm. I’m ready to leave it behind and look forward to brighter days.
Much love to everyone.
Litha Crew Post from March 21, 2023 (Catching up from January 2023)
This January, I finally got the tattoos that I’ve been wanting for years. I’m going through a major life cycle transit called the Uranus Opposition. It’s the “midlife crisis” that we all go through, wanting to be unique and free.
I got a sea turtle on my foot to commemorate the marathon I did in Hawaii in 2015. It is also a memorial piece for my stepmom Robin. She loved turtles (we even had one engraved on her headstone). She joked that she should get a tattoo of one on her toe so she could have a “toe-tuga”. (My sister got a “toe-tuga” with a breast cancer ribbon on the shell.) I did that marathon at quite the turtle’s pace, but I freaking did it, and it was a huge accomplishment for me. I saw images of turtles the whole way and I knew that Robin was cheering me on. I started cycling and running because cancer prevented her from being active and I wanted to celebrate my own ability to use my healthy body.
And one week later I got my swallow for sailing my first 5,000 nautical miles. (I’m less than 2,000nm from having TWO swallows, but I think one will be fine.) A swallow is a traditional sailor tattoo. They have the longest migration pattern of any bird and they always find their way home. Blue represents the ocean and the orange represents the sunset. I sent my tattoo artist a photo of my friend Julianne’s swallow tattoo and she added her own special details and made it my own. I met Julianne while sailing those miles and buddy-boating with friends was such a huge part of our journey.
A few weeks before I got these tattoos, I drove 1.5 hours up to Portland, ME to have my dreads professionally touched up and added a bunch of colors and fun pieces. For the first time in my life, I feel like me. Like, this is who I’ve always wanted to be. 20 years married, 2 kids, 2 cats, a business in Salem, MA doing what I love, meaningful tattoos to celebrate my accomplishments… and amazing hair that’s super easy to take care of.
So, maybe it’s a small change, or maybe it’s something big, but what can you do to feel free, soar, and feel truly like you?
I’m still working on this.
Litha Crew Post from March 21, 2023 (Catching up from December 2022)
“The future itself, appears as a mysterious and unknowable figure, literally shrouded in darkness.” -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
December is dark.
Long ago, the telling of ghost stories didn’t stop on Halloween, but would continue during the dark, cold winter months of Northern Europe. Disguises and costumes didn’t expire in October either, but would be worn until at least January. Harvest time was over which began a time of feasting, debauchery, and libations. At the same time, stories began all over the world about monsters, demons, and goblins (Most famously, Krampus) told to scare children into being on their best behavior during the boring winter months when they were most likely to get into mischief.
In an effort to quiet the rowdy evenings, trees were brought inside by candlelight to bring nature indoors, and wreaths were made as a symbol of the spring yet to come. Bonfires were lit to bring in the light, and Yule logs were burned as a ritual to cleanse the past year and welcome the new.
Telling ghost stories around these winter fires is a tradition that dates at least as far back as Elizabethan England. This folk custom is even mentioned in William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: “A sad tale’s best for winter, I have one. Of sprites and goblins.” And also in Christopher Marlowe’s Jew of Malta: “Now I remember those old women’s words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts by night.”
The most famous of all Christmas ghost stories is of course Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. It is the famous story of the selfish, greedy Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghosts of his past, present and future on Christmas Eve. (Photo from A Christmas Carol Trolley Ride in Salem in December.) What was most genius about Dickens’ particular ghost story is that it brought morals and values to the otherwise rambunctious drunken holiday season.
The Winter Solstice (Yule) on December 21st marks the darkest day of the year, and the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. But it also marks the moment the light begins to return, and the days slowly become longer. Modern Pagans spend the entire evening around a blazing fire, telling stories, and singing to make certain that the light will return and the sun will once again rise. “After the longest night, sing up the dawn.”
All modern religious celebrations of the holidays have the common theme of bringing in the light. Remembering and recreating our family and cultural traditions are most important this time of year. And we are always thinking of, and missing the loved ones that are not here with us to celebrate. I believe the veil stays thin throughout these darks months, and I believe our loved ones and ancestors are most near to us.
In the dark of December, I encourage you to bring back the age old tradition of telling ghost stories. Light a candle, tell your children stories of your ancestors, and share memories of your loved ones on the other side. Emerge from the depths.
Litha Crew Post March 21, 2023 (Catching up from November 2022)
As a Pisces sun, Cancer rising, with my Moon in the 12th house, and Neptune in my 6th… anyway… it all means that I’m a little bit… out there? Floaty? Spacey? Not grounded, and a very anxious person. When I asked my therapist for advice, she said, “Well, what would you tell your clients to do?” I thought about it and said, “I’d tell them to do grounding exercises. Breath work, yoga, meditation, and taking their shoes off and putting them on the Earth.” Do I do any of those things? Definitely not as much as I should. I should be walking my talk. That’s the expression, right? “Walk the talk”.
So, after the tourist season was over, I knew that I would need some much needed grounding and relaxation. Months earlier, I booked an AirBnb in New Hampshire for the first week of November with our friends. I knew that we would all need some peace, quiet, and fresh air in the mountains. And wow, just a few days helped tremendously.
This photo is my feet in the chilly water of Diana’s Baths in North Conway, NH after a short hike. Putting my feet in the water in a place filled with stories of native people and faeries was pretty magical. At that moment, I made myself a little promise to follow more of my own advice.
So, self care… Positive self talk. Affirmations. Love. What do you tell your friends to do when they’re feeling anxious, stuck, or depressed? When you feel that way yourself, do you do those things? Take care of yourself the way you take care of others. Healers need healing too.
Litha Crew Post from March 21, 2023
This lesson, is all about what I’ve learned about myself when I become overwhelmed. I mean, seriously… I got so overwhelmed that I’m writing up the Lesson From Litha Newsletter 6 months late. It’s freaking March, and I have a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, I do somewhat write these up in my journal each month, so it just requires a lot of digging and thought-forming for me. Here we go…
Well, apologies… To you all, but mostly to myself. I’ve been writing up a monthly newsletter for 3 years and, yes, sometimes I wrote them a couple weeks late, but SIX MONTHS LATE? Yikes. Let me explain…
For one thing, October came early in Salem last year. We had record-breaking crowds and it was super stressful. When October hit, I just didn’t have time to write up a September lesson. (But to be honest, I was stressed and overwhelmed starting weeks before October ever began.)
In October 2021, I experienced major burn-out. So much so that I was dreading the next October all year long. Really, as soon as October was finished, I hated looking at the calendar because I was dreading October coming closer and closer again with each passing month.
This was how I spent each day in Oct 2021- Get up at 6am to get ready and take my kids to school. Then I’d see clients in my office until it was time to pick them up at 2:30. Then I’d drop them off at home and head out to give walking tours. I’d give a 3:30, 5:00, 6:00. 7:00, and 8:30 tour. And then I’d host my ghost hunt at Gallows Hill Theatre starting at 10:00pm. I’d get home past midnight and do it all again the next day.
So, after that craziness, I told my friend that I wasn’t going to give walking tours for her company for October 2022. And I scheduled my ghost hunt for 9pm instead of 10pm. So I knew that going into the season would be much, much less stressful. My own clients, and then a ghost hunt every night. I could handle that. (I also ended up helping in the Schooner Fame ticket booth when their crew got covid, but, again, I could handle that.)
Anyway, as September (and the last bit of my freedom) slowly faded day by day, and the dread set in, I was invited to a friend’s house for a witchy celebratory meal for Mabon (The photo I’ve attached here was her table decorated beautifully.) I needed that evening so, so much.
It was the pause and balance of the Autumn Equinox, a breath before October began. How incredibly interesting and synchronistic that yesterday was the Spring Equinox as I’m writing this. That’s so significant. So meant to be that I begin catching up with these again. It’s the time of year that is our next chance to pause as the scales tip seasons again.
So, that’s my lesson. Take a breath. Pause. Meditate. Have a meal with some witchy friends to remind you that we’re all connected and there for each other when we’re feeling overwhelmed.
There were so many other stressful things that began to happen in my life during this time. Someday maybe I’ll write about them.