Back To NOLA

Friday 1/18/19

Last Monday, the 14th, we all went back into NOLA to see stuff we missed on our first visit. Most of the museums were closed, as we’ve discovered museums are all over the world on Mondays. But the old St Louis Cemetery #1 on Basin St. was open and offering tours, which we took. Fascinating! Because NOLA is at sea level, all the tombs are above ground, with many niches into which thin (now cardboard) caskets with bodies are shoved. After a year and a day, they are decomposed enough that another casket can be inserted, pushing the previous remains into a central well where they drop into a chamber below, to mix with centuries of other remains. This “receiving vault” is called a Caveau (Fr. “cellar”).

Tomb of Marie Laveau

Of course we visited the tomb of Marie Laveau (“The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans”), where there are always fresh flowers. Her burial in 1881 was recorded as the 63rd of 84 remains in that tomb. We saw the pyramid tomb made for Nicolas Cage, and the big tomb with the Goddess statue where Peter Fonda tripped on acid (for real) in the 1969 movie, Easy Rider.

Portrait of Marie Laveau by Charles Massicot Gandolfo

After leaving the cemetery, it seemed logical to visit the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. A tiny museum in a shotgun apartment, its several rooms of displays were quite amazing and thorough, with numerous authentic working altars and artifacts. There was a lot of info on Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, born in 1801. A femme de colour (“free woman of color”), she was famous as a traiteur (“healer”), specializing in love potions and spells. She was a notable humanitarian, adopting orphans, feeding the hungry, taking in the homeless, visiting prisoners, and curing people during the yellow fever epidemics. Her daughter— born in 1822 and named Marie Angelie—carried on as Marie Laveau II until her death in 1862.

Voodoo Altar

The gris-gris room exhibited the four categories of gris-gris (spells): 1) Love and sex; 2) Power and domination; 3) Fortune and luck; and 4) Uncrossing or undoing another gris-gris. A large painting of a Voodoo ritual featured a naked Queen (priestess) dancing “Le Grande Zombi” with a snake. And the final room encompassed several working altars, covered with photos, petitions and offerings.

“Le Grande Zombi” dance

After the Voodoo museum, we all ate dinner at the New Orleans Creole Cookery, where I had a fabulous Creole sampler of shrimp creole, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, oysters Rockefeller and oysters Biennville.

Tuesday the 15th we drove in two trucks for an hour and a half to Jiva’s family farm near Magnolia, Mississippi, where she and Ty have lived for 25 years. On the way we stopped to eat at the famous Mike’s Catfish Inn in Amite, LA, with a fabulous salad bar. I had yummy fried oysters, which I love. The farm was such a homey place—but no Internet, so I was offline for a few days.

Jiva & Ty’s home in Mississippi

After a nice walk in the woods, a lovely salmon dinner, and great conversation around the fire, Dona and I spent the night. We needed to get up early in the morning to drive 7 hours back to her bus at the Texas Ren. Faire site near Magnolia, TX. Now that we’re here, for the past two days I’ve been trying to catch up with my emails and messages, and to write this…

Visiting NOLA

Monday 1/14/19

Full days! On Thursday the 10th, Jiva drove Dona and me into NOLA in her new midnight blue Tesla. What a cool car! No dashboard—just a large touchscreen. Jiva started the tour of the French Quarter at the Café du Monde, where we had to get traditional NOLA beignets (bain-YAY), positively heaped in powdered sugar. Apparently it’s the custom to blow powdered sugar all over tourists wearing black—which Dona and I were (black is the new black) But Jiva kindly spared us that indignity. We checked out several shops, and stopped into Hex on Decatur St. where I’ll be presenting on Sat.

Jiva’s Tesla

On Friday the 11th we went out for the day on Jiva & Captain Ty’s double-hull catamaran sailboat, “Reina Jeannine Lafitte.” Their neighbor Hammond also joined the crew. What a great time, riding the waves, feeling the wind in our sails… We sailed the Chef Menteur Pass river up to Lake Pontchartrain, where we ate a nice picnic lunch Jiva prepared.

Jiva on her sailboat

Satyrday was my day for presentations at Hex on Decatur St. I did a 2-hour talk on Wizardry from 2-4, followed by book signing. Dona, Jiva and Ty came along, and we all went out for a Mexican repast before Dona and I returned for my evening workshop on Ritual Creation from 6-8. Afterwards Hex’s proprietor, the notorious Christian Day, took us out to a fancy restaurant called Kingfisher for a late dinner. I had to try alligator, as so many folks have recommended. It was delicious, much like pork; but it didn’t taste anything like chicken!

The French Quarter in NOLA

Sunday morning we had a Grey School Admin meeting via Skype, Some significant re-shuffling as we move forward into the new year…

Today we’re going back into town to do more touristy stuff…

From Boston to Houston to NOLA

Thorsday 1/10/19

A lot of stuff happening since my last Journal entry on 12/24. On the morning of the 25th I drove up to Schenectady, NY, to spend Xmas with Scarlett and Lleu and their two darling little nieces, Amy and Leah. The girls adopted me as “Santa,” and we spent much of the day playing their favorite board game, Candyland.

Amy & Leah with Santa Oz

On Sat. the 29th I did a Zoom interview with Sumati Sparks for broadcast on her “Successful Open Relationships and Polyamory Summit” on Feb. 19. Then on Sunday the 30th Gypsy and I drove to Boston to record our “Cosmic Encounter” script with Karagan and Jamal. We spent a sweet New Year’s Eve with Jerrie and Charlie, welcoming in 2019.

On New Year’s Day Gypsy and I went to see “Aquaman,” which I really recommend! It’s epic and mythic, evoking the classic legend of the lighthouse keeper and the mermaid, the legend of Atlantis, the reluctant true king (as with Aragorn) and even the tale of Arthur pulling the sword from the stone to claim the Kingship. And the visuals are nothing short of spectacular—the best I’ve ever seen!

Oh, me father was the keeper of the Eddystone light;
And he slept with a mermaid one fine night.
From this union there came three:
A porpoise and a porgy and the other was me!

            (-Peter, Paul & Mary: The Eddystone Light)

On Thursday the 3rd I dropped my car off at the realty office where my big birthday bash had been held in Nov. Barbara, the owner, is kindly letting me stash it there for Jan while I’m gone. Francine drove me to Logan Airport in Boston, where I boarded a plane to fly to Houston to see Dona. As always, we had a great conversation on the drive. On the plane I bit down on something hard that split my upper right molar #4 with a loud “CRACK!” From the airport I took a Lyft 45 miles north to the Ren Faire site in Plantersville, where Dona has a school bus she lives in during the Faire.

Dona in her bus

On Friday the 4th, I tried to get into a dentist in Magnolia, the nearest town to the Ren Faire site, but they were all still closed for the hollydaze. So I took Dona to see “Aquaman” in 3-D. It was like seeing an entirely different movie than the flat version; another whole dimension, and unbelievably amazing!

On Monday the 7th I was able to get into the dentist in Magnolia. His prognosis was not encouraging, but he drilled a bit out between the main part of the tooth and the section that had split and put in a filling, hoping it would hold it together. After that Dona took me on a tour of the Ren Faire grounds, which I haven’t seen since 1982, when I met her on my Unicorn tour of Ren Faires all around North America. She’s one of the senior Rennies, having been doing the Texas Faires (TRF, Scarborough, Armadillo) for the past 44 years.

Dona’s booth at the Texas Renaissance Festival

On Tuesday the 8th Dona and I drove her truck to NOLA. I did the driving. We left at 11:11AM and after a 7-hour drive we arrived at our dear friends, Jiva and Ty, about 7:00, for a fabulous dinner of Jiva’s gumbolaya, followed by watching the premier of the excellent new “Project Blue Book” TV series. We’ll be staying with Jiva and Ty here at their beautiful home in NOLA, and also visiting their farm in Mississippi, over the next couple of weeks. Jiva and Ty have been together for the past 25 years, but they only recently actually got married, in a spectacular ceremony in NOLA that Dona attended.

Unfortunately, the filling that the dentist in Magnolia put in on Monday came out within 24 hours. So yesterday (Wed.) Jiva located a local dentist and Dona and I drove there to see what we could do about my tooth. The only option was extraction, which he did. Even with the anesthetic, it was excruciatingly painful. I confessed everything!

Today we’re going down to the French Quarter to check out Hex, where I’ll be talking on Sat., and just enjoy the Old City, visit the tomb of Marie Lavaeu (“The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans”), etc. And tomorrow we’re going out in Lake Pontchartrain for the virgin voyage of their new sailboat, which they’re naming either “Reina” or “Jeannine LaFitte.”

Long Roads, Smiling Faces, and New Lessons

Wednesday 9/12/18

Saturday the 8th I had an easy 3-hour drive from Omaha to Kansas City, where I stayed with Ashiling. That evening was the monthly Pagan Movie Night, and she took me over to Selene Rati and her husband David’s house, where nine of us gathered to watch “Practical Magic,” with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. We had a nice little talk about the movie afterwards, and then went back to Ashiling’s place, where I had a 45-min. phone interview with Belladonna LaVeau for her Global Wiccan Summit Radio Show. My takeaway insight afterwards was an adapted slogan for The Craft: “HARM NONE; HEAL ALL.” T-shirts and bumper stickers coming!

Sunday morning I drove 100 miles to Boonville, MO, where I stayed the night at Oak Spirit Sanctuary (formerly Ozark Avalon), visiting with Kerry Lynn and others. We had a great potluck dinner and a splendid evening sitting around on the porch, sharing stories, and playing with a little furball puppy. What a fabulous place—160 acres, with a large old farmhouse and various outbuildings, circles, shrines, camping areas, etc. Exactly the sort of place we in CAW were trying to find and acquire back in the early ‘70s. They host many gatherings and events, but currently, no one lives there in residence.

Monday morning I was back on the road again, this time a 2-hour drive to St Louis. I arrived at Pendragon’s place in University City around noon, and she, her partner Len, and I had a great visit and catch-up (a fellow artist, Pendragon and I had been lovers in the early ’70s; I did a drawing of her as “Lilith” for the cover of the Samhain 1994 issue of Green Egg, that she still uses as the back cover for her Tarot deck, the Pendragon Tarot).

From 6:00-7:30 I was scheduled to do a book-signing at Pathways Bookstore, which had been founded and operated by Deborah Letter/Bourbon, who had been my first teacher in the Craft, way back in 1970. She died five years ago of cancer, but Melina Valdejo carries it on. People were already getting seated when I arrived at 5:40, and they kept coming in during the whole evening. More chairs had to keep being added. It was gratifying to see so many of my old friends from the CAW’s early St Louis days of the late ‘60’s-‘70s. I based my talk on questions folks asked, and we sold all the books that Melina had bought for the signing.

Afterwards, Carolyn Clark, Don Wildgrube, Tom Kullman and I went out for dessert and catch-up talk at Denny’s—where we often used to adjourn after Nest meetings in those thrilling days of yesteryear. We’ve all known each other for around 45 years, and in this little group, I was the youngest! I drove Don home, and got back to Pendragon’s about midnight. She and Len and I stayed up ‘til 2:am talking…

After a great breakfast at Pendragon’s, I paid a little visit on an old friend, David Klaus, who has been isolated from the community for decades, and is not doing well. His wife, Nila, had died two years ago, so we commiserated our widowhoods with each other and talked geeky stuff at MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse, where we both had Strawberry-Banana yogurt drinks.

Then it was back on the road at noon for a 6½-hour drive to Cincinnati, to spend a few days with Maegdlyn Morris, her husband, Greg, their daughter Nola, and their housemates—all folks I knew only from Starwood. What a great place they have! A big old rambling log farmhouse built in the 1940s, on two acres of property surrounded by park forest. With another time zone change, I arrived at 7:30, just in time to get a brief tour before an outdoor barbeque dinner, and more conversation late into the night. I turned them on to the 25-min. psychedelic animated video by Dr. Seuss, “Halloween is Grinch Night” (1977). Check it out on YouTube:

This morning Maegdlyn and Greg took me to their favorite breakfast restaurant, the Blue Jay, and then we paid a few hour’s visit with Nola and her partner Elliott. Nola is 22, and I’ve known her pretty much all her life from Starwood. She’s a blacksmith, among other things, and had been a student at my Grey School as a teenager, which she feels was the most important thing in her life. She now has a burning Mission of wanting to foster networking among the various transformational communities of her generation that she’s part of—such as Burners, Ravers, Pagans, Rainbows, Makers, etc.

I’ll be staying here another day (Thurs.) before heading on to Pennsylvania on Friday to spend the next three weeks with Kim Consoli, beginning with a major “Meet and Greet Mabon Celebration with Wizard Oberon Zell” from 6:pm-midnite on Saturday at her store, The Order of Avalon, 325 Dairu Rd., Lebanon, PA. Looking forward to seeing some of you there!


Sunday 9/9/18

Passing through each time zone going east has made the trip interesting, as I keep getting to each town an hour later by local time. Friday evening I arrived at Charlie Odorizzi’s beautiful store, the Next Millennium, in Omaha just in time for my scheduled book-signing at 6:00. Customers bought up all the books that Charlie had stocked, and the two-hour talk that followed was packed. Afterwards Charlie took me to the Sheraton, where he’d booked me a nice room.

Saturday morning (yesterday) I took Morning Glory’s little burgundy Prius, Garnet, into the Grease Monkey shop in Omaha for a needed oil change and maintenance check. Charlie had recommended them, and they were fast and inexpensive.

Happy Belated Birthday Mama Maureen!

Friday 9/7/18

I got into Cheyenne last night, had a nice dinner at the Country Kitchen a few miles East of the city, and stayed at a Rodeway Inn. Today I have another 8-hour drive to Omaha, where I’ll be doing a book-signing and talk at Next Millennium from 6:00-9:00. The talk will be on “Cycles & Seasons of Pagan Emergence.” All this driving is becoming quite a challenge; I just hope Morning Glory’s little red Prius can hold out!

Tomorrow I have an easier 3-hour drive to Kansas City, and then on to Oak Spirit Sanctuary in Boonville, MO, on Sunday. Monday the 10th I’ll be driving on to St. Louis, where I’ll be doing a book-signing at Pathways Books, founded by my first teacher of the Craft, Deborah Bourbon, who died of cancer a few years ago.

I wanted to mention that last Friday was Maureen’s 66th birthday! In congratulations and tribute, I’d like to say a few words about her. She has been my loyal and stalwart supporter, personal manager, bookkeeper, website designer and manager, and all-around Gal Friday for the past five years or so—since before Morning Glory died. I can’t imagine how I’d manage without her, and I hope I never have to find out. A Reiki Master and  CAW Minister, she is on the Boards of Directors of the Church of All Worlds, the Grey School of Wizardry, and the Academy of Arcana (now closed) and is the Administrator of CAW, as well as the Chief Technomage of GSW. While she has spent a great deal of time in California with me over the past few years, her family and home are in Marietta, Georgia, where their family auto dealership business is based. Thank you, Mama Maureen, for all that you do, and all that you are!

A Beautiful Handfasting

Thursday 9/6/18

I’d hoped to be able to keep up my journaling every day or two, but I’ve been on the road continually, driving up to 8 hours a day, and then arriving at each destination barely in time for dinner. Evenings are filled with socializing, and by the time I can get to bed, it’s too late to write. But I want you all to know that my Walkabout is going splendidly! I need to design a road trip T-shirt like bands have… I’m having wonderful adventures, and meeting wonderful people all along the way.

To catch up a bit since my last entry, I picked up Maureen/Judith Saturday morning, 9/1, at her hotel in SF, and we went over to the Beat Museum (, which is run by her old friend Jerry Cimino. We spent a while touring all the exhibits on two floors, and took pictures with the 1941 Hudson featured in the 2012 movie of Jack Kerouac’s famous beatnik novel, “On the Road.” Then we drove 248 miles up to Weed, just north of Mt. Shasta. On the way, we had to stop for gas right in the middle of the smoke from the huge Hirz fire, and my voice was harsh for days afterwards… We were put up in a lovely B&B, and had long visits with Rasa and Marlis.

The handfasting was beautiful, with friends and family coming in from Germany, New Zealand, France, Georgia and SoCal. Here’s what my friend Rasa posted on Facebook about the ceremony on Sunday:


Richard Rasa is with Judith Maxine Barnett and 4 others.

September 4 at 10:05 PM ·

Both old friends of Robert Anton Wilson, Oberon’s officiating at Marlis’ grandson’s marriage was a coincidence that began when they first met in Santa Cruz, July 23rd, RAW Day 2017. I think Bob would have loved knowing he had a hand in that serendipitous connection.

Oberon and Judith conjured magic for Demian and Leslie’s handfasting this past Sunday. Grandson of my dearest friend Marlis, Demian has led something of a magical life – born in Berlin, now living in New Zealand with Leslie (pretty magical in her own right). Guests from NZ, Germany, France, Spain, as well as Leslie’s family from California traveled along smokey Interstate 5 to arrive at Mt. Shasta. We have had weeks of fires burning around us and many days where you couldn’t be outside for more than five minutes without a mask. On Saturday Oberon and Judith arrived. They drove just past the Hirz fire only some 40 miles south of us, but arrived in Mt. Shasta just after the winds died down, gently blowing down from the North. The Hirz fire could be seen in the distance with giant plumes of smoke rising, but none of it coming our way. Saturday and Sunday were perfectly clear with clean air. I could certainly feel the magic all around us on Sunday, but I have no idea if Oberon’s familiarity with the appropriate gods had any effect on the weather.


I replied: “You’re welcome.” (1st Rule of Wizardry: Always take credit)

Monday Maureen and I drove back down to Oakland, where we visited with Morning Glory’s daughter Gail, her husband Joe, and vivacious 12-year-old daughter Alessandra. We stayed in their downstairs B&B, and I soaked my sore ribs (from getting knocked off that horse a month ago in Guatemala) in their new hot tub. We stayed up ‘til 2:00am working on the class rings ordering form for the Grey School.

Tuesday Maureen took an Uber south to Santa Cruz to deal with her stuff in storage there, and I hit the road for Reno. Stacia recommended the buffet dinner at Harrah’s, but I arrived there just after 8:00 to discover that the buffet closed at 8. Instead I got rather unimpressive fish and chips with no chips at another restaurant downstairs. This was, however, the only glitch in timing so far on my journey, so I think I’m doing alright!

After eating, I went over to the local Pagan community center, Sacred Heart Sanctuary in Sparks, and had a lovely evening hanging out with Rune Emerson and Andre. Andre is around 7 feet tall, and his mother, who loved “The Princess Bride,” actually did name him for Andre the Giant. Stacia showed up after work, around 11:30, and took me back to her place for the night.

I hit the road for Salt Lake City early Wednesday morning, the 5th. It’s an 8-hour drive, through a change in time zone from Pacific to Mountain time, and I was pretty beat by the time I rolled up to Crone’s Hollow at 6:30. TaMara and crew all went out to dinner, and we got back just in time for my scheduled “Moot” at 8:00. It was very well-attended—at least 30 people showed up—and we had a good time talking about the early founding years of the Pagan movement. Afterwards they took me to the Ramada Inn, which is where I am now as I write this.

Today I have a 7-hour drive to Cheyenne. I don’t have a gig there, or anyone to visit, and I look forward to a quiet night in a motel before going on to Omaha on Friday, where I’ll be doing a book-signing and talk on “Cycles and Seasons of Pagan Emergence” at the Next Millennium bookstore.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!

Saturday 9/1/18

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit! (Google it…)

I got into San Francisco yesterday afternoon, staying with Wynter and Morgan, and their adorable 4-1/2-year old, Lexi. Wynter is working on the Samhain ritual for Annwfn this year, when the King of the May must die… This will be Wynter’s big ritual to qualify for her long-awaited ordination as a Priestess of CAW!

Shortly I’ll be picking up Maureen at her hotel, and driving north to Weed to conduct a handfasting tomorrow. I’ll be back at Wynter’s Monday evening, and then beginning my long cross-country drive Tuesday morning—first leg, to Reno. Stay tuned…

Visiting Vegas

Thursday 8/30/18

I’m now in Vegas with Samina, getting ready to head off to Bakersfield in my car later today.

I flew into Vegas Tuesday night, on Frontier, which I’ve never flown before. Absolutely the worst airline I’ve ever flown on, though Samina says Spirit is just as bad. The gate was in a construction area at the far end of the airport, and the boarding bridge seemed to go on forever. The 3-hour flight was delayed an hour and a half for reasons that were never explained. When I did the online check-in the day before, they wanted me to pay another $17 for seat selection, which I declined. But I couldn’t avoid the $80 charge for my two check-in bags. The seats were cheap plastic, unupholstered, and they didn’t recline. The tray tables were so tiny as to be useless, and there was very little leg room. Before we took off, the flight attendants came back to recruit five people to move from the back of the plane to the front—to balance the weight? When they came around in-flight to offer sodas and snacks, they wanted me to pay extra for those—which I also declined.

George and Jessica picked me up at baggage claim in Vegas, and we got back to Samina’s about 11:30, just as she arrived home from work.

Yesterday Samina and I went grocery shopping at Sprouts, then to Sam’s Town for a spectacular luncheon buffet. After that we caught the movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which came out just as I was moving out of The Keep in June, and which I’d really wanted to see. Totally delightful! After the movie we went to the Venetian, where Samina works as a singing gondolier on the Grand Canal. We entered The Void to experience the “hyper-reality” VR experience: “Ghostbusters”—which was as amazing as the “Star Wars” experience we’d done there back in early July. After busting ghosts, we went over to Wasabi Jane’s for sushi burritos.

This morning we’ll clean up my car, and pack for the next leg of my journey—back to California to conduct a handfasting on Labor Day weekend with Maureen as Priestess.

Make It So!

Tuesday 8/28/18

Today is my last day in Austin with Dona. Tearful farewell until next we get together. My plane to Vegas leaves tonight at 8:49.

Watching the bizarre and rather compelling saga that continues to unfold on the national scene like a slow-motion train wreck, I’ve had a Dream…

Among the close associates of the POTUS who have been bailing lately, trying to leap off the train before their car goes over the edge, is one David Pecker (yes, that’s his real name), Publisher of the sleazy supermarket tabloid, “The National Enquirer.” A close friend and associate of The Donald, Pecker used his scandal rag as a propaganda tool during the 2016 presidential campaign to blast every supermarket check-out line each week with a succession of lurid front pages alleging all kinds of salacious and bogus allegations about Hillary Clinton. Since Rump supporters seem to get their political views and perspectives from Alex Jones, Faux News and “The National Enquirer,” the impact of these prominent ads on influencing the election cannot be overestimated. And Pecker has already admitted that was the intention.

But now Pecker has “flipped,” turning against his Presidential co-conspirator, and he has been granted immunity from prosecution in return for his complete cooperation with the Mueller investigation into high crimes and treason on the part of the Prez. Moreover, Pecker has all the goods on Rump in his private safe. He not only knows where the bodies are buried; he has photos, tapes and souvenirs! And freedom of the press allows him free rein to publish anything he wants—as he did with Hillary. So here’s what I’m thinking…

Visualize this:

Every week, in every supermarket check-out lane in the US, a succession of lurid front pages on “The National Enquirer” reveal piece-by-grimy piece all the dirt Pecker has amassed on Rump. A sample headline would be: “POTUS PUTIN PUPPET!” And this goes on week after week…just as Pecker did with Hillary. This will directly reach Rump’s supporters, and will do more to bring down this treasonous and criminal regime than all the court cases and legal investigations.

Just like magick… Make It So!