It’s Raining Giant Elephants at Wakarusa, and We Just Stepped in a Turd-le!


Monica: Image

Yes, I know festivals, camping, the weekend, get-away-from-civilization-thing … Mud and rain (and hail and high winds and girls on acid screaming bloody murder late at night). It’s all to be expected….. But when it actually prevents you from hearing the music you came here for because you are huddled in your car for 24 hours living on protein bars and coconut water it can Imagebecome a bummer.

So far, the two times we have ventured out, like Bambi, from the Westwoods camping area to see if we could get some hot food and some hot licks, we have run the risk of becoming human lighting rods with our umbrella and unicycle in tow. We did make it down (a 3 mile hike on rocks) to the venue yesterday though , just in time to be told that it was closed for the third time because another storm (this one with hail) was headed our way.

That did not stop this dynamic duo from interviewing folks and taking pictures with our ziplock-baggied iPhones, meeting a lot of nice folks and having a day of adventure and fun. Perhaps today we will actually get to see a music show!

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Well. That night sucked. It wasn’t the 3-mile walk to the festival grounds (they do call it walk-arusa for a reason, am I right?), or the things that keep you awake at night (anyone in the mood for some acid induced screaming? wish I was.) but it is the constant, unrelenting, WETNESS! NOTHING is sacred, EVERYTHING is wet. One good thing about rain and wetness though is that it brings people together under umbrellas and tents and that leads to conversation. We met lots of really cool people, even though we didn’t get to see any bands, and it was nice.ianprettygirlwaka Finally, we decided to give up on camping (or should I say muding) and we are in a Indian-run hillbilly motel.

Anyway g2g bye y’all!

Graceland and The Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis, TN


This is a technical-inter-post and a Puja post at the same time! That’s right. Both of us are posting about Elvis’ Mansion and the Hotel at the end of Lonely Street….

Monica First :

From a cultural perspective Graceland Mansion and the people who come there for pilgrimage and an Elvis experience are fascinating indeed. I heard languages from all over the planet on the bus and as we walked through the house coming from guests. The King of Rock and Roll’s home was, of course, over the top as far as mod 70’s decor goes.Image I’ve never seen so much green shag carpeting and so many television sets in one home. And viewing the clothing, awards, burial sites of his family, and the smoke-house-turned-shooting-range, not feet from Liza-Marie’s swing set, gave a lasting and jumbled impression of this man’s life. One can only imagine what it must be like to be a sex and rock-and-roll icon at age 19, to have come from the backwoods of America, and to have lived a life of stardom, as he attempted to keep family (his grandma, dad, mom, Priscilla and Liza-Marie all lived at Graceland), friends (the house was always full of “the boys”) and career rolling.ImageThe house tells some of the story, in the silent way that houses can tell the secrets of those who lived there. I highly recommend taking the tour.

The Pilgrims tell America’s story. I met this young man as we were getting back on the tour bus, and I was so tired from the drive and the Memphis heat, that I have forgotten his name now. He proudly wore these replica pieces that he has collected, and he told me that it was his first time visiting Graceland, with a fire in his eyes that can be described as meaningful.Image He Tribute 2told me he was a “Tribute Artist” to Elvis and that he was 19 years old too.

2013-05-23 20.20.37  Ian’s turn:

Hi y’all! What is better than chicken fish? Nothing, but Elvis is a close second. One of the best  (and the most successful) musicians of all time has to have a big house right? Wrong! He has to have a gigantic house, with mirrors on the walls, carpets on the ceiling, TVs everywhere, a shooting range, a stable, and pretty much everything else you could possibly think of for an extremely rich person to have. This guy was like the model for rich people (stables, indoor handball court, 3 TVs in one room, shooting range… I think you get the picture). Anyway, seeing Elvis’s mansion was a real treat (as was seeing some of his movies at the Heartbreak Hotel). Excellent artist, renowned for a reason, Elvis, the true King of american Rock and Roll.

elvis n us

Ian’s Technical inter-post the third


bottle man

nash band

2013-05-23 20.20.37Hey! Last night in Nasheville was awesome! I had creme brûlée gelato (which you should totally try if given a chance), but the music was even tastier. Walking thru “The District” (Nasheville’s downtown music scene) looking for a honkey-tonk bar that would accept 12 year olds, I heard enough different types of music outside supposed “honkey-tonk” bars and on the street that I decided to look up honkey-tonk to see who’s a composer and who’s just a poser. Turns out honkey-tonk is a steel guitar or fiddle playing a full two beat rhythm with a crisp backbeat. Apparently it was named originally because  the pianos in the dives it was played were often poorly cared for, tending to be out of tune and having some broken keys. Anyway, I didn’t hear any honkey-tonk, but I heard plenty of other joyful noise issuing from every crevice, crack, busker, bar, lamppost, bike… It is truly music city U.S.A.


Eating Great Food at B B Kings and Listening to great Music in Nashville, TN


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Stacy Mitchart band is rock in’ the house tonight! Finally arrived in Nashville after almost getting sucked into Dollywood!

Tomorrow, Graceland y’all!
Big thanks to all the friends who helped us get on the road : Sprout Love, Flynn Debona, Todd at Community Acupuncture in West Asheville, and our favorite coffee place Battlecats! And thank you Angie for taking care of the best dog in the world!
Love you guys!


Ian’s Technical inter-post the second


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Heading towards Wakarusa tomorrow, and another band i’m looking forward to seeing is Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9 for short). They’ve rocketed to the top of the electronic rock music scene for a reason: they are practically the electronic band to end all music. I would try to describe them, but their music is so varied that the actual list would be very long. So I will shorten the list to electric, acoustic, calm, and multisensoral (Is this a word? Don’t care). Anyway good band, listen here if you wish (link will be open shortly) G2G bye!

Ian’s Technical inter-post the first



Exited to be going to Wakarusa, especially to be hearing RJD2! This guy is all over the place, from the Mad Men theme to commissioner crotchbuttons. RJ’s delicious noise is an engaging blend of “classic” instruments, borrowed voices and effects, and is constantly changing throughout both the song and his career. With all his layered work it’s pretty amazing that he started it all with a pair of turntables bought from a bro. Anyway, I have to leave for now, but here is a link to some of RJ’s noise and a link 2 the Wakarusa webpage is below in le last post. I will be posting here daily once I am @ Wakarusa. Bye!


The Healing Power Of Music

It’s Springtime again my friends and so many things are growing and changing in our lives! My handsome son Ian will be 13 this Summer, and we have decided to take our version of “The Puja Eyes Medicine Show” to Ozark, AR at “Wakarusa

Iancyc1We will be interviewing festival-goers with questions like “Has music ever worked as a healing force for you?”, “What is Addiction and have you ever dealt with it in your life?”, “How do different types of music make you feel?”, “Why are you here at Wakarusa?”.

Festival culture, and the cultures that are found around different types of music have always been a topic of great interest to me. Dress,dance,substances ingested and habits and relationships formed around different genres of popular music will be my personal observational bent.

Ian has defined himself. “Technical Inter-Cyclist/Music Blogger” is his self-proclaimed job title in “The Puja Eyes Medicine Show”. He is looking forward to riding his unicycle, interviewing people and taking photos to post on our website’s guest page ( That’s the” Inter-Cyclist” part.

He is also my right hand man and technical consultant. Did I mention that it’s Spring and everything is growing? Well the boy has now reached the same height as his mom … he is becoming an indispensable young man to be sure. Thats the “Technical” part of the job description.

Ian and I have picked out different bands that we really don’t want to miss and are beginning to put together a schedule for ourselves for the 3 days of Bonnaroo- with-a-third-of-the-people-and-a-beautiful-mountain-setting style festival. We are also challenging oureslves to listening to obscure bands and genres of music we aren’t usually attracted to. All of this is delicious substance in our Apothecary of healing experience.

Ian’s favorites: electronica, dubstep and hip-hop/rap inspired artists. Mine Gypsy Punk of course (Gogol Bordello will be there), Old School Rock and Alt/Funk/Fusions……

We will faithfully report our impressions here, and our preparations for the trip as well.

Our Mission: To travel, blog, and document healing arts, folk arts and alternatives to traditional thinking at music and arts festivals. To offer an apothecary of ideas on our blog, and tasty opinions on music and culture. 

An Imbolic Reminder: Everything Is Waiting For You


Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You 
©2003 Many Rivers Press

This weekend Kathy Jennings and I co facilitated a weekend in honor of Imbolic ( the cross quarter holiday on the wheel of the year) and the emerging OM Sanctuary .

It was a weekend in which each of us dove deep into the connection of breath, sounding, and discovering our fluid bodies with movement and sound created by each of our unique bodies. Friday evening the beautiful renewal room at OM Sanctuary (formerly Richmond Hill Inn) was open to the public and some friends from the surrounding Asheville community joined in a 3 hour “Dive” (as Kathy and the founder of this somatic/breath therapy, Emilie Conrad calls it).

Later that evening we explored further and dove deeper into the significance of this time of year in Earth Based Spiritual Beliefs. We had some story and sewing time, as we created herbal dream pillows and  explored themes shared by Continuum Movement and the Goddess Brigid, such as” The Sacred Well of Life “, and Renewal and Inspiration that the lighting of candles and keeping of the hearth fire calls for us.

Sleeping with our herbal pillows and calling to the deep wisdom within us became a theme for the weekend.

Saturday brought deeper dives, further exploration of breath and sound with Kathy, the sharing of delicious foods (see recipes below) and herbal teas made with flowers, mugwort and other dream inducing plants. We slept and dreamt together that night after an extended period of silence, sharing only breath and sounds to sooth and elicit the wave motion of our personal continuum.

Silence was not broken by speech until late in the morning, when we shared our dreams, impressions, visions.

More movement, sound healing, walks on the sanctuary land and personal blessings were offered. Parting meal was shared, more ceremony and the hope that this Sacred place would thrive. We left with lighter hearts and a deepening to abide the rest of the Winter …. to hold us till Spring.

“This is our first home, our primordial field. The fluid in our cells is our birthplace, our memory of the creative matrix in which all life is summoned.” Emilie Conrad – Life on Land

Here are some of the Teas and a soup recipe that I made for us:


Soothing Heart Sleepy Tea

(To ease anxiety and help the spirit rest in the heart at bedtime)

1 pinch Fo-Ti Root

1 handfull Chamomile Flower

1 small handful of Hawthorne berries

1 Handfull of Hawthorne Leaf and Flower

1 Handfull of Red Rose Petals

Boil 2 quarts of water, add herbs (you may soak roots prior to boiling if you like). Tun down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and serve in the evening while preparing for bed.


Bed of Flowers Exotic Dream Tea

( for sweet, exotic dreams, and advice from the ancestors at dreamtime)

1 handful Red Rose Petals

1 handful Pink Rose Petals

1 handful Lavender Flower

1 handful Chamomile Flower

1 handful Mugwort Leaf

Heat 2 quarts water to a boil. Add herbs and reduce to simmer. Strain and serve. Promotes vivid dreams and deep sleep.

Alert Brain Tea

(to help the mind focus and become alert)

1 handful peppermint leaf

1 handful Schizandra Berry

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add herbs and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and serve.


Saturday night Dinner:

Greek Lemon Soup (Avgolemono)

(Recipe from Silver Palate Cookbook)

6 cups Chicken Broth

1/3 Cups Rice (not instant)

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup lemon juice

garnish parsley and lemon slices

Bring broth to a boil, add rice, reduce to simmer and cover about 25 minutes till rice is cooked.

Meanwhile whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together.

When rice is cooked, whisk yolk/lemon into soup.

Retun soup to medium heat and stir constantly til soup is just steaming. Seasin to taste.

I added grilled chicken breast to the soup for a heartier dinner and served with artisan rolls, butter and green salad.

Big thanks to the beautiful participants, to Katy Jennings, Shelli Stanback, and all the staff at OM Sanctuary. This weekend has given us deep stamina to continue our lives and create our deepest desires with courage and joy.





Coming Soon !!! A FABULOUS FEBRUARY RETREAT !! Co hosted by yours truly and Kathy Jennings ( here at OM ! We so enjoyed Shelli’s movement workshop that we will be sharing Imbolic Ritual and kathy’s specialty Continuum Movement February 1st through 3rd.

OM Sanctuary Blog

We are so grateful to all the individuals who participated in the Solstice Events to bring in the light of 2013. The Winter solstice, on December 21, 2012, marked the darkest day of the last aeon and we felt particularly honored to bring in the next aeon with a strong community of new and familiar faces, each holding an inner intention. This is why we are here, to stand beside one another and lift ourselves up as we simultaneously influence and uplift  all. As we shift into this next period of light, remember that you are the carrier of the light.  Let that be your intention. Realize fully that you are the reflection and the container. As we all begin to believe in our own empowerment during the darkness and the light we can spark expansion and healing in all.
For a listing of upcoming events and programs at OM…

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