Author Archives: Sondra L Scott

About Sondra L Scott

Sondra is a Ceremonialist, Priestess, Yogini, & Artist. She’s a Mystic and a Magickian, a lover, a mother, & a grandmother. Sondra has spent her life studying the mysteries of life both natural and supernatural. She is at home in a city as in a field; in a dress or in work boots, she has experienced a life full of variety. For the better part of three decades she has dedicated herself to studying and practicing Eastern and Western philosophy, magic, and religion. She is ordained in the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. For many years her work has centered around helping people create more enriching and fulfilling lives; and to understand their challenges as well as their gifts. She can be a companion on your journey of Soul.

Holiday Specials

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holiday-specials

Every year I like to offer specials around the holidays and this year is no different.  My offer is 1/3 or $25 off any hour long session gift certificates purchased between now and the end of the year. {Excluding Natal Chart Gong sessions as they will be offered as a special starting in the New Year!} The certificates are good for one year giving you all of 2017 to book your session with me.  Buy them for yourself or as gifts to others.

The services page on this website gives more details about the things that I offer.

Use this button to purchase, certificates will be emailed to you along with instructions on how to book your session.

*EDIT – Button has been removed as the special has ended.

Follow up your purchase by using the contact form on my website to send me a message with your email and I’ll send further instructions on how certificates can be delivered and booking sessions.

We also still have some of our seasonal New Year Prosperity with Bayberry candles available at our Etsy store.  If you are local and interested in purchasing one they are on sale at Vision Quest Bookstore or you can contact me directly using the same form above if you want more than one and we can work out a multiple purchase discount.

bayberry-at-vq

Community, Connection & Ceremony

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The not so secret subtext of my work, in all the various forms it takes, is to encourage & support people in bringing more ceremony, more ritual, more of the sacred into their lives. Every day, as much as possible. Alone or in groups. Privately and publicly.

 

I love when I meet people who feel the same way.

 

Sunday at a meet & greet for the speakers, organizers & vendors of an upcoming expo where I’m selling candles and other goods, I met just such a group of people. Though many years ago I have worked these sort of events representing my family’s wellness center in Texas, this will be our first large vending opportunity with 7 Magi. I wasn’t sure what to expect but when the organizers said they wished to start off on a ceremonial foot, so to speak, I figured I was in the right place.

 

I immediately volunteered to help out with the ceremony in any way they needed and offered to bring my gong. I was very pleased with how many people came out to the gorgeous home temple to take part in community & ceremony. If I had to guess I’d say more than 30 people attended. [I have learned that it was actually 60!] The serene waterfront property with stone labyrinth out back and temple upstairs, all adorned with images of the gods and other details spoke clearly of sacred space.

 

With my gong set up I began to mingle and met a Holistic practitioner & fellow sound artist, Kim Balzan, as she was setting out her crystal bowls for the ceremony. She had gorgeous Sedona red rock, planet & other crystal bowls. We sat and talked about the harmony of the spheres while the room filled with people & the sounds of chatter, laughter & joy.

 

Mind you no discussion about my specific involvement in the ritual had taken place and though my younger uber detail-oriented self would never have thought it possible, I was unconcerned.

 

The ceremony started with us all encircling the labyrinth for purification, consecration and statement of intent; then moving to the upstairs temple. Kim & I took our places as everyone found seats around us. It was all very intuitive. We worked together seamlessly, our tools interacting with and giving way to one another in a dance. A dance I feel they’ve always known.  An overall very enjoyable experience.

 

The very type of experience I’ve found again & again, in small groups & large.  People coming together in ceremony, wanting connections, seeking meaning & purpose. I’ve had many people over the years tell me that this type of thing doesn’t exist. That places for ceremony or supportive communities that deal with the deeper mysteries and or space to sing, dance and love in a reverent manner  or “people like me” don’t exist. People that think or feel like them and want to talk about it, don’t exist or at least they don’t have access them if they do. That these are rare and hard to find or somehow hidden from them. That they have to cherish & protect these tiny little spaces for fear of corruption. Maybe also to avoid bringing the sacred into their everyday days lives and the relationships they already have.

 

I say keep your groups small if you feel the need to but then make many groups. Start a hundred small groups. Bring ceremony to groups you’re already in. Take a moment to be thankful before meals with your friends. Be mindful of why you are gathering. Start talking to the people in your life about the deep things you wish you could. Maybe they are wishing the same thing.

 

Many years ago, in the first couple weeks of yoga teacher training, a fellow student excitingly said to me, “This is the only place you can talk about these things and get this kind of acceptance.” I remember it specifically because I think I was already nodding my head in agreement when I found myself saying, “You know this IS really wonderful but I’m afraid I can’t agree with the sentiment that this is the only place it exists. In my life I have many places and areas and people such as this. I am so glad to help provide that for you & share it with you. Though I do hope you can find more of it.”

 

It was hard to tell if my meaning had been clear though and since she didn’t talk to me much after that and eventually dropped out, I am afraid it may not have been. I didn’t think about saying it. I honestly was hearing agreement in my head until another voice said, “now wait that isn’t true, you have this in your life.” The voice was right and the words started coming through without me knowing where it was going. My intention was to show her that she too could have more. Since magick starts with intention I can only hope that my intention got in and if it is in accord with her own Will, that it may be of assistance.

 

I wanted to talk about it, here. Publicly. And maybe by so doing it will help encourage others to seek out an create these experiences too. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities in my life. I like to say so when I am.

 

Thank you to Tina Sacchi for inviting me to be a part of The Journey; Mind, Body and Soul Expo in February 2017.

 

Promise of the Future

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 Earlier this year I received as a gift, an oracle deck called Whispers of Lord Ganesha by Angela Hartfield. It is the first oracle deck I’ve owned.

 

© 2016 Angela Hartfield.

The images on it are gorgeous and I’ve found myself consulting it more often than I had expected. Usually drawing only one card either for a client or myself. It isn’t a practice I’ve done with regularity but having recently returned from my Magickal Healing Bootcamp Week I decided to draw a card as guidance for moving forward.

I drew #8 Promise of the Future


Looking at the card the first thing that drew my attention was the glow upon the back of Ganesha’s head. Looking as if the light was coming from within & without at the same time. Looking out at the sunrise shining across the distance in front of him.

“Rest assured something new is on the horizon”, the book says & it goes on to talk about a new phase in life, new creative endeavors and asking Ganesha to help uncover subconscious desires, to follow any creative nudges and all sparks of inspiration.

In light of drawing this card I’ve decided to undertake a magickal working with Ganesha. A specially dedicated portion of my daily practice or sadhana for 8 days to reflect the number of the card. I’ll take time daily to do as recommended and reflect on lessons & blessings of past endeavors and I’ll also allow myself time for creativity be it drawing, coloring, painting or…

 

 Aum Gam Ganapataye Namaha

is the chant I learned during my Bhakti training & I will use for this practice, 108 times counting with my mala beads

 

This chant is used to invoke Lord Ganesha, who is worshiped before all, the patron of art & sciences, is called upon at the beginning of all endeavors and stands at the doorway leading forward.

This all seems very appropriate following my trip and the deep healing work. I am ready for new endeavors. I am ready for the upcoming year. I am ready for the FUTURE.

 

 

Magickal Healing Bootcamp Week Roundup (Update 2)

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I’ve arrived home from my week in San Francisco and given myself a couple of days to ruminate and settle back in. It was my intention to post before and after pics of the psoriasis spot that has always been my worst but it is simply not very photogenic. I’ll ask you to settle for a picture of me in SF instead

 


AND I’ll have to ask you to take my word for it that great improvement is not only visible but felt. I ran out of the salve I use topically while on my trip which would normally have resulted in dryness and redness worsening, yet instead both are improving on a daily basis!  Cold laser therapy definitely has worked for me.

 

In many ways I’m still processing physically, mentally and emotionally. Over the past several years I’ve struggled with my ability to use my hands. My grip has been worsening and making many things difficult. The physical effort required to hold my pen and journal was a daily struggle between my desires & abilities. You see journaling has been the backbone of my spiritual practice and a cornerstone of my self understanding & transformation my entire life. I could feel myself sinking deeper & deeper into helplessness every time I tried to hold a pen. I tried typing. I tried audio recording. I tried silence. I tried meditation. Though I benefited from all of the attempts in some ways I never felt like I was truly able to capture the same experience. I longed to sit & write by candlelight after my morning practices.

 

When I mentioned to Dr Kim that I was having issues with my grip during our first NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) session he decided we should test it. My right hand was testing around 8 and my left only 2 at the start but by the end the right had increased to 10-11 and my left had increased to a solid 8! We tested a couple more times over the week with the final numbers coming in at 13-14 for the right hand and the left getting as high as 12, almost 13!

 

I have gained back my morning journaling practice! I will be grateful for this every single day and not allow myself to take it for granted!

 

That is only one very small way that my ability to function daily will be improved by this one week of healing. Yesterday I was  able to help my daughter in the kitchen a little bit. My son in law immediately noticed and rejoiced in my renewed strength. Tonight I will once again lift my gong mallets with a stronger grip than they have ever known. I will hold stronger to those I love because I can. I will hold hands with less pain. I will  shuffle tarot cards, I will paint, draw, work with my candles and any number of other things will less pain and more strength. 

 

Magickal Healing Bootcamp Week (update 1)

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I am in San Francisco, a few days into my dedicated week of healing and already feel stronger after a couple days of treatments. What treatments, you might ask. Well, I am under the care of a doctor of chiropractic and an allergist. I am undergoing daily treatments with the allergist, daily cold laser treatments, as well as NIS & NET treatments, though not daily. I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand these treatments but you know what? I don’t have to. My body is responding and the professionals treating me understand and that is what is important. If you want to find out what they are about I have added links above to places that will explain it for you. None of it is invasive or even uncomfortable and I do feel subtle differences already.  I can see a slight improvement in my largest psoriasis spot on my lower left leg and the smaller spots on my torso have improved dramatically or disappeared altogether. I didn’t think of taking pictures to document until last night and could only really get the larger spot on the leg to show up in the picture. I will continue to document with pictures and post some before and after shots once I’ve completed the treatments. Tomorrow we start the NET treatments so I will update with more on that after.

I am feeling much more introverted than usual this week and the weather is colder than I am used to so I am taking plenty of time indoors to rest my body, read and journal. In doing so I am reminded of just how long this journey of healing has really been going on.  I spoke earlier about how I have been sick literally since the day I was born and how the diagnoses and disease list kept growing over the years.  But when did the healing start? The more I think about it the more I think it all must have started the day my friend Beth and I walked into an ashram in downtown Phoenix and met Harpal.  Harpal taught beginning kundalini yoga on Wednesdays.  In that first class I remember her talking about how if we listen our bodies they will talk to us. Beth and I went every week and after a few months my partner, Kevin, joined us.  Though Beth’s life took her away from the state, Kevin and I continued for the better part of 2 years. After awhile Harpal started telling us that we weren’t beginners anymore but we loved her and we stayed with it until she no longer taught at that studio.  Once she left we found it difficult to find another time that was convenient so Kevin and I moved our practice to our home.  After several months of at home kundalini yoga practice I awoke one morning to the sound of my angel telling me loud and clear, “Now is the time to start yoga teacher training!” It even told me what school to attend and within two weeks I was sitting in my first day of yoga teacher training in the Hatha tradition.  So it all started with yoga.  Over the next 2 1/2 years I studied voraciously. Ending up with a yoga therapist certification and 800 hours of training.

During that time period as I learned to listen to my body more and more it became apparent that I had neglected self care for far too long.  More and more every single day my own health became a greater challenge and therefore a greater priority.  From one angle it could almost look as if my health was deteriorating instead of improving however what I came to realize was that I had been ignoring the signs of decline for many, many years.  So much so that my body had to keep getting louder and louder to get my attention.

I was such an expert at getting up, brushing it off and getting on with life that I’d begun to pick myself up before I even realized I was falling.  No more.  I cannot live like that anymore.  I know there will always be times when picking myself up off the floor and pushing through will be what is needed and I also know there will be times when putting my own healing is a greater priority than any other thing going!  Now is a time to focus on my healing.  Through the amazing generosity of loved ones I am being afforded an opportunity to do just that.  I am incredibly grateful to all that have helped me so far in this journey and for any  help that is yet to come.  I will not waste your efforts I promise!  I will continue to listen to my body and make healthier choices.  I will continue to honor its needs and to that end I will end this for tonight.  Thanks for listening.

 

Has my story “Jumped the Shark”

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Do any of you remember the episode of “Happy Days” where the Fonz jumped a shark on water skis? Are you aware that it spurred the saying, “Jumping the Shark”? Which is that moment when your show or story crosses the line from good and enters into a steady decline. I think it’s because something unbelievable happens.

Well I am thinking my story, at least the healing journey portion of it, may have done that very thing. Those of you playing along already know of the struggle I have had over the years with my treatment for the condition Psoriatic Arthritis (PA). Others will need a recap; 12 years ago when I was first diagnosed I began treatment with methotrexate which worked wonderfully for a couple of years until my liver began to show early signs of damage, which is a possible side effect of use, and we discontinued it. Over the years I have had a few Rheumatologists try me back on it to see if things have changed and each time within a number of weeks my liver enzyme levels became concerning; it is therefore off the list of potential treatments for me, for good. After methotrexate we moved to the injectable medication, Enbrel. Now Enbrel is really quite expensive by comparison even for insurance companies and completely out of reach if one is paying out of pocket. Over the past decade I have had several patches without medical insurance and therefore found myself going on and off of the medication several times. Every time coming back onto it noticing that it didn’t seem to work quite as well as before, eventually approaching my Rheumatologist earlier this year to ask if it was possible I had developed an immunity towards it. He categorically denied that as a possibility and recommended we try doubling the dose.

I am on state insurance, mainly because of the difficulties this and other diseases cause in my ability to hold down conventional full time work. Self-employment and the work I do is quite rewarding but doesn’t come with a benefits package. Thus began a fun journey. My doc submitted the prescription for the double dose just about the time that my insurance company changed the specialty pharmacy I would have to work with in order to fill the Enbrel presciption. Insurance denied the double dose stating that “the dose was nowhere indicated as useful in treating my condition”. Simple enough right? You’d think I’d be able to return to the once a week dose that was already approved right? Well, for reasons I am still unclear on we embarked on a couple month journey of confusion. Between my doctor’s office being technologically stuck in the 1990s, their unwillingness to fax or call in a prescription, the “office lady” who is only in 1-2 days each week and confusion between the pharmacy and my insurance I wound up without my medication. For the past few months I’ve had one or two weeks where I received a sample from his office but mostly have been without it. A few weeks ago things did get ironed out and a one month supply arrived in time for me to take one dose before oral surgery which would require being off it for 2 weeks.

Here is where it gets interesting and where I think my story has jumped a shark of it’s own. I finally manage to get into a dermatologist for the psoriasis for the first time in years. You see I am not even sure how it happened but once pain became a daily part of my life I began hyper focusing on caring for & treating the arthritis portion of my disease; to the detriment of many other areas of my health. My kidney doctor calls my PA “the elephant in the room any time I’m in any doctors’ office”. After hearing the summary run down of my disease and treatment for about 5 minutes the dermatologist asks me, “Do you know what happens when you go on and off Enbrel like that?” He answered before I could. Which was actually nice because remember my instinct that it was somehow less effective was shot down completely by the another doctor. In a nutshell, you build up antibodies every time you are off it and then when you go back on it will be less effective! I almost fell in love with that man on the spot! The next thing he does is look me dead in the eye and say, “You have got to see yourself differently. We are going to help you. This is what I do, who I am. I heal people” and you know what I believe him. Our conversation moved to yoga and meditation and how literally visualizing myself healthier and able to do a full yoga practice will help me as much as anything else he can do. Turns out he had recently returned from a trip to Ganges River in India to attend a celebration and his meditation practice has been 43 years so far.

The visit was a game changer. So maybe it isn’t my “jump the shark” moment because it feels like my story will begin to improve from here. My instincts had been confirmed. My natural feelings towards self care as a major component of health care were echoed by a doctor, my doctor, and I felt truly seen and heard by a doctor for the first time in years.

He told me the Enbrel won’t do me any good and I am going to offer the few shots I have remaining to my Rheumatologist to use as samples for other patients who might find themselves in need of them. Goodness knows I have benefited from samples and the like in my time. It will be my parting gift though. I need not return to a doctor that dismisses my ideas so quickly and is obviously not as knowledgeable as he really should be if he is prescribing Enbrel to patients. I have a referral for a new one and an appointment in January. In the meantime I try the Humira. I took the initial dose on Friday.

The crazy thing is that during the above mentioned fiasco with the antiquated systems at my doctor and my insurance company we almost switched me to Humira because I mistakenly thought that they would not approve the Enbrel at all anymore. We soon found out that they would and switched right back to Enbrel and that in an off itself caused the several week delay in my treatment! Oh well lesson learned, go with my instincts, even if it means having to push back a little with a “trained medical professional”. After all I live in this body every day!

How am I? It’s complicated

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I have made my invisible disease into a silent one as well by not talking about it.  We did not talk of such things growing up.  I learned at a very young age that to be sick was a character flaw and nothing more than a ploy to seek attention.  Even though I knew nothing of astrology at that age, my innate Leo nature felt the insinuation & understood that drawing attention to oneself is bad.  This is a trap for a Leo.  You see if a Leo is being true to their nature they are likely to draw attention.  It is a little expecting fire not to be hot to think otherwise.  This Leo happened to be of fragile health so that is what was drawing the attention.

 

How are you is a complicated question.  So, yes, I guess I did just say “it’s complicated” about my relationship to my health.

I’ve been fully functioning all of my life, nothing has ever knocked me down for long.  The habit of getting back up again became too inherent; I think I even started picking myself up before I hit the ground.  Eventually it was unconscious and I could no longer accept myself as anything other than strong and capable.  As I moved from challenge to challenge, from diagnosis to diagnosis, from medication to medication, from doctor to doctor; I told them less and less about what was really happening inside of my body and mind.  I learned to be anything but honest with the only people in the position to potentially help me.  That is a hard habit to break and is an ongoing process.  I didn’t see it as dishonest or hiding things, I was simply doing what I’d learned was acceptable behavior.

 

What is interesting to me is that here I sit just realizing that the one obstacle to being approved for SSI could very well be a direct result of those actions.  You see I have been freelance or self-employed most of my adult life.  I have had jobs in many different fields but for 20 or more years the focus was on several aspects of the entertainment industry.  I filled in with “regular jobs” here and there when needed but nothing really lasted much longer than a year.  I was giving up that entertainment career right when the psoriatic arthritis diagnosis came in and I have self-managed my steady decline of work ever since.  No doctor has ever told me to stop working.  Then again I’ve never told a doctor that sitting in the chair at a desk or table has begun to hurt more and more over the years, that shuffling cards hurts, writing hurts, typing hurts, sitting in on place for too long hurts, standing hurts…

How would they have ever known to tell me to stop?

 

Back to “How am I?”

 

I am okay.  That is usually my answer.  I’ve added, hanging in there, working towards good, and other variants over the years in an effort to be more honest in those interactions without overwhelming the person with the reality of it.

 

This image I came across the other day is a tad more aggressive with the ‘don’t judge me’ tone than I feel at the moment but it speaks to what I am writing about.

invisible-illness-quote-image

 

Then there is the “chicken or egg” question regarding “high tolerance for pain or chronic pain”.  When asked directly if I am hurting my answers cannot be trusted or at least they could not have been for years. This is an ongoing work I am involved with on my Journey of Self.  I am learning to know, listen and understand my body better through meditation, yoga, pranayama, self-reflection, ritual and other practices.  What I am learning is that I hurt, I am not okay and sometimes I am sad or angry about that.  I haven’t felt good for a very, very long time.  Life isn’t lived in extremes so I am and have also been happy, feeling good, alive & invigorated many times over the years and even now; just to mention a few! It about where they meet.  How they meet. Balance.  The Middle Pillar. The Middle Way.  The Shushumna.

 

One other thing about being silent and invisible is that people don’t know that you need help or how to help even if they do.  Being actively involved in a journey of self-transformation most of my adult life I have sought out places, people and organizations that share a drive for truth and understanding.  I have always sought to have less deep relationships rather than more superficial ones.  I am also a very social person who has moved around often and loves to travel.  I am therefore fortunate enough to know many, many people the world over who I feel a deep connection with.  I count my blessings daily and my heart is full and forever refilling.  It gets harder and harder to have time to speak with each one often and I am thankful for the technology that makes it so much easier to witness, stay in touch and be involved in the lives of those I love.

 

Starting to tell my story I realize that I am opening that circle even more for as my heart grows my circle grows and vice versa.  I will be less silent and about all aspects of my life, joys and sorrows.  I will seek balance in how much or how little I share and listen to my inner knowing, my angel, my Self.

 

Asking for help has never been easy for me and these past few years have taught me that it is ok to accept assistance from those that are offering. It is even alright to ask sometimes.  To that end I have agreed to allow a dear friend of mine to start a fund for those interested in contributing.  The fund is designed to help me recover lost wages and cover the expenses involved in caring for my health during an intensive period of transformation.  I am undergoing many tests, visiting many professionals, changing more lifestyle habits, trying different treatments allopathic and homeopathic both, at least through the end of the year.  At which point it will be easier to see my way forward in life and work.

 

If it is your will please share my story and Go Fund Me Campaign, donate and/or share this blog.

I have also created an Amazon wish list for items that will improve my health in some way, everything from supplements to kitchen accessories.  Some of these things will be purchased with funds raised and I will keep the list up to date.

 

Thank you

Love & Light

~Sondra

Stay tuned for more of my story to come, including:

  • Current testing and specialists visits with allopathic medicine (mainstream medical practices)
  • “Alternative” visits & treatments
  • Dietary & Lifestyles changes
  • Daily meditation, yogic and self-care practices
  • More health history
  • My work history and challenges while I investigate filing for SSI
  • My studies, practices & ritual work both Eastern & Western
  • More about my work with the gong and some classes & workshops I will be presenting in various cites soon