31 weeks and Counting

I found real stories, the snarky, not rose colored, but also not defeated or self-obliterating, occasionally curse-word filled, stories of pregnancy the most helpful. I’d like to contribute and be quoted saying it.


Lest you think otherwise, being preggers is hard.


This morning, my first thoughts were utter joy of being just the right temperature, not sweat soaked hot as seems to happen nowadays and nothing hurt.  Yet. If I didn’t move, everything was comfortable.

Also, I smell funny.  Primal.  Something that is less about iPads and more about caves and black earth.

Then my child starting kicking my cervix. Good morning, darling. Are you up too? I tested rolling over and every moving part of my pelvis woke up in a gentle, but now familiar, sizzle of “don’t wanna” ache. It took the heart of a warrior to swing these (still) swollen feet out of bed and on to the floor. Wiggling feet into slippers is an act of courage as it sometimes requires alternating hip movement. Sometimes it feels great. Sometimes it’s a bunch of Nope. I never know until I try… This hour.

Freshly proud from getting myself upright, I look to the standing and seeing how gravity feels. Yup. Every baby-holding tendon and muscle has to slowly unclench as BB shifts downward. Breathe, but hold still for a moment, I tell myself, let everyone understand that it’s time to walk. First step is often hard but damn do I have to pee… Again.

All of of these little pangs are training and experience so I lean into them. Eventually BB will need my help exiting the little home we’ve built. Biology doesn’t really consider comfort. It’ll push just a hairs breadth past the edge of what I think I’m capable of and moment by moment I’m training my self to realize it’s much further than I would have thought.

When I’m not feeling like a little sh*t, I’ll even thank myself and BB for it.

31 weeks and counting.


ReaS is now Blogging at Pathos

Dropping in to share the news that I’ve joined a group of fantastic female pagans of color over at Pathos.  You can read my and others contributions a Daughters of Eve.

My first one went live near the tail end of 2015, entitled Becoming a Great Mother.

Oh, by the way, I’m pregnant.

That’s a big deal and big change.  And 30 weeks in, I can say it’s been one of the most transformative, eye-opening experiences I’ve been through, revealing inner resilience, social pressure and prejudice along with so very much love,- from complete strangers, other mommies, friends and family.

What needs to be said?  Change comes.

Blessed may our journeys be.

How I didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa

[Cross Post from FB]

I haven’t posted anything heavy for a while. I needed a break.  Then I paused and asked what needed to be said.

So, let’s have a little show and tell about how internalized oppression works.

I wanted to celebrate Kwanzaa this year. I stared at the calendar mid Dec 2014, googled for local events (just our Botanical Garden and Art Museum) and even read an adorable children’s book on the subject. I was going to ask the FB collective if they knew of any celebrations. I didn’t post.

Then I couldn’t get myself to voice my request to celebrate as a family to my white husband. He’s also my best friend and I trust him with every part of me.

Instead of investigating this internal conflict, being the enlightened being I am, decided that I would journal about it daily instead. I didn’t.

I began to hang with my buddies fear, shame and guilt, rationalizing about how it was “a made up holiday” that no one celebrated anyway b/c if they did and I was in touch with my culture I would know about it. Before I knew it, I had decided silently that I was either deficient or wrong for even being interested. After all, wasn’t Christmas (that I celebrate mostly in a secular/cultural way) enough?


Internalized oppression: When the slave mind polices itself.

That’s just my current example. Think of all the ways we do this to ourselves daily, monthly throughout our lives. Our individual work is to notice, stop and deconstruct this nonsense in ourselves.

I’m going to have my Kwanzaa.  I’ve been looking at the 7 Principles and beginning In February, I’m investigating one a month for seven months so that when it comes back around in December, I’ll have a different story to tell.

Day 1: First Principle

What needs to be said?

I woke up just before midnight on January 1, 2015 with a burst of Get It Done: marching orders/opportunities from Universe. I love it when that happens. So here goes…

Day 1: the Principle. I Am. Womb.  The Word.  Potential.  Creation.

I have 3 different Tarot decks that I want to cultivate deeper relationship with so I decided to pray as I shuffle and draw a daily card from each one.  I may sometimes post the results.  The decks are the trusty Rider-Waite (furthermore referenced as RW), Thoth tarot and New Orleans Voodoo Tarot (NV).

Day 1: RW:  King of Swords

Thoth:  The Devil

NV: IIIV Possession

Reflections:  Today I paused at home, no big plans or big revelations until the last moments of the day.  I sat, thought, read, processed, released, played with hubby, cats and ate food made from leftovers.  Before writing this, I used the sudden burst of energy to light my ancestral incense and a candle for my father, who passed in 2014, soaked black eyed peas and organized the pantry.  Odd but productive.  Things I noticed on the King Of Swords were airiness, sitting as ruler, intellect and distance of the resolute.  Such a soft blue covered by red.  So much sky.  Birds in the distance that I can hear. The smile of the Goat on the Devil card in the Thoth deck, horns reaching tall and proudly up in a widespread V, no fear, merely choice against being who you once were or a different choice and not repeating the past covered in dusty cobwebs.  Webs are supposed to be temporary things. Possession is a dynamic card in the NU deck and is an 8.  I just read a friends post about it being an 8 year!  Possession felt more about allowing myself to be in Possession of mySelf rather than an outside force pulling the strings.

Happy New Year, Beauties.  May 2015 be a delight.


Reluctantly Weaving in a New Way

What needs to be said?

An introduction perhaps.  Who is Reluctant Spider?

I have been working my whole life to get here not unlike my ancestors have labored for years to present me with this moment.  It may have felt tedious sometimes, often confusing and definitely not proceeding in a straight line with a clear goals visible on the horizon.

I am a Witch of African American descent.  I live in St Louis, MO.  I am coming out the other side of my Saturn Return.

I am actually pretty private and sometimes shy.  But I have discovered that my voice serves better than my consistent silence.  So, in honesty I come forward hesitantly, reluctantly, in hopes to help weave new bridges in honest conversation.  In an attempt to hold to this ideal, I ask the part of myself that is Divine the question “What needs to be said?” and then welcome the words that should best come through me in this time and place.

Let’s see where the next thread will fall.  I invite yours as well, in respect, love and the hope of building more personal truths.  As a dear friend has shown me, there is power in vulnerability.

May it be so.  Ashe,  Beauties.