Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Iris and I’ve lived in the Bay Area almost 8 years. I’ve been a major part of CAYA Coven and The Sacred Well, where I work. I have a husband and son, who are both also involved in CAYA. I’m a tarot reader, retail store manager, and a mom as well as being a Priestess. I was raised in the Craft from 18 by my mother, who is still active. I am also still active in her coven, even though we live far apart now.
Tell us what you think about adventures, what about them leaves you feeling inspired.
I think that adventures should happen more often. I think they change our perspective on our day to day life. Sometimes we experience more appreciation and sometimes they remind us of what needs to be changed. Adventures tend to be more intentional activities, different from our daily routines. Really, adventure calls for us to step outside of our daily routines. We get to be in charge of our adventures.
What was the last adventure you had?
It’s difficult to quantify, because everything can be a bit of an adventure. I just came back from CAYA’s Ordination Retreat, which was an adventure of a sort but also somewhat routine for me. I’ve been a number of times, so it was probably a different sort of adventure for me than it was for people going for the first time.
I think my last Great Adventure was at the Norcal Women’s Herbal Symposium http://www.womensherbalsymposium.org. It was my third time attending, so I felt like I had more agency while there. I got to take some classes, walk around without getting lost, and I started to be recognized by some women. Being out in a very different place in nature, without my family but with some coven people I know felt very free. I got to plot out my own time, which isn’t something I get to do very often. It left me feeling inspired.
Is there one specific adventure that sticks out within that greater adventure?
There’s a Girls Ceremony that happens every year, to honor girls who had their first menses since the last Symposium. I got really dressed up for it in a fancy red dress with gold sparkles and eyeliner and then went over to the creek. I thought I was just going to take a moment but instead I sat down on this decrepit old bench and ended up communing with the creek. I could hear the singing from the ceremony. It is somewhat expected that everyone will go to this ceremony, so it felt like cutting class. I wasn’t going anywhere but people were coming to me. Every time someone would approach me, there was this moment of, “Oh, I see you’re out here being a rebel, too.”. And then I went and picked some blackberries on the other side of the creek and the bottom of my fancy dress got wet!
Why do you think people aren’t more adventurous and what do you think we can do to encourage people to be more adventurous?
I think people aren’t more adventurous because they don’t feel safe to have adventures. Unfortunately, in daily life it is often unsafe to break the rules or step outside of routine. It makes people targets. And the other thing is, people think they have to go to a retreat far away or pay someone to give them an adventure. For example, there are these gym memberships being advertised as being like boot camp. People pay through the nose for the experience, but they are not actually going away, they are not really going to boot camp. It’s just a gym membership. But it makes them feel better, feel more adventurous, to have it packaged like that. I think we need to encourage people by being seen having adventures just in the city, being adventuresome in the space of routine. And also we need to make our neighborhoods safer so people can be strange, can step outside the routine more often.
Any upcoming adventures you want to share?
Yes! I’m going to visit a friend in Phoenix. I haven’t seen her in almost 3 years. I’m going for an extended weekend. I’m going to be in a place I know nothing about, with no schedule. I mean, we’ll probably sleep at night and be awake in the day but other than that, we have no plans. We used to be really close and her moving away was a big deal for me. I’m excited to see her and reconnect, to see where she lives and where she grew up.
Do you have any final thoughts on adventure?
I think if you do it right, going to the grocery store can be an adventure. As the mother of a 4-year-old who will occasionally wear a cape just to walk down the street with me and go get a cup of coffee, I really know this. It’s a call to action: if you treat things like and adventure and call yourself Captain Whatever, you will have more fun and inspire adventures in other people. So do it!