A gentle belated supermoon in Aquarius to you! Here’s luna in all her glory at 5::45am this morning, the recommended dog-hiking window during summer months in the desert.
We’ve had thunderstorms and a small amount of much-needed rain in parts of this high desert region.
It’s that time of year that has become known as fire season in California, and this year is no different.
The York Fire, which has been raging in the Mojave National Preserve for the last few days, has so far burned close to 80,000 acres of desert in the east Mojave.
According to the CalFire website, the cause is as yet unknown, and 23% has been contained.
The air here in the Joshua Tree area and its surroundings is still smoke free, winds willing.
I wonder at what the communities of ancient creosote are communicating with each other, what their perspective and intelligence on this fire could be.
It’s in this strangely normal annual underworld journey that is summer in the desert that I’m introducing you to two strange and beautiful creatures who call this place home, and who have contributed their inimitable magick to the new issue of Luna Arcana.
Angela de la Agua is the Golden Oracle, an initiated Priestess in service to helping others access the divinity within through heart-opening healing work, ceremony, self-care, and spiritual practice. She has been rooted full-time in Joshua Tree, California since 2011 as a devoted initiate of the desert, where she embodies her role as a priestess through work as a divine healer, spiritual teacher, and ceremonialist.
A lifelong Southern California dweller, Angela moved to a remote desert homestead cabin from the east side of Los Angeles before there was Instagram, not knowing a single person who lived in Joshua Tree, and without any plan.
At that time, it was the most radical act of her life that birthed from following of the guidance of her heart for the first time into the great unknown of solitary living in the desert wilds. The liberation and revelation she experienced by following the call of her heart would serve as the foundational template for living a life that was navigated by heart guidance rather than the logic of the mind (or the need to please others).
Angela truly surrendered to the desert, allowing the medicine of the sun, land, moon, plants, and animals to do their work, stripping her of all that was false and reflecting back to her the truth of her heart. She came to the desert not knowing
who she was or her greater life purpose.
Through the dissolution of self that she experienced in the early desert years meditating with rattlesnakes and drinking in the silence and spaciousness (as well as lots of green juice), her authentic true self emerged, laughing.
Under the desert willow tree is where she discovered her ability to channel Divine energies to bring forth healing and transformation to the world as her authentic gifts.
She is renowned for her work with sacred nourishment, fasting, yogic practice, ceremonial cacao, as well as an artist and photographer. Her ability to find beauty in all things enables Angela to recognize the divinity that dwells within everything and elevate the mundane to the sacred in everyday life.
As one who has undergone extraordinary transformation in her own life, Angela draws upon all she has experienced and learned from her awakened path of the Divine Feminine to inspire and activate transformation in others’ lives with compassion, devotion, and joy.
Currently still living in Joshua Tree, Angela continues to follow the path of the open heart as her sacred work continues to evolve and expand. Her radiant energy reaches people around the world who seek spiritual guidance, soul-level healing, and embodied self-love.
You can find out more about Angela and her work here, and read her moving homage to her desert cabin and the land she lived on for over a decade in our new issue.
I’m also excited to introduce you to JD Rudometkin, a talented, multi-disciplinary artist working in music, film, art and writing who has contributed a powerful piece of visual art to accompany his short story, The Womxn with Exceptional Ears which has so much depth and imagery, that each reading reveals a new sensation, a new layer of meaning…
JD’s current concentration is in the production of multi-media exhibitions as writer/director and curator. Solo multi-media theater pieces include Ubiquity and Honey Venom which he wrote and co-directed.
Rudometkin’s work explores the ideas of perception and post-existentialist notions of consciousness—or, as French philosopher Paul Ricoeur states, embodying a “post-critical naivete.”
His essential influences are the mystic traditions of Sufism, Gnosticism, Cabbala, his own Russian Molokan heritage as well as the imaginative writing of authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, Hafiz and Haruki Murakami as well as the oblique humor of Richard Brautigan.
In addition to a slew of music released as singles, Rudometkin has co-produced two full length albums with his musical project Step Jayne, whose award winning video Send Out the Call from the album, Here Come the Humans garnered the Jury Prize at the Sacramento Film and Music Festival. The musical project exhibits wide-ranging influences, from ecstatic a cappella Slavic ancestral music, to poetic troubadours such as Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
Rudometkin’s short film, The Field and the Knower, was featured at the Sacramento French Film Festival and his film Sweet Pea was screened in Los Angeles, Sacramento and at the Festivus Film Festival in Denver, Colorado.
In addition to writing and producing solo theater performances and having lead roles in feature films, he has been nominated for a SARTA Award for best supporting actor in a theater production.
Rudometkin has also composed original musical scores for Falcon’s Eye Theater as Musical Director for the the plays The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade and the Shakespeare plays Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
His paintings and sketches have been exhibited in galleries in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Joshua Tree. He’s also co-curator at Super X Gallery in Pioneertown, CA.
You can find out more about Rudometkin’s work here.
I hope you enjoy discovering more about these two truly unique desert dwellers and their body of work.
And of course, you can experience their frequencies first hand in the new issue of Luna Arcana.
p.s. If your nervous system is in need of some TLC, and you’re free on Sundays, come dive into The Light Gets In – the weekly online somatic experiencing and meditation drop-in.
If you’re a new subscriber, you can catch up on previous missives from ‘Letters from Luna’, click here.