As part of my promise to shine the light on some of the incredible people I work with, let me introduce you to Briana Saussy. Mother, modern mystic, and teacher of Sacred Arts.
Recently, Bri and I chose to meet in the enchanting town, Santa Fe to photograph her for her business.
Our session, much like Bri, was magical.
Shortly after our time together, Bri invited me to be a guest teacher for her upcoming year long Sacred Arts course “Spinning Gold”. Um, yes, please!
I could go on and on about how amazing Briana is and why her work is so valuable to us all, but I’m gonna do ya one better…
I sent Bri a few questions, and her answers – true to form – are rich, meaningful and worth reading every bit.
Grab yourself a cup of tea (or coffee, or whiskey), get comfy and let’s chat…
D. What does the experience of being seen feel like to you?
B. When we had our conversation for your teaching I think I mentioned the idea from the medieval theologian, Duns Scotus, that love is “I will that you are”. I really love that because it is progressive and because I think that it hits at the relational core that is so fundamental to everything we do. To love someone is literally to call them into being; which is why the advice to “love yourself” is not really trite. The same thing is true about being seen. When you are seen by someone who actually knows how to hold and bear witness (as you do my love!) then you are called into being more present, more imminent, you are, truly, made more real. There is great magic in that and also a deep responsibility because once you have really been seen I feel that you are given a charge to show up fully as consistently as you can and at the same time to bear witness to others. It is a privilege and a responsibility and what else would we expect from real magic?!
D. What does personal myth mean to you?
B. Personal myth for me is the story that is possible when you are aware of your lineage and legacy and, as a result, your position right here and right now. Part of that lineage is held by the people and places you come from – good, bad, and everything in between. Part of that lineage is found in the experiences that you have had up until this point, running like so many rivers into the ocean of your soul. Part of that lineage is also found is what teachings, beliefs, assumptions, and stories you have carried up to this point. I always remind my students that just because you inherited it, doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Your legacy is what you are creating, for those of us with children it is held by them, but for all of us it is present in all creative work, in every dream that we manifest, and in the possibilities we choose to see (or not see) on a daily basis. That sense of where we come from and where we are going allows us, I think, to see more clearly where we are here and now. It gives us a narrative structure to follow and also allows us to change our minds, change the story, even choose a different ending. When it comes to myth we also open ourselves to the possibility that the unseen or “Other” world has reality and viability and so our story can become shared with our various allies, or, as I call them, our Holy Helpers. The personal myth that I am constantly adding to is the one of right relationship so that I am able to be in an appropriate relationship with all beings, all of my relations.
D. What is the one (or two or three) sacred arts practice that you *do* no matter how full your life may be?
B. I get up every day earlier than the rest of my family members, usually around 4am to pray and bless myself, our work, our family, and our home, and also to say thank you.
I honor my ancestors every single day – we have a big ancestor altar in the middle of our dining room. It is low enough that my 6 year old can sit there and add things to the space and help me make offerings, I love tending it and I love listening to my beloved dead. I write every day. For me writing is one of the deepest magics and alchemical forces.
D. As a mother of a young child do you ever feel pulled between the mama you and the business owner you? How do you navigate that?
B. Such a good question. When I was pregnant I decided to take my business full time and then when I had J my full-time business really started, so he has been with me since the beginning!
For the most part, I am really grateful for a business that allows me to work odd hours so that I can make school parties, sports games, and travel with my family with relative ease. There are times (when I am busting tail at midnight for instance) when I do feel the pull but mostly the tension feels a lot like the tension in the Chariot tarot card, the kind that allows you to SOAR! I also feel like I have learned a lot about my business from my son. My husband is my business partner and my son has strong preferences – he named the gathering I hosted this past Summer in Santa Fe, for instance, the concept for it actually came out of a dream that he had and relayed to me. He loves to recommend designs for our family altars, and he is really comfortable talking astrology too!
The biggest area of tension for me is computer time. I am not anti-tech (obviously) but I don’t want my son to feel like he needs a screen in front of his face 24/7. Most of my work is done on a screen so this creates some creative scheduling!
D. What does self-care look like in your world?
B. Self-care is giving myself enough time to put on clothes that make me feel good, jewelry, and make up. It is long, luxurious baths followed by really good lotion, and it is taking a day off to go play in the woods. I am a foodie so self-care is also cooking with my family, having a nice glass of wine, and chasing it with some rich chocolate. And I love to make things so self-care is making prayer bundles, oils, incenses – just fun, magical things for me + my family. Also, having a long, leisurely breakfast with my husband always feels so good!
D. What is your favorite thing about Spinning Gold?
B. Oh, this is hard! One of my favorite things that came up year one, and has shown up every year since then is something I totally did not expect. When people started listening to the stories that I told they noticed that their kids would come into the room, their pets would come into the room, and everyone would listen to the story together. That really made an impact on me. I felt so honored and I also loved seeing the Sacred Arts passing from one person to the next (I count creatures) in this way, through story. I feel like one of the biggest challenges in working with the Sacred Arts today is the feeling that these traditions are irreparably broken and damaged, and while they are, they are also being mended back together. Sharing something as simple as a story is a powerful part of that mending. That was when the work felt to me like it had quickened and taken on a life of its own!
Pretty amazing, yes? If you’d like to learn more about Bri and Spinning Gold, please click here. (I am not an affiliate for her course, I just absolutely believe in the work she’s doing and will always try to share with you the gems I am lucky enough to have come my way).
PS If you’re a vision-driven entrepreneur and you’d like to get more of your medicine out into the world, you’re exactly my cup of tea. I want to resource and support you and craft compelling, evocative, beautiful photos of you. Let’s talk, yes? Email me here and let me know you’re interested and we’ll explore the next step.