samantha shay / ravenna sóley

theatre artist / lover of the unknown / witch

Birth of a Priestess


She is born when she feels herself pregnant.

Her body generates spirit milk. She feels it fill her instantly.

Her body awaits the arrival of divine descendants, who will not come until she sings an incantation of peace. 

They await her action.

It happens over centuries, and lifetimes, and births and deaths and rebirths.

But it only takes one second for the priestess to be born.

It begins every time one feels herself pregnant with something.

She is at once a warrior of the undercurrent, a wilderess.

An ancestress of tomorrow.

A prodigress of love.

She vibrates,

For she is a woman pregnant with spirit.

She is a great Queen, who rules over nothing,

like fields of lavender in a hot dry land,

She blossoms in the desolate, for that is where she is needed most,

and she as she is nourished by nourishing, she thrives in every place.

-Samantha Shay / Ravenna Soley 10/11/14

I am creating my own creation myth. (Meditations on creating A Library of Light)

13.8 million years ago, in a black mirror that was not yet space as we recognize it, primordial protons and neutrons met. When they collided, they created a tone and this tone is the very first sound, as we currently understand with our earthly bodies. They collided, creating a vibration, and out of this vibration, they created a luminous kind of mist, that became a light mass, that turned into isles of light. Before stars, before celestial bodies, before earthly bodies, sound initiated the universe into existence. When this light vibration expanded, it was the birth of the very first wavelengths, and every vibration since then is a vibration of that moment.  Waves have spread through the universe, and every star, planet, plant, and body contains it’s own vibrational frequency. Harmonic phenomenon exists at every scale in the universe.

  Human beings have an acute awareness of octave. we can hear the same note from above us, and from below us, knowing it is the same. Perhaps this is where the phrase, “as above, so below” comes from. We know intuitively that dark and light are mirrors of each other through our experience of sound. That heaven and the underworld are mirrors of the same initiations.

Perhaps when I began making a piece about light, I made a piece about darkness.

Perhaps it is a piece about inevitable and unconditional acceptance.

Perhaps this piece is nothing more then a subsection of the art of breathing.

I am finding creating this piece very healing, and very spiritual. But what does healing mean?
I am not sure it is about feeling better, but I am sure that from my own spiritual perspective, healing is about awakening.

The first tone was born out of darkness and chaos,
out of this, togetherness was possible,
and out of that, vibrations emerged,
And then there were lights, and colors, and shapes,
A garden of all sounds.

Perhaps this is a creation myth.

We are getting closer.


a singular voice is many voices

converged centuries singing

as is a body

as is a mind

a soul

and it is all its own

seemingly cut off at the roots


and yet it sings

all the voices it has been simultaneously

and it calls to the descendants

linking hands between past and future with its earthly body

warriors at the crossroads

here we meet again

a house



the souls inside





to a sacred song

that creates light


just beyond

our reach

we are getting closer.

when they are taken they are taken for the reason that they are meant to bring us closer to the importance of brightness - of being lead into the remembrance of now - the forgetness of fear. We have a longing to belong with the beings that know gravity like us, and can tell us about it in a voice other than our own.  My hands, full of fortunes untranslatable. My spirit asks my body for an exhale, my body wonders how.

We are getting closer.

A Goddess dances for your freedom. (Aphrodite awakening)


Waves. Just beyond my toes, then retreating. Waves I am calling to cleanse me. Waves I would like to carry me and sometimes consume me. What if I were the wave itself? What if waves are simply Aphrodite’s eyelashes blinking as she counts the centuries, cleansing her vision of love as she gazes upon our sweet impermanence. So lucky are we, she thinks, to be so full of urgency; an urgency for love, as our hearts beat like a march or an incantation toward abandon. She blinks. The heartbeats and the waves create a percussive song. She hums. She blinks. She longs to be impermanent like us, to have a storm of feeling that is ruthless, and in that longing, she does have that feeling, and she is grateful. An urgency in our eyelids makes her fall in love with us. Our sorrow opens her heart to us. How divine, to be human, she thinks to herself. She blinks again.  She gazes upon us, warriors of love, involuntarily guided by love, even in the most hateful acts. At the bottom of the ocean of existence, there is only love, and that is why we cannot breathe, the pressure is colossal. We feel small bits of its center as the waves lap up on our feet, and we long for something we have always known as the foam briefly caresses our toes.  Listen. Listen to the waves that rush through your bloodlines as you look outward, feeling and uncertain certainty of abundance within.

“Welcome to the dance”

(she said, as she emerged out of the splash when I fell into the water)

Heal yourself here

Love yourself now

Furious love

Glorious sadness

Speaking sorrows by singing for joy

You glorious luminosity

You. All things.

Outstretched in other realms

You rain down like stars on those you love

Integrity incarnate

You are getting closer

Remain awake to the depth of your ocean

How I love you

You molder of centuries

A carrier of contemplations monumental

A love for the ages

A Goddess

A Goddess, gifted with impermanence

You know the feeling of now

Bless you for that

May you love fiercely,

For you must.

This is something you now understand.


We are so glad you are here.

We need you.

Your journey, worthwhile and complicated. Beauty well earned.

Live this story.

It is yours to love.

A being of love you are.

Your tragedy has been that you are a magnitude of love the world has yet to know how to carry.

A colossal love the world does not know how to hold.



"You witch.

You changer.

You energy raiser.”

A Goddess is dancing for your freedom.

You priestess of love

Wielder of generosity

Wielder of compassion

Enough virtue for a human race

You drop into still water

Seeking to become closer and closer to a fragile reflection

And as you fall forward and descend to the underworld

Your skin flying off the bone as you fall

Tidal waves of vital nourishment

for strangers you may never meet in this world.

They will love you nonetheless.

Silence, pregnant.



For a revolution of rhythms

Returning to their original purpose with your every glance upon mundane things that are indeed holy.


Fall into your power.

Let it catch you, and love you for honoring it – allow it to transform you

To who you were,

right now.





Welcome yourself to the dance.

Welcome yourself to the frightening and relentless solitude of initiation.

Wrap yourself around us. We will embrace you.

new moon offering


 I offer the inhale before a singer begins an aria. I offer the space between when you are lying in bed awake and about to fall asleep and you think you hear someone trying to speak to you. I offer you space. I will always offer you space, forever and ever even after I am dead, go sit beneath a tree, find a leaf and look at the patterns and rhythms in its composition and that is me loving you. I offer you contemplation of the incomprehensible. I offer you something that existed before any of us existed and I don’t know how I offer it. Every time I don’t know how it will all happen and in my anxiety I wait for my love and your love and the beaded necklace of our DNA to prevail. I offer everything I have because I can’t keep it for myself; it is too heavy. I offer the fragrance of childhood.

I try to offer something.

Some thing.

Some thing that is fundamental.

-Samantha Shay

We open on Sunday.

Lately we have all been thinking about what it is to engage with our internal life, our magic, and our vulnerability, while still remaining with one another, and in space.  So often we go inward in order to forget, or we go inward and disregard that which is around us, or we have realizations and a beautifully vivid world that only exists for us alone.  Right now we are attempting to learn what it is to exist in both worlds simultaneously… to dig down into our chests, climb inside, and from there, open our eyes and learn to articulate. 

I always talk about being suspended between grace and gravity in rehearsal. It is one thing to talk about it, it is another to truly achieve that suspension.

Perhaps strength in art (and in life…) is learning to be articulate about our vulnerability.  To truly allow ourselves to be unguarded, so that we may rediscover our own abundance. In the end, we hope to stumble on gold, but in order to find it, stumbling is vital.

As the form is set, we are hoping it will be our vessel of abundance, our reconfiguring net. We hope to look inward and outward, so that the form is the harness for our cosmic chaos as we learn to see and feel.

What a mighty task. A lucky task. Lucky us.

Some of my favorite musings on this subject…

"When science and spirit are reconciled, the world becomes enchanted, full of wonder and magic. The great conversation is happening around us in many dimensions.

Magic might also be called the art of opening our awareness to the consciousness that surrounds us, the art of conversing in the deep language that nature speaks. And magic teaches us to break spells, to shatter the ensorcellment that keeps us psychologically locked away from the natural world.

To open up to the outer world, we also undergo inner changes and development. For we are part of the living earth, and to connect with her is to connect with the deepest part of ourselves.

We need the discipline of magic, of consciousness-change, in order to hear and understand what the earth is saying to us. And listening to the earth, doing the rituals the land asks us for, giving back what we are asked for, will also bring us healing, expanded awareness and intensified life.”

~Starhawk from The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature

I have started rehearsals for our old show, Into The Fog, and finally, back on this blog.  We are rehearsing for the Hollywood Fringe.
  Returning to this piece seems to be giving me space. Space to look at my past creative process, but also seeing how I have grown since the last time I was in the rehearsal room with this piece. At the end of my first year of school for directing, I feel a new sensation, a comfortability with that moment when there are no words that want to come out of your mouth… no ideas… just that space when you are taking in the air - I am re acquainting myself with this moment. It was once a moment of terror, to think, to have an idea, to move forward. I used to panic thinking, “I am the director, I must have the answer” but more and more I find that the answers exist in the space between myself, the performers, and the air exchanged between our breathing and our energy. The longer I sit in that moment at a loss for ideas or momentum, the undercurrent slowly begins to emerge. I realize there is no such things as answers, just energy, this undercurrent that is our shared experience.  I just have to remind myself to honor it, and to trust myself to hear its flow.

Learning to sit in the fog again.  Its beautiful.


Chad Wright - Master Plan (2013)

"For the first part of this series, Wright created a mould in the form of an L-shaped suburban dwelling, and set out a series of sand castles on his local beach. This scale-model suburbia was washed away by the tide, which perhaps urges us to consider the relative transience of so solid a symbol of the American dream, particularly since the 2007 subprime mortgage collapse. "

Artist’s statement: 

"In Master Plan, I am conflating a child’s sandcastle with architecture typifying postwar American suburbia. This three-part series culls artifacts from my childhood, investigating suburbia in its vision and legacy.Phase One focuses on the mass-produced tract house, re-examining it as symbol for the model American Dream.”

(via emmagohlke)

I love this new music video for Julianna Barwick’s new single “Pacing” off of her new album Nepenthe, which was released yesterday. The video is by Federico Enrico Caruso.

“I feel as if I’m always on the verge of waking up.”

—   Fernando Pessoa  (via aphelia)

(via zophish)


Flight Paths

“There’s a plane leaving for anywhere you want right now, and in an hour, and in a day, and in a year. You can get out whenever you want, it’s comforting I think.”


Flight Paths

“There’s a plane leaving for anywhere you want right now, and in an hour, and in a day, and in a year. You can get out whenever you want, it’s comforting I think.”

(via emmagohlke)

“‘Why do we sacrifice so much energy to our art? Not in order to teach others but to learn with them what our existence, our organism, our personal and unrepeatable experience have to give us; to learn to break down the barriers which surround us and to free ourselves from the breaks which hold us back, from the lies about ourselves which we manufacture daily for ourselves and for others; to destroy the limitations caused by our ignorance and lack of courage; in short, to fill the emptiness in us: to fulfill ourselves. […] We fight then to discover, to experience the truth about ourselves; to tear away the masks behind which we hide daily. We see theatre - especially in its palpable, carnal aspect - as a place of provocation, a challenge the actor sets himself and also, indirectly, other people. Theatre only has a meaning if it allows us to transcend our stereotyped vision, our conventional feelings and customs, our standards of judgment - not just for the sake of doing so, but so that we may experience what is real and, having already given up all daily escapes and pretenses, in a state of complete defenselessness unveil, give, discover ourselves.’”

—   Statement of Principles, Jerzy Grotowski (via theartmedley)