Archive for December, 2008

Olfactory Offerings

Posted in Dispatches, For Fun, Resources on December 12, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

Haji Ali Dargah (Mumbai) – Incense attendant

On 12/6, I had the pleasure of being in community with several light-filled sistern who attended the Rhythm Sistas dance/drum circle. In addition to the food and music love offerings that seem to have become an integral part of the monthly circle–I shared incense cargo from my recent India trip.

I explained how for centuries Arabs have used these scents in various Islamic cultures to perfume their homes in desert climates. And, how Hindus and Muslims alike burn ritual incense during worship. I use the scents in my spiritual practice, daily meditation and healing arts.

For the benefit of those who missed the talk or simply the curious, I have prepared a brief description and names of the scents gifted at the circle. I’ve also included on-line resources for conjuring women who want to deepen their alchemic knowledge. Attars are not only used to scent the home, body, and clothes. Certain attars distilled from Agarwood Oils, or Oud, are highly valued for their aphrodisiacs properties.

Lastly, a word about purchasing dhoop, when visiting your local Indian bazaar do insist on FRESH and premium quality incense. To avoid being sold low quality incense reserved for unsuspecting non-Indians, ask for puja quality incense. If you are in India, the best place to purchase dhoop is from vendors near temples and mosques.

Stir your pots!

Indian Attars, Islamic Attar Perfume Oils & Pure Fragrance Oils in India

Dhoop: Lavendar and 6am. Ritual incense used during puja
Chandan: Sandlewood incense sticks for everyday use.
Attar – distilled essential oils, traditional Arabian process
Attar (charcoal discs) – BAKHAR AL AREET
Attar (wood pieces) – OUD MOATTAR MUKHALLAT


The Establishment Name: Attar Ahmed Dawood
Address: Shop No.6, Apollo Bunder, Landsdowne Road, Colaba
City: Mumbai – 400039.
Telephone Number/s: +91-22-22870435
(I’ve patronized this shop for nearly 8 years-fine gentlemen.)

Attar Ahmed Dawood, Colaba, Mumbai
manufacturer and exporter of perfumes, perfume oils, fragrance oils,
perfumery compounds, essential perfume oil, pure perfume oil, scented
perfume oil, perfume body oil, perfume oil bottle, essential oil for
cosmetics and essential oils for perfumes

How are Traditional Attars Made?
Attar Extraction Process (attar of roses)

Conjuring Women Inna Oaktown

Posted in Culture on December 12, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

Big up Rhythm Sistas for co-creating a POTENT community healing space in
the East Bay.  Walk strong sistern/breath deep/chant peace/accept love.


When: Sat. January 24, 2009 1:00PM to 4:00PM
Host: Sandy Mills, Mar Stevens, Charlene Gumbs & Monica Anderson
Location: The Noodle Factory
1255 26th Street, Oakland, CA US
Phone: (510) 381-0844

When we drum – we send out waves of healing rhythm!
Bring your drum and your positive energy!

Become part of a circle of women who are creating a place of love, joy,
empowerment and artistic expression for Sistas of Color.

(NEW ADDITION! FREE Traditional African Drumming Instruction 1:30-2pm)


Be certain to bring water and a chair. You are also welcome to bring fruit
or veggies to share!

Toybox Showcase/Micia Mosely

Posted in Culture on December 12, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

Papaya Mann’s Toybox Showcase & Holiday Event (DC)
Featuring Comedic Performer Micia Mosely

When: Sunday December 28, 2008
7pm-1am(Performance @ 9pm)
Blair Mansion Inn

Who: Micia Mosely

What: “Where My Girls At?: A Comedic Look at Black Lesbians.”

Where: The Toybox Showcase
7711 Eastern Ave.
Washington D.C.

Papaya Mann
(202) 486-8888, (202) 882-1925


Message From Papaya Mann
This event we will showcase a special drama production starring Micia
Mosely from New York City, who is touring nationally presenting
woman show is a unique blend of hipness, humor, political astuteness
and versatility.
Micia is a seasoned Actor and Playwright who has performed in many
venues, from coast-to-coast. We will be entertained by a few
different characters from this extraordinary play. The production,
that evening,?is from 9pm-10pm.

For the remainder of the evening,from 10pm until 1am we will dance
the night away with specia ?sounds from our DJ, Margaret Kinard, who
will be flying in from Florida to work her musical magic. Come early,
doors open at 7pm as we enjoy the Jazz and R&B Lounge until 9pm.

For advance tickets, which are $20 give me a call at 202-882-1925 or
202-486-8888. You can also email me at for ticket
pickup info. You are encouraged, if planning to come with friends to save
cash by purchasing ten tickets in advance–because you get the eleventh one free! Otherwise, the admission price at the door is $25.00.

Looking forward to sharing a festive night to remember with you,



Sister-to-Sister Party
Micia Mosely
Toybox Flier

Post Mumbai Ruminations

Posted in Travelogues on December 6, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

It saddened me to leave India early, but I did not want my family and friends to stress over my being there. So with a heavy heart, I departed India by way of Doha, Qatar, London, UK, and Los Angeles, CA. My body is just now catching up with the enormity of the Mumbai attacks.

Qatar Airport Mosque

Qatar Airport Residential Compound (UAE)

I’m trying to decompress from the trip but the more I reflect on the political aspects involved in the response to the Mumbai attacks including the usual unchecked communalism, corrupt politicians and inept law enforcement officials the more enraged I become. Mumbai police, government officials and the t.v. media in Bombay have BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS due to what I observed as ineptitude, recklessness, sensationalism and a gross disregard for the physical safety of victims and the well being of the victim’s families.

“Stay calm, the terrorists are not attacking Indians-only Americans and British. Indians have nothing to worry about.”
[Actual quote.]

The television producers at Times Now the English language channel should be drenched in blood due to their use of high-powered telephoto video cameras during the first day of the siege. Times Now showed in real time footage of terrified hotel guests attempting to hide from the terrorists while at the same time alert rescuers to their whereabouts. On the second day of the siege, a Taj Hotel victim emerged from the hotel confirming that terrorists had indeed been watching the news the first day of the attack and shifting their movements in tandem with the police. By then, the confirmed death toll exceeded 100 fatalities. 


Skyediver and friends

Enjoy these photos of my beloved Bombay taken two days prior to the attacks.

Taj Palace Hotel (background) Indian Navy Band in front of the Gate of India.

Photo Album

Jai Hind. (Long live India)

[SW 12.4.08]

The Rhythm Sistas – Dance Circle & Soul Food Demo (CA)

Posted in Events on December 3, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

Host: The Rhythm Sistas
Location: The Essex Clubhouse
1 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA
When: Saturday, December 6, 11:00am
Phone: 209-617-3751
Greetings & Peace Sistas!

Ain’t No Stopping Us Now! We’re On The Move… supporting and encouraging each other as we all move toward a healthier, happier way of living! We would be honored if you’d join us as we all learn more about healing foods. Come help to prepare and share a tasty meal. We also invite you to stay to learn some African and African derived dance steps – bring your healing dance energy to the Rhythm Sistas circle!

11am-1pm Healing Soul Foods – learn more about how to choose and prepare tasty heart, mind and soul healthy meals (led by Mama Pat Brown and co-created by Charlene Gumbs) You will be emailed the recipes and given an opportunity to bring an ingredient!

1pm – 5pm Dance Healing Circle – Salsa; Congolese Dance; and more… (led by Matu, Yayo, Ava and others!)

For more information:
E-mail: The Rhythm Sistas –

Sweet Passage Odetta Holmes

Posted in Transnat'l Feminism/Solidarity on December 3, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

I cool your brow sistah…

…and do say hello to Mama Afrika

American folk music legend Odetta dies at 77
Wikipedia Entry

Dispatch 26 – Sunrise at Charles de Gaulle Aeroport

Posted in Dispatches on December 1, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler
Sunrise at CDG aeroport

Sunrise at CDG aeroport

It’s only been a couple of weeks since my last trip to Paris.  How nice to return to my Mistress so soon!

On occasion I tell people who inquire about my frequent global travel that it isn’t as glamorous as it may appear.  There are times when my travel commitments feel counter intuitive to what I feel in my physical, spiritual and emotional bodies.  And, then there are moments like I experienced the other day when I returned to Paris for an overnight lay over en route to India.  I managed to spend the day running a couple of errands prior to spending a lovely evening with a dear friend.  The next morning I returned to CDG aeroport in the wee morning darkness but was able to catch this lovely sunrise prior to my India departure.

My mistress continues to seduce and delight me.

My mistress continues to seduce and delight me.

[SW 11.22.08]