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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Phoenician Goddess c. 2500 BCEShe was standing in line at the deli counter when it happened. Out of nowhere, for no reason at all, she felt something take over her breathing.

Later, she might wonder whether she’d been looking at one too many Venus figurines for her online archeology course.

But now her mind, as it had for days, weeks, decades on end, was chattering non-stop, yammering thoughts (judgments, really) through circles within never-ending cycles of not-good-enough. Such had been her life, so-called, whatever you would call absenting yourself from actual contact with the world's flavors, textures, and other trinkets of sensation. Certainly her world — although some might call it sterile — was neat, tidy, clean.

She wasn't discontent with her circumstances. Any time she had peeked out of her circumscribed la-la-land, however arid — and, to her credit, she had attempted several sorties — she'd encountered bits of barbed wire in her milk, darts flying through the air, cutlery strewn across the sidewalk. In her, yes, limited experience, the world was not a friendly place. If her existence within her self-imposed isolation was a bit lonely, actually loveless, at least she was safe. Trips to the grocery store and library were adventures enough.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Lovely, Lizann! Thanks for your response.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely! Thank you for these holy words! From my "In Praise of Aging" series, my own belly reflection.... In Praise of Aging T
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Synchronicity, such a pleasure, such a grace. The Divine's style of event planning? All of which is to say: Emily, thanks so muc

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Through Our Soles, Our Souls

A light rain falls in these California redwoods. I am walking back to my nest, the VW camper van that is my home for the next week at Witchcamp where I have come to be with witches of all genders from all over the world. It is dark: no Moon is visible, though Her fullness above the clouds makes Her presence felt, tugging on every cell of my body’s oceans. It is not a cold night, damp but surprisingly mild. There is a small footbridge crossing the shallow stream before I get to where I am parked. I am alone in the sweet darkness. Walking to the edge of camp after the opening ritual. I am still barefoot, shoes in hand, and, instead of taking the bridge, I wade into the creek. It flows around my ankles and halfway up my calves. It is also surprisingly warm and so I stop and turn off my flashlight and let my skin do what it does best: feel. There are no more shoes for me at Witchcamp, this is too powerful a place, too powerful an experience to miss anything through the soles of my soul.

The next day someone asks, “Don’t those rocks at the stream’s edge hurt to walk on?” I reply, “I go barefoot a lot. I have Hobbit feet.” But the truth is that if I walked on those rocks the way I do in shoes, it would hurt. The faster pace and heavier trod would bruise me. Yet, because I am barefoot, I walk slower, lighter, with greater intention. And, because I am barefoot, I don’t have to avoid the mud puddles in those first few days of camp before the sun finally dries out the ground mid-week. I can, with glee and full abandon, splash right in and feel the mud squish between my toes.

As the week progresses we dive into the myth of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. Together we descend into the underworld realm of her sister, the goddess Ereskigal. I walk Her descent barefoot. In the story, Ereskigal strips her sister of something at each of the seven gates to the underworld until Inanna finally arrives naked. As we wade deeply in the story, I too relive a time thirteen years ago when my life was stripped away. The memory is vivid as if it were seeping up from the forest floor through the cells of my soles.

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  • Kalyca Schultz
    Kalyca Schultz says #
    This reminds me of nature defiicit disorder, which I've been meaning to read more about. Communing in/with Nature is certainly the
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your blessings to me, and blessings on your barefoot experiments Kalyca. I do hope Witchcamp may be in your future,
  • Tammy
    Tammy says #
    This post resonated with me on a very personal level. I have been travelling the path of not-knowing the past few years. I am slow

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