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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
My Anti-Anxiety Mantra

When I'm stressed, time speeds up and so do I.  I talk faster and my words run together.  I rush around trying to do more than one thing at a time.  In a hurry, I forget important things and make mistakes that take away more precious time, increasing my stress.  My heart beats faster.  I breathe faster.  I move faster and more violently.  I anger more quickly.  I react without thinking.  Stress hormones overwhelm my body, damaging each organ and system, and my body tries to communicate with me though pain, nausea, headaches, exhaustion, cravings.  If I stay in a state of stress too long, my poor body burns out and I get sick.

In the beginning of my healing journey, I read a lot of books that encouraged me to change what I thought, to change my words and thoughts from negative to positive.  Instead of thinking, "I'm so stressed out," I tried to think, "I am at peace."

Just thinking that I was at peace wasn't enough, but it only took seconds of my too-limited time.  At least I was trying.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I walked down an escalator into the 24th Street BART station in San Francisco's Mission District. I was in a hurry, as I always am in BART. I don't enjoy BART with the same wonder that I felt 23 years ago, when the then-gleaming gray cars of the underground light rail stood for everything my former home of Orange County did not: efficient futurism.

Now BART has become another feature of the city, and it is worn down, besides. It's now simply a well-traveled, still efficient, but sadly familiar semaphore for the agitated haste of the city commuter. I walked rapidly down the moving escalator steps.

I saw people everywhere and the entry gates and the BART musician of the day, and my mind and energy were at least 30 steps ahead. My spirit was already waiting on the platform: everyone moved with practiced, controlled impatience. We were none of us really there: we were really at home or a restaurant or maybe even in the office, although it was late afternoon.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    May we all have the wisdom to stop and notice. Thank you for your words.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Gods Themselves

It used to be able to be said that the system known as Tarot is completely unrelated to paganism. Many of the symbols are Christian and there is a tie to the Catholic Church. I could argue that Tarot is an essentially secretive, coded system designed for an esoteric following. And that may have been true up until the early 1900's when knowledge began to shake loose from the tight-lipped orders of that time. With the advent of A.E. Waite's The Pictorial Key To Tarot, things began to shift.

Now it can be said that Tarot is a useful tool for pagans as well as other paths. Where before only Christ was on the cross for the Hanged Man and the High Priestess represented Sophia, wife of God, now we have more flexibility.

I will not delve into the Christian philosophy since that is not my background. What I do want to look at is how we can see the Gods Themselves in Tarot. But I'm not going to do this with the Major Arcana (definition: Major Arcana are the twenty-two cards from Fool to World.) Instead I want to use the court cards of the Minor Arcana (definition: Minor Arcana are the 58 cards of the four suits.)

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  • Cathie Rayes
    Cathie Rayes says #
    Congrats on your new blog! I've not thought about the suits corresponding to gods and goddesses before, except that for me Venus

I have been focused on the art of surrender lately – I am deeply interested in what it takes for your average modern person to consciously live the Will of the Gods, what the difference is between partial and complete surrender (I have the sinking suspicion the latter feels like sitting between two stools, while the other feels like connected bliss) and what a contemporary mystic’s journey can be like…and in this case, how that journey begins.

When I was first exploring paganism and Reclaiming witchcraft (later coming to the Feri Tradition through Reclaiming) I hand-picked the Goddesses and Gods that I wanted to work with, calling to the energies which sparkled and sparked outside of me, just within the reach of my imagination. I found it intensely powerful to strike up my first Goddess relationship with Brighid, keeper of the forge of my heart. Over the years, I have worked with many Goddesses, as I have felt called…but the deepest relationships I have experienced with the Divine have emerged when I have trusted the Divine to choose me.

A few years back, in the midst of a small crisis of faith, I was feeling very disconnected from my spirituality and practice. I wouldn’t call it a dark night of the soul – it felt more like a gray apathy of the psyche. I discussed this feeling of spiritual disconnection with a trusted friend, and she suggested that I create an altar: barely decorated, with a white altar cloth and a bowl of salt water, she suggested I sit in front of this altar every night and ask to be contacted by gods, being open to Whomever wanted to come through and make contact. This idea intrigued me, as I had never before relinquished so much control of my spiritual connection with deity. It felt like a growing edge, and I love growing edges.

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  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    I was god-stalked by Loki. Before He made His Holy Presence known, I wasn't heathen or familiar with Him (that I was aware of). He

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Goddess Notices

As I prepare to write a book on sacred sites of Goddess in Turkey and consider leading another tour to Anatolia, my mind returned to our last trip to a rural and out of the way place there called Pessinus. Pessinus was sacred in ancient times as a center dedicated to Cybele, though her temple remains hidden beneath the sands of time and as yet undiscovered by contemporary archaeologists.

This might all sound trivial, but I remember feelings of sacredness in Pessinus presenting itself in surprising ways. Although we didn't find Cybele's temple, I believe I "felt" her there. It seemed her essence was in the people and the energy of the place, still today. Burned into my memory were the kids playing with their cows, adorning their heads with costume jewelry, walking them down the main road, not much more than a mud pathway. It was obvious this was just a daily occurrence, this joyous and playful relationship to their cows. For a city girl, it was revealing also seeing the cows responding to them. Like they were pets But what hit me like a ton of bricks was this old crone, sitting in a doorway. She was dressed in what we Westerners would call a costume, though I suspect it might have been her native dress. She wasn’t there selling anything or trying to make herself visible in any fashion. There was something about her gaze. It grabbed me and seemed to follow me. Even though it was years ago, it feels like it was yesterday. Don't laugh, but if felt as if she was a conduit to Goddess, or Goddess in human form overseeing our pilgrimage. I had this sense that our visit was not going unnoticed.

Then just a couple weeks ago, it happened again.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your work in dispelling the disinformation! Blessings on all She notices.
  • Karen Tate
    Karen Tate says #
    Hi Lizann, Thanks for your reply. My apologies for the delay in responding. Glad you liked the article.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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In a house with three kids and a busy husband, it’s hard to find peace.  Just finding time to watch a movie without falling asleep is a challenge.  I work a full-time job and my husband is self-employed full-time as well as he just started to work part time for a company which will at some point turn into a full-time job (and hopefully decrease the self-employment), makes it hard enough.  But when his self-employment takes him six hours away for a week or two at time, all I can say is “ugh.”  I don’t know if it’s easier now that the kids are out of school or if it were easier when they were in school.

Last week is a prime example of how life generally is, my husband was at a job six hours away and it was the first week of summer vacation.  My kids, a son 13, and two daughters 11 and 9, are absolutely wonderful.  As sluggish as the kids can be (summer break you know), if I were to ask them to help, they are there for me.  The youngest will drag her feet at times, but will still get done what is asked of her.  Although the mornings are easier now (I don’t have to get the kids off to the buses for school), I do have to run home at lunch and make sure everything is ok, make any sandwiches, give any orders, and make up the computer time schedule, then head back to work.

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  • Laurie Novotny
    Laurie Novotny says #
    Thank you Lizann! I don't know what I would do if we didn't have the chaos. Oh, and the belly dancing is wonderful!
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Blessings on the sacred chaos - and the belly dancing!

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