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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in veleda

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The question is, what are those roots? So many of us live in cultural exile as women, an exile imposed by the dominant religions, and we have been delving into our more distant heritages in search of a meaningful past. This process is a journey, along which our definitions and identifications shift as we go deeper.

I was part of the early feminist wave that reclaimed the witches, scooping that ancient word wycce up out of near-oblivion, and linking it back to women’s ceremony in an era before demonization. I found out, too, that wicca meant “male witch,” rather than being an archaic Saxon word for pagan tradition as a whole. So I opted out of using that name. But I loved learning about the Dutch cognate wickenrode, “witch’s rod,” meaning a divinatory wand, and finding an entire web of related words with animistic import. Over time I discovered other witch-names from various ethnic cultures, including veleda which belongs to a long and rich web of related Indo-European words. I reclaim its forms in both my Irish and Frisian heritages.


I’ve spent more than four decades trying to understand what was done to female spheres of power, spiritual leadership, the Divine in female form. How did we end up in a world so totally controlled by white men, by industrial, earth-raping corporations of a now-global empire? In college we were taught that male domination was a historical universal; there were no other options, and dissent on this point would not be brooked. Don’t forget, you’re being graded. Plus there are the other prestige hierarchies to think of. This situation has not improved, though exceptions exist.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Welcome. So wonderful to have you join us here. I love and appreciate your work!
  • Max Dashu
    Max Dashu says #
    That's what i've been saying for years. People of european heritage need to recover our authentic roots, our place to stand in the
  • Pegi Eyers
    Pegi Eyers says #
    This is such important work you are doing Max, uncovering powerful women healers, priestesses, sacred wisdom keepers and leaders f

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