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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
My Journey to the Goddess Deities
 "Yeah, I'd break bread and wine. If there was a church I could receive in." Sometimes Bono just totally gets me. I love ceremony and I love truth and happily, I can find both almost anywhere. What I can't find almost anywhere, however, is a sense of complete belonging. In most religious houses I can't shake the sense that I'm not truly welcome there. This isn't to say that I'm not welcomed on the surface, I don't go into religious houses with a great big pentacle around my neck or a vile of Moon blood to offer the Virgin Mary, they aren't aware that I'm a Goddess loving Priestess upon my entrance, but there is the sense that if they truly knew how I worshipped they'd probably rather that I just turn away and find the nearest crop to worship in and be done with my heathen soul. Oh they've tried to 'save' me, but apparently the 'spirit of witchcraft and lust' just wouldn't budge.
 
I'm fine with this sense of not belonging in the religious houses for the most part now. Yet when my call to become a Priestess first beckoned me, it was the pain of being rejected by the religious folks, the so-called faith filled ones that came up to be healed. Because while I don't fit into any of the major religions, despite my great thirst for a devoted and surrendered life, I also didn't feel I truly fit into any pagan, wiccan, Goddess or any other ancient or alternative circle either. I was a bit of a spiritual misfit, an orphan of sorts with no home that I could find on Earth.
 
Where my lack of belief in a Devil, a male God living on a cloud and my refusal to conform to the idea that I as a women am to play a supporting, subordinate role in this drama of life counts me out of the religious world, I feared that my lack of a belief in many deities or the necessity rather then the desire to worship in a circle or a prescribed fashion,  along with my personal choice not to try to manifest or use magic to make a situation unfold in my desired direction counted me out of all other potential spiritual circles. This made the first half of my spiritual journey a solo one, I just didn't care to explain my renegade brand of beliefs to anyone anymore after the run ins that I had found in the fellowship of the churches. I had been disillusioned to find that nobody was actually interested in hearing why I didn't believe in a Devil, rather they were waiting for me to finish speaking so that I could be corrected and saved. This rang true for the many names but same Source conversation, or the pointing out of Bible verses where Jesus urges His followers not to proselyte, or discussing the misogynistic writings and practices of Paul, deemed St. Paul, none of these were discussions to be had, they were misbeliefs to be corrected and if not corrected then I was a lost soul to be prayed for and turned away from. I wasn't about to face another rejection from a group of spiritually practicing women and men if I could avoid it.
 
That avoidance melted away however when the Goddess touched me and I felt almost compelled to join a Goddess circle that my yoga teacher invited me to. In that circle I met a Priestess and as months wore on and Goddess circles were attended the sharing from this Priestess touched me deeply. One fateful day I heard the call from the Goddess to become a Priestess. I began to sweat as I tried to wrap my head around how in the world I could take up a role such as Priestess while staying integral to my personal truths, truths that fit into nobody else's ideals.
 
I thank Goddess for the Priestess that mentored me, she was so accepting and playful with me. I prayed for a few days on this calling, unsure of what to do. I made my decision when, the young boy that I cared for who spoke very few words began to chant 'priestess, priestess, priestess' as I changed his diaper. His family were atheists and I had never uttered the word in front of him, there was no way that he had ever heard that term before, I knew that the Goddess was speaking through him to me and in that moment I took that as my solid answer to go a little deeper.
 
With trepidation I called Aquarius, the first Priestess who mentored me.
 
"I think I'm being called to become a Priestess," I told her. She chuckled, she had already told me in a circle that she led that she knew that I was a Priestess of Isis and had served Isis in a past life with her.
 
"BUT," I interjected before she could speak. "I don't believe in deities, I don't believe that there is more then One Source so I won't be a Priestess of Isis, or any other Goddess. BUT," I continued before she could respond, "I will be a Priestess of the Butterfly Spirit." The Native name that was bestowed upon me is "Little Soaring Butterfly" and I understood working with animal totem medicine, and while my Priestess commitment would eventually transform into being a Priestess of Grace that works with Butterfly medicine this was where I began.
 
"That's just fine," she said in such a calming manner that I felt my defenses fall away as a great wave of peace descend upon me. "But I know that you're a Priestess of Isis, even if you don't in this lifetime." She just had to get that in, we both laughed.
 
This was where the length of my journey that has brought me the most joy and peace began. I found that the Goddess path embraced all of me, despite my technicalities, despite my 'I believe in this but not in that' defensive shield that I had thrown up in an attempt to ensure that I knew whether I was really being accepted into a circle or whether I was being charmed into being changed, converted, 'saved'. There was nothing that I did or didn't believe that counted me out in Goddess worshipping, and while my father still insists that I'm pagan and I'm often referred to as wiccan I can happily say that while I don't define myself as either, I don't define myself as anything, if there is a term that I needed to define my particular faith with it would be Feminine Mysticism. I made up the term as many people were confused as to what I was and rather then call myself a Spiritual Mutt (which may be even more apropos) I took the two fundamental principles that I know to be true and have merged them together. The practice of Mysticism : recognizing only one power and the practice of Feminine spirituality: recognizing all life that is manifest as Divine and embracing the embodied experience on this Earth plane. The Goddess and the open spiritual community that I have been guided towards has taught me that there is no way to define people, faith may have a title that is used to offer an insight into the brand of worship and belief that a particular person practices, but the name of a faith is not the defining factor of a person.
 
Because of this all inclusive embrace that I have received I have had the pleasure of becoming ordained as a Priestess, a Priestess that serves Grace, I have enjoyed Buddhists meditations, Tantric workshops, breathworks, Shambala talks, Taoist teachings, Christian Mystic literature, Metaphysical church services and have even been able to take a deep breath and step into a church or two to join my Bonma who goes it alone to church most Sunday's, when I would fly home to visit family. I no longer join her as I can't justifiably sit in a pew knowing the history of the massacre of women that was done in the name of religion that has yet to be amended, but on those occasions when I did join her I no longer cared about whether I would be fully accepted for what I believed or didn't believe. I had found my tribe, I wasn't going it alone in my faith anymore and while there are many religions that are not as all inclusive, the Goddess embraces us all, She is after all our Mother. 
 
The great gift in this journey for me has been my discovery of the Goddesses. I had resisted them so much at the beginning for fear that I would have to debate my belief in only One Source. I had also resisted them due to preconceived notions that I had which led me to believe that knowing and working with the many Goddesses meant that I had to believe in many different goddesses and gods as distinct entities. However when I saw that there were no women or men in the Goddess circles looking to convert or convince me I began to open up not only to the One Goddess, but also to becoming acquainted with the many Goddesses. I found that I do believe in the Goddesses, as Archetypes, as energetic expressions of the One Goddess on this plane of duality. The great joke has been that I have became almost obsessed with following the Goddess archetypes, phases of the Moon and astrological signs that occur on a daily basis, I have found that utilizing the Goddess archetypes has opened me up more fully and more deeply into my feminine self. So as one who was so opposed to the idea of deities I can happily say that I have been converted through my own experience and now work with them on a daily basis.
 
As I became happy and solidified in my then new path as a Priestess I came across this in the 2009 We Moon calendar "It's not like the different goddesses are all in their own special heavens with the door closed. All are archetypical manifestations of this universal female energy. Access is not an energy outside ourselves, but an energy within. Outside/inside, in ultimate reality it makes no difference. " It seems that my beliefs were not as unique as I thought.
 
Today I give thanks to the Goddess and Her many expressions in my life. I thank Her for guiding me gently and opening me up as fully as I am able to open. Through Her grace I have been led to a path, a community and a way of life that truly embraces all of what is Truth to me and honours me as I am.
 
Those deities that I had feared which are now such an integral part of my daily life have opened me up to a greater and vaster experience of the Divine Goddess and of my many different aspects of self. Through these deities I have discovered within myself:  
 
The Lover: I have found a way to tap into the Lover aspect of the Divine Feminine through Her expression as Aphrodite. As Aphrodite I have learnt the Divine pleasures of romance, sensuality, ecstasy, beauty and being adored.
 
The Maiden: My maiden self was deeply, deeply wounded. During a six hour dance to honour the Mahavidyas, the 10 different faces of Shakti incarnated from child to Crone, I found the Goddess Lalita Tripura Sundari. When the Tantrika's who were guiding us through the riutalized dance introduced us to the ten altars and explained which Goddesses they were , I dreaded meeting Lalita, the teenaged Goddess, and coming face to face with my Maiden. As the dance began and I bowed down at her altar, I was so very quickly transformed, I found the heart of my true Maiden self as this expression of the Goddess took me back to my true, untarnished inner Maiden. I found my sense of play, innocence, wonder and lightness from the expression of Lalita Tripura Sundari and experienced a restoration of harmony and balance that has been unparalleled.

The Mother: While I was in the Maiden phase of my life the Goddess was the Mother in an all encompassing way to me, once I became pregnant however, She began to come to me as Mother Mary. This is the aspect of Goddess that I turn to as I learn to mother my baby Maiden. In the dark of the long nights of teething or fussing, when I feel my fuse running short I go within and ask Her, "Mother Mary, how do I do this?" I ask Her,  "please Mother through me," and I am lifted above the moment and infused with the gentle, nurturing energy of Mother Mary.
 
The Sorceress: Rhiannon, Medusa and Hectate all teach me about the potent energy that I hold within, the power to image a creation and to bring it to fruition through connecting my Source self to this Earthly realm. I have learnt about the magic within me and what it means to me through working with these Goddess archetypes. As the magic of the Source of all is tapped into, these Goddess expressions have taught me how to channel that energy, how to contain it, direct it and surrender to it's mighty power.
 
The Crone: Ceridwen, Spiderwoman and Morrigan are a few of the Crone Goddesses that connect me to the wisdom of my ancestors, the wisdom that my grandmothers hold within them and the wisdom that they have forgotten. The Crone Goddesses speak to me through the bones of this Earth, through my rocks, crystals, Moon blood and the ground beneath my bare feet. When I find these aspects of the Crone within me I am brought deep within, into my bones, my blood and find that I have the wealth of a million Grandmother's wisdom already living within me. These Goddesses remind me to keep sacred our land, to honour the ways of the old and to care for the elders in my community.

 
The Healer: When I first bought my Goddess Oracle deck I immediately fell in love with one card above all else, it was the Goddess Ixchel, of all of the cards that I pulled  it took me two full years before I finally pulled her. She has come forth as the Divine expression of the power that I hold within me when, as a Priestess, I connect to the majesty of the Heavenly realms while also opening as deeply as I can to the elements and allowing all of these energies to flow through me and to crack me wide open, making a conduit of me. This Goddess has taught me how to let the I AM energy use me to restore balance and harmony, she has taught me surrender, focus, rootedness and the depths of true power that can be tapped into.
 
The Creatrix: Saraswati, Shakti, Mary Magdalene and Gaia are some of the Goddess archetypes that have taught me about the nature of creation, creation that comes from the imaging of other realms to be expressed here in this one. My second and fifth chakra has been illuminated by these expressions of Goddess and turned up to burn bright as I sit down to create.
 
Above are but a few examples of how the different archetypes, the Goddess deities have come to teach me more about the One Divine Goddess, She comes to me in many different ways with many different names. I have learned that for each lesson I face there is a corresponding Goddess that has the answers and the tools that I need to further my learning. The deities that I had so fervently denied believing in have taught me more then I had ever imagined I would be open minded enough to receive.
 
In the end what I have learnt is that I was not only longing for a community that would accept me exactly as I was, I was also longing for the self-freedom to allow myself to believe and to grow in the ways that inspired me most. I thank the Goddess for being slow and tender with me in those beginning years on my Priestess path and for drawing to me women who were gentle, playful and not attached to the labels that I held so close to me in those years.


My hope is that as women and men we may all be honoured to believe, worship, practice and journey homeward in the direction that flows the smoothest for us and that we be met with the love, acceptance and embrace that the Goddess and Her community has given me, and most importantly of all, that each of us can feel safe enough to truly let go of all that we think that we know in a surrendered act of humility and open up to all that the Goddess knows in us and through us. I pray for a world of women and men who have the self freedom and confidence to be exactly who they are and to worship in the flavour and design that suits them best. Let us shine our rainbow light Homeward bound.
 
Grace Be With You
Priestess of Grace
Candise Soaring Butterfly

 
artwork : Goddess Dancing by Charlotte Backman
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PaganNewsBeagle Magical Monday July 21

We're adding a new feature to the PaganNewsBeagle -- Magical Monday will feature stories, spells, rituals, and practical tips to start out your workweek. Nothing but positive vibes on Monday!

Looking forward to the High Summer Holiday of Lammas/Lughnasad? Here's a "really ridiculous" ritual from Patheos that sounds like fun!

We get lots of requests for protection magick here at Witches&Pagans -- so many that we are devoting a large portion of next spring's "Psychic Arts" issue of the magazine to that very subject. In the meantime, here's a short ritual/spell for that very purpose that I collected for y'all online. You're welcome!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Original-Flora-lowres.jpg

The Goddess in Her many aspects teaches us the mystery of the cauldron—birth, death and rebirth. Nowhere is this unfolding of regeneration more evident than in the garden bower at high summer. Heady with the fragrance of rose, valerian, lily, sweet pea, peony and more, the air itself seems ripe with life. As blossom turns to bloom then fades to seed or dies back to root we witness a time lapsed allegory of our own days on this earth, ending with the promise of new generations.

I’ve been spending a good deal of time in my garden this summer. After completing an herbalist apprentice course late last fall I was anxious to make use of my new knowledge. More recently, I have learned the art of making flower essences, capturing the vibrational energies of the blooms at their peak, reducing and formulating the essences to be used for the enhancement of mind, body and spirit wellness.

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Academic Monday July 21

 

In this edition of the PaganNewsBeagle (Air - Monday) edition we have three stories from Creighton University including Voodoo in New Orleans, how online social media reflects (and affects) religious behavior, and a study that concludes religious teachings create an inability to tell fact from fiction in young children.

This paper discusses the syncretism of both Catholicism and Voodoo in New Orleans and explains how the adaptable Catholicism of New Orleans provides ample support for the growth rather than repression of Voodoo.

The rise of online social networking appears to represent a new challenge to religious individuals and institutions. In this paper, the author suggests that technology can enhance religious practices through the expansion and creation of religious communities.

Does strong religious belief create gullibility in children? Furthermore, do such beliefs predict psychopathology? This study explored how religious fundamentalism related to irrational beliefs and primitive defense mechanisms.

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The Witch's Broom: Magical or Mundane?

As some of you may know, I wrote a book called The Witch’s Broom. Recently, as a result of that, I got a message from a lovely man named Robert Skinner, who has a business called Blue Moon Brooms. (Yes, my group is called Blue Moon Circle, so how fun is this?) He said he loved my book (yay) and very kindly offered to make me my own broom for the price of one penny plus shipping (double yay). These are some gorgeous brooms, people.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for this post! I tend to be a panentheist who experiences everything as sacred and holy and have come to the realizatio
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    I couldn't agree more!
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I had a friend once who told me he used all of his ritual items in day-to-day life, and I think there's something to that. After
Persephone and Demeter: A Personal Tale Of Birthright and Motherhood
Art by Susan Seddon-Boulet
(http://www.turningpointgallery.com/)

"In the best known version of the Greek myth, Persephone is dragged down into the underworld by Hades, whose title is 'Pluto.' But in earlier, pre-patriarchal tales, she descends there under her own power, actively seeking to graduate from her virginal naïveté by exploring the intriguing land of shadows. 'Pluto' is derived from the Greek word plutus, meaning 'wealth.' Psychologist James Hillman says this refers to the psyche-building riches available in Pluto's domain. Hades, he says, is the 'giver of nourishment to the soul.'" - Rob Brezsny

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Blessings on you both in your continued journey.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Such a touching story and so sad. As I was writing an earlier comment that disappeared, it struck me that your mother is the one w
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    sigh indeed
Witchcamp 2014:  All Comes from Love, all returns back to Love

It is dark and the waxing crescent moon is hidden in the night sky by the tops of the redwoods.  But I walk the path confidently, my bare feet know the way though I have only been to this place once.  I move in the dark toward the sound of drumming.  I am again at Reclaiming’s California Witchcamp with witches of all genders from many parts of the world.

 

Last year, my first year at Witchcamp, we worked a Babylonian myth which introduced me to the Goddess Erishkigal, Queen of the Underworld.  It was a powerful and comfortable experience for me.  It was an opportunity to thank the Goddess for my own time in her realm dealing with a long bout of depression and complex health issues in my forties.  It was a time to thank her for allowing me to hang in the dark long enough to finally understand the dark is no scarier than the light, once my eyes adjusted to the dimness.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
On Frigga

 

She is not the most beautiful woman at the court of the Aesir, nor the most glamorous, not the most vivacious and charming. Those roles are held by Freyja, said by some to be Her rival, by others to be another, earlier, side of Herself. (In mainland Germany, there was no Frigga and no Freyja—only Frija, apparently an amalgam of the two goddesses.) There is no contest: Freyja is the star who draws all eyes in Asgard.

But Frigga will gladly cede this to Her, because She is more than that: She is Asgard's Queen, the one who holds the heart of its King and who carries His keys. She runs His household, has borne and raised His children, and sits at His side. She is the one He turns to for comfort, counsel, and blessings. She is the one who offers sacred drink to those who sit at His table, and that drink itself carries a mystery from the past that few--beyond the two of Them—know or speak of.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
St. Margaret Hamilton Rides Again

Wicca-schmicca. The iconic witch of the 20th century is Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West. If you've ever wondered why she's green, any Midwesterner can tell you. Tornado skies really are that color.

My friend Stephanie and I are big Wizard of Oz folks. Is that really a filmic epiphany of the Triple Goddess there in Munchkinland, or are you just glad to see me?

Stephanie's doorbell hasn't worked for years. Why have it repaired when you can hang a Bell Out of Order: Please Knock sign on your front door instead? For all I know, the doorbell actually does work.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Being a good Christian Witch, I do so love this story

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

What’s the difference between a pentagram and a pentacle? Aren’t pentagrams satanic? Why do some Wiccans wear pentagrams? Do I have to wear a pentagram to be a Wiccan?

A pentagram is a five-pointed star, usually depicted as interwoven, or with the lines used to draw it overlapping. A pentacle is a pentagram with a circle around it. Pentagrams and pentacles have long been symbols of protection and warding off evil, and they are used for that purpose by many Wiccans today.

A Little History

Pentagrams have been used for thousands of years and appear in ancient Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian art. They have been used by Christians, too—perhaps most famously by Hildegard of Bingen, who, along with other twelfth-century Christian scholars, associated the number five with the five senses and the human body (one head, two arms, and two legs; it reminds me a bit of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man), and saw it as the symbol of the microcosm, or the divine reflected on earth. The symbolism of the pentacle plays an important role in the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and of course it is also associated with the Christmas star and sits atop the Christmas tree in many Christian homes.

The pentagram has been used extensively by practitioners of alchemy and high magic (both past and present), including Cornelius Agrippa and Eliphas Levi, who developed the Tetragrammaton Pentagram. The pentagram was adopted by fraternal organizations such as the Freemasons and the Order of the Eastern Star, which associates each point with a woman from the bible.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Growing Up Among Almond Trees

Almond Orchards

As a child in Ripon, California, I lived surrounded by almond orchards. The trees grew in neat, straight rows, in accordance with human desires rather than their own. The only time the trees were able to have a little freedom was during the annual Almond Blossom Festival, when they dropped pinkish-white petals all over the ground. Almond trees lined the main street of town, and the petals collected in drifts on the street, and blew through the air during the parade. I could sense the trees' exuberant happiness at that time of year.

The orchards were not just full of trees, though. They were also full of angry honeybees who lived to sting humans. I understood why. They were being kept as slaves, and forced to live a migrant lifestyle that did not suit them. Commercial beehives were moved around from one orchard to another, disorienting the bees. Although I could sense why they hated human beings, understanding them did not make me any less afraid of them. I was allergic and would pass out if I was stung, and they would chase humans, and they terrified me. 40 years later, I'm free of that fear, though the cost was too high-- I'll write about that when I catch up to the present day.

The Tradition of Hospitality

My mom's parents, who immigrated from Austria and were native speakers of Plattdeutsch, were nominally Christian but observed a number of traditional Germanic customs that no doubt originated in heathen times. Some of these customs had a coat of Christian paint on old heathen wood. There is an old tradition known among heathens today as Guestright. That is taking in transients, and goes back to the days when there was no such thing as a hotel, and back to a place where sleeping outdoors would surely mean freezing to death, so the custom had a practical function in society. It also had heathen religious overtones, because there were many stories of Odin wandering in disguise, and the traveler who came to the door might be Odin, and one had best not turn him away and anger him. My grandfather observed a custom of inviting a "bum" home for Christmas Eve every year. Although it was tied to a Christian holiday, that very holiday is also an old pagan and heathen holiday, Yule. The family claimed this tradition was about charity, but it was transparently really about honoring the wanderer. If it had been about charity, they could have invited a poor person from the local area, or made a donation. The custom was very clear that the person invited to the feast had to be an anonymous vagrant whose real name no one knew. Looking back, knowing what I know now about heathen stories and customs, it is quite obvious to me that was a survival of a folk custom meant to honor Odin. And it was still being practiced in the 1970s.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


As we journey through the waning moon, it is time to listen to the night wind woman and to trust the talkative silence...

Listen to what is walking here b2ap3_thumbnail_June-2014-016.JPG
tiptoeing through your dreams
knocking at the door of your unconscious mind
whispering from shadows
calling from the full moon
twinkling in the stars
carried by the night wind woman
rising at sunset
peeking out
in tentative
yet persistent purpose.

Listen to the call
trust the talkative silence…

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for this post and your endarkenment post. Blessings in the darkness as our eyes adjust and we find, as you said, it's n

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Your Very Own Pagan Pride Parade

The more traditional American holidays can leave some of we Wiccans and Pagans feeling a little left out and blue. Here are some ideas for taking pride in ourselves and where we live– as the old Francis Scott Key ditty goes: "the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Get your magical-minded buddies together for an outdoor picnic. For this, I would suggest your friendly, less populated county or state parks. If you are concerned about the forest ranger making the rounds, hold the festivities in your own (or co-host with one of your guests') big back yards instead.

Cook special dishes of significance to you. Cakes and Ale or Cakes and Wine are always an easy crowd-pleaser. Per Patti Wigington, at the about.com website: "The Wiccan ritual known as Cakes and Ale is often celebrated as a way of thanking the gods for their blessings. Cakes are usually just cookies prepared in the shape of crescent moons, and the ale can be alcoholic or it can be apple cider, juice, or even water." Here is her recipe:

SIMPLE SABBAT CAKES

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The Element of Fire: Passion, Creation and Ignition

This is the second of my series of posts on how I connect to the elements from a Southern Hemisphere perspective living on the western coast of Australia. Previously, I called in Air, in the East.

I now turn to the North, and call in passion, creation, desire, heat: I call to you, o Fire! Standing in the circle, we have already established a sense of presence in the breath of life, the whisper is on the winds, the intention is set, the inspiration has arrived. Fire is called next as it now has the Air to breathe, to ignite a sense of drive into what we do in this space, a flurry of sparks: let's turn that whisper into a roar. 

When calling in Fire, I can hear the sound of a match being lit. I can feel the warmth spread from my hands, spreading across my chest and then catching on to the circle behind me. And fire is catching. To the far north of this place lies the red hot Pilbara region, where the dirt is red and the land expands for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres like a Martian landscape. There is no where else like it on Earth. If the elemental creatures of myth such as the salamanders had a home, you can easily imagine them being conjured from such a place. When you are up North, the red dirt gets into everything: your car is covered, the washing on your line is tinted, sometimes it even feels like your lungs are coated in red dust.

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[Important Notice] Site Update: Comments, Images, and Other Issues Fixed

Hey, friends and fellow Pagans.

So some of you may have noticed that we've been experiencing a number of technical glitches, errors, and other problems for the last two weeks. This came about as a result of a major update our site's host went through, which caused a lot of our code to no longer work as it had previously. After much wrangling, bugtesting, and other hard work, we're happy to report that these issues are no longer a problem.

Some of the issues you may have experienced include (but are not limited to) the following:

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  • Soli
    Soli says #
    I have several different blogs from the Square in my Feedly reader. The RSS is now messed up so posts by other people are winding
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Soli, can you please email us directly about this problem. It's likely you'll have to re-subscribe because the cause of all the tr
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    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, thank you. Congratulations on your world-wide readership. Eastern Europe? Amazing!



a1sx2_Thumbnail2_qmi2.jpg“Peace and Blessings!”

If you’ve had a phone consultation with the Queen Mother Imakhu, you’re sure to recognize the trademark greeting, along with the joyful cackle. This time, I wasn't following my usual "Call The Queen Mother!" routine which usually involves bringing her a dream for interpretation or seeking guidance in untangling a leadership knot. This time, I was seeking to make her the subject of a blog post, hoping to speak about the nuts and bolts of Priestesshood.

Instead, she had news.

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful (Good News) Friday July 18

It's faithful Friday here at the Beagle, and what a lovely bouquet of positive stories we have for you! (Nice to have good news after yesterday's dual tragedies in Ukraine and Gaza.) Enjoy!


Cara Schultz covers the recent Declaration for European Indigenous Traditions and interviews Pagan leader Andras Corben-Arthen about the declaration for The Wild Hunt.

Patheos blogger Yvonne Aburrow offers suggestions for Pagans who want to engage in interfaith dialogue.

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An Open Heart and A Naked Soul

Twenty years ago today, I self dedicated to the Goddess. Not any one Goddess, or tradition, but simply just The Goddess. The only guild I had was The Spiral Dance by Starhawk. At 16 years old, steeped in the evangelical movement of Christianity, I took a deep breath and inhaled the Goddess' warm embrace of hope and exhaled the patriarchy, shame, and sorrow brought about by the God of Abraham.  Even though I had no formal connection to Reclaiming at the time, and knew even less about 'witchcraft' what Starhawk wrote about in The Spiral Dance resonated with light inside my most darkest spaces. There would still be years filled with nights of terror and dread, there would be more fear, more shame, and yes more suffering. Unlike the faith of my childhood, The Spiral Dance and this Goddess never promised deliverance from suffering in exchange for servitude, rather instead simply offered space. 

Twenty Years after that first reading of The Spiral Dance, my spiritual path has matured and my toolbox is far more expansive. Yet, in a sea of labels, unverified personal gnosis, rhetoric and opinion, I still have no real name for space I share with the the Goddess. I just have the path. My mentor, Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie once said, "there is misperception that arose that if I committed myself to a spiritual path, that I would rise above suffering.  I have come to learn the opposite is true:  If I commit myself to a spiritual path, I will suffer with an open heart and a naked soul. "

I wouldn't blame you if you just thought to yourself, "Gee, that's depressing." After all, who wants to hear that it's going to get more painful before it gets better?  On the other hand, perhaps that truth is strangely comforting, because it is, after all, a relief to know the truth.   Nonetheless, as the faithful psalmist said, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  And so much of making any headway toward joy is in the spiritual practice of honoring space. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Summerland Spirit Festival: Turtle Creek, Wisconsin, July 2014.

The Wild Hunt: post-industrial primitive. We've gathered in front of the hall: the hunters with our face paint and spears, along with the rest of the tribe. When the horns blow, we'll all process down to the Stones, where the Elders will call the Deer. We'll hunt, kill, and mourn him properly before we eat him and rejoice: the mysteries of life and death, the old, true ways.

A little girl whose name I don't know--she's maybe seven--comes up to me and asks very specific questions about the patterns of our face paint. Actually, she's already got it all figured out. The blue line across the nose and cheekbones means "hunter." The crossing line down the brow and ridge of the nose means "tribe." Right?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Brenda Caudill
    Brenda Caudill says #
    Many people have worked very hard for this to happen and we will see more as our children grow.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you, this makes my heart happy.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

 

To be performed during the Waning Moon

a1sx2_Original1_release-3.jpgYou will need:

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