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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_Mara-Friedman-Sisters-of-Abundance-smaller2.jpg     Earth ripples alive in her golden skin as wheat ripens under summer sun, pulses to fullness fattened by rain and wild airs. Bronze rods of barley brushed by the weather, shimmer in fields of light as Corn Mother moves amongst us. Her fertile body is swollen with grain, sheaf after sheaf—enough to bring bread to the whole planet, even to famine, if we work with the climate, tend our fields as holy places, share with those who lack as an act of Compassion. Her belly is big with promise, with miracles, wonders, but our shadows stretch long on the harvest acres as we eat up the land. At the heart of the Eleusinian mysteries lay a single grain of wheat—sun-energy so small, holding the future. Women everywhere engage with the sacred alchemy of making bread: grain, water, fire, to feed their families and those who are in need. Loaves and flatbreads, chapattis, sour rye unite us in simple ritual: May we break bread in peace with all nations, in the name of Goddess.

Rose Flint © Mother Tongue Ink 2013

Mara Berendt Friedman (Lorane, OR) For over two decades, Mara has celebrated the Divine Feminine through her paintings. See more at: www.newmoonvisions.com

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PaganNewsBeagle Fiery Tuesday: Activist News for July 29

It's fiery Tuesday here at the PaganNewsBeagle, and we've got a full plate of activist goodies! Satanic activists take advantage of #HobbyLobby; open carry -- prayer; the IRS investigates churches; should Pagans have "ministers," and heretical Founding Fathers of the U.S.

Under the category of "Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword" the Satanic Temple (hardly the Christians who brought the original case) is now invoking the #HobbyLobby SCOTUS decision to demand a religious exemption to anti-abortion laws in several states. While it's not obvious if these Satanists are actually religious, or just clever activists, they are certainly doing a nice job of getting attention.

"Open Carry -- Prayer!" That's what Byron Ballard calls a new law promoting faith in the public schools of North Carolina. The ramifications of this (and other) new state laws on religion is discussed by Heather Greene at TWH.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


There's something immensely powerful in women baring our bellies.

Quoted in The Woman's Belly Book, a woman describes what would happen when her daughter, as a toddler, met someone for the first time: She'd lift her shirt up and show them her belly.

Here's an adult, and global, example. "Get Your Belly Out" is a worldwide campaign that four women in the UK have launched to raise awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn's disease, and colitis — all ways of naming the belly's deep distress. Using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, supporters are posting photos of their bellies bared. They're also donating to research that will generate a cure for these gut-wrenching diseases.

I love how bellies bared for the camera make such an impact. They're saying: "Here I am, you can't ignore me now." When women bare bellies in a joint enterprise, the message is: "Here we are, you can't ignore us now."

There's power in such enterprises, yes?

In 2008, two women in Austin, Texas — Karen Rayne and Christy Tashjian — launched their photo-invitational Belly Project. And in 2011, xojane.com launched the Real Girl Belly Project; at least one young woman says it saved her life.

The mother of all these enterprises, as far as I know, is the Belly Project that Lisa Kushner of Belfast, Maine launched with photographer Peggy McKenna more than twenty years ago. The project flagrantly affirmed women's autonomy regarding reproductive rights. The finely textured belly portraits signaled women's authority to decide on pregnancy and childbirth. A poster displaying a group of the portraits sold nationwide; I can remember seeing one on the wall of a women's health clinic.

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_kushner-piscuskas.jpgPhotos from this Belly Project figured recently in the Living In These Bodies exhibit at the Waterfall Arts gallery in Belfast. As Lisa Kushner recalls, women were eager for Peggy McKenna to photograph their bellies: "People would pull up their shirts in the Shop 'n Save supermarket: 'Look, look, I can be in it!' It was the politics. Women were worried that their bodies would be taken out of their control."

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Make Your Wish: The Simplest Tarot Spell Ever

There are so many legends about wishes in our culture. Which one of us has not make a secret wish on our birthday candles?  Who hasn’t wished on the first evening star?

So often, these are the first spells we cast as children.

Sometimes, a simple wishing spell is all you need, and you don’t have to wait for your birthday, or for the first evening star, to cast it.  All you need is the Nine of Cups!

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Thinking Anew About God--Tikkun Summer Issue

The summer issue of the progressive spiritual-political magazineTikkun includes feature essays on the topic "Thinking Anew about God" which should be of interest to PaganSquare readers. The editor of the journal suggested to contributors that though many thoughtful people have rejected the (dominant male) God out there who is in control of the world, these same people often are not aware of new ways to thinking about divinity. All of the contributors respond to the challenge to imagine and conceptualize divinity in new ways. Though most of them are not pagan, I suspect that aspects of some of their views will resonate with every reader of this blog. 

Jewish feminist Judith Plaskow and I contributed a jointly written essay. In it, I speak of Goddess as a personal presence who loves and understands the world and whose power is power-with not power-over.  Judith speaks of God as a power of creativity that is the ground of both good and evil.

The Table of Contents provides a glimpse of the exciting new ideas about Goddess and God discussed in the issue.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Margot Adler is Dead

and all I could do was pick elderberries.

Like most of the Pagan community, I knew Margot was ill, had been ill for a while. And now she is dead, gone to Tir Nan Og, passed into the West. She was best known, I suppose, for her terribly important book "Drawing Down the Moon," and for her love of vampires and for her smart reporting from NY on NPR.

I made a memorial candle and took it to our Beloved Crone Antiga's house tonight and we talked about Margot and watched the candle burn and celebrated her brightness.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Beautiful words, my friend.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks for this post. She will be missed, but her spirit will live on in the communities she inspired.
Magic and Spells with the Witches Tarot

Ellen Dugan's Witches Tarot has become my go to deck and that is a special privilege in my deck collection. I wasn't sure anything could top the connection I made with my Steampunk deck but then the Witches Tarot called to me in a dream (I kid you not) and now it is the deck at the top of my pile. This is a deck I flirted with for awhile before it showed up in my dream. I made googly eyes at it on Amazon and even drooled over the images on facebook but I had not committed to buying it.

Then it happened, it came to me in my dream time. Yes this deck is that powerful, it will communicate to you while you sleep. I dreamed of the cards and each one spoke to me, literally, it was a dream what can I say! The images imprinted themselves on my mind so when I work up I had no choice but to ring my local Pagan Store, Well of the Moon and ask them if they had the Witches Tarot in stock. Of course they did, right!

So now I had the physical deck in my hands, not a dream deck, not a virtual deck a real printed deck and boy oh boy was it vibrating. The energy that was radiating off this deck was so intense and I had not even taken it out of the box yet. The reveal of a deck for me is a scared thing, the way I take it out of the box, the way I pick up the cards, flip through the book and slowly and carefully look through each of the cards. And the reveal of this deck was extra special.

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