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SageWoman Blogs

At SageWoman magazine, we believe that you are the Goddess, and we're devoted to celebrating your journey. We invite you to subscribetoday and join our circle...

Here in the SageWoman section of PaganSquare, our bloggers represent the multi-faceted expressions of the Goddess, feminist, and women's spirituality movements.

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Calling In Death

'Everything in me knew I was dying. Memories of my life started flooding by. I realized in that moment how much I loved. Loved my dear ones, the earth, this life. So much time had been wasted in fear!  I started a ritual and invited everyone to say 'I love you'. I shared everything else that needed to be shared'.
At the point of near death the veils are lifted. You suddenly see, know, are. Things that you have been closing your eyes for all your life suddenly become crystal clear.  For instance: your mission in life, love, how to live together with all these people on our beautiful Earth.


When the Christian church started portraying death as something outside of you, which decided for you whether it would be heaven or hell, depending on past actions,  they stole something essential from us: the potency of this moment near death.

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  • Mea English
    Mea English says #
    having had a near death experience i can attest to the fact that dying is much easier than watching death happen. my familiar died

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The 31st of October is traditionally Samhain, and also All Hallows Eve. It has a long tradition as a festival, as do Beltain, Imbolc and Lugnasadh, all popular with modern Pagans. However, Pagans in the Southern hemisphere have long since decided that it makes no sense to celebrate Samhain at the start of what, for them, is the spring. Southen calendars swap the festivals around, putting seasonal relevance before an ancestral connection with dates.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_preh_venus_laussel.jpgBernice Johnson Reagon, founder of the 
Grammy award-winning African American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, said it best:

What's necessary to our survival is sacred.

What is necessary to humankind's survival?

Women's pro-creative power. If women don't push babies out of our bellies, the tribe of human beings ceases to exist.

(The ancient Hebrew word for "tribe" also means "mother." The word for a clan within the tribe, batn, also means "belly." No healthy women's bellies, no clan. No healthy mothers, no tribe.)

I've been looking into human evolution recently — a good place to look for the origins of belly magic.

Although not all scholars agree on sequence and significance, a few things happened as human beings evolved:

  • We began walking upright, on two feet.
  • The female pelvis, adapting to bipedalism, narrowed the birth canal.
  • The advent of cooking in effect pre-digested our food, allowing us to get by with shorter intestines, making more energy available for brain development.
  • Fetal brains and heads became larger.
  • Given the relatively narrow birth canal, infant and maternal mortality increased during childbirth.

With childbirth such a life-or-death proposition, it's no wonder that women developed traditions of dance, rituals, birthing practices, and herbal potions that conditioned our bodies to survive childbirth and to birth healthy infants. What we call "belly dancing" is one trace of those traditions.

The impulse, even the instinct, to touch a pregnant woman's belly may be ancient. And it's certainly intrusive when uninvited. A Pennsylvania woman recently made national news when a neighbor touched her pregnant belly without her permission. He faces charges of harassment. (The geography reveals its own irony: The incident occurred on Tip Top Circle in Lower Frankford Township.)

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All Hallow's Eve, oh holy night....but as my thoughts turn to this post, night hasn't fallen yet. Though Samhain is hours away, it feels as though perhaps the veil is thinning ahead of schedule. A low fog hovers, catching on tree branches,erasing the mountains as if they were mere figments of imagination, drifting around me like one of those ancestral wraiths seeking communion with the living once more. But no spirits come to visit, and instead my mind wanders, nebulous thoughts seeking form and being as evening draws closer. With the passing hours they begin to take shape.

We who walk this path share a gift, one known to a few other spiritual paths/religions--a spiritual new year. There will always be the horn-blowing, ball-dropping, sparkling-toast secular new year, but we're blessed with an extra new beginning, one that invites introspection and inspiration. We also get an extra opportunity to make--and make good on--resolutions, different ones perhaps than vows to reacquaint ourselves with the treadmill or be more organized. And so as the windy gloaming sweeps away one year and blows in the new, I ask myself how I can be--and do--better, how can I deepen my connection with Goddess, continue this journey of healing, nurturing and regrowing that once-fractured relationship. As darkness falls, each answer sparks, flickers and flares into being...a trio of flames lighting this moody, dark, rainy Samhain.

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Shakespeare's Goddess

The sky is dappled with constellations, and the pillars holding it up could be marble.  My first look inside the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theater in London took my breath away, but my second look made me laugh.  Just like the illusion he created in his plays, the Bard’s theater is a cleverly crafted visual game.  The bejeweled sky is the brightly decorated roof over the stage, and the pillars of marble are actually painted wood.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Love it! Hecate is one of my wife's favorites, and we were both professional actors 'way back in the 20th century. I spent 3 years
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Thank you! Did you perform at Stratford, CA? One of my favorite places on earth! Sadly, my only trip to England so far was very s
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, I was an actor with the main stage company in 1971, 1972 and 1973, including a winter tour with the company to Poland and Rus

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