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Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the Feminine Divine in beings of all genders.

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These Turnings of Time

            As a Reclaiming Witch, I marked the previous year’s passing at Samhain (October 31st) by honoring who and what had crossed from life to death during the turning of the Wheel of the Year, and who and what came into this life during that same time.  As a Christian Minister, I marked the previous year’s passing as the liturgical year reached its end (late November) by reflecting on the places I experienced the presence of Christ (some expected, like in the denominational work I do with adolescents and children, some unexpected,  like dancing next to me at Witchcamp).  Now as a cultural Westerner who follows the Gregorian Calendar, I am marking the passing of Two Thousand Thirteen.

 

        They are not so different, these three rituals for the turning of time.  Each calls for remembering and giving thanks for the events and experiences of the previous year.  Each calls for reflecting on, and interpreting those events and experiences.  Each calls for becoming aware of how those events and experiences are now a part of our cellular structure.  As I remember, reflect, and become aware, for me it was a year of death, integration, and unexpected opportunities.

     

        Death was my constant dance partner:  waltzing with my father, twirling with my two cousins, swaying with my familiar, Luna. Through each death I honored their lives.  The way my dad rose from each struggle and built life after life until he finally came to a place of joy and delight.  The way my cousin spun the learnings of being a son, into raising his own amazing sons. The  way my lovely Luna worked and transformed energy.  Who they were now live in me and all those who loved them.  Dancing with so much Death in such a short period of time strengthened my muscles, imbued me with a deeper sense of grace, and helped me hear a cosmic music that had been out of range before.

     

        Integration was a more subtle process.  The pieces of my life which seemed disconnected or separate, begin to flow into each other.    One day a spiritual master (who is also a jeweler), put a pendant in my hand.  It was The Auryn (a variation of the worm/snake ouroborous).  He said as he crafted it, he realized it was about the integration of things that were often thought to be binary or dualistic: male and female, spirit and matter, light and dark, heaven and earth.  I began wearing the pendant and realized that what seemed to be separate pieces of my life had already been blurring, becoming a continuum as opposed to opposites, transforming into more of an integrated whole.

     

        One of the unexpected opportunities was being asked to be one of the Campus Pastors at my alma mater, Pacific School of Religion.  The phone rang and after the usual pleasantries, the Director of Spiritual Life said, “We have had an influx of pagan and neopagan students enroll in our traditionally Christian seminary.  Because you are both a United Church of Christ minister, and a Reclaiming Witch, we think you would be a perfect fit for the Campus Pastor position....” The invitation was barely out of her mouth before the words “I’d love to” formed in a deep place in my being and  leaped out of my mouth.  I hadn’t said yes to a weekly gig in 13 years.  My dance with death, and the integrating work symbolized by my pendant, have already informed my work of presence in this unexpected opportunity.

     

        While all turnings of the spiral of time are important, the Gregorian spiral this year feels particularly powerful because of the way it is lining up with the Lunar cycle.  The Moon finishes its wane to Dark as 2013 ends.   What do you remember and give thanks for in this past year?  How do you interpret what you’ve experienced?  How has this past year become part of your cellular structure?  Blessings on the very sacred cells of your being as you celebrate these turnings of time.

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Lizann Bassham is both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister.  She is the founder and director of Front Porch Spirit, a collective of writers, musicians, artists, and performers using their creative gifts to craft and create community and educate around various social justice and cycle of life issues.  She is a regular columnist for SageWoman magazine, novelist, playwright, songwriter, and currently working on a poetry series and women’s journal entitled “In Praise of Aging.”  She lives in West Sonoma County in Northern California.  Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A.  

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