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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 subscribe today 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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We stood in the labyrinth to cast our circle. It’s an intimate space, about six metres across with the paths made of brick and the curves between the paths mosaic. The mosaic is in rainbow bands of colour, the outermost circuit red, then orange, yellow, greens blues and purples with the centre piece mainly white, an ‘om’ symbol picked out in a small glittering pattern of colour. Set into the grass in the community gardens it’s where we do our public rituals and – on this occasion – where we were for our monthly meeting. We walked the labyrinth in, passing and passing each other as our circuits lapped and turned and threaded through the journeys of others; separate but companionable. It was cooling down; the day had been warm and the bricks and tiles retained that warmth, fed it back to us when we arrived in the centre and sat down, welcoming, sheltering us.

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     The name, Imbolc, comes from “i mbolg,” Old Gaelic for “in the belly.” What fertile seed is beginning to grow down in the belly of your deepest being? What’s shaking and quaking under the rich earth of You? This is the Holy Day for claiming the Light, the Life, the New that longs to grow from you and through you—claiming it, saying yes to it, honoring it with intention and blessing. We’ve been a thought thrumming in the hush of infinity, unnamed desire nestled in the dark swell of winter. It’s delicious riding the wave of infinite potentials, and then there comes a moment to shift out of the void, grab hold of your dream and leap with it into the Real. It’s time to Initiate. Time to place your bet on your own creative power. Time to let the Goddess of Light shine through you. Remember we are layered beings—animal, plant, crystal sleep in the secret strata of bone, blood, brain, aura. Draw on their dreams at this Imbolc Visioning Initiation time.
Miriam Dyak © Mother Tongue Ink 2015

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Pancakes for Pagans

Why would a Pagan want to talk about pancakes? Pancake day heralds the Christian Lenten fast. Where exactly Lent starts depends on when Easter is going to fall, which in turn depends on the moon because the date comes to us from the traditional Jewish calendar, which is lunar. Granted, most modern Pagans are always up for a bit of seasonal feasting, and pancake day is the kind of tradition we cheerfully borrow. But there is more to the pancake than meets the eye and it’s worth poking about in the whys and wherefores of this little feast, because it has much to tell us about our ancestors who lived closer to the land.

I was at the allotment yesterday. There were leeks to harvest, the last of the Jerusalem artichokes, and there’s still some kale. We’ll be planting potatoes soon. It’s been a mild winter so there’s more growing than usual. The grain harvest was months ago, the fruit you stored at the start of winter will run out, the root vegetables you stored will be running out. Even if you’re freezing and pickling and using all the modern storage methods, the last harvest is diminishing and there’s no sign of any decent new crops yet.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Love this!!! Brilliant! Actually sharing this with my Christian friends!
  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    thank you!

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Brighid's Healing Sword:Imbolc

This turn of the Greater Wheel moves us towards a place of newness and the quickening of what was brought to light at Yule, the Winter Solstice. We stand at the mid-mark between the act of revealing (Winter Solstice) the fertility that lay dormant from the triple harvest and the action of sowing and planting (Spring Equinox) what we hope will prove viable and grow to its fullest potential. This is the time of quickening and enlivening the hidden seeds of transition and preparation of what will wither and die and what will germinate to become a viable product.

Our coven uses Imbolc to focus on the Celtic Goddess, Brighid. We call forth the Fires of Brighid's forge, infusing ourselves with their quickening properties. We make oath to our chosen path and to the Greater Work of ourselves so that the quickening of our minds and hearts awaken what can blossom in the months ahead. And, we call upon Her creativity to inspire us as we move forward towards the next turn of the Wheel. This year we will call forth the Goddess as Warrior and wielder of the healing sword.

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Brigid as Serpent Goddess

Early on Brigid's morn

Shall the Serpent come from the hole,

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Answering the Call

As the spring wakes us from our winter sleep, beneath the urge to wash away the lingering dregs of the previous year, I stronger call to give pulls me sideways.

I cannot shake the experience of the week past, when driving home from a friend's house at sunset, I encountered a detour two blocks from the turn I needed to make.  A firetruck blocked three lanes on a major road, and as I followed the other detoured vehicles I glimpsed the accident.

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The 2nd of February is of course, the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which means 'in the belly' referring to the pregnant ewes giving birth at this time. One of its other names, Oimelc meaning 'ewes milk', also referring to the birth of the lambs, and the return of milk to the household. Sacred to the goddess Brighid, who became St Brigit with the coming of Christianity this time is known as   Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau in Wales, and more generally the Christian festival of Candlemass.  

Brighid may well have given her name to Britannia the sovereign goddess of Britain, but she is best known as a goddess of the hearth and home, as well as milking, midwifery, healing, smithcraft and poetry. Brighid is a fiery goddess, connected to the rising Kundalini in the earth at this time, bringing the spring. She is said in Scottish folklore to have to defeat the Cailleach or goddess of winter each year to bring life back to the land. 

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