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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_DragonRose1.jpg

 

The dragon woke up! Having a high standard is lovely. … Being a perfectionist isn’t lovely. 

 

A few years ago, I had to cut back a wild rosebush because it was threatening the wiring on a utility pole. I seasoned some of the wood, for talismans.

 

The other day, I looked at a crooked stick of wood from that culling and saw a dragon. 

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  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    These are great! Thank you for sharing. That dragon is especially amazing.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Aw, Dragon Dancer, thank you! Great to hear your supportive feedback.

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Holiday Cookies

 

          According to Wikepedia, were it not for Alexander the Great, we might not have Christmas cookies. Not really, but in 327 BC he discovered and spread sugar cane that is the source for their basis, first throughout Persia and eventually Europe. The early little cakes or cookies would probably taste strange to us today. They were spiced with whatever was on hand, including cumin, and either shaped by hand or rolled and pressed on wooden boards carved with cut out shapes. The invention of cookie cutters helped form their myriad shapes.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Our tradition was date bars. Nowadays I find it hard to find chopped dates. I used to make rum balls on the last Sunday in Octob

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“As candles burn and bells jingle, b2ap3_thumbnail_47491592_2230010993877777_8518271185765531648_o.jpg
Remember the dark and the quiet.
They are the reason for the season,
And should be held as dear.”

—Kay Holt

As I have noted in other recent posts, the bustle of the winter holiday season often seems completely at odds with the natural inner pull towards quiet and stillness in the winter. December offers us a quiet invitation for stillness and contemplation.

How do you balance the twin pulls of the season? The go and do in the sparkling lights with the withdraw and hibernate in the dim cave?

One way I have been coping, perhaps counterintuitively, is by making sure I do things that I "don't have time" to do. Sometimes that sensation of not having time is the most reliable indicator there is that you
need exactly what it is you are saying you don't have time for!  Those are often the very things that replenish my spirit and leave me smiling. 

I've continued to go semi-regularly to a yin yoga class in a nearby town. Even though I practice yoga by myself every b2ap3_thumbnail_47681849_2231842440361299_610620843411636224_o.jpgmorning and have for eighteen years, it is really nice self-care treat to go to this class.  
I have also been going to a weekend art circle facilitated by a good friend. At the second circle we drank homemade hot chocolate and colored pictures in a blanket fort. I even just laid flat on the floor on a pile of pillows in the blanket fort for a while doing nothing. It was so nice!

Breathe deep.
Stay open.
Expand.
Reach.
Feel.
Breathe more.

Return to your center.

 

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“May the great mystery make sunrise in your heart.”

—Sioux blessing quoted in Meditations for Living in Balanceb2ap3_thumbnail_47394794_2229196683959208_5478006146373517312_o.jpg

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Human Initiations 8 to 13 to Reach Enlightenment

PART II OF THE INITIATIONS HUMANS MUST GO THROUGH TO REACH ENLIGHTENMENT.

The following is an excerpt for Agnes' latest book, The Goddess Lives, poetry, prose and prayers in her honour. To order please visit:

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Your Undimmed Lightness of Being

One Reality:

I’m in magical circle, celebrating Samhain. We’re in a group trance, traveling to the isle of the dead to commune with our beloved Ancestors. I’ve done this meditation many times before, yet this time is different.  As we reach the shore of this blessed isle, we unzip our flesh coats and step forth as beings of pure shining light, tethered to our living, breathing bodies by a silver cord.

There will never be enough words to capture such a lightness of being. For this blessed time, I’m free of my human body, and my mindscape of fears and tangled habits that make me less than I am.  I’m pure light, untainted love, unbounded beauty, in the company of other bright shining beings, both my living companions and our blessed dead. 

I understand, in the deepest parts of my being, the truth of this moment: that I am this being of light, always. This is my naked, true Self, and our naked, true humanity. We are, always, pure light, untainted love, unbounded beauty. When I follow my silver tether back to my human body, and zip myself back into my flesh coat, my skin seems to loosen its fibers, letting more of that inner light shine outward.

Another Reality:

A few weeks later, I’m on the treadmill at the gym, working to make my body strong.  There’s a screen in my face, blasting out the daily news: a gang rape by teenage boys from a Catholic high school; a high profile, high drama murder of an international journalist; the latest Trump cringe-fest fiasco.  My heart squeezes tight and my adrenals spike. Barely halfway through my cardio routine, I’m already drenched in the toxicity of status quo reality.

Damn! It’s caught me again, off guard, that constant, outer noise pushing its way past my defenses, triggering my fears and negative mindset, trying to spellbind me into believing in the worst of my humanity. I forget, in these short moments, my Samhain experience of the light being in my core. Loathing rises up in me, and horror, grief and rage. I feel dirty and ashamed of my flesh coat and our collective humanity.

Big breathe in. Big breathe out. I tune out the screen, and focus instead on the reassuring rhythm of my striding legs, my hard-working muscles and sweating skin. I love my wondrous flesh coat; I clear my mindset of fear and loathing; I remember the shining light of who I am, and the true, untainted nature of my humanity — the spell of our shadow humanity is broken.

Two realities.  Two versions of our human nature. 

Which do we choose to believe in? Which do we give our attention and juice to? Which do we allow to steer our choices and actions? Which will help us build the world we want to live in?

The shadow side of our humanity is true. We are doing terrible things to each other and our planet home.  Rape, murder and political fiascos are daily occurrences. Our flesh coats and mindsets are burdened down by fears and tangled habits born out of our personal and collective histories of trauma and wounding.   Yes, these things happen; they are real and seemingly omnipresent. 

The pure, shining brilliance of our humanity is true. We are blessed with the glorious gift of living in a light and beauty infused world. We ourselves are light and beauty infused beings. Love, kindness, justice, compassion, creativity, courage, humor, sensuality, and so much more: these are the shining of our inner light outward.  These things are real and truly omnipresent.

We talked about this dual nature of our humanity at the end of our Samhain ritual, and the overwhelming challenges and atrocities that have come to dominate our shared society and non-stop news cycles.  How can we be a force of positive change, we asked ourselves? How can we make a difference?

One of my brilliant companions answered simply, “we have to bring a little of our light into today, and then tomorrow after that.”

Nothing or no one can ever dim our lightness of being.  We’re meant to shine bright, gifting the world with the brilliance of our pure, naked Self, unbounded beauty and untainted love.  But we’ve been convinced to do the dimming ourselves. 

Individually and collectively, we’ve been bullied, shamed and abused. We’ve been indoctrinated into the shadow reality of humanity, fed to us constantly, unrelentingly through the one-sided messaging of mass culture. We’ve been spellbound through lies and illusions about our unworthiness and tainted nature. We’ve become lost and fear tangled, our flesh coat and mindset made into prisons, and our shining inner core forgotten.

But this doesn’t have to be your truth. You don’t have to give your attention and juice to the shadow reality of humanity.  You can choose to believe in the shining brilliance of your Self and human nature.  You can begin to undim your life light, loosen the fibers of your flesh coat, and let more and more of that glorious beauty that you are shine through.

Big breathe in. Big breathe out. Tune out the outer noise. Focus instead on the reassuring rhythm of your beating heart, the wondrous motions of your hard-working body, and the caress of air on your sensing skin. Reach inward to that shining light at the core of your being. Unzip your flesh coat, just a little bit, as much as feels good and safe. Take a little bit of your light into today, and tomorrow after that. Little by little, breathe by breathe, moment by moment, shine your lightness of being outward, and brighten the world around you.

In each of these undimmed moments, the shadow spell of humanity is broken, and you are set free. You may forget, be caught off guard, or choose to hide again. Don’t worry, these are natural parts of your journey of reclaiming your full-shining Self. Once you unzip your flesh coat, and taste your own innate brilliance and beauty, even a little, you’re no longer lost. You’ve woken from your spellbound sleep, and set your feet on a path that will guide you home to your true Self, undimmed moment by undimmed moment.

Trust that this journey takes time and practice. It’s done in small steps and big leaps, where, again and again, you choose to wake up, disconnect from the negative, shadow-reality messaging and experiences outside and inside of you, and re-align yourself with your shining core and a positive, love-filled vision of our humanity.

With every bit of your light you reclaim, you’re gifting yourself and everyone who crosses your path with bright new possibilities.
 
In these small steps and big leaps, we build the world we want to live in, each of us bringing a little of our unzipped light into today, and tomorrow after that. Together we can break the spell of our shadow humanity, forever, and bask in our collective, undimmed lightness of being.  From this vast, untapped resource of love, beauty and power, anything and everything are possible.  

Photo Credit: Seraphina Capranos & Ben Skorguson

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  • Karen Clark
    Karen Clark says #
    Thanks so much for the lovely comment Tasha.
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Nicely said and beautifully put. Thanks you for shining your light, Warmest joyful greetings ato your light that shines so brightl

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Year's End Dark Moon

Hasn't 2018 been the oddest year energetically? It has felt both overfull and stop and start. Old routines and ventures appear to be coming to the end. Or at least need to go fallow for a year. Meanwhile, what is beginning is also a bit lame and halt. Nothing is quite what it seems to be. Or at least that is what this crone divines.

We have just passed the night of the dark moon at the darkest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In our rural fastness,without street lighting, night is very tarry at this time of year. And so, too, at this dark moon did my knees and bones complain and beg to rest. 2018 has been exhausting,personally and collectively.

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