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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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December's Cold Moon

( My moon face, in honor of December’s Full Cold Moon in Gemini - energies of Gemini’s intellectual stimulation (bookcase!) and self-expression (photo) hehe. Not to mention this blog post. )

 

I have the honor of facilitating the moon circle this month, for my Women’s Sacred Circle. We’re meeting tonight, at the full moon. I thought I would share what I have prepared, here, since it is mine to share, and I would be curious about what a moon circle would be like, if I wasn’t participating in one. The format was sent to me by the women who planned this year’s circle endeavor, but they said it was a loose guideline. If you want to set up a moon circle, do it however you like! This is how mine is going to go, and it’s similar to the ones that went before, in my particular circle.

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That mistletoe Druid thing

This is me and my chap at last year’s mistletoe rite. It was cold, hence my failed attempts at rolling into a ball like a hedgehog. Midwinter is usually a tough time for outdoor ritual, but the attraction of Druids to mistletoe means outdoors is where you need to be. I’ve been to rituals working with pre-cut mistletoe, and it isn’t at the same. It’s a much more immediate experience when you’re in the process of removing a living, parasitic plant from the tree branch it has grown on. We go to an apple orchard, where there is a great deal of mistletoe, singing, and good cheer.

Rituals often raise interesting issues about what we do for real, and what we gently fake. The Great rite is a frequent case in point. We turn suspicions of historic sacrifice into corn dollies, offer wine and mead to the earth and not blood. Often a Druid ritual can seem less like an encounter with raw and wild nature, more like something safe and on the edges of familiarity. But then, England doesn’t have much wilderness, most of our more dangerous wildlife is gone – no bears and wolves round here, and I’ve not seen a boar.

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  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    We have to be where we are and work with what we have - I had no idea about the juniper mistletoe - as we don't get that here. The
  • Linette
    Linette says #
    I'm not a recon, even so, I run into similar issues. We live in this age, in this culture, and our rituals are often honed to THIS

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Buzzard womanb2ap3_thumbnail_November-2014-305.JPG
scouring the earth.
Scavenging,
uncovering,
digging up,
clawing away.

She picks the meat
from your bones,
she drops the scales
from your eyes,
she cleans out
your shell.

Digesting
,
transforming
all that has passed away
into something new.
Clearing away the dead
making way for rebirth.

Listen to her
.
She says
waste nothing.

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Samhain Season Slumbering

Sometimes I forget that Samhain is not the Halloween to All Souls celebrations that include my birthday. Samhain also can get swallowed up in the midwinter Yule/Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanza celebrations that grip the globe. This year of the Horse has galloped; often it has felt like a bucking bronco.  As we approach the end of 2014 I feel myself praying for solitude. Samhain is a season not just a hyper celebration of Celtic New Year. Which is what Halloween feels like in Ireland. We even have fireworks!

Samhain is the turning in time. Last year I spent a lot of time staring out the window. You could say I was busy doing nothing.  As I look at the calendar with all the commitments marked for November I declared a moratorium for December. I have a three week window with nothing and that is the way I intend to keep it.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely reminder, thank you.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_140916-December.jpg

It’s December now, mid-winter and the landscape has been stripped bare.  Standing shy and naked it’s vulnerability masking the powerful forces of Nature that lie within.
I am out collecting pine cones to help kindle my log fire and as I bend to fill my basket the heady scent of the tree reminds me of all things Yule. Winter Solstice will soon be here heralding the return of the Sun as minute by minute, each day, the Light returns and with it hope for all things.
Holly bushes bear their fruit of bright red berries and the birds are feasting well. Mistletoe hangs heavily high up in the branches of the apple trees waiting to catch a kiss and I smile at the merriment of the season to come.

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  • Lady May
    Lady May says #
    Thank you Martin, always good to get feedback really appreciate it. x
  • Martin
    Martin says #
    Beautifully put!
Winter Solstice - No Birth, No Death

With the Winter Solstice approaching, and in the cold dark months of the year, we have an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the deeper parts of our existence, those shadowy elements that seem to fade away so easily in the heat of the midday sun, those thoughts that require darkness and the teaching that it can bring.  Thoughts such as life and death, darkness and light and the cyclical nature of existence are all excellent themes to meditate on at this time of year, with a natural introspective element to this season allowing us to perhaps go further, deeper than we could or would in the warmer, more outwardly focusing half of the year.

This season, with the increasing darkness and the lack of light here in the UK brings more sharply into focus thoughts of death and dying.  It is often said in Western Paganism that the Sun God dies at Samhain and is reborn at Yule, when the days begin to lengthen and the light in our lives is increased.  However, lately my thoughts have abandoned the concept of death, as well as birth, into a more Zen-like “No Birth, No Death” frame of mind.

Having meditated on this for a couple of months now, and seeing it reflected in nature around me, as a Druid this is how I internalise the teachings.  For me, nature is the greatest teacher.  I look to no other authority other than nature. It is the core of my religion, the core of my being.  Having looked deeply into the nature of death and dying, of birth and living the concept of no death, no birth makes a lot more sense to me right now. Let me explain.

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  • Linette
    Linette says #
    A few days ago someone posted a quote on FB, the author made a statement about "when I am no longer on this earth"...and being a p
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    On Twitter, someone replied to this post with a lovely meme that said "We are nature. We are the universe manifest as human for a

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Disease As A Messenger From The Soul

There is no doubt in my mind that disease comes to us as a messenger from the soul. Like a “two by four” crashing against our thick skulls to wake us up to something about ourselves at which we refuse to look: a shadow self we’ve pushed down into the darkness of the subconscious from which it rears its ugly head in unexpected and devious ways; often undermining important relationships. And still we refuse to get quiet and look within. We instead put on a happy face and go about our lives medicating, the backacheshigh blood pressureirregular heartbeatsobesitydiabetesarthritis…and yes, even cancer…either allopathically or with our herbs and potions.

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