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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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Experiencing the Sacred

Friend and fellow colleague, Kevin Emmons, once described the sacred as “A simple thought that isn’t so simple. What we see and experience as sacred is what allows us to glimpse the eternal through cracks in consciousness caught in the field of time.” I love it when people say things that really make you think. You can find links to other inspiring writers on my personal blog at Down the Forest Path.

As a Druid and animist, to me everything is sacred. Everything is sacred, and yet everything is also mundane.  As author and Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck once said “Nothing is special. And when nothing is special, everything is”.  She wrote an entire book, called Nothing Special. I highly recommend it.

Kevin’s words are beautiful, evoking an image of eternity in which we can only catch glimpses.  My Zen Buddhist tendencies lead me to question whether anything is eternal, as the main tenet of Buddhism is the impermanence of everything, and yet there is a certain paradox in that the energy of life is never-changing: it only changes in the forms that it takes.  Energy manifests itself as different forms of matter dependent on circumstances such as environment, genetics, etc. So yes, the energy is eternal, but the manifestation is not.

Catching glimpses of this energy, of the sacred through cracks in consciousness is an absolutely delicious concept.  It reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, when she speaks of nature as in XCII:

To my quick ear the leaves conferred;    

  The bushes they were bells;      

I could not find a privacy             

  From Nature’s sentinels.            

 

In cave if I presumed to hide,             

  The walls began to tell;               

Creation seemed a mighty crack              

  To make me visible.

 

We cannot escape life. It is always there, always around us, and we are always a part of its flow. There is no separation, only integration.  We live with each other; we live because of each other in a beautiful dance throughout the ages.  These cracks in our consciousness allow us to break through our perceived reality, and move beyond perceptions, beyond subjectivity into the entirety of being.

Our senses are so beneficial to us, and yet they also are the cause of our subjectivity. We see the world through our own eyes, feel through our own fingers, listen with our own ears. Everyone is different, yet everyone has a shared experience. When the species is the same, there is a deeper shared experience, an understanding and knowing where the Other is not so “other”.  Transcendence is moving beyond the senses, moving beyond the boundaries and definitions into pure understanding, pure experience.  Then there is no “I” or “Me”, there is no “You” or “Them” – just life, glorious life.  

Our consciousness is a blessing, a gift. It is also the greatest hurdle to overcome, for it shouts aloud and above the songs of the earth, drowning out the consciousness of other beings in our own minds.  Cracking open our consciousness we allow those other songs to come through, to inspire us, to nourish us, to blend with our song in a wonderful symphony of energy manifesting, over and over again.

These cracks of consciousness are caught in the field of time (however you may view time, whether it be linear, circular, etc.).  Energy manifests, for a time, and then changes its form.  Time is what creates the impermanence that is so vital to life. Without time, there would be no conception, no materialisation, no death and no decay. Within the moveable boundaries of time we see a progression of the eternal processes of birth and decay.  Time is a gentle sanctuary, an indiscriminate boundary that allows these processes to occur.

And so, the sacred is that which allows us to glimpse the eternal. The sacred is anything and everything, if only we open up our senses and move beyond our perceptions.  Through the cracks of consciousness within the fields of time we perceive this sacredness, flowing and changing, manifesting and decaying, a boundless stream of energy moving through the cosmos.

May you see through the cracks to glimpse the sacred.

 

*For more writing on the sacred and other concepts witin Druidry, visit www.joannavanderhoeven.com for a full bibliography of the author's work.*

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Stay with your practice

The sure sign that something new wants to happen, is boredom. Discover how you can let the inner opening happen as you stay present within your existing practice.

There's this sweet place where we do whatever we've been always doing- yet do it from a different place. More aware, less muscle tension, less distancing... As you reach this place, you find it's a very physical experience. How you make your movements literally physically changes. In that place, You feel the effect: as you literally bring less tension to the situation, there is less for others to react against. You become more pure, more aligned. People listen, join. It's a grace that comes after repeated practice of mind and body. Find a practice that includes both body and mind, and do it regularly. Don't forget to open your awareness to note the inner shifts when they happen.

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The year of trees

Of all life forms, the deciduous tree appears to be the one most in synch with the solar events of the year. Sleeping in winter, budding in spring, resplendent with leaves in the summer, fruiting in the autumn and then back to sleep. There are of course also an assortment of tree calendars (mostly owing to Robert Graves) which put different trees as being prominent at different times. Based on what, exactly, I am seldom sure.

The more time you spend with trees, the less this whole idea of a single wheel of the year narrative for trees holds up. For a start, it only works if you live somewhere that has the kind of climate that delivers summer and winter. You have to have deciduous trees, not pines or cacti. If your seasons are all about wet and dry, the solar year and the tree year are not going to be the same. The solar/tree year is fairly Eurocentric, and will fit anywhere with similar conditions, but not everywhere.

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  • Claudia Priori
    Claudia Priori says #
    Thanks for your post, Nimue. In Australia, our seasons are not typical, especially when some eucalypts drop their bark and branche

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Today, actively feel the aliveness in your cells.  Receive the extra energy that follows.

 

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The Waiting is Hard

When you've put forth energy and intention toward something miraculous coming into your life, the waiting can be the hardest part.

In the past two weeks, though, something outside my control that I wanted for years has come to pass. Something for which I had given up wishing and let go as impossible. A friend I hadn't heard from in a decade came back into my life.

After a great deal of worry after hearing of his rapid decline in health and then years of nothing, I'd thought him either dead or at the least, that he didn't wish to continue our friendship any longer.

He had been a dear friend and an important part of my life for many years.  To lose him to depression and medical issues was a heartbreaking experience, but he's back, and it's all thanks to my precocious toddler.

My son had grabbed my phone while I changed his diaper, and since it distracted him from his usual game of Kick Mama in the Head, I let him play for the duration of the cleaning.

A day later I had a few messages from friends explaining why they did not accept my LinkedIn invitation--one I had no knowledge of sending.  After a round of apologies and explanations to everyone, I saw a new email.  My lost friend didn't know what LinkedIn was, but he wanted to reconnect. We've been talking by phone and online for more than a week now, and I've been elated to have that connection once more.  Whatever one might say about chance, I choose to see this return as a reminder that sometimes the requests we put forth are answered with a "Yes."


At a time when my every endeavor seems up in the air, out of my control, and awaiting word for the feedback of others, having my friend return gives me a little calm amid the storm.  It reminds me to trust that once I've done the best work I can, I need to surrender the illusion of control and allow my goals to be realized.

Though I await word from a publisher about a novel, and a grants committee about funds needed for my volunteer work as deadlines loom, I am calmer now.  I am trusting in the work I've put forth, and surrendering to flow.

The waiting is hard, but the rewards are worth it.

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The Spiritual Path of Motherhood
I didn't ever guess that motherhood would be my spiritual path. When I was a really little girl I dreamed, as many little girls do, of having a baby. As I grew older my soul longed for something deep and mystical and all around me in my small hometown I saw people having babies and then working jobs that they didn't enjoy to pay for those babies. Motherhood seemed common and boring, I certainly didn't ever consider being a stay-at-home mom and put very little weight into what motherhood would entail for me.
 
I have felt a strong pull to walk a mystical life ever since I can remember. When I was three years old I was disturbed that a girl in my junior kindergarten class was continually missing due to illness, I approached my Mom with my concern and she suggested we say a prayer for her. From that moment on I asked to pray for Anna every night, I would report to my teachers the next morning that I had been praying for Anna to be well. At the end of that year I proudly carried home the 'prayer' badge that I had been awarded. 
 
As life continued and I grew older, I struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my formative years, the world felt heavy and my pull to the Divine was strong, I didn't know how to find Heaven on Earth and I spent many years thinking that death was my only doorway Home. At the age of 18 I opened up the first of many, many books that explained to me how to experience spirit on Earth. Hope was planted. By 21 I had fully committed myself to walking a spirit led path and left behind mind altering chemicals and began to practice a way of life that required mindfulness, taking stock of my life, amending past harms and a daily surrender to a Higher Power that I call Goddess to guide my thoughts and actions.
 
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This Place is Sídhe

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