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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.

Reading the recently released papal letter “The Joy of Love,” I was surprised to see that it opens a “new” discussion of marriage and the family with a very old patriarchal trope from Psalm 128:

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,

who walks in his ways!

You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands;

you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house . . . (see ch. 1, pp. 7-8)

Notwithstanding the “inclusive language” translating the male generic in Hebrew as “one,” there is no way around the fact that this psalm is addressed by a male God to men. It compares women to property owned and tended by men. Nor does it provide any opening to consider the blessings of same sex marriage.

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Tarot Spreads with Barbara Moore in Review

Every so often a book comes along that just grabs your attention. Barbara Moore's Tarot Spreads – Layouts & Techniques to Empower your readings, is one of those books. Though, full disclosure, it didn't initially reel me in. I bought this not long after it came out. I immediately sought out the 3 card spreads, which are my personal favorite type of spreads and found a whole section dedicated to them. Then I got busy and put the book away.

It happens, right?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_april04cover.jpgNot long ago I had the whole-body urge to locate an artist whose profile I'd read years ago in a magazine that's regional to Asheville and Western North Carolina — WNC Woman. The magazine, founded by Julie Parker, had featured my Honoring Your Belly article in its first issue. It's been a strong force for women's writing, art and entrepreneurship ever since.

But I no longer remembered the woman's name. I did remember that Julie had described her as painting from her hara — the Japanese word for both belly and the source energy concentrated within the body's center.

Searching on [wncwoman + hara], I found Julie's interview with Joyce Metayer. The April 2004 profile begins:

Joyce Metayer stands in front of and facing her work, feet planted firmly and powerfully on the earth, hands on her hara, as she explains how she births her work — how her inner vision emerges into three dimensions. Literally three dimensions, for these pieces are intricately-constructed canvases of mind-boggling complexity. She explains how she projects her sketch for a piece onto the wall to determine its appropriate size, then moves forward and back until the size is just so — until she literally feels it in her hara. This visceral connection to her work is so strong it seems almost visible ... a cord from womb to work, as it were. 

I surprised Joyce with a phone call and had the pleasure of speaking with her. Our conversation included this exchange:

LS: How did you develop this process?

JM: I didn't. It found me.

LS: How do the images arrive? How do they enter your awareness?

JM: I see the image as a holograph, a shape in three dimensions. Then the color plan comes to me as a bodily sensation.

With Joyce's permission, here are three images of her work. For titles and larger versions of these images, plus additional images and more information on each piece, click here.

b2ap3_thumbnail_astrolabe.jpg

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_tttttttriple.jpg

 b2ap3_thumbnail_smallerbirthoftheblues.jpg

 

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I just spent two months in the United States and got to see spring in three different places. Really, I got to see three different springs. 

My first spring was in San Francisco, which was unaccountably hot. The last time I was in San Francisco, in the July of their summer, I needed my winter coat. This February I needed t-shirts, which I hadn’t packed. It was hot. Not just mildly warm, but as if I’d arrived in the middle of summer, except it wasn’t. There were leaves on the trees, magnolias in full bloom, shedding those deep-red-purple centred white petals onto the street. I felt completely disoriented, particularly as I’d come from my own Blue Mountains where – in summer – I’d been needing to wear several jumpers. 

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Prayer - it's not a one-way street...

A television show that I enjoyed, which originally aired in the late 90’s through to 2002, is Dharma and Greg. It is about a free-spirited woman with two hippy parents who is very spiritual, very loving and very funny. She marries a conservative born and bred lawyer, and the exchange, dynamic and growth between the two is what makes this such a great show.

At one point Dharma is praying in a hospital chapel, and her spirit guide, a Native American named George whom she connected with personally before he died, comes to her aid and offers advice in her time of need. He hears her praying, trying to have a conversation with whatever deity will listen in the multifaith chapel, and offers these very poignant words which I remember to this very day.

Dharma is feeling remorse because of harsh words she had about her mother, and now her mother is in danger of losing the child that she is carrying.

"George, my Mom might lose the baby."

"And you feel like you made this happen."

"It feels like it."

"Well if you did, they should put your picture up here on the spinning God Wheel", he says, indicating the multifaith prayer icon on the altar.

"Whether I did it or not, I was thinking it."

"Because you were angry."

"So what should I do now? Do you think I should stay here and pray?"

"What do you mean by praying?"

"I don't know - talk to the universe, to God, the Great Spirit, whatever It is."

“Huh. So, you’re having a conversation with the Great Spirit, the Maker of All Things, and you’re doing the talking?”

"Oh, right."

This, indeed defines for me the nature of what prayer is seen as today. Even if we are not asking for anything, a lot of prayer in our culture and society consists of a one-way conversation between the individual and the deity/spirit in question. Prayer is a relationship, for me, and as such necessitates a give and take in everything, including both spoken and unspoken words. Too often in prayer, we forget to listen. When we speak and then listen, then we are communing. Otherwise, we are just talking.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Great reminder, Joanna. We love Dharma and Greg, too, and George is a genius character. There are direct parallels between Nativ
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    I think all earth-based traditions will have many similarities I do love that saying as well. So very true. x
  • Kim Campbell
    Kim Campbell says #
    Thank you for this post. You make an excellent point that we all seem to forget.
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Thanks, Kim! x

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_atabey_sm1.jpg

Huracán was the supreme Taíno god, said Mr. Colón, my history teacher.

As a ten-year-old student, I did not control my enthusiasm:

No, I replied, it was Atabeyra.

What! Mr. Colón shouted, as he hit his desk with a ruler. 

Silence crept into the room like a mouse during siesta time.  

Every child in class seemed to stop breathing.  Suddenly, I felt my face turning red. 

Ruler in hand, Mr. Colón slowly walked toward my seat: What, he repeated as he reached me.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Comas, Thanks for sharing this! Your grandmother did a great service to the gods, and all her people.
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Thank you so much, Jamie: I sincerely appreciate your comment.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the greening

In my part of the world the green returns somewhere between the standard Pagan festivals of the spring equinox and Beltain. It’s something I quietly celebrate, because the return of colour to the world, and the return of leaves is something I find uplifting. It’s not an event, and it’s impossible to ascribe a reliable date to it. The greening happens in response to light, temperature, and the mysterious whims of plants.

Underwood tends to leaf first – I’m seeing elder and hawthorn leaves. Weeping willows are in leaf, osier willows still have bare branches. Chestnut is underway, ash isn’t particularly. Each tree comes into leaf in its own time. Other plants all have their own unique relationship with the seasons – early spring flowers are going over, a new set of plants are flourishing, the woodlands are green with the leaves of garlic and bluebells, while the fields and hills brighten with new grass.

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