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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.

A Winter Solstice Mystery: Beauty in the Belly of the Dark

As the wheel of the year turns to the Winter Solstice, Nature settles ever deeper into Her cloak of darkness and repose. At the opposite end of the scale, our Western culture marks the holiday season in a flurry of shopping, social obligations and overconsumption — a busy end to a busy year in an outward-focused, ever-doing, hungry-for-more world.

Nature remembers what we humans have forgotten:
every cycle must return to stillness, silence, the dark;
every out-breath requires an in-breath;
every outer endeavor turns back inward to its origins and begins again;
from death comes new life; from the darkest night, the new dawn is born.

Beauty sleeps in the belly of the dark, be it the seeds of the green growth of Spring, the powers and mysteries of the unknown, and our own dormant gifts and potential. Yet the dark has a gatekeeper; our pain, losses and the denied, repressed parts of our life story and humanity also await us in the belly of the dark. We cannot reclaim our beauty without also embracing and healing our wounding; both dwell within the shadowed folds of our inner world, side by side, a mirror of the other, each with gifts and blessings to share.

The part of you that holds your wounding is not your nemesis; it is the truth keeper of how you were hurt, what was taken from you and the choices you made in order to survive and even thrive in the face of adversity. It has stood guard and shielded your tender, beautiful, true Self, waiting for the ripe moment of your healing and blossoming.

If you are one of the fortunate ones, with few bumps and bruises in your life story, still the darkness has gifts lying in wait for you. Because the sacred dark is the truth keeper of the profound potential and mysteries of our authentic, whole/holy humanity that have been denied and repressed in our collective culture.

Open to the ways of Nature at this turning into the Winter Solstice. Heed the call arising from the belly of the dark that invites you to stillness, silence, and opens portals to your inner darkness. Let go of the frenetic activity of the season; follow your breath inward and return to your center in search of the fragments of your life story and true Self ready to return to the light.

So without, so within; as the new dawn is born of the darkest nights, so too can your beauty blossom from the depth of your wounding, and your whole/holy humanity shine forth into the returning light of a newborn day.

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Winter Fires: A Solstice Story in Two Parts

Part One

Lily pulled on her warmest coat and snow boots, ready for an adventure outside. Snow had been falling for several hours and she loved the quiet that descended when the ground was blanketed in fluffy white snow. Even the coziness and warmth of her cottage could not entice her to stay inside and miss the chance of walking at sunset through the woods that bordered her home.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Robin Fennelly
    Robin Fennelly says #
    Thank you!
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Sweetly written and much appreciated. looking forward to the next installment. Thanks! Solstice Blessings, Tasha

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Your creativity just amazes me, Lady.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Arwen, Thank you so much!! Coming from you, that means the world to me.
  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    That is an awesome dragon.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Tyger, thank you very much, I appreciate that bunches.
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    These are great! Thank you for sharing. That dragon is especially amazing.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Holiday Cookies

 

          According to Wikipedia, 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

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“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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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Very nice writing and images. Thanks for sharing!
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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