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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_mother-earth-day.jpgConsidering the shocking events of the past months in the United States, particularly in relation to the Earth, I believe we need to talk about Mother Earth's laws versus the practices of Empire. They are radically different. Mother Earth's Laws are Life-centered and honor all people and all life on Earth; Empire is death-centered, favors a narrow demographic of people, and believes the Earth should be plundered for her resources for individual gain. Empire exalts social Darwinism and believes "those who have are those who deserve"; to the contrary, Mother Earth's Laws function from the reality that everyone here deserves to have their needs completely met and everyone matters.  The highly-evolved, sophisticated cultures of Native Americans historically and currently function at every level of engagement (governmental, socioeconomically, and in gender practices) in ways that reflect and honor the inherent laws of this planet, Mother Earth's Laws. These Laws come from a profound and ancient relationship to the Earth. There is no "food chain" that functions from a belief in human exceptionalism, no hierarchy that allows humans to take and all other beings and elements expected to give. There is no one-way "Giving Tree" relationship (like Shel Silverstein's book), where human beings constantly take and Mother Earth gives, to the ultimate sacrifice of her very life.That's Empire.

Mother Earth's Laws do not function from a twisted belief that some human beings are more important than other human beings. Mother Earth denies no one anything, ever. She has never said, "You cannot drink from my river because of the color of your skin" or "You cannot breathe my air because of your religious beliefs" or "You cannot dig medicine because you are poor". That is not how this planet works, and Native American nations functioned from that reality for millennia before the Europeans arrived and started individual ownership of land, killing Native people and animals, and pillaging the Earth. Tragically, these beliefs and practices of Empire set up the system that defines the United States now, despite vehement opposition by people of all identities.

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New Year New Moon

What do we need? What shall we seed?

Hindsight, foresight,  20/20 vision.

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  b2ap3_thumbnail_ceiba-in-rain.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_ceiba-vieques.jpg

    "Why is the ceiba sacred?"  I learned in school that the ceiba pentandra was Puerto Rico's official national tree.  Mrs. Flores, my elementary school teacher, explained that the Taínos, the island's Native Indigenous habitants, considered the ceiba a sacred tree. 

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Beating the January Blues. Druid Style.

The period just after the midwinter holidays can be difficult. For our ancestors this time of the year, before the chickens, ducks and geese began laying again and before the sheep and cattle began lactating, was a hungry time. Nowadays, when we don't appear to be so dependent upon the cycles of nature and farming for our very sustenance, the difficulty of the time of year settles into our souls in a different manner.

For those living in cold, northerly climates, this is when the deep freeze settles in (though with climate change, as we can see from Canada throughout the end of December, it can come earlier and stay longer). For those in more temperate areas such as here in the UK, it's the darkness of the grey, cloudy days and long nights that become hard to bear. It's also a time when money can be scarce, and we are paying our bills not only for the holiday time, but also higher bills for heating and electricity. We can feel overwhelmed, depressed, apathetic and more. This is the time when we just can't shake off that cold, and the colds and flus that have been going around since the holidays are getting stronger and stronger.

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Celebrating the catkins

The standard issue wheel of the year for the British isles has us celebrating the first flowers at Imbolc, when the snowdrops emerge. This is a bit awkward, because tree flowers – specifically catkins – emerge in January and open. They are also manifestly at odds with the standard issue notion that trees spend the winter sleeping. They don’t. Once the leaves are down, trees get busy making buds ready for the new year, and may also be making their catkins, which have been sat there hard and closed for some time now.

The thing about leaf buds and catkins is that they are small and you probably won’t see them if all you do is look at trees out of windows. Especially not if you are in motion and the windows are in a car. To spot buds and catkins, you have to be within a matter of feet of the trees and looking at them closely. When nature is an abstract concept that you celebrate from the safety of your living room, this is the kind of thing that gets overlooked.

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Exciting Homecomings - A Triad

Three things I'm excited about exploring in 2018:

Elen of the Ways - I discovered this goddess a little over a year ago, and felt instant belonging and surprise that I hadn't heard of her before, and that I hadn't thought to go looking for such a goddess. It felt like remembering I have a mother, or something. :) A horned/antlered goddess and lady of the green... how perfect for me! I've been reading everything I can about her, and I signed up for a now-filled course offered by a priestess of Elen (Walking the Antlered Road) that includes a year of lessons, journaling, movement-meditations, soundings, chants with wrist malas, and an oracle deck. It has been amazingly exciting to get to know Elen, and to start to see how many of the goddesses I've already been drawn to are probably-to-definitely versions of her paleolithic, pan-Indo-European (and perhaps beyond) presence and enduring veneration. The Welsh name, Elen, is but one. You might be as surprised and delighted as I to discover where the others have been all this time! So I recommend Caroline Wise's book, "Finding Elen: The Quest for Elen of the Ways," as well as Elen Sentier's books, and I will be writing more about her in this blog in 2018, and suggesting the connections I have seen.

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Though many Celtic pagans celebrate the new year at Samhain, early January still has a distinct feeling, as the hubbub of the winter solstice and Christmas celebrations subsides and we are left with the blank page of the year ahead. Now is a good time to encourage stillness and contemplation within our days if we are able, and to be aware of keeping our energies clear to allow the wisdom of spirit to emerge into our awareness and maintain our focus on our plans ahead. Traditionally for those who acknowledge the 12 days of Christmas there is an opportunity to seek omens each of the twelve days for guidance in the year ahead, but truly the world of spirit always shows us signs and messages if we open up to their potential. Seeking time every day to find stillness and open ourselves to the natural world around us allows us to receive this messages at any time.

Throughout January spend some time, even for just a few minutes, outside. Be in wild nature if you can, but just feeling the earth beneath your feet, or seeing the sky or having the wind on your face is all you need. Breath deeply and let your senses open gently, focusing on nothing in particular…let yourself remember that the earth is alive and sacred, wherever you are, and just connect. Be with it. Be aware of the flight of birds, the shapes of clouds, the sound the wind makes, know that spirit is speaking to us always, and let their meaning and messages come to you in each its own way. Listen. Breathe. Pay attention to your dreams.  

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