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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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The 2nd of February is of course, the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which means 'in the belly' referring to the pregnant ewes giving birth at this time. One of its other names, Oimelc meaning 'ewes milk', also referring to the birth of the lambs, and the return of milk to the household. Sacred to the goddess Brighid, who became St Brigit with the coming of Christianity this time is known as   Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau in Wales, and more generally the Christian festival of Candlemass.  

Brighid may well have given her name to Britannia the sovereign goddess of Britain, but she is best known as a goddess of the hearth and home, as well as milking, midwifery, healing, smithcraft and poetry. Brighid is a fiery goddess, connected to the rising Kundalini in the earth at this time, bringing the spring. She is said in Scottish folklore to have to defeat the Cailleach or goddess of winter each year to bring life back to the land. 

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What is an intention candle?

An intention candle is similar to a vision board in that you use collage as a way to visually communicate and affirm your ideas. It is different than a vision board in thatJanuary 2016 109 it is not specifically intended to manifest your vision, but instead to offer your purest intentions. Imbolc is a perfect time of year to create one, as we continue to incubate ideas in the deepness of winter, while beginning to prepare for the growth and change of spring.

An intention candle sets forth your intentions. How do you want to experience yourself? What do you want to offer to others? What do you want to share? How do you wish to move in the world? What do you want to celebrate? What do you want to share about yourself?

Each lighting of the candle throughout the year serves as a reaffirmation of your intentions. I use mine to focus and to create sacred space. Lighting it is my signal to myself that I am going to do focused, sacred, centered work.

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SPREAD: Life's Path

b2ap3_thumbnail_DevianMoon_10Swords.jpgAs a professional Tarot conversationalist (I prefer that to reader), I hear a wide variety of questions. One of the ones I hear more often that not is a variation on "where am I supposed to be going." Often I am asked “What does life have in store for me?” or “What am I supposed to be doing with my life?” or “I feel stuck right now. Am I on the right path?”

These are questions many of us have even if we don’t ask them outloud. We wonder where we are going and if we really are supposed to get there. I think it’s a combination of societal/family pressures and our own need for assurance. In thinking about this particular area of questioning, I decided I needed a spread more dedicated to offering creative solutions.

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The Sacred Elements of Menopause

Hot flashes.  Somehow we got on the subject, standing there at the Farmers’ Market.  She had recently had her first one, and until she figured out what it was, thought she was coming down with the flu.  Her mother, she said, had died relatively young, so she had no one to check in with about it, about what to expect.  I shared that each body was different, but that I had found the experience of going through menopause fascinating and amazing as my body changed.  

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    Ah! Beautiful and so amazing...I love seeing the linkages between the elements and the way they correspond to the changes in my bo
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Elizabeth! Blessings on your body!

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“If there is one chant in the universe it is to create.”

–Chris Griscolm quoted in Nicole Christine, p. 25

If you have ever eavesdropped on a conversation between my husband and me around the clamor of our four children’s voices, you will hear me making a tired lament: “All I want is a broad swath of uninterrupted time.” In listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, on audio book I was interested by her mention that many creative people lament not having long stretches of uninterrupted time available in which to work. She quotes a letter from Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne, lamenting his lack of time and how he is always pulled “hither and thither by circumstances.” Melville said that he longed for a wide-open stretch of time in which to write. She says he called it, “the calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always to compose.”

…I do not know of any artist (successful or unsuccessful, amateur or pro) who does not long for that kind of time. I do not know of any creative soul who does not dream of calm, cool, grass-growing days in which to work with- out interruption. Somehow, though, nobody ever seems to achieve it. Or if they do achieve it (through a grant, for in- stance, or a friend’s generosity, or an artist’s residency), that idyll is just temporary—and then life will inevitably rush back in. Even the most successful creative people I know complain that they never seem to get all the hours they need in order to engage in dreamy, pressure-free, creative exploration. Reality’s demands are constantly pounding on the door and disturbing them. On some other planet, in some other lifetime, perhaps that sort of peaceful Edenic work environment does exist, but it rarely exists here on earth. Melville never got that kind of environment, for instance. But he still somehow managed to write Moby-Dick, anyhow.

Source: Elizabeth Gilbert On Unlocking Creativity, Ideas As Viruses . News | OPB

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Sacred Feminine or Goddess Feminism?

In recent years “the Sacred Feminine” has become interchangeable with (for some) and preferable to (for others) “Goddess” and “Goddess feminism.” The terms Goddess and feminism, it is sometimes argued, raise hackles: Is Goddess to replace God? And if so why? Does feminism imply an aggressive stance? And if so, against whom or what?

In contrast, the term “sacred feminine” (with or without caps) feels warm and fuzzy, implying love, care, and concern without invoking the G word or even the M(other) word--about which some people have mixed feelings. Advocates of the sacred feminine stand against no one, for men have their “sacred feminine” sides, while women have their “sacred masculine” sides as well.

Nothing lost, and much to be gained. Right? Wrong.

Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine?
Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine?

When Goddess feminism emerged onto the scene, it had a political edge. It was about women affirming, as Meg Christian crooned in “Ode to a Gym Teacher,” that “being female means you still can be strong.” Goddess feminism arose in clear opposition to patriarchy and patriarchal religions. It was born of an explicit critique of societies organized around male domination, violence, and war; and of the male God or Gods of patriarchal religions as justifying domination, violence, and war. In this context, “the sacred masculine” was not understood to be a neutral or positive concept. To the contrary, the male Gods of patriarchy were understood to be at the center of symbol systems that justify domination.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Carol, I agree with Lisa - but I'd like to add that as a former Viet Nam war protestor, it's very hard to feel safe expressing yo
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Siggghhh. Here's another song "You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." There are at least two of us... "Imagine
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, let's imagine it every day. By the way, I was moved to tears by your piece about washing the clothes of the children who had
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Carol, I appreciate what you’ve said here (as well as the news from my friend Susan Foster of her recent travels with you through
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    ess is feminine, not diminuitive. I think in practice it does not feel at all diminuitive. It feels more female and powerful that
Looking Deeper Into Forming a Goddess Circle

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