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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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Celebrating blackthorn

Imbolc tends to be associated with snowdrops – which is reasonable enough because they do reliably turn up at this time. We don’t talk about blackthorn much, but for me it is the tree of the festival. Blackthorn can come into flower around this time of year, too (in my experience) and it’s an ogham tree as well.

The Woodland Trust site has blackthorn down as flowering between March and April so it may be in part about where you live. The Woodland Trust covers the whole of the UK, and I’ve never lived further north than the Midlands. There are significant regional differences. I’ve always seen blackthorn as one of the first flowerings in the year. There was a roadside tree on the way to my Midlands ritual place that always came into flower around the time of Imbolc rituals, which gave me the association. At present I’ve got a wild plum locally that flowers very early and is likely to open any day now. It points to the way in which tree events can be very specific and local, depending on microclimates, and the unpredictable nature of trees.

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Yes!

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Seeded With Potential

     My seed catalogs have started to arrive in the mail. The glossy summer-bright photos are inspiring and awe-inducing (Moon and Stars Melons! Nebraska Wedding Tomatoes!), and also humbling. Each packet of seeds contains worlds of potential What in this universe holds more promise than a seed? Each tiny package is a life in stasis. Every seed on this planet contains knowledge: knowledge of self, knowledge of its needs and its future. A seed knows not to grow until it has been placed in the proper environment. Each seed knows when to allow itself to break apart and become something else, stretching toward the sun's light and the future.

    Every seed is aware of its purpose. It knows why it was placed in this world and what it needs to do to achieve that  purpose. We are not so fortunate. We lack the inner instruction manual that seeds possess. All too often we feel as though we are floundering, struggling to break out of our confines and grow into the Self we are meant to be.

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TarotBlogHop: Imbolc 2017 Ace in the Hole

PREVIOUS | MASTER | NEXT

Welcome to the first of the 2017 Tarot Blog Hops. This is our seventh Imbolc hop. We began in 2012 with the question, "How can I be a better candle?" This hop was begun as a way to highlight the online Tarot community's commitment to working together rather than against one another. I'm so very proud that we are still doing this! Every six weeks, any where from 10-30 of us gather to share our thoughts on one topic. We love new bloggers too so please come join us. We are a Facebook-based group that maintains a very tight focus on the topic.

I'm the wrangler for this particular hop. The topic is "How can I best foster the energy of the Aces in my life?"

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  • Aisling
    Aisling says #
    I really learned something from you in this iteration. Thank you so much for the entire idea and your thoughts on it.
  • Scott
    Scott says #
    I really like this spread, Arwen - it's clear, uncluttered, and really identifies the crux of the situation, giving clear directio

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2016-10-05-at-2.54.18-PM.jpg

Imbolc in dark, cold winter can signify endurance in the face of adversity and scarcity: we may encounter fragility, tenuousness, uncertainty, darkness and despair beyond what we think we can endure.

Women know these experiences.

We have held both new life and death in our hands. We have wondered: will this child make it, will the addict live or die, will my lover come home, will I survive this loss? Will I be OK? Will there be enough resources to see us into spring?

I imagine our ancestors sitting in circle at this time of year, with whatever sources of light they had, listening to one another. Just so. we are invited to sit circle together and share how we "are," what we need, what is frozen, what is thawing, what is fragile. In the deep winter, we begin again.

We say Yes again each year: Yes to the living of life again and whatever it may bring. I speak of Imbolc as a time of Faith.

KIm Duckett © Mother Tongue Ink 2016

 

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Imbolc and Brighid's blessing

 

Imbolc blessings to you! 

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The Shattering of Imbolc


Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you...
Every seed destroys its container
or else there would be no fruition.
~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

 

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An Imbolc Message from the Ancestors

We are living in what the Goddess calls the Great Turning: an evolutionary/revolutionary transition where the future of humanity and our Earth home will be decided. The Great Turning is here, now. We’re in the midst of the muck and mess of world-shattering change.

My dreams and ritual work have been preparing me for the Great Turning for many years. As the pressures build, and the outer world gets noisier and more chaotic, I find myself digging through these magical experiences, seeking the deep vision and guidance of the Mysteries.

Imbolc has arrived — a between time when light and shadow dance together, and the darkness and death of Winter give way to the light and life of Spring  —  and a memory of a previous Imbolc ritual comes to me.  

In this ritual, the priestesses guided the participants to return to their moment of conception to reclaim the passion and purpose that drew each of them from the realm of spirit into this world of matter. My priestess task was tending the Sacred Witness, a veiled, silent observer, to keep her grounded and protected while she opened herself to the deepest roots of our magic.

The Sacred Witness found herself in a place where the spirits of the dead and the souls yet to be born gather between the worlds. In sharing this ritual experience with the Sacred Witness, the ancestors came to me and spoke through me, and this is what they said:

“We have cut the cord. It is time for you to travel on your own. You are fully grown now, and we set you free in this world. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The world needs you. We believe in you. Shine bright. Make us proud.”

After the ritual was complete, a friend took me in her arms as waves of grief flooded through me, my whole body shaking as the ancestors cried through me and with me: for the pain of their stories; for the pain that they’ve passed on generation after generation; for the desperate need of this ending; for the sweet beauty of this world that they’re leaving behind; and for their forever love for us, their children, and this world’s greatest hope.

The ancestors are personal and archetypal; they’re the ones that have gone before us, both as part of our personal family and ethnic/cultural heritage, and our collective humanity. Their lived experiences and stories are woven into the fabric of our shared human reality, and the particulars of our family mythology and everyday lives. This world we live in, right now in 2017, is constructed of their stories where fear and the worst of our human instincts overrule love and our best qualities.

These stories of our ancestors are done. They’ve served their purpose of bringing us to this evolutionary/ revolutionary moment. Our ancestors have cut the cord, and seek an end to their pain and grief. And it’s each of us, their children, the waking ones, that must do the hard, messy, transformative work of putting our ancestors to rest.

This is happening right now, all around us, in the noise and chaos unfolding on the world stage. Our ancestors’ stories are unraveling before our eyes, and we’re being called to join in this work of disassembling the stories that trap us in a reality of fear and the worst of our humanity: stories on how to live and dream; stories that tell us who and what matter in our human society; stories that have passed on patterns of wounding and coping; stories that dim our light and hide our beauty; stories that hold the secrets and lessons that will ripen us into our true selves; stories that are the ancestors’ final gifts to us.

Imagine yourself as Sacred Witness in these Great Turning times. Let yourself sink deep between the worlds, and see the tumult on the world stage as the death process of our ancestors’ stories. Some of these stories will call to you; they’ll speak to your ancestral lineage, personal life experiences, and the very passion and purpose that drew your soul to this world of matter.  

Claim these stories as your own. Let them guide your healing and action taking, and transform you into your full maturity and power. Always, choose love over fear, and your best instincts over your worst. Make this your soul work and contribution to the great task of mending our human society. Do these momentous, world-shattering things and our ancestors’ stories will have served their sacred purpose. Endings will come, rest will come, and we, their grownup children, will dream and story the world afresh.

Though this work may seem overwhelming, perhaps even impossible, remember the ancestors love you, believe in you, and know you’re the world’s greatest hope. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The ancestors have passed this precious world onto you, onto each of us. Let’s make them proud. 

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