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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_Screen-Shot-2016-09-10-at-4.58.51-PM.png     

      "I have a surprise for you," my paternal Abuela Petra said with a broad smile.  She pulled a set of cards out of her purse and placed it in my hands.

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Pagans Must #StandWithStandingRock

I've been following the events on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where hundreds (if not thousands) have gathered to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL for short) for the better part of two months, though I've been dimly aware of the issue since last spring. As a native South Dakotan transplanted to Texas, I still follow news outlets from my beloved prairies, including several independent Native news agencies. When I started sharing posts about the growing camps of protectors -- community members prefer this term to protestors -- I was shocked and amazed when friends told me that my Facebook feed was the only place they were hearing about the situation. (The 1,172 mile pipeline, which will carry oil from North Dakota's Bakkan region, crosses the Missouri River in a number of places, threatening the only source of drinking water for many indigenous communities. Construction also threatens burial grounds and other culturally important sites for the Standing Rock Sioux. For a quick primer on the situation, go here and here.)

I've been heartened to see that the Pagan community has spoken out about the DAPL and has offered support to the protectors at Standing Rock. While I understand that many Pagans "don't like to be political," there is no question in my mind that we have a duty to stand with indigenous peoples everywhere, and in particular with Native American/First Nations peoples. For Pagans in the United States and Canada (and elsewhere in the Americas), the very land on which we stand and which we purport to venerate is the same land (and water, and air) threatened by the DAPL and projects like it. The environmental stakes alone should give us reason to stand up and say #NoDAPL and to support those seeking to prevent the "black snake" from being built across the nation's prairie heartland, from North Dakota all the way to Illinois. As earth-venerating people, I believe that it is incumbent upon us to stand up against environmental degradation -- as Al Gore famously said in Earth in the Balance, Paganism is the spiritual arm of the environmental movement. 

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I know about a pipeline being built here in Virginia, there have been a lot of newspaper articles on it. It looks like the state

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Spider Season

One of the joys of autumn is the finding of webs, dew decked and glinting in the early morning light.

Spider webs are amazing constructions, and the whole spidering business is fascinating – all spiders produce 8 or more kinds of thread, and they only don’t get caught in their own webs because they remember where to stand.

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“…There, he found a piece of glass and began to tell a story. He was telling one of his tribe’s men’s stories. It was a story for boys to become men, and it was not shared with women. The women had their own stories, not for men to know. I read that and thought, no one took me out into the desert; no one told me stories. That’s what I needed, a passing of history and the ways of living, from one man to another.”

–Christopher Penczak, Sons of the Goddess, p. 51

Our oldest son is rapidly sliding into manhood. Creaky voice. Height stretching on a near-daily basis. Fuzz on upper lip. It is hard to hold space for August 2016 096this transition while still caring for a not-quite-two year old small boy as well, one who reminds me regularly of my first baby boy and what it was like to be a mother to only one, focused on each stage of development, each new word, each successful identification of a new color. Now that first baby boy swings that last baby boy onto one hip with practiced ease, washes dishes, helps to cook, pours milk for his sister.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for this!!!

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Wild Things

 

I had an email this morning from a reader thanking me for my book, The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druid, which is always a lovely thing to hear - do write to authors you like and support them! - and who also had some very good questions, apprehensions and fears about walking the wilds of Maryland, USA, safely and as a Druid, in cougar and bear country.

I used to live in North Vancouver, and took precautions every time I went out into the wild. I always had a hunting knife, not only for defence, but also in case  I got lost, needed to make a fire, etc.  What sort of Pagan goes into cougar and bear-infested woods armed? A smart one! Not that we would want to use any weapons, but that we know that nature is not necessarily always working for the sole purpose of being kind to humanity. Nature has its own modus operandi, as we know, for we too are a part of that nature.

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Empowering Each Other To Dis-Empower Bullies

Maybe it was naïve of me, but it never occurred to me before this morning that a person could be a racist feminist.

Personally, I find all forms of oppression and bullying equally abhorrent.  I believe all humans (all sentient life, really) deserve love and respect from the beginning to the end of their lives, no matter what they look like, who they love, how much they have, what language they speak, or what they believe.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you!

b2ap3_thumbnail_andean-condors-1.jpgIndigenous peoples have engaged in spiritual running for thousands of years and continue their traditions of running today. To many Indigenous nations, running is ceremonial and has deeply spiritual and traditional meanings. Runners also served as messengers. The Peace and Dignity Journeys, a series of runs across the Americas, are continuing those ancient running traditions. The purpose of this series of Indigenous runs, held every four years since 1992, is to fulfill the Condor and Eagle Prophecy, a prophecy held by the Taino people and other primarily South American Indigenous nations. Above is a photograph of a pair of Andean Condors. The California Condor went extinct in the wild in 1987, but has been recently reintroduced (see photo at right). b2ap3_thumbnail_300px-Gymnogyps_californianus_-San_Diego_Zoo-8a.jpg

To some Indigenous nations, the Eagle represents the male principle of our planet, and the Condor is the female principle. The prophecy states that once the European settlers arrived the balanced principles of Indigenous nations were devastated and the Eagle (men) have dominated for the past 500 years. Through these spiritual runs, the balance between the principles of women and men is returning--the Condor is being brought back into Her rightful place of honor. The 500-year cycle of disharmony is closing. These runs are meant to heal the Indigenous peoples, but ultimately, the Earth and all people will find healing once the female/male principles are righted after the tragic disruptions brought by colonization of the Americas.

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