SageWoman Blogs


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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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Joyful Tea, Summer’s End

Winters here are rough.

 

The photo shows one of the last tiny harvests before the cold locks me indoors for too many days.

 

In the jar is lemon balm—wee clippings from the very top of the plant, since the lower leaves are already weathered beyond use. Likewise, the jar holds a mere five inches of nettle leaves and nettle seeds from the top of a stalk.

 

The harvest also includes gorgeously dark peppermint and some fuzzy, pale mint. The square-stemmed plant is ready to assault my tongue with glory, if there’s enough mint in the jar to storm my tastebuds. If not, a more gentle mint taste will sweeten and enliven the tea blend. 

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“In yoga class, I often remind my students that we can be peaceful and powerful, calm yet strong—all in the same breath. I think there is a peace to be found in the acceptance of all of these contradictory powers within us. Finding a way to stand within this unknown and unknowable. We are gloriously complex and contradictory in a world that loves boxes, snap judgments and 100% certainty. People may find this inability to define you uncomfortable, but this is a reminder that you do not owe anyone an explanation. Your rich inner world needn’t mean anything to anyone but yourself. A person can be called a witch for merely knowing, and for owning her knowledge. And to some, for strange reasons that may include fear, power, jealousy, a woman who ‘knows’ is dangerous indeed…Communicating *I am knowledgeable, powerful, and I can make choices about how I use these strengths…can be a real challenge to the status quo!”

—Sarah Robinson, Yoga for Witches (p. 93)

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Recently I’ve been weaving water magic, and taking brief pilgrimages in search of depth. In the Celtic traditions, bodies of water, lakes, rivers and wells hold special positions as liminal places, where the realms of spirit may be easier to access, and where healing and wisdom can be sought. In the Irish tradition the otherworld and the gods are often found by journeying over bodies of water or on mysterious islands off to sea, as well as at the many holy wells and springs that are found across the country. In Wales it is similar, with lakes also holding this sacred significance, and the Welsh word for the otherworld, Annwn, or its older spelling, Annwfn, literally means ‘the deep place.’ Seeking depth, physically, in the dark ever renewing stillness of wells and wild waters, and the bright flowing of waterfalls on mountainsides I find my mind and my whole being refreshed and cleared of strain. I’ve found the stillness within which may allow new thoughts, new ideas, new insights to arise. The deep isn’t only to be found in the earth, or under water, it needs to be found in our hearts and minds as well, for transformation to come, for a new way of being to be born. So I’ve made a commitment to sit in silent communion near water and to place my feet in rivers and streams at least once a week, to seek healing, renewal, and new vision in these difficult times. To access the source of my soul and the soul of the land, and physically hold that connection in my body.

Meditating near bodies of water is always a special and useful practice. There is something in the sounds of water that helps us to change our consciousness even for a while, and gain access to those deeper parts within…making friends with the water in our bodies too, by drinking more water, and undertaking cleansing rituals that use water magically for change are also powerful. Try adding seasalt to your baths, and using vibrational essences, as well as making space for your emotions to be felt and honoured, with regular time set aside to keep in contact with yourself and your feelings. This is essential especially when life gets tough. Honouring the waters of the world with offerings is also good practice; sing to your rivers and streams, read them poetry, take time to pick up rubbish and get involved defending them from pollution. Buy green products that don’t pollute, walk your talk. But most of all, love them, spend time with them, build relationship with them, and healing will flow naturally. Honouring the waters, and seeking our own deep places, has its own simple magic, and sometimes that is the strongest kind of all.

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If I were naming the moons,
August would be
the Mushroom Moon,b2ap3_thumbnail_116721655_2720505291495009_3608339146132803919_o.jpg
honoring the things that wait
below the surface
for the right moment to emerge,
the invisible magic beneath our feet,
the wisdom of hidden places,
the quiet mists
that rise from cool water
into steamy evenings
beneath thunderous skies
and cicada song.
It speaks of the deepening
and the steeping,
the shy and the creeping,
the unexpected lessons
of loam and longing,
the vast and stubborn network
of all that is unseen,
the sky that sings
and hopes with wings,
and wide, round mysteries
on the rise.

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The Value of Everyday Tasks

 

I used to chafe sometimes at my lists of things to do—sigh and say to myself, oh if I only had more free time to write poetry or organize, edit and tidy up my writings. It seemed to me that what I thought of as my daily or sometimes weekly drudgery took too much of my precious time and energy and I resented it.  However, that was before the onset of the pandemic and the seeming disintegration of all that has constituted daily life and living, both personal and for my country.

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Respect for One's self is Vital

When I was little, I was taught to stand up when adults entered the room. I was told to listen when spoken to and not to interrupt. I was instructed to write thank you notes when I received a gift and to say" thank you," or "you're welcome,", as opposed to "no problem," when appropriate.  This was called good manners. I was considered a sign of respect for one's elders. To be sure, despite being taught to respect others, no one thought to teach me to respect myself. My grandmother would have laughed and thought it a joke that my feelings or desires ought to be respected.

 

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Lammas

Feel the passing of summer; as light lessens, we deepen the rhythms of rebirth. The is the first harvest—a time of abundance, our opportunity to assume conscious collective responsibility for creating the future. In this time of grains ripening, as we can also feel the Great Loneliness that wraps our human world, keep asking: What is it we value? How can we align our lives with that vision?

How can we control our population, transition from fossil fuels, eliminate toxic waste, practice wisdom without the sacrifices of technology? How can we stop feeding the world to our machines?

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