Sacred Cells: Embodying the Feminine Divine

Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the Feminine Divine in beings of all genders.

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Lizann Bassham

Lizann Bassham

Lizann Bassham is both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister.  She is the founder and director of Front Porch Spirit, a collective of writers, musicians, artists, and performers using their creative gifts to craft and create community and educate around various social justice and cycle of life issues.  She is a regular columnist for SageWoman magazine, novelist, playwright, songwriter, and currently working on a poetry series and women’s journal entitled “In Praise of Aging.”  She lives in West Sonoma County in Northern California.  Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A.  

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Sacred Markings

There is a bejeweled Moon on my right hand, and a glorious Sun on my left.  The lawsone molecules of the henna paste that formed the images are bound to the proteins in the cells of my epidermis.  The Moon and Sun will stay there until that layer of skin sloughs off, replaced by a new layer of cells.

 

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Rising From the Ashes

The official letter states:  “On October 26th, 1907 Mrs. Smith, suffering from a cancer of the throat, died in Hahnemann Hospital.”  Mrs. Smith was my great-grandmother, Josephine Romero Lindsey Smith.  Over the past two months as I have been digging and researching and listening, she has been rising in my DNA and consciousness from the deep ashes of time, and the wild tragedy that was the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

 

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What's Remembered, Lives

“There are things,” my Grandma Winnie would say, “better left forgotten.”  That was always her response to questions about her life.  So, for many years all I really knew about her was what we lived together in the tiny mountain community of French Gulch.  When she died in the early 1990’s in her early 90s, my father and I cleaned out the shack where she had lived with my Grandpa Russell.  I came away with a bit more information about who she was from my father’s stories of her.  We sorted through a box of photos, and my dad did his best to identify the images as I wrote on the backs.  Then he showed me a letter, typed in 1911 in San Francisco.  The letterhead was from The California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.  “There are things,” I heard my Grandma Winnie say in my head, “better left forgotten.”

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    What a beautiful way to express it: "What's remembered, lives." Or to quote Theodore Roethke, one of my favorite poets, "What fall
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks Ted. Yes, I have a feeling there is a whole book floating around in the ether waiting to be born out of this process.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I too have been journeying with my ancestors in recent weeks. It is amazing how it feels like I (like you) am being transformed fr
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks Carol, it's good to know we have companions on this journey of healing for the past. Blessings on your Annie, Anna, Irene,

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Baby

There is only this moment of pure joy as I sit on the floor, my whole body attentive to this baby, this tiny embodied being as they reach for each object on my bookshelf.  Each object is felt with tiny fingers, held in tiny hands, tasted with a tiny tongue and mouth.  Each object is full of new texture and contour.  Each object is a delight of learning for this new embodied being.  This baby has recently begun crawling, employing the new skill of coordinating among body parts.  Something catches their eye and the new muscles in legs, and arms, and torso begin to work together to move their whole self to what has attracted their attention.  We both crawl to a new place to sit again as, with newly dextrous fingers, they pick up a new object.  The object is light weight but awkward in size and these tiny hands drop it on the floor.  The sound of this new object hitting the floor brings a beam of ecstasy to their tiny face and they reach to pick it up and drop it again and again, enraptured by the ability to create sound.

 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Lizann, and all blessings of the season. "All work for justice and healing begins with learning to crawl." That is beau
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks Ted. Blessings to you as well!

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Crone Hands

They are my Grandmother’s hands, these hands I now see when I look at my own.  Her hands, those hands, lovely Crone hands, the hands my child eyes delighted to watch dancing through the air with a paint brush tipped with cobalt blue.  The hands my child self loved to feel dividing my long wild hair into six parts, three on each side, as she braided the strands into practical pigtails.  Her hands were rarely at rest, except when she sat with a cigarette in them (which yes, did finally kill her at 99).  I remember watching those hands catching and cleaning fish, making oatmeal for breakfast, chicken fried steak for dinner, dishing out vanilla ice cream and squeezing chocolate syrup on top for desert (those hands deftly fed her sweet tooth).

 

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More Kisses Please

The New Moon pulls me from sleep.  I come into consciousness to the sound of rain outside my bedroom window.  We are in a drought here in California and although it is two-thirty in the morning, I find my thirsty self wandering downstairs and out the back door to stand naked in the Dark Moon night, grateful for soft rain falling on my body.  I feel it touch me as it makes its way to The Earth.  It is not a hard rain, the softness of it are tiny kisses on my upturned face.  I kiss it back and delight in the moisture.  Everything around me does the same, tiny wet kisses for the thirsty dirt and parched roses.

 

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May You Be As Resilient As Fleas!

I’d like to blame it all on human caused climate change.  The ongoing drought in California, and the slightly higher temperatures, mean they never really had an interruption in their natural reproductive cycles.  But the truth is I’d also been pretty lax in vacuuming the carpets through the winter and spring.  One of the consequences of depression (part of the wiring of my brain) and other health issues I deal with, is that when I’m tired, simple tasks become overwhelming.  Adding a new, albeit wonderful, commitment to my work in November of 2013, put me just at the edge of tired more often than not.  So the new breeding cycles (now our regional norm) were happening inside my home ecosystem as well as outside.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Dear Lizann - If you haven't yet read this caring post by Tania Kindersley, I think it will give you some comfort. http://taniakin
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Ted.

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