The Tangled Hedge: At home in the numinous wilds

An animist & spiritual naturalist explores feminine spirituality... the hunter emerging from the numinous wilds to gather with her sisters.

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Lia Hunter

Lia Hunter

Lia is an Anthropology major, & mother of two in the Western U.S. Spiritual influences tend toward the ancient and indigenous, with a future-focused hope to return humanity to sustainability.

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Breaking The Mother Goose Code

Imagine... What if Mother Goose was the ancient European Mother Goddess in disguise, hidden from the patriarchal, monotheistic church that took over Europe, appearing in print just as the Inquisition and Witch-hunts drove anything non-Christian underground? What if the Mother Goose “nursery rhymes” taught to children over the last few centuries were a way to pass on an encoded pre-Christian worldview? Are fairy tales the carriers of the Pagan values of ancestors who had to disguise them as “peasant imbecilities” to keep them in cultural memory in a stratified society, of which the hierarchical authorities wanted to eradicate their egalitarian, animistic, and earthy worldview?

These questions are explored in Jeri Studebaker’s new book, “Breaking the Mother Goose Code: How a Fairy-Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 Years” published by Moon Books. I was excited to read the advance copy I asked for, since folklore and fairy tales have always fascinated me, and I really love reading about history - especially Pagan history. I know I’m not alone in these interests, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the book after reading it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    Dear Lia, Just got Studebaker's book. Great read! Plus she wrote another book that i just love "Switching to Goddess" I recomme
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVbB1tkKkFg Dear Lia, Go to this video that I made about The Real Mother Goose if you want to see
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Thank you for sharing your video, Constance. The intriguing artifacts like the goose boat and the chariot pulled by geese were coo

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Winter

(Art by Barbara Bargiggia)

Ah, January. In like a lion roaring exciting resolutions and plans, out like a tired bear hibernating in a Winter cave. New or continued schedules after the holiday break quickly become rote trudging performed in the icy cold of the bleakest part of Winter. Short days don’t seem to hold enough of the activities we wanted, and we find ourselves playing catch-up with little energy input from Sun or Earth’s abundance. Plans for early bed and early rising fall to the freeze-out of not being able to stop finishing tasks until after bedtime. Or to a seized-up will. Emotions expand and freeze, slicing with icy edges the hearts of these organic creatures trudging through the dark, cold, short days. It’s enough to make you want to hole up and wait it out. Let Spring bring the fuel and the will to rise again.

Until the crocuses or groundhogs peek out and whisper of Spring’s coming, it seems a natural time to pause and rest, perhaps do inner-work in the quiet space of our own heads and hearts. Light a fire in the hearth and stir pots, stare into the fire, find underworld songs rolling around your tongue, and find tangles in your forgotten hair.

But the time does come to fetch more firewood, or you’ll freeze. The stirred pots eventually give forth sustenance and medicine and more will need to be added or you won’t eat tomorrow. There’s life in there, and it demands to live. It has slowed, but it will move… even in the cold, even in the dark, even before any message from Green Spring arrives to promise quickening. This isn’t death, it’s just a pale rehearsal. With a glowing ember inside.

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December's Cold Moon

( My moon face, in honor of December’s Full Cold Moon in Gemini - energies of Gemini’s intellectual stimulation (bookcase!) and self-expression (photo) hehe. Not to mention this blog post. )

 

I have the honor of facilitating the moon circle this month, for my Women’s Sacred Circle. We’re meeting tonight, at the full moon. I thought I would share what I have prepared, here, since it is mine to share, and I would be curious about what a moon circle would be like, if I wasn’t participating in one. The format was sent to me by the women who planned this year’s circle endeavor, but they said it was a loose guideline. If you want to set up a moon circle, do it however you like! This is how mine is going to go, and it’s similar to the ones that went before, in my particular circle.

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Women's Sacred Circle, Now With Moon Circle

Art by Pascal Campion
(http://pascalcampion.deviantart.com/art/Status-Single-359282986)

My Women’s Sacred Circle has begun a new year with a different plan, and it was a great opportunity for me to jump back in after a busy summer. They split it into two monthly meetings. One is to be similar to what we had been doing, which was like a book club, where we will be reading Caroline Myss’ “Sacred Contracts” (last year it focused on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ “Women Who Run With The Wolves” which is a favorite of mine) and keeping a journal for the work we do in that book. The other meeting will be a moon circle on the night of the full moon, where we will do ritual together and discuss the symbolism of that month’s moon. Last month it was the Hunter’s Moon. :) We will also be keeping a moon journal for this meeting.

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The Dark Mother

Autumn is my favorite season. As the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Alban Elfed approaches, I’m thinking of how this season has always carried a sense of magic and spirit… of descent into the sacred secrets of time… a place of reckoning, with a wise power that can see you as you go, while all the foliate cover falls away… a place where truth can’t hide. Truth is powerful and healing and terrible and cleansing and undeniable, and this is the cathartic season where you feast on it, and it feasts on you.

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  • donna
    donna says #
    I too love both the light & dark times for they both bring their own unique gifts. Luckily, I've never had the fear of the Dark Mo
Persephone and Demeter: A Personal Tale Of Birthright and Motherhood
Art by Susan Seddon-Boulet
(http://www.turningpointgallery.com/)

"In the best known version of the Greek myth, Persephone is dragged down into the underworld by Hades, whose title is 'Pluto.' But in earlier, pre-patriarchal tales, she descends there under her own power, actively seeking to graduate from her virginal naïveté by exploring the intriguing land of shadows. 'Pluto' is derived from the Greek word plutus, meaning 'wealth.' Psychologist James Hillman says this refers to the psyche-building riches available in Pluto's domain. Hades, he says, is the 'giver of nourishment to the soul.'" - Rob Brezsny

This is the month of my mother’s birthday, and when I recently read this quote, it made the tale of Persephone and Demeter become mine, and I wanted to explore this new perspective in the context of my relationship with my mother.

I was never taken into the underworld, so the archetype as it is commonly known never really resonated with me, but that changes drastically if it is understood as a willing and self-powered journey of nourishing discovery! I'll be wanting to ponder this tale in its new light (thanks, Rob Brezsny!)

But first, let’s focus on Demeter.

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  • Me
    Me says #
    Hello, Lia, Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading this. It still amazes me every time one of the ancient stories communicates
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Thank you for your words and wishes, Jason. I wish the same for you. Not only did we choose these depths, but we have the capacit
  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
    I welcome you as a follower of my blog and appreciate the sharing here. My own mother has passed over ( 9 years now) and as I ente
  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
    Lia, It was so very interesting for me to read your take on the separate but entwined journeys of Demeter and Persephone, from th
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Thanks for sharing your perspective and your own post with me, JudithAnn. Your painting is compelling, and your story is both touc

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The Turning Of The Wheel - Year One

I was taken by surprise when I realized that this blog is already a year old! A YEAR!!! The wheel has completed an entire turning and this burgeoning hedge has covered some ground!

Time has flown because school had me so preoccupied. I have loved the way time has slowed this summer, and I'm feeling like a floating blossom in the slower time-stream, rather than a twig bobbing madly in the faster one I had been in!

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