Third Wave Witch: Feminist Spirituality, Spiritual Feminism

Third Wave Witchcraft explores the intersection of feminism, Witchcraft, Goddess Spirituality, and feminist activism. A place to explore how to make our spirituality more feminist, our feminism more spiritual, and our world more just.

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Susan Harper

Susan Harper

Susan Harper is an eclectic solitary Feminist Witch from Irving, Texas. She is a professor of Anthropology, Sociology, and Women's Studies, with a focus on gender, religion, and sexuality. She is also an activist, community educator, and writer. When she's not making magick or fomenting social change, Susan is the head soapmaker, herbalist, and aromatherapist for Dreaming Priestess Creations. She shares her life with her partner, Stephanie, five cats, and two guinea pigs.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

It's March, which here in the Northern Hemisphere marks the beginning of Spring. Back on the Dakota prairies where I grew up, March often blew in like a lion with brisk winds and rains, blowing away the last of the snow and ice. (Though sometimes it brought more snow...) Here in Texas, March comes in a little more gently most years, with warm balmy days and rain. Occassionally we end up with tornadoes and thunderstorms to mark the beginning of Spring, though those will often come closer to the end of the month.

However March manifests, it's one of my favorite months of the year. The Earth feels like she is taking a long, languid stretch after the cold Winter. Life begins to stir. It's time to till the soil, to plant seeds, to make ready for the growing season.

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This post was originally posted at my WordPress blog, Priestessing the Dream

I've been on a bit of a feminist thealogy/feminist spirituality history tour of late. It feels like the moment is ripe for a whole new wave of Goddess Spirituality to be born, with the resurgence in interest in Witchcraft born of the #Resistance, plus the newly visible nature of the feminist movement due to the Women's March. The work of W.I.T.C.H. in Portland and Chicago has also been a reminder of the rich intertwining of feminist politics and witchcraft that gave rise to the Goddess Spirituality I practice . Even though I part ways with many of the movement's founders on issues of trans inclusion, biological essentialism, cultural appropriation, and more, at my core Goddess Spirituality and Witchcraft are what shapes my life and work and gives them meaning.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Right? I feel that way about Carol Christ's "Why Women Need the Goddess" -- it moves me every time I read it, even though I've now
  • Michelle Gruben
    Michelle Gruben says #
    I'm always amazed at how fresh The Spiral Dance feels. Amazing that it's creeping up on 40. I think there is a wonderful amount of

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The Gemini Moon is here to ask us to find a way to meld wisdom and understanding. The Sun is in philosophical, wisdom seeking Sagittarius, while the Moon is in curious, communicative Gemini.

What wisdom are you seeking? What understanding do you need to gain from it? And how can you take this new wisdom and understanding out to the world? What are you being called to share?

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Tonight's New Moon is in Sagittarius. Archer energy is always fun -- Sagittarius, while the philosopher's sign, is also always up for anything. As a Sag myself, I often say my philosophy of life is, "What? I'm too busy dancing!" When the New Moon is in Sagittarius, we're invited to look at our Shadow side and discover what spark of light we can generate or find to illuminate the darkness. Coming as it does in the darkening days before Winter Solstice, the Sagittarius New Moon also reminds us that there is always dawning after the night, and also that night will inevitably follow day. We need to ride the tides of this cycle, trusting that all darkness will eventually be dispelled by light -- even if it means that darkness must come again eventually.

The focus this new moon is on relationships -- with each other, with the world, with our communities, and with ourselves. Awakenings happening to us and around us as well -- some of these are painful, some are jarring, but all are necessary. There is a sense that the world is waking up from a long sleep, or shaking itself out of complacency. 

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you, always love your insights. My intention is to share my crone experience with my beloveds (especially those in despair

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

One of my favorite women on the planet, a gifted priestess with whom I am blessed to share space on the regular, wrote this beautiful piece over at her blog.

"There are some of us who are the Dark Goddess and have been for quite some time. I have noted that these folks are feeling this shift the hardest. Going through the birthing pangs as Ereshkigal writhing alone and in the dark. Facing those who are saying “it’s not that bad” or “give it a chance let’s see how things go”. We know though that that only prolongs the process. It is only through BECOMING the  Dark Goddess and seeing her for who she truly is the Goddess of creation and rebirth, that we are able to live again. She is literally attempting to birth us into a new world at this time. So are you silencing her? Attempting to persuade her that her pain is not real? Or are you standing with her and seeing the truth of this moment?"

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  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    Love this post! I've been saying something similar for the last few years. A massive change is coming/has begun. And it will ge

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Priestess is a Verb

This post is mirrored from my other blog space, Priestessing the Dream

It's been almost a year since I chose the word "Priestess" as my power word for the year -- or rather, since it chose me. And over the last turn of the Wheel the work -- because above all, being a priestess is work -- has found me in the most unexpected places. For a long time I resisted applying the word priestess to myself, at least when I wasn't actively in a circle and leading a ritual, because it seemed too loaded, too pretentious. As a Goddess woman who is completely self-taught -- or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say, whose training has been completely self-directed, as I have had wonderful mentors -- rather than having been trained up through a formal coven system, I have balked at using the term for myself in any but the most basic of senses.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
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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