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relationships Tag - PaganSquare - Join the conversation! Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:08:13 -0800 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Celebrating Partnership Not Competition....Women in Relationship

I was reading comments about how Deepak Chopra and the male host of a show dominated over Riane Eisler in an interview, and it brought up these thoughts I'll share as food for thought.

First, I wish I'd seen the interview.  I love Riane and owe her so much!  She's one of my first mentors, having written The Chalice and the Blade andThe Partnership Way, which drew me to this path and I've never left.  I learned about partnership and perpetuate that idea often because of her early teachings. My book launch party on Saturday has a theme of "celebrating partnership" and it's a shame the interview went the way it was described. 

Myself,  I've have worked in several industries where I have had to supervise men.  I'll mention two.  The first was when I was a Convention Coordinator for a large hotel chain in New Orleans.  I actually was responsible for making sure a hotel with more than 10,000 sq ft of meeting space was turned over 3-4 times a day 7 days a week.  Our "crew" was a dozen African American men.  Me, a white woman, received more respect and enjoyed a team camaraderie with these men - more so than the white men in the administrative office.  In fact the other supervisors couldn't understand their loyalty and our team work.  They didn't get it was mutual respect, cooperation, partnership.  Maybe I instinctively treated these African American men better than the white men they usually answered to here in the South and treated them like people.  We developed a sense of pride in our work together and a team spirit.  With the white men you had to hold your ground, stand up to them or some, not all, were more likely to steamroll you, overlook you, demean you.  However, what was the most frustrating was the superior and entitled attitudes of the management (women and men) brought in from Colorado.  They treated all the local management as if we were all stupid - both men and women, even though we had experience running convention hotels and not small boutique hotels like they had previously run.  The Food and Beverage Manager - an older woman - treated me worse than any man in the hotel.  All these years later I still shudder at the emotion - the tears - that woman provoked in me!

In California I manage property where I have to supervise a lot of white men and men of other cultures as well, a few of which would probably rather have me barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and despise having to take orders from a woman.  I find again you have to stand up, hold your own, speak up.  The rules of etiquette I learned in the South when I was growing up - be nice, don't make waves, defer, conform, well, they just don't get the job done.  Sure I sometimes get called a bitch or a ball buster behind my back.  Once to my face a Telephone Company employee screwing up on the job told me I needed "a good  f--k" and maybe then I would shut up - translation: not tell him to do a better job.  (Interestingly the phone company send out a representative to make a personal apology to me.)  

Of course I get tired of the struggle.  Always having to be assertive to be able to do your job effectively - because the buck stops with me.  Some men still lack awareness of sexism and white male privilege - because its their normal and they benefit from it.  My boss even had to be schooled.  But again, here in CA, unlike in the South, I've experienced just as many women dominators as any men in my life - their methods are just a little more insidious.  So while I certainly am aware of male privilege, patriarchy, domination - let's not kid ourselves that men are the only ones doing it.  Both genders participate.  Women have learned well from their male oppressors and engage in what I call patriarchy in a skirt.  If I had to tally it up, I've had to endure more bad women than men. 

I've read how feminist, Phyllis Chesler, (Woman's Inhumanity to Woman) got a lot of heat for bringing this up - I have her in my upcoming anthology, Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversation to ReShape Our World, and I've interviewed her on my radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine Radio on Blog Talk.  I sincerely hope I don't get flack for saying this.  I won't engage if it happens.  I've got too much to do.   But we have to face the elephant in the living room if we women are going to lead the charge to change the world.  We have to figure out how to stop being jealous, petty, competitive and put our collective energy into dissolving the patriarchy.  We need to put our personal slights aside and stand in solidarity and partnership.  We have empower one another - be that lobster climbing out of the pot that turns around and helps the others out rather than be the one pulling the escapee back down into the boiling water.  And women have to take the mantle of leadership and be assertive and not expect it to be handed to us. 

Yes, the answer is partnership.  It's mutual respect.  It's fairness.  It's justice.  It's not competition, sexism, classism  or racism.   Among women and men.  We have to try to empower one another as women and not have a scarcity attitude there's only so many pieces of pie so we keep fighting for the scraps among ourselves.  I know I'm probably being politically incorrect here, but seems important to say.  My Sekhmet heart demands it.

Love to you all,
Karen Tate      

Read more]]> (Karen Tate) SageWoman Blogs Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:02:53 -0700
Questioning Love: Finding Love Through The Lovers Card

For February’s shadow card, I purposely chose The Lovers as it can be use as a tool to delve into our psyches to learn more about the love, our lack thereof, in our lives.  With the approach of Valentines Day, many people who are unattached begin to wish for someone in their lives that they can share that special bond with.  They yearn for the special love that only lovers can share and sometimes begin to question why they do not have it or why they are unable to find it.  Others that are already attached begin to yearn for someone that is not their current love, someone that embodies different qualities than their current love has.  By looking at the shadow side of ourselves through this card, we can take a look and perhaps discover why we aren’t happy with what we currently have in our current situation.

In the traditional Rider Waite deck, we see a couple striped of their clothes with an Angel overhead coming out of an ethereal cloud.  The Angel appears to be blessing their union as they stand there, under the bright sun, with a tree burning behind the man and a tree of fruit behind the woman.  The man looks at the woman while the woman looks at the Angel.  A mountain stands in the background between them as their feet are firmly planted on the green grass below them.  

The Lovers card is about relationships, love, and choices.  When we are in a relationship, like the couple in this card, we bare ourselves completely to each other, trusting that we will be accepted for who and what we are.  We can look for approval from a higher power (the woman looking at the Angel) to make sure that this is our soul mate – a match made in heaven.  There is a very strong sexual attraction with this card, represented by the tree of desire behind the man and the tree of forbidden fruit with snake behind the woman, reminiscent of the story of temptation of Adam and Eve.  The woman can also be looking at the Angel for an answer for a choice that she needs to make.  Should she give in to the temptation of the man in front of her?  


In the shadows, we can find clues as to why we may not be in that dream relationship yet.  It’s important to ask ourselves questions in order to start our detective work.  Do we trust that our “soul mate” is being sent to us?  Are we relying on divine guidance too much to send us that “perfect” person and sit around waiting rather than putting ourselves out there?  Perhaps we are unable to bare our souls to our significant other because we are afraid that we won’t be wholly accepted, warts and all.  Do we love ourselves, warts and all?  Fear of commitment and constant infidelity are also the shadow sides of the lover’s card, but more importantly we need to go deeper….why is there a fear of commitment?  Are we afraid of being hurt?  Are we looking outside of ourselves for completion and acceptance rather than looking inside of ourselves?  Do we really need to have divine guidance or get divine approval for our choices or acceptance or are we able to trust ourselves to make the right decisions for us?


These are only a few questions that can be asked and my hope is that they sparked others that are specific to your situation.  Everyone has their own individual hang ups on love whether we want to admit it or not.  We can either choose to accept things the way they are and continue to wonder if things can be better or complain about our situation or we can choose to make positive changes in our lives and commit to loving ourselves.  Once we can love and accept ourselves, we are able to open our hearts to receiving unconditional love from others.  Do we have to wait until we completely love and accept ourselves?  Of course not, it is a process, however, the more we love ourselves unconditionally, the more we are able to love others unconditionally and accept unconditional love.


So where do we go from here? Let’s begin with a couple of exercises for learning to love ourselves unconditionally.


Every morning and evening, look in the mirror and find 2-3 things that you love about yourself.  They do not have to be physical but I challenge you to have at least one physical attribute that you are positive about.  Say “I love my ____________.” Or “I love ___________ about me”.  Say it out loud to yourself because when you do, you give it more meaning and you are more likely to believe yourself.  Have different ones in the morning than you do at night.  If there is something that you don’t necessarily love but want to accept, choose the words “I accept __________ about myself.  It is part of me and I love it unconditionally”.  This exercise works great if you find yourself looking for acceptance from others in order to validate your self worth.  Remember, if you think you are worth it, so will others.  


If you have a significant other and you don’t share a lot with them, start sharing something about yourself a little at a time.  If you are afraid of how they will react, start with something relatively minor, this way, you are able to gauge their reaction and may be able to work up to things that may be more difficult for you to share.  Keep in mind that what you think as something big, they may have a completely different perception.  


If you are expecting to have that perfect person sent to you but you aren’t making any kind of an effort, you need to get out there.  The right person isn’t going to come knocking on your door and say “Hi.  I’m your soul mate!”  It doesn’t work like that.  The best way to meet people is to get out there.  Go out with friends, do what interests you and talk to people.  If you don’t get out much, try to get out at least once a week doing something fun and vow to talk to at least one new person. 


Most importantly, keep believing in love.  It is out there.  Love yourself and you will be able to find love.  You just have to believe and do the work.


This month’s affirmations:


“I love and accept myself for who I am” 


“I believe in love”



Bright blessings!!! 




Read more]]> (Machelle Earley) Culture Blogs Wed, 12 Feb 2014 03:20:12 -0800
In Gratitude: The Lamp of Hestia

There is a quiet place that burns brightly with the hearth fires. Family and friends gather round and love flows through each stone and tile. Food is prepared with loving hand and warmth flows like liquid honey sweetening the time spent together. There is no one location, for this space resides wherever there is heart enough to hold its flame of contentment and acceptance.   The days are feeling shorter and the nights longer and I am ready to burrow in and tend to my need fires.  In response to this turning within I have been thinking alot lately about the relationships and people in my life.  About what nurtures and feeds my soul and which interactions could use a bit more tending to keep those fires of connection burning. And, the energy of gratitude has been called front and center as I am reminded of how truly fortunate and blessed I am.

As a child I was always told to be polite and to say please and thank you for what I hoped to receive and what gifts had come my way.  I was taught that these were part of the routine of daily life and that gratitude offered would bring abundance in all endeavors. I was loved and cared for by my mother and grandmother and although we did not have much financially, there was always enough good food lovingly prepared by my grandmother and time to spend together with my mother despite her demanding schedule of two jobs at times.  Hestia's flame burned deeply and love and gratitude was etched very deeply into everything that occurred in that home. The Goddess was present in the strength of the women who shared my life and actions were infused with the tools needed to teach how to call those flames of strength into my own life.

When I married and had a family of my own, the kitchen, although tiny and crowded for seven in a family was the starting place of special meals, candle making, pots and pans music making and at times the only space available for a one on one conversation with one of our children.  Calendars hung on refrigerators alongside of treasured pictures drawn by tiny hands and offered with pride. What came out of Hestia's domain was filled with love and with always more than enough to feed seven hungry mouths. Smells of fresh bread baking, yogurt setting and homemade chocolate syrup wafted through the air and welcomed any who entered to linger a while and enjoy food and friends. Even when full time work and busy after school schedules held sway, the sacred fires of the hearth burned in the crock pot filled at lunchtime and set to greet the first one home with the tempting fragrance of soup or stew.

As the children grew and went off to college, gifts from that hearth of long ago were often the request for breaks at home or deliveries up to schools. Hestia's flame lit the way to campuses and new apartments and a piece of home life graced their temporary living spaces reminding them that the strength of the hearth and home are always in abundance. And, reminding them to call to Hestia in creating their own growing flames and circle of friends and loved ones.

This year, with the turning of the wheel and the parting of the veils of Samhain, those hearth fires reached deeper and further.  The connection to the ancestors stoked those flames to a place of memory of all of those days spent in the loving embrace of family and the quiet moments spent simply enjoying the company of a dear friend. The hearth fires blazed brightly and with a luminosity that was the interweaving of life and death, dense physical matter and the splendor of non-corporeal energy.

Time has moved forward and changed the who, the where and the what, but Hestia has flowed through these changing cycles offering up her grace to be received and acted upon by those who recognize its power. I am ever reminded of the warmth of Hestia's hearth and the magick that is created in the embrace of sitting, talking and sharing with someone you treasure.

As we near Thanksgiving and the opportunity to spend time with some of my closest friends I want to fully embrace that space of gratitude for what has come before. And, in reaching towards what stands on the horizon, I know I will always find my way back to the warming fires of Hestia's home and loving embrace. May you find her Magick burning brightly and offered freely within your home of being. 

Read more]]> (Robin Fennelly) SageWoman Blogs Sun, 24 Nov 2013 08:03:22 -0800
Love & (male) vulnerability in Norse myth: Freyr and the wooing of Gerda in Skirnismal b2ap3_thumbnail_Day-spring_finds_Mengld--Svipdagsmal_Collingwood.jpg

We stereotype the peoples of Northern Europe as aggressive, looting, sea-faring warriors, hauling back pillaged booty or trade goods from abroad. We stereotype Odin (blame Wagner and his Victorian romanticism for this) as the stern, grim king: father of war. Thor as big-hearted, lustily drinking smiter of evil. While attitudes have recently begun changing, portraying the Vikings' "softer side", that aggressive image sticks-- both inside and outside of Heathenry.

It ignores that there is a third strong image of masculinity, from a triad of Gods honored at the ancient temple of Upsala, Sweden: Odin, Thor and Freyr.

Freyr is not just the God of "Fertility" and "Farming", but the Lord of peace. And a very wise God and king at that. He's also a God of love, courtship and marriage. This shouldn't be surprising, considering that his dynamic sister, Freya, is a mistress of sexuality who ardently appreciates love songs.

Most of what we know story-wise about Freyr comes from the dramatic poem Skirnismal  and a story covering much the same elements recounted by Snorri Sturleson in the prose Edda. While there is a later heroic poem Svipdagsmal (which may, in fact, be about Freyr or Odin in the form of a humanized hero seeking his love), Freyr's wooing of the Giant maiden Gerd is the only Norse myth covering the courtship of two deities. The other marriage myth involves Freyr's father Njordh and stepmother Skadi, their arranged peacemaking union, and, ultimately, their amiable divorce.

In the pursuit of love, Freyr is brave enough to give away both his sword and an emblem of his kingship (the arm ring, Draupnir, given by Freyr in Skirnismal) and become very vulnerable. In other words, he's willing to offer up both his status and his role as a warrior to be united with his wife. He's also willing to undergo a rigorous trial, akin to the initiatory sacrifice of Odin hanging nine nights on the world tree to gain the runes, by honoring his future wife's wishes and awaiting nine nights, alone, before he can finally meet her. This from the God who is depicted in ancient sculpture and histories as displaying quite a proud erection. Freyr's not the poster-child for sexual restraint.

Freyr does all of this without anyone's blessing, too. No one wants him to marry Gerd. The Gods are opposed. The Jotuns don't seem too keen on this suit, either.


Oh those unromantic Vikings! What could they possibly know, faring far abroad, about falling in love with foreigners? What could they possibly know, in a culture built from webs of kinship and regional loyalty about opposition to a love match from both families? Possibly your enemies? Especially in lands your own people had just spread out into and colonized from an isolated trading post? Not to mention that the prose version of this tale finally got recorded in medieval Iceland-- a harsh land colonized by Norwegians, Scotts, Danes and other separate peoples seeking independence from their homeland rulers.

Further back in history, one of the common archaeological finds from the iron age to the Viking era are little gold foil stamps of kissing couples, commonly thought by scholars to depict Freyr and Gerd. They're simple and touchingly to the point. They've also primarily been found in Sweden, where Freyr (and not Odin), was predominantly worshiped.

Freyr's sacrifice here to win Gerd is equal to any of the host of other things a deity gives up in attaining a greater worthiness, as mentioned in my previous post on Heathen Gods and Sacrifice (and Transformation).

True love-- a bond between equals that strengthens you both-- is totally worth it. It's worth as much as wisdom, as valor, and it crosses otherwise unshakeable boundaries.

Gerd and Freyr by Shirl Sazynski

There's an excellent essay on the "Sacred Marriage" of Gerd and Frey as an initiation (and not a power-play) with references here. I also suggest some comparisons with the Celtic myths of Grainne and Diarmuid, and Dierdre and Naoise-- two pairs of "impossible" lovers-- where genders are reversed and very similar motifs involving cursing and opposition occur.

But the best possible thing, if you want to know more about Gerd and Frey, is simply to read the primary source materials rather than secondary explanations or retellings of them. I recommend Carolyne Larrington's translation of The Poetic Edda and Jesse Byock's version of The Prose Edda as easily-found and enjoyable modern sources. Several older free translations can also be found online, but newer versions are preferable.

Sources & Images:

  • Skirnismal (The Poetic Edda), translated by Carolyne Larrington
  • The Prose Edda, Snorri Sturleson, translated by Jesse Byock
  • Svipdag and Menglodd by R.G. Collingwood, courtesy of Wikipedia
  • A "guldsgrubber" gold foil decorative stamp or amulet, courtesy of Wikipedia

Read more]]> (Shirl Sazynski) Paths Blogs Mon, 18 Nov 2013 07:57:04 -0800
All Acts of Love & Pleasure Are Her Rituals: In Defense of Polyamory

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article from the BBC to my Facebook page about polyamory, which I thought was a very intelligent and sensitive article that portrayed how it works with honesty and authenticity.  A few of my more supportive friends re-posted it, which I appreciate, either because they are poly or poly-friendly.  One friend of mine made a reference to it and promptly took it to task on her page.  I stumbled across it and was a little hurt.  So this was my reply . . .

Hi, I'll take up your challenge! I am the original source of this article in the current community. I posted it because I am polyamorous and happy in this choice, and at a place in my life where I feel, to be authentic and genuinely loving and respectful of my partners, I need to be "out" about it. I think I'm going to take the points on individually here, and I'm going to take the time to challenge them because you can't just say, "Oh, I think that anyone who is not monogamous is cheating, lying, jealous, irresponsible, incapable of intimacy and unfulfilled in their relationships . . . but that's just my view on it" like it makes these statements anything less than they are, which are judgmental character slurs. Granted, I recognize that this appears to be what the rest of the world thinks (and notice the contradictory nature of a couple of those statements when phrased as bluntly as that, which of course means that both simply cannot be true,) so I relish this opportunity to help the enlightened people who are our mutual friends and associates understand something that may otherwise confuse them. And I hope to build understanding with you as well, since you are a loving and giving person and I am sure that this view of condemnation stems from either misconception (which is only to be expected in our compulsorily monogamous, heterosexist culture, because how would anyone have ever been shown another example other than what they've been taught?) or a bad experience (which, again, is fair, but just as one should not assume that all people of a particular group are jerks because one beat you up in high school, one should not assume that all polyamorous relationships are bad ones - though of course, some are, just like in any other relationship.) Please understand that I do not mean to say that you, or anyone else here is a judgmental person; indeed, metaphysical people tend to be refreshingly open-minded. I phrased things the way I did to point out how you may feel you have been coming from a place of love and acceptance in this, but these are not really loving and accepting statements you are making.

To start with, my husband Erin and I have never, in the twenty years of our relationship, been monogamous. We met over a Dungeons & Dragons game, and we developed a relationship in our first experience with "swinging." We made our existing relationships work for over a year, but both of them were emotionally abusive situations and we found that since we were not emotionally abusive in our relationship, it was not necessary to tolerate such things from a lover. After our existing partners forbade the experiment from continuing but continued to see each other behind our backs, and after their particularly poor treatment of us while they continued an affair, we decided to leave them both and make a go of it together.

This would be a good time in my narrative to explain that "open relationship" and "polyamory" are not the same thing. I have been in both and I don't think either is a bad thing, just different. An "open" relationship means that the people involved in the relationship are free to see, and possibly have sex with, other people. Generally these are friends with benefits or acquaintances within limited social groups (ie. swinger's clubs or adult friend finders,) but in some cases they are even strangers. I say as long as everyone is practicing safe sex, everyone is honest and open with each other, and everyone is happy with it (although challenges may come along, just like anything else,) then have at it! Sex is beautiful and fun and what you do in your bedroom is none of my business, just as what I do in my bedroom is none of yours. ;)

A "polyamorous" relationship means "many loves," and that means that there is genuine feeling there for more than one person. Some people find this more challenging than an open relationship. But it means you're there for the relationship, not sex. I know of a successful polyamorous trio in Kamloops who are two couples; two women, one man. It is one of the women who shares the hearts of them both, and she doesn't have sex with the other woman at all. But they love each other, raise a family together, and the kids call both women "Mom." And this has worked for them for at least 15 years.

About a year after Erin and I moved in together, we met, and fell in love with, a lovely woman named Cat. The three of us moved in together and while I worked a horrible split shift and Erin worked night shift as a taxi driver, Cat, who was receiving no other income, looked after Erin's son Daniel, recently come to live with us and quite a handful, and keep the house. We found eventually that we simply could not live together, and we parted ways, admittedly rather messily at the time. But there is genuine feeling that remains, a little bittersweet. Obviously we keep tabs on each other and keep in touch, and she has moved on to a different polyamorous relationship, and motherhood, and this seems to make her happy. And I'm glad for her.

Then for a while, Erin and I began seeing other people casually when we went to Society for Creative Anachronism events. This was more like an "open relationship" in that we had a limited number of friends with benefits. But it was not nearly as many as you might think. Erin was younger and thinner back then and I was just starting to come out of my "ugly duckling" phase, and I found it challenging on many occasions. My jealousy got the better of me once or twice, and I needed extra love and reassurance. I didn't want him to quit seeing other people, however. I recognized that it was my problem, not his. He was (and is) a man of exceptional love and caring. I think that there's simply too much love in his heart not to share it with others. By constantly giving that back to me, he taught me how to love and live more freely. I viewed it as an opportunity to grow, and I was up to the task, I am glad to say. :)

It wasn't always roses. A few years later we were having problems in our relationship that stemmed from an undiagnosed mental disorder that caused paranoia. Erin got involved with a younger woman named Tanya and for a while, it looked like he might be leaving me for her. And he considered it. But eventually, the problem was dealt with, treatment began, and we recovered. Tanya moved on to other things and she, also, is currently in a new relationship which (I believe) is either open or poly (as we say for short.)

Not long after that we met a couple through our Wiccan circles named Jamie and Sandra1. They had been in a successful open relationship for twenty years or more. Sandra became a very good friend of mine, Erin and Jamie became fast friends, and Jamie and I started having a casual thing at Sabbats and other Pagan gatherings. That was twelve years ago (I think,) and during this time it just kind of gradually deepened from friends with benefits into something more. It's in a kind of odd place right now; not nearly casual enough to be "boyfriend or girlfriend," but not nearly as committed as spouses. We're in the process of trying to figure that out and that's not been a perfect road either, but I think we're starting to find some answers. Everyone is committed to trying, anyway, and that's the key I think.

Recently life has been a bit of a roller-coaster, I must admit. In the spring I started seeing a much younger man and I found that something I had, and he had, intended to be mere fun to be something else entirely, something surprisingly deep considering our age difference. And that challenged everybody. Jamie, who had spent some considerable time trying to sort out his feelings for me, decided to confess them to me just as things were getting more involved with my new boyfriend. This made both my husband and my long-time lover very jealous. It almost alienated my new boyfriend, who was also Erin's good friend, and seriously damaged chances of Jamie and him ever becoming friends. This makes me deeply sad but I have faith in them both, and I believe that may change.

It also created problems in Jamie and Sandra's lives. But somehow, ALL the relationships involved, to my current knowledge, have survived, simply because everyone is honest, direct, and willing to work at it; though problems have come up due to lack of, or ineffective, communication, and it's cut close a couple of times. All the relationships have been forced to change and evolve, and everyone has been required to open their hearts, state their boundaries clearly, and challenge themselves to growth. I have been required to learn to be the queen of time management (hey, I always said I wanted to learn that skill, just wasn't expecting this teaching medium!) Jamie and Sandra are living apart but still are together, because he wants to move up here and take over my store and she doesn't want to leave her home, where she has friends who really matter to her, and her children, and a life that works for her. He hopes she will move up to join him in a few years, once there is less chaos and things are more established. I hope she will too.

And incidentally, for the record, I have counselled Jamie from the very beginning to hold on to his marriage, to choose her over me if there must be choice, because I see how happy they can make each other and that makes me happy. "Compersion" is apparently the word for that, according to the article I posted.

This is a lot more personal information than I generally care to tell in such open public forums, but I think it's important to see that we're just like everyone else. More people does make things more complicated. If you get involved with someone who's poly, it's not just them you have to be concerned about the feelings of, but their other partners as well. Getting involved with them is like getting involved with a parent with children; you can't not have a relationship with the children. They are part of the package that makes up that person. Certainly it's not for everyone. But there's nothing bad, immoral, or wrong about it either, and yes it can work, and it can work for many many years.

When Erin's accident happened, I left everything to be in Vancouver with him (for those who don't know, he was airlifted to a better hospital in a major city because he was critically injured, enough that no one in the medical field expected him to survive.) It was Jamie and Sandra who held me while I cried, who took me out to force me to leave the hospital once in a while, who stayed with me for days at a time so I wouldn't have to stay alone in an empty house like I hadn't done since I was a teenager. I love them both so much. And I love my younger boyfriend too. And I'm in the process of falling in love with my amazing, loving and beautiful husband all over again, as I have again and again and again over the 19 actual years of our relationship, even though we never promised monogamy in our wedding vows.

I ask you to consider this: a woman who marries young becomes a widow at a young age. She is devastated and she believes she will never love again. But eventually, time heals her heart save for a bittersweet ache (as it will) and she falls in love again and remarries. She loves her new husband every bit as much as she did the one who died. Now, let's say that the Christian view of the afterlife is correct and, being good people, they all go to Heaven when they die. What happens there? Which one is her husband? Does she stop loving one in favor of the other? I don't think it works that way. I think that as long as you really do your best to conduct your life lovingly, honorably and authentically, love is the only thing you can get lots more of by giving it away. And since I do believe in reincarnation, and I believe that we are spirits who are here to have the human experience, the ability to love freely is all the more imperative.

From one perspective, jealousy isn't about love, it's about possessiveness. If you genuinely trust your lover, who cares who else they're sleeping with? And why should their affections for one person diminish their affections for you? Do you love any of your children more or less than any of the others? Not if you're a good parent, you don't, though certainly you may get along with some better than others. And some couples (or trios, or committed groups) will fight more than others will. It doesn't mean it doesn't work, just because it wouldn't work for you.

I think I've said my piece for now, except for this. To those who say it's about the sex, I say this: there are many easier ways, believe me! I suppose I could do what 75% of married men and 50% of married women do; I could cheat. Nobody would ever have to know and I could avoid conflict entirely; until I was found out of course. But that's not what it's about and for me, that would be utterly immoral and wrong. Also - for all of this experience, I can count, including the current ones, the number of significant relationships I've had in my life on one hand, and the amount of sexual partners I've ever had on two. I know teenagers who can't say that.

Thanks for listening. Blessed be.


1. Name changed for privacy.

Read more]]> (Sable Aradia) Culture Blogs Tue, 01 Oct 2013 10:37:00 -0700
Zodiacal Humors and Elements I do not lay claim to being a great Astrologer. In that regard I humbly defer to other bloggers on this site whose calling it is to cast horoscopes. I also realize that people born under the same sign can differ quite a bit in personality because of numerous other influences - rising signs, moon signs, etc. - which are usually different, while those same elements can make people of opposing signs more akin than one would normally expect.

I'm even aware that the Vedic Astrologers of India don't go by the month you were born; they determine your astrological sign by the month it was likely you were conceived! So there are many variables in this ancient field of study.

However, as a former Rosicrucian, I find it instructive to note that my metaphysical forebears - the Alchemists of the Middle Ages - rather simplistically assigned the following "humors and elements" to the various zodiacal birth signs:

Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo – Earth; Melancholic - sad and depressed.

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius – Air; Sanguine - cheerfully optimistic and confident.

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces – Water; Phlegmatic - unemotional and stolidly self-possessed.

Aires, Leo, Sagittarius – Fire; Choleric - angry, bad-tempered and irritable.

These are not intended as hard-and-fast pigeonholes; the emotional traits associated with each sign are not judgments that a person will always feel or act in that manner, for we always have the power of self-determination. We can direct our tendencies for good or ill. The final choices are always up to us.

However, these are commonly observed birth-related tendencies that are useful for us to be aware of, as a way of helping us to understand why different people can have such wildly differing personalities. The astrological belief is that people of each type will have a strong tendency to react to new situations in these particular ways. 

Perhaps you have a family member or friend who always responds in a contrary or negative way to subjects that you find of great interest. Perhaps you have always felt a closer kinship to one of your parents over the other one, even though you loved them both and feel a little guilty about "playing favorites." If so, maybe the contemplation of these humors, or personality traits, can help you to understand why. You will probably feel more in sympatico with the person who has a birth sign in the same list as your own, or whose birth date is close to yours.

Though there can be a fascinating draw exerted by one who is radically different, it may be that such alliances are like Roman candles that explode with a great fire but burn out quickly, leaving nothing but ashes.  

Read more]]> (Ted Czukor) Studies Blogs Tue, 13 Aug 2013 18:31:34 -0700
Death and the Lovers

This may surprise you, but my major life decisions were not decided by using tarot. They were used by trusting my gut. I do mean that quite literally here. One of the most painful decisions I had to make was done using my souring gut alone one fateful morning in the summer of 2007.

Read more]]> (Hilary Parry) Culture Blogs Tue, 19 Mar 2013 15:27:59 -0700