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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

...In the Neighborwives’ Garden

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In the twilight
The highway’s rhythm a few blocks away
Creates a lulling to cradle the occasional barking dog, crying child
And basketball dribbled down
The center of the street
Streetlights overtake the stars in the city,
Punctuated with flashing lights from the police in the distance

Deep in this city
On a good block in a not-that-good neighborhood
Lives the Neighborwives’ garden

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mabon and the Search for Balance

As the Summer winds down towards the Autumnal Equinox, we are in between two seasons. In this time of transition, we stand at a crossroads, one foot in the Waxing Year, one in the Waning. Hot sunny days give way to cooler nights. The rains are more frequent and last all night, and out in the garden I am bringing in a harvest as well as getting ready to 'winterize.' Most trees are still vibrant and green, but here and there you can see a tinge of rusty red or a shock of yellow leaves. The light thickens like honey, and even as we are enjoy the last days of Summer's warmth and light, we already sense the slow steady pull downward, towards the Descent and the darkening days of the Waning Year. Right now we stand suspended between these two seasons, and for a brief moment we feel balance.

Balance is the law that governs all of nature, but it rarely shows itself as a static, tranquil point. The balance I'm talking about is a dance, a commotion of interconnected and interdependent parts that make up the living systems of our planet. The plants, animals, land and weather all interact and act upon each other, effecting the very shape of the landscape. Any change or disruption to one part of the web will be felt throughout it. Those changes can be for good or ill, but they are unpredictable and may take a long time to reveal themselves. At Mabon, we stand in a place of balance where many possibilities are open to us. We strive to come to a still point of balance, amidst change and potential, where we can take a moment and see where we are, in our lives and the Year, and the webs of connection that make up our own lives.

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 Plus or Minus Five Points from Gryffindor, You Choose

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Our Holy Emptiness

“Holiness is not a personal achievement, It's an emptiness,” says theologian Brennan Manning, “holiness is an emptiness you discover in yourself. Instead of resenting it, you accept it, and it becomes the free space where God can create anew.”

Please read “God” as shorthand. For years, I understood to mean “God” as “love,” as in 1 John 4:8 and 16: “God is love.” Coming out of difficult orthodoxy of my childhood religious experiences, god is love worked for me. I think it works for many. How many look past the bindings of orthodoxy and just say love? Even when love is predicated on dogma, like love the sinner and not the sin, many still slide into the love paradigm.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Michelle Law
    Michelle Law says #
    I can relate to this concept whole heartedly. Just recently went through a separation of a friendship that had been on going for m
  • Erick DuPree
    Erick DuPree says #
    Michelle, Thank you for your kind words and for finding the inner peace that Goddess can provide in helping to make the changes ne
Pagan savings challenge, week five:  park this!

This week I received an unpleasant surprise in the mail:  a parking ticket.  Apparently I had failed to hit the meter quickly enough one time while waiting for the Maetreum of Cybele's day in court, but the ticket itself didn't manifest until four months later.  What would have been a $65.00 fine (outrageous in its own right) has now been hiked to $115.00, plus the usual warnings about me never being able to park in this town again.

Honestly, the things we go through for our work . . .

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Cities lose more money from parking meters than they make in fines and collections. People are unable to vote for freedom to park
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I think it's one of the effects of "running a government like a business" -- since municipalities usually collect more in meter fe

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Rearranging the World as She Knows

I dreamt of becoming a cartographer when I was young, positioning my body amongst a multitude of maps spread across my mom and dad’s living room floor, tracing the colourful lines with my tiny fingers. The mind dreamt into stories of the people who experienced Life along those routes between the small hamlets and major cities. As a student at Penn State, I chose to spend quiet time in the Map Room, nested within the behemoth library on campus. It was a quiet sanctuary which provided salvation amongst the congested intersections of a very full university experience. While living on the Florida coast, nautical charts captivated the open spaces of my mind in the years before my daughter came along.

A quick search on Wikipedia lists the definition of Cartography as, "…the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively." My favorite aspect of this definition is almost every word of it! This soul sings and loves to shape and mold beautiful realities for the self and others. And while I did not "grow up" to be a cartographer per se, I am delighted to learn, at least according to this definition, I am still somewhat on the right path of creating, shaping, and directing the routes from "Point A" to "Point Present Moment". I would like to imagine us all as cartographers of the soul. This is an absolutely delightful thought on this quiet morning!

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Spiritual Gifts and Money – Feeling Comfortable Charging For Our Services

I loved reading the tarot so much I carried six decks with me at all times.  I gave readings in restaurants, in class, outside Starbucks, at parties, in the park, over the phone, even by instant messenger.  Reading tarot connected me with Spirit.  It was sacred to me, even if most of the people I read simply found it entertaining.

How could I charge for readings when giving them brought me so much pleasure?  Could I really refuse someone a reading because they didn’t have the $20 I felt bad about charging?  Should I read some people for free even while charging others?  Were free readings worth less than paid ones?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal says #
    Very nice and I totally agree. In some quarters of our Community "money" - even the very concept - is seen as offensive and even
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you, Carl! I have a whole other blog post about hating v loving money brewing in me noggin'. The first draft of this post
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Well said! The question of charging for services by no means is limited to the metaphysical ones; the underlying problem is nearl
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you, Terence! I agree with your points as well. I hope my story does indeed resonate with some people and help them push p

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