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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Ceremony

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
What is Soul Retrieval?

One of the secrets of horse whispering is to widen your focus: to be on the horizon as you are also with the horse standing in front of you. Why? Because that is what horses do all the time. This gives horses that mystical presence that we like to cuddle up against, groom, or ride. 

Horses never left their soul. Soul Retrieval is about finding this back in your life.

I needed in my life to research into what it means to be a woman. I went right back to the roots of our culture, and found a field of wisdom and love. The Sacred Feminine. It was more than intellectual research, it was a true journey of initiation. And I initiated many others. I have come to understand my soul is my personal connection to this field, but it IS also the field...it's like a drop which contains the whole ocean. 

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Big Ritual for Solitaries

The ancient Minoans had a lot of opportunities for what I like to call Big Ritual. The priesthood of the temples at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakro put on Mystery plays for the public, enacting stories from Minoan mythology at the solstice and equinoxes as well as at other festival dates. The cave shrines and peak sanctuaries were staffed by priestesses and priests who provided ceremonies for the public at the sacred times throughout the year. The more important inhabitants of the towns even had the prospect of attending large rituals within the temples themselves. But we modern folks don’t generally have access to that sort of event.

Sure, we have our altars and shrines at home, just as the Minoans and other ancient peoples did. But sitting in meditation with an altar is its own special kind of activity and doesn’t push the same buttons, if you see what I mean, as Big Ritual does.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The magnificent rock paintings of the Kimberly range in northwestern Australia are among the most ancient in the world, going back tens of thousands of years. Radiocarbon dating of a fossilized wasp nest built over one painting places the nest itself at more than 17,000 years ago, so that the painting must be older -- possibly much older -- than that. Aboriginal people in this region call the paintings, or rather the Beings in them, Gwion Gwion, Giro Giro, and other names.

While making my Woman Shaman dvd, I did a lot of research on rock art around the world. These paintings grabbed my attention, not only because of their tremendous beauty, but because they show dance and ceremonial regalia. Aboriginal tradition says they represent ancestral Beings of the Dreamtime. Because human ceremony celebrates these beings, and reenacts their primordial creative acts, we come around full circle to a likely reflection what extremely ancient rites might have looked like. But from North America it was next to impossible to find Aboriginal testimony about these paintings.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
2014: The Year of Nourishment
Art image: "Mama Bear," © Melanie Weidner - www.ListenForJoy.com
 
Mmm…

Welcome to a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. Before diving in to what inspires me at this current point of time and space, may I share how grateful I am for you? There is a driving force behind what it is we are doing “out here” and the greater messages being brought forth are so gentle, beautiful, creative, collective. May this year manifest all of this for you and much more!

Bear energy runs strong through my foundation and Spirit wishes for me to learn her ways: how she moves and shapes her world, how she shares her wisdom, how her way of seeing embraces all those who have come before and those who are of the next generation and beyond. There is a closeness, an intimacy I feel with this essence and I cherish the connection. Bear moves methodically – nose close to the earth, raised to the heavens, smelling, sensing, Knowing. She is inquisitive and playful, yet she also carries a grounded sense of responsibility and will not waste effort letting you know where she stands. She is a fierce lover and will protect those she loves at all costs if need be. She inherently follows the rhythms of the seasons and delights in filling her physical being with the sweetness of the land when the energies run high in summer and gives herself permission to slumber deeply within the darkness come winter.

I was blessed to spend the entire weekend of Winter Solstice in ceremony with WomenSisters and Bear made her presence known immediately. Those of us who attended offered witness to each other’s celebrations and strife through the year and invited clarity for the year to come. We are blessed to sit within a beautiful community of men and women who invite each other to create a word that we will then carry through the course of the following year. “Allow” was my companion for 2013 and it served me well. Bear whispered. “Nourishment” is what has come in for 2014 and I am ready to embrace it on all levels. It begins with nourishing myself, and then offering nourishment for those in my life who are ready to receive it.

The first manifestation of this new year beckons the Bear within me to be still for these months encrusted in ice and snow. I am loving it. For as long as I’ve been consciously following the natural rhythms of the seasons, I do not yet remember a time when I’ve been this intentional with the process of what these months provide in the way of opening a doorway into a secret place within the soul. It is a dark, soft, and quiet place where solitude and rest nourish the cornerstones of my very existence.

See, this all started when Bear began to tap me on the shoulder during the summer months and whispered in my ear as the light began to fade in autumn. As winter quickly approached, she rolled her great head from side to side, danced anxiously in the waning light, pawing at the ground, and finally uttered a guttural rumble reminding me over and over again to follow the course of my natural rhythms. I had no choice but to surrender and follow her into her dwelling. And here I am to remain till the earth thaws and spring birds return.

The depth and darkness of winter has inspired me to follow the energies as they wane and dive deep beneath the surface of the soil. Everything has slowed to a reverent pace. I feel spaces within me healing; small patches within the soul that I have been meaning to mend for a very long time, held together with safety pins of excuses. Bear sits next to me in the candlelight – nose close to the earth, raised to the heavens, smelling, sensing, Knowing. I smile back in gratitude for what she is teaching me about myself.

May we all embody happiness, honesty, and be of maximum service to others.
May we all express a deep appreciation, genuine love, and respect for one another.
 
 
A special thank you to artist Melanie Weidner for granting permission to use her incredible image for this piece.  You may purchase this particular print by clicking here and enjoy the rest of her collection by clicking here.
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  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    There's a song for this very thing: She Bear on the "Chants for the Queen of Heaven and Earth" CD by Nancy Vedder-Schultz and frie

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sometimes I Think We Talk Too Much

and sometimes I think we don't talk enough. 

Quandary.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    It's a tribute to the health of these spiritual systems that we can change and move--I only wish we didn't leave so much behind.
  • Trine
    Trine says #
    I should perhaps also note that I'm writing from a Scandinavian perspective. I think the movements have changed in their own ways
  • Trine
    Trine says #
    Well said. When I first started on my path almost a decade ago, I remember that eclecticism was the Big Thing. In the forums I fre

Samhain is in the air, and with it a new year to celebrate life and read! For this installment of Well at World's End we'll take a look at the Pagan themes in Diana L. Paxson's novel, The White Raven, and specifically the depiction of ceremony filling the pages. It is the perfect book to begin the new cycle, as the story begins and ends on Samhain. To read along, you can visit: www.diana-paxson.com (If you're a Diana L. Paxson fan, you'll be happy to know I'm working with her on an in-depth interview, which is forthcoming in Witches & Pagans Magazine. So stay tuned!)  

The White Raven retells the story of the lovers, Tristan and Iseult, depicted in the book by their Celtic names, Drustan and Esseilte, who are later betrayed by the king. It is told through the eyes of Branwen, the White Raven, who is raised alongside Esseilte by the Queen of Eriu. Paxson's story is steeped in history and Celtic lore. Here we see the junction of the Old Ways and Christianity. Steeped with Pagan themes, it is the depiction of ceremony that makes this a treat. Let's look further. 

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