I twist and turn as the Fates
Spin the multicolored threads
That are the web of life.
Strength and beauty grace my path
And Mother’s gaze softens
As she looks upon my weaving.
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I got so many compliments about how well behaved and wonderful my son was at the Florida Pagan Gathering last weekend, mostly from people we don't know. I refrained from telling them all that he is that way because I practice positive discipline, as I didn't want to either come across as preachy or spend an hour explaining what positive discipline was to each of them, but I do want to explain how positive discipline works in my family, to my community.
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Find your Inner Goddess...
In one sense, magic is a process through which we influence events, producing an outcome to our liking. We cast a spell, we shape events according to our will. Borrowing terms from quantum physics, we collapse waves of possibility into actuality according to our intention.
In another sense, magic is a process of aligning our individual will with universal purpose. Borrowing words ascribed to Jesus, we might say “Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine.”
Both the Rite for Reconsecrating Our Womanhood and the Rite for Invoking the Sacred Feminine (each a sequence of 23 belly-energizing, power-centering movement and breathing exercises) culminate in the Alignment gesture enacting these words:
May all my actions be effortless;
may my heart’s desires be manifest;
may the universe accomplish her purpose through me.
As we align our individual wills with universal purpose — with the All-That-Is however you name this all-embracing Power of Being — what needs doing gets done. What needs to happen does happen: often playfully, by synchronicity and serendipity, as if by magic.
Our body’s center, our bellies, play into the magical process through the umbilical connection between ourselves and the worlds in which we live.
When I'm stressed, time speeds up and so do I. I talk faster and my words run together. I rush around trying to do more than one thing at a time. In a hurry, I forget important things and make mistakes that take away more precious time, increasing my stress. My heart beats faster. I breathe faster. I move faster and more violently. I anger more quickly. I react without thinking. Stress hormones overwhelm my body, damaging each organ and system, and my body tries to communicate with me though pain, nausea, headaches, exhaustion, cravings. If I stay in a state of stress too long, my poor body burns out and I get sick.
In the beginning of my healing journey, I read a lot of books that encouraged me to change what I thought, to change my words and thoughts from negative to positive. Instead of thinking, "I'm so stressed out," I tried to think, "I am at peace."...
I was recently interviewed on a radio program and the host asked me if I might name one way my mother influenced my life. I immediately knew the answer to her question. Evelyn, my mother, taught me to fight for the under-dog. She never verbalized it, but I think she felt like an under-dog. She grew up in Louisiana in the 1940's. It was a time when women had little choice about the direction their life would take. She had no protections like Roe v Wade. Her mother was a janitor and education for women was not a priority. Her world view consisted of getting married, keeping a roof over her head and her kids fed. I can still remember her and my step-father, too poor for a decent meal because selling vacuum cleaners door to door was not putting food on the table, eating corn chips with some cheese spread for dinner. Sometimes my breakfast cereal did not come with milk, but water to moisten it. Ham was out of the question and I came to love bologna sandwiches, especially if I had potato chips to slap between the slices of bread instead of lettuce.
Never having taken a class in Women’s Studies and a product of the conservative South, I don’t think Evelyn can name the cause for her circumstances. I can still hear her misplaced loyalty to her Southern roots as my step-father, a northerner from Iowa, would tell her of the rampant ignorance and racism in the South. Sexism never came up, however. Afterall, women just had their role in society. Evelyn’s life path was not in question - it was normal for the times, but I doubt she was happy. I wonder if she even felt happiness was something she could hope for. I got the feeling she was happy surviving. I wonder how her life would have been different if she had the option to finish high school and go on to college or if she could make enough money not to have to get married or fulfill society’s expectations that women have children. So, yes, Evelyn instilled in me to fight for the under-dog, probably because she felt there was no one fighting for her.
She encouraged me to reach out to the lonely kids on the playground who were rejected by the popular kids. We shared what little we had with neighbors who had less than us. She told me to go out and get what I wanted in life because it would not come “knocking on my door.” She tried her best with what she had to work with, which wasn’t much materially or education-wise, but she had compassion and empathy, which I believe, made her very rich.
So it’s no surprise, today I consider myself a social justice advocate. I fight for “THE OTHER” because today, so many more of us are THE OTHER. We are the ones with a boot on our neck. The boot of white, male, fundamentalist Christian men and their female counterparts who benefit from the oppression of others. Yes, this is the root of so much of the oppression and denigration and it’s not just oppression from the elites. Often it’s poor, white, male, fundamentalist Christian men and their female counterparts who play their part in this patriarchal scheme.