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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in family
In the Midst of Flora: Finding My Family in the Woods

My familiar friend the Whipple’s penstemon started jumping up in the grass just the other day, first as tight balls of amethyst lining hearty green stalks and today as loudmouthed chalices longing to be met. I can see all the way down their gullet. Their dark stamens wave at me like sassy tongues.

The neighbors, the moon roses, have expanded their homestead. This summer they are everywhere gallantly greeting the day with open hearts. I have four chambers in my heart and the moon roses have four hearts, four hearts for sparkling white petals. By midday they will wilt into a sad roll of pink reminding me of wringed suede. Flowers as nearly as big as my face die to the heat of the sun only to be reborn again each evening recharged overnight by the moon’s cool rays. Sphinx moths come to drink from the well by moonlight. The moon roses resurrect for weeks on end. People can’t stop noticing them.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Rising in the morning and stumbling through the normal routine, shower, dress, prep for work.  So much of our lives are lived on automatic, drop the kids at school, drive to work, work all day long and reverse, to pick up the kids, run errands, run kids around, make (or pick up) supper and so on until you fall into bed exhausted.  Does this sound like your life?  It is how most of us live. 

You can’t experience every moment of your life, you’d never get through the day.  You can, however, try to be mindful of those moments.  One Sunday morning, I got up to find my husband and daughters lounging in the living room reading the paper.  Now my kids have since all moved out as they are adults and living their own lives.  In that moment, I just watched and listened to them.  Took in the moment, which sounds really silly but see at that point I knew my daughters would soon be leaving us. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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The Goddess Gaia is alive
In this time and in this space
She speaks in sunrises
And waves against the shore
She sings with the wind
She dances in moonlight
She holds you close
Your heart beats in time with hers
A great, grand hope and possibility
For this planet.

via Gaia Speaks

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The Only Worthwhile Mythology is a Literal Mythology

Back east last weekend for the non-pagan holidays with family, I was met with a dilemma. As the family writer, I'd been asked to speak at the Easter table. Me, the pagan.

Religiously, we're all over the board (= table—e.g. "bed and board"—from the time when they set up trestles and boards for meals; the boardroom, of course, is the room with the table). The Passover seder at my cousin's had been the night before. In this, we're no more than a microcosm of the American demographic. In a generation or two, there will probably be Muslim family members at the table too. Good old America. The separation of covenstead and state is one of the best ideas anyone's had in the last 500 years. Secular governance has probably done more than any other factor to break down old ethnic and religious tensions, and I say: Gods bless it.

I decided that in this instance discretion constituted the better part of valor, so I read aloud John Updike's Seven Stanzas at Easter  (you can read it here). Although it ends weakly, the poem addresses, from within its own Christian context, the same larger issues of science, religion, and language with which every living tradition must wrestle in our day. Updike's conclusion: The only mythology worth having is a literal mythology.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Family

     As I sat with my family before the celebratory Lughnasad feast, I looked around the table at the faces of those most dear to me: my husband, hardworking, honest, loving, driven, an incredible father. My seventeen year old son, quirky, awkward in his form, intelligent in ways I can't begin to comprehend, fiercely loyal and protective, especially of me. My four year old son, the child I never expected to have, a joyful, funny, curious, wiggly little boy who can't walk anywhere: his little feet constantly patty-patty back and forth from one task to another. And finally my fifteen year old daughter, my only girl, gifted with faerie-like beauty and a voice that has been described to me as 'like listening to a baby angel.' Incredibly talented, creative, and utterly unselfconscious, she dances into each day like the wild faerie child I knew her to be at birth.

     What did we talk about that evening? Truthfully I don't remember. The freshly-baked bread was sliced, the roast chicken, redolent with herbs from our garden was carved. Stuffed zucchini and sliced cucumbers dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar were placed on the table, candles lit, prayers said. We ate, we laughed; the children told anecdotes from their day, my husband discoursed on the ins and outs of his current work project. Dessert, a pear crostada that the four year old proudly helped make, was served, eaten with even more gusto than dinner, if possible, then, table cleared, we gathered at the front door so my husband could speak the ritual words of welcome to the season of Lughnasad:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Lovely, reminds me of Jewish Passover home celebrations. Do you have special prayers for your Sunday family gatherings too. You co
  • Nicole Kapise-Perkins
    Nicole Kapise-Perkins says #
    Thank you so much for your kind words Carol! I tried not to be pedantic, but I really wanted to stress how very important family m

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
    Goddess of green spaces
    and deep places
    cleanse my soul.

    Anoint my spirit
    with peace
    and remind me
    to let go.

    Remind me
    of the power
    of appreciating
    that which I have.

    May I inhale
    and exhale
    with release
    and freedom.

    The spirit of adventure
    runs through my veins
    with the rich color
    of crushed raspberry

    May it always run so free
    may it be blessed
    and may I be reminded
    of the courage and love
    shown in small, wild adventures.
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Family HugLike many other Pagans, I was the black sheep of my family.  My family were hard-working blue collar folk, with some low-level white collar aspirations here and there.  They believed in the ethic of hard work.  They were not at all religious, having had negative experiences with the Anglican church of their youth.  They didn’t understand the mystical bend that shaped my life and experience from the earliest time I can remember.  When I went to my best friend’s Mormon church for the first time, they sat me down to talk to me about it in the same manner that I later would experience when they sat me down to discuss drinking, drugs, and sex.

But I suppose the foundation of my Paganism was laid by the way in which I was raised.  Though my parents shunned the Anglican Church they embraced a lot of Anglican values, and I’m convinced that Wicca is what happens when you expose an Anglican countercultural folklorist to Hinduism.  I was a Brownie and then a Girl Guide, and as Ronald Hutton pointed out, the woodcraft movement was a powerful influence on the development of modern Wicca.  Through my father’s imagination, I learned a sense of wonder; through my mother’s love of the natural world, I learned to find the sacred more keenly in nature than in any human building.

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  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Thank you for telling this story. Coming out to your family can be so hard and it is great to hear of of the positive connections

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