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SageWoman Blogs

At SageWoman magazine, we believe that you are the Goddess, and we're devoted to celebrating your journey. We invite you to subscribe today and join our circle...

Here in the SageWoman section of PaganSquare, our bloggers represent the multi-faceted expressions of the Goddess, feminist, and women's spirituality movements.

Are you a gun owner and Pagan? If your weapon is for self-defense (as opposed to, for example, hunting), please participate in this survey.

 

Its purpose is show a diversity of personal opinions, as well as their commonalities. I don’t believe personal viewpoints can ever  represent how other people should think or act. Instead, my hope is that folks sharing about the intersection of gun ownership and Paganism in their own lives will provide food for thought for folks who read this post, including those taking the survey. This mental stimulus might help someone gain greater clarity about what that intersection currently is in their own lives, whether they want to change it and, if so, what they want it to become.

 

Since I’m hoping to show diversity, some people might be puzzled by my not creating another survey for those who don’t own guns. My reason is twofold:

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I’ve not posted a blog for a while, as I’ve been on a deep retreat with the land, and finishing my latest book- more on that soon. But I wanted to share what I think is one of the most important things to connect with on the Celtic path at this time of the year- the plant Vervain, verbena officianalis.  Vervain is one of the few plants we know the ancient druids venerated, as the Roman writer Pliny recorded how in the height of summer, just before dawn, the druids gathered Vervain, as Sirius the dog star rose in the sky. Vervain was so sacred that they would give the earth an offering of honey for its loss, and would gather the herb with their left hand, after drawing a circle of iron around the plant to disconnect it from the land. When they had gathered it, they would hold it up to the star to be infused with its energy, without the direct light of the moon or sun touching it.

Vervain is an herbaceous perennial, that grows about 2-3 feet tall, with toothed, rough textured leaves, a woody stalk, and in the summer it has small, pale purplish flowers. It’s relatively easy to grow from seed, and is happy in most positions, so long as it doesn’t dry out completely. Vervain can be hard to find for some, but is easily bought on line and once you grow some it self-seeds easily.  Yet this simple, modest little plant is possibly the most magical and powerful ally in the witches garden.       

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Deck Review: The Herbcrafter's Tarot

As a long-term fan of The Gaian Tarot, I eagerly awaited receipt of the new Herbcrafter’s Tarot deck illustrated by Joanna Powell Colbert and written by Latisha Guthrie. I knew from the first card that I was in b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_8376.jpglove. The illustrations for the Herbcrafter’s Tarot are exquisite and breathtaking. Even the precise detail of the illustration on the back of the deck as a whole is enchanting. It has become my favorite card-back illustration of all time, the little tincture bottles, butterflies, and sprigs of herbs prompting a sense of discovery and joy every time I touch one. Instead of immediately shuffling the deck and drawing a card, which is how I usually approach a new deck, I made the decision to approach The Herbcrafter’s Tarot card by card, day by day, even (mostly) resisting the urge to peek ahead at the cards to come. It is truly a deck to be savored and I knew from the third card that I could recommend it wholeheartedly to others.

Drawing inspiration from the shared Celtic heritage of the authors as well as from Latisha’s Mexican-American heritage, The Herbcrafter’s Tarot is a sister deck in many ways to The Gaian Tarot. Like a traditional tarot deck, it includes 78 cards. The 22 cards of the Major Arcana follow an herbcrafter’s journey. The Minor Arcana cards are divided in four suits, aligned with the four elements: Air (Swords), Fire b2ap3_thumbnail_66007504_2368806219998253_6388625486133592064_n.jpg(Wands), Water (Cups), and Earth (Pentacles).  Each card contains a detailed colored pencil drawing in photorealistic style. Each card is alive with vibrant detail and thoughtful connection, most of the illustrations containing very subtle nods to the original major and minor arcana cards of traditional tarot decks. Depending on the suit and type of plant, some of the herbs are shown in the act of being prepared or harvested, in use in baths or teas, or in their native environment. The People cards for each suit, depicting the hands of women healers at work, have been titled according to the archetypes each woman embodies as she “matures into her craft from wonderer to warrior to midwife to teacher.” The skilled, creative, intuitive hands of Hijas (daughters), Adelitas (warriors), Madres (mothers), and Curanderas (healers) are represented in the People cards. Accustomed as I am to the faces and personalities of the people depicted in full in The Gaian Tarot, I did find myself sometimes missing that human component and wanting to see who is “behind the scenes” of the beautiful herbal layouts, nature mandalas, works in progress, and the gnarled hands at work in The Herbcrafter’s Tarot. The inclusion of scenes, plants, and hands rather than faces is intentional, however, because the primary perspective of the deck is from that of the plants.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    What a wonderful review, I love this deck, too!
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    I'm really in love with it! I keep thinking of more things I should have added to the review--it is visually "nourishing," I find.

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Unfreezer Spell

Even if you avoid a lot of print and social media. Even if you don't own a television with cable news. Even if you have wifi at the whim of the fairies who ration your streaming. Even if, with all these provisos, you would have to live in an underground bunker to have missed the terrible news that the solar eclipse is bringing into the light.

And if you care about the treatment of children. Or if you just care about human beings. If you are a woman who has learned that certain powerful people who are employees of a government department are creating memes where a Member of the House of Representatives is felating them...because humiliation is what really rocks their rocks off in a secret Facebook group.

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Celebrating the insects

This is the time of year when I see most insects. Dragonflies, damsel flies and demoiselle flies over the water. Hungry, blood-seeking insects at twilight. There have been unidentifiable red moths (too fast, too far away). I’ve seen my first stripy caterpillars – who will grow up to be cinnabar moths. I’ve rescued various other caterpillars I couldn’t identify, I’ve put bees safely onto flowers, and got out of the way of passing beetles. It’s busy out there.

Of all the native wild things, insects are the ones I have the most trouble identifying. There’s so many of them. I can identify a grasshopper, but not which kind of grasshopper it is – and there are many. I can only reliably identify a couple of bee species. I know a handful of beetles and the rest are little scuttling mysteries. I have some idea about butterflies, am rubbish at moths, and have no clue about flies. I try to learn a few new names every year but at this rate I will remain embarrassed by my ignorance for the rest of my life.

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Solstice Songs

 

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  • Robin Fennelly
    Robin Fennelly says #
    Lovely! Thank you for sharing this Tasha...

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Hi and welcome to this round of the Tarot Blog Hop. We've now been doing this for a while.  How long have you been hopping along with us? I'm the wrangler for this blog. As the saying goes, I've only myself to blame. :D

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  • Jay Cassels
    Jay Cassels says #
    At last I can log in to this again! Thank the oh gods of technology for alt browsers... I have always made these associations for
  • Joy Vernon
    Joy Vernon says #
    Oddly, even though I learned Neo-Pagan ritual work and circle casting with calling the quarters, I didn't learn to associate the t

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