Third Wave Witch: Feminist Spirituality, Spiritual Feminism

Third Wave Witchcraft explores the intersection of feminism, Witchcraft, Goddess Spirituality, and feminist activism. A place to explore how to make our spirituality more feminist, our feminism more spiritual, and our world more just.

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Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Yemanja

While we haven't had the hard winter that Boston and much of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States has had, it has still been a rough season here in Texas. Late February snow and ice, followed by a series of overcast days, have kept me in my home and away from so many of my favorite early spring activities. I am grateful for the much-needed water that will (hopefully) help alleviate the long drought we've been suffering here in the Lone Star state. And yet when the weather turns dark and moody and cold and wet, I find myself often turning inward. This inward state is not self-reflective or introspective as it might otherwise be. No, my winter "turning inward" is often a function of depression -- what I call my Black Dog -- and is as hard to shake as the Texas gumbo mud on my shoes. This winter has been one of re-evaluation, principally of the career which has been the center of my life for more than a decade. I am finding less and less joy and more and more frustration in the classroom, and becoming increasingly frustrated with the exploitative nature of part-time faculty life. And yet the idea of changing my path is fraught with emotional landmines -- a sense of having given up, of having failed, of being adrift and not knowing what to do or where to turn next. In many ways this is my relationship with the Element of Water -- it is so easy for me to give into the darker side of my emotions, to pain, to self-pity, and to fear. Perhaps because I have always lived in land-locked places, the idea of open water terrifies me. And the sense I've had of being adrift upon a vast sea has, of late, been really stoking my fears.

And so this week, Yemanja (otherwise known as Yemaya), the Holy Queen Sea of the Yoruba pantheon, has come to remind me that when we fight the current, we drown. But when we can surrender to the flow, we float.


Yemanja, from The Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

Surrender is hard for me. It always has been. I am above all a do-er. I make things happen. I like control. And so learning to surrender, without giving way to despair, is my lesson right now. It is a lesson in the persistence and power of water to make change, slowly and over time.

Some questions I'll be reflecting on this week, and which I invite you to join me in:

What does it mean to surrender?

What do I feel like when I am "in the flow"?

What is hard for me about surrendering to the flow?

What can I let go of control of right now?

How can I cultivate a sense of flow, ease, and surrender in my life?

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Susan Harper is an eclectic solitary Feminist Witch from Irving, Texas. She is a professor of Anthropology, Sociology, and Women's Studies, with a focus on gender, religion, and sexuality. She is also an activist, community educator, and writer. When she's not making magick or fomenting social change, Susan is the head soapmaker, herbalist, and aromatherapist for Dreaming Priestess Creations. She shares her life with her partner, Stephanie, five cats, and two guinea pigs.


  • Connie Lazenby
    Connie Lazenby Tuesday, 17 March 2015

    Susan, i found myself in much the same position during the summer and fall of last year.

    Thankfully the decision as to exactly what to do was taken out of my hands. The Goddess interceded and the best possible outcome of the situation occured when I felt the most helpless.

    Now, here I am, a few months away from starting a new chapter in my life in a place I've wanted to be for many, many years.

    Trust being in the flow. Trust surrendering. you honestly never know what you may be missing. Blessed be.

  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper Tuesday, 17 March 2015

    Thank you so much, Connie. Surrendering to the flow is hard -- I'm a make-it-happen kind of gal -- but I know that this is exactly the lesson I need right now. Breathing into the discomfort, and letting go :).

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