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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in activism
How Stories Can Change the World and Ourselves

Stories matter. In fact, human beings have been called “story-telling animals.” Every day we consume stories on the media and in books, films and TV shows. We can spend hours on Facebook reading the posts of friends, relatives, and even total strangers. We hunger for narratives that give us hope but all too often run into descriptions filled with horror, abuse and despair.
 
The narratives we’re told and the ones we tell ourselves interact to shape our way of thinking. They provide the context in which we place our experiences and the lens through which we interpret what happens to us. Stories affect our self-esteem, our emotions, and our mental health. They can be empowering or debilitating, life-enhancing or toxic. Though we seldom realize it, our relationship with ourselves and the world depends on stories, especially on the ones we’ve come to accept as “objective truth.” If these tales happen to be destructive, they can wreak havoc on our inner world.

Stories have a powerful grip on the human mind. Research shows that most people are unwilling to change their beliefs even when confronted with facts that contradict them. Facts appeal to the rational mind; hence their power is limited. Beliefs, on the other hand, are often rooted in narratives that we’ve been told from a young age or myths that are constantly cultivated by the media and which we’ve come to accept as facts.

We live in a society that relies on oppression and exploitation, hence the narratives we’re told are meant to maintain the status quo. For example, even though the story of Adam and Eve is an obvious myth, it's still used to stigmatize women, sexuality, and everyone who doesn't conform to gender norms. Furthermore, those who are at the top of the social hierarchy maintain power by portraying human beings as inherently greedy and aggressive, blaming on individuals all the evils created by the system itself. We learn that injustice, violence and war are inevitable because well, that's human nature, so what do you expect?

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Finding Meaning and Inspiration at Midlife

Have you ever wondered why “midlife crisis” is such a taboo subject? If everybody who lives long enough goes through it at some point or other, then why isn’t it openly discussed? My sense is that there’s a lot of stigma around this phase in life. Being middle-aged often means feeling vulnerable and vulnerability isn’t particularly acceptable in the kind of world we live in.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Cosmic Activism

When I was in training to become a priestess, the priestess guiding me told me that although the world had once required us priestesses to seclude ourselves in temples, to focus solely on our devotion to the Goddess and adding that light to the world, that we had evolved into a space and time where we were called to be among the masses. No longer were we to be sequestered away from the world. This transition brought both blessings - freedom to explore many experiences in the world while maintaining one's commitment to being a priestess, and challenges - more energy and drama to sift through as we endeavoured to sustain and raise our priestess consciousness. 

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
My Journey to Revolutionary Egypt


Much as my friends were trying to dissuade me from visiting a country in revolutionary turmoil, I decided to travel to Egypt, hoping to find an answer to the riddles in my mind. It was a burning hot desire, an obsessive thought born after the explosion of the Revolution.

It was November of 2011. The country was ruled by SCAF, the military council that had taken over after the dictator Hosni Mubarak had been ousted. The spirit of the Revolution was alive and well, so once again the people of Egypt organized massive mobilizations.

I was aware of the dangers in demonstrating in Egypt. For months I had been in touch with activists and had read lots of horror stories. Questions were pounding on my mind. What if the demonstration was attacked by security forces, armed thugs, and snipers, as had happened during the Revolution? What if I got arrested and ended up in one of the country’s notorious jails where political prisoners were routinely raped and tortured?

Yet, time and again I could hear a voice calling out: “Will you risk your life for me?” It could have been the voice of Isis, Egypt, or the Revolution. In my mind all three had merged into one. I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for anything in the world!

So, there I was, in Tahrir, whose name means “Liberation,” the iconic square of the Revolution. I had been there just a few days earlier to visit the world-famous Museum of Cairo. That first visit was a pilgrimage to the treasures of the past that have kept me under their spell for so long. Isis and Osiris were there, staring at me with their inlaid eyes, holding the key to secret longings.

The second visit to Tahrir was a pilgrimage too, but of a different nature. Demonstrating side by side with Egyptian revolutionaries felt like a dream come true. The place was overflowing with protesters, many of them women wearing the hijab, the Muslim scarf, on their heads. They were key figures, just like they had played a leading role during the Revolution.

The march was a huge success, as well as the rallies organized in other parts of the country. It was reported that three million people demonstrated that day all over the country. The atmosphere was almost festive. Protesters seemed proud and strong. The energy of the Revolution was palpable—and there’s nothing like a revolution if you want to raise energy!

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I consider my work in the Green Party Greece to be spiritual, but of course I don't mention that to my Green friends. And as you s

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Magic of Dandelions

The Beloved who I live with, has a different sensibility about what our yard should look like than I do.  This Beloved finds comfort in order, in straight lines, and in carefully cut and trimmed plants.  Yet, in the over twenty five years in which this Beloved and I have been in relationship, they have also come to understand that I am nourished by the wildness of the wisteria vines and the buzz of bees that annually make our porch sing in the Spring.  I am nourished by the small red tea roses clambering up into the tree entwining with her branches so that red blossoms peer from unexpected places throughout the Summer.  I am nourished by the sweetness of blackberry brambles scrambling over and under the back fence from the neighbor’s yard, brambles with thorns that protect them so that harvesting must be done with full presence and attention in the midst of my rapture as Summer turns to Fall.  And then there are the Dandelions, which in our climate can bloom even in the Winter.  The Dandelions have come to almost fully populate what was once a grass lawn all around the house.  Even in drought years the Dandelions persist with their dark green leaves, brilliant yellow flowers, and whimsical puff balls.  I am most certainly nourished by Dandelions.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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Today is International Women’s Day! In addition to my work online and face-to-face with women as well as with the products offered by our shop, I womensdaysupport two resources that help make every day “international women’s day.” I sponsor a woman through Women for Women International and I keep multiple microloans going at Kiva. We started making Kiva loans in 2012 when we covered economic freedom in the Cakes for the Queen of Heaven feminist spirituality class I was teaching at the time. We decided to put our money where our mouths were and make a collective loan, from our women’s circle to a women’s circle somewhere else in the world. We collected $50 from the members of the circle and I made two microloans to two different women’s groups, both in Senegal. A few more women contributed in later months, I contributed another $25 of my own and we got a $25 referral credit, and I’ve steadily kept microloans going there ever since, loaning a total of $800 to 32 different women’s groups in 20 countries since we began. The cool thing is that this did not cost me $800, instead it is the same, original money from that long-ago Cakes class that I keep relending as soon as my Kiva account builds up to $25 in repayments. There are 6 loans currently going, from what was originally only $50. Just a drop in the bucket. I encourage you to do this too!

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