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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Changes

     In order to change we must facilitate change. Change doesn't just come, no matter how much we desire it. Change is often painful, jarring us out of a comfortable, though dissatisfying existence, forcing us into molds that don't fit who we are, but will eventually turn us into who we wish to be. Change in our lives is not the gracefully seamless flow of color and scent we see in nature as the Wheel turns around us. Do trees suffer as they burst from summer's green to autumn's golden splendor? How does the goldenrod and the Michaelmas daisy feel as their colors brighten beneath the cooling autumn sun? Of course we can't know; nature's children keep their secrets to themselves.

     It often seems that as much as we welcome change we are at the same time resisting it, fighting and forcing it back until opportunity has passed us by, only to leave us wondering what went wrong and wishing our circumstances (or we) could change. Why is this so, I wonder? I am as guilty of it as anyone, and like most others I recognize it, yet I still have to consciously remind myself that what I am doing (or am meant to be doing) really is to my own benefit, regardless of how much I detest it. Case in point: that excruciating half an hour on my elliptical machine every day, that half an hour I skipped this morning and will no doubt try my best to avoid doing tomorrow even though I know exercise is healthy for me, and if I want to do a 5K color run next summer I need to begin training now.

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When I first started writing for W&P my intent was to focus more on nature and Spirit here, more technical, interfaith, and political issues over at Patheos.  Such plans are nice, but rarely maintain themselves, and that one was no exception. On either end.

I just published what I think is an important post on Pagan religion and environmentalism over there as part of a big discussion on the topic.  Perhaps some of you who do not watch that site regularly might want to take a look at it.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The Crone is knocking,

I hear her in the trees

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Summer's bounty b2ap3_thumbnail_July-2014-090.JPG
both sweet and spiky
sun-kissed and thorny
able to draw blood
and to cause you to smile
as you taste the juices of life.

Summer is a time when you both wrestle with what isn't working and celebrate the fruits of your labors. When you peek under leaves only to discover bugs in your cabbages, whether literal or metaphorical. When you bask in what is growing well, what has taken root firmly, what is beautiful in the sunshine, what you can trust, taste, enjoy and savor. In the summer, we see both weeding and harvesting. Planting and tending and maintaining. We see withering. We see giving up. We see what is dying and what is thriving. This is the balance of the year. The wheel turns and turns and turns and before we know it, we are holding a palm full of blackberries once more. Older, different, changed and yet, right there, again. That juicy bite of summer.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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In Peruvian folklore, Kuka Mama ("mother coca") or Cocamama (Cocomama) is a goddess of health and happiness.  The tale goes that she was accused of being promiscuous by a jealous lover.  She was cut in half and her body planted like a seed which grew into the first coca plant.  It is said that the leaves should only be chewed by men after they have satisfied a woman’s sexual needs.  Other sources describe her as benevolent and beneficial Nature divinity.  I couldn't find much more than that on this deity but I did find quite a bit on coca.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Pagan Tradition for Mother's Day

My significant other considers Mother’s Day (along with Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) to be a holiday created purely for commercial reasons.  As a result, she will not celebrate any of those ‘holidays’.  I brought a different view of Mother’s Day when we got together.  She and I are both Pagans and when I explained this alternate approach to Mother’s Day she wholeheartedly embraced it.  I have to thank my friend Amy in Oklahoma for teaching me this Mother’s Day tradition that she and her son have followed for many years.  I think her clever reinterpretation of this holiday is perfect for most Pagans.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Trees are wisdom keepers. They stand in a single place on the earth’s surface and faithfully witness the unfolding of time. Like people, trees observe their surroundings, root where welcomed, reach toward nourishment, and hold close where limited.  They form scar tissue when wounded and can adapt to change.  Examining the lives of trees offers critical insights for human wellbeing and survival, showing us when life thrives and falters.

“Witness tree” is an expression used for trees that mark boundaries, act as signposts and directionals, or witness key events in history and local culture – celebratory and tragic.  Trees also witness the in-between moments that are precious and informative in their own right. Through this collaborative witnessing of trees and people, we hope to foster a world that is richer and more sustainable for both.

My dear friends Rebecca Power, John Steines, and I partnered over a year ago to create Witness Tree, an art exhibit at Commonwealth Gallery in Madison, WI – with the two of them as artists (along with many others they invited) and me serving as facilitator of group activities and community conversations.  The above is our statement of purpose, and below is a picture of our world tree gallery where we gathered for circles of story, poetry, meditation, conversation, and leaf-making.

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More recently Rebecca and John joined with other tree-minded artists in a fabulous follow up Tree of Life art exhibit at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, WI. Again, my role was to support the artists by facilitating a community conversation at the gallery to draw people into a more intentional experience of the Tree of Life exhibit. To kick of the conversation, we guided participants to reflect on their experience of the art and then to share in single words on slips of paper how the art inspired their personal connection with trees and the Tree of Life as metaphor for the connectivity of all living things.

We then collected the words to create a word cloud as a collective representation of everyone’s experience of the Tree of Life art.  Perhaps you can imagine the diversity of art in the exhibit through this “reverse experience” of viewing the visitor’s words rather than the works of art themselves.

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As you view the trees in your home place over the next days and weeks, you might collect your own words of response and create a word cloud as an alternative, or in addition, to a journal. You can create your own word cloud with the tree or other shapes at http://www.tagxedo.com/

In alliance with the trees,
Anne

Credits: Thanks to Math Heinzel for the Witness Tree panorama, Amy Fenn for creating the word cloud, and the many others who contributed to the art exhibits and associated programming.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Irene bryson
    Irene bryson says #
    My name is Irene and I am new to this, don't know how I came across it but have always been interested would love to enter into th
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Thanks so much for this! Your affirming the witnesses and caretakers of transitions is a healing for me. As a shaman, I often find

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