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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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The problem with being a book lover is that new, awesome books are constantly being written and published. I will not live long enough to read all of the books on my To Read list. I just have to accept that -- and make all of the other bibliophiles out there just as miserable as me by adding to their To Read lists. *insert evil laugh here*

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    Wickedly Wonderful will be out December 2nd, so you won't have to wait too long! And I hope Lisa continues with the series too. Ha
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Deborah Blake: "Wickedly Dangerous" was a lot of fun. I look forward to the next two(?) books. I hope Shearin continues her SPI
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    I'm so glad you liked Wickedly Dangerous! (I loved Lisa Shearin's book too, and have to go look up the others now.)

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Finding Blessings in the Crazy

I was invited to guest minister at the Goddess Temple of Orange County in southern California the morning of Sunday, November 23, on the theme of "Our Blessings" and on that very day, my husband, Roy, and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and renewing our vows before our beloved feline Mother, Sekhmet.  I thought I'd share with you the message I delivered to those gathered:

I know sometimes it doesn’t always feel like it, but we are so lucky, we have so many blessings, and none of them have to do with money, though that’s what our culture would have us believe is one of the things that count most -  but truly, does having wealth bring us love?  No, certainly not. 

Does having money help us grow as better human beings?  Not always.  Sometimes I think not having wealth is more of a blessing.  Out of necessity, we have to learn to connect and interact with each other because we depend on each other so much more. 

So I’m here today, with Thanksgiving around the corner, to suggest we each peer into the window of our life as if we were standing before a department store window.  Take stock and I bet you’ll  marvel at all there is inside the “store that is our life” because I think sometimes there is so much clutter inside we stop seeing the blessings.  And it looks different for each of us, just as every storefront we walk past in the mall has different and wonderful things within.  Our blessings are all so diverse. 

But there are blessings many of us  have in common, too.

We are so blessed to live in a blue state and not be at risk of vaginal probes, personhood amendments, and loss of control of our reproductive health.  We are so blessed to have this brick and mortar temple where we can gather to express the oldest religion on the planet - without fear.  We are so lucky to have such a brave, dedicated and talented community, like so many of you here, including Ava and the women and men who keep this temple thriving.  We are so lucky for the internet and clean water and advanced medicine.  It’s easy to forget everyone doesn’t have that.  We are blessed we aren’t forced to kill our girl children at birth because we can’t afford their dowry later in life.  We are blessed because we can vote, although too many of us don’t.  We can disobey male authority without paying a price.  But we forget so many of these things.  We’re human and we kind of take them for granted sometimes.

But as you put your nose on the glass of your own storefront - and I hope you will - to peruse all the goodness inside,  I hope you’ll also be courageous enough to lift the lid of your challenges, disappointment and pain because I’ll bet there are blessings there too.  I know Roy’s heart attack made him start to take his health more seriously.  My mother’s death helped me deepen my ability to forgive.  And sometimes it’s the bullies in life that teach us the most about who we are and what we’re made of.

And don’t overlook the little blessings that make us smile.  See the blessing in the brave little hummingbird at the bird feeder, the beautiful and perfect roses in the garden, or the smell of bacon in the morning.  Myself, I cherish that fleeting moment  between being sleep and fully awake, feeling the cool sheets in the dim light of morning.  Maybe your cat is sleeping next to you and you feel the softness of her fur as you hear the alarm go off and there’s beautiful music on the radio.  Don’t overlook either sweet  memories or your feisty friends who challenge your thinking and help you grow. 

I know I feel blessed and Roy does too, that so many of you drove all this way so early in the morning to be here today with us.  You too are our blessings and we love you.  Thank you for being in our lives. 

So this week and as often as you can, try to take inventory of your blessings like a good shopkeeper so you know the value of all the assets in the store of your life. Be sure you look in all the nooks and crannies.  We can really find the blessings in the craziest and most unexpected places as I was reminded recently.

You see this “scholar” had blown me off because he saw me as a disillusioned advocate of Marija Gimbutas theories, but we talked, and talked - and to my surprise he’s offered me a private showing of the valuable artifacts within his goddess collection.  Dare I hold out hope that crack in the door will swing wide enough for him to fully embrace Gimbutas herstory?  Who knows.  We shall see. 

So think about that next week when Uncle George who parrots Fox News is talking crazy round the Thanksgiving dinner table.  As he goes on and on setting your hair on fire next week, making you choke on the green bean casserole,  maybe he’s helping you grow patience and tolerance.  Who knows, you might even find a kernel of truth in all the crazy that can lead you toward bridging the gap.  We can really find blessings in the craziest and most unexpected places sometimes

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  • Linette
    Linette says #
    Well, this one hit me on the head with a hammer! Duh... Reason being that my boyfriend is the manager of a store and "inventory"

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Tattooed Pagans - A ritual in ink

The time for preparation is over. I have eaten. I have stripped down and am bare from the waist up. I have been washed. I have been shaved. I have stepped into the circle I have cast and taken my seat. I've sent words to the gods that I' d like protection and ease and fortitude of mind and body. This ritual is a test. This is my journey to make alone.

Then the buzzing starts. "Are you ready?" I'm asked. I nod and I feel the first sting of the needle as it pierces my skin. Long strokes up and down my spine. The weight of another's arm on my back holding me in place. The concurrent thoughts of "What the hell am I doing?" and "Oh I've waited so long for this, I can't believe it's finally happening". 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    gwionraven@comcast.net or you can post it over at the Witches and Pagans face book page if you like. There are now hundreds of tat
  • David LeBarron
    David LeBarron says #
    sure!
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello David, Now that's a great story. I'd happily send you my email address if you'd like and you can email a picture to me. I'l
  • David LeBarron
    David LeBarron says #
    I just got an addition to an old tattoo. I added some sacred geometry, smoke and pentagrams. The best part was the tattooist is al
  • Peggy Frye
    Peggy Frye says #
    I've several Celtic tattoos - crows and hounds (stylized) and now I have two half sleeves depicting The Morrigan and Cu Chulainn -
PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday Nov 17

Today's Airy Monday focuses on news of antiquity and our modern attempts to understand the ways of our forebears, especially Pagan civilizations. Sounds from the Phaistos disk?; Greek mosaics in Turkey; who is the god on this Turkish stele?; breast cancer in an ancient princess; 300 year old witch bottle.

For more than a century, scientists have been puzzling over this mysterious 4000-year-old inscribed disk discovered on Crete. Now it’s been decoded. Well, three words have.

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  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    True, indeed, Ted... the mountain has many names, some only known to Her, and will be reclaimed, whether we like it or not. :-)
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    It's okay, Aleah. Time is circular and the circle takes a long time. Our tenure here is so tenuous that a solar flare or a meteor
Pagan savings challenge, week forty-six:  consumer alert!

Friends, let us be frank in admitting that we are weak and vulnerable, if only some of the time, and marketers get paid very good money to encourage you to make purchasing decisions at those times.  And can we also agree that we are entering into a period of high-pressure opportunities to spend, spend, spend away our shortcomings?

This period of gift-giving, for all its ancient roots and cultural value, can exert terrible pressure to dip into our savings -- let's call it "borrowing."  By any euphemism, the pictured pile of cash could be taken from me faster by a retail clerk than a thug, if I am not careful.  That's one of the benefits of my choice to save in the smallest bills possible -- it's annoying to make big purchases with large piles of notes -- but there are other safeguards to consider.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Callileach-Lowres.jpgIn the Gaelic language, Cailleach translates as old woman or hag. In Goddess mythology Cailleach is the Celtic Goddess of weather and storms. As a crone Goddess she is associated with the season of Winter, bringing brutal cold, biting winds and snow. She is fierce and, sometimes unforgiving.

The most predominate tale tells of Cailleach capturing the beautiful Maiden Goddess and holding her captive in a mountain cave until the arrival of spring. 

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  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
    Thank you Francesca for taking the time to share your thoughts. It is truly a blessing when any of us connect through the Muse. A
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your beautiful images. Blessing to you this Winter!
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Lovely painting! I've worked with Cailleach for decades, although only more recently by the name of Cailleach. As I know you under

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