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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


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“If there is one chant in the universe it is to create.”

–Chris Griscolm quoted in Nicole Christine, p. 25

If you have ever eavesdropped on a conversation between my husband and me around the clamor of our four children’s voices, you will hear me making a tired lament: “All I want is a broad swath of uninterrupted time.” In listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, on audio book I was interested by her mention that many creative people lament not having long stretches of uninterrupted time available in which to work. She quotes a letter from Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne, lamenting his lack of time and how he is always pulled “hither and thither by circumstances.” Melville said that he longed for a wide-open stretch of time in which to write. She says he called it, “the calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always to compose.”

…I do not know of any artist (successful or unsuccessful, amateur or pro) who does not long for that kind of time. I do not know of any creative soul who does not dream of calm, cool, grass-growing days in which to work with- out interruption. Somehow, though, nobody ever seems to achieve it. Or if they do achieve it (through a grant, for in- stance, or a friend’s generosity, or an artist’s residency), that idyll is just temporary—and then life will inevitably rush back in. Even the most successful creative people I know complain that they never seem to get all the hours they need in order to engage in dreamy, pressure-free, creative exploration. Reality’s demands are constantly pounding on the door and disturbing them. On some other planet, in some other lifetime, perhaps that sort of peaceful Edenic work environment does exist, but it rarely exists here on earth. Melville never got that kind of environment, for instance. But he still somehow managed to write Moby-Dick, anyhow.

Source: Elizabeth Gilbert On Unlocking Creativity, Ideas As Viruses . News | OPB

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_praybeads1.jpgIn some ways, I’m glad I wasn’t in CT when Hurricane Sandy ripped through our lives. I have had enough stress in my life, that my adrenals are no longer high functioning. Too much, and I’m a wreck for days. But I’m almost sorry I missed seeing the land spirits save our house.

Gardening is one very effective way of connecting with land spirits, and I’ve been doing that since I moved to Connecticut. We don’t own the wooded lot behind our house, and because our own plot is tiny, we had lots of shade. I longed to grow vegetables, but made do with cherishing native shade perennials. Growing these is a slow process. They take years to spread, and I lost some of what I put in to slugs. My long term goal was to spread them into the woods where non-natives had taken over. I spent a lot of time outside talking to trees, and plants. As my spiritual practice became more defined, I set up a cupped stone as a place to leave libations for the land spirits.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Amanda Smith
    Amanda Smith says #
    I'm sorry that's what you hear because that's not what I'm saying.
  • Amanda Smith
    Amanda Smith says #
    In my practice I don't worship deities. When I cast I don't ask for anything. I don't demand anything. I work in tandem with th
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    Amanda, I both cast and pray, sometimes even at the same time, but frequently separately. I use the word prayer to describe any
  • Amanda Smith
    Amanda Smith says #
    This is a great post but I have a question. Over the last ten years I've noticed more and more witches using the term praying and
  • Selina Rifkin
    Selina Rifkin says #
    Well, not all Pagans describe themselves as witches, I don't. Wicca is a very specific tradition, and certainly the best known, bu

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why Witches Have No Church

 A Tale of the Driftless Witches

Once upon a time, witches used to have a church of their own, just like everyone else.

Well, maybe not just like everyone else.

The witches' church, you see, was made out of cheese.

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Sacred Feminine or Goddess Feminism?

In recent years “the Sacred Feminine” has become interchangeable with (for some) and preferable to (for others) “Goddess” and “Goddess feminism.” The terms Goddess and feminism, it is sometimes argued, raise hackles: Is Goddess to replace God? And if so why? Does feminism imply an aggressive stance? And if so, against whom or what?

In contrast, the term “sacred feminine” (with or without caps) feels warm and fuzzy, implying love, care, and concern without invoking the G word or even the M(other) word--about which some people have mixed feelings. Advocates of the sacred feminine stand against no one, for men have their “sacred feminine” sides, while women have their “sacred masculine” sides as well.

Nothing lost, and much to be gained. Right? Wrong.

Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine?
Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine?

When Goddess feminism emerged onto the scene, it had a political edge. It was about women affirming, as Meg Christian crooned in “Ode to a Gym Teacher,” that “being female means you still can be strong.” Goddess feminism arose in clear opposition to patriarchy and patriarchal religions. It was born of an explicit critique of societies organized around male domination, violence, and war; and of the male God or Gods of patriarchal religions as justifying domination, violence, and war. In this context, “the sacred masculine” was not understood to be a neutral or positive concept. To the contrary, the male Gods of patriarchy were understood to be at the center of symbol systems that justify domination.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Carol, I agree with Lisa - but I'd like to add that as a former Viet Nam war protestor, it's very hard to feel safe expressing yo
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Siggghhh. Here's another song "You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." There are at least two of us... "Imagine
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, let's imagine it every day. By the way, I was moved to tears by your piece about washing the clothes of the children who had
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Carol, I appreciate what you’ve said here (as well as the news from my friend Susan Foster of her recent travels with you through
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    ess is feminine, not diminuitive. I think in practice it does not feel at all diminuitive. It feels more female and powerful that
Birch Moon Meditation : for the January Full Moon

This is the guided meditation I always do on the first full moon of the year:

Close your eyes, sink into your body, breathe.

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, January 22

Jews in Britain celebrate their heritage and their survival in the face of centuries of persecution. A Taoist offers perspective on mourning and facing death. And an interfaith calendar is provided which outlines some of the most important holidays and festivals of the year. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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