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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
What Poison Oak Teaches

It is cool this late June morning in the California Redwoods.  The path leading out of camp is lined with thigh high ferns and low patches of sorrel and wild ginger.  There are over a dozen of us, witches of all genders and generations, walking single file looking up the tall Redwood trunks through the green canopy of their branches, still wet with fog.  We stop periodically while our teachers speak of each plant and tree, and what these Greenbloods have to teach us.  Our teachers invite us to see and smell, and with permission from the plant itself, touch and taste.  I particularly love the taste of the tiny bit of Redwood I put in my mouth - it is sour and astringent on my tongue, then floods me with a deep sense of rootedness, vast amounts of time and history, and a promise of connection to what has come before, including  the possibility of deeply witnessing the lives of my own ancestors.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steve Archibald
    Steve Archibald says #
    Lizann -- Love the messages, the beautiful writing, the clear images. Thank you.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thanks Steve!
  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    Beautiful Lizann! Poison Oak has its purposes, indeed.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Elizabeth!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_720822bb8ea169c408fc55f2ab8dbf92.jpg

This is the third in a series of posts in which I discuss four terms that polytheists use to distinguish gods from archetypes: "real", "literal", "separate", and "agents". In this post, I want to address the position the the polytheistic gods are separate from us in a way that archetypes are not.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Fábio
    Fábio says #
    And if we consider another point of view: that the Gods are not part of nature, but the nature is part of the Gods? That the natur
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Sorry, I can't make sense of any of that.
  • Fábio
    Fábio says #
    That´s the reason about all your appointment. You´re not looking, you´re only thinking and believing that thinking is enough to kn
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Kristen: You can email me at allergicpagan [at] gmail [dot] com or FB message me.
  • Taffy Dugan
    Taffy Dugan says #
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horat

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Do the Gods Still Speak?

I was reading some “locutions” purportedly spoken by the Virgin Mary to a visionary in Medjugorje, Bosnia, when I noticed something interesting.

Not a single one of these “messages” sounded even remotely like something one would expect a 1st century Palestinian Jewish woman to say.

“From today,” she supposedly told seer Yakov Colo, “I will not be appearing to you every day, but only on Christmas, the birthday of my son” (375).

Well, there's a 1 in 365 chance that the historical Jesus was born on December 25. I suppose that if anyone could tell you when he actually was born, it would be his mother.

Assuming, of course, that it really was her you were speaking with in the first place.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Making (Fairy) Tracks

By serendipity I met a friend in town on Saturday. Over coffee and an organic raspberry and white chocolate scone (still slightly warm), Mandy told me how she and a friend had been haring round Ireland on a road trip on the trail of the sidhe. Their trip took them from Tara in the east, down to Clare, then up to Carrowkeel and Knocknashee in Sligo. They took in some of the most sacred sites and amazing megaliths in the land.  But they didn't really need to stir themselves so far from Fermanagh. They are all around us here. Or maybe I am just sensitive to the local fey vibrations.

Tourists ask me if I see fairies. I answer honestly. I don't see them and I very much doubt they are very much like Mabel Lucie Atwell's vision of them.  Here is West Cavan I experience them as nature's skin turners and messengers. But maybe that's just how they want to show themselves to  me, for I have a strong suspicion that when they want to make themselves known as friendly allies they choose a form that is least threatening to their beholder. So maybe children do see Mabel Lucie Atwell creations. Musicians hear fairy music. But I have seen a hitch hiker that turned out to be a heron standing on the road verge. A local storyteller saw a bent old woman that turned out to be a hare. 'Turned' being the operative word.

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Most of us are familiar with the lovely quote by Graham Greene's wife, Vivien: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain."  That's a wonderful aphorism, but as I'm sure she herself would have admitted, there are times in life when a person has to do both.  Sometimes you have to stay in your cellar until the tornado has passed overhead; then you can come out and dance in gratitude for still being alive, in the gentle drizzle that follows.  Life encompasses every situation; the two statements are not mutually exclusive.  Over an entire human lifetime, they are equally true. 

Here's another similar saying, attributed to choreographer Vicki Corona: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."  Again, a great pithy aphorism.  But of course she was referencing a particular situation under certain specific conditions.  In reality - ask any Yogi - our life is measured, quite literally, by the number of breaths we take!  And yet, at the same time, how boring would life be without those miraculous moments that take our breath away?  Again, the two statements are not mutually exclusive.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ted, lovely, deep, sincere, as always. Thank you. As someone who's always talking about bringing together polar opposites and livi
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    I always appreciate your wise words.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Lizann. And I appreciated learning what Poison Oak teaches.

b2ap3_thumbnail_3791313279_4dc3567cab_z.jpg(excerpt from my Frey devotional book Peace and Good Seasons)

Frey has five primary ways of manifesting in the world. He is all five, at once, but some people see more of one or two than the others, and his dominant face changes at different points of the year. Here are my observations on the various sides of Frey.

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Twelve Healing Stars is a yearlong project in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft that explores social justice through the lessons of the 12 Zodiac Signs. This is part 12.

 

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