My Pagan savings challenge post generated a lot of discussion on the Witches & Pagans Facebook page. I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the questions and comments, in the form of a Q&A.
The next divinity in my tribute to the deities in the “god graveyard” is the Northern European Eostre (Eastre, Ostara) goddess of the dawn and of spring.
My family name, comas diaz, means death and or dying in Spanish. As far as I can remember, I have experienced a special relationship with death. You see, death communicates in a strange way with me. That is, it lets me know when a loved one dies. For example, death speaks to me through premonitions, dreams, and physical reactions. My first memorable encounter with the death of a loved one was during a lucid dream. Dressed as a surgeon, I tried to save the life of a young man in an operating room. “I hope no one died in Puerto Rico,” I told my husband Fred when I woke up. “This dream was strange, ” I said. “Dream? That was no dream, you had a terrible nightmare all night long,” Fred replied. The absence of messages from family that day relieved my anxiety. When night approached, my cousin Alberto called. “Our young cousin Chalito was in surgery last night after a car accident, “ he announced. “Unfortunately, the doctors could not save him,” Alberto concluded.
It’s storm season. Storms have hit the UK this last week or so, and we’ve seen nightmarish weather conditions, high winds and flooding. People have died. Last year the lanes around Slimbridge, where I then lived, flooded such that some of them were impassable. We’ve been seeing a lot more of this, lately, especially in the winter months.
The winters of my childhood were nothing like this. They were usually wet, and you might get a few days of snow, but not flooding. There would be frosts, some dips below freezing, but nothing difficult. Not like the winter three years ago when we dropped down to minus 15c. Ten years ago, high winds were a rare occurrence, but now we seem to get them every winter....
The New Year and the Waxing Moon bring a wonderful magickal opportunity. What would you like to manifest in your life?
What would you like your life to look like this year?
Don’t worry about what you want to remove. Think instead about what you want to grow, initiate, invest in, create and attract....
There was a time long ago when Christianity was the liberation theology of our time - but today many realize the ideals of the Sacred Feminine are what we need for a sustainable future, for freedom, justice, women's rights and equality.
Here's a sneak peak about what others are saying about Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy.....Coming in April!
Pre-order your copy on Amazon now!
In ever-increasing numbers women and men are seeking spirituality beyond traditional religious institutions and more and more their new normal includes the deities, ideals and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine. They have a desire to get beyond the patriarchal dogma of the Abrahamic religions that so often perpetuates sexism, homophobia and the domination of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. Women, in particular, are hearing and heeding their calling, stepping forth to take on their mantle of leadership as rabbis, ministers, priestesses, Nuns on the Bus and Womanpriests. They are exercising their spiritual authority in circles at their kitchen tables, in their living rooms and classrooms, in brick and mortar churches and temples, in political arenas and groves. They are flexing their spiritual wings and allowing themselves to be guided by their intuition, innate female wisdom and inner-knowing. They encourage their congregations to know and feel the essence of Goddess and understand what that new knowledge might mean for themselves personally and the world. They refuse to go back to a time when men have dominion over women's bodies and tell them to put an aspirin between their knees as a form of birth control!
Often the shared message of these like-minded women and men is one of female empowerment, equality, social justice and environmental responsibility, sometimes referred to as eco-feminist spirituality. The liturgy may contain social, cultural and political messages of liberation thealogy using Goddess mythology, archetypes and metaphors as benchmarks and templates for a more just, peaceful and sustainable future. Gone altogether or tempered is the message of the strict authoritarian Father whose mythology gives license for a male-dominated society with women in a subordinate role. Nothing less than peace, partnership, justice, equality and care for the planet are at the heart of this Sacred Feminine wisdom. Gone are the greed is good or survival of the fittest mentalities. As more and more people find themselves “the other” and with little hope of achieving the American Dream, they are willing to rethink the status quo and vision another future and a government that serves more than the 1%.
In answer to this collective call to restore and re-write our values and find a new social and spiritual path women and men are blazing a trail using their pink handled machetes to find their way. Within religious groups it might manifest in progressive churches using gender neutral names for God in prayer and song. Others include liturgy embracing the Divine Mother in equal partnership alongside the Father. Altars might not be dominated only by male images. Still others give themselves permission to conduct women-only services and exhibit only female images of deity at their gatherings. Congregants worship together in circles rather than in hierarchical configurations with a male intermediary between them and deity. In fact, these groups and gatherings might be leaderless, egalitarian or organizers might share leadership.
To push these new values forward in society Goddess advocates recognize the need to stand in solidarity with pro-worker, pro-women, pro-science, pro-immigrant, pro-peace, and pro-environmental groups who feel the weight of rich, white, male privilege on their neck. It means partnering with secular people, particularly the millenials, who feel the most disenfranchised with the current state of the economy, their crushing student loan debt and their hopelessness about the future. It means legislating real family values, restoring worker stability, shoring up the depleted social safety net and investing in people and jobs.
Social justice and uplifting the common good are key and those values are not only prevalent in ideals of the Sacred Feminine but their importance is punctuated in a newly released documentary that addresses the issues of patriarchy, women's rights, and our desperate need for partnership. Femme: Women Healing the World is a brave film that starts at the beginning, unafraid to talk about pre-patriarchal times, when women and Goddess were revered and people were more concerned about the We and the Us instead of the current climate of greed and selfishness, aka, the I and the Me. Femme is unafraid to examine the relationship between religion and the oppression of women and the economic disparity that is the result of our following a patriarchal or male-dominated agenda.
With Red States and Republicans around the country taking away women's freedom and dignity in mandating they be penetrated with state sanctioned vaginal probes and limiting access to birth control in the year 2013, never has such a film been more needed. With women doing 80% of the work with only 20% of the assets, never has a film been more important. With so many hungry children, women retiring in poverty and austerity measures being thrust upon the poor and middle class, disproportionately affecting women and their kids, information in this film is vital to help shift consciousness toward a more equitable and sustainable future. With Republicans about to destroy the full faith and credibility of the United States with needless manufactured crises, it's time to step up and demand a return to balance, sanity and majority rule. With the daily assaults on our finite resources and Mother Earth, it is time to awaken and this film is a wake-up call!
The Dalai Lamma said it would be Western women who would save the world. Certainly it can be women across the globe, stepping up, taking on their mantle of leadership, demanding they no longer be diminished and oppressed under male authority, and with that, a tipping point toward love, balance, peace and an inter-connection among us all. Nothing less is acceptable. Nothing less will save humankind and the planet. Femme features American women Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson, Celeste Yarnall, Riane Eisler, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Sharon Stone, Gloria Steinem, Barbara Marx Hubbard, myself, and numerous other women across the globe speaking out on how we might change the world along-side our beloved men. Most importantly, it offers real solutions for a sustainable world and should be required viewing in religious, corporate and educational settings the world over. If we can vision it, we can manifest it, and manifesting a new world is our moral imperative for the majority of us on this planet.
About Femme: Women Healing the World -
Click here to watch: http://ykr.be/4ik59m1n6
You can download the video or stream it for only $4.99
Or DVD copies of Femme will be available in early 2014
For more information about the movie, go to
READ MORE ABOUT FEMME -
About Rev. Dr. Karen Tate --
Author of Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations and the soon to be released Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy and Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to ReShape Our World. Karen is a speaker, social justice activist, sacred tour leader, workshop presenter and host of the long running radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine Radio. She can be reached at or on Facebook and Twitter and can be seen in the documentary, Femme: Women Healing the World. She resides in Venice, CA with Roy, her husband of thirty years who she describes as the wind beneath her wings.
Permaculture goes beyond the idea of sustainability into what can we do to add health and vitality to the Earth. It is not enough to sustain, we must do more than just get by if we are to have a relationship with life on our planet. Relationships don’t thrive on ‘sustainable.’
Even before the industrial era, we have been extracting from the Earth without giving back. Tillage – which is plowing for agriculture – destroys soil fertility and irrigation inevitably creates salt contamination in former farmland. Cutting down too many trees has wiped out civilizations. However the industrial era has generated far more toxic messes than did the agricultural era, and the industrial solutions for land recovery have been less than satisfactory and are often expensive enough that the product stops being viable on the market.
Permaculture, the idea that nature can provide effective solutions to complex problems, even has answers in the case of soil toxicity. Truthfully, who among us would do without our computers or heat in our homes? The byproducts of producing these things are environmental toxins. But, it is possible to clean up those messes in a way that benefits our planet....
Happy 2014! So many people make the resolution to 'get healthy' with the coming year. Instead of trying to put yourself on some fad diet or harsh exercise, get clear and clean first.
Your body is an amazing vessel. Most of us cram it full of junk and toxins. Most everyone is born with organs that innately know how to detox and keep excess toxins at bay. Although detox is not a new concept, the truth is that some of us, because of genetics, don't have a strong defense against toxins. This can manifest as weight gain & control; skin problems of all sorts; infertility; fatigue or inflammation and infections. Each one of us is dealing with one or more of these problems. As I was cruising my Facebook this morning, I found a link to a favorite page, Young and Raw. The company discusses the benefits of healing and cleansing with raw or whole foods. They provide 21 day and 90 day cleanses with meal plans and recipe books for a healthier living. I have used a 21 day cleanse and the results for my body and energy level were amazing!
They have put together a list of 15 foods and herbs that will help your body detox and build up immunities, some of the herbs I have discussed in this blog....
Today I facilitated my third virtual New Moon Intention Circle and again finished amazed by the energy that I experienced. Though my only interaction with my circle sisters was via the intentions they emailed me, written chat before the call and interactions via Facebook-- I felt their presence with me as I created the sacred space for the call. I felt them with every deep breath in the grounding visualization. I felt them with me as I welcomed the directions, elements, ancestors, goddesses and guardians. I felt them casting the circle with me as I repeated three times, “We have cast this circle with love and light. Only that which benefits us may enter.” I especially felt them with me while I read aloud their powerfully heart and spirit centered intentions.
It is so affirming to hear from my sisters after the call telling me how spiritual it was or how they felt the sacred space even though they could only hear my voice. It supports me in recognizing that sacred space is truly an act supported by your words and energy. The physical is not always necessary. Ah the power and connection available through just a phone call!
With this in mind, I will continue holding my virtual New Moon Intention Circles-- giving that gift to my sisters every New Moon. Though it’s more accurate to say that it is a gift they give me! As much as I create sacred space for myself by setting up my altar, calling in the energy and stating my intention-- it’s much more powerful when I know others are circling with me. Other sisters have mentioned this to me as well. How they feel the power in hearing their intention going out into the Universe, being held by their sisters and hearing so much of themselves in the other intentions that are read. The power in creating sacred space is multiplied when others join you energetically.
Today I sit with the gratitude for the opportunity and intentionality of virtual sacred space. I set forth into 2014 with the heart centered intention to continue creating sacred space in my own life without being held down by the physical!
Happy New Year! We leave behind 2013 and embark on new journeys in 2014. At the start of each new year I spend some reflective time to remind myself of the goals I have accomplished and how they can be best used as the foundations for the year's work ahead. I use multiple disciplines- Numerology, Astrology and Tarot- as part of this annual meditation and make note of the recurring themes of each as areas I should be especially mindful of.
This year resonates to the number 7 (add the 2+0+1+4=7) and the potential for new paths, gaining mastery over what was begun in 2013 and deeper connection to understanding our own spiritual nature. The number seven is the proving ground of what lessons we think we have successfully traversed. It holds the tension between the harmonious balance of the number 6, the double Trinity and the eternity and expansion and contraction of the number 8, the Lemniscate. That middle ground of 7 is the place for exploration of what feeds our knowledge base so that we may arrive more fully informed at the eternal Gateway of time and space (8).
Astrologically, we kick off the New Year with a New Moon in Capricorn, the Sea Goat, lending additional support and energy to the process of new beginnings. Capricorn offers the strength and stability of the Earth element and as an astrological sign of the Cardinal Modality creates the seeds of inception that become the blooming fields in their peak and fullness. The lesson of the Sea-Goat is held within its ability to navigate the depths of emotion (the sea) and with sure footed grace scale the heights (reaching towards mind). The overall intent is one of having the ability to manifest our goals, dreams and desires into usable tools of growth from a structured and secure foundation of anchor....
Thig thugainn, thig cò' ruim gu siar -
Gus an cluinn sinn ann cànan nam Fèinn,
Thig thugainn, thig cò' ruim gu siar -
Gus an cluinn sinn ann cànan nan Gàidheal.
Come to us, come with me to the west -
And hear the language of heroes (of the Fèinn),
Come to us, come with me to the west,
And hear the language of the Gael.
- from Cànan Nan Gàidheal, written by Murdo MacFarlane...
For a recording of this Vision working, please click here:
For a recording of this Vision working, please click here:
Scorpio's key words are sex and death, as both are foundation stones in the mysteries, for both help swing open the gates between matter and spirit, allowing great connection, communion and passage. The spirit of Scorpio worked with in the Temple is the guardian who watches over that gate, who guards its passage, and guides those who are ready to pass through....
For a recording of this Vision working, please click here:
While in astrology, Libra is the scales, or more precisely, the energy of balancing the scales, in this vision working, we work with the consciousness that holds the scales, the judge. Not unlike the presence of the Egyptian goddess Ma'at, the goddess of the divine order who weighed the heart against the feather of truth (technically it was Anubis who usually weighed the heart against the Feather of Ma'at), we approach the Judge to test that balance, and renew ourselves when out of balance. Unlike in the Egyptian mysteries, we will not be devoured by creatures for being unbalanced in this vision working, but received aid to balance this life, so we can find harmony before we pass on into the next....
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls & Boys
"Waiting to get my nails did and a lady just walked in wearing a floor length mink coat over a track suit. Also: SO MUCH JEWELRY. ALL THE (YELLOW) GOLD JEWELRY. New Jersey, I love you. Never change." - a text received by me from Ms. K, the ex-opera singer at 4:14p yesterday.
I can never sleep this close to the Winter Solstice. I run in my sleep like a dog, turning fitfully and dreaming about missing teeth.
Those who read a lot of my work will know that the output has been a little bit slow over the last month or so. For the most part, I cite the holidays, a wicked cold, and a sick three month old for the distraction; it's really a hard time of the year to get anything done when you have a family, and the modern iteration of the black death doesn't help anything. Those who can read between the lines, however, may have seen an additional factor.
It's funny saying that I felt a little burnout lately, when I consider the size of my body of work. This becomes doubly true when I see some of the work that others do, which is sometimes both more energetic and more prolific. Still, that's the only was I can explain how I feel right now, and it wasn't the writing itself that stymied me; it was what I was writing about. Lately, I've done a lot of work and research on racist influences within Heathenry and Asatru, cross checking the references that the Circle Ansuz articles used when making accusations against the founder of the AFA, looking in to the ideology and philosophy of racist groups in general, deconstructing the Lokean issue, and trying to make sense of a Pagan community that tears itself apart on an hourly basis.
I have no regrets about any of this, because it good work. It drives me nuts sometimes, but I think it would drive me nuts more to leave it on the shelf. It would make me far more upset and distraught to do nothing about the problems I see. There is a beauty to demanding the best of ourselves and never being satisfied with an unsatisfactory answer. Still, it is not uncommon for me to write half of an article, grow dissatisfied with it, and cast it to the side. The issues I'm looking at are very complex, and I haven't been happy with what I've had to say or how I've had to say it. It's been very draining, to say the least.
Important work is often draining work. I've seen a lot of ennui amongst Pagan writers of all stripes as of late, and more and more I understand their moments of apathy and weariness. Where once I was confused at the large number of polytheistic bloggers who took a month off from the internet, now I completely understand. Battering against the shouting masses is rougher than you'll realize until you face it yourself, and keeping your equilibrium is a contest that never truly ends; you just keep going as long as you can until you get knocked down. Such a war of attrition, in of itself, can be infinitely frustrating.
The trick, then, is to get back up and keep going. To see these issues for what they are; obstacles, and not conquerors.
The work we do has great meaning. Every time we are read by Pagans and non-Pagans alike, we are less remote and more accessible. Every time we sit down to write of our spiritual experiences and beliefs, we make a better network of roads and pathways for those who come after us. With every word we make things better in some way, so long as making things better is our goal. Sometimes fights happen, and pointless arguments spring forth from the egotistically bruised or the antagonistically verbose. These are influences that cannot be truly bested, but they are annoyances that can be endured and ignored at our leisure.
I'm not going to say it's easy. In the myriad of shouting voices, it's hard not to loose your way. Recently, I saw a published writer question their own right to have their voice heard. It was bewildering, as this same writer was one who I had found a decent amount of inspiration from. It attacks all of us at some level, and it's important to remember that.
As the year closes, I hope that 2014 gives everyone the opportunity to do good work. Whether that's good work in the form of writing devotionals, investigative journalism, writing about their own praxis, something else, or all of that at the same time. Most of all, I hope that we all have the endurance to keep pushing through when things get tough.
It's a tough gig going out there and talking about spirituality and religion on the internet. Much harder than most people realize, and far more challenging than some of us give ourselves credit for. It's important work, and I'm glad we are out there doing it.
As 2013 draws to a close, there’s a good deal to reflect upon. Many members of our Community have passed on, relationships have changed and babies have been born. Within the military, quite a few changes have occurred as well. In February, the retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta extended gay benefits to service members and their families as best he could due to DOMA still being on the books at the time. And when DOMA was repealed in June, the Pentagon was able to use the words marriage and spouse with the inclusion of gay and lesbian couples. Sadly, it took until last month overseas military installations were open for things such as ration privileges due to where they were stationed, such as in South Korea. And too, while many more states, even Utah, are now marriage equality states, it is still not enough to make marriage equality federally recognized as the law of the land (read: Constitutional amendment).
Also, I would be amiss if I failed to mention other forms of equality within the military, especially pertaining to women. Not only are women open to train for full-fledged combat positions (though we won’t see women in direct Infantry until probably 2016), but also, rape and assaults within the military are finally being taken seriously. Men and women who have been attacked are reporting at an all-time high, which may actually be a good thing for a couple of reasons: For one thing, victims feel justice will actually be served instead wrapped in red tape, so they are reporting them. And for another, the reports that do occur are actually making it onto official ledgers to be counted.
For our veterans however, pension trimming is still in the works. While it’s true the compensation is bloated, as people live longer and more families have dealt with unfathomable losses, it is my opinion those who were promised cost of living increases should be grandfathered in. That’s what people signed up for. Yes, veterans are able to retire before their 40th birthdays, which doesn’t look good to the bean counters on paper, but the 20 (and more!) years these men and women served are deserving of every penny. And I say that across the board, even for those who since have moved on to lucrative civilian careers or even won the lottery. It’s no different than Social Security; you put into it, you get out of it, whether or not you can afford to live without it....
I hope that 2014 finds you and your loved ones well. I don't usually post New Years' resolutions because I find them silly, but to my surprise, this year I actually have one. I'm cutting as much plastic use out of my life as I can. I live in Florida, as y'all know, and it's a peninsula, so even inland, you're never really far from the ocean. And my vaettir care about what goes on there; Florida has been above and under water off and on over time as glaciers have risen and receded. I have white Florida beach sand in my yard, even this far inland. Plastics are polluting our oceans and killing animals.
When you watch clips like this, you can get overwhelmed by it all. The Pacific Garbage Patch is HUGE - what can any one of us do? Well, after some reflection, I've decided that I know what I can do. I can crochet. I'm making bags to give to friends and loved ones - I love how pretty and stylish the original pattern is, but it calls for a CD to be placed in the bottom, which I'm not going to do, because I'm going to mod it so that it can be folded into itself and tucked inside a purse or other carry-all for convenience. Most people I know have reusable bags but they leave them at home or in the car. Another thing I'm going to do is cut down on plastic bottle use. In the Florida heat, damn near everyone buys a cold bottled beverage, but those bottles are mostly plastic, and many are not recycled, and indeed many of them are dangerous to reuse. A friend of mine suggested trying a Brita Bottle as a reusable water bottle, because even though it's plastic, one plastic container that cleans water is better than many throwaway ones. I'm considering that just because I've tried aluminum bottles in the past and I don't have good luck with them; they have no real insulation and your water goes from cool to outside air temperature in no time flat. And also, no filtration. I'm open to suggestions, and will be experimenting, but anything has to be better than tossing more and more plastic bottles into the ocean....