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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Through Our Soles, Our Souls

A light rain falls in these California redwoods. I am walking back to my nest, the VW camper van that is my home for the next week at Witchcamp where I have come to be with witches of all genders from all over the world. It is dark: no Moon is visible, though Her fullness above the clouds makes Her presence felt, tugging on every cell of my body’s oceans. It is not a cold night, damp but surprisingly mild. There is a small footbridge crossing the shallow stream before I get to where I am parked. I am alone in the sweet darkness. Walking to the edge of camp after the opening ritual. I am still barefoot, shoes in hand, and, instead of taking the bridge, I wade into the creek. It flows around my ankles and halfway up my calves. It is also surprisingly warm and so I stop and turn off my flashlight and let my skin do what it does best: feel. There are no more shoes for me at Witchcamp, this is too powerful a place, too powerful an experience to miss anything through the soles of my soul.

The next day someone asks, “Don’t those rocks at the stream’s edge hurt to walk on?” I reply, “I go barefoot a lot. I have Hobbit feet.” But the truth is that if I walked on those rocks the way I do in shoes, it would hurt. The faster pace and heavier trod would bruise me. Yet, because I am barefoot, I walk slower, lighter, with greater intention. And, because I am barefoot, I don’t have to avoid the mud puddles in those first few days of camp before the sun finally dries out the ground mid-week. I can, with glee and full abandon, splash right in and feel the mud squish between my toes.

As the week progresses we dive into the myth of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. Together we descend into the underworld realm of her sister, the goddess Ereskigal. I walk Her descent barefoot. In the story, Ereskigal strips her sister of something at each of the seven gates to the underworld until Inanna finally arrives naked. As we wade deeply in the story, I too relive a time thirteen years ago when my life was stripped away. The memory is vivid as if it were seeping up from the forest floor through the cells of my soles.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kalyca Schultz
    Kalyca Schultz says #
    This reminds me of nature defiicit disorder, which I've been meaning to read more about. Communing in/with Nature is certainly the
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your blessings to me, and blessings on your barefoot experiments Kalyca. I do hope Witchcamp may be in your future,
  • Tammy
    Tammy says #
    This post resonated with me on a very personal level. I have been travelling the path of not-knowing the past few years. I am slow

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Barefoot Crone

Hello, my name is Janice and I've recently relearned the importance of getting out into the yard and walking barefoot in the grass. This sounds like the opening statement of a person new to a 12 point program, and it could very well be. I guess I should say I'm a "barefoot grass-walking addict".

I've lived a relatively healthy life for the majority of my (soon to be) sixty years. In fact my doctor once told me as a patient I was boring since I presented no real health issues. Then my thyroid went south, and the Hypothyroid brought along its buddies of weight gain, lack of sleep, hair loss and a host of other symptoms that my doctor never warned me about. He didn't know I'm a bulldog on researching whatever comes into my head to uncover, like an archeologist sweeping grains of sands away from buried bones. I found several accompanying symptoms and at my next doctor's visit gave him the list and demanded treatment, one of these piggy-backing buddies of Hypothyroid for me was Stage 2 High Blood Pressure. From being a normal size 14 I ballooned up to a size 22+ in three or four months. And from a normal BP to dangerously high along with heart palpitations in a short period of time not only physically hurt but killed my self-esteem. I couldn't get up off the toilet without using my arms to lever myself up, and walking up a short set of five steps leading into our house was a project filmed in slow motion. I was totally out of breath by the time I got inside the house. Heat bothered me and sent my heart racing, my sex drive disappeared and I had to force myself to leave the house as depression surrounded me. During the past years of struggling to adjust my life to living with the Hypotension and everything it brought I had also allowed my connection to the Earth slip away. I was miserable all the time, I hurt, I was lethargic, and I felt old beyond my years. It happened like a sneak thief and I didn't realized how lost from myself and my spirituality I'd become. I no longer kept up my altar, no longer celebrated the Sabbats, no longer communed with the trees or even paid attention to the moon.

I was losing myself completely. I had to fight against becoming immersed in depression and hiding away; that wasn't me. I'm the type to face down the lion, so I grabbed myself by the scruff of the neck and worked to correct the situation. I've rediscovered my connection with the Goddesses, with the Earth, with Nature and Myself. In this column I hope to present tidbits I've picked up along my road back to ME and wisdom from other strong ladies I've met who have been a haven for me.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Cari Hall
    Cari Hall says #
    Thank you xxx
  • Janice Tremeear
    Janice Tremeear says #
    Thanks for the feedback ladies. I just spent this past weekend visiting with my grandkids and sleeping on a mattress on the floor,
  • Pictish Girl
    Pictish Girl says #
    Yes, Blessings are in order! Reading your blog Janice keeps me from going into the "grey existence" as you call it. My husband has

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