New Moon Share: Connecting with Goddess

Exploring a personal relationship to Goddess-- including highlights of Goddess centered media and events.

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Paola Suarez

Paola Suarez

 
Paola Suarez is the founder of Goddess Spiral Health Coaching. She works with women who resonate with Goddess, either as an archetype or a spiritual path. Paola supports women in connecting with their Goddess selves and listening to their bodies-- Welcoming love and abundance to their lives! She is also an artist, dancer, avid reader and writer. Paola is currently working on a Goddess book featuring her art and writing to be self-published in 2014.
 

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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Seeds are magical.

For Ostara we planted five seeds.
The soil that held them was mixed with ashes.
Ashes that had once been paper,
that had once held our Imbolc intentions,
and that now nourished the soil.
Our seeds, so small in the dark soil.
Tiny seeds of possibility-- asleep.  
We set them in the sun with water and our blessings.

I planted seeds as a child.
I plant seeds as an adult,
experiencing the anticipation and wonder anew.
I ran to peer at the soil every day,
hoping for growth and new beginnings.
The adult kept the excitement away.
The adult made plans if the seeds did not grow.
The child stayed hopeful and rejoiced when seedlings emerged.

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Seedlings are magical.

Our “babies”, our seedlings.
Tiny and delicate,
they persevere every day.
All five have grown.
All five lean towards the sun.
Some are stronger than others.
Some fall with the water.
They won’t all grow into tomato plants.
They won’t all gift us fruit.
Until then, they are tiny little possibilities.
They are tiny little hopes-- awake.

Life is magical.

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 Hear me reading this poem at "I planted seeds" by Paola Suarez, a reading.

 

 

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  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Thank you Courtney for your feedback! It was very powerful to feel the energy of Imbolc combining to give birth to Ostara life.
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    I love this--planting seeds mixed with the ashes at Imbolc! Beautiful!

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I am so grateful for the Goddess gifts that I have received this week! These gifts always come at just the right time. This week I was feeling sad thinking, "Am I really making a difference?", when I puttered down to check the mail and found these pendants from Molly of Brigids Grove waiting for me!

Tree of Life brigids grove etsy crescent moon brigids grove etsy

Their beauty and symbolism really touched me. The tree pendant reminded me that everything has its cycles and Spring is coming. Patience it said to me. Keep sowing the seeds and stay grounded. The crescent moon reminded me to continue connecting to my lunar rhythms-- the ebb and flow of my own energy during the month. Honor where I am in my cycle and acknowledge how that effects my productivity it said to me. Then there was the note from Molly thanking me for offering my circles (New Moon and Full Moon)I could not keep from smiling as I read it. It reminded me that I am making a difference with my offerings. Breathe and trust it is happening it said to me.

Ultimately this is my thank you note for all the Goddess gifts I receive every day. I am grateful for my network of Goddess sisters that inspire and encourage  me and each other. I am grateful for the unexpected little gifts like a text from a friend or a picture of friend's newborn. I am grateful for my partner who surprises me with kisses. I am grateful for all of these tangible and intangible Goddess gifts.

That is the power of  Goddess gifts if we are open to hearing their message. They connect us to our Goddess selves-- where we can find our inspiration, our encouragement and our joy.

♥ What about you sisters? What Goddess gifts have your received lately? ♥

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Love that tree pendant.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Carol--I'd be happy to send you one as a FAR-sisterhood-gift if you PM me with your address.

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Imbolc ritual

There is so much transformational energy for this New Moon sisters! Where I live in the East coast of the United States we have been hurting from the Arctic winds and craving the warmth. So with that anticipation, I humbly gift you my Imbolc ritual. It is a four day ritual which starts tonight on the New Moon. Will you join me in these four days of ritual?

 

Ritual for Days 1, 2 and 3

 

-Start on the New Moon before Imbolc

-Choose whatever time works best for you. Close to or after sunset is recommended.

-I recommend setting up an altar to keep your jars in continued sacred space throughout these four days. A place where sunlight and moonlight will shine upon them is ideal.

-Materials needed: altar, votive candle, matches, small jar with lid filled with water for each participant, music player, 4-6 minute long song for meditation time

 

    • Hum while holding your hand to your heart to tune in to your body. For a group, you may put a hand to the back of the person next to you where their heart is. In a circle, hum together.

    • Welcome the directions & elements. You may do this however you feel called or comfortable doing so. Here is a simple welcome that I use for my New Moon Intention Circles:

        • Turning to the East, we welcome Air, freedom and the power of thoughts. Welcome Air from the East!

        • Turning to the South, we welcome Fire, sensuality and the power of action. Welcome Fire from the South!

        • Turning to the West, we welcome Water, emotions and the power of cleansing. Welcome Water from the West!

        • Turning to the North, we welcome Earth, grounding and the power of home. Welcome Earth from the North!

      • Welcome any Ancestors/Goddesses/Guardians

      • Light a votive candle & read the Imbolc Intention: “Imbolc--in the belly, Mother Earth pregnant with Spring and new life. What are we holding inside ourselves that we wish to see birthed this Spring?”

      • Play a song 4-6 minute long softly while  meditating on the question and holding your small jar filled with water. I recommend Shawna Carol’s Blessed Be.

      • Extinguish the votive candle.

      • Goodbye to any Ancestors/Goddesses/Guardians who joined you.

      • Goodbye to the directions & elements. Again you may do this however you feel called or comfortable. Here is what I use:

o    Turning to the East, farewell Air, freedom and the power of thoughts. Thank you and Farewell Air from the East!

o    Turning to the South, farewell Fire, sensuality and the power of action. Thank you and Farewell Fire from the South!

o    Turning to the West, farewell Water, emotions and the power of cleansing. Thank you and farewell Water from the West!

o    Turning to the North, farewell Earth, grounding and the power of home. Thank you and farewell Earth from the North!

      • Hum while holding your hand to your heart to tune in to your body. For a group, you may put a hand to the back of the person next to you where their heart is. In a circle, hum together.

         

Ritual for Day 4- Imbolc

 

-Choose whatever time works best for you. Close to when the sunset is recommended.

-Materials needed: altar, votive candle, matches, small jar with lid filled with water for each participant, music player, 4-6 minute long song for meditation time, divination tool you know how to use, paper, pencils/pens.

 

      • Hum while holding your hand to your heart to tune in to your body. For a group, you may put a hand to the back of the person next to you where their heart is. In a circle, hum together.

      • Welcome the directions & elements. You may do this however you feel called or comfortable doing so. Here is a simple welcome that I use for my New Moon Intention Circles:

        • Turning to the East, we welcome Air, freedom and the power of thoughts. Welcome Air from the East!

        • Turning to the South, we welcome Fire, sensuality and the power of action. Welcome Fire from the South!

        • Turning to the West, we welcome Water, emotions and the power of cleansing. Welcome Water from the West!

        • Turning to the North, we welcome Earth, grounding and the power of home. Welcome Earth from the North!

      • Welcome any Ancestors/Goddesses/Guardians

      • Light a votive candle & read the Imbolc Intention: “Imbolc--in the belly, Mother Earth pregnant with Spring and new life. What are we holding inside ourselves that we wish to see birthed this Spring?”

      • Put your chosen song on repeat so it plays until it’s time to extinguish your candle. Meditate on the intention and write down your answers.

      • Imbolc is also a time for divination- an in between time. Use the divination tool you have brought to ask, “What am I holding inside myself that will come forth this Spring that I’m unaware of?”

      • Hold your jar filled with water to your heart. Feel the energy of your Imbolc intentions held within it. Drink the water and feel it nourishing you. Supporting you in manifesting this Spring what will most benefit you. Take at least three deep breaths.

      • Extinguish the votive candle.

      • Goodbye to any Ancestors/Goddesses/Guardians who joined you.

      • Goodbye to the directions & elements. Again you may do this however you feel called or comfortable. Here is what I use:

o    Turning to the East, farewell Air, freedom and the power of thoughts. Thank you and Farewell Air from the East!

o    Turning to the South, farewell Fire, sensuality and the power of action. Thank you and Farewell Fire from the South!

o    Turning to the West, farewell Water, emotions and the power of cleansing. Thank you and farewell Water from the West!

o    Turning to the North, farewell Earth, grounding and the power of home. Thank you and farewell Earth from the North!

      • Hum while holding your hand to your heart to tune in to your body. For a group, you may put a hand to the back of the person next to you where their heart is. In a circle, hum together.

         

So sisters that concludes the four days of ritual leading up to Imbolc. If you choose to use the rituals above, I would love to know if anything came up for you. I am sending so much love and light your way during this time of gestation. Blessed Imbolc!

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  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thanks, Paola!
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Thank you Molly! I was inspired to share my ritual by your posts from your personal blog where you did the same. I felt brave enou
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    I wondered about the humming! It works very well!

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Virtual Sacred Space

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!

 

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Always good to remember that a sense of separation by geography is as much as an illusion as the linear nature of time....blessing
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Yes I love the way you describe it Lizann! It's all about stepping away from linear thinking and the illusions that separate us.

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Goddesses in Upper Manhattan

On November 22nd I had the honor of attending Andrea Arroyo’s opening reception for her Memories Interlaced exhibit. Above is the picture Andrea graciously took with me during her busy reception. I was honored to be standing next to a Goddess sister whose art has been featured in The New Yorker, The International Museum of Women, The Smithsonian and countless public exhibits.  Her current exhibit, at The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Center, is free and open to the public until January 10th 2014.

Her featured Goddesses line the wall of the center with rich, warm colors that bring out the love within the cloths they are painted on. Andrea chose to paint Goddesses on cloths made by women from around the world. From delicate and powerful lace to an Indian prayer shawl— walking into her exhibit is a chance to be in sacred space with such Goddesses as Hathor and Sarasvati. You also have the opportunity to admire pieces from her Sacred Women series; paintings inspired by female characters from world sacred texts, and influenced by the outlines of sacred architecture.

It gives me hope as a woman who is working on my own ever-evolving Goddess art to see how far Andrea has come with hers. The world needs more art dedicated to the Divine Feminine! Andrea’s artwork creates a space to have conversations about the power and mystery of women, our divinity and strength—our Goddess selves. If you have the chance to visit NYC before January 10th, dance your way to the Goddess temple Andrea has created in Upper Manhattan and bring your sisters!

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The silly story my Goddess self wanted to tell

A part of Goddess work is honoring your imagination and time to be silly. I did not do that two weeks ago. I forced myself to be serious. I told myself I had to make a serious story post for my SageWoman blog. Instead of listening to my inner girl, I forced her into a corner which lead to a total writer’s block. How did I break it? By playing a silly game! My partner and I celebrated our anniversary by playing a storytelling game. With no expectations of being serious or publishing what I shared, my imagination was let loose!

The following story is the one my Goddess self actually wanted to tell instead of the one I was felt needed to be told. Hope you enjoy it sisters!

---

Once upon a time a young woman named Sanaa was ostracized from her village along with her mother because the villagers thought them unlucky. Sanaa and her mother were blamed for everything that went wrong. Eventually they were kicked out to live in nearby caves.

One day Sanaa was exploring the caves and found a group of elementals cavorting around a fire. The elementals, each a mixture of different animals, danced and sang about their lucky egg. They sang of hours burning the negativity out of the egg—infusing it with their positive thoughts and intentions. Sanaa was determined to take the egg to her mother. She dressed herself in moss and sticks and confidently strode into the Elementals’ presence. She presented herself as the Queen of Elementals and admired their egg. With a regal nod Sanaa accepted the lucky egg so she could show it off to the surface Elementals. In return she gave them a rock to make another egg.  

Out of the caves, Sanaa took off with her mom and egg. Soon they came upon a group of lost ladies and lords. Using the lucky egg, Sanaa and her mother helped them back to their kingdom. The grateful ladies and lords gifted them with bags of silver and gold. With their riches and the lucky egg, Sanaa and her mother started on their journey.

Months passed before the elementals figured out they had been tricked. They decided to send their “ugliest” Elemental to search for their lucky egg. Ila was a turtle and bird elemental who looked too human for her own good. She was given a wand that at midday always pointed to direction of their lucky egg and got warmer the closer it was. As she followed the wand, a hungry Ila found herself in the middle of deepest and darkest part of forest. In the midst of the forest, she found a decrepit looking hut. When she knocked on the door, a hag answered the door. She had just finished eating two children and was ready to snack on her next visitor.

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Goddess - Gaia by Paola Suarez

Dearest Gaia,


I wrote this letter as I worked on my recent drawing of you. As I sat to write this I kept asking myself, “What is my relationship to Gaia?” I know I think of you not as the Goddess of Nature but Nature or the Earth itself. Intellectually I know without you, my life as a human being would not exist. I know that without humans, you would happily exist for millennia.

 

Oh Gaia, when I briefly lived at the edge of the jungle and beach, I felt you most powerfully in my life. During that time, I felt overwhelmed by you. I knew that I wasn't ready to live so closely to you. I was so at home with the beauty and abundance you offered me Gaia. Yet I felt as though I was pitted against you every second. It was too raw for this aspiring ecofeminist. I was not strong enough.

 

Oh Gaia, I am still an urban Goddess lover. Though I still hold on to the hope of living closer to you. I want to feel what it means to be Gaia’s partner. As I hold this idea I meet other Goddess sisters that commune with you so well. They walk through the grass being Priestesses meanwhile I run for the comfort of cement. I know it doesn't help to compare Gaia but it’s challenging. Here I am dreaming of a life  in an Earthship but can’t keep more than one plant alive in my house!


Oh Gaia, I believe you don’t value humans anymore than any other living being. Living with that belief is sobering. Oddly enough it also makes me want to be with you more . This isn't because it would make me more of a Goddess woman or a better Neopagan. It’s because you force me to be present. I can’t help but be conscious of what is around me-- be it gnats or gorgeous foliage. You make me think of balance, community, and being with the uncomfortable. You help me understand that dirt and bugs are a part of life. I am a part of something bigger. You, Gaia, are where everything dies and is reborn.


I feel as though you are going through the motions of shaking human beings up Gaia. During this difficult time, I want to live in harmony with you as much as I can. So I’m not ready to live in my Earthship right now but I can start taking baby steps. I was thinking of trying to sit on the grass without three layers of cloth. Though please Gaia, can we keep the bug bites to a minimum? :)


Love,
Paola

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Ten years ago I had the courage to attend my first Womongathering. Womongathering was a four day women’s spirituality festival in the woods of Pennsylvania. I had been reading about it since 2001 when I found the Womongathering newsletter at a local pagan store. It was a dark time in my life. I had nightmares almost every day, suffered from panic attacks and saw my therapist at least once a week. Some times I saw her more often, especially if I had a mental breakdown that week.  Mental breakdowns consisted of me crying hysterically, afraid to leave my room, and could be brought on by almost anything. I desperately needed to go somewhere safe. I needed to find the strength to continue. I remember my now ex-husband dropping me off at the gate. I was terrified making my way into the festival without him. I was so afraid to be alone back then. All the women at the festival were so friendly, but I was too scared to notice.

 

I spent my first night at Womongathering curled up in my blankets, clinging to my teddy and crying. Here I was, twenty-five years old with my teddy bear as a lifeline. No one could have guessed that the bulky book bag I took with me everywhere wasn’t full of books-- it held my teddy bear. I was doing a lot of inner child work and dealing with the memories coming up because of it. So with my therapist’s approval I was at Womongathering looking for something to switch on inside me. I hoped that an event full of women honoring Goddess energy would give me the change I was looking for.

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  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    My first Womongathering was in '97 (and wrote about it for Sagewoman in '99), and while it sounds like a cliche, it changed my lif
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    What issue of Sagewoman was your article in Ashling? I have an issue with an article about Womongathering from 1999 but it's writt
  • Khrys Exposito
    Khrys Exposito says #
    I love the artwork! As an attendee of the Womongathering festival that Paolo spoke of attending, the drawing drew such wonderful f

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Anima_short_story1.pngAt a time that was not now and a place that was not here, a woman, Anima, was blessed with a perfect life. She had never been sick, never suffered from hunger or lack of love. She went about her days without any worries or concerns. One day she came upon a young woman hurt and bleeding. The young woman told her tale of suffering at the hands of uncaring people and how she had been left to die. Anima took the young woman home, cared for her and slowly her wounds began to heal.

There came a time when Anima arrived home and found the young woman about to jump into a deep well. Anima pulled her friend from the edge, saving her. She felt frustrated for the first time in her life. She did not know how to help her friend. So Anima took the young woman to the local temple. There she asked the Priestess to help heal her friend of the wounds Anima could not see. The Priestess explained that Anima could leave the young woman at the temple to be cared for. However, if Anima wanted to learn how to heal her friend, she could undergo the temple’s initiation. Anima cared deeply for her friend and consented to the initiation.

On the night of the dark moon, Anima descended into the caves under the temple. There she was undressed, bathed in the waters of the cave and told to follow the stream. As she descended, the Priestesses slapped her face. Shaking and nude Anima was asked if she consented to continue the initiation. Anima consented. She continued through the caves with only the stream to guide her and its water to drink. As she went further, the Priestesses would appear in the darkness to disrupt her sleep or to beat her. After every disruption or beating they asked Anima if she consented to continue. Anima consented.

Finally the hunger, the aching muscles, the lack of sleep, and the fear of the next beating overwhelmed her. Anima came upon a deep pit in the caves and stood at the edge. She did not know how much longer the initiation would be. The stream seemed to continue on without end. She took a deep breath. As she stared into the darkness she saw light to her left. Anima headed towards the light climbing up to reach it. The rocks were sharp and slippery. Bloody, wet and exhausted she emerged from the caves.

The Priestesses stood around her in the light of the full moon. They beckoned her to bathe in the sea. Anima consented. Her wounds stung and she tasted her tears. The Priestesses welcomed her out of the sea with bread and honey. Anima was marked in the middle of her breasts, on her forehead and at the bottom of her back with the sign of Priestess. She traveled back to the temple and found her friend. Anima heard her story, understood her pain and supported her healing. Soon the young woman’s wounds, both seen and unseen, were healed. From then on Anima traveled throughout the lands listening and supporting women in their healing. Her life as Healer and Priestess began.

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My Journey with Goddess

Mother’s Day this year had me thinking about my mother and my journey with Goddess. As a child, my mother was my first Goddess- I looked to her to keep me alive. My physical and emotional needs were met by her. As I got older, my mother shared the pantheon with the Virgin Mary. My mother is a Virgin Mary devotee with a liberal attitude toward divorce, birth control and other women’s right issues. As I grew up, I learned to look to my mother also as prophetic Goddess, showing me where our life was leading to. I would then turn to the Virgin Mary in my dreams to comfort me and shield me from my nightmares.

As a teenager, I became aware that Goddess existed as a truth beyond my own personal experiences. I grew away from seeing my mother as Goddess, archetypal mother providing me with all the love I needed. As I drew away from my Catholic upbringing I could no longer find solace in the Virgin Mary with her submissive undertones. As I grew into my sexuality, the Virgin did not resonate with me. I researched the Goddess in the Neo-Pagan movement-- I welcomed the Goddess who saw all acts of love and pleasure as her rituals. I started shifting my need for greater mother love to the Goddess as well. I learned more about all the different Goddesses-- especially Ariadne, Kali and the ancient Goddesses of Neolithic times.

Later, I went through a dark time in my life full of depression and eating disorders, I immersed myself even more in the history of Goddess. Looking back, I see that time as lacking in self-love. I looked everywhere but to myself for the love and acceptance I craved. I am forever grateful to Goddess as deity and idea, holding my mother love until I could take it on. Eventually I realized that I could not heal without being my own Mother Goddess. A Mother Goddess nourishing herself physically and emotionally—I healed myself of depression and anorexia!

...
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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your insight. I too chose to not have children, but also feel a deep sense of birthing and mothering many many thing
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Thank you for sharing Lizann! It's great to know there are other women out there using there Mother Goddess energy to birth and mo
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Thank you for sharing Lizann! It's great to know there are other women out there using there Mother Goddess energy to birth and mo

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