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SageWoman Blogs

At SageWoman magazine, we believe that you are the Goddess, and we're devoted to celebrating your journey. We invite you to subscribetoday and join our circle...

Here in the SageWoman section of PaganSquare, our bloggers represent the multi-faceted expressions of the Goddess, feminist, and women's spirituality movements.

The Facts of Life on a Tantric Path

In Tantra, there is a famous dictum that guides, “Yair eva patanam dravyaih siddhis tair eva.” It offers us instruction on the facts of life: “that by which one falls is also that by which one rises.” On first glance, it might appear as though this is no different than the adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But the lynchpin of Tantra here is not the resilience we might cultivate while withstanding the blows of living. Rather, it is the paradox that one’s own unique psycho-spiritual mechanism of failure is not merely the impetus toward enlightenment; but it is actually the only thing that has the power to let us finally reach it.

The first step on a path toward self-realization is likely obvious. We must let go of our egos enough to embrace failure as a teacher. While this does allow us to gain resilience from the lessons built right into the fabric of our everyday lives, we must still come to learn the ways in which the beautiful secrets of our soul lie hidden below the residue of failures brought on by the oppressions we carry within us. Most concretely, these are the consciously or unconsciously inflicted slights (and our internalization of them) of our upbringing at the hands of those in various social, religious, and cultural institutions, including our family. Less graspable are the residues of our karma from prior incarnations. Either way, getting to and beneath those layers is an essential step in deepening our progress on the spiritual path. And this work is what makes us capable of understanding our own particular variety of a spiritual homeopathic cure—like curing like—in service to the unveiling of our soul.

Embracing Tantra as a way of life, we set ourselves up for a complete reconstitution of self, from the physical to the psycho-spiritual, in order to find the authentic essence we carry within us.  That essence is our soul, a spark of the boundless Divine that exists beyond the confines of spacetime limitations. In choosing involution toward incarnation, that spark sacrifices its infinite self in order to experience another one of the infinite number of selves expressing themselves through life. Hence, as souls encapsulated, the stuff of failure is inevitable. Just as there exists suffering as a necessary condition of creation (the sacrifice required of the Divine to become manifest), so too must we experience failure as a necessary condition of our evolution.

The encouraging news is that we therefore all have the potential within us to achieve freedom. Certainly, some may choose to impose additional layers of binding residue upon the in-dwelling Divine, choosing to be defended, emotionally wrapped up or otherwise in denial of the way toward health and wholeness. But we all have the capacity for release should we desire it. The challenge is the work and dedication we must put into our own liberation.

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Wedding in the works

Well here I am, 60 yrs old and getting married again. My husband-to-be is Dean Pestana and our wedding will be pagan, with a pirate/gypsy theme held on May 31st, 2014. Yikes! Not a lot of time left for me to get everything accomplished that I need to do. but we're old hands at being a couple and since both have been married before neither of us require the white dress and tux flutters of a first time bride and groom (thank the Spirits). We'll have two officiants, one is the leader of a pirate band that plays at Ren Faires and the like and the other is a Wiccan High Priestess. We'll combine the tradition wedding with a hand fasting and the calling of the quarters. I even plan on having a small acting segment where we either have two warring pirate groups bond together as their Captains marry or a raiding pirate party showing allegiance with the island ruling government via a marriage. Our reception is flat out going to be a party, a Hafla, with belly dancers,poi and fire spinners, pirates, an Irish band, (along with canned music) hoop dancing, sword dancing, lots of folks in costume and wonderful geekyness. This is going to be an outdoor event, held in our large front yard under a huge Father Oak and surrounded by all our flowers and various critters that will more than likely photo bomb the pictures take throughout the day. Both Dean and I have a deep connection to nature and we can't think of a better locale than our own yard with trees he's planted and cared for and both our flower and vegetable garden with their Devas and sprites joining with us.b2ap3_thumbnail_Dean-and-sword.jpg

Then the very next weekend I am one of the workshop presenters at the St. Louis Pagan Picnic and although I've spoken about ghosts and hauntings the past three years at this event I am changing my topic--this time the subject matter will be Tantric touch and sensual massage for all us Baby Boomers (and anyone else for that matter) who are still going strong and sexy or for those who want to get their sexy back.b2ap3_thumbnail_janice-pirate.jpg

So for the next few weeks I'll be busy, sewing, preparing my workshop notes and hands on massage demonstration and my first fiction novel will be in at the publishers May 15th. Goddess knows I need the elves to come at night and help carry out all my insane plans to get this finished on schedule and not be totally frazzled by wedding day.b2ap3_thumbnail_book-cover-The-Haunting-of-Booger-County.jpg

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The Blood Well

I followed the flight of the heron through the willows, the wide blue sky above. Skirting my way around the little town, I made my way between the hills, between the greening orchards and down the leafy Well House Lane, the glorious lush green belly of Glastonbury Tor above me bright in the sunshine. I have walked this road a million times, in rain and summer heat, in winter shadows and sleet, in the utter darkness of a Samhain waning moon...it knows me well, and every time my feet tread this path I feel blessed to live in such a sacred landscape. I greet the tree spirits I have worked with over the years, the hidden springs, one a deep secret, another a mere boggy patch in the meadow upon such a day as this...

Turning the corner I enter the gardens of Chalice Well, and the hush of the day becomes somehow more refined as I make my way past the manicured flower beds and beneath the rose archway, passed 'the chakra border', a rainbow of blossoms unfurling. The sense of wholeness I have gathered to me all the way builds now, my body finds comfort in the serenity of the garden, as I make my way along the worn stone pathway to take my seat beside the well. Aching feet find ease upon the cool damp stone. There is the sound of distant drums beating upon the Tor, but all is still here, all is quiet. I am blessed with solitude, but I am not alone. As my stillness gathers, I feel the presence of this place all around me. The spirit of the well, the ancient goddess envelops me. Without words or ceremony, Her presence both warm and bright rises from the waters, and I sit in quiet communion, my spirit drinking in all She may offer. Her daughter, Her pupil, Her priestess.

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  • Jill Swift
    Jill Swift says #
    Truly Beautiful! Blessings!
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    "all that we have suffered, all that we have lost, and all that we know." Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature

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Witchlings, Tarot and Snakes? Oh my!

Sometimes I run into a situation with a client where the answer simply isn't making itself known. When that happens, I turn to the clarification card technique.

This isn't something I developed. I learned it a long time ago from a beautiful witch in Toledo. Lady Lhianna taught me that sometimes

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It's Springtime here in Texas -- though my friends in Chicago assure me it's still winter there -- and along with the bluebonnets and the longer days, that means it's almost finals time. Somehow this time of year is at least as busy for me in my professor role as it ever was for me as a student. I'm also staring down a summer of uncertain employment, as my faculty appointments are part-time. So it's been a time of excitement at new possibilities but also worries about what ifs, and in my typical fashion I've been internalizing and stressing and feeling as though I have to find a way to figure out an answer to the pressing questions of finances and career.

Thank Goddess that Tara decided to dance into my week!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tara.jpg

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  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    I do love our bluebonnets! Lovely inspiration, Susan.

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