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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.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

 

What is bliss, Sarah Ban Breathnach asks in her extraordinary book Simple Abundance. For me, today, it is knowing my loved ones are warm and safe; seeing my youngest child's delight in last night's snowfall; my teenagers' glee in an unexpected snow day; and curling up on the couch to read with a cup of tea at hand and a fire crackling and popping in the fireplace. Outside there are no people: just leaves, squirrels, orioles, sparrows and the occasional stray cat hurrying to whatever under-porch shelter they can find. All is quiet here today, and the cozy rooms my children and I share bespeak a long-ago time.

 

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A Taste of Light at Winter Solstice

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_1157531_10152506771610400_1065926867_n_20131220-052759_1.jpg                                            This Fall I took it upon myself to do quite a bit of canning. This mostly involved jam and fruits. My step-daughter and husband were most excited about the canning of peaches, one of their favorite fruits.  After only 2 days of completing the canning process they wanted to open up the peaches and dig in. I firmly objected, "NO! The reason we canned peaches was to enjoy them in the dead of Winter, to have a 'taste' of Summer when things are dark and dismal." I promised my step-daughter we would open a jar to celebrate the return of the Sun on the Winter Solstice. As I prepare my house for Yule I am reminded of this promise and my thoughts turn to the reason why I wanted to learn about canning and food preservation.

Both my maternal and paternal grandparents grew a majority of the food they ate and I have so many fond memories of walking through orchards and gardens as a child eating fresh peas and carrots right out of the ground, my mother encouraging me to try vegetables like broad beans and kohlrabi.  I remember shelves upon shelves of jars stored in my maternal grandmother's basement, my paternal grandfathers' stacked up wine making equipment. The joy of eating canned crabapples and ice cream and trying sips of homemade wine after a Xmas feast.  As many of these practices my grandparents engaged in were passed on to them by their parents and grandparents, it is so clear to me how connected my ancestors were to the land. Because of this they were intrinsically aware of this coming 'Capricorn' time of year and the need for storing and preparing for Winter; it was essential for survival. I am very fortunate to live during a time where canning is more of a 'hobby' than a need to survive, but I also wanted to learn about it so I could feel connected to this family practice and share it with my child.  

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Winter Solstice: The Darkness Within

The winter solstice is fast upon us, even though technically the shortest night has already been upon us (for a brain-thumping explanation, see http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/the-astronomical-hijinks-of-the-shortest-day-of-the-year/282109/).  Thoughts turn inwards at this time of year, when in the darkness we are confronted with our shadow selves, should we choose to face them.  We have the opportunity to learn more of ourselves, and in doing so, better serve not only ourselves but the world.

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Moontale, Moontide, Moonspell

"...we also come to learn an important thealogical statement: the relationship of self to Goddess is a physical relationship--it is material. It is not a dislocated, distant experience of some far-off Deity 'out there,' but it is embedded within our very bodies and their own rhythms.” --Katie Batten, Goddess Wheel of the Year

When reading Z. Budapest's book, Grandmother Moon, I was surprised to connect very deeply with her Moontale, Moontide, Moonspell model. In the past, I havent felt much of an intuitive connection to Budapests work, but this concept is different for me.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_mary_christmas-1.gifWhat could be more magical than conceiving, gestating, and giving birth to the embodiment of Christ consciousness?

What could be more magical than birthing the return of light into a darkened world?

What could be more magical than dissolving shame and restoring the brilliant shine to a woman's life?

For all its shrillness and glitter, the Christmas season offers us images of Mary, big-bellied, pregnant with the Power of Being, however you might name it.

Allowing ourselves to deepen into those images might well dissolve the shame that so often obscures the light imbuing our bodies. Allowing ourselves to resonate with Mary might well unleash the life-celebrating energy already radiating from our bellies, our body's core.

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