Third Wave Witch: Feminist Spirituality, Spiritual Feminism

Third Wave Witchcraft explores the intersection of feminism, Witchcraft, Goddess Spirituality, and feminist activism. A place to explore how to make our spirituality more feminist, our feminism more spiritual, and our world more just.

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Susan Harper

Susan Harper

Susan Harper is an eclectic solitary Feminist Witch from Irving, Texas. She is a professor of Anthropology, Sociology, and Women's Studies, with a focus on gender, religion, and sexuality. She is also an activist, community educator, and writer. When she's not making magick or fomenting social change, Susan is the head soapmaker, herbalist, and aromatherapist for Dreaming Priestess Creations. She shares her life with her partner, Stephanie, five cats, and two guinea pigs.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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.

One of the things I love about working with Kris Waldherr's Goddess Inspiration Oracle is that she includes Goddesses from many cultures, including nonWestern and indigenous ones. This deck has really expanded my awareness of different Goddesses, and I always smile when one I haven't pulled before comes up. (And though I've been working with the cards for nearly three years, I still have new ones come up!)

So I smiled when Benzai-ten, Japanese Goddess of Talents, came into my life for this week. And I chuckled when I saw her message, which is

"Your talents can bring you wealth.

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  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Thanks so much for reading! Benzai-ten came for me at just the right time, too! I'm delighted to have you exploring her message wi
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Great questions and great timing with this post. I really needed to read this. Thank you Susan!

It's been one of those weeks where it's been a little hard to see my blessings, and all to easy to see my roadblocks. I'm participating in a community on Facebook where we post three things that we are grateful for each day, and it's helping me to stay focused on all the wonderful things in my life -- even when it seems all I can see are the setbacks and the "what ifs." So I chuckled a little when Changing Woman, The Navajo Goddess of the Corn, came dancing into my life tonight.

b2ap3_thumbnail_estsanatlehi-kris-waldherr.jpg

Changing Woman by Kris Waldherr

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I've spent much of the last month engrossed in Reverend Lauren Artress's Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as Spiritual Practice, about the labyrinth as spiritual movement and spiritual practice. I've been walking the labyrinth since 1998, and within the last few months I've taken what has been a deeply personal practice and begun sharing it with the Women's Spirituality here in Dallas-Fort Worth, through monthly labyrinth walks at some of the public labyrinths in the Metroplex. Artress writes movingly of the Holy Spirit as feminine, and of the way in which the labyrinth helps us reconnect with the Divine Feminine.

So it seems wholly fitting that my Goddess for this week is Sophia -- the spirit of Feminine Wisdom within the Christian tradition.

Sophia asks us to listen to the wisdom of our souls this week.

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Apparently the Egyptian Goddesses are trying to get my attention these days.

This week brings us the lovely frog goddess Heqet, whose message is:

"Fertility surrounds you in numerous forms. Open your eyes."

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

It seems somehow appropriate that Isis is my Goddess for the week....

 

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The last few months have been very full -- full of activism around women's reproductive rights here in Texas and nationwide, full of disappointments at the losses and joys at the (few) wins, full of workshops and letter writing and organizing. Full, in short, of the "Feminist" part of my path, but lighter on the "Witchcraft" than I might have liked.

The new year has found me trying to remedy that, by building women's spiritual community here in Dallas/Fort Worth, by launching a new networking initiative called North Texas Nature Spirit and re-launching my Tarot blog, Dakotawitch Divines. My practice is going through some changes as I transition out of old roles and groups, facilitate and join others, develop new practices, and return to those that I have allowed to languish. I hope and plan to share all this will you in the coming months, and to grow in my path through that sharing!

One practice I've been returning to is that of drawing a Goddess Inspiration card for each week, from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr. I love this deck so much that I will be sharing my weekly draws with you all, and inviting you to learn from the Goddesses along with me! Keep an eye on this space on Monday, March 3 for your first dose of Goddess wisdom. I hope you'll learn and grow with me this spring!

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    xxx
  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Thank you for stopping by! Reading your work is one of the things that brought me to Feminist Craft, and to the decision to stud
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Love your post, I too am a Goddess feminist, to me they two belong together. Looking forward to your upcoming blogs.

Here in the Deep South, it's been a rough few months for women's health. The passage of a draconian anti-abortion law -- despite the courageous efforts of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis and her allies -- has led to the closing of several women's health clinics, and will lead to the closing of many more. In Arkansas, one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country was signed over the summer, banning the procedure in most instances later than 6 weeks. At no other time in American history since Roe v. Wade have women's reproductive rights been so under attack.

A large portion of the work I do as a Feminist Witch centers on securing social justice for women, including the right to bodily autonomy and self-determination. I see my pro-choice politics as a logical extension of my spirituality. Part of what draws me to Feminist Craft is the idea of empowerment through ritual and magick, and my feminist politics hold that we can never be truly empowered until we have control over our fertility -- from having the ability to prevent or terminate a pregnancy, up to and including the ability to make our own choices about how, when and whether we will birth and raise children. Although I am committedly child-free, I am passionate about reproductive justice for all -- not just choice but justice in terms of access to resources that allow us to make choices.

October marks an annual campaign called 40 Days of Prayer to End Abortion, led by many conservative Christian groups. These groups hold prayer circles in their homes and outside women's health clinics and pray for an end to abortion. Pro-choice Christian groups have formed a counter campaign, 40 Days of Prayer to Keep Abortion Legal. Given the number of pro-choice Pagans out there, I have launched my own event this year: 40 Days of Ritual to Keep Abortion Legal.

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  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Thank you, Paola. Jia, I think that's a question that each person who considers terminating a pregnancy has to consider for thems
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Since it seems that Jia has confused us when commenting I wanted to take a moment to applaud your response Susan. It's sad to me t
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    I support your work! I have liked your page as my own page "Goddess Spiral Health Coaching" and also made a post today to share ab

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Admittedly, most of the time, when someone refers to me as a feminist, the word they follow it up with is not “Witch” (though the word they choose does rhyme with Witch). In fact, I find that people are somewhat confused when I refer to myself as a “Feminist Witch.” This confusion is probably best summed up in the question I got from a young woman in a college class I had been speaking to about Witchcraft and Paganism. Her voice full of sincerity and clear perplexity, she asked, “So you're a feminist? What's the difference between you and a man-hater?”

Well then. I guess that's better than the “What's the difference between you and a Satanist?” bit I usually get at these public lectures, I thought to myself. Then I took a deep breath and gave her my standard answer: “Feminism is the radical idea that women are people. Feminism is the idea that there is no such thing as a lesser person, and that all people deserve dignity and equality, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, class, or anything else.”

She didn't look convinced.

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  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    Couldn't have said any of this better myself; in fact, you expressed it far better than I could have. Thank you for bringing this
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Its good to hear that young women in college today have so much wisdom.
  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    I just love how every time a woman self-identifies as a feminist, that has to be quantified with "but I'm not a man-hater, honest!

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