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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 subscribe today 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.

Why I Still Need "Why Women Need the Goddess"

When I was a young woman in my early 20s, newly on a Pagan path, someone -- I no longer remember who -- put in my hands a copy of WomanSpirit Rising, edited by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow. I had discovered Goddess-centered Craft a year or so before, when I attended a Spring Equinox celebration and was slightly confused (and then elated) when no male Godhead was invoked. The idea of an explicitly feminist, overtly political, Goddess-centered spirituality excited me -- a young activist who was really coming into her own political consciousness and who had begun to heal the deep wounds left by a childhood spent in the Church of Christ, with its punishing Father God. 

Each essay in WomanSpirit Rising stirred me, but thenI got to Carol P. Christ's "Why Women Need the Goddess," and I read the words

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks Susan. It is amazing how many people's lives have been changed by that little essay.
Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Ajysit

Among the Yakut people of Siberia, Ajysit is known as the Comforting Mother Goddess of Childbirth and Fate. It is she who guides children into the world through the process of birth, who comforts and assists with labor and birth, and who writes down the name of each newly born child in her Golden Book of Fate. It is said that calling out to Ajysit helps to ease the pain of labor contractions. She is also said to bless breastmilk so that it will be nourishing to the newly born.

While I have never had children of my own body and do not plan to, I spend a good deal of my time surrounded by midwives, doulas, and other birth professionals. (I joke that I spend a lot of time with a lot of people who spend a lot of time looking at other people's vaginas in a professional context, but I digress.) In working with, worshiping with, and simply knowing and loving people whose primary job it is to support labor and birth, I've come to believe that there are many times in our lives when we need a midwife -- not just when we are birthing a human child. In fact, one of my dear midwife friends calls me a "storycatcher" -- as she said once, "You know how I catch babies? You catch stories. You stay with people while they labor to get their stories out, and make it safe for them to birth them into the world." And so I do my own type of midwifery as a priestess, helping people, especially women, birth themselves into being. 

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“What do you know of the negative associations with the word Witch? How do you feel about the fact b2ap3_thumbnail_January-2016-153.JPGthat so many witches were persecuted and burned in medieval times? Would you like to see witches and Goddess-religion made acceptable in today’s society?”

–Shekhinah Mountainwater, Ariadne’s Thread

While perhaps the answers to these questions seem very obvious when posted to a blog on a forum called Witches and Pagans, to many women interested in women's circles and Red Tents they are significant ones. And, they are very relevant to priestesses like me who work with the general public, rather than specifically pagan-identified groups, for Red Tent Circles and other gatherings. It is important to turn over and acknowledge the ways in which the word "witch" can be used to oppress people or to stifle their curiosity and personal expression as well as even prevent involvement with the work you offer.

This year I began a small study group using the book Ariadne’s Thread. I’ve wanted to work through this book with a group of women for years and it finally is working out to do so. One of the topics of our first meeting is the fear many women have of the word “witch.” This comes up in the Red Tent and Practical Priestessing classes I teach also. Indeed, when I plan Red Tent events, though I do use goddess imagery and I am extremely goddess-oriented in my personal spirituality, I am careful not to include the word “goddess” in the chants or rituals, because I want to make sure to speak to the womanspirit within all of us, rather than being associated with any one framework of belief. Red Tent spaces have the ability to transcend any particular belief system and welcome women of many backgrounds, inclinations, and beliefs. They aren’t specifically “Goddess circles,” though they honor the divine feminine through their very being.

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Foremothers of the Women's Spirituality Movement: A Review by a Younger Feminist

by Kate Brunner

I sometimes feel as though I live caught between feminism's assorted waves. I am too young to have experienced the rise & crest of the Second Wave. I only just began to learn there was an actual -ism type name for this collection of thoughts, desires, feelings, & beliefs shaping themselves within me during my adolescent years as the Second Wave was decidedly ebbing.

Coming into my own as a very young adult, I found the rising Third Wave frustrating, though. Arguments over even using the word "feminist" to begin with exhausted me and it seemed like there was more debate raging about what was or was not feminism than there was meaningful change-agent action in the world around me.

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Full Moon in Scorpio: Great! Another F*cking Opportunity for Personal Growth!

It's been an intense week as the Scorpio Moon approaches, Beltaine is in the air, and seemingly all the planets (well, ok, just four, but Mercury's warming up to do his own tap dance next week) doing the backwards boogie of retrograde. Saturn, the King of Karma, has been dancing backwards for a few weeks, bringing to light all sorts of things that we thought were long ago dead and buried. Mars retrograde has many of us feeling extra combative and raw. The Scorpio Moon asks to us focus unwaveringly on our target, our object of desire, and through that focus, draw our desires to us. And the Sun moving into steady Taurus means we may be torn between the known, the status quo, and all that which we truly desire even it obtaining it means shaking our world to its foundations.

As a former therapist of mine once said, Oh great. Another fucking opportunity for personal growth. Or, to put perhaps a more positive spin on it, What an opportunity to really heal some old shit.

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  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad I add a little laughter and magick to your Full Moon!
  • Natalie Zaman
    Natalie Zaman says #
    Brilliant. And you made me laugh too which was much needed today. I'm printing this out so I can write out my answers... thanks an

Reading the recently released papal letter “The Joy of Love,” I was surprised to see that it opens a “new” discussion of marriage and the family with a very old patriarchal trope from Psalm 128:

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,

who walks in his ways!

You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands;

you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house . . . (see ch. 1, pp. 7-8)

Notwithstanding the “inclusive language” translating the male generic in Hebrew as “one,” there is no way around the fact that this psalm is addressed by a male God to men. It compares women to property owned and tended by men. Nor does it provide any opening to consider the blessings of same sex marriage.

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Tarot Spreads with Barbara Moore in Review

Every so often a book comes along that just grabs your attention. Barbara Moore's Tarot Spreads – Layouts & Techniques to Empower your readings, is one of those books. Though, full disclosure, it didn't initially reel me in. I bought this not long after it came out. I immediately sought out the 3 card spreads, which are my personal favorite type of spreads and found a whole section dedicated to them. Then I got busy and put the book away.

It happens, right?

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