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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.

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Taking Time to Be

     The world outside is covered with softly drifting snow, nearly two feet deep in places. There is a hush in the air, roads empty, storefronts dark. Lady Winter has us in Her icy grip, and it feels as though She will continue to hold us for ages to come. And yet, I saw a robin yesterday.

     As I drove around attending last minute birthday/Super Bowl party tasks, I caught sight of a small brown form flitting over a snow-covered cornfield. My heart leapt as I spied that plump gentleman's crimson waistcoat, so bright against the gray February sky. What joy to see that feathered harbinger of Spring, and on Imbolc eve, no less. It seemed an auspicious omen.

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Weaving Brigid's Magic

Beannachtaí Féile Imbolg! Beannachtaí Féile Bríde. Blessings of Imbolc! Blessings of Brigid's Feast! At Imbolc we are at the crossroads of the winter, six weeks past winter solstice, six weeks until spring equinox. 

The first days of February have been clear, frosty, but the sun has such a seductive heat in Ireland even in February. They say that weather like this augurs more cold, as the Cailleach is yet to release a vice-like grip on the land.  If it had been overcast and mild then the springtime was come.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Congrats on the book, keep taking those deep breaths, LOL! Just finished leading a public Brid ritual, a few minutes ago. At one
  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith says #
    I love that snow pile smile from Spirit/Brigid. One of the other things I did for Brigid yesterday was to visit some St. Brigid's
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Oh my goodness, yes, I see how that could be a visit from the Lady. Very special. Thank you for sharing that special moment with m

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Planting the seeds

I’ve planted seeds in ritual, at Imbolc before now. Of course if you wanted bulbs, those had to be in ground weeks, if not months ago. There are many things too delicate to put in the soil at this time of year – leafy salad plants and other exotica from warmer climes won’t tolerate the tail end of winter on the UK. There are still heavy frosts, and many plants can’t bear them. Some things won’t be planted until much later in the spring.

In life, as in agriculture when you plant may well depend a lot on what you are planting and when you hope to harvest it. Many projects take years to come to fruition. As an author I find I’m usually seeing the fruits of things I wrote months ago... this February, it’ll be seeds from years back that finally send up shoots. The third volume of Hopeless Maine (that’s the book cover adorning this post) comes out as a webcomic at www.hopelessmaine.com while a book I wrote years ago – Fast food at the centre of the world, finally comes to life as an audio series at www.nerdbong.com. Often we plant things with no idea of whether they will grow, much less when.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2015-01-15-at-11.11.42-AM.pngShe giggles!
     “Knock Knock.”
          “Who’s there?
               “Change.”
                    “Change Who?
“Well, that’s always the question, isn’t it?”

    The NEW ONES are stirring. Feel the vibration of Nature in February. Every-thing in potential, teeming underground, sap rising, hibernation ending. It can be hard to believe, sometimes, that change will come. Imbolc is Her promise.
     As Above (the Equator):Imbolc/Candlemas is the day to honor the Goddess Brigit of Ireland, powerful in the success of Her worshippers’ adaptation. Her sacred flame was kept burning by priestesses, then by nuns, into the 16th century, and relit at Kildare in 1993. It is burning there tonight. Celebrants light every lamp in the home, build fires high, keep one candle burning, mindfully, all night long.
     So Below (the Equator): In Brazil, on February 2nd, a day now consecrated to “Our Lady of Seafaring,” thousands of Candomble practitioners gather on the beaches at dawn, sending flower offerings out to sea for “The Queen of the Ocean,” the Goddess Yemanja, deity of fisher-people and shipwreck survivors, the female principle of creation, and the spirit of moonlight.
     Greetings Imbolc! Blessings Candlemas! Offerings to the Sea!
Carolyn Myers © Mother Tongue Ink 2014

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February

Imbolg also known as Candlemas – Feb 2nd

b2ap3_thumbnail_February.png


 
As I wonder along the quiet country lane on a crisp winter’s morning, a smile begins to spread across my face. A bright beam of sunlight strikes the hedgerow awakening the sleepy flora and fauna and I know the darkness of winter is behind us.

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One Imbolc, former pagan blogger Teo Bishop wrote about creating community poetry for use in liturgy based on the starting line, "I keep vigil to the fire in my heart." As someone who frequently experiences spontaneous poetry in the sacred spot in the woods behind my house, an experience I refer to as theapoetics, I was instantly captivated by this idea. Imbolc has a natural connection to the cycles of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding and the fire in my own heart burns brightly for these pivotal life experiences. So, I went down to the woods, opened my mouth and this is what emerged…

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Mercury Retrograding with a Toddler
Here we are, in the midst of another Mercury Retrograde. 
 
Being a Priestess of Grace my daily aim is to follow the path of Grace, not only do I follow where Grace leads I allow Her presence to infuse my life. When Grace is invited in karma is dissolved and 'worldly' powers have no effect on us, the caveat here is that we need to be aligned so deep in the Grace that it overcomes our conditioning or the strength of the pulls of this realm. I know at my truest core, that in the face of the One Divine One Mercury Retrograde has no power.
 
However.....
 
I'm pretty human and I feel Lady Mercury and her coyote spirit so strongly every time! I purposefully do not look up retrogrades in an attempt to further deepen my fall into Grace, the idea being that "thoughts held in mind produce in their own kind," and not knowing will keep me aligned with Grace and out of the effects of the retrograde, that little trick has not worked as of yet as I still find myself at a loss for words, riled up, impatient and frustrated that what I'm trying to say is not coming out clearly during each Mercury Retrograde that rolls around. Sure enough I check my Moon calendar and there we are in  the midst of another Mercury Retrograde.
 
The beauty of Feminine Mysticism, is that it acknowledges the One Power while also finding the Divine in the human realm and all of the tides, cycles and rhythms that occur to us while embodied. I have found that the gift within the Mercury Retrogrades that I experience is in the pause, the pausing to think a little bit harder before I speak, to contemplate a little more mindfully before I act and to breathe a little bit deeper when it takes me 30 minutes to register for a new Wordpresss site, still breathhhhiiiinnngg over that one.
 
This particular retrograde that we are in has been tempting me to get pretty prickly, besides my general Mercury Retrograde struggle to push at keeping life moving smoothly and at a pace that is comfortable for me while stumbling over words (something pretty foreign to this write-a-holic) I found myself at a loss for patience and perseverance in my gentle approach with my toddler Maiden who happens to be going through a developmental leap and teething at the same time that Mercury is retrograde...coincidence? I think not.
 
Being a Priestess is magical, it is inspiring, uplifting, magnificent. It is also earthy, human and common. A Priestess is the bridge between both the Otherworld and the here and now, and in my here and now Mothering a one and a half year old Maiden takes up a good chunk of my practice.
 
The first 48 hours of this retrograde her and I butted heads, I snapped, which is unusual towards her, I was edgy, impatient and temperamental, she just pushed harder, experimenting with hitting, screeching, demanding 'milk, milk, milk' which means breasts out, sitting down and taking a break to breast feed her while I seethed inside trying to rush the process so that I could get back to what I needed to be doing.
 
By the end of the 48 hours, after a snotty nosed melt down and a nap on Mom I was spent, I knew that I was veering way off my Mother Goddess mark and I took some time to re-evaluate. Not only was I going through another Mercury Retrograde, my sweet little, still-incarnating soul of a daughter was too. I began to empathise with her, still learning how to communicate in this realm, no longer able to desire and instantly manifest like in the one that she has just left behind, trying to learn our language, our societal norms, how to navigate the spectrum of emotions and moods that course through her and me and her father and the world at large and then boom, this cosmic halt on all things smooth insofar as communication goes comes waltzing into our lives. I looked down at her tear stained sleeping face and just felt the weight of this world on her little shoulders, and I just wanted to wrap her up and hold her close, forever, or at least until this retrograde is finished.
 
This is where my Motherhood began to feed my Priestess path this month. For years now, I have navigated how to flow through retrogrades with as much ease as possible, this month it became about navigating myself and another, as within so without was never so true until my daughter arrived.
 
What I began to do was to use less words, always a plus with toddlers, but an exaggerated amount less, I sang more, I hugged more, I counted slowly 1....2.....3.....ahhhh haaaa over and over again, I danced, I coloured, I came into myself and relied less on the spoken word and more on the language of the heart. My daughter and I have thrived since this shift, our bond is supernatural again, when we struggle to express ourselves we pause, we hug (she initiates sometimes even!) and we slow down. Our 20 minute walk to the store the other day took us an hour and we had never been so happy.
 
When I began my journey of the Priestesshood I was inspired by the magic I was beginning to conjure, the inspiration and the connection to the cosmos, I tried to brush off the number of sages, teachers, books and confidantes who had told me that in order to be in the state I was seeking I needed to become willing to be fully human. And then I became a Mother and found that life has never been so ripe with magic as coming fully down into it. I found in my Priestesshood the sacred centre of Gaia and Heaven and in that centre I have discovered that Heaven speaks to me through my life on Gaia. Since my transition into Motherhood my Maiden has reflected back to me the spaces that I have lagged in my spiritual practice, she is the Divine reflection of what was justified away coming up to be addressed. Being spicy isn't an excuse for impatience when there is a little Lamb looking up at me with watery sapphire eyes ready to emulate my response to life disappointing me in the moments that I am tempted to loose my temper. Flying off the handle and yelling at my Beloved because I'm a wild feminine Oceanic expression of the Goddess doesn't cut it when my daughter's whole concept of God is my sweet husband for now, may she never believe that the Goddess should destroy the God because of her femininity. And ignoring my need to be where I'm at, sensitive to Mercury Retrograde, and push ahead bullheaded and insistent that I be heard as I forcefully try to explain myself 'one more time', doesn't cut it when my little girl begins hitting and screeching because she isn't being heard and to because to be honest life is like one big Mercury Retrograde for her at this age.
 
I bow down to my life on Gaia and give reverent thanks for the lessons I am afforded. I shudder in embarrassment at the arrogant insistence I had that life be more magical, less earthy, and more deep than other people's in order for me to justify my existence on it. And I breathe as I reflect during this retrograde, finally stopping to follow the lead of this spiral path and learning from the moment that we are in.
 
I look forward to guiding my daughter as she ages, teaching her about astrology, the occult, retrogrades, moon phases, red tents, all of the juicy aspects of life that have lit me up. I'm also prepared to learn how to play basketball, study biology, listen to her fascination in mathematics, or any other number of interests she may decide are inspiring to her, despite how lost I feel in those subjects. Her emerging self will reveal to me how to best Mother her as she grows. But for now, until she tells me otherwise, she has a Priestess as a Mother and I will follow my path to support and love her in the best way that I can, and today that means slowing down, getting quiet, reflecting and listening deeper while closing my mouth.
 
I will listen to Mercury Retrograde, I will listen to the reflections that my loved ones shine upon me and I will listen to my gut, my inner wombspace of wisdom and I will allow myself to grow and to learn in the uncomfortable spaces. As I learn to do this for myself and to support my daughter in being held through her first experiences with frustration and impatience I become better equipped to take my Mother presence, the space within me that expresses the Mother Goddess, into the world to nurture, hold space and unconditionally love all of the children, both small and grown, as we flow to the best of our ability along the spiral path of the Goddess.
 
Blessed Be Mercury Retrograde and all my relations.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 
image taken from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ea/75/94/ea75941e1f563820c683cb08a5c7bd3d.jpg
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