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Here in the SageWoman section of PaganSquare, our bloggers represent the multi-faceted expressions of the Goddess, feminist, and women's spirituality movements.
While writing up my notes on an "Ethical Leadership" presentation for our next weekend of Druid College, I've mused over issues regarding power and working with others. Unless you are a solitary hermit, you will have to work with others. There will be a barrage of egos, wounded or whole, with which to interact. Fragile or strong, dealing with other human beings is not necessarily the easiest of tasks. Even though we may speak the same language, we might not be able to communicate with them at all, whereas we may not speak "cat", but can understand what a cat is trying to tell us. When working with others, we have to let go of notions of "power over", as activist and author Starhawk has written about, and instead work on "power with". In her book, Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority and Mystery, she distinguishes three types of power: “power-over,” referring to domination and control; “power-from-within,” meaning personal ability and spiritual integrity; and “power-with,” pertaining to social power or influence among equals.
Power-over is all about control. It is firmly rooted in a wounded ego, that seeks to dominate another in order to feel better. For whatever reason, and there are many, many reasons why people behave the way they do, this seems to be the standard view of power in the Western world. In our capitalist society, in our dog-eat-dog world, we seek power-over another in order to get our way. What we need to desperately do is extract ourselves from this way of thinking, and into a more holistic view where we are not only looking to benefit ourselves, but to benefit the whole, the entirety.
We are a circle
within a circle
with no beginning
and never ending...
(We are a Circle)
The second advent candle is lit. The theme is Peace. The element is Fire. Passion. Warmth. Nourishment. Light. Creativity. May we stoke our passions mindfully and keep the fires of our spirits burning....
For those of us who live in landscapes with deciduous trees, winter creates opportunities to appreciate them in different ways from summer. The loss of leaves means that tree shapes become truly visible. This is especially true of field trees, whose solitary positions make them easier to appreciate. Field trees have much rounder forms than their woodland counterparts, but in the woods, winter reveals the patterns of branches and the sky above.
Trunks and bark become more visible in the winter – and there’s such an array of textures, subtle colours and surfaces. Fungi on trees are more present at this time of year, and resident moss and lichen is easier to spot. I’ve blogged over at Druid Life about my favourite winter tree exposure....
My journey on the Path of She began thirty years ago.
At this time, I was in my mid-twenties, totally lost in the mainstream culture, with a business degree and a promising career in a blue chip company, living a material, achievement-driven life that neither fed my soul nor gave me joy.
Then one fateful night, on a Winter Solstice eve, the Goddess came to me in a dream. Though I wouldn’t remember this dream until many years later, my life was set on a new course.
Water, you are the origin of life, the blood of the Earth, the greatest portion of our very bodies. Water, you flow gently to quench and sooth, and rage in torrents to cleanse and reshape. Water, you protected us in the womb, and are a daily necessity throughout our lives. Water, you circulate through air and earth connecting all things to all things. Water you are life, may we be your protectors.
Tonight's New Moon is in Sagittarius. Archer energy is always fun -- Sagittarius, while the philosopher's sign, is also always up for anything. As a Sag myself, I often say my philosophy of life is, "What? I'm too busy dancing!" When the New Moon is in Sagittarius, we're invited to look at our Shadow side and discover what spark of light we can generate or find to illuminate the darkness. Coming as it does in the darkening days before Winter Solstice, the Sagittarius New Moon also reminds us that there is always dawning after the night, and also that night will inevitably follow day. We need to ride the tides of this cycle, trusting that all darkness will eventually be dispelled by light -- even if it means that darkness must come again eventually.
The focus this new moon is on relationships -- with each other, with the world, with our communities, and with ourselves. Awakenings happening to us and around us as well -- some of these are painful, some are jarring, but all are necessary. There is a sense that the world is waking up from a long sleep, or shaking itself out of complacency....