This is day three of an ongoing week-long challenge to seek joy. The beginning can be found here. I am sharing day three here because it involves a very simple, often overlooked, type of magic. All you need are Tarot cards, paper, pen, a magnet and a fridge.
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Earth ripples alive in her golden skin as wheat ripens under summer sun, pulses to fullness fattened by rain and wild airs. Bronze rods of barley brushed by the weather, shimmer in fields of light as Corn Mother moves amongst us. Her fertile body is swollen with grain, sheaf after sheaf—enough to bring bread to the whole planet, even to famine, if we work with the climate, tend our fields as holy places, share with those who lack as an act of Compassion. Her belly is big with promise, with miracles, wonders, but our shadows stretch long on the harvest acres as we eat up the land. At the heart of the Eleusinian mysteries lay a single grain of wheat—sun-energy so small, holding the future. Women everywhere engage with the sacred alchemy of making bread: grain, water, fire, to feed their families and those who are in need. Loaves and flatbreads, chapattis, sour rye unite us in simple ritual: May we break bread in peace with all nations, in the name of Goddess.
Rose Flint © Mother Tongue Ink 2013...
There's something immensely powerful in women baring our bellies.
Quoted in The Woman's Belly Book, a woman describes what would happen when her daughter, as a toddler, met someone for the first time: She'd lift her shirt up and show them her belly.
Here's an adult, and global, example. "Get Your Belly Out" is a worldwide campaign that four women in the UK have launched to raise awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn's disease, and colitis — all ways of naming the belly's deep distress. Using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, supporters are posting photos of their bellies bared. They're also donating to research that will generate a cure for these gut-wrenching diseases.
I love how bellies bared for the camera make such an impact. They're saying: "Here I am, you can't ignore me now." When women bare bellies in a joint enterprise, the message is: "Here we are, you can't ignore us now."
Over the last few weeks, and not for the first time, I have found myself weeping at the news. There is so much horror in the world. We are left as helpless witnesses to the atrocities of the few wreaking destruction on the many- innocent children, men and women- with little hope of being able to make a real difference. While so many of us are losing faith in our political and other power structures, our awareness of each others perils and tragedies is greater than ever before. What is there to be done? When it comes to the wars and violence that rage over our planet, large and small, ( though is any act of violence ever small?) I no longer care about the arguments, ideaologies, histories, the endless tit for tat- I, like so many others just want the violence to end.
It is time we had a sea change, and moved beyond this endless cycle. Children are dying. If we are spiritual people, then it is our children out there. We are not removed by our physical distance. Our future is growing up in bomb shelters, and refugee camps, starving, traumatized, and without hope. We are slaying our innocence, our future, even by doing nothing. There is no excuse....
The summer issue of the progressive spiritual-political magazineTikkun includes feature essays on the topic "Thinking Anew about God" which should be of interest to PaganSquare readers. The editor of the journal suggested to contributors that though many thoughtful people have rejected the (dominant male) God out there who is in control of the world, these same people often are not aware of new ways to thinking about divinity. All of the contributors respond to the challenge to imagine and conceptualize divinity in new ways. Though most of them are not pagan, I suspect that aspects of some of their views will resonate with every reader of this blog.
Jewish feminist Judith Plaskow and I contributed a jointly written essay. In it, I speak of Goddess as a personal presence who loves and understands the world and whose power is power-with not power-over. Judith speaks of God as a power of creativity that is the ground of both good and evil.
The Table of Contents provides a glimpse of the exciting new ideas about Goddess and God discussed in the issue.
Ellen Dugan's Witches Tarot has become my go to deck and that is a special privilege in my deck collection. I wasn't sure anything could top the connection I made with my Steampunk deck but then the Witches Tarot called to me in a dream (I kid you not) and now it is the deck at the top of my pile. This is a deck I flirted with for awhile before it showed up in my dream. I made googly eyes at it on Amazon and even drooled over the images on facebook but I had not committed to buying it.
Then it happened, it came to me in my dream time. Yes this deck is that powerful, it will communicate to you while you sleep. I dreamed of the cards and each one spoke to me, literally, it was a dream what can I say! The images imprinted themselves on my mind so when I work up I had no choice but to ring my local Pagan Store, Well of the Moon and ask them if they had the Witches Tarot in stock. Of course they did, right!
Over the last month, I have been listening to a wonderful telesummit about priestesses. I am also a huge fan of the radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine. However, as I listen to both, I sometimes find myself wondering if walking a Goddess path is also viewed as synonymous with, "believe everything, question nothing." Crystal essences, gemstone healing, soul contracts, past lives, spirit guides, astrology, the many realms and dimensions of the occult, mystical, New Age and metaphysical. Is wholesale suspension of logic required to join hands with the Goddess? Is deft management of the tarot essential to the priestess path? Must I ascribe to "enlightened" tenets like, "you are not your body," "I am a spiritual being having a spiritual experience" and "we made an agreement to do this work before we showed up in this body at this time and place" in order to move forward?
I sat at my home altar this afternoon holding an amethyst in one hand and a priestess sculpture in the other feeling entirely too practical and realistic. I looked out my window at the precious trees, the scratching chickens, the drooping flowers, and the dry, dry relentless dust of summer and some answers drifted to my mind: