SageWoman Blogs


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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.

We’ve already explored why we pass the rattle during a women’s circle, but what about how to make your own rattle…

Why use a gourd?

July 2015 036

Gourds are natural musical instruments that have more than 10,000 years of history, spanning multiple continents and uncountable cultures. Evidence from the Smithsonian is that gourds were the first domesticated crop ever grown in the Americas, probably cultivated by women as water containers. The origination of the gourds still grown today is in Africa, where seeds were then transported to Asia and then from Asia to the Americas by Paleoindian peoples who crossed the Bering Strait and originally colonized the Americas. I was curious to know if gourds have any specific association with ancient goddess traditions in addition to their association with modern-day women’s spirituality, but I have not been able to find specific information on the subject. However, I was inspired to read this small paragraph, suggesting that gourds represent the womb of the Earth Mother herself and that using them to create rattles, creates “intentional womb prayer vessels.”

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May the circle never be broken  hands
May the earth always be whole
May the rattle ever be shaken
May the goddess live in our souls.

Shekhinah Mountainwater, Ariadne’s Thread

Why pass the rattle at a women’s circle*?

Passing the rattle gives each woman in the circle an equal voice and an equal opportunity to be heard. The woman who has the rattle, has the “floor” and the other women in the circle give her their full attention. In spontaneous or non-organized groups of friends, we are all aware that not everyone experiences an equal opportunity to be heard. This can be due to personality type and preference as well as to simple logistics (such as presence of one’s children), but also due to people with larger voices or presences dominating the setting and the verbal landscape. In hierarchical and patriarchal settings, individual women’s voices may be actively silenced, oppressed, or dominated.

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Wake up calls for spring

In Pagan traditions, we tend to associate the winter with letting go of the old, and the spring with the coming of the new – it’s a tree based way of viewing things. Leaves fall off in the autumn, so we let go. New buds emerge in the spring, sap rises, catkins flower – we can make new plans.

However, there’s a longstanding tradition of spring cleaning, and it’s not just humans who do it. The return of the light shows up grime and cobwebs accumulated over the winter. With spring, it may at last be warm enough to open windows and air rooms. Other mammals will be clearing out the winter bedding to make fresh nests for new litters of young as well. New nests are built and old ones carefully refurbished.

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Teaching Hard Lessons

In homeschooling and parenting, some of the most difficult lessons to teach our children are those we struggle with ourselves.

For me, I've conquered some of my biggest struggles: I learned to ask for help, I learned to stop beating myself up for small mistakes, and I learned how to make sure I work on self-care.  But there are other lessons I still wrestle with, and even more I have yet to even recognize.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for this tender wisdom.
  • Raven J. Demers
    Raven J. Demers says #
    Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the kind comment. Be well!
The Wheel of the Year, a spiritual touchstone.

When I first began my Priestess training, forming a personal relationship with the wheel of the year: the four major elements, their corresponding season and corresponding Goddess archetype, is what lit me up and inspired a new way of being in the world for me.

 

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Return to the Land of Your Soul

“Return again, return again, return to the Land of Your Soul.” 

 

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The Marketplace Is Sacred

 The following is adapted from my new book A Sacred Marketplace: Sell without Selling Out or Burning Out. Mysticism + Marketing = Sales.

The marketplace is sacred. It is where community gathers. 

I love the world of spirit. I am happy in it. I am also incredibly happy in the marketplace. It is where I get to share from my heart and soul. It is where I get to connect with other humans.

The marketplace is sacred. I am almost in tears as I write this because I am so deeply moved when I work with my students: When we are working together, we are in the real. We are discussing our actual lives, true feelings, soulful dreams, honest needs, terrible doubts, night-sweating terrors, dizzying triumphs, and more.

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