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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.

She's About More Than Dancing Naked Under the Moon: Goddess Offers A New Path Forward

You are not alone if you believe domination and authoritarian patriarchy are destroying countless lives and our planet.  There is a more sustainable alternative and it's not new.  In fact it's ancient. Exiled for a time, but making a return, the Sacred Feminine has become indelibly integrated into our lives, reminding humanity during this time of crisis that the ideals of the Great She offer a pathway to secure a more sustainable future.   As people lose faith in organized religion, as the paradigm of power shifts across the globe, as climate change quickly approaches a point of no return, people are leading using their divine intelligence gleaned from Goddess teachings to find solutions and sanctuary. They're listening to their consciences, heart wisdom, and intuition to manifest a new normal.  They're practicing partnership, generosity, and compassion to establish a new way of being.  They're tapping into their empathy and morality as they hit the reset button. We are witnessing this awakening across the globe as people from all walks of life and cultures turn to Goddess, deity, archetype and ideal, to evolve from the malignant chaos we face today.

Maybe this comes as a surprise to you.  Your recollection of Goddesses are from middle school as you read about Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty or Hera, the petulant wife of Zeus, always angry as she chased after her philandering husband.  Well, those patriarchal versions of those myths were hardly reflective of these powerful and empowering deities and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine.  Unfortunately as Goddess and her ideals were swept beneath the rug, so were her ideals of nurturing, caring, sharing, and concern for the common good.  Over time, egalitarian societies of peace and partnership inspired by Goddess were over-run by war-like tribes who revered war gods.  You see, our mythology shapes our culture and if we have male deities, then we have male leadership and we've seen the more exploitative and dominating type of authority and leadership can bring.  Research will tell us that in many cultures where the Divine Feminine was at the center of the lives of her people, a more balanced and peaceful society was the norm.

But how is that relevant to me today you might ask?  Well you can connect the dots between losing a feminine face of god and pay inequity for women.  Without Goddess we have patriarchal religions where women are brainwashed to believe they're second class citizens and are meant to submit to their husbands and often never lead an authentic life or reach their fullest potential.  We have men and some States telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.  Women suffer female genital mutilation, are subject to arranged weddings, are forced in some cases to wear burkas against their will.  I'm sure you can think of other forms of oppression women suffer all across the globe and right here in the United States.

But you shouldn't think patriarchy has only been corrosive or destructive to women.  There is a direct connection between societies who oppress or exploit women and the destruction of the planet and the species on it.  And men are also prevented from being their authentic and whole selves under patriarchy as men strive to live their lives according to man-made dogma or rules determined by religion or society.  Take for instance the fella who is more inclined to be a painter or author and finds it pretty boring going to tailgate parties.  He suffers mercilessly at the hands of the other guys who think he's weak or too feminine.  Or think of the woman who is childless by choice.  She must answer endless questions about why she prefers not to be a mother.

Suffice it to say, the Sacred Feminine, deity, archetype and ideal, provides a pathway forward for a more whole, healthy and sustainable future for the most of us, and we're seeing folks embrace her ideals in many walks of life.  Turn on the news and we can witness this paradigm shift in politics as Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign calls for ideas that reflect the need for policy that benefit the "we and the us" rather than the "I and the me" - or as we might say the 1% versus the 99%.  He makes a convincing case we can have a future with the promise of a better world where all our boats float and we are no longer subject to the domination and exploitation of predator capitalism and corporations run amok taking advantage of employees and denying them benefits enjoyed by workers in countries around the globe.  Greed and exploitation are not the way of the Sacred Feminine.  Instead, generosity, compassion and partnership are hallmarks of belief for advocates of the Great She.

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Washing the Greenman

March brought us a windstorm large enough to knock out our power, rain on the Equinox for the community egg hunt, and a whole host of viruses, which circulated around our family.  The last two weeks, we fought through sickness to be productive, both in the home and garden, clearing away the old, and making room for the new.

 
One part of our garden gone long-neglected was an old terra cotta Greenman, hung on the house by the previous gardener over a decade before.
 
I might have brushed away cobwebs once, but I think it kept slipping my mind over the more pressing and practical issues of digging, weeding, building, and so on.  But after nine years of living in the woods, and about five attempting to make a productive garden out of some of it, I turned and looked hard at the Greenman and understood.
 
After tilling and digging and building this weekend, I went back outside at dusk, took him down off the wall, and gave him a good wash.
 
The blast of cool water sent the worst cobwebs away into the dirt, and scrubbed free bird droppings. I washed behind his ears, where old spider egg casing hung empty and graying.  With the help of a gloved finger, I nudged away filth and debris around the wire where the hook held it.
 
Once rehung, he seemed to smile a bit more, his cheeks glowing in the fading sunlight.  Then we had a talk, and I asked his help in looking out for our little garden.  
 
"Thanks," I said, "for watching out for this space.  Thank you for working with the Mother to make sure things grow.  I ask you aid me in making this bit of land grow vegetables and fruits and herbs for my family, and a little extra for our animal neighbors.  Please help us in making this a working plot of land to feed and nourish those within the house and those who come to visit. Thank you."
 
I felt he heard me.  I felt he understood, and I gave him a nod and turned to go.
 
Before I left, though, I asked one more favor. "And would mind helping me reduce the number of slugs who come to call?  Not all of them, just enough to keep our garden growing strong."
 
Washing the Greenman reminded me of something:
 
When you're struggling to achieve something you feel is important, and practical steps aren't working, maybe it's time to take a look around.  There may be something or someone neglected who seemed superfluous but may prove instrumental in removing the biggest obstacles in your path.
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Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Kali Ma

Sex and Death! Sex and Death! 

That's the running joke whenever anyone in my circle pulls Kali Ma from one of my Goddess Oracle decks. Kali evokes a sense of simultaneous awe and revulsion, devotion and recoiling, from many people. The Hindu Dark Mother embodies so much that seems paradoxical -- endings and beginnings, creation and destruction, nurturing and punishment, love and hate, and -- yes -- Sex and Death. Her fearsome visage, her girdle of severed arms, her necklace of skulls all draw on our darkest fears. And yet the ultimate lesson of Kali Ma, it so often seems, is for us to be willing to find beauty in the horrific, to find the love in the dark nights of the soul, to find the new beginning in the fiery ending. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2016-03-29-at-12.46.04-PM.pngAutumn Skye Morrison (Powell River, BC) In creating art I find my stillness and rhythm, my teacher and passion. Each painting offers a reflection of the light and shadow of our humanity, our sublime geometry and our timeless divinity. May we celebrate this fantastic adventure, inspire and be inspired. autumnskyemorrison.com

Miss Ascentia (Stewartville, MN) is a Priestess of Poetry & Song, Professional Plant Spirit Advocate, Vision Quester & Sundancer adept in the High Technologies of Prayer, Craniosacral Therapist and Educator, Birth Doula and a Devout Student of Metta. ascentia@live.com

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Reclaiming Hell

Most of us grow up knowing about heaven and hell. Whatever our faith or place of birth, and by whatever names we might choose, the split of light and dark into above and below seems to be a fact of our heritage as human beings. It is reflected in myriad cultures ancient and modern, from indigenous peoples’ oral narratives, to the tales of Sumer and myths of Greece, to the Christian traditions where the realms of God and Devil, salvation and eternal torment, may haunt imaginations.  

And while this split is not inherently dangerous, we have been deluded for one reason or another (the Abrahamic faiths and colonialism are noteworthy for their influence) into equating the below and darkness with malevolence and the inimical—as in the Devil example just mentioned. This poses real challenges and hinders, I believe, our ability to fully honor the psycho-spiritual journey as well as the world in which we live.

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Walking into the Fires of Spring

It takes courage to walk into the fire, to walk straight into passion, initiation, illumination, rage and purification.

 

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Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Haltia

One of the things I love most about the Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr is that it includes many lesser-known and even obscure Goddess alongside those that are familiar to me. I appreciate the chance to learn about Goddesses who may have been overlooked in my mythological education, and to find connections with Goddesses from pantheons or cultures I may know little about. 

This week brings the Baltic Goddess Haltia, Goddess of the Hearth and Home. She has much in common with the Estonia Goddess Holdja, and with Hearth Goddesses more generally. Honored among the Baltic Finns as the guardian of the hearth and hearthfire, Haltia lives on today as a general name for the house faeries or spirits who guard homes, water, graveyards and other places where humans dwell and carry out our daily activities.

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