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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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  b2ap3_thumbnail_ceiba-in-rain.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_ceiba-vieques.jpg

    "Why is the ceiba sacred?"  I learned in school that the ceiba pentandra was Puerto Rico's official national tree.  Mrs. Flores, my elementary school teacher, explained that the Taínos, the island's Native Indigenous habitants, considered the ceiba a sacred tree. 

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Beating the January Blues. Druid Style.

The period just after the midwinter holidays can be difficult. For our ancestors this time of the year, before the chickens, ducks and geese began laying again and before the sheep and cattle began lactating, was a hungry time. Nowadays, when we don't appear to be so dependent upon the cycles of nature and farming for our very sustenance, the difficulty of the time of year settles into our souls in a different manner.

For those living in cold, northerly climates, this is when the deep freeze settles in (though with climate change, as we can see from Canada throughout the end of December, it can come earlier and stay longer). For those in more temperate areas such as here in the UK, it's the darkness of the grey, cloudy days and long nights that become hard to bear. It's also a time when money can be scarce, and we are paying our bills not only for the holiday time, but also higher bills for heating and electricity. We can feel overwhelmed, depressed, apathetic and more. This is the time when we just can't shake off that cold, and the colds and flus that have been going around since the holidays are getting stronger and stronger.

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Celebrating the catkins

The standard issue wheel of the year for the British isles has us celebrating the first flowers at Imbolc, when the snowdrops emerge. This is a bit awkward, because tree flowers – specifically catkins – emerge in January and open. They are also manifestly at odds with the standard issue notion that trees spend the winter sleeping. They don’t. Once the leaves are down, trees get busy making buds ready for the new year, and may also be making their catkins, which have been sat there hard and closed for some time now.

The thing about leaf buds and catkins is that they are small and you probably won’t see them if all you do is look at trees out of windows. Especially not if you are in motion and the windows are in a car. To spot buds and catkins, you have to be within a matter of feet of the trees and looking at them closely. When nature is an abstract concept that you celebrate from the safety of your living room, this is the kind of thing that gets overlooked.

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Exciting Homecomings - A Triad

Three things I'm excited about exploring in 2018:

Elen of the Ways - I discovered this goddess a little over a year ago, and felt instant belonging and surprise that I hadn't heard of her before, and that I hadn't thought to go looking for such a goddess. It felt like remembering I have a mother, or something. :) A horned/antlered goddess and lady of the green... how perfect for me! I've been reading everything I can about her, and I signed up for a now-filled course offered by a priestess of Elen (Walking the Antlered Road) that includes a year of lessons, journaling, movement-meditations, soundings, chants with wrist malas, and an oracle deck. It has been amazingly exciting to get to know Elen, and to start to see how many of the goddesses I've already been drawn to are probably-to-definitely versions of her paleolithic, pan-Indo-European (and perhaps beyond) presence and enduring veneration. The Welsh name, Elen, is but one. You might be as surprised and delighted as I to discover where the others have been all this time! So I recommend Caroline Wise's book, "Finding Elen: The Quest for Elen of the Ways," as well as Elen Sentier's books, and I will be writing more about her in this blog in 2018, and suggesting the connections I have seen.

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Though many Celtic pagans celebrate the new year at Samhain, early January still has a distinct feeling, as the hubbub of the winter solstice and Christmas celebrations subsides and we are left with the blank page of the year ahead. Now is a good time to encourage stillness and contemplation within our days if we are able, and to be aware of keeping our energies clear to allow the wisdom of spirit to emerge into our awareness and maintain our focus on our plans ahead. Traditionally for those who acknowledge the 12 days of Christmas there is an opportunity to seek omens each of the twelve days for guidance in the year ahead, but truly the world of spirit always shows us signs and messages if we open up to their potential. Seeking time every day to find stillness and open ourselves to the natural world around us allows us to receive this messages at any time.

Throughout January spend some time, even for just a few minutes, outside. Be in wild nature if you can, but just feeling the earth beneath your feet, or seeing the sky or having the wind on your face is all you need. Breath deeply and let your senses open gently, focusing on nothing in particular…let yourself remember that the earth is alive and sacred, wherever you are, and just connect. Be with it. Be aware of the flight of birds, the shapes of clouds, the sound the wind makes, know that spirit is speaking to us always, and let their meaning and messages come to you in each its own way. Listen. Breathe. Pay attention to your dreams.  

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Here's to a New Year of Empowerment!

Happy New Year!  I am sharing this pathworking that was written many years ago as a gift of finding your own place of power and resiliency as we enter another year. Last year, in particular was brutal for many leaving them feeling less than empowered by the choices, responses and reactions that were made.  Now, we find ourselves entering into the unknown of what this upcoming year will bring and with that uncertainty is an opportunity to move inwards in reflection as we bolster and strengthen what we wish to to create.

This pathworking is an opportunity to release any challenges you are currently facing and craft within yourself the space of renewal and empowerment. As we move through the year ahead and affirm this action at its start we will be able to move with courage and power in greeting every challenge and joy as more fully the person we are meant to be. 

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Priestessing my Marriage
When I was finishing up my Priestess training with the Nicole Christie lineage, the high Priestess Anyaa Mc Andrew, consistently encouraged us to define how we were going to use our Priestessing skills and selves in the world in a tangible way. Never did I imagine that my marriage would become a vessel for my Priestessing.
 
Since my ordination I have come to appreciate how wise and prophetic those instructions were, what I didn't know then was that once I left the Priestess training circle I would be bringing my Priestess self everywhere with me, there was no Candise waiting in line at the bank while Priestess of Grace sat under the dark of the moon in circle, Priestess of Grace is a part of me, an archetype that has been awakened and integrated into the very fabric of my being. Wherever I go, she goes. Candise sits in circle under the dark of the moon and Priestess of Grace stands in line, we are One and the same.
 
I celebrated my five year wedding anniversary on the Winter Solstice of this year. On December 21, 2012, the day when some believed that the world would end, and others believed powerful portals of energy that would rocket us into a new dimension would open up, my Beloved Twin Flame and I committed to seek out Goddess/God in one another, for all of eternity, until we once again merged back into Source energy.
 

 

I hadn't realized it at the time, but my vow to spend the rest of my lives seeking out God in my husband was another way that I was bringing the Priestess archetype back into our world. The role of a Priestess is to merge the realms and when I attempt to live in the earthly realm beholding the heavenly realm I am being that Priestess bridge, my marriage wasn't only for my human experience, it was a dedication to the world, it is a part of my Priestess calling, for as I learn to see the Beloved in my husband I hone that ability to find Source in everyone and everything.
 
In reflecting on the past five years of marriage and in response to a friend's inquiry about how I see God in my husband on the daily I became acutely aware of how often I fall short of my vows and have been recommitting to strengthening them and utilizing tools to do so. As I do this I am reminded of my sacred calling to behold Source in all beings that I come into contact with, this practice, what ancient sages and Masters have called 'transmuting' is one of the more potent ways that I show up as Priestess in the world.
 
The most inspiring part of my marriage vows for me was when I committed to find God in my husband so that I could better do that for all of humanity, this is a way that I bridge the realm of Love with the realm of duality.
 
When my husband is in doubt, fear, anger or apathy and I choose to see beyond the behaviour and to feel beyond the energetic imprints being thrown around I can contact the Source of his being, his true essence, this recognition calls forth his most Divine and beautiful self. The more I choose to behold the God in him the easier it is for me to 'transfigure' him and the more apt I am at doing this with the members of my community and even the world at large.
 
To transfigure is to look into another's eyes until we see the Creator looking back at us, if staring deep into another's eyes in the community isn't available or appropriate I find other, more subtle means to behold Source, I sense for Her, I pray to Her in the other and stick with it until I feel Her enveloping me, the person and the situation. 
 
To transfigure my husband and the world at large is a choice that I have to make on a moment to moment basis, it is much easier to condemn a Trump and to fear or loathe him than it is to transfigure him. It is easier because I am surrounded by third dimensional energy and the story surrounding him is loaded and bouncing all over society at this time. Yet, if I transfigure those closest to me and make this practice into a habit then the 'bigger' stories become more available for me to transfigure
 
My marriage, through the eyes of my Priestess self, is much more than the blessed gift to me and my daughters that it is, it is a calling forth of my highest self to learn to love, and to behold Truth despite the appearances to the seeming contrary that come up on a day to day basis. Thus marriage has merged into a mode of Priestessing for me, it is a spot of inspiration and a vortex of opportunity for my power and abilities to strengthen and expand into the world.
 
As the Gregorian calendar year comes to a close, and my marriage anniversary is celebrated, I will take this as a reminder, that love, when sanctified and offered up to the Goddess, is more than something for my human self to enjoy, it is a call to action and an invitation for the Priestess in me to rise up. Priestessing it seems can be accomplished in every relationship and every situation that I remember my sacred calling in, the be that bridge between the higher and lower realms.
 
For the year 2018 I am brining a deeper commitment to transfiguration within my marriage and the life that I live, I commit to finding Goddess behind the appearances of this realm so that Her presence can more easily be sensed, tapped into and experienced in the here and now. May this next phase of life usher more of Her into all of our consciousness.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 
image taken from: http://spiritualunitecdn-8df5.kxcdn.com/articles/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/twin-flame-marriage-cover.jpg
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