Sacred Cells: Embodying the Feminine Divine

Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the sacred and divine in beings of all genders and manifestations.

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Lizann Bassham

Lizann Bassham

Lizann Bassham is both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister in the United Church of Christ. She serves as Campus Pastor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley working with a multi-faith student community. She is a columnist for SageWoman magazine, a novelist, playwright, and musician. Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A

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Essential Desert Self

There is a way that the desert breaks me down to my essential self

a way the desert wind tears away that which is no longer necessary

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  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    So beautiful, you, your discernment, the desert, everything. Let your work always be done. (I love the desert five spot.)
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Elizabeth!

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That Child's A Witch

“I was born a wild girl…

cradled tight in mountain arms…

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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 Sacred Elements of Menopause

Hot flashes.  Somehow we got on the subject, standing there at the Farmers’ Market.  She had recently had her first one, and until she figured out what it was, thought she was coming down with the flu.  Her mother, she said, had died relatively young, so she had no one to check in with about it, about what to expect.  I shared that each body was different, but that I had found the experience of going through menopause fascinating and amazing as my body changed.  

 

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  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    Ah! Beautiful and so amazing...I love seeing the linkages between the elements and the way they correspond to the changes in my bo
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Elizabeth! Blessings on your body!

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Thanks for the Song

It is the last week of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There is something about this particular week that has always felt like time out of time to me or a conflation of all time.  I have in past years made a practice of diving into the flow of my own time stream.  I try to notice what little pieces of me I may have unintentionally left behind without tending and healing; notice what unhealthy patterns I am perpetuating in my life and the wider world that need to be addressed; notice what I can let go of with gratitude and compassion; notice what needs to be invited into my life. It is a magical working that collapses past and present and reminds me of my life's vast web of relationships.  This year I find myself keeping company with memories of old lovers and even some people who pulled me toward parts of myself better examined through the projection of a wild crush.

 

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Grief and Thanksgiving Etched into Our Bones

Even though I was born at the end of the baby boom, one of the ways I know I am an American boomer is that I remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  The shock and grief of it is etched in my bones and still quivers in the sacred cells of my body.  I was barely four years old on that November day in 1963.  I was with my mother, who was attending a tupperware party at a friend’s trailer near where we lived in the mountains of Northern California.  While the women learned about saving leftovers, my father and my mother’s friend’s husband went out back for some target practice.  I can’t remember how the news arrived - but I do remember the deep shock and grief of the adults, and since I’d been hearing gun shots so close, in my four year old brain, I thought I’d heard the shot that killed him.  Grief and shock have a way of doing that, etching collective pain into our bones and jarring the very sacred cells of our bodies.  My country (and many around the world) continued in that state of grief and shock as we, as Americans, gathered with family and friends the following Thursday for my nation’s Thanksgiving.

 

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  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    This is the most powerful and beautiful personal Thanksgiving story I have ever read.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Annika!
  • Dorothy Scanlan
    Dorothy Scanlan says #
    Thank you for a lovely and thoughtful commentary. I have a brief memory of the day that Kennedy was assassinated but no memory of
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Dorothy. Yes indeed. Blessings on your family of choice.

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Four Samhains Three Years

         Before 2012 I had been a solitary witch for years, but began to find myself drawn more and more into the public rituals planned by the local Northbay Reclaiming community (witches of all genders and generations).  I’d taken a class back in the 1980s with Starhawk, so knew Reclaiming’s mix of ecstatic ritual, activism, and broad LGBT inclusion was a comfortable fit for me.  At first I’d slip in and out of the public rituals, thanking the folks who planned and facilitated them, but never lingering long. Yet, by Lammas 2012 I’d been attending enough that I was asked to be a last minute fill in for someone who couldn’t be there to invoke “all the beings who swam in the waters” (a very ironic thing since I had an irrational fish phobia).

 

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  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    Beautiful. I was at the Samhain ritual in 2013 I think, and I loved it- loved the Grange Hall and the intimacy of the work. Thank
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Elizabeth.

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