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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in activism
Finding Meaning and Inspiration at Midlife

Have you ever wondered why “midlife crisis” is such a taboo subject? If everybody who lives long enough goes through it at some point or other, then why isn’t it openly discussed? My sense is that there’s a lot of stigma around this phase in life. Being middle-aged often means feeling vulnerable and vulnerability isn’t particularly acceptable in the kind of world we live in.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Cosmic Activism

When I was in training to become a priestess, the priestess guiding me told me that although the world had once required us priestesses to seclude ourselves in temples, to focus solely on our devotion to the Goddess and adding that light to the world, that we had evolved into a space and time where we were called to be among the masses. No longer were we to be sequestered away from the world. This transition brought both blessings - freedom to explore many experiences in the world while maintaining one's commitment to being a priestess, and challenges - more energy and drama to sift through as we endeavoured to sustain and raise our priestess consciousness. 

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
My Journey to Revolutionary Egypt


Much as my friends were trying to dissuade me from visiting a country in revolutionary turmoil, I decided to travel to Egypt, hoping to find an answer to the riddles in my mind. It was a burning hot desire, an obsessive thought born after the explosion of the Revolution.

It was November of 2011. The country was ruled by SCAF, the military council that had taken over after the dictator Hosni Mubarak had been ousted. The spirit of the Revolution was alive and well, so once again the people of Egypt organized massive mobilizations.

I was aware of the dangers in demonstrating in Egypt. For months I had been in touch with activists and had read lots of horror stories. Questions were pounding on my mind. What if the demonstration was attacked by security forces, armed thugs, and snipers, as had happened during the Revolution? What if I got arrested and ended up in one of the country’s notorious jails where political prisoners were routinely raped and tortured?

Yet, time and again I could hear a voice calling out: “Will you risk your life for me?” It could have been the voice of Isis, Egypt, or the Revolution. In my mind all three had merged into one. I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for anything in the world!

So, there I was, in Tahrir, whose name means “Liberation,” the iconic square of the Revolution. I had been there just a few days earlier to visit the world-famous Museum of Cairo. That first visit was a pilgrimage to the treasures of the past that have kept me under their spell for so long. Isis and Osiris were there, staring at me with their inlaid eyes, holding the key to secret longings.

The second visit to Tahrir was a pilgrimage too, but of a different nature. Demonstrating side by side with Egyptian revolutionaries felt like a dream come true. The place was overflowing with protesters, many of them women wearing the hijab, the Muslim scarf, on their heads. They were key figures, just like they had played a leading role during the Revolution.

The march was a huge success, as well as the rallies organized in other parts of the country. It was reported that three million people demonstrated that day all over the country. The atmosphere was almost festive. Protesters seemed proud and strong. The energy of the Revolution was palpable—and there’s nothing like a revolution if you want to raise energy!

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I consider my work in the Green Party Greece to be spiritual, but of course I don't mention that to my Green friends. And as you s

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Magic of Dandelions

The Beloved who I live with, has a different sensibility about what our yard should look like than I do.  This Beloved finds comfort in order, in straight lines, and in carefully cut and trimmed plants.  Yet, in the over twenty five years in which this Beloved and I have been in relationship, they have also come to understand that I am nourished by the wildness of the wisteria vines and the buzz of bees that annually make our porch sing in the Spring.  I am nourished by the small red tea roses clambering up into the tree entwining with her branches so that red blossoms peer from unexpected places throughout the Summer.  I am nourished by the sweetness of blackberry brambles scrambling over and under the back fence from the neighbor’s yard, brambles with thorns that protect them so that harvesting must be done with full presence and attention in the midst of my rapture as Summer turns to Fall.  And then there are the Dandelions, which in our climate can bloom even in the Winter.  The Dandelions have come to almost fully populate what was once a grass lawn all around the house.  Even in drought years the Dandelions persist with their dark green leaves, brilliant yellow flowers, and whimsical puff balls.  I am most certainly nourished by Dandelions.

 

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Today is International Women’s Day! In addition to my work online and face-to-face with women as well as with the products offered by our shop, I womensdaysupport two resources that help make every day “international women’s day.” I sponsor a woman through Women for Women International and I keep multiple microloans going at Kiva. We started making Kiva loans in 2012 when we covered economic freedom in the Cakes for the Queen of Heaven feminist spirituality class I was teaching at the time. We decided to put our money where our mouths were and make a collective loan, from our women’s circle to a women’s circle somewhere else in the world. We collected $50 from the members of the circle and I made two microloans to two different women’s groups, both in Senegal. A few more women contributed in later months, I contributed another $25 of my own and we got a $25 referral credit, and I’ve steadily kept microloans going there ever since, loaning a total of $800 to 32 different women’s groups in 20 countries since we began. The cool thing is that this did not cost me $800, instead it is the same, original money from that long-ago Cakes class that I keep relending as soon as my Kiva account builds up to $25 in repayments. There are 6 loans currently going, from what was originally only $50. Just a drop in the bucket. I encourage you to do this too!

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Heroes We Need

As for many people, the trash fire that was 2016 has not left me with a lot of hope for 2017.  Emotionally I’m quite torn between rage, incredulity, and bone-crushing despair.  At this point it’s become quite clear that we cannot simply rely on “the establishment” to build a better world, or even to sustain what we have now.  While it’s tempting to simply throw up my hands in disgust and go find a nice cave to hide in, maybe in Canada somewhere, I’m one of the poor sods that lives in the US and has to deal with the fallout.  That’s terrifying.  What’s a pop culture witch to do in the face of a fascist threatening their way of life?  Why, call on Peggy Carter and Captain America, of course!

The next four years are likely to be an uphill battle unlike any that I have ever faced.  Never in my lifetime has such a critical public figure be so openly racist, misogynistic, transphobic, honestly the list just goes on forever.  The tacit approval given to bigots to be unspeakable to anyone they deem “other” by the President-elect scares the pants off of me.  I grew up with my mother telling me stories about how she grew up having to sit on the balcony of the movie theater and go in the “coloured” entrance.  I never thought I’d have to worry about something as awful as segregation or internment happening again, but that’s a very real fear right now.  I for one am not willing to “wait and see” if things go as appallingly as I fear.  I refuse to see this country become a dumpster of hate.  That makes it my job to do everything I can to make things better.  Nobody is going to do this for me.  That means I need the strength, stamina, and fortitude of a superhero just to keep going, let alone make things better.

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right. -Albus Dumbledore” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The way I see it we need the strength, courage, and honor of Captain America to make a stand against the theft of our rights and denials of our personhood.  We’ll need his determination to stand up against bullies and defend those that cannot defend themselves.  We will need his strategy and planning abilities to do the most good wherever we can.  However, even more than that we will need the indefatigability of Peggy Carter.  It is one thing to be the shining symbol of justice (Captain America) and another entirely to be the unwanted and unacknowledged hero (Peggy) that slogs tirelessly through adversity to save the world without so much as a thank you or to have their efforts claimed by others and continue anyway.  Every movement needs its figureheads, but it needs its individual, tireless workers even more.  We’re in this for the long haul and the tiny steps collectively taken by many individuals (all of us!) - sustained over time - are likely to make a far greater difference than a few grand gestures.  We need action from our fiercest warriors, our greatest speakers, our activists, and our workers, our volunteers, and our support crews.

I urge you to join me in casting the following spell to stand up to bullies and injustice in all its forms on January 20th. 

Spell to Stand Up to Bullies - No, You Move
(*underlined text in taken from the Captain America: Civil War comics)
This spell is written to call on Captain America and Peggy Carter because these characters mean a lot to me and embody the traits I know I’m going to need.  Please do rewrite it to use characters and references that have similar qualities and mean as much to you.  This spell could easily be done with other powerful characters: Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus from Rogue One, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings, or Hulkling and Wiccan from the Young Avengers - just to name a few.  The key is to use figures or characters that give you strength, determination and perseverance.

Ingredients: one small candle (standard or flameless), items representing Captain America and Peggy Carter, or whoever you are doing the working with (action figures, drawings or sigils all work - whatever works best for you), a blank piece of paper and a pen/pencil.

If you have a Captain America t-shirt and/or a fabulous red hat this is the time to wear it.  Consider running a Captain America movie or the Agent Carter TV series quietly in the background, cued to a scene of triumph.  You want to invoke your characters in a way that is meaningful to you and them.

Ground and center as usual.  Create sacred space according to your own practices.  Feel free to call on appropriate deities, ancestors, or other allies if you wish.

Place the items representing Cap and Peggy on your altar or temporary workspace.  Also put the blank piece of paper and pen there.

Take a deep breath and light the candle.

Say the following:
On this day and in this hour I pledge to stand up against bullies.
I vow to be part of the solution, never again the problem.
I call on Steven Grant Rogers - Captain America - to be with me and lend me his strength and sense of justice.
Captain, help me to stand up against bullies, to fight injustice, and protect that which is worth protecting. 
Give me the passion and determination to take necessary risks and make a difference.
I call on Margaret Carter - Peggy, Agent Carter - to be with me and lend me her strength, stamina, and clear sightedness.
Peggy, help me to stand up to bullies, to do what is right no matter how difficult or thankless.
Give me the stamina and will to keep fighting the good fight and to know my value. 

Grab your pen and paper and say:
Cap, Peggy, show me a sigil that will energize and sustain me in the fight against bullies - a sigil that will help me to do what is right, no matter how difficult.

Take a few minutes to allow the sigil to come to you and then draw it on the paper.  (If nothing comes to you in a minute or two just move on and don’t worry, it may come to you later - probably when you least expect it.)   You will be able to draw this sigil or carry it on you when you need it.

Hold your hands over your sigil (or the blank paper where you will draw it when it comes to you) and say:

“Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree besides the river of truth, and tell the whole world - 'No, you move.'"

Take a moment to thank Cap and Peggy (or whoever you worked with) for their help in your own words.

If you’ve called on any allies thank and dismiss them.  Then open your sacred space and ground - I recommend a nice piece of apple pie or coffee cake.

b2ap3_thumbnail_gotg1.gifb2ap3_thumbnail_gotg2.gif

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • aya ruje
    aya ruje says #
    A plant would be nice, yes. Energetic offerings are a good idea as well. I was reading another blog post where the lady did a 30
  • aya ruje
    aya ruje says #
    OMG lol i totally loved this post! you have a great writing style! And yes, 2016 was awful. On a global scale and even in my perso
  • Emily Carlin
    Emily Carlin says #
    I do daily incense or candle offerings for daily practice and leave food or flower offerings as a weekly thing - far less clean up
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Early last year I finished reading "The New Revelations" by Neale Donald Walsch. In it he wrote "You keep trying to solve the Wor
  • Emily Carlin
    Emily Carlin says #
    The next for years will be a spiritual workout for us all. All we can do is our best and nothing less.

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