Here is my latest SageWoman blog post. The “read more” link below will take you to the SageWoman blog page.
Twenty years ago on a Beltane Eve, I did my first ritual after moving to a rural home. In a secluded spot, surrounded by seven acres of undomesticated forest with only the stars and a single candle for illumination, I cast a circle and then called to the Green Man to come be with me in my Beltane magic. There was just me and my overpowering yearning to connect with the wild God energy of Nature. Sitting cross-legged with the moss-covered earth beneath me, I rocked back and forth, putting every ounce of my longings and love into my prayer and invocation, speaking out loud to the listening wilderness.
When you do magic in ritual space, the extraordinary and inexplicable can happen. This was one of those experiences. To my utter shock, a man-sized being of light appeared between the trees and walked toward me. His inner core was a warm, golden white, with diffused beams extending outward, like moving, radiant candlelight. I don’t have words to describe His beauty and power. Even as I write this many years later, I feel the intensity of His stunning, delicious presence pushing against my flesh, both from the inside and the outside at once.
Yet, I am sorry to say, this spontaneous, magical appearance in physical reality terrified me. Although I had been working with spiritual beings through my dreams, ritual and channeling for a number of years, my contact had always been through inner images and voices, not direct, physical communion.
I closed my eyes and asked the Green Man to forgive me my limitations and fears, and to come to me in the way I was used to, through visualization and words. And there He was inside of me, speaking to me, and gifting me with the information and insights that I needed at the time on my long journey of healing my relationship with God and men, and blossoming into my true, deep Self.
This Beltane experience has left an indelible imprint on me, with lessons that helped me truly understand and embrace the Green Man’s presence and gifts. Here are three of these lessons to inspire your Beltane magic with the Green Man.
1. The Green Man isn’t just a mythic being, a psychological construct or something we humans have made up. He is real, substantive and most accessible to us at Beltane when the veil between the worlds is thin.
This lesson brings up an important point of divergence in the pagan world. Some see the Gods and Goddesses as purely human creations that are the products of myths and reflections of our human psyche. Others understand these Divine beings as immense spiritual entities that we can encounter and come to know through our spiritual practices, dreams and human creative and mythic works.
Consider how you conceive the Green Man. What do you already know about Him through myth and story? How do you understand and engage the Gods and Goddesses in your personal and ritual work? How open are you to direct communion with the Green Man? Your answers to these questions will impact how you can experience and work with the Green Man in your Beltane magic.
2. The Green Man is the lover God who gives us whatever we need, in whatever form to help us grow and blossom as our true, deep Self.
Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Nature buds and blossoms as the seasons of light and life return, and the Goddess offers up Her mysteries of spiritual evolution to guide your journey of soul.
With a Goddess-based conception of spiritual evolution, your whole life — everything you are and everything you’ve experienced — is part of a greater journey that drives your personal growth and spiritual evolution. Your intention on this journey is to become a more whole, mature, powerful version of your Self.
The latest offering in the Path of She Guided Journey Series, Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution, is grounded in the Mother-Daughter tale of Persephone and Demeter that speaks to this Goddess-based conception of spiritual evolution.
In the Fall, Persephone begins Her journey as a maiden who leaves behind the sunlit realm of Her Mother Demeter. She descends into the Underworld, and spends the Winter months traveling its mysteries of darkness and death, and suffering its trials. In Spring, Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter’s realm of light and life as a Goddess reborn into a more mature, evolved version of Her Self. She is the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, with a wholeness and bigness of being that is wise, loving and powerful enough to bridge and balance the immense, opposing energies of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm. Where Persephone walks the Earth, She leaves a trail of spring flowers in Her wake.
Through this mythic Goddess tale, you can embrace a new understanding of your Self, your life story, and your journey of spiritual evolution. Here are four transformative teachings offered by these Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone, in the spring season.
1. New growth and beginnings arise from darkness, death, suffering and wounding.
In many spiritual traditions, spiritual evolution is associated with a rarefied, higher state of consciousness: one becomes enlightened, ascends to a higher frequency, and transcends the human, material condition.
The problem with this conception of spiritual evolution is that it’s elitist, granting spiritual superiority to the very few who can achieve this state of purity. It favors the path of the monk or ascetic who chooses to separate themselves from the complexities and messiness of everyday life. It negates the very substance of our human existence, that we are flesh and blood creatures, living in a material world. And, most importantly, it leaves out the vast majority of us traveling a sincere spiritual path of personal healing and growth in accordance with the dictates of our own soul and life story.
Nature and the Goddess illuminate a very different conception of spiritual evolution.
Spring is a glorious time of rebirth and new beginnings. The seasons of light and life have returned after the long, cold, bleakness of Winter. Nature reaches its green arms upward from the dark, death-like places in the belly of the Earth to embrace the strengthening sun. New growth buds and blossoms, offering up the bright, enticing sights, sounds and smells of a world reborn.
I’m excited to share the next offering in the Path of She Guided Series, just in time for the spring season and Easter — Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution.
With Nature and the Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone, as your guides, the Spring Journey takes you into the depths of the season’s mysteries of spiritual evolution, and helps you discover the new beginning that’s emerging for you at this time.
In their ancient Greek myth, Persephone reunites with Her Mother Demeter, emerging from Her trials and travels in the Underworld as a Goddess transformed into Her full maturity and powers, bridging and balancing the primal energies of the death-centered Underworld and life-centered sunlit realm. Together these Mother-Daughter Goddesses illuminate their mysteries of spiritual evolution to guide your journey of soul.
With a Goddess-based conception of spiritual evolution, you’re not seeking a rarefied, idealized state of being, divorced from life’s messiness and complexities. Instead, your intention is to become a more whole, mature, powerful version of your Self that can engage the full range of your nature and life story — light and shadow, life and death, beauty and wounding, joy and sorrow, and old stories and new possibilities — as the wellspring of your personal growth and spiritual evolution.
Although this is the journey of a life time, you start with wherever you are right now, with whatever lost parts of your Self and life story are reaching from your inner darkness toward the light of your conscious engagement. These precious messages from your soul are the makings of your spiritual pathwork this spring season, and the beginning of a new stage on your journey of evolving into a deeper, more powerful and beautiful version of your Self.
The Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution guides you in these springtime, evolutionary mysteries.
On your Spring Journey, you will:
Align your spiritual path with the seasonal powers of Nature and the Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone.
Explore the spring season teachings of balance, wholeness, equanimity and spiritual evolution.
Reunite with the Mother Goddess’s ways of love and light that can help you step past your old stories into a deeper level of spiritual maturity, power, self-love and self-acceptance.
Discover the seeds of transformative change and personal growth that are emerging for you.
Design an action plan to plant and tend this new growth in the garden of your life.
Cultivate the essential qualities and skills of living your spiritual evolution: equanimity, wholeness, bigness of being, and the middle path.
The Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution includes: two pdf ebooks: the Spring Journey Guidebook and Spring Journey Journal, and the Spring Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio). The cost of the Spring Journey is $16.99.
Here is my latest SageWoman blog post. The “read more” link below will take you to the SageWoman Blogs page.
Spring is the time of the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone, and their myth of rebirth and return to the Mother-Goddess ways of love and life. Though this ancient Greek tale is typically interpreted as a mythic explanation of the seasons, on a deeper level it speaks to our human spiritual evolution, collectively and individually.
As the tale begins, Persephone, a Maiden Goddess, lives in the sunlit realm within the protective circle of Her Mother Demeter’s love. The Earth is in the full bloom of Summer, overflowing with the love and life-centered powers of the Mother Goddess.
So too, in the long-ago season of the youthful beginnings of our humanity, our ancestors
lived within the protective circle of the Mother Goddess’s love. The Great Mother, as the source of all life, formed the bedrock of our collective consciousness and civilization. Women, as the embodiment of the Goddess, were our leaders and priestesses, and we lived and shared this Earth in alignment with the love and life-centered ways of the sacred feminine.
The myth continues: something shifts in Persephone, and She turns away from Her Mother Demeter’s sunlit realm of light and life. In the Fall, Persephone descends into the Underworld of darkness and death. Demeter, in Her grief over the loss of Persephone, withdraws Her powers and brings Winter to the Earth.
There comes a time when children must leave behind the love and guidance of their mother and find their own way in the world. Persephone left Her Mother Demeter and set off on a journey in search of Her deeper becoming and spiritual evolution. So too our ancestors turned away from the Great Mother, and set off on a path of self-determination.
Though the myth tells us that Demeter withdrew from the world, in truth, it is we who withdrew from the Mother Goddess. Over the passage of thousands of years, we rejected and denigrated the Goddess and Her life-centered ways. The leadership of the Goddess and women was overrun by the rule of men and their patriarchal Gods. The Great Mother’s stories were rewritten, Her powers disassembled, and Her followers persecuted in a relentless battle to purge Her from our human psyche and society.
The seasons of humanity shifted into a long winter of soul, where dominion and death overruled love and life as the bedrock of our shared society, unfolding in a grievous period in our human history. Over the passage of millennia, we, the wayward children of the Great Mother, became lost to the Goddess and Her ways of love and life. In this lostness, we’ve committed great atrocities against each other and the Mother Earth.
In these modern times, our shared society and individual stories, with their shadow and wounding, are rooted in this grievous, collective history, passed down from our ancestors through the generations. We live in a world disconnected from the Goddess, and Her love and life-centered powers.
Yet nothing lasts forever, and the seasons always turn from Winter into Spring. In the myth, the arrival of Spring heralds Persephone’s return from the Underworld into the waiting arms of Her Mother Demeter. Through Her trials and suffering in the land of darkness and death, Persephone is reborn, a maiden no more, but a feminine presence in Her full maturity and powers: the Queen of the Underworld and the Goddess of Spring Growth. Where Persephone walks the land, She leaves a trail of spring flowers in Her wake.