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Posted on:  Jun 20, 2018 @ 13:25 Posted in:  Sabbats
Excerpt from Path of She Book of Sabbats.
At the Summer Solstice, your journey of soul invites you to blossom, shining forth the true essence and beauty of your Deep Self into the sunlit world of your everyday life. Emulate Nature in this summer season of generosity and abundance by cultivating your soul-sourced authenticity and sharing your best gifts and qualities with others.
The Solstice marks the first day of Summer and a peak in the powers of light before the scales tip once more toward the dark. Nature grants us a heady display of its fully unfurled beauty and overflowing munificence. From the mighty oak tree with its vast, green canopy to the fledgling robin casting itself from the nest, what is inside, the unique, luminescent spark of Creation within each living being, seeks its destined place in the sunlit world.
Midsummer festivities are part of our ancestral heritage and are still celebrated around the world. Bonfires are lit, honoring the brilliance and fertility of the summer sun. Merriment, music, dancing and feasting abound, reminding us to take pleasure in the good things in life while the days are long and hot, and the natural realm shares its plentitude.
The life-centered ways of the Goddess and the sacred feminine are revealed in this plentitude. The Mother Earth holds us in Her loving, generous embrace, showering us with beauty and nourishment for our hungry bellies and souls.
The robin cannot help but embrace its powers of flight, navigating the air space on its outstretched wings. The oak cannot help but burst forth from the acorn, sending its brown roots earthward and its green arms skyward. We cannot help but reach for our place in the greater world, drawing on the essence and gifts of our Deep Self. We may repress and truncate this primal soul imperative, yet our innate, unquenchable desire to flourish in our own unique way remains, ready to bloom outward, in all its brilliance, into a waiting world.
At the Summer Solstice, the Divine power that waits for you is your own Goddess Self who holds your remembrance of the ways and mysteries of the sacred feminine. She resides within the core of your being, connecting you with your inherent, indisputable beauty, worthiness and sacred purpose. She will show you the parts of your beauty and purpose that are ready to blossom, and will guide your journey of soul as you cultivate this blossoming in your everyday life.
When you offer your very best to the communal table of humanity, in a spirit of grace, goodness and generosity, you are making abundance a real, substantive part of your life and the greater environment of your family, workplace and community, and encouraging others to do the same. From these small and big changes, an ethos of abundance can take root and flourish in our human society where there is enough love and nourishment to feed, mend and transform our lives and our world.
Celebrate the Summer Solstice with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Posted on:  Jun 14, 2018 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Path Basics
On May 5, just over one month ago as the sun reached its peak in the skies of Eastern Canada, my father, Brian Clifford Clark, left this world. He died in peace in his hospital bed, his last breath so gentle that my brother Barry, his sole witness, almost missed it. I woke on this morning, before I knew what had happened, and sensed that all was well and my dad was going home. And he has gone home, to rest, to peace, to love, to goodness.
As a pagan who travels the path of the Goddess, death is something that I embrace as a natural, essential part of the cycle of life. I honor death in the turning of the seasons, in the great and small endings and beginnings that mark my journey through life, and as the catalyst for profound transformation.
The death of my beloved father makes these things raw and real for me. I’m awake and aching in the midst of the disorienting mysteries of death, and finding my Self and footing in a world without my dad in it, where his immense presence and loving support are no longer a phone call, plane ride or hug away.
These are some of the many ways I’m greeting death with its arrival on my doorstep.
There is relief. The passing of my dad was best for him. He had been ill and suffering for a long time, not with a specific ailment, but more from the stripping away of his independence, strength and physical capacities. He was burnt out and exhausted, hanging on only by sheer will and his desire to stay with my mother, his wife, beloved and best friend of sixty-three years. I’m glad and at peace that he has been set free.
There is gratitude. My father was a beautiful, loving, complex soul. He was grumpy, edgy, willful and a handful at times, with big energy, big will, a strong sense of himself, and a deep integrity, generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness. He loved each of us in my family for who we were, with no strings attached. He loved me, deeply, fully, openly, and I him. It was, and always will be, my great honor and blessing to be his daughter.
There is returning to roots. I traveled to my hometown to be with my mother, collect my father’s ashes, and honor his memory with my family. The setting, the stories, these beautiful, quirky people: this is where I come from, and what I’m made of. My dad’s legacy is us, his children and grandchildren, and I know myself better in their company.
There is grief. I have no words for the immensity of my loss and heartbreak. It’s like an ocean, deep and vast, that can be a gentle wave or a tsunami. Mostly, I’ve chosen the gentle wave, dipping my toe in, and then retreating. But the tsunami comes, sudden and overwhelming, and I surrender to its cleansing work. I expect that I’ll have this grief until my last breath, something that I’ll get used to rather than get over.
There is peace between us. It’s the rare person who escapes from childhood and family dynamics unscathed. Death is a time of raw honesty, where the truths of unsaid and unfinished business make their way back to the surface. These too are part of the transformative mysteries of death, guiding our journey of healing. Blessedly, my father and I did our healing work and cleaned up our unfinished business many years ago. We found a place of truth that could hold both the hardships and the beauty of our journey together, and that gifted us with pleasure and peace in each other’s company.
There is disorientation. There’s never been a moment in my life without my dad. His DNA, energetic patterns, love, approval and presence are built into my very foundation. I learned about men, parenthood, marriage, family and the things that matter most through his living example. I witnessed aging, dignity and suffering through his end years. Now he is gone, and some essential part of me and my life has been snatched away, changing my world forever. I feel this, but don’t get it yet. And I don’t need to get it. It’s enough to accept this disorientation, and the change it brings, as natural parts of life’s journey.
There is quiet. I’m tired and emotionally raw. I’m not good at small talk, and seek only the company of those that I already know well. And I’m not interested in my own internal angst and noise. I need rest. Solitude. Simplicity. Routine. Walks. Nature. Dance. Good food. Joy. Kindness.Thoughtful regard. Space to just be. Emptiness to become something new.
There is compassion. Our culture runs from the reality of death, but our hearts do not. We all live on the cusp of losing those dearest to us. When the inevitable but devastating happens, our hearts invite us to greater compassion for ourselves and others. I hold my mother in a gentle tenderness as she navigates this great loss with courage and dignity, and my siblings do the same. My heart aches as others share their stories of grief and loss. And I’m touched in turn by the tenderness and compassion offered to me by my family, friends and people in my community.
Mostly, there is love. Grief is the flip side of love. When we love fiercely, so too we mourn deeply. This is death’s greatest teaching: that we are here to love, deeply, freely, fiercely. I will miss my dad, forever, with every breath. And I will love him fiercely, forever, with every breath. So too I love my mother, my partner, my son, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my dear friends, my Self, and my precious life, fiercely, forever, with every breath.
There is transformation. Death is changing me. My outer world may look the same, but I’m undergoing a metamorphosis. The only words that come to me are that I must become big — to span and contain these many ways I’m greeting death, all at the same time — to open my heart wide to my fierce love and deep grief, and to risk this same love and grief for everyone in my life — to show up fully in my own skin and dare the wild ride that is my life — and to honor my father by cherishing myself as he cherished me, and by living by his ethos of personal strength, integrity, kindness, and care for others.
There is remembering. I wear my dad’s watch so he is with me, close to my skin, marking the moments of my life. What is remembered lives. I will remember my dad, with every moment, every breath, every thought, and every act of kindness that comes my way. He lives with me, in me, in my family, and all around me in the beauty of this wild and wonderful world he has now left behind.
There is saying goodbye. Peace be with you dad. I love you. Forever.
Posted on:  Apr 20, 2018 @ 20:17 Posted in:  GoddessThe Rape of Persephone
From the long ago of Greek civilization, comes the #metoo tale of The Rape of Persephone.
Demeter’s trim-ankled daughter whom Hades rapt away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus. Apart from Demeter, lady of the golden sword and glorious fruits, she was playing with the deep-bosomed daughters of Okeanos and gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the narcissus, which Gaia made to grow at the will of Zeus and to be a snare for the bloom-like girl–a marvelous, radiant flower. And the girl was amazed and reached out with both hands to take the lovely toy: but the wide-pathed earth yawned there in the plain of Nysa, and the lord, Hades, with his immortal horses sprang out upon her. He caught her up reluctant on his golden car and bore her away lamenting. (Source: Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter (abridged) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.); http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/HaidesPersephone1.html)
Let this piece of Persephone’s story sink in. Persephone is a Goddess. Her Mother Demeter is a Goddess. These are big, powerful, feminine beings that bring life, abundance and beauty to the Earth. Yet the God Hades, with the help of the almighty Zeus, can do want He wants to Persephone.
Hades desires Persephone so He abducts and rapes Her, and makes Her his bride. Persephone is taken against Her will, and Demeter can’t protect Her beloved daughter. Later in the tale, Persephone is returned to Demeter, but the damage has been done. She’s eaten the fruit of the Underworld, and is forced to be with Hades, Her abductor and abuser, part of every year.
Our #metoo stories are this old, and older still. We modern women are the latest manifestation of the suffering of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and the long, long female line that went before us. And the Goddess stands with us in our suffering, and our awakening.
Persephone’s story is our story. We didn’t write or choose this story. It was written by men in power with the intention of usurping and subduing the sovereignty and powers of the Goddess, and we, Her earth-bound daughters. The purpose of this story was, and still is, to make us forget and fear our vast, mysterious feminine nature, and to make divine and normal our powerlessness in a male-defined reality.
Dial back another 3000 years to ancient Sumeria and the tale of The Descent of Inanna:
From the Great Above She opened Her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above the Goddess opened Her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above Inanna opened Her ear to the Great Below.
My Lady abandoned Heaven and Earth to descend to the Underworld.
Inanna abandoned Heaven and Earth to descend to the Underworld.
When Inanna arrived at the outer gates of the Underworld, She knocked loudly.
She cried out in a fierce voice: ‘Open the door, gatekeeper! Open the door, Neti!
I alone would enter!’
Neti, the chief gate keeper of the kur, asked: ‘Who are you?’
She answered: ‘I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on my way to the East.’
Neti said: ‘If you are truly Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on your way to the East,
why has your heart led you on the road from which no traveler returns?’
Inanna answered: ‘Because of my older sister Ereshkigal, Her husband, Gugalanna,
the Bull of Heaven, has died. I have come to witness the funeral rites.’
(Source: Wolkstein, Diane; Kramer, Samuel Noah (1983), Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer)
Let this fragment of Inanna’s story sink in. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Ereshkigal is the Goddess of the Underworld. This is a story and reality where Goddesses, not Gods, reign in the Great Above and Great Below, and hold between them the primal mysteries of life, death and rebirth.
Later in the tale, we discover that Inanna, like Persephone, suffers the trials of the Underworld. But She does so by Her own choice and great courage. Through Her descent, She submits to the transformative mysteries of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. She is stripped bare, and dies to Her old self in order to be reborn into Her full powers and beauty. When She emerges from Her journey in the Great Below, Inanna is whole, holy in the full spectrum of Her Goddess powers and wisdom – Queen of Heaven, Earth and the Great Below.
The Great Below isn’t the realm of Hades and male power. The dark isn’t a place of rape, violence and domination. These are lies and distortions that block us from the wild, raw depths of our women’s power and mysteries, and from the very things that can mend our lives and our world: our pain, grief and rage, and our truth, beauty and sovereignty. And, like Inanna before us, when we emerge from this journey, we can become whole, holy in the full spectrum of our feminine powers and wisdom, transforming not only our personal lives but also our shared society.Our Modern #MeToo Tales
Something profound and essential is shifting in the foundations of our world as we witness others tell their long-hidden, #metoo stories, and tell our own stories in turn. We may not have words to capture this shift. Yet it’s there – blazing through the eyes and voices of women aligned with the #metoo movement – stirring up the secret, restless places inside of us.
We’re speaking truth, and being heard. We’re saying: you’re time is up, and holding male perpetrators accountable. We’ve woken up, en masse, and we’re not going back to sleep. And we’re not alone.
Persephone’s story is our story. Together we share a #metoo legacy of sexual violation and descent into a hell of male dominion that speaks to the everyday reality of sexism, misogyny and violence that’s endemic to our society.
Inanna’s story is our story. Together we share a heritage of the feminine mysteries of life, death and rebirth, and their pathway of descent into the Underworld as a journey of transformation into our full beauty and powers.
We’re in this together — Persephone, Inanna, you, me and the countless others braving their #metoo tales. Our lives, truth and stories matter. Safety, respect and honoring our feminine nature are our birthrights. It’s time for a new myth and collective reality, guided by the tales of Persephone and Inanna, and yet fresh and inspired by our personal stories and lived experiences.
Hades, Zeus, the male ancestors who wrote these mythic tales, and the men who continue to abuse and dominate women: their time is up. Whatever comes next will be of our writing and choosing, in service of our greater womanhood and sovereignty, and beauty, love and justice for all.
Image Credit: Rupert Bunny, Rape of Persephone, via Wikimedia Commons
Posted on:  Mar 19, 2018 @ 16:32 Posted in:  Sabbats
In Spring, Nature and the Goddess share their mysteries of spiritual evolution where new beginnings emerge from a complex, potent wholeness woven of the opposing energies of light, life, darkness and death.
The Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution guides you in these mysteries where soulful, new beginnings emerge when you welcome your whole Self to the light of your spring pathwork, engaging the light and shadow of your life story that are the makings of your personal growth at this time.
On your Spring Journey, you will:
- Align your spiritual path with the seasonal powers of Nature and the Goddess.
- Explore the spring season teachings of balance, wholeness, equanimity and spiritual evolution.
- Reunite with the Goddess’s ways of love, light and new beginnings.
- Step past your old stories into a deeper level of spiritual maturity, power and self-love.
- 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 your life.
- Cultivate the essential qualities and skills of living your spiritual evolution.
Your Spring Journey includes:
Spring Journey Guidebook (pdf ebook): Seven lessons, each with an integrated wisdom teaching, awareness practice and journaling task to help you explore and experience the teaching, and apply it to your spiritual pathwork and everyday life.
Spring Journey Journal (pdf ebook): For each lesson, there are journaling prompts and questions to deepen your self-awareness and exploration of the Spring Journey teachings.
Spring Journey Guided Meditation (audio mp3): A 26 minute meditation that connects you with the potent energies of the spring season as you travel to the sunlit realm of the Mother Goddess in search of the parts of your Self and life story that are the makings of your springtime new beginnings and personal growth.
The cost of this integrated Spring Journey package is $16.99.
Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution
Embrace the Goddess’s mysteries that guide your spiritual evolution.
Give yourself the springtime gift of new beginnings.
Your Spring Journey awaits you!
Photo Credit: Matthew Henry on Unsplash
Posted on:  Mar 18, 2018 @ 22:39 Posted in:  Sabbats
Spring heralds the return of the seasons of light, a threshold time when Nature reaches its green arms upward from the dark, death-like places in the belly of the Earth to embrace the strengthening sun. The Spring Equinox marks a moment of equal night and day, before the resurgence of the powers of light.
The natural realm delights us with the miracle of tender, new beginnings as life returns to the sleepy, barren landscape. From the tight buds that unfurl into purple crocuses, pink blossoms and the chartreuse canopy of trees — to the nighttime croaking of mating frogs, the quick flash of hummingbirds and the noisy honks of returning geese — it’s as if Mother Nature has turned back on the fresh, bright colors, sounds and smells of the living world outside our doorstep.
Less apparent in this wondrous springtime display are the death from which this new life arises, and the continuing presence of darkness alongside the resurgence of light. Green-growing things bridge and balance these elemental forces, extending both downward into the dark, composting soil, made rich by decay and death, and upward to the enervating potency of daylight, and the restful influence of the dark of night.
You’re part of the living world. The quickening pulse of Spring tugs on your body and soul, inciting you to cultivate new growth that takes your life in a fresh, positive direction. This new growth emerges from your inner darkness — made rich by the lost and forgotten parts of your life story and dormant potential that reach upward to take their place in the sunlit world of your conscious engagement and everyday existence.
Like Nature, something deep inside of you seeks a new balance and wholeness —woven of the light and shadow, beauty and wounding, and other vital, opposing parts of your inner darkness and life experiences — that give rise to your springtime rebirth and new growth. And like Nature, you need to cultivate equanimity to achieve this potent state of balance and wholeness in the face of these challenging, divergent aspects of your Self and life story.
This kind of soul-sourced, transformative change doesn’t come easy. It calls you to step past the death-like stagnation and stuckness of your old story and patterns, and step into the soulful, new beginning and personal growth that are ready to root and blossom in your life at this time.
In this profound spiritual pathwork, you’re following the hera’s path that illuminates the Goddess’s mysteries of spiritual evolution as a journey of descent and return from the Underworld. The hera’s path comes to us through ancient Goddess myths, the best known being the Greek, Mother-Daughter tale of Demeter and Persephone. It’s Demeter’s and Persephone’s evolutionary teachings that guide your Spring Journey pathwork.
In Spring, Persephone returns from Her Underworld travels in the realm of darkness and death. Demeter waits for Persephone at the threshold place where the Underworld opens into the sunlit realm, welcoming Her beloved daughter back to Her powers of light and life. Persephone has been transformed by Her travels and trials in the Underworld. She emerges as a Goddess reborn into a more mature, evolved version of Her Self: 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 realm of Her Mother Demeter.
Persephone shows you what spiritual evolution looks like from a Goddess perspective. You’re not trying to achieve some rarified, perfected state of being, or to emulate someone or something outside of your Self. Instead, like Persephone, your journey of soul can help you become a more evolved, mature version of your Self, with a wholeness and bigness of being that can bridge and balance the potent, opposing energies of darkness, death and wounding, and light, life and beauty within you and your life story.
With Demeter, Persephone and Nature as your inspirations and guides, here begins a new season of light on your journey of soul that can embrace your life story, in all its complexities and polarities, as you seek the equanimity, wholeness and bigness of being that are the markers of your personal growth and spiritual evolution.
Open to Nature’s living equanimity of balance and wholeness. Embrace the evolutionary teachings of the Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone. Become big, wise, loving and powerful enough to bridge and balance the complexities and polarities of your Self and life story. Be ready to step past your old story and cultivate a soulful, new beginning as you start your Spring Journey.
Further explore these transformative teachings through the Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution. The Spring Journey guides you through seven, integrated lessons that take you into the depths of your springtime personal growth and spiritual evolution. Each lesson is complimented with an awareness practice and journaling task to help you experience the teaching for yourself, and apply it to your journey of soul and everyday life.
Your Spring Journey includes: two pdf ebooks: the Spring Journey Guidebook and Spring Journey Journal, and the Spring Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio). The cost of this integrated Spring Journey package is $16.99.
Spring Journey – Your Spiritual Evolution: Embracing Your Life Story
Seek Out New Beginnings ~ Embrace Your Wholeness
~ Evolve Into Your Deep, Beautiful Self
Your Spring Journey awaits you!