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Your Spiritual Evolution: Four Transformative Teachings for the Spring Season

Posted on:  Apr 16, 2017 @ 15:57 Posted in:  Featured, Sabbats

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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.

Everything you are and you’ve experienced are part of a greater journey that drives your spiritual evolution of becoming a more whole, 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.

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Demeter and Persephone: A Mother-Daughter Tale of Spiritual Evolution

Posted on:  Mar 24, 2017 @ 13:17 Posted in:  Sabbats

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.

In Spring, the myth of Demeter and Persephone illuminates the path of our spiritual evolution, and return to the Mother Goddess’s ways of love and life.

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.

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A Spring Equinox Mystery: Demeter and Our Spiritual Evolution

Posted on:  Mar 17, 2017 @ 12:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

“Here, in the sweet-scented land of Spring,” Demeter says, “I have celebrated my daughter Persephone’s return from the depth of the Underworld. "

At the portal where the Underworld opens to the sunlit realm, the Goddess Demeter waits for you, just as She has waited for Persephone from time immemorial. She is queenly in bearing and stature, clothed in a flowing gown of warm browns and soft greens, the colors of the good green earth. Her raven-hued tresses, faintly streaked with silver grey, smell fresh and fragrant, like rain-washed wildflowers. Though She smiles warmly in welcome, Her eyes, the blue black of a stormy sea, hold a great sorrow in their depth, and a great love.

One of your feet is still upon the cold, stone stairway that descends into the dark below, and the other touches the downy, green surface of Spring’s first grass. Both places lay claim to you: the Underworld with its mysteries and trials of darkness, sorrow and death, and the sunlit realm with its life-giving energies of light, joy and new growth.

Demeter reaches out a hand and pulls you upward into a mother’s embrace, tight and loving, with no separation between your two beating hearts. Then She takes your face between Her warm palms, gazing deep into your eyes and unearthing what you are made of and how you have changed since the last time She beheld your soul.

“Here, in the sweet-scented land of Spring,” Demeter says, “I have celebrated my daughter Persephone’s return from the depth of the Underworld. And here, I have long waited for this moment when you and your human kin would find your way back to my side and the ways of the Greater Mother.”

“Come, there are mysteries I would share with you so you will know the import of this turning point on your journey of soul, and in this Great Turning in the spiritual unfolding of humankind.”

Demeter leads you away from the biting drafts that reach upward from the belly of the Underworld and draws you deeper into the sunlit meadow, enlivened with bright clusters of spring flowers and the sounds of insects, birds and other wild things. You sit beside each other, with the green earth beneath you, the blue sky above, and the winds blowing fresh and balmy.

“When the world was young, there was no separation between humanity and the Great Mother,” Demeter begins, “Your primal ancestors lived at one with Her life-centered ways, just as Persephone stayed close by my side, and I protected and cared for Her, keeping Her out of harm’s way.

“Yet there comes a time when children must leave the circle of their mother’s love and find their way in the world on their own terms. Persephone left me to descend into the Underworld realm of darkness and death, and your ancestors turned away from the Great Mother and descended into a grievous period of your history. And so a long, cold Winter came to the Earth, where dominion and death overruled the creation and nurturance of life as the bedrock of your human society, and I mourned the loss of my daughter and the immense suffering of the Great Mother’s children.”

As Demeter speaks, you walk beside Her in Her remembrances, witnessing this long winter through Her tear-filled eyes and sorrowful heart. Long She wandered the world searching for Her daughter, and long She beheld the atrocities committed by humanity against each other and the living Earth. And as you walk with Demeter, the restless ancestors gather round you, victim and perpetrator alike, caught in the web of destruction and despair of this old tale, woven of our worst instincts of fear, greed, hatred and will to power.

Without words, you understand that our modern reality is a continuation of our ancestors’ lives, where our shadow overrides our light in a great imbalance between the worst and best of our human nature, and that the pain of your personal story has its roots in this much older tale.

“Yet as the seasons of the Earth turn, so do the seasons of humanity,” Demeter continues, “Many powers are converging, within and without, to wake humanity from its long winter of soul. Spring is in the air; Persephone walks the land above; and here you are, by my side, reaching for the ways of the Great Mother once more.

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Freedom, Not Fear: A Lesson in Flying

Posted on:  Mar 5, 2017 @ 15:12 Posted in:  Everyday Magic, Podcasts

Our Whole, Holy Womanhood: A Death and Life Story

Posted on:  Feb 19, 2017 @ 20:43 Posted in:  Goddess

Here is my latest SageWoman blog post.  The “read more” link below will take you to the SageWoman Blogs page.

I was born into a world that didn’t teach me what it means to be a woman in accordance with my true, sacred feminine nature and power. Instead, it made me see my womanhood as weak, small and inferior, meant to serve and please others. It taught me that power was an outside force, defined and imposed by others, that belonged to the realm of men.

Though I started my adult life on the wrong track, seeking my place and power in a masculine-defined world as an educated, career-focused business woman, my deeper Self had another plan that set me on the path of reclaiming the lost fragments of my whole, holy womanhood.

I did feminist graduate studies, ran my own gender-equity consulting business, read countless books on women’s ways and Goddess theology, spent countless hours in therapy and personal development, moved away from the city to a small, rugged island to reconnect with Nature, practiced magic, went to witchcamp, and became a priestess, dreamer and daughter of the Goddess.

Still something essential was missing, connected to the dark, death powers of my sacred feminine nature. This is the story of when this precious fragment returned to me.

It’s the early hours on the day of the Winter Solstice. I jolt awake with the word “miscarriage” screaming in my brain. I dash to the bathroom to find blood coming from me that isn’t supposed to be there at week eleven in my pregnancy. My partner soothes me, and calms me down enough to take me to the hospital. Later that morning, an ultrasound confirms that our baby has died — a child we had consciously conceived and desperately wanted.

Our midwife gives us a choice: to stay in the hospital for a procedure or to let things run their course at home. I’ve been down this road before, having miscarried five years earlier. No one had told me then that thirty percent of first-time pregnancies end in miscarriage, nor prepared and coached me for this eventuality. We had gone the hospital route, and the experience had been disorienting and disempowering. This time would be differently; I would tend my own miscarriage.   

In the darkest hours of the night, in the turning before the new dawn, my womb begins to convulse, releasing the dead life within. For hours, with each release, I collect the tissues of our child in a one-quart mason jar, not knowing which would have been his perfect face, his beating heart, his tiny body, his reaching hands, and his sweet toes. There are no eyes for me to close, or lips for me to kiss goodbye. This indistinguishable flesh, mixed with my life-giving blood, is all my partner and I have to mourn and bury.

In the midst of my keening grief, I remember myself — witch, priestess, wise woman — Holy Whore, Holy Reaper — midwife to both life and death moments with the powers of creation and destruction within my living womb.

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