power

A Woman’s Place…

January, 2018

As I was considering what to write for this column this month, I thought there was so much to choose from: the @MeToo phenomonen, more political attacks against reproductive freedom and women’s agency, attacks on LGBTQ, attacks on our Mother Earth, and so much more……you get the picture, I am sure. But then I came across this, and it said in a few words what I probably would have written in two pages.

This is short, sweet and simple, and yet gets the message across.

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

For Amazon Information Click Image Below

Book Review – How to Find Your Spirit Animal: Connect with Your Animal Helper for Guidance, Strength and Healing by David Carson

December, 2017

I was delighted to receive a review copy of this book. David Carson and Jamie Sams co-authored the 1990s classic “Medicine Cards – The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals.” I spent many hours working with that deck, as the animal allies taught me about their gifts and powers and how to awake those in myself.

David Carson’s work in this book, first published in 2011, offers a brief introduction to how 4 different “medicine” traditions work with animal teachers. These overviews are drawn with a broad brush- mentioning a few North American traditions, then moving on to the Sami, the Australian First People, and finally, Mesoamerican cultures. Carson touches on animal myths and practices associated with each of these lineages and ends up with a short section on contemporary shamanism. This travel through cultures is truly an overview and not by any means an in-depth analysis. I believe it is written for those who have heard about shamanism and power animals and who are looking for a way in to see if a deeper relationship is worth further pursuit.

The book then moves in to a chapter on different ways to find and work with animal spirits. Again, this is a survey of different methods, not an in-depth discussion. Carson touches on vision questing, guided visualization, altar building, meditation and dreaming as ways to find a power spirit. I was surprised not to see “Medicine Card” work listed – I always found those cards to provide exactly the animal powers needed to address the questions I brought! He cautions against the trap of working with an animal simply because you like it and are drawn to it. This can be good advice, but is not always true. It’s quite possible that an animal has drawn your attention and affection towards it because it has teachings for you. It is always a good practice to work with a method you trust for finding “truth” and exploring what your relationship with this animal energy holds. Carson offers an excellent practice in relationship building in his advice to offer gratitude and thanks to your power animal when you find each other. As with any relationship, you and your spirit animal have much to offer to each other and can work at finding out how best to be of service and to honor your partnership.

(artwork: My Sovereign Self with my Power Animals by Susan Rossi)

 

Carson touches on healing by asking your helping totem for a song or dance (or both) to use. He recommends working with a medicine wheel to overcome obstacles by consulting animals in the four directions for guidance. And his best advice, walk through your daily life with the awareness that your totem animal is ever present, always with you.

Most of this book contains short chapters on the qualities, gifts and powers of 50 different animals, both real and mythic. He provides information on their habits and associated myths. Again, this is not a detailed discussion, but an overview to give the reader a scent to follow. And these chapters truly are only tastes to set a trail to be followed; each person who has a relationship with Bear energy will discover the many different guises in which that energy may appear! The healing and nurturing mother bear perhaps, or maybe the grandpa bear who teaches the young ones to scamper up trees by chasing them. Or maybe the bear who speaks to dreaming and inner vision. There are no limits to what a helping spirit can teach us, so there is no one way that it always appears to everyone.

There is a short list of reference materials at the end of the book. Carson also provides a partial list of organizations working to benefit animals and suggests that readers inspired by working with their spirit animals may wish to donate time or money – an excellent suggestion that reinforces the importance of gratitude and cooperation in this work. 

This book is not for those who already work with totem animals. But for a beginner, this is a good place to learn how to take your first steps onto this path of relationship with your power animal.

 

For Amazon information, click image below.

 

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About the Author:

 

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

A Woman’s Place…

September, 2017

(Menstrual Night. Original art by Emily Balivet, may be found on her etsy site EmilyBalivet.)


Welcome to “A Woman’s Place……”, Pagan Pages’ new feminist column.

As some may have noticed, with the election to the US presidency of a man who is a racist, misogynist, homophobic, narcissistic bully, incidents of racism, anti-semitism, homophopia and misogyny are rising at a massive rate, all of which are distressing and disturbing. This column will address each of these issues, as feminism, for many of us, goes beyond just equal rights for women, but equal rights and social justice for all.

Recently, while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came upon this article – America 2017: Georgia Woman Fired for Menstruating on the Job

With this, we harken back to biblical times, when women were unclean and had to be kept separate from the rest of their tribe.

With this, we harken back to the days when women would hide their moon-time supplies in a closet so that the children, and yes, their husbands would not see them and remind them that our bodies do something *dirty* every month.

With this, we, each of us, remember that day when we were still young (or older, it doesn’t matter) that we were caught unprepared and were laughed at, or worse yet, called disgusting names such as “pig” and hear “ugh, what the hell is that?” What woman has not been there at some point in her life.

It is a simple fact that all women get their periods, and that most of us, at one time or another, will have an accident.

This does not mean, as this article states that, (she failed to)…..”practice high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty”. This comment by her employer intimates that because this woman had her period, she was not clean (read: unclean).

The slippery slope that women have been on these past few years has just gotten more slippery. We are close to losing bodily autonomy. We can now lose our jobs for healthy bodily functions. There is at least one state out there that has voted for us to not have jobs or homes if we take birth control or have had an abortion. See: Missouri Votes to Let Employers Fire People Who Use Birth Control

Women need to fight back, just as this GA woman who was fired from her job is fighting back. She is not fighting back just for herself, she is fighting back for all of us. We should all stand with her because if we do not, who will stand up for us when the time comes? It will come, this is the direction we are being led by the patriarchal culture that we live in.

Yes, I know, there are women who see this and say, “well, she is dirty if she cannot keep that from happening”. I have seen the comments. Many feminists think of women such as this as traitors, and male-identified. This may be so, maybe not, I have no idea. What I do know is that as women, we need to stand together and support and encourage each other, not judge each other and drag each other down.

As women, have you heard of The Red Tent Movement? It is for reasons such as this, that this movement exists. Women need to connect to other women. We need to remember that our bodies, our blood is sacred. It is powerful; it is magickal. Our blood is keyed to the phases of the moon – how cool is that? Women need to educate themselves, start to see and believe in the sacredness of who they are, find the Goddess within and without. See: Red Tent Temple Movement 

So, please be aware, look around and wake up to the things that are happening around you, especially now while we are in the power of a man and the majority of a political party that would seem to hate women, and want them to be put back in the place they once occupied.

Have you watched or read The Handmaid’s Tale? Our bodies are being policed more and more, and this is no longer fiction.

Oh, the name of this column, “A Woman’s Place……”? In case you didn’t know where that place was, I will give you a hint — it’s everywhere.

*Disclaimer: The opinions reflected here belong to the author and in no way reflect the opinion of Pagan Pages or any of their other columnists.

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, WriterTeacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through Imagine A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

For Amazon Information Click on Image

 

 

 

Stones Corner

November, 2015

Dream Stones
Dream Stones are used in some night spells.  You can also intentionally bring your dream stone into your dreams, using it for energizing, traveling, and healing. As you drift to sleep, simply repeat to yourself:

“Dream stone of light, Dream with me tonight.”

Keep this stone next to your bed, under your bed, or in your pillowcase.  You can keep it in a little natural fabric bag for cushioning.  Or even hold it in your hand as you drift off to sleep.

 

A List of Dream Stone and Their Meanings:
-Agate: Grounding and balancing your dreams, self-confidence, balance

-Amethyst: Divine communication, wisdom,

-Citrine: Dream messages, mental clarity, dispelling negative dreams, empowerment, remembering your dreams.

-Clear Quartz: Ultimate dream magic stone, spiritual connection, divine guidance, healing dreams, divine dreams, time travel, astral travel.

-Diamond: Divine inspiration, remembering your dreams, amplifying dream energies, protection, magical dreaming.

-Herkimer Diamond(an extremely hard diamond): Propitious for all kinds of
dream magic, stimulating higher awareness, filtering out negative dreams.

 

Acts of Power for Sabbats

February, 2015

Acts of Power for Sabbats – Imbolc

 

There are so many different types of Acts of Power (Magical Activities) you can do within a Sabbat Ritual – after you have created Sacred Space, Cast a Circle and Called the Quarters… Each Act of Power is usually geared to the specific Ritual theme, whether it’s an Esbat, a Sabbat or a specific Ritual. Ultimately, the Intention behind the Act is more important.

 

I would like to share an Act of Power we use in the Coven for our Imbolc Sabbat. We call it “Banishing the Winter”.

 

Quite simply, we make paper snowflakes. After folding and cutting them, each person opens them one at a time to divine the different shapes and figures that reveal themselves within the snowflake. It’s amazing the things you can see within the paper snowflake after cutting and opening it. It is similar to reading Tea Leaves, except it’s a snowflake…

 

Second, we ball the snowflakes and have a paper snowball battle. It releases the tension that cabin fever can bring… And paper snowball battles are relatively safer indoors. Oh, the frivolity it alludes!!

 

Last, we take each snowball and burn them in the Cauldron to “Banish the Winter”. We recite the following incantation over the paper snowballs before we burn them:

 

“Awaken, O slumbering Earth.

Bring us Joy and bring us Mirth.

The long Winter’s Sleep lingers still.

Cold nights decreasing

And warmer days increasing.

Cease ahead the cold Winter’s chill.

Banish the snows traditional,

Until the need arises next Yule.

So Mote It Be!!”

 

I hope that anybody who likes this specific Imbolc Act of Power shares their interest. Obviously, anybody who uses it has the option to augment it to their desire as it is given without interpretation. This is an AoP that I conceived many years ago and has always been successful and fun.

WiseWoman Traditions

February, 2013

THE WISE WOMAN TRADITION EMPOWERS WOMEN

 

The Wise Woman Tradition is the oldest known healing tradition on our planet. It offers a unique view of health that is woman-centered and deeply empowering to women. This is in stark contrast to orthodox – and most alternative – healing traditions, which are based on male viewpoints which disempower women.

The medicine I learned in school was based on a linear, scientific, male worldview whose truth I did not question. When this medicine failed me, as a woman and a mother, I sought alternatives. Herbs helped me take care of myself and my family, simply and safely, but I questioned the assumptions behind what I was taught. It was clear to me that alternative health care disempowers women as much, or more than, orthodox medicine does. They both actively assume that the norm on which assessment of health is to be based is masculine in gender.

Assuming that a healthy male is the definition of health may not seem like much of a problem, unless you are a woman. This core assumption has hurt, and continues to hurt, women in a multitude of direct and indirect ways, from the deeply personal to the widely political. This assumption leads to attempts to “correct” – with drugs and surgery – physical and emotional states that are normal (and healthy) for women, but not for men.

Consider: Healthy women were given DES (a hormone) simply because they were pregnant – their offspring are cancer-prone.

Millions of menopausal women have been (and are still) treated with hormones in an effort to replace what is “lost.” Does this improve their health~ No. Use of hormone replacement increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer.

Menstruating women need some quiet time alone. Instead they are offered pink Prozac to help them overcome their “depression.”

Women are advised to have their uterus (and increasingly their ovaries, too) removed since they are “not needed after menopause … just places that can harbor cancer.” It is well known that a woman’s sexual response is unlikely to be as strong, and may even be lost, when she loses these vital organs. A century ago, a woman who challenged male authority could be diagnosed as “hysterical” and her uterus (“hyster”) removed (often without anesthesia or disinfectants).

There is more to medicine than the male perspective. I speak for the woman-centered tradition. It offers men and women a new way to think about and create health in all stages of their lives. It empowers women to take charge of their health and their lives, to honor and respect themselves, and the earth. I call it the Wise Woman Tradition.

 

The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women by:

~ Focusing on simple remedies that are easily accessible
~ Sharing information freely
~ Offering compassionate listening
~ Renaming her weaknesses as strengths
~ Reminding her that her body is the body of the earth, is the body of the goddess, is the sacred ground of being.

 

The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women to:

~ View themselves as healthy, even when they have problems
~ Create their own healthy norms
~ Honor their natural cycles and changes (puberty, menses, pregnancy, menopause)
~ Define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint
~ Connect with other women for personal and planetary healing

Much of modern medicine seems complicated and difficult to understand. Many alternative remedies are also complicated, some are unduly expensive, others require special training and initiations. This disempowers women. The Wise Woman Tradition, by focusing on simple remedies that are easily accessible, and by sharing information freely, allows women to feel competent and powerful in taking care of their own health.

The Wise Woman Tradition heals by nourishing the wholeness of each unique individual. Nourishing has three primary aspects: simple ceremony, nourishing foods, and compassionate listening. When women are heard, when we listen to each other, then we feel validated and empowered. Harking back to the consciousness-raising sessions of the 1970’s, and informed by Native American teachings of the talking stick, compassionate listening reshapes women’s stories so they can reshape their lives.

One of the great gifts of the Wise Woman Tradition is the renaming of our weaknesses as strengths. When we allow ourselves to be depressed, outraged, yearning, grief-stricken, confused, fearful, bitchy, and more; when we allow all that we are to be part of us, then we can finally find and celebrate our wholeness/health/holiness.

The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women by reminding us that we are sacred, that our bodies are sacred. As women, we are the earth. Each one of us lives in the body of the earth. Each one of us comes from this sacred ground of being. And not only are we empowered to honor ourselves, we are empowered to demand that respect from all others.

When women accept orthodoxy’s image of them as constantly in need of help, they accept a powerless position. When women accept the Wise Woman Tradition’s assertion that they are already perfect, already vibrantly healthy, even when they have problems, they assume a position of power. When women create their own healthy norms, they create a place of power in which they can stand, no matter how fast and furious the changes.

When women believe that their natural cycles and changes (puberty, menses, pregnancy, menopause) are somehow sick or wrong, they open themselves to medical experiments. When women learn that the Wise Woman Tradition honors these states above all others, they find a source of deep wisdom and great power flowing into their lives.

When women define themselves from a male-centered viewpoint, they always loose. When they define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint, they always win. The Wise Woman Tradition offers this power to women, from the Ancient Grandmother’s heart to yours.

Sacred Sites

April, 2009

The Caledonian Forest – Scotland

This month for Sacred Sites I’d like to appeal to those of you who might consider taking a different kind of trip, one certainly not found in any guidebook. What I propose might not be for everyone, and I will warn you, there are no amusement park rides, no sandy beaches, and no wait staff serving you drinks with little umbrellas in them.

This destination is about uniting conservation, communities and sustainable travel. It’s called eco-tourism and it might just be one of the best things you could ever do.

Here is a little story for you…

Once upon a time… The ancient Caledonian forest covered the Scottish Highlands. These woodlands were direct descendents of the trees that first colonized the area after the last Ice Age 8-10,000 years ago. However, centuries of destruction from primitive tribes and farmers cleared the land of most of the trees, not to mention the Vikings that burned down large areas of the forest, which now have been reduced to less than 1% of the original area. But there is a happy ending to this story.

The Caledonian Forest is being reforested by volunteers, like yourself.

In 1989 a conservation charity called Trees for Life purchased land in the Highlands as part of an effort to restore Scotland’s Caledonian forests. Their organization has planted more than 750,000 trees and has helped to restore 11,250 acres of land.

National Geographic writer James Owens, states that “For the first time in 2,000 years, Scots pine, alder, birch, hazel, holly, and mountain ash are set to reclaim a large swath of the Scottish Highlands. The effort marks a nationwide move to restore the country’s lost woodland.”

With an ambitious goal of planting 250,000 new trees by the end of 2009, the organization is playing its part in the “Quarter of a Million Trees Appeal”, that supports the United Nations’ Billion Tree Campaign, which encourages people
to tackle climate change by planting seven billion trees worldwide.

In February 2009 BBC Wildlife Magazine selected the Conservation Volunteer Week Program as one of the Top 10 Conservation Holidays in the world.

The Volunteer Weeks run from February 28th to May 30th 2009, with the autumn season running from August 29th to November 14th 2009.

According to Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director “Every year, people of all ages and backgrounds from across the UK and beyond see our Conservation Volunteer Weeks as an opportunity to help restore the natural environment. This year we’re running more weeks than ever before, so we’re keen to hear from more people who would like to help.”

“Spending a week among the forest, rivers and mountains of the Highlands often touches people in a profound way. It is also an educational experience, in which volunteers learn about ecological restoration and observe nature close up.”

There are many opportunities out there for the traveler who is willing to stray from the well-worn path. Years ago on one of my first trips to Ireland, I was lucky to encounter a wise man through a completely serendipitous opportunity that was afforded me through the not so seemingly unfortunate occurrence of a flat tire.  In other words, we had a flat and pulled off the road.

The wise man told me that what we were seeking was not to be found on the highways and the main roads, he explained that we needed to take the back roads (which is by the way how we got a flat tire) and meet the land, meet its people and spend the time listening to what both had to tell us.

So for those travelers who consciously wander the world with the goal of meeting other people and trying to leave the world a better place than they found it, I encourage you to take the back roads and listen to the land. There are opportunities out there for you. I recall an offer once made by the steward at Charleville Forest Castle in Tullamore Ireland,….. If you’d like to come stay the summer, there is a room waiting for you, provided you lend a hand and help with the castle restoration. Seems like a decent offer.

So instead of leaving a trail of debris behind us on our next trip, why not give something back?

Individuals and companies can also support Trees for Life by having dedicated trees or groves planted for themselves or as gifts.

Details about the Conservation Volunteer Weeks are available at www.treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.ww.html

Resources:

www.Ecotourism.org

http://www.tflvolunteer.org/

http://www.caithness-business.co.uk/article.php?id=1136

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/02/0207_030207_scotforest.html