The Silver Threads of the Great Mother: A New Weaving for These Times
Posted on:  May 7, 2023 @ 7:00 Posted in:  Goddess
Long ago, we worshipped the Great Goddess, the Creatrix and the Dark One, the giver and the taker of the breath and sustenance of our mortal existence. Her ever-present love and life-giving ways, like shining silver threads, wove the tapestry of our human society, threads that were passed down from the Great Mother, to the priestesses and women leaders, and to the daughters who were to inherit the red cloak of feminine power.
So it was, for generation after generation, the silver threads of the Mother’s ways continued, shining and undiminished.
Yet nothing lasts forever and the seasons of humanity turn. As the sun overtakes the moon in the shifting of night into day, so the rule of men and their patriarchal Gods eclipsed the leadership of woman and the Great Goddess. Dominion and death overruled creation and the nurturance of life, and the silver threads of the Mother became tarnished and frayed.
Still, within this newer, distorted weaving, the silver threads remained visible for those with eyes to see and a heart to receive.
With each successive generation and in patriarchy’s quest for absolute rule and absolute suppression of the Mother’s ways, Her silver threads faded farther and farther from our human awareness. Fear and disdain replaced love and reverence.
There were no priestesses, no women leaders, and no daughters to pass on our sacred feminine lineage. Only the bravest of our ancestors, the witches and the healers and the wise women, dared to remember and speak of the remnants of the Mother’s silver threads, woven into the Old Religion of the Great Goddess. Then they too became a part of our disappearing herstory, tortured and murdered during the horrors of the Burning Times for the taint of association with She who must be purged from Her stubborn roots in the human psyche.
Yet nothing lasts forever and the seasons of humanity turn. The sun shares the sky with the moon, just as God shares this world with the Goddess, and a male ethos with that of the sacred feminine. One may eclipse the other for a time, but what was lost will be refound and balance will return.
We, the waking daughters and sons of the Great She, stir after lifetimes of a deadening sleep. Piece by broken piece, we remember Her in the shards of pottery, crumbled sanctuaries and fragments of sacred text that have weathered the ravages of time and persecution. Somehow these silver threads, though torn, tangled and disconnected from their original holy weaving, reach through the ages and whisper their secrets to our hungry hearts.
And all around us, Her silver threads shimmy and shine in the outpouring of life and splendor of this planet Earth, and in the mysteries that underlie our waking reality. While we banish Her to the shadowy recesses of our minds, still She walks among us, gifting us always with the abundance and beauty of the green-growing world. Still, we journey by Her side in our dreams and between-the-worlds magic, receiving Her teachings and guidance on our journey of soul.
In these turning times, we must begin again, collecting and weaving Her silver threads into a new tapestry of sacred texts and secular practices that return balance and Her goodness and love to our human psyche and society. While we mourn the destruction and desecration of the ancient weavings that were once the bedrock of our humanity, we must also remember that new times require a new weaving.
Each of us, individually and together, in our personal lives, families and communities, must collect and weave, collect and weave, the silver threads that are everywhere and in everything — in the laughter of children, the heat of our lover’s touch, the smile of a stranger, and the best impulses of our warm beating heart — in the crisp bite of an apple, the comforts of home and hearth in the dead of winter, the glorious scent of a summer rose, and the silver brush of moonlight on a sleeping landscape — in our dreams, intuitions, creative expression and spiritual gatherings, where the Mysteries congregate at our doorstep — and in our big and small choices and actions to right the injustices, environmental damage and human abuses of our troubled world.
In this essential work, we’re going to stir up the brittle, crusted-over places and twisted, tangled threads that hold our personal wounding, and the fears and nay-saying old stories that dig their heels into the status quo in resistance to our forward movement. We’ll come face to face with the worst of our collective, destructive impulses and the tumultuous, terrifying upheaval that mark the ending of one season of our humanity and the birth of the next. Yet we mustn’t waiver nor let these old stories and fears stand in the way of our sacred task of co-creating the new.
In all these things and so much more, She is with us, gathering up our smaller weavings into the greater tapestry that is the template of a better, kinder, more sustainable and loving world. And in this tapestry, we’ll find Her shining ancient threads, the tarnished silver strands when we lost our connection to Her sacred ways, and the new golden threads of our remembering and reclaiming the love and goodness that are Her most precious gifts to us.
I reach out my hand to Her. I reach out my hand to you. We have work to do. Let us begin.
Related Post: Our Collecting and Weaving Task: A Tapestry of Love
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Three Lessons to Inspire Your Beltane Magic with the Green Man
Posted on:  Apr 24, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Featured, Sabbats
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.
Beltane magic has a sexual edge. The Green Man walks the land, firing up everything He touches with His wild, fertile life force. In Nature, plants, birds, bees and creatures, great and small, mingle, mate and give birth to a brilliant display of new life. Even the seemingly innocent, secular practice of the maypole has its roots in Beltane’s celebration of sexuality and fertility: the maypole is a giant phallic symbol arising from the fertile earth, and the dance interweaving the long ribbons represents sexual union and the creation of new life.
In my Beltane ritual, the Green Man was my gentle, patient lover. In the face of my fear and limitations, He enfolded me in His loving presence, took me to the shadow places in my inner landscape that held my wounding with God and men, and shared visions that helped me make peace with my personal story and the men who had hurt me. This was exactly what I needed to take my next step on my journey of soul.
The Green Man is your lover, and mine, and of every living thing on the Mother Earth. He makes love and life with each of us in accordance with our needs and capabilities. When you open your heart and your longings to the Green Man, He will come to you. This communion can be and feel sexual, but that’s only one expression of His lover presence. Whatever you need, in whatever form, He will give to you.
3. The Green Man gifts us with a positive, life-centered vision of God and masculinity, outside of the limitations and dictates of our collective human reality and personal wounding.
The Green Man is the guardian of the wild world, and the master of the mysteries of life and co-creation. He is a masculine presence unlike anything in our shared, mundane world: a being of light, love and life-making, feral, sensuous, and unencumbered by the restrictive dictates of our human society.
When the Green Man came to me that Beltane eve, He helped me mend a debilitating inner tear that separated me from God and men. I called out to Him from a pain, primal and ancient, that arose from my personal wounding and from the generations upon generations of women before me that had suffered at the hands of men. I wanted this separation to end, and to love God and men once more. But I didn’t know how to make right what was broken within me.
So the Green Man revealed to me His true nature: a being of light, beauty, love, compassion and patience. With His gentle guidance, He helped me see beyond my inner tear and limitations, and showed me the spiritual wasteland of the men who harm others, a desolate place severed from the love and life-centered ways of God and the sacred masculine. This Beltane night, the Green Man set me free, not only returning me to a positive relationship with God and my own instinctive, life-seeking nature, but also widening my love and compassion to include the wounded masculine.
However you choose to embrace the magic of Beltane — be it a walk amongst Nature’s feral, stunning fecundity, or to sit in ritual circle with the Green Man, or in whatever ways you honor this potent time of year — know that the Green Man’s wild-world dream of light, love and life-making is reaching out to you. Here He can help you step beyond the wounding and limitations of your personal story and our collective human reality to explore and embrace a new, positive relationship with God, the sacred masculine, and your own wild, life-centered nature.
Artwork by CyrilBarreaux
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The Transformative Magic of Your Life Story
Posted on:  Apr 16, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Everyday Magic, Featured, Path Basics, Pathwork
We humans aren’t good or bad, beautiful or ugly, perfect or imperfect, but some complex weaving of all of these things. To witness, embrace and hold space for the totality of our being is a very potent practice that can bring the transformative magic of healing and change to our lives and world.
I am on a hike with a dear friend in a wild area close to the ocean. A creek runs through a small, verdant valley, guarded over by towering evergreen trees. We stop walking, stop speaking, and gaze in slack-jawed wonder at this miniature Garden of Eden, arising from a fertile meeting ground of dappled sunlight and rich, moist soil. The beauty is visceral, a shining green luminescence that thrums up against my own shining core.
“We are this beautiful inside,” I tell my friend.
Later this same day, another dear friend shares a story about having to explain to her ten-year-old son what an army is. Her explanation went something like this: “I am so sorry to have to tell you this, but we give money to a group of people who use it to buy weapons that they use to kill other people.”
This is not a judgment of the courageous individuals in the armed forces who risk their lives in service to their countries, but more a paring war down to its simplest terms and seeing the horror, the ugly, at its core.
We humans are this ugly inside. Not just in relation to war, but in the many terrible, destructive things we do to each other and to our planet home.
Both of these statements are true. We have a whole lot of beauty and a whole lot of ugly inside of us and in our world. These two polar forces, inside and outside, battle for dominion over our soul. And it is here, in these opposing forces, that you find the transformative magic at the heart of your life story and our human experience.The Gift of the Beauty and the Ugly
This is never an easy conversation to have. If you are like most people, you’ve been socialized to push away and transcend the bad and the ugly, and to aspire to the good and the beautiful, while skating around the edges of the uncomfortable, unsavory parts of your own personality and our human society.
If you can do this, become big and wise and courageous enough to embrace these disparate aspects of your life and our world, deep healing and change happens.
A light turns on, revealing what once was hidden: the roots of your stories of wounding and pain, and the profundity of your gifts and powers. And in this place of greater awareness, you get to choose which of these two parts of your human experience to dedicate your life to. You can chain yourself to the ugly or you can embrace your beauty.
And in this choice making, where you show up and take responsibility for the full range of your nature and experiences, you determine the fate of your soul and your life, and that of our world. This is the gift of the beauty and the ugly.The Transformative Magic of Your Life Story
Though these ideas may seem abstract, and perhaps even apocalyptic, the beauty and the ugly play out in the everyday of your life, and this is where real change can happen.
Take for example your imperfection, your personal ugly, that reveals itself in the aspects of your personality and life story that reflect your dysfunction and struggles. First, to be clear, there is no such thing as unsullied beauty and perfection. The ideal of perfection that we’ve been indoctrinated to believe in, and can never measure up to, is a lie, a distortion that blocks our personal healing and growth.
So why not try a different approach, sourced from the sacred feminine, where you show up to the aspects of your life that you see as your personal imperfection, and hold them in the loving embrace and awareness of the beauty inside of you. This is what the process looks like.
1. Start with personal awareness. Bear witness, without judgment or analysis, to your current state of mind in relation to your personal imperfection.
Pay attention to your internal tape about yourself and your life.
What do you see as the imperfect parts of yourself? How do they play out in your life?
How do you treat these personal imperfections? Do you push them away and judge yourself? What emotions do they evoke?
What deeper beliefs underlie your treatment of your imperfection? Do you see yourself as flawed? Do you measure yourself against some outer ideal or yardstick? What is this ideal or yardstick?
2. Access the beauty inside of you, the part of you that holds your love, compassion and self-acceptance. Connect with your perceived imperfection from these beautiful parts of your nature.
Step to one side of your self-judgment and current way of conceiving and engaging your imperfection. Let go of these beliefs and thoughts, if only for the moment.
Step into your beauty. Imagine it bubbling up from the core of your being and filling you with self-love and compassion.
Look for the perfection in your imperfection – what it teaches you about yourself and how it can guide your healing and positive growth.
3. Hold space for the totality of your being. You are both the part that pushes away and judges your imperfection, and the part that loves and accepts you as you are.
You are not good or bad, beautiful or ugly, perfect or imperfect, but some complex weaving of all of these things.
This is not an idea, it is a way of being where you access that part of you that is big, wise and courageous enough to embrace and contain all that you are.
Find this bigness of being inside of yourself and open wide to everything you have experienced and learned about your imperfection and your beauty in this exercise. Imagine yourself as a strong, resilient vessel that can hold the tension and power in the meeting and mixing of these opposing energies.
Don’t be surprised if this feels distressing and difficult. Our human psyche likes dualistic, either-or categories of good versus bad, and beauty versus ugly, and this exercise is outside of its comfort zone. Stay with the discomfort, without trying to repress or resolve it. You are increasing your capacity to be present to the truth that is your life.
What comes next is unknown. You have activated the transformative magic of your life story, both its ugly and beauty, and change will come.Transforming Our Collective Ugly
It is this same transformative magic and bigness of being that can not only heal and evolve your life, but also our world. And this brings us back to the story that began this post.
You, and each of us, are indeed as luminescent lovely as the slice of Garden of Eden I came across on my hike with my friend. And we each have the ugly of human society inside of us that begets war and the countless other abuses and atrocities of our species.
Both these things are true, and both offer us the greater awareness and choice making that can mend and transform our collective ugly from our bigness of being and deepest beauty. Then maybe, just maybe, we will someday live in a world where a child won’t need to ask a parent, “What is an army?”
Mastering Dreamwork: Four Telltale Markers of Daytime Dreams
Posted on:  Apr 10, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer
We don’t typically think of our everyday life as the stuff of dreams, yet the same mysteries, inner and outer, infuse and inform our waking and sleeping hours. Think of your unfolding life as one, overarching, soul-sourced dream that makes itself visible in your nighttime and daytime dreams.
Nighttime dreams are fantastical and unbounded from the laws of the physical world. Daytime dreams are grounded in the concrete events, situations and exchanges that fill your day-to-day existence.
Daytime dreams can be just as potent and useful as nighttime dreams in revealing the soul-sourced roots and transformative potential of your life experiences. The trick to working with your daytime dreams is figuring out which parts of your busy life hold the treasures of insights, inspirations and experiences that can guide your pathwork of personal growth and evolution.
Here are four telltale markers of daytime dreams that can help you with this potent task.Four Telltale Markers of Daytime Dreams
1. Impactful Life Situations
The dream of your life is already unfolding. The things that are happening to you and around you are not random. They are the stuff of your personal growth and evolution.
To be a proficient daytime dreamer, you need to develop self-awareness of the impactful situations in your life.
What personal challenges and opportunities for growth are up for you right now? Is anything new or unusual happening in your outer life and interpersonal relationships? What are you excited or worried about? Where are you feeling strong emotional reactions, positive or negative?
Bring this self-awareness to your daily existence. It will help you discern which life situations have the makings of a daytime dream that can inform and guide your pathwork
2. Related Nighttime Dreams
Your nighttime dreaming can offer a direct portal into the soul-sourced roots of your healing and personal growth.
The challenge with nighttime dreams is that they speak in the language of images and energy, and it may not be obvious what they are trying to tell you about your waking-world existence.
Yet if you open to your nighttime dreams, taking in their images and energies, and journaling their details, you are priming yourself to pick up on the daytime reflection of these dreams.
3. Unusual or Synchronistic Events
There is mystery afoot with daytime dreams. When an unusual or synchronistic event grabs your attention, be assured that you are in the presence of a powerful daytime dream.
We’ve all had these kinds of experiences, when we know something beyond the ordinary has crossed our path. Books fall open and deliver a message. Plans are waylaid, only to be replaced by the exact, right experience. Out-of-place objects appear before us. Strangers say something out of the blue. The variations are endless.
4. Reoccurring Themes or Messages
The soul-sourced dream of your unfolding life reveals itself in these multiple ways: the impactful situations in your everyday life, your nighttime dreams, and unusual and synchronistic events.
These are all clues that are trying to teach and guide you on a common theme or message. When you grasp this message, you have truly mined the treasure of your daytime dream.A Personal Example of the Four Telltale Markers
Here is a personal example of how these four telltale markers work together.
There was a time, early in my spiritual journey, when information started to come to me about human spiritual anatomy. I attended a lecture on this subject, and the presenter only focused on mind and spirit. Halfway through the talk, another source of knowledge rose up from inside of me, and it said, “no, no, she is missing something. What about sacred matter? What about your body and the body of the Earth?”
My nighttime dreams spoke of the spiritual importance of the number three, and that humanity was the third thing that arose out of the sacred union of spirit and matter.
To make sure I totally got the point, while I was taking the elevator to my office one morning shortly after the lecture, a business man turned to another and said, seemingly out of nowhere, “Three is the magic number you know.”
All of these things spoke to one message: humanity is woven of the sacred trinity of mind, body and spirit. Three is indeed the magic number.
This is how daytime dreaming works, sometimes delivering powerful spiritual lessons, as in the example above, and other times revealing the parts of your healing and personal growth that need your attention.
No matter the content, these four telltale markers can help you discern and engage your daytime dreams. Curiosity combined with practice and dedication beget increased self-awareness and dreamwork skill. Day by day, dream by dream, you can become a master of working with your daytime dreams.
Photo Credit: Steven Wei on Unsplash
Your Superpowers: The Sweet Spot of Self-Actualization and Service
Posted on:  Apr 3, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Featured, Path Basics, Pathwork
An intriguing question came through my Facebook newsfeed: what are your superpowers? On the surface, this may seem like a fun, diversionary post, prompting you to indulge in whimsy about your hidden, larger-than-life abilities. Yet there’s so much more to this question that calls you to discover and claim the special gifts and powers that are yours alone to share with the world.
Forget the superheroes of the DC and Marvel universes, with their superhuman powers and strengths. Yes it would be marvelous to fly, shapeshift, manipulate the elements, space travel, and the gazillion other fantastical talents of these otherworldly beings, but none of these things are within your human reach.
While you’re at it, forget the superstars that our culture obsesses about. Yes it might be marvelous to be a movie star, famous musician or artist, media celebrity, billionaire or world-class athlete, dazzling the world with your special talents and meteoric success, but, if you’re like the vast majority of us, these adulated characteristics won’t apply to you.
Superpowers aren’t only the prerogative of superheroes and superstars. You don’t need to measure your personal abilities, worthiness and contribution to society against these select, special few, with their showy, out-of-reach talents. It’s much more empowering, and interesting, to widen your gaze to the super-people closer to home, including yourself, with amazing, unique superpowers of the more accessible and nourishing kind.
Add to this the idea that you were born into this world for one reason: to claim your special gifts and offer them up to others. You are here, on this Earth, to be of service to others and our planet home. This service isn’t about self-sacrifice and personal deprivation; instead it’s your path to self-actualization. By claiming and cultivating your special gifts, and sharing them with others, you will naturally blossom into your true, beautiful, powerful Self.
Where you find this sweet spot of service and self-actualization, you know you’ve hit upon your superpowers.My Personal Superpowers
When I read the post with the question about superpowers, I immediately put my fingers to the keyboard, and, without thinking, typed the following:
My superpower is to be a master story-hunter. I go searching for the story-magic that’s needed in the moment, traveling deep in the land of lost tales and forgotten dreams. I follow the trail of angst and longings of the story-seeker that show the way to the frozen-in-time moment of the long forgotten tale, and then I pluck the story back into the waking world and place it into the hands of the story-seeker, trusting them to discover and make their own the beauty and healing medicine from the lines and drama of the tale. My cape is deep red, the color of life and beating hearts and living stories. Yes! This is my superpower.
There’s a backstory to my superpower. Several years ago, I was on a four-day spiritual retreat that focused on finding your place and service in these turbulent, world-changing times. I had already begun working on my first Path of She book, but I couldn’t seem to find my groove. In one of the exercises, it suddenly came to me that I was a collector and teller of stories, and not just any old tales, but lost stories that arose from the deep roots of our collective humanity, and the sacred dark of our inner landscapes; stories that offered healing, transformative medicine for these times.
Yes I’m a writer, but that’s what I do, not who I am. In my sacred, essential core, I’m a master story-hunter. This is my superpower that I bring to most everything I do: my Path of She writing and teaching, my journey of soul, my personal relationships, my magic and ritual work, and in my every moment dance with life. I live and dream by story. I honor and free lost stories by returning them to the waking world, and to the story-seekers who arrive on my physical and cyber-space doorstep. My deepest wish is that these stories will help others find their own beauty and gifts, and claim their superpowers in service of themselves and others.
Words can’t do justice to the sense of rightness and peace that settle on me as I say these things out loud, and claim them as my special gifts and sacred purpose. This is my sweet spot of service and self-actualization. Yes! This is my superpower!What Are Your Superpowers?
Pull up a blank page on your word processor or journal book and answer the question: what are my superpowers? Don’t think, just open to that part of you that knows why you are special and what gifts you have to offer this world, and let this part of you write.
By this question, I don’t mean your fantasy, wish-I-had powers, but your close-to-home, special-to-you beauty and gifts. Let your soul reveal itself on the page, and speak in whatever words best illuminate your superpowers.
If you’re blocked in answering this question, or you sense that your mind and preconceptions are interfering, let this exercise go. But carry the question with you for the next few days, remaining open, curious, and hungry to discover and name your superpowers.
Your superpowers don’t need to be showy or awe-inspiring. They can be a special talent, quality of being, or powerful kind of knowing. You’re already sharing your superpowers with the world. You can’t help it. They’re part of who you are, always present, although you may not be able to name and know them yet.
Think to your childhood play, your most passionate, joyful moments, the things your family and friends like best about you, and the times when you lit up the world around you. Stir up these memories and energies inside of you, and let them draw your awareness of your superpowers to the surface.
When you feel answers rising within you, pull up that blank page and give voice to the superpowers of your special gifts and sacred purpose. You’ll know you’ve found them when you feel that sense of rightness and relief that comes with naming a deep, profound, personal truth.
You were born into this world for one reason: to claim these superpowers and offer them up in service to others. You may not know what this means, or how to live in alignment with your superpowers, and that’s okay. Trust that you’ve found your sweet spot of service and self-actualization, and that something has shifted within you that will guide your way on your journey of blossoming into your true, beautiful, powerful Self.
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Artist: Autumn Skye (autumnskyeart.com)