Posted on:  Jun 29, 2018 @ 20:34 Posted in:  Sabbats
Excerpt from Summer Journey: Thou Art Goddess
The Goddess, in simple terms, is the feminine of Divinity, the sacred feminine. Pagan teachings tell us that She is immanent: She exists everywhere and can be found in all things. She is Mother Nature, the living body of the Earth, and the seasons and cycles that govern the physical world and our human lives through birth, life, death and rebirth. Her deepest presence is a golden love from which life emerges, is nurtured, and returns to at the end of its days.
You come to know the Goddess not through words or ideas, but through direct experience of Her presence and ways. Each turning of the seasons offers an opportunity to engage an aspect of the Goddess or God that is reflected in the mysteries and energies of the season. The Goddess who comes to greet you in the summer season is your own Inner Goddess.
You are Divine. You are beautiful. You are precious and worthy beyond your wildest imagination. Your deepest presence is love. You have special gifts and a sacred purpose that are yours alone to share with this world. You are an essential part of the great weaving of life that calls you to blossom and flourish in the summer season, and offer up your very best gifts and qualities for the well-being of the whole.
These are not just pretty words. They’re the lost truths of your Divine origins and Goddess heritage. They apply not just to you, but to every single living being of this Earth: from the tiny plankton to the majestic blue whale; a single blade of grass to the Amazon rainforest; the red-breasted robin to the fearsome condor. The earth, the air, the water, and the life-light within, these too are sacred, precious and essential for our shared existence.
See the summertime magnificence of Nature through your Inner Goddess knowing. Wild creatures and green-growing things cannot help but blossom into their true beauty and sacred purpose in the life-giving powers of Summer. Each is doing exactly what it is meant to be doing in the prime of its life; their physical forms and outward behaviors are natural, seamless expressions of their inner essence and primal drive to flourish.
From the bees busy gathering nectar and pollinating plants in their travels, to the raspberry bush offering up its delicious fruits for hungry bellies, to the birds who feast on this fruit and spread it seeds, to the swaying canopy of the giant maple tree that is home and habitat to these birds and many other wild creatures — this is the way life is meant to be, a living, breathing world of interconnected beings doing their destined part to ensure the health and well-being of the whole.
Our human world doesn’t work in these ways. Most people don’t live connected to their inner essence; they don’t bloom into a beautiful, full expression of themselves and their sacred purpose in life; and they don’t offer up their best gifts to ensure the health and well-being of the whole. Much of the unhappiness and destructive impulses of humankind find their source in this core wounding.
Consider these cold, hard truths in relation to your own life. Think about the masks that you wear and the roles that you play in your everyday existence that disconnect you from your true, beautiful Self. Open to your inner longings and unmet needs to live an authentic life, sourced from your inner essence and sacred purpose. Let yourself feel the unhappiness, pain and loss that arise from this disconnect.
You’ve never lost your Inner Goddess, nor your connection to the ways of the sacred feminine and the living truth of Nature. There’s no separation between you and your true beauty and sacred purpose. These things have always been waiting for you to show up and reclaim them as your own.
In Summer, with the powers of light and life at their peak, it is these very things that call you to take your destined place in the sun-bright world, alongside the wild creatures, green-growing things and your fellow humans. It is time for you to live from your very best gifts and qualities, and to play your part in ensuring the health and well-being of our shared human society and Earth home. This is how you can transform your life, and help build a better, more beautiful, kinder and joyful world. You need to simply show up as your true, beautiful Self.
You are ripe. You are ready to blossom and flourish. Your Inner Goddess can show you the way.
Learn more about the Path of She Summer Guided Journey at: http://www.pathofshe.com/public_html/summer-journey/
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 28, 2018 @ 20:56 Posted in:  Sabbats
Right now, in the heat of Beltane, the wild realm is expressing itself so loudly and so boldly that we just need to step beyond our doorstep to receive its direct, powerful truth-speak: life is our ardent lover.
How can we doubt this in the light of life’s wondrous love offerings: the hot kiss of sunshine on bare skin; dawn’s glorious chorus of birdsong; a meadow blanket of wildflowers; the soft, sweet bite of a fresh-picked strawberry; the bubbling laughter of a toddling child; and the electric stroke of a lover’s touch?
Our relationship with life is not monogamous; we share life’s ardour with all growing things of this Earth. At Beltane, life comes courting, gathering every one of us into its lover’s embrace.
These wild impulses run hot in our blood, no matter our attempts to block or deny them. We soften and open with the sensual tease of the strengthening sun. We delight in the enticing scents of unfurling buds of plant and flower. The primal juice of the creature realm sings to our creature flesh, awakening our feral instincts to make love and make life. And deeper still, life’s lover powers stir the mysteries in the core of our being, igniting our hunger to birth and nurture our soul’s latent desires.
Yet so much toxic debris blocks our lover’s dance with life. The shadow-side of our humanity represses, denies and distorts these powerful energies. Nowhere is our humanity more profoundly wounded than in our sensual, sexual, soulful life-creating-life drives.
Nature guides us always, even in the face of this terrible, damaging aspect of our personal stories and collective humanity. For everything there is a season: a time to seek our truth and healing in the winter-like grasp of our sorrow and pain, and a time to cast off the cold, deadening grip of our shadow-side and bask in the light and beauty of new growth and possibilities.
Life is not a doting, ever-benevolent lover. Everything in the growing world has its seasons through death and darkness, and life and light. We are no different.
New life emerges from stagnation and death. What is deep and best in us arise out of our wounding and loss. Sometimes we have to hold on to these truths in the thick of our pain and sorrow. Sometimes we have to trust that the new that we long for is the true and best balm to what ails us. Sometimes, if only for a sun-bright season, we have to leave our hurt behind and give all we’ve got to tend and grow into the life we most dearly want to live. We can choose to dig deep, shine bright and make the most with what we’ve been given.
In these ways, we become the lover that returns life’s embrace.
Excerpt from: Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available on Amazon.
If you would like to make a delicious, transformative journey yourself into the mysteries of Beltane, check out the Beltane Guided Meditation: Dancing with the Green Man.
On Sale for Beltane at the Path Store for only $5.99.
Photo Credit: Tyler Dozier on Unsplash
Posted on:  Apr 20, 2018 @ 20:17 Posted in:  Goddess
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