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Posted on:  Mar 20, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats
Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats
As the seasons of the Earth turn, so do the seasons of humanity. 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.
In this awakening and Great Turning, Persephone is your teacher. She sought out Her wholeness in the belly of the Underworld, willingly suffering its trials and lessons to test and come to know Herself in the fullness of Her being. By these travels, Her power and selfhood were honed, and She returned to me maiden no longer, but Goddess and Queen in Her own right.
So too humankind has lived the full range of its nature, both the shadow and light, and horror and beauty. As you individually and collectively emerge from your travels in the Underworld of humanity’s shadow-side, you can follow Persephone’s example. You can become powerful and wise enough to embrace the full breadth of your human nature, ancestral heritage and life experiences — the good with the bad, and the shadow with the light — and in doing so, you become a child no more, but a person honed and matured by your trials and lessons.
Whatever pain you feel or burden you carry from your personal and ancestral stories have brought you to this evolutionary cusp. You need not be trapped by a past that no longer serves you; instead you can use its trials and lessons to fuel your journey of soul, and help you step out of this old tale and your own old story, and into a fresh new beginning.
It is time for we ancient ones to find our rest. Humanity’s long winter of soul is ending. The ancestors’ stories are done. They have served their purpose of bringing you to this evolutionary, awakening moment of choosing the Great Mother’s life-centered ethos once more, from a place of power and wisdom. We pass this blessed world on to you. What comes next will be of your choosing and making.
Let your suffering be the compost that feeds your new growth, and let your joy draw your hungry limbs upward to embrace life. Trust yourself. Trust each other. Begin again.
Celebrate Spring Equinox
with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Artwork by Natalie Shau
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.
This season’s 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.
You don’t need to think of spiritual evolution as a rarefied state of enlightenment. Instead, you can understand and engage your spiritual evolution as a journey of new beginnings and growth that arise out of the darkness, trials, suffering and wounding of your life story. Rather than transcending these inescapable parts of your human experience, you can honor and embrace them as the very things that inform and nourish your journey of evolving into your full maturity and power.
2. Your life story is the vehicle of your spiritual evolution.
Persephone sets out on a journey of discovery and self-determination outside of the circle of Her Mother Demeter’s love and guiding presence. She has Her own, unique, personal experiences in the Underworld, separate from the ways of Her Mother and the sunlit realm She left behind.
This is Persephone’s story, not Her Mother’s, nor the story of any of the other Goddesses in the Greek pantheon. And it’s the full range of Her life story — with its beginning in the sunlit realm of Her maidenhood and innocence, travels into the depths of the mysteries and trials of the Underworld, and return to the sunlit realm, stepping into a new level of maturity, power and wholeness — that drives Persephone’s personal growth and spiritual evolution.
Like Persephone, you must consciously choose to set off on a journey of discovery and self-determination by stepping beyond the people and parts of your life that define and limit you, and descending into the mysteries and trials of your inner darkness. Here you’ll find everything you need — amongst the lost and repressed parts of your Self and life story that hold your beauty, wounding and dormant potential — to guide your new, spring-like beginnings of personal growth and transformation.
This isn’t the work of one season, but of a lifetime of descent into your inner darkness and personal trials, and return to the sunlit world of new beginnings and personal growth. The journey itself, drawing on the wellspring of your life story, is your spiritual evolution.
3. Equanimity is an essential skill on your journey of spiritual evolution.
Your spiritual evolution is driven by a special kind of transformative magic. Whenever diverse, opposing energies come together, and are held in a state of equanimity, something miraculous happens. Life is reborn in new, fresh ways that are only possible through the potent meeting and mixing of opposites.
Nature and the Goddess Persephone illustrate this transformative magic, and the essential role played by equanimity in the miracle of springtime rebirth.
In Spring, Nature reveals a living equanimity where the wild world is reborn through the balanced, harmonious interweaving of the primal, opposing forces of life and light, and darkness and death. When Persephone returns to Her Mother Demeter in Spring, She is reborn into a mature, evolved version of Her Self, whole and holy as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth. Persephone demonstrates Her equanimity through a bigness of being that is wise, powerful and loving enough to bridge and balance the divergent worlds of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered sunlit realm.
This transformative magic equally applies to your spiritual pathwork. Whenever you consciously embrace and engage diverse, opposing parts of your Self and life story with equanimity, the miraculous happens. You heal, grow and evolve in powerful, new directions that can only arise out of the complexities and polarities of the wholeness that is your life.
4. Spiritual evolution is a journey toward wholeness.
In Her Underworld travels, Persephone reclaims the missing half of Her nature. Her maiden side lived in the realm of light and life, but She was incomplete without the part of Her that held the mysteries of the Underworld and Her experiences of death and suffering. Persephone isn’t one thing or another, but a wholeness that contains it all. In Spring, it’s Persephone’s wholeness, as the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, that reveal Her as a Goddess evolved into Her full maturity and powers.
Nature is this wholeness. It’s an ever-shifting balance and harmony of darkness and death with light and life. With the change of season, one state naturally steps into the foreground as the other recedes, but neither ever totally replaces the other, and both are absolutely essential and interdependent. It’s Nature’s wholeness that gives rise to springtime’s new, green growth.
This spiritual pathwork of seeking and reclaiming will naturally change and evolve you, deepening your spiritual maturity and power, and granting you a sense of peace and rightness as you live in accordance with the rich, complex wholeness that is your innate, true, beautiful nature.
Further explore these transformative teachings through the Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution. The Spring Journey guides you through seven, integrated lessons that take you into the depths of your springtime personal growth and spiritual evolution. Each lesson is complimented with an awareness practice and journaling task to help you experience the teaching for yourself, and apply it to your journey of soul and everyday life.
Your Spring Journey includes: two pdf ebooks: the Spring Journey Guidebook and Spring Journey Journal, and the Spring Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio). The cost of this integrated Spring Journey package is $16.99.
Spring Journey – Your Spiritual Evolution: Embracing Your Life Story
Seek Out New Beginnings ~ Embrace Your Wholeness
~ Evolve Into Your Deep, Beautiful Self
Your Spring Journey awaits you!
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash
Posted on:  Feb 27, 2021 @ 19:04 Posted in:  Sabbats
Take a moment to step outside your door. Open your senses wide; drink in the light, colors, textures, sounds and smells of the natural elements that surround you; let these sensual encounters seep into your skin, down through your flesh and bones, into the very core of your being. You’re home, here amidst the physical wonders and swirling energies of the natural realm, here on this green and blue jewel of Earth as it spins and cycles its way through the infinite Cosmos.
Close your eyes and place your hands on your belly; track your inhalation, letting it draw your awareness into the depth of your inner landscape. Empty your mind; relax your body; be with yourself, still, silent, at ease. You’re home, here amidst the physical wonders and swirling energies that are you, here rooted in the beauty and gifts of your Deep Self and authentic humanity, a unique-in-all-the-Universe being, spinning and cycling your way through your one, precious life.
With a soft, unfocused gaze, once again take in the surrounding landscape. On your exhalation, share a bit of your Deep Self essence with the outer world; on your inhalation, draw in the energies of sun, earth, wind and wild, green-growing things, and sense them infuse and inform your inner world. Breath in, breath out, slow, sweet, steady. You’re home, here amidst the love and rightness of this communion, within and without, between your Deep Self and Nature, spinning and cycling together through the seasons of light and dark, life and death, and joy and sorrow.
These primal, essential connections are always present; you’re already home. Your journey of soul, at its core, is about remembering, reclaiming and living, ever more deeply and profoundly, this simple, powerful truth. And this process is an unfolding journey that begins anew with every breath, every step, every season and every cycle, in the big and small miracles that mark your healing and personal growth, and bring positive, live-affirming change to the greater world.
Breathe deep and feel your feet upon the ancient pathway of the Goddess. Look behind you and bear witness to your travels through one cycle of the Wheel of the Year, across its seasons of darkness, death, light, life, joy and sorrow — engaging the soul lessons ripe for you at this time, renewing your primal relationship with Nature, and the Gods and Goddesses, and acquiring the knowledge and skills that facilitate your spiritual pathwork. You’ve walked this ancient path in your own way, following where your Deep Self and life have led you.
You’re not the same person you were at the beginning of this journey; you’ve become someone new, and this new isn’t some ideal, perfected state, but a deeper, more present and beautiful you. No matter how profoundly you’ve changed or how messy your life still feels, love and embrace yourself as you are right now, honor the hard, hard work you’ve done, both the struggles and positive changes, and savor this sweet moment and the goodness that is your life.
And once more, you’ll return to the core themes of your soul work and life story, and their reflections in your pathwork of beauty and wounding. Though it may sometimes seem like you’re treading over old, familiar ground and issues, know you follow a spiral path that will lead you deeper into the layers and complexities of your soul work, for as long as is needed for you to reap its gifts of healing and transformation.
Excerpt from the Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.
The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes you on a soulful journey through the seasons, with Nature and the Gods and Goddesses as your guides. Connect your spiritual path with the energy of the Earth through teachings, guided meditations and pathwork exercises, and explore your soul’s journey through its seasons of light, dark, life, death, joy and sorrow. Embrace the powerful, essential work of transforming your life.
Artwork by SergeyDemidov.deviantart.com
The Goddess tells me one thing over and over again: to heal and evolve this world, we need to become something different. We need to be love.
Though these words sound simple, what do they really mean? What is this love? And how do we go about being love?
What Is this Love?
To answer the question: what is this love, I have to tell you a story.
I was attending a workshop on the Buddha’s doctrines on love. As the teacher delivered his dharma talk on this topic, I shifted into a meditative state and opened to this love he spoke about.
Later, in my connection with the Goddess, I came to understand this place or part of me as the golden love of the Goddess that had little to do with my pre-conceived notions of love, and everything to do with my direct experience in the Buddhist workshop.
This isn’t the romantic love of Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards, nor a warm, enveloping, motherly love, but something woven into the very fabric of existence — sometimes fierce, tugging and unrelenting, like the ocean calling us back to its life-sustaining waters — sometimes hot, sensual, igniting, like the skin-on-skin of a lover’s touch — other times gentle, accepting, peaceful, like the hands of the Goddess cupping us in their infinite interior — always as close and intimate as our breath, yet also way beyond our limited human conception of things — something of soul, of body, of experience, not mind.
What I know, beyond all doubt, is that we are this love. Our very beings are woven of its golden strands, and our most sacred purpose is to be love.
How Do You Go About Being Love?
To answer the question: how do you go about being love, I offer you a meditation exercise.
1. Start with a simple breath meditation.
Take several full, deep breaths, following the sounds and movements of your inhalations and exhalations. Feel your body soften. Empty your mind of thoughts and worries. Relax.
2. Turn your awareness inward.
Imagine stepping away from your mind’s way of understanding the world, and into the vast wisdom and knowing of your body and soul. Ask to be shown the love that you are. Keep your focus on your breath, with your body soft and your mind quiet and curious, and see what comes to you.
The challenge in this exercise is to get completely out of your own way, letting go of all preconceived notions and expectations, including the story I have just told you.
Be profoundly still and open, and let the love pour into this emptiness.
3. Bring this exercise to a close.
Before you complete your meditation, imagine lighting up your whole being — mind, body and soul — with the golden energy of this love. Totally immerse yourself in the love that you are, and the love that is everywhere and in all things.
Let this connection change you, in whatever way is good and right for you at this moment.
When you are done, use your breath to fully return to your physical form and waking consciousness. Pat your body and say your name out loud. Then slowly, softly get up and continue on with your day.
In the days that follow, and every time you do this meditation, pay attention to any shifts in how you conceive and engage yourself and your outer existence. Set the intention to embody and experience this golden love of the Goddess in your everyday life.
Trust that these things will change you in profound ways. You’re healing and evolving yourself and our world. You are being love.
Posted on:  Feb 2, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Featured, Path Basics
In my mid-twenties, I was living a corporate, achievement-driven existence that neither fed my soul nor gave me joy. A series of synchronistic events conspired to wake me up and set me on a spiritual journey in search of the missing half of my womanhood and humanity.
My journey led me to Vipassana meditation, feminist graduate studies and new age spirituality. These were all powerful and transformative, and yet something was still missing for me: the feral, sensual, dreaming, witching, life-affirming sacred feminine.
One day it came to me: I am a pagan. This was the spiritual path that sang to my soul.
Paganism isn’t just about beliefs, it’s about stepping outside of the strictures of everyday reality and stepping into full-bodied experiences of the wild, magical world of what else is true and possible. After twenty-plus years of pagan explorations, these are five precious lessons that I’ve learned:
1. Life is delicious.
Paganism is a spiritual practice that calls us to a joyful, sensual communion with Nature and our bodies.
Even in those bumpy times when your challenges and losses bring your down, remember that life is delicious and that there is always a brush of beauty to sweeten your sorrows.
2. The Earth is alive.
Paganism is defined by its earth-centered ethos. While our collective humanity has lost sight of the ways of the green world, pagans hunger to touch and be touched by the powers and splendor of Nature. And in this sensual, embodied exchange, we awaken to the living world.
The Earth is alive. One web of life connects us all, breath to breath, and essence to essence. What your mind has forgotten, your body remembers.
3. The Goddess is everywhere, in everything.
I didn’t go looking for the Goddess. I set myself on the trail of my lost humanity and womanhood, and one day there She was, everywhere and in everything.
The Goddess’s deepest presence is love, not as an emotional state, but rather as the primal desire of life to seek out, create and nurture life. Through this love, all things are made holy and infinitely worthy. We are made holy and infinitely worthy.
Lift your face toward Her living light, open your heart to Her infinite love, take in Her green-drenched beauty and feel Her holy presence in your own shining soul, and know that the Goddess is indeed everywhere and in everything.
4. So without, so within.
Pagans celebrate the wheel of the year: eight sabbats that mark the turning seasons of Nature and their shifting balance of darkness and death with light and life.
Our life too is a shifting balance of light and dark, joy and sorrow, and life and death moments.
So without, so within; like the natural world, our humanity is woven of darkness and death, and light and life. And in this powerful truth, we can find our balance and wholeness in the face of life’s shifting seasons.
5. Magic is real.
Magic, in basic terms, is the ability to experience and work with the Mysteries (alternative states of being and knowing). Think of reality as a frequency dial that can tune into the astounding magical possibilities of the world around us: “normal”, everyday modes of consciousness fall within a specific frequency range; the Mysteries are engaged at different frequencies on the dial.
Pagan magic practices, such as ritual and spellcrafting, develop and deepen our abilities to turn the frequency dial and work in altered states of consciousness.
Don’t take my word for these things I have shared. Instead, think of paganism as an invitation into the realm of what else is true and possible. Take a little journey beyond the everyday for yourself and bring back whatever sings to your soul.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Law