I’ve just started blogging for the new SageWoman portal over at PaganSquare.com. My column is called Shapeshifter: Seasons of a Woman’s Life, and it’s the first “sneak peek” at my new oracle-deck-and-book-in-progress.
Here’s how the column starts:
â€śWomen spiral through lifeâ€™s seasons like the world does: there are days of growth in youth, in midlife, in age, just as there are losses and cold in each.
There may be a concentration of spring energies in the maiden, but she can feel as well the forces of fullness and decline. Women in their prime are maids and crones at once. And every aged woman knows still the wild spring winds.â€ť
– Patricia Monaghan, Seasons of the Witch
A woman is a shapeshifter, flowing from one life stage to another, just as each season gradually becomes the next. Year after year, women of the earth tribe mark the solar holy-days of the seasonal round, as well as the waxing and waning of the moon each month. Our own menstrual cycles echo this pattern, waxing toward ovulation, then waning to moonflow.
Most of us were raised in mainstream culture. We didnâ€™t grow up celebrating Beltane or Lammas, or hearing about the underlying sacred themes of Halloween. We had to discover the ancient holy-days for ourselves. We learned from each other and taught each other, remembering and re-creating the old ways.
After years upon years of marking the tides of sun and moon, a day comes when a woman finds she has embodied the wisdom of the sacred round in her bones. At her very core, she is intimately acquainted with the cycle of descent and return. The tides and seasons have become so embedded in her identity that it’s no longer conscious, like the mastery of a musical instrument or the craft of painting. When this day comes, she no longer celebrate the seasons. Instead, they celebrate her.