I came to Paganism because this spiritual path respects women and supports our connection to all living things. It does not treat my body as something shameful and it does not view consensual sex as sinful. The Pagan path empowers us to make choices that enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. So I was surprised to find that so many Pagans abuse themselves with what I call the Three Pagan Demons: stress, mess and excess. (1) We women, in particular, rejoice to finally find a place where we can celebrate our connection to the divine feminine but very often we continue to treat our precious Selves like s%*t. I, for one, struggle with the need to make healthy choices every day, so I was inspired to read Deborah Oak's wonderful article on just this point:
Last year after Pantheacon, I had a dream of Margot Adler telling me something important that I couldn't remember upon waking. Margot caused a stir last year at Pantheacon by challenging Pagans to take better care of our health, of making exercise part of our lives. Like many others in the community, I have heartily embraced the philosophy of “eat, drink, and be merry”. For real health and well being, that should best be followed by a good walk. Many of us prefer a good book. I had applauded Margot’s challenge last year, but I hadn’t truly listened to it.I'm no Margot Adler, but this is something I have been saying for many years. In 1999 I put my time and energy where my mouth was. Anyone who wants support in making healthy choices is welcome here:
These groups are based on earthwise ethics, they deal with any and all issues. People of all faiths (or none) are welcome. The on-line meeting is open 24/7. Sharing is done anonymously. These are non cross-talk meetings, members use I Messages when they share (2).
Are you trying to make new, healthier or more positive life choices? Please know that you are not alone.
Making A Sea Change: The Spiral Steps Support Groups
Heal This by Inanna
Mural: Update 10/10: I originally found a photo of this piece listed on-line as Red Goddess from the Mission Creek Mural by Lillian Sizemore and Laurel True. It's a piece I've seen before in my many visits to San Francisco and I've always loved it. I've since be told by a reader that I should list this particular image on the mural in this way:
at corner 16th St. at Sanchez St. in San Francisco
By Colette Crutcher, 1998
By Colette Crutcher, 1998
This image is one of the most popular one's I've ever posted, so I've added a bit more info about it below:
This goddess is from Aztec mythology. Here is a flickr photo of the whole piece taken by ehoyer, who does some wonderful photography work in San Francisco.
My thanks to Winterjade for the photo. To see more SF Mosiacs go here
If you live in the Bay Area, please support the Mission Creek Bikeway and Greenbelt
(1) Looking back now, I am surprised that I was surprised. Paganism, like any other path, works with human nature and many Pagans come from dysfunctional families and systems where they did not get caring for themselves as a tool in our life's tool box. We humans often prefer, as the saying goes, the devil we know to the bliss we could have, especially when that bliss involves effort, courage, hope and change.
(2) Cross Talk & I Messages:
All Spiral Steps meetings are Non-cross talk meetings. Member's use "I Messages” (I think, I feel, I will, I believe as opposed to You are, You should, etc.) The other members will take what they need from our shares, and leave the rest. Those who want advice can ask for it, and the members will then share with them off the board on a one to one basis. In this way, they keep this circle open as a safe and secure place to share whatever is true for them.