Friday Foraging 16

Is it Friday again already? That’s come by fast. Here’s my regular round up of foraged links from the Pagansphere this week. Given that it’s International Womens Day, I’ll be featuring the writing of women in Paganism today.

First it’s Cat Treadwell, Speaking As A Woman, reminding us what feminism means for all of us:

“Feminism is about equality, for all. This is not about women above men, but asking for equal respect. Be we gay or straight, trans or cis, our stories are just as valid as anyone else’s. No matter our ancestry or current social role or job, we can find commonality, hear each other and stand up together. Our relationships, and the gendered language we use, is still evolving and maturing as it is required to represent new things.Pagans have a great deal of respect for women, given that it is a very female-led spirituality – but again, we still have room to grow.”

Yvonne Aburrow at Dowsing for Divinity writes thoughtfully on The Quest For The Authentic Self, and how that can be expressed in a Pagan context:

“Many Pagans are on a quest for the authentic Self. This is often visualized as something we already possess; we just have to clear away the accretions caused by so-called civilization. In this model, the true Self can be found by getting in touch with Nature…In Wicca: the old religion in the New Age, Vivianne Crowley writes that the ego doesn’t need to be slain, but rather its position in relation to the rest of the psyche needs to be readjusted. She uses the image of a stone covering a well. The stone is the ego, and the well is the unconscious. The stone has to be moved aside in order to access the water in the well.”

My Druid College teacher, Joanna van der Hoeven, usefully illuminates some of the nonsense ideas surrounding the supposed Law of Attraction, and the truth that while our attitude can’t change the world around us, it can change our response to it:

“We can continue to focus on all the bad, negative things that have happened to us in our day, or we can choose to focus on the daffodils, the colleague that helped us out, the boss that understood the trains were cancelled and said it was okay, etc. Our focus in all important. And when our focus shifts, we bring into our lives and notice more that which we are focusing on. So, in this regard, the law of attraction does, indeed work.

Remember that, for the most part, it is a choice. Some bad things happen that we cannot choose to settle our focus on elsewhere – some things are just really, really bad. But we cannot allow ourselves to stay drowning in the negativity when we have the option of choice. Use the law of attraction to your benefit, and to the benefit of the world.”

Erica Baron at Nature’s Sacred Journey writes about Spiritual Anger, and the notion that we can and should choose not to be angry. Anger can be destructive, but it can also be a tool for social and personal change.

“Anger arises in response to an experience of violation, of our boundaries or our sense of justice and fairness. Not only is anger a spontaneous response to these violations, it is a healthy response. Anger is the force within us that lets us know that something has been violated, so that we can respond appropriately. And in a great many cases, it is an appropriate emotional reaction to real violations of boundaries and to the principles of justice.

In other words, there are things that should make us angry. Whenever our own boundaries are violated, especially when we have been clear about where they are, we should be angry. When we experience injustice, we should be angry. When we witness others experiencing injustice, we should be angry. We should be angry at the ways the interdependent web of existence is being destroyed.”

And a musical finale to this week’s Foraging: one of my personal icons, the brilliant Floor Jansen of Nightwish:

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