All posts filed under: North

North | Mind | Earth
The Root. Mental Body. Teacher
Owl, Hummingbird, Rat
Home and hearth, security, fertility
Earth and religious studies

Ostara by Helena Nelson Reed | SpiritMAMA Blog

Happy Ostara

We started following the traditional wheel of the year many years ago after a rather harrowing Christmas season. The stress of it all made me question why I was actually doing it. We weren’t Christian after all and back then that seemed pretty black and white. We weren’t pagan either. We had no religious leanings. I just ran across an article actually, stating that British Columbia is one of the least religious places in the whole world! Needless to say, almost all of our friends are secular. So I decided then, that we could celebrate the Winter Solstice instead, because I could get behind celebrating snowboarding, sleigh-rides, icicles and general winter-y fun. Also upon further digging I found out that a lot of Christmas traditions were actually pre-Christian pagan traditions. The tree, the mistletoe, the yule log, the holly. I was so glad to be able to keep my beloved Christmas tree tradition (renamed Solstice Tree). We can talk more on this next winter hey? Suffice it to say, Halloween, Spring-time and Easter are the same. We Germans to …

Helena of Constantinople | SpiritMAMA Blog

The Reindeer Goddess Part One: Saints And Empresses, Antlers And Sovereignty

The beautiful and intriguing, alleged reindeer goddess of ancient British Isles, ‘Elen of the Ways’, needs more investigation. I feel in my heart that there is a horned goddess out there so of course in my scientific brain, I have to find proof enough of her existence that it will satisfy my intuition – my guts. This intuition told me right away that there is something, something that needs more exploration there. So it’s been fun these past few days, searching out the origins of Elen in history – and running across her in the blogosohere as well. I found a few references to Marion Zimmer Bradly and The Mists of Avalon series – apparently she wrote in the character of ‘Elein’ in The Priestess of Avalon, who was a priestess of Elen of the Ways. And Elein compared her to the goddess Nehallenia of the Netherlands (perhaps also Celtic), who was goddess of sea ways. She also intertwined her with Elen Luyddogg, the brief Roman empress Welsh saint, ‘Elen of the Hosts’, and  St. Helen(a) of Constantinople, also empress of Rome. …

Altar with Ptarmigan Statue 2015 | SpiritMAMA Blog

How Solstice Was Magic This Year

This year, in the beginning, the usual winter holiday festivities felt staged to me. A little barren, a little rote. We had more cash to buy gifts than usual, but this actually made everything a tad more stressful (shopping) and left me feeling hollow. I opted out of doing any hosting this year. Usually we host a Winter Solstice feast and open house but I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted a mellow, stress-free holiday and it was – but I had a hard time connected with the deeper meaning of the season. I dutifully set up my Solstice altar as I do every year and felt nothing there. It was pretty though.    Then Solstice Eve rolled around. I spent that day reading out of my favourite book for seasonal celebrations, Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk. I decided to make a real go of it and celebrate the night the right way, regardless of my hum-drums. We have a local theatre group here that hosts a yearly Winter Solstice lantern parade in three …

Sylvia Linsteadt Web Banner | SpiritMAMA Blog

Sylvia Linsteadt, the Wild and Wonderful

There are so many really cool people doing cool stuff out in the world right now. And, given that we are supposed to be living in a post modern melting-pot world where nothing new ever happens anymore, it is always such a joy to come across them. I have often thought that if we make it – wouldn’t it be wonderful if, instead of running 100 miles per hour towards the destruction of everything, that we actually made it through the other side – to the 1000 years of peace on the green earth that Jesus talked about (was it Jesus?) and if the world were populated by thinkers like Charles Eisenstein and Joanna Macey, artists like Rima Staines and writers like Sylvia Linsteadt. I think we’d be ok. Sylvia Victor Linsteadt is a writer, artist, and certified animal tracker. Her work—both fiction and non-fiction—explores the tenets of deep ecology and wild myth, and is devoted to radically transforming and broadening our human stories to include the voices, perspectives and dreams of the more-than-human world. Her books include The Wonderments …

Tantric Yogini | SpiritMAMA Blog

The Reclamation of the Yogini

I have never actually been taught that yoga could have been (probably was according to this article) just as much a female pursuit as it was a male one. To the contrary, we are taught that yoga asana were invented for the male body, which can be problematic for women. Super fascinating! And worth more research. Here’s some excerpts: Could it be that women’s bodies and their functions remain just as troublesome to us today as they were for ascetic sages? Maybe, if you consider ‘alternative’ historians such as Vicki Noble, Monica Sjoo, and Uma Dinsmore Tuli whose contentions that yoginis were the “power-holders” and inheritors of a widespread shamanic female-centred yoga practice that laid the foundations for Tantra and Hatha – are mostly ignored by the yoga community. Noble writes “My research suggests that women had invented yoga by the 7th millenium B.C.E. and that the varied poses shown in these early sculptures, as well as frescoes, murals, and rock art through the ages, are expressions of an ancient and widespread female-centered communal practice of yoga which …