February 2019
BBI Media News
Publishers of SageWoman, and Witches&Pagans magazines
and the PaganSquare blogosphere.

A Home Blessing Spell

Article adapted from one by Nimue Brown from her blog "Alternative Wheel" at PaganSquare.

I’m no great fan of snow, I admit: for many of us, snow is hard work. Snow days can make getting to work a nightmare, and missed work isn’t fun if you can’t afford it.  Ice means isolation. Slippery surfaces mean real risk of injury. Cold weather kills people — usually the old and frail who cannot afford to heat their homes, and those who have no homes and are sleeping outdoors. Being able to enjoy the snow is a sign of privilege, and any celebration of it has to include recognition of that. It is not ok to shame or harass anyone who doesn’t enjoy it.

But there is one particularly magical aspect of snow that is often overlooked – and that’s footprints. Snow reveals who else has passed through, and if you can be out before other human feet have obliterated all signs, snow can tell you stories about who was there and what they did.

Wild mammals are often shy of humans, and you won’t see them around so much even if they share your neighborhood. But footprints in the snow can give you a as to who is around. Footprints in snow are a lot easier to read than ones made in mud, I find. Not least because there’s the chance of getting pristine snow and just a few tracks through it, rather than the confusion of many passings that mud tends to hold.

It snowed where I live last week. I did venture out, and on one of those journeys, I found the prints of two foxes who had gone under a fence and into an industrial estate and wandered around a bit. What a blessing!

To find out all about identifying animal tracks in snow, see this excellent blog post on Wild Suburbia. 

Nimue Brown is the author of Druidry and Meditation, Druidry and the Ancestors. Pagan Dreaming, When a Pagan Prays and Spirituality without Structure. She also writes the graphic novel series Hopeless Maine, and other speculative fiction. OBOD trained, but a tad feral, she is particularly interested in Bardic Druidry and green living.

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Springtime in IrelandSpringtime in Ireland
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Sacred LandsSacred Lands
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Some places are just special -- amazing lands that make us sigh with relief, uncurl our tensions, drop our worries, and open us to the Goddess. In this issue of SageWoman, we share the stories of women who have found their magical place, and what it means to them.

In our opening story, "Where the River Springs from the Mountain," Nadya King share the story of a magical hot springs, and the community there that she was called to become a part of. (Spoiler: that community still exists, and Nadya tells us where it is!)

Jude Lally grew up in the high reaches of Scotland, truly a mystical land. In “Ancient Mothers of Loch Lomond" she describes the otherworldly beings that still inhabit those ancient mountains, and what They have taught her about our relationship with the Land.

“Our home is magical, although I didn't realize it right away," writes Terra West, in "Home is Where the Goddess Is." Terra grew up in suburbia, and found her Goddess-rich paradise in an urban homestead.

Surely fairyland is far, far away from the steel towns of the Upper Midwest. Or, maybe it's closer than we think. In "Fairyland in a Factory Town," author A. Jean Linder takes us on a journey to the many fairy-rich, healing places of her childhood and a special park where she still finds the magic today.

Glastonbury Tor: fabled land of Avalon, surely a very special place to meet the Goddess. Klara Adalena had indeed, had many magical experiences there. But one night her pilgrimage took a surprising turn. She tells us the rest of the story in "A Night on the Tor."

The Mojave desert: desolate, sparse, and uninviting. But also a place where author D. Noel Knower found a very special kind of message from the Goddess, one she shares in "A Desert Epiphany."

One of the more unlikely places to find peace would seem to be the suburban, concrete subdivisions of Orange County, known more for the "magic" kingdom of Disney than any natural beauty. Yet Kaeti Gugui kept being drawn back there by the call of an obscure goddess. In "Mestra: Recoving the Sacred Grove in Orange County" she shares the insights she has learned about making "ruined" places sacred again.

Experience the magic of one perfect afternoon on a Pacific beach with Shekhina Margaretta von Recklinghausen in her essay, "Earth Angel."

Lisa Wersal found magic -- and an unexpected connection to Yemaya -- on the shores of a midwestern lake. Her story “Message in a Bottle" could have been addressed by the Goddess to any of us.

Our regular columnists bring their own stories of sacred land to this issue: loremistress Diana Paxson shares the myth and legend of the Celtic water goddess Danu; herbalist Susun Weed describes how she was called to make her home in a former gravel pit; Alison Leigh Lilly finds a humorous message from a horse; and Janet Callahan faces every mother’s dilemma as her young children become more independent.

Plus goddess-poetry, reviews of books, music, and oracle decks, and the wonderful voices of our readers in our "readers write" department, the Rattle. We end with Milina Jovanic’s meditation on finding the goddess Cybele on the Greek island of Lesbos. Find your own magical home in the pages of this special issue! 88 pages.

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