SageWoman #44
Sacred Space


SageWoman #44 - Sacred Space.

"What makes a place sacred? The touch of the gods? The devotion of the faithful? Or perhaps the sacred is that which makes us feel cared for by Someone so powerful and loving that we can't be let down."

In this issue, we listen to the voices of women sharing their experience of finding a sacred center, whether a physical space or a place in their heart and soul that keeps them grounded.

We begin with “A Meditation Center," Catherine Bauer's account moving beyond her Christian roots to create her own, Goddess-rich, meditation shrine. One time honored method of finding the sacred is the pilgrimage — a journey out of our ordinary reality with the express intention of awakening our connection to the Divine. Marilyn McFarlane describes one such journey in "Seeking the Goddess in Malta," in which she seeks remnants of matrifocal culture in an ancient temple. But sometimes, revelation arrives right in the midst of our every day experience. In "The Fast Lane," Freyja Anderson examines the transformative impact of sudden shamanic awakenings, such as one that she experienced while driving on a busy California freeway. As she comments sagely, "Spirit is everywhere, and we are sometimes given openings to See, to awaken in our hearts the memory of our union."

This issue also features several articles in which our readers share snapshots of their devotional experiences. Toni Roberts' photoessay "Sacred Spaces, Sacred Places" shares images of her many household shrines in luminous black and white photographs, while in "There's No Place Like Home: Making Our Space Sacred" a half-dozen readers open our eyes to the moments that make the sacred come alive for them. (You've love the story of the altar in the laundry room!) Wendy Hunter Roberts emphasizes the presence of the Goddess through the many archetypal images of Goddess that fill our culture in "She Who Rules the Symbols, Rocks the World."

Each issue of SageWoman features an in-depth look at a single Goddess figure, and in this issue we have an unusual subject: Sheela na Gig. This brassy vulva-displaying trickster/Goddess of Celtic architecture is an unusual guide to the sacred, but as Kathryn Theatana describes Her in "Sila of the Trees," is an Opener of the Ways of unusual power. This Goddess -- so powerful that She has survived to this day in Irish culture, and her many connections -- offers us a glimpse of a rich and mysterious tapestry of Celtic lore to contemplate and connect to in our own lives.

In this issue's columns, DeAnna Alba describes the most singular temple -- our own bodies; Jan Williams describes the magic of the smallest garden (a terrarium); Lunaea Weatherstone describes creating a devotional book of prayer; Ann Kreilkamp visits Crete; Carol Christ salutes her motherline; Elizabeth Barrette recommends collecting a magickal library; and Joanna Powell Colbert teaches us how to create our own stone oracle. Last, but hardly least, Waverly Fitzgerald writes of her practice of creating seasonal wreathes, and how she welcomes the New Year.

Lots more Winter Solstice, Yuletide, and Candlemas/Brigid rituals; elemental shrines; book reviews and a robust discussion in the Rattle on breast-feeding, meat-eating, Lady Liberty and the prospect of a Goddess "bible" bring this rich, satisfying issue to a close. 96 pages, originally published in the winter of 1998.

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