SageWoman #45 (reprint)
Breaking Free

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SageWoman #45 - Breaking Free

How can we bring victory out of the ashes of our pain? How can we "break free" from our pasts, both collective and individual, and live fully and joyously in the present? In this challenging and courageous issue, SageWoman readers share their stories of compassion, anger, and recovery. If you, or someone you love, struggles with the shades of the past, this is the issue for you.

We begin with a triptych of powerful articles on warrior women, beginning with the "Legacy of the Amazons," a tale of true-life feminist heroines of ancient matriarchies. We meet the Libyan Amazons described by Herodotus, the warrior women of the German and Celtic Pagan tribes and African warrier Queens, all made vividly real by urban shaman Mama Donna Henes and accompanied by the sharp-edged stirring artwork of Sudie Rakusin. Next is Damali Ayo's deeply stirring and comprehensive description of a goddess often feared and misunderstood: "Kali Ma, My Relationship with the Divine Mother." (Kali devotees, you'll want to be sure to collect this powerful article!) Last (but surely not least) is Esther Mitchell's loving paen to that most stirring (but fictional) of goddess-loving women "Xena: Warrior Goddess."

For women looking for a more gentle (but equally transformative) method of working with our issues, check out Debbie Officer's article "The Goddess Journey: Writing as a Path to Self-Discovery." This article comes complete with a variety of helpful resources, journal writing exercises and affirmations sure to help make your journal a valuable tool for growth and recovery. Another important Goddess-related recovery tool is divination, and a major method is explored in Sabrina Vourvolulias' article "Dancing with Swords: Using the Tarot's Edge to Break Free."

There's nothing more important to finding our way past obstacles than community; women's community to be specific. And in "Woman Strength: Womongathering" we read an account of the healing strength of one of the longest-running women's festivals. Wendy Hunter Roberts considers the mystery of the return of spring, and creates a full ritual script to celebrate the Maiden aspect of the Goddess in her article "Freeing Persephone." Giving the third aspect of the Goddess Her due, Jessica Banks celebrates the kick-ass aspects of the Old Women in us all in "The Crone's Jacket."

What could be more transformative than the power of a raging volcano? Yet what could bring more new life in its path? In this issue, loremistress Diana Paxson describes the legends, rituals, and mysteries of that most ancient (and still active!) of goddesses in "Pele: Changing the Land, Changing Lives." Our columns continue with Deanna Alba linking Wicca with liberation politics, Ann Kreilkamp revealing her inner Rebel, Carol Christ bringing a feminist critique to the myth of "breaking free", while Joanna Powell Colbert reminds us of the healing that accompanies connecting intimately with our environment. We also have rituals for "Stepping Outside the Box," "Breaking the Chains that Bind You," and "Planetary Rituals for Spring." Lastly, would it be an issue of SageWoman without some controversy in the Rattle? This issue we have breastfeeding, vegetarianianism and the Goddess, and advice on healing from abuse.

This is a feisty, vivid and profoundly healing issue of SageWoman. 96 richly-illustrated pages, published in Spring of 1999.

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