Goddess moves in a mysterious way,
Her wonders to perform;
She plants her footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
- Paraphrase of a hymn by William Cowper.
It has become a cliché to note that we live in tumultuous times, but isn’t it the truth? As waves of chaos wash the globe, this issue of SageWoman is a cool, deep pool of women’s wisdom. The stories of these women — facing crises ranging from cancer to cultural disassociation to kundalini rising — invites us to imagine ways in which we can open ourselves to the healing energy we all possess.
We begin with Cathleen Bailey’s riveting depiction of recovery from poverty and abuse through initiation in “There are Crossroads: Skeleton Woman, Elegba, and Me.” Her story has echoes in Elise Fischer’s tale of recovering her Mother within as part of her recovery from childhood sexual abuse in "The Healing Power of Beauty."
Physical illness has spiritual dimensions as well, as Katherine McDowell finds when she discovers a shamanic connection in spite of chronic illness in “Seeking the Well of Life” while Lisa McSherry eschews the metaphor of “fighting cancer” for a more nuanced approach in “Keep Walking: My Journey with Cancer.” Author and yoga teacher Teri Degler leads us as she is challenged to tap into the energy of God/dess in the face of a puzzling and debilitating illness in “Embodying Shakti: Kundalini Rising and the Healing Power of Light.”
Body, mind, and spirit are intimately entwined, and true healing reaches all aspects of our being. In “Hygeia and Her Sisters,” Diana Paxson introduces us to the medical culture of ancient Greece, which knew this lesson well, and share a ritual for bringing the Goddess’ powers of deep, centered healing into our own lives.
Our columnists in this issue also address the power of Goddess — within and without — to heal, including taking spiritual baths, lavender magic, how to craft your own special healing space, recovering from a traumatic accident, moving into awareness, the healing power of dreams, and creating a Kali mandala. More stories — healing from chronic fatigue, finding joy after a miscarriage, and discovering the Goddess-pumping power of belly dancing — round out this rich, mouth-watering issue. Think of it as Mama Goddess’ soup for emerging from the cold of winter into the warmth of a new spring season.
96 illustrated pages, edited by Anne Newkirk Niven, released in March, 2011.