SageWoman #88 - Serenity.
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We normally think of inner peace as a permanent condition: one that we either possess at all times or is never present at all. But what if serenity — far from being a trophy that we can capture and display upon our interior altar — is one of the natural elements like wind, water, and fire? We can’t understand Serenity by thinking, ruminating, or planning. What if, instead of possessing serenity, the quality of Serenity can possess us?
In this issue of SageWoman, our readers share their stories of how Serenity found them, and how they are able to welcome this most comforting Presence into their lives.
In "Peace Like a River," Lissa Carter describes how the welcome advent of the fall rains soothes the entire landscape in her California desert homeland, and Deborah Baudoin wonders at the difference the growth in our souls can make to our perceptions of a place in "A Tale of Two Road Trips."
Summer Kinard writes: "With my first child, I dreamed of owls. With my second, I woke in the night to see a vivid green turtle swimming in the air above me." Share her experience of becoming a mother in "Mother is Both a Person and a Place." Lisa Alexander wanted more than anything for her yard to be filled with organic food, butterflies, and bees: a living altar to the Goddess. But she had no idea where to start. Find out what happened next in her essay, "Dreams of a Garden."
Kara Henderson discovers the magic of an ominously-named "Corpse Pose" yoga stance in "Serenity in Savasana," while Jessica Pratt-Walter finds peace in the daily tasks of tending her flock of goats in "Milking Time." Nirvan Hope digs deep inside to rescue herself from a desert ordeal in "Finding My Brave Heart," and Susan Morgaine faces the challenge of cultivating peace while living with chronic illness in "Time on My Hands."
The Eastern goddess Tara glows serenely above life’s stormy seas. Her laughter slays demons and the sweetness of Her smile heals the soul. Discover Her mysteries as revealed by lore-mistress Diana Paxson in her essay, "Tara: Star of Liberation."
Our columnists also share their wisdom: Susun Weed teaches us about herbal allies for anxiety; Allison Leigh Lilly talks about learning how to move house with grace; Janet Callahan finds peace in the midst of a busy home with two medically-fragile children; and Donna Henes describes her spiritual practice of sacred seclusion.
Finding peace in fraught and even perilous circumstances is another common theme of our columns: Lizann Bassham finds "Serenity in the Fast Lane," while Ann Hill who grapples with how to come to terms with her aging mother's dementia in "Grief and Serenity" and Crystal Blanton describes the challenges of finding peace as a black woman and mother in today's culture in "A Journey of Fear & Strength."
Our astrologer Danielle Blackwood offers "Hope for Mid-Life Boomers" in her examination of the astrological tides of mid-to-late life transits; while Leslie Linder discovers the natural grace of one of her favorite animal allies in "The Heron: Observations on Love & Serenity" and our Goddess cook Teresa Marbut offers a recipe for "Serenity Shortbread."
The issue is completed with our "letters from readers" section "The Rattle," reviews of Goddess-centering books, poetry, and our final essay "Moments of Gratitude," by Tinelle Critchfield.
"Every day there is a chance to stop, to enter into ritual, to take a step back and simply savor the moment. It is a chance to connect with the Earth, with Deity, and with everyone," reflects Joanna van der Hoeven in her essay "Reweaving: Mend the Tapestry of Your Life." We hope that this issue of SageWoman will offer just such an opportunity to all of our readers seeking to find peace within.
This 88 page issue was released in early October and features an original painting "Kuan Yin" by artist Holly Sierra.