Love is Love

Lovely Sisters,

It’s been awhile! But here we are again. The wheel has only recently moved past Imbolc and now we approach Valentine’s Day.

A Day that is DEVOTED to celebrating LOVE

LOVE of ALL KINDS! LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE!

I remember several years back the first Valentine’s Day Sister Spirit Sanctuary circle of women celebrated together. It was a circle of  Divine Chocolate Decadence. In fact, that’s what we called it.

It was an icy and freezing February that year. There were driving restrictions in place because the city was in pretty bad shape and yet, there were a brave bunch of women who dared make it to the Goddess House despite the weather.

There was one rule:

Everything edible had to be Chocolate of sorts.

Everyone brought such mouth-watering delicious chocolates; some were bought and many were home-made chocolate delights. We had chocolate covered and dipped cherries, strawberries and other fruit. There were pretzels, cookies, wafers and brownies. There was souffle, pudding, cheesecake and even donuts. All the divine dishes were wonderful. But there was one in particular chocolate-mint crunchiness delight that is something in particular that remains in my mind. I have no idea what it was or how it was made but by Goddess, I loved it the best!

The Festival

Our altar was stunning. The statue of Aphrodite was center and all around her were red rose petals and glitter and colored ‘rhinestones’. We also placed flowers and glittery hearts among the red, white and black candles in crystal holders. Candy was dispersed throughout. There was no mistake this was an altar dedicated to Love and Chocolate. Or Love OF Chocolate. However you wanted to look at it, LOVE was a definite theme.

We cut out paper hearts and put words of love on them. Each woman drew one out of the “Basket of Love” and that was her focus word and she was instructed to draw on that energy in as many ways as she could and then share her experiences of how it manifested in her life at next sister circle.

Yes, it was a great time! Those women are no longer with us in the re-birthed circle but I remember and honor their energy and participation and I am grateful. Thank you ladies, if you ever read this, you know who you are.

I thought about doing something similar this year but for some reason, the pull wasn’t strong enough. Perhaps it was that I wasn’t as connected to the idea as I am now. Valentine’s Day is just a couple of days away and I think, “Maybe next year.”

Then I thought of all the posts I’m seeing on Facebook and blogs written and even my friends (even the fellas!) expressing this Scroogian bah-humbug kind of attitude towards Valentine’s Day, a day where LOVE is celebrated!

Then I thought, “Who said Love only means ROMANTIC Love?”

Love is Love is Love is LOVE!

Then I began to realize how seriously we need a real, wild, juicy, exciting LOVE-A-LUTION to take place. If we can’t we get a world-wide thing happening then why can’t we have a LoVe-A-LuTiOn for ourselves?

So many of my sisters saying “Screw Valentine’s Day! No One Loves Me Anyway!” when what they really mean is they don’t have a man in their lives a that moment (smh) or they do and he’s a piece of doo-doo. Smh again.

To those sisters I say:

There is REASON for the saying, “If you don’t love yourself, NO ONE else will.”

It starts first with YOU beautiful Sister. YOU.

Aren’t you worth it?

Who says you need someone ELSE to honor the Goddess of Love within YOU? Is there some HARDCORE rule, unspoken or written on this topic that I’m totally in the dark about?

If there is, well, heh! You know, I’m a natural-born rebel and RULES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN! At least some are and this would fall into that category.

This is a Divine time to honor yourself Beautiful Sisters if you are without partner. They are nice but not a necessary part of giving yourself GOOD LOVE.

I didn’t say masturbation but GOOD LOVE. Giving yourself GOOD LOVE and masturbation are not one in the same. BUT they could be. If you feel moved to show this LOVE to your Body Temple then the right is yours.

ALL ACTS OF LOVE AND PLEASURE ARE MY RITUALS so says the Goddess in the Charge of the Goddess.

Love & More Love and How to Give It

Champagne, Chocolate, Roses and all those cutesy cards? You can get/make that all for yourself. There is no good reason why you can’t eat good food, drink some good wine and treat yourself to a massage or a movie whether you rent it or go to a show.

You could and SHOULD write YOURSELF a  little LOVE letter. Even make it saucy one if you want to! Tell yourself that you are something special and you deserve the BEST. You can make it as artsy or as plain as you want. It’s your choice but pouring out those words of LOVE and ADMIRATION to your OWN SELF is an experience like no other.

Who ELSE but you deserves to  fill you up with LOVE for yourself. Adorning yourself with praise, and kind words and lavishing yourself in the lusciousness of LOVE.

If You Don’t Love Yourself, No One Else Will

No one will ever love you the way you need to be loved until you first LOVE YOURSELF. No one will cater to your body, heart, mind and soul until you first love the Self that is you. It’s not that they don’t want to but it’s that they can’t. Not really and definitely not fully. 

So begin with being your own BIGGEST and BESTEST Valentine this year, and awaken the Goddess of Love and Pleasure within and bask in Her energy!

Every day and ANY day can be Valentine’s Day or a Day Of DELIGHT and LOVE! Whenever you need it don’t wait for someone ELSE to give it to you when you can give LOVE to yourself.

After All, YOU DESERVE IT!

In HONOR of the LOVE theme and the memory of a beautiful songstress, the one and ONLY and ever shall be, Whitney Houston

December 5th Sister Social

Our Sister Social last week was quite nice. We met some new faces and the atmosphere was cozy…after of course, we could find space inside that is!

The artsy little coffee shop is a nice setting but we will definitely be switching the venue starting next week. The Angel Falls Cafe was chosen because Borders was closed and I didn’t really want to go to Panera’s although they do have a private party room you can reserve for free.

Yesterday however, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that BAM! a.k.a Books-a-Million is now where my Borders used to be! Oh happy days are back! So that is where the next (and probably future ones–we’re still feeling all that out yet) Sister Socials will be.

Monday, December 5th from 6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m 

BAM! (Books-A-Million)

335 Howe Ave, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

(where Borders used to be)

In the Joe Muggs Cafe area. 

I am admittedly too lazy to write another announcement for Sister Socials and I edited the original post. I will condense it further and then probably post it to Witch Vox and if I’m feeling extra daring, I might even print out fliers. Ooh, better watch out! Never know what I might do.

Hope to see you there!

Love and Magick,

Aura

Sister Social: Open Circles For Women

Sister Spirit Sanctuary will now be holding a “Sister Social” gathering every other Monday evening from 6:30 pm to 8:30pm

BAM! (Books-A-Million)

335 Howe Ave, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

(where Borders used to be)

In the Joe Muggs Cafe area. 

 Sister Socials are open to all women who would like to come gather with other women seeking Goddess spirituality, sisterhood, camaraderie and friendship. We will have open discussion on topics relevant to the path of Goddess Spirituality and Self-development, and women’s issues, as well as just the conversation of women seeking to get acquainted with each other.

 The main purpose of having a Sister Social is to have a place for women who wish to explore the topics of Goddess spirituality in a relaxed, informal and comfortable environmentbut aren’t quite ready to take that leap into the deep work that the Sister Circle provides space for. In this informal circle, women can come and get to know the women of Sister Spirit Sanctuary as well as get to know one another. This also allows women to get a feel for whether or not this is something they wish to take to another level or are comfortable right where they are.  For some women, the Sister Social will be enough. For others, it may be the bridge to something deeper. Whatever her purpose is, we believe there is something wonderful to be gained from gathering with other women in light conversation, with a little coffee or tea and just enjoying the presence of other women.

Our monthly gathering of Sister Circles will continue, however on an invitation basis only. Ironically, what started out as a women’s open circle to explore Goddess Spirituality and empowerment has taken on a life of its own and developed into a space of deep sharing, healing and amazing transformation in the lives of women who attend on a regular basis, thus becoming “Circle Sisters”.

Ideally, we would love for all women to be able to experience the rich, deep unfolding processes of learning, exploration and healing that our Sister Circles offer. However, realistically, we also understand that it is not conducive to the positive growth of the circle if we allow women to come into this sacred space without having an understanding of the women of the circle and/or having ever experienced what it is to be in sacred space with women-only.

Our Sister Circles have proved to be very powerful places of release and healing due to a level of deep sharing within it built upon the trust that has grown among the women. Because of this, we feel that having women in attendance to the Sister Circle without fully understanding what to expect and/or not knowing anyone enough to be able to open up and share is not helpful to the Circle dynamics.

So if you are a woman out there who has been wanting to attend Sister Circles, a woman who has emailed me at one time or another wanting to come but then was unsure or too nervous to show up (and I know you are out there), take advantage of this opportunity and join us for a little coffee, tea or something light to eat in the Joe Muggs cafe locate inside BAM! every other Monday night beginning November 21st at 6:30 pm to 8:30pm.

If you intend on stopping in, drop me an email so we know to look for you! moonpriestess69@yahoo.com  

Look forward to seeing you there!

Love and Magick,

Aura

Finding Balance Within The Chaos

The monthly sister circle of Sister Spirit Sanctuary, Temple of the Sacred Feminine is August 28th 4 p.m to 7 p.m

Sister Spirit Sanctuary, Temple of the Sacred Feminine is an open circle of women, for women who are seeking women-centered, Goddess-based spirituality. We are women who are building and experiencing sisterhood and self-empowerment through healing, education and ritual. We are based in Akron, Ohio.

Finding Balance In The Midst Of Chaos. 

This month I am very late with posting the information for the Sister Circle. Because of that,this might not reach those in plenty of time who might have liked to have otherwise joined us. For any inconvenience, I apologize.

The last few weeks or longer, I have found myself completely overwhelmed with things in my own realm that it has finally dawned on me how “ungrounded” I have become. Having talked with several sisters, I know that I am not alone.

As we are slowly but surely approaching the autumnal equinox, a time of balance, it seems appropriate that our focus is in the direction of seeking a place of balance in the midst of our chaotic world, especially now having just emerged from a nasty Mercury Retrograde.

The Focus and Work

Our work in this months Sister Circle will be centered on exploring the reasons for our own personal overly stressful times and recognize how these can easily become depress-ful times.

Through discussion and journaling, we’ll begin by tracing some of these feelings we have back to their origin, untangle the way we respond by releasing our negative and or anti-response (you know, when we just ignore it hoping it goes away and it just begins to snowball response!) by giving it over to Earth mama for transformation while at the same time, clearing and healing the root chakra so that we may draw Her powerful energy into ourselves. When we are grounded in the energy of the earth, each time these chaotic and crazy feelings surface again (and make no mistake, they will!) we will have learned how to better cope and respond to them without feeling so overwhelmed vs reacting in ways that do not add to our life purpose here on earth.

Goddess Energy

The Goddess Energy we will work with this month is SHAKTI. She is a powerful Goddess that can help motivate us to strip away the chaotic energies in our lives and help direct us to finding our own balance within.

 Shakti is the Ultimate Goddess of India. Shakti is the primal force of all female energy found within each Goddess. She is the ancient force of power, the breath that will that animates the divine Devi. Shakti liberates women from trivial events of everyday life, and leads them to enlightenment. Her creative abilities and transcendent power are the core of ever Hindu Goddess. She is the force in yoga practices and tantric ritual.

From The Goddess Guide, by Priestess Brandi Auset

Tapping into creativity:

Working with this healing and balancing earth energy, we will be journaling and working with stone art. With these stones, we mark, design and decorate them with our own specially chosen symbols and others that we might carry with us in a pouch or purse to remind ourselves of our purpose for those moments or just use for meditative & ritual purposes.

Those planning to come should bring the following items:

  • A Journal, a pen, and some markers.
  • Your own personal candle for the altar
  • Anything of personal or symbolic value you would like to share and bring to the altar; a piece of your energy telling us who you are. (A picture, a trinket, your own altar cloth to add to the altar etc…you take this home with you when you go)
  • A food dish for sharing the feast afterward
  • Pillow/blanket/Cushion to sit on
  • Drums, rattles or other shakers

We will be meeting at the Temple home base.  Weather permitting we will be outside for a drumming circle.

If you plan to attend or need directions, please contact me via email at:

moonpriestess69@yahoo.com

I look forward to seeing my Sisters there!

In deepest love and brightest light,

Aura Argante

June Sister Circle: Awakening the Priestess Within

The monthly sister circle of Sister Spirit Sanctuary A Temple of the Sacred Feminine is June 26th 4 p.m to 7 p.m

Sister Spirit Sanctuary, Temple of the Sacred Feminine is an open circle of women, for women who are seeking women-centered, Goddess-based spirituality. We are women who are building and experiencing sisterhood and self-empowerment through healing, education and ritual. We are based in Akron, Ohio.

This months theme: Awakening the Priestess Within

All women have inside of themselves many different and powerful feminine archetypal energies and patterns waiting to be explored. One of these powerful archetypal energies is “The Priestess” or “High Priestess” as some like to refer to this archetypal energy. No matter how it is called, this archetypal energy is the same; it is potent, powerful and transformational. On Sunday, June 26th, we will explore this sacred archetype of the Priestess or “High Priestess” as she is known and depicted in the Tarot. The Priestess archetype represents in us our higher wisdom, truth and vision.

Priestess
The Priestess archetype is possibly the least known and understood, especially in the present patriarchal culture which dominates and subjugates women‘s spirituality. The Priestess archetype is the domain of intuitive awareness and insight, of secret or “occult” (that which is hidden) knowledge of the unknown realm.


The Priestess has a magical connection to the unknown, the void of creation, source energy. She is the trans-connector, the facilitator, between the material and the spiritual, the mediator of powerful energies that make up the being that we are. The Priestess calls forth, transmutes and directs energies between unconscious and conscious awareness, affecting our material and spiritual felt sense of being.

A woman in the fullness of the Priestess archetype feels like this:
She is the master of her spiritual and material realities showing a confidence of bearing that knows how to call forth from spiritual storehouses what is needed to transmute, transduce, transform energies that would overtake or topple other women not in this fullness.

She is thoughtful, reflective, having depth to her presence and intellect. She knows how to detach from inner and outer storms and how to connect deep inner truths and resources with her experience of life. She sees a higher possibility and attunes to its resonance. She is not easily pushed or pulled around by faddish influences but brings power and confidence to difficult situations requiring change or shifting -with grace and insight.


The woman in the fullness of the Priestess archetype is transpersonally engaging with others, serving their need for love and acceptance and spiritual grounding through her presence and expression/interaction. She serves expansive consciousness, a higher possibility and the greater good with humility and grace, not from Egoic desire for prominence or position.

The priestess longs to be remembered once more and awakened. She yearns to be brought forth in our daily consciousness so that we may manifest her sacredness in our daily lives. Awakening to the Priestess within is to awaken to the inherent and natural ability within oneself to be this conduit and director of energies between our conscious and unconscious awareness with the knowledge and wisdom to transmute and change these energies that affect our physical and spiritual realms.

The Creative Expression Work:

In this cosmic energy path working of reconnecting with The Priestess archetype, we will be making sacred headdresses to wear during our personal workings and any time we want to feel the Priestess within at work.

The Priestess headdress is first and foremost, as a symbol of a woman in her own spiritual authority. Often ritual headdresses of the Priestesses in the Goddess traditions have some sort of moon element on them. This is because it represents the power of the subconscious and the levels of the deeper and divine mind as well as our intuition. In the Tarot, The High Priestess and the Moon card represent a knowing that there is an intertwining consciousness to all life including the subconscious and intuition.

When a woman places the diadem or headdress upon her head, she is consciously signaling to her Priestess Self to awaken within and in doing so, she therefore can allow this Priestess energy to lead her while the conscious-ego self steps aside to let the Priestess within do her work.  Being a powerful conduit of energy, when the Priestess arrives, the subconscious is allowed to move and flow, and in that “moving and flowing” we are capable of getting in touch with our authentic Selves and true natures.  It is learning how to awaken and harness this deep and powerful wisdom that we are better able to manifest astonishing and changes in our lives for the betterment of our selves and the world in which we live.

Making a ritual Priestess headdress can be a lot of fun to make as well. It needn’t be hard and difficult. It can be as simple or as extravagant as one desires. It can be made from precious metals, leathers and stones or made from fabric, a string of gems, ribbons, a plain bridal head band and glue. We will be making two types of simple; fabric based ones for our “Awakening the Priestess Within” Sister Circle.


Those planning to come should bring the following items:

For the Priestess Headdress

Your choice of fabric that can be cut into strips to braid together or a long scarf that can tie around the head.

A hard head band, plain or one that can be covered–it can be used as a firm base.

Ribbon in colors of your choosing

  • Silk flowers, long strings of beads and/or pieces from old costume jewelry that you can recycle some pieces from or use as a center piece.
Other suggested items can be:
A crescent moon shape that can be fashioned on headdress, binding cords  or anything that has some spiritual and personal significance to you and can be attached to the headdress.
For the Gathering of Sisters:
  • Your own personal candle for the altar
  • Anything of personal or symbolic value you would like to share and bring to the altar; a piece of your energy telling us who you are. (A picture, a trinket, your own altar cloth to add to the altar etc…you take this home with you when you go)
  • A food dish for sharing the feast afterward
  • Pillow/blanket/Cushion to sit on
  • Drums, rattles or other shakers

We will be meeting at the Temple home base.  Weather permitting we may be outside for a drumming circle.

If you plan to attend or need directions, please contact me via email at:

moonpriestess69@yahoo.com

I look forward to seeing you there!

In deepest love and brightest light,

Priestess Aura

source: The Divine Feminine

http://www.mythiclove.net/sunyata/divine_feminine.html

Sweet Sister Circle

So yesterday we had our first Sister circle of the year, since return from hiatus. It was wonderful. There were new faces, familiar faces and together we created beautiful sacred space and raised wonderful energy.

It started off to be a sunny day although we had already known the ‘storm’ was coming our way but being that the storms are rarely anything to write about lasting no more than five minutes if we are lucky, we decided to circle at the park like planned. However, instead of being in open field we used the shelter. That shelter has known sacredness of circle or at least ritual before as the Silver Falls Grove ADF used it many times when they were a proto grove.  I am sure it held sacred energy that only added to our circle as well.

Most every one was there before me as I was waiting for some other friends to arrive at my house. It was a bit confusing as to whether or not we were going to meet at my house due to the storm or the park.  I got there and set my stuff on one of the tables deciding taking out my supplies as the girls (two of my daughters) ran back to the van to bring the rest of the things.

I set up books on one table, just for women to look through in case they might be interested in getting some of their own.  Then everyone arranged themselves comfortably on the center of the shelter in a circle. I asked who had been to a women’s circle before. Then I gave an explanation as to what Goddess was, to further assure the atheists there that it was not the flip side of patriarchy–which was a concern for one in particular. I explained that the so-called flip side or duality is the patriarchal devil.  But Goddess…now that is a different story. She is in the simplest of terms, nature. Complete and whole unto herself and inescapable. Nothing we do doesn’t concern nature in one way or another; there is no beginning and there is no end, She simply just is.

I explained that we were gathered in sacred space to learn to remember our connection to Her and to one another as women. To celebrate that sacredness for simply just being.  Then I went on to explain what the circle was for, why we cast it as well as provide an explanation as to why we gather together for ritual and the benefits of.  After all that, I taught them some chants that we would be using in the circle. That was really fun! Then together we decided on a purpose for our rite; each woman spoke her own truth for what she intended for herself so the focus was over all, our lives paths. Then I asked them all to create the altar together and they did. Each woman made her own little space on the altar, which incidentally is a piece of tree that was cut for the purpose of fire wood but my friend Leezeette noticed that on one side there looked like a “Goddess figure” and on the other side a skull. So she gave to me as a gift for Samhain one year. I have used it as an altar ever since.

Then we smudged, cast circle and I called forth the elemental energies from within ourselves to the consciousness and from the physical places of the earth and universe, outside ourselves. Within and Without.  I nearly trance out every time when I call that way. Simply good stuff.

Then the invocation of the Goddess–what a power. I always feel that awakening deep within me surface and I know other women felt it too. Collectively right there we were the essence of Goddess!

We started the humming to bring ourselves into awareness of our purpose. We each lit a candle for our purpose and spoke in turn. The altar was surrounded with pretty things that we each brought that had special meaning to us and lit up with candles. It was lovely. Then I passed to each one of them a piece of red yarn that I had cut. I asked each one to link to the woman to their left until we came full circle. I explained to them that this thread was symbolic of the blood that connects us to one another as women, the blood that flows or has flown through our wombs at one time or another. We all do it or have done it and this was that sacred line. We chanted :

“We are a circle, with no beginning and never-ending”

and began to sway back and forth to raise energy. I would have liked to walk/dance around that circle but I could sense that for a few, being new to all of this was uncomfortable and it was hard enough for them to keep up without unintentionally dragging the energy down so I thought it best to keep a sway going. Plus my friend Rowan had a newly broken toe and I didn’t figure she’d like having to walk/dance around the circle anymore than she had to.  So we swayed and picked up a nice rhythm with it. Then when I felt that energy dwindle down I started with another chant and asking them to think on that thread that connected them to women before them and behind them in all ways literally, figuratively to whom we are linked by the blood flow. The chant we did next was “The River is flowing”

That turned out to be a favorite! It really got the energy going and the bodies swaying.  And as much as I tried to avoid it, the chant “We all come from the Goddess” made its way in there anyway.  Some things like that just can’t be avoided however, I was trying to be conscious of the young atheists there and wanted to present this as about “women” not some “other deity that we pledge allegiance to.” In any case, it worked out well.

Then when the time was right we released the energy.

Someone mentioned to me about the “self-blessing” thing I always talk about to them. I said “Funny you mention that, cause we are going to that very thing!!” Z.Budapest is known in women’s spirituality circles for the “Self-Blessing” in group ritual and at PantheaCon and Festivals, and although it is not somethings she herself made up or invented, she highly encourages all women to do the self-blessing regularly and preferably when they can see their own bodies nude.  However, while we weren’t nude I still saw the value in each of us doing the self blessing right there in circle.  After the Self-Blessings we gave thanks to the elements and Goddess Mama and opened circle. We gave hugs all over and enjoyed our feasting.

There was such magick in the air it couldn’t be missed. We sat together for the feasting and chatted up. I think we didn’t leave there for almost another two hours! It was indeed an incredible and needed evening of women and magick.

One of my sweet little blessings is that one of the women there who labeled herself ‘atheist’ on her Facebook and in her self description is now not an ‘atheist’ but something to the effect of “on a journey of self-discovery through women’s spirituality and nature”

This same woman shared with me shortly after circle that when I invoked the air, she felt a light breeze come through. When I invoked fire from the south, she opened her eyes and saw trees–trees burn in fire. When we turned west and I invoked water, all she could see was the rain pouring down from the sky. When we turned north and I invoked earth, all she could see was the spacious green field before us. She said she wondered to herself if anyone else noticed that too or was it just her.  I assured her it was not a silly notion for sure, however, I was secretly a bit jealous over that newbie magical moment when the concept of Goddess first becomes real to you. What a rush!!

She changes You. As Starhawke says “She changes every thing She touches. Every things She touches changes”.

Until the next time!

Priestess Aura