Christians with Pagan leanings - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 165 Old 10-19-2009, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know you're out there!

I'm talking about Christians who also follow and celebrate the cycles of nature, who do meditations, who follow the cycles of the moon and the universe as a whole, etc etc etc. And also of course those Christians who would like to encompass more of that in their lives.

I'd love to meet y'all!


Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#2 of 165 Old 10-19-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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me me me!! i am trying to encompass more of that in my life--in fact i am wondering *how* to follow the moon...is there a nifty little moon cycle book or something? i am curious to hear what others say. I have set up a little altar on my dresser so that's a step.

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#3 of 165 Old 10-19-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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I follow a liturgical calendar....it leads one through the seasons. Delightful!
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#4 of 165 Old 10-19-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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I am a Christian and most often nature is my place of worship (where I really feel God). I do have a regular church too. I encompass both Christianity and many Cherokee religious principles into my spirituality as well as Yoga philosophies.

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#5 of 165 Old 10-21-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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Hi ladies! I haven't been on MDC in a long time, but I recognize some of you from previous threads along similar lines! It's always such a comfort to me to visit here and be reminded that I'm not alone in my journey. So, yes, I'm in, and would love to hear about what you all are doing to honor this season of drawing inward and sharing that with your children. I need some inspiration, as I'm coming out of a very difficult time. :
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#6 of 165 Old 10-22-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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Maggie, you know I'm in!

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#7 of 165 Old 10-22-2009, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! (and yay Jenne!)

So how do you all incorporate nature into your spiritual practices? How do you celebrate the seasons?

Jenne~ have you read this? I love it! (It's a PDF)

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#8 of 165 Old 10-22-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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We are homesteading and homeschooling in the Waldorf tradition, so this helps us quite a bit. We are always taking nature walks and taking notice of the changes, sounds, etc... We also try to pay attention to the subtle clues that nature gives us. Sorry... more later... gotta go.

Appalachian mountain woman, radical homemaker, homeschooler, childbirth educator, and doula loving her DH and three powerful little femmes. Deladis 8-4-05, Ivy 4-28-08, and Gweneth 7-21-12 HBA2C! hbac.gif  -  blogging.jpg ribboncesarean.gif

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#9 of 165 Old 10-23-2009, 02:19 AM
 
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Maggie, thanks so much for sharing that article with me. I'm adding it to my favorites.

On the topic at hand, though, I have much to learn. One of the things I got this year was a Witches Calendar for 2009 which I've enjoyed reading the descriptions for each month.

This next year, I'm going to start celebrating the Equinoxes and Solstices. I think I may try to take the family on walks during full moons each month too. We recently got a telescope and a DVD series on astronomy. I really enjoyed the series but we haven't taken many opportunities for stargazing, and sadly its the wet season in the Northwest so there won't be many clear nights for a few months.

Chunka is pretty lucky because his life is heavily influenced three months of the year by the tidal cycles because of my husband's research. I love being able to expose him to those concepts and involve him in the observation of that phenomenon.

I have much to learn on this topic, so I'd love for others to share their knowledge!

Another thing I just thought of are hymns that celebrate and reverence the seasons and earth:

How Great Thou Art
For the Beauty of the Earth
I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me (in the LDS Primary Songbook)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
All Through the Night
The Holly and the Ivy

Can anyone add to this list?

And another thing, I am interested in is studying the ways that Christianity adopted pagan practices over time and how they have been woven together to become the traditions we are familiar with today.

On that topic, how are those here planning to celebrate Halloween this year? Anyone going to observe Dia de los Muertos?

My favorite Halloween event is the Irish ceili my Irish Dance company puts on. Last year, my little boy was dressed up as a Druid and he ended up in the ceili circle with everyone dancing around him. So cool.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#10 of 165 Old 10-24-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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I am from a verrrrry christian background, and now have completely stripped off all titles, so Christian Pagan doesn't even really fit. BUT- I mostly follow a pagan path, influenced by the christian teachings that still resonate with me, mixed up with a deepening yoga practice.

So yeah, I could hang with you all. :-)

My biggest thing is the Wheel of the Year, and kitchen witchery. I find a very deep connection with divinity by following the natural worlds rhythms and through seasonal foods/herbal medicines etc.

Shelley, mom to dd 5/19/01, ds 9/06/02, and ds 4/01/07.  Lost babe 4/09

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#11 of 165 Old 10-24-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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Subbing. Not time to write a lot now.

My spirituality includes Catholicism that my husband's family introduced me to, praying the the rosary as a personal practice, and Catholic school for my children, the very liberally Christian United Church (a bit like UU) that I grew up in, and a love of the Psalms that my Mormon-born, Baptist-by-choice grandma introduced me to.

Right now, I am totally touched by a woman in my church who contacted me saying that the Holy Spirit moved her to offer to sponsor my dd for confirmation meetings (her Godparents are not living near us and we didn't realize she needed a sponsor for the meetings this year, so it would have had to be delayed for a year). I've bumped into this lady here and there - she's active in the church, and our dds used to play together -- and I am happy that my dd has found her as a spiritual mentor through this process of becoming a full member of the church.

I made the commitment when I got married to raise my children Catholic, and even though my own beliefs are all over the place (which I am honest about with my children), I am very comfortable with following through on the pledge. What our children choose to do or believe as adults will be up to them. It doesn't hurt that a lot of the beliefs and practices of Catholicism seem very pagan to me, at least compared with what I experienced growing up of the rather intellectual Christianity of the United Church and the rather literal Christianity of the Baptist church!

I also read a lot about paganism, follow the cycle of the moon as a spiritual practice, do a Treasure Map every year, love kitchen witchery, have a growing interest in astrology and what some pagans might call "greenwitchery" or earth magic, and thoroughly enjoy the pagan threads here, including the tapping camp right now.

I have decided not to worry about or apologize for who I am, and just to think of myself as spiritually eclectic with interests and practices that cluster around Christianity and Paganism. I guess I'm fortunate to have no one in my life who is likely to judge me negatively or cut me off for not having the religiously correct views of either Christian or Pagan beliefs.

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Originally Posted by jenneology View Post

On that topic, how are those here planning to celebrate Halloween this year? Anyone going to observe Dia de los Muertos?
Wanted to recommend a couple of children's books on the Day of the Dead that were important to our commemoration of it last year

Clatter Bash

Ghost Wings

We also made these books part of a homeschool-for-preschool unit study of Mexico. A lovely warm thing to do in a cold Northern November! I think we'll revisit a lot of this this year.
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#12 of 165 Old 10-24-2009, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jenne I have found myself singing How Great Thou Art while outdoors with my kids recently. For the Beauty Of the Earth is one of my favorite hymns. Oddly enough O My Father is another one I am drawn to in this way. Maybe because it mentions our Mother in Heaven?

We want to celebrate the solcitices and equionoxes this oncoming year as well.

One thing I am drawn to as well to live in the seasons is eating seasonally and being more aware of the chaning earth through what we are eating as well. I cannot recommend the book Full Moon Feasts enough! I love the fall because I make apple pancakes, apple pies, apple cookies, apple granola, baked apples, etc etc. Can you tell I love apples? This year I can't wait to try my hand at gingerbread.

I am also drawn to the seasons and kitchen witchery. I also very much love mantras and writen out prayers to recite. I few them as gifts from my heart like singing a hymn.

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#13 of 165 Old 10-24-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jenneology View Post
Another thing I just thought of are hymns that celebrate and reverence the seasons and earth:

How Great Thou Art
For the Beauty of the Earth
I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me (in the LDS Primary Songbook)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
All Through the Night
The Holly and the Ivy

Can anyone add to this list?
All Creatures of Our God and King (based on St Francis' "Canticle of the Creatures") is one of my all time favorites.


I should have guessed it was you that started this thread maggie, I just saw the title in 'new posts' and clicked.
My DH jokes that I'm a "pagan mormon" cuz I like so many of the earthy things. I just got henna on my big 37wk belly this morning, and I incorporated the spiral and sunburst patterns which I know are significant symbols in several ancient cultures.
I guess I just figure that nobody has a monopoly on truth--truth is found in many places, and even though I do believe in Christ as the ultimate source of all truth, I think that truth trickles down through many things and in many ways. So I don't look at the source of an idea so much as I consider how it feels--if it feels true then I believe it's true.
I teach my kids that we should respect all the things and creatures on Earth, because we are all God's creations. Obviously as a Christian I believe that people are made in the image of God whereas the animals are not, BUT I still believe that we have an obligation to respect and honor the animals and trees and that when we use them (to eat/build/etc) we should give thanks for them--even to them--and then only take/use what we need, not be wasteful, etc.
I very much want to observe the solstices and equinoxes--have for several years--but I have never been totally sure what to do. Especially because I don't have my DH or any local friends who are really on board with traditional celebrations of those things... So last year for winter solstice we did a soup potluck--a chance for gathering and fellowship and sharing warmth--and that went over ok. The year before that my mom and I tried to pull off a solstice spiral a la waldorf and the family went with it but I think they all thought we were weird

~Jenni, rural frugal Alaskan, eternally married to Dragon
loving my wild things DS Wolf (12), 3 angels, DS Bear (6) & DS Eagle (3)
 

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#14 of 165 Old 10-25-2009, 03:27 AM
 
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I am from a verrrrry christian background, and now have completely stripped off all titles, so Christian Pagan doesn't even really fit. BUT- I mostly follow a pagan path, influenced by the christian teachings that still resonate with me, mixed up with a deepening yoga practice.

So yeah, I could hang with you all. :-)

My biggest thing is the Wheel of the Year, and kitchen witchery. I find a very deep connection with divinity by following the natural worlds rhythms and through seasonal foods/herbal medicines etc.
Wow! You have just described very closely what I have been for the last couple years. Thank you for summing that up for me, I have been so confused lately that I just figured I was a spiritual misfit.
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#15 of 165 Old 10-27-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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I would say that I'm a Pagan Christian. I celebrate the equinoxes and solstices; I read the Bible. My biggest spiritual influences are Starhawk and Marcus Borg. My parents raised me Christian. I spent time as a Pagan, but I really struggled with the issue of cultural appropriation, which led me back to my childhood faith. I haven't found a good religious community for us. (We cannot find a theologically liberal place of worship that also family-integrated.)
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#16 of 165 Old 10-28-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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Wow! You have just described very closely what I have been for the last couple years. Thank you for summing that up for me, I have been so confused lately that I just figured I was a spiritual misfit.
Well, you just helped me! Spiritual Misfit- a title I can get behind.

I am glad I made you feel less alone. It's been a long and winding path (obviously one I am still on) but I finally got to the point where I can honestly say "I don't know. I believe what I believe, I don't what I don't- and I am ok with it"

So hugs to you and anyone else who feel like they don't belong anywhere, there is a HUGE amount of people from all walks who feel the same.

Shelley, mom to dd 5/19/01, ds 9/06/02, and ds 4/01/07.  Lost babe 4/09

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#17 of 165 Old 10-29-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Me! I attend a Prebyterian church and consider myself Christian(although some would not!), and began following and celebrating points along the wheel of the year and moon cycles shortly after my children were born.

Angie: mama to Erika and Ani: dw to Ole:::
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#18 of 165 Old 10-30-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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I would say that I'm a Pagan Christian. I celebrate the equinoxes and solstices; I read the Bible. My biggest spiritual influences are Starhawk and Marcus Borg. My parents raised me Christian. I spent time as a Pagan, but I really struggled with the issue of cultural appropriation, which led me back to my childhood faith. I haven't found a good religious community for us. (We cannot find a theologically liberal place of worship that also family-integrated.)
OT: but have you visited either a Baha'i or Unitarian congregation near you? They are generally both of those.

Can you also describe what you mean by cultural appropriation? I'm interested.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#19 of 165 Old 11-03-2009, 03:53 AM
 
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We celebrated Samhain at our house! It would have been more complete with a bonfire, though. Maybe next year. I can't really explain why but celebrating Samhain as the New Year makes more sense to me than January. It really does feel like a year ends as fall turns to winter.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#20 of 165 Old 11-03-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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Haning out here around the 34th parallel, I'm still anxiously waiting for fall to stick around. We had about a week of fall weather, but now it's back up in the 80s. My tomato plants are even starting to bloom again.

I too have been leaning toward pagan ways and finding ways to celebrate nature. The more I start to research, the more I believe that the Bible is VERY humanly male biased and full of predudices, that are not necessarily "God's Word", but teachings of arrogant men (albiet with good intentions), with thier own agendas.

Does anyone have any book suggestions on where to start? There are lots of books out there, but I'm not sure how to weed through them and find relevant information.
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#21 of 165 Old 11-04-2009, 05:40 AM
 
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OT: but have you visited either a Baha'i or Unitarian congregation near you? They are generally both of those.

Can you also describe what you mean by cultural appropriation? I'm interested.
We tried two different UU churches. At both, staff members (the pastor at one and the RE director at another) told me that my daughter was not allowed at services.

What I mean by cultural appropriation is when I see white Americans take practices without permission from other cultures without any understand of the context.

Obviously, not all Pagans do this. I think it's very possible to be Pagan, not Christian, and not appropriating other cultures. However, for ME, I found it very difficult for me to find an authentic faith without focusing on my childhood faith, particularly the faith in which I was raised and the culture in which I was raised, to the exclusion of others.
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#22 of 165 Old 11-06-2009, 01:22 AM
 
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We tried two different UU churches. At both, staff members (the pastor at one and the RE director at another) told me that my daughter was not allowed at services.
I have had MUCH luck with a United Methodist Church I've been attending for over a year now (grew up Episcopalian) - they have been the ONLY church i have found that has a strong children/youth ministry and where children are never made out of place in any part of services/etc.. it really has been a great find/fit for us!

That said - HI! I would say I'm a bit christian, a bit "pagan", though i would say pagan with christian leanings... though right now its just a mess with the year we've had . But i became much more interested in my... need (not the word i want - but it will do) in following what seemed to me to be instinct in observing/celebrate nature, when my oldest was about 2 1/2.

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#23 of 165 Old 12-04-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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Does anyone have any book suggestions on where to start? There are lots of books out there, but I'm not sure how to weed through them and find relevant information.
bump--i'm interested too.

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#24 of 165 Old 12-04-2009, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bookwise there is nothing really on Christopaganism. I think you are going to have to read on both subjects individually and then sort of combine.

I really liked the books Witch Crafting and Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott. The latter is an autobiography of sorts of how she came to the path.

I REALLY love Goddess Initiation and Be A Goddess by Francesca DeGrandis. Even if I don't use her stuff directly it is very inspiring.

Of course The Spiral Dance by Starhawk.

I haven't read it but I want to read The Dance of the Dissedent Daughter.

Again because there are no books on Christopaganism the above may all be *too* heavy on the one side. Read them and take what you can to add to your own path.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I am wondering what each of our Christian-Pagan ways look like. I need to think on this more for myself but I would love to hear yours!

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#25 of 165 Old 12-04-2009, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh just reminded me of The Earth Path also by Starhawk. Duh!

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#26 of 165 Old 12-06-2009, 04:40 AM
 
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I've requested Earth Path from the library!

Hey Magstphil, if you are aspiring to be a writer, there's an idea for a book for you, topic: Christopagan

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#27 of 165 Old 12-06-2009, 04:48 AM
 
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I just found this book that I've also requested from the library.

Celebrating the Earth: A Year of Pagan Holidays

Solstice is coming up!

The day before the Solstice, I was asking to arrange a musical number for our church service. What did I pick? The Holly and the Ivy.

I sang it in my high school choir and my instructor told us about its origins. It was written in the time when Christianity was aiming to convert pagan traditions by melding and reassigning symbols. Holly and Ivy were pagan symbols reassigned to represented Mary, the mother of Jesus. And its symbolic of birth: the red of blood, the prick of labor pains, the blossom of a new life. Love it! And so excited to sing it!

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#28 of 165 Old 12-06-2009, 04:55 AM
 
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We tried two different UU churches. At both, staff members (the pastor at one and the RE director at another) told me that my daughter was not allowed at services.

What I mean by cultural appropriation is when I see white Americans take practices without permission from other cultures without any understand of the context.

Obviously, not all Pagans do this. I think it's very possible to be Pagan, not Christian, and not appropriating other cultures. However, for ME, I found it very difficult for me to find an authentic faith without focusing on my childhood faith, particularly the faith in which I was raised and the culture in which I was raised, to the exclusion of others.
How old was your daughter??

Thanks for explaining cultural approbation, the UUs and the Baha'i like to do this but I would say its an approach where they are outside looking in, instead of jumping in and taking what they want for themselves.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#29 of 165 Old 12-06-2009, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just found this book that I've also requested from the library.

Celebrating the Earth: A Year of Pagan Holidays

Solstice is coming up!

The day before the Solstice, I was asking to arrange a musical number for our church service. What did I pick? The Holly and the Ivy.

I sang it in my high school choir and my instructor told us about its origins. It was written in the time when Christianity was aiming to convert pagan traditions by melding and reassigning symbols. Holly and Ivy were pagan symbols reassigned to represented Mary, the mother of Jesus. And its symbolic of birth: the red of blood, the prick of labor pains, the blossom of a new life. Love it! And so excited to sing it!
I LOVE that song! I love how The Medaeval Baebes sing it, too.

I have that same author's book "The Witch In Every Woman" and I almost suggested it because it is a very uplifting book for women and I think I remember someone here saying they were looking fro something more woman-based(???). Anywho good book! I'll have to add this one to my list too.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#30 of 165 Old 12-06-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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I can't remember if anyone else already mentioned them in this thread, but I'm currently lurking /occasionally posting on a couple of groups on Yahoo that might be of interest to some here: Christian Witch , the Christian Witch course, and Catholic Folk Magic
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