For Sage Goddess, July 25 marks the end of a seven-year cycle. We opened our virtual doors on July 25, 2011, and have been holding that heartbeat steady for all these years, through thick and thin, with a deep and abiding love. I hope you know that we are here for you! We exist for you. We are anchoring alchemy and magic on this planet with you, for you, and through you. As I sit in gratitude for what has been, I am beyond excited to begin the next cycle – supported and held by every single one of you and also being of support to you. I can only imagine where the next seven years will take us. My heart skips a beat when I think about the magic ahead, and all that remains to be discovered, honored and understood. What wisdom will we gather, and how will we integrate it? Who will we serve, and what healing will we facilitate on this planet? How much closer can we come to our authentic purpose for being?
How much more can we love each other than we even do today?
One way we can love each other is to acknowledge each other, to really see each other, and what is required by those of us who are called to lives of activated healing potential. Personally, I am not sure anyone chooses to be a healer. If they do, I’m not sure it’s a conscious longing. Would I have chosen it? At times, yes, but at other times, definitely not. I opened Sage Goddess at a time when I was faced with a dramatic diagnosis and a lot of physical uncertainty. At the time, I needed healing and was not yet aware that I was being called upon to heal myself so that I could serve as a legitimate and authentic mirror of healing possibility for my community. It was an initiation of sorts, I am sure. I am a healer, and I have healed myself. You are a healer, too, and I honor that divine miraculous part of you that has skills and gifts even YOU are not aware of you. There’s still so much for you to learn about you. Your own cycles are completing, and your own heart is opening wider. I am not the only one celebrating these things.
This is a celebration for both of us.
I want to thank you for walking next to me on this path, for seeing me and allowing me to see you, and for making this community a place of deep and authentic love, wisdom, magic, and inspiration it is today. I could not have done this work without you – and honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to. I think of us as a family. We go through ups and downs, growing pains and stretch marks, sharing moments of joy and sorrow together, moving through ambiguity together with as much grace as we can muster. Sometimes we feel like weary warriors fighting a long fight for conscious evolution, holding and anchoring sacred space for many thousands of people who need us but don’t always see what this work requires of us. Sometimes we feel like we have failed because we can’t live up to others’ expectations of us. We are immortal beings but we inhabit human containers, feel human emotions, have human experiences. The greatest gift we have is each other, knowing that we are never alone. I love walking this road, holding this space, doing this work, with you and by your side. When I have been wary, you lifted me up. I hope I’ve done the same for you. That has been my intention, to create a well you can drink from at any time.
In honor of this incredible journey we’ve taken, and in recognition that you and I are both in this together, I will be offering a live Visioning Ceremony for our next cycles. Join me here as we reflect on the numerous blessings that the past seven years have brought us, and visualize what blessings we seek in the cycle ahead. What wisdom will our guides share with us? What guidance do they have now, as we begin? Let us gather and listen, together. Bring 7 stones to this ceremony, one for each year of the next cycle, to use for setting intentions and receiving blessings. A candle in white or blue will help you anchor your vision for the next cycle with clarity and beauty. Use any of your SG perfumes that ask to be of service. Remember as you gather the tools that your intuition will guide you toward what is needed. Trust it.
As we approach the end of our first cycle here at Sage Goddess, our first seven years of creation, I am reflecting upon how far we have come and how much the process has shaped and defined who I am today, as well. I think many people set out to start a business when they open an Etsy shop. I wasn’t intending to do that – I was trying to offer my sage bundles to friends who were not local to me at the time. When what I was doing became popular with people I didn’t know, it took me by surprise! I think part of the magic of Sage Goddess is that it did NOT begin as a business. It began as my LOVE becoming manifest in a tangible item, and because the intention was so pure, whatever I created was received that way by customers. Even today, as we have grown, I don’t think of SG as a company; I think of us as a global family, all walking each other home as gracefully and gently as we can, while still trying to actively fulfill our individual soul paths and purposes. I feel blessed to do what I do, and I still only bring products and classes to Sage Goddess that I believe in, that I use, that are created by our amazing Team SG out of love and intention for you.
But I am for sure a different person today on many levels than I was when SG started. You can tell, I think, even by looking at me. I’ve shed some serious skin and I don’t look the same, don’t feel the same, though the essence of who I am and my belief in the work has never changed. Just like a snake sheds skin, so we also shed aspects of who we are and what we do, in service of becoming our best, brightest, and most authentic selves. I had just come through the birth canal of becoming a mother when SG was born, and I had been recently diagnosed with one of the most serious diseases anyone can face. It was not an easy time. But challenging times hold the possibility of rebirth and renewal. When you are in that birth canal, and it feels like the entire universe is contracting you, remember that you are in a place of profound creative potential. If you can stay there, if you can keep going, there is a massive light at the end of that canal. Always, for everyone.
Here are the five ways Sage Goddess has changed me since I founded it 7 years ago:
- I Pause Before Judging I have to say, the number one change I’ve seen in myself since I started SG is that I pause more and practice neutrality. I engage a space where I can ‘hold both’ in difficult circumstances. I honor the potential that you and I both might be right and that beyond ideas of right and wrong there is a field of neutrality where we can love each other through conflict. That might not sound like a big deal, but I am a double fire sign (Leo sun, Sag moon) and I used to react first, think later. I tried to be reflective, but in hindsight, I acted too quickly and sometimes judged too quickly too. I don’t make assumptions much anymore, and I genuinely believe in the good in people. When things happen now that irritate me, I stop and I pause. I ask myself, am I making any assumptions here? Am I taking things personally that aren’t about me? Am I judging someone in an unfair way? I try to wait 24 hours before reacting to anything, and if I can’t, I at least pause and ask the questions above. That feels like huge progress. I don’t set things on fire as much anymore, and I have reduced stress and interpersonal conflicts in major ways.
- I See Others As Sacred Mirrors Here’s another one – I think I used to see people as divine, sacred mirrors reflecting back to me who I really am and what matters to me, but I do this consistently now. I look at everyone as a child of the Great Mother, and in that way, I can hold major compassion for people I don’t even know or people who are unkind to me. I don’t have to know you to care about you. I don’t have to know you to love you. I don’t have to agree with you to love you. I try to model this duality for others, which is really hard sometimes. Especially because what I do is public! When you are working with everyone, without qualification, you can’t judge. You have to accept people as they are and recognize, everyone is your teacher. I do that now with consistency. I may not like everyone all the time, or agree with everyone all the time, but I love everyone all the time. I feel like I have seen a lot of the worst in people, and still even in those moments, can rise to the occasion of loving them anyway.
- I Let Shit Go Ok, this one is a life preserver! And it’s as easy as (wait for it …) just letting shit GO! Like bye-bye! If it’s bothering you, if it’s upsetting you, especially if whatever “it” is happened a long time ago, please do yourself a favor and let that shit go! I do it every day – I ask myself what is ready to be released, and I surrender it. Once and for all. What happens when you do this? You lose weight. Your health improves. You sleep better at night. I have learned not to carry other people’s water. I was carrying a lot of water for a lot of people. Now, I listen with compassion and care for others but I definitely don’t take their opinions and problems to bed with me at night. What is yours, is yours. I am happy to listen to you, but cannot do the work for you. By letting go you of others’ issues and energies, you move into a more functional relationship with them because co-dependency isn’t possible. I sure am responsible for my own work though and WOW have I done a lot of it. Where I have made mistakes, I have sought forgiveness. I am a grand work-in-progress. Some days, I’m only a work-in-progress lol.
- I Focus On What Is Next I have learned so much from my community, and probably the number one thing I’ve learned is that we are stuck in our stories. Some of us are so trapped in our stories that we literally don’t know how to get away from them. It’s like our stories sit next to us at breakfast in the morning, drive with us in the car, take showers with us. They can be constant companions, and not in the best way. Those stories often want you to stay trapped because if you stop telling those stories, they might disappear. They might disappear! And you might actually be able to write a new story. I live in new stories. I am not concerned as much with what happened yesterday as I am with what is happening right now. Most of the time, those are different things. I focus on today and tomorrow – what is now, and what is arriving. The past is there as a teacher, but once I’ve learned from it, I stop, drop, and roll on toward what is ahead.
- I Appreciate The Process Another lesson I have learned so deeply from my community – as sacred mirrors to me I delight in watching your growth and evolution! By watching you, I have a constant invitation to observe the process, not just outcome. An outcome is great, and we should all have goals. But the path there, the road toward your best self, is lined with experiences that bring you closer to magic, closer to Source, and closer to deep inner peace that cannot be shaken by outside events or circumstances. Delight in the little things, I have learned, is nature’s gift to me. The flowers, the birds, the hearts in places you don’t expect. The leaves that unfurl in sacred geometric shapes. The way your child’s voice sounds as she reads to you and is learning to pronounce new big words. The smell of fresh jasmine blooms. The warmth of a summer night, and the taste of fresh fruit. The way it feels to be strong all day but then curl myself up in my lover’s embrace at night and surrender to his divine masculine strength. By expressing gratitude for the process, you encourage the universe to keep showering you with more blessings along the way.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my reflections. Now, it’s your turn! How have YOU changed since we met? I can’t wait to read and reflect with you. Here’s to what lies ahead on this road to discovery and evolution. May we continue to enjoy and appreciate the process together.
Amen, A’ho, and On we go.
Love you! Athena
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