LSW March Issue

LSW March Issue

When Crone is Greeted by Winter 

Crone is last stage of the moon cycle. Spring, summer, autumn, winter are the Earth cycle seasons. Autumn and winter must correspond to the Crone stage. I understand autumn and see the beauty in it, but I’m unclear on winter. Winter is a metaphor for death. Or is it the very last stage of life? What is the symbolic and energetic meaning of the winter years? What is the beauty of it?  I came to realize autumn is about reaping life’s harvest, and also letting go. Does that continue into winter? When does the season of winter begin for us humans? My father, nearly 81, recently had a stroke and is in decline. Depressed and wishing to die, he lost his zeal for life. Once the desire to live dies, does that mark our winter season?

 

 

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LWS January Issue "Autumnal Woman"

LWS January Issue  "Autumnal Woman"

I'm Loving the Autumnal Years!

At one point, I was introduced to the idea that our lives reflect the Earth cycle (spring, summer, autumn, and winter). As our life expectancy has increased, the Earth cycle begins to make more sense because for many, our lives will be only just more than half complete by menopause.

AUTUMN - this intermediate phase between summer/mother phase and winter/crone phase ushers in a whole new way of looking at the post-menopausal years. Autumn is the harvest season - the most abundant time of year, the most flavorful, and rich in color. It’s also the time when the leaves fall and let go… Symbolically, an autumnal woman is reaping the fruits of her life’s work, she may be heading into retirement and may have the resources and time to travel. She may be free of small children and may be going into grand-parenting. She may understand death more intimately as loved ones pass. She may be releasing relationships, or careers may change. It’s a time of purification and getting clear on who she is. The Autumnal woman is bursting through patriarchal cultural conditioning of being irrelevant and worth less.

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Constance Leshin - Queendom

Constance Leshin - Queendom

One of the things Constancia is passionately active about is her work in Guatemala. She works for an organization called "Friendship Bridge" (www.friendshipbridge.org), a microfinance plus organization that gives 30,000 Guatemalan Maya women loans and education so that they can create their own solutions to poverty. She also translates narratives from Spanish to English for clients that are posted on the KIVA website, (www.kiva.org). 

“Every year we’ve raised more and more money from investors who can donate up as little as twenty-five dollars. Last year, we raised almost two million dollars. It really is incredible; it absolutely takes my breath away. It’s incredible when I think about how far my/our energy is going on behalf of these "voiceless women".

That is inspirational Constancia!

Diving in now, can you tell me a bit about beauty and how you see it in the women there or in general? 

Well, in our culture there is this emphasis on appearance...

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LWS - August Issue "I am So Big"

LWS - August Issue "I am So Big"

Yes, I am, I know I am. I AM BIG, I know I can do anything! I am a girl!

Mom would bounce me on her knees and stretch my arms wide saying, “I am soooo big!” I would giggle and wiggle as she cuddled and snuggled me. Dresses, patent leather shoes, curls and bows were my costume whenever mom wanted to dress me up, and I loved it.

I loved my clothes for digging in the dirt too, and riding the big wheel, climbing trees, and chasing my cocker-spaniel, Lulu, and my boyfriend, Joey, around the yard. Then my little brother and sister came, and I was the big girl because I was their big sister. I loved them. They were my charge, so I was in charge. I felt I could do anything, and do it perfectly well.

I think I was about seven when this girl, Wanda, was at the house doing some gardening. I followed her around because she was pretty and a teenager. I overheard her talking to Mom, saying some crazy stuff about how she was not chosen for something because she was a girl. I thought, “What are you talking about?

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Christine Schultz - Queendom

Christine Schultz - Queendom

For women, this third season (there are four) is the time when our blood stops. For me, this was effing BIG! It happened slowly after a ten year “period”. I had been carefully noticing, adjusting health (No longer able to eat bread and having autoimmune issues!), and trying to find someone to talk about it. Still, when my doctor after reviewing blood tests, delivered the news that I, age 49, was officially “post-menopausal”, I was flattened. Thank god, my beloved was there to hold me as I mopped up the tears and surrendered the last remaining attachment I had to my summer season.

Officially over the threshold, I felt immense grief as I mourned the loss of my summer years. I had been bracing myself, yet, when that moment was known, I still felt mystified about how to feel as an autumnal. I hadn’t heard anything good about it ever, because we are a culture that worships youthful beauty. Yet, I knew the future would be good! I simply had little reference and understanding how and why.

Photo by Katy Rowe of Artist Group Photography

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Wisdom of the Wheel

Wisdom of the Wheel

The Circle Keeps Teaching

In grad school, classes on behavior were part of my M.Ed program. In one of these classes, Dr. Weiner from CSUN, introduced us to Native American wisdom. He emphasized the importance of the values represented in the medicine wheel while sitting in circle to hear and be heard, to forgive and to heal. I  later found that the wheel represents much more, including the four directions and the four elements. Yet, the values: generosity, belonging, independence, and mastery were my introduction to the wisdom of the wheel. In particular, belonging was vitally important to children struggling with home and school life. And, I could see how it was important to create that sense within a classroom.

Spurred on by my interest that arose in those graduate classes, I found myself exploring the wheel in real time - sweat lodges and feminine energy circles.

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LWS - July "The Top of Adam's Hill"

LWS - July "The Top of Adam's Hill"

The Top of Adam’s Hill

July '17

By Christine Schultz

It was December 2000 when I landed in Los Angeles from Milwaukee. Tom was in the terminal waiting with a wine bag over his shoulder. He greeted me warmly, we sat, and he poured the chilled champagne into two crystal flutes. After excitedly chatting and drinking champagne, we walked to his car and jumped into the midnight blue ‘68 GTO (top down). Kennedy was etched into the side wing-windows. “Maybe this was Bobby Kennedy’s car?” I thought. The white leather, patina-tinged, left me wondering who had sat in it before. Camelot, an Arthurian fantasy, what was this? I felt like a 1960’s movie star as we drove across L.A., and then up to the top of Adam’s Hill on its winding streets. I was in sunny California in December, and adored by a handsome, successful TV producer. Life was good.

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