The Philosophia Wheel of the Year
Women are increasingly seeking to explore their spirituality, honour the natural cycles and reclaim the lost rituals of the Wisewoman.
As a therapist and priestess, I specialise in teaching women about the mythological cycle of the year, guiding them on a path of healing and empowerment using transpersonal techniques such as guided meditation, ritual and creative expression.
This article is part of a series exploring the different celebrations, myths and archetypes associated with the pagan festivals of the year, woven with stories from my life.
The Spring Equinox
The Spring Equinox occurs in the Northern Hemisphere on either March 20, 21 or 22. This year, it falls on Tuesday March 20 at 16.15 GMT. The word Equinox comes from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night’ as it is the point at which the hours of day and night are of equal length.
It is also called the Vernal Equinox, from the Latin word ‘vernare‘ meaning ‘to bloom’, alluding to the onset of Spring with all its beautiful flowers and blossoms, although looking out at the snow covered landscape as I write this, Spring feels very far away!
Historically, the Spring Equinox has been celebrated throughout the world by many ancient cultures, including Babylonia where the New Year was celebrated with a festival involving resurrection rites. Myths inspired by the resurrection of Spring from Winter are woven across ancient cultures including Egypt, Greece & Rome, eventually Christianised in the resurrection story of Jesus at Easter.
Artemis and the Archetype of the Wisewoman Warrior
In Ancient Greece, the month of Artemision (from March to April) was dedicated to Artemis, whose sacred animal was the hind and symbol was the crescent moon. The Athenians celebrated her as the goddess of game and hunting, and ate cakes crossed with horns to symbolise the four quarters of the moon at her festival, like the hot cross buns we now eat.
Artemis is the Virgin Goddess of Hunting, virgin in that she was beholden to no-one other than her own wild Self. She was later honoured by the Romans as Diana, specifically by the legendary race of Amazon female warriors who worshipped her as Diana of Ephesus at her temple there.
Diana’s main festival was held on the 15 August, the date later used to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary with a special mass dedicated to Holy Wisdom Sophia, uniting the three archetypal energies of Virgin Warrior, Mother and Wisewoman. This is why I based the plot of my novel The Serpent’s Tale around the Festival of Santa Sofia on 15 August 1583.
The Wisewoman Warrior
The archetype of the Wisewoman Warrior I work with and help women to step into, arises from the union of our strength and courage as the warrior, our love and compassion as the mother-nurturer, and our wisdom gained from surviving life’s challenges.
A powerful way in which to work with your Wisewoman Warrior archetype is to set aside some quiet time for yourself and allow yourself to look back over your life, focussing on the times when you have faced a really difficult challenge.
Find a special journal and use a new page to write down each of the memories of the challenges you have survived in your life, those times when you have had to draw deeply on your strength and courage.
These might have been when you’ve had to face your fears, to heal from trauma, to journey with loss and grief, to support loved ones, to recover from ill-health or injury, to rebuild your life following the break up of a relationship or the loss of employment and financial security. Challenges come to us in so many different ways, both seemingly small and dramatic.
Add to your journal over time and read it often to remind yourself of what you have survived, what lessons you have learned, what gifts from those experiences you have discovered, even if it is simply the strength to survive.
Guided Meditation with your Wisewoman Warrior
If you would like, you can complete the above writing exercise by following my guided meditation below:
Listen to my 8 minute Guided Meditation to connect with your Wisewoman Warrior
The Path of the Wisewoman Warrior
My Soul’s purpose in life is to help as many women as possible to step fully into their power as the Wisewoman Warrior they were born to be.
There was a time in my life when I felt very vulnerable, frightened and ashamed. I didn’t really know who I was or what I should be doing with my life, I just knew that I wanted to help others. But first, I came to understand that I needed to help myself.
Like many women, my path of becoming a Wisewoman Warrior has been one of surviving life’s challenges, including recovering in my twenties from suicidal depression, self-harm and addiction in response to the abuse I suffered, followed by mothering 3 children, 2 of whom were born with life-threatening syndromes and multiple disabilities, who I have nursed through 18 operations, including resuscitating my son several times a day.
These life experiences forced me to find ways in which to heal my shadow emotions, such as fear and shame, to harness the incredible depth of strength and courage which I believe we all have, and to recognise the pattern of my Soul’s journey so that I could come to understand what my Soul’s purpose was and to manifest it from a place of power and integrity.
I’m therefore very excited to announce that applications are now open for The Path of the Wisewoman Warrior – a journey of 6 online workshops for women to heal their wounds, step fully into their power and shine their light in the world.
With Spring Equinox blessings of the strength, courage, love, compassion and wisdom of the Wisewoman Warrior!