Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Buzz Coil: January 2016

Some recent posts from blogs on our blogroll (please note, we don't knowingly list posts in Buzz Coil that have been published previously by the blogger elsewhere or on the same blog):

The Retiring Mind:  Wendy Griffin's Jan. 13 post,  "The Decolonized Goddess: Brigid of Ireland,"  discusses Brigid  in terms of both  myth and  folktale, and concludes with Brigid's status today.  She begins:
"The distinction between myth and folk-tale isn’t always all that clear. Many myths incorporate folk-tale motifs, and many stories are simply narratives that just happen to have a god or goddess as protagonist. We can see this in Brigid of Ireland, a religious symbol with multi-vocality that links one sphere of reality with others. This shouldn’t be surprising, for it has been said that the Irish nature is rooted in a pagan heart and a Christian soul."

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology: A January 12 post announces: "Dr. Elinor Gadon’s Keynote To Explore “History or Mystery” at the 2016 ASWM Conference: “Seeking Harbor in Our Histories: Lights in the Darkness," April 1-2 in Boston. Gadon is author of  The Once and Future Goddess:  A Symbol for Our Time and Tiger by the Tail: Women Artists of Indian Transforming Culture. She is a resident scholar of the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center.

WoodsPriestess:  in a Jan. 14 post,  blogger Molly  announces,  Free Mini Course: Womanspirit Wisdom"  beginning  Feb. 1.   Her Jan. 21  post  features her  "Priestess Year  in Review," with pics.

Hecatedemeter:  Blogger Hecate's Jan. 22 post, "Blizzard Potpourri" tells how she is getting through  the blizzard occurring in the Mid-Atlantic states at the time she is writing.

Annelinde's World: During the same snowstorm, a few miles southwest of Hecate, Annelinde's Metzner's Jan.22 post is a poem dedicated to the Goddess "Holle." With snowstorm pic.  

The Goddess House: Frances Billinghurst  takes on the issue, "The Sacred  Feminine or  Goddess Feminism?" in her Jan. 26  post,  first  giving the reasons  for her use  of  "divine feminine " and then quoting from an article by Carol Christ.  

Love  of the Goddess:   In her Jan.  21 post, blogger Tara  writes about  "Nimue,  Lady of the Lake," high priestess of Avalon in Arthurian legend, and sometimes called a Goddess.   In her January 14 post,  " The Highly Sensitive Priestess,"  Tara describes  " sensitivity ,"  and its relationship to energy.   she also  advises how to work  with such energy,  including  how to deal with its problems. 

Works of Literata: Blogger Literata's  Jan. 10 post, "High Priestess and duality," discusses the theological complications of Tarot's High Priestess card.  

Hearth Moon Rising's blog: Blogger Hearth Moon's Jan. 22 post is about "The Celtic Raven Goddess," with a focus on Badb Cath. She also names several other raven/crow goddesses and notes: "Like actual ravens, these goddesses are difficult to distinguish and debate continues over whether they are in fact different appellations for the same goddess."

Mythkenner's Myths: In a Jan. 18 post, "What Freyja Said About Angrboda," Caroline Kenner 's presents a story in the voice of a Goddess.

Large Goddess/Spiritual Feminist Blogs
 
Because of the large number and variety of bloggers and posts on these blogs, we are now suggesting that you visit them and select the posts that interest you most.

The Motherhouse of the Goddess: Blog affiliated with Motherhouse Podcasts and Mystery School.
The Wild Hunt: Pagan, news-oriented blog that has grown from single blogger to many bloggers.
Pagan Square: This blog of many mostly-Pagan paths is sponsored by BBI Media and includes SageWoman blog posts.
Return to Mago: A Goddess-centered blog whose administrator/owner is Helen Hye-Sook Hwang.
Feminism and Religion: Many bloggers from many different religions and paths.
 

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

UK Historian Looking for Interviewees about Goddess Practices

I've received request from Ruth Lindley, Ph.D, of the Department of History, University of Birmingham, UK, to publish the following information from her here. She is looking for participants based in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Dr. Lindley writes:

"Call for Interview Participants

"I am looking to conduct interviews with women whose spiritual practices focus on, or relate to, ‘the Goddess’, for my PhD research on religion and spirituality at the University of Birmingham. My thesis, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will challenge current scholarship on religious change in modern Britain, especially in relation to women’s experiences of faith from the 1960s to the present day. 

"Most historians and sociologists claim that women abandoned institutional religions en masse in the 1960s due to the effects of second wave feminism and the sexual revolution. They argue that, in lieu of the Christian dogma of love and self-sacrifice, women then turned to ‘alternative spiritualties’ that provided an outlet for their natural feminine care-giving roles. This scholarship takes up the implicit perspective of religious institutions for whom ‘women’s spirituality’ is casual, unorganised and diluted.

"In collecting oral testimonies, I hope to rescue women’s spiritual experiences from the condescension of this scholarship. I want to find out what faith really meant in the lives of ordinary women in contemporary Britain and, in doing so, reveal something of the rich and textured history of belief in the modern world. I am interested in hearing the perspectives of people rather than institutions.

"Complete anonymity is guaranteed for all participants, if desired. If you are interested in taking part, please email Ruth Lindley on RML033@bham.ac.uk for more information, or to arrange an informal conversation prior to interview."  


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Monday, January 04, 2016

Winter-Spring Issue of Goddess Pages Out

Issue 28 of Goddess Pages is out! It opens with the art, "Jubilation" by Ana Heller, and with Geraldine Charles' editorial, "She Changes Everything She Touches," which introduces the issue and announces that the magazine is now also available as a PDF.

Article authors include Isabella Lazlo, Nicole Schwab, Susun S Weed, Marcia Tucker, and Mari P. Ziolkowski. Fiction is by Carolyn Lee Boyd. Poetry is by Lisa Wersal, Susan McCaslin, Sheila Rose Bright, Annelinde Metzner, Daniel McIlvenny-Cox, Frances Roberts-Reilly, Susa Silvermarie, and Atiya Walker Dykes .

Book reviews are The Hidden Camino by Louise Sommer, reviewed by Geraldine Charles, and Fierce Feminine Divinities of Eurasia and Latin America by Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba reviewed by Barbara Ardinger.


As last month, I'm unable to write as full a description as I usually do, due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Any typos are the fault of the voice recognition software I'm trying to use ;-)

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Buzz Coil: December 2015

Some recent posts from blogs on our blogroll (please note, we don't knowingly list posts in Buzz Coil that have been published previously elsewhere or on the same blog)

Fellowship of Isis Central: A November 26 post issues a “Call to Peace” with the “Goddess Isis – Our Beloved Mother of All,” lighting this path. A December 14 post announces plans for “2016: 40th anniversary of the founding of the Fellowship of Isis.”

Broomstick Chronicles: Aline O’Brien (aka Macha), in a December 15 post, “Thanksgiving with Our Homeless Population,” tells of differences between her presentation between this year’s service in previous years’ presentations, in shares the song they sang this year. (Published simultaneously in COG Interfaith Reports).

Glenys’s blog: In her December 12 post, “We are the Bread of Life – Communion,” Glenys Livingstone writes of the Earth and the Cosmos as “a Communion event that is “relational, reciprocal…sacred interchange,” and shares a Solstice poem she wrote about “Mother Sun.”

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology: A December 19 post announces open registration for a 2016 conference in Boston, April 1-2.

Annelinde’s World: Two environmentally-related poems posted by Annelinde Metzner: on December 15, “Christiana saves the world,” honoring Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of UNFCCC, and on November 30, “I Have Sworn to Protect Her.” Both with pics.

Works of Literata: In her December 3 post, "Gratitude without complacency,” blogger Literata writes, I fundamentally believe that we can and should change the world; I am concerned about too much acceptance of what is, just because it is, especially for the situations that humans create and thus could change.” The post continues with a discussion of her own practice of gratitude.

 My Village Witch: In her December 2 post, “Beginning from Here…” Byron Ballard has suggestions on how “to secure our resilience in these chaotic times.”

Yeshe Rabbit: In her December 15 post , “Willful, not wanton destruction,” Rabbit asks (with a comparison to menstruation), “What if we began, as a society, to seem to include destruction and/or completion as part of the cycle of creation?”

HecateDemeter:  Blogger Hecate’s December 8 post, warnsIt Can Happen Here; It Can Happen to Pagans.”With pic of Donald Trump.

Radical Goddess Thealogy:  In a December 15 post, “We (heart) the Winter,” blogger Athana offers a “Winter Solstice Story” about faeries and a sun king.

Love of the Goddess: Blogger Tara’s December 17 post gives background on “Ixchel, Mayan Goddess of the Moon.” Includes pic.

Woods Priestess: This month blogger Molly has been running a series, called “30 days of Yule,” with many Goddess pics.


Large Goddess/Spiritual Feminist Blogs
 
Because of the large number and variety of bloggers and posts on these blogs, we are now suggesting that you visit them and select the posts that interest you most.

The Wild Hunt:Pagan, news-oriented blog that has grown from single blogger to many bloggers.
Pagan Square: This blog of many mostly-Pagan paths is sponsored by BBI Media and includes SageWoman blog posts.
Return to Mago: A Goddess-centered blog whose administrator/owner isHelen Hye-Sook Hwang.
Feminism and Religion: Many bloggers from many different religions and paths.
The Motherhouse of the Goddess: Blog affiliated with Motherhouse Podcasts and Mystery School.

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Monday, December 07, 2015

Review: PaGaian Cosmology Meditation CDs

PaGaianCosmology Meditations, set of 3-CDs with  16 page booklet by Glenys Livingstone, Ph.D, 2015.

This set of three CDs with booklet is a treasure. Narrated and written by Glenys Livingstone, author of the book PaGaian Cosmology, and founder of the outdoor Goddess temple, “Mooncourt,” in the Blue Mountains of Australia, the ritualized meditations focus on what Livingstone calls “seasonal moments” – solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarters. The CDs contain both the spoken word and music. Livingstone’s narration delivery, including pace and timing of pauses, is outstanding – easy to understand and neither overly dramatic nor boring, but rather wonderfully appropriate. Each meditation includes music, and when there is music, the balance between the narration and music seems perfect to me. The material for each seasonal moment includes preparation – including suggestions for altars, such as colors, altar cloths, candles, and other “props” – and meditations that sometimes include dance and song, and which often have time for optional individually-determined work, such as drawing and writing.

 Disc 1 begins with an Introduction to the entire set, followed by material for Samhain/Deep Autumn. Livingstone introduces the reclining Goddess of Malta as the focus for this meditation. A picture of Her is shown in the booklet and Livingstone suggests that participants mimic the Goddess’s posture during the meditation. The music and drumming accompanying this meditation add to its sense of mystery. Disc 1 continues with the meditation for Winter Solstice/Yule. Among the preparation suggestions are that 8 candles be used, representing “moments of significance” – events in the Universe beginning billions of years ago (with a scientifically-based explanation of the creation/birth of the universe and its stars, planets, etc.), and continuing to the present day. The Goddess focus of this meditation is “Mother Sun”/Tiamat. Livingstone suggests singing the “PaGaian Joy to the World,” the words for which she has written and included in the booklet.

Disc 2 contains material for three seasonal moments. For Imbolc/Early Spring, Livingstone suggests focusing on the Goddess Radha and mimicking of her pose  (shown in the booklet); lighting of a “bridal” candle; and “Brigid-ine” words of commitment, along with “words of praise,” which Livingstone speaks and which are also included in the booklet. The background music is played by a wind instrument – what sounds to me like a flute. It is also suggested that participants dance, “Misirlou,” a well-known folk dance*, instructions for which are given in the booklet with a link to where you can see the dance done on the PaGaian site. The second meditation on Disc 2 is for Spring Equinox/Eostar. Among the suggestions for props are flowers, egg, seeds, and a small underworld space (including gates). The meditation focuses on darkness and light; the Goddess Persephone’s return after her journey to the underworld, with her “emergence” and ultimate celebration of the “life force.” The third meditation on Disc 2 is for Beltane/High Spring. Preparations include using a “object of beauty,” such as a gemstone or flower, and a pot that is meant for containing a flame to be lit. This meditation includes several goddesses, poetry and a focus on gravity, love/desire, passion and beauty – including the meditators’ own beauty.

Disc 3 contains meditations for three seasonal moments and a “Whole Wheel” meditation. The first meditation on this disc is for Summer Solstice/Litha. Suggested props include food such as bread, fruit, and wine or juice. The meditation, with the Goddess focus on “Mother Sun,” compares this seasonal moment with Winter Solstice, and focuses on food in what may be to some people unusual ways. The second meditation is for Lammas/Late Summer. Its props include some related to death. The meditation focuses on harvest as death, including our own death. Livingstone suggests that participants do a dance she has named, "Harvest Dance," and based on one she learned from Jean Houston. Directions for this dance are given in the booklet. The third meditation on this disc is for Autumn Equinox/Mabon, which focuses on transformation. One of its props is the apple with its “pentacle core.” The Autumn Equinox is compared with the Spring Equinox and also focuses on the Persephone/Demeter myth and mother/daughter mysteries. Its Goddess focus also includes Gaia. The final meditation on this disc – and in the set as a whole – is the “Whole Wheel Meditation,” in which participants are directed to lay out a wheel of stones and are told how to use the wheel for each of the seasonal moments, according to global hemispheres. The meditation includes “stories” related to each of the seasonal moments and provides a review of the entire cycle on both the level of the cosmos and on the personal level.



These are meditations of great depth, which contain both mystery and celebration. You can find the credits for the music and other material in the booklet, which is tucked into a pocket like the CDs. This excellent set is suitable for both individual and group use, and is likely to appeal to both those beginning on the Goddess path as well as those who have been on it for a while. I recommend it with gratitude for the technical perfection of its audio and the spiritual depth of its content. You can find more information, including how to get it, on



*Because I have been involved in folk dance groups in for many years – particularly those focusing on dances from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean area – and have danced "Misirlou" oodles of times, I’m going to indulge myself by giving you a bit more background on this dance. Although strongly Greek-influenced, the dance has a multi-ethnic/multi-national history and present. According to most sources it was first devised at an American university in the mid-20th century by combining the quicker steps from the traditional Greek dance, Syrtos Kritikos (which I've also done many times), with the more slowly paced Greek song, “Misirlou.” The dance is also sometimes done to the title song from the film “Never on Sunday,” in which it appears, as well to other melodies in various countries and by various ethnicities. Livingstone uses another Greek melody when the dance is performed at Mooncourt.  The music and dance most commonly used in the U.S. can be viewed at on this youtube link, and you can hear the song sung in Greek on this youtube link  (which has a belly dancer who isn’t doing the Misirlou, but the same melody is often also used for belly dancing). Additional information about the creation and dancing of Misirlou can be found here and here.

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