Sunday, February 04, 2007

Matrifocus - Imbolc Issue

Matrifocus articles are divided into categories listed on the left side of the home page: Goddess/Women, Earth/Life, Photo Essay, and Book Reviews. But don't miss the editorial linked in about the middle of the home page. In this issue, Sage Starwalker's editorial is "Theophany," which discusses how this term, usually used by Abrahamic religions, applies to the Pagan experience.

I spent most of my time in the Goddess/Woman section. Joanna Stuckey's article, "Goddess, Whore, or Both? Kilili, the Woman at the Window" is about what can be called an Ancient Near Eastern archetype. Is this yet another instance of "scholars" confusing priestesses with prostitutes? This article has a number of illustrations, including one of "Mona Lisa of Nimrod," and a discussion that includes Inanna/Ishtar, Aba-shushu, Abta-gigi, Asherah, Astarte, and the biblical/historical Jezebel.

Max Dashu's article, "The ‘Pagan Days'," is excerpted from The Witches' Goddess, part of her multi-volume Secret History of the Witches, which, if some publisher is smart, will be published soon. Dashu, founder of the Suppressed History Archives, is one of the great contemporary experts on Goddess, women's history and indigenous/folk religions.
I've been on a number of mailing lists with her and I continue to be amazed and grateful for the scope of her knowledge and for the extent she is willing to take time to share it. She gives presentations around the countries , which this blog tries to keep up with in our Events Coils. "The 'Pagan Days'," a good example of Dashu's vast knowledge, discusses how the names and functions of winter holidays were changed by "christianization." Cultures discussed include: Slovenian, Bulgarian, Dalmatian, Rumanian, Macedonian, Celtic, German, French, Scandinavian, Greek, Spanish, Swiss, and Austrian. And then there are the tie-ins to Mother Goose and Tarot!

Other articles include Carolyn Lee Boyd's "The Art of Ancient Ascent: Creating Like a Goddess"; Patricia Monaghan's "Wild Law and New Year's Primroses," about her gardening and energy saving program, along with her gripping poem, "There Is No Way Back"; Mary Swander's "What Would the Amish Do?" about Amish shunning and forgiveness; Nancy Vedder-Shults' "Fire Oracles"; Susun Weed's "You Can Have A Green Ally"; and Elizabeth Cunningham's poems, "Over the Oak" and "Gone," from her forthcoming book, Wild Mercy, which is reviewed in this issue. Other reviews are of The Red Book (nonfiction), and The Witch's Boy (fiction). And there is a 2-picture photo essay, "Cave of the Mounds" by Gwen Padden.


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Judith Laura

More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.