Friday, November 02, 2007

Matrifocus: Samhain '07 Issue

Reading through the Samhain issue of Matrifocus I am filled with gratitude for the wonderful articles and opinions offered us by this and other Goddess e-journals. I know it’s not Thanksgiving in the States yet, but with the celebration of the last of the Pagan harvest festivals, I feel thankful for these overflowing cornucopias of ideas, poetry, information – and voices.

The editorial for this issue, which is linked at the end of the contents list, is from Feral, who writes that we are "Not Ready for Hospice," as she reflects on a time of struggle, both personal and political.

In "Ninshatapada, Scribe and Poet, Princess and Priestess," Johanna Stuckey writes about ancient Mesopotamian priestesses and poets, and includes several archeological illustrations.

"Rooftop of the World," is Part II of Vicki Noble’s series about her pilgrimage to Nepal and Tibet. In this installment with many pics, Vicki talks about her feelings of unreality, especially during the first week of the Tibet visit when she explored caves, climbed mountains, visited monasteries, and taught Tibetans a contemporary Goddess chant. Creator with Karen Vogel of Motherpeace Tarot, Vicki says she has come to understand the deck in the context of Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

In "The Ground under My Feet," Mary Swander writes about gardening with wild parsnips among the planted okra, tomatoes, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes on land Mary has been planting and harvesting for 20 years.

In Patricia Monaghan’s "Trivia, Goddess of the Crossroads," coping with "green fatigue" and the problems encountered when trying to obtain "environmentally-sensitive appliances" brings a visit from the Goddess, Trivia.

In "Contacting Ancestors," Nancy Vedder-Shults, Ph.D., gives background on attitudes towards ancestors in many cultures, and offers a divination method to help us contact ours.

"Build Better Bones" by Susun Weed focuses on the whole woman, rather than a single condition or disease. Susan includes some fascinating information and 5 steps toward post-menopausal bone health.

"Beltane/Samhain @ EarthGaia," by Australian Glenys Livingstone, shows the relationship among sex, death, Earth, Universe, stardust, biosphere, cosmos–to name a few. Glenys writes:
Where in fact, do we make the cut between self and other, animate and inanimate, human and habitat, earth and cosmos?....Some indigenous religious traditions have stories of the whole Cosmos coming into being, passing away, and regenerating. Recent Western scientific research supports this too....The thinness of the veils between the worlds, the sentience of that space, the cyclical connection of the old and the new are supported from a scientific point of view, and in a multivalent way — for example, recent scientific studies indicate that organic life may be born from inorganic matter....
In "Death and the Elements," Denise Lee takes a look at death through Pagan views and Elements. The pic accompanying the title is the Temperance card from Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s Tarot of the Crone.

Two "recovering Christians" take a Goddess trip through Turkey in Christi Cook’s article, "A Journey Through Turkey."

"The Bride" by Madelon Wise tells about preparations for a meaningful wedding as viewed by the mother of the bride.

Kerredelune (Cate) shares four poems: "Don’t Wait, "Dancing Lines," Frost in Lanarck," and "Iona Morning."

If the French impressionist artist Claude Monet had been an American photographer, the results might look something like Gwen Padden’s photo essay,"Trail Walking in Southwestern Wisconsin."

This issue’s book reviews are: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of the Troubadors by Jean Markale, reviewed by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. and The Pillars of the World Trilogy by Ann Bishop, reviewed by Dahti Blanchard.

And for fun and recreation there’s a java-enabled crossword puzzle by Sage Starwalker, titled "Mancy, Divination Sampler."

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Judith Laura

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