Monday, May 21, 2007

Buzz Coil: May

There's lots of buzzing about three subjects lately: honey bees, Beltane, and Jerry Falwell’s death. So we decided to bundle each of these together for you. But there's other stuff to buzz about and and we’ll mention each of those first.

Radical Goddess Thealogy: Blogger Athana connects the dots between "dancing over to the daddy gods" and the trashing of Mother Earth in her May 13 post, "Doodling with the gods on Mother’s Day." In a May 21 post, "God is Great? Not!" she points out that the current spate of anti-religion books are "really railing not against the Goddess, but against the daddy gods." And in her May 19 post, referring to a women's spirituality print magazine, her headline asks, "Is sAGEwOMAN Spineless?"

Blog o’Gnosis:
Anne Hill tells how she is moving on from Reclaiming but "Remaining" . Here is just part of what Anne writes:
Reclaiming—the tradition and the community—is not enough to sustain me over the long-term. It can be part of a healthy diet, but is not a staple....

I have reclaimed just about everything that I might want or need from my personal, karmic, and collective past...I know my work in the world, and how to do it....

I think abolishing hierarchy is stupid and a waste of time. If you are interested in equality at all costs, you should never have gone looking for your power in the first place. Holding authority with integrity is more important than making others feel good.

I like using consensus, especially with people who know how it works, but I don’t think it is the only meaningful way to make decisions....I don’t think Pagans are going to change the world. Intelligent, passionate, well-informed people who know how to work with others are going to change the world.
Hecate: In her May 12 post, "Saturday Goddess Blogging," blogger Hecate explores the Goddess Sekhmet.

Doire Musings: In a May 5 post, "I had the Hard Part", blogger mdiv94 tells about her participation in a presentation on "The Effects of the Women's Movement on Religion" sponsored by the Jewish-Christian Council of Greater Charleston. Her part was "to introduce the feminist critique of patriarchal religions..." For those interested in how those in Abrahamic religions continue to grapple with this subject, her description of how she handled this task, and of the audience questions that followed, is well worth reading. For example, to the last question, about ordination, she responded:
“I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. When I was a little girl women were not allowed to even go near the altar unless she was a nun changing the altar linens (which of course, she had also washed and ironed). The first time I saw a woman at the altar I was in divinity school and in my thirties. It was a powerful moment. Can you imagine what it was like for me, to see a woman occupying the sacred space that had always been denied me? Can you imagine what it was like growing up learning and understanding that by the very fact of my being, I violated sacred space? Can you envision the impact of believing that my very body constituted a thing so repugnant and profane that I was barred from the Divine’s imminent presence? The stunning fact of women at the altar, reading the Torah, consecrating bread and wine, accomplishes many things. Among them, it begins to reverse centuries of betrayal and pain, and it assures that those little girls sitting or standing in the halls of sacred space will not experience the blow of exclusion and rejection.”

Raihn Drop’s: Blogger Lisa x from Australia shares a poem-like dream in her May 17 post, "Be Truth" , shares a poetic secret in her May 16 post, "gratitude," and another poem, "as I sit."

In her May 11 post, "My Reply to : Personal Faith and Politics," Blogger Morgaine responds to Bill Moyer’s Journal piece on religion. Morgaine writes:
Churches should not discuss political issues, not should they advocate for particular laws or elections. If they do, let them pay taxes. The irony is that their political participation is idolatry, just as the 10 Commandments they want to display everywhere are graven images. If they actually observed and understood their own scripture, we wouldn't be having these problems. People are reacting emotionally because they haven't learned critical thinking skills.

Driving Audhumla: In a May 16 post, "Pagans, in Berkeley?" Victoria Slind-Flor tells us about the Pagan Alliance’s outdoor festival on May 5 in Berkley CA’s Civic Center Park, with its focus on children and its location between City Hall and the Police Dept., near Veterans Building and the high school. With lots of neat pics.

Honey Bees
Hecate: In her May 17 post, "Hum" blogger Hecate quotes Mary Oliver’s poem about bees and invites us to join in planned magic for the bees on the May 31 Blue Moon.

Pagan Godspell: Sara Sutterfield Winn further ponders the honeybee in her May 10 post, "Lamentation," and asks what she would give up to avoid the extinction of the honey bee and would that help?

Panthea - Journeys with the Goddess: Blogger Grian give us two honeybee posts, "Helping the Bees" and "Mama Merope’s Bees".

Beltane and May
At the end of desire:
Inanna’s "Beltane Blessings" explains that "Beltane is a holiday about the body" and explores what it means to be "present in the body."

Panthea - Journeys with the Goddess: Blogger Grian shares a story of the Goddess at Beltane in her May 11 post, "Belated Beltane."

Evoking the Goddess: Paul posted some beautiful photos taken at Beltane at the Glasonbury Goddess Temple, in his May 4 post, "Glastonbury".

Roots Down: In her May 12 post, "The Lusty Month of May", Deborah Oak considers whether May should be dubbed "National Masturbation Month", or whether "Sex Month," might be more appropriate in the Northern Hemisphere, and weaves in her experience of visiting NYC in sexy May, including a stop at Judy Chicago’s "Dinner Party."

The Wild Hunt: Jason Pitzl-Waters explains how he thinks Jerry Fallwell may have inadvertantly helped Paganism, in the May 17 post, "Jerry Falwell Has Gone to Heaven."

On Faith: WaPo’s panelists give a variety of views on Falwell’s passing.

Roots Down: Deborah Oak takes a deep look at responses to the Falwell’s death in her May 17 post, "Everything Comes To An End."

If we missed an blog post you think is important. Please leave the info as a "comment."


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Goddess Pages: Beltane Issue

Another terrific issue of Goddess Pages features two in-depth articles, one by Max Dashu and the other by Brian Charles, and an assortment of poetry, a meditation, and reviews.

Max Dashu continues her important series, "The Meanings of Goddess" with Part 2, "Goddess Heresies: the legacies of stigma in academia." In this rigorous and righteous scholarly rant, Dashu examines a phenomenon that continues to mystify and frustrate many of us: the refusal of academics to take Goddess study seriously, especially if the studies are coming from those who have been studying the subject the longest. She begins by pointing out that "most of academia" especially those involved in historical analysis, "don’t like to hear goddess talk, and especially don’t want to hear that it has any political significance." She then traces why Western academics appear "allergic" to anything ‘goddess’, by beginning with Roman Catholic priesthood’s attempt to overhaul European folk religions in the early Middle Ages, moving on to the increased misogyny that culminated with the witchhunts of the Inquisition, and continuing through the Reformation. She then examines "the Modern University" and the "triumph" of scientism – which included doctrines of female inferiority that were rationalized by medical and biological "explanations."

Linking this history to today’s academic attitudes, Dashu writes:
Academicians have been highly resistant, speaking generally, to seeing ancient female iconography as goddesses or having any sacral value. Most insist that goddess veneration has no historical or gender-political significance. They seem unwilling to entertain the idea that it undergoes cultural shifts as patriarchy advances, or to look at complex patterns of cultural stratification. They loudly demand "proof" for the sacred character of neolithic figurines, but do not raise objections to assumptions that patriarchy is a universal and panhistorical condition. Feminists who call the figurines "goddesses" are seen as being ideological, but not their opponents—even when their books bear titles like Goddess Unmasked.
Under the subtitle, "Stigma in Academia," she refers to two posts from this blog, "Article Double Whammies Goddess" and my more recent review of a book by William Dever . Dashu writes that stereotyping as "Goddess monotheism" certain Goddess concepts
ignores the diversity of perspectives, and misrepresents their complexity. It sidetracks analysis of cultural shifts toward patriarchy, and discussion of history bearing on gender politics, toward (usually inaccurate) assessments of a scholar’s personal beliefs....
She discusses historical shifts in goddess narratives in a variety of cultures, and the significance of the survival of goddess images in some patriarchal societies, after asserting:
It’s important to repeat that we are looking at a broader interpretation of "goddess" than the narrow defile to which orthodox theorists have relegated it. What spiritual feminists have been developing over the past 35 years sees women’s embodied experience in relation to their spiritual iconography, their ritual culture, and their expression—until this is interrupted through historical interventions—of the sacred in a female form. (I’ll return to this importance issue of embodiment—and "essentialism"—in Part III.)

Well, I for one can’t wait for Part III! And if you missed Part I , I encourage you to catch up.

Brian Charles’ "The Messianic Delusion" looks into the search for one individual–whether messiah or guru–who we expect to solve all our problems, and finds a relationship with the rise of such tyrants as Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin. Charles sees the longing for "some Divine king" to carry our fear-laden responsibilities in several contemporary books and films, such as Lord of the Rings, the "Narnia" books, Star Wars, and DaVinci Code, and contrasts them with much earlier mythologies.

The Beltane issue’s poetry feast includes "Reunion" and "Hecuba" by Ama Bolton,"Blodeuwedd Rising (Song for Hazel)" and "Unexpected (for C)" by Jacqui Woodward Smith, "Gromer Somer Joure - a modern riddle" by Geraldine Charles, "Ode to my cunt" by Hazel Loveridge, "At the mercy of the moon" and "Sea Burial of a dead lover" by Michele Darnell-Roberts. There is also a meditation, "Salome Speaks," by Tiziana Stupia. Some of these titles aren’t on the front page; to get to them, click on "poetry" over on the right side of the page. You also need to access the reviews from the "reviews" link on the right side of the page. They include: Geraldine Charles’ reviews of The Queen of Myself, Sacred Places of the Goddess, and "Moon Diary, Address Book and Wall Chart," and Sandra Roman’s reviews of 2 CDs by Anique Radiant Heart.


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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Global Goddess Oracle: Beltane Issue

The Beltane Issue of Global Goddess Oracle begins with, "Orgasmic Earth: The Sensual Call of May," by Mut Danu, about how sexy the Earth is in Spring. Mmmm, lovely...and it includes a guided meditation.

Jumping from first to last, I really got into "Musing on Growth," by Donna Alexander, a really excellent think-piece that explores the relationship between growth and vulnerability in plants, animals, and people.

As usual everything in this e-journal is worthy of a look, including:
"A View of Beltane" by Donya, a personal view of the season
"Tree of Life," by Mama Donna Henes, a summary of Tree mythology around the world
"Fixorrhea, Goddess of Duct Tape (Found Goddesses)" by Barbara Ardinger, PhD
"Blessed Be the Blood," by Bendis, poetic suggestions for first blood rituals
"Mother Goode," a play excerpt by H. Byron Ballard
"Handmade" and "Coven," poems by Rain
"Sun-Blessings" and "Moon-Blessings," art by Bohemian Wytch
"Herb of Beltane - Clover" and "Moon Schedule," planting and harvesting dates, both by Belladonna.


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Friday, May 04, 2007

Matrifocus: Beltane Issue

The Beltane issue of Matrifocus is full of thought-provoking and inspiring articles.

"Goddess and Demons: Some Thoughts" by Johanna Stuckey encourages us to ask: Were some entities usually considered demons originally goddesses? Johanna discusses Rangda, as presented in a Balinese ritual drama; Mesopotamian Lamashtu; Babylonian Lilitu and the possibly related Jewish Lilith, and Greek Medusa.

In "Dancing with the Dark Mother at Beltane," Victoria Slind-Flor tells why Kali Ma is her Beltane Goddess and how she honors Her.

In "The Goddess in Sante Fe," Kathy Stanley, who comes from a Roman Catholic background, tells us about her first experience of Goddess Spirituality at a "Divine Mother Conference" in 1994.

"Mother Tree: in Honor of the Matri-line" by Mut Danu brings us the power of naming ourselves matrilineally.

Patricia Monaghan takes us inside a Victorian house she’s retrofitting in her article,"It’s Always Something."

Matrifocus Editor Sage Starwalker graciously gives top billing to other writers’ articles but her editorial in this issue, "Pagan Identity, Pagan Peace," is not to be missed. I’m going to quote parts to give you an idea, but I encourage you to go read the whole thing. After introducing the issue of Pagan identity in general, and discussing some assumptions about Wicca in particular, Sage writes:
....We discover that Wicca is not the revelation of an ancient system of belief and practice handed down intact over centuries, but rather a 20th-century creation with roots in various folk religions, indigenous cultures and practices, and sophisticated systems of esoteric belief and ceremonial magic. As we study, it becomes clear that there was, indeed, no single religious system for all pre-Christian Europe....
Sage goes on to comment on Paganism:
...Looking to the academy, we find that we've been left out completely. We don't belong in any of the three major religious families studied in Comparative Religions programs: the Abrahamic family (Judaism, Christianity, Islam); the Dharmic family (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism); or the Taoic family (Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, and others). Even among the academics who do study and write about Paganism we find great tension about what is legitimate Paganism and which are the legitimate Pagan voices. Their work is inevitably biased by the conservative environment in which they work.... We non-academics can and do feel free to make connections based on insight and intuition. Some of us think that Pagan is a good way to capture a fourth religious family. There is no consensus, however, about (religious) family ties among indigenous people (Native American and otherwise), shamans, witches, pantheists, and neopagans. Quite the contrary. Hinduism, though pantheist, is considered to be one of the Dharmic religions. Most Native Americans claim no affinity with contemporary Paganism, something they see rightly as a movement of sons and daughters of white European imperialists/colonialists groping toward a post-Christian identity crafted from a distant, pre-Christian past....Crafting a consensual Pagan identity among those of us who call ourselves Pagan is no easy task, given the many differences among us. As a Goddess-identified Pagan, for example, I'm left out of the circle according to some of the duality-identified Pagans....
Then Sage goes on to explore some new possibilities:

....pact and peace are derived from the same root as Pagan and are as much a part of our heritage as is the Maypole, a probable remnant of this ancient reality.... Why can't we reclaim "peace in our communities" alongside celebration of sacred sexuality for our Maypole-dancing? Is it such a stretch to add peace-making to the symbology of fertility and world tree that are already encoded in the Maypole and the season? What if, when we dance together in circle — or whatever we do to celebrate the season — we included some time, energy, and magic for creating peace among us by burying a symbol of conflict, metaphorically if not literally?...

Other goodies in this issue include: "Frequent Gardener Miles" by Mary Swander; "Egg Divinations" by Nancy Vedder Shults; "Herbal Medicine Chest in Your Backyard" by Susun Weed; poems, "Plan B" and "Allegiance" by Kven, and "Hard as Nails" by Feral; a photo essay, "County Roads, Highland Wisconsin by Gwyn Padden; book reviews by Madelon Wise (The Heart & Soul of Sex) and Dahti Blanchard (The Wicked Enchantment).


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Thursday, May 03, 2007

RCG-I Seasonal Salon: Spring Issue

While we were out admiring the flowers, RCG-I’s Seasonal Salon Spring Equinox Issue sprang up with these lovely blooms:

"Tara - Amazing and Multi-faceted Goddess of Eastern Wisdom," a wonderful article by Marise Folse about ten centuries of Tara worship around the world and what this Goddess's many colours mean.

"Variations in Season," by Max Dashu. Founder of the Suppressed Histories Archives shares her thoughts as she jets around the US.

"How the Deep Sky Influences Women’s Organizations: From an Astrological Viewpoint" by Bellezza Squillance.

"Spring Poems" by Debby Zygielbaum.

Go take a look!


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Events Coil: May 5 - Aug. 10

We are bolding the links to events that last more than one day because you often need to make plans well ahead of time for those. As far as we know, all events we list are open functions; but some may be limited to women or to adults. Please check the websites for group policies. All times are local. All locations are in the USA unless otherwise indicated. When listing events for the same date, we have tried to list those occurring first, taking into account time zone differences. If there is a difference between our listings and the listings on the web page linked to, assume their web page is correct, as it may have changed since we listed from it.

The next Events Coil is planned for early to mid June and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events for about the next 6 weeks. If you have an event you want listed in future events coils, please leave it in a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

May 5, gather 7 p.m., ritual 3: 30 p.m.
Beltane, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

May 6, 1400 uur,
Beltane, Avalon-Mystic, Hillgom NEDERLAND

May 6, 11 a.m. "West African Fertility Dance," with Jallilla Salaam, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 6, 6:30 p.m. "Woman Shaman" with Max Dashu, Umpqua Valley Arts Center, Roseburg OR

May 9, 7 p.m. "Woman Shaman" with Max Dashu, East West Bookshop, Seattle WA

May 11-13, Mothers & Daughters Weekend with Z Budapest, Temple of Isis, Geyersville CA

May 11, 6:30 p.m. "Woman Shaman" with Max Dashu, Queenswood Centre, Victoria BC, CANADA

May 12, "Earth Spirit, Earth Justice" with Starhawk, PIILECL, Portland State University, Portland OR

May 12, 7 p.m. "Woman Shaman" with Max Dashu, Vancouver BC, CANADA

May 13, 11 a.m., "Role of Women in Gold Atlantis," with Diana Cooper, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 13, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.,
Mother's Day, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

May 15, 7 p.m.,
New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 16, 7 p.m.,
New Moon Women's Mysteries: Tarot II, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

May 18-20: Gathering of Priestesses and Goddess Women, RCG-I, Wisconsin Dells WI

May 18-20,
SheShamans Conference with Patricia Winters, Marilyn Walker, Max Dashu, Linda Rose Corazon, Cindy Palmer, & others, IsisOasis, Geyersville, CA

May 19, 6:30 p.m.
"Tantra Puja," with Rev. Ayanna Mojica & Randy Dunphiney, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 20, Noon-4 p.m., "Minoan Magical Priestess" with Ishtar, ritual dance workshop, Claughton ENGLAND

May 26-27,
Gaia Festival West Coast with Karen Tate, Miranda Rondeau, Joan Norton, & others; screening of "Signs Out of Time" about Marija Gimbutas, Pacific Palisades CA

May 26, 7 p.m
."Shapeshifters" A Two-Spirit Evening," with Storyteller Gillian Cameron & friends, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 29, 7 p.m.,
Full Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 1-3,
"Voice of A Woman," Gaia's Womb, with Margot Adler and Max Dashu, Racine WI

June 1, Noon-4 p.m. "Unleash the Power of Goddess Archtypes," with Ishtar, Claughton ENGLAND

June 1, gather 7 pm, ritual, 7:30 p.m., New Moon Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

June 3, Noon-4 p.m. "Be A Love Goddess," with Ishtar, Claughton ENGLAND

June 8-12, Earth Spirit Rising Conference with Connie Barlow, Michael Dowd, Kirkpatrick Sale, Jim Schenk, Starhawk, & others, Louisville KY

June 12, 7:30 p.m. The Craft Connection, GoddessTemple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 13, 7:30 p.m. New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 15, 7 pm,
New Moon Women's Mysteries, "Goddess Priestess of Ancient Mexico", Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

June 15, 7:30-9 p.m. Rosh Chodesh/New Moon Shabbat with ritualists Cyrise Beatty and D'vora Kelilah, Mishkan Shekhinah, San Francisco CA

June 16, 7-9 p.m. Summer Solstice/Havdalah with Cyrise Beatty and priestess DeAnna L'Am, Mishkan Shekhinah, San Francisco CA

June 17-20: Pagan Spirit Gathering 2007, Wisteria (southeastern) OH

June 20, 7 p.m.
Summer Solstice Celebration, Women's Well, West Concord MA

June 21, 7:30 p.m.,
Summer Solstice Festival, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury, ENGLAND

June 21, gather 7 p.m, ritual 7:30 p.m.,
Summer Solstice, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

June 21, gather 7 p.m., ritual 8 p.m.,
Summer Solstice (Reclaiming) Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA

June 22-24:
Feminist Hullabaloo with Paula Gunn Allen, Mary Daly, Sally Gearhart, Sonia Johnson and others,
Santa Fe NM

June 29-July 2: "Explore the Earth Spirit & Earth Justice with Starhawk" Sudbury, Ont. CANADA

June 30, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Full Moon Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

June 30, 7 p.m. Full Strawberry Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

July 14, 7 p.m. New Moon Women’s Mysteries, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

July 20, time tba, Welcoming the Sabbath Queen, Mishkan Shekhinah, San Francisco CA

July 5-8, National Women’s Music Festival & Spiritual Conference, with Jade River of RCG-I directing spiritual conf., Illinois State University, Bloomington IL

July 18-22, Isis Festival, Temple of Isis, Geyersville CA

July 27-29: "Green Spirit"- Full Moon and Lughnassad, Circle Sanctuary, Mt Oreb WI

July 28, gather noon, ritual 1 p.m, Lammas (Reclaiming), Golden Gate Park, San Francisco CA

Aug. 1-5 Goddess Conference, many well-known presenters; fringe events July 29 & Aug. 6, Glastonbury, ENGLAND

Aug. 2-5 Goddess Gather with Mother Bear, Temple of Isis, Geyersville CA

Aug. 10-12, The Heart of the Sun Ceremony Honoring Sekhmet ,Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV


(White Gum Valley): Mondays, 6 p.m.,
Chalice Ceremony, Daughters of Ishtar.

Sudbury: 1st Friday (Sept.-June) 7:30 p.m., Sudbury Women's Circle.
Hamilton: Saturdays, 4-6 p.m. Open Classes ; gather 6:30-7 p.m. Open Circles , Hamilton Temple, Wiccan Church of Canada.

Baltimore MD: Sundays 10 a.m., Rites of Cafeina, Cedar Light Grove (ADF)
Geyersville CA: Sunday Services 2-4 p.m. Temple of Isis
Houston TX: Sundays, 10 a.m. Magdalene Community, Rothko Chapel; Mondays at Noon, Christian feminist theology study group ; 1st &3rd Fridays at Noon, Group studying Gospel of Mary Brigid's Place, Christ Church Cathedral.
Irvine CA: Sunday Services: 1st Service at 9:30 a.m. inward, meditative; 2nd service at 11 a.m., dancing, drumming, singing; see dates for guest speakers. Goddess Temple of Orange County,
Mt. Horeb WI: Goddess Circle, Thursdays 7-8:30 p.m., Circle Sanctuary.
Portland OR: Rituals at new and full moons, quarters and cross-quarters. Full Circle Temple , Tuesdays-Sundays 10 a.m.-10 p.m. "Open to all self-identified women and girls."
Rockville MD: night before new moon, Dark Moon Book Group, Spiral Heart (Reclaiming).
San Francisco CA: Wednesdays, Christian Goddess Rosary, Ebenezer Lutheran Church; 1st Fridays, evenings at various locations, Woman's Spirituality group.
San Francisco CA: New Moon and Full Moon observances, Maa Batakali Cultural Mission.
West Concord MA: 1st Monday, 7-9 p.m.
Women's Circles; other ongoing groups include Demeter & Persephone's Circle for mothers and daughters; Council of Mother Bears; Menopause As Spiritual Journey; Menarche, for mothers and Daughter, at Women's Well.

We'll be happy to add your Goddess and spiritual feminist events (and those you know about that are open to the public) no matter where in the world they are. Leave a comment with your event, giving: Name of event, sponsoring organization (if any), town, date, time (if known), and, required: url of website where person can get more info. (Do NOT give street addresses, phone numbers or email addresses. People should go to the website to get that info.) We plan to publish an Events Coil every month.