Sunday, December 30, 2007

RCG-I Seasonal Salon: Winter Solstice Issue

This Solstice issue of RCG-I's Seasonal Salon has such lovely gifts:

"The 13th Day of Solstice" by Bellezza Squillace, "an original LeBefana tale created by Bellezza," about an old womon who rides the night sky on the 12th night after Solstice to visit sleeping chidren, but she's beginning to think it's "non valle la pena."

"Goddess Limericks - Part III," by Donna Fay Reeves contains a limerick for each of the following Goddesses: Sedna, Epona, Valkyrie, Flora, Hera, Hina, Medusa :-), Arianhod, Hel, and Rhiannon.

"Lesser-known Goddesses and Heroines, Tayune," by Patricia Monaghan about a Canadian Inuit heroine who walked across the tundra to escape an abusive husband.

"A Gift in the Void," by Tiffany Boyd. A circle celebrates Solstice, a celebrant lights a candle for her aunt, and... coincidence? validation? gift?

"In the Pool of Night," by Max Dashu. Ritual consumption of a root helps followers of Goddess-honoring Central African religion repel invaders. With comments on this December as "a crucial gateway," due, at least in part, to astrological configurations; with a cycle that began in 3114 BCE concluding on Dec. 21 2007 CE, according to Mayan seers.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Global Goddess Oracle: Winter Solstice Issue

The e-journal, Global Goddess Oracle, now appears in a blog format, which confused me a little at first because each article says it's posted by anonymous, when they are actually bylined articles. I guess they are doing this for convenience. Anyway, the articles are still wonderful and worthwhile hunkering down with now that some of us have more time as the holidays pass. I'm going to list these in the order I surfed them--you will find them listed in a different order on the website, in the left-hand sidebar.

"Running With Artemis" by Mut Danu, makes coherent sense of the great number of myths surrounding this Goddess, with a little help from intuition.

In "How Far Out of the Broom Closet" Flash Silvermoon suggests ways to be more comfy in your "closet." Flash encourages us to "test boundaries...and bust out as much as is comfortable...." She also discusses the need for more attention to honoring elders in various Pagan paths.

"A Hinge in the Year: The White Solstice," by H. Byron Ballard describes how the author and her daughter mark the Winter Solstice.

In "Shades of Grey: Transforming Pain Into Hope," Dorean Malandra-Dora tells how she overcame the effects of a miscarriage.

"Anglo-Saxon Yuletide" by K.A. Laity gives Anglo-Saxon and Norse perspectives on Yule, with references to Venerable Bede, Tacitus, and Beowulf.

"Caloria--Triple Goddess of Potluck, " is another in a series about "Found Goddesses" by Barbara Ardinger Ph.D. Chuckle along with this humorous piece about a goddess whose favorite dish is "a casserole of brown rice, tofu, and lima beans."

In "It's Damn Dark Out There," Mama Donna Henes, who calls herself an "urban shaman," shares thoughts on the approach of the Solstice.

"Our Yule Log" by Bendis, gives the symbolism of various woods and flowers that might be in a Yule Log. Other yummy offerings by this journal's editor in this issue include: "The Holidays in the Kitchen," memories of a family that cooked together, with recipes; "Waissailing," which tells you how to make a wassail bowl and what to do with it, with recipes.

"The Burning Bowl Ceremony, " by MarVeena is a ritual of intentions appropriate for this time of year.

Poetry in this issue includes "On Origins" by Elizabeth Phillips, and "Solstice Moon" by DancingStar.

"Woman's Miraculous, Magnificent Body," is an inspirational article by Gayle Goldwin, who claims it "was channeled from the Golden Circle of Ascended Female Masters...."

And Dawn "Belladonna" Thomas keeps us up-to-date with her regular features, "Moon Schedule with Planting and Harvesting Days," and "Herb of the Season: Bay Laurel."

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Buzz Coil: December

Pagan Godspell: Sara Sutterfield Winn announces she is ending her blog in her Dec. 10 post, "Curtain Call."

TBP Blog: The Beltane Papers, which has been publishing for more than 30 years in print, "will be on hiatus" until certain problems are resolved, the staff announces in a Nov. 27 post, "TBP Update."

At Brigid’s Forge: In her Dec. 21 post, "Yule is here, the Wheel..." Lunaea Weatherstone shares memories of embodying the Winter Queen and recalls the singing of a song by the late Helen Farias (founder of The Beltane Papers).

Textual Arachne: Blogger Arachne brings us a beautiful blessing for the first snow in her Nov. 21 post, "Snow."

Deaf Pagan Crossroads has been running The Yule Series about winter holiday observances in many cultures. The series includes: "Studying the Winter Solstice," "A Solstice Quiz," "The Meaning of Solstice," "Chamber of the Sun," "Helios, Sol, and Saturnalia," "Old Woman Winter," "Turning Towards Morning," and "The Sun in the Greenwood."

Hecate: Blogger Hecate writes about reclaiming Pagan symbols of Yule from Christianization in her Dec. 21 post, "Blessed Yule."

Evoking the Goddess: In both English and Gaelic, Blogger Paul shares "A Ghrian", a Scots Gaelic song to which a group he belongs to dances up the Solstice Sun.

Broomstick Chronicles :Macha writes in her Dec. 21 post, "Midwinter musing," about an interfaith retreat she attended and the Pagan perspective on Winter holidays she was able to offer. In her Dec 10 post, "Masks of the Goddess," Macha tells about the creation of ritual (the most recent of which was sponsored by the Lilith Institute) using a set of Goddess masks by Lauren Raine.

The-Goddess: In her Dec. 17 post, "Theagenesis: The Birth of the Goddess," Blogger Morgaine quotes Oberon Zell-Ravenheart about "the logical absurdity of a concept of cosmic divinity in the masculine gender." Then Morgaine asks, "Is the Divine Mother sleeping?" and predicts the date of her awakening.

Peeling a Pomegranate: In her Dec. 18 post, "Seders for All Seasons," Blogger Carly shares part of her project for first-level initiation in the Hebrew Priestess Institute. For example, she writes:
I reject the myth of the exile of Shekhinah. I believe the presence of God to be far more resilient than that myth allows. What has been revealed to me, the knowledge that I have received, is that Shekhinah was released to infuse the world when The Temple fell.
Immanent Gorgon: Blogger Gorgon writes about the "disappearance of female bloggers during the holidays" in her Dec. 19 post, "Yule Disappearance and Writing Ourselves."

Did we miss an item you think is important? We’d like to know about it, so please leave it as a comment.


Monday, December 24, 2007

GUEST BLOG: Problems with Goddess Temple of Orange County

[Note from Medusa: In 2006, author Barbara Ardinger wrote a two-part series for this blog about the Goddess Temple of Orange County which you can find here and here.]

by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D., guest blogger

Winter solstice, 2007

I no longer support the Goddess Temple of Orange County.

For the past six months, and especially since September, “Rev. Ava” has surrounded herself with mainstream metaphysicals, whom I call the Yes-Avas. The temple is now a very pretty New Age church. To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, Rev. Ava was required to have a board of directors; her first board was the two women who were with her from the beginning. They held community meetings every two months and anyone who cared to attend was welcome. As of June, 2007, these two women—both Dianics—were made so uncomfortable that they both left the church.

I was present at the member meeting in June where Rev. Ava wrote “president,” “vice president,” “secretary,” and “treasurer” on scraps of paper and handed them at random to the three new board members present. One is a worshipper of fairies, another who was ordained by a “psychic to the stars” some years ago, the third changed her name because her spirit guides told her to, and the fourth is an astrologer. (The latter was not present at that meeting. She got the left-over title.) Rev. Ava then announced that the board had hired her as director for $1 a year and that she would continue to direct the affairs of the church.

In August a young woman became the center of dispute in the church. This young woman—whose partner (a woman) actually told me she was a goddess—has had a wretched life full of abuse and (no doubt to protect herself) presents as a male and was not allowed in Church services on Sundays because men are not allowed. On August 19, when the topic of the day was “sacred rage,” she wanted to be let in. I was present. I witnessed what happened. Sunday services normally last 90 minutes. At 11:00 Rev. Ava began haranguing the audience about this young woman. I was watching the clock. At twenty minutes into the harangue, I called out, “Let her in.” Other women echoed my call. Rev. Ava spent another ten minutes on the subject. Then the young woman was let in. She bowed before the altar and took a seat in the audience. Now let’s be clear: as a woman, she could have just walked in and sat down at any time. She chose not to. And from that day, she has never sat in the congregation.

A mid-September member meeting focused on this same young woman. Until that time, everyone had been instructed (a) that she had been born intersexed (probably not true) and (b) to call her “him.” But it’s a woman-centered church. So with Rev. Alva’s help, the young woman in question prepared a statement that was read to the members of the congregation present at that meeting. Her statement specified that she wanted to be “female in the temple” and “female among other things” outside the church. Members were then asked to vote on the gender of this young woman. As if declaring gender by vote were possible! The Dianics abstained from voting and walked out.

The church has always professed respect for all faiths. On Thanksgiving Sunday, they read a Native American prayer. Immediately after the service, their only Native American woman (a Cherokee) was banned from the church because—like us Dianics—she was a “troublemaker.” A troublemaker is someone who holds and expresses opinions of her own. For at least two years, this woman had faithfully served the church in many capacities. But she is also fairly outspoken. The church now has a “concordance counselor.” If they need someone to mediate quarrels, what does that tell us about interpersonal relations in the church? It was this concordance counselor who accused and interrogated the Cherokee woman. More than that—they wrote her a letter ostracizing her and banning her from the church for a full year (she can’t come in the doors) and said they’re moving a “prayer card” from altar to altar during the year to facilitate her “healing.” Now in a business, when there is a disciplinary action, it is held confidential between the employee and the supervisor. In this case, Rev. Ava read the letter to the church’s service circles (which now meet in her living room). Gossip being what it is, the letter was almost immediately known to everyone else in the church.

Among other things, the letter says that Rev. Ava was a “grieving witness” to the interrogation. This is nonsense. Since the beginning, Rev. Ava has been the founder, director, and proprietor of the Goddess Temple. Nothing happens without her knowledge and direction.

A week later, the Cherokee woman came to a public solstice fair where I was selling books. She had copies of her letter with her. She handed these copies to several of her friends, who were gathered around her just in front of my sales table. The Goddess Temple had a table clear across the room. A young woman working the church’s table saw us and came charging across the room to confront the Cherokee woman: “This is a small community,” she said, “and you’re not allowed to talk about the letter.” She said more, too, none of it friendly.

Among other things, it’s a First Amendment issue. The Goddess Temple did not copyright that letter. It is the property of the woman to whom they sent it, and she can do whatever she wants to do with it, including disseminating it to everyone in the pagan community (which she has not done). I sent an email to Rev. Ava containing the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and asked her to please restrain her Temple world girls from trying to suppress the exercise of free speech in public places. They can do whatever they want to in their church, but they cannot violate the First Amendment in public places. Rev. Ava has not replied to me.

With a few exceptions, the members of this church are white, thin, upper-middle-class housewives. People who do not fit that pattern are generally not comfortable for very long at the church. The church is patriarchal in every way but gender. The Nice Metaphysical Ladies who run and attend the church are not pagan, nor do they know much about the Goddess, nor do they have a clue about the energetic of casting a circle or holding energy in a circle. They are New Agers who like the idea of “divine feminine” because they crave power over others. They can—thanks to another provision of the First Amendment—conduct their church any way they want to, but they do it now without the support of most of the pagan community in Southern California and without the support of most local Goddess worshippers and witches…though some covens rent the space for their sabbat rituals and invoke gods in the so-called Goddess temple.

Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D (, is the author of Pagan Every Day: Finding the Extraordinary in Our Ordinary Lives (RedWheel/Weiser, 2006), a unique daybook of daily meditations, stories, and activities. Her earlier books are Finding New Goddesses, Quicksilver Moon, Goddess Meditations, and Practicing the Presence of the Goddess. Her day job is freelance editing for people who don’t want to embarrass themselves in print. Barbara lives in southern California.

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Goddess Pagan Goddess Temple Spiritual Feminism Dianic Witchcraft


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Solstice Invocation

Holy and blessed Mother,
who brings forth the sun
in the passion
of sacred orgasm

May all children born of you
and of us
know the fullness of
their sexuality
and feel
the pleasure
of your love

May all children born of you
and of us
know the freedom
of their body’s gifts
and bear
the banner
of Earth’s bounty

May all children born of you
and of us
know the promise of
their own potential
and share
responsibility for
each other’s good.

Holy and blessed Mother,
who brings forth the sun
in the passion
of sacred orgasm,
may we, your children,
share the gift of peace
that follows worldly accomplishment
and fulfillment of our soul’s desire.

Judith Laura
previously published in Goddess Pages, Issue 1, Samhain 2006.
Copyright 2006 by Judith Laura. Used with permission of the author.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Events Coil: Dec. 9-Feb. 2

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. If no country is given, the event is in the USA. All times are local. 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 January and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through late February or early March. If you have an event you want listed in future Events Coils, please leave info a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

Dec. 9, 2-4 p.m. New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Dec. 9, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m
. New Moon Women's Mysteries, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m., "Celebrate Tonantzin/Guadalupe," Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), San Francisco CA

Dec. 13, 6-8 p.m.,
Goddess Cafe, Center for the Divine Feminine,
Soquel CA

Dec. 14, Jul, Reclaiming, Hamburg DEUTSCHLAND (Germany)

Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
Winter Solstice Ritual & Feast, Temple of Diana, Madison WI

Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.
Women's Healing Circle, Center for the Divine Feminine, San Francisco CA

Dec. 16, gather 11:30 a.m., ritual noon, Winter Solstice, Connect DC, Washington DC

Dec. 16, 11 a.m.
Holy Day: Winter Solstice Ritual with Abbey of Avalon (wordless service), Irvine CA

Dec. 17, time tba,
"The Myths of Mary Magdalene," with Kayleen Agbo M.M., Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto CA

Dec. 20, doors open 6:30 p.m. with drum circle, ritual 7 p.m.,
Winter Solstice with Starhawk & friends, Sebastopol CA

Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, 8:58 a.m.-9:15 a.m. GMT (weather permitting) Webcast of Winter Solstice at New Grange, IRELAND, World Wide Web

Dec. 21-23, Yule (Wintersonnenwende) Reclaiming, Munster DEUTSCHLAND

Dec. 21,
Jul (Wintersonnenwende) Reclaiming, Frankfurt DEUTSCHLAND

Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Winter Solstice Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Dec. 21, gather 3:30 p.m., ritual 4 p.m.
Yule Ritual, Reclaiming, San Francisco CA

Dec. 21, 7 p.m.,
Winter Solstice in the Red Tent, The Women's Well, Concord MA

Dec. 21, doors open 6:30 p.m., program 7 p.m.,
Winter Solstice Pageant, Circle Sanctuary and UU church, Madison WI

Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m.,
Celebrate Winter Solstice and Sophia, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), San Francisco CA

Dec. 22, gather 6:30 a.m.,
"Sing Up the Sun," Reclaiming, East Bay hills, San Francisco CA

Dec. 22, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Community Yule Festival, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Mt. Horeb WI

Dec. 22, 7 p.m.
Full Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 22, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Winter Solstice & Full Moon ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Dec. 23, 14.00 uur, Winter zonnewende, Avalon-Mystic, Hillgom NEDERLAND

Dec. 23 11 a.m. Yule Service, "Women's Sacred Offerings," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 23, time tba,
Full Moon on the Mountain, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Dec. 30, 11 a.m. "Old Broom, New Broom" Ceremony, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 8, 8 p.m, New Moon Song and Drum Circle, Montreal Reclaiming, Coop-sur-Genereaux, Montreal CANADA

Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m., Celebrate Nike, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), San Francisco CA

Feb. 2, time tba, Imbolc, Circle Sanctuary, Mt. Horeb WI

Feb. 2, gather 6:30 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Brigid Ritual, Reclaiming, San Francisco CA


Canberra, 10 a.m.most Saturday mornings, Meditation. The Goddess Shrine, Temple of Lunation Magick
(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.

Soderhamn, Mondays, 7-9 p.m.,
meditation prayer, conversation, Gudinne Templet.

Arlington VA: 3rd Sunday of month, gather 12:45 p.m., ritual 1 p.m. Moonfire CUUPS.
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,
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.