Sunday, November 09, 2008

Global Goddess Oracle: Samhain '08

The theme of the Samhain issue of Global Goddess Oracle is "Honoring Our Female Ancestors," and its purpose is explained in an introduction by Bendis.

I’m going to depart from the order in the handy contents list on the left hand side of the page, but you can refer to that to find the articles.

I was blown away by H. Byron Ballard’s piece, "My Mother Has Risen from the Dead," about family history and stories. It’s beautifully written in the best tradition of stories of the US South as apparently only Southerners can write them. I can easily see a novel emerging from this one, even though it may be nonfiction.

"My Grandma’s Love" by Rocio A. Palomino is a moving real life story that Palomino wrote about a week after her grandmother’s passing. "What is remembered lives," Palomino writes (attributing the phrase to Reclaiming), as she remembers the loving care her grandmother gave her.

In "Agnodice: A Lesson in Empowerment–How Just One Woman CAN make a Difference," Gail Goldwin tells about a Greek foremother who, in the 4th century BCE, decided to do something about the low level of medical care afforded women by the male-only medical establishment of the time. Dressing as a man, Agnodice earned a medical degree in Alexandria, Egypt, and returned to Greece, still cross-dressed, to practice gynecology. To her patients only, she revealed she was a woman. Agnodice's practice grew as women abandoned their male doctors for what they knew to be a woman M.D. The jealous male doctors, who believed Agnodice was a man, charged the gynecologist with seduction. I hope I haven’t given too much away–I urge you to read the article to find out what happened next.

In "Their Eyes Were Watching Women’s Bodies," Caryn Colgan explores the relationship among politics, religion, and spiritual belief systems, including anti-abortion rationales and the Terry Schaivo case.

Angie Skelhorn has three pieces in this issue:"Clearing the Past," about the European witch persecutions, including the September 20, 2007 action by the Swiss Parliament acknowledging that the execution of Ana Goeli, the last person executed as a witch in Europe, was a miscarriage of justice; "Soul’s Evolution," about the relationship of reincarnation and Samhain in which Skelhorn shares how she "calls" her spiritual guides; and a poem, "Allow the Power of Your Soul to Shine."

It will be no surprise to readers of this e-journal, that in addition to her issue intro, Bendis has a variety of articles in this issue: "Free and Bold" about Amazon women you just might recognize; "Halloween - Its Historical Background," an excellent basic introduction to the holiday; "Los Dias de Los Muertos," explaining the joyous Mexican holiday (now also celebrated in the US), over which La Muerte (Death) presides as La Caterina, or La Flaca, or La Huesada, or La Pelona, and during which ancestors are honored. I can see a close similarity to Halloween in the celebration of the Night of Mourning on Oct. 31, when spirits of departed children (angelitos) visit their families at their homes.

Dawn "Belladonna" Thomas also contributed several articles: "Samhain Solitary Ritual,""Herb for Samhain - Wormwood,""Moon Schedule from Samhain to Yule,"and a book review of Vila SpiderHawk's Forest Songs: Finding Home.

On the lighter side, Barbara Ardinger continues her series with "Found Goddesses - Computer Goddesses. Part 6," in which she tells about the esoteric power animal, Mouse, as revealed in the myth, "How the Mouse came to help us."

And in "Ask Your Mama," (column title now apparently trademarked) Mama Donna Henes responds to a letter from "A Realist in Florida" who asserts that "hope is no better than worrying."

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Judith Laura

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