Wednesday, October 29, 2008

GUEST POST: Separation of Goddess & Pagan Communities, A UK Perspective

(Note From Medusa: Shan Morgain wrote this fascinating guest blog in response to my post of July 11 to point out some possible differences in the situation between the USA and the UK.)

by Shan Morgain

Separation of Goddess and Pagan communities? Women's authority and influence in Paganism waning?

I agree with Medusa's "Trends in Feminist Spirituality" but my experience from the UK has been that Paganism and Goddess community has always been separate. The other issues have also occurred here but for quite some time now, not as new events. Perhaps this is a USA/UK difference.

The Goddess movement here began in the early 70s with "Shrew", an occasional Women's Liberation journal on a single topic each time."Goddess Shrew" brought together a small group of activists to work together.At the time ('73 I think) the main Women's Liberation Movement saw spirituality as a red herring, so Goddess Shrew was controversial. I am amused to remember that as a very active women's movement worker myself I too saw this is "irrelevant" – yet I was also having Goddess visions in my personal life! It was impossible to see this as 'serious politics' though. Women had a hard enough time taking our own needs seriously as it was: we were very much struggling to get women on the agenda at all, let alone our spirituality.

However Goddess Shrew sparked a very large response considering it was an obscure journal. Goddess UK was awakening! The MRRN (Matriarchy Reclaim and Research) network was established. But there was no significant link to UK Paganism at that time although of course the Goddess had been recognised on a small scale back to Doreen Valiente and Gerald Gardner's Wicca, Dion Fortune, Naomi Mitchison, the Golden Dawn, Helena Blavatsky, 19thC Romantics and 18thC antiquarians.

I myself initiated as a Dianic (women only Goddess work) in 1984-85. In late 1985 I accepted help from a male acquaintance to run a pioneering Goddess shop stocking Goddess books, posters, cards, silkrobes and incenses, some my own designs. I was utterly rejected by my Dianic teacher and her associates as a result, even though no one else was making these things readily available. The taint of male involvement was not acceptable.

Notable exceptions to my almost total shunning by the MRRN were Asphodel Long and Monica Sjoo who were always friendly and supportive to my work as a community priestess and Clan Mother of House of the Goddess.

In the first year or two of running the shop at the front of the House of the Goddess temple I met and worked with Pagans. The most prominent group was Wicca. I found that among Wicca I was markedly disapproved because I worked as a priestess without men around me. It seemed I couldn't win! However the Pagans were far less vicious than the Goddess people about disapproving of me, so I tended to link with Pagans much more from then on. In 1993 I published The Pagan Index, an A-Z of UK Paganism. One section was on Goddess people. This was not trying to say Goddess community was a subset of Paganism, rather an overlap. That is, there were, and are, Pagans who focus mainly on Goddess here, as well as other Pagans who merely accept Goddess as part of Paganism, though not very important for them individually, plus other positions in between.Then there are Goddess people who are definitely not Pagans, or some who are slightly - a sliding scale perhaps.

So rather than seeing a separation of Goddess people and Pagans happening here I would report separation from the outset with some blurring and crossings over here and there. By the way The Pagan Index, (1993, House of the Goddess), contributed a key element to the academic research which got going in the '90s.The first significant sign of this (UK) was Graham Harvey's"International Conference on Paganism in Contemporary Britain" in Newcastle, at which I presented a paper on Circlework ritual and darklight philosophy.

The diminishing of women's authority and influence in Paganism I would agree with, very much so, but again not as a recent event. I saw this begin at the end of the 80s. I think there are two reasons, one generic to most religions' development, and one specifically Pagan historic, at least in the UK.The generic reason is that grass roots spirituality can begin vigorously among women - and has done, including Christianity both in its first century and again as it took root in Rome. Women, to make a crass generalisation, are more exploratory around spirituality. But what tends to happen is that once small groups have established locally they start to connect and network. Or else a strong individual, or couple, generate a small number of groups. Clusters of groups form, and then large central events emerge (conferences,festivals).

At this point men become much more prominent. Centralisation seems to go with more male activity. This has been recorded in a lot of small cults and spiritualities, old and new. Possibly the greater demands of travel deter women: not having so much money, less likely to be vehicle owners, not enjoying the levels of safety around travel that men do, most of all, tied down with children. Sometimes there does seem to be a distinctive male desire to empire build which is quicker off the mark and more intense than it is among women - not that women don't feel it but not so soon and so urgently.

Whatever the reasons a successful spirituality will sooner or later move into the stage where it is more dominated by male networking than female. I saw this happen here (UK) in Paganism starting in the late 80s with the unhappy story of Paganlink's startup where mostly well meaning young men took over a national contacts network previously largely run by women.

Apart from the usual tendency for centralisation to favour men, there has been another contributor to increasing male influence in Paganism, and this factor was one generated by Paganism itself. This is the pubmoot. Until the end of the 80s, or as the 90s began, Pagan meetings were mostly home based. Or else held in a library, or community centre, or arts centre room. I had much to do with nurturing such new groups starting up in the second half of the 80s and through the 90s.Sparking and supporting such groups was part of my work through my House of the Goddess temple in London.There was also a strong existing Pagan tradition of Craft/Wiccan covens meeting in the house of their leading priestess and priest. House based meetings, or gatherings held in small local arts centres, favoured women. Children could be nearby either at home or using a creche. The domestic context was familiar to women: indeed it wasconsidered largely their domain so they felt comfortable in it. People could open out fairly sensitively in a comfortable setting,comfortable both physically and emotionally. It was PRIVATE. As young male leaders emerged, keen to support and strengthen networking, the pub moot took over. This became the norm everywhere within a few years by the mid '90s. The main reason I heard was that people were shy or reluctant to open their homes for a meeting. Why I don't know as this had not arisen before and it's a view alien to me so I find it hard to explain. I did used to find people needed a bit of help and advice on how to handle a house meeting, but they also need a bit of help to run a meeting in a pub. So I consider there was/is an agenda working, particularly as any comment now triggers strong denials of any problem – and I continue to see family, a lot of women and some men deterred and excluded by pub moots.

Pub moots did exclude an awful lot of women when they began. Mothers were instantly disadvantaged, and still show up on our email lists saying they'd like to come but ... childcare. Not only that but the recent trend of heavy drinking by women was yet to come. Until the later 90s there was still a sense that pubs were mainly for men. They weren't seen as very safe for women, certainly not going alone. That has changed as the brewers have courted women's purses but there are still a lot of women, and some men too, who heartily dislike pub culture so a pub moot puts them off. Next, pubs don't encourage sensitive or serious encounters. They foster at best a jolly occasion, or else argumentative debate. Neither carry a spiritual meeting well, except as a components among others.Sadly much of contemporary UK Paganism is now bar based. Many rituals or other events are a quickie thing almost like a preface to the serious business of getting into the pub. That is very different from family based, or women based connecting.

Well there you are. Some points for USA and elsewhere comparison I expect. My own work right now is coming out of retirement since 2001 and establishing a new permanent Pagan temple to honour the Goddess. I have bought a huge old club building, the oldest part is 16thC! Seven rooms on the ground floor make a temple suite while my family live on the floor above in a comfortable apartment. By selling my home and using the proceeds I am making available a solidly based temple. Not rented. Not mortgaged. Completely ours. Sacred space indoors – which in the long months of the British winter is sorely needed as well as our uncertain suimmer weather.

My hope is to renew the focus on house based Paganism which I find much healthier. As well as championing house based/family based work,my new * House Morgain temple * also aims to confront 'packagePaganism' - the consumer cult of buying spirituality in packages, either products as objects or events. This also ties in with pub moots as pubs mean a commercial transaction of hired space where punters are expected to buy drinks. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against money. Far from it. I run a successful business and I used money, quite a lot of it, to buy House Morgain's building. But money has to be the servant kept firmly undercontrol: not a mistress.

I do not agree with one comment here that Goddess only or women only devotion is extreme. It would be - if a whole large society was dominated by it. That is most unlikely to happen, certainly not a problem for the forseeable future. Instead we have a flexible web where individuals and groups can honour Goddess alone, God alone, Goddess and God, the gods, a whole pantheon in whatever balance appeals, the Old Ones, the Ancestors, personal allies or guides, abstract forces or metaphors ... dum dee dee. It is extreme is to condemn anyone's needs as placed within this spiritual geography, as extreme.

Living devoted to the Goddess can mean living in a web of women and women's work, reading women, listening to women's music, wherever possible talking only to women. Separatism – a whole hidden herstory. It's a mighty healing for modern women. I did it for years and it forged my strength. It also paradoxically purged me of manhating because I found most of what I detested in men, in women! Separatism even if only practised for a few days, a week or a month, is a profound medicine. Nor did I move out of separatism because I 'outgrew' it, or needed a man or men. I found after a period of separatism I simply liked some men and was now willing to work with them. I personally find NEEDING a man, or men, is as unbalanced as the Wiccan credo of polarity considers separatism. Becoming complete in myself (cf. Esther Harding's Women's Mysteries), being able to work withother women and find our own complex polarities without maleness being necessary, is a completeness and a joy. For myself I also enjoy the high qualities of some Pagan males, one of whom I handfasted 20 devoted years ago, another I have mothered to glorious adulthood, others I love and work with. I don't NEED any of them, though it is my choice to love them.

Shan Morgain
Samhain 2008

House Morgain


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Friday, October 24, 2008

Buzz Coil: October '08

Oakwillow: Blogger Jodie reports on the recent Australian Goddess Conference in her Oct. 14 post, "Back from the Goddess Conference." A quote from Jodie’s post:

From the moment we walked out in song Priestesses and initiates wearing our deep red cloaks and veils to meet the other great women attending, to the closing spiraling and shrieking witches dance that exploded into laughter and then deep resonance and song to the Earth Mother we were transforming, shedding and working with the Earth. We learnt a lot about drumming the elements and the rhythm and heart beat of the Earth, we heard about the power of Priestessing the Earth. I had the joy of watching how great Priestesses from around the country I have never met before called in the elements, singing in water, laughing in Air. We heard from an Elder Bilawara Lees about Song Lines and Aboriginal culture and the importance of people of Celtic decent stepping up and working their own Indigenous Law to bring balance.
There's more---with pics!

Broomstick Chronicles: In this month of transition, M. Macha NightMare reports the deaths of two priestesses. On Oct. 20, her post "A Mighty Redwood has Fallen," tells of the passing of Sequoia Greenfield, one of the first members of Susan B. Anthony Coven No. 1 (founded by Z Budapest), biker, pilot, and builder of houses. Macha’s Oct. 10 post, "Death of a Priestess, " memorializes her friend and belly dancer Tara Webster, aka Ishtara and Soror Adessa.

Peacock Dreams: Thorn Coyle, who was present when Tara Webster passed, writes a beautiful moving account in her Oct. 8 post, "RIP Tara Webster, Witch," noting that Tara was co-founder of Crescent Hellions and Twilight Gathering. Thorn shares a chant/song she wrote as Tara crossed. It will be included in a new CD.

Branches Up, Roots Down: Deborah Oak’s Oct. 16 post, "pictures instead of words," does actually have a few words, but it is mostly pics of Deborah’s seasonal preparations: spirit bottles, sugar skulls, altar-in-progress, etc.

The Wild Hunt:In his Oct. 20 post, "The Epicenter of Halloween in America," Jason Pitzl-Waters writes that the Halloween celebration in Salem MA "has grown to Mardi Gras proportions" and now includes a bikers’ "Halloween Witch Ride," fireworks, and a multiweek "Festival of the Dead" including at least 3 balls (Retro Zombie, Vampires, Official Salem Witches’).

Alive Mind & Spirit: In her Oct. 17 post, "To Judge or Not to Judge," Carol P. Christ responds to a recent post in this same blog by Jonathan Ellerby. Carol asserts her right to judge "religions and spiritualities that are harmful to women." Carol writes,
If a religion does not validate women’s spiritual paths by allowing and encouraging female leadership, I reserve the right to find fault with it. If all spiritual leaders in a given tradition are male, I reserve the right not to look up to them or to model my spirituality on theirs. If a religion or spiritual leader encourages a woman or girl who is beaten or raped by a father or husband “to obey” or “to forgive” in the absence of repentance by the abuser, I reserve the right to make the judgment that this is harmful to women. If a religion consistently portrays the highest power in the universe as symbolically male, I reserve the right to make the judgment that such symbolism valorizes male domination.
She goes on to discuss under what circumstances she has the right to judge statements by specific individuals such as Sarah Palin and Pope Benedict XIV.

In her Oct. 16 post, "Every Day Magic - Hecate and Artemis - Goddesses of the Full Hunter Moon," Juliette Lauber writes about her "abundant magical journey...under the light of the full Hunter Moon."

Chess, Goddess and Everything: In her Oct 21 post, "Golden ‘Spindle-Shaped’ Objects Discovered in Bulgarian Tomb," blogger Jan takes a report of an archeological find to task for assuming an important male is buried in a tomb despite findings in the Bulgarian tomb typically associated with women, such as "spindle-like objects" (connected to spinning flax and to date found only in women’s tombs), and a gold bead necklace. Nice catch, Jan!

Hecate: In her Oct. 19 post, "If I Can’t Dance I Don’t’ Want to Be Part of Your Revolution," blogger Hecate notes that:

There are countries where it is a punishable crime to dance.

Women must cover their heads,
never riase their voice in song and
never ever display such immoral conduct s dancing.

and continues with a beautiful poem about dancing in difficult circumstances.

House of Inanna: Introducing his subject with Joseph Campbell’s "Ten Commandments for Reading Myth," in his Oct. 10 post, "The reading of myth," Brian Charles, a native of Britain now living in Hungary, delves into his relationship with the Sumerian Goddess Inanna and how he perceives her.

The Village Witch: In the Oct. 17 post of her Asheville NC Citizen-Times blog, Byron Ballard titles her post,"Max Dashu," and notes a presentation in North Carolina by the Goddess scholar visiting from California. In Byron’s Oct. 15 post, "Ancestors are the Reason for the Season," she tells of tracing her ancestors by visiting local cemeteries and the Old Buncombe Geneology Society.

Washington Post’s On Faith: On Faith's Oct. 21 question was "Does religion empower women?" Among the responders:
Daisy Khan ("Faith-Based Feminism, The Most Powerful Model")
Deepak Chopra ("If Religion is Power, Women Deserve Their Share")
Starhawk ("The Goddess Empowers Women")
Rev. Susan K. Smith ("Religion has Duped Women")
Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlewaite ("Eve was Empowered")
Bishop John Bryson Chane ("Too Many Leaders Promoting Gender Inequity")

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


Friday, October 10, 2008

Events Coil: Oct. 12 - Nov. 30

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. Events lasting more than 1 day are bolded. 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 mid-November and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through the end of December. If you have an event you want listed, please leave info a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

We note one very interesting "coincidence"(?) in our calendar this month: On Oct. 31, "Samhain Drumming" will be taking place at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC at the about same time as a "Ritual Magical Action: Dance for Life and Regime Change" in San Francisco.

updated 10/20, 10/29
Oct. 12, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Chicometcoatl, with guest priestess Elivia Melodey, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 14, 7 p.m. Full Moon on the Mountain, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Oct. 14, 7 p.m.
Full Moon Drumming with Melinda Rodriguez, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 14, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Full Moon Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituaity Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Oct. 15, 7-9 p.m.
Practices of the Great Wisdom Mother with Lama Tsultrim Allione, Womens Well, Concord MA

Oct. 17-19,
Hallows Gathering, Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess, Wisconsin Dells, WI

Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Goddess Cosmologies with Max Dashu, AB Tech, Asheville NC

Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
Exploring the Body of the Mother with Virginia Anderson, Ph.D, Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto CA

Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m. Woman Shaman with Max Dashu, Guilford College, Greensboro NC

Oct. 24, 7 p.m. Woman Shaman with Max Dashu, AB Tech, Asheville NC

Oct. 24, marketplace opens 6:30, ritual begins 7:30 p.m.
25th Annual Womyn's Ritual and Spiral Dance, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco CA

Oct. 25, 7 p.m. The Old Goddess and her night-flying witches with Max Dashu, AB Tech, Asheville NC

Oct. 25, arrive 7:15-7:30 p.m., Samhain Ancestors Ritual, Moonfire, Arlington VA

Oct. 25, 7 p.m.
Crone Encounter Ritual, Circle of Aradia (Dianic), Sherman Oaks CA

Oct. 26, time tba, Halloween/Samhain, Connect DC, Washington DC

Oct. 26, 11 a.m.,
Goddess Service honoring Yama-Na-Shinbo, with guest priestess Jeanne Michele, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 28, time tba, New Moon Song and Drum Circle, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Oct. 28, 7 p.m. New Moon Women's Mysteries, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Oct. 28, 7 p.m.
New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct 31-Nov. 2 Los Dias de los Muertos, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institute, New York, NY and Washington DC

Oct. 31-Nov. 2,
Samhain Festival, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserves, Mt. Horeb/Barneveld WI

Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. Samhain Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Oct. 31, time tba, Samhain Ritual, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Oct. 31, 8 p.m.-Midnight, Samhain Drumming, Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC

Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. Ritual Magical Action: Dance for Life and Regime Change with Starhawk, Vicki Noble, Max Dashu, Kressy Keefer et al., San Francisco CA

Oct. 31, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.,
Samhain, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Nov. 1, 5 p.m.,
Beltane/High Spring, Akkadamie PaGaian Cosmology, Blue Mountains AUSTRALIA

Nov. 1, gather 5:30 p.m., ritual 6 p.m. Samhain: Celebration of the Ancestors, Becoming DC, Upper Marlboro MD

Nov. 1, 7 p.m.
Samhain, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

Nov. 1, doors open 6 p.m., ritual starts 7:30 p.m.,
29th Annual Spiral Dance (Reclaiming) San Francisco CA

Nov. 1, gather 6 p.m., ritual 7 p.m.
"Hallows" with the Abbey of Avalon, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 1, 7 p.m. 13th Annual Festival of the Bones with Luisah Teish, et. al, Oakland CA

Nov. 2, time tba, Procession Dia de los Muertos, Mission District, San Francisco CA

Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony for new Goddess Hall, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Nov. 2, 11 a.m. Goddess Service. "Vows to the Goddess Isis" with Temple Member Raven. Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 3, 7 p.m. MamaCoAtl: Mexican Day of the Dead, Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto CA

Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.
The Craft Connection, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 7-9, Faith and Feminism Conference with keynote by Carol Christ Ph.D, other events with Jan Alredge-Clanton Ph.D, Rev. Shiloh McCloud, Elizabeth Ursic, China Galland, Pastor Stacy Boorn, Joseph Subbiondo, Anna Yang, Mary Strufert, Karen Tate, Wanda Deifelt,Ph. D., Beatrice Morris, Judith Dancer, and Gabrielle Schroeder Ph. D., HerChurch at Ebenezer Lutheran Church San Francisco CA

Nov. 8, 1p.m.-5 p.m. Women's Holistic Healing Fair, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 9, 11 a.m.Goddess Service honoring White Painted Women with Dr. Miluna Fausch speaking on "Giving Yourself Permission to Grieve and Heal, " Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Full Moon Drumming in Thanksgiving with Candy Eaton, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 13 gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Full Moon
Ritual, Goddess Temple Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Nov. 16, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Selket with guest priestess Miranda Rondeau, frame drummer and chanter, and her circle of Remembrance, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 17, 7 p.m. China Galland speaks about her journey from Eastern goddesses, to Mary, to a wider engagement with her own American culture, Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto CA

Nov. 21, 1:30 p.m. Female Rebels and Mavericks: Special Lesbian edition for Lavender Seniors, with Max Dashu, Oakland CA

Nov. 22, 7 p.m. Rebel Shamans-Expanded Version: Indigenous Women Confront Empire with Max Dashu,
Berkeley CA

Nov. 23, 11 a.m., Goddess Service honoring Spes with guest priestess Lyena Strelkoff, followed by Roman/Italian Thanksgiving Feast, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 25, 7 p.m. New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 26, 7 p.m. Annual Orphans Thanksgiving, Goddess Temple of Orange County,
Irvine CA

Nov. 27, time tba, New Moon Song and Drum Circle, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Nov. 28, 2-4 p.m. New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Nov. 28, 7 p.m. New Moon Women's Mysteries, Goddess Temple Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Nov. 30, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring T'ien Hau with guest priestess Kathe Schaaf, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA



Canberra, 10 a.m.most Saturday mornings, Meditation. The Goddess Shrine, Temple of Lunation Magick
(White Gum Valley): Mondays, 17:30, 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.

Great Britain
Glastonbury, England, ongoing, Priestess/Priest of Avalon Training Program, both in Glastonbury (Avalon) and by correspondence, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

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


Arlington VA: 3rd Sunday of month, time tba, ritual Moonfire.
Canton CT: Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Services, Women's Temple: In Her Name

Geyersville CA: Sunday Services 2-4 p.m. Temple of Isis
Houston TX: Sundays, 10 a.m. Magdalene Community, Rothko Chapel; 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,
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.
St. Sandy UT: second Saturday of each month, 4:30 p.m., Isis Devotionals, Iseum of Muth/Lyceum of Auset and Heru em Aakhuti
Washington DC: 2nd Sunday of month; gather Noon, ritual 12:15 p.m. , National Arboretum, Becoming DC.
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 (no pdf pages). (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.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Glastonbury Goddess Temple Acquires New Hall

Congratulations to our friends at the Glastonbury Goddess Temple in England on their aquisition of the building that once housed St. Benedict's Church Hall. This gives the Goddess Temple additional space for larger public ceremonies and classes.

Glastonbury Goddess Temple was able to come to an agreement with St. Ben's Parish Council regarding the previous restrictions on the use of the Hall, which was owned by the Church of England and persisted even after the sale of the Hall. St. Ben's Parish Council has agreed to allow use of the Hall "without let or hindrance" for Goddess activities including ceremonies, courses, workshops, and other community activities, as well as a dedicated space for Pagan marriage ceremonies and handfastings.

The Hall's opening Goddess ceremony is scheduled for November 2 at 7:30 p.m. Much more info on


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Saturday, October 04, 2008

RCGI Seasonal Salon: Fall Equinox Issue

Three articles comprise this Fall Equinox issue of Seasonal Salon, produced by the Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess-International.

In "Over Her Dead Body" Bellezza Squillace tells why she "adopted" a gravesite as part of a preservation process of a very old cemetary.

"Abuk, Dinka Goddess of Creative Abundance," by Patricia Monaghan, focuses on mythology from the African Sudan. The stories tell how Abuk, the "primal woman," kept humanity from starving, brought abundance, and more, including some rather humorous (at least to me) sexual myths.

Max Dashu begins "Searching for Diana" by connecting the autumn season with "a culture of women's freedom," and discussing Sarah Palin as well as the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC (I agree--don't miss the terrific Maddow at 9 pm ET weeknights!). Dashu continues by discussing the current "astrological weather" and "economic uncertainty, and then segues into scholarship about the Goddess Diana in a variety of time periods and cultures. In a statement that may throw light on some current fundamentalist Christian groups' conflating of several different goddesses with Diana, Dashu writes:
...somehow it was Diana who emerged in late antiquity as the quintessential pagan goddess that the Christian clergy were desperate to stamp out. Through a process of giving Roman names to everything, what scholars call the interpretatio romana, all other goddess came to be conflated under the name of Diana.... It was Diana, too, who was said to lead hosts of spirits and women on shamanic flights through the night skies. The origins of this tradition in late Roman times, and their transmission through the early middle ages are most obscure and difficult to track.... We know this much: by the ninth century, Frankish bishops were denouncing beliefs in Diana as a goddess of the witches, eager to stamp them out as "an illusion of the devil." So Diana shines in the darkness, in the foundational myth of the European witch tradition.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Global Goddess Oracle: Autumn Equinox Issue

Articles in the Autumn Equinox issue of Global Goddess Oracle include:

"Found Goddess - The Computer Goddesses" by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. Meet Goddesses Lucre, Pecunia, Walmartis, Fenestella, the Format Fairies--including Linker Bell--and the Wizards of Que and Eye D'G, in this continuation of Ardinger's series.

"Real Love vs. Romance" Why Settle for Crumbs?" by Gayle Goldwin. This article begins, "Romantic love is a modern invention, a myth born of Dependency and Need" and continues to distinguish between "romance" and "love."

"Wisdom - The Gift from the Crone" by Angie Skelhorn, about both the mythology of the Crone and about real-life wise women who helped Angie.

"On Finding Myself Middle Aged," by Mama Donna Henes, who doesnt think "Crone" is an appropriate title for her and so rejects the Triple Goddess model because she thinks it's not accurate for contemporary women. Donna also contributed a feature, "Ask Your Mama," in which she answers a question from "Time Deprived and Pooped in New York City" about finding time to plan rituals.

Dawn "Belladonna" Thomas contributed a number of articles including the introduction to this issue, "Autumn Equinox 2008"; "Solitary Autumn Equinox Ritual"; "Moon Schedule, Mabon to Samhain"; "Herb of the Season: Sage"; and a review of the book Hidden Passages by Vila Spiderhawk.

This issue's poems include: "Passage" by Mary Lyons, "The Crone's Secret" by Bendis, and "Thin" by Holly Cross.

There is also an informational article about "The Enchanted Mountain Goddess Conference" taking place in Salamanca, NY, Nov. 7-10.

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