Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trivia - Voices of Feminism - Issue 9

The theme of the current issue of this respected feminist journal, Trivia - Voices of Feminism, is "Thinking About Goddess." Introducing the wide-ranging contributions to this issue, editor Lise Weil points out the relationship of Trivia’s name to a Goddess, notes that the thoughts of many feminists are now turning to Goddess, to the divine or sacred envisioned as female or with feminine traits. Issue editor Hye Sook Hwang, in her editorial, explores the "problematic "qualities of the term "goddess" and the difficulties female scholars face in doing Goddess research.

The contributions to this issue of Trivia are all marvelous and really you should just go on over there and start reading. But if you want a peek beforehand, here it is:

"When hens were flying and god was not yet born" by Italian feminist Luciana Percovich, begins with personal reminiscences of the differences in approaching the Madonna and God. After discussing her recognition in the 1980s of "what the loss of the feminine ‘divine’ has brought," which she refers to as her "second enlightment," Percovich explains the distinction she makes between "sacred" and "divine," and her current research into "female cosmogonies of the Early Times before God."

"Canoeing our way back to the Divine Feminine in Taino Spirituality," by Marianela Medrano-Marra, begins with a quote from Gerda Lerner. A Dominican writer-psychologist now living in Connecticut, Medrano-Marra writes about her explorations of the indigenous Dominican traditions and of her calling to reclaim the name of a female Taino chief, which led to her commitment to scholarly work. With pic of Taino Tree of Life that I must say bears a strong resemblance to the Trees of Life unearthed in the Ancient Near East.

In "Testify," Vanita Leatherwood writes about trying to communicate her Goddess path to her Christian Bible-reading partner. Leatherwood recalls childhood memories of AME church-going and Catholic school attendance, her later refusal to join a church whose beliefs she questioned, and a dream related to what at the very least can be called a synchronistic experience. With examples of her art portraying African goddesses.

"Goddess is Metaformic,"according to Judy Grahn. Using the state of Kerala (near India) as a specific example, Grahn introduces the term "metaformic consciousness" as the realization that menstruation is the basis of many aspects of human culture, including "religions, sciences, and household arts and crafts."

In "For Want of a Goddess," Carolyn Gage tells a quasi-historical tale from Hawaii involving Queen Liliuokalani; the U.S. Marines; Kahuna women; the Goddess (akua) Hiiaka and her human girlfirend, Hopoe, who taught Hiiaka the hula; the lack of specificity in the Hawaiian language; and a confrontation between Christianity and indigenous religion.

Shannyn Sollitt, in "Calling Amaterasu, the Great Eastern Sun Goddess of Peace," claims that President Truman used Emperor Hirohito’s loyalty to this Goddess to delay the end of World War II and justify the dropping of the atom bomb–and she gives a link to backup data for this claim on her website. Sollitt also discusses how the mythology associated with Amaterasu relates to that time as well as our own time. With comments on the the figure she calls "America" atop the U.S. Capitol Dome (for more on this, see Katya Miller’s article, discussed below.)

Beginning with a poem, Nané Ariadne Jordan discusses her dedication to Goddess as an expression of birth and midwifery in "What is Goddess? Towards an ontology of women giving birth..."

In "Inanna Comes to Me in a Dream" Betty Meador, a Jungian analyst, analyses a dream with a figure she now identifies with Inanna though, she points out, at that time she hadn’t even heard of Inanna. Meador later became a translator of Sumerian Inanna writings, including all the known work of her priestess Enheduanna.

"Song of Lilith" by Liliana Kleiner is illustrated with Kleiner’s own stunning art. The article presents various mythologies associated with Lilith: Is she a demoness? A goddess?

In "Freedom Speaks Through Us" Katya Miller discusses her relationship with the statue "Freedom," (also called "America," see Solitt’s article, described above) atop the US Capitol Dome. Miller describes her creation of miniature "Lady Freedoms," and her gift of them to some famous folk. With pic of Her.

This issue's poems, all of which include working notes, are "Vulture Medicine" and "Augury" by Deena Metzger; "Young Pagan Goddess" by Andrea Nicki, accompanied by illustration by 6-year-old; "First Blood," Well," and "The History of Bleeding" by Katie Manning; and "Dulce’s Hands," digital picture by Susan Kullman, poetry by Marvelle Thompson.



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Judith Laura

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