Matrifocus: Beltane 2009
This Beltane issue of the fine e-journal Matrifocus begins with a cover photo,"The Earth that is Her Body," by Jacki Hayes taken in Big Basin, Redwood State Park.
The articles are:
"Atargatis, the 'Syrian Goddess' " by Johanna Stuckey, which discusses the Ancient Near Eastern Goddess also known as "Dea Syria." Stuckey writes that Atargatis is possibly connected to Hera, Cybele, and a number of other goddesses. She is often pictured enthroned, and flanked by 2 sphinxes or 2 lions. Stuckey, who has written of a number of other ANE goddesses in Matrifocus, explores this Goddess’s extensive iconography and mentions that Her name appears to be derived from a combination of Anat and Astarte and possibly, though "hidden," also of Asherah (aka Athirat).
"Dakini: The Goddess Who Takes Form as a Woman" by Vicki Noble, in which Noble compares the Tibetan Buddhist Dakini to the Fool in the Tarot deck and calls her "a compelling icon of untamed female freedom." Dakinis are connected to synchronicities and "inexplicable conincidences of fate." Noble says that although "historically dated to 8th century Tibet," dakinis are related to much more ancient female deities and khandro, "female travelers in space." Noble writes:
Dakinis are explicitly understood to take form as human women, and although not all women are dakinis, any woman at any time might be a dakini. The simplest way of understanding this is through the biological bloodline of menstruation, a legacy bequeathed from all mothers of daughters in every culture throughout time, all the way back to the beginnings of human evolution
"A Garden Flooded with Gold" by Mary Swander answers the question, Why does a certain landfill smell like rotten eggs? Includes memories of Iowa floods, with pics.
"Intuition," by Nancy Vedder-Shults, Ph. D., gives a brief history of seers and psychics, and expands upon the usual definition of intuition with an extensive "how to" on 2 different ways to access your own inner guidance.
"Tlazolteotl: The Goddess of Filth" by Anne Key discusses a Mesoamerican Goddess who can usually be indentified by the black around her mouth and chin. Her name comes from the Nahuatl word for garbage and is related to sex, especially when excessive. Her headress of unspun cotton connects her to weaving. Key explains the sexual symbolism of this activity. Tlazolteotl is also a Goddess who gives absolution, including to adulturers. Ultimately she represents the life-death cycle.
"Goddess Feminists and the Body" by Giselle Vincett is the second article based on Vincett’s research for her Ph. D. thesis, and is based on her interviews and observations of Goddess feminists and Christian feminists in the UK.
"April 17" by Dolores DeLuise is about flowering trees, death, and being well organized (and much more!).
"Stone Circle in the Hand" by Jennifer A. Mantle tells of her experience with the Ebenezer Lutheran Church, aka Her Church in San Francisco, where women meet weekly to honor Goddess with a rosary recitation. Mantle also describes her experience making her own Goddess rosaries, which she compares to stone circles. in Britain.
"Wild Food for Wise Women" by Susun Weed points out healing "weeds" that may be growing in your backyard and tells how to use them.
This issue's poems are: Dark Maiden" by Sage Starwalker; "About the Season" by Katherin Gullett; and "This is the Dance," by Kvayn.
There are 2 photo essays: "Perspectives" by Gwen Padden-Lecthen, which includes "washing winter away/renewing the earth" and "what the field mouse might see"; and "Spring Triptych" by Kate Clapper, comprising photos of 3 plants.
In this issue’s editorial, "May Day! May Day!" Feral describes what she calls an "odd" May 1 for her this year, which included getting "laid off." Why wasn’t her first response one of panic? Read it and find out!