Saturday, December 26, 2009

Buzz Coil: Dec. '09

A look at some posts of interest from our blogroll and beyond:

Radical Goddess Thealogy: In her Dec. 3 post, "Ancient Goddesses Score Big," blogger Athana respond to a New York Times article that claims the current exhibit at NYU is "rescuing from obscurity" the "little known" goddess culture of Old Europe.

Women at the Parliament: In a post posted Dec. 20, "Another Report from the Parliament," and dated within the text as Dec 7, Meredith Tenney reports on a Dec. 4 event at the Parliament of World Religions. Called "A Creative Expression of the Sacred Feminine, " the program included Sikh traditions and Kali; The Celtic Goddess Brigid; the Jewish Shekinah; and others. The program ended with group singing of "We all come from the Mother" apparently a slight variation on Z Budapest’s "We All Come from the Goddess."

COG Reports: Don Frew of the Covenant of the Goddess (COG) posts a report on Dec. 12 entitled, "Monday Dec 7, 9:30am at the 2009 Parliament in Melbourne—The Australians Speak". He gives an account of panel presentations by She’ D’Montford, who stripped off a stereotypical witch outfit to make a point; Glenys Livingstone , who spoke on the difficulties of dealing with Euro-centric material; Gede Parma, a young elder; Fabienne Morganna, a Justice of the Peace; and Linda Ward, an interfaith representative for the Pagan Awareness Network.

Pagan Godspell: In her Dec. 17 post, "Great Kerfuffalo Rising," blogger Sara Ruby offers her opinion on the post-Parliament controversy about whether to redefine various paths now usually called "Pagan."

Hecate: Under a pic of a martini, in her Dec. 21 post, "Oh, Not Again. Wasn’t She Just Out Here in The Summer Thunderstorm?", blogger Hecate writes a touching and at times funny post of how she spent this snowy day.

Amused Grace: Thalia Took presents an unusual story about birth and the power of song in her Dec. 20 post, "A Tale of Fire and Ice."

Alive Mind and Spirit: Another post about the power of song, "Spirit of Peace" posted by Carol P. Christ on Dec. 11, has political ramifications.

Dirt Worship: In her Dec. 21 post, "Winter Solstice, 2009," Starhawk tells how the symbolism of this season can help us rebirth Hope despite dispiriting political events.

Gnosis Café: In her Dec. 21 post, Anne Hill writes of "Getting Ready..." for the holidays (with pic of Anne’s family’s decorated tree next to an altar) plus an account of a Solstice dinner party with some (fairly well-known) Pagan friends—and a dream Anne hopes is predictive.

Mary Magdalene Within: In her Dec. 13 post, "The Tension in the Manger, " Joan Norton compares the pregnancies of Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, and discusses the tension between anxiety and hope both in pregnancy and "in the dark side of the year." In her Dec. 20 post, "The Alabaster Jar at Christmastime," she asks for a Photoshopped pic of MM "with her jar-cauldron-vessel" looking "big enough to stir"; she weaves a discussion of Goddess symbolism into this post.

My Internet Goddess Blog: In a Dec. 25 post, an unnamed blogger (or name I couldn't find) asks "What do you think about the Jesus story having similarities to Horus of Egyptian Mythology?" and lists 46 similarities between the two stories. Fascinating--I just wish she had included some references for the Horus material.

Walking on Fire: Blogger Myfanwy relates the observance and linguistic similarities of Winter Solstice (Yule, etc) to the "witches calendar," the Jewish calendar, and the Celtic tree calendar, in her Dec. 13 (Shamash 28) post, "One Light—Lighting the Coel Coeth."

Goddess in a Teapot: Carolyn Lee Boyd writes about getting used to walking a dark road at night in her Dec. 13 post, "Walking into the Embrace of Night."

Evoking the Goddess: In his Dec. 15 post, "Solas," blogger Paul shares his winter thoughts, which include his connection with the Goddess Temple, and the outcome of the recent Copenhagen conference on global warming.

The Village Witch: In her Dec. 13 blog, "The Office," in the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times, Byron Ballard reports on the first circle meeting in the Asheville Mother Grove’s new office.

A Weblog for Our Mother God: Do you know the difference between Deanism (no, not Howard Dean, not James Dean) and Filianism? If not you might want to read "With or Without the Daughter," a post written within the last month but undated and unsigned.

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


Friday, December 25, 2009

Still Time to Register for Goddess & Kabbalah Course

There's still time to register for the course I'm to give through the Women's Thealogical Institute (WTI) of the Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess, International (RCG-I), on "Kabbalah, Qabalah, and Goddess." The 6-week course is slated to begin the week of Jan. 3 and is based on several chapters from my award-winning book, Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century: From Kabbalah to Quantum Physics. The course will be given through a Yahoogroup to be convenient no matter what your time zone. You don't have to be a member of RCG-I or WTI to enroll in the course. Here is the course description from WTI:

Jewish Kabbalah and Hermetic (aka Western Esoteric) Qabalah are given as examples of metaphysical systems that include both male & female depictions of divinity. But do these depictions show equality or something else? This course gives a conceptual history of both Jewish Kabbalah and Hermetic Qabalah (which combines Jewish, Christian, Egyptian and sometimes other symbolism), and traces and re-visions the Tree of Life, which is their central symbol, back to its likely source: the Ancient Near East Goddess Tree of Life.

Several other online WTI courses are also scheduled to begin the week of Jan. 3 For more information, including how to register, go to this page on the website.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

REVIEW: Rabbi Leah Novick's Book on Shekhinah

On the Wings of Shekhinah: Rediscovering Judaism’s Divine Feminine by Rabbi Léah Novick (Quest Books 2008) trade paperback, 210 pp.

I received this book as a holiday gift last December and was in middle of reading it when I had to clear up my desk to accommodate a tech coming to deal with my computer. I put things where I thought I could find them—most, I thought, in piles off-desk but in plain sight around the room. Several days after the tech departed I looked for the book—on my book shelves, on other shelves in this room, even through stuff on my desk, and then in in stacks of other unread or half-read books elsewhere in the house. Couldn’t find it. Anywhere. I repeated this process several times over the next few months. Then this Dec. 17, just about a year after I received it, I was going into drawers in a cabinet where I stash holiday cards to get one to send. I have the cards in a particular drawer, but for the second time, I erred in opening another drawer first. The first time I just slammed the drawer shut, aggravated with myself for not remembering that it wasn’t the "card" drawer. The second time a flash of teal caught my eye. What was that? Could it be? No, must be something else... probably one of my many notebooks or folders stored in that drawer. But maybe I should take a look anyway, just in case? And to my surprise and befuddlement (because I don’t remember putting it there) it was the book that had gone missing for so long, On the Wings of the Shekhinah. So here is the review, a little late, but with gratitude for Goddess guidance:

In her Introduction to On the Wings of Shekhinah, Rabbi Léah Novick, who was ordained in 1987 in the Jewish Renewal tradition, tells of feeling "a gigantic goddess" calling to her as she wandered the California coastline 26 years ago.

Pictures of ancient civilizations and memories of great temples filled my mind with no specific or exclusive ethnoparticularity....I no longer know how or when I went from general pantheistic celebration of life to a respiritualized Judaism.
But she does remember spirits of Jewish and female "bodhisattvas" calling to her. She "labeled them Messengers of the Shekhinah" and began organizing meditation groups around their birth and death dates. She began hearing the voice of the Shekhinah, the "Divine Presence," a female voice, whom she also refers to as "Divine Mother." She describes the many places around the world where she has heard this voice and continues to hear it, especially Friday nights after lighting Sabbath candles. She notes that in all her Jewish training, including a "prestigious" Jewish school in Manhattan, she had never been taught about Shekhinah. She also notes that the word "Shekhinah," is not in the Hebrew Bible, although its root word, based on the verb "to dwell," is. She tells how she expanded her understanding of this usage and traces it from being male and/or gender neutral to being female/feminine. The rest of the book, which includes meditations at the end of each chapter, is essentially an examination and expansion—really a spiritual adventure—into the development of the concept of Shekhinah.

The first section, "Shekhinah in the Tapestry of Time," looks at interpretations relating to the Shekhinah in the Genesis narrative about Hebrew matriarchs, and in Exodus where there are clear manifestations of the Shekhinah, such as in the narratives about Miriam’s well, the clouds of glory (Shekhinah often manifests in the Hebrew scriptures as a protective cloud), in the pillar of fire, in the manna, and in the building of a tabernacle "which becomes Shekhinah’s dwelling place on earth." She also discusses the legend that Moses was consort of the Shekhinah, which she relates to the Isis-Horus myth. She then moves on to a chapter on Canaan, which she subtitles "Encountering the Pagan Past." I found this chapter somewhat confusing. First, there is the use of the word "pagan," to separate goddess worshippers from Israelites, and then there is her description of Asherah as a Canaanite Goddess, whom the Israelites adopted due to their proximity to the Canaanites. AFAIK, Rabbi Novick’s separation of Goddess worship from indigenous Israelite and Judean practice is contradicted by Raphael Patai’s The Hebrew Goddess (which she refers to), and more recently (and more archeologically substantiated), William Dever’s Did God Have a Wife? At the beginning of the chapter Rabbi Novick seems to accepts the controversial idea that as part of their Goddess worship, the Canaanites practiced "sacred prostitution." Yet later in the chapter Rabbi Novick explores the idea that the description of sacred prostitution in the Bible could just be part of the biblical discrediting of Goddess-worship and/or the Canaanites and she provides a helpful discussion of Asherah, including facts that

All the Hebrew matriarchs came from goddess-worshipping cultures,
that Asherah was worshipped by the Israelites—and that according to Patai, there was an extended struggle for about 400 years about whether to include a statue of Asherah in the Temple. This section also has a discussion of the first Temple being a home for the Ark of the Covenant, and thus also the Shekhinah, and the role of the Shekhinah during the Babylonian exile that followed the destruction of the first Temple. She then traces Shekhinah development in "Medieval Years," when She emerged as female in two early kabbalistic texts, Sefir Bahir and Sefir Yetsirah. A separate chapter on Kabbalah opens with a diagram of the kabbalistic Tree of Life, which Rabbi Novick explains, in a note in the aftermatter, contains her own "contemporary variations" on the meanings of the sefirot (Hebrew term for emanations [or, when drawn, round areas] on the Tree of Life; singular, sefirah). She explains that a central theme of the 13th century kabbalistic text known as the Zohar is the reuniting of the divine feminine with the divine masculine. She writes:
In kabbalistic thinking , the exile of the Shekhinah becomes a metaphor for understanding all forms of disharmony that affect human beings.
In her discussion of the sefirah Chokhmah (sometimes transliterated Hokmah–or some other transliterative variation), which in English means Wisdom, Rabbi Novick does not question (as I have) why this emanation is characterized as male and called "the Upper Father of Wisdom" while throughout the Bible (see for example, Proverbs 9) and elsewhere, Wisdom is personified as female. However in the Zohar discussion she does give valuable insight into other matters. For example, she writes:

In their teachings about Binah, kabbalistic sages seemed to have retained a memory of the Mother Goddess in her role as Cosmic Womb....The Zohar projects a medieval division of gender characteristics: the male is architectural and generative in Chokhmah. The female is receptive and birth giving in Binah....In the portrayal of Gevurah; her anger is considered a gateway to the demonic, where her counterpart, Lilith, rules with Samael. Shekhinah becomes a captive of...the other side during the weekdays and is estranged from her consort, while all other Sephirot, as...attributes of the Divine, stay anchored in their divinity....It is female anger that has the potential to go off course and descend into the demonic netherworld.
Rabbi Novick continues with an extensive discussion of the various roles of the Shekhinah in Kabbalah.

The second part of the book, "Holding Her Place," explores Shekhinah as "Sabbath Queen," the return of the Shekhinah through the originally Eastern European Jewish sect known as Chassidim, and the role of Shekhinah in present-day Israel and contemporary Jewish feminism. The chapter on the "Sabbath Queen" gives further information on the development of the Shekhinah concept in Kabbalah and provides an excellent history of the various observances of Sabbath in different Jewish Diaspora communities, including those of the Chassidim. Rabbi Novick describes the singing of a "prayer" called L’Cha Dodi (Come My Beloved) by kabbalists on the Sabbath to welcome the Shekhinah as Sabbath Queen. This prayer is still sung Friday nights in synagogues worldwide. Rabbi Novick notes:

These kabbalists believed that women had an inherent connection with the Shekhinah, and that men were able to receive the Divine Presence through their wives.
and goes on to explain that especially on the Sabbath, men were expected to give their wives sexual pleasure. Because of the large role women are given in the celebration of the Sabbath in the home, Rabbi Novick feels that it is one of the times when a Jewish woman becomes "priestess, ritual leader, and vessel for the sacred energy." She then devotes a chapter to delving more deeply into the role of the Chassidim, who, she says

brought the Shekhinah back to earth embodied in the actions and charismatic personalities of saints called tsaddikim....[who] trained their numerous students to concern themselves with the needs of the people....Caring for the poor, elderly, the infirm....
She also discusses a 19th century Chassidic woman in Ludomir, Poland who became a rebbe, the term for rabbi used by the Chassidim. Born Hannah Rachel Werbemacher, she became known as the "Maid of Ludomir." She sat behind a screen to study in religious school; when rabbi in her own synagogue she stayed behind a door while receiving visitors and veiled her face when speaking of Torah during services. Rabbi Novick goes on to look at the role of women in Judaism and the relevance of Shekhinah in the liberal movements in Europe, during the early years of the State of Israel, and in the United States. The closing chapter of this section, "Contemporary Jewish Feminism and the Return of the Shekhinah," discusses the ordination of women as rabbis and cantors, particularly in the U.S. today, the use of female "God language" in Jewish settings, and other changes even within Orthodox Judaism (the only U.S. Jewish denomination that still doesn't ordain women). She mentions several Shekhinah-friendly organizations and individuals including the Kohenet Institute , which trains and ordains Hebrew priestesses and on whose board she sits, and the work of Rabbis Jill Hammer , Lynn Gottleib ,and Geela Rayzel Raphael
. She then relates this trend to environmental concerns.

The third and last part of the book, "Shekhinah in our Lives," includes discussions of birth, death and reincarnation; love and sexuality; dreams; new moon observances; and spiritual healing. As in other places in the book, Rabbi Novick points out similarities of the Shekhinah with Ancient Near Eastern goddesses and of beliefs and observances in Judaism with those in other cultures. The back of the book includes an appendix with attributes and epithets of the Shekhinah taken from the Zohar and notes on the sources Rabbi Novick used for this book.

On the Wings of the Shekhinah is a book of breadth and breath that I highly recommend to anyone interested in the existence, development, disappearance, and reappearance of the female/feminine divine in Abrahamic religions.


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Sunday, December 13, 2009

GUEST POST: Report from Parliament of World Religions

by Glenys Livingstone

I have just returned from a 9-day journey to the Parliament of World Religions (PWR) in Melbourne - it was an awesome event and I struggle to articulate the impact of it for me personally. I did not attend the Friday afternoon session on “A Creative Exploration of the Sacred Feminine”, as I was attending a ceremony put on by EarthSpirit Community - which really moved me: the intelligent, sensitive presence of these people who carried the integrity of my ancestral heritage into an arena that has heretofore been quite prejudiced (understatement?) about anything "Pagan" was mind-blowing for me and for many others of all traditions who attended this event, and also other events where identified Pagans spoke (Phyllis Curott, Angie Buchanan, Andras Corben-Arthen, Don Frew, Patrick McCollum, and many others including my own presentations). The Pagan and Indigenous presence at this PWR was very strong. It was amazing to see the pentacle symbol up there alongside all the others on a huge display called "Sacred Sites, Sacred Solidarity".

I attended the session the following morning on the "Divine Feminine" and the room was overflowing ... a marked difference to past PWR's apparently. I loved hearing Mother Maya
speak ... IMO so intelligent and full of wisdom: she was strong on the primacy of Mother and the need for resurgence of "maternal consciousness", a cultural shift. She said that our greatest wealth is awareness that we are Mother.

I was disturbed a bit by Joan Chittester's dominance ... typical Judeo-Christian confidence (arrogance?) that they carry the weight of the mainstream. She played on this in her oratory style IMO. I know she does good work, but it also bothered me that she seemed to have assumptions about how we all might think it was great and desirable that "God" be Mother ... ( "we" don't!!). BTW Phyllis Curott did a great job representing Pagan/Goddess perspective, though she was unfortunately caught a little short and shy - she had not expected to have time to speak, thought it was going to be a discussion only. Her gentleness and hesitance may have been a positive thing amongst some.

I also attended a session called 'Men Who Love the Goddess' --it was great.

I think that Goddess Mother had the final word at this PWR ... largely because of the strong Indigenous presence (which increasingly hopefully "Pagans" - surviving strands of indigenous Europeans - will be included amongst): that is, in the Concluding Ceremony after all the others had done their thing (and there were some tiresome patriarchs and also some amazing performances and the Dalai Lama sitting up there on stage alongside Aboriginal Elder Prof Joy Wandin Murphy), Earth Mother was called upon by Elder Joy Wandin, and earlier by Elder Bob Randell, and all were given painted stones with invocations of Her as we left the hall. This to my mind is Her real presence ... knowing again that She is Land, Earth, Habitat, Source of Being. I am sure that is/was a bother for many of the mainstream who may have wished for a more ethereal ending.

Personally I came away from the PWR committed to a revaluing of the term "Pagan", being part of the restoration of this term as expressing my indigenous roots ... which is not separate from my commitment to speaking and serving Her - Goddess: for Her name needs to be spoken specifically also. I attended an excellent session "The Revival of the European Pagan Religions" presented by Andras Corban-Arthen
and Jonas Trinkunas of the Lithuanian Romuva tradition. Jonas quoted Marija Gimbutas and showed a photo of her.

I also went to a session called "The Doctrine of Discovery and Indigenous Peoples" - Philip P Arnold, Chief Oren Lyons, Jake Swamp, Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Esq, Mary N MacDonald, Mr Doug George-Kanentiio. It was powerful, and in the closing ceremony the Indigeous Assembly (which included about 10 reps) put forth a list of actions to be taken which included official recanting of the "doctrine of discovery". IMO this is all essential to the work of the Mother. It was an awesome gathering. I only slept 5 hours every day and walked miles around that huge convention centre. BTW both my presentations, "The New Archaic" and "PaGaian Cosmology” (the latter in the context of “Australian Pagans Speak”) went REALLY well ... overflowing rooms. I scored a 12 minute interview with ABC radio which will go to air on 20th Dec, and have been invited to San Francisco to co-re-present "The New Archaic" at the Spiritual Director's Conference in April.

Glenys Livingstone, Ph. D., is director of the PaGaian Akkademie in Blue Mountains NSW Australia and author of PaGaian Cosmology, which is live at her website


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Friday, December 11, 2009

Events Coil: Dec.13-Feb.6

As far as we know, all events we list are open functions; but some may be limited to women or to adults and some may require that you notify them that you plan to attend. 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. Ongoing events are listed after the dated events. The next Events Coil is planned for 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, please leave info as a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

Now-Dec. 24,
Exhibit: The Sacred Feminine: Prehistory to Postmodernity, Museum of Art and Archeology, University of Missouri, Columbia MO

Now-April 25 (except Mondays), The Lost World of Old Europe Exhibition, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, NYC NY

Dec. 13, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Quan Yin and "Yule Offerings," with Ava, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 16, 2 p.m.
New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Dec. 16, time tba,
New Moon Celebration, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

Dec. 18, time tba,
Winter Solstice Pageant, Circle Sanctuary, Mt. Oreb WI

Dec. 19, 6 p.m.,
Summer Solstice Ritual, PaGaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains NSW AUSTRALIA

Dec. 19, 7 p.m.
Winter Solstice Public Ritual & Food Drive, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

Dec. 19, time tba,
Community Yule, Circle Sanctuary, Mt. Oreb WI

Dec. 19, time tba,
Yule, Wiccan Church of Canada, Hamilton Temple, Hamilton Ontario CANADA

Dec. 19, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30, Yule Circle, Denton CUUPS, Denton TX

Dec. 19, 6 p.m.doors open, 7 p.m., ritual begins, 7:15 p.m. doors lock Winter Solstice Ritual with women's group Dragonweyr, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 19, 6:30 p.m.
Winter Solstice Ritual, Circle of Aradia, Sherman Oaks CA

Dec. 19, gather 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m.
Solstice Ritual, North Bay Reclaiming, Sebastopol CA

Dec. 20, doors open 12.00 uur, ceremony 14.00 uur,
Winter zonnewende, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillgom, NEDERLAND

Dec. 20, gather 11:30 a.m., ritual Noon,
Winter Solstice, Connect DC, Washington DC

Dec. 20, 1 p.m.,
Yule/Winter Solstice, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

Dec. 20, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service, Annual Wordless Service with Ava, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 20, 8 p.m. Yul, Toronto Temple, Wiccan Church of Canada, Toronto CANADA

Dec. 20, time tba,
Yule, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

Dec. 20, gather 3:30 p.m., ritual 4 p.m.
Solstice Ritual-Ocean Beach Bonfire, Reclaiming, San Francisco CA

Dec. 21, gather 6:40 a.m. "
Sing Up the Sun," Reclaiming, East Bay CA

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

Dec. 21, 7 p.m.
Yule Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. ,
Winter Solstice honoring Poliahu, Hawaiian Snow Goddess, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco (East Bay) CA

Dec. 24, 5:30 p.m.
"Honoring Mother Mary," led by Ava, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 27, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service with Gloria Taylor Brown and artist Jennifer Sarreal, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 31, 7 p.m.
Full Moon Ceremony of the Presence of the Lady of Avalon, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Dec. 31, doors open 6:30 p.m., event starts 7 p.m.
Full Moon Drum New Years Eve Party, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 31, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.,
Full Moon Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Jan. 2, 11 p.m.
Special Goddess Healing Day, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 3-7, Maui Goddess Retreat with Apela Colorado, Lydia Ruyle, Kathy Jones, Maui HI

Jan. 3, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Kali Ma, with Susie Feldman, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 9, 1 p.m. Session 1, "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 10, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Ganga, with Tarnie Full Moon, and celebrating the Temple's 7th Anniversary, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m. ,
White Buffalo Calf Woman Peace Ceremony, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco (East Bay) CA

Jan. 15, 2 p.m.
New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m., Women's New Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Jan. 15, 7 p.m.
New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 17, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Yemaya, with Tess Hitehurst, and celebrating the Temple's 7th Anniversary, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 21, 6 p.m.
Sound Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 23, Session 2, "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 24, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Shina Tsu Hime, ; 1:15 p.m. "The Elements" (and Directions, as practiced at this Temple) Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 24, 5 p.m., first meeting of new Women's Spirituality Group, True Colors Bookstore, Minneapolis MN

Jan. 30, time tba,
Imbolc Circle Sanctuary, Mt. Oreb WI

Jan. 30, 6 p.m. gather, 7 p.m. ritual, 7:15 p.m. doors lock, Temple Holy Day: Brigit, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 30, 7 p.m., Full Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Jan. 30, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.
Brigid, Reclaiming, San Francisco CA

Jan. 31, doors open 12.00 uur, ceremony 14.00 uur,
Winter zonnewende, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillgom, NEDERLAND

Jan. 31, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Brigit, with initiation of year's new members, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 31, 7 p.m.,
Imbolc, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Imbolc Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 2, gather 7 p.m.,ritual 7:30 p.m. Imbolc, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Feb. 6 2-8 p.m.Annual Goddess Celebration, this year honoring Kuan Yin, Goddess Events Arizona, Phoenix, AZ


Perth (White Gum Valley): Mondays, 17:30,
Chalice Ceremony, Daughters of Ishtar.

most days 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Goddess Temple open for personal prayers.

Hamilton: Saturdays, 4 p.m. Open Classes ; gather 7 p.m. Open Circles , Hamilton Temple, Wiccan Church of Canada.

Great Britain
Glastonbury: Priestess/Priest of Avalon Training Program, both in Glastonbury (Avalon) and by correspondence, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.
Glastonbury: Most days except Mondays, Noon-4 p.m. Temple Open for personal prayers; Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. Belly Dancing
; Thursdays, 7 p.m. Temple Ritual Dance Class, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

Soderhamn, Gudinne Temple Open weekdays Noon
-6 p.m. Mondays, 7-9 p.m., meditation prayer, conversation.

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

Charleston SC: 1st Tuesday of month, Women's Circle, The Sophia Institute
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. until July 5, then 10 a.m. inward, meditative; 2nd service at 11 a.m., dancing, drumming, singing; see dates for guest speakers.
Friday services, gather 6 p.m., service 6:30 p.m. "All Souls in Reverence." Goddess Temple of Orange County
Palenville NY: Saturdays, 5 p.m. training sessions; 1st Saturday of month, 4 p.m. Goddess Meet-Up Group, Matreum of Cybele.
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.

World Wide Web
Online, various times, Spiritual Heritages of Ancient Europe, course with Max Dashu.
Online, Wednesdays, 6 p.m. PT
"Voices of the Sacred Feminine" interviews with well-known Goddessians and Pagans, hosted by Karen Tate, Blog Talk Radio.

Online, Sundays, 11 a.m. PT, "Creatrix Media Live" roundtable discussions include guests and phone-in audience participation, co-hosted by Jayne DeMent and Anniitra Ravenmoon, Blog Talk Radio.

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 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, no password-protected 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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Monday, December 07, 2009

'Sacred Feminine' at Parliament of World Religions

A special blog, Women at the Parliament has been set up to report on "Honoring the Sacred Feminine at the Parliament of World's Religions." The Parliament is taking place now in Melbourne, Australia. It meets every 5 years in a different country and attempts to be inclusive of all world religions. Nevertheless, it took a lot of effort to have the "Sacred Feminine" and Goddess included. Our thanks goes out to the Women's Spirit Council for their perseverance in making sure this was done.

Kathe Schaafe's most recent blog post (Dec. 5) tells about several interfaith events focusing on the "sacred feminine," at least one Goddess event, the encouraging interest from many Parliament participants, and the need to move at least one event into a bigger room due to larger-than-expected attendance.


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Friday, December 04, 2009

Extraordinary Article About Biblical Miriam

The current issue of Zeek, a progressive Jewish publication, has an extraordinary article by Rabbi Jill Hammer, "Priestesses, Bibliomancy, and the Anointing of Miriam." Rabbi Hammer writes:

Like other feminist readers, I have always felt the story of Miriam’s expulsion to be a massive power grab on the part of the male Israelite leadership.....Miriam is banned from the camp. Psychologically, this banishment echoes the banishment of women from the priesthood. While women all over the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean serve as priestesses, Israelite women do not do so according to any mainstream text....The story of Miriam’s exile establishes the Torah’s limits on women’s spiritual leadership.
[ellipses mine, indicating material from article text omitted here]

Through a remarkable experience, Rabbi Hammer found that amidst Hebrew scriptures condemning women as leaders of rituals there is evidence that Miriam, whom the Bible describes as being banished for criticizing her brother Moses, may have been an anointed priestess. Rabbi Hammer writes:

What a sacred text represses must return in hidden form.
and goes on to describe what she feels was hidden in the story of Miriam and related biblical texts. I find her argument persuasive, and the way she uncovered the evidence, inspiring.

Rabbi Hammer is co-director of the Kohenet Institute , which is training Hebrew priestesses now, and director of spiritual education at the Academy of Jewish Religion.

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