Monday, January 31, 2011

Poetry for Brigid

It has become traditional in cyberspace for those of us who celebrate Imbolc/Brigid to post poetry at this time. This practice has been dubbed "Brigid Poetry Slam" by Deborah Oak, and "Brigid Poetry Festival" by Anne Hill. I wrote this poem many years ago and was prompted to post it here now by blogger Hecate's post of last November about everyday spiritual practices.

Beltway Epiphany

Halogen headlights piercing the still dark autumn morning,
I race up Route 666 trying to make up for the five minutes
I overslept

Bach's Fifth Brandenburg borne by
radio waves accompanies my
lurch onto the Dulles Access
dark as death, no cars ahead
I use my brights until
by the thousand and one lights of the

Night's black grays as, blinker on,
carefully, I cross three lanes,
steadily accelerating to earn my place on the far left
at the bridge approach,
I ride bumper to bumper in the fast lane
doing 65
and being passed by the impatient on the right

One, indignant, cuts in front of me and brakes.
Heart pounding I
slow in time
and curse
harpsichord plays with flute and fiddle

Smoke? No, fog
drifts in from the river
and traffic slows in anticipation

Midway between states, above the water,
the mist is burnt away
by the trees' fall flaming

As enchanted cars glide eastward
to the other side,
rose-ridged clouds soaring above
the Bridge
burst into bright angel wings
against night's navy velvet

Together we round the curve to the harpsichord cadenza when
behind the trees, rising
above the mountains of clouds,
the sun
a benediction
on the early morning pilgrims

who cannot stop to contemplate
the rose-gold star's rise to a shaft
piercing the clouds,
a white spotlight
on the fiery trees rimming the road

Cadenza complete, I
merge onto I-270, signaling right.
Suddenly pursued by a tractor trailer I
let it pass
until its growl blends with the highway hum
and its taillights are two red dots that can hardly be seen
in the daylight

Then crossing
three lanes,
I exit at Montrose.

Copyright 1993 by Judith Laura and published in the journal Metropolitain that year. Used with permission.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

ASWM East Coast Symposium Program Announced

The program for the 2011 East Coast Symposium of the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, March 12-13 in Philadephia, Pa., is now available. Lydia Ruyle's Goddess icon banners will grace the meeting whose keynote speaker is Miranda Shaw, Ph.D. There will be multiple panels and workshops, with opening remarks by Patricia Monaghan and Sid Reger. Panel topics include: Patterns of Descent and Rebirth; Arts, Goddesses, and Creativity; Literature and Arts, Priestesses and Sacred Mothers, Priestesses and Goddess Embodiments of Female Divine in Judaism; and The Body of the Goddess. Workshops are planned on singing, clay sculpting, devotional chant, and embodiment. Please go here for full schedule, panelists and other presenters, and other information.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Buzz Coil: January '11

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

Brigid’s Forge: In her a beautiful Jan. 22 post, Lunaea Weatherstone shares her experience in making her priestess vows to Brigid and what her practice of "Smooring the Fire" entails and means to her.

American Witch: In her Jan. 1 post, "On Writing the First Rionnard Tri-Nard..." Poet Annie Finch tells how she recently composed a poem in this complex ancient Celtic form. Great inspiration for Brigid/Imbolc!

Hecate: More inspiration: Blogger Hecate begins her Jan. 22 post, "Exchanging Seeds":

I can almost feel Imbolc stirring itself from deep inside my Mother and beginning to rise through the root-chilling red clay and rock-hard frozen surface of my tiny bit of Earth. I am longing like a thirsty woman for a taste of that icy water of inspiration, for all that I know that Imbolc is often considered a fire festival. Imbolc is a time to honor inspiration and the plain old hard work of forging new tools, as well as a time to commit to a warming that we can, often, only believe, rather than sense.

She goes on to share that her preparations for Imbolc/Brigid include poetry, seeds, and places she wants to do ritual. She closes with a question for you.

Communing with Goddess and God: In a Jan 23 post, "Of Imbolc and the Rudeness of Jonquils," blogger perditax traces the etymology of "Imbolc," and its association with sheep, its winter relevance, and how she imagines people will observe it, including something about "chubby rodents."

The Village Witch: In her Jan. 21 post n the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times, "Brigid’s Coming! Hide Your Hearts," Byron Ballard reveals that the Irish Goddess/Saint is very popular in the Southern U.S. area where she lives and then gives a brief history of Brigid.

Pagan Godspell: In her Jan. 16 post, "Networking Pagan and Plain," Ruby Sara blogs about Imbolc preparations. She then writes that she plans to blog more about Paganism and simplicity in dress, lifestyle, etc.

Veleda: Max Dashu reviews Ben Whitmore’s Trials of the Moon: Reopening the Case for Historical Witchcraft: A critique of Ronald Hutton's The Triumph of the Moon, A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft in her Jan. 21 post titled, "Reopening the Case for Historical Witchcraft." This in-depth and fascinating post calls into question many of Hutton’s assertions.

Huffington Post: Laura Amazzone introduces Huff Post readers to "Goddess Durga: A Divine Female Role Model for Our Times?" in her Jan. 21 post in the Religion section.

Walking on Fire: Blogger Myfanwy, who up to this point has written mostly Jewish material, announced in her January 17 post, "Radical Transformation," that she will no longer be writing her "weekly Torah commentary from a witch’s perspective" because "The Torah cycle belongs to a patriarchal system I have rejected." She will instead be focusing on "ancient Pagan Europe and reclaiming the women’s mystery tradition of my Celtic ancestors."

Mary Magdalene Within: Joan Norton’s Jan. 5 post, "Inner Magi" tells of the "colorful Druid Magi philosphers visiting the baby Jesus on Epiphany." She writes that the Druid Magi "follow the five pointed star, the one which the Goddess directs." There’s more on background and symbolism, along with great pics.

Queen of Heaven: In her Jan. 18 post, blogger Carisa shares the "World’s Oldest Song,"— that is the oldest song that for which we have the original written notation and lyrics. It is apparently in Ugaritic (ANE language) and dates to c.400 BCE. It tells of the marriage of Goddess Nikkal to a moon god. Carisa gives more details, 2 versions from You Tube, and a link to the sheet music. I think I heard at least one Hebrew cognate in the first You Tube video shown, a word that sounds like the Hebrew "kallah," meaning bride. In her Jan. 13 post, "Virgin of Guadalupe, Spain" Carisa wonders if this Black Madonna is an additional source for the Mexican "Lady of Guadalupe." This extensive and interesting post goes into detail about various European Black Madonnas and their possible relationship to other goddesses. With great pics.
Glaux’s Nest: Did you know that in Nashville USA there’s a Parthenon resembling the original Greek one? I didn’t until I read blogger Glaux’s Jan. 10 post, "Photos from the Nashvile Parthenon." Yes, lots of great photos!

Knitting, Sex and God: In her Jan. 10 post, "Yule Shawl," Anna in Glasgow shows the shawls she knit for Yule. Her Jan. 8 post, "Sabbat Shawls," shows those she’s knitted for other Pagan sabbats.

The Retiring Mind: Wendy Griffin’s Jan. 15 post, "Paying Attention," is about trying to respond to a phone Gallup Poll whose questions, including those about religion, were rather restricting.

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


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

RCGI Seasonal Salon - Winter Issue

The Winter issue of Seasonal Salon, the online publication of the Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess-International, is ready to warm your body and spirit with these articles, fiction, and poems:

In "I Don't Remember Our First Hello" Bellezza Squillace writes about coming to terms with the changes brought about by the realization that her mother is getting closer to death. Bellezza writes that "like her, Earth mother faces climate change" and other changes. She compares how adult children handle changes related to parents' aging with how organizations handle issues related to changes in Mother Earth.

"The Lady on the Throne," by Sid Reger discusses the myths surrounding the constellation Cassiopeia, questioning whether she has always been considered a minor constellation when compared, for example, to the Big and Little Dippers. Sid decodes the mythology about Cassiopeia, revealing how her star pattern is connected with ancient symbols.

"Sacred Self Care," by Laura Keefe (lu) has suggestions to help you to avoid winter "burn-out." She includes activities and rituals inspired by the Goddesses Isis, Mokosh, Gaia, and Amaterasu.

Nacy VanArsdall's fiction, "Threads I," is about two crone-age women who wonder if they're falling in love. . . to be continued (and I bet you'll be glad!)

This issue's poems are "Winter's Sleep" by MG; and "The Balance Between" and "the crest of a solstic eclipse" both by Boye-Ziji Salaam.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Events Coil: Jan. 19 - Feb. 28

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 USA. All times local. Times for computer/Internet/Web events are given for the place of origin. Events lasting more than 1 day are bolded. When listing events for the same date we have tried to list those that occur first, taking into account time zone differences. If there is a difference between our listings and the listings on the link, assume their web page is correct as details may have changed since we listed from it. Ongoing events are listed after the dated events. The next Events Coil is planned for mid-February and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through late 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 - Feb. 20, Fridays & Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. "Maya and Me" a play written and directed by Kay Dixon with some inspiration from Goddess/feminist spirituality, Broom St. Theatre, Madison WI

Jan. 19, time tba, Special Full Moon Circle, Red Tent Women's Circles, Canberra AUSTRALIA

Jan. 19, 7 p.m.,
Full Moon Ceremony of the Presence of the Lady of Avalon, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 21, 7 p.m. Ancient Treasures of African Women with Max Dashu, Long Beach CA

Jan. 22, Noon,
Temple Decoration for Brigit ; doors open 6: 30 p.m., event 7 p.m. "Invocation, Transdance, and Spiritual Journeys" with Max Dashu, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Conference on Current Pagan Studies 2011, Selena Fox and Patrick McCollum keynoting, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont CA

Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m., Women's Ritual Group, WATER, Silver Spring MD

Jan. 28, 4 p.m.
Temple Dressing for Imbolc, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 29,10 a.m.-7 p.m. Imbolc, workshops and rituals, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve near Barneveld WI

Jan. 29, gather 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m. , doors lock 7:15 p.m.,
Temple Holy Day: Brigit, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 29, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.,
Brigid, Reclaiming, San Francisco CA

Jan. 30, doors open 13.00 uur, ceremony begins 14.00 uur,
Imbolc Ceremonie, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillegom NEDERLAND

Jan. 30, 1 p.m. Imbolc, Goddess Temple Inc., Lakewood OH

Jan. 30, 11 a.m. Sunday Goddess Service honoring Brigit, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 31, 7 p.m."The Body of Woman as Sacred Metaphor" with Joan Marler, Sonoma County Pagan Network, Santa Rosa CA

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

Feb. 1,
Deadline for proposals for ASWM Midwest Symposium, Association for the Study of Women & Mythology, Madison WI

Feb. 2, 7 p.m.,
Circle of Selene, Red Tent Women's Circles, Canberra AUSTRALIA

Feb. 3, 7 p.m.
Circle of Diana, Red Tent Women's Circles, Canberra AUSTRALIA

Feb. 3, doors open 13.00 uur, ceremony begins 14.00 uur,
DonKere Maanviering (Dark Moon) ceremony, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillegom NEDERLAND

Feb. 3, 2 p.m. New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

b. 3, time tba, Temple Dedication Ceremony, Bridgette, Chinese New Year, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco CA

Feb. 4-6, Candlemas: Feast of the Sacred Flame, Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle, Boulder Creek CA

Feb. 5, 7 p.m.Lammas, PaGaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains NSW, AUSTRALIA

Feb. 6, gather 11:30 a.m., ritual Noon; Imbolc/Candlemas, Connect DC, Washington DC

Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m. Goddess Temple Moon Lodge, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 11-13, 5th Annual Brighid Festival, with Mary Condren, Th.D, et. al, Circle Women's Centre, Brescia University College, London Ontario CANADA

Feb. 18, 7 p.m. Brigit's Bardic Night, Sonoma County Pagan Network, Santa Rosa CA

Feb. 18-21, Sacred Indoor Fire Circle, Circle Sanctuary near Barneveld WI

Feb. 18-21, Pantheacon, "Walking the Walk,"
San Jose CA

Feb. 19, 11 a.m. Ceremonial Goddess Healing Day, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND



(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.
Asheville NC: Sundays, 10 a.m drumming, 10:30 a.m. Service, Morning Devotionals, Mother Grove Goddess Temple.
Berkeley CA: last Sunday of month, 5 p.m., East Bay Goddess Rosary, University Lutheran Chapel.
Canton CT: Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Services, Women's Temple: In Her Name

Carson City NV: Mondays 6 p.m. Women's Spirituality Studies with Mama J, The Sacred Circle of Mothers, Maidens, Crones.
Charleston SC:
1st Tuesday of month, Women's Circle with Carolyn Rivers, The Sophia Institute
Geyersville CA:
Sunday Services 2-4 p.m.
Temple of Isis
Grants Pass OR: Sunday Services; doors open 10:45 a.m., service starts 11 a.m., doors lock 11:10 a.m. Southern Oregon Temple of the Goddess
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 10 a.m. inward, meditative; 2nd service at 11 a.m., dancing, drumming, singing; see dates for guest speakers,
Goddess Temple of Orange County
Palenville NY: Saturdays, 5 p.m. training sessions; Sundays 4-6 p.m, open classes, 7 p.m. Pagan Circles, Maetreum of Cybele.
San Francisco CA
: Wednesdays,
Christian Goddess Rosary, Ebenezer Lutheran Church; Fridays evenings at various locations, Woman's Spirituality group.
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, "Celebrating Cosmogenesis" a course for people in both Southern and Northern Hemispheres, with Australian author Glenys Livingstone

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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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Wendy Griffin named Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary

Effective today, January 1, 2011, Wendy Griffin, Ph.D. will be Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary The appointment was announced by the seminary in a press release datelined December 30 from Columbia, South Carolina. The rest of this post is slightly edited from that release:

"I am thrilled, simply thrilled, that Wendy is coming aboard as our new Academic Dean! I cannot think of a better person to lead Cherry Hill Seminary towards accreditation," said Aline O'Brien, Chair of the Board of Directors. "At precisely the right time in the Seminary's growth, Wendy brings her unique combination of academic rigor and priestesshood to serve our maturing Pagan movement."

Wendy Griffin, Ph.D., is an academic by profession, and a sociologist by training, with a Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary social sciences. She is Professor Emerita and Chair of the Department of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach, where she has taught for 26 years. Perhaps the first American academic to be openly Pagan, Griffin has published numerous academic articles on Pagan women's groups and is the editor of Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity and Empowerment, a 13-essay survey of contemporary feminist Witchcraft and Goddess spirituality by British and American writers. She is a founding co-chair of the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group in the American Academy of Religion, and serves on the editorial board of Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. Griffin recently completed work as co-editor of the first scholarly series in Pagan Studies published through an academic press, AltaMira.

Griffin said of her appointment, "I am excited about being part of Cherry Hill Seminary and making a contribution to the growing reputation and professionalization of the Seminary. When I entered the academic world as a brand new Ph.D. 26 years ago, I had no idea I would be able to end my career helping to build an institution that would serve such a diverse and committed international community."

As Academic Dean, Griffin will guide and direct the academic life of Cherry Hill Seminary, including work towards eventual accreditation of the institution. "Wendy's lifelong career experience will be invaluable as Cherry Hill Seminary continues to build and strengthen our program," said Holli Emore, Executive Director.

Cherry Hill Seminary provides education for Pagan ministry and studies,including master's degrees, certificates and practical training, through its distance education program.

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