Fiercely defending, bravely exploring Goddess and spiritual feminisms
Saturday, February 26, 2011
In Memoriam: Merlin Stone 1931-2011
We mourn the death of Merlin Stone, best known to many as author of the important early feminist spirituality book, When God Was A Woman. I found out about her death through a post on one of my Yahoogroups. According to the Wikipedia entry about her, she died on February 23. You can find other information and a link to a Facebook notice on The Wild Hunt (I don't have a Facebook account). Other memoriams thus far are on One Witch's Way and Hecate.
May she rest in the arms of the Goddess and be renewed.
A look at some posts of interest from our blogroll and sometimes beyond:
Goddess in a Teapot: Writing from New England, in a Feb. 13 post Carolyn L. Boyd tells why 6 weeks of shoveling snow leads to apocalyptic thoughts for some people, but not for her. In "Apocalypse...Not So Much," she points out that many goddesses seem to be "the anti-apocalypse" and asks:
What if we had not grown up in a apocalypse-obsessed society in which the end of time was virtually assumed? What if we truly believed that solutions to environmental disaster and non-violent answers to conflict would be found because they must be found in order for life to continue, as it inevitably must? What if apocalypse was not an option? What would that world look like?
The Village Witch: In her Feb. 13 post in the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times, "Forgive Me, Spring Sprang All Over Me," Byron Ballard writes of the first glimpses of spring, a Temple move, switching computer systems, coming down with the flu, and an altered-state experience involving eating fried chicken with Hosni Mubarik.
Veleda: In her Feb. 3 post, "Anishinaabe Medicine Women in Michigan" Max Dashu explains how masculine default language is a stumbling block to research with a example that is both hilarious and disconcerting. She goes on to retell several stories about the Ojibwa (Anishinaabe) that her research turned up.
Brigid's Forge: In her Feb. 12 post, "Lightening Up," Lunaea Weatherstone writes of the message she received from the Goddess after asking for help before a move. She also describes what she did in response to the message.
The Wild Hunt: Among the many items of interest that Jason Pitzl-Waters reports in his Feb. 23 post, "Pagan Community Notes," is that Selena Fox joined the Madison WI protesters after returning from PantheaCon. (I thought I spotted her on MSNBC footage...) With quotes from Selena. Jason would like to hear from other Pagans at the protests.
The blog formerly titled "Cosette from Jupiter" is now simply "From Jupiter" —with Cosette still the blogger.
I am trying to keep up with the morphing of Gorgon Resurfaces (LaughingMedusa) to Medusa Musing (gorgon50) and now it seems back again to Gorgon Resurfaces (LaughingMedusa). When compiling this post I first when to Medusa Musing, which now warns of adult content (as I'm well over 18, I bravely clicked to enter). This lead me not to anything x-rated but to links, one of which went back to Gorgon Resurfaces, which has the most current posts.
It sometimes happens in Blogsville, that a blog retains the same name but the blog's content changes so that it no longer is in a category related to this blog. We remove those blogs from our blogroll. It also sometimes happens that people don't post on their blogs for long periods of time. Hoping they'll come back and also knowing that even the past posts can be valuable, we usually keep them on our blogroll for at least a year. If you stopped blogging for a while and your blog used to be on our blogroll but no longer is and you plan to start (or are) blogging again, please leave a comment to let us know.
Did we miss an item you think is important? We'd like to know about it, so please leave it as a comment.
At the end of this post is a trailer for a documentary, "Kypris - The Aphrodite of Cyprus Revealed," still in production. Thanks to Carisa, who posted about this yesterday on her blog, The Queen of Heaven, which brought this to my attention.
The text accompanying the You Tube video says, in part:
Aphrodite remains for the majority of us the Great Unknown Goddess, as we have so wrongly identified her with commercialized sex and beauty. The documentary attempts to reveal and reinstate the essence and truth of this universal female principle, as the sound of the primordial drum vibrates deeper and deeper into the ancient stones and ground of the temple, taking us back along a continuum of time when the Kypris kept changing shapes and forms under the influence of neighboring civilizations.
To me just this 7-minute preview is very moving. It includes the Ma Gaia frame drummers and artists, scholars, actors and other Cypriots. The documentary is being produced by Tetraktys Films, in co-production with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus.
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-March and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through early May. 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
World Wide Web Online, "Celebrating Cosmogenesis" a course for people in both Southern and Northern Hemispheres, with Australian author Glenys Livingstone. Online, Alternate Fridays, see website for times of livePodcast:"Talking to Goddess," interviews, music, & more, from Gaia's Garden, Kew East, Victoria, Australia. 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. Originating in California. 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.
The Maetreum of Cybele today posted a response to a recent New York Times article about the Goddess organization's 5-year legal battle with the Town of Catskill, NY. The Maetreum, which has been granted a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt status as a religious organization by the federal government, terms the NY Times article, "excellent," but wishes to address comments by Daniel Vincelette quoted in the Times article. Vincelette is the lawyer representing the Town. The Times quotes Vincelette as saying that the Town has not questioned the legitimacy of the Maetreum's religion. In its response, the Maetreum takes issue with Vincelette's assertion. According to the Maetreum:
In motion after motion for the past three years and in each application for property tax exemption before that Mr. Vincelette has done exactly that. Over and over he has challenged our very basis as a religion including in a marathon deposition of myself of over four hours where he even questioned, line by line, every penny in our financial statements and that we have not published in book form our thealogy. He called our legitimacy into question because we do not have a "Sunday School" program/. He has required me personally to provide proof of my own religious credentials over and over and over. Now he claims the refusal to grant our exemption is solely because our property is not used for "religious purposes" except incidentally, that it is merely a residence. Mr. Vincelette has made these claims to two other reporters, none of them bought it because all three have conducted their interviews on our property. They saw for themselves the nature of our Phrgianum, they learned first hand we continually take in women in need. This does not happen in a mere residence.
The Maetreum article goes on to describe the construction of a permanent temple on the organization's property, of Goddess statues that are present in the temple and their inn, and of actions the Maetreum has taken which counter Vincelette's claims. To get to the Maetreum article go to gallae.org, scroll down a bit and you'll see the link. The page linked to also has other updates and documents about the case.
"Do you define yourself by what you put in your mouth?" asks Granny Burton in an article in this issue of Goddess Pagesentitled, "Be Kind to Yourself: Stop Worrying About Your Stomach." Granny urges us to "eat what you want" so after finishing the piece I ate some chocolate ice cream.
Other articles in this issue are:
"Elusive Egyptian Goddesses: Seshat the Lady of Numbers" by Lesley Jackson, who writes:
Like women, goddesses have not escaped being stereotyped but not all will fit the maiden-mother-crone model nor are they all earth focused.
She then describes the Goddess Seshat, whose name in English means "female scribe."
Susun S. Weed seeks to set the record straight about "Glorious Goldenrod," which, she says, doesn't cause allergies because what pollen goldenrod has is carried by insects, not the wind. Included are directions for drying goldenrod flowers and roots, making goldenrod vinegar and tincture, and a discussion of their possible uses.
In "Meditations on 21 Women, Part 2" (part 1 is in the autumn issue) Barbara Barnett writes about women placed on the paths of the kabbalistic Tree of Life by another author.
" Nevern: Sacred Site of Ceridwen" by Becky Thomas is about a visit to a Welsh village and discovering a story that has Christian and Pagan versions.
In "Small Steps Towards a Large Solution," Brenda Lightfeather Marroy writes that the "first and most basic step" to stopping "the downward spiral of our civilization" is being connected to "goddess mother." She tells how this conection has changed her life.
Rachael Clyne explores a wide variety of spiritual experiences in her article, "Spiritual Highs and Lows."
This issue's fiction includes "Loving Brynhild - Part 3" from a novel by Clarise Samuels, and "Transmutation: An Alchemical Fairy Tale" a short story by Barbara Ardinger.
Poetry includes: "First Full Moon after Mabon" by Meggie Hiley, "Goddess of Morning Light" by Dora Wright; "Holle" by Annelinde Metzer, and "Loss" by Doreen Hopwood.
Reviews include: Paul Williment's review of Brighid and Me: Experiences with the Goddess by Hollee Swan; Marie Ziolkowski's review of In the Heart of the Fire, a novel by Cerridwen Fallingstar; Sue Oxley's review of The Dark Man: The shadow that follows us all by Deborah Wells; and Vanda Lloyd's review of the Glastonbury Goddess Conference 2010.
Letter of Protest About Changes to Goddess Sanctuaries in Germany
The current issue of Goddess Pages contains a letter from Dagmar Margotsdotter-Fricke of Germany protesting the proposed alteration (and possible destruction) of a Goddess sanctuary dating back about 2,000 years, and the proposed alteration of an even older Goddess sanctuary. Dagmar writes (in part):
In the middle of a beautiful hill in the Eifel in Germany lays the small borough of NETTERSHEIM. Three goddesses have been worshipped here since living memory, in Latin “Deae Matrone”, the so called “three matrons”. The Romans came to this area about 2,000 years ago and built many hundreds of stone monuments in reverence of the Godesses, the mothers and keepers (or guardians) of the land about whom they learned.
Dagmar then gives this link , whose text is in German. But even if you don't speak German, it's worth a visit--it has photos of the sites she writes about (and you can always use translation sites, such as that provided by Google.) Dagmar continues:
Some of you have learned about these from a lecture given by Gudrun Nositschka during the International Goddess Congress 2010 held in the Hambacher Palace. About 800 stone testimonies of the Goddess adoration, the so called Matrone Stones have remained until today. About 40 of them are in the Bonn Cathedral Crypt. It is no coincidence that this huge church was exactly built above them to hide them. Most of the Matron monuments are kept locked up in the federal land archives. Why are they kept under lock and key? For a long time we have asked ourselves whether maybe women are not supposed to learn about this great divine female worship. On top of this there can be found in NETTERSHEIM something that is worldwide unique: the so called “GÖRRESBURG”, a prehistoric sanctuary set on a hill. When the Romans discovered this Goddesses of the land sanctuary they lined it with stones. Within this sanctuary they built 3 stone rooms (lat. cellae) and erected many Matron monuments (today replicas stand in their place). The mayor of NETTERSHEIM wants to erect a huge 8 meter high cube in the middle of this sanctuary.
Be sure to read the rest of Dagmar's letter (click on this tinyurl link or go to goddess-pages.co.uk and scroll down to link on bottom of page for the very long url link), which includes links for more info.
We'll publish our usual summary of Goddess Pages current issue in a few days. But this information seemed to have some urgency.
Registration is now open for an international conference on matriarchal cultures, both ancient and contemporary, in St. Gallen, Switzerland, May 12-15. Sponsored by the International Academy Hagia, with the theme, "The Time is Ripe," the conference will focus on insights from matriarchal studies and perspectives on matriarchal politics. It will also mark the grand opening of the MatriArchiv and the 70th birthday of Academy Hagia founder Heidi Goettner-Abendroth. (NOTE: Many English-speaking Goddess scholars don't use the term "matriarchy" because they feel it erroneously implies that the cultures referred to are exact reversals of patriarchy whereas anthropology and archeology reveal that the "mothers" don't "rule" but rather share power in these gender-equitable cultures that emphasize peaceful rather than violent resolution of conflict. Other terms for these societies have been proposed, for example by Riane Eisler in The Chalice and the Blade, and by Max Dashu. Academy Hagia, however,prefers to reclaim the term "matriarchy" to refer to these egalitarian cultures.)
Conferences speakers announced thus far are from at least 10 nations and include: Barbara Mann (Seneca Iroquois, USA), Marina Meneses (Juchitan, Mexico), Letecia Layson (Philippines), Bernedette Muthien (South Africa), Irene Mariam Tazi-Preve (Austria), Marguerite Rigoglioso (USA), Veronika Bennholdt Thompsen (Germany), Genevieve Vaughn (Italy/USA), Heide Goettner-Abendroth (Germany), Claudia von Werlhof (Austria) Ina Praetorius (Switzerland), Christa Mueller (Germany), Katie Hoffner (USA), Angela Cuevas de Dolmetch (Colombia), Siegran Laurent (Germany), Kathy Jones (Great Britian), Lara Mallian (Germany), Johannes Heimrath (Germany), Lydia Ruyle (USA), and Lin Daniels (USA).
The conference with end with a procession through St. Gallen led by Cecile Keller (Switzerland).
Presentation Proposals Open for Pagan Spirit Gathering in Illinois
Proposals for workshops, rituals, concerts, and other presentations are now being accepted from people who are registered for Circle Sanctuary's Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG), June 19-26. This year the event will be held about 80 miles west of downtown Chicago, according to a news release issued by Circle Sanctuary on Feb. 2. A weeklong "celebration of Summer Solstice & Community" PSG 2011 will be held at Stonehouse Park, a rural historical re-enactment campground near Earlville in northern Illinois. PSG founder Selena Fox comments:
We haven't been this close to Chicago since PSG 1983 when our site was on private land along the Rock River. This is the first time that PSG will be in Illinois, and we have been getting very positive responses to the news from Illinois Pagans as well as Pagans from around the country.
The Circle Sanctuary release describes the site as a 50-acre wooded park with plenty of level, shaded camping areas, a creek for wading, a sandy beach and pond for swimming, a large barn for indoor concerts and talks, plus a campstore, showerhouse, and other buildings. Cell phone service works at this site and there also is wi-fi.
In addition to Selena Fox, plannedfeatured presenters include Ruth Barrett, Falcon River, Raven Grimassi, Stephanie Taylor, Patrick McCollum, Nora Cedarwind Young, and Japanese shamanic percussionist Shibaten. PSG planners expect to announce more authors, musicians, and other presenters in coming weeks.To register, go here. Besides presentation proposals, vendor applications are also being accepted from registrants.
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