Saturday, April 28, 2012

Buzz Coil: April 2012

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

The Village Witch: The evolving story of the effort to preserve separation of church and state in schools in the mountains of North Carolina is continued in Byron Ballard’s three recent posts: April 13, "Buncombe County’s Board of Education ‘s Policy 652: the end is simply the beginning, writ large" ; April 14, "Buncombe County Board of Education’s Policy 652: and so we conclude" ; and April 24, "Just when you thought it Was Safe," about discovering that though the situation in county schools, had, in a sense been fvarably resolved, a similar situation is simmering in city schools.

Feminism and Religion: In this blog of many authors and many paths, in an April 23 post, "To A Friend, On the Death of Her Daughter," Carol P. Christ, answers the question, " What would your thealogy say to that?" when asked how she would respond to the teen suicide of a friend’s daughter.
Cynthia Garrity Bond’s April 2o post "Presumed Guilty by the Sin of Silence..." examines the Roman Catholic Church’s clamping down on women religious (aka nuns) 40 years after Vatican II’s more liberating changes. She point’s out that these changes are being put "under the knife by Pope Benedict ane his desire to turn back time to a medieval paradigm of control over women religious."
In her April 18 post, "Reproductive Justice," Gina Messina-Dysert shares her thoughts following participation in a formal discussion of contraception at Loyola Marymount University. Among her thoughts, this:

"The denial of reproductive justice in the Catholic Church is a symptom of
 the larger rape culture. When I use this phrase I am referring to a culture that not only perpetrates rape, but all forms of sexualized violence against women and girls.
  The denial of reproductive justice to women is indeed a form of sexualized violence."
Hail Columbia: On April 12, blogger Literata discusses the Roman Catholic Church’s latest (to me rather convoluted) plans to further limit health care to American women, in her post "Catholic ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ this Summer." Literata’s two April 18 posts, "Chicago 50 Update," and "Catholic Bishops complaints ignore legal history," describe other attempts to erase the separation of church and state in the U.S. The latter post describes an activities directed at Pagans, in particular.

The Wild Hunt: In his April 20 post, "Rep. Mary Franson Fights the Green Dragon," Jason Pitzl-Waters looks into Rep. Franson’s claim that Earth Day "is a celebration of a Pagan holiday," along with a documentary called "Resisting the Green Dragon," and other activities and assertions by radical right Christians who see environmentalism as "a battle between competing religions."

Hecatedemeter: In her April 20 post,
"Thursday Evening Potpourri, blogger Hecate reveals that she will be a regular columnist for the magazine, Witches & Pagans. That post also contains references to a previous post in which she suggested that Earth Day be "A New Sabbat," and quotes an Earth prayer. Her April 26 post discusses "A Ceremony for the Worms."

Veleda: Max Dashu has posted a 3-part series on "Notre Dame de la Vie: Our Lady of Life." Beginning April 20, the series tells the fascinating history of a stone carving of a Goddess on the French side of the Alps at Saint-Martin de Bellevillle, estimated to have been carved "in the early centures bec." The series includes discussion of changes to the statue made by the Catholic church and others, especially in the mid 1800s, and the relationship/similarity of Notre Dame de la Vie to other goddesses. Parts 2 and 3 were posted on April 23. With many pics.

Way of the Rabbit: Yeshe Rabbit’s April 16 post,
"Hometown Shrines:Ocean Goddess" takes us to visit the ocean and a shrine to the Ocean Goddess in Bolinas, CA (don’t miss the video!) This is part of Rabbit’s Hometown Shrine project, which she invites you to participate.

The Goddess House: In an April 12 post, Blogger A’st Moon writes about
"Tanit of Carthage," also a Phenician goddess and at one time honored throughout the surrounding areas.
Broomstick Chronicles: Congratulations to Macha NightMare, aka Aline O’Brien, who shares in her April 11 post the press release announcing that she has received a
Patrick McCollum Foundation grant in support of her work in interfaith relations.

Dirt Magic:  In her April 19 post,
"Requiem for Isis," Starhawk memorializes her dear friend Isis, recalling how their friendship in high school, college, and up to the present.
This is Not an Owl: After attending a Sunday Service at the Goddess Temple of Orange County honoring the Goddess Sybele (aka Cybele),on March 25 Tracie Welser writes this
"Open Letter to the Goddess Temple of Orange County," expressing her disappointment and taking issue with the Temple’s policy regarding M to F trans women. When I visited the blog, there were 85 comments to this post, including several from Ava, GTOC presiding priestess. 
Communing With Goddess: On April 13, blogger firefox712002 writes about women’s
"Circles," including their growth, changees and sometimes dissolution. She asserts that "circles don’t really end," and describes how changes in her current group enabled changing n "archenemy" into a friend.

Blog o’ Gnosis: In her April 16 post,
"On Turning Fifty," Anne Hill terms this her "year of gratitude‘ and reviews her life up to this point.


Friday, April 27, 2012

In Memoriam: Katrina 'Foxglove' Kessler, 1989-2012

We join the Pagan community in mourning the death on April 21 of Katrina "Foxglove" Kessler in a car accident in San Diego. She was host of the TV series "Foxglove's Lost and Found." Previously with the World of Witches Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, Foxglove recently moved to California and was active with Pagan groups there. A Wake will be held at Thomas Funeral Home in Canton, Massachusetts, Sunday, 4-8 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held 10 a.m. the morning of Beltane Eve. An on-air memorial is scheduled for May 4 on Pagans Tonight Radio at 9 p.m. ET. (This information comes from a more extensive April 27 post on The Wild Hunt.)
UPDATE:: 4/27, 10:46 p.m. More information about funeral arrangements can be found at the Dockray and Thomas Funeral Home website.
May she rest in the arms of the Goddess and be renewed.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

In Memoriam: Christian Feminist Scholar Jane Schaberg

We mourn the passing of Christian feminist scholar, author, and poet Jane Schaberg, who died April 17. She was professor of religious studies and women's studies at the University of Detroit Mercy, and author of The Illegitimacy of Jesus, The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene, in which she related quotes from Virginia Woolf to her research on Mary Magdalene, and Mary Magdalene Understood. A more extensive obituary has been posted by Kathy Schiffer at Patheos.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

GUEST POST: Kohenet Institute's 4th Cohort Begins This Summer

by Rabbi Jill Hammer, Ph.D

I want to let the community know that the Kohenet Institute will be beginning its fourth cohort this summer at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center from July 30 to August 5.The Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute reclaims shamanic models of sacred service based on Jewish women's spiritual leadership roles throughout the centuries, from biblical prophetess-priestesses to Talmudic healers and magicians to kabbalistic dream interpreters to modern feminist ritualists.

By opening to the Goddess in Jewish sources, in the world around us, and in our own lives, we evolve an embodied, earth-based, and feminist Jewish practice. The Kohenet training program uses prayer, ritual, text study, and experiential learning to give women tools of spiritual leadership they can use in their own communities. The Kohenet Institute meets twice a year for a total of four week-long sessions over the course of two years. Our curriculum is based on priestess-archetypes such as Seeker, Shrinekeeper, Wise Woman, Mother, Prophetess, and Shamaness. For each priestess-archetype, we explore myth, history, personal experience, ceremony and spirit journey. Our initial program is four week-long retreats, with phone calls and on-line discussion and assignments in between sessions. This training program concludes with an initiatory ritual. Upon completion of the initial program, students may enroll in an advanced program that provides in-depth training in ritual leadership, and receive smicha (ordination) as a Hebrew priestess.

Our community of Kohenet sisters spans the entire country and is a rich source of support and learning. Our core faculty has extensive experience in ritual facilitation; Jewish sacred text; lifecycle ritual; prayer; and earth-based feminist theology. We are also supported by guest faculty and interns. We have yearly programs for alumnae, and our graduates maintain close contact with the Institute and the Kohenet network. We are planning a Kohenet trip to Israel for the summer of 2013.

If you are interested, please feel free to contact me through our website at

Many blessings for a blossoming spring,

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

For Poetry Month

(In observance of National Poetry Month in the U.S. , here is one of my poems/invocations from my book, Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century.)

Waning Moon Invocation

On the wings of the waning moon,
we see the spiral arms of our galaxy,
and you, Goddess, are there.
On the wings of the waning moon,
we sense the spiral within us,
and you, Goddess, are there.
In the smallest of particles, you shine.
In waves of light, you flow.
In the dying of the darkest hole,
you bear the spark of new life.

Slowly fading crescent,
Honored Crone of change
Ancient One of transition,
open our minds to your wisdom
and our hearts to your love.
On the wings of the waning moon,
be with us here now.

Copyright 1997 by Judith Laura. All rights reserved. Permission given for use in ritual without further inquiry. Reprinted in A Pagan's Muse (Kensington/Citadel 2003). Appeared in slightly different form in Goddess 2000 Project's "Dancing the Goddess Home" Ritual.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Events Coil: April 21-May 19

As far 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 unless otherwise noted. Events lasting more than 1 day are bolded. When listing events for the same date we try 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 and events that occur on a regular day each month or week are listed after the dated events. 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.
April 21-22, 7 p.m. Mask-Making Workshop and New Moon Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

April 21, time tba,
New Moon Celebration, Maetreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

April 22, 9:30 a.m.- 6 p.m., Earth Day Festival, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Horeb WI

April 22, 11 a.m., Earth Day Services, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

April 22, 12:30 p.m.,
Earth Day Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

April 28-29,
Celebration of Spring (Beltane), Maetreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

April 28, 12:30 p.m.,
Beltane, SF Reclaiming, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco CA

April 28, 6:30 p.m. Beltane/First Bloods, Circle of Aradia, Topanga CA 

April 28, 8 p.m. Beltane, Caya Coven-East Bay, San Francisco CA

April 29, time tba, Beltane Ceremonie, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillegom NEDERLAND

April 29, gather 11:30 a.m., ritual Noon, Beltane/MayDay, Connect DC, Washington DC

April 29, 3 p.m. Beltane Service and Potluck, Goddess Temple Inc., Cleveland Metroparks, Lakewood OH

April 29, 11 a.m.
Beltane Service, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

April 29, gather 3:30 p.m., ritual 4 p.m., Beltane, North Bay Reclaiming, Sebastopol CA 

May 1, 7 p.m. Beltane, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

May 1, 7 p.m. Circle of Craft, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 3, 7 p.m. 
Full Moon Celebration, "Beltane Flowering," Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Horeb WI

May 4-6.  Beltane, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, Horeb WI

May 4, doors open 6:30 p.m., event 7 p.m.,  Full Moon Ceremony, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 5, 7 p.m. Samhain Celebration, Pagaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains AUSTRALIA

May 5, 1 p.m. Beltane, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

May 5, begins 3 p.m., ritual 6 p.m., drum circle 7 p.m. Beltaine Festival, Temple of the Great Goddess, Staten Island NY

May 5, 5 p.m., Goddess Meetup and Full Moon Celebration, Maetreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

May 6, time tba, Beltane Gathering, Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle, Carson City NV

May 10, Matriarchal Studies Day, speakers and panels, San Francisco CA

May 11-12, Conference of the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, "Creating the Chalice," San Francisco CA

May 12, 14.00 h. (2 p.m.) Menarche Celebration, Rainbow Moon Lodge (link in French). Montreal CANADA

May 12, 5:30 p.m. Celebrate Goddess Beltane and Venus, Daughters of the Goddess, Alameda CA

May 13, 11 a.m. Mothers Day Service, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 18-20, Gathering of Priestesses and Goddess Women, Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess International, Wisconsin Dells WI

May 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. "Lady of Ten Thousand Names," Song Workship, Mountain Light Sanctuary, near Asheville NC



Adelaide, 2nd Tuesday of month, 7:30 p.m
. Goddess Devotional Service, The Goddess House.


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


Solderhamm, weekdays, Noon-6 p.m,Godinne Templet Open; Mondays p.m. meditation, prayer, conversation.


Annapolis MD, Friday of each month closest to full moon, 7 p.m. Women's Full Moon Circle, UUCA
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.
Carson City, NV, Mondays 6 p.m.,
Women's Spirituality Studies with Mama J, Sisters of the Sacred Circle.
Concord MA, 1st Monday 7-9 p.m.Women's Circles' other ongoing groups include Demeter & Persephone's Circles for mothers and daughters, Council of Mother Dears; Menopause as Spiritual Journey; Menarche for mothers and daughters; Goddess Groove Drum Circle, at
Women's Well.
Geyserville CA, Sunday Services 2-4 p.m.
Temple of Isis.
Irvine CA, Sunday Services, 1st service at 9:30 a.m., inward meditation; 2nd service at 11 a.m.; see dates for Goddesses being honored, guest speakers, and other information about individual services; Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. "Spiritual Services: Goddesses and Heroes," Spiritual Life Club, . Saturdays 12-5 p.m. Temple Open for Women's Meditation, Goddess Temple of Orange County.
Palenville NY, Sundays 5 sessions; Sundays 7 p.m. Pagan Circles,
Maetreum of Cybele.
San Francisco CA, Sundays 10:30 a.m. Liturgy of the Divine Feminine; Wednesdays 7 p.m. Goddess Rosary Meditation Ebenezer/HerChurch Lutheran .
Seattle WA, 2nd Sunday, doors open 10 a.m., Goddess Service 10:30 a.m., Gaia's Temple.
Staten Island NY, closest Saturday to full moon 7 p.m. Women's Full Moon Drumming; 3rd Saturday 7 p.m. Goddess devotional service; Goddess Temple of Staten Island.

Course: "Celebrating Cosmogenesis," for people in both Southern and Northern Hemispheres, with Australian author Glenys Livingstone, originates in NSW, Australia. Join online at any time.
Podcasts:times tba,
"Talking to Goddess," interviews, music, and more from Gaia's Garden, originates in Melbourne, Australia.
Podcasts: Wednesdays 6 p.m. PT,
"Voices of the Sacred Feminine," interviews with well-known Goddessians and Pagans hosted by Karen Tate, Blog Talk Radio. Originates in California.
Podcasts: 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.
Podcasts: Tuesday 8 p.m. CT,
Circle Craft with Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary, Blog Talk Radio

We would 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. Please leave a comment giving: Name of event, sponsoring organization (if any), town, state (if in US), country (if outside of US) 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 for that info. 

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Monday, April 09, 2012

April 17 Early Deadline for ASWM Conference & Matriarchal Studies Day

The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology has announced that the deadline for early registration reduced fee has been extended to  April 17  for its 2012 Conference, "Creating the Chalice: Imagination and Integrity in Goddess Studies" in San Francisco, May 11-12. Planned speakers and presenters include Charlene Spretnak, winner of the ASWM 2012 Demeter Award, Judy Grahn, Luisah Teish, Ana Castillo, Miriam Robbins Dexter, Heide Goettner-Abendroth, Max Dashu, Patricia Monaghan, Annie Finch, Jennifer Berezen, Dorotea Reyna,  Jean Shinoda Bolen, Macha NightMare, Lauren Raine,Vicki Noble,  Z Budapest, Morning Glory Zell, Letecia Layson, Sudie Radusin, Christina Biaggi, and Ava Park. More information on the Conference program can be found here and  here. More information on registration can be found here and here.

In conjunction with the Conference, a "Matriarchal Studies Day" will be held May 10, keynoted by Heide Goettner-Abendroth. Other planned presenters include Lydia Ruyle, Max Dashu, Joan Marler, Lucia Birnbaum, Vicki Noble, Marguerite Rigoglioso, Leilani Birely. Delphine Red Shirt, MaShiAat Oloya Tyehimba-Ford, Mariam Tazi-Preve. Malika Grasshof–Kabyle, and Deborah L. Neff. Early registration deadline is also April 17. More information can be found here.

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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Two Goddess Conferences in Austria This May

Two Goddess Conferences will be held in Austria next month:  1st Austrian Goddess Conference in Salzkammergut, May 17-20, and the Goddess Conference 2012: First Goddess Conference in Vienna, May 26-28.

The theme of the conference in Salzkammergut is "Reconnecting with the Three," meaning maiden, mother, and crone, and the "Three Saligen Women," as well as other other Austrian Goddesses. Planned activities include rituals, chanting, drumming, and workshops. There will be also be a separate program at the same time for children ages 6-12.

The theme of the conference in Vienna is "The Goddess Returns." Kathy Jones of Great Britain will deliver the opening address, followed by an Opening Ceremony in which the Austrian Goddess Wheel will be presented to the public for the first time. While most of the program will be in German, each time slot will have at least one workshop/event in English. Announced speakers and workshop leaders include Clare Campbell, Andrea Dechant, Gabi  Proll, Marian Wallraven, Melanie Lipphard, Sassa Marosi, Edith Amman, Kathy Jones, Ruth Devine, Dagmar Benedikt, Irene Probitzer, Ulrike Sieber, Isabella Farkasch, Jaya Vender, Britta-Joy Fox, Hildegard Moonfiredancer, Veronika Lamprecht, Elaria Andrae,Sigrid Girt, Suanne Jarausch, and Angela Dawson. Expected artists include Peti Songcatcher, musician; Ursala Beiler, sculptor; Peter Englehardt, artist; RheaSilvia, artist; Karin Hacki, mezzo-soprano; Petra Steinmetz, musician; Wustenrosen, a tribal belly dance group; and One HeArt, a musical group. This conference is sponsored by the organization, Willendorferin.

We are not sure of the space availability for these events, but we thought you'd want to know about them in any case. Please check on the websites for space registration/space availability information.

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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Stockholm Goddess Festival This Summer

The Stockholm Goddess Festival will be held Aug. 13 to 15, with fringe events held August 12-16. The festival in Sweden is being coordinated by the organization, Terra Mater. The Swedish website has a page with program information in English, and notes that there will be an English "thread" in the Festival program. In addition, a number of the lectures will be given in English.

The Festival begins with registration and opening festivities the morning of August 13. Some topics of lectures and workshops that day are Inanna, Moon Medicine, Red Tantra, Burning Red Ochre, and The Rock Carving in Nar. August 14 topics of lectures and workshops include Ariadne, The Norns, Lucia, Hel, Elk Cow Tradition, Moonlodge, Kali & Durga, and Fire Ceremony in Munay-Ki Tradition.  August 15 topics of workshops and lectures include Durga for Women, and Norse Goddess Wheel.

Some of the planned presenters are Asa Kalyani Rudehill, Camilla Mane , Helen Egart, Anne Swahn, Marit Enestrom, Tina von Rein, Seija Hyvonen-Mammen, Mattias Tronje, Ulrika Jager, Marta-Lena Bergstedt, Tricia Szirom, Irene Stenvatten, Jerk Elmen, Lone Mogensen, Pamela Reynolds, Kirsten Brunsgar Clausen,  Margarita Wigren, Ewa Larsson, Camilla Akerstrom, Isabel Weber, Lotta Wallenborg, Erik Rodenborg, Adele Anggard, Anna Birgersdotter, Lola Ravenstar, and the musical group, Mylla.

The Festival will be held in a high school. The nearby Goddess Temple will be open throughout the festivities. The bottom of the English page has this information: "The program is subject to change and there may well be surprises."

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Friday, April 06, 2012

Glastonbury Goddess Conference This Summer

This year's Goddess Conference in Glastonbury, England, will honor "The Great Abundant Life-giving Mother." The main conference will be July 31 to August 5, with fringe events  beginning July 29 and ending with a Lammas ceremony August 6.

The conference begins with registration and  an apple-themed celebration late afternoon, July 31, in Glastonbury Town Hall. The celebration will include wall hangings by Thalia Brown and Willow Roe, and Goddess icon banners by Lydia Ruyle. There will also be exhibits of other Goddess art and crafts. The Opening Ceremony will take place that evening with Nine Prestesses of Avalon, Grain Priestesses, and Nine Cornucopiae.

Announced speakers and workshop leaders include Kathy Jones, Katrinka Soetens, Wendy Rule, Sally Pullinger, Anique Radiant Heart, Michael Dames, Anna Kelly, Annabel du Bouley, Genevieve, Vaughn, Isabella Weber, Georgina Strett-Smith, Tegwyn Hyndman, Julie Felix, Graell Corsini, Charissa Schipper, Jana Runnalls, Lady Olivia Durdin Robinson, Clare Campbell, Sortia D'Este, and Tricia Szirom.

Daily ceremonies are planned. A Goddess Procession through Glastonbury will be held August 5, with a Lammas Ceremony at Glastonbury Goddess Hall the evening of August 6.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Netherlands Goddess Conference This Summer

The conference, "Green Goddess 2012," will be held in the Netherlands July 5-8. It will begin 11 a.m. July 5 with a reception, followed by lunch, and then workshops on the theme "Wise Old Mother." Themes of the other days are July 6, Kima, the child in us; July 7, VrigMa, focusing on music and dance and including a Red Tent for Women, and an evening ceremony and Ball; July 8, Mama, focusing on the Mother Goddess.

Speakers and workshop leaders include: Ruud Borman, Astrid van den Berg, Saskia Basten, Joyce Hellendoom, Laura Dongelsman, Jeanine Landheer, Annick Lentacker, Ellen Haring, Ben van den Berg, Jose van der Loop, Lyan van der Muelen, Debbie Beekwielder, Linda van den Water,  and Joke and Ko Lankester.  

The website in in Dutch. Non-Dutch speakers may want to use Google Translate.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Guest Post: MAD

by Mama Donna Henes

(NOTE from Medusa: Mama Donna Henes has given us permission to share with you her message from the March issue of her newsletter, The Queen's Chronicles.)

I am mad. No, that doesn't begin to describe it. I am pissed. I am angry. I am irate. I am incensed. I am enraged. I am livid. I am FURIOUS.

"All men are created equal," states the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, women were denied equality in the this country. It has taken over two centuries for women to win the right to vote, to have alleged protection under the law, to earn 77 cents on the dollar that men are paid, and to gain control over our own bodies and destinies.

And now, nearly 250 years later, we are seeing our rights being stripped away, one by one, by mean sprited misogynistic right wing religious super- conservatives.

Several new state laws dictate that before a woman can get an abortion, she must (without her consent) be subjected to an internal sonogram by means of shoving an apparatus into her vagina and up to her uterus. I don't know about you, but I call this RAPE. Legislated, officially sanctioned rape.

Rationalizing his state-sponsored bill mandating vaginal probes, Virginia Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert declared that women already consented to being "vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant."

A parallel rule would be that if a man wants a prescription for Viagra, he must undergo an anal probe or an electric shock to his penis to see whether he really can't get it up. As if this would ever in a million years happen.

The latest outrage is a Colorado bill working its way through the state legislature that would allow an employer to fire a woman if she uses contraceptives. That is, unless she can document that she takes them for health reasons and not for birth control.

While Virginia is pushing legal personhood recognition for an unfertilized egg, women, the creators and bearers of eggs are being denied our personhood. This is really scary, like something out of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

In a review, Kathleen A. Cameron describes the book as "a vision of a fictional theocratic regime that reduces the value of women to reproductive commodities. This depiction is a disturbingly accurate account of the status of women in the Middle East and other parts of
the world, [but worse,] in many ways it reflects political, legal, and cultural doctrines, ideologies, and practices [right here] in the U.S."

All this talk by the Christian Taliban about going to war with Iran is such a complete farce. Why not just make the American War on Women official and join Iran in Holy Sharia Brotherhood?

When Congress recently held hearings on birth control, the panel of invited experts giving testimony consisted of five male religious leaders.

To her credit, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) loudly demanded, "Where are the women?" before she and several other Democrats stormed out of the hearings. This, I believe was a total mistake. Better they should have stayed and created a rumpus.

The one proposed woman witness in favor of subsidized birth control, a third year law student at Georgetown University, a Catholic school, was ruled to be "not appropriate and qualified." by GOP Chairman Darrell Issa who defended the exclusion of a woman from his all-male panel on contraception.

But the outrage didn't stop there. Rush Limbaugh then excoriated her on national radio:"What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. [. . .] If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

And while Congress keeps trying to defund contraception, Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) has proposed a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. (You can't make this stuff up.)

In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

Can this war against women get any worse? Oh, yes! Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

Wisconsin just passed a law to repeal the Equal Pay Enforcement Act for women. The shocker? The bill to repeal was authored and sponsored by a woman: Rep. Michelle Litjens, (R-Oshkosh).

Another female turncoat collaborator with the enemy of women is journalist Liz Trotta, who, in a Fox News report on sexual abuse of women serving in the military, asked "Well, what did they expect?"

That same old outrage of blaming rape on the victim. Unlike short skirts and revealing blouses, combat fatigues are hardly alluring. So according to her, the mere fact of having breasts is invitation and excuse enough for molestation. Maybe we should bind our breasts. And our feet, too.

A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."

Are you angry enough yet? You've heard the saying, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Well, it is time for some serious fury! Protest the war on women.

With blessings of righteous indignation and well placed fury,
Mama Donna Henes

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Charlene Spretnak Wins ASWM Award

Charlene Spretnak will receive the Demeter Award for leadership in Women's Spirituality, the Association for the Study of Women & Mythology (ASWM) announced on its blog March 28. Spretnak will receive the award at the ASWM conference May 11-12 in San Francisco, where she will speak on "Modernity, Mythology, and the Elusive Gestalt." She is author of 8 books, including 3 on Goddess/women's spirituality and several on environmental issues.

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