Thursday, July 26, 2012

Buzz Coil: July 2012

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

Veleda: Max Dashu's June 8 post, "A Goddess in the Harley Psalter" decodes and describes what is going on in a Pagan-themed medieval drawing. With illustration from British Library's online database.

Way of the Rabbit: Yeshe Rabbit explores the spiritual implications of the substantiation of the Higgs-Boson particle in her July 9 post, "Channeling the Higgs-Boson."

Blog o' Gnosis: In her June 3 post, "Thoughts on Spirituality, Politics, and Values," Anne Hill shares her thoughts about her presentation at the Pagan Alliance Festival in Berkeley, in which she spoke of her "recent paradigm shift around spirituality and politics. Reclaiming’s ideal of unifying spirituality and politics is something I lived and breathed starting in the early ’80s. But that has shifted over the past several years, and I want to explain why."

COG Interfaith Reports: M. Mueller's July 5 post, "Sekhmet Goddess Temple Outside Vegas," tells of the blogger's conversation with Priestess Candace of the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, in which Candace tells Mueller she"has begun calling the Goddess Temple an interfaith temple instead of a 'Pagan temple,' because, in Candace’s words, 'She’s in every religion!' For Candace, this Goddess Temple is an interfaith temple." Mueller goes on to describe the Temple and its guest house.

No Longer Quivering is now part of the family and the change, imo, makes it easier to access the posts. This is a blog of women who have left the Christian Dominionist Quiverfull movement. The July 23 post, "Revisiting the NLQ FAQ: Should there be a 'You' in Quivering?" gives some useful insights into this movement.

My Village Witch: Byron's June 30 post, "from Thursday to Friday...ground, center, focus," discusses Mother Grove Goddess Temple activities both in its NC community and in preparing for the upcoming ordination of clergy. In the context of the latter, she discusses and links to Literata's account of her difficulties in Arlington VA when attempting to become legally recognized clergy.

House of Inanna: In his July 5 post, "Why Inanna?" blogger Idris writes that he has pondered changing the name of his blog or its other aspects, but then decided "to keep the blog as it is." He shares his thought processes about this, and more specifically, about his dedication to Inanna, his own personal British background, and his view on "the New World Order of American Right Wing fundamentalism."

Annelinde's World: Annelinde Metzner posts her own poems, along with relevant art, to her blog. Her June 15 poem, "Sara La Kali," honors the sacred female figure celebrated especially on May 24 by the Roma in southern France. Her June 20 poem, "Carrying us, carry us still," memorializes a son who died at 29,  and acknowledges " rosy energy of Grandmother's arms."

HecateDemeter: Blogger Hecate's July 10 post, "Landbase" is beautifully ritualistic prose-poetry that begins:
And, so, in every moment when I invoke, when I invoke, when I invoke, when I invoke Columbia, and Hecate, and the spirits and powers of This Place, in every moment when I invoke, my fox is present and she invokes with me.

Feminism and Religion: These are just a few of the recent posts on this blog from people on many different paths:
In a July 22 post, on the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth Cunningham writes "Mary Magdalen’s Feast Day: Celebrating Goddess Incarnate," which she begins by discussing Magdalene relics, continues to discuss her own various religious affilations, as well as her creation of a fictional Celtic "Mary Magdalene" character, and closes with a poem.
In a July 18 post,  Xochitl Alvizo, discusses  "Process Thought: Feminist Friendly Metaphysics," including the approaches of thea/ologians Carol Christ, Mary Daly, and Alfred North Whitehead.
On July 14, Amanda Kieffer writes  "A Love Letter to My Body" because  "I had to make up for all the nights I spent ignoring you and asking forgiveness from that ridiculous Man in the sky. I thought you were His."
In a July 9 post, Carol P. Christ wonders "Why Don't Feminist Express Anger At God?," writing:
 "I have written extensively about ...the need for women to express our anger at God.  However, it is fair to say that feminists have not exactly embraced this suggestion. I have often wondered why."
She continues:
 "Do my feminist friends simply avoid going to Church or Synagogue, do they shut down their bodies, do they close their ears—or all of the above at different times?"
In a July 15 post, "Rien n'est parfait" Barbara Ardinger takes as her starting point part of the book, Le Petit Prince  by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and discusses (with a bit of her usual humor) why she thinks no religion, including her own, is perfect.
In his July 1 post, "Of Power, Good Counsel and Wisdom," Daniel Cohen writes of the rediscovery of the sacred female figure known as Wisdom, and transliterated Hokma (Heb.) and Sophia (Gr.).
In her June 30 post, "That Which Is Sacred," Max Dashu takes a quick cross-cultural look at language use to describe the sacred. She then writes:
"Not many people understand what spiritual feminists mean when we speak of Goddess or goddesses."
She then gives explanation and background that should repair this problem. 
Goddess in a Teapot: Carolyn Boyd's June 10 post, "Sister Circles Round and Round the Universe" examines the formation and dissolution of women's circles in different times, places, and with differing technologies. Her July 1 post, "Walking in the Wild Woods to Find Truth," ponders the role of gardens and nature in spiritual life.

Hail Columbia: In her July 4 post, Blogger Literata explores "A constellation of goddesses for July 4," focusing on American Goddess figures in addition to Columbia and Liberty.

Hearth Moon Rising's blog: Blogger Hearth Moon Rising is posting a series related to tree goddesses in a variety of cultures. For example, her July 20 post, "The Linden Prophesy," is about the Latvian Goddess Laima. Her July 13 post "Lady of the Sycamore" is about the Egyptian Hathor.

The Goddess House: Blogger As't Moon's July 24 post, "Honouring Red Catherine" tells about a Romani woman in Australia who runs an animal refuge called "Artemis."

Return to Mago: In her blog's first post on July 8, Helen Hye-Sook introduces Return to Mago with excerpts from a rountable radio talk, "Mago, the First Mother of East Asia."


Friday, July 20, 2012

REVIEW: Jane Meredith’s Journey to the Dark Goddess

Journey to the Dark Goddess: How to Return to Your Soul,
by Jane Meredith (Moon Books imprint of John Hunt Ltd., 2012), trade paperback, 227 pages (also available as e-book)

This book will be of particular interest to those who like the psychological approach to Goddess work; its structure and incorporation of personal material makes it highly accessible.

From a thealogical standpoint, the term "dark" when used with "Goddess" and contrasted with a "light" or "bright" Goddess has for some time been problematical for many Goddessians, because of its possible racial implications and the sometimes equation of dark with "bad" or "evil," which can set up a (usually subconscious) association of dark skin color=evil. To try to counter this, many Goddess-honoring people have defined dark to mean "hidden," "mysterious," "unseen" or "shadow." I don’t think that Jane Meredith intends any racial association with her use of "Dark Goddess," but it isn’t clear to me whether she has eliminated "bad" or "evil" from the equation. What she does do is argue for a comprehensive, inclusive vision of this deity. In the Introduction to Journey to the Dark Goddess, she writes: "The Dark Goddess is a mysterious and hidden figure. Although each of us is familiar with her roles of wicked witch, the crone, the bad mother, the hag and the winter queen, we don’t always remember her other face of compassion, healing and rebirth." In Part I, "Preparing for the Descent," in a section titled "Who is the Dark Goddess?" Meredith defines her as an aspect of divinity that can be understood as a "sister" or "other half" to the "light Goddess" or the "one Goddess, but who can also "be understood as being a split-off part of yourself; often the powerful, dangerous part." She also describes the Dark Goddess as "a metaphor for meeting our nemesis; the situation or truth that will undo us and our carefully constructed lives."

The author sees the "Journey to the Dark Goddess" as one of descent to the Underworld, such as described in the myths of Inanna and Dumuzi, Ishtar and Tammuz, Orpheus and Eurydice and "closer to home, Jesus Christ..." (The phrase "closer to home," startled me. Like the other "myths," that of Jesus is from the Ancient Near East [or Middle East or Western Asia—pick your fav term], which is not literally closer to anyone’s home and not close to Meredith’s home, which is in Australia. So, what is the meaning here? Closer in time? Closer to a psycho-socio-religious "home" of Christianity?).

The book is structured around the descent, visit, and ascent from the Underworld, particularly the Inanna myth, which is presented both mythologically and personally in each section. In "Part One: Preparing for the Descent," in addition to answering the question, "Who is the Dark Goddess?" Meredith provides "a map" of the Underworld drawn from myths, Egyptian tomb writings, and biblical accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Though she writes that they are "valuable in themselves" she rejects equating "shadow work" and "soul retrieval" with the Dark Goddess journey because they "do not address the fundamental imbalance we carry between dark and light. In both the dark is largely cast as ‘bad’ (or undesirable) and both seek to bring everything into the light, to ‘enlighten’. Shadow work in particular is not about according darkness half of the playing field....In true darkness, after all, no shadows are to be seen; so fundamentally shadow work can only occur in the light." Meredith also gives additional tools, including map-making and ritual, to prepare you for your descent.

In "Part Two: Descending to the Underworld," Meredith writes that "Descent is a death-like process but it is not death. On the contrary; it is life." She describes descents from mythology as well as her own life, and techniques she uses in her workshops on this subject, including creating a ritual mandala, further map-making, and ritual.

"Part Three: In the Underworld," begins: "Mysterious things happen in the Underworld. Death, obviously. Rebirth eventually. Transformation, necessarily." Meredith goes on to point out that "things in the Underworld do not stay neat or separate, you cannot have just one part of this" and while death is often portrayed as difficult and painful, "death can be gentle, while life is often abrupt, painful, and conflictual." She discusses the life-death continuum, that they are "part of the same cycle," that "the one guaranteed event at birth is eventual death." As in the previous chapters she brings in various Underworld mythologies and her own Inanna story. She also offers Underworld rituals, and advice on "What To Do In the Underworld" that includes several ways of speaking with, or speaking with the voice of, the Dark Goddess.

In "Part Four: Coming Up From the Underworld," Meredith observes that many stories of Underworld emergence in mythology seem to be "deceptively easy" compared with what she has experienced, which she has found similar to "recovering from a severe illness." She advises readers to give as much attention to ascending as to descending. "Coming up can be trickier than going down," Meredith writes. "Going down is like falling, once you’ve begun, there’s a certain amount of gravitational inevitability about it, and an obvious direction." In contrast, because you have been on the bottom, "Any degree of up-ness...can seem so blessed and light-filled that one doesn’t see one hasn’t fully emerged yet." Meredith then draws from myth and offers ritual and other tools to help in our ascent, including "How Not to do it" and "How To Actually Do It."

Journey To The Dark Goddess is a book of both practicality and depth, and is likely to be helpful to many individuals and groups.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Events Coil: July 18-August 18

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.
July 18, 2 p.m. New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

July 18, time tba, New Moon Celebration, Maetreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

July 18, 7 p.m. Women's New Moon Sharing Circle, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

July 20, 7:30 p.m. Blessings & Celebration in honor of goddess Ker with Henna Hand and Foot Painting, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

July 21, 1-5 p.m. De-Anna Alba Memorial and Interment, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near Barneveld WI

July 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 9th Annual Mary Magdalene Celebration, with Riane Eisler, keynoter, Creative Life Center, Sedona AZ

July 21, Noon-2 p.m., Decorating for Lammas, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA 

July 22, 1:30-4 p.m. Mary Magdalene Feast Day Celebration with Margaret Starbird, Saltwater Church, Des Moines WA

July 23, 11 a.m. Mother Earth from South America; 7 p.m. Men's Sacred Journey With the Goddess, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

July 27-29, Green Spirit Festival, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near Barneveld WI

July 28-29, All Woman Festival, Maetreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

July 28, 1 p.m. Lammas ritual, Golden Gate Park, SF Reclaiming, San Francisco CA

July 28, time tba, Lammas, East Bay CAYA, San Francisco CA

July 29, 7:30 p.m. Moon Lodge, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

July 29, time tba, Lammas Ceremony and Harvest Feast, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillegom, NEDERLAND

July 29, gather 11:30 a.m., ritual Noon, Lammas/First Fruits, Connect DC, Washington DC

July 29, 3 p.m., Lammas Service & Potluck, Cleveland Metroparks, Goddess Temple Inc., Lakewood OH

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

July 29-Aug. 6, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, Glastonbury ENGLAND

July 31, doors open 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m. Sacred Full Moon Ceremonies, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Aug. 1, 7 p.m. Lammas/Full Moon , Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near Barneveld WI

Aug. 1, time tba, Full Moon Celebration, Maetreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

Aug. 1, 7 p.m. Lammas/Full Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Aug. 2, time tba, Celebrate Lunar Lammas & Sophia, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco CA

Aug. 4, 3 p.m. Imbolc celebration, Pagaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains AUSTRALIA

Aug. 4-5,  Journées Internationales de Célébration de la Déesse (includes Lughnasad ritual), Le Temple de la Déesse, Toulouse FRANCE 

Aug. 4-5, Journées Internationales de Célébration de la Déesse (includes Célébration de la Déesse Solaire [Sun Goddess]), Le Temple de la Déesse, Chartres FRANCE  

Aug. 4, 5 p.m. Lammas Gathering, RSVP, Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle, Carson City NV 

Aug. 4, 6:30 p.m., Lammas, Circle of Aradia, Topanga CA

Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m. Lammas Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Aug. 8, 2-6 p.m., Lughnasadh Public Ritual and potluck, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

Aug. 12-16, Stockholm Goddess Festival, Terra Mater, Stockholm SVIRGE

Aug. 13-18, 18th Annual Women's New Moon Retreat, Pacific Women's Circle/Daughters of the Goddess, British Columbia CANADA

Aug. 18, 1 p.m. Cercle de tambours de Dea, Ordre de Dea, Montreal PQ CANADA

Aug. 18, 2 p.m. "Lady of 10,000 Names," concert with Annelinde Metzner, Asheville NC

Aug. 18, 5 p.m. New Moon Circle & Sweat Lodge, Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle, Carson City NV

Aug. 18, 7 p.m. Women's New Moon Sharing Circle, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV



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 and 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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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Third Iberian Goddess Conference In Madrid This September

The Third Iberian Goddess Conference will be held in Madrid, Spain, September 27-30. It is sponsored by the We Reclaim the Goddess Association.  The Conference opens with a Masked Ball on Friday, Sept. 28, followed by a buffet dinner and Goddess songs, theater, and dance. Saturday and Sunday events include presentations, ceremonies, and workshops. Announed presenters include Kathy Jones and Mike Jones of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Miranda Gray, author; Miriana, founder of La Arboleda de la Gaia; Carmen Manderas, dance therapist; Carmen Garcia Enguita, teacher, artist, sex therapist; Katinka Soetens, Priestess of Avalon, doula, and dancer; Helen Peris of La Arboleda de la Gaia and dancer. For more information see the Conference website with information in English and español . 

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