Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ASWM Issues Call for Papers

The Association for the Study of Women & Mythology (ASWM) has issued a Call for Papers to be presented at its upcoming biennial symposium, "Lady of Ten Thousand Lakes: Finding Wisdom in Places" to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 20, 2013. Proposals may include papers, panels, and workshops. ASWM says it will give preference to the following topics, but is not limiting submissions to these topics: 
--How do and should the scholarship in Goddess Studies and Women’s Mythology and Spirituality engage with the sense and reality of place? 
--What women’s myths are especially grounded in a place or places?
--What happens when such disciplines as Natural History, Ecology, and other sciences of place interact with Women and Mythology?
--What does place mean methodologically?
--How does our scholarship change when place becomes an element or partner in our research? How does this intersect with Embodied Research or Embodied Methodologies?
--What are the criteria for solid scholarship using these new models?
--Do issues of place add an activist quality to our scholarship?
--Does activism have a place in scholarship?
--What does it mean to find wisdom in places?
 Papers should be 20 minutes; panels with up to four papers on a related topic may be proposed together. Workshop proposals should be organized to provide audience interaction and must clearly address the theme. (Workshops are limited to 90 minutes.)

Presenters from all disciplines are welcome, as well as creative artists and practitioners whose work includes scholarly presentation of mythic themes. Deadline for submissions is January 15. If interested, please read complete information on the ASWM website

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Buzz Coil: October 2012

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

Works of Literata: Congratulations to blogger Literata of the Order of the White Moon, who announced in her Oct. 22 post: "Virginia recognizes me as clergy!" Recognition came from the Arlington County Court after she reapplied for official clergy status. In this blog post, she discusses the resolution of the "hang-up" with her first application, gives details of what she needed to achieve recognition in Arlington and thanks those who helped her. 

My Village Witch: In her  Oct. 3 post,"Setting Up an Ancestor Altar" Byron Ballard describes how she sets up an ancestor altar and what may happen after you do. She says this post is written
"for those of you who haven’t done an Ancestor altar before and are interested in participating in this particular form of veneration."
Her Oct. 20 post, "Speaking of the Dead," tells of her experience on an interfaith panel.

HecateDemeter: Blogger Hecate's strong Oct. 18 post, "Oh, Well, Then. If It’s an ECONOMIC ISSUE, Then I Guess That It Matters,"responds to President Obama's framing of his support of birth control and abortion rights as an economic/family issue. After agreeing that there are economic and family reasons for supporting women's access to birth control/abortion, here's  a sampling what Hecate writes:
"And, yet, it pisses me off every time that I read that access to abortion isn’t 'just' a women’s issue. As if women’s issues don’t really matter. As if giving half the population control over so simple a thing as their own bodies were 'just' an issue, and one that needs to be boosted with other, real, legitimate, aka money-based, issues."

Hail Columbia: In her post, "Religious liberty links, Oct 20: DC 40 returns; current election is 'apocalyptic,' and more" blogger Literata begins:
 "Yes, the people behind DC 40 are at it again. They are coming to DC near Samhain to take a turn leading worship at David’s Tent, a group that is conducting continuous worship on the Ellipse near the White House until Election Day. It looks like the DC 40 team is taking four shifts from October 24th to the 27th, including a 'drum circle' on the 27th."
She goes on to give additional disturbing details.

 Annelinde's World:     On this blog featuring her poetry, Annelinde Metzner's Oct. 18 post/poem, "Vote"  is accompanied by 2 photos of the Obama family, the first one, in splendid color, I've never seen before. Her Oct. 12 post/poem, "Holle" is about the German Mother (or Grandmother) Goddess. 
Way of the Rabbit: In her Oct. 16 post, "Love and Ideology," Yeshe Rabbit suggests different ways to approach issues and people during the current U.S. Presidential election. 

Broomstick Chronicles:   Macha NightMare's Sept. 19 post, "My Five Dandelion Gatherings," explains what Reclaiming Dandelion Gatherings are, and goes into detail about her participation in them, which she says included some "disconnects" beginning with the first Dandelion in 2004. 
Radical Goddess Thealogy: In her Oct. 8 post, "Neurosurgeon, his cortex offline, sees the Great Mother -- & labels Her 'Jehovah'" blogger Athana reports on an article from Newsweek/Daily Beast in which a neurosurgeon in a coma experiences the divine as female but whose understanding of what he experiences may be limited by his immersion in Abrahamic religions.

At Brigid's Forge: In her Oct. 8 post, "Art and Soul," Lunaea Weatherstone tells about taking a workshop that was out of her comfort zone. See what you think of the results.

Hearth Moon Rising: The latest in her ongoing series on goddesses and trees, Hearth Moon Rising, in an Oct. 20 post, discusses "Neith and the Acacia Tree."
Return to Mago: An Oct. 22 guest post by Glenys Livingstone, "En-trancing Gaia’s Womb through Seasonal Ceremony: Re-creating Her Sacred Site"  traces the mythology of the Goddess Gaia back to the earliest myths, discusses her ancient caves, and then brings us up to date about current celebrations. Includes pics of Livingstone's Moon Court in Australia, constructed as a Gaian womb.
In an Oct. 18 guest post, "Three-Fingered Fish Goddess- South Slavic Intangible Oral Memory Traditions," Danica Anderson reports on findings from archeological digs from c. 10,000 BCE in what is now Serbia. 
Posting on Oct. 15, Helen Hwang presents a photo essay,‘Gaeyang Halmi, the Sea Goddess of Korea’ part 4, with new information on Asian Goddess veneration.
On Oct. 11, Lydia Ruyle's (Art) ‘Xiwangmu (Queen Mother of the West)’ displays one of the many gorgeous banners created by this artist.

Feminism and Religion: This blog has multiple bloggers from a variety of paths, usually posting one each day. In the Oct. 23 post, "Sexist Responses to Women Writing About Religion" Sarah Sentilles, holder of two Harvard doctorates--one in theology--takes reviewers of her 2011 book to task for assuming that its title, Breaking Up With God, was a statement she meant literally. The full content of this post is on the website of the Harvard Divinity School, to which it is linked, and where Sentilles goes into a more extensive analysis of the treatment of women's writing.
In the Oct. 22 post,"Reading Plato’s Allegory of the Cave as Matricide and Theacide" Carol P. Christ, holder of a doctorate in religious studies from Yale, tells how she came to understand Plato's work had significance beyond one of its more common explanations: "the 'form' of a table is more 'real' than the table itself."
In the Oct. 19 post, "The Changing Face of Christ in the Catholic Church," Janice Poss tells of attending the ordination of women as priests in the RC Church. This topic is also discussed in the Oct. 17 post of the blog's  feature, "In the News."
In the Oct. 13 post,"Painting Frida Kahlo" Angela Yarber explores the upcoming Mexican holiday (also celebrated by an increasing number in the U.S.) Dia de los Muertos. She suggests: "It is fitting that we remember the many Holy Women Icons with a folk feminist twist that have gone before us: Virginia Woolf , the Shulamite,  Mary Daly, Baby Suggs, Pachamama and Gaia." And she discusses a show of her art including these and others.
In the Oct. 8 post, 'The Language of the Goddess' In Minoan Crete" Carol P. Christ explores the significance of Cretan artifacts and how her understanding of them is inspired by the work of Marija Gimbutas. 

 Pagan Square: Among the many posts from many povs, is blogger Anomalous Thracian's  "Review of Thracian Magic, Past and Present,"  a book of particular interest to me because my participation in folk dances from Eastern Europe has led me to believe that many of them are rooted in ritual. 

The Wild Hunt: is transitioning from being part of Patheos to going back to its former home ,  Jason Pitzl-Waters announced initially on the Patheos blog [post vanished] and also on Facebook. Keying in the above will take you to the Patheos Wild Hunt site until Jason has completed setting up the new/old blogsite. 

American Witch: Poet Annie Finch has moved her blog again, this time to


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where are October Events?

Events through Nov. 4 are listed in the Events Coil published in September here.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Canadian Publisher Explores "Divine Feminine"

The Fall Issue of Namaste Insights, a publication of Namaste Publishing, located in Canada, is titled "The Imperative of Unleashing the Divine Feminine." In her introduction, "There's Something About Mary, All Right!,"  Constance Kellough, Namaste's president and publisher,  writes that "restoring the Divine Feminine to its rightful stature" will result in "restoration of the Sacred Masculine." It seems to me that choosing to justify "restoring the Divine Feminine" because it will restore the "Sacred Masculine" is rather odd first, because restoring the divine imaged as female needs no justification and second, because the "sacred masculine" needs no restoration. The "sacred masculine" (why is masculine "sacred" and feminine "divine'?) has been in charge for several thousand years without ceasing. But be that as it may, this publisher is trying, and has recently published a number of provocative books related to spiritual feminism, some of which are highlighted in this issue. As part of this introduction to the articles, Kellough includes an analysis of books and films related to the subject, discusses the status of Christian figures related to the "Divine Feminine," and includes cartoon-like drawings of belly dancers.

In the first article, Joan Chittisster comments on Matthew Fox's new book on Hildegard of Bingen, who has just been elevated to "Doctor of the Church." The same pope who just elevated Hildegard ex-communicated Fox, a Dominican friar, mainly for his feminist stances. Namaste has published both Fox's book and a recent book by Chittisster, who is a Benedictine nun, as was Hildegard. The second article, titled "Book Review" is Mary Lou Kownacki's review of Mary Sharratt's book, Illuminations: a novel of Hildegard von Bingen. Kownacki is also a Benedictine nun. You might find it interesting to compare her take on Sharratt's book with our review of it here.

For me the highlight of this issue of Namaste Insights is the "Dialogue" between Sharratt and Fox about Hildegard, in which Fox calls this Pope's elevation of Hildegard an irony. Fox says, "She's a Trojan Horse not only to patriarchal religion, but to patriarchy in general. " Sharratt then asks: "What will happen once they let the Trojan Horse in through the gates?" 

There follows two articles about men and the sacred: "The Hidden Spirituality of Men," in which Fox probes what might be meant by the "Sacred Masculine," and David Robert Ord's "The Terror of the Tender." Ord is Namaste's editorial director.

Next are interviews of Ord, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Starhawk, and Marianne Williamson. In his interview, Spong, known to support equality for women as well as other progressive views, says, "If you go back far enough in human experience you'll find that we envisioned God as feminine," and goes on to speak of Mother Nature. Yet he connects child sacrifice to Goddess veneration, an unprovable contention.
In her interview, Starhawk discusses the development of her Goddess path, her views on other women's issues related to religion, and her work with Fox. 

The issue concludes with the articles, "Modern Mystics Walk Among Us, " by Sarah McLean, and "How to Raise Boys and Girls to be Equal," by Shfali Tsabary.

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