Buzz Coil: December 2013
A look at some posts of interest from our blogroll and sometimes beyond:
HecateDemeter: The wonderful short story, "A Solstice Tale," that blogger Hecate posted on Dec. 18, tells of a visit by a "young man" and his family to "Nonna," for a Winter Solstice dinner. The young man asks Nonna why she has included in the table decorations, "nests with eggs in them," which he associates with spring. Nonna tells him why with a story.
Hecate's Dec. 3 post, Chapter 33 of A Place Without a Witch, begins as local Witch Gemmy is walking towards the Library of Congress and continues with Gemmy's thoughts on other libraries.
The Retiring Mind: Wendy Griffin's Dec. 20 post, "If That Which You Seek You Do Not Find Within" is a Winter Solstice poetic calling of directions and Invocation of the "Dark Mother." Her Dec. 2 post is a copy of a "Petition to Publishers" from the Coalition of Scholars in Pagan Studies urging the capitalization the word "Pagan." The petition is directed to the editors of The Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook . (Chicago Manual of Style is widely used by scholarly and other presses. AP Stylebook is widely used by newspapers and magazines.) Initial signatories and their bios are shown at the end.
Broomstick Chronicles: In her Dec. 14 post, "Pagan Interfaith Teaching" Macha NightMare (Aline O'Brien) writes about her experience presenting at a Marin Interfaith Council event held in a Conservative Jewish Synagogue. She describes the singing of Pagan chants as well as the presentations about the celebrations of light by other religions at this time of year including Diwali (Hindu), Hanukkah (Jewish), Seven Candles of Unity (Baha'i), Kwanzaa (African American), and her own teaching about light and the Sun (Pagan). Among the many links are those to the latter's text and video, and to another video showing the congregation singing the last of 3 Pagan songs included in the event. With pics. In her Dec. 3 post, Capitalize Pagan, Macha also posted the Coalition of Scholars petition. ( I signed it a few days later).
My Village Witch: In her Dec. 10 post, Byron Ballard perceives that an Episcopal "priest/ess" was "Drawing Down the Moon" using "the ancient posture of worship–hands flat and palms upward." Byron also ponders the differences between the buildings that house the Episcopal Church and the Mother Grove Goddess Temple in which she priestesses.
The Wild Hunt: Heather Greene's Dec. 20 post, "Keeping the So(u)l in Solstice," explores what she terms "this public Yule-tide tug-o-war" between secularization and various religious observances and observers. In his Dec. 18 post, Jason Pitzl-Waters takes a look at the question "Paganism: Movement, Umbrella, Big Tent Religion?" initially from the point of view of a presenter at events of other religions, including evangelical Christian classes and interfaith venues, and then from Pagan progress since the 1960s.
Annelinde's World: Annelinde Metzner's Dec. 21 post is her poem "Solstice Water," which begins:
“Forever, forever,” her message,
clearwater spring on Winter’s first day.
Not much light on December twenty-first.
Just the cold, cold quiet of Earth herself,
the illusion of faraway distant Sun,
a long, slow creep back to warmth.
Tamis Hoover Renteria: In what may become a controversial post, on Dec. 23 Tamis Renteria bravely explores what she considers "Judaism's Greatest Loss: Brilliant Pagan Women."
WoodsPriestess: In her Dec. 24 post,"Drum Dedication," blogger talkbirth shares the poem she used to dedicate a frame drum she received as a gift. With pics.
Works of Literata: Blogger Literata announces the publication of one book (and includes an excerpt) and the delay of another book in her Dec. 14 post, "Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul Published."
Her Dec. 12 post, "Forbes taking Maetreum seriously," provides a link to an article in Forbes magazine about the legal victory of the Maetreum of Cybele and tells why she thinks these are important.
Casa Della Dea: Eliantha Redspring's Dec. 23 post, Preghiera alla Regina delle Nevi, is a prayer to the Queen of Snow, "la Signora Inverno" (Lady--or some might say Goddess--of Winter). In Italian. With pic.
Dirt Worship: Starhawk's Dec. 20 post, "On Not Lighting a Solstice Bonfire," tells why SF Reclaiming couldn't have a bonfire at this year's Winter Solstice ritual, its relationship to a law involving environmental protection, and ultimately to larger environmental issues. (Direct link to post didn't work when I tried it.)
Fellowship of Isis Central: In a Dec. 23 post, "Report of Winter Solstice Festival," blogger Minette describes how things went after thunderstorms subsided at the Foundation Centre in the UK and participants entered the Temple of Isis.
Living a Spiral Path: In a Dec. 18 post, "Cold Moon, Stone Goddesses, and Shamanic Journeys," blogger Stormy Seaside tells what transpired after he received a stone plaque with the image of Venus of Laussel on the morning of the full moon. With pic of plaque on altar. His Dec. 10 post, "Winter Solitude, a lesson from Sedna," shares insights into mythology of, and his personal experiences with, this Inuit Goddess.
Radical Goddess Thealogy: Blogger Athana compares the biblical Adam and Eve story to one of the Grimm fairy tales, "The White Snake," in her Dec. 25 post, "The Goddess tells the story of Adam and Eve."
Hearth Moon Rising's blog: Hearth Moon Rising give us 3 winter photos and a video, "Deer in Folklore and Myth" in her Oct. 21 post, "Happy Solstice." Her Dec. 3 post, "Radio Interview with Susun Weed," is the audio of Susun Weed's interview of her about with animal magic.
Love of the Goddess: Blogger Tara's Dec. 15 post describes and delves into the mythology of "Holda, Germanic Goddess of Winter."
Musings of a Quaker Witch: In her Dec. 21 post, "What shall I tell you about Winter Solstice?" Stasa Morgan-Appel answers her question with a series of questions, and then asks readers a question.
[Updated Dec. 30:]
Contemplation -Yeshe Rabbit: has replaced Way of the Rabbit. Yeshe's most recent post, on Dec. 30, is "want bliss? want enlightenment?" It begins:
want bliss? want enlightenment? want social justice? want consciousness? want engaged practice? they are all available at the end of a relatively simple formula. simple, not easy.
Large Group Blogs
Pagan Square: From many Pagan paths, here are some of this month's posts from this blog sponsored by BBI Media:
In her Dec. 16 post, "Winter Solstice: The Darkness Within" Joanna Van Der Hoeven writes about a "meditative journey" she experienced with her "shadow self." In her Dec. 5 post, Joanna discusses her feelings "When Maiden, Mother, and Crone isn't right."
In a Dec. 15 post, "Moontale, Moontide, Moonspell," blogger Molly tells how a vision led her to discover a lesser known Goddess, and comforted her about her prospects for bearing a child. She continues with descriptions of meditative work she's done and a family full moon ritual.
Taylor Ellwood's Interview with Tara Miller on Dec. 14, discusses subjects from her life and those covered in the new anthology Miller edited. These include spiritual misconceptions and stereotypes about disabilities, addiction and illness; learning about divine presence through meditation during which she was introduced to Goddess by the Abrahamic God; and her dedication to Goddess, especially Gaia.
In her Dec. 5 post, Dec. 5 post, "Institutions," Aline "Macha" O'Brien take a look at what she believes is a mistrust of institutions among "NeoPagans in the U.S." Of her own involvement in "institutions," she writes:
The institution to which I’ve devoted the most time and energy for the last 12 years or so is Cherry Hill Seminary, for many reasons, not the least of which is that I find intellectual discernment to be in short supply, drowned out by the noises of UPG (unverified/unverifiable personal gnosis) woowoo....
She also writes about meeting with a Wiccan circle in a prison and related financial challenges.
Byron Ballard writes about growing up "Unchurched" in the southern U.S. in her Dec. 4 post, and about the spiritual wandering many Pagans engage in, including those who remain in Paganism and those who are tugged back to the religion in which they were reared.
In her Dec. 1 post, "Goddesses in Upper Manhattan," Poala Suarez writes about an exhibit of Andrea Arroyo's paintings of "Goddesses on cloths made by women from around the world."
Return to Mago: Many people contribute to this blog whose owner is Helen Hye-Sook Hwang. Among this month's posts:
On Dec. 27, Judith Shaw shows us with her art and tells us with her writing about "Cailleach, The Queen of Winter."
In her Dec. 23 post, Helen Hye-Sook Hwang writes about her feeling of returning home when she first read texts on "The Magoist Cosmogony," and the unexpected turn her life took because of it.
Harita Meenee's Dec. 17 post, whose title in English is "The Divine Mother and the Holy Child," is presented entirely in Greek here, and in English here.
Lydia Ruyle shares her art showing the Goddess Mictlancihuatl, along with her explanation, in her Dec. 13 post.
In a December 9 post, "Lost Texts: Linear A" Susan Hawthorne discusses and gives her translation (including suggestions for "lost" words) of poetry from ancient Crete that she has analyzed as part of a larger project.
Poems this month include: "December" by Yvonne M. Lucia (Dec. 26), "The Hens on Christmas Morning" (Dec. 25) and "Silent Night" (Dec. 20), by Mary Saracino (Dec. 25), O Mother Sun by Glenys Livingstone (Dec. 21), "Show me your face," by Angelika Heike Rüdiger (Dec. 11), and "Endarkment" by Leslene della-Madre (Dec. 9).
Feminism and Religion: Some of the posts this month in this blog of many paths and bloggers:
Mary Sharratt writes about dealing with "winter depression" for the first time when she moved from California to England, in her Dec. 29 post "Awakening to Life: Hildegard's Cure for Seasonal Depression."
In a Dec. 25 post, "Blessed Is The Womb," Dawn DiPrince argues with the Catholic Church's rationalization for denying women the priesthood because Jesus was male, writing:
This seemingly irrefutable based-on-biology conclusion is really a simple argument based on a difference of body parts. This ideal — something I’ve labeled the St. Peter Principle — suggests that our penislessness means that women (by natural law, of course) are to be denied priesthood.
But, if we want to embark on this biology-based argument of body parts and priestly rights, we cannot deny Mary’s vaginal delivery of Jesus.
Carol P. Christ's Dec. 23 post, "Of Birds, Angels, and Tidings of Great Joy," begins with a reference to a video of a crow sliding down a snowy rooftop on a mayonnaise sled, and goes on to discuss the relationship of birds and bird goddesses to winter celebrations. In her Dec. 16 post, "Ancestor Connection Revisited: Anna M. Christ of Little Germany, Brooklyn," Carol discovers some things that surprise her about her ancestry. In her Dec. 9 post, "Ethics of Individual Rights and Care Sensitive Ethics in the Context of the Gay Marriage Debate," she ponders which is preferable, an ethics based on "rationality" or one that takes emotions into account. She writes:
Despite its intentions, the ethical tradition based in reason and on the “rights” of “rational individuals” has often failed to live up to its goal of dispassionate and fair thinking. Over the years “rational men” have declared that women, slaves, colonized people, and others do not have “rights” because they lack the “rational capacity” of (educated, white, European) men.
In her Dec. 2 post, Carol writes about "Sacred Rhythms of the Olive Harvest," where she lives in Greece, and its relationship to trees. With pics.
In her Dec. 20 post, Kelly Brown Douglas asks "What Does Jesus Have To Do With Whiteness?" and examines the assumptions behind giving deity(ies) (and Santa Claus) racial identities, as well as the historical accuracy of claims that Jesus (and Santa) were white.
In her Dec. 18 post, "Rosemary Radford Ruether’s Quests for Hope and Meaning" Gina Messina-Dysert, takes a look at her former teacher's new autobiography, My Quest for Hope and Meaning. Introducing the book, Gina writes that it
is a gift to those of us who have been so touched by her work. In this intimate and beautiful piece, Ruether shares her personal journey in feminist scholarship and activism.
With video clip of interview with Ruether.
Angela Yarber posts a tribute to Sappho in words and art in her Dec. 14 post, "Painting Sappho."
In her Dec. 12 post, Karen Nelson Villanueva writes of "Invoking the Blessings of the Tibetan Buddhist Goddess Tara through Chanting Her Mantra to Overcome Fear," and gives some details of her recently-defended doctoral dissertation of the same name.
In her Dec. 11 post, "A Song for All Beings, " Jassy Watson expresses her gratitude for experiences from attending an event with presentations by Jennifer Berezan and Luisah Teish, and previous events with Carol Christ, Catharine Clarke, Shiloh Sophia McCloud, BJ Long, Max Dashu, and Anique Radiant Heart. She also writes of the environmentally-related information she has learned. With Jassy's art portraying Kuan Yin.
Andreea Nica's Dec. 10 post, "How I Loved Myself through Charismatic Worship, " tells first about how she "fell in love" with God when, at the age of 13, she first started speaking in tongues (glossolalia) as a result of her Pentecostal upbringing. She names several "supernatural phenomena" she also experienced including
healings, trances (drunk in the holy spirit), visions (hallucinations), prophetic messages (delusions), rebuking evil spirits (paranoia),
I took great pleasure in actively pursuing speaking in tongues, participating in trance-like states (drunk in the holy spirit), and rebuking evil spirits when I sensed them.
But when she grew older, she discovered scientific analyses--especially those involving the brain--of these phenomena that caused her to "fall out of love" with God.
In a Dec. 7 post, Barbara Ardinger declares, "Lets Celebrate the Holiday Shopping Season," looking at it through a Goddess and mythological lens.
In a Dec. 6 post, "An Epic Woman: A Feminist Eulogy," Molly Remer remembers her grandmother in prose, poetry, and photographs.
In a Dec. 5 post, "THANKS-giving" Amina Wadud discusses the role of giving and thanks in Islam.
In her Dec. 3 post, Sara Frykenberg shares her conflicting thoughts about "Thanksgiving and Service."
Labels: Buzz Coils