Sunday, August 27, 2006

Buzz Coil: August

Here's the buzz from some blogs we visited recently:

The-Goddess: Blogger Morgaine lets loose with a response to what she calls an "anti-feminist" article about the "Need for Masculinity," in her August 16 post, "Check Out this Witchvox Article." Here's just one of Morgaine's memorable statements:
"There is one true element of the Craft that ought to be universal - our Sacred Mother is the living Universe, and everything that exists is a part of one feminine whole. Everything begins and ends with Her. If you can't deal with that, reconsider calling yourself Pagan, and don't you dare call yourself ‘Witch'."

At the end of desire: Blogger Inanna wants to know why women aren't getting credit for their contributions to contemporary thought in her August 24 post, "She is the most radical thinker of our time," (For one example of why, see Medusa's post here "Article Double Whammies Goddess" ) Also from Inanna, an August 12 post about the relationship of neo-Pagan beliefs and Western occultism in "An Open Mystery"

The Living Goddess of Glastonbury: Blogger Christina gives us informative and inspirational reports on the Glastonbury Goddess Conference in her post of August 2, "Conference Takes Off", and her August 3 post, "Blessed be..."

Goddessmom's Slice of Reality: Blogger Goddessmom posted a beautiful Goddess poem about Avalon on August 18.

Radical Goddess Thealogy: Blogger Athana gives us 2 related articles, "Auntie A on the Gift Economy" on August 11, and "Cinderella: Medieval Prophecy" on August 12.

Screaming Into The Void: Blogger Amananta comments on a book by the late Andrea Dworkin, Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation in her August 15 post, "Scapegoat, Israel & Palestine, Terrorism at Home and Abroad".

Fetch me my axe : Blogger belledame222 writes about antisemitism and the Christian Right's apparent affection for Jews and Israel in her August 12 post, " ‘Judeo-Christian' "

Some soul-searching about the evolution of Reclaiming at several blogs including:
Blog O'Gnosis: Anne Hill's August 6 post,
"The Baby and the Bathwater", and August 16 post, "A Peak Experience."

Roots Down: Deborah Oak's August 6 post, "Interesting Times," and her August 24 post, "Tools and Traits."
Broomstick Chronicles: M. Macha Nightmare's August 19 post, "Bringing Reclaiming Back Into the Circle"
Hecate: Not affiliated with Reclaiming, blogger Hecate takes the current discussion in a more general direction in her August 17 post,
"We've Got Magic To Do, Just for You" .

That's how the buzz coils for now. If we missed an item you think is important. Please leave the info as a "comment."


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Women's Equality Day

August 26 is U.S. Women's Equality Day, established by President Jimmy Carter to mark the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on August 26, 1920. This year it comes just after a form of contraception, which has been kept from wider availability for no good scientific reason, has finally been approved for sale without a prescription.

You may have your own ideas about how to celebrate. For starters, we suggest reading
Timeline of the Suffrage Movement and A Brief History of the Women's Suffrage Movement, and meditating on why it took a fight of 72 years to get the United States to grant women the right to vote and what you can do to keep women's issues in the forefront politically, socially, and spiritually. An excellent book on the connection between the fight for women's suffrage in the U.S. and religion in post-civil war America, including Spiritualism, is Other Powers by Barbara Goldsmith. There's also a new novel, Sex Wars by Marge Piercy, with the same historical characters plus some invented ones, including a woman who goes into the condom-manufacturing business. I'm reading the novel now and gaining new insights into both post-Civil War feminism and what's going on today.

The approval of the contraceptive
"morning-after" pill (Plan B) for sale over-the-counter adds to my sense of celebration (although I would have preferred to see the approval go through without an age limit). I want to thank everyone who worked so hard and long to get this approval. Like the right to vote, it shouldn't have taken so long. In the reasonable, compassionate society that many of us are striving for, it would be outrageous to allow society – to allow the State – to control women's bodies. Rather, it would be a given that each individual woman is in control of her own body. But we're not there yet. So like our foremothers, we will continue to do what it takes to achieve our goal.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Guest Blog: The Goddess Temple of Orange County, Part 1

by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D., guest blogger

How do we know the Goddess is alive and magic is afoot? Because new temples and sanctuaries are being established. On March 7, 2004, I was honored to be one of many priestesses who gathered to dedicate a Goddess temple in a business park in Irvine, California.

Inspired by the Rev. Crystal Bujol, founder of the First Woman’s Church of Los Angeles, Ava Park and Marcy Kievman started holding weekly "goddess gatherings" in Ava’s living room early in 2002. At first it was just half a dozen women, but within a year the circle had grown to fifteen or twenty women. The younger women usually had to sit on cushions on the floor, but no one ever complained. Sunday "services" opened with a chanted circle casting—"Grandmother, I see you sitting in the east…."—that is still used every Sunday. While the liturgy created back then has had to change as attendance grows (we no longer go around the circle one by one to say our names), it has always included lighting the altar candles and giving "an offering from abundance." Women are invited to make an offering or charge a piece of jewelry on the central altar, Ava gives a brief lesson, often about a seasonal goddess or the status of women in the U.S. or somewhere in the world, and then she introduces her guest priestess. At the end, the circle is opened and women are invited to do personal work at the various altars.

I remember one Sunday when we were still in Ava’s living room. She had invited Valerie Eagle Heart, who follows the Red Path, and Valerie brought her large community drum and half a dozen drummers. Even though our chairs had to be pushed nearly to the walls to accommodate the five-foot drum and six enthusiastic drummers, it was enormously inspiring.

The first time I spoke to the circle was in Ava’s living room in September, 2003. She asked me to talk about cancer and healing. I had had surgery two months earlier and had just decided to decline radiation. (Thanks in large part to the healing energy of my pagan and Goddess friends, I am now cancer-free.). I spoke several other times and one Sunday taught the group to fold origami peace cranes. We made fifty-two cranes of red paper, which I then strung together and blessed to bring in abundance to the Temple. The cranes hung in Ava’s living room, were carried to the first Temple, and are still hanging in the second Temple.

By the end of 2003, when the Goddess Circle was obviously outgrowing Ava’s living room, the group started looking for temple space nearby in Irvine. After finding an office/warehouse about five minutes from the John Wayne Airport, volunteers (nearly all women) set to work decorating it. The walls were painted gold, lighting was installed, altars were built, goddesses and candles and tchotchkes were displayed, and chairs and cushions were purchased. Along two of the walls were ten altars to such goddesses as Brigit, Pax, Hygeia, and Athena. The principal altar held the altar candles, fresh flowers, and a large goddess statue. On the wall on each side of this altar hung smaller altars dedicated to the sun and the moon. The central altar, gold and on casters, was (and still is) rolled to the center of the circle every week and decorated with cloth, figures of appropriate goddesses, photos, candles, flowers, and symbols of the four elements. Ava’s dog, Raffee, also became the official temple dog.

"The Goddess Temple," Ava says, "is a temple for women of all faiths dedicated to restoring the Sacred Feminine in today’s spirituality." Although most of the women who come on Sundays are mainstream metaphysicals seeking something they can’t find in any of the standard-brand churches, Jewish, American Indian, and Buddhist women also attend regularly…plus a few hard-core witches (including Dianics) like me.

The composition of the community (or congregation, as they sometimes call themselves) is a topic Ava and I have discussed many times. She’s there all the time and is undoubtedly correct when she says that many of the women who come to the Temple are Wiccan and/or pagan, but my perception is that most of the women come from Unity and Religious Science. Everything these women know about goddesses they’ve learned at the Temple, and until they came to the Temple they’d never been to any kind of neopagan ritual. When, for example, I spent an hour before the spring equinox ritual telling stories about the springtime goddesses, the stories were new to most of my listeners.

Ruth Barrett, Z. Budapest, Elizabeth Cunningham, Max Dashu, Prema Desara and Anahata Iradah, Vicki Noble, and other scholars of the Goddess have appeared at the Temple, and so have Kathy Jones and Anique Radiant Heart, founders of the Glastonbury and Australian Goddess Temples. Jean Shinoda Bolen has also spoken there, and some of the movers and shakers of Gather The Women regularly attend. But many of the Sunday presenters and those who rent the space are mainstream metaphysicals whose topics are mediumship, diksha (a system of "implanting joy into our neurobiological systems"), prosperity and abundance, the guedra and belly dance, "animalspeak," "angel therapy," and astrology. Many of these presentations (like showings of the Celestine Prophecy and indigo children movies) are only marginally related to the Goddess, and a male shaman even once taught a class. A lot of the presenters come to speak and sell their products. But they bring people in the door. Once people are in the Temple, they can see the beauty of the place and perhaps learn something about a goddess or two.

The Temple offers two Sunday services, which are for women only: a 9 a.m. meditation and the larger, fancier service from 11 to 1. There are also sabbat rituals created and facilitated by women from various neopagan traditions (I created the Temple’s first Samhain ritual in 2005 and will do another one in 2007), full-moon and new-moon drumming circles, personal rituals and services (after Marcy died in August, 2005, her funeral and jahrzeit were both held there), classes, workshops, slide shows, parties, book signings (my Pagan Every Day launch party
will be on September 9, and other events.

(Look for Part 2 of this guest post about The Goddess Temple of Orange County in September. It will include use of space, organization, and description of altars.)

Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. (, is the author of Pagan Every Day: Finding the Extraordinary in Our Ordinary Lives (RedWheel/Weiser, 2006), a unique daybook of daily meditations, stories, and activities. Her earlier books are Finding New Goddesses, Quicksilver Moon, Goddess Meditations, and Practicing the Presence of the Goddess. Her day job is freelance editing for people who don’t want to embarrass themselves in print. Barbara lives in southern California.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Article Double-Whammies Goddess

In Medusa Coils’ first post, Why Are We Here?, we stated that one of this blog’s goals is to counter the practice of downplaying contributions of spiritual feminists, including Goddess authors. We said we would "be particularly critical of writing that ignores the Goddess or feminist sources of ideas it espouses while at the same time putting down modern Goddess religion or spiritual feminism." We promised to post soon about such an article. Here it is:

The article we’re going to point the finger at is certainly not the only example of this shall-we-call-it genre, and likely will not be the last we discuss. It just happens that it’s the one I came across at about the time I decided to launch this blog. It appears in a journal that you might not expect to publish such a point of view, Tikkun, whose name is Hebrew for a concept that humans have an obligation to repair and perfect the world. Its publisher is listed as the nonprofit "Institute for Labor and Mental Health." The magazine is associated with the Jewish Renewal Movement, a liberal (or progressive, take your pick) form of Judaism, and with the Network of Spiritual Progressives, an organization formed to counter the political clout of fundamentalist religions. Tikkun’s editorial board includes at least two well-known female feminist authors; it appears that only 20-25 percent of its 49-member editorial board are women. Because this publication and organization project a reputation of being feminist-friendly, it’s of even more concern (to me, anyway), when an article dismissive of aspects of spiritual feminism appears in it.

Tikkun’s masthead includes a disclaimer that "Articles in Tikkun do not necessarily reflect Tikkun’s position on any issue." So I suppose we shouldn’t hold Tikkun as a whole responsible for the views in the May/June 2006 article, "Jewish Renewal and American Spirituality." Yet its author, Shaul Magid, is one of Tikkun’s contributing editors. So I’m still worried – and not a little angry.

This article engages in the double-whammy of appropriating ideas previously developed, expressed, published by spiritual feminists – particularly Goddess feminists – while at the same time putting down Goddess feminism. A neat trick, eh?

In the first paragraph of the article, Magid explains that:

"As a particularly American form of Judaism, Jewish Renewal can trace its spiritual lineage back to these American Spiritualists as much, or even more than, it can claim Eastern European Hasidic ancestry."
Magid then discusses the influence of Eastern Religious thought, inspiration from the Transcendentalists, and then in the 20th century the Beats, the Beatles (?!) and the "New Agers." Nowhere does he mention the strong interrelationship between first-wave feminism and Spiritualism (see Other Powers by Barbara Goldsmith), nor does he discuss any contribution of 20th century spiritual feminist thought other than a brief dismissal several paragraphs later (yes, I'm coming to that, grrrrrr).

Magid says,

"Renewal added to that mix Jungian and neo-Jungian psychology, theories of holistic healing, and a belief in multiculturalism – creeds straight out of the New Age culture that developed in the 1970s."
Though he doesn't define exactly what "New Age culture" includes today, he does say that it re-emerged in the 1970s bringing with it concepts from 19th century metaphysical thought. He also apparently doesn't include feminist/Goddess thought under the rubric "New Age." I agree with both of these assessments.

Under the subhead, "Paradigm Shift," Magid observes:

"Renewal founder Reb Zalman Shacter-Shalomi calls what he is doing a 'Paradigm Shift' from a theology where God exists but is utterly distant, to a world where God is an organic part of creation."
Magid sources this idea to Buddhism and New Age thought. I question this. We usually think of Buddhism as teaching that the primary quality of life and the material world is suffering, and that the way to nirvana (an egoless state of utter peace) involves movement away from the material world and thus away from suffering. Most of us think of Buddhism as having little to say about "God,"
certainly in the Abrahamic sense of a single all-powerful deity. But even if we were to ascribe some deity description to Buddhism as it is most commonly understood, because of its negative view of the material world one could hardly describe that deity as "an organic part of creation." I suppose, however, that since there are so many varieties of Buddhism, it’s possible that one or more of them could somehow be interpreted to include immanence of deity in the material world. But it’s certainly not what one commonly thinks of as Buddhism. As for "New Age thought," as Magid indicates, much of this is material carried forward from metaphysical groups and writing of the late 19th century. And in the 21st century it still retains strong elements of separating the spiritual from the material, and also tends to be hierarchical (for example, the board of directors type group that you supposedly meet after you "cross over").

Which contemporary spiritual path does involve extensive discussion of a paradigm shift from transcendent ("utterly distant") God to organic deity? Three guesses and the first two don’t count. That’s right – Goddess spirituality. From Starhawk to Riane Eisler to Carol Christ – and beyond. But does Magid mention this connection? Hah!

Magid says:

"American practitioners of Eastern religions – and particularly those who identify with New Age movements – share a belief in the world as a living organism, or as Reb Zalman calls it, 'Gaia consciousness,' a belief that refracts nature religion and pantheism through a revised monotheistic lens. . . .Zalman argues that the disciple [sic? does he mean discipline?] of your father represents the old paradigm, the Torah of patriarchy. If one can no longer hear that Torah, there is still the instruction of your mother, [italics Magid's] the Torah of Gaia, the notion of the world as an organism..."
But the concept of Gaia consciousness is not only refracted by Reb Zalman; it’s also common among Goddess and non-Goddess folks. It has both spiritual and scientific aspects. The scientific Gaia Theory, which sees the Earth as a living organism, was first proposed by James Lovelock in the 1960s, but not widely accessible to the general public until the publication of Lovelock’s book, The Quest for Gaia in 1975. Was it synchronistic that this occurred at about the same time that Goddess feminists/ecofeminists were pointing out the relationship between the trashing of the environment and religious views in which "man" is given "dominion over" the Earth? Or do you think perhaps there was some sharing of opinions along the way? In any case, naming the theory and "consciousness"(and type of Torah!) after Gaia, ancient Greek Mother Goddess, certainly points to Goddess influence, and the spiritual views now called "Gaia consciousness" were elucidated early on by Goddess feminists. Then how can "Gaia consciousness" be called specifically New Age? While it’s true that many who consider themselves "New Agers" are interested in it, not all New Agers are avid environmentalists. And not everybody who sees Earth as an organism and relates to this idea spiritually is part of the "New Age culture." Interest in the scientific basis of and relationship to global warming issues of Gaia theory/consciousness extends far beyond the boundaries of New Age. Could it be that Magid credits Gaia consciousness to "New Age" to avoid giving credit to Goddess and/or Neo-Pagan thealogy, which, after ignoring, he then disses and dismisses under the subhead, "Post-Monotheism":

"Zalman's Judaism is not a neopagan pantheism that seeks to retrieve a pre-monotheistic paradigm that was corrupted by the (patriarchal) domination of monotheism."
Whew!!! I was worried there for a while, but now when you assure me that this isn't Neo-Paganism, I feel soooooo much better, especially when you go on to tell me in the very next sentence that spiritual feminist stuff is also simply a retrieval and restoration project: "
"One does find that view among Zalman's contemporaries, particularly in the works of feminists such as Adrianne [sic] Rich (especially her early work), Meryll [sic] Stone, Riane Eisler, Starhawk, and perhaps most prominently Jenny Kien's Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism....
Rather the theology Zalman suggests is more constructive than restorative...."
If Magid had read all the books more thoroughly (and respected the authors enough to get their first names right: Adrienne Rich, Merlin Stone) he might have come to different conclusions. Though there may be a few Neo-Pagan groups who are trying to exactly reconstruct ancient polytheistic religions, they are in the minority and Goddess feminists are not usually among them. The authors Magid mentions don’t propose to just retrieve ancient religions. What Stone, Eisler, Starhawk, and Kien do is deconstruct religious beliefs using what we have of the history of religion, then reconstruct in our imaginationsnot propose that they be adopted exactly as they were – what pre-patriarchal religions might have been like, and then construct in real life new spiritual forms.

For example, in her still-popular 1979 book, The Spiral Dance, Starhawk, who is also an environmental activist, describes one idea of what might have been "the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess," but ends the book with a chapter on ,"Creating Religion: Towards the Future," in which she says:

"When God is felt to be separate from the physical world, religion can be split off from science, and limited to the realm of things having to do with God. But Goddess is manifest in the physical world, and the more we understand its workings, the better we know Her. . . . I would like to see the Goddess religion of the future be firmly grounded in science."
Starhawk goes on to discuss the spirals of DNA and galaxies.

And then there’s Riane Eisler. In her influential 1987 book, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History Our Future, Eisler traces the anthropological and sociopolitical history of religion back to the early Neolithic (6000 BCE), but not so that we will adopt ancient Goddess-worshipping religions exactly as they were then. Rather it is so that we will understand that society was not always structured on domination and hierarchy but at one time, before Goddess worship was forcibly suppressed, was built around cooperation and equality. Eisler’s concern for the present and future is not primarily the establishment of religions; rather she hopes historical knowledge will help us move out of our present dominator (her term) paradigm to a new social paradigm based on what she terms "partnership." The last chapter in Chalice and the Blade is about building "a Partnership Future." A later book she wrote with David Loye, The Partnership Way, and their organization, the
Center for Partnership Studies focuses on how to put partnership theories into practice now and in the future in various types of non-sectarian groups and relationships.

And then we come to Jenny Kien's 2000 book, Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism, which Magid elevates to prominence (as well it should be—it’s a terrific book!). Kien, a Ph.D. neurobiologist, looks specifically at the history of Goddess worship in the Ancient Near East and its relevance to Judaism and sees as one possibility, the inclusion of Asherah in modern Judaism. But contrary to Magid’s implication, she doesn’t advocate the restoration of pre-Abrahamic Goddess worship as it existed in antiquity. Here’s what Kien, does advocate (on pp. 201-202) :

"...a compromise, a mixing of the new (or old) imagery with the current traditions, an evolution instead of revolution’.
"There are many paths that this evolution can take. One of them is the taking up of old goddess religions, redefining them according to our needs, and developing a modern form of spirituality. This is the path taken by the new goddess religions and the modern feminist spirituality movement that center on the Divine Woman....I do not advocate turning our backs completely on the traditional religions. Instead, it is necessary to reinstate the Divine Woman in all religions where she is missing."
It's certainly clear from these quotes and from just about anything else you might read by Goddess feminists, that we are not advocating restoring ancient Goddess religions exactly as they were in antiquity. I wonder why Magid needed to make it seem otherwise?

We Goddess feminists don’t pretend to know all the details of religions before 3000 BCE, we can only make educated guesses. But what we do know from extensive and growing archeological evidence is that they included imagery of the divine embodied as female, i.e., goddesses. Most of us realize, however, that there would probably be parts of these religions that would be anachronistic, even possibly distasteful. What we do do, and what these authors did, is create anew by combining what we have discovered about pre-patriarchal religions with what has gone on in religion and spiritual beliefs in the thousands of years since then, sometimes introducing concepts, images, rituals, etc. to counter that influence.

We’re almost through here, but I can’t stop without sharing a couple of other Magid quotes. Under the subhead, "A Leap 'Outside' ," in the next to the last paragraph in the article, Magid writes:

"The God that is (re)created in Jewish Renewal is no longer the God of classical monotheism, nor is it the 'return of the gods' in the Nietzschean fashion or the new spirituality of neopaganism..."
Wait! Neo-Paganism has a new spirituality??? But I thought you just said it's merely retrieving a pre-monotheistic paradigm.... Oh well, go ahead
"but a post-monotheistic God who is both one and many, close at hand and within one's reach."
Yes, and we call this post-monotheisitic deity Goddess, right?

But no, because when crediting the influences of this "post-monotheistic" concept of deity Magid lists:

"Baal Shem Tov, the Seer of Lublin, Nahman of Bratslav...Emerson, Whitman, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, Felix Adler, Thomas Wentworth Higgenson, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Thomas Merton, the Beats, and others in the American spiritualist tradition...."
But not, definitely not, Starhawk, Eisler, Kien, (and others most of us could name) and not even Carol P. Christ, a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale, who has written about these concepts in modern Goddess religions for at least 25 years and most recently in her 1997 book, Rebirth of the Goddess, and has even written about the similarities between Goddess concepts and process theology in her 2003 book, She Who Changes. Why not?

Why does Magid go out of his way to distance himself, to put it politely, from feminists and Neo-Pagans while appropriating their concepts?

Well, maybe you can think of some answers to these questions. Maybe not. Certainly articles like this one leave a big question mark in my mind. Medusa Coils plans to look at other articles and maybe even books that similarly raise our blood pressure from time to time. If you know of any we should consider, hope you’ll leave a comment. In the meantime, I’ll be stocking up on bp meds.


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Friday, August 04, 2006

Guest Blogger: Christina of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple

(Note from Medusa: This blog entry began as a comment to the recent "Buzz Coil" post. We contacted Christina because we wanted to upgrade her comment to a post so that the information it contained could reach more people. She has graciously agreed and made modifications and additions so we can bring you the following guest post)

by Christina

There's a lot to say about the work we're doing over in Glastonbury in England promoting the Goddess Temple .

As an academic, feminist and journalist I'm constantly aware of the deep misogyny of the mainstream media. Here in the UK it's pretty much completely unreconstructed. This despite the heroic efforts of women and men who are working for change.

So we decided to take the snakes by the throat and address the issue. We're promoting the Goddess here in the UK, and Goddess spirituality, via the Glastonbury Goddess Temple on TV, radio, in the press and online. We are determined to change public perception of the feminine divine and make the public aware of this as a viable spiritual path with many benefits. At the same time we're hoping to affirm the Temple and Her Priestesses and raise some money for a new Glastonbury Goddess Temple, which is badly needed.

There are several ways in which Glastonbury is unique and important. First, of course it is a genuine sacred site and perhaps has more claim than anywhere in Britain (itself sacred to the Goddess) to be a mystical Goddess focus. There are huge legends attached to Glastonbury and of course it's mentioned in the popular blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code. The Holy Grail is a Glastonbury myth; King Arthur was said to be buried here. And it's an ancient 'Isle': some say it's the isle of Avalon. The priestesses say that Avalon is the mystical land of the Lady on the other side of the veil of perception. As a medieval scholar I know that this idea occurs in a twelfth-century manuscript and is much older. Glastonbury has all this real historical and mythic resonance.

Second, it's home to the first (and only) Goddess Temple in Britain for 1500 years.

Third, the priestesses are very proactive and come from all walks of life; they are accomplished and impressive people.

Fourth, they run a priestess training course lasting 3 to 6 years which is fully subscribed and whose graduates go on to found temples and practise worldwide. There is one in San Jose, Calif., for example. There are now around 100 trained and practising Priestesses of Avalon and the course is popular and I think full.

Fifth, priestess Kathy Jones has just published Priestess of Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess, 544 pp. and her ninth book, which is the definitive guide to Avalon Priestess training.

There are so many ways in which you and the people you are in touch with could help us. We are seeking contacts in the US media, in magazines, the press, TV, radio and online, to promote and talk about the Glastonbury Goddess movement. If you, anyone you know, or anyone reading this should be inspired to suggest any way in, or any contact, in the US media for the Glastonbury Goddess, please post a comment on the Living Goddess blog at and I will email you.

We're also hoping to start off an annual academic Goddess symposium in the UK and would like to make contacts with US academics in the Goddess Studies field who would be willing to help set this up and take part.

The priestesses also urgently need to raise money for a new Goddess Temple and are asking for help. One of them, blogger Pammy, has opened up, which is a trading-up blog. It's an exciting place to make a donation and could be a way of Goddess-loving people to join forces across the continents. So far we have had offers from the UK, Norway and Austria. The blog has only been going a couple of weeks.

As you see, in Glastonbury it's about action and being proactive: both theory and practice. To me that's inspiring, especially as it encompasses many kinds of women and some men, some of whom are intellectual, some of whom aren't.

I am a lecturer in medieval studies at Bristol University and have developed a dayschool and weekend school for the general public, 'The Goddess and the Grail: The Real Meaning of the Da Vinci Code'. I am available to present this at other locations in Britain, as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.

My ambition, as a woman, an intellectual, and an activist is to get this spirituality on the agenda as widely as possible. We're keen to get it into the corners it wouldn't normally reach. I am absolutely convinced that this would be a radical act of great merit and we're putting heart and determination into it.

Christina blogs at You can read more about the Glastonbury Goddess Temple there, and at

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Upcoming Events Coil 2

As far as we know, all of the following are "open" functions; however, some of them may be limited to women. Please check the websites for specific group policies. All times are local. When listing events for the same date, we have tried to list the events occurring first, first (taking into account time differences).

August 6, 11 a.m. Service, Catherine Wright,
"Mary Magdalene," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

August 9, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.
Full Moon ritual, The Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV.

August 9, 7-9 p.m.
Women's Full Moon Drum Circle, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine, CA

August 10, 7: 30 p.m.,
Ritual celebrating Sekhmet, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), SF Bay area

August 11-13,
International Essene Gathering, Essene Garden of Peace, Elmira OR

August 12, 4-10 p.m., Workshop/Slide Show with Max Dashu,
"Woman Shaman: Reconnecting with Our Source," Sanctuary, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

August 13, 11 a.m. Service, Dr. Barbara Ardinger,
"The Goddess Timeline," , Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

August 14-20,
Sisters of the Red Tent , Women's Retreat and priestess training in Jewish earth-centered tradition , Accord, NY

August 19, 1-4 p.m.
"The Pagan Gnostic Rite of the Bridal Chamber of the Tradition of the Holy Order of Miriam of Magdala," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

August 20, 11 a.m. Service,
Temple Astrologer Gaye Nelson, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine, CA

August 20, 12:30 p.m.
Daughters of Kali Introductory Circle, Maa Batakali Cultural Mission, San Francisco CA

August 20, 5:30 p.m.
Community Puja (worship), Maa Batakali Cultural Mission, San Francisco CA

August 23, 7 p.m.,
Scrying and Water Magic at Cactus Spring, Temple of the Goddess Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs, NV

August 23, 7-9 p.m.
New Moon ritual, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

August 24, 7-9 p.m.,
Dark Moon of the Minoan Serpent Lady, Sirens' Sanctuary, NYC

August 24, 7:30 p.m.,
Ritual celebrating Mazu, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), SF Bay area

August 27, 11 a.m. Service,
Antique Radiant Heart, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 3, 11 a.m.,
Annual Outdoor Beach Ritual celebrating Yemaya , Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), SF Bay area.

September 3, 11 a.m. Service,
"Honoring Women's Labor," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 6, 7-9 p.m.
Women's Full Moon Drum Circle, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 7, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.
Full Moon ritual, The Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV.

September 10, 11 a.m. Service,
Verlaine Crawford, "Ending the Battle Within,"Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 11, 7-9 p.m.
"All-Faith World Peace Prayers for Nine-Eleven," Sanctuary, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 15, 6 p.m.
Reception for Lady Olivia Robertson of the Fellowship of Isis, Lyceum of Eleusis, Chicago IL

September 16-17,
Annual Equinox Goddess Festival, Lyceum of Eleusis, Fellowship of Isis, Chicago IL

September 17, 11 a.m. Service,
Rev. Ayanna Mojica, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 19, 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate Fall Equinox and Zorya, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), SF Bay area

September 21, 7-9 p.m.
Fall Equinox Celebrating Inanna, Sirens Sanctuary, NYC

September 21, gather 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m.
Autumn Equinox Ritual with Laura Janesdaughter, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 22, 7:30 p.m.,
Brigantia's Autumn Equinox Festival, Gastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury, England.

September 22, 4 p.m. High Tea; 7 p.m.
Equinox Celebration and Fire Ceremony, Fellowship of Isis, Altamont, NY

September 22,
New Moon ritual, 7-9 p.m., Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

September 22, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.
Autumn Equinox, The Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV.

September 24, 1400 uur,
Herfst Equinox Ceremonie, Avalon Mystic, Hillegom, Nederland.


Geyersville CA: Sunday Services 2-4 p.m.
Temple of Isis .

Houston: TX: The Monday Group, Noon.
Christian feminist theology study group.

Irvine CA: Sunday Services: 1st Service at 9 a.m. inward, meditative; 2nd service at 11 a.m., dancing, drumming, singing; see dates for guest speakers.
Goddess Temple of Orange County,

Mt. Horeb WI: Goddess Circle, Thursdays 7-8:30 p.m.,
Circle Sanctuary.

NYC: Open Monthly Women's Circle,
Sirens Sanctuary.

Portland OR: Rituals at new and full moons, quarters and cross-quarters.
Full Circle Temple , Tuesdays-Sundays 10 a.m.-10 p.m. "Open to all self-identified women and girls."

San Francisco, CA: New Moon and Full Moon observances,
Maa Batakali Cultural Mission.

We'd like 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 with your event, giving: Name of event, sponsoring organization (if any), town, date, time (if known), and, REQUIRED: url of website where person can get more info. (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 Upcoming Events Coil every month. If event you leave in a comment to this post takes place after the date of the next Events Coil post, we will also include it in the main section of that post.