Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Guest Blog: The Importance of Goddess Temples

by Anne Key, Ph.D., guest blogger
Priestess to the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet

I had a dream a number of years ago. I was going to buy a house in downtown Hood River, Oregon, where I lived and worked, and convert the first floor into a temple while I lived upstairs. The temple would be open during the day and some evenings. The central focus of the temple would be a statue of a Goddess, and I would refresh her flowers and light incense for Her daily. I imagined people coming in and spending some time in silent meditation, giving their minds the space to rest and their hearts a place to open.

This odd little dream swam around, nudging itself into the folds of my brain and taking up residence in the chambers of my heart. Then I received an email advertising an open position as the priestess at the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet in Nevada. I am now completing my second year here, and my conviction of the benefit of Goddess Temples is now grounded in factual observations, though still held aloft by my dreams.

The Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet is designed to be open to the elements. Four doors open to the four directions, and the domed roof opens to the sky. The Temple welcomes visitors from sunrise to sunset every day. And every day people arrive. When I go in the evening to light candles and incense, I find roses, pictures, stones, jewelry, notes, candles – an infinitely individual array of items – left at the feet of the Goddesses.

Space. Consecrated, sacred space is vital. First we need space to do our own work. Space for us to know ourselves and meet the Divine. People come to the Goddess Temple to re-center themselves, to be in silence, to hear their hearts, to feel their place in the cosmos, to find guidance, to pray for the sick, to ask for help.

One afternoon I went up to the Temple and found two women there. They had built a small fire in the fire pit. One was crying and burning letters, the other was sitting with her in support, arm around her shoulders. They had never been to the Temple before, they were not Wiccans or Goddess devotees – they were two women who knew that this was a place they could come and be in peace as they did what they knew, somehow naturally, they needed to do.

Images are the second important component for the Goddess Temple.

I lecture at various venues on Goddess Spirituality, and I continue to be amazed at the answer to my question: “Does your God have a gender?” Of course, the wording of the question would seem to make it rhetorical, but people almost always answer “No, my God does not have a gender.” Then, when I ask them to describe God, the beard is a dead giveaway. When I ask them if God is a woman, they are shocked and absolutely, defiantly sure that their genderless God is not a woman.

What has occurred to me during these lectures is the fact that most women in 21st century American culture never see themselves as divine. Images of the Feminine Divine are important. They are important because they begin the process of consecrating our bodies as Divine. Our bodies – just as they are, pre-surgical and natural – are divine. These images remove our bodies from the sole category of object-of-the-male-gaze to corporealized divinity.

Images of the Feminine Divine are important because they embody the divine qualities of the feminine. The roles of mother, healer, guide, protector, lover, provider, nurturer combine with the qualities of compassion, justice, truth, fertility, strength, love in the images of the Feminine Divine to present woman in 3+ dimensions. The most predominant images of women in the modern media are as accoutrements to products, such as cars or purses. Images of the Feminine Divine show women as their highest beings. It is of course no small wonder why graven images are so tightly controlled by the dominant religious traditions.

When I sit in front of the statue of Sekhmet in the Temple, I see the solar disc on her head, aligning her with the sun, the source of nurturance for our earth. The uraeus coils above her head in front of the sun, the cobra full of the earth and the cosmos combined. She has the head of a lioness, which stirs this cord inside of me that remembers when humans and animals were sisters, when we were one. Her body is of a full woman, breasts with rosette nipples. Marsha Gomez, the sculptor for the statue of Sekhmet in the Temple, formed one of Her breasts larger than the other, emphasizing Her humanity. Sekhmet grasps the ankh in Her left hand, and Her feet are firmly planted on the earth. She is divine; She is human; She is animal; She is woman; She is power; She is love.

Yes, I am most definitely a confirmed idolater.

Here on the precipice of winter, as the wheel slows at Samhain to stop for a moment at Winter Solstice, I see and feel Her presence. I breathe Her that is dark and light, that is moon and sun, that is death and life, that is all. Yes, more spaces and more idols of the Feminine Divine. That is where so many, myself included, have found what is attained at the end of desire.

Deepest Blessings of the Dark to you as we enter the Winter – Anne Key, Samhain 2006

For information about the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, please visit: http://www.sekhmettemple.com/

Dr. Anne Key is the third priestess to the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet. She received her Ph.D. in Women’s Spirituality from California Institute of Integral Studies. Along with her duties as priestess, Anne teaches Composition and Women’s Studies at the Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).


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Monday, October 30, 2006

Tagged: Feminism 5

"The women of Medusa Coils" has (have?) been tagged by belledame222 of Fetch me my axe and since we've only been blogging since July, this is our first time being tagged ::blush:: Here's how I think this works. A blogger starts a "meme" and then tags other bloggers to join in. When you're tagged, you're supposed to tag 5 more bloggers. Anyway, this time the idea, as originated (I think) by Feministe is to tell about 5 things feminism has done for us. I'm going to start and labyrs and Silver Serpent will join in.

Woman's Suffrage - This is from our first-wave foremothers and comes to mind strongly now as I write this, a few days before the next U.S. election. I am amazed every time I realize how long it took "them" to allow (!) women to vote--70 some years! The U.S. women's suffrage movement began in earnest just after the Civil War and the Constitutional amendment wasn't passed until 1920. Less than 100 years later, most of us take this right for granted. Should we?

Career Fulfillment - My parents wanted me to be a teacher so I would have "something to fall back on" (translation: in case your future husband can't support you, it's okay for 'ladies' to teach). I didn't want to be a teacher (lucky kids!), I wanted to be a journalist. I got a degree in journalism and became one of the first women hired as a reporter on a certain daily newspaper and many years later, the first woman to be editor of a certain magazine.

Deepened Spirituality - The analytical tools of feminism helped me understand that many assumptions and teachings of Western religions are misogynist and used to legitimize secular misogyny and oppression of women. This led me to explore feminist spirituality through my writing and participate in Goddess groups.

From labyrs:
Ecofeminism - Feminism helped me understand the relationship between disrespect for women and the trashing of Mother Earth.

From Silver Serpent:
My Body, My Self - Because of feminist insights, I realise that I'm in charge of my body--not doctors, not society--but me, and that feeling pleasure during sex is a natural and good--even sacred--thing.

Medusa Coils tags: Shekhinah at So She Stirs, Diana at The Adventures of Dr. Diana , Trish at The Countess, Rachel at Shining Tribe , Sage at Goddessing.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Buzz Coil: October

Here's what's been buzzin' on other blogs recently. If we missed an item you think is important. Please leave the info as a "comment."

Doire Musings : In an Oct. 19 post, "thou shalt not erect graven images," the blogger mdiv94, a professor of religion, writes about how a furor erupted recently when she introduced female god language in the college classroom. (Yes, this is still happening in 2006!) Mdiv94 writes:
It is only when one suggests that God is like a Mother, or when one refers to God as "She" that the hostility emerges. I told them that there is a feminist theologian and Catholic nun (Sr. Elizabeth Johnson) who has written in her book She Who Is that to insist upon only one image for God; to insist that God can only be imaged exclusively in male terms, is paramount to idolatry; it is comparable to creating a "graven image," an idol. That's when a few of the boys lost it. Towards the end of class one of them asked, "What is it that you (meaning, you feminists) want?" I began by saying that the feminist critique of religion and feminist theology were important to me because I am convinced that, "our theology shapes our humanity." I am convinced that the ways in which we image God directly affect and influence our images of each other. What God becomes, becomes God....And as long as only men get to reflect the
divine; as long as men are the symbolic representation of God; as long as men are the only human beings who are considered worthy enough to mediate between the divine and the human, then the feminine and women will be rendered inferior. Regarding his question as it related to the issue of women's lives I responded this way, "I would like it if a woman were not sexually assaulted every few minutes in this country. I would like it if a woman were not beaten every few seconds in this country. I would like it if the trafficking in women's and girls' bodies was not the third largest illegal trade in the world. If globally, women could be educated, could own property, inherit, sign contracts, witness in courts of law, vote...
Screaming into the Void: In her Oct. 17 post, "Gender, Language, Religion and Law," blogger Amananta uses "woman" as a generic term instead of "man" in some familiar passages. A "good consciousness raiser," as they used to say, unfortunately still necessary.

At the end of desire: In her Oct. 18 post, "Ethics, Science, and the Goddess," blogger Inanna responds to coverage of the shooting of girls by a non-Amish man in an Amish school.

Radical Goddess Thealogy: In a Sept. 24 post about "Tracking Down a Good Goddess Group" blogger Athana and commenters give practical suggestions. In a Sept. 27 post, "The Mysterious dying God, " Athana asks: Does our new Goddess religion need a dying God?

The Furious Spinner: In an Oct. 13 post, "Freya's Day," Kim Antieu reflects on Fridays' significance, including an incident in Greece.

Hecate: Blogger Hecate shares several different imporessions of the Goddess Ix Chel, including a poem by Amy Sophia Marashinsky in the Oct. 20 post, "Saturday Goddess Blogging" .

Peeling a Pomegranate : Blogger Carly tries to reconcile her Judaism and her "aspected monotheism" in her Oct. 17 post, "Am I Pagan?"

Blue Christian : Jon Trox interviews feminist evangelical Christian Patricia Gundry in "Woman Be Free! Interview with Patricia Gundry" .

So She Stirs: Shekhinah Mountainwater writes in her October post "Cancer Musings" about her recuperation from cancer. We're glad to see Shekhinah blogging again!

About Samhain/Hallows:
Blogger Jay refutes some misconceptions about Samhain in "They're Trying to Hijack Us Again!" on Jay My Space blog .

On Pagan Godspell , Sara Sutterfield Winn in an Oct. 19 post, "The Beloved Dead and the Not So Beloved Dead" asks: What about those ancestors you'd rather not contact?

A gem of a contemplative post on Emily My Space Blog on Oct. 22, "Peaceful, Sacred Samhain." Quoting Emily's 3rd paragraph seems a nice way to close:
And at this time of the Crone, the Hag, we remember the Burning Times and know we must continue to live, even if not all of us can live out loud, to bring peace, healing, empowering wisdom into the lives of all, to always work for the greater good no matter the risk. In these days of waning energy on the Wheel of the Year, we honor the Crone by remembering those Crones who have touched our lives and moved on, and by serving those who are still here. We honor you, dear Crone, by listening to you. Above all, my ears are here to gather the fragmented, nearly forgotten pieces of your story so that your wisdom, experiences and lessons of life will continue to serve the community for generations to come. Your life is not for naught, for we are listening and learning from you. From the Crone's wisdom in death comes the Maiden's rebirth anew in Spring.
Blessed Samhain/Hallows to all.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Samhain, Hallows, Halloween Hijacked

The most sacred holy day in many Pagan traditions has been hijacked by some fundamentalist Christian groups to promote hatred and intimidate children. How did this happen? First, it helps to know the religious significance of the original holiday and how it changed to a secular observance.

Among Pagans and Goddessians, the holiday is known either by its ancient Celtic name, Samhain (usually pronounced sou-wen) or Hallows. It is the third and final harvest holiday, celebrated on or around (depending on the tradition) October 31 in the Northern hemisphere. Sometimes called "The Witches New Year," it’s held at the time of year when the darkness of night is beginning to noticeably lengthen. Its central focus is honoring ancestors, reaching a spiritual understanding of death, and overcoming fear. Other themes are transformation and continuity. The aspect of the Goddess associated with this holiday is the Crone, representing the old, wise woman associated with transformation. Observances include leaving food on your personal altar for your own ancestors; during group rituals, reading aloud the names of those who have passed over within the last year, followed by reading the names of babies born in the last year. Because of the belief that the veil between this world and the spirit world is thinnest on this holiday, various forms of divination and spirit contact are sometimes attempted.

Some groups dance a Spiral Dance as part of the ritual. This is a circle dance, with one person leading (a formation known as an "open circle" or sometimes, in folk dance groups, a curved line), and is usually danced using a "grapevine step": Moving in the line of direction, one foot steps to the side while the other foot alternates between crossing in front of the first foot and in back of the first foot (for example, right foot moves to r, left foot crosses in front of r moving r; r to r, l crosses behind r moving r). As the line coils inward, each person comes face to face with every other person. The spiral becomes increasingly compact and the leader intuits when it is time to turn the spiral outward again. If there are enough people and the leader is skilled enough, a double spiral can be formed when the first, inward coiling spiral continues as the second, outward coiling spiral, is formed. The dance symbolizes the cycling and continuity of life. (See Events Coil 4 for various Samhain/Hallows events.)

In the early centuries CE, Christians adapted this holiday’s symbolism, especially the ancestor-honoring – in their observance of Hallows Eve and All Saints Day. Similarities can also be seen to some Jewish traditions, such as praying for the dead (especially those who have passed during the last year) at Yom Kippur, and placing a cups of wine for Elijah and Miriam on the table at Passover.

The name of the secular holiday, Halloween (earlier spelled Hallowe’en), is an shortening of "Hallows Evening," the eve of All Saints Day. In North America, Halloween is mainly a secular children’s festival (though in recent years, some of those children persist in celebrating into adulthood). Many of us who are now elders have childhood memories of going door-to-door "trick- or-treating" in our costumes and even going into the houses to have neighbors guess who we were. Some time in the 60s and 70s, with unverified reports of people putting razor blades in apples and the perceived rise of crime in general, the tradition of children entering visited homes, especially when they don’t know the people, has died out in much of the U.S., and even the going door-to-door tradition is waning in favor of parties in one location.

To me, some of the secular traditions of Halloween retain remnants of the original holiday. For instance, in the custom of costumed children going house to house asking for "treats," (candy, they hope) the children can be seen as (unconsciously) embodying the ancestors and receiving the food for them. The symbol of the ugly, scary witch can be seen as a distortion of the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The ghosts are–well, embodied ghosts. And the slight scariness which becomes fun, and going door to door at night, are ways (were ways?) to overcome fear.

For a number of years, fundamentalist Christians have objected to such secular practices as having Halloween parties in school on the grounds that it’s a Pagan holiday. That apparently hasn't worked well enough to suit them, so they came up with their own "trick": "Hell House," a ripoff of the "haunted house" and a misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic distortion of both sacred and secular traditions. The first of these Halloween wicked tricks on children and teens was put on by a Denver pastor in 1992. The event was such a success that he soon was marketing Hell House kits to groups all over the U.S. In a few years a film documentary was made about this fundie fun that scares and intimidates kids. Hell House productions that grew out of the marketing kit material include bloody sadistic depictions of Hasidic Jews ground into meat in Hell; a girl raped and sent to Hell because she commits suicide; a young woman convinced by a demon to have an abortion sacrificed in a Satanic ritual, and a woman deceived by a demon into thinking she’s a lesbian dying of AIDS she contracted during lesbian sex (never mind that this greatly distorts the true incidence and causes of HIV – lesbians have a lower incidence of HIV than either gay men or straight women, in fact, lesbian transmission of HIV is very rare).

Icked out yet? Then you’ll really like this: Guess what just opened Off Broadway in time for Halloween in the Big Apple? A theatrical production of Hell House that follows the fundie script. You think I’m kidding? Here’s one review.


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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Coming Home to RCG-I

by Kip Parker, guest blogger

The Motherhouse of the Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess - International (RCG-I) is an unassuming single story building in a residential neighborhood near Madison's Quaker Park. The structure was once a small family-owned grocery but was converted decades ago into a residential dwelling. Its modest appearance belies the importance of this space in my ethereal life. The building's front entrances are adorned by a wooden deck and ramp of likewise modest appearance. This deck, however is the result of an energetic and physical coming together of Congregants from many locations and backgrounds in service to provide accessibility to all women who seek to enter the Temple. I will never forget the weekend I spent assisting the group that was doing the building.

The Temple room itself is large and full of light. There is a permanent altar, decorated seasonally by volunteers and Congregants. Local rituals and events are held here, as well as meetings and Women’s Thealogical Institute (WTI) classes, workshops and seminars. It is one of the places in the world where I feel most at home. And that is a big statement for me. I have rarely felt at home anywhere on the planet. The Temple room is diffused with a peaceful, smiling energy that has a definite female feel. I have spent many happy hours sitting in a circle in that room, gazing around at the faces of the beautiful women there.

One of my favorite things about RCG-I is the fact that there is no particular dogma. RCG-I considers itself to be a multi-traditional women's religion. Our members follow many different paths. Some, like me, consider themselves to be Dianic Witches. Some call themselves Wiccans, or Pagans. Some just refer to themselves as Goddess Women. There are women who identify with the Reclaiming movement, some Gardnerian, some Strega. No woman is ever turned away from membership so long as she holds a belief in a female divinity and declares herself to be on a positive spiritual path. And that's the reason why I belong.

In my early years, I stumbled around the edges of the then-fledgling Goddess movement, seeking a group where I could fit in. I was a rough-edged very butch lesbian, struggling with my addictions, experimenting sexually and trying to heal my past. During those times, I met and spoke with many women who called themselves teachers, high priestesses, or healers. I attended many workshops, classes, rituals and meetings. I restricted myself to women-only groups, thinking that I would feel most comfortable there. But instead, I felt like an outsider most of the time. I was unwilling to blindly follow anyone else's path (which in many cases seemed to be what was expected). Many tried to include me, but I just never felt right. So I read books and practiced solo. Somewhere along the way, I developed intuition and compassion and learned to trust them. When I did connect with other witches, it was one on one. I even attempted to teach some of them the few things I had learned. Still, some deep part of me longed for community.

Then, in the mid 80's at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival, I went to a workshop given by Jade River and Lynne Levy about the new women's religion that they were creating. My heart was touched by their sincerity and their kindness. I subscribed to their publication (the venerable Of A Like Mind). I bought a t-shirt with the triple crescent trademark (in black of course!). But I did not join. I was too wounded to give in to the instinct that told me that Jade and Lynnie were the teachers I had been craving. I had seen too many people who said all the right things, only to eventually demand blind devotion and assimilation.

So I watched from the sidelines while the young Congregation took hold and grew. I watched while a few of my friends joined the Congregation and then WTI. I made some tentative overtures toward Jade, which were met with honest answers and gentle humor. So I went to Madison and walked into that little unassuming house. When I walked into Jade's office that first time she welcomed me, her face beaming. She hugged me and said I would always be welcome. That she would never demand my allegiance. That I would never be asked to change anything I believed in order to belong. Turned out she had been watching me all those years too. Waiting for me to get over my own fears, ghosts and triggers and come home to the little house in Madison.

The Congregation offers many things to many women. There are local circles in many locations, from California to South Carolina, from Texas to Minnesota, from Indiana to Puerto Rico where women can gather and stand upon the earth and worship Her as they will. There are online discussion lists, seminars and classes. There are WTI groups in cities around the country that hold seminars, workshops and classes for women to attend and explore their spiritual paths. There are even guided trips to Goddess sites worldwide. But for me, there is one important thing at RCG-I. Acceptance. From the moment I walked in the door, I was accepted for who I was and what I believed. And I was furnished with the time and support to explore those beliefs. And I was (and still am) furnished with the kindness and acceptance that I have needed to grow and change and bloom.

In that little room in that unassuming house in Madison Wisconsin, I was given the greatest gift of my life. I wish that each of you may find the gift that calls your heart in the temple of your choice.

In Her Service, and So Yours, Kip Parker, Fall Equinox 2006 C.E.

For information about the Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, International, visit www.rcgi.org

Kip Parker, author of The Planting Rite, is a member of the NE Indiana Circle of the Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess. The Planting Rite is the first in a series called The Rememberer's Tales. For more information please visit www.creatrixbooks.com


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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why doesn't 'Interfaith' include Goddess?

Though I’m going to point the finger at one organization in particular in this post, let me be clear that this is not the only organization to claim it’s holding an interfaith, inter-religious, or ecumenical gathering while failing to include Goddess speakers. This situation has occurred before, and, unless we speak up clearly and continually, is likely to keep on happening. Often these situations occur with groups that project the image of being progressive and open-minded by including people from a variety of religions.

When the topic of the meeting or conference doesn’t specifically have something to do with women, it may be easier to let this slight slide by. But in this case, the conference topic is "Women in Religion in the 21st Century." This conference is being held Oct. 17-19 at the Interchurch Center in New York City and as unbelievable as it may seem, as far as I can tell from the list of speakers and list of events this conference doesn’t have any speakers who are known for teaching, writing on, or participating in modern Goddess religions, nor any presentations or discussions specifically on the large role played by Goddess thought in empowering women. Just about every other religious path seems to be included in the program, which has more than 50 speakers representing not only the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) but also Zoroastrian, Sihk, Shinto, Baha’i, Native American and probably other faiths. And this is great! But where, in an extensive 3-day program on women and religion, is the Goddess?

A statement of the "conference focus" says:
This is meant to be a positive voice to deepen understanding and respect, to promote collaboration and connectivity among religious organizations of all kinds and to provide a unique opportunity for networking among all women in all religions.
Why, we must ask, are Goddess feminists apparently excluded, or at the very least ignored, in this deepening of understanding and respect? Where is our opportunity?

I can think of two reasons for omitting Goddessians. One is that you tried to get Goddess speakers and none were available. It’s hard to envision this, though: How hard can it be to find a Goddess feminist to speak in New York City? Plus, in this particular case, at least two speakers on the list, while they are not themselves Goddess feminists, are known to have strong contacts in the Goddess community. So if the program planners didn’t have a clue about who would make a good Goddess representative, they could have asked them. Nevertheless, I suppose trying but not being able to find a speaker is within the realm of possibility.

It’s too late to do anything about this particular event. But I’ll make this offer for the future: If this happens to other groups planning "interfaith" events–especially those focusing on women and religion–if you want a Goddess author or scholar to speak at your conference, you are welcome to use this blog as a contact point. Leave a comment, or click on our profiles to figure out how to get in touch with one of us. Lest you think I’m trying to drum up personal business: neither I nor any of the other current team members are on the lecture circuit; we are not personally available for speaking engagements. But if you can’t find Goddess speakers on your own, we may be able to put you in touch with one.

The second possible reason for the "Conference on Women and Religion in the 21st Century" not including Goddess speakers is the less palatable but I’m afraid more likely one: Your organization doesn’t want any Goddessians on the program. Why? Are they too radical? Too dangerous? How can this be at a time when an increasing number of people are identifying themselves as Goddess Christians, Christo-Pagans, Goddess Jews , and Jewitches . Or could it be that’s what scares you?

Let me put it this way:

There is room at my table for those who want to remain Christian but who wish to honor Sophia, Mary Magdalene, Christa. Why isn’t there room at your table for people who honor Goddess(es) as a separate religious path?

There is room at my table for Jews who want to go no further than placing an orange on the sedar plate and Miriam’s Cup next to Elijah’s, or no further than re-empowering Shekhinah. Why isn’t there room at your table for Goddessians?

There is room at my table for all those in every spiritual path who seek to empower women and include women in the divine. Why isn’t there room at your table for us?


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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Events Coil 4

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

Oct. 5, 7 p.m. Frame Drumming Group, Gastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury, England

Oct. 6-7, Weekend of Broom-making, Crafting, Drumming , The Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Oct. 6-9, Convocation of the Temple of Isis and Fellowship of Isis, Isis Oasis, Geyserville CA

Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. Full Moon: Celebrate Andraste (Dianic), Daughters of the Goddess, SF Bay area CA

Oct. 7, 1:30-4 p.m., Demeter & Persephone's Circle for mothers and daughters (continues Nov.4, Dec. 2, Jan.6), West Concord MA

Oct. 7, 7 p.m., Full Moon Oracling with the Nine Morgan Oracles , Gastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury England.

Oct. 7, 7 p.m. "Suppressed Histories: Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi," with Max Dashu, Emeryville CA

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

Oct. 8, 11 a.m. Women's Prayers of Reparation to the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas with Valerie Eagle Heart Meyer and the Women of the Rainbow's End Song and Drum Circle, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine, CA

Oct. 12, 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Exploring the Wrathful Goddess Women's Well, West Concord MA

Oct. 14, 7 p.m., "Suppressed Histories: Aztec Women," with Max Dashu, Emeryville CA

Oct. 15, 11 a.m. Bonnie Mansdorf and Gaye Nelson , Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine, CA

Oct. 16, 7-9 p.m. Menopause as Spiritual Journey (continues Nov. 20, Dec. 18) Women's Well, West Concord MA

Oct. 20-22, Hallows Gathering, Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess International, Wisconsin Dells WI

Oct. 21, 8 p.m.-Midnight, Samhain Journey, Wiccan Educational Society, Westborough MA

Oct. 21, Ritual Soap Making 2 p.m., Cleansing Ritual 7 p.m. New Moon Women's Mysteries , Guest House, The Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Oct. 22, 2-4 p.m. New Moon Healing by Priestesses of the Goddess Temple, Goddess Temple of Glastonbury, Glastonbury, England

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

Oct. 25, 7-10 p.m. Decorating the Temple for Hallows, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 27-29 Samhain Weekend , IsisOasis Sanctuary, Geyersville CA

Oct. 27, 7 p.m. "Woman Shaman" with Max Dashu, Long Beach CA

Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. Spiral Dance Celebrating Hallowmas (Dianic), Daughters of the Goddess, SF Bay area CA

Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. Samhain Ritual & Spiral Dance, Reclaiming -Spiral Heart, Charles Town WV

Oct. 28, Samhain Ritual & Spiral Dance, Reclaiming, San Francisco CA

Oct. 28, 8 p.m.- midnight, Samhain Drum, Open Hearth, Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC

Oct. 28, doors open 6:30 p.m., ritual begins 7 p.m. "Hallowmass: A Ritual for Hallows in the Dianic Tradition," with guest priestesses from the Abbey of Avalon, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 29, gather 12:30 p.m., ritual 1 p.m. Samhain Ritual, Connect DC, west of Reflecting Pool, Washington DC

Oct. 29, 11 a.m. Halloween Costume Party , Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct 29, gather 3 p.m., rite 6 p.m. Samhain High Rite, Cedar Light Grove (ADF), Baltimore MD

Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., Samhain in the Realm of Ereshkigal, Sirens Sanctuary, NYC NY

Oct. 29, doors open 6:15 p.m., ritual 7 p.m. 14th Annual Samhain Ritual & Spiral Dance , Vancouver, BC, Canada

Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. Samhain Festival , Goddess Temple of Glastonbury, Glastonbury England

Oct. 31, doors open 6:30 p.m., event 7 p.m., Temple Holy Day: Witches and Pagans" , visual show by Max Dashu, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 31, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Samhain, The Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Nov. 3-5, "Entering the Deep: An Exploration of the Dark Goddess" with Patricia Monaghan and Amy Martin, The Apple Branch (Dianic), Austin TX

Nov. 5, 14.00ur: Samhain, Avalon Mystic, Hillegom, Nederland

Nov. 5, 11 a.m. "Pele and the Ancient Hula," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 6, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Feast of the Ancestors , The Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Nov. 10-12, Goddess Gather - a weekend for women, Isis Oasis, Geyersville, CA

Nov.10, 7-9:30 p.m. Woman's Power with Max Dashu ,Women's Well, West Concord MA

November 11, 11a.m.-5 p.m. Icons of the Matrix with Max Dashu ,Women's Well, West Concord MA

Nov. 12, 11 a.m. "Honoring Animals in Human War," a Veterans' Day service , Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m. "Canaanite and Hebrew Goddesses," with Max Dashu, Florence (Northampton) MA

Nov. 14, 7 p.m."Taming the Female Body," with Max Dashu, Rain and Thunder Collective, Northampton MA

Nov. 15, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Full Moon Ritual, The Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Nov. 16, 7-9 p.m. The Dissolution of Eris, Sirens Sanctuary, NYC NY

Nov. 18, 'The Goddess and the Grail: The Real Meaning of the Da Vinci Code', dayschool with Christina Zaba, Bristol University, England

Baltimore MD: Sundays 10 a.m., Rites of Cafeina, Cedar Light Grove (ADF)

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.

West Concord MA: Women's Circles, 1st Monday of month, 7-9 p.m., Women's Well.

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 the event you leave in a comment takes place after the date of the next Events Coil post, we will also include it in the main section of that post.