Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Buzz Coil: February

Chess, Goddess and Everything reports in a Feb. 22 post: "Biblical Archeology Review Free Online" and quotes from an article by William G. Dever about an unearthed house shrine that appears to be related to the Goddess Asherah.

The-Goddess: In her Feb. 21 post, "The Goddess and inclusivity," blogger Morgaine responds to a comment she received suggesting that "the God" be included in a pledge proposed by Genevieve Vaughn .IMO, Morgaine’s response is spot-on.

The Village Witch: Kudos to the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times newspaper for hosting this blog by Byron Ballard. In her Feb. 22 post, "If I’m not myself, who am I?" Ballard writes about a "Burning Times" Salon she attends to discuss the ramifications of the Euripean Inquisitions. She also writes about plans to go the Unitarian Univeralist Congregation in Asheville to bring the Kildare Flame. In her Feb. 24 post, "Today I went to Church," she tells what happened during the UU church visit.

Immanent Gorgon: Blogger The Gorgon’s Feb. 10 post, "Saying No As Many Times As Necessary," tells what she does when she feels herself weakening towards attending a church whose beliefs she no longer shares.

Panthea: In her Feb. 13 post, "Unmasking the Goddess and Me Part I," Blogger Grian shares a "conversation" she is having with the blogger at the not always Goddess-friendly, Unmasking the Goddess.

Women and Spirituality: This new blog has a number of different bloggers. One of them is Carol P. Christ, whose Goddess books and other writings are among the best. In her Feb. 20 post, "She Who Is All Holy," Christ writes about the Greek (Orthodox) "Panagaia."

Evoking the Goddess: "February has definitely been a month of change," Blogger Paul writes in his Feb. 21 post, "Present in the Present." No, he’s not talking about US politics. He’s writing about the weather where he lives in England. He goes on to discuss the relationship between Goddess and change and being "present in the present."

Wild Hunt Blog: In his Feb. 24 post, "Starhawk on Obama’s Magic," Jason Pitzl-Waters comments on Starhawk’s WaPo "On Faith" blogpost on Barack Obama’s "good and needed spell" along with her advice to Hillary Clinton. (BTW, take a look at the "tinyurl" above that came up for Starhawk's post--I'm sure it's just a coincidence ;-)

At Brigid’s Forge: Lunaea’s description of watching the lunar eclipse, in her Feb. 21 post, "Good Expectations," reminds me of the song lyrics, "you don’t always get what you want...but sometimes, you get what you need."

At the end of desire: Are frustration and anger part of a spiritual path? If so, what are their purposes? Read blogger Inanna’s Feb. 19 post, "Heal this," and see what you think.

Radical Goddess Thealogy: If you need a lift (or even if you’re already blissful) have a look at blogger Athana’s Feb. 24 post, "Happy Goddesses."

Branches Up, Roots Down:In her Feb. 12 post, "an attitude of gratitude, it’s not just a platitude," Deborah Oak writes that her "pledge to Brigid is already showing signs of working on me," and tells about the first public ritual she’s attended in years where she made the pledge. Her Feb. 20 post, "embracing paradox," is about incidents at this year’s Pantheacon.

Broomstick Chronicles Macha NightMare's Pantheacon posts span Feb. 19-25 (so far?) They include a description of a panel she put together and the appearance of the Besom Brigade. With pics and links to YouTube videos.

Peacock Dreams: In a Feb. 19 post, "Magic(k)" T. Thorne Coyle tells about her experience at Pantheacon this year, involving both change and pain.

Did we miss an item you think is important? We’d like to know about it, so please leave it as a comment.


Monday, February 25, 2008

'Women & Spirituality' Series Now Out in DVD

Yes, this is big news for everyone who loves this trilogy by Canadian filmmaker, Donna Read, and for those of you who have never seen it.

Originally made by Read for the Canadian Film Board more than a decade ago, the three videos, "Goddess Remembered," "The Burning Times," and "Full Circle," with music by Loreena McKennitt, became a favorite of virtually all who saw it. After using it in Goddess classes I taught, I attended a showing of it on a movie screen at the Smithsonian Institution in DC (in the early 90s, I think) with a discussion afterward led by Read and Margot Adler. My friends and I expected the auditorium to be half empty because, at the time, we thought there were few interested in the subject in the DC area. But we were wrong! The large auditorium was packed--and mostly by Goddessfolk, it seemed, because afterward the audience spontaneously broke into Goddess songs and chants!

Anyway, if you haven't seen this trilogy--or if you have and want to update the form you have it it in, go on over to http://womenandspirituality.net/ where the DVD is presently available (and I think the only place it is presently available, though it may pop up elsewhere in a few months). There are more extensive reviews here. And btw, if you teach religion or women's studies, this makes a great way to introduce your students to Goddess.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Goddess Pages: Spring/Imbolc Issue

Goddess Pages, which began a little over a year ago as an ezine, is now both an ezine and a print magazine. We'll continue to discuss here the material that Goddess Pages makes available on their website for all to read, and we want to thank Goddess Pages for continuing to make its remarkable content available on the Web. At the same time, we want to encourage those of you who would enjoy and value a print version of the magazine to subscribe to it.

The cover art for the Spring/Imbolc 2008 issue on the Web is "Hidden Artemis" by Elena Ray.

Articles include:

"Making Sacred: Spaces for the Not-Yet," by Glenys Livingstone, about the celebration of Lammas in the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year. Livingstone writes:
We all feed the Universe; we are all Bread – to which the name “Lammas” refers. And so, like its polar opposite Early Spring/Imbolc, Lammas may be a time of dedication: it may be a conscious opening to transformation, to the role each “grain” plays in the scheme of things. Each grain goes to make the bread.
Livingstone goes on to discuss the "old Dark One" and the "young ones," the "creative future" and the "Ecological Order."

In "Mythology, Menstruation and the Land of Milk and Honey," Andre Zsigmond tells how, after escaping from communist Hungary in 1981, he immersed himself in the study of religion, so long forbidden him. He writes that exploring the possible connection between menstruation and male circumcision led him to the Goddess and to delving into the possible meanings of various Hebrew words and terminology in the Hebrew scriptures.

Rachel Mayatt, ordained in the Fellowship of Isis (FOI) and a 3rd degree Witch, writes in "A Temple in Canterbury," about her longing to continue experiences she had at the Glastonbury Goddess Temple. But she lives not near Glastonbury, but in Canterbury and decided: "The City needs a Goddess Temple," not sure how she would accomplish this. Will the "first ever" Goddess festival in Canterbury, planned for "16/17 August" lead to a Goddess Temple at Canterbury? So may it be!

In "Trusting the Language of the Goddess," Theresa Curtis-Diggs explores "Authentic Movement" as a way to communicate with Goddess and understand "the Divine Vulva."

Ten poems grace this issue of Goddess Pages:
"Daffodils" by Geraldine Charles; "Farthest North" by Doreen Hopwood; "Fire Goddess Dance With Me" by Joyce Bergkotte; "Fire-maker" by Jacqui Woodward-Smith; "Fogbound" by Rachael Clyne; "Imbolc" by Annabell of the Old Ways; "Imbolc Midwinter Celebration" by Maria Duncalf-Barber; "In My Dreams" by Michelle Darnell-Roberts; "Still She Sings the Northern Isles" by Jacqui Woodward-Smith; and "You are a Hara Woman" by Nataliya Pilschchykova.

And don't forget to check the "News" items. You can reach them from the list of links on the right side of the page.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Events Coil: Feb.15 - April 5

As far as we know, all events we list are open functions; but some may be limited to women or to adults. Please check the websites for group policies. If no country is given, the event is in the USA. All times are local. When listing events for the same date, we have tried to list those occurring first, taking into account time zone differences. If there is a difference between our listings and the listings on the web page linked to, assume their web page is correct, as it may have changed since we listed from it. The next Events Coil is planned for early to mid-March and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through early May. If you have an event you want listed in future Events Coils, please leave info a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

Feb. 15-18, Pantheacon, "Gaia and the Spirit of Activism," presenters include Margot Adler, Caitlin Matthews, Starhawk, T. Thorn Coyle, Macha NightMare, Z Budapest, Luisah Teish, Max Dashu, Amber K, Diana Paxson, San Jose CA

Feb. 17, 11 a.m., Goddess: Calliope, guest priestess tba, Goddess Temple of Orange County,
Irvine CA

Feb. 20, 7-10 p.m., Full Moons Morgens Circle, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 2o, time tba
, Full Moon on the Mountain, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Feb. 20, 7 p.m.,
Full Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Feb. 20, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Full Moon Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate Ma'at, Total Lunar Eclipse, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), San Francisco CA

Feb. 24, 11 a.m.
Goddess: Amaltheia, guest priestess tba, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. "Goddess Cosmologies," with Max Dashu, Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto, CA

March 3, 7 p.m. "Women's Spirituality: Healing Ourselves, Healing Our World," with Cindy Preston-Piles, Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto CA

March 4, 7 p.m. "Earth Spirit, Earth Justice," talk by Starhawk, College of New Jersey, Ewing NJ

March 7, 8 p.m. New Moon Song and Drum Circle, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

March 7, 7 p.m. New Moon Women's Mysteries, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

March 8, 2-4 p.m. New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

March 17, 7 p.m. "Priestesshoods of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece," with Marguerite Rigoglioso, Ph. D., Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto CA

March 18, 7:30 p.m. Celebrate Spring Equinox & Vila, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), San Francisco CA

March 20, 7:20 p.m. Spring Equinox Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

March 20-23, Sister Camp with Equinox Celebration, Camp Sister Spirit, Hattiesburg MS

March 21, 7-10 p.m. Full Moon Morgens Oracle, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

March 21, 7 p.m. Spring Equinox Celebration, Women's Well Community, Concord, MA

March 21, time tba, Full Moon on the Mountain, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

March 21, gather 7 p.m. ritual 7:30 p.m. Ostara & Full Moon with Peace Event, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

March 22, 7 p.m. Mabon/Autumn Equinox, Akkademie PaGaian Cosmology, Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA

March 22, time tba, Spring Equinox Ritual with Ostara Egg Hunt, & Workshop, Circle Sanctuary, Barneveld WI

March 22, gather 12:30 p.m., ritual 1 p.m., Spring Equinox, Reclaiming, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco CA

March 23, 14.00 uur, Lente Equinox, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel (Avalon-Mystic), Hillegom NEDERLAND

March 23, time tba, Spring Equinox/Ostara, Connect DC,
Washington DC

March 24, 7 p.m., "The Embodied Feminine: An Exploration Through Movement, " with Valerie Sher, Ph. D, Center for the Divine Feminine, Palo Alto CA

April 4, 7 p.m. "Rebel Shamans: Indigenous Women Confront Empire, " with Max Dashu, Women's Well Community, Concord MA

April 5, 7 p.m.
"Chinese Deasophy," with Max Dashu, Women's Well Community, Concord MA



Canberra, 10 a.m.most Saturday mornings, Meditation. The Goddess Shrine, Temple of Lunation Magick
(White Gum Valley): Mondays, 6 p.m., Chalice Ceremony, Daughters of Ishtar.

Sudbury: 1st Friday (Sept.-June) 7:30 p.m.,
Sudbury Women's Circle.
Hamilton: Saturdays, 4-6 p.m.
Open Classes ; gather 6:30-7 p.m. Open Circles , Hamilton Temple, Wiccan Church of Canada.

Soderhamn, Mondays, 7-9 p.m.,
meditation prayer, conversation, Gudinne Templet.

Arlington VA: 3rd Sunday of month, gather 12:45 p.m., ritual 1 p.m. Moonfire CUUPS.
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: Sundays, 10 a.m. Magdalene Community, Rothko Chapel; Mondays at Noon, Christian feminist theology study group ; 1st &3rd Fridays at Noon, Group studying Gospel of Mary, Brigid's Place, Christ Church Cathedral.
Irvine CA: Sunday Services: 1st Service at 9:30 a.m. inward, meditative; 2nd service at 11 a.m., dancing, drumming, singing; see dates for guest speakers.
Goddess Temple of Orange County,
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."
Rockville MD: night before new moon,
Dark Moon Book Group, Spiral Heart (Reclaiming).
San Francisco CA: Wednesdays,
Christian Goddess Rosary, Ebenezer Lutheran Church; 1st Fridays, evenings at various locations, Woman's Spirituality group.
San Francisco CA: New Moon and Full Moon observances,
Maa Batakali Cultural Mission.
West Concord MA: 1st Monday, 7-9 p.m.
Women's Circles; other ongoing groups include Demeter & Persephone's Circle for mothers and daughters; Council of Mother Bears; Menopause As Spiritual Journey; Menarche, for mothers and Daughter, at Women's Well.

We'll be happy to add your Goddess and spiritual feminist events (and those you know about that are open to the public) no matter where in the world they are. 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 Events Coil every month.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Netherlands Goddess Conference in June

Every now and then we give you a heads-up about interesting future events that many of us would have to do some special planning to get to. This is one such event:
Netherlands Goddess Conference, June 26-29, 2008.
If you're lucky enough to be in Europe or be able to travel there around that time, here's where to check for more info:
The info is in Dutch. If you need English, from the brief contact I've had with some of these wonderful women, my guess is that if you write to one of the email contacts in English, you'll get an English reply.


Monday, February 11, 2008

In Memoriam: Brenda Henson

Our sympathy to the sisters and friends of Camp Sister Spirit Folk School on the Feb. 8 passing of Brenda Henson, who founded Camp Sister Spirit in Mississippi with her partner, Wanda Henson. For more information, see http://velvetrut.livejournal.com/23554.html


Friday, February 08, 2008

Global Goddess Oracle: Imbolc 2008

Much of this issue of Global Goddess Oracle is devoted to the holyday celebrated at the beginning of February called Imbolc or Brigid (or variations Brigit, Bridgid, etc.), also sometimes called Candelmas. The cover is a picture of an Acorn with a better and longer explanation of Imbolc than what I just gave.

Other Imbolc-related articles are:
--"Brighid" by Dianne Quarrie," about the festival, the Goddess Brighid, and "things you can do to honor Imbolc."
-- "Folklore of the Isle of Man or Imbolc," including Celtic poetry/chant, shared by Bendis.
-- "Imbolc Solitary Ritual" by Dawn "Belladonna" Thomas (a solitary ritual is one meant to be done by only one person).
--"What the Groundhog Sees" by Mama Donna Henes, connects the American Ground Hog Day to other celebrations at this time of year--and to pregnancy.

Other features of this issue include:

"Ripples Out from the Center" by H. Byron Ballard. Beginning with a quote from Chaucer's, "The Canterbury Tales," Ballard writes about "the call" to pilgrimage and what may happen if you answer it.

Flash Silvermoon's "Walking a Rainbow Path." Flash describes a path of diversity based in Womanspirit that "goes beyond the Western European and Celtic styles."

"Letter to the Goddess" by Rhiannon. Gratitude and appreciation of Great Mother that might even be a prayer.

"Found Goddess Verbena: Goddess of Wordplay and Really Awful Verse," by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. A humorous piece about a made-up goddess, one of a number for which Ardinger has become known.

"Herb of the Season: Blackberry," and "Moon Schedule and Planting and Harvesting Days," both by Dawn "Belladona" Thomas.

"Woman and Spirituality" an unsigned post announcing the launch of a site with blogs and other stuff by a variety of women, a number of whom are well known.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Deity before Zeus? NYTimes Reports Archeologists Stumped

It's hard to know whether the story has been garbled by the reporter, or whether these archeologists truly aren't acquainted with the information that would un-stump them, but in an article in the Feb. 5 New York Times, "An Altar Beyond Olympus for a Deity Predating Zeus" (if that link doesn't work, try http://tinyurl.com/2szq2v ), John Noble Wilford reports that archeologists seemed to be confounded by evidence of worship of a "pre-Zeus deity. Wilford writes:
... archaeologists say they have now found the ashes, bones and other evidence of animal sacrifices to some pre-Zeus deity on the summit of Mount Lykaion, in the region of Greece known as Arcadia. The remains were uncovered last summer at an altar later devoted to Zeus. Fragments of a coarse, undecorated pottery in the debris indicated that the sacrifices might have been made as early as 3000 B.C., the archaeologists concluded. That was about 900 years before Greek-speaking people arrived, probably from the north in the Balkans, and brought their religion with them.The excavators were astonished.
Gollygeewhillikers, they were worshipping someone else here before Zeus? Now who do you suppose that coulda been? Danged if i know...

Hmmm, well, within the Greek culture itself was Gaea, mother of all the gods, who is said to have nursed Zeus (and therefore, predated him), whose worship is said to have begun in Crete, and who was considered a "mountain mother." (See, for starters, these secondary web sources:

Or if you want to go to something more primary, try Homer: Illiad (8-7th cent. BCE) .

Wilford writes that Dr. Jack Davis, director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, under whose auspices this dig was undertaken, wrote to him in an email:
“We certainly know that Zeus and a female version of Zeus were worshiped in prehistoric times.... The trick will be in defining the precise nature of the site itself before historical times."
You want pre-history? The Neolithic? Could try reading The Language of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas (oh, I forgot, you guys don't like to source her) or Riane Eisler's The Chalice and Blade, especially pp. 106-117 (1988 paper edition).

Zeus worshiped "in prehistoric" times is a bit of a stretch, although some sources trace his worship back to earlier gods in other cultures, which can be said of many deities. And Dr. Davis, about that phrasing "a female version of Zeus," since his name wasn't Zeus in the prehistoric and since Zeus came after Her, isn't it more appropriate (if a comparison is appropriate at all) to call Zeus a male version of the female deity(ies)?

To top it all off, there's a pic with this article with the caption: "Mystery Religion." Oh yes, it was a mystery religion all right. But the religion is no mystery.


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Monday, February 04, 2008

Matrifocus: Imbolc 2008 issue

The cover of the Imbolc issue of Matrifocus is a wonderful "Labyrinth Goddess" by Sarah Teofanor.

Feral wrote the editorial for this issue, "Differences of Opinion," in which she discusses how we are the same, how we are different, and how we can make a difference.

"Shauska and "Ain Dara: A Goddess and Her Temple," by Johanna Stuckey, introduces us to a relatively little-known ancient near eastern Goddess and Her Temple in northern Syria. Her imagery is similar to Ishtar's. Stuckey tell us that according to Hittite texts, 'Ain Dara wore "clothes of both sexes," could alter a person's sex, and provide sexual healing. With lots of pics.

"Machig Labdron's Cave" by Vicki Noble, is Part III of "Pilgrimage to Nepal and Tibet." Did a dream Noble had foretell her pilgrimage to Tibet? Did the Dakini practice of "Chod" play a part? Read this remarkable account and see what you think.

In "A Small Seed of Rebellion" by Mary Swander, a gardener plans her spring planting in front of a woodstove while outside the wind howls at 14 degrees below zero fahrenheit.

Harita Meenee explores the gardens of classical northern Greece and the ancient near east in "The Sacred Garden, A Sensual Place of Rebirth." Women are excluded from one of them: "The Orchard of the Virgin Mary," at Mt. Athos in northern Greece.

In "Clay," Nancy Vedder-Shults, Ph.D. tells us how to use sculpting as an oracular technique.

Susun Weed shares tips for preventing or recovering from different types of colds and flu in "Hot Colds and Cold Colds: Winter Health."

Poetry in this issue includes: "The only piece of truth," by Siobhan; "One Way into Night," by Feral, and "Good Luck Litany" by Elizabeth Cunningham.

This month's photo-essay, "Darkness Becoming Light," by Gwyn Padden-Lecthen has two magical pics of Wisconsin, with a poem.

There are reviews of Making the Gods Work for You:The Astrological Language of the Psyche by Caroline Casey (audiobook, paperback, e-book), reviewed by Madelon Wise; the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (young adult fiction) by Rick Riordan, reviewed by Dahti Blanchard; and The Mistress of Spices (fiction) by Chitra DivaKaruni, reviewed by Staci Schwarz.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Second Edition of Goddess Spirituality book

I’m happy to announce here the publication of the Second Enlarged Edition of my book Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century: From Kabbalah to Quantum Physics by Judith Laura. The first book to provide a feminist analysis of both Jewish Kabbalah and Hermetic Qabalah, and to provide an extensive Goddess re-visioning of the central kabbalistic symbol, the Tree of Life, Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century also explores basic Goddess concepts and discusses their compatibility with science, focusing on quantum physics and cosmology. The book also contains meditations, rituals, and a number of Tree of Life graphics.

The Second Enlarged Edition contains the original 1997 edition in its entirety, plus: a Foreword by Rachel Pollack ; a Preface to the Second Edition, in which I catch you up on relevant happenings relating to the material in the book and other spiritual feminist issues; three appendixes with notated music, Tree of Life tarot spreads based on my re-visioning of the Tree, and a Study and Discussion Guide; and additional clarifications on a few of the topics within the book.

For an annotated table of contents, visit http://www.judithlaura.com/gs21cont.html

More info on the book, reviews, excerpts are on www.judithlaura.com/gs21.html


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