Friday, June 27, 2008

Global Goddess Oracle: Summer Solstice 2008

This issue of Global Goddess Oracle begins with a poem "Savoring Summer Solstice" by Stephanie Rose Bird. Other poems in this issue include: "Dancing Hands" by Holly Cross, "Great Blue" (with pics) by Deanne Quarry (aka Bendis), and "The Great Duel" by Mary Lyons.

Anique Radiant Heart's article, "Memories of Malia, tells about her enounters with the grandmothers and Goddesses in Crete.

In her article "Visioning, Old School," H. Byron Ballard describes an intense vision she recently experienced about her spiritual community's future in Asheville NC.

Meet computer goddesses Whizziwig, her 27 daughters, and her consort Silicon Man, and learn how to invoke them in "Found Goddesses (Part 3)" by Barbara Ardinger PhD. If you don't laugh while reading this, maybe you're spending too much time online?

"Finding Love" by Gayle Goldwin is a message that, according to Goldwin, was "channeled from the Golden Circle of Ascended Feminine Masters...."

Rituals in this issue are "Solitary Ritual" honoring the Mother Goddess by Dawn "Belladonna" Thomas, and "Summer Solstice Group Ritual" by Bendis, a Dianic ritual honoring Goddess as Mother/Maker.

Dawn "Belladonna" Thomas has also contributed: "Herb of the Season, Midsummer," about Elderflower (sambucas nigra); "Moon Schedule from Litha to Lammas"; and book reviews of Spirit Herbs by Amy "Moonlady" Martin and What Witches Want by Laura Stamps.

Sapphire reviews Deanne Quarry's book, From the Branch: A Primer in Dianic Witchcraft.

Bohemian Wytche offers "Peace," her artwork with accompanying description.

Stephanie Rose Bird tells us how to prepare an oil for this time of year in "Summer Solstice Oil."

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Kathy Lee Gifford's Anti-Pagan Remark

We join the the Pagan community in calling for a public apology from NBC and/or Kathy Lee Gifford regarding Gifford's remarks in the June 25 Today Show in which she used the term, "nasty, bad Pagans." For more info, please see the Witchvox article, "Call to Action: Public Apology from NBC", which includes a link to the video of the Gifford's remark on the show and urges email to the show at

There is also a petition at



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buzz Coil: June

The Corvid Diaries: In her June 21 post, "Wicca and Women" blogger Debi Crow explains why she doesn’t use the term "pagan" to describe herself (Debi: maybe you want to try Goddessian ?) and why she doesn’t acknowledge any "god" (male deity), and hates the phrase ,"Lord and Lady." This post also has excerpts from an article by Cheryl Straffon.

Radical Goddess Thealogy: Blogger Athana tells us what she thinks "men" really want in her June 23 post, "Eating & Stealing in the Post-Goddess World."

Broomstick Chronicles: Condolences to M. Macha NightMare at Broomstick Chronicles on the death of her mother, which she describes in several posts including May 24's "Love & Death" , May 25's "More about Our Mother" , and June 6's "More on Mom." Macha is co-author (with Starhawk and others in Reclaiming) of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying.

Flashes of Insight: In her May 27 post, "Tree Magic at Moonhaven," Flash Silvermoon describes how the trees in her yard instructed her to construct four sacred sites, weaving in information about her dog’s long life, and a 500-year old oak tree that’s been struck by lightning, and much more.

Peeling a Pomegranate: Blogger Ketzirah Carly has written the terrific "Miriam the Prophetess, a Midrash," posted on June 8.

Branches Up, Roots Down: In her June 17 post, "love conquers all," Deborah Oak writes about falling more in love with San Francisco as she performs a second wedding ceremony (this time it’s legal!) for two of her friends.

Re-Emerging Gorgon: In her June 21 post, The Gorgon asks, "Does Life Have A Purpose?" and concludes, not likely – and she tells why.

The Wild Hunt: Jason Pitzl-Waters comments on an article noting a "drift away from strict secrecy within modern paganism," in his June 16 post, "Slowly Drifting Out of the (Broom)Closet." He asks for comments about people’s experiences and has received quite a few. Maybe you want to add yours.

At the end of desire: Blessings indeed to blogger Inanna on her ordination–and pregnancy. She writes about preparations for these and Midsummer in her June 15 post, "Blessings."

The Village Witch: In her Asheville NC Citizen-Times blog, Byron Ballard has written several posts about Summer Solstice beginning with "Talk Talk" on June 20.

Hecate: Blogger Hecate shares a number of Summer Solstice posts including June 20's "Solstice Sunrise, Stonehenge 2008," , two poems, and June 17's "Blessed Summer Solstice to You II."

Evoking the Goddess: In his June 20 post, "Summer Solstice" blogger Paul posts a pic of the Calanais Stones on Lewis in the setting sun of the Summer Solstice.

Street Prophets: This is the spiritual community of the progressive political blog, Dailykos. Alexandra Lynch in her June 22 post gives a Pagan view of "On the Summer Solstice" , and on June 19, blogs about "The Full Strawberry Moon: Healing"

[We weren’t able to access any posts on the following this time:

Panthea - All Things Are Goddess
Women & Spirituality
Are they working on their blogs? Or are we missing some esoteric software needed to view these pages?]

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


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Female? Feminine?

Like an intestinal bug, it twists my gut when people use the term "feminine divine" or "divine feminine" when what is meant is female deity or the divine represented as female. I keep thinking that like many gut bugs, this misleading use of language might just go away on its own – but no such luck, although it does seem to have an ebb and flow. Unfortunately these last few months...or is it years?...the flow seems to be approaching high tide. So blog I must.

A little history/herstory first (at least as I see it). My memory (what an authority!) tells me that "divine feminine" (or v/v) came into usage sometime in the 1980s by people, some of them authors, who wanted to discuss female deity (or female deities, or female aspects of the divine) but didn’t want to use the word Goddess or wanted to talk about the subject in a non-religious, even not specifically spiritual context. Often they also didn’t want their views to be construed as feminist. Sometimes these were New Agers or people approaching the newly emerging Goddess movement from a psychological view ("it helps women feel better", or "it helps women find themselves") who talked about the "feminine within" or "inner feminine" both for men and women. See, men could be "feminine" too, as long as it was kept inside. Though I think that helping women "feel better" or "find themselves" may be a worthy goal and is part of the picture for some interested in Goddess, it is not by any means the full picture and it diminishes the power (and empowerment) of Goddess by making the role of the divine less than in other religions or spiritual paths.

As for men finding their "inner feminine," well that brings us to: Exactly what do we mean by "feminine?" For just a definition, "feminine" means female-like. But like many dictionary definitions, this doesn’t go far enough and gives only a hint of its meaning in actual usage. In current usage, "masculine" refers to traits a culture attaches to males/men and"feminine" refer to traits that a culture attaches to females/women. Whether these traits are "nature" or "nurture"– that is whether they are linked to biology or to cultural conditioning– is not clear. Since it is very difficult at this time to tease out nature from nurture, I go with the supposition these traits are all culturally contrived because this allows the most freedom to the individual person. So, for example, for boys and girls, an inclination to play with guns has been defined in Western society as a "masculine" trait while preferring to play with dolls has been defined in our culture as a "feminine" trait. To take it a little further, "active" or "aggressive" actions are considered masculine and "passivity" or "gentleness" is considered feminine. While some will say that testosterone ( a "male" hormone) is related to belligerence and aggressiveness and estrogen (a "female" hormone) to passivity, the actual biology is much fuzzier because both men and women have both testosterone and estrogen, only in different proportions. So that even if there is some biological inclination to some personality traits, it hasn’t been proven that it is stronger than the acculturation of men and women to behave in certain ways.

Most culturally-defined traits attached to "masculine and feminine" do not refer to body parts or embodiment at all. Yet when I use the term "Goddess," what I mean is the embodiment or personification of the divine as female. To me, "Goddess" implies that the totality of the Divine can be imaged as female. Whether you believe this means concrete deities or a metaphor, or some abstract state of being, or the Earth, or the Universe, the term Goddess implies that this/these can be represented by female images and imagery–by female body parts, by biologically-linked experiences and activities such as menstruating, giving birth, and the female experience of orgasm (which is not the same as the male experience– and if you don’t think that the male ejaculation has been used to characterize deity, including the biblical God, I refer you for starters to the book, Circle in the Square by Elliot Wolfson.)

As you can see (I hope), what I am describing is quite different from the image of a deity that has both male and female aspects–although actually I think there are some instances of such imaging where talking about the "feminine" and "masculine" divine may be appropriate. For example, in Judaism, the figure (or idea) of the Shekhinah could be termed "feminine divine" when it is spoken of as the feminine aspect of the Godhead – as long there is no embodiment –that is as long as neither Shekhinah nor the the Godhead is presented as having any physical characteristics. Though this may sometimes be (or have been) the intent, in actuality, my guess is this is rare, and with the trend today to image Shekhinah more concretely, even this usage is becoming more female than feminine.

Some people who do not intend to imply cultural traits use the term "divine feminine" anyway because well, they heard it somewhere and it flows kind of easy off the tongue and it has (in their minds) a certain lack of specificity which allows them to slide away from questions about whether their position is feminist and maybe it will attract more men to their groups/workshops/books, etc. if the men can talk about their "inner feminine." Others don’t want to use the word "Goddess" because they are trying to stay within a Christian or Jewish framework and "Goddess" is, well, crossing the line. Still others feel the term "Goddess" implies reconstruction of past religions with which they may not fully agree. As someone who at first (in the 1970s–but not now) didn’t like the term "Goddess" because I felt the -ess ending was a diminutive, I can sympathize with the search for another term. But "divine feminine" ain’t it! At least not if you’re talking in terms of personification or embodiment, whether that embodiment is a woman’s body, the Earth’s body (see Rachel Pollack’s The Body of the Goddess for a lovely elucidation of this pov), or the entire Universe as divine.

If you’re not comfortable with the word "Goddess," what other terms can you use to avoid the misunderstandings that the use of "divine feminine" engenders? Some people use "Great Mother," although limiting divinity to maternal imagery has distinct limitations. Jenny Kien (a PhD neurobiologist) uses the term "Divine Woman" in her book, Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism. Others use the term "Divine Female" or "Divine as Female" or "Divine Embodied as Female." Glenys Livingstone (a PhD social ecologist) in her current book, PaGaian Cosmology, uses several different terms including "Female Metaphor," "Earth-Gaia" (meaning Earth and the entire cosmos), along with "Goddess," and more specific Goddess aspects or names.

If you are now using "feminine divine" or "divine feminine" just because it’s easy, not because it’s what you really mean, you might consider using instead one or more of the alternatives I've mentioned. Or like Livingstone, as well as others including Carol P. Christ (a PhD theologian) in She Who Changes, and Judith Laura (yes, moi) in Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century (especially the last chapter), you might consider redefining "Goddess" to downplay the focus on reconstruction of past traditions and spotlight the incorporation of more modern meanings.


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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Goddess Pages:Summer 2008

Thank you to Goddess Pages for the pleasant surprise of its naming Medusa Coils as the Featured Blog for its Summer 2008 issue.

This issue's online presentation begins with art, "Dusk" by Lisa Paizis and with "The Meaning of Goddess - Part 3: Essentialism or Essence? Out from the land of theory" by Max Dashu. This is a big article in length, depth, and scope, so I’ll spend a little more spacetime on it than I usually do in these reviews, and I'll start by quoting Dashu:

For at least twenty years the Goddess movement has been assailed as "essentialist" by post-modernist theorists. They mean that an innate female essence is being claimed, in a biological determinism and rigid gender categorization.
Dashu challenges the assumption that femaleness or gender is the source of the oppression of women. "The problem is domination, and absolutism," she writes, pointing out that all human societies are gendered, although how gender functions differs in various cultures. "It is the structuring of gender relations and culture norms that need to be looked at," she says, and points out that although predominant religions insist on "masculine deity, priesthood, and theology," they are not attacked for being essentialist, yet when spiritual feminists add the female/feminine to deity they are. She writes:
Goddess feminists are saying that the long-devalued female must be restored, recreated, and redefined in a liberatory way. ... We embrace positive female story and symbolism as empowering to women, as a potent force in reshaping cultural values and behaviors. We reaffirm embodiment as sacred, in the face of a long history of deprecating the body—especially the female body, whose sacred symbolism has been expropriated, colonized in myriad ways, and reconfigured as “obscene.” To confuse this transformative reclamation with “essentialism” misunderstands and distorts its meaning.
Drawing examples from many traditions worldwide, Dashu goes on to explain the difference between "Essence and "essentialism."

I could go on and on describing and quoting from this important article, and I will sneak in one more quote (please note excerpts...) from near the end:
The biggest challenge facing the Goddess movement now, as it expands and is popularized, is to avoid unconsciously reproducing the dominant culture’s biases and exclusions founded on ethnicity and class and colonization....Without clear, firm, conscious effort to overcome patterns of privilege, they replicate themselves. Our movement cannot allow itself to be defined by access to resources, whether ownership of land or media, or the ability to conference-hop around the world. Conferences, anthologies, events need to be inclusive and representative of the range of women who actually are creating this resurgence.I believe we will succeed only by
addressing injustice on all levels, including the colonial and imperial. And that requires becoming allies to indigenous women. Issues of appropriation must be addressed, the insults of New Age rip-offs that have been piled onto the weight of historical injuries....

I’m alarmed about New Age commodification in general, as Goddess culture gets popularized and marketed. ...In many people’s minds Goddess already means New Age, which means trouble. [Medusa's bolding] In more than a few cases, the rush toward “the divine feminine” literally does mean feminine in its most retrograde media form: recently I’ve seen a lot of art depicting thin, pretty, young, longhaired females, usually white, sticking their breasts out in unnatural positions....

Now do yourself a favor and go read this extraordinary piece. And if you haven’t read the first two articles in this series, there are links to them at the end of this installment.

The following will, I hope, give you an idea of the other free online reading in the Summer issue of Goddess Pages (which also publishes a print edition):

In "Baba Yaga Stories" Susun S. Weed responds to the question, "Who is Baba Yaga?" with many fascinating answers.

When beginning Rachel Mayatt’s "Bloody Women! A Magical Experience of the Menstrual Cycle", keep in mind that the author is British, so the word "bloody" in the title may be a double entendre. Mayatt tells how she moved from being revolted by menstruation to appreciating its potential for magic.

"Black Madonnas" by Mary Frankland explores the relationship between supposedly Christian Black Madonnas and Goddess(es), and speculates on the question: "which aspects of the Goddess were these images meant to represent?"

Reviews include Thirteen Moons (Conversations with the Goddess), a book by Peter Knight, reviewed by Jill Smith; The Goddess in Glastonbury at Samhain, a film directed by Kathy Jones, reviewed by Miriam Raven; "The Eleusinian Mysteries: A Modern Pilgrimage," a booklet by Sheila Rose Bright, reviewed by Geraldine Charles.

This issue’s poetry includes: "Aphrodite" by Anna McKerrow; "Beltane" by Annabell of the Old Ways, "Beltane Celebration" by Maria Duncalf-Barber, and two poems by Doreen Hopwood, "Revenge" and "The Prize - A Cautionary Tale."

And don't miss (like I almost did--though the link is boxed!) "She changes everything she touches," an explanation of the recent evolution of Goddess Pages by Geraldine Charles.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Events Coil: June 8 - Aug. 2

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. Events lasting more than 1 day are bolded. 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 mid-July and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through late August or early September. If you have an event you want listed, please leave info a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

June 8, gather Noon, ritual 12:15 p.m., Circle of Connection (Becoming), National Arboretum, Washington DC

June 8, 11 a.m. Goddess Service, "Creative Energy and the Feminine" with guest Priestess Dr. Elsbeth Meuth, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 15-22, Pagan Spirit Gathering (Summer Solstice) , sponsored by Circle Sanctuary, Wisteria OH

June 15, 11 a.m. , Goddess Service, Auspicious Goddess Durga with guest priestess Marsha "Orca" Lange, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 17-22 Goddess Festival, Budapest HUNGARY

June 20, 7 p.m. Winter Solstice Ritual: PaGaian Moon Court inaugural ritual, Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA

June 20, 7:30 p.m. Summer Solstice Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

June 20, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m., Midsummer, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

June 20, 7:30 p.m. Summer Solstice and Temple's 12th Anniversary, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), SF Bay Area, CA

June 20, gather 7:30 p.m., ritual 8 p.m. Litha (Solstice), Reclaiming, Ocean Beach, San Francisco CA

June 21, 6:30 p.m. Women's Midwinter Celebration, Ishtar's Daughters, Fremantle AUSTRALIA

June 21, 20 uhr, Celtic Summer Solstice Celebration/Sommersonnwend-Feier, Nemea Goddess Center, Salzkammergut AUSTRIA

June 21, 1 p.m. Light of Summer Ritual (Becoming), Turkey Run Park VA

June 21, time tba, Summer Solstice, Temple of Diana, Madison WI

June 21, gather 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m.
Summer Solstice, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 22, gather 11:30 a.m., ritual at noon; Summer Solstice Ritual, Connect DC, The National Mall, Washington DC

June 22, 11 a.m., Goddess Service honoring Saules Mate, guest priestess tba, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 26-29, Netherlands Goddess Conference, Hillgom NEDERLAND

June 27-29, "Women Spirituality and Politics,"<--English link with Starhawk, Centro di Spiritualita Femminile Talanith
"><--Italian link Tuscany ITALIA

June 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m."Archaelogy and the Goddess," 1-day symposium. Speakers include Carol P. Christ, Mary Condren, Lucy Goodison, Kathryn Roundtree. Trinity College, Dublin IRELAND.

June 29, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Thmei with guest priestess Rev. Karen Tate, Goddess Temple of Orange County,
Irvine CA

July 1, 7:30 p.m. The Craft Connection, Goddess Temple of Orange County,
Irvine CA

July 2, 7 p.m. New Moon Women's Mysteries, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

July 4-6, "Rooting in Nature,"<--English link with Starhawk, Centro di Spiritualita Femminile Talanith <--Italian Link Tuscany ITALIA

July 6, 11 a.m. Goddess Service,
"Asherah" with guest priestess Dr. Sharon Siegel, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

July 8, 21.00 (9 p.m.), "Modern Witches," with Starhawk, part of "What Remains of Witches Today Series, Conegliano, ITALIA

July 13 11 a.m. Goddess Service, "Hina"; guest priestess Jeanette Lacey, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

July 18, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Full Moon ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet,
Indian Springs NV

July 20, 11 a.m. "Goddess Service, "Scathach"; guest priestess Erin Huey, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

July 27, 11 a.m. Goddess Service, "Huchi"; guest priestess Lyena Strelkoff on "Creative Destruction, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

July 29, 7 p.m. Lammas Abundance Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple,
Glastonbury ENGLAND

July 30 - Aug. 3, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, this year celebrating the Maiden Goddess (with fringe events July 29- Aug. 4); many circles, rituals, ceremonies, art exhibits, and presentations by (in likely order of appearance) Anique Radiant Heart, Katinka Soetens, Wendy Andrews, Susun Weed, Kellianna, Starhawk, Alisha Dancing Tree, Corry Gott, Heide Goettner-Abendroth, Cecile Keller, Heritra Crecraft, Janet Childs, Lydia Lite, Oshia Drury, Mike Jones, Kathy Jones, Jocelyn Chaplin, Jacqui Woodward-Smith, Julie Felix, Ava Park, Lady Olivia Durden Robertson, Helen Anthony, Roz Bound, Vixen Dreamwalker and probably others. With Goddess Procession Sunday morning through the streets of Glastonbury to the Chalice Well and the top of the Tor, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Aug. 1-3, Green Spirit, including Lughnassad Celebration, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near
Barneveld WI

Aug. 1, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Lammas, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs, NV

Aug 2-9, 15th Annual Spiral Heart Witchcamp (Reclaiming), Theme: Lilitu (Lilith), Charles Town WVA

Aug. 2, gather Noon, ritual 1 p.m. Lammas (Reclaiming) Golden Gate Park, San Francisco CA

Aug. 2, gather 6 p.m., ritual 7 p.m. Temple Holy Day: Lammas, Goddess Temple of Orange County,
Irvine CA



Canberra, 10 a.m.most Saturday mornings, Meditation. The Goddess Shrine, Temple of Lunation Magick
(White Gum Valley): Mondays, 17:30, 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)
Canton CT: Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Services, Women's Temple: In Her Name

Geyersville CA: Sunday Services 2-4 p.m. Temple of Isis
Houston TX: Sundays, 10 a.m. Magdalene Community, Rothko Chapel; 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,
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.
St. Sandy UT: second Saturday of each month, 4:30 p.m., Isis Devotionals, Iseum of Muth/Lyceum of Auset and Heru em Aakhuti
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 (no pdf pages). (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, June 03, 2008

In Memoriam: Paula Gunn Allen

We join others in the spiritual feminist community in mourning the passing of Paula Gunn Allen, 68, teacher and author of The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, and many other books. She died of lung cancer on May 29. A more extensive memorial is on Womensspace and on, where you may leave memorial messages. Updated June 4.