Saturday, December 27, 2008

Buzz Coil: December

The Village Witch: In her Asheville NC Citizen-Times blog on Dec. 16, Byron Ballard issued "An Invitation to Make Some Magic With Me." The magic involves net-bags of gold-foil-covered chocolate coins often sold this time of year (usually used as Hanukah "gelt" symbolizing abundance for the coming months). Byron is placing them in her holiday gift packages this year and is also handing them out to people she encounters here and there–including the cashier at the store where she bought them. Her Dec. 19 post, "We need a bigger ritual space," was written after more than the expected number of people showed up at her group’s Solstice ritual. A Temple–which will provide more space–is in the planning stages.

The Girl Who Cried Epiphany In her Dec. 21 post, "Winter Solstice: Mary, Mother Earth, and the Stories That We Tell,"
blogger Girlwhocriedepiphany tells how this December has given her "unimagined insight into the power of the Solstice and Christmas." She confides:

For some time now, I have been experiencing visions of Mary. In them, she tells me that she is not just that silent, blue veiled vessel with the alabaster brow. She is the Mother who carried the weight of the world between her hips and who gave birth to a God. She is not some distant creature to be locked up in churches. She is a vital ally, a friend to all life. Mary is the supreme realization of the Divine Feminine.
Girlwhocriedephiphany explores more of her visions of Mary in her Dec. 22 post, "Visions of Mary? What Are You Talking About, Woman?"

Alive Mind & Spirit: In her Dec. 5 post, "Her Church," Carol P. Christ writes about attending the Sunday service of a Lutheran congregation in San Francisco "committed to feminist theology and the re-claiming of female imagery for the Divine" of which we have written here . On Dec. 15, She tells us why "My Mother Named Me Carol." In her Dec. 19 post, "Winter Solstice," Carol suggests that the focus of many Pagans on returning light rather than on "the pregnant dark reflects a fear of darkness that is the legacy of Indo-European cultures."

Knitting, Sex and God: After reading Carol Christ's Dec. 15 post, blogger Anna, in her Dec. 16 post "Gender and Christmas Carols," reflects upon where and when rewritten carols are preferable to the originals.

Evoking the Goddess: In his beautiful Dec. 13 post, "She changes everything She touches," blogger Paul writes about Winter Solstice that combines "a moment of poise and stillness–that only the dark can provide–with a real change of direction."

Hecate: In her Dec. 19 post, "Sleet on Solstice: Doan Want," blogger Hecate contemplates whether the weather will keep her circle from being outside on Solstice for the first time. She then ponders the relative qualities of Dark and Light.

At Brigid’s Forge: In her Dec. 7 post, "Yuletide Blues," Lunaea Weatherstone writes about creating a "blue grotto" in her new home that becomes more magical than she imagined. She then recalls her first "blue passage."

Radical Goddess Thealogy: Blogger Athana elucidates the apparent connection between Rick Warren and Christian Dominionists in her Dec. 20 post, "Rick Warren: Dominionist Dude?"

Peacock Dreams: In her Dec. 22 post, "Pagan Family Values: A Call (to the Circle of) Arms," Thorn Coyle writes:

I am thankful now, to be part of a religion that that believes consensual sex and humanity in myriad forms are sacred. I am thankful that my religion does not separate matter from spirit. I am thankful that non-dualism and polytheism are possible bed-fellows. I am thankful, so thankful, to be part of a religion that re-links sex to love in all it's facets and that helps us to break the chains of shame.
She then invites deities to "dance with us" and has a suggestion about what might be appropriate to do while Rick Warren is praying at the Inauguration.

At the end of desire: Blogger Inanna is expecting her baby’s birth very very soon. While waiting she blogged about sex on Dec. 16 in "Pleasure is a holy thing."

The House of Inanna: In his Dec. 8 post, "In the beginning," Brian Charles explores the misogynist roots of Abrahamic religions. In his Dec. 17 post, "Inanna Tantra," he thinks about ways he has changed–and hasn’t changed–since being initiated a priest of Inanna about a month ago.

Echidne of the Snakes: In her Dec. 25 post, Blogger Echidne treats us to a wonderful short story, "Looking for God," that also includes consideration of "a Goddess." The story is about Jonathan, his twin Anne, and a dog.

The Wild Hunt: Jason Pitzl-Waters’ Dec. 26 post, "Polytheistic Straw Men," uses facts to counter a misinformed (to put it mildly) article by an economist in FrontPage magazine.

Goddess in a Teapot: Carolyn Lee Boyd's Dec. 25 post, "Louisa May Alcott: Her Gift to Women of All Ages," answers the question, Why does Alcott’s novel, Little Women, still speak to us as adults today? It also suggests some other of Alcott’s writings we may want to explore.

We were unable to access the url for Panthea - All Things Are Goddess: Hope everything is okay.

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


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Summer Solstice in Australia

Thanks to Glenys Livingstone for pointing us to this beautiful visual and audio experience of Summer Solstice earlier this week at Brun-Na-Big Tree, PaGaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains, Australia.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blessing Barack?

Those of us who supported Barack Obama’s candidacy are trying to come to grips with his selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Inauguration. (I’m not even going to get into why, with Constitutional separation of church and state that does not allow even silent prayer in public schools, we permit out-loud prayers to deities many of us don’t worship at Presidential inaugurations, meetings of Congress,etc. But I think that’s something that also warrants attention.)

Obama supporters have put forth many opinions about the Warren fiasco. Some of them decry Warren’s selection. Others, acting as "apologists" for the selection, say that Obama simply likes Warren and it has nothing to do with religion or politics. Still others maintain this is part of Obama trying to look like a centrist so he can get enough support to govern as a progressive (see and for these and other arguments).

At this point I think the best that can be said is the selection of Warren was a gigantic faux pas. (Why do I start thinking in French when writing this post? Faux pas, loosely translated means klutzy mistake--mixing in a little Yiddish is grounding, lol.).

Warren’s opposition to anything resembling gay rights has gotten the most attention from those who oppose his selection. For some reason mainstream media and blogs don't give as much attention to Warren's opposition to
equality within het marriage (he preaches that the husband is head of the family–oh, and btw, men [by which he means straight men] are head of the church), and to his opposition to legal abortion.

UPDATE 1, 12/21: Athana of Radical Goddess Theology left a comment below about Warren's apparent ties to Christian Dominionism. She's posted about it on her blog and I think this info is important enough to include here the link to her post , and to the Newsvine post, which is her source.

Briefly, Obama’s excuse for choosing Warren for the honor of giving the invocation is that this is part of "change" and is his way of being inclusive.

This is certainly is not what I expected when I voted for "change." Rather, to me it seems to be a political attempt to win over (or reward) the Christian right. Didn’t we have enough of that the last 8 years? "Reaching out" and/or trying to appear a centrist to further a progressive agenda (homophobia, anti-abortion, and subordination of women is centrist????) may have their place, but that place is not at the inauguration of a President and Vice President whose party platform is the opposite of Warren's views. If you want to reach out, a more appropriate way of doing so is to have meetings–interfaith meetings wouldn’t be a bad idea–to discuss different points of view. If you personally like the fellow, set up private sessions, have him pray over you to your soul’s content. But it’s NOT appropriate to give one of the most prominent spots on the program to a minister whose views are repugnant to most of those who supported your candidacy.

The invitation has been issued and cannot be taken back, we are told. So can nothing then be done to rectify this mistake?

I’m not sure–I don’t know what the protocol is for these things and I want to say first and most emphatically that I applaud the selection of Rev. Joseph Lowery to give the benediction (and would have also applauded if he had been selected for the invocation). But since the invocation invitation to Warren apparently cannot be taken back, what if you could add another blesser–perhaps have two people share the responsibility of giving the invocation?

Before we attempt an answer, let’s first look at what we have now in terms of "inclusiveness": Giving the blessings in this inauguration are two men, both Christian–in fact, both Protestant Christians. That’s inclusive?

If we could add a third blesser and we really want to be inclusive, we should look for a woman who is clergy in a non-Christian religion. If she's a lesbian, so much the better. Selecting a lesbian to be the other invocation-giver would send a clear message that Warren’s presence is truly meant to be inclusive and not an endorsement of his views. If it’s not possible to get a non-Christian woman clergy at this late date, then you should try for a woman clergy in a religion that, while it may include some Christianity, also honors other paths (for example, Unitarian-Universalism, Ethical Culture, Unity), or if that’s not possible, at least a Christian clergy who is a woman. Plenty of these pop into mind: ordained Protestant ministers, Episcopal priests, even Roman Catholic women priests (yes, they exist).

Does anyone think this has a chance of being done?

No, I don’t think so either. Actually, it is what should have been done in the first place. After selecting Lowery for the benediction, it should have been clear that to achieve inclusiveness, at the very least the invocation should be given by woman clergy–and to really achieve balance it would be preferable that she be non-Christian.

As it stands now the Warren faux pas dims what was a bright star, and the promise of "change" seems to be shifting to "plus ça change, c'est plus la même chose."

Yet at this season of hope and growing light, I will still hope for enlightenment.

UPDATE 2, 12/21: Until we can have enlightenment, perhaps something lighter will do? See possible snark, "Leaked Rick Warren Invocation" on Huffington Post.

UPDATE: 12/23:
John Aravosis of America Blog reported yesterday that Warren's Saddleback Church's website has removed its statement that "someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be welcome at Saddleback." Aravosis' story shows the Saddleback site before and after the edit.

Will this flickering candle stay lit after the inauguration?


Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Goddess Pages: Winter '08

The excellent journal, Goddess Pages, headquartered in England and with articles from people in a number of different countries, is now available both in print and online. Our review is of the online version.

This Winter issue’s opening art is "Gaia" by Suzanne Cheryl Gardner. Be sure to click on this beautiful portrayal to see a wonderful gallery of Gardner’s art.

Articles available to read free online are:
"Heart of the Dragon: a spiritual Herstory in rural West Wales" by Pamela Gaunt, about questions she has about her role as a storyteller. Gaunt gives her version of a Welsh folk tale, which (among other things) leads to a cultural exchange with Poland that included Irish storytellers and the birth of a baby dragon. The Black Madonna is also involved and all I can say is that this is quite a story so don’t miss it!

Glenys Livingstone’s "Re-Visioning Mythologies of Gender/Sex" delves into the distinction between sex and gender, asks what is the difference between masculine and feminine? how do they differ from maleness and femaleness? Are our definitions clear? Too rigid? In what instances may "essentialism" be a good thing? And more!

In "Thoughts on Importing Celtic Goddesses into the Southern Hemisphere," Jill Smith describes how her concept of Goddess is related to "manifestations of the spirit of place." This makes it troubling to her when Goddesses from other parts of the world are invoked in a place that has its own Goddesses.

"The Goose, the Crow, and the Cross Bones Portal," by John Constable, aka John Crow, tells of the Southwalk Mysteries. They were first revealed to Crow in 1996 by a spirit called Winchester Goose, "a medieval whore," who is now "the Goddess on the shop floor," possibly with some relationship to Mary Magdalene.

In "The Path to Avalon - an Inner Journey for Samhain," Laura Nutley (Cariad) tells us about Glastonbury (Avalon) and Samhain.

The following articles are designated "premium articles" in the online edition and there is a charge to read them. In accordance with our review policy , we will provide a list of them without comment:
"The Art of Searching for Goddess" by Suzanne Cheryl Gardner
"Matriarchal Spirituality, Past and Present" by Heide Gottner-Abendroth
"The Wise Woman Tradition Empowers Women" by Susun S. Weed
"Women’s Spirituality - Ushering in the Sacred Feminine" by Shekhinah Morgan
NOTE: All articles previously marked as "premium" through 2007 are now available for free reading online.

This Winter issue includes, for the first time, letters from readers, which are free to read online. They are: "Commercialisation of the Goddess" from Doreen Hopwood and "Balancing on Air" from Rowland, with an excellent response from Geraldine Charles.

There is no charge to read reviews and poetry. This issue's reviews are:
"Three Goddess Classics" (Gimbutas’ The Language of the Goddess, Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade, Baring and Cashford’s The Myth of the Goddess) reviewed by Theresa Curtis-Diggs.

"Walking an Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth by Karen Tate," reviewed by Jacqui Woodward-Smith.
"Earth Pathways 2009, We’Moon ‘09, and "We’Moon on the Wall ‘09" reviewed by Jacqui Woodward-Smith.
"Gwen Davies’ The Lunar Calendar: reviewed by Geraldine Charles.
"Kelliana: I Walk With the Goddess" (CD) reviewed by Myfanwy Ashley.
"Thirteen Moons Autumn Festival on Dartmoor" (event) reviewed by Michelle Darnell-Roberts.

As usual, the poetry is up to literary journal standards. This issue's poems are:
"Grief Like Horses (for Dad)" by Jacqui Woodward-Smith; "Isis Weeps for Cleopatra" by Doreen Hopwood; "Magi" by Geraldine Charles; "The Reclamation of Self: The Brass Brassiere" by Maria Duncalf-Barber.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Events Coil: Dec. 12 - Feb. 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-January and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through late February. 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.

Dec. 12, 7 p.m.
Full Moon on the Mountain, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Dec. 12, 7 p.m.,
Full Moon Drumming with Melinda Rodriguez, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 12, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.,
Full Moon Ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Dec. 13, 7 p.m.
Winter Solstice Ritual, Circle of Aradia (Dianic), Studio City CA

Dec. 14, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service Honoring Sakwa Mana with guest priestess Melinda Rodriguez, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 19, 7 p.m.
Winter Solstice in the Red Tent, Women's Well, Concord MA

Dec. 19, gather 6:30 p.m., program 7 p.m.,
Winter Solstice Pageant (cross-cultural event), Circle Sanctuary at First Unitarian Society, Madison WI

Dec. 20, 6 p.m.
Summer Solstice/Litha, Akkademie PaGaian Cosmology, Blue Mountains AUSTRALIA

Dec. 20,
Community Yule Festival, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near Mt. Horeb WI

Dec. 20, gather 19u30, ritual 22 uur,
Yule, Moontree Goddess Temple/Godinnentempel, Gent BELGIUM

Dec. 20, gather 3:30 p.m., ritual 4 p.m.,
Yule bonfire, Reclaiming, Ocean Beach, San Francisco CA

Dec. 20, 7 p.m.
Yule Ritual & Feast, Temple of Diana, Madison WI

Dec. 20, gather 6 p.m., ritual 7 p.m. Temple Holy Day:
Winter Solstice with Dragonweyr, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

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

Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate Winter Solstice and Hawaiian Snow Goddess, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic) San Francisco CA

Dec. 21, doors open 12.00, ritual begins 14.00 uur,
Winter Zonnewend, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel (Netherlands Goddess Temple), Hillgom NEDERLAND

Dec. 21, 12:30 p.m.
Yule/Winter Solstice, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

Dec. 21, 10:30 a.m., Christ-Sophia-Mass, Herchurch, San Francisco CA

Dec. 21 7 p.m.
Celtic Yul Ceremony, Nemea Goddess Center, Salzkammergut AUSTRIA

Dec 21, 7:30 p.m.
Winter Solstice Celebration. First seasonal celebration in new Goddess Hall, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Dec. 21, sunrise,
"Sing Up the Sun" Reclaiming, East Bay Hills, San Francisco, CA

Dec. 21, gather 12:30 p.m., ritual 1 p.m. Winter Solstice, Connect DC, Washington DC

Dec. 21 11 a.m.,
Goddess Service honoring Rainbow Serpent. Wordless Service but plenty of music,drumming, laughter and other nonverbal communication. Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 21, gather 4 p.m., ritual 5 p.m.
Winter Solstice, Daughters of Artemis Grove (Dianic) Green Valley CA

Dec. 24, gather 5:30 p.m., service 6 p.m.
Temple Spiritual Service Honoring Mother Mary led by Ava, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 27, 5:30 p.m.,
Dark of Winter Ritual, Becoming DC, Beltsville MD

Dec. 27, 7 p.m.
New Moon Women's Mysteries, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Dec. 27, 7 p.m.
New Moon Drumming with Liz Prall, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 27, time tba New Moon Song and Drum Circle, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Dec. 28, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Odudua with guest priestess Tora Moon, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Dec. 28, 2-4 p.m New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 10 7 p.m. Full Moon ritual, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

Jan. 10 time tba, Full Moon on the Mountain, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Jan. 11, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Full Moon Ritual, Goddess Temple Dedicated to Sekhmet,
Indian Springs NV

Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. Celebrate Lady Liberty, Daughters of the Goddess (Dianic), San Francisco CA

Jan. 25, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. "The Circle, the Sound, the Song" with Susan Robbins & Marytha Paffrath of Libana, Women's Well, Concord MA

Jan. 26, gather 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m. Imbolc, Northbay Reclaiming, Sebastopol CA

Jan. 26, 7 p.m., New Moon Women's Mysteries, Goddess Temple Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Jan. 26, time tba. New Moon Drum Circle, Montreal Reclaiming, Montreal CANADA

Jan. 31, time tba, Imbolc, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near Barneveld WI

Feb. 1, doors open 12.00 uur, ritual begins 14.00 uur, Imbolc, Nederlandse Godinnen Temple (Netherlands Goddess Temple) Hillgom, NEDERLAND

Feb. 1, 7 p.m., Imbolc, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. Imbolc Ceremony, Glastonbury Godess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 2, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m. Imbolc, Goddess Temple Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV



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.

Great Britain
Glastonbury, England, ongoing, Priestess/Priest of Avalon Training Program, both in Glastonbury (Avalon) and by correspondence, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

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


Arlington VA: 3rd Sunday of month, time tba, ritual Moonfire.
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,
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
Washington DC: 2nd Sunday of month; gather Noon, ritual 12:15 p.m. , National Arboretum, Becoming DC.
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.

Labels: ,