Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Buzz Coil: January '10

A look at some posts of interest from our blogroll and beyond:

This just in...Jan. 28, 11:30 pm...

The Wild Hunt: In his January 27 post,"Goddess Religion and Misandry?" (which I didn't read until just now) Jason Pitzl-Waters posts an extensive commentary on a new book, Sanctifying Misandry: Goddess Ideology and the Fall of Man by Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young, which apparently accuses Goddess spirituality of fostering man-hating. More than 100 comments on this post when I just looked.

Amananta: A January 19 untitled post by blogger Amananta responds to a post elsewhere called "The Fractal Nature of the Gender Binary" by examining the dualistic and hierarchical habits of some occultists who also gender hierarchy and duality. Included in her discussion are Qabala, Thelema, and "Rosicrucian/Golden Dawn-style practices." She adds that this habit "has successfully infiltrated Wicca and other modern paganisms."

American Witch: Well-known poet Annie Finch started this blog just this past Yule. Her Dec. 30 post, "Avatar and the Goddess," explores the Goddess theology and culture presented in this very popular film. Her January 11 post, "What is a Witch? What is a Poet? What is a Poetess?" relates the term "poetess" to the work of a witch.

Pagan Godspell: In her January 4 post, "Breathing in 2010" blogger Sara Ruby raises objections to the film, "Avatar."

The Village Witch: In the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times on January 23, Byron Ballard writes about "Saturday, in Which the Village Witch is Interviewed by the Media," and she describes how she is preparing for Imbolc. In her January 20 post, "Walking through Different Worlds," she tells how she and two of her priestess-sisters "engaged in some shamanic-style work...on behalf of the people of Haiti."

Hecate: Blogger Hecate's January 22 post, "Ladies, Lots of Luck," responds to a Washington Post article about "the strict punishments Rome is handing out to women who dare to question their second-class status" in the Roman Catholic Church.

Amused Grace: in her January 18 post, "Meanderings," Thalia Took writes of researching goddesses:

I love following the strands, finding that one line about an obscure Goddess, the one town in which She had a concrete presence, then tracking the modern name of that town down if I can, and figuring where it was, where was Her temple, Her spring, Her wood; and then if I'm very lucky, finding a photograph someone has posted somewhere
She then shows us some of those photographs.

Mary Magdalene Within: "Why Bother with Candlemas?" asks Joan Norton in her January 17 post. Her answer includes references to Goddess and to the meeting of Mary Magdalene and Jesus.

Broomstick Chronicles: In her at January 7 post, "New Year Greetings from Cherry Hill Seminary," Macha NightMare shares her visions and expectations for Cherry Hill Seminary, of which she is now President of the Board, and explores why she now uses her birth name in many instances.

At Bridget's Forge: Lunaea Weatherstone shares her New Year's intentions in her January 1 post "More is More."

Evoking the Goddess: Blogger Paul explores "The strange invention of boredom" in his December 31 post, beginning with a holiday visit from a mother and daughter who never read books not assigned at school. He then wanders into wonder, mystery, magic, and beauty.

Suzie Ridler: In her January 25 post, "The Face of the Goddess," Suzie Ridler draws a tarot card, one that frequently comes up for her, writes of feeling unconnected to nature where she is now, and relates several of her predictive dreams.

Walking on Fire: Blogger Myfanwy posted her dayjob resume on her blog on January 24. Why? The explanation is in her January 20 post "Of Deeds and Dark Knots the Land Teaches," which starts out with an account of a series of dreams that seem to be guiding her to action. Good luck, Myfanwy!

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


Monday, January 25, 2010

Availability of Goddess columns ebook--with discount code

All of my "Thealogical Musings" columns that appeared in the print journal The Beltane Papers from 2002 to 2007 have just been published as an e-book, Goddess Spirituality at the Crossroads and other columns, in multiple formats, at smashwords.com/books/view/8990. Among the columns: Goddess as Flow, Naming Ourselves, Do We Create Our Own Reality? Psychic Gifts, Death Reminds Us, Who says We're Weak on Ethics?, Keeping Faith in Stormy Times, Goddess Beliefs and Sexuality, Goddess in Christianity and Judaism. Readable on virtually any ebook reading device, the available formats at Smashwords include Epub, Mobi (Kindle), pdf, lrf (Sony Reader), Palm doc (PDB), html, javascript, plain text. Free samples (including a full contents list) are available there for most of the formats. And, as an Imbolc/Valentine's gift for all my sweeties, I've arranged for you to be able to get 25% off by putting this code in when you check out: UF84M (not case sensitive). You can use the discount code now through Feb. 15 (Pacific Time).


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Report of Ancient Egyptian Goddess temple

AP is reporting that Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed a temple containing many statues of the goddess Bastet. Thethe article says the temple is "more than 2,000 years old," dating the find to 3rd century BC. Thanks to MSNBC for including it in their news coverage. Here's the link
(update 10:10 pm: my previous math error corrected thanks to anonymous tip--see comments)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Global Goddess Oracle: Winter Issue

The great variety of fascinating material in the winter issue of Global Goddess Oracle includes:

An opening statement by Dawn, "Winter Solstice 2009," thanks those who have helped with the Oracle. She also contributes "Moon Schedule from Winter Solstice to Imbolc" to this issue.

"A Favorite Solstice Ritual," by Flash Silvermoon involves gifts, blindfolds, psychometry, kisses, and sips of "Mead."

"Let’s Clarify," by Bendis discusses the term "Dianic" and "the validity of ordinations." Bendis also contributes reviews of two books to this issue: Ethics and Professional Practice for Neopagan Clergy by Catherine MacDowell, and Psychic Shield by Caitlin Matthews, with a long excerpt from this book.

Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D, contributes two articles to this issue: "Modraniht," which proposes that the night of December 24 honor all mothers; and the humorous "Found Goddesses, Part 6" honoring Miss Piggy.

"The Healing Tree," by Vanessa Timmons discusses the journey of Amaterasu, with prompts for journaling.

"The Solstice of the Great Bear," fiction by Byron Ballard, is excerpted from one of Ballard’s longer performance pieces.

"Intentional Insights, Q & A From Within," by S. Kelley Harrell answers questions about living with a family member with post traumatic stress syndrome; Saturn in Libra; and closes with a riff on a quote by Marge Piercy.

"The Girdles of Ishtar: Astrology for Everywoman" by Jessica North-O’Connell begins with an excerpt from work of Hiratsuka Raicho.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Seasonal Salon: Winter Solstice Issue

This issue of RCG-I's Seasonal Salon includes the following gems:

"Approaches to the Study of Goddess Myths and Images" by Patricia Monaghan. This is part three of a four-part series that describes the lives of Goddess studies pioneers, and is excerpted from Monaghan’s book, The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. This excerpt discusses British mystic and novelist Dion Fortune and American Mary Barnard, translator of Sappho.

"Cronehood: The Winter of Life" by Nancy Van Arsdall focuses on the final cycle of our lives whose "greatest challenge is the inner struggle for a sense of integrity; we struggle between hope and despair." It is excerpted from her book, Coming Full Circle.

"With the Wind at our Backs" by Bellezza Squillace describes energy management using the power centers in our backs.

And a poem, "Art" by Renée Rabb rounds out the issue.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Events Coil: Jan. 14-Feb. 28

As far as we know, all events we list are open functions; but some may be limited to women or to adults and some may require that you notify them that you plan to attend. 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. Ongoing events are listed after the dated events. The next Events Coil is planned for mid-February and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through late March. If you have an event you want listed, please leave info as a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

Now-April 25 (except Mondays), The Lost World of Old Europe Exhibition, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, NYC NY

Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m. White Buffalo Calf Woman Peace Ceremony, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco (East Bay) CA

Jan. 15, 2 p.m.
New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 15 time tba, New Moon Celebration with marking of founding of Matreum, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m., Women's New Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet,
Indian Springs NV

Jan. 15, 7 p.m.
New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 17, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Yemaya, with Tess Hitehurst, and celebrating the Temple's 7th Anniversary, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 21, 6 p.m.
Sound Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Jan. 23, Noon, Inner Goddess Yoga Journey, Women's Well, Concord MA

Jan. 23, Session 2, "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven," Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 24, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Shina Tsu Hime, ; 1:15 p.m. "The Elements" (and Directions, as practiced at this Temple) Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 24, 5 p.m., first meeting of new Women's Spirituality Group, True Colors Bookstore, Minneapolis MN

Jan. 30, time tba, Imbolc, London Reclaiming, London ENGLAND

Jan. 30, Full Moon Celebration, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

Jan. 30, time tba,
Imbolc, Circle Sanctuary, Mt. Oreb WI

Jan. 30, 6 p.m. gather, 7 p.m. ritual, 7:15 p.m. doors lock, Temple Holy Day: Brigit, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 30, 7 p.m., Full Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Jan. 30, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m.
Brigid, Reclaiming, San Francisco CA

Jan. 31, doors open 12.00 uur, ceremony 14.00 uur,
Winter zonnewende, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillgom, NEDERLAND

Jan. 31, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Brigit, with initiation of year's new members, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Jan. 31, 7 p.m.,
Imbolc, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

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

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

Feb. 4-7,
Brighde's Sacred Blessing Retreat, The Glastonbury Experience,
Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 6, 7 p.m., Lammas ritual, Pagaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains NSW AUSTRALIA

Feb. 6, 2 p.m. Goddess Meetup, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

Feb. 6, 2-8 p.m., Annual Goddess Celebration, this year honoring Kuan Yin, Goddess Events, Phoenix AZ

Feb. 7, RCG-I online classes begin, including Goddess and Kabbalah course taught by Judith Laura; Women's Thealogical Institute, Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, WORLD WIDE WEB

Feb. 7, 6 p.m.
Drum Lodge, Women's Well, Concord MA

Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Daughters of the Gooddess Temple Dedication Ceremony, Daughter of the Goddess, San Francisco CA

Feb. 12-15,
Sacred Indoor Fire Circle Intensive, Circle Sanctuary, Barneveld WI

Feb. 12-15, Pantheacon, San Jose CA

Feb. 13, Inner Goddess Yoga Journey, Womens Well, Concord MA

Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m.
Women's New Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet,
Indian Springs NV

Feb. 13, 7 p.m.,
New Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Feb. 14, 2 p.m. ,New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 14, 11 a.m., Goddess service honoring Guinevere, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Feb. 14, time tba,
New Moon Celebration, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

Feb. 20, 11 a.m.
Special Goddess Healing Day, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 21, 11 a.m.,
Goddess service honoring Persephone, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Feb. 27, 7 p.m.
Lady of Avalon Special Ceremony,
Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 27, 7 p.m., Full Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. Celebrate Ma'at, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco CA

Feb. 28, 10:30 a.m., Friends, Madrons, and Melissa Day, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Feb. 28, 11 a.m.,
Goddess service honoring Rhiannon, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Feb. 28, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 Full Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV


Perth (White Gum Valley): Mondays, 17:30,
Chalice Ceremony, Daughters of Ishtar.

most days 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Goddess Temple open for personal prayers.

Hamilton: Saturdays, 4 p.m.
Open Classes ; gather 7 p.m. Open Circles , Hamilton Temple, Wiccan Church of Canada.

Great Britain
Glastonbury: Priestess/Priest of Avalon Training Program, both in Glastonbury (Avalon) and by correspondence, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.
Glastonbury: Most days except Mondays, Noon-4 p.m. Temple Open for personal prayers; Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. Belly Dancing
; Thursdays, 7 p.m. Temple Ritual Dance Class, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

Soderhamn, Gudinne Temple Open weekdays Noon
-6 p.m. Mondays, 7-9 p.m., meditation prayer, conversation.

Arlington VA: 3rd Sunday of month, time tba, ritual Moonfire.
Canton CT: Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Services, Women's Temple: In Her Name

Charleston SC: 1st Tuesday of month, Women's Circle, The Sophia Institute
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. until July 5, then 10 a.m. inward, meditative; 2nd service at 11 a.m., dancing, drumming, singing; see dates for guest speakers.
Friday services, gather 6 p.m., service 6:30 p.m. "All Souls in Reverence." Goddess Temple of Orange County
Minneapolis, MN: Monthly Womens Spirituality Group, True Colors Bookstore.
Palenville NY: Saturdays, 5 p.m. training sessions; Sundays 4-6 p.m, open classes, 7 p.m. Pagan Circles,Matreum of Cybele.
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.

World Wide Web
Online, various times, Spiritual Heritages of Ancient Europe, course with Max Dashu.
Online, Wednesdays, 6 p.m. PT
"Voices of the Sacred Feminine" interviews with well-known Goddessians and Pagans, hosted by Karen Tate, Blog Talk Radio.

Online, Sundays, 11 a.m. PT, "Creatrix Media Live" roundtable discussions include guests and phone-in audience participation, co-hosted by Jayne DeMent and Anniitra Ravenmoon, Blog Talk Radio.

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 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, no password-protected 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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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Goddess Pages: Winter Issue

The Winter issue of Goddess Pages is now online. Some of the articles are marked with an *, indicating "premium" content, for which you have to pay a fee. These become available for free reading online a year after they are published. Go to the Goddess Pages archives to read the premium content of past issues.

You can read the entire content of the following from the current issue free online:

Cover art:
"Image of the Crone," by Ann Cook; a gorgeous photograph of Rose Flint taken at the 2008 Goddess Conference.

Joint Editor Geraldine Charles’ "She Changes Everything She Touches," an introductory statement to this issue.

"Croning—a personal journey," by Rachael Clyne, who writes that when she turned 60 last April she had been experiencing the difficulties of her second Saturn Return. She goes on to tell about the "gateways" of her croning journey and her croning ceremony at a sacred site. The article is accompanied by her poem, "Croning," and ends with "A Croning Prayer."

Elizabeth A. Kaufman’s "The Nine Nights of the Winter Solstice Hallowing," based on an ancient rite to Helios, but celebrating goddesses. Kaufman tells how she created a series of rituals and magical workings for the Winter Solstice and then gives us the complete ritual, and includes her journal entries from this year’s rituals.

Fiction: "Beth’s Blessing," an excerpt from one of Judith Laura’s novels.

"Another Weeping Woman" and "Arctic Retreat" by Michele Darnell-Roberts
"Cerridwen’s Awful Mistake" by Melissa C. Reardon
"Come Winter Woman" by Anne Baker
"Instant of a Crow Wing," by Rose Flint
"Puffins, Isle of Staffa" by Alison Leonard; "Maiden Menarchy Mantra" by Aida
"Sandstone" and "The Well" by Doreen Hopwood.

"Feminine Mysticism in Art," a DVD by Victoria Christian and Ray Mikota, reviewed by Geraldine Charles.
"Bloodtime, Moontime, Dreamtime, a film by Roberta Cantow reviewed by Karen Tate.

Also listed as reviews but they seemed more like articles to me: "Goddess Conference 2009—Journeying with the Fires" by Alex Chaloner, about the Glastonbury Goddess Conference; "Portals to the Self: A Woman’s Circle by the Sea" by Deborah Garrett, about a women’s retreat on Isla Mujeres, off the coast of Cancun, Mexico.

The beginnings of "Premium" articles are also shown on the website. This issue’s are:
"Ancient Breasts" by Susun S Weed, and "Grieving with the Goddess" by Sheila Rose Bright.

Goddess Pages also publishes a print edition in UK, which can be ordered worldwide.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Mary Daly, 1928-2010

updated again : Jan.5, 11:11 p.m.
Mary Daly, theologian, philosopher, author, and professor, who influenced a great number of people involved in spiritual feminism, whether in Goddess or Abrahamic religions, as well as feminists not directly involved in religion, died Jan. 3 in the Wachusett Manor nursing home in Garner, Massachusetts after a long illness. She was 81.

Daly held three doctorates: in Religion, Sacred Theology, and Philosophy. She taught at Boston College, a Jesuit institution, for 33 years until 1999, and not without controversy. Her first books were The Church and the Second Sex (1968) and Beyond God the Father (1973). Especially beginning with Gyn/Ecology (1978), in which she suggested that we describe the divine with the verb "Be-ing" rather than the noun "[a] Being," Daly became known for her linquistic explorations and creative use of language, which continued through her other books: Pure Lust (1984), Webster's First New Intergalactic Wickedary (with Jane Caputi, 1987), Outercourse (1992), Quintessence (1998), and Amazon Grace (2006).

The Boston Globe online reports that a caregiver was reading to Daly from Wickedary when she died, and that although friends plan a memorial service, according to one of her former graduate students, Daly's wish was that if people wanted to memorialize her, they do so by gathering groups in their locality to read or discuss her work.
"Tribute to an Amazon Sister"[Video by Aphrodisiastes re-added 1/13]

Thanks to Z Budapest, Bobbie Grennier et al; some photos by Gail Bryan, music by Karla Bonoff.

[update Jan.4 10:22 p.m. : Two responses today to Daly's death are among those that may be of interest: from the National Catholic Reporter; from Thorn Coyle.]
[update Jan. 7, 2:02 p.m. New York Times obituary]

May she rest in the arms of Goddess, whether verb or noun, and be renewed.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year's Look in the Mirror

The sectarian New Year is often a time when we take stock of where we are and try to see what lies ahead. So I’m going to take a look at what I see as recent trends and try to peer a bit into the future to see how they are likely to develop.

Here are what I consider the most important current trends affecting Goddess spirituality/religions:
—Growing number of Goddess Temples worldwide.
—Increasing openness of Christian and Jewish groups to what they call variously the "feminine divine," "Shekhinah," Sophia," "Mother God" and a number of other terms, including in at least one case "Goddess."
—Launch of updated version of Unitarian Universalist adult-ed course, "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven" by UU Women and Religion core group and others, and use of this course by Goddess Temples.
—Increased acceptance of Paganism, Goddess, and "divine feminine" in interfaith gatherings.

There are now Goddess Temples (sometimes called by some other names such as "Houses") either in physical buildings, or undergoing construction, or in the fund-raising phase in the Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Great Britian, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. U.S. states where Temples are located include: California, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. (Did I leave a country or state out that has a temple? Please leave comment below so we know about it.) Because most of these Temples are not specific to one Goddess path and because many of the programs and rituals/ceremonies they hold are open, their existence and public visibility fosters expansion, introducing even more people to Goddess thought and practice. The flip side of this for some long-time Goddessians is that some Temple observances may not conform to Goddess ways they have become used to in smaller groups. I think that this is the "risk" (if that’s what it is) of growth of almost any spiritual path or religious group. But I also think that it is up to each Temple to determine what sort of observances and practices they feel are appropriate for them. It is then up to individuals to decide whether any particular Temple fits their needs. Right now, I don’t know of any town or city where there is more than one Goddess Temple—that is, where there is a choice. But eventually—probably not this year or next—maybe not even this decade—but eventually, if things keep going as they are now—this will happen. These Temples are playing a large role in bringing Goddess practice out of the closet and, if not yet quite into the mainstream, at least beginning to be considered part of the spiritual or religious picture by the public.

Along with the increased visibility of Goddess religions that are most often classified as Pagan, we are seeing in both Christianity and Judaism an increased and more public use and acceptance of incorporating either the "feminine divine" or the divine embodied as female (aka Goddess). There has been for some time (by which I mean, in some cases, since the 1970s) efforts to use female "God language" by a scattering of Jewish and Christian groups. What is different recently is that this is being done more publicly, by more groups, and is becoming more mainstream. Books (some of which have becomes bestsellers) and films have played a role in this. Especially novels, and films based on novels, bring the idea of calling the divine "She" greater mainstream acceptance. The nonfiction books also influence people within Judaism and Christianity who may not have previously been open to calling the divine "She." Two organizations that seem to have grown out of this greater public openness (as well as continuing to encourage it) are:
—the Hebrew Goddess Institute , which uses the terms "embodied," "earth-honoring," and "feminist," in describing itself and trains priestesses mainly centered around a contemporary view of the Shekhinah
The Sophia Institute, a Christian organization that includes among its goals, "integration of the sacred feminine."
In another fascinating example, Her Church in San Francisco, a Lutheran church, is calling the female divine "Goddess," producing Goddess rosaries and holding weekly Goddess prayer sessions in addition to other activities, such as an interfaith conference centering around recognition of the female divine.

I include the re-launch of the Unitarian Universalist course in my list of important trends because historically the first version of this course (c. mid-1980s) played a large role in bringing women to Goddess. IMO, it was responsible a number of years ago for the development of CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans), and also fed other Pagan groups, as women who discovered the Goddess through this course sought to put what they had learned into practice. I might note that although the course also included material related to Judaism and Christianity, in practice some groups gave only brief attention to this material. This may be at least partly because many participants had already rejected the Jewish and Christian faiths in which they had been brought up and preferred not to hear anything more about them. I’m hoping that groups now using the updated version of the course, which contains new material on Abrahamic religions (for example, on Mary Magdalene) will include this material in their studies. Whether this course will have as great an impact now as it did about 20 years ago remains to be seen. On the one hand, even among UUs, there are many women (and the course is geared experientially to women, though some groups include men), who are not familiar with the material. For instance a year or so ago, a young woman from a UU church was referred to me by a minister because I was considering leading a (non-Cakes) Goddess group for the church. "What’s women's spirituality?" the woman wanted to know, "What's Goddess spirituality?" When I replied, she got a little snitty, indicating she felt the idea was too far out and abruptly ended the conversation. So there appears to be a need for re-education (or continuing education) even within the UU community. On the other hand, in contrast to the situation when the first version of this course became available, there is now extensive material on the course’s subjects in books, DVDs, and online. So it’s possible that the updated version may not have as great an influence in bringing people to Goddess as the first version did. But what is also interesting to me is the use of this course by at least two Goddess Temples: The Mother Grove Goddess Temple of Asheville (NC) and Goddess Temple of Orange County (CA). The latter not only opens the course to the public but also requires its priestesses to take it. The course is apparently useful in these Temples not only for Goddess newbies, but also for people involved for a bit longer, who seek a concise yet comprehensive view of spiritual feminism. You don’t have to be UU to use this course, so could a future trend be more extensive use of the course outside of UUism?

The recent Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne, Australia, is probably the best of example of the growing acceptance of Pagan, Goddess, and "feminine divine" paths among participants in many religions. Although a number of Pagans and Pagan groups have for some time been doing interfaith work locally and some nationally, it has sometimes been difficult to get recognition and cooperation from mainstream religions. Yet it seems, with the reports posted on online from the Parliament just ended, that their work has begun to bear fruit. Both Pagans at the Parliament (which has videos of many events) and Women at the Parliament report on the unexpectedly large interest in "Goddess" and "feminine divine" panels, with Pagans at the Parliament reporting that more than 400 people attended the panel on the feminine divine . Both blogs contrast the interest and acceptance with the last Parliament 5 years ago, when there was far less interest and inclusion of Pagan/Goddess/feminine divine participants and material. In a post-Parliament podcast, American Pagan Patrick McCullum tells of being one of a number of participants representing various religions with whom representatives dispatched to the Parliament by the Obama Administration met.

What does all this mean for the future? Barring any repressive measures from misguided governments, I expect to see—probably not tomorrow, or next week, and maybe not all in this new year, but as the decade progresses—more Goddess Temples, also more stationary indoor physical space dedicated to Pagan activities, either Pagan in general and shared by a number of groups (such a project as been underway in the DC area for some years), or dedicated to a specific Pagan path. (Though we may like to, and continue to, meet in outdoor spaces and eachother's homes, location in a permanent building dedicated to our path makes for stability, public visability and hopefully increased acceptance.) I also expect to see incorporation of the divine as female or the sacred feminine into some Jewish and Christian sects. In addition, I would not be surprised to see break-offs and formation of new sects or sub-sects, especially in cases where the original sect does not want to go as far in the incorporation of the female divinity as a growing group within it desires.
Ultimately in the U.S. and perhaps elsewhere, the sacred feminine becomes integrated into many sects of Christianity and Judaism while Paganism and Goddess religions, in many countries where there is freedom of religion, become mainstream paths.

Yet we should not expect everyone to believe or observe in the same fashion. There is likely to continue to be differences both among Pagan groups and among those specifically honoring the female/feminine divine. There will never be, except under oppressive circumstances, just one religion, or one way of honoring deity (or deities), nor would I want there to be. When we are in small groups and, as the current catchphrase goes, "flying below the radar," it is easier to be tolerant of many different forms of belief and practice since we can more easily select a group or group members that already share our points of view. When a group gets larger and more visible, unfortunately tendencies to oversimplify and desires to control are more likely. I’d like to see us avoid both and I think we are up to the challenge. So let us open this New Year as we would a gift, with optimism for the growth and positive changes that lie ahead.

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