Friday, February 24, 2012

Buzz Coil: February 2012

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

The Village Witch: Byron Ballard’s Feb 3 post, "My Words are Tired" tells of the Buncombe County (NC) school board meeting dealing with Gideon Bibles and religious freedom. Her Feb. 5 post, "There’s A Corn Dolly on the Mantel...and its time to move on" is partly a response to that meeting, and deals with conflicts between, and other issues about, spiritual practices and cultural backgrounds.

Veleda: Max Dashu gives us a series called, "The Women’s Dance," which (so far) has 5 parts, all with terrific pics. She posted Parts I-IV on Feb. 5 and Part V on Feb. 6. Part I: "Southern Asia" includes Bronze Age rock art, some items depicting ritualized "round" dances from the areas now Iran, Syria, and Tajeistan. Part II, "Northern Africa" includes rock murals and pottery showing ritual dancing. Part III: "Southern Africa" shows depictions of women dancing, shown on rock murals; Part IV: "Northern Mediterranean" includes red-ochred rock art from what is now Spain, as well as rock art, sculpture , and pottery from ancient Greece and Crete, and from what is now Italy. Part V: "North America," shows various types of dance performed by the indigenous peoples of North America including basket, circle, and ghost dances.

Alchemy of Clay: In her Feb. 14 post, sculptor and potter Barbara Roberts shares pics from her "Archives of Tree Goddesses."

The Retiring Mind: In her Feb. 7 post, "Wandering thoughts on Deity," a discussion of the difficulty gay men may have finding "the Divine within" leads Wendy Griffin to ponder "Who is my Goddess? With which image, force or ancient sacred pantheon do I most resonate?"

Flash Silvermoon: In her Feb. 4 post, "Pagan Friends Interview," Flash Silvermoon shares an e-journal’s interview of her about her Goddess path and other matters.

The Goddess House: In her Feb. 16 post, blogger As’t Moon writes of "The Eleusinian Mysteries" as the hours of daylight decrease in Adelaide, Australia, where she lives.

Goddess in a Teapot: Prompted by a museum exhibit on Aphrodite, Carolyn L. Boyd writes about "The Gravity at the Temple of Aphrodite," in her Jan. 30 post.

Onion Work: Another beautiful post from blogger Ruby Sara on Feb. 3, "On Multiple Religious Belonging," describes her blending "Neopaganism" and "liberal/radical/progressive Christianity."

Feminism and Religion: In this blog of many authors and many paths, on Feb. 11, Patricia Rose writes about "Goddess Communities in Australia" and how the people in them relate to indigenous spirituality of Australia, as well as other influences. Michele Stopera Freyhauf, in a Feb. 9 post, "Catholicism, Contraception, and Conscience" gives a thorough analysis of the facts and politics of the current controversy in the U.S. In a Feb. 20 post, Carol Christ writes of "Remembering Merlin Stone, 1931-2011," describing the influence that the late Goddess author had, and continues to have, on her.

Blog o’ Gnosis: Anne Hill writes about changes in publishing over the last few years in her Feb. 14 post, "An eBook Rises from the Bathwater." Her rising eBook, The Baby and the Bathwater is about her experience with Reclaiming. And Anne offers something special to her blog readers

A few of the posts about trans issues & Pantheacon 2012:

The Wild Hunt: In a Feb. 23 post, "Pantheacon: Unity, Diversity, Controversy,"Jason Pitzl-Waters sees Pcon as successful in "mingling groups that often have vastly different ideas" and against this background, discusses the controversy at this year’s Pcon over a Z.Budapest-led ritual, a conflict with roots in a controversy that arose at 2011 Pcon over gender-based exclusion of people from Pcon events.

Way of the Rabbit: Yeshe Rabbit, High Priestess of CAYA Coven, in a Feb. 18 in a post, "An Invitation to remember who we are" writes: "There is no need for this escalation," before a planned protest about a ritual led by Z Budapest for "genetic women only," Yeshe asks Z how the situation can be resolved with "love, with compassion, and with queenly grace." After the ritual and protest on Feb. 21, Yeshe posted "Reaction, responses and resolution on PantheaCon," which includes an explanation of why her group decided to "stand in the liminal space between the ritual attendees and protesters and sing songs of peace and transformation."

T. ThornCoyle: Know Thyself: In a Feb. 19 post, "Holding the Beloved Community," Thorn Coyle responds to Yeshe Rabbit’s Feb. 18 post, basing her response on the philosophy of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thorn, leader of the silent protest against Z’s "genetic women only" policy at the Pcon ritual, and writing before the event, notes that "Z Budapest is part of our beloved community." Thorn then explains why she decided to lead the protest

Lupabitch: Blogger Lupa was one of the protesters outside the Dianic ritual led by Z Budapest. In her Feb.19 post, she gives her views on what transpired. (With 228 comments at last count).

HecateDemeter: In her Feb. 19 post, "I Contain Multitudes," blogger Hecate describes her background in Dianic Wicca and grapples with "what it is to be born in a body with a penis, yet to be a woman."

Sonneillon-V.: Blogger Sonneillon's Feb. 21 post, "I stand with my trans siblings," gives brief background on 2011 Pantheacon trans controversy, what happened this year, and her opinion.

update 2/28:
Veleda: Max Dashu shares her experience and opinions of this event in a Feb. 26 post,
"Three 'cis-gender crones,' one 'muttering'. "

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 20, 2012

Goddess Pages: Winter Issue 2012

The winter issue of Goddess Pages is out, with opening art, Queen Clytemnestra" by Linda Darby, and an introduction, "She changes everything She touches..." by Geraldine Charles. This issue's articles include:

"Brighid's Runes in Sweden: The Volva and the Sun" by Kristen Brunsgaard Clausen, a moving story of how Clausen's 2006 tour of bronze-age rock art sites in Sweden, which included a rune with the inscription, "BRAIDO," led to her search for its meaning--and yes, you'll learn what she found out.

"From Beyond the North Winds: Discovering the Wisdom of the Mother of Air," by Becky Thomas, a discussion of British Winter Goddesses, their familiars, and their relationships to air.

"In Praise of Hera," by Rohase Piercy, which takes Hera "out of the olympian context" to allow us to better connect with Her.

"Nephtys---Silent Goddess of the Shadow" by Lesley Jackson, which explores the possible reasons Nephtys is not usually referred to by herself, but almost always with Isis, as her sister or twin.

"Sexy Herbs" by Susun Weed explores several "sexual tonics" and how to make them.

Fiction and poetry include:

"Good Moon Alaska Inland Passage," by Mari Ziolkowski, a prose-poem about Alaskan travel.

"Loving Brynhild - Part 6," which is Chapter 11,"The Helmet of Dread," of a novel by Clarise Samuels

Poems, "Lust" and "A Wizard's Work is Never Done" by Doreen Hopwood, the latter with art by Shireen TruitRead; and "Winter Solstice" by Weeza Potter.

Reviews include: Miriam Raven's review of Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power by Dorothy Atalla; and Geraldine Charles' reviews of Avebury Cosmos: The Neolithic World of Avebury henge, Silbury Hill, West Kennet long barrow, the Sanctuary and the Longstones Cove by Nicholas R. Mann; Goddess in the Grass: Serpentine Mythology and the Great Goddess by Linda Foubister; and Goddess Matters: the mystical, practical and controversial by Judith Laura

This issue's home page (bottom) also contains notices of two Goddess festivals: The 17th Annual Glastonbury Goddess Festival, July 31-Aug. 5 (with fringe events beginning July 29), and the Stockholm (Sweden) Goddess Festival, Aug. 12-16.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

In Memoram: De-Anna Alba, 1952-2012

May she rest in the arms of the Goddess and be renewed.

De-Anna Alba, 59. author, singer, and priestess, died on January 24, 2012 in Santa Rosa, California from complications of breast cancer diagnosed on December 23, 2010. She is survived by her cherished son Ian Robert White and her beloved life partner, Lea Pierce of Santa Rosa, California. Memorials are being planned for California and Wisconsin.

De-Anna was born on March 31, 1952 and was the adopted daughter of Robert White and Dorothy Plock White of Wisconsin. where she grew up. She moved to Santa Rosa, California in 1999 and became life partners with Lea Pierce.

De-Anna began her studies of Goddess Spirituality, Wicca and Paganism in college. In her mid-twenties, she and then partner Lugh Shin McGhee led the First Wiccan Temple of our Lady in Milwaukee. In 1978, they began studying Circle Craft with Selena Fox and Jim Alan, and the following year, joined their household and began living with them at Circle Farm, a rented farmhouse near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin which served as Circle Sanctuary's first headquarters. She continued to be part of their household at later locations in Ashton and Black Earth. She was Circle Sanctuary's first church secretary and one of its first ordained priestesses. She took the name De-Anna Alba at the time of her ordination in 1979 and registered it as her ministerial name in 1980. From 1979-1983, she worked full-time for Circle Sanctuary, assisting Selena Fox with ceremonies, gatherings, education, public relations, publications, and other work. She helped Selena in developing Circle Sanctuary's worldwide Circle Network, which continues to serve Pagans of many paths. De-Anna served on Circle Sanctuary's Board of Directors from 1980-1983 and continued to work part-tiem for Circle Sanctuary after it moved its present headquarters to its land near Barneveld WI in 1983. She was among those who sang with Jim Alan and Selena Fox on their 1980 album "Songs of Pagan Folk," one of the first albums of contemporary Pagan music. She appeared with Selena and Jim in local and national media, including national television (interviewed by Phil Donahue on NBC's Today Show) and press (Time, People, Milwaukee Sentinel). She assisted Selena with interfaith endeavors, including being part of a meeting with the Dalai Lama during his first trip to the USA in Fall, 1979.

De-Anna's matron Goddess was Cerridwen, and she felt strongly connected with Mother Mary during the last years of her life. She engaged in solitary Wiccan practice and also was active in several spiritual organizations in addition to Circle Sanctuary, including the First Wiccan Temple of Our Lady, EarthSisters (later renamed MoonSisters) a women's spirituality group within the Circle Sanctuary Community in the early 1980's, and Pagan Spirit Alliance. She was a co-founder and co-facilitator of Earth Conclave of Madison, Wisconsin, a member of the Reformed Congregation of the Goddess, and later founded her own initiatory tradition.

De-Anna's Goddess spirituality writing career began with her contributions to CIRCLE Magazine, originally known as Circle Network News. She was an editor of Circle News and among the contributors to the first Circle Guide to Pagan Resources (1979) and the Pagan Spirit Journal (1982). Later, her writings appeared in periodicals of other organizations. For the past 22 years, De-Anna was a regular columnist for the women's spirituality journal SageWoman. In addition to published articles, De-Anna was author of the book, Cauldron of Change: Myths, Mysteries and Magick of the Goddess (1993). An interview with De-Anna conducted by Lea will be published in the March 2012 issue of SageWoman. Her book on Candle Magic, will be published posthumously later this year.

She was also part owner with Lea of Indian Ridge Real Estate and with Lea founded Wine Competition Management LLC in 2007, which launched The National Women's Wine Competition, the Organic & Biodynamic Wine Competition, the U.S. Professional Wine Buyers Competition, and the NextGen Wine Competition for Millennial Wine Drinkers. Wine Competition Management received world-wide publicity including from Decanter Magazine and The Wall Street Journal for re-definining wine competitions.

This information is from a memoriam page on the Circle Sanctuary website and a SageWoman newsletter.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Opening at Circle Sanctuary for Executive Assistant

Circle Sanctuary is accepting applications for the position of Executive Assistant, a full-time position located on-site at Circle Sanctuary headquarters in Wisconsin. Responsibilities include a variety of office duties, plus coordinating and staffing events, supervising volunteers, center upkeep, and serving as a personal assistant to Executive Director Selena Fox. Qualifications include proficiency in office work, Quick Books, Microsoft Office, phone reception, written communications, and excellent attention to details and skills in organization, multitasking, and publications work. You can get more details on the job and fill out an application on

This information is being posted in response to an email announcement about the opening, inviting people to post the information on blogs.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Special: What Hecate and I Talk About

That terrific blogger Hecate and I talk about matters (accommodation, tarot, sex, and more) that I discuss in my book, Goddess Matters:The Mystical, Practical, and Controversial, in her Feb. 9 post, "An Interview with Judith Laura About Goddess Matters" on

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