Saturday, February 23, 2013

Buzz Coil: February 2013

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

Huffington Post: In the lead article in the Religion Section, well-known poet Annie Finch's  Feb. 20 post, "A New Witch in Town: The Real Beautiful Creatures reviews a film that she feels portrays witches in erroneous stereotypical way. In the review, Finch declares she's a "real life witch who practices the Wiccan faith," discusses religious freedom and Wiccan characteristics including that Wicca "honors the earth and reveres the sacred feminine."

HecateDemeter: Blogger Hecate began posting a series on Feb. 18, A Place Without a Witch, which has the potential of turning into a novella (or novel?), about, among other things, a woman called Gemmy's move to, well, a place without a Witch. Here's a little taste of (almost) the beginning:
"There are craggy, windswept mountaintops — sharp, obsidian peaks, thrust into the upper bounds of the icy atmosphere from the deepest depths of the molten core of Mamma Gaia — that have never, not from the beginning of time until this very moment, known human occupation. And they, it’s true, my warm pudding, my sweet honeycomb, my dear one, they have no need of a Witch.
There are blazing acres of desert — miles and miles of soft, un-walkable, sand, sand so hot that only scorpions, and winding snakes, and essentially alien djinn can live there — that have never, not from the beginning of time until this very moment, known what it is like to live with humans. And they, it’s true, my heart’s own work, my scented flower, my teenager seeking for a path, they have no need of a Witch....
But our story isn’t, my dumpling, about those places.
No, our story, my soft winter blanket, is about how, once upon a time and once upon a place, there was a Bit of Earth that did not have a Witch, even though it needed one."

I'm looking forward to reading more of this wonderfilled and humorous writing.

Casa della Dea: Jacqui Woodward-Smith's poem, "Lady of Avalon," is given in English in an 8 Febbraio post, with a link to a translation into Italian.

Feminism and Religion: Among the  recent posts on this blog of people on various paths:

Judith Shaw's Feb. 23 post, Arianrhod, Celtic Star Goddess, delves into the original mythology  of this Goddess as well as later "disempowerment of the Goddess (and thus women) as patriarchal society replaced ancient Goddess worshipping societies"; with original art by the author.

In a Feb. 18 post, "Patriarchy as a System of Male Dominance Created at the Intersection of the the Control of Women, Private Property, and War, Part 1," Carol P. Christ begins,
 "Patriarchy is often defined as a system of male dominance. This definition does not illuminate, but rather obscures, the complex set of factors that function together in the patriarchal system. We need more complex definition if we are to understand and challenge the the patriarchal system in all of its aspects." She then gives a more in-depth definition that proposes patriarchy is "rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, sanctified by religious symbols, in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, to seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people."
She then explores views of Marx, Engels, Merlin Stone, Christian churches, the American Republican Party, Heide Goettner-Abendroth, and Michael Palin. To be continued next week!

Kat Robb's humorous Feb. 17 post,  "One Small Goddess, BunniHoTep" tells of the creation and subsequent mythology of this "Egyptian" deity, who "was born one afternoon at a Temple of Isis/Los Angeles priestess tea on the afternoon of Ellen Cannon Reed’s memorial service in October of 2003. "

Mary E. Hunt shares her views, which are a different take from some recent press rumors, in a Feb. 16 post, Papal Retirement: A Matter of Conscience."

Ivy Helman's Feb. 10 post, "On Pronouns and Liberation in the Classroom" explores the persistence of male pronoun use to describe deity decades after feminist scholars pointed out the fallacies and effects of this use, and shares her attempts to introduce students to gender-neutral language.

In a Feb. 6 post, "Working with Obstacles: Is Female Rebirth an Obstacle?" Rita M. Gross explores the obstacles she and other women face in Buddhist practice and thought.

In a Feb. 5 post, Blessed By Gratitude and Sharing,  Xochitl Alvizo responds to Carol P. Christ's Feb. 4 post, with a similar name, by exploring the differences between Christian and Goddess views.

In a Feb. 2 post, "A Meditation on the Shamrock," Barbara Ardinger discusses similarities and differences in the Pagan and Christian holy days of Brigid/St. Brigit.

In a Feb. 1 post, "Awakening to the Mystery of Absolute Beginnings," Carolyn Lee Boyd recalls her early explorations of feminist spirituality years ago and sees similarities to approaches to feminist spirituality today, writing,

"The more women and men I meet who practice and study feminist spirituality, the more I find this quality of profound “beginningness” in them. The art, poetry, music, dance, fiction, and every kind of artistic endeavor created by those who find their inspiration in feminist spirituality have the same vitality and hopeful passion that I find in myself.... The feminist spirituality groups I have known seem to thrive in a spirit of continual renewal; they have an organizational flow and a non-hierarchical form of leadership that encourages innovation."

The Goddess House: Blogger As't Moon's Feb. 17 post, "Spiders and Arachne," also includes the mythology of Athena and several gods, and the metaphysical significance of encountering a spider, including several questions you might ask yourself when you see one.

The Rowdy Goddess: Gail Wood compares reaching a spiritual pinnacle to "Getting to Carnegie Hall" in her Feb. 14 post.
Love of the Goddess: Blogger Tara writes about "Jezebel, Princess of Phoenecia, Queen of Israel," in her Feb. 11 post.

Way of the Rabbit: A Feb. 20 post/press release CAYA Coven Responds to Fox Network, includes this statement:
"The remarks made by these Fox Network hosts were especially irresponsible in light of the increasing diversity of religious tradition in America, where members of minority religions still struggle to establish equality and fair treatment in their schools, local governments, civic organizations, and communities."

The Wild Hunt: Jason Pitzl-Water's Feb. 19 Post, Pagan Community Responds to Inflammatory Fox News Comments," is one of several on this blog about both Fox News' bigoted comments and working with the press in general.On Feb. 16 he gave us a look at Images and Impressions from PantheaCon (Day 1)," including some great pics of people you may know.

Return to Mago: In a continuing series, Helen Hwang, in her Feb. 8 post, "(Bell Essay 3) The Ancient Korean Bell and Magoism  explores "Nipples and Breasts of the old Korean Bell" and Magoism in Silla (57 BCE – 935 CE), beginning: 
 "Female sexuality and the divine are seamless. The ancient Korean bell bespeaks the divine, derived from female sexuality. Emitting reverberation, it casts a spell on the hearer. It is the sound that connects one with the Goddess and with one another."

Panthea: All Things Are Goddess: In her Feb. 8 post, "Truly Sacred Sexuality," blogger Lisa explores love (mostly from a het perspective), including the roles and views of Paganism, patriarchy, Christianity, and Goddess.

 Mary Magdalene Within: In her Feb. 2 post,"The Bride is Coming..The Bride is Coming!"  Joan Norton relates the Magdalene with Goddess observances, writing:
"When the Greek storytellers and scribes of the Jesus stories placed the "hnh" at the end of "Magdal" they directed people to think of her as "Great" and "Exalted" the manner of their diety. They understood the Magdalene as representing the cycles of renewal that the goddesses are within us.The same three letters were sometimes attached to Athena, the Greek diety of wisdom. In the Celtic cultures of great influence at that time she was already Brighid...soon to be called Bride."

The Retiring Mind: Wendy Griffin offers a "Liturgy for Imbolc" in her Feb. 2 post. Something to read now and save for future years.
Walking on Fire: Blogger Heid tells of finding a connection to the Goddess Frigg (aka Saga) through DNA research, in her Feb. 18 post, "The Sagas in My Motherline."  


Monday, February 18, 2013

From Lady Liberty League About Fox News

February 18, 2013
For Immediate Release
Barneveld, WI - The Lady Liberty League denounces the ignorant and unprofessional statements made by Fox News commentators this weekend. The statements, made by Fox personalities including Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, Tucker Carlson, and Tammy Bruce were in regards to the University of Missouri's 2011 decision to include Wiccan and other holidays, along with the holidays of other many other faiths, in that university's "Guide to Religion."
We are deeply disappointed that Fox's leadership would chose to allow such ill-informed statements on the air. The commentary of the Fox News personalities over the weekend betrayed not only deep ignorance about Paganism and Wicca but also a fundamental distain for the nature of religious diversity in the United States and the establishment clause in the US constitution.
Paganism and Wicca (not "Wiccanism" as stated by Tucker Carlson) are contemporary religious practices that include an honoring of the Divine as immanent in Nature. Nature religions are growing in significant numbers not just within the United States, but significantly in the UK, Australia, South America, and Europe. The Lady Liberty League (LLL) is a program of Circle Sanctuary founded to dispel misconceptions and combat discrimination against Pagans, Wiccans and other Nature religion practitioners.
Rev. Selena Fox, Executive Director of the Lady Liberty League said, "In 2006 and 2007 Fox News was among the media sources that covered the quest to have equal rights for Wiccan and Pagan US Military veterans, and they did so in a factual and respectful manner. We are extremely disappointed at the ill-informed and disrespectful tone of their coverage about academic accommodation of Pagan and Wiccan holidays. We hope that Fox News will adopt and stay with a policy of respect for diverse faiths and philosophies in the USA."
The Fox News personalities, and others making similar arguments, seem to assume that because a religious faith is in the minority, that it should not be accorded equal rights or respect.
What they fail to realize is that the same protections granting Pagans at public universities fair treatment are what, for example, prevents a public school teacher from telling a child that she 'isn't really a Christian' because of the way she was baptized, and which prevents the government from banning the sale of bread during Passover. In the United States our government is not allowed to favor one religious practice over another and that is a good thing for everyone. Our founders knew very well the suffering that religious wars had inflicted in Europe and they worked to ensure that their new United States would be a place where people were free to worship and still coexist with one another.
We applaud the work done by the University of Missouri and by numerous other colleges, universities and public school systems across the country, to extend respect and understanding to all religions practiced on their campus. We are disgusted by the attempt of Fox News employees to belittle their efforts and to go for a cheap laugh at the expense of people and religions they obviously do not understand. We should expect better of American journalists.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Novel as Audiobook

(updated 2/15)
My novel, Beyond All Desiring, was released today as an audiobook read by Christy Lynn. The novel is also available in trade paperback and ebook formats. Its trade paperback version received three awards. This is my first venture in audiobook-land, an experience I'm enjoying, especially listening to Christy Lynn bring the characters to life with her creative interpretation of the dialog. The audiobook is available now at, and itunes. Both Audible and Amazon have ways you can get the book for less than the regular price (Amazon even has a way you can get it free--don't know how long that will last). You can listen to a sample of the audiobook (the excerpt is from from chapter 8) on any of the sites selling the book.

Spiritual and erotic, with touches of magic realism, Beyond All Desiring follows the life of a woman, unconventional for her time, who kept a large part of her life secret. For more info on the book and a link to a discussion guide go to

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