Saturday, April 27, 2013

Buzz Coil: April 2013

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

Annelinde's World:  Annelinde Metzner's April 4 post, Muso Koroni is a poem about the Bambara Earth Goddess. With pic and audio of the poem being read to marimba accompaniment. Her April 15 post, Red Bud is a beautiful evocation of early spring (also with pic.)

Theapoetics: In poetry, prose and photos of her sculptures, blogger talkbirth's April 24 posts, Last Words and Goodbye, tell of the death of her grandmother.
HecateDemeter: Last time I looked, blogger Hecate was up to Chapter 11 on April 13 in her fiction saga, A Place Without a Witch, set in DC. In this installment, the main character, Gemmy, converses with a water nymph. Then I looked again on April 26 and Hecate had posted Chapter 12 (A Slight Digression into the Woods). Other posts in this series this month (so far) were on April 3 and April 10.

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology announces in its April 23 post, 2013 Conference on Comparative Mythology,  a conference sponsored by the International Association for Comparative Mythology and Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany, May 15-17.

Feminism and Religion: Among the recent posts in this blog of many paths and bloggers:
Elizabeth Cunningham's April 21 post, Coming Out as a Shaman at Your Presbyterian Memorial, tells of a friend who "came out" as a shaman shortly before her death and was memorialized at two services, one of which was in a Presbyterian Church she no longer attended. Also includes Cunningham's version of "Amazing Grace."
In an April 20 post, Are Buddhist Women Happy?, Oxana Poberejnaia explores whether Buddhism is "part of the problem," writing: "To put the general feminist inquiry into a more practical plane, let’s consider one issue: Do the same methods of training in the Dharma work in a same way for women and men? Do women compete in spiritual 'sports' that are not relevant for our spiritual development?"
In an April 18 post, Dancing with Kali Gets Us to the Other Side, Carolyn Lee Boyd tells of her dance, both literally and figuratively, with this Goddess through the years and then extends this personal dance to one that society might do.
In her April 17 post, I Dream of Pope Francis, Gina Messina-Dysert, co-founder of Feminism and Religion blog, explains why she is optimistic about Pope Francis.
Carol P. Christ ponders, in an April 15 post, A Gift Economy: Could It Be Better To Give Than To Receive? , including an unusual way of getting invited to a Greek wedding, the role of private property, attitudes towards nature, and whether children should inherit.
In an April 10 post, Goddess Mother, which begins with a poem, Molly Remer explores the symbolism and meaning of Goddess as Mother, writing: "...Mother Goddess imagery may well be less about women as mothers and more about the motheredness of the world....I do not find the image of the Mother Goddess is exclusive, rather I find it exceedingly appropriate. Every person and mammal on this planet—male, female, black, white, hetero/homosexual– since the dawn of humanity has had a mother. It is a truly unifying feature. And, it isn’t about the role, it is about the primal relationship. The root of life." She also writes about "The sociocultural value of a divine presence that validates women’s bodies" and her own creation of birth art sculpture with Goddess qualities.
In an April 3 post, Gender in Kabbalah, focusing mainly on Jewish Kabbalah, Judith Laura (yes, me) recalls discovering that although containing both male and female imagery, neither Jewish Kabbalah nor Hermetic Qabalah are gender-balanced, a discovery she incorporated into a book with a remedy  

The Wild Hunt: In her April 21 guest post, Heather Greene discusses Faith, Crisis and the First Responder, with a focus on the first responders' help in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. After quoting Jewish and Christian clergy, Greene asks:
 "What is the role of Pagan theology in the mindset of the first responder? We don’t have referential texts to guide our sense of transformative justice or 'Godliness' as it were. Is there any religiously-based ethic that drives Pagan first responders?"
Answers come from first responders that speak of their relationship to the Goddess.

Works of Literata: Blogger Literata's April 15 post is a prayer For Boston.

The Goddess House: As Samhain approaches in Australia, blogger As't Moon writes about a Slavic/Russian magical figure in her April 9 post, Baba Yaga - The Slavic Wild Woman.

Veleda: In an April 7 post, Raising the Dead: Medicine Women and Soul Retrieval, III , Max Dashu discusses a traditional Manchu longpoem  that
 "gives a view from within Manchu culture of the female shaman* Teteke who was considered the most powerful of all shamans, so potent that she could bring a boy back from the dead. This story is a classic example of soul-retrieval from the underworld, by a shaman who chants and drum, goes into an ecstasy so deep that she falls as if dead, makes her journey in the spirit, and must be revived by her assistant."

COG Interfaith Reports:
Rachael Watcher's April 6 post,
Ritual discussion of Rachael's trip to Guatemala, describes Mayan rituals she attended with other groups during a recent trip. With pics.

Hearth Moon Rising's Blog: Following 3 posts about Germanic mythology, Hearth Moon Rising takes on not only Germanic but also Greek and Roman mythology in her April 19 post, Unlearning High School Mythology.

 My Village Witch: Byron Ballard shares her thoughts on how to incorporate Earth Day into the Wheel of the Year in her April 20 post, A Holy Day Every Six Weeks…Except for Now.

Musings of  Quaker Witch: In her post of April 2, The Wheel of the Year & the Slinky of Spiritual Growth, Staṡa Morgan-Appel compares the Wheel of the Year to a Slinky toy, among other things.

Casa della Dea: On this Italian language blog, Eilantha Redspring's April 12 post blog, Focacce di Asherah (Cakes of Asherah), gives a recipe for what the Cakes for the Queen of Heaven described in the biblical Jeremiah might have been and shows what she thinks they may have looked like.

Journeying to the Goddess: For blogger Daughter RavynStar "Altars Are Springing Up!" She shares some in her April 5 post. 

Witches and Pagans: In this blog related to Witches and Pagans magazine:
 Annika Mongan's April 23 post, "The Pagans Won," tells of her journey from Christianity to Paganism during and after a marriage break-up.
Kenny Klein's April 19 post, Gender Inclusion and Exclusivity or Here Comes the Rain Again, explores the issues surrounding the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.
On April 19, Elani Temperance presents an in-depth exploration of a Greek Goddess whose origins likely can be traced to Thrace or Anatolia in "Introducing Helennic Hekate."
In an April 17 post, D.R. Bartlette, who lives in the southern U.S., gives advice on "Public Rituals: What Works, What Doesn't."

Bug Brennan: In an April 17 post, Dianic High Priestess Ruth Barrett Responds to the call for people to boycott the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival because of its policy regarding transgender people. Barrett is a singer who performs at MichFest. Her post, in the form of a letter, begins:
"April 11, 2013
Dear Community Sisters and Performers of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival,
I want to give Alyson Palmer a standing ovation for her brilliant and eloquently crafted letter in response to the trans-activist’s call to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival performers to boycott the Festival. Alyson speaks to my own sentiments and I could not have said it better. In sisterhood and solidarity, I am writing to add my voice in support of Lisa Vogel and the women who honor and respect the Festival’s women-born-women (WBW) intention."

Way of the Rabbit: In her April 19 post, Yeshe Rabbit, High Priestess of CAYA Coven, disagrees with Ruth Barrett's position on MichFest. Rabbit quotes Barrett's letter, which she says she read on Facebook, and goes on to quote parts of correspondence she has had with Barrett about trans issues.

Return to Mago features, on April 10 and April 12, two parts of a series that is a transcript of a discussion that the Mago Circle group had about Mother Teresa.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just Out: Max Dashu's video, Woman Shaman:The Ancients

I got myself an early Mother's Day gift: "Woman Shaman: the Ancients," a 2-disk DVD produced by Max Dashu's Suppressed Histories Archives. I just opened it, haven't watched it yet, but just the box cover and art on the disks look so marvelous--and being acquainted with Dashu's extraordinary work in the history of women and its relevance to religion--and I wanted to tell you about it. You can see a trailer of about 4 minutes here or at the previous link.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Invocation

Mother Earth, today we call you:
Great living planet,
Guide us
to sanctify the air, which is your breath,
to purify the water, which is your life's flow,
to edify the fire, which is your energy
to fructify the earth, which is your body.

( Reposted from April 2007 post; Copyright 1990 by Judith Laura. Appears in 1999 and 2010 editions of She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother)


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Artist Lydia Ruyle Receives 2 Awards

Lydia Ruyle
Artist Lydia Ruyle, whose Goddess icon banners fly at events and locations internationally, this month received awards from the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology (ASWM) and  the University of Northern Colorado. ASWM's announcement of offering its 2013 Brigit Award for Excellence in the Arts to Ruyle, says:
"Few artists can claim to have profoundly expanded and improved contemporary images of women. Lydia is beloved around the globe for her stunning presentation of multicultural goddesses and symbols of divinity.  Her Goddess Icon Banner Project began in 1995 with 18 banners created for exhibit in Ephesus, and has grown to include representations of over 150 goddesses.  The Brigit Award recognizes not only this great body of work but also Lydia’s dedicated scholarship in researching these diverse, inspiring images." [update 4/13/ 11:51 p.m.: Lydia has notified us via Facebook that there are now 295 Goddess Icon Spirit Banners :-)]

Earlier in April, Ruyle received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Northern Colorado, where she is an artist scholar emeritus. The university previously established The Lydia Ruyle Room of Women's Art. The announcement from UNC's Graduate School says it is recognizing Ruyle
 "for her significant contributions over several decades as an artist and educator, who in addition to teaching at UNC, has conducted workshops and exhibited her work across the U.S. and internationally."

On a personal note, I am grateful for Lydia's generosity in allowing me to have the image of her Demeter Goddess Icon Banner on the cover of the 2010 Combined Third Edition of my book, She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother.

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