Monday, July 29, 2013

Reminder: Events Through Early August

Events now through early August are listed on the Events Coil posted on June 12.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Buzz Coil: July 2013

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

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology: In a July 13 post, ASWM issued a Call for Proposals for its 2014 National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, March 28-30. The theme of the conference is "Borderlands: Scholarship as Pilgrimage and Mystery." The post gives an annotated list of suggested topics.

Veleda: Max Dashu's July 9 post, Goddesses of the Kalasha, explores the history of an area in Pakistan that "Muslims dubbed Kafiristan, Land of Pagans" and its Goddess mythology. The Kalasha have a saying, "Our women are free." Don't miss the link at the very end to material related to a UN initiative regarding this culture.  In a July 7 post, Raising the Dead: Medicine Women and Soul Retrieval, IV, Dashu discusses the mythology/work of a number of goddesses and shamans including the Korean Bari Gongju, of whom Dashu writes:
"Korean tradition holds that the first shaman was female, Bari Gongju (also transliterated as Pali Kongju). Her name means “Princess Thrown-Away.” Her father cast her off at birth for being a girl, the seventh in a series of daughters. He tore her from her mother’s arms, locked her in a jeweled box, and cast her into the ocean."
Also included are Lakota Medicine Woman Lucille Kills Enemy, Tibetan Buddhism co-founder Yeshe Tsogyel,  Inanna, Ishtar, the Witch of Ein Dor , the Cumaean Sibyl, and Teresa Urrea of Mexico (aka Teresa de Cabora and la Santa de Cabora).  

Alchemy of Clay: Several Goddess sculptures are among the work B. Rogers pictures and discusses in her in her July 6 post, Sculptural Sepia Saturday.

 Love of the Goddess: In her July 16 post, Lughnasadh Crafts, Blogger Tara offers suggestions for baking bread and making smudge sticks for the upcoming cross-quarter holiday.

Amused Grace: In a July 18 post, Art, Thalia Took shares her redo of the Aztec Goddess of water, Chalchiuhtlicue, and the Australian  Sun Goddess, Yhi, and explains the symbolism she used in her art. 

Hecatedemeter: Last time I looked blogger Hecate had posted 3 chapters this month of her novelistic fiction work, "A Place without a Witch": In Chapter 22 on July 2 we encounter protagonist Gemmy on a rainy day as she reviews her magical texts and engages in magical workings related to her environmental/political activities; Chapter 23 on July 15 describes a Metrorail route from Arlington with which I'm very familiar, along with subway occurrences and Gemmy's socializing at work; In July 22's Chapter 24, Gemmy continues socializing as an unexpected a romantic entanglement emerges. The series takes place in D.C. and nearby Arlington County and is accompanied by pics. Among the many reasons to read this series is that you are likely to learn things about this area that you may find surprising. 

Annelinde's World: Annelinde Metzner's July 18 post, Malala's Birthday Speech, is a poem honoring the bravery of the 16-year-old Pakistani and quoting parts of her speech. With pics.

Feminism and Religion: Some of this month's posts in this blog of many paths and people:
Deanne Quarrie's July 27 post tells about  Tailtiu, Primal Earth Goddess for this Season of Lammas/Lughnasadh. It also discusses Lugh, the Celtic deity whose name the holiday bears in some traditions.
In her July 24 post about Assimilation into American Evangelical Theology, Andreea Nica writes of growing up in a culturally diverse family and being raised in a Romanian-American Pentecostal Church, where women wore head scarves
which represented subservience and reverence to God and man. Typically, the seating is gender segregated....I never once saw or heard of a person of color enter the Romanian Pentecostal church....I invited my African-American friend to attend a service, only to have him indirectly accused of being a degenerate of society by the pastoral leader....He seemed surprised that I would defend my friend and casually berated me for being such an assertive woman. Racism in Romania has been prevalent since the demise of Communism in 1989, so it is no surprise the racist attitudes continue to exist amongst Romanian-American immigrants, even in religious settings.
She then explored the American Pentecostal Church because it seemed more equality-oriented....
In her July 23 post, Caroline Kline writes about Mormon Feminism and the Need for Ritual and Practice. She discusses the recent increase in feminist activism among LDS women and her feeling that "pressuring the institution for change is only one part of our feminist struggle."
In a July 22 post, Carol P. Christ ponders The Two and the One: Can We Embrace Singleness As Much As Marriage?, reflecting that
the gay marriage victories raise other questions.  Much of the rhetoric surrounding the push for marriage equality assumed that “marriage” is or should be “the norm” for all people.  Those arguing for the right of gay people to marry often seemed to be saying: “We are just like everyone else.” This assumption leaves out a whole lot of people—among them large numbers of single women.
She moves on to  questioning why married couples should be getting tax benefits, writing:
The only reason that tax breaks for married couples make any sense is the assumption that one partner, usually the woman in a heterosexual marriage, will be supported by the other.
In her July 15 post, Two Ultimates: The Ground of Being and Goddess,  Carol P. Christ compares "the relationship or worship of a personal God" with "identifying with or merging with the impersonal ground of being or the whole of which we are part.
She finds that both of these are present in "feminist spiritualities and theologies."
In a July 13 post, Painting Lilith, Leaving Church, Angela Yarber, a Baptist minister and lesbian, tells how reading Judith Plaskow's midrash on Lilith led her to "reject the sexism and heterosexism that was rendering me broken."
In a July 7 post, Where Does Poetry Come From?, Barbara Ardinger sees poetry and other creative forms as gifts of the Goddess, and herself as a "guerilla poet." She shares samples of her poetry in this post.
In a July 4 post, Shining a 21st Century Light on the Face of Mystery, Carolyn Lee Boyd delves into various understandings of Mystery she has learned from studying Goddesses and one she learned during a recent hospital stay.
Gina Messina-Dysert writes of her mother's violent death in a July 2 post, Losing my Mother and Realizing her Resurrection.  

Theapoetics: Blogger talkbirth is doing a series on Womanrunes (based on the late Shekhinah Mountainwater's Womanrunes system). Her July 22 is about the rune, The Veil. Her July 24 post is about the rune, The Seed. With pics of the runes and related things.

Goddess in a Teapot: In a July 4 post, Carolyn L. Boyd writes about the work of Joanne Shenandoah: A Voice for Lifegivers and an Artist You Should Know About.  Boyd writes that Shenandoah
is a unique American voice who will inspire and strengthen your spirit while delighting your soul. She is a composer, singer, actress, and author....

Fellowship of Isis Central: A July 15 Message from Oliva Robertson, the co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis begins:  
The word “Worship”, which once meant respect, has been a barrier to communion with Deities.
How can perfected Beings commune with us when we offer them obsequious prostration, with all our psychic senses closed down?

Works of Literata: In a July 22 post, Cuccinelli v All Acts of Love And Pleasure,  blogger Literata takes a look at the latest proposal from Ken Cuccinelli, candidate for governor of Virginia. As Literata explains:
My religion encourages oral sex.
Ken Cuccinelli, candidate for governor, wants to outlaw it.
In addition to describing exactly what Cuccinelli is proposing, Literata explains why it conflicts with both Wiccan and feminist views.

My Village Witch:   Blogger Byron has a series of posts about her current trip to Scotland. In the July 22 post, Banoffee pie--I suppose I'll have to try it now, she writes not only about the local food but also the relevance of the Iron Age to a Scottish town and a visit to a Buddhist Temple which inspired her with thoughts about Mother Grove Temple back home.

Return to Mago: Among the this months posts in this blog with many contributors:
 In the first of  two parts, Helen Hwang, in a July 22 post, gives the Report of  First Mago Pilgrimage to Korea, which occurred in June. She gives background both on the pilgrimage and the Korean Goddess Mago.
In a July 19 post, Leslene della-Madre continues her series,  I Must Call Her Awe/stralia, about her recent visit to that southern continent and country.
Mary Saracino's July 17 contribution is a poem, Olivastri Millenari, inspired by a visit to an ancient olive tree in Sardina. With pic and note about the experience.
On July 15, Hearth Moon Rising shares her knowledge of The Animal Mother Goddess,  an excerpt from her new book. 
Elaine Drew's July 12 contribution is her artwork Taera Weeps for the 3 Warring Brothers along with an explantion of its story and symbolism.

WATERvoices: In a July 10 post,  All or Nothing?, Mary E. Hunt of WATER (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual), shares thoughts prompted by Pew Research Center’s study, "Nones on the Rise," which reported that about 20% of Americans claim no religious affiliation.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Appeal of Mary Magdalene

The Feast Day of Mary Magdalene is celebrated in a number of Christian denominations on July 22. It is also marked by a number of Goddess feminists, along with Isis' "birthday," which according to some accounts occurs at around the same time. Magdalene, a saint in the Catholic Church, is increasingly honored by both Christian and Goddess feminists. Why?

As you probably know, Christian sources originally claimed Magdalene was a "reformed" prostitute. This mistake has been corrected (though it persists in some writings). According to historical research, she was never a prostitute. Most explanations of why she was thought to be one say that it was due to confusion. I'm not so sure. I think it may have been an intentional way to discredit her. Kind of like the way today detractors will call a powerful woman a "bitch" or "whore." (For a similar assessment that I read after writing this, see the last faq on this page on the Gnostic Sanctuary's website.) In any event, today some (many?) Christian individuals and groups consider her to be either one of Jesus' disciples and/or his wife. Some Gnostic Christians consider her a co-messiah or a human, who, like Jesus, attained enlightenment.  She may also be honored by the Black Madonna statues in Europe, especially those in the South of France, where it is believed by some that she and a child named Sara (also spelled Sarah)--some say her servant, others say the daughter of Magdalene and Jesus--and possibly some other apostles immigrated, arriving by boat. Sara is especially honored as a saint, Sara la Kali, by the Roma in the town Stes. Maries de la Mer, France, where she is also considered another form of the Black Madonna. (See the links at the end of this post for more info.)

 For Mary Magdalene's Feast Day this year, I'd like to share the digital art I did of (for?) her a few years ago. 

Mary Magdalene by Judith Laura
Almost everything in the drawing is either oval or triangular in shape. Ovals include her halo/crown--which includes 13 (number of lunar months) egg-shaped rubies (eggs are a symbol long-associated with Magdalene), the top of her blue-violet garment, the sleeves of her white garment, shapes of the cup she holds; triangles include the gold downward pointing triangle at her neckline, the lower part of the blue-violet garment, and the skirt of her white garment, which can be seen as one large triangle and is also composed of several smaller triangles. She holds at the level of her womb, a wine-filled (or blood-red, depending on how you see it) cup, inscribed with her name in Aramaic, the language she spoke.  I based my depiction on four contemporary theories about Mary Magdalene: (1)  that she was a disciple/apostle, had great intellectual and spiritual understanding and that her relationship with Jesus was the closest of all the disciples but wasn't sexual, (2) that she was married to Jesus, that they had at least one child, and that Magdalene and the child(ren) eventually went to southern France by boat, (3) that she and Jesus were involved in a hieros gamos, or sacred marriage. (4) that she is the female counterpart of Jesus. See versions of the figure on a number of different items here and here.

Just some of the links for
Isis' Birthday

 Magdalene and Sara:

Magdalene as co-messiah or co-enlightened:

and just some of the books with info about Mary Magdalene: 
The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene by Jane Schaberg 
The Nag Hammadi Library by James Robinson (translation and interpretation of texts)
The Woman with The Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird
Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile by Margaret Starbird
The Mary Magdalene Within by Joan Norton
The Gospel of Mary Magdala by Karen L. King
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Biagent
The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler (novel with historical endnotes, includes sacred marriage and 2 Marys as priestesses)

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