Saturday, September 28, 2013

Buzz Coil: September 2013

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

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology: ASWM announced two deadlines in two different posts on Sept. 25: 2014 Conference Film Series,  announces a Nov. 22 deadline and gives guidelines for submission of  films to be included in film series at its 2014 conference in San Antonio, March 28-30; The 2013 Kore Award for Best Dissertation  gives information about and an form for applying for this award, with a deadline of Jan. 31.  In an Aug. 24 post, ASWM posted  an "Updated Call for Papers" for the conference.

Living Inside Gaia: In his Sept. 10 post, Honoring the Broken Circle of Life, Stormy Seaside tells how he approaches the extinction or threatened extinction of organisms and writes of "Mother Gaia"
as the intricate web, upon which we are but a single drop of dew on one of her many strands. Each time an organism goes extinct from one or more of humanity's actions, we are in fact snipping away at the strands which support us. This realization, is what some call the "Gaian Mind" a much clearer vision of our deep relation with the planet.
Stormy goes on to discuss Samhain, for which he creates two altars, one of which is "the Altar of Extinction," an idea he learned of from  Reclaiming Quarterly.

 HecateDemeterBlogger Hecate's Sept. 20 post, Hail, Columbia,  shows a wonderful pic of the statue Goddess Columbia (aka Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace) atop the U.S. Capitol, and tells who originally posted it. In her Sept. 5 post, Dark of the Moon. Old Beginnings.,accompanied by video of Loreena McKennitt singing "Dark Night of the Soul," Hecate begins:
Tonight is the night of the Dark Moon.
What does it mean to be a Witch on such a night? We only get 13 of them a year. If you live to be 80, you will only have just over 1,000 of them and you’ll spend quite a few while you’re too young to know what to do with them, or sick, or working, or too old to care.
What are they for, these Dark Moon Nights?
Her intriguing saga, "A Place Without A Witch," continues on Sept. 4 with Chapter 28, on Sept. 9 with Chapter 29, and on Sept. 26, with Chapter 30.

The Wild Hunt: A rock-throwing and insult-hurling attack on the Maetreum of Cybele in Palenville NY is among the news Jason Pitzl-Waters covers in his Sept. 24 Pagan Community Notes. Included in Jason's Sept. 17 Pagan Community Notes is info on a new Goddess-themed film, The Book of Jane, due for release in November and premiering in Berkeley CA. Jason's post has a video a from part of the film that includes a dream sequence in which a woman believes she is in contact with the Morrigan.

My Village Witch: In her Sept. 26 post, The Only Constant is Change,Byron Ballard relates a noise on her front porch to the change of seasons in what she calls "the Long Dying of the Year," and preparations for Samhaintide.  

Works of Literata: Blogger Literata's Sept. 11 post,  Sept. 11 and shadows,  brings "the skills of shadow work," into the contemplation of "national shadows" associated now with this date.

Amused Grace: Some new art from Thalia Took in her Sept. 15 post, Xochiquetzal. Includes background info on this Aztec Goddess of flowers.

Love of the Goddess: On Sept 7, Blogger Tara explores the mythology of Sedna, Inuit  Goddess of the Deep Ocean, and on Sept 23 writes about Cerridwen, Welsh Goddess of Magic and Transformation.

Annelinde's World: On her mostly poetry blog, Annelinde Metzner's Aug. 30 post, The purple decree, responds to the biblical story of Ruth and Naomi and to a related statement Annelinde's cousin made in Sunday school after which
She was asked to refrain.
Then came the purple decree.
In each parishioner’s mailbox, the purple paper
stating homosexuality is a sin.

The poem continues, describing her cousin's response.  Annelinde's Sept 5 post, Legacy, shares a poem she wrote in in 1980 that resonates today. It begins:
I clutch at my eyes when I think of you, nuke.
I remember your soft hum and icy aura
and I always think “We’ve gone too far....”

The poem is followed by a prose comment. Both posts with pics.

Theapoetics: In her Sept. 13 post, Gaea Goddess Gathering: Listen to the wise woman…blogger talkbirth tells of getting a huge wasp sting just as she was about to go to a Goddess gathering in Kansas, going even though the sting was getting larger, the healing help of the women at the gathering, and the many other things she learned there.

Musings of a Quaker Witch: In her Sept. 9 post, Building the labyrinth, part I: Laying it out on paper,  Stasa Morgan-Appel gives us a "how-to" for the pattern of a labyrinth one of her workshops built this summer. With 9 illustrations, including the seed pattern and 6 connections.

Group Blogs

 Pagan Square: A few of the posts from this blog of many blogs, including SageWoman:

In a Sept 24 post, Goddess Underground: Bath, Jen McConnel tells how she discovered that a site in  Bath, England, was an ancient Goddess temple and to which Goddess it was dedicated.

In a Sept. 20 post, Fall (autumn Equinox--Mabon, Ffiona Morgan writes about what this holiday means to her, placing in the midst of her narrative, this beautiful passage:
Blessed Be the day, for in the day we see what we must change: blessed be the night, for in the darkness we confront ourselves. Habondia, Goddess of Abundance, come to us in our time of need, and grant us the power to create our reality as we wish it to be.
She also discusses similarities of Mabon to the Jewish New Year, and the ancient Greek Thesmophoria.

In a Sept 17 post, Ted Czukor delves into what may be a controversial history of  How Christianity Became Pagan , writing:
The common wisdom is that Rome became Christian. The reality, I think, is that Christianity became Pagan.

On Sept. 15, Emily Mills writes about African Beer Goddesses.

In a Sept. 13 post, Practical Priestessing: Who Does She Think SHE Is?  blogger Molly writes about confronting her reluctance to call herself a priestess:
After some reflection, I realized the difficulty was due to three personal reasons: doubt that I “deserve” to call myself a priestess, doubt about my own ability to fulfill the counselor part of the role, and fear of not being “good enough” or “perfect” enough to fulfill this piece of the priestess role.
She goes on to discuss the work of Caitlin Matthews and Kathy Jones in helping her assess her role as she wrote a paper for a course at Ocean Hill Seminary.

Also on Sept. 13, Anique Radiant Heart begins her post, My Sacred Blood, with a poem and goes on to recall her menarche and then reflect upon the meaning of "sacred blood" to a Crone.

Beginning her Sept. 11 post, Face to Face with Neglected Ancestors, Byron Ballard writes:
And they are kind of cranky.  Let me give you the backstory, if I may.
She goes on to write about her group that meets monthly for trance work in a room with a "big Ancestor altar" and her meetup with grandparents and great-grandparents on the other side.

In a Sept. 11 post, The Sorrowful Magdalene, blogger JudithAnn tells how creating a portrait of Mary Magdalene in crayon helped her through a difficult time; with pic of portrait.

In a Sept. 2 post, Summer's Bounty, Life's Mysteries, Mary Bettuchy begins by comparing baking cupcakes to the cycle of life-death-rebirth, and a little further on writese
I did not understand the goddesses of death and rebirth.  But in the past few months, those goddesses have started whispering to me. 
Feminism and Religion: A few of the many posts from this blog of many paths:

In a Dec. 28 post, Balance and the Autumn Equinox, Deanne Quarrie summarizes myths and stories about this time of year from a number of different cultures. 

Carol P. Christ's Sept. 23 post,  Wangari Muta Maathai and Sacred Mount Kenya,  marks the 2nd anniversary of the death of this Nobel Prize-winning Kenyan woman by writing about her tribal background, her founding of the environmentally educational Green Belt Movement which prompted the planting of more than 51 million trees in Kenya, and the possibility that Maathai thought of the sacred Mount Kenya in female terms.
In her Sept. 16 post, War, War, What Are We Fighting For, focusing on the threat of American military intervention in Syria and previous wars, she writes:
The notion that while women may be for peace, “real men must make war” is still operative in the American psyche.
In my years of opposing specific American wars, I have concluded that war is itself a greater evil than any it might seek to right.
Her Sept. 2 post, Goddess With Us: Is A Relational God Powerful Enough?" explores why the process theology concept of a "relational God" (rather than an omnipotent deity)  hasn't been more widely accepted by Goddess feminists and others.

In a Sept. 21 post, Judith Shaw discusses Flidais, Celtic Earth Goddess... with special focus on autumn and her own art portraying Flidais. 

Barbara Ardinger gives suggestions for equinox ritual in her Sept. 21 post, An Equinoctial Ritual for Balance. 

In a Sept. 17 post, Unjust Wars and 'Innocent Bodies', Kelly Brown Douglas discusses  child marriage and other forms of violence against women, the "notions" of innocence and violence, and "just war theory," writing:
As just war theory began to emerge, particularly during the middle ages, it provided a way not only to place restraints upon war, but also a way for the  church to legitimate its use of violence.

Oxana Poberejnaia discusses  differences and similarities between the  Soviet culture in which she was raised and the U.S. culture, focusing on her feminist outlook and including her understandings from Buddhism, in her Sept. 15 post, Cultural conditions and Spiritual Subtleties.

In a Sept. 5 post, When Some People Say 'Religion,' They Mean 'My Religion', amina wadud writes of her travels, and of her disappointment that in India, "the ideals of diversity have given way to exceptionalism and exclusivity." She also writes about issues that occurred in her own religion, Islam, in Southeast Asia.

Return to Mago: Some of this month's posts on this Goddess-centered blog of many bloggers:

In her Sept. 24 post, Lydia Ruyle is shares her art showing the Black Madonna Tindari, and explaining her significance.

Blog owner Helen Hwang's Sept. 23 post, Making the Gynocentric Case: Mago, the Great Goddess of East Asia...discusses how to reconstruct Korean gynocentric identity, beginning:
Scholars in the West, upon assessing a religion or deity of the non-Western world, tend to pair the topic with a modern nation. Thus, they often project their modern knowledge of the nation or culture onto the indigenous religion or deity they study.

In a Sept. 22 post, Glenys Livingstone discusses Spring Equinox [in the] Southern Hemisphere...relating it to the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Demeter-Persephone mysteries. In her August 30 post, Glenys presents the second part of her series on The Terms 'Masculine' and 'Feminine'.

A Sept 20 post by Luciana Percovich is an essay in Italian, Corea: la Musica cosmica di Mago.

Sept. 17's post by Angelika Hilka Rudiger marks the feast day of Hildegard of Bingen, explaining the Roman Catholic saint's beliefs and quoting some of her poetry.

In her Sept. 16 post, Red Poppies Among the Ruins, Mary Saracino reviews the history of the ancient Kurgan invasion of Europe that, according to Marija Gimbutas, Riane Eisler et al.  replaced peaceful Goddess-honoring cultures with war-like ones. She then relates today's Western culture and her experiences in Italy to this history. 


Monday, September 16, 2013

New Audiobook: Goddess Guided Meditations

Over the years I’ve heard from a number of people about the guided meditations in my books, She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother and Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century: from Kabbalah to Quantum Physics. Some of these communications were from publishers of anthologies or journals that wanted to reprint the meditations. Others have been from individuals either using the meditations in their groups or on their own in solitary practice. It is these individuals that I have to thank for the idea of gathering 20 of the guided meditations from these books—plus 5 new meditations—into an audiobook so that people using them wouldn’t have to be reading in middle of meditating. When I mentioned to these folks that I was planning the audiobook, they said it would be more valuable to them if I myself narrated it. So I did :-) The audiobook, Goddess Guided Meditations, has now been released by, and is also available on, and iTunes, where you can hear samples (Audible and Amazon have a sample from one of the moon meditations; iTunes has a shorter sample from the Introduction). For more info, including a list of the meditations indicating which book they are from, and also showing which are new, visit   Goddess Guided Meditations is also available as a Kindle e-book.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Events Coil: Sept. 15 - Nov. 2

As far 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. On our list, if no country is given, the event is in USA. All times local. Times for computer/Internet/Web events are given for the place of origin unless otherwise noted. Events lasting more than 1 day are bolded. When listing events for the same date we try to list those that occur first, taking into account time zone differences. If there is a difference between our listings and the listings on the link, assume their web page is correct as details may have changed since we listed from it. Ongoing events and events that occur on a regular day each month or week are listed after the dated events. If you have an event related to the subject matter of this blog that you want listed, please leave info as a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.
[updated 9/14, 9/27, 9/30, 10/8]

Sept. 15, 4 p.m. Blessings on the River, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m., Full Moon, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Sept 19, 7 p.m. Singing the Harvest Home, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

Sept. 19, 6 p.m. Full Moon ritual, Circle Sanctuary, near Barneveld WI

Sept. 19, 7 p.m. potluck, 8 p.m. ceremony,  Full Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Sept. 21, 4 p.m. Eostar ritual, Pagaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains NSW AUSTRALIA

Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m. Spring Equinox ritual, Gaia's Garden, Melbourne VIC AUSTRALIA

Sept. 21, 2 p.m., Fall Equinox Ritual: Earthly Blessing, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

Sept. 21-22, Welcome Fall, Circle Sanctuary, near Barneveld WI

Sept. 21, 1 p.m.  Fall Equinox, San Francisco Reclaiming, Golden Gate Park, SF CA

Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m. Fall Equinox, Circle of Aradia, Studio City CA

Sept. 21  7 p.m. potluck, 8 p.m. ceremony, Mabon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Sept. 21, time tba, Celebrate Fall Equinox and Corn Mother, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco CA

Sept. 21, time tba, Temple Holy Day, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA 

Sept. 22, doors open 13.00 uur, ceremony begins 14.00 uur, Herfst Equinox Ceremonie, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillegom, NEDERLAND

Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mabon/Pagan Pride Day, Connect DC, Washington DC

Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m. Autumn Equinox Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Sept. 22, 3 p.m. Mabon Sabbat, Goddess Temple Inc., Lakewood, OH

Sept. 22, gather 3:30 p.m., ritual 4 p.m.  Fall Equinox, North Bay Reclaiming, Sebastopol CA 

Sept. 22, 5 p.m. Fall Equinox Circle, Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle, Carson City NV

Sept. 28, 6 p.m. "Stop Hate" Rally in Support of the Maetreum of Cybele subsequent to its being attacked, Palenville NY

Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., "Moon Womb, Woman" , workshop with Vaja Ma, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 4-6, Autumn Dreamtime Retreat, (reservation deadline Sept.20) Sisterhood of the Sacred Circle, Nordon CA

Oct. 4, 2 p.m. New Moon Healing, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND
Oct. 4, 7 p.m. Red Tent/Full Moon Esbat, Goddess Temple Inc., Lakewood, OH

Oct. 5, 2 p.m. Ceremonial Healing Day, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Oct. 5, Noon-4 p.m. Day of Devotion, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 5, 7 p.m. potluck, 8 p.m. ceremony,  Women's New Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Oct. 11-14, Convocation 2013: Honoring Osiris and the Goddess Isis, Isis Oasis, Geyersville CA

Oct. 16, doors open 6:30 p.m., lecture 7 p.m. Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 17, 6 p.m. Full Moon ritual, Circle Sanctuary, near Barneveld WI

Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Descent of Inanna Labyrinth Ritual, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

Oct. 18-20, Australian Goddess Conference: "Into the Wild," Goddess Association in Australia, Inc, near Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA

Oct. 18-20, Hallows Gathering, Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, Wisconsin Dells WI

Oct. 18,  7 p.m. potluck, 8 p.m. ceremony,  Full Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

Oct. 19, 9:30 a.m.-4p.m., "Embracing the Goddess" workshop, The Goddess House w/Workers Education Association, Adelaide SA AUSTRALIA

Oct. 19, 6:30 p.m. Concert with Ruth Barrett, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 19, time tba, Full Moon ritual, Grove of Artemis (CAYA), Berkeley CA

Oct. 23, 6 p.m.
Heide Goettner-Abendroth: "Rethinking Matriarchy..." Lydia Ruyle Room of Women’s Art, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley CO

Oct. 25, marketplace opens 6:30 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m., Annual Women's Spiral Dance, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco CA

Oct. 25-27, Samhain 2013, Circle Sanctuary, near Barneveld WI

Oct. 26, set-up 1 p.m., ritual 3 p.m. Samhain Feast for Ancestors, Chesapeake Pagan Community, Columbia MD 

Oct. 26, doors open 6 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m., 34th Annual Spiral Dance, San Francisco Reclaiming, SF CA

Oct. 26,  6:30 p.m. Hallomas, Circle of Aradia, Studio City CA

Oct. 26, time tba, Samhain, CAYA, Alameda CA

Oct. 30, 7 p.m. Ancestor Vigil: Samhain, Mother Grove Goddess Temple, Asheville NC

Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m., Beltaine Ritual, Gaia's Garden, Melbourne VIC AUSTRALIA 

Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. Samhain Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

Oct. 31, doors open 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m., doors lock 7:15 p.m., Temple Holy Day: Hallows, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

Oct. 31,  7 p.m. potluck, 8 p.m. ceremony,  Samhain, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV 

Nov. 2, gather 6:30 p.m., ritual 7 p.m.  Samhain, North Bay Reclaiming, Sebastopol CA

Nov. 9, 4 p.m., Beltaine ritual, Pagaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains NSW AUSTRALIA


Adelaide, 2nd Tuesday of month, 7:30 p.m
. Goddess Devotional Service, The Goddess House.


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


Ashland OR, Thursdays 7 p.m., Temple Services;third Thursday of month, 7 p.m. Crone Honoring Circle; Goddess Temple of Ashland
Asheville NC, Sundays 10 a.m. drumming, 10:30 a.m. Service, Morning Devotionals, Mother Grove Goddess Temple

Berkeley CA, last Sunday of month, 5 p.m. East Bay Goddess Rosary, University Lutheran Chapel.
Carson City, NV, Mondays 6 p.m.,
Women's Spirituality Studies with Mama J, Sisters of the Sacred Circle.
Geyserville CA, Daily, Noon, Ritual; Sundays, 2 p.m. Sanctuary Tour, 3 p.m. Transformation: Understanding the 42 Ideals of Ma'at, Isis Oasis.  

Irvine CA, Sunday Services, 1st service at 9:30 a.m., inward meditation; 2nd service at 11 a.m.; see dates for Goddesses being honored, guest speakers, and other information about individual services; Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. "Spiritual Services: Goddesses and Heroes," Spiritual Life Club . Saturdays 12-5 p.m. Temple Open for Women's Meditation, Goddess Temple of Orange County.
Palenville NY, Sundays 5 sessions; Sundays 7 p.m. Pagan Circles; 1st Saturday of month, Goddess Meetup, 
Maetreum of Cybele.
San Francisco CA, Sundays 10:30 a.m. Liturgy of the Divine Feminine; Wednesdays 7 p.m. Goddess Rosary Meditation; 1st Friday, Friday Night Group for Women, Ebenezer/HerChurch Lutheran .
Seattle WA, 2nd Sunday, doors open 10 a.m., Goddess Service 10:30 a.m., Gaia's Temple.
Staten Island NY, closest Saturday to full moon 7 p.m. Women's Full Moon Drumming; 3rd Saturday 7 p.m. Goddess devotional service; Goddess Temple of Staten Island.
Wisconsin Dells, WI, Mondays 10 a.m., Motherhouse Monday Morning; Tuesdays, 7 p.m. Women's Craft Night; 1st Wednesdays 7 p.m. She Sings!; 2nd Wednesdays, Goddess Book Group; 3rd Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Women's Bardic Circle; 4th Wednesdays 7 p.m. Divination Night;Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess-International.

"Celebrating Cosmogenesis," for people in both Southern and Northern Hemispheres, with Australian author Glenys Livingstone, originates in NSW, Australia. Join online at any time.
 Women's Thealogical Institute (RCG-I) Athena Online Programs: Cella, Crone, and Guardian.

times tba, "Talking to Goddess," interviews, music, and more from Gaia's Garden, originates in Melbourne, Australia.
Wednesdays 6 p.m. PT, "Voices of the Sacred Feminine," interviews with well-known Goddessians and Pagans hosted by Karen Tate, Blog Talk Radio. Originates in California.
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.
Tuesday 8 p.m. CT,
Circle Craft with Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary, Blog Talk Radio

We would 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. Please leave a comment giving: Name of event, sponsoring organization (if any), town, state (if in US), country (if outside of US) 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 for that info.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Goddess Pages Summer Issue

In her editorial, "She Changes Everything She Touches," which opens Issue 23 of Goddess Pages, Editor Geraldine Charles explains why this issue published later than she planned. We are glad Geraldine is on the mend and any appearance of this publication is well worth waiting for. Issue 23's opening art, "Birth of the Earth," by Roslyne Sophia Breillat, illustrates her new book, Heart of the Earth: Nurturing the Sacred Feminine; an accompanying article, "Maka Ina, Upon Sacred Ground" is excerpted from it.

Other articles in this issue include:
"Cobra Goddesses" by Lesley Jackson, focusing especially on Egyptian goddesses; "Ecofeminism: Historical Perspectives and Revolutionary Potential," by Milina Jovanovic, which begins by noting that most Womens and Gender Studies curricula in the U. S. don't include courses in ecofeminism;  "In Praise of Juno," by Rohase Piercy, which takes a look at the Classical era concept of "female genius" or "guiding spirit"; "Sacred Sites on the Greek Island of Samos," in which Melinda Martin shares memories of a recent vacation; "The Return of the Yogini - Part I," in which Mari P. Ziolkowski, Ph.D., writes of how her opinion of yogini practices changed as she studied them, and of her particular interest in Tantric theory and practice related to Kali.

This issue's fiction is Carolyn Lee Boyd's  "Our Souls between Earth and Sea," about a daughter's discovery of her "selkie" skin through her mother. 

Poetry includes: "I Was Born For This World," and "Red Oleander," by Annelinde Metzner; and "Nirvana" and "Charon" by Doreen Hopwood.

Reviews include : Paul Williment's review of  Brighde's Cave by Isabella Weber; Geraldine Charles' review of The Strega and The Dreamer by Theresa C. Dintino; and "Thirteen Women in Search of the Wild," Rachael Clyne's review of the course, Singing Over the Bones: Women Writing the Wild.


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

REVIEW: Dark Goddess Tarot

Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince (Arnell’s Art, 2013), 78-card deck measuring 3" x  5.5"

Although I’ve been reading Tarot professionally for more than a decade and began my Tarot journey in the 1970s with the 1jj Suisse deck, as many regular readers of this blog may have noted, I don’t usually blog about Tarot. But Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s exquisite new deck, Dark Goddess Tarot, is so Goddess-focused—and so excellent in art, design, and production, that I can’t resist sharing it with you.

Copyright Ellen Lorenzi-Prince 2013.
Used with permission.

The term “dark” in the name of this deck does not refer to color, nor does it mean depressing or scary, at least not any scarier than a lot of other Tarot decks. To quote the sturdy box holding both the deck and the “little white book” (lwb), this deck “features 78 powerful female figures, of magic and mystery, sex and death, sovereignty and shadow.” These figures are drawn from many different cultures and are not limited to goddesses usually considered “dark,” though one might say that the pov is not rosy or “fluffy,” but rather realistic and profound.

The card stock is glossy and sturdy, yet flexible. The colors are strong, intense. The back of the cards are designed in small semicircles of blue and pink with touches of white that have a slight 3D effect. To me, the subtlety of this design allows you to notice they are reversed if you desire, but also to ignore this if you prefer. Each card shows the name of the card, (e.g., “Fool” ) plus the name of the card’s Goddess or mythological female figure. The Trumps (aka Major Arcana) have the names standard for decks derived from the Waite-Smith deck (sometimes called Rider-Waite) except for the following: Trump 2 is called Priestess (dispensing with the hierarchical adjective “High” and represented by the Pythia/Delphic Oracle); Trump 4, conventionally the Emperor, is transformed into “Sovereignty,” (The Morrigan); Trump 14 replaces Temperance with “Alchemy”(Brigid); Trump 15 replaces the Devil with “Corruption” (Tlazolteotl); Trump 16, the Tower, becomes “Destruction” (Kali); Trump 17, The Star, becomes “Stars” (Spider Woman); and Trump 20, Last Judgment, becomes “Liberation” (Persephone).  The suits, in most conventional decks swords, cups, wands, pentacles, are instead named for the elements with which they are often associated: fire, water, air, and earth. In what may be the greatest naming departure of the deck, the suits’ court cards (moste commonly Page, Knight, Queen, King) are Amazon, Siren, Witch, and Hag.

The front of the deck’s box features Trump 13, Death, La Santa Muerta of Mexico, an absolutely stunning card showing a skeleton robed in bright red, wearing a yellow necklace, with a white and yellow jaggededly pointy crown (that could also be sun emanations), and behind that, the sickle of a waning moon. She holds a small globe in her left hand, her thumb on South America. On bottom of her robe are 3 large red flowers blending in with the robe. The back of the box shows Trump 17, Stars, Hopi Spider Woman weaving her web in the sky at night, high above a town. In addition to short explanations of each card, the lwb has 7 color images: Trump 1,  the Magician (on the cover), is Isis, who to me appears to be  bringing Osiris back to life; Trump 7, Chariot, Ishtar holding the reins of her lion(s) as she rides standing; Trump 12, Hanged One, Tiamat upside down in the sea at night under a full moon; Hag of Fire, the Vodun Maman Brigitte shown as a skeleton with bright pink hair, clothed in violet and black, sitting on a gravestone in a cemetery at night with a rooster and her symbol in the foreground; Ten of Water, the Mayan Ixchel, in front of a large full moon, next to water swimming with creatures; Eight of Air, Hopi Crow Mother; and Eight of Earth, the Scottish Goddess Cailleach.

In a daring departure from conventional decks, Dark Goddess Tarot’s first card, Trump 0, the Fool, is Sheela Na Gig. To me the displaying Sheela on this card brings our attention to the birth passage through which we all embark on life’s great journey. It may also represent the admirable risk that Lorenzi-Prince herself is taking by placing this card at the beginning of her deck. Other Trumps not mentioned above are: 3 Empress, Black Madonna; 5 Hierophant, Cybele; 6 Lovers, Freya; 8 Strength, Samovila; 9 Hermit, Baba Yaga; 10 Wheel of Fortune, Fortuna; 11 Justice, Maat; 18 Moon, Arianrhod; 19 Sun, Sekhmet; 21 World, Coatlicue. Among the goddesses represented in the suits are: Fire—Vesta, Hekate, Circe, Kamui Fuchi, Durga, Pele, Cerridwen; Water—Mama Wata, Lethe, Tefnut, Maeve, Sedna, Ixchel, Aphrodite, Ran; Air—Nemesis, Athena, Blue Dakini, Nut, Harionago, Crow Mother, Erinye, Skadi, Oya; Earth—Gaia, Hel, Norns, Demeter, Ereshkigal, Cailleach, Ala, Artemis, Baubo, and Inanna. (Not a complete list.) 

A full-size companion book on this deck is being prepared. In addition to giving more information about the cards in the deck, it will have dedications of the cards to individuals. I have it on good authority that the Lilith card (Siren of Air) is being dedicated to Judith Laura (aka me).
Copyright Ellen Lorenzi-Prince 2013.
Used with permission
In addition to the info about the deck and the color pics, the lwb contains two suggested spreads, a 2-card spread near the beginning of the book, and a 5-card spread in the concluding “Working with Goddesses” section. After looking through the deck, I decided to try the 5-card spread, “Goddess Be With You,” for a (non-paying) visitor, who has given me permission to include it in this post. First a note about my reading style: I read reversals (upside down cards—some readers don’t) and I tend to respond at least equally to what I see on the card as I do to the “standard definition” for the card. Because of this I did the reading without referring to the definitions in the lwb first (though I’ve read them now). The reading:
Card 1, responding to the lwb question “Who stands at your left hand?” was the British Goddess Lady of the Lake (9 of Water). I interpreted this as a sweet caring woman who is very helpful to the readee.  The readee said that there were several women in her life that this described. Card 2, “Who stands at your right hand?” was the Celtic and Roman Goddess Epona (6 of Fire), shown with her horses and with a bowl of food, and reversed. I said this represented one of the health professionals the readee consults, one who is more intellectual than feeling (due to reversal), and one who has a connection with horses. The readee confirmed that she consults such a health professional. Card 3, “Who has your back? Where do you find protection” was Eris (5 of Fire), Greek Goddess of Chaos and Strife, reversed. Because of the reversal I interpreted this as another health professional the readee consults whose approach is more feeling and protective. The readee confirmed this. Card 4, “Who is leading the way forward?”  was the Ainu Hearth Goddess Kamui Fuchi (4 of Fire) reversed. The card shows the Goddess with her hand raised in what appears to me as blessing over much smaller figures. Because the card is reversed I interpreted it to mean that the readee does not have anyone adequate to lead her forward, especially at work. The readee confirmed that this was true. Card 5, “Who is emerging from your deep self? What is your potential?” was Trump 9 the Hermit, represented in this deck by the Russian Crone/witch/grandmother Baba Yaga, who is shown on this card airborne in her mortar, and holding her other symbols, a pestle and a broom. 
Copyright Ellen Lorenzi-Prince 2013.
Used with permission

Below is a forest and her house with—consistent with legend—chicken feet.  I interpreted this to indicate success in a current area the readee is preparing for through studies, which will result in her being better educated and stronger in a practical way. I interpreted the house being moved along by the chicken feet as indicating that the readee would take with her or be able to make use of abilities previously acquired in other ways, including those acquired at home. Reviewing the entire spread, because of the 3 reversals in Fire, I told the readee that what she was aiming for would happen, but not right away. She said she could already see this trend. This interpretation is strengthened by the lwb’s Baba Yaga/Hermit quote: “Keep going, knowing the journey does not end.” I have confidence that the readee will do this, as one of her great qualities is persistence.

I enthusiastically recommend Dark Goddess Tarot for both reading and meditation. You can find out more about it, and see more of its cards on Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s previous decks are Tarot of the Crone, and Pandora Tarot, a Majors-only 22-card deck.   

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