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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Goddess is Calling - Hear Her Roar

In ever-increasing numbers women and men are seeking spirituality beyond traditional religious institutions and more and more their  new normal includes the deities, ideals and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine.  They have a desire to get beyond the patriarchal dogma that often perpetuates sexism, homophobia and the domination of Gaia and all her inhabitants, including the body of Mother Earth.  Women in particular are hearing and heeding their calling, stepping forth to take on their mantle of leadership as rabbis, ministers, priestesses, Nuns on the Bus and Womanpriests.  They are exercising their spiritual authority in circles at their kitchen tables, in their living rooms and classrooms, in brick and mortar churches and temples, in political arenas and groves.  They are flexing their spiritual wings and allowing themselves to be guided by their intuition, innate female wisdom and inner-knowing and they encourage their congregations to know and feel the essence of Goddess and understand what that new knowledge might mean for themselves personally and the world. 

Often their shared message is one of female empowerment, social justice and environmental responsibility sometimes referred to as eco-feminist spirituality.  The liturgy may contain social, cultural and political messages of liberation thealogy using Goddess mythology, archetypes and metaphors as benchmarks and templates for a more just and sustainable future.   Gone altogether or tempered is the message of the strict authoritarian Father whose mythology gives license for a male-dominated society with women in a subordinate role.  Nothing less than peace, partnership, justice, equality and care for the planet are at the heart of this Sacred Feminine wisdom.

In answer to this collective call to restore and  re-write our values and find a new spiritual path women and men are blazing a trail using their pink handled machetes to find their way.  It might manifest in progressive churches using gender neutral names for God in prayer and song.  Others include liturgy embracing the Divine Mother in equal partnership alongside the Father.  Altars might not be dominated only by male images.  Still others give themselves permission to conduct women-only services and exhibit only female images of deity at their gatherings.  Congregants worship together in circles rather than in hierarchal configurations with a male intermediary between them and deity.  In fact, these groups and gatherings might be leaderless, egalitarian or organizers might share leadership. In case it’s not obvious,  there is no one way and no absolute right way to facilitate these gatherings or to worship or interpret deity.  These are just some of the new guidelines being tried across the globe as spiritual people come forward to see what works for themselves or their communities.

Yes, there has been a plethora of academic writings restoring knowledge of Goddess and women’s history that has been swept beneath the rug.  Some, myself included, have used this knowledge to occasionally re-construct or adapt ancient rituals for a modern context.  We have gleaned inspiration from inscriptions and ancient knowledge and turned it into the seasonal ritual. Psychologists have explored the significance of Goddess archetypes. Theologians have examined why Goddess disappeared and patriarchy began to dominate.  Some statistics show that when all earth-based or goddess-oriented groups are combined, Pagan, or non-Abrahamic religions is one of the fastest growing groups in the country and books have come out in equal measure to support that growing interest.

What has been missing, however, is an abundance of inspirational writings that pulls all of these aforementioned areas of focus together between two covers and puts it into an easy-to-understand and user-friendly book of sacred feminine liberation thealogy.  Yes, thealogy, not theology.  The meaning of Goddess, as deity, archetype and ideal and her relationship to humanity, the planet and its species.  Going beyond the wheel of the year, examining Goddess mythology and ideals of the Sacred Feminine that would reshape values, society and culture, from cradle to grave, and in pre-school to the voting booth.  I know Goddess ideals actually do provide a template for a more just and sustainable future which inspired me to write Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy.  With this book, I hope I’ve managed to directly connect the dots between the Great She, exploitation of Mother Earth and liberation from the oppression of our patriarchal world.

This book is designed to give individuals or those desiring to serve their communities a springboard to offer what I remember were called “sermons from the pulpit” in my early days as a Catholic, with ideas to create a format for a regular gathering or service.  Easy to digest and sometimes gently following the seasons of the year and holidays already on most people’s calendars, these messages and meditations use Goddess archetypes, ideals and mythology to provide content for education,  inspiration and contemplation for anyone seeking to incorporate a feminine face of god within their spirituality, no matter their faith - and the messages and meditations have been field-tested

Following in one of the messages within this book, Trust in the Journey, these collective words of inspiration and guidance accumulated over time as I was called on as an ordained minister to speak about the Sacred Feminine. Yes, these messages and meditations have already been successfully shared and embraced by congregations where I have been invited to present papers, guest minister or lead salons or services for conferences, festivals, Goddess temples, Unitarian Universalist congregations, the American Academy of Religion or at Sacred Sundays, the latter being inter-faith services offered in the Los Angeles community for several years.  Those experiences have provided the framework for this book and the suggestions herein for readers to find personal inspiration or ready-made material to facilitate your community circles. 

As you go forward and find your sacred roar,

May Goddess Embrace You in Her Golden Wings,

Dr. Rev. Karen Tate

 

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  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    wonderful stuff thanks for posting! x
Moneyworking on the macro level:  the ALS ice bucket challenge

Recently, I was, um, invited to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge, the quirky and incredibly successful spontaneous viral outpouring of support to find a cure to a disease which has been well-known since 1939, but which still strikes down far too many people.  As of this writing, the ALS Foundation is reporting that the challenge has raised $106 million this summer, a pretty big bump from the $3 million in annual donations the organization is more used to seeing.

What strikes me about this phenomenon is that this is the kind of magical work that money is intended for.  Most of what I see discussed (and sold) in terms of money spells focus on, as one of my employers would put it, "Get that money, sucka."  There's a flaw in that thinking, one that reminds me of a couple of friends of mine who tried to start an internet marketing business just before the Great Recession.  The term internet marketing is (or maybe was) used to refer to a set of techniques used to find potential clients online (the "warm" market) and provide them with enough information that they would want to purchase your service.  The problem my friends ran into is that their coach was flummoxed when he found out what they wanted to market:  science lessons for curious children.  Everyone else in the internet marketing field, you see, was building web sites that marketed internet marketing businesses.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Cattle Raids and Cultural Appropriation

As a storyteller, I tend to do much of my thinking through stories. In the ongoing discussion of cultural appropriation it seems to me that abstract theorizing may well benefit from the wisdom of narrative.

Theorist Cei Serith says, “When confronted with a new situation, first consult ancestral precedent.” The Received Tradition (or at least those portions of it with which I am personally conversant), has little to say on the topic of cultural appropriation directly, but in fact the practice has a surprising number of parallels with the grand old Keltic pastime (one could almost call it a sport) of the táin, the cattle-raid. The Kelts came by cattle-rustling honestly (so to speak): it would seem, in fact, to have been an ancient tradition of many Indo-European peoples (and, indeed, of pastoral cultures in general: compare the current problems with the self-same practice in South Sudan).

We have, to the best of our knowledge, no surviving mythology from the Dobunni, the Keltic tribe that inhabited the Severn basin and Cotswolds in what is now the south-west Midlands of England. (The “creation myth” that Stephen Yeates “recreates” in A Dreaming for the Witches cannot truly be called a story.) There seems to be good genetic and archaeological evidence to indicate that Dobunni population and culture survived into Anglo-Saxon times as the tribe known as the Hwicce. Maverick archaeologist Stephen Yeates would contend that the tribal religion of the Hwicce, with its strong continuities with the preceding Dobunni religion, is in fact what would become historic Witchcraft (and later, Wicca). Historical or not, it's a powerful story, to which I will admit a certain personal fondness, perhaps because some of my own ancestors hail from this same region.

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  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    great stuff thanks for posting! the dobunni are thought to be the tribe where i actually live! hail the storyteller! ;-)

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Bastet-188x269.jpg

We stroked his head and ran our hands along his body. He purred. We looked at him directly in the eyes and we sang songs. He purred. We told him of mice and birds and long summer days that would not end. He purred. We held him close, so very close, as the needle pierced his skin. The purring stopped. 

The last few days have been filled with tears and with fond remembrances of our dear cat, Bear Claw. He lived for almost twenty years. I have children that have never known a time before Bear Claw. Simply put, he was part of our family.

I spent the last year of his life as a care giver of sorts. As his health failed, I cleaned up after him. I helped him up to his favourite perches around the house. I carried him out into the warm sun on my shoulders and made sure his "apartment" was warm and comfortable. He and I spoke about how and when his life would end. We had an agreement that when the good days were outnumbered by the bad days, we'd part ways mercifully and quickly.

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  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    Heartfelt post... thank you. I had to say goodbye to my old feline companion last autumn, and it was astoundingly painful. I bel

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

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PaganNewsBeagle Fiery Tuesday September 2

Fiery Tuesday is here and the PaganNewsBeagle is back. Labor Day Blues (most Americans are too overworked to take time off); town of Greece is pretty clear which God they want civic prayers to address; the legend of Horatio Alger, the plight of the Yazidis, and Pagan consent culture.

Did you take Labor Day (U.S. holiday) off? If so, congratulations. This story at the HuffPo points out a troubling trend: an increasing number of us are too overworked, stressed-out, and downright scared of losing their job to take vacation time.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” – Charles Dickens

“We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.” – Gaston Bachelard

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