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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Goddess feminism
Foremothers of the Women's Spirituality Movement: A Review by a Younger Feminist

by Kate Brunner

I sometimes feel as though I live caught between feminism's assorted waves. I am too young to have experienced the rise & crest of the Second Wave. I only just began to learn there was an actual -ism type name for this collection of thoughts, desires, feelings, & beliefs shaping themselves within me during my adolescent years as the Second Wave was decidedly ebbing.

Coming into my own as a very young adult, I found the rising Third Wave frustrating, though. Arguments over even using the word "feminist" to begin with exhausted me and it seemed like there was more debate raging about what was or was not feminism than there was meaningful change-agent action in the world around me.

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Reading the recently released papal letter “The Joy of Love,” I was surprised to see that it opens a “new” discussion of marriage and the family with a very old patriarchal trope from Psalm 128:

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,

who walks in his ways!

You shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands;

you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house . . . (see ch. 1, pp. 7-8)

Notwithstanding the “inclusive language” translating the male generic in Hebrew as “one,” there is no way around the fact that this psalm is addressed by a male God to men. It compares women to property owned and tended by men. Nor does it provide any opening to consider the blessings of same sex marriage.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A Priestess Year

One of the four magickal goals of a Witch is "to be silent." I've been feeling my silence on these pages over the last few months especially, as my own inner monologue has turned up and as I've been increasingly called to both give voice and hold silence in my day to day and spiritual lives. When I chose the word "Priestess" as my power word for 2016, I don't think I fully realized what that would do -- the things it would shift, the ways it would test me so early, the ways in which I would need to grow and stretch all while holding space for others to do the same. 

In many ways 2015 was the beginning of my Priestess year. I actually chose the word "Emerge" as my power word for last year, and even now I am realizing the ways in which I both emerged and am still emerging. The past 8 years for me had been something of an Underworld journey, as I navigated the exit from an abusive marriage, an acrimonious divorce, living on my own as an adult woman for the first time, a increasingly difficult and toxic academic job market, and all the change and growth and pain that comes when you essentially shake the Etch-a-Sketch of your life and start anew. It's also found me sailing the uncharted and exhilarating waters of new and healthy love, a career change, deepening spirituality, and stepping into a calling I've resisted for the better part of my adult life.

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  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Looking forward to hearing more and sharing your journey!
Sacred Feminine or Goddess Feminism?

In recent years “the Sacred Feminine” has become interchangeable with (for some) and preferable to (for others) “Goddess” and “Goddess feminism.” The terms Goddess and feminism, it is sometimes argued, raise hackles: Is Goddess to replace God? And if so why? Does feminism imply an aggressive stance? And if so, against whom or what?

In contrast, the term “sacred feminine” (with or without caps) feels warm and fuzzy, implying love, care, and concern without invoking the G word or even the M(other) word--about which some people have mixed feelings. Advocates of the sacred feminine stand against no one, for men have their “sacred feminine” sides, while women have their “sacred masculine” sides as well.

Nothing lost, and much to be gained. Right? Wrong.

Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine?
Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine?

When Goddess feminism emerged onto the scene, it had a political edge. It was about women affirming, as Meg Christian crooned in “Ode to a Gym Teacher,” that “being female means you still can be strong.” Goddess feminism arose in clear opposition to patriarchy and patriarchal religions. It was born of an explicit critique of societies organized around male domination, violence, and war; and of the male God or Gods of patriarchal religions as justifying domination, violence, and war. In this context, “the sacred masculine” was not understood to be a neutral or positive concept. To the contrary, the male Gods of patriarchy were understood to be at the center of symbol systems that justify domination.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Carol, thanks for encouraging the idea that making readers comfortable is not necessarily the honorable thing for a wordsmith to d
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks Lisa.
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Thanks again for your elucidation, Carol. In the past, I've titled my workshops "Embodying the Goddess" and "The Goddess In Our Mi
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    And for a stirring performance of the song, see https://youtu.be/MQrC2pEalJ8
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Lisa. I'm glad that young people are still singing it, in all the languages of the world. And thank you, John.
Goddess Spirituality Teaches Social Justice

So let us look at several brief examples of the Sacred Feminine as deity, metaphor or myth and how we’re given a template for living or advice for values we might embrace with social justice in mind.....

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Celebrating Partnership Not Competition....Women in Relationship

I was reading comments about how Deepak Chopra and the male host of a show dominated over Riane Eisler in an interview, and it brought up these thoughts I'll share as food for thought.

First, I wish I'd seen the interview.  I love Riane and owe her so much!  She's one of my first mentors, having written The Chalice and the Blade andThe Partnership Way, which drew me to this path and I've never left.  I learned about partnership and perpetuate that idea often because of her early teachings. My book launch party on Saturday has a theme of "celebrating partnership" and it's a shame the interview went the way it was described. 

Myself,  I've have worked in several industries where I have had to supervise men.  I'll mention two.  The first was when I was a Convention Coordinator for a large hotel chain in New Orleans.  I actually was responsible for making sure a hotel with more than 10,000 sq ft of meeting space was turned over 3-4 times a day 7 days a week.  Our "crew" was a dozen African American men.  Me, a white woman, received more respect and enjoyed a team camaraderie with these men - more so than the white men in the administrative office.  In fact the other supervisors couldn't understand their loyalty and our team work.  They didn't get it was mutual respect, cooperation, partnership.  Maybe I instinctively treated these African American men better than the white men they usually answered to here in the South and treated them like people.  We developed a sense of pride in our work together and a team spirit.  With the white men you had to hold your ground, stand up to them or some, not all, were more likely to steamroll you, overlook you, demean you.  However, what was the most frustrating was the superior and entitled attitudes of the management (women and men) brought in from Colorado.  They treated all the local management as if we were all stupid - both men and women, even though we had experience running convention hotels and not small boutique hotels like they had previously run.  The Food and Beverage Manager - an older woman - treated me worse than any man in the hotel.  All these years later I still shudder at the emotion - the tears - that woman provoked in me!

In California I manage property where I have to supervise a lot of white men and men of other cultures as well, a few of which would probably rather have me barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and despise having to take orders from a woman.  I find again you have to stand up, hold your own, speak up.  The rules of etiquette I learned in the South when I was growing up - be nice, don't make waves, defer, conform, well, they just don't get the job done.  Sure I sometimes get called a bitch or a ball buster behind my back.  Once to my face a Telephone Company employee screwing up on the job told me I needed "a good  f--k" and maybe then I would shut up - translation: not tell him to do a better job.  (Interestingly the phone company send out a representative to make a personal apology to me.)  

Of course I get tired of the struggle.  Always having to be assertive to be able to do your job effectively - because the buck stops with me.  Some men still lack awareness of sexism and white male privilege - because its their normal and they benefit from it.  My boss even had to be schooled.  But again, here in CA, unlike in the South, I've experienced just as many women dominators as any men in my life - their methods are just a little more insidious.  So while I certainly am aware of male privilege, patriarchy, domination - let's not kid ourselves that men are the only ones doing it.  Both genders participate.  Women have learned well from their male oppressors and engage in what I call patriarchy in a skirt.  If I had to tally it up, I've had to endure more bad women than men. 

I've read how feminist, Phyllis Chesler, (Woman's Inhumanity to Woman) got a lot of heat for bringing this up - I have her in my upcoming anthology, Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversation to ReShape Our World, and I've interviewed her on my radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine Radio on Blog Talk.  I sincerely hope I don't get flack for saying this.  I won't engage if it happens.  I've got too much to do.   But we have to face the elephant in the living room if we women are going to lead the charge to change the world.  We have to figure out how to stop being jealous, petty, competitive and put our collective energy into dissolving the patriarchy.  We need to put our personal slights aside and stand in solidarity and partnership.  We have empower one another - be that lobster climbing out of the pot that turns around and helps the others out rather than be the one pulling the escapee back down into the boiling water.  And women have to take the mantle of leadership and be assertive and not expect it to be handed to us. 

Yes, the answer is partnership.  It's mutual respect.  It's fairness.  It's justice.  It's not competition, sexism, classism  or racism.   Among women and men.  We have to try to empower one another as women and not have a scarcity attitude there's only so many pieces of pie so we keep fighting for the scraps among ourselves.  I know I'm probably being politically incorrect here, but seems important to say.  My Sekhmet heart demands it.

Love to you all,
Karen Tate      

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday Sept 15

On Airy Monday we start the week with stories of the Mind and the element of Air. Today we have the recovering ozone layer (good news and the bad news); the Polar Vortex explained; archaeology for Pagans; esoteric journal Abraxas; webinars on women & nature.

A U.N. report has good news for the ozone layer: it's recovering faster than expected. Unfortunately, the world replaced the ozone-depleting chemicals with a greenhouse gas, so now the world is looking for a replacement for *that* chemical, too.

...
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