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If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

A recent prompt from Joanna Powell Colbert's 30 Days of Hecate class urged us to look into the palms of our hands and consider our ancestors. Having already given a lot of thought to my more recent ancestors in this course, I felt my attention turn instead to the unnamed thousands of time and space who brought me to this place...

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  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Simply beautiful, so evocative. I can't wait for my maiden to receive hers from Saint Nicolas this Christmas. Blessings xx

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"You don't know what Día de los Muertos really is until you witness it in Mexico," my friend Nelly said.  "Day of the Dead is a celebration of life, not a mourning of death," she added.

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Awakening to the Divine Feminine
A few months back I wrote a post about redefining gender adjectives in regards to our feminine and masculine essence. I suggested that what has traditionally been described as 'feminine' traits be renamed 'lunar' traits and that what has traditionally been called 'masculine' traits be renamed 'solar' traits, I then went on to state that a woman is feminine regardless of whether she is running more lunar or solar energy, simply by virtue of being a woman and that a man is masculine, whether he is running more lunar or solar energy, simply by virtue of being a man. I would amend that statement to read "a person who identifies herself as a woman is feminine by virtue of being a woman and that a person who identifies themselves as a man is masculine simply by virtue of being a man." You can find that post here:

Since changing my views about what constitutes femininity and masculinity I was posed a question that deepened my awareness and understanding about what my feminine essence is. A fellow mother who has felt a call to her Divine Feminine self asked me, "how do you connect to your feminine self, where do you start?" In the past I would have shared with her a list of lunar activities that would activate her 'feminine' self, however, I know now that women are both lunar and solar, and so suggesting activities that are exclusively lunar would be suggesting she participate in activities that would activate only 50% of her feminine essence. Since I cannot  define the feminine essence solely with lunar examples anymore, what suggestions could I give to help her to connect to her feminine essence and what steps could she take to embark on a path of feminine spirituality?
I reached out to the women in my Goddess Gathering Facebook group. This is a private group of women who have gathered together on the New Moon for years now, a lot of us have since had geographic relocations, however we have stayed in touch via the far reaching world wide web. I asked how they connected to their feminine essence, responses ranged from simply spending time in the nude to taking salsa dancing lessons. Overall the consensus seemed to be that the balance between connecting to oneself on a personal level and connecting to the Goddess on a Universal level was the path that have led us into a place of understanding and relating to our feminine essence.
When I reflect on my own journey, it was the Universal Goddess that first began to awaken my connection to my feminine self. At the age of 25 I had been an avid student of Christian Mysticism and knew nothing about the Goddess, I am also an artist and was at that period of time challenged with writers block. I began the Artist's Way, a workbook created to help artists to unblock their creative selves, the book promised to not only unblock me, but to also reveal to me hidden aspects of my creative self that I had yet to actualize. On one of my artist's dates, an activity that I was  committed to once a week throughout my process, I visited a book store and purchased a copy of the Mists of Avalon. When I read the Mists of Avalon, and experienced Vivienne pulling down the mists for the first time, when I was introduced to the Priestess isle of Avalon, something inside of me was awoken and I could never feel settled again until I found a way to have that magic, that power, that feminine essence in my everyday life. That was it. From that moment on the course of my life was altered forever. I like to think that the Grace of the Mother was guiding me, She was calling me home to Her. At the culmination of my Artist's Way journey, my writers block had shifted, however instead of finding a new artistic talent, I had a new thirst that was born, it was a passion and a determination to know the Feminine Face of God and to understand what my femininity looked like and felt like. 
I began the journey of reconnecting to my feminine essence by seeking out wisdom from the teachers around me, I remember fondly a yoga teacher asking for us to share our intention for a workshop that I was participating in, my intention was that I wanted to become more feminine, my teacher laughed and asked the class, "who here thinks Candise isn't already feminine?" I was flattered and hopeful that maybe I was feminine, though at the time I couldn't see it. I run a lot of solar energy, I am most at ease in my lunar, but on a day to day basis I am generally quite solar in that in the world I am active, determined and initiative. I assumed that in order to be feminine I had to become more subdued, gentle, flowy, attributes that I have always admired and sought in my female friends, attributes that are very lunar and that I confused with being feminine. What my teacher saw at that time and what I have come to know is that every person who identifies themselves as a woman is feminine when they are connected to their authentic self. I run my feminine energy in a very solar way out in the world and a very lunar way when I am at home or amongst a close group of friends. My Myers Briggs type is INFJ, a very rare combination that gives me the appearance of an extrovert, as I am quite talkative and comfortable on stage in front of a large group of people, however internally I am introverted and need  time to regenerate and refuel after being out in the world. Extroverted = solar, Introverted = lunar. My astrological chart is equal parts lunar and solar. My personal path of feminine discovery has led me to find the balanced expression of femininity in the lunar and solar expressions of self, this is of no surprise to me, as I am called to work in the Libra tribe in this lifetime, the tribe of balancing both sides of the scale. As my personal path continued to weave and to wind I began to attend Goddess Gatherings, I took a small four week workshop that reawakened ancient knowledge within me about the phases of the moon and how they correspond to the phases of my body and the phases of my life, and I joined a Priestess circle and was ordained with my Priestess sisters. With each circle that I joined, each woman that I connected with, each process that I went through with the intention of connecting to my feminine self, the more awakened to my true feminine essence I became.
My reacquaintance with the Divine Feminine was a whole other journey that happened simultaneously and side by side with my personal connection to my feminine self. The first place that I sought Her out was in books, I was inspired by fictional works that incorporated the mystical resonance of true Goddess worship that I had found in the Mists of Avalon. I found that those fictional novels kept me inspired and motivated to continue my search. The Passion of the Mary Magdalene Chronicles, the Red Tent, more Marion Zimmer Bradley novels, the Fifth Sacred Thing, the Witch of Portobello and Medicine Women are just a few of the books that have sent my feminine soul soaring into actualization. Today I revel in herstorical books, anthropological accounts and archetypal information about the Goddess and how She was revered, however when I was first seeking Her, it was the myths, the stories and the lore that kept me opening up and looking for Her presence. Beyond books there wasn't any other place that I knew of to seek Her except for in circle with my sisters, in nature, and then, most importantly for me, within.
My first concepts of the Great Mother Goddess came through a new relationship to Mother Nature. As I began my Priestess apprenticeship I took one week to dedicate my intention to each of the four elements. I delved into my relationship to them, I discovered the  life within the four directions and found that their influence on me was both soothing and grounding. I found the Mother in the external realm, in abounding nature I was lifted up, I walked into a realm where the vibration of a flower, the essence of a tree, the passion of a flame, the messages of water, were all reflections of Her presence in my life. This was a great blessing and the foundation for my walk with the Goddess.
I still had one area that I thirsted in, and that was the area of inner awareness, I longed to feel Her Divine presence within me as a benevolent being that I could seek guidance, direction and love from. That relationship has been a process, without realizing it, the Father God concept had been so engrained in me from society that I felt as though I was praying to a made up mythical entity when I began to reach out to Her. Bit by bit, I began to have moments of an awareness of a Mother presence with me, it was a slow beginning, however, when I became pregnant and then after the birth of my daughter I felt my relationship with Her reach new heights and depths. She is all around me, and within me. I ask Her daily to Mother through me, and as I gaze with love and admiration at my daughter I get glimpses of the love of my Mother. It is through the unfoldment of my life as a woman, a woman connected to her feminine self that I found the Goddess within me. 
This relationship has solidified in me an understanding of the Divine Feminine. When She came to me as nature I learnt that She is as soft as a feather, as fluid as the oceans, as hard as the rocks and minerals and as dangerous as the hottest flame. I learnt that my femininity was defined by my expression of self as a female in whatever form, in whatever way I allowed my authenticity to flow. As I became acquainted with the Goddess archetypes I became acquainted with facets of my feminine self. Some days I am as wild and untamed as Pele, as kind and compassionate as Kuan Yin, as benevolent and generous as Lakshmi or as fierce and destructive as Kali. Every day, in every way I am in my feminine self. Societies definition of femininity does not define me nor does it define the Goddess, the Goddess is not a soft, soothing place for the God expression of Divinity to rest His weary head, though She can offer respite to the masculine expression of Source when that is needed. I am not a doll faced, gentle lamb, licking the battle wounds of my ferocious lion of a husband , though some days I feel so good being soft and gentle and feeling his strong presence lie into me....and other days I prefer to be the hungry and exhausted lioness, sweaty and bloody from a day in the wild, lying down to be served by my gentle loving lamb of a husband. I wear all of the faces of life, I wear all of my emotions and all of my dreams and I call it all Divine and all feminine.
As I remember the beginning of my journey into Goddess spirituality and review my relationship with my feminine self, with the Divine Feminine and with the dissolution of the social construct that labels femininity, I have some particular suggestions I would offer to anybody who identifies themselves as feminine and is looking to awaken their relationship with their own Divine Feminine self and with the Great Goddess Herself.
  • Contemplate and open yourself up to the four major elements. Spend a week noticing and communing with water, and then earth, and then fire and then air. Find these elements both externally and internally and notice how they change your day to day life experience.
  • Research the Goddess, learn about her herstory, learn about Goddess worship, research the different Goddesses, buy the Goddess deck by Doreen Virtue and begin to pull a card a day and find that Goddess in your 24 hours.
  • Spend time in nature, a lot of time. Observe mother nature, observe her in her quiet times, in her wild times, in her bareness and in her lushness. Begin to notice her wherever you go and commune with her, say hi to the trees that you walk under, stroke the bushes that you pass, wink at the flowers that preen. Interact with the vibrational life that is animating the nature that surrounds you.
  • Have a baby! An actual baby, or a fur baby, or a creative baby, or a surrogate baby. Birth something, it can be an actual birth (though you will probably find more reasons to choose to bring a life into the world beyond learning about the Divine Feminine) or it can be the birth of a project, a creation, a plant, a pet, anything that you bring forth and are then in a position to nurture and care for as it grows and develops. This time of your life will put you in the position of acting as the Great Goddess acts in your life, as you guide and love your 'baby' you will have brief moments to understand the Divine Love that is constantly pouring forth to you from Her.
  • Pray to Her, ask for Her to reveal Herself to you.
  • Meditate, on an image of Her, a concept, a feeling, or simply become open and wait for Her to reveal Her presence to you.
  • Lastly, remember that you are feminine just by virtue of being you.
In the final analysis this journey that has led me to connect to my feminine self has brought me to a place that has made the word feminine redundant. What I was seeking for was an authentic connection to myself, that connection to my authenticity automatically brought me into alignment with my feminine self and with the Divine Feminine that animates me. I have shown up in this world and identify myself as a woman and am therefore feminine, in all of my authentic expressions and ways of being. The parts of me that I thought were masculine, were really my capable, strong, direct feminine traits. The parts of me that I thought were feminine, were my introverted places, my soft spots that I love and cherish. In the grand scheme of Universal Truth, both feminine and masculine merge together to create the One Source, yet while I am on this spinning rock in an embodied form I live in a realm of duality. In this realm of duality I can choose to connect to a feminine expression of Source that I call Goddess or a masculine expression of Source which I call God, and at times, at witchy, enlightened, high vibrational moments I can connect to the asexual, transcended Source energy, I am made aware of the Absolute that lives beyond duality in the realm of Oneness. This One Spirit is my Home and lives within me, I brought this One Spirit down with me when I incarnated onto this planet as a woman.  I am honoured to have this lifetime as a woman, this is an exciting era where the feminine is rising up and claiming her validity on this earth, eventually these dual expressions will merge, until then I carry my role and my mission as an expression of the Divine Feminine with the utmost honour and reverence and my hope is that each and every woman finds her authentic self as a true expression of the Divine Feminine and continues our journey towards enlightenment. One woman at a time we are rising Her up. Each woman that finds her connection to her authenticity is finding her connection to her feminine essence and in turn is beginning a relationship with the Divine Feminine, a relationship that will forever alter the spiral path of destiny that lies ahead of us.
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
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Interdependence. This topic is often on my mind as we approach U.S. Independence Day. There is so much strength in interdependence or being in-dependence together.

According to one of my favorite Goddess scholars, Carol Christ, the central ethical vision of Goddess religion is that all beings are embedded in a web of interconnected relatedness. All beings are part of the web of life. Everything is in relation—indeed it is possible to have relationships with the sun, sky, wind, and rainbow, as well as to other people, animals, plants, and the Divine. Everything is interconnected and does not exist without connection, relationship. Connection is strength, not weakness, and it is central.

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"Will Western Women Save the World?" for Women's History Month

An interview with Karen Tate by Tim Ward of the Huffington Post on International Women's Day:

A few years ago the Dalai Lama made a remark that has ricocheted through the web for the past five years.  "Western women will save the world," the Buddhist spiritual leader reportedly said in a panel discussion of Nobel prize winners.

While some have pondered whether the Lama - neither a woman nor a Westerner - was wise to make such a proclamation, International Women's Day is the right time to consider the potential of women in the 21st century. My perspective for the past decade is that our planet's dominant social paradigm - patriarchy - has "advanced" civilization to the brink of ecological systems collapse, social inequality. On top of that, our willingness to go to war is frankly terrifying. The interesting question to ask is this: As women are drawing equal with men in terms of education, and as they are taking more and more positions of peer in business, law and politics, will a more gender balanced civilization result in a better future?

I wanted to ponder this issue with feminist theologian Karen Tate, who is the author of Goddess Calling and the editor of the anthology Voices of the Sacred Feminine:

Question: Karen, what do you make of the Dalai Lama's statement that the world will be saved by "the Western Woman?"

Tate: At first I was ecstatic that a male recognized to be a spiritual authority would render such a prophecy, such power to women, in this patriarchal world that devalues and marginalizes women, but then I began to look beyond the surface and came to believe, whether the Dalai Lama really meant this or not, that more likely it would be sacred feminine liberation "thealogy, or values of the Divine Feminine that would really save the world.

Here's why. In my life, I've known as many equally aware and evolved men as women. Men who value and love women. Men who support women and help them fight for equality. Men unafraid to come from their heart center, to nurture, to show compassion and have empathy.

Likewise, I've known many women who go through life practicing patriarchy in a skirt. Women complicit in their own oppression. Women who prop up the patriarchy because they either know nothing else or benefit from it. Women who callously practice what the famous feminist, Phyllis Chesler, has called "woman's inhumanity to woman." So it's not necessarily what genitals we were born with. It's what's in our heart. It's where we are along our spiritual path. Are we a product of a fear-based and intolerant upbringing or one that is inclusive and less fearful?

However, that said, I do believe women, in general, have in their "tool kit" innate abilities that come easier or more naturally to them. Perhaps you've heard about the MIT study that said groups are more successful when they include women because women have better social skills, can read between the lines, can intuit the energy of what's happening in a group or situation. We've heard about the college study, perhaps it was at UCLA, discussing rods and cones in our eyes. Women's eyes tend to help them see more peripherally and that transfers to their decision making and they are more concerned about how their decision affects others - a quality I'd say patriarchy has exploited very successfully. We've heard about women under stress "tend and befriend" while men "take flight". And these are just a few scientific revelations that show the value, perhaps even superiority of women, in certain situations. I believe the United Nations has a rule that there must be women at the table during a negotiation because it's more likely something will be achieved. We've seen the success of the women in Congress, coming together, across party lines, to get the work of the people done.

I do believe more women, and our like-minded brothers, who embody and strive to perpetuate the values of the Sacred Feminine, (partnership, negotiation, nurturing, equality, justice, fairness, caring and sharing, inclusiveness) will be the ones who choose sustainability in the long term over short term thinking. They select peace over war, development over growth, partnership over domination, and a world where we take care of the 99% rather than just value the needs of the 1% as we seem to do in this current predator capitalist and patriarchal world that causes the suffering and hopelessness of so many.

Question: How do you see women's progress in the 21st century? Are we coming to the end of patriarchy?

Tate: Women have made great strides in the last few decades thanks to brave, fearless and tenacious women and men. We've seen how giving micro-loans to women, rather than their husbands, in Third World countries benefits these women's families and in some cases their whole village. Women no longer have to conform and fit into a little box. They have more options than my mother's generation. More women than men are graduating from college. We see on the television and movie screen new role models for women, even commercials during the Super Bowl about empowering girls and fighting domestic violence. Yet the work is far from over. Seventy percent of women still retire in poverty. In the United States we have less than 20% of women in leadership positions in academia, corporations, religious institutions and politics. Women aren't making equal pay as men for the same job. Men are still debating if rape is really rape and demand to control a woman's reproductive future. One in three women will be penetrated against their will. There's female genital mutilation, infanticide of girl babies, religions still teaching women are inferior helpmates who must submit to their husbands or hide their skin, pray at the back of the room, wear slippers so even their footsteps are not heard. Women cannot drive or go out without male escorts in some countries. Even here in the United States, I interview women who have escaped fundamentalist Christian groups who tell them their role in this life is to produce as many children as possible, and if their body gives out, then they're simply a martyr for Christ if they die in childbirth. We still have a lot of work to do to bring women into full equality so that they may be their authentic self and reach their fullest potential. But we will do it. I think the ground is shaking beneath the feet of some as society transitions. It makes many very afraid because change is hard for some. Equality and care changes the playing field but it's humanity's moral imperative and in the long run it will be a factor in whether we can save the world, because there is a direct correlation between how we treat women, the planet and the species that inhabit Mother Earth.

Question: The subtitle of your book Goddess Calling indicates you believe Goddess Spirituality is liberation thealogy. Can you explain what you mean by this?

Tate: Just as theology is the study of God, thealogy is the study of everything associated with the feminine face of the divine, or Goddess. There was a time when Christianity as the liberation thealogy of the time. Jesus showed the way. He walked with women. He was concerned for the poor. He overturned the tables of the money-changers in the temple.

Christianity was a religion giving hope to the hopeless, to the undervalued, to the slave and the down-trodden. While some still practice the Christianity of Jesus, others have gotten away from the ideas Jesus represented. Greed used to be a deadly sin. It had been our moral imperative to care for the poor. Now, instead, greed is good. It's about rugged individualism, pulling yourself up by your boot-straps even if you don't have any. If you're poor, you must be lazy or a sinner. Kids are killing themselves because their religion is telling them they're an abomination if they're gay. Women are still second-class citizens who can dust the altar but not lead from the altar. Consequently, Christianity, along with the other patriarchal religions, have gotten a black eye. People are leaving these male-dominated religions that preach exclusiveness, homophobia, sexism, callousness and conformity in droves.

Goddess spirituality is very different than the patriarchal religions I've described above. It can fit hand-in-glove with the Christianity of Jesus though. It's about inclusiveness, equality, environmentalism, fairness, peace, caring and sharing, negotiation and partnership. It calls for a society that benefits the most of us and not just the privileged. It allows everyone to be their authentic self and not fit into narrow little boxes determined by some men who wrote the rules for everyone. To quote Roy Tate, my husband of thirty years, "Goddess is not a religion, it's a way of life. You don't have to go out and kill someone for Her. You have to go out and love someone for Her - and yourself ."

Question: Books like Lean In offer a secular path for women to make it in a secular world. Is this a viable direction, or do you think the sacred feminine is somehow essential to women's progress?

Tate: Obviously one can espouse the values of the Sacred Feminine thealogy without being a Goddess advocate, however I believe knowing about or embracing the Sacred Feminine, as deity, archetype or ideal, is another tool in our tool kit. We start to learn how mythology shapes our society. If we have mythology that only reveres or recognizes a male god, then we end up with a society of male leadership. When one learns about Goddess, humanity learns diversity and sees across the globe there have been many faces of the Divine Feminine. She teaches us tolerance, strength, tenacity, compassion, to be a warrior/ess, that sexuality is normal and healthy. The Sacred Feminine brings the ideals mentioned throughout this interview into the center of society rather than marginalizing those values. Women and children are at the center of society, rather than on the fringes. It teaches women they were never meant to be subservient and should not settle for that paradigm. The Sacred Feminine is the great equalizer, tempering and bringing into balance our chaotic and out of balance world. And it's very interesting when people learn the Great She, as I like to call Her, has been around and worshiped by human being for more than 35,000 years - longer than a male god, that blows some people's minds. I know it did for me because I grew up in the bubble of the Bible Belt and we never learned about a feminine face of God there - only Mary, Jesus' mother, and she teaches women to be passive, obedient and non-sexual.

Question: You've been named one of the 13 Most Influential Women in Goddess Spirituality and a Gatekeeper of the Women's Spirituality Movement. Are you teachings primarily for women or do men fit into this alternative vision for the world? Specifically, what do you say to men who feel threatened by the sacred feminine?

Tate: These teachings are for anyone and everyone who wants a peaceful and healthy world and a better quality of life. This is for people who want to save the planet and be free or liberated from the oppression and domination of fundamentalism, patriarchy and predator capitalism. Many men are behind these "sacred feminine ideas" and are our allies in these teachings and the coming paradigm shift I believe the Dalai Lama foresees. As I mentioned earlier on, this is not just for and about women. It's about a mind-set. It's about certain values. It's about oneness, inclusiveness, and our inter-connection to each other and Mother Earth.

For the men who might feel threatened, I'd say, imagine your ideal Mother. That's Goddess. She opens her arms in love and acceptance. She expects your best and you have to work hard, but you are rewarded by her ample beneficence. She's provided everything on this planet we need to sustain ourselves. And from another perspective, I'd ask men if they tired of going it alone? Don't they want an equal partner to help them through life? Would they like to understand women better and have better relationships with them? I'd ask them where's your sense of adventure and desire to spiritually evolve toward a more loving and balanced world? Do you care about the planet and having a more sustainable future? I think these values of the Sacred Feminine can address these issues.

Question: What do you see as the biggest challenge for the women's spirituality movement and for women in the next decade?

Tate: Education is one challenge. I think we have to take responsibility for our own education and not believe everything we've been told from the pulpit, the dining room table and other institutions that want to control us and protect the status quo. We have to be willing to upset that "apple cart" in our life and in our mind with some fresh ideas and critical thinking. We have to be fearless and not conform just because it's easier. Most of us have come to realize patriarchy - rule by a male-dominated society revering solely a male God - is not working for Mother Earth or most of the people on the planet. We have to shed hopelessness and complacency, and find ways to counter beliefs that there is no option but the authoritarian father. We have to help humankind make a course correction because patriarchy has permeated every level of society from womb to tomb, boardroom to bedroom, voting booth to the workplace. We must shift into a more fair, equal, and just world of partnership, sharing, caring and peace. That calls us to get up off the couch. Lead. Learn. Volunteer. Vote. Know who really has your best interest in mind, even if it means choosing the lesser of two evils until the better choice is available. Don't fall for the false equivalency argument both political parties are the same. We also have to put our money where our mouth is. Get one of those apps that tells you what products the Koch Brothers makes and don't buy those brands. Boycott businesses that promote ideas you don't agree with or exploit their workers or don't pay women equal pay, or fire people for being gay. Drink one less cup of Starbucks and send the money to a worthy cause. There really is a lot we can do if we stand together in solidarity. We have to stop falling for the wedge issues the corporate owned media creates. If every marginalized group stood together in solidarity, the world would be a better place in a blink of an eye. Find your sacred roar!

Rev. Dr. Karen Tate is a four-times published author, speaker, sacred tour leader and social justice activist. She is the host of the long-running radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine on Blog Talk Radio and can be seen in the documentary, Femme: Women Healing the World, produced by actress Sharon Stone and Wonderland Entertainment. Her books include: Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy , Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to ReShape Our World, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations and Walking an Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth. Her website is

Interview by Tim Ward of the Huffington Post - Published March 6, 2015

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  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Of course the Divine and Human Feminine should be praised. The Divine and Human Masculine doesn´t mind being cut off like the Oura

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Goddess Roots of Mardi Gras in New Orleans

With Mardi Gras just around the corner I thought I'd share an excerpt from my first published book, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations.  You see, I lived the first thirty years of my life in New Orleans without a clue about the Pagan and Goddess roots of Mardi Gras.  When you live in that Christian bubble, you tend not look beyond it, but then when you do, a tsunami of awakening might be the result, as it was for me.....

Vieux Carre
The essence of Goddess, as a celebration of life, holds sway in New Orleans at the very core of the people, even if they're unaware of it.  Life there moves at a slower pace and New Orleanians see no reason to catch up. It is a city proud of its diverse cultural and ethnic heritage, where people look for just about any excuse to indulge in the pleasures of food, drink, and partying. There is a sense of life being a bit more in-sync with the natural rhythms and life’s simple pleasures. Despite the influence of the Catholic Church, the lifestyle in New Orleans is hardly dogmatic or puritanical. In the Big Easy, as the city is often called, the spirit of the Feminine is also reflected in the Old World charm of the architecture in the Vieux Carre, in celebrations such as Mardi Gras with its pagan roots dating back to the rituals of the Lupercalia, Cybele and Attis, and in the worship of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and various goddesses in the Yoruban pantheon.

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Book Review: Naming the Goddess

“On any spiritual path, and most especially on one that is simultaneously a path of magical practice, our real progress and growth is measurable largely in the capacity to pass the challenges that are set before us. The easy parts of the journey are not the most important.”

–Philip Kane (in his essay on Laverna, Naming the Goddess, p. 232)

Naming the Goddess, published by Moon Books, is a collaborative work bringing together essays written by over eighty scholars and practitioners of Goddess Spirituality, including contributions from Selena Fox, Kathy Jones, Caroline Wise and Rachel Patterson. A unique aspect of this book is that it is a two-part project with the first part of the book containing a series of contemplative and scholarly essays and the second part serving as a “gazetteer” of different goddesses, making it useful both as a reference book and as well as one that encourages reflective spiritual thought.

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