Issue 27, Summer/Autumn 2015
by Foosiya (Freddie) Miller
photo by Geraldine Charles
Articles & Fiction
Adapted from a talk given by Helen Anthony at the
Glastonbury Goddess Conference, 2014
Kathy Jones invited me to be one of eight older women to offer some “Crone Wisdom” at this Crone Conference. I am choosing to bring you my Crone Wisdom mainly through poetry. I love the work of many different poets. As Rose Flint said in her talk yesterday, most published poets are men. However, things are slowly changing. We now have a woman Poet Laureate here in the UK – the wonderful Carol Ann Duffy. I have included three out of eight women writers in my choice of poems.
Sadly, I myself do not have the gift of being able to write poetry – but poetry (and indeed, good literature) is one of my passions. I agree with Starhawk, who spoke yesterday about the importance of words and metaphors. The other themes of my talk are enthusiasms in old age and networking by older people.
My talk today is like a bunch of flowers – which I offer to all of you. To quote the 16th Century French writer, Michel de Montaigne (1533 -1592) – “I have gathered a bunch of other men’s flowers & all that is mine is the thread that binds them”. Each poem I’ve chosen is a flower. The thread that binds them can be, in itself, an important thing and I believe that the Goddess gave me particular gifts in the areas of connecting, binding together and networking. I love to connect things, to connect ideas, to connect people and to be a networker. As a classic “Virgo Rising” I pay attention to details and I enjoy facilitating all kinds of connections and links – introducing people to new places, to new experiences & to each other. In doing these things, I firmly believe in the saying that – “Success is the sum of a lot of small things – correctly done”.
by Elizabeth Chloe Erdmann
My passion is nomadic theology which I define as a theological position that is always on the move, transgressing traditional religious boundaries with a feminist lens. According to my age I am a third wave feminist, though I don’t always find this distinction useful. Hovering over the gap between second and third wave feminism is a question for all feminists: what can keep the liberation coming? What methods and tools need to be passed on so feminism as a movement does not lose steam or become silenced after gaining ground?
I argue many answers to this question can be found within the second wave itself. The Women’s Liberation of the 1960s and 1970s brought to the foreground many insights about the value of voice, experience, and representation that are still rippling. One of the methods frequently employed was consciousness raising groups where women united through, as feminist theologian Judith Plaskow words it: the “yeah, yeah experience”. Sparks of inner knowing were set off in these sharing, non-judgmental groups that many times led to and sustained activism, political movements, and new ways of understanding. One method of keeping the tool of valuing one’s experience and voice as women, while still living in a patriarchal system, is through embedding feminist critiques, values, and ideas with a view to the long haul. In other words seeking to pass on a torch that is a living flame. (read more…)
by Susun S Weed
Herbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It is simple, safe, effective, and free. Our ancestors used — and our neighbors around the world still use — plant medicines for healing and health maintenance. It’s easy. You can do it too, and you don’t need a degree or any special training.
Ancient memories arise in you when you begin to use herbal medicine. These lessons are designed to nourish and activate those memories and your inner herbalist so you can be your own herbal expert.
In our first session, we learned how to “listen” to the messages of plant’s tastes. In session two, about simples and water-based herbal remedies. In the third, I distinguished safe (nourishing and tonifying) herbs from more dangerous (stimulating and sedating) herbs. Our fourth session focused on poisons; we made tinctures and an Herbal Medicine Chest. Our fifth dealt with herbal vinegars, and the sixth with herbal oils.
In this, our seventh session, we will think about how we think about healing. (read more…)
by Louise Sommer, MA Ed. Psych.
The Camino has been hiding secrets, for centuries, that reach deep into the mysteries of ancient Europe.
The Hidden Camino is not only a deep and personal spiritual account, it is also a pilgrims’ guide, a love story and a celebration of Life. It is about discoveries that reach deep into the mysteries of ancient Europe, the Celtic legend of Tir-na-nóg, the church’s painful deceit and most of all, WHY it was so important for the church to suppress women and the truth about Mary Magdalene..
Mary Magdalene & Her church
In January 2010, a long series of deeply touching and also provocative dreams began. The first dream was about Mary Magdalene and Her church. In later dreams, Magdalene was joined by many other goddessess from around the world, several whom I never had heard of. The dreams were so intense, that I couldn’t shake them off. They made me ask questions I had never previously thought of, they pushed me to open my eyes and actually see, and thus began an adventure beyond my wildest dreams.
by Atasha Fyfe
As a past life therapist I’ve noticed a trend developing in recent years: the healing of past life wounds to the feminine side of our nature.
This applies to men as well as women. Because we experience both male and female lives, men also have wounds to their yin side. However, while some men do become aware of this, it’s more usual for this kind of issue to come up for healing during a female life.
Women now have freedoms which they haven’t had for centuries. New doors are opening that were always firmly shut before. Despite this, many feel that an invisible chain is still somehow holding them back. That chain often turns out to be an experience in a former lifetime, which attacked or oppressed their female nature.
The good news is these wounds can be healed. Just unearthing those memories from the subconscious removes the power they once had over us. While it’s still unconscious, a negative memory will constantly whisper fearful messages to us. This influences our choices and decisions in ways that are difficult to trace at the time. As Professor Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”. (read more…)
Story by Carolyn Lee Boyd
Illustrations by Nanri Tenney
A tiny ray of sunlight caressed the arm of the Goddess of Compassion as she lingered for just one more moment by the open window of her cottage. Though a deity universal and known by many names among Earth’s religions, she chose to dwell among the humans she served in humble places closest to those most in need of her. She had only a few seconds to savor the solitude of her tiny one-room dwelling that was not quite in, not quite beyond the forest, wonder at the meaning of the sparrow’s constant conversation with its companions, and lose herself in the pungent blooms from her herb garden before a human cry of despair filled the space between the walls and she once again rushed away to where she was needed. Early in human history, the number of humans was small and her life was leisurely, but now the voices crying for help were so legion that she could rarely tell one from the other anymore, though each was still uniquely beloved. She was drowned constantly by the never-ending wail of despair. (read more…)
Poetry & Reviews