Issue 12, Winter 2009
The Crone - photo by Ann Cook
Articles & Fiction
by Elizabeth A Kaufman
As a Pagan, Goddess-worshipping witch and priestess, I have over the past thirty years celebrated the Winter Solstice in a variety of ways. As my path evolved, I made appropriate changes and adjustments, but never quite found that which truly felt right. In 2007 however, I came across a rite for Helios on one of the Hellenistic reconstructionist groups I belong to which provided the inspiration I needed.
While that rite, celebrated over three or nine nights, was dedicated to Helios, mine would be dedicated to those goddesses I most revere. While celebrating the season of turning inward for renewal and hope, I would honor the darkness of the days as looking inward for wisdom, finding that wisdom and then honoring the return and growth born of that wisdom, the return of light.
by Sheila Rose Bright
When we are mourning the recent loss of a beloved person, animal, object or situation, we often feel like hell. Frequently we feel that life isn’t worth living any more, that there is no point to life, that we’d rather die, that we’ll never stop feeling as miserable as we currently do, and that we’ll never get over the loss or feel happy again.
Been there? I have, many times. We almost all will, some of us many times, before we come to be the one to die, the one who is lost and grieved rather than the one who is left and grieving. The Goddess cannot take this pain away from us. Believing in her will not save us from going through our own excruciating grief. She will not even take the sharp edge off it. She neither can nor should rescue us from our grieving, because it is our healing process. To be human is to feel loss and grief. But she can make an enormous difference to how we get through it, if we ask for her help.
by Susun S Weed
Deep within you, whether you are aware of it or not, is your primal need for breast. It is part of you; it was born with you. It has been with you for millions of years.
When you emerged into the world of air, hunger came with you. And linked to hunger was the remedy for hunger, already known to you. You had, at birth, the skill to guide yourself to it by touch, by smell, by warmth, by sweetness. You had, and still have, internal, ancient coding to find the breast and suck.
‘Find the breast and suck.’ This message sings in you, in every one of us, from birth to death. It says: ‘Find the breast, source of nourishment, source of contentment.’ It urges: ‘Find the breast, where hunger ceases, where you are one with the mother, one with the pulsing heart of the Mother, at one with Breast/Heart/Mother/All.’
By Rachael Clyne
This April I turned sixty thus achieving cronehood, but I felt my journey began two years before in the summer of 2007, when what is known as my second Saturn return (Crone’s male counterpart) really kicked in; and boy did it kick in! Saturn returns are slow, grinding and thorough re-evaluations of our values and structures, often restrictive and lasting around two years.
That summer was the end of the cycle and I was shaken by the revelation that a lifelong friendship which I’d fully expected to last through old age, had run its course. I felt Saturn placed a scythe in my hand and I had to sever the cord that bound us together. Like someone said, once out, I couldn’t put the cork back in the bottle. It was inevitably fraught and painful as we separated our commitments over several months, and decades of sharing our lives, work and our spiritual journeys were all flung apart to distant memory.
by Judith Laura
This is an excerpt from Judith Laura's novel, Three Part Invention, which takes place in the US and is told by three generations of mothers and daughters: Alice, a piano teacher, who comes of age during the Depression and gives birth to Beth just before the US enters World War II; Beth, who comes of age during the 1960s and gives birth to Alexis a few years later. This part of their story takes place when Beth is about 15-years-old. For more about the novel, including other excerpts, see http://judithlaura.com/3PI.html
By the end of 8th grade, Beth was in Confirmation class at Rodof Shalom. At the Conservative synagogue, B'nai, boys were Bar Mitzvahed and now some girls were beginning to have something like it called a Bat Mitzvah except that the girls' was on Friday night instead of Saturday morning. But at Rodof Shalom, a Reform Temple, they just had Confirmation, which was for both girls and boys. The place where the Services were held, called the sanctuary, was completely different from either of the other two synagogues Beth had been to. It had stained glass windows, dark red upholstered seats, and an organ. The Ark was white with the Shema written in gold above the doors, which parted to reveal the Torahs when the rabbi pressed a button.