Issue 16, Spring 2011

Goddess Pages - Issue 16 "Earth, Air, Water, Fire", by Sophie Breillat

Earth, Air, Water, Fire, by Sophie Breillat

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Articles & Fiction

by Becky Thomas

Nevern ChurchIn the little Pembrokeshire village of Nevern you will find a small church which was founded by Brynach, who is identified as a 6th century Welsh saint originating from Ireland. However as in the story of many saints, in Brynach’s tale there are hints of a much older history. Perhaps Brynach was a hero figure or even a God of our Pagan Welsh ancestors.

The true story of Brynach may be lost but there are hints of his origin to be found if you look for it. There is a brief mention in the Trioedd Ynys Prydein, “"Triads of the Island of Britain" of Brynach Wyddel (translated as Brynach the Irishman), of Dinas Affaraon who was given the gift of a wolf by Henwen the sow of Dallweir Dallpen though sadly the rest of this tale has been lost.  However, even in the Christian telling of the life of Saint Brynach there are clear indications that he may have been something other than a mortal man for it tells of Brynach, the man who tamed beasts and who was master of two magical stags, a cow which produced a limitless supply of milk and a tame wolf.

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by Susun S. Weed

goldenrodI love autumn, don't you? The days shorten and fall colors thrill my senses. Perennial roots get busy storing nourishment that will last them through the winter. And the meadows bloom with purple asters and riotous goldenrod flowers.

Goldenrod (the Solidago genus, Asteracea family) is one of my favorite plants, and hopefully, soon it will be one of your favorites too.

Before you complain that goldenrod is a pest and you're allergic to it, let me set the record straight: You aren't. No one is, no one can be, allergic to goldenrod pollen. Why? It has virtually none. What little pollen it makes is sticky, all the better to stick onto insects who pollinate the goldenrod. Only wind-pollinated plants - like ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia), which blooms at the same time as goldenrod, and has an especially irritating pollen - make enough pollen, and spread it widely enough, to cause allergic reactions.

Set aside your mistaken bad thoughts about lovely goldenrod, and, if you can, visit a patch. Goldenrod is a wide-spread wild plant in North America (found from Florida to New Hampshire and west into Texas), Europe, and Asia. Goldenrod is also treasured as a garden plant from New Zealand to Germany, and has become a highly-successful weed in Japan. So, no matter where you live as you read this article, it is likely that you can find a patch of goldenrod.

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by Rachael Clyne

Cave of the Goddess, by Rachael ClyneMany and varied are the ways we connect with spiritual experience; whether through meditation, ceremony, service, childbirth, lovemaking, sport, moments of wild wonder in nature, losing oneself in acts of creativity or simply whilst standing at the kitchen sink. We can also experience deep connection in times of pain, loss and extremis.

Some of the most powerful spiritual times of my life were witnessing the death of my sister and later my parents; especially afterwards when I felt their presence communicating the mystery of passing over that particular threshold. There are endless interpretations of what is meant by spiritual experience and this article does not pretend to answer such questions, only to share with you a small piece of my own.

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by Barbara Barnett

crystalsThis is a continuation of the article I started in the Autumn edition of Goddess Pages, on “21 Women”, a chapter in ‘Awakening Osiris’ by Normandi Ellis. In the Autumn edition I worked with the first ten of the women, seeking to learn more about them by allocating to each a path on the tree of life and a crystal correspondence. In this second part of the article I will work with the remaining eleven women.

The eleventh woman ‘interrogates a man’s soul’. She is the first of nine women who carry out this task. ‘She pierces a man with the flame of her eye.’ Her name is not known.

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by Grannie Burton

apple

Do you call yourself a vegan, a vegetarian, a lacto-vegetarian, a person intolerant of wheat or dairy or citrus or some other food product?  Do you find yourself worrying about what you will eat, how much or how little?  Do you carry around potions and pills to boost your nutrition and count the amount of water you drink each day?  In other words, do you define yourself by what you put in your mouth?

When you go and stay away from home, do you fret about what you will eat, what you will drink?  Is the first thing you say when invited to someone's house 'I don't eat … oh no not for me ...' in utter horror?  Do you read the back of every food packet, maybe with a magnifying glass to make the print legible?  Do you worry about where your food has come from, how it has grown, how it has been treated?

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by Lesley Jackson

"Seshat", by Jeff DahlThe Ancient Egyptians, wise people, had goddesses aplenty but the fame of a few, such as Isis and Hathor, has overshadowed and absorbed many others. Like women, goddesses have not escaped being stereotyped but not all will fit the maiden-mother-crone model nor are they all earth focused. One of these is the scribal goddess Seshat.

The literal translation of her name is ‘female scribe’. Many of her epithets reflect this aspect of her, such as “lady of writing, the chief of the library”.1  Seshat is often considered the consort of Thoth, the god of wisdom and writing, or merely his female equivalent. Seshat frequently merits no more than a brief entry in the dictionaries of Egyptian deities. Many seem to pass her by, assuming her to be merely a cut-down, female version of the God of the Scribes and a very minor goddess long since eclipsed by her more glamorous, all-encompassing sisters; a footnote amongst the Egyptian goddesses.  Sometimes the footnotes are worth following up though and I have discovered that there is much more to Our Lady of Writing than appears at first sight. (read more...)

by Brenda Lightfeather Marroy

 "Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.” Anonymous Woman

Cradling the World

As I ponder the times we live in, I’m conscious of the downward spiral of our civilization. We live in a world of an ailing economy and massive unemployment.  Greed and corruption are rampant, and the news of global and environmental catastrophes fill the airwaves.

This is the age of globalization so you’d think we would be enjoying the effects of an interconnected world with increased consciousness of the planet as a whole. However, instead we are more disjointed and separated than ever.

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by Barbara Ardinger

roseIt is said that through her lovingkindness Beauty tamed the Beast and made him human again. What if Beauty herself needed to be tamed? What if something else was going on there?

At the edge of the winter city, upon the very brim of the wilderness, sat the house of the Alchemist, and here the Alchemist had passed his long years. Here in his laboratories, among his fires of green and purple and his books written in alphabets of mystery, here the Alchemist was content.

Although the Alchemist was as remote and chilly as his location, people nonetheless came to see him—lords and ladies, generals and bishops, burghers and courtiers—and he would listen to their voices and sell them talismans and enchantments that might grant their wishes. A sliver from a secret bar of mysterious metal, a pinch of red powder wrapped in white paper, a coal that burned in cold flames of magenta and chartreuse, all these he had sold to one or another who sought audience with him.

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A Novel by Clarise Samuels

Chapter 5: On the Way to Iceland

Iceland from Space, 2004 (NASA) - or maybe from Asgard?

Now that I was awake and Sigurd was quickly becoming smitten with me, he was still not quite sure how to proceed.

I gently led Sigurd away from Mount Hindarfiall and the castle, which had been reduced to misty vapors and a foundation of blackened ruins. His horse, terrified by the bizarre events taking place at the summit, was nervously awaiting us on the path about halfway down the mountain. Sigurd took Grani’s harness, patted him on the head, and spoke to him soothingly. Somewhat mollified, the animal of divine lineage willingly followed his master on the path leading to the bottom of the mountain. “What now?” Sigurd asked, his face screwed up in a hard squint under the bright sunlight.

I gently led Sigurd away from Mount Hindarfiall and the castle, which had been reduced to misty vapors and a foundation of blackened ruins. His horse, terrified by the bizarre events taking place at the summit, was nervously awaiting us on the path about halfway down the mountain. Sigurd took Grani’s harness, patted him on the head, and spoke to him soothingly. Somewhat mollified, the animal of divine lineage willingly followed his master on the path leading to the bottom of the mountain. “What now?” Sigurd asked, his face screwed up in a hard squint under the bright sunlight.

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 Poetry & Reviews

By Dora Wright

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By Meggie Hiley

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by Annelinde Metzner

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by Doreen Hopwood

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Reviewed by Sue Oxley

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Reviewed by Mari Ziolkowski

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Reviewed by Paul Williment

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A review by Vanda Lloyd

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