Issue 22, Winter 2012/Spring 2013
The Initiation of the Crone, by Rachel Mayatt
Articles & Fiction
by Melinda Marton
My first meeting with the Goddess
I moved to Copenhagen in January 2009, to live together with my Danish boyfriend. One evening I walked with him to Kastellet, to see the Little Mermaid, one of the most famous Danish tourist attractions. On the way, I saw the Gefjon fountain made by Anders Bungaard in 1897-99). It was breathtakingly beautiful and so alive!
I asked my boyfriend about the fountain, and that is how I heard that according to the myth, Gefjon was the founder of Zealand (the largest county in Denmark, called Sjæland in Danish) also known as “the devil’s island” – I wonder why! (read more...)
by Sheila Rose Bright
The first time my sister Leslie went to Mexico, she asked a local man: “Do you know where the moon is?” He hesitated, then pointed and said: “Sometimes it’s over there.” But it wasn’t – not that week.
Before she went to Mexico again, Leslie consulted her astrologer sister (me). “I want to see the moon over the sea,” she said. I asked which direction the sea is from Puerto Vallata. West, she told me. So she chose the dates for her holiday as advised, and sure enough there was the moon shining over, then setting into, the sea before bedtime. However, if she’d been going to the east coast of Mexico and wanted to see moonlight on the sea, she would need to have chosen a different week for her holiday! (read more...)
by Susun S. Weed
Herbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It is simple, safe, effective, and free. Our ancestors knew how to use an enormous variety of plants for health and well-being. Our neighbors around the world continue to use local plants for healing and health maintenance, and you can too.
In your first lesson, you learned how to "listen" to the messages of plant's tastes. And you discovered that using plants in water bases (as teas, infusions, vinegars, and soups) -- and as simples -- allows you to experiment with and explore herbal medicine safely.
In your second lesson, you learned about herbs for teas and how to preserve and use their volatile oils. You learned about vitamin- and mineral-rich herbal infusions, and how to use them to promote health and longevity. And you continued to think about using herbs simply. (read more...)
by Patricia Monaghan
This was very kindly sent to us just a couple of days ago by Michael McDermott, Patricia Monaghan’s husband. He writes:
Brigit prayer beads were developed by my beloved wife and partner in all things for comfort while she was on her journey of hope and disappointment with cancer. She always upheld the importance of daily prayer and stressed the creativity and peace of craft work. These led her to create these beads. She felt it important to seek the goddess in her own Irish heritage and this is one result. We prayed with these refrains on the beads (even called them Brigit rosaries) daily and had profound love and hope as we spoke the words and let the connections sink in. We took the beads to Kildare last year for the Brigid festival and felt great connections and gratitude. May you find the same peace and grounding that we did when you use the prayers. Please credit Patricia if these are republished.
To make Brigit Prayer beads: put three units of three beads each, with divider beads between. You may put any number of divider beads between individual beads; place a larger number between the units of three beads. Place one large bead at the point you wish to indicate as the “beginning.” When using, you can repeat each of the following prayers either three times each, or nine times (in the latter case you will go round the beads three times to complete). (read more...)
by Mari Ziolkowski
well, we were not exactly in the cremation grounds, as we were all westerners living in a large west coast city, and the closest we could get to cremation grounds was outside a columbarium* ... however, at my impetus, there we were.
i had been following a path that was slowly revealing itself to be a part of goddess oriented tantric traditions, and to my surprise, felt a call to meditate in a graveyard. no, i wasn't crazy, and no, i'm not a ghost whisperer. rather, it was an inner directive. part of the left handed tantric path in india, it's true --
however, we weren't in india and i didn't have a guru. surprisingly i found a few kindred souls who wanted to join me. two men and one women, all having practiced in different traditions. one was following a native american path. one was following an initiated shakta tantric path. one was following the path of dreaming. one was following some of all of the above -- me. the columbarium being in a residential neighborhood, not situated conveniently on the ganges like in india, we chanted together inside my car. creating safe sacred space, in hope that energy raised would be of assistance to any souls who were stuck there ... the more chanting, the more heart opening energy, the more we sent it out freely to those in need ... (read more...)
by Rachael Clyne
I was in my thirties, training as a psychotherapist and in therapy when I was first introduced to the idea of Goddess. I was struggling to resolve my sense of identity as a woman, which had long been uncertain. My therapist, of Catholic background, suggested Mary as a start, but at that point it felt too scary for a Jewish girl! I found myself initially drawn to Kwan Yin even though I knew nothing about her.
I then went on a week’s holiday to Crete, without any hint of what lay there for me- interesting choice you might say. It was the first time I had been away on my own. I was staggered by the feeling of warm, baked- bread breath that enfolded me as I stepped from the plane and of the constant voice that welcomed and guided me that week. Most of the time I struggled with loneliness and obsessive thoughts that everyone else had someone but me. However, with amazing timing I arrived at Greek Easter and my trip turned into a life-changing pilgrimage of death and rebirth, of revisiting and remembering places of a past life as a priestess there, at Knossos Throne Room and the Dictian Cave where I left my defunct wedding ring as an offering. I found myself offering gestures and spontaneous prayers to Goddess, with loving messages from her as she reached out to me. I even found a statue of Kwan Yin in Herakleon among the Minoan depictions. (read more...)
by Crystal Dawn Walker
Birthing is a messy process and re-birthing oneself into a new way of being in the world can potentially be even messier. Physical birth includes emotions, physical exertion, and multiple body fluids, while psychological rebirthing includes reviewing emotional baggage, mopping up outworn juicy assumptions, behaviors, and preconceived notions, as well as engagement with one’s shadow self.
My current rebirthing pertains to graduate school, which feels on one hand like a recycling of my young adult self—who became lost into the mists of time—and on the other hand, a renewing and revitalizing of myself onto a higher octave within the spiral of my life. Through this new academic soul searching and occasionally gut wrenching process, I have ended my first graduate year successfully as a Priestess and as Queen of myself. No small feat! (read more...)
by Rachel Mayatt
The last article I wrote for the Goddess Pages in issue 14 was about my thoughts on entering menopause and the ‘magical dance’ that occurs during this time. Recently I have further considered the messages that this stage in my life has given me and wanted to update my thoughts and share them with you.
The last few months particularly have held some interesting experiences, thoughts and events for me. It has made me think over big issues – you know the kind I mean: Life, the Universe and Everything!! First of all in the spring, we lost a couple of pets to illness and old age, and I was aware of some very tragic events that occurred to people I know, losing precious young family members to accidents and other sad situations. Then I fell ill to a very nasty attack of the flu and for a few weeks was really unable to do anything more than lie in bed and rest. This gave me a lot of time to think. Although I wasn’t anywhere near death’s door, I still observed that as I grow older, things don’t always work as well as they used to and maybe I needed to take more care of my body and health. (read more...)
by Patricia Monaghan
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.
Do these words sound familiar? American readers probably guess that it’s part of The Declaration of Independence. European readers might think of Mary Wollstonecraft or another early feminist.
Both wrong. Now read a little further:
The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
“He allows her in church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church. (read more...)
By Carolyn Lee Boyd
In Joan’s time, tranquility, prosperity and contentment were as newly abundant as the ocean while kindness and compassion were as commonplace as air. Still, Joan dreamt over and over of a tormented woman staring through hazy torchlight into the sanctuary of a cave held deep inside a mountain. Painted horses raced around the walls, unchained from the stone, while Paleolithic dancers circled round and round an altar in the center, their heels pounding grooves into the stone floor.
The woman stood apart from them and wept, her hands covering her face, holding herself back from running into the realm of the ecstatic celebrants. Finally, the woman faded into nonexistence, the horses leapt back onto the wall, and the people’s dance unwound until they, too, dissipated. As the last dancer dissolved into invisibility, she revealed someone else in the cave, a woman shaman who was just finishing a painting of a female figure whose radiant eyes knew the beginning of human time. When the cave was empty, Joan awoke.
Joan knew from the standing woman’s clothing that she was from the dreaded, revered, almost mythical 21st century and she shared her consciousness, as one sometimes does in a dream. When the woman’s adrenaline spiked in Joan’s veins, Joan understood that the woman’s distress was not simply a momentary anomaly, as it most often was in her own time, but rather was a constant layered state of being suffered by everyone all the time in that era of the past. Violence, repression, environmental disaster, disease, and hunger were always only a few steps away in the woman’s everyday life, so present that she was usually not aware of her constant anxiety. The woman did not yet know that her generations’ vision and courage had won the people of Joan’s century a lifetime of waking up each morning knowing that today everyone would be safe, fed, sheltered, and free. (read more...)