Bristol Goddess Temple: birth and growth

Weavers of Bristol Goddess Temple, Imbolc 2018: Nikki Haasz,  Dawn Osborne-Tiller, Ruth Cogan, Ruth Parham, Nikki Swann
Weavers of Bristol Goddess Temple, Imbolc 2018: Nikki Haasz, Dawn Osborne-Tiller, Ruth Cogan, Ruth Parham, Nikki Swann

The Bristol Goddess Temple opened its doors to the public for the first time on 5th August 2017. That day saw the birth into the world of a vision that had been cherished in the creative cauldron for several years – a birth that finally became possible when a room came up for rent in the Clocktower Association, a community space in Warmley on the eastern edge of Bristol. The Clocktower was already the home of a women's free-flow drumming circle and a monthly Moonlodge Red Tent held by Nikki Swann. Nikki gathered around her a small group of people who felt the call to help bring this vision into the light, and together we took a big leap of faith.

Continue reading "Bristol Goddess Temple: birth and growth"

Grandmother Speaks… The Cervix: Part One

by Susun Weed

Tor tower as gateway

I am the gateway; I am the door. I connect the inside to the outside. I decide which outside comes in. I control the flux and the flow. I hold the wise blood, or let it go. I protect the growing babe, or thrust it unformed into a world unsuitable. None leave, none enter, except by my grace, my decision. I am the passage of birth. I am the mark of the sun. I am as near as the reach of your finger, yet mysterious and hidden. Many women, most men, born through me, go their whole life without gazing upon me.

I offer blood to Mother Earth. I spin stretchy strings of fertile mucus to Grandmother Moon. I am as sensitive as the best hound’s nose, as authoritative as the wisest crone. I am not, and have never been, innocent. I am all seeing, though darkness is my constant companion, and my eye but single. (How curious that women in India believe I have two eyes.)

I know how to be firm and potent, how to stand strong against those who would storm my portal. I know how to be loose and soft, how to welcome those who bring future’s hope. I know how to efface myself and withdraw, making way, stretching myself to the utmost, opening wide in sweet surrender.

I pulse within you. I am your cervix, the mouth of your womb.

Continue reading "Grandmother Speaks… The Cervix: Part One"

Goddess Funerals go live!

FGoddess Temple Funerals logoor several months now, three members of Glastonbury Goddess Temple have been putting together plans to offer Goddess-focused funerals, both in Glastonbury and elsewhere in the UK.

“We are all priestesses, as well as independent funeral celebrants, and feel passionate about choice – the choice we all should have to celebrate the end of our life, and the lives of those we care about, in a way that reflects our beliefs, and the way we have lived our lives”, said Lorraine Pickles, one of the organisers. “For Goddess loving people, that may include a ceremony that reflects a belief that death is but a returning to Goddess. And for those who see death as a return to the shores of Avalon, this may be reflected in a variety of ceremonies both for those close to death, and for those who have crossed the veil.”
Continue reading "Goddess Funerals go live!"

Grandmother Speaks… The Vagina (Part 2)

by Susun Weed

Georgia O'Keeffe, Series 1, No. 8I am the sheath of the sword. I am toothed, armed, and ready to bite. I have the power to defend, to keep women safe. I am not passive, accepting, ready to be filled. I am aware, watchful, ready to reject what I don’t want and to seize what I will.

Listen to me and I will tell you how safe we are, right now, in this moment. When we are secure, I am open and receptive, moist and inviting. When we feel threatened, I become cold and hard, hot and tight, irritated, and inflamed. If the danger goes on and on, I weep, I am overrun.

In health and joy, I am a rich and thriving ecosystem: friendly yeasts, beneficial bacteria, and a generous assortment of slippery, slidey lubricants thrive in my tangy-tasting depths.

I am stretchy. I am expansive. Fill me and I yearn for more. I am yielding; I melt, I surrender. Yet in yielding, I deliver. I am the victor. I clench my fist and grab the prize. Mine. Continue reading "Grandmother Speaks… The Vagina (Part 2)"

The Oracle of Delphi, by Louise Sommer

A view from the mountains towards Delphi
A view from the mountains towards Delphi

She lies there, a sleeping beauty stretched out across the peaks of Mount Parnassus in northern Greece. The locals call her The Delphic Goddess. At sunset, she shines like a jewel in the most spellbinding colour of red ochre. In winter she is the only part of the mountains covered by pristine snow, shining like a white diamond towards the bright blue sky. Even the surrounding mountains seems to adore her. One can only wonder what mysteries her great beauty holds. Further down the mountain, hidden away in a valley, lies an almost forgotten treasure. It is the legacy of a culture where women were once the voice of Gaia and Great Seers of Destiny.

Calling on Persephone, by Penn Kemp

Pomegranate

Blessed be the lost ones, those who
left, in our opinion, too soon, whose
time, they say, had come. Blessed

be those whose lives have stopped
in their current form, the bodies we
know and miss. For it’s we who are

lacking, not they. Either they don’t
know any more or their essence has
dissolved to some fuller| plenitude

we too will come upon in our time.
Only the Goddess knows for sure
if we listen, if we reach out to Her.

Calling on Persephone, as seasons
darken, as night falls into autumn:
Take care of those we have lost.

*

The Three Comadres, by Susa Silvermarie

Watercolour of Nuestra Señora del Lago Chapala, by Susa Silvermarie
Watercolour of Nuestra Señora del Lago Chapala, by Susa Silvermarie

 

I. La Vieja Machis

The wind lifts the wild, white mane
of La Vieja Machis, Lake Chapala Goddess.
She protects the lake from which she rises,
and guides the beings blessed to live
under its lacustrine sway.
Blowing from the four Directions,
she gifts the patterns of the winds
to fishers and farmers and poets.

Over the sea of the lake
she mediates the moon,
as month after month I learn
how to grow old like her.
Lake Woman Machis receives
the colors of the world,
and in her moving palette
mixes them continually.
Sometimes she stirs a whirlpool,
or flings to the clouds a waterspout.
Often her waters show me
the stillness of the mountains.
Always, she brings abundance
and floods the lakeside air
with the aromatic bromide of her soul.

Review: “The World Is Your Oracle: Divinatory Practices for Tapping Your Inner Wisdom and Getting the Answers You Need”, by Nancy Vedder-Shults

Reviewed by Carolyn Boyd

Nancy Vedder-Shults’s The World Is Your Oracle is a beautiful, insightful, and compassionate guide to “divination” — listening to the sacred voice within to bring into consciousness the wisdom your soul already possesses. Our modern world teaches us to ignore the tremendous understanding and knowledge we all have about ourselves and each other and about how we should live our lives. So, Nancy teaches us how to first bring our minds into a state that allows us to access all that is inside us, then to use various techniques to experience and interpret messages expressed in the soul’s language of symbols.

The heart of the book is instructional. First she explains how to prepare yourself to receive your answer by defining your question clearly, preparing your space, setting your intentions and asking for guidance, and grounding and centering. Then she offers step-by-step instructions on 40 different means of divination. Finally, she invites you to interpret what you have experienced. The divination techniques are divided into visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, or body-focused, methods and the reader is encouraged to determine which is most resonant for them, or try them all. The techniques range from ancient standbys, like dowsing and drumming, to more contemporary ones like balloon diagrams. Most need little or no special equipment, and some only use actions you do every day, like walking. Continue reading "Review: “The World Is Your Oracle: Divinatory Practices for Tapping Your Inner Wisdom and Getting the Answers You Need”, by Nancy Vedder-Shults"