Author: Barbara Ardinger

“Fierce Feminine Divinities of Eurasia and Latin America: Baba Yaga, Kali, Pombagira, and Santa Muerte”, by Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba.

Prof. Oleszkiewicz-Peralba, who is a professor of modern languages and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio, opens her new book by telling us how the goddesses named in the title—and their worshippers today—are marginal and liminal. The term “liminality,” she says, referring to the work of Victor Turner, comes from two Latin words, limen (“threshold”) and limes (“limit”) “and indicates a state in between structure, which is characterized by ambiguity and ambivalence and is usually connected to marginality, inferiority [and] ritual powers” (pp. 3-4).

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Finding New Goddesses

We’re delighted to have these extracts from Barbara’s Finding New Goddesses and hope to have more in coming issues, but if you can’t wait, there’s a link below so you can buy the book right away!

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Some Goddesses and Ideas for Spring

The wheel of fortune isn’t just a TV show or a gambling device. Fortuna is another of those early Roman civic goddesses. Her statues show her holding an overflowing cornucopia in one hand and a ship’s rudder in her other hand. Beside her stands her wheel, a multivalent symbol that we see in mandalas, the wheel of the year, the zodiac, and the rose windows of Gothic cathedrals. Although Fortuna is sometimes blindfolded, she’s not just “Lady Luck.” Her name originally meant “she who brings,” and what she brings is what happens in our lives. She steers our fate with her rudder, and her cornucopia shows that she can bring us wealth. What she brings in early spring is fertility—crops, animals, humans. The Greeks called her Tyche, the Anglo-Saxons called her Wyrd, and in the medieval Christian church she was known as St. Agatha.

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The Computer Goddesses

Our Found Goddesses are the ones we make up. Sure, we can appeal to Aphrodite for love and Ops when our bank account is running dry and Frigga to get our house in order, but which of the traditional goddesses is in charge of computers? We Find new goddesses to deal with modern issues.

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