The Amazon Woman of Kilda: Part 2

by Jill Smith

Inspired by how Jill 'saw' and experienced the Amazon in the Glen
Inspired by how Jill 'saw' and experienced the Amazon in the Glen
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In the Spring 2012 edition of Goddess Pages I wrote of my visits to the Amazon House on St Kilda, which lies at least 60 miles to the west of mainland Scotland.

This archipelago has an almost mythical hold on many people, drawing them to visit, and in the past was almost legendary, as the islands disappear and re-appear faintly on the horizon like some version of Tir nan Og, tantalising viewers in the Western Isles of Scotland. I too was ‘called’ by them over several decades before finding an affordable way to physically reach them.

These remains of an ancient volcano, whose cliffs rise sheer from the clear deep bottle-green ocean, were inhabited from prehistoric times, being a likely stopping-off point as people hopped round the coasts from Scandinavia to Ireland. There is little early evidence as stone used in buildings was continuously re-used for later development, but advances in archaeology enable finds which push back the dates of habitation. Continue reading "The Amazon Woman of Kilda: Part 2"

Wishes for Goddess Pages

by Jill Smith

The Moon and the Mountain - the Standstill Journey
The Moon and the Mountain - the Standstill Journey

I was delighted when Geraldine asked me to write something for this first edition of the Goddess Pages magazine. I wish her all the very best of luck with it.

There are not that many magazines dedicated to Goddess/goddess spirituality or indeed women’s spirituality; at least not that I am aware of here in Britain. There is the excellent Goddess Alive!

There must be others like myself whose life does not include computers and the internet in any great way, so I hope that one day Goddess Pages may become a paper magazine. How I treasure my boxes and filing cabinet drawers full of old and wonderful magazines from decades ago. It is amazing how the internet reaches all over the world, but it can also be very transient. I print everything I want to read properly not just that which I want to keep. Even long e-mails. But, the Internet has brought my work to many who would otherwise not know of it, so I am not complaining. I just feel that sometimes it is forgotten that the Internet is only one of many ways of communicating, not the only way. Continue reading "Wishes for Goddess Pages"

My Quest for the Amazon Woman of Hirte

by Jill Smith

"Reaching Out", by Jill SmithThe “Amazon Woman” of Hirte, or St. Kilda, has called to me for three decades, tantalising, seeming to play hard to get, toying with me then slowly allowing me into her realm.

When I wrote my book Mother of the Isles (Dor Dama Press 2003) I had not yet managed to visit her. I had tried for 15 years, to no avail. Chartered boats were too expensive, cruises couldn’t guarantee to stop there and places on NT working parties impossible to get on. It was only when Angus Campbell of Kilda Cruises began day-trips in a speed-boat in 2005 that for me it finally became possible.

Where is St. Kilda (or Hiort or Hirte)? Forty miles west of the Western Isles, which are themselves a long way west of Scotland. Rocky remnants of an ancient volcano, the group of islands and stacs rise sheer from the depths of dark green water, covered with hundreds of thousands of sea-birds which the islanders hunted precariously through millennia until the last few people left in 1930.

Continue reading "My Quest for the Amazon Woman of Hirte"

Thoughts on importing Celtic Goddesses into the Southern Hemisphere

by Jill Smith

Brighde of the Elements, by Jill SmithA point which Geraldine brought up in Issue 7 gave me much food for thought. She expressed concern about importing Celtic Goddesses into lands in the Southern Hemisphere, if this is indeed happening.

This is a topic which has long bothered me, but with an even broader spectrum of concern.

There are many different concepts amongst us of what “Goddess” is; what "a" goddess is; "the" goddess is ...

I do not have “a” goddess like a female version of “God”. My goddesses are pretty well all in some way or other manifestations of the spirit of place. This includes an awful lot: aspects of the seasons - very much related to place, weather, landscape on many levels - the depth and quality of rock and all the ancient and current forces which created it, its earth, its plants, its animals and the quality of life of the people who have grown from and made their living upon it.

Continue reading "Thoughts on importing Celtic Goddesses into the Southern Hemisphere"