At the Crossroads

An excerpt of Chapter 1 from Goddess Matters: the Mystical, Practical, and Controversial , copyright 2011 by Judith Laura.

Goddess MattersIf you told me in the mid-1970s, when I first started exploring the ancient reverence for female deities, that less than a quarter of a century later there would be hundreds of thousands of people in the United States whose spiritual lives were Goddess-centered,[1]  I wouldn’t have believed you.

At that time, as I made my way though Mothers and Amazons by Helen Diner and Women’s Mysteries by Esther Harding, I felt very alone. Then an article in Ms Magazine put me in touch with the journal, WomanSpirit. In the 1980s, I discovered the journals Woman of Power and The Beltane Papers. How thrilling to find that there were probably at least a few hundred women out there, exploring this new way to think about religion. Continue reading "At the Crossroads"

Beth’s Blessing

by Judith Laura

Three Part Invention, by Judith Laura

This is an excerpt from Judith Laura's novel, Three Part Invention, which takes place in the US and is told by three generations of mothers and daughters: Alice, a piano teacher, who comes of age during the Depression and gives birth to Beth just before the US enters World War II; Beth, who comes of age during the 1960s and gives birth to Alexis a few years later. This part of their story takes place when Beth is about 15-years-old. For more about the novel, including other excerpts, see


By the end of 8th grade, Beth was in Confirmation class at Rodof Shalom. At the Conservative synagogue, B'nai, boys were Bar Mitzvahed and now some girls were beginning to have something like it called a Bat Mitzvah except that the girls' was on Friday night instead of Saturday morning. But at Rodof Shalom, a Reform Temple, they just had Confirmation, which was for both girls and boys. The place where the Services were held, called the sanctuary, was completely different from either of the other two synagogues Beth had been to. It had stained glass windows, dark red upholstered seats, and an organ. The Ark was white with the Shema written in gold above the doors, which parted to reveal the Torahs when the rabbi pressed a button.

Continue reading "Beth’s Blessing"

The Meeting

by Judith Laura

On a dark autumn night with only a waning crescent moon lighting the sky, Cora made her way up from the subway and onto the streets of the city. She feared going out at night. But her desire to attend the meeting of her women's political action group was stronger than her fear.

Her confidence boosted by the high pitched emergency whistle she wore around her neck, the canister of chemical spray in her purse, and her recently completed beginner's course in Karate, Cora weaved her way among the men congregating on corners and the homeless shivering against the buildings and lying on top of the subway grates.

Continue reading "The Meeting"