by Dr. Rev. Karen Tate
A plethora of sacred sites of Goddess can be found on almost every continent, ranging from archaeological sites and churches to museums, industrial parks and natural landscapes. The variety of these sites depicts the diversity of her worship across the globe from living traditions thousands of years old to contemporary temples founded and blossoming during the last decade. With each of these locales one discovers the treasure trove that is the herstory of the Sacred Feminine.
These destinations reveal the many faces and aspects of She of Ten Thousand Names and her profound age, coming alive in the human psyche over 36,000 years ago, long before worship of any male gods. We know this because her devotees have left their mark on herstory from standing temple stones and textiles to ancient texts, artifacts and the traditions that thrive today. These holy sites are fast becoming recognized pilgrimage sites for women and men as they incorporate the Divine Feminine into their spiritual repertoire. The Sites are particularly important to women’s psychological and religious identities, since they can see in all these strong archetypal feminine images of Goddess traditions where women were heroines, queens and divine, that they too were also created in the image of deity. The sites substantiate a time of egalitarian societies, when women held power and influence and were not relegated to second class status as with the advent of the Abrahamic religions.
Some sacred sites of Goddess reflect an intersection of religions and earlier cultures, such as the holy places of the Saint named Brigid blending with Goddess Brigid in Ireland and Our Lady of Guadalupe mixing with the Aztec Goddess, Tonantzin, in Mexico City. In both these destinations we discover the pagan Goddess intermingled with Christianity, just as we find, over and over again, churches which have been built atop ancient pagan holy places, co-opting the previous religion of the people of the land, since churches for Guadalupe were built atop the sacred sites for Tonantzin. We also discover the pagan Goddess’ aspects, symbols and titles were passed along much like a baton to the new face of the Sacred Feminine, usually Mary, the mother of Jesus, because the people refused to give up their ancient Great Mother. One example of this was with the Goddess Artemis in Ephesus, whose temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We also find with some sleuthing, sites or artifacts sacred to Goddess which would greatly surprise most people, particularly the Kabaa stone of Mecca, which was once worshiped as Goddess, according to early Muslim scholars. We learn that Jerusalem, thought to be the holy site of Jews, Christians and Muslims, was and is a holy site of Goddess advocates. And we discover the many names and holy sites of the Goddesses in the Middle East from pre-Islamic times. Continue reading "Goddess Destinations"
by Karen Tate
Writing my current new book, Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth, required that I look back over years of happiness, sadness, revelations, success, disappointment and patterns. One of those patterns was my relationship with surrender and my belief in universal wisdom.
Surrender was not a concept I easily related to or thought much about. Instead like so many others in denial about their illusion of control or with a penchant for perfectionism, I believed I staved off chaos and fear with organization, attention to detail and lists. These tools help, of course, and lists made me feel safe. I have daily lists, weekly lists, monthly and annual lists. Nothing makes me feel better than an entire list with big fat red lines through all the things that have been completed. And throwing a list away - everything finally complete - well, now that’s almost orgasmic! But sometimes the best planning does not guarantee our perception of perfection, success or our vision of where we hoped things lead.
by Karen Tate
This article primarily addresses the political/cultural situation in the USA, but has a great deal of food for thought for all of us. (Editor)
People turn to religion in times of chaos. No doubt when St. Paul was run out of Ephesus, lucky to be alive after he tried to turn the masses away from their beloved Goddess Artemis, he must have had his doubts if Christianity would ever stick. Likewise for St. Thomas in 72 CE when he saw an apparition of the Indian Goddess Kali in Calcutta, as he tried to convert the heathens.
If you lived and worshiped in Pagan Rome, you probably never thought you would see the day the empire would be dominated by Christians. And if you were an early Christian, fearing for your life, you surely wondered what the future held. In the nineteenth century it was debated if women had souls. The United States allowed slavery. Women fighting for the vote in America were threatened with institutionalization and arrest for their activism and desire for equality. And the thought of an African American or woman becoming President were unheard of.
by Rev. Karen Tate
In the last few months the world was reminded once again how the arrogance of humankind is destroying families, communities and Mother Earth.
We now know Hurricane Katrina was not the reason for the demise of New Orleans. It was the failure of humans to preserve or restore the wetlands that act as a natural buffer for the cities that lie beyond. It was the greed of over-development in areas never intended to sustain housing. It was the incompetence of the Corps of Engineers who built substandard levees to protect people and the city. And it was and is the short-sightedness and ineptitude of callous and corrupt government and elected officials who have forgotten they serve the people. Post Katrina, it is business as usual on these same fronts, only the light has been shed on where to place some of the blame. And two years later, the carpet baggers are once again set loose upon the city whose spirit could once be summed up in the phrase, joie de vivre, or the joy of life.
by Rev. Karen Tate, Media Director
Temple of the Goddess
As the Media Director of Temple of the Goddess, I recently accompanied its Foundress and Director, Xia, to a presentation hosted by a cable television network, Charter Media. Charter had put out a call to a diverse range of religious organizations in the city to invite them to participate in a new cable program they were initiating called Faith. As we sat there listening to the intention of Charter, to bring spiritually uplifting messages to the airwaves, from all religious corners of southern California, we realized our dream and vision, years in the making, might soon be a reality. But were we really ready to fully step into the public spotlight?
by Rev. Karen Tate
The tiny Maltese islands, located just south of Sicily, are home to the oldest megalithic freestanding stone structures that exist on Earth today. These intriguing structures, many of which resemble the shape of a woman’s body, predate the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge. One famous artifact found in these ancient sacred sites, the Sleeping Lady, is thought to be representative of the Goddess religion practiced on the islands. Discovered in the underground, labyrinth-like structure called the Hypogeum, the Sleeping Lady is as much of an enigma as the location in which she was found.
by Rev. Karen Tate
Dan Brown's bestseller, The Da Vinci Code, piqued the curiosity of millions of all faiths with his accounts of the Sacred Feminine. With nearly 50 million books sold, the long anticipated film version of Brown’s story hit the screen in May associated with such a hotbed of controversy the likes of which the film industry had not seen since The Passion of the Christ. With the release of The Da Vinci Code dvd, this theme of the partnership of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and the glimpse into the true herstory of Goddess will no doubt continue to be in the hearts, minds and living rooms of millions more for sometime to come despite Church disdain for the theme. Yet, their subsequent call for a boycott of the movie did not dampen enthusiasm, perhaps proving there is a hunger for these new ideas as readers and movie-goers alike let their wallets speak. But post-Da Vinci, what will those new to this alternative version of history be asking? Phone calls into The Temple of the Goddess and to some of the people associated with this Church have been learning the answers first hand. Among the inquiries are, “Who are these people advocating for the return to veneration or ideals of a female face of God?” “What would that mean for society?” and “Who is the Goddess?” “Why didn’t I know about Her?” The answer might best be answered by looking back before we look ahead.