Pythia’s Warning: Women’s Spirituality and the Oracular Tradition

by Patricia Monaghan

Priestess of Delphi (1891) artist: John CollierWhen, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

Do these words sound familiar?  American readers probably guess that it’s part of The Declaration of Independence.  European readers might think of Mary Wollstonecraft or another early feminist.

Both wrong.  Now read a little further:

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world. 

“He allows her in church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church. Continue reading "Pythia’s Warning: Women’s Spirituality and the Oracular Tradition"

Brigit Prayer Beads

by Patricia Monaghan

Brides Mound, Glastonbury - photo, Paul Williment,
Bride's Mound, Glastonbury (photo: Paul Williment,

This was very kindly sent to us just a couple of days ago by Michael McDermott, Patricia Monaghan’s husband. He writes:

Brigit prayer beads were developed by my beloved wife and partner in all things for comfort while she was on her journey of hope and disappointment with cancer. She always upheld the importance of daily prayer and stressed the creativity and peace of craft work.  These led her to create these beads.  She felt it important to seek the goddess in her own Irish heritage and this is one result. We prayed with these refrains on the beads (even called them Brigit rosaries) daily and had profound love and hope as we spoke the words and let the connections sink in.  We took the beads to Kildare last year for the Brigid festival and felt great connections and gratitude.  May you find the same peace and grounding that we did when you use the prayers. Please credit Patricia if these are republished.

Michael McDermott

To make Brigit Prayer beads: put three units of three beads each, with divider beads between.  You may put any number of divider beads between individual beads; place a larger number between the units of three beads.  Place one large bead at the point you wish to indicate as the “beginning.”  When using, you can repeat each of the following prayers either three times each, or nine times (in the latter case you will go round the beads three times to complete). Continue reading "Brigit Prayer Beads"