Category: Issue10

Brighid Walks the Land

Helena Nelson-Reed has long been fascinated by myth, fairy tales, legends, and mysticism as well as history, cultures, and spiritual paths different from her own. Born in Seattle, Washington, she grew up in Marin County and Napa Valley, California, but eventually made Illinois her home.

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WES: The Future

The Wiccan Educational Society (WES) was founded in Massachusetts in 2000 by Heidi Couture. It now goes into its ninth year of existence as its membership broadens and it continues its journey of evolution.
As we walk our path new experiences come along, and we meet new people along the way. If our approach is open-eyed and open-hearted we embrace change, and flow with our personal and spiritual growth.

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The Last Dragon in Wales was killed in Newcastle Emlyn …

Long ago, the townsfolk were gathered for the annual fair at the foot of the hill behind the castle of this small market town. Drovers with horses, cattle, pigs and sheep. Flower girls with baskets, milkmaids with churns. Tailors, butchers and bakers with stalls. Children taking apples from the old women’s fruit tables. Jugglers, fiddlers and clog dancers with music and song.

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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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Beowulf, the Goddess and a can of wyrms

Maybe Woody was right.  This can be a pretty dreary read for a woman who flicks over the battle pages in novels and is bored to tears by chest-beating.  If you must be a hero, guys, please be the strong, silent kind that I can ignore. However, I’ve had a strange fascination with Beowulf since I was a teenager, an odd, melancholy thing that I’d almost forgotten about until the recent movie2.  That got me started thinking about Grendel’s Mother and the possible presence of a forgotten goddess in the poem, although it is pretty unpromising at first sight.  But no piece of literature survives for so long if it doesn’t speak to us on many levels, including the subconscious, which is perhaps where much of our longing for the divine feminine now resides.

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The Journey of the Soul into the Mother …

I hope someone passes Riane Eisler’s beautiful book, “Sacred Pleasure,” on to the Dalai Lama. Did he really say that “sex invariably spells trouble?” He is definitely missing something! It’s that nasty body again with all its feelings that patriarchal religion abhors, getting close, being vulnerable, opening one’s heart to love.  He is missing being connected in that way.

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The Garden Goddesses

We are so fortunate, for the Goddess is everywhere. She can be seen in the Peruvian jungle, in stone carvings of roses and grain decorating European churches, in Buckingham palace as Isis supporting the hearth, and as a gentle, haunting spirit in the traditional sacred groves of the British Isles.

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Blood Mysteries

The Great Mother of All gave birth and the earth appeared out of the void. Then the Great Mother of All gave birth again, and again, and again, and people, and animals, and plants appeared on the earth. They were all very hungry. “What shall we eat?” they asked the Great Mother. “Now you eat me,” she said, smiling. Soon there were a very great many lives, but the Great Mother of All was enjoying creating and giving birth so much that she didn’t want to stop. “Ah,” she said smiling, “now I eat you.” And so she still does.

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A Meditation on the Import and Export of God/desses into foreign lands

The relevance of invoking foreign deities in our land, as well as worshipping ours abroad, is a topic I have given much thought to recently. To answer this question is complicated, because, as Jill points out, first of all we need to establish what we believe God/desses actually are.  Are they manifestations of the spirit of place, are they archetypes, energies, concepts, or actual beings with distinct traits and personalities? Or are all God/desses representations of one Divine Energy, one Truth, one Source?

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Being an upside down witch

Living in Australia – or anywhere in the southern hemisphere for that matter – can be a little confusing for a witch.
All the books about magic print elemental correspondences that are back to front (the fire of the sun is certainly not in the south down here!), and list dates for the sabbats that bear no relation to the actual cycle of our seasons. I’ve met a surprising number of people from the US and UK who didn’t realise that our seasons are six months behind (or ahead, depending on how you look at it) the northern ones. Our Midsummer falls around December 20-23, when the north is blanketed in snow, while our winter solstice falls around June 20-23, the height of summer up there.

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Freyja, Great Goddess of the Northlands

Freyja (often Anglised as ‘Freya’) is the most popular goddess honoured by modern Heathens, the pagan tradition inspired by the ancient religions of Scandinavia, England, the Netherlands and Germany. Freyja’s independent personality makes her an ideal role model for the modern Heathen women and her interest in sexual pleasure makes her an ideal patroness for many full blooded Heathen men.

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Raising the Roof – or – is it Time for Revolution Yet?

Sit down before you read what I’m about to say. Do not, however, ingest even the tiniest sip of tea (or any other liquid for that matter), because what comes next might very well affect your air-intake system — and your air-intake system is part of the system that negotiates the progress of tea down one’s upper esophageal tract.

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