Review: “The World Is Your Oracle: Divinatory Practices for Tapping Your Inner Wisdom and Getting the Answers You Need”, by Nancy Vedder-Shults

Reviewed by Carolyn Boyd

Nancy Vedder-Shults’s The World Is Your Oracle is a beautiful, insightful, and compassionate guide to “divination” — listening to the sacred voice within to bring into consciousness the wisdom your soul already possesses. Our modern world teaches us to ignore the tremendous understanding and knowledge we all have about ourselves and each other and about how we should live our lives. So, Nancy teaches us how to first bring our minds into a state that allows us to access all that is inside us, then to use various techniques to experience and interpret messages expressed in the soul’s language of symbols.

The heart of the book is instructional. First she explains how to prepare yourself to receive your answer by defining your question clearly, preparing your space, setting your intentions and asking for guidance, and grounding and centering. Then she offers step-by-step instructions on 40 different means of divination. Finally, she invites you to interpret what you have experienced. The divination techniques are divided into visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, or body-focused, methods and the reader is encouraged to determine which is most resonant for them, or try them all. The techniques range from ancient standbys, like dowsing and drumming, to more contemporary ones like balloon diagrams. Most need little or no special equipment, and some only use actions you do every day, like walking. Read More...

Review: “Soul & Shadow: Birthing Motherworld”, by Kathy Jones

Reviewed by Jeri Studebaker

Soul & ShadowIn several ways this book amazed me. First, I was blown away by Kathy Jones’ utter honesty about profoundly personal parts of her life: her deep fears, her screw-ups, her cancers, and her confusions about her own life, motivations and leadership abilities.

Second, whatever she herself felt about it, I was struck by Kathy’s remarkable ability to lead others. The sheer number of outstanding Goddess workshops, classes, presentations, field trips, conferences, plays, and other activities she has led, created and/or organized is overwhelming. After finishing the book I am in awe of her energy, dedication and creativity.

Third, Kathy describes her years-long battle with certain members of the UK Goddess community, her attempts to understand and heal the ancient wounds she feels caused this friction, wounds not only in the others but also in herself. Despite all her painful and laborious work, however, the abuse continued — mostly on social media. What’s amazing to me is that Kathy didn’t give up. At one point, driving in her car, she looked at a wall ahead of her and had thoughts of driving into it. She didn’t, and she didn’t desert the Glastonbury Goddess community, either.

Review: “Healing Through the Goddess”, by Lynne Sedgmore, illustrated by Susie Jones

Reviewed by Geraldine Charles

This anthology of poems and other works expresses Lynne’s own journey round the wheel of the year and her own growth into a Priestess Healer in so many ways – from Beginnings, which describes the feelings and re-membering as everyone comes together for the first time, to the final Invocation, calling in the Motherworld. Between these two are works that both evoke the call of the Goddess and praise Her. In Returning, we see the beauty of Her return to the land:

Our Lady shimmers in the waning of the mist
Revealing Her contours in the land

She Changes Everything She Touches

Welcome to the new Goddess Pages!  It's taken a lot longer than I anticipated to change the format and update the website to match, but at long last it's done, and I'm hoping that setting things up this way will ensure that I keep keep the site going for the forseeable future - so many Goddess magazines have closed down in the last few years and I didn't want that to happen to Goddess Pages too.

An Interview with Julie Felix

Julie bungee jumping over Shotover River, New Zealand

Julie bungee jumping over Shotover River, New Zealand

Julie Felix has been a very welcome fixture at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference for at least seventeen years but I’ve been a fan of her music since the 1960s, so couldn’t wait to interview her for Goddess Pages.

Curious, first, about her early life, I asked Julie about that. She told me that she remained a devout Catholic until her late teens and in fact remembers seeing Loretta Young play a nun in Come to the Stable, which came out around 1949. Loretta Young got an Oscar nomination for her part; Julie decided she wanted to be a nun. Fortunately, that didn’t last too long! Read More...

A Tribute to my Aunt Lydia Ruyle

by Katie Hoffner

Crazy AuntLydia RuyleI consider the title Aunt Lydia a noble one. If you believe you choose your parents when you are born into this world, then I must believe you choose your aunts too.

Aunt Lydia and I had something very special. A sacred contract of sorts. She has literally been part of my life since I was born. As a young mother, she was not only taking care of her three children but also of me and my brother while my mother finished her medical residency – so she was tending to five of us all under the age of four.

She used to tell people that there were points during that time when she considered killing us or killing herself… that is until one day… she decided to start painting. So for all our sakes (and the world’s), we’re really glad she discovered art. Read More...

Reclaiming Sacred Sexuality and Healing the Divine Masculine

by Keli Gingolph

Sumerian Relief, thought to show the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi

Sumerian Relief, thought to show the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi. Public Domain.

Once, long ago, a goddess, born of the Moon and equal in glory to all other deities, ruled an ancient city. In her youth, she planted a tree on the banks of a life-giving river that flowed through her Garden. The wood of this tree was strong yet flexible, and it grew alongside the goddess until they both reached maturity. When the goddess in her was ready to claim her sovereignty, she went to her tree to make the emblems of her power, the throne from which she would rule and the bed from which her sacred sexuality and fertility would be celebrated.

But when she got to the tree she found that others had made it their home. A great snake, representing the oldest chthonic deities of life, death, and rebirth, had made its home in the roots of her tree. In the tree’s soaring branches, a great bird of wind and storm had made its nest. In the very center of the tree was a dark maid, who was the young goddess’s shadow self, embodying an insatiable sexuality.

In order for her to claim her sovereignty, she would have to conquer these beings.

This goddess is, of course, beloved Inanna, she of great power, beauty and wisdom. A goddess who was perhaps the very first target and the first weapon, of patriarchy. Read More...

Grandmother Speaks… the Vagina

by Susun Weed

The Vagina – part 1

orchidI am the sheath of the sword. I am toothed, armed, and ready to bite. I have the power to defend, to keep women safe. I am not passive, accepting, ready to be filled. I am aware, watchful, ready to reject what I don’t want and to seize what I will.

Listen to me and I will tell you how safe we are, right now, in this moment. When we are secure, I am open and receptive, moist and inviting. When we feel threatened, I become cold and hard, hot and tight, irritated, and inflamed. If the danger goes on and on, I weep, I am overrun.

In health and joy, I am a rich and thriving ecosystem: friendly yeasts, beneficial bacteria, and a generous assortment of slippery, slidey lubricants thrive in my tangy-tasting depths.

I am stretchy. I am expansive. Fill me and I yearn for more. I am yielding; I melt, I surrender. Yet in yielding, I deliver. I am the victor. I clench my fist and grab the prize. Mine. Read More...