For several months now, three members of Glastonbury Goddess Temple have been putting together plans to offer Goddess-focused funerals, both in Glastonbury and elsewhere in the UK.
“We are all priestesses, as well as independent funeral celebrants, and feel passionate about choice – the choice we all should have to celebrate the end of our life, and the lives of those we care about, in a way that reflects our beliefs, and the way we have lived our lives”, said Lorraine Pickles, one of the organisers. “For Goddess loving people, that may include a ceremony that reflects a belief that death is but a returning to Goddess. And for those who see death as a return to the shores of Avalon, this may be reflected in a variety of ceremonies both for those close to death, and for those who have crossed the veil.” Continue reading "Goddess Funerals go live!"
I 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.
She lies there, a sleeping beauty stretched out across the peaks of Mount Parnassus in northern Greece. The locals call her The Delphic Goddess. At sunset, she shines like a jewel in the most spellbinding colour of red ochre. In winter she is the only part of the mountains covered by pristine snow, shining like a white diamond towards the bright blue sky. Even the surrounding mountains seems to adore her. One can only wonder what mysteries her great beauty holds. Further down the mountain, hidden away in a valley, lies an almost forgotten treasure. It is the legacy of a culture where women were once the voice of Gaia and Great Seers of Destiny.
The wind lifts the wild, white mane
of La Vieja Machis, Lake Chapala Goddess.
She protects the lake from which she rises,
and guides the beings blessed to live
under its lacustrine sway.
Blowing from the four Directions,
she gifts the patterns of the winds
to fishers and farmers and poets.
Over the sea of the lake
she mediates the moon,
as month after month I learn
how to grow old like her.
Lake Woman Machis receives
the colors of the world,
and in her moving palette
mixes them continually.
Sometimes she stirs a whirlpool,
or flings to the clouds a waterspout.
Often her waters show me
the stillness of the mountains.
Always, she brings abundance
and floods the lakeside air
with the aromatic bromide of her soul.
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. Continue reading "Review: “The World Is Your Oracle: Divinatory Practices for Tapping Your Inner Wisdom and Getting the Answers You Need”, by Nancy Vedder-Shults"
In 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.
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
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.
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! Continue reading "An Interview with Julie Felix"