Some Goddesses and Ideas for Spring

by Barbara Ardinger

Fortuna

The Tyche (Fortune) of Antioch – Roman copy of Greek bronze original, public domain imageThe 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. Continue reading "Some Goddesses and Ideas for Spring"

Feminine Mysticism in Art: Artists Envisioning the Divine

By Victoria Christian

"Kwan Yin", by Theresa SharrarThe rise in the United States in recent years of feminist religious movements that focus on female images of the divine Goddess suggests that many women, in addition to men, find goddess symbolism to be appealing.

Many feminist artists, too, claim to have found inspiration in goddesses and goddess symbolism as they provoke reminiscent feelings of a distant past—a vague, yet familiar reality lost to westerners. Feminist critiques of religion and some postmodernists have taken issue with traditional images of God, arguing that male hegemony in Western cultures can be correlated directly with the centrality of a single, all-powerful male god in the dominant strands of the predominately Jewish and Christian religious heritage of Europe and the United States. Many would argue further that given this situation, it is important for women as well as for men with feminist goals to recover or create empowering female symbols to help combat the ones that support patriarchy and the denial of the feminine principle.

Continue reading "Feminine Mysticism in Art: Artists Envisioning the Divine"

An Abundance of Greens

by Susun S Weed

peachesI didn’t lose it all in the recent USA downturn, but, like many others, I watched my material wealth shrink this past year. Am I worthless because I’m worth less? Of course not. I’m worthwhile, no matter what I’m worth financially. Having less money doesn’t have to mean having less joy or less abundance. I didn’t lose my job – since I am self-employed, I know I won’t be laid off – but work has slowed down, giving me time to appreciate the many ways abundance pops up in my life.

An abundance of things is not fulfilling or satisfying. Having many things can be a burden. It takes time to care for them, leaving less time to enjoy them. Things can be lost, stolen, or broken, giving rise to anxiety about loss. To find abundance, give something away. Trust that the empty hand will be filled. Continue reading "An Abundance of Greens"

West Kennet Long Barrow – Womb of the Goddess

by Peter Knight

West Kennet Long Barrow - photo by Peter KnightMagically standing on a ridge just south of Avebury, West Kennet Long Barrow is one of the most magnificent and oldest of Wiltshire’s ancient monuments. Archaeologist Aubrey Burl described the site as, ‘… the finest megalithic tomb in England and Wales…’ and as such it is included in the Avebury World Heritage Site.

It is the best preserved, and almost the longest, of all long barrows, comprising hundreds of tons of chalk and earth in a 100m long mound, plus a passage and five atmospheric chambers at the east end, guarded by large sarsen stones. The whole monument was designed to impress from the outside, and to transform once within. Continue reading "West Kennet Long Barrow – Womb of the Goddess"

The Truthful Bounty of Cerridwen’s Cauldron

by Carolyn Lee Boyd

CauldronSummer is the season of truth. In New England, summer always begins when the sun melts the layer of snow that has given the illusion of our world as a unified and peaceful white landscape, revealing the artifacts of daily life dropped and covered over by each successive storm. The chocolate muffin that fell out of my pocket on the way to work, homework, make-up, keys and more all return and must be disposed of or reintegrated into our lives.

As I putter in my garden, pieces of 19th century broken dishes and bottles constantly rise and make their way into the top layer of shifting soil. These objects had been tossed out the back door by six generations of former occupants and are now coming back as reminders that our ecological misdeeds will always be found out. Beyond these seasonal metaphors for revelation, in summer many of us are outside and with others much of the time. We can see and be seen in the clear light of day for all we do and all we are. And so, I think summer is the perfect time to contemplate Cerridwen’s cauldron.  Continue reading "The Truthful Bounty of Cerridwen’s Cauldron"

Quench Your Thirst with Herbs

by Susun S Weed

linden teaAs we slide from summer into autumn, the sun seems hotter and fiercer than ever. And the summer's heat makes us thirsty. What shall we drink? There are so many choices. Since 2003 the number of new drink products on the market has tripled. How are we supposed to choose the best drinks? Does it even matter?

I think it does. The liquid portion of our diets is as important as the solid portion. That's why I drink herbal brews, nourishing herbal infusions to be exact, instead of juice or water. Some herbs are powerhouses of nourishment, energy, and health-promoting factors. By choosing those herbs as my drink, I increase the amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in my diet without consuming extra calories, and at a cost of only pennies a day. I'd rather drink nourishing herbal infusions than any other beverages. I drink infusion in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, too. Continue reading "Quench Your Thirst with Herbs"

My Church

by Jan Foster-Bartlett

Loch ViewMy church has many doors. I open my front door and I am there. I access my place of worship from the door of a shop, door of my car, door of my neighbours’ house, my friends’ house, even the dentist has a door that leads out into my huge and beautiful church.

There are no medieval tiles on the floor but soft damp turf, sometimes shingle, pavement or scrubland. My favourite flooring is the crumbly soil mixed with leaf mould. The roof of my church goes on and up forever, blue with exquisite patterns painted in white, cream and grey. It changes colour constantly. There are times when it is black and dark and then it is illuminated with an array of sparkling jewels. Continue reading "My Church"

Excerpts from SACRED HOUSE: Where Women Weave Words into the Earth

by Carolyn Hillyer

Moon in WaterThis book is written as a spiral that spins in both directions; stories gathered and hung upon a non-linear structure, memories and textures threaded around a circular loom, words spilled across the earth floor of an ancient sacred women’s house. Here are some fragments from the loom …

The Weaver’s Daughter and Other Yarns

She collected looms. The first was a rug loom, a simple frame bolted and braced and bound with twine, as tall as a tribes woman in her middle years and twice as wide. She came to this loom by chance or destiny or both. She had crept into the weavers’ monthly council because her fingers itched and twisted whenever she passed near their door and she wanted to know why. Continue reading "Excerpts from SACRED HOUSE: Where Women Weave Words into the Earth"

Reclaiming Nonna: Forgotten Goddess

by Becky Thomas

Nonna's WellOn the cliff-top peninsula just outside St Davids lies the ruined chapel of St Non. Here, at this wind-swept sacred place, the sense of the goddess is strong and it was at this place that I began to hear Nonna whisper to me, began to sense her calling me to dream her alive and reclaim her once again from the mists of time in which she has been lost for a thousand years and more. Here I will tell her story.

The coastal area of Pembrokeshire, the county in which St Non’s Chapel is found, was part of the pre-Roman tribal area called Demetia. This remote western region of Wales was never fully settled by the Romans and was difficult to defend from the constant bombardment of attacks coming from the sea so Magnus Maximus, Emperor of Britannia, shrewdly invited the Irish Deisi tribe to settle the region and to defend it on behalf of Rome. The Deisi claimed direct descent from the sun god Beli Mawr, who according to the early Welsh Christians was the spouse of Anna “The Prophetess”, who was said to be either the daughter of the Virgin Mary, a cousin of Mary or daughter of Joseph of Arimathea by his first wife. However the pagan population considered Beli Mawr to be the consort to the Welsh mother goddess Dôn who is one and the same as the Irish mother goddess Danu. The Deisi brought with them the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Irish pantheon which would eventually amalgamate with the native belief system. Continue reading "Reclaiming Nonna: Forgotten Goddess"

Holiday in the Land of the Moon

by Laura Gee

Golden Butterfly - photo by Luigi ManzoTimes are hard, holidays are becoming shorter. The need then to find a place which, in a short space, will offer rest, relaxation, food for the body and for the spirit is pressing. We all hope for a special place that will furnish the balance of rest and stimulation, fun and interest to see us through the working year.

Of course everyone has different aspirations. Perhaps you’d like to see new places, enjoy blue skies and clear seas, would hope to eat healthy, tasty food and still find something more, something that will nourish the inner essence; away from the sameness of crowded resorts with their ubiquitous ‘global village’ approach? Continue reading "Holiday in the Land of the Moon"

Goddess Pages Horoscopes

By Georgina Sirett-Armstrong-Smith

moonscape

The Blessings of Samhain

You feel you are up for it now! Confident, outgoing, optimistic, and enterprising. Even the work you are involved in is likely to receive increased recognition at this time. Take care - you tend to overlook details and make silly mistakes. So make a list! Your ability to express yourself confidently and openly wins you the respect and admiration of others. You can promote ideas and plans that you believe strongly in and surprisingly and you can win others over to your side. Dreams, wishes, and fantasies about love are strong now, and you may be infatuated with someone you meet at this month. You use charm, humour, and a light touch to get your point across now, and your great friendly attitude makes a favourable impression on others. It's party time! Continue reading "Goddess Pages Horoscopes"