The Hidden Camino

by Louise Sommer, MA Ed. Psych.

A Magdalene in MolinasecaThe Camino has been hiding secrets, for centuries, that reach deep into the mysteries of ancient Europe.

The Hidden Camino is not only a deep and personal spiritual account, it is also a pilgrims' guide, a love story and a celebration of Life. It is about discoveries that reach deep into the mysteries of ancient Europe, the Celtic legend of Tir-na-nóg, the church's painful deceit and most of all, WHY it was so important for the church to suppress women and the truth about Mary Magdalene..

Mary Magdalene & Her church  

In January 2010, a long series of deeply touching and also provocative dreams began. The first dream was about Mary Magdalene and Her church. In later dreams, Magdalene was joined by many other goddessess from around the world, several whom I never had heard of. The dreams were so intense, that I couldn’t shake them off. They made me ask questions I had never previously thought of, they pushed me to open my eyes and actually see, and thus began an adventure beyond my wildest dreams.

Goddess Pilgrimage: A Way to Keep Feminist Sparks Flying without Burning Out

by Elizabeth Chloe Erdmann

ChloeCrete2014
Author and co-leader Elizabeth Chloe takes a moment to breathe in the captivating natural beauty during the journey through the Gorge of the Dead.

My passion is nomadic theology which I define as a theological position that is always on the move, transgressing traditional religious boundaries with a feminist lens. According to my age I am a third wave feminist, though I don’t always find this distinction useful. Hovering over the gap between second and third wave feminism is a question for all feminists: what can keep the liberation coming? What methods and tools need to be passed on so feminism as a movement does not lose steam or become silenced after gaining ground?

I argue many answers to this question can be found within the second wave itself. The Women’s Liberation of the 1960s and 1970s brought to the foreground many insights about the value of voice, experience, and representation that are still rippling. One of the methods frequently employed was consciousness raising groups where women united through, as feminist theologian Judith Plaskow words it: the “yeah, yeah experience”. Sparks of inner knowing were set off in these sharing, non-judgmental groups that many times led to and sustained activism, political movements, and new ways of understanding. One method of keeping the tool of valuing one’s experience and voice as women, while still living in a patriarchal system, is through embedding feminist critiques, values, and ideas with a view to the long haul. In other words seeking to pass on a torch that is a living flame. Continue reading "Goddess Pilgrimage: A Way to Keep Feminist Sparks Flying without Burning Out"

My Quest for the Amazon Woman of Hirte

by Jill Smith

"Reaching Out", by Jill SmithThe “Amazon Woman” of Hirte, or St. Kilda, has called to me for three decades, tantalising, seeming to play hard to get, toying with me then slowly allowing me into her realm.

When I wrote my book Mother of the Isles (Dor Dama Press 2003) I had not yet managed to visit her. I had tried for 15 years, to no avail. Chartered boats were too expensive, cruises couldn’t guarantee to stop there and places on NT working parties impossible to get on. It was only when Angus Campbell of Kilda Cruises began day-trips in a speed-boat in 2005 that for me it finally became possible.

Where is St. Kilda (or Hiort or Hirte)? Forty miles west of the Western Isles, which are themselves a long way west of Scotland. Rocky remnants of an ancient volcano, the group of islands and stacs rise sheer from the depths of dark green water, covered with hundreds of thousands of sea-birds which the islanders hunted precariously through millennia until the last few people left in 1930.

Continue reading "My Quest for the Amazon Woman of Hirte"

Goddess Destinations

by Dr. Rev. Karen Tate

guadalupeA plethora of sacred sites of Goddess can be found on almost every continent, ranging from archaeological sites and churches to museums, industrial parks and natural landscapes.  The variety of these sites depicts the diversity of her worship across the globe from living traditions thousands of years old to contemporary temples founded and blossoming during the last decade. With each of these locales one discovers the treasure trove that is the herstory of the Sacred Feminine.

These destinations reveal the many faces and aspects of She of Ten Thousand Names and her profound age, coming alive in the human psyche over 36,000 years ago, long before worship of any male gods.  We know this because her devotees have left their mark on herstory from standing temple stones and textiles to ancient texts, artifacts and the traditions that thrive today.  These holy sites are fast becoming recognized pilgrimage sites for women and men as they incorporate the Divine Feminine into their spiritual repertoire.  The Sites are particularly important to women’s psychological and religious identities, since they can see in all these strong archetypal feminine images of Goddess traditions where women were heroines, queens and divine, that they too were also created in the image of deity.  The sites substantiate a time of egalitarian societies, when women held power and influence and were not relegated to second class status as with the advent of the Abrahamic religions.

Some sacred sites of Goddess reflect an intersection of religions and earlier cultures, such as the holy places of the Saint named Brigid blending with Goddess Brigid in Ireland and Our Lady of Guadalupe mixing with the Aztec Goddess, Tonantzin, in Mexico City.  In both these destinations we discover the pagan Goddess intermingled with Christianity, just as we find, over and over again, churches which have been built atop ancient pagan holy places, co-opting the previous religion of the people of the land, since churches for Guadalupe were built atop the sacred sites for Tonantzin.   We also discover the pagan Goddess’ aspects, symbols and titles were passed along much like a baton to the new face of the Sacred Feminine, usually Mary, the mother of Jesus, because the people refused to give up their ancient Great Mother.  One example of this was with the Goddess Artemis in Ephesus, whose temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  We also find with some sleuthing, sites or artifacts sacred to Goddess which would greatly surprise most people, particularly the Kabaa stone of Mecca, which was once worshiped as Goddess, according to early Muslim scholars.  We learn that Jerusalem, thought to be the holy site of Jews, Christians and Muslims, was and is a holy site of Goddess advocates.  And we discover the many names and holy sites of the Goddesses in the Middle East from pre-Islamic times. Continue reading "Goddess Destinations"