A friend of mine startled me one day when she announced she was leaving what we loosely called Goddess Spirituality because it lacked substance. Besides the Wiccan Rede, which left a lot of gray area to rationalize wrong-doing, she felt what we were learning about Goddess Spirituality didn’t delve enough into ethics and learning about individual pantheons or the Wheel of the Year was not really providing us adequate guidance as a template for living. She had made the decision to turn to Buddhism to see what it offered. Her decision stuck with me because I believed she had a point—and I kept mulling it over for some time. Yes, there was so much to learn—tarot, doing ritual and magic, herstory, astrology, herbology, the study of various traditions, sacred sites—but what about making the ancient teachings relevant to help change our patriarchal world? What did Goddess Spirituality offer?
Por Xánath Caraza
La que se mueve fuerte
Produce flores rojas embriagantes
Y los poemas más sensuales
Sangran sus cañones,
Sus montañas se desgarran
Mother, here is war
here is my fear of war
here is my horror, my cringing hands
my despairing lips that wail “I am helpless
Look what they do to me.”
I have written poems since I was a very young girl and last year my first little book of poems and songs was published and is called ‘The Bird of Morning.’
A family story told in art, names, places, denied cultures,
black and sensual madonnas, diversity of beliefs,
visionary and healing Santa Lucia of Sicily
Subsequently, my study of black madonnas and other submerged beliefs of Sicily has converged with my need to understand the patron saint of Sicily—Lucia—whose name I carry.
Lucia was born before the common epoch, in the Greek capitol of Sicily, Syracuse. After she went on healing pilgrimage with her sick mother to the tomb of Agate of Catania, Romans killed her in 304 CE, branding her as a heretic.
Veneration of Lucia sprung up on a site earlier devoted to Canaanite Astarte, then to Greek love goddess Aphrodite, then to Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva.
Artists are catalysts for change, and this “change” takes place when we feel deeply for a precious cause. I feel deeply for the earth and I feel that it is largely humanity’s disconnection from the earth and from the earth as mother that has contributed to the current state of not only the health of the earth body, but also the health of our bodies.
[Author’s Note: 2014 Mago Pilgrimage to Korea (Oct. 7-Oct. 20) was participated by a culturally mixed group of pilgrims from the U.S. Australia, and Korea. Among non-Koreans were Dr. Glenys Livingstone (co-facilitator), Mr. Robert (Taffy) Seaborne, and Ms. Rosemary Mattingly. For details, read 2014 Mago Pilgrimage. View the video on our visit to Ganghwa Islands by Robert (Taffy) Seaborne.]
2014 Mago Pilgrimage granted me ever unfolding revelations. The first of them that I would like to mention concerned the sweat lodge called Hanjeung-mak (汗蒸幕, Chamber of chill and steam). Until we visited the traditional sweat lodge in Gyodong, Ganghwa Island, it did not occur to me that the origin of its modern variations has to do with the rebirthing experience in the Womb of Mago. (Here Mago means the Great Goddess or the Primordial Mother.)