It must have been around my twelfth year when I found the Saga of the Kingdom of Fanes in the local almanac of the South Tyrolean city of Bozen/Bolzano. It was illustrated by a pen-drawing of the legendary princess Dolasilla mounted on a black horse, wearing a blue Rayeta Stone in her tiara and glowering against her enemies.
It was this woman on horseback who never left my mind. In those moments of truth that decided my life she appeared to me again and again.
Joan of Arc, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
On my arrival in Melbourne, a young migrant without money or connections, I was ready to return to my Tyrolean mountains, when I suddenly found myself in front of the equestrian statue of the State Library: this image of my heroine Joan of Arc changed my mind. Many years later, the altar of Epona at the museum of Stuttgart (Stuttgart means Garden of the Mare!) touched me just as much as the image of Australian saint Blessed Mary McKillop, riding in nun’s garb through the endless solitudes of Australia to bring the blessings of literacy to lonely farmers’ children.
Tabitha Tucker lives, learns and grows with her family on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Passionate about supporting other mothers to connect with themselves and their children with compassion and an understanding of developmental science, she volunteers with a number of organizations to reach out to moms who are struggling to be the best caregivers they can be, while continually reaching for that goal herself. To Tabitha, being an activist means acting like the world is already the space we wish it to become – one filled with community, support and compassion.
“Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and Wild Nature, Protector Virgin Soul” by Yia Alias
Today, I am writing from an old open shed in the Australian bush, on the property that has claimed me as custodian, HearthGround. Surrounded by giant blue gums, rocky hills, the sound of lyrebirds and cicadas, I can just hear the movement of the creek through the trees. And now a gentle breeze.
I acknowledge the spirits of the first peoples of this Blessed area, the Darug and the Darkinjung, I offer my Deep Respect.
Nature as mirror/metaphor/personal reflection
To stop, be still, to allow the Present Moment to commune with me is HOW I experience the ever present divinity of Creation/Goddess.
This essay is the first part in a series of edited excerpts from chapter 3 of the author’s book, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.
Ref: Hallie Iglehart Austen, The Heart of the Goddess, p. 131
Almost every ancient culture’s creation myth begins with Her. In the beginning was the Matrix, and the Matrix was all there was. “Before creation a presence existed …(which)… pervaded itself with unending motherhood.” This Matrix was not “feminine”, in any stereotypical way, which would limit Her to a certain mode of being. She was beyond all pairs of opposites. As the beginning and end of all things, She contained it all – she was yin and yang, right and left, dark and light, linear and cyclic, immanent and transcendent. There was not an either/or. She was not carved up into bits, apportioned a certain fragment of being – She was a totality. She bore within herself all of the polarities.
Demeter holding ears of wheat above an altar. 470-450 BCE. Capua, Italy. Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, 12. Photo by Harita Meenee
“I am the bread of life.” This phrase is put in the mouth of Jesus in the Gospel According to John.  Again and again he declares himself to be “the true bread from heaven,” “the bread of God which … gives life to the world,” “the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever.” “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world,” he solemnly announces.
Yet the “bread of life” did not come down from heaven; it came from the hands of women and was one of the most important kinds of food in antiquity, sustaining people in good as well as in hard times. Interestingly, the word for wheat, sitos, became synonymous with “food.”