(Essay) Samhain/Deep Autumn Ceremony by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

shed-skins-and-threadAt the base of the inspirations for this seasonal rite as I have scripted it, is Robin Morgan’s poem “The Network of the Imaginary Mother”,[1] and some portions of the script are directly her words. This whole poem had moved me for years, and I had dramatized parts of it in ceremony before, but the particular passage that was now finding a place in the celebration of Samhain is this one:

Drawn from the first by what I would become,

I did not know how simple this secret could be.

The carapace is split, Continue reading

(Book excerpt) Celebrating Her/My/Our Everyday Sacred Journey Around Sun by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

This essay is from She Rises: How Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality? Volume 2 edited by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Mary Ann Beavis and Nicole Shaw, Mago Books, 2016.

adyar-altar-ii

A poetic map or Her seasonal wheel

My Goddess devotional practice of celebrating Her in the Seasonal wheel of the year grew over decades, from small humble occasional affairs to elaborate consistent well-planned events; as I came to be aware of the power of conversing with Her in this way, and also with others who desired to participate.

Participation in the annual Seasonal wheel process, particularly when practised as a whole year-long experience and over the period of years, re-identifies one’s small self with the larger Gaia-Self. It is a practice of coming to know Her … it may be at times “playing like we know, until we know”.[1] Continue reading

(Prose) Immaculate First Child by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

young-one

1973 christian hippie child

She had not really accepted that her body was female. Such a body had no validity, it was not the real thing. Yet here she was apparently pregnant. Her abdomen was beginning to bulge in a very unfamiliar way. She looked at it in amazement. That amazement in itself was one story, but it was one that could not be thought through right now. The story most pressing was, what was she going to do? She was young, single, a college student. Would she tell her mother? Would she marry the father?

She was of spiritual inclination … a Christian hippie variety; sufficiently hippie to allow her to fall into bed with her bloke, Continue reading

(Essay) Oracular Goddess: Image of Potent Creativity by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

oracular-goddess-p-99-austenI can only wonder at the minds that created such an image as this, as I do about many other images kin to Her, across cultures: my mind reaches to take in the artist’s comprehension – what poetry filled them, what is being expressed in the symbols and patterns, and in the placement of them on Her body? It is surely a deep reality and story beyond the one that I grew up with, and even after so many years on a Goddess path I feel I only skim the surface. I need this image of Her on my wall writ large, in my everyday reality, so I can imagine! … so I can be imbued with Her magic, Her spell: this is how I will learn more deeply about being and becoming, how I may be nurtured by Her wisdom and power, which is ever-creative.

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(Essay 3) Restoring Her as Creative Triplicity: She Who Creates the Space to Be by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

This essay is the third part in a series of edited excerpts from the author’s book, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.

ash-and-grain

Creating of Space to Be

Author’s note: In this three part series of essays I continue to use the terms “Virgin, Mother, and Crone” as names for the qualities of the Triple Goddess, whom many have loved in Her different forms throughout the ages. In my opinion, the re-storying of these particular terms is still a useful exercise – to expand the reduced notions that have evolved over millennia of androcentric thinking and culture. In the last few decades, I sat with many women in circle and we told stories of our lives within the frame of “virgin/young one, mother/creator, crone/old one”; and found it to be a means of reconstituting a larger, deeper and freer sense of being, as we recognised ultimate and omnipresent Creative Cosmic qualities within us. I have also created new names for this Creative Cosmic Triplicity: “Urge to Be/She Who Will Be”, “Place of Being/She Who Is”, and “She Who Creates the Space to Be/She Who Returns All”. As qualities/themes of Cosmogenesis, She is multivalent.[i] She may be understood poetically. Continue reading

(Essay 2) Restoring Her as Creative Triplicity: Place of Being by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

This essay is the second part in a series of edited excerpts from the author’s book, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.

gaia-rising-up

Place of Being

Author’s note: In this three part series of essays I continue to use the terms “Virgin, Mother, and Crone” as names for the qualities of the Triple Goddess, whom many have loved in Her different forms throughout the ages. In my opinion, the re-storying of these terms is still a useful exercise – to expand the reduced notions that have evolved over millennia of androcentric thinking and culture. In the last few decades, I sat with many women in circle and we told stories of our lives within the frame of “virgin/young one, mother/creator, crone/old one”; and found it to be a means of reconstituting a larger, deeper and freer sense of being, as we recognised ultimate and omnipresent Creative Cosmic qualities within us. I have also created new names for this Creative Cosmic Triplicity: “Urge to Be/She Who Will Be”, “Place of Being/She Who Is”, and “She Who Creates the Space to Be/She Who Returns All”. As qualities/themes of Cosmogenesis, She is multivalent.[i] She may be understood poetically

Continue reading

(Essay Part 1) Restoring Her as Creative Triplicity: the Urge to Be by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

Urge to Be

Urge to Be

This essay is the first part in a series of edited excerpts from the author’s book, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.

Author’s note: In this three part series I continue to use the terms “Virgin, Mother, and Crone” as names for the qualities of the Triple Goddess, whom many have loved in Her different forms throughout the ages. In my opinion, the re-storying of these terms is still a useful exercise – to expand the reduced notions that have evolved over millennia of androcentric thinking and culture. In the last few decades, I sat with many women in circle and we told stories of our lives within the frame of “virgin/young one, mother/creator, crone/old one”; and found it to be a means of reconstituting a larger, deeper and freer sense of being, as we recognised ultimate and omnipresent Creative Cosmic qualities within us. I have also created new names for this Creative Cosmic Triplicity: “Urge to Be/She Who Will Be”, “Place of Being/She Who Is”, and “She Who Creates the Space to Be/She Who Returns All”. As qualities/themes of Cosmogenesis, She is multivalent.[1] She may be understood poetically. Continue reading

(Essay Part 3) Restoring Dea – Female Metaphor for Deity by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

This essay is the third part in a series of edited excerpts from chapter 3 of the author’s book, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.

Halmang Bawi in Gangjeong Stream, Jeju Korea

Halmang Bawi in Gangjeong Stream, Jeju Korea

wheat

She is grain/food

Before She appeared in human form, there were stones, trees, pools,
fruits and animals that She either lived in or were identified with Her or parts of Her. For many peoples the stones and Continue reading

(Essay Part 2) Restoring Dea – Female Metaphor for Deity by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

Tara Austen p.47This essay is the second part in a series of edited excerpts from chapter 3 of the author’s book, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.

In China, one of Her names was Shin-Mu, described as “Mother of Perfect Intelligence”, who “miraculously” conceived Her first child,[1] and then gave birth to 33,333 creatures.[2] In later patriarchal stories She was said to give birth to all these creatures though Her arms and breasts – without a vagina (thus accommodating misogynist notions of “purity”). Continue reading

(Prose) My Thanks to Dolasilla by Claire French

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

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.

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(Essay Part 1) Restoring Dea – Female Metaphor for Deity by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

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.

Ishtar

Ref: Hallie Iglehart Austen, The Heart of the Goddess, p. 131

Almost every ancient culture’s creation myth begins with Her.[1] In the beginning was the Matrix, and the Matrix was all there was. “Before creation a presence existed …(which)… pervaded itself with unending motherhood.”[2] 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.

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(Photo Essay 5) Goddess Pilgrimage – Italy by Kaalii Cargill

My journey took me next to mainland Italy. In an archaeological park outside Naples, I stood in the cave of the Cumean sibyl. The cave – Antro della Sibilla – is a trapezoidal passage 130 metres long, cut out of volcanic stone along the side of a hill. The innermost chamber echoes with secrets and prophecy.

IMG_9667

Entrance to the Cave of the Cumean Sibyl

The day I visited, access to the cave was restricted, but a sympathetic attendant allowed me in through a side entrance, and I walked slowly along the passage (dromos) to the rough-cut chamber at the end. The rock hummed, and the soft light filtering down through light wells made it a dream-like experience.

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(Essay) Integrating the Co-essential Darkness by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

 

Kali Ma

Kali Ma. Hallie Iglehart Austen, The Heart of the Goddess, p.78.

We live in times wherein beings the world over are witnessing global transformation. Such a scale of planetary change has happened before, but humans are integral to this one – not only as witnesses and participants, but also as primary agent/cause. These times have apparently been expressed and foretold by different religious traditions: in the Celtic tradition, as the Age of Cailleach – the Old Woman whose song heralds changing tides; in Hindu tradition, as the Age of Kali – the awesome Goddess whose capacities embrace the process of destroying for the purposes of Creativity … it is her passion for Being, for birthing the New. She, like many of Her Dark Sisters around the globe, embodies the truth (an ultimate Truth) that this life is built on the passing or transformation of all that went before: that we are here by the grace of the Space, and the knowledge of the eons that is passed on.

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