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.
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”. Continue reading
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
Avebury Circle and Chapel – Photo by Patricia ‘Iolana
As a presenter in the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group at the recent American Academy of Religion, I was looking forward to the possibility of some meaningful intrafaith dialogue (dialogue between members of the same faith tradition) among members of my own faith community. While I had a wonderful time at the annual meeting and connected with a wide range of both radical and reformist scholars in a variety of sub-fields, I found the annual meeting to be a rather solitary affair amongst 10,000 attendees. Granted, my Continue reading
THE DARK MOTHER
The Dark Mother ‘face’ of the Goddess has probably existed since the beginnings of self-reflective awareness. In fact, it is likely that so-called ‘primitive’ concepts of both the Bright and Dark Mother precede any distinct concept of a Goddess as deity — recognized only as an all-pervading ‘Presence’, most commonly referred to as ‘the Great Mother’.
Photo by Jane Jordan
A wonderful, magical weekend. Spent with sister-scholars, friends, mentors and elders from the Women’s Spirituality Masters of Arts program in the San Francisco Bay area, a trip I have made many times, down the great fault-line running through the mountainous, volcano-strewn landscape of the West Coast, from British Columbia to California. My very own pilgrimage route to be inspired/inspirited in the close conversations and practices I experience there, a weekend spent with colleagues I love and admire, who have supported the many years of my developing voice, scholarship, and art. A community Continue reading
Cailleach – Photo by Jude Lally
A Wild and Ancient Site
There are many sites across Scotland and Ireland relating to the Cailleach for there wasn’t just one Cailleach as she had many sisters. Less than one hundred miles from where I grew up is the long loch of Loch Tay in Scotland. If you were to take to the hills until you reach Glen Tay, then continue onto Tigh na Cailliche (Glen Cailleach), you will come across the little structure of Tigh Nam Bodach, the Shrine of the Cailleach. It is possibly the only surviving shrine to the Cailleach in all of Scotland.