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
View all posts by Deborah Jane Milton.
I moved from Pennsylvania USA to Montana in 1980. Buried beneath my Eastern intellect and conformity, the juicy, risk-taking adventurer burst forth inspired by the Western wild spaces. I served as a psychotherapist for a decade there (I have a PhD in Human Development) before taking my own advice to “follow my belly’s wisdom.” Spending two months in solitude in 1993, I reclaimed my childhood dream of being an artist at the same time Ecstatic Wisdom Postures (EWP) found me.
Invocation Libation African Goddess
In the name of the Great Mother Divine who comes as the Goddess within in all forms I call your names:
IyaMiAjeOshoronga, Mother Creator
IyaNla, the great mother
Nut, Maat, Auset, Sekhert, Hethert of Kemet
Sati, Shekmet, Anuke Shu of Nubia
Nana Baruku, primordial Mother of the Fon
NaneEsi, Nana Soonkwa, Mami Sika, Abenasika, AsaseYa of the Akan Continue reading
An OponIfa and Odu binary language
Ifa utilizes palm nuts and a divination chain called Opele to secure answers or Odu. The entire system is extremely feminine in nature in that the diviner sits on a mat symbolizing the weaving found in the fabric of existence. The initiation itself takes the person through a process that includes a river rebirthing, a red feather at the third eye, symbolizing menstrual blood, among others. Male initiates actually receive an artificial womb called Odu to awaken the female intuitive process within that will support their ability to divine and bring balance to their lives. The diviners sit with legs spread open as if giving birth with an OponIfa between their legs. It is a round wooden divination Continue reading
Doll in Folklore
Breejah. Art doll by Jude Lally
Before she died, Vasalisa was given a doll by her mother and advised to feed the doll and ask its advice when she needed it. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (1995) explains that the relationship between Vasalisa and her doll symbolizes a form of empathic magic between a woman and her intuition. While many women find their intuition weak, she explains that this is something which through practice can be strengthened and regained. When this occurs, it is as if the handing down of intuitive reliance between a woman and all females of her lines who have gone before her, this long river of women, has been dammed. Continue reading
Radical Doll Making
I call myself a radical doll maker taking this practice back to its roots. Back to roots of dolls as tools of magic, of holding intention, created and used within ritual. In a world that views female stone figurines as male pornography this is indeed a radical art!
I choose the gatherer’s story. I choose to spend time with my sisters in a sacred creative circle where together we weave magic envisioning it stretching out through space and time to Continue reading
“Waiting to Fly”, © Robin Quinlivan. Used by permission.
These are burning times. And they call for burning women. Women embodying their passion. Women feeling in their bodies. Creative women. Courageous women. Connected women.
Gather the women. Gather the men. Let burning women and burning men come together in ecstatic creative partnership. In dangerous acts of creative rebellion.
Rip your clothes off, run towards the flames and dance like there’s no tomorrow to the beat of your own heart. Only you can hear the rhythm, only you know its tune, only your body can dance this way, so do it. Stop holding back, and waiting, and trying to do it right, and not upset anyone. Continue reading
Old Antlered One. Art doll by Jude Lally
Sacred Becoming the Political
In looking into the theories of the stone goddess figurines and the artists of the cave art, it doesn’t take long before we become entangled in archaeological dogma. In 2009 the Woman of Hohle Fels was found, a carved female figurine dating back to 35,000 BCE. Nowell and Chang (2014) reviewed the scholarship around this finding as well as the mass media reporting. As news of the figurine was reported in the mass media, she was reported with headlines such as “World’s first Page 3 Girl”, “Smut carved from Continue reading
Riding the Red Dragon, ©Sandra Curtis
When diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” and during the long, long process of grieving that followed unsuccessful IVF attempts, I found myself almost obsessively drawing and making images of vulvas over and over again. Stylised line drawings, paintings, abstracts, moulding in clay, noticing its shape in many natural forms. I had no clear idea why. All I knew in the deepest part of me was that I must, for as long, and as many times, as it needed to come forth. Like stumbling along a path blindly in the dark, one step after the other without any clue where the path leads, it became like a daily “drawing meditation” followed by however many (or few) words spoke from (or to) each image. Not judging any of it, just allowing it to flow out on the page in whatever way it needed to that day, and the next day, and so on. Continue reading
Guardian. Art doll by Jude Lally
When I look at the ancient stone female figurines (such as the Woman of Willendorf), I wonder at about the people who made them and how those people experienced the world. While we will never know for sure there are many theories out there offering varying perspectives.
Some of these lead to damaging mindsets while others offer life giving outlooks. As a doll maker I suggest that these prehistoric figurines were the beginnings of the practice of doll making. This paper will examine the relevance of the doll in a tradition of Goddess honoring spirituality. Continue reading
War babies are babies
who make war
without knowing what war is.
War babies make war
on anyone who crosses them,
on each other. Continue reading
I moved from Pennsylvania USA to Montana in 1980. Buried beneath my Eastern intellect and conformity, the juicy, risk-taking adventurer burst forth inspired by the Western wild spaces. I served as a psychotherapist for a decade there ( I have a PhD in Human Development ) before taking my own advice to “follow my belly’s wisdom.” Spending two months in solitude in 1993, I reclaimed my childhood dream of being an artist at the same time Ecstatic Wisdom Postures (EWP) found me.