(Essay) The Controversy of the ‘Old Religion’: The Necessity of Intrafaith Dialogue by Patricia ‘Iolana

Avebury Circle and Chapel - Photo by Patricia 'Iolana

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

(Prose 2) The Cailleach: The Ancestral Mother of Scotland By Jude Lally

cailleach_edited

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.

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(Prose 1) The Cailleach: The Ancestral Mother of Scotland by Jude Lally

cailleach_edited

Cailleach – Photo by Jude Lally

“She is a symbolic personification of a cosmos that has been in place since time immemorial, certainly since before human society.”                            Gearoid O Crualaoich (2003)

While growing up my Samhain’s (Halloween’s) were all about Guising – diving into my grandmother’s bag of old clothes and wondrous fabrics and piecing costumes together. Guising was all about dressing up so that when the ancestors and spirits came through from the otherworld, they wouldn’t know who was who as we were all in disguise. I can remember the thrill of running from neighbours’ houses imagining the ancestors and spirits embodied in the night’s winds – swimming through treetops and swooping down to chase us while blowing up piles of fallen leaves for dramatic effect.

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(Essay) Deeper Down Under: and Moonwalking on Uluru, by Taffy (Robert) Seaborne

This essay was originally written by the author in Spring of 2006, and was published in Gaian Voices Volume 4, Number 3 & 4

Uluru - sacred centerAustralia

Uluru – sacred centre Australia

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is a World Heritage Area listed for both its natural and cultural values, yet many living outside Australia still only know it by its European name – Ayers Rock. Here, even during a brief stay of only a few days, visitors can and do experience a profound sense of being in a sacred place. For the Anangu, traditional owners of Uluru, and for others who are fortunate enough to live in its presence, and who choose to dwell there in a receptive manner, it can be a place for deepening awareness of the manta – the Earth, as sacred.

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(Review) Women and Spirituality: The Goddess Trilogy by Donna Read, reviewed by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

GODDESSTRILCVCRPThis three part film series – Goddess RememberedThe Burning Times, and Full Circle, by Donna Read, now released as Women and Spirituality: the Goddess Trilogy , by alive MIND, was first released on video two decades ago. It was shown on some television networks, and received awards, and fired many hearts, but it remained largely within a specialist community of seekers and had seemed destined to remain that way as quickly changing technology left it sitting on shelves. The content seemed destined to remain alive only in the hearts and minds of a select group, largely women, who perceived here a documentation of their spiritual heritage, that would likely never receive wider recognition as a bona fide indigenous tradition amongst “world”  religions of our times. However, it seems that this spiritual heritage has a strong urge to be, and its release as DVD in these times of intense global networking promises a reception by a now much larger audience: and there is a readiness for it, as humans face more clearly some failure in presently accepted modes of relationship with our place of being – this Earth.

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(Essay) Coming Home to Our Senses: Placing Ourselves with Story By Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

This essay is an edited excerpt from Chapter 8 of the author’s book PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.

In the Old Western Way,

The receipt of story by eyes or ears was regarded as a vital pathway of blessing, if the reader or listener were in a state of proper attention and respect. Those who merely siphoned the words off the page like a vacuum cleaner, those who sat inattentively, mentally wool-gathering did not receive the blessing. Our own saturation with printed materials sometimes renders us insensible to the sacred blessing of story and its many gifts … But when we memorize a story, its blessing works at a deeper level within us. It is then that we enter fully into its workings; it is then that we become the story. When we become garments of story, we are able to clothe others with blessing.[1]

receipt of story

receipt of story: MoonCourt Cosmic Walk, Australia

The process of participating in “sacred space” – conscious ceremony – is different from simply being lectured to or told something, or from having a discussion. In conscious sacred space, the whole being is engaged; we are able to speak and hear the depths of our felt knowings. In conscious sacred space, we are close to the blueprint of our lives, as close as each is able to be; and that ability within each is varied and complex and unknowable. The variation of ability to approach the “blueprint”, from time to time within the same person, and then from person to person, affects what a participant will gain and possibly integrate. But the reaching for it, co-creates the very receptor that is required – as surely as the chlorophyll molecule was co-created by Earth and Sun, as Earth reached for nourishment; as surely as the ear was co-created by subject and sound, as the subject reached for an unknown signal … the reaching for Her, co-creates the desired presence. Continue reading

(She Rises 3) Introduction by Kaalii Cargill

Forthcoming June Solstice, 2015

[Author’s Note: This is part of introduction to She Rises, Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?” forthcoming June Solstice, 2015]

When Helen invited me to join her in editing this collection of writing, art, and poetry, I knew it would involve many hours of work. I have been delighted that the project has also involved many hours of immersion in words and images that speak to my deepest longings for wisdom and practices that heal ourselves, each other, and the World. I am grateful to Helen and all the authors and artists who have shared their work here. I hope this collection speaks to you as deeply as it has to me . . .

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(She Rises 2) Introduction by Trista Hendren

Forthcoming June Solstice, 2015

[Author’s Note: This is part of introduction to She Rises, Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?” forthcoming June Solstice, 2015]

Goddess has been a guilty pleasure of mine for the last twenty years, although it wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I was able to fully embrace Her. She had been hidden and demonized throughout my childhood in a way that took me a long time to recover from. I was always the quiet and submissive daughter that I was supposed to be. Once she was fully unveiled, there as no turning back on the rage that I felt and the power that slowly returned to me.  This awakening cost me the relationship with my father. It has been a painful realization that my continued silence and subordination was a mandatory requirement for some of my relationships. Despite the loss that I still feel, I cannot revert to the person I once was.

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(She Rises 1) Knowing the Great Goddess: Act of Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang

Forthcoming June Solstice, 2015

[Author’s Note: This is part of my introduction to She Rises, Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?” forthcoming June Solstice, 2015]

Without doubt, undertaking the project of this anthology is a way of advocating a feminist/activist/spiritual Goddessism/Magoism. Knowing the Great Goddess itself is an act of Goddess feminism/activism/spirituality. “To know” is an active verb. To know the Goddess is an act that hurls one to an uncharted territory in the patriarchal foreground. Precisely, in that bewildered place we find the door to the Way of the Goddess. We are collectively waking up to the deep memory that ancients paved a way for us to remember.

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