[Author’s Note: The Fayetteville Goddess Festival is a long-running event held in Fayetteville, Arkansas and hosted by the Omni Center for Peace. Started in 1990 as the Women’s Festival and Conference at the University of Arkansas, the Festival was forced to cut ties to the University in 2000 amid rumors that University officials were displeased by the presence of a lesbian workshop at the Festival. The most recent Fayetteville Goddess Festival took place March 17-26, 2017 and featured concerts, rituals, and daily workshops. Some of these workshops were restricted by age and self-identified gender, which did not seem to be the source of controversy.]
wash away my concrete thoughts
hurting, growing up
finding my place Continue reading
In fairy stories a forest is the site of transformation. Unexpected encounters with shadow and benign figures take the protagonist from one state of being to a state of wholeness so a marriage can take place – ultimately giving birth to a golden child. The story of The Handless Maiden is one such story. It is a tale of endurance over a lifetime through repetitions of loss, sacrifice and renewal. Her father is tricked into selling her to the devil for riches and plenty. When the devil comes to take her, her purity of heart throws him across the yard. The devil threatens her father with ruin and tells him to cut off her hands and to not let her bathe. But the girl and the father both cried so many tears that the stumps of her arms were clean and again when the devil tried to seize her, he was thrown across the yard. Continue reading
I had closed a door on Catholicism many years ago and to repair the damage, embarked on reading the feminist writers and “New Age” teachers and met many eastern teachers to find relief from a deep darkness, a black dog that haunted by life. The return to the Christian tradition proved to be a profound revelation that I documented, and then as time went on, revealed the nature of the darkness as stark visions of abuse at the hands of a hospital chaplain when I was a student nurse, and an impact of witnessing an enraged nun, who was teaching us the Catholic catechism in preparation for our first confession, beating a boy with a cane in a frenzy, which drove into me a terror of hell and damnation that I was mute and lost for the next 4 years. Continue reading
Holder of Mary – Entry dated October 14, 2015 – meditation:
Yesterday, I was told to rest. As the evening came along, I was informed that they’d have to give me another title. I did not know or understand at the time, what they were speaking about. They also implied that there was much work to be done.
So, this morning I meditated after waking up to find out what the new title is and what it may mean:
I saw an image of feminine hands holding a very old pot – clay or ceramic, maybe; and then I saw a hallway from an old Egyptian temple, in a soft glow of yellowish-gold; then a throne chair appeared at the very beginning of Continue reading
(4/10/13 – 1/22/16)
What do I mean by the words Spirit Animal? Indigenous peoples take it for granted that each animal has an Elder Spirit who watches over that particular species. Most of the time this Elder Spirit stays in the other world as a discarnate being. But there are exceptions and sometimes these Spirit Animals cross over to our world. Some come as teachers, some come to warn of impending danger, some give their lives so other can live, some come to bless a child or to act as a protector, healer or personal guide, all embody Grace and love with a capital “L.”
The opening and closing of arms is the clearest, most true indicator that racism is real. We panic. We shut out those who are different, for they bring fear and the unknown. People who are similar to us culturally or ethnically are deemed safe. The world has become bleakly black and white. You are in or out, which is why passing is such a privilege. It’s the best of both worlds where one day you can feel special because you are different, and the next you can be plain Jane.
This was all very curious to me. How tolerant are we really? Or are we tolerant when it works for us, when we connect in our differences and see that someone is of or against the same grain as us? We Continue reading
In the aftermath of the bloody Balkan War in the 1990s, I asked many stari Babas (elder women) what was in their apron pockets. South Slavic storied aprons are the first-person stories of daughters, mothers, and grandmothers mirroring the biological miracle of female mitochondrial DNA. The mitochondrial DNA, the unbroken line of genes passed down from mother to daughter, allows geneticists to trace back to the first mother. The Slavs embroidered pockets to hold dolls, keys, and jewelry to be passed on to their daughters is an unbroken ritual despite wars and holocaustic events. Continue reading
This photo from April 2008 shows Christy Paxson and her newborn daughter, six weeks old at the time. The subject of mother and child is an eternal one, and when I took this Continue reading