(Prose) Snowy: Tribute to a “Spirit Animal” by Sara Wright

Photo Credit: Sara Wright

Photo Credit: Sara Wright

(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.”

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(Prose 2) Pseudo-Tolerance by Aisha Monks-Husain

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

(Book Excerpt) Blood and Honey by Danica Anderson, Ph.D.

16523790_10210617005995468_186396119_oIn 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

(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) 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) Reacquainted with the juice by Nane Jordan

Photo by Jane Jordan

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

(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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(Book Excerpt 4) Jesus, Muhammad and the Goddess, the Girl God anthology by Trista Hendren

jesus_mo_go_cover_800-1Jesus, Muhammad and the Goddess: a Girl God Anthology. Edited by Trista Hendren, Pat Daly
and Noor-un-nisa Gretasdottir

Part 4

Joan Baez said that Action is the antidote to despair.” That may be so, but I still despair a lot. Perhaps my expectations are too high of everyone, including myself. There’s a quote that I love from Christine Karumba that says, “One woman can change anything, but many women can change everything.” These last years, this is where I have tried to put the bulk of my efforts—into collaborative work. Continue reading

(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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(Book Excerpt 3) Jesus, Muhammad and the Goddess, the Girl God anthology by Trista Hendren

jesus_mo_go_cover_800-1Jesus, Muhammad and the Goddess: a Girl God Anthology. Edited by Trista Hendren, Pat Daly
and Noor-un-nisa Gretasdottir

I realized yesterday that I have expected feminism to fix the entire world and now I am laughing at myself. My expectation likely stems from the early years of my life where I thought Christianity, or my faith in Jesus, would fix the world—or at least everything that was wrong in mine. Continue reading

(Book Excerpt 2) Jesus, Muhammad and the Goddess, the Girl God anthology by Trista Hendren

jesus_mo_go_cover_800-1Jesus, Muhammad and the Goddess: a Girl God Anthology. Edited by Trista Hendren, Pat Daly
and Noor-un-nisa Gretasdottir

Several weeks ago on the news, we saw pictures of 40,000 people starving to death in Madaya, Syria. The elderly, women and children—all horribly emaciated. Their faces haunt me, especially the children’s. I have felt unbearably burnt out these last weeks so I decided to clean out our flat instead of working as I usually do during the weekend. My husband offered to help, but I declined. The deep cleaning was something I wanted to tackle myself for my own mental health—and, he had work to do downstairs that we frankly needed the income from. Continue reading