Archive for March, 2013


This graphic on Facebook has been driving me crazy all week – thanks to The Belle Jar for putting this together to address the mis- and disinformation being put out there that has absolutely no scholarly evidence or lore to back those claims up.  I also found this on the Suppressed History Archives Facebook page: “A real connection, not linguistic or diffusionist, can be found in the spring festival of eggs, whether Pesach or Easter. Pesach (Passover) has been shown to incorporate Babylonian cultural elements (from the Jewish Babylonian) – beyond the egg and greenery on the plate, it incorporates the names Esther (Ishtar) and Mordechai (Marduk). Still today Iranians play games with painted eggs for Nowruz (Persian New Year, coinciding with Spring Equinox). Dunno if this is allowed now in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but looky here:” History of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.  Also this from the Northern Grove, Cultural Appropriation, Ishtar, Eostre, and Easter.  Good stuff to read!

The Belle Jar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynistandeugenicsenthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were chock-full of smug remarks…

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This point really hit home with me as I’ve struggled to find truth this week about the Ostara and Easter season. There seems to be so much mis- and disinformation out there concerning the Neo-Pagan holiday of Ostara with no scholarly or historical “evidence” or lore to back them up. Also, I see a lot of crazy fundamentalist Xtain claims centered around the worship of Ishtar and the present day Easter traditions of Lent, eating ham at Easter, hot-crossed buns, association with hares and even coloring eggs with the blood of sacrificed babies…crazy, right? Here’s what I take from Jean Raffa’s entry on the Easter season (and applies to those of us who observe and celebrate Ostara): “To the ego it sometimes feels crucial that we get the facts right, possess the ‘correct’ interpretation — especially the religious one — and reject the ‘wrong’ one. But to the soul, these details are beside the point. To your soul and mine, this story is a celebration of the sacred miracle of life, and all three interpretations are equally true.” Beautifully put!

Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

One of the oldest recorded myths comes from Sumeria and tells the story of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth. After a period of growing, assuming her authority, working to bless the world with the gifts of civilization, courting, marrying, birthing and mothering, Inanna descends to the underworld to visit her sister Ereshkigal, its Queen. On the way down she is stripped one by one of all her earthly possessions: symbols of her beauty, success, femininity and the power she has worked so hard to attain. At the bottom she is met by Ereshkigal who has her hung naked on a meat hook. And there she hangs. But on the third day, with the help of her loyal priestess, Ninshubur, and Enki, the God of Culture, she’s rescued and returns to life in the world above.

This is an allegory of a universal truth. Like all great myths, which are…

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A most excellent list! Six of the authors are in my own personal library, a few I had not heard of before so I’ll definitely have to check these people out. Thank you talkbirth!

WoodsPriestess

Earlier this month I was very interested to see a series of posts on Raise the Horns about the top 25 most influential people in the birth of paganism. When I read Mankey’s post, it reinforced my own conception of Goddess spirituality as having a distinctly different lineage and flavor than much of contemporary paganism. His list, while extensive, useful, and accurate, involves a distinct lack of Goddess scholars, highlighting to me that Goddess spirituality IS a different movement and isn’t actually just a Goddess-oriented branch of contemporary paganism. Indeed, almost everyone on his list I’d either never heard of, not read, or don’t enjoy their writing. I immediately started to draft a list of my own and came up with 13 women, which seemed delightfully appropriate. We in the Goddess feminist community have our own path, herstory, and lineage, one that really only began in the 1970’s in…

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Some great links to read to help you understand the influences and type of energy this Full Moon brings and to help you figure out what you want to work on during this Full Moon coming up on March 27…”Full Moon in Libra – March 27th, 2013” by Dipali Desai; “March Full Worm Moon” by Robert McDowell; “The Sun enters Aries” by Dana Gerhardt; and “Libra Full Moon: Befriending the Enemy” by April Elliott Kent.

Journeying to the Goddess

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that March’s full moon is known as the Worm Moon amongst the Native Americans – As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Seed Moon; sowing season and symbol of the start of the new year.

MARCH: Storm Moon (March) Also known as: Seed…

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As always, I really love Deanne Quarrie’s work. The earth is the body of our Earth Mother – She gives us life, She sustains us and nourishes us and is all around us; yet She is within each and everyone one of us. Love and blessings to you Earth Mother – thank you!

“Our Mother who art within us,
Each breath brings us to you.
Thy wisdom come,
Thy will be done,
as we honor your presence within us.
You give us this day all that we need.
Your bounty calls us to give and receive
all that is loving and pleasurable.
You are the courage that moves us to be true to ourselves
and we act with grace and power.
We relax into your cycles of birth,
growth, death and renewal.
Out of the womb, the darkness, the void, comes new life.
For you are the Mother of All Things.
Your body is the Sacred Earth and our bodies.
Your love nurtures us and unites us all.
Now and forever more.” – Dale Allen

 

In the earliest of times, I believe, humans did not see themselves as separate from all that was around them.  All of life was known as interdependent.  This is how I see it today.  When we are born, we are born to a mother.  Our lives are solely dependent on her for survival.  We are birthed by her, nourished by her, protected by her, and sometimes forced out to experience on our own, by her.  She is at first, our own Original Uncultured Mother.  Once we move from her shelter, we begin to experience our world in the same way, looking not only for what nourishes, what protects and what shelters, but also for what we need to be mindful of for our own safety, those forces far out of our control.  Those forces, which were uncontrollable, the ancients held in high esteem, and honored with reverence.   

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A fabulous breathing and meditation exercise to celebrate the Goddess within us and the Spring energies that are all around right now.
“Spring is here. Your body is the body of the goddess. If desired, please say the following aloud or silently, participate in the suggested breathing exercise and allow yourself to sink deeply into the body that is yours and is part of the season– the awakening of spring.” ~ Marie Cartier

My body is the body of the goddess—witches and shamans and other magical beings (including humans) chant this in spring ritual …and other times of the year as well.

But as we prepare for spring equinox, I thought I would use my blog this March to give the Feminism and Religion community a chakra mediation for spring ritual and renewal. Spring is here. Your body is the body of the goddess. If desired, please say the following aloud or silently, participate in the suggested breathing exercise and allow yourself to sink deeply into the body that is yours and is part of the season– the awakening of spring.

Breathe deeply: in and out; in and out; and in and out.

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Welcome Freyja!

Wow, it has been too long since I’ve written last.  As I’ve stated in my other blog, The Journeys of a Nomadic Pagan, “Reflections During the Dark Moon“, life has gotten extremely busy for me and I’ve found it difficult to sit down and write about all the cool things going on.  If you recall from an earlier post, “The Dark Mother Does NOT Hold Back and Other Things“, I was having a very intense time with Odin making his presence overwhelmingly known in my life.  It seemed as though Odin was there, all the time, pushing me so hard in the pursuit of  knowledge that I was putting everyday activities to the side, constantly trying to play catch up late at night with everyday mundane activities.  I had to tell Odin that my family and my children come first in my life right now.  Then, in stepped Freyja and everything changed…

“Freyja” by Kris Waldherr

“Freyja” by Kris Waldherr

I don’t recall the exact date now – looking back though, I’d say that at around February 23rd (I know it was after a conversation that I was having with a good friend of mine on February 20, telling her how I felt like there was more work that I felt needed to be done or to prove myself before I could connect with Freyja; but before the Full Moon on February 25th because I dedicated that Full Moon rite to Her) Freyja made a surprising visit as I was falling asleep one night.  I was right on the verge or falling asleep, when you’re in that in-between state, but still somewhat conscious of what’s going on around you.  All of a sudden, I “saw” these bright prisms or rays of white/blue/purple/pink light beam down and light everything up.  Then, I saw Her – She was very similar in appearance to Kris Waldherr’s depiction of Freyja, chariot and cats and all, but different – Her hair was brighter or a lighter blonde and the clothing She was dressed in lighter colored clothing, white and grey.

Her energy was amazing and completely surrounded me – every breath I was taking in felt as though I was breathing Her energy into my lungs and engulfed my body.  The only way I can describe it is warm kitten fur – seriously – it felt like warm soft kitten fur!

That night, She made it very clear that She was here to stick around and has even given me certain requirements or tasks that She strongly suggests me to do if I am to represent Her and become one of Her priestesses; and since then Odin has stepped back, way back.   It was almost as though She had to “step in” and acting in a protective manner and tell Odin to step back for a while.  Later, I found (and I can’t remember the source – still looking for it) that Freyja was the only Goddess that could, for whatever reason, really stand up to Odin and have him step back from a person that he had a hold on as it were.  I think it might have to do with the fact that She had taught Odin magic and that gave Her the authority to do so, or the fact that Freyja has the first pick of souls of the slain or fallen warriors as Lady Imbrium had mentioned.

This new deep connection with the gods of the Norse pantheon almost made me feel conflicted in a way.  You see, for my ADF hearth culture, I was sure on my choice of the Celtic or Gaulish pantheons to work with.  However, things have taken a real turn and it seems as though the gods of the Norse hearth culture have chosen me.  Funny how that works…but I still continue to honor the Goddesses I feel especially close to and have their altars I set up (The Morrígan, Brighid and Epona/Rhiannon) and things seem and feel OK.  I’m also in the process of setting up my ADF altar to Frigga (who has a real quiet but firm presence in my life – but She doesn’t say too much, She just kind of sits back and observes) and Odin.  In fact, a few weeks back, I actually had a dream of Brighid and Freyja.  Their images were on a single card from the Goddess Guidance Oracle deck by Doreen Virtue.  It kept spinning, Freyja on one side and Brighid on the other.  To me, it signified balance and a feeling that it was OK to work with both pantheons, but that they should not be mixed.  Balance was the key.

I’ve also noticed I’ve been dreaming of runes and seeing them more often.  I had a dream one night of runes that appeared from the usual swirling grey mists in my “spiritual dreams”.  Out of the mists Fehu and Gebo appeared.  These runes apparently have some type of significance to Her (as does Ehwaz I’ve been finding out).  A few others appeared too, but I don’t remember them – Berkano, Jera, and Mannaz seem to be standing out; but those first two are the two that really stand out in my memory.  Also, there are times when I close my eyes and runes just seem to swirl around and around….

My personal altar to Freyja - a work in progress.

My personal altar to Freyja – a work in progress.

I have since set up a personal altar to Her in my bedroom by my bed side, making daily offerings to Her of different sweet-smelling incense that She seems to enjoy (strawberry, latin lover, and amber romance).  She also made it known that She likes pearls.  This was a little strange to me as She is a fertility Vanir Goddess, more closely associated with the earth I thought – how was She connected with the sea?  But looking at Her father, Njörðr, god of the sea and weather, it makes a little more sense.  Then I found this wonderful blog entry, “M is for Mardöll“, it made much more sense.  Plus, She just thinks they’re really pretty – She likes pretty things 😉

I continue to speak with Her and give Her praises daily, and She in turn comforts me, helps to remind me to go within and find my center when I’m angry or upset, and tells me what work needs to be done in the healing process I’ve started back in February.  The relationship I’ve been working on building with Her is amazing.  She is so strong and confident, an amazing healer and full of wisdom and knowledge that will come to me in time with hard work (there are things that She has advised me I NEED to learn and WILL learn) as She sees fit and feels I am ready.  The new found healing, love, confidence, blessings and opportunities that have presented themselves within the past month or so have been so amazing and transformative – unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.  Welcome Freyja!  Hail and praises to you Sweet Lady!

This is a truly remarkable, informative and fascinating read! I love this: “Whilst women are giving their power away to patriarchal ideologies, taking drugs to stop their menstrual cycle, using cancer-causing chemical bleached tampons to stem the flow, seeing their Menses as an inconvenient ‘curse’ they are ashamed of, male scientists around the world are using the power to experience states of physical and spiritual high. Isn’t it time we reclaimed our Feminine power? Honoring the sacred regenerative properties of the ‘Flowering’ of our Wombs.” LOVE IT!!!

This on AlterNet.org, Adventures in Menstruation: Time to Dump Those Silly Taboos: “We teach them that it is a hygienic crisis,” says Chris Bobel, author of New Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation, “rather than what it is, which is an important gateway to talk about our bodies, our sexuality, our health, how we mature and age, as well as body image issues.  Talking about menstruation can be a way to begin teaching girls that they are not products for consumer culture, to be improved upon, sculpted and cleaned up. It opens up the discourse about all sorts of issues.”
Read on to find some of the religious roots of such ridiculous and misogynistic myths…

This is why I love the concept of the Red Tent (

).  It makes my heart and soul yearn to be here with my sisters everytime I watch this video…

The Goddess of Sacred Sex

Menstrual Blood used to be the most Sacred substance on Earth, and now science is discovering its incredible healing powers…

(This post adapted from information provided by Seren Swannesha Bertrand from The Fountain of Life http://www.thefountainoflife.org/).563224_605643206128922_1304268491_n

One of the most important rituals was preparing a ‘drink of immortality’ made from menstrual blood, which is full of healing stem cells, which can actually activate our cellular capacity to regenerate and transport us to endocrine states of rapture. Or in a spiritual sense open us to the Frequency of Love and Eternal Life, transporting us to another Dimension – called Heaven, Paradise, Nirvana etc.

This ‘Love Feast’ or ‘Sacred Marriage’ – a core part of the Menstrual Mysteries – was eventually declared a heresy and women were barred from participating in Christian rites.

However the ‘Power of Renewal, Rebirth, and Resurrection’ previously associated with the Holy Womb and Menstrual Blood of the Divine…

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Granted, we’ve moved out of the Dark Moon phase this month, but this was too beautiful not to share. Beautiful!

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In honor of our foremothers, matrons and our dísir, I thought I’d share a little background and history about International Women’s Day…”The origins of the holiday can be traced back to March 8, 1857, when garment workers in New York City staged a protest against inhumane working conditions and low wages, according to the United Nations. The police attacked the protesters and dispersed them, but the movement continued and led to the creation of the first women’s labor union” (continue reading What is International Women’s Day?, 2013).

And why do we still celebrate it today? Nimue Brown puts it flat out: “We need International Women’s Day because internationally, definitions of rape are too often shoddy and sometimes non-existent. Worse still there are countries where the female victim of this crime can be punished for sex outside marriage. I’ve heard men speaking on the radio about how if girls dress in provocative ways, of course they are going to get raped…We need International Women’s Day for the many, many victims across the world who suffer domestic abuse. Not just the ones who are bruised and bloodied, but the ones whose self esteem is taken from them, who are used as slaves, drudges and sex objects. Those who die at the hands of men also need to be spoken of. There are still too many people of both genders who think its fine for women to be subservient to men. We need today for the trafficked girls who are kidnapped and sold, and who, if rescued will be stigmatized by their communities for what happened to them. We need it for the girls from impoverished families who don’t get an education and are sold into marriage before they even hit puberty. For the girls in their early teens who still die in childbirth every year. For the victims of forced marriage everywhere” (continue reading “Why do we need International Women’s Day?” by Nimue Brown, 2013).

 

“Women of the Nation, women of all the Nations; you are the strength, you are the force, you are the healing of the Nations…”

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