Tag Archive: women’s spirituality


It was hard for me to wrap my head around a Sun Goddess after having it instilled since starting out on my Path that the sun was masculine and the moon was feminine – especially as my interests were piqued by the Germanic and Norse hearth cultures. The idea that Sól or Sunna, a Goddess of the sun, was so strange – and stranger yet, Máni, brother of Sól, the moon personified! But as Carol P. Christ commented on this post, “As we reclaim our female selves, we need to know that we are not restricted to the dark, the unconscious, or the unformed. All of life, light and dark, conscious and unconscious, formed, forming, and unformed were once imagined to be female. We affirm all of these as parts of ourselves, parts of all selves.”

Lest we not forget the different Goddesses found throughout the world in other cultures that have solar associations “List of Sun Goddesses“.

judith Shaw photoAs we approach the summer solstice, the longest day of the the year, I find myself reflecting on my love of the long, hot days of summer.  The bliss of lying on a beach caressed by the kisses of sun and breeze, with the promise of the cool inviting embrace of the sea by my side, is one of my most favorite forms of relaxation.  Though the ozone layer has thinned and I can only indulge this desire in small doses now, I still love the feeling of the sun on my skin as She paints colored visions in my mind’s eye.

Sulis painting by Judith ShawShe –  how can I personify the sun as She when from across the world we hear only of Sun Gods and Moon Goddesses?  Yet hidden deep in mythology one discovers that long, long ago the sun was worshipped as a goddess. From Aditi – Hindu Solar Goddess…

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“I feel I actually encountered the Goddess most meaningfully during this time of personal suffering…I did not feel a truly personal experience of Goddess ‘energy’ until this pregnancy loss.” – This speaks to me and is so profound. I knew the Goddess, somehow, I’ve always known Her; but it wasn’t until my miscarriage in 2006, a few years after I formally dedicated myself to Her, that I too really truly felt Her and knew Her – it’s very difficult to explain. I grieved, I was at an all-time low, in pieces, an emotional mess – and yet I stood humbled and in awe of Her, Her power, and Her strong encircling presence – it had never felt so strong. It was She who helped me go through this transformation and bring me onto the path I’m on today. It was good to read this because I know that I’m not alone in feeling this and other women too have had a similar experience in really coming to know the Goddess through their miscarriages, trials and tribulations.

Of course, I also became familiar with Her in a totally different way and tuned into a different energy with the birth of my daughter in 2008. It is through these shamanic experiences that we come to know Her in our own ways.

editMollyNov 083Childbirth is a rite of passage so intense physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, that most other events in a woman’s life pale next to it. In our modern lives, there are few remaining rituals of initiation, few events that challenge a person’s mettle down to the very core. Childbirth remains a primary initiatory rite for a woman.” –Maren Hansen (MotherMysteries)

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I read an article with the theme of “Birth as a Shamanic Experience.” I can no longer find the exact article (online or printed), but I distinctly remember my feeling upon reading it: I was entering into a mystery. Giving birth was big. Bigger than anything I’d ever done before and it went beyond the realm of a purely biological process and into something else. Like shamanic experiences, giving birth is often described as involving a sense of connection to the…

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“May we gaze on the beauty of Inanna as She, in Her love for humanity, brings us the gifts of civilization. May we understand the need to honor and protect Her, our Mother Earth, on whose well-being our well-being is dependent. May our hearts and our minds be opened to a new way of being in which we leave behind the role of conquerors and once more claim our place as Her children and Her protectors.” ~ Judith Shaw

Judith Shaw photoSpring has arrived and my garden begins to emerge once more.  The world greens and blooms all around, reminding me that Mother Earth remains constant in Her desire to bless us with Her bountiful abundance. I am also reminded of Inanna and Her love for humanity.

Inanna, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, a Sumerian Goddess who encompasses all aspects of life, was greatly revered by the  people of Uruk as she brought them the gifts of civilization.

This part of her story begins when she visits her father, Enki, God of Wisdom.   As they share drinks and a meal, Inanna proceeds to drink Enki under the table.  Once he’s well into His cups He gives Her the sacred me, the gifts of civilization.   Inanna rejoices as she claims these gifts for Her people, gifts such as:
kingship, the divine queen priestess,
the art of the hero, the art…

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According to Patricia Monaghan, Creiddylad is associated with a Goddess I worked with last year, Cordelia. “Creiddylad, Welsh Goddess of Flowers and Love, is celebrated at this time. (Her name is pronounced cree-THIL-ahd) She is the eternal May Queen, always seeking peace and stability. She remains eternally constant in the face of all change. She is the promise of love, golden glowing moon-flowing love, enduring through all hardship and despair. Creiddylad also shows us the necessity of self-love. Only by truly loving ourselves can we love another.” ~ Judith Shaw

judith Shaw photo

May Day/Beltane (Calan Mai to the ancient Celts) is almost here and our hearts turn to thoughts of love, flowers and the bounty of our Mother Earth. Both Beltane and Halloween/Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) were liminal or threshold days, considered to be outside of normal time. These sacred, mystic days were more important than the solstices in the Celtic world view.

Creiddylad painting by Judith Shaw

Creiddylad, Welsh Goddess of Flowers and Love, is celebrated at this time. (Her name is pronounced cree-THIL-ahd)  She is the eternal May Queen, always seeking peace and stability.  She remains eternally constant in the face of all change.  She is the promise of love, golden glowing moon-flowing love, enduring through all hardship and despair.  Creiddylad also shows us the necessity of self-love. Only by truly loving ourselves can we love another.

Creiddylad is mentioned only briefly in The Mabinogion but her symbolism reveals that she is surely an ancient and…

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More wonderful thoughts on Beltane…””We are in liminal time right now – the Season of Beltane, the beginning of the bright half of the year. The veil is thin between the worlds and this is the traditional time for embracing what is coming in.” ~ Deanne Quarrie

Deanne Quarrie

The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning “a threshold.” The word threshold has several definitions.  It can be the sill of a doorway or the entrance of a building.  Ultimately, it means any place of point of entering or beginning. In psychology the term limen means the point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to begin to produce an effect.

Liminal time therefore, is that moment when something changes from one state to another.  Examples would be dawn, the morning sun rising high enough in the sky to bring daylight.  Another is dusk, the evening sun sinking into the horizon bringing nightfall.

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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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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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This was eye opening for me in terms of how crucial the role of women played in the development of early Christianity and Islam – names of women I had never heard of before (Empress Theodora, Khadija bint Khuwaylid, and Aisha bint Abu Bakr).  I truly wish their stories and accounts were taught along side that of their male counterparts – that their names were as well known and considered “common knowledge”; but those in power tried to slander, bury and stamp them out for a reason…to demote their significance and thus the social status of women.  “Forget or ignore them, and we impoverish history and ourselves.”

“Programme Three explores a missed ‘golden age’ for women, when historical characters such as the Empress Theodora in Byzantium, Wu Zetien in China (the Empress who called herself Emperor), the early women of Islam and Anglo-Saxon Hilda of Whitby, used the power of ancient traditions and new ideas about religion and philosophy to wield influence in a man’s world – notably through the power of reform, education and the word. We look at evidence through the Byzantine Empire, early Islam, in China, Northumbria and Oxford.”

 

This is the second episode following “When God Was a Girl” in a BBC documentary series, Divine Women by historian Bettany Hughes.  “Historian Bettany Hughes continues her journey into the hidden and controversial history of women’s place in religion as she uncovers the lost era of the priestess. She delves into the ancient Greek worship of the goddess of sex, Aphrodite, and finds out what this practice meant for women. She also heads to ancient Rome, where the fate of the civilisation lay in the hands of six sacred virgins. Returning to the crucial early years of Christianity, she finds evidence that overturns centuries of Church teaching and challenges the belief that women should not be priests.”

 

When God Was a Girl

Take an hour out and treat yourself – reclaim your herstory, reclaim your divinity! Wonderful and informational.  “Historian Bettany Hughes visits a world where Goddesses ruled the heavens and earth, and reveals why our ancestors thought of the divine as female. Travelling across the Mediterranean and the Near East, Bettany goes to remote places, where she encounters fearsome Goddesses who controlled life and death, and she ends up in modern-day India, where the Goddess is still a powerful force for thousands of Hindus. Immersing herself in the excitement of the Durga Puja festival, Bettany experiences Goddess worship first-hand, and finds out what the Goddess means to Her devotees.”

 

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