“All hail- the new priestess!” they all shouted at the end. I was recently ordained near Midsummer Eve (June 20, 2015) as a priestess with the Temple of Isis, Los Angeles and Fellowship of Isis. As befits feminism and religion — I felt it important to share the document read by my scribe – the person who did a lengthy interview and wrote up a summary of why I should be accepted into ordination. I am sharing this with her permission with the Feminism and Religion community. Why do we choose the paths we choose? Why did I choose this Goddess path? The document that explores those reasons follows:
June 20th 2015 – 4:00 p.m.
Ordination of Dr. Marie Cartier into the Fellowship of Isis,
Temple of Isis Los Angeles and the Temple of Isis Long Beach.
Our dear sister has reached a point in her life that our ancient mothers of old have been preparing for her and she is ready to be dedicated to and be an emissary of the Goddesses. She is ready to take on the responsibilities of Priestess and is very honored and proud to be accepted by her Priestess Sisters who she dearly loves and admires.
Dr. Marie Cartier is a scholar, visual/performance artist, queer activist, writer and theologian. She has been active in many movements for social change. Marie teaches at UC Irvine in the Film & Media Studies Department and CSU Northridge in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Religion from Claremont Graduate University, 2010, in Women Studies in Religion, with an emphasis on theology, ethics, and culture. She published in 2013 through Routledge the book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars and Theology Before Stonewall and created the concept of “theelogy” a religion of friendship for people in exile, particularly lesbians prior to 1975.
She has three Master of Fine Arts Degrees – Film, Theater, and Visual Art. She also exhibits internationally her installation performance, MORGASM, the Museum of Radical Gender and Sex Matrix, which explores female orgasm in a museum context. Currently she is advising on and co-producing, The HomoFiles, a documentary film based on her book, Baby You are My Religion. Marie is also a black belt in karate, yoga instructor, and the founder of the Dandelion Warrior Movement and is also an active member of LBWS**
A few weeks ago I was honored to spend a few hours with in which she shared with me how she came to choose each of the three Goddesses she will be dedicating to today:
Elen of the Ways, Yemaya, and Freya.
Marie said, “I have been a Witch since I was 21; I came to women’s spirituality in my early 20’s around the time I was awakening to my Lesbian Feminist identity. It was later, when I was living in upstate New York that a woman said to me that I could say, “I am a witch” three times and this would make me a witch. I did that—and believed I was a witch. Of course also at that time I was hanging out with a group of witches, performing healings and attending rituals.
Goddess Elen of the Ways:
While Marie was young and was visiting her grandmother on Christmas Eve she actually saw reindeer flying.
Marie shared about Laura Janesdaughter when she speaks of this Goddess. Marie was also transformed by Ritual at the UUCLB Church approximately 10 years ago. She states that is when her “external façade” fell away. She remembers Joanne coming forward in the Yule Ritual and starting to read. She says it is also from the contact she had with Laura Janesdaughter, Joanne, and Anniitra that was so transformative in her life. She reminisced about Christmas Carols, Fluorescent Lights, and Yule Ritual at UUCLB. She speaks of hugging a Christmas tree. She also spoke of the Circle of Aradia, the Temple of Dianna, her training and graduation from Spiral Door –all as instrumental to her choosing the path she chooses today.
Marie has a knowing that the ocean is her home place and that she is from a Mermaid Lineage connected to the ocean. She feels landlocked when she is away from it.
In her 20’s she had a dream that crystallized her adult life. In this dream, she was flying over the waves in the grey spray of the ocean. She was flying towards a tower. Waves were hitting the tower and then receding away from it. In this ebb and flow, 4 openings on the bottom of the tower were visible. In this dream, Marie was naked to her waist and was flying with huge wings among a group of women who were approaching the tower from all directions with her. Marie then flew under one of the doorway entrances and flew up inside of the tower. Ever since this dreams, she “worked on the other side” as in the tower she was going to a meeting for a common purpose. Marie describes this dream as being real – as when she saw the reindeer flying.
Call to the ocean – sea will wash her feet. Surrounded by sea lions when she was sea diving. A man she did not know called to her in Hawaii and told her to come and see this huge sea turtle. She followed him out into the ocean and saw a turtle the size of herself. When she turned to thank the man—he was gone.
For 10 years, she has gone with her best friend Angela almost every month to walk in the full moon over on Balboa Island. Marie and Angela howl at the moon. Former areas she has lived near the water include: Long Beach Peninsula, Pacific Palisades, and New Hampshire.
Marie chose Freya as is part of her being a survivor and reclaiming her power. In 1998 – in a Dianic Feminist Witchcraft class eh took with Ruth Barrett– she invoked Freya and embraced her sexuality. “Freya represents all the work I did in my 20’s; how I owned my sexuality and the magickal part of the therapy I did during that time”. This is the time when Marie “came into her memories. Ruth Barrett’s class and Goddess Culture helped to balance the academia Marie herself was involved in….and would be involved in for over 12 years. Throughout that whole time Goddess religion sustained her.
The Goddess is alive. Magic is afoot—is one of her favorite sayings and one she had painted on her deck when she lived in Pacific Palisades. She believes the Goddess is alive and magick is afoot within her. She is ready to fly, to swim to live in the lap of the Goddess and elemental spirituality.
I Carla Dale Jones-Alt, “Angelica,” Priestess of Brede in the Fellowship of Isis and Temple of Isis Los Angeles have looked into Marie’s heart and I see the love of the Goddess. I now present Marie to be ordained as Priestess into, the Fellowship of Isis, the Temple of Isis Los Angeles, and the Temple of Isis Long Beach. Brightest Blessings and love to you dear sister.
Marie Cartier is a teacher, poet, writer, healer, artist, and scholar. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting) from UCLA; an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University; and a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University,