Dear FAR community,
It’s been wonderful to read so many posts remembering Carol Christ. The FAR community was so important to Carol: as has been pointed out, she not only offered her own posts each Monday, she also read and responded to every post, every day. Through the FAR ‘family’ I feel comforted by connecting with others who knew and loved her and miss her as as I do.
Online Memorial Gathering On December 20, Carol’s birthday, all friends of Carol and friends of FAR are warmly invited to an online Memorial Gathering and ritual in Carol’s honour. Many of Carol’s friends will share cherished memories (please email me if you would like to say a few words) and I will show some photographs from her personal archive. (If you have photos of Carol you would like to share, please email them to me at email@example.com.) We’ll also talk about the future of Carol’s Goddess Pilgrimage in Crete. Please register with your email address at this link.
Rebirth of Carol’s Goddess Pilgrimage Before she crossed to the realm of the ancestors, Carol asked me to serve as her literary executor, to take on the directorship of the Ariadne Institute, and to continue to lead the Goddess Pilgrimage which she had offered on Crete for over twenty years. Carol was very clear that if I could not take it on, the Ariadne Institute would close down and the Goddess Pilgrimage would end.
Why did Carol choose me? My love of Crete – its history and landscape, music and dance, and of course the ancient Cretan Goddess – has endured for 30 years.
As Carol knew, I’ve dedicated my life to researching and teaching Goddess spirituality, particularly through women’s ritual dance, and have been inspired by Carol’s writings since I was a teenager. Living partly in Greece since 2005, I speak fluent Greek, and have led dozens of Women’s Dance and Culture Tours on Lesvos, where Carol was a frequent guest speaker in my groups, as well as in Morocco, Bulgaria, Scotland, and various parts of mainland Greece. I believe these experiences will help me lead the Goddess Pilgrimage in Carol’s footsteps, with valuable support from long-time Pilgrimage co-leaders Mika Scott and Tina Nevans. The next tours are scheduled for Fall 2022 and 2023; from 2024 we hope to offer both Spring and Fall tours. (The 2022 and 2023 tours are fully booked, but some spaces may open up; please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the waiting list.)
In September I travelled to Crete to join two of Carol’s closest friends, Ellen Boneparth and Tina Nevans, to scatter Carol’s ashes according to her final wishes. After that, with my husband Kostantis, I stayed on for several weeks to research Carol’s Goddess Pilgrimage in preparation for leading future tours.
We followed Carol’s itinerary exactly: visiting every site, staying in every hotel, introducing ourselves at every restaurant and museum, and meeting Carol’s friends (who of course knew her as Karolina). Often, we were the first to share the news of her passing, and many times we raised a glass and shed tears in fond memory of our beloved friend. While it was sorrowful to relive our grief almost daily in this way, it brought us joy to see how widely she was known and loved. And it was profoundly moving to return to the sites where she brought her groups, making offerings to the Goddess in her memory.
To our delight, we found the labyrinth in Mochlos, a highlight of the Pilgrimage, in excellent condition – just a few loose stones needed to be gently nudged back into place. We walked it with reverence numerous times while we were there, in silent awe at the great mystery of life, death and regeneration which is one of the meanings of the labyrinth journey.
We felt strongly that our steps were guided by the Cretan Goddess and by Carol’s spirit, and with Mika’s and Tina’s help I am confident that we will be able to offer a beautiful iteration of Carol’s Goddess Pilgrimage in 2022 and beyond, despite the constraints of the pandemic. We will share Carol’s teachings and honour her memory, so we feel she will be ‘present’ on the tour.
Ariadne invites your support The Ariadne Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual is the non-profit organisation founded by Carol P. Christ as the administrative ‘home’ for her Goddess Pilgrimage on Crete. Originally, Ariadne was funded by the Goddess tours, but as these have not been able to take place for the last couple of years, because of Carol’s illness and then the pandemic, the Ariadne Institute is now facing a significant budget shortfall at the same time as a sharp rise in costs. Funds are urgently needed now to rebuild the Ariadne website, to bring forth Carol’s unpublished work, and to create the Carol P. Christ Memorial Library and Study Centre in Greece, an exciting project which is already underway. We also maintain a scholarship fund to enable lower-income women to join the Goddess Pilgrimage. Can you help support Ariadne? Your gift will help keep Carol’s vision alive, sustain her literary legacy, and enable future generations to experience the living Goddess in the sacred sites of Crete. Any amount is welcome! Even if you are unable to make a donation at this time, if you have any suggestions for grants or other sources of support, we would love to hear from you.
We hope to see you all online on December 20th!
With blessings of the Goddess to you, and in grateful memory of our beloved friend and sister Carol,
Remembering Carol Christ: Online Memorial Gathering, December 20, 2021
From 10am-12 noon Pacific, 1-3 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm UK, 8-10 pm Greece. Free of charge, but donations to the Ariadne Institute are very welcome. To join us, register with your full name and email address at this link and you should receive an automatic confirmation from Zoom (if you don’t, check your spam folder).
Ariadne Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual/Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete Please visit our webpage here (it’s in need of updating). We welcome your donations via PayPal at email@example.com or with a check in US dollars payable to Ariadne Institute, P.O. Box 5053, Eugene, Oregon 97405. The Ariadne Institute is a licensed 501(3)c, so donations are tax-deductible in the US.
Friends of Ariadne This mailing list provides news of all Carol-related projects, including upcoming tours, new publications and the creation of her Memorial Library. Sign up with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (There is a separate mailing list for Ariadne Sisters who have been on one of Carol’s Goddess Pilgrimages to Crete; please email email@example.com if you’ve been on a tour and aren’t already on this list.)
BIO Laura Shannon is one of the ‘grandmothers’ of the worldwide Sacred / Circle Dance movement. She trained in Intercultural Studies (1986) and Dance Movement Therapy (1990), holds an M.A. in Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred from Canterbury Christ Church University (2020), and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Gloucester (U.K.). Her research in Balkan dance highlights out songs, dances, rituals and textile patterns which descend from the Goddess cultures of Neolithic Old Europe, and which embody an ancient worldview of sustainability, community, and reverence for the earth. Laura is a longtime faculty member of the Sacred Dance department of the Findhorn eco-spiritual community in Scotland, an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Sacred Dance Guild, Founding Director of the non-profit Athena Institute for Women’s Dance and Culture, and Carol P. Christ’s choice to succeed her as Director of the Ariadne Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual. Her articles and essays on women’s ritual dances have appeared in numerous publications. Laura lives in Greece and the UK.