Seeds of Promise, by Molly Remer

Imbolc brings an invitation into change,
to step into the forge of transformation,
to sink into the holy well of healing,
to open ourselves up to an evolving path
of growth and discovery.
It is now that we remember
we are our own seeds of promise
and while there is time yet
to stay in the waiting place
biding our time
and strengthening our resources
so we have what we need to grow,
soon we will feel the wheel
urging us onward,
the call to set forth
becoming unmistakable and strong.
Let us settle ourselves into center,
nestle into trust and determination,
and extend outward from here
feeling the sweet wind caress us
and the fiery forge beckon us
as we heed the summons to roll on,
the path opening up before us as we move.

Continue reading “Seeds of Promise, by Molly Remer”

The Crone of Winter, by Molly Remer

Just for right now,
let the swirling soften.
Exhale into the day,
wherever you are,
whatever is happening.
Allow a cloak of comfort
to settle across your shoulders
and enfold you
with peace and restoration.
Draw up strength from the earth
beneath your feet.
Settle one hand on your belly
and one hand on your heart.
Feel the pulse of the sacred
you always carry within.
Breathe in
and know you are loved.
Breathe out
and know you are free.
Trust that you are carried
and enfolded
as you go along your way.

A chill is in the air and Winter’s Queen has spread her gray cloak across the land. She has stilled the leaves and frosted the hills, has quieted the scurrying, and placed her fingers firmly on the pause. In this waiting place, hushed and chilled, we remember the preciousness of the light of renewal, we remember how essential the warmth of connection. Just as the earth does, let us, too,
lay aside what is unnecessary and draw close to one another once more, rekindling the fire of community, offering one another what nourishment we can. Let us enter a time of deep restoration with intention. Let us listen to the call of contemplation that twinkles in these dusky hours of replenishment and renewal. Let us pause and wait with grace.

Continue reading “The Crone of Winter, by Molly Remer”

Carol P. Christ’s Legacy: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

This was originally posted on Sept. 9, 2011

In my last blog I wrote that the image of God as a dominating other who enforces his will through violence–found in the Bible and in the Christian tradition up to the present day–is one of the reasons I do not choose to work within the Christian tradition.  To be fair, there is another image of God in Christian tradition that I continue to embrace.  “Love divine, all loves excelling” is the opening line of a well-known hymn by Charles WesleyCharles Hartshorne invoked these words and by implication the melody with which they are sung as expressing the feelings at the heart of the understanding of God that he wrote about in The Divine Relativity.

Love divine, all loves excelling also expresses my understanding of Goddess or as I sometimes write Goddess/God.  Though I am no longer a Christian, but rather an earth-based Goddess feminist, I freely admit that I learned about the love of God while singing in Christian churches.  Hartshorne wrote that he knew the love of God best through the love of his own mother, and I can say that this is true for me as well.  My mother was not perfect, and she did not understand why I wanted to go to graduate school, my feminism, or my adult political views, but I never doubted her love or my grandmothers’ love for me.  (I count myself lucky.  I know others did not have this experience.)  Like Hartshorne, I also learned about the love of God through the world that I always understood to be God’s body.  Running in fields and hills, swimming in the sea, standing under redwood trees, and encountering peacocks in my grandmother’s garden, I felt connected to a power greater than myself.


Continue reading “Carol P. Christ’s Legacy: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”


Moderator’s Note: Carol Christ died from cancer in July, 2021. Her work continues through her non-profit foundation, the Ariadne Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual and the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. This blog was originally posted June 30, 2014. You can read its original comments here.

Is Goddess feminism an old religion or a new creative synthesis? Can it be both?  Goddess feminism draws on the feminist affirmation of women’s experiences, women’s bodies, and women’s connection to nature; the feminist critique of transcendent male monotheism as the symbolic expression of male domination of women and nature; and 19th and early 20th century discussions of Goddesses and matriarchy.

Most Goddess and other spiritual feminists have experienced Wiccan rituals, which are often simply called Goddess rituals.  For many of us, elements of Wiccan practice strike a chord of knowing, while other aspects seem odd or strange or even just plain weird.  What are the roots of Wiccan ritual?

Continue reading “Carol P. Christ’s Legacy: “THE OLD RELIGION” OR A “NEW CREATIVE SYNTHESIS”?”

From the Archives: Miracles Of The Great Mother by Jassy Watson

I was brought up in a household where attitudes to God and church were quite negative. My Nanna, however, was deeply religious, and I can still remember sitting in her dining room as a very young child staring up in awe at a painting of  ‘The Last Supper.’ I was completely mesmerised, there was something haunting about that painting that left a lifelong impression. Art became a passion very early on in life, and whenever I came into contact with images of a religious nature emotions stirred. I was spellbound by divine mystery. The most profound feelings were engendered when I met with images of Mother Mary and the infant Jesus.

Continue reading “From the Archives: Miracles Of The Great Mother by Jassy Watson”

From the Archives: That Which Is Sacred by Max Dashu

Moderator’s note: This marvelous FAR site has been running for 10 years and has had more than 3,600 posts in that time. There are so many treasures that have been posted in this decade that they tend to get lost in the archives. We are beginning this column so that we can all revisit some of these gems. Today’s blogpost was originally posted June 30, 2012. You can visit it here to see the original comments.

We are going through a huge cultural shift toward restoring the female to her full radiance. However you want to define that, it is rising now, through us.

That which is Sacred, what should we call it? We’ve been told to name it he, him, his. That it was blasphemy to do otherwise, to say she, even as they desecrated the Divine with comparisons to mortal overlords, those cruel masters, despoliators, persecutors. No. Reconsider. That fearful address to an authoritarian punisher takes us far from true reverence. Rather revere the roots of Being, manifesting in all Nature around us, within us. The profound silence, and the Deep calling to the Deep.

Deeply I go down into myself. My god is Dark and like a webbing made of a hundred roots that drink in silence. ― Rainer Maria Rilke

Continue reading “From the Archives: That Which Is Sacred by Max Dashu”

From the Archives: Still Practicing Her Presence By Barbara Ardinger

Moderator’s note: This marvelous FAR site has been running for 10 years and has had more than 3,600 posts in that time. There are so many treasures that have been posted in this decade that they tend to get lost in the archives. We have created this column so that we can all revisit some of these gems. Today’s blogpost was originally posted May 27, 2012. You can visit it here to see the original comments.

In my blog of May 11 about practicing the presence of the Goddess, I explained how Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection inspired me. Many thanks to everyone who read that blog and commented on it. One comment came via email from a friend, who said, “I kept thinking as I read about that expression ‘walking one’s talk.’” But of course. It would be lovely if anyone outside a nunnery or monastery could be as filled with their god or goddess as Brother Lawrence was. Though we try to be as mindful as we can, we obviously don’t always succeed as well as we’d like. But surely it’s better to have a positive intention than a negative one.

So let’s get practical. Instead of filling our heads with what’s been called monkey-chatter, let’s fill ourselves with the Goddess so that our thoughts of Her can go on autopilot. Instead of obsessing over, say, if the Lakers, Packers, or Cardinals are going to win their next whatever-they-play or who’s gonna win this week on Dancing With the Stars, let’s set our minds on the Goddess so our thoughts go to Her when we don’t have to concentrate on some specific, important task at hand.

Continue reading “From the Archives: Still Practicing Her Presence By Barbara Ardinger”

The Blessing of the Elders by Rachel Thomas

, elders are people who have illuminated my path, inspired me to see my own potential. To open my eyes, all my senses, even those I did not know I had. Elders show bravery and model for us how to be strong.

As I rediscover my connection with the earth, my eco-consciousness inspires me to transform. As I go back to nature, I re-awaken my ancient cellular memories of living in harmony with the earth. I feel called to dance barefoot, play drums, make offerings, bathe in moonlight, harvest with my own hands. As I move forward on a path which is both new and old, it is my beloved elders who have shown me how to find my way.

What is an Elder?

The word elder comes from an Old English word which also meant ancestor or chief. A lot can change in a thousand years and many of us no longer honor older people or seek out them out for advice.

In my experience, elders are people who have illuminated my path, inspired me to see my own potential. To open my eyes, all my senses, even those I did not know I had. Elders show bravery and model for us how to be strong.

My first wise woman teachings came from my family. My mother, and her mother, taught me to be myself, to love being outdoors and the importance of having a garden. Feeling the joy of flowers, cooking with fresh herbs, planting a tree to honor the dead. These are a few ancient traditions of my ancestors that have survived even in a modernized and urban setting.

Continue reading “The Blessing of the Elders by Rachel Thomas”

What is an Elder?

The word elder comes from an Old English word which also meant ancestor or chief. A lot can change in a thousand years and many of us no longer honor older people or seek out them out for advice.

In my experience, elders are people who have illuminated my path, inspired me to see my own potential. To open my eyes, all my senses, even those I did not know I had. Elders show bravery and model for us how to be strong.

My first wise woman teachings came from my family. My mother, and her mother, taught me to be myself, to love being outdoors and the importance of having a garden. Feeling the joy of flowers, cooking with fresh herbs, planting a tree to honor the dead. These are a few ancient traditions of my ancestors that have survived even in a modernized and urban setting.

Continue reading “The Blessing of the Elders by Rachel Thomas”

Asherah, Blessed, Asherah by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Once upon a time, the Great Goddess was the spiritual focal point of ancient culture. Her worship included honoring women, living in harmony with the earth, and cherishing the processes of the cycles of nature. Asherah was one of those Goddesses. When the Patriarchs moved in and worked to suppress the old goddess religions, Asherah and her fellow Goddesses were diminished, and in a propaganda coup we might recognize today, defined Her as evil. I imagine that some brave people fought to hold onto the Goddess in Her glory but when they saw they were losing the battle, they encoded Her and Her Sister Goddesses into their cultural mythology. Hidden in this manner, She found Her way into the bible. If we can uncover those codes, we can reclaim Her, others and their Earth-based spirituality.

Continue reading “Asherah, Blessed, Asherah by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”

Carol Christ Symposium ~ Call for Papers by Mara Lynn Keller ~ Deadline for Proposals this Week!

Carol P. Christ
A Symposium in Celebration of Her Spiritual-Feminist Activism and Women’s Spirituality Scholarship

“The Goddess is the intelligent embodied love that is in all being.”
~ Carol P. Christ

Free Symposium via Zoom hosted by
Women’s Spirituality Graduate Studies Program California Institute of Integral Studies
October 22, 2021. 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Call for papers focusing on Carol P. Christ’s scholarship and activism in the key areas of Women’s Spirituality, Goddess Studies, Ecofeminism, and Women and Religion.*

Please speak to what you think and feel are Carol P. Christ’s most important contributions to one of the academic fields listed below, and then also, to how her writings are important to you personally. We will arrange papers into the following six panels of 3-4 presenters.

  1. Ecofeminist Philosophy and Activism 
  2. Goddess Studies and Egalitarian Matriarchal Studies 
  3. Spiritual Feminism and Peace Activism 
  4. Spiritual Feminist Literary Criticism  
  5. Women and Religion
  6. Women’s Spiritual Pilgrimage 

Please send an abstract of your proposed paper (in 300 words or less) to Mara Lynn Keller at, by Wednesday, September 16, 2021. Acceptances will be sent out Friday-Monday, 9/24-27/2021. Papers are to be 12 minutes in length.  

*Primary Sources include:

  1. Diving Deep and Surfacing: Women Writers on Spiritual Quest (1986)
  2. Woman Spirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion, anthology co-edited with Judith Plaskow (1992)
  3. Odyssey with the Goddess: A Spiritual Quest in Crete (1995) 
  4. Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality. Anthology co-edited with Judith Plaskow (1989) 
  5. Laughter of Aphrodite: Reflections on a Journey to the Goddess (1987)
  6. Rebirth of the Goddess: Finding Meaning in Feminist Spirituality (1998)
  7. She Who Changes: Re-imaging the Divine in the World (2004)
  8. Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. Co-authored with Judith Plaskow (2016) 
  9. Carol’s blogs on Feminism and Religion can be found at: Carol P. Christ (

In addition to the panels, the Symposium will include:        
In Memoriam: Ritual Honoring Carol’s Life and Death (1946-2021)
Circle of Remembrance: Personal reminiscences and reflections on Carol’s life and work.

Remembering Carol Christ – and going forward in her footsteps by Laura Shannon

When I was 17, I left the US to live and study in Europe for a year, with Womanspirit Rising crammed into my backpack. This book, edited by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow, gave me the solid ground of a feminist worldview which honoured women, the body, and the earth. My favourite chapter was the last one: Carol’s foundational essay ‘Why Women Need the Goddess’, where she writes, ‘The simplest and most basic meaning of the symbol of Goddess is the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of female power as a beneficent and independent power’. These words, indeed that whole essay, became the pole star for my journey through the world, helping me name what was missing in both the academic world and the world of dance.

Continue reading “Remembering Carol Christ – and going forward in her footsteps by Laura Shannon”

Remembering Karolina by Judith Shaw

judith shaw photo

Early in the morning of July 15, 2021, I was sitting amid the chaos of boxes in my new home which I had just closed on a week earlier. I had woken at 5 am to a leak in the new roof and was feeling very tired and somewhat dazed by all the work to be done. Then I got a text with the news that Carol Christ had passed away the previous day.  It took a few minutes for that reality to sink in past my state of overwhelm and exhaustion and then the tears and the memories flooded through me. 

Carol and I became friends in 1987 when we both had begun living on the Greek island, Lesvos, in the village of Molyvos. At that time Carol was mainly using her Greek name, so for many years I called her Karolina. As the months wore on we discovered our mutual interests –  in Goddess, in social justice, in living a life more connected to nature and in the desires of younger women to kick up their heels and have some fun. We became constant “parea” (company) for each other. 

Continue reading “Remembering Karolina by Judith Shaw”

The Goddess in Portugal by Mary Sharratt

Luiza Frazão

Most people know Portugal as a deeply Catholic country with a rich Islamic past and an ancient Sephardic Jewish heritage reaching back to Roman Lusitania. But what about the country’s pre-Roman, pre-Abrahamic Goddess cultures? 

Like many foreigners, I moved to Portugal knowing nothing about Portugal’s Goddess heritage.

Then I met Luiza Frazão, Priestess, author, and independent scholar who studied at the Glastonbury Goddess Temple in England with Kathy Jones. After years of training and steeping herself in the lore of the Celtic Goddesses of the Avalonian Tradition, Luiza returned to her native Portugal to research the rich Goddess lore of her country. Intrigued and eager to learn more about her research, I met up with Luiza in the medieval town of Óbidos.

Continue reading “The Goddess in Portugal by Mary Sharratt”

The Crafting the Wisdom Loom By Mary F. Gelfand

Over 20 years ago, I randomly came across the following passage from Sonnet X by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts . . . they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric

I was just learning to spin and weave and so was struck by this passage. I’ve been contemplating Millay’s words ever since.

image of Loom
Photo by Nickolas Nikolic

Weaving is a fascinating process that the ancients in many cultures believed was a gift from the Goddess. Before the Industrial Revolution, clothing was valuable because of the sheer amount of both labor and skill necessary to create it—tasks that were primarily delegated to women.  The process of collecting, cleaning, and preparing plant or animal fiber to be spun into thread or yarn is a lot of work.  And all you have now is spun fiber.  It still needs to be dyed and used to warp the loom—a tedious and time-consuming process.  Next the weaving itself—dancing the shuttle in and out across the width of the warp—over one, under one, over two, under two—or some more visually appealing pattern which is also more complex to do. Finally, the woven fabric must be measured, cut, and sewn to make a garment.

Continue reading “The Crafting the Wisdom Loom By Mary F. Gelfand”

Wisdom from our Ancient Female Lawgiver and Judge Traditions by Carolyn Lee Boyd

Carolyn Lee Boyd

As I have witnessed both the joy of so many across the world at the nomination of Kamala Harris for Vice President and the deep sorrow at the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I am struck by the fact that, in 2020, supremely qualified women still need to be trailblazers to hold high office. After all, goddesses and wise women gave a number of cultures their systems of laws and governance and have been celebrated for their wisdom as judges for millennia. 

Here are a few of the goddesses and wise women lawgivers:

The Goddess Themis
  • the Italian goddess Egeria gave Rome its first laws and taught the correct rules for Earth worship; 
  • the Babylonian Kadi, was goddess of Earth and justice; 
  • Ala of the Ibo people of Nigeria is both the Earth Mother and lawgiver of society; 
  • the Greek Themis, daughter of Gaia, symbolized the social contract and cohesion of people living on Earth; 
  • the Inuit Sedna both gave humanity abundance from the ocean for life from her own body and withheld it when her laws were broken;
  • Marcia Proba, whose historical reality is unclear, is said to have created the ancient Celtic system of laws known as the Marcian Statutes that may have influenced later British law;
  • past and present Women’s Councils and Clan Mothers of the Iroquois and other Indigenous peoples as well as those of Societies of Peace have brought harmony and well being to their people for tens of thousands of years.

Continue reading “Wisdom from our Ancient Female Lawgiver and Judge Traditions by Carolyn Lee Boyd”

Loss of Good Friend and Elder Claire French by Glenys Livingstone

image of author - Glenys Livingstone
Dr. Claire French was born in 1924, Claire Anna Maria Margaretha Wieser, “in the backwoods of Bavaria” as she has described, where “pagan beliefs and superstitions were rife” and “so was Communism amongst the factory workers who lived in her neighbourhood.” She described her mother as “a staunch Lutheran”, her father as “a freethinking artist from the Tyrolean mountains”, and her paternal grandmothers and aunts as “bigotted Catholics”. She has said that she received some of all these ideologies right from her earliest childhood, and that “to this were added the experience of fascist and national socialist authoritarianism during her school years.” In early years she was educated by nuns in Italy. For high school her education was in Germany, where the teachers were partly nazi and partly anti-nazi. She has described her education as “pluralistic in the extreme”.

During the war she was conscripted to the German paramilitary organisation for women working for Tyrolean mountain farmers and later in the military hospital. That year of paramilitary service was conditional for enrolment of women at any German University: educated women were seen as dangerous … the authorities wanted “incubators”, as Claire named it. After the war she studied modern languages and politics at the University of Austria, and in 1945 she was conscipted as interpreter to the military government first by the American and then the French Army Forces. She has said: “In 1951 she finally had enough of Europe and embarked for Australia, where she worked as a housemaid, grape picker, and interpreter and finally as a secretary at Melbourne University. There she started her studies from scratch again as a part time student, graduating in 1956. In that year (an Olympic year she noted), she married Jack French, with whom she had a daughter and two sons. Continue reading “Loss of Good Friend and Elder Claire French by Glenys Livingstone”

Lammas after Lockdown by Laura Shannon

Today, August 1, 2020, is Lammas, the Celtic festival of late summer, the ‘feast of bread’, time of harvest and of golden grain. Here in the UK, Lammas arrives just as we are emerging from our coronavirus lockdown. It’s hard to feel a personal sense of ‘harvest’ when most people’s lives have been on hold since the spring.

Confined to our homes, many people could throw themselves into tending their own gardens (if they had one), but most of us could not cultivate the symbolic gardens of our lives and work in the way that we wanted. Many have faced deep loss, the withering of seeds planted in the past which could not now come to fruition.

Despite the tragic times, the earth continues to dance to the sacred rhythms of sun and moon. The trees are full of fruit, the fields are full of grain. Although I too have had my share of sorrow and grief in recent months, today I feel moved by the season to look at what we can harvest from our experience of the coronavirus pandemic.

Continue reading “Lammas after Lockdown by Laura Shannon”

The Benefits of The Plague….and Trump by Karen Tate

You might be asking yourself, “Is Karen losing her mind?” Last post she’s asking us “Are Your Shackles Showing?” as she writes this morbid and scary piece reminiscent of movies where someone is being held captive by a serial killer, and now this (I think most of you realized I was writing about being held captive by patriarchy and predator capitalism.), talking about the benefits of the Black Death – while we’re shuttered-in trying to dodge this virus.  And she sees a benefit of Trump?!

Stay with me here.  Let me explain. 

When the Orange Jumpsuit moved his clan of crooks and cronies into the White House I told my friends to take a deep breath and wait.  I could understand people gave him a shot because neither party, the Republicans nor the Corporate Democrats, were doing much for them.  Desperate voters turned a blind eye to what many of us could have predicted came along with Trump.  As scary as this man was and is, he was necessary.  He was the perfect and tactical move of Goddess or the Universe, who is sometimes about tough love and not just sweetness and light. Continue reading “The Benefits of The Plague….and Trump by Karen Tate”

Outtadeway-O: A Found Goddess of Public Transportation (well, you asked for Her last month) by Barbara Ardinger

Tall, hearty. sometimes pushy, and usually very loud, Outtadeway-O is easily able to propagate and multiply Herself so that we can find Her in crowded airport terminals, at bus and subway stops, and just about anywhere people are traveling from or to. She’s in charge of trains, planes, and taxi-cabs. She’s the One who, when we’re in a hurry to get somewhere on time, shouts, “Please, oh, please get out of the way!” Pilots, engineers, station masters, ticket agents, and ÜberAlles drivers all hear Her. You better bet they get out of Her way.

Although there are apocryphal reports that Outtadeway-O was present when Hannibal crossed the Alps (who do you think was in charge of those elephants?) and in the Roman Colosseum (She supercharged some of the chariots, horses, too), She’s most familiar as the gal in the New York subway system who kindly tells you which side of the tracks to stand on so you get on the train going in the right direction. Whether you’re lost in La Guardia, O’Hare, Hartsfield, or LAX (and in the smaller airports, too), She’s the gal in the uniform who explains how to use those dratted ticket machines on the curb and gives you a tidy map that shows where the gates are and how to find them without tripping over the people sleeping on the floor because their flights were delayed or canceled. She’s also the helpful agent who finds food for those people when they wake up and points them toward the bathrooms. Continue reading “Outtadeway-O: A Found Goddess of Public Transportation (well, you asked for Her last month) by Barbara Ardinger”

The Sanctuary of One Another by Molly Remer

53850207_2292227257656150_5800641319395131392_o“Please prepare me
to be a sanctuary.
Pure and holy
tried and true.
With thanksgiving
I’ll be a living
for you.”*

Beautiful Chorus (Hymns of Spirit)

In March, my husband drove our daughter into town to work at her Girl Scout cookie booth and released me to prepare for an all-day Red Tent retreat for my local women’s circle. After I packed my supplies for ritual, I set off on a walk in the deepening, rain-dark twilight. As I walked, I sang a song of sanctuary over and over, until I felt transported into a different type of consciousness, my feet steady on muddy gravel, the leafless branches stark against grey sky, moss and stones gleaming with sharp color against the roadside. A fallen tree absolutely carpeted with enchanting mushrooms caught my eye and invited me off the road and into its arms. As I stood there, feeling as if I had stepped out of ordinary reality and into a “backyard journey,” the spring peepers in the ephemeral pool in our field began their evening chorus. It has been so cold out with below freezing temperatures, snow, and ice for days since first hearing them in early March that I actually wondered if they would survive to continue their song.

Mercifully, though, it is not a silent spring. Continue reading “The Sanctuary of One Another by Molly Remer”

Ritual Theory: Sharing Stories by Molly Remer

“Ritual that is alive encourages each person to touch what is sacred in their own way, in their own time, through their own unique experience. So there evolves a dynamic dance between guiding and shaping the group’s experience and encouraging and supporting the individual’s experience, so there is a smooth and cohesive flow to the ritual.” –Suzanne Reitz and Sandy Hoyt (Celebrating, Honoring, Healing)

As a practicing priestess, one of the dynamic dances that I engage in is with the power of story. I both find that women’s stories are the vital lifeblood of conscious engagement and power-building with one another and that they can be one of the elements that bogs down a ritual and makes it lose power and magic. This is partially because the dominant culture may teach us to bond using stories in a way that actually drain our energy through “venting,” swapping complaints, trading to-do lists, and through describing behavior, motives, and character of other people. In women’s ritual space, I encourage people to dig deep, but also to share a here-and-now connection of shared experience rather than a ­there-and-then­ rendition of past experiences.

Chameli Ardagh in her Create Your Own Women’s Temple manual from Awakening Women explains:

To hold the group and space as sacred is one of the most important guidelines, and the guideline that may bring up the most questions or protests. It goes against our habits as women and against our identification with the small self; we are quite used to creating intimacy through sharing our wounds and problems. The Temple Group is not a place for processing wounds, analyzing ourselves, solving problems, complaining about our lovers, healing our addictions or sharing the stories of the personality. Many women’s circles (and support groups or sharing circles) are focused mostly on the personality. The Temple Group is, in a way, impersonal because it focuses on the larger vast nature of our true self. In the Temple Group we focus not so much on our identity as separate women, but on the whole group as one feminine divine body and expression. The impersonal guideline may sound uncaring at first, but as you explore new ways of being intimate and nourish each other as women, beyond the words, you discover that those are infinitely more fulfilling and caring than the personality talking and processing (p. 61).

I believe that we live in a storied reality and that we are constantly in the process of 22338975_2058326864379525_7570131764764457268_ostorying and re-storying our lives and that seeing our lives, and the lives of others, through a mythopoetic lens, can have a radically transformative impact on our experiences and our relationships. I have written about this for FAR in the past and noted that my personal lived experience is that stories have had more power in my own life as a woman than most other single influences. The sharing of story in an appropriate way is, indeed, intimately intertwined with good listening and warm connection. As the authors of the book Sacred Circles remind us “…in listening you become an opening for that other person…Indeed, nothing comes close to an evening spent spellbound by the stories of women’s inner lives.”

So, what is special about story as a medium and what can it offer to women that traditional forms of education cannot?

Stories are validating. They can communicate that you are not alone, not crazy, and not 23319504_1994649147413964_2818983018590835346_nweird. Stories are instructive without being directive or prescriptive. It is very easy to take what works from stories and leave the rest because stories communicate personal experiences and lessons learned, rather than expert direction, recommendations, or advice. Stories can also provide a point of identification and clarification as a way of sharing information that is open to possibility, rather than advice-giving.

Cautions in sharing stories while also listening to another’s experience include:

  • Are you so busy in your own story that you can’t see the person in front of you?
  • Does the story contain bad, inaccurate, or misleading information?
  • Is the story so long and involved that it is distracting from the other person’s point?
  • Does the story communicate that you are the only right person and that everyone else should do things exactly like you?
  • Is the story really advice or a “to do” disguised as a story?
  • Does the story redirect attention to you and away from the person in need of help/listening?
  • Does the story keep the focus in the past rather than the here and now present moment?
  • Is there a subtext of “you should…”?

Several of these self-awareness questions are much bigger concerns during a person-to-person direct dialogue such as at a women’s retreat rather than in written form such as blog. In reading stories, the reader has the power to engage or disengage with the story, while in person there is a possibility of becoming stuck in an unwelcome story. Some things to keep in mind while sharing stories in person are:

  • Sensitivity to whether your story is welcome, helpful, or contributing to the other person’s process.
  • Being mindful of personal motives—are you telling a story to bolster your own self-image, as a means of pointing out others’ flaws and failings, or to secretly give advice?
  • Asking yourself whether the story is one that will move us forward (returning to the here and now question above).

This work is beautiful. It is complex. It is multilayered. It is simple. It is hard. It is easy. It is rich and rewarding. It is dynamic and evolving and flowing. It is never the same.

May you be blessed with many stories together.

mollyatparkNote: there is a detailed audio exploration of the themes of this post available here.

Molly has been “gathering the women” to circle, sing, celebrate, and share since 2008. She plans and facilitates women’s circles, seasonal retreats and rituals, mother-daughter circles, family ceremonies, and red tent circles in rural Missouri and teaches online courses in Red Tent facilitation and Practical Priestessing. She is a priestess who holds MSW, M.Div, and D.Min degrees and wrote her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. Molly and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses, original goddess sculptures, ceremony kits, and jewelry at Brigid’s Grove. Molly is the author of WomanrunesEarthprayer, and The Red Tent Resource Kit and she writes about thealogy, nature, practical priestessing, and the goddess at Patreon and at Brigid’s Grove.

Princess Peach from The Goddess Project: Made in Her Image by Colette Numajiri

Toy stores and department store aisles are decked with pink and purple princess paraphernalia. Disney has provided an array of princesses for little girls to choose their birthday party or bedroom decor from. But as we all know, there’s a deeper secret hidden in the FAIRY TALES that high powered media execs have made their fortunes on: THE GODDESS.

Every hero’s tale, be it in video games or romantic movies sets out to do one thing: SAVE THE PRINCESS.  When I was a child I saved Her myself on my little Nintendo system never knowing why She was in trouble in the first place. And was I the only one who ever wondered why NONE of the PRINCESSES HAD MOTHERS!?

In the early Centuries during the Christianization of Europe, Pagans (which means “people of the land”) hid truths right under the nose of the newly forming Christian Church in their folklore, games and children’s rhymes to avoid being burnt at the stake. These simple people tried to covertly keep the Wisdom of the Sacred Feminine that they’d been honoring since the beginning of time, ALIVE.

Continue reading “Princess Peach from The Goddess Project: Made in Her Image by Colette Numajiri”

Call for Contributions: She Rises Volume 3 Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality

She Rises Goddess Feminist Activism Collective Writing Project: Call for Contributions

She Rises: What … Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality? Volume 3 Two books: The main book and a sectional booklet including poetry, prose, art, the like.

Coeditors include Deanne Quarrie, D.Min., Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, Ph.D.

I am the source, I dream the dreams, I am the spark, Creation lives in me. Jana Runnalls, The Source, Speaking in Tongues

Using She Rises Volume 1 and Volume 2 as a springboard, the collective writing project of She Rises Volume 3 aspires to interweave new patterns in the tapestry of Goddess feminist activism. She Rises Volume 3 invites possible contributors by asking the questions: What do you envision for Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality? What is Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality for you? What do you seek from Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality? What are our practices that will bring more Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality into the world?

You may like to engineer the question on your behalf or answer it for us all. Here are some examples of the question: “What keeps me continuing in Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?” or “What does Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality mean to me?”

The first volume evolved around stating/proclaiming the rational or cause of our Goddessian/Magoist commitment by answering the question, “Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?” and the second volume took a step further to ask the “How?” question, “How… Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?”

It is our hope that the question “What?” potentially produces a record number of ways we engage in Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality. We foresee the possibility that She Rises Volume 3 may become a guidebook of the common cause for Goddess feminists and activists.

She Rises, Volume One, asked WHY? and 93 contributors answered the question with depth, honesty, insight, creativity, imagination, and inspiration. She Rises, Volume Two, asked How? and 96 contributors answered the question with depth, honesty, insight, creativity, imagination, and inspiration.

Now we are asking What?  Your answers will offer:

  • a guidebook for those beginning their journey with Goddess feminism, activism, and spirituality,
  • a confirmation for those already engaged with Goddess feminism, activism, and spirituality,
  • another thread in the tapestry of Goddess feminism, activism, and spirituality that is being woven by women and men all over the World.

Let’s weave a tapestry of answers! Are you interested?

To be part of this weaving, please send your contribution to both emails (please indicate “She Rises Volume 3” in the subject line) See submission form and guidelines below:

Deanne Quarrie –

Helen Hwang –

Primary Deadline: January 31, 2018

Submission details: 

Short writing – up to 200 words

Longer essays – up to 4,000 words

Research papers – 4,000-12,000 words,

Poetry – any length (please indicate formatting)

Art, photography, illustrations – any form, which may be accompanied by a descriptive paragraph attached as a separate Word file

Please include a brief bio of no more than 100 words at the end of your Word document.

Text: As attachment of Word files (.doc or.docx)

Font: Garamond or Times New Roman (12 font size, 1 spaced)

Style: Chicago Style, footnotes

Art, photography, and illustrations: As attachment of jpg files (must be 300 dpi)

For sample short writings, see below:…/special-post-1-why-goddess…/

For ongoing submissions, see below:

Multiple proposals are allowed. The submission form is included below.

Submission Form

Please fill out the following form and pasted it in the body of your email submission.

Your name and email address:

“I agree that my proposals may be published in the main book AND the secondary sectional book (poetry, prose, and art).”

Number of proposals and their genres:
List the titles/contents of attachments including your short bio:

Making Our Stand by Molly Remer

“You may not remember, may-2016-103
but let me tell you this,
someone in some future time

will think of us.”


I put on my boots and jeans, grab my priestess robe, pack a basket of ritual supplies, and meet four close friends in a nearby cave. We feel a little nervous about holding ritual on unfamiliar land, but we decide to push our boundaries and do it anyway. The land needs us, says my friend. The other people who come here are meth-heads and vandals.

We take our drums and climb to the top of the cave, singing as we find our way up the steep hillside. On top, looking out across the country, we sing: cauldron of changes, feather on the bone, arc of eternity, ring around the stone. We laugh and practice some more songs, some hearty, some tentative and new. We tie up small bundles of our symbolic burdens with stones and let them down over the edge
may-2016-051using handspun wool yarn until the yarn releases, taking our burdens with them. Suddenly, we hear the sound of tires on the gravel. Slamming doors. The sound of loud men’s voices. The smell of cigarette smoke. A ripple of uncertainty passes through us. We are once again tentative and we feel a current of unease. What should we do? we whisper to one another. The voices draw nearer, there are calls and hoots. My friend looks at me and says: this is where we make our standWe hold hands in a line at the edge of the cave roof, gazing out into the horizon. A hawk wheels overhead. We sing. The approaching voices quiet. We sing louder.

I am a strong woman, I am a story woman, I am a healer, my soul will never die.

We project our voices and yell: we are the witches, back from the dead!

The voices stop. We wait. We hear doors slamming. The sound of tires on gravel. We are alone once more.

We descend into the cave singing a song composed on the spot: Deeper, deeper. We’re going deeper. Deeper, deeper. Deeper still.

We strike a pose based on the carvings described in the classic book, When the Drummers were Women. Archaeologists described may-2016-099carvings of priestesses carrying drums as, “women carrying cakes to their husbands.”

We shout: “we’re not carrying cakes!”

I stand on a rock in the center of the cave and sing: she’s been waiting, waiting, she’s been waiting so long, she’s been waiting for her children to remember to return. My friends join the song and we move deep into the darkness where we face the “birth canal” at the back of the cave, listening to the small stream within trickle, laugh, and bubble as it emerges from the dark spaces deep within the heart of the earth. We begin to sing:

Ancient mother we hear you calling. Ancient mother, we hear your song. Ancient mother, we hear your laughter…

Just as we sing the words, ancient mother, we taste your tears, droplets of cave water fall on our faces, splashing our eyelids.

It might seem simple on the surface, but gathering the women and calling the circle is a radical and subversive act. A revolutionary act. In my work with women’s circles and priestessing, I am repeatedly reminded that gathering with other women in a circle for ritual and ceremony is deeply important even though it might just look like people having fun or even being frivolous, it is actually a microcosm of the macrocosm—a miniature version of the world we’d like to see and that we want to make possible.

In the book, Casting the Circle, Diane Stein observes that women’s rituals, “…create a microcosm, a ‘little universe’ may-2016-062within which women try out what they want the macrocosm, the ‘big universe’ or real world to be. Within the safety and protected space of the cast circle, women create their idea of what the world would be like to live in under matriarchal/Goddess women’s values…The woman who in the safety of the cast circle designs the world as she would like it to be takes that memory of creation and success out into daily life…By empowering women through the microcosm of the ritual’s cast circle, change becomes possible in the macrocosm real world.” (p. 2-3)

It starts with these private ritual and personal connections and then, as Stein explains, “A group of five such like-minded women will then set out to clean up a stream bed or park in their neighborhood; a group of twenty-five will join a protest march for women’s reproductive rights; a group of a hundred will set up a peace encampment. The numbers grow, the women elect officials to government who speak for their values and concerns. Apartheid crumbles and totalitarian regimes in Eastern Europe end, disarmament begins, and laws to control polluters are enforced. Homes, foods, and jobs are opened to the world’s homeless, and often begins in the microcosm of the Women’s Spirituality ritual circle” (p. 3)

“Feminism catches fire when it draws upon its inherent spirituality. When it does not, it is just one more form of politics, and politics never fed our deepest hungers.”

–Carol Lee Flinders (in The Millionth Circle)

january-2017-038Molly has been “gathering the women” to circle, sing, celebrate, and share since 2008. She plans and facilitates
women’s circles, seasonal retreats and rituals, mother-daughter circles, family ceremonies, and red tent circles in rural Missouri and teaches online courses in
Red Tent facilitation and Practical Priestessing. She is a priestess who holds MSW, M.Div, and D.Min degrees and finished her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. Molly and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses, original goddess sculptures, ceremony kits, and jewelry at Brigid’s Grove. Molly is the author of Womanrunes, Earthprayer, and The Red Tent Resource Kit and she writes about thealogy, nature, practical priestessing, and the goddess at Brigid’s Grove

Boann, Celtic Goddess of Inspiration and Creativity by Judith Shaw

Judith Shaw photoBoann, Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Fertility, Inspiration, Knowledge and Creativity was one of the Tuatha De Danann (People of Danu). She was associated with the 70 mile long river Boyne in Northeast Ireland and its source, the Well of Segais.  Some bards say that long, long ago when the world was young and wild places were everywhere, Boann initiated that spring by walking counter-clockwise around stones found there, causing the water from under the earth to spring forth with great strength and rush down to the sea. The pool formed by the spring was encircled by nine sacred hazelnut trees, whose nuts could impart knowledge when eaten. The salmon of wisdom swam in the waters of this hidden pool from which the river Boyne flows.

Continue reading “Boann, Celtic Goddess of Inspiration and Creativity by Judith Shaw”

thea Gaia née Dorothy Ivy Wacker: Feminist Foremother and a Great “Ponderer” by Glenys Peacock

Rev. Dorothy Waker (thea Gaia)
Rev. Dorothy Wacker (thea Gaia)

On 15th May, 2016 thea Gaia left this earth which was her home for 85 years. thea was born
Dorothy Ivy Wacker in Gatton, Australia on 9th February, 1931, the eldest of four children.
Her family were descendants of German immigrants who came to Australia in the 1860s.
In primary school, Dorothy was a bright student, winning a bursary enabling her to continue
her studies at high school which she completed in 1947. She then studied primary teaching
at Queensland Teachers’ College and from 1950-52 she worked at School for the Deaf,
Dutton Park, Brisbane.

Dorothy joined South Brisbane Congregational Church and became President of Queensland
Congregational Youth Fellowship. At age 22, she decided to take theological training to
become a Congregational minister. Dorothy studied for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity at the University of Queensland. In 1959, she was awarded a Certificate of Ordination by the Queensland Congregational Union. Dorothy was ordained on 17th April, 1959 at Broadway, Woolloongabba, the first woman ordained as a Minister of Religion in Queensland. Over the next 10 years she was minister for Belmont, Broadway and Chermside Congregational Churches. Continue reading “thea Gaia née Dorothy Ivy Wacker: Feminist Foremother and a Great “Ponderer” by Glenys Peacock”

Epona – Goddess of the Land by Deanne Quarrie

celtic-horseDeanne QuarrieThis week I bought a pendant that caught my attention.  It is Celtic knot work of horses, meant to represent Epona.  This triggered my interest in Epona and off I went to learn more.

Epona is a goddess from Gaul.  Sadly, any information about her from those early days of worship are lost to us. This is the case of the most ancient deities from that region and time in history. It is thought that she was picked up in Gaul by the conscripted soldiers of the Roman Army who saw a depiction of her upon her horse and they adopted her. Since this army rode across the land on horseback, she was the perfect deity to pay homage to and so, she traveled with them. She soon made it to Rome and is one of only a few deities, not originally Roman, to be worshiped in the Roman Empire. Continue reading “Epona – Goddess of the Land by Deanne Quarrie”

Goddess Politics and the Cauldron of Memory by Kavita Maya

KavitaMaya‘Someone needs to gather the stories, to keep the cauldron,’ said the late Goddess feminist artist Lydia Ruyle during one of the last times we spoke, at the 2014 Glastonbury Goddess Conference. I had hinted at my concerns around conducting doctoral research in the presence of ongoing conflict within the Glastonbury Goddess community (especially when my broadly-stated site of interest is ‘politics’), and in reply she had stressed the need to ‘hold space’ for the different voices and perspectives in the UK Goddess movement, and that conflict would be inevitable. ‘There needs to be a weaver,’ she said.

The following day I recorded an interview with Lydia and some of her friends at Café Galatea on the High Street, which she had been keen to ensure since the previous summer—with poignant foresight, given her death in March 2016. I’m not sure if she was expecting that I should fully take on the role of this ‘weaver’—there are more stories than one PhD thesis can claim to encompass—but the theme is present in my writing. Her words lead me to reflect on the weaving together of politics with memory and storytelling, and on the need to honour the plural histories of the British Goddess movement. Continue reading “Goddess Politics and the Cauldron of Memory by Kavita Maya”

Facing the Moon Alone by Molly Remer

February 2016 030

“When all is said and done I think every Witch should, at some time, face the moon alone, feet planted on the ground, with only his or her voice chanting in the starry night.”

–Laurie Cabot, Power of the Witch

I will never forget the first time I heard someone recite the Charge of the Goddess from memory. Bare-breasted, she strode around the fire in sacred circle at a large goddess festival in Kansas, delivering the words with power, grace, and confident resonance. I thought: I will do that someday.

In February of this year, we took a family trip to Dauphin Island. While there, the afternoon of the full moon, I February 2016 148
decided that the time had come. I was going to memorize the Charge of the Goddess. First, I thought I would only memorize it a piece at a time. It seemed “too big” to do in a single sitting. I had it printed out on a piece of paper that rapidly became damp with the salty sea air. I drew a labyrinth in the sand with my toes, set one of my goddess sculptures at its entrance, and drew a Womanrunes card.

One stanza at a time, slowly I began to repeat the poem* aloud:

hear ye, the words of the star goddess
the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven..

Over and over, I said the words, letting them twine around my tongue and in the air, experimenting with cadence and rhythm. After I could reliably repeat one section, I’d move to the next, letting it build in my memory until I could put the two together confidently and then moving to the next.

I am the beauty of the green earth
the white moon amongst the stars..

I stared into the waves, listening to them rise and fall along with my words. My three older children dug in the sand. February 2016 073
My husband fished. My toddler toddled around and then came to sit on my lap and nursed to sleep for nap time:

before my face
beloved of all…

I whispered into his damp hair. I felt in an altered state of consciousness. The words began to wind their way through me, becoming a part of me, embedded in me. I danced with them as I have never danced with another piece of writing. I felt them merging with me. I sang them aloud. I stated them fast and slow and I built, adding the next line and then the next…

for behold, all acts of love and pleasure
all my rituals.

I turned over hard thealogical questions as the words spun their magic through the air. What does it really mean that “all your learning and seeking shall avail you not, lest your know the mystery.” Do I really feel the goddess within? Do I find her within myself or is she only outside and if she is only outside, does she really exist at all? Tears came to my eyes: do I even like myself?

Two hours passed. My baby awoke and returned to digging in the sand. My husband packed up his fishing gear. The sky began to darken and spit rain. I stood and danced the words into the sand with my feet.

let your divine innermost self
be enfolded
in the rapture
of the infinite

I felt rapturous. I felt triumphant. I had done it. Faster and faster my feet stamped the sand as I called the words into the waves. I spun in circles with my toddler chanting and laughing and offering my devotion before the sea, beneath the moon.

the mystery of the waters
the desire in human hearts…

February 2016 179

*I used Shekhinah Mountainwater’s adaptation of the Charge, originally by Doreen Valiente, as included in the book Ariadne’s ThreadMolly 180

Molly has been “gathering the women” to circle, sing, celebrate, and share since 2008. She plans and facilitates women’s circles, seasonal retreats and rituals, mother-daughter circles, family ceremonies, and red tent circles in rural Missouri and teaches online courses in Red Tent facilitation and Practical Priestessing. She is a priestess who holds MSW and M.Div degrees and recently finished her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. Molly and her husband Mark co-create original goddess sculptures, ceremony kits, and jewelry at Brigid’s Grove. Molly is the author of Womanrunes, Earthprayer, and The Red Tent Resource Kit. She writes about thealogy, nature, practical priestessing, and the goddess at her Woodspriestess blog. 

Foremothers: A Book Review & So Much More by Kate Brunner

foremothers-of-the-women-s-spirituality-movementI sometimes feel as though I live caught between feminism’s assorted waves. I am too young to have experienced the rise & crest of the Second Wave. I only just began to learn there was an actual -ism type name for this collection of thoughts, desires, feelings, & beliefs shaping themselves within me during my adolescent years as the Second Wave was decidedly ebbing.

Coming into my own as a very young adult, I found the rising Third Wave frustrating, though. Arguments over even using the word “feminist” to begin with exhausted me and it seemed like there was more debate raging about what was or was not feminism than there was meaningful change-agent action in the world around me. While I now recognize that was probably a necessary step in feminism’s evolution, at the time I was more concerned with confronting the immediate challenges of my work in a massively male-dominated career field under extremely stressful conditions than endlessly defending my conceptual feminist identity. This was the socio-political setting in which I came to Women’s Spirituality.

I came with little knowledge of the herstory behind the re-emergence of Goddess spirituality. I was too young to know the names of the Second Wave women who created the vessel anew. And too put off by my contact with the early Third Wave to study it formally. What I did know was that there was a thing called Women’s Spirituality and it spoke to me body, mind, heart, & soul. So, I eschewed study for direct experience, fumbling my way through creating a personal spiritual practice between myself & Goddess as a very private solitary. Years later, my penchant for autodidacticism & a huge, ugly feminist-on-feminist argument on a blog post I wrote led me on a quest to discover more about both my feminist and spiritual roots. Who had come before me? How did feminism & Women’s Spirituality get to where it was now- in theory & in practice? What was my herstory?

That was when I finally met the work of the women whose stories make up Foremothers of the Women’s Spirituality Movement: Elders and Visionaries. This volume, edited by Miriam Robbins Dexter and Vicki Noble, is precious to me and it is honestly an honor to write a review for it on FAR today. Continue reading “Foremothers: A Book Review & So Much More by Kate Brunner”

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