Sacred Outcry: A Poetic Trilogy by Mary Saracino


Howling from the mountaintops
wailing from the riverbanks
scooping the moon into their waning wombs
the old women know that lies kill,
distortions maim, hope isn’t enough to feed starving
babies, school the ignorant, put an end to war.

Like Furies, the old ones rise,
clench their furious fists against the blazing sun;
like Harpies they roar, casting dire warnings
upon the winds of change; soothsaying Sibyls
decipher omens, portend the future, speak in baffling koans.
With dakini wisdom they cut through
illusion, vote in primaries, attend caucuses,
raise their voices against power, shatter
the corrupted ceilings that chafe the crowns
of their wizened heads.

The wandering Maenads cry: “This is no country
for old women.”

Medea calls down her midnight powers,
prays for revolution, strengthens the tired tongues
of memory. Eloquence isn’t enough to heal
a wounded country; sequined celebrities
can’t mend a nation’s odiferous past. Kali avenges
her sisters, the long-patient Queens & Crones,
Maidens & Mothers. The forgotten ones
wait and watch and warn: “Beware the hubris
of ages. Beware the greedy hand that grabs the golden fleece.” Continue reading “Sacred Outcry: A Poetic Trilogy by Mary Saracino”

The Original Art by Elise M. Edwards

Storytelling is the original art as the desire to communicate is a common thread of all the other arts. I started reflecting on the stories – through various mediums–that have shaped me, and I wanted to use my post today to honor the herstories, the narratives of the women that have been meaningful to me.

On Tuesday night, I attended a gathering of storytellers.  I sat with two of my friends and listened to professionals and amateurs alike share stories.  The stories they told presented a range of narratives from Danish folktales to improvised children’s stories.  I was both horrified and enchanted by the content of their works.  While one story was a particularly violent tale of retribution and “justice,” another seemed to offer lessons about cooperation.

I thought about sharing a story of my own, but I didn’t feel prepared.  By the end of the evening, I was aware of the irony of my reluctance to share.  I was afraid I was not a good enough storyteller, yet I’d spent a good part of the previous two weeks traveling and catching up with old and new friends, which certainly involved animated retellings of the events going on in my life. Continue reading “The Original Art by Elise M. Edwards”


The first “Olympics” were races of girls of various age-groups around a 500 foot stadium in ancient Olympia. The races of girls were held every four years on the new moon of the month of Parthenios (September/October). They were dedicated to Hera Parthenos who renewed her virginity in the river Parthenias. The winners of the races wore olive crowns and feasted on the flesh of Hera’s sacred cow.

These “Olympics” for Hera and for girls came before the more celebrated Olympics for men that were dedicated to Olympian Zeus. The temple of Hera at Olympia is older than the temple for Zeus and the girls’ Olympics were tied to the more ancient lunar calendar.

What did the girls’ Olympics celebrate? Continue reading “WHEN THE OLYMPICS CELEBRATED THE STRENGTH OF GIRLS AND THE RENEWAL OF LIFE by Carol P. Christ”

That Which Is Sacred by Max Dashu

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

There are myriad emanations of the indescribable Source, but Goddess women call it she, as medicine to what they have forbidden in us, to us. That Shakti, the effulgence that pours through all living beings, including the rocks. The Shekhinah, the ever-flowing waters of Nummo, of Anahid. The Tao that is “the mother of whatever exists under the sky, upon whom myriads of beings depend for their birth and existence,” as the Dao De Jing says.

“The Universe is the Goddess. She is not separate from it, She did not create it and then let it be. She is what is, what was, and what will be.”1 So the Kemetic people praised Neith, Mother of the Neteru, on her great temple at Sa in the Nile Delta. Inscribed magnificats exalt her in some of the greatest spiritual literature of the world:

Neith, Mother of the Neteru

Greater is her name than of all gods and goddesses

The primordial One, eldest of the primeval gods

She who made that which is

She who created that which exists…

Who gave birth to Ra,

Who brought forth in primeval time herself,

Never having been created.

But not all wisdom is written. Continue reading “That Which Is Sacred by Max Dashu”

Hagar – Demoted Servant or Egyptian Princess? By Michele Stopera Freyhauf

A socio-political examination of Genesis 16 explores how ancient myth can influence the story of Hagar and Sarai. Socio-political events could have occurred between the Egyptians and King Solomon that influenced the writing of this text.  According to John Currid in Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament, the Egyptians and Hebrews borrowed many things from each other and because of that, an inter-relatedness exists between the languages as well as cultural and religious practices of both kingdoms (26).  It is this inter-relatedness that I wish to explore and ask the question -was Hagar an Egyptian Princess demoted to a lower position of servitude in order to make a political statement of superiority of the Israelites over the Egyptians?  Or is this a story of conflict between two of Solomon’s wives?  Finally, could this story tell us about events that occurred after Solomon’s death since the Biblical texts from the pre-exilic period began to take shape during the reign of David and Solomon?  This is a very brief exploration of these theories.

In Genesis 16, Hagar and Sarai connect Egypt and Israel in a familial relationship, one rooted in strife.  These two women, an Israelite and an Egyptian, are brought together because of Sarai’s barrenness and need to fulfill the covenantal promise. Because of this, Hagar becomes Abram’s secondary wife.  This is not the only time that marriage between an Israelite and Egyptian occurs in the Old Testament.  Joseph marries and an Egyptian, the daughter of a priest of On (Genesis 41:45).  Solomon also has an Egyptian wife who seems to have some importance because she is mentioned six times in the Old Testament (1 Kings 3:1; 7:8, 9:24; 11:1-2; 2 Chronicles 8:11).

Important is the fact that this passage could be rooted in the writings that emerged in that period that portray family strife.  Savina J. Teubal in Ancient Sisterhood: The Lost Traditions of Hagar and Sarah, states these “andocentric writing and editing” of the biblical narratives portray conflicts between women who “vie for the attention of their husbands or sons” (19).  In this case the story really could be a tale of family strife inspired by two of the wives of Solomon, one of which was Egyptian.

Continue reading “Hagar – Demoted Servant or Egyptian Princess? By Michele Stopera Freyhauf”


The altar was not for particular spirits, but honored all the ‘spirits’ we brought with us to share: the spirits of the women and men in our stories, the memories imbedded in the items we gathered together and the spirit of every person present in the class that day.

Last week my students and I created a non-religious altar to conclude our class, Women, Religion and Spirituality.  We read about different feminist spiritual traditions in which women created altars to honor their ancestors, spirits or deities; and I thought it might be fun to practice our own form of literal physical creation.  I asked students to bring in inspiring items, pictures of people who’d helped them to grow or anything that honored what they considered sacred in their lives.  I also asked them to bring food to share, as no altar seems complete without food of some kind.  However, asking my students to participate in a course ritual, I also felt it was important to respect their very different beliefs… which resultantly, left me wondering how we would create an altar without God.

My religious experience taught me that altars were a place to surrender gifts in return for a greater gift of God’s blessing or love.  The church I attended as a child did have a literal, physical altar; but this raised table was only used monthly to present the communion bread and grape juice before it was passed through the pews.  Otherwise, I came to understand, one’s heart was the altar and we needed to present our sacrifices there.  Financial gifts needed to come from the heart, then put into the offering plate.  Gifts of time or action had to start in the heart, even when required by the youth group or spiritual authority; and resistance to giving these gifts also required sacrifice.  My resistance or lack of desire to sacrifice required that I leave my unwillingness at the altar so that I might become appropriately grateful.

At some point I started leaving too much at the altar; and like Abraham’s Daughter I said enough is enough.  I recognized myself in the sisters and brothers lying under the sacrificial sword, and I took back my heart.  My heart, I realized, hadn’t been the altar; it had been the offering and sacrifice. Continue reading “AN ALTAR WITHOUT GOD? A “PLACE” FOR THE SACRED by Sara Frykenberg”

In Honor of All that Gives Life by Ashley Anderson

The depth of life’s interconnection is our greatest vulnerability and our greatest hope. We are beings in relation.

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day. Drenched in some strange amalgam of consumerism and genuine desire to nurture the ones who have nurtured us, we buy flowers and gift cards. We plan Sunday brunches or make that extra-long phone call to our mothers living far from us. My own mother, to whom I owe my courage and creativity, lives two thousand miles away. It was she whose breath gave rise to my own, whose gentle strength and fierce passion made way for my being in the world. It is my mother to whom I trace my beginning, and yet, if life is as Anais Nin imagines it, a “process of becoming” are we not ever-beginning? If all life itself is in process, if the powers of destruction and creation flow, creating and re-creating all that is, I wonder at the wombs that make and re-make us.

This process of becoming is an adventure through the whirlwind, a tour of the chaosmos. Our becoming, wrapped up with the becoming of Creation itself, is an unwinding of the fibers of the universe and our own souls, spiraling toward liberation. And so, on this Mother’s Day, I offer gratitude and honor toward all that gives us birth, to all who take part in our process of becoming.

Wave Womb by Galen Dara

In honor of ourselves. There is a sense that each of our beginnings emerges out of a wound, out of a dying. The day I was born was the day I received my first scar. I was a C-Section baby and the doctor nicked the edge of my forehead narrowly missing my eye. Soon enough, the wound healed and I still have a tiny scar by my right eye. Today, many years and many scars later, I marvel at our ability to heal. We give life to ourselves, after the movements of death have swept through us, after long nights of grief and the collapse of all we knew. In the quiet stillness of a soul razed, creativity moves. Continue reading “In Honor of All that Gives Life by Ashley Anderson”

My Feminist Perspective of Authority – Part 2 by Elise M. Edwards

My understanding of authority differs from that of the academy in that I have defined for myself a sense of ultimate purpose that those in power in the institution do not have authority to deny. It also differs because I believe my authority is conditioned in particular ways. Yet I think that ultimately my conception of authority fits the paradigm of mentorship that the academy establishes, even though I may be more guarded about my work and my choice of mentors. My “her-story” gives me the courage to proceed, even as I protect myself and my work.

In a previous post, I discussed insights on power and authority from a student’s perspective that I shared at a workshop on Living Texts: Celebrating Feminist Perspective and Theo/alogy, Authority, and the Sacred in the Academy. The workshop was a gathering where women scholars in religion discussed the challenges and promises of our voices in the academy. The dialogue was so inspiring to me that I decided tocontinue it here. Today, I reflect on these two questions:

  • Does my understanding of authority differ from that of the academy?
  • How do you situate my “her-story” in light of a largely patriarchal perception of authority in the academy?

Previously, I asserted that there is a critical distinction between power and authority. Authority is a personal characteristic based on a relationship of trust between me and a text, a person, or their work. Power, on the other hand, is operative with or without trust. Therefore, the people who have authority in my academic work are those whose supportive words provide direction and assistance, and whose criticism I take seriously.

My understanding of authority differs from that of the academy in that I have defined for myself a sense of ultimate purpose that those in power in the institution do not have authority to deny. Continue reading “My Feminist Perspective of Authority – Part 2 by Elise M. Edwards”


The wages of the sin of sacrificing our children is their death, whether the sacrifice is to some supposed higher order, to absolute obedience or to appear to be the “good Christians” we are “supposed to be”…

Maybe its because I enjoyed the books more, or because of my sister’s all too expectation-garnering reviews or even, because I’d seen this theme before, in an amazing yet gruesome Japanese movie, Battle Royal, I left the theater unsatisfied after watching The Hunger Games. I did however, LOVE the song that played at the end of the movie, which I downloaded before we left the theater.  I listened to it in the car on the way home.  I listened to it the next day, the day after that and for days after that… I listened and listened, and I found surprise, power, anger, sorrow and a channel for grieving that I had needed in the Midrash “Abraham’s Daughter” by Arcade Fire. 

Abraham took Isaac’s hand and led him to the lonesome hill

While his daughter hid and watched, she dare not breathe

She was so still.

I discovered the practice and potential power of Midrash from my teachers in graduate school.  The idea of an “extra-biblical” story that might help to expound upon Biblical passages that are all too often unexplained or unsatisfactory to (my) feminist consciousness was very appealing to me—and it is still appealing to me.  But I have to admit that the feminist Midrash I read in my classes seemed too positive and did not resonate with me.  The pieces were too much like a tender hug or a mother hen covering my wounds with her wings.  I wanted to hear a story of Bible that could help me make sense of the violence I’d discovered in my childhood religion.  I needed a story of Bible that honored my violent struggle to counter the abuse within it and within me.

Like Isaac, I was too intimate with my abuser: unable to avoid walking hand and hand with him when pushed to do so.  Asked to create a prayer or Midrash for a class once, I wrote about the way I would turn the radio in my car up when I started to hear ‘God’ speak to me.  I didn’t know how to listen and tune out the abusive maxims that played over and over again in my head (maxims that surfaced every time I even thought about the divine).  Continue reading “A MEDITATION ON A MIDRASH: “ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER” BY ARCADE FIRE by Sara Frykenberg”

Resurrecting Scars by Shelly Rambo

What does it mean to be created through the scars of a (m)other? And what does it mean to be made new—to be recreated—by them?

It is my first Easter without my mother. My sister Jody reminded me of how much my mother loved religious holidays, especially Easter. One of my striking last moments with my mother was in the hospital operating room when the nurse was preparing her for a surgical procedure. As the nurse opened up the back of the hospital gown, she exclaimed: “What beautiful markings you have.” She was referring to the scars on my mother’s back from a previous heart surgery. “It’s like a work of art.” My mother never viewed them like that. Instead, she often kept her multiple scars hidden from us. But there were moments, as a young girl, when I would glimpse them, those in the front between the buttons of her tightly starched blouses, and those on her back when she’d be ironing her Sunday dress in her satin slip. I was both intrigued and scared by these tracks on my mother’s body, just as I was by the ticking of her mechanical heart valve that I could hear when I stood next to her, the traffic in the house at a standstill. Both were reminders to us that her life was sustained yet fragile.

Much of Western literature tells the stories of fathers and son. And the dominant Christian storyline has also been patrilineal. Continue reading “Resurrecting Scars by Shelly Rambo”

REMEMBERING MERLIN STONE, 1931-2011 by Carol P. Christ

“In the beginning…God was a woman.  Do you remember?”  Feminst foremother and author of these words Merlin Stone died in Feburary last year.

I can still remember reading the hardback copy of When God Was a Woman while lying on the bed in my bedroom overlooking the river in New York City early in 1977.  The fact that I remember this viscerally underscores the impact that When God Was a Woman had on my mind and my body.  Stone’s words had the quality of revelation:  “In the beginning…God was a woman. Do you remember?”  As I type this phrase more than thirty-five  years after first reading it, my body again reacts with chills of recognition of a knowledge that was stolen from me, a knowledge that I remembered in my body, a knowledge that re-membered my body.  My copy of When God was a Woman is copiously underlined in red and blue ink, testimony to many readings.

Though I could then and can now criticize details in the book, the amassing of information and the comprehensive perspective When God Was a Woman provided was news to me when I first read it.  Despite having earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale, I did not “know” that Goddesses were worshipped at the very dawn of religion.  I had not heard of the theories of Indo-European invasions of warlike patriarchal peoples into areas already settled by peaceful matrilineal, matrifocal cultures in Europe and India.  I had written my undergraduate thesis on the prophets, studying their words in the original Hebrew, but I did not understand that their constant references to the Hebrew people “whoring” after “idols” and worshipping “on every high hill and under every green tree” referred to the fact that many of the Hebrew people were choosing to worship Goddesses in sacred places in nature.  Nor did I understand that the Genesis story which I had studied and taught took the sacred symbols of Goddess religion– the snake, the tree and the fruit of the tree, the female body—and turned them upside down.  Continue reading “REMEMBERING MERLIN STONE, 1931-2011 by Carol P. Christ”

Residing in a Liminal Space: Finding a scholarly home at the Institute for Thealogy and Deasophy by Patricia ‘Iolana

For years I was outside of traditional academia.  I can no longer count the times I have heard that my research and my theories were highly radical and would never find a home or a place of acceptance.  Early in my career, while still in the States, a number of my colleagues tried to convince me to take a traditional theological stance, and join the world of orthodox faith tradition.  What my well-meaning colleagues never considered was that in asking me to alter my way of being, they were asking me to deny myself, my understanding of the Numinous, and negating that there were other people in the world who think and feel as I do.  I would rather cut off my nose to spite my face. Needless to say, I continued on, even though it often meant blazing my own trail off the safe and ‘beaten path.’ I trusted that I was on the right path and that the Divine would lead my way.  In other words, I had faith—loads of it, and in the end it paid off.

For a while, I had been part of the community (if you aren’t familiar with it, it is like a Facebook for scholars where academics can share and follow research).  I joined in the hopes that I would reach like-minded people and find an academic home.  One day in the summer of 2010, I received a message asking me if I wanted to contribute a chapter on a new book about Thealogy.  The message from Angela Hope said she wanted to claim and expand the field, and I was eager to speak with her.  Our conversations lasted for hours, days, and weeks.  We found a kindred sisterhood, and she shared with me her idea to create an institute for other like-minded scholars and practitioners – a place that was supportive of liminal theories and research – a place that dared to push boundaries.  And as we wished, so we gathered.   Continue reading “Residing in a Liminal Space: Finding a scholarly home at the Institute for Thealogy and Deasophy by Patricia ‘Iolana”

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, But Obedient Ones are Rewarded in Heaven: An Examination of the Re-Invention of the Bengali Tradition of Sati By Michele Stopera Freyhauf

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History is a book authored by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.  This has become a well-known phrase used by most feminists to imply a meaning of disobedience or stance against the patriarchal structure of society.  Often in error, the credit of the invention of this phrase is attributed Eleanor Roosevelt and Marilyn Monroe.  Their image, and especially the image of Monroe, will often appear with the slogan on merchandise as a means of marketing and raising revenue.  Ironically, reinvention or reuse is prevalent in history when it comes to tradition or ritual for the same reason – monetary gain.  This practice is common and the benefit of reinventing or reinterpreting an old tradition is an automatic connection to the past giving continuity, which, according to Eric Hobsbaum, instills strong “binding social practice,” (p. 10) including loyalty and duty in the members of the group.  This is especially effective in manipulating the poor and uneducated who usually display strict obedience and blind acceptance of tradition. The Bengali reinvented tradition of satî is an example of this. Continue reading “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, But Obedient Ones are Rewarded in Heaven: An Examination of the Re-Invention of the Bengali Tradition of Sati By Michele Stopera Freyhauf”


Aaadee shaktee, namo, namo: I bow to the primal power (which is female and divine).

My Kundalini yoga teacher training required that each student complete a 30 minute daily meditation for forty days straight at some point during our course.  Great!  No problem.  After all, I signed up for teacher training partially because I believed in the physical-spiritual-mental healing powers of meditation.  I chose the Adi Shakti meditation specifically, so I might better understand and embrace myself as a woman and creative being.  My own self-definition of womanhood had been very wounded in my past, so I aimed to embrace this fantastic opportunity.

Aadee shaktee, namo namo—I will bow to the primal female power that I have within me!  I was excited!  I was even eager to do this meditation; but somewhere along the way I discovered that I had underestimated how painful this process would be.  I underestimated my scars and I ultimately found this meditative experience somewhat excruciating.

Aadee Shaktee, namo, namo: I am humbled by her power.

Sarab shaktee, namo, namo: I bow to the all Encompassing Power and Energy.

My initial meditations were fun, exciting and led me to contemplate my sister’s pregnancy.  I enjoyed the mantra and the physical movements the meditation involved.  Very quickly, however, the movement itself became increasingly uncomfortable.  I was sore.  I joked in my journal, “no wonder the mantra engages female creative power; it really targets the abdomen and hips.”  I expected this, as many meditative postures are not exactly “comfortable.”  My response was normal. Continue reading “ADI SHAKTI! : A MEDITATION ON A MANTRA BY Sara Frykenberg, Ph.D.”

What Does It Mean to Say that All White Feminists Are Racist? (Questions Posed to White Women/Myself about Our Part in the Dialogue with Women of Color) By Carol P. Christ

Carol P. Christ, a founding mother in the study of Women and Religion and Feminist Theo/a/logy, has been active in anti-racist, anti-poverty, anti-war, feminist, pro-gay and lesbian, anti-nuclear, and environmental causes (in that order) for many years.  All of these issues have informed her teaching, her scholarship, and her politics.

The recent posting of Mary Daly’s letter to Audre Lorde on the Feminism and Religion blog is a correction of a piece of feminist history that is important in its own right and because of the way Lorde’s letter has shaped feminist discourse and politics up to the present day.  Knowledge of the existence of Daly’s letter and the facts surrounding Lorde’s distortion of history has been in the public domain since the 2004 publication of Alexis DeVeaux’s Warrior Poet, but when I searched the internet for a copy of “Mary Daly’s letter to Audre Lorde” a few days ago, what came up was Lorde’s letter to Daly — not Daly’s letter to Lorde.

I often hear younger feminists say that “all white feminists” of the older generations “were racist.”  Sometimes Mary Daly is mentioned.  Setting the record straight about Mary Daly is one step in retelling the history of feminism in a more complex way.  Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Say that All White Feminists Are Racist? (Questions Posed to White Women/Myself about Our Part in the Dialogue with Women of Color) By Carol P. Christ”

Mary Daly’s Letter to Audre Lorde

Note: This is an old conversation, in so many ways (including, historical). The more important elements of this exchange is the content, experience, and work that Audre Lorde was communicating in the writing of her original letter to Mary Daly. It is the plea we continue to hear today from those whose voices are systematically marginalized, brutalized, and erased. To that point, this post fails to take heed, and reflects the personal relationship many had to Daly, and not to Lorde, and is therefore another example of the wrongheaded emphasis so many of us continue to fall into. We must and will do better. And the post remains here as another negative example and a case study, the lesson of which is a call to renew one’s commitments to be willing to hear, see, and feel the cries of those bearing the brunt of injustice, and respond in justice-making actions. Here is Audre Lorde’s letter, which, as Ellen in the comments below rightly states, is a “deep, heart-felt, informed, impassioned, desperately empathic response,” written of her great beneficence. Spend time with Lorde’s powerful words:
– Xochitl, 2/22/23  

In May of 1979, Audre Lorde shared her critique of Gyn/Ecology with Mary Daly via a letter.  Lorde claimed she had received no response from Daly and subsequently published her assessment of Daly’s work as an open letter, first in This Bridge Called My Back in 1981 and then in Sister Outsider in 1984. Lorde had commented on this issue over the years and in 1982 claimed in an interview that if she had received a response from Daly, she would not have published her critique as an open letter. Lorde’s letter was widely republished and has been used as a paradigmatic teaching tool for the study of “white feminist racism” in Women’s Studies courses.

However, in 2003 as Alexis De Veaux was completing research for her forthcoming biography about Lorde, Warrior Poet, she  found Daly’s letter of response in Lorde’s papers.  On the letter Daly’s last name was written in the bottom corner in Lorde’s handwriting.  On June 9, 2003 De Veaux contacted Daly explaining her discovery and asked permission to quote from Daly’s letter that was dated September 22, 1979.  DeVeaux wrote about the existence of the letter and what must have been an unsatisfactory encounter between the two women at a conference in late September 1979; she also speculated on the reasons Lorde chose not to disclose receiving the letter.

In Amazon Grace Daly tells her version of the story and explains that it was gratifying that De Veaux thought it was crucial to publish the letter and correct the widespread misbelief that Daly had not responded to Lorde (26).  Shortly after Daly received a copy of her letter from DeVeaux, she called friends and colleagues asking them to help make this information more widely known.  Carol P. Christ gave me access to the copy of Mary’s letter she received at that time.  Because parts of the letter itself may be difficult to read, I am also posting a transcription.

September 22, 1979

Dear Audre,

First, I want to thank you for sending me The Black Unicorn.  I have read all of the poems, some of them several times.  Many of them moved me very deeply – others seemed farther from my own experience.  You have helped me to be aware of different dimensions of existence, and I thank you for this.  

My long delay in responding to your letter by no means indicated that I have not been thinking about it – quite the contrary.  I did think that by putting it aside for awhile I would get a better perspective than at first reaction.  I wrote you a note to that effect which didn’t get mailed since I didn’t have your address.  Then there was a hope of trying to get to Vermont in August, but the summer was overwhelmingly eventful.

Clearly there is no simple response possible to the matters you raise in your letter.  I wrote Gyn/Ecology out of the insights and materials most accessible to me at the time.  When I dealt with myth I used commonly available sources to find what were the controlling symbols behind judeo-christian myth in order to trace a direct line to the myths which legitimate the technological horror show.  But of course to point out this restriction in the first passage is not really to answer your letter.  You have made your point very strongly and you most definitely do have a point.  I could speculate on how Gyn/Ecology would have been affected had we corresponded about this before the manuscript went to press, but it doesn’t seem creativity-conducing to look backward.  There is only now and the hope of breaking the barriers between us – of constantly expanding the vision.

I wonder if you will have any time available when I come to New York for the Simone de Beauvoir conference?  Since I have a lot to do here, I had thought of just flying down Friday morning and returning that night.  Are you free Friday afternoon or evening?  Or will you be in Boston any time soon?  I called and left a message on your machine.  My number is …. Hope to see you and talk with you soon.

[Handwritten] I hope you are feeling well, Audre.  May the strength of all the Goddesses be with you – Mary

Click the link below to view a copy of the actual letter from Daly.

Mary Daly’s letter to Audre Lorde

Also see:

Mary Daly speaking about discovering that she responded to Audre Lorde in writing and that Audre Lorde kept the letter and deposited it at Spellman College

Mary Daly’s recollection of the events in Amazon Grace, p. 22-26

Warrior Poet, p. 233-238, 246-248, 251-253

Adrienne Sere’s In remembrance of Mary Daly: Lessons for the Movement

Carol P. Christ’s response to the publication of Daly’s letter on this blog: What Does It Mean to Say that All White Feminists Are Racist? (Questions Posed to White Women/Myself about Our Part in the Dialogue with Women of Color)

(This blog was revised on October 8, 2011)

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