Legacy of Carol P. Christ: The Ninth Touchstone: Repair the Web

This was originally posted on September 3, 2018

As I reflected on the Nine Touchstones again recently, I was pleased to discover that the first and the eighth touchstones are articulations of the central values of egalitarian matriarchal societies. Few of us live today in egalitarian matriarchies, and it would not be possible for all of us to return to cultivating the land. I offer the Nine Touchstones in the hope that they can help us to find a way to express and embody the values of egalitarian matriarchal cultures in the modern world. The touchstones are intended to inform all our relationships, personal, communal, social, and political.

Continue reading “Legacy of Carol P. Christ: The Ninth Touchstone: Repair the Web”

From the Archives: Archy and Mehitabel by Barbara Ardinger

This was originally posted on December 1, 2019

Archy the Cockroach and Mehitabel the Cat were introduced to the world in 1916 by Don Marquis, a columnist for the New York Evening Sun. Marquis was more than a mere columnist; he was a social commentator and satirist admired by nearly every famous writer of the first quarter of the 20th century. Franklin P. Adams, for example, said Marquis was “far closer to Mark Twain than anybody I know” (see note).

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From the Archives: Green Tara by Jassy Watson

This was originally posted on March 6, 2015

Goddess Tara is one of the oldest goddesses who is still worshipped extensively in modern times. Tara originated as a Hindu goddess, a Great Goddess or Mother Creator, she who represents the eternal life force that fuels all life. In Sanskrit, the name Tara means Star, but she was also called The Great Compassionate Mother and The Great Protectress.

A version of the Goddess Tara exists in most cultures. It is believed that she will assume as many forms on earth as she is needed by the people.

Adopted by Buddhism in the third century BCE, Tara came to be the most widely revered deity in the Tibetan pantheon. Not only is she a Tibetan Goddess, but she is considered a female Buddha; an enlightened one was has attained the highest wisdom, capability and compassion. One who is able to take  human form and remain at one with every living thing.

Continue reading “From the Archives: Green Tara by Jassy Watson”

Who Will Plant and Who Will Harvest by Marie Cartier

A Poem 3/27/23

We see the beginnings of fruit trees.
The first fruit, my Jewish friend says:

            The best of spring—as fruit
            Is what makes luxury, she says.

We could just eat vegetables –but
With fruit we have extra luxury, we have extra—
We have wine. Cheers- we have luxury.

Continue reading “Who Will Plant and Who Will Harvest by Marie Cartier”


Despite halting attempts to live my life with hope, I’ve failed. My experience is not unique. We suffer. The recent pandemic, including its side effects of loss and displacement, is but one example. Suffering can leave a sense of hopelessness in its wake. One place I look for balm is in poetry.

As with most poetry, Emily Dickinson’s (1830-1886) work requires me to pause and ponder. What is being said? Not easy to tell, nonetheless, I often do find meaning in her poems. If I understand her thrust at all, much of the meaning I glean disorients me.

Continue reading “HOPE, PAIN, DESPAIR, AND JESUS by Esther Nelson”

A Woman And A Seal – Symbols Of Hope by Judith Shaw

I’ve known of the existence of the Sabian symbols for a long time, but not much about the details or meanings – which is kind of surprising considering how much I love symbolism. Sabian symbols, which first emerged in 1925 from clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler are written symbolic meanings of each degree of the astrological zodiac. Recently I heard astrologer, Heather Ensworth, speaking about the new moon of March 21 at 1° Aries and the Sabian symbol attached to that lunation which is  – “A woman rises out of the water, a seal rises and embraces her.”  

Upon hearing that Sabian symbol recited, my inner eye exploded with an image to match the words and then buried itself deep in my heart. I fought the urge to paint it as I have other projects which need completion. But ultimately the woman and the seal would not leave me, so I began to visualize it resulting in this painting, which might or might not be finished.

But why did it strike me so deeply and what might it mean? 

Continue reading “A Woman And A Seal – Symbols Of Hope by Judith Shaw”

Windigo Winter Rolls On by Sara Wright

  Preface: Yesterday someone asked me to contribute an academic article that had to be cited to be included in a book. I said no because my academic years are over. My life experience has taught me that education is simply not enough to shift perception, and that Story may be equally/ or more important because story taps into the creative side of us, moving us through our childhood senses which include our feelings. Although not specifically feminist in content, I believe the underlying messages belong to feminism. The first highlights the destructive greedy ‘head’ without a body. The second addresses the complicated situation we find ourselves in – offering us a way through. The second story also highlights the primary difference between an exchange economy and a gift giving one.

Continue reading “Windigo Winter Rolls On by Sara Wright”

Legacy of Carol P. Christ: Walk in Love and Beauty: A Touchstone for Healing

This was originally posted on July 9, 2018

Nurture life.

Walk in love and beauty.

Trust the knowledge that comes through the body.

Speak the truth about conflict, pain, and suffering.

Take only what you need.

Think about the consequences of your actions for seven generations.

Approach the taking of life with great restraint.

Practice great generosity.

Repair the web

In Rebirth of the Goddess, I offered Nine Touchstones of Goddess Spirituality as an alternative to the Ten Commandments. The Nine Touchstones are intended to inform all our relationships, whether personal, communal, social, or political.

Continue reading “Legacy of Carol P. Christ: Walk in Love and Beauty: A Touchstone for Healing”

Herstory Profiles: Indian Royalty, Suffragette, Women’s Rights Activist by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

April is Sikh Awareness month which is incredibly important this year due to what is currently happening in the Punjab by the Indian Nation State. If you haven’t heard about the government shutdown largely targeting Sikhs, you can read here. To keep the focus on the Sikh Community, this post will be focused on the amazing royal turning fierce activist and suffragette – Sophia Duleep Singh.

Continue reading “Herstory Profiles: Indian Royalty, Suffragette, Women’s Rights Activist by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Becoming Grandma by Beth Bartlett

“We’ve all witnessed the power of a moment when an elder holds a newborn babe. There’s this unique bond that connects these seemingly disparate ages. However, there is nothing more profound than these two ages witnessing one another.”  – Mary DeJong

On Palm Sunday, I held my son’s newborn babe for the first time.  “Who are you?” I asked. I’d wrongly expected my grandson to be a carbon copy of my son newly born, but here he was, a whole new being, entirely himself.  We were certainly witnessing one another as we gazed into each other’s eyes. Did he know me, my voice, my touch?  Or did he also wonder, “Who are you?” I expect we will spend the next several months and years learning who we are to each other.  

Continue reading “Becoming Grandma by Beth Bartlett”

Peace Weaving: A Task for Our Time by Carolyn Lee Boyd

MaestraPeace (“Woman Teacher of Peace”) mural on San Francisco Women’s Building

Throughout centuries and across continents, women peace weavers have intertwined the threads of diplomacy and connection to make of their societies a harmonious whole amid war, violence, and seemingly endless conflict. James Rupert of the US Institute for Peace notes that, in our time, “Over a decade in countries facing warfare, women have organized more nonviolent campaigns for peace agreements than any other group.” Yet, women are outrageously under-represented in formal, higher-resourced, male-dominated institutions, with only 4% of negotiating positions in the United Nations and governmental organizations held by women. According to the Kroc School of Peace Studies, women-led peacemaking efforts are grievously underfunded and put women peace makers at risk of gender-based violence and online harassment.

Yet, if we look to the past, peace making has traditionally been an honored sphere of influence in which women have used the power of the esteem in which they were held, their ability to envision peaceful ways of being, and their skills as communicators, consensus builders, and relationship makers to bring concord from conflict and positively transform their societies. 

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To Stand in the Presence of the Ancients! – Enheduanna, Part 2 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Yesterday I wrote about the priestess/scribe Enheduanna and her warrior/king father Sargon. I posited their connection to the codification of patriarchy. They did not invent it, as war and the diminution of women had been happening in some circles. I do wonder, however, if they furthered it along to a point of no return.

Another king of the time, Urukagina from circa 2350 bce[1] codified laws under the guise of reformation.  Some of his reforms were progressive in that they sought to protect the poorer classes against aristocracy and the priesthood.  But they also were clear to let women “know their place.” Here are the translated words from his laws:

“If a woman to a male has spoken . . .[bad] words(?) which exceed (her rank?), onto the teeth of that woman a baked brick shall be smashed, and that brick will be hung at the main gate.”

Continue reading “To Stand in the Presence of the Ancients! – Enheduanna, Part 2 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”

To Stand in the Presence of the Ancients! – Enheduanna, Part 1 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Ishtar controlling a lion ca 2334-2154 BCE

To be in the presence of antiquities is powerful. They carry an energy which is palpable.  I found this to be true at the recent exhibit at the Morgan Library in Manhattan that ran from October 14, 2022 through February 19, 2023. 

Enheduanna is a fascinating woman who lived in the lands of Mesopotamia circa the 23rd century BCE. She was a priestess who was also a writer and chronicler of her times. She named herself in her writings making her the first known author of any written works in history. She was so influential that for centuries after her death, scribes learned their craft in scribal schools by reading and copying out her work. Scholars have referred to her as the Sumerian Shakespeare[1]

Her main temple was in Ur, the very city that hundreds of years later gave rise to the biblical priestess Sarah and her husband, Abraham. We can only image how much they had been influenced by her.

Continue reading “To Stand in the Presence of the Ancients! – Enheduanna, Part 1 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”

The Crow’s Nest by Sara Wright

 Bare tree

shadowy veil

old snow

won’t let go.

Beaded Judges


spring tides



with eyes.



 old bones…

March is the month when crows scream, screeching and mobbing as they soar through indigo skies – their harsh declarations hurt my ears though I know they are mating and nesting.

Continue reading “The Crow’s Nest by Sara Wright”

Legacy of Carol P. Christ: REMEMBERING MERLIN STONE, 1931-2011

This was originally posted on February 20, 2012

“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.

Continue reading “Legacy of Carol P. Christ: REMEMBERING MERLIN STONE, 1931-2011”

From the Archives: Sleeping Beauty: An ancient tale for these challenging times by Diane Perazzo

This was originally posted on April 24, 2021

Fairy tales are intwined in our imagination and our spirituality. As Jane Yolan writes, one of the subtlest and yet most important functions of myth and fantasy is to “provide a framework or model for an individual’s belief system.” (1)

In the Reclaiming spiritual tradition, we often use fairy tales in healing and self development work. These stories act as warp and weft as we weave and spin complex ritual arcs and other events that take place at extended Witch Camp sessions. In Twelve Wild Swans, Starhawk points out that fairy stories are “more than just encouraging and inspiring. They are also templates for soul healing from Europe’s ancestral wise women and healers. When the ancient Earth-based cultures of Europe were destroyed, these stories remained.” (2)

Continue reading “From the Archives: Sleeping Beauty: An ancient tale for these challenging times by Diane Perazzo”

From the Archives: Where Did the Gods Come From? by Barbara Ardinger

This was originally posted on June 10, 2012

A man in the group leaned forward and asked, “But how did the Goddess get overcome?” So I told him. Young “warrior heroes” came galloping out of the Russian steppes and the Caucasus Mountains, including Afghanistan, which no one (not even Alexander the so-called Great) has ever conquered. The boys were carrying their thunder-solar-sky gods with them.

Continue reading “From the Archives: Where Did the Gods Come From? by Barbara Ardinger”

Divinely Feminine Events to Change the World by Caryn MacGrandle

Morning Circle at Midwest Herbal Conference in 2017

In the bathroom at 4am in the morning, I hear the birds start to sing.  Instantly, I am transported back to my tent at Midwest Herbal Conference in Wisconsin to the excitement of starting a new day with the feeling of being in nature with fellow conmadres, amazed at the knowledge and wisdom the women around me hold.  Watching them go into the forest, bend down to see a plant, put it in their mouths and eat it.

Continue reading “Divinely Feminine Events to Change the World by Caryn MacGrandle”

From the Archives: The Deep Exhale by Chris Ash

This was originally posted on November 13, 2018

There’s this thing that happens to advocates when the world around us burns with injustice and fury and we shift into what we know, the holding-fighting, fierce-eyed, tender-hearted caring that pours out compassion and links lives with survivors, shedding trails of sweetness as it goes. It’s a professional skillset and personal practice — a vocation, even? — that girds our own hearts with the structure of listening skills, crisis response, and open-ended questions. We wrap ourselves in the safety of our modalities while we float steadily alongside others, occasionally sharing an oar when someone is stuck.

It is an act of ministry when we exhale-blow out-breathe hard into darkness, trusting in the moment when the deep inhale comes to re-inflate our lungs and faith.

~ inhale ~

Continue reading “From the Archives: The Deep Exhale by Chris Ash”

The Vows We Make, by Molly Remer

I make a vow of self-sovereignty,
a declaration of wholeness,
a promise to myself that I will keep:
I vow to listen to my heart,
to claim my power and my voice.
I vow to live my own magic,
to step into the center of my own life
and live from there.
I vow to live a life
that includes space for me,
to stand up for what I need,
to listen to my longings,
to honor my inner call,
to do my own work with trust.
I vow to never abandon myself.
I vow to inhabit my own wholeness
in all ways.

In February, I signed up for a Vow of Faithfulness class with WomanSpirit Reclamation. Guided by Patricia Lynn Reilly (of “Imagine a Woman” and A God Who Looks Like Me fame) and Monette Chilson, the class was based on Patricia’s book, I Promise Myself: making a commitment to yourself and your dreams. Structured as a seven week online women’s circle, the class took us on a deep dive into vow-making, culminating in a vow ceremony in which we made a public (to the class that is) declaration of our own vows to ourselves. As the class unfolded, I found myself reviewing past vows as well as sensing new vows bumping up against my consciousness, whispering to be heard.

Continue reading “The Vows We Make, by Molly Remer”

Mayflower Memories by Sara Wright

Introduction to MAYFLOWER MEMORIES (‘Blood – Root’)

For the past two weeks I have been obsessed by the thought of emerging bloodroot, a wildflower I have loved since childhood that grows just outside my door (among other places). This obsession, and I take each one seriously, always provokes the same question: what’s really going on here? Bloodroot does not bloom under four feet of snow, and my guess is that this year one of my favorite wildflowers won’t burst with white stars until June.

Today, I also remembered with astonishment that in the old ways, Mother’s Day occurred on March 25th, the time when ‘Becoming’ begins, long before the snow recedes. I’m struck by the difference between the two mothers’ days, this one seems so much more authentic, no room for sentimentality when we face this messy, muddy turning from winter to spring (at least in the Northeast).

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Legacy of Carol P. Christ: Can You Kill the Spirit? What Happened to Female Imagery for God in Christian Worship?

This was originally posted March 16, 2015

When I first began to think about female language and images for God I imagined that changing God-He to God-She and speaking of God as Mother some of the time would be a widespread practice in churches and synagogues by now. I was more worried about whether or not images of God as a dominating Other would remain intact. Would God-She be imaged as a Queen or a Woman of War who at Her whim or will could wreak havoc on Her own people?

Forty years later, very little progress has been made on the question of female imagery for God. I suspect that most people in the pews today have never even had to confront prayers to Sophia, God the Mother, or God-She. Most people consider the issue of female language in the churches to have been resolved with inclusive language liturgies and translations of the Bible that use gender neutral rather than female inclusive language.

Continue reading “Legacy of Carol P. Christ: Can You Kill the Spirit? What Happened to Female Imagery for God in Christian Worship?”

From the Archives: No Hope, No Problem: Reflections on Pesach, Time and Paradox.

Author’s note: This post was originally published on April 19, 2019.

In “Time Telling in Feminist Theory,” Rita Felski suggests that there are four main ways feminists discuss and use time: redemption, regression, repetition and rupture.  They are aptly named as they behave similar to their labels.  Redemption is the linear march of time, hopefully progressing step by step towards a redeemed, or at least better, future even if sometimes things get momentarily worse.  Regression is the want to go back in time or at least return to idyllic and/or imagined pasts: to matriarchy or to a time before patriarchy’s violent arrival.  Repetition is a focus on the cyclical nature of time in bodies, in daily chores, in seasons and so on. Rupture posits a break in time in a way what was before no longer makes sense or doesn’t exist.   Think utopia or dystopia.

Continue reading “From the Archives: No Hope, No Problem: Reflections on Pesach, Time and Paradox.”

From the Archives: The Hunger Games, Holy Week, and Re-imaging Ritual by Xochitl Alvizo

This was originally posted on April 3, 2012 and serves as a nice follow up to my recent posts, and to the Christian holy days being celebrated this week.

Being passive spectators of violence and injustice, even if mournfully so, is not just a thing of Panem, it is our everyday reality.

In The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins takes the reality of an unjust society and gives it an imaginative makeover. In Panem, most people are kept at such extreme levels of hunger that even when they do eat they cannot fill the hollowness that has settled in their stomachs, while others are deciding on the next cosmetic alteration they will undertake – whiskers, jewel implants, or green-tone skin color? The disparate conditions between the rich and the poor, the few and the many are absurdly and starkly portrayed but done so in a way that we can still recognize our world in theirs. And at the center of this world is the state imposed ritual of punishment and control, the yearly Hunger Games – a nationally televised competition that all the people of Panem are required to watch. The 12 districts watch mournfully as two kids from each of their districts compete to the death, and the wealthy watch gleefully, for the games are the height of their excesses and entertainment. The yearly Games conclude when one kid, the lone ‘victor’, is left standing. All while the nation watches.

Continue reading “From the Archives: The Hunger Games, Holy Week, and Re-imaging Ritual by Xochitl Alvizo”

Boundaries: A Poem Drawn from the Well of Jacob by Marcia Mount Shoop

kikuchi valley, waterfall and light lay in the forest, kikuchi, kumamoto, japan

Today is the day in the Christian church year that we remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends/chosen family before he was betrayed by some of those same friends/chosen family. He talked to his beloved circle that night about many things, including betrayal and their capacity to embody Divine Love in a broken world after his death. Just a few days later he was executed by the Roman government because his prophetic and compassionate life was a threat to the powers that be of his day–both governmental and religious. In honor of this day in my faith tradition, I share a poem I wrote about one of the women in Jesus’ life before he was executed by Empire. Since Jesus’ death, he was kidnapped again by multiple Empires who have used him to put an ecclesial and even divine seal of approval on systems of oppression and genocide. The woman at the well gives us a window into Jesus the liberator. May we have space to remember him today as another Easter Sunday approaches for Christians around the world.

Continue reading “Boundaries: A Poem Drawn from the Well of Jacob by Marcia Mount Shoop”

Rethinking Church from the Ground Up by Xochitl Alvizo

In the last post about rethinking church communally, I ended with reference to the fact that those who do not identify with an organized religion – nearly 70% of the religiously unaffiliated – think that churches “focus too much on rules,” “are too concerned with money and power,” and “are too involved in politics.”

I found this to be the case also among participants of “Emerging Church” congregations, which I researched for my dissertation. Many participants of the congregations I visited had previous negative and damaging experiences of church – experiences that caused them to become unaffiliated from church and Christianity all together. But, when discovering or happening upon an “emerging” congregation, some were pleasantly surprised by the experience of an open, welcoming, and justice-oriented community of faith that was creative in form and ritual, and egalitarian in leadership.

Continue reading “Rethinking Church from the Ground Up by Xochitl Alvizo”

Resurrection by Sara Wright

Experts quiped
you would
not rise
Too old
they said
Pink and Rose
No one
to vine.
Gray green
by a
single root.
Bowed blade
round to
Buried deep.
Spiral loosens,
seeking sun
star heat.

Continue reading “Resurrection by Sara Wright”

Legacy of Carol P. Christ: SHEELA-NA-GIG

On a trip to Ireland several years ago, I was fortunate to have been able to see the Sheela-na-gigs in the National Museum of Dublin.  Two of these Sheelas including the one removed from the Seir Kieran Church of County Offaly, pictured below, are currently on display.  They stand at the doorway of a room dedicated to items from the medieval period and easily missed.  As there was little interest in them and they are not in cases, I was able to silently commune without interruption.

Continue reading “Legacy of Carol P. Christ: SHEELA-NA-GIG”

Goddess Lost: How the Downfall of Female Deities Degraded Women’s Status in World Cultures by Rachel McCoppin, Ph.D

In this blog post, I would like to take the opportunity to promote my new book, entitled:  Goddess Lost: How the Downfall of Female Deities Degraded Women’s Status in World Cultures. This book makes the assertion that women must be educated about the history of goddess worship around the world in order to adopt a comprehensive spirituality that fits what it means to be a woman.

Continue reading “Goddess Lost: How the Downfall of Female Deities Degraded Women’s Status in World Cultures by Rachel McCoppin, Ph.D”

Life Still Shaped by the Witch Hunts? by Eline Kieft

In this article I reframe my understanding of feminism through the lens of Mona Chollet’s In Defence of Witches, and reflect on how my psyche as a woman today is still deeply influenced by the effects of the witch hunts in mediaeval times. 

Continue reading “Life Still Shaped by the Witch Hunts? by Eline Kieft”
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