Sheela na gig: The Dark Goddess of Sacred Power BOOK REVIEW by Kate Brunner

If there are devotees of the Dark Goddess on your Yuletide gift list, Starr Goode’s gorgeous book, Sheela na gig: The Dark Goddess of Sacred Power, may be the best gift you could choose for them.

Goode’s connection to the Sheela is profound. Equal parts scholastic study, visual feast, & ardent devotional, this book will take the reader along on the author’s epic journey into the Mysteries of the Sheela na gig. As Goode explains thoroughly, there are no written primary source documents illuminating the origins & purposes of the Sheelas that survive today. Scholars and thea/ologians argue about the truth behind Her presence, but no one can yet definitively declare Her history and meaning. However, that does not mean one cannot  still study that history as one way of connecting deeply with Her Mysteries today. Continue reading “Sheela na gig: The Dark Goddess of Sacred Power BOOK REVIEW by Kate Brunner”

Badb, Goddess of Life and Death by Judith Shaw

judith shaw photoWith the ongoing occurrence of huge hurricanes, floods, mudslides, earthquakes, possible nuclear war and more in both the US and worldwide it seems that the wrath of the Goddess has been awakened. I felt the need to revisit the Celtic Triple War Goddess, The Morrigan. One of Her aspects is Badb, which translates as “Hooded Crow” and “One Who Boils.” She signifies fury, rage and violence. She brings war, death, chaos but also enlightenment, life, and wisdom.  Continue reading “Badb, Goddess of Life and Death by Judith Shaw”

Our Ladies of Sea, Earth, and Sky by Joyce Zonana

Sara and the Marys
Sainte Sara encompassing Sainte Marie-Salome and Sainte Marie-Jacobe

O Sainte Marie-Jacobe, priez pour nous.

O Sainte Marie-Salome, priez pour nous.

O gardeures de la Provence, priez pour nous.

The priest intoned the words in deep, liquid accents, his voice echoing from the ancient stone church in the remote village of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, in the Camargue region of Southern France, where the waters of the Rhone River meet the Mediterranean Sea in a wild, wide, flat expanse populated by black bulls, pink flamingos, and white horses.

“O, Saint Mary-Jacobe, pray for us.”
“O, Saint Mary-Salome, pray for us.”
“O, guardians of the gates of Provence, pray for us.”

I could feel the words resonating through me, bringing sudden, hot tears. The people gathered in the small village square repeated the priest’s chant, their voices rising above the low, white-washed houses into the sunlit sky, out towards the shimmering sea where legend tells us the two Marys had drifted two thousand years ago in a boat without rudder or sail.

Continue reading “Our Ladies of Sea, Earth, and Sky by Joyce Zonana”

Cerridwen, Dark Goddess of Transformation, Inspiration and Knowledge by Judith Shaw

judith Shaw photoCerridwen, Dark Goddess of Transformation, Inspiration and Knowledge is best known as the mother of Taliesen, the greatest of all the Welsh poets.   But Her story is much older and Her powers run deep.

Cerridwen (“White Sow”, or “White Crafty One”) has many other names:  Dark Moon Goddess, Great Mother, White Lady of Inspiration and Death, Goddess of Nature, and Grain Goddess. She rules the realms of death, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, magic, enchantment and knowledge. Her ritual pursuit of Gwion Bach symbolizes the changing of the seasons, nature’s yearly cycle of death and rebirth.

Continue reading “Cerridwen, Dark Goddess of Transformation, Inspiration and Knowledge by Judith Shaw”

Cailleach, The Queen of Winter by Judith Shaw

judith shaw photoThe Cailleach (KAL-y-ach), which literally translates as the “Veiled One” is an ancient Goddess whose origins are unknown.  When the Celts arrived in Ireland and Scotland she was there. Over time Her name came to mean “old wife” or “old woman”.  And yet she was thought to never grow old, an all powerful, ageless, Goddess of transformation.

In one of her stories, Cailleach, as an old hag, seeks love from the hero.  If he accepts Her, She then transforms into a beautiful young woman, symbolizing the transformation occurring in the depths of winter when the seeds lay dormant in the earth.  Yet alive within this dormancy is the promise of rebirth in the spring.  She is the guardian of the life force, finding and nourishing the seeds, commanding the power of life and death.  As the final phase of the Triple Goddess, she rules the eternal wheel of reincarnation. Cailleach personifies death and the transformative power of darkness.  She leads us through death to rebirth. Continue reading “Cailleach, The Queen of Winter by Judith Shaw”

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