Your life is a beautiful, passionate, inspiring, never-ending story. It began with your ancestors long before your birth and will reverberate through untold future generations. It is infinitely complex, unique, and fascinating. Your story is deeply interconnected with other living and non-living beings. It is one among billions of individual stories that make up the wondrous, awe-inspiring story of our planet.
Do you see yourself, other humans, all living beings, and Earth Herself in these words? Many of us may struggle to do so. As Janet Rudolph so eloquently noted in her recent post about Moses, we need to re-examine and change our foundational stories away from violence and towards spiritual regeneration. So, how can we create new stories about who we believe ourselves to be and how we respond to the world around us? Ursula Le Guin gives important clues in her book Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story. In it she defines story as “a narrative of events (external or psychological) that moves through time or implies the passage of time and that involves change. I define plot as a form of story that uses action as its mode, usually in the form of conflict…(p. 122). “ Le Guin continues to say that this kind of plot “reflects a culture that inflates aggression and competition while cultivating ignorance of other behavioral options… (p. 123).”
Here we are, creeping up on the vernal equinox (March 21), which astronomers and weathermen on TV tell us is the start of spring. I see Imbolc (as described by Deanne Quarrie) as the true beginning of spring, however. It’s when we see the first little crocuses popping up through the snow…..oh, yeah…..well, maybe not this year, when more than half the U.S. is buried under mountains of snow. Let’s just agree that in ordinary years crocuses pop up and bloom and trees start showing us their tiny green leaves in February. The equinox is really the turning point of spring, the hinge of time when the rising energy tips over into falling energy that is flowing toward summertime, which will arrive at Beltane (May 1 or 2).
We’re probably all familiar with the story of Persephone, who under her childhood name, Kore, was out picking flowers in the meadow one day when her Uncle Hades roared up out of the earth in his mighty chariot and kidnapped her. This led her mother, Demeter, the grain goddess, to search for her and finally go on strike and let the world turn back into winter. This went on until Aunt Hecate told Demeter where her daughter was. When Persephone, now queen of the underworld, came back up with her mother—voilà! It was springtime. That’s how the vegetation myth goes. Continue reading “Persephone by Barbara Ardinger”
Let’s celebrate the Matronalia in the 21st century by demanding money from our male relatives, our male religious leaders, and the men in our local, state, and federal governments to support causes that help women—young girls, married women, new mothers, poor and oppressed and abused women, artists and actors and other performers, philosophers and scholars…all of us. Let us seek out and use Juno’s powers to improve the lives of modern women.
Just as each Roman man had his genius, or guardian spirit of masculinity, so did each woman have her juno, or guardian spirit of femininity. Juno rules every woman’s entire life and every feminine occasion. In fact, it’s because she’s in charge, so to speak, of married life that we have our June weddings and our honeymoons. Our modern “honeymoon” dates perhaps back to the fifth century and is based on the custom that the newly married couple sweetening the beginning of their life together by drinking a lot of mead (which is made with honey) and making merry. (Honey is sometimes considered to be an aphrodisiac.) Continue reading “June—a Month Ruled by Feminine Principles by Barbara Ardinger”
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.