This was originally posted March 18, 2021
Note from Janet: Thank you all who supported the launch of my book Desperately Seeking Persephone on May 19. Due to a printer’s error, the original books sent out were deeply damaged without formatting, editing and with uncertain content. If you received one of these books you are entitled to a free replacement. I have put instructions at the bottom of the post for anyone affected to receive their copy.
Consider the following four birth stories:
Continue reading “From the Archives: Aren’t We All Divine Children? by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”
Consider the following four birth stories:
- A high priestess became pregnant in a manner that was forbidden in her society. She gave birth to a baby boy. Fearing for her child’s life, she fashioned a basket of rushes and cast him into a river. He was retrieved by a man named Akki whose name means “the drawer of water.” Akki raised the boy.
- A son was born to a young princess who had been forced to keep her pregnancy a secret because it was forbidden. When her son was born, she placed him in a basket and floated him down the river. He was found and raised by foster parents. He grew up to become a noted warrior, speaker and eventually a king.
- A young boy accidentally ingested some drops of star-studded wisdom from the cauldron of a goddess and, in this manner, was suddenly awakened to divine knowledge. The goddess grew furious that her divine wisdom was stolen. Desperate to escape her life-threatening wrath, a wild chase ensued. The boy turned himself into a rabbit, but the goddess turned herself into a dog to chase him down. The boy turned himself into a fish to swim away but the goddess became an otter to continue the chase. The boy then turned himself into a bird, but the goddess became a hawk. Finally, the boy turned himself into a seed and hid in a large pile of grain. The goddess turned herself into a hen and ate up all the grain including the boy-as-seed. In this manner she found herself pregnant. She planned to kill the baby when he was born, but when she saw him, he was so beautiful that she fell in love and she could not bring herself to do so. The goddess sewed the baby into a leather sack and threw him into the river. He was retrieved by a man named Elphin who renamed and raised him.
- A woman of the priestly caste of her tribe gave birth to a baby boy. At the time, all boys born to her tribe were under a decree of death. To save her son’s life, she created a basket of reeds and floated him down the river. He was found by a royal princess who retrieved him from the water, gave him a new name and raised him to adulthood.
Continue reading “Aren’t We All Divine Children? by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph”
She Changes Everything She Touches and …
Everything She Touches Changes….
As a way of entry to this post, I wish to let readers know that this is not a typical kind of post for this blog. It is however, the work of an accomplished priestess and about how she has been reminded of what she knows about manifesting wants and needs in her life. It is personal and it is real. In my professional life I was big on accountability and know that it applies to my magical life as well. This post therefore witnesses my intentions!
I have been feeling horribly scattered lately, almost as though I have acquired ADHD in my old age. Each day is incredibly busy and yet at the end of the day, when I reflect on how busy, I realize I have not gotten anything productive done! I have a lot of irons in the fire and recently have added even more. I added them because they seem important, as they might prove helpful to me for accomplishing some of my goals.
So, I was talking to my friend and fellow Priestess, Letecia Layson, on the phone the other day, lamenting about this as well as other things that I wish to develop in my life that have to do with family and friend connections and spending more time with in-person relationships.
At the end of our conversation, in which my friend used her skills at listening, she remarked, “Bendis, you are a remarkable woman and have accomplished so much in your life. You have shared marvelous things with your students, but in listening to you, I can clearly see that, right now, you are not using what you teach in your own life.” Continue reading “She Changes Everything She Touches by Deanne Quarrie”
“All hail- the new priestess!” they all shouted at the end. I was recently ordained near Midsummer Eve (June 20, 2015) as a priestess with the Temple of Isis, Los Angeles and Fellowship of Isis. As befits feminism and religion — I felt it important to share the document read by my scribe – the person who did a lengthy interview and wrote up a summary of why I should be accepted into ordination. I am sharing this with her permission with the Feminism and Religion community. Why do we choose the paths we choose? Why did I choose this Goddess path? The document that explores those reasons follows:
June 20th 2015 – 4:00 p.m.
Ordination of Dr. Marie Cartier into the Fellowship of Isis,
Temple of Isis Los Angeles and the Temple of Isis Long Beach.
Our dear sister has reached a point in her life that our ancient mothers of old have been preparing for her and she is ready to be dedicated to and be an emissary of the Goddesses. She is ready to take on the responsibilities of Priestess and is very honored and proud to be accepted by her Priestess Sisters who she dearly loves and admires.
Dr. Marie Cartier is a scholar, visual/performance artist, queer activist, writer and theologian. She has been active in many movements for social change. Marie teaches at UC Irvine in the Film & Media Studies Department and CSU Northridge in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Religion from Claremont Graduate University, 2010, in Women Studies in Religion, with an emphasis on theology, ethics, and culture. She published in 2013 through Routledge the book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars and Theology Before Stonewall and created the concept of “theelogy” a religion of friendship for people in exile, particularly lesbians prior to 1975. Continue reading “All Hail a New Priestess! by Marie Cartier”
I am sharing the following story, that with a few recent alterations, I wrote as a university paper last year in a course on Ancient Religions. It is significant for me presently because it is a year almost to the day that I embarked on Carol Christ’s Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. Seeds of transformation were planted on Greece, therefore naturally I have been reflecting and reminiscing not only on my Odyssey, but also on the full circle I have come since.
Today, from my hometown of Delphi, I will make pilgrimage to the Temple of Apollo. I will make this journey alone for I seek answers to questions of a personal nature. I have waited patiently through the cold and barren days of winter, even coming summer and autumn past, failing to see the Pythia with each visit, for during these times of uncertainty the Temple has been busy with representatives from many cities. All recognise the importance of Apollo as a mediator of disputes and a champion of law and stability. Everyday concerns like mine are least important compared to those matters of war and men. I come however, not seeking answers from Apollo, but rather from our great mother Gaia, for all know that it is she who has resided here since the beginning. I feel it in my heart that I will be heard today, for spring has arrived, and concerns over battle have been put aside for the festival ‘Theophania’, a celebration of Apollo’s return. The countryside is bursting with new life, the sky is clear and the womb of the great mother is abundant; I sense blessings for a brighter future. Continue reading “She Who Has Faith in the Unknown by Jassy Watson”
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”