Painting Aurora by Angela Yarber

angelaFor those of us in the northern hemisphere, December is one of the darkest months. The days are shorter. Night comes earlier. Each morning I eagerly await the dawn, the potential sliver of sunshine seeping through my window and warming my otherwise cold wintery skin. For those of us who struggle with seasonal depression, December can be difficult. The colder and shorter days cast shadows on our spirits as we yearn for the warm glow of light. Each December as we inch toward the winter solstice, I am reminded of the Goddess of the Dawn, Aurora, and of the unique ways in which a variety of wisdom traditions invoke the coming of light amidst the stark December night skies.

So, this December I welcome Aurora into the vast witness of Holy Women Icon with a folk feminist twist that I feature each month: Virginia Woolf , the Shulamite, Mary Daly, Baby Suggs, Pachamama and Gaia, Frida Kahlo, Salome, Guadalupe and Mary, Fatima, Sojourner Truth, Saraswati, Jarena Lee, Isadora Duncan, Miriam, Lilith, Georgia O’Keeffe, Guanyin, Dorothy Day, Sappho, Jephthah’s daughter, Anna Julia Cooper, the Holy Woman Icon archetype, Maya Angelou, Martha Graham, Pauli Murray, La Negrita, Tiamat/tehom, Mother Teresa, and many others.

Aurora is the Goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology; each morning she soars across the sky to announce the arrival of the sun. As the nights grow longer and longer, I can think of few other goddesses I hope for more than Aurora. In fact, many faith traditions invoke the coming of light during this month of long nights and short days.

In my own tradition, we are not yet celebrating Christmas (despite the capitalist consumer onslaught that has been on full throttle since October). Rather, we still dwell in the deep blue darkness of Advent, when we wait, long, and prepare for light to be birthed into our world. For most Christians, a candle is lit each Sunday during Advent and the light grows brighter as they anticipate the birth of Christ. Continue reading “Painting Aurora by Angela Yarber”

Honoring Our Mothers, Honoring Our Selves by Safa Plenty




“The moon has always been the primary symbol for female energy; its cycle around the earth takes approximately twenty-nine days, the same amount of time as the average woman’s menstrual cycle. It is often felt that as the pull of the moon affects the waters of the world, so does its motion affect the body of woman.” —Women’s Medicine Ways’ Cross-Cultural Rites of Passage by Marcia Starck 

Her full moon arose today,
sprinkling liquid stardust
onto her bathroom floor,
decorating her mattress
with vibrant hues of deep red,
staining her pajama pants
with artistic, circular symmetry.

For days, she had waited
for the completion of her moon,
while the sun shun
its luminous rays upon her,
the fall equinox bringing that
massive star into greater centrality.

And on a night, her moon had not set,
she sang to the four directions,
shattering myths of tainted womanhood,
tales of storks placing fragile care packages,
under willow trees.

Sang to Grandmother Moon,
Honoring the feminine Divine,
Celebrating her Sacred Waters,
Occupying her sanctified space
for the rejuvenation of Mother Earth,
honoring our Mothers,
honoring our selves.


Safa N. Plenty is currently pursing her Ph.D at Claremont Lincoln School of Theology in the area of Practical Theology, Spiritual Formation and Education. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Africana Studies. For the past three years, she has worked as a K-12 education contractor and assistant counselor at a community college. Her research interests include Sufism, Attachment to God, indigenous cosmology, particularly Native American and Australian spirituality and somatic psychology. She is also interested in religious mysticism, mindfulness practice in Buddhism and the role of feminism and religion in cultivating a peacemaking capacity among young Muslim women. She is currently working to develop a faith based healthy relationships program for Mothers and Daughters. She enjoys writing poetry, research, and contemplative practice and tuning in with nature.

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