What is a Goddess Pilgrimage and why are so many US, Canadian, and Australian women making pilgrimages to ancient holy places in Europe and Asia? The simple answer is that women are seeking to connect themselves to sources of female spiritual power that they do not find at home.
Traditionally pilgrims leave home in order to journey to a place associated with spiritual power. “Leaving home” means leaving familiar physical spaces, interrupting the routines of work and daily life, and leaving friends and family behind. For the pilgrim, “home” is a place that has provided both comfort and a degree of discomfort that provokes the desire to embark on a journey. The space of pilgrimage is a “liminal” or threshold space in which the supports systems of ordinary life are suspended, as Victor Turner said. A pilgrim chooses to leave the familiar behind in order to open herself to the unfamiliar—in hopes that she will return with new insight into the meaning of her life. Continue reading “Why a Goddess Pilgrimage? by Carol P. Christ”
Sometimes I think it happened gradually. Other times it feels like sudden change. Either way I find myself in an in-between space that is my life.
With apologies to Victor Turner and his cultural anthropological appropriation of liminality as a threshold space, I have come to view my liminal living as a more permanent dwelling place these days. Turner’s category of liminality locates subjects in the betwixt and between as they move from one manifestation of identity in community to a new kind of integration or role in community. I am starting to wonder, however, if the thresholds are actually dwelling places for some of us in this world.
I don’t know if that means I am actually more marginal than I am liminal. The margins are margins because they remain on the outskirts and they help define the boundaries. Margins are permanent. Am I marginalized if I live at the edges of the communities and identities I use to occupy, perhaps never to return to the bosom of the center? I hesitate to make such a claim mostly because I still occupy privileged spaces not the least of which are those constructed from how whiteness grants access and authority in this world. Continue reading “Living Liminality: Of Thresholds and Dwelling Places by Marcia W. Mount Shoop”