In These United States: Georgia is on My Mind by Marie Cartier

Photo by Ted Fisher and Douglas Mcculloh. Author, mixed media installation, “the story of ohhh.”

Georgia on my mind, so goes the song, and right now the road leads back to you, Georgia.

The run-off election which could make two senators blue and give control of the Senate to the Democrats, remove a Republican as speaker, and Goddess willing, and the creek don’t rise…make America kind again… is happening now.

Early voting started December fourteenth and the federal election will be January fifth.

And then we will know. For right now, Georgia is on our minds in these United States.

There are white Southern political leaders who treat the Southern states they work in as if…

it is an acknowledged fact that the states are racist. But states are made up of people,

and all of those people are not racist. Racism may have worked as political strategy,

but the times they are a’changing. Continue reading “In These United States: Georgia is on My Mind by Marie Cartier”

Poem: #MeToo, We Re-Member by Marie Cartier

I need the grandmothers to help me

re-member my rage.

Cross stitch. Double knot.  I sew it back on. The raggedy parts I let fly loose

when I thought it was OK to not be “so angry.”

“Boys will be boys.”

And so then, girls will be angry.

And we will re-member—our rage.

I need the great aunts, and all the old women with the signs that read,

“We are still protesting this shit.”

I need them, this herstory to help me

re-member my rage, feel it strong and tight. Cross stitch. Double knot. Those women re-member

me. I am that woman. She is me.

Our rage is a song.

After all this time, we are still singing it. Our rage

is a river and we swim in it, even if it’s upstream. There is a fierce mermaid goddess,

Yemaya. She protects us. She knows

our rage is our best defense.

Our rage is a

swarm of bees. Not yet extinct. Our rage

is holy. Terror. Continue reading “Poem: #MeToo, We Re-Member by Marie Cartier”

Yemaya, Mother Whose Children are the Fish by Judith Shaw

judith shaw photoI spent the winter holidays in Rio de Janeiro with my sister. It was wonderful to experience the warmth of both the Brazilian people and summer in the Southern Hemisphere but a little odd to miss the quiet, dark time of winter back home. One huge bonus to the trip was to be in a place where the worship of Yemayá is alive and active. I was blessed to witness a ceremony to her on New Year’s Eve held by Afro-Brazilian practitioners of the Candomblé religion on the beach of Copacabana.

Continue reading “Yemaya, Mother Whose Children are the Fish by Judith Shaw”

The Brazilian Great Mother by Mirella Faur (Part 1)

This article was originally published by The Beltane Papers issue #30 February 1998. FAR is republishing it with permission from the author in order to digitally archive this important work.

Brazil is traditionally known as a Roman Catholic country, with a great influence of African cults and a growing number of various Protestant sects and different spiritualist, new age and esoteric groups. One of these, Wicca, has been catching up the public attention, appearing lately on the media and making us ask ourselves many questions such as – with so many myths and legends in our origins, why do we have to import from abroad, through books and especially virtual information, other cultures’ traditions and practices?

There are not, yet, reliable written records or academic research, except a few private studies, proving the existence of an ancient cult of a Brazilian Great Mother. On taking possession of Brazil’s primitive land, European conquerors discarded and destroyed the ancient universe of the native people. Modern archaeological discoveries prove that the rock art,  anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines and the ceramic objects left by the  people that inhabited Brazil 15.000 years ago, have magical and religious attributes, similar to those found in Europe. There are also plenty of native myths and legends left, some of them disguised in folklore or children’s stories, that can be, in the future, used to translate the country’s pre-history, shedding more light on the lost past and recovering the vestiges of an Ancestral Mother. For the time being, we must count upon the Afro-Brazilian cults and the hidden meaning of legends to discover images of a Mother Goddess, as the ones below.

Despite of its fundamentalist official religion and patriarchal society, Brazil concentrates, with the exception of India, the greatest amount of worshipers of one of the manifestations of the Divine Mother, which is Yemayá, the ancestral Goddess of Water, and Lady of the Ocean.

Every year, on New Year’s Eve and on February second, millions of Brazilians, dressed in white, take their offerings and prayers to the sea shore or sail in boat processions. These processions, similar to the Egyptian and Roman ceremonies called Navigium Isidi, dedicated to Isis, the protectress of the seafarers, who, like Yemayá, is also called “The Lady of the Navigators”. Although this huge Brazilian devotion to Yemayá, her cult is not an indigenous one, being brought to Brazil by the Yoruba slaves, in the XVIII century. Continue reading “The Brazilian Great Mother by Mirella Faur (Part 1)”

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