Temple Spinner

October 16, 2010

I am dreaming back my sisters

Whisper-worn footfalls in the Temple steps

Skywalkers

Storm dwellers

Heavy-breasted cauldron keepers

Songweavers

Snake-sisters

Darkmoon dancers

Labyrinth builders

Star bridgers

Fiery-eyed dragon-ryders

Wind seekers

Shape shifters

Corn daughters

 

Wolf women

Earth stewards

Gentle-handed womb sounders

Dream spinners

Flame keepers

Moon birthers

Come sisters, come home

By: Marie Elena 1999

Advertisements

Charge of the Goddess

September 24, 2010

From Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

“I am the Great Mother, worshipped by all and existent prior to their consciousness. I am the primal female force, boundless and eternal. “I am the chaste Goddess of the moon, the Lady of all magic. The winds and moving leaves sing my name. I wear the crescent Moon upon my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens. I am mysteries yet unsolved , a path newly set upon. I am a field untouched by the plow. Rejoice in me and know the fullness of youth. “I am the blessed Mother, the gracious Lady of the harvest. I am clothed with the deep, cool wonder of the Earth and the gold of wheat fields heavy with grain. By me the tides of the Earth are ruled; all things come to fruition according to my season. I am refuge and healing. I am the life-giving Mother, wondrously fertile. “Worship me as the Crone, tender of the unbroken cycle of death and rebirth. I am the wheel, the shadow of the Moon. I rule the tides of women and men and give release and renewal to weary souls. Though the darkness of death is my domain, the joy of birth is my gift. “I am the goddess of the Moon, the Earth, the Seas. My names and strengths are manifold. I pour forth magick and power, peace and wisdom. I am the eternal Maiden, Mother of all, and Crone of darkness, and I send you blessings of limitless love.”

Quotes

June 24, 2010

“The symbolism of the Goddess is not a parallel structure to the symbolism of God the Father. The Goddess does not rule the world. She is the world. Manifest in each of us, She can be known internally by every individual, in all her magnificent diversity.”

“Through the Goddess, we can discover our strength, enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions.”

“As women, however, we need to look very closely at these philosophies and ask ourselves the hard-headed, critical question, “What’s in it for me?” “What does this spiritual system do for women?” Of course, the gurus, teachers, and ascended masters will tell us that, even by asking such a question, we are merely continuing in our enslavement to the Lords of Mind; that it is simply another dodge of the ego as it resists dissolution in the All.”

Z Budapest’s Podcasts

April 27, 2010

One thing I am loving about the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries class is that Z Budapest records audio podcasts in the lessons. We read from the book, but there are also files you can listen to, where you learn directly from her talking to you. Her voice is very interesting, and she speaks so frankly! I am using this entry as a note-taking entry as I listen.

Lesson One she talks about Politics & Women’s Spirituality. One thing she says, “first, I should clear one thing up: everything is politics. what you are talking, what you do, what you eat, it’s all politics.” And I agree with this. She says feminist witches are women who search within themselves for the wisdom of their DNA, of their inheritance, looking for the female principle of the universe — the Goddess. Here we claim relationship with the Goddess. Everyone understands that we have to own the ass we are sitting on, she says, because everybody else owns everything else. That is why we must fight for our rights as women. We must fight for the rights over our own bodies and souls — the “fight for our sweet women’s souls”, as she says.

So we are fighting a revolution, fight for cultural diversity, against racism, for sexual freedom… everything needs some change. It’s a lot of work. We must make sure we are grounded in our spirituality, we must make sure we have replenished our energies. We must have fun! A secure grounding, a woman’s spiritual strength is knowing both fun and our herstory — those who came before us. This reminds me of my recent read of a book titled Manifesta, which covers a lot of feminist history. Budapest says to know the past is to know who we are, to know where we come from.

The changing universe of consciousness is important. The new consciousness that was born from women’s movements is a glorious gift. We must be mindful of how we relate to each other. At this moment she talks about why men fear powerful women, or women gaining power. It’s because, she says, maybe they fear we would treat the men how they have treated women for thousands of years. Perhaps there is a fear of retribution, of getting even? This, she says, is because perhaps men in this position would do so. They are not fit to rule over us, Z says, a hint of laughter in her voice.

She mentions the Venus of Willendorf, who is 25,000 years old compared to the Bible which is 2,000 years old, and the Koran which is only 500 years old. In this section she talks about the age of the goddess consciousness. While it is true that a “universal goddess religion” theory, as written about by Maria Gimbutas, has been disproven by the last twenty years, it is also true that there is evidence for some matriarchal society, and there is certainly evidence for Goddess-based religions. She is discussing also the origins of lack of work ethic and the invention of rape and slavery.

“We believe the female control of the death principle yields human evolution.” This is big. Human evolution… she talks about cultures treatment of death, and the idea of heaven or any such place. The death principle of goddess consciousness is to look around you. Everything dies. The goddess energy, the pure love of the universe, the pure miracle of life, this energy is what will go forth, again and again. “Death is just a swing door,” she says, “one side of it says Life and the other side of it says Death, and we are all just always coming and going, all the time.” This topic was something my sister and I discussed recently in our lessons, so I was surprised to hear it again! It’s been on my mind a lot, consequently. She touches on death as not a source of fear, of something which has a date already that we carry in our body. We all bloom and then we die. This is, to me — and judging by her voice, to her, too — a comforting thought.

Living life lovingly. Now she is mentioning our need for self love, our need to serve OURSELVES. This is so important. Sisterhood is good for us. Learning from your sisters is good for you. No matter where you are from you are still a woman, she says also. Lastly, in this audio podcast, she talks about how we can love others better if we make sure we love ourselves. Have a little self-reflection, she says. Love yourself. If you are short of some quality, make it up somewhere. Life is a gift. Affirm your life.

Women & Spirituality

April 9, 2010

I have ordered Women & Spirituality, a series of three PBS documentaries. The series examines goddess-based pre-historic societies, the witch-hunts of the Middle Ages, and the continuing popularity of contemporary women’s spirituality movements. Starhawk is interviewed for these documentaries, as is Luisah Teish, who wrote the book Jamabalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals. It’s a great book, one of the first I read when beginning this path. Teish is a Yoruba priestess and the documentary covers, I know, some of that as well. I am really looking forward to having these DVDs on my shelves! Already I have a friend who wants to borrow them as soon as possible.

I have been wanting this series for a while now, but I went ahead and purchased it because I am teaching my sister. I think it will be a good series for us to view together. Right now we’re focusing on the element of Earth and working on things like grounding meditations and a basic understanding of what the chakras are. So far, things are going well. I’m hoping this documentary will be educational for us both. Looking forward to watching it!

Daily Goddess

March 31, 2010

In my working with my sister I promised her I would type out the daily reading from Patricia Monaghan’s The Goddess Companion. It is a book that contains a reading for every day of the year. I really like this book and enjoy reading from it daily. The book contains various songs, prayers, meditations, and invocations on different aspects of the goddess from various cultures and times — underneath each excerpt is a bit written by Monaghan, furthering the reading. The subtitle of the book is “divine meditations on the feminine spirit”; if goddess spirituality is for you, this may be a book you would be interested in having.

~ March 31
If a mountain could shine like the sun,
if its brilliance could penetrate the world’s dark quarters,
if all worlds joined together into this brilliance
and if this brilliance became a woman:
That would be a goddess. Devi: The Goddess.

I am that goddess. I am the force of the universe
in the shape of a woman. Nothing exists
that is not me, and nothing but me exists.
All women are but manifestations of me.
And I am the manifestations of all women.

And all women praise me thus: Devi, eternal
embodiment of the universal feminine,
you who create the world and sustain it,
we wreathe you with flowers and incense,
and we beg you to bring us virtue and richness.

– Devi Mahatmyam, Indian song to the goddess

WHO knows what the goddess means? She has meant different things in different eras, in different cultures, to different people. She has been anger and rage as well as peace and fruitfulness. She is the totality of experience of each woman. And she is the divine, experienced in the form of and through the bodies of women. She cannot be limited to a single form, nor contained in a single body. She is more comprehensive than we can imagine. In meditating on her vastness, we encounter it within ourselves.

The Holy Book, Class One

March 11, 2010

I may have mentioned — and probably did — that I have enrolled in Zsuzsanna Budapest’s The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries Class. It’s a beginning, introductory class for Dianic, or Feminist, Wicca. This morning I’m devoting myself to the reading and homework that goes with this class. In so doing, I have found a line in the Holy Book that I think is quite amazing:

“A self-created god who has no mother is an unacceptable concept.” To deny motherhood is to deny women, and there are two kinds of people: mothers and their children.

p.xxiv

The Holy Book first appealed to me because I had learned of its stance as a Feminist book. Indeed, it began as the “Feminist Book of Light and Shadow”. There any many things in it which I have found helpful, and I will be studying this book in one year and one day, the proper amount of time. While there is some controversy over Z’s work and some of the things her covens and practices uphold — like the denial of transwomen in their circles — I do think that there are still some good things here. I have also not made up my mind about certain things. For instance, would I be comfortable at a ritual if it were being held skyclad (or, naked, as we should say), if there were male-bodied people present?

I have to confess I would not. I am a survivor of sexual assault. I am learning to become more comfortable with men in general following this. But I can’t feel comfortable about having them in my most intimate space, in my sacred circle. I don’t think transwomen should be banned from the circles, no, but do I think it’s wrong for a person such as myself to feel uncomfortable with the presence of a male body, no matter what her spirit might be? I just don’t know. There are arguments about this all the time; some say the transwoman can never know the fullness of female experience. Some say they can. I say I don’t know.

I love to read both the Charge of the Goddess (especially Starhawk’s version) and the Charge of the Dark Goddess (version II). They both speak to me deeply, particularly the bolded lines.

Hear me child, and know Me for who I am. I have been with you since you were born, and I will stay with you until you return to Me at the final dusk.

I am the passionate and seductive lover who inspires the poet to dream. I am the One who calls to you at the end of your journey. After the day is done, My children find their blessed rest in my embrace.

I am the womb from which all things are born.
I am the shadowy, still tomb; all things must come to Me and bare their breasts to die and be reborn to the Whole.

I am the Sorceress that will not be ruled, the Weaver of Time, the Teacher of Mysteries. I snip the threads that bring my children home to me. I slit the throats of the cruel and drink the blood of the heartless. Swallow your fear and come to me, and you will discover true beauty, strength, and courage.

I am the fury which rips the flesh from injustice.
I am the glowing forge that transforms your inner demons into tools of power. Open yourself to my embrace and overcome.

I am the glinting sword that protects you from harm.
I am the crucible in which all the aspects of yourself merge together in a rainbow of union.
I am the velvet depths of the night sky, the swirling mists of midnight, shrouded in mystery.

I am the chrysalis in which you will face that which terrifies you and from which you will blossom forth, vibrant and renewed. Seek me at the crossroads, and you shall be transformed, for once you look upon my face, there is no return.

I am the fire that kisses the shackles away.
I am the cauldron in which all opposites grow to know each other in Truth.
I am the web which connects all things.

I am the Healer of all wounds, the Warrior who rights all wrongs in their Time. I make the weak strong. I make the arrogant humble. I raise up the oppressed and empower the disenfranchised. I am Justice tempered with Mercy.

Most importantly, child, I am you. I am part of you, and I am within you. Seek me within and without, and you will be strong. Know me. Venture into the dark so that you may awaken to Balance, Illumination, and Wholeness. Take my Love with you everywhere and find the Power within to be who you wish.

Today I am hounded by the scent of crushed lavender. I turn my head and smell it everywhere, the awakening of Spring. The Vernal Equinox, Ostara, The Feast of Persephone, the Festival of Trees, Alban Eiler — it goes by so many names — is coming up at the end of the month. I am feeling the energy of the Earth moving all around me.

I buried my hands in dirt and planted herbs today, taking in the sunshine and the cold breeze on the back of my neck. I truly felt the presence of the Goddess as I placed the tender plants within the earth. On the Equinox I will bless them and water them with charged water.

“Now listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other names.

“Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all witches.

“There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will I teach things that are as yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise. For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on earth; for my law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it, let naught stop you or turn you aside; for mine is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth, and mine is the cup of wine of life; and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy grail of immortality.

“I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.

“Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess; she is the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body encircles the universe.

“I am the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man. Call unto thy soul; arise and come unto me; for I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of Gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou wh othinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”