Her Sacred Roar: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth

With the world in crisis, with women disempowered and disenfranchised around the globe, including here in the United States, it is more vital than ever to find our own "sacred roar" and rebirth Her onto the world stage as deity, archetype and ideal. With our pink-handled machetes we blaze a trail forward toward a new normal!

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Karen Tate

Karen Tate

Karen Tate is a four-times-published author, sacred tour leader, ordained minister, social justice activist, national speaker and radio show host of the long-running Voices of the Sacred Feminine on Blog Talk Radio.  She was recently named one of the Top 13 Most Influential Women in Goddess Spirituality and can be seen in the award winning film produced by actress Sharon Stone and Wonderland Entertainment, Femme: Women Healing the World. Her book titles, latest to earliest include: Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to ReShape Our World, Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy, Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth, and Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations. For more information on Karen go to www.karentate.com or email her at karentate108@ca.rr.com

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Finding Blessings in the Crazy

I was invited to guest minister at the Goddess Temple of Orange County in southern California the morning of Sunday, November 23, on the theme of "Our Blessings" and on that very day, my husband, Roy, and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and renewing our vows before our beloved feline Mother, Sekhmet.  I thought I'd share with you the message I delivered to those gathered:

I know sometimes it doesn’t always feel like it, but we are so lucky, we have so many blessings, and none of them have to do with money, though that’s what our culture would have us believe is one of the things that count most -  but truly, does having wealth bring us love?  No, certainly not. 

Does having money help us grow as better human beings?  Not always.  Sometimes I think not having wealth is more of a blessing.  Out of necessity, we have to learn to connect and interact with each other because we depend on each other so much more. 

So I’m here today, with Thanksgiving around the corner, to suggest we each peer into the window of our life as if we were standing before a department store window.  Take stock and I bet you’ll  marvel at all there is inside the “store that is our life” because I think sometimes there is so much clutter inside we stop seeing the blessings.  And it looks different for each of us, just as every storefront we walk past in the mall has different and wonderful things within.  Our blessings are all so diverse. 

But there are blessings many of us  have in common, too.

We are so blessed to live in a blue state and not be at risk of vaginal probes, personhood amendments, and loss of control of our reproductive health.  We are so blessed to have this brick and mortar temple where we can gather to express the oldest religion on the planet - without fear.  We are so lucky to have such a brave, dedicated and talented community, like so many of you here, including Ava and the women and men who keep this temple thriving.  We are so lucky for the internet and clean water and advanced medicine.  It’s easy to forget everyone doesn’t have that.  We are blessed we aren’t forced to kill our girl children at birth because we can’t afford their dowry later in life.  We are blessed because we can vote, although too many of us don’t.  We can disobey male authority without paying a price.  But we forget so many of these things.  We’re human and we kind of take them for granted sometimes.

But as you put your nose on the glass of your own storefront - and I hope you will - to peruse all the goodness inside,  I hope you’ll also be courageous enough to lift the lid of your challenges, disappointment and pain because I’ll bet there are blessings there too.  I know Roy’s heart attack made him start to take his health more seriously.  My mother’s death helped me deepen my ability to forgive.  And sometimes it’s the bullies in life that teach us the most about who we are and what we’re made of.

And don’t overlook the little blessings that make us smile.  See the blessing in the brave little hummingbird at the bird feeder, the beautiful and perfect roses in the garden, or the smell of bacon in the morning.  Myself, I cherish that fleeting moment  between being sleep and fully awake, feeling the cool sheets in the dim light of morning.  Maybe your cat is sleeping next to you and you feel the softness of her fur as you hear the alarm go off and there’s beautiful music on the radio.  Don’t overlook either sweet  memories or your feisty friends who challenge your thinking and help you grow. 

I know I feel blessed and Roy does too, that so many of you drove all this way so early in the morning to be here today with us.  You too are our blessings and we love you.  Thank you for being in our lives. 

So this week and as often as you can, try to take inventory of your blessings like a good shopkeeper so you know the value of all the assets in the store of your life. Be sure you look in all the nooks and crannies.  We can really find the blessings in the craziest and most unexpected places as I was reminded recently.

You see this “scholar” had blown me off because he saw me as a disillusioned advocate of Marija Gimbutas theories, but we talked, and talked - and to my surprise he’s offered me a private showing of the valuable artifacts within his goddess collection.  Dare I hold out hope that crack in the door will swing wide enough for him to fully embrace Gimbutas herstory?  Who knows.  We shall see. 

So think about that next week when Uncle George who parrots Fox News is talking crazy round the Thanksgiving dinner table.  As he goes on and on setting your hair on fire next week, making you choke on the green bean casserole,  maybe he’s helping you grow patience and tolerance.  Who knows, you might even find a kernel of truth in all the crazy that can lead you toward bridging the gap.  We can really find blessings in the craziest and most unexpected places sometimes

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  • Linette
    Linette says #
    Well, this one hit me on the head with a hammer! Duh... Reason being that my boyfriend is the manager of a store and "inventory"
Goddess Spirituality Teaches Social Justice

So let us look at several brief examples of the Sacred Feminine as deity, metaphor or myth and how we’re given a template for living or advice for values we might embrace with social justice in mind.....

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Celebrating Partnership Not Competition....Women in Relationship

I was reading comments about how Deepak Chopra and the male host of a show dominated over Riane Eisler in an interview, and it brought up these thoughts I'll share as food for thought.

First, I wish I'd seen the interview.  I love Riane and owe her so much!  She's one of my first mentors, having written The Chalice and the Blade andThe Partnership Way, which drew me to this path and I've never left.  I learned about partnership and perpetuate that idea often because of her early teachings. My book launch party on Saturday has a theme of "celebrating partnership" and it's a shame the interview went the way it was described. 

Myself,  I've have worked in several industries where I have had to supervise men.  I'll mention two.  The first was when I was a Convention Coordinator for a large hotel chain in New Orleans.  I actually was responsible for making sure a hotel with more than 10,000 sq ft of meeting space was turned over 3-4 times a day 7 days a week.  Our "crew" was a dozen African American men.  Me, a white woman, received more respect and enjoyed a team camaraderie with these men - more so than the white men in the administrative office.  In fact the other supervisors couldn't understand their loyalty and our team work.  They didn't get it was mutual respect, cooperation, partnership.  Maybe I instinctively treated these African American men better than the white men they usually answered to here in the South and treated them like people.  We developed a sense of pride in our work together and a team spirit.  With the white men you had to hold your ground, stand up to them or some, not all, were more likely to steamroll you, overlook you, demean you.  However, what was the most frustrating was the superior and entitled attitudes of the management (women and men) brought in from Colorado.  They treated all the local management as if we were all stupid - both men and women, even though we had experience running convention hotels and not small boutique hotels like they had previously run.  The Food and Beverage Manager - an older woman - treated me worse than any man in the hotel.  All these years later I still shudder at the emotion - the tears - that woman provoked in me!

In California I manage property where I have to supervise a lot of white men and men of other cultures as well, a few of which would probably rather have me barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and despise having to take orders from a woman.  I find again you have to stand up, hold your own, speak up.  The rules of etiquette I learned in the South when I was growing up - be nice, don't make waves, defer, conform, well, they just don't get the job done.  Sure I sometimes get called a bitch or a ball buster behind my back.  Once to my face a Telephone Company employee screwing up on the job told me I needed "a good  f--k" and maybe then I would shut up - translation: not tell him to do a better job.  (Interestingly the phone company send out a representative to make a personal apology to me.)  

Of course I get tired of the struggle.  Always having to be assertive to be able to do your job effectively - because the buck stops with me.  Some men still lack awareness of sexism and white male privilege - because its their normal and they benefit from it.  My boss even had to be schooled.  But again, here in CA, unlike in the South, I've experienced just as many women dominators as any men in my life - their methods are just a little more insidious.  So while I certainly am aware of male privilege, patriarchy, domination - let's not kid ourselves that men are the only ones doing it.  Both genders participate.  Women have learned well from their male oppressors and engage in what I call patriarchy in a skirt.  If I had to tally it up, I've had to endure more bad women than men. 

I've read how feminist, Phyllis Chesler, (Woman's Inhumanity to Woman) got a lot of heat for bringing this up - I have her in my upcoming anthology, Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversation to ReShape Our World, and I've interviewed her on my radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine Radio on Blog Talk.  I sincerely hope I don't get flack for saying this.  I won't engage if it happens.  I've got too much to do.   But we have to face the elephant in the living room if we women are going to lead the charge to change the world.  We have to figure out how to stop being jealous, petty, competitive and put our collective energy into dissolving the patriarchy.  We need to put our personal slights aside and stand in solidarity and partnership.  We have empower one another - be that lobster climbing out of the pot that turns around and helps the others out rather than be the one pulling the escapee back down into the boiling water.  And women have to take the mantle of leadership and be assertive and not expect it to be handed to us. 

Yes, the answer is partnership.  It's mutual respect.  It's fairness.  It's justice.  It's not competition, sexism, classism  or racism.   Among women and men.  We have to try to empower one another as women and not have a scarcity attitude there's only so many pieces of pie so we keep fighting for the scraps among ourselves.  I know I'm probably being politically incorrect here, but seems important to say.  My Sekhmet heart demands it.

Love to you all,
Karen Tate      

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Goddess is Calling - Hear Her Roar

In ever-increasing numbers women and men are seeking spirituality beyond traditional religious institutions and more and more their  new normal includes the deities, ideals and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine.  They have a desire to get beyond the patriarchal dogma that often perpetuates sexism, homophobia and the domination of Gaia and all her inhabitants, including the body of Mother Earth.  Women in particular are hearing and heeding their calling, stepping forth to take on their mantle of leadership as rabbis, ministers, priestesses, Nuns on the Bus and Womanpriests.  They are exercising their spiritual authority in circles at their kitchen tables, in their living rooms and classrooms, in brick and mortar churches and temples, in political arenas and groves.  They are flexing their spiritual wings and allowing themselves to be guided by their intuition, innate female wisdom and inner-knowing and they encourage their congregations to know and feel the essence of Goddess and understand what that new knowledge might mean for themselves personally and the world. 

Often their shared message is one of female empowerment, social justice and environmental responsibility sometimes referred to as eco-feminist spirituality.  The liturgy may contain social, cultural and political messages of liberation thealogy using Goddess mythology, archetypes and metaphors as benchmarks and templates for a more just and sustainable future.   Gone altogether or tempered is the message of the strict authoritarian Father whose mythology gives license for a male-dominated society with women in a subordinate role.  Nothing less than peace, partnership, justice, equality and care for the planet are at the heart of this Sacred Feminine wisdom.

In answer to this collective call to restore and  re-write our values and find a new spiritual path women and men are blazing a trail using their pink handled machetes to find their way.  It might manifest in progressive churches using gender neutral names for God in prayer and song.  Others include liturgy embracing the Divine Mother in equal partnership alongside the Father.  Altars might not be dominated only by male images.  Still others give themselves permission to conduct women-only services and exhibit only female images of deity at their gatherings.  Congregants worship together in circles rather than in hierarchal configurations with a male intermediary between them and deity.  In fact, these groups and gatherings might be leaderless, egalitarian or organizers might share leadership. In case it’s not obvious,  there is no one way and no absolute right way to facilitate these gatherings or to worship or interpret deity.  These are just some of the new guidelines being tried across the globe as spiritual people come forward to see what works for themselves or their communities.

Yes, there has been a plethora of academic writings restoring knowledge of Goddess and women’s history that has been swept beneath the rug.  Some, myself included, have used this knowledge to occasionally re-construct or adapt ancient rituals for a modern context.  We have gleaned inspiration from inscriptions and ancient knowledge and turned it into the seasonal ritual. Psychologists have explored the significance of Goddess archetypes. Theologians have examined why Goddess disappeared and patriarchy began to dominate.  Some statistics show that when all earth-based or goddess-oriented groups are combined, Pagan, or non-Abrahamic religions is one of the fastest growing groups in the country and books have come out in equal measure to support that growing interest.

Yes, thealogy, not theology.  The meaning of Goddess, as deity, archetype and ideal and her relationship to humanity, the planet and its species helps us find a new normal.  Going beyond the wheel of the year, examining Goddess mythology and ideals of the Sacred Feminine would reshape values, society and culture, from cradle to grave, from the boardroom to bedroom, to the voting booth.  Goddess ideals actually do provide a template for a more just and sustainable future. We can directly connect the dots between losing our Mother, the Great She, to exploitation of the planet and the oppression of our patriarchal world.  Watch this space!

May Goddess Embrace You in Her Golden Wings,

Dr. Rev. Karen Tate

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  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    Great article!
  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    wonderful stuff thanks for posting! x
  • Karen Tate
    Karen Tate says #
    Thanks Danu for your reader loyalty!
Writing with Integrity - Find Your Sacred Roar!

As a writer who prides herself on speaking truth to the powerful and uncovering inconvenient truths kicked to the curb by the patriarchal status quo, I wonder if other writers have also noticed the integrity lacking in the columns of so many colleagues?  Is cowardly reporting a pet peeve of yours too?  Do you share my disdain for shallow and unbalanced reporting?  Like me, do you appreciate writers who really stick their neck out and get their hands dirty rather than playing it safe?  Seriously, don’t we have enough sheeple?

For instance, when we have sports figures involved in domestic violence as they so often are or women being raped by their male counterparts in the military or we find out men who have killed women left behind writings showing their hatred of females, all too often writers will ask the question in their column, "What's wrong with our culture?" Interestingly, they don't ask the more obvious question - "What's wrong with some men in our culture?"  Often it might even be the victim who is assaulted  again in the media as writers avoid naming the real bully - so when did the press stop naming the real bully?   Does the female writer not point to the obvious because she's afraid she'll be labeled an angry feminist in our patriarchal world and might get fewer jobs ?  Is the male writer who ignores male domination and oppression in our society simply unaware of male privilege or is he being disingenuous?  Is it okay to be a self-interested reporter or a columnist who skirts the actual underlying problems?   Or should a writer's commitment be to delving deep and getting to the real issues, not just what's comfortable to speak out about?  Should a writer challenge his audience and try to inspire her readers by sharing insights or facts, even if they might upset the proverbial apple cart?

Likewise in politics.  I'm so tired of reading Democrats and Republicans are all alike.  Surely that is a false equivalency. When it comes to social issues, it's not Demorats voting against the Consumer Protection Bureau, equal pay for women, extending unemployment insurance benefits, fixing broken bridges, or spending tax dollars to create jobs.  It's not Democrats who are forcing women to be subjected to vaginal probes if they want an abortion or closing abortion clinics across Red States. It's not Democrats engaging in voter suppression or not signing legislation to help prevent domestic violence.   It's not the liberals on the Supreme Court voting that corporations are people to allow rich Americans and corporations unlimited campaign contributions, effectively buying our country, or as recently as last week, giving corporations religious rights over employees.  It's not at the Democratic National Convention where one sees only see white Christian faces peering back.  It's not Democrats trying their best to do away with Unions that helped build the Middle Class, nor is it Democrats who are against raising the minimum wage.  It's not Democrats who deny science, practice homophobia and always put corporations before people.  I could go on and on but maybe you get the point.  It's pretty obvious Democrats and Republicans are NOT the same, so why continue to perpetuate that false idea?  We read this "false equivalency"  description all the time.  Are columnists not doing their homework to know better?  Are they trying to be politically correct?  Have they gotten lazy?  Are they really partisan and pushing the propaganda of one party over another under the guise of being fair and unbiased?  Even my beloved Jon Stewart played this game once, presumably in an attempt to help dispel polarization among people, but isn’t it a disservice to low information voters who might not know all the aforementioned points and turn to him for their news?

Authors are sometimes guilty of this kind of writing too.   I can think of one in particular who writes about a particular woman of the Bible.  She elevates the biblical woman and gives us new insight as she uncovers this biblical woman's story but she never has the courage to tell us who's responsible for disappearing this woman's story from history. Of course it might mean getting some Christians angry to learn the truth.  So is this error of omission about self-interest?  Does she want it both ways?  She wants to tell about this biblical woman, but stops short of telling the whole story lest she ruffle some feathers and sell fewer books for speaking truth to power.

Unless we are writing fiction, what's the point of writing about important issues of the day or claiming to uncover secrets of the past unless you're going to tell the whole truth?  What kind of writer do you want to be?  One who makes a difference or one who plays it safe.  If you're the latter, maybe you should stick to writing about celebrities, cooking and fashion. If you can’t name the real bullies on the playground, then go write children’s books. And if you’re being paid to promote a certain agenda, whether it be political, patriarchal, etc., then full disclosure should be shared or your omission compromises your integrity.   At least that way you inform your readers you’re coming from a biased viewpoint.  At least that way you won't perpetuate misinformation or waste valuable column space that might have been used by someone who could use their bully pulpit to educate, raise awareness and inspire some worthwhile conversation.

Know thyself and if you're a Goddess Advocate, find your sacred roar!

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Feminist / Green Man Father's Day at Goddess Temple in Orange County, CA

I wanted to share the experience Roy, my husband of thirty years, and I had at the Goddess Temple of Orange County Friday night as the temple celebrated their first Green Man Father's Day. The temple for sometime now has been shifting toward welcoming families and on Fourth Sundays had been inviting men to the temple. Like the Green Man, Consort of Goddess, these men are encouraged to emulate feminist ideals or archetypes of protector, supporter, nurturer. These are the men of our future.

During the the evening the men who have helped the temple were honored - the men who built the Sekhmet's 4' pyramid throne, and do all the things at the temple the priestesses don't have the abilities or money to do.  As each of the men stepped forward to share a few words, I have to tell you how gratifying it was to hear herstory coming from the lips of men. As I sat in the room and listened to one of the men talk about being a devout Christian in his twenties, then realizing the inconsistencies, to discovering the Divine Mother, then hearing him tell how patriarchy has dealt women and the planet a lousy blow - I had goose bumps and I had to hold back tears.

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  • Karen Tate
    Karen Tate says #
    You're so right Ted, I'm looking over my shoulder for the axe someone will no doubt throw. I guess I just want women who believe
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you for acknowledging those men, Karen. I count myself in their number, and I suspect that there are more of us than you may
Goddess Comes to Music City...Nashville Goddess Conference in July 2014

Join us for The Goddess conference in Nashville, Tennessee to Empower the Divine Feminine within you!  Held at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, in Brentwood, TN, just south of Nashville, come share with a weekend to....

Find your Inner Goddess

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I wish I had known about this sooner. Have a splendid time!

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