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!

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Karen Tate

Karen Tate

Karen Tate is a twice published author, 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.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
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

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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!

Last modified on
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.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • 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

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I wish I had known about this sooner. Have a splendid time!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Conversations to ReShape the World

Coming Early Fall....

Voices of the Sacred Feminine:  Conversations to Re-Shape the World......

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Psyche
    Psyche says #
    This sounds like a neat book, thanks for sharing this!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” - Arundhati Roy

When I read that quote for the first time, the breath caught in my throat and the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I remembered....

I had been invited  to Wisconsin to present at a weekend workshop which turned out to be a more than wonderful experience.  I went thinking I was just going up there  to teach these women the workshop material, but the sharing and activities I participated in were a beautifully reciprocal dance.  Besides the bonding and the fun, issues I had never quite been able to banish from my psyche had dispersed in the safety of the  ritual the night before and I was feeling light and open and gloriously happy and fulfilled.

As the weekend came to a close and the time to drive back to the airport was drawing near, I grabbed a few moments of solitary time behind the dormitory where we were staying located about 100 yards off a serene and shining lake.  Between the lake and the dorm,  trees had been planted in a circle, with barely two to three feet of space between their trunks, and inside the circle was a bench.  I was drawn within the circle desiring a few moments of quiet contemplation in what felt like Nature’s embrace.

As I sat there, enjoying a cool breeze on my cheeks, glimpsing the reflection of the sun on the lake between the tree trunks before me,  I suddenly realized I heard a rhythmic breathing.  In and out.  In and out.  Where was it coming from?  In my mind, I began a process of elimination.  I held my own breath for a few moments thinking perhaps here in this small space among this odd configuration of trees I was hearing the echo of my own breath, but no, it wasn’t me.  I looked around to make sure there was no one else there, perhaps just beyond my initial line of light.  No. I wasn’t hearing the incoming tide of the lake.  I sat there mesmerized as I listened.   No, this sound was coming from this very spot where I sat.  Dare I ever utter the next thoughts that crossed my mind?  It was as if  I were sitting within the body of Goddess and I was hearing Her breathing  This was incredulous, but I was going to go with it and  just listen, feel, and  receive. I soaked in the magic of this sacred place.  The hair stood up on back my neck and arms.  I felt that familiar cold chill up my spine and my tears turned into sobs of joy.  What an emotional experience!

In hindsight, many of us might speak in metaphor, as perhaps the novelist and activist Arundhati Roy is speaking above, about Gaia or the coming new paradigm of the Sacred Feminine, but this was different.  This experience went beyond metaphor or even feeling inspired in some natural landscape.  This wasn’t merely equating the ebb and flow of the ocean tides with Her breath as we attempt to personify Her and embrace Her mysteries.  This felt as if it were another phenomena of a dimension I had yet to experience.   Was I crazy to even contemplate  hearing the inhaling and exhaling.....of our Mother?  Well, sometimes we just have to shut off that left-brain and just feel Her incredible gifts!  Those few minutes sitting in that sacred grove in Wisconsin will no doubt be some of the most profound and magickal minutes of my life.   Thank you, Mother.  Thank you for that precious gift.. I can hear you breathing!

 

Last modified on

Welcome friends to the New Year.  If you are familiar with Goddess or earth-based spirituality you no doubt know or have been hearing for over a month about the Winter Solstice and the returning of the light. We have heard that our northern European ancestors called the holiday of Winter Solstice, Mother’s Night, when the female ancestors and Goddess were celebrated and their guidance sought out by the people. We know it is the time to celebrate the Roman God, Saturn, as well as Mithras and Jesus. We tell tales of the Yuletide Goddesses such as Lucia and Holda and how the Druids celebrated their “festival of liberation,” a time when the soul is set free to dream a new world. The returning of the light from Winter Solstice forward for a time, is not just about whether we see more darkness or light in the sky. The light actually symbolizes the potential for life and new beginnings.

That said, let me share a little story with you with a new perspective on the season. A myth I don’t think gets so much play at this time of year. It’s about the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, a Shinto Goddess whose sacred sites are on the island of Japan.

Her myth shares similarities to the Greek Goddess, Demeter, and her bawdy and unrestrained counterpart, Baubo. You see, in her sorrow, Amaterasu, like Demeter, withdrew from the world causing the land to become barren and bleak. In her grief, Amaterasu secluded herself in a cave. No amount of coaxing could get Amaterasu to come out and restore fertility and vegetation to the land. Until, like in the story of Demeter and Baubo, Amaterasu was also coaxed out of hiding and despair by her counterpart in the myth, Uzume. Legend has it Amaterasu peeked out from the cave, her curiosity aroused by the laughter and clapping inspired by Uzume’s dance - but this wasn’t just any dance. You see, like Baubo, Uzume was “lifting her skirt, “ a nice euphemism for showing her genitals or yoni.

Why? You might ask. Well, on the exoteric level, it might seem funny or lewd to watch someone dance an erotic dance, or strip tease, if you will. I can’t forget the woman on the stage popping ping pong balls from her yoni in the movie, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” Or the curious Japanese men holding their mini-flashlights hoping to get a glimpse of the yoni of female performers spreading their knees on stage. The yoni then and now holds great power and mystery. These stories of the dances of Baubo and Uzume are not meant to be lewd. They are, in fact, meant to be sacred. They are from a time when procreation and sexual union were still considered sacred and sex had not yet become something shameful or taboo. A woman’s body held the mysteries of the cycles of life and death. You might recall those sacred statues in museums highlighting the public triangle, that part of the woman’s body known to be the gateway or threshold of fertility and new life - until Christianity turned what was normal, natural and sacred on it’s head.

Baubo and Uzume’s yoni dances were the catalysts jump-starting Demeter and Amaterasu to once again spark new life. Think about the last time you really had a belly-laugh. Did you not feel alive and vital? Seeing the dances of their counterparts brought Amaterasu and Demeter such joy that life was re-kindled. Vegetation sprang forth once more and humanity could once again eat, sustain itself. People and creatures would live and not starve.
In the story of Amaterasu, it is said that as she peeked from the cave to look upon Uzume’s dance she caught sight of her own image in a bronze mirror and as became she dazzled by her own radiance, light and fertility was restored to the world. Some scholars believe this myth reflects the regenerative force. It is the power and awe inspired by the yoni across cultures as a catalyst for creation, change, healing or protection. Let us remember also, that women, as life givers, were associated with Goddess, herself, the Creatrix of the world and everything in the universe. Life springs forth from women’s bodies and women bleed without dying. Simply put, without the yonis in these stories, without the yonis in our stories, life ceases to exist.

Specific to the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu’s, story, and in many other spiritual traditions, as well as in science and nature, there is usually no life without light.

That brings us back to this season of the returning of the light. The days and nights are of equal length with the days continuing to build in length and the nights shortening until the Summer Solstice in June. We too are coming out of the darkness and building momentum and energy, or gather light within ourselves, to do things and to manifest our desires in the world.

If we are in sync with the cosmic forces, this is the time for our own awakening and transformation, and our evolution as people and spiritual beings. Each turning of the wheel at this time of the year enables us to renew ourselves, be who we always hoped we’d be and hopefully see things more clearly as we grow in wisdom. We have the juice to re-invent ourselves, if you will. The light helps us see the world and ourselves more clearly and our role in the cosmic dance. Light shines forth, offering illumination that might give us clues to our destiny and purpose in life. This is the time that we take the ideas and seeds we planted in the dark fertile ground of winter and we nurture them to burst forth in the world.

So with all that explained, can you see why this is the time of year when we make resolutions? Can you see how that tradition is based on actual natural, cosmic and spiritual laws? Let us use this time to fill our vessel with the light that nourishes our potential, fills us with life, with incentive to accomplish positive change.

I would be remiss while we are talking about light and motivation to not mention the Goddess or Saint, Brigid of Ireland. She is both fire Goddess and Goddess of the healing waters. What do you get when you mix heat and water? STEAM. And what’s steam? Steam is a force that propels you forward. Think too of Brigid’s steam as a catalyst around this time of year that helps us renew ourselves, transform and succeed in the resolutions we make.

You have the natural energies of the universe working with you in these months leading up to Summer Solstice to see your resolutions through. Here are a few suggestions to help you accomplish your goals:

1) Make sure your resolution is reasonable.
2) Do not try to make to make more than one change at a time.
3) Tie a string to your wrist to act as a trigger to keep you focused on your goal.
4) Have a deadline to accomplish your goal.
5) Have a plan how you’re going to accomplish your resolution.
6) Do research or enlist help if you need it to accomplish your resolution.
7) Keep a diary of your progress and success.
8) Show gratitude for your accomplishments


So as we go forward, it’s also important to remember our thoughts are powerful tools of manifestation so nurture your attitude and thoughts with love. We must be the change we want to see in the world - cliche as that might sound. We must resolve to live our lives according to how we would like to see society change. So as we look within and outside ourselves, let us be filled with a certainty that the light will shine forth in the coming months providing transparency, healing, balance and enlightenment not just to ourselves but to humanity. Let us ride this roller-coaster of a paradigm shift not white-knuckled and in fear, but resolute to be filled with hope and excitement for the new world we can create together.

Excerpted from Goddess Calling:  Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy available for pre-ordering on Amazon.

...
Last modified on

Additional information