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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in feminist spirituality

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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Cynthia Eller in Living in the Lap of the Goddess notes that, “some spiritual feminists say that having a divine mother is a way of compensating for the frailties of human mothers, giving women a more perfect mother…” This is not actually true for me; I’m fortunate enough to have an excellent human mother. I am more liable to see myself as a mother reflected in the empowering imagery of the Goddess as mother than I am to feel “mothered” by Her—I feel like she affirms my worth and value in my own maternal role. She gives me strength and inspiration to be a better mother to my children. In this way, I then agree with the hope of spiritual feminists that, “this great mother goddess will have a transformative effect upon the social valuation of motherhood.” (Eller, p. 143)

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Why I Still Need "Why Women Need the Goddess"

When I was a young woman in my early 20s, newly on a Pagan path, someone -- I no longer remember who -- put in my hands a copy of WomanSpirit Rising, edited by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow. I had discovered Goddess-centered Craft a year or so before, when I attended a Spring Equinox celebration and was slightly confused (and then elated) when no male Godhead was invoked. The idea of an explicitly feminist, overtly political, Goddess-centered spirituality excited me -- a young activist who was really coming into her own political consciousness and who had begun to heal the deep wounds left by a childhood spent in the Church of Christ, with its punishing Father God. 

Each essay in WomanSpirit Rising stirred me, but thenI got to Carol P. Christ's "Why Women Need the Goddess," and I read the words

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks Susan. It is amazing how many people's lives have been changed by that little essay.
[Glamour Guide] Find the Other: Glamour as Otherness Part 1


 

Who Am I?

 

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When Sekhmet, The Mighty One, roared into my cards this week, I didn't even know what to say. Sekhmet encourages to get in touch with our anger and our rage and use it to transform our lives and our situations. As someone who wrestles with depression -- "anger turned inward," as the saying goes -- giving free range to my anger and rage is sometimes frightening. And given that American society's response to a woman with strong emotions and opinions, a woman who shows anger, is typically to dismiss her as irrational and thus not worth listening to, letting my inner Sekhmet out is something I've been strongly socialized to avoid.

But she is here to visit, in all her lion-headed majesty....

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  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Great questions as always Susan!
What do YOU know about going beyond ego?

Do you think you know all about going beyond ego? Most people I ask think they do, and others don't... one of those quirks of ego ;-)

So let's dive into this and see what's new. 


Let me start with an example of two friends. When they entered a party, one always quickly became the centre of attention and the other ended up alone in a corner. Now of course you know this has something to do with ego. Replace the negative convictions about yourself by positive ones and you will become the one showered by attention.

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One of the things I love about working with Kris Waldherr's Goddess Inspiration Oracle is that she includes Goddesses from many cultures, including nonWestern and indigenous ones. This deck has really expanded my awareness of different Goddesses, and I always smile when one I haven't pulled before comes up. (And though I've been working with the cards for nearly three years, I still have new ones come up!)

So I smiled when Benzai-ten, Japanese Goddess of Talents, came into my life for this week. And I chuckled when I saw her message, which is

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  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Thanks so much for reading! Benzai-ten came for me at just the right time, too! I'm delighted to have you exploring her message wi
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Great questions and great timing with this post. I really needed to read this. Thank you Susan!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Do Women's Circles Actually Matter?

“We need rituals of memory…because a political movement, the public policy and tactics of our movement, does not come from our ideas, but from the bloody and joyful substance of our lives. We need to be conscious about what our lives have been, to grieve and to honor our strength, in order to break out of the past into the future.” –Minnie Bruce Pratt

Last year, I was feeling depressed and discouraged after reading some really horrifying articles about incredible, unimaginable violence and brutality against women in Papua New Guinea who are accused of being witches as well as a book about human trafficking around the world (I wrote about this book in a post for Pagan Families). Then, I finished listening to David Hillman on Voices of the Sacred Feminine, in which he issued a strong call to action to the pagan community and to “witches” in the U.S. to do something about this violence, essentially stating that it is “your fault” and that rather than spending energy on having rituals to improve one’s love life (for example), modern witches should be taking to the streets and bringing abusers to justice. And, he asserts, the fact that they don’t, shows that they don’t really “believe”—believe in their own powers or in their own Goddess(es).

This brought me back to a conversation I had with a friend before one of our last women’s circle gathering…does it really matter that we do this or is it a self-indulgence? We concluded that it does matter. That actively creating the kind of woman-affirming world we want to live in is a worthy, and even holy, task. I’ve successfully created a women’s subculture for myself and those around me that comes from an ecofeminist worldview. However, is that actually creating change? Or, is that just operating within the confines of a damaging, restrictive, and oppressive social and political structure? Last time I facilitated a Cakes for the Queen of Heaven series, I made a mistake when I was talking and said, “in the land that I come from…” rather than saying, “in my perspective” or “in my worldview.” This is now a joke amongst my circle of friends, we will say, “in my land…that isn’t what happens,” or “let me tell you what it is like in my land.” I have to feel like that DOES make a difference. If we can share “our land” with others, isn’t change possible? Doesn’t “our land” have inherent value that is worth promoting, protecting, and populating?

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Lovely, sensitive, well thought out. As David Hyde Pierce remarked about the current level of funding for Alzheimer's research, "

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