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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Goddess
Sacred Feminine or Goddess Feminism?

In recent years “the Sacred Feminine” has become interchangeable with (for some) and preferable to (for others) “Goddess” and “Goddess feminism.” The terms Goddess and feminism, it is sometimes argued, raise hackles: Is Goddess to replace God? And if so why? Does feminism imply an aggressive stance? And if so, against whom or what?

In contrast, the term “sacred feminine” (with or without caps) feels warm and fuzzy, implying love, care, and concern without invoking the G word or even the M(other) word--about which some people have mixed feelings. Advocates of the sacred feminine stand against no one, for men have their “sacred feminine” sides, while women have their “sacred masculine” sides as well.

Nothing lost, and much to be gained. Right? Wrong.

Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine?
Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine?

When Goddess feminism emerged onto the scene, it had a political edge. It was about women affirming, as Meg Christian crooned in “Ode to a Gym Teacher,” that “being female means you still can be strong.” Goddess feminism arose in clear opposition to patriarchy and patriarchal religions. It was born of an explicit critique of societies organized around male domination, violence, and war; and of the male God or Gods of patriarchal religions as justifying domination, violence, and war. In this context, “the sacred masculine” was not understood to be a neutral or positive concept. To the contrary, the male Gods of patriarchy were understood to be at the center of symbol systems that justify domination.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Carol, I agree with Lisa - but I'd like to add that as a former Viet Nam war protestor, it's very hard to feel safe expressing yo
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Siggghhh. Here's another song "You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." There are at least two of us... "Imagine
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, let's imagine it every day. By the way, I was moved to tears by your piece about washing the clothes of the children who had
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Carol, I appreciate what you’ve said here (as well as the news from my friend Susan Foster of her recent travels with you through
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    ess is feminine, not diminuitive. I think in practice it does not feel at all diminuitive. It feels more female and powerful that

No matter how carefully developed they are, theories of female power in pre-patriarchal societies are dismissed in academic circles as “romantic fantasies” of a “golden age” based in “emotional longings” with “no basis in fact.” I was reminded of this while reviewing three books about the Goddess last week.

In one of the books, the co-authors, who define themselves as feminists, summarily dismiss theories about the origins of Goddess worship in pre-patriarchal prehistory. In another, the author traces the origin of certain Goddess stories and symbols found in recent folklore back to the beginnings of agriculture. Inexplicably, she stops there, not even mentioning the theory that women invented agriculture. Considering that possibility might have suggested that the symbols and stories the she was investigating were developed by women as part of rituals connected to the agricultural cycle. To ask these questions would have raised a further one: the question of female power in prehistory. And this it seems is a question that cannot be asked. This question was addressed in the third (very scholarly) book, which I fear will simply be ignored.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Excellent discussion, Carol. I've believed Marija Gimbutas discovered the truth, ever since seeing that wonderful video, Signs Ou
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    It's not about them. It's about how to create a more egalitarian, peaceful, and harmonious world! Well said! Of course it is about
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Goddesses in Context, Dancing Goddesses, Matriarchal Societies.
  • lanette miller
    lanette miller says #
    Would you mind sharing the three books you were reviewing?
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks Meredith. Unfortunately, women as well as men summarily dismiss the research on female power in prehistory. I think there a

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Doll for Sif

I dedicated a small doll to the grain goddess, Sif, to keep in the Spiritual Souvenir Shrine on my wall. I had had the doll for years, having bought it in the Soviet Union when I was in college, but one day I suddenly looked at it and thought "Sif." It has pale yellow hair, but its hair was all messed up from the years, so I restyled it. While I was trying to smooth her hair down, some of it fell out!

I had to fix that somehow. So, of course then I had to make the hairstyle better than before, because in the myth where Loki cuts her hair and then goes and has the dwarves make her new hair, the renewed hair was better. So instead of retying the pony tails with the orange thread the doll came with, I retied it with gold thread. I completely unintentionally re-enacted the grain myth where her hair is cut and then replaced with hair of gold, symbolizing the harvest and regrowth of the grain. Now it's a Sif doll for sure!

Image: Sif by Relotixke

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
When Love is Enough

I am doing a 12 month journey with crystals as I connect to a new deck that my husband bought me for Christmas, you can follow my journey at my personal blog, here : https://priestessofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/january-amethyst/. As you read it you will see that I pulled Amethyst as my crystal for this month and that one of the qualities that this author has ascribed to Amethyst is humility. I always think that I have humility, how prideful is that? In creating my intention and really working with my Amethyst I have felt this crystal moving me and uncovering layers that I have been unwilling or unable to access until now.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Announcing A Serpentine Path

"The serpentine path is the path of life, a snakelike, meandering path, winding in and out, up and down, with no beginning and no end, into the darkness and into the light."

As the year draws to a close, I am putting the finishing touches on A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess. In the spring of 2016 it will be published by the Far Press, founded by Gina Messina-Dysert.  A Serpentine Path is the original title of the memoir of my journey from despair to the joy of life on the first Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. It was published in 1995 as Odyssey with the Goddess, a title chosen by the publisher.

A Serpentine Path marked a turning point in my life and in my career as a writer. During the time described in my memoir I had fallen into a deep despair, sparked by the end of a marriage, the end of a love affair, and disappointment in my career. Hoping to make a fresh start, I moved to Greece. Not surprisingly, my despair followed me there. Nonetheless, as I would learn, I made the right decision, for as my Greek therapist was to tell me, I needed to learn to live in my body, not my head, and Greece was the place to learn that.I was at a crossroads in my spiritual quest. I left Christianity for Goddess feminism, yet I felt the Goddess had abandoned me. I had a contract to write the first Goddess thealogy, but as I said in a speech at I gave at Harvard Divinity School just before I made the decision to move to Greece, I was not sure of the meaning of the symbol of the Goddess. Is Goddess a personal being who cares about the world? Or the name we give to the cycles of birth, death, and regeneration in nature? My inability to answer this question led my editors to return draft of my Goddess thealogy with the comment that something was missing.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Lately, I have been having a hard time listening to the news, as I’m sure many of you understand. It feels like darkness is winning, not just in the seasonal sense, but socially, politically, and personally, as well. But last night, when I was fiddling with my handheld device rather than winding down, I had an epiphany. I have Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Inspiration Oracle Ap downloaded, and I regularly click into it for a goddess to think about in the evening. Yesterday, I pulled Amaterasu.


I know the story of the golden throne mother of Japan pretty well: the primary deity in Shintoism once locked herself into a cave in anger at the destruction her chaotic brother had been causing. The world was deprived of light, and, predictably, things began to die. All the gods and goddesses gathered outside the cave to persuade Amaterasu to bring her light back into the world, but she remained where she was. Until, that is, the goddess Uzume kicked up her heels and performed a sexual, ribald, ridiculous dance for the gods. They laughed and hooted, and Amaterasu was curious. She peeked out of her cave, and, as Waldherr notes, “balance was restored when Amaterasu was lured out by laughter.” There’s a similar tale in the myth of Demeter, that laughter was one of the first things that broke her all-encompassing, all-punishing grief.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Womb Cauldron, the seat of Feminine Power

The most physically inspiring experience that I have had as a Priestess and as a woman has been the reawakening of a conscious relationship with my womb. 

 

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