Goddess Magazine (April 2010)

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Blessings Sister in Goddess! Deeply appreciating the Goddess in each of you, I have a favor to ask. We need your personal photos of Monica Sjöö for the memorial website we are creating in an effort to keep her Goddess spirit alive. If you have photos from past events, like the Goddess Festivals where Monica appeared, would you scan them and email them to me. You know, I do a lot of radio shows. I’ve always got something to say believe me! It seemed to me that it was once again time for me to have my own Goddess radio show, so I’ve nudged Bobbie to produce and host it and I’ll jump in to stir the waters. The new radio show is called Goddess Magazine Radio, in keeping with this Goddess Magazine that we all produce for you each month (archives are at: goddessmagazine.net). The radio show is located on Blogtalk Radio Goddess Magazine. Shows are being scheduled and planned out now, so get signed-up and ready to enjoy the latest efforts from myself and the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1. Please become Facebook Fan of the goddess Magazine Radio Show. And become a fan of the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1 too! Please, please link to us! Create the Web of Women!!! Bobbie and I are enjoying the springtime and planting herbs and vegetables in our garden. We’re also gearing up for the Blue Stockings Tour coming up this month, read about it in this issue. If you’re in New York or Connecticut, please come out and see me. I love meeting my Dianic sisters! I’m also available for Tarot Readings. I know many of you are going through some tough times, and that’s really when you should be reaching out for a reading. I’m here if you need me! Blessed be,

Z Budapest

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Goddess Festival Updates:

Women Vendors! It’s time for all interested vendors to send in your applications! Are you looking for a venue to showcase your Goddess wares? We are accepting applications for women-only vendors for this festival. Complete the application and mail it to us. We are reviewing all applications, and will pick the vendors we feel best match the needs of the Goddess Festival. You have to pay for your own admission and travel. Pay Goddess Festival Admission Here! If you’re coming to the Goddess Festival no matter what, then go ahead and take advantage of the Early Bird pricing that’s good until April 30th. If being accepted as a vendor influences whether or not you’ll be attending the Goddess Festival, then just submit your Vending application for now. And we’ve had requests to add one Tattoo Artist to the mix. So, here’s how to apply for that too!

Vendor applications must be submitted by April 30th!!! Vending fees are set ridiculously low so that our vendors can relax and enjoy the Goddess Festival too! In May, we will be deciding who our vendors will be, notifying the lucky vendors and then, vending fees are due by May 30th! You can register for the Festival later, but the Vending fees must be paid by May 30th. Here's the application for Vendors Here's the application for Tarot Readers Here's the applications for Body Workers Here’s the application for Tattoo Artist Here's a map of the Vendor spaces and set-up

Silent Auction! We will hold a silent auction. Vendors may choose to participate or not. If you have something you'd like to contribute to the Silent Auction, please bring it to the festival. This event is a fund raiser for the Women's Spirituality Forum an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit. Your registration fees are tax deductible.

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Goddess Presenters Afia Walking Tree, M.Ed, PhD is a world-class percussionist, cultural ambassador, spiritual activist, empowerment facilitator, leadership development advocate and trainer. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, she is currently based in Oakland, California. A self-taught musician, Walking Tree has studied and performed with many masters within West African, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian traditions. Walking Tree serves as visionary and director for her brainchild, Spirit Drumz, an international liberation movement for women and youth of all cultures that uses drums of the African Diaspora to activate empowerment and healing.

Diana Paxson - I managed to pay attention in class enough to get in to Mills College, one of the best choices I ever made. After feeling like an alien throughout grade and high school, at last I had come to a place where books and ideas were valued. The friends I made here were for life, and the world to which professors like Dr. Elizabeth Pope (author of The Perilous Gard) introduced me became my own. I majored in English with a French and Art minor and had a wonderful time. I also took Creative Writing. Although I learned a lot about structure and style, unfortunately the fashion was for literary fiction and "social realism", or what I came to call the "ashcan school" of fiction. It bored me then as it still does now. As a result I came out convinced that I couldn't write anything that anyone, including me, would ever want to read. It was not until I got to know Marion Zimmer Bradley that I realized there was another kind of literature that real people both wrote and read.

Diana has written or collaborated on more than a score of books, including a number of historical fantasies set in Dark Age Europe and most of the Avalon books, and has founded or otherwise instigated, midwifed, or re-written several organizations religious or otherwise.

Having decided that Northern California was my true native land, I continued on to graduate school at the University of California in Berkeley, where I got a Master's degree in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on the Middle Ages, and picked up a teaching credential. In my last semester there I got the bright idea of throwing a tournament in my backyard, an idea which unexpectedly took root and turned into the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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Ava Park - founder and director of The Goddess Temple of Orange County ... the only temple of its kind in the world Ava is Founder and Director of The Goddess Temple of Orange County, and the area's well-known ritual priestess and minister. A businesswoman in the 80’s, she left the corporate world to focus on her life mission: to help return balance to the planet by bringing The Sacred Feminine back to modern day religion. Trained in Women’s Spirituality, metaphysics and Buddhism, Ava founded the Temple in 2002 - and, at this writing, it serves women's spirituality as the only Temple of its kind in the world. She currently leads the women's congregation in Sunday services, healing circles, seasonal rituals and special spiritual events. She also regularly counsels women of her congregation and their partners and children.

Rabbit Mathews - founder and High Priestess of the Come As You Are (CAYA) Coven. CAYA is an eclectic, open, drop-in coven in the San Francisco’s Bay Area. Their mission is to create safe, loving, magickal space for all those who wish to participate in community rituals. As the founding High Priestess of the Wildflower Tradition and the Amazon Priestess Tribe, ordained in the Dianic Tradition by Z Budapest, Rabbit serves the Divine as an Oracle, Ritualist, and Herbalist. She practices and studies tarot, plant medicine and lore, stones and crystals, ritual craft, mythology and storytelling, shamanic practices, singing, drumming, and alchemy. Visit her store, The Sacred Well. Thank you sisters who have donated $1 a month to help support our Goddess efforts! You can sponsor Goddess magazine too! Click here to help….

Goddess Festival Musicians! Afia Walking Tree, M.Ed, PhD is a world-class percussionist, cultural ambassador, spiritual activist, empowerment facilitator, leadership development advocate and trainer. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, she is currently based in Oakland, California. A self-taught musician, Walking Tree has studied and performed with many masters within West African, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian traditions. Walking Tree serves as visionary and director for her brainchild, Spirit Drumz, an international liberation movement for women and youth of all cultures that uses drums of the African Diaspora to activate empowerment and healing.

Listen to samples of Alfia: Mama Souljourn Ye Ye GourdSong

Walking Tree's holistic approach to her life and work is evident in her affirmation-based sound powah transpersonal workshops and energizing performances, which empower individuals and community through percussion, ritual, dance, song, and dialogue. She is called luminary trailblazer because of her innovative, joyful, constructive, and inspiring approach to envisioning, awakening, and freeing our collective voices. Many seasoned community leaders express that Walking Tree is one of the most dynamic facilitator and activist for humanity they have seen in action.

I Am Alive

Diana Paxson has written or collaborated on more than a score of books, including a number of historical fantasies set in Dark Age Europe and most of the Avalon books, and has founded or otherwise instigated, midwifed, or re-written several organizations religious or otherwise. She's also an amazing harpist and we asked her if she'd bring her harp to the Goddess Festival and share her little known musical talents with us all. She agreed!

Anique Radiantheart - I focus my life on my workshops, spiritual music, and write songs and chants for women to use in daily spiritual life. In the last 13 years, my work has taken me overseas, where I have been honored to present workshops, present papers at conferences about my work, and sing at women’s gatherings and also in many churches and temples. The women and men I have met and keep meeting, inspire me to continue. Since the early eighties I have been working deeply to develop the closest possible connection with the Light on a daily basis. I have educated myself and worked with a number of inspiring Spiritual teachers who have guided me along a wondrous and transformational path. I have realized that my work in the world is to gather women and share my knowledge.

Mary Bichner is a 26-year-old composer and performer hailing from the bustling metropolis of Philadelphia, PA. Combining Mozart-inspired chord progressions and bratty Brit-rock hooks into a musical succotash she likes to call classipop, the eccentric yet loveable redhead hopes to breathe new life into the calcified world of "radio-friendly" contemporary music through her memorable melodies and solid songwriting. Mary also possesses perfect pitch (the ability to recognize notes and chords by name simply by hearing them played), and synesthesia (a bizzare neurological condition which causes Mary to "see" splashes of specific colors when she hears certain pitches sounded). Journalists seem to be rather keen on calling Mary names, attested by the fact that she has been labeled a "perfectly quirky girl", a "musical prodigy", a "band nerd" (!!), a "biological curiosity to be studied by science", a "spunky redhead", and a "keyboard playing, songwriting, mighty-morphin teenage mutant polymodal synesthete" by various members of local and international press. We think she's a Z Generation Goddess!

Goddess Festival 2010

Festival Pricing! Grandmothers, Mother and Daughters! Goddess Festival 2010 is a fabulous event for you to share together! Every time mothers and daughters dance and sing under the stars and honor the Goddess in each other, we see the woman-bond strengthened and female relationships celebrated.

Bring your daughter to Goddess Festival 2010. We've made it more affordable to bring your daughters! Adult Admission $400 Early Bird* Adult Admission $350

Daughter Admission $250

Register Here for Early Bird Price

Register Here

Adult is defined as female-born-female adult 18 years of age and older.

Daughter is defined as a female-born-female child between the ages of 6-17 years old.

* Early bird pricing ends April 30, 2010 This event is a fund raiser for the Women's Spirituality Forum an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit. Your registration fees are tax deductible.

About the Goddess Festival On your sacred journey to the Goddess Festival, you’re struck by the beauty of the journey. The rolling hills dotted with oak trees gives way to majestic views of the California coastline as you pass over the northern part of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The air smells of the ocean’s sweet salty kiss, and you know you are getting closer. It’s exciting to take this journey. Knowing that your Sisters await your arrival and loving women’s embraces will soon enfold you. The coastline beckons you to follow the curve of her body just so she can show off her foamy white waves as she crests the rocks that provide you safety from Yeamaya’s reach. Perhaps you’d like to stop along the way to outstretch your arms and receive Her ancient female energies. Then you see the marker that starts you on your inward journey. You travel inland for a short distance. The thick oak trees soon give way to the more ancient old growth redwoods,; the ancient ones who welcome you home to yourself. The air changes again and this time it is the raw elemental of Earth that you imbibes you. She’s all around you, enfolding you deeply into Her mamma Gaia arms. She is the primal forest and the sacred land of the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One’s covenstead. You’ve come home, Sister.

Upon arrival there is the playful chaos of activities, of women nesting for their weekend’s stay. The women are already socializing and greeting each other. There are an abundance of hugs and warm smiles. Friendships begin forming from the first “hellos.”

You have arrived at the Goddess Festival, into the loving care of Z Budapest, who is the original producer of the modern day Goddess Festival. You have come back to your original roots of Sisterhood, to your Amazon women. And now that you stand firmly upon this sacred land, you are glad that you took my advice to “save the date” and make the journey because it’s unlike any other experience you will have in life. On this sacred land there are women from all over the world. International flavors of ideas, concepts and woman space show themselves in sacred play and self-expression. The women wear a variety of cultural different clothing. Some dress in t-shirts and jeans, while others put on elaborate dresses that speak of the Goddess within. All are welcomed. All are beautiful.

And the Festival begins! Love and praises sing out to the Goddess. Z brings all the Sisters together. She tells them us about the rituals to come. She tells them us their parts in the sacred circle. And the spirituality of women fills the air with voices talking and singing, sharing life experiences and spiritual ideas. On During this weekend, we will come together in ritual several times. We will enjoy a variety of workshops and musical performances. We will share a communal dining hall experience, enjoying excellent meals prepared by our cooks. And we will also feast on several outdoor barbeques in during the warm California days of California. We all find the time to play and socialize as Maidens, Amazons, Mothers, Queens and Crones. Good times! Goddess art and beautiful altars line our dining hall as the vendors proudly display their wares. And a silent auction takes place as a fundraiser for the Women’s Spirituality Forum which sponsors this event to ensure that more Goddess Festivals grace women’s lives on into the future. In fact, the whole Festival is a fundraiser to help the Women’s Spirituality Forum raise awareness for the Dianic Tradition and in women’s lives. Your Festival fees are tax deductible. The rituals are powerful! Moving! Intoxicating! Photos by Sharon McCarthy, Bobbie Grennier

We dance, we sing, we chant, we scream, we drum and we play. Mostly, we empower each other as women as we share the sacred rites of passage of the divine feminine. And no other place can top the Gaia Bowl. This is the sunken earthen well in which hundreds of women can stand or sit comfortably. Created by the Coastal Native Americans, this is sacred space completely surrounded by towering redwoods. To step onto this land is to know the energies of this deeply ancient magic. Splashes of vibrant colors fill the eye as the Maidens, Amazons, Mothers, Queens and Crones form a processional and descend into the sacred well. The fabric of the women’s ceremonial clothing tells its own spiritual tale as their gowns, robes, capes and various other clothing catch the Ancestor’s breeze. In Gaia’s Bowl you can dress colorfully and express your inner-goddess, or go skyclad in the spirit of the Amazons.

All acts of love and kindness are Her expression, and it is a weekend filled with the loving spirit of all that women are capable of. Join us this year! Don’t put it off. As Sisters, we need to rejuvenate themselves ourselves and each other; it’s vital to our life-force. We need to fill our souls with the magic of ritual and renew our spirit through new friendships new and old. Mothers bring your daughters! There is no better way to strengthen your bond as women, as family, than to experience a women’s rite of passage together. It’s a divine moment you both will cherish forever. The Goddess Festival is open to all women-bornwomen. Let our women’s prayers be uttered in unison from by the sweet melodic voices of hundreds of women. Let the Earth be healed. Let women be healed. Let us all know pure joy in celebrating all that is female. Come Sisters! Come to the Goddess Festival! Come experience women’s rituals with Z Budapest, the founding Mother of the Women’s Spirituality Movement. There is no other High Priestess who can do what Z does in circle. She is magic! And so are you!

Join us! Photos by Sharon McCarthy, Susan Kullman, Bobbie Grennier

Pencil it onto your calendar now and start planning!

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NY Dianic Priestess Tarot Weekend with Z

From a Dianic’s Blog Interview With Z Budapest by Courtney

I checked my email today and discovered another Weekly Goddess issue in my inbox. I first found a very interesting article on Vesta. What I gather from reading the article is that Vesta is a goddess of health and well-being. Along with the article are lists of affirmations, goddess.com.au is a web-site devoted to helping woman reconnect with their inner goddess; created by Anita Revel, which are a very nice reminders of the things I try to do for myself in life. In a health and well-being aspect; I try to eat healthy, exercise when I can, get plenty of sleep, etc. Though, today I happened to stumble upon a video link. It was Gathering the Goddess, a video of Z Budapest and a three-day workshop that was held in Austin, Texas. I was able to connect this to what I had just learned about Vesta, at least in part. In the video, Z Budapest talks about women's need to connect with the Goddess. Why it is healthy for women to connect with the Goddess. She talks about the falsehoods of patriarchy and our cultures degradation of woman. I greatly enjoyed this video, remembering my own personal experiences with recognizing the Goddess within myself. It was a nice reminder that, as a woman, I have a lot of power. I was also able to recognize a few areas in my life I would like to improve on. Like with the roommate, Colton. He's one of those "it's my way or the highway" kind-of guys. His friends speak to him like he's a king of some kind, and he greatly dislikes when any woman acts like she is better than him. I've chosen the passivist approach to this since I was recently able to get Dustin to understand. Even he was trying to say that Colton and I not getting along was my fault. Of course, blame the woman. When Z Budapest explained the Adam and Eve story in its truth I whole-heartily agreed. Man just desires not to have a single responsibility. It makes my stomach turn a little to realize that this statement is actually true. From what I've observed in life, a lot of men put a lot of effort in to making things someone else's fault. What I find funny is that men's lazy tendencies don't get in the way here. I'm almost surprised that they don't just act responsibly just to put less effort forward! Either way, I loved Gathering the Goddess. It got me to rethink a couple things that I've thought about life, where mine is heading, where I want to end up in life. http://finding-goddess.blogspot.com

Tryst – Handfasting Commitment Ceremonies Z is back sisters! And she’s available to officiate your Trysting wedding ceremonies again! The most popular pagan Goddess wedding ceremony was created by Z Budapest in The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries where Z coined the term Tryst Ritual as an expressly feminine marriage ceremony and rite of passage that can be used for heterosexual couples as well as same sex couples. Z Budapest has been conducting Pagan marriage rituals for over 40 years as a celebrated High Priestess within the Dianic Tradition, which she founded. Z is available to officiate your handfasting ceremony as well. Whether it's a civil union or a licensed marriage certificate, Z is able to offer you her services as clergy. She has legal standings through the Women's Spirituality Forum, an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit in the state of California; making your clergy fees tax deductible. You can learn more about Z’s Trysting Ritual and schedule your wedding ceremony with her in 2010!

Goddess Festival 2010

This magazine is sponsored by the Women’s Spirituality Forum. Please help support our efforts to help keep the Goddess Alive!

Alice in Wonderland: A New Look at Feminine Power By Marcia Reynolds (originally published by the Huffington Post) I enjoyed Tim Burton's movie, Alice in Wonderland even though I realized from the first scene that the story line was manufactured for today's audience -- and to give Johnny Depp more air time of course! What I found even more interesting than the 3D effects was the way the three female characters used their power. The Red Queen chopped the heads off of anyone who disagreed with her. The White Queen, due to her commitment to peace and the sanctity of life, could not defend herself. Alice had to learn how to claim her power, slay evil, be benevolent instead of brutish when the situation called for compassion and above all, take charge of her own life and destiny. The distinction in the uses of power is important to realize for all women, young and old.

The story line was similar to Monsters vs. Aliens where the lead character is a naĂŻve girl who turns into a shrewd giant and realizes she doesn't have to kowtow to anyone, especially to her fiancĂŠ. It's clear that movie makers are depicting their female characters as smart and independent, at least in the cartoons. In Shrek, the ogre's wife Fiona and her friends, Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, are no longer damsels in distress. They are smart, independent, and capable of drop-kicking the bad guys. How is this shift playing out in society? According to the Bem Sex Role Inventory, an increasing number of college-age women demonstrate qualities that are traditionally used to define masculinity, such as being self-reliant, independent, able to defend one's beliefs, willing to take risks, and able to make

decisions easily. However, these women also score high on traditionally feminine traits such as sociable, compassionate, understanding, and eager to work with others. The results demonstrate that women aren't becoming more like men. They are becoming stronger as women. Kudos to the movie-makers for helping to facilitate this shift. So what's the bad news? As if to make up for lost time, many girls are brought up not only to feel that they are strong and capable of achieving anything, but that they are exceptional and better than their peers. If they aren't the dragon slayer, something is wrong. Coloring books teach girls It's All About Me and We Are Special, making "special" the new ordinary. In school, to be worthy they have to find what they can master, whether it is academics, sports, the arts, or all three. Liz Funk describes the dilemma of today's schoolgirls in her book Supergirls Speak Out:Inside the Secret Crisis of Overachieving Girls. She says girls take on the challenge to be extraordinary with a vengeance, constantly pushing themselves to the breaking point. As they become adults, Supergirls take their crusade into the workplace, where they look to rise above the crowd quickly and consistently. This shift has been going on for 50 years since the rise of the self-help era. We now have successful women in their 40's and 50's exhausted and asking, "Is this all there is?" One woman told me, "I've spent my life accomplishing one great thing after the other. Now I'm asking what I'm raising my hand for."

I believe it is good to help girls feel strong and independent. I coach women to fully step into their power and make life choices based on their passion and purpose. I love that Alice in Wonderland actually differentiates different types of feminine power so girls don't just see strong as physically tough or verbally demanding. However, we also need to help girls, and women, come to honor all aspects of themselves, even the parts that are not extraordinary. Isn't this authentic power? In my upcoming book, Wander Woman, I define The Burden of Greatness that I see many women carry today. Fueled by a sense of power and freedom, they don't know when to stop. They go from achievement to achievement, looking for the Next Great Thing. Here are some of the symptoms: • Taking on too many projects at once; • Burning-out from taking on too much, or simply losing interest; • Risking an addiction to work; making work the priority over family, friends and/or health; • Restlessly searching for "something more," the work that will finally define their purpose. The problem is that we have a hard time separating our work from our identity. When we equate our self with our accomplishments, we take ourselves too seriously. We have trouble asking for help and struggle with turning off our brains. In short, we are missing the beauty in our days and have trouble loving the imperfect parts of ourselves. A friend once asked me, "Who is chasing you?" She saw me like a little hamster on a wheel with no end in sight. With this awareness, I am taking steps to be softer with myself and to slow down to be more present in the glorious moments of my life. And obviously, I go to lots of movies! Do you have any suggestions to share? I would love for you to post what you do to cast off your burden of greatness.

Check out Z’s Witchy Tarot Class.

Goddess Festival 2010

How Menstruation Created Mathematics* by John Kellermeier (This is the first article by a male that we’ve deemed Goddess worthy.) Who created mathematics? Where did it begin? To answer these questions, we need to think about what mathematics is. In their work on ethnomathematics, Borba (1990) and D'Ambrosio (1990) define the components of ethnomathematics as the follows: ethnos - within a cultural environment mathema - explaining and understanding in order to transcend, managing and coping with reality in order to survive and thrive. tics - techniques such as counting, ordering, sorting, measuring, weighing, ciphering, classifying, ordering, inferring and modeling. Thus they define mathematics as the quantitative techniques that humans develop in response to the problems, struggles, and endeavors of human survival. So what was the first use of quantitative techniques in human development? It is important to realize that this development of quantitative thinking always takes place within a cultural context. It is influenced by and influences that culture. Indeed, quantitative thinking is a vital component of culture.

So what was the first use of quantitative techniques or tics in human development? And who were the first people to do this mathematics? The evidence points to women as the first people to do mathematics and to menstruation as the motivation for this activity. This evidence begins with the Ishango bone, a small scratched bone found on the shores of Lake Edward in Zaire, Africa. A microscopic analysis of the incisions on this bone shows that it is a six month lunar calendar (Marshack, 1972, p. 27-32). This bone has been dated between 25,000 and 20,000 B.C.E.

The Ishango Bone Notched bone from the Congo, Africa. 25,000 to 20,000 BCE. The markings on the Ishango Bone represent a six-month lunar calendar.

While the Ishango Bone is the most well known lunar calendar, other such lunar calendars have been found in Europe dating from throughout the Paleolithic period (30,000-10,000 B.C.E.) (Zaslavsky, 1992, p. 1; SjÜÜ & Mor, 1991, p. 144-149) such as the Isturitz baton and the Blanchard bone plaque.

The Isturitz Baton Engraved baton made of antler, from Isturitz, France, 25,000 to 20,000 BCE. The markings represent a five-month and a fourmonth lunar calendar.

The Blanchard Bone Plaque Found in Abri Blanchard in the region of Dordogne, France, 25,000 to 32,000 BCE. Meandering markings possibly represent a twomonth lunar calendar. These lunar calendars are the oldest known use of number by humans. This quantitative thinking demanded a time-factored way of thinking, an awareness of the passing of time and the cycling of the natural world. This recognition of the cycles of the moon and the recording of time is the earliest evidence of human activity based on quantitative techniques.

And who made these lunar calendars? What was the human condition, the mathema to which this quantitative technique was a response? Was it the inherent cyclical nature paralleling that of the moon possessed by women? Was it women who first did this mathematics? And in what cultural context or ethnos did these lunar calendars arise? The Paleolithic period was characterized by the development of Goddess worship on the European continent where much of the evidence of lunar calendars has been found. This Goddess worship was marked by images of the sacred female as life giver with an emphasis on the vulva, breast, and buttocks and the use of red ochre paint representing menstrual blood (Marshack, p. 281-340; Eisler, 1987, p. 1-7; Gadon, 1989, p. 3-21) such as the Venuses of Willendorf and Laussel.

The Venus of Laussel

The Venus of Willendorf

Bas relief image from Laussel, France. 25,000 to 20,000 BCE. The horn has thirteen marks, the

Small stone image painted with red ochre. From Willendorf Austria, 30,000 to 25,000 BCE.

number of moons in a year. Gadon suggests, "The earliest rituals may have honored the menstrual cycle, the womb blood that nurtured new life" (1989, p. 11). Evidence of this can be seen in the stylized artifacts from the Paleolithic

Abstract Female Form From Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic. 25,000 to 20,000 BCE. Mammoth ivory pendant in the shape of a highly abstracted female from with widespread legs and a vulva line

Disc with Vulva Line From Brno in the Czech Republic, 25,000 to 20,000 BCE. Circular disc representing an abstract vulva

It was in this culture that the lunar calendars arose. This was a time when women, their bodies, their sexuality, and their life giving ability were honored and at the center of the spiritual life of human communities. The question of which gender made which specific Paleolithic markings or drawings is largely unanswerable and probably irrelevant, since both genders have had to practice these arts in order to learn time's dimensions... But the menstruant, having the most direct connection with the lunar cycle, would have been the first to know; she had motive, method, and opportunity to be the originator of lunar notation. (Grahn, 1993, p. 156) Thus, the lunar calendars would not have been merely methods of keeping time but also reflective of the resonance between the phases of the moon and the sacred menstrual cycles of women. This evidence points to the conclusion that women's menstruation gave rise to the earliest mathematics. It also suggests that women were the first mathematicians. Works Cited        

Borba, M. (1990). Ethnomathematics and education. For the Learning of Mathematics, 10(1), 3943. D'Ambrosio, U. (1990). The history of mathematics and ethnomathematics. How a native culture intervenes in the process of learning science. Impact of Science on Society, 40(4) 369-78. Eisler, R. (1987). The Chalice and the Blade. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Gadon, E. (1989) The Once and Future Goddess. San Francisco: Harper. Grahn, J. (1993). Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World. Boston: Beacon Press. Marshack, A. (1972). The Roots of Civilization. New York: McGraw-Hill. Sjöö, M. & Mor, B. The Great Cosmic Mother. San Francisco: Harper. Zaslavsky, C. (1992) Women as the first mathematicians. International Study Group on Ethnomathematics Newsletter, 7(1), 1.

* With appreciation to Judy Grahn for her subtitle to Blood, Bread and Roses. ©2009 John Kellermeier

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Goddess Festival 2010

APHRODITE , GODDESS OF LOVE Love is the most powerful of human emotions - more powerful than hate or grief. Love changes people - changes their goals, their residences, their futures, their faces, minds and hearts - it even changes their auras. Love shares the immense power of the ocean waters. It is this emotion that Aphrodite rules, so it is most appropriate that She was born of the ocean itself. In fact, of the ocean foam. It is said She was born when the god Cronos cut off the genitals of Uranus and threw them into the sea. The drops of blood became the Erinyes (the Furies) and the semen fertilized the ocean to create the Goddess Aphrodite. Aphros, in Greek, means sea foam. Aphrodite was born near Paphos on the coast of Cyprus, and it became the major center of Her worship, though Cytheria also claimed She was born in the sea off their coast. Cyprus was her center of worship for hundreds of years. Historically, it is believed Her worship was brought there by the Phoenecians and the Assyrians, Her predecessors being Ishtar and Ashteroth. She is older than Zeus and in older stories, She was the daughter of Dione (meaning “feminine deity“) who had an Oracle who sat in an oak-grove at Dodona. Aphrodite is the Goddess of celestial, spiritual and physical love. She is the embodiment of sexual rapture, Goddess of desire, fertility, beauty, the sea; Protectress of Prostitutes, Courtesans and Sailors. She was so insanely beautiful that the gods on Mt. Olympus feared jealousy for Her would cause a war among them. So Zeus married Her off to Hephaestus, the god of fire and smithing, who was unfortunately lame and ugly. Zeus figured that he would keep Her in line and all the others safe from Her as long as she was bound in marriage to such a one. Little did he know Aphrodite. She was really not concerned with Her marriage boundaries and since She was unhappy in Her marriage, She sought pleasure elsewhere: with Ares, god of war, Adonis, an extremely handsome mortal, Hermes with whom She bore a child, and a string of others, in fact, anyone She wanted. Hephaestus was dotty with love for

Her and made Her all kinds of gorgeous jewelry including a girdle called “cestus” which actually magically made Her even more desirable to men (as if She needed help!). She was most often in stories associated with Ares. It was said they were the perfect match as they were both powerful, unpredictable, intense and mercurial. As one of the oldest Goddesses in the Greek pantheon, Her festival day was widely celebrated but nowhere as much as in Corinth where at Her temple having sex (hetero or homo) with Her priestesses was an act of worship. Her priestesses were called “heirodules” or “sacred servants”. She is symbolized by Myrtle trees, sparrows, doves and swans, as well as scallop shells, roses, the Dolphin and pearls. As such, all these are sacred to Her. A romp through Her stories reveal Her to be at times vain and impetuous, at other times full of compassion and love for humankind. To ask for Aphrodite’s help in love, you must be very sure you want such power to be roused. She wants all to be in the throes of love and She is not very discriminating about who is attracted to whom She just likes sexual pleasure to be happening and people‘s heads to be dizzy and buzzing with attraction and emotion. But, if you are very specific and truly serious, She will be touched and honor your heart. If you feel you are ready for a new relationship, a new love for your heart to bloom, then consider doing this spell for love with an appeal to the Goddess Aphrodite.

APHRODITE RITUAL Picture, statue of Aphrodite, or scallop shell Pen (red ink) and paper Red votive Bowl of spring water or water from a local natural source Put in it a bit of Dish Soap Fork Take the paper and write on it the 5 main attributes you want in a mate. Light your candle and fix your gaze into the water.

Make a wish to Aphrodite for the partner you truly want to appear in your life. In silence, let Aphrodite see your heart. Take up the fork and make a layer of foam on the water as you recite this spell: Aphrodite of the Sea, Bring my true love now to me. Aphrodite of the Foam, Make it someone who will not roam. Aphrodite of Golden Hair, Help my heart to open and dare. Aphrodite of Milk White Skin, Open my life and bring him (her) in. Aphrodite attended by Doves, Make me a Sacred Vessel of LOVE! Then light the paper with the lover’s attributes and hold it over the water. When it is necessary to let go of it, drop it into the foamy water and say: With love to all and harm to none, I declare this spell is done! By the power of 5 and 3, and Aphrodite of the Sea! Then you may sing, “My Body is the Living Temple of Love!” Let the candle burn down somewhere safe. Either pour the water out on the earth or reunite it with a body of natural water. May you be blessed by Aphrodite!

Goddess Festival 2010

Two Wonderful Springtime Reads Make Merry in Step and Songs by Bronwen Forbes (Llewellyn) Spring is warm enough to take a book out and read it while you inhale the fresh new air with flower scents. Reading about pagan rituals and enhancing your vocabulary in songs and folk dances, for circle leaders what a gift. This is a great book! I love old England and loved learning about these many dances. The music is written down, and one can actually learn it. The dances are explained with meticulous precision, and the gentle prodding towards more practice makes the book a delight. The author is a great lover of folk art, it shows in every selection, but those who think this is all about sugar and a little spice don’t know the English. Some of the heritage is gruesome, the character of the players murderous and unpredictable. Yes there are the well behaved May Dance participants, wooing the fair Elinor, but there is also a story of a mother who hexed the young wife of her son with infertility. She can never have a child, until the son learns what she has done to hex her and undo the spell. Then there is the humor. In the John Barleycorn Play, Old Woman questions Doctor Brown . “What diseases canst you cure?” Doctor Brown: “The hips –pipsy, the palsy, the gout, a man having twenty-two senses in his head. I can cast twenty one out. Why I cured a snag tail last week nearly twenty-five feet long! Surely I can cure thy son who is not quite gone.” And then proceeds to raise her dead son from the dead. Not your everyday pabulum culture here. I find it exciting that so much has remained still in practice, which the rebirth of the pagan traditions I am sure will contribute with more longevity. This kind of culture requires costumes and props, a bit of pageantry peasant style. I think this is the kind of book you can consult at each turn of the seasons plus to make more merry at pagan parties. The information in here creates community, cohesiveness and entertainments. Well done Bronwen!

Echoes of the Goddess by Simon Brighton and Terry Welbourn (Ian Allan Publishing) This is a book that should be made mandatory for all Women’s Studies students, and of the Craft and Goddess studies. Beautifully laid out with splendid color photographs just the object of the book itself is classy. The English do not usually come out with this “in your face we got the Goddess all over our country” narrative. I recall when I was in England looking for the pagan heritage, the locals didn’t brag a lot about it. The London National Museum put the goddesses in room 22, a side show. It was all well known near the temples and stone, yet hush, hush at the same time. With this book, England at last owns her pagan heritage. I have never seen goddess book this thorough, a well produced overview of the Goddess Culture. Starting with the Lost Goddess, prehistory goddesses, subterranean goddesses, holy wells, freshwater sirens, saltwater sirens, the Celtic and dark goddesses, the rude goddess, the Christianized goddess, the goddess in myths, legends, and in the labyrinth. Rich chapters lead you through the countryside of England showing you what even tourist guides cannot see. And the Goddess is here bold and beautiful. Indeed, this book has a Holy book quality to it in content and presentation. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I am partial to stones. Looking at the breathtaking spiral paths, on a slab from Malta boggles the mind. Four to six thousand years old, these were people who knew about the spirals in the sky, understood the world to be part of the great whole. Another favorite of mine is the image on the Picardy Stone Aberdeen shire, from the 6/7th century AD; it was a tombstone once on an ancient grave. It has a curvy snake, a symbol of reincarnation; several images which could be maps of the stars said that it had a relationship to the hill of Dunnideer. Mysterious, yet riveting. When you absorb all this good information take it easy, do a chapter at a time. Its like a rich meal for your mind you want to savor. The book takes you through history and accurately documents where the goddess was worshiped, by whom, for example the Pictish people, who gave women equal rights even back then. Then the great goddess was taken down with misinformation, destruction of her legacy and values. The Synod of Whitby in 664 AD finally crushed the Goddess Culture; all her physical representations were destroyed. But not the She na gig, the vagina Goddess, she survived decorating the Christian churches, inside and outside. Good luck was her value and sexuality. The same folk also had many Green Man images to keep her company. Make this book a success. Give them to friends for high occasions. Share it with your book clubs, keep it where you can see it and reach for it.

Book Review Blogger

Goddess Festival 2010

Divine Feminine and Women’s Rights: An Almighty Face We Can All Recognize Johannes Nugroho is a writer based in Surabaya. The recent protest by Muslim women at the Islamic Center of Washington over the ban on females in the main prayer area may appear to be an anachronism in the 21st century. However, such obvious discrimination against women does not only occur within Islam. In fact, women continue to be treated as second-class citizens in most major religions today, including Christianity. As other aspects of human civilization become reconciled to the idea of equality between the sexes, religion undoubtedly represents the last bastion of male supremacy. The idea of female religious leaders is still anathema to the majority of the existing faiths. Although the Church of England started ordaining female priests 16 years ago — on this very day — and a few Protestant denominations have long had female pastors, the Roman Catholic Church, the single biggest Christian block and despite its devotion to the Mother of God, is adamant about maintaining an all-male clergy. The phenomenon of female clergy is but a battle in a larger war for the portrayal of the divine. The Almighty has been depicted as uncompromisingly male by most monotheistic religions of the past two millennia. But this was not always the case. Almost all known cultures throughout history have at one time portrayed the divine as feminine. The ancient Jews, the inventors of monotheism, as many biblical scholars have proven beyond a doubt, did not worship Yahweh exclusively until after their Babylonian exile. Before that, they worshiped a myriad of gods and goddesses such as Baal, Tammuz, Asherah and Astarte. Even King Solomon, renowned for his construction of the Temple of Yahweh, was a polytheist at best. Next to the Temple of Yahweh, he built a temple equal in splendor dedicated to the Hebrew Mother Goddess Asherah, who was also thought to be Yahweh’s wife.

Nearby, before the advent of Islam, the ancient Arabs were also devoted to three goddesses in particular: Manat, Al-Uzza and Al-Lat. The name of the last of these Arabian deities is in fact the feminine form of Al-Lah. The Babylonians had their Ishtar Queen of Heaven while the ancient Egyptians revered Isis. The Turks, formerly known as Phyrgians and Lydians, were so devoted to their Mother Goddess Artemis that they built her the famed Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. The same Artemis was later imported by the ancient Romans under the name Rhea-Cybele when an oracle told the Romans that Hannibal could only be defeated if the Idaean Mother of the Gods (Mater Deum) was welcomed into Rome. Hence the worship of Cybele and her retinue of transgender priests the Gallae started in the Roman Empire. Far away in China we encounter the ancient Tien Hou, or Queen of Heaven, who is now commonly known as Mazu and is the principal deity of the Falun Gong. The Chinese also worshipped the more primeval Xi Wang Mu, or Queen Mother of the West, and later, when Buddhism took root, the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin, who still has a strong hold on the Buddhists as St. Mary does on the Catholics. In Africa we also see powerful goddesses such as Yemanja, who, by an interesting twist of history, was transported to South America by the Yoruba slaves. The veneration of St. Mary within the Catholic Church, often seen as blasphemous by the Protestants, admittedly has no biblical basis. But any effort to stem the devotion to Mary, whose titles include Mother of God (Mater Dei) and Queen of Heaven (Regina Caeli), has been in vain. Even in stringently patriarchal Islam, we see the veneration of Fatimah, daughter of Prophet Muhammad, bordering on divine worship. Fatimah, praised by her own father as a spotless example of womanhood, was so revered in the Islamic world that Abdullah Al-Mahdi Billah, claiming descent from her, became the caliph and established the Fatimid dynasty in the 9th century. One obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this history is that the current exclusively male portrayal of the divine is psychologically inadequate for the human race. The Vatican, while allergic to the idea of female clergy, compensates for the divine feminine by its almost phenomenal worship of Mary. Protestants, while uneasy with Mariology, have moved faster than the Catholics in accepting women as religious leaders. In modern Judaism, the Kabbalah movement has also gone from strength to strength. Interestingly enough, the mystical faith is gaining followers precisely because its mythology satisfies the so far missing divine feminine. Kaballah certainly depicts the divine as both masculine and feminine, with God having feminine emanations in the forms of Chochmah (Wisdom), Binah (Intelligence) and Shekhinah (The Glory of God), all of whom are feminine personifications of the divine. And as women emancipation gains momentum in the Islamic world, the figures of Fatimah and her mother, Khadijah, may become the rallying point for Muslim women everywhere. The idea that the Almighty cannot be seen as feminine implicitly and explicitly means women are inferior to men. If a child is born out of a mother and a father, surely the Ultimate Creator is both a mother and a father. And if all humans are created in the image of God, surely it must also be a Goddess, because without the female womb procreation is impossible. As the historical imperative of women emancipation becomes more pronounced, the last bastion of male supremacy in the form of religion will also crumble.

This magazine is sponsored by the Women’s Spirituality Forum. Please help support our efforts to help keep the Goddess Alive!

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The image below is one of the Goddessinspired leather headdresses that I create and sell.

Goddess Festival 2010

This magazine is sponsored by the Women’s Spirituality Forum. Please help support our efforts to help keep the Goddess Alive!

What is Z Up to Now? Z’s heading for New York and Connecticut! It’s her first big east coast tour in decades, so if you’re on the east coast save these dates! April 23-25 Z will be in Woodstock, NY at Susun Weed’s Farm where she’ll be offering her bi-annual Dianic Priestess Training weekend. This year’s intensive weekend is focused on psychic divination and prophecy skills. Z promises a fun and insightful experience for all women who attend. As we all know, Z is most famous for her Tarot Reading abilities and on this weekend, she’s going to be passing on the tradition to those who come join her there. You can register for this event here: susunweed.com/zbudapest.htm Next is the Blue Stocking Tour

April 26th Z heads upstate New York to Rochester where she’ll be visiting the Susan B. Anthony House and then later in the evening, she’ll be appearing at the Psychic's Thyme store as they host a Tarot Social event with Z. If you’re in the area, get registered with them as space is limited! April 27th Z visits the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Seneca Falls and by mid-afternoon she arrives in Fayetteville, New York, where Z has been invited to speak the Matilda Joslyn Gage House by Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation and the nation’s foremost authority on Matilda Joslyn Gage. All proceeds from Z’s appearance go to support the Matilda

Joslyn Gage Foundation, so please save the date and come hear Z speak. After having just visited the herstorical homes of these three great women, Z will undoubtedly be fired up and have something to say to those who come out to hear her. April 28th – 29th Z visits friends and she winds her way to her next stop. April 30th - May 2nd Z is being honored as the keynote speaker at the Pagan Odyssey 2010 Festival in Oxford, CT. And WOW! What huge grand Pagan festival this is! It’s like Woodstock for Pagans! Located at Schreiber’s Farm in Oxford, it is held on 400 private acres of scenic rural farmland and woodlands of the Naugatuck River Valley. This festival is educational, spiritual and a chance to experience community at its finest. It includes over 60 well-known teachers, leaders and elders in attendance for lectures and hands on workshops and classes, plus over 10 concerts with a wide variety of music like Imakhu, Fleetwood Macked and more. And Z Budapest turned loose as the reigning Queen of the Witches! Lots of fun, so come join in the merriment! July 10th Z will be in Carson City, NV for a Tarot Social sponsored by the Sacred Circle, hosted by JoAnna Medina, a member of the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One. Contact JoAnna for registration information.

Save this date for sure! September 9th – 12th, 2010 … there’s going to be another Goddess Festival! Pencil in the magickal date and manifest attending on Sept. 9-12, 2010 at the most beautiful time of the year in Northern California. We’ve created a Goddess Festival website and it’s full of information on this fabulous event, plus we are updating the Goddess Festival website a lot, so bookmark it and check back often. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters! Goddess Festival 2010 is a fabulous event for you to share together! Every time mothers and daughters dance and sing under the stars and honor the Goddess in each other, we see the woman-bond strengthened and female relationships celebrated. Bring your daughter to Goddess Festival 2010. Get more information now!

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Spell to Renew the Spirit Now that we have celebrated Ostara we notice Mother Earth literally blooming back to life. We too need to blossom! Here is a spell to help.

Upon your alter light your incense burner. Use Frankincense to bless your area and your work. Toss in a little Blue Vervain to remove negativity. Light a white Magnolia scented candle as an offering to the Goddess. Light a pink candle dressed with Jasmine oil to bring happiness. Light a black candle as a thank you to the Fates. Place a small container of Brandy to use as an offering to the Earth Spirits after your spell is done.

Goddess Festival 2010

Say the following spell: Happiness and Joy come my way on this bright April day Energies of Mother Earth I welcome you to see this spell through The warm sun brings smiles that will travel with me for miles Warm waters wash over me to refresh my skin to feel the gentle breezes that blow in Lungs expand and fill with life to push out strife Eyes open to the sky so that I may see all the blessings Goddess has gifted to me In the name of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone so mote it be!

Abundance Checks Sisters let prosperity spring forth for us! There is a method to keep the money coming in. Now don't get greedy the Goddess won't give us enough to finance our own private island complete with a well equipped mansion but it will help with the cash flow. It may be in the form of an opportunity to work a little overtime or the chance to sell one of your paintings for just enough to pay for that brake job your car needs. This is very simple take one of your checks be sure not to put a date on it. Make the check payable to yourself. For the amounts where you write the amount put the words "paid in full". In the long line where you would spell out the amount again write "paid in full". On the signature line write "Law of Abundance". Fold the check towards you three times and then put it somewhere and forget about it. Do this on the day of the New Moon and your finances will get a boost. This was shared with me and I don't remember by whom so to that sister I say thanks for sharing your wisdom so that I too may share it with others.

Blog for the Goddess Goddess magazine is written primarily by the womyn of the Susan B Anthony Coven No 1. As Goddess womyn who come from different walks of life we are an interesting bunch to say the least! Can't get enough? Want to learn more about who we are and what we care about? Check out the SBA Blog at its new home www.GoddessLive.com. The SBA Blog is was created by Z & Bobbie as a place for the womyn of the Susan B Anthony Coven No 1 to tell the world what is going on in their lives and the world around them. It is a valuable resource for busy womyn everywhere. If you are looking for information you will find it there. Want to see something about festivals? Check out Bobbie's article on Pagan Fall Festivals. Need guidance about when to do a spell? Belou has it all put together for you in Spellwork by the Lunar Phases. Curious about current events? Boudicca has an excellent post Healthcare Reform and the Goddess. Eclecta reunited with a dear friend after quite some time and shares their experience in Full Moon Ritual. Did the Mercury Retrograde in September leave you reeling? Lady Ro helped us ride it out with grace in Making Peace with September's Mercury Retrograde. Hazel shares the importance of bridging the generation gap to understand how critical keeping womyns right to choose abortion by telling the story of a lady who did not have that right just thirty years ago. The SBA blog has something for everybody. Read the SBA Blog and learn how similar your story is with the members of the Susan B Anthony Coven No 1. You will find that we come from all corners of our Mother Earth and we are united by our experience as womyn. For those of you who feel called by the Goddess to join the Sisters of the Susan B Anthony Coven No 1 you can get more information at www.ZBudapest.com. It's a great place to grow and learn with other womyn especially for those who are solitary in practice or any womyn who is seeking to learn more about the Goddess and your birthright!

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Goddess Festival 2010

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This magazine is sponsored by the Women’s Spirituality Forum. Please help support our efforts to help keep the Goddess Alive!

Change of Time ~ Time of Change By Flora Peterson This is the season of change‌the time of year where winter melts away and the Sacred Earth emerges anew. Seeing these changes in the Earth and all around us, we start to feel the changes stirring inside us and we start to anticipate those changes. But changes take time; first a thought, then words, next action, and eventually after time, they manifest. The traditional view of time is liner; most of us know now that the Universe has Its own version of time, Circular. Change is the one constant that we can count on in life. So when change is excepted, anticipated or even necessary, we come to look forward to it at times. Whether it is a change in ourselves, others, our lives, our jobs, our own growth, be it personal or professional, it may not happen in OUR time, but in the perfect timing of the Universe. We must also remember that sometimes when the change involves others, which is frequently, we may BE the catalyst for the change. We can and will be put into situations in which we expect quick change and direction, but find ourselves being held back by seemingly unnecessary road blocks and unexpected delays. Don’t get frustrated as this is a time to work on our own personal growth and allow the others involved to grow and learn from the

situation as well. Trust in the process. The well known Byrd’s song “Turn, Turn, Turn” which was quoted almost entirely from the bible, talks about a perfect time for everything; this song is such a great reminder of the power of the Universe and the perfect timing it offers us. “Words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - Music-Pete Seeger To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn) There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn) And a time to every purpose, under Heaven. A time to be born, a time to die A time to plant, a time to reap A time to kill, a time to heal A time to laugh, a time to weep A time to build up, a time to break down A time to dance, a time to mourn A time to cast away stones a time to gather stones together A time of love, a time of hate A time of war, a time of peace A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing A time to gain, a time to lose A time to rend, a time to sew A time for love, a time for hate A time for peace, I swear it's not too late”

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” So remember when change can’t come quick enough, relax and have patience. It will only come when the time is right. Trust that the Universe’s timing will be more fitting and more in alignment with the highest good for you and your path; the change will finally manifest and many times what the Universe gives us is much more than we ever expect. For a meditation video that accompanies this article, please visit my YouTube channel. Visit her new website www.florasage.com

Z Goes to Generation-z via New Media Are you plugged in to the new media social networks? You should be! If Z can do it, we all can. Twitter, Facebook and Skype are all free to use. Learn more, just click on the images to the left. If you want to be informed, get announcements of when you can participate with Z live … these are the venues Z is using. Don’t miss out … get yourself plugged in!

Z Lectures Live on Skype! Get Skype, create an account, then post your new Skype name to the DU’s Z’s Cauldron’s Skype discussion. We randomly invite those who ask to be invited to Z’s live lectures via Skype. You wanted to experience Z in person, here’s how to do it. Plug in!

WELCOME SPRING! The Vernal Equinox marked the first day of Spring, when the sun entered Aries and forces of day and night hung in perfect balance. Waxing solar light is now dispelling darkness; sunlight is increasing on a daily basis; dormant seeds from the last autumn harvest that germinated all winter long are now being reborn from her belly below... a perfect time to shed thicker coats and celebrate warmer days ahead. The Spring season always brings a new lift to my heart here in the High Sierra. Signs of returning life are evident along with the mystery of resurrection and fertility. Even though the snow still sits on mountain peaks, patches of green now appear everywhere on the high desert floor as tiny buds open to the sun and plants begin bursting forth in growing splendor! This means my lilacs will soon appear as baby quail scamper out from under the junipers and the hum of birds and bees vibrate through blossoming trees with increasing sounds of waking life! Yes, the Goddess is alive and magic is truly afoot in the land!

On the Sacred Wheel, the fragile infant light born at Winter Solstice and spiraling flame of divine recognition at Candlemas is now appearing in new animated form. Children of the Goddess emerge, playful and inquisitive, running together in fields of green, painting new rainbows in the sky of the imagination. In ancient traditions, Spirits of the East bring the dawn of a new day while Powers of Air bring wistful inspirations, clarity and vision. In religious myth, the dead are rising from the tomb of the earth. In Dianic Tradition, sacred daughters and sons of the Goddess now play together as children; the maiden Persephone returns to her mother Demeter after her long trip to the underworld. All are reborn. All are bursting forth with new life, growth and wonder, as we sing, dance, feast, make merry and celebrate the great mystery of resurrection in us all. All over the world ancient traditions are once again being celebrated by the masses, including the Easter bunny and the egg hunt. Our pagan ancestors celebrated the rabbit, a creature of fertility, which later became the Easter Bunny, while the Easter Egg, representing the cosmic egg of pre-Christianity, once the great Cosmic Egg of the Goddess opened by her sacred serpent, is yet another fertile symbol of life. Easter was also named after the Goddess Ostara or Eostre, maiden of beginnings, agriculture, growth and becoming, while the date of Easter is still calculated by the Church in accordance with Mother Nature: the first Sunday after the first Full Moon following the Spring Equinox... so the Goddess just can't be denied.

In the Sacred Circle the spring season mirrors growth, sprouting, playing, exploring. It is a time of enchantment, when we wake up to evident powers of light and inspiration turns to action. We realize that her promise is once again being fulfilled, that all that falls does rise again, so ritual themes can center around honoring ourselves as her sacred daughters, wild and free, planting new seeds, coloring eggs or evoking youthful energies of folly, innocence, playfulness, fun and joy. Spring reflects childhood, when life was simple or less complicated, and while ancient rites of spring included nymphs dancing in the fields or lighting fires at dawn to protect the upcoming crops, our rituals or spells can provide a time to connect with our inner child, to evoke our magical essence, to open the door to enchanted realms of fantasy that once held our interest as children, providing time to connect with other youthful spirits, heal old wounds or reconnect with the young maiden within, she who is whole unto herself. Sometimes women in my Circle shy away from spring rituals because they'd rather not conjure up unpleasant memories of childhood. That's understandable, but spring rituals can also be very powerful tools in the healing process, whether they are done in solitary practice or with our sisters because they can help us retrieve fragmented pieces of our soul lost to us in patriarchy; bring comfort to our inner child or simply replace sad memories with happier ones, thus rearranging our psychic metabolism and lightening the heart. Not only that, Springtime mirrors a time when our magical connection with the Goddess was still intact; when we picked wildflowers in green meadows or mused on sunny beaches building sandcastles; when we connected with elemental beings or spoke with ancestor spirits in quiet groves and gardens of our youth; when life was a healthy adventure and the world around us seemed a friendlier place; when mother natures' unique sounds and smells tickled our fancy; when we felt our own beauty and magically connected with every living creature around us. So let's take time this season to put our feet in the earth, capture our magical essence, lift our hearts in gladness and embrace the beautiful maiden within. Remember: When Women Heal, the Earth Heals. Blessed be.

The Joy of Spring The joy of Spring is waking up to pastel shades of blue billowed clouds of fluffy white in skies of rainbow hue; the rising sun brings new arrays in gentle morning hours reminding one the time has come for fantasy and flowers Let's take delight in waxing light, in meadows rich with green, as children laugh & run about with twinkling eyes that gleam, this joyful time brings sheer delight

that sweeps us far away to magic realms where fairies fly invoking frivolous play The joy of Spring is gathering in fragrant groves divine, dancing to Her heartbeat or chanting ancient rhyme, fertile splendor resurrects in fragrant harmony as hearts revive & come alive to Natures' symphony. Silverwitch

Goddess Festival 2010

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Regaining Paradise Lost: Part Two Common Concepts of Paradise Could it be that our collective consciousness remembers a time before the sword when people lived in peace, an egalitarian society where people were truly fulfilled and happy? If we examine the idea of Paradise contained in all religious and cultural mythologies, we find that they all point to exactly there. Here, the word “mythology” is used in the academic sense, which is “stories whose cultures regard them as true (…) leaving open the question of whether the stories are true or false. ” I thus prefer to avoid the ongoing debate that defines religion as one’s personal beliefs and stories attached thereto, and mythology as everyone else’s beliefs and stories. In African mythologies (south of the Sahara), the majority of stories tell how divinity (often female, sometimes male) first created woman, who then gave birth to males and females. These humans lived in Paradise, where there was abundance, peace and contentment. Different stories explain the loss of this Paradise through human disobedience: a test by god which they failed; jealousies and quarrels among families; the construction of a high tower which angered the gods (the Tower of Babel?); and of course, the familiar eating of a forbidden fruit, this time because a pregnant woman couldn’t help her craving and her husband gave it for her to eat. North African mythologies can be grouped into two broad categories, Ancient Egyptian and MiddleEastern or Islamic. In ancient Egypt, the concept of Paradise, like all of Egyptian religion, is complex. However, two main ideas of Paradise recur, one being the bark of the Sun God, Ra, where the deserving lived in eternal light. The other is the reed-fields, those magical and mystical hunting and fishing grounds where Osiris ruled. Pre-Islamic Paradise portrays a garden area where water flows and where there is an abundance of food, a place of peace and beauty. This is found in Zoroastrian mythology, as well as in the art and literature of ancient Persia, for example. The Islamic Paradise, although a multi-layered one, is not much different from the earlier vision, each layer containing gardens with shade trees flowing streams and earthly pleasures. Oriental cultures espoused different views of Paradise. In ancient Tibet, the Zhangzhung people and the shamanistic Bon religion, older than Buddhism by thousands of years, held a belief in Paradise as

Shambhala, a place of peace and abundance. Modern Tibetan beliefs now hold that the kingdom of Shambhala, symbolized by the eight-petaled lotus blossom “is in your own heart”. Because creation myths are absent from ancient Chinese religions, the idea of a Paradise or ideal place doesn’t appear until “well after the foundation of Confucianism, Taoism, and Folk Religions”, including Buddhism. “For example, the Taoist belief of a spiritual paradise became incorporated into mythology, as the place where immortals and deities dwell.” This spiritual paradise included multiple concepts of heaven, but the idea of an earthly Paradise is absent. In India, Hindu mythology names Meru as the mountain at the centre of the world, guarded by serpents, “which 'watched the entrance to the realm of Secret Knowledge'. According to tradition, it was the 'land of bliss' of the earliest Vedic times.” The ancient Norse held a belief in a northern Paradise, associated with a world tree, Yggdrasil, a world mountain or pillar from which four rivers emerge, and a world-engirdling serpent. Valhala was also the place where the souls of half of the warriors go, to battle all day, enjoy themselves, eat and get drunk at night. The other half of warriors go to the goddess Freyja's field called Fólkvangr, which apparently serves the same purpose. It’s unclear what kind of Paradise this place would be for those who are not Norse warriors. In Eastern Europe, myths of the Slavic peoples mentioned a Paradise called Buyan, described as either a silent and peaceful underwater city or an island washed by a river of healing, although there seems to be little information available on this. The Celts, the people of the Goddess Danu, envisioned Paradise as a beautiful island, which later became known as Avalon in the legends of King Arthur, “a land of perpetual pleasure and feasting”, described as the Land of Promise, Plain of Happiness, Land of the Living, Land of the Young, and HyBreasail (Breasal’s Island). This latter became the name for the new found land of Brazil. Although the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Greece dwelt on Mount Olympus, the people envisioned Paradise as a green gardenlike afterworld which they called Elysium, the Elysian Fields. Greek mythology also gave birth to Arcadia, an earthly Paradise, “land of shepherds and idyllic peace that returns again and again in the poetry, prose, and painting of the West”. There are hundreds and possibly thousands of archetypes of Paradise to be found in our world’s cultures. I have only mentioned a few. The Paradise myth with which most of us are familiar in the western world is the Judeo-Christian one, and it stems from the creation story as found in ancient writings of the Talmud and in today’s collection called “the Bible”. Here also, we find a Paradise, a Garden of Eden, in which the first pair dwell in idyllic state. Thus, “Paradise” can be described as “a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness.” The word itself has its roots in the Persian word “Pardis” which was

“the name of a beautiful garden enclosed between walls” The term also appears in Greek as παράδειςοσ (parádeisos) which originally meant park for animals. A universal picture emerges of Paradise – except for the Norse one – Paradise is a beautiful place, garden-like, fertile and rich with sweet water and shade, a restful, peaceful place, “where the living is easy”, a place where people live in societies that are egalitarian, harmonious and happy. That humans over the millennia have aspired to create or return to such a state is evidenced by our mythologies.

Goddess Festival 2010 Re-Membering and Re-Creating Writers have been exploring the idea of Paradise for centuries. In the 14th century, Christine de Pizan, in her book, Cittá delle donne (City of women), envisioned a city without men. “Her analysis of the contemporary society was that men treated women in such a way that women could never be happy in a gender-mixed society. Women should therefore withdraw into a place of their own.” Utopia is a name for an ideal community or society coined in a book written in 1516 by Sir Thomas More, Of the Best State of a Republic and of the New Island Utopia, a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean possessing a seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system. Although More coined the word <utopia>, which actually means “no place”, the word eventually assumed the meaning of the homophone <eutopia>, “a place of perfection rather than non-existence”. And so, I will continue with the modern use of the word. Such a place of perfection for women was created by Charlotte Perkins Gilman who wrote and published Herland in 1915. She presents an all-women society that is non-hierarchical, communal and therefore egalitarian, free of war, conflict, and domination, and where women reproduce by parthenogenesis. What is remarkable is that Gilman wrote this in the early part of the 20th Century, when women worldwide were still fighting for the right to vote, the right to be considered persons under the law, the right to an education. It could be argued that in societies where gender determines whether a woman has any kind of human rights, whether she can determine her own life in some way if not completely, where she is treated differently (or is plainly inferior), where equal pay for equal work is still a concept, where women continue to fight/demand/hope for equal rights, those who suffer (usually the women) have a vested interest in dreaming of change. Those who don’t suffer from this (usually the men – yes, I know, there are exceptions, and don’t think I don’t know it!) have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Much has been written on the subject of women’s lack of equal rights and there is hardly a woman alive today who isn’t aware of the problems women have faced in the past, and still suffer in many parts of the world, for instance. Dystopian novels abound.

The Fifth Sacred Thing, a novel by Starhawk, pits dystopia against utopia. The novel is set in postcatastrophe U.S. in 2048. San Francisco has evolved into an Ecotopia with sustainable ecology in a mostly Pagan egalitarian society, with nine elder women who constitute the city’s defense council. They are pitted against a theocratic Christian fundamentalist nation to the south who invade and wage war against them . Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a prime example of a theocracy (extreme Christian fundamentalism in this case), set in the U.S.A., where women are in complete subjection. What is scary about this novel is that Atwood uses elements that already exist in our western society and exaggerates them to show their dangers. What also scares me as a woman is that I know these conditions exist today for women under the Taliban, for instance, or for women who are in some sects or members of some fundamentalist religions. Until such time as worldwide human consciousness changes to one where there is true equality for all, women anywhere are but one dictator away from these conditions. Politics and Spirituality Women and men worldwide continue to remember better times, deep in our genetic code and in our souls, and we are becoming conscious that models of egalitarian, partnership, peaceful societies existed world-wide and are once again possible. We are learning at an exponentially increasing rate that what we think, what we believe, does matter and make a difference. We are learning that when enough people work for change, change does happen. As more and more people focus their energy on developing their spirituality as opposed to blindly following the precepts of patriarchal religions, we are witnessing a rise in world consciousness on many levels, from human rights in general to children and women’s rights, to environmental awareness, animal rights and protection. We are also witnessing a backlash from those who would maintain the status quo of the patriarchal warmongering, hierarchical injustice, ignorance and fear, and power through control of the masses. Women now constitute 54% of the world population, and that includes China where the population control program for the past decades has encouraged the wholesale killing in utero of females, by imposing a one child per family limit. Women are becoming better educated worldwide, and increasing numbers of us have had enough of the patriarchal dominator model of society – the top-dog model that ensures that only a few have most of the rights and advantages. As we continue to work for our rights, we are reclaiming our spirituality. We have noticed the correlation between religion and power and we have especially noted that when divinity is portrayed as a jealous and demanding male god, females have fewer if any rights, war and death are glorified and all suffer. But when divinity is portrayed as a mother goddess, all of her children are equal, the life-giving force is glorified, and all benefit and prosper.

There are numerous inspiring books and countless websites that provide information on all this. One such book is “The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries” which Zsuzsanna Budapest wrote in the early 1970s when she saw a need to combine feminism and spirituality. She was the first to coin the phrase: “The personal is political” and although she didn’t say it in so many words, her entire book describes how the spiritual is political, as she gives us models for reclaiming our spirituality, and therefore our personal and political power. Reclaiming our personal and spiritual power as women will enable us to make changes in our own lives, changes that will affect our family, our society, our culture and ultimately the world, by restoring the paradise which was lost. References: +

Eisler, Riane [1987] The Chalice and The Blade; Harper Collins


Godwin, Malcolm [1994] The Holy Grail: Its Origins, Secrets & Meaning Revealed; Barnes & Noble


Stone, Merlin [1976] When God Was a Woman; Harcourt Brace & Co.


Gimbutas, Maria, [1989] The Language of the Goddess; Thames & Hudson


Bellini Productions [1997] Signs out of time: a film on Marija Gimbutas


Gilman, Charlotte Perkins [1915] Herland; Elibron Classics,


Starhawk, [1993] The Fifth Sacred Thing; Bantam


Budapest, Z, *2007+ The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries; Weiser

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UPCOMING DIANIC EVENTS Pagan Examiner – Read the articles written by Bobbie and myself. Z’s Calendar of Events – Want to know where I am appearing? Goddess Festival 2010 – You think the last was good? Goddess is Alive! Tarot Social - A joyful coming-together of the Women’s Tarot community ... a Revival of the 70’s TRAVELING MAGIC SHOW by a FOREMOTHER of GODDESS SPIRITUALITY, The QUEEN of TAROT READINGS, and the woman responsible for LEGALIZING TAROT in California … Z Budapest. Z Budapest will be at the Wise Woman Center at Susun Weed’s Woodstock farm in New York this coming April 2325, 2010. More information to be announced, but you can contact Susun for more information at http://www.susunweed.com/zbudapest.htm. This is Z’s bi-annual Dianic Priestess training for the east coast, and this year Z dives in with her priestesses into the world of divination and prophecy. This one intensive weekend you don’t want to miss! Z Budapest will be the keynote speaker at the Pagan Odyssey this coming Beltaine, April 30-May 2, 2010 in Oxford, CT. More information to be announced, but you can contact paganodyssey.com for details. This is Connecticut's Oldest and Largest Pagan Festival filled with concerts and over 60 pagan guest speakers with Z Budapest turned loose to have her way with the lot of them! It’s affordably priced! It’s like Woodstock for Pagans! Come join the fun!

The Dianic University for Women in Goddess Study the Dianic Tradition with Z Budapest, the woman who rebirthed it into modern culture. Classes at the Dianic University are designed for women only. Sisterhood of the Moon ~ Women’s Spirituality Coven in the Z Budapest Dianic Tradition Events in the Sisterhood of the Moon are for women-born-women only. Located in Hayward, CA. You must contact Jesamyn Angelica for more information. Many of the members of this group are also members of the Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1. Facebook.page.

Hands of Demeter ~ Women’s Spirituality Coven in the Z Budapest Dianic Tradition Events in the Hands of Demeter are for women-born-women only. Located in Semi Valley, CA. You must contact http://earthmothercovenant.com for more information. Many of the members of this group are also members of the Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1. Facebook page.

The Sacred Circle ~ Recovering & Reclaiming Ancient Ways to Heal Events in The Sacred Circle are for members only, unless otherwise stated. Call JoAnna 775-882-1599 for membership inquiries. Are you looking for other Dianic women in your area or do you have a Dianic group/starting a Dianic group and want to connect with others? Go to the Dianic University online and join; it’s totally free! Then go to the area called Global Goddess Dianic Groups to share your information with other women.

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