Every other year I go to heaven.
At the end of summer, first week in September after a year of preparations, I drive with some friends to La Honda into the big redwood trees. A deep happy takes me over, I turn my radio on to hard rock and roll, singing as I go on highway number one along the ocean.
The “blue beast” was smoky colored this time. She does clear up after a while, the sea fog still lazy to move, but then morphs into that azure blue. The ocean!
“Whooohoo!” I cry as if my car was a fast horse.
What a blessing it is to be alive now, and to have the privilege to produce a gathering of like minded women. The International Goddess Festival draws all kinds of women come from all over the world. This year we had especially focused on the “Girl Goddesses”, from infants to teens. They are the most vulnerable to the constant messaging of female beauty and how we should be girls/women.
One seven year old little girl was asked what would she ask the Goddess and she said, “I wish for a flat stomach.” At seven they have already made her drink the poisoned cool aid. She was flat as a board all around.
Governed by feminist values, we practice sisterhood in friendships, and rituals. We bed down into our cabins, our nest for the weekend. Birdsong replaces the sound of cars. Redwood paths absorbs the sound of our footfalls.
For a witch this is pretty close to paradise.
Stolen moments of bliss from the jaws of a relentless bitter woman-hating patriarchy.
I had done something very unusual, which was unplanned. I was invited to Brazil to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Goddess Movement there. I felt honored to be invited to be the keynote speaker.
I was not yet quite unpacked from my European tour in the Spring, to Germany and Austria, so I just added more cloths and my jewelry to my suitcase for Brazil.
What I had seen there in San Paolo was the ideal fertile ground to sew seeds for the Dianic tradition. There was a pagan priest already into his tenth year honoring annually the Goddess by all her names, Yemaya, Isis, Diana, etc. He has written 14 books of Wicca with the emphasis on the Holy Mother. He created the Global Goddess Day (September 7th) which was celebrated by many countries by being visible on the streets, in the parks, in halls, etc. In other words, showing openly our devotion to the female principle of the Universe. His name is Claudiney Pietro, a young man in his second destiny.
I was thinking and feeling my way into the collective mood. The women were very active around him. He treats women with respect, as well as his mother who was also present. If and when a women’s circle would emerge, he would protect them so they can find their own voice and space to grow. Not lead them, but make sure they have their own space.
Back in the days, I had to fight for every gathering; got arrested for circling in Malibu on land owned by Iran. An other time again because somebody called the police that “they had seen flickering lights on the mountaintop”. Now 45 years later, down in South America things would turn out easier.
I thought I am here, lets ordain the first Kouretes. Let Claudiney receive an honor from my hands as the Elder of the Dianic tradition. Acknowledge him as a Priest of the Goddess; a Kouretes. (Chapter 5 in the “Holy Book Of Women’s Mysteries” detailed already what this means.) I felt blessed that I found a real priest already created, already proven to be our brother.
The last day of my presence in San Paulo in the afternoon, we gathered his friends. I still had some powerful Sage from California. I still had a couple of Katas left over from Germany, these are white raw silk scarves given in honor of somebody’s elevation. I also had my traditional red yarn, used for women for their sacred girdle. I still had my Tibetan bells with the most perfect E sound.
With a variation on the traditional ordination for women, I have now created an ordination ritual for our Kouretes.
As I was purifying Claudiney with the White Sage, a fleeting thought shot through my mind. “Oh they are going to roll me over the hot coals for this one!” This was the first whiff of trouble that awaited me at home, but I let go of it. I remembered rather the good luck, to find a man at all who so deeply qualifies. I have waited 50 years for this occasion. To be able to find a brother I can trust.
I wound his throat with the red yarn, the mother line, to make his voice stronger, his hands to continue to work the Goddess culture, the blessings and the rituals his group was performing. Then I blessed him to be a Kouretes.
We felt very good about it all. Took pictures. His mother wept and so did I.
We both posted our good news on Facebook, I little later then him. It took two days to get back to the States. Then, I needed at least a week to totally recuperate from the grueling travel; I am 74 years old.
Then I remembered my second ordained daughter, whom I love and shared many memories with. We go back to the seventies. A sister Aquarian. Predictably she blew her top. I felt too weak to fight with her, so I tried to soften what happened. I withheld the information about the ordination, called it a “Big Official Blessing”, which it was.
No, I didn’t create a Kouretes who can teach Women’s Mysteries. Of Course NOT! He is a man, he has to continue what he has been doing, just protect the women’s group if and when it would emerge. Just make sure they have safe space to gather.
Of course there were many questions I could not answer. She called me a liar. And then she announced to the world on Facebook that she is no longer following in my footsteps, because I broke the big Dianic rule… No men!
Half a century went by and we kept our tradition of NO MEN ALLOWED.
Faithfully, I have taken a lot of flack for it. I was called man-hater, and anti-transsexual. You name it, the men didn’t trust me. Often they sabotaged our productions when we had to hire them in out of town venues.
But under all these attacks, we had each other. We knew if we gave up Women’s Mysteries, women once again would have nothing. No Goddess; women become spiritual orphans, the killing of our souls.
But now I felt times had changed. Maybe with Claudiney we will find more brothers under his leadership. We do need our male children. Its not natural that the mothers and their children are at war with each other.
In spite of the sad realities, a woman dies every second of childbirth on the planet. We have no wealth, own very little, and the whore politicians have been all bought up by big corporations who essentially destroyed our fragile democracy.
But this will change. The men will get tired of warring. The women are already tired of dying.
It still hurts that I was so misunderstood, and that this act of vision costs me some of my friends. But I think I was moved from within. It was what the Crone in me decided.
It doesn’t mean that now all my ordained daughters can ordain men to be Kouretes. No Way!
Its often a temptation to elevate the one you love, but its NOT a Dianic custom. Nobody should try to ordain men just because I found a worthy one. This is a big deal, but its not for all. I think Claudiney will know if and when he may elevate an other man. It should be him who decides.
So please don’t say things that I heard that this is a Dianic civil war.
It is conflict, the Goddess of Discord has descended on us. But out of this conflict growth will follow. Growth of more Dianic groups, Men’s Mysteries can finally emerge, and all those who like to spin accusations know I am still a visionary. I have walked the walk a long time. I paid my dues. Wrote all the books and popularized Women’s Mysteries for five decades. And my inner divine guide was right to take the opportunity and open up the door to Kouretes to return. We have very high standards, some will qualify.
The many unanswered questions now have time to work it out. We don’t need to know ahead of time everything. Time has a way to spin things out according to what the Fates dictate. Don’t push the river of Time. Just wait and recognize the important moments as they come along.
Be present and don’t forget to love.