My post-festival Goddess thoughts

Driving home. Leaving the misty sunny coast behind. Thinking about the tall redwoods, the air that was fit for angels for breathe. Images of the garlanded women with Laurel crowns, walking about, chatting with each other exchanging emails.

I am happy. Over a hundred women came out to share the spectacular Circles.

First night: Thursday, women were still arriving, settling in, by evening we were ready to  pray and bless WATER.

The altar was created to honor WATER, heal the Gulf, heal all the oceans. SEDNA the goddess of the deep was the main image, hanging over the fireplace. We lit candles to her and her powers to replenish the oceans.

The women stood in the circle passing a candle with the image of the Lady of Guadalupe on it; she is the Queen of all Americas. We placed a blessing on it from the heart. It burned for the success of all wishes on the altar from then on.

In return we captured sea water from the Pacific Ocean, in two jars. You have never seen such clean water, see through like glass. I have dipped flowers into it and sprinkled with the sea all the participants.

This was the purification for the weekend.

All women felt included and sanctified.

Friday

The workshops all started with me, preparing us all to handle well the evening ritual.

Already Thursday afternoon I have taught the basics, divided the women into two major groups, the star sisterhood, and the generational sisterhood. Star sisterhood is the Zodiac sign you belong to, generational sisterhood is the age you are in. These groups then assumed their duties. Star sisters invoked the corners of the Universe according to their star quality, air, fire, water earth.

They opened and closed the circle.

Our drummers Larissa and friend, Ace, displayed their artistry, taking the beat and carrying us along.

First we had sacred play. I have prepared a bowl of magical herbs, good for all positive wishes. We each took a handful and made out of died Juniper leaves and berries (good health), fresh Patchouli (good sex), Verbena (good female health and love) … we made special wishes and we cast the magical herbs into the fire. The fire sparkled happily.

Having danced around the fire and was ready to slow down a little, I had all the women who desired an Initiation into Women’s Mysteries come forward. I then blessed a ball of red yarn, and entwined them with it, myself included. This is for embarking on the PATH. This is just a first step. I never know what comes of it, many times I get activists from this first step, others just take it home with them and practice at home. This year we had 37 new Initiates.

I have started a new tradition within the Dianic Tradition, that of the SUMMONERS. These are our organizers. We need to raise a cadre of organizers so we can have circles in every state. My own Bobbie (and Kate MacDowell who couldn’t be there in person) went first, I took her staff and had all women bless it. They all promised to come when the SUMMONER calls. Summoners are sacred to Themis, the Goddess of Social Consciousness. They are serving Themis. She is the first of all the Goddesses; she summons together humanity.

We elevated CLERGY women, those who keep the sacred spaces for worship. Laura and Duffy, from Simi Valley, Rosmarinus and Ghislaine from Canada, Jesa from Hayward … received their snow white Clergy katas; silk scarf.

We have Ordained two women into QUEENDOMS, as they are the community builders. JoAnna from Carson City, who worked with women in rehab for thirty years and, Sage from Mendocino, who has led Dianic circles there now for four years.

After this the dancing resumed. Star studded skies, roaring sacred flames, and happy women.

I was so tired that night I just fallen into my sleeping bag, dressed as I was. Good dreams followed.

Saturday was easy. This time the women knew what to do, the fire women fed the fires. Miri kept the cauldron going with Frankincense, feeding the good spirits who attended the circle.

We invoked the grandmothers from all directions. We called in our own ancestors by name. We chanted various sweet chants.

A huge feeling of party times rapture our hearts, and the circle became a big dancing hall, drums went wild. I had to keep Jane from jumping the fire, fearing women would attempt it, the fright from last time was still with me when one of us landed on the hot coals. But not worried, this year all went just fine.

When the dancing and drumming calmed down a little, we sat down and watched the procession of the ages, women taking the sacred well for their demonstrations and impressions of what it was like being the age they were in. As usual the thirties were most numerous, but the forties had the most organization, the fifties were very musical this year, and the sixties, well we had a song thanks to Duffy, and I danced an impromptu interpretation of it.

Now I am moving away from the experience; takes a year to produce. Thank you women who came and allowed us to have another righteous witchy event.

Harvest Blessings

My garden has yielded the yellow and green beans, the tiny red tomatoes and the heirloom ones, with stripes and sweet juices.

My Pippin apple tree had many small apples, most of them eaten by the two new squirrels who inherited the trees next door.

The lemon tree is however the queen in my garden. She was the reason why I bought this house; a good old fruiting lemon tree always means good luck. She blooms and fruits at the same time. What genius!

My wife has green talents. She planted an avocado tree who has grown two feet already since it has been put in. She has a tangerine tree in a big pot, already budding little fruits.

We have 13 new rose bushes, in red, yellow and pink. This to keep me from stealing the neighbor’s flowers. Some will climb my back porch and fences; some will make a hedge against the street I live on. Some will grow to supply me with heavenly smelling cut flowers in the house.

Life is good.

My body is mobile. I continued when I could, to go swimming again. I do Yoga every Weds. It’s still reasonably priced at the North Berkeley Senior Center.

We are getting ready for the Goddess Festival starting on the 9th. It’s a pilgrimage gladly taken. The old covenstead is calling.

May all your harvests be blessed!

Divina et Femina IV

Divina et Femina IV

Call for Submissions

May 27-30, 2011, Ottawa, Ontario


This is the fourth in a series of international conferences dedicated to the exploration of the female divine. Sponsored by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Women and Religion at the University of Ottawa (Canada), it is under the direction of Dr. Lucie Marie-Mai DuFresne. Divina et Femina IV seeks to bring together researchers, artists, and practitioners exploring the themes of the female divine, priestesshood, women’s creation, experience and expression of the divine.

The special focus of this year’s conference is the influence of Z Budapest’s work and thought on the development of contemporary women’s spirituality, feminist witchcraft, goddess worship, thealogy, and gynocentric art.

Submissions may include though are not limited to scholarly presentations, performances, rituals, poetry, visual and other art, and audio and multimedia presentations. Divina et Femina IV seeks to broaden common conceptions of women’s spirituality through the presentation and publication of material that honours multiple ways of knowing. In this spirit, we embrace diversity in both subject matter and methodology. We seek submissions that add to the rich and complex wisdom of women’s spirituality, providing a necessary forum for important discourse in this growing field.

Submissions may address a wide range of submissions related to women’s spirituality, including such such topics as:

  • feminista / womanist / feminist interpretations of spiritual traditions, literature and / or art;
  • personal experiences within spiritual traditions;
  • the impact of women’s spirituality on one’s relationship to self / body / Earth;
  • creative expression of one’s spirituality;
  • spiritual activism;
  • interdisciplinary work with a spiritual or woman-centered emphasis;
  • philosophical explorations

Submissions may be made in either French or English.
Deadline for submissions: September 15, 2010
Submissions should be sent to:

    Dr. Lucie Marie-Mai DuFresne
    Canadian Centre for Research on Women and Religion
    Dept. of Classics and Religious Studies
    Arts 102
    University of Ottawa
    70 Laurier Avenue East
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    K1N 6N5

    tel 613 562-5714 /613 562-5714
    fax 613 562-5991

For more information, contact: Dr. Lucie Marie-Mai DuFresne

http://www.divinaetfemina.ca