Message from Z
Ostara Greetings to you all sweet sisters!
We are the wave who will plow Patriarchy under!
The new sprouts of rebellion are unfolding.
And bad things do change.
When I still lived in Budapest, women and girls awaited the arrival of Easter, because it was a season of meeting new people. Boys would knock on the doors, you opened it, and there they would take out their small little perfume bottle and sprinkle some over you,or at least towards your direction. At the end of the day we all smelled like a perfume shop.
In the country side things were more rough. Boys and young men waited for girls to enter the streets, then they would douse her with a bucket of water. All this supposed to bring fertility and health to the female population.
The girls then gave the boys an Egg. Hard boiled egg, boiled with onion skins. But we all can see what this was. A symbolic intercourse. So sympathetic magic was used which was ultimately a good idea.
I have been thinking about all the maternal heritage of customs still practiced, small rituals that come to us from matriarchal times.
Kissing a woman’s hand when greeting her: This is clear honoring of the good works and blessings that come from women.
Kneeling on one knee when asking for her hand in marriage: This is obviously a clear gesture to honor somebody and also demonstrating a social status. A man kneels to her. She created him.
Offering her a ring from one's mother or grandmother. This is a continuation of the matrilineal power transfer.
When a woman joins a group at a table, all the males stand up until she is seated: This is a remnant of honoring all women. A woman enters the company, women never have to stand up. So it is an other expression of female sovereignty.
In case of danger, rescue goes to Women and children first: The women can recreate more children, and save the those they have already made. In other words women are the Source of Humanity. Males are our children.
Holding her chair for her to sit: The chair is the original throne. Males supporting women in authority. Offering a throne for her to sit on.
The last, holding the door for her to go through, what could that mean? Looking at it from a modern point of view, opening a door for women is giving us opportunities. Opening the world to us once again. Promoting the idea of equal pay for equal work , sharing the chance for better living.
I leave you with these five lines from the "Song of Amergin," from the White Goddess by Robert Graves:
“Who is the Goddess?
I am the womb of every holt,
I am the blaze on every hill,
I am the queen of every hive ,
I am the shield to every head,
I am the tomb to every hope.”
Happy Springtime to you!
"We all come from the Goddess
and to her we shall return.”
like a drop of rain
flowing to the ocean."
Z.'s books are available at amazon.com. These are important, foundational works, written by the primary foremother and founder of the Dianic Tradition.
Bring It On!: Tales from the Revolution, which is the sequel to Z.'s First destiny autobiography. In her own words and in her own voice, you will hear the tales of the Last Witch trial in America, in which Z. won the right for all of us – as is protected under the first Amendment – to counsel women through the Tarot. You will hear Z. tell the stories of the birth of Feminist Spirituality and the modern Dianic tradition. Z. spins her stories with mirth and reverence and it is a treat to hear her tell them.
What's Fresh: The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Coven #1 Gathering
A small but powerful little group of about nine women met for Imbolc. We discussed Elisabeth Cady Stanton’s life and work. We had wonderful bread and butter, and wine. We blessed each other. The Vernal Equinox, March 21st we will meet again.
This is a teaching coven. We are educating our sisters about our sisters from the past. We are starting our education with Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible. Every newsletter will include a lesson, a reading from the book and discussion questions for you to answer. When we meet, we will go over the answers. These questions are posed to inspire you to really think about what you have been taught about religion and how that way of thinking has influenced you and those around you.
Our hope is that you start a group wherever you are and discuss the meaning of the Woman's Bible and the other works we will study with each other and wake up a few more ladies from their patriarchal propaganda trance. We are focusing on political spellcasting and educating our sisters about our sisters from the past. Patriarchal culture has deprived women from knowing about the Elders who went before us; we reclaim them in order to invite to us a better future. These are important tasks for the times in which we live. Please join us in this work.
To join, please send a request with the following information: 1) Why you are interested in joining the coven and 2) What skills/abilities you have to contribute to our sisterhood. Annual membership dues are $50 via PayPal (must be current to remain active and access the group). Use the purple "Donate" button below and follow the directions to PayPal. When joining, please Add a Note in the PayPal process that says "ECS Coven #1 Membership" and uncheck the box for "Paying for goods or service".
The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Coven #1
Join us, because
Simple Ostara Creation Ritual
by Hazel Da Healer
Ostara is a celebration of life returning to the Earth. It is a time when Mother Nature's creations burst from the seeds and bulbs. This is a time of beauty. We can incorporate the beauty and the returning life into a ritual to create the life we desire.
As the Spring Equinox approaches we begin to decorate our homes with flowers and brightly colored eggs in a nod to the ancient Feast of Eostara. We can incorporate these decorations into spell work to create new life. This manifestation of change has its roots in sympathetic magic. We create and draw towards us that which we desire through like or that which is similar.
Find a cauldron or a bowl and decorate it with flowers, crystals, and/or brightly colored ribbons. The cauldron represents the womb. The womb is the source of life. Each day write a specific intention on a piece of paper and place the paper inside a brightly colored plastic egg. Add the egg to your decorated cauldron and repeat the process daily until Ostara. You can include an item that will support your intention as the days go by. Honor Eostara daily at your cauldron to obtain Her blessings and grow your intentions. You can do this with an invocation or the addition of an item that supports your growing intention.
On the day of Ostara we will release our intentions of growth, change, and creation into the universe. To do this we open each egg and speak our intention into being. After we call for the intention release it into the universe by burning the paper. The next morning take your ashes and release them into running water.
As with all things it is important that we take actions that support our intentions. If you called for love you must be more loving. If you called for prosperity you must actively search for additional income.
Blessings on the life you create!!!!
Creation: The Earth Egg
by L.M. Crow ©2008, 2013
The beginning is obscured by time. Only the goddess knows what came before Her, but what came after, we all know. I will tell that here.
The Goddess took the form of a bird and, being the creative sort, laid the egg of the Earth on the black velvet of the night sky. She then wrapped it in blue silk and soft white fluff to protect its delicate shell. At first it was as forged metal. It was hot and so the Goddess’s first daughters, Day and Night, passed it back and forth between them to cool. They took turns holding it because it would burn the hands if one held it too long.
At last the shell of the earth- egg cooled and cracked open and the earth spread out flat, held between the hands of the two young goddesses. The center was still hot, however and in the magma roiled the primeval forms of life. Animals and humans and plants gestated within the burning yolk. As life matured creatures began to creep out of the yolk. The plants crept out and soon spread out over the earth. Animals followed next.
Now, in the Ancient Time, even before the Tribes walked the earth, the world was flat. There were no mountains or rivers or oceans. Just flat land. In this time, the world was new and all of her creatures were young. The sun and the moon did not yet move in the heavens, but the Goddess of Day and the Goddess of Night, daughters of the Great Mother who created all, ruled over time and the seasons, each taking turns watching over the new world.
In this time, even the great cats were as kittens and one day the lion and the snow leopard began playing a game - as kittens do - taking turns chasing each other, back and forth. At first the Goddesses looked on in amusement and they laughed in delight at the kittens' antics, but soon their amusement turned to dismay; for though Lion and Snow Leopard were as kittens, still they were great cats and their game had marked the new world. Their claws had gouged the flat land and their pounces had shaken open deep valleys and they had dug up great mounds of earth with their big paws, which became the mountains. Their running around and around had set the earth to spin about and change form until it was a great ball, suspended in the heavens.
The goddesses called out to the kittens, scolding, demanding they stop their game before the world was completely destroyed, but the kittens declared they would never stop, for they were having too much fun. Fearing that their mother would be disappointed in them for not protecting the earth egg from the kittens’ destruction, the Goddess of Night wept, salty tears which filled the great pits made by Snow Leopard and these became the seas. The Goddess of Day wept sweet tears and these filled the great gouges made by Lion's claws, forming the rivers and lakes, but still the kittens wouldn't stop.
Finally, the Goddesses of Night and Day called upon the Great Mother Who had created them all.
"Just look!" they cried. "Look at what those naughty kittens have done to the brand new world!"
The Great Mother looked down and smiled a loving smile, but She too called for the kittens to stop. Those naughty kittens refused even the Great Mother, so She put them where they could do more harm to the World, up in the Heavens, where they continue to chase each other around the earth to this day.
After placing the Lion and the Snow Leopard in the heavens, the Mother Goddess took a walk over the altered earth-egg to take stock of the damage done there by the kittens’ rough play. In truth, she quite liked the changes. The round earth resembled its first egg form and it spun about the black velvet sky in its shield of blue and white. The primordial magma was encased deep inside the earth egg’s core. There was but one life form left inside of it, humankind.
Humans had longer inside the magma yolk and as a result, they emerged naked and without fangs or claws to protect themselves from predators, but their brains were more developed from longer contact with the Divine Yolk. This enabled them to out think their predators since they could not out fight, out swim, out fly, out climb, or outrun them. When they climbed out of the primordial mud and began to populate the earth, they were mothers and their children. The had respect for the earth-egg and the Goddesses who had birthed and tended it and them. They honoured the plants which fed them and the furred and scaled, feathered and finned little sisters and brothers who shared the earth-egg with them.
It was not nearly long enough after they emerged from the earth-egg yolk that some humans thought that, because they had a different sort of brain than other creatures who lived on the earth-egg, they were better. They began to set themselves above all the other creatures of the earth-egg. They no longer thanked their food for its life sacrifice. They took what they wanted and finally, human killed another human.
Two young men quarrelled – no one knows over what, but that does not matter now. One hit the other and killed him and from the blood which spilled out upon the earth there sprang the Demon known as War. War danced, shaking spear and arrows and Death entered the world through the hole War left in the earth-egg’s shell with its spear then. War went about fomenting dissension amongst the humans, causing them to rise up against each other. People began fighting amongst themselves so much that they stopped tending their crops and flocks. Pretty soon, there was not enough food. Children were hungry and sick. The earth-egg began to suffer because the people were not taking care of it.
The Great Mother of all looked sadly at the earth egg. She knew what she must do. She picked it up and swallowed the earth egg into Her belly. The younger goddesses exclaimed. They did not understand what their Mother was doing, but She calmed them with Her soothing voice.
“The humans are not yet ready for this world. They will grow in wisdom and in time we will try again. In the meantime, they are safe from themselves.”
And this is why to this day, we abhor war and tend to the earth and the goddess’s other children, lest we, too be swallowed up.
Goddess Festival 2018!
It's almost time!!! Time to gather in the forest with our sisters.
Women, Witches, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Aunts, Nieces, Girlfriends, Nymphs, Maidens, Crones...come join us for a blissful weekend filled with magic, sisterhood, and deep connection to the rhythms of the Earth!
Once again, women will gather together in the coastal redwoods of California among the enchanted energies of Mother Nature to honor the Goddess, ourselves, and one another. For three days we live together in this sacred setting, partaking of powerful workshops, rituals, singing, drumming, dancing, and the dynamic vitality of female-focused intentional community.
Guided by world renowned Priestesses and leaders, you can learn to identify and use herbs, hone your skills in the ancient Amazon art of archery, contribute your voice as we pass the rattle, develop ritual skills, empower yourself through the sacred archetypes of women, and much, much more.
Each day we offer a variety of workshops and opportunities for learning. Choose to attend as few or as many as you like, or simply relax, swim in the pool, hike through the woods, listen to the music, enter into deep discussion, shop with our hand-selected vendors, or just sit quietly and meditate in this sacred space.
Evenings are reserved for us to come together in the Gaia Bowl, our sacred ritual space of "Fire & Light." It is here that we call to the Goddess and weave our magic; honor and invoke our Foremothers; hold Initiation and Ordination rituals; and drum, dance, and sing our prayers for ourselves and the Earth!
All of nature is just a step outside your cabin door. All meals are prepared for us. There is no work duty, no food to cook, no dishes to do. Your only responsibility is to come with an open heart and open mind, find connection through Sisterhood, and share your energies in this movement for social change.
Come and meet us Between the Worlds, outside of mundane space and time, to find rejuvenation and renewed purpose!
Round trip transportation from/to SFO Airport is available. Note: You will need to arrive and find your way to the meeting spot for the private bus before by 1:00 PM on Thursday, September 6 and book your returning flight for after 5:00 PMSunday, September 9.
SPRING SPECIAL: Celebrate the magic of Vernal Equinox and Ostara with $100 off your registration for the Goddess Festival 2018, available from now through April 1!
For more information about the festival, visit www.goddessfestival.2018.brownpapertickets.com
Did you know ....
From Sacred Science:
"The symbols associated with Easter – the egg and the bunny or hare, are also ancient pre-Christian symbols of fertility, birth, creation and the Goddess.
"The rabbit is connected to fertility – and spring is a time of creation, sex and birth. Our ancestors lived so close to the earth that their lives depended on animals procreating, bees fertilizing their fruit trees, essentially relying on all of nature to have sex!
"The egg is a powerful and ancient symbol as well, and thus when used in rituals such as egg painting, it becomes a tool for magic and transformation. Symbolizing the universe, we can imagine the shell as the crust of the earth, the magma as the egg white, and the yolk the core. The egg represents life, and has a long history of ritualistic and shamanic use around the world. Adding the symbols of color to the eggs specifies the power given to them – the Druids were said to dye eggs red, like menstrual blood, and bury them in the newly plowed fields in late winter to draw life force energy into the land and encourage fertility and abundance.
"Following the traditional origins of painting eggs, we discover a sacred and magical ritual of transformation and manifestation.
"While today many people dye eggs in rainbow colors, the tradition of egg painting was once more elaborate and the process was in fact a prayer and magical rite involving “writing” sacred symbols and prayers onto the egg."
The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Coven #1
First Course: The Woman’s Bible
Lesson 2: Genesis I:26-28, II:21-25: Creation
Ellen Battelle Dietrick (EBD) was a writer and suffragette, a contemporary of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In her commentary on this passage, she states that she is working on a piece in which she will “give some facts concerning ancient Israelitish history, which will be of peculiar interest to those who wish to understand the origin of woman's subjection.” That work is titled, Women in the Early Christian Ministry: A Reply to Bishop Doane, and Others. It was published after her death in 1897. An interesting article about her role in writing The Woman’s Bible can be found here:
Lillie Devereux Blake (LBD) ) was also writer and a suffragette. She published seven novels, two collections of stories and essays, and hundreds of other works during her lifetime under various pseudonyms, including “Tiger Lily.”. She also played a major role in the struggle for women’s rights, eventually becoming Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s candidate to succeed Susan B. Anthony as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Protesting Columbia University's exclusion of women on behalf of her daughters, she could not budge the opposition of Dr. Morgan Dix, rector of Trinity Chapel. In 1883, she encountered her theological foe again, when he embarked on an antisuffrage lecture series. Lillie responded immediately by scheduling her own nationally-noted lectures, including one on "Woman in Paganism and Christianity." Lillie and her sister attended the Misses Agthorp's school, where they took the usual lessons in music, dancing, and drawing, followed by instruction in mathematics and philosophy and "other courses pursued by young men in the sophomore and junior classes at Yale," under the tutelage of a young theological student from the university.
Please read the above passages in The Woman’s Bible. Read, think, absorb, and ponder the following:
1. What do you think Stanton meant in the sentence: “If language has any meaning, we have in these texts a plain declaration of the existence of the feminine element in the Godhead, equal in power and glory with the masculine.”? Do you interpret that sentence the same way? Why or why not?
2. After reading these verses and the commentary, what do you about the possibility and/or probability of mistakes made in translating from the original languages of the Bible to English? And from King James’s English to modern interpretation?
3. Think about other Creation myths from various cultures, past and present; how do they compare to the story told in Genesis? How do they differ? (Here are a few sites to visit for other creation myths:
4. In The Woman’s Bible, EBD compares the Elohistic and Iahoistic versions of this creation myth. What do you think of this comparison? Do you agree with her assessment that the Iahoistic version is “an endeavor to give ‘heavenly authority’ for requiring a woman to obey the man she married”? Why or why not?
5. Contrast the two stories of Creation as told in Genesis I and II. Why do you think that Stanton preferred the first version? Do you agree? Why or why not?
6. LBD postulates that, based on verses 26 and 27 of Genesis chapter I, the early Hebrews were polytheistic and recognized the female divine in the godhead. Do you agree? Why or why not?
7. Briefly explain ECS’s argument that woman was not the origin of sin; do you agree with her assessment in the context of text? Why or why not?
8. Think about Adam’s statement: “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh:
she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” What do think that means? Do you agree with LBD’s interpretation? Why or why not?
9. What do you think verses 23-25 in Genesis II say about marriage? What do you think about LBD’s interpretation of those verses? Do you agree? Why or why not?
10. How do you define the following terms: matrilocal, matrilineal,, matriarchy? Do you think any of these terms apply (or could apply) to this passage? Why or why not?
11. What did you learn that was new from this reading? Can you apply it to your day to day life? If so, how? If not, why?
Please add your eggs to our basket:
Please Donate to the Women's Spirituality Forum to continue this work. Add your eggs to the basket. Thank you. The purple button below will lead to to the Facebook page of the Women's Spirituality Forum, where you will find a blue "Donate" button. When donating, please Add a Note in the PayPal donation process that says "Donation to the Women's Spirituality Forum" and uncheck the the box for "Paying for good or service".
Thank you again.