Friday, April 24, 2015

pitching BELTANE TO KIDS


At Beltane, “the emphasis placed on  (hetero!)sexual activity and fertility can be alienating for many -- including children....  

“The biggest issue with children ... is that they simply do not understand the themes presented....  A huge part of the holiday goes completely over their heads....

“To help with this, I’ve tried to isolate a few of the major themes of Beltane ... and re-frame them in a way that instinctively makes sense to kids:

     “LOVE – love is a huge part of Beltane, and it’s not just sexual or love for a partner.  Talk to your children about their love for family, friends, and the world around them....    
   
     “PASSION – what is your child passionate about?  Sexual passion is certainly not the only kind there is!  

     “CREATIVITY – when you break it down far enough, the magic of fertility is all about an act of creation.  Plan a rite that features a craft or activity that gives your child an opportunity to make something, to bring something new into the world....”

 Thanks to Molly Khan at PaganFamilies for this (nice ideas, Molly!); go HERE for more. 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

blown AWAY


I am blown away!

On this day, April 23, 2015, this weblog received its 100,000th page view.

I want to thank all my dear readers for visiting; I hope you continue to come share my thoughts (and yours too, please!) about female deity, what it means for the future of the world, and how it might shape each of our lives. 

May your goddesses bless you all! 

Yours forever,
Athana

Monday, April 20, 2015

poisoned BY THE HOLY GRAIL?

One of RGT's more popular posts is "KING ARTHUR: better than Jesus" (read it HERE).

A brand new book about Arthur, The Grail: Relic of an Ancient Religion, written by Simon Andrew Stirling and brought to you by the good folks at John Hunt Publishing, is reviewed here:
Who exactly was King Arthur? And the grail – that magical, perpetually sought-after phenomenon that graces stories about the legendary King – what exactly was it? An actual object? Or only a symbol? A cup or chalice as the Christians maintained?

Or, could it have been something altogether different?

I need to begin this review by saying that the author of The Grail possesses an incredible amount of detailed information about the legends and history of ancient Britain, all of which comes from original Medieval sources like Perceval le Conte du Graal, Lugh Long-Hand, Aneirin’s poem Y Goddoddin, the legend of Culhwch and Olwen, Preiddeu Annwn, the romance of Peredur fab Efrog and countless other ancient sources that Stirling seems totally and comfortably familiar with. Many of the names of people, places, and written works are presented in the original Gaelic, and then translated into modern English for the Gaelic-impaired among us.

One of the things I found fascinating about the book was the way the author draws connections between the Arthurian legends, shamanism, and modern science (brain functioning, the anthropology of child rearing, the physics of matter and energy, etc.). For example, at one point in the book he talks about magic -- one major and pervasive aspect of the Arthurian legends -- in connection with shamanism and the latest scientific information about the brain. One important aim of magic is the union of opposites, says Stirling, which “is often represented as a ‘sacred marriage’ (hieros gamos) in which the male/female elements combine to form a new wholeness. In such a state there is no inner and outer, no subject and object, no self or other. All things become one." 
Likewise, a union of the opposite sides of our brains, a harmonious fusion of the left, or Logos side, with the right, or Eros side, is an ideal psychological state. And to enter into the shamanic trance, shamans too depend on a harmonious union of the two hemispheres of the brain, relying on drugs, repetitive drumming, or some other repetitive stimulus to lull the left side of the brain into a relaxed state, which allows Logos to combine with Eros, and which in turn allows the shaman to enter an altered state of consciousness.

Unfortunately, when Christianity takes over (as it did after the death of Arthur), it damns the Eros/feminine, and allows only the Logos/masculine to enjoy the light of day. This suppression of the feminine has wreaked havoc in Christian-occupied territories. With properly balanced brains we see time and nature in healthy ways, but, says Stirling, when the Logos/left brain hemisphere began to dominate, time became our enemy. Instead of involving a cyclical interplay of past and present, time morphs into a straight line, “the arrow of ‘now’ moving ever further away from ‘then’.” This makes us focus too heavily on ageing and death and lose sight of our place in the natural world, since the Logos-dominated brain tells us that nature is only something to be conquered and controlled.

Contrary to current thinking Stirling maintains that the historical Arthur lived not in the south of England at the beginning of the 6th century -- a notion popularized by Geoffrey of Monmouth -- but in Scotland, and at the end of the 6th century. He provides a plethora of evidence to back up his claim, not only from original Medieval literary sources but also from linguistic and place-name analysis as well. Nevertheless, this was a bit of a disappointment for me, since many years ago I spent an entire happy day tramping over Cornwall and climbing the 200 or so steps rising up to the ruins of Tintagel Castle, which I was assured was the place King Arthur was born.
Stirling connects Arthur and his knights to Mithraism, suggesting that they might have belonged to a cult similar to the ancient Roman pagan one, sharing similar initiation rituals and totemic animals. He provides his own unique interpretations for all the various aspects of the Arthurian legends: for Guinevere, Mordred, Merlin, Kay, the 24 knights of the round table, Camelot – all of which he places in Scotland.

Although the grail is assumed by most to be an object – typically a chalice, cauldron or cup – Stirling says it was not an object or even a symbol, but an “ordeal.” The grail ordeal was used to initiate poets and warriors. Poets gained inspiration from it, and warriors were reborn from it. This ritual involved drinking from a poisonous brew concocted in a “wisdomgranting” cauldron. Only the very brave possessed enough courage to drink this concoction, which bestowed magic powers on imbibers, yes, but could also kill you, and which had to be drained from the body through puncture wounds produced by jabbing a spear into the initiate’s knee or thigh.

“What we think of as an object, the Saint Graal or ‘Holy Grail’, was in fact an ordeal which was both appealing and appalling. It was a ‘dreadful longing’ – sant grathail: the ‘terrible desire’ to drink the mead” served in a cauldron and made of hemlock and other substances, possibly from the hallucinogenic bog myrtle. Drinking it was dangerous, but if you came away from it alive you gained second sight and an end to your fear of death.

The grail involved four elements: the cauldron, the spear, and a sword and a stone. I found it fascinating that these remain with us even today -- in our Tarot and playing cards (Grail: Sword Spear Cauldron Stone. Tarot: Swords Wands Cups Coins. Cards: Spades Clubs Hearts Diamonds).
When Arthur died, says Stirling, both the grail and the old, healthy British way of life died with him. Arthur’s death and the rise of Christianity brought on “the Waste Land.” Stirling makes sense of history and society by dividing them into three stages, or types of sociocultural systems: the Divine Age, the Heroic Age, and the Human Age. Arthur’s death plunged Britain into the barbaric Heroic Age, and although we finally climbed out of the Heroic Age centuries ago, we are now re-entering it, with its hierarchical power systems damaging us all.

Reading this book was a grand adventure. I felt as if I’d traveled back into the wild and mysterious days of the late 500s AD, after the “civilized” Romans had left Britain and the Picts, Scots, Angles, Saxons, Pagans and Christians were all wrangling amongst themselves to see who would take charge of the land. These were intoxicating times full of great magic, and Stirling makes them come alive.

Stirling ends on a positive note: “It may be that we cannot halt the slide into chaos as the new Heroic age undermines science and overthrows democracy. Perhaps we are not meant to.... [O]ut of the wreckage, a new Divine age will dawn. We will rediscover how to raise our children without hatred and greet death as a beginning....”




Saturday, April 18, 2015

skirting THE HEART OF GODDESS

I feel Goddess crying colossal crocodile tears when she spies us giving strangers the cold shoulder.  Among us, the idea of loving strangers is taboo:  

Strangers ... enter our lives already under suspicion. We disqualify entire human beings from the possibility of our respect or forgiveness the moment they fail to use a turn signal, or wear a baseball cap in the wrong kind of eating establishment.”
 SNIP 
“We are suspicious of people who advocate loving or caring for no reason. We think of them as hippies or New-Agers.... being indiscriminate with your love is an embarrassment. 
 SNIP 
“The world changes tones completely when we actively view strangers ... with love as a default attitude. It changes your experience of everything involving strangers: traffic, concerts, business transactions, restaurants, walks down the street, and even someone’s bad taste in clothes or lawn ornaments.
 SNIP 
“Whenever you notice yourself feeling annoyed by a stranger, decide to forgive the apparent offense, and, for the few minutes you’re in each others presence, commit to helping them if they need help....  [A]t the very least, hope that the rest of their day goes well for them.
 SNIP 
“[T]hink about what the stranger next to you might be hoping for, and see if you can quietly share that hope.  That small habit is all it would take to transform the world."

Saturday, February 21, 2015

secret code OF THE MOTHER GODDESS

Over at PaganSquare.com/
WitchesAndPagans.com, Lia Hunter's crafted a magnificent review of the new book, Breaking the Mother Goose Code: How a Fairy Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 Years:
Imagine... What if Mother Goose was the ancient European Mother Goddess in disguise, hidden from the patriarchal, monotheistic church that took over Europe, appearing in print just as the Inquisition and Witch-hunts drove anything non-Christian underground?
What if the Mother Goose “nursery rhymes” taught to children over the last few centuries were a way to pass on an encoded pre-Christian worldview?
Are fairy tales the carriers of the Pagan values of ancestors who had to disguise them as “peasant imbecilities” to keep them in cultural memory in a stratified society, of which the hierarchical authorities wanted to eradicate their egalitarian, animistic, and earthy worldview?....   MORE>>>>>
Although Breaking the Mother Goose Code doesn't officially debut until February 27, Amazon.com has jumped the gun and is selling copies as we speak.  Go HERE to get your copy.


Monday, January 12, 2015

dying OF LAUGHTER

Five days ago, a few cartoons shook out the massacre of 12 French artists and journalists.

Here are some of these cartoons (with English translations).

Although most seem innocent enough, a few are fairly skanky.

But to murder someone because of a few scratches made on paper -- no matter how offensive -- is pure psychosis.

IMO.  

But that's YAJ* for you, isn't it?  Pure psychosis.

Here's the A-1 beefcake question for you: how do we cream and crush this growing and violent psychosis before it creams and crushes us?
________
YAJ is YahwehAllahJehovah, the god of Abraham, a primitive desert war god fabricated 6000 years ago by people who'd gone mentally ill from starvation during the formation of the Sahara and other Asian deserts.




Saturday, January 10, 2015

shaking THE BABY*

The baby needs to understand something:

We are all born innocent as a clean towel fresh out of the dryer.  Arab, Asian, Caucasian, whatever – we are born innocent little stars meant to shine in the sky. 

Innocent, that is, until our heads get pumped full by the big boys and girls, looking like goddesses and gods when we stare up at them from our spot on the rug, with our big innocent baby eyes. 

Some of us get pumped full of poison, and then get names like “Christian,” “Muslim” or “Jew.” 

Now you can be Caucasian, African or Arab and be Jewish, or a white-as-snow Caucasian and still be Muslim.  After you get so old, it’s all up to you.  Has nothing to do with genes or skin color, or which part of the globe you were born in or your ancestors came from.

We are the baby of course.  And we all need to be shaken awake about this: 

The war-god** religions are a cancer on us all, and if we don't destroy them,  they will destroy us.  
____________________   

TAGS: Je Suis Charlie, Charlie Hebdo, Paris mourns, the world mourns, terrorism, enough already!
____________________
* I know none of *my* readers would ever shake a real baby.
** The war god today is YAJ -- Yahweh/Allah/Jehovah, the god of Abraham.  Some dudes think YAJ is three separate gods, but he's not.  He's just one warrior deity.  

Sunday, January 04, 2015

swimming IN GODDESSES

Yes the cat is out of the bag: The real Mother Goose was an ancient European goddess. 
But which one?
My readers, all of you pure geniuses when it comes to goddesses, know that Europe once upon a time was literally swimming in goddesses. 
Heaveans to Murgatroyd, listing just the “A” goddesses of Europe alone would take a month of Sundays. 

Here are just the Celtic ones, numbering 19 (and I suspect I've probably missed a few -- if not many):
Abnoba
Acioonna
Adnraste
Adulllata
Agrona
Aibell
Aimend
Aine
Airmed
Alaisiagae
Ancamna
Ancasta
Andarta
Annea
Arduinna
Arianrhod
Arnemetia
Aveta*
Artio
Then you have the Celtic goddesses B to Z.  Then you have Lithuanian goddesses A-Z, Latvian goddesses A-Z, Liechtensteinian goddesses A-Z, etc., etc., etc.

Anyway, what I found out was, Mother Goose wasn’t just one European goddess. 
After the fall of Rome, two goddesses merged, and it was this merger deity who disguised herself as “Mother Goose” – in order to move safely through the Burning Times.
Fascinating, right?
To learn more, including which two goddesses merged and became Mother Goose, pre-order a copy of Breaking the Mother Goose Code now, at Amazon.com.  
________
*No matter what I do, I can't get Aveta to stay in line with the rest.  I even moved her up a rung, out of alphabetical order, and she still won't stay put!  All hail, Aveta, She who marches to Her own drummer!