Thursday, January 29, 2009


Another awesome article trumpteting the news that the more you got god, the more got a grungy, grubby place. (If I had a dollar for every one of these articles printed lately, I'd be a gazillionaire).

This article was pumped out by the Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review.

The subtitle snaps and crackles: "The least religious nations," it says, "are also the most healthy and successful"!

Of course we all know that by "religious" they mean "god worshipping." Unfortunately for the world, few know beans about the Goddess.

What are societies like when faith in God is minimal, church attendance is drastically low, and religion is a distinctly muted and marginal aspect of everyday life?

Many people assume that religion is what keeps people moral, that a society without God would be hell on earth: rampant with immorality, full of evil, and teeming with depravity. But that doesn't seem to be the case for Scandinavians in those two countries [Sweden and Denmark]. ... their overall rates of violent crime — including murder, aggravated assault, and rape — are among the lowest on earth.


So the typical Dane or Swede doesn't believe all that much in God. And simultaneously, they don't commit much murder. But aren't they a dour, depressed lot, all the same? Not according to Ruut Veenhoven, professor emeritus of social conditions for human happiness at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Veenhoven is a leading authority on worldwide levels of happiness from country to country. He recently ranked 91 nations on an international happiness scale.... According to his calculations, the country that leads the globe — ranking No. 1 in terms of its residents' overall level of happiness — is little, peaceful, and relatively godless Denmark.


[R]eligion ... can often be one of the main sources of tension, violence, poverty, oppression, inequality, and disorder in a given society. ...many of the most religious and faithful nations on earth are simultaneously among the most dangerous and destitute. ... the majority of the most irreligious democracies are among the most prosperous and successful nations on earth.


I simply wish to soberly counter the widely touted assertion that without religion, society is doomed....

The claim that without religion, society is doomed deserves to be challenged because, aside from being poor social science, it is a highly political claim that is regularly promulgated by some of America's most popular and most influential Christian conservatives. Those individuals do not represent or speak for the majority of believers in America, but together they do constitute a formidable and uniquely zealous chorus that reaches the hearts and minds of millions of people on a regular basis.

...Ann Coulter, the Christian conservative media pundit, who has written in one of her best-selling books that societies that fail to grasp God's significance are headed toward slavery, genocide, and bestiality, and that when Darwinian/evolutionary theory is widely accepted in a given society, all morality is abandoned.


But the fact still remains that it is not the most religious nations in our world today, but rather the most secular, that have been able to create the most civil, just, safe, equitable, humane, and prosperous societies. Denmark and Sweden stand out as shining examples. The German think tank the Hans-Böckler Stiftung recently ranked nations in terms of their success at establishing social justice within their societies; Denmark and Sweden, two of the least-religious nations in the world, tied for first.

Phil Zuckerman is an associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College. This essay is adapted from his book Society Without God (New York University Press, 2008).
Go HERE to read the whole article.
Thnx to bruno tessa for the foto. Go HERE to see more of his work.


Silly me. I thought tons of mah fellow Amurcans, right along side me, believed in evolution (you know -- the Darwin kind).


"... while 74 percent of Americans believe that angels exist, only 25 percent accept that we evolved from apelike ancestors. Just one in eight of us think that evolution should be taught in the biology classroom without including a creationist alternative.

"Among thirty-four Western countries surveyed for the acceptance of evolution, the United States ranked a dismal thirty-third, just above Turkey. Throughout our country, school boards are trying to water down the teaching of evolution or sneak creationism in beside it.

"And the opponents of Darwinism are not limited to snake-handlers from the Bible Belt.... As Karl Giberson notes in Saving Darwin, 'Most people in America have a neighbor who thinks the Earth is ten thousand years old.'"
For MORE, go see "Seeing and Believing: The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail."
thnx to louisa catlover for the foto; go HERE to see more of her work.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Z Budapest's REVIEW OF SWitching

Z Budapest's Review of Switching to Goddess, in Goddess Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 1, January, 2009, pp 6-8.

This review appeared this month in Z's new periodical, Goddess Magazine, a fab new online read you won't want to miss. Goddess Magazine sings with Z's magical style of writing and view of the world. Also, it has the snazziest layout and artwork I have yet to see in any Goddess magazine. Go HERE to check it out (click on "Goddess Magazine" in upper left corner).
Ever since Marija Gimbutas has passed away there’s been no clear voice coming from the archeology community; which made a lot of the Goddess findings. In fact, I have not heard about a mainstream Goddess oriented book with facts, figures and a decent scientific background.

Sure there’s a constant flow of books about the Goddess, but you find they are the same books over and over again. The proverbial elementary everlasting 101 Goddess course, with a slightly new spin.

Most new books are about old books. Books about books.

We writers must mind the bottom line. We are told that it is okay to talk down to the readers, because they are all languishing in an ever lastingly starting point in their evolution. I hope this has changed. But I think the time has come to name names, show us the big picture, reveal the Goddess as a social force who yields peace and civilization. Do we dare?

Well Jeri Studebaker dared. When I picked up her book I thought if she comes anywhere near of her title, I’ll be happy.

This is a revolutionary book. The writer is fearless. A good sized book, with lots of references and quotes at the end. In fact I loved the last part most, because when you read the book all the way and you come to the last 200 pages, that’s where she has put the ammunition against the existing male gods holy books and their claims.

I got myself so fired up reading this book that I just jumped up and yelled, “I must call up this woman. I must tell her how much I loved this work. She is one of us! Yeah!”

And so I did.

Jeri was a little surprised. I asked if I can talk to the Goddess Jeri, she giggled and we were off to a good start.

What is her thesis? Simple, and witches have been saying it for many years. The male gods must be removed. Jeri traces them to about 4,000 BC. She calls them the players in the starvation religion.

Starvation gods are the war gods, war gods are evil. They are created by men, but then they live on, scaring people with hell and suffering after death. They have a wanton record of slaying thousands of people who they see as enemies; even attacking pregnant women ripping them open. They institutionalized rage against the woman.

Enemies are big business. We know that, each war has their profits. Fear is the basis of this war the Lord controls, and they are almost everywhere on the earth. With exception, like the little Himalayan Moso tribes, where they worship a Guiding Goddess, and do not have marriage as we know it. Jeri tells you about a couple of other Goddess cultures and goes into deep detail with pictures.

She said, before 4,000 BC, no wars and no hierarchy existed anywhere. Peace reigned. People modeled themselves after their Guiding Goddess who was behaving like a healthy Mother to her children. Jeri comes out and says, “You’ll be like the mothers model, or you'll all go down with the planet.”

For those of us who like to think that tolerance towards all faiths is the best way to go, Jeri busts that bubble. When it spreads and endorses war, it should not be tolerated. If it does not enhance society, create peace amongst the folks, it should not be tolerated.

But of course she doesn’t think we should go out and smite them with pestilence and slay them all; and their cattle. This is the big difference.

But we can all switch to the Goddess. Right now.

What Jeri isn’t saying, is that we as women we are the culture. As women we can give our energy or withhold it. We are the world. What women endorse will live. We create our own Goddesses, and model ourselves naturally after Mother model. Women who are not biological mothers still have the tendency and bond reaction when stressed. Instead of kill and kill what we don’t understand.

So if women switch to Goddess, which is what the Goddess Movement has done for 30 years now, they will have found the way to improving life on earth.

But don’t take it from me. She has the facts and the hair raising direct quotes from the so called sacred books of male war gods, which I never knew about. She gives us directions. She actually is an activist about knowledge, preps us with responses to the most often posed challenges.

Ok. I asked her next to teach in the D.U. She said yes. I want you to have groundbreaking teachers like Jeri, women who are Switching to Goddess. So, now we have a very powerful and interesting new class in the D.U. [Dianic University]* for you. Join Jeri there and she will turn you into Action Heras. Jeri knows how to switch to the Goddess.

Get your own copy of Switching to Goddess, Humanity's Ticket to the Future *by J. Lyn Studebaker.

Z Budapest
Thnx Z!!!!
Go HERE to sign up for the course "Switching to Goddess." Enrollment is open, so you can begin the class at any point in time. You'll need to sign up at before you can enroll.
*If you live in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan or China, save shipping costs by buying Switching to Goddess on those countries' sites. Switching is also sold at many other online bookstores, including Barnes & Noble, Powell's, Alibris, and several others.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Ever since Mr. Obama took his oath of office today and scooted Mr.'s Bush and Cheney out of the Oval Office, I have not been able to get this tune outa my head:

"Hey, hey, the wolf is dead, the big bad wolf is dead, dead, dead...."

And what an acceptance speech Mr. O gave!

Smart is back in town, children, and the dudes with their brains on hold have been sent packing at last.
thnx to Byrd on a wire for the foto; go HERE to see more of his work.

Monday, January 19, 2009


In my local Maine Pagan group, someone asked today why Wiccans sometimes take the word "church" instead of "coven" to describe themselves.

Here, according to Maine's own raven_starsong3, is the surprising answer:

"Pagan groups in general are taking the title of Church for two reasons. First, they may be trying to achieve mainstream and/or legal recognition as a body equal to a Christian or other religion's church.

"Second, the word 'church' is actually a Romanized version of the Celtic word 'circe' which is what the Pagans in the British Isles called their groups.

Circe means a circle or group practicing religion as a community. The Celts pronounced it KER'ka, but the Romans pronounced it CHER'cha and took it back to Rome where it became associated with the Christian religion.

There is a movement to 'take the word back.'"
Thnx to blueheron for the foto; go HERE to see more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Forgiveness, ANYONE?

"People, in general, would rather die than forgive. It's that hard. If God said in plain language, 'I'm giving you a choice, forgive or die,' a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin."

~from Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees: A Novel, Waterville, Maine: Thorndike Press, page 426.
So let's kick forgiveness around for a while. What does the Goddess say we should do about it?

Four or five years ago, my dog Duncan killed my cat Margaret. She was old, he loved to chase her. She was great at hiding and running from him, but she kept getting older and older, and one day he caught her behind the toilet.

A mad chase, a scuffle, and the next thing I knew Margaret was convulsing and then still.

It took time for me to forgive my dog-son Duncan, but eventually forgiveness just floated into my heart. I didn't have to work at getting it. It wasn't a choice. I didn't ask for it, or pray for it. One day, forgiveness just happened.
Thnx to j.labrado for the foto; go HERE to see more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thanx to Judith Laura over at Medusa Coils for this fab and very complete review of my new book, Switching to Goddess (Judith is the author of She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother; Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century: From Kabbalah to Quantum Physics; and Beyond All Desiring):
"This is a treasure of a book. Written with a light touch, at times humorous enough to make you lol, Switching to Goddess by J. Lyn Studebaker brings together scholarship now known about how Goddess religions were suppressed in antiquity and suggests ways we can bring Goddess back for our own well-being and for the survival of the planet.

"Studebaker (who blogs as Athana on Radical Goddess Thealogy) doesn't mince words in her bold assessment of where "war-daddy god" worship has gotten us and why we need to return to the female divine, whose cultures have been associated with peace, equality, and risk-taking. She doesn’t tip toe around difficult issues, and isn’t afraid to directly and strongly criticize Christianity and the Bible, for example. Though she often writes in a slangy style, you’d be wise not to be taken in by the flip language: Studebaker is no intellectual lightweight. The offbeat language helps make the book more accessible and enjoyable, but behind it a strong intellect and Goddess interpreter is at work.

"Studebaker, who has completed all coursework for a PhD in cultural anthropology, has taught archeology and anthropology at Ohio State University and has a master's degree in prehistory and archeology. Before taking us on a worldwide tour (with pics) of ancient Goddess cultures in the Near East, the Indus Valley, Old Europe, Southeast Europe, and Japan, the author introduces us to cultures surviving today (also with pics) that have many traits in common with ancient Goddess societies. These surviving cultures include the Moso on the China-Tibet border, which served as a model for ‘Shangri la’ in James Hilton’s novel, Lost Horizon, and whose people eschew marriage for a system of "free love"; the Basques of the Pyrenees mountains on the Spain-France border, whose language and customs differ greatly from the rest of Europe’s; and the Hopis and Pueblos, native to the American Southwest. As a point of comparison, Studebaker also discusses what she calls our "kissing cousins," the sexy, peaceful bonobos, who, along with more violent chimpanzees, are humans' closest primate relatives. Bonobo societies, she says, "look suspiciously like an animal version of guiding goddess societies...."

"One of the great contributions of this book is its careful tracing of the change-over from the Mother-modeled guiding goddess to what Studebaker calls "war daddy," which includes not only Abrahamic monotheism headed by a male-only deity, but also belligerent, domineering male gods in polytheistic societies. In a chapter called "Good Times," the material under the subhead, "Just Any Ol’ Goddess Won’t Do" is one of my favorite parts of this book. Studebaker writes:

"The mere presence of goddesses in a society, however, doesn’t guarantee peace, prosperity, and plums for breakfast....This is so important that I’ll probably repeat it more than once: just any old goddess won’t do. It has to be a special kind. For starters, it can’t be one with a jealous god hanging over her right shoulder....And above all it needs to be a guiding mother goddess who not only gives birth to everyone and everything in the universe (including any other gods and goddesses) but who also serves as a guide for our behavior.
"This means that most goddesses that existed in pantheons after 4000 BC to 300 BC (depending on the culture) are no longer guiding goddess models. (This book uses the abbreviations BC and AD so I will use them in this review, rather than the BCE and CE sometimes used in discussing Goddess cultures.) Studebaker gives us some excellent, easy-to-understand, diagrams of this switchover from guiding goddess to war god cultures under a sub-head, "Who Popped Us in the Chops Ma?" in a chapter called "Bad Times." Figure 6.1, "Black Box" shows us when each culture entered what Studebaker calls the "Black Box," during which time the culture underwent drastic change but we can’t (yet?) define exactly what happened to cause this change (although she does discuss several theories). Figure 6.2, "The Switch from Guiding Goddess to War Gods," shows at what points in time cultures in 5 different geographical areas entered the black box, and when they exited the box. Another fascinating time chart is in the chapter called "Home Again." Figure 9.1, "A Generalized Look at History, Goddesses, Gods, and Society," summarizes by time period (beginning in 10,000 BC and ending in the present) characteristics of religions compared with characteristics of societies.

"Another of my favorite parts of this book are 3 sections in the chapter "Good Times," called "Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go," "Backlash," and "Tricky-Dickies." Studebaker recalls the initial publication of books in the 1980s about ancient Goddess cultures:

"The second someone suggested goddess was equal to god...all hell broke loose. The result: since the 1990s, a backlash of unprecedented proportions has raged against the Neolithic and Bronze-Age Great Mother Goddess.
"She goes on to give examples (and names names) of professors of religion, anthropologists, archeologists, and a "writer-combo team" whose attitudes and books represent backlash against Goddess scholarship. Studebaker refutes what she calls their "folderol," and warns about the trickiness of the backlashers’ tactics, writing:

"They throw page after page at us of confusing, stuffy, tangled academic language that boils down to this: before 4000 BC the world might not have worshipped goddesses. Which of course is something you can say about anything archeologists dig up....In archeology all we can ever do is go with our best bets.
"She gives examples of backlasher claims, such as "just because a figurine is breast-bedecked doesn’t mean it’s female"; or that breasts must be a certain size for the statue to be considered female even though the statue lacks a penis; or that even though figurines have two heads or two faces, one shouldn’t assume they represent goddesses–they could just be "ordinary women."

"Yet another of my favs is the subhead "Bounceback #2 Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better," in the chapter, "Fight." Studebaker enumerates the many ways various cultures’ gods, in order to gain power, tried to take over the Goddess’s role of giving birth. Most of us are familiar with at least two examples of this: God (aka Yaweh) enables Adam to give birth from his rib to Eve, and Zeus gives birth to Athena from his forehead. In figure 7.1, "And the Dude Bore a Nine-Pound Blonde," she lists these plus 8 other births from various parts of gods’ bodies in a number of cultures. She then discusses other stages of Goddess sabotage and obliteration that frequently followed.

"Because war god religions are threatening to both people and the planet, and because it has been shown that human beings appear to be hardwired for religion of some sort, Studebaker has set a goal of the year 2035 for switching to Goddess. She gives us all tremendous help in accomplishing this in the information and motivation she provides in Switching to Goddess.

"Part of the information is contained in the extensive and extremely helpful appendixes. For example in Appendix C, "Questions from the Peanut Gallery," she anticipates questions people may challenge her with and gives responses. These are arranged alphabetically. Some examples:

BUDDHISM "For bringing peace and harmony to the world, wouldn’t Buddhism work as well as goddesses?"
Like Jesus, Buddha decreed for his followers lives of sensual deprivation. Also like Jesus, he suggests humans deserve poverty, primarily. In contrast, the Guiding Goddess demands we enjoy the senses she gave us, and that we pull everyone together in abundance—the way healthy siblings do....What’s more, Buddhism is not always the cornucopia of peace and purity many in the West believe it to be....

"But you said culture is highly resistant to change. So how are we going to shift to Goddess by 2035?"
....Almost all of us, however, already live in partially-goddess societies. The starvation/war gods are simply thin overlays....Our job is to pull out the old goddesses from beneath the starvation/war culture dirt layer and dust them off again.

"What is it?"
....In choosing how to behave [in any situation] answering the question "In this situation, what would a healthy mother do vis a vis her children" is likely to scare up good moral behavior. Not just men, but all of us need to learn from this [Mother Model]. Since I’m a non-mother woman—I’ve never had children—I need to learn from it too. But even mothers themselves need to learn from the Mother Model.
"There are more than 30 of these Q & A’s. One way to make use of them is, as you’re reading along in the book's chapters, if you have a question–particularly a point where you think you would give Studebaker a good argument, go to Appendix C and see if she has already thought of your question and responded to it.

"Also helpful while you are reading are 6 maps placed between the end of the last chapter and the beginning of the appendixes. Included in the other appendixes are a chart on "The Origin of the Starvation Culture," associated with the changeover to war gods; a list of "War Gods Around the World"; a list of "Guiding Goddesses We Can Return To," also from around the world; a list of blogs in "closed countries"; a chart of world religions showing the numbers of adherents and what percentage this is of the total; suggestions for "Things You Can Do to Flip the Switch" to Goddess, alphabetized by what may be your occupation, nationality and other identifiers—don’t miss this one; a list of some relevant websites and blogs; a "Goddess Reading List" with books and more websites and blogs; and last but definitely not least, "Cruelty in the Bible: Short List." In addition, there is an extensive bibliography and an index.

"These back materials plus the charts and pictures throughout the book make it ideal for classes, whether they be in universities or outside academia in small private groups. Switching to Goddess is an excellent book for newcomers to Goddess spirituality–whether enthusiastic or skeptical. And with its new (to me, anyway) material and fearless yet humorous writing style, it will also be a treat for many of us who have been Goddess-involved for some time."

thnx to Dan Mogford for the foto; go HERE to see more.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


"A society in which women have to hide and cover their breasts is a society in which nurturance is neglected.... The naked female breasts, as symbols of women's power, deeply frighten men. Breasts are covered for that reason alone, and not because they arouse passion and sexuality."

"Today's taboos against the exposure of female breasts, while allowing males to freely expose the same anatomical area, has to do with the ancient symbolism. Symbols of nurturance are the most powerful in that they remind men of their dependence upon the Mother -- upon the Female....

~ from Z Budapest's The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries Part II, 1980, p. 204
If we want radical change, don't we need to make small radical changes to start?

Would facing our fear of female breasts in public be a place to start?

If they could see how totally horrified we are at the thought of female nipples exposed in public, the ancient Minoans would have laughed their fool heads off.

Actually, considering how fab the Minoans were, they'd probably be too kind to laugh and point. They'd probably have pitied us deeply, though.

Wow, women, think of it! Our chests are so powerful that they'd shrivel men into tiny little peanuts at the mere public sight of them! Our breasts are so packed full of natural power that to shine them upon each other in public is punishable in courts of law! Someone, somehow has managed to convince us that our chests are so dangerous we needed to heave laws onto the books to keep these dangerous things from seeing the light of day!

Could the next step in our march back to Goddess Power be our work to scrap the laws against uncovering women's stupendous, gorgeous, life-giving breasts in public?

Just the way we pity fundie Muslim women forced to cover all but their eyes in public -- that's exactly how the ancient Minoans would pity us. They would look at us and see (although they'd never say it), semi-retarded, bamboozled, wimp-heads.

How would we go about scrapping our breast laws? Should we act out first? Say stage a mass protest in Central Park with thousands of women marching around proudly wearing uncovered breasts for all to see?

What kinds of signs would we carry?

"Naked Breasts For One And For All!"

"Equal Rights for Women's Breasts!"

"If He Can Show His, I Can Show Mine!"
the foto above is one surviving part of an ancient Minoan wall painting