Goddess Manifesta

The politics of a vegan, Wiccan, Polish-American *Jersey Girl* definately NOT from the Suburbs!

Location: New Jersey, United States

Why I will always hate George W. Bush: "I don’t think witchcraft is a religion and I wish the military would take another look at this and decide against it."

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Once They Let Same-Sex Couples Get Married, All Hell Broke Loose...

Charlotte Hays reported on this story in her Loose Canon Beliefnet blog:

First Trio "Married" in the Netherlands

The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals. In the United States some politicians propose “civil unions” that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage. These civil unions differ from marriage only in name.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal “married” both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

Asked by journalists to tell the secret of their peculiar relationship, Victor explained that there is no jealousy between them. “But this is because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual. I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult.” Victor stressed, however, that he is “a one hundred per cent heterosexual” and that a fourth person will not be allowed into the “marriage.” They want to take their marriage obligations seriously: “to be honest and open with each other and not philander.”

First off, let's just clarify that this is polygyny, not polygamy, which in any case is not so earth-shattering. I love that this article credits, and actually uses the term "bisexual," with reasoning for a successful group marriage. Wait, is it still polygyny if the women consider themselves married to each other? Maybe not, maybe this is then polygamy... I will personally be keeping tabs on this issue out of the Netherlands...

Yet Another Reason I Should Move to Amsterdam...

I stole the link from this story from Chas Clifton's blog:

Witchcraft training gets tax break

Wed Sep 28,10:04 AM ET

Dutch tax authorities have allowed a woman to deduct the 2,210 euros it cost her to take a one-year course in witchcraft, an inland revenue official said Wednesday.

The 39-year actress and artist learned how to use crystal balls and prepare herbs, and also spells and other witchcraft skills at the course held in the country's northwest.

"The woman used the training in order to start ... giving workshops, so she used it to extend her professional knowledge," the tax official told Reuters.

Margarita Roland, who gave the course and whose Web site (http://www.heksehoeve.nl/) shows her with a broomstick and pointed hat, said she teaches apprentices all they need to know to become a witch, using magic as a force for good.

"A witch is a wise woman or man who knows about the magic of life in general and the magic of the earth in particular," said Roland, known as the "witch of Appelscha" after her home town.

Can you even conceive of something like that in this country right now? No, didn't think so...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Accidentally Vegan??? Yay!

Woah! Nutter Butters and Oreos???? This is an exciting week! Check out all the horribly-bad-for-you goodness that is synthetic junk food, that happens to accidentally be vegan!! Yay!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Male Gods = War? part two...

Okay, continued...

The argument that a matristic restructuring of society must include a complete exclusion of any concept of a Divine Masculine also scares me. First, it scares me because that just seems to reinforce the common assumption that Matriarchy is "Patriarchy in a skirt." Patriarchy has been defined and vilified for its complete ignorance of the ways of Nature and the Feminine, so the fact that open-minded progressive women would support the oppression of another group of people in the same way completely boggles my mind. It just looks as though one is stuck in that same Patriarchal mindset that one has to dominate another because healthy human beings cannot coexist peaceably if left to their own devises.
The idea that one group must be in charge of another because it is inherently inadequate at self-governence is a Patriarchal ideal forever immortalized when a group of Hebrews 2,550 years ago said their god gave mankind "dominion" over Earth.

I'm a fan of the human parthenogenesis theory, though I haven't done much research into it. But if women reproduced asexually in our past, we do not anymore... As this is the case, our pragmatic cosmology should represent this in some way, and this must include some sort of masculine consort to our Goddess. And while this consort has to exist, let's look at this as an opportunity, not a neccessary evil! Here we are with an opportunity to redefine what a "manly" God is! The "warrior = virile" Alpha Male is passe, we all know that, but if we leave this as a big gaping hole after it has been there for millenia, it will be filled by men who will rightly feel jilted and excluded. ALL HUMANITY, all of Existence is sacred, not just some of it, whomever's "turn" it is to be valued, and our cosmology must reflect that.

Violent warrior gods were created to reflect the type of Man that "properly" contributed to society, by "proving" he has the physical prowess to slaughter animals to feed his community... So let's work with that. What makes a Man in current society a good citizen includes treating his partner with emotional support and respect, and having an active role (emotionally, mentally, and physically) in the rearing of any offspring, whether biologically his own or otherwise.

Clinging to the idea of a "woman only" cosmology because it seemed to work on an island before the inhabitants knew any other way is not realistic. Lol, like communism is a wonderful theory, because of human experience and human nature, it doesn't seem to work in practice. The world has changed and we cannot go back. Revolution, re-evolving our society does not include regressing or reverting to a past place. If it was so great and strong, it wouldn't have folded. And anyway, everything looks better in nostalgia. The fact is, even with all the archealogical evidence, there are none living that remember the Minoan era and exactly how it functioned... So all we can do is move forward and create a place in which all genders feel validated. We have to learn from the past to see how it was overcome by Male-only Worshipping, violent outsiders and create a stable society in which it isn't felt as though it were neccessary for that to happen again.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Male Gods = War?

The past few days have been thrilling and hectic on the blogs of Athana and Morgaine... The useless academic I am, I mused aloud "what would a Goddess-worshipper holy war/crusade look like?" and just look what happened, lol! The theory that bothers me the most as a feminist, is the assumption that because male gods seem to have emerged as societies became more aggressive and then violent, it is the societal importance placed on these male gods themselves that caused violence. I argue that this assumption is naive, simplistic, scapegoating and backward. Why would a healthy, vibrant culture "all of a sudden" create male gods in order to worship war? The religions of Abraham teach that god created humankind in god's image... As a scholar of Religion, I know that in actuality, humans created god/desses in their image. I think that as society became more male-centric and violent, they created male gods to represent their and its values.

Current archaeological research maintains the existence of pieces fashioned out of clay to represent attributes of the female body, which may or may not be construed as goddess figures, dating back to 35000 BCE. The parts depicted were the life-creating or sustaining parts, such as the fecund belly, vulva, and breasts. “The vulva, for instance, is one of the earliest symbols engraved, and it is symbolically related to growth, to the seed. Sometimes next to it is a branch or plant motif, or within the vulva is something like a seed or a plant.” New human life emerges from the female vulva, new plant life emerges from a similarly shaped seed, and a connection is drawn. For the next 20,000 years, humanity seems to subscribe to this ideology. Sharp instruments are only used for the limited hunting or preparing food/clothing and not yet for combative purposes.

As some societies had to depend more on animal sources of nourishment in areas with climate less tolerable to human-life-sustaining vegetation, a class evolved adept in the use of weaponry and horses. More sophisticated weaponry is devised to hunt larger game, and horses ease the chase. Due to seasonal changes, the game moves, and those dependant on it for survival must follow and a semi-nomadic society begins to emerge. In an agricultural society, the workload is relatively balanced between women and men, but this changes with big game hunting. Though it may be cumbersome, pregnancy does not bar women from participating in the cultivation of plants. Likewise, pregnant women cannot ride galloping horses without risk to the unborn fetus, which may be how this duty was then relegated to men.

Though Gimbutas places the advent of patriarchy in Europe at around 15000 BCE, fertile female deities continue to abound. The earlier Sumerian civilization afforded more civil rights, in general, than later empires. During the time of Hammurapi of Babylon (1728-1686,) law codes began to call for much harsher penalties. It is at this time the “eye for an eye” concept of punishment arises. Women were highly affected by the Babylonian Empire. . . Perhaps as humanity develops trade and wealth (as opposed to subsistence) is attainable, laws focusing on inheritance of property and producing suitable heirs gain importance. In order to do this, women’s free will must be guarded and scrutinized.

So what happened to a balanced, matristic culture? According to Gimbutas, humanity was able to live in equilibrium with nature and each other for more than twenty thousand years in pre-history. Perhaps because of climate and environmental changes, etc., foraging for plant foods became insufficient to sustain life and hunting evolved into the quest for large game. This new phenomenon afforded prestige to horse-mounted hunters that were skillful enough to continually “bring home the bacon.” In order to reflect this new worldview, a new cosmology is integrated. The more ancient goddesses are "raped" or "killed" by the new hunter gods, signaling a sort of New World Order. (Gone are the days that men have to be thankful of women's adeptness with agriculture, men can feed and sustain society now!)

The semi-nomadic reality this creates also bring with it the inevitable clash of neighboring communities vying for hunting territory, and the eternal battle for more and more land begins. Land and production later become personal property that must be lawfully inherited, so sanctions against women and their reproductive activities must be made in order to prevent chaos.

Ugh, tired, more in part two...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

60% Militant Feminist

Well, I guess it doesn't take much to be considered MILITANT if I'm 60%!!! LMAO!!

I'm getting there. I don't suck, but I've got a ways to go.

Reactionist Spirituality

I'm Wiccan because I believe in a fluidly dualistic concept of Deity-- a Feminine and a Masculine concept, I revere the majesty of this gift of Earth and Life and celebrate the Wheel of the Year. While these are the concepts that help me understand the Divine, I know they are more, so I both do and do not take it literally.

I'm not Wiccan in retaliation to Catholicism, or Patriarchy or whatever...

It really saddens me when some Wiccans are so gun-shy of any kind of institution or infrastructure building and say "but that would remind me too much of Church!" Doing these sorts of things in a Wiccan way would ensure that it would not be demeaning, but it would be a step to solidifying a future in this world.

I guess as with any abuse, it takes time to get out of that mindset. Love Wicca and Paganism for what they are, not for what they are not! Concentrating on what it is not, and how it is "soo much better" than what it is not only sells the Path short. I'm not saying that people don't know, I just wonder if we forget a little too often.

I think I've decided on going to New College for my Master's in Women's Spirituality. And if I'm brave enough after that, to Cherry Hill Seminary for their Public Ministry program.

I'd love to see Pagan Community Centers (instead of "church buildings") with library and open ritual space. How about a temporary monastic opportunity like Buddhism has? What if we had cultural exchange opportunities sponsored by the PCCs-- not missionary programs in which we went to places and taught them our beliefs, but opportunities to travel, volunteer, and learn about indigenous spiritualities where they still exist?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A brief introduction...

Sun in Aquarius

As the eleventh sign of the zodiac, Aquarius represents the eleventh stage in the evolution of man and his place in the universe. In Aquarius, the individuality of man so carefully nurtured in Leo, now becomes part of the greater spectrum of society as a whole. Capricorn sets up the structure and rules of society, and Aquarius takes on the role of making the organizations of society function as the people-oriented institutions they were intended to be. Aquarians are the original organizers of the zodiac. Their societal orientation, loyalty, fairness, and objective nature are reasons why they tend to attract many friends and acquaintances in life. Though they are not above wanting to live well, many Aquarians are more interested in people than they are in amassing great wealth or taking on the responsibilities that invariably accompany such a life style. When they cannot afford some luxury, they rationalize why they didn't need it in the first place.

Aquarians are stubborn and resist changing their opinions or accepting new ideas that they do not like or with which they do not agree. Big changes in life are accepted as a challenge, but small changes that throw off their plans are not tolerated very well. The astrological symbol for Aquarius is the figure of a man pouring water. The water is seen as mankind's collective consciousness. It depicts Aquarians as disseminators of the spirit of humanity. Many Aquarians, in tune with their celestial heritage, are idealists who champion the highest principles to which humanity can aspire. However they are also extremely independent thinkers. When confronted with authoritarian demands or dogmatic principles to which they do not subscribe, they rebel. They may hesitate to take the initiative at times, but once they decide a situation or idea is worthwhile, they become involved and aggressive in pushing it forward. They don't mind being asked to do something but they resent being told to do it. Those who want to gain their favor will help share the work load without being asked.

Your Aquarius Ascendant

Your Aquarius Ascendant indicates that you are an individual with a strong physique (particularly the legs) and a great deal of physical stamina. With an Aquarius Ascendant, you are apt to have a great deal of stubbornness and find it difficult to break undesirable habits and behavior patterns. Independence is a hallmark of your personality and you tend to be highly opinionated. It is almost impossible for others to convince you to change your ideas unless you become convinced on your own that such a change is necessary.

Aquarius indicates intellectual orientation, and most Aquarius Ascendant individuals are likely to possess remarkable mental poise. With an Aquarius Ascendant, you are rarely frightened or affronted by sudden shocks, surprises, or the abnormal and bizarre. Your particular mental orientation gives you an air of detached interest, and as a rule, you remain unaffected and uninfluenced by such social trappings as status, power, and wealth. You are interested in people for their own sake, not their wealth or status. With a minimum of effort you are able to attract many friends and acquaintances.

You can get restless if there isn't enough in your immediate environment to stimulate you physically or mentally. You are keenly interested in the future and have a great interest in the past, but you can also somehow lose track of what's going on in the present, and as a result, you can appear out of step with the rest of society. This is when you step into the eccentric zone.

Thank you for humoring me....