Sunday, March 20, 2011

In Honour of Merlin Stone

"Yet rather than calling the earliest religions, which embraced such an open acceptance of all human sexuality, 'fertility cults', we might consider the religions of today as strange in that they seem to associate shame and even sin with the very process of conceiving new human life. Perhaps centuries from now scholars and historians will be classifying them as 'sterility cults."

- Merlin Stone ("When God was a Woman")

On 23 February 2011, sculptor, professor in art and art history, and feminist author, Merlin Stone, passed away.  She was 80 years of age and had been suffering a long illness along with complications due to dementia.

Ms Stone came to the attention of many through her ground breaking work, "When God was a Woman" that was first published in the US in the late 1970s.  (This book had been published earlier in the UK under the title of "The Paradise Papers: Suppression of Women's Rites").   Regardless of title, this book described Stone's theory of how the Hebrews suppressed allegedly goddess-based religions practiced in Canaan and how their reaction to what she asserts as being the existing matriarchial and matrilineal societal structures shaped Judaism and, thus, Christianity.

Stone's hypotheses were considered to be radical at the time of the publication of this book for they challenged the accepted views of antiquity, and as such they caused much controversy.  This is because Stone spoke clearly and simply to women raised in traditional Judeo-Christian traditions, and made the concept of a female Deity accessible.  This book, "When God Was a Woman", had a profound effect on the emerging Goddess culture of the 1970s and 80s.

My introduction to Merlin Stone's work however came via her later book "Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood", published in the 1990s, which contained with the collection of ancient images of women as Goddesses and heroines brings together legends, rituals, and prayers from places such as China, Celtic Europe, South America, Africa, India, North America, Scandinavia, and even Japan.  The Goddess was supreme, alive and happening.  She was all arounds us, waiting for us to rejoin with her.

On 10 April, another feminist author, Z Budapest, has called for a global remembrance of Merlin Stone.  As the next service at The Goddess House will be taking place on Tuesday, 12 April 2011, I have decided that we will honour Ms Stone's work on that evening by the sharing of various parts from her books - The Goddess House will also make these books available to attendees who may not be familiar with her work.

The Goddess House devotional services take place on the second Tuesday evening of each month, fromo 7.30pm to 9.00pm, located at the rear of a private residence in Parafield Gardens, 20 minutes north of Adelaide's CBD.  Please contact the Priestess in Residence for more information.

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"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available through or direct from the author (Australian customers only) for an autographed copy.

Great Goddess Isis

Great Goddess Isis

Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.

You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.