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~ April 2008 Supplemental ~


 Baptism of Spirit, Spring Equinox 2008


“When I first came to Temple of The Goddess I had the overwhelming feeling that I had found the correct place to be. I had wished never to leave, to have the ritual never end.


After going a second time I was able to pinpoint one aspect of the wonderful feeling of acceptance and happiness that I felt. I was feeling the unconditional love one feels for, and receives from close family members. I felt deeply connected to people I had never spoken to. Being able to feel so strongly for those one does not know is beautiful. This unconditional love I felt for strangers and loose acquaintances, if applied to everyone in the world could end all suffering.


During my second visit, I realized that I felt as though I truly existed: all frivolous aspects of my life that seem so very important even though I know they are not seemed to melt away; all hatred I felt for myself for valuing that which is unimportant and overlooking that which desperately needs attention disappeared. All that mattered was being with the people I was with and existing fully in this realm. Everything in my life came to a place where I did not want it to change. Everything was enough and as it should be. However, I was not afraid of change. I simply was. I was gifted with pure and subtle happiness that still allowed me to experience all else that was around me.


The rituals have always occurred at perfect moments in my life. Both that I have attended counteracted heavy sorrows by helping me remember the power of love as well as the oneness of all beings.


In a time of question and confusion, I was given reassurance of love. In a time of my life when nothing seemed to be real I was shown the honest connection and trust people could share with each other. I do not believe Temple of The Goddess has answered my questions about life, but it has instilled hope that in the love that exists all around us there are answers to be found.


I am constantly confused by what kind of other realm or divine spirit I believe in. I am beginning to question all I am told and grasp blindly for answers. However, my faith and belief in love have been protected by this pocket of serenity in a world of such overwhelming fear.” (Anonymous)



How the First Earth Day Came About

by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day

Continued . . . After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?

I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.

At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.

Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:

"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...."

It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities.

Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.



Kids Realm


Ladybug Rocks

Difficulty: Easy

Ages: 3 and up


Your kids can make these adorable ladybugs as shelf decorations, or make a large one as to be used on Mom's desk as a paperweight. While the average ladybug is red, ours come in several vibrant colors. Let your kids pick their favorite!


What you’ll need:


∙     Smooth, round or oval rocks, washed and dried

∙     Acrylic craft paint in colors of your choice

∙     Black acrylic craft paint

∙     2 wiggle eyes for each ladybug

∙     Black Sharpie marker

∙     Acrylic matte sealer spray

∙     White craft glue (Tacky Glue)


How to make it:


∙     Completely wash and dry all rocks.

∙     Paint rocks in desired colors, allow to dry. Apply second and third coats if needed. Lighter colors will require more coats than darker shades.

∙     Paint head on using black acrylic craft paint. There is no pattern needed, simply paint about ¼ of the rock black in the “front”.

∙     Use a black Sharpie to draw a straight line down the center of the rock, starting at the center of the base of the “head”.

∙     Dip the end of a large paint brush, or the eraser of a pencil, in black craft paint. Dot on the spots, reloading with paint after every dot.

∙     Once the paint is dry, spray the rock(s) with acrylic sealer spray. Allow sealer to dry completely.

∙     using white craft glue, attach wiggle eyes and let dry.




∙     If you are doing this in a group setting such as scouts or a classroom, you may find it easier to prepare the rocks ahead of time. Wash, dry and apply a coat of Liquitex Basics Gesso to each rock.  This is a craft medium (white) that works well with many projects.  It will also create a base so that less coats of color paint will be required.

∙     Bigger rocks are easier for small hands to manipulate. They are also heavier, so be sure that there are enough adult helpers for a group of little ones.

∙     White and black paint can be used instead of wiggle eyes.  Simply dot on white paint, allow to dry, then use a smaller tool to dot the black.





Sacred Endings by Pythia


Continued . . .The congregation left after refreshments and community exchanges, but what happened to the earth with planted seeds, the precious eggs? What becomes of the numerous anonymous prayers sent through Temple of the Goddess website? What is the Sacred Destination of all the personal rituals enacted at Temple of the Goddess celebrations?


Be assured that all ritual items left on the altar are treated with privacy and utmost respect. The earth with its dream seeds is reverently returned to Mother Earth, held in Her embrace, to fertilize the surrounding soil and keep everyone’s wishes corporeal while we work on them in the mundane world. Anonymous prayers left on Kwan Yin’s prayer site are printed out and placed on Kwan Yin altars. At the new moon, these are burned in a sacred rite, praying that the supplicants’ needs be fulfilled if that is best for them.  


What exactly happened to the intentions-in-the-eggs that were placed in the Spring Equinox nest? The ceremony was not over for them. A priestess brought all the eggs home, emptying the sacred notes into a bag–taking care not to see what was written. These sacred intentions are a contract between each individual and the Goddess, not to be read by anyone else. They stayed in a bag until Saturday, April 5th, the night of a new moon.


The moon, of course, signifies emotions, memories, and personality. The new (dark) moon is a good time to put forth ambitions, desires, and intentions. There is creativity and ultimate possibilities in the blackness of the void. Aries, the sign that the moon was in, expresses itself as fiery, pioneering, and competitive. Very auspicious for our heartfelt desires. Aries is a cardinal sign, marking the beginning of new seasons, and is a very active sign. One interesting point about Aries is that the constellation is considered to be a Fire Element. So, it is fitting that the sacred slips of paper would join with Fire in order to transform.


On the night of the Aries new moon, the priestess cast a circle with Secret Garden incense, creating sacred space. A small fire was lit in a cast-iron cauldron using pine-cones (they embody the female principle, since they give warmth, light, and pine nuts to feed four-leggeds and two-leggeds alike) and small branches of avocado limbs (they embody the male principle–by name and by shape of the fruit).


When the fire leaped up, she fed the orange flames. One by one the slips of paper rested on the flames and were consumed. The smoke rose, sometimes drifting north, sometimes drifting south to envelope the priestess. As she tapped softly on a drum the messages rose in the cool night air. After all pieces of paper were in the cauldron, the drumming continued until the orange and yellow flames died down. Then, to her surprise a thin, orange, six inch flame soared upward from the middle of the cauldron. For some unknown reason, she looked down at her feet and saw three pieces of paper. They had fallen out, unseen, when other notes had been pulled out. These too, one at time, dropped onto the now small flame. It greedily consumed them, turning them to ash.


Checking the ground at her feet once again, she assured herself that none of the carefully written intentions had escaped notice. Yes, all had gone into the cauldron. The drum helped to quietly send the intentions into the Universe, to the Goddess. The fire died down, orange and yellow flames turning into lava-bright red, flashing embers which popped, danced, magically appearing first here, then there, forever moving before extinguishing into blackness. Staying beside the cauldron drumming, she watched the red-gold embers finally disappear, nothing but smoke swirling around and out of the cast-iron cauldron. Without pre-thought, she whispered into the midnight black air, “As we will it, so mote it be. As we will it, so mote it be. As we will it, so mote it be.” Then, taking a deep breath she said, “It is finished.”


But, it wasn’t finished. The intention notes had been sent into the aether, but they were still here–transformed into ash–still here, in the cauldron. She took a stick and stirred together the ash of the pine, the ash of the avocado tree, and the ash of all the ‘desires of bringing into the world’ writings. On Monday, the seventh of April, the commingled ashes were buried. This day is even more special than the night of the new moon since it is the anniversary of the day Temple of the Goddess was recognized by the Federal Government as a church.


She dug a hole, sprinkled in some of the solids remaining from the fire which was used as the ‘center position’ when Temple of the Goddess cast the circle that Spring Equinox celebration night. The rest of the fire solids were sprinkled on top of the ash mixture. The earth was pushed into the hole, now filled with wishes, dreams, desires, and intentions. Patting down the earth, she spoke, “Now, it is finished.”


Together, you and the Temple priestess did our best to voice in a sacred manner, what we want to bring into the world at this time. All those intentions were given to the Goddess with fire, smoke, incense, and drumming. For those intentions and all dreamseeds and prayers, it isn’t quite over yet, though. We have done our work on the Spirit Realm, but the one element that makes magick a reality, is working it in the real world. All of us must remember what we want to bring into our worlds, and have a real plan about what steps are necessary to make our wishes concrete reality.



The Mythology of Nature by Xia



Do we need nature?  That was the subject of an essay contest sponsored by Shell Oil and The Economist magazine in August of 2003. Issues for the essay included genetic modification, biodiversity, gene therapy, nuclear power and renewable energy. The essays were to focus on the difficult choices to be made in politics, economics, society, and public policy between actions, or inactions, that seek to increase man's control over nature and those that seek to reduce it, those that seek to bypass nature and those that hope to work with it, those that put a higher value on human development and those that value the preservation or even reconstitution of nature.

            Do we need nature?  To Pagans, who address air, fire, water, earth, and spirit–the essentials of life on the planet–in our opening and closing prayers, that seems like an absurd question.  It’s like asking do we need the air we breathe, and the water we drink? Do we really need to eat? These simple gifts of nature are mostly taken for granted. We eat, drink, breathe without thought for nature, the source of our life-giving essentials. This thoughtlessness, this lack of consciousness regarding nature, bleeds into every aspect of life on the planet.

            Now as we contemplate our role in nature and ponder the evolutionary path before us, what are the questions we should be asking? Are the problems, as the

Shell/Economist essay implies, whether to bypass nature or embrace and work with it? Are we trapped between the dualities of increasing or reducing man’s control over nature? Are we left with the singular choice of valuing human development or preserving nature? Is humanity condemned to the limitations of these struggling dualities or is salvation found in the balance of these polarities? How do we find this balance?  In the wake of potential environmental devastation in the not too distant future, should we not first look at how we got here? How has our society become so disconnected, so cut off from nature? What are the attitudes that have sped us toward the increasing deterioration of our environment? What is at the heart of our fundamental beliefs about nature; what is the nature of Nature?

            Webster defines nature as “to give birth to, produce[1],” which is implicitly female. Could this be a clue to our disconnection with nature? When most of us think of nature, we think of “Mother Nature,” and quite logically anthropomorphize it into a female image. Eminent mythologist Joseph Campbell explains this association saying, “The human woman gives birth just as the earth gives birth to the plants. She gives nourishment, as the plants do. . .They are related. And the personification of the energy that gives birth to forms and nourishes forms is properly female.”  Is this association of woman and nature and the disdain toward both intricately bound? Where does this disdain come from?

            Most all indigenous cultures see the earth as a garden and themselves as caretakers of the garden. However, in our western paradigm we are kicked out of the garden. Campbell believes that nothing informs a society more than its creation myths.

Could it be that simple and that profound? Are we creating a world based on the Biblical condemnation of nature, condemning woman for Eve’s role in the fall, and for man’s expulsion from the garden? Genesis states that God is separate from nature and that nature is condemned by God. One of the primary edicts of Biblical mythology is to subdue the earth and to rule over it. The difference between these two disparate ways of perceiving nature is that the earth-oriented mythology seeks to be in accord with nature and the paradigm of Genesis is to dominate and subjugate nature, which exists to serve us. While many of us don’t read the Bible or believe in the Bible as an ultimate truth, it still holds sway over us subconsciously as the primary creation myth in our society.

            This western creation myth is startling compared with more worldwide creation mythologies based on a female deity who connects all of life rather than separating and disparaging life. In The Myth of the Goddess, Anne Baring and Jules Cashford explain, "The Mother Goddess, wherever she is found, is an image that inspires and focuses a perception of the universe as an organic, alive and sacred whole, in which humanity, the Earth and all life on Earth participate as ‘her children'. Everything is woven together in one cosmic web, where all orders of manifest and unmanifest life are related, because all share in the sanctity of the original source.”[2]

            This cosmology that espouses that all life is connected, like the strands of a web, has been validated by the emergence of the "new sciences" which supports this vision of life as a sacred whole in which all life participates in mutual relationship, and where all participants are dynamically alive.  Cashford and Baring go on to say, "beginning with

Heisenberg and Einstein, physicists were claiming that in subatomic physics the universe could be understood only as a unity."[3]  By creating this picture of unity, we understand that each of us is a strand on the great web of life and that everything that we think, say, and do vibrates along the web affecting strands far, far away, much like James Gleick’s "the Butterfly Effect, the notion that a butterfly stirring the air today in Peking can transform storm systems next month in New York."[4]

            For many people, the goddess is now expressed not necessarily as inherently female, but as what that feminine expression embodies: the concept of life as a whole, intricately woven together in sacred unity. We were not kicked out of the garden; rather, we were given the charge to be caretakers of this amazing place we call Earth.

            The Garden of Eden creation mythology is singular in its portrayal of woman as sinner and perpetrator of humankind’s downfall. As Campbell explains, “The idea in the biblical tradition of the Fall is that nature as we know it is corrupt, sex in itself is corrupt, and the female as the epitome of sex is a corrupter.”[5]  What are the roots of this Hebrew myth that carries such disdain towards nature and the female? Campbell continues, “There is actually a historical explanation based on the coming of the Hebrews into Canaan and their subjugation of the people of Canaan. The principal divinity of the people of Canaan was the Goddess . . . there is a historical rejection of the Mother Goddess implied in the story of the Garden of Eden”[6] by the male-god-oriented Hebrews.

            As the once-supreme Mother-creator lost more and more of her place in our lives.  As the people who worshiped her were conquered and forced to adopt, or adapt to, the religious beliefs of their conquerors, the "Mother Goddess, became almost exclusively associated with ‘Nature' as the chaotic force to be mastered, and the God took the role of conquering or ordering nature from his counterpole of ‘Spirit'."[7]  This split in consciousness, which contains the mythological roots of Christianity, Judaism and Islam–the three major patriarchal religions of the world today–can be traced to a popular Babylonian epic known throughout the ancient world, Ca. 2000 B. C. E., as the Enuma Elish. This story recounts the defeat of the original mother goddess, Tiamat, by her great-great-great-grandson, Marduk. Tiamat, the Babylonian creation goddess, was seen as the primordial ocean womb whose fertile depths birthed every living thing, including a younger generation of gods which then sought to overthrow the older generation. In this epic, Tiamat is portrayed as a great serpent or dragon, both of which are ancient associations of the feminine. After the conquest and murder of Tiamat, the life-giving, nature deity who created him, Marduk then uses her body to form creation. The text says:


“He split her like a shellfish into two parts:

Half of her he set up and ceiled it as sky . . .

He heaped up a mountain over Tiamat’s head,

            pierced her eyes to form the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates,

and heaped similar mountains over her dugs,

which he pierced to make the rivers

            from the eastern mountains that flow into the Tigris.

            Her tail he bent up into the sky to make the Milky Way,

and her crotch he used to support the sky.”[8]



            The original myth which portrayed the Mother Goddess birthing everything from herself, and therefore, part of, and one with all of creation, is now transposed into a myth which suggests that “the lord” makes creation, and from her body no less.  For the first time, as Cashford and Baring point out, “the god becomes the maker of heaven and earth whereas the goddess was heaven and earth. The concept of ‘making’ is radically different from ‘being’, in the sense that what is made is not necessarily of the same substance as its maker, and may be conceived as inferior to him; while what emerges from the mother is necessarily part of her and she of it.”[9]

            With the acceptance and perpetuation of this 4000-year-old myth, a new order of creation is initiated whereby the feminine, symbolized as the goddess, from this time forward becomes synonymous with the realm of nature as something wild, dark, mysterious, chaotic, and dangerous. Marduk then represents the new “spiritual” order of male deities whose religious imperative is to conquer and order nature, thus creating a split which is still impacting society today.

            This creation mythology places strong emphasis on the opposition between spirit and nature, implying explicitly that nature is not alive and contains no spirit, and left us with a heritage of thinking in duality and oppositions. Since our myths implicitly govern our culture, it is no coincidence that our western paradigm, with the looming chasm of the lost feminine, has desacralized Nature. Reclaiming and restoring the feminine is crucial to the survival of the human race and the planet. As Cashford and Baring emphasize, the feminine principal, as an aspect of human consciousness, must be retrieved, integrated and brought back into full complementary balance with the masculine principle if we are ever to achieve a harmonious balance between these two basic and essential ways of experiencing life[10]. In 1912, Abdul Baha said, “The world of humanity is possessed of two wings:  the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly.” Today the wisdom of these words ring with an even deeper profundity.

            Now we find ourselves at a pivotal point in cultural evolution. How do we weave together the disparate parts of our dualistic natures? Have we learned yet that strength is not equated with conquest and domination? Can we heal the gap that separates the polarities we find ourselves divided into? How do we integrate the necessary qualities of strength and nurturing, logic and intuition, mind and matter, nature and human development? Can we discover a new evolutionary path? How do we find the balance in nature that is needed at this critical moment in history? Can we make of this earth the garden it once was?

            Francis Hodgson Burnett's book, The Secret Garden is a brilliant tale depicting the deep healing that can take place with the retrieval of the lost feminine.

            Mary, the story's vibrant heroine, confesses early on, "I've stolen a garden . . . It isn't mine. It isn't anybody's. Nobody wants it, nobody cares for it, nobody ever goes into it."[11]  Much like the feminine in our society which no one seems to want or care for, Mary's garden has been abandoned and neglected. Jungian psychologist Dr. Gloria Avrech says of this classic story written just after the turn of the century, "The problem it depicts seems to relate to the absence, neglect, and disdain of the Feminine, Great Mother, and matriarchal consciousness in the psyche and in our lives."[12]

            Mary, forced to go outside, begins to explore the grounds around the manor she has been brought to, and encounters a robin. Avrech explains, "the robin . . . leads our young, wounded healer and future shaman to an enclosed garden behind a locked door. On an inner level, the wounded feminine ego, represented by Mary, can be seen as beginning to connect to nature and her instincts, which connecting process can bring about a restored connection to the Self."[13]  Mary goes on to bring the same kind of wholeness to her cousin Colin and his father, Lord Craven, through restoration of the lost feminine.

            An enclosed secret garden is a strong, archetypal image found in countless legends, folklore, and myths.  According to Avrech, "a dormant garden can be a beautiful image for the potential life-giving, protective, containing, nurturing qualities of the positive aspects of the Great Mother archetype."[14]

            Like most fairy tales and fables, this story, too, has a happy ending. Comforting the crying Mary, Lord Craven declares, "You brought us back to life, Mary. You did something I thought no one could do."[15]  The lost feminine now restored, the garden is, once again, open, alive and awake. Mary poignantly sums up her journey with, "If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden."


                                                                                                                                           © 2000, Xia



[1].  David B. Guralnik, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (New York and Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, 1970), p.948.

2.  Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess, (London, New York: Viking, 1991), p.Xi.

3.  Ibid, p.Xiii.

[4]Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick. "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?" Edward N. Lorenz address at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, 29 December 1979.

[5].  Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers (New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland: Doubleday, 1988), p.47.

6.  Ibid, p.48.

[7].  Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess, (London, New York: Viking, 1991), p.Xii.

[8].  Ibid, p.278.

[9].  Ibid, p.274.

10.  Ibid, p.Xiii.

[11].  Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, (Boston: David R. Godine, Publisher, 1987), p.80.

12.  Gloria Avrech, PhD, The Secret Garden, (Psychological Perspectives, C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles –  Based On Film).

[13].  Ibid.

[14].  Ibid.

[15].  Agnieszka Holland (Director), The Secret Garden, (An American Zoetrope Production, Warner Brothers Release, 1993).