dess Newsletter

ISSUE 08-05 Mother's Day ~ May 2008
Rosemary Clark
Nine Muses Arts Fundraiser
Temple Announcements
Save the Date!
What is a Feminist?
Donor Acknowledgements
Kid's Realm ~ Childhood is a journey, not a race.
One Goddess, Many Names
Face Values
The Venus of Willendorf
Poem~My Mother's Hands
Cookbook Fundraiser

Pearl of Time
through the Winds of Destiny
Watcher of light,
Mother of the gods
Beauty of the Eternal Great Beauty

- Zachary Tatum-Nolan, 2003

To Women Everywhere: For all you give, for all you do, for so many-we celebrate you. Happy Mother's Day, Xia


Muses logoTemple of the Goddess would like to acknowledge, commend, and give a huge heartfelt thanks to Haize Hawke, Priestess of the Sacred Dance, for producing an amazing Beltane fundraising event for Nine Muses Arts. Nine Muses is a nonprofit multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural, educational and arts advocacy organization that raises consciousness about the human condition and explores the connection between art, healing, and spirituality. Nine Muses, while a separate entity from Temple of the Goddess, is an extension of the temple's vision to both support and help bring the arts to Los Angeles.

Haize, Priestess of Sacred MusicHaize created a magical evening of amazing music, good food, good conversations, and a fun silent auction. And in the tradition of Beltane, everyone danced around a magnificent May pole weaving ribbons which represented their dreams, wishes, and the fertility of their creative projects. A great time was had by all AND thanks to Haize and the generosity of everyone, the event raised almost $1,000 to birth Nine Muses Arts.

The May Day celebration featured the music and drumming of L.A.'s renowned Adaawe, who rocked the evening. Big thanks to the magnificent women of Adaawe: Joselyn Wilkinson, Anindo Marshall, Bridget Graham, Monique Afenjar, Phylliss Bailey Brooks, and Dana Maman. These people took time out of their busy performance schedule, donating their time, to lift our spirits and play for the benefit of Nine Muses Arts. Thank you, Adaawe, for a heart and soul warming experience.

Other artists contributing their time and musical stylings were Mateo Denali with Alan J. House and Haize Hawke singing back up. One of the temple's musical director's, David Jacks on guitar, also added song and guitar to the music festivities. Chokae' and Haize opened the evening with sacred chanting and drumming. Thank you to all the gifted people who entertained us.

Colorful flowers donated by Andre P. Ellis delighted the senses in every room. Thank you, Andre, for surrounding us with the beauty and gift of Spring.

Many kind, generous artists and business owners offered fun and beautiful treasures for the silent auction. Donations included: a free headshot or family portrait from Karen Steyr Photography, 2 one-hour massages by Chistopher Nicodemus, a free facepainting session from Candy Jo Dahlstrom, 3 one month certificates from Body Women Only Gym gifted by Gady, a "celebrity" haircut by John D. Celebrity, and 7 framed paintings and a beautiful wooden chest were donated by Cree Summer.

A large thank you to these generous people who donated art or their time and expertise to make the silent auction a huge success.

Other wonderful people who helped to make the May Day celebration a big success were: Candy Jo Dahlstrom, Tanita Ligon, Douglas Ligons, the oh so fabulous Bill, and of course, Haize's supportive and loving spouse, Kenneth Rosen. Thank you, each of you, for all you did to make the evening a smashing success.

To all those who donated time, art, and talents, and to all of you who donated money for the gift of experiencing the music of Adaawe and then spending more money on the silent auction-THANK YOU. We at Nine Muses Arts are overwhelmed with your generous spirits. Most of all, thank you to Haize for producing such a splendid event and giving so much joy to so many.

To find out more about, or purchase music from Adaawe, click here.
Click to learn more about Nine Muses Arts.

 Temple of the Goddess Announcements

Goddess Choir Rehearsals
Choir Rehearsals have resumed and will be held on the first and third Sundays at 4-6.
June 1st, 4-6pm
June 15th, 4-6pm
NEEDED: Temple of the Goddess is in need of a Digital Projector for both ritual theatre and other program expansion. Please contact the director at director@templeofthegoddess.org if you can help fulfill this need or know of a company who might donate one to the temple.

Essays, articles, interviews, and poetry for temple newsletter can be submitted to newsletter@TempleoftheGoddess.org.


Click here to find out about Community Events. If you would like to post an event with Temple of the Goddess, please let us know by submitting the date and pertinent information to: Events@TempleoftheGoddess.org.

"The seasons and all their changes are in me." -Henry David Thoreau

wheatWe hope you will join the temple, in community, to honor the seasons, the Earth, and our own personal growth for our 2008 Ritual Sabbats. This year's theme is "Reclaiming the Earth."

Our multi-cultural Earth celebrations are held at the Neighborhood Unitarian Church in Pasadena and are open to families and community. Our Sabbats are multi-media ritual theater combining mythology, music, visual art, dance, liturgy, spoken word, and participatory theater which fuses drum and dance with personal enactment to re-connect us to the seasons and the Earth.


  • June 28, 2008 Summer Solstice
  • September 20, 2008 Autumn Equinox
  • November 1, 2008 All Hallow's Eve

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
301 N. Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Website: www.TempleoftheGoddess.org/Events

Artwork from Ritual Path DVD by artist John Banks of Artek Images and music by Fritz Heede.  Available from Temple of the Goddess Music & Media Store.

I am a Feminist!What is a Feminist?
by Dr. Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe

Click to view video.


Temple of the Goddess wishes to acknowledge, honor, and welcome those who have joined, tithed, or donated to the temple this month. You keep the temple doors open for all of us.

Realm of Air

Realm of Water
Charles & Joanne Elliott
J. Clark
Realm of Spirit
Dawn Bodnar Sutton
R.A. Anderson
Ana Diaz-Ruiz
J. Tatum
Click here for information on becoming a member of TOG. Temple of the Goddess has a variety of ways that you can participate fiscally in our vision. To learn more about making a tax-deductible donation to the temple, go to Gifting Opportunities.
Artwork from Ritual Path DVD by artist John Banks of Artek Images and music by Fritz Heede.  Available from Temple of the Goddess Music & Media Store.

Kid's Realm                          ~~Childhood is a journey, not a race.~~

Fingerprint Flower Vase
by Amanda Formaro
Difficulty: Easy
Ages: 3 and up

This lovely little vase is perfect for spring, Mother's Day, Grandparent's Day or any occasion that involves the beauty of flowers. This painted jar doubles as a keepsake as it's made with your child's fingerprints! More . . .

Soothsayings: May-June 2008bridget cross

Mother's Day may be early in modern times for honoring those who bring life into the world. In the ancient world, the Roman Matralia-when mothers were honored by their children and husbands-took place on June 11th. In keeping with this, perhaps we could begin this observance on the modern date and be reminded of the gift of life we receive and are called to give from the Great Mother (Mater Matuta) throughout the month.

May 19th brings another Celtic festival of Bridgid, when healing wells and sacred springs are adorned with flowers. Another floral tribute takes place on the 23rd, which marks the Roman festival of roses, the Rosalia-honoring the goddess Flora. Indeed, it is the season of growth and the time-honored choice for weddings and the union of spirits.

triple goddess moonsMay 31st heralds the feast of the Triple Goddess - maiden, mother, and crone - as symbolized in the waxing, full, and waning Moon. In the Roman Catholic calendar, this is the day commemorating the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, when the child conceived at the Vernal Equinox "leaped in her womb." More . . .

Illustration 1. Cross of St. Bridgid. Woven of rushes and placed over doorways in Ireland for protection from fire.

Illustration 2. Symbol of the Triple Goddess. The Waxing, Full, and Waning Moon of the Lunar Cycle.

(*) All phenomena are cited for the Tropical (Western) Zodiac
Copyright 2008 by Rosemary Clark

Rosemary Clark is author of The Sacred Tradition in Ancient Egypt: The Esoteric Wisdom Revealed and The Sacred Magic of Ancient Egypt: The Spiritual Practice Restored. She has also written The Everything Meditation Book and her work is included in Menopause: A One-Stop Resource for Feeling Good and The Complete Dream Dictionary. When not writing and organizing spiritual expeditions to Egypt, she is saying sooth to an international cadre of students and associates.

MY MOTHER: One Goddess, Many Names
by Pythia

Venus Willendorf painting by BeazleyMy mother is fat, with huge buttocks and thighs, ripe for giving birth. My mother has pendulous breasts, filled with milk to make me strong. My mother has braided hair encompassing her entire head. My mother is 4 and 3/8 inches long and carved from limestone. She was discovered in 1908.

My mother is the so-called Venus of Willendorf. She is your mother, too. Found outside the Austrian city of Willendorf, this small icon is not a Venus figure-an image to titillate a man's imagination. No. This is a Mother figure. A female ready and able to produce enough children to propagate the Earth. No face, because this is not A Mother, it is The Mother. The oldest statuary known, it is between 24,000 and 22,000 years old. She gave birth to Venus, Hera, Demeter, Persephone, Athena, Oya, Isis, Pacha Mama, SpiderWoman, White Buffalo Calf Woman, Kali, Pele, Freya, and so many more. Continued . . .

Painting: Venus of Willendorf, Mud, Straw and Sand on Canvas 2x4' by Theresa Anne Stegall Beazley, The Sacred Feminine Series

AphroditeFace Values by Anita Hunter

Is a thing of beauty a joy forever? Would Helen of troy have launched a thousand ships (or a thousand cosmetics) today? Why is beauty so highly valued and why do we spend so much time in its pursuit and enjoyment? Simple questions with no simple answers.

Aesthetics are determined by a complex interplay of biological, cultural, political and social factors. When we look at a woman in the flesh, in a painting or in a photograph, we unconsciously apply complex rules to judge what we see. We have a wide set of signifiers and attitudes that determine the terms of reference by which we judge and respond to beauty.

What we perceive as beautiful goes way beyond the physical. Francis Bacon, summed it up in his 1625 treatise `Of Beauty' - "that is the best part of beauty that a picture cannot express." Some types of beauty are much more than `skin deep'. Allure, sex appeal, vibrancy, grace and elegance are more than just the result of a beneficial combination of features. But it is the way we look that is the most important factor in determining whether or not we are beautiful in the eyes of others.

The concept of perfect physical beauty is anachronistic. There are no absolutes, no consensus and no universal standard of perfection. What is beautiful is a subjective rather than objective view and is determined by numerous influences. In other societies, beauty has sometimes been defined by such things as heavy weight, huge buttocks, tiny feet or an elongated neck. But in the Western world, and across many other cultures, there are certain physical traits that have been highly valued over the centuries. There are constant themes running through the ideals of beauty. It is easy to recognise the same sort of aesthetics in a Greek statue as in our modern day supermodels. More . . .

Venus of WillendorfWomen in Prehistory: The Venus of Willendorf
by Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe


The most famous early image of a human, a woman, is the so-called "Venus" of Willendorf, found in 1908 by the archaeologist Josef Szombathy [see BIBLIOGRAPHY] in an Aurignacian loess deposit in a terrace about 30 meters above the Danube river near the town of Willendorf in Austria.

The earliest notice of its discovery appeared in a report by the Yale anthropologist George Grant MacCurdy (1863-1947) who happened to be in Vienna in the summer of 1908. Although the greater part of the collection of finds from the site had not yet been unpacked, MacCurdy reported excitedly that before he left Vienna Szombathy had very kindly shown him a single remarkable specimen - a human figurine, full length, carved out of stone [see BIBLIOGRAPHY].

The statuette, which measures about 11.1 centimeters in length, is now in Vienna's Naturhistorisches Museum. It was carved from a fine porous oolitic limestone not found in the region and so must have been brought to the area from another location. It may well be the case that the carving, which was presumably done with flint tools, was not done locally.

When first discovered the Venus of Willendorf was thought to date to approximately 15,000 to 10,000 BCE, or more or less to the same period as the cave paintings at Lascaux in France. In the 1970s the date was revised back to 25,000-20,000 BCE, and then in the 1980s it was revised again to c. 30,000-25,000 BCE. A study published in 1990 of the stratigraphic sequence of the nine superimposed archaeological layers comprising the Willendorf deposit, however, now indicates a date for the Venus of Willendorf of around 24,000-22,000 BCE.

Her great age and pronounced female forms quickly established the Venus of Willendorf as an icon of prehistoric art. She was soon included in introductory art history textbooks where she quickly displaced other previously used examples of Paleolithic art. Being both female and nude, she fitted perfectly into the patriarchal construction of the history of art. As the earliest known representation, she became the "first woman," acquiring a sort of Ur-Eve identity that focused suitably, from a patriarchal point of view, on the fascinating reality of the female body. More. . .

Dr. Witcombe is a professor of Art History at Sweet Briar College in Virginia
My Mother's Hands
Dedicated to Mom by Morifreyja, 2006
It has been my Mother's hands that have held me.
It has been my Mother's hands that have pushed me.
It has been my Mother's hands that have guided me, supported me, loved me.
In my Mother's hands I have seen strength and creativity.
In my Mother's hands I have seen weakness and tenderness.
In my Mother's hands I have known love.
Each line, telling its story of pain, happiness, adversity...of triumph.
My Mother's hands have been loud in clapping for my achievements.
My Mother's hands have been soft in wiping away my tears.
My Mother's hands have been firm during every challenge.
My Mother's hands have been caring at every fear.
They have clenched in anger, reached out in anguish, held close in love.
I have felt the feathered touches of my Mother's hands as a child sleeping, when her fingers have danced within my hair. I have felt the care of my Mother's hands as they cradled me so many times from infancy to adulthood. 
I have watched them busy themselves with other tasks when I needed to stand on my own. One hundred men could not know the strength in my Mother's hands, and yet the softest rose petal pales in comparison to their delicate touch.
Once so close I could rely on them everyday, now distance hinders their touch.
Memory of skin brings the tenderness and strength of my Mother's hands back to me. Invisible urgings, helping me face another day. Remembrances of strength bringing me light during my darkest moments.
To lean against them to rely on them to need them.
Each moment of everyday in my life, from earliest memory till now I have given thanks to the Heavens above for the guidance and love of my Mother's hands and only have I  dreamed of filling their gloves.
Cook Book Fund Raiser
We Need Your Help!
by Morfreyja
During a recent visit to a local area metaphysical book shop where the owner, Persis, made me aware of the organization, Arghand, and the plight of the Kandahar people. Arghand was founded in May 2005, by Sarah Chayes, a former National Public Radio reporter who stayed behind in Afghanistan to help rebuild the war-torn country. Arghand's long-term objective is to contribute to the process of weaning southern Afghanistan off of its dependence on the opium poppy. This scourge is distorting the region's economy, criminalizing its politics, and putting its people at the mercy of armed gangs and so-called insurgents. Only by expanding the market for licit local agriculture, Arghand members believe, can the rural population be freed from the grasp of opium.


Persis went on to say that the newest phase of development for this project is to get electricity to Kandahar and that is where her part in this project takes form. Persis is creating a cook book, full of recipes both for wonderful dishes as well as anecdotes for life and has asked me to spread the word. This is a great opportunity to share the memories of food, family and fun while nurturing a growing community and supporting freedom and fair trade in war torn Afghanistan. The proceeds collected from the sale of this Cook Book will be sent to the people of the Arghand Soap Co. so they may Live, Grow and Prosper as they see fit. 


This is where you come in. The people of Afghanistan need your recipes. Please send your recipes to the email address below along with any interesting stories or joyful memories of these foods and Persis will do her best to add them.  She would also love to get your thoughts and lessons that may have been a recipe for success and happiness in your life and times.  Send your recipes to Persis as soon as possible to persis@uniquelykindred.com.


For more information regarding Arghand please visit www.arghand.org.

Image: Arghand Soap Company logo

sphinxWiccan out Weekend:
An All-Women Camping Goddess Extravaganza

July 11-14, Jackson Flats Campground, near Wrightwood

Please join our tribe as we share joy, tears and compassion in Mother Nature. The weekend will explore our themes, the Justice in the tarot and the Year of the Earth Rat in Chinese mythology. Develop community and dance around a blazing fire to rhythmic drums as together, we create global magic.


Cost: $75 to $100 Email: moonlght@pacbell.net or agauldin@pacbell.net. Produced by Anne Gauldin & Ruth Ann Anderson

In a Sacred Circle of Sisters,
Come Home to Your Authentic Self

The Shamanic Tantric Dance is a meditation in motion, a sacred dance spontaneously sourced from body impulse.

Introductory Class
Saturday June 23, 2008 from 7 to 10 pm
Monday, June 30 thru July 28, 2008 from 7 to 10 pm $150

No Dance Experience Necessary. For more info click here.
Contact Kamala: (310) 455-3876 or kamala@terrakino.net.


Temple of the Goddess
Moon Lodge

We gather to honor and celebrate the Moon Mother and her cycles which we embody with her sacred gift of rhythm and blood. Together we will celebrate stories of our own moon-time, from our experiences of menarche to menopause. We will share stories of Her ebb and flow, reconnecting ourselves with these divine and timeless cycles. Our repose in this dreamtime within the safety of a circle of sisters has the power to heal and reunite our deeper selves with the natural world.

Wednesdays: June 4th & July 2, 7:00 to 10:00 pm
Dress comfortably and bring comfy pillow and blanket to snuggle in.

Bring any sacred offerings you may wish to share with the Goddess on Her Altar. And a decadent snack to share with your sisters. Contact Kamala@templeofthegoddess.org

sphinxSacred Landscape Sites of Peru

11-Day Travel Study Tour
August 21 - 31, 2008
A UCLA Extension study tour led by Lollie Ragana, BFA, MA, Writer, Mythologist and Educator

Click here for more information and to download flyer
For further information call the Landscape
Architecture Program, Department of the Arts,
at (310) 825-9414.
Or write:
UCLA Extension
P.O. Box 24901
Los Angeles, CA90024-0901
Attn: Landscape Architecture Program

gaia festival 08Gaia Festival & Retreat
October 11-12, 2008
Featured Presenter for 2008: Margaret Starbird
This year's theme for Gaia Fest is Mother Mysteries and will focus on connecting with our inner mother through meditation, journaling, drumming and ritual. What mysteries does She have to share with you?
Temescal Gateway Park, Pacific Palisades, CA
Pre-Registration Now Open - Register online
The Great Mother and the Dragon by: Jessie Oster

Susan Grey masthead

Come join us in 2008! Conversation and sacred travel allow us to open our minds, hearts and spirits to new learning...a chance to exchange ideas and expand our world.

Goddess Conversations invites you to engage and converse in the study of the Divine Feminine through spiritual journey and pilgrimage to some of the most spectacular art, architecture and sacred lands on Mother Earth.

Amazons in Turkey:  July 1st - July 10th
Florence, Italy: Sept 27th - Oct 4th 
www.GoddessConversations.com or call Katie at 970-227-7513.
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