Monday, August 06, 2007

Goddess Conference Days 2 - 3

Well my good intentions to post everyday throughout the conference went totally awry due to the sheer energy of the event. Now the conference is over and I am staying in Glastonbury one more day to gently ground and write a little more.

Thursday morning was given over to some excellent speakers who wove a loving web of story around the crone. Sheila Rose Bright began the morning by linking our passage through life to the passage of Saturn around the sun. By the time we are in our 59th year Saturn has made two complete orbits and we are ready to become elders with an acquired wisdom to share. Sheila was followed by the author, Donna Henes, who gave a persuasive argument for a four fold staging of a woman's life. The Maiden, Mother, Crone paradigm was defined by a man. Yet there are four seasons, four elements, four directions so why not four stages of life - Maiden, Mother, Queen and Crone? This is becoming much more important as many of us live longer in energy and strength well into our later years.

Jane Meredith then gave a fascinating exposition of the Dark Queen who lurks in so many fairy tales and myths. It is this character who is so necessary for our growth to maturity and power. For she is the one who leads the young woman through a death experience to find her true strength. To find that strength is to stand against a society that does all it can to keep women young and weak and vulnerable.

Thursday afternoon is given over to a series of eleven workshops and you have to choose just one ! Mike Jones led one for men on "Embracing the Dark Goddess." In this we explored how the Dark Goddess pushes us into the present and how important it is to be present to ourselves and the world. We looked at ways to be present to our world and to bring focus to ritual tasks such as smudging and calling the quarters.

Thursday evening there was a procession to Chalice Hill for a hilltop ceremony followed by the Lammas bonfire. The conference can be very intensive so at this point I took a little time out to meet up with friends over a meal and a glass of good beer.

Friday proved to be a very special, powerful and emotive day. The morning's talks by Leslene Della-Madre and Janet Childs were woven around the theme of death, dying and grief. These were followed by a whole hour given over to singing with Carolyn Hillyer songs of ancient spirit, hidden memory and unseen power - utter magic !

The Friday afternoon was given over to a session, entitled Transforming Deep Wounds of the Feminine. By its very nature this was a very private, safe, deeply moving event. Precisely because of this it would be wrong to say more except just to add that personally I found it to be very very healing and releasing.



Blogger Aquila ka Hecate said...

I am Envy Personified!

But thanks for sharing all this with us, it's some comfort after all.:)

I've always had questions around the 3 fold nature of the feminine force-it has never seemed quite right, and trying to introduce the Dark Goddess to make up the fourth is not quite right - not all of us personify this aspect of Her, and furthermore it's not necessarily a function of time as it can happen any time!

Those of us who meet and assimilate Her Darkness can be of any age, and it's always a healthy personification in the end, as we learn about our shadow selves.
I really like Maiden, Mother, Queen and Crone-and it solves something for me, in that I always feel presumptious calling myself a Crone when I'm not yet 50, but I've also obviously outgrown the Mother phase of my life.

'Queen' suits me down to the ground!

Terri reigning in Joburg


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