is a fantastic quarterly -- a reasonable place for anyone interested in feminine spirituality to begin. I'm sorry to see Editor-in Chief Anne Newkirk Niven
thinking of migrating away from the U.S. to Columbia, Canada, although I understand the need for parents of young children to get the fuck out of the United States at this point in time. She'll continue to guide Sage Woman from Canada, so no worries on that front. If you don't subscribe to Sage Woman, you can occasionally find it at Borders' bookstores, or at least you used to be able to.
At any rate, this quarter, the theme for Sage Woman is: Simplicity. I am given to understand that there is an entire industry devoted to the Simplicity Movement
. You can subscribe to magazines
, buy books
, watch videos
, and attend seminars
on Simplicity. I recently bought a large coffee-table book on Gardens for the Not-So-Big House
. Or, you could just throw away a lot of useless stuff, focus on your priorities, and spend more time meditating, but that's just me.
There's an interesting article by Diana Partington about "Building Temples for the Goddess," -- the tie-in "Simply Special" is a bit weak, but WTHey -- that focuses on a temple for the Goddess in an Orange County, California office park
. It absolutely tickled me. I have to say, I'm of the generation that worshipped the Goddess completely in private. Our homes, our yards, quiet places in parks.
Not too long ago, my wonderful son and brilliant daughter-in-law had to explain to her parents, who are charming, fun people, but Southern Baptists, that I was a witch. My brilliant daughter-in-law's sweet, successful father asked, "Well, they don't worship Satan, do they? They just worship nature, right?" My wonderful son, telling me about this, said, "I told him that was it. I figured I wouldn't get into the Goddess stuff. A Goddess figure would just have been too much." So, you can see why, for us, worship of the Goddess happened in private. So it's with a bit of joy and, I admit, a bit of sadness for what's passing, that I read Partington's article about public spaces, public temples, to the Goddess.
She explains, "Moving through the foyer into the temple proper, I was approached by a Priestess who offered to clear my energy with a simple bell ceremony. I began my sojourn at a basin of water that invited me to perform a self-blessing. I sprinkled my brow lightly, and then moved clockwise around the room. To my left were nine altars and shelves brimming with goddess images."
After describing an altar to Mary, Partington continues, "As I made my way around the room, a Priestess offered me a bindi for my forehead. I was delighted, as I have long loved this Indian ritual costuming of the third eye and believe it awakens a sense of beauty. Gazing at the women gathering for the service I had come to attend, I witnessed the bindi's effect on all of them: an opening of sensuousness, backs straightened, eyes laughing. There was magic afoot."
She concludes with a description of the temple's grotto: "Inside the curtained cocoon is a forest wilderness in miniature, with just enough room for a woman to perch on a wide wooden stump next to a euphonious fountain, featuring healing waters from the grottos at Lourdes
and the Chalice Well at Glastonbury
. Bark and vines, soft twinkling lights, the golden imprints of fairies and dragonflies covered the walls. Overall, I was amazed and delighted; the temple was a genuine realization of communal sacred space." And, here's how times have changed. The temple's web site lists the priestess' cell phone. No more need to hide behind names like "Lady Unique Inclination of the Night" for this generation of Goddess worshippers!
Sacred spaces are all over and they are, increasingly, springing
up in urban spaces. Not surprising, as that's where most pagans live. Would you visit a Goddess temple? Would you visit one in an office park? Have you ever been given a bindi? What makes you feel a sense of beauty? What opens your sensuousness? When was the last time that happened?