(Oh, my Goddess!), it's been awhile. To say we're a little behind
sending out the newsletter would be a bit of an understatement: it's
been a couple of months since we last wrote, but we'll be making it
up to you in this issue by giving you lots of food for thought.
The Crucible :: Jonesborough Repertory Theatre
Seems to me that there sure is a lot of fear going
around these days . . . the economy, the wars not to
mention the finger-pointing and name calling of the
presidential campaign in the US which seems especially
nasty this time around.
What could me more timely than a visit with the
Greek Goddess Hecate?
Hecate, Greek Goddess of the Crossroads
Once a widely revered and
influential goddess, Hecate is typically
depicted as a "hag" or old witch stirring the cauldron.
In current times, she is remembered mostly in her role
as the Goddess of Witchcraft.
But this could be not be further
from the image of Hecate's original glory. A beautiful
and powerful goddess in her own right, Hecate was
the only one of the Titans who Zeus allowed to retain
their authority after the Olympians seized control.
Zeus shared with Hecate, and
only her, the awesome power of giving humanity anything
she wished (or of withholding it as she pleased).
Hecate has some important lessons for us on the issues
of 'Love and Fear'. Hecate lived in
the Underworld, the
"otherworld" of the sleeping and the dead, she was
tolerant and comfortable and tolerant with those others
would shun out of fear or misunderstanding.
often took midnight strolls
with a following of "ghosts" and other social
outcasts. As the protectress of the oppressed and of
those who lived "on the edge", she herself was often
feared. In Rome many of the priests in her sacred
groves were former slaves who had been released to work
in her service.
You can read the myths of the
Goddess Hecate here.
And, since many of our Halloween
traditions are based on the myths of Hecate and pagan
traditions, take time to check out our
History of Halloween.
And a blessed Samhain to you all!
They called them witches and made
them suffer . . .
Our local repertory theatre group is staging a production of
The Crucible. How timely!
Penned by Arthur Miller during the 50's, the dark years of the
McCarthy era when suspicions and allegations of communism were made
against hundreds of prominent citizens. Reputations and careers
Set in Salem in the 1692, it opens with a group of teenage girls
who are caught dancing in the woods (a big no-no for the Puritans
apparently). Fearful of being punished, the girls claimed to have
encountered the devil.
Our granddaughter Emmy has a small but pivotal role in
the play. Mostly she sleeps. It is the deep sleep of the young girl
whose womanhood is rapidly approaching.*
The dreams and night
terrors that mark her slumbers are taken as proof that the devil IS
close at hand.
Hysteria spreads throughout the community and dozens of women are
arrested. They are given two choices: confess to being a witch or be
hanged. Either way they would end up dead.
* In Spinning Straw into Gold:
What Fairy Tales Reveal About the Transformations in a
Woman's Life, author Joan Gould talks about the meaning
of women's sleep in myths and folktales.
She explains how sleep is used as a metaphor for the
deep and largely unconscious work that a woman must do
to prepare for the major transitions in her life.
Leaving the innocence of girlhood to become a woman (Snow White) or a mother
Wonderful reading and highly recommended!
Click the image
to learn more
Oh, Hecate, We could still use a
little help . . .
The Iron Jawed Angels
A friend of mine sent me an email that's been circulating for a
few years, the original author unknown.
It's about the women who became
known as the “Iron Jawed Angels” and about the HBO film
of the same name. It’s a harrowing story, but one that
will inspire you.
It is the story of our Grandmothers
and Great-grandmothers. They were innocent and
defenseless, but they were suffered immensely. Their
crime . . . picketing the White House, carrying signs
asking for the vote.
These 'American 'goddesses' risked all
to gain the right to vote for women. We should honor
Read the email here:
'Real' American Goddesses and be sure to
Coming Full Circle: Musings on the
message of the Goddess Hecate
It's been said (and seems apparent in the story of
the Goddess Hecate) that there are only two basic emotions, love and
fear, and that these two give birth to all the others.
We see love in our feelings of caring, courage, cooperation, hope,
empathy and compassion, for example.
Fear gives birth to the emotions such as jealousy, acquisitiveness,
competitive striving, hostility, anger and resentment, to name a
few. Though we usually think of these as 'negative' emotions, they
serve a useful purpose in our lives.
Acknowledge them. Know your fears for what they are and . . .
Remember . . .
In the words of Willa Cather:
Where there is great Love,
there are always Miracles.
Until next time,