Greetings!

OMG (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.

witchcraft
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.

Sooooo...........

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.

She 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 suffered mightily.

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 (the goddess Psyche), for example. 

Wonderful reading and highly recommended!


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Oh, Hecate, We could still use a little help . . . 

Help, goddess Hecate!”></P>
            <P>I was alarmed and a bit pissed off.</P>
			<P>Young Emmy the stage star (above) burst into tears as soon as she 
			got into Aunt Liz's car after school. </P>
			<P>Hard day! Eighth grade Social Studies. </P>
			<P>Students cast their votes in <i>Scholastic Magazine</i>'s mock 
			presidential election*. then teacher directed them to seat 
			themselves on opposite sides of the room depending on who they'd 
			voted for. Whereupon  20 some odd young McCain supporters then 
			began to hurl insults at the six who'd voted for Obama.  </P>
			<P>(Gee, what could the teacher have been thinking? Wouldn't it have 
			been better to role model our right to privacy in the voting booth 
			???)</P>
			<P>Thank goddess, Liz was there to help when the emotional trauma 
			actually erupted. Psyche-type that she is, Liz knows how to listen 
			hard and then help others reframe their thinking in ways that are 
			less painful and more healing.   (And isn't that what Love 
			is all about?) </P>
			<P>She suggested that often when people are mean or angry, it's 
			because they are really afraid and asked Emmy "What do you think 
			they might be afraid of?" No slouch in the brains department and 
			with the script of <i>The Crucible</i> in mind, Emmy had no shortage 
			of answers to that question -- and ended up feeling much better, no 
			longer the 'victim' in this little drama.</P>
			<P>Unfortunately the story doesn't end there. Next day the teacher 
			(a slow learner??) assigned the students to each make a poster for 
			their candidate to place on display. At day's end Emmy opens her 
			locker and finds a hateful note (written by the cowardly Anonymous, 
			of course) about her political convictions.</P>
			<P>This time ... no tears, just a quick trip to take the note 
			straight to the teacher, suggesting that enough is enough!  
			Brave young woman, our Emmy. We're proud of her. In a small and 
			personal way, she carries the light of her ancestors, those women 
			who secured our right to vote, the women who were known as the . . . </P>
			<P align=

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 their courage.

Read the email here: 'Real' American Goddesses and be sure to VOTE!

 

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,

Choose love.

 Sharon

 

Goddess Gift E-zine
October 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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