Pagan Community Notes: Awen-inscribed gravestone at Circle; Starhawk calls for action; Caroline Tully and more.

BARNEVELD, Wis. — Circle Cemetery, a national Pagan cemetery located at Circle Sanctuary, will dedicate its first Awen-inscribed veteran gravestone. In January 2017, the Awen was added to the official list of approved symbols by the U.S. Veterans Administration, joining the pentacle and Thor’s Hammer.  The upcoming memorial will be for Druid Dan Moeller, who was known as Oakbear in the Pagan community. While Moeller has the distinction of being the first to be honored with the inscribed Awen gravestone at a Pagan cemetery, he is not the first in the nation. That distinction goes to Wayne Laliberte of Texas (1954-2013), who is honored at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Texas in 2017.

Patricia Monaghan 1946 – 2012

“I’m a bit uncomfortable, truth be told, with being seen as an expert, because there is always so much more to learn. I see myself as a perpetual student of the goddess.” – Patricia Monaghan
Word quickly emerged yesterday that Patricia Monaghan, a pioneer in the contemporary women’s spirituality movement, and author of books like The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations, and Rituals and The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit, had passed away. An accomplished poet and academic in addition to her work in the realm of women’s spirituality, her output was hugely influential on a generation of modern Pagans, Goddess worshippers, and Goddess scholars. Her encyclopedias on goddesses and heroines, later collected in one work, were touchstones for many books by a number of authors that followed.

Goddess Religion and Misandry?

Is modern goddess religion misandrist? Has it, in fact, “encouraged widespread misandry in popular culture”? That seems to be the contention of two Canadian religious studies scholars, Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young, who have released a new book: “Sanctifying Misandry: Goddess Ideology and the Fall of Man”. “In “Sanctifying Misandry”, Katherine Young and Paul Nathanson challenge an influential version of modern goddess religion, one that undermines sexual equality and promotes hatred in the form of misandry – the sexist counterpart of misogyny. To set the stage, the authors discuss two massively popular books – Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” and Riane Eisler’s “The Chalice and the Blade” – both of which rely on a feminist conspiracy theory of history.

A Few Quick Notes

A few news items I wanted to share with you this Saturday morning. We start off with a glowing profile of the Starwood Festival from Mark Mansfield of Stereo Subversion. “The best festival I’ve ever participated in, I heard about through word of mouth fifteen years ago. Festival has many different meanings depending on the person. The Hippie might be thinking about Rothbury this year, with it’s heavy Deadhead lineup.

Challenging the Order?

Salon.com interviews gay Catholic author Richard Rodriguez about gay marriage, the “Desert religions”, and the power of women in religious life. What is striking about the piece, from my perspective, is how close he gets to endorsing a shift away from monotheism (or at least male-oriented monotheism) while discussing religion.”The desert religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — are male religions. Their perception is that God is a male god and Allah is a male god. If the male is allowed to hold onto the power of God, then I think we are in terrible shape. I think what’s coming out of Colorado Springs right now, with people like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, is either the last or continuing gasp of a male hierarchy in religion.