dess Newsletter

ISSUE 13-02

February 2013

Briana Murray

Adele Shakal 

Jeanne Leiter 

Charles Elliott

Joanne Elliott 


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Director's Message
Another World Is Possible
Spring Equinox Ritual Celebration
Save the Date: 2013 Ritual Sabbats
It's 2013 and They're Burning Witches
Appeals Court Bid for Wiccan Chaplain
Animal Tales
Bless Me, Ultima-Movie Review
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Director's Message 


Rev. Xia headshot 2013 is well under way and looks to be an exciting year for all of us. In spite of the challenges that change inevitably brings, there is the promise of a new year, new growth, new possibilities. As mentioned in our January newsletter we are in a new location for our seasonal rituals and we plan to, once again, begin offering Full and New Moon Circles as well as various classes for the community.


Please mark your calendars for Spring Equinox on March 23rd, and join us this Sunday for the Pasadena Interfaith Peace Walk and Closing Ceremony. We've just learned that Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard will be joining us on Sunday and offering words of support for this amazing Interfaith work. See flyer below for more information. I hope to see you there.  


Many Blessings, Rev. Xia 


Temple of the Goddess Announcements 


MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! - Goddess Choir: If you'd like to be a part of the ever-growing Temple of the Goddess Choir, please contact us at choir@templeofthegoddess.org

NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS: Please send any related essays, articles, interviews, and poetry for temple newsletter to newsletter@TempleoftheGoddess.org.
COMMUNITY EVENTS: Additional information about Community Events is available at the Temple of the Goddess website. If you would like to post an event with Temple of the Goddess, please let us know by submitting the date and pertinent information to: events@TempleoftheGoddess.org.

Keep up to date with what's happening at the Temple. Get to know us better while you enjoy daily words of inspiration, interesting and helpful articles as well as the latest Pagan news. All you have to do is "Like" us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter under @TO_Goddess. See you there!

Another World Is Possible


Nautilus by Josephine Wall
Nautilus by Josephine Wall 

Another World is possible.

We can dream it in, with our eyes

Open to this Beauty, to all

that Earth gives each of us, each day

those miracles of dark and light-

rainlight, dawn,  

sun moon snow, stormgrey

and the wide fields of night always

somewhere opening their flower-stars-this, this!


Another world is possible.

With river and bird

sweet and free without fear,

without minds blind to harmony,

to how we can hold.  

We have been too long

spoiled greedy children of Earth,

life and rocks and creatures

slipping out of our careless hands.


We must stand now and learn to love

As a Mother loves her child,

each cell of her, each grain of her,

each precious heartbeat of her that is

ourselves, our path and our journey

into our dream of future, where

another world is possible . . .

cradling this one in its arms.

by Rose Flint 2005, Reprinted We'Moon 2009
Peace Walk Closing Ceremony Flyer
Spring Equinox Ritual Celebration
Saturday, March 23rd

The theme for our 2013 ritual productions is New Directions. Following our 2012 year of Change, New Directions inevitably follow.  New Directions is such a fertile subject and we are excited to be opening ourselves, artistically and spiritually, to this theme and the possibilities within it.    

Vasilisa the Brave This year our mythic guide is Vasilisa The Brave who ushers us through our seasonal rituals and myths in 2013.  Vasilisa The Brave, from the Slavic mythic tradition, is a young heroine who journeys in search of wisdom, knowledge, and a quest for truth and assistance. Before beginning her journey, Vasilisa The Brave is given a doll from her mother that represents her intuition. It is the intuition that we each carry that will guide us on our quest throughout the year.
Susan Boulet Isis and Osiris
Isis and Osiris by Susan Seddon-Boulet

As Vasilisa begins her journey she is told to seek the Wise Woman, the Shaman in the woods whose myths and stories will guide her in the search for New Directions. Like Vasalisa we return every season to hear the stories. We call on the Wise Shaman for support in following our own unique path and process for she is a guide, a teacher, a teller of tales.

The Wise Woman's first myth at Spring Equinox will recount the age-old story of the Egyptian Goddess Isis, Her search for Her husband and beloved, Osiris. It is a story of resurrection, regeneration, and new possibilities. When Isis re-members Osiris and resurrects him, Horus the Sun God is born.
Hours the Sun God by Lisa Hunt
Horus by Lisa Hunt

Our evening of ritual theatre opens with a song and meditation on New Beginnings and the resurrection we must each go through annually as new life is regenerated with the coming of Spring. In song, dance and spoken word, we explore the power of myth and remembering. At this time we celebrate the power of the Earth to resurrect herself each spring as we too resurrect the seeds of our goals and dreams stored for safe-keeping during the dark of winter.

Journey with us as we follow Vasilisa The Brave in her mythic quest for bold New Directions steeped in the teaching of ancient and wise stories. As we witness these powerful myths and stories we remember our own power to create our lives in the directions we choose.

Temple of the Goddess, and The Mythic Players, invite you to join us for an evening of art and ritual theatre in celebration of Spring.
SAVE THE DATE: 2013 Temple of the Goddess Ritual Sabbats  
"The seasons and all their changes are in me." -Henry David Thoreau

Our multi-cultural Earth celebrations are open to families and community. Our Sabbats are multi-media ritual theater combining mythology, music, visual art, dance, liturgy, spoken word, and participatory theater which fuses drum and dance with personal enactment to re-connect us to the seasons and the Earth.

Animal Tales Logo
Spring Equinox, March 23
Summer Solstice, June 29
Autumn Equinox, September 21
Hallows Eve, November 2

All Rituals are scheduled at the Church of Truth in Pasadena. Click here for more information
and to download an event flyer.

A Center for Awakening Consciousness, Church of Truth
690 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91104

Website: www.TempleoftheGoddess.org 

We hope you will join the temple, in community, to honor the seasons, the Earth, and our own personal growth for our 2013 Ritual Sabbats.

Artwork from Ritual Path DVD by artist John Banks of Artek Images and music by Fritz Heede.  Available from Temple of the Goddess Music & Media Store.
It's 2013, And They're Burning 'Witches'
by Jo Chandler, Reprinted The Global Mail, February 15, 2013

Belief in black magic persists in Papua New Guinea, where communities are warping under the pressure of the mining boom's unfulfilled expectations. Women are blamed, accused of sorcery and branded as witches - with horrific consequences.


They're going to cook the sanguma mama!"

  Burning Witches in 2013

The shout went up from a posse of children as they raced past the health clinic in a valley deep in the Papua New Guinean highlands. Inside, Swiss-born nurse and nun Sister Gaudentia Meier - 40-something years and a world away from the ordered alps of her homeland - was getting on with her daily routine, patching the wounds and treating the sicknesses of an otherwise woefully neglected population. It was around lunchtime, she recalls.


Sister Gaudentia knew immediately the spectacle the excited children were rushing to see. They were on their way to a witch-burning. There are many names for dark magic in the 850 tongues of Papua New Guinea, sanguma resonating widely in these mountains. The 74-year-old sister hurriedly rounded up some of her staff, loaded them in a car and followed the crowd, with a strong foreboding of what she would find.


Two days earlier she had tried to rescue Angela (not her real name), an accused witch, when she was first seized by a gang of merciless inquisitors looking for someone to blame for the recent deaths of two young men. They had stripped their quarry naked, blindfolded her, berated her with accusations and slashed her with bush knives (machetes). The "dock" for her trial was a rusty length of corrugated roofing, upon which she was displayed trussed and helpless. Photographs taken by a witness on a mobile phone show that the packed, inert public gallery encircling her included several uniformed police.


In Papua New Guinea, the Pacific nation just a short boat ride from Australia's far north, 80 per cent of the 7 million-plus population live in rural and remote communities. Many have little access to even basic health and education, surviving on what they eat or earn from their gardens. There are few roads out, but a burgeoning network of digital-phone towers and dirt-cheap handsets now connect them to the world - assuming they can plug into power and scrounge a few kina-worth of credit. More . . .  


Temple of the Goddess wishes to acknowledge, honor, and welcome those who have joined, tithed, or donated to the temple this month. You keep the temple doors open for all of us.

ritual path imageRealm of Air    
Briana Murray & Nona Sivley 
Marcella Lentz-Pope
Ruth Ann Anderson  
Realm of Fire 
Click here for information on becoming a member of TOG. Temple of the Goddess has a variety of ways that you can participate fiscally in our vision. To learn more about making a tax-deductible donation to the temple, go to Gifting Opportunities.
Artwork from Ritual Path DVD by artist John Banks of Artek Images and music by Fritz Heede.  Available from Temple of the Goddess Music & Media Store.
Appeals Court Revives Women Inmates' Bid For Wiccan Chaplain
by Maura Dolan, February 19, 2013
Los Angeles Times

Female prisoners at the Central California Women's Facility say Wiccans outnumber Jews, Muslims and Catholics. A district court rejected their suit.
wiccan prison chaplain At the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, shown, inmates are contending in a lawsuit that California prison policy favors mainstream religions in violation of the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment. (Los Angeles Times)

A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit Tuesday by female prisoners who contend that the California prison system is violating their rights by refusing to hire a full-time Wiccan chaplain.

A district court rejected the inmates' suit, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the inmates may have a valid claim.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hires chaplains for five faiths: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Native American. Inmates of other religions are permitted to worship with those chaplains or with volunteer chaplains.

In their lawsuits, inmates at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla contend that the prison policy favors mainstream religions in violation of the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment. The inmates said there were more Wiccans at the women's prison than there were Jewish, Muslim or Catholic prisoners.

Wicca is a pagan religion that involves witchcraft. If the inmates' allegations are true, the appeals court said, "The prison administration has created staff chaplain positions for five conventional faiths, but fails to employ any neutral criteria in evaluating whether a growing membership in minority religions warrants a reallocation of resources."

The court stressed that it was not suggesting the lawsuit should succeed. A lower court must now evaluate the evidence, including a survey of the religious affiliations of inmates at the prison, the panel said.

You are sitting around a fire after a hard day of work. The air cools and the sun sets, the frogs and crickets begin singing as the sky darkens. Suddenly the person you have been eagerly awaiting leaps to the center of the circle. You have heard the story a hundred times, but the antics of the animals and the wisdom in the story never fail to give you pleasure. As she weaves her tale, the knowledge that every thing is alive, carrying its own power and wisdom, soothes your soul.

Let us join together, in this virtual circle, and share these Animal Tales. Let us once again feel how the stories connect us to the natural world and remind us that we are all part of a vast Circle of Life. Listen now as the Shaman whispers tales of animal power and wisdom in your ear.  


Tonight it is a tale from China. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2013 is the Year of the Snake, bringing us a year for transformation and regeneration. Snake is a potent bringer of healing, and we call on Snake when we focus on the transmutation of energy and the acceptance of all that life bring us.


The White Snake Lady

From Baidu/Baike


In the Song Dynasty, there were two snakes, White Snake and Green Snake, living on the Emei Mountain. Each had magical power. One year, they transformed into two beautiful young ladies and came into the mundane world to find a man named Xu Xian. This man had saved White Snake's life in a previous reincarnation at the West Lake of Hangzhou city.

White Snake fell in love with Xu Xian at first sight, and transformed into Lady White. They were soon married. Lady White helped her husband open a herbal medicine store and worked with him there writing prescriptions. Patients unable to pay were given free treatment and medicine. The store quickly became well known and popular.

One day a monk called Fa Hai saw the couple and warned Xu Xian that his wife was a white snake. During the Dragon Boat Festival, Chinese families like to decorate their houses with calamus and Chinese mugwort and drink wine to drive away evil spirits. This was dangerous to Lady White and Lady Green (her friend from the Emei mountain), since they were spirits, after all. Lady White was pregnant at that time so her magical power had weakened. She drank some wine to please her husband. Unfortunately, she couldn't control herself and her human form transformed back into her snake body in her bedroom. Xu Xian saw the white snake on their bed, and was literally scared to death. Continued . . . 

Story retrieved from Chinese Story Online.
Bless Me Ultima Bless Me, Ultima
Movie Review by Jeanne (Pythia) Leiter

You have to see this movie. If you see a single movie this year, I repeat, you must see this movie. Yes, it's about a seven-year-old and his coming of age. But, ultimately, it's about the difficulty in distinguishing good from evil and reconciling oneself with a Deity who allows evil to exist in the world.

It's set in 1944 in a very small farming village in New Mexico. The villagers are a tight-knit Catholic community of Mexican-Americans. The story is told from seven-year-old Antonio's point of view with the adult Antonio filling in some thoughts with voice-over.

Antonio's life changes forever when his grandmother comes to live with them. Ultima comes to live out her remaining time on earth with her daughter's family. She brings knowledge of the natural world to Antonio. She brings healing to the families of the village. In the minds of the villagers, and many in today's modern, scientific society, healing by Nature is an unknown-therefore to be suspicious of, to be feared, if not outright hated.

Even Antonio's classmates view him differently after Ultima joins his family. In one playground scene a classmate calls Ultima a bruja (witch). To which Antonio replies, "She's no bruja." The boy responds with, "Are you calling me a liar?" The boy pulls off his glasses and jumps Antonio. Antonio, knowing the truth of his grandmother as a wise Curandera (healer), fights for her.  Continued . . .
Pew Forumn Logo
U.S. Catholics Divided On Church's Direction Under New Pope 
February 21, 2013

pope statistics As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, many American Catholics express a desire for change. For example, most U.S. Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to marry. And fully six-in-ten Catholics say it would be good if the next pope hails from a developing region new-pope-1like South America, Asia or Africa.

At the same time, many Catholics also express appreciation for the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. While about half of U.S. Catholics (46%) say the next pope should "move the church in new directions," the other half (51%) say the new pope should "maintain the traditional positions of the church." And among Catholics who say they attend Mass at least once a week, nearly two-thirds (63%) want the next pope to maintain the church's traditional positions.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 13-18 among 1,504 adults (including 304 Catholics) also finds that nine-in-ten U.S. Catholics have heard a lot (60%) or at least a little (30%) about Benedict's resignation. Just one-in-ten Catholics say they have heard nothing at all about his resignation.

In a separate national survey conducted Feb. 14-17 among 1,003 adults (including 212 Catholics), three-quarters of U.S. Catholics (74%) express a favorable view of the pope. Benedict's ratings among Catholics now stand about where they were in March 2008 (just before his U.S. visit) and are lower than they were in April 2008, when 83% of U.S. Catholics expressed favorable views of him. Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, was rated favorably by upwards of 90% of U.S. Catholics in three separate Pew Research polls in the 1980s and 1990s. More . . . 
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