Category: issue13

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“Daughters of the Witching Hill”, by Mary Sharratt

I grew up almost in the shadow of Pendle Hill, so stories of the seventeenth-century witch-hunt are familiar and haunting.  I remember pinching my mother’s copy of Robert Neill’s Mist over Pendle to read by torchlight under the bedclothes, and later finding Harrison Ainsworth’s rather Gothic Lancashire Witches interesting but ultimately unsatisfactory.

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Avatar, Religious Oppression of Women, and the Syndrome of the Male Messiah

The issue pertaining to the use of religion as a utensil for women’s oppression appears to have become highly prominent and attentive in the mainstream.  The recent announcement made by former U.S. President (and Nobel Prize Laureate) Jimmy Carter to leave the Southern Baptist Convention because of its silencing and oppression of women and girls stirred many emotions, and “scored points” with women who have been fighting to present these issues to the public.

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Beside the Altar

Went on my own to dancing – Martin’s back was stiff,
he’d been shifting his dead father’s blacksmith’s stuff –
and as soon as the music reached me through the door
I was in rhythm. Taff the hairy punk poet was leading,

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Six Women in Search of the Goddess in Crete

It was back in 1986 when, grappling with lack of sense of myself as feminine, that I first visited Crete. I barely knew the word Goddess, but as I stepped from the aeroplane She swept me up with loving warmth and into a journey of discovery and profound past connection with Her. If you want to experience Goddess culture you cannot do better than Minoan Crete.

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Celtic Warrior Queens Cartimandua and Boudicca: Guidance for Women Today?

Cartimandua and Boudicca – two women leaders living in what we now call the British Isles in CE 40 or so – one a Brigante tribal queen, the other a warrior leader of the Iceni.  Both were confronted with the Roman invasion of their homelands.  Both women had to make tough decisions about how best to protect their people.  What do their decisions have to say to women today who continue to find themselves living in a male-dominated society?

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The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment, by Alice Grist

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to, for I can’t remember the last time I teetered around on high heels but it was probably some time in the early 1970s – and yet I do relate in many ways to the seekers whom Alice describes – modern women who are just ridiculously busy and for whom “….any attempt at meditation has ended in a mental mediation between plans for supper … or fretting over the bills..”.  How well many of us will know that feeling!

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Marjory’s Garden

These leeches are not small cats with eager eyes and curious whiskers who beg for bony tidbits.  They are not ample-mouthed horses who wetly nudge for oats.  They are not terriers who snap food in the air, breaking a rodent’s neck as easily as I snap green beans.  They are not doves or chicks who bob and peck.

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