Last week the Pagan community and those who embraced the Women’s Spirituality Movement were saddened to hear of the passing of sculptor and art historian Merlin Stone. She was the author of the ground-breaking book When God Was a Woman (1976). On the Facebook page “Requiem for Merlin Stone”. Zsuzsanna Budapest spoke for all of us: “I think we should have a huge global memorial to Merlin. She was the first one who gave us back our historical heritage as women. Her research was diligent, ‘When God was a Woman’ changed my life. ‘Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood,’ gave us a global view how interconnected our Goddess stories are.”
Time Magazine acknowledged her influence in “When God Was a Woman,” an article on Earth Day celebrations across the country in 1991.
The ceremonies were part of a growing U.S. spiritual movement: Goddess worship, the effort to create a female-centered focus for spiritual expression. Most participants are women who seek a deity other than God the Father, and a faith less patriarchal than the Judeo-Christian tradition seems to offer. Adherents claim the movement involves as many as 100,000 U.S. women.
Our numbers are growing every day; there are many men and women seeking “a female-centered focus for spiritual expression.” And while some of Stone’s work has come into question during the last thirty-five years, the research goes forward. Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou, “the BBC’s new face of religion” brings us up to speed with her BBC2 documentary series Bible’s Buried Secrets: Yahweh, “thou shall have no other gods before me,” had a wife Asherah, who was worshipped in “His” temple in Jerusalem.”
Here’s a clip from the series, which appeared in the U.S. on PBS/ Nova:
I am joining with Bloggers Unite to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. According to BU:
IWD is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
Started as a political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries (primarily Russia and the countries of former Soviet bloc). In some celebrations, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love to the women around them in a way somewhat similar to Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day mixed together. In others, however, the political and human rights theme as designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
The IWD is also celebrated as the first spring holiday, as in the listed countries the first day of March is considered the first day of the spring season.