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Here is the archived salon instructions page for May 2006, the fourth month:

Goddess Salon - May 2006: Carol Christ

Hi Salon Goddesses, we’re a little behind on this month’s salon packet, as Carol Christ has found herself swamped with work this month when we had her interview scheduled. However, we’ve decided to go ahead with it, and with the suggested reading of The Rebirth of the Goddess (click the title to order the book). Unfortunately, she won’t be available to answer questions on our message board, but we encourage you to post your own thoughts and discussions there anyway. Sometime later, when her schedule frees up, we hope to revisit her work with a reading of her latest book, She Who Changes. In the meantime, I, Starhawk, am filling in with ritual suggestions and another one of my recipes.

Carol Christ has been one of the most influential writers, thinkers, and theologians of the Goddess movement in the last thirty years. I first met her, together with Naomi Goldenberg and Mara Keller, also interviewed in this series, in 1975 or 1976, when I was teaching a course in Witchcraft in my living room in the Haight Ashbury. At that time, Carol was in a doctoral program at Yale, and I was a hippie fortune teller, a little intimidated by this trio of incredibly bright, intellectual women. At the first class, there was a man who was hostile and slightly threatening in questions he addressed to me, and very intrusive. By the end of the class, I had to gather up my assertiveness and tell him to leave. Carol, Naomi and Mara all said later that, had I not done that, they would not have returned. If so, my life would have been very different, for Carol introduced me to my editor, Marie Cantlon, at then Harper & Row (now HarperSanFrancisco), who published my first book, The Spiral Dance, after years of my unsuccessful attempts to get it published.

We’ve been friends ever since. I’ve watched Carol go through her own transformations, from brilliant scholar to professor, and then to priestess on the edge, who stepped away from the standard career she could have had in academia to live in Greece, think, write, and teach independently. She has always been generous in her support of me and other feminist writers and scholars. What I most admire about Carol is the emotional courage and honesty she brings to her writing and work. She combines her brilliant analysis with the truth of a vulnerable and compassionate heart, and the result is more than scholarship—it’s inspiration and wisdom.

Recipe:
Beet/Apple Bleu Cheese Salad
It’s spring, and this is what I’ve been eating a lot of:

One bunch of beets.
One bunch of spinach or other spring greens.
One cup or more of fresh arugula.
One Fuji or other sweet apple.
Olive oil—2 Tblsp. App.
Crumbled bleu Cheese—1/2 to 1 cup to taste.

Dressing:
Olive oil—1/3 cup
Balsamic vinegar—3 Tblsp.
Fresh herbs.
One clove garlic

Wash the beets, cut them into large chunks, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in a 300 degree oven until soft. Let cool, then chop into smaller pieces. (They roast better in large pieces, if you cut them too small to begin with they shrivel up and get dry.)
Wash and dry the greens and arugula, put into a large salad bowl.
Chop the apple into small pieces, add the apple and chopped beets.
Add the bleu cheese, to taste.
Combine dressing ingredients, shake, and toss the salad with the dressing.

Ritual:

Ordinary Mysteries:

In one of the most beautiful quotes in the documentary, Carol Christ talks about the mysteries of transformation as being very ordinary things, spinning thread from hair, firing a pot, planting a seed. Birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration, healing, lovemaking: these are the true mysteries of the Goddess.

Sit in a circle around an altar containing a loaf of bread, a piece of cloth and a a pottery bowl full of seeds to symbolize these mysteries.


Go around the circle, giving each woman a chance to speak without being interrupted about her own experience of the ordinary mysteries, the moments when we recognize the powerful miracles embedded in daily life.

Bless each woman, perhaps saying, “You are a priestess of transformation. You are a keeper of the mysteries.”

Bless the seeds, sing to them, and take them home to plant.

Questions for Carol Christ, on the interview and readings:

Who are our foremothers? What does it mean to honor and credit women who have gone before? What happens when we don’t remember, know or honor our foremothers?
Marija’s work revealed two cultures in Europe, the old, Neolithic Goddess culture, superceded by the Bronze Age war cults. Where are there still echoes of Old Europe surviving? Where do you see aspects of these two different cultures preserved, or still confronting each other?

Why is It important that women invented agriculture? Pottery? Weaving?

Is warfare inevitable? What would it mean if we believed, or knew, that there was a time before war became the central concern of culture?
What values and assumptions would that knowledge challenge?
How would that affect our work for peace today?

Do women need the Goddess, an image of “the beneficence of women’s power”, as Carol suggested long ago in her early writings? Where are there images of female power as evil? Good? What images does our culture lack?

Carol’s beautiful definition of the Goddess is “The intelligent, embodied love that is the ground of all being.” Have you encountered or experienced that love? How would you name it or depict it?


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