The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the category “Rowdy Goddess”

The Crone Zone

 

Last year at this time, I looked at the calendar and realized that Friday the 13th was smack dab on the dark moon. Lucky day, favorite moon sign. What else was I to do. I scheduled my croning for that day.

If you’ve read this blog from the beginning, you know that I have struggled a bit with the crone designation. I’ve realized, after all, that it doesn’t have to be all that’s left. The Crone offers out a richness and power that is not limited to that one single concept. It was something I wanted to explore.

The ritual was fabulous. Three priestesses, Sci, Phaezara, and Thia Moonstone embodied the Moirae. I had done a number of shamanic journeys, seeking the ancient mothers of the elements and asking their wisdom. In addition, a tarot reading at the Tarot School’s Readers’ Studio gave me a lot more insight into this crone initiation. Each portion of the ritual helped complete the journeys and give me more insight into the Crone.

And as I stepped over the threshold, I was greeted by the Crone herself who gave me a shell necklace in celebration of arriving at this strange new shore. It was a wonderful, personal ritual attended by dear friends and beloved witches. Oh yes, and we danced to “The Golden Years,” by David Bowie.

And so the journey begins. This month, I passed the thirteenth month without a period. The day fell, not surprisingly, on the Dark Moon.

And may the cycles of your life be blessed!!!

A Winter Gathering of the Rowdy Goddesses

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, but we’ve celebrated it already with “Let the Rowdy Times Roll!” It seems that once a year at Womongathering isn’t enough. So this year, our dear friend Phaezara opened her hearth and home to a gathering. Traveling from Philadelphia, Virginia, and from points across New York, rowdy women gathered to party. Included were women from Womongathering and also some of our friends who haven’t been able to make it to the summer gathering.

We went shopping at Seven Rays in Syracuse and then we went to tea at the White Dove Tea Room. A caravan of six cars is often hard to lead and to follow, but we all made it even after getting double parked in at the Church of the Assumption. Shows what assumptions will do for you…get you blocked in and unable to move forward.
It was wonderful, capped off by a ritual involving the beauty and wonder of our masks. Let’s face it, we have them. They are beautiful, our masks are barriers, and they are our aspirations. More to explore with masks……
May wonder and beauty be yours as you let your Rowdy times roll!!!!

Imagine Your Life Into Be-ing

Thursday is the start of Womongathering, a wonderful womon’s spirituality retreat. For four days, we gather to learn, to contemplate and to celebrate. It’s where the Rowdy Goddesses hang out to laugh, cry and eat chocolate. This year’s theme is Air and the Maiden goddess.
Air has many associations including intellect, imagination and intuition. Clarity through the mind (intellect), magical thought (imagination) and connected thought (intuition).
I learned a lot about the power of the mind and intuition at Akasha Con in March. One of the speakers, Priscilla Keresey gave two wonderful workshops on creating your life and living out your intentions.
In the first workshop she began by talking about the triplicity of the mind–conscious, subconcious, and unconcious–and how the three areas work together. The conscious mind is the place of rationalization, will-power, short-term memory, analysis, and focus. The subconscious is the home of our valies, beliefs, body functions, and long-term memory. The subconscious records everything that ever happened to us, without the filters of rationalization, focus or analysis. The unconscious our connection to the Source, and where we know the words of the gospel that say, “all this you can do and more.” Imagination!
Manifesting your imagination or desired life is based on the law of attraction, a physical law of the Universe that says, “Like calls to like.” What you put out there will come to you. Your thoughts, beliefs, words and action create vibrations within you. As you vibrate with this energy, similar energy is called to attention and comes to you. Feelings are how we create this vibration and they don’t think with the conscious mind, they are creatures of the subconscious. Once you are happy, then you will get what you want!
We are our own worst enemies. She said for many who want to lose weight and no matter how hard they try, it’s because emotionally they are convinced they are fat. If you tell yourself that you are beautiful and maintain the thoughts and language that reinforce that feeling, then you will get what you want.
Priscilla focused on money as examples. She said that if you are in a bad mood paying your bills, the Universe is unlikely to send you anything good. Always be positive and happy when you pay your bills. And then be grateful.
I touched on this when I talked about luck. Say it and forget it. For instance, if you want the money to go to a class. Say to the Universe, I wish for the money to go the ‘whatever it is.’ Then don’t doubt, let it go and let it be. Act as if it has already happened. Don’t think, “when I lose weight I’ll be beautiful;” think, “I am beatiful.” It will happen.
When it does happen, be grateful.Thank the Universe and the powers you believe in. In short, these are the steps to manifesting your imagination:

  • State your desire in positive, present tense way
  • Act as if it has already happened [don’t worry it like a dog with a bone]
  • Thank the Universe

I found this very life-changing. I realized that even though I know all of that stuff, I don’t KNOW it deep down in my blood and my bones. I make self-depricating remarkes about my thunder things (NO MORE) and I’d tell myself in the mirror that I was ugly and fat (NO MORE). I vowed then that I would no longer lend my power and my energy to negative talk about my body. I have maintained that since then. I lost five pounds in May. Whoo hoo. Thank you Universe.

When I returned, I started doing my daily (or almost) altar devotions in a new way. I’d end it with affirmations about my health and body, and whatever else is necessary. I do my altar devotions in the morning while I’m getting dressed. I use no tools just me, the elements and the Lord and the Lady. Priscilla pointed out that the perfect time to send our affirmations out into the Universe are the times just before we go to sleep and right after we wake up. We are closest to the state of unconscious then and our mind has yet to build up the barriers between each section and the Source. We are in a trance, and its time to step into the Cosmic Dance and wish.

Everyday is a Great Day to be a Dog!


Since we’re on the subject, I might as well continue talking about dogs. I’ve learned a lot from my dogs and other people’s dogs. They are great animals. They are so clear with their feelings and their needs. For the last couple of days, we’ve had some pretty heavy thunderstorms, something that frightens both dogs very much. They become ‘velcro dogs’ sticking close to me or Mouse. Wherever I am, there they are panting out their fear. Nothing I can do can make their fear abate. Totally at one with their fear. Very hard to endure!
Several years ago, I used to walk the dogs every day in every kind of weather. We’d walk along Fall Creek close to my house. Sometimes we’d walk through some wild fields. Both Congo and Bob would explore and smell everything; the air, animal poop, plants, dirt and the water. Of course, they’d jump right in the water. From little puddles to the creek, there they were. If a puddle had ice on the top, Bob would crack the ice and lie–really wallow–in the puddle. It would have to get below 20 degrees before he would stop.
Of course these puddles were often mud puddles. Afterwards a very happy Bob would come up to me *wag*wag* dripping in mud from the nose on down. I’d then take him to a deep part of the creek and have him swim in that. I cannot get either dog to submit to the hose, or to go into the shower, the tub or a shallow wading pool. I think it’s because the water is clean.
One cold, rainy day on the cusp of winter, I walked the dogs along the creek. We enjoyed every minute of it. Then I showered, dressed and went into work. I had an early morning meeting–with someone named Bob as a matter of fact–and he asked me, mournfully how I was. I said I was good. He looked at me and said, “You mean for a cold, gray, drippy day?!” And I explained that I walked my dogs that morning and realized that it was a great day to be a dog. As a matter of fact every day is a great day to be a dog. He looked at me like I was rather odd.
I think perhaps I am, though a better word, of course, is rowdy. What the dogs are doing is tapping into that happy ecstacy of living every moment like its the only moment. Mud, water, rain, walking, running, smelling and discovering are all part of the ecstacy of the moment. Nothing else impinges on the sounds of running water, the start beauty of the creek in near-winter.
One time about twenty years ago when my mother was around the age I am now, she told me she had two real regrets. One is that she never learned to swim; and the other is that she never learned to dance. Both of those things are about letting go into rhythm and water. She could have changed that, but she didn’t. I’ve done both, I’m happy to say. The only regret I have is that I spent most of my younger life worrying about how fat I was. Looking at pictures of me then, I see that I didn’t look as bad as I thought. Mouse looked at the pictures and said, “You were hot, I’d do you.” He feels that way about me now, so I am taking the rowdy step. I am releasing that regret and worry. And if I remember that every day is a great day to be rowdy, I can stay with that!

May you find today a great day to be rowdy, a great day to be you!!!!

the picture is of my brother Peter’s dog Bart who passed away several years ago. He was a great dog. He was part retriever–he’d go get the ball or stick but he wouldn’t bring it back to you!

The Stirring of Spring

The Stirring of Spring

It’s the first full day of spring and my sinuses are killing me…I’m sure that’s more information than you need to know. I’m hoping that the throbbing inside the caverns of my head are an echo of the throbbing growing energy of the earth coming alive.
It’s still winter here in rural New York. It hasn’t been a bad winter, but it has seemed very long. We’ve had some unseasonably warm days and now it’s cold, typical of January. Since we got through and survived January, why are we experiencing that weather?
And yet, we feel the stirring of the earth; She is awake, eyes open and arms stretching out. Yawning, She is getting ready to burst into the world with grace and beauty. I can feel it. It’s not just the pain in my head. It’s also the feeling I have, to get moving. To be creative again, and to discover that color and beauty haven’t left my life at all. It’s been here all along and now I see it with a fresh eye and new appreciation. It’s a call and I’m ready to answer!

Hear now the words of the Rowdy Goddess
I who am called Baubo, Lillith, Flora, Aphrodite, Iambe, Jill, Eve, Innana, Ishtar, Medusa, Athena, Ariadne, Mary, and many other names.

I am the laughter of your soul, beginning deep in the belly and coming loudly from your mouth.
I am the song of your life, sung boldly and proud.
I am the dance of your heart and the passion of your body, willing and free.
I am every breath you take and every sound you make.
My voice is heard in a giggle, in a soft laugh, a lovely song,
a guffaw, a keening cry and a bawdy ballad.
I am ecstasy and delight.

Lift your skirts and dance with me for I am the passion that moves you through the world.
Lift your voice and sing with me for I am the excitement of life lived out loud.
Lift your hearts and love with me
for I am the hope that is born everlasting.

Let my worship be in your voice and in your body,
for behold all acts of exuberance and creativity are done in reverence to me.
Let there be enthusiasm and joy, passion and love,
fearlessness and foolishness, exuberance and mirth,
grief and healing, and laughter and bliss.

Swirl and dance, sing out,
I am the Rowdy Goddess.
I am the Rowdy Goddess,
I am the Rowdy Goddess.
Blessed be.

© 2005 Gail Wood

 

Rowdy Goddess Training: Girl Scouts of America

Rowdy Goddess Training: Girl Scouts of America
at least that’s the way it was for me

 

This week is Girl Scout Week, starting on March 12; coinciding with the founder’s birthday Juliette Gordon Lowe. Most people associate Girl Scouts with their cookies, a valid association since they are delicious and a true harbinger of spring. But to me, the Girl Scouts was a training ground for individuality, creativity, and feminism. I said that once to a colleague who is probably ten years younger and she was incredulous. She told me that her Girl Scouting experiences was all about domestic life–cooking and sewing. My experience was different; it was early training in Rowdy Goddesshood!
We moved around a lot when I was a kid, staying an average of two years in one place sometimes much shorter. For a shy girl, it was hard to make and sustain friendships. One of the consistencies in my life was Girl Scouts. Everywhere we lived there was a Girl Scout troop I could join and the basic program was the same, so in a familiar setting I could find new friends and explore interesting things. I went camping in winter and summer, I learned to lead other girls and to organize a project and carry it to fruition, and I learned to embroider and sew as an expressive art as well as something utilitarian. I learned to be myself and to have fun with that.

I suspect it has a lot to do with the region you live and also the outlook of your homelife. My family is filled with strong characters and personalities all aimed at expression! Little old ladies, little old men, family history as well as intergenerational eccentricities are all part of my family. My mother fully supported and applauded the stuff I learned in Girl Scouting; and she was quick to point out what didn’t fit with her own feminist outlook.
I should point out that Girl Scouting is not assciated with the Boy Scouts of America. They are two completely different and separate entities that do not share ideals, money, or philosophy. Girl Scouting celebrates diversity and individuality and does not discriminate. Enough said there.
Knowing who you are and celebrating your own richness is what being rowdy is all about; and in my experience, it is what Girl Scouting is dedicated to doing for each and every girl.
For more information on the Girl Scouts of USA see: http://www.girlscouts.org

May your day be filled with the blessings of your own individual charm and eccentricity. Go forth and be rowdy!

Discovering the Passion of the Rowdy Goddess: Sekhmet

Discovering the Passion of the Rowdy Goddess, Sekhmet

A recent archeaological dig has revealed new statues of the lionness goddess Sekhmet. The article in the Middle East Times http://www.metimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20060313-050457-4001r gives a very brief overview of the discovery and who Sekhmet was . The tone of the article indicates a little dismay that a destructive goddess of war would also be a healing goddess–even to healing the very wounds that she might well cause. I think this discovery just rocks [pun intended]. You can’t keep a good goddess buried forever!

Sekhmet has been an important goddess in my life, showing up in my meditations and journeys. I first experienced the power of her rampaging spirit during the summer I was writing the Leo chapter of my book Rituals of the Dark Moon. The (younger) man I with whom I was having a stormy and difficult relationship died suddenly and dramatically. This set into motion an enormous amount of changes in my life and I did feel that Sekhmet had rampaged through my life, leaving a lot of destruction. From that rubble of grief, anger, mourning, and relief I was able to rebuild my life and become stronger and more magical. I danced with Sekhmet and the very wounds that she caused she healed through her Mystery and Magic.

Mouse’s father died less than a month into our relationship. We got the news when we were taking a weekend workshop featuring the spiritual-alchemist-singer-drummer Mz Imani. It was in a very intimate setting. As Mouse and I set off to the viewing and family gathering, she hugged me and looked at me quizzically and asked, “Why do I feel Sekhmet so powerfully in you?”

“Oh,” I replied, almost casually, “She’s my death goddess.” It was at that moment that I realized that when I dance with death, Sekhmet is the one who dances with me. I often speak with her voice, love with her ferocity, and grieve with her mystical power. Funerals, comforting those who mourn and talking about loss, She is the one who comes and enters me.

When you walk the path of the Rowdy Goddess, you do not need to fear these strong goddesses with a checkered past. She is THERE with her power and passion to live with you, mourn with you, rampage with you and to celebrate your magic and hers!

Blessings, bright and Dark. May you unearth new strength every day.

Tea, Hot Water, and the Goddess


Tea, Hot Water and the Rowdy Goddess!

“A woman is like a tea bag. It’s only when she’s in hot water that you realize how strong she is.”
This quote, attributed to both Eleanor Roosevelt and Carl Sandburg, attracted my attention because I want to write a book on the Magick of Tea; so I collect information, lore, superstition and magical attributes of tea. If I had included it in the Crone posting, I’d be making smart-aleck remarks about old bags. Another day for that!
Tea & the Goddess
Tea is wonderful not only for its flavor, aroma and health benefits, but because its history is also so rich. The history of tea is full of legend, corruption, and political intrigue. The tea trade was enormously influential in the history of Europe and the history of its land of origin, China.
And always, when I’m researching something, I’m looking for the Divine presence in the lore and uses of it. For tea, topping the list is Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of mercy. Some people will be quick to correct you and tell you that She is not a Goddess. To me she is, and she has been revered in such a way, that she is a goddess. Her mercy and compassion speaks to everyone. The oolong tea, Tieguanyin Oolong Tea is named for her and is one of the most prized teas growin china.
How it became named for her is a beautiful story of devotion. Centuries ago, there was a tea farmer named Mr. Wei. He was very poor and worked very hard to create a living for his family. Each day, both morning and evening, he would pass a neglected temple, the Temple of T’ieh-Kuan-Yin. The degraded state of the temple awakened his devotion to Kuan Yin and he began to light incense and pray at the temple; each day doing a little clean-up and polishing of the temple and the statue of Her.
Moved by his devotion, Kuan Yin appeared to him in a dream. She said to him, “Beind the temple, deep in a cave is a treasure for you and the generations to come. You must share it with all of your neighbors.” Upon awakening, he rushed to the cave and searched and searched. He found nothing be a small sprig of tea. Unhappy that he did not fulfill Her instructions, he took the sprig of tea back to his home and planted in his garden. He tended it and it grew over the years into a bush. He noticed that as he created infusions that the fragrance was beautiful and long-lasting.
He began to cultivate the tea bushes and shared the shoots and seeds with his neighbors, naming the tea after T’hei-Kuan-Yin. The temple was repaired and funds were set aside for its perpetual upkeep. The region flourished as tea traders flocked to the region to buy this lovely tea.
Tiequanyin is also called Iron Goddess Tea and the less romantic researchers say that it is called this because of the appearance of its processed leaves, “dark as iron and heavier than other teash, but with the quality as pure and beautiful as Guanyin.” Well, maybe there is more poetry in that statement. [quote from All the Tea in China by Kit Chow and Ione Kramer]
Kuan Yin inspires devotion all over the world from traditional Buddhists to the pagan and Goddess communities. She is the embodiment of compassion (Karuna) and mercy. She is Mistress of the Southern Seas and is often depicted riding across the ocean either in a lotus or on a dragon. She holds a vase with the nectar of compassion and wisdom, and she is also shown with a Willow branch from which she sprinkles the divine nectar of life. She is the bestower of children and the dove is the symbol of her fecudity. She is also shown with a book or scroll of prayers, representing her mastery of dharma (teaching) and text (sutra). She is shown with a rosary which she uses to call on the Buddha for succor on behalf of all who call her name.
There is strong trust in her grace, mercy and healing powers that to call her name is to call her to you. Om Mani Padme Hum is her mantra and it means “Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus.”
People tend to look at her as very holy and without fault since she is deserving of nirvana and chooses to stay and help others achieve enlightenment. She has been in my life since I was a girl. My great-aunt and my grandmother collected images of her, referring to her by one of her other names Mei-Ling. When my grandmother passed away, I inherited her collection of figurines along with her love of this wonderful Goddess. Whenever I do Reiki healing and teaching, Kuan Yin is the Goddess who appears. To me, though, there is an element of playfulness about her. She isn’t completely somber and serious. In my work with her, I’ve learned she enjoys a good joke, likes physical exercise and loves cats. Her mastery of dragons resonates with me and tells me that her strength comes not from holy stillness but an active, strong physical presence. She is vibrant and vital as she appears to me.
For my birthday, Mouse gave me a wonderful Kuan Yin pendant from Jane Iris [www.janeiris.com] that is shown in this blog entry. I love that she has perky breasts and tips her hip’ she looks saucy! A boddhistava that wants to have fun…..It shows me that Kuan Yin has her connection to the exuberant, ecstatic flow of energy in her being and she continues to communicate that fabulous energy to us. So every time you breathe in the delicate fragrance of Oolong tea, find the essence of the Goddess there as well.
Oolong Tea
There a lots of varieties of tea, and oolong is a delicate variety somewhere between black tea and green tea in its oxidation. The flavor is somewhere between black and green, favoring the green without the grassy taste of green tea. Oolongs flavor has many sides beginning with a strong almost bitter taste with an afternote of sweetness. The term oolong means “black dragon” or “black snake” because its leaves look like little black dragons when you pour hot water over them.
Oolong is said to enhance meditation. So settle back with a nice cup of tea and meditate on Kuan Yin in all her compassionate mercy and sassy rowdiness.
The Kuan Yin image is copyrighted by Jane Iris and used with permission. See their wonderful wares at www.janeiris.com

Maiden, Mother, and Crone, Isn’t She More?

Maiden, Mother and Crone: Isn’t She More?
Part One


Yes….Seeing the Goddess and Maid, Mother, and Crone is practically a doctrine in the Goddess and pagan communities; most people not realizing that this particular envisioning of a triple goddess is not universal and this M-M-C concept came primarily from the Greeks and popularized by Robert Graves in The White Goddess. Some cultures did not envision the Goddess as triple, and others did not see the triple Goddess as M-M-C.

For me, in particular, I didn’t always relate to one aspect or another. I never birthed a child out of my body so some of the more biological versions of Goddess/Woman as Mother held no meaning for me. As I became older [*ahem!*], my pagan friends started assuming I would want a croning ceremony. It has intensified as I’ve journeyed deeper into my fifties. I’m reluctant; not because of growing older or the death thing but because I keep asking “is this all there is?” I’m a crone and then I’m dead. EEEk!!
You already know the answer. No. Just as people, women and men, are incredibly diverse in their roles and self-understanding so is the Goddess infinitely diverse, adapatable and creative. So when I wrote my first book, Rituals of the Dark Moon, I talked about my concept of linking concepts to the nine phases of the moon. This provides a number of ways of relating to the Goddess at different times in our lives–or even multiple ways at one time in our lives.
  • Maiden corresponds to the New Moon. The light is reborn and shines as a tiny sliver, just as the Maiden is new and eagerly embarking on new ideas or a new life. This is a youthful, hopeful and joyous time.
  • Amazon corresponds with the Crescent Moon. The light sharpens and becomes more distinct. This is a time for pursuing passions and fighting the good fight. Confidence and strength are all part of this time.
  • Lover corresponds wit the First Quarter Moon. Half light and half dark. Fully sexual and living without the burdens of responsibility or worry. She looks to others not for completion but for partnership. She is in tune with herself and wants to harmonize with others. She is full of romance, love, lust, and sex.
  • Priestess corresponds with the Gibbous Moon. Waxing and nearly full. She is journeying with Spirit and integrating mind and body with emotions and spirtual life. She knows that there are many things hidden and sacred. She is an initiate in the mysteries of the mon and of sacred womanhood.
  • Mother corresponds with the Full Moon. The moon is all light and fully luminous. Fertile, nurtuing and shining without shadow. Optimism and a vision of hope throughout the world. Fullness. Happiness. Productivity. Fertility.
  • Teacher corresponds with the Disseminating Moon. This is the first phase of waning where the dark begins to overtake the light. Knowing and communicating. Lessons have been learned, and it’s time to pass wisdom on to others. This is a time of acknowledging the dualities of life as part of the song of life. Grief, sorrow, joy, love, life, light, death and dark begin to move together in life.
  • Elder corresponds with the last quarter moon. The moon wanes to half dark and half light, and we all know that the darkness is coming, inexorably. She knows of disappointments and lies, but she also knows of hopes, birth and truth. She reaches out to others, to share her experiences.
  • Crone corresponds with the balsamic phase. The moon is three quarters dark. The Crone knows power. She knows how to use it, badly and for good. Her choices define her, sadden her, uplift her, and enlighten her. She is fully in her power.
  • Witch corresponds with the dark moon. These are three days when the moon is no longer visible to the earthbound. It is a time of radiance and reflection. In my book, I called this phase the Weaver, because of the ability to bring things together in beautiful patterns. The Witch is equally if not more fitting because of the magic and mystery involved in bringing all the extraneous and diverse pieces into the pattern. The Witch brings together everything that the Maiden, Amazon, Lover, and Priestess knows and combines it with the experiences of the Mother, Teacher and Elder. She takes the power of the Crone and transforms this into a magical understanding of the mysteries of All-That-Is. The moon in all her phases is found here. The seasons pool their energy here. It is alchemical, radiant and fabulous!

The waxing phases of the moon teach us of exploration and activity. Through growth and change we learn and gain understanding. Waxing phases teach us that life is good and we can handle it with hope and happiness. After the full moon, it all begins to change and as we experience these changes, we learn that what we fear isn’t all that bad. Even the hardest lessons teach us of our toughness and ability to survive and thrive. In our sense of knowing we become aware of the songs of the Universe and how to sing all the harmonies.

Pretty cool, huh! I tied it all up in a nice neat little package. It works. I related this to a friend of mine and it didn’t work for her at all. So there’s more. And what about the eclipses? What about Void of Course? That’s why this is Part One!

Have a good one and stay tuned for more………….

How I Became a Rowdy Goddess

The Path to the Rowdy Goddess

It took a long time to become a Rowdy Goddess. It all began, like most stories, when I was a girl. My grandparents had a collie mix dog named Rowdy. He was cool. I’d sit on the porch steps and call, “Here, Rowdy, Rowdy, Rowdy,” and he come running! My mother told me that one time he disappeared for several weeks. Everyone assumed that he had been stolen and then he found his way home. He showed up all raggedy and a little worse for the wear, but home he came!

During my childhood and teenage years–my whole life, really–there have been times when I have felt so connected to the Universe, to something magical and pleasurable. I was sure that magic was out there and I was being called to be a part of it. I recognized the call of Spirit, the call of what I now know to be the call of the Goddess and the God.

When I was in college, I became a member of a fundamental Christian group. I was with them for four years or so. It was not a pleasant experience since my feminist nature kept getting the best of me. “Have you really read this stuff,” I asked after reading some of the Old Testament. They started calling me the “Rowdy Girl.” It was not a compliment. My exuberance kept bubbling over and the jokes and comments were taken amiss.

A little over ten years ago, I started attending (and later teaching there) a wonderful women’s spirituality retreat called Womongathering–www.womongathering.com. It is a fabulous gathering; it is where I met my dear friend Joyce there. We always asked for drum tolerant tents, but somehow our laughter and chatter always bothered someone. We would get shushed.

As a librarian, I know all about shushing. I deplore shushing. After awhile, RoseLee joined us followed by Sharon, Susan and Kim. Our laughter and delight in one another always bubbled over! Shushed again. Oy vey! I then told them my Rowdy Girl story. And since we were Goddess Wimmin, we should consider ourselves Rowdy Goddesses. They liked that idea a lot.

The next year, as I was walking to the assigned cabin, a woman stopped me and said, “I think you are in the noisy cabin.” There was a HUGE, wonderful lot of noise, laughter and talk coming from our usual cabin! Whoo hoo. Maire, Erin, and Diana were there. Everything changed after that.

The people who assigned the cabins have never put anyone next to us after that. We have grown in numbers every year after that; and we use those four days to catch up, take stock, cry, scream, get mad, laugh and retool ourselves. Even though we only see each other once or twice a year, we are dear friends. Like that Rowdy dog of my childhood, we are sometimes a little raggedy and worse for wear, but home we come to each other. As close as any coven or family can ever be. We are the Rowdy Goddesses.

Anyone, woman or man, can be a Rowdy Goddess by truly being true. True to self, true to emotions, true to mind and true to spirit. It is that easy and that difficult.

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