Together, We Are One

by: Xia and Pythia                                                                                © 2009 Rev. Xia & Pythia
Use with permission.
[email protected]

Celebrant: Priestess or Priest

People: I Am. You Are. Together, We Are One.

I am the breath of life,

The dawn of new beginnings.

You are the power of word and song,

Inspiration and spirit in flight.

I Am. You Are. Together, We Are One.

I am the spark of light,

The flame of creative desire.

You are passion and regeneration,

Fueling the fire of our hearts.

I Am. You Are. Together, We Are One.

I am the blood of life,

The ebb and flow of emotions.

You are the tides of change,

Courage in the face of all fear.

I Am. You Are. Together, We Are One.

I am the body of life,

Form and substance of Earth.

You are mystery and manifestation,

Ancient roots of wisdom and truth.

I Am. You Are. Together, We Are One.

We are the Oneness of Spirit.

United by air and breath.

We are the Oneness of Spirit.

United by passions aflame.

We are the Oneness of Spirit.

United by heart and blood.

We are the Oneness of Spirit

United by Life and Love.

I Am. You Are. Together, We Are One.

 

 

people at sunrise

Rev. Xia

Founder & Director

 

xiabioFor almost two decades Rev. Xia has walked the path of the divine feminine, committed to her role as an inter-faith ambassador for the Pagan Community. Among her many articles, an essay entitled Paganism: Out of the Closet and into the Fire, originally written for her son’s school in Pasadena for a Diversity in Religion series, has been reprinted countless times. Additionally, she has written numerous mythological and ritual works centered around archetypal studies of the Goddess including Rites of Passage: A Goddess Ritual for Women, which aired on The Learning Channel–showing Pagan rites for Maiden, Mother, and Crone. She also produced and facilitated that segment for The Learning Channel. Additional articles include: Ritual and the Art of Alchemy, The Mythology of Nature, The Legacy of Creation Myths, The Myth of Matriarchy, and Secret Garden of the Feminine. She is completing a non-fiction book entitled, Feminine Alchemy: The Ritual Art of Cooking, a book of healing through Goddess archetypes which has been on the back burner for many years.

 

As a mythologist, minister, counselor, and healer, Rev. Xia has been creating, writing, and facilitating  rituals for groups and individuals for more than a decade. She has led thousands of men and women in transformational rituals. She also teaches Goddess classes, dance classes, as well as serpent workshops for women with Temple Serpents, Isis and Serapis. As a sacred dancer, Xia has been featured in the “Trends” section of Newsweek, and in Rites of Passage on The Learning Channel. She is also the subject of the video documentary Dance is Prayer, directed by Jules Hart. Xia has performed as a dancer in Los Angeles and Northern California in such venues as International Woman’s Day, Pagan Pride Day, Isis Oasis, and the Long Beach WomanSpirit Festival.

 

Rev. Xia has always considered her two great accomplishments in life, to date, her son, an actor, writer, musician, and priest of the divine feminine; and Temple of the Goddess, a vision given her shortly after the birth of her son–to create a living temple, healing center, education and arts complex.  After 10 years of legal work, crafting the language, and dancing with the IRS, Temple of the Goddess was given legal recognition by the U.S. Federal government and became a bona fide Pagan church in 2004. This huge feat she did with grace, dignity, and intelligence, responding to IRS questions such as “We understand you do ritual, but how do you worship?”–countless times.  She met the never-ending barrage of questions from the IRS regarding Paganism by creating all-embracing religious principles, liturgy, and the Temple of the Goddess Handbook–each destined to become guiding forces in a growing movement.

 

Temple of the Goddess holds public Sabbats for the Los Angeles community in Pasadena, California. These Sabbats are ritual theatre that follow the seasons and cycles of the Pagan calendar and combine mythology and art to re-connect, as well as strengthen our connection to the earth. The temple rituals are multi-media programs combining music, dance, liturgy, spoken word, visual art, and participatory theater. With her expert spiritual guidance and keen business sense, Rev. Xia has brought together a remarkable group of people–singers, actors, dancers, story-tellers, musicians, puppeteers, ritualists, and those who are starving for ritual, to honor the Divine and celebrate the Wheel of the Year.  She works toward the day that the spiritual church will become a brick and mortar building, housing space for worship, art, healing, and learning.

 

As a writer/producer, Xia is writing a six-part documentary series about the ancient face of the feminine which explores women’s history, culture, art, and heritage throughout the millennia, called Forbidden Knowledge: A Glimpse Behind the Veil and is currently seeking funding for production. She continues to be a voice and an advocate for the earth, the Goddess, the Temple, and the Pagan community.

 

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Caitlin

Priestess of Sacred Circles

 

caitlinMy specific Priestess Path I wish to dedicate myself to is sacred circles. This means that my truest spiritual ecstasy comes from ritual in community with others. This is a large circle that includes not only planning and performing ritual, but also creating ritual art such as building altars, teaching ritual, making video…

 

My training, experiences, and teachers are many and varied but each has influenced me and brought me to the step of ordination in Temple of the Goddess. The first person I owe my love of nature to is my Granny Forrest. She lived alone up in the mountains where I went to visit for most of my early life. I went there not only when we had the many Forrest family reunions but also as a young adult when I wanted to escape the city or school or parents. Granny and I would be alone where she always welcomed me and never judged me. We witnessed the cycles of nature together: the noisy blue jays and squirrels in summer, the doe and fawns that visited the salt lick she put out in the meadow, the blue belly lizards that I would catch and put in shoe box dioramas I had created for them, the bright daffodils that broke through the late snow heralding spring, the hammock under the pines, the tire swing under the most beautiful oak, the sun-speckled ferns by the tiny brook.

 

Although my parents were Methodist, they never forced me to attend church. I would go with them sometimes and I would listen to the sermon or read something in the program and ask my mother questions about it, saying it didn’t make sense or that I didn’t believe it. I remember as a teenager proclaiming my religion as “trees”. For me, being in nature made me feel physically smaller in the world and in the correct relation to the rest of the planet.

 

It was not until I was an adult that I found that there were names to what I had been sorting out until then – paganism, Wicca, the goddess. Then, I couldn’t learn fast enough. Interestingly, reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Mists of Avalon”, a book of fiction, really captured my heart. The major turning point came when I belonged to a woman’s art therapy group. I met several of my future coven sisters in that group, in particular, Susan Gray. Susan had been actually practicing Wicca for a few years by then. She and myself, Cheri Gaulke, and Christine Papalexis and others began to teach ourselves the “craft” by meeting and like many other circles, reading Starhawk’s “Spiral Dance”. Being active at the Woman’s Building cemented my connection to the political-feminist-woman-artist-goddess community. I taught video there, and produced their video program on cable. My beloved coven, Nemesis, has grown and stabilized over more than 20 years, with the original sisters from that artist therapy group still at the core. Over the years we have naturally dropped and picked up a few members, but surprisingly few, less than 5. As a circle, we have become like a family with nine sisters. We embrace all the spouses and husbands as our chosen extended family. We have been there to witness the passages of life for each other – births, deaths, marriages, divorces, coming-outs, and way too many birthdays. I will forever have my heart deeply connected with Nemesis. It is the place I do my most vulnerable and intimate work.

 

Finally, becoming involved with Temple of the Goddess was the natural next step. After 20 years of doing ritual on an intimate scale with Nemesis, Temple of the Goddess was the place to spread out, expand, go public, appeal to my dramatic performance instinct and finally, to do something with my partner, David Jacks. I know that he takes a little prodding at times but he secretly enjoys being involved and I enjoy seeing him do that.

 

My work in the world has covered many decades and has swirled around art and education – elementary school teacher, Art History degree, Film degree, film and video production, and currently, Coordinator for the Teaching Learning Center at Otis College of Art and Design. I love my job. I work with teachers, helping them with a variety of technology. At present, I am helping shoot and edit short videos of demos they do in class, which will be turned into video podcasts on iTunes U on the web.

 

As my greatest ecstasy comes from doing ritual in community. I love planning, I love performing, I love building altars, and I love doing all this with people I love. I love the spirit of Temple of the Goddess. I hope that I can add my spirit to the whole. I believe I have already stepped onto my future path with TOG. I hope in the future to contribute to any video productions such as podcasts for the website and also to take advantage of my ability to be a teacher, introducing new souls to the love of nature and path of the goddess.

 

 

 

 

 

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Inanna

aka Marcella-Lentz Pope

 

InannaMarcella, our youngest priestess, has been a professional actor for many years. She is a graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Other training includes Viewpoints/Suzuki with Anthony Byrnes, Voice-Over Workshops with Sharon Mack, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, a Shakespeare Intensive. Her theater credits include The Cherry Orchard, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Wizard of Oz. Her film credits include, Punch-Drunk Love, A Host of Trouble, and Kids in America. She has co-starred on various television shows, such as NCIS, Boston Legal, The O’Keefe’s, and Malcolm in the Middle. Awards encompass 1st Place in the 2005 and 2006 DTASC Shakespeare Competition / monologue, 1st Place 2005 RoleAbout / Cold Reading, 1st Place 2005 RoleAbout / Classical Monologue, and was the Silver Medalist ROP Outstanding Student in TV/Film.

 

Marcella has been fortunate to have grown up with a goddess teacher, her mother Pat Lentz. She continues her goddess studies with Xia, Director of Temple of the Goddess. She believes her career working in the media will enable her to be a voice of the goddess and the importance of remembering the divine feminine. Her strength of will, her dedication, her passion is beautiful to behold, especially in a young adult. When she dances at Temple of the Goddess rituals, the divine swirls around her, through her, and out to those watching her. She sincerely hopes that by re-introducing the Goddess, she can do her part in changing society for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kamala

 

kamala

Kamala Raven is an ordained Priestess of Life Cycle Empowerment with the Temple of the Goddess. She is a Ritual Facilitator for the Temple, a Tantric Urban Shaman, a Teacher, and a Sacred Temple Dancer. Her deep reverence for the Divine, in its multitude of manifestations, is the foundation for all of the work that she does with men, women, young adults, and children. Over the years her wonder and compassion have grown, allowing her to find wisdom, love, laughter, and tears in the smallest of encounters. Kamala’s training includes Core Shamanism, Prasava Tantra, Modern Dance, Tai Chi, Yoga, Acting, and The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power.

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Mnajdra

aka Mnajdra

 

MnajdraI have been following the path of the goddess for over 30 years. As an artist, I have always been interested in the mutual influence between the personal and political, private and communal, spiritual and artistic expression.

 

I started studying women’s ritual, paganism and Wicca in 1975 with Z Budapest in Los Angeles. I was pursuing my Masters Degree in Feminist Art and Education at the Woman’s Building. Part of my thesis was devoted to the study of matriarchal symbols in prehistoric art of Western Europe. This included a personal journey that joined Richard Demarco’s “Edinburgh Arts 1976” which brought together artists, scholars, and gallery directors from international cultures to travel through Europe juxtaposing contemporary and prehistoric art.

 

In 1976, I developed and taught classes including “Ritual Artmaking” and “Prehistoric Matriarchal Symbols”. I began leading full moon rituals at my home for interested students and colleagues. In 1978, I collaborated with artist Cheri Gaulke in a public performance ritual held in the prehistoric temples on the island of Malta. I also co- founded two feminist performance art groups, The Waitresses and Sisters of Survival. Through artmaking, these groups explored content that ranged from working women’s issues to the nuclear threat and world hunger.

 

In 1985, I started practicing Wicca with a group of women that formed the coven Nemesis. We continue to celebrate the holidays in private rituals that we create for each other. Our circle is composed of nine women, and we continue to teach and learn from each other. We have often extended our ritual practice to include our families and community.

 

Since 1994, I annually co-produce with Ruth Ann Anderson a women’s spiritual retreat entitled Wiccan Out Weekend (WOW). This includes a woman-centered arts and meditation workshop in the city, followed by a weekend camping retreat in the mountains. We lead the participants on a journey of self-exploration, personal art, spiritual focus and community ritual.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pythia

JEANNE LEITER CLARK (PYTHIA)

 

pythiaGod was strictly male in the forties. And the males in my life were minor demi-gods to be obeyed without question. Father, priests, especially Monsignor, policemen, doctors–they protected me, taught me, molded me. My teachers (grade and high school) were Catholic nuns, but they were under the supervision and control of the priesthood.

 

My parents raised me with the idea that I could be anything I wanted to be, but I was still living in a patriarchal society. When my grades weren’t good enough for medical school, friends said, “Why don’t you become a nurse, it’s just as good.” In the forties, the majority of women were secretaries, nurses, teachers, and stay-at-home wives and mothers.

 

The problem was, I didn’t want to be ‘just’ a nurse. It was doctor or another field entirely. When Monsignor asked my fourth grade class how many wanted to be priests, I put my hand up along with all the boys. “No,” I was told, “little girls become nuns, only boys can become priests.” When he asked how many wanted to become nuns, I did not put up my hand. Obviously, I was listening to a different drummer.

 

I was labeled a ‘Trouble Maker’ because I questioned things I should have accepted on faith. Just how does Free Will work if God already knows everything? Where do cavemen fit into the Bible? They’re not after Adam because they’re not in the Good Book. I was told they came before, and because they were before Adam, they did not have souls. Even at this early age, I was bothered. How could a people who discovered fire, drew magical pictures on cave walls, and buried their dead with grave goods not have souls? When my brother died at nineteen and I was a very young thirteen, nuns, priests, even God, could not heal my grief.

 

At the University of Missouri at Kansas City my algebra teacher was a very moral man although he labeled himself an atheist. This was a revelation. A person could be ‘good’ not because he longed for Heaven, nor feared the pains of Hell, but because others were fellow travelers on this earth and should be respected.

 

I received a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Biology and Chemistry. Since there’s not much one can do with a psych degree, I became a Social Worker in K.C.

 

Did I mention I married several semesters before graduating? After six months of Social Working, Mel and I moved to Southern California. Two apartment years later we bought a house in Arcadia where we still live with two loving dogs and two perverse cats.

 

In 1990 I attended a Celtic Mythology class at Pasadena City College while working as a chemist (go figure). What happened was . . . I found the Goddess. More correctly, the Goddess presented Herself to me, and I recognized Her.

 

The class introduced me to the prehistory of humans and religion. A female deity had existed before the male Biblical Yahweh! Wow!!! Everything started to make sense. Reincarnation, Collective Unconscious, Premature Dying, Cavemen Souls, the Sacredness of Nature. Someone told me that my brother Jerry died because he had fulfilled his task in this lifetime. This healed my 40 year grief like nothing else had. I’m still saddened when I remember what might have been; I may cry when I write about him, but I do not grieve.

 

In Celtic Mythology class I heard a woman talking to another about trance drumming. I told her I’d like to try it. I had to ask three times (this was even more pushy than usual for me) before she finally said, if I read Michael Harner’s book The Way of the Shaman, and learned how to journey on my own, then I could be a guest at one of her drumming circles.

 

I did, I did, I was a guest. I still attend this drumming circle, along with four other women. I value the insight I receive every month from various Power Animals and my Teacher.

 

Around the end of 1992 this drumming sister asked me if I’d like to go to UCLA to hear an archeologist lecture. I said yes. She had also asked Judy Tatum. By the way, the talk was given by Marija Gimbutas! Another introduction to the society of the Goddess.

 

Several months later, Judy called me to see if I’d like to write a tv script with her. By this time I had written a book, many short stories, poems, and essays. The bottom line is that we wrote a Star Trek, Next Generation script.

 

It doesn’t matter that we didn’t sell the script, because we became friends. Then we became good friends. Then we became best friends. Then we became Soul Sisters.

 

I was by her side as she transformed Deviled Eggs into Goddess Eggs, as the Goddess told her to build a Temple. Together, we slogged through Federal paperwork to establish the Temple of the Goddess. I watched as Judy, now Xia, grow into her power.

 

I am profoundly grateful to my parents for raising me to think for myself (even against their own beliefs), my brother Jerry for protecting me, my sister Jackie for teaching me a work ethic and showing me that a woman can still be independent with a husband and five children. I am grateful for the nuns who gave me an excellent education (brain-washing and molding aside). I am very grateful to Dr Len Franco for informing me about Goddess Herstory.

 

I am profoundly grateful to the Goddess for this incarnation. Through the Temple I have met some very strong, intelligent women, and loving, compassionate men. I hope to shine more light on Her so others may see the Divine Feminine residing in all of us, female and male alike.

 

Blessed Be

 

 

 

 

 

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Ra

Priestess of Moon Magic,
Visionary of Sacred Space

 

raIntroduction—the beginning February, 1986

 

Tonight I have gathered pastels and paper

Collected my thoughts and headed for the roof

I’ve decided upon a new art project

One which conforms to a cycle of nature

Choosing the duration of thirteen months

And the simplicity of the moon when full

A cycle I can remember

A drawing every 28 days

Observed from my studio rooftop

A unique perspective of downtown LA

A soft blush casts a spell as I watch

Dusting over this industrial landscape
The glow immersing the functional buildings

A sense of anticipation reaches upward

Revealing new outlines and mystical shadows

My blood quickens—I wonder what this is about

I’m simply here to draw the circular moon

But the air seems to swell with enchantment

Sending this atheist mind into chaos

My insides respond without hesitation

A mysterious unspoken knowing

Archaic memories long since forgotten

A sense of futures now altered forever.

 

 

Full Moon, February, 1986

 

All of my art, since the time I entered graduate school, was committed to creating environments. So it was only natural that when I entered my path as a Priestess that this would include creating sacred space.

 

My transformation actually began in October of 1985 when I had a one person exhibit in Santa Ana, California. For that exhibit, I covered the gallery floor in sand, half white, half black with stepping stones down the middle. Figurative sculptures emerged out of rock form and earth to create a sense of connection. It was then that I began to question my atheism. Raised in a fundamentalist preacher’s home, I had turned to atheism in my late twenties. Then, as I agonized over the meaning of this October 1985 exhibit, I began to see that I still valued the importance of the spiritual connection of all of life. That December, a friend gave me “The Mists of Avalon” to read.

 

The next month, I found Lucy Lippard’s book, Overlay which is a book that deals with artists who work with the earth as a major element of their materials. Inspired by these artists, I decided to create an art project that would be based on a cyclical element of nature. The Full Moon seemed the easiest and so I committed to drawing the milky orb every full moon for a year. That was February of 1986 and so it began: with a simple art project in February of 1986. It became a way of life—honoring the moon and, unknowingly, creating ritual.

 

In February of 1987 I was the Director of the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. We hosted an exhibit curated by a Los Angeles artist, Cheri Gaulke. Cheri titled her show “Between the Worlds: The Art of Women’s Altars”. A woman named Susan Gray exhibiting in that show put out a flyer announcing a Spring Equinox workshop. My Exhibitions Director and I decided to attend laughingly announcing that we were going to learn how to become witches. At the end of that workshop, I felt I was home.

 

Later that Spring, I was involved in the Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art. We staged a performance at City Hall in Los Angeles to bring about visibility for women artists. It was through this event, creating and building a 16 foot Goddess, that I became friends with Sue and Cheri who soon easily enticed me into joining their coven Nemesis. That was twenty years ago. . .

 

Now after years of active participation as a witch, priestess, artist and teacher of pagan spirituality, co-leader of an annual women’s weekend in the mountains that focuses on spiritual retreat, writer of women’s spiritual community and creator of annual journals with meditations of the moons, agricultural cycles, drawings and writing space, I felt ready to take the next step—to officially become ordained.

 

Truly my art led me back to my roots of spiritual engagement and it is through my art that I serve the earth as my Goddess, my Mother and my Guide. For me, the moon is her messenger. I envision my path to continue to create sacred space for women, community and public ritual.

 

 

 

 

 

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Witchhaizel

aka Haize Rosen

 

haizeHaize Rosen has worked professionally as an actress, dancer and choreographer for 20 years. Haize is also an energy-light worker, certified in Thai massage and Hellerwork. To complement her work in the healing arts, Haize is a certified assistant mid-wife, and has a thriving doula practice. As a dancer, Haize has studied Balinese, The Orishas of both Africa and Brazil, and Classical Indian Dance in the style of Odissi. She has choreographed such renowned musicals as Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Little Shop of Horrors, and Grease. Haize recently wrote and starred in her one-woman shop, Country Colored Girl, which chronicled her family history in a small town in Alabama. She has studied ballet with Joy Finch, and acting at Lee Strausberg. Haize has worked rehabbing children at Juvenile Hall and taught theater and dance professionally in workshops throughout Los Angeles. The ordination onto her Priestess path in Temple of the Goddess is a culmination of her life’s work and provides an opportunity for Haize to apply her knowledge and skills in new and effective ways in the world. www.witchhaizel.com

 

 

Personal Statement:

 

My Goddess who invokes in me a sense of power and awe is Yemaya. Yemayá rules over the lakes and seas. She also rules over maternity for she is the Mother of All. Her name, a shortened version of Yeyé Omo Eja is defined as “Mother Whose Children are the Fish” to reflect the fact that her children are uncountable. All life began in the sea, the amneotic fluid inside the mother’s womb is a form of sea where the embryo must transform and evolve through the form of a fish before becoming a human baby. In this way Yemayá displays herself as truly the mother of all. She, and the root of all the paths or manifestations, Olokun is the source of all riches which she freely gives to her little sister Oshún. She dresses herself in seven skirts of blue and white and like the seas and profound lakes she is deep and unknowable. In her path of Okutti she is the queen of witches carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her number is seven for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often represented by drawings of fish, which represent her children.

 

My teachers have been many:

 

Amy Wiggins – Channeling

 

Vida Vierra – healing light hand work

 

Sound healing and earthkeeper prayer work – Dhyani Wahoo

 

Hellerwork – Raya King

 

Thai Massage – Thu Tu Bich Lei

 

Sacred Orisha Dances – Olabisi

 

Rituals Dances of Africa and Brasil – Dr. Beverly Barber

 

Odissi Dance – Radha Ravi

 

Balinese Temple Dance – Sardona of Bali

 

Sacred Native American Dance – Linda Bridges

 

Bellydance (Turkey) – Fatima

 

Orisha Ritual Dance – Swing Brasil directed by Max Jr.

 

 

I am envisioning three future projects I will manifest in the world:

 

My project is night of Theater and Dance enititled:

Nightmares and Fairytales: Bedtime stories retold (ie:, The evil Queen from Snow White is retold a growing older in america)

 

For our community I would love to create a youth group called Conversations – a safe place for young people to speak their thoughts, hopes and fears.

 

My life mission is also my sacred intention to create a world that cherishes motherhood and the rite of passage known as labor.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ananda

aka Cheryl Caddick

 

AnandaMy path to the Goddess, to Paganism, and ultimately, to seeking ordination as a Priestess with the Temple of the Goddess, began I believe, with the drum. Throughout my life, I had sought a spiritual path that would come, not from dogma, but from an innate sense of my own well-being and wholeness in the world. I wanted to connect to my deepest self, and through this connection, find others who felt and believed similarly, who were seeking such a connection. I believe this wholeness and connection began to become clearer to me the first time I picked up a drum and began to beat in time with my own heartbeat. This rhythmic entrainment was a complete revelation and allowed me access to a rich spiritual and musical community. A portal to a new world had opened. I became a dedicated student of rhythm. I explored West African drumming and its workings within the Yoruba religion. I studied Afro-Cuban percussion, and even the ancient Indian system of the tala, or rhythmic structures. Ultimately, I was introduced to an instrument that would change my life; the frame drum.

 

I began to regularly attend drum circles with my friend and partner, Paul Cumpian. Paul had been a student of the drum and sought any and all opportunities to play and commune with other drummers. Paul was also a Pagan and introduced me to many other like-minded people who would end up having a great influence on me, and ultimately change the course of my life.

 

We lived in Long Beach at the time, and found a café called The Living Planet which held weekly co-ed drum circles, as well as a weekly women’s drum circles. The leader of the women’s circle was Berit Jordahl, a tall Norwegian, whose dynamic presence attracted me at once. We ended up becoming friends, and later roommates and coven sisters. Berit was part of a community of Pagan/Goddess-worshipping women for many years, and introduced me to this world through public rituals and meetings.

 

Around 1996, a friend of Berit’s, Wendy Griffin (a women’s studies professor and later, friend and coven sister), asked a few musical and rhythmic women, including me, if they would participate in a performance at an upcoming Women’s Studies Conference at Cal State Long Beach, utilizing frame drum and dance. The piece was meant as a homage to light, both its wave-like and particle-like properties. The elemental nature of this piece was a reflection of the divine qualities of something basic and fundamental to humanity and, indeed, existence. Each of the two female dancers present represented one of the aspects of light, and our drumming was to echo the qualities of their movements. It was the first time I experienced music as an external expression of elemental nature, and I was transformed.

 

From this one performance, it was collectively decided to form a frame drum ensemble that would promote women-centered Goddess music through public performance. We called ourselves Lipushiau after the first named drummer in history, a priestess at the temple of the Moon at Ur, in ancient Sumeria. We trained with renowned frame-drummer Layne Redmond and also with John Bergamo, a professor of music and percussion at Cal Arts.

 

Lipushiau performed at many Pagan festivals, concerts, and events throughout the Southern California area from 1995 to 1999. We wrote own rhythmic compositions whose contents were often based on the Goddess, the elements, elemental energies, ecological concerns, and/or feminism. The group was the crucible in which my love for the Goddess and Pagan-feminism was forged.

 

Several of the women in Lipushiau had formed a Dianic coven called Dragonweyr a few years before the creation Lipushiau. Through my involvement with the creation of the music and my growing friendship with these women, I joined the coven as an initiate. I remained in Dragonweyr for several years before personal issues made it necessary for me to revoke my membership in the coven. However, the experience and training I received as a member of Dragonweyr has deeply impacted and influenced my life as a woman and as a Goddess Pagan. I am forever indebted to my former coven sisters for helping me develop my ability to do magick, to create rituals, and to understand the importance of preserving our planet as a living manifestation of the Divine.

 

Through Berit, I was introduced to Xia, an amazingly powerful and creative woman, who was in the process of creating the Temple of the Goddess. Her vision was to open public ritual to anyone and everyone, men, women, and children; to take ritual out of the rarified and cloistered enclave of the coven. With the creation of this new forum for Goddess spirituality, and persistent personal issues within my own coven, I fully embraced the idea of this open and inclusive forum for public rituals. Xia asked if I would like to help create a closing liturgy for our rituals, play various instruments and accompany performances within the ritual, and more recently, to form a Goddess Choir.

 

Two years later I became the musical director of the Temple. The music program has grown to include drummers, bass player, a regular keyboardist, and many other accompanying musicians and instruments. The Goddess Choir now has a growing repertoire of Pagan, Goddess, and Earth-themed music. I am truly blessed to work with this amazing group of artists and musicians who continue to make each and every ritual an amazingly magickal experience.

 

As an ordained Priestess in the Temple, my goals are to continue to build our musical program to include more young children and adults, as well as encourage various musicians to participate in and add to the ritual music. I would also like to create an anthology of music to be used as a songbook for our yearly ritual Sabbats. I would also like to provide workshops in sacred drumming through the Temple. This would help to create a trained group of drummers who can accompany the drum and dance segments of each ritual. Lastly, I am planning to compose more seasonal and liturgical music for use at the Sabbat rituals. I know that all of these goals will truly add to the Temple’s work of being of service to the community by celebrating the Goddess through creativity and art.

 

I feel truly blessed and appreciative of this opportunity to deepen my spiritual commitment and define my path within my work in the Temple of the Goddess. This ordination marks my personal dedication to the Goddess and Her music, as well as my commitment to developing the musical life of the Temple through song, chant, and rhythm. I dedicate myself as Priestess of Her Song.

 

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Chokae' Lochlan

Leighs Lochran A Ceud Aingeal

 

Chokae LochlanMaurice Lee Davis is my birth name. Since then I’ve carried many names. As a priest in Temple of the Goddess I took the name Leighs Lochran A Ceud Aingeal, the short version; Lochran. The Celtic phrase translates to Healing Torch of the First Light.

 

I’ve been blessed with the honor of receiving several names on this journey of life. It’s not something I take lightly.

 

More than twenty-five years ago in a sacred Native American ritual I was given the ceremonial name, Chokaé. In a Kabala ceremony, Jewish elders named me Moishe. In Hawaii, the Lomi Lomi Master Papa Kepilino gave me the name Kalekoa. The name Hanuman Dass was given to me by Ram Dass. My closest friends call me yet another name, Papawitch.

 

I feel that the Temple of the Goddess priest name that I’ve chosen (the first that I’ve chosen for myself) reflects how I see myself and how I try to live to the best of my ability. The work that I do; massage, hatha yoga instruction, meditative therapy, rites of passage, counseling, ceremonial pipe carrier, drumming and singing for the Muhu Tasen Bear Clan, all reflect my desire to help whoever I can, however I can, as I continue to learn more about myself and this realm that we all share.

 

Blessed Be

 

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Night Eagle Dancer

aka Howard Hansen

 

Howard Hansen1My grandmother was my first true spiritual influence, and after her death, a major spiritual vision and experience.

 

In college, I had a death experience, but was brought back to life by a mysterious non-human spiritual being. Afterward, I was never the same and truly began a spiritually oriented quest and life. I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Ceramic Materials Science Engineering. Even though I chose not to work in the field, it later proved quite useful in my research into gems and crystals and their influence on each individual based on Astrological compatibility. This led to my current specialty and practice of Astrological Gemstone Compatibility Readings.

 

I practiced several forms of meditation and yoga and studied with several East Indian Masters: Karuna Mai, Satya Sai Baba, Swami Satchitananda, Swami Satyanand, Guru Raj Ananda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for whom I became a TM (Transcendental Meditation) Teacher, and later a leader in a major international spiritual organization that sent me all over the US, to Europe, and then to India as the organization’s International Director for India in 1973. While there, I set up the Institute for Creative Intelligence and oversaw a research project on the Physiological Effects of Meditation at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research at Chandigarh, the shared Capital of the Indian states of Haryana and Punjab. In India, I also made pilgrimage to and was transformed by amazing spiritual sites, temples and power places like: Amarnath, Shankaracharya Hill in Kashmir, the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the Kali Temple at the Amber Place near Jaipur. One of the most amazing sites was the 5,000 year old, continuously functioning, Shiva Temple where Lord Krishna reputedly received the power of destruction from Lord Shiva before the Battle of Kurukashetra as told in the Bhagavad Gita. Most amazing was the Book of Bhrigu, the Oracle at Hoshiapur in Punjab. Created by Brahmarishi Bhrigu at the Dawn of the Vedic era, it has an unbelievable number of ancient scrolls that completely fill many warehouses. They are said to hold a spiritual reading for every human soul that will ever incarnate. Each soul, during one of their lifetimes at a time of spiritual catharsis, will find a very personal reading, recorded in ancient times, containing 3 parts: a past life reading relating to current circumstances in the person’s life, a current life reading, and a future life reading. My reading literally crumbled in my hands as it was read to me from the ancient papyrus scrolls. I saw my name and my mother and father’s names written phonetically in ancient Devanagari script and the prediction of an impending illness and the Ayurvedic treatment to cure it.

 

The other prominent spiritual experience and sacred site I must mention was the Shrine and Mosque at Ajmer, one of the Holiest sites of Islam. I arrived on the first day of Ramadan to give a presentation to the all India Conference on Education, not knowing that it was the start of a major time of pilgrimage to the shrine. I was met at the train by the descendents of the original Sufi in whose memory the shrine and Mosque were built. They didn’t speak any English or Hindi, but it was like they knew I was coming. They took me to the descendents quarters at the mosque. I was later taken to the inner sanctum of the shrine where only the descendents are allowed, and given an initiation by the descendents of the original Sufi. All of this had been predicted by a Sikh mystic who had came up to me out of the blue in New Delhi a week earlier. Though I was blown away and couldn’t even keep standing at the time, I didn’t fully appreciate what I had been given for several years as no one spoke English or Hindi.

 

I met many other phenomenal individuals in India, but one of the most remarkable was Tatwali Baba, a 140 year old saint who lived in ghost caves of Lord Shiva near the Ganges above Rishikesh in North India. When I first saw him, he was covered in cobras as he told them not to bite the pilgrims. I went to see him every time I was at our Ashram in Rishikesh. Tatwali Baba’s very presence was palpable and transformative.
I returned to the US after a year as I had contracted a serious illness (Amoebic Dysentery) as had been predicted by the ancient Bhrigu Oracle scrolls. I was seriously ill after returning from India, and left the organization. It took over a year to recover, but it opened me up to other spiritual arenas, especially the power of Nature.

 

I studied Tai Chi and Chi Gung with several Masters and schools, finally apprenticing to Grandmaster Marchall Ho’o who made me an instructor.

 

I went on numerous personal vision quests and it was the wilderness where I experienced the most profound spiritual visions, and met, or rather, was taken by my Power Animal and Spirit Guide. In a quest to truly understand my visions, I studied with many Native America elders and Shamans; Grandmothers Grace Spotted Eagle, Ohshinnah Fastwolf, Diyani Yawahoo, and Grandfather Marcellus Bearheart, Wallace Black Elk, Rolling Thunder, Semu Huate, Harley Swiftdeer, Heyemehost Storm, Heyoehkah Merrifield and others.

 

I went on Vision Quests, and with my friend and fellow Astrologer Daniel Giamario, we developed a system that used astrology to fine tune and enhance the Vision Quest and together we created The Astrological Vision Quest, a process of guided personal transformational in the wilderness at ancient sites and Power Places. I have been leading small groups on Astrological Vision Quests for over 25 years, and still do, occasionally at auspicious times. This will become more frequent after I retire.

 

In 1983, I went on a pilgrimage to Scotland. On the Isle of the Druids in the Inner Hebrides, I nearly lost my life, when I spent the night on Duni, an ancient sacred hill.

 

I learned that many Warriors died on Duni during their test to see if they were worthy of serving the Goddess. I unexpectedly faced the ancient Protector of the Goddess. It took everything I had ever learned, and I barely survived the challenge. But in the end, I was embraced by the Goddess, granted a vision of Her, and initiated as a Warrior of the Goddess. Much of my current work comes directly from this and subsequent nights on this site. In recent years, several more have been found dead on this same sacred hill.

 

I realized that the ancient Goddess and all the Shamanic Mysteries are found in my own heritage and ancestry, and in all others as well. From that point, I have served the Goddess and sworn on my blood and my life to protect all that is sacred to Her as I walk the path of Celtic Shamanism. As She instructed, I have initiated other men into her service over the years, and continue to seek and initiate those worthy and capable of serving Her.

 

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