Posts Tagged ‘Mary Magdalene’

Revisiting Gaia Festival 2008

“Mother Mysteries” - Held on October 11, 2008

Margaret Starbird, Gaia Festival 2008, "Mother Mysteries." Photo by Bree Crystal Clark.

Temescal Gateway Park
15601 Sunset Blvd
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Margaret Starbird, Author of “The Woman With the Alabaster Jar”
Karen Tate, Author of “Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations”

Workshop and Events:
Opening Circle and Altar Blessing
“Revealing the Sacred Union” Workshop with Magdalene scholar Margaret Starbird
“Pagan Paris” Workshop with Karen Tate
“The Goddess with A Thousand Faces” Lecture with Stephen Gerringer of the Joseph Campbell Foundation
Labyrinth Walk (created by Tyr Jung)
Drum Circle
- Open Time for Free Mini-Healing Sessions, Socialing and Shopping
Spiral Dance, facilitated by Stephanie Hamberger

Featured Presenter for 2008: Margaret Starbird
Margaret Starbird is a scholar whose work establishes the preeminence of Mary Magdalene and helps us to identify the archetypal Bride and Bridegroom of Christian mythology. By reclaiming Mary Magdalene as “Bride,” we can restore the masculine/feminine balance that was at the heart of early Christianity. Margaret’s scholarship was the main source of inspiration for Dan Brown’s novel, “The Da Vinci Code.”

The lecture and workshop retreat include slide presentations of sacred imagery, symbology, art and artifacts associated with Mary Magdalene.

Two of our presenters wrote gorgeous testimonials about how they experienced that sunny day in October 2008.

Greetings All,

I’m still basking in the glow of yesterday’s fabulous event facilitated so successfully and wonderfully by Kris with Stephanie’s help and support — and the help of Kris’s family and husband.  It was so lovely to see Seraphina, Kris’s new baby.  Such a beautiful baby – and I usually don’t think babies are precious. They usually remind me of little old men who cry a lot.  But not this little one – she is a treasure and true gift.

With everything melting down in the outer world, we were in Temescal Canyon, embraced on three sides by a Mother Mountain, with only one drive in – which reminded me of the vulva or birth canal.  We were in the safety of a metaphorical womb.  And it felt that way.  The day was beautiful, sunny, cool.  Hummingbirds and butterflys visited during parts of the opening ritual.  Rabbits could be seen running on the hillsides.  The energy was so loving, nurturing, casual, and informative. There was networking, support, reciprocity, a dedication to contribute to make the world a better place –  the day embodied all that is the Sacred Feminine in her many forms — including art, dance, ritual.  It gave me hope that as patriarchy  melts down, we will survive because of these Goddess ideals and aspects we all hold so close and dear to our hearts and minds.  We have the tools we need to sustain ourselves and thrive.  The day filled me with hope.

Thanks to everyone whose energy made this a special day.



Sweet Soul Sisters (and Brothers),

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have been included in this wonderful celebration of the Goddess in all Her Incarnations. That inability to express myself isn’t due to a lack of words (rarely a problem for the excessively verbose, as you may have guessed), but because the gratitude I feel is beyond words – stirrings of the heart, and not the head.

Miranda’s pictures and Karen’s words – drawing the connection to our setting in the womb of Nature – evoke so many sacred associations for me … and “sacred,” indeed, is the key term.

Of course, I entered the liminal zone the moment I recognized the vendors’ room and the spiral labyrinth from my dream of two nights before. Then, after setting up the JCF table, I followed wooden steps down a few feet below the grassy area, to perform a quick centering ritual of my own – then looked up to see a fairy dancing among the tree branches on the slope immediately behind us! Tiny, feminine, graceful, a lustrous white – the spitting image of Tinkerbelle! (I’ll admit the rational, masculine side of my brain eventually identified her as a feathery, fluffy seedling floating on the breeze – but only one, where there should have been hundreds, given that wind!). I followed her spinning, twirling dance quite some distance as she soared above the trees and out into the open sky, before eventually disappearing into the sun.

Such magick, even before the opening ceremony – and the day seemed full of like synchronicities for everyone. Then, with the sacred circle, I could feel the grace of the Goddess welling up in me, welling up in everyone, and flowing throughout the day.

I was both humbled and honored to be included on the same program with Melanie, Karen, Joan, and Margaret. I am in such awe of what you are accomplishing, and the work you are doing on behalf of our planet, and of our souls. In particular, given that so much of the public perception of the Goddess “movement” is focused on the polytheistic, pagan forms She takes, I am sooo excited by Margaret’s mission and Joan’s work in restoring the sacred feminine to the Christian revelation.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail had a similar mind-expanding effect on me when it came out – about the same time I was first delving into Joseph Campbell’s work. From the mythological perspective, the shift we’re seeing in the popular perception, re-envisioning/re-membering the relationship of Mary Magdelene and Jesus (which we catch hints of in cinema in Jesus Christ Superstar and the alternate reality of Last Temptation of Christ, before blossoming into the unprecedented widespread popularity of the Da Vinci Code), strikes me as the harbinger of a major opening in the mythic imagination – a hopeful sign of what’s to come.

We have Margaret and Joan and other tireless workers to thank for taking this re-visioning out of the realm of fiction and giving it form in spiritual practice. Wow is all I can say …

But I also learned so much from everyone I spoke to Saturday – about belly dancing as an ancient aid in the birth process, about the origins of weaving reaching back to the time of the Goddess of Willendorf, about the Pacific Garbage Patch, and so much more.

Kris and Stephanie (great first name, Steph – wonder why I like it so much?), thank you for creating the sacred space and time to birth this magick. The only “criticism” I have is that it’s far too short – but then, everyone brings so many gifts of the soul that a weekend or even a week would be far too brief to take it all in. Thank you for your labor of love (and thanks to Kris and Shaun for the labor of love that is sweet Seraphina).

I returned to my home in Modesto yesterday afternoon, and found myself immediately immersed in lawyers and copyright violations and all that other stuff that seems a function of masculine, patriarchal thinking – but the grace of the Goddess evoked this weekend carries me through.

Metaphorically Yours,

steve (gerringer)