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Week #5 Reading Reflection Assignment

Week #5 Reading Reflection Prompt

After reading the articles and reflecting on the discussion questions, write your Reading Response using these prompts, and post it as a comment below.
-- what are the reasons that these writers give that women need to create rituals and traditions?
-- discuss some examples of new rituals or traditions that you found interesting in these articles - what was interesting about them for you?
-- are there activities in your own life that function as spiritually renewing rituals outside conventional religious structures in the ways that these articles describe women creating for themselves?


One of the reasons is so we stop trying read about Eve and her daughters sideways through stories of men by men. Christ pg 230. She’s right there are a lot of women today who are no longer content after reading the traditional stories. I find that the authors seem to encourage women finding their own rights of passage. This to me is a good idea (one that seems to be lacking in the Christian faith.). In the Catholic Church at least there are some rights of passage for both males and females. Baptism, first communion, confirmation, and eventually/hopefully marriage, becoming a Godparent, etc. In the Jewish faith there are the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Still other religions also hold rites of passage ceremonies. I took from the readings that women by discovering what some of them are, trying some of them and keeping what works for them, come back to the divine.

What I found interesting and new were the rites of passage, menstrual, and self blessing ceremonies. One of the things that used to bother me about the Native American religions is how they’d sometimes separate the women during “their time of month.? In away it still does. What is cool about it though is there a community aspect of it. A sense of coming together as women and spending time together, gaining wisdom and advice and talking about all kinds of things including spiritual matters. The Self Blessing fascinated me and was an “aha? moment because how often do we bless ourselves? We’ll bless others, older and younger. As I’m typing this, thank you Goddess, I was shown how my son has always blessed himself when he sneezes. He never learned that you were supposed to wait for someone to do it. I also never taught him that. I was taught that, that is vanity and selfish. IF I can bless others why can’t I bless myself?

One of the ways that I renew myself spiritually is taking time outdoors, especially if there is some type of natural water around. Walking in a forest I feel connected to all that is around me. I’m more open to that which is natural, open to listening and hearing from God/dess, my angels, guides and yes, my relatives who have died. The walks in the forest happen after the walk along the shore on a lake, river, stream or pond. This walk, sitting on the shore, looking for rocks and walking in the water resets my bodies’ rhythm. Hearing the waves soothes me. If it’s raining and not stormy I still love to be near and hear the waves. It just relaxes and soothes me. Especially, after a trying time in my life, or a time of renewal, new beginning or just need alone time. I also try and meditate and have participated in some things that are considered “New Age.? I’ve had my chakras cleared, muscles sound recalibrated through sound therapy, and have done a past life regression. I find that these things have not made me less of a follower of Christ. Far from it. If anything my body is more relaxed, my muscles less strained and tight, and I have a better understanding of some of the fears, experiences and reactions in my life. The Catholic Church used to teach about reincarnation and past lives and the higher up in the Catholic Church you go, the more you’ll find those who believe in it. I also find that when I have time with my girlfriends it renews me. Just being able to hang out and have fun.

The first article is on Creating New Traditions. They talk of myths and show that there is a divide. On the one hand I see them leaving one myth for another. The other thing is that they can not come to an agreement.
The second article it speaks on the issue of problems, traditional theology, and strugglings. Things that they are trying to flee from they are having to deal with. For the other areas that they fled from such as the Hebrew and Christian background they had these.
I would like to comment on the title of the article that is entitled “Why Speak About
God??. (p 210) In ways the person that wrote this is that she knows that there is in the mind something that draws us all to the question that is about God. For one can not deny that the question is on their mind. That is what she is saying her name is Mary Daly.
In the next article she starts out about the stereo types of the differences of men and women. I have to say is that there has been a battle of this for centuries and even longer than this. She asks a question of the area that some women maybe putting themselves in danger for the feminist reason.

-- what are the reasons that these writers give that women need to create rituals and traditions?
In one of the articles Judith states that she sees troubles and problems with in the traditions and them selves.

-- discuss some examples of new rituals or traditions that you found interesting in these articles - what was interesting about them for you?
One of the rituals I find interesting is the one called yeah yeah. The reason I find this interesting for the issue is that they may have had rituals to becoming what they were in the past and now creating ones with same motives as the others. Yeah yeah is like an initiation to become sisters with the rest. In Christian churches you have to something like communion or some type of class to become part of them. Other spiritual backgrounds you must be born into it. Then there is the ones that you must just ask.

-- are there activities in your own life that function as spiritually renewing rituals outside conventional religious structures in the ways that these articles describe women creating for themselves?
As for myself I have no activities except what is needed for a spiritual life. Those are a solid submission to the way of life, prayer, and anything else needed.

1. One of the reasons that talked by Washbourn is that women need to create rituals and tradition is that tradition religious rituals in many cultures are related with these life crises (Pg. 247). I truly support Washbourn that in many societies, there are religious rituals and traditions that are not longer follows and these rituals are creating more suffers in women’s life and society. For an example, in my own religious rituals that as a female, we are not allowed sit in front of the male while we are praying. Carol Christ mentioned about the symbol associated with these important rituals (Pg. 275). She also mentioned about replacing the symbol instead of rejecting it. Religious system exclusively paying attention to male images that keep women psychologically depended on male power.

2. One ritual that mentioned by Washbourn about the new ritual that they created “rite of passage? (pg. 251). Carol Christ stated about the replacing the images of male God and talked about the goddess as affirmation of the female power (pg. 276). The symbol of goddess represents the birth, death, and rebirth process of the natural process. Witchcraft that talked by Starhawk in pg 260, witches were free thinker and asked questions that they have regardless of the rule and regulation made by male authority and also self-blessing ceremony. All of them are pretty interesting to me and especially “rite of passage? is quiet shocking to me because in my culture, we are not allow to go to the temple or worship in front of god statue during menstruation period. It considers as dirty and remain dirty until you done with the bleeding. I don’t think it is either bad or good that female go through the menstruation, it is physical changes that take place in human being and we need to accept whether it is accepted or not.

3. The definition of the concept of spirituality based on my belief to help others who are in need of help with physically, mentally, or emotionally. All human beings are created for some reason, and should not waste time with anger, jealousy, hatred, violence, and so on. I always believed that someone is around you and looking at what you do, either good or bad things. Activities in my life that function as spiritually renewing rituals that outside conventional religious structures is creating a positive energy around me that will help to think better and reduce my stress. Positive energy around you makes you think positive and it will give you to gain more confidence. Having good relationship with others and gathering with my friends and family.

Many women in today’s society have a need to integrate themselves (femininity) into their chosen religion in order to identify and relate better with their God or ritual. Some of the authors in this weeks reading seemed very uninhibited; suggesting symbolism and ceremony that is very different from traditional Christian habits. Others cited what seemed to be a relatively vague alteration, such as Christ’s discussion on the change of “mood and motivation (p274-5).? Christ understands that one cannot, in one swift motion, change the attitudes of a society or a culture. She brings a very good point that change needs to include the general attitudes towards women in power, and for it to affect our social situations, it needs to begin in our religion. On page 275 she states: “Religions centered on the worship of a male God…keep women in a state of psychological dependence on man and male authority.? Creating positive female images of power, such as the Goddess, can help our society to befit gender equality.

Other reasons to create new rituals and traditions are to make God/symbols accessible to all (Goldenberg), and to help women through life crises (Washburn). I felt that the Jungian ritual was an interesting tactic. I am intrigued by the idea, as I have always had the feeling that dreams can hold great significance, but so many dreams (at least my dreams) seem to be silly and inconsequential. I think it would be important to have someone, as Goldenberg did (p.224), to help guide and interpret the dream. It would also be essential to trust the person/persons questioning you; there is a factor of vulnerability as the discussion would likely become revealing to the depths of your soul, or maybe just embarrassing. I like that this method is inherently personal, the symbols created are uniquely yours and have meaning to you.

I was a little freaked out by Starhawk. Is because on some subconscious level I am afraid of witchcraft and cannot disassociate it from evil? Or is it because her approach is just too radical for me? I felt that her tone was rather elitist and exclusive, without a “formal initiation? you are merely in a “circle? and not a real coven (p. 268). It is possible that I got a negative vibe because of some deep rooted fear or prejudice.

Since I do not attend a church or subscribe to any particular religion, I have unwittingly created my own rituals that put me at peace and facilitate spiritual renewal. All I need is a nice long walk with my husband. Between the physical exercise and the long conversations that we have with each other, we are both able to find a release of the daily stressors. We find support and love in one another. In inventing a holy place (in lieu of a church) we find reverence in/and an appreciation for nature, the north shore, a nature trail, a place for reflection. The women in this weeks readings attempt to create for themselves a religion that they can identify with. I have created my own way to connect with God, in appreciating the many blessings that I enjoy.

The theme in these articles seemed not to be just to create rituals and traditions, but to use them in order to enable the women involved to have a basis point. Creating the rituals and traditions helps to have a grounding point on which to base their personal experiences. Goldenberg explains it well; “a common ground may be developed around the activity of image making itself.? (p.226) By working on creating the rituals and traditions together, the women involved are also creating their own common ground. No matter what each individual woman’s background is she can feel connected to the other women in the group because of this common ground. In most religions the core beliefs are the starting points for those involved. In these articles there really wasn’t a core “religion? except for the desire for something new to replace contemporary religion. In a situation like this those involved need to be able to identify a core belief and then build on that belief with their own experiences in order to better indentify their own story.

I found Jung’s dream exercises to be particularly interesting. I’ve heard of dream therapy and trying to understand your dreams, but I’ve never heard of anyone using this to discover anything about themselves regarding religion. “The revelation Jung encouraged in his patients was a sort that provided them with access to the spiritual processes at work in their own psyches independent of the religious processes endorsed by contemporary religion.? (p. 221) I’ve always been interested in dreams and understanding their meanings, but the part of this that I found really different and interesting was using a group of people to delve into the dream and its meaning and try to discover things that you didn’t see the first time through the dream. Personally, I consider dreams to be very personal and the idea of a group of people attempting to guide me into different areas of my dream seems very odd. I also have a hard time understanding how they can consciously go through the dream again and discover things that they didn’t see the first time around without consciously deciding what they are going to find. When dreaming, I am unconsciously putting things together into some sort of story. I guess I don’t understand how once someone is awake they can be learning more from a dream since they are now being guided through it and consciously making decisions as to what will be found.

I don’t really have any activities that are spiritually renewing like these articles explain.

The very first page of WomanSpirit Rising explains our human need for the reassurance of “ritual, symbol and myth? to give “meaning and direction to human existence.? The essays describing the creation of new traditions examine this need further and discuss creating or resurrecting symbols and rituals celebrating the essence of the feminine and sisterhood.

“The Coming of Lilith? invents a myth to capture the transformational and affirming feminist experience of sisterhood (p. 205-207). “Why Speak About God? describes the importance of looking within the experiences of the women’s liberation movement to discover its spiritual dynamics (p.216). “Dreams and Fantasies? explores the potential of Jungian dream analysis to create “streams of imagery that could inspire religious reflection? (p. 224), replace institutionalized “religious formulation? and create a psychospiritual community in which the process of symbol formation is shared? (p.226). “Spiritual Quest and Women’s Experience? examines the need for storytelling in order to recover and discover “the shapes and contours of our own experiences? (p. 229).

“Woman Becoming? explains the benefits of rituals that recognize the significance, not only the physiological but also the spiritual and emotional significance, of the “life crises of being a female body? (p.247). For example, in the “life crisis? of menstruation Washbourn asserts that by only focusing on the technical, biological aspect of having one’s period, the “very denial of the crisis character of menstruation increases a woman’s anxiety about it? (p.249). She suggests “marking the occasion so that the girl is supplied a symbolic framework within which to find resources for her questions of meaning? (p. 253).

“Witchcraft and Women’s Culture? describes craft rituals as evolving “out of thousands of years of experience and understanding of human needs.? This is further reinforced in “Why Women Need the Goddess,? which gives four basic reasons to celebrate the symbol of the Goddess: as affirmation of female power and defeat the view engendered by patriarchy that women’s power is inferior and dangerous (p. 278), affirm the female body and life cycle expressed in it (p. 279), have a personification of the energy that flows between beings in natural and human worlds (p. 282); and as revaluation of women’s bonds and heritage? (p. 285).

The witchcraft rituals described by Starhawk were mesmerizing to me, touching upon all the many states of spiritual and earthly being, but she lost me at the “wild shouting and frenzied dancing? (p. 265).

As a mother of two young daughters, the passages of “Becoming Woman? were of special interest to me. The concept of a framework for supporting them during the many physical and emotional changes that lie ahead is very appealing. To have rituals supporting and celebrating womanhood at every stage of one’s life would help women bond across generations, or provide guidance for men who take on the role of helping young women on their journey to adulthood. I often worry about my future relationship with my girls, and the strife that is common between a mother and daughter. So often I have seen mothers lament the loss of their youth and openly admit jealousy of their daughters or try to live through them or brag about them in a manner that suggests “because my daughter is beautiful, so am I.? It would be much nicer to see mothers and daughters share their journeys together and rejoice in their individual transformations; religious rituals and symbols specific to these experiences would provide a wonderful and reassuring foundation.

As for spiritual rituals outside of conventional religious structures in my own life, I can think of one good example. My semi-regular monthly girls’ nights, a gathering with my friends -most of whom I have known for 10 or more years - restore my sense of self and I always have a “yeah, yeah experience.? The planning leading up to the gathering is exciting in itself and establishes the tone of the event. We arrive and go through a ritual of joyful greetings, preparation, and cooking. Over appetizers, we reconnect. Through dinner and libations we celebrate the senses - a lovingly prepared table, enticing aromas, savory flavors, a variety of textures, beautiful music. We share our stories and shed tears of grief and joy. We debate spiritual matters and our personal discoveries. We don’t go to bed until we are emotionally and physically exhausted. And we don’t wake up until we are good and ready. And then we close with a lovely breakfast and pledges to see eachother again soon. In my younger, wild child days, a girls’ night out was an everyday event, quite fun but nothing that would approximate a religious experience. But now that I’m a fettered thirtysomething, and perhaps because of its infrequency, our honesty and its long tradition, ours feels like something sacred and I always leave restored.

In this week’s readings on rituals and traditions, Washburn defines rituals as an expression of “our search for a new identity in relation to the past and to the future? (pg. 247). This is at the essence of what the various authors were trying to communicate in each of their articles; from Plaskow calling for a community of “sisterhood? to Goldenberg using Jung’s dream analysis—from Christ’s appeal for storytelling, to Budapest’s use of “self-blessing? and lastly, Starhawk’s use of witchcraft. They all seek to redefine themselves within the context of community through the use of varied rituals or traditions and encourage others to do the same. It’s the belief that through this/these process(es) one will discover themselves and a transformation will take place—thereby achieving a deeper understanding of the ultimate.

Some of the rituals were far-fetched for me like Goldenberg’s use of Jung’s dream analysis. Although Jung’s analysis in itself wasn’t so difficult to embrace (I am a psych major after all), but her adaptation of it seemed indulgent and excessive (in my opinion). What I found interesting or questionable was whether or not she thought that by doing such it would alter the authenticity of the outcome—curious. Anyhow, Starhawk’s use of witchcraft was very interesting and I found that as I was reading through her description of the caven and their purpose I was uncomfortable—I was trying to reconcile her interpretation with mine (separate from any past theological teaching and stereotypes) and though there were parts of it that seemed reasonable, there were others that conjured up unfavorable thoughts nonetheless.

Reflecting on my personal traditions or rituals, I think Christ’s understanding of story and experience, and Plaskow’s community or sisterhood, best describe mine. I get together with my friends, either in person or on the phone, regularly to share stories and life experiences as a way to maintain personal accountability and relational closeness. Other ways in which I refresh and renew when needed are reading and introspection, as well as prayer, and sometimes massage. Each of these allows me to relax, to think, to reflect, and to feel, which adds some measure of value to my life—and in the process brings about an increase in spiritual maturity. In the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter what means or path a person takes to self-transformation, it only matters that each is present and active in the process.

There are a few reasons for the need to create rituals and traditions that were listed by these authors. A common theme I found was to shape religion to help the feminist movement find an identity that comes from a woman’s perspective and not from a male’s point of view. Another reason for creating new rituals was to understand yourself more intimately, learning your fears, your weaknesses, and your strengths. One more reason to create or find old traditions is to go back to a past where women were esteemed as healers, wise, and powerful. Goddesses were worshipped for bringing life, not viewed as demons or witches. A life were women were equal if not more powerful then men.

I am going to write about the “yeah, yeah experience?. I am for the life of me trying to imagine God portrayed the way Plaskow describes God. After reading the story about Lilith, I invasion God as Homer Simpson. A simpleminded oaf who sits around with Adam drinking beer watching football on TV. The two of them have Eve get them food and drinks as she tries to takes care of all the children and animals. Along comes Lilith, now Lilith and Eve become apart of the first “Sisterhood, yeah, yeah? (by the way, isn’t that a book title) trying to reshape the Garden of Eden in a more feminine way.
I applaud the idea of bringing women together and finding out their stories. I also think that it is great to have a women community were they can find support amongst themselves. I find this idea empowering, librating, and essential for the development of strong, free willed women. As Hillary Clinton said “it takes a village to raise a child?, in my opinion it takes a community to maintain healthy people. Now the idea of God as a male that is sexist goes against my feelings that God is the embodiment of love. Now, if it help women with finding an identity in the creation story, then great, this is a great way to look at the Church, and how men have “put women in there place over the years? using religion. Since men used religion (God) as the shackles for women, I guess it is fair to portray God as a male chauvinist.

Now I would like to write about myself and my life. In class and in my writings and reflections I feel that I bring a common theme of equality and love to the class. I believe that the Buddhists have it right when they teach that love is understanding. I try to understand the people in my life, I try to understand different points of view, I try to understand everything around me. This is a spiritual quest. I have rituals as well. The most important person in my life is my wife. She is my life partner and I better understand her or we will be out of harmony with each other. My ritual with her to drink red wine at night and eat fancy cheese when the kids are asleep and talk about life. We do this almost nightly, and it really helps cleanse our souls. Also, I find being physically intimate with my wife as a deep spiritual experience. (There is a lot of power in this, to bad the Church feels it is evil. Ever wonder about the term missionary position. The Church looks at sex as a way for males to dominate women, all the while older religions looked at sex as being something spiritual. The Druids, Hindus and other cultures and religions come to mind right away) Last, one important this for me is working out with my wife and then sitting in the sauna sweating out the toxins in my body. It is important for me to find balance in myself. To keep my body, soul, and mind in balance is finding my Eudemonism.

1. Washbourn states that women need to create rituals and traditions that are related to life crisis such as menstruation, childbirth, marriage rites, etc. in order to express the search for new identity (Pg. 247). In a nutshell I think this summarizes what the other authors were talking about. Sisterhood, community and redefining were all common themes among all of the articles.
2. The ritual that I found most interesting was Goldenberg’s Jung dream analysis. I myself tend to rely heavily on my dreams for an analysis of my everyday life. I have always had very vivid and symbolic dreams so the idea of using your dreams as an outlet was completely fascinating. Starhawk’s witchcraft was also very interesting to me. The group part especially intriguing, I am still, however, struggling to understand how this women was able to go back into her dream and re-evaluate it.
3. The activities in my own life that are spiritually renewing are the things that put me in touch with nature or my creative expression. Outdoor activities, anything from walks to gardening are renewing. I am a very creative person and painting, photography, writing always are spiritual, in fact I find that times when I feel the most drained are the times that I am most drawn to these activities.

On What Terri wrote about women being separated when they have “their time of the month? I can kind of understand why they do, do that. I have friends and family who do this. The reason they are separated from religious aspects is that they don’t feel they are clean. I don’t really get it either since I don’t think God judges you if you have your period. I think in God’s eyes, if you are worshiping Him/ Her then that is all that matters.
I renew myself spiritually by praying and reading about God and what He is about. I want to give Him as much attention as I do my job, or school because He deserves it from me. When I pray I think of all the things I have in my life and I try to be as thankful as possible. I want to make sure I do this because not all people have the things I have. I also do take walks at time and just think. It helps me clear my head and think about what is important in God’s eyes. I also try to go to Church weekly or even a few times a week if there are activities going on. When I am busy with school, this is very hard to accomplish. I do try to set aside a time to do what is important in my life at the same time.
I find the Yeah Yeah ritual different than a usual ritual. It is different because they must have had rituals with the same motive as other people. In some Christian churches, Communion is necessary to be taken when going to church. It all depends on the church itself.

Starhawk was a little scary to learn about knowing I don’t really like the whole idea of witchcraft. For everything I have grown up with, knowing about it I was always taught it was a cult. I never really learned too much about it, but think it is not a thing God wants us to do. I have always known it as praising the devil, which can’t be right.

Regarding Plaskow speaks of celebrating with other women to achieve a sense of wholeness. By sharing our stores we move out of our denial of our own stories. By sharing our story we begin to understand others and ourselves. Daly seems to be mostly interested in God and by celebrating our belief and stories we are telling everyone about how God worked in our lives. I am mostly interested in Daly because of what I have learned over the last seven years in the bible. What I am finding is that what we practices in our faith rituals sometimes is way different that what the bible states. When I share my spiritual self with my family I share more about what’s in the bible that what my faith practices. Jung was very interesting also because I always thought that dreams didn’t mean much and that usually are handled by mental health professionals. Didn’t realize the power of spiritual women and how they could help you go into your dream and begin to see yourself for what your personal view is.

some of the reasons that i gathered from the readings and from personal experience that women need to create rituals and traditions are;
1. the traditions and or rituals help one to find herself, this means that with a certain tradition or ritual which obviously means that it is someting that you practice over a long time or at all times. it will help you to understand yourself better and to know what you are about, this because you at that time focus on you and your inner self
2. traditions and rituals help women to build togetherness or sisterhood as Plaskow calls it. When you meet as women, you will focus on women and do things that relate to women, you will shre experiences and success between yourselves. This will help to uplift one who is low or motivate one who is falling back, this is because the experience is one who is like you, so you can relate easily. Plaskow talks about 'the coming of Llith", this was avery practical example. Sometimes we are afraid of each other because of stories or preconceived ideas, but when we get together as women we then get to knoe each other and understand that we are not enemies but a team that needs to be together.
3.rituals and traditions also help as to reconnect, at times with the day to day experiences we loose focus on that which is important, so rituals will help as to go back to that, in the story of "the coming of Lilith" when Eve started spending time with Llith and realizing that she was not and enemy but a woman like her with stories and experiences like hers she started enjoying her company and even Adam became worried. This means that if women share in rituals and traditions they will stronger in all field.
I believe the ritual of just getting together as women and communicating, sharing experiences, worries and everything. I did not think this as aritual but from the way it was talked about in Plaskow it was very strong and it empowered the women.
The one ritual for me is to sit back, taking time off and meditating. This helps me to unwind and focus on important things. This helps me to stay on top of situations and also makes me stong.

i just had to give a comment about Dylan's rituals and traditions. I must say that you are all out to take care of you. It is very imporatnt that we find time of take care of ourselves. In the culture that we live in at times we are caught in the running up and down and we forget to take care of ourselves. I applaud you in finding the time to do that. Though it is important to come together as women and build the sisterhood, have the yeah, yeah moment,where as Plaskow puts it, we listen to each other and either relate or find ourselves in the story of the other person, it is equally important to have time where we can sit or relax by ourselves and focus on us. Very important.

The reason that both Plaskow and Goldenberg give for creating rituals and traditions are the sense of community. The “Yeah Yeah Experience” brought a sisterhood (pg.204), a community, a group of people together that could be leaned on in good times and bad. The “Yeah Yeah Experience was a support system that brought on growth and change. I can’t say that I ever recite the words “Yeah Yeah” with my girlfriends when we are out together at a restaurant or the movies but I think that it is safe to say that most of the description that is brought in this article is something that a close group a girls experiences with their girl friends. The support system that they receive, the way that they grow together, “the process through which we come to be sisters”.

Goldberg’s article talks about Jung’s theories on dreams. On page 226 he also expresses how this ritual also creates the sense of community. I’ve always been interested in our dreams and the possibility of their being meanings behind them however I felt that this article was a little hard for me to relate to. I would find it hard to create a community behind discussing and interpreting my dreams.

Until recently I had never thought of some of the things that I do on a regular basis as spiritual renewing rituals. Driving would be the most common thing that I do to clear my head and straighten things out. It is usually after a long hard day or after a fight with someone close to me either take a detour if in my car or get in my car and start off on a unknown destination. If the weather permits I like my windows down so that I can have the wind blowing in my face. It depends on the circumstance but sometimes I have the music up really loud to drown my sorrows and forget about life for awhile or I turn the radio off and listen to the sound of the road and think things through. Once I’m ready I head home.

Another ritual I have is being outside under the stars. There is something to be said about breathing in the crisp, fresh night air that can help clear your head. I usually go for walks. Sometimes talk to myself (I probably look like a crazy person), just to get everything out in the open. Release all the built up energy. I feel like someone is listening if I talk out loud (not just my neighbors).

What are the reasons that these writes give that women need to create rituals and traditions? Discuss some examples of new rituals or traditions that you found interesting in these articles – what interesting about them for you?
Are these activities in your own life that function as spiritually renewing rituals outside conventional religious structures in the ways that these articles describe women creating for themselves?

Carol Christ discovered that “the experience of nothingness, is shared by many modern women who begin their journeys lacking an adequate image of themselves.” The articles of the week tells us about witches, many of which were “killed for daring to challenge patriarchal spiritual norms,” about “womanspirit movement,” who believed in Goddess. Carol insists that a lot of women need Goddess, because she allows thm to free themselves from the men’s world with its patriarchal rules. Recognition of Goddess helps women to recognize their beauty and power.
Judith Plaskow insists that women need a community; need to create women’s movement. It helps us to move away from being isolated, to experience relief, to affirm ourselves as women. That way a woman can discover a source of energy from personal and social growth and change. We see an example of “sisterhood of man” where an individual process of coming-to-wholeness within community takes place. They have a communal sense of mission. “Calling each other ‘sisters,’ feeling new freedom to touch and hug one another are concrete expressions of the new bonds between us.” But to tell you the truth it reminded me a little of sect. I think that women’s surrounding is very important for any of us, but at the same time we have to realize when it is to much.
I was impressed by the story about the wife of Adam and the importance of her relationship with Eve. I have never heard anything like that before. I have to admit, it makes a lot of sense, because even from my own experience I can feel how much I suffer if I have a lack of my girlfriends’ communication. Mary Daly also highlights that women’s movement is more than just another group.
I liked the explanation of the dreams, the meaning of which was interpreted as “the dream shows you are afraid of your own depths.” just think what this woman would be missing if she didn’t know about Jungian dream theory in a feminist group.
The importance of sharing the experience of women among ourselves is very well expressed in the sentence on page 230 “Black women, white women, rich women, poor women – all share a fundamental alimentation from self, but there are many differences in their experiences.” We all have something to share, something to learn from each other. As well as we are women we always can learn something no matter what age, class, race, and status we are.
I was impressed by the story about Martha. It shows us the feeling that the mother can experience when she is on the distance from her kids, which is complicated when they are your own.
The women surrounding is important for any of us, because a lot of significant life crises, happiness, problems and joys are associated with having a female body. Who would be able to assist you, give you an advice, share the happiness of processes going in your body besides other women. An attitude to menstruation cycle of a mother will often influence a type of identity her daughter will inherit. A process when “one day she is a child; the next she is a new reality” needs a good explanation and support of an older, wise woman. I was surprised to learn that in old times, and in some modern religions, traditions consider the beginning of menstrual cycle as a significant reason for a huge celebration, sometimes just among women, sometimes among the whole family. And it is understandable, because a young woman this day needs a lot of physical and emotional support.
During this reading I learnt a lot of new about the witches. I always view a witch as a woman who practices black magic, who is isolated, and mostly saw her as a hater of other humans. I realized how wrong I was.
I would state after this reading that women’s connection, movement, traditions and rituals helps women to cooperate with difficult situations in our lives: death of loved ones, suffering, evil; and at the same time provides support, share the joy of birth, sexuality and love. Goddess helps to realize our power, love our female body, strengthen us in female will, and reminds us about our heritage.