Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Future of Feminism: A Girl God

For the younger set of spiritual feminists, there’s Trista Hendren’s forthcoming children’s book The Girl God. Raising her children in both Islamic and Christian traditions, Hendren realized that her daughter was being “fundamentally excluded from both religions in a way that was damaging to her”:

When I asked her if she believed God lived within her, she said she did not. But when I asked if perhaps she had a Girl God living within her, she awakened to spirituality in a way she never had before.

So Hendren wrote The Girl God, with illustrations by Norwegian artist Elisabeth Slettnes, to inspire children in spiritual households to envision a world in which God is not always implicitly male. In addition to helping girls relate to religion, she also hopes to prompt them to question patriarchy:

What I wanted to do with The Girl God was to relate spirituality back to my daughter in a way that she could understand and to begin to expose her to feminist thought … I don’t understand why we wait to teach Women’s Studies to our girls until they are in college. This is too late. The damage has already been done.

Other organizations like The YIN Project, The Goddess Collective, and the online course Key to Feminine Power provide various spiritual paths for women. And, as always, I depend on you, readers, to list your own suggestions of resources for spiritually minded feminists in the comments!

Part Twenty-four in a Women’s History Month series celebrating organizations and ideas that represent the future of feminism.

by Aviva Dove-Viebahn

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Valley Spirit never dies,
It is named the Mysterious Female.
And the doorway of the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang.
It is there within us all the while.
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.
-Lao-Tzu (translated by Arthur Waley)

“Conchclan” by Elisabeth Slettnes, Illustrator of “The Girl God”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"If one becomes utterly still, the earth will speak in a language that can be understood."

- Ann Linnea

RIP Adrienne Rich, Beloved Warrior

“Until we know the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves.”

― Adrienne Rich

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“How much time do you spend in the World of Yes?” – SARK

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I love being a girl.
I can feel what you're feeling
as you're feeling it inside
the feeling
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
I know when your girlfriend's really pissed off
even though she appears to give you what
you want.
I know when a storm is coming.
I can feel the invisible stirrings in the air.
I can tell you he won't call back.
It's a vibe I share.
I am an emotional creature.
I love that I do not take things lightly.
Everything is intense to me.
The way I walk in the street.
The way my mother wakes me up.
The way I hear bad news.
The way it's unbearable when I lose.
I am an emotional creature.
I am connected to everything and everyone.
I was born like that.
Don't you dare say all negative that it's a
teenage thing
or it's only only because I'm a girl.
These feelings make me better.
They make me ready.
They make me present.
They make me strong.
I am an emotional creature.
There is a particular way of knowing.
It's like the older women somehow forgot.
I rejoice that it's still in my body.
I know when the coconut's about to fall.
I know that we've pushed the earth too far.
I know my father isn't coming back.
That no one's prepared for the fire.
I know that lipstick means
more than show.
I know that boys feel super-insecure
and so-called terrorists are made, not born.
I know that one kiss can take
away all my decision-making ability
and sometimes, you know, it should.
This is not extreme.
It's a girl thing.
What we would all be
if the big door inside us flew open.
Don't tell me not to cry.
To calm it down
Not to be so extreme
To be reasonable.
I am an emotional creature.
It's how the earth got made.
How the wind continues to pollinate.
You don't tell the Atlantic ocean
to behave.
I am an emotional creature.
Why would you want to shut me down
or turn me off?
I am your remaining memory.
I am connecting you to your source.
Nothing's been diluted.
Nothing's leaked out.
I can take you back.
I love that I can feel the inside
of the feelings in you,
even if it stops my life
even if it hurts too much
or takes me off track
even if it breaks my heart.
It makes me responsible.
I am an emotional
I am an emotional, devotional,
incandotional, creature.
And I love, hear me,
love love love
being a girl.

- Eve Ensler

Monday, March 26, 2012


"If I could define enlightenment briefly I would say it is ''the quiet acceptance of what is."

- Wayne Dyer

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Am

"I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am."

– Sylvia Plath

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My short skirt
is turquoise water
with swimming colored fish
a summer festival
in the starry dark
a bird calling
a train arriving in a foreign town
my short skirt is a wild spin
a full breath
a tango dip
my short skirt is

But mainly my short skirt
and everything under it
is Mine.

-Eve Ensler

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes, Illustrator of "The Girl God"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ignorant Women

“Men develop ideas and systems of explanation by absorbing past knowledge and critiquing and superseding it. Women, ignorant of their own history [do] not know what women before them had thought and taught. So generation after generation, they [struggle] for insights others had already had before them, [resulting in] the constant inventing of the wheel.”

– Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Feminist Consciousness

Saturday, March 17, 2012


“If I wait until I become perfect before I love myself, I will waste my whole life. I am already perfect right here and right now. I am perfect exactly as I am.” - Louise L. Hay

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

- Mary Oliver

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

-Eleanor Rosevelt

“Barn av Floden” by Elisabeth Slettnes, Illustrator of “The Girl God”

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Miserable People

A friend of mine gave me some advice a few weeks ago about an angry woman who has been very unkind to me and my daughter. She said, "Just send her love. It sounds simple, and it's hard to do, but it works."

I have come to realize that people who nitpick and gripe at other people are just very miserable themselves. And I feel sorry for them. Someone who picks at single mothers must be miserable and confined in their own marriage. Someone who picks at little girls must have snuffed out every bright light within themselves.

So as much as it has caused difficulty - and there is no difficulty worse than seeing your child mistreated - I have to believe that her difficulty must be worse. Much in the way I have always felt that someone who stole something from me must have needed it more than I did.

In a way, I suppose this advice has brought me peace. (Although, I will continue to stand up for my daughter.)

Sending love and peace out to all who are miserable.


"Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth."

-Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Nature of This Flower Is to Bloom

Rebellious. Living.
Against the Elemental Crush.
A Song of Color
For Deserving Eyes.
Blooming Gloriously
For its Self.

-Alice Walker

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Narratives

Many cultural stories worldwide present the domination system as the only human alternative. Fairy tales romanticize the rule of kings and queens over “common people.” Classics such as Homers Illiad and Shakespeare’s kings trilogy romanticize “Heroic violence.” Many religious stories present men’s control, even ownership, of women as normal and moral.

These stories came out of the times that oriented much more closely to a “pure” domination system. Along with newer stories that perpetuate these limited beliefs about human nature, they play a major role in how we view our world and how we live in it. But precisely because stories are so important in shaping values, new narratives can help change unhealthy values.

Of particular importance are new stories about human nature. We need new narratives that give us a more complete and accurate picture of who we are and who we can be - stories that show that our enormous capacities for consciousness, creativity and caring are integral to human evolution, that these capacities are what make us distinctively human.”

– Riane Eisler, The Real Wealth of Nations

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Charge of the Goddess

I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return. Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold- all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

-Doreen Valiente (adapted by Starhawk)

“Neon Nemesis” by Elisabeth Slettnes, Illustrator of “The Girl God”

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Words of Wisdom

Because this is a food
Our starving world
Because that is the purest

- Hafiz

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Creed

My creed is Love;
Wherever its caravan turns along the way,
That is my belief,
My faith.

— Ibn al-ArabÄ«,

Monday, March 5, 2012


"I decided to start anew. To strip away what I had been taught."

- Georgia o'Keefe

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Goal

“The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery, and the only thing you need to recover from is a fractured sense of self. “

- Marianne Williamson

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The New Our Father

Our Mother who art in Earth and Heaven,
(as we are in the MOTHER
And HEAVEN is in us)
Hallowed, respectful, joyful thy name.
Thy holy realm is already come.
Thy will awaits us to be done.
Give us this day the strength to love,
To be the lion and the dove.
Forgive us as we tread your flowers,
Ignoring duties that are ours.
Lead us from annihilation
For we share in the life and in the power
And in the glory forever and ever.

-Priscilla Baird Hinckley

Friday, March 2, 2012

A New Version of "After a While"

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and letting go of self,
And you learn that it’s okay to lean on others
And sometimes you need the security of companionship.
And you begin to learn that some kisses are meant as contracts
And, sometimes, a present is a promise of friendship and fidelity,
And you begin to accept that you are successful
With your head up and your eyes open
With the confidence of a woman, not the insecurity of a child,
And you learn to build your roads towards tomorrow
Because today is just a path towards where you want to be
And your future is what you choose to make of it.
After a while you learn…
That the bright light of day helps a soul grow and flourish.
So you plant your garden and decorate your soul,
But you love and appreciate the people who bring you flowers.
You learn that you really can be loved…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every hello,
With every goodbye,
With every day you live,
You learn.

- Healthy Curls

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I want to Know...

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

From The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer