Who is Ariadne? Deconstructing and Revisioning Greek Mythology {Carol P. Christ}

Sometimes we think of Greek myth as a pre-patriarchal or less patriarchal alternative to the stories of the Bible. After all, Goddesses appear in Greek myths while they are nearly absent from the Bible. Right? So far so good, but when we look more closely we can see that Greek myth enshrines patriarchal ideology just as surely as the Bible does.  We are so dazzled by the stories told by the Greeks that we designate them […] Read more »

Mysteries {Carol P. Christ}

Finding ourselves together in Crete after attending a conference, four friends and I set out to visit the caves of Eilitheia in Amnissos and Agia Paraskevi in Skoteino. As we drove along the coast toward Amnissos, I recalled that caves have been understood as sacred from the dawn of religion. When people knew the earth as their mother, the cave, the opening in the earth was her vagina and womb, the passageway to her deepest […] Read more »

Connection to Ancestors in Earth-based Theology {Carol P. Christ}

“I am Carol Patrice Christ, daughter of Jane Claire Bergman, daughter of Lena Marie Searing, daughter of Dora Sofia Bahlke, daughter of Mary Hundt who came to Michigan from Mecklenburg, Germany in 1854.  I come from a long line of women, known and unknown, stretching back to Africa.” Like many Americans, my ancestral history was lost and fragmented due to emigration, religious and ethnic intermarriage, and movement within the United States.  Though one of my grandmothers […] Read more »

Restored in Beauty {Carol P. Christ}

Restored Beauty Carol P Christ klapados-waterfall-051

The path leading to the Klapados Waterfall begins at the edge of an open meadow in the pine and oak woodlands of a mountain in the island of Lesbos. After driving several miles on a very rutted dirt track, we parked under an oak tree, crossed the meadow and scrambled down a winding path. After about 20 minutes, it ended at a stream surrounded by plane trees. From there, we climbed over rocks to reach […] Read more »

Why a Goddess Pilgrimage? {Carol P. Christ}

What is a Goddess Pilgrimage and why are so many US, Canadian, and Australian women making pilgrimages to ancient holy places in Europe and Asia?  The simple answer is that women are seeking to connect themselves to sources of female spiritual power that they do not find at home. Traditionally pilgrims leave home in order to journey to a place associated with spiritual power.  “Leaving home” means leaving familiar physical spaces, interrupting the routines of work and daily […] Read more »

Mermaid – Goddess of the Sea {Carol P. Christ}

On a recent Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete, I visited the Historical Museum in Heraklion where I saw a beautiful embroidered silk panel of a mermaid identified only as having come from Koustogerako, a village in western Crete. As it is unlikely that a man in a Cretan village would have been talented in embroidery, in this case“Anonymous” most definitely “was a woman.” In this thread painting a mermaid surrounded by fish is holding the anchor of a […] Read more »

Remembering Merlin Stone – “When God Was a Woman” {Carol P. Christ}

“In the beginning…God was a woman.  Do you remember?”  Feminist foremother and author of these words Merlin Stone died in Feburary 2011. I can still remember reading the hardback copy of When God Was a Woman while lying on the bed in my bedroom overlooking the river in New York City early in 1977.  The fact that I remember this viscerally underscores the impact that When God Was a Woman had on my mind and my […] Read more »

Remembering Audre Lorde & the Uses of the Erotic {Carol P. Christ}

Women are powerful and dangerous audre-lorde

I was  given a copy of Audre Lorde’s essay “The Uses of the Erotic” in my first year of teaching at San Jose State by a young white lesbian M.A. student named Terry.  It was 1978.  I was in my early 30s.  This essay came into my life and the lives of my students, friends, and colleagues at “the right time.”  It became a kind of “sacred text” that authorized us to continue to explore the feelings […] Read more »