”Did God Have a Wife?”: Asherah, Heavenly Mother, & Mother Earth

In the theologically conservative Protestant Christianity of my childhood, the sacred was always imagined as masculine: God the Father Almighty, Lord Jesus Christ the son, both of whom were represented on Earth by an all-male clergy. As I grew older and learned more about other Christian traditions such as Roman Catholicism, I was fascinated by their devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus as also the mother of God, given their belief in the divinity of Jesus. And although she was, in some senses, … [Read more...]

“The Peabody Sisters”

What stood out to me most from reading Megan Marshall's The Peabody Sisters (a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography) were the sections about the oldest and longest-living of the three sisters, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804 - 1894). But it is perhaps appropriate to begin with the Peabody Sisters’s own mother, Eliza, who strongly influenced her daughters. And whereas the lives of her daughters spanned almost the whole of the 1800s, Eliza came of age in the 1780s in t … [Read more...]

Letting Go of Fear & Celebrating Differences: Insights from Intersectionality

This past Sunday was the 70th anniversary of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on the  Japanese city of Nagasaki toward the end of World War II. The weapon, nicknamed “Fat Man,” was released at 11:01 a.m. local time, causing tens of thousands of civilian casualties. (The even more devastating bombing of Hiroshima was three days earlier.) This anniversary of the only time to date that atomic bombs have been used in warfare comes at a time when headlines are being made worldwide concerning … [Read more...]

Winter Solstice Spirituality: “Learning to Walk in the Dark”

My favorite season is summer, but I aspire to love the winter. Winter and I are on better terms we used to be, there’s still work to do. As with many other people, when the seasons change, I can feel a difference in how I relate to the world. For the past few years, I’ve kept an exercise log. And I noticed recently that, starting around mid-November — as the days started growing darker and colder —  I stopped exercising for almost a month while hardly noticing. I’m now back in the game, but the … [Read more...]

Eve Was Framed, the Serpent Was Right!

On August 13, 1971, the cover of LIFE Magazine featured an image of two women standing side-by-side. On the right, an classical painted image of a tall naked woman stands head-and-shoulders above a modern woman, who is fully dressed. The figure on the right is clearly the biblical figure of Eve, as she is covered only by a strategically-placed fig leaf and is holding an apple. The modern feminist beside her holds a sign that says, “EVE WAS FRAMED.” Eve was framed. But in this post, I would like t … [Read more...]

Margaret Fuller: The Stories We Tell Matter

The stories we tell matter. The stories that we choose to tell can be used to empower ourselves and others or they can be used to belittle and diminish. The stories we choose to tell can inspire us, expanding our minds and opening our hearts, or they can instill fear, scapegoating and demonizing others. And when I say that the stories we choose to tell matter, I use that word ‘choose’ intentionally. Because we can choose to tell a different story than the one we have inherited or have learned to … [Read more...]