About six months ago I got the idea that if we, meaning Cherry Hill Seminary where I chair the Public Ministry Program, were using educational software to create cyber classrooms, we might as well expand our virtual campus with the addition of a lecture hall. I'm delighted to say that our initial foray was a great success.
I think tonight’s lecture started the series off with a bang. Beginning with Mary Windrider Bowerman’s gracious introduction, followed by Chas Clifton's fascinating presentation, and ending with provocative Q&A, it went off without a hitch. Chas had posted some excellent resources which he referenced in his talk. We had no delay with Chas dial-up connection, nor did anyone get bumped from the chat even once.
I found Chas' three divisions of "Nature religion" -- cosmic (astrology, 15th century CE European "natural magic," observations and celebrations of the seasons in the Wheel of the Year); Gaian (Earth as sacred being or embodied goddess, ecological point of view); and erotic or embodied (knowledge of the sacred comes from experiences perceived through our bodies, the sacralization of sex) -- a clear, insightful way to view our movement.
I urge you, dear reader, to consider attending next month’s lecture by Patricia Monaghan, one of the foremost goddess scholars in the world. Drawing from her book, The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog, Patricia’s topic is "The Celtic Path: Spiritual Geography and the Irish Goddess."
The map of Ireland is also the map of the year's progression through the seasons and the related festivals. Each province is also connected with several important goddesses, with the island itself named for the goddess of the center, Eriu. Experiencing the spiritual geography of Ireland offers an opening to examining the spiritual geography of other lands as well.
My thanks to all who participated, especially Chas, for diving into these mysterious waters and playing together. May word of this offering spread around Pagandom and may we be joined by many others on October 8th.