My friend, mask-maker extrordinaire Lauren Raine, has just begun a blog, Threads of Spiderwoman. Lauren has made a series of goddess masks for use in ritual that are utterly exquisite.
They were first used (20 of them) in the 20th Anniversary Spiral Dance in 1999 in San Francisco. I felt they were not used as effectively as they deserved, so was inspired to create a ritual I called "Goddesses Alive!," using only 13 of the masks, for PantheaCon 2000. Under the sponsorship of The Lilith Institute and New College of California Women's Spirituality Department, I polished and recreated this ritual, renamed "A Rainbow of Goddesses" to distinguish it from other non-mask-ritual entities with similar names, in December 2000.
The New College performance included original music for each goddess by Amy Luna Manderino -- koto music for Amaterasu, Mexican guitar for Guadalupe, bluesy jazz for Hekate. I loved it!
Since my original production, others have created different rituals using the masks.
The 2006 performance of Reclaiming's Spiral Dance ritual featured many more than the original 20 masks. The photo above, taken at that event, was published on the front page on the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle.
With a good sponsor, I'd love the opportunity to recreate the complete "Goddesses Alive!" masks ritual.
In the meantime, however, I wanted to alert readers to Lauren's blog.