New online course starts on Sept 1, 2013
(Subscribe via green link below this line)
Secret History of the Witches III:
Women, Goddesses, Patriarchy, and Christianity
2013 session topics: We'll start with a visual webcast on the syncretic Great Goddess culture around the Mediterranean* (Isis of 10,000 Names, Black Diana, Kybele, Tyche, among others). We touch on Judaic Wisdom traditions and concepts of witchcraft -- then plunge into the evolution of a new religion (some dub it Paulianity) that hybridized the teachings of a Jewish sage with Hellenistic mystery religions and, eventually, imperial Roman authoritarianism. What were the consequences for women and for their ethnic cultural heritages, as well as for the international Magna Mater traditions?
We'll look at early Christian women, patriarchy and priesthood, virginity codes and how women tried to leverage them; Kollyridians and Montanist prophetesses, and other pagan infusions; Roman persecutions and calumnies (and their influence on European witch hunt ideology). Then it's on to Gnostic Goddesses: Barbelo, Arche, Sophia; women in the Gnostic scriptures, from Eve to Maryam of Magdala to the "fallen" (toppled, actually) Sophia. The Imperial Church, and its attacks on women, heretics, Jews, and pagans. Religio illicita - outlawed faiths - temple destructions, and religious supercessionism. Mystic female philosophers of late antiquity: Sosipatra of Pergamum and Hypatía of Alexandria. The Goddess veiled: either demonized, or disguised and swallowed by the church.
* Read more commentary on the approach of this course
Subscribers to this course will receive the first previews of early volumes in Max Dashu's (unpublished) Secret History of the Witches. (See book outline.) It offers more than will be possible to publish in the print edition.
HOW THE ONLINE COURSE WORKS:
It's conducted through the Veleda listserv, a private yahoo group for subscribers. Articles, images, commentary, discussion, and links to other online resources are sent to you by email. You access these materials at your own pace, at any time convenient for you, and participate in discussion as you desire. Don't worry about schedules or meeting times: there aren't any, except for occasional real-time webcasts of slideshows. There are no grades, no required papers, and no credits for this course. You are invited to contribute your insights, comments, questions, and relevant resources -- but this is up to you.
One month's subscription is $31. (No refunds.) For a reduced rate of $25/month, you can prepay your sub for three months or more (but keep in mind the hiatus from Nov. 1- Jan 3.) Low-income scholarship subs are available; please honor our intention of making the course accessible to women who are truly low income. If you would like to be a Sustainer, sponsoring a low-income subscribe while also contributing toward the Suppressed Histories Archives, you can contribute $50. a month and in thanks, receive a signed poster or print of your choice.
You can join the course at any time. You are not required to sign up for the entire course, but can subscribe month to month, and sign off whenever you want. The fall session runs from Sept 1 to Nov 1, and a longer session from Jan through April 2014.
The webcasts are live slideshows on your computer screen; I show images and comment on them; you are invited to ask questions or add your comments in real time. You can either speak via headset mic (if you have one) or phone-in (VOIP) Or you can type in questions/comments via the webcast interface we use. No need to download any software but there are computer system requirements to be able to join the webcast.
All course webcasts are announced via the Veleda listserv. One webcast title will be offered for the fall 2013 session. Two or three showings (on that same subject) will be offered to accommodate time zones of all participants. (Other non-course webcasts will be offered, by separate one-off subscriptions, and descriptions of these will be linked at the upper left column of this page, once they have been scheduled.)
You get access to all course discussion logs and files, including those for the two previous courses, for as long as you are subscribed. This video summarizes some of the topics covered in the first two courses.
When it's time for you to renew, use the Subscription link on this page. I'll post it periodically on the listserv. Looking forward to having you join us.
Drummers, dreamers, diviners. Oracles, seers, and prophets. Medicine women, healers, curanderas, and herbalists.
Women who invoke spirit. Rainmakers. Ecstatic dancers, shapeshifters, sky-goers. A global view of female shamans, from chant and sacramental dance to shamanic flight and animal spirits.
View trailer for the double disc video
"Woman is by nature a shaman," says a Chukchee proverb of northeast Asia. Many ethnic traditions say that the first shaman was female. Experience this expansive visual record of female shamans worldwide, from ancient times to the present. We'll look at Saharan and South African rock art, Greek ceramic paintings, Aztec manuscripts, Chinese bronzes, clay sculptures from ancient Ecuador and Iraq, soapstone sculptures from Alaska and ivory from Greenland, and modern photos from around the world. We'll discuss articles, books, incantations, psychic technologies, cosmologies, and video clips about holy women and curanderas. We'll talk about broad patterns and local specifics, about repression by patriarchal lords and colonial masters, cultural resistance and resurgence. More.
The information in this course is based on decades of study and practice,
with profound respect and a desire to foreground the authentic guardians
of the ancient cultural traditions.