Rise Up and Call Her Name is a journey of thought and activity. It uses various forms of art, dialogue and reflection to explore together what we believe and feel.
Beginning the journey, we contact the Jewish/Semitic first wife of Adam, Lilith. We learn the lesson that many religions considered patriarchal may indeed have strong feminist roots as well. We also explore the inner and outer nature of a spiritual journey.
We learn the inherent worth of darkness by honoring the Dark Goddess Hekate from the ancient Mediterranean/Pre-Hellenic region. We encounter the three faces of the this Goddess — maiden, mother, and wise woman — and begin to appreciate the processes of life, death and rebirth as central to existence, both in a physical and a metaphorical sense.
We next move toward Africa, the cradle of civilization. We become acquainted with the formative and central influences of black Africa in the highly developed Egyptian culture. We enter the temple of Isis, the ancient primal Goddess that was the source of much of the original Egyptian mythology. We consider healing power which is often made available through honoring the female and the Earth.
The stories of three Yoruban orisha that originate in West Africa next capture our attention. They are: Oshun, Goddess of the River; Yemaja, Goddess of the Sea; and Oya, Goddess of the Winds of Change. We dance to drumming rhythms as we begin to experience the multi-dimensional asspect of spiritual communication.
Following the movement of African people to the “new world,” we experience aspects of contemporary African American culture. We honor the Outraged Ancestral Mother and the belief that the sacred and secular are one. The experience of improvisation is is brought alive through the uniquely inspired method of Afro-traditional quilting.
Continuing our global adventure, we arrive on the Asian sub-continent and hear of the power of Kali, a Mother Goddess in India, and explore the creative power of Shakti, the feminine principle, which teaches us that passive and active is not a true female/male dichotomy.
Moving through Asia we stop in Tibet and China and meet the popular Goddesses Tara and Kwan Yin, becoming familiar with some of the female-honoring aspects of Buddhism and Taoism. These religions teach us that compassion is an important quality to develop and that direct experience of the sacred, which is sometimes called intuition, is of considerable value. Many of the teachings of these traditions also demonstrate that when acting it is important not to be attached to the outcome, but rather to be concerned with integrity.
Culminating our Asian visit, we arrive on the islands of Japan and encounter the Shinto Goddess Amaterasu and her lessons of self-empowerment. We learn from the tale of her withdrawal and then return to society that our impact on our communities can be significant even though, at times, it is difficult to accept the behavior of others.
Next we move toward Central and North America. We first land in Hawaii and contact Pele, the exciting Goddess of the volcano. Here we acknowledge the ties between ecology and Earth-based spirituality and consider how the processes of the Earth are held sacred by some indigenous peoples.
Arriving in MesoAmerica, we also meet the Goddess Tonantzin who is at the core of contemporary devotion to the Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe. We also discover the ancient Goddess Corn Mother and meditate upon the ways the fruit of our harvest becomes the seed of our future undertakings.
We next touch the roots of the First Peoples of the Americas through the stories and masks of a Lakota Sacred Pipe Woman. We discover the North American continent is steeped in ancient female-honoring traditions as we encounter the American Indian Goddesses White Buffalo Calf Woman, Spider Woman and Changing Woman. We also consider how sacred truths sometimes come directly to individuals if they are able to recognize them.
Knowing that we must return to our everyday lives, yet realizing how we have changed, we share what we have learned and explore where we wish to go from here.