Saturday 29 May 2021

"Saturday Night Protest Party"

One of the worst things in the Blogosphere is when a blogging buddy passes away. Anne Marie in Philly of From My Brain To My Mouth died suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday night. My deepest condolences to her partner of 30 years, Todd Gunther of arteejee blog. She will be missed by all who knew her.

The Warrior Queen lived up to her name in every way. She was a passionate supporter of human rights and civil rights for all, a fierce feminist, an outspoken advocate of BLM and a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community. She had no use whatsoever for Trump, the GOP, Q-Anon, anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, or any other right-wing anti-social nonsense. All this was clear in her blog, as well as her love of cats, her artistry with knitting needles, and her enjoyment of a good gin cock-a-tail. Anne Marie was the soul of kindness to her blogging buddies, always remembering and noting in her blog birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions and passings.

Anne Marie was passionate about music and especially liked to "kick it old school," as she put it. Her blog was filled with videos of the best dance music from every decade since the 1940s, so as a tribute to her, the rest of this post is based on her words, her format and some of the music she posted in her "Saturday Night Protest Party" posts. This post concludes, as hers usually did, with one of her favourite quotations of hope and inspiration.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This is how I am feeling right now.

Dance like no one's watching.

Sing like no one's listening.

"Keep believing. Keep marching. Keep building. Keep raising your voice. Every generation has the opportunity to remake the world.” - Barack Obama, July 2018

Friday 28 May 2021

Dating Advice From Your Life Coach

Hello, my beloved clients and soon-to-be clients,

Ignore the preceding meme.
It is wrong, simply WRONG.

Today's advice is for all you 
SINGLETONS out there.

Before you can have a relationship
you have to FIND someone to date. 

And that's EASY PEASY with my 
and cute rhymes!

Okay, now, let me be BRUTALLY CLEAR.
This is NOT how you find someone to date --

You gotta get out there and 
mingle, people, MINGLE!

Don't know how?
Here's some OPTIONS!

(1) Get friends, family 
and complete strangers 

(2) Hang around your local DIVORCE COURT!

PRO TIP -- Try to look 
fetching and non-stalkerish
while doing so.

(3) And, of course, in our modern times,
sign up on DATING APPS!

When you DO snag the interest of
some poor unsuspecting bastard,
FLIRT like your love life depends on it.


If you manage to fool them long enough 
to actually get a real date,
be sure to apply 

PRO TIP -- Avoid these pitfalls!

To conclude, here's a
from one of my many, 
MANY satisfied clients --

Follow my advice and

will be yours! *

*Absolutely No Refunds.

Wednesday 26 May 2021

May Full Moon Altar: Cybele

This month's full moon altar honours the Phrygian goddess, Cybele. Phrygia was part of Asia Minor's Anatolia region, which is in Turkey these days. As a Mother Goddess representing the deified Earth, Cybele is crowned and seated on her Lion Throne, holding the greatest symbol of her power -- the sacred frame drum which creates and measures out the heartbeat of life. The roundness of her frame drum represents the full moon, another symbol of the Divine Feminine. In those ancient times, only women were allowed to engage in sacred drumming to honour Cybele.

I obtained this statue from Sacred Source about 15 years ago. My hoop drum rests behind Cybele on the altar, with its drumstick before her throne. I blogged last week about making my drum, which you can read by clicking here, if you want. The folded-up altar cloth is actually a large 4-foot-round cloth circle which I used for many years as a centre altar cloth when facilitating my women's drumming circle (you can see a photo of it in action here).

Cybele's sacred plant is the pine/fir tree, so she is flanked on one side by a lovely beeswax tree candle which my sister gave me for Christmas, and on the other side with three large pine cones gleaned from Edmonton's river valley.

Cybele was also a very popular goddess in ancient Rome, where she was known as Magna Mater ("Great Mother"). Her temple stood where the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica stands today. When Christians came to power in Rome, they tore down her pagan temple and used its stones to build their own church. Because drumming was so closely associated with Cybele's worship, drumming was never historically allowed inside any Catholic Christian church.

Oh, by the way, if you want to read how My Rare One and I reclaimed St. Peter's Basilica for Magna Mater when we were in Rome in 2008, just click here and here.

[Photos © Debra She Who Seeks, May 2021]

Monday 24 May 2021

God Bless 'Em All

Hey, it's Victoria Day in Canada once again. We are the only country in the entire Commonwealth (former name: "The British Empire") that still celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday with a statutory holiday, good little colonials that we are. Even Britain doesn't mark the occasion anymore.

So therefore, this is the date on which She Who Seeks blog traditionally makes fun of the Royal Family but jeez, I feel kinda bad about doing it this year. They've had a helluva year, haven't they, the poor buggers. Well, maybe "poor" isn't the right word . . . or is it?

Oh, who the hell am I kidding?

I do believe Meghan, however, that she faced racism from some members of the Royal Family (and certainly from the British press as well). 

But I don't think the Queen was worried about race at all. She doesn't need to.

I suspect the press is blowing "Megxit" out of all proportion. Meghan is not the "be all and end all" of evil in the world.

Why isn't Prince Andrew treated with anywhere near the same public hatred and condemnation as Meghan is?

And now poor old Prince Philip has died too.

Oh for god's sake, let's all just move on from Meghan-bashing and get started on fresher bogus royal gossip, okay?

Sheesh. Queen Victoria should have the last word on all this. After all, it's her day today.

Friday 21 May 2021

Stuff Around My Home -- Hoop Drum

I made this hoop drum in Winnipeg in the summer of 1997, about six months before I moved to Edmonton. A local feminist artist and respected indigenous elder, Mae Louise Campbell, facilitated a women's drumming circle with which I drummed for a couple of years. Every once in awhile, she would host a workshop where we could each make our own drum and drumstick.

My drum is made out of deer hide which, of course, was sopping wet during the process in order to be pliable. From the round edge of the large circular hide, we cut long thin strips which became our lacing cords. Then, using an awl and hammer, we punched out a specified number of holes at even spaces around the hide's edge.

Mae Louise then showed us how to lace and secure the hide to the wooden hoop around which it was stretched. This part of the process took the longest and was the most difficult to do. My work was a little uneven but it got the job done, LOL!

Here's what the back of my drum looks like -- 

The wooden hoop inside the drum is cedar from British Columbia. It's the most expensive hoop material to use but it is the best because it will never, ever warp. Other woods can (and often do) warp from the wetness and then your drum is ruined once dry. Here's a view of the cedar hoop --

Every step of the drum-making process was accompanied with smudging and other rituals to honour the deer, the cedar, the completed drum, life, and ourselves as makers and drummers. In the final ritual, we scattered loose tobacco on top of the wet drumhead to honour the drum. The tobacco remained there until the drum was fully dry about a week later. Once removed, small permanent brown stains remain on the drumhead, indicating that it is a sacred drum used for spiritual drumming.

We also constructed a drumstick out of a peeled red willow branch and a suede leather pouch stuffed with cotton and glue. On my own later, I added the decorative suede thongs on the drumstick's head and handle, finishing off each one with blue-and-white pony beads. As you can see in the previous photos, I added similar suede and bead accents to the four cardinal points of the drum itself. Some women painted their drumheads when dry, but I left mine in its natural state so as to keep the tobacco marks visible.

I've had many years of enjoyable drumming with this drum in a variety of settings -- various drumming circles (pagan or otherwise), Earth Day drumming circles, shamanic drumming, and on one memorable night, a candlelit labyrinth walk. My drum got its most regular use, of course, during the thirteen years I facilitated my own women's spirituality drumming circle here in Edmonton. Although that drumming circle is in the past now, I still drum with my personal drum every now and then on special occasions.

Oh, and when I do have to transport my drum to an event, here is its large tote bag!

[Photos © Debra She Who Seeks, May 2021]

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Thanks, Covid!

The only good thing to come out of Covid-19 is the redesigned format of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs. Because of the pandemic which restricted cross-border team travel between the USA and Canada, the National Hockey League had to jettison its traditional Western Conference/Eastern Conference format and realign teams into four temporary Divisions instead (North, West, East and Central). 

All seven Canadian teams were put in the North Division to play each other during the regular season . . . 

. . . which means that in the first and second round of playoffs, the qualifying Canadian teams will also be playing each other. Canadians love it because these particular all-Canadian match-ups have not occurred in decades.

The last time the Montreal Canadiens played off against the Toronto Maple Leafs was 42 years ago in 1979! My gawd, I was still in university then!

And the Edmonton Oilers have not played the Winnipeg Jets in a playoff series since 1990 -- 31 years ago! I was still living in Winnipeg then! As of that date, I hadn't even visited Edmonton yet.

The Oilers/Jets match-up starts tonight and it has put me in a bit of a dilemma

Who should I cheer for -- my former city or my current city? I'm torn! 

But My Rare One and I have resolved the issue by deciding that she will cheer for Edmonton and I will cheer for Winnipeg. Spread the luuuuuv around, I say!

Monday 17 May 2021


If we see Christ in all people, surely we must also see all people in Christ? Is this what the Apostle Paul meant in Galatians 3:28?
There is neither Jew nor Greek, 
slave nor free, male nor female, 
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Whatever form of equality this verse might appear to promote, it has not prevented the image of Christ from being used in racist ways for racist purposes, as explored in last month's blog post on this topic. This month -- the minefield of GENDER!

In the same way that a white Jesus serves to exclude non-white believers from personal identification with the Divine while not-so-subtly letting them know "who's the boss," so does a male Jesus establish identity barriers for women. The past two centuries of intense Biblical scholarship has discredited any historical basis for Jesus. There is simply no objective, factual corroboration that an "historical Jesus" ever actually existed. So if the concept/image of "Jesus" is pure faith-based symbolism, why must he be male? Whose interests does that serve?

Within Christianity itself, there have been a few attempts in recent years to cast Jesus in female imagery so that women too may see themselves in the Divine. The most famous instance is probably this 1974 sculpture of "Christa" by British artist Edwina Sandys (daughter of Sir Winston Churchill) who wanted it to portray the suffering of women --

It received a somewhat predictable reception when displayed a decade later in the USA:

"Theologically and historically indefensible" ― that’s how Bishop Walter Dennis described a bronze sculpture of Christ as a nude woman in 1984.

The 4-foot, 250-pound figure hung in New York’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine ― although, thanks to the Bishop’s commentary and a barrage of hate mail, only briefly. Due to the aggressive backlash, the sculpture was promptly packed up and shipped out soon after its arrival.

[quoted passage found here]

Another such sculpture is found here in Canada -- "Crucified Woman" by Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey, located at the United Church of Canada's Emmanuel College, Toronto.

According to theologians Doris Jean Dyke and Julie Clague, artist Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey sculpted “Crucified Woman” simply as an expression of women’s suffering. It was only reluctantly that she lent the sculpture to a United church in Toronto for Easter one year, unsure of whether she wanted it interpreted theologically. She was overwhelmed by the response, especially of women who for the first time, saw “their suffering, their dying and their resurrection embodied in a woman’s body,” and thereby felt God’s solidarity with the suffering specific to women.

Of course, not everyone interpreted the sculpture this way. Some saw it as heretical, too distant from the male body of the historical Jesus of Nazareth. Others saw it as too sexual, as it depicts a nude female form. Others saw it as reifying instead of protesting violence against women. 

[quoted passage found here]

And now, thanks to the internet and photoshop, there's starting to be even more images of "gender swap Jesus" --

I believe there is great emotional, psychological and spiritual healing, value and power in women being able to identify directly with female imagery as an embodiment of the Divine. All monotheistic patriarchal religions deny that opportunity to women and make our imagery and uniquely gendered experience foreign to the concept of the Divine. Can such religions be "reformed from within" to widen inclusive symbolism to accept women?

That's a question for Christians to explore and I wish them well. It's irrelevant to me in my own spiritual journey, since I left Christianity behind more than 40 years ago. I find my personally affirming imagery and symbolism in the older pagan traditions which include (and have always included) strong representations and acknowledgment of the Divine Feminine.

Next month -- holy moly, out of the frying pan and into the fire -- GAY JESUS!