Australian Goddess Conference 2006
Was presented by
The Goddess Association In Australia ~ G.A.I.A.
Celebrating the Goddess of Memory
Goddess of Time Remembered
Reflections on the Australian Goddess Conference 2006, by Alicia Sherwood.
The altars were abundant and the magnificent and diverse artwork enlivening the walls of Tugun Community Hall voiced the very real love for Goddess. The magic was spun, and the mists parted to reveal a line of Priestesses, performing a salutation to the Great Mother, and to the women who had gathered for Her, and for their own nourishment. It had begun…
The weekend of the 6 & 7 October saw the culmination of many months hard work for the women of the Goddess Association in Australia (G.A.I.A.) and the Priestesses of the Order of the Pomegranate Grove. This was the fourth Australian Goddess Conference, which was initiated by Avril Webb of Melbourne, before G.A.I.A. officially took custodianship of this important event. Held on the Gold Coast, the theme of this year’s conference was ‘Women Remembering’, and the Goddess honoured was Mnemosyne, Mother of the Nine Muses and guardian of the timeline.
The gifts of conference.
From the opening ceremony on the Friday night, the women recognised the potency of the journey they were about to undertake. Created to honour the Sacred Feminine in all Her forms, the conference was a delightful blend of education, healing, transformation and celebration and women new to the path, as well as adherents of old, came together to partake of this spiritual feast. The forum on Friday night provided perspectives of past, present and future, from three elders of the Goddess Spirituality movement in Australia. Saturday morning saw the life- changing experience of women’s intimacy and heart, a ritual of sharing which had a profound impact on all. “The love. The energy. The joy. I loved the opening ceremony and the [Woman Heart] ritual in the morning. It was beautiful and really focused me for the day". The Goddess Market provided abundant opportunity to view the creativity of women, and to purchase some take-home goodies.
The morning and afternoon concurrent workshops gave participants a wondrous array of topics from which to choose, a task noted as difficult by many! Other ‘keynote rituals’ led by Jane Meredith, Shekhinah Morgan and Persia Wildwood gave women the opportunity to understand Goddess in Her aspects and Her wholeness, as well as uncover the sensual swagger of their ‘boss woman’ walk and the powerful release of the body through movement. The evening closed with a concert, which male family members were invited to, and included beautiful strains of music, mesmerising dance and the antics of Northern NSW ‘Yoni Woman’ Laura Doe, who had everyone in stitches!
Feeding the hungry heart
One of the most important functions of the Goddess Conference is to provide sacred space for women to be nurtured and perhaps seek sanctuary from the often demanding elements of life. The very practical gift of conference, however, is to provide the tools, knowledge and impetus for women to nourish their wholeness on a day-to day basis, and to achieve balance and peace. As one woman wrote “It felt like I was home amongst a lot of women who I didn't know, but who spoke and felt the same language as me". It was also felt that the ‘encouragement of personal strength’ and exhortation ‘not to play small’ were all important outcomes of the weekend.
In honouring our selves as women at events such as this, we honour Goddess, and all creation; men, children, animals and the dark seas, emerald peaks and hot sands of the earth body. The old face of winter and the lustiness of the burgeoning spring. For indeed, She changes everything She touches and everything She touches changes, a lesson well remembered at this year’s conference.
Please note, this article appeared in Spellcraft issue #3
And we wish to say THANK YOU!
The heart and the magic this year’s Australian Goddess weaved was truly beautiful, and was manifest because of the amazing essence of the women who gathered. G.A.I.A. would therefore like to make special thanks to these glorious individuals…
Speakers and Presenters
We were all truly blessed by the wisdom, power and unique character of each of the women who presented at this year’s conference. In sharing their own perspectives and gifts, which were so diverse yet all steeped in Her timeless grace, the entire collective of women benefited. Each of us were gifted with the special moments and tools of strength and purpose to walk forward, more deeply connected and grateful than before.
And so to…
Our Elders thea Gaia, Marye Ann Azzarello and Shekhinah Morgan for their wisdom, courage and heart
Patricia Corner for her enduring commitment to weaving and leading potent ritual
Anita Ryan for her sense of play and the scope of her Goddess vision
Alicia Sherwood for so passionately retelling the ancient stories
Kellie Gough for bringing the seeds from their dark womb home to the light
Jane Meredith for helping us experience and embody the weaving of fragments and wholeness
Julie Walton for singing the Goddess to life in our hearts and helping us voice our own praise for Her
Justine Ward for her effervescent vision and strength of direction
Dr Patricia Rose for tempting us to understand and create our own tapestry of Goddess
Shekhinah Morgan and Persia Wildwood for truly showing us that our bodies and their movement are living expressions of the Sacred Feminine
The Guardians who so beautiful embodied the Daughters of Goddess, the Nine Muses;
Leanne Juratowitch Guenther
For their hard work, commitment and beauty which endured throughout the easy times and the challenges …
The Stall Holders at our Goddess Market ensured a collection of amazing and luscious Goddess Gifts were available for us to take pleasure in…
Dr. Glenys Livingstone
Tanna Kjaer Dona
Laura -Doe Harris
A great deal of organizing and hard work was also necessary for the Saturday night concert to be brought to birth. In particular, we would like to thank Future Native and Tim Fairless for their equipment, expertise and musical talent!
There were also many key women who made sure many tasks we managed well, so that the conference ran smoothly,
Lena Barnard [for her beautiful altars especially]
Your dedication to attend to anything that needed doing is greatly appreciated
Lastly, we save a very special thankyou to every, single woman who attended the conference. The gift of each woman only began with submitting their registration form and arriving at Tugun Hall. The greatest gift was their participation…even if they were at times challenged, or wary of what was unveiling during the conference. The depth of emotion and experience is always in the hands of Goddess and of each woman. A full and honest heart, courage and commitment to self/Her meant that the Australian Goddess Conference 2006 was indeed a success.