A Herstory of Festival of the Goddess
More than 25 years ago, in a time before cell phones, web sites or emails, a Goddess loving womyn was inspired by her attendance at Michigan Women’s Music Festival and came back to Austin with a vision: Texas wimmin have the talent, brains and space to host an all female festival! A festival where creativity would honor the Goddess, by supporting wimmin with a safe and supportive environment for performance art! With the connections and skills required, that vision came to pass; a group of dedicated visionaries came together and produced the “Gathering of the Goddess”, a prequel to our “Festival of the Goddess”.
In 1992, the second Gathering of the Goddess was held, which was the last Gathering before the name was changed to Festival of the Goddess. Over the years, this last Gathering was included into the time line of our Festival of the Goddess, hence our 26th anniversary.
Over the herstory of the Festival, the planning circle became an empowerment workshop in feminist leadership. For the wimmin who had the courage to be vulnerable, and the energy to produce the Festival year after year it was, and is, a powerful tool sharing and skill building experience. Its original intention was for females living in a dominant culture of oppression to connect with other wimmin, to celebrate their diversity within that shared experience, to come to know the Goddess, and to have safe space to perform and express themselves on stage and in workshops. That intention still holds true, and still guides us today.
Thru the growth and evolution of the Festival, we recognized that honoring our Female Blood Mysteries was important to wimmin of all ages, as well as continuing the Festival’s Feminist beginnings. Beyond the workshops, rituals and sacred space to honor these Mysteries, we recently added more infrastructure to make attendance easier for our crones. We believe by expanding our access to the experiences of wimmin moving into wisdom, we also strengthen our ability to move forward into our own wisdom.
Each phase of our lives as wimmin reveals its own mysteries, poses it’s own challenges, and offers it’s own opportunities. The Festival of The Goddess offers a place to embrace the Mystery, gather strength to accept the challenge, and a safe place to expand into opportunity.
May it always be so.