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“Episode 105 is an interview with feminist witch Lasara Firefox Allen, author of Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality.
Lasara introduces us to a new way of thinking about Paganism, Goddess worship, and feminism. She discusses marrying her passion for social justice with her spiritual work. We discuss her previous work, Sexy Witch, and how modern Pagan publishing is evolving to suit a next level of education for the community.
Big Question: How can I recognize what needs to change?
We speak of the divine feminine, but who is she? I know her intimately as Sophia. Others as Shakti, Shekinah, Tara, Holy Spirit, Black Madonna. She has countless names and faces. But at her essence, who is she? Lasara Firefox Allen’s new book, Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality, probes the divine feminine essence to discover her five characteristics. When we see and love those five faces, we can see and love our own face in Hers!
In part 1 we discuss how Lasara is feeling about the launch and how to deal with haters as a feminist personality, trans exclusionary pagans and pagan spaces and gender identity*, cultural appropriation and ethical practices for pagan events and ritual.
Be sure to also check out my review of Jailbreaking the Goddess over on my blog, and pick up a copy from Llewellyn, Amazon, and at your local metaphysical shops!
Part 2 will be out next week, Friday July 15th and I fully expect you to have read the book in the mean time.
In this part of the interview we talk a little bit more about some of the faces of the goddess in her new model, and how people have reacted to them, a little bit about how to apply the five-fold goddess model to upcoming Lughnasadh celebrations, and the hexing of the Stanford Rapist.
I’m excited to have Lasara Firefox Allen on the show to discuss her latest book, “Jailbreaking the Goddess.” For me, this book couldn’t have come at a better time, as I’ve been pondering the dogma of late that seems to plague feminist spirituality. For instance, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m disenchanted with the traditional three-fold Goddess model which is outdated, confines a woman’s worth to her uterus and is actually based on patriarchal dictates. Lasara’s refreshing new paradigm takes “biology” out of Goddess spirituality and gives us a more rounded model known as the “Five-Fold Goddess.”
Please join us and listen to what Lasara has to say about why we need a new paradigm!
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In her ground breaking 1976 book, When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone evoked a memory of a time, before patriarchal religion, by saying… “For people raised and programmed on the patriarchal religions of today, religions that affect even the most secular aspects of our society, perhaps there remains a lingering, almost innate memory of sacred shrines and temples tended by priestesses who served in the religion of the original supreme deity. In the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman. Do you remember?”
In much of the world today, the concept of God as a Woman would at a minimum be considered heresy and in many cultures result in execution.
My guest this week, Lasara Firefox Allen, wants us to remember and move beyond mere remembrance. Her new book, Jailbreaking the Goddess, is a revolutionary and radical re-visioning of the feminine divine. A wild hearted change agent, Lasara delivers tools for transformation, provides strategies for embodiment, and creates vibrant spaces for personal and collective liberation. Lasara’s coaching and teaching work weaves together themes of empowerment, embodiment, body positivity, sexual liberation, feminism, and owning our whole selves.
HEATHER SEGGEL: Let me start right in the middle of the book, with the idea of thinking of g/God as a coconspirator or a nonhierarchical deity. This seems so radical as to be head-spinning, yet you talk about things like sitting down to chat with your god, a practice that’s common among evangelical Christians! What do you see as the potential benefits of getting worship out of the clouds and into our homes and neighborhoods?
LASARA FIREFOX ALLEN: Well, I’m an anarchist at heart. I tend to believe that a great many of my gods may have inclinations in that direction as well. I want to enter into relationships of love and devotion from the stance of conspiring together for our greater liberation. I don’t see why I would want to enter into a relationship with a god or goddess any differently.
That said, some gods really prefer a hierarchical interaction. I may give honor to those gods, but I am less likely to enter into, say, a contractual obligation with them.
TWPT: Before we jump into Jailbreaking the Goddess perhaps an introduction to LaSara Firefox Allen might be appropriate to my readers who haven’t been exposed to your writings before. You have been immersed in pagan culture and practice from childhood on. Tell me about your memories of growing up in a pagan environment and how that helped to build the foundations of who you are today.
LFA: I was raised solidly in the margins. I grew up in the back to the land movement. I was home schooled through high school, grew up with no electricity, no phone, no hot running water, no indoor plumbing. I sometimes say I was raised in the 1800s, or in an underdeveloped country called Greenfield Ranch. In many ways I was a total outsider to dominant culture.
At the same time, as I say in Jailbreaking the Goddess, all counter cultures and alternative cultures exist as counter- and alternative to dominant culture. All the alternative and counter cultures exist within the dominant culture. The bedrock is the same. So while you have folks who are trying to move out of the wounding of dominant culture, in many case they, and by they I mean we, are at the same time acting from those very wounds.
The utopia I was raised in had all that, in spades. Both the idyllic aspects and the acting from the wound.