Why the goddess workshop? Why now?
I have done workshops concerning the images and myths of ancient goddesses for many years. Feminine psychology interests me, naturally, and I am at heart an artist, guided by images. I stopped about 20 years ago when I began the bigger work of founding the Expressive Arts institute. Since the last election, I have witnessed a rise in overt sexism and misogyny in our society. Women in my practice and community sought me out with symptoms of depression, anxiety and a sense of powerlessness. Honestly, I had a hard time holding my own head up for a while. When I tired of despair, I decided to take action.
Coming back from a dark place, like Persephone re-emerging from the underworld, one has a chance to see things in a new light. I thought back to earlier times in my life, when women were struggling for basic rights. I decided that I have to re-assert my feminism and connect to the ancient images and mythologies that informed our ancestresses across the depth of history. These images gave me power, courage, laughter, and focused my passion.
I wanted to revive my workshops so I could share these things with other women.
Can you describe a typical Goddess workshop
The workshops are really art making for the purpose self-discovery, and the examination of our relationship with culture and nature through the feminine. I spend a bit of time introducing the particular Goddess, as image, myth and metaphor, exploring her powers, resources, strengths and teaching. I want to give my participants a working knowledge of Her, although no one can know everything about a Goddess!
Then we take on the creative task of investigating these aspects: we move as She might move. We create costume to more embody Her. We create images and poems to celebrate Her, and us as mirrors of Her qualities. Each woman does it her own way, but we all have the same resource material. Of course, we share what we have found.
How might this be helpful or useful for a modern woman? Who might benefit?
It is useful because activating the imagination, moving in a new way, seeing yourself in relation to something larger than yourself, can stimulate change and growth. Sometimes a new image can bring new hope, and set your thinking and behavior on a new path.
I think all women can benefit. Today’s women are more burdened with responsibilities and pressures in every area of their life. Meanwhile there is more need for self-awareness, self-advocacy and connection between women than at any time in the past 30 years. The workshop is available to women of every level of experience, as a means of self nourishment, communal play, sharing and fun. It is a beautiful experience, based on the power of stories, enactment, and art.
Self-care can be more than a mani-pedi date with friends, or a glass of wine. Yes, I enjoy those things, but I also need to cultivate and enrich my inner life. The resources I build there are the ones to carry me through the too busy days, and the emotional challenges of being a woman at this time. Goddess work works for me; I’d love to share it with you.
Interested in attending one of Judith’s Goddess workshops? Go to the events section of the page for further details on our latest offerings.