Saturday, April 18, 2009

Intimate love between Mary and Jesus

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Most people reading this blog have done their own kind of research into some or all of the life of Christ, religion, pre-Christianity religions, goddesses, empowerment, Sacred Feminine.... The list goes on.

I assume everyone reading is here for a basic purpose. Understanding. Be it knowing where our spirituality springs from individually, trying to filter through history for a glimpse of what actually occurred or outright curiosity is for you and you alone. I myself have researched for years concepts Dan Brown (Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code) and numerous others have stirred up. Good for them! As a mother of four, a wife and "slave to the grind" I can say I am not the foremost speaker on the subject of Sacred Feminine. I have a busy life. I hold no doctorate on the subject. But I believe research; thirst for knowledge and good intuition speaks volumes. I intend to bring thoughts out in my blog here that pique my own curiosity. I hope it does the same for you.

The idea of Jesus not knowing the love of a woman is by far the most ridiculous conception (no pun intended) Christianity has spoon-fed us throughout HIStory. In every religion using the bible, we are told of the life of Christ here on Earth. His conception. His birth. His followers. His struggles. His grief. His pain. His suffering. His death. I am not going into the "whys" of Christianity's reasoning for lifting a good man to the levels of immortality. (If this is something you are not familiar with, research it… it is very interesting.)

Let's play devil's advocate: Let's say everything written in the Bible regarding Jesus' life were true. Immaculate conception to reincarnation. We are to believe he experienced a range of human emotions. Difficult emotions: pain, struggle, suffering, betrayal, deceit, failure. Wonderful emotions: kindness, faith, humility, familial love, brotherly love. But not intimate love? This is one of Christianity's biggest failures. To expect us to believe a deity put on Earth could not possibly partake in the most basic human quality to love intimately. Is it possible to feel every emotion and not experience the personal connection between man and woman? Or the longing for it? History itself depicts all young Jewish men were to be married in that era. Even The Da Vinci Code covered that.

Everyone knows Mary Magdalene. Painted as a whore. The level of equality squashed. Which unfortunately for man is a tragedy. It is most likely the most fulfilling love story in history erased. For every good man, there is a good woman behind him. (Or for some, in front of him.) It pains me to think of all the good the retelling of their lives together (Jesus and Mary) could have done if allowed to be told over the centuries, documented and revered. Healthy partnerships between man and woman are what we are designed for. The capacity to love is our best human trait. It seems the church for whatever reason they claim stole the best we have to offer by refusing to acknowledge Jesus' personal/intimate relationship with Mary Magdalene. Jesus' life was taken and used to promote another's ideals. This we cannot erase. It happened.

What we can do is question. And keep questioning. Faith is a wonderful tool. I am NOT saying people should not believe in what they choose to believe. It is not my place to say. But the next time you decide to open a Bible, read between the lines. What are your thoughts on why intimate love was left out of the emotions Jesus felt?

— Danielle Marie Powell

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Dan Brown's 'Solomon Key' almost ready?

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Who knows if it's true or just conjecture, but last month director Ron Howard, now working on the film version of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, told reporters that Brown's forthcoming (we've been waiting for years) novel titled The Solomon Key is finally finished, the Guardian said last month.

The novel's storyline has long been rumored to be about the involvement of Freemasons in the early history of the United States, with Washington, D.C., as the primary locale.

We wonder if any of the details found in Dan Brown's leaked notes (see Sacred Fems, May 4, 2006) will be a part of the new novel.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Virgin Mary fashion show angers Chile's Catholics

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It looks like I'm not the only one to notice that the busty "Barbie look" has its essence in the various Queens of the Sky.

Church officials are offended and outraged that Chilean fashion designer Ricardo Oyarzun plans a show featuring clothing patterned on stereotypes of the Virgin Mary, using models with ample cleavage, Reuters reported this week.

A conservative group has filed for an injunction to stop the show, and Orarzun says he has received telephone threats and had excrement smeared on his doorstep. Now that's a nice Christian response!

"There is no pornography here, there's no sex, there are no virgins menstruating or feeling each other up," Oyarzun said. "This is artistic expression."

He said his designs, which include halos and the style of dress often seen in Nativity scenes, were inspired by the Virgin Mary but not intended to represent her.

In a prepared statement, Chile's Episcopal Conference, which includes Catholic bishops, said, "We look on with special pain and deplore those acts which seek to tarnish manifestations of sincere love toward the Virgin Mary, which end up striking at the dignity of womankind by presenting her as an object of consumption."

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Flight attendant can't hold her liquor; threatens pilot

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Flight attendant Sarah Mills threatened her pilot Sunday afternoon by saying "You're dead" as she was taken from an Atlanta-bound jet after admitting to drinking whiskey while preparing for take-off, CNN reported.

Mills' breath test showed her alcohol level at .032, well below the level considered intoxicated by Kentucky law.

I guess she just couldn't handle her liquor.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tammy Faye Bakker is today making lemonade with the Lord

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Tammy Faye Messner, one half of the best comedy act of the 1980s, The Jim and Tammy Faye Show aka The PTL Club, has died at age 65.

Along with her then husband Jim Bakker, she provided countless hours of entertainment to millions during the Miami Vice years, first as a puppet act, then as a Christian talk show hostess on The PTL Club, and finally as the owner of an air-conditioned doghouse and a crying, make-up running, spurned wife whose high-living husband was banging church secretary Jessica Hahn.

Through it all, and later through her illness, she wore her trademark make-up well, keeping a happy face while repeating, "If life gives you lemons, you just make lemonade."

So long, Tammy Faye!

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Jealous astronaut Lisa Nowak a bad example for all women

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The article on Lisa Nowak brings to mind a question about why we as a culture would become fascinated with the obsessive behavior of a jealous woman in a fight over a man with another woman. Do we know all the facts? Should we even care? Is this just another stupid pop-ed story about two women fighting over a desirable mate or something more?

As humans, we have always been fascinated with the interaction between male and female, especially when the situation entails jealousy and rivalry. This situation arises not only from the personal issues involved but from the need for economic stability in society supported by marriage and inheritance laws. As with modern society, relationships are driven not only by emotions but by the need for power and economic security. The goddesses like Hera, Juno and Frigg were jealous not only because of their partnerships with the Father gods but because their rivals threatened their positions of power and that of their children.

In societies like early Greece, where marriages were for positioning and heirs while love was restricted to the same sex, they highlighted this aspect. However, history is filled with examples of women married to kings and other men of power whose children lost their inheritance or even their lives when the father lost interest in their mother. This has been the case ever since the inheritance laws changed from matrilineal inheritance to patrilineal inheritance. The stories of the goddesses of marriage reflect this dichotomy.

According to modern American culture a relationship is supposed to be based only in emotion and physical attraction instead of economic necessity for the support and future inheritance of the family. We no longer have guidance for our belief systems other than the popular media. Of course you could argue that the stories of the gods and goddesses were the popular media of their time. I don't agree because I have yet to see it determined that our current popular media serves any interests other than those of the advertising, political and corporate industries.

If you look at the stories of those goddesses of the home and hearth from an emotional standpoint, their behavior may seem bizarre and even threatening. Personally, I would wonder why any man would stand for this kind of behavior in their life partner but there were more reasons for their partnership than physical attraction. We justify it these days with protestations of romantic love. That if a man or women truly loved each other then they would remain partners for the remainder of their life with total fidelity no matter what each of them do.

These were not the lessons that were demonstrated in the stories of Zeus and Hera or Jupiter and Juno. Yes, they were from cultures that drew from each and other and as such had similar experiences. But the human experience at that time in those cultures reflected that marriages and partnerships were founded more on economic realities rather than emotional desires. In spite of their jealous and spiteful attempts to rid themselves of their rivals and their rivals children, both of these goddesses were greatly honored in the cultures that acknowledged them. There were consequences for their behavior but they were still the ones that protected the stability of the hearth and home.

Maybe if we had the stories of the gods and goddesses to help and guide us, we might not focus on what is really a sad story of an efficient and competent women who let her need for a man to complete her drive her to actions that she normally would never contemplate.

Why call Ms. Nowak an efficient and competent woman, in view of the reason why she made headlines? Mainly because institutions like NASA do not normally allow incompetents to operate components of the space shuttle. When she and the other two parties violated a tenet that has served employees of the same company well for years, namely don't date people in the same organization, they did themselves a true disservice. They made themselves laughingstocks. I include the other two parties because I consider the death of dignity a loss for all. Was it necessary for the situation to develop as it did? Probably not.

There were consequences that affected all three of them as well as the rest of society. All women in our society lose when one woman who has succeeded allows her emotions to overcome her leading to the loss of her occupation and possibly the loss of her freedom. Our society is lessened by the ridicule that people who wish to control the image of the sacred feminine will cast on women because of Lisa's actions. However, the person who lost the most was Lisa Nowak. I feel sorrow for her and relief that she still has some friends who will support her through this ordeal she has instigated.

— Arnulfa

Image: Hera, from about.com

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Porn actress performs oral sex on Tennesee Highway Patrol officer to avoid ticket

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A porn actress who claims she gave a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper a blow job to get out of a ticket is going to have to pay the $159 fine anyway, Fox News reported.

Justis Richert, 21, of Knoxville, who acts in pornographic sex videos under the name "Barbie Cummings," could have avoided the ticket by showing up in court. The trooper, James Randy Moss, didn't. He has resigned amid allegations from several other women who came forth after Richert's story surfaced. Earlier Fox News stories said Moss had been fired.

Charges were dropped against 16 motorists who appeared in court this week after Moss ticketed them.

Richert's blog isn't "worksafe," being loaded with porn shots, but you can read her blog entry about the alleged event with the trooper in a news story from Knoxville television station WATE on May 18.

Image: Justis Richert, aka Barbie Cummings, from her blog http://barbiecummings.blogspot.com

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Space sex triangle: Astronaut attacks rival with BB gun and pepper spray

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This article was originally published Feb. 6, 2007. I moved it to the top of the stack to highlight today's update.

"...Been away so long I hardly knew the place...."

Sorry for the long absence. Mary and the Widow's Son took the Global Orgasm thing a bit too seriously, and have been doing the John Lennon-Yoko Ono thing in bed since Dec. 22. [See previous story.]

Nothing like a good sex in space scandal to send us back to our keyboards, though.

NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak, known as "Robo-Chick" by fellow astronauts and mission commanders because she operated the robotic arm on her space shuttle mission last year, allegedly drove non-stop more than 12 hours from Texas to Florida to attack her rival for another astronaut's attentions. She was so determined to get there, she wore diapers so she wouldn't have to stop for restroom breaks, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Armed with a BB gun and a folding knife and wearing a wig, latex gloves and a trench coat, she apparently went straight to the Orlando airport. She met Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman's flight, then followed Shipman to her car, where she attacked her with pepper spray.

Nowak was a mission specialist on a Space Shuttle Discovery flight last summer. She is charged with attempted kidnapping, battery, attempted vehicle burglary with battery and destruction of evidence. She is being held without bail in Orange County Jail.

She told police she's been banging, er, I mean, "involved in a relationship with," Bill Oefelein, another NASA astronaut. Nowak described her relationship with Oefelein as "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship," according to the charging affidavit.

Oefelein piloted the most recent shuttle flight in December. The two had not been into space together. (How come we hear about experiments in space with animals and alfalfa sprouts, but no one ever talks about the zero-gee sex experiments you just know have been going on since the first woman blasted into space?)

Nowak drove to Orlando to confront Shipman when she found out Shipman was flying to Orlando to meet with Oefelein. She told police the BB gun "was going to be used to entice Ms. Shipman to talk with her."

Capt. Nowak is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis with a degree in aerospace engineering, and a former test pilot. She has been in the space space program since 1996.

"My training is what you might think of as a Flight Engineer on ascent and entry," she said in a pre-flight interview on the NASA Web site. "I sit behind and between the pilot and commander and help coordinate things and keep the big picture."

Her NASA biography, posted in Oct. 2006, shows that she is the married mother of three children.

Navy Commander Oefelein is a former test pilot who attended TOPGUN, the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School.

I can't wait to see these people on Jerry Springer's show. It's not just trailer trash who act stupid when they get jealous.

Image #1: The most phallic rocket photo I could find.

Image #2: Lisa Nowak's official NASA photo.

Image #3: Lisa Nowak's mug shot taken shortly after her arrest. I wouldn't want to wake up next to that face. Maybe neither did Commander Oefelein.

Image #4: Bill Oefelein's offical NASA photo.


UPDATE Monday, Feb. 12: Silvestro's Italian restaurant in Cocoa Beach, Fla., held a fundraiser dinner for Lisa Nowak on Sunday evening. About 70 diners participated, CNN reported.

"We stand by our friends in time of need, and it's a time of need," co-owner Tony Bless said. He told reporters that in addition to many complaints, he's gotten supportive calls and e-mails from as far away as Italy.

UPDATE Wed., March 7: Capt. Nowak has been fired by NASA, to whom she had been "on loan." She will return to duty in the U.S. Navy, the AP reported today.

UPDATE Wed., April 11: A judge yesterday unsealed records related to Nowak's arrest. Police reports indicate they found 69 orange pills wrapped in four brown paper towels, a CD containing 16 images of photos and drawings mostly showing bondage scenes of a tied-up white woman, $600 in U.S. currency and 41 pounds U.K. They also found two USB drives containing family photos and NASA material.

They did not say who was in the bondage pictures, and have not released information on what kind of pills they were, Fox News reported.

UPDATE Sat. June 30: Nowak's attorney says that she did not wear a diaper on her drive from Houston to Florida. The diapers found in the car's trunk were several years old, he said, according to a report from Fox News yesterday.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Celebrities as goddess-replacements

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The fascination with celebrity in American society has crossed the line into obsession. Consider the possibility that this problem could be caused by the lack of variety in the image of the sacred feminine because of the dominant religion in America. Celebrities like Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are taking the place of female goddess images as examples of the chaos aspect of the sacred feminine.

Chaos aspect is the side of our personality and nature that represents behavior that is not normally expressed publicly, like becoming intoxicated, expressing rage, facing our own mortality or expressing intense emotion. This is not necessarily bad, it is just uncomfortable behavior. It is also a representation and acceptance of both the good and bad in life. All life is not beautiful and serene. Life includes extremes in emotion, death, injury and conflict, as well as the positive aspects. A good example of chaos aspects of the sacred feminine could include goddesses and worshippers like Kali, the Maenads and Hel.

The dominant religion in America today is Christianity. The role of the female is limited in this belief system. Socially acceptable roles for Christian women include the good mother, the good wife, the silent and saintly grandmother and the pure maiden. These are order aspects of the goddesses or sacred feminine. In previous cultures and pantheon, there was allowance made for the dark side or chaos aspects of the goddess and the feminine. Because there is no face of the female in Christianity other than the order aspect, women have no role to follow once they choose to leave that path.

The only representation of a chaos aspect would be the bad girl or whore in the madonna/whore syndrome. And this aspect is simply a representation of a male fantasy, not a true aspect of the sacred feminine. Females in America today have few choices if they chose to step outside of these roles like celebrities do routinely. Thus the fascination with celebrity party behavior like that of Paris, Britney and Lindsey. If you want to know the truth, their behavior sounds like that of a group of Maenads to me. Maenads were the followers of Dionysus, the god of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, so to speak. They indulged in violence, blood-letting, ecstatic intoxication and sexual activities. The stories of their behavior were classic examples of behavior under intoxication by alcohol or drugs.

Add into this mix, the media cult of youth worship and you have young females who are being looked up to as role models with no idea of how they are supposed to behave. They have all the privileges of position bounded by public adulation but accept none of the responsibilities because they don't have any role models for chaos behavior that is socially acceptable in this culture. Traditionally, the gods have been the role models, but when you have a one sided culture where women are not represented in the face of the god and there is not an option for chaos behavior to be expressed, then roles become warped. Only the Madonna, i.e. good mother image or the pure maiden, which as order aspects do not threaten the dominant culture in a society, is acceptable. If you notice, the Madonna is a totally non-sexual being, like the maiden. She conceived a child while still a virgin. So instead of sexual pleasure with a god, she "immaculately conceives" a child, a physical impossibility. In American society, a woman is not allowed to be sexual, express anger or act out destructive urges unless she fits the media image. But women have as many facets as the goddesses that have been worshiped throughout history no matter what their age.

A prime example is Madonna, the performer not the mother of god. She appears to me to represent the aspect of Kali, who is the universal mother but is also fierce in battle and passionate in all arts, especially dance. Kali is an intensely sexual being in her relationship with Shiva. Legend says that she destroyed the universe during orgasm. Now that is one I would like to try. I can also see Madonna trying to express that type of energy. She is a performer that is always on the edge, trying to shock in order to get a message across. She is openly sexual and blunt in expressing opinions and emotions in public. Yet Madonna is also a strong, nurturing mother. She openly expresses her spirituality in alternative fashions because there is definitely not a place for the likes of her in the Christian pantheon. However, if you will notice, there is not as much popular fascination with her as regards tabloid coverage since she is not young anymore. As representing a chaos aspect of the sacred feminine, there is much to be admired about Madonna Louise Ciccone.

Another celebrity/goddess aspect pairing could be Angelina Jolie. She would appear to be a match for the goddess Hel. I don't mean the Christian hell but the Norse goddess of the underworld. Hel has a divided aspect. One half of her is strikingly beautiful, while the other half is described as being blue/black or sometimes decomposing. That is life itself. Half is lovely and serene and the other half is darkness, strife and death. Hel is the ruler of the underworld and her fiefdom is icy cold. With her beautiful exterior combined with her rather bizarre past antics and now her work as a
UN goodwill ambassador to Third World Countries, Jolie does draw attention to both of the extremes in life. She goes from the glamor of the red carpet to the slums of a poverty stricken country where children die with swollen bellies from malnutrition. And so she confuses the celebrity watchers and other members of the dominant culture by refusing to stay in one role or class. Hel was the child of a god, Loki and a giantess. By adopting children from these Third World countries Jolie seems to be trying to create a safe haven for them, much as Hel does for those of the Norse
who died of sickness and old age. So even though a compassionate mother, Jolie does not fit any of the socially acceptable molds of our society.

If you will notice, all of these women are considered outcasts to a large extent, from the dominant culture. They spend their lives in the brilliant glare of our obsession with celebrity. Their behavior is not consistent with what is considered appropriate for a female in a predominantly Christian culture. And to be honest, most of them seem not to care. Well, with the exception of Britney that is. She seems to be caught in an hell of her families making when they encouraged her to engage in a career in the public eye at much too young an age. But that is indeed another subject. She is caught on the crux of a dilemma. Should she indulge in maenad-like
behavior, which feels good, or should be a pure mother/maiden and gain favor with her family and society. And is it possible that she is being driven mad by the gods? That is typical maenad behavior. But I digress yet again. If these and all other women had the examples set by previous cultures in their goddesses, instead of a primarily male dominated religious structure, perhaps we could be more accepting of those women who live their lives in the public eye as being aspects of the goddess, instead of outcasts of the goddess.

— Arnulfa

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Living the Sacred Feminine life

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I have said that the soul is not more than the body,
And I have said that the body is not more than the soul,
And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one’s self is.

—Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

Our birth is but a sleeping and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar; Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God who is our home;

— William Wordsworth, "Intimations of Immortality"

I am a woman; born of woman, nurtured by many women, and allowed to grow strong and proud with my feet free to roam the earthy loam of Mother Earth’s sweet soil. I wake to the sound of feminine voices in a house bustling with early morning activity as three daughters scramble to be first in the shower in bathrooms where toilet paper is always running low. I am inseparable from the women who bore me, loved me, nurtured me, and from those who suckled me, love me, and accept my nurturing. I am part of the sacred feminine.

The sacred feminine is not one unified set of beliefs; it is neither a dogma nor a creed to be followed blindly; rather, it is a path, a progression, a cycle of birth, growth, and re-birth. It is living and loving. The sacred feminine is a way of living that calls for us to claim our birthright as sisters, as travelers of life’s passageways, as negotiators of peace, harmony, stability, light and love. The light is within us but it must not be kept there; it must be embraced and shared, given freely to those we encounter.

Embracing the sacred feminine is a way of living life that calls on me to assert my identity in terms of who I am in this place and time, remembering that I am but one of many. Embracing the sacred feminine means that I lay total claim to being a woman, being female, being earthy, and it means that I accept all that it means to be uniquely woman. I am a daughter, a sister, a lover, and a mother. I love the way my body looks, even in this, my 47th year, even including wrinkles, grey, and the effects of gravity that are the gifts of time. I love the way my body smells, the way it smells when I step clean from the shower, the way it smells when I have worked in the garden or walked five miles, the way it smells before/during/after sex. All of those smells are of Mother Earth, of the sacred feminine within me and around me. I live my life fully, seizing the opportunity afforded with each new possibility. I grasp life with both fists and suck the last drop from the great breast of the eternal mother.

Living life centered in the sacred feminine means accepting responsibility. The goddesses present us with options and opportunities. As adults, we make a choice, make a decision, and then accept full responsibility for those choices. I am an adult survivor of childhood abuse, and I allowed that situation over which I had no control as a child to control my early choices. As a result, I found myself in an abusive marriage that was repeating the cycle of abuse. Once I learned to claim the sacred feminine that was within me, I knew to turn away from those unhealthy choices and make wiser decisions.

Whitman’s line that “nothing, not God, is greater to one than one’s self is” speaks to the sacred feminine, the empowerment to claim the self that embraces all things, including lives and souls that have gone before us or approach us in the present, “trailing clouds of glory” to us in this place and time. We are all a part of God, or the Goddess, and she is within us all. We feel it and recognize it in the awareness of those old souls we meet, whose recognition thrills us and lets us learn from our spiritual elders.

Embracing the sacred feminine is not an act of exclusivity that denies men. Men, too, are born of women. The act of sexual intercourse, often described by some feminists as perpetual rape, is really an act of union with the Mother, a way of sharing the sacred feminine. Men and women join together in a celebration of the life force that unites us all; the coupling celebrates the fecundity of the world. Within the sacred feminine, sex is a celebration, a joyful, raucous act that is mutually liberating and not an act of domination of one gender over another.

To live a life within the sacred feminine is, for me, a way of walking in a sacred manner in each day. It means that you share your light, and you touch with love and generosity. You welcome others into your world with an open heart. The sacred feminine has no border patrol to keep immigrants away. The sacred feminine acts as White Calf Woman taught the People to act: to care for the young, to care for the land, to protect the future.

Living the sacred feminine life feels good. It feels healthy and happy and wholesome. Living this life is a life that is open, and accepting and not one that is full of fear and shame. It is always a recollection that we come from and return to “God who is our home” and that we are always and ever at home.

— Chandra

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Arnulfa explains her beliefs about the archetypes of gods and goddesses

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In response to your post about archetypes, my personal beliefs are:
  1. I believe that the gods and goddess exist as corporeal and incorporeal entities representing the energy of the universe in our lives and they are transcendent and not immanent.

  2. I believe that the gods call us to them instead of us calling them down.

  3. I believe that as transcendent beings they are deserving of respect and honor.

  4. I believe that the major religions of this day do not address the sacred feminine in a way that is vital and separate from the patriarchal perception of women.

  5. As a result of 4, I believe that the dominant world religions do not offer enough support and role models for women.

  6. I believe that it is arrogant for humans to feel that gods are nothing more than aspects of our psyche or inside of ourselves.

  7. I believe that applying the principles of science to religion constitutes a part of the practice of science as a religion. I didn't address that issue.

  8. I believe that religion incorporated into government is a political and not a spiritual practice related to control of a group of people.
Is that a little clearer?

What I wrote was a statement of personal religious beliefs and not a religious manifesto. I gave the reasons supporting my beliefs in a manner that was probably too wordy but did not indicate that these beliefs apply to all others. In no way did I imply that others are required to believe as I do. That is why I found your statement that you don't need my permission to believe differently so confusing. What closed door? I gladly conduct dialogues with anyone who wants to. By the way, why is my being from a tribe that is indigenous to somewhere other than North America disturbing to you?

Why do you have to know which one in order to understand my words? Does that piece of information make that big a difference? Ad do you really think that because the gods/goddesses are higher than us that it excuses us from responsibility for our own lives? Did I say that anywhere? Because the term crone was claimed by feminists long ago, does that prevent each female from ever being able to rediscover and to claim it again? Things do not remain static and each of us has to walk the road of maiden, mother and crone in our own ways. Those voices of reason and sanity you speak of were frequently silenced forcibly. And I too celebrate all of my life’s passages, including those of mother, grandmother and now crone. Just because I celebrate them with the goddesses as living entities instead of archetypes does not make those passages invalid.

There is a difference in the way that logic is applied to the physical sciences and the way that it is applied to religion or articles of faith. I don't believe the dialogue ended in 1962. It has been going on in philosophy and religion for as long as there have been human beings on this earth and will continue until they are no longer here. To use one of your own examples to demonstrate the difference in applying faith and logic to an area of daily life; when you fly on an airplane you have faith in the theory of aerodynamic principles, which is an abstract, however your logic tells you that there can be mechanical failures that can counteract those principles causing you to crash, which is a concrete consequence of the failure of a physical factor. These are two different applications one is of faith related to the abstract and one is of logic related to a possible physical event. Are we talking about spiritual beliefs, science or religion? If scientists want to make determination of what is faith and what is logic, then let them admit that their beliefs have taken science into the area of religion. Otherwise, we are comparing apples and oranges, when we compare the world of the physical sciences with the world of metaphysics. This is different from an analysis of religion using faith and logic. See point 7.

There is also the concept of dualism in religion that is a little more complex than the term binary. As an adjective, one definition of binary in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary states "...of or relating to the use of stable oppositions (as good and evil) to analyze a subject or create a structural model." I prefer dualism because it is specific to the consideration of spiritual belief systems and as such has a much more complex definition "...a doctrine that the universe is under the dominion of two opposing principles one of which is good and the other evil... or the quality or state of being dual or of having a dual nature." That second definition
describes the spiritual path I obtained from my lineage. They practiced dual faith combining Catholicism with the old ways. The similarities in the two included a belief or doctrine that there is good and evil and that they are in opposition. That is not an uncommon occurrence in primarily catholic countries. Does that clarify my beliefs any?

Yes, there is a concept of religion as "opiate of the masses" as part of the Communist manifesto. I didn't indicate I was not aware of it, it just has no place in my belief system just as I have no place in the communist belief system. That is called freedom of expression. In America, I can say that, under the communist system, I would not have been able to. The issue, if you understand communism is not that I will not allow their belief system, it is that they will not allow anyone else’s. I believe that religion as an expression of personal spiritual beliefs is different from political rhetoric and the oppressive control systems that have been developed by dominant factions in governments to control groups of people. See point 8.

Bottom line: We are saying very similar things but from two different positions on the spiritual beliefs spectrum. I never said anywhere in my article that no other belief systems were valid. I said these beliefs were mine and here are the reasons why I believe that way. You are right, spiritual beliefs are similar across cultures. Is this because they represent archetypes or is this because the human condition is consistent across cultures or even because human minds work in similar ways? Or is it the collective unconscious at work? It is not faith against logic. I said that faith transcends logic. Perhaps I wasn't clear in that it transcends logic in the area of spiritual faith. Logic only works when you agree upon the ground rules of engagement, for example, in the area of subjectivism and the rights of the individual. If a person does something that they believe is not wrong but violates the laws of the country, who is right? The person committing the crime or the law created by the group? Using the theory of subjectivism, then that person committing the crime is not in the wrong, because what each individual decides is equally valid. The laws of the group have no right to infringe upon his belief. So let us agree upon the rules of engagement.

— Arnulfa

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Embracing the archetypal spirit

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Chandra responds to Arnulfa's articles on faith, logic, goddess-reality and the Crone:

I read with great interest Arnulfa’s thoughts on faith and logic, and her conception of the gods/goddesses as transcendent beings. As a fellow traveler in search of truth and the sacred, I have to applaud her strong belief “that all other human beings are entitled to the same respect in being allowed their own belief systems, whether I agree with them or not.” On the other hand, such a statement almost closes the door for discussion. I’m allowed my own belief system whether Arnulfa agrees with me or not; consequently, she is allowed her belief system whether or not I agree with it. I suppose that’s fair. However, I do have some questions of Arnulfa and her belief system. Is that also fair?

I’m afraid that, even after reading her post, I don’t know exactly what it is that she does believe. For one thing, her entire theory hinges on an acceptance of the binary opposition between faith and logic. Thomas Kuhn, in The Structure of Scientific Revolution (1962) taught us much about shifts in paradigms in the natural sciences. Since that time, it is increasingly difficult to talk in terms of such absolutes as a binary division between faith and logic. It is conceivable that those divisions are false and that one may be very logical and still have faith. After all, I have faith that the airplane I am about to board will fly me safely to my destination even as my logical mind explains the principles of aerodynamics while reminding me of the statistical probabilities of staying airborne vs. crashing. These are not mutually exclusive possibilities. Can’t it be my logic as well as my faith that protects me from the “monsters in the night?” Is faith always the Christian belief in “the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen?” There aren’t many self-respecting scientists out there who continue to support such a binary as Arnulfa proposes.

Secondly, I am not sure where her position that “choice in religion or gods is of paramount importance” in our culture precludes the choice to believe that the very spiritual being(s) she believes in are, in fact, manifestations of the goddess within all things or the same being(s) or even an archetype. Reading spiritual beliefs across cultures can astound the reader with remarkable similarities in myths and legends and forms/types of belief, especially when you include others beyond the “big 5.” Isn’t it equally true that my belief, whatever it is, is a type of religion or god and therefore of equal paramount importance? Even atheism is a form of choice in religion. What of the concept that religion is “the opiate of the masses?” Isn’t that an equal choice deserving of its place?

There are other statements in Arnulfa’s piece that I find troubling, but none more so than her declaration that she is “part of the indigenous tribals, though not of the North American continent.” I want to know which one(s) in order to more fully understand the rest of what she says. It seems an easy way out of a conundrum to say that the gods/goddesses are capable of more than mere humans are capable. It excuses our reluctance to move forward, to take charge, to claim anything as our own. In that vein I can claim the sacred feminine and be excused from the consequences of that choice because there are beings ‘out there’ bigger and more capable than I am and those beings called me to them in ways that prevented my ability to decline. No, I don’t think so. Not for me, anyway. The sacred feminine I embrace is my choice, my salvation, and my responsibility. I embrace the archetypal spirit that flows through us all that allows me both action and agency, and I willingly accept the consequences of both. I celebrate the archetypal mother and crone (that term was reclaimed by feminists a long, long time ago) within me, and I rejoice in my connection to others and to the spiritual foremothers who were voices of reason and sanity in any of the major religions as well as those in the religions of indigenous peoples everywhere, and many of those spiritual belief systems center around women as spiritual leaders and guides, not impure whores.

And, that last statement leads me to reflect on another aspect of the sacred feminine: my independent sexuality and my expressions of it. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, writing in Love in the Time of Cholera, said “nothing one does in bed is immoral if it helps to perpetuate love.” That, too, is an archetypal belief that permeates both the sacred feminine and the consciousness of us all if we will allow its entrée, and in so doing we eliminate yet another binary: that of pure woman vs. the feckless whore.

— Chandra

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gods and goddesses are real beings, not archetypes

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Arnulfa wrote this as her response to the "official" Mary-position here that all gods and goddesses are in some sense the same god, an archetype of the human mind and spirit.

Why do I believe that the gods/goddesses are transcendent beings? Why don’t I believe that they are either aspects of the God and Goddess or simple archetypes? It actually comes down to an issue of faith and understanding human psychology.

Faith is emotion based in the human psyche. Early philosophers separated the human being into body, psyche or soul and mind or intellect. Logic was considered to be based philosophically in the area of the intellect. There is nothing logical about faith. As a university student working on majors in philosophy and psychology, I am very involved in the search for reconciliation between faith and logic. Is such a reconciliation between two such different things even possible? That is unknown because in many ways, faith transcends logic. It is the human soul's attempt to believe in something big enough to protect it from the monsters in the night, much like a child’s belief in its parent’s omniscience. Sometimes faith is also necessary to prevent us from becoming the monsters in the night. Does this mean those of us who believe in the gods are children? Perhaps, but whether it is a belief in one of the dominant spiritual practices in our world or one of the alternatives, faith in something bigger than us seems to be critical to human psychological well-being. Faith is a part of the glue that holds communities together. Because it is such a critical aspect of human psychology, I believe that choice in religion or gods is of paramount importance in our culture. Some discussion of those choices would be appropriate.

There are the dominant monotheistic systems of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Then there are the other alternative belief systems of Buddhism, and Hinduism. These are considered the “Big 5” of world religions. These major religions have many differences but one similarity which they share with any spiritual practice. They require the practice of faith, not logic as defined by the scientific community. Unfortunately, none of the Big 5 allow for much experience of the sacred feminine. The alternatives to these world religions include the pagans who believe in the God and Goddess, with all pantheons representing aspects of these two archetypes. Also there are other people who believe that God is a vast source of energy that manifests itself through archetypes in the human psyche. (See Jung.) There are also those who believe we are the gods and goddesses. These belief systems can be divided between monotheists, polytheists, animists and several other categories in an abundance that is overwhelming in its complexity. A final category is that of the indigenous tribals of each continent. You will notice, I did not address the practice of science as a religion. That is a totally different issue that I can address later.

So now that I have explicated in detail what I feel religion is based on, I should explain that I am part of the indigenous tribals, though not of the North American continent. I believe the gods and spirits are beings that have greater abilities than we humans do. As such, they are entitled to respect. This is the way that my bloodline has practiced for centuries. Now, don’t get me wrong, I chose to participate in that heritage. Half of my family believes in evangelical Christianity, so I had a choice. My desire to experience the sacred feminine drove me to pursue a different tradition. I cannot accept a tradition that considered half the human race to be impure, especially when it is the half that I belong to. I also believe the gods call us rather than our calling on the gods. I have experienced this, not only personally but in watching different religious services. In some religions, the priest or preacher controls the interaction between human and god. In others, the individual or the god can initiate contact.

For some reason, the gods have seen fit to interact with the human race. I don’t understand why at times but it seems humans are such an obstreperous race that sharing a world with them requires some form of interaction. There are many reasons why gods/goddesses might interact with us. Those reasons could include requiring us to perform duties that are to their benefit only. The myths delineate situations in which this is the case. Do the gods/goddesses always do what we perceive as best for us? Or are we required to accept that we are nothing but puppets? I think that neither scenario is totally accurate because it may be a matter of perspective. An adult or parent may perceive a threat or benefit that the less mature child cannot. If the gods have a higher perspective than we do, then we may not be able to understand their actions and requirements. However another explanation could also be the very human tendency to act out and project the blame onto the gods for the resulting disaster.

It seems to be a peculiar arrogance in human nature to assign all aspects of other beings in this world to human archetypes. It is an exercise in attaching logic to faith, much like attaching a log cabin to a modern cathedral. There is no reason why we should relegate all things that we cannot explain to aspects of or abnormalities in human psychology. This aspect of our society seems more allied to control of the population that it does to faith or logic.

Nevertheless it feels like we are now being forced into a choice between a controlling parent god and an anonymous, disinterested force in American culture. This type of choice would be consistent with an exercise in logic and control rather than an exercise in faith. So, I continue to practice my belief in my family gods privately. In a society where being different can limit options, I am very discrete about who I confide my belief systems in. That alone explains why I believe so strongly that all other human beings are entitled to the same respect in being allowed their own belief systems, whether I agree with them or not.

Image: Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, by A. Bloemaert (1564-1651). Note Eris is tossing the apple of discord into the wedding party.

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Please welcome our new writer, Arnulfa the Crone

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My name is Arnulfa and I am a crone. I shocked someone recently by introducing myself as such. I consider the term crone a positive at this point in my life. I’ve raised my children and now have a lot more free time to study. I no longer have to worry about birth control and so can freely enjoy sex, much in the same way that men do. I am moving forward with a degree for the first time in my life since I no longer have to worry about adjusting both work and family issues. I am truly delighting in the study of epistemology and the sacred feminine.

Then I looked up the definition in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the etymology of the word “crone” included the Anglo-French word, carrion or dead flesh. It was considered a term of abuse. After all, women for centuries have been considered as good only for breeding. When they are past breeding age in those cultures, then they are dead flesh and of no use to society. Most women would be surprised to realize how short a time we have actually been enfranchised and considered to be of more value than just for our breeding ability. Our work in philosophy, education, religion and so many other areas of interest to society has been relegated to the back seat in these fields. This happened supposedly because there were no great women thinkers.

But there were great women thinkers; they just had to overcome obstacles to find time to engage in such activities. Think about how many men throughout history spent all their time just thinking and writing to become great. How many women do you know or have heard of that have had that privilege? They don’t have wives to care for their households. And privilege it is during the child bearing years, especially since women carry the brunt of child raising. So women have made choices, choices that entailed either surrendering a life outside the home or surrendering the possibility of a family. That is what I did. As a single parent, I raised my children until they reached maturity and now I am enjoying my time.

We are in a renaissance for women now. It is a renaissance made possible by the hard work of the women before them and that allows them to do things that have never before been possible in society. Thanks to many time saving appliances and accommodations in society, they can have careers, family, and full social lives. There are choices in spirituality that can reflect the sacred feminine, instead of being limited to the roles and beliefs that were handed down by husbands and fathers. They can pursue an education in any field they wish.

Arnulfa answered my celestial page when I asked for women to write for SacredFems.com. Thank Venus for that! She wrote this and several upcoming articles exclusively for SacredFems. Check back often.

If you'd like to write for SacredFems.com, we'd love to hear from you.


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Monday, May 14, 2007

Wanted: Women to write for SacredFems.com

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SacredFems.com needs writers.

We're looking for spiritually-minded women who can write. Got something to say about the sacred, the feminine, or the sacred feminine? Can you write about women's issues? Bios on famous women? Erotica? Goddess literature?

Sacred Fems is your place. We've got a good brand name going in SacredFems.com, and lots of traffic, but since Mary left, the Widow's Son has nothing much to say. We need a few new Marys.

Give us a shout.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Britney Spears in San Diego surprise performance last night

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Recently rehabbed and repantied (?) pop goddess Britney Spears staged her comeback last night at the House of Blues club in San Diego, it has been reported.

Dressed in pink bra, white miniskirt and wearing a brown wig, Spears performed five songs, and was on stage for about 20 minutes.

An unknown act called The M&M's had been scheduled to play, with tickets costing $35. It is assumed that the M&M's was simply a cover name for an already planned Spears performance. Rumors before the show sent the street cost of the tickets much higher than the printed price.

The M&M's are scheduled to play tonight in Anaheim and tomorrow night in West Hollywood.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

This one's no goddess: Fireman caught drunk in bikini

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This one's no goddess.

Fireman Steven S. Cole was caught driving away from a park in Wayne Township, Ohio, drunk and wearing a blond wig and a bikini, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. His bikini top was stuffed with two tan-colored water balloons.

A park visitor had called police while Cole was stumbling through the park, before he got into his pickup truck.

Cole handed police credit cards when asked for his driver's license.

He told police he was on his way to a gay bar to compete in a "dress like a woman" contest where he could win $10,000.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Alanis Morissette: 'My Humps'

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"My Humps," by Alanis Morrissette.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

School sued over teen's 'Winnie the Pooh' socks

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A few week's ago, school officials were in a tizzy over three female students using the word "vagina" on stage.

Now a story comes to us about a school administration in Napa, California that sent a 14-year-old girl to detention (called Students With Attitude Problems, or SWAP) for wearing a denim skirt and socks bearing the likeness of Tigger, the bouncing tiger from the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh tales.

As Eyeore said, "Pathetic. That's what it is, pathetic."

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Monday, March 19, 2007

'Tailgate me and I'll shoot! -- Detroit woman opens fire on motorist

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Driving along Interstate 94 in Detroit, a woman opened fire on a pickup truck she said had been tailgating her.

Bernadette Houghton Headd, 39, claims she believed the truck was trying to run her off the road.

When she was arrested, she told police, "I'm tired of people tailgating me."

Her mother has an excuse for her, too. She'd been under a lot of stress caring for a sick family member, her mother told reporters.

"When you're afraid for your life, I mean, what is it you're supposed to do?" she asked. She said her daughter only meant to "scare him off," not hit the vehicle. truck.

Headd, who has a concealed weapons permit, is a good shot, her mother said.

She has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle and using a firearm during a felony.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

E-cards for women who have had abortions

   


Saint Patrick's Day, Grandparents Day, a divorce... there's a greeting card (and e-card) for every holiday and every event in your life.

Including...

...a new line of e-cards for women who have had an abortion.

You can choose from such sentiments as "As you grieve, remember that you are loved," "God will never leave you or forsake you," one for someone who "did the right thing," and three more. The e-cards are available in English and Spanish from Exhale.

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Mohawk hairstyle makes artist of police photographer

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The Memphis, Tennessee police photographer had to back up when he took mugshots of Anna Clifford, who was booked for driving under the influence after celebrating her birthday recently, the Daily Mail reported.

Anna's "Mohican" hairstyle rose peacock-like 18-inches above her head.

Police said she had was driving with her sunroof open to accommodate her unusual hairdo.

Police mugshots are required to show the arrestee "as they look" at the time of arrest.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ashley Tisdale: Fresh-faced role model who wears panties

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Disney girl Ashley Tisdale of "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and "Highschool Musical" says she has no tattoos, and wears panties "all the time."

Finally, after all the trashy Lisa Lohans and Britney Spears, someone we can let our young kids follow without too much worry. Ordinarily, I don't like anything Disney, but what the heck? At eight years old, my son's not quite ready for ogling the pantyless crowd. In fact, he still has no idea who Britney Spears is.

Thank God — or Disney — for small miracles.


— Mary

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

'Vagina, vagina, vagina!"

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Add "vagina" to the list of words you can't say if you're a high school student.

At least that is the way officials at a public high school in Cross River, New York feel.

Three 16-year-old girls said the word "vagina" during a reading from the play The Vagina Monologues.

John Jay High School Principal Richard Leprine said the girls were punished because they disobeyed orders not to say the word "vagina," the AP reported.

Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues, made a public statement saying the girls were right for "standing up for art and against censorship." Ensler called the school's position "a throwback to the Dark Ages."

Ensler also said she called the girls to show her support.

Honor students Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson, included the word because, as Levinson said, "we knew it was the right thing to do. Since we're comfortable saying it, we should make other people comfortable saying it."

Last Friday the girls read from the play at an event sponsored by night, among various readings at an non-school event sponsored by a literary magazine. The girls will all serve one-day, in-school suspensions Wednesday.

UPDATE, Tuesday, March 13: CNN has reported that Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, has accepted an invitation to speak at the school's theater, just before an upcoming Board meeting. The girls' suspensions are still on hold.

UPDATE, Wed., March 14: According to one of the girls, all three girls received letters from the school administration lifting the suspensions, the AP reported.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Laughing Lolitas pull bank heist; captured two days later

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It must have been the pot. What else could make it seem like a good idea to two 19-year old Atlanta-area women to put on sunglasses and laugh their way through a bank robbery?

Heather Johnston and Ashley Miller, along with 22-year-old Benny Herman Allen III, a bank teller at a Bank of America in a Cobb County, Ga., Kroger, were arrested after a short car chase two days after they pulled off their Ha-Ha Heist. The three were charged with felony theft and marijuana possession.

The Associated Press reports that a fourth accomplice, Michael Chastang, 27, also was arrested and charged with felony theft and drug trafficking. His role in the plot is unclear from news reports.

The women were charged with the less serious offense of felony theft rather than bank robbery because they had inside help from Allen, the teller.

The press has dubbed these women the "Barbie Bandits."

Hey, kids! I know sometimes phrases popular in previous generations don't always make sense to you... but this is not what is meant by "laughing all the way to the bank."

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