Relevant themes

My tumblr blog Mystery Woman Revival also has a number of posts archived under the tags listed in the menu.


excerpts from The Woman Magician

excerpts from The Red Goddess

review of Apocalyptic Witchcraft (two parts)

excerpts from Pure Lust by Mary Daly

excerpts from Gyn/ecology by Mary Daly

excerpts from Beyond God the Father (also here)

excerpts from The Art of Loving

excerpts from The Function of the Orgasm

excerpts from Who Cooked the Last Supper?

excerpts from Free Will by Sam Harris

excerpts from Escape from Freedom

excerpts from Against Sadomasochism

excerpts from Unleashing Feminism

excerpts from The Sexual Contract by Carole Pateman (thoughts here)

20 Premises from Endgame

poems against patriarchy



 “Medusa’s story tells how the powerful female, whimsical and destructive and incomprehensible and unpurged from matriarchal origin, having her own gaze, was subjected as a repulsive image of castration and embodiment of the lack. The impossibility of explaining and understanding her led Poseidon to rape her and Perseus to murder her. Elimination of the powerful female and the possibility of her subjectivity is justified as the hero constructs her differentiated and unclaimable nature as horrific and monstrous in order to destroy her.”
—from Medusa and the Female Gaze by Susan Bowers


 Priestess of Delphi, John Collier, 1891.
“The Pythia, the title of the virgin priestess of Apollo was the prophetess who spoke his „oracles‟ by sitting in his temple and naked, perched over a a crack in the earth that exuded toxic vapors, inducing an hallucinogenic trance. As the theory goes, the Pythia‟s nakedness allowed the fumes to enter her vagina; the vagina and the mouth having a correspondence with each other and therefore, immediately exiting from her mouth, as Apollo‟s oracles. Her chastity was required in order to ensure that there were no other influences upon the pure word entering the mouth that was her vagina would exit with the same purity by way of the mouth of which gave the spoken word.”
– “A Token of Babalon”
Apparently priestesses served gods and priests, goddesses. Also, witches were said to ‘fly’ on broomsticks (which had ergot, a hallucinogenic ointment).


Artist: Artimisia GentileschiThe work shows an apocrypha scene from the Old Testament Book of Judith which details the delivery of Israel from the Assyrian general Holofernes. In this scene, Judith and her maidservant behead the general after he has fallen asleep drunk. Although the painting depicts a classic scene from the Bible, Gentileschi drew herself as Judith and her mentor Agostino Tassi, who was tried in court for her rape, as Holofernes.


Hypatia, the last of the Neoplatonists.
Hypatia was the daughter of Theon, a celebrated philosopher and mathematician, the author of a commentary on Euclid, in which his daughter is said to have assisted him. An only child, she showed deep interest in philosophy and mathematics from her early youth. Her father instructed her in these subjects with care and diligence, and she soon became one of his most brilliant pupils. Her writings, according to Suidas, included commentaries on the Arithmetica of Diophantus of Alexandria, on the Conics of Apollonius of Perga, and on the Arithmetical Canon of Ptolemy, all of which are now lost. As a young woman, she traveled to Athens and Italy. Upon her return to Alexandria, around 400 CE, Hypatia achieved prominence as the recognized head of the Neoplatonist school in Alexandria, where letters addressed simply to “the philosopher” were routinely delivered to her. There she expounded upon the doctrines of Plato and Aristotle and lectured on mathematics, astronomy, mechanics, and philosophy, in particular teaching a variant of Neoplatonism which was distinguished from the mysticism of her predecessors by its greater scientific emphasis. In addition to her mathematical works, Hypatia also developed an apparatus for distilling water, an instrument for measuring the level of water, a plane astrolabe (for measuring the positions of the stars, planets, and sun) and a graduated brass hydrometer for determining the specific gravity of a liquid. Hypatia came to symbolize learning and science, which the early Christians identified with paganism, making her the focal point of riots between Christians and non-Christians. Hypatia brought Egypt nearer to an understanding of its ancient Mysteries than it had been for thousands of years. Her knowledge of Theurgy restored the practical value of the Mysteries and completed the work commenced by Iamblichus over a hundred years before. Following in the footsteps of Plotinus and Porphyry, she demonstrated the possibility of the union of the individual Self with the SELF of all. Continuing the work of Ammonius Saccas, she showed the similarity between all religions and the identity of their source. The precarious foundations of Christian dogma were still more exposed when the Neoplatonic School began to adopt the inductive method of reasoning sponsored by Aristotle. Of all things on earth, logic and the reasonable explanation of things were most hateful to the new religion of mystery. Hypatia was firmly convinced of the importance of education. In direct contradiction of the the Roman Empire’s official Christian Doctrines, she advocated the education of all children, girls as well as boys, and admonished that, “Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing. The mind of a child accepts them, and only through great pain, perhaps even tragedy, can the child be relieved of them.” Furthermore, she was reputed to be an unusually beautiful woman who dressed as as a teacher and engaged openly in philosophic discourse and debate in places normally not frequented by women. She urged others to think freely and to speak openly on matters which were supposed to be restricted to the realm of blind faith: “Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.” “To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force.” “All formal dogmatic religions are delusive and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.” “Men will fight for superstition as quickly as for the living truth – even more so, since superstition is intangible, you can’t get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.” When Hypatia explored the metaphysical allegories from which Christianity had borrowed its dogmas, and openly analyzed them in public meetings, she used a weapon which the Christians could meet only with violence. If her School had been allowed to continue the whole fraud perpetrated by the Church would have been laid bare. The light of Neoplatonism was shining much too brightly upon the patchwork of Christianity. So, on an afternoon during Lent in the year 414, a crowd of Cyril’s monks led by Peter the Reader collected in front of the Museum, where Hypatia was just finishing one of her classes. Her chariot drew up to the door, and Hypatia appeared. A dark wave of monks, murder in their hearts, rushed out from their ambuscade, surged around Hypatia’s chariot and forced her to descend. They stripped her naked and dragged her into a nearby Church of God, pulling her body through the cool, dim shadows, lit by flickering candles and perfumed with incense, up the chancel steps to the very altar itself. Shaking herself free from her tormentors, she rose for one moment to her full height, snow-white against the dark horde of monks surrounding her. Her lips opened to speak, but no word came from them. For in that moment Peter the Reader struck her down, and the dark mass closed over her quivering flesh. Then they dragged her dead body into the streets, scraped the flesh from the bones with oyster shells, making a bonfire of what remained. Thus Hypatia perished, and with her death the great Neoplatonic School came to an end. Some of the philosophers removed to Athens, but their School was closed by order of the Emperor Justinian. With the departure of the last seven philosophers of the great Neoplatonic Movement — Hermias, Priscianus, Diogenes, Eulalius, Damaskias, Simplicius and Isidorus, who fled to the Far East to escape the persecution of Justinian – the reign of wisdom closed. The death of Hypatia marked the beginning of the Dark Ages, in which the world was encompassed by the clouds of ignorance and superstition for a thousand years.
Hypatia Documentary:





“Our great collective flaw is that we live our lives completely disregarding that connection. The busyness of our lives, our relentless interests, concerns, hopes, frustrations, and fears take precedence, and on a day-to-day basis we are unaware of being linked to everything else. Being cast out from the Garden of Eden sounds like an allegory for losing our silent knowledge, our knowledge of intent . sorcery, then, is a going back to the beginning, a return to paradise.”
– Don Juan Matus

truth (1)

 Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896 by Jean-Léon Gérôme

It’s a funny “coincidence” that the whole idea of words and truth having no meaning suddenly became popular right around the time women and people of color were becoming serious forces in academia. The moment the oppressed start speaking truth, truth becomes relative?” 
– Jonah Mix
“Men need to objectify and conquer. They see what they want to see. Women, however, can see into the soul of a person.” 
– Moira O’Hara, American Horror Story
“The word ‘sin’ is derived from the Indo-European root ‘es-,’ meaning ‘to be.’ When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a [person] trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, ‘to be’ in the fullest sense is ‘to sin.'”
– Mary Daly
“Marcuse observes that the Establishment abuses the term “obscenity” by applying it, not to expressions of its own immorality but to the behavior of another: Obscene is not the picture of a naked woman who exposes her pubic hair but that of a fully clad general who exposes his medals rewarded in a war of aggression; obscene is not the ritual of the Hippies but the declaration of a high dignitary of the Church that war is necessary for peace. […] Marcuse’s own insightful juxtaposition of the naked woman and the fully clad general reveals the basic reversal in phallic morality which is still observable in socialist and well as capitalist societies. […] It is not a genuine liberation of sexuality that displaces the obscenity of generals and projects it upon naked women, and the essential disease is not affluence in itself. The lifting of taboos on genital sexuality does nothing to liberate from sex roles.”
– ps. 175-176 “Earth, Air, Fire, Water: Ecology As Cosmic Covenant” ch6: Sisterhood as Cosmic Covenant, from Beyond God the Father by Mary Daly
babalon (1)
 Front cover image of The Red Goddess

“…. A woman is just as much of a star as is a man and no longer can she be trampled upon or suffer men’s cruelties towards her. A woman can awaken kundalini as does the man and unite herself with Nuit. In the end, she also attains Hadit. If she has been termed a hollow star, and the man has been termed a star with a center, she would now attain a center to her star, the same as he has.”
— Excerpt from a letter published in “In the Continium 2.6 (1979)” by Soror Meral (Phyliss Seckler)
“Circe offering the cup to Ulysses” by John William Waterhouse
Also the front cover of the book The Woman Magician.
Circe is the goddess of magic in Greek mythology, known as a pharmakeia (witch or sorceress); by association she is also an enchantress skilled in metamorphosis, illusion and necromancy. Some of you may already know another Greek goddess of magic, Hecate (Hekate), and in one myth Circe is the daughter of her and Hermes. In another, she is the daughter of Perseis (a sea nymph) and Helios (sun god). She has nymph attendants and teaches maidens the art of witchcraft. “With flaming red hair She is portrayed brewing and offering potions with wand in hand, flying on a magick staff or holding a crystal ball. She lived on the enchanted island of Aeaea off the coast of Italy, where she lured sailors with Her song. It was said by many the island itself was magickal as it’s name was the same backwards as it was forward and once upon Her shores the sailors would be lost forever. Goddess Circe took many lovers and many a tale warned of their fate as swine after She had her fill of them.”

Kiki Smith – Lilith, 1994 – Bronze, silicon, and glass.

In medieval Jewish lore, Lilith was Adam’s first wife.  When she demanded to be Adam’s equal, she was evicted from the Garden of Eden.  Lilith flew away to the demon world, replaced by the more submissive Eve.  Smith catches us off guard with Lilith’s pose and placement.  Most sculptures receive our gaze passively, but Lilith stares back with piercing brown eyes, ready to pounce.”

“Always be Lilith, never Eve”

“Ever since reading about her story when I was younger, I never sought to be Eve again.

Lilith is the one men fear. Because Lilith knows she does not need men to validate her existence.”

قالـــــــــــوا عنها يوماً

هي أصـــــل كل الشــرور

وعند كل جريمــــــــــــــة

إبحث فيهـــا عنهـــــــــــــا

وصفــــــــــها شاعر بأنهـــــــا

مدرســــــــــة لخير الأمــــــــم

كأس من أناملــــــــــها

تســــــــــقط عروش

ومــا من رزيلــــــــــة

إلا وتربعــــــت على عرشهــــــــا

رب الشــــــرور ضعيف في كيده

ولرب الخلائق..فكيدها

كان عظــــــــيما

أي كيد تنهار بجرحه الدموع لكلمة

وبكلمـــة تملك بها الحياة؟؟؟

أوليست هي أمي..وهي إبنتي

وكم من رحم أنجب رسل وأنبياء؟؟؟

لعمــري الأنـــــــــــا هي أصــل الشرور

وما الأنت إلا قربان

على مذبح الخطايا


One day they said
She was the source of sin

She’s a suspect
In every crime

The poet called her
A school for every nation

One glass off her fingers
Destroys entire thrones

Each and every vice
Sits there on her throne

The lord of terror is weak, it seems
So God framed her guilty as charged

A tear from her kills
A word from her, brings back to life…

Isn’t she my mother? My daughter?
Didn’t her womb deliver your disciples and prophets?

I verily swear, yes, she’s the source of sin
And you’re just the sacrifice, on the altar of sin


poem from les nouvelles polyphonies corses’ in paradisu album by patti smith

[printed in all caps in cd booklet] source


Copyright © Patti Smith 1996

La Gran Vulva Mutante by Daniel Rodriguez

7 Responses to Relevant themes

  1. I’m really interested in some of the books that are to be given away. I’ve questioned the BDSM and sadist crowd because it seems a haven for people who want to abuse women under the guise of “kink”.

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