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In This Issue

Goddess "" Earth "" Cosmology "" Women's Health "" Reader Contributions "" Book Reviews "" Editor's Desk

Cosmology

A zine has a life of its own, an interplay of chaos and order weaving around the realities of contributors, staff, Internet technology, and the Cosmos.

I sometimes get questions about upcoming themes from women interested in submitting an article or art. My reply reflects reality: "MatriFocus is not a themed publication, though since we publish on the cross-quarters a seasonal theme sometimes coalesces. Occasionally sychronicity and serendipity produce other themes."

Such is the case with this Lammas Issue. I found the image of the modern Athena (right) several months ago, and her strong, abundant body spoke to me of Lammas. The sculpture itself sits in a not-so-attractive cityscape, so I digitally removed the cityscape and replaced it with the photo of the large olive tree (photos courtesy of Clara Natoli [Athena] and Bojan Senjur [olive grove]; their licenses permit modification of the original images).

I liked the idea of Athena's martial energies being raised in defense of sacred trees and groves, though I wasn't too sure about the marriage of the two images. Even so, I planned to use the collage on the cover. In turns out that Chaos (or was that Order?) had a different idea, which took me along the following editorial path.

  • All three of our Cosmology writers (Kila, Boye, and Bellezza) are so busy moving and teaching and settling into new jobs that they each decided, independently, to take a seasonal sabbatical from MatriFocus. As I deleted the Cosmology section from the cover page, I wondered what it meant to have "Cosmology" disappear from the Zine.
  • Johanna Stuckey contributed the last installment of her four-part series on Inanna, this one centering around her analysis of the Huluppu as World Tree and how mythology traces the demotion of both tree and goddess.
  • Dawn Work-MaKinne found the Goddess and the World Tree in the cosmological center of "the most brutal and patriarchal of all mythologies." I realized a tree theme was developing, and I decided my choice of olive grove for Athena's background was appropriate, after all.
  • Even so, I continued to wonder what the Cosmology no-show meant....
  • Sarah Bebhinn, like several contributors this Issue, had a series of troubles that set back the submission of her article. Yet in it she talks about her reaction to Helen Klebesadel's art: "feeling that I was viewing my own, personal cosmology on canvas."
  • As I looked through the images of Helen's art submitted by Sarah to accompany her piece, a ripple of recognition went through me when I saw the artist's Tree of Life Quilt. As I moved my digital collage of Athena and the Olive Grove off the cover page and put Helen's art in its place, I found the theme for my puzzle: World Tree.

From the research for the puzzle came the quote for the cover page:

...the two most widespread world images in the archaic imagination were the mother goddess and the "world tree." (The Recurring World Tree in European Paganism)

And for me came some answers to the question about missing Cosmology. The first among them is this: Cosmology has not disappeared from the Zine, it's just teased us into turning our faces to find it elsewhere — perhaps in other articles, perhaps in our back yards, perhaps alongside the Goddess, perhaps in the nutritive past.

Graphics Credits

  • Athena Defends the Olive Grove, digital collage © 2005 Sage Starwalker. All rights reserved.
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