Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spring 2015 courses added

Early registration is the current week at the GTU. I added a few Spring 2015 courses to our Courses page. Do you know any Pagan-related courses at the GTU this spring? Email me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Local Spirituality Courses: Courting the Goddess and Wild Writing

Courting the Goddess
with Urania & Riyana Rose

 In this series of classes we will work to develop intimate, experiential relationships with the Goddess in Her varying forms.  Using magical and artistic practices such as trance, myth working, altars, aspecting, song and poetry, we will deepen our understanding of each Goddess and how She may touch our lives, and develop creative ways in which to worship, pray, and engage with the divine.

Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth
Inanna of Sumer is the multi-faceted goddess of life, death, and rebirth, and both the starry heavens and the underworld. Her epic love story with the shepherd Tammuzi brings fruits to the fields and abundance, w hile the battle of wits she plays with the trickster god Enki allows her to bring the arts o f civilization to her people – from music and lovemaking to crafts like leatherworking and basketweaving and the holy offices of the priestesshood.  This deep dive into her mysteries will take us beyond the traditional stories into her mystical practices and sacred rites.  Monday Nights, November 10-24th.

Aphrodite: Goddess of Love and Beauty
Like the sea, Her beauty is legendary. For centuries women and men have worshiped Her in the waves and tides of love making.  Some say She was the daughter of a Titan—that She rose from the sea’s foam.  For others, She is Venus, the brightest star in the night sky.  Join us as we explore Her mysteries to reveal our own, and awaken ourselves to Love and Beauty in all of their forms.   Monday evenings, January 12-26. 
Urania and Riyana are longtime friends, Reclaiming Priestesses and devotees to the Goddess in her myriad forms.

To register, contact: uraniawitch@yahoo.com
Cost: $90-$300, sliding scale per workshop.

* * * * * *

Wild Writing for Healing & Revolutionary Change
with Ravyn Stanfield and Riyana Rose

In this rapidly transforming world, our words make a difference.  This retreat is for those who struggle with finding time in the frenzied schedule to sit down at the page and for anyone who wonders how to generate political, relevant and powerful writing for this transformative time.  We will ignite our creative process with ritual, provocative prompts and an abundance of dedicated writing time. 
This retreat is about finding our authentic voices, our creative courage and strength, so that we can bring our messages into a world that is in a constant din of babble yet also too tragically silent when it comes to meaning, healing, transformation, to revolutionary ideas and action.  It’s about writing – of every genre and form – that brings these much-needed messages out into the world, and helps shatter the glass prisons of silence that many of our comrades find themselves in every day.
We will form a tribe of supportive writers and wordsmiths, hell bent on using our authentic voices to turn this world from destruction towards life affirming structures.  We will venture into vulnerability, where the truth lives and free our revolutionary muses from boredom, fear and lectures.  We will follow our subterranean creative impulses all the way to world changing writing.  You will leave this retreat with actual writing, either new material or new life you have breathed into an old piece.    

@ the Quaker Center in Ben Lomand, CA
(about 90 minutes from the San Francisco Bay Area)

January 9th-12th, 2015
For more information: wildwyldwriter@gmail.com

NEW: Jewitch Camp: Celebrating the New Year for Trees For Pagans, Jews, and People Who Love Them

Announcing first ever Jewitch Camp, with Starhawk, Lynn Gottlieb, Jane Litman, and Friends. Earlybird $100 discount through this Friday -- hope you can come!

Jewitch Camp: Celebrating the New Year for Trees
For Pagans, Jews, and People Who Love Them

A Weekend Restorative In the Reclaiming Tradition
Join Starhawk, Lynn Gottlieb & Friends
February 6-8, 2015
Camp Cazadero - 2.5 Hours North of San Francisco

$150 Early Bird Rate Until November 6th
Limited Number Available ~ Regular Price $250

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusivity of all Kinds
 Including Physical & Financial Accessibility

Registration & Information at

Monday, November 3, 2014

GTU Board Endorses New Initiatives for Expansion, Affirms Commitment to Robust Degree Programs and Research Library

For Immediate Release

October 30, 2014, Berkeley, CA — At its meeting on October 29, 2014, the Board of Trustees of the Graduate Theological Union reviewed a series of recommendations from a consulting firm regarding the school’s current and future programming. The board has announced several key decisions that will strengthen the GTU’s status as a premier center for the study of the world’s major religious traditions.

The Board strongly endorsed a plan presented by President Riess Potterveld that includes eight different initiatives to expand the academic centers and programs of the GTU. These initiatives include measures to create endowed faculty positions and programs focused on the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain religious traditions, Mormon Studies, and Buddhist traditions outside of Japan. These new directions will complement the hallmark GTU programs and degree offerings in Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Jewish Studies. On Monday, October 27, an agreement between the GTU and the Dharma Civilization Foundation was signed that will bring a full-time faculty member in Dharma Studies to the GTU in Spring 2015.

Recognizing the significance and uniqueness of the GTU’s academic programs, the Board unanimously affirmed its enthusiastic ongoing commitment to a robust doctoral program that is ecumenical, interreligious, and interdisciplinary. The GTU will explore the expansion of the existing MA area of concentration in Interreligious Studies for students whose interests focus on study of multiple traditions. The Board also reaffirmed its commitment to maintain a world-class research library for GTU students and faculty.

In addition, the Board celebrated last year’s stellar performance of the school’s investments, which added $4 million to the endowment, while directing the administration to take steps necessary to narrow the operating deficit for the current year and to propose a balanced budget for next year.

During the meeting, members of the board viewed for the first time works of sacred art that were given to the GTU by the Lanier Graham family this past summer. The GTU will soon make this art available for viewing by its students and the wider public, beginning with an exhibition of Tibetan Buddhist sculptures in February 2015.

About the GTU

The Graduate Theological Union, located in Berkeley, CA, is a theological consortium offering education for academic and religious leadership within a unique ecumenical and interreligious context. Founded in 1962, the consortium is the largest and most diverse partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States, dedicated to building bridges within and across different religious traditions by educating students for teaching, research, ministry, and service. The GTU works collaboratively with the University of California, Berkeley, and is the home of the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, one of the largest theological libraries in the country.

For more information, contact Doug Davidson,510-649-2423communications@gtu.edu.