Current Issue

Goddess: Parabola Volume 44, No. 4, Winter 2019

“She is the holy Oneness; that’s why she is a mystery,” says the African healer and guide Baba Mandaza Augustine Kademwa, in conversation with the Buddhist teacher Thanissara in this Winter 2019-2020 issue of Parabola. He speaks of Mother Earth, whom he says accepts to be called by many names, including Goddess. But this issue on Goddess reveals that she is always to some degree unknown. “The brain isn’t the highest human function,” points out physician and author Rachel Naomi Remen in conversation here with Parabola’s West Coast editor Richard Whittaker. “The highest human function is shrouded in mystery.”

This is necessarily so because our ultimate purpose may be to realize how our human nature is inseparable from Great Nature, from Oneness. This realization cannot be known as an established fact apart from us, but it can be expressed through compassionate action. The Tibetan Buddhist teacher and author Avikrita Vajra Sakya here describes Tara, the goddess of compassion: “She is known as the one who helps us accomplish all our activities and who liberates us from fear.” In Tibetan Buddhism it is believed that Tara made a vow always to appear in female form and always to come to comfort those who suffer and feel afraid (and who doesn’t at times?) because in our darkest moments most of us long for a motherly embrace.

This issue reveals that the Goddess’s healing spirit takes many guises: as an extraordinary human, the Bengali “Joy-Permeated” Mother; as symbols in the Tarot; as the diverse goddesses who come to us in ancient tales; and as visions in the songs of Nobel-winning bard Bob Dylan. But the Goddess always leads us home to Mother Earth, reminding us that no matter how far we may have strayed, we are meant to be here, to be part of a greater whole. May this issue help restore you to wholeness.

—Tracy Cochran

Cover Description: Diana the Huntress. Guillaume Seignac (1870-1924). Nineteenth century, oil on canvas.

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I Have Called on the Goddess Marion Zimmer Bradley
and found her within

Butternut Goddess Tracy Cochran
Discovering the divine in her own backyard

Earth as Goddess Thanissara
A conversation with African healer and guide Baba Mandaza Augustine Kademwa

Altar Girl Sonja Livingston
Searching for her place in God’s house

Forgiving Mirabai Starr
The art of mercy

Inanna: Relevance and Return Christine Irving
A report from the new Goddess Spirituality

Ferocity and the Feminine Jacqueline Thurston
Mighty deities of ancient Egypt

Tara Avikrita Vajra Sakya
A Tibetan teacher on the wonders of goddess Tara

A Way of Seeing Richard Whittaker
A conversation with renowned physician Rachel Naomi Remen

Goddesses of Transformation Hallie Ingleheart Austen
Lessons for a lifetime

The High Priestess and the Empress P.D. Ouspensky
Visions from the Tarot

The Bengali “Joy-Permeated Mother” Paramahansa Yogananda
One great teacher meets another

I Am What You Consider Me to Be, Not More, Not Less Alexander Lipski
Behold the goddess incarnate

Walking the Path of Forgiveness Elizabeth Randall
She befriended a murderer and found release


Fortune and the Woodcutter Anonymous / Asia Minor Fairy Tale
Collected by Andrew and Nora Lang

Diana and Actaeon Anonymous / Roman
Retold by Thomas Bulfinch

Poetry of the Sacred: Winners 2019

Planting Tulips Sharon Singleton

The Body in the River Matt Holrah

Vesper Time Judith Valente

Reckoning Mark Wagenaar


Bob Dylan and the Goddess Ed Prideaux
The Nobel winner with his muses


The Paths I Found: Writings and Talks of D.M. Dooling
D.M. Dooling, edited by Ellen Dooling Reynard / reviewed by Jeff Zaleski

A Theology of Love: Reimagining Christianity through A Course in Miracles
Richard Smoley / reviewed by John Shirley

Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Beauty and Making Meaning in Earth’s Broken Places
Trebbe Johnson / reviewed by Thea Levkovitz

Spirit of the Indian Warrior
Edited by Michael Oren Fitzgerald and Joseph A. Fitzgerald / reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos