Myth in Living Rituals

In addition to traditional visual and performing arts, goddess mythology inspires rituals around the world.  This is the place to post images and descriptions of our own rituals or ones that we have witnessed, and to discuss how goddess myths find their way into living traditions.  

Please remember, if you want to post to this section, that rituals are sacred celebrations, and we must respect the privacy of individuals attending and organizing them.  Unless you have permission to share someone’s picture, please refrain from posting any identifiable photos. And–please DON’T TAKE these images.  They are considered the exclusive property of the ritualist or the photographer.

1.  Wheel of the Year ritual altar by Barb Lutz

Created by Barb Lutz for the Wheel of the Year 2008

One of the participants in the 2008 panel on Mythic Inspiration was Barb Lutz, a ritualist and creatrix of wonderful seasonal altars.  Barb works with Kim Duckett to create Wheel of the Year rituals around the country.  Barb can change the most barren of indoor spaces into magical portals of transformation, using all natural materials, painstakingly “re-membering” prehistoric art in modern settings.

Here is Barb’s description of the use of the altar:  “This Bee altar, which was inspired by archeological finds at Crete, has graced a number of Rituals and supported Kim’s work in her Wheel of the Year trainings, and was, most recently, my gift to Kat Sojourner and the RCG-I Ordinees last year.

“Kat’s book She Who Walks the Labyrinth was a part of the impetus behind the original creation of this altar. I also wanted to wish the Ordinees well on their journey into Priestess-hood and for the last thing they saw before entering “the Mysteries” prior to their Ordination to be an image from our ancient Goddess cultures.

“She is created with dirt, bird seed, and copper glitter for the wings. Creating altars outside in varying and unexpected weather conditions is always a challenge!  There is a picture of Kim and Tif holding umbrellas and tarps over me and the altar as I finished it that day. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun shone down on it and the Ordinees in the special moment we had all hoped for.”

And, here’s another of Barb’s altars–magical to start with, this one is enhanced by the photographer’s skills to make the candles dance in time:

Welcoming Altar, by Barb Lutz


2.  Ritual Masks by Lauren Raine

Pachamama mask by Lauren Raine

Lauren Raine, M.F.A.,  Goddess Masks

Lauren studied mask arts in Bali.  In 1999 she made 35 multi-cultural Masks of the Goddesses, which travelled throughout the U.S. for 10 years. The collection was used by numerous groups and individuals for theatre, dance, and public ritual and for personal explorations of the divine feminine through the use of “mythic masks.”   She says, “Masks are traditionally tools for the transmission of story but also, as the Balinese  conceive of sacred masks, “vessels for the gods,” serving to bless both audience and performer.”

Lauren teaches mythic mask arts.  In 2007 she was a Fellow at the Alden Dow Creativity Center for “Spider Woman’s Hands, and in 2009 was resident artist at the Henry Luce Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Lauren brought new masks to the 2012 ASWM National Conference, to be worn during a workshop on Voices of the Mothers, a ritual in progress created with Macha NightMare.

10 comments on “Myth in Living Rituals
  1. bridgete3 says:

    WOW! I LOVE the ritual masks by Lauren Raine!
    I founded and lead a womens focused Moon Circle here in Seattle (Circle of Luna) I would like to possibly commission a mask (if its afiordable) Blessings, Bridget

  2. kristi says:

    actually, in response to your comment above (And–please DON’T TAKE these images. They are considered the exclusive property of the woman who is posting.) I do believe the 3/1/2008 photo is mine… I took that when Kim & Barb built that particular altar in Bastrop…. I do not mind you using it but would like it credited to me, not to the woman who is posting. Thanks!! I am still using the things learned in those 2 wonderful years.

    • gscholars says:

      Hi Kristi,
      You’re absolutely right that photo credit belongs to the photographer, and not to the author of the article, unless they are the same person. My apologies for not giving you credit for your photo. The image was given to me with the others, without attribution. If you’ll give me your full name I will fix that error! And, thank you for allowing us to continue to use that powerful image.
      Sid for ASWM

  3. Max Dashu says:

    I love Barb’s altars! More pictures please!

    • gscholars says:

      I couldn’t agree more! We hope to see lots more photos of Barb’s work in the near future–and check out the information on her first gallery show:
      Common Wealth Gallery, Madison Enterprise Center, May 20-22 2011
      100 South Baldwin Street, Madison, Wisconsin, 53703.
      Wednesday May 18th 3:00 pm– Friday May 20th 9pm *
      (Private Reception, women only, Wednesday May 18 5-7pm)
      Please contact us at for more information.
      *Other hours variable and/or by prior arrangement.

  4. Barb,

    Your work is astonishing!Thought you’d like to know that, in conjunction with amazing photographer Denise Geddes,
    I’ve written ” A BOOK OF WOMEN”S ALTARS”
    You may be interested in taking a peek at it.

  5. Barb,
    This altar is amazing!
    Your artistry inspires me to create an all-natural altar outdoors in my backyard, and leave it to the elements, rather than simply creating the altar outdoors on my deck and then needing to dismantle it (at the conclusion of the circle) because all the ingredients in it were not biodegradable.

  6. Tem says:

    I am in awe of her work, and Kim’s! What a wonderful thing to experience! March on, my sisters! My heart is with you!

  7. Antonia Martin says:

    I witnessed a very similar altar like this one (which Barb also created) in another ritual. It felt awe inspiring and like a privilege to be near. I did not understand the power of altars until I experienced Barb’s altars. Now I get it.

    Her altars are truly in-spirit (inspired).

  8. Molly Rose says:

    Oh my goddess, this is amazing. Cheers to Barb!