Bay Area Yeshe Rabbit Travels to Glastonbury and the Midwest
August 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
Bay Area High Priestess Yeshe Rabbit Mathews is one of this years national guests at Sacred Harvest Festival in Minneapolis Minnesota . Two years in a row Sacred Harvest Festival has hosted bay area presenters for their national guest spot. In addition to her Midwest adventures, she is also traveling to Glastonbury.
Yeshe Rabbit, High Priestess of CAYA coven, will be spending the week doing workshops and bringing more Bay Area flavor to the Midwest festival circuit. In a recent interview, nights before her trip to Europe, Ms. Mathews answered some questions for Bay Area Pagan Newswire Collective about her upcoming trips and traveling.
This year you are traveling more than before as a part of your work. What has inspired these newest developments in your priestesshood?
My local work keeps me very busy and fulfilled, yet in order to be the kind of teacher that I aspire to be, I know I need to have a wide perspective and the ability to understand multiple approaches and points of view. The opportunity to travel and teach (and to travel and learn!) hones my fluency in diverse perspectives and approaches to the Divine. I think these opportunities to commune with people who have vastly different local experiences than my own will ultimately make me a better priestess in my home base of CAYA Coven. It is my intent that those who receive my humble offerings will similarly benefit from the unique perspectives and practices that I bring, and apply them to good use in their own practices and communities.
Tell us about your two upcoming trips?
Well, it’s actually One Big Trip!
My friend Rev. Ava Park, Presiding Priestess and Centerholder at the Goddess Temple of Orange County, was invited to bring her teachings on the Queen archetype to the Glastonbury Goddess Conference organized by Kathy Jones. The theme this year is “Honoring the Great and Abundant Life-Giving Mother.” I have taken Ava’s teachings and know them to be of great value in my life, so I was truly thrilled when she invited me to come and assist her with presenting at this Conference. She and I have wanted to travel together for a long time, and now will be on the road from July 27 until Aug 5 in England. I happily anticipate a wonderful Conference, and am hoping to visit some of the sites that I have recently been researching in at Julian Cope’s site http://www.themodernantiquarian.com. Naturally, there are Stonehenge, Avebury, the Roman Baths of Sulis Minerva, the Tor and the Chalice Well to be experienced. I also hope we’ll be able to visit several local Black Madonnas at their shrines, the Well of St. Augustine, the Rollright Stones and a few others.
On Aug 5th, I’ll be flying out of London, and have a brief layover in NY where Ava and I will take our leave of one another. Then I fly directly into Minneapolis, where Nels Linde and Judy Olson will be scooping me up and ferrying me out to the Sacred Harvest Festival for the 15th anniversary event. The theme this year is “Unveiling the Sacred: Immersed in the Luminous Light of Love.” I am camping and teaching there until the 12th of August. I am so grateful for the wonderful hospitality they are offering me- you could not ask for kinder or more helpful hosts. I really look forward to experiencing the unique local flavors of Minnesota paganism, connecting with some of the friends from the Mid-West that I’ve made via Facebook and other social media, and offering my classes there. I’m also excited to spend family campfire time with you, Crystal!
Of note: I’d be so grateful if anyone from Pagandom who reads this interview would send me a little magical help in manifesting safe and flawless travel, especially my travel home. If all goes as planned, I will disembark my plane from Minnesota at 6:30 PM on August 12, and by 7:30 PM will be in my seat at the Greek Theater in Berkeley for a Dead Can Dance concert. I really want to make this show- it is their first tour in so many years and my inner Goth is super-excited about it! So thank you ahead of time for giving my wish a little signal boost.
How do you think living in the bay area has influenced your priestessing and spiritual path?
When I was 13 years old, I saw a photo of a Vietnam War protest at UC Berkeley. I took the picture to my Mom and said, “These are my kind of people. I will go and live there someday.” She said, “Oh, really? And what will you do when you are there?” I said, “Hmmm…I will have a store there. Like a book store but not quite. And I’m not sure of the rest but it will be good.” And it holds true! There is a local commitment to Interfaith work, social justice, and personal freedom that I find admirable, and an eclecticism that keeps my mind supple. Staying Open to What Is has been the greatest gift bestowed upon me by the Bay Area zeitgeist thus far, learned in both my Coven and at The Sacred Well. TSW is committed to providing goods and services that are useful to a wide variety of spiritual practitioners, and it is always a fun and enlightening adventure to help someone track down that hard-to-find item or specialty service. CAYA Coven is an eclectic daughter born of the Bay Area’s orgy of diverse spiritual Traditions, and she is usually a fountain, sometimes a riot, of possibilities and iterations. The experience of being at the kernel of an exceedingly eclectic Coven in a very diverse area is an ongoing powerful teacher. I also love the land itself, the spirits of horizon, ocean, and desert. The local flora and fauna. Though I must also admit I still frequently yearn for the snow, 4 seasons, and cold snap of winter in my beloved home state, New York.
You are one of the National Guests this year at Sacred Harvest Festival, what are you most excited to offer at this event?
I am happy about the all of the classes and workshops I am offering at Sacred Harvest Festival. I selected topics and energies to share that are close to my heart: singing Kirtan, Baba Yaga, the Reindeer Mother acrhetype, Aphrodite. I am looking forward to having your input on my American Sabbats roundtable discussion, dissecting the American “bank holidays” and looking at how we might retool them in our own minds as magic workers, aligning the tremendous energy they generate toward the improvement of this country. All of my offerings are being prepared to be engaging and participatory, and I think I mostly look forward to experiencing what the attendees bring to my sessions in terms of their own energies and knowledge.
What are you the most excited to experience at this event?
I am excited to take Andras Corben Arthen’s session on Animism, and to hear Wade Mueller speak on Living on Sacred Land. I am sure I will enjoy many other presentations as well. I am also really looking forward to meeting people, sitting in the sun or by the fire, and just being part of the Harmony Tribe for my week there.