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Welcome! Here you will find information and activities related to the revised Cakes for the Queen of Heaven curriculum and its use in Unitarian Universalist congregations and in other organizations. This site is a combined effort of Unitarian Universalist Women and Religion core group and various Cakes and W&R groups.

One of the women - Mary - in my Cakes II sessions gave us all a delightful surprise on our last evening together.

She made a copy of the On The Threshold Goddess image.
She bought several small - 4 X 6 - plastic photo albums.
She put the Goddess image in the front cover sleeve.
The second set of sleeves has the title - Cakes for the Queen of Heaven

Then she put in several family recipes - all renamed
Queen of Trifles and Enormity
Queen of Autumn Pumpkin Cake
Queen of Fruit Medley
Queen of Texas Cake
Queen of Citrus Cake
Mary's Bread - (she meant Mary the Apostle or Mary the mother of Jesus)

At the end she included a description of one of her family traditions as well as an invitation to join:

The Howl At the Moon Society
____________________________ (fill in your name)
As a cherished Mooniac

In honor of Grandma Marge and
All other kindred spirits who feel the strength and beauty of the Moon,
You are entitled and encouraged to howl, long and loudly,
Each full moon night.
When you do, know that you are connected
To the past and to the future,
And to people who love you and think of you
When the Moon is full.

On Sunday, August 12, 2012, participants in the "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven" class had a celebration in conjunction with the final session of the class. Yes, they had cakes and mud pies, they studied the ancient goddesses, and they had fun.

The class met every Sunday from from June 3 through August 12 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Centering Room downstairs. It was designed for women interested in discovering their spiritual roots while enjoying the fellowship of other women. Following are the topics and facilitators:

Date - Session Name - Facilitator

June 3 - The Sacred Female - Melissa Bedford
June 10 - The First Turning: The Shift from Goddess to God - Cande Iveson
June 17 - Woman Power - Fran Reynolds
June 24 - In the Name of the Mother and Daughter - Joy Amuedo and Mary Denson
July 1 - Reclaiming Women’s Heritage of Peace - Janet Groat
July 8 - The Hebrew Goddess - Qhyrrae Michaelieu
July 15 - Sarah the Priestess - Christy Hutton
July 22 - The Apostle Mary - Melissa Bedford
July 29 - The Virgin Mary - Cindy Giesing
August 5 - Witchcraft - Lisa King
August 12 - Future Fantasies - Fran Reynolds

UUC Columbia MO cakes class-final session


Sixteen members of the Women of Westminster from the Westminster Unitarian Church of East Greenwich, RI recently held our 15th Annual Retreat. We are doing the sessions for “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” during our regular weekly meetings so we were inspired to have a Goddess theme for our retreat.

For an individual activity, women chose a goddess card from The Goddess Tarot deck by Kris Waldherr, read the meaning of the card, and then read about the goddess in The Book of Goddesses by Kris Waldherr.
For a two-hour group session we used Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women over Fifty by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD. We focused on Part 1 of the book “Her Name Is Wisdom”. We divided into four groups for Hestia, Hecate, Sophia , and Metis. Each group had access to the meditation on page 70 of the book and a summary of some of the information about the goddess. After 30 minutes to prepare each group presented to the rest of us a role-play or guided meditation exploring the Wisdom offered by their goddess.

(reprint from UU Women's Federation newsletter May 2006)

By Rev. Marti Keller, Decatur, GA

As a parish minister for several congregations and a chaplain for the annual UU Womenspirit gatherings at The Mountain in Highland, NC, I can personally testify to the continued impact of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, the groundbreaking, adult religious education curriculum. Whenever candles (and chalices) are lit in our worship, chairs drawn up in a semi-circle instead of in rows; whenever directions are called, or the female names for divinity are invoked, the influence of Cakes, originally published in 1986, is still powerful.

Written by Rev. Shirley Ranck, this ten-session seminar in feminist theology was originally a boxed set of lessons plans, a collection of readings, songs and other resources, and film strips with illustrations of ancient goddesses. The creation of the program, a specific project on women’s religious history, was one of several actions taken to implement the resolution on Women and Religion, adopted by the 1977 UUA General Assembly.

UUWF The Communicator June, 2006 | Vol 24, Issue 2

As part of the preparations for presentation of our Ministry to Women Award to Rev. Shirley Ranck, UUWF has invited members to write brief messages to her about what Cakes for the Queen of Heaven has meant to them. We are compiling these in a commemorative album we will present to Shirley at the award reception.

If you would like to become part of this effort, please write or type your message on a greeting card (or a sheet of paper no larger than 5½ x 8½) and send it to: UUWF Cakes Project, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108. Messages received too late to be included in the album presented to Shirley at GA will become part of Volume II and sent to her during the summer.

The following are excerpts from some of the messages we have received so far:

Women of Berrien UU Fellowship in St. Joseph, Michigan did a Cakes intensive -- 5 classes in 5 nights, with the direction of DRE Teresa LaPlante. On the fifth evening we dressed in Goddess garb. Here's Teresa as Spring Maiden with flower headdress made from tissue paper. She also made the Easter dragon recipe. We decided that for the egg to be really red, raw beets were probably needed instead of cooked ones. Every session began with a chalice lighting. This one is from the last evening. Teresa brought in some extra video presentations about women's experiences. including one based on Yoko Ono's WOMAN POWER.


The Neighbourhood UU Congregation presented this service on May 14, 2023, coincidentally the day Rev. Ranck passed away.

How might your life – and world -- have been different if the Divine had been predominantly imagined as female? Participants of the small group "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven" share some of its learnings with the community through stories, song and dance.

Our group, SisterCircle, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, NJ (UUCMC) offered Cakes Part I in May and June of 2009. SisterCircle is a group that formed in 1993 when some of our members completed the first Cakes curriculum. We have been meeting once a week since December, 1993. We celebrate the 8 holidays of the Wheel of the Year with rituals to which the women of the congregation (and sometimes, men) are invited, as well as others. Our rituals are generally held at our Meeting House. We also have done many lay-led services, the most recent of which was entitled "A God Who Looks Like Me: Feminist Theaology" on September 6, 2009. We have also led several book discussions and shown several films, including "The Goddess Remembered" Trilogy, Meinrad Craighead's new film biography, Marija Giumbutas biography, Signs Out of Time, and a film encouraging young women who are interested in political careers entitled "What's Your Point, Honey?".

Our presentation of Cakes, Part I, was team taught. Two SisterCircle members taught each of the five sessions.

Thanks for inviting comments.
Rebecca Scarborough

Evolution of the Cakes T3
by Pat Goller, CMwD UU Women’s Connection Council

I met Jean Pierce at 2004 WomanSpirit and agreed, with Joanne Fought of Peoria, to co chair the 2005 Central Illinois planning committee for the 2005 WomanSpirit held in Springfield, Illinois. I had been on the board of the CMwD-UUWomen's Federation and working two years with a task force to re-vision what would become the UU Women’s Connection. It is during that time, that Jean asked, “How can the Central Midwest District Women and Religion Committee work together with the UU Women’s Connection?”

[pictured at right: Janet Nortrom with a copy of the original curriculum] 


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