By Julia Hayes
I was sitting with a group of women explaining the Goddess Community I’ve been helping to nurture for more than three years. I realized I’ve been grappling to explain precisely what we are in terms of a religious or spiritual affiliation — something people seem to need to know.
This community defies a single label and every time I’ve tried to find one, I hold my breath. We don’t fit any established mold despite a strange need to press us into one. We are Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Mormons, Atheists, Pagans, New Agers, Shaman Priestesses and yet, as a community, we are entirely unique and apart from traditional ideologies.
We are something brand new; A daring community of women willing to speak and listen to the Divine Feminine power stirring within. We come together wearing all kinds of religion and spirituality as embellishments to who we really are. We gather in the name of Goddess because She enables us to breathe in safety, security, and sacredness so we can be heard, acknowledged, seen, and encouraged.
As I was describing that to this small group of women, I was surprised and inspired when one of the women asked, So which Goddess do you worship or honor?
It’s funny. I found the question small despite its many options. I had never thought about worshipping a single Goddess. In fact, I hardly ever refer to the Goddesses of old: Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. Kuan Yin, the Chinese Buddhist Goddess of Compassion. Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the home. Diana, the Roman moon Goddess and Goddess of survivorship. Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of the Universe. Each of these female deities and hundreds more possess admirable personality traits and elemental qualities within each of us. Their stories and lessons, fashioned by unknown authors, are fascinating and relevant even today.
We are reminded that to celebrate divine wisdom, strength, courage, nurturing and compassion in a Goddess is to celebrate that within ourselves. Yet I don’t feel drawn to ‘worship’ any single Goddess-type. That got me thinking. What is this Goddess energy to which I constantly refer that seems, to my mind, distinct from the classical human-like Goddesses we already know?
Is She God’s partner? Is She equal to God? Is She separate and apart from God? Is She my celestial Mother? Who is She? What is She?
As I pause and close my eyes, Goddess isn’t merely the female personification of what we’re taught to believe is a male God. To reach the depth of Her essence, one must go past male versus female, while not rejecting either for we possess both. It’s a tricky proposition, though, because the conditioning to suppress and deny feminine power runs deep.
So, when I speak of Goddess to women who are thinking about Her for the first time, I bring their awareness to what’s before them — The Earth and all Her Life. Slowly we are awakening to the realization that having dominion over the earth does not serve Life, promote its well-being or encourage respect and admiration for its miraculous design. We are beginning to realize that there isn’t much distinction between the neglect and abuse of the earth and one another.
As the earth’s consciousness stirs, so does something within our being. Every shift in nature is a divine one. Every shift in oneself is equally holy. This is Goddess alive in the world and in you. She has always been present in this way but systematically silenced, especially in women.
The reasons to allow Goddess Her voice through women are many. Women are seeking to be acknowledged for their unique offerings to this world and they are weary of the incessant demands laid upon them to be other than as they are. This fatigue has been carried long enough and women, like Gaia our beloved earth, are demanding a new kind of respect. Kindness.
Now this may sound anticlimactic. Kindness doesn’t fit this culture’s insatiable desire for all that pops and bedazzles. Kindness, at first glance, is quiet and soft perhaps even weak and nilly-willy. Upon deeper inspection though, kindness is noble, profound, firm, far-reaching, halting, and awe-inspiring.
The women with whom I share community in the Spirit of Goddess are learning aspects of kindness slowly surfacing from deep within their core. When women are kind to themselves, they are kind to others, especially other women. When women are kind to other women, they model kindness to their daughters and sons. When children know kindness so will the world. Roots of kindness will sink deeply, confidently spreading far and wide such that the tapestry of this great planet, the source of our existence, will find itself a renewed spiritual residence in the here and now for all of Life and its holy inhabitants.
- Why God Not Goddess? Part 3 - April 6, 2015
- Why God? Why Not Goddess? Part 2 - March 27, 2015
- Why God? Why not Goddess? - January 20, 2015
- Celebrating the Divine Feminine Body - January 9, 2015
- A Goddess’ aspirations for 2015 - December 30, 2014
- Recognizing the beauty of the the pagan Mabon celebration - September 22, 2014
- Seeking wisdom - August 1, 2014
- Gathering under the full moon - June 16, 2014
- When Death Came Calling: a family’s encounter with Leukemia - January 30, 2014
- The power of ritual - January 17, 2014