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The same message — one that seems simplistic and naïve at a quick glance — comes to me over and over again: to mend our soul and heal our world, we need only show up to the love that is Goddess, that is life, that is here, now, all around and within us.
This message first came to me in a group trance led by Starhawk at a spiritual retreat focused on being a positive agent of change in these turbulent, evolutionary times:
Our intention for the trance is to seek guidance from the Mysteries on how to shift the destructive ways of humanity. A sense of urgency and despair fuels our magic. The human world is a mess. We are destroying the planet. And time is running out.
As we close our eyes and begin to visualize together, someone suggests we head to the East, the direction of new beginnings. A path appears that leads to a broken-down stone castle, overrun with vines and weeds. People see and name what appears to them in this desolate place.
But I see only one thing: a voluptuous, naked Goddess floats above the ruins, on Her back, Her legs spread wide, with a river of golden honey flowing from Her yoni — down through the broken castle, down the path we have traveled, and out into the waking world. The image is so unexpected and outrageous that I have to push myself to share with the group.
I have no idea what this vision means. There’s a sense of disappointment with some group members. When you’re looking for practical, concrete spiritual guidance, what do you do with a larger-than-life, honey-gifting yoni?
Yet the peace and grace in this vision stays with me — a seed of wisdom, of power, of hope, of ease — gestating in the secret depths of my inner landscape.Waking to Her Golden Love
Fast-forward several years, and many powerful magical and life experiences later — the vision returns to me, and this time I get it
I’m at a Samhain ritual. We’re working with the wild winds of change charging through our waking lives and world. Each of us gives voice to the Goddess.
This is what She says through me: “I am here; the awakening is now.”
What does this awakening look like in my life? Big endings: my dear friend is dying of cancer in the prime of her life, leaving behind her young family. Big new beginnings: I’m publishing my first book, Tale of the Lost Daughter. These immense events push me to the limit and split me wide-open, with the powers of death and creation turned on high.
What comes through this chasm is love — from the community that holds my dying friend and her family in a 24/7 circle of support — from the Tribe that gathers close to witness and charge my birthing of Tale of the Lost Daughter into the world — from my pagan-circle companions who weave magic between the worlds with me — from my beloved partner, son and family who are the beating-heart center of my life.
I feel this love viscerally; it’s thick and sweet and golden. It coats my skin, fills my lungs and overflows from my heart. I lavish it on others, unable to staunch its flow, and let others lavish it on me in return.
The Goddess is here. She is this love. I am this love. It is everywhere and in everything.Mending Our Soul — Healing Our World
Fast forward a few more years to the present moment. The human world is still a mess. We’re still destroying the planet. Time is truly running out. Urgency and despair are still our shadow companions.
The broken-down castle of the vision is real. We bear witness to it every day in the dysfunction, injustice and destructive roots of our political, social and economic systems, and in the heavy burden of personal pain most of us carry from our life experiences and family history.
I turn to the Goddess for inspiration and guidance, continually asking the question: how can I be a positive agent of change in these turbulent, evolutionary times? I open my heart, step out of the way, and let her flow through me.
And I find myself writing and speaking about your beauty, your goodness, your power, your love; these precious, precious things are your, and my, best offerings to this world. I don’t turn away from your wounding, or mine, or the pain and horror of this world. These too are part of our journey forward, cupped in that golden love that is Her greatest gift to us, and our greatest gift to each other.
My heart aches, with love, with pain, with life, with death, and with all the moments in between. Each struggle is an opportunity, to show up, to see clearly, to speak truth, to be changed, to love, and love, and love more.
The golden-honey yoni of the Goddess is also real and ever-present, lavishing us with Her life-centered and nurturing love. We’re not separate from this golden love. We don’t have to earn it. Nor do we have to spoon it out to others in small measures.
My mind, the part of me that wants direct, concrete action, still doesn’t understand these things. But that doesn’t matter. We can’t change this world just by doing things differently. First we have to become something different. That difference is the golden love of the Goddess. We must embrace and live this love, be this love.
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The Goddess tells me one thing over and over again: to heal and evolve this world, we need to become something different. We need to be love.
Though these words sound simple, what do they really mean? What is this love? And how do we go about being love?
To answer the question: what is this love, I have to tell you a story.
I was attending a workshop on the Buddha’s doctrines on love. As the teacher delivered his dharma talk on this topic, I shifted into a meditative state and opened to this love he spoke about.
Later, in my connection with the Goddess, I came to understand this place or part of me as the golden love of the Goddess that had little to do with my pre-conceived notions of love, and everything to do with my direct experience in the Buddhist workshop.
This isn’t the romantic love of Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards, nor a warm, enveloping, motherly love, but something woven into the very fabric of existence — sometimes fierce, tugging and unrelenting, like the ocean calling us back to its life-sustaining waters — sometimes hot, sensual, igniting, like the skin-on-skin of a lover’s touch — other times gentle, accepting, peaceful, like the hands of the Goddess cupping us in their infinite interior — always as close and intimate as our breath, yet also way beyond our limited human conception of things — something of soul, of body, of experience, not mind.
What I know, beyond all doubt, is that we are this love. Our very beings are woven of its golden strands, and our most sacred purpose is to be love.How Do You Go About Being Love?
To answer the question: how do you go about being love, I offer you a meditation exercise.
1. Start with a simple breath meditation.
Take several full, deep breaths, following the sounds and movements of your inhalations and exhalations. Feel your body soften. Empty your mind of thoughts and worries. Relax.
2. Turn your awareness inward.
Imagine stepping away from your mind’s way of understanding the world, and into the vast wisdom and knowing of your body and soul. Ask to be shown the love that you are. Keep your focus on your breath, with your body soft and your mind quiet and curious, and see what comes to you.
The challenge in this exercise is to get completely out of your own way, letting go of all preconceived notions and expectations, including the story I have just told you.
Be profoundly still and open, and let the love pour into this emptiness.
3. Bring this exercise to a close.
Before you complete your meditation, imagine lighting up your whole being — mind, body and soul — with the golden energy of this love. Totally immerse yourself in the love that you are, and the love that is everywhere and in all things.
Let this connection change you, in whatever way is good and right for you at this moment.
When you are done, use your breath to fully return to your physical form and waking consciousness. Pat your body and say your name out loud. Then slowly, softly get up and continue on with your day.
In the days that follow, and every time you do this meditation, pay attention to any shifts in how you conceive and engage yourself and your outer existence. Set the intention to embody and experience this golden love of the Goddess in your everyday life.
Trust that these things will change you in profound ways. You’re healing and evolving yourself and our world. You are being love.