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Posted on:  Aug 31, 2020 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess
Our bodies and souls know the Goddess — from our first yowl of breath as our hunger instinctively reaches for the softness of breast and nourishment of milk — to the last emptying of our lungs when we surrender to Her gaping maw of death — She holds, witnesses and loves us. For we are Her sacred children.
After the harshness of winter, the blossom of chartreuse bud and wild flower return. The gentle dawn light follows the ebony velvet of darkest night. These things we know, can count on. Life cycles continually, miraculously from life to death to rebirth. Out of the vast potential of energy comes form, form inevitably decays and dissolves, only to be born again in new shapes and functions. These are the primal ways of the Goddess held in the dance of energy and matter.
In our ancient past, we knew these things and held the Goddess and Her life-giving ways as holy and central to our ways of living and dreaming. Though we have stepped off of Her path and onto another, always She calls us to return to our true nature and beauty, and our best, life-serving instincts.
On the Path of She, we turn our hearts and knowing back to the Goddess. We rediscover and reclaim Her presence and powers that lie in wait for us — within the most secret, silent places of our inner landscape — among the wild, wide wonders of the natural world — and in the mystery teachings preserved in Goddess traditions.
As we open to our hunger for our own hidden beauty and power, we naturally unleash our more primal hunger to be one with the powers of life and the ways of the Goddess. We heed Her call, and begin to live and dream our life anew.
Artwork by Eleonor Piteira
When I sat down to write this article, I consulted Wikipedia’s glossary of spiritual terms and discovered God but no Goddess under “G”. Although one of my readers immediately added a definition of the Goddess, I was deeply impacted by this omission. It verified what I’ve always known: in our modern sensibilities, God is the fundamental construct for Divinity, and the Goddess doesn’t even make the list. That’s not to say that the Goddess isn’t recognized and honored by many, but collectively we don’t identify with or adhere to a feminine concept of the Divine.
You may ask yourself: why does this matter? What do we gain from a feminine concept of the Divine? I could answer these questions from an intellectual perspective, but that doesn’t sit well with me. It’s like talking about someone in the third-person when they’re standing right beside you.
Beneath our everyday existence is a vast realm of mystery that is the between-the-worlds home of those we have named God and Goddess. We humans have always known this and have given voice to our connection to these otherworld beings by conceiving and naming their qualities, powers and gifts through our mythic storytelling and spiritual and religious practices. But the Gods and Goddesses exist in their own right, independent of our human conceptions.
Let’s return to the questions of why the Goddess matters, and what we gain from a feminine conception of the Divine. But rather than me answering these questions, I will do my best to get out of the way and let the Goddess speak for Herself:
I am the shining light in your cells and the beating love in your heart. My ethos is one of creation, of life giving birth to and nurturing life. Your body and soul are woven of my sacred essence, and the material world is the outer expression of my presence.
At the edge of the edge of the sunlit realm, where a rough-hewn stone stairway leads down into the velvety darkness of the Underworld, Persephone awaits you, still and silent, wrapped in a black cloak that rustles in a bone-chilling wind. She is beautiful and fearsome, with penetrating dark blue eyes, pale skin, lips the rich red of pomegranate, and long, lustrous ebony brown hair.
This is not the young maiden Goddess, alight with joy and innocence, that you may have read about in the ancient tales, but a regal being who has fully claimed Her place and sovereignty in the great weaving of life.
Yet the season of humanity is turning and a great awakening is upon you. Your Deep Self is reaching for you, calling you to a life of soul and drawing you back to my side and the lost ways of the sacred feminine.”
She extends Her arm and you wrap your fingers in the soft, black folds of Her cloak. The space around you shimmers and morphs, and you find yourself transported to another time and place, looking out on a scene from when the world was fresh and new.
A younger version of Persephone plays in the meadow before you, picking flowers and smiling Her delight. Her face has the warm tones of skin kissed by sunlight and Her eyes are of a lighter shade of blue gray.
As you watch, the young Persephone wanders further and further from the meadow and the protective circle of Her Mother. Her light-hearted smile has been replaced by an intense focus, as if She is being drawn forward by a compelling, irresistible force.
A great fissure appears in the Earth at Her feet and a God-like being emerges. He emanates a powerful elixir of animal magnetism and ethereal beauty, as if He is equally woven of flesh and of light. A piercing cold spreads outward from His body, withering the wildflowers and yellowing the leaves within reach of His frosty breath. Yet His somber, coal-black eyes are filled with tender warmth as He gazes down at the lovely Persephone.
“Hades,” She whispers with a note of longing in Her voice and taking a tentative step in His direction.
For a moment young Persephone pauses, looking over Her shoulder from where She came and then down into the inky darkness before Her. And in this moment, it is as if you are inside of Persephone, feeling the push and pull of Her trepidation and profound hunger in the face of this vast unknown realm. A calm determination rises up from Her core, quieting Her fast beating heart and steeling Her resolve. Then She slips Her hand into Hades’s, a faint smile playing across Her lips, and the Earth closes over their heads, swallowing them whole.
The scene disappears and you are once more standing beside the older Persephone at the stone steps leading into the Underworld.
“Life never stands still,” Persephone says, “Something inside of us seeks the edges of what we know in search of our deeper and greater becoming.
As Persephone speaks, the light fades from the sky and a profound stillness settles on the land. Fall is in the air and the natural world, like Persephone, has begun its descent into the secret mysteries of darkness.
“I tell you my story so you may know the ways of the sacred feminine,” Persephone continues, “To seek the true power and nature of your Deep Self, you must step past the border of your known world into the depth of the Underworld that resides in the inner folds of your psyche and in the mysteries that underlie waking reality.
“When you brave the Underworld and travel its ways, you reclaim what has been lost, the sacred feminine and the sacred dark, and you begin the hard, hard work of returning balance and wholeness to your life and your world. Your journey will not be easy because the trials and revelations of the sacred dark are meant to test and teach you. And yet, if you follow in my footsteps and stay the course, healing and profound change will come.
Persephone places Her hand on your chest, sending Her wise teachings into the core of your being. Her story is your story, the story of the turning of the seasons into Fall, and the story of the unfolding of our collective humanity. Always at the Fall Equinox, the sacred darkness opens portals that beckon to a new cycle of healing and growth.
Then Her touch and Her presence are gone. Yet you are not alone at the portal to the Underworld. He waits for you on the stone stairs, a magical messenger to guide your journey back to your Deep Self.
“Come,” He says, His hand extended to you and His eyes brimming with tender warmth, “it is time for your awakening.”
Take His hand, descend; the sacred darkness and your deepest becoming await you.
Celebrate Fall Equinox with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Photo Credit: Taylor on Unsplash
Posted on:  Sep 30, 2017 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess
The hero’s journey comes to us through the comparative mythology writings of the late, brilliant Joseph Campbell. Stripped to its basic structure: the hero is given a quest or call to adventure; he sets out on a journey, gaining allies, struggling through great trials, and growing through his experiences; he has to face his biggest battle and through his victory he achieves his quest and claims his treasure; and then he returns to the ordinary world as a reborn or changed man.
If this storyline sounds familiar, it’s because we humans have been telling this tale through much of our history, most currently in some of our most beloved movies and books. Frodo, Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter have captivated us with their hero’s journey, activating the archetypal roots of this mythic story in our human psyche.
The assumption in many literary and academic circles is that the hero’s journey is a universal tale that speaks to our human quest for spiritual and personal growth. And though I love these hero stories as much as the next person, this assumption has never sat well with me.
In the basic structure of the hera’s journey: the Goddess chooses to leave the land above and descends to the Underworld; She travels the ways of this realm, embracing its mysteries and suffering its trials; She dies to Her previous life; and then She is reborn and returns to the land above, transformed into Her full maturity and powers.