THE GODDESS – HER WAYS AND HER SEASONS
A three-part series, during which we discover together what life on Earth was like when the Goddess reigned 100,000 years ago, what happened when the patriarchy deliberately destroyed Her image 4,000 to 6,000 years ago, and Her re-emergence today.
Through a guided meditation, we will each meet our personal Goddess and receive a gift from Her. We will explore how Her energy can work in our lives, and how She can be a role model for us.
Goddesses are wonderful and useful in our lives. The Goddess can help us see ourselves more clearly. She can be a role model, a way show-er.
When our lives are out of balance, we can consider Goddesses who know how to be powerful and centered, who can show us how to make our own choices and move forward in our lives.
Other topics include the old calendar, when June 21 really was Midsummer; the first Trinity of Maiden, Mother and Crone; how the power of the Goddess is working through us all; and the fact that the Goddess is not just a female God.
Both our left brained logical selves and our right brained holistic and intuitive selves will be engaged during the sessions, as we grow on our spiritual journeys.
Diana, the Roman Goddess of the hunt, can teach us about taking care of ourselves, providing for our own needs, as She strides through the woods, beautiful and graceful, with Her own bow and Her dog.
THE PATH OF THE GODDESS
HER WAYS AND HER SEASONS
Welcome and Introductions
Why and how did each of us come to be here for this class? What has drawn us to learn more about our own Sacred Feminine? What do we each hope to get from this gathering?
Patricia’s own experience of the Goddess and how I have grown during that journey over time
Guided Meditation to meet our own personal Goddess and receive a gift from Her….
Sharing our meditation experiences with each other
How has it been this past week, thinking about the Goddess? What has begun to change in each of our lives?
Researching our own Goddess, to find Her name if She didn’t tell us, to find the significance of the gift She presented, to learn more about Her and Her history
Sharing those learnings with each other
What are some ways we can incorporate those learnings into our healing and our lives?
Let’s ask our Goddess for a dream during the coming week….
Have we had any dreams? Did the Goddess specifically appear? Let’s talk about those dreams…..
How has our thinking continued to change? Has our role model Goddess presented us with new ideas? Are any of us beginning to act differently in our daily lives?
A Guided Meditation to ask our Goddess how She will stay present in our lives, and to ask for another gift.
More about The Goddess
When we begin to consider The Goddess, we find there are quite literally hundreds of Goddesses, in every culture and from every time the planet has experienced thus far.
In each culture, there was originally the idea of one Great Goddess, responsible for life and birth and death, usually for thousands of years before gods were considered. The men in the culture helped create the sacred space within which the women worked to contact the Goddess, to learn from Her what the community or tribe needed to do to be well-fed and prosperous.
After all those thousands of years, with unwalled cities, women leaders, culture and art recognized as important human endeavors, a new set of ideas began to filter down from the steppes of northern Eurasia, in what is now Russia and Mongolia. These groups wanted to keep separate what was theirs, wanted to take what they had not created, wanted to talk to a god who was outside of nature, outside of themselves, a mountaintop god.
So, 6 to 8,000 years ago, the Great Goddess, in culture after culture, acquired a son. She gave birth to him every spring and he died every fall, to be reborn. Eventually this grain god became the consort, the mate of the Great Goddess. And still, most of the time, he died every year and was reborn of the Goddess each spring. In some cultures, this god consort was literally sacrificed at the harvest. Eventually, though, the god, now often represented by the newly-created kings, became the important one, and the Goddess merely his helper.
It was at this time that She lost her status as Great Goddess, and was broken into component parts. So there became a separate Goddess for grain and growing crops, a Goddess for human fertility, a Goddess for grieving, Goddesses for war and destruction, for creativity, for compassion. There are sun, moon, stars and sky Goddesses, Goddesses for music, for hunting, for healing, for growing food and for feasting on food. In fact, there are many Goddesses now for every human endeavor.
Goddesses are wonderful and useful in our lives. The Goddess can help us see ourselves more clearly. She can be a role model, a way show-er. If, for instance, an imbalance of power is an issue in our lives, we can consider many Goddesses who know how to be powerful and centered, who can show us how to make our own choices and move forward in our lives. Diana, the Roman Goddess of the hunt, can teach us about taking care of ourselves, providing for our own needs, as She strides through the woods, beautiful and graceful, with Her own bow and Her dog.
We can make friends with the Goddess, ask Her for help, talk things over with Her, make rituals so She can clearly see what we want and need.
One place to start is with the goddesses of your ancestry, whether that be African, Norse, Indian, Spanish, Celtic, Asian. Kuan Yin, once the Chinese Great Goddess, is now the Goddess of mercy, compassion, peace.
Another place to begin is to consider your favorite places, and find out what Goddesses are associated with those places: trees, mountains, streams, caves, various cities and countries. Brigid is the great triple Goddess of the Irish, ruling poetry, blacksmithing and healing. She was converted into St. Brigid, who coincidentally is charged with overseeing these same three fields of endeavor. If water brings you inspiration, you might occasionally talk to Yemaya, the Yoruba Goddess of women. If a woman asks Yemaya for a favor by water – a river, a stream, the ocean – at the full moon, She will get it. So ask joyfully.
The work you want to accomplish, the issues you are working on – these can also be great pointers in finding the goddess who will be your sister, your mother, your friend as you grow and learn. She can reflect back to you the image of the person you want to become. White Buffalo Calf Woman of the Lakota people reminds us that all is sacred – the earth, the people, our very lives – and should be honored.
There are Goddesses for difficulties, for the darker parts of life. If money is your concern, for instance, have a conversation with Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth. Most Goddesses are not overly sweet and loving, and some are downright cruel, getting the old ideas and fixed rules and institutions out of the way, bringing about the destruction from which new life can spring. The Goddess normally gives mercy, but, if we insist upon it, She will give us justice instead. Kali, the Hindu Goddess of destruction and creation, is probably the best known of these.
The Book of Goddesses and Heroines, by Patricia Monaghan, contains over 400 pages of Goddesses! Goddesses are listed alphabetically, by their feast days, by their alternative names, and by their associations – Goddesses of the morning, day, evening, night, Goddesses for everything you can think of.
Another good book is 365 Goddess by Patricia Telesco, A Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess. Each day includes the themes of that particular Goddess, Her colors and symbols, a bit of Her story, and ways to honor Her, bring Her inspiration closer, invoke Her abilities on your own behalf. These are always inventive and fun, and not difficult. Ideas are as simple as carrying a few seeds in your pocket, going outside and looking for a falling star, drinking apple juice – all depending on the Goddess whose day it is, or whose energy you want to stimulate in your life.
Unlike our current culture, with its emphasis on doing and overdoing instantly, the Goddesses allow us time to breathe, time to become, time to share and muse on life. And then we will act on our wishes, needs and dreams. So for a joyful celebration of women, and of your own qualities, gifts and talents, I strongly recommend finding a Goddess to play with!
By Patricia Garry
The Book of Goddesses and Heroines
Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood
When God Was a Woman
How do we Know Her?
A poem to The Goddess
By increased power in
By lightening and lightning
in our thoughts
Step by step we come
in joy to Her
Who has been waiting
to all of us
in our dreams
through our friends
through all of Nature
which pushes to grow
and in harmony
Lady of Lion and Deer
Lady of Power
Lady of Snake
Who chooses when to be
when to be
Mercy, mercy, mercy
Then – justice – if we insist.
A Love Song to The Goddess
My mother, my daughter, my sister, my friend, my teacher, my nemesis
My life supporter, my mirror, my trickster, my merry one
She who provides all that I need, She whom I hold accountable.
She who is funny and silly and soft.
She who is implacable.
She with the wicked sense of humor.
Her bones the planet, Her breath the air.
Her laughing tears the rain, Her body heat the fire.
Her wholeness is holiness.
This sacred world, me, all that is. The Goddess.
A Love Song to The Goddess, Part 2
The first days of February
In the old calendars, the cross quarter days
Which are the first days of spring:
When the Seed stirs in the earth
Because there is finally enough light.
Not often heat, but light.
Long sacred to The Goddess, She who gives birth.
In Celtic lands the Goddess Brigid
She the blacksmith, the writer, the healer.
Then St. Brigid, whose flames and wells were yet
honored as sacred for the hundreds of years.
In those early February days, the change
can be felt. The light falls as a blessing
on the earth and on us all. Night is later
and smaller. The breeze rises, with a trace
of warmth at its heart.
The Goddess rises, no matter what Her name.
And warmth always marks Her heart.
February 13, 2001
February 1 Imbolc/Brigid’s Day/First Day of Spring in old calendar
2 and Candlemas
Hail, Brigid, Who art Grace, Which is always with us. O Blessed One, thank You for Your blessings on us, Your sons and daughters.
Holy Brigid, Great Triple Goddess, support us with Thy Strength, now and with every breath we take.
Our Mother, Who Art in Heaven
Our Mother, Who art in Heaven and in our hearts, blessed be the many names Your children have given you. We work with You to make this world and heaven as one for their sake.
As we work, we thank You for our daily bread and our daily lives. We forgive each other, and we forgive ourselves. We know we have Your forgiveness and acceptance for ever and always
Thank You for the joys and beauties of this world, and for the many ways we can learn and grow here. Thank you for cherishing us as we carry out Your blessed work, honoring and safeguarding Your beautiful world.
Thank You, Mother, for Your powerful love. We will use Your love to recreate Your glory on this earth, and know that we will join You in Heaven when our work is done.
August 27, 2003
All the missing pieces of oneself. All the facets we cannot see clearly in our mirrors can be found in our friends. What are they reflecting today?
So many friends, so little time. Sending out birthday cards becomes a full time job. Searching for and giving Christmas presents becomes a major part of the budget.
Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks, phone calls, shopping expeditions, movies, plays, concerts, vacations.
Keeping in touch by e-mail, cell phone, voicemail, fax, reports from other friends.
Making parties so friends from all my different lives can meet and know each other. Helping them make connections. More time and money.
And yet I keep finding and making new ones.
Must be because I like them.
My beautiful girl, red and orange,
Taller than I, graceful and
Enigmatic as a star.
Her name means Wisdom in the
Language of my dark sisters,
Spoken across that continent.
But her ancestors resided in
The Carolinas, in the jungles,
Then the corn fields.
They knew only green light, dimness.
She loves a whiter light, translucence
And sand to swim in.
A sinuous healer, she sends her chakra energy
Through the walls to those in need,
those who ask.
A cave dweller her first ten years,
She has ascended to a hammock,
The better to observe her planet.
She moves with Zen speed, or a
Or does not move at all.
Beauty slaking her thirst, The Mother
As she takes her meal,
She blesses my existence.