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As a Goddess-centric Witch, I am always looking for new ways to connect with the myriad of global goddesses. Even though I know that I can have powerful relationships with different goddesses from the comfort of my home, I’ve also got a bit of a travel bug, so when I am wandering in new places, I try to hold myself open to spiritual experience and divine intervention. Sometimes, though, I only realize how magical the experience was after the fact. I'll be exploring these different experiences and goddesses on this blog.

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Western Waters

Sometimes, I can't sense a particular goddess's energy in the places I travel, even when they are palpably sacred. And sometimes, no matter how much I yearn for the feminine energy, the locations pulse with masculinity that can't be ignored. One particular place that sticks in my mind is Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, where I've had the good fortune to spend snatches of summers here and there with my husband (a west coaster by birth). Since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today, I thought I'd share a poem with you that I wrote years ago, upon my first experience at that magical lake.



This is certainly not the fairy grove

where Bottom made an ass of himself:

the energy here has no time for

prancing fairies and their queen


there is a rawness, a ruggedness

about this place that

can only be described

as male

but that’s not quite right, either


beyond man, perhaps,

is a better way of trying to explain

the sounds of the lake water

constantly setting the rhythm,

the sharp scent of the tall and sometimes scraggly

pine trees,

the insistent prick of the needles underfoot:

this is not a place

to be barefoot,

and yet I find that I cannot help myself.

I know the dancing sprites

will not keep their revels here


and I know

that the raw rocky earth

laughs at me,

wandering without shoes,

trying not to step in sap or on sharp stone

Every pain is a reminder

that this is not a gentle place,

not a soft place,

but a place of sacred beauty,



(Originally published in The Petigrew Review, 2011, Volume 5)

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Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”). She is a poet, a novelist, and a goddess-centric witch with a love of all things magical. Her first nonfiction book, Goddess Spells for Busy Girls: Get Rich, Get Happy, Get Lucky, is out now from Weiser Books. A Michigander by birth, Jen now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn’t writing, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.


  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag Monday, 30 March 2015

    I'm curious - how do you determine whether any given energies are masculine or feminine? I've been wondering about this myself lately, because I don't really know of any qualities that are unique to men or unique to women.

  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel Wednesday, 01 April 2015

    That's actually a really great question. For me, I usually trust my instincts/knowledge of a place, but then again, I'm predisposed to seek feminine energy, not masculine. Sometimes I already know a god or goddess is associated with a place, so I go there assuming to connect with that particular energy. Sorry I don't have a more direct answer!

  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag Thursday, 02 April 2015

    So it's one of those "I know it when I see (feel) it" sort of things? I think that's basically how it is for me, too, but I'm conscious that it can be difficult to distinguish that from projecting our own assumptions on an entity that they may not apply to at all.

  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel Thursday, 02 April 2015

    Fair point! However, I'm okay with that, since I feel like any understanding I have of an entity/force of the universe falls woefully short of the reality, but even if I project my assumptions (and I probably do), I have a place to begin a relationship. :)

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