Goddess Travel: Where in the World?

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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel

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.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Lately, I have been having a hard time listening to the news, as I’m sure many of you understand. It feels like darkness is winning, not just in the seasonal sense, but socially, politically, and personally, as well. But last night, when I was fiddling with my handheld device rather than winding down, I had an epiphany. I have Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Inspiration Oracle Ap downloaded, and I regularly click into it for a goddess to think about in the evening. Yesterday, I pulled Amaterasu.


I know the story of the golden throne mother of Japan pretty well: the primary deity in Shintoism once locked herself into a cave in anger at the destruction her chaotic brother had been causing. The world was deprived of light, and, predictably, things began to die. All the gods and goddesses gathered outside the cave to persuade Amaterasu to bring her light back into the world, but she remained where she was. Until, that is, the goddess Uzume kicked up her heels and performed a sexual, ribald, ridiculous dance for the gods. They laughed and hooted, and Amaterasu was curious. She peeked out of her cave, and, as Waldherr notes, “balance was restored when Amaterasu was lured out by laughter.” There’s a similar tale in the myth of Demeter, that laughter was one of the first things that broke her all-encompassing, all-punishing grief.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Finding Atalanta

I’ve never been drawn to stories of fleet footed maidens like Atalanta, or athletic goddesses like Artemis. Even at the occasional peaks of my fitness, I lean more toward a rigorous yoga practice than intense cardio, and I’ve always said that I hate running. I remember being forced to run the mile in gym class growing up, and cursing every sweaty step as I fell farther and farther behind my classmates. When I played tennis in high school, we ran briefly every day as part of the warm-up, but the only time I remember having to run a two-mile circuit around town was one Friday when we’d pissed the coach off somehow, and running was our punishment. I’ve had friends who’ve run, and I’ve always cringed at the thought of voluntarily racing around, but I tried to be supportive even though I didn’t share their idea of “fun”.


But then, two years ago, I sustained what would become a chronic wrist injury, which limits my ability to do weight bearing yoga poses like downward facing dog and plank, and which made me kiss my rigorous vinyasa practice goodbye for the time being. And then, almost a year later, when I realized that I needed to replace my fast-paced moving meditation with SOMETHING (for both my physical health and my sanity), I spontaneously decided to start running. I made a playlist of my favorite music, laced up my walking shoes, and started jogging in the living room, using the Wii Fit to “train”.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Becoming a Mermaid (Again)

I want to be a mermaid again.


When I was young, my best friend had a pool, and we spent countless hours each summer turning into prunes and pretending we were mermaids. We practiced holding our feet together, flipping imaginary fins as we swam, or, more often, sat on the bottom of the shallow end, having a mermaid tea party.
Somewhere along the way, however, I grew too self-conscious of my body in a bathing suit, and I taught myself not to like the water. I’d never been a strong swimmer, so for years I was able to believe that I simply didn’t like being in the water, preferring to dip my toes in the ocean rather than submerge my whole self. Even when, a few years ago, I worked my way back down to a weight were I felt healthy and sexy, I still clung to the belief that I hated going into the water. As I slowly gained weight and lost confidence, it never even occurred to me to question my often-repeated mantra that “I just didn’t like to be in the water”.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Hidden Magic of Nashville

When I think of Nashville, I think of country music and the Parthenon. I probably never would have associated the spot with meditation and summer magic, even after I visited the town, if it weren’t for a lucky chance. I attended a writing conference in Nashville a few years ago, held at the gothicly beautiful Scarritt Bennett retreat and conference center.  That was the last year the conference was small enough for that particular venue, and if I’d attended a year later, I never would have discovered the peace and beauty of the labyrinth that waits in Tennessee.


b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_03461.JPGI’d never walked a labyrinth before, and when I stepped out of my on-site dorm to discover the familiar pattern of the Chartres labyrinth laid in the grass in front of the building, I got incredibly excited. There’s already something magical about wandering around a facility that feels like a Southern Hogwarts in the purple gloaming of June, but then to spot that mystical shape, complete with dancing fireflies, completes the sensation of having stepped into another world.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Meeting the Ocean

When I was eleven or twelve, my family took an epic road trip. We traveled from Michigan to the east coast, stopping in Washington, D.C., as well as visiting some family friends who lived near one of Virginia’s beaches. It was my first time meeting the ocean, and the part of the long trip I was looking forward to most.


I still remember the heady feeling of the waves carrying me as I floated, waiting on my borrowed boogie board, the taste of salt in my mouth. It was magical, and I fell in love with the ocean that day.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

This weekend, I led a goddess-centric workshop at my local new age store. Although I’ve been working with goddess for over a decade and writing and participating in rituals for about half that time, I’d never led a class with strangers. The opportunity popped up unexpectedly because of my book Goddess Spells for Busy Girls, and in the years since I penned the book, I’ve realized to trust that it knows what it wants, so when I was invited to present, I embraced the unexpected abundance and said yes.


I had a wonderful time sharing four of my favorite goddesses with the lovely workshop participants, and, in the spirit of abundance that typifies the work I do related to my little pink book, I wanted to share one of the meditations I wrote for this weekend with you. It’s a Lakshmi meditation, and since abundance is on my mind (and since we’re turning the tide to Beltane this week), I hope you’ll enjoy this journey.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
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.

 

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag says #
    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 cons
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Fair point! However, I'm okay with that, since I feel like any understanding I have of an entity/force of the universe falls woefu
  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag says #
    I'm curious - how do you determine whether any given energies are masculine or feminine? I've been wondering about this myself lat
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    That's actually a really great question. For me, I usually trust my instincts/knowledge of a place, but then again, I'm predispose

Additional information