PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
About a week ago I posted an essay on Patheos as a Pagan contribution to a series of short pieces by people of many traditions as to the value of religion today. I really like it, and now that Patheos has had it a week, I want to make it available to others, and so I have posted a version here
Happy Ostara/Equinox everyone! Today's the first day of spring (by some definitions) but it's also Faithful Friday and we've got a bunch of stories to share with you. Many of our stories today focus on how the modern world and religion (or the lack thereof) intersect, often in some very interesting and surprising ways.
During this month of Light returning (Imbolc) and love igniting (Valentine's celebrations) I collaborated with a man who worships and praises the Divine Feminine expression of the one Source.The re-emergence of the Goddess has challenged everybody to question the patriarchal realm that has been dominating us for too long. With the rise of the Goddess comes a new relationship with the Divine, as well as Father God that we connect to in the Heavenly realms we have begun to become reacquainted with the Mother Goddess of the Earthly world that we are in.Although it has seemed as though it is women who predominantly worship and honour the Goddess, she is not a 'God' for women. Just as the patriarchy harms both women and men, the Goddess is an expression of Source that feeds both women and men.Once I began to know the Feminine aspects of the Creator, She became such a significant part of my life that I couldn't imagine having a long term relationship with a man that couldn't honour that side of Source. I also couldn't imagine raising children who didn't know Her face and presence. I didn't believe that I could be led to a strong, masculine man who would honour Goddess, nor one that would join me in raising Goddess conscious children. The man I was dating when I began my Priestess path would vehemently argue "why does it have to be so much about She and Her? God isn't a woman you know." I would counter, "I know, God also isn't a man, so why not use Her for a few hundred years since we've all gotten to know the Him side so well?" I could feel him bristle, he felt threatened and upset and there was nothing I could do. Shortly thereafter we parted ways.My employer at the time was only too happy to set me up on a blind date with a wealthy, successful man who was ready to settle down and have children. I was happy to go on a date, my last relationship had gotten quite tedious, and I was looking to have children in the nearish future. When I met up with this man I didn't feel the spark, but I decided to explore it. He showed interest in my spirituality, the Goddess Gatherings I attended and the Priestess training I was doing. A part of me felt vulnerable about revealing my sacred inner world to a person I had just met, but his enthusiasm made me ignore my reservations. After we parted ways I pondered how I would politely decline a future date, as I knew he wasn't for me. I also pondered how I would let my employer know that her blind date hadn't created a future marriage. I arrived at work and my boss pulled me aside."Candise, Peter (let's call him Peter) said that you seemed more into the Goddess than you were into having a family."I'm going to pause here a moment to share that I wish I could have put a halt to this insulting conversation then and there, but I was shocked, humiliated and dumbfounded.In a condescending voice my employer went on to suggest that I ease people into my lifestyle and not mention it on a first date. That night on the bus ride home I cried, devastated that I had shared about my sacred journey with this man. I felt humiliated to be discussed as though I were a piece of property and then shamed for who I am. I was desolate, certain that that I would never find a man who would honour my path, let alone join me on it.Fast forward two months later and I was flying to New York, a whirlwind of a city where I met and instantly fell in love with my husband. As we sat at a busy diner the night we met he asked me similar questions to the blind date guy, except this time I felt at home and safe. I felt as though all of my life was being coated in pink gossamer. I just fell into a conversation about who and what I was, and he was enraptured. He compared me to his psychic mother and genuinely admired my work. Months later as we dated and then moved in together he would play guitar and lead "We all come from the Goddess..." in circles that I led. He would drop me off at Priestess circles and Goddess Gatherings and join me for events where men were welcomed.
Greek Hymns Honoring the Divine Feminine
The Orphic Hymn to Nature brings to light the age-old Mother Goddess of many names, the supreme Creatress, “dancing with whirling noiseless feet” her eternal dance of life and growth. It’s hard to find a more telling description of the Divine Feminine’s immense powers in all of the Hellenic literature!
I had envisioned the sit in being peaceful (which for the most part it was) and myself floating around on a cloud, wearing my baby, breastfeeding and napping, and, while I did nap and breastfed with her consistently I was definitely not floating nor was I wearing her. My stomach incision was too painful and at the moment that I was texting Melanie I was sitting on gauze pads sans pants or underwear oozing pus and blood onto the pad as my baby slept nestled in my arm. I was in shock from an operation that I wasn't expecting, new Motherhood hormones and that darn infected cyst. To top it all off, I was only 8 days into my 40 day sit~in I was starting to feel stir crazy.