“Goddess temple.”

“Goddess religion.”

“Goddess people.”

After nearly 50 years in the pagan community, I have to admit: these phrases still set my teeth on edge.

It's not the content of any of them that bothers me: it's the delivery.

Goddess (adj.).

The Goddess is the great unstated fact of Western culture. “God” implies “Goddess,” and always will, so long as (and wherever) English is spoken.

The flexibility of English is one of the language's great advantages: nouns regularly change to verbs, verbs to adjectives, and the reverse.

But to my ear, there's something wooden about goddess (adj.), something inelegant. It has the advantages of being practical and comprehensible, but (let's admit it), it's utterly lacking in beauty.

At the moment, I have no good alternative to suggest. (Hey, I'm a poet, give me time.) Thean?* Giddenish?** How much to sacrifice for comprehensibility?

But—considering all that she's given us—as a loving son of the Goddess, there's one thing that I can say for sure.

She deserves something better.

 

* < Greek theá, “goddess.”

** < Old English gyden, “goddess” (cp. German göttin).