“There are thousands of Goddesses, from so many of the world’s traditions, known by different names and images, which represent the feminine aspects of divinity and also aspects of our humanity... Their images, energy and just the mere concept of female divinity can heal us, empower us, instruct us and help us
find our way on life’s rocky path.”
-- From A Goddess Is A Girl’s Best Friend
(Perigee Books, December 2002)
This Mother’s Day, as we stand poised on the threshold of a changing world, it seems a fitting time to remember the Divine Mother Goddess who helped bring forth the world.
We are at a point in history that calls both women and men to celebrate – and elevate -- the energy of the feminine, along with the masculine. Spiritual law tells us that in order to find balance in our world and be whole and complete unto ourselves, we must embrace both the masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves. Acknowledging and embracing both our Divine Parents can help us on that journey.
Who is the Goddess?
Goddess History dates back to the earliest civilizations. It’s well documented that ancient societies worshiped feminine forms of God -- typically as mother, earth, nature, and the Holy Spirit, or as deities who personified feminine attributes. Our earliest ancestors saw the Divine Feminine as the source of all that is and they depended on her to sustain their very lives. Her power was expressed in the image and stories of literally thousands of Goddesses from cultures around the world.
Ancient Goddesses were treated with the reverence modern religious culture now offers to Jesus, God, The Father, Allah, Krishna, and Buddha. And they were called upon for everything from ensuring fertile crops and easy childbirth to attaining wealth, health or, even, a peaceful death.
Worship of the Divine Mother permeated ancient societies. Her temples abounded. Her presence was expressed in the images, and stories that were passed along through many generations. Some of the most famous Goddesses – such as Ishtar, Innana and Astarte -- once breathed life into the holy lands of the middle-east many millennium ago; some of the old temples still stand.
As time marched on, many of the early Goddesses became archetypes for the west. Nike has her own running shoes and clothing line and Athena’s name is on everything from a pheromone product to Greek diner menus. Along with Venus - a world famous Goddess, and archetype of love, sexuality and beauty – they have been relegated to “mythology.” But, as Joseph Campbell once reminded us, “one person’s mythology is another person’s religion.” The Goddess was not a myth to our ancestors.
Many of the world’s cultures continue to worship, honor and pray to female deities. The Hindu, Buddhist, Tibetan, Native American, South American and African cultures are among those that always have, and continue to, commune with the Divine Feminine.
Everything Is Male and Female In Nature
The Hindus teach us that it is the creative summary of both the male and female principle that collaborate to create the Divine essence of all that is. And so do the Taoists, who show us the feminine and the masculine principle that feed one another and make up the whole in the symbol of Yin/Yang. Tibetan Buddhist do the same with their most sacred objects, dorje and bell. The bell represents the feminine and the dorje is the male principal. No worship service is ever conducted without use of each, together, one held in each hand. The Gods and Goddesses personified in many traditions also have opposite sex consorts and cohorts who are considered “complements.”
In fact, in many systems of belief, you cannot have one without the other. Just as you can’t have day without the night, you can’t have man without woman, or masculine without feminine.
When we really understand that the Divine nature of all that is contains both the masculine and the feminine principles, it begins to make sense that men and women each contain those Divine principles; that the energy of the Goddess exists within all of us. From the highest place of knowing, we do not have to assign a gender to the divine and we do not have to put a name and face on energy so sacred. But in our lives as human beings, with human personalities and beliefs, I truly believe that considering both God and Goddess helps us identify the dual (and multifaceted) nature of divinity.
Toward Balance and Peace
As we desperately seek balance and peace on our planet, and in these times of deeply disturbing and frightening world events, many of us are searching for what’s been missing in modern life. Could it be we have been bereft of our spiritual link to the The Sacred Feminine -- not instead of, but in addition to, The Sacred Male? We are at a time in history where both women and men are crying out for their divine “Mother” and seeking a spirituality that brings both divine parents to the table, not just one, or the other.
Historically and in the Goddess-friendly religions, The Divine Mother does not discriminate or love only those who worship in Her name. Her energy, presence and possibility are available to any one, of any religion, race, sex, culture, background, belief system. One of the historical hallmarks of the Divine Mother is that by honoring ourselves, our earth and all living things, we honor Her. This kind of reverence does not need to be sorted into a religion or a particular belief system. It is more of a philosophy for living that can inspire us to a spiritual path of balance and peace.
We are all children of God, Goddess, All There Is and we are all feminine and masculine in nature. As above, so below. It is in acknowledging that these qualities exist in all of us that we begin to create and find balance in our relationship to ourselves, to one another, and in the world we live in.
© Copyright 2005 Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway All Rights Reserved.
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is an interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding officiant, as well as teacher and author devoted to empowering women's self esteem and spirituality. She's creator of Find Your Spiritual Soul Mate, an e-mail program available only through www.selfhealingexpressions.com. She is author of A Goddess Is A Girl's Best Friend: A Divine Guide To Finding Love, Success and Happiness (Perigee Books, December 2002) and the forthcoming, Wedding Goddess: A Divine Guide to Transforming Wedding Stress to Wedding Bliss, (Perigee, May 2005). Visit Rev. Laurie Sue at www.GoddessFriends.com and www.WeddingGoddess.com.
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