The Goddess

Image by LilithSativa via Flickr

I promised to come back on the concept of deity. It is a topic that comes back regularly on the Christian Pagan Fellowship and that evokes the most controversy. I’ve addressed this in my book ‘The Path of Christian Witch”, but surely one small book cannot cover such a wide topic. An entire library could not cover the question we are really asking: ‘What is God?’

I do not claim to have the answer to that question and will not attempt to answer it. The question that is often asked is how do we view God from the point of view of a Christian Witch. How do we deal with polytheism and how do we include biblical figures and mythological figures into our practice? Do we view God as an almighty energy or do we give It faces? Are these two views mutually exclusive? Are these faces really Gods and Goddesses?

I don’t have THE answer. But I have my answer. I see God as a multitude of things and somehow, I feel that all of these can coexist without contradiction. I see God as an action rather than a being. The ein sof, the breath, described in Kabbalah. This is the breath of life that brings things forth all there is from the great Void. But even though I believe in that Essence, I also believe that it does manifest itself to us in very real terms. I feel all representations of gods and goddesses in mythology, our biblical figures and saints and other holy people hold a parcel of that Essence. I think we all come here with lessons to learn and these figures are different ways for God to talk to us in a personal manner. S/He gives us different lessons through these Holy people. Are they gods and goddesses? They are expressions of God, so to me they are divine. Do I worship them? I do in the same measure that I also worship the divine within myself.

 

From a practical point of view, what should a Christian Witch/Pagan do about worship? She can choose to worship the essence of God, the Almighty, the Great Spirit. She may decide that she needs a representation of that Essence either in one figure or in a deity couple that represents our human polarity. She may decide to worship God the Father as we have been taught. She may also worship the Goddess uniquely or in combination with the Father. She may decide to choose one or two expressions of the Divine from any pantheon and walk her path with them to learn the lessons that she has to learn to fulfill her calling. Any combination of this is all right. We will only really know the full expression of God when we cross over, so for now, the best we can do is have a taste of Its many manifestations.

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We went walking on the side of the Great River (La Grande) that gives its name to the little community where we live. The temperature had dropped suddenly to 10 degrees and the fog was rising off the water like a scene from a dream. I held the little hand of my son in my left hand and the hand of my daughter in my right. We walked up the hill that overlooked the river and I had the sudden vision of walking in the heart of a great hall.

I felt the warmth of their little hands and something whispered in my head:

This is the gift that She gave me.

 

She…

I looked around and wondered who ‘She’ was.

Was it the great river, flowing steadily forward for millennia, unstoppable and majestic?

Was it the land of the Cree, where we had become parents and where we were living the greatest adventure of our lives?

Was it the grandness of nature that surrounded us so completely?

Was it the Great Goddess, fertile and of abundant?

Was it the Great Source from which all blessings flows?

Looking out at the grandness of nature, surrounded by my greatest treasures, it was clear that all those things were wrapped up into that little word.

She…

The one who nurtures, the one who soothes, who defends and protects and gives beyond measure.

The one who envelops you with a grandness that you can hardly bear and shows you, how to connect with everything there is to become more than you have ever imagined.

She, the wind in your hair and the smell of the times, the water flowing through your veins and through the world in a slow pulsing rhythm.

She who loves and gives back to her children the lessons they need to learn if they sit to listen.

What blessing to live in her presence.

In my soul, the night still belongs to the Goddess. As a Christian, I keep Jesus always close in my rituals and in my philosophy. But the moon still belongs to the Goddess, in whatever form she may take. It could be Mary the Mother or Mary the Virgin, weaving the Temple veil. It could be Mary Magdalene, the mystic and my Priestess or any of the other manifestations of the sacred feminine:  Sofia, essence of wisdom, St-Brigid, the Druidess, the Great Mother of ancient times, the matriarchs of the Bible, my old crone gypsy woman, Raven… So many faces to manifest what we are.

I’ve been awfully busy lately, busy with just stuff. You know all the stuff that gets in the way of what matters. I got into it so deep that I forgot which phase of the moon we are in. That has not happened in years. I was wondering why everything I tried to do was unraveling before me. Then I stopped, took a deep breath, centered and grounded. Then I heard a woman’s voice in my head: “You always turn to me for everything. Why have you not done so this time?”

So, I sat last night, called the archangels to guard my quarters and I cast a circle with the essence of each element. I lit my candles and I simply said:

“I turn to you.”

There was nothing else to say.

May the Goddess reveal her beauty to all of you! Blessed be!

Crazy Week…

It’s always crazy the week before going on vacation: tying up loose ends at work, making travel arrangements, packing everything. The usual madness! It’s no different for a Witch than it is for everyone else!

It’s not easy being the mother of two young kids. Sleep deprivation aside, it’s the worrying that really does me in. Do they eat enough, poop enough, are they developing on schedule, how are they coping with the world…. In short, are they OK?

I went to sleep with all this in my head,  feeling completely helpless and washed out. As always, I turned to my Mother for guidance. What should I do? Is there something I am not doing right? How do I help my son speak more and my daughter sleep at night? Please, Mother, help me take care of them!

I woke up in the morning with a vague knowledge of having spent the night in conversation with someone. We had talked about hope.

Hope.

That was the answer. That’s how you make it through the worry.

Nothing to do. Just hope.

Expect the best.

Bottle down the fear and let it fizzle out with great blasts of hope. That’s the gift of Hope: it is the destroyer of fear. Without fear, you can dare to reach out for your greatest dreams.

And so, that day was born with a new hope. And while we were all playing outside that evening, my son did something unexpected. He reached out to the moon and pretended to gobble it up. He burst out laughing and I knew everything would be all right.

I celebrated mother’s day by the most sacred of mothers’ rituals: the afternoon nap! It got me reflecting on how there it is nothing greater than being a mother. It is great in love and affection, full of those little moments that fill your heart to bursting. It is great in devotion, forcing you to give of yourself to a point you never thought possible. It is great in worry, about everything from cavities to seat belts, through to food groups and shapes and colors. It is great in revelation, for everything you know about life and about yourself gets tested right before your eyes. Kids are the greatest and most honest of teachers, pushing you to heights you never, ever thought you could achieve. Pure Greatness.

One of the greatest lessons I learned on the Pagan path is that nothing is black or white. This I learned most by sitting in the presence of the Goddess. By sitting in this presence, I understood so much about myself as a woman. The bouts of rage and madness, sudden outbursts and tears that could take hold of me, I understood them better once I had discovered her. I respected their strength and the lesson they were teaching me. I stopped trying to suppress them so that I could become that virginal vision of calm and beatitude that I had grown up with. I became woman in all its colors, from all-giving love to absolute fury.

This I had learned before I had children. Now that I have been blessed with two angels, I live the lessons of the Goddess in its full expression. The greatness that I mention above, that life of pure emotion, swaying me through love and admiration and fear and courage, I could not have understood its fullness had I not understood the greatness of the Goddess.

Spiritually, most of us have grown up without a Mother. How did we survive so long? This is my little gift to you on this Mother’s day. If you are a mother, embrace the light and the dark and cherish it with the entirety of your being! If you know a mother, let her know of the greatness that is her life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Goddess Bless!