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Through the long centuries of suppression, we have forgotten the sacredness of Earth. We think of Her as an object for use rather than as a living being with intrinsic and sacred value. Consequently, She is in mortal danger. Because we are part of Her, because our lives are utterly dependent on Hers, humankind is in danger as well. Perhaps this is why we feel the need to reaffirm our connection with Her right now, why Goddess worship is coming again to the fore.
Please understand that there are very many more Goddess worshippers than there are Witches. We have much in common, but also many differences in our approach. The "Goddess Movement" can best be understood as the place where neo-Paganism overlaps with feminist spirituality.
This dramatic upswelling of interest in the feminine divine has also generated a remarkable amount of good writing about the Goddess and about Goddesses (not quite the same thing!). It was difficult for me to select a short list from among the many, many worthwhile books that are now available.
to learn more about the Goddess
- Bolen, Jean Shinoda Goddesses in Everywoman San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984
- Christ, Carol Rebirth of the Goddess Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1997
- Christ, Carol and Judith Plaskow, eds. Womanspirit Rising: a Feminist Reader in Religion San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979
[This anthology set the course of feminist theology. Carol Christ's essay "Why Women Need the Goddess" (pp. 273-287) is an important key to understanding Goddess worship.]
- Davidson, H.R. Ellis Roles of the Northern Goddess London: Routledge, 1998
- Downing, Christine The Goddess: Mythological Images of the Feminine NY: Crossroad, 1981
[This book focuses on the Olympian Goddesses. Even if you are not particularly drawn to the Greek pantheon, it is worth reading for the model it offers of how to feel into the connections between mythic portrayals and your own life experience.]
- Woolger, Jennifer and Roger The Goddess Within NY: Fawcett Columbine, 1989
However, these psychological attributions are not facts. They come from a time when stereotypical gender roles were imposed upon people. If we confuse biological fact with psychological symbol, we risk the perpetuation of hurtful falsehoods. Biology is only destiny if our expectations make it so.
The real Sacred Marriage takes place within each person, as we integrate our own active and receptive energies and grow toward balance and wholeness.
The great Horned God of the forest has been conflated with the Biblical devil, but nowhere in the Bible is the devil described as having horns. When two religions come into conflict, polytheisms tend to have their pantheons intermarry. Monotheistic cults, lacking this option, instead demonize the other people's Gods.
Our God is not anybody's devil. Rather He is the image of the proud, free male, His horns those of the mighty stag. He is Robin MacArt and John Barleycorn and Jack in the Green. He is the shining sun, the provider and protector of the Tribe. He brings joy to the Goddess and to the people.
to learn more about the God:
- Anderson, William Green Man: The Archetype of our Oneness with the Earth San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1990
- Bolen, Jean Shinoda Gods in Everyman San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989
- Rowan, John The Horned God NY: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987
by Judy Harrow
updated: February 15, 2000; © 2000, by Judy Harrow
the address of this page is: proteuscoven.com/Godsread.htm
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