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Goddess and God: a selected reading list

The Goddess

Our Lady is best known as Mother Nature or Mother Earth, although people have given Her countless other names. She is the soul of nature, Who gives life to the universe. All that lives comes from Her generous womb. All that dies returns to Her as a drop of rain returns, at long last, to the ocean.

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

The God

Although the thing that is most noticeable and different about our religion is Goddess worship, many Pagans also give honor to the God. Insofar as our religion is Earth-based and fertility-oriented, we recognize that either gender is sterile without the other. This is a biological fact. In symbol systems where the male is used to represent the active principle while the female represents receptivity, it is also a psychological and spiritual truth. Inner fertility comes from the interaction of active and receptive. Pagans have inherited such a system.

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:


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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