Why do Women Need the Goddess? by Andie
I was sitting at a Catholic mass yet again the other day. Not a place that I often find myself, but this time, it was for my father’s funeral, and so, there I was. I had quite the vantage point from the front pew and I took it all in, this amazing structure that organized religion had built. I felt a little guilty, because, sisters, it was so BEAUTIFUL. This church, this structure, built with money and contributions of a population of people who for the most part believe I am going to hell (I’m gay) and who marginalize my gender in some of the worst ways possible. I listened to the music, the pianos and the guitars and the 20 voices that were all coming together to sing songs that gave me goose bumps. Not for the lyrics, but for the sheer power of the arrangement. I am a musician and dogma be damned, all I really wanted to do was pick up my guitar and join them. For a few minutes, I didn’t really care WHOSE god the music was written for, I just wanted to sing it. At one point, the choir was singing and the incense was lit and the candles were flaming and if I closed my eyes I could almost convince myself that ….
Well. You can guess where that was going. It would have been nice to be able to close my eyes and pretend that I was around a fire with my Sisters, participating in the Full moon, and not in a cold (all be it beautiful) Catholic church burying my father. It was less the grim reality of the day that kept me grounded in the present than the reality of society. We Goddess worshippers don’t have big beautiful structures like this (well, not in my neck of the woods). We don’t have “choirs” and so many times our beautiful music goes unsung, except in select gatherings and festivals. Maybe in peoples homes. Long story short, we don’t have support. In a world where the status quo is male run and rarely challenged successfully, those of us who love the Goddess don’t seem to stand a chance.
I am reminded of my good friend …. Um, let’s call her Jane for the sake of her privacy… who walked away from her wonderful Goddess path, the one she had been on her whole life and joined the church. Simply put, her life became overwhelming and it’s not that the Goddess community didn’t offer her support. It’s that the Goddess community simply didn’t exist. There was no place for her to turn, with the exception of a few of us, here and there who provided her with what we could. But when she joined the church, she was literally taken in. New home, new job, new life. No more judgment from the vast majority of her support system due to her beliefs. She simply jumped ship and found an island.
If it’s seems too simple, that’s because it is. Organized religion creates a “group think” that mimics community. It sets it self up as the lighthouse in the storm. Society already marginalizes women, thanks in large part to the Christian bible and the perceived male birthright. Add to that any kind of stress and or isolation and it is no leap to see how women choose to join group think and ease the burden, if only a little.
Women need the Goddess and we need spiritual community. Not “group think” or dogma, but genuine community, to even begin to counter this kind of enemy.
Women need cohesiveness. We need our common Spirituality to bring us together like this, not with rules, but with true community. We need to be able to create a place where we can find our peace without succumbing to the will of the implied male authority of our society, or worse, the implicit male authority of structured, organized patriarchal religion.
“The Goddess calls her Daughters at all places on the Path…”… This was Jane’s favorite saying and Jane had it right, but without our common community, we have no place for her Daughters to find themselves. Without a community mirror to support the person that the Goddess is leading her daughter to become, the isolation and stress becomes too much.
Structured religion creates group think that masks as community. It creates groups of people who no longer need to think for themselves, simply follow the directions for their insta-faith. Sometimes, they don’t even have to follow the directions. Just show up to a structure and pay some money. The Goddess challenges us to think. She does not allow complacency. She keeps us on our toes. She does not accept barter, taking a “prayer” for her “favor” rather enlists our help to get off our assess and do it ourselves. She makes our lives into our own “Habitat for Humanity”: She’ll help, but if you want to keep the house, you have to work on it too.
The Goddess empowers, while structured religion de-powers. The Goddess teaches her children to bake while structured religion force feeds its children bread.
We need our common spirituality to continue and grow the tradition of strong, independent minded Goddess loving women. This is the only way to counter the threat of organized patriarchal religion and fight the societal marginalization of our gender. We don’t need big beautiful structures. We need Her Daughters to come together as true community, to support and empower each other. We need to mirror Her to each other, embody her unconditional love and acceptance, in order to prevent Her daughters from returning to the organized church for identity.
We ARE Goddess. We need Her, and Goddess spirituality to remind us of that in a world that wants nothing more than for us to forget.
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