The Great Goddess : Celebrating
Our Divine Mother
by Rev. Laurie Sue
"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
-- From A Goddess Is A Girl's Best Friend
(Perigee Books, December 2002)
As we stand poised on the threshold of a changing world this Mother's Day, 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.
many historians and archeologists place the heyday of Goddess worship 35,000 to 5,000 years
ago, the feminine divine was actively worshipped in some cultures just 2000 years ago.
pharaoh Cleopatra worshipped mother Goddess Isis, and saw herself as a divine female in human
form - only 36 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Her beloved Julius Caesar, during his
rein, erected temples to the Roman Goddess Venus, paying tribute to her as both a love Goddess
and a mother Goddess, known as Venus Genetrix.
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.
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
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
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
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,
|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 2004, Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, an interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding officiant,
is author of A Goddess Is A Girl's Best Friend: A Divine Guide To Finding Love,
Success and Happiness (Perigee Books, December 2002). For more information, www.GoddessFriends.com.
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Interfaith Minister/Wedding Officiant
Contemporary, Creative and Loving Ceremonies
Selected Manhattan's Best Wedding Ceremony Provider 2003