Essays on the Goddess
During the Third Spiral of the Priestess of Avalon training in Glastonbury, taught by Priestess of Avalon, Kathy Jones, students are asked to write an essay on their understanding of the relationship between modern day Goddess Spirituality and its roots in ancient Goddess cultures.
In the present time awareness of Goddess is spreading across the world from woman to woman, country to country, rooted in our individual experiences of Goddess and through re-membering who She is in different places in the world. Many are researching their own Goddesses in their own lands, bringing Her back from a name in a story, the finding of a Goddess figurine, or the archaeological remains of ancient Goddess Temples, to a present day reality.
Here are some of the essays which have been written on this subject by our priestesses. Some essays are more personal and some more research based. They all introduce us to re-membered Goddesses which priestesses are beginning to reclaim for themselves and for us. English is not the first language for some of our writers, so leeway must be given for this in reading the gems that are hidden within the writing.
The essays are alphabetically sorted by first names – click on a name to reveal the whole essay.
As a Priest and Man, I worship the Great Goddess, She who is One and Many, immanent and transcendent, personal and impersonal, immutable and changeable, local and universal, within and without all creation, manifesting Herself through Nature, the landscape, the cycle of seasons, the wheel of the year.
Present day and the Divine Feminine is birthing once more upon our world and within me.
Her consciousness emerges from women and men waking up to Her presence within their hearts and souls. Her children awaken once more rebirthing the Mother bringing Her forth to be seen and experienced.
In the beginning was Hel, She was the primal Mother Goddess of life and death up in the North of Norway when the Ice covered Scandinavia, British Island and part of North Europe. Because of the warmth in the Gulfstream – (Waves of Eli) it was a place of abundance of animals. In Lofoten 1994 they found a skeleton from an Icebear and another bear who was 55,000 and 22,000 years old! (kol.14 method) Inside this area, with the big Ice around lived the Fosna people in 15,000 years.
For most of my life I have carried a feeling, an inner knowing, an ancient memory of myself as a priestess. It has been in my body, in my bones, a deep knowing, a deep remembering. When I visited temples in Greece as a much younger woman I knew I had been there before. When I met my first spiritual teacher in my early twenties we both had memories of priestessing together in another time.
I have always been really intrigued about language and the origin of words. And of course since I am reconnecting with Goddess, I also became more aware of where I find Goddess hidden in my surrounding. It was such an amazing feeling when I found a relic of the Matronen chiselled in stone in my hometown`s museum last year. The stone shows a group of three women, representing the maiden, mother and crone.
Until very recently, I had always thought of the roots of Goddess spirituality as based solely in the ancient past. I believed it was the work of devotees of the Goddess (pagans, priestesses, Wiccans, etc.) to piece together the fragments of a noble, resplendent past in order to create a practicable tradition for modern times – and that even though we could never hope to recapture the Golden Age of the ancient Goddess cultures, we could stitch together a workable spiritual system, like a lovely patchwork quilt to keep us warm in the drafty modern world of rationalism and materialist thought.
In the north Freja is the great Goddess of birth, destiny, shamanism, magick and death (as an example: of those who died in war, Freja´s valkyrias chose the beautiful ones to live in the afterlife at Freja’s halls; the others would stay in Odin’s hall), as well as the Goddess of love, the Moon, Heaven and Earth. She holds Her hand all transitions in, between and beyond Life.
I know that she exists because she expresses her nature to me in so many ways. I only need to step outside of my front door and I see her nature unfolded before me. Even though I live in a busy coastal town, I feel the changing of the seasons, the rhythm of the days, the cycle of the moon. I could choose to ignore Her nature but by opening my eyes I see it unfold around me daily. I take the time to be with Her.
Geographically Glastonbury is in truth an island. Until the land was drained it would only have been accessible by boat, the land being boggy salt marshes. Recent flooding has shown the real nature of the levels, as unattended drainage systems and heavy rainfalls allowed the land to default to its former condition.
Something is stirring deep within Earth. She is consciously and continuously giving birth to All Life Forms. Some of us became aware of that stirring – a vibration not physically felt but known deep within as we started to understand that we walked upon Her sacred body. Many of us got this awareness already as young children.
Being Her priestess isn’t a self-development journey. It’s an awakening to my soul. It’s a much deeper kind of empowerment to simply finding more confidence. It’s true I’ve learned many new skills. It’s true I’ve become more assertive. And yet on so many journeys I’ve become strong enough to face the world whilst remaining confused and lost inside, and not really strong at all, but brave yes.
I have long been fascinated with The Holy Grail, long before I had consciously been introduced to The Lady of Avalon. It was with great intrigue and surprise, although, I’m not sure why, that there, in a verse of my song to the Lady I sing every day, it is, unabashed, mysterious and without a hint of a cover up:
The day Goddess movement as we know it is a vibrant, modern group of people who wear female spirituality as if it was a well fitting, elegant tank top. We live the Wheel of the Year, combined with full busy lives. Yet, the deeper meaning behind the Goddess movement isn’t modern at all. It reflects an image that has deep and old roots in history.
It is my belief and understanding that the indigenous tribes of this Earth that hold the key to ancient roots of Goddess culture that our modern Goddess Spirituality is based. For thousands of years, through the Ages from the beginning of the human race, people lived, loved and honoured the land they were blessed with living upon. The Earth was held as sacred and honoured and revered as the feminine aspect of nature.
“Go on; take a look behind you, over your shoulder to all the women of spirit that have gone before you. Reach out your hand and link hands back in time. How far back does the chain go? You can link hands with the women who first came out of their caves and voiced their feelings to the moon. Take a journey with those earliest women of memory, forward through time to where you stand now.”
Ancient roots of Goddess culture go back into the mists of time. Despite patriarchy that took over many cultures around the beginning of the bronze age, the existence of Goddess could not be completely eradicated. No wonder. From archeological digs, we are discovering that the time of the Goddess may go back not just 40,000 years, but much longer into the human past.