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December 12th, 2008

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10:56 am - my mother moon

Hi. I've been looking for a place to discuss spirituality and the goddess, so this looks like a good place to begin.

I grew up in a very christian home (protestant, strongly charismatic/evangelical), where of course the female side of god is not talked about. They may say god is gender neutral, or throw out a few passages about the nurturing side of god, but it is all 'He He He.'

One night about ten years ago I was talking a walk down a lonely highway, away from all lights and noise, out in the country. I looked up at the moon and was so overwhelmed I actually knelt down and promised to serve it. 'Her' hadn't entered my thoughts yet, but ever since then I've been magnetized to the moon. I have never really told anyone about this experience, christians like to talk about moon worship as a horrible ancient practice (along with all the other bad gods they demolished), so I felt that I had done something secretly wrong but unavoidable. She's the Goddess, I couldn't help it. It was a connection I desperately needed at that time, although I barely understood why I did it then.

After trying to stick it out with christianity for about five more years, trying to be good enough, I finally began to let go and allow myself to be different and to leave it. I found a book called The Dance of the Dissonant Daughter, by Sue Monk Kidd, that cemented (and well, plain allowed) my commitment to the goddess. (Kidd was a southern Baptist who began to clue into a more feminine spirituality through her writing of The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair and now incorporates Mary and other goddesses into her spirituality) 

Now I pray to the goddess, but at the same time, I often feel far from her. My own relationship with my mother has been difficult, with abuse and codependency. I want a loving mother but can hardly even begin to imagine one for myself, or allow myself to experience a true mother's love. I don't know how to feel safe in such a relationship. (and I certainly don't feel safe with the notion of an all male 'father god' either!! My family's version of christianity was all about giving myself away to prove my spiritual devotion and never feeling good enough) Diana is the goddess I love, but she seems cold.

I have not explored any formal types of goddess worship, such as wicca (past reading the wikipedia page!), I find any religion or set of beliefs at this point too overwhelming. I want it to be personal. I'm can be pretty common sense so I'm not too into things that make me feel ridiculous (case in point, look at charismatic church services!), I just want to feel a connection to the divine, to feel loved and accepted. By the mother goddess, by someone who acknowledges my unique femininess and power. I suppose my creativity and sexuality are also close to the heart of this issue.

Thanks for listening. (encouragement or ideas are certainly welcome, I don't know very much about any of this!) xx

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[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)

Kudos for reaching out and choosing to be what feels right to you. I also came from a fairly strict Christian background (Catholic, in my case) and even though I started studying various kinds of esoterica when I was sixteen, it took me until I was almost twenty-one to get up the courage to openly identify as a Pagan and Goddess-worshipper. I remember what a huge and terrifying step that was to take, so I really do commend you on it.

There are many Goddess paths that are very formal and ceremonial, it's true, but I think you'll find that the reason that nature/Goddess spirituality types are so largely unorganized as a whole (compared to religions like Christianity, Judaism, even Buddhism or Hindu) is that an awful lot of people do exactly what you are doing-- commune with the Divine mostly on their own, quietly, in the way that feels right to them, without any particular tradition around it.

Even though I do a lot of ritual work and more formal things like that, many of my own practices are private, spontaneous, and unrehearsed. Like there's a camp where the festivals I teach at are held, and it has a labyrinth in a forest glade. Whenever I'm there, I almost always go to the labyrinth on a moonlit night to walk it and sing or chant or say beads or do whatever feels right in that moment.

Some books I would recommend would be Dion Fortune's novels, which seem to be deeply meaningful for a lot of people; or Spiral Dance by Starhawk, which was my introduction to Goddess worship and seems to resonate deeply with a LOT of people coming from Christianity. You might also find the magazine SageWoman inspirational; the articles in it usually just overflow with the authors' love of the Goddess they're writing about, and it's a good model for understanding a safe, loving Mother relationship.

I remember also feeling for a long time like the Divine that I longed for was very remote; it took a little while, but I eventually discovered the kind of loving, warm connection you describe seeking. For me, it came through experiences with nurturing women at Pagan events who-- without even knowing they were doing it-- channeled Goddess energy in their interactions with me and affected me profoundly. What you seek will come to you, even if it takes time. In the meantime, I found the "Desiderata" and, actually (even though I'm not Wiccan) the Charge of the Goddess to be of great comfort.

You might also read some of the Gnostic literature about Mary Magdalene. Maybe it won't resonate with you at all, but She profoundly affects me, and in a way provides sort of a bridge from Christianity to Goddess worship.

Many blessings on your path!

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