by: Genie Webster
Before I get into my definition of “goddess” (with a small “g”), I offer my personal view on the Goddess (with a capital “G”). Metaphorically, the Great Goddess is a co-creator with God. Together they form the One, the creative essence of all life.
For purposes of illustration, I will call God (as we know “him”) Father Sky, and I will call the Great Goddess Mother Earth. Many, many thousands of years ago the Earth Goddess was worshiped and honored. Ultimately, the world view has become unbalanced, and the Earth Goddess has been put aside and hidden from our collective psyche. As we are aware, the lopsided view of the Sky God became an excuse for raping the earth, dominating women and weaker nations, and keeping the common people in ignorance by discouraging inner knowing and by punishing questioners of authority. Even the Sky God’s churches are phallic symbols reaching towards the sky.
The Earth Goddess rules intuition, while the Sky God rules the intellect. Together they create a balance. The Earth Goddess rules birth and creativity, while the Sky God rules structure and forward action. Together they create balance. The Earth Goddess rules water and earth, while the Sky God rules air and fire. Together they create balanced life.
When I speak of a goddess with a small “g,” I speak of an earthly representative of the Great Goddess. I speak of someone who teaches us about the Great Goddess, just by virtue of their being. I don’t merely believe — I know that bringing back the essence of the Goddess is not only important — it is essential in turning around our world situation.
Bringing attention to goddess-like women and their visions — through their work and their art — will help expand the consciousness of our society at large. It is an activity with consequence.
There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding around the word goddess, when it is used to describe a mortal woman. Some people automatically think of sex goddesses designed by men — tall, buxom blondes in high heels and lingerie. Other people assume that all goddesses participate in pagan rituals. Other people think that the description is pompous, and that the word “goddess” conjures up images of self-aggrandized women who put themselves up on pedestals, a notch above ordinary women.
To help clarify the vision for all those who may want to help promote this concept of bringing back the Goddess, here is what “goddess” means, when used to describe a mortal woman. No goddess-like woman (hereinafter referred to as goddess) is perfect, nor can every goddess demonstrate all of these qualities all of the time. But a goddess demonstrates most of these qualities most of the time:
A goddess invents her own life, and lives according to her own vision. This quality requires the companion qualities of imagination and courage.
A goddess is autonomous. She seeks no one’s approval, but listens to her own counsel. She answers to no one. She does not try to impress anyone. Her work speaks for itself. She never makes excuses and rarely offers explanations for her actions. She is not defensive for she is not threatened by what other people may think of her. She is the queen of her own life and this is reflected in her demeanor.
A goddess is passionate (not to be confused with manic). She has a palpable energy and enthusiasm that is contagious and beneficial to those around her. In esoteric terms, she raises the vibration in a group situation.
She inspires others.
A goddess is continually learning and evolving.
A goddess is authentic. The mask she presents to the outside world is the same as her innermost heart. She has learned to express her emotions cleanly and healthily. What you see is what you get. A goddess knows her own truth. She does not impose her truth on others, but will share her wisdom when invited to.
A goddess takes care of herself. She does not expect others to take care of her. She treats herself as well as she would treat her best friend. She is compassionate and forgiving with herself and others. She gets enough rest and gives her body the right fuel — both in oxygen and in food and water.
She knows what she needs.
She feeds her soul.
A goddess is committed to healing the earth and works towards peace and understanding — whether it is on a large scale or simply within her family and closest circle of friends. She contributes to cleaning up the environment and teaches the next generation to do likewise.
A goddess sees her body (and the earth) as sacred, and is in tune with natural cycles. She is comfortable with her sexuality. A goddess has learned balance and patience. Flow and ebb. Waxing and waning. A goddess does not freak out during ebb or waning times.
She uses it wisely for rest, reflection, and planning. A goddess has learned to trust her intuition and inner knowing. She has learned to tap into this source at will.
A goddess has learned to let go of the need to control the flow of the river. She has discovered the futility of trying too hard. She has learned to ride the wave and go with the flow, to ask for and accept help when required. She is flexible, fluid, and adaptable. She has given up the need to control or manipulate. She does not pout or whine when she does not get her way.
A goddess communicates her boundaries. She is gentle but firm when her boundaries are violated. She respects others’ boundaries. She asks for clarification when necessary.
A goddess recognizes and honors other goddesses and gods. She lends her support to the work of other god/desses. She does not feel competitive or threatened by other goddesses and understands that what is good for one is good for all, and that when one shines, the light benefits all.
A goddess knows how to share and is generous of spirit, but she knows her limitations and does not give more than what she can afford — emotionally, financially, physically, or energy-wise.
A goddess’s natural state is one of joy and gratitude. She is also at home with her shadow, and will honestly mourn her losses and explore her fears. She understands that everyone experiences pain — it is part of life on earth. Therefore she works through her own pain with courage and dignity, not trying to sidestep it, or numb it, but to get through it and learn from it.
A goddess is comfortable with death, and has learned to let go…. of relationships, concepts, and material possessions that are worn out, or that no longer serve her growth.
This is the Goddesspell according to Genie.
So be it.
By Maya Angelou