Sunday, May 03, 2009

Praying TO GODDESS?

Anyone wanna take a stab at answering a friend of mine?

"I'm reading [Switching to Goddess].... One thing that occurs to me is that many of the people you are apparently addressing, i.e., religious people who are slave to male god concepts, hold very dear the idea of personally communing with God by means of prayer.

"Almost all the religious people I know (i.e., the two or three) plus my own memories, involve prayer. I find the goddess or pagan religions don't emphasize this much. In Spiral Dance, is that the Starhawk?, anyway I recall reading lots about ceremony and ritual, but not about prayer.

"So the question is, in what manner does one access the goddess? Is it largely an intellectual idea, or is there an analog to Christian prayer? How human is the goddess?"

7 comments:

Paul said...

Prayer is a deeply personal thing between one's heart and the Goddesses in one's life. Prayer is not intellectual, indeed prayer involves placing the head in the heart and being open to other.

Personally I believe story and myth are powerful anchors for prayer. Just as a Christian may read the stories that abound around saints and then pray to a saint noted for her or his efficacy in a particular need, so I pray to those Goddesses whose stories touch me.

Brighid is a Goddess of the hearth and the home, of inspiration and craft, of childbirth. So it is appropriate to place my home, my art, my job, my children in Her care. To speak to Her about these things often. To invite Her to be present in my home, to bless all who cross the threshold, to protect the hearth.

Rhiannon is a Goddess of love and passion. So it is appropriate to speak to Her about the beautiful life I have with my partner and invite Her to bless our love and our union.

Cerridwen is a Goddess of wisdom and the movement from life to tomb. So it is appropriate to speak to Her about the wisdom of the grandmothers and to commend the dying and dead to Her.

And so it goes with other Goddesses.

Take time every day to descend into stillness with a Goddess who speaks to you that day. In the stillness listen to Her in your heart and speak simply to Her of your life. Light a candle, make an offering of food and wine or fragrant oil, or flowers or incense.

For me prayer in the Goddess tradition is offered in the temples of the heart and of the home at the altar of the hearth.

This can be deepened and enriched by visits to a Goddess Temple if there is one near to you.

It can also be deepened and enriched by taking time as a pilgrim to those beautiful powerful liminal places that are all over the land. Sacred springs and wells, standing stones, enchanted glades, fairy steps, sacred rivers...

Once you begin the prayer will deepen and the relationships become a real part of everyday life. To live in the Goddess is to be a person of prayer, open to magic and mystery and beauty and truth and love.

Goddess blessings

Athana said...

Paul, Goddess blessings to you too. Your explanation of prayer in your life is both moving and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

Love,
Athana

Paul said...

Thanks Athana.

If it is not too much may I just add another personal reflection?

Whilst prayer is very much part of my relationship with the Goddesses, worship is not. Here I think is a very big difference to patristic faith.

In my experience none of the Goddesses to whom I pray are in any sense potentates who demand worship or are, in the words of a hymn from my childhood, "Immortal, invisible, God only wise in light inaccessible hid from my eyes."

The very idea of a jealous deity who demands worship and behaves like King Henry the 8th, threatening to hang, draw and quarter any who do not offer total loyalty is enough to make me say, no way!

Like a good mother the Goddesses are always there when needed, love you to talk to them, love you to give them little gifts. And love you just as you are. They are companions in the simple everyday things of life.

In other words the relationship with Goddesses in prayer is a totally healthy loving relationship, devoid of compulsion or guilt of any kind.

This, to me, is so important that I often find it hard to understand why so many carry on the patristic paradigm of worship.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Paul's pretty much nailed it, I think-beautiful words, Paul!

I can only add froom my own experience, and agreeing that worship never figures as such, that you come to recognise yourself as aspects of Her, and Her as aspects of yourself,of Ourselves if you will.
Involvement with the Goddess is so highly personal, in my opinion, as to render the idea of 'a personal friend in Jesus' a pale shadow of what living with Divinity actually is.

Love,
Terri in Joburg

Athana said...

Terri, I agree. I don't know how anyone's relationship with Jesus could be as powerful (wish I had a better word) as a relationship with Goddess. For starters, the Goddess literally surrounds us (as the earth, wind, trees, etc.), while Jesus is far removed in heaven. Goddess is tangible, matter we can see, hear, smell, feel, touch. Jesus on the other hand is just an abstract idea.

Morgaine said...

We pray all the time - if the books don't mention it, it's because it's second nature to us - it's as automatic as breathing.

I have a constant internal conversation with Goddess. She's omnipresent - you don't have to "access Her" because we ARE Her. You're a part of Her. She knows everything you know. Ask a question and She'll provide an answer. Send love and protection to others and She'll see it comes back to you.

Syl said...

Goddess prayers can be found at
www.SpiralGoddess.com/Homage.html

and InterFaith Prayers can be found at www.SpiralGoddess.com/InterFaith_Prayrs.html

Goddess Blessings,
Abby