|painting by Susan Seddon Boulet|
I had a conversation last week with a friend and Tradition-mate. She is a lovely woman whom I enjoy and she is working on a project, a book about the Goddess. The conversation was about my Patroness, Arianrhod. She asked me some truly thought provoking questions about the impact of the Goddess on my life and my work.
The conversation has had the Goddesses foremost in my thoughts this week. And since my last post was about my love for the God, and since today is the one year anniversary of this blog, and because yesterday I was a part of the First Degree Initiation of a woman and coven-mate whom I love and who teaches me always about what it means to be a woman and to walk this path, I feel the desire to write about the many amazing Goddesses that I know and love.
The women in my life are goddesses, priestesses, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. The member of my family who I most wish to emulate is my Nana, my great-grandmother who never owned her own home, taught piano and was disowned by her own mother for marrying a musician. She married for love; she loved us all with a generous heart and a warm and gentle spirit. She was creative and beautiful and though she passed when I was only eight years old, I can remember her like she was with me only yesterday. She is not the one I most take after but she is the one I want to be when I grow up, and I have since I was small.
My daughter and my nieces are beautiful, intelligent and talented young women. They are passionate and curious and powerful. They inspire me. Nurturing them, guiding them and loving them is part of my purpose in this life. But, I also learn from them. Living as an example for them has kept me on my path when it would have been easier to give up, to give in and settle for some half-life without power or joy. I will not do that, for they might someday follow my example.
My daughter has another mother, the one who raised her, and to me she is the goddess as well. She is nurturing and loving, she is accepting and forgiving, and she is generous in her willingness to share our daughter freely with me. We are equally anticipating the birth of our daughter’s first child with great joy. We are expecting the child to be a girl yet we will both welcome and cherish a grandson with equal love and happiness. I have often said that if I were to have chosen a mother for my child, I would have chosen her. It would have been a tragedy if she had not been a mother. And I give thanks that I was granted the gift of knowing my daughter as an adult, and that I was granted a wonderful sister in the bargain.
My own mother is a good woman. She loves her family and they love her. She is not without her shadows and being her only daughter, I am probably more conscious of them than others are but, what I know is that she wants the best for those she loves and we will all behave in ways that will make her happy simply because we desire her happiness. She strives to love the way her God would want her to and she is genuine in her desire to do right. I remember once as a child, we were home alone and young woman was walking past the house obviously distraught. My mother went to speak with her in the street and brought her inside and made tea and let the girl cry at our kitchen table until she was ready to go home. She never knew the woman and I cannot remember anything more about the incident but, I remember my mother’s hospitality. My mother’s rule is an open door and food (or a bed if that is needed) for anyone who might need it. Not for recognition or reciprocation, but just because it is right.
The women in my coven are beloved to me. They are daughters and sisters and they show me always the amazing beauty and variety of Her many faces. My High Priestess is my friend, my sister and my mentor. I trust her more than any other human being I know. The priestesses and witches of my tradition and those others that I count among my beloveds are each my daughters and sisters and teachers, and some are even my mothers. I give thanks for each of them. Without them I am less and my world is less colorful, less bright, less beautiful.
I have loved the Goddess since I was a small child, the Goddesses I read about in the stories of Ruth and Ester from the Old Testament, the story of Demeter and Persephone from my storybooks, the stories of queens and princesses and faeries. I still have the baby-doll I was given before I was two years old; I have always been a mother. I remember meeting Grandmother Spider when I was nine or ten on an overnight trip with the Girl-Scouts. I remember meeting Artemis-Diana when I was about fifteen and writing poems to her to express my love for her. And twenty years ago I met the Goddess who would become my Patroness, Arianrhod, my Goddess of the Moon and the Stars, my Queen and the Weaver of my Fate and Destiny, my Goddess of Sovereignty.
I have read the stories of many Goddesses since then and met and worked with some of them. Bloudwydd the Flower-Bride and Owl-Goddess, Rhiannon, the Faerie-Bride, Horse-Goddess, Great Queen and Mother, Cerridwen the Initiator, Shape-Shifter and Mother, Gwynwfar and Morganna, Brighid, Goddess of poets, healers and smiths and the Patroness of my beloved Moonfire, and Kali-Ma, the Dark Mother and destroyer who will cull from my life that which is unhealthy for me so that new life may take hold and I may grow strong and new.
All of these Goddesses teach me and they are each welcome in my life at anytime they choose.
I Give thanks for each one of these, my Goddesses, the Human ones and the Non-Human. May I serve them with love, honor and grace and may they bless me with their wisdom, guidance and council. Blessed Be.