Worship of the Goddess
edited: Saturday, July 07, 2001
By Catherine C. Chadwick
Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2001
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Worship of the Goddess is a very personal thing. The Goddess will talk to each person, and what is right for one, is not necessarily right for another.
Those who follow the path of the Goddesses may give different answers to the same questions about the goddess that they look to, but the fact remains, they all have the same basic beliefs. Wendy said that the Goddess is what gives her strength, Michelle said that the Goddess provides her energy, and Margaret said that The Goddess helps with decision making. Three answers from three different women, that all say the same thing. Strength and power come from the Goddess.
Goddess worship has been around for as long as humankind had the ability to recognize something outside of themselves. Initially worshipped because of the needfulness of fertility in animals and plant life, which was very much desired by a society, who were primarily hunter/gatherers. Over the course of centuries, the worship of a female goddess changed into the worship of the male god, with the resultant fertility being dropped.
Relegated to a subservient role in much of Europe, during the so-called 'dark ages,' many thousand of women who worshiped the Goddess were burned as
witches. Things have not changed much in the time since men, women and children were tortured, drowned, hung, and burnt. Margaret asked not to be identified by more than her first name since, "I have neighbors who would be happy to reinvent the Salem witch trials." Michelle said, "I avoid talking about my views with people who do not understand." Wendy, while willing to be named, said, "I do not reveal my religious preference unless someone makes an inquiry."
These three women are from different areas of the country, but all feel strongly about the worship of the Goddess. While each has specific rituals and
ceremonies they participate in, they all revere the goddess and nature. Although, one is a Druid and the other two are Wiccan, the difference in what each believes is not great. Wendy explained goddess worship clearly when she said, "It allows me to be natural and connects me directly with the earth." Each woman has specific Goddesses they worship, and the details of each goddess are unimportant. Rather, if we are looking at the big picture, we see three women who revere the mother, the fertility of woman, and the
All three women came to worship the Goddess through a different path. All three recognize the Goddess as the religion of their choice. The reasons they choose to worship the Goddess are as varied as their personalities. One woman interviewed, while claiming she was not a pagan, said she felt drawn to pagan beliefs.
Worship of the Goddess is a very personal thing. The Goddess will talk to each person, and what is right for one, is not necessarily right for another. Each
woman participates in different ceremonies. Michelle preferred to light candles in honor of the moon. Margaret believes that every action, if done correctly, honors the goddess. Wendy, explained the importance of some of the more notable pagan holidays "...Samhain (Oct. 31) to the Spring and Autumn Equinox, to the Summer and Winter solstice."
While no people celebrate in quite the same way, what is certain, is that the Goddess is very real. Her worshipers, while quiet, are slowly growing in number as well as experience. Learning what the Goddess can teach us will enable us to be better caretakers of the earth.