[Editor’s Note: This was first proposed in The Mago Circle, Facebook Group, on March 6, 2014. We have our voices together below and publish them in sequels. It is an ongoing project and we encourage our reader to join us! Submit yours today to Helen Hwang (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or visit and contact someone in Return to Mago’s Partner Organizations.]
Esther Essinger “Why Goddess, when “G*D” is perpetrating so much grief?
1) First, it’s vital to know that Goddess is NOT “G*D” in a skirt. It is demanded of NO one that they “believe” or “have faith”, so there can be no guilt (and no punishment! (No Hell below us, thank you John) in NOT choosing to interest oneself in these particular Stories, myths, legends and tales which center the Cosmic Female, the Universal Mother, Mother Earth /Mother Nature at their core. No evangelism happening here!
2) One of her countless names is “The Lady of Ten Thousand Names”, because human beings, for up to 60,000 years, have celebrated and honored the Female, so diversity and variety are of the essence. The potential healing for our species within this archetype is untold. Girls and women and animals, as well as all our children (and that does include men) of every color, spiritual orientation, shape, size, age, and culture are embraced within the cosmic love and compassion of the Goddess (of this particular, non-mandatory Story). A powerful healing message for us is here. We urgently need to evolve beyond the brain / soul damage of our racism, sexism, and all other ways we devise to hate and destroy each other. The Mother wants her children to be happy. “All acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals.” – Doreen Valiente, “The Charge of the Goddess.”
3) “The Mother of the Animals” is another of her many names. May we learn not to torture and annihilate all the magical creatures – the elephants and dolphins, the serpents and the bees, the butterflies, lions, tigers, horses, cats and dogs who share our Mother Earth with us. May we evolve, and learn to honor them. Marija Gimbutas, UCLA’s great scholar of ancient woman-honoring, egalitarian, and mostly non-violent Goddess cultures, said “The Goddess is first a Healer.”
At this crucial juncture in Ourstory, a Healer of cosmic energy and universal power, who embraces and contains within her being every element of the world that humankind fears, and also manifests the real energies of love and compassion – could really help. IMO. ”
Esther Essinger, California USA
Mary Ann Beavis Goddess is the feminine form of the English word God. If, as many monotheists are happy to concede, God has a “feminine side”, then why the discomfort with calling Her Goddess? Doesn’t God/dess include God? [ ] To elaborate slightly, to acknowledge Goddess is to accept the divinity and power of the female, which is extremely threatening to the assumption of male privilege as enshrined in patriarchal religious traditions.
Mary Ann Beavis, Canada
Lydia Ruyle The world desperately needs Goddess Feminism, Activism and Spirituality in order to change the paradigm and birth a Motherworld. All of us can be the change.
Here are a few suggestions from a crone who has lived nine decades.
Art, symbols, myths, archetypes are a treasure for exploration! All wake you up to the uniqueness of your potential. Each of us has both an artist Goddess and a Medusa within. Finding Her means doing your own work, choosing to explore and expand your horizons. Telling the story of your journey in art, words, movements, workshops triggers self-realization. Finding the Goddess within changes the paradigm without. There are many books and people to help you. Learning from your demons as well as your angels is a sure path. Choose a path with heart and follow your bliss!
Commit / Choose / ACT
Trust the Process
Let Go of the Outcome
Life is a continuous process of creation. YOU give birth to yourself!
YOU are a biological, experiential, intellectual, spiritual co-creator with the Goddess with the choices you make consciously or unconsciously.
Myths and art help you to become conscious of yourself, the creative process and its magic in your life. Your mythic journey to the Goddess begins with asking questions:
Who am I?
Who is the Goddess?
Who are my people?
What myths was I given?
What myths do I choose?
Where am I going?
Who is going with me?
Who are my Angels? Demons?
Why am I here in this time & place?
What is my gift to the world?
Your answers are uniquely your own. Honestly telling your story and sharing it is essential. Listening and honoring the stories of others helps us all become fully conscious humans with compassion.
The creative process is a holy quest. It leads you to your potential whose archetypal symbol is The Goddess!
Enjoy the journey!
Greeley, Colorado, USA
Dave Warren For me it is a drive that comes from someplace that is deep in the Artesian waters of earth, of GAIA and it is the long suppressed and repressed Divine Feminine that might be our only salvation at this point. We have to awaken again to this remembering blood and if we begin to wheel this tipping point in the zeitgeist of the species, the technology, both holistic and engineered will follow. The question and the need for the rebirth of the DF is fundamentally an existential one of human survival.
Dave Warren, Annandale, VA., USA
Wisdom… What do we think of when we use the word wisdom? An old man with a long grey beard and bushy eyebrows sitting on some lonely mountain crag dictating to us some incomprehensible and ultimately unapproachable higher truth? This is not wisdom. Wisdom is a goddess. Wisdom is Sophia, root of the word philosophy, “the love of wisdom”. The masculine image is what has been put into our minds as a way of diverting us from what the truth of wisdom really is. Much as religion has tried to separate us from the feminine, as only a way to put its greedy hand into our pockets.
Michael Brautigan, Sonoma County, California, USA
Andrew Gurevich I am a Goddess Feminist because I understand that we have close to 600,000 years of mythological and sociocultural expression of the sacred feminine archetype (dating back to the Venuses of Tan Tan and of Berekhat Ram). These symbols emerge from the deepest part of our collective psyche and thus express something fundamental about what it means to be human. But these mythological archetypes are not meant to confine us to limited roles within a culture. They are not meant to bind us to the unyielding chains of tradition and hegemony. There is fluidity and permeability with the traditions. There are male gods who exhibit “feminine” qualities. There are female gods of war and conquest. Male gods sometimes give birth. There are androgynous gods and asexual gods. Although certainly related, mythological gender and human gender expression are not the same thing from my perspective. Anymore that linguistic gender and physical gender are.
In other words, the recognition of the sacred feminine principle of “mother” does not suggest that women are only important if they are mothers. Or that all women should be mothers. Or that a woman is only valuable if she produces children for the dominant culture. It simply means that all living humans come from a mother. And to recognize this is a primary manifestation of that which binds us all. Our animality. Our mortality. Birthed through the body of a woman. There is no getting away from this. It is, in fact, the only thing we can all agree upon. So it seems as good a candidate as any from which to build a mythological awareness of our common fragility, connectivity and shared sense of beautiful, terrible becoming. Of our individual and collective emergence.
Or as Dr. Cornel West puts it, “We are beings toward death. Featherless, two-legged, linguistically conscious creatures born between urine and feces, whose body will one day be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms. But in the womb, we are beings introduced to the funk of life and the love push that gets us out. Covered in water and blood. Surrounded in Mother. Pushed into the world by a wave of love, blood and sacrifice.”
Anti-feminist critiques are almost always rooted in pure delusion, myopic renderings of feminist ideology or antiquated versions of the movement that no longer apply across the board. Women have endured male oppression and control for over 8,000 years in an unbroken chain of patriarchal dominance. That is 320 successive generations of limited access to their own self-determination. 320 generations of marital rape and no control over who they have kids with or when they have kids or if they have kids at all. 320 generations of being slapped on the ass at work and being forced to give up their own career dreams and aspirations in order to rear and raise children. 320 generations of gang rape and foot binding and body shaming and eating disorders. Now, for five or six generations, we have a women’s movement that simply says women are not possessions and that they are entitled to the same respect, protection and access that men are. However, they are still not granted this opportunity, safety and access in most of the world. In fact, in the 20th Century alone, more females were murdered worldwide simply for being female than the total number of people killed in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
Goddess feminism allows us to peel back the scales and emerge into the light of our original inheritance. But we emerge not into a world of ecological balance and peaceful equanimity but rather onto the front lines of this several millennia long war on women. I am so honored to be a part of this vital work. I know of no more important work to be doing. And no more honorable people to be doing it alongside.
Andrew Gurevich Portland, OR
We, the co-editors, contributors, and advisers, have started the Mago Web (Cross-cultural Goddess Web) to rekindle old Gynocentric Unity in our time. Now YOU can help us raise this torch high to the Primordial Mountain Home (Our Mother Earth Herself) wherein everyone is embraced in WE. There are many ways to support Return to Mago. You may donate to us. No amount is too small for us. For your time and skill, please email Helen Hwang (email@example.com). Please take an action today and we need that! Thank YOU in Goddesshood of all beings! (Click Donate button below. You can donate by credit card or bank account without registering PayPal. Find “Don’t have a PayPal account?” above the credit card icons.)
- Our Contributors on
- (Poem) Murder of Crows by Majidi Warda on
- (Prose) Tlachtga by Deanne Quarrie on
- (Essay) Memory: Mnemosyne by Susan Hawthorne on
- (Poem) Samhain by Annie Finch on
- (Prose) Transformative / holistic / experiential education by Nane Jordan on
- (Prose) Transformative / holistic / experiential education by Nane Jordan on
- Special Posts on