Goddesses in the New Year

purple shadowy goddess

Hi there, I’m back to welcome the new year after another several-month hiatus.  I’ve decided I want to try something a little bit different with this blog this year, and it’s feeling scary. I want to continue to write about personal and feminist things, but I want to do so in the context of focusing on a different goddess each month. Eek! Did I really say that? I feel silly talking about goddesses. I feel new-agey, floofy, and flighty – like a person who can’t be taken seriously.

But I want so desperately to be taken seriously – especially as I try to get to know new people in a brand new place. So what do I talk about when I meet knew people? I don’t like defining myself by the part-time job I happen to have, and it feels too vulnerable to go into the soul searching I’ve done about my career path since my Mom’s death. I’ve also gathered it’s not really normal cocktail conversation to talk about the hard emotional work I’m doing in therapy to uncover and work through old patterns, so I can be feel more grounded, happy, and whole.  And yet another conversation topic that seems off-limits is my quest to find spiritual practices and representations of the divine feminine that help me find connection, peace, and meaning in life.  Cause that just sounds weird. Right?

Or so I’ve been telling myself. But I think I’m ready for a change. As I continue to grow and radically accept myself, I’m feeling more ready to share my authentic self with the world, and let my light shine. Through my ongoing grief journey, and all the changes of 2013, I’ve had to withdraw and protect my inner light, but I’m now at a turning point. I want 2014 to be a year of opening up. In order for that to happen I have to recognize all this nonsense I’ve been telling myself – about goddesses being silly and unworthy for exploration or discussion – is just that: nonsense. These messages are the product of patriarchal propaganda that’s been trying to diminish goddesses for millennia. But If I think it’s worth restoring their buried stories and practices, I have to trust that it’s worth talking about this passion with other people.

So that leads me to more scary steps: committing to a plan of studying and honoring goddesses. What if I don’t know how to do it? What do I really know about goddesses anyway? Well, I remind myself, I have actually read a bit about goddesses over the past several years (including The Alphabet vs. The Goddess, Gyn/Ecology, Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God, and I’m now reading Goddesses in Everywoman and Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine). Okay, but what I’ve struggled with is putting my intellectual knowledge into spiritual practice. I want to use this new blog format as a way to hold myself accountable for actually doing things: for example, meditation, rituals, setting intentions, and reflecting on how goddess stories can shine light on my personal journey and our current culture.

But I’m still scared. What if I screw it up, or I don’t stick to it? Well, I just have to let go of the details, set things in motion, and trust the process. Not easy for me! But that’s just what I did last night with my new goddess oracle cards that I bought at a metaphysical store that I happened to stumble upon in Sarasota yesterday. It’s a deck of 44 cards with an image and brief description of a different goddess from around the world on each card. My dear friend Rachel introduced me to these cards a few years ago, and I was excited to try with my own deck. Still not knowing how much I believe in the actual power the cards are supposed to have, I tried a few readings for myself according to the instructions in the booklet. Well, three different times, I drew the card for Yemanya, a goddess I’d never heard of. I drew other cards as well, but she was the only one who repeated, so it seemed like I should pay attention. I’d thought I’d be more drawn to Greek or Celtic goddesses, since I’m a little more familiar with them. But the card said Yemanya is an African and Brazilian goddess of the sea and represents “golden opportunity.” The message from Yemanya is to go with the flow of opportunities presenting themselves, to jump on them, and not worry if you have what it takes – because you do. Wow. To receive that message, three times, in the midst of all my worry about starting this blog concept, seemed a clear sign for me to move forward, and to focus on Yemanya this month!

So, here I go. Next week I’ll write about what I find out about Yemanya’s mythology and how people have traditionally worshipped her, and whatever that inspires in my practice. This all still feels a little scary, but it feels exciting too. It feels good to trust this process and trust myself. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

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4 thoughts on “Goddesses in the New Year

  1. Kelly says:

    I love this – the inner discourse about what the cocktail conversation means. I do it. I suppose everyone does but it seems at the time like everyone else feels completely authentic and I am th eonly one in the room playing a part. “Hi, I am a part-time tech writer?” Nope. That doesn’t work. “Hi, I have two kids and quit my job to stay at home.” Nope, the kids don’t define me even if they do take up a tremendous amount of my time. Umm…. athletic endeavors, nope, that sounds braggy and weird. I have struggled with this part, the introduction in the last year and I have been trying a new thing. I just say “Hi, I’m Kelly” and I stand there awkwardly and let the other person talk. It’s an interesting experiment. You can’t try it with me or we will both just stand there awkwardly in a not-talking standoff but I suggest you try it somewhere. 🙂 Happy to have found you here in BlogLand and in the real world (if you can call UUCH the Real World.)

    • Kelly, thank you for this! I agree – I have to remind myself that everyone feels varying degrees of awkwardness and shyness about sharing their authentic selves. I want to think of more interesting, oddball, deep questions to ask in these situations instead of “What do you do?” Maybe for a future post! Looking forward to sharing more online & in person as well…

  2. I really resonated with your description of talking about goddesses – as it makes you seem silly, flightly, new agey and weird. I have literally used some of the same words to describe myself as I’ve diverged from mainstream belief systems to find a spiritual perspective that truly resonates with my soul. I absolutely agree that those judgmental words stem from a patriarchal culture that will only approve of patriarchal religions, be they Christianity, Judaism, Science, Materialism, etc. This exploration that you have embarked on is SO important for you, for women, for men and for the planet. I’m excited to learn from you. And it’s pretty cool that you drew the Yemanya card 3 times. A clear sign indeed!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for this comment! I do think lots of people are having similar journeys, and yet it still takes courage to share, when we’ve been so conditioned by the systems we’ve been raised with. Glad to hear about your journey as well.

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