The worship of many Goddesses and Gods preceded monotheistic religion – the worship of one male God. It was a way of understanding life, the characteristics of the earth and the personality archetypes of people.
Spirituality was based in the home, in nature, and community. Myths and stories developed as a way of sharing life lessons, the common pitfalls and signs of what to watch out for. They help make sense of what is happening.
The main religions today emphasise the male, Father God, and our society is still based on patriarchal, hierarchal structures. History classes in school are male-focused. We learn about dominant male leaders and our societal ‘progression’ and ‘development’ that was male led. We learn to be grateful that Feminist Movement offered us equality in this otherwise male dominated world.
Uncovering and exploring the Goddess culture and the early representation of women, we have evidence for, helps us understand what we had before patriarchy came into dominance. The story is unclear, by the time we learnt to write, and recorded history began, much of the Goddess story was left out. The widespread worship of women, the vagina and fertility, in the lens of Victorian archeologists, were labelled and subsequently dismissed as ‘fertility cults’. Evidence was destroyed, damaged, hidden and ridiculed. This still clouds our representation and academic learning today.
Why look to Goddess cultures, female deities honoured past and present?
We can through the evidence of female iconography, stories, myths and traditions, empower our collective story today.
We can relate to the Goddess as:
- Inspiration to empower us, to tune into different emotions with the different archetypes to call upon.
- We can relate to the archetypes of these female forms. Each Goddess offers personified traits that we all possess.
- Our traditional or societal female archetypes – as the mother, the daughter or the grandmother can be useful descriptions, but they all derive their meaning from their relation to other people, and not simply from our own source of personal power.
- We can externalise our weaknesses or fears, in ‘goddess form’, when afraid to look at what we embody or carry within us at different times. This can help us face our fears and say what we need to say, without fear of judgement.
- We can call on our strengths in ‘goddess form’, when we don’t have full belief in ourself. We can feel like we’re gaining superpowers by calling on a warrior, witch or healer as an alter-ego and embody their strength in that moment.
- We may feel limited to labels such as the virgin or the whore in society. Many of the goddess figures are connected and empowered with their own sexuality. it’s our choice to engage with sacred connection, to experience freedom & autonomy in sexuality and partnership.
- The darker aspects of Goddess myth or figures, can be especially helpful when we are struggling in life. We may be at any time, experiencing depression, anxiety, insecurity, feeling stuck or lost, with memories of abuse, trauma or death, and it is valuable to know we are never alone.
- Mythology offers wisdom from generations of women and men who have walked these paths previously and offer guidance, in their message and story.
- Each Goddess, offers a plethora of traits that may be complex and even contradictory – that is because we too hold a wide range of human experience, expression and emotion within us.
- We can discover so much overlap and similarity between Goddess archetypes and stories found around the world. We can explore our rich past, connect to wisdom of equality, the celebration of women and the worship of where life comes from.