I AM the Goddess by Dana Croy
“I am the Goddess, I am the Mother, all acts of love and pleasure are my ritual.” That is the Goddess chant I sang to my boyfriend, now my husband, after my first women’s retreat in 1998. Filled with the energy of the Divine Feminine, my world opened to a vast understanding of women’s roles throughout history, an understanding that I had “known” within me, but that had been portrayed by those writing the stories in a very different light. When I stepped through that door - that door that seems so dark to so many women - the light shone in a different way. New music came before me, new books, new ideas. I devoured Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves, I purchased a Goddess Chant CD by Shawna Carol and I began looking for the feminine in the world around me. I did not have try very hard.
She is there. She is with us. She always has been. But, she has been cast into darkness for thousands of years. Now, cracks are opening and the light is pouring out. There have always been stories and indeed real women who have lit the way. There are the mythological goddesses of old, Ishtar from ancient Mesopotamia; Vesta from Rome; Danu from the Celts. And, there are women who lived and breathed who have carried this energy such as the Mary’s of Biblical times, Hildegard von Bingen (an 11th century Abbess) to Starhawk (a modern day revivalist of the Goddess traditions) . These are women who have been the examples and lit the way for those who followed.
In my own life, I am fortunate to have several Crones who share friendship with me who were doing this work, this work of the Goddess for 30 and 40 years. They have shared their wisdom and teachings, their love of crystals, their methods of healing, their songs, their stories, their truths about the Divine Feminine with all who were willing to listen. But, unlike the Starhawks and Dr. Estes, many of these women in my life, though shining the light in their circles, have sat in darkness in regards to the greater world. They have been beacons on rocky shores and in turbulent waters to those of use of newer generations who were ready to take on the mantle and step fully into the Light, yet their circles were secret and hidden.
For those of you reading this in that generation who have long held the light, the Crones among us, thank you. For those of you who, like me, were born an Indigo (initially thought to be born in the 1980’s, but since recognized as coming in as early as the late 60’s), we have walked our path and beat our drums more openly and get to witness a new generation of girls and women embracing their highest selves and the wisdom that the path of Sophia, the Shekinah energy, has to offer. I am a mother, the mother incarnate, as we all are and last week I had the joy of watching my daughter, my little girl, step into Maidenhood and become (in her words) “a lady”, though she now says “Maiden”.
I have never hidden my path and my study of the Divine Feminine. This energy has been shared with many people I have come in contact with. But, this knowledge has become important to me in a way that it never has before. Now, I am tasked with holding the light for my daughter and teaching her to stand in that energy - not a feminist energy, this anger surging through our society, though that is certainly part of it as she is coming through the masses after thousands of years of being pushed further and further into the shadows. I am teaching my daughter to find that deep knowing within that surpasses what we are experiencing in the physical and to know the Goddess in a deeper way.
In modern Western society, many of us did not grow up in homes celebrating women. I was fortunate to grow up the daughter of a man who came from a family of strong women and he never made my sisters and I feel less than. In fact, he taught us from a young age to be self-reliant. Now, in my home, the image of the Goddess has a place that is more than simply teaching our children (a boy and a girl) that there is a place for the feminine in not only our physical world, but in our spiritual traditions. She has shown up on my altar as Diana - my patron Goddess during my time as a Maiden and Mary - who speaks to me as Mother. We have talked openly in our home about her energy and how she has a place in all forms of worship, including Christianity as the Holy Ghost, the Shekinah energy, the feminine aspect of the Trinity.
I cannot only bring these teachings to my daughter. My son, a 16-year old who has long been fascinated and drawn to the Divine, has been taught in subtle ways throughout his life, the way of the feminine so that he can have balance in his own life and in relationships. Many years ago, we chose Waldorf education for our children so that they could be in a learning environment that honors Spirit each day, recognizes the energies of faeries and nature spirits and that would allow them to exist in an environment that where their Mother’s teachings did not seem so strange. Now, he attends a Catholic high school and for our family, the teachings of the Divine Feminine are more important than ever. They have given him both the spiritual and historical knowledge to critically consider the theological teachings presented to him. Recently he said, “My friends grew up to lullabies like Rock a Bye Baby, we have grown up to Who Were the Witches.” (See Resources)
The reason these stories are shared, my story is shared, is to give understanding that our path to the Divine Feminine encompasses our entire life. It is broad - how we present ourselves and the language we use when interacting with the greater world every day, and it is intimate - how we interact with those closest to us - our closest friends, our life partners and for me, most importantly, our children. And, it is personal - how we relate to ourselves, how we see ourselves and how care for ourselves.
If the path of the Divine Feminine, Goddess worship is new to you and you are looking for steps and resources to bring this into your life, continue reading. If you have been on this path and are in a place that I sometimes find myself, needing refreshing and encouragement and reconnecting, continue reading!
Steps to Bringing the Divine Feminine Into Your Life
Ask and listen. Are you tired of being told to listen? My greatest changes in life and when I have made the biggest strides spiritually, professionally, in every way, have been when I have made repeated and sincere appeals to God (as it encompasses all), the Great Mother, Great Spirit [insert your own word when working with the Divine.]
Carve out a sacred space in your home. Your sacred space can be anywhere and can big or small, obvious or more subtle, however, there are recommendations depending on which tradition you follow. I am heavily influenced by Feng Shui teachings and definitely draw upon those for the placement of my altar.
Build your altar. Pinterest has many fantastic images of altars to inspire you!
Choose a piece of furniture where your altar will reside. It can be a low coffee table, or an end table, it can even be a shelf on the wall. My personal preference is a lower piece of furniture where I can sit and meditate. How you will interact with your altar will influence where it sits.
Add a candle. Do not overthink this. Be sure if it is scented it has a pleasing aroma. I do recommend using petroleum free candles such as a soy candle with all cotton wicks to eliminate as many toxins as possible when burning. There are many options for sacred candles that can be found online and local metaphysical stores, maybe even your local health food store.
As you find treasures, such as statuary, incense burners, gongs, crystals, tarot cards, place them on your altar. As you walk this path, these gems will find you. Remember, there is not right or wrong!
Add a journal and a pen. You can journal tomes or you can make simple notes as things come to you or write down vivid dreams. (When you are working with the Divine you are often visited in your dreams with messages.)
Find a time to visit your altar, light your candle and ask and listen. You can do this daily or weekly, however, tending regularly to this altar will reap great results. Try to light the candle daily when you are home to stay in the flow of this work.
Go to the mountain.
This is what I call the true work that we must embark on when creating a truly meaningful spiritual path. If at all possible, find a mentor or a circle of women. Though I prefer in-person work, it may be best that an online group works best for your needs. (See Resources).
Read, Research, Internalize. Below is a list of resources that I have found helpful through the years. These are books, CD’s, websites, courses. Only one of these is not one I have personally utilized, but know many others who have.
Practice. (See number 4)
The Divine Feminine is all around us. It is in literature, artwork, mythologies, stories, architecture and every aspect of life. There is no right or wrong in how to embrace this into your life, however, there are markers for those who look that have been shared with us through thousands of years. Will you invite her into your life today?