Monday, March 14, 2011
I have a long history with feminine Divinity. My first memory of contact with "god" was of crying out in the night and having massive, nurturing arms surrounding me. For the longest time, I thought the term "god" meant that Lady who held me at night. It wasn't until I was 11 or 12 that I realized it was a masculine term, and that confused me. I had no real feminine or female spiritual role models while growing up. My mother was anti-religious and anti-spiritual, and my close family were not really all that religious. My Hungarian grandmother was Catholic, but when she took me to services they were in a language I didn't speak and I had no idea what was going on. It wasn't until I was in my late teens and early 20s that I really began to find female role models in the pagan community in BC. Even then, I was sorely disappointed to discover that many of them had serious feet of clay.
I was taught nothing about the Sacred Mother growing up. In fact, it wasn't until I found Wicca that the term "mother" was anything other than a swear word to me. The only message unspoken about religion (and this was about any religion) was that it was a crutch and those who were religious were deluded fools.
Do your practices include the Mother?
It's hard for me to answer that. I don't believe in an "all encompassing" mother goddess. That said, there are certainly mother goddesses that play strong roles in my personal religious practices. I honor Demeter as the grieving and attentive mother. I honor Hera as the "queen mother" of the gods. Hecate, who is my matron, is sometimes seen as a mother figure depending on how far back you look. She is always the mother to me, though, because it was Hecate who held me all those years ago.
I do use the term goddess, though I don't capitalize it because I know many goddesses and not just one who rules the universe. The term 'goddess' is just a title, a descriptor to explain that a particular Divine Power is feminine in how it shows itself. Why do I use the term? It's a good descriptor - a female divine power. It seems as good a term as any. It's hard sometimes, being with a group of people (in seminary) who believe "all are one" because that is not my belief. Well, not exactly. I believe that the gods are separate entities, unique in their own rights, but that some divine thread joins them all in a way we can't understand. Hence why I use the term "squishy polytheist" when referring to myself.