I am the star that rises from the twilight sea.
I bring men dreams to rule their destiny.
I am the eternal Woman; I am She!
The tides of all souls belong to me-
Touch of my hand confers polarity-
These are the moontides, these belong to me.
— Dion Fortune, “Charge of the Moon Goddess”
In the Beginning …
In the Beginning the Goddess blessed the earth and enjoined Her children to look to the heavens. Where there was darkness the Spirit of the Goddess moved across the face of the sky, earth and waters. For three weeks, She created and in the fourth week She rested, relishing her endeavors.
The Goddess’s benediction to her beloved gifted them with the Light of Knowledge and Wonder. The Goddess guided Her children through a 25,000-year epoch of peace, in harmony with their mother earth, their sister moon and with each other.
The worship of the Great Mother Goddess was an elemental aspect of primordial tribal culture. Goddess worship was global, ranging from the aboriginal tribes of Australia and Africa through the Indian sub-continent, Asia Minor, and China to the southern steps of Russia. The Great Goddess held sway over the Mediterranean peoples of both Europe and the Middle East. Respect of nature and maintaining harmony with mother earth’s life force was a founding tenet of Matriarchal Goddess worship.
Veneration of the Goddess is the reconciliation of opposites. She represents both darkness and light. Her followers accepted death as the final blessing, as natural as the passage of day into the night. The universal feminine sought balance through the integration of the celestial cycle and the seasonal rhythm of mother earth. And when loving daughters of the Goddess honored Her sacred cycle they were blessed with good health, a productive life and inner peace.
In China the Goddess is called Kwan Yin. The peoples of Egypt prayed to Isis. The Navajo call Her Changing Woman. The Greeks asked the blessings of Gaia, and to tribes of Africa She was Yemanja. As Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, She proclaimed: “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.” Ishtar is the immortal lover who eagerly anticipates bestowing Her favor on the mortal man brave enough to risk Her caress.
The Goddess is loved but never possessed, She belongs only to Herself. She is Parthenos, the eternal. She gave both wisdom and death as the ancient Crone Hecate.
In all parts of the ancient world, the Goddess is depicted through allegorical images such as the Tree of Life, the Sacred Serpent, the Labyrinth and the Bull’s Head. Marija Gimbutas, in her 1991 book, The Civilization of the Goddess, pointed out that the shape of the bull’s head is exactly the same anatomically as a woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes and that the ancient women clearly knew this. The sacred Mysteries of the eternal Goddess were a foundational, yet unacknowledged basis for successive religions.
Excerpted with permission:
Goddess of Wonder, Goddess of Light, by Leslie C. Botha and H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik, 2004 Pleiades Publishing, ISBN 0-9716968-1-0