Monday, December 13, 2010

Finding the Goddess

I'm starting to read the book "When God Was a Woman." I picked it up from D.I. and its exciting to me to once again pursue my interested in the Goddess. In high school, before I started investigating the LDS church, I was interested in learning about a Deity with whom I shared the same gender. At the time, I rejected Goddess worship because I felt the Male was marginalized. Choosing to worship her would have been no better than what obviously happened at some point in history, there was a choice to put one before the other. All I wanted was to find a tradition where both Male and Female were valued together where they ruled and reigned together in perfect balance.

To be honest, the closest I have come to finding that in the LDS Church. Mormons at least believe that a Mother in Heaven exists, even if she is marginalized and preference is given to God the Father. The potential is there, however, for both to be found together and honored together. Unfortunately, it requires some pretty independent thinking to appreciate that union. In my experiences as a Mormon, I have come to know my Heavenly Father very well and love him deeply. As I ponder on my Mother in Heaven, I am led to believe that all along She too has heard my prayers and though they may have been directed to Her husband, that She has heard all those prayers, been an active player in the answers I've received and the divine guidance given me. In short, I feel She has loved me too. I can envision her side by side my Father in Heaven, counseling with him in how to minister to me and in whatever way she can giving me all I need.

So, how then did she get so hidden from us? How is that she can be one of the active listeners to our prayers but the world over few know she is listening?

I learned from "When God Was a Woman" that early peoples of the earth did not know that sexual intercourse between a man and woman led to the production of off-spring. They thought that woman was magic; that somehow she created a child within her body, grew it and then birthed it. Man was marginalized in the society. His equal role was not recognized or understood. Because woman was seen to be the Creator, the deity worshipped was woman. Man was left out entirely. Women today know what that is like so its relatively easy to be sympathetic.

So from long ago, the people of the earth inherited an imbalanced, less that correct view of gender and God. The pendulum was all the way as high as it could go on the woman's side. As with all pendulums, it was going to swing and its not surprise that next it went all the way over to the other extreme with man. I can't say that cultural shift is happening, and if it is, I'm coming in the fore-end of it, but next that pendulum will shift again and hopefully, if us humans can be intelligent enough, that it will rest in the middle. With Man and Woman recognized as God and Goddess, Father and Mother. Whatever the world around me says and does, that's what I'm working for--a balance between gendered deity which I believe is more reflective of the true nature of God. Someday, the truth will be seen though our vision now is imperfect as we strive on the earth.

I likely will have other insights as I read the book which you can count on me to blog about some of them here.

As I integrate these beliefs into practice, I am seeking to know how to relate to either parent separately. Is that necessary? Or is their union so complete that they truly are one? Perhaps, being separated by the veil, they are not separate in prayers. A prayer to one is a prayer to the other? If that's the case then praying to God or Father in Heaven, is also a prayer to Mother in Heaven and no one needs to be the wiser that a person seeking Heavenly Mother is finding her in prayer.


cc said...

Thank you for this! This may sound too fantastical, but I was going to write about HM and my view of Her in my post for Exponent tomorrow. There have been so many references to Her lately, and it's something I'm struggling with, so it just seemed like it was time. I'll have to read this book to aid my understanding and to help me feel more at peace with what I'm feeling.

TopHat said...

Jenne, I'm not sure how to define what is soley Heavenly Mother's and what is Heavenly Father's (as in role, traits, etc). As gods, wouldn't they be perfect in everything? One wouldn't be a better nurturer, for instance. So you could make the argument that only one is "needed" I suppose since they are the same. Yet, I think both are very important and I'm not sure where to draw the line.

Jenne said...

That kind of what I was trying to get at, Heather. I can't figure out how they are different. I feel that Heavenly Father is such a wonderful nurturer that He is wonderful on his own. That's confused though with what if that nurturing was taught to Him by Heavenly Mother, of if that nurturing comes from both of them, then its not just him?

How surprised do you think the people of the earth would be to find that the God they worshipped all along was male and female? And that they really are polytheistic afterall?

Jenni "Bee" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenni "Bee" said...

I was just reading in "Drawing Down the Moon" a section that talked about how for centuries (millenia?) we have considered certain traits to be masculine or feminine. Then we've taken it a step further and applied masculine to mean 'male' and feminine to mean 'female.' (If you think about other languages, such as Spanish, I'm sure you're aware that WORDS are masculine or feminine, but that doesn't mean that a woman can't use a masculine word, such as 'libro' (book)!!!) Anyway, DDTM was talking about how as we've taken traits like nurturing, sensitivity, and gentleness, and pinned them to women; and likewise pinned traits like strength or courage to men, we have lost something. Each person--regardless of sex--is capable of manifesting both masculine and feminine traits. Perhaps we even do the traits (and ourselves) a disservice by referring to the traits as 'masculine' and 'feminine'...but at the very least we need to find the dichotomy within each person.

My brother refers to himself as 'metrosexual' which is the hip term for a guy who is straight, but who is in 'touch with his feminine side.' He is fashion conscious, an artist, gentle, a nurturer...he's also in good physical condition, loves his car, etc. I find it sad that we have made a special word for someone who manifests a balance of masculine and feminine traits! (When a woman shows both sides, what is she called?!)

In any case, back to my original point...I think that Heavenly Father is nurturing because He is balanced. Perhaps he learned it from Mother, perhaps she helps him in it, I don't know. I think Mother is his partner in all things, and that (as partners) they are like a single unit. However, he is the patriarch, so he is the mouthpiece, the earpiece, and the name over the door of their couplehood. (You know, "Mr and Mrs [His Name} Surname"... Thus we address our prayers to him--just as we address letters to the man of the house--but I suspect she can and probably does hear them.