Looking for a Goddess

A new friend on the Goddess path wrote to me saying

Seems the ladies I know who follow the path of the Goddess don’t want to talk about it. I know it’s a personal commitment but I’m wasn’t about that, I was asking which goddes was which. We were talking one day and one of the ladies mentioned another goddess that she followed. I asked her what she was the goddes of and they looked at me like I had grown a 3rd eye. Turns out she was a goddess of deer I think.

I replied:

Gosh, its odd that the ladies would be so closed mouth about it. Maybe they were being over cautious.

I’ve been studying/practicing about 23 years or so and have amassed a great collection of books and bizarre trivia. I consider myself to be a solitary eclectic witch, kinda of a hearth/kitchen witch as so much of my practice was focused on home, family and hearth.

Hestia was my patron goddess, first at the fires of Olympus, the only Roman deity without a form, she was represented by the hearth fire. Now my children are grown and far away and my marriage is over. Hestia is no longer relevant to my daily life and, much as I reach out, she rarely answers. When I study and read, I usually feel Athena around.

For some reason I am more drawn to the classical deities, though I have studied deities of many cultures. Many spiritual leaders recommend that, when choosing a spiritual path, one take one’s own culture and ethnic background into consideration. This makes sense if one considers the view of reincarnation that says we choose the life and culture we are born into in order to learn and grow. It is also respectful to others’ culture to take care to honor their beliefs in their proper context. Just think how some people have distorted and disrespected Native American rituals.

That said, I really think the deities are One and that humans, not being able to comprehend the totality, chose an aspect of the One that speaks to them. We give it a face and name to which we can more easily relate, which fills our spiritual need.

So I also find myself drawn to Kwan Yin, the Buddhist female bodhisattva of compassion. She is found throughout the Far East. Because of Her, I studied Tibetan Buddhism and try to incorporate much of that philosophy into my life.

Now I, too, am searching for a goddess who speaks to me at this stage of my life. A couple of good books I can recommend are Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives and Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women over Fifty  both by Jean Shinoda Bolen. I also like Patricia Monaghan’s books The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations, and Rituals  and Goddess Companion: Daily Meditations on the Goddess .

I hope you don’t find my thoughts presumptuous and that my suggestions give you a place to start. The journey really is a solitary and personal one, but we often find companions on the path.

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