Goddess worship has been with us, in one form or another, since the beginning of humanity. While Hinduism has never lost its sense of the Divine Feminine and Buddhism has their goddesses, the Patriarchal Abrahamic religions squelched the worship of the Divine Feminine almost 3,000 years ago. Traces of Asherah, the Shekinah, the Barbelo (Supreme Divine Mother), the pre-demoted/fallen Sophia (1-2) , the Christian Feminine Holy Spirit (3-6) and certainly, the Goddesses Diana and Isis, who, together with Sophia, were later subsumed into Mary, are still to be found and, indeed, are returning in strength, to Western consciousness.
Also returning to Western consciousness are the goddesses of what I refer to as Classical Paganism (the religions of Rome, Greece, the Celtic lands, etc.) However, oftentimes, within some Traditions of neo-Paganism, we find the opinion that the Goddess is not to be worshiped, rather the goddesses are to be ‘worked with’ in order to perform this or that spell, etc. I’m not sure where this notion originated because it certainly was not the way the ancients viewed their deities. If we look back to their own literature, we see that the ancients felt their gods should be worshiped, honored and treated with great respect.
Those of us who have come from living goddess traditions, whether Hinduism, Buddhism or yes, even Catholic Christianity, (we treated Mary as if she was a goddess whether Catholics understand this to be so or not), are rather taken aback at this modern-day disrespectful attitude towards the Divine Feminine (goddesses). . The goddesses of every pantheon are not there to basically help a spell to work correctly, especially without regard to the inherent culture and worship of the goddess. While it is fine to ask our deities for assistance through prayer and worship, they should not be treated as if they are always standing by awaiting our whim, as if they were our personal servants, while being ignored when we have no need of them.
If we take the time to research the prayers and worship rituals of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, for example, it is clear that far from considering their gods to be ‘worked with’, they had a profound sense of respect, deference and piety towards them.
This is why Deanics do not refer to the Divine Mother as ‘goddess’. As the 21st century West is so utterly divorced from ancient goddess worship, it is truly difficult to understand the great devotion these goddesses inspired in their devotees and so in modern day, the term ‘goddess’ has a different connotation than it did in ancient times. To Deanics, the Divine Mother is not a ‘goddess’, She is God.
Living Stream Goddesses: Mary (Catholic, upper left picture, Orthodox, upper right), Mater Durga, Tara and Quan Yin.
Look closely at these images. These are not goddesses that we ‘work with’ according to our whim. They are the Divine Feminine and are worthy of our deepest reverence and respect.
As indicated above, it is better to look to ‘Living Streams’ of goddess worship in order to understand what true and authentic goddess worship entails. Living Stream refers to those religions which have had an unbroken line of goddess worship such as Hinduism, Buddhism and, yes, I’m going to say it, Catholicism. (I was Catholic.) Research how Hindus and Buddhists worship and revere their goddesses. Find out how Traditional, pre-Vatican II Catholics (both past and modern) honor/ed Mary, though they weren’t allowed to consider her divine.
Hindus offer pujas, offerings, flowers, mantras and heavenly prayers. Buddhists place offerings, flowers, perfumes and pray mantra rosaries. They bow and act with the deepest of reverence.
As Catholics, we prayed to Mary on our knees. We offered her flowers and crowned her with roses. We had both indoor and outdoor shrines to her. We would say to family and friends: May Our Lady bless you. We prayed her rosary and sang her hymns, chanted her litanies and read her psalms . We attended countless liturgies in her honor and observed her many feast days (several of which were adapted from Paganism). Though we were not allowed to worship her as divine, in the respect and devotion we gave to her, she might as well have been. She was the veiled Goddess who never left us. She remained with us in the Form of Mary. The ancient Church took the images and titles of Diana, Isis and Sophia and applied them to Mary. (Which is why we often use images of Mary to portray the Celestial Mother.)
As in Shaktism, (9) we regard Her to be Supreme Being Who, through parthenogenesis, birthed the Cosmos and all that is within the Cosmos. Why do people find this idea to be heretical? If we were to see what was said of the Shekinah and of Sophia, before they were demoted, we would see that She was Creatrix.
In Classical Antiquity, there were many Forms of the Supreme Goddess Who birthed creation. Why is it so hard to believe that a Mother God birthed creation, but it is ok to believe that a Father God birthed creation? It is only through three millennia of brain washing, threats, name-calling (heretic, etc.,) and intimidation that we forgot our Divine Mother. Heresy is not to be found in the worship of the Divine Mother. The heresy is in the denial of Our Divine Mother. How can they deny their Mother?
Yes, over 2500 years since the time of the King Josiah is a long, long time to have ingrained in our heads that God is only male. But, that is just a drop in the time bucket compared to the tens upon tens of thousands of years when the Divine Feminine reigned Supreme and from Her was birthed the Male.
The Deanic religion does not view the Divine Feminine as a ‘goddess’ who is a sex object or as someone who ‘helps out with spell work’. Nor is She the planet Earth, a Jungian projection of our minds or an Archetype. She is Supreme Being. She is Creatrix. She is Supreme Mother. She is Dea, Diosa, both words meaning goddess, but stemming from a time when the Goddess was clearly understood to be Divine. She is Kyria, Lady in the Lord sense. She is Madria, Mother. She is Filia, Daughter. She is Matrona, Great Mother. (7-8).
We worship Her. We honor Her. We revere Her. We love Her. She is our Mother. She is our God. We sing hymns to Her and pray to Her. We offer Sacrifice and Liturgy in Her honor. We shower Her with flowers and Crown Her in May. Our Mother is veiled and so we veil in our Rites. Our Mother is Feminine and so we value femininity. (10) Our Mother is modest and so we are modest. Our Mother loves all of Her children and so must we. We, Her priestesses and Her devotees, are Her face and hands in this world. Of this, though we often fail, we must always be mindful.
Silver Star of the Waters, Who has fashioned all the Cosmos into being, beyond all knowing is the splendour of Your Light. Enfold our spirits, beneath Your Mighty Mantle, and may the Pure Stream of Your Grace flow within me, into this world and in all the worlds to come. Blessed are You.
May Our Lady bless you,
Blessed is She.
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides
- Gender is a quality and state of being and is not to be confused with carnal biology. This is why those who state that God and the angels can be neither male nor female are incorrect.)