“I really don’t appreciate the Goddess Movement!” said Katie, a new friend, over a cup of tea on a warm afternoon in Northern California, some twenty years ago.
A long-time devotee of the Goddess by that time, I was taken aback.
“Why?” I asked
“Well,” said Katie, “All these ceremonies and rituals are all designed with one thing in mind: ‘GIMMI!’ — Give me empowerment, Give me a partner, Give me a better job, Get rid of patriarchy, Make peace on earth… It’s as if all women ever do is pull on Mama’s skirt and say: I WANT…”
I was taken aback once again, this time with thoughtfulness…
It never occurred to me to see things this way, but I had to admit Katie had a point…
The circles I was part of at that time were filled with tangible transformation and pulsed with women’s power. They helped women move from procrastination to action, from feeling powerless to trusting inner guidance, from self loathing to self embrace… I found personal support in focusing my intentions, defined what I wanted to bring forth into the world, and grew my trust that with the help of the Goddess, I will!
And yet… having said all this, was I not tagging on the Great Mother’s skirt, asking her endlessly for what I wanted or thought I needed? If I was honest with myself, I had to admit that indeed, this was the bulk of what I was doing.
That ‘Ahha!’ Moment was quick, sharp, and uncomfortable. I tucked it away for later contemplation, and have all but forgotten it soon after. The friendship with Katie didn’t deepen. She left the area within a few months, and we didn’t keep in touch.
As the years unfolded, I returned to Katie’s insight from a more mature place, and was ready to honestly examine it again. I realized that the essence of my relationship with the Divine Mother needed to shift. I begun an inner journey of moving my main focus from ASKING to SERVING… I shifted my lens from knowing that “The Goddess will provide” — to an inner commitment to help awaken Her in the hearts of all women. I moved from turning to Her as a Provider – to Serving Her in all that I do.
I am writing about this now as an invitation to an open dialogue among us women: Goddess lovers, awakeners of the Divine Feminine, devotees of the Great Mother: I’d like to invite us to openly examine our practices.
Lets leave any defensiveness at the door: we know the value of the Divine Feminine for healing the hearts of humanity. We know the tremendous relief of finding ourselves in Her, of discovering images of the Great Goddess in all indigenous cultures… We know the sense of belonging that comes from being able to relate, at last, to a Feminine face of the Divine.
Yet, are we in service to Her, or did we develop a habit of asking Her for things? Granted, most of what we ask for is worthy. But if we put aside the worthiness of our requests, and look at the pattern of continual asking, would we not see a fixated mother-child relationship? And is it not time for us to grow into adulthood, which is distinguished and defined by Service?
Furthermore, if indeed we have fallen into a pattern of continual asking, is this blind spot not an instance of Western culture’s Consumerism having had the better of us? Could it be that while we uproot consumerism from our daily practice – we fall prey to it, unsuspectingly, where it matters most: in the heart of our spiritual practices?
If I look honestly, I can detect some residues of this within me. I invite you to examine your own heart… You may find it innocent of any such patterns, or you may find evidence of falling into either or both of these traps: the continual need to ask the Mother instead of serving her, or the consumers’ trap of endlessly wanting more.
If we do find such evidence, we may see it as a childhood phase, which hasn’t fully dissolved in the continual process of our rising out of cultural subjugation. It probably was necessary to become little children when we first found our Mother, the Mother of us all… To continually seek, and find, Her comfort… To ask for that which we were unable to attain without Her… But isn’t it time for us to outgrow this phase?
This is not an attempt of saying we’ve done anything wrong. This is a calling to all of us: to evolve from being children of the Mother, to becoming servers of Her awakening!
Since all children are forever their mother’s child, we, too, would continue to be Her babies at times: in need of Her comfort and solace. Yet expanding our inner landscape to include the adult facet of ourselves, who is moved by the wish to serve — would round the circle and complete the picture. It would be the next step in evolving a living relationship: between us (individually and collectively) and the Divine Feminine, the Mother of us all.
Please comment and contribute to this living dialogue.
We live in transformational times –
lets shape them consciously!
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© DeAnna L’am ~ All Rights Reserved
Very thoughtful comment Deanna. I had had this thought about being a spiritual grown up as it related to the relationship to my guru and now I see the value in examining how I am relating to the divine mother, if as an adult or as a child. I agree with you that it is important to expand our inner landscape to include the adult facet of ourselves and become servers of the divine feminine’s awakening. I think it is the time, and I think the energies are supporting us in this.
Thank you for this great reminder. It sound as a awakening call!
I never thought about it this way….Although Goddess worship is not new either to me or the culture I am coming from ( I am a Hindu in India), in fact It has always been an integral part of everything..it is only recently that I came across the utter lack of representation of feminine in western beliefs. I understand when you say this “We know the tremendous relief of finding ourselves in Her, of discovering images of the Great Goddess in all indigenous cultures… We know the sense of belonging that comes from being able to relate, at last, to a Feminine face of the Divine.”
All said, it is only recently that I began to connect with Mother (Maa or Amma as I call Her)……that too after reading the need to return to our divine feminity from western women…….And there I found it “Aha”!! The desperation, chaos, confusion,emptiness, loneliness, helplessness everything that I have been battling throughout my life has taken over a miraculous change as I connected with Maa, talked with her, cried in her solace..the past few months..I have changed in more ways than I had ever foreseen…
And coming back to the point you raised, this is totaaly new to me and still somewhere I feel I know…..Let me get back to it later!! Thank you!!
This is a wonderful point. I know I ask for help a lot! I also try to recognize the gifts that are given to me by the Goddess. The asked for and the unasked for. In that way I view it as more of a friend relationship than mother and daughter. While I might not be the best at serving Her, mostly I lack ideas of how to serve Her. I do try to be grateful for the things I have received and only ask if it is really important (no more asking for a pony). I am a wiccan and as such try to remember the phrase from the Charge of the Goddess “if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee” . She can help us find It but she won’t just give It to us. It is already inside us and we just have to walk the path and look under the bushes and in the trees to find It.