The Goddess: The Divine Feminine

Paleolithic Venus of Laussel

Paleolithic Venus of Laussel (approx. 25,000 years old)

 “[T]he absence of goddesses in monotheistic religions, not their presence in all other religions, ancient or contem­porary, is the unusual situation, the religious prac­tice in need of explanation. In other words, contempo­rary pagans and other goddess worshippers, in­cluding Jews and Christians who address the deity us­ing feminine pronouns, are doing nothing remarkable or in­novative if their practices are looked at from the bigger perspective of human religious activity overall, rather than through the much narrower lens of Abrahamic, mon­otheistic religions.”

— Rita Gross

Women in particular have been harmed by patriarchal monothe­ism with its exclusively male image of God. The image of the Neo-Pagan Goddess enables women to reclaim the Divine Femi­nine principle, offers them positive images and symbols of fe­male empowerment, and facilitates the re-discovery of their own innate goodness and natural divinity. Images of the Divine Femi­nine can also transform how men think about gender, includ­ing how they relate to women, other men, and their own selves.

The most common forms of the Neo-Pagan Goddess are the Mother Earth Goddess or Gaia and the Triple Goddess of the Moon. These are modern archetypes inspired by ancient sources. Neo-Pagans recognize the Divine Feminine in images and stories of goddesses from across the ages and around the world, like the Egyptian goddess Isis, the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, the Celtic goddess Morrigan, and the Buddhist goddess Guan Yin. For many Neo-Pagans, these ancient god­desses are understood as aspects or partial manifestations of a unitary Divine Feminine called “the Goddess.”

For many Neo-Pagans, the Goddess is a radically immanent deity who can be experienced directly through our senses. The Earth and the material universe are understood as the body of the Goddess. Human beings can connect to the Goddess through our experience of our own bodies, as well as the “body” of the Earth. The Neo-Pagan Goddess is constantly changing, manifest in the changing of the seasons and the human life-cy­cle.

Updated 2019

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