Alone In Her Presence: Ecstatic Monism – All Goddess…

Recently, a man said “HE is the life bringer!” And I thought, well sure, if it pleases you, but I know that I am born of woman. Just over a year ago I would have argued with him, and maybe my knowledge and locutions would have won the argument; I am at times a skilled debater. But I was bemused to let it be. He or She, it simply didn’t matter. All Goddess.

I am not ashamed to admit that when I look into the night sky, I get all warm and think of  Starhawk, “Alone, awesome, complete within Herself, the Goddess, She whose name cannot be spoken, floated in the abyss of the outer darkness, before the beginning of all things. As She looked into the curved mirror of black space, She saw by her own light her radiant reflection, and fell in love with it. She drew it forth by the power that was in Her and made love to Herself.” That is where the Feri story ends for me. Feri, Wicca, Ceremonial, it simply does’t matter to me. All Goddess.

Christina G. Rossetti wrote,  “Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, a love divine. Love was born at Christmas, star and angels gave sign.” Surely, you know… if that works for you, wonderful. But that’s not my God… and yet still, All Goddess.

It has always been All Goddess. I recently published a small book from a series of writings about my solitary work with the Goddess. In truth, I do not worship with others. I prefer to go it alone. And while I might use the word witch conversationally, I rarely cast spells, I’m not very ‘crafty’ and for many years I was reluctantly Pagan. Yet, one thing led to another and my writing and voice grew and here I am, writing Alone In Her Presence, my once tiny blog, turned book, turned column.

I am so honored to be here because I am an ecstatic monist, and I know there are many like me who are something like “spiritual but not religious” and not quite Wiccan, who are not Neo Goddess Feminist but are living in the lap of the Great Mother. Like me, these men and women are “all Goddess all the time” and are Alone In Her Presence. For us, the ecstatic monist Goddess is the immanent vessel that dwells within each of us and that is us, She that is the totality of everything and nothing. I give this resonating, pulsation of energy the gender ‘She’, even though this is greater than gender because science has proven that all life is born of the female.

I decided to bring Alone In Her Presence to Patheos and cast this widest net because the Goddess is the great joy and the great sorrow of our fullest human experience. She is the shadow and the light that comes when we live life in Presence. And it is through knowing ourselves that we come to know Her, know the Earth, and know the interdependence of what magic truly is.

This is what makes Her ecstatic. When we are Alone In Her Presence we have worship, we have ritual, we have life. We have Goddess as the indwelling totality that at times we will explore here, but mostly the writings here will explore Goddess as transcendent as She appears in front of us. However, different than idols worshipped for centuries, this Goddess is you and I, this Goddess is even you even I. This is the Goddess who is the love divine, who looked into the vast void of consciousness and fell in love with herself and created the totality.

Welcome to Alone In Her Presence. Welcome Home.


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About Erick DuPree

Erick DuPree is a writer, teacher, earth activist, and lover of Goddess as a vessel of healing, His studies in magic include working within a Reclaiming Collective, Soul Work with T. Thorn Coyle, Tantra with Dr. Douglas Brooks, Occult Magick with Ivo Domingues, Jr. and Dharma Paganism with Yeshe Rabbit Matthews.

As author, Erick is most known for Alone in Her Presence, a blog - turned book - turned column, now hosted on Patheos.com where he writes about knowing Goddess as the Healing Vessel. He is author of Alone In Her Presence: Meditations on the Goddess, Weaving Moonlight: Lunar Mysteries, Meditations and Magic for the Soul, and the forthcoming anthology, Finding Masculine in Goddess' Spiral: Men in Ritual, Community and Service to the Goddess, by Immanion Press. He is currently working on his next title, The Healing Vessel: An Earth Goddess Devotional, by Circle Within Press (2015).

Learn more about Erick at www.erickdupree.com

  • Cat lover

    Thank you for this.

    • http://www.erickdupree.com Erick DuPree

      And Thank you Cat lover!

  • http://www.patheos.com/Pagan Christine Kraemer

    Welcome, Erick!

  • roberto quintas

    The article comes to my mind and gives me some ideas to write. I am working on a article called “Pagan Monotheism”. As a hard polytheist, student of ancient history, its folks and religions, I have a personal resistence to accept the Goddess as just a girly Yahveh. I don’t need another 2 thousand years to know that kind of monotheism will bring no good.

    • Christopher Scott Thompson

      I don’t really understand why you seem to think that it’s unacceptable for his belief to contradict yours, but acceptable for yours to contradict his. Even if he really was a monotheist he would have the absolute right to that belief.

      • roberto quintas

        Christopher, the question is not what is unacceptable, it’s about reasonable argument. For definition, monotheism have this strong argument that there is One God[es], so it is the argument of monotheism that everything else be unnaceptable. Therefore, if he is monotheist his belief is contradictory to the argument of monism, of polytheism and the diversity of the Pagan Community.

        • Christopher Scott Thompson

          That is only the argument of those monotheists who make that argument. You can’t tell someone they have to take a certain position just because you think it’s logical for them to do so. I’ve met several monotheists who had no problem with pagans, polytheists or monists. I’ve also met several polytheists who seemed to find the mere existence of other opinions inherently offensive. If you’re the one telling other people they have no right to their opinions, you’re the one spreading intolerance.

          • roberto quintas

            Indeed there is a lot monotheist who tolerates other faiths. But Christopher, you just look at the news and you will see the vision of the major monotheist religions [Christianism, Judaism, Islamism] against any other faith. Christopher, I am not telling anyone to take certain position, it’s just a matter of text interpretation. The text of Erick is blatantly monotheist, if this is not his position, then he should write what is his position. Christopher, I am not against monotheists, but their discourse, that is, by default, exclusive, not inclusive, biased, not with tolerance. To protect our right to have our faith and opinion, we have to fight against this religious tirany.

            • Christopher Scott Thompson

              So, because some monotheists are intolerant that justifies us in being intolerant toward monotheists in general? No, I don’t think so.

              • roberto quintas

                Christopher, in what point of my argument I was intolerant? I just describe what happens when someone talks about his/her faith with this discourse exclusive. I am exactly prevent that intolerance happens. Claim that my comments is intolerant because I try to open the debate is a kind of censorship. If this was the case, then you are intolerant also.

                • Christopher Scott Thompson

                  You have repeatedly stated that his views are oppressive to others solely because they are (in your opinion) monotheistic. So in effect you are stating that monotheism is an intrinsically bad and unacceptable belief system. I haven’t seen him dismiss and invalidate your belief system that way. So if anyone is being intolerant in this situation, it isn’t him.

                  • roberto quintas

                    Christopher, this is not intolerance but a logical deduction. To monotheism, there is only and lonely true religion, one true God. The problem is not what is unacceptable, as I said before, but about what someone states in name of his/her faith. The monotheism, by default, is against other relgions, by logical deduction, this is not hard to figure out. The monotheism, by default, becomes bad to anyone else that doesn’t follow the same faith, religion or God. This is a simple evidence, history and news shows it. But I’m tired to try tio put some reasonable talking here. Don’t cry for help when the torches appears in your house. I’m done.

                    • Christopher Scott Thompson

                      You seem to think other people are your enemies, not due to anything they have actually done, but solely due to their beliefs. That is the farthest thing from “reasonable.”

  • roberto quintas

    Erick: “I know that I am born of woman.”
    Brilliant, Einstein, but without your father you would be just an idea in the mind of your mother. We are pagans, we can’t make the same mistakes of Christians and goes in the same way of Creationism.

  • roberto quintas

    Erick: “For us, the ecstatic monist Goddess is the immanent vessel that dwells within each of us and that is us, She that is the totality of everything and nothing. I give this resonating, pulsation of energy the gender ‘She’, even though this is greater than gender because science has proven that all life is born of the female.”
    To be All, therefore She is transcendent. A girly Yahveh. Beyond gender? How can you consacrate your own gender? Beyond gender is monotheist abrahamic path. All life is born of the female? More Christian-like pseudo science. I strongely recommend read biology.

    • http://quakerpagan.org Cat C-B

      There is a distinction to be made between monism and monotheism, you
      know. Roberto. It may not be compelling or convincing to you, and I do think
      Erick was pretty clear that he understands that others will experience
      their religion differently.

      He is not mocking your Pagan polytheism; you
      are mocking his Pagan monism. He is not belittling your perceptions of
      the divine; you are mocking his. (“A girly Yahveh?” “Brilliant, Einstein,” “Christian-like pseudo science. I strongly recommend [you] read biology.”)

      I think it is unlikely that Erick is unfamiliar with the basic science behind sexual reproduction. I also think it is unlikely that mocking ideas you disagree with will ever be an approach that convinces anyone who does not already agree with you.

      Monists–Pagans whose theology does not agree with your own–exist. And from where I sit, disrespecting theologies other than your own, simply because they differ from your own, seems a good deal like the monotheist Abrahamic excesses you are warning us about.

      I hope your article will showcase your own ideas, and even better, your experiences, Roberto, rather than simply being a diatribe against what does not please you in the religious experiences of others.

      • Cat lover

        This!!!

        • roberto quintas

          can you please make an argument?

          • Cat lover

            I was showing my appreciation for what Cat C-B wrote. You are going after everyone today, I see.

            • roberto quintas

              this is no what seems. if you agree, make an argument. we can’t be dumb. we are pagans, not fundie christians.

              • http://quakerpagan.org Cat C-B

                Thanks, Cat lover.

                Robert, expressing appreciation and agreement
                isn’t “dumb,” as long as it’s sincere. I trust you won’t take it as something to be ashamed of if one of us agrees with something you write at some point? Argument is one form of intelligent conversation, but it’s not the only one,especially when people are talking about things that are important to them.

                And I get it that you don’t agree, here, either with my perspective or Erick’s. Nothing wrong with honest disagreement, either.

                Blessings.

      • roberto quintas

        this is not the case, Cat. you know, the problem is the text is blatantly monotheist, not monist. and the problem is that humankind have already mess enought with the abrahamic exclusive theology. when Erick says that the Goddess is All, is the same thing that christians, muslins and jews says about their God. so, to speack, he is telling that anything otherwise is just nonsense, as the major monotheist religions says. my aim was on his claims and his argument doesn’t hold water. So to speack, his text is disrespectful to other theologies with his Holy Amoeba. His text claims that all life born from female – this is much like creationism, the pseudo-science that christianity are full of. He claims that the Goddess is beyond gender, the same sex biased that christianity is full of. How a pagan can consecrate his/her body, desire, pleasure, love and sex if we accept this facade of puritanism? I don’t need another 2 thousand years to know that no good can come from this monotheism.

      • roberto quintas

        this not about pleases me, Cat. this is not about religious experiences also. The problem of monotheist argument is exactly that is not about open a debate, is about making a speech, a monologue. No critic, no questions, just acceptance or what someone says so. We can’t be dumb, we are pagans, not fundie christians.

      • http://www.erickdupree.com Erick DuPree

        Hi Cat C-B,
        Beautifully said, adn warmly appreciated.
        Blessings,
        Erick

  • http://quakerpagan.org Cat C-B

    Welcome, Erick! I look forward to exchanging ideas and experiences with you over time. I suspect that my more polytheistic/monist perspective will differ from yours often; it will be interesting to see how.

    A goddess monism. I look forward to learning more about what you mean.

    • roberto quintas

      no, Cat, he is a Goddess monotheist. Monism is not monotheism. Monism talks about something else, not a person, not even a identity.

  • http://www.erickdupree.com Erick DuPree

    Hi Everyone!

    I appreciate this very lively conversation. For clarity, I am a Monist, not a monotheist. I would appreciate that people not label and define what they “think” to know I am. My entire body of work, and experience is greater than one article.

    Monotheism would imply that I beleive in “a singular” Goddess, likened to say, the Christian singlualr God as colorfully elucidated here. I do not. As a monist, I observe the philosophical view that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. I am influenced by a tantric relationship with the Goddess as non-dual (i.e. single) and all-generative-and-returning, like the Mother of the Buddhas, but also as immanent and present in the relative world around us, like Mother Nature.

    As, I write this I am reminded of something Starhawk once said, “Paganism has no litmus test for belief entry.” I think it is important to be mindful that instead of leaning further into discursive patterns when defining other beliefs, and instead might hope to explore how varied beliefs bring us into community to promote love. Last I checked, Love was still the Law.

    Blessings,
    Erick

    • roberto quintas

      “For clarity, I am a Monist, not a monotheist. I would appreciate that people not label and define what they “think” to know I am.”

      Sorry, Erick, but every communication is based on words, with their concepts and definitions given by language. When I applied myself to Patheos, my offer was declined because I have to improve my writing skills, so, there are rules. It’s not about what someone think, label or define about you, it’s a matter of what is written in the text.

      “My entire body of work and experience is greater than one article”.

      But what we got is what you write, Erick. Perhaps you have to work a little bit more your text, if it doesn’t represent your work and experience.

      “Monotheism would imply that I beleive in “a singular” Goddess, likened to say, the Christian singlualr [sic] God as colorfully elucidated here. I do not”.

      You can call an apple of “orange” but it will still be red and other fruit. A single text analysis shows that you are a monotheist. Monism doesn’t believe in a defined entity, the Monad is an indistinctive divine whole.

      “As a monist, I observe the philosophical view that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance”.

      That’s not what we read in your text, Erick.

      “I am influenced by a tantric relationship with the Goddess as non-dual (i.e. single) and all-generative-and-returning, like the Mother of the Buddhas, but also as immanent and present in the relative world around us, like Mother Nature”.

      Sorry, Erick, you tripped in a conceptual line, again. Tantra is a spiritual path where you must have a sexual connection between a man and a woman to achieve transcendence. Therefore, Tantra is dualistic. If the Goddess is the Monad, you can’t have a tantric relationship with Her, since there is no body. The Mother of the Buddhas is another trap that you fall. Buddha is more a title than a God and Buddhism is more likely atheist. The Mother Nature, Gaya, is a very singular, defined and identifiable Goddess, so She is not a Monad and She doesn’t exist alone.

      “I am reminded of something Starhawk once said, “Paganism has no litmus test for belief entry.”

      Definitions and concepts, Erick. You just can’t pick one word and give to it what pleases you. Starhawk is talking about the entry of persons. When we talk about systems of beliefs, a faith is defined by the sum of creeds and practices. Your definition of the Goddess is monotheism, not monism, by definition.

      “I think it is important to be mindful that instead of leaning further into discursive patterns when defining other beliefs, and instead might hope to explore how varied beliefs bring us into community to promote love. Last I checked, Love was still the Law”.

      Erick, to make such claim you used a discursive pattern. What you say is what we have to define you religious identity. Therefore, since your definition of the Goddess is monotheist, by your own expression of your faith, then ends all the diversity and variety of Pagan Community. This is logic, Erick. Monotheism is exclusive, not inclusive. This is very clear in your text, even if you denies this.

  • Oriole

    Welcome, Erick! I read your beautiful book Alone In Her Presence a few weeks ago, and I look forward to reading your columns here on Patheos.

    • http://www.erickdupree.com Erick DuPree

      Oriole ~ This brings me great joy to hear! it meant so much to me to get it out there. I hope that it helps open your heart, mind, and spirit…. and maybe inspire. Blessings!


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