I remember the moment, the exact instant, when Her name was called and She was there. She stood behind me, wrapped Her enormous feathered cloak around my body and completely engulfed me. There’s no describing what happened next, except to say I lay inside of Her for an interminable length of time. I clearly saw the ritual circle. The flames of the bonfire and the other participants going through their own processes were evident. And yet, I was somewhere completely “other”, exploring the worlds with the goddess that showed up.
Breakfast With The Goddess And Everyone Else
Over the next three days, I walked between the worlds. My feet firmly planted here and there and everywhere in between. I was absolutely present, interacted with people, ate breakfast, and made perfect sense. I carried on conversations about toilets or whatever mundane topics we were all discussing. I was utterly not present too. Or maybe it’s better to say I was also present elsewhere. And She was there with me, as real to me as anyone I’d ever met.
I’m not sure there’s actually a word in English that quite captures well enough what I encountered. Perhaps it’s “intimate” or “harrowing’ or “ecstatic”. When one calls to a goddess and they come, it’s like no other experience I can think of. My life was forever altered.
Nobody Puts The Goddess In The Corner
I’ve participated in many rituals. More often than not the goddesses and gods are called by name, like Cerridwen or Hera or Isis. At other rituals they are called as unnamed Mysterious Ones, or the purposely ambiguous Lady and Lord, or as natural forces like the wind or the sea.
Occasionally, calling the gods isn’t much more than reciting their names out loud. It’s more of a polite invitation to attend a tea-party. The gods are asked to sit in a corner and eat cucumber sandwiches and not bother anyone too much while the magickal working takes place. Which, to my way of thinking, is impolite. Imagine being invited somewhere and then being completely ignored by your hosts.
The times they do come through though! Such power and presence it’s almost too much, too precious, too…well, they are the gods and it’s just too god-ish like for words. Yes, I made up the term god-ish like and I’m sticking by it. Those rituals stay with me and give me chills to this day.
Arrested By The GoddessI’ve spoken with Deists and Humanists and Agnostics and Animists and most folks tell me they’ve experienced presences beyond words. Maybe it’s the goddess at their dinner table or the spectacular sunset over a picture-perfect vista or an unexpected encounter with silence.
Regardless of belief systems, there are moments that arrest us and connect us humans to something else, something larger than ourselves. And often these moments alter our lives completely. I’m largely unconcerned if you hold that the gods are real or are archetypal images or are mere reflections of the inner human landscape, trying desperately to reconcile our futile fight with mortality.
I am interested in supporting, growing, shaping and learning from the work that folks in the various Pagan communities are undertaking. The “gods are real” vs. the “oh no they aren’t” debates leave me saddened. Not because there aren’t well-reasoned arguments or mildly entertaining tempests in teacups – I like a good soap opera as much as anyone – I’m disturbed because these
fruitless arguments debates take the focus and energy away from the tremendous contributions people are making in their communities.
If the gods inspired you to donate your time and energy to a cause, Excellent. If you just felt in your bones that supporting Tulip Moonbeam’s Go Fund Me was a grand idea, awesome sauce. Let’s celebrate what we do together, not argue about which invisible things we believe in.
Was It A Goddess Or A Weird Quirk Of Being Human?
Truly? Who cares? I don’t. I had my experience. It was weird and wonderful and terrifying and comforting. You can’t explain it any better than I can and that’s perfectly fine. I can tap back into that feeling and the memory of my “meeting”. The encounter serves to fuel my magickal work today which, to me, is the most important part of the story.