You will never learn about the Goddess. If, like me, you grow up in a predominantly white, middle-class secular Christian culture, you will not need to look for God or Jesus. Motifs of purity, redemption, self-sacrifice, and sin will be common and it will be too easy to adapt this narrative to your particular circumstances. Soon you will cease to notice them at all, and will develop the view that this is what is normal and good. The punitive, puritanical, jealous, self-aggrandising, vengeful, capricious, and prudish masculine energy that is purportedly also representative of unconditional love and forgiveness will become the background radiation of your psyche. There is, of course, powerful medicine in a grounded masculinity, but that was also never on the menu. We’ll get back to that.
Alienation from the Feminine
God was introduced to me at a young age. I had all those illustrated children’s bibles and went to church and Sunday school and said grace and listened to the word of the Lord in that neutral, disinterested way of children while slowly the concrete of culture oozed into the fluid, unformed awareness of possibility and the loose, amoral naturalness of childhood. Today, my god is a woman and I have won my way to her through a wall of thorns.
The asexual, patriarchal God of white robes, cloud palaces, human sacrifice, and ritualised simulations of cannibalism was fine when I was myself asexual. I found that there was little on offer for me when I started becoming a woman. My hitherto inviolate inner kingdom, right on the cusp of change, was delineated clinically and ruthlessly for me into all that was virginal and thus aligned to the asexuality of God the Father, and pretty much everything else, which of course happened to stretch into the inconvenient infinity of my Being.
The Narrative of Shame and Sin
God the Father was insistent that he had sent his only son to die for my ‘sins’ and that the only way that I could atone for these ‘sins’ was to pray to him and promise never to do any of it again (except the fine print also read that there was something of an inborn impurity to me and everyone else and no amount of praying would ever get rid of that but we needed to try or else the Devil would gobble up our souls and we would be damned to the fiery pit of hell for all eternity).
I learnt that to be a woman is shameful – that to bleed, to love, to desire, to experience pleasure and to share a deep connection to the wisdom of the earth, the moon, is to be an agent of darkness. Culture proffers many images of the Harlot and the Jezebel, the Delilah, the Adulteress – all women who have rejected neutrality and chosen to incarnate, to indulge dangerously and unforgivably in erotic expressions of some or other description. The sanctioned images of femininity were all quite kitsch archetypes - the Virgin, the Good Wife, the Masculine Queen (who could do all the tasks a man could do and was thus viewed with particular astonishment on account of also managing to have a vagina and not having let that affect her functioning).
A Ghoulish Persecution of the Female Reproductive Organs
All these versions of the feminine were untouched or untouchable except, in the case of the Good Wife by her proper husband, and in the case of the Masculine Queen by her perfunctory King whose heir and legacy needed also to enter the world through that same vagina that had the potential to meddle with her motor functions. So at the very best, most girls belonging to the culture in which I have grown up will have learnt to view their vaginas as a necessary evil and will have some deep suspicions about their ultimate ‘goodness’, given that the non-virginal feminine archetypes prevailing in this culture utilised their vaginas in a weaponised capacity that was ever in danger of bringing about the downfall of mankind.
Looking at it this way, it is of course unsurprising that many of the most derogatory terms that can be used to describe a person refer to the female genitalia. Perhaps it is just a desperate attempt to foil that great and sacred passage through which all mortals must enter this world and to laugh in the face of the terrifying chaos that ensues. The entire mass of feverish wildness, senselessness, and suffering that comprises the human condition began with an undignified, uncomfortable journey down the birth canal and that is just too much to bear, truly.
Death Cult of the Triple Goddess - A Mysterious Administration
One of the two great Mysteries – the Mystery of Life – belongs to women in the form of the Mother. So too does the Mystery of Death in some religions that depict the reaper of souls as the Crone or the Morrigan. With what does that then leave our male counterparts? Yes, now we arrive back here. Men have not been given a template that can withstand this terrorising colossus of Woman. In place of a healthy counterpart, a billion ego-cults have arisen, and an entire civilization has been cobbled together from bits of transmuted dirt. All this in the vain pursuit of immortality, in the hope that temples of plastic and glass, zeroes and ones zooming into Swiss bank accounts through the ether will not all just be swept aside by a gentle, inscrutable gesture by the Morrigan, who kneels down and scoops up the souls of grandfather, father, son, grandmother, mother, daughter in a ceaseless song that is written in stardust, stored in the collective sorrows of interminable lineages past and still to come.
How I wish that each of us learnt of this before we learnt about sin. What greater compassion can there be than knowing that your striving and the striving of all others is for nothing?
Return of the Banished
There is an electric, metallic, free-magic, subterranean energy source whose might is pooled up at the edge of conscious awareness and whose fuzzy resonance tickles maddeningly at us. It is heavy, shadowy, terrific, and beyond comprehension. It feels like immersion in warm water, like weightlessness, like confusion, and possibility. It is the stuff of the Goddess who is called Tiamat, whose province is desire, creation, life, and ultimate annihilation; it is what I am. I am the sea, from which we all came and to which we will all return.
Where was the children’s illustrated version for that?