Welcoming a Goddess

One of the most fulfilling aspects of being in tune with Goddess and all of Her aspects is to come to know individual goddesses personally.  Taking the time to do this has deepened my life experience and brought me a greater awareness of myself and the world around me.

There could be many reasons why I might wish to know a particular goddess better.  It could be that she simply has been popping up in my reading.  I may have read or heard her name and my curiosity level increases daily until I feel compelled to find out about her.  I may feel that she would be an appropriate goddess to call into my circle for a particular lunar cycle or magical working.  I believe it critical to research a goddess before doing that, and better yet, really know who she is when you decide you would like to share sacred space with her.

And of course, there is the process of “aspecting” a goddess in ritual.  Aspecting means that you not only invite a goddess to your circle, she actually merges with you and you bring out who she is so that she may become visible to others in the circle.  She may speak through you.  She may talk to your sisters in circle.  She may bring you a very special message while she is a part of you.

When I decide that I really want to know a certain goddess better the first thing I do is to research her.  I find every resource available and I collect information about her.  I read her stories.  I find images to look at.  I learn where she is from, why she is important, what her aspects are, who she loved, who her enemies were, and who worshiped her and why.  I make copious notes and re-read them often, until I know everything there is to know about her.  I will say that for some goddesses, I don’t find a lot.  I might find a sentence, if I am lucky a paragraph.  For the more well know ones, certainly there is much to read and learn.

Once I have done this and I feel I have found all that I possibly can find and I also feel that I have a pretty good grasp on who she is, I will invite her into my sacred space while in a meditative state.  I do this by attempting to visualize her walking toward me.  Or I may ask her, either out loud or in my mind, to please come and be with me for a while.  I might read my information that I have collected on her.  I may think of a song to sing that I think she will like.  I may have written a poem about her, although the poems usually come after she has made herself known to me.

You might try seeing yourself in an area where she is from.  If, in your research you have come to love her, share that with her.  Ask her to guide you.  Let her know why you want to know her and open yourself so that she may come in.

The first time you call to her, you may feel as though nothing has happened.  Don’t be discouraged.  You are creating a pathway for her.  Perhaps you might view it as a bridge.  Take it in stages, little baby steps.  What normally happens is you begin to get “flashes”.  She may take form in your mind’s eye, or she may speak to you.  Don’t worry if the images are unclear.  You may not see any if you are not visual.  You may feel her presence, and sense how she is.  Focus on how she comes to you.  What you do see, what you feel?  Are their smells that come to your attention, feelings invoked, memories triggered?  Can you see how she is dressed?  Does she carry anything?  Does she gift you with anything?  Pay attention to how you feel, to any sensations or other realizations that come.

Be sure that when you are finished, when this time with her is concluded that you thank her and that you also say goodbye.  Ask her to please be there should you have a need or desire to call to her again.

I recommend that you repeat this process again, and again, until you find that she is there any time you call her to mind.  For me this is what occurs.  I come to know her well, so well in fact, that she seems to be a part of my consciousness and one with me, so that when I do wish to call her or ask for assistance with something, she is right there, as if she were a part of me.  I always acknowledge her when she is present with me and I always show gratitude for her presence.

I have found through the years that appearances of the goddesses I have worked with slow down or speed up according to what is going on in my life.  I have noticed that when one arrives, she is there for a particular for reason.  I have trained myself to be very aware when a goddess appears to me unbidden.  It is like a wake-up call.  I explore very carefully what is happening in my life right at this moment so that I know why she is with me.  I recognize that she has come to help in some way and I cannot ignore her choice to be with me at this time.

One thing of particular importance is that a goddess, once you have come to know her may reveal to you that a particular story you have read about her is untrue.  Many of the myths we read today are newer versions of her stories.  Because her myths were written down at much later times than when her presence was known to women, and because her stories were written down during a time when she was no longer revered as the life bringer, birthing, manifesting Goddess, she is often depicted in ways that are not true to her essence.  She may reveal the truth to you.  She may show you how it really was.  She may allow you to see how her story became twisted and what the story really meant.

In my experience, when this happens, the truth that she is trying to give me is of particular importance to women.  If her original story was empowering for women, the odds are it was changed because the message was dangerous to the new power of the patriarchy.  So I ask that you pay very close attention if you gain new insights into her stories.  They hold keys to your development.  This is true whether you are male or female.  It is important for us to know Her stories as She originally told them to us.
Let me add something that I believe is very important.  Because we revere Goddess as the Divine and call to Her as our Mother, does not mean that we do not acknowledge that Her form contains both gods and goddesses just as She has birthed males and females of many species.  I invite you to explore Her sons as well.  There are both gods and goddesses in every culture around the world.  As a Dianic it is very rare that I actually work with a god but I have explored and gotten to know several when they seem to seek that of me.  I check them out just as I would if a goddess is attempting to communicate with me.  What I do find important in learning about the gods as well as the goddesses is in learning about their relationships.  Knowledge of how they interact with each other is very valuable as applied to our relationships today.  You will be given a glimpse of beautiful and harmonious relationships between all aspects of Goddess.

My life is enriched by the presence of the goddesses I have chosen to work with.  My guess is that what I just said is totally backwards.  There are times that I know that they chose to work with me that perhaps they called to me and needed to be known by me.  I feel loved, protected, inspired, and made sacred by knowing them intimately.  I am most grateful for the role their gifts.

Excerpt "From the Branch - A Primary in Dianic Witrchcraft" by Deanne Quarrie