Choosing A Goddess

This was in response to a question on an e-list I am on. The question invloved having to choose one Goddess to connect with as matron. The person questionning felt close to Cerridwyn and Hecate and felt she needed to choose between the two and that there would be risks if she made the wrong choice. My response follows:

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First, please forgive the long email. I guess I had a lot to say about this.

In the way I practice my faith there is no seperation between Cerridwyn and Hecate, or any other face of the Goddess. There is only one Goddess who is multifaceted just like any human personality is. In reality (at least the way I see it) there is only one Goddess, not hundreds of individual entities which make up Goddess, though I do not think it is wrong to think of Her that way. She appears in any form She chooses and takes on attributes to suit a purpose.

I think the real question to ask right now is why has the dark aspect of the Goddess has called to you. Both Hecate and Cerridwyn are Crone Goddesses. In my tradition the Crone's main symbolism is as a keeper of wisdom and as She who tends the flames of transformation. In her darker, less understood face She causes fear as She bids you to look into the shadows of yourself and find those things within you that you may not like to see. She does this to help bring about balance within you and so you can love yourself completely. She is the gateway to the unknown, the mystery which we are afraid to uncover within ourselves. Her element is fire and I often find it helpful to use a candle flame or the fire in my wood burning stove to connect with Her when the moon wanes. Open up your third eye chakra and let yourself be open to connection.

A Crone meditation could involve going through a cave to then come through it into an open space where She is there tending Her large cauldron over a fire. Speak with Her and listen closely to what She has to tell you. She may bid you to gaze into Her cauldron. Your reflection will be Her own for Her wisdom is always present within you. What else do you see in the murky liguid? Impart with Her any gifts that you may have, embrace Her, and turn back - coming out of the cave feeling refreshed and aware of who you are.

I hope these things are helpful to you. In my tradition there is nothing to fear of the Crone once She is understood and connected with. I consider fear to be the dark aspect of the Crone Goddess.

So, I don't think you have a choice to make. The Crone has made it Her time to connect with you, to impart Her wisdom upon you at this time. I see this as a period of transformation for you. I would not be surprised to hear that the Maiden makes Herself known next, guiding you towards knowing yourself and embracing Her freedom. The Maiden will give you new insight and then the Mother may come to you, teaching you how to grow and nourish your spirit so that you may be able to love all others in true compassion. After this the Crone may again make Her presence felt and the cycle will continue all over again. I believe this to be a way towards enlightenment.

I understand your confusion. It is frustrating to be journeying alone, but that is the way it must be for all of us.

Remember this is my path and I don't claim to know that it is truth nor do I believe it is the only way of the Goddess. No one can really know the truth of such things. We can only believe. I believe the Goddess has called to you in Her Crone aspect because now is a time for you to come into your own and embrace your path completely. She will guide you through the shadows and the depths of your mind to a place of understanding. Many blessings on your journey.

A Maiden Meditation

Sit in a comfortable, quiet place. Light candles, incense, or anything that may set the mood for you. You may choose to listen to soft, playful music.

Your journey begins in the forest. Flowering plants line the path where you stand. Begin to slowly walk the path. Take time to stop and smell your favorite flowers or to pick up a shiny stone at your feet. Be inquisitive and explore your surroundings. Time has no meaning here. Skip, dance, or hum a tune. This is a place of innocence where you can embrace the child that lives within you.

After walking for a time you come upon a gate. It is covered in vines and sweet smelling blossoms. Remove the fetters of your clothes, your shoes, and your jewelry. Unbind your hair and breathe the clean, free flowing air. Feel the weights of fear, guilt, and judgment fall to the ground with your garments. The breeze moves like kisses on your bare skin. Laugh and spin in the sunlight as it drips through the forest canopy. Listen to the trees move in the wind and spread your arms to sway with them in a sacred dance.

As you dance you notice you are no longer alone. A woman has come to dance beside you. She is naked as well and smiling at you with truth glittering in her eyes. There is nothing false about this woman. She is exactly what she shows to the world. She motions for you to come with her. Follow her.

She takes you to a pool of water and bids you to look into the surface with her. In the water you see that your reflection matches her own.

Embrace the Lady and speak with her for a time if you choose. Does she give you anything? Do you have gifts for her?

When you are finished speaking embrace the Lady again and bid her farewell. Return to the gate, taking only what you need from the pile of garments as you pass through. Move back down the path at your leisure and allow your consciousness to surface slowly.

copyright LM Hutchings

A Question of Faith

A list that I am on has been discussing the topic of faith and what place it has in Pagan spirituality considering a definition of having faith in something implies a lack of direct experience. Here is what I had to say about this:

Faith is a very important part of my life and my spiritual practice since I don't think we can really have the answers to those big Divine questions. People have been trying to come up with explanations and reasons since the beginning. And those things which I have had specific personal experience with still leave me questioning. I guess I sum up my faith in a few words from one of my favorite songs. Cheesy, I know, but bare with me here. ;o)

"What you don't have you don't need it now and what you don't know you can feel it somehow."

I can't claim to know. I only feel it.

So, I don't really know if I 'know' anything for sure and part of me likes being that way while the other 75% gets frustrated wanting all the answers. I think a lot of the way I think comes from experiencing other people who have become so attached to their beliefs that they have no room for anyone elses. I refuse to be like that. Then again, I am strongly rooted in Socrates - "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing." - so who am I to talk?

No matter how many times I may have experienced something I only 'know' it from my own perspective. If there is any truth there it is purely personal. Once I break those experiences down to that personal truth faith is all I have left.

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