The Male Aspect of Goddess

Athana has been coming up with some really great topics lately that are getting my fingers typing.

On Thursday in her post on Goddess and the Good Gods she poses the question "In a world where Goddesses swim at the center, what role should male gods play?" The post gets more in depth and the comments even more so. My comments are below.
I think our society has a lot of couples in it who choose to live together but not marry. It's getting pretty common actually. Maybe that's an in between point?

AS for male gods: in my tradition we see them as Goddess too because the idea of oneness of all things and all aspects of deity is seen to be truth. When looking at the myths of these gods often we see a patriarchal spin. Maybe it's important to try and see them in what might be considered their original, Goddess-like form.

I don't think the Goddess was concerned with controlling her male aspect or taming him into a figure that is solely her husband without his own independence. From my perspective the male aspect of the Goddess was a man of nature, with instincts and freedom. I think his instincts included very Goddess-like qualities like protection, paternal-instincts, etc.

I think we should also think about men as a way to study the Goddess' male aspect. They are not made like women - both in the obvious physical ways and the not so obvious psychological ways. The key to this may be realizing which qualities of modern men are imposed by the society they live in and which are inherent.

Baubo and the Profane

Athana of Radical Goddess Thealogy and I have been discussing some interesting things lately. And her post on Baubo was the catalyst for the conversation. Below I have pasted the dialogue for your reading pleasure. :) Comment here if you like or run over to Athana's place to leave her some feedback.

Read my first comments at this earlier post on Baubo.
Athana said: I really like your interpretation of several of Baubo's prime characteristics, grian. I especially like the phrase "the perfectly imperfect animals She intended us to be." We in the industrialized nations tend to forget that we're animals, that we're imperfect, and that both things are just marvelously fine and nothing to be ashamed of.

Grian said: Exactly Athana. It's hard for a lot of people in our society to grasp the idea of not being perfect I think. We're all raised with certain ideas of what perfection is and we are taught to strive for such expectations. It's hard and sometimes a little soul-threatening to deal with. I can't count the number of times I felt I was bad because I made a mistake. I have beaten myself up for not being perfect - or at least for not living up to some intangible idea of perfect.

We are certainly animals. Modern people have just managed to burry our instincts a little better than most animals do. Or have we managed that? It seems a lot of things people think of as profane can be seen as quite instinctual.

Now a days I try to remember that we are not meant to be perfect. We are meant to be human - animals with all the baggage that comes along with it. Periods and even sex can sometimes be gross. There are smells and sweat, etc. Defication and other waste removing processes are certainly gross. But that's okay. Those things don't make us or the things we do any less sacred. It's all part of being an animal and a creation of the Goddess.

And sometimes being downright baudy is fun and makes other people smile much like Mother Demeter smiled at Baubo. Ask my friends. They often laugh at some of my crude jokes. Then again I might just scare them. :)

Athana said: But Grian, are bodily functions really gross, or have we just been taught they're gross? Have we been sold a bill of goods?

Animals don't appear to think bodily functions or secretions are gross. So why do we?

Thanks for reminding me, though, that making mistakes is not something to beat oneself up over. I've actually been doing that today. I think we in the Western and/or industrialized societies have certainly been taught that making mistakes is gross, unacceptable, and somehow a sign of inferiority.

So we all need to band together and remind each other constantly that that's a buncha hooey!!!

Grian said: I think bodily functions have become gross because somewhere along the line people began to understand the health concerns of leaving excrement in the streets and other such practices that led to poor health in civilizations. A corpse came to be seen as disgusting because we realized what a health concern it posed if left to rot without cremation or burrying it. Excrement and urine can breed disease. Washing the body regularly promotes health also. So, I think it's not so much that these functions are actually gross on their own, but as a way to keep people more healthy they have become seen that way. Because of these realizations we have jumped our average life spans from about 30 to the mid 70s.

As for making mistakes... as humans we make so many and I think that's an integral part of our learning process. Mama didn't put us here already knowing everything. Our souls need to grow and learn and sometimes making mistakes is the only way to do that. I personally invoke the Maiden aspect during those times I am feeling like garbage about myself. She reminds me not to judge myself and that I too am only a human being - though divine and holy - I am bound to a body and a life that comes with screw ups and hardships that help my soul to continue to strive for completion.

Oh... I also forgot to mention that even though menstruation is a holy process of the Mother - women left without the proper facilities to bathe during their moon times can get infections. This could be one of the main reasons why this has become a gross thing to some. Add on all the "women are evil" garbage from that bible thing and it becomes a downright taboo subject. I see that changing though. All the pad and tampon commercials - and yeast infection commercials - seem to be pointing towards a more open attitude about feminine hygiene.

Interesting Conversation

Hey all. Just wanted to point you over to a post from a while back that is getting some attention lately. By attention I mean comments. So, head over to give it a read and see if you have anything to contribute. Below is a short segment of the original post.

Atheists and Whether God/dess Exists or Thoughts that Catholic Priests and Christian Ministers Secretly Think About
Are you there God?

I've been there, you know. I've been in that spot in the brain that causes doubt in all things not physical. I've been "Little Miss Doubty-Pants" and "The Queen of Rational Thought" before. If you asked me to explain how I got over it, I couldn't tell you. I'm not sure I ever closed the door on those thoughts, but I still believe in something greater. I don't care if it makes me a sheep in the eyes of Atheists, Secular Humanists, or Bob the grocery store clerk.

One day I thought to myself, "What if when we die we just break down into the planet and there is no consciousness?" That's the single most terrifying thought my brain has ever come up with. I can't say that I have completely reconciled this idea within myself. It still creeps in there every now and again when I least expect it, but I don't obsess over it.
~ read the entire post.

Always Inspired by H.H.

While reading this week's issue of Time Magazine, dealing with the recent events in Tibet and the Dalai Lama's reaction, I was struck by a certain understanding...

I am a reactionary. I react with passion without always thinking things through with wisdom.

The Dalai Lama has long been a source of inspiration for me. He is an amazing person, a revolutionary thinker, and in my opinion perhaps the single kindest person on the planet. Just reading his words has a way of bringing a certain amount of clarity.

So, it is with this new clarity that I propose to change an aspect of myself and strive towards a more compassionate and understanding view of the world around me. I hope to no longer react out of frustration and anger while still retaining the passion that makes me who I am. I am counting on this being a struggle, but one that I know will be worth while in the long run.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Tibetan people and the innocent Chinese struggling for freedom. I hope a peaceful resolution comes within my lifetime.

The Goddess Baubo

Athana at Radical Goddess Thealogy brought up the Goddess Baubo in a recent post and I found myself pondering this somewhat misunderstood aspect of the Great Goddess. Below is a link to Athana's original post and then my comments on the subject.

Wincing Over Baubo from Athana at Radical Goddess Thealogy
Grian: Baubo reminds me of the Sheila-na-Gig in some ways because she is not ashamed of her physical female-ness and shows it unabashedly to others. I also find connections with Kali-Ma as she is all at once a mixture of the divine and the profane.

I don't know that Baubo has been perverted by a patriarchal society. Misunderstood yes, though I find her story to still contain Goddess' lessons. I think the fact that Demeter is pleased by Baubo's actions shows that the Goddess not only has a sense of humor but also urges us not to place judgement on others when they "reveal" themselves to us.

I think there is something to be said for the Goddess showing us that there is a connection to her and that which we think of as profane. Maybe she is saying that embracing the "profane" things about us without shame is a way to get closer to her - or a way to understand the true nature she gave us without forcing ourselves to be more than the perfectly imperfect animals she intended us to be. Just some thoughts.
Read more about Baubo
:: Baubo, Greek Goddess of Mirth
:: Baubo on Wikipedia
:: The Story of Baubo

Way of the Master... Again

Comic © Jeffrey Rowland -

If you've been reading Panthea for a while you will know that I have this big issue with a Christian show called Way of the Master starring Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (yes, it's Mike Seaver from Growing Pains).

Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment, but I just can't seem to stop myself from watching the show and cruising the website. Why would a Goddess-centered Pagan do that, you ask? It's certainly not great for my blood pressure. Well the answer is simple. I believe the way of thinking presented on the show is dangerous to human society.

I honestly do not care what Ray and Kirk personally believe. In fact, I respect their right to practice any spirituality that suits them. My issues begin with the evangelism they spread across the globe that basically tells people how evil they are. Here in lies the conundrum. I respect Ray's and Kirk's right to practice their religion yet part of that practice includes evangelism - or spreading the word of the Bible. Yikes! I guess I'm bound to come off as not being tolerant no matter what I do.

So my purpose here is to say to anyone reading that you are not evil. You were not born bathed in sin. In fact, there is no sin and living life as the best person you can be is quite alright whether you believe in the Bible and Christianity or not. I don't think millions of Buddhists will be going to Hell at their end of their days. Can you imagine a man like the Dalai Lama belonging in Hell? How could a life of kindness and compassion sentence a person to such a place just because he didn't follow Christ? Ridicuous!

Oddly enough I don't believe Hell exists so let me make it clear that's not why the ideas of Way of the Master upset me so. I believe that people who believe they are evil will eventually begin to behave in a manner that fits that label. I believe that people can also be consumed with guilt and shame through their whole lives because of the ideas of sin and evil - allowing those emotions to become a kind of raw fear that threatens people around them and causes endless suffering. So, in an effort that may in fact be completely pointless, I confront the ideas of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron and provide a more rational and peaceful alternative.

What these two men (and many evangelicals) have yet to figure out is that conversion tactics don't work on those who don't believe in the Bible or Christian theology. The people Ray and Kirk manage to "save" have been endoctrinated by society from an early age and already have some shreads of belief in Christian ideas. Guilt, fear, shame, etc. lead them back to Christ not love, light, or truth.

Toady I am going to tackle the 10 Principles for New Christians found on the Way of the Master site because while reading them I began to see a trend of irrational thought and couldn't stop myself from commenting. I guess it's a good thing this is my blog. :)

Principle One - Daily Bible Reading
This is great. If you're a Christian be a good one a read your Bible. Anything else makes you a hypocrite. So... no arguments here save for the whole bit about how the Bible tells you to evangelize and contains a bunch of woman-hating misogony. Yeah, that stuff anyone could do without reading. Nice stories though.

Principle Two - Faith
Faith is great - wonderful even. It's what makes us all get up everyday and function. But, the way the Bible and God are proved to be truth in this section is just silly. It basically states that God can't lie so of course the Bible is fact and Christianity is the way. Please give me a break. I don't believe in the Bible any more than I believe in any other world mytholgy. What makes it different is that millions of people believe it's the word of God. Well millions believe in the Torah, the Koran, etc. And millions believe in a kind of equality among mythology - seeing value in many sacred texts. So, Ray and Kirk have proved nothing.

Principle Three - Evangelism
Oh goodness. I'm not sure I even have the energy to tackle this one right now. I think I have undertaken a very large task and finding the right words will be a challenge.

I think evangelism is sort of what's wrong with modern Christianity. I will use the Dalai Lama again as another example. He doesn't go around preaching to those who don't want to hear him nor does he tell people that they will burn in eternal fire for not believing what he says. He is kind to humanity and to those who seek the words of the Buddha he imparts wisdom and experience.

Did anyone ever stop to think that perhaps evangelism was born of the desire to convert as many people as possible to the "state religion"? It's much more convenient to gain power through the hearts of people when you control their religion. "Pay your taxes or you'll go to Hell." "Let me have your daughter or you'll go to Hell." "Farm your fingers to the bone then give the king half your food or you'll go to Hell." It makes perfect sense and history is a nice little tool we can use to see this in action. The Church was rich and fat while the people suffered and were controlled by Biblical ideas.

Okay, this post has gotten way long. I will see about the other principles next time. Blessings!

Unmasking Goddess Interview

Susy, an evangelical Christian, has begun to post the multi-part interview of me at her blog, Unmasking the Goddess. Head on over and give it a read. So far I am pleased with the presentation and feel it reads really well - honestly portraying my story and my experiences.

I regret that we weren't able to get into more Goddess-y stuff, but I also understand the point of the interview was to get to the core of why I chose Goddess religion in the first place. Hopefully I have made my points as well as I can in a non-offensive manner to other Goddess worshippers. I tried to speak for myself only.

If anyone would like to get a diallogue started on the contents of the interview or any of my opinions I would welcome the opportunity. Please use the comments form below to speak your mind.


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