What is Religion?

I've been doing quite a bit of studying tonight and I came across Ninian Smart and his Dimensions of Religion. I am currently pondering how they apply to Goddess Religion and would love to hear what these ideas may provoke for you. So, if you feel like putting your scholar's cap on, have a read and add some of those brilliant thoughts to the comments. Knowing me, I'll most likely have a lot more to say on this in future posts.

♥ Lisa

Dimensions of Religion

Smart is widely known for his seven-part definition of religion, or rather scheme of study; as this approach avoids the problem of defining altogether. Whatever else religion may or may not be – whether theistic or non-theistic, religions possess certain recognizable elements, which can be studied. These dimensions vary in importance but are almost always present. Smart divided these into "historical" and "para-historical," meaning by the latter those dimensions that take the investigation into the experience, or inner lives, or religious people. The "historical" can be studied empirically, the para-historical takes the student into the realm of belief and concepts and requires dialogue and participation; "since the study of man is in an important sense participatory – for one has to enter into men’s intentions, beliefs, myths, desires, in order to understand why they act as they do – it is fatal if cultures including our own are described merely externally, without entering into dialogue with them."[16]

Smart’s sevenfold scheme of study:
  1. Doctrinal
  2. Mythological
  3. Ethical
  4. Ritual
  5. Experiential
  6. Institutional
  7. Material (added in his 1998 text)
Note: Smart categorized 1-3 as para-historical and 4-6 as historical.

New Feature: Ask Panthea

As I've said before, people need people. Recently, I seem to be getting more and more aware of this fact and I felt there was a need for people to reach out in a safe way. We learn and grow by our connections to others and asking questions and expressing ideas is one way that we connect and create a dialogue with each other.

I firmly believe that there are no stupid questions and that the ability to ask questions is a sign of great courage and intelligence. I've set up this little area so that anyone can ask any question they like.

Your question might be about Goddess mythology, meditation, general spiritual practices, ritual observances, following your bliss, shadow work, or just life in general. Maybe you've recently come out of a rocky relationship and are having trouble letting go. What kind of wisdom might we uncover together to help you overcome that loss?

Click over to the Ask Panthea page for all the details and to leave your questions, comments, ideas, thoughts, musings, etc.

♥ Lisa

Dear Goddess (6.29.11)

I had no idea it could be this way. 

I find myself feeling grateful. Firstly, I am thankful for that feeling. It's amazing to be able to look around at all that I have (and all that I don't have) and be utterly and completely grateful for it all. I couldn't feel that gratitude a few years ago and I think that has a lot to do with not living authentically and trying very hard to fit into the expectations of others. These days I have acceptance and with that acceptance comes the courage I always knew I had to be wholly myself.

"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." - Sam Keen

Being loved for exactly who you are has a way of setting you free. It's like suddenly you realize that if someone else can love you that way, then you can surely love yourself as well - that you're worth something after all. Sometimes we get lucky enough for someone else to teach us that lesson. It's certainly easier than having to figure it out on your own. Regardless of how the lesson comes, we have to believe it - I mean truly believe it - or it's just a waste. And we have to keep on believing it consistently, which can be a bit challenging at times.

This love and acceptance I'm talking about doesn't have to come in the form of a romantic partner, but sometimes it does. You don't need a man to be happy per se, but sometimes that's the package it comes in. Plain and simple, people need people. We crave connection with others - need it at our most instinctual levels - and I personally believe we miss out on part of the experience that ultimately leads to self realization if we try to go it alone.

So, I am grateful for all of the things I've learned, for what I now understand as true partnership, for being a team, and for putting each other first. I'm grateful for mutual compassion, understanding, and a desire to make the other realize they are so very worthy of goodness and happiness. I'm grateful for secret looks, inside jokes, and little surprises. I'm grateful for shared responsibilities, cuddles, and spontaneous kitchen dancing. Thank you for my Adonis, my Pluto, my cherished Consort, my other half. I had no idea...

♥ Lisa

Connecting with the Goddess

Over the years I've gotten the impression that many people are just not sure how they can connect with the Goddess unless they are in a ritual circle. One way that we can connect with Goddess on a daily basis is through nature.
"You don't have to know the name for every plant in your local forest. You don't have to grow your own food and harvest it at the perfect time according to the sun, moon, and stars. All you have to do is observe a sunset or listen to the sound the trees make as they dance in the wind. It's really very simple. If you're concerned about being more involved in nature but feel that you live in a way that makes that difficult (i.e. the city, an apartment, etc.) try some of these things:

- Get a pet. Communing with nature doesn't specifically have to mean the plant world.

- If you have no yard to grow plants in try using containers. Houseplants are wonderful for their energy and their decorative aspects. Tomatoes grow fabulously in a big pot on a patio or balcony. I grew roses, herbs, and various annuals every year on a balcony that was three stories up.

- Use purchased dried herbs to make teas, oils, and other nature-based concoctions.

- Give thanks for all that you consume. Whether it's food, water, or air - be grateful and thankful for all that nature provides.

- Take note of your surroundings as you walk into work, school, and basically go about your day. Chances are there are all sorts of plants lining the streets of your town/city. Take a moment to take in their scent and touch their leaves or petals.

- Create your own natural world through meditation and visit it often.

- Look within. See that you are of nature and you are divine.

The more you practice some of the small daily things the more you will begin to notice that nature is not living in a forest somewhere on a mountain top full of mysteriously named plant folk. Instead, it is everywhere and everything around you."
[from previous post:: Paganism, A Nature Religion]

The Goddess is all things including people. Spending time connecting with loved ones is another way to come in contact with that grounding Goddess energy. Play with your kids, laugh with friends, and make time to make love with your partner. Every moment is an opportunity to be divine and experience the sacredness of love. Always remain present and celebrate your every single breath.

♥ Lisa

The Power of Kali

I've experienced first hand how this mantra works. It's from one of my favorite books called Shakti Mantras: Tapping into the Great Goddess Energy Within by Thomas Ashley-Farrand (an absolute must have for learning about the Indian face(s) of the Goddess) and it's exactly the one I used years ago to propel my life into a series of blessedly necessary changes.

I would encourage everyone to use a certain amount of discretion and caution when using this mantra. The author gives a similar warning that I didn't really believe until I witnessed the upheaval taking place in my life. What followed was a lot of struggling and tears and heartache. But there are always pains before birth and I ended up exactly where I belonged when everything was said and done.  Now I have honestly never been happier. :D

So be careful, have a read of the mantra below, and be sure to read the entire article - which is an excerpt from the book published with the author's permission on Beliefnet (here).
Om Hrim Shreem Klim Adya Kalika Param Eshwari Swaha [Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Ahd-yah Kah-lee-kah Pah-rahm Ehsh-wah-ree Swah-hah]

"Om and salutations to She who is the first one, dark within her own reality, the supreme primordial feminine, who cuts through illusion to the unabridged truth of existence."
♥ Lisa

Dear Goddess (6.22.11)

Tonight I pray for an end to the suffering of children. I pray that mothers hear your voice and find you within themselves so that they may be healthy and love their children as you do - the way a healthy mother loves - the way you have taught humanity to love their children since the beginning of time.

I pray that fathers accept that men too may nurture and care for children. I pray that young boys might be encouraged to play with baby dolls so that they may discover what it is to be a good father from a young age. Our boys are born to nurture as our girls are. Teach them. Let us all disobey the backward gender stereotypes of our society and teach our boys to love as a healthy father does. They may not only be providers and protectors, but also loving, nurturing, present parents.

Finally, I pray for the souls of those who have been born unwanted and unloved by unhealthy parents. I pray with all of my soul that they find peace and compassion and eternal love within you Mama. Let them know what it is to be worthy and full of your divine love.  Let them realize that they too are divine and that we all are one within the Goddess, Mother and Creator of All Things.

By the power and will of She that is three, so mote it be.

Printable Goddess Dolls

Cute little Goddess doll stickers that are great for decorating personal items like notebooks, journals, etc. or for home-schoolers when grading assignments or doing art projects. Each page has multiple sets that can be printed and cut out. Great for Goddessy goody bags at parties.

Wow, my iPod is scratched up. :D Anyway, these can be printed on magnet paper, regular sticker paper, and clear sticker paper. I plan on trying them on vinyl sticker paper as soon as possible. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Goddess Stickers Set 1 | Goddess Stickers Set 2

Values of the Goddess

June is Pagan values month in the blogosphere. After giving this post some thought I realized that the topic of values could be extremely broad and grey in nature. So, I decided that the best way to organize my thoughts was to turn to the values I believe are taught to us by the Goddess as a living force of nature.

The Maiden: Freedom and Non-Judgment
Perhaps being truly free means to let go of guilt, fears, and self-judgment. Know yourself, love yourself, and stop judging yourself. You are good, you are worthy, and you are divine. Once we stop judging ourselves, we can stop imagining that we are being judged by others and we can stop judging everyone else. This leads to an acute sense of personal responsibility that in turn leads to freedom from materialism, unhealthy levels of vanity, and greed that can ultimately harm ourselves, our society, and our planet.

The Mother: Love and Connection
Once we’re free, our lives are released to celebration, connection with others, and the Goddess’s sacred pleasures. The Goddess teaches us to love others the way a healthy mother loves her children. She tells us that pleasure is good and sacred, that sexuality is natural and not dirty, and that love is the greatest force in all existence. Through our connection with others we can continue our personal journey of self awareness by understanding our place in our relationships and how those relationships impact us and others. Imagine if everyone treated their loved ones with kindness and compassion. Making your own "little world" a happy place contributes to the betterment of the entire universe.

The Crone: Wisdom and Experience
Now that we’re free and our lives are full of love, we have the peace and openness required to listen to our inner voice and the courage to truly embrace the wisdom of the Goddess. We acknowledge our connection to nature, the inherent oneness of all things, and the eternal cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth that we all exist in. To say we know these things is different from feeling them in your soul. With this wisdom, our journey may become one of teaching as we continue to become more self aware and gain confidence in ourselves and in our beliefs.

It is my strong and long held belief that this is what the Goddess, again as a living force of nature, has always been able to teach humanity. Through the cycles of life, of sun and earth, and of the moon, she whispers these lessons to us. All we have to do is listen carefully to hear her.

[image source]

Panthea on Facebook

Panthea is on Facebook. Why is this cool? Well, most of the world seems to be on Facebook also and it's quickly becoming a place to read all your news and information all in one place. If you enjoy the blog posts here at Panthea, you can get them delivered right to your Facebook newsfeed by simply clicking like at the top of this page. You'll also be able to comment, share your own info, and add your own experiences to the Panthea fanpage. It's a great forum for knowledge and community interaction. I can't wait to get to know everyone better and start learning from each other. Visit the Panthea Facebook Fanpage here!

New Free Stuff: Calendar

This calendar is a semi-comprehensive list of dates, events, feast days, notable birthdays, holidays, etc for Pagan Goddess Worshipers. The calendar was created in Google Calendar, so it's easy to import there. It's also compatible with any other ICAL compliant calendar utilities.

Download here and stay up to date.

Dear Goddess (6.11.11)

I'd like to take a moment to formally give thanks for the amazingly artful movements of your fabulous universe that brought me to this point in my life. It's been a long and rocky journey at times, but I wouldn't change anything. Well, if I'm being honest, I'd probably change a thing or two but only if I could know everything would turn out the same. Besides the point, I am forever grateful and, from this day forward, I will do my best to keep up the gratitude with a sort of journal... starting now.

Thank you for love. The kind of love that changes everything and never lets you forget it. The kind of love that you wake up grateful for every morning of your life. Along those sames lines, thank you for the opportunity to really make love. I don't think I'd ever done it before.

Thank you for another opportunity to be a mother. For new life and poopy diapers and spit up. For lullabies and sleepless nights and hours of nursing. Thank you for baby laughs and big sister smiles and the endless amounts of joy my children have brought to me and the world.

Thank you for me. For helping me remember who I am and showing me how to weave my own threads and find my own way to what I was destined to be.

♥ Lisa

Studying Aphrodite

My recent wave of research began with a fresh feeling of connection to the Minoan Bee Goddess sometimes referred to as Merope. If you're a return reader of Panthea, you might remember me talking about the Bee Goddess before and even creating a temple space for her here at Panthea.

At some point in my research I came across an alternate name for the Bee Goddess as Mylitta (an older version of Melissae meaning bee).
Malidthu, Mu Allidta, Mulitta (mldth at Ugarit); Mylitta, Melita, Molis (Greek)/ Mirru (mr at Ugarit); Myrrha (Greek)
"According to some sources, her name means "Childbearing" and she is the mother of ’Adon. She is identified as a goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and childbirth. Her shrine was at the sacred spring of Afka, where fire was said to fall into the water, renewing the youth of the goddess, combining the force of earthly flowing water and of heavenly fire. She was sometimes depicted nude riding a tortoise or he-goat." (source)
I had already been feeling another pull to study Aphrodite more in depth. The information above made me feel that the Bee Goddess of Crete was most likely an older and more intact imagining of Aphrodite and solidified that it was time to revisit she who is most commonly thought of only as a Goddess of physical love and attraction.
"As an image arising in the human heart, Aphrodite comes alive when the animal nature of humanity is experienced as divine."
"We should perhaps remember that in our culture the divinity of Aphrodite has been so long sacrificed to what Erich Neumann describes as the patriarchal sexualization of the feminine that we have probably forgotten who she is."
"Aphrodite is then the daughter of Heaven and Sea - the original mother goddess in many traditions - and the first fruit of the separation of Heaven and Earth, carrying as her birthright, as it were, the memory of their union."
"Stories and images of Aphrodite portray her as the synthesis of nature and culture; natural beauty and the art that celebrates the beauty of life."
"Although Aphrodite inhabits our imagination as essentially Greek, the Greeks in turn inherited her from Cyprus via Crete, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Yet Aphrodite is primarily a descendant of the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna-Ishtar, who became Astarte in Phoenicia and was called Atargatis by the Philistines, and Ashtoreth by the Hebrews. Innana's consort, Dumizi, and Ishtar's Tammuz became, in the Greek tradition, Aphrodite's Adonis, the dying and resurrected son-lover of the goddess in a new form." 
- The Myth of the Goddess by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford (p. 351 and 358)

"Aphrodite is a fertility Goddess, the primal mother of all on-going creation. She is virgin in the original sense (one-in-herself, not necessarily abstaining from sex but always remaining independent), and has eternal beauty."
"In Crete the epithet Antheia (flower goddess) was connected with Aphrodite at Knossos."
"Aphrodite came into Greece through Cyprus and originally was from western Asia, where a young lover, Adonis, eventually was added to her mythology. The Goddess was akin especially to Ishtar and Astarte."
- Lost Goddesses of Early Greece by Charlene Spretnak

Even after lengthy research on various Goddesses, I am still amazed when the pieces of each Goddess' story connects back to her original "Great Goddess and Creator of All Things" roots. In this little bit of study alone the following connection have been made: Minoan Bee Goddess = Mylitta = Ashtoreth = Innana-Ishtar = Astarte = Isis = Aphrodite. The Goddesses connected with Aphrodite are all Great Goddess figures - not just goddesses of love or other singular aspects. I should not be surprised (as I do believe all Goddesses are one and must all have singular roots) but still I find I'm always amazed and satisfied when I make these connections through my own research.

I hope to eventually study more about Aphrodite and Adonis (also Dionysos, Tammuz, Dumizi, Osiris, and probably Plutos/Hades in my opinion as well). I have some theories concerning Aphrodite and Persephone and their place in a trinity of Great Mother Gaia, but that's for another time.

Please feel free to contribute your own ideas, theories, research, and comments. I always love a great discussion and welcome all healthy debate.

Videos: The Goddess Religion

I was so pleasantly surprised to find these awesome videos on YouTube while doing a search for "Goddess Religion" on Google. So cool! When I get a moment (or when the baby boy lets me) I plan on studying all of this in depth and commenting. For now, watch them with me and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.


Archives: Does Kirk Cameron Read Panthea?

It's been fours years and I still have a big Kirk-monkey on my back. Have a read below and learn a little about where it all started.

Recent side note: Kirk decided to take on the brilliance that is Sir Steven Hawking. Read more here in an article from May 2011.

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

Originally posted on September 12, 2007

Hey guys. Look at this comment I got today from an older post of mine entitled Know Thyself. Notice the little bit about The Way of the Master which is not once mentioned in the post itself. Maybe Kirk or his buddy Ray Comfort were doing a little search on their show and my blog came up. Why do you suppose this person prefers to remain anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Lee: According to Proverbs 18;2
"A fool has no delight in understanding except that her heart may discover itself". You can spend your whole life on a journey of self discovery and wind up in hell. Not becasue you haven't believed in Jesus but becasue you have sinned against a Holy, just and rightous God who WILL hold each of us accountible for "every idle word". Sin is simply the violation of God's law laid out in the Ten Commandments. If you are honest with yourself you have to admit that you have violated the whole of God's Law. Repent of your sin adn turn to him before it's too late. No one is promised tomorrow. I am glad you are watching The Way of the Master. May God use it to open yours eyes to His Truth.
I'm going to address this with a few simple words. First, I believe in the Goddess who is the Lady of Life. She carries the kind of love that all healthy mothers do for their children - for all of creation. Her lessons are very different from those of your just and righteous god of the bible. I don't believe in the bible. I don't believe in sin. I believe most (not all) of the ten commandments are obsolete and only served to control a less enlightened culture. I don't believe in your god. Your conversion tactics are wasted on me. I can only hope that the Mother calls out to you and enters your heart so that you may see real truth and freedom through the divine inspiration of her lessons. I mean no disrespect but wish you a journey full of open eyes and mystical experiences.

Printable Moon Phase Poster

A whimsical hand drawn poster tracking the phases of the moon for 2011. Perfect to post on your fridge, insert into your circle's calender and your personal Book of Shadows, or help your little ones learn how to observe the moon. The red dates mark all 8 traditional holidays of the Wheel of the Year.

Check this out. I printed the Moon Phase Calendar out on ink jet magnet paper and stuck it to my fridge! Super cool and definitely useful for families. If you look closely you can also see one of my Goddess Dolls turned into a magnet. :D So cute.

Download the free printable Moon Phase Calendar pdf file here.

Printable Homemade Spirit Board

When I was younger, and first learning about occult-related things, I remember hearing that a Ouija board was more powerful if you made it by hand. I've created a quick way that you can make your own Spirit Board (aka Ouija Board) at home with some simple supplies and little bit of time. Read more below for the free printable file and super simple directions.

  • Piece of sturdy cardboard - I used what was left of a watercolor block. It's very thick board. You could alternately use a piece of wood. I painted mine with a whitewash but you could finish yours any way you like.
  • Inkjet sticker paper - I used clear decal paper as seen here because I wanted the painted texture of the board to show through the text.
  • Shot glass, tea lite holder, or other glass vessel to use as a planchette. I used a Sharpie to make a circle on the bottom of my tea lite holder so that each letter or number was highlighted better when using the board.
  • This file, especially created by yours truly for this particular project.
  1. Paint and/or finish your board however you choose. 
  2. Print out the file onto your sticker paper. 
  3. Fix sticker to the board.
  4. Enjoy.
Download the printable file for free here.

Panthea Has a Real Domain Name!

Yay! That's right, I've finally gone and done it. I can't believe I never thought to use this domain before. All those years I never purchased an actual dot com because I couldn't think of one I thought would work. Turns out allthingsaregoddess.com is perfect and it was available.

I think I can officially say that I am back now. No foolin', no false starts. It's on for real this time and I will soon be posting all sorts of Goddess-y goodness for your reading pleasure (or at least I hope it's pleasurable anyway). And if it isn't than you can let me know why by posting some comments and getting a debate going. For now, I leave you with this little tidbit that I've been pondering...

Theanism (thay-a-nism)
An all inclusive nature-based Goddess religion.


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