By Lisa @ Panthea
By nature, the practice of Theanism (or Goddess Religion) fills a person with a sense of empowerment that teachers him/her to trust their instincts and their personal truths. The Goddess is the guiding force behind the search for these truths and the key to finding them.
We all have different relationships with the Goddess in the way individual children do with their mothers. Healthy, present mothers know which of their children need to know certain lessons and which may need to learn something different. As we grow, mothers teach new lessons or impart more wisdom in regards to old lessons. I believe the same can be said for how we learn from the Goddess.
All Goddesses are one Goddess so learning about her individual aspects may be the best way to understand her as a whole. This could seem like a hefty task considering she has thousands of faces, names, and symbols. One method we can use to simplify our experience is a simple tool I call the Three Keys System.
The Three Keys Step by Step
Keep the following questions in mind during all three of these steps:
1. Is this Goddess Maiden, Mother, or Crone? Could she be the culmination of all three as the All-Goddess?
2. Who are the other faces of this Goddess? (If she is a Crone who is the Maiden and the Mother and what name might be ascribed to their All-Goddess aspect?)
3. What is her relationship to other deities in her stories?
4. Does she have a mate or children? What are her relationships with them like?
5. What did this Goddess do? What is the main point of her story? What purpose does her myth serve?
6. What three key words or phrases can describe this Goddess?
Step One: Research
There’s no need to make sure you’ve found every piece of info under the sun and end up overwhelming yourself. Instead, narrow it down to at least three sources of information on the Goddess in question. Use the internet, books, etc. Research her symbols, the culture of her people, of whatever you need to get an understanding. Take notes and jot down random thoughts as you read. Use a highlighter or make notes in margins if this is helpful for you.
Step Two: Meditate
Spend some time reflecting on the Goddess you picked. Pay attention to those little moments of inspiration and listen to your inner voice. You could make your mediation deep and more traditional or you could go about your day in mindful meditation. It’s not unusual for me to have an epiphany in the shower or while doing dishes. If you’re like me, you might want to keep a notebook handy so you can jot things down on the go.
Step Three: Write
Here is where you put it all together. Download a handy worksheet here that can be printed, punched, and kept in a binder or folder. Now, choose your three keywords and support them with three elaborating statements for each. Try to figure out what you’ve learned from this Goddess and how she has contributed to your vision of the Goddess as a whole. Make notes about her status as Maiden, Mother, Crone, All, her relationship to the male aspect, meaningful bits about her myth, etc. to finish up.
SAMPLE: Merope, Minoan Bee Goddess
Keyword #1 - Connection
- It is not good to always be alone.
- Seek connection with other people and with all life.
- Live in harmony with others.
Keyword #2 - Responsibility
- Live responsibly in co-existence with other people and with nature.
- Work honestly and earn your keep in life.
- Everyone has a purpose.
Keyword #3 - Humility
- Love is stronger than you.
- Love openly and without shame.
- There is no room for pride in love.