In the beginning, as humans emerged from the shadowland of prehistory, God was a woman.
Sometime around 2300 BC, a Sumerian priest composed a hymn in praise of God, "The Exaltation ofInanna." This song of wondrous passion and power has come down to history as the world's first known poem. But perhaps, what makes this poem so extraordinary is that the first God and the first priest-poet were both female.
Her first priest-poet, Enheduanna, was the voice of the first divinity, the Great Goddess whose worship was as old as time itself and touched the entire world. She was the "moon-minister to the Most High".
The power and focus of the first woman God is one of history's best kept secrets. In cultures around the world, the she has been worshipped and revered in a plethora of forms, in thicket and grove, cathedral and temple.
Through myth, art, ritual and rite the Goddess has been honored and hallowed. From Australia to Africa, in Asia as far as China, throughout the Mediterranean to the steppes of Southern Russia, history presents
the Goddess' prominence and prevalence as essential from the sunrise of human life.
Today when we of think of the word "goddess" we think of a number of goddesses, all with different names- Danu, Rhea, Isis, Demeter. We forget that what every schoolgirl knew 5000 years ago was that no matter what name or form she took, there was only one God and her name was woman.
The Goddess does not easily fit into categories. Describing Athena as merely a Goddess of War or Danu as simply goddess of creativity is to diminish Her power and influence in other circles. These categories are a simply woven giveaway blanket, showing that common threads that weave into a larger, far richer rug, can have a complex and expert pattern. Know that each aspect of the Goddess is far deeper and more intriguing than a category can describe.
The path of Goddess is not steeped in dogma. It is a path that thrives and grows open living with what is sacred, what is honorable, what is spiritual, what is joyful in our lives. We can draw power and fortitude, courage and perseverance, love and compassion all from the Goddess.
No longer part of religious structure, the Goddess now resides in each woman's heart. For contemporary women, the Goddess and her many aspects exist as psychological archetypes and their myths and stories serve as vehicles for growth, understanding, healing, change, transformation and love.
Woman can be like a seed containing the potential for growth. Archetypes or faces of the Goddess described in mythology can apply to her at any time in her life. She may be as focused Circe, as determined as Psyche, as industrious as Athena, as changeable as Changing Woman, as seductive as Aphrodite, and as creative as Brigid. All of this is possible because each characteristic is expressed at different times.
The beauty of woman is in her way of embracing the nuances of many dimensions of the Goddess at
once. The love that blossoms from self-understanding is empowering and transformative. Suddenly something "clicks" into place and what was once difficult is suddenly transformed into energy and light that permeates a woman's entire being.
Every woman has the right to uncover who she is by stripping societal imposed roles, peeling off cultural stereotypes, and uncovering her own mysteries and beauty. Therefore, it's so important that the many dimensions, faces and aspects of the Goddess and her myths should not be adapted as rules to follow. The Goddess hints and points her finger at the core of your very spirit- the spirit waiting to be
unveiled to sing its unique song.
Once the Goddess has called to you, you are never the same.
The Book of Goddesses and Heroines, Patricia Monaghan
An Illustrated Journey Into the Myths, Symbols and Rituals of the Goddess, Manuela D. Mascetti
The Witches' Goddess, J. and S. Farrar
The Women's Book of Myths & Secrets, Barbara J. Walker
The Mythic Image, Joseph Campbell
The Women's History of the World, Rosalind Miles
Women of Classical Mythology: A Biographical Dictionary
Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism,
Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein