wild and dreaming stories from the edge of the world


Going Down to Our Knees For the Goddess

I have read that the goddess is rising, but I don't believe it. I believe it is we who are deepening. And she opens herself beneath us, always there beneath us; she is our ground.

(I don't mean only our soil and bedrock, although that too of course.)

And she does not rise because she has not been slumbering, nor been hiding. It is we who let her name be stolen from our hearts, who turned our faces from her presence. She never left us, and never will.




I am an old witch; I have spiderwebs in my hair. (I'm not so old literally speaking, but I wander around tracklessly through all the ages of myself.) My youth is encapsulated in one memory: rollerskating to the witchery shop with my birthday money when I was no more than thirteen. It's funny, faith in the goddess is widespread now, but the witchery shops hereabouts have all closed down. You can buy books and tarot online instead - but you can't smile at other women with flowers in their hair as you browse the aisles, nor come across a book on companion gardening that calls to your heart when you really went in there for something about crystals. You can't read community notices and get advice from the women behind the desk.




I'm an old witch and sometimes I feel sad. The ancient faith is becoming more mainstream again - the census this week asked me if I was pagan, Celtic pagan, or neo-pagan, and I sighed and randomly picked a term of mass generalisation, because there was no space to say follower of the brown-bellied, snake-eyed old mama and the barefoot king of the storms. But sometimes mainstream feels like it simply means how much is available to buy. And if I see one more sparkly book or internet quiz which allows me to figure out which goddess archetype I belong to and therefore what colours to wear, I'll likely growl.




But there are more true believers than ever before, and while I can't bump into them in the bookstore I can read online about their permaculture gardens ... and their travelling storyteller service ... and their soup kitchens ... and their heirloom seed collections ... and how they picked up rubbish from the beach ... and cradled an old cat into the long sleep ... and learned remedies to care for themselves ... and painted a leaping moon-hare in the forest ... People doing their prayers these days. My own church is the space beneath my fingernails, and my service is to pack that space full of dirt, sea salt, wind, typewritten hymns.

And even with the bookshops, and even without them, and even in the centuries of fire, and even with the census possibilities now, and way back then, and long past now, the goddess has not risen or fallen, but gone on being our sacred soul-ground.



4 comments:

  1. I feel that too, that she has always been there, and we're the ones who turned away. Who forgot. Who were not allowed to worship her.

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  2. always there. always there, beneath our feet, in the blue sky, in the waving grain, in the animals leaping, in the forest with its dark green eyes. in our hearts and hands. in embroideries and carvings and paintings. in our bellies and breasts. always there.

    "the door is round and open. do not go back to sleep."

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  3. Love this, Sarah!

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  4. How I love this. So much here that's sparked me, and nodding along vigorously too, (how I miss the connections and seedings of those actual bricks-and-mortar places).
    And yes: "the goddess has not risen or fallen, but gone on being our sacred soul-ground".
    Yesss. x

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