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Aethelflaed
November 24th, 2007, 03:13 PM
As some of you already know, I've had Christianity pounded into me for most of my life, and I've just begun to explore Paganism. One path I'm drawn to is Dianic & Goddess Witchcraft because of its emphasis on female deities -- which, as a Christian, I had never encountered before. Seeing the divine as also being female really appeals to me because I believe it can empower me as a woman. However, due to my Christian conditioning, I'm having a hard time actually doing this. Right now, subconsciously, I can only believe in one male god. So for everyone else out there who was raised under a religion that says there's only one male god, I was wondering -- Is it possible to get over this? If so, are there any methods you would suggest for helping me see "God" in different forms besides Yahweh?

Sael
November 24th, 2007, 06:04 PM
As some of you already know, I've had Christianity pounded into me for most of my life, and I've just begun to explore Paganism. One path I'm drawn to is Dianic & Goddess Witchcraft because of its emphasis on female deities -- which, as a Christian, I had never encountered before. Seeing the divine as also being female really appeals to me because I believe it can empower me as a woman. However, due to my Christian conditioning, I'm having a hard time actually doing this. Right now, subconsciously, I can only believe in one male god. So for everyone else out there who was raised under a religion that says there's only one male god, I was wondering -- Is it possible to get over this? If so, are there any methods you would suggest for helping me see "God" in different forms besides Yahweh?

I totally understand your dilemma. I was raised catholic, but not a strict catholic and yep, it was hard for me too. I think ultimately what made the difference for me is tapping into my strength as a woman and also being a feminist also helped me to see the that the Christian God was not a God I could even pay attention to, nevermind worship. The answer is 'yes', you can get over it.

I thought of the Christian God as a punisher and I also saw that some Christians act in such violent, misogynistic ways that I wanted no part of their God. I mean, plus if you look at Christian history you can see the complete and utter disrespect for others and the murderous ways, all done in the name of their Male god.

When I thought about that history, it was at this moment I began to feel that what was taught to me all those years was wrong, for me anyway. How could I worship a God who murders people?

I immersed myself in Goddess culture and read tons of books and practiced ritual and made best friends with Mother Nature, who I feel is my true Mother figure.

It's a process and it didn't have an 'aha!' moment for me. It was just like sliding into a new pair of shoes.

Just keep immersing yourself into Her and you'll find your way.

Tanya
November 24th, 2007, 06:29 PM
Whne I first became I pagan, I too was deeply drawn to Diana... It was almost like I desperately needed the divinity pendulum to swing back ....

being deeply interested in animals and nature... she was a natural goddess to me... butt he trouble I've always had with DIana is that she TOTALLY rejects the male.... how can she 'produce' with out the male actualizing potential?

After I was fully liberated from the domination of a maladjusted male god, I started seeing that Diana isn't able to be complete.... she is a young woman's goddess..a virgin goddess... alas... that is not the lay of my emotional/physiological make-up. So after a while I found other forest goddesses who accept the male principle while in no way allowing it to diminish their own power (thus a balance between god and goddess).... currently my Lady is Andarta....

I have grown to look at the world around as
"mother of us all" and te concept of "yaweh" as just some tribal thunder god.... (yawn) he's so... provincial verses The Mother who you can see in every act of generation on the planet

however, over the years I have gotten over the bad taste left in my mouth by the patriarchal worship of Yaweh and have slowly been able to reintergrate the male principle into my worship....not all male gods after all are bastards....

I really like Cernunous.... he's a man after a Diana girls heart.... wild and generative.. a god of animals and good animal feelings like lust and joy.....

and i love pan...and bacchus... because again they are fun and wild and joyous.... (something I never knew a male diety could be!)

the reality is on our planet... sex is important and it takes 2 to tango, and both polarities need to be respected and valued... too long women have been pushed down... but now that we are standing up.... cutting ourselves off the the male principle I fear would send us down the same road that ended with a stupid thunder god telling us we can't have sex doggy style. (WTF!)

We are sexual creatures, and by our nature tend to percieve the universe based on that dichotomy... but i think the reality is... the Creative and Coesive Force of the Universe is genderless...or maybe better put 'beyond gender' but we can see gender aspects of both in "Its" movement....

female in the nurturing and bringing to bare

male in the actualizing and initiating...

heal and recover from you Christian scars first.. then maybe you can think of God again a little more possitively.

Mithrea
November 26th, 2007, 02:46 AM
Wow, those are great responses. I don't have much to add, except that I found meditation to be a powerful tool for finding and "seeing" Her. It took a lot of practice and time, but eventually her figure and features became more and more clear to me as my understanding of Her progressed and deepened. I really liked the suggestion of immersing yourself in Goddess culture. I think "immerse" is such an appropriate, beautiful word in that sense.

LordHelmet
November 26th, 2007, 03:20 AM
Yahweh wasn't originaly male but beyond gender, the entire concept of monotheism is way beyond gender distinction... or should be... anyway the god in the bible, for what it matters, wasn't even supposed to be male. Rather his creations were male and female, he was supposed to be all that existed. (guess what, english isn't the only language with the 'he/she' issue) God is all that is, was, will be ... God is the embodiement of much more then a galactic case of domestic violence.

maybe that helps, maybe it doesn't. You WILL get through this, I swear to ... whatever ... I swear. You will.

In the mean time it doesn't hurt to focus into the female aspects of divinity, a little makeup time/spirituality, on the other hand I would sugest looking at a balanced spirituality to really see where they connect like isis/osiris.

Personal I've left all the dieties and gone with spiritualities like budhism and gnosticism, but thats me.

Aethelflaed
November 29th, 2007, 01:49 AM
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I guess it'll just take time. My experience with the Christian god has actually been a good one; I just don't believe in a lot of the official Church doctrines. I guess I gave the wrong impression when I called the Christian god "Yahweh" because to me, he really hasn't been the dysfunctional Yahweh figure portrayed in the Bible.

I've felt really inspired by the few goddess books I've read so far -- "When God was a Woman" and "Changing of the Gods" immediately come to mind -- even though there's been a lot of debate between "feminist" scholars and more "mainstream" scholars. But I really like the balance between the goddess and god, too, and I never understood when feminist authors said only a female could give birth. Well OK, I do understand, but still, you need the man for the seed to be there in the first place. As Tanya said, it takes two to tango.

lil'BuddhistWitch
November 29th, 2007, 10:20 PM
i wonder if this site.... i found while searching livejournal holds any truth

check it out and let me know...

http://www.mother-god.com/

just something i found... and wondered if anyone had seen it...

~tori

aluokaloo
November 30th, 2007, 01:04 AM
well I was raised a christian as a child, but I'd always loved reading about mythology, perhaps start browsing illustrated mythology books and pictures, online and in your local bookstores, and see if there are any images that may appeal to you, even if they don't it might give you a good idea about what goddesses look like. Fantasia was my starting point on how unique and diverse gods and goddesses looked, from the thundering classical Zeus hurling lightning bolts down on the terrified and err...portly Dionysis, to the graceful Nyx sweeping across the skies, while Artemis shot stars from her arrows behind a bow . You don't have to start with the greeks mind you, that was just my jumping off point.

aluokaloo
November 30th, 2007, 01:22 AM
I totally understand your dilemma. I was raised catholic, but not a strict catholic and yep, it was hard for me too. I think ultimately what made the difference for me is tapping into my strength as a woman and also being a feminist also helped me to see the that the Christian God was not a God I could even pay attention to, nevermind worship. The answer is 'yes', you can get over it.

I thought of the Christian God as a punisher and I also saw that some Christians act in such violent, misogynistic ways that I wanted no part of their God. I mean, plus if you look at Christian history you can see the complete and utter disrespect for others and the murderous ways, all done in the name of their Male god.

When I thought about that history, it was at this moment I began to feel that what was taught to me all those years was wrong, for me anyway. How could I worship a God who murders people?

I immersed myself in Goddess culture and read tons of books and practiced ritual and made best friends with Mother Nature, who I feel is my true Mother figure.

It's a process and it didn't have an 'aha!' moment for me. It was just like sliding into a new pair of shoes.

Just keep immersing yourself into Her and you'll find your way.

almost any deity god or goddess can be a hard-ass a punisher, a murderer, a rapist, a dictator, Any deity can be wrathful and go overboard. all one needs to do is read their myths. Gaia gave me an important and chilling reminder of her other side, not only does she give life but she can take out vast majorities of it in one fell swoop before most of the population even knows what's happening. Just thought I'd add my buck fifty

cheers!

Aethelflaed
November 30th, 2007, 02:54 AM
i wonder if this site.... i found while searching livejournal holds any truth

check it out and let me know...

http://www.mother-god.com/

just something i found... and wondered if anyone had seen it...

~tori

Wow, that's an interesting site (although that pinkish color has got to go...yikes!). I definitely plan on checking it out later. (I'd do it now, but it's already dangerously close to my bedtime!) I'm especially interested in "The Myth of the Myth of the Mother Goddess." I've heard both sides of the argument and don't really know what to think.

And Fantasia -- duh! Why didn't I think of that? I guess because I haven't seen it in forever and don't have a very good visual memory. But yeah, I'll have to look for those god and goddess images.

Mithrea
December 1st, 2007, 12:37 AM
Wow, that's an interesting site (although that pinkish color has got to go...yikes!). I definitely plan on checking it out later. (I'd do it now, but it's already dangerously close to my bedtime!) I'm especially interested in "The Myth of the Myth of the Mother Goddess." I've heard both sides of the argument and don't really know what to think.



I just got through reading the "Myth of the Myth of the Mother Goddess" and while I cringe at the abuse of the word myth (which means "a sacred story," it does not mean "false"), I find that this article pretty much jives with all other credible sources on the subject, and my own experiences.

The suggestion that Goddess figures from pre-patriarchal times is ancient porn, quite frankly makes me nauseous. I've heard that before, and they mention it in the article and oh, . . . just ick.