Sunday, October 30, 2011

Goddess Thealogy in a Trinitarian Tradition: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and Goddess the Holy Spirit, Maiden, Mother, and Crone

I've been thinking lately about the Goddess in relation to the Trinity. I think perhaps because Goddess thealogy for some reason or another tends to get excluded from most Christian traditions, and given that my family is rooted in a Christian tradition, I have been thinking of ways that the Goddess really is already present in that tradition. It occurred to me that the Trinity is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father and Son are fairly clearly defined in the Christian traditions, but what is this Holy Spirit? It is very mystical and mysterious. It is described as wind or breath (air element). It is almost vapor-like, something that can move within and without, or at times it is described as a fire (fire element). What I have come to believe is that the Holy Spirit is the Goddess.

We really don't hear much in the Bible about this Holy Spirit. I mean, there was that bit in Acts where the Holy Spirit mixed up people's speech, confusing people and causing rumors of drunkenness (and I know there were more instances, but in all fairness God and Jesus did get a bit more attention in the Christian Scriptures). And it seems to me that very much like the confusion in Acts, Christians are generally speaking quite confused by the Goddess. Most Christians don't quite know what to do with Her. And so rather than trying to understand one another's [theological] language, rather than trying to actually come to terms with a feminine aspect of the Divine, we place a "Spirit" label on Her, though we are careful not to actually refer to the Holy Spirit in feminine terms. No, it is "God the Father, God the Son, and GOD the Holy Spirit." Never do we hear "Goddess the Holy Spirit." In fact, when someone dares to invoke the Goddess, people become uncomfortable because it sounds like one is invoking a separate deity. However, if the Trinity is 3 in 1, then why can't the Goddess simply be a part of that Divine Being. That is exactly what I tell my daughter.

My five year old daughter has noticed on more than one occasion that most people don't understand the Goddess. I think most of us would say the same about the Trinity. In fact, I've had to explain to my daughter also that when we talk about God and Goddess, they are not separate, but rather different parts of the same Divine Being. I don't think she really understands this. Most of us don't get the Trinity, so why should a five year old? But I figure that for now the best I can do as a parent is to introduce her to all three parts of the Trinity, and so most every night before I tuck my daughter in to bed we pray. I always begin by asking her if she'd like to pray to God, Goddess, or Jesus. In this way, she can connect in her own five year old way to particular varying aspects of the Divine rather than through one (typically masculine) name alone.

There is a symbol that is used in both Christian circles as well as in "pagan" circles. It is a triquetra. In Christian circles, it symbolizes the Trinity. In "pagan" circles, and in its Celtic originality, it symbolizes a different trinity, that of the feminine life cycle of maiden, mother, and crone. This life cycle can be seen in the seasons. It can be seen in the waxing and waning of the moon cycles. It can be seen in life herself. I believe both aspects of it's symbolism are relevant. With Goddess recognized as the Holy Spirit, we are also free to recognize the beauty in the cycles all around us. They are cycles created and moved by the Divine Herself, so why label one symbol as Christian and another as pagan? Why not recognize the divinity in both Trinities? Why not recognize the unity in both Trinities?

God the Father, Jesus the Son, and Goddess the Holy Spirit, Maiden, Mother, and Crone be with you now and always. Amen.

Surrounded by the elements, Surrounded by the Goddess

My family and I moved about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Moving always has it's own challenges, but I must say that this move comes with it's own freshness as well. We moved from an urban setting to a rural setting (though only 15 minutes from the city). With these new surroundings I am feeling a renewed connection to Mother Earth and the oneness between us.

I am quite literally surrounded by all of the elements: earth, air, fire, water. When I step out onto my back porch, all around our back yard (and side yard, and front yard) are trees (earth), which are absolutely gorgeous with their flaming reds and oranges this time of year. The wind (air) blows these changing leaves about and brushes past my cheek as though the Mother is giving me a kiss or whispering loving words in my ear. We used our fire pit (fire) for the first time last weekend as we had family over and roasted veggie dogs. We also have a pond (water) inhabited by fish (put there for fishing, but they are safe as long as we live here) who love when we bring treats of bread for them to eat.

The Goddess can be found inside our house as well. Ironically as I was taking my 5 year old daughter through the house, she noticed the spirals the previous residents had painted in the walls and doors of the bathroom, and she said, "Look! It's the Goddess! Someone else must know about her too!" We also have 2 fireplaces, a hearth for the family altar (we just need a statue of Brigid), which we really missed having in our prior home.

We look forward to celebrating the changes brought by each new season, watching the transformation of the elements surrounding us, and watching as we are transformed by their presence, and by the presence of the Goddess through our own elemental natures.

Earth my body.
Water my blood.
Air my breath.
Fire my spirit.