Female Spirituality Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Little Secret
Outing myself as a goddess believer
About three years ago, I made a drastic shift in careers: I sold the communications company I founded and began researching and writing about ancient goddess worship. I’ve been trying to explain what I do ever since.
It’s not that it’s a terribly complicated subject matter; it’s that the mere suggestion of goddess worship seems to create an awful lot of discomfort for some people. In fact, I’ve gotten quite used to the following exchange—it’s happened in lots of places, but let’s just stage it in the parking lot of my kid’s elementary school for convenience:
Person: So, what kind of work do you do?
Me: I write about ancient goddess worship and its relevance to our world today.
Me: Ancient goddess worship. Spiritual traditions that envisioned our source as female rather than male.
Person, now with slightly raised eyebrows, glazed eyes, and an artificial smile blooming across their face: Oh. [awkward pause] So, what after-school activities are you signed up for?
There could be a lot of reasons for this kind of reaction. Talk of spirituality even in general can make people nervous. Or maybe they’re just not interested. The goddess might not be everyone’s jam, and that’s fine. But there seems to be something particular about linking spirituality and women that makes people supremely uncomfortable.
I first became interested in these spiritual traditions after the birth of my second child. Unlike my first go-round at childbirth, I chose to move through this one without medication. Despite the shattering pain that accompanied that decision, it was also a profoundly transcendent moment that left me convinced childbirth might be one of the most spiritual experiences a woman can ever have.
I was already a spiritual seeker, albeit a somewhat closeted one at that point, so it’s not surprising that I reached this conclusion. I’d been raised in the Christian tradition, had dabbled in yogic philosophy, and in more recent years, had developed some serious crushes on Buddhism and shamanism. After my son was born, I went back to all the teachings I’d…