Oh my Goddess!

NOT too long ago, a freelance journalist asked if she could interview me about the goddess movement. Honestly, the question took me a little by surprise; anyone who’s worked with me for any length of time knows ‘The Goddess’ ain’t really my thang.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the movement and I’ve certainly worked with a few ‘goddess’ energies in my time but, for me, the division between the divine feminine and masculine doesn’t really come into play. I’m not really into separatism… I’ve never felt the need for it and sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder if much of the divide is of human creation; our brains steering us into a familiar comfort zone and filing system, if you like.

Anyway, I agreed to the interview and, as the journalist (the lovely Tania Ahsan, former editor of Kindred Spirit) and I ended up playing telephone tag, we ended up conducting our interview over email. If you’re even remotely interested, I’m including the full transcript here for you to read, as well as attaching downloadable pdfs of the article as it appeared in Kindred Spirit.

Why am I blogging about this? Well, the interview forced me to look at my views on the divide between masculine and feminine elements of spirituality more deeply than I’d needed to before, so it was a really interesting experience for me. And now? Now, I’m wondering what you all think / believe / feel and I’d love for you to share your words of wisdom with me by way of commenting here. For me, there’s no real right and wrong… what’s really important is that we don’t hold others in judgement and that we follow our own paths and listen to our higher selves, rather than wrong-footing it down a path we THINK we ought to walk.

Here’s the interview in its entirety and/or, if you click the links, they’ll take you to the pages as they appeared in Kindred Spirit … look forward to reading your comments.

Walk in truth and beauty,

All love,

Taz
xxx

Click to open the pages or right click to download: 022 KS 118023 KS 118025 KS 118

Q: How do you perceive the term ‘goddess energy’ and do you work with this in your practice?

A: For me, it’s more about universal energy. Yes, I do believe some energies can feel more masculine than feminine, & vice versa, but that’s more to do with the yin & yang of things than gender specificity. Some of my guides present as male, some female, some completely asexual. Sometimes I wonder whether gender even exists with those high, high energies, or whether it’s more a matter of human perception & our ‘need’ to project an identity that fits in with our ideas/ideals. I rarely use terms such as ‘god’ and ‘goddess’ in my work, not because I set out to ignore them, but simply because ‘Great Spirit’, ‘Spirit’ and ‘energy’ feel more natural to me. That’s not to say that I don’t see some energies as having a more feminine feel, or that I never work with feminine energies or relate to ‘goddess energy’ in some of my exercises, journeys & meditations, but it’s rare for me to set out with the intention of any divide when it comes to working with spirit; my intention is to connect with trusted spirit guides, or to meet new energies who are most able & willing to aid me in my quest, regardless of whether their energy is masculine, feminine, a blend or neither.

Q: Do you think people are more in tune with the feminine divine now as opposed to in decades past? If yes, why is that?
A: Hmmm…. that’s a difficult one for me to answer, as I don’t really have that many decades to compare! I’m sure there are many elders out there who are far better placed to answer that than I when I have only 38 years of experience to draw on so far. My perception is that more people are – at least more so than in our recent history – though I have a nagging feeling in my gut that it’s more of a return to our roots than a birthing. When I work with my ancestor spirits – and I’m talking ancient spirituality, I guess pre-Roman to be as accurate as I’m able – there’s very much a sense of feminine power; this is very much in balance with masculine energies, but much more steely than what might be seen as stereotypical femininity. There’s nothing fluffy or soft about the more feminine spirit allies I’ve been blessed with, but I don’t believe it’s a case of one size fits all; the divine feminine, to me, encompasses all faces of womanhood, from free-flowing flower maiden to fierce warrior woman to the wise old crone of few words and huge teachings. I believe, when working with any spirit, we get what we need – even if it’s the last thing we’re expecting!

Coming back to the why, I suppose some branches of organised religion have had quite a masculine face, with feminine energies seemingly taking a lesser role. However, I feel we need to remember that any rule book or text will, at some level, have human ‘spin’ and it’s up to the individual to read between the lines formed by human hand and find their own truth. It’s about checking in with our higher selves and asking ‘does this feel right?’ or ‘does this fit for me?’ and being brave enough to carve out our own paths accordingly, rather than following blindly.

Q: There are some who think we should do away with dualism entirely and find the idea of female-based spirituality somehow unevolved, what do you think of this argument?
A: I think it’s a shame we feel the need to judge other people’s beliefs and choices… all truly spiritual paths lead to pretty much the same place and if we all learned to accept each other a little more and celebrate the differences, we’d probably be in a much happier place. I think we need to get our head-minds out of the way, sink down into our heart-minds and try ‘thinking’ from there instead; there’s already too much fallout from people with different religious ideals disagreeing… surely, if we’ve chosen to follow a more spiritual, perhaps nature-based path, we should be able to avoid similar pitfalls? For me, it’s just spirituality, but that’s not to say my path is superior to others who choose to follow a female-based path or any other, so long as the intent is pure and “it harm none”.

Q: What benefits do people get from tapping into a source of specifically feminine spiritual energy?
A: In my work, I see earth energy as being feminine, balanced by the more masculine energy of fire (and yes, I’m speaking in overarching archetypes here – for me, there are elements of earth energy that might feel more masculine and also feminine elements of fire energy, but, in order to answer your question…). When I’m working with the energies of Mother Earth, there’s a huge amount of nurturing going on, as you’d expect from a mother – it’s where I go to recharge, to reconnect, to heal – it’s the womb, or the bear cave, the place where I can metaphorically curl up into a foetal position and draw the care and nurturing my spirit needs. At the same time, we need to remember that the earth also has the power to crush and that she must be respected and treated with care… I can’t stand to see people throwing things down onto her, or stomping around without care for how/where they place their feet; I have ‘walk in beauty’ tattooed on one foot, and I try to live by that, with all its meanings. The earth, of course, also holds the bones and teeth of the ancestors, so there’s an ancient wisdom there, teachings long eroded from our texts and long-forgotten by our people are being patiently held and guarded until we’re ready and open enough to seek and receive them.

About Taz Thornton (www.firechild-shamanism.co.uk)

Speaker | writer | firewalker | empowerment coach | shamanic artist | mentor | encourager. Debut tome underway for Moon Books. Follow me on Twitter - @TazThornton and find FirechildShamanism and TazThorntonOfficial on Facebook.
This entry was posted in Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Oh my Goddess!

  1. Benjamin says:

    Hi Taz

    Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing.

    My first chosen spiritual path (in trying to find a ‘home’ for my undertsandings of nature/magic/healing/spirit(s) etc) was with Wicca, but I soon became disillusioned with the gender-binary stuff. I feel strongly that the division of spirituality (and other natural things) into stridently *male* and *female* opposites is an historical human thing. And is bound up with all sorts of other human constructions, like pantheons and dogma and ‘truth’! And don’t get me started on the, rarely challenged, ‘correspondences’ that go along with this spiritual gender absolutism. Male = sun, fire, strong, active, positive(!), hunter, warrior, etc. Female = moon, water, nurturing, passive, negative (!?!!), gatherer, healer, etc…

    I’m certain the recent resurgence of Goddess spirituality has been positive in many ways. Gods know we needed a challenge to the patriarchal dogmatic blood-God centred ‘religions’ of the world. But a spirituality based on nurturing, healing, loving, dreaming, peace and joy is neither feminine nor masculine. Its human.

    Like you, some of my allies choose to present as male or female, some neither/both/irrelevant. But it’s not their ‘attributes’ that make them so. Its the fact that they *are*. To describe spiritual realities only in terms of the attributes they exhibit denies so much of their nature. My patron deity isn’t “the God of… this and that” – he just is. As real and multifaceted as any being.

    Hmmm, sorry I appear to be ranting on you walls (twice today). But thank you for your posts, a huge amount of what you say chimes with me. I know we have associates/friends in common so I hope our paths cross one day.

    Blessings
    Benjamin

    Like

  2. Tony says:

    Why aren’t we asking about ‘god’ energy? Do we (all) feel surfeited by male energy, and are looking for female energy? Is there too much testosterone, not just in the physical world, but also in the spiritual? Or is it the excess of testosterone in the physical world that makes us desire female energy in the spiritual world? Why do I receive e-mails from highly respected lady spirit workers announcing events that are obviously aimed at other ladies? Where are the ‘men-only’ events?
    Mind you – I wouldn’t go. When I came back from my first spiritual weekend conference, someone in the office asked me about it. “Well, there were about 50 people there, and 7 of them were men. I had a wonderful time!” Simply because the ladies were always prepared to talk to someone, and find out about them and their views. Ask yourself what would have had happened if the numbers had been reversed.
    Maybe it is just that feminine energy fits best in the spirit world. It is a caring, nurturing environment, not a competive one.

    Like

    • Firechild says:

      Tony, thank you. I’ve been known to pose similar questions myself :).

      Walk in truth & beauty,

      Taz
      X

      Like

    • Sophie Jewry says:

      I never really believes women-only networking meetings would be a good thing… until I went to one and it totally changed my perspective. I have found women only groups to be a more supportive and non-judgemental environment on the whole (there are of course always exceptions). I guess I would also ask the question; women organise women only events, surely then men are perfectly capable of doing the same? I know there are a few men-only groups, the Freemasons for example (although there is now a women’s lodge in London too), if there is a wish for a male only networking group then surely it just needs a man to step up and start one? 😉

      Like

      • Sophie Jewry says:

        believed not believes 😉

        Like

      • Tony says:

        Sophie, I agree with you about women. I wasn’t advocating the formation of men-only groups, it was a philosophical point – do we have too much male energy around us, and so feel the need for female energy? Whether it is in female only groups, goddess spirits etc etc. It was an attempt to answer the question about goddess energy by looking at the other side of the coin, and wondering. As a man working spiritually I am in a minority, and have no problem with that. And I totally respect the desire of ladies to have meetings without men. I am sure the dynamics will be quite different – but I’ll never get the chance to find out! :-))

        Like

  3. Sophie Jewry says:

    Really great and heartfelt answers Taz, as expected. I haven’t really thought that deeply but totally agree that there should be a balance between masculine and feminine and that we certainly are re-awakening rather than discovering new things. Lots of the teachings are what we used to know but have forgotten (or had beaten out of us) over the centuries. It’s an exciting time of rising awareness – bring it on! Love and light x

    Like

  4. Tony says:

    I just saw this on the BBC website, and thought it might be relevant:
    “Is religion good for women?”
    Historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes looks at the historic relationship between women, faith and the divine and asks “Is religion good for women?”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s