Vows to Goddess

I am Deborah Fay, daughter of Margaret Lee, daughter of Gladys Mable........

How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you to go when your life was difficult and your felt utterly alone…a place of safety and comfort?

If a woman whom you trusted had been there to receive you…had listened silently, as you spoke your discouragement? And then she had covered you warmly as you curled up for a rest.

And, if she had gone out and returned with an armload of wood…then quietly built up the fire and sat down nearby to tend it…

How might your life be different?
— Judith Duerk, I Sit Listening to the Wind: Woman’s Encounter Within Herself

There was a time in my life when I did not have the safety and comfort of a woman’s place. I did not know the power of a sisterhood who would witness my story in silence, that would allow me to discover my wounds, questions, my soft underbelly without reproach, advice, or well – intended suggestions to fix or make better. I had not found the circle that would take me in just as I was, not needing to shrink myself into a preconceived form or contort my spirit to fit another’s comfort zone. Nor had I found a sanctuary to reclaim my buried feminine treasures: my wild, intuitive, instinctive self; the Other self -that original, unique, sweet, innocent and radically unique me, the creative birther, the deep wise one that holds the value of the inner world as sacred….

Worse still, I lived in a world in which the Feminine was largely marginalized, minimized, found wanting in worth. Roles of mother and nurturer, taken for granted or considered insignificant, not as important as a real occupation, one that brought home cash, the ultimate yard stick of merit. For many choosing the workplace, we settle for less and are expected to do more.

The very bodies we inhabit are feared, reviled, agents of temptation, damnation. We’ve been convinced that they will never be enough or are too much. For most, they are not found acceptable in the eye of the beholder, and sadly, especially the mirror. This was the world of woman I knew.

And then.

An encounter with Goddess called me home. She came into my life when I was early into my mothering years, the times when a mother surely needs her Mother. I found Her within a course, Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, given at a local church. In our eight weeks together, a dozen women, Cakes XI (we were the eleventh group hosted by this venue), explored a feminist theology curriculum: pre Judeo-Christian cultures that may have worshipped the feminine as divine. We learned about Goddess spirituality, explored evidence of archeological finds, discussed historical and religious figures, the Burning Times, myths, and story. We told our stories as daughters, mothers, grandmothers. We crafted an altar, burned candles, offered invocations, shaped clay in an image of the feminine.  The first evening we were nourished by former participants of the experience: a home cooked candlelight dinner with flowers and china, and then with lunch the following day- a buffet of care-full-y prepared dishes, all for us, the incoming sisters. Never had I known such devotion or companionship in the feminine realm. 

Now some thirteen years later, I continue to meet monthly with my Cakes XI sisters. We set the table with china, we light the candles, speak the invocation that was given to us all those years ago. Goddess is alive in our thoughts, hearts and actions.

This initiation back to my Feminine self sparked a fierce inner love for the woman's path and I made a promise to Her to find ways to hold holy space for sisters on their souljourney to wholeness, and that we would sit in circles to remember, reclaim, to know ourselves as holy, worthy, enough. That with our awakening we can fufill our purposes.