The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the tag “perfection”

Holey, Wholly, Holy

When I was in the seventh grade, I shot up seven inches from five-foot-nothing to five-foot seven. It took me years to grow out of my awkward phase. I believe I’m still in my clumsy phase. At that time, this awkward, coltish teenager was going to Sunday School at a largish Southern Baptist Church; we were new to the area and newcomers at the church. Everyone was very nice to the kids, though years later my parents told different stories. One bright sunny day, I overheard my Sunday School teacher talking about another girl in my class about what a wonderful girl she was. Apparently while her parents were away, she had kept the house clean and made sure that when her parents returned, they came home to a house full of fresh flowers.

I looked over at her on that sunny Sunday, as she sat gracefully in her pretty yellow dress with a hat covered in daisies on her head and envied her perfection. I was tugging at my homemade dress as I crossed my ungainly long legs. I didn’t have a hat…if I did, I wouldn’t be able to keep it perfectly atop my head. This girl was like an unattainable ideal of perfection. Neat, pretty, contained, and poised and very definitely not me.

I, on the other hand, was clumsy, sloppy, and unformed. I didn’t have any idea how a kid like me could fill a house with fresh flowers. How do you do that? We had a vegetable garden and dandelions galore, but fresh flowers?

I didn’t envy her, I was just regarded her with a sense of wonder. I knew I could never be like her so I didn’t set her as a standard. After all, she had one older brother, I have three younger ones. She didn’t have a sister and I do. Her mother didn’t work and mine did. Her family didn’t seem to have money problems and mine definitely did. There was really no similarity between us. I think what had me bemused is what the church ladies set up as an ideal of a nice young woman-to-be. I didn’t talk to her because what would we have in common and what would I say to such a perfection?

Many many years later I took this delightful workshop from a woman named Jenny, Mary, or some such name. She was delightful–fun, funny, and flawed. It was a great experience and I gained a great deal of insight from it. A few years later, attending the same retreat, I ran into her again. She had changed her name to some magical name like Morgan, Brigit, or something. She dressed in flowing robes and never cracked a smile. She spoke in hushed wise tones. Where was that delightful flawed woman I met before? “Oh,” I thought, “She got holy.” Of course, behind the scenes there were rumors of dissension in her circle and of behaviors that belied that holiness, leaving me to think her inauthentic to herself and to others.
A lot of times in spiritual circles as people gain more wisdom and insight, they believe that they must never show their flaws, their struggles or their problems. Somehow as spiritual leaders they must show only perfection. Sometimes their vision of what perfection is makes them seem inhuman.

I’ve never been able to achieve that level of holiness; I simply cannot maintain it. Spirit seems to demand that I live my life out loud, confronting me with issues in circle and in public, sometimes embarrassing ways. One of my circle sisters wrote me and thanked me for being her teacher, stating that what she liked best about me was that I was wholly human with bad moods and good. I treasure that comment while at the same time saying to myself, “thank you, I think.” It is true that I’m as honest about my struggles as I am about my accomplishments. In this way I do think I’m am wholly myself.

We are all divine creatures, with the spark of the goddess and the god within us. By living authentically, we keep our flames burning bright. I think about that girl in the daisy hat from long ago. I think her poise and composure were innate and she was finding ways to live authentically just as I was living my sloppy, awkward self. I think in order to be holy, we do need to live wholly ourselves. Our lives are the journey to wholeness and integration. Our lives are made up of accomplishments, of tatters and failures, of tepid responses, and of bright shining moments. This amalgam of success and failure blends together to create our divine wholeness. You cannot have one without the other. If you deny one, then the other will cast big shadows in your life. You may think you are fooling people, but the only person fooled is you. I have found that the Goddess is very demanding. She demands the level of holiness She shows to us. With all it’s dichotomy, contradiction, pain, joy and exuberance. She demands wholeness, a recognition of the holes as well as the full spaces. In this way, we can say, authentically, “I am Goddess, I am God.”

May you live your life out loud, joyfully dancing your holey, holy wholeness!


The Bag Hag: The Eternal Search for the Perfect Bag

The Bag Hag: The Eternal Search for the Perfect Bag

I have been searching for the perfect purse. And I have standards, too. It must zipper and a zippered pocket on the inside. It must have a long shoulder strap. It must be large enough to hold essentials which, in my case, includes the ability to haul around a paperback novel. And it’s gotta look good.

I don’t mind if it looks a little funky but I do have to be able to carry it to work and professional meetings and not feel like a dork.
You wouldn’t think it would be that hard, would you. And I’ve even learned to adapt. I’ve moved to smaller purses. I tried short straps and that did NOT work. Note to self: don’t do that again.
I work in a profession of bag ladies too. I got to library and academic conferences and they hand us our materials in a bag. Tote bags, messenger bags, gym bags, back packs (no! not a bag), and little bags. A couple of years ago a newly graduated librarian came back from her first academic conference and said to me in awed, hushed tones, “I even got a bag.”
I told her that over time she would get many bags and that she would become more discerning about the bags. Do they have zippers? Do they have a lot of pockets? Are the logos tasteful? I told her the best bag from a conference was one my sister got. It was green with a long strap, a zipper, and best of all–it was waterproof. This young librarian didn’t exactly roll her eyes, but she did skeedaddle out of my office pretty fast. She got another job in less than a year, not in the library profession.
I guess she bagged the librarian gig [all puns are intended]
Recently I learned another rule. Never take a man, especially an engineer, shopping with you when you are looking for the perfect purse. He actually thinks he can solve the problem. Mouse and I went shopping and I was mourning the purse whose long, lovely strap had broken beyond repair. We were at a department store and all the straps on all the purses were short. They were perfect other than that (yeah, right!)
Mouse decided he could fix it, so we searched all over the store for straps to replace the short ones. Camping supplies–nothing. Hunting supplies…rifle carrier straps were a possibility but not entirely functional. He ended up finding a guitar strap. When I picked up a purse to see if the strap would work, my lip curled in disgust. “It won’t be pretty, will it?” said Mouse.
No it won’t. I bought the purse but not the strap. Thinking I can make a strap out of some fabric. Will I do it. Maybe. Will the purse be perfect? No. After carrying it for a week, it’s okay but I already know it’s not perfect.
I remind myself, it’s the journey not the purse.

Learning about the Goddess and the God

Learning About the Goddess & the God

Because of my academic background, I believe it is important to be grounded in scholarship but not be bound up in it. It’s a balance between what others can teach you and your own internal wisdom; sometimes called UPG, or “unverified personal gnosis.” Equally as valid and sometimes even more so as we learn to dance with the Old Ones.

Think about how you were in junior high. And then think about how you are now. Certainly you retain some of that essence but you have grown and become something different, haven’t you? Thank heavens I have!! So has the Goddess. She does not remain static as the deity of yesteryear. She moves through the heavens and dances with the stars, ever becoming.

This is something I wrote five years ago in Womonspeak, “What I believe…is that many of the goddess stories have been mis-tod and that we can retrieve her stories by asking Her what they are. Embedded in the HIStory stories are the real woman-centered stories of heart and soul….and I call upon her courage, wisdom and dark mystery. You won’t find the real [goddess] in Ovid or Bulfinch but you find her in your heart and soul. I believe that Perfection lies in process and we are evolving as is the Goddess. So the Goddess become what she becomes and the whole process is Perfection. The song, “I am a child of the Universe, being born every moment” has deep meaning if we believe that “I am goddess.” It means that the Goddess is not bound by the patriarchal writings of the past but is being born each moment.”

Just as we are not bound by our own past. We create and re-create ourselves whenever we stand true to our own ecstatic and wild nature.

So when I’m called by a Goddess or a God. I do the research. I am a librarian by nature as well as by training! And then I meditate, journey, pray and walk with this Goddess. I draw Her down and feel her wisdom.
Then I write or embroider or find a way to express the wonder that I’ve discovered.

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