Monday, April 26, 2010

Atheism and the Goddess

Yesterday our Fellowship held a service with the theme of the Divine Feminine and one of the readings was an excerpt from “Atheism and the Goddess” by Margaret Pearce. This, for me, was the highlight of the service and it felt tailor made for someone like me.

I do not believe in a divine being and have not for quite some time. When I was a believer, I never felt any such being. I am perfectly happy in this state of unbelief. The world and the universe are so awesome and fascinating on their own. But. I have always felt engaged and inspired by images and stories of goddesses. I enjoy so many pagan practices and ideas and I want to engage with them, but my more rational side argues with me. Is it really honest to participate in rituals, etc. when you don’t actually believe in these deities? Is it any better than when I used to pretend in the Christian church in which I was raised?

It sounds like Pearce struggled with these same issues and that, in itself, was validating. I don’t need to believe in a literal divine being to think about or meditate on a deity who looks like me. The values of goddess worship are ones I hold dear and these practices are a good way to integrate them into my life. I am not being any more honest to pretend these archetypes don’t have a pull on me.

This balance is why I enjoy the women’s group I have found so much. As women, we come together to celebrate and strengthen aspects our lives through focus on various goddesses and the cycle of the year. No one requires me to check my brains at the door, but the ritualistic elements help me to involve other sides of myself as well. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but I have pretty much given up the local CUUPS group. I don’t think I am in sync with what they are trying to do, so it is best for me to step back and allow them to enjoy their rituals as they want. CUUPS helped to bring me to both UU’ism and my women’s group and I am very grateful for that. I wish them all the best, but I don’t plan on joining them anymore.

I don’t remember who it was, but someone in Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon referred to his pagan practice as not irrational, but arational. This works for me and it provides an important balance so that I am not being so damn Apollonian all the time. A rational atheist and an arational pagan, that may just describe me.

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