Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my magic.

Lately I have been out of touch with my pagan “roots”. The reason I looked into UU in the first place was it looked like a place where I could explore my life-long interest in paganism and still be an agnostic. I thought I might end up a UU Humanist Witch or a non-theistic Jungian goddess-worshipper, if you will. UU seemed like it would help me explore those contradictions.

For the last year or so, Buddhism has been speaking much more loudly to me. The more I investigated Buddhism, the less I was drawn toward trying to make sense of exploring goddess archetypes. While I love what Paganism teaches me about connection & responsibility, Buddhism is helping me live in this world in a better, happier way. Because of all of this, I have been feeling out of sync with my local goddess group and other pagans, most of whom worship and practice ritual in a much more theistic way than I do. I don’t want to be a downer on what they are trying to do, and what is sincerely meaningful for them, but sometimes the level of woo is a bit much for materialist me. There were a few rituals where I went home feeling like I went along with something I didn’t actually believe; I do not like that feeling. If I wanted that, I could have stayed a Pentecostal.

Then something strange happened; in the last week I came across references to the same goddess three times: Tiamat. Just about the time I started thinking that was a little weird watched a film with an unnamed sea goddess/personification of the ocean. Hmmm. In general, when I notice the same uncommon thing a few times in a short amount of time I make a practice of paying attention to it. I am not saying the universe is trying to tell me something – maybe it has been there all along and my subconscious is drawing my attention to it. However you describe it, I try to look into it and see if there is something there I can learn. After all, that is how I found UU.

When I started to think and read about Tiamat, I thought she might be the perfect patron for this blog. Tiamat represents the powers of creation and chaos. Chaos Theory and the patterns within creation is what got me interested in forming my personal spirituality in the first place. Tiamat is the dark All-mother creatrix who was maligned and re-cast as a demon by who's destruction men gained glory. How perfect is that for a feminist? I felt like her struggle was my struggle. I mourned for her. To me she represents all of the strong and fierce women who were put down and told they were shameful over the millennia. I have been mediating this week on finding the Tiamat within me and nurturing her. I don’t exactly know what that means, but I feel like it is important.

I still do not know how to integrate Humanism, Buddhism, and goddess worship into a coherent spirituality. One of these always seems to be in contradiction with at least one of the others. For now I will continue to stumble from inspiration to inspiration until something coherent emerges.

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea" - Isak Dinesen


  1. When Fr Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme were writing their book, "the Universe Story" they were describing the *grandmother* star that went super-nova and gave forth the material and energy that became our solar system; therefore our sun and the planet Earth and eventually we humans. They realized that nowhere in scientific literature is that star a named star. Upon reflection they realized that, of course, there could be no other name for her than who she was: the goddess Tiamat. You might want to look into that book and other titles of theirs (Thomas Berry is most well known for "the Dream of the Earth") He also wrote one of the earliest (scholarly) books introducing Buddhism to American audiences. For me, the new cosmology expressed especially in the poetic AND scientific language of these two writers (among others) has offered me the integration you are pondering here. When it comes to awe and wonder, surely the Universe is miracle enough.

  2. I'm going to have to add those books to my ever-growing reading list, Darlene. Thanks for the tip; they look really interesting. I had no idea our grandmother star was named Tiamat.

    If you are ever there, the planetarium in Hilo, HI does a great job of blending science and mythic poetry as well.

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