Goddess: Virgin, Witch, Saint, Martyr?

 Posted by on August 26, 2011
Aug 262011

By T.M. Bernard

Look around and note a quiet and compelling cultural shift. In real time and in conjunction with the apparent demise of societal, political, organizational and communal structures, a quiet revolution is taking place; the resurrection of the divine Goddess, as witnessed behind the scenes and softly hued corners. She’s not seeking the limelight or acknowledgment per se, although she’s easily recognizable by her patina of pleasure and power.

Found in the pages of books, experienced through rituals, re-born in cellular memories, lucky lovers may just discover new meaning to that elusive holy g-rail, which may not a vessel per se, but that place within womankind that connects us, male and female, to transcendent bliss.

The emerging face of sacred womankind is known by many names, archetypes that recall a time before labels separated and diminished. Sacred sexuality and the bounty of Mother Earth are two of her alters, though worship takes place in the everyday actions that speak of love, compassion, joy and nourishment.

For some, she bears just one name, the Goddess, but as each of us responds to her call, we may identify with some aspects more than others.

There is the Virgin – not the innocent, sexually inexperienced lover – the woman who manifests total and complete independence. Unburdened by obligations to relationships or children, she faces challenges alone and in full confidence in her abilities. The Virgin personifies autonomy, self-sufficiency and liberty.

Witches are rising too. These are women who, in the words of the immortal writer, Paolo Coelho justify their “existence by going in search of complete and limitless pleasure.” Connected to the earth, the Witch manifests Eros in every wave of her hand, every blossom she plucks to weave her magic, and every ritual she participates in that spreads freedom from patriarchal shame.

The Martyr is the face we may find most familiar because it was the one least likely to unsettle the archaic masculine powers that sought to diminish the Goddess long, long ago. As such, she was allowed to continue existing, even as the other countenances were frowned up, manipulated, modified and destroyed. She is the woman who finds herself through suffering and pain. She surrenders herself and her needs for the sake of those around her, and in her martyrdom, serves the greater communal good.

Finally, there is the Saint. We know her in the selfless acts and her ability to give deeper and more fully than most. Unconditional love and generosity without asking anything in return are the currency through which this face of the Goddess divine inspires others.

Though we speak of the Goddess mostly in reference to women, the truth is that she is emerging in all of us. Those on the forefront of this renaissance gently assert that within each of us, male and female, gendered bended or not, there exists feminine divinity, though we aren’t always aware of it nor intent on wakening our inner slumbering giantess.

What’s more, her story is our ‘herstory’, embedded deep in the caves of our primordial ancestors who left us clues about their reverence for the creative powers of the Goddess. Few individuals manifest every aspect of the Goddess. We may naturally gravitate to the Virgin, the Martyr, the Saint or the Witch, though the bravest and most curious will refuse to choose just one path.

Finally, some have even gone on to suggest that Goddess worship and sacred sexuality will be humanity’s deliverance, which suggests that her time is now, as we face some of our greatest global, spiritual and environmental challenges. Which begs one question: how will we find the courage to be true to the feminine divine and ourselves, especially and even if we have no idea of who we really are?

However we each answer that question, of this I am certain: the Goddess is charged with awakening our unknown potentials. Ecstasy awaits – we just have to heed the call.