For years I struggled with the idea of a God who was prone to angry fits, wrath, vengeance, punishment and remote up there in the Heavens. I wondered, is there more to Him? To this? I knew He was a God of love, too, but it seemed I had to always play hide and seek with Him to experience His transcendent love. I grew up a pastor’s kid, in more churches than I can count, and unfortunately, saw the dark side, the seedy underbelly of religion. Religion damaged me. Hurt me. Hated me for who I am and what I wanted to be. I became an outsider, a non-believer, an outcast from the church. But I never stopped pursuing the God I wanted…a God of love. And He, or should I say SHE, never stopped pursuing me.
As far as I can remember, my art has always channeled various forms of women….naked, voluptuous, pregnant, scarred, damaged, broken, pieces, radiance, life-giving, and so on. It was variations of the same embodiment, the Sacred Feminine. Although at the time, I didn’t realize who SHE was and how much She was pursuing me. She appeared continuously in my art, begging to be seen in Her wholeness, Her Oneness. It is only within the past two years that I have come to discover who She really is. She is the Sacred Divine Feminine, the Goddess. She is the love and nurturing Mother Earth. She is the other side of God. Without Her, there is no complete Him.
In our Western Judeo-Christian culture, we have been dominated by a masculine, heavenly God. He is one who banished us from paradise. He was the God of wrath, tempered occasionally with love and kindness, but woe to the one who got on His bad side! Then it became hell-fire and brimstone, an emphasis on our human failings and sinfulness. Over the years, morality engraved fear rather than love into our religious culture, stressing human inadequacy and leaving a trail of repression and neurosis. How much has this image of a remote and wrathful deity influenced our relationship to the divine? I fear, too much.
When God is relegated to the heavens it is easy to lose touch with the divine in everyday life. We come to know Him only as a distant authoritarian father. We feel alienated, impotent, uncared-for, unprotected, isolated, and no longer an integral part of the great wholeness of life. We lose our purpose in life. The sacred wholeness of life belongs to the feminine aspect of the divine, the Great Goddess. For Her every act is sacred; every blade of grass, every creature is a part of the Great Oneness. In contrast to His awe-inspiring transcendence, She embodies the caring divine presence.
Banishing God to the heavens, we lost touch with the sacredness of the earth and its many forms of life. Reinstating the Goddess means restoring the sacredness of a nurturing, all-embracing divinity. God’s masculine omnipotence and transcendence need to be balanced by the feminine aspects of care and nearness. God is both Mother and Father. We are wrong to restrict our image of a transcendent deity to the patriarchal power-drive. Reinstating the feminine, all-embracing Goddess does not mean we reject the masculine deity. They are One, each a piece of the other.
She is the Love I crave, the Oneness and Wholeness of life and reconnecting with myself and Mother Earth. I have always believed that you can’t have one side of God without the other. There is no masculine without the feminine. It requires balance. If there must be retribution and omnipotence, there must be nurturing love and connection. Otherwise, we are left to wander in a soulless, dark world where nothing matters and the patriarchal power-driven image will dominate, as it has for the last few centuries, causing ruin, heartbreak, and despair.