SOFT MOON SHINING
My beloved Divine Mother Dance with me under the soft moon shining in the wide open fields far beyond the toil and trouble of my busy mind Dance with me before the night grows old while the winds of love still bow the grasses and the coyotes howl for you to step their way Dance with me my beloved while the Mystery's Edge still flirts in the shadow of your radiant light
The book Soft Moon Shining by Ethan Walker III is a work of devotional poetry that revolves around God in the feminine form. our earth, or the sun itself, this is the source of manifested life. Within the body of all mothers, whether Goddesses, women, female creatures that give birth to egg or seed, the inner fire is the Divine Centre. In this nucleus is our own heart’s life, that heart whose rhythmic beating keeps us alive and sets moving the rhythmic Dance of Creation. This Heart-beat of the Cosmos sets moving all heart-beats, even the tiny pulse within a blade of grass. On the earthly level the heart brings life. On other levels it is Love. For the Heart exists on all levels.
In the beginning was the Mother.
As far back as 30,000 years ago, the people of the earth worshipped a female deity. In cultures around the world, the Goddess has been revered in myriad forms, in temple and grove, cathedral and cave. She has been celebrated and venerated through ritual, myth, and art.
In Neo-pagan Witchcraft the Goddess is the very essence or central figure of the Craft and worship. She is the Great Mother, representing the fertility which brings forth all life; as Mother Nature she is the living biosphere of both the planets and the forces of the elements; she has roles of both creator and destroyer; she is the Queen of Heaven; and she is the moon. She possesses magickal powers and is emotion, intuition and psychic faculty.
The path of Goddess is not defined or laid down in dogma. It is a living, daily connection with sacredness. There is literally no end to the ways in which you can find and honor Goddess. The Goddess is Gaia, the earth … Ix Chel, the moon … Arianrhod, the stars. She is Oya, who brings the storms, and she is Mary, who calms them. She is Nut, who births creation, and Kali, who destroys it. She is maiden, mother, queen and crone. She is lover and spinster, warrior and sibyl, nurturer and judge.
The religion of the Goddess centres around the Hearth. Whether this be the inner sun flaming within the matrix of
The Divine Force within the Goddess is believed to be genderless, but within the universe it is manifested as male and female principles. Often within the worship of the Divine Force the Goddess, or the female principle, is emphasized to the exclusion of The Horned God, or the male principle. But, theoretically both are recognized.
The Goddess has many facets, names and aspects. Although in witchcraft and Neo-paganism she is mainly worshiped in her aspects of the triple Goddess: Virgin, Mother and Crone.Goddess worship dates back to Paleolithic times. Many anthropologists speculate the first “God ” or gods of the peoples were feminine. This coincides with ancient creation myths and beliefs that creation was achieved through self-fertilization. Within the concept of creation the participation of the male principle was not known or recognized yet. The Goddess was believed to have created the universe by herself alone.
From this belief came the agricultural religions. It was thought that the gods only prospered by the beneficence and wisdom which the Goddess showered on them. Evidence appears to indicate most ancient tribes and cultures were matriarchal.
Although this maybe true, there seems to be little evidence that the feminine portions of these societies held themselves superior over their male counterparts. Generally Goddess worship had been balanced by the honoring of both the male and female Deities. This is illustrated by the belief in and the observance of the sacred marriage of the Sky God and Earth Mother in many global societies.
Among the first human images discovered are the “Venus figures,” nude female figures having exaggerated sexual parts that date back to the Cro-Magnons of the Upper Paleolithic period between 35,000 and 10,000 BC.
In southern France is the Venus of Laussel which is carved in basrelief in a rock shelter. This appears once to have been a hunting shrine which dates to around 19,000 BC. In this carving the woman is painted red, perhaps to suggest blood, and holds a bison horn in one hand.
Also in Cro-Magnon cave paintings women are depicted giving birth. “A naked Goddess appears to have been the patroness of the hunt to mammoth hunters in the Pyrenees and was also protectress of the hearth and lady of the wild things.”
Other female figurines were discovered dating back to the proto-Neolithic period of ca, 9000 – 7000 BC, the Middle Neolithic period of ca. 6000 – 5000 BC, and the Higher Neolithic period of ca. 4500 – 3500 BC. Some of these figurines were decorated as if they had been objects of worship. In black Africa were discovered cave images of the Horned Goddess (later Isis, ca. 7000 – 6000 BC). The Black Goddess images appeared to represent a bisexual, self-fertilizing woman.
During the predynastic Egyptian period, prior to 3110 BC, the Goddess was known as Ta-Urt (Great One) and was portrayed as a pregnant hippopotamus stand on her hind legs.
The Halaf culture around the Tigris River, ca. 5000 – 4000 BC, had Goddess figurines associated with the cow, serpent, humped ox, sheep, goat, pig, bull, dove and double ax. These things were known to the people and became symbols representing the Goddess.
In the Sumerian civilization, ca. 4000 BC, the princesses or queens of cities were associated with the Goddess. A king was associated with God.
Throughout the eons of history the Goddess assumed many aspects. She was seen as the creatress, virgin, mother, destroyer, warrior, huntress, homemaker, wife, artist, jurist, healer and sorcerer. Her roles or abilities increased with the advancement of the cultures which worshipped her.
She could represent a queen with a consort, or lover. She might bear a son who died young or was sacrificed only to rise again representing the annual birth-death-rebirth cycle of the seasons.
Throughout the centuries the Goddess has acquired a thousand names and a thousand faces but most always she has represented nature, she is associated with both the sun and moon, the earth and the shy. The Goddess religion, usually in all forms, is a nature religion. Those worshipping the Goddess worship or care for nature too.
Concerning the thousand names of the Goddess. The first is that “Every female divinity in the present Encyclopedia may be correctly regarded as only another aspect of the core concept of a female Supreme Being.” “If such a system had been applied to the usual concept of God, (giving him the different names and titles which people throughout the centuries have attributed to him), there would now be a multitude of separate ‘gods’ with names like Almighty, Yahweh, Lord, Holy Ghost, Sun of Righteousness, Christ, Creator, Lawgiver, Jehovah, Providence, Allah, Savior, Redeemer, Paraclete, Heavenly Father, and so on, ad infinitum, each one assigned to a particular function in the world pantheon.”