Path to the Goddess through Ritual
The Need For Women’s Rituals
Women nurture. This has been the expectation,
experience, the timeless lore and historic fact of our
lives. Not until this century have we started to ask the
meaning and cost of this age-old assumption. Why is this
our exclusive domain? What happens to our own needs
while we’re so focused on those of others? Who tends
to our wishes, our desires? When do we
find time to replenish our inner resources, to grieve
our pain? If we don’t recognize and honor our stored
emotions, we not only do ourselves a disservice; our
loved ones suffer, too. We have nothing left to give.
Where do we go for help?
Throughout history, women bonded together as they did
traditional "women’s work." They wove
understanding, consolation, support--even humor--through
communal cooking and sewing and childcare. Today,
however, many women do "men’s work"--their
jobs and careers are often based on male role
models--and, in the process they’ve become more and
more isolated from each other. Even stay-at-home moms
are experiencing this sense of isolation.
The truth is, many of us have lost the wisdom of our
grandmothers, their gentleness, their sense of community
and their easy sharing. We must reclaim our heritage as
women. And we must reclaim their unlived wildness and
Regardless of race or religion, women from around the
world are reclaiming the Goddess within themselves.
There is an understanding that she is within all life,
and that all life is sacred.
It is important to create rituals that empower women
so that we might recognize and celebrate our true
strength and talents; and to support us in accepting,
honoring and meeting our own physical and emotional
needs. As we honor the goddess, we learn to communicate
our feelings openly without apologizing. We then move
into the trusting, rather than the controlling
Here are some Archetypes from the tarot to reflect on:
|Queen of Cups:
- Represents the tranquil, receptive, and power of
- Sovereign of dreams
- Psychic power, clairvoyance and telepathy
- Nurtures without dependency
- Masters self-acceptance and listening to our
- Integrates mothering and imaginative process--she is
strong willed and inclined to care deeply enough to be
able to stand back and let a person learn their own
- She does not use her feelings to attack others nor
does she apologize for her feelings
- Emotionally authentic--she owns her feelings without
blaming or judgment
- She is the image of "superwoman" who is
capable of loyalty and love, yet who has the strength,
creativity and energy to rule her own world, in her own
right, and needs no strong shoulder to lean on, or
socially acceptable label of wife, to make her a
worthwhile and self-confident individual.
Queen of Swords:
- Clarity and limitless visibility.
- She has the ability to see through smoke screens and
perceive things as they are and then transmit them
clearly and consciously
- Quiet determination
- Knows that demanding superhuman perfection in
herself and others creates problems
- Wields her sword of justice with confidence courage
- Represents ones deep unconscious awareness of the
cycles and that dawn always follows the night.
- Skilled and powerful communicator--able to clear the
air of misunderstandings
- Good listener and keen observer
- Can confront, negotiate and solve problems.
Queen of Pentacles:
- Represents Mother earth fertility…the germination
of future abundance during seemingly barren times—provides
- She is sensual, vivacious, practical, artistic and
has a magnetic quality that sets people at ease
- Sharing while being able to maintain stability
- Competent and sure of her abilities
- Practical, organized and energetic
- Good business sense and skill in financial projects
- Manifests full expression of her sensuality, the
value of the body and that importance of those pleasures
which preserve and enrich life.
- Preserves and sustain material resources
- She values herself
- Understands diet and nutrition
- Building new words that are nutritious and
Queen of Wands:
- Knower of the self
- Wisdom being
- She is at home with herself
- Strong, insightful, impatient and resourceful . She
is able to perceive illusion and delusion in others
- She is not a queen to be crossed…Has a temper
- Understand that discretion is important. She
tolerates no lies deceit or hidden agendas.
Celebrating Your Sensuality
The ancients honored female sexuality as a
regenerative power blessed by the gods. Astarte, the
Phoenician goddess of beauty, fertility, and love, was
more celebrated than any other deity. She was known as
Isis in Egypt, Aphrodite in Greece, Ishtar in Babylonia,
Inanna in Sumaria, and Venus in Rome.
But today society has come to fear and even denigrate
women's sexuality, and as a result, many of us have lost
touch with our sexual energy and our natural ability to
experience ecstasy. As Andrew Harvey and Anne Baring
conclude in The Divine Feminine, "Where Aphrodite
is not honored, she returns in negative form as the
sexual compulsions, pornography, and sadistic fantasies
that have taken possession of our culture." We see
this time and again in the media--consider the male
characters in "Basic Instinct" and "Fatal
Attraction," or in so many popular music videos.
However, women are beginning to reclaim the sexual
and sensual goddess within. We are relearning to love
our bodies and our innate beauty. We're recognizing that
we don't need to emulate rock singers, models, or movie
stars to get in touch with the seductress living inside
of us. She is waiting to be released--vibrant,
confident, and totally in synch with her sexuality. She
loves to touch and be touched. She loves the feeling of
silk against her skin, a warm bubble bath, fresh
flowers, and exotic scents. With practice, we can learn
to see her, enjoy her, and own her as a vital part of
our own being.
|Intention: To awaken the
Timing: Whenever you wish--but particularly when
you feel disconnected from your sexual self; before bed
is an ideal time, but you can perform this ritual any
time--just give yourself at least an hour and a half to
Ingredients: Red candle (passion), essence of
ylang-ylang or jasmine (sensuality), your favorite
perfume, chocolate (sensuality), and sensuous music.
Optional: silk sheets (sensuality). Prepare this
wonderful tonic to drink at the close of this ritual,
which will delight your senses and unleash your nascent
sensuality: Blend 1 cup of papaya juice, 1/4 cup of
mashed banana, 1/4 cup watermelon juice, and 1 teaspoon
cloves (optional). Or you might prefer to mix a cup of
milk with a dash of cinnamon and a splash of rose water.
If none of these are available set out hot chocolate,
grape juice, or a glass of red wine.
Recipe: Create a sensual atmosphere that will
entice your inner seductress to come out of hiding. Find
a time when no one will disturb you. Turn off the
phones. Put fresh sheets on your bed--silk would be
great! Turn down the lights, and light the candle. Place
a few drops of the essential oil in a diffuser.
Anoint yourself with your favorite perfume,
concentrating on the areas between your breasts and near
your pubic bone. Lie down on your back with your knees
bent and open. Begin to inhale, slowly and deeply, to
the count of four; then, exhale in the same manner. Now
experience your breathing as if the air were moving
through your vulva. Continue until you feel these
breaths connecting you to your deepest being. Let the
breath flow like a river of energy. Feel the
fluidity--the sensuality--and envision a passionate
woman inside who wants to talk to you. Imagine that she
wants to tell you about herself. Ask her questions: What
kinds of clothes does she like? What are her favorite
foods? What makes her happy emotionally, physically?
What is her relationship with your body? How does she
like to be touched? What does she want from you?
Allow this energy--which emanates from your
passionate being--to infuse you. Remember this is your
own creation, a part of your self, so don't censor any
words or feelings. Be open to learning.
When you're ready, get up slowly. Run a warm bath,
adding the oils of your choice. Start your favorite
music, and set the candle near the tub. Let your body
melt into the fragrant water, touching yourself in
whatever ways feel best.
Afterward, dry off with a warm towel, get back into
bed, and drink your wonderful tonic. Sip it slowly. Let
yourself feel and become that sensual woman. Fantasize,
fantasize, fantasize, and immerse yourself in the
feeling of hedonistic delight.
Follow-up: Spend a few moments every day
appreciating the sensuality of your body. Keep fragrant
oils, perfumes, and scented candles in your bedroom and
Ritual Excerpt from The Joys of
Everyday Ritual: Spiritual Recipes to Celebrate
Milestones, Ease Transitions and Make Every Day Sacred,
by Barbara Biziou (St. Martin’s Griffin).
Barbara Biziou. All Rights Reserved.
Barbara Biziou, author
of The Joys of Everyday Ritual and The
Joy of Family Rituals, is an internationally
acclaimed teacher of meditation and a life-strategy
coach. A frequent television and radio guest, she is
president of Blue Lotus, a multimedia production company
specializing in spirituality and personal growth. As
America's foremost ritual expert, she teaches us how to
restore ritual to its rightful place as food for the
soul through practical, easy to use ritual recipes that
are inspiring and fun. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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