In the name of Annah the Allmaziful, the Everliving, the Bringer of Plurabilities, haloed be her eve, her singtime sung, her rill be run, unhemmed as it is uneven! Her untitled mamafesta memorialising the Mosthighest has gone by many names at disjointed times....
--James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
This is a work in progress...
My spiritual beliefs emerged at an early age, circa 1970, influenced by Robert Graves' The White Goddess, as well as many other religions which I was exposed to in the California of the sixties. However, unlike many Neopagans, I didn't gravitate to Wicca, Gardnerian or otherwise. It always seemed to be a desperate attempt to recreate a past that never was, one that I wasn't eager to participate in. If I wanted to play Renaissance dress-up I would have joined the Society for Creative Anachronism; however, I have no intention of being burned at the stake, pretend or otherwise. Also, since we live an pluralistic, secular society, in theory, there should be nothing to fear. So why perpetuate an underground mentality?
After I researched the history of Wicca, I came to realize that it was completely synthetic, and at its heart a forgery. Based on English ceremonial magic--Golden Dawn, Crowleys' Thelema, Rosicrucianism, John Dee's Enochian Magic, and Kabbalah; Wicca was stitched together from whole cloth by Gerald Gardiner circa 1948, and from deeply patriarchal sources at that. There are living Pagan traditions that go back further than the nineteenth century, such as Afro-Caribbean religions like Vodun and Santeria. But trust me, Wicca is not one of them. So why not make a more palatable synthesis?
I don't think that the Goddess is displeased by Wicca; she must be laughing, though, at all of the silly things that people do to try to contact her. The Goddess is all around us. She's right here. In you, your mother, your daughter, your sister, your girlfriend. She is in you and me. She's right there. She loves you.
Magic happens when you are in love with the Goddess. It doesn't require circles, candles, special wands/knives/pentacles. Unbidden, magical, seeming coincidental things will start to happen. You can use rituals, shamanistic methods such as drums/ethenogens/chanting/prayer/power lunch, but if you are truly in love with the Goddess, they are, on one level at least, superfluous. That's not to say that rituals, altars, ceremonies should be spurned, however:--the Goddess loves play, song, dance and beautiful arrangements of found objects and texts. The point is, you can make up your own rituals, create your own ceremonies, dream up new names for the Goddess and see if they stick. There is no single 'right' or 'proper' way to give homage to the Goddess; as her diversity of form is manifest, so we shouldn't have to worship her in one way only. What is written in this book is just one possible synthesis.
I believe that to worship the Goddess you shouldn't have to wait 'a year and a day' to join a coven, or go to Wicca post-graduate school just to start your own group. If you sincerely affirm her reality, that is sufficient.
The Book of the Goddess is obviously a pastiche of other religious texts. I sincerely hope that nobody will interpret this as mockery, but as respect. I want a 'monotheaistic' Goddess-based religion, and to do so, one must go to the great monotheistic religions. I want a religion which doesn't negate its predecessors, but incorporates the best of them. In this Book you'll find echoes and outright plagiarism of Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Islamic, and even some Pagan texts. After all, the patriarchal religions started out by appropriating the myths and traditions that preceded them; it's time to return the favor.
According to Marija Gimbutas, the Neolithic culture of 6500-3500 BCE which emerged after the last Ice Age was a peaceful agrarian society which worshipped only a Mother Goddess, with no images of a Father god. It was an epoch of peace and sexual equality. Technology was used to improve life rather than oppress and degrade people, or destroy the Earth. Time was regarded as cyclic and regenerative rather than culminating in an apocalypse where unbelievers are consigned to eternal torture. This is the inspiration for this synthesis. May the summer-time come again.
Magic is alive, Goddess is afoot...
--Anna Livia Plurabelle,