Getting to Know the Goddess – Course Outline
Lesson 1 – The Mother
Images of the archetypal Mother Goddess abound, from our very earliest history up until today. She is present everywhere and we will learn to recognise Her not only in Palaeolithic cave paintings and more recent statuary, but also in unexpected places!
In every lesson, we will deepen our understanding with visualisations, which will be simple and relaxing.
There will follow a “case study” of the story of Demeter, taken directly from the beautiful poem by Homer, allowing the story to work in our hearts towards a deeper understanding of the Great Mother.
Lesson 2 – The Maiden
Modern patriarchal religions often put a high value on the Maiden, on virginity. But what does the Maiden Goddess really mean to us today?
We will look at some Maiden Goddesses and will also think about the stories and mythology which have grown up around the Virgin Mary and the Magdalen.
We will also look at a “case study” of Inanna, again using original material and letting our hearts understand the poetry, imagery and beauty of Her story.
Lesson 3 – The Crone
The wheel of the year turns endlessly; relentlessly we move from summer into the darker times of autumn and winter. But how does this work in tropical regions, where there may not be a summer and winter as such? Or in the arctic circle?
We will study the Crone, Her ways and mysteries, Her depths and many beauties.
As before, there will be a “case study”, this time of Kerridwen.
Lesson 4 – The Goddess Today
It should be clear by this stage that the Goddess isn’t just a great idea from history or the symbol of a vanished matriarchy but a real presence, right here, right now.
We will look at how the Goddess manifests Herself in the world today and use everything we have learned so far to make a ceremony to honour Her – this is the real creative challenge to ourselves. We may choose a ceremony to dedicate ourselves to Her, for example, or one of asking Her for blessings, for ourselves or for loved ones. There is no set formula, no limit to what we can do.
Our creativity, our imaginations and our love are the best gifts we can offer Her.
Throughout the course, we will have created altars and given thought to sacred space, as its creation and maintenance is one of the responsibilities of priestesses. But how far does this go? Are we all Her priests and priestesses, and if so, what are our responsibilities to the Goddess and to our Mother Earth?
I would like to offer some additional options to the course - first of all, if you can make it to Glastonbury during or within a year of taking the course, it would be great to meet up, and we may be able to arrange a tour of Avalon and other local sacred sites.
We could also arrange a more formal "intensive" in Glastonbury, with accommodation, workshop(s) and, if requested, a ceremony of initiation or dedication to the Goddess for yourself, perhaps in the Goddess Temple or at Chalice Well. A fair amount of notice would be needed for Chalice Well, as the gardens have to be booked out of hours. Private access to Stonehenge (usually at the crack of dawn!) can also be arranged, and of course Avebury is still free to access, as is West Kennet Long Barrow. There's also a wonderful, and usually very quiet, stone circle at Stanton Drew, near Bristol.
Fees for both the above options would be negotiable, depending on your requirements.