The Brighton Goddess Temple: Reflections and Introductions

Brighton Logo

The Brighton Goddess Temple is a group of women working to create and run a sacred space dedicated to the Divine feminine in all.

Lynx Wildwood, the first founding member, has been running open community rituals for the wheel of the year and the full moon for many years. Lynx was inspired by the enthusiasm and energy of the women who came to the rituals. She initiated the creation of a permanent space to honour women’s spirituality and power. A group was established and has been meeting since September 2007. We don’t align ourselves with any particular spiritual or religious group. We are open to all women of all racial, cultural and spiritual roots.  Our aim is to join women together to empower and support each others love of nature and ourselves.

The initial creative and magical meetings evoked visions and designs of a round building surrounded by nature, a place for the sharing of skills, wisdom, creativity and healing, primarily, though not exclusively, for women.

south downsWe see the Brighton Goddess Temple as part of the movement of the re-emergence of the Divine Feminine. This is reflected in the growing number of workshops, rituals and temples being created by people who are inspired by their connection with Goddess energy, their spiritual passion and their desire for balance. The Glastonbury Goddess Temple welcomes many people all year round. There is also a London Goddess Temple and a group working towards establishing a Canterbury Goddess Temple.

In Brighton, at the Bright Helm of the South Downs, we are surrounded by Beacons and High Places to the West, North and East. Our underground river, the Wellesbourne, flows down through the city and out to sea in the South, cleansing and renewing our sacred energy.  Brighton’s inhabitants have always embraced the new and cherished the different. It is known as a place of spiritual acceptance. It is a fitting place for a Goddess Temple to be established.

So far we have worked together to create a constitution, we have developed publicity and have networked with other groups. We are now in the process of looking for a building and are working with the council to find an appropriate space.

Brighton PavilionIn the meantime, we have regular meetings – working towards making this vision a reality, and Lynx continues to run community rituals and women’s groups in Brighton, raising funds and awareness for the Goddess Temple. 

The Temple is not yet a physical space but a group of women and their collective energy.  With this in mind, we would like to share our Temple with you by introducing you to some of the wonderful women and their own experience of the Divine Feminine:

Lynx Wildwood MA, BA (Hons)

My first memory is of leaving my body and entering the atomic level. I was less than a year old.  From that point on, and possibly earlier, my world was filled with Magic. Although my family were unfamiliar with my world, I had a spirit guide who taught me the Mystic Arts, helping me to shape and make sense of my innate knowledge. Later I studied a performing arts degree while at the same time becoming a student of the ancient Magical philosophy of Qabalah, a religion free framework for a joyous and Cosmic consciousness.  I then gained an MA in body psychotherapy and have since developed a practice which calls on the tools, experience and the knowledge gained from Qabalah and Western Mysticism. I have been teaching Qabalah and the Magical Arts for 17 years.  I am passionate about enabling women to connect with their personal power and live their beautiful selves with pride and joy.

The Divine Feminine

The Great Mystery
Sacred Blood Mother
Life Web Spiral
Cosmic Star woman

I see her in the twinkle of the crow’s eye
and the vibrant blue of a peacocks tail.
I see her in every dawn and each drop of rain.
I see her in my lover’s face, my daughter’s smile.
I see her in my own reflection and I see her in yours.
I am passionate, powerful, strong, beautiful.
I birth life, I create, I sing, I dream.
I feel, I know, I love, I am…
A circle of women joining together
- Sharing, holding, loving.
We give, learn, teach, heal.
Goddess to Goddess.

Rachel Mica McCann B.D.Hons PgdipSW

I have been enjoying the creative power of ritual for 20 years having been drawn to explore the spiritual path through a mystical experience as a teenager. Through cultivating creativity, ritual, through connecting deeply with Gaia and helping others to love her, I am home.

My loves are drumming, laughter, friendship and seeing the sacred in all.  I currently live in Brighton (after many years in Scotland) where I am enjoying renewed inspiration in developing Goddess, creativity and earth healing work.  I recently compiled a book of poems called ‘Brighid's Runes – a collection of Soul Poetry’ which is available through the Brighton Goddess Temple. Last year I did the Imbolc retreat at Glastonbury and dedicated as a priestess of Bridgid.

Reflecting on ‘Divine Feminine’

I enjoy using images and symbols to enable me to most fully express this, as words cannot fully encapsulate that which is experiential…however I will try..

The experience of the eternal Sophia of all ages embodied in the flesh we live, the air we breathe, the dreams we dream, the people we meet and the ground we walk on.

The experience of being cherished and held in the darkest night,  the trees whispering my name,  the sea bringing rest to my body, the laughter of friends and the tenderness of togetherness. The experience of love in all her forms and the presence of hope, in the real everyday challenges and changes of life. This is where I find Goddess, within and around me touching and changing all.... EVERYTHING IS SACRED!

Linda McCann

Is a Goddess loving Crone who only discovered the joy of having a divine feminine in her life when, in her 50s, she studied for, and gained, a BA (Hons) in Theology at Liverpool University.  She is a qualified E.F.T. practitioner. She has many loves and interests in her life; her two amazing daughters, dancing, music and the groups she attends: Qabalah, psychic awareness, Green Tara, Goddess study, Salsacise, and women’s over 60s celebratory carnival dance.  She also enjoys attending moon groups, seasonal ritual groups, Goddess Temple groups and any group or gathering that connects her to Goddess energy!

Divine Feminine –

Dearest mother
Immanent and immense
Veritable warrior
Irresistible force
Nurturer of my life
Everlasting companion

Fabulous female
Exciting me
Magnificent woman
In my soul
Nourishing my soul
Indestructible power
Night star
Endlessly loving.

Annabell

My name is Annabell, I rarely use my last name, preferring to go by Annabell of The Old Ways. Having always been at one with nature and knowing there was something more to life than that which is taught, I came to realise that it is not the word of others, but what we feel and sense most strongly that should lead us through life, and always with an open mind. My truth is the sacridity of nature, our connection to 'the all', of The Goddess, and the importance of the resurgence of feminine spirituality.  To that end I have recently founded 'Sisterhood of the Goddess', with the aim of generating a global Sisterhood for female empowerment and a better world. I believe by raising the feminine energies will make for a more peaceful, just and balanced world. Whilst I live outside of Brighton and facilitate open rituals and ceremonies in my area, I am pleased to be part of the Brighton Goddess Temple group, and to be part of a group of such empowered and dedicated women. I believe we will see many more Goddess Temples created around the globe over the next few years.

The Divine Feminine to me…

is the very female essence of life and the cosmos, of The Goddess. It is that special connection between all that is and the feminine part of humanity. The special connection between women as a Sisterhood, and their unity with the cosmos. The intuitive wisdom that we hold within, our sexuality that in sacred sex can take us out of our bodies and be totally at one with The Goddess. It is the feminine aspects within life itself, in either gender, of love, compassion and sensuality.

The Goddess to me is more. The beauty of Mother Earth, the moon and stars is there for all to see, and wondrous though that is, is just a fraction. The Goddess is all of the things we know, of our connection, our inner wisdom, our sexuality and sensuality, the cycles of life, of the moon, of the seasons, of everything in nature and the cosmos we can see, touch and sense. She is the peace to understand and live love, real unconditional love, with no barriers – a love that makes your heart sing and leaves you knowing that anything is possible, yet understanding the balance in all things. It is that love inside all of us, that just as we are all part of Her physically, in every aspect, we are The Goddess and She is us.

Vikki Winstone

I live and work within the countryside of Mid Sussex with my family and I have been teaching yoga, Active Birth and Childbirth Education in this area for nearly eighteen years.

Finding The Goddess and The Divine Feminine was not a bolt out of the blue for me, but a slow unfolding over the years. The being aware of Her Presence within my work, within Her landscape, Her seasons and within each other has grown steadily stronger and stronger over the years, so the idea there will be somewhere where we can meet and celebrate Her in Her many ways is a very exciting one. She is my constant and She is my change.

I feel truly fully committed to help in any way I can to bring a Goddess Temple to the Goddess Loving community in Brighton and Surrounds. I have just started a three year Priestess of the Goddess Training with Kathy Jones and The Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

The Divine Feminine

I hear Her within the crashing of the waves
And within the song of a bird.
I feel Her as the Earth beneath my feet
And as a whisper in the wind.
I see Her in the rolling hills
And in a smile on someone’s face.
She touches me with the rays from Her sun
And with the rain from Her clouds
I touch Her within an embrace....
And in my stillness.

Why I initiated the building of the Brighton Goddess Temple

Lynx Wildwood

This work is part of my soul’s purpose and dedication.

For the last 2,000 years and more, this world has been dominated by the concept of a single, white, male god. The myths and beliefs around this have led to a situation where anything male is accepted as good, right and normal, and anything female has been accepted as bad, wrong, and abnormal. Including our way of being, our life roles, our bodies, our way of communicating and experiencing.  Under the patriarchal rule, there is no opportunity for women to aspire to their true potential, as the only reflection of ‘highest potential’ is a male, white god.

Women have very clearly and purposefully been disempowered through the myth structures created by male dominated religion.  For example, in the Garden of Eden, the bible begins with a story where a woman ruins everything and brings about the ‘fall of man’. Even if people believe themselves to be non-religious, these myths should not be taken lightly.  They pervade our whole way of life and all of our thinking including the male-centric language we use.

This story is repeated in every fairytale that includes a ‘wicked witch’ or a wicked stepmother and every sitcom that includes a ‘stupid blonde’ and every stand up’s jokes about a horrible mother in law. It is also repeated in every magazine article that discusses women’s ‘imperfection’ or advises on ‘perfection’, perpetuating the myth that we are not good enough as we are. This way of thinking allows for the abuse of women everywhere on a daily basis, in the form of violence and rape, and self-abuse, in the form of painful and dangerous body modification  – for example eating disorders, plucking, waxing, and surgery etc.

Within the present myth and societal structures, there is no figurehead for us to aspire to, no myths or stories about great women, only evil, bad or wrong women. Any women in the bible who did have power were desexualised, demonised or over-sexualised.  All of this creates a situation where women are literally powerless – not only within society as a whole but often feel it within their own lives, in their own homes and in their own bodies.

Using myth and symbol to speak to people will help to redress this balance. By reinstating the value and presence of Goddess we will not only benefit women but will benefit society as a whole.  A Goddess temple is an ideal place for this to begin. Goddess is a symbol of female perfection, of female/woman in power.  Having a sense of Goddess gives women something to aspire to, to grow towards, to feel something greater and acceptable within themselves.

Ultimately, this will not only benefit women. When there is balance between the symbols of God and Goddess there will be a balance and harmony within us all.  All that is associated with woman will come to be acceptable and revered. For example, men will feel safe to express their feelings without being ridiculed, resulting in less stress related illnesses.  I have dedicated my life to the purpose of bringing rebalance and harmony and ultimately love and acceptance for all, by re-offering empowering ancient tools of growth and wisdom and finding ways to re-empower women and men. The Goddess temple is one of my steps towards this.

My vision for the Goddess Temple is this: when a woman worships or contemplates Goddess, she worships herself. This brings empowerment, when people are empowered they are in a position to love themselves and love others.

Goddess Temple Vision

Through deep, heartfelt discussion, sharing and joy over many months with all our members, we can now offer you our shared vision:

The vision is to create a sacred centre, particularly for women, which encourages empowerment, spiritual expression, healing and growth. A centre that provides workshops, rituals, information, healing, sharing and spiritual inspiration.

Any Goddess archetypes, images, symbolism, shrines and historical reference are offered as reflections and celebrations of all women, the sacredness of nature and the power to create.

We recognise and are grateful to the herstory of Goddess as a platform to where we are today and we place particular importance on the now.

Our vision is about recognising the divine feminine within all, something we aim to discover and celebrate within one another, within ourselves and within nature and the cosmos.

The temple will be open to all regardless of religious background.

The temple will be a spiritual, dynamic, active, alive, relevant creative space.

It is a temple to all women in order to redress balance by reminding us of our greatness, our divinity and to value women’s activities and creative pursuits as relevant and important.

The Goddess Temple joins like-minded people to share spiritual practice and celebration, however, it is not a religion, in that we don’t encourage, set out or prescribe any particular beliefs, values or practices. The Goddess Temple recognises that individuals have a unique relationship with Goddess and encourages personal and individual expression of this.

Our temple is a sanctuary of love and healing through which we seek to create love and healing in the world.

With Love and Blessings
Lynx, Rachel, Linda, Annabell and Vikki