How Atheism Enhanced My Goddess Worship

I’ve spent like an hour trying to figure out how to start this post. What way is the most interesting? Or the most controversial sounding?

But that’s really time consuming – and distractive. So I’m just going to tell you: I want to talk about god. Why? Mostly because as I learn more about atheism, I begin to re-evaluate what I believe in and why.

Essentially, I tell people I’m a pagan, but specifically, I consider myself a Goddess worshipper. It basically means I don’t acknowledge or identify with the male concept of deity. In Wicca (which is where I got my start), deity is divided into male and female: the God and Goddess. They’re equally important and one isn’t valued more than the other.

Unfortunately – I don’t connect well with male energy. I went to a single sex college, and a vast majority of my friends are female. Even in the blogging and twitter universe, a high percentage of the people I follow are women. So it seemed like a natural transgression to worship a female deity. When you worship, it’s about doing things to keep in touch with the Goddess. There’s prayer (which is basically conversation), performing rituals and altars that you can set up.

However, it can be extraordinarily difficult to find books relating to Wiccan spirituality. But I found an excellent one titled “The Circle Within” by Dianne Sylvan. The book breaks down how to create a spiritual relationship with the Lord and Lady, which I thoroughly appreciated. It’s the only book to date that I’ve found that relates closely to my own spiritual leanings.

So – how does the conversation about atheism enhance my relationship with my own faith?

The biggest question atheists asks is: how do you know? It can be difficult to answer this question without delving too into more spiritual jargon. I could say, “It resonates with my spirit” but that presupposes that the questioner believes in the human soul. I could say, “It just feels right or it makes sense to me” which is fluff – only a conversation rife with frustration can be conducted from this statement.

Why do I believe in some of the things that I do? Because I’ve experienced physical manifestations of my belief system. I’ve been around people who are able to confirm what has happened to me. I’ve been around people who are equally rational in their approach to paganism, and their own experiences.

Atheism allows me to take a step back and reassess, to make sure my spirituality isn’t just something that lives in my head. I need to live it everyday because I want to be able to explain to people what my faith is, and what it’s about.

I’m also an cerebral person, a lot of my process is in my mind. So although I know for a fact (mentally) that the Goddess is real, and I value other people’s experiences with Her, I don’t feel it in my body. There’s a strong disconnect that I need to address. I give praise to Her and acknowledge Her, but I need to work on the bond.

As I speak with atheists, I realize that the potential for me to just preach but not practice is still there – even though I’m part of a different ideology than Judeo-Christian Abrahamic faiths. I realize that it’s much easier to spend time in my mind, going over what I can or should do than actually doing it. That I keep waiting for other people to tell me how to practice.

Atheism isn’t my cup of tea, but in these past few days, I’ve learned a lot. Not just about other people, but myself as well.

What about you? Do you have a personal ideology or philosophy that you spend more time talking about than actually doing? Have you done anything to change or challenge that?

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “How Atheism Enhanced My Goddess Worship

  1. I found this post to be very interesting and learned quite a bit too. I’m in the process of trying to figure out which ideology feels like the best fit for me and what I believe in the most. Never even thought about Goddesses and the like. I’ll have to do some more research, great post!

    • Thanks for stopping by! :D

      I’m glad you got something out of it! For me, in terms of figuring out spiritual practices, I tend to go with what works. What has given me the most results and made me feel saner for believing in it.

      Definitely! I’m glad you enjoyed it! :]

  2. This was a fascinating post. Last year I’ve made peace with what I believe. Basically, I was raised in a Christian family but like you, I don’t agree with the male concept of a God. I’m not exactly a Wiccan but I’ve studied some of the ideologies and philosophies and it makes sense to me. I believe in deities who complement each other, meaning female energy and male energy working in tandem. I often say “the creator” and when I say that, I am speaking of that energy. I hope that makes sense. But anyway, I could go on an on about how bogus I feel that come other more patriarchal religions (ie. Christianity and Islam) are but I digress. All I’m going to say is it seems like man created God in his image and not the other way around. I struggled with this for years because I couldn’t understand why no one else around me felt the same way. They just followed blindly but not because it’s really what’s in their heart, it’s what they’ve been told for years. But I’ve always questioned and I know that if it doesn’t feel right then there’s a reason for that. So, I’ve made peace with my beliefs. Sorry for the long winded response.

    • Oh thanks! :D

      Yes – the energy, the creator: all those things make sense to me. I’ve often struggled with using various words to describe what I believe because it makes me feel like I’m not being consistent. When I speak to someone about Deity, I rarely use the word “Goddess”, most of the time I use “Universe” because most people seem to understand what that means. And most people who don’t follow a particular spiritual path tend to talk to the “Universe” versus any particular concept of divinity. Also, I don’t really know how to explain what or who the Goddess is to me. I don’t necessarily perceive her to be the female concept of god, yet that’s the fastest way to talk about her. My context for her is within the confines of paganism because that’s where/how my understanding was born.

      i definitely agree. We need to be more critical (perhaps more so) about what our religious belief system should be. I’ve found that man blacks (especially adults) are only Christian because that’s how they were raised. And so they pass that down to their kids. My cousin used to send her son to church, though she never went herself. If you don’t believe in the church, why send your child there? I think this is a common practice amongst black christian families who lack faith but feel that it’s a familial tradition and obligation to keep their children christian.

  3. I considered myself an atheist for a long while. I think it helped me in the same way that it has helped you. But today, I’m more like you in that I do identify with/worship the Goddesses, I’ve experienced their energy within my world and it’s really cool! I mean, I’ve had some holy shit moments where I just kinda pause for a second lol I don’t identify with the male Gods all that much either..I’m okay with it too..if I do identify with them at some point..cool. But I feel like we have to identify with the male so much, so often that this area of my life almost needs to be connected to the female divine. I really liked this post!

    • Oh wow! I’d love to hear more about your “holy shit” moments! That would be great. I love hearing about people’s stories with the Divine – it’s so interesting to me. Part of my devotion to this particular path is that I want to expand my world view. I feel that there’s more in this world than what I’m currently experiencing, and I think spirituality can help open me up to that. But we shall see how it goes!

      Yes! I definitely feel very little connection with male energy in terms of the Gods. It’s one of the things that led me away from Wicca – I couldn’t really get connected to The Horned One. So I felt like it wasn’t really in my best interests to try and force it. Yes, I agree that there’s a trend to be more on par with male than female energy. We can see this in cinema with “strong female characters” who are essentially men with breasts. It’s problematic how often times the definition of being a girl is contrasted against what it means to be a boy. Almost as if being female is the antithesis of male rather than being two parts of the same whole.

  4. I hope I am not offending you, or making assumptions about your religion, because it does like you haven’t quite chosen if you’re atheist or pagan yet, so please forgive me in advance!
    What you said about being a cerebral person and how it is really hard for you to ‘feel’ your connection with a goddess, that really resonated with me. I have felt like a terrible pagan even after I finally connected with my chosen goddess. I’m not an active pagan who follows every moon cycle and has to do a ritual on Beltane so I know and accept that I am what could be called a ‘lazy pagan’, but it troubles me that every time I go over to my goddess’ alter in my home to talk to her, I never know what to say or do. I wonder if I’m disappointing her or if I’m just making her bust up laughing at my silly mortalness.
    I didn’t mean for this to be a confessional, but to my original topic, I am really glad to see that I am not that unusual to not ‘feel’ my goddess. I am always hoping for a fullness of spirit, as if my chest would ache or feel full but I haven’t felt that. I wonder if I am just wasting mine and my goddess’ time.
    I’ve looked for information, and read so many books for advice on how to connect with my goddess…reading and following rituals, or reciting special words seems so dull and impersonal to me and to be honest, my chosen goddess would probably smack me upside the head if I even did that.
    So yes, I appologize for the super long confessional but I appreciate you reading this and I appreciate that you took the time to write that awesome blog above. Thank you, happy new year!

    • Oh no worries Rachel! Thanks for stopping by! :D

      I’m not atheist, AT ALL. Haha. Firstly, I’m glad that you resonated with my post! I think standing committal to a spiritual path can be hard, especially if we’re doing it alone. I’m not sure who your Matron is, but I do think just asking her how best to build your relationship would be ideal. A lot of pagan/new age books are very 101, and don’t really help with building your own practice. I think, while it can be hard to “feel” connected all the time, I think it just takes a lot of time and effort. At least – that’s what I’m dealing with now. Trying to find what works for me, what will help me feel less alone, what I can or should do, etc.

      I don’t think not celebrating Esbats or Sabbats makes you a lazy pagan! I rarely acknowledge those things myself, and I guess they’re only as important as you let them. I don’t really understand the importance of celebrating celestial bodies, personally, and I feel no deep connection to them. The Sabbata are cool, but seem more oriented toward covens, or groups of people, versus by yourself. So I don’t see any harm in ignoring those either!! :D

      • Oh thanks! :) Phew!
        Well, my goddess is Freyja, and I will take your advice and try just outright asking her just that. I do feel like I am connecting to her, and I know I am attaching to her slowly but surely. I’m just not at all into those fluffy books that talk about wicca as if we have to feel or have a big magical explosion in our belly to truly a goddess.
        Sounds like we’re in the same boat at the moment with our goddesses! :)
        Thank you for your kind words, looking forward to reading more of your blog.

        • You’re welcome!!! :D

          Yes. I think Wiccan (and new age books in general) tend to ignore the fact that sometimes we don’t “feel” things right away. This is probably because many books are written by people who have been doing it for a very long time, so there are certain things they’re used to and might forget what it was like to just be starting out.

          Yes!! It definitely looks like we’re in the same boat!! I am struggling to work toward becoming closer with the Goddess, and understanding what that relationship means and how it feels and what my expectations are… so complicated it seems!

          Oh you’re welcome and thank you! <3

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