This essay was originally published at My Heart Story and later in Godless Paganism: Voices of Non-Theistic Pagans.
One of the wonderful things about dancing to the beat of your own spiritual drum is that you can constantly change your dance. You can change your practice, change your philosophy, even change your beliefs. And one of the things I love best about my personal brand of Earth-based spirituality is that the way I understand the Divine is utterly fluid.
It’s not that I throw my beliefs around willy-nilly. Rather, the Divine is an incredibly complex concept, and the way I see it, there are many, many ways to understand it or approach it conceptually.
Goddess is existence
Goddess (or God, or God/dess) to me is the pure fact of existence. She is the fact of being. She is the unmanifest, the everything and nothing that the universe is born of and returns to. In one sense, then, She is immutable. She is what is static in Cosmos.
But She is also change. And the very stuff of the universe is the product of her constant changing.
If I were a monotheist and believed in a transcendent Divine above and beyond the universe, then That Which Is Constant might be Goddess for me; and That Which Changes would be Her creation – the universe. But as a pantheist, I feel that the matter of the universe is divine too. And I believe that everything is one, so there is no divide between the constant aspect of Goddess and the changing one.
Is Goddess a thing, a being, a force? Or is She a process?
I feel the divinity in the interconnectedness of everything. And perhaps for me that interconnectedness is the Divine.
Goddess for me is not a personified deity. She is not a conscious being. She is not even something that is beyond or separate from me, or you, or anything. Rather, she is something that runs through us all. She is the way that we are all linked. She is the relationship between all things. She is the force of change and creativity.
But is She really a force in the way we traditionally understand it, or is she simply the process of Cosmos? She is many things, many forces – the tendency of Cosmos to behave in particular ways. She is the process of Cosmos.
So what is the Goddess process?
The Goddess process is the act of change itself. Change is the energy of Cosmos. If Cosmos were not changing, it would not be creative. In fact, it is difficult to imagine how the universe could exist if it were static. Static existence is empty, a void, the unmanifest. It is the ultimate mystery.
Cosmos/Goddess changes because she is deeply connected. She is connected to everything in Cosmos, because she is Cosmos. And this relationship cannot happen without her changing, and without her changing it.
The Goddess process is the act of creation through change
What happens outside of change is a mystery to us. The universe for me is change. Goddess is both the existence that encompasses everything and the change that births the universe.
Cosmos encompasses the universe, but also includes anything that is beyond it. So Cosmos may on some level be static. But because it contains the universe, and the universe is part of it, it is also in constant change.
Goddess and Cosmos are to me somewhat synonymous. But Cosmos is the matter, the fact – Goddess is the process, the creativity, the change. The universe is part of Cosmos. But the Goddess created the universe.
So on some level, I believe in a creator God. But the way I got there is turned on its head. Rather than deciding that there is a conscious being in charge of the universe who must have created it, I have decided to call that act of creation divinity itself.
About the Author: Áine Órga
Read more of Áine’s work at My Heart Story.
My earth-based spirituality is at the core of everything I do. Pantheistic Paganism has become not only my spiritual practice, but my way of life, and my core passion. And I am deeply inspired to share this passion with others in whatever way I can.
My spirituality and my journey of self-discovery are not really things that began at any point in my life – they have always been a part of me, though it has taken me many years to become clear on what my spirituality really looks like, who I really am, and where my passions truly lie. Now in my mid-twenties, I don’t feel as though I have the answers, but I feel as though I am finally beginning to ask the right questions.
I have been identifying as a pantheistic Pagan for several years. I first came to Paganism over a decade ago, but during the process of growing up I moved away from spirituality and big life questions because there simply wasn’t room for them in my life. But as I started to settle into myself as an adult, I realised that something was profoundly missing in my life – and that something turned out to be a spiritual practice and a deep and constantly evolving passion for all things related to the spiritual and the Self.
At my heart I am a writer, an artist, a teacher, and a traveller of the inner world of the mind. I hope that over time Heart Story will grow and expand to include a variety of my passions, and that I will be able to share my vision and my story with you in many more ways.
I sincerely hope that you find Heart Story to helpful and nurturing to you on your personal or spiritual journey.
Much love ~ Áine Órga