Why We Celebrate Her in Seasonal Ceremony


MoonCourt, sacred space for Her, ready for Imbolc/Early Spring ceremony.

Why do we do this? … create sacred space wherein She may be spoken, wherein She may be embodied in Her Seasonal expression according to your place? Herewith some reason for celebrating a Gynocentric Cosmology, with religious/spiritual practice: it is more urgent than ever.

From PaGaian Cosmology Chapter 4:

Charlene Spretnak has noted that:

When a woman raised in patriarchal culture … immerses herself in sacred space where various manifestations of the Goddess bring forth the Earthbody from the spinning void … She will body the myth with her own totemic being. She is the cosmic form of waxing, fullness, waning: virgin, mature creator, wise crone. She cannot be negated ever again. Her roots are too deep – and they are everywhere. [1]

I propose that this may be true also for a man, who immerses himself in sacred space where various manifestations of Goddess bring forth Earthbody, where he may body the myth, the story, with his own totemic being, for She – the Female Metaphor – is the cosmic form of waxing, fullness and waning: a Dynamic that is everywhere, omnipresent. Brian Swimme has affirmed that “when he had reflected and meditated on the pre-Hellenic myths until he ‘became filled with a myth”[2], that his thinking about “natural phenomena and the entire universe were qualitatively different” from for instance, a “patriarchal, industrialized, competitive … frame of reference.” His experience led him to conclude that the myths had a very deep biological basis, that could alter our relationship to the universe, and thus the universe itself, if we allowed ourselves to be filled with them.[3]

Swimme and Berry have noted often in their reflections on the story of the unfolding Universe, that Western industrialized peoples have become dissociated from, or autistic to, the Earth community and the Cosmos. Berry has suggested that the only effective restoration of a viable mode of human presence on the planet is through a renewal of human intimacy “with the great cosmic liturgy of the natural world.”[4] He suggests that the coordination of ritual celebrations with the transformation moments of the natural world – such as the “entrancing sequence” of the seasons – gives promise of a future “with the understanding, the power, the aesthetic grandeur, and the emotional fulfilment needed.”[5] He suggests that such are the “entrancing qualities needed to endure the difficulties to be encountered and to evoke the creativity needed.”[6] Berry believes that although we – the human and the entire planet – are in a moment of dangerous transition to a new era, a moment of significance far beyond our imagination, that we are “not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future”, that we need only invoke the abundant sea of energy in which we are immersed.[7]

If the Universe is understood to be “a single, multiform celebratory expression” as Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme affirm in their cosmic story, then we are the very Dynamics of Creativity, and only need to invoke these powers – these “originating powers” that permeate “every drop of existence.”[8] As Charlene Spretnak affirms in States of Grace,

we exist as participants in the greatest ritual: the cosmic ceremony of seasonal and diurnal rhythms framing epochal dramas of becoming …

and further,

When people gather in a group to create ritual, they form a unitive body, a microcosmos of differentiation, subjectivity and deep communion.[9]

We may with practice – of a religious kind, as in a connecting kind – embody consciously, and grow into, our Earthly and Cosmic nature – the She who is our Primordial Mother. This microcosmos – that we each are and that we may collectively express – of differentiation, subjectivity[10] and communion are three faces of Gaia’s Cosmic method of Creativity, used everyday on planet Earth and throughout time and space in Her ever-transforming Cosmogenesis. In my Poetic Search, as I describe in this chapter, I have associated these three faces of Cosmogenesis with the three faces of the Female Metaphor – the three faces that the ancients noticed reiterated all around them. The dynamic was everywhere, and the ancients – scientists in their observation of the world, of which they felt a part, noticed its dimensions and embodied Her in dance and song.

We may be en-couraged by hearing and seeing – witnessing – the deep truth of each other, expressed in sacred space: there She may grow strong … for all. It is more urgent than ever.


[1]  Charlene Spretnak, States of Grace, p.143.

[2] Charlene Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, p.xvii.

[3] Charlene Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, p.xvii.

[4] Thomas Berry, The Great Work, p.19

[5] Thomas Berry, The Great Work, p.18-20.

[6] Thomas Berry, The Great Work, p.20.

[7] Thomas Berry, The Great Work, p.175.

[8] Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, p.78.

[9] Charlene Spretnak, States of Grace, p.145.

[10] Swimme and Berry have at an earlier time, named the “autopoeisis” face of Cosmogenesis as “subjectivity”. By time they wrote The Universe Story they had changed the name to “autopoeisis”.

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Naturalistic Paganism

A community of Naturalistic & Humanistic Pagans

Celebration of Gaia

Marking Our Time on Earth


Exploring the F-word in religion at the intersection of scholarship, activism, and community.

Stuart McHardy

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Blog posts/essays & photos by William A. Young, linking travel, hiking, mythology, and some associated odds-and-ends

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