Re-Storying Goddess: a PaGaian Cosmology

Below is the text written and presented by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D. for this YouTube video published in February 2011:

I do thank the Mothers and the Grandmothers of this Land, and specifically this Place, and the Mothers and the Grandmothers of the ages, of many times and places, who have spoken to me in some deep way, beyond my knowing.

Re-Storying Goddess for me means re-storing a sense of “She” to the Cosmos, restoring female sacrality – to the small particular self to begin with, to other, and to all-that-is. … re-storing “Her” as Language – image and word – for the Creative Dynamic that unfolds the Universe.


As Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, well over 100 years ago, it is not our biology that has betrayed us, but the beliefs and the stories we have about ourselves.

Most of the religious stories that most on the globe grew up with at this time, did not have the female in Careful mind. Most world religions still specifically story the female as problematic to creation or enlightenment or whatever, or at least secondary: though some are clever enough to attempt to disguise it. The term “God” still commonly invokes the “Face of Ultimate Reality”, the Absolute, and the term “Goddess” still overwhemingly invokes a mere mythological entity.


“Goddess”, or “God”, is metaphor, a poetic image – suggesting a likeness of femaleness or maleness in the Sacred/Deity. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, a metaphor is a word or phrase used to suggest a likeness. “Goddess” is a figure of speech suggesting a likeness of femaleness in the Deity – few would argue with that: though many do argue that “God” does not suggest a likeness of maleness in the Deity, that it/He is neutral or may represent both, whereas Goddess may not.

Some cultures don’t need the word “God” nor do some need the word “Goddess” because female sacrality is not a problem – femaleness in such cultures, is understood to embody transformatory powers[1] – and thus the very nature/essence of the Cosmos: birthing, lactating, conceiving, gestating – are transformatory powers.  And all genders in such cultures find purpose in supporting regenerative capacities.


Theology was meant to be poetry – what else could it be, as it attempted to describe Ultimate Reality/Creativity. Theology has mostly ended up as a description of a dead butterfly pinned in a glass case, not one that is alive and flitting about in the garden … in the act of being. I prefer the term “Cosmology”: it is a study of our Place, which is Dynamic, a Verb, not a Noun – it is an Event. I understand myself as a student of the Poetry of the Universe. Poetry is a language of Goddess.


The texts we choose for our lives create the texture, the context – when we choose a story for our lives, or accept a pre-scribed one, it lives us. There is a cosmology in our everyday speech and action.

Re-Storying Goddess, and celebrating Her in Seasonal Moments, may participate in the process of scribing one’s self, authoring one’s self, at the deepest level, and storying the Universe as “She”. What might happen then – if the Universe was storied as “She”? What difference might it make to the world we live in?


When I speak of “Goddess”, I mean Her as a totality – not a “Feminine” PART of the Sacred. “Goddess” may be metaphor for Ultimate Creativity – the Sacred Cosmos … and in three qualities of Her Unfolding, Her Cosmogenesis: ever-new differentiated being, infinite full communion/relatedness, and constant transformation within Her sentient Self. She may be re-storied to THAT integrity in our hearts and minds.

Then one Enters … the richness and magic of this Cosmic Dynamic of Creativity, Who is embodied and embedded in all being. She is the seamless sacred Matter, Mother, Materia, Madre Whom we are.

And further:

The primary Place that the Mother-Universe may be sensed as present, is in this Place – (gesturing to the self).

–   bodymind, the breath, the whole phenomena of its ebbs and flows, but the breath may be a major place for contemplating Her three aspects of waxing, peaking and waning .

A lot of us in Western industrialised culture have been turned into outsiders in our own land. And in the patriarchal context of most global cultures (not all) this is particularly true for women. We are often (or have been) outsiders in our own land – this Land (again gesturing to self).

Most of us – female and male and all genders have learned well how to think from outside ourselves: that is, with a consciousness that treats ourselves personally and thus others as less than worthy of reverence, as all colonisers have done.

This is particularly true of women in the patriarchal context of most of the globe.  We have been and are a colonized people, re-discovering our Native Land. The details vary from culture to culture but the overall effect is common.

PC bookIt is not our biology that has betrayed us, but the beliefs and stories  we have about ourselves. It is time for re-storying. More here: PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion

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