(7) How to Meet Your Goddess
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
At the end of the Road of Trials, the Journey takes the Hero to the Meeting with the Goddess.
The Hero experiences unconditional love, the union of opposites, and starts seeing him/herself in a non-dualistic way.
The challenges that we have gone through may shed a light on potentials of ours that we didn't even know. When we integrate this "enlarged vision" into what we thought we were, beyond our previously limiting identity, a new awareness opens up.
We are no more "this OR this", but... "this AND this".
We fall in love with our Self.
Do you remember a moment in your life when you experienced something like this?
If not, how would your vision about yourself change if anything like this would happen?
Before we proceed, here's one key point.
This is an Inner Journey, a Soul's Journey, and the Soul has no gender.
The Hero meeting with the Goddess is the metaphor of the hieros gamos, the "Sacred Marriage", the union of the Seeker with What is Sought-After.
It is a search within, it is an exploration to discover the Truth, not a journey to grab a material treasure or to conquer the heart or the hand of a real lady.
Woman or man as you are, sense how this resonates, deep within, with What You Know Is True.
Having clarified this, bear with me, and know that the metaphors that follow, on par with all the ones in this series of posts, apply equally to Women and Men on their Hero's Journey.
In the symbolism of myths and tales, the Woman represents all what can be known.
The Hero is the one coming to know.
Often, the Goddess changes form as the Hero moves along the Journey, revealing only the parts of herself that the Hero is ready to comprehend.
She pushes the Hero beyond his boundaries and chains, often with requests that hide a riddle in themselves. When the Hero solves them and proves his worth, Hero and Goddess become free from any limit.
The Woman, as representation of the Universal Mother, has in herself both positive and negative attributes. She can be comforting, kind, nourishing, young, and beautiful - but she can also be distant, punishing, forbidden (Oedipus), even deadly (Goddess Kali).
The key for the Hero is approaching the Woman / Goddess as she is, in her totality, without trying to belittle, limit, or subjugate her, but rather with the assurance, the purity, and the "kindness of the heart" that she needs and deserves.
Let's see with a couple of examples from tales and myth how different behaviors by the Hero turn into a different experience of the energy of the Goddess.
The five sons of Eochaid Mugmedòn, High King of Ireland, went hunting.
Thirsty, they decide to go and look for water, one by one.
First goes Fergus.
He finds a well, and a horrible hag guarding it. He asks her for water, and she replies that she'll grant it, but only after he kisses her. He scornfully refuses, and goes back to his brothers, pretending he hasn't found anything.
Then goes Ailill, and Brian after him. Each finds the same hag, each refuses to kiss her, and each returns without water.
Then goes Fiachra. Same well, same hag, same request.
"I will give you a little kiss," he replies.
That didn't satisfy the hag, and the boy went back to his brothers, still empty-handed.
Finally went Niall. Same well, same hag, same request.
"Besides giving you a kiss," he replies, "I will lie with you!"
So he bends and kisses her.
Then, looking at her, he sees the most beautiful and lovely maiden in the world.
"Who are you?" he asks, in awe.
"I am the Sovereignty of Ireland" she replies.
Niall's ability to sense beyond the appearance had just turned into his greatest fortune.
“Now go to your brothers, take water with you, and the kingship and the domination of Ireland will be forever yours and of your children, save two sons of Fiachra, and all of them will be kings without opposition."
And so it was. Twenty-six of Niall's descendants, and two of Fiachra's, were High Kings of Ireland.
After a day spent game hunting with his companions and hounds, the hunter Actaeon leaves them and ventures into the forest.
There, deep into it, he finds a beautiful spring.
Into it, Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, is bathing completely naked with her nymphs.
Actaeon stands still, and stares at her. The nymphs realize it, start crying, and gather around Diana to cover her from the profane eye. She, in anger, throws water at his face, screaming, "try to tell now that you've seen the goddess naked!"
Actaeon gets suddenly transmuted into a deer without him realizing, and runs away.
Once he reaches a pool and bends to drink, he sees his features and cries with terror, and not with a human voice.
A horrible fate is waiting for him. His own hounds have made their way through the woods, and sense the scent of the deer.
He tries to flee away from them, but they're faster. They catch him, bite him to death, and tear him apart.
The power of the divinity requires a respect that Acteon has been missing.
Compare it with how Moses, in the Book of Exodus, approaches the Burning Bush.
While grazing the sheep, Moses sees a bush that is burning without consuming itself.
Surprised, he gets nearer, and hears a voice calling his name.
It's God. He tells him not to get nearer, and to take off his sandals since he is moving on holy ground.
By taking them off, and just being present and grounded, he's leaving behind his perceived identity, his little self. When approaching divinity, you don't need sandals, you don't need tools. You just "sense" the new dimension, like Moses senses the ground with his bare feet.
Then he covers his face, and never looks at the Burning Bush directly.
He would get incinerated if he did.
He puts a veil in front of him.
He recognizes that you can't use your typical senses to approach the divine dimension.
You stay in presence, in silence, and through that veil the divine wisdom talks to you. (1)
In Beauty and the Beast, a Prince pushes away an old lady beggar that reveals to be an enchantress. He is punished and transformed into a horrible beast, and condemned to remain so until a pure heart will love him beyond his appearances, without knowing his story.
The Prince carries on his life alone in his own castle and far away from anyone. One day, a man who has gone astray, thirsty and hungry, bumps into the castle, finds it open, and discovers a table laden with exquisite food. He serves himself, and when he's finished he gets out and picks a rose from the garden, to bring it home to one of his daughters, named Beauty.
The Beast grabs the man and menaces to imprison him because of his stealing. The poor man explains whom the rose is for. The Beast agrees to free him, but only if Beauty comes in his place and accepts to be his fiancée.
The man reluctantly agrees, leaves and safely goes back home. There, he reveals everything to Beauty, who accepts the deal in order to free his father.
She reaches the castle and is welcomed by the Beast, who, in his somehow rude ways, tries his best to let her feel safe and at home. She lives a life of riches, but she refuses to go beyond any boundary of simple friendship with the Beast.
A month after her arrival, Beauty becomes homesick, and asks to be allowed to go and visit her family again.
The Beast, as an act of love, agrees, on the promise that she'll come back.
And so it goes. Her family rejoices to see her again.
Though, days go by fast.
One night, Beauty dreams that the Beast is dead, with his heart broken for not seeing her returning to the castle. In a hurry, she returns, and finds him actually dead.
Devastated, she realizes how much she loved him, and screams in tears, "I'm sorry! That's all my fault!"
The words, and her pure heart, break the curse.
The Beast turns into the beautiful prince he is, awakes, and finally tells her his story.
The two of them get married, and live happily ever after.
During the rough and stormy period following the end of my experience in Switzerland, and still without a recognizable professional identity, I was feeling lost and disheartened.
All the trials I had been into, all the study, exploration, connections, and hard work, hadn't yet turned into a sustainable stream of income, and to me that was an evidence that I hadn't yet found my way out.
I had a distant feeling that my happiness and sense of worth didn't have to depend on external validation, and that I had to embrace myself.
I was hesitantly sensing that the transformation and consequent inner integration that I had already undergone was somehow unique, and around that uniqueness I could build my path forward.
Yet, my "Meeting with the Goddess" didn't fully take place.
She was there, right beyond the veil, but I was too full of thoughts in my little mind to be able to sense and recognize her.
In fact, I didn't have at that time any clue about the inside-out understanding.
I was still convinced that all what I had to earn was outside of me - that I wasn't intrinsically worth and I still had to prove my value.
I was still thinking that, if the strategies and techniques that I had applied thus far hadn't worked yet, probably I just had to try something else, and go on and on and on until I would discover my way out.
I was blind enough to believe that I had to do it all by myself, and that I had to carry the weight of the world on my little shoulders. i was thinking that only then I would have proven my worth. Until then, I would have had no value.
I was psychologically fragile, and I was hiding within myself that fragility in the illusion that I was still in control.
In that desolate and mute despair, this incapacity of mine to dive into my "female" part, and simply surrender to what the Universe was just setting up for my best, was going to bring me to the limit of almost taking my own life, in a matter of weeks from then.
And this will be the subject of another post.
Meeting the Goddess is the ultimate challenge for the Hero.
Will they be able to win the treasure of Eternal Love? Will they see the pure Truth of Eternity beyond the transient appearances of illusion?
And when the main character of the story is not a Man (our "male" part, the one that with courage and determination adventures into the unknown) but a Woman (our "female" part, the one that opens up in awe to the mystery of eternity, to the perception that there's much more beyond the veil that our physical senses can realize), then she demonstrates that she's worth of uniting herself to an immortal, a god.
In both cases, and in the wholeness of what we are, we become one with the truth we are looking for when we leave our perceived identity at the door, and open up to the potentials of an eternal wisdom that has always been there, waiting for us to relax into it.
How do you approach life? Do you trust only what you see, or sense that "What is essential is invisible to the eye", in the words of the Little Prince?
Are you most likely to be willing to experience reality as you believe it is, and to force its course in order to satisfy your desires - or do you open yourself to the possibility that there are wider potentials that unroll with ease if we just allow them to?
Can you recall two moments in your life when you tried either ways? How were your experiences?
Is this post lighting you up? Are you willing to Open Up to Your Potentials?
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(1) For the interpretation of the episode of the Burning Bush I've been very much inspired by Igor Sibaldi, "I Maestri Invisibili", Nuovi Misteri Oscar Mondadori, Milano 1997, pp. 41-47.
The Journey so far:
(7) Meeting with Your Goddess - This post
Copyright © Danilo Tambone. All rights reserved.