Back to OWR Homepage Back to European Religions Timeline

Goddess Spirituality

Doctrines None. Goddess spirituality tends to be eclectic and loosely structured, encouraging creativity and spontaneity and the development of power-from-within rather than power-over others. The Goddess Movement has enabled women to reclaim their own spirituality, unmediated by male priests, healing the image of the feminine and discovering self-worth and deeper meaning in their own womanhood, and has also helped men to develop a more balanced relationship with the feminine principal.

History In Goddess spirituality groups, the Goddess is represented as strong and powerful and, likewise, women are honoured as Priestesses, women of power, as active and energising as the Goddess. As well as working within various Pagan traditions, many women have established their own traditions, often strongly connected to feminist movements. Self-identity and strength has been developed from the Women's Movement, leading more and more women to Goddess spirituality and a rediscovery of ancient knowledge of womanhood and the innate powers of the female. Many groups of women meet and perform rites drawing upon Wicca, shamanism, classical Paganism, Native American Indian traditions and others to worship the Great Goddess in a context which meets the needs of women in modern life. Some regard themselves as a sisterhood, in which the older women teach the younger women and conduct rites of passage for menarche, childbirth, menopause and other transitions in a woman's life.
However, not all goddess spirituality organisations and groups are exclusively orientated to women; The Fellowship of Isis, founded in 1976 and based in Eire, concentrates on both female and male principles of divinity; it is today the largest Goddess-centred organisation with over 13,000 members, both male and female, world-wide.

Symbols Symbols or icons differ between individuals and groups and may be purely personal objects or more traditional symbols drawn from other Pagan traditions.

Adherents No figures available.

Main Centre