The Goddess Foundation
Theme of the Year (2021-2022)
Finding the Goddess Hidden in Plain Sight:
The Goddess(es) of the Abrahamic Religions
The Goddess Foundation is excited to launch its first theme of the year: an opportunity to dive deep into a chosen topic. Moving forward themes will be selected by the community (via a poll). This year, since TGF is still in its nascent stages - taking baby steps into existence, if you will - the theme has been selected by moi, Dr. Courtney Kleftis, founder of this organization.
Why did I choose this particular topic, you may ask?
For a number of reasons (well... 3, since 3 is very much a number associated with the Goddess…):
To avoid the danger of cultural appropriation, I am drawing on mythical lore of goddesses and/or the divine feminine hidden within the more esoteric strains of the three (3 again!!!) Abrahamic religions which dominate the globe - especially in the West. My focus will be on the two I know more about - Judaism and Christianity. Since I am currently less knowledgeable about Islam, even its more esoteric side (i.e.: Rumi and Sufism), I will not discuss the Goddess in Islam at any great length.
To provide an antidote to the often-damaging messages conveyed by the dominant Abrahamic religions in the West where the vast majority of us are brought up in either a Jewish or Christian background (especially in the U.S.). Even for those who were brought up in non-church-going families like myself, we’ve all been steeped in Judeo-Christian norms and conventions since our childhood. These ideals (i.e.: stemming from the Adam-Eve-serpent/Lilith drama from Genesis) permeate the foundations of even our outwardly secular culture in spite of its claim to being separate from religion. We can see this - the dark/shadow aspect of it - manifesting in the heteropatriarchy among other things...
Part of my intent with the thematic focus of the year is to reclaim and rehabilitate the Judeo-Christian traditions’ shadow aspects (see #2 above) and all. While these long-established religions have MANY faults, the more esoteric - less mainstream, public-facing, and dogmatic - strains of both offer much wisdom rooted in the long-silenced teachings of the Goddess/divine feminine. We just need to dig beneath the surface/below the top of the iceberg of Judaism and Christianity in order to find the gold and the Goddess (sometimes envisioned as a dragon-serpent like the Sumerian Tiamat - biblical Tehom) at their centers. :)
So...Where shall we begin? (In honor of the Goddess pentacle model - see my Who is the Goddess? page), I have broken down this year’s theme into the following 5 sub-categories:
Shattering the pernicious virgin-whore dichotomy and proposing a new Holy Trinity: the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, the Black Madonna (with hints of Isis)...The THE TRIPLE GODDESS of Christianity, if you will...The sacred number 3 brings to mind the 3 fates (Moirai) of the Hellenic religion(s) as well as the mysterious, witch goddess: the triple-headed/faced Hekate. (For a deeply moving scene from a contemporary TV series featuring a Hekatean invocation, see here).
Sub-categories #2-5 (TBA in a later blog post).
If you are so eager to dive into this material that you cannot wait for phases/sub-categories 1 of 5 (see above) - as an impatient individual myself, I 100% understand - I’ve linked to a handful of videos and reading suggestions below:
Mary Magdalene scholarship and fiction (a small sampling):
Mary Magdalene (22-days of the Magdalene)
Mary Magdalene playlist (from the TGF Youtube channel)
Elizabeth Cunningham’s imaginative and playfully irreverent Maeve Chronicles (a 4-part series about the Magdalene as a Celtic priestess and devotee of Isis)
Black Madonna resources (video and book(s)):
Black Madonna playlist (from the TGF Youtube channel)
DeaMadre a Black Madonna resource website
Order of the Black Madonna (modern Black Madonna temple)
Virgin Mary resources (video and book(s)):
Virgin Mary playlist (from the TGF Youtube channel)