Rev. Dr. Karen Tate
As I prepare to write a book on sacred sites of Goddess in Turkey and consider leading another tour to Anatolia, or “land of the nourishing Mothers,” my mind returned to our last trip to a rural and out of the way place there called Pessinus. Pessinus was sacred in ancient times as a center dedicated to Cybele, though her temple remains hidden beneath the sands of time and as yet undiscovered by contemporary archaeologists.
This telling of my time in Pessinus might all sound trivial, but I remember feelings of sacredness presenting itself in surprising ways. Although we didn't find Cybele's temple, I believe I "felt" her there. It seemed her essence was alive in the people and the energy of the place. Burned into my memory were the kids playing with their cows; adorning their heads with costume jewelry, jumping upon their backs, talking to them or walking them down the main road, not much more than a mud pathway. It was obvious this was just a daily occurrence, this joyous and playful interaction with their cows. As a city girl, I marveled at seeing the cows responding to the kids, like my cat would when I play with her at home. There was a special relationship there between humans and beasts, calling to my mind the Goddess as Mistress of the Animals.
That was not the only thing I remember about walking down that muddy road in Pessinus. What caught my eye and seared my memory was this old crone sitting in her doorway. She silently watched the kids, the cows and our entourage looking for the essence of Cybele. The old woman was dressed in what we Westerners would call a costume, though I suspect it might have been her native dress. She wasn’t there selling anything or trying to make herself visible in any fashion. There was something about her gaze. It grabbed me and seemed to follow me. Though it was years ago, it feels like it was yesterday. Don't laugh, but if felt as if she was a conduit to Goddess, or Goddess in human form, overseeing our pilgrimage. I had this sense that our visit was not going unnoticed.
Fast forward to a few years later, and it happened again.
My husband and I came to an arrangement to temporarily loan to the Goddess Temple and Cultural Center of Orange County in Irvine, California a statue from our personal collection and on Saturday night, June 22, 2013, under a the fullness of a super moon, the newly installed, larger than life-sized statue of the Egyptian lion-headed Goddess, Sekhmet, was consecrated before the public. She was welcomed to a packed house of women and men on hand to welcome her to her new temporary home. High atop her four feet tall, pyramid-shaped base, Sekhmet dominated the room in regal splendor. It was hardly a surprise, during the instant of her unveiling, smoke alarms suddenly went off and lights began to flicker, leaving no doubt to all assembled she was definitely in the sanctuary! Simply put, we believe Sekhmet noticed our devotion and let us know she was in the building.
The evening was filled with music, singing, dancing, drumming and recitations to dispel the disinformation about her most well known myth, a patriarchal myth perhaps designed to cause women to be feared, or women to fear their own power. Sekhmet, a solar deity known today to help women and men transform and empower themselves is rising at a crucial time in our history. Have no doubt she is on the rise as people strive to find their strength, tenacity, passion, creativity, and courage - their sacred roar!
Some readers might not know me well yet, but I don't have these kinds of feelings often or casually. I tend to be more skeptical and question everything, not allowing myself flights of fancy. Turkey, however, felt more potent to me than a lot of places. That veil between past and present, Goddess and mortal, felt a little thinner. Certainly at the Goddess Temple of Orange County Sekhmet was with us.
And finally, there was this, validating for a third time, Goddess notices.
Practically to the day I was notified John Hunt Publishing accepted my proposal for my new book Goddess Calling, my beloved husband of 30 years had a heart attack. I rushed him to the emergency room of the hospital and within the hour he was having surgery. In those surreal moments of confusion, fear, panic, shock and worry I got on the phone and called the women in my circle of friends to enlist their prayers and of course I prayed.
Roy came through the surgery fine and I that first night he was in the hospital I went home to try to get a good night’s sleep and prepare myself for the caregiving that was ahead and I dreamed. And, surprisingly, I remembered the dream.
I was in a large cavernous room full of women. The energy was chaotic and their voices were garbled and loud. Then from nowhere, a woman, whose face I did not recognize, approached and I knew her to be an Isian priestess. She put three coins in my hands. Not the metal variety, but the more ancient clay or terra-cotta type. On them were engraved images of Egyptian goddesses and gods. As I gazed upon them, the images became colorful and began to move. In my mind, I heard the words, “The Gods are activated.” and I knew Goddess and the Divine Masculine, perhaps Thoth or Anubis, heard the prayers of the women in our community.
Again, I was reminded, the Great She hears our prayers and I am sharing this with you so you have no doubt She notices.
Excerpted from Goddess Calling: Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy by Rev. Dr. Karen Tate at www.karentate.com
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