On July 27 1981 I turned 31 years old. At that time I was in the Pentecostal Christian stage of my religious life and certainly had never entertained the idea that the Goddess, goddesses, or Isis would play any role in my life. I was determined to know the Biblical God Yahweh, to be a Christian and to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was partly successful in seeking these goals. I received the baptism, the gift of speaking in tongues, and Jesus for a while. However the fact is that even after I started praying in tongues I was never absolutely certain that God existed. Neither was I ever able to give up my idea that an everlasting hell and salvation by faith alone made little sense. Within a couple of years I met a women who is still my closest friend who introduced me to a literature that gradually but radically revolutionized my vision of God.
She introduced me to “Ariadne” a novel by June Brindell. This historical novel introduced me for the first time to the ideas of matriarchy, the Goddess, and to the idea that in ancient times when the Goddess was worshiped women and men lived in equality. Later I was introduced to the ideas of Robert Graves that the male gods represented patriarchy, the repression of nature and the body and war. During the 1980’s I also read such feminist spiritual classics as “When God was a Woman” by Merlyn Stone, the “Spiral Dance” by Starhawk and the Mists of Avalon by Marian Zimmer Bradley. I even experimented with Wicca for a short time period attempting to blend it with my previous beliefs about God. That did not work well. I have never been able to completely reject my allegiance to Yahweh the God who I perceived in spite of all his jealousies and patriarchal tendencies to be a liberating God of justice. The biblical vision of the Kingdom of God and Justice as taught by the Latin American liberation theologians still retained my loyalty. It was liberation theology of the Catholic priests and Marxists of Latin American and the mystical revolutionary theologies of prophets such as Thomas Muntzer the theologian of the German Peasants’ Revolution of the 1520s who defined my Christianity. My Pentecostal theology had collapsed in the first half of the 1980’s.
What did change , however, is that I began to believe that it was wrong to see God as male only. Not only that, it was wrong to pray to God as if God were male only. Thus if God is be addressed by the male “metaphors” of Father, King, and Lord then God should also be addressed as Mother, Lady, Queen, and even as Goddess. However I hardly believed in a Goddess or goddesses at this time. What I believed in was the inclusive gender neutral deity of modern Liberal Protestant Feminism. My god was an androgynous deity. I began to privately pray to God properly addressing God with a balance of male and female metaphors.
However within a very few years I had become a lover of the Goddess who I was able to love more than I had ever been able to love either God the Father or Jesus. How did this happen? Well by my prayers and by looking at pictures. I was introduced to the idea promoted by a Christian writer named Morton Kelsey that it made sense to meditate on images and pictures. I explored a lot of new ideas in those days. One day I visited the local Greek Orthodox Church during its annual Greek festival and picked up one of the bulletins on which portrayed a beautiful some what westernized icon of Mary and the infant Jesus. I of course had already been introduced to the idea that Mary was the Christian version of the Goddess. That was one of the reasons for my attraction to the icon. Within a few months I placed the icon on a home alter which I had recently constructed.
I would pray before it using my by then standard, balanced, and androgynous our Lady and Lord, Mother and Father formula. But what happened is that I gradually fell in love with the Goddess that the icon represented. I did not want any longer to pray to an androgynous God or to a purely sexless God. I wanted to pray to the Goddess who appeared within the icon. And you know I began to feel a greater degree of adoration for the Holy Mother, for the Goddess, for the Lady than I ever had to the distant God the Father and the ambiguous Jesus.