As a 23-year-old young womyn I was blessed with a womyn's temple to be part of. My mother died one year before my first Goddess Circle. About a year later Daughters of the Goddess was born. As the years have passed many circumstances have changed. There has been triumph, defeat, pain, victory, bliss and loss - all the while what remained the same, constant embracing me is this Temple. I have deep gratitude for the hundreds of womyn whose hands I have held in circle. I know I have received healing and strength from the rituals and I have given from my heart also.
I grew up in a house of five females, so womyn's space feels natural to me. Daughters of the Goddess is a source of empowerment and exhilaration in my life. I am forever grateful.
When I recall my first Daughters of the goddess ritual, my face softens, a contemplative smile comes to my mouth, my heart opens, and a small, happy song emerges from my throat; the kind of sound that we make when we think about the sweetest parts of our lives. I close my eyes and the images flow in.
I remember the first womyn who greeted me at my car saying, "Welcome Sister!" as she offered my young daughters and I a gentle hug. That night my life changed dramatically. I saw womyn greet the elements of Air, Fire, Earth, and Water that make up their bodies. I heard womyn share their stories with others who lovingly, and with interest, allowed them the space to be heard, to be supported, and to be acknowledged. I heart songs that glorified the Goddess and the creative essence of womyn. I was deeply moved. I was home.
Daughters of the Goddess Temple is a sacred space where the natural cycles of womyn's lives, the seasons of the Earth, and the ever changing moon are greeted and celebrated with joy. It is a place where the ancestors, those who have lived and died before us, are recognized and honored as valuable and integral to our lives in present times.
Many years have elapsed since my first ritual and much has changed. My youngest daughter no longer suckles at my breasts and my oldest daughter is on her way to college. Today and every day I pray at the altar of the Goddess. I celebrate that all womyn are made in Her image. I sing the songs of womyn's freedom, passion, power, and independence. I dance around the fire.
I am whole - I am home.
It is so wonderful being in a community of womyn who gather together to empower and build up womyn rather than tear them down. It is so refreshing being with womyn who are all coming together to heal our past and redefine ourselves based on what is in our hearts and souls.
I love being in a community of womyn who know and honor the Divine Feminine and who recognize Her in themselves. Our world has been out of balance for a while. The Earth is calling to be healed, the womyn, children and communities need to be healed. When womyn come together in sacred space that natural healing ability is called forth. Now more than ever the womyn need to come together; come together for our sisters, our selves, and ultimately our world.
Daughters of the Goddess is the place that I have found that I can do this and for that I am grateful.
Daughters of the Goddess Temple has felt like my home and family since I walked into the doors of my first Spiral Dance. The Temple has changed my life and made me a better womyn. I am more confident and have better self-esteem because of the love and care of the community and High Priestess Leilani. I have become highly reverent and have learned how to walk on Mother Earth. I have created a daily practice to bring me closer to the Great Mother Goddess.
Daughters of the Goddess has become not just a place to circle with friends but also my second family. My very first ritual was Spiral Dance in 2003. I was taking an anthropology class at Diablo Valley College and one of our assignments was to visit, and write about an experience with a religious group or ceremony that we have never experienced before. The professor gave us a few examples and from the moment I heard "Daughters of the Goddess" come out of her mouth I was intrigued. I went to the Spiral Dance by myself and can honestly say I never felt alone, or self-conscious, or judged. So many beautiful, real womyn approached me, even Leilani - the High Priestess took time to come over and chat with me. I couldn't believe that this powerful womyn who was in charge of this event made an effort to talk to a complete stranger, she wasn't "too busy."
I had some huge life changes that I let prevent me from coming back to Daughters of the Goddess for a few years but I never forgot about them. Leilani even emailed from time to time to check in on me. I remember my first ritual back, Summer Solstice. I was once again by myself and once again, instantly made to feel like I was part of the group. I was greeted with smiles and hugs from everyone. It felt so right and perfect. When we checked in I told my story of how I came to this path and I remember crying. I felt held and supported by the womyn, and not judged for being so emotional. These womyn didn't know me but I really felt like they cared.
I have now been with Daughters of the Goddess for two years and have loved every part/minute of it. Attending Witch School was huge for me. It explained ethics, how to focus more on my own spirituality, how to become intimate with the elements and how to call in the directions. The list goes on and on. I felt that it helped me understand more about Daughters of the Goddess and encouraged my spirit to want to delve deeper into the group. It's such an amazing feeling to be part of a family and contribute in so many ways, spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. And I continue to be held in such a sacred way. I've always known the Goddess was in my heart and it's nice to share this walk on Her path with such amazing womyn while we dance together farther into our spirituality.
My first experience with Daughters of the Goddess was at the annual Spiral Dance in 2006. For a long time I had been looking for a place that felt like my spiritual home and as soon as I first walked into this event I knew I would be back to learn more about this amazing group of women.
Now almost 5 years later I am still here. It has been an amazing journey for me, from being new and shy and never having experienced a Dianic community, to becoming a Temple Priestess on March 11th, 2011. I have had so many opportunities to grown and learn here. Starting with my year of Witch School in 2007, which was transformational in my life, to becoming more involved in Temple service through Kokua (the helping hands of the Temple). I have learned to find my strengths and work with them. I have Deepened my spiritual practice through the practice of regular ritual and becoming a member of The Sisterhood of the Deepening.
I have found a beautiful Sisterhood of women and a community that I can always turn to during the good times and the bad. We laugh together, cry together, celebrate together, and call the Goddess into our lives. This Temple has truly been a blessing my my life. I hope to continue to worship and serve here for many more years to come.