Women of The Sacred Feminine
Priestessing the Planet towards Peace & Prosperity
By Kay Walburger
A global phenomenon is taking place in all cultures and spiritual communities. For some time now, growing numbers of women have been searching for the Feminine face of the Divine Creator. They have been requesting leadership roles in their own faith’s hierarchy, including ordination into the ministry. Some have had success, others much resistance, and even others left to indepth searches for compassionate answers to their spiritual longings.
One such woman is Rev Ava, the Spiritual Director of The Goddess Temple of Orange County. She is a well-known ritual priestess and minister. “I have been studying religion since I was about 10 years old,” remembers Rev. Ava. “I went from religion to religion, always looking for the one that met all my needs. Many of them met some of my needs, however, none of them seemed quite right.”
“In the early eighties I became involved in animal rights. I became sensitive to the way in which the world treats and abuses animals, and then other environmental issues became clear to me. I wondered why the religions never mention the health of the Earth as it relates to the creation story. Most religions speak of a great God who lovingly created the good earth, but not how taking care of the planet relates to the stewardship of this gift.
“In point of fact it seemed to me they all were advocating ‘getting out of the body and getting out of here.’ It amazed me that they did not teach how to honor our bodies and the earth, which would create a harmony for all living here on earth! As I pondered this, it seemed like this was an amazing oversight! How could they not get that aspect of spiritually?
“In what I call my ‘Sacred Rage,’ I organized a revolutionary group called Orange County People for Animals. I was a true ‘rabble-rouser,’ demonstrating, getting arrested many times, and spending time in jail to get attention for the animals of the earth who could not speak! This group is still active, and while I am no longer the president, I am still on the board.
“In my journey to find a religion that met my needs, I happened to take a trip to Egypt, led by a woman who was a Priestess of The Goddess Wisdom. This was about ten years ago when I knew nothing of pre-Christian religions. She led us to Goddess sites with her emphasis on the Goddess traditions.
“I had a tremendously powerful experience in the Sekhmet Temple at Luxor. It was a tiny little room with a big statue of Sekhmet. She was maybe 10 feet tall, a woman’s body with the face of a lion and a sun disk on her head. I learned that she was the Goddess of Creation and Destruction. I felt something unusual in that tiny room, which I couldn’t describe, but it was an awakening in me.
“I started studying and connecting with other women’s circles. Suddenly, I started to see what was missing from all the other religions. Here were the women who understood our connection to the great Earth Mother. These women understood at the deepest levels — it is today’s women who must wake up and come together to heal the world in its hours of greatest need, for the sake of ourselves, our children and families.
“It is the planet that needs to honor the sacred Feminine in healing all the violence, war, lack and environmental abuses. There are many different Goddess Circles and they differ in several ways, however, they all seem to get ‘It’ — that this is the time for women to step up and own their Divine Feminine spiritual power. They usually agree that women will help restore the planet by bringing it back into harmony and partnership with the male and female principles honoring planet Earth and all the beings living in our ‘Garden of Earthly Delights.’
“During my studies of the Goddess, I had the privilege of learning Goddess wisdom from many teachers who believe that women are divinely intuitive. If women had a safe and compassionate setting where they could openly explore their personal ‘Spiritual Purpose’ and strengthen their comfort with ‘The Sacred Feminine Power’ they already possess, I felt they would take it with compassion out into their spheres of influence.
This Temple is
a “Juicy” Space!
“I finally heard my own calling to facilitate a Goddess Temple and joyfully do the preparations to welcome women in search of their spiritual home. We have what I call a “Juicy” space here. Most religions I visited had a stark and “dry” feeling. Knowing how women love beauty, we have decorated the temple with a sensual lushness that delights the eyes of the soul in richness and beauty.
“Since the day we opened the doors, visitors who have come are truly hungry for this sacred space in their life. Some are afraid at first, but over time they become comfortable, and many return with mothers, daughters, or friends. Women who are on the edge of stepping into their own power love this space! We are a ‘church’ for women of all faiths, cultures, and ethnicity. We do not ask you to give up your faith — we help you celebrate your Feminine Divine beingness.
“Many Goddess women come reluctantly because of all the pre-conditioning they received from a patriarchal society that makes them afraid of the word ‘Power.’ Many of them have witnessed so much abuse in the name of power that they want no part of it. In time they begin to see Divine Feminine power is full of compassion and heart wisdom innate to wo-men, as nurturers and mothers. Now they are called to take this ‘knowing’ out to the extended family of humans, animals and the environment.
“I believe that one of the most important things we demonstrate is body acceptance and love, in contrast to our culture’s obsession with body hatred! It is so pervasive that many women are affected at a subliminal level; they don’t even recognize how it is affecting all of us! We bring women back to a place of honoring their bodies. They learn they do not have to leave their bodies to be spiritual, that they can be spiritual in whatever body type, age, or size they are!
“It is my belief that when women are in their ‘power’ they have the ability to heal which men generally do not have. I feel this is the most desperately needed thing on the planet. It is time for women to step forward to heal and to bring unity to all life here on Earth.
“We are about returning to honoring the Sacred Feminine! I don’t think we can rely on men to fix the planet — we can vote for all the presidents we want, male or female, but I believe it will take the women of the planet joining hands and hearts in compassion to bring peace and unity for all.
“How are our beliefs different from other churches? We believe that the Sacred Feminine is not just a nice idea, rather absolutely essential to the balancing of the world and to your personal balance as an individual. Another way we are different is, in this space women are the spiritual authority. We are not below anyone; we do not need a priest or any other intermediary. We are the natural spiritual authority as we have in truth always been. We do not try to ‘get out of our bodies’ or transcend the physical body. We see women’s bodies as holy and sacred.
“Women who come to the Goddess Temple of O.C. are shown their true beauty of body, mind and spirit! They are welcomed with non-judgmental attitudes. They are celebrated for all the natural beauty of their unique self!
Experiencing the Goddess Temple for the first time is amazing. From the moment you open the door, you can feel a ‘serenity and exquisite beauty’ embrace you. Almost everyone greets you like a dear friend. There is no doubt that you are in a Sacred Feminine space with a soft glow and a haunting feeling that you are home. In front of you is the main altar with seasonal themes to remind that you are connected to Mother Earth’s tides and seasons of the wheel.
Along the walls are other small altars where you may find Mary Magdalene, The Corn Maiden, Lakshmi, Diana, and more. Here you will find Goddesses from all over the world from our mutual past. Each Goddess represents principles of the Divine Feminine. Women from all faiths are welcome to come and explore their spiritual heritage from our earth’s ancestors.
The Goddess Temple of Orange County Offers
The Goddess Temple of Orange County offers Women’s Spiritually, Goddess & Metaphysical Studies, Rituals & Candle Lighting Ceremonies, Visioning & Affirming, Drumming & Chanting, & World Peace Prayers.
Sunday Services 11 a.m. and Wed. Evening Prayer Circle 7 p.m.; Full Moon Drum Circles; Seasonal Community Rituals; Classes/Lectures; Personal Ritual and Ceremony: Births, Marriages, Cronings, Memorials, Public Rituals & Performances, Art Exhibits, and full counseling for individuals, families, businesses, and prosperity. Also available for booking your special event.
The Goddess Temple of O.C. is located at 17881 Sky Park Circle #E, Irvine, CA 92614. You may reach Rev. Ava at (949) 651-0564 or 1 (877) N-TEMPLE. Also see: www.Goddesstempleoforange-county.com
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