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How To Honor the Sacred Feminine with a Goddess Ritual

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When Margaret Murray wrote her ground-breaking God of the Witches, in 1931, scholars quickly dismissed her theory of a universal, pre-Christian cult of witches who worshipped a singular mother goddess. However, Murray wasn't completely off-base; a number of individual cults existed in pre-Christian Europe which honored mother goddesses of their own. In Rome, the cult of Cybele was huge, and the mystery traditions of Isis soon took on a mother-goddess status. Take advantage of the blooming of spring, and use this time to celebrate the archetype of the mother goddess, and honor your own female ancestors and friends.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varied

Here's How:

  1. This simple ritual can be performed by both men and women, and is designed to honor the feminine aspects of the universe as well as our female ancestors. If you have a particular deity you call upon, feel free to change names or attributes around where needed. Otherwise, you can use the all-encompassing name of "Goddess" in the rite.

  2. Decorate your altar with symbols of femininity: cups, chalices, flowers, lunar objects, fish, and doves or swans. You'll also need the following items for this ritual:

    • A white candle
    • An offering of something that is important to you
    • A bowl of water
    • A handful of small pebbles or stones

  3. If your tradition calls for you to cast a circle, do so now. Begin by standing in the goddess position, and saying:

    I am (your name), and I stand before you,
    goddesses of the sky and earth and sea,
    I honor you, for your blood runs through my veins,
    one woman, standing on the edge of the universe.
    Tonight, I make an offering in Your names,
    As my thanks for all you have given me.

  4. Light the candle, and place your offering before it on the altar. The offering may be something tangible, such as bread or wine or flowers. It can also be something symbolic, such as a gift of your time or dedication. Whatever it is, it should be something from your heart. You may want to read up on Offerings to the Gods for some ideas.

  5. Once you have made your offering, it is time to call upon the goddesses by name. Say:

    I am (your name), and I stand before you,
    Isis, Ishtar, Tiamat, Inanna, Shakti, Cybele.
    Mothers of the ancient people,
    guardians of those who walked the earth thousands of years ago,
    I offer you this as a way of showing my gratitude.
    Your strength has flowed within me,
    your wisdom has given me knowledge,
    your inspiration has given birth to harmony in my soul.

  6. Now it is time to honor the women who have touched your life. For each one, place a pebble into the bowl of water. As you do so, say her name and how she has impacted you. You might say something like this:

    I am (your name), and I stand before you,
    to honor the sacred feminine that has touched my heart.
    I honor Susan, who gave birth to me and raised me to be strong;
    I honor Maggie, my grandmother, whose strength took her to the hospitals of war-torn France;
    I honor Cathleen, my aunt, who lost her courageous battle with cancer;
    I honor Jennifer, my sister, who has raised three children alone…

  7. Continue until you have placed a pebble in the water for each of these women. Reserve one pebble for yourself. Finish by saying:

    I am (your name), and I honor myself,
    for my strength, my creativity, my knowledge, my inspiration,
    and for all the other remarkable things that make me a woman.

  8. Take a few minutes and reflect on the sacred feminine. What is it about being a woman that gives you joy? If you're a man performing this ritual, what is it about the women in your life that makes you love them? Meditate on the feminine energy of the universe for a while, and when you are ready, end the ritual.

Tips:

  1. This ritual can be adapted for a group easily; with a little planning it can become a beautiful ceremony for a number of people. Consider doing it as part of a womens' circle, in which each member honors the others as part of the rite.

What You Need

  • A white candle
  • An offering
  • A bowl of water
  • A collection of pebbles or small stones

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