As I prepare to write a book on sacred sites of Goddess in Turkey and consider leading another tour to Anatolia, 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 might all sound trivial, but I remember feelings of sacredness in Pessinus presenting itself in surprising ways. Although we didn't find Cybele's temple, I believe I "felt" her there. It seemed her essence was in the people and the energy of the place, still today. Burned into my memory were the kids playing with their cows, adorning their heads with costume jewelry, 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 relationship to their cows. For a city girl, it was revealing also seeing the cows responding to them. Like they were pets But what hit me like a ton of bricks was this old crone, sitting in a doorway. She 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. Even 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.
Then just a couple weeks ago, it happened again.
On Saturday night, June 22, 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 at the Goddess Temple of Orange County in Irvine, CA. 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!
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, 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.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I want you to have no doubt the things we do do not go un-noticed. So while you’re busy recovering from the Fourth of July festivities, consider the end of July marks the birthday of Isis. Get your group together or if you are in a solitary mood, go it alone, but remember Isis in the latter days of this month and remember our relationship with Goddess is about reciprocity. We give to her and she most definitely notices!