Where Were the Women? by Kat Robb


Kat Robb, BunniHoTep, goddess

Where were the women? I grew up in the Presbyterian Church, and it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I ever saw a woman offer a prayer in church. That was when they hired a woman with a Masters of Divinity to be an Associate Pastor in charge of Christian Education, meaning they had hired another woman to be in charge of Sunday School and this one had a higher degree. I, very early on in my Sunday School career used to ask, why can’t women pray in front of the church? Why can’t women give the sermon? Why is the only place girls are allowed to be in the front of the church, the choir loft? Why do we only mention Mary at Christmas? Why was Eve bad and not Adam? Why is it all right for Mary to be an unwed mother but not me? My Sunday School teachers loved me.

The answer for prayer was that you can pray anywhere you are because it’s your conversation with God–but I would ask if that is true, then why aren’t  we allowed up front? No one ever had a good answer  for that. 

When I was nine and at church camp they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up.  We had to write it down and seal it in an envelope they would send to our parents. Since I had already told my mom I wanted to be a nun and it hadn’t gone over very well in a Presbyterian family, I should have know my writing down I was going to be a minister wasn’t going to go over well either. I wrote it anyway and Mom had the predictable explosion. Mom was not as progressive as her mother.

While all this was happening I was also being taught by my grandmother the basics of our family’s folk magic. She taught me about intent while I was cooking or baking, to have and hold the intention of meaning good for the people who would be eating it. She taught me if I was embroidering something to think good thoughts for the person I was giving it to. That kind of prayer made sense to me and there was no barrier of sex. My grandmother taught me to talk to the trees and the animals and to wish well to them. I never thought of that as prayer, but it was.

Grandma had gotten her college degree in 1910 from what is now UCLA. She was a member of the Friday Morning Club in Los Angeles, one of the first women’s clubs in the US. She and a friend went by themselves to Alaska in 1906 when they were 16. No one told my grandmother, “You can’t do that.” She wouldn’t have listened and would have gone her merry way–but getting in front of the church was denied her,  and I’m not sure that ever crossed her mind to want to do that.

Fast forward to 1984 and the first time I ever attended a Goddess ritual. A woman was leading the ritual. A woman was directing the activity. A woman was holding the chalice and the athame (ritual knife) and performing the Great Rite. A woman Goddess was being worshipped! A Goddess that looked like me.  I was enthralled, and I was in love.  I needed to learn to do this kind of ritual.  That was when I started formally studying the Craft. I had come home.

I landed in a system of spirituality that expected me to fully participate. I had to be there and present, based on the premise of “be here now” in body and spirit.  I have never looked back.  To be a Pagan, a Wiccan or a Druid means never sitting in the back pew and letting the service go on around you. It means not having to sit in the choir loft and to sleep with my eyes open during the second sermon of the morning because I really didn’t care what the minister was saying as it didn’t apply to me.

To be a Priestess is to be responsible for your own spirituality and to be responsible for helping everyone else in the Circle on the path to the Goddess, however they see Goddess. For the most part a (white) Christian church service is a passive experience. Unless you choose to engage, you can sit in the back pew and never even stand up for a hymn. You can’t do that in Circle and that frightens a lot of people back to go back to what feels more comfortable.

The Goddess or Goddesses are not distant old men on a clouds somewhere. They aren’t disapproving of who I am or who I will be. The Goddess is in me and the Goddess is in everything and everyone. There is no distance between me and the Goddess. As the Knot of Isis prayer says, “No shadow exists between our footsteps and the will of the Goddess.”

Now I can offer an invocation or a prayer and never think about whether I should be “allowed” to do it. I can follow my spiritual path wherever it leads me and not be told I’m doing something incorrectly. I have the responsibility to follow my path and my practice with no barriers.  I thank Goddess every day for that blessing. I can invoke her from the center of the Circle. I am Priestess.

Kat Robb has a B.S. from CSUN as a Naturalist Interpreter. She is an ordained Priestess in the international Fellowship of Isis and the Temple of Isis/Los Angeles since 2000 and a Druid in the Druid Clan of Dana. She has been active in the Los Angeles pagan community since 1984. Her book Tales of BunniHoTep is available on Amazon.com along with her other magical tales and her blog can be found at http://elfkat.wordpress.com. She also has a pagan children’s activity blog here: http://thelittlestdruid.wordpress.com



Categories: General, Goddess, Women's Spirituality

Tags: , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Kat, what a wonderful grandmother you had, and how inspiring this story is! In ancient times (6,000 years ago or so), goddesses were worshipped, rather than gods. Women were revered, and we worked with nature, instead of against it. We’ve lost almost all of that now, to the detriment of humanity and our increasingly damaged earth.

    As a British Anglican, we do get to play a role in church – I write for the newsletter, write and say prayers (which people love) and tell my vicar exactly what I think (politely) when I think he’s being too exclusive. But our religion is, sadly, one of judgement and let’s be honest, women are judged wanting. For me, Jesus is a man with a woman’s heart – always has been in my belief system, anyway!

    Thankfully, there are the Quakers, Buddhists, Pagans, Druids, where being present is absolutely the right thing. Glad you found home and are celebrating it!

    Like

  2. Can you explain what this means? I am all with you on not wanting a judgmental God who condemns some to hell. But I don’t think my will is identical with the will of She who understands and loves and inspires the universe towards the greatest good and harmony for the greatest number. My perspective is limited, Hers is not. And then there is the question: is the will of Hitler the will of the Goddess?

    As the Knot of Isis prayer says, “No shadow exists between our footsteps and the will of the Goddess.”

    Like

    • I don’t believe in an omniscient, omnipresent, all encompassing Goddess. I’m a polytheistic and there are many Goddesses. The only goddess whose will I know totally is BunniHoTep, however I do know that when I’m not on the path of the Goddesses I follow they usually let me know it fairly quickly.

      I also believe am the Goddess just as you are and that I have many choices and many paths. The trick is finding your feet on the correct one for that moment in time.

      Like

    • If the Goddess is Nature there is nothing existent not seamlessly one with her divine being. I love the uniqueness of all things in Nature. But why is there evil in Nature? Some say because she makes no judgements, so she never tosses any creature out of the mix. How greatly we love and trust nature on account of that truth. Her goodness a greater goodness than throwing a thunderbolt at Hitler.

      Like

  3. Good for Grandma! And good for you for holding good intentions.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Adventures and Musings of a Hedgewitch and commented:
    Here is my latest offering

    Like

  5. My Mom taught me to bake with intention, I guessed about embroidering with good thoughts from my own experience, after noticing, coming back to my knitting that I could remember exactly what I was watching and how I was feeling when I was doing previous rows two days before that. I communed with living things naturally, no one taught me that. Yes, unfortunately Christianity is an heir to patriarchal polytheistic and monotheistic faiths, which suppressed the Goddess religion. However, we all have to get out of this mess together, so I am happy to work alongside our Christian sisters. Karen Tate recently interviewed a Christian lady who tours churches delivering her presentations where she looks in depth at the stories of women in the Bible. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/voicesofthesacredfeminine/2013/02/08/women-of-the-biblemaxine-rasmusson

    Like

  6. I love Grandma. Wish I could have met her!!! You are a wonderful Priestess Professor!!! (^_^)

    Like

  7. Just think Kat your like grandma (but much much younger) to so many know.
    I think there is always an aspect of choice. You can choose to follow the will of the Divine or not.

    Like

  8. Kat,
    You should know that you led the first public ritual I ever participated in. You and your group ran the women’s circle at the 7th Annual Harvest Moon Celebration at Pierce College. I was a vendor/atendee. Wow… that had to be 22 years ago at least! Met Lani there the first time too. <3 Thank you for the influence you had on me, Priestess Kat! "The Goddess is alive and magic is a foot!"

    Like

  9. Annette, would you like to say something, as a British Anglican, about the recent enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury? It was somewhat overlooked in the election of the new Pope. As a British pagan of Jewish origin, I didn’t feel like posting about it, but I was quite impressed.

    The Archbishop was welcomed into the cathedral by the Dean, who happened to be a woman.

    And, in a part of the ceremony that had been written by him, he was challenged at the door by a young woman (age 17), but I don’t know if he decided that a woman should take that part.

    Like

    • Hi Daniel, I think the enthronement was a refreshing change, with its diversity, joy and simplicity. At long last we have an Archbishop who isn’t an academic, but someone who knows all about the world, and has suffered grief (the death of his son, aged 7 months). From a woman’s perspective, selecting a female Archdeacon to lead him into the Abbey was a very good thing, given that the laity had recently voted not to allow women bishops (half of these were women – we have some real traditionalists amongst us :( ) There’s a lot of hurt about that, still. Both he and the former Archbishop were in favour, by the way.

      Evangeline, the teenager who asked him 3 questions, was selected because she worships at Canterbury Cathedral. I hope that it’s also a reflection of the reality: our faith is buoyed up by and supported by many more women than men, certainly in Europe! (See the same in Catholic congregations.) Hope this is helpful, Daniel

      http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2013/3/21/ACNS5368

      Like

Please familiarize yourself with our Comment Policy before posting.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: