Tall, hearty. sometimes pushy, and usually very loud, Outtadeway-O is easily able to propagate and multiply Herself so that we can find Her in crowded airport terminals, at bus and subway stops, and just about anywhere people are traveling from or to. She’s in charge of trains, planes, and taxi-cabs. She’s the One who, when we’re in a hurry to get somewhere on time, shouts, “Please, oh, please get out of the way!” Pilots, engineers, station masters, ticket agents, and ÜberAlles drivers all hear Her. You better bet they get out of Her way.
Although there are apocryphal reports that Outtadeway-O was present when Hannibal crossed the Alps (who do you think was in charge of those elephants?) and in the Roman Colosseum (She supercharged some of the chariots, horses, too), She’s most familiar as the gal in the New York subway system who kindly tells you which side of the tracks to stand on so you get on the train going in the right direction. Whether you’re lost in La Guardia, O’Hare, Hartsfield, or LAX (and in the smaller airports, too), She’s the gal in the uniform who explains how to use those dratted ticket machines on the curb and gives you a tidy map that shows where the gates are and how to find them without tripping over the people sleeping on the floor because their flights were delayed or canceled. She’s also the helpful agent who finds food for those people when they wake up and points them toward the bathrooms.
Are you looking for a city bus? Outtadeway-O knows the schedules inside-out and can tell you when you need a transfer (and how to get one) and how to get back on the bus when you’re carrying two bags of groceries. She’s also the one who can morph into an app that will scream at your rideshare driver when he gets on the crowded I-10 and tries to go west, which is exactly the opposite direction from where your home is. She screams until he gets it and turns around. And cab drivers? She knows ’em all and has made friends with ’em all. She knows what fair fares are and what the most direct routes are through any city. No matter where you are, if you’re dependent on public transportation, you can depend on Outtadeway-O to get you safely to your destination, whether it’s in Silicon Valley or Hollywood for Ugly People, Exotic Brooklyn or East Egg.
Yes, folks, if you want to leave your car in the garage and go out, no worries. You can invoke this friendly and useful goddess for help:
Tell me how to get
From here to there.
And while we’re on the subject, here’s another Found Goddess, this one from my book Finding New Goddesses …
Goddess of Freeways, Country Roads, and City Streets
Spinner of our highways and byways, Roadesia lives in a giant silver Airstream at the Archetypal Road House and Truck Stop with Charley, a big black dog, and an indeterminate but diminishing number of greyhounds. Visitors to the Archetypal Road House and Truck Stop are served by the Harvey Girls (let go by Amtrack during one of its early budget cuts) and entertained nightly by old movies starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Interior design at the Archetypal Road House and Truck Stop was executed by Miss Vida, Miss Noxeema, and Miss Chi Chi, who also run the nightly social hour.
Every day, Roadesia takes Her place beside Her titanic spinning wheel. Listening to Her favorite travelin’ music by Woody and Roger and Willie (or, in other moods, John Denver or Dinah Shore), She spins out mile after shining mile of seamless highway. When a new roadway is complete, She sends Her Roadies out to lay it down. Her Roadrunners follow to baste it in place, and, finally, Her special crews of truckers and carpool moms test drive each new road for safety. From time to time, Roadesia also gets out Her giant crochet hook (personally carved for Her by Paul Bunyan) and whips up an interchange. Occasionally, alas, it happens that She becomes dizzy from watching all the big trucks. When that happens, the transition roads and the over- and underpasses pile up and the curves become highly exotic. Do not, however, complain about road conditions to Roadesia! She has been known, when angry, to hide freeway exit signs behind trees and send Her Roadies out with their great buckets of pot holes. And when civic functionaries act uncivilly, She’ll lay out one-way streets that go nowhere and parallel streets that cross. Then She sends the Roadies out with street signs painted in yellow on an orange background.
It is a little known fact, but true, that Thelma and Louise found sanctuary at the Archetypal Road House and Truck Stop. Nowadays, whenever Roadesia hears the cries of a woman being harassed on the road, She’ll sent Thelma and Louise out in their flying Thunderbird to discipline the offenders. Thelma and Louise are very good at disciplining offenders.
From time to time, Roadesia takes a little time off to visit Her sister goddesses. A few years ago, we hear tell, She and Appalachia got to dancin’ and singin’ and, by golly, they spun out a whole long Trail. Another time, She and Calafia got to smokin’ funny cigarettes and laid out the Pacific Coast Highway, which took on a life of its own and unrolled itself clear up to Alaska. And another year, Roadesia took up ceramics. She produced a ton of yellow bricks. She sold ’em to You-Know-Who.
It is clear to all that Roadesia is one of The Most Important Goddesses Of The Modern World. She is thus greatly deserving of our respect, and—remember, people!—She keeps a list of who’s naughty (people who gesticulate rudely) and who’s nice (people who use their turn signals). She assures that carma will reward everyone as they deserve.
Roadesia is also the loving Goddess to Whom we may pray every time we start our car:
Hail, Roadesia, Eternal Spinner,
Grant me ease on all of Your roads,
And make the way safe for me.
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. (www.barbaraardinger.com), is a published author and freelance editor. Her newest book is Secret Lives, a novel about grandmothers who do magic. Her earlier nonfiction books include the daybook Pagan Every Day, Finding New Goddesses (a pun-filled parody of goddess encyclopedias), and Goddess Meditations. When she can get away from the computer, she goes to the theater as often as possible—she loves musical theater and movies in which people sing and dance. She is also an active CERT (Community Emergency Rescue Team) volunteer and a member (and occasional secretary pro-tem) of a neighborhood organization that focuses on code enforcement and safety for citizens. She has been an AIDS emotional support volunteer and a literacy volunteer. She is an active member of the Neopagan community and is well known for the rituals she creates and leads.