My path to the Goddess wasn’t particularly unique. I have been on a bit of a crusade lately. I have been trying to purge myself of my Catholic youth for a lack of a better expression.
There are very few things concerning Christianity, and especially Catholicism, that I even remotely agree with any longer. Add that the United States’ Religious Right is trying to, and mostly succeeding, in performing a bloodless coup of the government and I will pay my check and leave. Thank you.
I read things that resonated with me, and I continued to seek those same resonating things until I find myself where I am now. There is no title I assign myself, no position I hold in an organization or even internally. I suppose that student is the nearest thing you could call me and still be accurate and not pretentious.
Those who serve the Goddess in official ways are important; please understand me. I know Priest and Priestess both, I take comfort in that fact, and I have asked both of these people for advice and counsel on too many occasions to count between the two of them. Acknowledging their wisdom and connections are vital to me, but that is neither here nor there for this.
When I decided to start writing again, I made a promise to myself that I would talk about things that I actually cared about and not just babble on until I reached a predetermined word count for the day or vomited out a story that I had absolutely no connection with on any level.
While I do not promise groundbreaking truths or revelations that will shatter your mind, I am at least going to promise you not to bullshit you, because that is a huge fucking waste of time for the both of us.
So, for this particular thing, I will list and talk about a few things I have read that have helped me find the path I am on and removed me from the road I was once on. It is the latter with which I will begin. For the record, none of the links here is an affiliate. I do not want your money. I want you to buy these books only if you so choose. If you do not want to, I will gladly give you a copy of all books I list here free of charge.
As you can imagine, this is what started everything for me. I had read and memorized huge portions of this before I was twelve years old and memorized the whole thing by fifteen, well, memorized the highlights, I suppose. People will tell you it has good moral advice. I would counter that with murder, incest, patricide, fratricide, suicide, genocide, homicide, same-sex relationship erasure, racism, and a thousand other ills for which there is no forgiveness.
The Hammer of the Witches, written in 1486 by Henricus Institoris, was the go-to book for witch hunters of the time and even shaped how the faith was constructed for hundreds of years, up to, some would argue, the present-day. It supposedly exposed the heresy of those who did not believe in witches and set forth the proper order of the world with devils, witches, and the will of God. Even if you do not believe in witchcraft, they did, and that is all that mattered. How many tens of thousands of people, mostly herbalist women and hermit men, died because of this foul piece of Papal authorized, nonsensical, neo-philosophical masturbation?
The following are listed in no particular order of importance and are included because of the gigantic impact they had on me when all I wanted to do was run away from anything that had to do with power above and beyond myself.
Being the good Irish lad I am, I have always had a healthy respect and curiosity of Nordic neighbors who, let’s be polite, invited themselves the first time to the Emerald Isle in the late 8th Century from Norway. I stumbled upon this book somewhere in the bowels of Lift Bridge Books in Brockport, NY, in the fall of ’97, when I was allowed to once again roam free in the lands of man.
I immediately fell in love with it not just because of the beautiful writing by author D.J Conway, but by the subtle way she introduces the three-fold Goddess, the seasonal festivals, and the varying ways one can worship and practice.
The same trip, in the same store, from the same delightful publisher Llewellyn, I picked up this life-altering book that, to my brain at that exact moment, perfectly explained the three-fold Goddess and set me firmly on the path I have been walking the last twenty-plus years.
No, this is not a list that is complete or even a particularly good one. It is a fundamental list in its destroying and then rebuilding who I am as a human being and starting me on my path to embracing the Goddess I have integrated into every part of my life.