Search for the Wight Goddess

One of the main reasons for starting this Blog was to write about my relationship with the Isle of Wight from a Pagan perspective. It has been my home now for eighteen months and I have spent a good deal of time exploring the landscape and my relationship to it. I had started this process many years ago, visiting with my family as a child and walking here as an adult. It has long been my nearest ‘far away place’, and after living in the congested and densely populated city of Portsmouth for all my adult life, the move here felt a very profound one.

A practicing Pagan for eleven years, my search to discover the Divine at the heart of nature has been an ongoing journey. I have come to believe that nature – and therefore the Divine – resides in both the city and the countryside; there is no place that nature is not and the trick is to connect to the Divine in whatever environment you occupy. However, living on the island (in a more rural setting) has helped to intensify my experience of immanent Deity, and has led me to ponder on what it means to connect to Deity in the local landscape.

The Island has a different feel from the mainland. In many ways it is a similar landscape to Hampshire, Sussex and Dorset, sharing the rolling sedimentary down land with these places. However, it has a unique quality. Partly, this stems from it being an Island; it separateness lending a special appeal. I wanted to understand more fully what this all meant with regard to my own experience of deity.

Until recently, my approach to Pagan deity had been to explore the Gods and Goddesses of established pantheons, feeling drawn to specific deities, attempting to deepen my understanding of these by building relationships with them.  My concept of Deity has been universal in the sense that I have grafted on deity to place in a fairly flexible way. But of course, what appear to be universal Gods and Goddesses were once very much attached to actual landscapes; in fact they grew out of very specific environments and cultures. As I became more fascinated and drawn to the Spirit of Place, it occurred that our ancestors’ understanding of deity was shaped by the very specific qualities of their environments. The flora, fauna, weather and topography collectively produces the character of a place, and it seems to me that this character – with its unique feel and gifts – is the foundation of local deity. I certainly found it very easy to relate to the Island as a Goddess, and it has been the search to know her more intimately that has been dominating my spiritual practice over the last few months.

I have been calling her the ‘Wight Goddess’ (my own little pun and doff of hat to Robert Graves) and I have spent my time here exploring her deeper nature, discovering this via the different aspects that she expresses through her landscapes and changing seasons (as I perceive them).

This raises all sorts of tricky questions about a personal view of deity. There is obviously a great comfort in being part of a shared faith system; one’s concept of deity is confirmed and affirmed by the group. When God/Goddess is shaped and defined by a long held tradition, that deity’s authenticity is strengthened; it has a life and presence that can easily be felt and drawn upon – a momentum all its own. In exploring one’s perception of local deity, things can feel a little more complicated, the external affirmation harder to come by. In its place is one’s own rather flawed and limited perception. I am constantly asking myself if what I instinctively feel about the Island is utterly subjective. Is something in this landscape communicating itself, and if it is, am I perceptive enough to hear its message with clarity? Maybe it doesn’t really matter.

Remaining open and flexible and maintaining a sense of humour seem vital;  reminding myself regularly that each of us who feels the need to reach for the Divine, can only ever glimpse a little of a much greater mystery. To a certain extent we will always shape God/dess in our image. We each have the freedom to start from relative scratch, and I guess this is my current experiment. The Wight Goddess calls and I feel compelled to answer…

 

Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. Tracey Jones said,

    December 7, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Hello, its me!
    I have found your blog! Just to say it looks fantastic and you are just so incredibly clever and insightful and have a wonderful way of expressing everything… and lots of other things too! I have read some and really enjoyed it ( its really interesting what you have said about developing a personal view of deity) …and i shall come back and read some more soon! My eyelids are getting heavy now so i am off to bed e byes…lots of love to.. i think the best blogger in town!
    Traceyxxx

  2. luckyloom1 said,

    December 8, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Lovely One!

    Thanks for visiting and saying such nice things! Come again soon. You know the night is still young?!! Nite, Nite Pumpkin zzzzZZZZ
    M XXX

  3. Carl Markham said,

    December 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, islands are ‘special’ places to mainland (I live on one in the far North of Scotland) – and visited the Isle of Wight many moons ago (loved the ex-London underground train you had there – wonder if it’s still extant?) Norse Goddesses abound here of course (as do their myths and stories etc.) Very much ‘alive’ – if you know where to look!

    • luckyloom1 said,

      January 4, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Carl,

      Yes, the underground train is still there! Love Scotland – my partner is Scottish and I lived in Glasgow for a while – love going back to visit family.

      • Carl Markham said,

        January 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm

        Hi luckyloom1,

        Happy New Year from storm-bound Orkney!
        Thanks for the info that your tube train is still extant – nice to know that some things never change!


Leave a Reply

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: