"Grandmother, who is the Fearsome Goddess and when is she coming?” the boy asked.

He and his sister were curled up against their grandmother in front of a roaring fire, heads pillowed on her ample bosom. The old woman had one arm around each child. It was deep winter, the time of the storytellers.

“Will she bring us presents?” the little girl asked. With one little hand, she swiped her hair from her face so she could peer up at the wrinkled cheeks and into the twinkling eyes.

“Will she be pretty? Like Mama?” the boy asked.

Their grandmother chuckled.

Her merriment made their heads bounce and the two giggled at each other while the grandmother held them closer.

“The Fearsome Goddess is not a person, my dears,” the grandmother replied, “She’s a way of becoming. A way we are all becoming.”

They stared at the fire together.

“I don’t understand,” the boy said finally. “I’m a boy. Why would I become a goddess?”

The old woman chuckled again and fondly patted the boy’s head. He looked like his father when his father had been a boy. Soon he would be too old for cuddles.She sighed.

“No, you would not become a goddess, my boy. None of us will become goddesses.”

“Not even me?” the girl asked. “I’m a girl.”

The grandmother twinkled at the girl. “Not even you, young one.”

“What will happen when she comes, then?” the boy asked.

“That, nobody knows, for she’s not been with us for many hundreds of years and none remember. But we have ideas.”

“What are they?” asked the boy.

The little girl yawned and settled more comfortably against her grandmother.

The grandmother gazed into the fire before she spoke. “We are living in the time of men.Ofaction. Of doing. Of planning and building. We, as a people, are expressing our inner god. Our inner goddess has been pushed to the side and we are unbalanced. The inner goddess who is pushed to the side has allowed this to happen to her.”

“Why?” the boy asked.

“Because it is what a woman naturally does. She is a nurturer. She is a lover. She encourages and inspires. And mostly, she puts others' needs before her own. And when it gets to be too much and she can't take it any longer, she explodes into anger. It never has occurred to her that she was making things worse by doing so.”


The old woman nodded. “She aided in the unbalancing by allowing herself to come last.”

“And so the Fearsome Goddess comes to save us,” the boy supplied.

“No, dear one, she comes to save herself. The Fearsome Goddess is She Who Will Not Sacrifice. She will not longer allow herself to be pushed to the side.”

“So there will be war,” the boy stated.

“Certainly not. She is female. She nurtures. She loves. She will not be pushed aside but she will not push back either. She will bring balance within each of us and, from there, balance will emerge and soothe our world.”

“And the world will be better for this?”

Theold woman shrugged and stroked the silken hair of the sleeping little girl. “It will be balanced. Equal. It would allow people to express their more compassionate nature safely. I think that would be a good thing, don’t you?”

The boy nodded and listened to the cracks and pops of the fire. He followed the sparking embers as they made their way up the flue.

“How can I welcome this Fearsome Goddess, Grandmother?” he asked.

“By imagining what it would be like to be a more balanced person inside yourself. What would it be like if the your inner goddess and inner god worked together, as a team and at the same time? Not nurturing and then doing, but doing and nurturing, at the same time and together. Acting with understanding, rather than reacting. Anger and hatred are just fires out of control. Look at our fire, how it rages. But it rages with a purpose, to keep us warm and snug.”The boy yawned suddenly and his grandmother smiled and stroked his head. “Close your eyes, boy. These are ramblings of an old woman who thinks all day as her grandchildren run and play.”

The fire crackled and popped and kept them warm.

Illustration to Fearsome Goddess

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