In the Wiccan tradition, The Descent of the Goddess is reenacted in the Second Degree initiation wherein the Goddess, confused as to why Her children are dying, journeys down to the Underworld and there she meets Death. She must strip off all of Her clothing and humble herself and stand before him in Her nudity. While she is in the Underworld, Death teaches Her about love, about death, and all mysteries and magick. This is a nice story; however, it forgets one thing.....that the Goddess is love, is death and is magick. The story suggests that the Goddess knew nothing of love, death nor magick until She meets Death. Before there was a God, there was the Goddess and through Her love, she created the Universe and all its inhabitants even without the aid of man. The Goddess is death; She is life; She is the mystery. She is the Crone herself and through death’s door, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with all those who have gone before. Everything comes from Her and everything returns to Her. She is the one and the three. Love is her Law. Those are the words in the Charge. She created life out of love. That is her mystery - love unto all. She teaches us to love unconditionally and have compassion for your fellow sisters and brothers. Children of the Goddess, She is the very heartbeat found in every woman and man. The very essence of the Goddess is love.
In the Legend, it says that Death taught the Goddess all the mysteries and magick. The Goddess Hecate is Queen of Magick. Also, the "Legend" is forgetting that the Goddess is the mysteries - She is the Mysterious Moon ~ The Moon which effects the tides of the ocean and the tides of woman. From planting seeds and roots to working magic - all is done by the Moon. Witches have been working their magick with the Moon since the beginning of time. Is not menstruation part of the Goddess? Isn't there a connection between the Moon cycle and women's mysteries? Isn't menstruation the mystery and the magic? And does not women's menstruating enable them to work the strongest magick? To say that Death taught the Goddess all mysteries and magic is saying that they have yet to truly understand the Goddess and what She stands for, and they have yet to find Her within themselves.
In the Legend, it says that the Goddess did not know the mysteries of death. To say that the Goddess did not know death is a contradiction in itself. The powerful Goddess, Hecate, who Christians feared the most, is Goddess of Death. She was here before the Olympian Gods of which they brought war and destruction. She is the Goddess of the Underworld. Before there were Gods, it was Hecate who took Persephone to the Underworld to teach her the mysteries and of magick. It was not until Olympian Gods came into the picture that the myth changed to Persephone being abducted, raped, and tricked. The Goddess Hecate is death, and She was death before there were Gods. Through death’s door, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with all those who have gone before.
The Triple Goddess Hecate is the mystery; She is magick; She is the teacher; She is wisdom. She is Goddess of Love. She holds the keys that unlocks the doors of mystery and magick. She is the oldest Triple Goddess and She is Queen of all Witches.
I hate to say, but the travesty of them all is the Goddess being scourged by Death, because She does not love him and will not stay with him. Nowhere can it be found that there was scourging in the Pagan/Goddess religion before Gerald Gardner.....let alone the Goddess being scourged. I think there was scourging amongst Priest in earlier times, but that was more for punishment of themselves for ill thoughts or ways to make them more humble before their God. Scourging has such negative undertones and is more of a punishment than a reward, and I do not think the Goddess would asks this of Her children, as She knows that there is already too much suffering in the World today.
People say to give Gardner credit for bringing the Pagan Religion and/orWitchcraft out into the open in 1951. Gerald Gardner did not bring Witchcraft out into the open but Wicca. There is a difference between the two. However, Gardner co-mingled Witchcraft and Wicca. There were women practicing their magick and their healing arts, which is now known as Witchcraft, behind closed doors before, during, and even after the infamous Inquisition. The Goddess religion and Witchcraft never died. Yes, it took a man to get Witchcraft and/or Wicca back out into the open in 1951, but wasn't it man who put it behind closed doors in the first place? It has come full circle.
So, Daughters of Hecate, be followers of the Goddess. She will always guide you to peace, love, and enlightenment. After all, She is Goddess of Love, Goddess of all Mysteries, and Goddess of Death, as it has been since the beginning of time, and it is through Her that we can obtain the mysteries of life.
The oldest known myth is recognized in Babylon and was written on tablets in the third millenium BC before the times of Zeus. It is the story of the descent of Innana, Queen of Heaven, to the Underworld, where Her Sister resided. It is the story of meeting the shadowy dark side of oneself for the Goddess of the Underworld was actually Inanna, her other dark self. If one really wishes to learn about the Descent of the Goddess, one should read the real story of Inanna journeying to meet Her sister and go through the Seven Gates.
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