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Barbara Ardinger

Auntie Gravity
An Antic Cronish Goddess
by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.


If you’re going to have a middle-age crisis, why not have fun with it? If you’re going to get older, why not enjoy it? Wiccans and others who worship the Goddess, see the three stages in a woman’s life: Maiden—the young girl before her first bleeding—Mother, and Crone—the older woman past menopause and her second Saturn return. The ancient Greeks also said that every spring, the older goddesses was bathed in the sacred spring of life and emerged as a Maiden, which shows us how the seasons of the year continually cycle from springtime (the Maiden) through summer (the Mother, who bears fruit—her children or her creative projects or her professional work), through fall and winter (the Crone), and back to springtime.

Modern Wiccans and other pagans also agree that it’s good to bring playfulness to our spirituality. It’s good to laugh as we worship and celebrate our gods and goddesses. Found Goddesses are made-up goddesses. The classical gods and goddesses like Athena and Aphrodite can help us with old issues like getting along in the business world or falling in love. But who do you invoke at a potluck? Who can help you find a parking place or navigate the Internet? This is where we need the new goddesses, the Found Goddesses who deal with our modern problems and issues.

Here is a goddess for mid-life.

Finding New Goddesses by Barbara Ardinger

Sisters, do certain parts of your anatomy, that used to stand right up and salute, now ignore the flag no matter now vigorously it’s waving? Is "perky" a word whose meaning passed you by a decade ago? From behind, do you look like you’re sitting down even when you’re standing up? Does it require a crane and two body-builders to lift you out of a deep knee bend?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, relax—you’ve been visited by our beloved Auntie Gravity, a cronish goddess Who pulls our bodies ever closer to our Mother Earth even as She lifts our spirits. Like some kind of cosmic elevator operator, Auntie Gravity dares to speak out loud the proper locations of ladies lingerie, housewares, better dresses, and the tea room. Auntie Gravity wears good cotton underwear, cooks as seldom as possible, dresses in purple (and then some), and eats and drinks what she wants to eat and drink. She lives in the present moment and tells it like it really is.

"Gal," She says, giving you Her famous Look, "where you livin’ at? The past is dead and gone. Sure, you’ve lived through quite a lot. But how good was the good ol’ days, really? How good was it, back then? Gal, you livin’ today. You deserve some respect for your long life. You got survivalocity, big-time. Don’t you forget that. An’ don’t you let no one else forget it, either.

Goddess Meditations by Barbara Ardinger

"Your face look like a road map?" Auntie Gravity says. "Well, jus’ you remember—all them lines come from some place significant. You been places and you done stuff—you wanna trade places with some skinny, smooth-faced child who don’t know nothin’? Each one a them lines is a line in the poem of your life, and maybe yours is an epic poem. Ever thought about that? Hmmm? Not all epics gotta be about men wavin’ phallic symbols an’ conquerin’ folks. Hmmm?

"What you done in your long life?" She asks, and She pokes Her pointy finger at your heart, "what you proud of? What you ashamed of? What you learned? What you got to tell the young ‘uns? Gal, you got wisdom you don’t even remember you got. What you gotta do is, you gotta pass it around. You hear Me? Pass it around, what you know, what you’ve learned. Help bring up some little sisters in the proper fashion.

"An’ you jus’ start thinkin’ of them lines," She says, "as your Auntie Gravity’s rainbows, an’ remember all the colors of what you done in your life. An’ where’s that ol’ somewhere over the rainbow? In a land full of midgets, that’s where, mental midgets that don’t know what you know. Buncha mental midgets don’t know who you are. Believe you Me, you don’t even wanna go there.

Practicing the Presence of the Goddess by Barbara Ardinger

"An’ don’t you dare say hot flashes, either," Auntie Gravity says. "Those’r power surges! As the cat told the cockroach, toujours gai, toujours gai, there’s a dance in the old dame yet. Don’t you forget that. So maybe you don’t dance so fast anymore. So what? Now your dance got the power. Maybe your monthly blood’s done dried up, but, Gal, you still got the juice. Got it mor’n ever before, got it straighter, got it deeper, got it stronger, got it higher.

"Hey, Gal," She says, "you hungry? None a them diets for me! Ol’ gals need their nourishment, preferably chocolate nourishment. You know there’s more of gravy than the grave about Me, don’t you? So let’s just stir the pot an’ see what we stir up in the world. Double bubbles, maybe, an’ toil an’ trouble an’ mischief an’ reality. Seriosity an’ humorocity—heck, let’s have four, five, or a dozen humors. So what’s cookin’, hmmm? Here, have a bite while we’re waitin’ to see what’s got stirred up this time.

"Gal," She says after awhile, "This here visit’s ‘bout over now. I got things to do an’ places to go yet. So lemme tell you one last thing: gravity’s the universal force that pulls everyone together. Remember that. An’ you take good care of yourself, you hear?"

And She is gone.

But She’ll be back.

(From Finding New Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives (ECW Press, 2003), copyright Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)

Sun   Sun   Sun

Barbara Ardinger
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D., (www.barbaraardinger.com), is the author of Goddess Meditations and Practicing the Presence of the Goddess. She has two books scheduled for publication in 2003. Finding New Goddesses is a book of parody, puns, and humor. Quicksilver Moon is a novel about a vampire, a coven of witches, and a far-right fundamentalist preacher. She has recently finished another novel about a group of crones and is also working on a book called Let There Be Beauty. She lives in Long Beach, California, with her cats, Schroedinger and Heisenberg, plus her collections of witches, goddesses, and books.


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