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Serenissima, a Found Goddess of Transformation
by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.

Lately I have found myself much engaged with Found goddesses. Found goddesses are the modern ones to whom we pray in situations never dreamt of by ancient peoples. Today, for example, we are Finding goddesses of computers and potluck, and I am, in fact, writing a book of Found goddesses that includes goddesses of meetings, duct tape, air conditioning, apartment rental, and good hair cuts. We should, I believe, take the Goddess and our worship seriously, but we donít have to abandon our sense of humor when we practice the presence of the Goddess. Finding a goddess is an act of creativity. Itís an act of noticing a need and meeting it. Itís an act of practicing the presence of the Goddess Whose aspects may be both traditional and modern.

Practicing the Presence of the Goddess

Reader, take some time now to interact with Serenissima. Invite Her into your life and allow Her to help you change your life.

Serenissima: Goddess of Taking Care of Yourself

It was true for Grandma and for Mom and itís still true for us: womanís work is never done. With economic conditions being what they are for us ordinary people, we are working harder than ever, often holding down two jobs or working excessive overtime, plus trying to do their share of housework and childcare. On top of working too hard, we try to spend some time with our children, our partners, and our parents, not to mention keeping in touch with our friends. Some days itís impossible to keep up. Some days we canít even cope.

Itís time to get help. Itís time to call on the Goddess Serenissima, She Who holds our hands, rubs our shoulders, tempts us into a bubble-bath, and teaches us the vital, life-preserving skills of self-love, self-care, and self-time.

This is a two-part ritual whose intention is to bring the power and beauty of Serenissima into your life and relief into your schedule. Your intention is to create a whole day of self-time two weeks or one month from now. You are, therefore, asking Serenissima to intervene in your life in all Her ordinary, magical ways to reschedule your obligations and clear a day on your calendar.

For Part 1 of the ritual, decorate your altar with beautiful things you love. Put a calendar page or the pages of your daily organizer covering the next thirty days, starting today, on the altar (but out of the way of candle flames and dripping wax). Invoke Serenissima with these words:

Holy Goddess Serenissima,
touch my life
and give me the space and time
to nourish myself
to cherish myself.
Sovereign Serenissima
touch my life.
Show me the path to your peace.

Light the candles and visualize Her fingers moving across your organizer and making changes. See meetings being postponed, deadlines being rescheduled, the work being shared more equitably.

Understanding that Serenissima works in subtle ways, remain aware of possibilities during the next two weeks. Look for way to facilitate the changes you invoked. You need to be alert. She may create the opportunities, but itís your own action that will open up your self-time.

One of the lessons Serenissima may give you may be to learn to say no. Practice saying this powerful little word at appropriate times. Another lesson may be to learn to set priorities and delegate tasks, both at work and at home. In very practical terms, this may mean that you should stop trying to do it all yourself. You may have to learn to give up perfectionism; sometimes good enough really is good enough.

Work with Serenissima. Let Her guide you. And when your promised day shows up, seize it.

Goddess Meditations

Do Part 2 of the ritual during the morning of your day. Your day.

Settle the logistics the day before, if not earlier: who does what, when and where, and to whom while youíre utterly unavailable. Tape notes for your family to every surface in the kitchen and bathroom if you have to. Tell them to do it themselves. Let them learn to be resourceful.

Decorate your room and your altar with your favorite colors. Spray your favorite scent into the air and open a new potpourri. Touch your favorite essential oil to your throat, wrists, and heart. Have your most beautiful chalice ready, half filled with water. Speak to the Goddess:

Most Serene Majestic Goddess,
I thank You for this day.
Tranquil One, o Easeful One,
I thank You for all my days.
Goddess of Harmony and Repose,
I celebrate all days as Your days.

As you light your candles, imagine that each tiny flame is a star that brings serenity into your life.

Beautiful and gracious Serenissima,
Show me Your paths of peace,
Show me Your ways of woven light and dark,
Show me Your threads of shining work and play,
and I will move with You,
and in You I will dance.

Take a sip of water from your chalice. Savor the way the water touches your lips and tongue, savor its taste. Consider the natural, unthinking way your mouth accepts the water, the way you swallow without thinking how to do it.

Know that this sip of water is a tiny gift from the Goddess, a single drop of the essence of the Most Serene One. Remember also that water makes up over ninety percent of our human body and that water also carved out the Grand Canyon. Remember the simple power of water, that water flows around all obstacles. Feel the waterís glowing, calming essence as it enters your body and remember that all nourishmentófrom your motherís milk to whatever you plan to have for lunch todayóenters your body and your being and becomes your body and your being.

Continue to sip water from your chalice and recall what the chalice is. Itís the true holy cup, the original Holy Grail. Itís your Motherís breast.

Remember that as you accept Serenissima into your life, in sips and in seconds of time, that She is always present. Like the water, She becomes part of you and you are thus gradually and imperceptibly transformed. As you move in the ways of Serenissima, you embody Her and become more serene.

We are all, each of us and all of us, drops of Her gentle rain on a parched and thirsty land, and when we bring Her serenity into our lives, one day at a time, we are bringing Her back to all of Her children.

Leave a few drops of water in the bottom of your chalice and treasure all these things and ponder them in your heart.

Most Serene Majestic Goddess,
I accept this day.
Tranquil One, o Easeful One,
I accept all my days.
Goddess of Harmony and Repose,
I accept all days as Your days.

Remembering that the circle is open but never broken, spend the rest of your day doing whatever you want to do.

From Practicing the Presence of the Godddess © 2000. Reprinted with permission of New World Library - www.newworldlibrary.com

Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D., author of Practicing the Presence of the Goddess and Goddess Meditations, Barbara lives with her cats, Schroedinger and Heisenberg, in Southern California. She is an initiated Dianic Witch and holds the Green Tara initiations, given to her by Dagmola Jamyang Sakya. She is currently at work on a book of humorous Found Goddesses and looking for a publisher for her novel about a vampire, a far-right extremist, and a coven of witches who live in Orange Co., California. Barbara also writes book reviews that are published in numerous magazines, including SageWoman and PanGaia.


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