'Lakshmi Is My Homegirl'

How modern women can turn to ancient deities for guidance in everyday life.

Continued from page 1

How do you see the goddesses? Do they represent archetypes, or actual beings, deities?

I personally think of them as divine beings and energies, but I wouldn't want anyone else to feel they have to adapt to my point of view. Not all religions would agree, but I think it helps to personify the divine. For some people, though, it is more appropriate to view them as archetypes, or messengers.

I just want people to know that the concept of the goddess is not a made-up thing, that goddesses have been worshipped for eons, from the very start of creation. I believe that the Goddess was intentionally dropped out of many holy books and teachings; over time, honoring of women was also dropped out. That's why women sometimes feel disenfranchised from their own faith; or disconnected from their own divinity.

So your book is not promoting goddess-worship, necessarily -- it's about helping women relate to the divine?

It's about enhancing your self-esteem and your spirituality, by seeing yourself as a living link to the divine; that's really what it's about. We've been raised in a culture that's given us millions of images of the male divine, and ideas of the male divine, and the language of the male divine, without giving us a language and a vocabulary for a feminine divine. So on the deepest cellular level of our beings, women feel like they're not included in divinity.

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Women have a tendency to `worship' men, and yet, sadly, we don't always see our own worth. I spent my entire growing up, until I was about 40, putting men onto pedestals. I could always see their divinity but I couldn't see my own. I've interviewed thousands of women about their relationships, their self-image, and how they feel about men, and what happens in their relationships, why they have this or don't have that. And the one theme that came up over and over again was that women suffered from a lack of self-esteem. That got in the way of everything, was a roadblock to all happiness and love and success that they hoped for. They could see the man as more powerful and divine and give over their power in the relationship, but they couldn't give the power to themselves.

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Interview by Lisa Schneider
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