I've been reading a book recently with the Goddess School entitled Casting the Circle by Diane Stein which is all about recognition of this divinity in all women (and men). There is one paragraph that strikes a real cord with me that I feel must be shared with everyone:
Abuse of another is abuse of the Goddess, and since Goddess resides within, it's also abuse of the self. Abuse of the earth is abuse of the Goddess and the self, and abuse of perfection. Every woman is Goddess, a Be-ing to honor and worship. Every living thing is Goddess. In worshiping deity as female, a woman worships her own divinity, herself as Goddess-within.Let that resonate with you for a moment. I find the choice of using the word 'abuse' to really hit the message home in this as a lot of people don't look at what they do to themselves as abuse. For example: withholding food as punishment for indulging in a small cup of ice cream and believing yourself to be, by societies standards, as "fat"; or perhaps hurting yourself because you feel unworthy of your life; or even just looking in the mirror in the morning and mentally telling yourself that you are pathetic, unintelligent, or unlovable.
Stop it. Stop it right now and look at this paragraph above. To abuse yourself is to abuse the Goddess because she is within you. You are the Goddess. Each and everyone of you possess the power, the strength, the passion, and the love of the Goddess and you can deal this out to everyone you meet and they can give it back to you.
Abusing others, the earth, or creatures is also abuse of yourself because everyone is connected through the divinity of the Goddess. They are you, you are they, and we are all She. I know it may be difficult for people to connect to the Goddess within because the patriarchal layout of religion has beaten us to believe that God, that Divinity is some figure looking down on us from far above, something that we cannot attain without direction from a Church and those appointed to facilitate the teachings of this unattainable figure to you.
In the Craft, this is simply not so. The Goddess and God are all around encompassing us and within us. We can reach the Divine simply by living our life and feeding our souls with knowledge and compassion. We can see the Divine every time we look into the mirror in the morning on the way to work, when we pass our friends in the hallway, when we gather around a bonfire to drum up the Earth. She is with us always.
This is one of the many beauties of Wicca and the Craft. I want to outline a mini-ritual for people to do in order to get in touch with their Goddess.
Recognizing the Goddess: Mini Ritual
You do not need any tools to do this for the most powerful tool is yourself. You may not even consider this a ritual but all things done with intent are, in fact, rituals. When you wake up each morning, take a look at yourself in the mirror before and after you are finished getting ready for the day. Say at least one positive thing about yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Example: "I am beautiful. I am intelligent. I am in tune with the Earth."
You may not believe these at first but eventually your conscious will begin to shift and you will hear the truth in your words. For that is the purpose of ritual, to shift the conscious mind.