Sharon Siegel professionally refers to herself as a Feminist Psychotherapist. However, in addition to being a practicing therapist she is also the High Priestess of the Goddess Temple of Palm Springs. On March 24, 2018 she will celebrate the Spring Equinox. There are about 100 women in the Coachella Valley who identify as members of this movement and are known to participate in these rituals.
Since Spring is traditionally a time for planting and growing this ritual will focus on planting the ideas and actions that will guide women in their personal growth throughout the year. There are other rituals with a different emphasis for each season. It is an opportunity for seasonal self-evaluation, as Siegel put it, “we welcome the seasons and welcome ourselves.”
The worship of Goddesses was around for thousands of years among the Minoans in Greece and Crete. Ancient frescoes found in caves show people worshipping female figures. Goddesses are still highly regarded among Hindus who hold Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance, in high esteem. However, in Western culture when Christianity introduced the concept of one God and one collection plate there was no room for female gods or for women to share in the bounty.
The modern version of the Goddess Movement was introduced in California during the Feminist Movement back in the 70’s by a charismatic Hungarian psychic named Zee Budapest who lives in Oakland and still promotes feminist spirituality. Siegel says she was attracted to the Movement because she did not want to pray to a male god and wanted to have a spiritual relationship with a female deity. “We want a goddess in our own image and want to honor ourselves.”
Anyone can join the movement or attend a Solstice / Equinox event without abandoning their traditional religious beliefs. Seigel often joins other Jewish women in celebrating Jewish holidays.
To empower the Movement at every ritual the women chant, “As we will it, so shall it be.” Before they sit down to feast they add, “The Circle is Open – but never broken.” In addition to all this feminist energy there are flowers and food and decorations and flowing white clothes. This has got to make a Goddess smile.
If you want to check out the Goddess Temple or attend a Solstice / Equinox Ceremony, you can reach Sharon Siegel at: firstname.lastname@example.org