Every day begins with ritual. And yet, in these confused times our rituals have lost their wonder, their heart. Hygeia, Ceres, Vesta, we can honour the Goddesses in the simple rituals of awakening, washing, breaking fast and then, before we begin attending to our livelihood, we attend to the hearth, especially upon these cold winter mornings. I have heard people complain that these Goddesses are in the shadow of the Gods, are unequal and yet that is a choice each and every one of us makes, every day, to not honour them in the simple rituals of home and hearth. Some say that there was a Golden Age when the Goddesses held sway over human affairs, and perhaps that is true, but again, it is a choice for you, for each one of us, to whom we give respect. Every time you wash your face, eat bread, clean the fireplace, you have an opportunity to commune with a Goddess. Perhaps, if you are male, you might have opportunities to fight, to hammer metal and oil your weapons of war in case blood needs to be spilled with iron, and then you can honour Mars, but if those dynamics become part of your everyday rituals then you are not long for this world. The Goddesses, by the fact of their very existence in the simple, humble, homely rituals of every human day are with us with far greater frequency than the loud, bold Gods who are with us only when we need to make serious statements. Whose power then, is the greater? If the Goddesses are, for you, not honoured enough in the world, then do your part: honour them. Strike your match with a sense of wonder, clean the hearth – with love, real love, then you will invite the protection of Vesta. Bake your bread, and then break it with gratitude and Ceres will smile on you. Every moment is a communion, a ritual, an invitation to understand that the only reason that life is not more sacred and divine is because we do not recognise these opportunities. We want life to be big and bold, but where is the beauty and simplicity and humility in that? If every day were big and bold then we would have no choice but to become jet-setting playboys, dilettantes and femme-fatales, living for the rush of excitement, excess and danger, until, through aristocratic jading, even the rush becomes boring. It reflects our world though, through the green lens of envy, the red lens of lust and the black lens of despair, the addiction to control and power is the drug of the world whose antidote is the basin, the bread oven and the hearth.
Every day (I am learning), these are the habits of my life. I wake up, wash, eat breakfast, walk feisty Juno for a few miles along the field margins and hedgerows (Diana, Diana!), and then back home, to light the fire and begin my work, which is for me, with Moon/Vesta in the 6th more to do with duty and service than career and success. That’s okay, because when you have learned simplicity you realise its astonishing power. It is not the blood and thunder power of Mars and Jupiter, nor the judgmental power of Saturn who so frequently confuses ambition and status with responsibility and a Puritanical work-ethic, but rather it is the gentle, inwardly transforming power of the tides: rhythmic, soft, but irresistible, and which gradually erodes the tantrums of the ego.
Life calms. Forgiveness and acceptance replace anxiety and resentment. This is Goddess power; it is not flashy, there are no stages and spotlights but there is no audience either, and that is better because what is the performance when there is nobody to witness it? Gradually, you begin to make your own reality, in the satisfaction of quiet rituals, in cleaning and nourishing and serving, in giving to the world without expectation of reward and knowing that you are blessed and safe and loved.
Every moment of your life is metaphysical. Understand this and you have the key to your true power. You will be blessed, loved and valued, if you will only allow yourself to be, and it all begins with transforming drudgery into worship with a little reverence and wonder.