July 17, 2011

{The Goddess Bride} Part Five/Final: "Opening Hearts"

[excerpt from the upcoming book - The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: Princess Diana, the Princess Myth & a Royal Legacy for All Women]

I share wedding lore relating to goddess legends and queenly costume history with readers in my book, The Bride’s Ritual Guide: Look Inside to Find Yourself. Feeling “regal” is not only part of their natural inheritance, I tell brides, but feeling like a goddess everyday is their legacy as well! Here’s one excerpt:

My friend Adele Azar-Rucquoi, who wore no wedding gown nor crown but a white silky blouse and flowing pants with a wide-brim straw hat, was a joyful first-time bride at fifty-nine and the essence of the regalness of spirit. Walking down the aisle toward her beloved, she shares this remembrance in her book for women, Money as Sacrament: “One by one I made eye contact with my friends, grinning until my face hurt. Never have I seen them from so regal a place!”

Perhaps it’s not what you wear on your wedding day but how you wear it. So wear it well, you beautiful Goddess Bride! Allow yourself to feel your regal femininity down to your toes, taking pleasure in your unique feminine ways of being compassionate, kind, and strong. And remember a goddess always keeps her heart open and available to love, even after life returns to normal.

Kathy Jones, author of The Ancient British Godddess, includes this reference in her story of the Celtic goddess Brigit who was also known as Bride: “Bride is symbolically a horse goddess and her consort, the young god, is depicted as her groom, lavishly attending her.”  Is that a confirmation that being a bride comes with your goddess birthright of being lovingly attended? Isn’t that what we all want in relationships—to be deeply appreciated and attended to in the most loving way? This is what we can take away from the ancient times of goddess worship, when people had a reverence for all of life, lovingly in service to each other. What would it take for us to return to that focus of women and men attending to the other in the name of devoted spiritual partnership?

Women approach their wedding in different ways: as a chance to dress like a princess and have a coronation; or as a huge lavish party or a sexy brouhaha or her moment in the starlet spotlight; or an intimate and life-changing experience and a time to make deeper heart-connections; or an introspective journey into the mysteries of unconditional love and a mystical and joyful spiritual transformation; or a bit of it all. But wedding rituals offer an opportunity for a woman and her bridegroom to partake in sacred and transforming mysteries of the spirit—a “royal journey”—inherited from our lineage of known and unknown sources of inspiration and guidance. At their core, these ancient rituals can guide brides and grooms gracefully and powerfully into the openings and deep connection of a spiritual partnership, readying the heart for things to come, opening the heart in the moment.

After her bright and beautiful wedding, some of Princess Diana’s life played out the manipulative, vengeful and dark side of feminine nature as she looked for balance between her two worlds. Yet she opened people’s hearts with her attentive modern way of mothering,  compassionate work with the underprivileged, and her willingness (need?) to literally reach out and touch and fully embrace others—and be touched in return. Then ironically her early death blasted open hearts even more, opening the way for a new manifestation of loving relationships and expanding the world’s heart energy. The “goddess bride” was then heralded as the “true English rose,” the “people’s princess,” the “Queen of Hearts” … and the real story of divine purpose, the nature of forgiveness, and softening hearts began to emerge. ~

[Bridal Photograph: Julie Mikos]
[Other excerpts from "The Goddess Bride" chapter of The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride upcoming book can be found by clicking on "The Goddess Bride" in the Labels list below.]

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