Renée Starr is an award winning author, mythologist, master storyteller, artist and life coach. A seeker of ancient wisdom for the modern woman, she offers her book, 'You Are Woman, You Are Divine'. as a guide for the modern woman's journey back to The Goddess, along with Goddess classes, workshops, circles and a variety of international retreats.
"I did not receive knowledge of the Divine Feminine from my mother. She did not receive it from her mother. Being a female was not special in the home of my childhood and I did not think of myself as sacred.
I remember how, as a young girl, I loved reading the stories of women who were special in some way. Without yet realizing that I was searching for the Divine Feminine, I read goddess mythology, biblical stories and even faery tales that depicted women as magical and intuitive, as having special powers of prophecy, healing, and knowing. I daydreamed that I, too, was special at my core—that as a woman, I am a special being. I have been in search of confirming this feeling my entire life.
My longing for a deeper sense of Self has led me to explore many different paths, hoping to move myself closer to the Truth, the Absolute, to God—especially to the Feminine aspect of God. My journey in search of spirituality has taken me through many traditions, introducing me to many rituals and ways of connecting with Spirit, feeling at one with the Universe, and especially to experiencing the Divine Feminine essence.
Today, my journey with the Divine Feminine is not over, but my search to find her is. I have discovered that she is everywhere that I go and everything that I am. I am naturally designed to know Her, be Her, and express Her. You are, too."
From 'You Are Woman, You Are Divine'.
THE GODDESS MANDALA
Eight moons interlaced, and a single moon to enclose them all complete the mandala that is used for the Back To The Goddess and 9 Moons Press logos. Intrinsic to The Goddess, the moon has long been a symbol of Her cyclical, mysterious, hidden and intuitive nature. In a single lunar cycle there are nine moons; Dark, New (Waxing Crescent), First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, Waning Crescent and dark once again.
As you gaze upon the mandala, you will notice many patterns forming, such as full moon circles, crescent moons and a very sacred star pattern at the center, called 'Ishtar's Star'. Ishtar was an ancient Assyrian/Babylonian goddess who traveled to visit her sister in the underworld, which was guarded by seven gates, representing seven spiritual rites of passage. When Ishtar passed through each of the gates, she shed a single piece of clothing, symbolizing the letting go of her earthly attachments. When she finally passes the seventh gate and enters the realm of the underworld, she is naked and complete free from earthly attachments. She is then imprisoned by her sister but later rescued and must pass back through the seven gates and back up to the middle world, which is the earthly realm. As she surfaces through each gate, Ishtar is given one piece of her clothing back, until she is once again fully clothed. This story is often thought to be the origin for the biblical story of Salome, who performed ‘The Dance of The Seven Veils’ for King Herod. One by one, Salome removed each of her seven veils until she stood unclothed and completely revealed before him. In this way, Salome personifies The Goddess unveiled and revealed to the human soul. Ishtar's Star is also an ancient alchemical symbol for 'creation', which is an act that very much belongs to The Goddess.
Another very ancient and sacred symbol found embedded within the mandala, is called The Triple Goddess symbol. Steeped in history as The Great Goddess, this symbol is most often found today in Wiccan and Neo-Pagan spirituality and represents the cyclical seasons of a woman's life that are the maiden (new/crescent moon), mother (full moon) and wise woman (waning crescent moon), and also symbolizes the realms of heaven, earth and underworld. Often represented as a three-petaled flower (sometimes called the triskele or triple spiral), it can also be found depicted as the waxing, full and waning moons.