Goddess Travel: Where in the World?

As a Goddess-centric Witch, I am always looking for new ways to connect with the myriad of global goddesses. Even though I know that I can have powerful relationships with different goddesses from the comfort of my home, I’ve also got a bit of a travel bug, so when I am wandering in new places, I try to hold myself open to spiritual experience and divine intervention. Sometimes, though, I only realize how magical the experience was after the fact. I'll be exploring these different experiences and goddesses on this blog.

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Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”). She is a poet, a novelist, and a goddess-centric witch with a love of all things magical. Her first nonfiction book, Goddess Spells for Busy Girls: Get Rich, Get Happy, Get Lucky, is out now from Weiser Books. A Michigander by birth, Jen now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn’t writing, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

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Becoming a Mermaid (Again)

I want to be a mermaid again.


When I was young, my best friend had a pool, and we spent countless hours each summer turning into prunes and pretending we were mermaids. We practiced holding our feet together, flipping imaginary fins as we swam, or, more often, sat on the bottom of the shallow end, having a mermaid tea party.
Somewhere along the way, however, I grew too self-conscious of my body in a bathing suit, and I taught myself not to like the water. I’d never been a strong swimmer, so for years I was able to believe that I simply didn’t like being in the water, preferring to dip my toes in the ocean rather than submerge my whole self. Even when, a few years ago, I worked my way back down to a weight were I felt healthy and sexy, I still clung to the belief that I hated going into the water. As I slowly gained weight and lost confidence, it never even occurred to me to question my often-repeated mantra that “I just didn’t like to be in the water”.

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The Hidden Magic of Nashville

When I think of Nashville, I think of country music and the Parthenon. I probably never would have associated the spot with meditation and summer magic, even after I visited the town, if it weren’t for a lucky chance. I attended a writing conference in Nashville a few years ago, held at the gothicly beautiful Scarritt Bennett retreat and conference center.  That was the last year the conference was small enough for that particular venue, and if I’d attended a year later, I never would have discovered the peace and beauty of the labyrinth that waits in Tennessee.


b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_03461.JPGI’d never walked a labyrinth before, and when I stepped out of my on-site dorm to discover the familiar pattern of the Chartres labyrinth laid in the grass in front of the building, I got incredibly excited. There’s already something magical about wandering around a facility that feels like a Southern Hogwarts in the purple gloaming of June, but then to spot that mystical shape, complete with dancing fireflies, completes the sensation of having stepped into another world.

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Meeting the Ocean

When I was eleven or twelve, my family took an epic road trip. We traveled from Michigan to the east coast, stopping in Washington, D.C., as well as visiting some family friends who lived near one of Virginia’s beaches. It was my first time meeting the ocean, and the part of the long trip I was looking forward to most.


I still remember the heady feeling of the waves carrying me as I floated, waiting on my borrowed boogie board, the taste of salt in my mouth. It was magical, and I fell in love with the ocean that day.

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This weekend, I led a goddess-centric workshop at my local new age store. Although I’ve been working with goddess for over a decade and writing and participating in rituals for about half that time, I’d never led a class with strangers. The opportunity popped up unexpectedly because of my book Goddess Spells for Busy Girls, and in the years since I penned the book, I’ve realized to trust that it knows what it wants, so when I was invited to present, I embraced the unexpected abundance and said yes.


I had a wonderful time sharing four of my favorite goddesses with the lovely workshop participants, and, in the spirit of abundance that typifies the work I do related to my little pink book, I wanted to share one of the meditations I wrote for this weekend with you. It’s a Lakshmi meditation, and since abundance is on my mind (and since we’re turning the tide to Beltane this week), I hope you’ll enjoy this journey.

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Western Waters

Sometimes, I can't sense a particular goddess's energy in the places I travel, even when they are palpably sacred. And sometimes, no matter how much I yearn for the feminine energy, the locations pulse with masculinity that can't be ignored. One particular place that sticks in my mind is Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho, where I've had the good fortune to spend snatches of summers here and there with my husband (a west coaster by birth). Since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today, I thought I'd share a poem with you that I wrote years ago, upon my first experience at that magical lake.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag says #
    So it's one of those "I know it when I see (feel) it" sort of things? I think that's basically how it is for me, too, but I'm cons
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Fair point! However, I'm okay with that, since I feel like any understanding I have of an entity/force of the universe falls woefu
  • Eilidh nic Sidheag
    Eilidh nic Sidheag says #
    I'm curious - how do you determine whether any given energies are masculine or feminine? I've been wondering about this myself lat
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    That's actually a really great question. For me, I usually trust my instincts/knowledge of a place, but then again, I'm predispose

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As winter has firmly wrapped around us here (at least as much as it ever does in the South), I’d been planning to write about the beautiful Mexican Riviera, a crystal coastline dotted with ancient temples and pulsing with power and healing. However, when I sat down to my trusty computer this morning, it wouldn’t turn on…and all the pictures from all my trips are safely locked in the hard drive. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will be an easy fix, once my hubby or I venture out to a computer store, but right now, with another round of snow covering the roads, technology repair has suddenly fallen to the bottom of my priorities list.


Winter tends to rearrange things for me, and whenever I don’t take the necessary time for rest and healing that the season affords, I’ve discovered that the Goddess has a way of enforcing quiet down time for me, forcing me to slow down and just breathe.

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  • Debra May Macleod
    Debra May Macleod says #
    As a follower of Vesta / Hesita, I absolutely loved this beautiful article! Very well-written, and so so true Come visit me at
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Thanks, Debra! I'm so glad this resonated with you! Have liked your page, too
  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    We found the house in the depths of another southern winter, after a month and a half of searching, and even on a February afterno
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Victoria sounds absolutely lovely. It's amazing how tangible the sense of self is, isn't it?! I think it's especially true of old

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Traveling with the Maid of Orleans


    Sometimes, I wonder if my mother regrets raising me to believe that all things would be possible for me, because when I was a sophomore in college, I bought a plane ticket and went to Paris by myself on my way to a summer study abroad program in Italy.  It was an amazing experience: I spent three days desperately trying to blend in and not appear to be an obnoxious traveler, while at the same time I kept sneaking glances at my guide book as I soaked up the City of Lights. 
    I fell in love with the cathedral of Notre Dame, and I made a point to visit there each day before I began my wanderings. In three full days, I crammed in visits to classical and modern museums, cafes and bookstores, snapping photos and wandering beneath the changing clouds that hang over Paris.  To this day, I have never seen a sky that is quite like the one over this French city.

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    Traveling alone is an interesting experience.  There is no one to cooperate with, no concessions to be made.  Any kind of travel is transformative, but without the voices of others to cloud your mind, I believe that a person will undergo deep psychic and mental changes if she takes the risk to venture out into the world alone. 
    And a risk it is, although at the time I don’t think I was consciously aware of that fact.  I stayed in a hostel, sleeping in a co-ed dormitory with five other travelers.  My first night in the city, I realized that two of my roommates were male, and I felt a bit unsettled.  I slept in my clothes behind a barricade that I constructed using my backpack, waking up at every sound and breath.  It was a miserable night, but thankfully, my fears came to nothing.
    Even so, I haven’t traveled alone since that trip. My husband has as bad a case of wanderlust as I have, and we’ve been lucky enough to travel together, even returning to Paris a few years ago; the city still enamors me, even after all this time.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Joan of Arc is a personal heroine of mine too. I can't wait to hear your tale.
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Thank you, Sable! She's such an inspiring heroine!

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