Welcome to Goddess for Balance ... balancing our concept of God by including the Divine Feminine
From the GODDESS through PATRIARCHY to GNOSTICISM and ultimately to BALANCE - a spiritual journey
The following pages contain seven essays and one bibliography. They trace my discovery of the continuous presence of a feminine side of God. You will see the biographical path of my conversion to the realization of our human need for this Divine Feminine “presence”. This is followed by an essay: "The Goddess and Patriarchy". This essay confronts Patriarchy and the deleterious effect its exclusive reign has had on our society, our world and on women in particular. A longer essay, "The Goddess and Gnosticism", describes the effect the Gnostic Gospels had on me. These Christian (declared heretical) gospels found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt, illuminated by Stephan Hoeller, fired my imagination with new ways to view the God-humankind relationship. This, in turn, inspired me to suggest ways we can heal ourselves and our troubled world. I then added two more essays: one on an amazing Goddess seminar I attended at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, OH, and the other, an essay called "Spiritual Integration" which ellucidates my ideas on the process of psychic and spiritual growth. The essay "Mary Magdalene and Balance" is the longest essay in the website. It took the longest to write including the research and the writing: three years. I think you will find this essay enlightening and vibrantly in keeping with the conditions of our modern era. Observe that this essay brings the website full circle: The Goddess through Patriarchy to Gnosticism and Ultimately to Balance. I believe the "new" story of Mary Magdalene shows how to complete the balance needed for our maturing as individuals and in society as a whole. My most recent essay is another step in the direction toward balance. From the book "Behind the Sex of God" by Carol Ochs. In addition to the essays is a bibliography of the books which inspired me to change my thinking about the place of the Goddess in these modern times. Also, please note that all Endnote numbers will look like this (1) due to the simple format of this website. Please read on and witness my enlightenment, that it may also be yours. Barbara L. Weeks 13 March, 2003 updated: 5 August, 2012
Acknowledgements: Without the knowledge and effort of my oldest daughter Gretchen Brough, this website would not be here. Without her expertise on the computer, and her willingness to master the art of web design, my essays would have remained locked in my personal computer. I would also like to extend my most heartfelt thanks to all the people who helped me get this website up and running. I am extremely grateful to my daughter Dr. Margaret Weeks. She writes grants as the results of her research as the Director of the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, CT. Her editing of my longest essay: "The Goddess and Gnosticism" and her assistance with managing my computer were professional in quality and very thorough. I am also grateful to the many people who read and made suggestions for all the essays presented here. The support and guidance of my friends in the “Power Lunch” group: Joan Goldberg, Mary Ring, Joy Herrick and Jan Downing was invaluable to me. Nikki Bouquin helped me understand my computer, and Arlene Smyntek has given emotional support and made helpful suggestions for presenting my essays before a group. Others of my daughters read my essays and made helpful suggestions: Louise Bush, Jeanne Weeks, Pat McCarthy, Betsy Gorsky, Sue Weeks and my granddaughter Andrea Brough. Andrea typed my earlier essays into their computer before I owned one. I cannot fail to mention two of the people who got me started on this process: Marcy Clark Schaeffer and Isabella Wylde. Thank you both very much! And finally, I want to thank my Tuesday Morning Group, who struggled through "Internal Family Systems Therapy" with me, thus convincing me that it might also be valuable to my readers as a help on this journey called Life.
Additional Acknowledgements 2008: The essay "Mary Magdalene and Balance" is the longest essay on this website. It took three years to research and write. I received considerable help throughout the process. My friend, Joan Goldberg, an artist and storyteller and an avid reader, was the first to read my rough draft. I incorporated her suggestions on structure and ways to clarify the text. One of my daughters, Margaret Weeks, the director of Institute of Community Research in Hartford, CT, and an accomplished grant writer, made helpful suggestions on writing form. She also suggested I provide more evidence to clarify the information on gematria ( the method for deriving numbers from ancient meaning in the early Gospels written in Greek) (See p.13 in the text.). Another daughter, Gretchen, a computer expert, has been invaluable in setting up the whole website and transferring my essays to it. Many other friends, family and colleagues read and made suggestions and gave support along the way.
CORRECTIONS: Sr. Donna Marie Paolini, a Mercy nun and the director of the Center of Solitude in Belmont, NY, corrected an error I made on pp. 11 and 14, in which I included the Gospel writer John as one of the Synoptic gospel writers. John, she pointed out, was more concerned in bringing out events in Christ's life and did not rely on the "Q" source as the other three did. John spoke symbolically, which people understood less easily than Matthew, Mark and Luke. Sr. Donna Marie also pointed out that there are more and different women mentioned in the New Testament part of the Bible than just Mary Magdalene and Mary, Jesus' mother, as I had quoted from the preface of "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene", ( See p.7). That has been corrected and a clarifying footnote added to that page. If any further corrections come to my attention, I will attend to them quickly. Thanks to all for your patience. Sincerely, Barbara L. Weeks 3 November, 2008