Saturday, August 21, 2021

So…What’s a HERmnal? by Sharon Smith


Art by Cheryl Braganza

“A what? What’s a ‘hermnal?'” That’s a question I’ve been asked repeatedly whenever I’ve mentioned this collection of rewritten hymns from Girl God Books. And it’s a question that’s both easy and somewhat difficult to answer. The easy part: It’s a book of praise songs to the Great Mother Goddess. The “somewhat difficult” part: Explaining, to those comfortable with Patriarchy, why we need one in the first place.

We’ve been inundated with images and stories and pronouns that define the Creator as “masculine-only”: The Almighty One; the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” the Eternal Father”—always referenced with the masculine pronouns “He,” “Him,” “His;” never with the feminine pronouns “She,” “Her” or “Hers.” This has become so deeply ingrained into all aspects of our culture that many cannot envision the Divine as anything but “masculine-only.” To think of God as female is silly at best…and blasphemous at its worst.

But something has been happening over the past several decades: Women are awakening. We’re remembering who we are. And we’re done with patriarchal stories that cast us in a “lesser-than” role; that punish us for “Eve’s disobedience” in the Garden of Eden which, according to the Patriarchs, resulted in the damnation of Mankind—and all the pain and suffering that has resulted from her “rebellion.” So we’re leaving traditional patriarchal churches to find something that better aligns with our Feminine Intuition and Deep Ancestral Knowing. And we’re rediscovering the Goddess: The Divine Feminine. The “Great SHE.” The Creatrix. The Mother of All.

When Trista came to me with the idea of creating a book of rewritten hymns in praise of the Great Mother, I was beyond excited. “This is something we really need,” I told her. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a complete book of worship songs to the Goddess. So we began brainstorming. Trista came up with the title, “Just As I Am: Hymns Affirming the Divine Female” and we settled on the beautiful, body-positive artwork of Kat Shaw for the cover. Then we subtitled the work, “A Girl God Hermnal.”

With emphasis on the HER.

And why not? The Goddess has been in the background for five millennia, while the patriarchal “Father God” has monopolized the stage—and the spotlight. Now it’s HER turn to shine! And shine She does through the beautiful, inspiring Herms and artwork of so many talented, Goddess-loving Women included in this book.

What is a Hermnal? It’s the collective sigh of our ancestral Grandmothers. It’s a means of drawing us closer together as Sisters. It is a compilation of songs that affirms our Sacredness, apart from Man, and assures us that we are Sovereign Beings and Creatrixes, too. And it is our Love Gift of Gratitude to Mama.

We hope you will enjoy these Herms and use them often in your Circles, Services, and Ceremonies.

May Goddess be praised…and may She bless you all!

Introduction to our upcoming Hermnal, Just as I am: Hymns Affirming the Divine Female.

Sharon Smith is a writer, ghost writer, editor, and proofreader with a passion for helping women reconnect with their Authentic Selves and Voices. She loves and honors the Great Mother in all Her many forms, and has a deep connection to Nature. She identifies as a Green Witch and follows an eclectic spiritual path that is a blending of Native American and Celtic Teachings, both in her ancestral line.

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