Finding New Goddesses by Barbara ArdingerYou have no doubt noticed that spiritual and religious writing is almost without exception Highly Serious. But look at the standard-brand monotheistic holy books, mainstream metaphysics, Eastern wisdom, channeled “wisdom,” books on philosophy and meditation—hardly a smile in any of it, never a giggle. “This is Deep Thought,” the earnest and learned ones seem to be telling us. “Our Religion Is Nothing To Laugh At.”

Why not? What on earth (or in the various heavens and hells) is so holy that we can’t make fun of it?

That’s why I started Finding new goddesses. What are Found goddesses? They’re made-up deities, goddesses who cope with issues not even dreamed of in ancient Greece or India or the northern lands. Please note that I did not invent Found goddesses. Morgan Grey and Julia Penelope coined the idea in 1988 for their wonderful little book, Found Goddesses. Their first Found goddess was Asphalta: “Hail, Asphalta, full of grace:/ Help me find a parking space.”

Finding New Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives

The Found goddesses are the new ones, the ones we make up to help us deal with modern life. The ancient and classical goddesses can help us with love and abundance and revenge, but whom do you ask for a good haircut or a good used car? To find a decent apartment to rent? What goddess is responsible for air conditioning? Which goddess do you go shopping with? The first goddess I found was Caloria, the triple goddess of potluck. I also Found three Crone goddesses (Auntie Gravity, Hormonia, and Naustalgica) and twenty-odd computer divinities (goddesses, their consorts, a brother, and a power animal named Mouse).

My intention in writing Finding New Goddesses was to bring playfulness to our spiritual lives. The book is full of parody, puns, awful verse, and some really strange literary and cinematic allusions. Don’t take it too seriously. Just have a laugh or two.

We’ve got another New Goddess, well, actually, a pair of Found Goddesses this month! As you no doubt know, I’ve recently adopted a new kitty. She obviously inspired me.  Enjoy!

HowdyKitty: Goddess of Rescued Cats, and IndyKitty: Goddess of Feral Cats

And here they stand in the Temple of Bastet—comediennes and saviors of cats the world over. Dressed in Her pristine pink bow, Howdykitty runs the high-class CATafalqué Rescutorium, a safe home off the streets for fallen and wandering cats who have, as She says, “suffered a CATastrophe.” Lucky are the cats who meet HowdyKitty, Who teaches them to be winsome and adoptable. Wearing Her tattered pink ribbon, IndyKitty dances and sings with the cats that won’t be tamed. “My kits,” She says, “are CATegorically free! They live in the CAT-bird seat!” Lucky are the cats who meet IndyKitty, Who teaches them to be fierce (when necessary) and highly resourceful.

“So don’t give us any CAT-calls,” say HowdyKitty and Indykitty. “We are doing the holy work that Bastet and Sekhmet assign to Us. So don’t howl at Us. Don’t CATerwall at Us. We don’t need any of your psychological CATharsis or CAThexis. We don’t need—” [Well, that’s quite enough. We can see where this is going…can’t we.]

Both of the Goddesses feed Their kittens the best cream and catnip (well, to be realistic, good canned and crunchy food, too) and lead them in games with feathers. And like the Great Mehitabel, they dance and sing— Toujours gai, toujours gai, there’s a dance or two in the old dame yet! Being such great dancers, of course HowdyKitty and IndyKitty attend the Jellicle Balls every year, where Their favorite partners are the big, strong Munkustrap and Rum Tum Tugger. They also like Gus the Theatre Cat quite a lot. But They are, alas, never chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer [which to us poor mortals is heaven].

“So what!” say HowdyKitty and IndiKitty. “That’s quite all right! We would come right back here, anyway. We’re much too busy with our CATachrestical work—” [oops, They’ve snuck another one in] “—and We must do our proper LadyKitty duties. We want Our kits to stay alive and well. We want no kitty CATacombs.” And suddenly on each face appears a familiar smile and those faces soon become all smile and all teeth, to which Alice, were she present, would say, “I have often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat.”

“We know every cat in every book ever written,” say HowdyKitty and IndyKitty as They take Their accustomed seats in the temple, One on a plump velvet cushion, the Other on a fence. “We are personal friends with Greebo and Puss in Boots and Crookshanks and Maurice and—” [Oh, good grief! We’d better leave this right now. Who knows what other Famous Literary Cats might dance into the conversation. Why, I can see the Cat in the Hat just down the block. He’s coming to join—

Can you tell Finding New Goddesses is one of my favorite books? I keep having fun with the blessed Verbena and Finding new girls. (I also Found one god.)  BUY THIS BOOK. I have lots of copies, so if you want to read about Our Lady of Guilt (all mothers) and her daughter Libida Loca or Mimsy Borogove, the modern muse and want a signed copy of the book, send me an email