The Goddess Story
Once upon a time, there was a Maiden Goddess who was young, beautiful, and full of life. She
was abundant and happy and lived her days picking flowers, dancing in the sun, making magic
with the forest animals, and enjoying amazing sex with her Beloved life partner. She was happy,
but couldn’t help feeling that something was missing in her life. She felt a deep stirring within—a
calling from her womb to create. She longed to become a mother.
One night, she heard the Moon calling to her, telling her that if she wanted to create life, she
would need to leave the safety and comfort of her sun-filled world and travel to the depths of the
dark Underworld. She would have to sacrifice much, but when she returned, the Moon promised
to bless her as a mother.
The Maiden Goddess didn’t want to leave her Beloved or the animals or the warmth of the sun.
But over the following days, the calling within grew to a roar she could no longer ignore—she
longed to become a mother. So she decided to take the unknown journey into the Underworld.
As she started to pack her bags, she asked herself what necessities she needed to take with
her and to help keep her safe, protected, and comfortable on the journey ahead. She thought to
herself, “Well, of course, I will have to take a sword for protection, my cloak for modesty and
warmth, a map so I know where I’m going, and sturdy shoes to help me last the journey.” Her
bag was packed, and she kissed her Beloved goodbye, knowing she had to take this journey
She left the meadow that she called home and began down the dark path into the Underworld.
Her heart was beating loudly, and she jumped at every noise of the night. She reassured herself
that with her sword by her side, she would be safe.
After a few hours of walking in darkness, she approached the first of many gates that she had
been warned that she would need to walk through. This first gate was a big, iron one, standing
in the middle of the forest. It was enchanted with magic, so even though it looked like you could
just walk around it, an invisible wall blocked the way. The Maiden Goddess quickly realized that
the only way to get past this gate was to figure out how to walk through it. So she decided to
knock. She knocked, and knocked, and knocked, hoping someone would answer.
Finally, an old hag Gatekeeper appeared, asking the Maiden Goddess what business she had
knocking on her door. She boldly and bravely replied, “I long to become a mother. I am on my
way to the Underworld.”
“Ah, yes, I see,” said the Gatekeeper. “You can only get there through me. You must walk
through this gate, but the only way I will let you through is if you give me something as a
sacrifice in return.” The Maiden Goddess kicked herself for not bringing any gold to pay this old
crone for passage.
“I have no money—” said the Maiden Goddess.
“I don’t want your money, dear Maiden. No, I think I’ll take that sword you have on your hip, and
I will allow you to continue to the Underworld.” The Gatekeeper sneered.
“My sword! But how will I protect myself without it? The journey to the Underworld is dangerous,
even if I am a goddess. I’m going to need it to keep myself safe. There must be something else I
can give you instead.”
The Gatekeeper replied, “The sword, Maiden Goddess. This is the sacrifice required. You will
just have to learn to face your fears without a sword to protect you.”
The Maiden Goddess thought about this impossible request, turning over different scenarios in
her mind: how she could possibly survive the journey without it? But the inner calling to become
a mother urged her to sacrifice her sword, despite the logic begging her to turn around.
With hesitation, reluctance, and fear she handed over the sword to the Gatekeeper and the iron
gates flung open. Endless darkness was all she could see in front of her, and the fear of what
could be out there struck her heart and froze every muscle in her body. She found herself
unable to cross the threshold.
After some time staring her fear in the face, she summoned the strength to say to herself, “I will
not be afraid of the darkness, and I will not be a slave to my fears. I am safe without my sword,
and I am full of courage. I will walk through this gate with a crown of sovereignty upon my head
and my heart.”
Her fears melted into motivation, and she bravely crossed the gate into the darkness of the
The Maiden Goddess continued on the path to the Underworld for several more hours. With her
a newfound sense of courage, the noises of the night and dancing shadows no longer scared her.
She welcomed them as entertainment as she journeyed. The night grew very cold, and it began
to snow hard, and the Maiden tightened her cloak around her.
Before she knew it, she came upon another gate, much like the first one. Big, iron-clad, and
enchanted. She knocked, and another old woman Gatekeeper appeared asking what business
she had knocked on her gate. The Maiden answered, “I long to become a mother. I wish to go
into the Underworld.”
“Ah, yes, I see,” said the Gatekeeper. “Then you must pass through this gate. And what will you
give me in return for your passage? How about that beautiful, warm cloak you are wearing?”
“I can’t give you my cloak,” scoffed the Maiden. “That would be most inappropriate. I am naked
underneath! I will be exposed, and everyone will see what I only keep for myself. How dare you
ask for such a sacrifice. There must be something else.”
The Gatekeeper only replied, “The cloak, Maiden. That is the sacrifice required. You will just
have to learn to be naked and seen in your full truth and glory.”
“This is not fair. I won’t do it. Why are you treating me like this?” The Maiden Goddess cried, but
the Gatekeeper said nothing.
Realizing that blaming the Gatekeeper wasn’t going to help her, the Maiden took some time to
wrestle with the idea of walking the rest of the way naked. She wasn’t concerned with how the
weather could affect her. No, she was much more concerned with the shame of it all. That level
of vulnerability. But the Gatekeeper’s words echoed in her mind, “. . . learn to be naked and
seen in your full truth and glory.”
Could she do that? It sounded really hard and awkward, but motherhood was all she wanted, so
she agreed to the sacrifice. The Maiden Goddess removed her cloak, felt the icy chill on her
skin, and the gates opened.
The shame she feared immediately fell over her, and she tried to cover her body with her hands.
She contorted herself to cover up the parts she wished to remain hidden. But she knew she
wouldn’t be able to walk the rest of the way, avoiding her nudity. She was naked. That was a
fact. And right then and there she decided to stop avoiding it and embrace it.
She said to herself, “I will not feel ashamed for my naked truth or the choices I make. I am a
goddess, and I will be a mother. I’m going to walk through this gate with my head held high, to
be seen by all, and to see by myself in all my glory.”
And so she did. Naked, exposed, vulnerable, and without her sword, she crossed the threshold
of this second gate—willingly with courage and fierce vulnerability. She continued on her path,
chin to the stars, and a smile on her lips. She eventually forgot that she was naked at all and
found a new sense of inner strength she didn’t realize she had.”
The Maiden Goddess walked for hours, naked and without her sword, with her head held high.
She felt confident in her path because her mother had given her a map of the Underworld.
Everywhere she looked, it was just darkness and disorientation, so referring to the map kept her
mind away from the fears and shames that could have crept in. She was so focused on the map
that she nearly walked right into the next gate.
This gate was just like the previous two, and so, the Maiden Goddess knocked, apprehensive
about what sacrifice she would need to make this time. Another wise, old Gatekeeper appeared
asking her what business she had knocking on her door at this hour of the night.
“I long to become a mother. I wish to go to the Underworld. Please let me pass,” the Maiden
The Gatekeeper surveyed this naked woman and noticed her hand quivering from the cold with
a map in its grasp.
“Ah, yes, I see,” said the Gatekeeper. “Then you will need to walk through this gate. I will let you pass. But only if you give me that map you have in your hand.”
“Oh no, I’m sorry I can’t give you this map. I need it to get to the Underworld. To become a mother. It’s why I’m on this journey. This is the only way I can get there, and I can’t afford to get lost. No. Anything else, it’s yours.”
The Gatekeeper’s eyes widened at the Maiden Goddess’ desperation and only replied, “The map, Maiden. That is the sacrifice required. You will just have to learn to find your way from within.”
“What kind of riddle is this?!” The Maiden Goddess asked herself. Aimlessly walking to the Underworld without a sword and cloak weren’t wasn’t what she had signed up for. She was beginning to feel that this was too much sacrifice.
She stomped her feet and had a few moments of anger, despair, frustration, and hopelessness. How was she expected to get anywhere in this darkness without a map?! But then, she heard the calling within her womb to be brave and learn to trust, and at that moment, she knew she could give up her expectations and find a new way.
“Okay,” the Maiden Goddess said as she handed over the map. The Gatekeeper looked pleased by her willingness, and she opened the gate.
As the Maiden Goddess passed over the threshold, she said to herself, “I trust my heart to find my way because this calling to become a mother is a Divine one. I release how I thought this journey would go and embrace it as it is.”
And with this newfound sense of trust, the Maiden Goddess continued on her journey into the Underworld.
Learning how to trust her heart to find her way was a bit clunky at first.
She had never needed to trust this deeply or listen so intuitively for direction. But as she turned inward, she realized how easy it was to find her way in the darkness, and that she had an internal compass which had been there all along. She just couldn’t access it when she was fixated on the map.
She laughed at herself for her naivety and felt blessed to have found this new part of herself. She was able to move so much quicker and easier with this internal compass than relying on someone else’s directions.
And, before she knew it, she came upon a fourth gate, just like the others, big, iron-clad and enchanted. And she knocked.
A fourth Gatekeeper appeared, just as old, just as haggish as the others asking what business the Maiden Goddess had knocking on her door.
“I long to become a mother. I wish to go to the Underworld,” the Maiden Goddess replied with more authority in her voice than she had at any of the previous gates.
“Ah, yes, I see,” said the Gatekeeper. “Then you will need to go through this gate.”
“Yes, I know, I know,” the Maiden Goddess said, “So what must I give you to receive passage?”
“It’s not what you give me, my dear. It is what I give you. If you accept my gift, I will open the gate. This is the sacrifice required.”
“A gift? You are giving me a gift? That doesn’t seem like such a sacrifice,” the Maiden Goddess exclaimed.
“Yes, I agree!”
The old Gatekeeper handed the Maiden Goddess a beautiful iron locket, and she could see it was enchanted. “What a lovely gift,” she thought . . . That was until she felt the weight of the locket which hung like an anchor around her neck. This was indeed not a gift but the biggest sacrifice yet. She began to cry and scream in the agony of it.
“What is this?” she demanded.
“This is the locket of embodiment,” the Gatekeeper said. “It forces you to be present with all your thoughts, emotions, and ideas. It grounds your soul into your body, and you are not able to escape, hide, or numb yourself. You will need to learn to accept yourself fully and be fully present.”
When the Maiden Goddess heard this, she was instantly enraged, and at that moment became aware of how much she did indeed avoid, numb, and disassociate in everyday life. “How painful it is to face all of myself,” she thought.
But just like with the previous gates, she told herself that if this were the price of becoming a mother, she would pay it, for she wanted nothing more. Despite her resistance to being embodied, she said to herself, “I will no longer fear or avoid my truth, because it is me and always has been.
I now embrace and embody my whole self—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I fully accept myself, and I lean in with love. Bring on the embodiment!”
With her acceptance, the gate flung open, and the Maiden Goddess felt her heart expand in a million different directions. She felt a deep sense of connection to herself and to every mother that came before her. She felt her baby, her beloved, and everyone she had ever loved breathing through her heart space.
At that moment, she realized her self-acceptance had not only opened this gate but the invisible gates and barriers around her heart. Ironically, she found the greatest freedom when she couldn’t escape.
The Maiden Goddess continued her journey feeling expansive, yet also the effects of all the gates she has passed through. It was as if everything in her experience had been turned up 10,000 percent. The pain, the shame the fear, the anxiety—everything she avoided, she had to feel, which was a new sensation for her. An exhausting one.
The Maiden Goddess found herself slowing down under the heavy weight of the locket. Her muscles ached, the cold that hadn’t bothered before now started to give her chills, and she began to shut down. So much so, that she eventually stopped walking from the utter exhaustion of embodiment and collapsed on the ground. Her body wasn’t used to it. Her ego wasn’t used to it. And soon she was unable to move one more inch.
She thought, “There is no way I can continue, and there is no way I can sleep. There is no shelter ; I will freeze if I don’t keep moving, but I just can’t move anymore.” She was starting to doze off when a fifth gate appeared. Just like the four before, big, iron-clad, and enchanted. But The Maiden Goddess was so tired she could barely knock, but she did, and a fifth crone appeared asking what business she had knocking on her door.
“I long to become a mother. I wish to go to the Underworld,” the Maiden Goddess barely could communicate. She thought, “I am a joke. How can I possibly continue to the Underworld in such a state.” She longed for a break, for a good night’s rest, a chance to recover.
“Ah yes, I see,” said the Gatekeeper, “Then you will have to walk through this gate, but I will only let you pass if you give me your ability to walk.”
“Huh?” The Maiden Goddess couldn’t tell if she was confused or if this Gatekeeper was messing with her. “How can I walk across this gate if I can’t walk? That’s absurd!”
But the Gatekeeper only replied, “That is the sacrifice required. You will just need to learn how to call upon and rely on the help of others.”
“Others? What others?” The Maiden Goddess thought to herself. She looked around, and there was clearly no one else for miles. But her thoughts drifted to her beloved. Oh, how she missed him and longed for his support.
He would surely help her walk through this threshold, maybe even carry her.
She dreamed about him for a while. When she opened her eyes, she couldn’t believe it, but he was standing right in front of her, his hand reaching down toward her. Was she hallucinating from the exhaustion? Was it him?
Or was this the Gatekeeper’s cruel joke?
It was him. The Maiden Goddess summoned him, and he appeared, willing, and able to help her.
She was incredibly grateful and yet, found herself feeling deeply embarrassed by the state of herself. What a fright she must have seemed to him, she thought. And she felt like a complete failure that she couldn’t complete this journey on her own and needed his help.
She knew she needed to ask for his help but couldn’t quite bring herself to. She felt her independence and sense of self slipping away. But when she looked into her beloved’s eyes, she felt his deep love and admiration for her, and it softened her heart. She said to herself, “There are strength and power in asking for help, and I will not allow my ego to keep me suffering. I open my heart to others and receive the help that is so willingly offered to me with deep reverence and gratitude.”
So she asked for his help and opened herself up to his strength and support. The gates flung open and he effortlessly picked her up and the two of them, together, crossed the threshold.
She was overcome with such gratitude for his loving support and the opportunity to rest in his arms. She slept and recovered as he carried her through to the next gate. She couldn’t expect that she would need every last ounce of energy for what lay ahead.
The Maiden Goddess and her beloved arrived at the next gate and much to her relief, she could walk again—it was just a temporary sacrifice of independence. So, she climbed down from her beloved’s arms and realized that the locket was indeed NOT temporary and felt its immense weight against her heart. She was still fully embodied, she wasn’t going to get off that easy, but she was also pretty used to it by now.
At first, the Maiden Goddess thought they had arrived at the wrong gate because this one wasn’t like the rest. It was made of rickety, dilapidated wood and looked as if it would fall over if she leaned against it. But it too was enchanted, so she had to knock—hoping her beloved hadn’t taken her off the path.
As soon as she knocked, another old Gatekeeper appeared and surveyed the two of them. She asked, “What business do you have knocking on my gate?”
The Maiden Goddess said with revived energy, “I long to become a mother. I wish to go to the Underworld.”
“Ah, I see,” said the Gatekeeper. “Then you will need to walk through this gate. And you will need to give me those shoes you are wearing. I could use a pair like that for what lies beyond this gate.”
“What lies ahead?” The Maiden Goddess wondered. She looked down at her feet, the only part of her body that was still protected in some way. She then looked into her beloved’s eyes, knowing that she could turn back with him and give up her quest, give up the heaviness of the locket, and go back to her sun-filled world. They could run away from it all. But her longing to become a mother just wouldn’t let her, so she agreed to sacrifice her shoes.
As soon as she handed over her shoes, the Gatekeeper said, “Oh and you will have to say goodbye to your beloved. This next part is just for you.”
She looked at her beloved, thanked him, and watched him walk away. The gates opened, and the Maiden Goddess immediately understood just how different this gate was. What appeared on the other side was not the familiar rocky path she was so used to seeing, but rather a long descent of spiraling stairs, each with broken shards of glass scattered on them.
She Rage pulsed through her veins as she gazed upon this staircase of pain. “No . . . This isn’t fair!” The Maiden screamed, “This is NOT what we agreed to. How am I supposed to get down those stairs without my shoes and being fully embodied! It will be excruciating! I did not sign up for this kind of suffering . . . You tricked me. . . If I would have known . . .” her Her rants trailed off.” The Maiden Goddess felt betrayed by the Gatekeeper. She longed for her beloved to come to rescue her.
The Gatekeeper, rather calmly, replied, “This is the sacrifice required. You will just have to learn to make friends with pain.”
The Maiden Goddess knew there was no turning back now, and she could see how much pain awaited her on those stairs. The anticipation struck fear in her heart, yet she knew the only way through, was down. So, she took her first excruciating step.
It truly was a descent into the darkness and into her own inner darkness. Each step was more excruciating than the last. Each step more emotionally overwhelming. Glass lodged into her feet, spilling blood everywhere, making it slippery to find her footing. At one point, she fell and glass lodged along one side of her body. Tears streamed down her face, and she wanted to give up.
Would this ever end? She couldn’t see the end of the staircase—was there even one? When would this be over? Was this just a cruel joke? Could someone please save her!
She started to fear her own mind and saw herself succumbing to despair and suffering. She pulled a piece of glass out of her foot and caught her reflection in it. She gazed upon her defeated face. At that moment, she knew that the battle was not with the stairs, but was within herself. She knew that to overcome the pain, she had to become it, for the pain was her, and she was the pain. There was no separation except the one her mind wanted to make.
She boldly proclaimed, “Hear me now mind, body, spirit. I am stronger than I believe at this moment and the power of the thousands of mothers that came before me pumps through my veins. I descend these stairs with every other mother, and with their strength. I will not just survive, I will thrive. I choose to lean in. I choose to become this experience. Not separate from it.”
The moment she declared this and knew it in her heart, she melted into the experience and no longer felt any pain. Instead, she noticed a euphoria come over her and a deep sense of inner strength and connection to herself and her baby. This connection empowered her to continue on, and before she knew it, she made it to the bottom of those goddess-forsaken stairs!
The Maiden Goddess collapsed in exhaustion and euphoria, as she reached the bottom of the stairs. She was overcome with a deep sense of pride in her perseverance, her endurance, and fortitude. The last gate was truly mind over matter, and she felt such sovereignty over her own thoughts. As she focused on her rewards, her wounds started to heal miraculously, and she found herself standing up and walking forward.
She could feel that her baby was almost within reach. She was very close to the center of the Underworld.
With this realization, magically, a large cross appeared before her. With the last Gatekeeper leaning against it, apparently waiting for her arrival. She thought it odd to see this cross rather than a gate.
“Congratulations!” The Gatekeeper exclaimed as she approached. “You’ve made it to the center of the Underworld!”
The Maiden Goddess couldn’t believe it! She looked around with her arms extended to receive her baby. She made it after all, where is the baby she came so far and sacrificed so much for? She couldn’t wait to have that newborn in her arms. But there was no baby. All she saw was the cross and the Gatekeeper.
Finally, the Gatekeeper said, “You haven’t completed your journey yet. You must cross a final threshold—the threshold between life and death.” She pointed at the cross signaling that the Maiden Goddess would need to hang!
You want to hang me?!” The Maiden Goddess gasped, “No, I’m here to receive life, not death.” The Maiden Goddess was very confused. How could death be the final threshold when she was coming for birth? This must be a mistake.
But the Gatekeeper only said, “This is the sacrifice required. You must allow your inner Maiden to die so your inner mother can be born.”
At that moment, the Maiden Goddess understood the entire journey. She understood all the sacrifices that were required to get her to this point, where she was willing to sacrifice her life with death. She was not the same Maiden from that sun-filled world. This journey had changed her—transformed her profoundly.
She had become courageous and sovereign, vulnerable and trusting, embodied and supported, and she had fully embraced her inner power. Her old self must finally die because her new self is so much more equipped for the journey of motherhood.”
So the Maiden Goddess, with pride and purpose, agreed to the sacrifice. She climbed up on that cross and allowed herself to fully and intentionally surrender to her death. And die, the goddess did.
But, then in a blink of an eye, the Maiden Goddess found herself gasping for air. She was back in her sun-filled world, reborn, with a newborn baby in her arms, and her beloved was holding them both.
The Moon had kept her promise. She was now a mother and was gazing upon the most precious child she had ever seen. All the fear, all the shame, all the control, all the pain, all the indignity, all the sacrifice all of a sudden became so worth it, and she finally could see that the greatest rewards come from the greatest sacrifices.
It was all worth it. . . A thousand times over! She was flooded with joy, love, and so much gratitude. She was exhausted but had never felt more powerful in her entire life.
“Thank you, Moon,” she uttered, feeling a deep sense of power, pleasure, and pride in her own fortitude and transformation.
She was now a mother.
Excerpts of this story are throughout Labor Like A Goddess