Around the world there are countless examples of women rising, taking leadership, taking their destiny into their own hands, inspiring all of us. But women and girls are still the majority of the victims of war. They are over half of all refugees, and the vast majority of the victims of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence." Angelina Jolie
Our Roots; How it All Began
In Ancient Rome, there was an underground society of wealthy women who defied social control and convention (and we imagine their husbands and fathers!) to gather together to find ways to support and aid women in difficulty. They worshipped Bona Dea – The Good Goddess.
History is unclear about whether or not Bona Dea was a Goddess in her own right or simply a cover story for outrageous women-only nocturnal rites (We do hope so) to honour a more recognisable Goddess such as Diana.
What history does seem to show is that women from many social spheres came together and their was limited or no involvement of men. The Good Goddess Project takes her name from Bona Dea and from the idea of the bonds of female experience as a subversive social force. Women root society. We birth and in doing so we tie bloodlines together. We care and in doing so we unite people together and disrupt hierarchies and value systems. We share and in doing so we tie ourselves to each other creating unbreakable bonds through the knowledge and honouring of stories. The society and the connections between women cross time and space.
When we heard the story of the Bona Dea women, we felt a kinship with them. We understood their motives. We imagined their frustrations all too easily and we heard the call of the wild woman within them longing to be free, longing for a world that served her needs as well as that of the masculine.
Founding the Project
The project began from guidance received by our founder members Luna Anna and Jyoti Ma following a Women's Goddess Wisdom Circle Luna held in December 2016. At the circle Luna told the story of Bona Dea and how her devotees had plotted to help the poor people of Rome. Jyoti suggested that they all could do the same and gather to help less fortunate people. Luna happened to have a healing workshop booked for early January she had forgotten to advertise and so they utilised this booking to hold a meeting to begin the work.
They began by asking women to donate and collect eco-friendly sanitary products and dark chocolate which were (and still are) packed as a gift. They began giving to women’s refuges and food banks in Lancashire and Cumbria and to the SAFE Centre at Royal Preston Hospital. They believed it is better to receive a gift than a donation and their original aim was to let each woman know she is thought of and cared for. This ethos is still with us. Our practical gifts are as much about loving connection as they are about meeting practical needs. This ideal is precious to us and as the team gathered, we were all called by this simple (and brilliant) perspective.
In its early days, the project hit on the equally brilliant idea to run gifting appeals.
Gifting Love in All the Dark Places
These are some of the ways we have responded to the needs of displaced people:
We have given -
* 1000's of wrapped Christmas presents to women in refuge with a handwritten gift tag
* 100 handbags filled with all the toiletries you need when starting out, to the Women's Refugee Centre in Greece
* 1000's of eco-friendly period products to women in refuge and women in refugee camps and asylum seeking women in the U.K. plus to food banks and homeless shelters
* Clothing, shoes, toiletries and moses baskets to refugee women, men and babies in camps
* Christmas meals and gifts to children and young people on the edge of homelessness
* Yoga and meditation classes to women in refuge and asylum seeking women and refugees in Lancashire
* Eco-friendly period products to women in need in Belgium and India
* Special Valentines and Easter gifts to women and children in refuge
* Eco-friendly period products, new underwear and basic clothes to women attending the SAFE Centre at Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire
* Hampers in a Lancashire and Cumbrian women's refuge with eco-friendly toiletries wrapped as a gift for women as they arrive, that we refill when running low
* Women's Circles for refugee and asylum seeking women in Preston and Chorley with activities like gentle exercise, beauty and hairdressing, massage therapy, arts and crafts, dance and Christmas wreath making
The feedback from all this has been amazing – the women were delighted to receive the gifts and couldn’t believe that people had thought of them. Underlining to us the importance of gifting and its ability to connect through love.
The roller coaster of 2020, has brought us to a time of change. We have realised that the work of the project needs to expand to meet the growing need. We are reorganising ourselves, recommitting. The team is changing and growing and we are looking at ways to raise our profile, restructure how we receive and give donations as well as hoping to expand what we do to maximise the help we can give.
We would love to connect with you. Please find us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, sign up to our newsletter, join us for an event and if you can, donate...and let giving to the women we support be how you change the world today.
In love and gratitude,
The Good Goddess Project
Together We Are the Change
In dedication to all women everywhere;
for their freedom; their liberation.
Changing the landscape for women of the future
The Good Goddess Project is founded on the belief that every woman counts, that her needs and those of her children and loved ones are vital for the wellbeing of all.
We are passionate about creating community that heals, empowers and brings us together so that no one is left behind. We are guided by the ideal that kindness is a quiet revolution and one that has the power to transform hearts and minds, empowering us all to reimagine and recreate a society that is aware of the needs of the land, future generations, and the immediate requirements of those who are struggling now. We hold in our hearts that it matters to be a good ancestor, perhaps now more than ever; and that small acts of kindness build and can bring meaningful change.
We share the vision of the restoration of respect for the feminine, her needs and wisdom and of recognition that anything that we do that supports another is itself an act of empowerment. We see our role as supporting and complementing women & children, women’s refuges, abuse charities and organisations that support the homeless and refugees. Although we are a project created by women, for women, we honour and welcome all the help we so gratefully receive from men and the unique support they bring.
We hope that you can join us in planting seeds of hope, connection, inspiration and empowerment for the generations to come.
Together We Rise
The Good Goddess Project: Demonstrating the Power of the Feminine to make a Difference
Rooted in our Cumbrian land, we come together in our homes, village halls and complementary health centres to create opportunities for connection, support, empowerment through community. We reach out to women in need in our local community and beyond; connecting with others in places of need around the world.
We raise funds for women in need in response to the requirements and expertise of various refuges and charities. A core element of our work is the collection and distribution of ‘support and care packages’ for women, young adults, and younger teenage girls in difficult circumstances. An important focus for us is on ensuring adequate environmentally responsible period products. Our care packages contain other toiletries, chocolate and often clothing especially for children and babies. We choose products that are kind to the body and to the planet. We see these packages as loving gifts as much as solutions to immediate needs.
We hold space for women to come together in support of each other. We offer events, women’s circles, hold talks and skill sharings. We aim to provide sacred spaces where we can build personal understanding of our stories and create opportunities for enhanced and empowered living. Some of our spaces serve women in crisis, others offer personal development in return for donations for our project. We are passionate about the relationship between women and the Earth, believing that the female body (cis or trans) is an important pathway for deeper connection with the rhythms and wisdom of the natural world.
A developing aspect of our work is the creation of our profile to raise awareness of issues affecting women in need, including the long term impacts of childhood abuse, domestic violence, rape and societal disempowerment. We aim to become a wall of the feminine, providing a voice and offering protection to those who need shelter by speaking and acting on their behalf.