Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.
As anyone who has read the Vedas, the Bible, the Quran, or the Book of Mormon, or the words of the Buddha, Mary Baker Eddy, or James Redfield well knows, there's not a lot of humor in religious or spiritual writing. It's all Highly Serious. But the Charge of the Goddess tells us, "All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be…mirth and reverence within you." We've found the love and we've found the reverence. I think it's time to find the pleasure and the mirth. It's time to lighten up. It's time to play with our goddesses (and a few gods).
Of course, we who live in these postmodern times still honor the ancient pantheons. The traditional goddesses are important to us-we pray to Hestia for a peaceful home, to Athena for success at the office, to Aphrodite for love. But who among the old pantheons can help us when our computer crashes? Who will help us decide what to take to a potluck? Help us find proper healthcare? Drive safely in heavy city traffic or on the freeway?
In 1988, Morgan Grey and Julia Penelope, a Witch and a linguist living "in extreme circumstances" in Nebraska came to understand that the "underlying principles of language and magic are transformational." Faced with the realities of the modern world, they invented new Goddesses and wrote a book called Found Goddesses: Asphalta to Viscera; the book is, sadly, out of print. At the turn of the millennium, inspired by Grey and Penelope, I started Finding my own goddesses and in 2003 wrote Finding New Goddesses: Reclaiming Playfulness in Our Spiritual Lives; my book is also out of print but still (hooray!) available on Amazon.com. From Acme, Goddess of High Tech, to Zombonie, Goddess of Taxes, the book is a romp through the alphabet and a parody of all those books that describe all those Serious Old Goddesses. Finding New Goddesses is not to be taken seriously!
Although most of the goddesses described in this column will be taken from Finding New Goddesses, I suspect that I may also Find newer goddesses. Fixorrhea came to me one day…well, She comes to all of us whenever anything breaks.
Goddess of Duct Tape
Here is the one, true, universal Goddess. Strong and flexible, Her Sacred Tape spools eternally in silver streams into our open hands, and She is able to fix all things (even-a true miracle-things unbroken). Because duct tape is extremely flexible and can be neatly torn in both directions, it can be used to repair any kind of pipe. It can also be used to repair flower pots, cheap luggage, plastic and Naugahyde furniture, lamps and lampshades, doumbeks, and absolutely any part of any car, foreign or domestic. People stick the covers back on paperback books with duct tape, they tape the earpieces back on their glasses, and they patch radios, TVs, clocks, toasters, and other small appliances.
All honor therefore to Fixorrhea, our best beloved multipurpose Goddess whose blessed gift to us is shiny and sticky.
People who love Fixorrhea tend to love Her unto tape-mentia. Not only do they attach duct tape to everything in sight and to things that may or may not move, but they also regularly visit their local Fixoteria, where, in addition to duct tape, they can purchase masking tape, black electrical tape, strapping tape, fabric tape in multiple colors, transparent tape, even audio cassette and VCR tape.
Fixorrhea's worshipers-who call themselves Fixoholics and Fixaddicts-also go to regular meetings at the Fixotorium, where they sit around and smoke and eat cake and compare stories about fixes they've made. If it gets late enough, they may gather around the battered old piano and, in ragged harmony, sing the old Songs of Repair from the Duct Tape Songbook. All the popular old songwriters are represented in the Songbook. Rodgers & Hart: "In our duct tape greenery, where She paints the scenery." Rodgers & Hammerstein: "The hills are alive with the shine of duct tape."
Irving Berlin: "Anything you can tape, I can tape better, I can tape anything better than you." The Gershwins: "Embrace me, my sweet duct-tapeable you." Simon & Garfunkel: "Hello, duct tape, my old friend," and "Tape that bridge over troubled waters." Sometimes they sing the old favorite country and camp songs, "Stand by Your Tape" and "King of the Tape" and "Michael, Roll That Tape Ashore" and "Amazing Tape, How Sweet the Fix." Some nights, they stand there, arms draped over each others' shoulders, and sing all night. "Come to me, my melancholy duct tape." "Shine on, shine on, taped-up moon, up in the sky." "Don't cry for me,
Reader, I know that you, too, use duct tape to fix any broken thing. You have perfect love and perfect trust in its holding power. I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't. Whenever you need to make a repair, therefore, you can invoke Fixorrhea and cast your Sacred Duct Tape Circle around the item to be repaired.
First, using your own words, call in the elemental powers of tape. You can invoke electrical tape for Fire, masking tape for Water, transparent tape for Air, and (of course) duct tape for Earth. Be sure to praise the elemental powers of tape, telling how past repairs still hold and praying for the efficacy of all future repairs.
Then invoke Fixorrhea with the following easy-to-remember magical charm:
Hinkety, pinkety, tape to thumb,
I call Her here, She's sure to come;
We make this fix,
We're sure it sticks.
Hinkety, pinkety, tape to thumb.
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. (www.barbaraardinger.com), is the author of Pagan Every Day: Finding the Extraordinary in Our Ordinary Lives (RedWheel/Weiser, 2006), a unique daybook of daily meditations, stories, and activities. Her earlier books are Finding New Goddesses, Quicksilver Moon, Goddess Meditations, and Practicing the Presence of the Goddess. Her day job is freelance editing for people who don't want to embarrass themselves in print. Barbara lives in southern California. To purchase a signed copy of Finding New Goddesses, just send Barbara an email at email@example.com.