The Goddess as Focus
Many beliefs emphasise the polarity of the female/male, Goddess/god and anima/animus energies. The bringing together of these two powers, the Sacred Marriage that is celebrated symbolically in the Great Rite of the union of Earth and Sky, is a ritual that permeates all cultures.
In Egyptian mythology, Isis, the sister-wife of Osiris, sought and reassembled his body after his murder and dismemberment by his brother Seth. In this connection, she took on the role of the goddess of rebirth, the Bone Goddess, and restored him in a more evolved form. The annual celebrations of this event coincided with the rising of the dog star, Sirius, which heralded the flooding of the Nile and the restoration of fertility to the land and symbolically to the people.
As the Sky Gods gained supremacy, they married the Earth Goddesses who slowly evolved into patronesses of women, marriage and childbirth. So, for example, Odin the Norse All-Father married Frigg, goddess of women, marriage and motherhood.
But in witchcraft, though the Sky Fathers and their wives are used for the focus of specific rites, the Goddess retains the earlier form as the creative principle. As the Triple Goddess – maiden, mother and wise woman or crone – she is frequently central to coven work.
Generally in magick the Goddess is recognized as the prime mover of existence, bringing forth from herself in the first virgin birth the animus, or male, principle. For this reason, it is often the High Priestess who casts the circle, though in some covens the Goddess rules over the spring and summer and the Horned God over the autumn and winter.