Of special interest is how goddess worship was handled in pagan societies. In my story, during the worship of the White Goddess, the pagan priestess explains to worshippers why girls require special training for life in the goddess culture:
"Of course, both boys and girls must be weaned away from parents and assimilated naturally into the life of the group. Yet for a girl this requires a greater sacrifice and more careful teaching and, especially, example. For a girl has loved her parents, especially her father. She needs to be rescued from this unreal love that requires an exclusively virtuous affection. As a child she has been provided for and protected. Her trial of strength, the trial of Adreyenne [the new initiate], is to awaken to erotic love and accept animal man as he is (he is a beast)... She must redeem herself, with our help, from her girlish image of the masculine, that would repress the new life she has awakened to. She must learn to trust her love, her heart, as the center of her soul combining both spirit and nature in her creative power of mastery."
While this teaching sounds romantic, goddess worship is anything but. Later in the story, at the wedding of the Oak King to the Black Dove priestess, the story reveals the extent of the violence required by nature religion.