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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in mysteries

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_goddesseye.jpgIn the early days of Egyptology scholars took the attitude that a transcendent experience was only expected after death in ancient Egypt.  This fit well with the predominant Judeo-Christian background of virtually all of them, as well as the desire to demonstrate their new profession could be as scientific as any others.  But the record is plain as day that mystery schools flourished in at least the Late period, influencing other mystery cults all around the Mediterranean.  Contemporary Egyptologist Jan Assman even goes so far as to assert that ancient Egyptians could not have developed their own mysticism because that it would not have been based on lived real-life experience.  Really?! 

I do love Assman’s writing, but as an unabashed mystic myself I am all too aware that close encounters with another kind of reality, one we often call “god” or “the divine”, happen all the time.  It seems far more likely that Egyptians encountered this numinous, liminal reality enough times that they began to form, first mythologies, then theologies, around it. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Pached1.jpgWhat I find so intriguing about Egyptian myth is how it is used to shape one’s personal narrative.  By experiencing the mysteries of Osiris, for example, one can prepare for inevitable mortality.  But at the same time the initiate uncovers layers of his own psyche, depths of meaning about the here and now. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Holli Emore
    Holli Emore says #
    Isidora, I love Naydler! I also heartily recommend Rosemary Clark's books. She worked for the Oriental Institute at University of
  • Isidora Forrest
    Isidora Forrest says #
    Hi, Holli...couldn't agree more. I rather like Jeremy Nadler's take on it in Temple of the Cosmos.
Where Women Gather, Magic Rises: Journeying Into WomanSpirit In 2014

It is a new year, and it’s time for this woman to focus on her quest of connecting with womanspirit, and to focus on this blog as the home base for the exploration of the feminine mysteries and sisterhood.

This year I will be attending the monthly Women’s Sacred Circle at my local Unitarian Universalist congregation, I’ll be making new friends and hopefully forming a coterie of women, and I’ll be starting a spiritual practice that will delve into the feminine mysteries to blend them with my animistic and solitary journey. I might even pray. :) I’m hoping music will have a part, too. In 2014 I am emerging from the wild hedge to dance in the circle of women.

I keep finding myself imagining Artemis emerging from the woods… not lonely since she lives with the animals and plants and moon and earth, but curious about the gathering women, and sensing a sisterhood she belongs to… and taking her place among them, contributing to their presence and magic, and helping to ground it in the earth and lift it toward the stars. Grow…

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Where did you find that awesome olde timey photograph?
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Clicked on your post thinking you were writing about Where Womyn Gather (www.wherewomyngather.com) the gathering I've been going t

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” - Arundhati Roy

When I read that quote for the first time, the breath caught in my throat and the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I remembered....

I had been invited  to Wisconsin to present at a weekend workshop which turned out to be a more than wonderful experience.  I went thinking I was just going up there  to teach these women the workshop material, but the sharing and activities I participated in were a beautifully reciprocal dance.  Besides the bonding and the fun, issues I had never quite been able to banish from my psyche had dispersed in the safety of the  ritual the night before and I was feeling light and open and gloriously happy and fulfilled.

As the weekend came to a close and the time to drive back to the airport was drawing near, I grabbed a few moments of solitary time behind the dormitory where we were staying located about 100 yards off a serene and shining lake.  Between the lake and the dorm,  trees had been planted in a circle, with barely two to three feet of space between their trunks, and inside the circle was a bench.  I was drawn within the circle desiring a few moments of quiet contemplation in what felt like Nature’s embrace.

As I sat there, enjoying a cool breeze on my cheeks, glimpsing the reflection of the sun on the lake between the tree trunks before me,  I suddenly realized I heard a rhythmic breathing.  In and out.  In and out.  Where was it coming from?  In my mind, I began a process of elimination.  I held my own breath for a few moments thinking perhaps here in this small space among this odd configuration of trees I was hearing the echo of my own breath, but no, it wasn’t me.  I looked around to make sure there was no one else there, perhaps just beyond my initial line of light.  No. I wasn’t hearing the incoming tide of the lake.  I sat there mesmerized as I listened.   No, this sound was coming from this very spot where I sat.  Dare I ever utter the next thoughts that crossed my mind?  It was as if  I were sitting within the body of Goddess and I was hearing Her breathing  This was incredulous, but I was going to go with it and  just listen, feel, and  receive. I soaked in the magic of this sacred place.  The hair stood up on back my neck and arms.  I felt that familiar cold chill up my spine and my tears turned into sobs of joy.  What an emotional experience!

In hindsight, many of us might speak in metaphor, as perhaps the novelist and activist Arundhati Roy is speaking above, about Gaia or the coming new paradigm of the Sacred Feminine, but this was different.  This experience went beyond metaphor or even feeling inspired in some natural landscape.  This wasn’t merely equating the ebb and flow of the ocean tides with Her breath as we attempt to personify Her and embrace Her mysteries.  This felt as if it were another phenomena of a dimension I had yet to experience.   Was I crazy to even contemplate  hearing the inhaling and exhaling.....of our Mother?  Well, sometimes we just have to shut off that left-brain and just feel Her incredible gifts!  Those few minutes sitting in that sacred grove in Wisconsin will no doubt be some of the most profound and magickal minutes of my life.   Thank you, Mother.  Thank you for that precious gift.. I can hear you breathing!

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Grail Mysteries

These past few months I have been delving into Grail stories and mythology, looking for their inner messages and healing stories. I have been working with Jenah Telyndru’s Avalon Within: A Sacred Journey of Myth, Mystery and Inner Wisdom since September, and have just finished reading Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Crossing to Avalon: A Woman’s Midlife Pilgrimage.  There is a lot of resonance and wisdom in both these books, that has opened up my eyes to the Grail stories and also the wisdom of Avalon in ways I never could have dreamt of.

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Well, as Samwise said at the end of The Lord of the Rings, “I’m back.” A string of family/personal life events have wrapped me tight physically and emotionally over the past months, and I’m just now climbing back into the writing and blogging saddle, so to speak. I hope some of you are ready to ride along with me again and haven’t forgotten me in the lapse, for I haven’t forgotten you.

CampbellThis entry will be a short one—a teaser, so to speak. I’m planning to launch a series of posts about the mysteries of the sacred and the importance of ritual. I’m an admitted fan of Joseph Campbell’s work (right), particularly his explorations of the hero’s journey and the monomyth—the “one story” that wends throughout the human experience. In the hero’s journey—also called the hero’s quest—an individual receives a call to destiny, embarks upon a series of tests and challenges, and emerges at journey’s end changed in some way and perhaps even having undergone a rite of passage. Each of us makes many of these journeys in our lives, and it’s through these trials that we grow and find out what we’re made of.

What does the hero’s journey have to do with ritual? First, as I’ve said above, that we humans make many such quests throughout our lives, Second, that a life untested—a life without journey—is akin to a type of spiritual stagnation, perhaps even a spiritual death. And third, that ritual is a structure that supports us through all aspects of our journeying, creating a spiritual framework for action, discovery, and celebration, whether that celebration be filled with joy or sorrow. Through ritual, we become part of the monomyth—the eternal story—and we connect with the life-thread that links our past, present, and future.

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