The Goddess Muse: Images of the Goddess Within

“And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning
shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; that if that
which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never
find it without thee.For behold, I have been with thee from the
beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire." - The Charge of the Goddess-

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Bonding or Bondage: The Mother - Daughter Duel

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

None of the Goddess myths portray the intensely emotional mother daughter relationship more than that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone.

Like every good story, there is a beginning, middle and end. It begins with Persephone as the epitome of innocence and beauty, just as every daughter is to her own mother. In the middle is the metaphorical death of Persephone when she is abducted by Hades and descends to the underworld, followed by Demeter’s inconsolable grief. In the end a new way of life is forged; a compromise that serves both daughter and mother.

One could argue that Persephone was not abducted, but rather she was lured by bad boy Hades and willingly descended with him to the Underworld. And despite varying accounts of deals made for her rescue and return to her mother for part of the year, it may be interpreted that she herself returned to her mother on her own terms.

As I continue in the journey of painting with the Goddess Muse, I only grow more astounded at what She reveals to me, and how timely Her appearance in any one of Her many guises always turns out to be.

I only recently completed this painting, which I titled Mother of Infinite Love. I thought that her gaze was conveying compassion and unconditional love. It turns out, she is Demeter and that look in her eyes was signaling a warning to me – of turbulence ahead.

I can look back to the times when each of my two older daughters was lured away by Hades. Whether he was personified in friends, ambitions, vices or the siren call of being a grown up doesn’t matter. One way or another, every daughter must break free from her bondage to her mother, separate the intermingled parts and eventually pick up those pieces that are her own.

The stronger the bond, the more intense the storm required to tear it asunder. Unable to easily break the mother-daughter bond, the child must go to extremes to win her freedom, sometimes having to nurture a hatred for her mother that will finally cleave them.

You may think I’d have been prepared for the third go round of the mother daughter duel. You would be wrong. Maybe it was because the bond with my third daughter, my baby, was so much stronger that it took that much longer before it would be broken. I was lulled into thinking that perhaps we’d escaped it.

Silly me. The storm hit with full force this past week. I feel she has been abducted, ripped from me and spirited off to some unknown realm, where she and my heart are now held hostage.

The seasonal correspondences with Demeter’s story have always been particularly resonant with me; in her overwhelming sorrow at the separation from her daughter, Demeter causes the cessation of the seasons. All living things begin to wither and die.

Each year I feel Demeter’s despondence in the dead of winter. I am of south central European heritage and I crave the bright, pure sunlight of those climes. Living in the northern Midwest realm of the United States isn’t exactly an ideal situation for me. while I can be grateful for the lengthening days that begin with the solstice, I know the worst of winter still lies ahead. I am overcome by a malaise that given free rein would have me take to my bed pulling the covers over my head and retiring from the world without.

Faced with the absence of her daughter, Demeter wasn’t satisfied to just retreat from the world, she wanted to bring in down with her. I get that. I want to bring everything crashing down around me until I have my daughter back. I think I almost did, for the first few days.

I should have listened to my muse, the Mother of Infinite Love,  cautioning me against such actions.

She bears the mark of the severed heart at Her third eye, the place of intuitive wisdom. The completed cleave with three dots signifies this journey with my three daughters. I painted it before the third war started, and yet, I didn't get the message soon enough.

Her sacred spirals represent the birth, death, rebirth cycle, and remind me of the law of all nature -- and a few great philosophers; Heraclitus, who said "The only constant is change," and Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who said, "The more it changes, the more it is the same."

I struggled with Her mouth, painting and repainting it several times; She was only satisfied when it was much smaller than is proportionately correct. Along with the radiating throat charka, this Mother Goddess is cautioning me to hold my own counsel. To watch and to listen, rather than advise or instruct.

Today, as I mark the Winter Solstice, I am thankful for the returning of the light. It is the anticipation of a new spring that gets me through the winter, the belief that even though there is still much darkness to overcome, light will eventually return to its zenith.

In correspondence with the deadfall of winter, I have a dark journey of grief ahead of me. Through it, I will hold out hope for my daughter to return to me on her terms – stronger and more confident, able to replace what was bondage with a blending of two strong, independent spirits that respects the boundaries of both.

Blessed Yule

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JudithAnn (aka the MAD Goddess) practices the  Old Craft tradition and magical arts of hearth and home.  Through  her writing and art, she encourages women in mid-life and beyond to  embrace their wildest dreams and live the second half of life with  purpose, passion and pizzazz. For those who need a little nudge, she  offers workshops in personal development and life path guidance  using journaling and art for creative self expression.

Comments

  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez Wednesday, 25 December 2013

    As a daughter, I thank you for this heartfelt and powerful positive. I'm breathing it all in. Thank you for the imagery! Blessings!

  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn Wednesday, 25 December 2013

    Paola Suarez
    As a mother, I thank you, for helping me believe tha t what I'm saying makes sense to somebody's daughter, even if not mine.

  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez Friday, 27 December 2013

    You're welcome JudithAnn! I realized that my comment was missing a word. I meant to write "heartfelt and powerfully positive message". I've often found that others will hear our message first before those closest to us do.

  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn Saturday, 11 January 2014

    ;

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