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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Goddess
The Illusion of Perfect Control

The expectation of perfect control over self or circumstances ruins spiritual health and blocks one’s most precious goals. Finding power and peace in the uncontrollable nature of life is my shamanic ideal and the magical road toward achieving my heartfelt dreams.

 

A common response to someone considered a spiritual master is placing them on a pedestal from which they can only fall. This attitude enforces unhealthy hierarchy and is based on the idea that some people are better than others.

 

Another typical response to the concept of spiritual masters is embodied in the phrase "If you see Buddha on the road, kill him." This seems to refute hierarchy and false superiority by creating egalitarianism. But the metaphor of killing Buddha misses the boat as a remedy because I can't imagine a spiritual master buying into hierarchy and superiority in the first place. I believe an advanced being would teach that all humans, themselves included, are spiritually frail and limited. A spiritual master would not put her or himself above others.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    What can I do? About releasing control, (shakes head) what control? Blessed Be, Tasha
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Well said, Tasha! Thanks. Blessed be.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Fate: Ariadne, Arachne, Ananke

I've been thinking a lot about Fate lately, what with all the crazy things going on in the Big World. Fate has always been a focal point for people's thoughts, and the Fate goddesses of the ancient pantheons have a lot to teach us. What I didn't realize until I had been in relationship with the Minoan deities for some time is that there is a Minoan Fate goddess. You may know her as Ariadne.

My first clue that Ariadne is a Fate goddess should, in retrospect, have been obvious: She has a thread. That's my picture of her up top, the Fate (Wheel of Fortune) card from my Minoan Tarot deck. In the Greek version of Ariadne's story, which dates to almost a millennium after Minoan times, Ariadne is just a girl who uses a ball of string to aid the strapping hero Theseus. But really, she's much more than that.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Goddesses Come Knocking

I don't have what many would call a devotional relationship with many of the deities I paint, but that doesn't mean there isn't a divine connection or other kind of relationship.  Often I tap into other people's devotions for those deities, or have an interesting conversation with those gods for a short time. 

Over the weekend, I just finished a series of 5 small goddess paintings, and wanted to share with you all a little behind the process of making them.

First a little background:
Friday (June 16th) is the opening for the Goddess show at Gargoyles Statuary in Seattle. I think it may be the 4th year I've participated in this show, and this one's a little extra special as I'll also be doing an author talk and signing for my new book, The Witch's Cauldron. However, I'm leaving the very next day for a 6 week long book/workshop/performance tour, so I was concerned about getting art done in time.  I had planned to get one new painting done for it - which I managed to finish last week.  But it's a large and highly detailed painting with a very high price point (if I make it available at all for sale at this time.)

Waste Not, Want Not
I was contemplated how to create a few more pieces at a friendly price-point when I spied the small stack of pine pieces I had cut off a recent batch of panels for shrine prints. Under 5"x8" and lightweight, they were a great size.  Even though I was going to be at an event all weekend, I knew from past experiences that this event tends to have slow periods.  So I painted gesso on 5 pieces, sanded them, then did some color washes on each from the leftover paint sitting in my palette from the big painting I just finished. (It's acrylic, so it would have gone to waste.) 

Once dry, I tucked the panels, a couple bottles of paint, some brushes, and pens - to take with me to the event. 

Calling All Goddesses
The next step was figuring out who to paint.  So I put a call out on my Facebook page, asking folks for suggestions on deities that I haven't painted yet, or haven't done in a long while.  From that list, I wrote down about a dozen of the suggestions that stood out for me.  I did some light research on the backgrounds of the goddesses and historical art made for them. 

Once I was situated in my booth, I pulled out the panels.  Because I had done random color washes on them before I left, each one had a different "mood" to it.  I looked at the list, and the panel in my hand, and one name jumped off: Anahita.  And so she was the first painting, emerging out of a wash of deep Prussian blue and navy pen work. 

The next panel I picked up was a mixture of greens and browns, and Pachamama's name leaped off the page.  In the wash, I could see her peeking out at the viewer with a full pregnant body of earth and greens. 

As I was working on that piece, a third panel nudged its way out - the wash looking like a powerful swirl of deep waters.  Yemaya leaped off the list and on to the panel. 

Two panels left.  A warm purple/earthy panel was chosen by Pele. I started work on her before I had to finish for the day - 3.5 paintings is pretty good for one day's work while tending to a booth!

Next Day
In the morning, I finished up Pele, adding a little bronze paint into her skin, and trails of flowers.  I thought 4 was good enough - in fact, I would have been happy with finishing 3.  But then the 5th panel fell to the floor from where it was sitting under the table.  Well, I still had a few hours....

The panel was mainly a light blue wash and didn't speak yet to any of the names on the list, but I still had purples, yellows, and rust left over from Pele. So I did another layer of color washes.  Suddenly, Ereshkigal leaped off the list - I could see her body in a lamia-esque form swirling out of the colors.  

So in the end, I got 5 of these little paintings done, and made contact with 5 very different deities from all over the world. 





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The Magic of Pregnancy (or: If You Need Me, I'll Be Throwing Up and Peeing at the Same Time)

Check it out--I'm pregnant with my second daughter! Incidentally, I've been too sick to blog for the past six months. It's worth it in the long run, right?

My first pregnancy was pretty textbook, but this one's been rough. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester lasted until week 20 or so, at which point my uterus sprouted a new fibroid that sent me to the ER with pain and preterm labor symptoms. Since then, I've been working from home a couple days a week and taking it easy, but my body seems to have skipped over the high-energy period of the second trimester and gone straight to the constant exhaustion of the third trimester.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • The Cunning Wife
    The Cunning Wife says #
    First off, congratulations! You and I are due to deliver at around the same time -- late August -- and I'm having a girl, too! Thi
  • Tacy West
    Tacy West says #
    I laughed at the first comment "peeing and sick at the same time" which was so true of all three of my pregnancies. Mothering is
The Mountain Mother: Reading the Language of the Goddess in Ancient Crete

Before he told the story of how his people received the sacred pipe, Black Elk said:

So I know that it is a good thing I am going to do; and because no good thing can be done by any man alone, I will first make an offering and send a voice to the Spirit of the World, that it may help me to be true. See, I fill this sacred pipe with the bark of the red willow; but before we smoke it, you must see how it is made and what it means. These four ribbons hanging here on the stem are the four quarters of the universe. The black one is for the west where the thunder beings live to send us rain; the white one for the north, whence comes the great white cleansing wind; the red one for the east, whence springs the light and where the morning star lives to give men wisdom; the yellow for the south, whence come the summer and the power to grow.

But these four spirits are only one Spirit after all, and this eagle feather here is for that One, which is like a father, and also it is for the thoughts of men that should rise high as eagles do. Is not the sky a father and the earth a mother, and are not all living things with feet or wings or roots their children? And this hide upon the mouthpiece here, which should be bison hide, is for the earth, from whence we came and at whose breast we suck as babies all our lives, along with all the animals and birds and trees and grasses. And because it means all this, and more than any man can understand, the pipe is holy. [italics added]

In this passage Black Elk illustrates the multivalency of symbols: the sacred pipe does not have a single meaning, but many meanings, in fact, more meanings than anyone can understand.

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The Love Revolution: Mending Our Souls, Transforming Our World

Carl Jung was teaching us about the love revolution when he said that the opposite of love is not hatred, but will to power.

Will to power pretty well sums up the ethos that underlies our mainstream society where those at the top of the pile claim the right to dominate those below them. Self-interest and greed go hand in hand with will to power, and this toxic combination is what drives our political, economic and social systems.

Love is also a driving force in our humanity that is rooted in our connection to the Goddess, life, and our instincts of creation and nurturance. Intrinsic to love are concern and care for others, and our shared planet home.

The Goddess has been teaching me about this love revolution for years. Our humanity is at a pivotal turning point where the world as we know it, arising from this ethos of will to power, has set us on a collision course with ecological disaster and societal meltdown.  When I ask the Goddess how we can change this destructive trajectory, She always tells me one thing over and over: love is what can mend our human soul, and transform our shared society. 

Now I’m hearing about the love revolution from my eighty-four year old father. My dad is a politics junkie who spends endless hours watching the news, and social and political commentary. With the unending drama and disturbance on the world stage, we’ve had plenty to talk about in recent months.  Despite what feels like an unrelenting onslaught of bad, depressing news, my father noticed that something unexpected is happening in the outer world that comes to him through his television. People are talking about love as a counterforce to the political mayhem and social unrest of these turning times.

The love revolution isn’t a new idea. It was gifted to us by the sixties counterculture, where love, compassion and awareness were seen as the basis of a revolution in our human consciousness and society. Then it seemed as if the love revolution fizzled out, and we continued on the same collective, destructive trajectory of self-interest, greed and will to power.  But here we are, fifty years later, returning to this tenacious idea of love as a counterforce that can mend what ails our lives and shared society.

What is this transformative love that Carl Jung, the Goddess, my dad and the sixties counterculture are talking about?  This question has been central to my own spiritual journey, and quest for personal and collective transformation, and this is what I’ve discovered.

Love is a base human need.

We are wired to give and receive love both within our intimate circles of family, lovers, partners, children and friends, and the broader circles of our fellow humans and creature companions who share our Earth home. We can love ourselves, other people, things, ideas and activities. We typically think of this personal kind of love as emotional, but it’s also about service that honors and nurtures the well-being and happiness of others.  

Love is a state of being.

I’ve opened to this state of love through meditation. What I experienced wasn’t an idea or an emotion, but more a place or part of my being where I was love. My whole being was infused with an absolute peace and acceptance of everything and everyone. There was no separation between me and this love; it was in me and outside of me at the same time, everywhere and in all things.

Love is the primal power of the living world.

We live in a material Universe, of matter, of Mother, of love as life’s unquenchable desire to create and nurture new life. From our flesh and bone bodies to our shining souls, we are woven of this primal love, as is everything around us. Love is our essence, and the energetic matrix that connects every living thing. We are part of this love, and we are this love. There is no separation, and never was.

Love is a choice and sacred responsibility.

Humanity has been blessed and cursed with a dual nature. We hold within us the powers of creation and destruction, and their mirror forces of love and will to power. For millennia, we have collectively chosen will to power over love, and self-interest and greed over concern and care for others. To heal our souls and transform our world, we must consciously choose love over will to power, and then begin to live in accordance with this choice. 

Love is unconditional and inclusive.

No one and no part of ourselves are unworthy of this love.  Beauty and wounding, light and shadow, creation and destruction, those who love, and those who cling to will to power — all of these complex, opposing aspects of our inner landscape and collective humanity have brought us to this turning moment, and all are in need of acceptance, healing and transformation. Love is deep and wide enough to hold everyone and everything, and in this meeting and mixing of the full range of our humanity, we can become whole, holy, and something new, kinder, wiser and more powerful.  

Love is a revolutionary force that can mend our souls and transform our world.

Beneath the thin veneer of a world constructed on will to power, beyond our personal burdens and scars of broken hearts and wounded life stories, this vast, infinite love calls us home to its welcoming embrace.  We need only reach back to reclaim the love that we are, and the love that is ours to share. This love will heal and transform us, and then we, in turn, will heal and transform our world.

We, every single one of us, are the catalysts of the love revolution. The outer world can only change when we ourselves change, and choose love over will to power as the guiding force in our lives. This isn’t an easy journey. It calls us to claim and heal our wounded love, and to extend compassion and care to the great circle of our humanity, with all its mess, complexity and diversity. It requires that we become something new, a deeper, wider vessel for the love that is Goddess, life, and our true essence and best nature.

With each healed heart and mended soul, person by person, step by step, change by change, love is the counterforce to will to power that can guide our way forward into a kinder, caring and sustainable future.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Karen Clark
    Karen Clark says #
    I definitely appreciate your comment! Blessings, Karen
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    How kind you are to say so. It is good to know when a comment is appreciated. Blessed be bith Love, Tasha
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Wonderful piece of exposition and explanation of a Great Truth. Love is the answer regardless of the question, as they say. And as
  • Karen Clark
    Karen Clark says #
    Thanks for the wonderful comment Tasha. Yes to putting more love out there!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Once and Future Goddess

I wore the little silver goddess for years.

Then I lost her.

What struck me most was how much I missed her.

I own some beautiful jewelry, but—ritual aside—rarely wear it. The little silver goddess was the only exception: both symbol and reality, herself her own best symbol.

Then she was gone.

A coven-sib gave her to me (I think for Yule) years ago. Simultaneously unobtrusive and monumental, she's of no particular culture. Schematic, asymmetric, she beautifully embodies what singer-songwriter Sparky T. Rabbit once described as the perfect New Pagan aesthetic, managing somehow to look “both old and new at the same time.”

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