As a part of the natural world we must deal constantly with cycles of life and death. Several of today's stories in Earthy Thursday deal with these and related themes, as well as what sits just beyond our everyday human experience.
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Who is she, I asked Maria. My husband Fred and I were at Maria's studio during our visit to Belize. We had made a special trip to see her work. Maria gazed into my eyes and asked: You don't recognize her?
Not answering, I carefully studied the statue--an old woman with a serpent headdress, wearing a skirt decorated with crossbones, and carrying an upside-down water vessel
She spoke to me, I finally said.
You're a healer, Maria said.
I'm a psychologist who sees herself as a seeker.
Healer and seeker are the same. Both want to heal themselves, Maria replied. Both want to heal the world.
Can I hold her? In response, Maria placed the statue in my hands. As I caressed the figure, Maria looked lovingly: She is IxChel, the Maya goddess of healing, medicine, and midwifery. She is our Mother.
I had gone to Maria's place to see her sculptures. But I found much more than art.
My review today is not the one I had planned. In fact I have a hard drive filled with other reviews that really should be posted before this one. However this deck is speaking the loudest, is pulling me more to it and has just captured my heart. I am speaking of course of Lisa de St. Croix's stunning deck Tarot de St. Croix.
This deck arrived in my mailbox Easter weekend and has not left my hands since. It has mesmerized me, entrapped me and left me longing to experience more. Yes I am still talking about a deck of cards. I could feel the energy of this deck before I even opened the bubble wrap postal envelop. This energy only intensifies the moment you get it into your hands....
In the midst of my studies and quickening social and family life, it has been a refuge to gather with the women at the monthly circle. Their energy is gentle and genuine, and they speak my language. In the isolation I found myself in for the past few years, I hadn’t realized that – besides the loneliness of my world being greatly reduced to my own household and family – I had lost having anyone to talk to who knows anything of magic and spirituality. For the first time, I was alone in those waters.
Well, I was kind of alone in them in my youth, but in a less lonely way, since I was in a more magical thinking type of society (though less spiritual than they’d like to think) than the society I’m in now. So the waters were broader back then, when I explored alone – I never felt alone.
This has been more like a small cave lake, where the spirit-fish are quiet, if present at all.
It is interesting to me that coming back out of the underworld, into the sunlight and warmth of new friends, and renewed dedication to mothering my family, and reconnecting all the connections, has brought connections to moonlight, as well.
Come to your house, Osiris!
Long, long have I not seen you
My heart mourns you.
Shall I not see you, Good King?
Come to your beloved
Gods and men look for you, weep for you together
While I can see I call to you . . .
In ancient Egypt, each person hoped to make the pilgrimage to Abydos at least once in their lifetime to attend the Osirian mysteries, observed in early November, near the end of the season of Akhet, the annual flooding of the Nile.
As the waters began to recede, they left behind rich black silt, leaving the land fertile for another year’s crops. Until the late 19th century, no one knew why the Ninle so dramatically flooded most of the country, or where all the excess water came from, and yet, the Nile, with its accompanying cycle of flooding, sowing, harvest and dry season, was the most powerful force in Egypt. With a reliable food source and a way to travel through the country, ancient Egypt became the richest and most powerful country in that part of the world.
The ancients carried a memory of the great ones who came before them, the children of Ra named Osiris, Isis, Nephthys and Set (the Egyptians called them Asar, Aset, Nebt-Het and Sety). Firstborn and king Osiris, with his sister wife Isis, ruled the land with care, teaching the people to weave linen, make papyrus, brew beer and wine, and beautify (embalm) their dead.
But the most important lesson, the mystery of life, death and rebirth, came through the story of Osiris, which Temple Osireion presents annually as a ritual drama. It is a timeless story, with echoes in other mysteries throughout the classical world - Demeter and Persephone, Attis, Dionysus and Jesus.
The festival opened with a procession in the streets led by a priest wearing the mask of Anubis (Anpu). The soon-inebriated crowd re-enacted the murder of Osiris by his brother Set. Inside the temple, priests conducted the sacred rituals in private. Two priestesses played the parts of Isis and her sister Nephthys, each reciting a solemn lamentation. The first day, the priests placed seeds in a coffin-like container with water and soil. On the third day of the festival the priests opened the container to reveal that the buried seeds, like Osiris, had germinated and come to life....