Threads

A beautiful essay was written by Christy Croft that I share here: Intellectual Curiosity as Holy Devotion.

The author touches on many themes that resonate with me; she and I share a similar path. As she writes about how to embrace the tension of opposites, she states evocatively that

I’m still learning how to knit these threads. Sometimes, I do so with the tight, precise stitches of academic study and critical reflection; other times I do so with the loosest of weaves, dancing between theology, personal narrative, myth, metaphysics, and ecstatic mysticism in my everyday language as if there were no divisions, no binding categories of speech or cognition. It’s a work in progress. I’m a work in progress.

She is Three

I love the symbolism of Maiden-Mother-Crone. Not only was the Triple Goddess concept a life-saver for me in my 30s (when I found Wicca more than twenty years ago), but I still resonate to the symbolism of Three in many ways. This leads me to feel that while we may lean one direction intellectually, I often wonder if there isn’t an energetic pattern or genetic memory associated for some of us with this connection to the Triple Goddess. But then, I link to energies, not dogma; structure can be helpful scaffolding, and provide a sense of support especially when starting on a new path, but I prefer to weave my own spiritual practice and life.

Raccoons26JUN2016

Three Raccoons Visiting

That said, my embrace of Maiden-Mother-Crone has shifted over time so that I feel the Triple Goddess not so much as abiding in or expressing as a distinct or rigid phase of life but as ebbing and flowing states of being. In other words, I continually move in and out of these three base energies that arise out of the Divine Cosmic Womb.

This perspective is even easier for me now, to be at ease with this ever-changing concept of Maiden-Mother-Crone, since studying Ayurveda and the Samkhya philosophy. That ancient healing system also views the life phases through a broad spectrum of three primary energies (child is Kapha, productive adult is Pitta, wisdom/spiritual contemplative elder is Vata) although we also, each of us, has within us the unique blend of the doshas (the three arise from the five elements) so we can access any of the energies we need and are not restricted to a particular phase of life. Ultimately, life is change and the patterns or symbols or structures we use are available to us as life support systems, however we need them to be.

Many women in the Women’s Spirituality movement seem just as obsessed with stating the idea that Maiden-Mother-Crone is not ancient tradition as are those who cling firmly to the idea that Maiden-Mother-Crone is linked to ancient tradition. And wherever each of us is, so be it…may we all find our highest and deepest healing path. Because Wicca was “created” by a man (Gerald Gardner) and a man (Robert Graves) developed the concept of three goddesses as aligned with three lunar phases, many women now go overboard the other direction to disparage their ideas. I used to do that, too, and still occasionally find myself resisting something simply because a man created, developed, or expanded upon an idea or concept. However, the older I get, the more at ease I am in realizing that we’re all human and there are brilliant, sensitive men able to tap into women’s feelings, emotions, and perceptions, spiritual or otherwise. (It probably helps that my husband is a loving, generous example of this kind of man.)

Further, this determined adherence to fact or data – only accepting what has been “proven” — is often a defensive move so that people don’t think women are crazily irrational in their belief system. Not that this is an imaginary response. Sadly, we still experience a duality – the one that says men are rational, and women are not. I feel like a lot of women continue to retain a lot of anger, bitterness, and defensiveness, based upon their (our) experiences of men, duality, hierarchy, and/or patriarchy. Feminism has evolved and come a long way, but the movement is far from over.

Recently I heard of a spiritual teacher who begins many lectures or teachings with the phrase: “maybe I’m wrong but…”. This opens up the conversation and lets the speaker, right from the start, admit to the listeners that there are other possibilities than just the one she personally advocates for herself. This is where I like to place myself, as well, and it allows for transformative experiences and beliefs. I don’t care to experience life from within the confines of yes or no, true or false, fact or fiction. So, while I may have my own theories and belief system, it’s just that…mine.

This leads me to my appreciation for a recent post on Feminism and Religion by Carol Christ, a foremother of the Women’s Spirituality movement. I’ve read all of Carol’s books, many of her articles, and have long admired her as a sort of kindred spirit. I love that she continues to share her thoughts and feelings through her own spiritual and life journey; she has had a tremendous impact upon my own journey. However, since I’m not an academic person, I have no deep need or desire to accept, confirm, or deny definitively whether the Triple Goddess symbolism is “an ancient pattern” or a modern creation. Carol ends with:

“Ours is not a tradition handed down intact from the ancient past, rather it is a new creative synthesis of aspects of the past combined with contemporary insight and experience. Once we recognize that the Triple Goddess is a contemporary creation, we are free to affirm Maiden, Mother, Crone—or to use other symbols.”

So, I guess I both agree and disagree with the above. Maybe the Triple Goddess is ancient memory, maybe not. That’s not important to me. What I do agree with is that each of us is always free to access that which resonates, whether old, new, or unknown, and to then create powerful, healing symbols and systems for ourselves and the world.

 

Magic is Afoot

Morning Fog

I am giddy to be living in the woods again!

The Sonoran Desert is in my past, the Ozarks in my present, and Brigid is calling me into Her world of wells and hearth and inspiration and healing.

Blessed Be!

“Goddess is Alive, Magic is Afoot!”

 

Cellular Memory

The fall of rain produces a droplet of creative impression from a wet cell that squeezes itself into a new organ — foreign territory that is familiar because felt in itIMG_4048s own universal oneness of origin but yet the unchosen trail behind becomes the one in front and we move into that intrigue. The stardust of ancient life before the dinosaurs, before the seas spewed forth transformative blobs of skin and hair and sturdy hardened bone mass to walk upon earth. Here is the cellular memory, we can feel all who have passed inside us, smiling, as we cling desperately to this one form without realizing our soul travel across galaxies of form and function … evolutionary babes in the wise woods of deep time, geologic time, of the previous ones who left no signs because of age and hidden energies once felt as simple as breathing. Glimpses of them peek out from the rocks but as an infinitesimal speck, a symbol, a single letter from a language of experience long forgotten. We think we know but our grasp is fragile and narrow; our souls know though. Love this body, this life; love others with a broad sweeping lens of celebration to see grand diversity, knowing the reality truly is unimaginable — and that, too, is beautiful because we will be seeking forever, an eternal curious journey of soul passages. My cells transmute and I can feel time shimmer, disappearing from the linear yardstick, becoming spirals and waves unseen but known. I’m not crazy. Am I?

Tangled Trees

TangledTreesVinesBW111515In our new home, I treasure the abundance of windows and the lack of blinds, because the view is one of nourishment, even as autumn bares her limbs and skeletons dance at dusk. I want to see everything around me. Every glance reveals growth in a middle-earth landscape, not of myth but of climate and experience, as a balance shines through her natural cycles. Even in autumn’s rituals of release, I feel protected, surrounded by trees going into hibernation for a brief spell, the “spell of the sensuous” that heralds matter and mystery in communion.

A tangled web welcomes my vision, an intricate web of vines and branches exposed, revealing themselves as twisting, bending, falling from above and caught before they can hit the ground, their many paths a visual splendor that shields. Here is a multi-dimensional tapestry of revelation, extending far into the forest, across ravines, down steep hillsides, climbing to open pasture; a tapestry no human could weave except in our hearts. I am giddy within this wooden ring, this home is the center for me and mine (though it is the perimeter for another) where we become a patchwork overlay within the movement of the wheel of life that is Mother Earth.

This is all part of life; to release is to prepare for growth. Yet even bare, beauty remains constant, an exalted testimony to fecundity, to flow and ebb, to breathing shallow, with longer pauses on the exhale, a sinkhole into the serenity of momentary stillness. Then, a crooked path beckons again and I inhale, tracing a mysterious growth that happened under cover of bold proclamations and explorations that hid the inner expansion.

Desert Fire: Befriending the Monster in my Mind

I’m please to share that Desert Fire is finally finished.

YAY!
It is available in print and digital
HERE AT LULU and also on AMAZON.COM should you dare to enter the desert, and the strangeness of my mind. In brief, what do you get when you combine a transplant to the Sonoran Desert with mind-created monsters, living landscapes, elemental impressions, Ayurveda, flower essences, earth-centered spirituality, dogs, history, geography, archaeology, desert denizens, and writing therapy? You get Desert Fire.

I could easily have spent another six to twelve months fine-tuning Desert Fire further,

but felt that its time has come to go out into the world just as it is.

Now I can move on to other writing projects pressing to be heard.

__________________

[excerpt from Desert Fire]

If I hadn’t researched the dogs of the Americas, seeking to understand the history of the tiny Chihuahua dog, I might never have met and resonated with a deity on my own continent who shares some of the qualities of my beloved Artemis. Dogs and forest wisdom are threads that link the Greek Goddess Artemis and the South American Goddess Yampani Nua. In the Achuar, a tribe of South America, they tell of a divine Mistress of Dogs, the “female spirit Yampani Nua.[i] The Achuar are situated just below the equator putting them in the Southern rather than the Northern Hemisphere where I live. Their traditional lands ride the boundary between Ecuador and Peru, and they are far from being desert dwellers. Achuar women held status within their communities, and, similarly, pre-Hellenic Artemis is aligned with the former matrifocal cultures of Greece. The mythical Artemis roamed the wild woods with her pack of dogs, her Alani, and it is not a stretch for me to see Yampani Nua as sister-goddess to Artemis, each representing a different continent. Both are responsible for the care and protection of these remarkable canine Beings that I consider sacred guides for and protectors of humans. While Artemis and Yampani Nua resonate through unique patterns of cultural divinity, their roles are both that of a Mistress of Dogs. Thus, I feel a kinship with them because of their strong relationship to dogs and the forests. [i]. Schwartz. A History of Dogs in the Early Americas. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. Print. Page 59.

Gratitude Womb of Dark Moon

GratitudeWombGoddessGratitude for the blessing of this life, the gifts uncountable in their number and numinous darkness, as the moon falls into her black mood of reflection unseen by human eyes though felt; I feel her endarkenment as a sweet nectar in which I float within safe space — womb. Here is the origin of my life and I am entranced whenever I am returned to the unlit peace and seclusion, listening to muffled voice, thrumming to a heartbeat of “out there,” a vital force unseen, floating in a brew of life-giving nutrients as I lay curled within human mother and more-than-human mother. I could be the spiral of galaxies as easily as spongy-flesh of unformed creature.

Gratitude for reflective love, as every year since the new millennium began its turning is icing on a cake of life that touched the stars and sank into despair; those emotional tandem bicycles spinning wheels of possibility. For then, after finding myself in Gaia, she brought a tangible masculine form for love into an opening, into a space that was left vacant by the acceptance of the Infinite in a guise I’d always known but was untitled, like a book with a missing cover that had fallen away through the ravages of time. Through love a new cover has been crafted from soul and smoke, from sifting sands and a magic cavern always in transformation.

Gratitude is the heart of being born into a tribe of kindred spirits rather than one of blood, for this dance is a masquerade ball among smiles and capes, hugs and warm fur settling into the curves of my body, releasing into the peace of transparent presence formerly hidden. Only this.

Gratitude as I wait for each word to emerge, as I trust it will, and this is another gratitude that flows on its own from Source and gains momentum and individuality pounding through the muscles and nerves from top to tip, from head to digits, and among the swirls of ink-become-mystery. I don’t know what I’m going to say until the words reveal themselves, a mystical process that lies within the space that is neither mind nor hand but apparently emerges on gossamer streams flowing in the subtle space near my heart.

Gratitude that my womb has never been empty, though it has never grown a child, rather within the space where a vacancy sign has been blinking off and on for decades lies a cauldron of creativity that flows unending and I manage to cup my hands occasionally, drinking the nectar that pools therein and shapes itself into forms of an imaginary world. If it is true that we dream the world into matter, then my dreams are part of a new beginning led and held by the ancients of bygone eras who whisper, their words spiraling in the cartilaginous labyrinth of inner ethereal ear, an oceanic conch shell so long out of its unity that silence and solitude are the filaments I need to form the framework in which to listen … and create.

Is this litany of gratitude a gift of time and age or one that has always been humming since the womb? Across these musing flickers of neurons is the wholeness that joins hands, jumping from one dark thread-trail to another, always present, only revealing themselves in the glowing tip of a temporary wand of incense, the seed within the womb of life.