A delightful recent post on the Feminism & Religion blog – “Let’s Try Creativity This Year” – reminded me of how often I turn to Goddess Saraswati for Her guidance and support. Every day, in fact, She is here … in the books I treasure that are everywhere in our home and in the books that I’m writing, the experiences and imaginative world that I’m compelled to share with love and compassion.
Saraswati is part of my morning devotions and Her image beneath my monitor inspires me to listen and create. I’ve written about Her elsewhere throughout this blog and will, I’m sure, continue to do so because She is part of me, of my life, of my world.
OM AIM SARASWATI NAMAHA
I’ve been researching the interconnection of religion/spirituality, science, magic, and history — a fascinating journey! From Greek metaphysics to the mystics of the medieval era, from magic to the scientific revolution, from the Renaissance to the Reformation, I can finally see how their intricate philosophical and emotional dance is situated within human perception and the context within which people were/are living. Deborah Harkness, Professor of History and Author of the All Souls Trilogy (paranormal fiction), says in her recent interview:
“When I think about magic, I think of it as a form of almost faith or worship. But so is science.”
Exploring this has helped explain my own unique path that began with a Christian foundation and grew to encompass so much more of miracle, magic, and the Divine. Deb Harkness provides a beautiful overlook for this in her brief interview between colleagues.
Is it real, this world? It is for me, but what if this abundant magnificence that I enjoy every day were, in a few thousand years, to disappear? And all that was left were stories of vast green tangled-woods where birds sing and night creatures roam; would that make what I have known any less real simply because no one can any longer imagine that this beauty could have been possible? So what about our own myths and legends. Are their stories real? Does it matter? Or does it only matter that we embrace the tales as portals into growth, self-realization, and love on all scales, so that the wonders of what-once-was can be manifest again?
My favorite aspect of Avalon Within: a sacred journey of myth, mystery, and inner wisdom is that the author Jhenah Telyndru offers to readers her perceptions of the Arthurian legends of Avalon entwined with the myths of Celtic Goddesses and energizes them through our modern understanding of archetypes. We are invited to explore not only what Avalon means to the author but to dive into uncovering what it might mean to each of us. How do we understand “Avalon within”?
Telyndru presents Avalon’s history in the context of Glastonbury and, while admitting we have no proof of this physical location might have been that of the ancient Avalon, she offers a possibility that, “Fabricated or authentic, there is an energetic connection to Avalon that overlays the town of Glastonbury like an ancient mist, constructed over time and through the workings of the collective unconscious.” I certainly don’t know whether I believe that Glastonbury was once the legendary Avalon, but that doesn’t really matter to me. Because, for me, Avalon is within…within me and within our imaginations and it is there the power for transformation and self-realization lies; we can recreate Avalon.
Telyndru goes on to say: “Firmly rooted in the archetypal realm, Avalon can be accessed through focused and disciplined inner questing.” And, while she provides many “tools” for “journeying to the spiritual landscape of ancient Avalon,” Telyndru also states that “there are as many ways of knowing as there are portals.” I’m grateful for her openness and acceptance that, although she has discovered the symbols and portals that resonate most strongly for her (and created her own Avalonian Tradition around them), and which she shares with all of us, she also realizes that many other ways of access are available to each of us.
Was Avalon real? Can we re-imagine a non-patriarchal version–a place of healing and wonder–into our world?
I’m please to share that Desert Fire is finally finished.
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.