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The Goddess and the #Metoo Movement: Mythic Tales for these Modern Times

Posted on:  Apr 20, 2018 @ 20:17 Posted in:  Featured, Goddess

The Rape of Persephone

From the long ago of Greek civilization, comes the #metoo tale of The Rape of Persephone.

It’s time for a new myth and reality, inspired by ancient Goddess tales, and our modern #metoo stories, in service of women’s beauty, sovereignty and power.

Demeter’s trim-ankled daughter whom Hades rapt away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus. Apart from Demeter, lady of the golden sword and glorious fruits, she was playing with the deep-bosomed daughters of Okeanos and gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the narcissus, which Gaia made to grow at the will of Zeus and to be a snare for the bloom-like girl–a marvelous, radiant flower. And the girl was amazed and reached out with both hands to take the lovely toy: but the wide-pathed earth yawned there in the plain of Nysa, and the lord, Hades, with his immortal horses sprang out upon her. He caught her up reluctant on his golden car and bore her away lamenting. (Source: Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter (abridged) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.); http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/HaidesPersephone1.html)

Let this piece of Persephone’s story sink in. Persephone is a Goddess. Her Mother Demeter is a Goddess. These are big, powerful, feminine beings that bring life, abundance and beauty to the Earth. Yet the God Hades, with the help of the almighty Zeus, can do want He wants to Persephone.

Hades desires Persephone so He abducts and rapes Her, and makes Her his bride. Persephone is taken against Her will, and Demeter can’t protect Her beloved daughter. Later in the tale, Persephone is returned to Demeter, but the damage has been done. She’s eaten the fruit of the Underworld, and is forced to be with Hades, Her abductor and abuser, part of every year.

Here we are, some 2500-plus years later, and Persephone’s tale still speaks truth to women’s experiences of male power and sexual violence. Rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and the pervasive sexism of everyday life find their deep roots in this ancestral, mythic negation of our feminine divinity and sovereignty. As the Gods do to the Goddesses, so men do to women.

Our #metoo stories are this old, and older still. We modern women are the latest manifestation of the suffering of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and the long, long female line that went before us. And the Goddess stands with us in our suffering, and our awakening.

Persephone’s story is our story. We didn’t write or choose this story. It was written by men in power with the intention of usurping and subduing the sovereignty and powers of the Goddess, and we, Her earth-bound daughters. The purpose of this story was, and still is, to make us forget and fear our vast, mysterious feminine nature, and to make divine and normal our powerlessness in a male-defined reality.

As ancient as Persephone’s story may be, and as entrenched as sexism and misogyny may appear in our current, status-quo reality — this is just one story and one version of reality. It’s not truth, not inevitable, and not even original. The Rape of Persephone is an abomination that debases and distorts a much older tale of the Goddess and Her descent to the Underworld.
The Descent of Inanna

Dial back another 3000 years to ancient Sumeria and the tale of The Descent of Inanna:

From the Great Above She opened Her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above the Goddess opened Her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above Inanna opened Her ear to the Great Below.
My Lady abandoned Heaven and Earth to descend to the Underworld.
Inanna abandoned Heaven and Earth to descend to the Underworld.

When Inanna arrived at the outer gates of the Underworld, She knocked loudly.
She cried out in a fierce voice: ‘Open the door, gatekeeper! Open the door, Neti!
I alone would enter!’

Neti, the chief gate keeper of the kur, asked: ‘Who are you?’
She answered: ‘I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on my way to the East.’
Neti said: ‘If you are truly Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on your way to the East,
why has your heart led you on the road from which no traveler returns?’
Inanna answered: ‘Because of my older sister Ereshkigal, Her husband, Gugalanna,
the Bull of Heaven, has died. I have come to witness the funeral rites.’

(Source: Wolkstein, Diane; Kramer, Samuel Noah (1983), Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer)

Let this fragment of Inanna’s story sink in. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Ereshkigal is the Goddess of the Underworld. This is a story and reality where Goddesses, not Gods, reign in the Great Above and Great Below, and hold between them the primal mysteries of life, death and rebirth.

Later in the tale, we discover that Inanna, like Persephone, suffers the trials of the Underworld. But She does so by Her own choice and great courage. Through Her descent, She submits to the transformative mysteries of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. She is stripped bare, and dies to Her old self in order to be reborn into Her full powers and beauty. When She emerges from Her journey in the Great Below, Inanna is whole, holy in the full spectrum of Her Goddess powers and wisdom – Queen of Heaven, Earth and the Great Below.

Inanna’s story is also our story in these #metoo times. By our own choice and great courage, we are turning our ear to the Great Below, and embarking on a journey into the Underworld that underlies our everyday reality. Here, in the dark, shadowy places in our inner psyche and shared society, we are seeking out the lost and repressed stories of sexual violation and gender discrimination that have scarred our lives.

The Great Below isn’t the realm of Hades and male power. The dark isn’t a place of rape, violence and domination. These are lies and distortions that block us from the wild, raw depths of our women’s power and mysteries, and from the very things that can mend our lives and our world: our pain, grief and rage, and our truth, beauty and sovereignty. And, like Inanna before us, when we emerge from this journey, we can become whole, holy in the full spectrum of our feminine powers and wisdom, transforming not only our personal lives but also our shared society.

Our Modern #MeToo Tales

Something profound and essential is shifting in the foundations of our world as we witness others tell their long-hidden, #metoo stories, and tell our own stories in turn. We may not have words to capture this shift. Yet it’s there – blazing through the eyes and voices of women aligned with the #metoo movement – stirring up the secret, restless places inside of us.

We’re speaking truth, and being heard. We’re saying: you’re time is up, and holding male perpetrators accountable. We’ve woken up, en masse, and we’re not going back to sleep. And we’re not alone.

Persephone’s story is our story. Together we share a #metoo legacy of sexual violation and descent into a hell of male dominion that speaks to the everyday reality of sexism, misogyny and violence that’s endemic to our society.

Inanna’s story is our story. Together we share a heritage of the feminine mysteries of life, death and rebirth, and their pathway of descent into the Underworld as a journey of transformation into our full beauty and powers.

Feel the weight and power of this legacy and heritage. Your #metoo story is a part of these ancient Goddess tales, and the lived experiences of the long, long line of women ancestors that have gone before you. Your voice is part of a world-changing movement of women speaking truth that can unravel the past, and reweave a collective reality that returns women to their rightful place in our shared society.

We’re in this together — Persephone, Inanna, you, me and the countless others braving their #metoo tales. Our lives, truth and stories matter. Safety, respect and honoring our feminine nature are our birthrights. It’s time for a new myth and collective reality, guided by the tales of Persephone and Inanna, and yet fresh and inspired by our personal stories and lived experiences.

Hades, Zeus, the male ancestors who wrote these mythic tales, and the men who continue to abuse and dominate women: their time is up. Whatever comes next will be of our writing and choosing, in service of our greater womanhood and sovereignty, and beauty, love and justice for all.

Image Credit: Rupert Bunny, Rape of Persephone, via Wikimedia Commons

Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution

Posted on:  Mar 19, 2018 @ 16:32 Posted in:  Sabbats

In Spring, Nature and the Goddess share their mysteries of spiritual evolution where new beginnings emerge from a complex, potent wholeness woven of the opposing energies of light, life, darkness and death.

The Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution guides you in these mysteries where soulful, new beginnings emerge when you welcome your whole Self to the light of your spring pathwork, engaging the light and shadow of your life story that are the makings of your personal growth at this time.

Embrace the Goddess’s mysteries that guide your spiritual evolution. Give yourself the springtime gift of new beginnings. Your Spring Journey awaits you!

On your Spring Journey, you will:

  • Align your spiritual path with the seasonal powers of Nature and the Goddess.
  • Explore the spring season teachings of balance, wholeness, equanimity and spiritual evolution.
  • Reunite with the Goddess’s ways of love, light and new beginnings.
  • Step past your old stories into a deeper level of spiritual maturity, power and self-love.
  • Discover the seeds of transformative change and personal growth that are emerging for you.
  • Design an action plan to plant and tend this new growth in your life.
  • Cultivate the essential qualities and skills of living your spiritual evolution.

Your Spring Journey includes:

Spring Journey Guidebook (pdf ebook): Seven lessons, each with an integrated wisdom teaching, awareness practice and journaling task to help you explore and experience the teaching, and apply it to your spiritual pathwork and everyday life.

Spring Journey Journal (pdf ebook): For each lesson, there are journaling prompts and questions to deepen your self-awareness and exploration of the Spring Journey teachings.

Spring Journey Guided Meditation (audio mp3): A 26 minute meditation that connects you with the potent energies of the spring season as you travel to the sunlit realm of the Mother Goddess in search of the parts of your Self and life story that are the makings of your springtime new beginnings and personal growth.

The cost of this integrated Spring Journey package is $16.99.

Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution

Embrace the Goddess’s mysteries that guide your spiritual evolution.

Give yourself the springtime gift of new beginnings.

Your Spring Journey awaits you!

 

Photo Credit: Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Spring Journey: The Goddess, Nature and Your Spiritual Evolution

Posted on:  Mar 18, 2018 @ 22:39 Posted in:  Sabbats

Spring heralds the return of the seasons of light, a threshold time when Nature reaches its green arms upward from the dark, death-like places in the belly of the Earth to embrace the strengthening sun. The Spring Equinox marks a moment of equal night and day, before the resurgence of the powers of light.

In Spring, the Goddess waits for you at the threshold place where your inner darkness opens into the soulful new beginning that’s emerging for you at this time.

The natural realm delights us with the miracle of tender, new beginnings as life returns to the sleepy, barren landscape. From the tight buds that unfurl into purple crocuses, pink blossoms and the chartreuse canopy of trees — to the nighttime croaking of mating frogs, the quick flash of hummingbirds and the noisy honks of returning geese — it’s as if Mother Nature has turned back on the fresh, bright colors, sounds and smells of the living world outside our doorstep.

Less apparent in this wondrous springtime display are the death from which this new life arises, and the continuing presence of darkness alongside the resurgence of light. Green-growing things bridge and balance these elemental forces, extending both downward into the dark, composting soil, made rich by decay and death, and upward to the enervating potency of daylight, and the restful influence of the dark of night.

Nature offers a vision of a living equanimity through its ever-shifting state of balance and harmony in the face of the immense, opposing forces of light and life, and darkness and death that govern the turning of the seasons. In Spring, this living equanimity seeks a new balance and wholeness, woven of these primal powers, that give rise to and nourish the rebirth and new growth of the natural realm. These are the ways of Nature that direct your journey of soul in the spring season.

You’re part of the living world. The quickening pulse of Spring tugs on your body and soul, inciting you to cultivate new growth that takes your life in a fresh, positive direction. This new growth emerges from your inner darkness — made rich by the lost and forgotten parts of your life story and dormant potential that reach upward to take their place in the sunlit world of your conscious engagement and everyday existence.

Like Nature, something deep inside of you seeks a new balance and wholeness —woven of the light and shadow, beauty and wounding, and other vital, opposing parts of your inner darkness and life experiences — that give rise to your springtime rebirth and new growth. And like Nature, you need to cultivate equanimity to achieve this potent state of balance and wholeness in the face of these challenging, divergent aspects of your Self and life story.

This kind of soul-sourced, transformative change doesn’t come easy. It calls you to step past the death-like stagnation and stuckness of your old story and patterns, and step into the soulful, new beginning and personal growth that are ready to root and blossom in your life at this time.

Light and shadow, beauty and wounding, old and new — all these essential parts of you and your life story co-inform your spiritual pathwork on your Spring Journey. Everything you are and everything you’ve experienced have brought you to this transformative moment of embracing the full range of your Self and your life story as the wellspring of your personal growth and spiritual evolution.

In this profound spiritual pathwork, you’re following the hera’s path that illuminates the Goddess’s mysteries of spiritual evolution as a journey of descent and return from the Underworld. The hera’s path comes to us through ancient Goddess myths, the best known being the Greek, Mother-Daughter tale of Demeter and Persephone. It’s Demeter’s and Persephone’s evolutionary teachings that guide your Spring Journey pathwork.

In Spring, Persephone returns from Her Underworld travels in the realm of darkness and death. Demeter waits for Persephone at the threshold place where the Underworld opens into the sunlit realm, welcoming Her beloved daughter back to Her powers of light and life. Persephone has been transformed by Her travels and trials in the Underworld. She emerges as a Goddess reborn into a more mature, evolved version of Her Self: Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring Growth, with a wholeness and bigness of being that is wise, loving and powerful enough to bridge and balance the immense, opposing energies of the death-centered Underworld and the life-centered realm of Her Mother Demeter.

Persephone shows you what spiritual evolution looks like from a Goddess perspective. You’re not trying to achieve some rarified, perfected state of being, or to emulate someone or something outside of your Self. Instead, like Persephone, your journey of soul can help you become a more evolved, mature version of your Self, with a wholeness and bigness of being that can bridge and balance the potent, opposing energies of darkness, death and wounding, and light, life and beauty within you and your life story.

As you embark on your Spring Journey, Demeter waits for you, Her beloved child, at the threshold place where your inner darkness opens into the soulful new beginning that’s emerging for you at this time. After your trials and travels, She welcomes you back to the sunlit realm of Her Mother Goddess love and life-centered ways where your springtime rebirth and new growth await you.

With Demeter, Persephone and Nature as your inspirations and guides, here begins a new season of light on your journey of soul that can embrace your life story, in all its complexities and polarities, as you seek the equanimity, wholeness and bigness of being that are the markers of your personal growth and spiritual evolution.

Open to Nature’s living equanimity of balance and wholeness. Embrace the evolutionary teachings of the Mother-Daughter Goddesses, Demeter and Persephone. Become big, wise, loving and powerful enough to bridge and balance the complexities and polarities of your Self and life story. Be ready to step past your old story and cultivate a soulful, new beginning as you start your Spring Journey.

Further explore these transformative teachings through the Spring Journey: Your Spiritual Evolution. The Spring Journey guides you through seven, integrated lessons that take you into the depths of your springtime personal growth and spiritual evolution. Each lesson is complimented with an awareness practice and journaling task to help you experience the teaching for yourself, and apply it to your journey of soul and everyday life.

Your Spring Journey includes: two pdf ebooks: the Spring Journey Guidebook and Spring Journey Journal, and the Spring Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio). The cost of this integrated Spring Journey package is $16.99.

Spring Journey – Your Spiritual Evolution: Embracing Your Life Story

Seek Out New Beginnings ~ Embrace Your Wholeness
~ Evolve Into Your Deep, Beautiful Self

Your Spring Journey awaits you!

What’s In a Name: Good Girl – Feminist – Witch – Woman

Posted on:  Jan 7, 2018 @ 16:15 Posted in:  Goddess

Words are a fundamental part of our humanity. The physiology of our brains is designed to make sense of ourselves and our world through language. We name things with words, and then load value and meaning onto these names. Every aspect of our shared society, interpersonal relationships and inner self-talk are dictated by these word-names.

How we name ourselves and each other matters deeply. These names can either trap and diminish us, or heal and free us to become more fully, deeply our Selves.

There’s immense power in names. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the names people give to us, and the ones we give to ourselves. This naming can either narrow or expand who we are, and how we engage others and our greater environment.

Oppressors, those who conquer, dominate and control others, have used this power in names throughout history. Take away the names people give to themselves —  taint and distort them, make these names a weapon — replace them with other, socially acceptable, domesticating names — and you’ve set up a system of control that becomes a normal, entrenched part of our social fabric. And not just names are taken away, but also language, story, dance, art, and other forms of culture, self-identity and expression.

All marginalized groups — on the outside of the white, male, heteronormative, Judeo-Christian ethos that dominates our Western society — have been impacted by this system of control through names.

My Story of Names

I’m a white woman of British descent, born into a working class family of moderate means, and raised in a middle-of-the-road city in the eastern part of Canada.  My upbringing was mainstream, banal and seemingly innocuous. And this is my story of names.

If I had the conscious awareness to name myself in my youth, I would have called myself a good girl.

I was a domesticated creature — nice, sweet, pretty, and well behaved.  I did what I was supposed to do: work hard at school, follow the rules, hang out with other nice girls, date boys that my parents approved of, and keep a smile on my face, even when boys and men said and did not nice things to me.

No one in particular, and everything around me, gave me this name and the very narrow band of personhood that went with it.

…read more

A Free Ebook: Four Seasons of the Hera Path

Posted on:  Dec 16, 2017 @ 11:08 Posted in:  Sabbats

At the edge of the known world, where the everyday gives way to the deeper Mysteries that underlie human reality, She waits for you. Her hand is extended, reaching to you with an open invitation to join Her at this edge place where the ancient hera path of the Goddess begins.

Persephone’s hera tale guides your quest for spiritual growth and evolution through the four seasons, and their primal powers of darkness, death, light and life.

We best know Her as the Goddess Persephone through Greek mythology, yet Her hera tale is much, much older, rising out of the Sumerian stories of the Goddess Inanna. For millennia, Persephone has carved the hera path deep into the dream of the living world, making Her journey into the Underworld in the Fall, and returning to the sunlit realm in the Spring.

Persephone’s hera tale unfolds in accordance with the seasons, gifting us with the Goddess’s transformative mysteries that guide our quest for self-discovery and spiritual evolution through the four seasons of Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer, and their dance with the primal powers of darkness, death, light and life.

The Goddess’s hera path is foundational to my Path of She offerings. In this free ebook, Four Seasons of the Hera Path, I’ll share this Goddess wisdom teaching with you, both on a conceptual, inspirational level, and as a Guided Journey Series that can direct your transformational travels on the hera path in service of your journey of soul.

In section 1 of the Four Seasons of the Hera Path, you’ll discover the powerful ways the hera path speaks to your spiritual pathwork: as Goddess mysteries, preserved in ancient mythic tales; an empowering, alternative framework for spiritual growth and evolution; an inspirational tale for these modern times; and a four-season framework that can guide your spiritual pathwork in alignment with the mysteries of the Goddess, and the primal lessons of Nature.

In section 2, you’ll be introduced to the Path of She Guided Journey Series which facilitates your four-season journey through the hera path. Each season is a step along the hera path, guided by the Goddess, illuminated by Nature’s seasonal teachings, and translated into a key focus for your personal explorations and spiritual pathwork. The four seasons take you through a complete cycle of the hera path that you can return to again and again.

Are you hungry for the lost mysteries of the Goddess, and Her ancient ways of love and transformation that can mend your soul and make your life anew? Are you seeking a deeper, fuller expression of your Self, and a life in alignment with your best qualities of beauty, goodness and love? Are you ready to follow in Persephone’s footsteps, and brave your own hera journey of self-discovery and spiritual evolution?

If you feel a yes arise within you, the Four Seasons of the Hera Path and the Path of She Guided Journey Series can guide your hera journey of becoming ever more deeply, beautifully, powerfully your Self, one season and one cycle at a time.