goddess

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

September, 2015

Tara

Tara is the Great Goddess in Celtic lore, where her name is the root of *Tor*, a hillock of earth with a spiritual connection to other planes.

The name “Tara” is also connected to “Terra”, our Mother Earth.

However, the origins of the Tara most known today are in Hinduism, where she was seen as a manifestation of both Kali and Parvati. Her name means *star* and she was thought to have been a Boddhisattava, and a Goddess of Mystery and Mysticism.

Tara was adopted into Buddhism and became one of the most popular Goddesses in their pantheon. To them, her name comes from the root “tri”, which means “to cross”, which is why she is also the one who “ferries her people from delusion to knowledge”.

god

(Photo from goddessgift.net)

She has compassion for all living beings, desiring to save them from suffering, which connects her to the Boddhisattava/Goddess Kwan Yin, who also hears the cries of those who suffer and offers them mercy and compassion.

There are two main origin stories for Tara. One is that she was a spiritual and compassionate princess who prayed and gave offerings to the local monks and nuns. When one of the monks said that he would pray for her to be reborn as a man, she replied that there was no male/no female/no reality. She would stay in her female body to help others reach enlightenment. I adore the feminism in her ancient statement, which is still relevant now.

“There are many who wish to gain enlightenment
in a man’s form,
And there are few who wish to work
for the welfare of living beings
in a female form.
Therefore may I, in a female body,
work for the welfare of all beings,
until such time as all humanity has found its fullness.” **

**goddessgift.net

The other origin story, which explains the existence of two Taras, is that She/They were born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. As he was crying from seeing the suffering in the world and of his people, two giant tears fell from his eyes, resulting in the birth of the peaceful White Tara and the ferocious Green Tara.

god2

(Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

While they call Green Tara ferocious, She is mainly playful and full of mischief, always ready for call to action and activity. This is evidenced in Her posture upon Her lotus; Her right leg is extended ready to jump up, while her left leg is folded upon the lotus itself.

Green Tara symbolizes the night and holds a blue lotus in her left hand for purity and power; she is covered in bracelets, necklaces and jewels. With her right hand, she grants wishes and overcomes fears.

god3

(Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

While Green Tara is mostly seen as a young woman, White Tara is seen as a mature, full breasted woman. She is the Mother of All Buddhas and symbolizes day.

She has seven eyes – – the two usual, one in the Ajna (third eye) chakra, one on each hand and foot – – to more closely see the suffering in the world.

In her left hand, in the mudra (hand yoga) of protection, she holds a white lotus for complete truth and purity. This lotus has three blooms. The first bloom, with seeds, represents the Past; the second bloom in full flower, represents the Present, and the third, which is ready to blossom, represents the unknown Future. She is the essence of all three.

Tara is also known as *She Who Brings Forth Life*, *The Great Compassionate Mother”, “Embodiment of Wisdom”, and The Great Protectress”.

Her influence is widely felt, as evidenced by these stamps from Mongolia:

stamp1

Stamp2

(Photos from colnect.com)

Tara’s mantra is *Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha*; here it is chanted by the incomparable Deva Premal :  

May the Goddess, by whatever name you call her, bless you and keep you safe.

Blessings, Peace & Namaste…

god4

(Photo from wildmind.org)

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

exoticindiaart.com

goddessgift.net

Spiralled Edges

September, 2015

Messages from the Goddess Amulets

It’s the Harvest Season, and I have gone to the Amulets of the Goddess to ask them what messages they have for us. What can they tell us about our personal harvest? This was what they had to say.

 

Primal Mother and Child

spiral

 

Know that you belong and you are loved. You have a place and a purpose on the Earth. Cultivate a richer and deeper sense of being a part of the world, of being a part of yourself. Accept the unconditional love that is there for you.

The love of a mother for her child. The love of the Universe for you. Take this love. Embrace it. Know that it is there for you and it will enable you to achieve greatness. Not the greatness as you define it with fame and riches. But deep within.

What you are cultivating, what you are growing is yourself. And what you are harvesting is your life.

 

Hand with seeds

spiral1

 

You alone hold the seeds of who you are. Though some may try to take them, they belong only to you.

These seeds cannot be taken, no matter what others say. No matter what you may be led to believe. Always they are in your hand.

You can be made to think they no longer exist. This is illusion.

Only you can hold your seeds. But only you can plant them.

If you never let go of your seeds, your hopes and dreams, your wishes, your desires, if you never plant the seeds you wish to grow, there can never be a harvest.

Open your hand. What seeds do you hold? Are they seeds of beauty that will grow to nourish your heart? Are they seeds of ugliness that will choke out the good things in your life and hold you back as a person?

No one can take your seeds, but only you can plant them. You can choose which ones are allowed to grow. Plant them all. Let them transform. Even the ugliest seed can transform into the most beautiful flower.

 

Whirlwinds

spiral2

 

Sometimes, we don’t know what will come from a seed. Perhaps we have held it so long we’ve forgotten. Perhaps we’ve been told too many times all you seeds are ugly seeds. Perhaps they’ve been hidden for too long.

It’s okay to plant them. It’s okay to trust that in planting a seed there will be a time of uncertainty. A time of not knowing. We cannot see the changes happening within a seed once we plant it. Until then, we must trust that change is happening outside of our view and outside of our control.

We can only see the seedling once it pushes out of the ground. Then we can fully see what this seed means for us. How it can transform us. Even an ugly seed allowed to grow can transform into something beautiful.

Trust what is growing and transforming outside of your awareness and control.

 

Snake

spiral3

 

Let go of your fears. Plant the seeds you hold in your hand.

Fear keeps us from seeing the unconditional love of Mother Universe. Dear keeps us from letting go of our seeds. Fear keeps us from planting them and allowing them to grow. Fear keeps us from harvesting them when are ripe.

Is fear the seed you hold in your hand? Plant it, water it, and let it transform. By clenching this seed in your hand you allow it to root within your soul. Take it. Look at it. Plant it. And let it become a thing of beauty that will nourish your soul.

 

Gorgon

spiral4

 

Are the seeds you hold seeds of anger? We are told so many times that anger is wrong, anger is bad, anger should never be felt.

So we clench the seeds of anger tightly in our fist. We hold to it so tightly, because we dear what may happen should we let go.

Plant your seeds of anger. Let go of them. Don’t clench them in your fist. Put them in the Earth. Let them be transformed into a seed that can bring beauty into your world.

Each of us holds the seeds of who we are in our hands. While harvesting the fruits is important, it is even more important that we plant those seeds. They cannot grow and transform into beauty if we hold them forever in our hands.

The set used for these readings is called Amulets of the Goddess and were created by the artist and author, Nancy Blair. I have been working with these amulets for over 20 years. Information on personal readings can be found on my blog.

Images all taken by author

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2015

Kwan Yin, The Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

(This column is dedicated to my dear friend, Denise M.)

I think that, at least one time or another, we all need a little mercy and compassion in our lives. When times are such that this is what you need, look no further than Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

She is known by many names in many place – Kannon in Japan; Gwan-Eum in Korea, Kuan Im in Thailand; and other similar pronunciations in bordering countries.

******************************

A mind perfected in the four virtues,
A gold body filled with wisdom,
Fringes of dangling pearls and jade,
Scented bracelets set with lustrous treasures,
Dark hair piled smoothly in a coiled-dragon bun,
And elegant sashes lightly fluttering as phoenix quills, Her green jade buttons
And white silk robe
Bathed in holy light;
Her velvet skirt
And golden cords
Wrapped by hallowed air,
With brows of new moon shape
And eyes like two bright stars,
Her jadelike face beams of natural joy,
And her ruddy lips seem a flash of red.
Her immaculate vase overflows with nectar from year to year,
Holding sprigs of weeping willow green from age to age.
She disperses the eight woes;
She redeems the multitude;
She has great compassion;
Thus she rules on the T’ai Mountain,
And loves at the South Sea .
She saves the poor, searching for their voices,
Ever heedful and solicitous,
Ever wise and efficacious.
Her orchid heart delights in green bamboos;
Her chaste nature loves the wisteria.
She is the merciful ruler of Potalaka Mountain,
The Living Kuan Yin from the Cave of Tidal Sound.

kwan

***********************************

Because there are different interpretations of Kwan Yin in different countries, there are several stories of her origination. I will share two of them here.

The Story of Thi Kinh

Thi Kinh was a young girl who lived with her parents in a small village. Her father owed money to his landlord and gave his daughter to the landlord’s son to marry. One night as her husband was sleeping, she took a scissors to cut a hair out of a mole on his face. He awoke and thought that she was trying to kill him. She was thrust out on her own, with no family and no where to go. She decided to shave her long hair and dress as a monk so that she would be able to stay at the Buddhist temple. One of the village girls saw her (dressed as a monk) and became infatuated. One night she saw someone she thought was him (really her) and invited him in, whereupon they had sex. When she became pregnant, she named Thi Kinh as the father.

Thi Kinh was banished from the temple, once again becoming homeless, never telling anyone that she was a woman, so as not to shame the young pregnant village girl, even though it would exonerate her. She chose to live her Buddhist beliefs and forgive the young girl, protect her and suffer the abuse of the village.

The child was given to Thi Kinh to raise. She went from village to village begging for food for the child, and was abused at each place she stopped for shaming Buddhism But she continued on, until at one village, she was beaten to death. When her clothing was removed, it was discovered that she was, indeed, a woman and could not have gotten the young village girl pregnant. The villages then revered Thi Kinh for what suffered on behalf of this young girl. Her spirit became Kwan Yin.

******************************************

The Story of Princess Miao Shan

At the time of Miao Shan’s birth, her mother the queen, dreamed about the moon; the earth shook and the child was born amidst the smell of flowers. She was enveloped in a radiant light and all knew she was a Goddess. However, her royal parents had wanted a son.

She was extremely kind and patient and refused to marry as her father insisted. As he grew angry, he made her do the worst chores around the palace and barely gave her food; he then sent her to a nunnery, insisting that they continue her punishment for disobeying him. She did all of them without a complaint. The Master of Heaven, seeing her, sent animals and birds to help her. When she still refused to marry, her father sent his men to kill all of the nuns by setting fire to the nunnery. When the nuns turned on her for bringing this upon them, she felt responsible and punctured the top of her mouth and spit blood into the air, praying to the Buddha. The blood turned into water and put out the fire. Her father then brought her back and had her executed. The Master of Heaven sent a giant tiger to bring her body to him. She came back to life after living in heaven for a while, and went to live upon a mountain. Her evil father was constantly ill due to the vileness of his nature. While he lay dying, a strange monk came and told him if he could “take the arm and eye of one who is without anger”, he should combine them and apply them to become well. No one was without anger, and no one would sacrifice themselves for this evil man. The monk told him that someone such as this lived on the nearby mountain. Her father sent a message, not knowing it was the daughter he had killed. When she heard her father was dying, she gouged out her eyes and cut off both of her arms and her father was cured. Her parents traveled to visit this person and recognized her as their daughter and begged her forgiveness.

She rose into the air to become the Thousand-Armed and Thousand Eyed Guan Yin, for she now would have 10,000 eyes to see the suffering of the world, and 10,000 arms and hands to help those in need.

kwan2

In Talmage, Mendocino County, California is the international Buddhist community known as the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. In the Buddha hall, there are really 10,000 small buddha statues in niches in the walls. This hall is for meditating and chanting and is dominated by a large golden statue of Kwan Yin.

kwan3

Kwan Yin is a manifestation of the Divine Mother, the nurturer, the caregiver, the comforter, the one who hears the cries of all those who are suffering. She is sometimes seen as holding a willow branch, which she uses to heal illness and to fulfill the requests of her followers. She is also seen with a vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and her wisdom. Most often, she is seen as sitting upon a lotus blossom. The lotus is an amazing flower, which grows from the mud, opens and blooms each morning and closes each night. The lotus symbolizes rising to the occasion and blooming to your true potential.

Namo Guan Shih Yin Pu-Sa

kwan4

(Hail to Kwan Yin Bodhisattva)

May the blessings of the Goddess be upon you.

Namaste

)O(

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

March, 2015

Freya

Untitled

 

 

Freya, or Freyja, Queen of the Valkyries and Queen Mother of the Vanir, is both a goddess of love, peace and sexuality, as well as the ruler of war and death.

As a goddess of peace, she is the spirit of the Earth’s fertility, as she is always there when Spring has awakened, and removes herself from earth in the Fall and Winter.

As one of the Vanir, she was a giver of magic, and as such, she taught women chosen by her, magic songs to allow them to see into the future.

As Queen of the Valkyries, she clothed herself in a falcon-feathered cloak and her amber necklace, donned a war helmet and carried a spear. As she drove her cat-drawn chariot of gold, she would claim the spirits of those who had fallen on the battlefield and bring them with her to her palace, in Folkvangir, in Asgard. Those whom she chose, would live with her and their afterlives were filled happiness. Those whom she did not choose would be escorted by her Valkyries to Odin. She would ease the transition of the deceased to Valhalla.

Although she was married to Od, the god of ecstasy, she took many of the gods as her lovers.

At one time, she visited the Land of the Dark Elves and watched them forge a most beautiful necklace; this necklace, she felt, should be hers. Every offer she made to the Elves was refused. She told them that whatever they wanted for the necklace would be theirs. Each of them asked for one night with her; and so, she stayed with each of the elves for one night and she received the necklace from them. As the necklace was placed upon her neck, it blazed with fire as a rainbow appeared in the sky. The morning star of the dawn was brought down by the light of the necklace, the flame of its’ forging. She brought these gifts to 

her people. This necklace became Brisingamen. Freya’s necklace is what some Norse still call the Milky Way.

Freya

Brisingamen was stolen from Freya by Loki, who turned himself into a flea, and while she slept, bit her on the cheek. This caused Freya to turn and allow Loki to remove the necklace. Loki brought the necklace to Od, as proof of Freya’s promiscuity. Od disappeared without a trace. Freya donned her feather cloak and searched the world for him, all the while weeping tears of gold. She searches for him still.

Goddess Blessings!

Enchanted Cottage

February, 2015

Brighid

 

brighid

 

 

I am Brighid-nam-Bratta: Brigit of the Mantle,

but I am also Brighid-Muirghin-na-tuinne: Brigit, Conception of the Waves,

and Brighid-sluagh, Brigit of the Faery Host,

Brighid-nan sitheachseang, Brigit of the Slim Faery Folk,

and Brighid-Binne-Bheule-lhuchd-nan-trusganan-uaine,

Brigit the Melodious Mouthed of the Tribe of the Green Mantles.

 

From Brigit Speaks by Fiona MacLeod

 

 

She is Goddess, Saint, and Faery Woman; She is Healer, Poet and Smith; She is Mother of Songs and , The Flame in the Heart of All Women and Mother of All Wisdom. Brighid, Goddess of the Hearth Fire, has many names known throughout the lands She was once worshiped and honored. As a Goddess that has survived through time under the guise of Saint, She has never been forgotten. She lives on in the hearts of Her people, healing the wounds left by the trials of life.

 

She is Saint Brigid, Foster Mother of Christ, and St. Brigid of Kildare where nineteen nuns tended a perpetual flame in Her honor. She is the patron saint of poets, children midwives and livestock.2 Ever present, Saint Brigid is still honored today by many Catholics and Pagans alike. Through Her healing nature and deep well of wisdom, She gathers Her children under Her mantle, filling them with Grace and Tranquility.

 

Known as Breo-Saighit and Bride in Scotland, Brigit in Ireland, Brigandu in France, Brigantia in England, and Ffraid in Wales3, Brighid and Brigid are now the most common spellings used. The most popular meaning for Her name is The Exalted One. She is the fiery or bright arrow, the bright flame of inspiration and is said to be the daughter of the Dagda, the Good God of the Tuatha De Dannan.

 

As Hearth Goddess, Brighid, or Brigandu as I like to call Her, is one of the most popular of the Gods to be worshipped in the home. She is a Goddess of healing and abundance, bringing health and prosperity to the home of those who worship Her.  Brigandu is the Bright Faery of Wisdom and Inspiration, bestowing a wealth of esoteric knowledge when called upon. She is Lady of Fire, warming our homes and hearts with Her presence.

 

Imbolc, also celebrated as Candlemas, is Brighid’s Holy Day. Celebrated on February 2nd, Candlemas, or the Feast of Lights, is a festival of Renewed Life. It is when the first stirrings of Spring are found and the warming of Earth begins as the Old Crone, Cailleach, passes Her White Wand of Winter to Brighid as it turns into the Green Wand of Spring.

 

Brigandu is Goddess of Magic, enchanting the Land She walks upon and charming the hearts of those who love this Bright Queen of Faery. She can be called upon while creating prayers and spoken spells, kindling the Creative Spark of Inspiration. Embrace the healing powers of Brighid as you brew teas of health and wellness, infusing them with love and compassion. Find comfort in the warmth and prosperity She bestows upon our homes, remembering to give thanks to The Exalted One. Create Bridie Dolls and Bridie Crosses in Her honor; the book Candlemas Feast of Flames by Amber K & Azrael Arynn K has instructions on how to make these.

 

There are many ways to connect with this Holy Goddess. Whether as Saint, Faery Queen, Patroness of Poets, Goddess of the Sea, or any of Her myriad epithets, Brigandu is a very approachable Goddess. A simple heartfelt prayer, or a reverent request for Her help accompanied by gratitude, will aid in inviting Brighid into your home.  Offerings of milk and honey are appropriate for this Radiant Queen, as are all healing herbs and poetry spoken from the heart. Light a candle, close your eyes, and whisper Her name—She will answer…

 

 

 

Brigit—Lady of Light

Your Fire burns bright in the hearts of many.

Brighid—Exalted One

Most High do I sing Your Name.

Brigantia—Sovereign One

Through You, I honor the Sacredness of the Land.

Brigandu—Bright Faery Queen

The Realms of Enchantment are Yours, my Queen.

Breedia—She Who Heals

I embrace Your Powers of Healing, may I become One with You.

Brigit—Brighid—Brigantia—Brigandu—Breedia

I give thanks for the Blessings You bestow upon my Life…

 

~Vivienne Moss~

 

 

Notes:

  1. Candlemas: Feast of Flames by Amber K & Azrael Aryyn K
  2. The Way of the Hedge Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
  3. Candlemas: Feast of Flames…

 

 

Further reading:

Kindling the Celtic Spirit by Mara Freeman (February: The Festival of Brigit)

Brigid: Goddess, Druidess and Saint by Brian Wright

Priestess of Avalon Priestess of the Goddess by Kathy Jones (The Quickening: Imbolc Festival of the Maiden Goddess)

Candlemas: Feast of Flames by Amber K & Azrael Arryn K

She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

February, 2015

Brigid

brigid

As I sit here writing this column, it is only a handful of days until Imbolc, which makes it easy to choose Brigid as this month’s Goddess.

 

She is known today, by many, as St. Bridget of the Christian church.  Oh, but she was and is so much more.

 

Brigit, pronounced “Breed” started at a triple goddess in Ireland and surrounding areas.  In England, she was known as Brigantia; in Scotland, Bride; in Celtic France, Brigandu.  Her name means “bright one” or “bright arrow”.  A great flame went out from her head and into the sky on the day of Her birth.  This flame, tended at a sacred shrine in Kildare by 19 maiden women, named the Daughters of the Flame, perpetually burned; and, it was said that it was tended by Brigit, herself, on the 20th day.   This flame was looked on only by women so that its’ purity would be always protected.

 

As a triple goddess, Her aspects are linked by both fire and water.

 

Brigit is the Keeper of the flame, and is credited with the invention of smithcraft, She is the Goddess of the forge and of the Hearth in each home.  She is the Poetess, the Goddess of storytelling and inspiration.  She brings wisdom and guidance as the Goddess of prophecy and divination.  She is a nurturer, the bringer of children as a mid-wife.

 

She is a Goddess of healing and well-being.  Numerous healing wells are dedicated to her, many in the surrounding areas of Kildare.

 

brigid2

 

 

 

As Christianity conquered the pagan people of old, the church found that Brigit was so loved and so revered, that they could not eradicate her worship.  As they did with so many of of our ancient deities and customs, they co-opted her into the church, transforming her into St. Bridget, claiming that she was a Druid’s daughter and baptized by St. Patrick, he who allegedly drove the snakes (pagans) from Ireland.

 

Her sacred flames burned until 1220, when a Norman Bishop, angered by the fact that men were not allowed into the presence of the sacred flame, forced his way in with his men and had the flame put out, using its’ pagan beginnings as his reasoning.  The flame was re-lit in 1993; it is now maintained by the Sisters of Bridget.

 

The Goddess Brigid has many symbols — the forge, the hearth, the wheel, the crossroads, which represent transformation, as they stand between light and dark.   There is also Brigid’s cross, which is said to bring good luck and to protect a home from fire.   There are many websites that can help you with instructions on how to make your own Brigid’s cross.

 

brigid3

 

 

Brigid is celebrated on Imbolc, February 1st, which is a time of purification and cleansing.   With her two opposite symbols of fire and water, it reminds us to always maintain a balance within our lives.  This is a time of transformation, and new beginnings.

 

To celebrate Brigid, one of the first things that should be done is to set up your Imbolc altar.  No matter the amount of space that you have available, a beautiful altar is yours for the making.  A statue of Brigid is a lovely addition to the altar, as are candles (for the symbol of fire), and chalices, (for the symbol of water).  Any spring-blooming plants would be appropriate.  Of course, your Brigid’s cross, if you have made one, would be perfect.  (The opening photo is the beginnings of my own Brigid/Imbolc altar.)

 

Before your ritual, knowing that this is a celebration of purification and cleansing, you should bath first with a mixture of sea salt, epsom salt, baking soda and lavender oil.

 

 

 

There are many rituals surrounding both Brigid and Imbolc.  This is the perfect time to re-dedicate yourself to your path.  For other ideas,  please check out:   http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolcfebruary2/a/AllAbout_Imbolc.htm

 

 

“IRISH PRAYER TO BRIGID”

 

Brigid, gold-red woman

Brigid, flame and honeycomb

Brigid, sun of womanhood

Brigid, lead me home

 

You are a branch in blossom

You are a sheltering dome

You are my bright precious freedom

Brigid, lead me home

 

 

 

As always, I can be reached at ShaktiWarriorSpirit@gmail.com

 

I wish you all a very blessed Imbolc and may Brigid watch over you.

 

Resources:  The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

                     Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

                     Gathering for Goddess by B. Melusine Mihaltses

                     The Goddess Companion by Patricia Monaghan

                      http://paganwiccan.about.com

 

She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

January, 2015

Kali

 

“By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created

By you it is protected, O Devi. By you it is consumed at the end

You who are eternally the form of the whole world,

at the time of creation you are the form of the creative force,

at the time of preservation you are the form of the protective power
and at the time of the dissolution of the world
you are the form of the destructive power
You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance,
intellect and compassion”
From the Devi-Mahatmya

Kali

I was unsure of which Goddess to choose for the January column.  December was fun in choosing Winter Goddesses.  January is cold and dreary in most of the northern hemisphere.  Should the Goddess be all about the light?  Apparently not.

 

I have been having Kali visit me in the quiet of my mind these past few months, and She got me to thinking.  The New Year is a time of change for many people.  Most run around making resolutions that, honestly, dont make it through the first month.  Some make the same resolution every year Im going to give up smoking, I am going to exercise everyday, and so on.   The thing we most want and what we focus on are our obstacles, and THAT, is where Kali comes in.  She will help you destroy those obstacles and free you to make the changes you wish.

 

In Hinduism, the Goddesses are Devi, which means deity.  She, of course, has different aspects: Durga, Lakshmi, Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Kali.  Kalis name means Time

 

Her stories are bountiful.  Born from the brow of Parvati, Kali killed the demonic forces that were threatening.   She danced with the Lord of the Dance, Shiva, and it is said the dance grew wilder and wilder, and as the dance continues, it will one day shake the world to pieces.   She killed other demons during another battle,  and it is said that after they were dead, exhilarated, laughing and roaring,  Kali happily drank their blood and began to dance wildly, hence Her dance of death and destruction.

 

 

She is seen as a Dark Goddess, as she dances the dance of death and destruction, but She is also keeper of time and will be there when new things emerge from Her destruction.  When you see Her, there is no mistaking Her. 

She wears a necklace of skulls around Her neck, She hold weapons in her numerous hands.  Her tongue protrudes from Her mouth.  She can be terrifying to behold and to work with. 

Kali2

 

 

However, She is worshiped by many as the Mother Kali or Kali Ma, in which Her worshipers surrender to Her utterly.   Abrahim Khan, an anthropologist, said that to belong to Her, the worshiper must surrender not just the intellect, but the entire self, that is the mind, the body.”   To me, that is the key to working with Kali.

 

Even so, Kali is still once of the most worshiped Goddesses in India and other parts of the world.   Kali is more than a Dark Goddess who destroys.  She is also the Goddess who helps us to face our fears head on.  She is strength.  She is courage.  She helps us to face our own darkness.

 

The following is my meditation from a *workshop that I have taught, Healing Dance of the Kali Dakini.***

 

Sit quietly, breathing deeply, closing eyes.  Visualize yourself in darkness, a cave, deep within the womb of the Earth.  Breathe into your sacred feminine energy.  Now, open yourself to She, who is Kali, who is both fearsome and

spiritually liberating, offering you healing from your emotional wounds.  Sense Her in whatever way you wish and allow her to see you in your entirety, the good and the bad. Let your breath connect to her.  Draw her presence into your body, into each part of yourself.  As you do this, allow the release of all obstacles, accepting the freedom that She offers.

 

This is a lovely song for a Kali meditation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJa4r-OydDM&list=PL_dIya2JbVnTkujuSpjPc-hZV6LbKSnTX&index=2

 

I also recommend the Dance of Kali, which I also do in my workshop.  The idea behind this is to just dance, allow your body to move freely without inhibition.  As you dance, visualize yourself healed – a blissful Kali Dakini dancing in the light in service to Kali.  (Note: a Dakini translates as sky dancer.  She is a spiritual disciple of Kali, the creative personification of the Divine Feminine)***

 

I would recommend lying down and relaxing with long deep breathing for at least 10 minutes after the above meditations.

 

 

That is Kali.  You can reach me at ShaktiWarriorSpirit at gmail.com if you have any questions or (nice) comments.

 

May Kali bless you on your journey!

 

 

 

 

Resources:  ***The Healing Dance of Kali, Workshop taught by Susan Morgaine

                               (@ShaktiSpirit 2014)

                     Kali, The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee

                     The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

                             (a must-have)

                      Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

                             (also highly recommended)

Renee’s Thoughts Worth Catching

January, 2015

Oya, also known as Kale or Pele, is the Goddess of Change and Transformation, and this Goddess means business.

Spiritually speaking, she embodies the qualities of Radical transformation, releasing, dying to the old to embrace the new. She embodies wind, graveyards, storms, and yes, the market place!

I have a great and grand fondness with this Goddess. I will admit, at first, with the death talk, and the letting go and change, made me all shift in my seat and take a step back. I believe, that for me, I was so used to the life created around me, that no matter how much I needed and had to change, I was scared to do that. Change seemed so courageous and I felt fearful.

She has come around once or twice now. The two times she came, were after I made it away from my childhood fears and moved on with grace instead of grief. She then appeared after my son was born and I knew that the marriage of that time was detrimental.

Now, as 2014 comes to a close, she is once again here. The past month has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions, sickness, mentally draining, physically hard, and I kept finding myself a bit let down and lost.

However, I knew that there was Oya with me. In the last few days of actually slowing down and doing some Soul searching and work and honest-to-goodness hard looks in the mirror, I am letting her take me on this ride, and I am ready and not scared at all.

For one thing, I am letting go of things that no longer serve me or appeal to the highest good of my life. I am going to let people go, even some that I may have known years. I have let go of a lot of physical things, making many trash, donation and recycling trips. And now, the deep Soul Transformation can begin.

Oya does not play around. When she is here, she is hear to work. She recognizes a change that must be heeded to and pushes the process far. She whispers a lot .. “Do you really like going to eat at that place or do you go just because it is convenient?” “Why is your closet still not organized?” “Do you want your surroundings to change? Change them!” An important thing to realize here is that she does not mess around. She will make you take that deep look into yourself so you will feel her Wind, her passion and her storminess.

She is working for you and assisting you to release these circumstances and make that change within you. She is here for you. She loves you. And she is a force to be reckoned with.

Listen to the Wind Blow.

Warrior Women

September, 2014

Rafea Anad

 

I first “met” Rafea Anad on a PBS TV show called Solar Mamas, one of a series of programs collectively entitled Why Poverty? She was thirty-two years old at the time, with four daughters (a fifth came along a bit later.) She is a Bedouin and lived in a traditional tent in the middle of the Jordanian desert, close to the Iraqi border. Her village was said to be one of the poorest of all the desert villages in Jordan.
Rafea Anad was given the opportunity to travel to India, to the Barefoot College, to learn to be a solar engineer. This college, the brainchild of entrepreneur Bunker Roy, trains impoverished women, from all over the world, to become solar engineers.
And so, Ms Anad left her four daughters, her home and her husband and headed off to India. The project is intriguing on several levels. Uneducated women, living in abject poverty, are given the opportunity and responsibility of first, learning a trade themselves, and later, training their peers to do the same. Their goal is to provide the entire village with electric power.
Watching the PBS show, I was impressed by the dedication and determination of the women at Barefoot College. They came from everywhere: Kenya, Guatemala, Colombia and many other countries. The women could not speak to each other as they did not have a common language, but they still managed to communicate and support one another. The classes were taught in English, by an Indian man with that stereotypical accent so common in Hollywood movies and silly cartoon shows. It is a wonder the women learned anything at all. But learn they did, and after six months of study, were sent home.
What struck me was the enormity of the change in Rafea Anad’s life. Here is a woman who was removed from formal schooling at the age of ten (for girls to be educated beyond that point is thought to be “shameful,”) who had never traveled before, who lived under the complete control of a strict patriarchal society, and in particular, her husband; a woman who lived a simple, perhaps monotonous, life, who was thrust into a completely new, and most likely, scary, world. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to do it.
When Ms Anad returned to her village, she (and her aunt, who had attended Barefoot College with her) installed eighty solar panels in one week. Wow! I just can’t imagine the amount of work involved. And some of the parts and components of the solar panels must have been pretty damn heavy.
Ms Anad experienced great deal of resistance, of course, from the men in her village, especially her husband. They wanted her to remain in her traditional Bedouin role of submissive, meek wife and mother. She had other plans.
The focus, strength and conviction of Ms Rafea Anad is humbling. I don’t know if I could do what she has done. I imagine it must have been excruciating to leave her daughters! What courage.
Brava! for a job well done, Rafea Anad.
To watch the documentary of Ms Anad’s journey, go here:
http://video.pbs.org/video/2296683172/

Tink about It

September, 2014

Skaði

For years I heard people talk about patron gods and goddesses. Some just chose one they liked, others were ‘called’ by the deity itself. The first didn’t feel right to me, although I had several gods and goddesses I was attracted too. But ‘being called’ sounded a bit strange. What did they mean with that? When, why, how? I didn’t really get it and very few had a clear story about how it works. It seemed to be hard to explain…

When I met my second power animal, a polar bear, in a meditation it was handed to me by a woman. At the time I didn’t really pay attention to her as I was very excited to get to know my new power animal. Somehow though, the woman settled herself somewhere in the back of my mind. In the weeks and months after this happened she slipped into my dreams, meditations, shamanic journeys and even in my daily life. Sometimes I saw her, most of the time I felt her. I just knew she was there. I had heard about a Norse goddess called Skadi, but I didn’t make the connection yet between her and this mysterious woman that decided to occupy my mind.
I decided to do a journey in which I asked my polar bear friend to bring me to her. We walked through a magnificent landscape with snowy mountains and finally arrived in a cave or hall of ice. The woman was sitting in front of a fire and a roasting spit. I assumed she killed the animal on the spit herself; her bow and arrows are lying next to her. She first welcomes my polar bear and only then she invites me with a gesture to sit down. I spent quite some time there, mostly listening, sometimes answering questions. She was friendly enough, but I still felt a bit intimidated. She radiated strength and a strong sense of authority. When she indicated it was time to leave, she gave me her symbol: a silvery white snow crystal. I thanked her and left.
After this journey it was clear to me that she had chosen me, ‘called’ me if you will. My first task was to find out all I can about her. Still a work in progress but I’ll share some of what I found here.

 

Skadi

 

Skaði is one of the lesser known goddesses of the Norse Pantheon. She is the goddess of winter, snow, ice, cold, skiing and hunting. She is often depicted on ski’s with a hunting bow, accompanied by a snow animal (polar bear, white wolf, arctic fox). Her colours are white and icy blue.
Contrary to a goddess like for example Freya there is not a lot to be found about Skaði in the Edda’s and/or other texts from that era. The name Scandinavia is said to be derived from her name, meaning ‘Skaði’s island’. Etymologically her name is related to ‘skathi’, an Old Norse noun meaning ‘harm, damage’, the Dutch word is ‘schade’ which could point to the destructive power of snow and ice. Sometimes Skaði is referred to as Öndurguð (Old Norse ‘ski god’) and Öndurdís (Old Norse ‘ski dís’, often translated as ‘lady’).

Not everyone agrees on calling her a goddess. She is the daughter of the Jotun (ice giant) Thiazi. When the Aesir (clan of gods) kill her father, she leaves Jotunheim (world of the ice giants) and travels to Asgard (realm of the Aesir) to avenge this heinous act. The Aesir fear the destructive powers of winter and convince her to refrain from revenge. She agrees, but demands two things in return. First the gods have to make her laugh, because she hasn’t been able to laugh since her father died. Then Loki ties the end of a rope to his testicles and the other end to a goat. When the goat starts to walk, Loki’s face grimaced from the pain and Skaði laughs out loud. Her second demand is to marry one of the gods. Odin agrees, but determines she can only see the gods’ feet to choose from. She chooses the most beautiful feet, thinking it must be Balder. However, they belong to Njord, the sea god. The marriage isn’t very successful. They eventually split up because Njord can’t get used to living in the mountains and Skaði hates the sea.
According to the Heimskringla (a collection of Norse kings’sagas) Skaði later married Odin, and they had many children together. She also has connections to Loki. In the poem Lokasenna (Poetic Edda) she places a venomous serpent right above Loki’s face, he can’t get away from it, because he is bound. His wife tries to catch the venom in a bowl, but when she has to empty it, the venom drips on Loki’s face, causing a lot of pain and his fury.

There’s more, but that’s too much for a column. More sources and info are always welcome though, tips of books/websites/etc. are much appreciated.
I made a Pinterest album to collect images and artistic impressions of Skaði: http://www.pinterest.com/tinknl/deity-skadi/

 

 

Did you know Skaði before you read this?
Do you have a patron god(dess)? How did that happen?
T(h)ink about it and share if you’d like…

Blessings

« Prev - Next »