mother

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

March, 2019

Akhilanda

(artwork by Pieter Weltevrede)

Akhilanda is the Hindu Goddess of Never Not Broken. Her formal name is Akhilandeswari Ma, and is known informally as Khodiyar Ma, a form of the Great Mother Goddess.

In Sanskrit, Akhilanda means “never not broken” and Ishwari is Goddess or female power. She is one of India’s oldest depictions of the Goddess.

She is said to be originally a Vedic Goddess, the Vedas being the oldest layer of Sanskrit scripture. She is also known as the Goddess of the “agamas”, the texts known as tantra. She has been described as a form of the Goddess Parvati and as associated with Goddess Durga.

She carries a trident and stands upon a crocodile upon a rushing river.

(Image credit: hinduismtoday.com)

“Everything happens for my liberation. I choose to become only more love” – Divine Feminine Oracle

She moves and allows herself to be moved by the motion of the crocodile upon the rushing waters of the river. She surrenders herself to the movement.

(Image Credit: MEDIUM.COM)

Her power comes from being pulled apart and coming back together again; always broken, so she can never BE broken. She is destroyed (broken) and created/re-created again and again.

Akhilanda represents where we are broken, our pieces instead of our whole. The crocodile is our fears, our vulnerabilities.

She teaches us that our power is in our pain and that we have the strength and ability to pull ourselves back together, again and again, after breaking. We re-create and rebuild ourselves over and over into whom we wish to be.

Akhilandra is there to help us transition from one place to another after we are hurt, when we feel sadness, when we have suffered loss. She assists us to grow, to transform, to heal and mend those broken bits and pieces. Just as she surrenders to the motion of the crocodile and the waters of the river, so we should surrender to whatever we are feeling, trusting that we will once again be whole.

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis on Amazon

Witch & Popcorn

January, 2019

Bright Blessings Film Lovers!

This month, I am reviewing Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese live action film based on the Manga books, of the same title, written by Hiromu Arakawa.

Here is the trailer for this film.

The film is all about magic, and science, breaking the rules, and the consequences of doing so.

The film follows the lives of brothers Ed and Al, beginning when they were small, and learning Alchemy on their own. Their mother dies unexpectedly, and they try to bring their mom back to life using the little skills they have learned. This was forbidden, and both boys knew this. It could not end well, but these were kids, and they wanted their mother back, so they disregarded the rules, and did the operation to bring, or “transmute” a human anyways.

The operation fails, it costs them both dearly, and they both spend years tying to get back what they lost due to the consequences. Al is taken away to a place called The Gate of Truth. Ed finds a way to go there to try and get him back, and is only able to bring back Al’s soul, and loses body parts in the process. He is told not to come back for Al until he has the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Ed figures out how to use Alchemy to put Ed’s soul into a metal robot, and vows to find the Philosopher’s Stone and get both Ed and his own body parts back. A metal arm and leg are fashioned for Al, and he later becomes known as The Fullmetal Alchemist.

Fast forward years later, Al and Ed are professional Alchemists, working with the government, and Ed gets a lead about where to find The Philosopher’s Stone, but unfortunately, people keep telling him it doesn’t exist. Undeterred, and determined, he continues his search, which leads him to meet the people with the knowledge.

He discovers, however, he and his brother were not the ONLY ones transmuting both human bodies, and human souls, and the horrors Al and Ed discover almost destroys them, and all the people they hold dear. They discover The Philosopher’s Stone is not what they expected, and using it would be more than breaking rules. It would mean something terrible.

The film ends with the brothers making an unexpected decision, and a sequel is due out sometime in the future.

As practitioners of magic, we can identify with some of the points made in the film.

There is a time to break the rules, and a time to keep them. Magic is a practice of harmonizing with Nature. If doing something goes against the Natural Order of things, or is otherwise unethical, it should not be done.

It is unwise to do magic when you are grieving. Strong emotions interfere with the ability to reason, and acting on your emotions might cause you to do something you later regret.

Things are not always as they seem. Brothers Al and Ed discover this over and over in the film. From who they can trust, to what an item truly is, things seem to constantly change, and the brothers have to keep their wits about them, and pay close attention constantly. Belief does not equal or create Reality. It creates perception, and perception can be false. Magicians and Witches are experts at enchantment, and illusion. Be aware.

Sometimes, we have to listen to what people say when they are trying to warn us. At one point, a character tells Al, “Play with the Devil, and you’ll end up in Hell!”, and Al replies, “I’ve already been to Hell.” He did not realize he was being told to avoid the very thing he was driven to acquire. Had he listened, things would have been better.

All in all, this was a good film. I always love to see Manga brought to live action. They managed to maintain the flavor of Manga with the dramatic costumes, character acting, and special effects. The action scenes did not fail to please, and the sets were gorgeous.

It’s a good work of fiction to read or watch, and I recommend the film.

Happy Viewing!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

November, 2018

SEDNA

(Image Credit: yousense.info)

The story of Sedna, the Mother and Mistress of the Sea, the Goddess of marine mammals, is, to me, one of sadness and betrayal.

In the Arctic Ocean of the Inuits, Sedna lived with her family. She was very beautiful and was wooed by many in Her community. She refused them, one and all. Her father, taking matters into his own hands, gave Her to an unknown hunter, in return for fish to keep the rest of his family fed. This unknown hunter was, in reality, a bird-spirit, and whisked Sedna away while She was asleep.

Another version states that Sedna went with the unknown hunter of Her own free will, as he promised Her a life filled with everything She could dream of – warmth, and food.

Either way, to Her dismay, Her new home was not as promised, as She found herself awakening on a high cliff, in a nest, surrounded by birds.

She got a message to Her father of Her plight. Her father, Anguta, attempted to help Her by putting Her into his kayak to return Her to their home. The birds, seeing this, flew after them, surrounded the kayak, seeking vengeance for the removal of Sedna from the nest.

To save himself, Anguta, threw his daughter overboard. She reached for the side of the kayak to save Herself and Her father cut off her fingers. As She brought her arms up to reach into the kayak, he then cut off Her arms. Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea.

(Image Credit: Hanie Mold/Pernastudios – Deviant.com)

She became the Queen and the Goddess of the Deep, Her fingers and arms becoming the seals, walruses, whales, those ocean mammals most hunted by the Intuit.

Sedna lived, then, beneath the waves, in the Kingdom of Adlivan, the Intuit Land of the Dead, in a home-made of stone and the ribs of whales. She was responsible for sending the sea creatures to the human hunters to feed their families. She took Her responsibility seriously, but She had a provision that when one of them died, their souls would stay with their bodies for three days, whereupon they would bring news to Sedna of how the people behaved. If any of Her laws were broken, She would not send the food to the hunters. This brought Her pain.

When this happened, a Shaman had to visit Her, by passing through terrifying lands and tests, to heal and soothe Her, until Her pain had passed and things were put right once more.

Sculpture of Sedna in Nuuk, Greenland

(Image Credit: alamy.com)

**My fingers were cut off then

I was kicked

I was hurt

I was wounded

I was lied to

I was betrayed

I was abandoned

My suffering was great

but down below in the deeps

in the heart of the ocean

where I was left to lie

I realized my powerlessness

the way my life was lived

helpless and afraid

always being done to

instead of doing

and saw what I did

As realization expanded my

consciousness

fish and sea mammals

grew out of my cut fingers

I became “old food dish”

She who provided for her people

Victim no more**

**From “The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky. Image credit also goes to “The Goddess Oracle”.

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis (Volume 4) on Amazon

Gael Song

October, 2018

The Body of the Goddess, Earth

In most druid writings, there are lots and lots of descriptions about relating to nature, how wonderfully peaceful it is, how deeply restorative. It’s one of the most fundamental, if not THE fundamental, teachings of Celtic paganism. But I don’t think I’ve ever read what I personally feel is the reason for the tapestry of wonders and extraordinary powers of nature, which is that earth is the Body of the Goddess! In the seven heavens my druid guides taught me, which make up the planes of light of the inner realms, the first heaven is earth, and it is ruled by the Goddess. She teaches us wisdom because, once upon a time, wisdom grew stale and flat. Folks forgot the laws of love and bad things began to occur all across the universe (I hear the theme from Star Wars as I write this sentence). So, humanity volunteered to come down into realms of illusion and non-love to learn the laws of love all over again through life’s hard experiences. Wisdom is a living thing, it can only be renewed by reliving it into existence, and our hard, hard task is brightening the light of wisdom throughout the cosmos. This is humanity’s main purpose, and our overlighting teacher and mistress in this process is the White Tara, the Goddess. (The seventh heaven is the Diamond Core, and it is ruled by the God, just in case anyone was wondering what He might be doing.) I always see the ivory White Tara star when I look deep into the earth with my inner vision, Her Shamballa center of light, which orchestrates all that occurs here, our wisdom lessons particularly and the forward momentum of love across the globe. This is Her world.

So, when we are out in nature, looking at the misty ocean or appreciating the loveliness of a fuchsia sunset, perhaps, it is the Goddess Who meets us in the ethers, always. Why do we feel so held and peaceful in the forest or near bodies of water especially? Because we’re being embraced there by Her restful, patient, mothering intimacy that knows all will turn out just fine in the end. Or sometimes, it’s Her longing just to hold us close in our pain, when life becomes too harsh to even contemplate happy endings. By Her silence that is as gentle as the hush of night. I believe gravity also belongs to the Goddess, Her holding force that wants to keep us as close as possible, to feel Her endless love and tenderness for each one of us, to support us from below in utter physical security and steadfastness. Stones, too, so very important to druids as well, are Tara’s bones. It is Her essence we meet underground in those ancient chambers, dolmens, and caves the wise ones of the old ways used for ceremony and initiations.

The quality that I’ve always admired most about the Goddess is how She manages to keep adoring every one of Her children, even when they have strayed deeply into darkness. This means murderers, corporate executives who are impoverishing thousands with their personal greed, rapists, and on and on. Anyone can be comforted in Her embrace, anyone at all. All nature is infused with Her energy, Her enduring patient love that waits centuries, if that’s what it takes, for us to turn and seek to touch Her face, to begin walking the path back Home. In fact, I think we are completely lost without Her, and I worry about all the people I meet who will not even consider that She exists. This is one of my primary reasons for being pagan to the core! And it is this single belief in Her that has caused me the most grief from others over the years. Keep believing in Her, please! Keep the ancient ways sacred and open to those who turn back to Her when they are ready to remember. For She will be the saving of the earth!

Not only that, but it is Her Body that sustains the horrific wounds of war, fracking, pollution, a climate out of control. This is Mother love with a capital L! She endures practically anything to see that we accomplish our task, to remain nearby, to lead and hold us as we blunder along down here. It is time to remember, to return Her divine enduring love with real CARE, gentleness, responsibility for what we each do to Her. I saw a film once in which a man in Austria planted trees and vegetables in a veritable wasteland of dirt and sand. And in seven years or so, his farm looked like paradise, luscious fruit hanging from every tree, many-hued flowers spilling over each other in all directions, peace, fertility, a world full of Her beauty and fecundity once more.

All of these qualities of Her love infuse natural spaces, especially Her restful nature that we need so much in this hurried world. So, take a moment to sit beside a tree or river today and feel Her, will you? Remember Who is truly there! She is SACRED, far more than we know. And let’s take care of Her now, picking up that trash we walk over every day, not poisoning our grass and plants and air any more, instead, nurturing and blessing Her for Mothering that’s as deep as the ocean, as wide as the sky, older than the mountains, and as tender as the petals of roses.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

May, 2018

HIPPOLYTA

(Photo Credit: brooklynmuseum.org)

While there may be those who would argue that Hippolyta was not a Goddess, I feel that, since most of her legends describe Her as being the daughter of Ares, She is, indeed, a Goddess.

Hippolyta was the greatest of all of the Amazon Queens. Fathered by Ares, the God of War, who was himself born of Zeus and Hera, She was beautiful and strong, skilled in endurance and weapons. She was a formidable Warrior Woman. It is quite possible that She was trained in combat moves by Ares himself.

Hippolyta and her Amazons lives in Themiscyra, and kept largely to themselves. While they would mate with males from other tribes, they normally did not keep the male children, either sending them to live with their fathers, abandoning or killing them but always keeping, and raising, daughters for future Amazon generations.

Most of the legends of Hippolyta are her being involved in the exploits of men, as one would expect in a patriarchal society. Reading these myths, it makes perfect sense that the Amazons and their Queen would isolate themselves from much of the world.

Hippolyta was in possession of a golden belt, “the magic girdle”, that was gifted to Her by Ares. It was this belt, along with her skills, that made her the Queen of the Amazons.

(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

There are at least two versions of Her story with Hercules The first is that the Greeks decided that they wanted Hippolyta’s golden belt and send a raiding party to attack and rape the women warriors. These Greeks were led by Hercules.

She found Hercules somewhat attractive and, as was Her custom, wish to wrestle with him to determine if he was strong enough and that She would not give birth to a weak child. Her followers thought that Hercules was attacking their Queen and, in turn, attacked him. The women lost the battle to Hercules’ raiding party. One version of the story tells that Hercules killed Hippolyta and stole the golden belt. Another version says that She was not killed and gave the belt to Hercules of her own free will. Yet another, says that it was Hera, always the enemy of Hercules, who disguised herself as one of the Amazons, told the rest of the warrior women that Hippolyta was going to be kidnapped by the Greeks, and this is what started the skirmish between the two parties.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Another rendering of the story tells of King Eurysthesus giving Hercules 12 challenges or labors. The nineth labor was for Hercules to retrieve (read steal) the golden belt from Hippolyta and giving it to his daughter. Again, here, it is said that Hippolyta gave him the belt. The stories differ once again; one says that She gave him the belt because she was so enchanted by him; another says that the challenges were given to Hercules as punishment for killing his own children in madness and rage, a torment brought on by Hera, and that when Hippolyta heard his story, she was overcome with compassion and offered him the belt. Keeping in mind that the Amazons, while being warriors, what they hoped to offer and teach, was peace, making it quite plausible that She gave the golden belt to Hercules.

While Hercules was a demi-god, Theseus was a mortal who also visited Hippolyta at Themiscyra. Theseus, it was rumored, had killed a minotaur. Recalling Her past experience with outsiders, She prayed that no harm would come to her people as She ordered a great feast to be held in his honor. Theseus asked Hippolyta to come on to his ship, which She did. Theseus had fallen in love with Her and asked Her to stay with him. Hippolyta refused, as She wished to stay with Her Amazons. When She went to disembark from the ship, the crew immediately set sail for Greece, with Hippolyta as a prisoner.

The Amazons were furious and immediately followed to retrieve their Queen. Theseus, having no clue he was being followed, started to plan a grand wedding to marry the kidnapped Amazon Warrior Queen. The Amazons planned their attack to take place deep into the night while everyone was asleep, and were able to rescue Hippolyta just in time. Shakespeare tells his version of Hippolyta’s story with Theseus in his “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”.

Not surprisingly, the Amazons and their Queen became very suspicious and leery of all visitors.

(Photo Credit: screenrant.com)

In pop culture, Hippolyta is the mother of Wonder Woman, who was fashioned a baby from clay and had the life breathed into her by the gods.

Hippolyta – Queen, Warrior, Mother, Goddess

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

For Amazon information Click Image

The Divine Child

January, 2018

 

I am writing this article on Boxing Day or Annandag Jul in Swedish (our family is in Sweden).

I always pay close attention to dreams and my dreams last night were full of children.

I am wearing a warm furry silver cloak and walking around a forest. There is a spectacular night sky overhead. The stars are reflected by the ice crystals trapped in my cloak meaning that I myself am sparkling with star light (not unlike a Christmas tree!) I am Mother Winter! All around me child spirits are darting around and playing in trees: luminous, joyful but also “ghostly”, as-yet-unborn. I open my cloak and give them all a place to gestate safely, in the Womb of Mother Winter…

The central event at Christmas is, of course, the birth of a Divine Child. For Christians this is a very particular child: Jesus Christ. However, the concept of a Divine Child exists in other cultures and belief systems as well. Here is a blog that provides a good overview:

http://mythicspiral.blogspot.se/2013/02/gods-divine-birth-in-religion-and-myth.html

It explains how many of our world’s myths and religions start with the birth of a Divine Child who grows up and becomes a Saviour God as an adult. This Divine Child or god, incarnated on Earth, usually does not have an easy time of it. Often it comes close to being murdered and faces an evil ruler (sometimes its own human father). Miraculously, this child does survive and becomes a revolutionary who plants the seeds for a new paradigm and new ways of collective thinking and dreaming.

The Divine Child exists in alchemy as well. It is often seen as the offspring of the alchemical marriage of opposites or opposing forces: sun and moon, light and dark. You could say that the whole sacred art of alchemy is contained within the image of a magical or divine child because it holds the key to processes of transformation and transmutation.

What if some of the children leading tough lives today are here to become our future world leaders?!

Christmas is a good time to reflect on the fate of children in today’s world. My husband got our three children up before dawn this morning to perform a pagan family ceremony by the nearby lake. They considered themselves hard done by, being lifted from their warm beds before sunrise!

Many children all over the world face serious (real) hardship today as well as every day and night of the year. They grow up in war zones, politically unstable regimes or places of extreme poverty and deprivation. They are at risk of losing their lives, their parents, families, homes or livelihood.

Even in the more affluent Western world many children suffer abuse at the hands of the very people who are supposed to love and protect them: their own parents. The so called “festive season” tends to increase family tensions meaning that for many children Christmas is not a happy time. Instead it is a time of increased physical and emotional abuse. Alcohol use increases too and that is never good news for children.

So today I invite everyone reading this article to spare a thought for the children facing hardship almost beyond human comprehension. Also for the spirits of children who died young or where aborted, who live on as spirit children in other worlds. For more about this I invite you to watch my 2014 art video:

 

SPIRIT CHILDREN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpSLQLHN2B4

 

 

I am a presenter Year of Ceremony with Sounds True and the title of my Full Moon Ceremony) on January 31st is Drawing Down the Divine Child. I invite everyone to check out this wonderful program!

 

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86

 

In a way all children are divine children because a divine spark glows in their heart (as it does in adults). Might it be the case that some children choose to come to Earth to hold up mirrors for all of us and expose injustice?

Might it be the case that soul groups of children incarnate collectively to bring specific issues to global attention? If so, could we find ways of honouring this sacrifice?!

Our word sacrifice is derived from Latin and literally means: making sacred by offering to the gods.

We are all on Earth for a relatively short time before we become ancestors for those who come after us. Do we give enough thought to those future generations, the children of our children’s children and beyond? Do we actively try to create the right conditions on Earth for their arrival?

Shamanism teaches that we can step Outside Time. Once we do so we can work with both Past and Future. Many spiritual schools of thought teach that Time is an illusion and that Past and Future co-exists in parallel dimensions. (Personally speaking I think of Time as an organising dimension on Earth, not as an ultimate reality). If this is so, it means that we can already connect with the children waiting to be born. We can communicate with those souls and find out what they need from us, what seeds they need us to plant for their future existence.

These are some of the issues we will engage with during my Full Moon Ceremony for 31 January 2018!

For today I invite you to do a meditation (or shamanic journey) and seek guidance from spirit on how you can reach out to one child (or several children, (or even a group of children) today and make a difference. Could you be a mentor, provide a listening ear or a sanctuary? Could you be an ambassador working in a different way: speaking, writing or campaigning? Is there some unique contribution only you can make? The lives of many children have been turned around by having access to that one crucial person who was there for them and provided unconditional support. That person is not always a parent, often this is a neighbour, teacher, aunt/uncle, youth leader or grandparent.

If you are a holistic or spiritual practitioner already working with children I invite you to join a closed Facebook group I recently created (and there is some lively thought-provoking sharing going on there!) The idea is to connect people and map where everyone is, so referrals can be made and experiences can be exchanged.

 

GLOBAL GRID OF SPIRITUAL PRACTITIONERS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1084444561692912/

 

All of us grown-ups are ex-children. Somewhere within all of us lives the Divine Child!

I will close with a beautiful poem that friend and fellow author Laura Perry brought to my attention:

 

For So The Children Come

By Sophia Lyon Fahs

For so the children come
And so they have been coming.
Always in the same way they come
Born of the seed of man and woman.

No angels herald their beginnings.
No prophets predict their future courses.
No wise men see a star to show where to find the babe that will save humankind.

Yet each night a child is born is a holy night,
Fathers and mothers–sitting beside their children’s cribs feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning
They ask “Where and how will this new life end?
Or will it ever end?”

Each night a child is born is a holy night–
A time for singing,
A time for wondering,
A time for worshipping.

 

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in 2016.  She is a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit  2017 as well as on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently working on her second book Sacred : A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where Meets Shamanism)

 

For Amazon information Click Image

 

 

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist  (Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86 (Year of Ceremony)

 

 

The Nereids

December, 2017

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

The Nereids are Sea Goddesses/Nymphs and the daughters of Nereus and Doris, who was the daughter of Oceanus. Dorisname means bounty of the sea, which is perfect for the Mother of the Nereids, who represent all that is beautiful about the sea.

They are 50 in number, all of whom loved to dance and sing with their melodious voices. They dressed in the finest silks and their heads were crowned with red coral.

All of them were oracles and had the gift of prophesy and divination. They could prophesy shipwrecks and storms, as they rode whales and dolphins throughout the ocean. They were the protectors of the sailors and fishermen, whom they would save when the predicted storms would appear.

They lived with their father, Nereus, but would go forth to accompany the King of the Sea, Poseidon, who was married to Amphitrite.

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Each of them represented a part of the sea and the oceans bounty.

The Greek poet, Hesoid called them truthful and unlyingand beyond reproach”.

These 50 sisters had one brother, named Nerites, who was born after all of them. It is said that he was the most beautiful male and, one can assume, spoiled by his sisters.

While not all of the Nereids has their own legend, they each had their special part of the sea or specialty.

Aktaia – “Goddess of the sea shore”;

Doto – “safe passage to boats and ships; She also had a temple in Gabala;

Amatheia a healer, who nursed and nurtured the fish of the sea;

Galateia – “Goddess of the sea foam”;

Amphinome the seas bounty”;

Keto – “sea monsters”;

Amphitrite Possessed the power to calm the waters and quiet the wind; She did this along with Her sisters, Kymatolege and Kymodoke and Kymo;

Amphithoe – “moves swiftly”;

Eukrante – “successful voyage”;

Galene – “calm seas”;

Eunike – “maritime victory”;

Autonoe – “with her own mind”;

Dynamene – “the power of the sea”;

Erato – “the lovely”;

Halia –of the brine”;

Kallianas – “lovely queen”;

Eudora – “fine gifts of the sea”;

Eukrante – “successful voyage”;

(Photo Credit: xletsos-basilhs.blogspot.com)

Eulimene – “good harbor”;

Lymnoreaia – “salt marsh”;

Eumolpe – “fine singer”;

Oreithyia – “raging sea”;

Pherosa – “rescuing sailors”;

Protomedeia – “first queen”;

Psamathe Goddess of Sand”;

Agave the illustrious

Thetis – “the unofficial leader of the Nereids

(Photo Credit: beazley.ox.ac.uk)

The remaining Nereids are Thaleia, Theisto, Thoe, Laomedeia, Maira, Leagore, Melite, Panopeia, Nemerites, Menippe, Neomeris, Neso, Nesaire, Apseutes, Dero, Pherosa, Ploito, Eione, Polynome, Dexamine, Pontomedousa, Eugare, Proto, Kallianeira, Pontoporeia, Poulynoe, Kalypso, Eupompe, Klaia, Pronoe, Euarne, Hippothoe, Klymene, Iaira, Kranto, Ianassa, Ianeira and Ione.

MYTHS & LEGENDS

In the legend of Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece, the Nereids were instrumental in helping him and his crew survive. Hera had asked Thetis to protect Jason from the anger of Zeus. As Jasons ship, the Argo, was sailing between the Wandering Rocks (which would destroy the ship and everyone aboard), the Nereids surrounded the ship while Thetis took hold of the rudder blade. Thetis directed the course of the ship, the Neireds tossed the ship back and forth, carrying it above the waves. The ship would have been destroyed, if not for the bravery of the Nereids.

(“Tritons & Nereids” by William Russell Flint)

One day as the Sisters were out frolicking between the sand and sea, Thetis was captured by the Warrior/King Peleus, who wanted to marry her. She unsuccessfully tried to run. She was, at that time, very unwilling to marry but eventually did so, with all of her sisters in attendance.

Thetis was the mother of Achilles; and so, the Nereids were present, marching in his funeral procession. As they proceeded upon the sea shore, they grieved with their sister.

Theseus was the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, but his claim was disputed by King Minos of Crete. Minos flung his ring far out into the sea and demanded that Theseus retrieve it, to prove his claim. Theseus dove right into the ocean, where he was picked up by dolphins and brought to his mothers court, where the Nereids gave him a golden crown to prove his royal heritage.

The Nereids were mentioned not only in the works of Hesoid, but also Baccylides, Ovid, Plato and Sappho, amongst many others.

It is easy to imagine that all of our present tales and myths of sea monsters and mermaids that help sailors come to us from these legends of the Nereids.

(Previously Published on Motherhouse of the Goddess – SM)

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

For Amazon information, click image below.

The Mother Book

October, 2017

A very wise friend recommended that I start a Mother Book: a safe space to vent all my thoughts about mothers. Even, especially the not so pretty, not so generous thoughts now have their safe place, their private page in this journal. This is a relief. I am the writer of this book as well as the only reader of this book.

 

My book starts with the following words:

I have a mother and

I am a mother”

My own mother’s favourite quote about motherhood is: “God couldn’t be everywhere – that is why He made mothers!”

 

We live in a polarised world of putting mothers on a pedestal, yet also blaming mothers for many of the ills in our society. Fathers, too get their share of criticism and blame, but generally absent fathers more than the ones that stay around. From personal experience, I know that fathers who stay around without being mentally present or healthy can do more damage than fathers who do a runner from the rigours of parenting. It is not a clear-cut thing, good or bad.

 

My own mother had a very abusive mother who shape shifted into a wonderful and committed grandmother for me, and my brothers much later in life. She could “do grand-parenting”, which was less intense, and with no 24/7 responsibility, but she couldn’t do parenting. She ended up ‘banishing’ my mother to a boarding school ran by nuns where yet more abuse was meted out. For the periods my mother was at home, or lived at home, she became her own mother’s day-and-night caretaker, catering for her every need, demand, and whim. In adult life, this pattern continued.

 

My mother had enough sense of self-preservation not to agree to grandma moving in with our family of five. However, she was always jumping in the car because the phone had rung with another emergency, or demand from grandma. Even as a young child, I knew something was seriously wrong with that dynamic, and serial drama. It would take me decades to truly understand what, or why, and that my mother could actually have made different choices.

 

As is often the way with abused people who are not offered therapy, and who do not commit to a healing journey, my mother married a man who too had been severely abused. I now realise that my father was mentally ill. He suffered from life-long depression, and many phobias. When things didn’t go his way, he resorted to brutal physical violence, as that was how frustration, and anger were expressed in his family of origin. You beat or kick something, or someone, into submission.

 

The scene was set. I too became the caretaker of my parents almost from birth. Friend, and confidante for my mother, and boxing ball for my Dad. This pattern also affects my younger brother, who is the middle child. Until today, he lives the Rescuer/Saviour Archetype. Our youngest brother, the family baby, and my Dad’s favourite child, got off more lightly, physically and mentally buffered by two older siblings.

 

I have mixed feelings about sharing all this. It is “old family history” and there are so many accounts of dreadful childhoods out there, published or shared informally over tea, or shared in therapeutic sessions behind closed doors. For long periods in my life, I actively chose not to share this material, other than with a few very close friends. What purpose does it serve?

 

Shamanism teaches that what we focus on, as in feed our attention, grows…

 

As a shamanic teacher with a large number of students, shouldn’t I be “over this” now? For long stretches I truly believe that I am! Talking about it fills me with distaste. Today, I accept that on the level of soul I chose this childhood and my parents because I was in training from birth to be of service. To relieve suffering through healing, and unlocking creativity by helping people find their bliss, their power, and inner strength, their healthy Divine core. This is my profession today, and my childhood prepared me for this.

 

Then again, everyday reality is multi-dimensional beyond human comprehension. There is undoubtedly a karmic component to this as well. When we fall pregnant, we don’t normally think of someone arriving, in our own body, with whom we had major issues in previous lifetimes. Yet, I observe this pattern all the time in healing sessions. The sheer number of people I work with has become a great teacher in its own right.

 

We nourish budding life from Day One. We stop drinking alcohol. We take vitamin supplements. We vow to give this baby, this vulnerable human child, the perfect circumstances for thriving, the unconditional love we didn’t receive ourselves, the things we yearned for, and freedom from abuse, and addictions. We want all this for our babies, and MORE! Yet, our babies grow up in an imperfect world, and during the twenty years or so this process takes, many unexpected things happen in our own lives.

 

One of the hardest things is admitting, one sad day, that we, too are imperfect parents. We try to iron out the worst creases. We love our children more ferociously and, more unconditionally than anyone else in our lives, but all we can hope to be is “good enough”. Even good enough parents often produce children with serious disabilities, mental health issues and other challenges. There is an invisible “karmic match-making in process”. Children often end up carrying issues that linger unresolved in the ancestral family field, not to mention unresolved issues from their own previous lives, and so forth.

 

Thanks to my own childhood I became, among other things, an ancestral healing specialist, and I have been able to do life-changing work with others. I must acknowledge this here, or else this article will feel like a complaint, and accusation, and it isn’t meant to be.

 

Thanks to my own childhood, I developed my own Shamanic way of parenting, and teaching that I shared in my first book, Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit for Life. People tell me that reading it has enhanced their family life greatly, and comforted them in difficult periods.

 

For long stretches, I can feel deep gratitude for my childhood as it propelled me to grow, and learn what healing, and mental health is. My understanding of this continues to evolve. There is no end-destination, only a journey through astounding landscapes inhabited by ancestors, soul friends, students, dreams, and revelations. Those landscapes, or soul scapes appear in my paintings. Today I have a rock solid spiritual family, a chosen family of kindred spirits who I love and value dearly. They see, and accept me for the person I am forever becoming, living my talents and realising my Divine potential. Not the wounded person I was decades ago.

 

For me, the hardest thing is not actually processing childhood memories. I spent years of my life doing that. No, it is staying in relationships with members of my family of origin without losing “the person I have become”, and achieving that difficult mix of acting from a place of love, and healthy boundaries.

 

I left my country of birth at age 23. I have not lived there since, and cannot possibly imagine living there again. I married a “foreigner”. His country and his culture have always felt like home to me in a way my own country does not. I prefer his language to my own native tongue. Living in a third country, I have ended up being trilingual, equally fluent in three languages. Just this has broadened my horizons hugely. What a gift and joy!

 

Around my 46th birthday, I started having dreams about my country of birth. In one dream, I was trying to swim across a canal to visit the place where my mother lives today. It was not possible. The current was too strong. An invisible hand held me back. I was told that I could not return. I realised that this canal represented the dividing line. At that point, I had lived abroad for longer than I lived in my country of birth. And yes, it has been a road of no return.

 

The obligation to visit remains, and I often find it extremely difficult. My brothers have stayed local. They are not into spiritual paths, or “woowoo” type things like healing. What I do for a living is a mystery to them. Actually, that is an overstatement. It doesn’t really exist for them. It seems like make-believe to them. My choices are incomprehensible to them, and the guiding principles obscure. They think I am difficult, genetically challenged, selfish, and too emotional. Mostly, this is because I name, and address the family shadows and skeletons, the things they prefer to ignore. Also, because I do not believe in always giving my mother what she wants, which is unlimited access to me, and long frequent visits. Most of all, she wants closeness without boundaries.

 

I DO respect my mother’s choices. At least I try as hard as I humanly can. After my father’s death eight years ago, she chose to “stay faithful to his memory”, and not find another partner. There were tentative approaches from local widowers. As she is a very sociable person, this means profound loneliness. Not every dragging day is broken up by a visit. Unlike my husband, I am not willing to commit to daily ‘mother management phone calls’ at this stage.

 

Instead of taking those oceans of leisure time to reflect on the dynamics of what was a profoundly dysfunctional marriage, my mother resorts to sentiment. “I will never love another man than your Dad!” One of my brothers calls this “rewriting history into fairy tales, and tying up messy loose ends before death by putting a glossy self-serving spin on things”. He says that ultimately this is the way my mother has chosen to make her peace with dubious life choices, and being an active enabler for an abuser, instead of dragging her children out of the situation to safety. I know, Stockholm Syndrome and all that.

 

My mother’s unspoken religion is co-dependency: addiction to people and illusions. My own saving grace was years of attending co-dependency anonymous programs, and working their 12 step program with blood, sweat, and tears. This literally saved my sanity. It may well have prevented mental illness or serious depression too – we will never know.

 

For me, going ‘home’ ,or having my Mum to stay for extended periods, is akin to a recovered alcoholic jumping into a sea of vodka. The recovery time, clearing myself of many layers of old programming and old pain is always twice as long as the visit. Spending time with people who do not “see me”, because they only see the person I was 30 years ago, and try hard to push me back into that role, and those dynamics is painful.

 

It is easier for those I left behind, to see my choices as “cold and selfish”. I am working very hard on total acceptance of that. I am not responsible for, and I have no impact on, the stories my mother, and brothers choose to tell themselves about the reality they create for themselves. Just as they have no interest whatsoever in the healing stories I tell myself to survive, to transmute the pain, to evolve, to survive, to live in joy, and creative bliss.

 

In my mother’s worldview, she made immense sacrifices for her own mother, her children and unstable husband. She never attended higher education. She didn’t work outside the home, or pursue a career. We all make choices in life, and no one escapes making tough choices. I am old enough at 50 to understand that.

 

As her only daughter, and firstborn child, she would have expected me to continue carrying the ancestral imprint of ‘the daughter sacrificing herself for her mother’. Moving abroad, and teaching incomprehensible things internationally does not feature in that script. Nor does raising three children whose first language is not my mother tongue. I do make sacrifices for my mother. 30 years of trips to my country of birth inevitably making me feel ill and upset. Making frequent phone calls because she is not willing to embrace modern forms of communication, and every phone call is identical. Everything is on repeat. I have heard it all a million times before. I have long stopped telling her the things that truly engage me, because they remain incomprehensible to her, like a closed book. I listen to old stories on repeat. I witness my mother talking to herself, rewriting history, and glossing over the past. I actively remind myself to be grateful that she “only” suffers from severe, and possibly elective amnesia, not dementia.

 

Yet I remain determined to see her Divine spark, her strengths, and her Spirit. She gave me Life, and so my Mother Book continues to grow, and throw up surprising insights.

 

I invite you to start a Mother Book, too. It is a great vessel for things the average person is not willing to listen to, or sit with. Once started, it soon acquires a spirit, and voice of its own. It listens and it talks back.

 

Imelda Almqvist, Sweden, April 2017

 

***

 

About the Author:  

 

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally. 

 

 

For her courses in Norse Shamanism (in both Europe and soon coming to the USA as well) please visit the following webpages

FORNSED IN SWEDEN

http://www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk/info2.cfm?info_id=211324

2 YEAR PRACTITIONER OF NORSE SHAMANISM PROGRAM

http://www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk/info2.cfm?info_id=224450

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/

YEAR OF CEREMONY

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86

FREE “HARNESS YOUR CREATIVE POWER SUMMIT” WITH GUNHILD LORENZEN

http://www.gunhildlorenzen.com/imelda-almqvist-speaking-at-harness-your-creative-power-online-summit

 

Art Video

July, 2017

Winter Sleep

This short art video is about the Dreaming of a Mother Bear presented by My Bear Self!

It was made spontaneously while we were in Sweden in April and unexpectedly experienced a White Easter (rather than the White Christmas we had hoped for a few months earlier in the same location).

One of my long-standing dreams was to put on a bear costume, roam in the forest and hibernate in a cave – so I took the opportunity to do just that.

On another level this art video is about dissolving separation between humans – animals, self – other, ancestors – future generations, inner world – outside world, life -death and so forth.

In the final reckoning this short film is my living will as it communicates my wishes for my own death and beyond. 

Imelda Almqvist

***

About Imelda

Imelda Almqvist teaches shamanism, sacred art and internationally. 

Her book “Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life”, Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages was published by Moon in August 2016. 

http://www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk/

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/

Imelda is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86

And she will present on the Shamanism Global Summit with The Shift Network on July 25tth

http://shamanismsummit.com/program/132

Goddess Cards

May, 2010

Mothers

Moon-Shine-Sun-Shine


A famous Jewish proverb says, “God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.

Six thousand years ago, people believed it was the Goddess who created everything!  The goddess, known as the Great Mother, was thought to have given birth to the whole universe. She did so, not from a position of remote, male authority, but from the very blood and substance of her body, right here on Earth.

In her limitless fertility and abundance, she birthed, not just a host of children of every kind, but the Heavens themselves. She created everything that walked or crawled upon the Earth, flew across the skies, swam in the oceans, lakes and rivers, or languished in the lonely fires of the Underworld. She created them out of Kaos, inspired by love, and loved all of creation.

Like the God of the Old Testament, she looked at her work, and found it good.

Not all of her children were beautiful, successful, or even kind. She birthed monsters along with her divine offspring. Yet, like all human mothers who follow in her footsteps, she loves her children, and provides, as best she can, for their care and feeding. She forgives them for their faults and failures, and is always ready to welcome them home into her loving arms, or into the Earth from which they sprang, and to which they must all return.

The Great Goddess or Mother has many names. Tiamat, Isis, Inanna, and Gaia, to name just a few. Her characteristics, name and personality reflected and adapted to the culture in which her worship grew. Because of this, she was readily accessible and recognizable to the people she served. Her worship grew up in pre-historic and ancient times in the rich, agricultural lands along the Nile, the Indus, and the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers. Gradually, it spread along the Mediterranean Sea into Greece and Europe. There, it flourished. Agricultural societies depend upon the fertility of the land, and of the mothers who bear children to help care for it.

Goddess worship prospered in these places until it was overthrown, first by a wave of nomadic, monotheistic Semite sheep and goat herders, starting in the 4th millennium BC, and later by the triumphant Christian faith that grew out of the earlier Hebrew tradition.

But, as a friend of mine said, “The goddess is like dandelions. You can root them out. Weed them. Spray them. And still, they come creeping back!”

You cannot kill the goddess, or the Great Mother! She is part of our deepest cultural memories ~ and of our real-life experiences with our own Great Mother, the mother you call your own.

Gaia

In this image, we see Gaia, the great Greco-Roman goddess who we know as Mother Earth. She is shown, surrounded by just a few of her countless children. They range from small human beings to a sampling of all creatures of the Earth, Sky, and Water.

The-World-of-the-Great-Goddess


Gaia is even more influential today than she was thousands of years ago! The Gaia Movement, founded by James Lovelock in 1972, started the huge environmental revolution unfolding right now. This movement sees the entire planet as a single, living organism, where everything must be in balance if life, as we know it, is to continue to be sustainable.  As in a happy family, each member must contribute to the good of the whole, and refrain from polluting or damaging the family home.

To keep us aware of this delicate balance, who is a better archetype than Gaia, the great Earth Mother goddess?

On Mother’s Day, most of us will remember our mothers with greeting cards, flowers, and perhaps a dinner out. How could it be otherwise? She is our first experience of love and security on Earth. As William Makepeace Thackeray said, “Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”

For me, a child who grew up all over the world, home was always where my mother was. She was my comforter, my teacher, my playmate, and my very first love. Even though I am now a mother, and a grandmother as well, I still miss her wise counsel and warm arms.

This is a universal experience.

Soldiers, dying on the battlefield, have been known to cry out for their mothers with their final breath. The last thoughts of Christ, hanging on the cross, were for Mary, his mother. He consigned her to the care of his beloved disciple, John, so that she would not suffer the poverty of other widows in first century Palestine.

It can’t have been easy being Gaia. Imagine giving birth to galaxies, as well as to rafts of children! She also dealt with a husband who was jealous and suspicious of his own children, who was often violent toward them and towards her. Yet she endured, as all Great Mothers do. And she kept her turbulent family together.

Her legacy has never been forgotten.

Gaia bless all mothers! May Earth Day (April 22nd) and Mother’s Day (May 9th) be days of thanksgiving for our earthly mothers, and for Mother Earth, who nourishes us all.

Anne Baird

April 20, 2010

It’s not easy being a mother.  If it were easy, fathers would do it.  ~From the television show The Golden Girls

Anne Baird, Designer/Owner of GODDESS CARDS, is a self-taught artist who has been painting and writing since childhood. Her chosen media for her unique line of greeting cards is watercolor, with touches of gouache, ink and colored pencil.

Her GODDESS CARD line grew from a birthday card she created for her daughter, Amanda, in 2001. Amanda was disheartened at being a curvaceous beauty in the Land of Thin. (Los Angeles.) That seminal card declaring, “You’re a GODDESS, not a nymph!” evolved into a long line of love notes and affirmations for ALL women. At over 125 cards, the line is steadily growing.

Anne is inspired by the archetypal Legendary Goddesses, who have so much to teach today’s women. Her greatest inspiration however, comes from the Goddesses of Today, who write her with wonderful suggestions and thoughts that expand her consciousness and card line.

She has launched  an E-Goddess Card website, where the Goddess on the Go can send Goddess “e-cards”, enriched with music and stories, at the click of a mouse. (A virtual mouse.)