Thursday, November 29, 2007

Closing the MASKS OF THE GODDESS Project

(Mana Youngbear with her cast at Spring, 2002 performance)

"Myth comes alive as it enters the cauldron of evolution, drawing energy from the storytellers who shape it." Elizabeth Fuller, The Independent Eye

"The mythologies of our present culture are heading us to destruction...we are being called upon to participate in revising the mythic assumptions that we follow." Suzi Gablik, Art Critic

I have a whole lot of thanks to offer for the journey these masks have taken me on over the years. The many wise and brilliantly talented people whose dances and stories have become threads woven into my own life stories in the course of my travels with the masks. I think, even though the collection is going, that the work isn't entirely over.
I've long been disatisfied with the book I've been trying to write about the project. I've actually had several rounds of submissions to publishers and agents, visualizing a coffee table/art book, a treatise on mythologies of the Goddess, and essays I've written about the importance of the Goddess as collective and personal archetypes.

None of it worked out. I've come to the conclusion that what I want to document is a very personal process, a "patchwork quilt" of stories, images, and quotes, my own, and many that I've gathered from others along the trail. Because the trail has truly been a CHAUTAQUA - not my own, but a Chautaqua, a gift of tremendous generosity, carried down the road by many. My privilege is that I was able to provide some measure of my own gifts to the process.
My notes on Hecate (here), and Spiderwoman (also on this blog) touch a kind of personal quality I want. Fact is, its enormously difficult to publish a book commerically these days anyway, so if I'm going to document this long project in a way that satisfies my soul, I might as well do it exactly the way I want to, because I'll probably end up publishing a limited edition of the book myself anyway.

(Ann Weller as "Sophia", 2002)

Good inquiry often starts with a question. So what are the "masks" of the Goddess? I don't mean the collection on my website, rather, the metaphorical and spiritual and psychological "masks". How do they exist within each of us, how do we wear them, consciously, and unconsciously? Are there new ones, nameless ones, ancient ones, future ones? What happens when a woman, or a group, "invokes" an archetype of a goddess? When one "wears" a mask, metaphorically or literally, I've often found that so much story, energy, collective mythos comes forward, inhabits us, co-creates with us, "anima - ates". To engage the Goddess in any form is to open a Conversation, a mysterious process of syncronicities, empowerments, insights, and plenty of "shadow work" as well.

Just yesterday I was thinking about Sophia. On the path before me, while walking, I saw a white dove (probably an albino mourning dove).............. a rare sight. Doves are the sigel of Sophia, Goddess of wisdom.

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