Tuesday, October 25, 2016

LITANY FOR THE LOST: the 6th Extinction for the Day of the Dead



 ............The Green Turtle, The Hawksbill Turtle, Kemp’s Ridley Turtle, The Leatherback and Loggerhead Turtles.  Sperm whales, the Bottlenose Dolphin, The Brown Pelican, The Barrier Tern and all migrating Songbirds in the Gulf.   The Pancake Batfish, Bluefin Tuna. Piping Plover, Gannets.  The Polar Bear. The Trumpeter Swan, West Indian Manatees, the White Rhinoceros,the Whooping Crane , Caspian Tigers,   The pygmy owl, the Sonora tiger salamander, the American jaguar, the African gorilla, the African rhino, the Mexican grey wolf,the Bengal tiger the White tip Shark the Yangtze river dolphin, the western black rhino, the Pyrenees ibex, the red colobus monkey, Egyptian Barbary sheep the Spanish wolf, the English wolf, the Mexican grey wolf.  The black footed ferret, Moorean tree snail, the little bush moa, the new Zealand coastal moa. Central California steelhead salmon, the Passenger Pigeon, Stellars sea cow , Bachman’s warbler, and the The Ocelot, the Indiana bat, the San Clemente sage sparrow, the Western Snowy Plover, the Short Tailed Albatross, Yellow Billed Cuckoos, San Diego Mesa Mint, Blunt Nosed Leopard Lizards, San Francisco Garter Snakes, Santa Cruz island mallow bushes, the island rush rose, Irish hill buckwheat plants. Old growth coastal redwoods. The Palos Verdes blue butterfly.......................the new Zealand black fronted parakeet, the Jamaican green and yellow macaw, the Jamaican red macaw, the grey parrot, the Solomon island crowned pigeon,the Hawaiian thrush, the Norfolk Island ground dove, the elephant bird, and the great Moa.  The African Elephant, the African Wild Ass,  the Asian Elephant,  the Asian Lion, Atlantic Salmon, Black Lemurs, Black-footed Ferrets, Blue Whales, Bowhead Whales, Cheetahs, wild Chimpanzees; the Dodo.  Eastern cougars, and the Mexican Grey Wolf.  The Eskimo Curlew, the Fin Whale,  Flightless Cormorants, the Giant Anteater, the Giant Armadillo, Greater Prairie Chickens, and the Spotted Owl.  The Indian Rhinoceros, the Japanese Crested Ibis, Eastern Lady Slipper, the lesser koa finch, the Javanese lapwing, the slender billed grackle,the St. Helena petrel, Bruno mountain Manzanita, the desert pupfish, the hawksbill sea turtle, the Wyoming Toad,

And many more  RELATIONS.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Real Time Heroes in a Disillusioned Time.........


In this time of the election of 2016 it is easy to be overwhelmed with despair at the greed, violence, hatread, and stupidity of the human race.  Seriously, with the ugliness of things like Donald Trump, the horror and injustice that is happening in Syria, the mindless destruction of the environment by corporate entities that exist for no purpose other than endless greed.......I am just overwhelmed with the horror of my species.  So  I felt like writing about a few  real time  "Heroes" - people who are quietly living lives of amazing generosity every day.   You rarely hear about them.  The popular media and their audience loves the monsters, the ugly, the clowns.  Movie after movie is made about the lives of serial killers and unscrupulous  sociopathic politicians - but movies about  people like Jane Goodall, or  Thomas Berry, or.......so many are "boring", and not made.   These people have lead the most interesting lives of all, because they are lives that have risen to the highest levels of humanity's capacity for love.   And knowing about their lives brings hope, real hope for a better world.

It's been my privilege to meet a few "quiet heroes" personally.  The truth is, people like this are all over the place, doing kind, transformative, generous work.    This is the kind of news we need to hear  a whole lot more of.

First,  Marc Gold and the 100 Friends Project I met Marc when he came to Tucson for a fundraiser ...he is a retired teacher from California, who now devotes all of his time to raising money and travelling around he world to distribute it where he finds it is needed.  Here's what one of the original "100" has to say:

"My good friend Marc Gold has built one of the most captivating projects (and one of the most interesting lives) that I know of. While traveling in the Himalayas in 1989, Marc (probably) saved the life of a destitute woman by pulling a few dollars from his pocket to fund her emergency medical care. Struck by Actually Experiencing the huge difference that small sums of western money can make in so much of the world, Marc, before his next trip to Asia, wrote a letter to one hundred of his friends. He told them the story of the destitute woman, told them that on his upcoming trip he was going to share more of his money with other impoverished individuals, and promised that if any of his friends would like Marc to give away some of their money too, he would gladly do that -- and report back on the whole adventure. Marc guessed his friends and family might send $300-$400, but they sent over $2,000.

From that beginning Marc has spent the past two decades building The 100 Friends Project. His current goal is to distribute, person-to-person, a total of $1 million (I joke to Marc, a 59-year old teacher who has lived "paycheck-to-paycheck" his entire life, that his goal is to become a "reverse millionaire"), and it seems that he is well on his way." (http://www.100friends.org/)

I met Dana Dakin when I taught a "Masks of the Goddess" class at Kripalu in 2008, and sat open mouthed while she shared her story over dinner.  Inspired by Olga Murrey's work, she decided she would start a micro-lending program to help impoverished women when she turned 60.  She put her intention out into the universe, and was led on an amazing adventure that became Women's Trust of Ghana;  now a model program that  won the prestigious Purpose Prize Award.  Here's a little bit of her story.....
"In the 1980s,  I met a woman named Olga Murray celebrating her sixtieth birthday. To mark the occasion, she was heading off to Nepal to start an orphanage. Her vision, courage, and determination left an indelible mark on me. In 2003, the orphanage and Olga were still going strong and I turned sixty. Based on the adage that life is lived in thirds, the first third you learn, the second third you earn, and the final third you return, and with Olga as a role model, I decided to greet the youth of old age with my own way to give back. I also knew that whatever I did it had to benefit women and girls. This was reinforced by the information I repeatedly uncovered that all social indicators are positively impacted when you help women to help themselves; their families and their communities are the beneficiaries. The next step was to decide where to begin a microfinance program. 

I had a personal trainer Tetteh, a delightful young Ghanaian man, whose father lived in Ghana. My  reading  indicated that Ghana was a relatively safe place to travel with English being the language of the government. These were very important criteria. Being a woman planning to travel alone and not being much of a linguist, I began to talk to people I knew about my idea of going to Ghana to find a village where I could start a microfinance program. I contacted my alma mater Scripps College to speak to a professor who had been featured in an article in the alumni magazine about her research on Mami Waters, a West African goddess. All were helpful and moved me to another contact. Making the plane reservation was the hardest part. 

On March 2003, with my stomach in knots, I boarded my flight for Accra. The following day I explored Accra, got my feet under me somewhat, and wondered in my jetlagged state what I would do next. My feeling all along was that the village I would adopt would be in the northern part of Ghana where the poverty was particularly acute.

I received a call from the front desk that there were two gentlemen to see me. Passing through the lobby I noticed two men – one elderly in a flowered shirt, pants, and sandals, and the other in a long white caftan, bearded and barefoot, and carrying a staff. “Well,” I thought, “that’s not them.” And, of course, it was “them”. The older man was Tetteh’s father, and his companion was a fetish priest from a village just north of Accra. They were to bring me to Pokuase village where they had located a room in an inn run by the only white person in the village. Checking out of the hotel, with suitcases in tow, I got into their car and away we went."

And here's the story of the woman who inspired Dana, leaving for Nepal to start an orphanage at the age of 60.  

Olga Murray and the Nepal Youth Foundation :

Broken Leg, Broken Children

Olga Murray had fallen hard for Nepal – so hard, in fact, that she slipped and fell on a trek in the Himalayas. Carried for days in a basket on the shoulders of a Nepalese porter back to Kathmandu, she consulted a young Nepali orthopedic surgeon who had just opened a small hospital for children.  Day after day, she saw kids with the most terrible disabilities being brought to the hospital, often carried for days down mountain trails, accompanied by dazed relatives, many of whom had never been out of their villages and had never seen a car or electric lights.
Some of these children were abandoned at the hospital by families too poor to feed a child who couldn't contribute to their survival. Others were so badly disabled that they couldn't get to school over the mountain trails when they returned to their villages. Still others had intolerable home situations.
With friends, Olga began giving scholarships to some of these kids.
The Nepal Youth Foundation was formed in 1990. Two years later, Olga Murray retired from the practice of law after 37 years, and  began to devote all her time to the welfare of Nepali children.

And last, a local Heroine, Kathe Padilla, who I met while she sat with her very modest brochures at a card table at the 4th Avenue Arts Faire.  Recently I ran into her at a thrift store - always she is humble and self-deprecating.  You would never guess what she has done with her life if you met her.  Yet Kathy spends part of her time in Tucson, and part of her time in Zambia at the orphanage and school she helped found near Lusaka.  In Zambia, a recent census shows that as much as 60% of the population may be under 20 years of age.    Her story is simple;  she learned that there were as many as 10,000 orphaned street children in Lusaka, and being a mother herself, decided she just couldn't stand it.  She went to Africa to learn what she could do.
"In 1999, Kathe Padilla flew to Zambia to see how she could help the growing number of orphaned children living on the streets of Lusaka. With a group of concerned Zambian professionals, she organized the first Board of Directors of what came to be the Chishawasha Children’s Home of Zambia(CCHZ)."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hecate (Revisited)

"In us is also a dark angel (Hekate was also called angelos), a consciousness (she was also called phosphoros) that shines in the dark and witnesses such events because it is already aware of them a priori.........Part of us is not dragged down but always lives there, as Hekate is partly an underworld Goddess."
The Dream and the Underworld James Hillman

It's that time of year again, that LIMINAL TIME  when the world prepares to go into the darkness of winter, the last Harvest Festival is almost here.  Hecate's Time, and I felt like it was appropriate to pull out this previous post about that Great Goddess of the Underworld. Because even under the veneer of the commercial Halloween frenzy going on, as the Veils thin, there she is still.......standing at the Crossroads of Time, illuminating the darkness  with Her two Torches.  

I have  made a number of paintings throughout my life that portrayed myself as Hecate (strangely, now that I reallly am a "crone" I haven't had that impulse).  It wasn't until later that I began to realize, as Hillman above comments, that I was invoking and calling forth this quality within myself by so doing, asking for the inner guidance I needed as I moved through a divorce, through menopause, and later being a caretaker for members of my family as their lives ended.  

Hecate is the Underworld  aspect of the Triple Goddess  Persephone/Demeter/Hecate.  This archetype of the "power of three", the sacred Triad, is very ancient indeed, with roots that go back and back and back into prehistory.   The Triad represents the eternal cycle of nature, the Earth  which from the most ancient of human beings seem to have universally revered  as  "Mother Earth".  Early peoples observed that the Earth, like women, gave birth, nurtured, and finally "took back" life into some mysterious underground realm (Womb/Tomb)  to return again in the springtime.  

The earliest known  paintings were of animals, and  the earliest known paintings of human beings (not animals)  are of  vulva symbols.  These female symbols  occur in cave paintings - the one on the right is over 30,000 years old, one of the oldest paintings in the cave.  The bull was painted over it at a later time.   It might be said that very ancient people understood the vulva as the  crucible of entry into this world, and to honor the Earth Mother in caves, along with the animals the early people hunted and revered, was to enter the womb of the Great Mother, and thus prepare and  pray for a good rebirth.  

"Mandorla of the Spinning Goddess"
 by Judith Anderson**

"Hecate's Wheel" 
Associated with Hecate is a peculiar icon called "Hecate's Wheel",  which shows three loops suggesting a labyrinth  turning around a wheel, symbolizing an  eternally transformative movement.   The Wheel of the Triad moves through conception and birth, sexuality and motherhood, and finally death, the return to the Underworld, incubation and return.   The Three Goddesses are really One Goddess, each a manifestation in a different phase.  So significant was the Trinity  to the development of Western mythos  that some scholars say it was co-opted by later Patriarchal cultures, which replaced the ancient  Mother Goddess  with a male Creator, as in Hinduism's  Brahma/ Vishnu/Shiva (Creator - Sustainer - Destroyer), or as in the Trinity of Christianity, the  Father/Son/Holy Ghost

Hecate, from "I Am The Goddess, ALL are The Goddess", facilitated by Lena Grace, (2012)

Hecate  lives at the crossroads between conscious and unconscious, dream and waking, life and death.  She stands at the apex of the  liminal zones.  It was  Hecate who   heard the cries of the naive maiden Kore as she was carried by Hades into the underworld, and it was Hecate who bore a torch for Kore as she evolved into the mature Persephone, Queen of the dead and also Queen of life's rebirth. 

Hecate is the guide of souls through deep, unfathomable places of the psyche. When the time is ripe, Hecate stands quietly at the threshold with her two torches, unseen until She hears the soul-cry of those who ask Her to light the way.   

I copy below a short interview I did with Damira Norris, in 2002 a woman who performed Hecate in a 2001 performance produced by Diane Darling.  I found Damira's reflections on working with Hecate through the passage of menopause very moving.    I reflect, re-reading some of the ancient lore of the Triple Goddess, how far contemporary theologies have removed us from reverence for the Earth and all of  Her cycles, and especially, the renewal and mystery that comes from the darkness.    Which is now a  very critical concern.  

by Damira Norris

Hecate was my guide as I traveled through the tunnel of menopause, my appointed time to do my "shadow work". At menopause I entered a profound depression. I was forced to plunge into recesses of my life history I hadn't begun to negotiate. What I felt, in essence, was deep emotional shame. All of my internalized stories of being a victim arose for examination. And I was also forced to examine the side that is a tyrant, that always insists on having it's own immature way.

I remember lighting a candle each day to symbolize my daily commitment to my journey through the despair I felt. I carried that candle with me, and when I felt lost, I relit it. That's Hecate to me. She will not help you to avoid a thing, but She will bear a light for you on the path, the path to mature empowerment. "It's time", She says, "to know the inside of yourself, to know all that is there". I believe that at certain passages in our lives, our souls cry "I want to get rid of this, I want to move on". And it's not easy.

"Go down into it" my counselor would tell me, "bring it up and let's look at it". That's Hecate country. I remember a visualization I did while in therapy. She had me look behind a curtain, and what I saw was an emaciated, unloved creature. I was given the opportunity to "meet" a part of myself that symbolized the inner voice that daily recited a litany that went something like this: "I can't do this right, I can't do that".......I had to meet this sad, frightened creature and open my heart to her. Now, I recognize that persona when I'm driven by unconscious fear. I can determine to bring her into the whole circle of who I am.
We see Hecate as scary. But that comes from a culture that denies aging, the so-called shadow side of life. 

We are preoccupied with youthfulness, which translates as a childish self-absorption that insists "I will do what I want to do, when I want to do it".....regardless of the consequences to ourselves, our communities, to our world. Shadow work is about soul retrieval. I had to become a mature, empowered woman at menopause, and so, whether I understood it or not, I had begun to bring home parts of myself that were lost. Unexamined childhood wounds, so many "underworld" storylines. That meant going inside to meet the ugly, the uncomfortable. Hecate was the force guiding me through the hard times. When I performed Hecate, I was doing it to thank Her.

The Dark Goddess is about learning genuine compassion, full circle compassion. It's so much easier now for me to recognize what is going on with others, because I can see into the once opaque depths of myself. We speak of women who've gone through menopause as being "more in their power". This is because the other side of disintegration is the retrieval of enormous reservoirs of energy. We're asked to clean out the book of our lives, so we can become guides for those who will follow us. To become our Hecate selves."

"Hecate" (1997)
I also take the liberty of copying a wonderfully insightful and well researched  article by  Danielle Nickel - for further insight, visit her site   (http://home.comcast.net/~subrosa_florens/witch/index.html) .

Hekate:  Moving Through Darkness
by Danielle Nickel

Hekate is primarily a goddess of the Underworld, holding dominion over death and rebirth. This is meant both in the literal sense and in the metaphorical as well. For life is filled with many deaths and rebirths aside from that of the flesh. Because of this the Dark of the Moon especially is her time of the month, since it is a time of endings and beginnings, when what was is no more, and what will be has yet to become.

Hekate guards the limenoskopos (the doorstep), for she is a goddess of liminality and transition. Of being on and crossing boundaries. This includes not only the boundary between life and death, but any boundaries, such as those between nature and civilization, waking and sleep, sanity and madness, the conscious and the subconscious minds. Indeed, any transition can be said to be her domain. As such she is also goddess of the crossroads, where the paths of one's life fork and a person must choose which future to embark upon. In ancient times these were believed to be special places where the veil between the worlds was thin and spirits gathered.

Hekate is also the goddess of psychological transformation. Her Underworld is the dark recesses of the human subconscious as well at that of the Cosmos. Many have accused her of sending demons to haunt the thoughts of individuals. What they fail to understand is that the demons are not hers, but their own. By the light of her twin torches Hekate only reveals what is already there. These are things which the person needs to see in order to heal and renew. However, if they are not prepared for the experience of confronting their Shadow then it can truly feel like they are being tormented. Hekate is not motivated by cruelty, nor is she seeking to harm. But her love can be tough love. She will prompt a person to face the things that they must, whether they like it or not..........Hekate goes with them. While she may not be the deity many people would like, she is the one whom they need. Because of this I believe that she comes to those who require her, whether or not they were looking for her.

"Dream Weaver" (2009)                               
In modern Neo-Pagan practice Hekate is typically identified as an aspect of the Crone, and as such is most often portrayed as an old woman. This is in contrast to ancient vase murals which depict her as being an adult woman in her prime. As with many things about this goddess, this is a perception that has changed over time. However, the Crone aspect of the modern Triple Goddess is not truly defined by her age, but rather by the powers her age represents (that of wisdom, magical potency, annihilation, and the transformative journey through the Underworld), and those indeed fall under Hekate's domain. So while perhaps not historically accurate, this is not a demotion or devaluing of her, but rather the way in which modern Neo-Paganism fits her into its philosophy (this difficulty with integrating her into their cosmology is something that we will see Neo-Pagans share with the Ancient Greeks as well).

Hekate is more often than not portrayed as carrying two torches and is known as "The Torch-Bearer". She carries these because of her role as a guide through the transition of the Underworld. One torch shows a person where it is they currently stand, the other where they might go. In this manner she reveals the mysteries of transformation to those who enter her realm of darkness.

.......Hekate is also associated with a curious wheel shaped design, known as Hekate's Wheel, or the "Strophalos of Hekate". It is a circle which encloses a serpentine maze with three main flanges, that in turn are situated around a central, fiery spiral. The symbolism refers to the serpent's power of rebirth, to the labyrinth of knowledge through which Hekate could lead humankind, and to the flame of life itself: "The life-producing bosom of Hekate, that Living Flame which clothes itself in Matter to manifest Existence" (according to Isaac Preston Cory's 1836 translation of the Chaldean Oracles). The three main arms of the maze correspond with her being a triple goddess, as well as goddess of the three ways, and that she has dominion over the earth, sea, and sky.

A Goddess of Crossroads and Transitions 

As earlier stated, Hekate is a guide for people who are in transition. While she is most famous in her role as a psychopomp, guiding the spirits of the dead in their journey through the Underworld, she also aids those who cross boundaries or otherwise travel from one condition to another, particularly when that crossing involves danger.........For more than anything else she is a deity of liminality.

She is a goddess of the crossroads for this reason. In the ancient world a crossroad was a point where three roads met to form a "Y"-shaped intersection. It was believed to be a place where spirits gathered, including those of the Underworld and those of Fate. It is also a metaphor for the divergence of possibilities in an individual's future. Their life will bring them to the crossroad along one of the roads, and they will be met with a branching, where they must choose one path or the other to continue onward. As goddess of transitions, Hekate rules this place where the roads separate and differing futures are possible.

However, it is important to remember that Hekate is a guide. She points out where a person is currently heading and where else they might go if they change their path instead. She does not choose a person's fate herself. That is always left to the person to decide. She is a torch-bearer because of this illumination she sheds upon one's life. That is also one reason she is a lunar-deity, for while a torch brings light to the darkness of night, so too does the moon on the grandest possible scale. This reflects both her link to the night-realms and to her role as an illuminator of ways..

Hekate is often portrayed as  three torch-bearing female figures standing in a circle looking outward, with their backs joined so that they are in fact one being. This exhibits her dominion over the triple-crossroads and her ability to see in all directions simultaneously. The road a person had come from, and the directions they might take in the future. These hektarion (or hekataion) were placed at crossroads. Their earliest forms consisted of a pole upon which three masks were hung, with one facing each road. In more recent times these became statuary, sometimes of three figures standing with their backs to a central pillar, other times a similar portrayal without the column in the center.

The Romans knew Hekate as Triva, which means "where the three roads meet".

Hekate Triformis - The Triple Goddess

Hekate is a triple-goddess, serving as the Crone aspect in more than one triumvirate of deities. Perhaps most commonly we see her partnered with Kore-Persephone and Demeter. Where Kore takes the role of the Maiden (indeed, the word kore means "maiden" in Ancient Greek), Demeter the Mother, and Hekate the Crone. This triumvirate plays a central role in the myth of Kore's descent into the Underworld and her re-emergence as Persephone.
This myth appears to have been the basis for the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which initiates relived the experience of Kore and like her returned forever changed, reborn with a new understanding of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

 In the earliest tales, Kore willingly descends into the Underworld, while in the later and more well-known versions she is kidnapped by Hades. The latter being indicative of the rising patriarchy of Ancient Greece. In either version, her mother Demeter - who is the goddess of agriculture -  withholds her blessings from the Earth and causes the first winter to come about. It is Hekate who spies Kore within the Underworld and guides her back to the surface to be reunited with her mother. She emerges not as the maiden Kore, but as Persephone, a powerful woman in her own right, and with her comes the warmth and promise of spring. Persephone however, has become inextricably tied to the Underworld and returns there for four months every year, one for each pomegranate seed she ate while there. Her leaving is accompanied by the onset of winter, and while she holds her court in the Underworld she is joined by Hekate. In this myth we not only see a metaphor for rebirth, but also of coming of age and into one's own power and place in the world.

The Invincible Queen Of The Dead

While Hekate is a versatile deity, she is best known as a goddess of death and the Underworld. However, it is important to remember that her Underworld is not the place of terrible suffering popularized by patriarchal Greece and later Christianity.*** Rather it was a place of divine transformation, like the cocoon where the caterpillar becomes the butterfly. This was the primordial Underworld, the place from which all life ultimately derives. Death and Birth stand back to back in the great spiral of existence, while Hekate and her Underworld lie between the two.

Our ancient ancestors saw that many things sprang from the earth, not just plants, but animals such as snakes, bears, rodents, and others as well. Even the sun and moon appeared to rise from the earth and later sink back down within it every day and night. To their eyes, it seemed that something magical was taking place in the darkness below the ground. This idea was further reinforced when they learned that plant life originates from seeds buried within the earth. They saw that if a person kept a seed in - for example - their pocket, it would never grow into a plant. It had to be buried in the soil. Our ancestors reasoned that something magical must take place down there. Some transformation hidden away from the eyes of people and the rays of the sun.

This was their Underworld. A place of renewal and rebirth where buried seeds sprouted into life. Because they saw the generative power of the Underworld, they buried their dead deep within the earth so that they too could transform into new life, just as a seed does into a plant. Being thorough people, they also dyed the bodies with red henna to symbolize menstrual blood (and in some cases did use menstrual blood), in order to capitalize upon the regenerative power believed to exist in that as well. 

This is why how so many Pagan deities such as Kali, Hekate, Freja, et al. are associated with both death and life. Our ancestors saw that death and birth were interconnected, standing back to back in an ever-turning spiral. In this manner Hekate is both child-nurse of all life as well as harbinger of death, and thusly it was to her that the ancients prayed to ensure both long life and eventual rebirth. Interestingly enough it is also in this manner that Hekate might be considered the goddess of compost. For it is the decomposition of plant and animals that insures the fertility of the earth, which in turn ensures the creation and nurturing of new life.

These views of the Underworld would change as religion became politicized, a tool for power. The Underworld became a place of terror in order to frighten people into obedience. So too were its denizens altered in public perception to become the monsters such a place needs to be populated with. This is one of the dynamics by which Hekate was increasingly negatively portrayed............

Keeper of the Unconscious

As Goddess of the Underworld, Hekate is not only the guide to the spirits of the dead, but also the keeper of each individual's own personal Underworld, the benighted territory of their unconscious mind. She lives within each of our inner worlds, and is there to guide us as we transition from inner to outer realms of consciousness. When accepted, her blessings enrich our lives with vision, healing, inspiration, and magic. She brings light to the darkness and empowers us with creativity, confidence, and strength. However, when we deny her it manifests in our Shadow-Self. She holds the key to both the treasures and terrors of the unconscious mind.......

Hekate is the light that reveals the Shadow, like the light of the moon at midnight. Her goal is not to destroy, but rather to illuminate. However, it is no accident that we have buried these things so deeply within our psyches. We are often not ready to face them when revealed. In such cases it may indeed appear that Hekate is bringing demons to terrorize us. We must remember that the demons are ours and reclaim them as our own. For with that revelation we also take back our power over them. That is the only way in which the Shadow can be truly defeated. By accepting it as our own. Learning that is the key which turns the lock of the person's emotional healing and rebirth. Hekate is there as a guide to help us, her twin torches shining our way through the darkened recesses of our unconscious.........

.............We must come to understand that Hekate and the darkness she exemplifys are not terrible, but rather natural forces within us and the world around us which are necessary components in the process of healing and regeneration. We must trust to her as our guide and give ourselves over to our journey through the Underworld, rather than resist the sacrifices we must make in order to grow. For one can only heal by moving through darkness. This requires courage and insight on our parts, but thankfully she is there to show us where to find both these qualities within ourselves as well.

**Judith Anderson has passed away, and her powerful work is not well known.  She was an extraordinary artist whose prints emerged from the depths of the sacred Earth and the realms of the Soul.  For an excellent article about Judith Anderson:  http://www.crosscurrents.org/Madsen2.htm

***This is true as well of the Nordic Goddess Hella (also part of a triad), Underworld Goddess whose name became the source of the Christian "Hell".

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Rainbow Bridge Oracle

I was thinking of my Oracle Deck, the Rainbow Bridge, this morning.  I've largely neglected it, and I can't say it's been a "best seller" (I think I've sold 10 decks)...............but it still means a great deal to me, and I spent many years working on it.  Just felt like sharing a few of the Cards here today.

 "What might we see, how might we act,  if  we  saw with a webbed vision? The world seen through a web of relationships….”

Catherine Keller

A weaver  takes threads of many colors and skillfully weaves them together into a beautiful  tapestry.  We talk about "spinning a tale", meaning a storyteller takes "threads" of different characters and weaves them together into a good story with many inter-woven events. 

The name "Penelope" originally meant "with a web on her face", a term that was probably a title for an oracle, or perhaps a Goddess of Fate. But "webbed vision" can also have a contemporary meaning as  a way of seeing the world with a unitive eye, all people connected and in relationship to each other.  That kind of vision enables you to be a "good weaver" in your community, family, and life.  You are a person who helps others to "connect the dots" -  a true instinctual networker. 

Reversed:  You  may be having a hard time seeing the connections between people and/or events in your life, partly because you feel so disconnected  and isolated from others.  Get back "on line" with your life, and reach out to re-connect with whatever it takes.


"Remember that not getting what you want
is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."

The Dalai Lama

"Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it" is an old folk saying that has much truth to it.   We have all dreamed of having great wealth, or being with the best looking boy in school, or any number of  wishes.  And sometimes we do get what we think we want, but in one of the great ironies of life, our happiness can soon turn to misery and disappointment.  Sometimes getting what we think we want can be the worst thing that can happen to us, because what we want is concentrated on desires that are  immature, addictive, vindictive, greedy, or even unconsciously self-destructive. 

 The "Law of Attraction" demonstrates that we attract that which we focus upon,  and consciously (or unconsciously) what we  concentrate upon can manifest.  Loving and generous wishes attract loving and generous results. Negativity and pessimism just manifests more negativity and pessimism, creating a self-fulfilling cycle.  Bearing all of this in mind, now is an excellent time to begin to manifest!

Reversed:  You're not able to manifest what you want because of either a lack of belief in yourself, or you are too negative in your worldview. 

"Speak to the earth, and it will teach you".......Job 12:8

 EARTHMIND  is included in this deck because today both science and spirituality have converged in our understanding that all life on planet Earth is  interdependent, a vast network of ecologies.  In 1979  James Lovelock, with Lynn Margulis, developed the Gaia Hypothesis, demonstrating that the Earth is one living,  self-regulating organism.  They named their theory after the primal Mother Goddess of Greek mythology, Gaia.

How would we live  if we truly experienced  Gaia as mother, friend,  as self?  We are the Earth, and it's important that we live and act sustainably, and with reverence,   for the benefit of  all beings of the Earth.  Future generations depend on us.  Thank you for your caring, and your efforts.

Reversed:  Without caring, effort, and work for a sustainable future,  the outcome is reversed for everyone.  We're all together on this one.


 In this immeasurable darkness,
 be the power that rounds your senses 
 in their magic ring,
 the sense of their mysterious encounter

 Rainier Maria Rilke

Among the Lakota, long preparations were made for the Vision Quest.  Those who sought  initiation fasted, prayed, and prepared themselves  to  "call for vision".  They then went to a special place in the wilderness.  When a young man returned with  a vision it was shared with the tribe,  and sometimes examined to see if it had prophetic or ceremonial significance for not only the individual, but for the entire tribe.

This is a tool we have largely lost.   True visionary experience is "soul language"; like dreams and synchronistic experiences, a vision has multiple layers of meaning, and transcends  time as we understand it.   Visions, like dreams, communicate universal and personal truths, and whether unintended or intentionally induced in some way, can  catalyze a spiritual path or a life's work.  You are encouraged to "call for vision" in your own way. Do it in a sacred manner, and share and discuss your vision with others of like mind.

Reversed:  Visions can be profoundly significant.......but sometimes there is also a fine line between spiritual revelation and highly subjective schizophrenia.  Practice discernment.

 The Card Deck may be ordered from: 

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All artwork is copyright Lauren Raine MFA (2012)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Summer Farewell.................in October


I best love 
my lost and wildish girl heart
reborn surprised
among the blonde grasses of August

running for no reason
among the dusty gaity of daisies,
bending knee, foot, flower
for the sun,
for the sun

just this day, to put aside
subtle things

of age, duty and reason.

Just this day, dear friends,
dance with me
on the generous Earth.

Let this be all that matters
this endless blue exhaultation
of  summer skies

and praise,
praise the day,
the colors and taste of it

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Paul Stamets and the Speaking Earth

More about how everything is alive and speaking to us..............love this man's work!