Om Tare, Tu Tare,
even in the darkest prisons, you offer your hand:
Your touch cools hatred and grief.
From you, the demons of delusion fly
Praise Tara, whose fingers adorn her heart
Light radiates from a wheel in Your hand.
It is an irony that the most profound and meaningful things in my life I, by and large, cannot talk about. I share my visionary or intuitive perceptions hesitantly, if at all, because ours is not a culture in general accepts visionary experiences as true or meaningful. And yet, for me, and I believe many others, they are true touchstones as I navigate the passages ebbing and flowing through my life.
The other reason is because these experiences, which are so important to me in forming my worldview, belong to "the Mystery". "Mystery" is derived from a Greek word that means "that which cannot be spoken", and probably relates to the ritual Mysteries of ancient Greece. Participants were forbidden to speak of them, and to this day we do not know what occurred at the great, once in a lifetime Elusinian Mysteries although we do know they were about the triple Goddess Persephone/Demeter/Hecate. And indeed, some experiences seem to be too profound to speak of, it diminishes them. Perhaps the spaciousness of poetry is best, because the Poem has wide spaces for the imagination to roam.
I've been re-reading "Journey of Souls" and other books by Michael Newton Ph.D. and others from his Newton Institute recently. Newton, and later his students, used hypnosis to bring thousands of people into altered states of consciousness, wherein they would consistantly, even if they did not particularly "believe" in past lives, describe past life events and, more importantly as far as Newton's research was concerned, "between life experiences". The work is fascinating to read about, and there is no doubt that Newton devoted his life conscientiously to it, ever seeking to understand (sometimes in very dry, academic ways) what his patients and clients revealed.
Perhaps because of re-reading his books, I felt like sharing a very important vision I had in 1997, a vision that helped me to begin a new life and release the past, and a vision that became the inspiration for all the masks I made dedicated to the Goddess Tara. I've come to the conclusion that such visions, such experiences, are personal, but they also are universal, and as such, I should share them. It was a profound gift.
|White Tara Performance, "Goddess Alive", 2002,|
conceived and directed by Macha NightMare
I found myself standing before what seemed like "clips" from movies - each scene was rapidly replaced by another scene. I still remember those "clips" quite vividly - a ceremonial room decorated with orange marigolds; an emaciated old black woman lying on a dirty bed; a heavyset white man with glasses, bundled up in a kind of fur parka; African drummers, drumming with passion around a fire, and more. Gradually, I felt myself "pulled back", so that I seemed to be watching these scenes from a greater distance, as if they formed a patch-work quilt of moving images. I remember thinking how incredibly beautiful it all was from that perspective, like a great, colorful work of art.
|White Tara at the Parliament of World Religions (2015)|
Then I became aware of an immense energy - a being that radiated (there's no other way to describe it) tremendous compassion.
She had no form, just intense white light. The only thing that seemed identifiable was that I felt the Being was female; and I felt she was communicating something like "Don't take on so, Lauren, look at all of this. You'll meet again. You can move on now."
I might add that she also radiated an equally huge sense of humor; I felt like a little child getting a pat on the head from an Angel, or a Goddess. If that makes any sense........
And then I came to on Jewell's table. After we spoke, I learned that Jewell often began her sessions with a prayer from the 21 Praises to Tara, a series of Tibetan prayers to the 21 Manifestations of the Goddess Tara. To me, that visitation was White Tara, Goddess of Compassion, manifesting to help me move forward to a new stage of life.
I've revered Her ever since, made a number of masks for Her. And indeed, shortly after that Vision, the divorce came through and I moved to a new home, and life, in California, even as my former husband found a new partner and life as well.
Mana Youngbear as "White Tara" (2004)