"Today, I would describe a priestess as a woman who lives in two worlds at once, who perceives earthly life against the backdrop of a vast, timeless, reality."In my Valentine's day Post, I shared some thoughts about Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love. One of the things I found interesting was a correspondence that had been going on with a friend in Portland who is bringing up a ritual with Goddess masks. Apparently, she and others in her group are frustrated because they can't seem to get the Aphrodite mask to "cooperate"..........several priestesses have volunteered to dance the mask, and then abruptly withdrawn. Some discussion has passed among us about the deeper meanings of Aphrodite in our contemporary world. I love psychologist and priestess Jalaja Bonheim's book Aphrodite's Daughters, the compassion with which she illuminates this through women's stories. She is also, quite appropriately, the founder of the Institute for Circle Work in Ithaca, New York.
My friend and collaborator, Macha NightMare, is a potent weaver and circle maker, and I would not have made the original collection of Goddess masks had I not met her, and followed her to the Spiral Dance, and later the performances she organized with many communities. The masks being used currently in Portland have their origins in her inspiration some 12 years ago, and are infused with the energies of community she gathered. I see that Macha will dedicate the ritual in May to Luanne, who I did not know, but was friends with her partner, Tami. I was saddened to receive an email from Macha today about the death of a priestess of Aphrodite, on Valentine's day:
"I've been distracted due to the dying of a close friend in the Reclaiming community; she'd been fighting leukemia for 2.5 years and she passed thru the veil last evening. I'd like to dedicate this ritual to her memory. Luanne Blaich, Priestess of Aphrodite (Aug. 29, 1962 - Feb. 14, 2012)."
From Reclaiming's bio: "Luanne was a teacher in the Reclaiming Tradition for 7 years - committed to radical sanity, ecstatic devotion to the Goddess, and living in the Good Reality. Her magick is informed by a lifetime's study of movement and dance technology as well as drawing on many different shamanistic and magickal traditions. She is a devotee of Aphrodite."
There is a circle here I honor.