Sunday, October 24, 2021

Hildegard Von Bingham


Back in the late 90's a number of new renditions of the works of Hildegard von Bingham became popular, and I learned about this amazing medievil visionary and composer then.  In fact, I vaguely remember attending a ritual created by Mary Singing Wolf in Putney, Vermont focused on her work - I just remember a very large, intense presence at that ritual event.  

A couple of years later I was in Berkeley, and I performed a ritual invocation of my own  with this haunting, visionary rendition of Hildegard Von Bingham's  "O Successores Fortissimi Leonis" by the group Vox.  The invocation was done at my "Rites of Passage" Gallery in Berkeley, California, in honor of the approach of Samhain, the last harvest festival, the time to honor the Beloved Dead, and also the time when "the veils between the Worlds are thin".  The Invocation was done with 4 women in a circle,  turning the circle with gestures of offering.  I felt that "presence" again, dark and rich and strong, and I've never forgotten that performance, the gestures of offering as we turned in a circle.  

I had a wonderful community of young performers and ritualists that somehow came to work with me at my Gallery..........remembering them as well, and how rich those years were, how magical.   The man on the right, by the way, was wearing my "Mirror Mask".  

I recently  played the Von Bingham  piece again and was delighted to find it had been uploaded on UTube.  Von Bingham's vision and prayers reach across the ages to touch me again.  I just felt like sharing it here.

From "The Dinner Party" by Judy Chicago

Hildegard von Bingen.jpg
Illumination from the Liber Scivias 
showing Hildegard  receiving a vision
 and dictating to her scribe and secretary

"Hildegarde of Bingen, also known as St. Hildegard and the Sybil of the Rhine, was an enormously influential and spiritual woman, who paved the way for other women to succeed in a number of fields from theology to music. She was a mystic writer, who completed three books of her visions. During a time when members of the Catholic Church accorded women little respect, Hildegarde was consulted by bishops and consorted with the Pope, exerting influence over them.

She wrote on topics ranging from philosophy to natural healing with a critical expertise praised by both German advice-seekers and the highest-ranking figure in the Church, Pope Eugenius III. An esteemed advocate for scientific research, Hildegarde was one of the earliest promoters of the use of herbal medicine to treat ailments. She wrote several books on medicine, including Physica, circa 1150, which was primarily concerned with the use of herbs in medicinal treatment.  Hildegarde may be best known however  as a composer.   Stemming from the traditional incantations of Church music, Hildegarde’s compositions took the form of a single chant-like, melodic line. These compositions are called antiphons and are a single line of music sung before and after a psalm. Hildegarde combined all of her music into a cycle called Symphonia Armonie Celestium Revelationum, circa 1151, orThe Symphony of the Harmony of the Heavenly Revelations, which reflects her belief that music was the highest praise to God.

Hildegarde herself created a drawing, or illumination, in her manuscript Scivias (Know the Ways), circa 1140–50, of her defining vision, in which the great span of the universe revealed itself to her in a trance as “round and shadowy…pointed at the top, like an egg…its outermost layer of a bright fire.”**

** "The Dinner Party" by Judy Chicago, Brooklyn Museum of Art

Saturday, October 9, 2021

"The Masks of the Goddess" at the 2021 Parliament of World Religions


2021 Parliament of the World's Religions

"The Masks of the Goddess":

Contemporary Temple Masks & Ritual Theatre 

in Celebration of the Divine Feminine

Session # 1558  Presented by Lauren Raine MFA) 

 (only viewable for registered attendees)

"What the audience saw when a dancer looked through the eyes of the mask 

was the  Goddess  Herself, an ancient and yet utterly contemporary

 presence,  looking across time, across the miles."

Diane Darling, Director, Playwright 

I am honored to be presenting a slide show and talk at the Virtual 2021 Parliament of World’s Religions about the “Masks of the Goddess” Project. 

After studying sacred mask traditions in Bali,  I was inspired to create a Collection of 35 multi-cultural masks, which I dedicated as “Temple Masks” to the many faces of the worldwide Divine Feminine. The Collection travelled to communities throughout the U.S.A. in collaboration with Priestesses, Dancers, Storytellers and Ritualists for over 20 years, bringing the Goddesses to life through the magic of Invocation and Theatre. The Project was concluded in 2019 with an Exhibit at Her Church in San Francisco.

I was, indeed, a privilege to collaborate with so many people dedicated to the Return of the Goddess.  No artist could ask for more.

Monday, October 18th

7:00 AM to 7:45 Mountain time (Arizona)

8:00 AM Central time

9:00 AM Eastern Time

6:00 AM Pacific time (California)


Agenda Parliament of World Religions

Photographs by Jerri Jo Idarius 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Quan Yin - a new ceramic Icon

I've made a number of sculptures and masks over the years  dedicated to Quan Yin *** . Quan Yin, the manifestation of Divine Compassion throughout Chinese Buddhism, represents the Bodhissatva - the Great Being who "hears the cries of the world" and returns, again and again, to aid the suffering of the world.  She is often shown, like Tara of Tibet, with many arms, and has been called "thousand armed Quan Yin"....the arms being the many ways she can help and assist those in need.  

I  have felt the need to create quite a few "Icons" for Quan Yin  and White Tara.  Perhaps it has to do with the divisiveness and harshness of the times we live in, the great crisis of global warming, covid, and disastrous wars that surround us.    Making art about Quan Yin,  and Goddesses of Compassion, represents for me a personal act of Invocation.  May She bring those qualities of Compassion into my heart, and may she show me how I can, as She does, assist.  

Art making can be a great act of invocation, a great act of healing, an act of magic if you will.  That was what each woman over the years was doing when she danced with the embodying the Goddess, she was invoking them for the benefit of all those present.  In-voke:  to "yoke", to "join".  I remember when I was working on a Quan Yin sculpture that became a fountain (Quan Yin is usually shown holding a chalice of water, representing the healing waters she gives to the world).....I remember that when I and the model I used for the sculpture were at work we both felt a kind of light in the room, a yellow, calm, serene sensation.  I feel the Goddess was with us as we prepared Her image through our creative process.   It really doesn't matter if you even "believe" in the Goddess Quan Yin.   I'm not sure that "believing" is anywhere near as important as simply wanting help, wanting guidance, opening the heart.  I don't "believe" the Divine Ones care what we call them or what form we give them in order to symbolize Their qualities and gifts.  

Making art can thus be a devotional act, a spiritual practice for the maker.  The art object, finished, becomes an icon, a talisman to remind and re-member.   When I made my fountain/icon in 2017 for Quan Yin my friend Queeny  very generously endured my casting her face and upper torso.  Queeny is Chinese Canadian.  I wanted to make a Quan Yin that, instead of the idealized and beautiful young woman She is usually portrayed as, looks more like a real woman in the real world of today -  the Bodhisattva walking among us, working among us, hearing and responding to the pain of the world, bringing healing and love, help and insight.  A  woman in her middle years, reflecting the experience that comes with living and embodiment.  
Mosaic artist Ginny Moss Rothwell did the same with her breathtaking contemporary Icons to
Quon Yin.  
"Jewel in the Lotus:  Quan Yin" by Ginny Moss Rothwell

Kuan Shih Yin - Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva

The Bodhisattva of Great Compassion

The Sanskrit name "Avalokiteshvara" means "the one who looks upon the world with compassion".  Translated into Chinese, the name is "Kuan Shih Yin"or Quan Yin.

Kuan: observe
Shih: the world / the region of sufferers
Yin: all the sounds of the world, in particular, the crying sounds of beings, verbal or mental, seeking help

In China, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is represented in female form and is known as Kuan Yin. In her hands, Kuan Yin may hold a willow branch, a vase with water or occasionally, a lotus flower.  The willow branch is used to heal people's illnesses or bring fulfillment to their requests.  The water ( the dew of compassion) has the quality of removing suffering, purifying the defilement of our body, speech and mind, and lengthening life.

In Buddhist art, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is sometimes shown with eleven heads, 1000 hands and eyes on the palms of each hand (Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva). The thousand eyes allow the Bodhisattva to see the sufferings of sentient beings, and the thousand hands allow her to reach out to help them.

There is a sacred place for the worship of Kuan Yin in China - the Putuo Mountain. It is actually an island located near the city of Ningpo, in Zhejiang Province. There are many stories of Kuan Yin's miraculous appearances at Putuo Mountain.

Actually, anyone can be like Kuan Yin. You may say that you don't have a thousand eyes or a thousand arms or that you lack skillful means, but it is your compassion that can transform you into a Kuan Yin. With your eyes and hands, you can help others. With your compassion, you can bring peace and tranquility to this world.

from:  Buddhanet

 Kuan Yin  at Putuo Mountain, China

Friday, October 1, 2021

Farewell to Summer............



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 creaking age, 
duty and reason.

Just this day, dear friends,
dance with me
on the generous Earth
making Her 
Circle Dance

Let this be all that matters today:
this blue exaultation
of  summer skies
given and given

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

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Rape, Control of Women, War and....Art


"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentilachi


"Control of female sexuality is fundamental to the patriarchal system.  This explains why there is so much controversy about the “simple matter” of access to birth control and abortion and so much anger directed at single mothers. "
~Carol Christ
I never cease to be amazed that the contemporary versions of Biblical Patriarchs continue to fight for control of  the bodies and lives  of the female population, even as they attempt to remove virtually all infrastructure to support or assist poor and single mothers.  Or the "right to rape" that is  so much in evidence in the power structure of our society.  I reflect on Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, bragging about his career as a "pussy grabber" as he virtually celebrated his sexual predations publicly.  I also remember marching in the Women's March with thousands of equally offended women.

As a long time student of art and mythology, the celebration of rape and war is to be found everywhere. The rape of young women is a prime theme in contemporary television drama, over and over and over.  How we seem to love our sadistic serial killers.   And if you look back at the his-story of Western art, it's all over the place as well.  In fact, much of it is on plain view in our most distinguished institutions of art and culture such as the Metropolitan Museum or the Smithsonian.  High Art, High Rape, rarely examined for the message under all those pretty colors and plump, seemingly  acquiescent women, who never seem to be wearing any clothes.*

I remember all those paintings, for example, of the rape of various mortal women  by those manly, if naughty, Greek gods, because the Masters were constantly forced on me as a young art student.  I tried to like them, but something I couldn't articulate bothered me.  Later I began to see them as a perfect  co-option of myth, often turned religion, used to justify the voyeuristic violence of men:  i.e.,  the gods rape  just the same as ordinary men do, with the head god, Zeus, leading the pack.  

In a popular  Renaissance theme like the painting below, "The Rape of Europa"  by Luca Giordano, the  abduction of a young girl is positively a party for all!   

"The Rape of Europa" by Luca Giordano

Or the "Rape of the Sabine Women", or the "Rape of the Trojan Women", or "the Rape of Persephone" or so was  only years later, after all that Classic Arts Education, that  I finally understood that those paintings amounted to pornography for wealthy men of the time.  As well as propaganda.  

"Rape of the Sabine Women" by Sebastiano Ricci

Above we have a huge, and famous, Renaissance painting with a popular theme of rape, each man carrying off his prize.  I wonder how many women sat beneath this expensive painting at expensive dinner parties and felt a tad queasy without exactly knowing why?

Here's a more recent painting from the end of the 19th Century:  our proud warrior sits atop his "loot" - lots of gold, spoils, and several passive, helpless  women as "loot" too, one appropriately nude with a good pair of breasts exposed.  Oh, and we have a weeping, but worthless,  old woman on the side, just to show the artist's recognition that there is a bit of suffering in war.  

And then there is Atemisia Gentileschi"s "Judith Slaying Holofernes".  The daughter of a famous painter who was raped herself  as a young girl and publicly humiliated, I somehow don't think she found the subject at all sexy.   Her brilliant, honest,  and disturbing painting of a powerful Judith and her maid servant severing the head of Holofernes strikes a cord in the heart of any woman who has known the suffering of sexual assault.  

"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentilachi

I decided to take the liberty of sharing a  brilliant article (2013) from  Feminism and Religion  by the marvelously articulate feminist scholar, writer,  and theologian  Carol Christ that takes a long look at the issue, so deeply embedded in the violence of our world, and so very crucial to understand if there is ever to be change.  Thank you to Dr. Christ for her words, once again.* And thank you to Susan Brownmiller and her book Against Our Will (1975) which I have not read in many years, yet still stands as an important voice for the unspeakable.

And I also share, below, an image of what rape really looks like in war.  Because we need to remember.

  Patriarchy as a System of Male Dominance Created at the Intersection 
  of the Control of Women, Private Property, and War 

 (Part 2), February 25, 2013


Patriarchy is a system of male dominance, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, sanctified by religious symbols, in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, to seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.*

In last week’s blog, I explained patriarchy as a system in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality with the intent of passing property to male heirs.

 How did a system that identifies a man’s essence with his property and the ability to pass it on to sons come about? I suggest that the answer to this question is war and the confiscation of “property” by warriors in war. Patriarchy is rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, seize land and treasures, to exploit resources, and to own or otherwise dominate conquered people.

My argument is that the origin of “private” property, defined as property owned by a single (male) individual, and as that which defines the “essence” of that individual, is the “spoils” of war, which are divided up by victorious warriors.  The “spoils” of war are the tangible treasures “looted” or taken by the victors from the conquered, such as jewelry and sacred objects.  The “spoils” of war include land “taken” as the result of warfare, along with the right to exploit resources, directly or through taxes and levies. The “spoils” of war also includes the right to “take” the women of the defeated enemy and to confirm ownership of them (and humiliate their fathers or husbands) by raping them.  The “spoils” of war also include the right to “take” these raped women and their young children home to serve as slaves and concubines.

Though many people were surprised when the rape victims of the recent war in Bosnia began to speak out about the use of rape as a tool of war by Serbian soldiers, in fact, rape has always been an “ordinary” part of war. In the “great” epic known as The Iliad which is said to be the foundation of western culture,  Achilles and Agamemnon are fighting over which of them has the right to rape a “captured” woman named Briseis.  The term “spear captive” is used to mask the reality that Briseis and other women like her were “rape victims” and that the “heroes” being celebrated were their “rapists” and “jailers.” I believe that the institution of rape and the (twisted) notion that men have a right to rape (certain kinds or types of) women originated with war.

The institution of slavery also originated in war. Both the Bible and the Greek epics testify to the ancient custom of enslaving the women and children of the enemy.  Slave women in every culture, like the slave women on plantations in the Americas, are at the mercy of their owners and his sons, who can rape them if they felt like it. The “custom” of taking slaves from the enemy and the “custom” of also taking enemy women sexually, is deeply intertwined with the history of war.  The Africans who sold other Africans into slavery in the Americas were selling Africans they had taken as the spoils of war.
If we entertain the hypothesis that earlier matriarchal clan systems existed, then we can see that the notion of individual powerful men’s peri-ousia being defined as the treasures, land, and people they “stole” and then claimed to “own” would have involved a massive cultural shift.  The shift to defining men by the property they owned required that men would also ”own” and absolutely control their wives and daughters, who had previously been free.  Such a cultural shift could only have been instituted and maintained through violence.

Patriarchy is a system of male domination, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence. Warriors who have learned the methods of violent domination of other human beings—not only other soldiers, but also the women and children of the people they conquer—bring the methods of violence home.  Violence and the threat of violence can then be used to control “one’s” wife or wives, in order to ensure that “one’s” children really are “one’s” own. Violence and the threat of violence can be used to ensure that “one’s” daughters are virgins who can be “given” to other men to perpetuate the system of patriarchal inheritance.  Violence and the threat of violence can be used to hold enslaved people “in line.”  In addition, violence and the threat of violence can be used to subdue those within one’s own culture who are unwilling to go along with the new system. Women who refuse to let men control their sexuality can be killed with impunity by their male relatives or stoned by communities as a whole.

How does such a violent system legitimate itself?  By religious symbols.  In Greece, warriors were “in the image” of the “warrior God” Zeus whose rape of Goddesses and nymphs was celebrated.  In Israel, the power of warriors is mirrored in a male God who is called “Lord” and “King” and who achieves his will through violence and destruction. Sadly, this is not an exclusively western problem. In all of the so-called “highly developed” cultures defined by patriarchy and war, symbols of divine warriors justify the violence of men.  Laws said to have a divine source enshrine men’s control the sexuality of their wives, permit some men to rape some women, and allow some people to own other people as slaves.

Patriarchy is not simply the domination of women by men. Patriarchy is an integral system in which men’s control of women’s sexuality, private property, violence, war, and the institutions of conquest, rape, slavery arise and thrive together. The different elements are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate one as the cause of the others.  Patriarchy is an integral system of interlocking oppressions, enforced through violence.  The whole of the patriarchal system is legitimated by patriarchal religions.  This is why changing religious symbols is necessary if we hope to create alternatives to patriarchal systems.

The model of patriarchy I have proposed argues that control of female sexuality is fundamental to the patriarchal system.  This explains why there is so much controversy about the “simple matter” of access to birth control and abortion and so much anger directed at single mothers.  The model of patriarchy as an intergral system can help us to see that in order to end male domination we must also end war–and violence, rape, conquest, and slavery which are sanctioned as part of war.  We must also end the unequal distribution of wealth inherent in the notion of ”private” property, much of it the “spoils” of war, which led to the concept of patriarchal inheritance, which in turn required the control of female sexuality.  As feminists in religion we must identify and challenge the complex interlocking set of religious symbols which have sanctified the integral system of patriarchy–these include but are not limited to the image of God as male.  Ending patriarchy is no small task!

*I am offering a functional definition of patriarchy that does not address the separate question of why it originated.  I will be publishing an expanded version of this dicussion in the future.

This Article is from Feminism and Religion, February, 2013 

Carol P. Christ 
* I am deeply saddened to note that Dr. Carol Christ passed away this summer of 2021.  She is profoundly missed. Among her important books:  She Who Changes and Rebirth of the Goddess and the widely used anthologies Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions

**"Rape in warfare is not bound by definitions of which wars are “just” or “unjust.” Rape was a weapon of terror as the German Hun marched through Belgium in World War I. Rape was a weapon of revenge as the Russian Army marched to Berlin in World War II. Rape got out of hand when the Pakistani Army battled Bangladesh. Rape reared its head as American GI’s searched and destroyed in the highland of Vietnam. Rape flourishes in warfare irrespective of nationality or geographic location. Rape was outlawed as a criminal act under the international rules of war. Yet rape persists as a common act of war.

Men who rape in war are ordinary Joes, made unordinary by the entry into the most exclusive male-only club in the world. Victory in arms brings group power undreamed of in civilian life. The unreal situation of a world without women becomes the prime reality. To take a life looms more significant than to make life, and the gun in the hand is power. The sickness of warfare feeds on itself. A certain number of soldiers must prove their newly won superiority – prove it to a woman, to themselves, to other men. In the name of victory and the power of the gun, war provides men with a tacit license to rape. In the act and in the excuse, rape in war reveals the male psyche in its boldest form, without the veneer of ”chivalry” or civilization."

......Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller, 1975, Excerpts

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

DNA validates Marija Gimbutas Kurgan hypothesis

DNA validates Marija Gimbutas Kurgan hypothesis
 about the demise of Old Europe

 For those unfamiliar with the work of Marija Gimbutas, whose revolutionary work with archeology in what she called "Old Europe" has had tremendous impact in re-envisioning our "his-story", as she re-discovered the ancient World of the Goddess, wide-spread, long lived, peaceful civilizations that displayed no art or artifacts dedicated to war or conquest, and whose prime Deity was a Goddess, a Great Mother.  She believed that this culture was gradually extinguished by waves of Indo-European, horse riding nomads coming west from the Russian steppes - she called them the "Kurgans".  They were a very different culture than that of the Old European agriculturalists, with an emphasis upon conquest and "sky Gods" of war.  Gimbutas' controversial findings have been challenged by conventional archeologists repeatedly, yet she has influenced a huge following (which includes me).

ADDENDUM:  Here is a further related corroborating article someone posted on Facebook:

Also,  this Commentary (much better than mine!) from the Association of Study of Women and Mythology(ASWM):  

It also shows how DNA evidence can upset established archeological theories and bring rejected ones back into contention. The idea that Indo-European languages emanated from the Yamnaya homeland was established in 1956, by the Lithuanian-American archeologist Marija Gimbutas. Her view, known as the Kurgan hypothesis—named for the distinctive burial mounds that spread west across Europe—is now the most widely accepted theory about Indo-European linguistic origins. But, where many archeologists envisaged a gradual process of cultural diffusion, Gimbutas saw “continuous waves of expansion or raids.” As her career progressed, her ideas became more controversial. In Europe previously, Gimbutas hypothesized, men and women held relatively equal places in a peaceful, female-centered, goddess-worshipping society—as evidenced by the famous fertility figurines of the time. She believed that the nomads from the Caspian steppes imposed a male-dominated warrior culture of violence, sexual inequality, and social stratification, in which women were subservient to men and a small number of √©lite males accumulated most of the wealth and power.

link to full article from the new yorker (excerpt below):

In Iberia during this time (of the "Kurgan" invasions into Old Europe), the local type of Y chromosome was replaced by an entirely different type. Given that the Y chromosome, found only in males, is passed down from father to son, this means that the local male line in Iberia was essentially extinguished. It is likely that the newcomers perpetrated a large-scale killing of local men, boys, and possibly male infants. Any local males remaining must have been subjugated in a way that prevented them from fathering children, or were so strongly disfavored in mate selection over time that their genetic contribution was nullified. The full genetic sequencing, however, indicated that about sixty per cent of the lineage of the local population was passed on, which shows that women were not killed but almost certainly subjected to widespread sexual coercion, and perhaps mass rape.

We can get a sense of this reign of terror by thinking about what took place when the descendants of those ancient Iberians sailed to the New World, events for which we have ample historical records. The Spanish conquest of the Americas produced human suffering on a grotesque scale—war, mass murder, rape, slavery, genocide, starvation, and pandemic disease. Genetically, as Reich noted, the outcome was very similar: in Central and South America, large amounts of European DNA mixed into the local population, almost all of it coming from European males. The same Y-chromosome turnover is also found in Americans of African descent. On average, a Black person in America has an ancestry that is around eighty per cent African and twenty per cent European. But about eighty per cent of that European ancestry is inherited from white males—genetic testimony to the widespread rape and sexual coercion of female slaves by slaveowners.

In the Iberian study, the predominant Y chromosome seems to have originated with a group called the Yamnaya, who arose about five thousand years ago, in the steppes north of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. By adopting the wheel and the horse, they became powerful and fearsome nomads, expanding westward into Europe as well as east- and southward into India. They spoke proto-Indo-European languages, from which most of the languages of Europe and many South Asian languages now spring. Archeologists have long known about the spread of the Yamnaya, but almost nothing in the archeological record showed the brutality of their takeover. “This is an example of the power of ancient DNA to reveal cultural events,” Reich told me.

It also shows how DNA evidence can upset established archeological theories and bring rejected ones back into contention. The idea that Indo-European languages emanated from the Yamnaya homeland was established in 1956, by the Lithuanian-American archeologist Marija Gimbutas. Her view, known as the Kurgan hypothesis—named for the distinctive burial mounds that spread west across Europe—is now the most widely accepted theory about Indo-European linguistic origins. But, where many archeologists envisaged a gradual process of cultural diffusion, Gimbutas saw “continuous waves of expansion or raids.” As her career progressed, her ideas became more controversial. In Europe previously, Gimbutas hypothesized, men and women held relatively equal places in a peaceful, female-centered, goddess-worshipping society—as evidenced by the famous fertility figurines of the time. She believed that the nomads from the Caspian steppes imposed a male-dominated warrior culture of violence, sexual inequality, and social stratification, in which women were subservient to men and a small number of √©lite males accumulated most of the wealth and power.

The DNA from the Iberian skeletons can’t tell us what kind of culture the Yamnaya replaced, but it does much to corroborate Gimbutas’s sense that the descendants of the Yamnaya caused much greater disruption than other archeologists believed. Even today, the Y chromosomes of almost all men of Western European ancestry have a high percentage of Yamnaya-derived genes, suggesting that violent conquest may have been widespread. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

INVOCATION by Robin Williamson at Mabon

Brushwood 2016 by Theresa Guzman

"I, the Song, I walk here."

........Lakota poem

I've posted this before..............and like a loop, it returns to my mind at this full moon Equinox,  so beautiful, this Day of Balance which was also, in olden times, Mabon, the Second Harvest Festival.  

You who will come with me
I will consider it Beauty
I will consider it

Beauty, beauty

,,,,,,Robin Williamson 

Every morning when I rise with the sun to water my garden, I find myself  talking to all the people that live there.  The tall sunflowers, making seeds beloved by finches and sparrows.  The desert tortoise, Augustus, who has decided to live here and occasionally makes his mysterious appearance.  My cats of course.  The green scarab beetles getting drunk on tree sap.  The bees, having a drink at the bird bath. The heavy pomogranates pulling the tree down now, the cosmos flowers as tall as I am now.  The  woodpecker loudly telling me that I need to fill the bird feeder,  butterflies and funny looking caterpillars eating holes in leaves. The morning is not so hot now, and it is tender, reminding me of some song I can't quite remember, but a Song that is infinitely sweet, with a touch of bitter sweet, like Irish music, which always seems to remember the transience of things.  

As a child, the garden was full of people.  Now, as an old woman, I seem to have returned to that happy experience.  I try, in my very little eco-system, to create Good Relationship with all My Relations that honor me by living there.  Even the ones that chew up my flowers.  

"To the native Irish, the literal representation of the country was less important than its poetic dimension.  In traditional Bardic culture, the terrain was studied, discussed, and referenced:  every place had its legend and its own identity....what endured was the mythic landscape."

    R.F. Foster

There was a time when humans thought of themselves as part of the Circle of the majestic cycles of the planet, and as part of the great family of life - when they negotiated with the animals and the elementals, when they listened to the voices of the trees and the medicine plants, when they thanked the buffalo or the reindeer or the seals for their sacrifice, when, I believe,  they celebrated the harvests and the auspicious days as part of the great Song, their voices adding to the chorus.   ("Chante:  to sing").  We can re-member ("to join")  this en-chanted paradigm,  and learn to speak to each mythic landscape again.   I feel Robin Williamson's beautiful poem so fully captures that vision.

I share it again and again because I love it, the Bard, because I want this Voice to not be forgotten.  And Oh!  As the moon shines down in its fullness on this day of quinox,  I wish all, all, all it's fullness and abundance and promise.

Found at the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, UK.

You that create the diversity of the forms:

Open to my words
You that divide it and multiply it

Hear my sounds

Ancient associates and fellow wanderers
You that move the heart in fur and scale

I join with you

You that sing bright and subtle
Making shapes 

that my throat cannot tell

You that harden the horn
And make quick the eye
You that run the fast fox 
and the zigzag fly

You sizeless makers of the mole
And of the whale:  
aid me and I will aid you

You that lift the blossom
and the green branch
You who make symmetries more true

Who dance in slower time
Who watch the patterns

You rough coated
Who eat water
Who stretch deep and high
With your green blood
My red blood 
let it be mingled

Aid me and I will aid you

Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, UK

I call upon you
You who are unconfined
Who have no shape
Who are not seen
But only in your action
I will call upon you

You who have no depth
But choose direction
Who bring what is willed
That you blow love

upon the summers of my loved ones
That you blow summers

 upon those loves of my love

Aid me and I will aid you

I make a pact with you

You who are the liquid
Of the waters
And the spark of the flame:
I call upon you

You who make fertile the soft earth
And guard the growth of the growing things
I make peace with you

You who are the blueness of the blue sky
And the wrath of the storm
I take the cup with you

Earth shakers
And with you
the sharp and the hollow hills
I make reverence to you

Round wakefulness 

We call the Earth
I make wide eyes to you

You who are awake

Every created thing

both solid and sleepy
Or airy light,

I weave colors 'round you

You who will come with me

I will consider it Beauty
I will consider it

Beauty, beauty

Published by  WARLOCK MUSIC, LTD.