Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Two Mask Making Workshops Offered in the Fall

        A  Mask Intensive Workshop for Women
November 3 through 7,  2021  
November 10 through 14, 2021 

$400.00
(includes housing)
$200.00 without housing

I'm pleased to be able to offer 2 residential workshops in the Fall at last!  
In this 4 Day Mask Arts Intensive for Women  we will  draw on our mythic imaginations  and the many faces of the Divine Feminine as we learn to make durable, professional theatrical masks.   Is there a Goddess you wish to celebrate through the magic of the mask?  And would you like to explore the use of sacred masks in storytelling,  community arts, and ritual theatre?   Open the conversation in this intensive workshop which includes housing if desired.  Workshop is limited to 5 participants.  We begin Thursday morning at 9:00 am and end Sunday afternoon at 5:00 pm.   You take home the means to continue the work. 

 
Housing is provided Wednesday nights through Monday mornings (5 nights).  We are an AIRBNB Super Host "Enclave" and accommodations are comfortable and private.   A 
$100.00 non-refundable deposit  is required, and payment can be made through Paypal or by check.   For further information or to reserve, please contact  Lauren Raine at  laurenraine9@gmail.com or call (520) 609-4904.  

Lauren

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Lost Art.................

"Gaia" (1987)

 A lot of my body of work over the years has been lost or destroyed, and what I retain are photos. Lately I've felt like it's time to digitize some of those paintings or masks, to preserve them in someway.   Just felt  like posting a few of the "Lost" here..................many of them I have no idea where they went.  But perhaps this post is a way of honoring them because I put so much work and intent into each one, and it makes me sad that too much moving around, no storage, lack of self esteem and hence respect for my own work, and sometimes the intentional destruction by a hostile family member......wasted them.  But I'm glad that I have the photos at least!

The painting above was 9 feet by 4 feet, and was destroyed, as big paintings so often are, when there is no space to store or exhibit them.  I worked so hard on that painting!  I showed it only once, as  part of my mid course MFA Show, it was accompanied by a spoken word musical
 piece called "When the Word for World Was Mother".  I was very influenced then by the writings of  Starhawk in The Spiral Dance , which ultimately led me into Pagan theology and community.  Years later I would move to Berkeley, and end up renting a room from a woman who was one of the founders of Reclaiming Collective, Judy Foster.  Because of Judy, I found myself working with Starhawk, her colleague Macha Nightmare, and Reclaiming on the 20th Annual Spiral Dance in San Francisco. The Masks of the Goddess Collection would be made for that event, and the first time they were performed.

"The Magician - Art" (1994)

From the Rainbow Bridge Oracle, a Tarot deck I created more or less in the early 90's.  Another life size oil painting, this time representing the Magician Tarot Card.  Once it was taken off the stretchers to store, it was all over for the painting.  I stopped doing big paintings after that!  I envisioned the Magician invoking  the white light of the Divine, the unified force, running it through his mind and heart with the power of his intention, and then manifesting on this plane of being the colors of the Rainbow spectrum, which is earthly life in all of its diversity.  I used my then husband, Duncan, as the model, and I still feel it was very successful, getting across the concept I wanted to express about Art and Creation = Magic, as well as a pretty good portrait of him.  It was also a way of honoring Duncan, but a bitter ending to the relationship never allowed me to let him know that.


"The Goddess" (1982)

I painted this when I was living in Putney, Vermont, and it was based on photos I had by a friend from my earlier life in Berkeley, the artist John Hincks.  I have used the photo in my Rainbow Bridge Oracle Deck, but the painting.......I have no idea where it went.  I must have given it to someone when I left Vermont to move to Arizona for Graduate School?  I learned to poo poo this painting as "pretty and decorative" once I got into Graduate School, where, in the 80's, and still so I believe, paintings must be political, shocking, intellectually obscure to prove they are "sophisticated", or best of all, dark enough in style and content to be "Meaningful".   Now retired, I can make beautiful paintings that please me freely, and the heck with the "high" art world's ugly aesthetics!  But I wish I'd kept this painting.................

"The Empress" (1976)

One of the early Tarot paintings I did in the 70's when I lived in Berkeley.  I look back at them and they were rather beautiful, if clumsy.  This one was from a photo I took of a woman who lived in the warehouse/artist's studio building I lived in in Berkeley (there are pretty much no longer any such thing in Berkeley now thanks to gentrification).  I had to take it off the stretchers, where it was rolled up with a bunch of large early paintings.  I am saddened to say that I actually threw this painting away into a dumpster at a storage facility.  More of the self hate I learned somewhere along the way.  Someone somewhere might have enjoyed the painting.  I like to hope someone saw the paintings in the dumpster and rescued them.  A bad time in my life.

"Lilith" (1992)

This one I really like, one of several paintings I did one long winter in 1993, when I lived in New York, using pieces of cut paper to frame the paintings.  Always meant to continue the series but never did.  This one I realize is not lost, but I sent it to the founder of the Lilith Institute in California, so it found a home! Huzzah!  She even framed it!

untitled (1973?)

I hauled this large painting around for years until, I believe, off the stretchers, it ended up in a dumpster in a storage facility.  Once again, I'm sorry that I had so little respect for my work.  
Someone might have enjoyed having this Elfin, Fey man.

"Day of Radience" (1986)

One of the "New Age" paintings I did in Grad School when I was not only going to Grad School but also working with a group of artist friends while we explored some of the spiritual modalities enthusiastically available in the 80's, including past life regression.  Alas, the painting is long gone who knows where, as are also those friends (except for one:  glad you are still around Madeleine!)

"The High Priestess" (1975)

Another of the life size large oil paintings I did when I lived in Berkeley, meant to be for the Tarot.  Probably this painting, taken off the canvas and hauled around for years in a roll of canvases, ended up in the dumpster at a storage facility when I was unable to continue to keep the storage chamber.  I am ashamed of that, because it was a beautiful painting of my friend the poet Felicia Miller, and I labored long and hard on it, and I should have valued it.  At least I have a record of it.

"Three Roots of the Tree of Life" (1987)

Part of a 3 part shrine I made as I became involved in Paganism in the early 80's - they were meant to represent the cycles of generation, reproduction, death and rebirth.  I used to store my art in a closet in my mother's home - unfortunately my mentally ill brother destroyed it while I was gone.  I stopped leaving any of my art at my mother's house after that.  Once again, I forget how many of my paintings are "rooted".

"A House of Doors III" (1987)

From my MFA Show, "A House of Doors", which also included a spoken word/musical piece inspired by Laurie Anderson called "A House of Doors".  This painting, I believe, was destroyed by my brother, because it disappeared from my mother's house.

"Lovers" (1989)

A strange painting, but I really liked it, although it is very clumsy in its composition.  In the summer of 1989 I had a wonderful, magical residency at the Cummington Community in Western Massachusetts.  For a month, surrounded by artists and writers and musicians in this (alas, now defunct) old artist's community, I was on fire creatively!  And somewhat literally too, as the whole series of paintings I did then involved transformation and shamanic fire.  I never showed any of them, to anyone, now that I think of it, but I guess I called them "The Shamanic Journey".  This one came from a dream in which a man offered me fire.  No idea where it went, but I think it was destroyed.

"A House of Doors" (1987)

Title painting for my MFA Show, a big painting about 5 by 4.  Later I used the image in my Tarot deck for "The Chariot", as it represents envisioning where we want to go, and spiritual progress.  I love the image, which used a photo of  Catherine Nash, an extraordinary  artist I knew in Graduate School.  I do remember that this one fell off the wall and right through a chair, so it was destroyed.

"Day of Radience II" (1987)

Another version of this image from the 80's................I did lithos using it too.  Part of the "A House of Doors" series.

"Guide" (1984)

From the time of High New Age, an envisioning Higher and Lower Self communing.  No idea where it went.  

"Hecate" (1997)

This was an image that came to me when I was working on the Tarot paintings, the original (which I do have) became "The Hermit - Solitude".  I felt that when we go through the dark times, the dark tunnels of our lives internally and externally, when we find our way out of those tunnels, out of the dark, we have a responsibility, or an opportunity, to "bear a light" for others to illuminate their paths.  This can also translate into the meaning of Hecate, who guided Persephone out of the Underworld.  She is  the Goddess of the Crossroads who stands with her torch to light the way.  It was a painting on paper,  and I used myself as the model, hoping I think to invoke the guidance I profoundly needed at that particular,  very difficult,   time in my life.

"Transformation" (1989)

This  was the last of my  "Shamanic Journey" paintings from my intense month at the  Cummington Community, and I've always loved it, although no one else seems to like it as they seem to feel it is gruesome, or represents some kind of anti-abortion statement!  Hardly!  But not wishing to alarm those who came to visit me, I took it off my walls long ago and it seems to have disappeared.   Yes, Stanley Kubrick used the fetus for his "Space Child" so I guess it's a cliche.  But what I was talking about is the incubation and birth into a new state of elevated being..............the child, the soul, is wrapped in the fire of transformation.  For me it's a deeply spiritual statement and I wish I had it still.  But I  seem to be the only one who thinks so! 

Untitled (1977)

This one I gave to a friend in Vermont - we fell out of touch, and I learned about 10 years ago that he had died.  I used the photo of it in my Tarot deck for "The Fool", as it represented to me the Innocense that makes so much "impossible" possible!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Gather and Offer: A Story of the Gathering Basket

 

I have a friend who is very ill, dealing with cancer.  While speaking with her on the phone, I remembered an extraordinary poem gifted to me by Ilana Stein, who I met in one of the workshops I gave at the Kripalu Institute in 2008.  Ilana was a retired midwife, renowned in her field, who had been undergoing cancer treatment when she decided to take a workshop at Kripalu.  After the workshop she was on her way to California to spend time with her daughter.   The poem, "Gather and Offer" she wrote during that 4 day workshop, in which she also made several masks that accompanied her work.   Four months after meeting Ilana, I learned that she had died.  I reflected then, as now, how beautiful her poem and my experience of working with her was, this woman who had spent her life bringing souls into this world, and preparing to leave it.

I posted this in 2008.......I think it's well worth copying and sharing again, as it is so much with me today.
Hands of the Midwife (2005)

 2008:

I've been meaning to share this story from the MASKS OF THE GODDESS workshop I taught in April at the Kripalu Institute  - while I always am moved and astounded by the work others do, I found this work especially moving. Ilana has graciously allowed me to share photos of the masks she made, and gave me permission to print the poem she wrote in the workshop. 

Ilana is a well known Midwife and Birth Coach  from New York City.  She is a slight woman with intense eyes, and her hair was gone sparse because she's been undergoing  chemotherapy, which she shared as we began our introductory Circle. 

We begin our four day process with a "shamanic journey" to the Underworld, to encounter the Goddess, in whatever form She may care to appear.  I feel this is important as each participant prepares to create her mask. Often I ask them to  see if She gives them a gift of some kind, and almost always something meaningful is presented.


Returning to the "above world", after our trance, Ilana told  the group she had met a Goddess all in white.   She called Her the "White Goddess".  This Being  emerged from the darkness to dance before her. Her dance, Ilana said,  was like a figure 8, the "eternity symbol" -  Her gestures consisted of gathering on one side, and giving forth on the other, a flowing movement  of taking in and giving forth.

It happened that another of the women in the workshop was a professional dancer (a ballerina, actually!) who was retiring.   She brought with her a dress from her performance years as a possible costume, and in the course of the workshop she gave Ilana this beautiful white dress - which was Ilana's size!

One of the two masks Ilana made was "scarred", to represent the suffering she had been going through in the course of her treatment for cancer.  Yet it  contained a bright red, and very open,  heart.  Above is the other mask she made for the White Goddess she encountered.  A white mask with a basket on one side, and flowing forms with blooming flowers on the other.  A mask for gathering, and for offering.   And here is the poem she wrote - I feel privileged to share it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8/12/08 Postscript:   I am sad to have to add that Ilana passed away 4 months after this workshop.  But when I think of that, I think the  Goddess who came to her, and the poem she wrote, were all about leading the Way.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GATHER AND OFFER
Ilana Stein

Gather towards the West
Gather towards the North
Gather towards the South
Gather towards the East
Gather Above, gather below and gather the great Mystery

Gather what you’ve studied
Gather what you’ve learned
Gather how you’ve lived, and gather what you’ve earned.

Gather what you’ve loved and gather what you’ve lost.
Gather what you’ve soiled and gather what it’s cost
Gather what you’ve wasted and gather what you’ve saved
Gather what you’ve shopped for and gather what you’ve tasted

Gather who your friends are and gather how they’ve cared
Gather your relations and gather how you’ve fared
Then Gather birth and celebrate, gather death and cry
Gather hope, regret and longing and gather up the why

Gather up the waiting, gather struggles, gather challenges.
Gather all the goals you’ve met and gather up the bravery
Gather faceless fear and all the broken promises.
Gather yesterday today, and gather time tomorrow

Gather what you’ve ruined and gather when you’ve failed.
Gather up the personal and gather up the frail
Gather up the culture and gather up the myths
Gather all the songs you’ve sung, and all expressive art
Gather dances gather dreams and gather up your heart

Gather in the garden and gather at the beach.
Gather on the mountain and gather what’s in reach
Gather in the workplace, and gather on the roads
Gather in the home you’ve made and gather all you kin
Gather your impatience, your frustration and your greed.
Gather up the words you’ve said and gather what you need.

Gather up your journey and all the time you’ve spent
Gather up your courage and walk inside your tent.
Gather up your secrets and and gather up your wisdom
Gather what you’ve forgotten
Gather what you’
ve meant.
Gather faith and Reverence

Gather truth and and gather lies,
Gather secrets great and small
Gather wisdom of the ages and wrap them in your shawl
Gather sickness, Gather health gather tenderness and rage
Gather all your stories and gather on the stage

Gather up your gatherings, and stir the basket’s bounty
Gather all remaining threads and search across the county
Look out among the human beings, look out among relations

Then offer up your gatherings to all nations and creations


Offer to your children and offer to your kin
Offer to the hungry, to the needy and the grim
Offer to the blessed and offer to the prim
Offer to the kings and queens the princess and princesses
Offer to the beggars, paupers, jesters and priestesses

Offer to the little birds the chipmunks and the deer
Offer to the badger, mole, the frogs, and yes the bear
Offer to the green spring shoots, the white and yellow crocus
Offer to the budding trees the bushes and the rushes

Offer to the sand and mud the concrete and the buildings
Offer to the cook and maid the seamstress and the butler
Offer to the farmers - offer to the farm
Offer to the doctors and offer for no harm

Offer to the visionaries offer to the artists
Offer to the frightened, offer to the scared
Offer to the endangered and to the unprepared
Offer to the hurting, offer to be healed,
Offer to your neighbor and offer to the field

Offer grace and offer peace offer possibility
Offer privilege trust and faith
Offer gratitude amazement wonderment and awe
Offer loving kindness, compassion, joy and love

Offer up your story, offer honor and integrity
Offer for community Offer your vulnerability

Offer what you’ve learned and offer what you have
offer what you know
Offer what you’
ve shared
Offer both your ears, your shoulders and your tears
Offer all you’ve gathered, offer all your cares

You’ve gathered through the springtime,
the summer and the fall.
And you’
ve offered season’s greetings without going to the mall.

Now rest and build your strength up. Cycle with the moon. Cycle through the mystery time. Close your eyes and sleep. Dream the dreams of where you’ve been.
Dream of where you’re going – dream the dream that dreamers dream.

Then gather.
 

Friday, May 7, 2021

"If Women Rose Rooted": Women, Myth and a Conversant Land



"This is the core of our task:  to remake the world in the image of those ancient   stories.  To respect and revere ourselves, and so bring about a world in which women are respected and revered, recognized once again as holding the life-giving power of the Earth itself.  We can reclaim that image in each of us:  the creative, ecstatic, powerful feminine that each of us embodies in her own unique way.  Lacking it, it is no wonder that we are grieving, alienated, imbalanced - that we cannot find a way to belong to a world that teaches us to cover up not just our bodies but our feelings, our dreams, our intuition.  There comes a point in each of our lives when we face a choice.  Will we stay as we are, embracing the pale shadow of womanhood permitted us by the patriarchy?  Or will we sink deep into the heart of the boglands, and find in the depths what it is to reclaim our creative power as women? 

As always, the stories show us the way.  The old stories, the ones which tell us that women are the land, the Body of the Earth Mother.  The old stories, the ones in which the Earth is sacred, and so women are sacred too:  the force of creation, the givers of life.  The stories in which women are the bearers of the Grail, the keepers of the cauldron of inspiration and rebirth. "

Sharon Blackie, IF WOMEN ROSE ROOTED (2016)

In 2018 I went to the Gatekeeper's Conference in Pewsey, in the U.K.  It was also my delight to visit a number of prehistoric sacred sites, including Avebury, Silbury, the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, the  great (fallen) Stones and Henge of Arbor Lowe in Derbyshire, the Nine Maidens, also in Derbyshire,  and others.  Truly, as I sit here in my urban home, I reflect that it has often seemed,  among these ancient Mysteries, that I feel most at home.  

I was also introduced to Sharon Blackie's book  IF WOMEN ROSE ROOTED   which I enthusiastically read throughout my visit, feeling that it resonated greatly with me.  The author lives in rural Ireland, close to the   beloved land she writes about, and speaks with passion,  and the bitter/sweet  story-teller lilt of an Irish Bard, about an instinctual need women women have to return to mythic (and actual) roots in the land. 

In some ways she reminds me of  Clarissa Pinkola Estes, as she urges women to regain, and celebrate the creative power of the life-giving  Divine Feminine in mythology. and speaks of  an essence deeply rooted in nature because we ARE nature. 

 She  returns again and again to the need to be ROOTED in the Earth as well as a mythic and conversant landscape that is also woman affirming;  the Heroine's journey, she writes, is not the same as the classical  Hero's journey proposed by Joseph Campbell -  because it is a journey of interconnection, relationships, co-creative and co-experienced cycles, and finally, the journey of belonging to the Great Mother, the great "conversation" of the planet.  The Heroine's journey, in a new and yet ancient sense, is perhaps now  the journey of the Eco-heroine.

Ms. Blackie speaks with passion because she believes it is urgent for all to "rise rooted",  as the death dealing forces of  patriarchy and sociopathic,  unlimited capitalism  are  quite literally destroying the future for not only humans, but all children of Mother Earth.

The title is a poem in itself, and as an artist who compulsively for decades has been putting roots on  faces and  hands and  bodies........well, it jumped off the shelf at me!  Yes, all my work has been "rooted" for a long time, even if I haven't always consciously been so............ but like many Americans with a life of bewildering change and movement, I have always  wanted to be rooted, attuned to the essence of place, without always  knowing how or why.  I look at 45 years of art, and always the Tree is there.  The Tree that is Asherah, the Tree of Life, the union of Above and Below.  For me, intuitively a quest to find identity within the those  vital roots, found in the  living, composting dirt, and  among the twining vines, flying webbed among the branches with the sparrows.  
 
Silbury Hill, Avebury, Wiltshire, UK - believed to 
represent the pregnant belly of the Great Mother

When did we lose our roots?  When did the separation between nature and human happen?  When did the Great Earth Mother, eternally birthing and growing and dying and returning again...........when did She disappear under the weight of myth and patriarchal cultures?  When did the processes of nature and the cycles of nature cease to be sacred and became profane?  A question I many have sought to answer as we move fully now into ecological crisis. 


The Nine Maidens,  Derbyshire (Henge and Processional in background)
"For it was no peasant, but calm and cunning wizards, ruling and pegging out in granite  the windings of the dragon track  that writhes unseen in  marsh and moss and meadowland,  that twines in stellar gravity among the eaves of the cubic sky.   So they, upon the veins of Anu,  print a spell of glory in our blinks of lives.   Rightness of the world Self seen:  the green, the garden.  
Older yet and wiser far, and I will not forget."
.....Robin Williamson, "Five Denials on Merlin's Grave"

Speaking With the Land

In so many  rural areas of the UK  the 21st Century seems like it is just another layer atop a continually emergent pentimento, the patterns of  a much older landscape.   Of course this is true everywhere, but it is so much in daily evidence in the UK and Europe.

That "pentimento" is like an ancient tattoo - circular, serpentine, full of  standing  stones, henges, magic wells, pregnant "harvest hills",  and geomantic ley lines.   For me,  when I was able to walk and explore this overlay my vision expanded  to a  broader vista, a panorama that  opened in my mind  as  I imagined the world of those who walked there so long ago.  And that very faint yet vibrant Pentimento gave me a vision as well of what,  as myth makers and "geologians" for the future, we might re-invent from the dreaming Earth. 

As far as these energized, ley crossed sites go, what poet and Bard Robin Williamson called the "veins of Anu and the windings of the Serpent Track",  I agree with those scholars who believe that once upon a time the  very lands the people walked on, the land they grew their food and marked the Solstices and Equinoxes and the movements of the moon and the stars  upon, was  the "temple"  itself,  The Deity was beneath their feet, and all around them. 

As   Marija Gimbutas, and later Michael Dames, have argued, these sites mark a sacred landscape that was once viewed  literally as  the Body of the the  Great Mother from which the blessings of abundance came, and ultimately to which, in the great cycles of the year , all return.    Here, and in ubiquitous similar sites in Southern and Central England, Ireland, Scotland, the Orkney Islands, the Hebrides, the Isle of Man, Brittany..........perhaps as well in the mysterious realms of the great Temples of Malta,  or the barely excavated, and truly ancient circles of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey as well, we see the remnants of a worship of the Earth as Great Mother that lasted for a very, very long time.    

According to  Michael Dames in his book the Silbury Treasure, Silbury,  which I visited in 2018 along with other similar "harvest hills" (there is one along the Processional to Arbor Lowe as well)  literally represented the pregnant belly of the Great Mother, and were associated with certain times of the agricultural cycles.  In the Neolithic and early Iron Age he makes a significant argument that there was a universal religion which regarded the LAND ITSELF AS THE DEITY.    Situated just south of Avebury, Silbury Hill in Wiltshire is Europe's tallest prehistoric structure.  When his  book was first published in 1976,  archaeological investigations sponsored by the BBC  had demonstrated that the hill was not, as had previously been believed, a burial mound, nor did it have any buriel remains connected with its antiquity. Dames surveys the history of earlier digs at the hill, then uses comparative archaeological evidence, astronomy, ethnography, folklore, mythology, mathematics and place-name research to argue that the shape of the site is designed to represent the pregnant Belly of the Goddess.  

As with the ditch/henges that surround stone circles, Silbury would have been at certain times of the year surrounded by a human made body of water, which Dames believed not only was fundamental to the "temples" that these ceremonial sites represented, but in the case of Silbury, actually formed the shape of a squatting (birthing) woman.  He believes that Silbury was a sacred mound that was part of the Avebury ceremonial landscape.  He likens the "Goddess form" of the henge surrounding Silbury to similar pregnant Goddess sculptures and icons found throughout Europe during the Neolithic.  


As a child, I had great conversations with flowers and squirrels.  And, of course, my cats. Even earthworms were not immune to my words of concern for them.  Much later, I read avidly of the Findhorn Community, or Perelandra, or the Sirious Community,  the conversations members of these communities had  between the Devas of the plant kingdoms and those who came to learn and grow amazing vegetables, healing herbs, and magical gardens in conscious collaboration with them.  

 We need to learn to "speak with the Earth" again.   This impresses itself on me again, and again.  Not in some removed, abstract, distant way, but intimately, beneath our rooted feet, in our creative hands rooted in a great collaboration with the planet that stands aside, protects,  and at best shepards  the land.  That releases for good the outmoded concept of "domination" of nature.  Humanity must become friends again with the family of planetary life, the "Covenant" of the Garden.  I believe that our next  evolution as a planetary humanity is not out in space, but right here, on the Earth.   There will be many new innovations, but there will also be many, many re-discoveries of what was once known and understood.  This is indisputable  in the face of climate change,  and a technology that is advancing much more rapidly than we are evolving as a global humanity  to meet it. 

So where does religion come into this?  To be honest, I am not a religious person, although I have an abiding interest in  and experience of spirituality.  But I am a mythologist, and religions are founded upon myths, upon world and creation stories, which are ever revised and co-opted throughout history within  different cultures.  

The change that must occur within western religious systems is that we cannot continue with a  patriarchal, tribal  alpha male centered mythos.  Nor  can we continue to worship deities that are founded upon ancient warrior sky gods -  wifeless, daughterless, motherless, preoccupied with with dominance,  however they are packaged.  We can't continue with religions that are "Renunciate" either, not if we wish to make our way back to a "conversation" with the land that sustains us.  Dissociative religions that teach that divinity and sanctity lie somewhere other than here,  whether that be conceived of as Heaven, Paradise,  some elusive "Enlightenment" or Nirvana,  or, as various New Age groups teach, that life is "not real", and hence we must reject its "unreality". ..... will not serve our children, or all the many other forms of consciousness that are co-evolving on planet Earth with us. 

Enough.  It is time for the  Return of the Goddess.  For  Restoring the Balance in the divided human psyche.  We cannot understand Her perhaps as  neolithic peoples understood Her, but we must facilitate Her rising as people of the 21st Century urgently need to understand Her.     Not as some hierarchical deity that replaces a tyrannical, misogynist  sky god with an equally "dominating" and merciless  matriarch -  but as, scientists James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis demonstrated in their Gaia Theory,  the Body of the Earth itself, which we are living IN.  Not ON, but IN.  And what we do to Her, we are doing to ourselves.  

 I respond deeply to Sharon Blackie's call to women to  "rise rooted" .  For those of us who have been rooting about in the shards and buried roots of prehistory and mythology........while we cannot really know what the ancients did or believed, we can sense it with our feet, divining rods,  instincts and imaginations, and (gnow)  that it is something that points toward a different way of being.  One we can invent, re-invent, and re-member ourselves into.


REFERENCES:

Blackie, Sharon,  If Women Rose Rooted:  The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging  2016, September Publishing 

The Gatekeepers Annual Conference, “Dreaming the Land” November 2018, Pewsey, Wiltshire, UK..   https://gatekeeper.org.uk/2018/05/dreaming-the-land-annual-conference-2018

3 Estes, Clarissa Pinkola,  Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype,  November 27th 1996,   Ballantine Books

4 Williamson, Robin, “Five Denials on Merlin’s  Grave” from A Glint At The Kindling & Selected Writings 1980-83    

https://youtu.be/iuRUVzqAfgk (to hear the performance)

http://www.songlyrics.com/robin-williamson/five-denials-on-merlin-s-grave-lyrics/  (lyrics)

 Gimbutas, Marija,  The Language of the Goddess,  (1989)  (and other writings), see also Old Europe Excavations and Kurgan Theory,   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marija_Gimbutas

6 Dames, Michael,  The Silbury Treasure: The Great Goddess Rediscovered November 20th 1978 by Thames & Hudson

7 Findhorn Community of Scotland: https://www.findhorn.org/

8 Sirius Community of Massachusetts:  http://siriuscommunity.org/ 

9 Perelandra Center & Michaela Wright:   https://www.perelandra-ltd.com/ 

10 Lovelock, James and Margulis, Lynn ,   The Gaia Hypothesis AKA  Gaia Theory, Earth Sciences, first published 1972  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis