PALIOXIS -The Spirit of strategic RETREAT

PALIOXIS – The Spirit of Strategic Retreat

The winged Greek Goddess Palioxis is the personification of strategic retreat, who flew high above the battlefield spreading her wings and her wisdom. It is said she was the daughter of Eris, Goddess of strife.

In the I Ching the hexagram 33 is named RETREAT (Dun) and offers those that consult its wisdom to ensure that when negative conflict overwhelms them it is often better and wiser to strategically retreat. Stepping back and reflecting on the situation rather than escalating it leads to great success.

When something triggers us and pushes our buttons we find ourselves in the middle of a highly charged situation. But the core of the negativity always offers us a teaching. Fixed ideas, core beliefs and a desire to blame are often involved. This is because our egoic self is standing in the way of our soul Self, our true Self. Confrontation therefore calls upon us to reflect on our own  Shadow. Preserving our energy until we know how to reposition ourselves  limits damage to ourselves and to others.  We all need to step away from the “battlefield” at times to re-evaluate, strengthen and gain vision…….I AM RETREATING………“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”   Albert Camus ( The Minotaur)

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The Fruits of HEGEMONE

HEGEMONE was one of the Greek Graces. She is a fecund Goddess sitting on fertile ground admiring the manifestation of her fruits. Her responsibility is to offer her divine energy to the plants of the earth which would then blossom and bear fruit. She is the harvest of Autumn who appreciates our gratitude for the bounty of Summer and also prepares us for the coming darkness of Winter.

Archetypally she represents the growth of our own fruitful abundance, representing the times when hard work, ideas and enthusiasm finally pays off and bears the fruit of positive manifestation. Such an act takes great patience as we hone the soil upon which we place our dreams, expectations and plans. “Im not me but living matter fermenting and forming its own shapes in the fruitfulness of every day.” Pablo Neruda

The Orchard by Mary Oliver

I have dreamed of accomplishment.
I have fed ambition.
I have traded nights of sleep
for a length of work.
Lo, and I have discovered
how soft bloom turns to green fruit
which turns to sweet fruit.

Lo, and I have discovered all winds blow cold
at last, and the leaves, so pretty, so many,
vanish in the great, black packet of time,
in the great, black packet of ambition,

and the ripeness of the apple is its downfall.


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IASO Goddess of Recovery and Recuperation

IASO is an ancient Greek Goddess and was a daughter of the Healing God – Ascelpius whose five daughters all presided over the different stages of healing: HYGEIA – Health, PANACEA – remedies, ACESO – the healing process, AEGLE – the glow of health , EPIONE – mother of the daughters was the soother of Pain, and IASO personified the stage of recuperation and recovery from illness.

IASO personifies recovery from illness:  She asks and offers time, rest, good food, gentle exercise, sleep and support by using of  healing remedies, plants and ritual. Here we see her surrounded by the golden solar Calendula flower which is widely known for its numerous healing abilities. The Romans and the ancient Greeks used this  flower in their healing rituals and ceremonies…I AM RECOVERY 

“A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen” John O’ Donoghue

IASO among the CALENDULA flowers


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LAKSHMI emerging from the Churning Sea upon the Lotus Flower

The Goddess LAKSHMI is a much loved and honoured Hindu Goddess who personifies and offers WEALTH in 8 forms: material and spiritual contentment, spiritual wealth, wisdom, material wealth,  family, food, patience and strength, courage, and inner growth. She is a supreme Mother Goddess who nurtures and nourishes all. To realise her is to rejoice in the wonders of life.

HER  STORY:  Lakshmi resided in the world, bringing fortune to all the deities. But she decided to leave the world and enter the Milky Ocean when the world became over-run by evil forces. The God Vishnu instructed the gods to churn the Milk Ocean, to help bring Lakshmi back. Eventually she rose out of the ocean, standing on a lotus flower symbolising  purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Gold coins fell from her hands. She was wed to the great God Vishnu and together they represent mastery over the Universe, and the Supreme duality of nature. Their  marriage and relationship is the paradigm for rituals and ceremonies for the bride and groom in all Hindu weddings .

Lakshmi presides over Diwali, the festival of light,  which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists ….I AM WEALTH

LAKSHMI emerging from the Churning Sea upon the Lotus Flower









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EPIONE – Goddess of Pain Relief

EPIONE was a healing Goddess, and the wife of Asclepius the God of Healing. She was the mother to 5 daughters who all played some part in the healing process. Epione herself presided over the soothing of Pain. Asclepius, Epione and their family were the first recorded therapeutic healing group.

Pain accompanies  life on Earth, and humans have, it seems, always been finding and practicing various forms of pain management.The cultivation of the opium poppy plant dates back to the earliest years of human civilization, and opium use was well known in Ancient Mesopotamia. Pain arises in our physical bodies to alert us to possible malfunctions or problems within our human form. The ancient Greeks used several words to describe pain such as algos, pathos and odyni. They developed a belief that pain had the same value as treatment; a stance that occupied the thoughts of many historians, tragedians and philosophers. Pain at this time was treated in sanctuaries using a combination of religious rituals, incantations, tinctures and herbs.       I AM PAIN 

‘Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.’.. Khalil Gibran

Goddess of the soothing of PAIN

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ALEMONA- Nourisher of the Unborn

ALEMONA is the Roman Goddess who protects and helps nurture the unborn child in its mother’s womb, a warm place of containment and nourishment. Alemona’s task was to maintain  the development of the child. From Her name came the words aliment, meaning “food”; alimental, “nourishing”, and alimony, which is  money paid to a wife by her estranged husband to provide for the nourishment for their children.

The act of being nurtured and fed is imperative to our existence. Feeding ourselves takes place on many levels.What feeds our bodies? What  feeds our psyches ? What feeds our souls?  We make choices of what we feed ourselves which in turn make us who we are. Taking time to pause, to consider, to pay attention and to reflect on how we can provide deep nurturance for ourselves  is a transformative . These kind acts to Self can hold the key as to how we may support and nourish our mind, body and soul by allowing those parts of our unborn selves to be allowed to grow, develop and  become conscious .

‘To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.’.. Mary Oliver

ALEMONA – Feeding the Unborn

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The Black Madonna

There are  400–500 Black Madonnas in Europe. Sometimes they are carefully cloaked or hidden from view. The Black Madonna holds within Her the vast archetype of the ancient lineage of the sacred feminine….Isis, Cybele, Inanna to name a few. She is the divine mystery who is keeper of the dazzling light within the darkness. Jung described her mystery as that of Crow- a symbol for the Black Nigredo state in alchemy in which the dark experiences of ones psyche are nourished and made healthy leading to authentic transcendent change.

Marion Woodman in the book ‘Coming Home to Oneself ‘ talks of Her……

‘The Black Madonna is larger than life itself.
Nature impregnated by spirit,
She presides over fertility, sexuality, childbirth.
She accepts her body as chalice for spirit,
Presides over the sacredness of matter,
The meeting of sex and spirit.
Rejected by the patriarchy,
Her energy has smoldered for generations.
Now she erupts in us and in the world,
Demands conscious recognition,
Demands redemption of matter. ‘


The Black Madonna is usually shown holding a child but here I decided to picture her pregnant with the possibility of  global feminine equality  and empowerment.  The red anklet is a symbol of  her resonance with the openness of feminine sexuality .

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