The MOIRAI and the Red Thread of Life

THE MOIRAI were the 3 goddesses of fate and destiny who personified the life and death cycle of humankind. Their name means ‘alottted portions’. The Moirai it was said  appeared three nights after a child’s birth to determine the course of life.

CLOTHO  spun the thread of life …BIRTH                                                      LACHESIS measured the thread and allotted … LIFETIME                   ATROPOS  meaning ‘she who cannot be turned’ severed the thread …DEATH

In the Republic of Plato the three Moirai sing in unison. Lachesis sings the things that were, Clotho the things that are, and Atropos the things that are to be.

“The meaning of being alive is just being alive.”           Alan Watts

It is suggested that a large part of all human behaviour is generated by a fundamental fear and anxiety in our unconscious about death. Our mortality often doesn’t sit easily within us consciously and unconsciously. We may worry and stress about how our life may turn out and may try to seek some sort of security that will make the feelings go away. Making sense of our mortality may lie in ancient wisdoms such as Zen Buddhism that teaches the value and emphasis of living in the present.

Come out of the circle of time and into the circle of love.”….RUMI

THE MOIRAI apportioning the Red Thread of Life
I AM MORTAL

 

 

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LILITH and the SERPENT

This print is dedicated to the powerful, beautiful Anna Ziman who transformed so many women’s live’s and passed away into the hands of the Goddess on Sunday ..Blessed Be ❤️Lilith, meaning the night creature or screech owl, is one the oldest known Goddesses of the world often depicted with wings. Her roots were Babylonia as Ishtar/Innana . After the Babylonian exile the Hebrew culture reinvented her and she became known as an evil demon rather than the Great Goddess. In the Old Testament midrash writing it is told that Jehovah created, from the dust of the earth, Adam and Lilith as his wife.The only difference was that lilith had filth and residue in her dust. The marriage did not last as Lilith refused to lay underneath Adam and submit to him when they were making love. It was said she was defiant and disobedient and so she was rejected and cast out of the Garden of Eden. She was the ancient symbol of what happened to women who demanded equality and disobeyed their husbands. Eve was then created from Adam’s rib.  Here again is Lilith as the serpent Goddess but in a twisted fashion as the root of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.  Eve has been blamed for accepting the temptation of the serpent for 2000 years, but Lilith was the vehicle for that temptation….she was the serpent. And so Lilith was viewed as the darker aspect of Eve and accused of killing children, having sex with demons, and seducing men. If we fast forward to the 15th century the same accusations were delivered to those they called WITCHES. Lilith is the woman who disobeys male power and so talks to us of equality, independence, sexuality  and courage…..I AM LIBERATED 

Jewish women’s archive
Until the late twentieth century the demon Lilith, Adam’s first wife, had a fearsome reputation as a kidnapper and murderer of children and seducer of men. Only with the advent of the feminist movement in the 1960s did she acquire her present high status as the model for independent women.The contemporary feminist movement found an inspiration in this image of Lilith as the uncontrollable woman and decisively changed the image of Lilith from demon to powerful woman.

LILITH and the SERPENT
I am LIBERATED

Lilith

Enid Dame (1943-2003)

kicked myself out of paradise
left a hole in the morning
no note no goodbye
was patient and hairy

he cared for the animals
worked late at night
planting vegetables
under the moon

sometimes he’d hold me
our long hair tangled
he kept me from rolling
off the planet

it was
always safe there
but safety

wasn’t enough. I kept nagging
pointing out flaws
in his logic

he carried a god
around in his pocket
consulted it like

a watch or an almanac

it always proved
I was wrong

two against one
isn’t fair! I cried
and stormed out of Eden
into history:
the Middle Ages
were sort of fun
they called me a witch
I kept dropping
in and out
of people’s sexual fantasies

now
I work in New Jersey
take art lessons
live with a cabdriver

he says; baby
what I like about you
is your sense of humor

sometimes
I cry in the bathroom
remembering Eden
and the man and the god

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ANESIDORA and the stinging insects

ANESIDORA is better known as Pandora. Her name means ‘she who sends up gifts from below the earth’. Before her creation the world was a paradise filled only with men who lived without worry or strife. However things started to change when Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and gifted it to the men. For this act  Zeus punished not only the God himself  but the men as well. It is said that their punishment was the creation of the first woman, Anesidora, who was to be the first of a race of women. She was a personification of the Earth, and as such was shaped and moulded from Earth itself. When completed she was sent to the men holding the gift of a sealed jar . She was told not to open it, but her curiosity (and agency?) overwhelmed her and she decided to remove the lid of the jar. Her excitement turned to horror as from the jar there flew out many sorrows:  disease, poverty, misery, death and sadness – all in the form of stinging insects. They stung her voraciously, but despite her pain she managed to close the jar.

One last buzzing creature, HOPE, was still trapped in the jar and so was unavailable to mortals. It is said that the world remained extremely bleak for some time, until Anesidora  to revisited the box once again, at which point Hope fluttered out. I contemplate what this myth might be saying? Perhaps that humankind will always be given hope in times of evil? Perhaps an enquiry as to why there is evil in the world ? which may further pose the existential question of whether there is a greater Good or God or Goddess that delivers us from evil?

The dark aspects that are so prominent in this story not only talk to us of our human MORTALITY  but is blatantly a mythic root story of MISOGYNY. The story of Anesidora, like Eve tells the tale of  ‘the evil of women’ and firmly points the blame at women for the bringing of suffering to all of humanity. Eve too was the first woman, and she too was made responsible for destroying an innocent, all-male Paradise and unleashing suffering ever after………I AM BLAME

ANESIDORA-PANDORA and the stinging insects
I AM BLAME

From Hesiod: 8BC

“You are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire – a great plague to you yourself and to men that shall be. But I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction

From her is the race of women and female kind:
of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who
live amongst mortal men to their great trouble,
no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.

Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house,
she remained under the lip of the jar, and did not
fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the
lid of the jar. This was the will of aegis-bearing
Zeus the Cloudgatherer.”

 

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CIRCE working her magic…..

                          A foreword of the book CIRCE by Madelaine Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.“When I was born,” she begins her tale, “the name for what I was did not exist.” Circe’s witchcraft originates in her rage and jealousy, itself the result of years of harsh treatment.”

She is the woman deemed unattractive, worthless and  pushed to the edges of society. She is a single mother.  Although she has lovers mostly she is isolated and alone ; but as the voices in her head wane she finds her power and builds her knowledge and understanding  of the magical uses of plants and flowers. She walked into her power as a PHARMAKIS – the ancient name for witch. Witches have long been seen as symbols of feminine evil, but among feminists, witches are a symbol of women exerting their power in a world that suppresses them. Persecution of witches still exists in our world today. Powerful assertive women have always been feared by the patriarchy, and are often labelled as ‘witches’ as meant to be a misogynistic insult. Circe embodies our feminine power, our self-sovereignty …….I AM PHARMAKIS

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/07/cursed-from-circe-to-clinton-why-women-are-cast-as-witches?

Circe working her magic
I AM PHARMAKIS

 

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APHRODITE …rising from the Foam

Venus in Scorpio turned backwards on the 5th…. bringing focus and intensity to our relationships and how we see love in others and ourselves. We may wobble  in the dark and muddy waters of Venus for a while until she moves forward once again in the sign of  Libra -Nov 16th) to become the dazzling morning star in our skies . So until then  passion, scrutiny and a bit of roaring may prevail! If we can turn down the heat a bit of contemplation may help …so I thought I would release Aphrodite to join us in the rough seas……

APHRODITE  was the goddess of  love, procreation, pleasure and beauty, whose mythical birthplace was in Paphos, Cyprus. It is said, that she was conceived from the severed genitals of the God Uranus that were thrown into the sea . White foam arose and spread around the genitals and the sperm and the sea mixed alchemically, leading to the conception of the Goddess. Aphrodite  arose from a rock in the sea. She was carried to the shore on a shell amidst a shower of roses to be met by nymphs and deities who attended her. Her name means ‘risen from the foam’. Her cult was derived from the ancient Phoenician  goddess, Astarte. She was a warrior Goddess and the patron Goddess of prostitutes, which was a common aspect of life in Ancient Greece. As an archetype Aphrodite embraces a woman’s enjoyment of love , sexuality and sensuality.

On a deeper level she  is the personification of the state of being we know as to be  IN-LOVE. The essence of that state is a powerful, sensual, heightened experience making life   ‘madly’ elevated, and enhanced. At such times we feel connected, fascinated, engrossed  and more ‘alive than our normal state of being.  All creative and romantic experiences can lead us to fall  in-love. She is our passion and desire. Such times lead us to rise up and meet the heights of the Aphrodite archetype foaming with intensity, creation, fulfillment and meaning. Of course, none of us need much warning that Love , in all its guises, is the most complicated of things, which can bring out the very best or the very worst in us. 💙

“I will sing of stately Aphrodite, gold  crowned and beautiful, whose dominion is the
walled cities of all sea-set Cyprus. There the moist breath of the western wind wafted her
over the waves of the loud-moaning sea in soft foam.” ~Homer

APHRODITE rising from the Foam
I AM IN-LOVE

 

 

 

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ARTEMIS – Huntress of Souls

Artemis was one of the principle Goddesses of Greek Mythology. Her parents were Zeus and Leto, her twin brother, Apollo. She was a virgin Goddess, and was adamant about not relinquishing  her power to the rule of men. She was fiercely protective towards women who were being harassed or threatened , and also protected them on their journey of giving birth. Known as ‘the Goddess who roves by night’, Artemis was as wild as the wind and as such she protected the wild places, the wilderness,  and the animals that lived within them, sometimes shape-shifting into an animal herself.  She was the 2 aspects of hunting…She who hunts and She who is hunted….She who gives and She who takes away. And so in Ancient Greek times hunting was sacred and seen to be carried out on behalf of  Artemis, for which there were strict rituals ruling this practice of killing.

‘Artemis, as soul of the wilderness, gives expression to the place in the psyche where humanity feels itself to be free from human concerns, and so at the same time open  to the immense untameable powers of nature. The figure who came alive in the Greek imagination conferred an absolute sacrality upon the wilds of nature and the wild place of the human heart that reflected them.’ …..The Myth of the Goddess – Ann Baring and Jules Cashford

Artemis’s symbol of power was her huntresses bow and arrow which also directed her total focus and relentless determination. Never tiring, she was independent and self-reliant…..I AM AGENCY

I depict her standing among the herb Artemesia – Mugwort…a protective herb against insect bites and can also be drunk and used as a smudge for protection in rituals.

ARTEMIS – Huntress of Souls
I AM AGENCY

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HYGEIA feeding the serpent

The Goddess of Health was the daughter of Asclepius, the God of medicine. Ancient Greek mythology tells of  Hygeia tending her father’s temples with a bowl of medicinal potion from which the serpent of wisdom drank. Hygeia (Hygiene)is the personification of good health, both mentally and physically, and is associated with health maintenance, cleanliness and the prevention of disease. Her sisters were  Panacea who was associated with the concept of treatment and Iaso who personified remedies. Hygeia is always seen draped with a serpent who is feeding from her bowl. Many of us associate the snake with poison but in the ancient world they were seen as creatures of power, wisdom, transformation, healing and regeneration. Hygeia’s symbol was the bowl and serpent and today, the ‘Bowl of Hygeia’ is used by many pharmacological associations worldwide.The original Hippocratic Oath began with “I swear by Apollo the Physician and by Aesculapius and by Hygeia and Panacea and by all the gods …”   She teaches us to care for ourselves and to keep our mortal bodies as healthy as  possible ….. I AM HEALTH

HYGEIA feeding the Serpent
I AM HEALTH

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