THEMIS and Human Rights

THEMIS was an ancient Greek Titaness. She personified divine legality and social justice. She bore six daughters who were the Seasons and the Fates.

Social justice is based on the concept of creating societies which offer human rights, fairness and equality to all individuals. Access to health care, housing, education, food and legal aid  should not depend on where you live, how much money you have, your race, gender or age. We live in an unjust world riddled with discrimination and exploitation which creates immense inequality in many parts of society. Social justice movements raise awareness of human rights for all people and encourage governments to change legal constructs to remove inequality.

We can all make a difference by :
– Examining our own beliefs
– Educating ourselves on Social injustice
– By taking action – by protesting, donating , volunteering…


“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.” Helen Keller

THEMIS and Human Rights

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The PHOENIX kneeling in the ashes…

The ancient Greeks wrote about a mythical bird called the PHOENIX, a magnificent creature associated with the sun and gold. Every 500 years, the Phoenix built a nest and set itself on fire from which a new Phoenix would arise from the ashes. This magnificent bird was one of Jung’s most powerful archetypes of rebirth and renewal, containing in its fire both creation and life and destruction and death. Many times in our lives we will reach a place where life as we know it ends and a new life stretches out before us. There may be loss and trauma involving situations we would not ordinarily choose. Our strength will be called upon as slowly a new way of being reveals itself. We turn and look at what has gone from our lives and what has now replaced it externally and internally. The phoenix symbolises human transformation  as we release ‘the old’ that does not serve us anymore.  I AM RENEWAL

‘No phoenix can rise from no ashes.” Marion Woodman

The PHOENIX Kneeling in the Ashes

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PHRIKE trembles beneath the falling tower……

PHRIKE is the personification of fear and horror. Her name means ‘trembling’ and is  used in the Greek tragedies where Phrike would instigate fearful emotions which were seen as a cleansing experience for the audience. The sensation of horror is derived from witnessing the dark shadow of the individual or collective psyche. There is no avoidance of Phrike for fear is vital for survival when we become endangered. Fear is an uncomfortable strong emotion creating  psychological and biological responses and is incredibly complex. How we respond varies from acute risk aversion to acute risk seeking…and may depend on our experiences and possible trauma in our lives.

(print)Phrike trembles beneath the horror of the metaphoric falling tower. At times in our human history wars, viruses and other acute threats occur. Humans then face fear and uncertainty as power structures, systems and maybe the Earth itself may dramatically change our personal and collective lives…..As Jung said “Our only certainty is that the new world will be different from what we are used to.”

The Tower is a symbol of danger, upheaval, sudden crisis, and powerful change. It metaphors a structure which has been built to protect us from the real truth. The falling of the tower depicts a powerful transition which if allowed will lead to transformative changes. The eventual  hard won ‘breakthrough’ will be of of some magnitude revealing many possibilities and new ways of looking at the structure of ourselves, our society and our Planet…..I AM FEAR

“She faces us with our greatest fear and by showing us the treasure hidden away within it, she takes us to a place where love is born. Love is the true antithesis of fear. It expands where fear constricts. It embraces where fear repels.’….Marion Woodman

PHRIKE trembles beneath the Falling Tower

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EUDAIMONIA and the Meaning of Life…

The Greek Goddess EUDAIMONIA expresses a state of happiness and human wellbeing. Here She is bathed with light emanating from ‘The circle with a dot ‘in the middle which is a symbol of the Sun and the Psyche, representing wholeness and the pursuit of individuation. The flying beings are symbols of the Self, transformation, love, and beauty.

Happiness in our modern world usually expresses a short term state of pleasure, positivity and enjoyment. However, since the dawn of time, philosophers have inquired as to the real meaning of happiness. The Greek word ‘eudaimonia’ describes a deeper happiness, one in which we navigate and fertilise our lives by following our own true potential thereby maintaining a sense of meaning, purpose and contentment throughout our lifetime. May all our lives be rich with eudaimonic well being…….I AM CONTENTMENT

‘It is much more important to be contented and peaceful than to be intellectual. “~Carl Jung

EUDAIMONIA and The Meaning of Life


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PANACEA Goddess of Universal Remedy

PANACEA is the Greek Goddess of Universal Remedy who personifies a healing potion that will cure all difficulties, disease and problems. She holds the ‘Staff of Asclepius’ named after her father,God of Medicine; an ancient symbol still associated with medicine today. Panacea worked with him in the Asclepion temples where harmless snakes would roam the halls and dormitories. At night the snakes would visit those who wished to be ‘cured’ to whisper words of wisdom and healing into their ears. Snake venom was also used in the healing temples as in modern times where it is still used  in certain pharmaceuticals such as Ace-inhibitors.

PANACEA is always depicted with her serpent, they are both forces of transformation and renewal. Their alchemical elixir emanates from the collective unconscious and holds within it precious messages, dreams, meditations and the direction to listen to our instincts and intuition that can bring forth sudden insights and resolutions. The Goddess asks us to step back, listen quietly and allow her elixir to flow within us and flood us with solutions ….I AM THE CURE

Carl Jung writes in his book  Man and His Symbols: ‘The serpent is the universal quality of the animal as a symbol of transcendence. These creatures, figuratively coming from the depths of the ancient Earth Mother, are symbolic denizens of the collective unconscious. They bring into the field of consciousness a special underworld message.

PANACEA – Goddess of Universal Remedy

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RHEA and the mattress of Comfort

We all need comfort in these times, here is Rhea on the Mattress of Ease…..

She is an archetypal Mother Goddess, but her marriage to CRONUS (Saturn) was difficult as a  prophecy had told her husband that he would be overthrown by his son and so he devoured each of their children. When her last child was born Rhea fled to ‘the cave of sacred bees’  and left the child in the hands of the soul midwife Almatheia Capella. Once grown Zeus fought his father and freed his brothers and sisters.

RHEA’S name means “flow” and “ease” connecting her to the flow of menstrual blood, birth waters, milk, the tides and the lunar cycles. She was a Melissae and worked with the sacred bees and also known as ‘the Soother” . Her gifts of maternal comfort, ease and soul food was offered to all.

W all need to be held as a mother holds her child, this may be our own mother or a woman’s circle,  a therapist, trusting friendships and relationships. Deep within ourselves we can learn to connect to maternal love and to the abundant love of the Goddess. In all these places we can find a place of non-judgement, support, comfort and the unconditional love of a wide open heart that is prepared to walk alongside you ……I AM HELD

“Oh, mother earth, your comfort is great, your arms never withhold.” Mary Oliver

RHEA and the Mattress of EASE

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The NOSOI were feared Greek personifications of plague,(LUES) sickness (MORBUS) and disease(PESTIS). They were among the evil spirits that flew out of Pandora’s jar that had held all the illness and evils of the world.

In our modern world  ‘going viral’ relates to images, videos, fake news and links that spread rapidly through a population by being frequently shared with many individuals. At this time in our history the biological virus COVID-19 is rampaging throughout our world infecting many of us. We are affected both personally and collectively as we try to navigate the grief, the loss and the sudden changes. The lack of connection with each other bites into our souls and yet our hearts and minds are finding new ways to reach out not only to our dear ones but to all human beings. No more powerful is it than now to understand the true meaning of ‘we are all connected’ .

Carl Jung used the phrase psychic infection to describe what happens to us when we become worn down, burnt out and anxious…or when we are overly affected by the Collective. We run the risk of getting sick psychologically in much the same way as our body catches an infection. This is a time when our core beliefs and social constructs may  become challenged and whilst this may in the long term be a positive thing in the short term it may feel like we are walking on very shaky ground. Fear and dread alongside frequent news bulletins and social media interaction may become overwhelming ramping up our feelings of stress, panic and anxiety which can create poor physical and mental health within us. May we all find nourishment for our bodies and souls and are able to create peace within the space that has just opened up, allowing our biological and psychic immune systems to carry us through these unprecedented times…..I AM VIRAL

“Love is the real power. It’s the energy that cherishes. The more you work with that energy, the more you will see how people respond naturally to it, and the more you will want to use it. It brings out your creativity, and helps everyone around you flower. Your children, the people you work with–everyone blooms.”  …Marion Woodman

The NOSOI and the Coronavirus

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PHILOMELA weaves a language that has no Tongue

Ovid told the story of PHILOMELA, an Athenian princess whose sister Procne was married to the king, Tereus. The sisters missed each other’s company so Philomela was invited to live with her sister and husband. However, the king felt great lust for Philomela and lured her into the woods and raped her. She threatened  to tell of the assault and so he carried out an act of silencing and mutilation by cutting out her tongue and raping her again before leaving her unable to speak in the woods. Philomela’s response was to weave the story of the violent assault into a tapestry and send it to her sister, revealing the violation through her woven words. Procne fell silent with inner rage. The sisters had outed him but had to flee in fear of Tereus’s rage. They were transformed into song birds, the nightingale and the swallow. The silencing of Philomela metaphors the enforced silencing of women that has occurred through the ages. Women today still experience this  patriarchal show of power. Here is a tale of sisters who stood strong and used their agency to reveal their perpetrator.

In the past women have been socialised to take a passive role, to be nice and to remain silent. Strong women were seen as outspoken, angry and unlovable.Women’s silence was a crucial part of the success of patriarchy and though diminished it still exists. Paradoxically in Simone de Beauvoir’s book The Second Sex (1949), she argued that women were often silent and complicit in reinforcing their own unfreedom by voluntarily giving up their voice. The backlash from women aimed at the #MeToo movement and other feminist groups shows how the Feminine can still act as an agent to reinforce unfreedom even today. May we each find and question our silent voices and may we each find the power to weave and tell our own stories.”……..I AM MY VOICE

I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back…….Malala Yousafzai

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” Madeleine Albright

What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” I don’t have the patriarchal power like those men have; however, I do have the power to tell my own story. “ Oprah Winfrey 

“I’m like that old lady that’s probably about my age in the Women’s March holding up a sign saying, ‘Why after fifty years am I still holding this fucking sign?” Margaret Atwood

Several female writers have used the Philomela myth in exploring the subject of rape, women and power and feminist themes, including novelist Margaret Atwood in her novella Nightingale published in The Tent (2006)

PHILOMELA weaves a language that has no tongue

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Artemis Ephesia and the Virgin Mary

ARTEMIS of  EPHESUS  was the black multi-breasted Goddess also known as ‘she who flowed with milk and honey’. She was a Goddess unlike any other and was closely connected to the earlier Goddess, Cybele. The Ephesians were well known across the Greco-Roman world for their utter devotion to the goddess Artemis Ephesia. They built and dedicated a magnificent temple to her which became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. She was worshiped by her citizens for over a thousand years as their virgin Queen, their saviour, mother of mothers and their midwife of life, death and fertility. Her turret crown  represented her role as guardian and protector of the city and all who dwelt in it. Her many breasts are mysterious….. eggs, bees eggs, acorns, bull testicles, figs  ? Whatever they are they all symbolise the fertility of the Goddess. Her blackness is possibly connected to a black meteorite as the Goddess was said to have fallen from the sky. Her predecessor Cybele was worshipped in the form of a black stone. According to legend, the first statue of Artemis was a black meteoric stone worshipped by the Amazons.

Less than thirty years after the destruction of Artemis’ temple, Ephesus was given a new virgin mother, Mary the Mother of God in 431 CE. The city was rededicated to her and to this day remains a major pilgrimage site. However when the early Christian Church first arrived in the city there was great social tension for the loss of the people’s Goddess and it is said that the people were both determined and allowed to shape the Virgin Mary with the love, myths and ceremonies they had showered on their beloved Artemis Ephesia. The Black Madonna is often found in locations that were once pagan shrines to Artemis of Ephesus, Cybele and other goddesses….. and so they became one. These two feminine energies represent the archetypal Mother of all Mothers, the forever evolving ancient  power of the feminine force………….I AM EVOLVING

Artemis Ephesia and the Virgin Mary

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The Hospitality of PHILOPHROSYNEand her Sisters

PHILOPHROSYNE is the Greek goddess of welcome, friendship and kindness. She is one of the Sraces, a group of goddess sisters Euthenia, Eupheme and Eucleia. Philophrosyne reminds us that we cannot always choose the people who surround us, but we can choose how respond to them. With an open heart she holds her hands out to welcome everyone with kindness and non-judgement. Forming human connections and creating and enhancing community is the essence of Philophrosyne.

We all live different lives and different opinions and so acceptance of others makes us better able to secure friendships. By bringing friendliness to any social situation we can, hopefully encourage openness and tolerance. Friendships are a vital part of our lives and our well-being. According to anthropologist Robin Dunbar human brains have a limit to how many meaningful relationships they can keep. Dunbar says most people have up to: 5 intimate bonds, 15 close friends, 50 friends, 150 casual friends.

In the modern world where we have never been more more connected loneliness is prolific in our society as we turn from others to face our screens and social media. Loneliness not only makes us unhappy, but it can lead to a lack of confidence and mental health problems like depression, stress and anxiety.  May we all enjoy the friendships we have and remember to REACH OUT to those who may be lonely……..I AM FRIEND

“I love my friends
neither with my heart nor with my mind.
Just in case…
Heart might stop.
Mind can forget.
I love them with my soul.
Soul never stops or forgets.” Rumi

The Hospitality of PHILOPHROSYNE and her sisters

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