Echo was an Oread, a mountain nymph. She had a reputation for talking rather a lot and used this skill to distract Hera from searching for her husband Zeus who is conducting numerous affairs. As a punishment, Hera takes away Echo’s voice so that she is only able to repeat whatever she hears, a voice becomes an echo. She is silenced and loses her own authority. Wandering one day she catches sight of Narcissus and falls madly, maybe obsessively in love with him. He catches sight of her but spurns her telling her he would rather die than be with her. And from then on she can only echo his voice and watch as he falls in love with his own reflection in the water. He too becomes obsessed, with himself, and eventually dies as Echo watches on. His body by the pool becomes the Narcissus flower. Echo wastes away with only the Echo of her voice remaining. A tale of obsession? narcissism or the search for the Beloved? Certainly one of loss and grief.
Echo’s lament for Narcissus
ECHO’S LAMENT FOR NARCISSUS by Ben Jonson(1572-1632)
Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears;
Yet slower, yet, O faintly, gentle springs:
List to the heavy part the music bears,
Woe weeps out her division, when she sings.
Droop, herbs and flowers,
Fall grief in showers;
Our beauties are not ours:
O, I could still,
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
Drop, drop, drop, drop,
Since nature’s pride is, now, a withered daffodil.
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Tagged ancient history, archetypes, beloved, divine feminine, echo, Goddess, love, myth, mythology, narcissus, Nature, Poetry, priestess, Print-making
At our village’s open studio event next weekend I will be launching a new creation ….‘The Red Seeds Oracle’. I am Looking forward to seeing anyone that can make it to the Chapel . I dedicate this to the Feminine , to all the women I have known, to my mother, my sister and to my daughters .With love and special thanks to Capella, my daughter, without her love and expertise this would not have manifested.
Some words by the great Sufi poet RUMI for you all x
“You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It’s too bad that you want to be someone else
You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.” ……. RUMI
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Tagged Art, empower, femine divine feminine, inspire, mother, myths, nurture, oracle, printmaking, rumi, sisters, women
Today the swifts have returned to their nests in the eves of the chapel I live in. Every year I wait excitedly for these amazing visitors to return to my hearth with activity and screeching.
OCYPETE..meaning ‘swift wing’ was a Harpie – a feared mythic woman with the face of a bird and wings. In earlier versions they were seen as beautiful winged wind-spirits and known for their beauty . Later they were transformed into screaming winged monsters. In Greek and Roman mythology, the Harpies were employed by the higher gods to carry out the punishment of crime. The Myth tells that the Harpies stole food . On such an occasion Ocypete was chased relentlessly and tried to escape by flying over the Ionian Sea. However, she was forced to land and fell exhausted along over the shores of two islands which received the name “The Strophades” (the islands of the swift), these islands became the harpies’ residence. The Harpie has been used metaphorically to refer to a nasty or annoying woman ( or just a woman) and has been used as such in books, plays and colloquially and mostly used in a misogynistic manner.
“…hope is a bird with swift wings, and she took flight before he could stop her.” Sarah Winter
OCYPETE – The ‘Swift’ Harpie
Historically, swifts have been known as “The Devil’s Bird”. Their legs are stunted for they have no need of then as they feed, drink, and preen in flight and are the only group of birds known who actually mate on the wing. The only time they stop is to lay their eggs and feed their young. They return to their nests every summer , having travelled for up to 3,000 miles in just a few days. They can live for 20 years .A third of British swifts have been lost since 1995, blamed in part on the disappearance of suitable nesting sites in the UK.
“It soared, a bird, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver orb it leaped serene, speeding, sustained, to come, don’t spin it out too long long breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned, high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessness…” James Joyce – Ulysses
This print depicts the World Soul as seen from the perspective of alchemy …she wears the red stone also known as the philosophers stone which is a symbol of enlightenment. She is the connection between Spirit and Matter. She is the Divine spark and the echo of the Universe .
“To the alchemists, the philosophers’ stone, their son of God, was not begotten in the womb of the Virgin Mary, but in the womb of Mother Nature. Jung reminds us that “Nature is not matter only, she is also spirit.”…Paul Levey
ANIMA MUNDI … The World Soul
ANIMA MUNDI – is a feminine principle which was historically considered the “soul of the world”, the essence and spirit of human, animal and plant life on Earth. This was understood by the ancient philosophers and the alchemists who regarded the World Soul as a pure ethereal spirit diffused throughout all nature, the divine essence that embraces and energizes all life in the universe. In the Renaissance the World Soul was understood as the force that guides the unfolding of nature and the cosmos.
Anima Mundi Thurneisser zum Thurn, Quinta Essentia, (Leipzig: 1574)
The World Soul was also the creative principle that the Renaissance artists sought to channel in their work. Their art was based upon the same sacred proportions they saw in nature, and they understood the imagination as a magical power that can “lure and channel the energies of the anima mundi.” The alchemists continued to explore the anima mundi. While the Church looked for light in the heavens, the alchemists sought the light hidden in matter, in the earth itself. They understood that there was a sacred essence within creation, which through their experiments and imagination they worked to release. For the alchemists the anima mundi is the divine spark in matter. For our ancestors, psychology and ecology were one which originally formed the archetype of the Anima Mundi. Today it can still be seen that our human psyche and the world psyche are deeply interconnected -via our human connections to each other and our connections to the health of our planet. The feminine nurturing aspect of the anima mundi needs awakening in an overly dominant egocentric western society ….. on an individual level and a collective level.
The last Major Arcana tarot card number 21 ‘The World ‘depicts the Anima Mundi
I am so inspired by all the women across the World who have Risen and shown their desire to bring justice, protection, equality and peace to not only their Sisters but to all of humanity …….♀
Sehkmet is an ancient archetype of female power.. She was an ancient Egyptian Mother Goddess. Portrayed as a Lion, wearing the fierce flame of the Sun disc at her head . She was fiercely protective but also the patron of all Healers …….Her name meant ‘She who is Powerful’ . In myth, she is a mother and a wife but there is nothing submissive or docile about her. When She encountered something out of balance, She fixed it, leaving nothing undone. According to myth she saved mankind and every year this was celebrated on her feast day where everyone drank beer stained with pomegranate juice.
SEHKMET Rising – ‘Pussy Power’
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Tagged ancient history, archetypes, cat, divine feminine, equality, Goddess, justice, myth, power, sisters, truth, women, womens rights, world
For Lucy 💜….In Roman mythology, Lucina was the incandescent goddess of childbirth who aided and safeguarded the lives of all women in labour…..”she who brings children into the light”. She was often shown holding a torch representing the burning pains of labour as well as the act of bringing a new Soul into the Light. But, Lucina’s provenance reaches way back to Ancient Crete , where a much revered goddess called Eileithyia was worshiped in a cave at Knossos where she had many shrines and also at Olympus and Athens. Over time Eileithyia merged into the goddesses Hera/Juno and Artemis, eventually becoming the Roman Goddess Lucina. In Ancient pagan Rome her festival, was called the Matronalia, and was celebrated on the first of March honouring wives and mothers, an early version of Mother’s Day. As Rome took on the Catholic religion Lucina became St.Lucy (meaning Light) and her honoring day was December 13th, right before (or, before the calendar change, upon) the winter solstice, so she can be seen as the midwife of the miraculous sun-child who is born at Yuletide.
“A new moon teaches gradualness
and deliberation and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly. Patience with small details
makes perfect a large work, like the universe.
What nine months of attention does for an embryo
forty early mornings will do for your gradually growing wholeness”…RUMI
Labouring in The Waters of Life
with LUCINA – The Soul Midwife
To find out more go to the excellent article on the midwives of Light at:
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Tagged ancient history, archetypes, Art, artemis, birth, Crete, divine feminine, Eileithyia, Goddess, hera, juno, light, Lucina, lucy, midwife, mother, Poetry, priestess, women