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
I AM NOT SILENT

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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
I AM EVOLVING

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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
I AM FRIEND

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TELES – The Perfect Imperfection

TELES  was known as the Goddess of Perfection. It must be said however that in Greek mythology most of the Gods and Goddesses were seriously flawed. In fact most mythologies highlight the truth that nothing is perfect, be you divine or human. TELES is as flawed as the beautiful bowls in her cabinet. These are Kintsugi bowls which displays the Japanese art of putting broken pottery back together with gold, offering the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, one can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique highlights the “scars” as an important part of the design.                                    

there is a crack in everything …that’s how the light gets in..” Leonard Cohen

This beautiful craft is a metaphor for the act of embracing our flaws and imperfections. A constant desire to achieve, or a need to fulfill others expectations can lead us to be overly harsh with ourselves leading to low self worth, anxiety and depression. This is an addiction to perfection and describes the shadow feeling within us of never feeling good enough. As in the Kintsugi pottery the process of healing things that have broken within us can create something more unique, beautiful and resilient. Realising that we are always feeling bad about ourselves can be a start to becoming kinder to ourselves, allowing us to build the much needed self-acceptance and self-worth that informs us that WE ARE ENOUGH     I AM IMPERFECT

“Perfection massacres the Feminine. Our culture pulses to the pressure of Perfection.”……..”Perfection rapes the Soul”…”Perfection does not allow for feeling”…..”working so hard to create Perfection we forget we are a human being” Words by Marion Woodman: Books: Addiction to Perfection & Coming Home to Myself

TELES – The Perfect Imperfection
I AM IMPERFECT

 

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BAUBO the Belly Goddess opens her skirt……

The ancient Greek belly goddess BAUBO speaks from ‘between her legs’. She plays an important part in the greatest mystery of the ancient world, the Eleusinian Mysteries. Her story begins when she encounters Demeter, the Earth Goddess, whilst walking in the wild valleys. Demeter was sodden with tears and ravaged with grief and despair at the abduction and loss of Persephone, her daughter. Baubo engaged this sad soul in conversation and very soon started to tell her obscene jokes accompanied by raucous belly laughs. Demeter was shocked but slowly started to smile at this surprisingly crude, playful and joyous old woman who had started to dance crazily pulling open her skirt. Baubo then directed, among other things, her belly, breasts and vulva towards Demeter. The mourning Goddess found herself suddenly overcome with a laughter that rose up from her belly. Her darkness fled from her, her spirit soared and her own power within moved her life journey onwards. The belly Goddess had shaken Demeter out of her grief by reminding her of the sacred feminine which sat at the centre of her being ….of which they both shared.

Baubo welcomes us back to life with her wild laughter, her shaking belly and the magic of her vulva . Her wisdom can bring us back from darkness by reminding us of who we are so we can thrive once again……I AM LIFE

The flowers in this print are CLITORIA a genus  named after the human clitoris, for the flowers bear a resemblance to the vulva.

BAUBO the Belly Goddess opens her skirt
I AM LIFE

 

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Arianrhod Goddess of the Winter Solstice

The moment the Sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky marks the December solstice, the official beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. From now on our days will begin to grow longer and the nights shorter. Since ancient times the winter solstice has been seen as an auspicious time. There are more known rituals throughout antiquity associated with this solstice than for any other time of the year. And so we too celebrate the rebirth of the Sun…. a time of hope, rejuvenation, healing and renewal, and hear the call to find rest and restoration as we start the slow journey back into the light to eventually find the awakening of inspiration at Imbolc.🌀

Arianrhod is the Welsh Winter Solstice Goddess who spins the Silver wheel of life, death and rebirth. She is a Goddess of the moon, stars and sky who resides in a revolving castle of initiation known as Caer Sidi. Her spinning silver wheel is vast in the heavens and transports the dead to her castle where they may rest and prepare for rebirth. Caer Sidi lies in the depths of the light phenomena we know as the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis. This magnificence is created from the Sun’s flares which release highly charged particles that penetrate our earth’s magnetic field. These particles collide with molecules in the earth’s atmosphere, giving off the spectacular light displays…I AM PHENOMENAL

"Look into the wintry northeastern sky to the Corona Borealis;

There you will see the Crown of the Goddess.

Beyond this jeweled archway into the underworld is

The Northern Castle of Initiation, Caer Sidi.

Deep in a sea of brilliant lights lies the Aurora Borealis;

There you will find Arianrhod,

Queen of the moon, the sea and the stars.

As her Silver Wheel turns the middle world past the Solstice point,

Arianrhod guides our souls into the upper world."

ARIANRHOD and the Northern Lights
I AM PHENOMENAL

The northern lights, or aurora borealis

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DYSNOMIA Goddess of civil unrest….

DYSNOMIA was the spirit of civil disorder in Greek mythology and the daughter of Eris, Goddess of strife. She is rebellious and her actions and opinions may received as unacceptable and inflammatory. She is brave and not averse to jumping the ‘red line’ to land in uncharted waters.

By protesting and speaking out she demands changes to be made and injustices to be recognised. Dysnomia has been embraced by some Anarchists as a symbol of freedom and rebellion.

The archetypal role of a rebel is to be non-compliant and to shake things up. To bring change to our world we have to protest. At times the collective comes together to voice rage and sadness about injustice and inequality.

Combining the energy of protest with peaceful ways forward leads us toward positive change. Holding the tension of the opposites is always a struggle but shifts to change social constructs will reveal itself.

Rebellion is the only thing that keeps you alive ! Marianne Faithfull

The Anarchy of DYSNOMIA
‘Crossing the Red Line’
I AM REBELLIOUS

 

 

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SULIS MINERVA creating FIRE WATER

SULIS MINERVA ..is a fusion of a Roman and Celtic Goddess who resides in the town of Bath which houses the only thermal springs in the UK. The Romans named this place Aquae Sulis and built an extensive spa temple on Her ground. They merged the ancient Goddess Sulis with Minerva their Roman Goddess of wisdom and justice. The name Sulis means ‘eye‘ describing an all-seeing Goddess offering wisdom and counsel with all matters of justice and possible punishment. Many ancient curse tablets have been found at the temple site dedicated to Her. Sulis Minerva is a powerful conduit of both fire and water, channeling solar energy down into the Earth for it to rise up again as the sacred FIRE WATER. She embodies both the power of a dark Earth Goddess and the light and strength of a Sun Goddess. The earth from which Her water flows is rich in Iron and rust in colour. Her healing powers still brings people to this day to her shrine, to receive Her  blessings and partake of her fiery waters. She is both Sun and Moon, Fire and Water……I AM A CONDUIT   
Alchemists of ancient times claimed that by achieving the perfect balance of fire and water it was possible to produce a chemical/spiritual reaction that was powerful enough to transform lead into gold.

SULIS MINERVA at Her BATH SPA TEMPLE
I AM A CONDUIT

The Waters of Bath….Bath exists because of the emergence of three natural springs in the heart of the city which deliver over 1 million litres of mineral-rich water every day. Uniquely in the UK, the mineral water is hot – it rises to the surface at a constant temperature of at least 45° C. The Sacred Spring lies at the very heart of the ancient monument.

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ACHOS mourning under her veil of darkness and love

ACHOS  along with her sisters were know as ‘The Pains’ as they each personified aspects of  suffering of both the mind and body. She was the Greek Goddess of GRIEF who brought with her the flowing of tears and lamentation. She witnesses the the wounds of the loss of our loved ones and walks beside us as we enter the darkness of the MOURNING process where healing begins. Grief takes many forms and endures varied lengths of time…it cannot be rushed. Eventually the process leads us from the Underworld back into the everyday world. Our grief can then be transformed into deep loving memories that are held within us forever.
The psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross the author of the groundbreaking book ‘On death and dying ‘(1969) discussed her theory of the five stages of grief, which may not be linear in how they present: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. As mortals we all experience the death & loss that leads to periods of grieving in our lives. Such times include many forms of personal loss; illness, the end of relationships, the loss of a job, separations, infertility or the loss of a loved one.

“I thought:
Maybe death isn’t darkness, after all,
but so much light
 wrapping itself around us—
As soft as feathers—
that we are instantly weary
of looking, and looking, and shut our eyes,
not without amazement,
 and let ourselves be carried, 
as through the translucence of mica,
 to the river 
that is without the least dapple or shadow—
that is nothing but light—scalding, aortal light—
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones…..Mary Oliver

ACHOS – Goddess of Grief
I AM MOURNING

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PALIOXIS -The Spirit of strategic RETREAT

PALIOXIS – The Spirit of Strategic Retreat
I AM RETREATING

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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