ASTERIA and the falling stars ⭐️

ASTERIA was the giant Titan goddess of falling stars, oracles, astrology, the delivering of prophetic dreams and all divination of the night. Her mother was Hecate, Goddess and way-keeper of the dark thresholds. After the fall of the Titans, the lecherous Zeus pursued Asteria across the sky but she managed to escape his advances by transforming herself into a kingfisher whereupon she leapt into the sea and became the island of Delos. The Greek name for Kingfisher is halcyon, leading to the term ‘halcyon days’ which was originally a description of calm and fine weather in Greece. We now use the term to refer to fondly remembered times in our past…….  “We come spinning out of nothingness scattering stars like dust” RUMI                                            I AM THE ORACLE

For more than thirty years I have interested myself in this oracle technique, or method of exploring the unconscious, for it has seemed to me of uncommon significance.” Carl Jung        

ASTERIA and the falling STARS
I AM THE ORACLE

Song: Go and catch a falling star by John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,
    Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
    Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
            And find
            What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.
If thou be’st born to strange sights,
    Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
    Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
            And swear,
            No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.
If thou find’st one, let me know,
    Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
    Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
            Yet she
            Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

 

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The Virgin Mary and the Annunciation

March 25th is the Marian Feast day of Mary’s Annunciation which falls every year 9 months before Christmas Day. It tells the story of the visitation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to inform her she is with child – the immaculate conception. Unlike Eve, the fallen disobedient virgin, Mary’s power was portrayed and celebrated as one of compliance, passivity and obedience. And so, the patriarchal religions of 2,000 years ago worshiped and created a de-sexualised version of the Great Mother goddess. Sexuality in women was portrayed as a sin and an overwhelming temptation to man. Hurt followed …. Hurt follows  #timesup #metoo  …….dark truths.

Symbolically this story of Mary appealed to many artists and philosophers who were/are fascinated with this biblical story . Beyond the disempowerment  of women’s sexuality   this story can be seen to express the awe, and the experience of prediction, prophecy and seeing….the moments creative thoughts arrive within us…..I AM FORETOLD

The ‘Virgin’ Mary and the Annunciation
I AM FORETOLD

 

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Mnemosyne at her Pool of Memory…….

Down in the murky depths of Hades there reigned a Goddess known as Mnemosyne who presided over ‘The Pool of Memory’. When the deceased entered the Underworld they  would need to take care when drinking. Dead souls who satiated their thirst from the River Lethe, ‘The River of Forgetfulness’, would experience total  oblivion and forget everything they had ever known . This was the path of ignorance and resulted in the deceased hav ing to return to Earth to learn once again the lessons they needed. Those Souls who choose to remember and  drink at the ‘Pool of Memory’ were admitted to the Elysian Fields to spend eternity in peace.

Carl Jung felt that the unconscious mind stores our unique personal memories and experiences (the personal unconscious) and that another level  contained memories and behavioural patterns that we have inherited from our ancestors (the collective unconscious).

Historically the flowers known as Forget-me-nots , symbolize remembering.

Mnemosyne at her Pool of Memory
I REMEMBER

“No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;”…Keats

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The Beauty Myth…… Womens’ day 2018…..

My print for Women’s day this year depicts part of the myth of Psyche (Soul). Here she has undertaken an epic trial to venture down into the Underworld and to bring back Persephone’s beauty box. She was firmly told by Venus, not to open the box. However, Psyche  couldn’t resist the chance of securing and enhancing her own beauty, as she  was worried her lover, Cupid, might abandon her and perhaps her looks were fading ? On opening the box of beauty all she found was darkness and she fell  instantly into a deathlike coma, a stygian sleep an unconscious path ? an anxious path ?                       BEAUTY AT ANY COST  ?

“The Victorian woman became her ovaries, as today’s woman has become her “beauty.” Naomi Wolf – The Beauty Myth

Psyche after opening Persephone’s Beauty box
WOMENS DAY 2018

“A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn’t grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It’s true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.”
Naomi Wolf – The Beauty Myth

 

 

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MARY in the ritual bath…

The celebration of CANDLEMAS (Feb 2nd) marks  ‘The purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary’, as told in Luke 2:22-40, which took place 40 days after giving birth to Jesus. It  was believed, and still is in some parts of the world, that a woman who has given birth is unclean and by religious law she must be ritually purified in her place of worship.   The mikveh(ritual bath ) is still used by Jewish women today although many modern Jewish feminists critique the practice as degrading and misogynistic and have sought to revise the practice of mikveh. Some seeing it more  a space for renewal, healing and  contemplation rather than a place for a woman to ‘become clean again’ after menstruation or childbirth. It is most probable  that many of Candlemas’ activities originate from pagan observances such as IMBOLC, a Gaelic festival Also  the Roman feast of  Lupercalia , which was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman annual festival, observed in the city of Rome on February 15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia took over from Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the name to the month of February,meaning ‘to purify’.     Nowadays the Christian emphasis at Candlemas is on the ‘light of candles’ representing Jesus, the Light of the World . Candles are blessed in churches for use in the coming year.The ancient practice of  immersion in water to spiritually purify and cleanse is used by many religions and spiritual practices.

MARY – in the ritual bath

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won’t come again.

Traditional

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OIZYS – Flying on the Winds of Despair

OIZYS is a goddess from the Greek pantheon and was a daughter of Nyx, Goddess of the night. OIZYS is the personification of anxiety, despair distress and worry. The Roman counterpart of OIZYS was Miseria, meaning misery. Despair is a common human experience.which can  strike us sometimes out of the ‘blue’. Riding the feelings may be the answer as we dig deep to find self-compassion once again.  I leave ‘A blessing for beauty’ – words from John O Donaghue for those of you who are travelling the winds of despair…..

OIZYS – flying on the winds of despair

A BLESSING FOR BEAUTY

May the beauty of your life become more visible to you, that you may glimpse your wild divinity.
May the wonders of the earth call you forth from all your small, secret prisons and set your feet free in the pastures of possibilities.
May the light of dawn anoint your eyes that you may behold what a miracle a day is.
May the liturgy of twilight shelter all your fears and darkness within the circle of ease.
May the angel of memory surprise you in bleak times with new gifts from the harvest of your vanished days.
May you allow no dark hand to quench the candle of hope in your heart.
May you discover a new generosity towards yourself, and encourage yourself to engage your life as a great adventure.
May the outside voices of fear and despair find no echo in you.
May you always trust the urgency and wisdom of your own spirit.
May the shelter and nourishment of all the good you have done, the love you have shown, the suffering you have carried, awaken around you to bless your life a thousand times.
And when love finds the path to your door may you open like the earth to the dawn, and trust your every hidden color towards its nourishment of light.
May you find enough stillness and silence to savor the kiss of God on your soul and delight in the eternity that shaped you, that holds you and calls you.
And may you know that despite confusion, anxiety and emptiness, your name is written in Heaven.
And may you come to see your life as a quiet sacrament of service, which awakens around you a rhythm where doubt gives way to the grace of wonder, where what is awkward and strained can find elegance, and where crippled hope can find wings, and torment enter at last unto the grace of serenity.

May Divine Beauty bless you.

John O’Donohue, from Beauty – The Invisible Embrace

 

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The Sun Returns – Nisaba

Golden winter solstice blessings as we arrive at the return of the Sun. This print parallels the return of the Sun on our birthdays , when the sun returns to the place where it resided when we were born, our astrological Solar Return. Western astrology developed in ancient Sumer (Iraq) where the  Sumerian Fertility Goddess, Nisaba(2430BCE), was credited and aligned with transmitting the origins of astrology.

“Astrology is assured of recognition from psychology, without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.”
― Carl Jung

SOLAR RETURN – NISABA
Sumerian Goddess of Astrology

 

Ancient hymn to NISABA…..

Lady coloured like the stars of heaven,

holding a perfectly endowed lapis-lazuli tablet!

Nisaba, great wild cow born by Uraš,

wild sheep nourished on good milk among holy alkaline plants,

opening the mouth for seven …… reeds!

Perfectly endowed with fifty great divine powers, my lady, most powerful……..

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