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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
For 'Devil' Read: 'Horned One'

Take any proverb with the word “devil” in it.

Substitute “Horned One.”

See what you get.

***

Needs must, when the Horned One drives.

Echoes of the Wild Hunt, here. That's Him all right: driving us to action (or at least flight). Why do you think the Scourge is His symbol?

Between the Horned One and the deep blue Sea.

Oof. Choose between the Lady and the Horned. Meaning: an impossible choice.

When you sup with the Horned One, best bring a long spoon.

This one's old, going back to the days of the common bowl. Back then, everyone carried his own spoon. Since the Horned One feeds everyone from his cauldron, the long spoon would be well-advised. When you're dealing with the powerful, best be well-prepared.

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How is the Energy from Generator Crystals Different?

Have you wondered how the energy from Generator crystals might be different from typical crystal points? I have had some questions about this recently and thought a blog post might help clear things up. To better understand this post we need to review.

WHAT ARE GENERATOR CRYSTALS?

First off, what are Generator crystals?

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Group Therapy

The room was not dark, there was no mysterious woman dressed in shawls and exotic clothes wearing finger symbols wielding tarot cards (though how you would do both those I’m not quite sure).  There was no veil of mystery.  There were just seven other women and myself, sitting around a dining room table with a box full of tarot and divination decks.  My first group tarot reading - it was a bit scary, a bit intimidating and a bit exciting.  I am not a professional reader.  Since I don’t have all the cards memorized (heck I’m lucky if I can remember my name some days), I use the books and my intuition.  I don’t charge for my readings.  I do them because people ask and I enjoy the process.  My best friend was my first guinea pig and I’d been reading for her for several years when she asked if I’d be willing to read for others in her family.  

We gathered around her grandmother’s old wood table.  I brought candles, tarot decks (and books) and faith that this group of women would make the night interesting.  I have an opening spiel I say to all the people the first time I read for them.  It goes something like “this is for entertainment purposes only.  If you take away something more than entertainment great, it is not evil; you get from the cards guidance if that is what you choose to find.”  I also give a little talk about the two “shocking” cards of Death and the Devil.  These women are all Christians and I knew these two cards would upset or intimidate them.  I wanted them to have a positive experience so before we even started readings I explained about those two cards.  

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Pretty Much Everything That You Really Need to Know About Paganism

Bealtaine 2008, Hidden Falls Park.

Maybe 100 people are gathered in two concentric circles. The Great Man-Woman Dance is about to begin.

Our coven kid, of course, wanted to be in the midst of all the excitement, but at three he was a little small for the dancing, and I didn't want him to get tromped.

As it happens, I was standing in the middle of the circles, leading the singing, so I scooped him up and set him on my shoulders. There he sang along happily, drumming on my chest with his heels, and watched the wheeling of the Men's and Women's Circles, their parting and their coming together.

Afterward, over the food, we discussed.

“The presiding priest spent much of the ritual with a child sitting on his shoulders,” air-reviewed my friend Sparky T. Rabbit.

He laughed, then added:

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The Goddess and the #Metoo Movement: Mythic Tales for these Modern Times

Something essential is shifting in the foundations of our world as we witness others tell their long-hidden, #metoo stories, and tell our own stories in turn. We’re speaking truth, and being heard. We’re saying: you’re time is up, and holding male perpetrators accountable. We’ve woken up, en masse, and we’re not going back to sleep. And we’re not alone.

The Rape of Persephone

From the long ago of Greek civilization, comes the #metoo tale of The Rape of Persephone.

Demeter's trim-ankled daughter whom Hades rapt away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus. Apart from Demeter, lady of the golden sword and glorious fruits, she was gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the narcissus, which Gaia made to grow at the will of Zeus and to be a snare for the bloom-like girl--a marvelous, radiant flower. And the girl was amazed and reached out with both hands to take the lovely toy: but the wide-pathed earth yawned there in the plain of Nysa, and the lord, Hades, with his immortal horses sprang out upon her. He caught her up reluctant on his golden car and bore her away lamenting.
(Source: Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter (abridged) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.)

Let this piece of Persephone’s story sink in. Persephone is a Goddess. Her Mother Demeter is a Goddess. These are big, powerful, feminine beings that bring life, abundance and beauty to the Earth. Yet the God Hades, with the help of the almighty Zeus, can do want He wants to Persephone.

Hades desires Persephone so He abducts and rapes Her, and makes Her his bride.  Persephone is taken against Her will, and Demeter can’t protect Her beloved daughter.  Later in the tale, Persephone is returned to Demeter, but the damage has been done. She’s eaten the fruit of the Underworld, and is forced to be with Hades, Her abductor and abuser, part of every year.  

Here we are, some 2500-plus years later, and Persephone’s tale still speaks truth to women’s experiences of male power and sexual violence. Rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and the pervasive sexism of everyday life find their deep roots in this ancestral, mythic negation of our feminine divinity and sovereignty. As the Gods do to the Goddesses, so men do to women.

Our #metoo stories are this old, and older still.  We modern women are the latest manifestation of the suffering of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and the long, long female line that went before us. And the Goddess stands with us in our suffering, and our awakening. 

Persephone’s story is our story. We didn’t write or choose this story. It was written by men in power with the intention of usurping and subduing the sovereignty and powers of the Goddess, and we, Her earth-bound daughters. The purpose of this story was, and still is, to make us forget and fear our vast, mysterious feminine nature, and to make divine and normal our powerlessness in a male-defined reality.    

As ancient as Persephone’s story may be, and as entrenched as sexism and misogyny may appear in our current, status-quo reality — this is just one story and one version of reality. It’s not truth, not inevitable, and not even original.  The Rape of Persephone is an abomination that debases and distorts a much older tale of the Goddess and Her descent to the Underworld.

The Descent of Inanna

Dial back another 3000 years to ancient Sumeria and the tale of The Descent of Inanna:

From the Great Above She opened Her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above the Goddess opened Her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above Inanna opened Her ear to the Great Below. 
Inanna abandoned Heaven and Earth to descend to the Underworld.

When Inanna arrived at the outer gates of the Underworld, She knocked loudly.
She cried out in a fierce voice: 'Open the door, gatekeeper! Open the door, Neti!
I alone would enter!'

Neti, the chief gate keeper of the kur, asked: 'Who are you?'
She answered: 'I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on my way to the East.'
Neti said: 'If you are truly Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on your way to the East,
why has your heart led you on the road from which no traveler returns?'
Inanna answered: 'Because of my older sister Ereshkigal, Her husband,
Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven, has died. I have come to witness the funeral rites.’
(Source: Wolkstein, Diane; Kramer, Samuel Noah (1983), Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer)

Let this fragment of Inanna’s story sink in. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven and Earth.  Ereshkigal is the Goddess of the Underworld. This is a story and reality where Goddesses, not Gods, reign in the Great Above and Great Below, and hold between them the primal mysteries of life, death and rebirth.

Later in the tale, we discover that Inanna, like Persephone, suffers the trials of the Underworld. But She does so by Her own choice and great courage. Through Her descent, She submits to the transformative mysteries of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. She is stripped bare, and dies to Her old self in order to be reborn into Her full powers and beauty. When She emerges from Her journey in the Great Below, Inanna is whole, holy in the full spectrum of Her Goddess powers and wisdom – Queen of Heaven, Earth and the Great Below.

Inanna’s story is also our story in these #metoo times. By our own choice and great courage, we are turning our ear to the Great Below, and embarking on a journey into the Underworld that underlies our everyday reality. Here, in the dark, shadowy places in our inner psyche and shared society, we are seeking out the lost and repressed stories of sexual violation and gender discrimination that have scarred our lives.

The Great Below isn’t the realm of Hades and male power. The dark isn’t a place of rape, violence and domination. These are lies and distortions that block us from the wild, raw depths of our women’s power and mysteries, and from the very things that can mend our lives and world: our pain, grief and rage, and our truth, beauty and sovereignty. And, like Inanna before us, when we emerge from this journey, we can become whole, holy in the full spectrum of our feminine powers and wisdom, transforming not only our personal lives but also our shared society.

Our Modern #MeToo Tales

Feel the power of Persephone’s and Inanna’s legacy. Your #metoo story is a part of these ancient Goddess tales, and the lived experiences of the long line of women ancestors that have gone before you. Your voice is part of a world-changing movement of women speaking truth that can unravel the past, and reweave a collective reality that returns women to their rightful place in our shared society.

We’re in this together — Persephone, Inanna, you, me and the countless others braving their #metoo tales. Our lives, truth and stories matter. Safety, respect and honoring our feminine nature are our birthrights. It’s time for a new myth and collective reality, guided by the tales of Persephone and Inanna, and yet fresh and inspired by our personal stories and lived experiences.

Hades, Zeus, the male ancestors who wrote these mythic tales, and the men who continue to abuse and dominate women: their time is up. Whatever comes next will be of our writing and choosing, in service of our greater womanhood and sovereignty, and beauty, love and justice for all.

PHOTO CREDIT: Rupert Bunny, Rape of Persephone, via Wikimedia Commons

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Judith Shaw
    Judith Shaw says #
    Great look at these two stories and the differences they reflect. I've often thought of Inanna as the original Whole Goddess of t
  • Karen Clark
    Karen Clark says #
    You are welcome Judith. And thanks for the great comment. I too love Inanna in Her wholeness and sovereignty, and find the parall
[The Rules of Exile] Rule No. 10 You Don’t Get to Be My Last Great Whatever (Includes Spellwork)

Queen Catherine of Aragon was sent into exile because she had the nerve to be aging and menopausal.  A popular legend in that particular histo-mythic cycle is that Henry sent her away (sometimes, with Cromwell to do his dirty work for him because that was the kind of stand up guy he’s remembered as) without saying good bye.  She was once married to his older brother Arthur in a castle in the wild but Arthur got sweating sickness and died.  They were only married to each other for a short time.  She then had her first encounter with exile where she lived somewhat modestly (again, accounts vary depending on the histo-mythic teller) and supposedly bargained for fish and sold her plate while her dad and her ex father in law dawdled over what to do with her.  Her father was a war monger with a bunch of kids, he had no problem waiting.  Her ex father in law held his country in a tight fist, he had been exiled so many times by his mother (Lady Margaret Beaufort) that he too could wait.  Neither appeared to find this particularly cruel, and neither did a seasoned politico warrior like Lady M.  Like . . .I get stressed out not knowing what’s going to happen in a day while still being aware of certain potential outcomes.  I don’t know how stressful it is to not know what country you’re going to live in and/or who you’ll be married to.  Queen Cat’s ex father in law drops dead and she is married off to Henry for almost twenty years when she receives the message, u had too many ded babies, lulz.  super soz.  going 2 marry anne bc babies + she is way hot.  she will only put out if i put a ring on it. thx for nearly twenty years of marriage!  Best of luck or whatever.  Or, you know, no message past whatever Cromwell tried to piece together.  Whatever the medieval royal equivalent of dipping out of a pack of cigs was.

She died in exile a little into Queen Anne’s reign, with only a few of her ladies and servants.  Sometimes the wheel (of fortune) is in your favor, sometimes it’s not.  It was for a long time for Queen Cat, but then she never planned for Queen Anne. Partly because I don’t think anyone, even someone who had headed a battle with Scotland like Queen Cat did, could have planned for Queen Anne.

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