Happy New Year! We leave behind 2013 and embark on new journeys in 2014. At the start of each new year I spend some reflective time to remind myself of the goals I have accomplished and how they can be best used as the foundations for the year's work ahead. I use multiple disciplines- Numerology, Astrology and Tarot- as part of this annual meditation and make note of the recurring themes of each as areas I should be especially mindful of.
This year resonates to the number 7 (add the 2+0+1+4=7) and the potential for new paths, gaining mastery over what was begun in 2013 and deeper connection to understanding our own spiritual nature. The number seven is the proving ground of what lessons we think we have successfully traversed. It holds the tension between the harmonious balance of the number 6, the double Trinity and the eternity and expansion and contraction of the number 8, the Lemniscate. That middle ground of 7 is the place for exploration of what feeds our knowledge base so that we may arrive more fully informed at the eternal Gateway of time and space (8).
Astrologically, we kick off the New Year with a New Moon in Capricorn, the Sea Goat,lending additional support and energy to the process of new beginnings. Capricorn offers the strength and stability of the Earth element and as an astrological sign of the Cardinal Modality creates the seeds of inception that become the blooming fields in their peak and fullness. The lesson of the Sea-Goat is held within its ability to navigate the depths of emotion (the sea) and with sure footed grace scale the heights (reaching towards mind). The overall intent is one of having the ability to manifest our goals, dreams and desires into usable tools of growth from a structured and secure foundation of anchor.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing ancient items that I have come across recently is the Strettweg Chariot, sometimes called the Strettweg Wagon. While researching the pre-Christian chariot burial of an ancient woman for my first blog post, I found this unique vehicle. The central figure is female; she towers over those assembled around her. The true meaning of this item is lost to time, but that won't stop us from discussing the tantalizing possibilities that the Strettweg Chariot offers up to the mind.
Highlighting the history of women and our connection to feminine concepts of Deity is the central purpose of this blog. While I won't always focus on items from the ancient past, recovering the role that women and Goddesses have played throughout time often means turning to the pre-Christian era. That is the time period that this artifact hails from. The Strettweg Chariot rested in a grave of cremated ashes for over 2,500 years. It was buried sometime in the 7th Century B.C.E. in what is now Austria and has come back into human hands to proclaim its mysteries.
We look to the past to inform the present and to help define ourselves in relationship to those who have gone before us. For women that type of reflection can be clouded by the assumptions made by researchers operating in patriarchal environments. The role of women throughout history was often over-looked or even misinterpreted. This can still happen today, as we all have internal biases inherited from what our cultures teach us. When we think of women in the distant past, what picture forms in our minds? How does that shape how we feel about ourselves as women today?
In reality, the story of women is far richer, varied, and dynamic than we are taught in our schools and in our popular history. Like the Goddesses we read about, or worship, or simply respect, we have played an active part in all facets of human culture. The amazing legacy of women is one that archaeology and history is constantly uncovering.
I like to think of this as looking back in time with the eyes of the Goddess. We can see Her at work throughout history in our female ancestors. Whether in pre-Christian cultures that worshiped Goddesses, or in the divine feminine that still breaks through in Christian history, we can search through the mists and find Her. We do this by examining the lives of the women who came before us.