The Goddess Muse: Images of the Goddess Within

“And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning
shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; that if that
which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never
find it without thee.For behold, I have been with thee from the
beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire." - The Charge of the Goddess-

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Coming Into Alignment With Goddess and Self

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The Goddess in Her many aspects teaches us the mystery of the cauldron—birth, death and rebirth. Nowhere is this unfolding of regeneration more evident than in the garden bower at high summer. Heady with the fragrance of rose, valerian, lily, sweet pea, peony and more, the air itself seems ripe with life. As blossom turns to bloom then fades to seed or dies back to root we witness a time lapsed allegory of our own days on this earth, ending with the promise of new generations.

I’ve been spending a good deal of time in my garden this summer. After completing an herbalist apprentice course late last fall I was anxious to make use of my new knowledge. More recently, I have learned the art of making flower essences, capturing the vibrational energies of the blooms at their peak, reducing and formulating the essences to be used for the enhancement of mind, body and spirit wellness.

No wonder the muse would come to me at this time cloaked in all Her floral abundance, steeped as I am in the scents of Her garden. There are aspects of Hera to be seen in the painting. Her peacock is a symbol of summer.  Looking back on his tail feathers which are replaced each year, it also suggests seasonal renewal.

Hera was said to have been gifted a magical garden, Hesperides, on the occasion of her marriage to Zeus. This mythological garden symbolized Her mother aspect and Her regenerating womb.

The Goddess as Mother is both the unseen and all seeing represented in this painting. She is in the flowers, in the eyes of the peacock’s tail and in the energy that vibrates throughout the garden, ripe with life. She is LIFE in capital letters, life in your face, life propelling forward at breakneck speed.  Very much like the day-to-day of any woman in the peak of her mothering years (children or not) trying to balance her inner and outer life forces in the accomplishment of duty and goals.  So much to do, so little time.

The central figure in this painting is me I think, and it seems that the fairy has something of importance to tell me.

Fairies are interesting creatures, very enigmatic. Are they good or bad, light or dark? Are they mischievous little tricksters, or benevolent nature sprites? Some say they are between humanity and divinity, lending to the belief that one is most likely to encounter them at twilight (between day and night) and atdoorways (between in and out). One might also reason that fairies can be found between here and there;  between seasons and at points of life transitions.

This painting is not my usual manifestation of the muse—portraits of the Feminine Divine looking out from the canvas, soulful gazes imparting secrets. This painting is a jagged puzzle. It unnerves me. There are too many colors, too many symbols. There’s just too much going on.

This painting is definitely a reflection of my life the past few weeks. I have been up at dawn nearly every morning, gathering blossoms to make sun infusions; sometimes several each day. There is a feeling of urgency to this phase of essence making. The flowers must be harvested at their peak for best results—missing a day or two could mean missing an essence until next year.

I also had several writing deadlines to meet, social obligations, and relationships to tend to. And these past weeks are a microcosm of the bigger picture that is my life's journey. There seems so much to be done everywhere I turn, so much that still needs to be accomplished though the time for much of it is quickly passing. I am no longer young and full of vigor, but neither am I old and ready for a nursing home—there is a window of time here, an in between, a transition unfolding. Change is on the horizon.

Frankly, I don’t like this painting. I would paint it over with a blizzard of white gesso, but for the lesson that I think is in it for me.

I live where summer is short and winter is long, a fact I have bemoaned most of my life. The deeper my connection has become with Goddess, the more I have felt the imbalance in my decided preference for Her summer face, though the awareness of my preferential feelings has not been enough to change them.

Now for the first time I can ever recall, I am looking forward to winter’s season of rest and regeneration. In the middle of summer’s expanse, I am looking ahead to the cold winds and accumulating snow that will shrink my world to a manageable quarter.

Nobody is more surprised by this change than me, but I'm pretty sure it's where I am supposed to be at this point of the journey.

 

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JudithAnn (aka the MAD Goddess) practices the  Old Craft tradition and magical arts of hearth and home.  Through  her writing and art, she encourages women in mid-life and beyond to  embrace their wildest dreams and live the second half of life with  purpose, passion and pizzazz. For those who need a little nudge, she  offers workshops in personal development and life path guidance  using journaling and art for creative self expression.

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