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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in goddess art

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Clay Ladies in Winter

Now they stand knee-deep in the good, tilled earth of our gardens and fields, bestowing their gift of fruitfulness, as they have since the end of the last Great Ice.

 

Call them the Clay Ladies.

 

But come winter, what then?

 

To ask is to know.

 

Of course the Mothers do not stand in the fields all winter long, buried in snow.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


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“If there is one chant in the universe it is to create.”

–Chris Griscolm quoted in Nicole Christine, p. 25

If you have ever eavesdropped on a conversation between my husband and me around the clamor of our four children’s voices, you will hear me making a tired lament: “All I want is a broad swath of uninterrupted time.” In listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, on audio book I was interested by her mention that many creative people lament not having long stretches of uninterrupted time available in which to work. She quotes a letter from Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne, lamenting his lack of time and how he is always pulled “hither and thither by circumstances.” Melville said that he longed for a wide-open stretch of time in which to write. She says he called it, “the calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always to compose.”

…I do not know of any artist (successful or unsuccessful, amateur or pro) who does not long for that kind of time. I do not know of any creative soul who does not dream of calm, cool, grass-growing days in which to work with- out interruption. Somehow, though, nobody ever seems to achieve it. Or if they do achieve it (through a grant, for in- stance, or a friend’s generosity, or an artist’s residency), that idyll is just temporary—and then life will inevitably rush back in. Even the most successful creative people I know complain that they never seem to get all the hours they need in order to engage in dreamy, pressure-free, creative exploration. Reality’s demands are constantly pounding on the door and disturbing them. On some other planet, in some other lifetime, perhaps that sort of peaceful Edenic work environment does exist, but it rarely exists here on earth. Melville never got that kind of environment, for instance. But he still somehow managed to write Moby-Dick, anyhow.

Source: Elizabeth Gilbert On Unlocking Creativity, Ideas As Viruses . News | OPB

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Connecting with Frigga through Fiber Art

Like all the heathen gods and goddesses, Frigga is complex and has many spheres of influence. One is traditional women's crafts involving fiber, specifically spinning and weaving, but also including all the fiber arts.

Frigga's symbols include a distaff or spindle. The constellation which the majority society calls Orion was known as Frigga's Distaff. A distaff is a staff upon which a spinner wounds spun yarn or thread. Spinning and weaving were associated with magic and prophecy. In addition to Frigga's spinning the clouds, the Norns were also depicted fashioning fiber into cloth. The threads represent individual lives and the cloth represents the community, or history, which is made of individual lives, or the world. We reference that idea when we use phrases like "the fabric of the universe."

About a decade or so ago, I spent a weekend at my local Renaissance Faire demonstrating spinning with a drop spindle. I did these repetitive motions all day, and after a few hours they became meditative. Partly like the state of flow of creating art, and partly like the repetitive motion meditation of drumming, the act of spinning opened my inner awareness and brought me closer to Frigga.

Once I connected with her, I found all types of fiber art can bring me closer to her. Before the Great Recession and immediately following Not-So-Great Depression started, I used to operate a custom fabric dyeing business. I specialized in silk, but also dyed other natural fabrics, yarns, and so forth. I make quilt tops, out of both my own fabrics and other fabrics. I find making quilt tops can be meditative the same way spinning was for me. I especially enjoy making the simple, geometric blocks of traditional quilts. Making them has both the repetitive motions and the artistic feeling from choosing fabrics and appreciating the fabrics as I see and touch them.

All fiber art can be a form of dedication to Frigga, if one intends it to be. Even if I'm making a quilt with a topic that isn't one of her particular interests, or if I'm making it for someone else, the act of making fiber art is still a way to draw close to her.

Image: a traditional Log Cabin quilt I made from various silk fabrics which I hand dyed.


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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Designing With The Divine

Sometimes when I make art, I take on the role of psychopomp - creating art for the dying and deceased, as well as those left behind: a death mask for a dying man, a painted mailbox for a gravesite for a young teen, portraits of beloved pets who have left this world. 

Sometimes my art leads me to the path of the Oracle, creating work for clients to help clear their paths that starts with a Tarot reading and ends with a painting or talisman: finding or defining a vocation, marking a new beginning, or helping to find resolution in the past so that new work can begin.  

Sometimes when I am making art, I am the Witch and Conjurer. I pull from my own inner visions to create images and unravel myths.  I can simultaneously make works for myself, for everyone, for anyone, and for no one at all, weaving the materials into spells and stories.  There is all of the meaning to be unlocked - or none at all, seen and unseen. Much of my work tends to fall into this category. 

And sometimes when I make art, I am the Priest and Priestess. The process goes beyond communing with the media, materials, and inklings of visions, and becomes a conversation with Someone Else. You can call it Spirit, God, Goddess, the Mighty Dead, the Ancestors, but those are just labels that help us grasp Them. I have worked with Many over the years - pretty much from every path that you can think of.  Sometimes it is for a client, who has been called to have a certain piece (or pieces) of artwork on their altar by their Patron/Matron.  Other times, I'll be working on a concept and it will have the effect of calling in Someone new (or old).  

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

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A recent prompt from Joanna Powell Colbert's 30 Days of Hecate class urged us to look into the palms of our hands and consider our ancestors. Having already given a lot of thought to my more recent ancestors in this course, I felt my attention turn instead to the unnamed thousands of time and space who brought me to this place...

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  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Simply beautiful, so evocative. I can't wait for my maiden to receive hers from Saint Nicolas this Christmas. Blessings xx

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Woman at the Window

A recurrent iconographic motif of Phoenician art during the early 1st millenium BCE is the “Woman at the Window.” Sometimes called by researchers “Astarte at the Window,” the motif occurs with such frequency—known examples number in the thousands—and in so many different mediums (ivory, stone, wood, bone), that it is well worth asking what it may have meant to the ancestors.

Although minor variations occur, the type is surprisingly consistent. A woman's face peers out from a window. The window itself is generally back-set in a triple recess; she looks out over a balustrade supported by four (occasionally three) elaborately-carved columns. The woman is characterized by an elaborate ringlet coiffure—perhaps a wig—bekohled eyes, and prominent ears.

Early researchers associated the motif with a cult of sacred prostitution, but contemporary scholars have laid this sacred cow of Biblical research to rest. No evidence exists for such an institution in any ancient Semitic culture; such claims in antiquity have proved to be at second- and third- hand, and are invariably attributed to other people. Whoever the Woman at the Window may be, she is no “hierodule.”

The monumental architecture of the window clearly indicates that this is a very special woman indeed; the window is an elaborate frame for what seems most likely to be a divine epiphany. Although no known examples are inscribed, it is not unreasonable to think that we may here be gazing upon the face of a goddess, and although the cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean coast knew numerous goddesses, we may well suspect that this may be the goddess known variously as Astarte, Ashtárt, Ashtéret, and Ashtarót.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Love this. In my play, "Stories Seldom Told: A feminist retelling of some familiar and not so familiar Biblical stories" one of t
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    I don´t know her Phoenician name, but was posibly Astarte, since in the myth she and Zeus fathered Asterion (the famed Minotaur),
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, right, I'd forgotten: the Phoenician princess with the surprising Greek name. (I wonder what her Phoenician name was?) A tanta
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Thank you! Very interesting reading and connections. Perhaps this has to do with Europa ("Wide-Eyed") who was kidnnaped by Zeus fr

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Finding the Gods Through Tarot

When I was a solitary practitioner, I rarely thought of the gods beyond “which one would be right to invoke for this spell?” In hindsight, this was pretty selfish and a ridiculous way for me to treat deity. We don’t make demands of our gods… and when we do, we usually reap a quick and brutal lesson to not do THAT again. Fortunately, the gods that I invoked, summoned, and stirred were kind to me when I was new to the Craft and I didn’t have to learn a harsh lesson.

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  • Luna
    Luna says #
    I should add that I am fairly new to Wicca (been Wiccan for about a year and a half) and this is all very exciting for me. At no t
  • Luna
    Luna says #
    I have recently started using Tarot as a devotional practice, and it has been an amazing experience. I have found it enables me to

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