Friday, April 29, 2005

Giggles for all

Anyone in need of a Friday morning giggle?

Check this site out Threadbare these two delightfully witty women Mary & Kimberly have taken vintage patterns and added a twist. Or as they put it “We combined our fondness for vintage sewing patterns with our need to be bitchy and mean and cruel.”

Enjoy & I wish ya’ll an enchanting weekend :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

the box


Sometimes I am my own enemy. I slip back on my "martyr" hat and sacrifice myself to please others. I try to squeeze back into that hated item...the box...aka my construct tailored especially to make myself feel unworthy, inadequate.

"Jennifer, be pretty. Jennifer, be nice. Jennifer, be clever. Jennifer, be cool."

To deal with this, I give into the chaos and feel...I mean really feel. I make an effort to accept how I feel even if it isn't pretty. Though I'm not completely able to be self-accepting, just a small bit of effort seems to help. The box gets loose and I can kick it aside for the moment.

Then, if I'm still feeling vulnerable, I quickly pull on my striped socks. They are my secret weapon and are great at repelling self-hatred. Sometimes they even catch smiles and save them for later!

Thank you for letting me share this.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Altars II

altarWeirdPixie posted a lovely photo of her altar early this week, and I've been meaning to post mine ever since. I have always been a collector, and interested in images of the divine -- especially the divine feminine. This is a combined collection, some mine and some that of a friend who left me his.

I'm not sure it qualifies as an altar, except in the sense that all such collections, gatherings, are altars -- reminders of what is out of our sight, of what we can only hint at.


And that's all these are: hints.

[Go here to see photos on Flickr tagged with altar.]

Are you a real woman?

Last time I checked I thought I could be pretty sure of the answer to this one. However, I came across these criteria which seem to disqualify me.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Girl Power


Woohoo!

mother

beneath the garden
she kisses all feet with life
shadow woman gift

Happy Earth Day, sister goddesses. Don't forget to hug our mother today! *sunny smile*

Thursday, April 21, 2005

cycle like a girl.

In case any of you were wondering, my body is officially free of artificial hormones. Almost two weeks ago, I threw out the last pill pack and said goodbye to OrthoTriCyclen Lo. It leaves me feeling a bit vunerable, though.

I began taking the pill when I was a freshman in college, fall 1996. So that's almost 8 years on the pill. What the hell is my body doing now? Is she going to revell or revolt? Prior to the pill, I was a regular gal. Will I be still?

So, with all these questions, I went a'googling. And, it's amazing the information available for women by women. Here's a sampling of what I found ...

~ Women's Moon Lodge on Moonsurfing.com : Our intention is for this virtual moon lodge to become a gathering place for women's voices concerning the cycles of their lives... a coming together for renewal and visioning.

~ Sister Zeus : A Women's Guide to Synergistic Fertility Management

~ The Cycles Pages : An online service to track your cycle. It can even email you when Aunt Flo is expected for a visit. How convenient.

~ Around the Moon fertility consultations : Not quite so informative, but read the personal story Awakening. Makes me feel positive about being naturally hormonal. :)

~ Menstruation.com.au : Feel great about being a woman every day of the month! And love these greeting cards.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Support if ya need it

I came across this website called HysterSisters:

“Hystersisters.com is a woman to woman support website for hysterectomy recovery.”

I (thankfully) have not had to experience the emotional decisions regarding hysterectomy issues. However, I have been exposed to just how hard of an experience it can be. My Mom underwent the operation when I was a teenager. I remember how hard it was for her.

I just wanted to let ya’all know about this site in case someone may need some support.

It looks like a very warm and loving place to get wonderful support.

Kinda like here :)
*hugs*

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

goddess gifts


If we were all gathered together at this moment, I would pass this plate among us.

"Take a shell," I'd offer, "Gift yourself."

Some of you might be hesitant and protest, "But, these are precious. I can see that these shells are from distant lands and carry memories. You are too gracious. I cannot take something of such value."

My reply would be gentle, "Dearest sister, these small tokens have little value compared to the gifts you give me and others. It is through your kindness, your acceptance, that the great gifts are given."

I hope then your hand would be willing to reach for that small shell...

*Please, take a moment and gift yourself today. Tell yourself how valued you are.*

Monday, April 18, 2005

Altars...

Just sharing a quick photo I took the other night of my altar after setting it up and doing a little healing and protection candlemagick for a friend who is five days past her delivery date and as of last night was having a miserable time dealing with spinning the baby in the right position. I haven't heard from them today so I'm hoping their little one arrived safe and sound along with mama feeling fine.

I love the way the light in the room reflected off the red bedspread nearest the window, just enough to compliment the candlelight and cast a rosey hue all around the altar. I invoked rose and centered on pink as the healing color for the light to travel through. Just thought I'd share this with you, my friends. Would be great to see any photos you all have of altars or other sacred spaces you create, just in terms of sharing visual energies.

Friday, April 15, 2005

happy friday!

If you're feeling like this or this, then you know it's time for a FUN FRIDAY!

Have a supercalifragalisticexpealidocious weekend. xo

Thursday, April 14, 2005

don't you wish?..

...that as a teenage girl you could have viewed a maxi-pad like a symbol of creation?

...that in pre-puberty a woman you trusted would have told you that your period was a powerful initiation into womanhood and called it something like "moon time" instead?

...i do.

Kudos to Esther, for having the courage to tell her story with such dedication. We thank you, sweet sister.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

How useful are you?

I've watching this blog cautiously for some time, trying to discover the rules of engagement and wondering where I might fit in. I've decided that my first contribution shall be a rant. I want to be a warrior goddess, Athene Nike, to defend the oppressed.

In our society women are routinely subjugated, dismissed and abused. This is so commonplace that many people do not recognise the problem and a substantial amount of teenage girls in Britain think that domestic violence is excusable.

A church in my locality recommends a workbook to couples approaching marriage. The following is a quotation from the section on roles within the marriage relationship:

"Do not abuse your wife emotionally, sexually or physically,"
So far, so good but the reason that self-respecting christian males should abstain from abusing their wives is . . .
"otherwise she will be no use at all."

The elders argue that the comment is is simply an effort to introduce humour to a difficult subject. I fail to get the joke. I am sure that the thousands of women who suffer abuse, humiliation and death due to domestic violence don't find it funny either.

Awareness needs to be raised of the fact that women do not exist to be 'useful'. We are not merely here to serve the sexual, reproductive and domestic needs of men.

Consider getting involved with Amnesty International's stop violence against women campaign.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Controversy over Goddess statue


Women, Hebe in spotlight at museum
The News-Review - 7th April 2005
The inclusion of another figure in the exhibit, though, has caused some controversy in recent months. Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, was included because she is a part of Roseburg's history.

A drinking fountain bearing her image was constructed in the early 1900s and installed on the corner of Cass Avenue and Main Street in Roseburg. The fountain was destroyed in 1912 by a runaway wagon.

McLaughlin said Hebe's original purpose was to encourage people to drink water over alcohol. However, some people are against her because she is perceived as a pagan symbol. Because of the public outcry, the Douglas County Commissioners originally vetoed her inclusion in the exhibit. They later reversed their decision.

"Hebe has always been cloaked in controversy," McLaughlin said. "She has always made people think. How exciting is that, to get people to talk to one another and think?"

via The Pagan Prattle

How do you find your peace?

If you stop to think about the world around us, and place in which in dwell; ask yourself: "Is this place peaceful and comforting?" Can you hold your breath and close your eyes and that "warm fuzzy feeling" deep within your chest? I live in a landlocked area, surrounded by the trees and rivers and streams. Wildlife fully abounds at turn (much to regret of my grandmother and her garden). However, as calm and peaceful as it is here. I often find something lacking. Having spent half of my short period of life here, I realized what was missing. The sounds of the sea. I am a water child. Born of the water of life and so longing to be close to her again. In those few quiet moments I have at night while my own two children sleep I play different recordings of the ocean tides and waves. Sometimes a calmness in the swishing and swashing and other times violent storms.

There was a song written in the late 70's called "Dolphin's Lullaby" (Firefall was the group). when I was little and living in Wyoming, I used to get my mothers LP of this and play that song over and over when my former step-father and my mom would fight. I have since upgraded to cd and now a mixed disk with this song, the tides and a few others that help me find my peace after what is normally an overly stressful day. I so long to be near the ocean again and I will again someday. Satisfing the raging storm within, I will once again dance among the spray of the sea and the her arms wrap me in the cool tenderness that only she can.

So, I ask...

Where and how do you find Her? How do you quiet the raging storm?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

long, but a nice read

The Goddess Ungirdled: Encounters with the Sacred Feminine
--by Lisa Sarasohn

I came home the other night to find the Black Madonna in my kitchen. She’s inspecting my oven.

"Hello," I say.

"Your oven’s a mess."

"I know, I--"

"Don’t bother with excuses, I’ve heard them all." She takes a carrot out of her pocket and holds it up to the light. "By the way, where are your pearls?"

"They’re upstairs."

"Go get them."

She’s munching the carrot as I climb the stairs.

Kali of India, Isis of Egypt, Mexico’s Virgin of Guadalupe, Yemaya of Africa, the Black Madonna. The Dark Goddess is an image of the Power of Being"the force creating, sustaining, and regenerating the world. An icon of the Sacred Feminine, she’s Mother of the Universe, Star of the Sea. She elbows her way into our awareness these days through story, image, dream.

Who is she? She’s matter infused with spirit, the holy immersed in and shining through the everyday. She’s the nourishment our souls are craving. She’s the satisfaction we spend our whole lives seeking.

Upstairs, I open my dresser drawer, lift the lid of my jewelry box. Nothing. I search the whole room. Nothing. Empty handed, I return to the kitchen.

"Of course you can’t find your pearls," she says. "You hid them."

"Where?" I ask. "I don’t remember."

She sighs. "Last time, you pawned them for a television. I had to go all the way to 59th Street to get them back for you. Time before that, you gave them away to the window blind salesman ringing your doorbell. I had to visit with his mama to get them back for you."

"You know, girl, those pearls didn’t come cheap. They didn’t come from the dollar store or out of a mail-order catalog. Your mama gave you those pearls." I wince, she nods. "Yes, your mama gave them to you when you were born. They were her mother’s, and her mother’s mother’s before that, going all the way back to when they were mine, when I was Ocean Woman, deep-sea diver, at home in the African tides.
"Now you’ve hidden your pearls and you don’t remember where. Can’t say I’m surprised. You hid them in a place you’re too ashamed to look."

"Where’s that?"

She puts her hands on her hips. "Would you believe me if I told you?"

I take a glass down from the cabinet and pour myself a drink of water from the pitcher on the counter. When I turn back to reply, she’s gone.

What do you want? What are your dreams and desires? Something along the lines of vitality, sexual pleasure, confidence? Loving relationships, creative expression, intuitive knowing? Sense of purpose, enduring self-respect, a sense of wholeness?

Although our consumer culture would like us to believe otherwise, these words name qualities of the soul, not products we can buy.

These words name qualities of the soul. We don’t find them upstairs in the intellect. We find them as we live in the center of our lives, at the hearth, in the kitchen, the fire of our passion burning a clean flame. We find them in our bodies, in the place we may be too ashamed to look.

I eat my dinner in front of the television, wash the dishes, go upstairs to get ready for bed. And there she is, the Black Madonna, rifling through my drawers.

"What are you doing?" I ask.

"Look at this!" She’s waving my newest "tummy shaper," a slenderizing spandex panty I wear so my stomach won’t bulge out of my skirts and slacks. She holds it up, one edge between her thumb and index finger as if any more contact would contaminate her. "Can you breathe when you wear this thing?"

"Not very well. But at least my belly doesn’t pooch out of my clothes."

"Well, that’s convenient, I suppose. When you don’t breathe deeply, you don’t feel. When you don’t allow yourself to feel, you cut yourself off from what you know, your instincts, your soul-power. Put this band around your belly and you abandon yourself. The place where you’ve hidden your pearls? You wipe it off the map."

Women and men through time and across the globe have known the body’s center, the belly, to be the site of our soul-power. They’ve developed traditions of dance, spiritual practice, and healing rites to cultivate the Source Energy concentrated in our body’s core. They’ve honored the body’s center and its pro-creative power with names such as Sea of Vitality, Throne of the Creator, Energy Garden, and Gate of the Mysterious Female. In ancient myth, ritual, and sacred image woman’s belly is a goddess.

I gasp. "I can’t let people see me with my belly round rather than flat. Look at the fashion magazines! The movie stars! The ads for diet plans and fitness equipment! I grew up playing dress-up with Barbie. Women aren’t supposed to let our stomachs show. It’s embarrassing!"

"Honey, take it from me, your belly is sacred, not shameful. It’s where I live. It’s where you’ve hidden your pearls.

"You sign yourself over to several multi-million dollar industries every time you look in the mirror and try to suck your belly in, wishing it would go away. Your "tummy-shaper"? It’s an instrument of social control. Wear it and you’re cooperating with your own oppression. If you want to find your pearls again, you’ll ungirdle yourself and give yourself room to breathe."

I lay myself down to sleep. The Black Madonna comes to my bedside, places her right hand on my belly. Her hand feels warm, radiates tenderness. Tension melts away. Breath goes deep into my body. My belly rises and falls like an ocean wave. Now I feel her left hand resting on my heart, golden light circles through my body in the orbit between her hands. I feel at peace, at home. I dream of deep-sea diving, finding treasure.

(Excerpt from Susun Weed's April eZine - [Link])

Monday, April 04, 2005

Touched by The Goddess

I wrote this a couple of years ago during a period of self-discovery and self-realization. I thought I would share as my first entry among my sisters, because we are all among Goddesses.


The night you came to me by the lake
A great wall of fire circled around me
A white light that was pure energy itself.
Music of the waves gently danced upon the shore
The moon was luminous and powerful.
The phantasms of world had engulfed my dreams


And you...You held me tight
You pulled me from the darkness of the void
And breathed life into my empty soul.

You held my hand through the Forest of Fear
I can feel your energy flow through my veins
As if the Great River of life awakens me.
The darkness that shrouded my very being.


The terror that imprisioned me,
Webs of deception and panic that plagued my spirit
Were thundered away into oblivion
When I had awaken to my new life

And new existance.
© S. L. Smith July 27, 2002

chastity = my phobia


The above image was inspired by some criticism I received the other day for my self portraiture in flickr, most likely in response my power suit set.

I liked your style, it is good but I think you need to look beyond the anger, beyond the stiff and crooked edges, come out of the frame and you will explore "Chastity".

My immediate response was anger. Chastity is a word I do not like. For many reasons, I associate it with hiding, pretending and being locked in a box. But, my own journey is teaching me that the power of sensuality is frightening for some to see in others.

Thus, I thought maybe I was being too small. I should give the man a chance to elaborate and not judge too quickly.

I replied: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is my desire to keep evolving, as I explore the difficult realm of acceptance of my power. For now, my expression is of the overwhelming complexity that emerges when you allow yourself to feel the raw emotions without filters. Chastity has a negative association for me. Would you be so kind as to elaborate?

His response was not helpful and only angered me more:
Purity is the word I wanted to use... What I meant is very simple...
(Look at this image) ...Simplicity at its best at the same time defining the deepest complexity.


Ah, purity! Now I understand. errrm...Not! So, I shrugged my shoulders and decided not to email him back. I viewed the image for fairness, but it looked superficial to me. I saw no underlying presence or essence of the woman photographed.

It made me sigh remorsefully. It made me think of all those who, like me, got taught by their mothers that sensuality = sin. Then, it helped me build confidence in what I was doing because I cannot expect others to understand what I am going through. After all, the real reason I'm doing this is for me...

...and for all the other goddesses who cannot speak as loudly as me...yet.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

for ladies who tea.

In honor of Creatrix -- the originatress of *I am Goddess* -- and our virtual tea time here on this site ... Chai Tea recipes.

My mother-in-law kicked us off on Big Train Chai, which I mix w/ morning coffee for poor girl's cappucino.

I am excited to try Meru Tea in my french press. Thank you Vegetarian Times for the link.

Shakti

Shakti is Sanskrit for "energy"... creative energy and sexual energy.
All my dance is centered towards the activation of this energy. The two opposite forces of life and death, creation and destruction, chaos and serenity, plus and minus are played upon in a neverending game. "Eros of Love & Destruction" is a theme that runs through my performances. It is about a woman's descent or ascent into herself and realizing all the potentials within. It's an exultation of being a woman and of being alive. It reveals her metamorphosis from self-love to self-destruction, from virgin to vixen, from exotica to unrelenting erotica. It is the realization of one who has become unashamedly assured and in control of her body and spirit...
Shakti Official Website
Flash slideshow (absolutely beautiful)