Saturday, July 25, 2015

Goddess Figurines

We're getting ready for another Rumi's Caravan tonight, part of Bolo's new album release celebration.  I was thinking this morning about one of Rumi's most famous poems, Love Dogs.  I've always questioned what it says - how is one's longing actually the connection to spirit?  I didn't exactly come up with an answer, but while writing and looking up at my goddess figures, I did come up with a poem that leans in that direction.  Here's a picture of some of the figurines (and yes, I really did schlep them and more home from Greece in my suitcase), and the poem.

Goddess Figurines

It is all
right here
before me.
The figurines –
goddesses or priestesses,
            from Crete,
            from Eleusis,
            from Mycenae,
bird-headed, or
crowned with snakes, cats, diadems –
all with arms raised –
            in prayer,
            in praise,
            in supplication,
            in blessing.

I carried them all
home from Greece
wrapped in clothing and paper,
nestled in my carry-on bag,
not a one broken
or hurt.
For fifteen years
they have stood
on my altars,
on my writing table,
eyes wide open,
gazing at me.

It is only now
that I grasp
the message 
of their stance:
Lift your arms,
they say.
Your connection
to spirit begins
with your own effort.
Lift your arms.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Mandate

Thankfully, I am still processing what transpired in the intensive.  I am glad and grateful to still be working on it (thank you, Deena), despite the craziness of life these days.

The words spoken
were more
than words.
They were
an imperative,
seeds thrust
into the fertile soil
of the soul.
The sound,
tonality, gesture,
accent, passion
all dissipated
on the wind.
But what was implanted
gives way to sprouting,
demanding to
unfurl into the
It requires water –
tears or intention -
to truly
take root and
So far,
nothing visible
has emerged.
Without an application
of trust and
fierce determination,
this potential life
will die before
branching or
bearing fruit.
But what is invisible now
remains resolute and
doggedly digs in.
So, fall into
the usual pattern
of disregard and
disbelief, or
accept the charge,
tend this garden,
and let the words
do their work.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hecate's Version of the Story

Since I claim to be hanging out with Hecate, I owe her some air time.  So, here is a tale she and I wrote (which will hopefully make sense to those of you who know Persephone's story):

            Those Olympians!  They think they have the corner on the market.  Well, power will do that to you.  Those of us who are older and who have been there know that power is like the tide – it comes and goes.  And when it goes, you’d better have something else to hold onto.
            Me?  I watch a lot.  I’m an observer, you might say.  I get very quiet.  My power, such as it is, comes from that.  I’ve grown comfortable with the dark.  No one else seems to want it, so I’ve claimed the territory.  Even Selene, who reigns in the dark, is the light there.  I am the dark in the dark.  When travelers reach the place where roads diverge, I am there to insist that they choose: the way of authenticity or the way culture prescribes.  You can see why humans have come to fear me.
            You wonder what happened with Persephone.  I use her name, her own name, notice, while others call her “Demeter’s daughter.  I did that, too, before it all happened.  Not now.  She’s earned the right to her name.  Many say it means “The Destroyer.”  That’s nonsense.  She destroys nothing.  That’s simply mortals’ fear of death speaking.  I prefer “She Who Shines in the Darkness.”  She has grown into power and continues to do so.
            Well, I was going to tell you what happened.  It started in the borderlands.  You see, I live on the edges, the borders.  It is where I have to be.  In my cave, I heard a cry but was too late to see anything when I went out to investigate.  Some days later I saw Demeter out searching.  She looked wretched – not her usual state, for sure – and I finally put two and two together.  I suggested to her that Helios would have seen something.  In her distress she wasn’t thinking clearly and it hadn’t occurred to her, so I took her to him.  I don’t think he meant to be hurtful, but, as I said, those Olympians are so full of themselves that they don’t think.  When he told her that Zeus had allowed Hades to take her daughter away to be his bride, she was furious and ran off.  I let her go.  There was little I could do for her at that point, and I knew she had to work things out for herself.
            When I saw the earth begin to dry up, I realized what had happened.  It was the perfect response, Demeter removing all fertility from the green world.  I disliked the suffering, though, and also how dusty and ugly everything became.  She forced Zeus’ hand, and I was secretly happy to see it.  It isn’t my way to blatantly challenge those male power-hoarders, but, oh, I am glad when they receive some comeuppance.  That’s a little petty of me, I guess.  Oh, well!
            So, I waited to see what would happen.  When Persephone returned, I went to see them, mother and daughter.  I don’t ordinarily meddle, but I did feel I had a role in this series of events, albeit a small one.  And I had been terribly concerned for the girl.  For Demeter, too, but I knew she would eventually find her way.  I’m pleased to say they both welcomed me.

            I didn’t know the child well before, but I could see the shift in her, and I could foresee the changes to come.  She was moving into her own power.  Demeter may not have noticed – she was just glad to have her daughter back, even if it wasn’t permanent.  But this young woman (not a child any longer) was going to assume great and grave duties (no pun intended).  An idea struck me and I voiced it without hesitation.  I offered to precede and follow her.  I had, have, things to share, things to teach, about dark and light ways, and companionship to offer.  You could call me her mentor.  Yes.  I won’t speak of what passes between us – that is between us.  Suffice it to say, I have taken on this role, and I believe it has served her.  And, if I am completely honest, me, too.  it has served me, too.