Author’s Note: “Relaxing into Alignment” is the first of a sequel under the banner of “Heal your Feminine Essence”. The first video is about coming into alignment with our feminine essence in the vortex of our wombs. These are combinations of feel-good-movements based on my own dreaming-body work, Chi Kung and tensegrity exercises. Please understand it is about relaxing, not perfect execution; it is about tender loving care for your body and soul. Enjoy the practice first thing in the morning and last thing before bed!
There are places
inside us where words
only silence dwells.
Into these still, dark caverns
meeting unexpected faces
“A thank you and farewell to our Sister, Ingrid Andrew. Many of us remember and cherish your spirit, art, poetry, chats, friendships, and meetings.” Remembered by Dr. Helen Hye-Sook Hwang on behalf of more than 40 members of The Mago Circle who commented and shared the following and more.
“Can’t wrap my self in any flag, this suffering transcends nations.” (Ingrid Andrew, Nov. 16, 2015). Remembered by Helen Hwang.
I am lucky enough to live in Kifissia, a lovely green suburb of Athens, Greece. Not far from my home there’s a quiet place with meadows and olive groves. I love taking meditative walks there. Last summer, as I was walking, I came across a snakeskin. I felt chills down my spine as I remembered the powerful symbolism of transformation associated with a creature that can literally shed its skin.
This made me think that the forces of change are always with us. They’re part of nature as much as they’re part of our inner landscape and our social environment. Living in Greece has given me ample opportunity to experience the winds of change time and again these past few years.
Third time around, birthing my daughter, Bealah Moss. I am no longer young, a body rounded and made soft and pendulous with time, breasts well seasoned with the mouths of suckling babes, nourished. I am initiated as mother, but still this threshold feels vastly profound and I am a child in the face of this power. The astonishing ask of birth, blowing my mind; awe and the fear of how I can open to this force of life that courses like a river in flood, through my mortal flesh and fragile bones…. But my eyes are open this time, my mind is awake and it is my own hands that guide this baby’s passage, that greet this child so fresh to the world, guiding her out with my hands to my heart and her family. I am fully claiming this birth, this child, this most primal and real charge of bringing the world into being. It is my teacher that I am birthing.
This is an edited version of a radio program by the author in 1994, on 2BLU 89.1 FM, Blue Mountains, Australia, in the context of a series called “Remembering the Great Mother”.
It could be said, and has been said, that Goddess has survived through the Christianization of many global cultures, as Mary. Geoffrey Ashe in his book The Virgin argues that the world’s nostalgia for a Mother Goddess created a place in theology for Mary, the mother of Jesus. He cites evidence that Mariology was a religion in its own right … the people offered bread in her name; as they had always done in the name of various Great Goddesses. According to Ashe, the Christian church of the fifth century integrated into itself the flourishing Mariology, thus taking the sting out of a rival religion and co-incidentally building itself up in a time of chaos and weakness. Mary, as mother, as womb, represented refuge in an age of peril and insecurity. It was well received by the people when the church proclaimed Mary as the Mother of God at 431 C.E. in Ephesus. Geoffrey Ashe argues that the struggling Christianity would not have survived that period without the swallowing of its “shadow religion”, which he says “filled the gap between earth and heaven, satisfied ancient needs, fulfilled ancient myths, which Jesus (on his own) could not.” Marina Warner, in her book Alone of All Her Sex, also notes that veneration of Mary was encouraged at “times of stress and entrenchment”.
Sometimes what we most fear is precisely what we need to face. What may seem as impending doom may in fact be a propelling force towards a much-needed process of renewal. Which brings us to the topic of this blog post: for a very long time, the snake has been a powerful symbol of death and rebirth. Interestingly, it was also sacred to Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, the patron goddess of Athens, which is now the capital of Greece.
I’ve always felt a special affinity to the snake. As a teenager, I used to draw a serpent coiled around my ring finger. This much maligned animal seems to carry a message: facing your fears can be a path to regeneration and wisdom. Exploring the hidden meanings of the snake has become a source of inspiration for me. Allow me to share with you a part of an essay I wrote about Athena as Snake Goddess.