Enchantments of Isis, the green parrots
light on the bougainvillea and the scarecrow
with a straw hat. I want you to be the first
to know how many lovesongs of fresh water
I have sung to the Beloved, who falls
off the cliff without looking back for his dog.
A red flower in brunette hair, the color
of fresh blood, a carnation, not a poppy.
Ursa Major, Wikimedia Commons
[Author’s Note: The sequel of this essay is released in preparation for 2015 Nine-Day Solstice Celebration Project.]
Part 2 Goddess Goma, the Magoist Shaman Ruler, and Her Nona-Mago Tradition
Not until the autumn of 2012 did the pervasive manifestation of the number nine symbolism in Magoism surface in my consciousness. The information that the shrine of Gaeyang Halmi (Gaeyang Grandmother/Goddess), the Sea Goddess of Korea, was once called the Temple of Gurang (Nine Goddesses 九嫏祠) awakened a deep memory in me. It was a revelation to me and I began to connect the dots! That summer, I had joined the field research team of Konkuk University’s Korean Oral Literature graduate program. With them I visited the Shrine of the Sea Saint (Suseong-dang 水聖堂) in Buan, North Jeolla, S. Korea to collect folklore from the locals. Only when I was processing the data that the team gathered to write a report, did I come across the original name of the shrine, the Temple of the Nine Goddesses. And the Nine Goddesses refer to Gaeyang Halmi and her eight daughters. It is unknown how and when it was replaced by the current name, the Shrine of the Sea Saint. It is evident, however, that a linguistic femicide took place; the female-connoted term, the Nine Goddesses, was replaced by the sex/gender neutral term, the Sea Saint.
We are the web,/ We find our center/ By coming closer./ The center is our truth. – Barbara Walker
Artwork by Laura Newberry-Yokley. White air-dry clay, tempera paint (2015). Goddess figurine, Egyptian cross or ankh, meaning breath of life.
Furrow deeply within the cave of time when ideas were distinct from beliefs and belief were separate from thoughts. Forging the path of the truthful center, a radiant soul is found along time way, within each one of us. Carol Christ calls this a “compelling image of female power, a vision of deep connection of all beings in the web of life.” Each one of you, I invite you to invoke the divine feminine powers within you, as you call upon Her, O Beautiful One. The Goddess inspires us to re-evaluate our lives and reinvent our spiritual, human experience. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
As the web of ideas extends into a spiral of magical symbols, an authenticity of what it means to be a woman emerges from behind what shrouds our lives. Let these candid images tell the story of the woman, the real woman, and how her divine center is the place of the Goddess Within. Breathing, the warm air tickles her eyelids. The tall grass feels cool against her worn feet. Moving, stretching, and gazing up at the sky, she pulls her energy inward and rises with the sun. The red fingers tickle her cheeks with warm vibrancy, as the sky is filled with orange and red exclamations of radiance.
Priestess: This face of the Goddess is the eternal face of sybil, wisewoman, seer. She moves between the worlds, where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one . . .
She is crafted from fabric, beaded squares, and shed snakeskin to represent feminine wisdom and the structure of women’s magic. She speaks Her truth that we may hear and shows us how to walk in Her ways.
Artist: Cynthia Baxter, 1980
The Mother within reweaves the Fabric
– the torn Fabric
torn in the weak spots.
She sets to work with all Her love and consciousness
picking up the threads
– threads that go all the way back to the beginning
She uses these, yet makes new patterns.
Photo credit: Liliana Taboas, Liliana Beatriz Fotografia
By the last fading light of the longest day of the thirty-fifth year of my life, I sit, bathing in the cool, mild air, watching the crescent moon and Venus and Mars bidding farewell to the sun.
My moon blood flows, for the very last time, for in four days, I will become a Crone. It is a strange gift, this knowing. A difficult choice to give over the natural mysteries of time and biology to the clinical skill of a trusted surgeon. This was not how I envisioned entering Cronehood. I thought I needed to wait until my hair was silver, my face etched with the map of time, my heart filled with the wisdom of many more years of life and pain. When I was first given the news, a diagnosis of a condition so irreversible and unmanageable that even the most holistic of healers agree it warrants hysterectomy, I fought. I rejected the idea of removing my womb surgically from my body, and one of the first panicked thoughts I had was “No! I’m too young to be a Crone! I’m not prepared!”
The role of the mother is very evident as a pregnant Gaia. In Gaia there is a twofold symbolism, the power of the creator of worlds, but also that of carrying the weight of the world, that of taking on the role of motherhood – the responsibility of life and how women can carry not just a baby but also the care of others in their world, their family.
In this painting, Julie chose to use Pointillism as a visual representation of a 3D style Earth quality.