On February 4th at 9:30 “Universal Time” (as it is named) EarthGaia crosses the midpoint in Her orbit between Solstice and Equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere it is the Season of Lammas – the welcoming of the Dark, post-Summer Solstice. Lammas, and all of the dark part of the cycle, is particularly associated with the Crone/Old One aspect of Goddess, after the fullness of Summer. Lammas may be understood as the quintessential annual celebration of the Ancient Dark One (mirror to Imbolc which celebrates and nurtures the New Young One). This is some Poetry of the Season:
This is the season of the waxing Dark … the feast of the Old One
who Creates the Space to Be.
The Darkness born at Summer Solstice now grows.
This is the time of celebrating the Larger Self,
the dedication of small self to the Dark Sentience – She to Whom we belong.
We meet to make sacred our lives
– in the Wisdom of the Compassionate One,
Who receives us in every moment: to be midwifed,
by She who is the Transformation-of-the-Ages.
The choice of images is arbitrary … there are so many more, and also, most ancient images of Goddess are multivalent – She was/is One: that is, all Her aspects are not separate from each other. These selected images tell a story of certain qualities that may be contemplated at the Seasonal Moment of Lammas.
Remember that image communicates the unspeakable – that which can only be known in body – below rational mind. So open yourself if you like to a transmission of Her, that will be particular to you, trusting Her compassion and Her knowing which is beyond all knowledge.
– Coatlique, 1400 C.E. Aztec (The Heart of the Goddess, Hallie Iglehart Austen, p.87) … personifies the forces of Nature, Coatlique has been named “Mother of all Deities” – the bringer of life and the one who takes it away. She destroys individual forms of life that they might be reborn.
– Kali Ma, 1700 C.E. India (The Heart of the Goddess, Hallie Iglehart Austenp.78) … an image often awesome Universe, She embodies creator, protector and consumer.
– Lillith, Middle East, 2300B.C.E. (The Heart of the Goddess, Hallie Iglehart Austen p.128) … in Hebrew her name means “owl”: Lilith, Chokmah, and Shekinah are all aspects of Iahu Anat, the original Great Goddess of the Semitic people.
– Medusa, Contemporary 2000 C.E., unknown artist (Australian) … a Sun Goddess, fiercesome to gaze upon, associated with power and wisdom.
– Ceres. (REF: The Great Mother, Erich Neumann, plate 60) … described as the Great Mother in Her “positive elementary character”, a Goddess “of the night” (Neumann 299-300). She is a Grain Goddess – source of sustenance and reaper, as She was understood in the earliest of times.
– Chamunda, 1000 C.E. India. (REF: Goddess : Mother of Living Nature, Adele Getty, p.84) … “only terrifying to those who oppose Her, for Her devotees She is a powerful vigilant guardian. … Chamunda belongs to the group of ‘matrikas’ – the powerful Mothers who ensure universal order.”
– Nut 200 C.E. Egypt. (REF: The Great Mother, Erich Neumann, plate 36) … described in The Heart of the Goddess (p.80) as standing “on both sides of the mortal threshold. In death we return to the Mother who gave us life. She is waiting to comfort and nurture us, for she is the Mother who offers us regeneration.” She generously receives all.
– Sekhmet, contemporary, Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet, Nevada … Egyptian Sun Goddess representing awesome power, to bring both death and life.
Getty, Adele. Goddess: Mother of Living Nature. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990.
Iglehart Austen, Hallie. The Heart of the Goddess. Berkeley: Wingbow Press, 1990.
Neuman, Erich. The Great Mother. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974.