Goddess of the Week: Artemis

Artemis with a hind, better known as "Dia...Image via Wikipedia

Baffled Human needs a goddess to help find hope and happiness at work.

This was another tough one. The obvious choice would be the Hindu goddess Saraswati, who is your go-to goddess for career success. But success is not the same thing as happiness. There are plenty of successful professionals who are miserable, so I think we need to go another route. I think we need to go with Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Hunt.

Artemis is the daughter of Zeus, and when she was born she asked her father to grant her fifty hounds, a band of young maidens to do her bidding, and to never to be forced to marry. Granted these things, she spent her days hunting stags and swimming in ponds. It was a great life and she loved her work.

But why did she love her work? Was it because she had a cavalry of secretaries doing all her annoying errands? Was it because she had no man to hold her down? Or was it the fifty dogs? After all, don't dogs make everything better?

The fact is, these things were just manifestations of Artemis's happiness. Artemis was happy because, from the get-go, she was entirely true to herself. She never let anyone else define her. She was the kick-ass girl who liked venison. You had a problem with that, then you stayed out of her forest. She wouldn't change for Zeus. She wouldn't change for that guy who saw her naked so she turned him into a deer and got eaten by his dogs. And she definitely wouldn't change for THE MAN.

So, Baffled Human, don't you dare let THE MAN change you. You go to work. You earn your pay, but be like Artemis. Stay true to your self, and when THE MAN tears you down, just remember that fifty hounds make a lot of shit and even goddesses need to watch their step sometimes. No shame in watching your step. Let THE MAN take your FICA, but don't you ever let him take your humor, your grace, your charm, or your moxie. Wave your hope like a flag. Shine your happy like a shield.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses. Post a comment telling me what you need and I'll see what I can do.
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Goddess of the Week: Hecate

Triple-formed representation of Hecate. Marble...Image via Wikipedia

Barb is moving. She needs a goddess who can help her clean house and who can get her on the road. Barb needs Hecate.

Hecate is a funky goddess because no one really knows where she's from. She could be from modern day Turkey. She could be from Thrace. All we know for sure is that she eventually wound up in Greece, she keeps lots of dogs, and she'll meet you at the crossroads. In fact, Greeks used to leave sacrifices for her -- usually meat, for the dogs -- whenever they came to a place where three roads met. So, basically, Hecate served as sort of your ancient day GPS. When you didn't know which way to turn, you gave her a bunch of meat and she pointed you in the right direction. She helped you choose -- and that's why she's the perfect goddess for when you're moving.

Moving means choices. What do you box up? What do you send to the Salvation Army? Where do you go? How do you get there? Where you stay when you've gotten there? So many decisions, so many things to think about and prepare for, but, at a certain point, you've got to make a leap faith. You've got to take Hecate's hand and believe that that paisley jumpsuit is never coming back in fashion and that that new town/job/home is the path to the next stage of your life.

Hecate reminds us that life is about choices. Do the right thing: pack the meat; pack the dogs, and when you get to the crossroads, just keep going. Don't look back.

Channel Hecate: When moving, when tossing your pack-rat tendencies to the wind and throwing things out, or when making particularly difficult decisions.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment telling me what you need or want. I'll see what I can do.
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No Joy this time. Just Gratitude

Cafe GratitudeImage by meganpru via Flickr

Well, friends, we were really scrapping the bottom of the barrel, and there was no joy, no joy at all. There were no secret boyfriends to spice up my happy. There were no delicious movies to sweeten my cocktail. There was only the willful determination to smile through the misery train.

We were in the hospital last week. Four days. The teenager was the patient. We were trying to see if she would be a good candidate for brain surgery, and that right there should tell you all you need to know about the state of things here. Alas, she is not a good candidate. So we move on to new meds, other things.

But I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about "keeping calm and carrying on," as the British say. How do you do it? How do you do it when every ounce is joy is sucked right out of you? How do you do it when EEG wires turn your daughter into Medusa so that a screen can show you -- in real time -- the Haitian earthquake that becomes her brain whenever she seizes?

You do two things:

One, you meditate on the fact that this dismal time is temporary. It will pass. It has passed. We are much better now, and the new meds are looking promising, so there you go.

Two, if the circumstances are such that you cannot cultivate your joy, you must look for some other worthy concept to cultivate. For me, it was gratitude. Do you know some people bring their very clean and well-trained dogs to visit hospital patients? Do you know some people bring their guitars? They'll just pop in your room and say, "Do you want a song?" If you say yes, they'll come and sing you a song or two. They don't know you. They just do it to be nice. Then, of course, there are the nurses. It is not hyperbole to call them angels of mercy. You might think it is, but it's not. They are the best people you will find anywhere in the world.

It is a humbling thing to realize that people you've never seen in your life want to help you, not because they pity you, but because they are good people. You should be so lucky to have been touched by the kindness of strangers.
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Goddess of the Week: Inana

IshtarImage by seriykotik1970 via Flickr

Raving Witch is getting total grief from her ex-boyfriend. The big jerk! She needs a kick-ass goddess that will help her claim her inner She-Ra.

Only one goddess will do when it comes to relationship problems: Inana. Inana was married to Dumuzi, and she was the total jefe Sumerian deity. She was fricking queen of heaven and earth, and everybody knew that she was not somebody to mess with -- everybody, that is, except her sister, Ereshkigal, who was fricking queen of the underworld.

One day, Inana decided she wanted to visit Ereshkigal down in the underworld. So she says to Dumuzi, "What do you think? Should I go? It's so far away, and you have to take, like, five freeways, and it's rush hour 24/7."

Dumuzi's all, "Go. Have fun. Bond. I'll watch everything up here."

So down Inana goes. But not only is traffic a bitch, but once she gets to the gates of hell she has to give up everything just to get through. She has to give up her cool outfit, her jewelry, her magical powers. By the time she gets to Ereshkigal she's butt naked and doesn't even have gas money.

To make things worse, Ereshkigal kills Inana and hangs her from a meat hook. (And you thought you had sister problems.)

Blah, blah, blah, details, details. Inana pulls a few strings and comes back to life, but the underworld is all about accounting and she can't just leave; no debits allowed. She can only go if she agrees to send another soul in her place. "Fine," she says. "I'll send you someone."

But who could she send? I mean it's not so easy to decide. She spends the entire journey worrying about it. Then, when she steps into the light of day, it's even harder because everywhere, everyone is mourning her. People, animals, plants are weeping, moaning, tearing their hair out because they are desolate. DESOLATE! And who is the most desolate? Who is the most heartbroken? Dumuzi, her beloved husband. Right?

WRONG! That doofus Dumuzi was totally living it up! He was sitting on Inana's throne wearing the awesome cool clothes Inana bought him, drinking the wine Inana invented, and totally flirting with those skanky handmaidens that peeled Inana's grapes.


But at least Inana figured out who should take her place in hell.

Channel Inana: when the men in your life are acting like snakes. Get your Tough Girl on. Don't put up with their bullshit. You are the goddess. You will thrive. They will take five freeways to hell. And they'll figure out how to get there all by themselves. You don't even have to make them a map.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment about what you need. I'll see what I can do.
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