10/26/10

Goddess of the Week: Corn Woman

corn woman potteryImage by aka_lusi via FlickrClaire is wondering if there is a goddess for stress, and while I am sure many goddesses can give you stress, let's have one that can actually alleviate it. I give you the Corn Woman of the Creek Indians.

Once there was an old woman who lived with a family. No one quite knew where the old woman came from, but times were hard, and who were they to throw an old woman out on the streets? Besides the old woman was handy. She gave them corn everyday. The family was grateful for the corn, but no one knew where the corn came from. I mean it wasn't like she had a farm under her skirts.

One day, the son decided to discover the old woman's secret, so he hid and watched her. To his everlasting disgust, she started scrubbing off all her old scabbies and, instantly, they turned into corn. Well, you can imagine. The boy told his mom, the mom told the dad, blah, blah, blah, and nobody was hungry anymore.

So the old woman said, "Ok. Kill me, and drag my body seven times around the yard and you can get corn that way." Well, that was kind of disgusting too, but I guess less disgusting than the scabbies because the son cut off her head and dragged it seven times around the yard, and--lo!--corn started growing right on the spot.

Now, let us, for a moment, forget the obvious problem that the Corn Woman had to die, and thus sacrifice herself, for the family to get food it deemed worthy. Let us forget that the family allowed her to give up her life, but would not permit her to give up her pain.

Let us, instead, focus on how the old woman is all about nourishment and the need to fill ourselves up in hungry times. When we are stressed, we forget about nourishment. We forget about giving ourselves the gifts of rest and peace that we need. Ironically, we become like the Corn Woman. We sacrifice our very selves because--let's face it--everybody has made it very clear that they'd rather have us do that than try and transform our suffering into something good and sustainable.

Well, screw that. Eat the corn! Feed yourself. Feed your soul. Scrub off your scabies and turn them into promise.

Channel this goddess: When you are so stressed out that you've forgotten that you are a gift. Don't squander yourself.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining your need, and I'll see what I can do.


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17 comments:

Stacey @ Entropified said...

You are on a roll!

You can't get this stuff anywhere else.

Olga said...

Yes! Words of true wisdom.

Joanne said...

I'll never look at the pretty Indian Corn hanging on my front door the same ;)

Daisy said...

Right ON Margaret!

Jean Spitzer said...

Once again, a moral I can endorse. On a roll, indeed! And you have an adorable dog, too.

Rois said...

Corn Woman telling the family to kill her so they may eat is strongly tied to the Native belief that we should do what is best for the whole community not just ourselves.In traditional culture there was no room for "I" as in myself.

Jess said...

Another wonderful post! Makes me a bit uncertain about the corn I had for dinner, though... Mmmm! I like my little old ladies with salt and butter!

Petrea said...

Outta the park!

I'm going to send this to a certain PIO I know.

pasadenapio said...

This couldn't have come at a better time for me. Bless you, Margaret! And thanks for alerting me, Petrea.

phoebat said...

we do squander ourselves when we get stressed don't we? speaking for myself, yup. usually i'm stressed cause i feel i'm already not measuring up and then i glom more on me. i'm working to follow the idea that to be able to do good for others i first need to take care of and befriend myself.

Deb said...

You are amazing, Margaret. Only you can write a post that is educational, funny, and touching all at the same time. I LOVE this story of the corn woman...gonna' share it with a friend of mine who needs this goddess right now...

Word in the Hand said...

Reminds me of my grandmother who would allow herself about 10 seconds to feel sorry for herself then brush off her apron and get back to work. Famous phrases -
'you get nothing done by doing nothing '
'If you can't do anything about it -do something else!'
sh'e have loved this.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

The local goddess' are favorites with me

altadenahiker said...

I think you can tell a lot about a culture by the way they treat their goddesses.

... daisy... said...

Really touching story about a Goddess... wow Margaret... this is a BRILLIANT post!

pasadenapio said...

Corn Woman has given me much food for thought at a time when I've been in life/work crisis mode. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In celebration of Halloween tomorrow, I say we change her name to Candy Corn Woman.

Cafe Observer said...

PIO, you need 2 hang at more at Cafes where work is outnumbered by friendly people.