Goddess of the Week: Nike

A stone carving of the Goddess Nike at the rui...Image via Wikipedia

Stacey needs an Energizer Bunny goddess. Of course, there's Shakti. She'll definitely give you energy, especially when illness or physical laments are conspiring against you, but if your lack of energy is more a case of misplaced mojo or general malaise, you need Nike, the Greek goddess of strength, speed and victory.

You might remember that the Titans were the Greek gods 1.0. Their leader, Kronos, kept eating his children so they wouldn't usurp him, in the way children do. Eventually, however, Kronos threw them all up and, annoyed that they'd be stuck in Krono's digestive track, they fought against him and his generation. It was very Summer of Love, very don't trust anyone over thirty, very be sure to wear some laurel in your hair. Except, of course, instead of a summer it was the dawn of time and instead of love there was blood-thirsty killing and fighting between the old gods and the new gods.

Chief among the new gods was Zeus, and when he rallied the young gods to throw the old gods out, the first goddess to jump to his aid was Nike. When the Titans set the monster Typhon loose on Mount Olympus, all the gods but Zeus and Nike just totally fled because they were so scared.

Besides her really cool wings, Nike had these awesome pom pons, and she waved them in the air and yelled, "We love Zeus. Oh, yes we do. We love Zeus. Hey, how 'bout you?" But the other gods were too scared to even answer back, so she tried, "Z-E-U-S! Around him we coalesce! Go Zeus! Go Zeus! He's your best friend! He's your best friend!"

Zeus was so fired up that he totally trounced Typhon and then all the other young gods came back and they were all, "Yeah, we totally knew you'd win, dude. We just wanted to show the Titans that you could do it yourself."

Well, those other gods may have been cowardish louts, but Nike was not. Nike shows that to find your mojo and your energy you sometimes need a cheerleader. You need someone to remind you how fabulous you are. You need someone to light the fire within you so that you can burn like the bright star that you are even when everyone around you is hiding in the dark. You need Nike. She often looks like a really good girl friend. Or your dog.

Channel this goddess when you need someone to wake you up to your inner potential and energy. Say: "Nike! Nike! She's a goddess! See her flying in her bodice! Go Nike! Go Nike! She's your best friend! She's your best friend."

Need a goddess: Post a comment saying what you need and I'll find you what you need.
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Goddesses Interrupted

No goddess this week. Why? Because I have been at Surf Camp with the Girl Scouts. Some of you may ask: "How was Surf Camp."

Well, friends, three words: Tater Tot Casserole.

Like me, you may remember the day when Tater Tots were the "it" food. You may remember going to your friend's house and being served Tater Tots, and you may remember thinking: "Tater Tots! This kid is sooooo lucky."

If you have such memories, you would probably like Tater Tot Casserole, which is sort of like Shepherd's Pie, but with Tater Tots on top and also, for some reason, rice. If, however, you were born circa 1997, you may not see Tater Tots in such a soft golden light. You might not see Tater Tots in any light at all. You may really hate Tater Tots, and the thought of them topping a casserole -- which you also may hate -- may fill you with horror and revulsion, and, most importantly, you may feel it very important to share this horror and revulsion with your Girl Scout Leaders. You may feel compelled to do that, again and again again.

Like Tater Tots, you may also harbor soft golden fantasies about camping on a tent on the beach. You may think to yourself, "Ah, to be lulled to sleep by the melodic sound of waves. What joy!" True enough, being lulled asleep by the melodic sound of waves has its appeal, but less appealing is the fact that the beach is full of sand, and sand is like like your child's junk. It strives to spread its reach as far as possible, including into your tent, your pillow, your toothpaste.

This might be bearable if, at the end of the day, you could sit down and watch the sunset with a glass of wine. Alas, the Girl Scouts are very strict about this, there is no fricking wine. Ever. There is only whine, and there's lots of that.

You may say to yourself: "Why? Why condemn yourself to such a fate?"

Are you kidding me? My girls surfed for the first time in their lives, and I was there.


Goddess of the Week: Panacea et al

Cropped image of Iaso from a Greek urnImage via Wikipedia

Ann needs a goddess of good health, but it when it comes to health I think you really want to stack the deck, in which case, the more goddesses the better. I've got a bevy of goddesses for you, Ann. In fact, I've got five sisters who will totally have you covered.

The sisters are the daughters of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine -- and they may just be what America needs to solve all its health care conflicts.

There's preventive measures goddess, Hygieia, who is all about washing hands. There's big phrama goddess, Panacea, the goddess of cures. Then you have your big gun illnesses goddesses, Iaso, goddess of recuperation and Aceso, goddess of recovery. These are the ones you want in your corner when Paxil and antibacterial lotion let you down. Last of all, you have Aglaea, goddess of natural beauty, who takes care of all your elective plastic surgery needs.

In a traditional medical setting, seeing these ladies -- literal goddesses in their fields -- would cost you thousands and thousands of dollars, and you'd never even get your parking validated. But with the new goddess system, all you need to do is drop a drachma at the temple and maybe sacrifice a goat every once in a while and you'll have all you need to live a healthy, vigorous life.

Don't believe me? Just ask the people of ancient Athens. They'll tell you that it took only three years for the goddesses to wipe out the terrible plague of 430-427 BC. I know people who've had to wait that long to see the dermatologist! Plus they didn't have to use one of the pesky blood pressure cups that always make me so nervous just thinking about them that my blood pressure shoots through the roof. In fact, even writing that made a little dizzy so I think I better stop now.

Channel these goddesses: in times of swine flu, bird flu, moose flu, and other assorted aches and pains. It's better than leeches.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment and I'll find what you need.

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Goddess of the Week: Amaterasu

Japanese Sun goddess Amaterasu emerging from a...Image via Wikipedia

I hope no one minds, but I'm going to break the queue and bring Rois right up to the top of the line. She needs Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess, because the rain in Oregon is wrecking havoc on their homestead. (Really, it's a homestead. Check it out.)

Clearly, Amaterasu's annoying brother Susano-Wo has been messing with the folks in Oregon. Talk about your sibling rivalry. He's been trying to prove he's more powerful than Amaterasu since the beginning of time.

Once, he made a bet with Amaterasu that he could produce more male gods than she could. So Amaterasu took her brother's sword, chewed it up, spit out the pieces and --wham -- out came these three goddesses. Then it was Susano-Wo's turn. He took these really cool fertility beads that Amaterasu tied up her hair with and smashed them with his teeth producing five itty bitty male gods.

"Ha! I win! I win. I am so totally awesome and you are so totally lame," he said.

"Dude," said Amaterasu. "You only won because you used MY beads. MY beads won, which means I am the one who won. So there."

Despite the stunning clarity of this logic, Susano-Wo was not convinced. He kept going on about how he won and then he got all crazy and flooded the irrigation ditches and the rice fields and -- just to be mean -- he skinned a pony and threw it into the sacred weaving hall. Well, you can imagine. It landed on one of Amaterasu's handmaidens, who totally freaked her out and died. Amaterasu was so stressed she went and hid in a cave, which wasn't so good for the peoples. That meant there was nothing to stop Susano-Wo, so it rained and rained, and all was dark, and all the evil gods came out and created chaos. It was worse than the pony.

Finally, the goddess Ame-No-Uzume danced this crazy dance that was so wild that all the other gods and goddesses started laughing, which lured Amaterasu out of her cave and made everything right. The rained stopped, the sun came out and Susano-Wo went to Oregon to see what he could do there.

So here's what you've got to do, Rois, you've got to find a way to make Amaterasu laugh. In the immortal words of Princess Leia, "It's your only hope." You can do it. I have total faith in you.

Channel this goddess: When the rain won't stop, when all is darkness, either literally or metaphorically. When you need to laugh.

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: Thalia and Melpomene

Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek, Copenhagen. Statue of...Image via Wikipedia

Good ol' Cafe Pasadena wonders if there is a goddess of drama. Actually, there are two: Thalia, the Greek muse of comedy and her sister Melpomene, the Greek muse of tragedy. You may know them better as the laughing and weeping masks they are sometimes represented as on old theatres or stage curtains.

I'm sort of cheating here because I know this is not the kind of drama Cafe Pasadena has in mind. Cafe Pasadena is talking about life drama, about the times when everything is a crisis and everyone around you -- including yourself -- is channeling Bette Davis or Elizabeth Taylor or Charleton Heston or anybody else who knows how to make themselves the center of every production. (I personally excel at this. Check it out.)

But it is real life drama, after all, that inspires art. What? You think some comedian just made up the idea of slipping on a banana peel? You think Shakespeare blindly invented Romeo and Juliet? Duh. Everybody knows it was based on Gwynth Paltrow.

Drama happens. You can sink in it or you can transform it into something cathartic, into something that makes you laugh or that makes you cry. This is why art comes next to air, water, food, shelter and basic security among the necessities of life. Art sustains life. Ancient cave dwellers knew it. They didn't draw those buffaloes because they were bored; they drew them because they had no choice. Just like we have no choice. You may not think you're an artist, but you are. It's in your DNA. Every time you thread a needle, make dessert, plant a garden, put together a scrapbook, or do the hundred other things you do that express who you are you channel a muse. Dare I say it: you step into the shoes of a goddess.

Channel these goddesses: when feeling creative, when you've got the need to burst into song, when you feel like you're living a Lifetime movie. Guess what? You are. You just haven't written it yet.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses and the queue is empty so now is the time to claim one. Post a comment telling me the kind of goddess you'd like to hang around with and I'll see what I can do.
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