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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Emergency Goddess

Marble head of a woman, probably Hygieia, foun...Image via Wikipedia
Jess needs an emergency goddess and just can't wait until next week. She's got two little babes and her husband landed in the emergency room the other night. She specifically would like a goddess for stomach ailments. This is a repeat from June, but it should do the trick, Jess.

Goddess wise, when it comes to god 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. 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.
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The Scout Report

All signs point to mixed results in the local market this quarter:

Dropped food is down again, owing, in large part, to continued improvement in hand-eye coordination among the youth market. Dropped broccoli, however, continues at historic levels.

An upswing in TV watching has resulted in a disappointing decline in walkies but increased opportunities for belly rubs.

Lastly, communication problems continue to put a damper on snack consumption. Eyes on the treat box mean gimme. How obvious can it be lady?


Goddess of the Week: Frigga

The god Odin whispers in the ear of the dead B...Image via WikipediaPhoebat needs a goddess that will help her stay strong and not try and rush in and solve other people's problems. I think we're going to have to go with the Norse goddess Frigg. She learned the hard way that, sometimes, you have to let go.

Frigg was married to Odin, leader of the Norse gods. Together, they had a son, Balder. Balder was a great guy--the life of the party. Everybody loved him. Everybody wanted to be him. Naturally, Frigg and Odin were delighted in that way that parents of the popular often are. They sort of saw this as a reflection of their own superiority, and we're always like, "Ah! Balder. He's like us, but better. We did such a good job with him."

One day, Balder woke up screaming. "I'm going to die!" he said.

Frigg was all, "Don't be silly. It was just a dream."

"No," he said. "It was a prophecy."

The next night, Balder woke up screaming again, and this time, Frigg worried that maybe Balder was right. Maybe he really was going to die. Terrified, she decided to fix it. She went to every living being on earth, and she got each one to promise not to hurt Balder.

The other gods thought this was pretty cool. They'd just sit around throwing, like, boulders and lions at him and watching everything bounce off him.

But the trickster god Loki discovered that Frigg had forgotten to ask the mistletoe to spare Balder. So Loki found this one blind god, and he said to him, "Hey! Don't you want to throw random stuff at Balder too! Maybe I can even help you!" The blind god was, like, "Ok," and Loki was, like, "Here! Throw this mistletoe." And the blind god was, like, "You bet."

So, with Loki's arm directing his throw, the blind god threw the mistletoe at Balder and killed him.

Frigg didn't know what to do. She thought she had fixed things. She thought she had protected Balder, but now Balder was dead. She hadn't fixed things at all. But she was still determined to save Balder, so she went to the goddess Hel, who oversaw the underworld, and she was all, "Can't you save Balder? He's so good. Everyone loves him."

Hel said, "Yeah? How about this: You get every living thing to tell me it's sorry Balder died and wants Balder to live again. You do that, and I'll give you back Balder."

Frigg did it. She went to every living thing on earth and begged them to admit that they loved and missed Balder, and they all did. Except for this one total cow of giantess who said, "I hate Balder. Let him die. What did he ever do for me?"

So that was it. No resurrection for Balder. He had to stay in the underworld, and his mother had to admit that there was nothing she could do about it.

Frigg reminds us that, sometimes, we have to let go. We can't fix everything. We can barely fix ourselves, and that's ok.

Channel this goddess: When you find yourself clinging. Let go. Let the universe take care of things for a while. And go do something nice for yourself while you're at it. Maybe watch this. It can help.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment stating your need, and I will see what I can do.

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Goddess of the Week: Echo

The Head Of A NymphImage via WikipediaPatrizzi Intergalactica writes: "I always thought I was the dumbest kid in the class. My mind was always wondering. Do you have a goddess for that?" Amazingly, I do!

It's Echo. Echo was a Greek nymph -- or minor nature goddess. It was her job to distract Zeus's wife Hera whenever Zeus went philandering among the nymphs. Echo would go up to Mt. Olympus, and she'd be all, "Hey, Hera, love your hair. How do you do that cool up-do? Do you use conditioner? Cuz my hair totally needs conditioner. I like the kind with seaweed. Do you like olives? Cuz, actually, I don't really get the whole olive thing. They're so salty." Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah she would go on and on until finally Hera had to banish her from Mt. Olympus. Then, for good measure, Hera banished Echo's voice too.

Poor Echo was stuck back with the nymphs. She couldn't even have any ambrosia, and whenever she tried to speak she just repeated the last sound she heard. It was a drag. Finally, one day, she saw this totally hot guy named Narcissis. She tried to get his attention, but it was like when kids do that annoying thing where they just repeat what someone else says. Just try to build a relationship on that. Good luck. So poor Echo had to go live out eternity in a cave, although some legends have it that she was finally torn apart by angry shepherds. Either way, it wasn't good.

Distraction is dangerous people! Although I know for a fact that Patrizzi Intergalactica is an intelligent women (I blame public education for this horrible burden of insecurity she's been carrying. See Waiting for Superman), distraction does tend to make one feel...well...voiceless. So put down that cell phone when you're driving. I'm out there on the road with you, people, and I might have my dog with me. Do you want her to get hurt?

Channel this goddess: Actually, let's avoid this one. Center yourself, people. Maybe find a nice mantra, like "I am peaceful and calm. I am peaceful and -- what the heck! Is that gray in my hair? Gray!!!???

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment telling me your need and I'll see what I can find.
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Doomed Love

177/365 - Lost in the pagesImage by Www.CourtneyCarmody.com/ via FlickrMy twelve-year-old is in love, and it will not end well because the boy is already dead. Actually, he never lived. He is a character in a book she is head over heels about. She can't stop thinking about him. She re-reads his lines over and over. She listens to her iPod and just thinks about him...about how funny he was, about how great he was, about how he never should have died.

This has happened before: Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Oh, how she loved him! Until she met that no-good Percy Jackson, and then that Artemis Fowl. Although I supposed none of them die, so it's not quite the same.

I feel for my daughter. But not because of her lost true love. I feel for her because when you care this much about characters it is really only a matter of time before you start making up your own. And why would anyone want their child to grow up to be a writer: you're rejected constantly, you're underpaid -- if you're paid at all -- and you spend so much of your time in your head that you can't help but ending up a bit narcissistic. Believe me, I know.

Sometimes people say to me, "My daughter wants to be a writer." They say it all flushed in the face, all giddy-like, because they, obviously, are not writers. I always want to say, "I'm sorry, maybe she'll get over that." Because, honestly, wouldn't it be better for everyone if they really wanted to be engineers? Scientists? Farmers? Something a little stable, something that will provide health insurance?

But we choose our poison. Some people choose alcohol. I choose words. I guess I'm not so good at modeling.
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I'm not the only one rethinking goddesses.

I keep forgetting to add this link to some very cool and clever artwork. The artist is Terry Strickland and this is her work on myths and fairytales. My favorite is Pandora.

Many thanks to Shanna, who led me to this link. She is a pretty amazing artist herself. Check out her blog capturing skyscapes here.


Goddess of the Week: Isis

Detail of the frieze of the wells in the tomb ...Image via WikipediaClaire wants a wind goddess -- a gift for her daughter who works with wind turbines. Well, Claire, give your daughter the Egyptian goddess Isis. Isis was, among other things, a wind goddess, and she had these enormous wings that blew sweet, cool air into the Nile Valley.

Isis was the beloved consort of Osiris. Together they ruled the heavens and earth. But then, one day, Osiris's totally evil brother Seth killed Osiris so that he could be king. It's just like "The Lion King," except instead of lions there are gods, and instead of a bereft son wandering off with a singing warthog and meerkat, there's a bereft wife who cuts off her hair and goes searching for her husband's missing dead body. Finally, she gets the dead body and hides it in a swamp, but then totally-evil Seth comes and chops it into fourteen pieces and sends them floating down the river. Isis goes hunting again, finds 13 of the pieces and then has to give up because a fish ate the 14th, Osiris's penis, and, after all, there are a lot of fish in the sea. She can't go around looking for the penis in every one.

Turns out that, when you're Isis, you don't really need the penis anyway. She took her enormous wings and flapped and flapped until she created a big enough wind to blow life back into Osiris. But bad news: since he had been dead he had to go be the lord of the underworld. Maybe it had to do with the missing penis. Anyway, it was a sort of bittersweet reunion, but they did penislessly conceive a child, Horus, who went on to torment and, eventually, destroy Seth. So at least there's a Hollywood ending.

Channel this goddess: When you work with wind turbines, of course! If you want to channel her for other things, I'll let you do that at your discretion. (But really, as tragic as things get, don't take your losses out on your hair.)

Need a goddess: I've got goddesses! Post a comment telling me your need and I will see what I can do.

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Goddess of the Week: Athena

Helmeted Athena holding the snake Erichthonios...Image via WikipediaPattiwag wants a goddess for teachers. What a good idea! If you're going for anything having to do with education, you're going to have to recken with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.

Athena was born in full adult form. She just popped out of her father Zeus's head. That's why she is so smart: it was all that in utero brain action.

All the really smart heroes looked to Athena for guidance: She helped Perseus beat Medusa. She helped Odysseus beat the Cyclops. She rewards cleverness with success and sheer brute strength with contempt. So she's definitely a gal a teacher would want on her side.

But to be honest with you, I wouldn't want her for a teacher. You know she'd play favorites. She'd always give what my younger daughter calls "the usual geniuses" all the perks. They'd get to listen to the Sirens sing. They'd get to relax at feasts. Which is all very good when you're a usual genius. But if fate -- or an absurdly discriminatory GATE policy-- has declared that you are not a usual genius, it's like eating slops, which is exactly what Odysseus's men had to do when they were turned into pigs. If you are not a usual genius, your name won't be called at the quarterly "Usual Genius" assembly, you will not be given a "usual genius" discount card that you can use at local businesses, you will not be invited to join the Knowledge Bowl or the Geography Bowl or the "Usual Genius" club. If you are not a usual genius, you will not get accolades or proud smiles from Athena. You will not be asked to collect her homework or read her epic poems aloud in class. You will definitely not get advice on beating the Minatour. And good look with Medusa-- the woman will turn you to stone with just one look.

So yes, teachers may do well by channeling a little Athena-- and so might usual geniuses. But the rest of us might do better to just avert our eyes from snake-haired women. Also, it never hurts to study.

Channel this goddess: if you are a teacher. You'll want wisdom to mold those fresh, young minds. But remember, use your power for good, not evil. One doesn't have to be declared a usual genius to become one.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment and I will see what I can find.
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