Goddess of the Week: Artio

The goddess Artio from the Muri statuette grou...Image via WikipediaFinally! Spring! And it's not just on the calendar. It's in my backyard. No more rain. No more cold. The sun is shining and the perennials are switching out their dark green leaves for a spunkier, lighter, more fashionable hue. Naturally, we need a goddess!

I give us Artio, a little known bear goddess who made herself at home in the Swiss Alps. I know what you're thinking. A bear goddess? What's so springy about bears? Aren't bears really cranky in the Spring? Aren't bears the last thing you want to encounter while picking wild flowers and channeling Julie Andrews channeling Maria Von Trapp? Won't a spring bear chase and maul you if you get too close.

The answer is, of course, yes. So don't get too close, but do appreciate the miracle of hibernation, and do see how ancient people, in particular, would see a bear's ability to hibernate as something pretty darn mystical. I mean, you go to bed, walk up three months later, get yourself a snack, and you're good. And isn't that what we all do? Winter comes; the days get shorter; you hole up inside and eat carbs, and then--wham--one day the leaves have gone a shocking shade of pea green and you're craving strawberries.

So here's too strawberries! (I'm growing them. I'm hoping to get maybe six.) And here's to spring. I am so ready.

Channel this goddess: When winter (real or metaphorical) is hanging on too darn long, when you feel like you've been hibernating and need to get back to living, when you're getting a little obsessed with carbs: Remember potatoes--my precious--belong to winter.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess to help you out with. Then check back in a week or two and see what you got!

P.S.: I just want you to know that I'm really loving exclamation points of late! They're very spring! !!!

Enhanced by Zemanta


Moral Dilemma. Need Advice. Involves chocolate.

What would you do?

Say your husband and daughter return from New York with several small--emphasis on small--boxes of chocolate from La Maison Du Chocolat. Say said chocolates are possibly the best chocolates in the world. Say they are handmade in Paris, France and flown daily to NYC and that, therefore, the guaranteed freshest La Maison Du Chocolat chocolates are the ones that are hand delivered to you by your husband and daughter.

Now say that your husband says one of the boxes, which is very, very small, is for the family that leant your daughter a winter coat. But say that your husband and daughter already got the girl to whom the coat belongs a lovely little bracelet with pictures of New York City on it.

Would you, being practical, rethink the giving of the small, almost nonexistent, box of chocolates? I mean, first of all, one must think of feelings. The girl is already getting a bracelet. Wouldn't it seem too much to give the chocolates--of which there are soooo few--as well? Wouldn't it put an uncomfortable pressure on the family? A feeling of the thank you being greater than the favor? You wouldn't want to make the family feel awkward, would you? I mean, that would be the last thing you would want to do. And you certainly wouldn't want them to fight over the chocolates. You would not want to return a good deed with family friction.

So wouldn't it make sense to keep the small box? If you can even call it a box. It being so small, really only enough for one grown woman (not even her children, who, let's face it, eat way too much sugar as it is). Wouldn't it be the ethical thing to keep that box and also, for safety sake, hide it in a box of pens? I mean you don't want the chocolates to become a weapon in the escalating war of sibling rivalry. That would almost be abusive.

Hmmm. Just wondering how you would play this?


Goddess of the Week: Eostre and Pachamama

"Ostara" (1901) by Johannes Gehrts. ...Image via WikipediaChristina is looking for a death/rebirth goddess to help her honor her mother, who recently passed away. First of all, Christina: Good thoughts. I'm sending them all your way. I'm also sending you two goddesses. You asked about Eostre, so let's give you her, but let's also do a little Pachamama.

Eostre is English, by way of Germany. If her name sounds familiar it's because it's where the word Easter comes from. Bunnies? Totally her. She used to be driven around by giant hares. Eggs? That's her too. She is a goddess of springtime and, therefore, a symbol of the natural rhythms of death and rebirth. If your instincts say go with her, trust them.

Add to this Pachamama. Pachamama is an Andean goddess, sort of like mother earth but less commercial. She is still worshipped by indigenous people in Chile and Argentina, who always offer her the first drop of chicha--a kind of grain alcohol--whenever it's served. Although not a death/re-birth goddess, Pachamama is a symbol of motherhood and caregiving. Your mama cared for you, and probably many others. Now it's Pachamama's turn to take care of your mama.

Both of these goddesses remind us that the earth gives us life, and, in the end, it gives us a place to rest. Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. But the earth abides forever. And it seems to me, that that's a good place to start as you think about how to honor your mother. Speaking of which, what do you have in mind? A kind of ceremony? If you're open to suggestions, I'm thinking outdoors, but someplace a little untamed. I'm thinking symbols of rebirth. To me, that means dafodils (sunny, warm, and always determined to sprout out of the ground before spring even starts)! I'm thinking beautiful springtime foods and wine. (Be sure to feed Pachamama first.) What about you guys? Do you you have any ideas for Christina? And what about you, Christina? How do you envision what you're planning? We'd really love to know so that we can send you good thoughts and good energy when it happens.

Channel these goddesses: In times of grief and loss, when you want to re-connect with the earth or welcome spring and new beginnings.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need/want a goddess for. Then check back in a week or two and see what I found you.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Goddess of the Week: Green Tara or Durga, It Just Depends

Green Tara, Kumbum, Gyantse, Tibet, 1993Image via WikipediaVanda needs a goddess to help her deal with a stupid boss. Vanda, Vanda, Vanda...haven't we all been there? This is tough though because stupid bosses can fire you, and being unemployed is usually worse than having a stupid boss.

I'm going to give you a choice. You can take the kick-ass Hindu goddess Durga or the compassionate Buddhist goddess Green Tara. It just depends on whether you are more the slay-your-demon or the pity-your-demon type.

I used to be the slay-your-demon type, but to be honest with you, all that anger and fighting and decapitating monsters is exhausting. Frankly, all I really want to do after work is watch TV or maybe enjoy a movie featuring one of my secret boyfriends. Getting worked up about annoying co-workers? That's a lot of blah, blah, blah. Who needs it?

In my old age, I'm really striving to be the pity-your-demon type. Life is hard for all of us, even the stupid bosses among us. We can be a brick wall or we can be a flowing river. Nothing good ever comes from bringing brick walls and stupid people together. But put together a stupid person and a flowing river and what do you get? A wet stupid person and a river that has momentarily diverted its course but not its destination.

I recommend that you become the flowing river. Green Tara can help you there. When confronting stupidity, take a deep breath and practice compassion. "Who is this stupid boss? Why is he so stupid? Poor stupid boss. It must be hard being you." These are the ideas you must ponder. Relax. Let go. Remember, be the flowing river.

But, if that won't work for you. Choose Durga and kick his ass.

Channel these goddesses: Use your best judgment here. (But try and be the river. It usually ends better.)

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for. Then check back in a week or two and see who you got.
Enhanced by Zemanta


The Evil European Butter Conspiracy

Butter, at the Borough Market, London, 2006.Image via WikipediaWell, my friends, it's bad enough to have discovered that the English are slobs like the rest of us, and that "Downton Abbey" and all those Jane Austen movies are shams--shams!--to make Americans feel bad about themselves and their nasally accents. But now I find out that the Germans are hoarding all the good butter.

That's right! Last week my husband came home from this high-end speciality grocery store with a gold-foiled block of German butter. I'm all, "German butter? What's the carbon footprint on that baby?" But then I tried the German butter. Oh. My. God. It was like no butter I'd ever tasted. It was like someone took a cloud and sprinkled it with little baby angel smiles. I was simultaneously exhilarated and ashamed. Yes, ashamed! All these years I thought I understood butter; I thought I had a special connection with butter, and now the whole thing seems so cheap. I didn't even know what good butter was. I was eating a sad facsimile of butter. I was eating stressed-out cow butter, because, really, what else would make our butter so inferior? Clearly, it's the over-worked cows who are literally squeezed for all their worth when all they really want is a humane work schedule and five weeks of guaranteed vacation.

For me, it's the Greek yogurt debacle all over! (Yeah! That was a pretty traumatic discovery too.) Now I'm stuck with American butter. Obviously, I can't afford to eat German butter all the time. It's expensive and addictively, dangerously delicious. Yet, while deprived of it myself, I now know that in Europe people are probably so awash in good butter that they're using the unsalted kind as Chapstick. And they're enjoying it too. They are feasting on it everyday, feasting and laughing, and resolute in the knowledge that while they eat good butter, we're the ones who get obese.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Goddess of the Week: Aine

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing....Image via WikipediaShanna needs a goddess to help her through a mid-career crisis. ( In this economy, don't we all?) I give her the Celtic goddess Aine.

Aine is a goddess of summer and sun. She also represents wealth and
sovereignty, which is always good to think about when it comes to careers.

Aine used to be a great Celtic goddess. When mortal kings tried to take advantage of her she would bite off their ears, and then that was it. They weren't king anymore. It was a good gig, and she really made the most of it. You know all those green meadows Ireland is so famous for? Totally her doing.

But times change. With the rise of Christianity, Aine and her kind got the boot. No more worshipful people. No more ears to bite off. She was totally downsized. She had to reinvent herself, and so she became queen of the fairies.

I know. It doesn't sound nearly as impressive. But, as queen of the fairies, she is still around. Can you say that about Hathor? Hera? Aine survives in folk culture even now. Plus, William Shakespeare wrote a play for her: "A Midsummer Night's Dream." That's hers, and that's not so shabby.

The message of Aine is to be flexible. Worry less about titles and names and more about the ability to be true to yourself.

Channel her: when in a mid-career crisis, when contemplating a new job, whenever you are finding it hard to change with the times.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses. Post a comment telling my why you need or would like a goddess of your own. Then, check back in a week or two. She'll be waiting.

Enhanced by Zemanta