Goddess of the Week: Isis

Osiris, Isis and Horus: pendant bearing the na...Image via WikipediaElizabeth needs a goddess to help unify her family because--this is so exciting--she and her husband are adopting a baby!  I think she needs the Egyptian mother goddess Isis.

Isis was all about the family unit.  She was married to her brother Osiris, a nature god who had big plans for Egypt.  Where other gods saw desert and a big river that flooded every year, Osiris saw the heart of civilization.  He got the whole empire thing rolling, but you can't build an empire alone, so he really relied on Isis.  They divided up the work.  Osiris taught folks to make wine; Isis taught them to grind grain.  Osiris taught them to make towns, temples, and laws; Isis taught them to practice medicine and get pre-nups.  It was a great partnership until the evil god Seth Killed Osiris.

Poor Isis traveled near and far only to find Osiris's dead body stuck in a tree.  Finally she got it back, but then Seth chopped Osiris into 13 pieces!  She found everything but his penis and brought him to life again.  Unfortunately, I guess because he had no penis, he had to go be Lord of the Underworld, but first they were able to conceive a son, Horus.

Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances, but it is a real pain when you can only see your partner in hell, and then, only every other weekend because, you know, travel is expensive, even for gods.  Still, Isis and Osiris persevered, and Horus grew up to be an awesome god with the head of a falcon.

Understanding the importance of having shared interests, Isis worked hard to instill in Horus a deep and abiding desire to kill the evil god Seth.  Horus and Seth fought for seventy years!  Finally, they decided to settle things by seeing who could win a stone-boat race.  Sneaky Horus made his boat out of wood and painted it to resemble stone.  Seth abided by the rules and drowned when his boat sunk, which sort of makes you wonder why it took Horus seventy years to beat a god who thought he could sail in a stone boat.

Isis reminds us that unity in a family comes from sharing burdens and working together, and that starts way before any babies enter the picture, which is just another way of saying that while there are a million ways to make a family work, you can't float a rock.

Channel this goddess: when starting a family, when trying to unify a family, when working on a long-distance relationship, when buying a boat.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses!  Post a comment explain what you need or want a goddess for.  Then check back in a week or two and see what you got.  
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Summer reading...better late than never

Cover of "Traveling with Pomegranates: A ...Cover via AmazonIt was, you may recall, a discouraging summer when it came to my summer reading.  Every book I picked up irked me or bored me, but I finally found two that you might like, both, a bit surprisingly, nonfiction.

Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. This is a great travel memoir by the author of The Secret Life of Bees and her daughter.  Kidd and Taylor reflect on their changing relationship and their struggles to figure out what they want to do with their lives as they travel through Greece, France and Turkey.  My blog friend Bec sent me the book because a lot of reflection is inspired by the images and tales of the divine feminine (included goddesses) that they discover on their journey.  Especially if you have a daughter, I think you might like this book.  In fact, I was going to do a "Pass the Book" with it, but then I decided Carrie over at Rosalind's Revival needed it.  So I'm sending it her way.

 Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff.  Wow!  Talk about your epic life!  This biography is a fun and fascinating glimpse into not just an amazing life, but an amazing world.  There's sex, violence, intrigue, murder, mayhem and jewels.  So it's sort of like the CW only not lame.  (I tried to upload a picture but my computer was being difficult.  Sorry.)

Now I am reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, which also has murder, violence and mayhem.  But no jewels.  And that's a definite minus.

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Goddess of the Week: Hestia

Greek Goddess HestiaImage via WikipediaKate needs a housewarming goddess.  She needs Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth, who is the patroness of all things homey.

Hestia lived on Mount Olympus with her brother Zeus and their other siblings.  But while her brothers and sisters were always gallivanting around Greece causing trouble, Hestia stayed home and tended the fire.  It may sound boring, but, remember, the old saying, "May you live in interesting times," is actually supposed to be a curse.   There are worse things than stability and predictability.

Besides, Hestia was into tending her fire.  She knew it was an important job.  Even the gods didn't have matches back then.  Once you started your family fire you had to keep it going round the clock.  So that's what Hestia did.

Every home fire in Greece was an altar to Hestia.  The first bite of every meal was offered to Hestia.  In return, Hestia offered light, warmth, and char-broiled goodness.  And isn't that what we all want to come home to?

So, here's to your new home, Kate!  May it grant you light and warmth, and, with Hestia's blessing, may you and the ones you love always keep the home fires burning.

Channel this goddess: When settling into a new home or making s'mores.  Hestia was also the patroness of bakers so toss her a spoonful of sugar the next time you make cookies.  

Need a goddess:  I got goddesses!  Post a comment saying what you need or want a goddess for.  Then check back in a week or two and see what you got.

PS: Deb and Wendy, a little Hestia might be good for you right now, too.
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Goddess of the Week: Tonantzin

TonantzinImage via WikipediaClaire is on a walking pilgrimage from Sevilla to Santiago, Spain.  It is a spiritual journey.  It will take her until the end of October, and she wants a goddess to go along for the ride.  I only hope she doesn't get this too late because she's already left!  I'm giving her the Aztec goddess Tonantzin.

Many Mexican goddesses occasionally went by the name Tonantzin, which means "revered mother," but generally speaking Tonantzin represents the concept of mother earth, and who better to help you on a camino than Mother Earth, whose dust will kiss the tops of your hopefully very good-quality walking shoes.  Tonantzin was also the patroness to midwives and healers, and your feet are going to be sore, Claire, so we want some good balming going on, actually, massaging would be even better, but that might be out of Tonantzin's realm of expertise.

When the Spanish colonized what is now Mexico they colonized its ancient religions as well.  Tonantzin became Mother Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe.  In fact, the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe is built directly on the former pyramid temple of Tonantzin.  Many rituals and traditions associated with the Virgin of Guadalupe have their roots in worship of the Aztec goddess.

Tonantzin reminds us that you can give a goddess a makeover and you can change her wardrobe, but faith can't be mandated.   Plus, the divine feminine always finds a way.

Channel this goddess: When your spiritual journey is literally a journey, when people try and dictate what you should believe, when you are seeking the divine in others as well as yourself.  Beware the Image Makers; your faith belongs to you.

Need a goddess?  I got goddesses!  Post a comment saying what you need or want a goddess for.  Then check back in a week or two and see what you got!  I'm waiting....
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Goddess of the Week: Athena

Helmeted Athena holding the snake Erichthonios...Image via WikipediaRois says she needs a goddess who will help her not give up on her blog.  She needs a goddess who values perseverance.  She needs the Greek goddess of war and wisdom, Athena.

Omnipotence has its advantages.  Solving problems quickly and efficiently is one of them.  As a consequence, most goddesses don't really embody perseverance, but they do value perseverance and they definitely reward people who don't give up.  Take, for example, Odysseus.

Odysseus was the wily Ithican prince who fought with the Greeks in the battle of Troy.  Athena backed Odysseus because he was a brains over brawn sort of soldier, and she was, after all, a brains over brains kind of goddess.  But the end of the war was just the beginning of Athena's aid to Odysseus.

Talk about perseverance!  It took poor Odysseus twenty years to get home.  He kept running into Cyclops and sirens and enchantresses and horrible storms.  (He'd pissed of Poseidon, but that's another story.) This one gal even turned all his men into pigs!  You ever try steering a ship with a crew of literal pigs?  Not easy!  But Odysseus never gave up.  He never got discouraged.  Every day he battled monsters, bad weather, and his own personal shortcomings to make it home to his his really underrated wife Penelope.  And--every time--just when things looked totally bleak, Athena would come to the rescue and save the day.  With Athena's help he made it home, too.  He got back just in time to kill all these dudes who wanted to marry poor Penelope.  It was pretty bloody.  But he got to be king!

Here's the thing, Rois, no one understands your dilemma more than I.  Every week I wonder why I blog, and sometimes it is so hard to sit down at the computer.  I've got two challenging kids.  I work.  I write.  I make way too little money, and I really need to make more.  But here I am.  Why?  Most of the time I have no fricking idea.  I did get a free book once.  I did get to eat pie with Deb and Carrie, my blogger friends from Arizona.  Just today someone at Grocery.com offered me the chance to write content for them for absolutely no money!   But, really, is this the best use of my time?  Is this the best way for me to help my family?  I doubt it.  But here I am, because sometimes, for reasons that only make sense to Athena, you just have to do things, and you just have to keep, keep, keep at it.  And when it gets hard, you have to think of Odysseus and you have to think of Athena, and you have to fight off your monsters. Whatever your monsters are, you have to fight them off.  Because the only other choice is to give up on yourself.  Of course, the time may come when blogging has nothing to do with what's important to you.  When that happens--sure--walk away.  Why not?  But until that time comes, you must persevere.  So: persevere.

Channel this goddess: when you want to give up, when it seems too hard to go one, when you need a little divine help on your hero's journey, when your workmates literally turn into pigs.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses!  Post a comment describing what you need or want a goddess for.  Then check back in a week or two to see what you got!  Yeah!  It's fun!
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