Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Getting to Know the Goddess Course 1:2

The Goddess Remembers: I feel uncomfortable about the word 'universe', used when other words would be more appropriate. I especially dislike the expression 'the Universe will provide', because the universe might be unlimited, but our beleagured, unique and self supportive planet is finite and in extreme danger due to overpopulation by human beings. The more humans, the fewer of every other species, bar the ones that human beings use for their own ends. Some people have chosen to re-write the English language to manipulate and exploit and I resent it! The universe is full of dark matter. It has a black hole at the centre of our solar system. None of this will provide anything that we can currently use. 


So, I return to the Goddess, and the 35,000 year old statuettes, and how fabulously full and luscious they are, like women seen across the world - big and bountiful!
I think on Homer's story of Kore/Persephone and her mother Demeter; here Demeter is shown with her torch. She also holds a snake, symbol of the earth, and of death and resurrection as it sheds its skin (image from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky). Here Her name is described as 'doorway to the mysterious feminine'. Mother and daughter are so closely connected, almost one, as many of us are, so much like our mothers. Demeter holds the pomegranate, that she caused to grow, the same pomegranate that her daughter will devour and be punished for eating each tiny seed? I missed the link to this myth but I know it well. Kore is collecting flowers on the hillside, just like a hillside full of flowers I once saw in springtime on the Greek island of Crete. The young girl is abducted by Hades and raped and taken into the Underworld, the place of death. How must she feel that this is her lot I need life? Her mother, Demeter, the corn Goddess, searches for her with her torch, for 9 days and nights and, as she gives up, the land is in drought, and famine ensues. The girl eats of pomegranate seeds, so tiny, and for each one she tastes, she must spend a month in the Underworld with the Dark Lord. So harsh a punishment for one so young, so thirsty, so alone and in need of refreshment. Meanwhile, her mother is desperate with grief, alone and inert, She is unable to make the crops grow until her daughter returns and the flowers will flood the hillside once more. Can we accept women who are depressed? Do women always need to smile, be upbeat and happy? We all have beravements in our life. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week! What irony we have for this section of the course. 

How interesting that Kore's name could mean 'sprout', I am always thrilled to see my plants sprouting. And interesting that death is a return to Mother Earth. Was the Underworld a place of death, peace or punishment? It sounds very punishing to me! As Persephone, Kore is 'she who shines in the dark', yes, I am getting clearer! Demeter's blessing is required at sowing and harvest. She is Inanna, the Green One, and the Bountiful Bringer of Abundance once more and her daughter has returned for a wonderful reunion each year. And what of Demeter, the Avenger, Demeter Erinyes? She sounds here like a Goddess of Justice! Black Demeter, Demeter Chthlonic, both have connotations of a grieving mother. In Ancient Greece, She had a rite for all people, as the Greeks spoke a great deal about equality. But there was also a festival just for married women. She is the Full Moon, and Kore is the New Moon on one side. The other side is death. )O(

The story for me is one of great bereavement for Demeter and for Kore. Demeter was the great Goddess upon which all people depended for their life. How serious was this rape! Rape is always very serious, and the story might have been one to draw attention to this terrible crime meted out on this young, innocent girl. Could she marry after, who would want her? Would she get pregnant there alone, have a disease? Yes, rape was - and still is - horrific and damaging. The land and people were punished by the Goddess of Plenty with famine because of the injustice and hurt caused through the evil of this God. I will say grace before my meal to remind me of my good fortune being born in the rich west, and remember the sad plight of a young girl taken from a beautiful place with her loving mother to be in the place of death with a man who abused her.   
I have created a photo using a statue of a naked African girl, with her breasts exposed, and her hands covering her pubic region as if in protection. I have used the green ground and buried her in dark red flowers and placed beside her a white quartz stone to remind her of life and hope.
My favourite food is chocolate, a dark substance that comes from the dark earth. It is so easy to forget the seed planting, the knowledge and energy that goes in to the production, transporting, selling and eating of this wonderful substance. Food from the Goddess definitely! Tonight is the night of the Flower Moon, Full and rounded like the Venue statuettes. This course is available from www.goddess-pages.co.uk

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