Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year Blessings and Free Monthly Ritual Print-out Sheets

The New Year is upon us yet again. Usually many of us take this time to reflect on the things that happened (or didn't happen) over the past year and prepare ourselves for a fresh start and new beginning in the new year. Many of us will also have resolutions of all kinds. I have created something that can help you with any spiritual resolutions that you may have.  

In order to truly connect with our deities and spiritual selves we need to achieve consistency in our ritual practices. So I created these pretty monthly ritual sheets to help you organize your spiritual rites each month. Let's begin by clicking this link to download and print out your monthly ritual sheet. Now grab a cup of coffee, some pretty pens and get comfy. First take a look at a calendar and find the dates for the full moon, new moon and dark moon of the coming up month. Fill those out in the sections on the sheet. Then jot down the seasonal sabbats (if any) of that month. Also if you know of any other religious festivals that were honored that month such as the Vestalia or Thesmophoria, jot those down as well. A quick google search can give you that info.

Now go down to the section where it lists the moon phases and what you would like to achieve for each one. Take some time with this one. Think about what it is that you want to let go of during the waning moon. Imagine what new thing you would like to begin at the new moon and what you would like to come to completion at the full moon. If you feel the need, meditate on each question until you get an answer that speaks to you. The last section is titled "Spiritual goal for the month". This can be anything from vowing to meditate more often, creating a daily prayer ritual or anything else you'd like to accomplish. Take some time with this one as well and try to be realistic with yourself. If you'd like to meditate daily but don't really think you'll be able to achieve that yet, then be honest about that. Try to pick something you know you can accomplish.

Feel free to print these out at the start of each month and use them as a way to plan and reflect over the coming month. We are more likely to stick to a plan or goal if we organize ourselves in a way which makes that possible. Feel free to comment and share with me your spiritual goals for the month! I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ixchel, Mayan Goddess of the Moon

Ixchel (pronounced ee-shell) is Mayan goddess of the moon, water and the earth. Her name is said to translate to mean "Lady Rainbow". She is a Mother Goddess associated with fertility and procreation and was one of the most important deities on the Mayan pantheon.  Ixchel is the consort of Itzamna who is the sky God and together they had thirteen boys.

Ixchel has been portrayed in two different aspects, one of an aged woman and one as a young girl. In her aged aspect as a midwife she is called "Red Rainbow". This refers to a time when she brought about a great flood to bring in the New Year. Ixchel carried a jug of water and poured it over the earth which caused it to rain. This spurred a great flood which caused much destuction. This flood brought in a new age. In this aspect she is shown as an elderly woman with the headdress of a snake and the claws of a jaguar. 

Ixchel is also a goddess of the moon and was called "She of the Pale Face" relating it to the pale color of the moon. In this aspect she is shown seated with a rabbit. When the Mayans gazed upon the moon they saw the shape of a rabbit. They viewed rabbits as good luck and connected to fertility. So naturally they also connected them to Ixchel their moon goddess. Historians still aren't sure if these two goddesses were in fact separate from each other or aspects of Ixhel.

Ixchel had a sanctuary at Cozumel and in the 16th century women were said to visit her there to pray for a fulfilling marriage. Evidence of  her worship was also found on Isla Mujeres or "The Island of Women". As well as on the province of Acalan where Ixchel was venerated as the main deity. 

Painting courtesy of David Nathan Allen 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Top Posts about Powerful Women in the Ancient World

As followers of the goddess we inadvertently support women and woman in all her aspects. So it's good to know some history, or herstory rather, of some of our ancient powerful women forebears who took the world by storm. The following list was comprised of the five most popular posts from this blog which I've written about powerful ancient women. Click on each title to read the full post.

Zenobia, Warrior Queen of Palmyra: Zenobia was born Around 240 CE in the Palmyrene Empire, which was known as Roman Syria. She was thought to be of Arab descent and claimed to be related to Queen Cleopatra and Queen Dido of Carthage. She became wife to Septimius, the King of Palmyra, in 258 CE. Septimius had a son from his first wife when he married Zenobia, and then he and her had a son of their own, Vaballathus. This name is said to have come from an Aramaic term meaning "The Gift of the Goddess"....

Hypatia of Alexandria: Hypatia lived in Roman Egypt around 370 CE to about 415 CE, and was a noted mathematician and philosopher. She was daughter to the mathematician Theon Alexandricus, who was also a librarian at the library of Alexandria. Hypatia was educated in Athens and Italy, and was a Neoplatonist. Which means that she took her teachings from the mystical philosophy of Plato, she was also schooled by Plotinus who was a Neoplatonist philosopher as well. In around 400 CE, she became head of the Platonist school......

Hatshepsut, Great Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt:  Hatshepsut was the fifth Pharaoh of the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty. Born in 1508 BCE, she was daughter to Thutmose I, and wife to Thutmose II. It is said by Egyptologist's that her reign was longer than any other woman in Egypt, lasting for twenty two years, and that she was quite successful. She was said to have been favored over her two brothers, and when they both died it became possible for her to ascend the throne upon the death of her father. Although Thutmose I already had his stepson, Thutmose II was in line to marry Hatshepsut and become Pharaoh. Hatshepsut became Queen alongside.......

Jezebel, Princess of Phoenicia, Queen of Israel:  Jezebel was a Phoenician princess around 900 BCE. Daughter to Ethbaal, king of Tyre in Phoenicia, and wife to Ahab, king of northern Israel. It is said by many archaeologists and scholars that Jezebel was really the one in charge, not her husband and king. She still honored her ancient religion and did not covert to Judaism. She convinced her husband to worship her Phoenician God Baal, who was seen as a God of fertility, rain and the seasons. They had temples erected in his honor which was seen as sinful by the other Israelite's......

Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt: I recently came to the realization that in all the years I've had my blog and written about powerful women, I've never written about my own personal idol, Queen Cleopatra VII. Cleopatra was born in Alexandria in 69 B.C.E. Daughter to Ptolemy XII, her family came from a long line of royalty stretching all the way back to Alexander the Great. The identity of her mother is somewhat unknown. Some speculate that it was Cleopatra V but others say it was an Egyptian concubine which would make Cleopatra part Egyptian. Her family was Greek in origin and came to Egypt from Macedonia many years earlier...... 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Launch Party!

Starting tomorrow morning and through the weekend I'm hosting a party for the launch of my book, Goddess Connections. The event will take place on the Love of the Goddess Facebook page. Come join the party and connect with your goddess sisters and brothers! There will be three giveaways including a copy of the book, a free guided meditation and a print of one of the illustrations from the book. You get to choose which goddess you would like a guided meditation or print of.

The giveaway for a copy of the book is on Goodreads and the link is already up on the event page. To check out the event and RSVP simply click here. There will not only be giveaways but we will also be posting our own personal stories about how the goddess changed our lives. This is a great way to meet like minded people and connect with others who honor the Great Mother. This party lasts all weekend long after which the winners will be announced. Share with your friends and fellow goddess sisters! Let's celebrate our love for the goddess together!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nemetona, Goddess of the Sacred Groves

Nemetona is a Germanic-Celtic goddess of the forests and groves. In the ancient Celtic world deities were worshiped in the groves as these were considered to be their sacred places. Nature was where they did their worship and these natural areas were said to hold the spirit of the deity. Especially Nemetona as she is known as a goddess of the woods. She was venerated as a guardian of the trees and forests and any open-air place of natural worship.

Evidence of her worship has been found along the Rhine as well as in Bath, England. In Bath there was a shrine which was found erected in her honor which portrays her as a seated figure holding a scepter with a ram alongside her. Her name derives from the Celtic word nemeto which roughly translates to refer to a consecrated religious space. She was also worshiped by the Nemetes which was a Germanic tribe living along the Rhine who also revered many other gods. The places where Nemetona protected were viewed as sacred. And since the ancient Celts did not build temples, these sacred places were found in nature.  

She was also known to be revered by the Romans who associated her with the god Mars.
Nemetona was primarily worshiped in Gaul which is present day Germany and France. Although as discussed earlier her worship spread far and wide reaching Rome and England. She is not the only deity the Romans adopted as one of their own. Other Germanic-Celtic deities revered by the Romans were Epona and Brigantia. 

Although not much is known about Nemetona because the Celts passed down their stories orally, we do know that she was a goddess of healing. She was associated with the Hawthorn tree which was said to be sacred to her. She was also associated with the Oak and Ash trees and this particular trio was sacred to the Druids. When one enters the groves of Nemetona, a sense of peace and calm is said to come over you and the healing power of nature takes hold. Since these areas were seen as protected by Nemetona, you could consider yourself to be in a safe place when worshiping her. 

To honor the spirit of Nemetona one must venture to the natural places. Where trees grow wild and free. Where the quiet comes over you and all you hear are the birds and the sway of the tree branches in the wind. Where you feel the primal connection to nature. That is where you will find Nemetona.  

Image courtesy of Dark Tear on Deviant Art

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Giveaway! Goddess Mandala Printable Coloring Page of Your Choice!

Moon Goddess Mandala

I'm having a giveaway for one of my goddess mandala printable coloring pages! You get to choose which one you want. Once the winner is announced I will email you a PDF file which you can download, print and then color. The winner will be announced Sunday morning.

To enter, please go to my etsy shop and find your favorite mandala. Come back here and leave a comment stating which one you like. Also be sure to leave your email address or a way for me to contact you if you win. Feel free to share this with your friends! Good luck!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quiz: Your Goddess Personality

I wanted to share with my blog readers a fun quiz that I created that will help you find the goddess that most resonates with your personality. This quiz is designed to help you find your inner goddess self. It consists of eight questions aimed at telling you which goddess is your kindred spirit.

To access the quiz please click here. Have fun and please feel free to leave your results in the comments!

Your Goddess Personality Quiz and all images are copyright 2015 of Love of the Goddess

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Color Me Fall! Tips for Coloring the Fall Goddess Mandala

What springs to mind when you think of Fall? Cool weather, light breezes, hot cocoa and the warm colors Fall brings. The colors you see in the leaves when they change like deep reds, warm oranges and yellows and soft browns. These are the traditional colors of the Fall season and this is what I decided to use to color my mandala with. You can of course choose whatever colors resonate with you.

In this mandala there is a Fall goddess in the center with a Fall leaf on her belly. She is surrounded by Fall leaves, pumpkins, acorns and other geometric shapes.It's best to start coloring in the objects around the goddess first. This way you can choose the best color for her to stand out the most. It might be better to choose a lighter color for the goddess since she is in the center and your eye is immediately drawn to her. So you want her to stand out. Color her in light and then use darker colors around her. This will make her color really pop.

Ready to start coloring? Grab your colored pencils, your cup of hot cocoa, get in your comfy spot and get your color on! Try to envision how you want your goddess mandala to look before you start adding color. Ask yourself some questions like: What feelings or mood to you want to portray? Do you want to frame and hang this on a wall in your home? If so what are the colors in that room? What does Fall mean to you? Answering all these questions first will give you a better idea of what colors to choose.

You can use colored pencils or markers or even pastels to color these in. I personally like to use prismacolor colored pencils and the pencils I used were: spanish orange, goldenrod, sienna brown, dark brown, crimson red, tuscan red, poppy red, orange and canary yellow. One technique that I like to use  is to color in an area with a lighter color and then go around the border with a darker color. For example using poppy red to color in a fall leaf and then using crimson red to color in the border of the leaf and then blending those two colors together.

So play with your colors and throw around some ideas in your head. You will find a style and a way that works best for you. Please feel free to post pictures of your mandalas when you've added color. I would love to see how everyone's turned out and all the different colors that resonate with each of us! To get the Fall goddess mandala please go to my etsy shop so you can download, print and start coloring.

Happy coloring!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How to Engage your Creative Inner Goddess While Reducing Stress

I wanted to give something to my fellow goddess followers that would enable them to be creative and would also help with stress reduction and mindfulness. Something that would help to engage the creative self and also to help forget the worries of the day. So I decided to create some goddess centered mandalas that can be downloaded, printed and colored all from within the comfort of your own home. Creating mandalas, drawing and coloring are all proven stress reducing activities.

Imagine coming home from a long day at the office, changing into some comfy clothes, pouring yourself a glass of Cabernet, grabbing your colored pencils and your mandala and getting cozy in your favorite spot. You start to rummage through your bag of colored pencils hearing the sound of the pencils clanking together, while looking for your favorite colors. As you start to color in your mandala, a feeling of calm comes over you and you realize that you've relaxed and stopped stressing about the day. You allow your mind to focus in on one thing and loose yourself in the colors.

The colors you choose also have some meaning as well. Bright colors like reds, oranges and yellows are very energizing and great to use if you're feeling depressed. Blues and greens are soothing and calming and great to use if you're feeling anxious or agitated. Shades of purples and violets will totally relax your mind and body. Listen to your intuitive voice when choosing your colors. She will guide you in the right direction.

Coloring mandalas are fun and they're pretty! Especially when they are filled with color. You can even frame your mandalas and change out the picture with the season or with your mood. Another positive aspect of coloring in mandalas is that it engages your intuitive voice and helps you to listen to and trust it better.

All of these mandalas were hand drawn by me and lots of love and creative energy went into making each one. I currently have a few mandalas in my etsy shop and plan to keep adding over the next few weeks. Next to add is a Yule goddess mandala! If you would like to start coloring go to Goddess Mandala on Etsy to download and print. Please feel free to post pictures of your mandalas once you have them colored. I would love to see how great they turned out! Have any suggestions for my next goddess mandalas? Please leave me a comment telling me what you'd like to see.
Happy coloring!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Illustrations in Sage Woman Magazine

I did some illustrations for an article in Sage Woman magazine which will be appearing in the Fall issue, Serenity. It comes out this month and hopefully will be in stores by the end of the month. I'm so excited to have been a part of this opportunity! This issue of Sage Woman has articles written by people who share their experiences of how serenity found them. The article with my illustrations is titled "Our Mother is Both a Person and a Place". It's a lovely and comforting article about the authors children and her journey to becoming a mother.

In the article, the author relates motherhood to nature and animals. So I thought it fitting to center my main illustration (featured above) around a figure of an earth goddess. She is the tree with roots that reach deep into the earth and she is also the leaves on branches that

reach high into the heavens. She is
surrounded by a beautiful garden and has an owl perched on one of her branches. The author talks about how with her first child, she would dream of owls. So I decided to make the owl a focus in my illustrations as well hence the second smaller illustration of a snow owl.

I loved working with Anne of Sage Woman magazine and I decided to work with her again for the Winter issue. The articles and illustrations in Sage Woman have always inspired me and left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I feel blessed to have my work showcased in this beautiful magazine. Anne was nice enough to give me a review of my work and here's what she said: "Tara Reynolds is a consummate professional: her illustration work is evocative, crisp, and detailed, but never overwrought or fussy. Her artwork beckons the reader into discovering the story for themselves. She's also a dream to work with! - Anne Newkirk Niven, editor & publisher, Sage Woman Magazine"

I hope you will grab a copy of this lovely magazine once it appears in the stores! Thanks to Anne for the wonderful opportunity.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

On Struggling Times and Staying Positive

At some point in our lives we all will experience struggles and some form of suffering. Being a spiritual person myself and being active in the spiritual community I hear the same things over and over again. “Envision abundance” “Stay positive” “The law of attraction”. Apparently if you do all these things then your struggles will get easier and go away. But this is not true and to tell someone who is in the middle of a life struggle to simply “envision abundance” is to belittle their struggle. While I do believe that we should have hope that “better is on it's way” you should not expect yourself to surrender to this way of thinking while you're in the midst of suffering.

To tell someone that all they need to do is envision abundance is to demean and make light of their situation whatever that may be. I see it all the time. Just because we are spiritual does not mean that we won't suffer or that we should not feel our suffering. Life is good and bad, positive and negative, black and white and gray. It is not all rainbows and unicorns and glitter. It is not all fluffy bunnies and positive thinking and happy go lucky mindsets. Sometimes bad things happen. Life happens. And we should be made to feel that it's ok to experience our struggles and to experience the feelings and pain that comes with our suffering. To tell someone that they should not feel the pain of their suffering is to tell that person that the way they are dealing with their own struggles is wrong. And you're giving that person false hope. That all they need to do it is envision abundance and abundance will flow to them.

It seems that our world nowadays doesn't want to feel the “bad” only the “good”. But life is not all good. And if we keep teaching people not to feel the bad then we will never be prepared for when it inevitably happens because it always does. Yes, if you want to think positively it does help with your mindset. But it won't necessarily help with your actual real-life situation. Sometimes things happen in life which are out of our control. This is real life. We do not live in a fairy-tale world with only love and light. There is real suffering in our world and to ignore it and tell people to think positively is just wrong. It's one thing to give words of encouragement or to try and give someone hope. But it's quite another to tell that person that basically they shouldn't be feeling the way they do because if they just envisioned abundance they wouldn't be dealing with what they're dealing with now.

We are allowed to be upset if we are struggling. We are allowed to cry and feel like giving up when life is being particularly harsh for us. To allow ourselves to feel all of our feelings is to grow and learn and mature. To suppress those feelings is not healthy and it doesn’t make them go away. Of course we all love the good times in our lives and we don't like to bad times. But life is comprised of both regardless of how positive you are or how much mediation and yoga you do or how much abundance you envision.  Life doesn't care how many affirmations you say a day. Life is meant to be lived and experienced and feelings are meant to be felt. We need to allow ourselves to feel and experience the bad as well as the good. Yes the bad will eventually leave and the good will enter. It is about getting through the bad the best you can so that when the good does come, you can appreciate it more. And you will be stronger because of it. Being strong is not envisioning abundance. It is making it through a tough situation and coming out the other side all the wiser. And many times wisdom comes from lessons learned. And many times learning lessons is no walk in the park.

Feel all of your feelings and don't feel bad for it. You are not weak because you are struggling. You are not weak because you may not think positively during tough times. You are not weak because you allow yourself to feel the bad. You are strong and you're doing the best you can with what you've got. Know that you are not alone and try to comfort yourself the best way you know how. To all of those who are in the middle of struggles or suffering, I empathize with you. Your struggles are real. Don't ever let any fluffy bunny or sparkly, positive affirmation guru take that away from you.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Goddess Connections is Finally Here!

My book Goddess Connections, Goddess Rituals for the Modern Priestess, is finally here! I'm so excited to share this with all of you. This book has been in the works for sometime now and I'm so happy that it's finally come to fruition! Writing a book is no easy feat and after having written a book myself I now understand what other authors go through. It is a labor of love and blood, sweat and tears! And I'm so happy with the finished product.

Goddess Connections is an illustrated book of goddess myths and rituals for the modern priestess. Nine goddesses from around the world grace the pages of this book complete with illustrations, meditations and rituals for each one. The goddesses within this book are Isis, Hathor, Aphrodite, Hekate, Artemis, Freyja, The Morrigan, Brigid and Yemaya. This book is for beginners on the goddess path but anyone at any point on their path will also gain wisdom from this book.

Some of you may have read my Goddess Connections ebooks which were about six of the goddess in this book. This book is an upgraded and improved version of those ebooks with three new goddesses, more info, illustrations by me, rituals and meditations. What you will get from this book is a better understanding of how to connect with a goddesses energy which you can then implement in your own rituals later on. I help to break down the details of how to perform ritual and how to understand your goddess and her message for you.

I remember myself when I was just starting out on the goddess path and it was a little overwhelming for me. There are so many goddesses and so much info to take in and I didn't know where to start. Now that I've been a priestess for some years, I wanted to help others to achieve the same thing in a easier to understand  format. My mission with this book is to do just that. And there are illustrations for each goddess to help you get a better understanding of what she represents. I do want to stress that this book's purpose is to help you connect with goddess energy and not so much to be used for information or research of each goddesses myth and history. There is background and mythological information for each one but this book is more focused on the meditations and rituals.

The book comes in paperback and a kindle version as well. You can find it on Amazon: Goddess Connections. Please feel free to comment on your own experiences with the rituals in this book and on your path of the priestess. I want to hear from you! Thank you so much to all my friends and followers who helped to make this book a reality!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Inanna in Visionary Style

Inanna, Queen of Heaven
My newest visionary painting is of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. She is known as "Queen of Heaven" and is a goddess of love and fertility. She is also a goddess of the underworld and death in her aspect as her sister Ereshkigal. Inanna has always felt like a very ancient and powerful goddess to me. Her worship dates back to Uruk in Sumeria at about 4000 B.C.E. and she is probably much older than that. She feels primal to me and her energy very old.

I wanted to portray her as her energy would look in a version of heaven or the universe. I think and feel in color and certain goddesses in my minds eye have certain colors associated with them. Maybe it's their energy that just screams a particular color. For Inanna that color is blue and variations of blue. She is shimmery and covered in star-dust. She is one with the universe and has become the stars. I envision her wearing a sparkling ethereal crown made up of light and stars. Her hair has become the universe as it stretches out from her head and covers the vast expansion. She wears a shimmery purple and white necklace.

I'm hoping to do a series of about twenty or so of these visionary goddesses and then turn them into a beautiful book of goddesses. Since I'm known for working on multiple projects at a time, this one may take a while..... These goddesses are painted on 11x14 canvas with acrylic paint.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Know Thyself

Rendition of original text inscribed at the Temple of Apollo
I have a plaque that hangs over my work space which I painted and it reads "Know Thyself". These famous two words were also inscribed at the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It is one of the Delphic Maxims or aphorisms which were given to the Temple of Apollo by the Oracle of Delphi. These two words were also uttered by various philosophers and sages such as Heraclitus, Plato and Socrates. Self-knowledge and self-enlightenment are also a very large component to spirituality's such as Hinduism. Knowing who you are and self-knowledge is viewed as the way to total self-enlightenment. 

The true meaning of "Know Thyself" can be so complex and philosophical that it can be defined in many different ways. I used to struggle with the real meaning behind this statement. It seems so simple and yet so profound at the same time. There is power behind these words and when spoken that power settles around you like a great and heavy mystery. It feels strange to think that we may not really know ourselves. I used to think that I knew exactly who I was. Until I discovered who I actually was. I also believe that a large part of knowing yourself has to do with being brutally honest with yourself and being able to accept what you find. There will always be a part of ourselves that we do not like or we wish we could change. But then we would be changing who we are and we can never do that. 

Learning to accept yourself for who you are means accepting and owning your darker aspects or your flaws/faults. It means understanding yourself and knowing how you handle certain things life throws at you. It means taking yourself out of your comfort zone and throwing yourself into the fray so to speak. I believe that once you truly get to know and accept yourself you will lead a more peaceful and content life. And according to many spirituality's we are on a constant journey of knowing ourselves which will not end until we achieve total self-enlightenment. There is power in being self-aware. There is also peace and love as with self-acceptance also comes self-love. You must love yourself for all your aspects for that is who you are and you cannot change who you are at your core. You can change how you react to things and how you behave but you cannot change who you are. So it makes sense that you must embrace yourself fully and live the life you were meant to live.

Who knew two simple words could have such a powerful effect? Sometimes, as was in my case, in order to know ourselves we must first break apart and experience a "dark night of the soul". For those of you who have also experienced these they may be some of the hardest things you will ever go through. What you thought you knew about yourself will be completely stripped away. You will feel lost and confused and you will struggle to find meaning. We must be completely emptied and broken in order to be refilled and repaired. It is a transformation and you are becoming who you were supposed to be. It is supposed to be painful but at the end you will be thankful for it. Even though going through my own dark night of the soul was the most painful experience of my life thus far, I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It helped me to see and to know. It helped me to love and accept and ultimately lead to a more peaceful and accepting life.

Know yourself, love yourself and accept yourself for you have a purpose. We all have one. It's the struggle to find it that trips us up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Visionarium

I like to try new things so I decided to start a series of "visionary" paintings. I had heard about and seen lots of visionary art over the years but I still struggled to understand exactly what "visionary" meant. So true to form I did some research and decided to give it a go. 

Basically a visionary style painting is in the surreal category with emphasis on the spiritual side. With visionary art you are creating from your heart, not your head. You are creating what you see in your dreams or while under a trance during meditation. You have to let your minds eye do the seeing and your heart brings it into being. I always liked how colorful and transcendental visionary art was. It really does make you feel as though you've stepped into another world. A psychedelic dream world with vibrant colors and brush strokes that flow into one another. 

Since I enjoy painting goddesses I thought this would translate nicely to this style of art. Most times we see paintings or illustrations of deities (mine included) that are filled with symbolism which separates each deity and culture so that they are recognizable. With my new paintings though I wanted to try something different. I wondered what each goddess would look like if all that symbolism was stripped away leaving just a being of spirit and energy. What would each goddess look like in spirit form so to speak? So I meditated on one of my goddesses, Isis, to see what visions she would give me.

While in meditation a vision of her came to me in color form. Cool blues and whites coupled with warm oranges and reds came together to form a winged being. As soon as I saw her I committed her to memory, opened my eyes, thanked her for the vision and began my rough outline sketch. I started painting and didn't question what I was doing which as an artist and a perfectionist I often do. I had to let go and let my brush do the thinking. Finally after about three hours or so, she came alive on my canvas. In spirit form my minds eye saw Isis as a being of bright color with wings. With no symbolism to set her apart from other winged deities. She may not have a sun-disc crown or be carrying an ankh in true Egyptian fashion, but she is still Isis to me. 

When we strip away the symbolism of each deities culture, aren't we left with all the same deities anyway?Is not the Aphrodite of Greece the same as the Venus of Rome or Inanna of Sumeria? In my opinion the thing that really separates all of the gods are there cultures because in spirit form they are all one. I understand that for worship's sake it's easier to pray to one or the other as I myself do the same. But at the end of the day we are praying to the Mother and She is all goddesses as all goddesses are Her.

I hope you enjoy my vision of Isis. More to come in the following weeks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Times are a changing....

"The only thing constant in life is change" - Heraclitus

If there's anything I've learned over the last few years of my life it's that life is ever changing. Change is always for the best in my opinion even if it doesn't seem that way at the time.  My life has changed over the past year in ways I never thought possible. I'm finally pursuing my dream of being an artist and it just feels right. You know you're heading down the right path when everything works out for you. When things will just literally fall into your lap. You know then that it was meant to be. And even if you had to weather the storm and make a ton of mistakes before you got there. Once you get there you'll realize that it was worth the wait. Sometimes life forces us to "wait" for our dreams for the simple reason that we are not ready. Maybe we are supposed to let go of someone or something that is bad for us or is holding us back. Maybe we need to forgive ourselves and move on. Whatever it is, if you're patient and work through it, the reward is sweet.

I've lost many people, jobs and various other things over the last few years that were painful to lose at the time. But now I realize that in order for me to move forward on my true path, those things had to be let go. I do not believe that time necessarily heals all wounds but that it gives you perspective. When you let go, you open yourself up to receiving. I am now in that receiving phase now and I couldn't be more grateful.

I decided to take some time off from writing to pursue my career as an artist and now that, that is well on it's way I thought it was time to come back to my blog. I will be making some changes on this blog, keeping up with the theme of this post. I will be doing more writing about my artwork, upcoming events and new projects. I will still post my beloved goddess mythology for time to time as well :)

As far as my art career goes; I will have some of my illustrations appear in the Fall issue of Sage Woman magazine so please check that out. I am also working on a new project which will be an illustrated book of goddesses complete with myth, meditation and rituals. I'm hoping to have it out by the end of this year. The picture at the top of this post is a painting which I'm currently working on of the goddess Yemaya. It will be one of the goddesses in my upcoming book.

Thank you to all of my readers and friends who have supported me over the years! I couldn't have done it without you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Skadi, Norse Goddess of Winter

Skadi is a Norse goddess and giantess of  winter and hunting. She lives high in the snow covered mountains and is often depicted with her snow shoes, skis and a bow. Skadi is considered to be a dark goddess and her name means "shadow". She rules over independence, winter, wilderness and wisdom. Skadi reminds me of a winter and Norse version of the goddess Artemis. In myth it is said that Skadi taught men how to shoot and hunt with a bow.

Skadi is a giantess and daughter to the giant Thiazi. In myth it is said that Thiazi kidnapped Idun, goddess of youth. The Aesir came to rescue Idun and upon rescuing her they killed Thiazi. Skadi then goes after the Aesir to avenge the death of her father. In order to appease her, the Aesir offer Skadi marriage to any god she wanted. Although none of the gods wanted her. They devised a plan so that Skadi could choose her husband by only looking at their feet. Skadi was in love the the god Balder who is said to be the most beautiful of the gods. Assuming that Balder would have the most beautiful feet, Skadi picked the cleanest pair of feet she could see. It turned out not to be Balder but Njord, god of the sea. The two wed but their marriage eventually failed as Skadi did not want to leave her snowy mountains nor Njord his salty seas. In some myths it is said that after Skadi left Njord she ended up marrying Odin and had many children with him.

In her stories Skadi is described as being a very tall and beautiful goddess with long black hair. She is said to have worn silver armor, a white dress and snow shoes. Since she is also a goddess of the hunt she is also depicted carrying a bow and a spear. In some myths Skadi is said to be an evil troll. She is not an evil goddess though. As with most dark goddesses they are quite often villainized in later myths or interpretations of myth. Darkness is as necessary as the light. One cannot be without the other.

Call on Skadi if you are going through a dark period of your life. Or to learn how to assert yourself or to strive for more independence. Skadi can comfort us with her darkness. She can cover us with her snowy blanket until we are ready to see the light once again.

Image ~ Unknown artist
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...