Goddess Gift


Celebrating the Goddess in Every Woman

 


The Colorful History of Valentine's Day

My fantasy : I just finished the first draft. The true history of the origin of Valentine's day will finally be revealed.  It's a story of political intrigue, injustice, violence and passion. Shades of the 'The Da Vinci Code.  Phone rings....it's Oprah calling!!

Long forgotten, the riveting story of the struggle for the hearts and minds of the people, pits the newly minted Roman Church against the old-time  religion (pagan). And what was to be the fate of hapless lovers caught between powerful forces beyond their control?

(OK, it's really just an article I wrote and Dan Brown truly  isn't losing any sleep over the competition -- but it IS a fascinating story that I think you will enjoy!)  Read it here"

The Goddess, the Emperor and the Priest
(Adobe Acrobat required to view/download)
Or View as Web Page

Spend 2:43 minutes and discover the '7 Secrets of Successful Marriages' (and, for that matter, all other intimate relationships).

Ahhh, a mystery is solved . . .
the secrets of wedded bliss
.

The Art of Remembering and Interpreting Your Dreams
            
 Guest Author :: Judith Orloff, M.D.
The winter solstice ushers in a season that is meant for dreaming, especially for dreaming in ways that move you toward what you hope and intend to create in your life. Our guest author, Dr. Judith Orloff, generously shared this delightful essay on the gift of dreaming!

In the beginning of the article, Dr. Orloff shares her perspective on the healing power of dreams:

 "Direct guidance for healing lies in our dreams, the natural territory of intuition. Here, time and space are non-existent and anything is possible. Like a blank, white canvas, our dream world is a spacious medium where intuition can freely express itself. We have only to listen.

 . . .  Your dreams can reveal many truths about your life. They can provide extraordinary intuitive insights, and give you information that can help your health, love life and career. You'd be surprised at the straightforward advice that your dreams give, either spontaneously or on request.

Dreams can keep you well. Dreams provide answers. But first you must retrieve them.  Here are my four strategies to help you remember your dreams . . ."

Use this link to read the article
 

~ Soul Food for the Spirit! ~

The newest arrival on the goddess scene is a thought-provoking little book, "The Goddess In the Groove: Musings From the Goddess Within".

Author Heike Boehnke-Sharp says she wrote it to "make you laugh, cry, rant, think; or jump up and take action! These stories are taken from real life, and you may recognize yourself as you read."

Goddess Book

Heike has assembled a 'surprise package' of bonus gifts for those who buy the book, so be sure to check it out at:
Goddess In The Groove

Persephone's Parrots

Karen wrote saying, "I took the Goddess Quiz and learned that my Goddess type is Persephone.  I see that one of Her symbols is the parrot.  Would you please help me find the story behind the idea that talking birds are connected with Persephone?"

My answer to Karen based on one popular version of the myths of Persephone and Demeter.

Persephone and her handmaidens (three sisters who were minor goddesses graced with great musical talent) were picking flowers together in the field on the day that Hades abducted Persephone. The sisters pleaded with Demeter (Persephone's mother) to allow them to help search for Persephone. Demeter granted them permission and gave them colorful wings, thereby turning them into parrots, so they could fly around the countryside to look for her.

Failing to find Persephone, the sisters were exhausted and retired to an island where their colorful beauty and enchanted songs lured many sailors to their watery graves. In their incarnation as enchanting sea nymphs they were known as the Sirens (Sirenes).

Snippets of the varied versions of these myths (Greek and Roman) can be found here:  the Sirens

Goddesses Come in Every Color

We took some heat from a few subscribers who wrote to express displeasure with our having included  a video from YouTube called 'Women in Art' that we posted in our October newsletter (the Talent and Beauty issue).

They had a point.

As one of them put it so eloquently: " Being a woman of color, I just did not see myself reflected back through these Goddesses . . . I guess people like me will have to make our own videos if we want to see ourselves and our ancestors reflected. "

I understand their disappointment . . . we had agonized over the decision of whether or not to use this video [images of women in famous paintings] and spent quite a bit of time searching for another version that was more inclusive.  Sadly, we were unable to find one.

We didn't mean to be hurtful. But we should have been more sensitive. We wrote letters of apology, of course.

It's a sad thing that it is so hard to find images (and even myths) that speak to the beauty, courage, compassion and wisdom of the goddesses of color. We are all less for that. 

I'm often asked, "Why is it so difficult to find the goddesses from other cultures in the represented in the literature and on the web?"  The following excerpt from my book helps explain:


The goddesses are universal. They are celebrated in every culture, though under different names of course. They all have stories that we, as women, can relate to.  This book will introduce you to numerous different goddess archetypes that embody the traits that empower us in our contemporary times. Many of them are Greek.

The Greek goddesses garner a lot of attention. They are the superstars of the goddess world, the one whose names we recognize or at least sound vaguely familiar. How was it they rose to the top of the ‘pop charts’ while other goddesses who are equally deserving languish in obscurity?

They had press agents, of course. The Greek goddesses arose in a culture that enthusiastically embraced the written word, encasing their myths in a media that guaranteed their portability to other cultures and into the distant future. 

Fame, however, always comes at a cost. Like the modern-day celebrity, what we read about a goddess may not accurately reflect the ‘real’ goddess as the one the ancients knew. Much of the original character and power of her myths was lost in translation when her stories were reshaped in the hands of the emerging patriarchies and religions.

Though the stories of the Greek goddesses have been reshaped, at least they have survived.  Sadly, our knowledge of the myths from many other cultures is scanty.

Many goddess stories have never been recorded although they are kept alive by storytelling. Others have been lost in the mists of time, especially those from cultures without strong literary traditions.

The invasion of European explorers, conquerors, and missionaries and the uncontrollable diseases that accompanied them endangered the very survival of the priceless lore of the native peoples of North and South America. As the ranks of ‘memorizers’ (the storytellers and keepers of the old ways) were decimated, their lessons were gravely threatened.

 Understandably, Native American leaders are sometimes reluctant to share the lore of their deities. Some ask that, in respect for the losses their cultures have suffered, the spiritual knowledge of the ‘old ways’ be allowed to remain within their keeping.

 Likewise, the myths of many of the delightful African goddesses seem brief and rather bare, stripped of the glorious detail they surely once contained—a great loss resulting from the enslavement and dispersal of the African peoples and the resulting disruption of their rich oral traditions.

 Other goddesses have not garnered much attention because their myths have ‘lost something in translation’; the values and philosophies that render a legend so beautiful or meaningful in an eastern culture can be difficult for the western mind to perceive.

 Consider the Asian goddess Mazu (Ma-Tsu).  Scholars claim that she is the goddess who is most widely and actively worshipped in the world today. Over one million persons attend her festivals and shrines each year.  Yet few of us in the Western world even recognize her name. 

It is frequently to the Greek goddesses that we turn to demonstrate the major archetypes. The Greek goddesses have entranced poets, philosophers, and artists for centuries. Greek goddesses occupy a central place, not only in Greek mythology, but also in western civilization. With the roots of western civilization grounded firmly in the soil of ancient Greece, it is hardly surprising that the names and stories of these fascinating females are the ones most familiar to us in the western world. 

Their myths are used to illustrate the enduring and universal feminine traits that are, to this day, the ‘stuff’ of art, literature and even ‘pop culture.’ Their stories remain compelling—a vital part of the very fabric of our lives. These legendary ladies live on—their reflections seen in the patterns of the lives of contemporary women.
 

 

~ It's National Self-Esteem Month ~

Dr. Joe Rubino, an internationally acclaimed expert on self-esteem offers you an article entitled "The Impact of Lacking Self-Esteem" (on the effects of low self-esteem on professional performance and one's personal life). He's also offering a free audio on the "7 Steps to Soaring Self Esteem".

If you're interested in learning more, visit his site using this link:   Self-Esteem

While you're there, check out the awesome list of bonus offers for those who order his book or any of the self-esteem boosting packages at his site.

 Wishing you sweet colorful dreams!

Sharon

 

Goddess Quiz :: Discover Your Inner Goddess.

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