The Goddess Path Issue #23
This Issue: Table of Contents
Appreciating What You Have
Hera and Hephaestus
What's A Poor Girl To Do?
The Vinegar of the Four Thieves
Appreciating What We Have
"Ain't it the way it always goes. . . that you don't know what you
got till it's gone," Joni Mitchell once lamented, "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
The recent "flu fiasco" in the US has been weighing heavily
on my mind this month. There is at least one good thing that
the shortage of vaccine has done: it has captured the
attention of the public to the intrinsic value of the
Up until now you couldn't give the stuff away! Health
professionals had to plead, pressure, and cajole healthy
adults into getting vaccinated. "I hate needles", "I've
heard that the shot gives you the flu", and "I'll just take
my chances with the flu" were the common excuses we heard.
Nevermind that influenza is one of the diseases that
epidemiologists have nightmares about! Nevermind that
repeated immunizations not only confer immunity to flu but
also other respiratory illnesses and may even greatly reduce
the risk of strokes. If they are cheap or free, they must be
worthless. . . at least it seems to be human nature to think that way.
Not Edna or the other elders who stood in line for hours to
get one of the few flu shots available in my community this
year. Edna's photo in the local newspaper almost broke my
heart. Standing there in the drizzle with great dignity,
slightly stooped and with plastic tubing snaking from her
nostrils, Edna told the reporter, "I've only got three more
hours of oxygen, and I just pray I can get my shot and make
it home before it runs out."
The line outside the Senior Citizen's Center had formed at 5
a.m. for the clinic that was to begin at eight. Yes, our
elders often know a good thing when they see it. The rest of
us sometimes have to learn the hard way.
For instruction on the tremendous costs of this human
foible, we can look to the myth of. . .
Hera And Her Son Hephaestus
Background: Recall that before her marriage to Zeus, the
ruler of the Olympian deities, the goddess
Hera was a queen in her own right, known for her beauty
and kindness. Initially Hera refused the advances of the
lusty Zeus. To capture her heart he changed himself into a
small, frightened bird that called forth Hera's tremendous
They had a honeymoon that lasted 130 years, but eventually
Zeus returned to his wandering ways, seducing other
goddesses and mortals. One of his mistresses died
while still pregnant with his son. Zeus rescued the unborn
Dionysius from her womb and implanted him into a pouch that
he had created in his own thigh.
Hera was understandably distressed when Zeus gave birth
without her. Not to be outdone, Hera impregnated herself,
without the assistance of Zeus or any other man, by using a magical herb.
Zeus was not amused.
Unfortunately Hera's son was born with a club foot, a
that left him lame. Hephaestus got off to a rocky start in life,
the unwanted son
of rejecting parents who saw no beauty in their little son.
Hera and Zeus threw him off the top of Mount Olympus,
expecting never to see him again.
However, Hephaestus fell to earth, landing in
the sea. He was rescued and nursed back to health by a group
of sea nymphs and Titan goddesses who went to great lengths
to keep him hidden from his parents.
Growing up in their underwater cave, Hephaestus began his
career of craftsmanship. Collecting coral, pearls, and
precious metals from the ocean floor, he began to fashion
exquisite jewelry and golden furniture. Soon his creations were all the
Hera could hardly wait to get some of the marvelous jewelry that all
the goddesses were wearing. She cornered the goddess Thetis
(who was one of the goddesses who had cared for Hephaestus
while he was in hiding) and forced Thetis to tell her who had made her gorgeous
jewelry. Thetis announced it was made by her own
talented son, Hephaestus.
Hera realized she had been wrong
to reject Hephaestus, that in spite of his imperfections, he
had the talent (not to mention good taste) of a god. She
persuaded Zeus to welcome him back. And so, Hephaestus was
invited to return to Mount Olympus to take his rightful place
among the gods. Hephaestus politely declined,
saying he was quite happy where he was.
But the couple persisted, and
eventually tricked Hephaestus into joining them. Not one to enjoy the pomp or the
hustle and bustle of the royal palace, Hephaestus built an
underground workshop and spent much of this time there
working undisturbed. He initially refused to forgive Hera,
saying only that he “had no mother”.
Feeling very guilty about having
abandoned him, Hera showered him with tools, materials, and
helpers for his workshop. There he continued to invent and
craft beautiful furniture, jewelry, armor, and weaponry of
the highest quality.
Eventually he and his mother were
reconciled and became close friends.
To read the complete story of the
Greek God of the Forge, click below:
Greek God Hephaestus
What's A Poor Girl to Do?
Call in the doctor,
Call in the nurse,
Call in the lady with the alligator purse.
In the spirit of the
lady with the alligator purse, I offer these suggestions to those who
must do without the
flu vaccine this year:
If you do get the
flu, take it seriously. Go to bed, not work. Seek medical care if
needed. Don't push yourself. Rest and Heal.
Use common sense:
avoid crowds during flu outbreaks, wash your hands frequently (or use
alcohol-based antibacterial gels), guard your immune system with good
health practices (drinking lots of water, eating well, moderate
exercise, plenty of sleep, etc.), and (yeah, right!) avoid stress.
Consider taking the
flu vaccine in the nasal spray form. Check with your health care
provider to see if you're an appropriate candidate. It's not quite as
effective as the injectable kind and doesn't work well in those with
poorly functioning immune systems (including anyone over 45 or so.) Supplies are available
now though they are likely to run short this year.
And then there are
I'm not making any guarantees on these, but . . . in case you want
to try them here are some herbal recipes for flu prevention that might
be worth exploring. I've posted them at:
Vinegar of the Four Thieves
Here is my personal
favorite . . .
The Vinegar of the Four Thieves
This recipe has been used for centuries and legend has it
that it was invented during the bubonic plagues of the 15th century. How
the recipe came to be made public is an interesting story.
In France, the police apprehended four thieves who had been looting
the houses of plague victims. Astonished that none of them had fallen
ill with the highly infectious disease, the judge agreed to forgive the
charges against them if they would reveal how they managed to resist the
"We drink and wash with this vinegar every few hours," they revealed.
The recipe follows.
My experience, for what it's worth: I was director of a student
health clinic a few years ago. One year the flu season "hit
early", before any of our staff had gotten the flu shots that were
ordinarily relied upon to protect them from the massive exposure that
their jobs required.
We were seeing 20-30 students acutely ill with the flu each day.
Knowing that we had inadequate protection against the virus, the staff
feared we would all soon succumb and, in desperation, decided to give
the recipe a try.
Although eight staff members and 4 student workers certainly isn't a
large enough group to make a research sample, I'm pleased to report that
not a single one of us came down with the flu. We were amazed.
Almost as good....three of us really loved the taste of the
preparation and began to cook with it year round, putting it in soups,
chili, and stews!
Here's the recipe:
2 quarts apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons each of:
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Combine the dried herbs and steep in the vinegar either by placing in
the sun for two weeks (preferred) or by boiling the vinegar and letting
the herbs steep in it (in a heatproof glass container, never aluminum)
for 15 minutes. Strain and bottle the liquid. Add the garlic and close
lid. After 3-5 days strain out the garlic. Adult dosage, 1
teaspoon several times a day, but no more than 3 teaspoons in one hour.
Note: can also use this as an antibacterial handwash or diluted in your
bathwater. Will also work as an excellent wash for floors, countertops,
sinks, pots and pans, etc.
Pepsi vs. Petrol
I admit it. Sometimes I just see things differently, in a way that
seems a bit bizarre to those who know me. I can't help it; it's just
part of my nature.
I have a running argument with one friend who becomes infuriated
every time the price of gasoline goes up. I tell her I'll get upset
about gas prices when gasoline costs more than Pepsi (she's addicted
to Pepsi and drinks a liter or so a day).
Currently we're paying $1.89 for a gallon of gas, and she's paying $5.64
for a gallon of flavored sugar water. Go figure!
Lest I appear sanctimonious I admit to gladly paying $5.67 for a
gallon of my favorite sweet tea each week. But, recognizing the
irony, at least I acknowledge that the petrol is a better buy!
Just in case you're working your self into a
frenzy over holiday shopping...or if you'd just like to help support the
Goddess Gift website...here's a reminder that we've got lots of "goddess
goodies" at the site:
Quiz/Report (also Gift Certificates)
(at 20% discount for subscribers, and remember we've now got a Gods Quiz
available for the guys on your list)
By the way, I was curious so I reviewed the
'Health Risks' section of the various Goddess Reports and Persephones
and Demeters are the two goddess types most susceptible to respiratory
I would hazard a guess that women with Aphrodite,
Athena, Hera, Psyche, or Rhiannon as their personal goddess archetypes
would be the most likely to value preventive measures, after all these
were goddesses who lived with their eyes wide open and their feet
planted firmly on the ground.
Glass Art Goddesses and Pendants
Aromatherapy: Goddess Oils, Diffuser, and Soaps
This month's challenge was quite a surprise. Our
webhost moved the site to a "bigger and better" server. "You won't see
any changes," they said. Not so, we discovered as we encountered new
problems each and every day.
Thanks to each of you who encountered problems for
being patient as we resolved them. All seems to be back to normal now. To see what else we've been up to this month, read the monthly progress report:
In closing, a reminder to...
Find something in your life that has perhaps been overlooked
or undervalued. Think about
its real worth. Treasure it. Protect it.
Till next month,
P.S. In case you ever wondered what the influenza virus
looks like, look closely at the object that makes up the
border of this newsletter. Kind of pretty, isn't it?