Tag Archives: goddess

August Osage County: The Fall of Woman

august osage countyHoly Hannah. Can you spell d-y-s-f-u-n-c-t-i-o-n and m-i-s-e-r-y?

I want to think the main characters in August: Osage County are just cinematic creations—the vitriolic pill-popping Violet and her three daughters—tight-jawed, unforgiving Barbara, quietly wounded, faithful Ivy, New Age escapist Karen. But no.

The film induced too many pangs of recognition, reminders of my own alcoholic step-father and his verbal abuse; the unhappy weirdness of so many of my friends’ parents growing up; Mommy Dearest sitting on book shelves; alcohol and drug abuse statistics; news stories. And from the murmurs, gasps and reactions of the audience it seemed pretty much everyone else in the theater was personally affected too.

“I always wondered if my mother killed my father,” the middle-aged woman behind me stated calmly to her seat-mate as the credits rolled. Really?

“I always knew I’m fucked-up because of my mother,” another woman said, strolling past on her way to the door.

“Holy crap.” Francesca, the friend I’d gone to the film with, turned to me, eyes wide. “Is the world really like this?”

Is it? I’d like to know! Comments please!

For sure the film drives home the point of just how much pain there is locked up in human beings—and how suffering, meanness and abuse are passed from one generation to the next. The sins of the fathers and mothers as it were—not “sin” as in doing bad and wrong, but sin as in missing the mark on life—relentlessly passed from one generation to the next, century after century until?

Until we get to see it.

Sin was originally an archery term that meant you “missed the mark” or bulls eye—your targeted goal. And what is the targeted goal of life anyway? Being a better person? Figuring out how it all works? Having fun? Contributing to the wellbeing of the whole? Having interesting experiences? If so, surely we’re ready to stop seeing this kind of experience as interesting? Like, maybe soon we’ll have had our fill of meanness and sorrow and be ready to call these kinds of people and their drama-filled lives “boring?”

But until that happens audiences will pay to see stories like these. It’s what theatre was designed to do from the most ancient times.

Stories let us witness ourselves. They let us stand (and sit!) safely outside our pain and see how it contaminates and ruins everything—how we unconsciously contaminate and ruin everything—how the bleakness that rules so much of our lives happens. The camera zooms into Violet’s face as she sits on the swing telling the story of her mother’s Christmas present to her and we get it. We can’t hate her. We want to, just like her daughters and everyone else around her want to. But she is us. Her story is our story, tirelessly passed along—the story of the ravening dark Goddess that lives in us all; the maddened Goddess that shows herself most clearly through women.

Beyond doubt, August: Osage County is a story of the Fall of Woman and what has happened to her. The men, who clearly are not without their flaws, mostly move around as loving foils enduring abuse. Even Violet’s husband’s suicide occurs off-screen. It isn’t important. It’s simply the kind of normal fall-out that happens when The Feminine is too deeply wounded to care about anything or anyone anymore.

The image of The Feminine we enjoy seeing and being around does not live in this film. The light side of the Goddess is beautiful, lyrical, self-sacrificing, loving, passionate, compassionate and inspiring—like Arwen, the elven beloved of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings. In Violet we see the opposite. Here She is the equivalent of the Orc and the Uruk-hai—the fallen elves, tortured and mutilated beyond endurance until they become a force for evil.

The blessing of August: Osage County is that here evil has a human face on it and we are able to see Violet is not evil at all, just wounded. We are able to see what pain does—how it looks, what it says, how it lashes out—and finally have compassion. We see the light, love, beauty and hope in us all—the young woman in Violet’s wedding picture—marred and twisted into unrecognizability and we feel for her and feel for ourselves.

It’s not an easy movie to watch. But then life is not an easy movie to live. And in both there is hope. One day all of us will get in a truck in our pajamas and move on.

Finding the Hugger in Me

sometimes, a hug is all what we needI am not a hugger.

I probably just failed Spirituality 101 by making an “I am” statement that includes a negative, but the truth is, I’m not a big hugger. Even though it’s a negative, it’s a true negative, so there. I’ll hug my children and my close friends, but I am not one of those touchy-feely, hold your hand at a weekend seminar where we literally just met kinds of people. And don’t get me started on those weekend retreats where everyone sits on cushions and shares stories. Oh God, help me. Not sharing!

Really, do I have to sit here and listen to some person go on and on about how they feel about their husband leaving them (“Honey, he left…move on!” is all I can think of to say) and then hear them whine about how they just want to get their power back? I’ll tell you get your power back: you go out and bang the first 27-year-old hottie you can find…trust me, your ex-husband is! On and on these people go, talking about sh** I just don’t understand, like they left their body and were soaring like an eagle and saw the world as an apple and picked at the apple until it was nothing but a core, and they realized the apple was them and they were empty and filled with the seeds of love. WTF?

This is why I have always avoided these events like the plague. I have often been invited to these “Find your Inner Goddess” weekends or “Dream Your New Reality Night” at the local new age bookstore, and I would politely say no thank you. It all just seemed freaky to me; all this out-pouring of love and light. I’m good with you holding your own light and I’ll take care of mine, thank you very much. Yes, I know I made WHAT THE BLEEP and all, and these are supposed to be my people, but I never quite actually felt I fit in.

Probably because I am not a big hugger. And I don’t want to tell you my deepest darkest secrets about how shitty I feel about myself and how afraid I am and hurt I feel. So I didn’t. Instead, I took on the role of documenter of the transformation instead of participant. That was safe for me. I sort of liked watching, like a peeping tom at the awakening of humanity. I could set up cameras and watch, but join in on the circle of light? Nope, not me.

And then the shit hit the fan and my outwardly perfect, very safe looking, carefully crafted charade of a life took a big nose dive out of the sky. Clearly, I wasn’t channeling my inner eagle, and I realized that I was divorced and unhappy, alone in my un-huggable bubble. The truth was, I wanted to actually experience an authentic life which meant, well, I was gonna have to learn to hug and share. Because the truth is, transformation, awakening, or simply realizing happiness, isn’t something that rubs off on you by watching. You have to participate.

So I did.

I went to a Goddess Dream weekend in Mexico and had my mind blown. It wasn’t just about the hugging, although it turns out I’m pretty good at that. It was about me, showing up for myself, listening to what was in my soul and sharing it, not only with myself but with others. Then, finally feeling not alone, and actually feeling that love and light everyone talks about. But not in some fake, glazed over, blissed out because that’s what we think we’re supposed to be kind of way. It was real, authentic and it didn’t come from hiding how I felt and pretending everything was cool. It came from good old-fashioned honesty, hugging and sharing. Boy, did I share. I was the annoying one; I was the one crying about my past and my hurt. And suddenly, it was released. And I finally understood all that love and light.

So now, when someone approaches me to hug me, I practically leap into there arms. I am happy to admit I am a damn good hugger and if you’ve got something to share, I’m here to listen too, with all the love and light I can muster.

“Abused Goddesses”: The Ad Campaign that Tackles Domestic Violence in India

enhanced-buzz-13226-1378408862-44Hinduism is the most widely practiced religion in India and one of the largest religions in the world. It is a faith steeped in the concepts of karma, dharma, and the cycles of birth and death, watched over by central deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, among others.

Hinduism is also traditionally known to be highly reverent both the feminine and masculine forces in the world, paying tribute to gods and goddesses, alike. Some of these goddesses, like Parvati and Lakshmi are represented as ideal wives and mothers, modeling feminine virtue. But others, like Durga and Kali, and fierce and powerful in their own right, independent from any male god.

Unfortunately, this reverence in the spirit world does not always translate to real life. This is precisely why the ad company, Taproot, has developed a powerful campaign, called “Abused Goddesses,” to highlight the disparity between India’s goddess-centric religion and the troubling frequency of violence against women. The campaign states,

Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.

Here are three poignant images from the campaign:

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o-TAPROOT-INDIA-570

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Taproot developed this campaign for “Save Our Sisters,” a nonprofit organization that works against domestic violence and sexual exploitation. The images mirror classical paintings of the goddesses Saraswati, Durga, and Lakshmi, and you may be surprised to hear that these images are actually photographs! Makeup was painted on the models to portray wounds of domestic violence, and props are either real or painted on, as well.

Even apart from the artistic skill that went into these ads, the message is crucial. It we as a culture and a society respect women in theory but not in practice, then we are bound for a regressive and continually troubled future. Let’s start treating women – and all people – like the gods and goddesses they are!

Does the “Abused Goddesses” campaign inspire you? Tell us your thoughts below!

5 Quotes From Dr. Christiane Northrup That Will Make You Proud to Be a Woman

 

christiane_prodPeriods, PMS, menopause, morning sickness… Is there any aspect of the body’s cycles women can be proud of? According to the media and mainstream Western culture, women have more to feel ashamed and plagued by than proud of when it comes to their bodies. With messages of body positivity only barely making a dent in women’s overwhelmingly conflicted relationships with their bodies, something has got to give.

Enter, Dr. Christiane Northrup, the women’s health expert shaking every belief we’ve held about the female body for decades. Northrup’s reality check: Menstruation is a sacred experience that demands rest and self-regeneration. So-called “PMS” is really a flourishing of creative energy that surges through the female brain at certain points in her cycle. Menopause is a process of transformation, during and after which women can experience the best sex of their lives.

If any of the above statements contradict your own feeling about your body, then read on. In these 5 soul-shaking quotes from an interview featured in the latest issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine, Northrup offers a rallying cry for women to embrace the powerful bodies they inhabit:

1. The key is to understand that every woman has the keys to the kingdom inside herself, and those keys are found in doing those things that she loves to do.

~

2. You [women] have a cycle where you bleed in tune with the moon. It is the cycle responsible for all human life on earth. It is the cycle that connects you to your creativity and to the very essence of the tide coming in, the tide going out, the seasons, the sap going into the roots and then rising up, and we have been taught for 5,000 years to be ashamed of that cycle.

~

3. Did you know that we have as much erectile tissue inside our pelvis as men have? only, theirs is on the outside. What we have is the clitoris, which is the only organ in the human body whose sole function is pleasure.

~

4. Menopause is when you really move into your goddess energy in a big way. You’re no longer losing your blood, so you move into this phase now where your FSH and LH hormones in the pituitary gland are at the same levels as when you’re ovulating. and for many women that is their peak time
of sexual desire.

~

5. What we women are sure of is that there’s a man out there who will complete us. That’s what every movie tells us. But what it’s really about is doing that inner work of completing oneself.

Only as complete, proud, self-loving individuals can women experience the fullness of life that they deserve. Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

*****

 

SH_JulyAug_CVR_lrgSpirituality & Health is a magazine for people who want to explore the spiritual journey and wake up to our capacity for self-healing, vitality, and resiliency. Read the entire conversation with Christine Northrup in the July-August edition of Spirituality & Health, on newsstands now! Get your first issue FREE here.

Would you like to win a FREE year-long subscription to Spirituality & Health magazine?

This month, Intent is giving away 5 year-long subscriptions to Spirituality & Health magazine. To enter, simply comment below with your favorite empowering quote. Be sure to include your name and email so we can contact you if you win.

 

Meeting God and the Mystery of Who We Are

Tehran SunsetI heard a story when my son was in a local Waldorf school, and I loved it.

The children were in art class seated in different tables, working hard at their projects. One little girl was particularly diligent, so the teacher stood behind her and watched for a while. Then she bent over to ask her what she was drawing.

Very matter-of-fact the little girl said, “I’m drawing God.”

The teacher chuckled and said, “But you know, hon, no one knows what God looks like.”

Without skipping a beat, without even looking up, the little girl responded, “They will in a moment!”

This made me wonder, what happened to our wildnessThe wildness of God, of Spirit, as John O’Donahue calls it. It’s as if we forget or disconnect from the spontaneity and joy that expresses our essential spirit.

Probably the deepest inquiry in any of the spiritual traditions is the question: who am I? If we look behind the roles and images that our culture gives us, behind the ideas that we internalize from our family, who’s really here? Who is reading right now? Who is looking through these eyes? Who is listening to sounds?

The Buddha said we suffer because we don’t know who we are; we’ve forgotten. We suffer because we are identified with a self that is narrower than the truth, less than the wholeness of what we are. We often live inside a role—parent, helper, boss, patient, victim, judge. We become hitched to our sense of appearance, to our body. We become hitched to our personality, our intelligence. We become hitched to our achievements. These facets constellate into the shape of our identity, of who we take ourselves to be. And that constellation is smaller than the truth. It is less than the awareness and love that is here, less than the sacred essence of what we are.

A friend of mine, a minister, told me about an interfaith gathering which began with the inquiry: What should we call Spirit or the Divine, what’s the name we should use? Right away there’s a question:“Should we call it, God?” “No way,” responds a female Wiccan. “What about Goddess?” she says.“Hah,” remarked a Baptist minister and suggested instead, “Spirit.”

“Nope,” declares an atheist.

The discussion goes on like this for a while. Finally, a Native American, suggested “the Great Mystery” and they all agreed. They all agreed because, regardless of the knowledge or the concepts of their faith, each of them could acknowledge it’s a mystery.

In the moments that we move through life realizing that we belong to this mystery, that this mystery is living through us, we are awake, alive and free.

Enjoy this video on: Entering the Mystery part 1
Adapted from my book Radical Acceptance (2003) For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com
photo by: Hamed Saber

Wicca 101: Witches, Magic, and the Art of Intention

What is it with witches and wizards? We love them, hate them, persecute them for hundreds of years, and glorify them in wondrous stories of magical worlds and flying broomsticks. In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra explores the wizarding world of Wicca in the hopes of dispelling some common misconceptions about this rapidly growing religion.

We’ve come a long way since the witch trials of Renaissance Europe and the American colonies,  but prejudice lingers. In some parts of the world witch hunts are a daily reality, with individuals harassed, beaten, shunned and occasionally even murdered for bearing “witch-like” traits. Harry Potter is a fine and beloved fantasy around the world, but how would we treat him if he were real? Witchcraft is acceptable in the realm of fantasy, but could we make room for it in the muggle world, too?

The world has had centuries to work on religious tolerance for pagans and Wiccans, but we continue to fail in making an accommodation to their traditions. Ancient European paganism, Hebrew mysticism and Greek mythology are just some of the forebears cited by Wiccan texts and oral histories. The inclusion of a feminine divine also leads historians and archaeologists to draw a line of ancestry from ancient fertility cults to contemporary Neo-pagan traditions, of which Wicca is probably the most organized and certainly most widely recognized.

Historians in the 19th century began writing about the connection between earlier traditions and groups purportedly practicing underground magic at the time. In 1951 the United Kingdom joined the rest of Europe in repealing remaining anti-witchcraft laws, just in time for the publishing of civil servant and amateur anthropologist Gerald Gardner’s book Witchcraft Today. In his book, Gardner declared himself a practitioner of a heretofore unknown religion “Wicca,” which he dated back to the Stone Age. The religion swiftly gained momentum, with many neo-pagan traditions branching off from it in the decades that followed.

John William Waterhouse: Magic CircleThere is no single sacred text, governing body, or outlined doctrine in Wicca today, and beliefs and practices vary widely from practitioner to practitioner. But certain themes crop up repeatedly in rhetoric and at modern gatherings. Connection to the earth and nature’s rhythms is key, as is reverence for both the divine masculine and feminine, sometimes as the Goddess and God but often as a merging of creative forces in the Universe. Wiccans and pagans also tend to revere the directions (East, South, West, North and Center) and elements (Wind, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit), perform rituals that coincide with seasonal cycles (equinoxes, solstices, and moon phases), and believe in reincarnation.

Even more fundamental is adherence to a fundamental ethic called the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what ye will.” Essentially, the community trusts its members to make their own decisions, hold their own beliefs, and act in such a way as to harm none – self and environment included. Similar to The Golden Rule known to just about every religious tradition throughout history, The Threefold Law is prominent in Wicca, as well, and teaches that energy released into the world will return to the individual three times as powerful, for better or for worse.

Wiccan magic, often referred to as “the Craft,” is largely grounded in intention and ritual. The word “magic” stems from both the Old Persian term for “sorcerer” but also the ancient Greek word for “art.” Consider, then, that the artist, actor, or carpenter utilizes magic as much as the magician does in transforming natural resources into entirely new expressions of creativity. Just so, Wiccans harness energetic influences and elements in order to manifest certain intentions. Easier said than done, right? But at the end of the day isn’t it a lot like praying or repeating positive affirmations? More mainstream, but equally magical in essence.

What are your thoughts on Wicca and magic? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well to receive updates about all our latest episodes, and have a magical day!

photo by: deflam

Deepak Chopra: The Best Advice I Ever Received

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 12.46.36 PMWhat is the best advice you ever received?

Was it in class or on a team or before an interview?

Did you welcome the input immediately or did it take some time to marinate before you realized its profundity?

Advice comes in all shapes and styles. Maybe someone sat you down at a young age and shared with you the secret to a happy, successful life. Or perhaps the advice came to you unexpectedly, in a passing conversation or during an argument. Even more mysterious are the hidden wells of inspiration that may have been present in the actions and worldviews of influential people in your life – wells that you later found yourself drawing from time and again.

In this week’s episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak shares the best advice he ever received, and it falls in the third category. Throughout his childhood, Deepak’s parents set an example with their kindness, strength, and wisdom. And it was this intangible advice he has carried with him ever since.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well for all the latest updates on our shows and episodes!

Read Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success for more tips and inspiration.

Do You Know The Goddess Of Harvest Time?

This is from Donna Henes’ The Queen’s Chronicles, a free e-newsletter that delights me every time it arrives in my inbox. To subscribe: click here and scroll down to the mailing list in the left column.

Throughout world mythology, the goddess of the good ground, the grain, the autumn harvest, has been appropriately portrayed as a knowledgeable mature woman of the world, mistress of all earthly domains. A matriarch. She is the Great Mother who sustains all her species. She was known as Astarte, Ishtar by the ancient Semites, Semele by Phrygians, Isis in Egypt, Demeter in Greece, and Ceres in Rome.

She is Tari Pennu to the Bengalis, Old Woman Who Never Dies to the Mandan and Mother Quescapenek to the Salish. To the Aztec, she is Chicomecoatl, to the Quechua Indians in Bolivia, she is Pacha Mama and the Huichol call her Our Mother Dove Girl, Mother of Maizea.

Oh Pachmama
Queen of the Universe
Mother to the Stars
You birthed time in Your great Womb

Oh Pachmama
Enlighten me with Your secrets
That I may know myself better
Guide me as I seek truths within and without

Oh Pachmama
Teach me to overcome my fears
Nurture my growth as I seek the unknown
Encourage me to face challenges

Oh Pachmama
I wish to share your knowledge
I am ready to learn without fear
Mother, Your daughter is here

-Incan Invocation


While the Earth, Herself, is seen as the fertile mother from whom all life has issued, Her aspect as the spirit of the grain is celebrated in many cultures as Mother Earth’s child. This young one represents next year’s crop curled like a fetus gestating within the seeds of this year’s harvest.

Typically, she is the daughter, the harvest maiden, the corn virgin, although in Aztec Mexico and Egypt, the grain spirit was Her son. Also Aztec was Xilonen, Goddess of New Corn. The Cherokees called her Green Corn Girl. To the Prussians, she was the Corn Baby, to the Malays, the Rice Baby. In parts of India, the harvest maiden is Guari and she is represented by both an unmarried girl and a bunch of balsam plants.

The archetypal grain mother/daughter pair is personified in Greek mythology as Demeter and Persephone, also known as Kore, the Virgin Goddess. They illustrate two aspects, the mother and the maiden, of the same divine fertile spirit. Demeter is this year’s ripe crop and Persephone, the seed-corn taken from the parent. Like the seed sown in autumn, she symbolically descends into the underworld, torn from the breast of her mourning mother. And, again like the seed, she reappears, reborn, in the spring.

The harvest is experienced at once as a festival of life and a drama of death. In the fall, we commemorate the seasonal demise of the light as well as the plants, which provide us sustenance. Even as we glory in the great yield, the reward of our diligence, we mourn the death of the deity residing in the grain, killed by the cutting of the crops. At harvest, we honor She who died so that we might continue to live.

Despite the clear and rational necessity, there is considerable and understandable reluctance to scythe the last sheath of grain. For here lives the Great Grain Mother and Her child – She who has always fed us, to whom we owe our existence. Can we slash Her body with a sickle? Can we allow Her to be tread upon and trampled on the threshing floor? Can we cook and eat Her seed and feed Her broken corpse to the animals?

Would that we still revered the gifts of life and living bestowed upon us by our mutual Mother Earth. Well, WE do, I know. So what will we each do to spread and share that reverence, so that it becomes the new (old) norm? It is up to us, you know.

It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.
– Rachel Carson

With blessings for a plentiful and fulfilling harvest,

Queen Mama Donna

 

For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso’s website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook. And discover your own Inner Peace at, To Me Peace Is … What is Peace to You?

Finding the Feminine Divine

I was chatting with a dear friend recently, when she mentioned something about her personal deity, Artemis.  We follow similar paths and see the earth herself as a living, sacred, manifestation; however, I’m more of a pantheist and she’s more of a polytheistWe don’t squabble over the details though.  Instead we embrace what we share.
 
I had all but forgotten that she had a personal deity and my initial reaction was something like a five year old in a toy store, "I want a personal deity too!"
 
She went on to tell me about the process of discovering the goddess who would be her guide and the gratitude she holds in her heart now that she’s found her.  In the days that followed, I decided to keep my heart open to the notion of discovering my own personal deity.  What mama doesn’t need a little guidance from the divine feminine? 
 
To me, gods and goddesses are states of consciousness that we are all capable of becoming.  They are archetypes telling the story of the cosmic drama that plays out in our lives again and again.  They exist within us and beyond us as energies upon which we can call to be present in our hearts, in our minds, and in our lives.  They are sacred because there is nothing that is not sacred.  Every element of nature, every vibration, every thought is sacred.  Every beam of sun and each blade of grass is a sacred manifestation. 
 
In the days that followed our conversation, I kept my eyes open for signs of goddesses making themselves known to me.  I opened this month’s Yoga Journal and found a mantra to the goddess of abundance and prosperity, Lakshmi.  Lakshmi is one of my favorite Vedic goddesses and I’ve actually been using her mantra all year.  Could she be my personal deity?  No, I don’t think so… but I’m still calling on her just the same.
 
Then I thought of an article, Mothers of Liberation, that I’d recently found at Tricycle.  Here, Miranda Shaw explores "some of the many powers, symbols, and stories of the often overlooked and misunderstood [Buddhist] pantheon."  I discovered Vasudhara, Hariti, and Vajrayoginia divine yogini, compassionate, all-knowing, and supremely blissful. 
 
Could Vajrayogini be my personal deity?  Maybe.  She’s my kind of goddess.  Still, I decided to keep my heart and mind open to the process.  I remembered Prajnaparamita, the Buddhist Sophia and compassionate mother of bodhi.  I remembered Prithvi, the Earth Goddess who rose up to witness Buddha attaining enlightenment under the bodhi tree.  Could Prithvi be my personal deity?  I love this idea because nature is the teacher I look to most.
 
Later that night, I found myself on Etsy searching handmade items with the keyword, "goddess."  Amongst other pretty things, a silver necklace jumped out at me.  Taking a closer look, I realized it is an exact replica of the necklace I wear nearly every day — a gift from my mother-in-law who described it as a Buddha.  Yet here, in an extreme close up view, I saw something that could mean only one thing — breasts!  The necklace I’ve been wearing is not the Buddha… it is a buddha — and a female buddha at that!
 
Over the next few days I searched though images and symbols on my bookshelves and on the internet.  The female buddha I’ve been wearing is the goddess Tara.  Tara is the mother of liberation, a bodhisattva, and in the Buddhist tradition, "Tara is actually much greater than a goddess — she is a female Buddha, an enlightened one who has attained the highest wisdom, capability and compassion. . . one who can take human form and who remains in oneness with every living thing." [from: http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/goddess_tara_white.htm]
 
As I told this story to my daughter, I remembered one of our favorite books, There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me by Alice Walker.  As it turned out, this entire time, there has been a goddess around my neck wearing me. 
 
That’s how it always is, I think.  Like in the famous poem, Footprints in the Sand by Mary Stevenson, we may not know it, we may be unconscious of it, but the goddess is always wearing us — is always carrying us.  We are her, every bone in our body, every hair on our head, each flower, each tree, each beat of our heart, each breath — all expressions of something sacred… all forms born from the creative energy of Mother Earth.  
 
I’ve taken this discovery back to my zafu and each morning I feel myself dissolving back into her.  She is Tara, she is Prithvi, she is Vajrayogini.  She’s Mary and Artemis and Ostara too.  She is me and she is you.  She is our daughters and she is the very earth upon which we step.   
 
I’m still keeping my heart open to discovering an aspect of her to be my guide.  I don’t want to be too hasty; although, Tara does seem like the obvious option.  More importantly, I’m remembering that to walk on the earth is to press our feet against the life-giving goddess herself.  This is why we must live skillfully and practice peace in every step.  All life is interdependent and flowing from the same source, rising and falling, constantly becoming.  Each of us is one element of a greater whole and beneath our stories and our habitual reactions exists a quiet observer dissolving back into the luminous nature of the One.
 
[originally posted August, 8, 2010 at my blog, Om School]

Open letter to Intent Readers

Dear Intent Readers,

I have been on Intent for quite a while now and enjoy the general high level of intelligence and discussions.  I have been very pleased by the support I have received from many readers to my comments and from those  that have ordered and read my book Everywoman a Goddess: Everyman a Hero in Her Service.

 I have made my book available in five individual e books for $2.50 for those who prefer to read on the computer, and for those outside the continental U.S.

Integrating science, spirituality, and sexuality through the combination of evolutionary biology, quantum mechanics, and neurobiology with tantra, kabbalah, and goddess worship is crucial to making the next evolutionary leap in human consciousness to the mature ego that most Intent readers are in the vanguard. 

 I am writing a new book titled Sexual Secrets of Tantric Kabbalah: Making Love.  This book has a more directed focus which makes it easier to read, and also represents development within Tantric Kabbalah.  I am sharing some quotes from the new book here to entice you to visit my website http://stuartmarkberlin.com where the first two chapters are available as e books for $2.50.  Love and light to everyone.

"Love is the only thing that is real.  Everything else is limited in and by time.  Love has no limits, love is timeless and beyond the ability of time to ravage in the cruel savage way time ravages everything else."

"Love is timeless and without limit but thankfully violence is limited in time and space.  Violence does end when the consciousness that allows violence to exist ends.  That consciousness ends when sexual acts are only connected to love."

"The sexual secret of Tantric Kabbalah is to make love.  Making love in all your sexual acts ends violence.  This is true both for those sexual acts that involve bodies and for those sexual acts that involve pure consciousness alone."

"Once upon a time, the sexual glory of humanity was everywhere evident.  Women made you human.  Men followed women into humanness with joy and enthusiastic adoration.  Men loved women and knew their debt to her.  Men knew that everything they loved most about themselves was given to them by women.  The smell of a woman was not covered with clothes or sickly sweet perfume.  She was never shy or embarrassed and she knew."

I hope this little teaser of quotes will entice you to visit.

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