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The Goddess: Sphinx

SHE WHO IS ALL – THE GODDESS & THE DIVINE FEMALE

Sphinx

Sphynx1

(Image Credit & Following Quote: The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky)

 

“If I ask the question that provokes

will you stretch to find the answer

Will you take up the gauntlet flung

boldly

and defiantly answer the call

Will you meet my challenge

with tingling in your blood

with your hair blowing electric in the wind

with all your being

knowing that every challenge

is an opportunity

every challenge

presents a gift

every challenge

is there to serve you

or not

It’s your choice”

The Sphinx may have started out as male, and is still perceived as such today, in Egypt, built as the Guardian of the Horizons, and held the keys to wisdom’s gates.

While both the Egyptian Sphinx and the Greek Sphinx both challenged those who would pass through their gates, it is important to distinguish that they are completely different.

Somewhere along the line, the Sphinx, in Greek mythology, became female, having a woman’s head and breasts, a dog’s body, the paws of a lion, wings of an eagle and the tail of a serpent.

Sphynx2

(Image Credit: greekboston.com)

 

While it can be difficult to follow the origins and threads of mythology, She may have started out as a Maenad, a female follower of Dionysus, whose worship became wild and she turned monstrous. She is also said to have been the daughter of Typhon and Echidna, making her siblings with the Nemean Lion, the Chimera and the Hydra. She was believed to be living somewhere in Africa and was summoned either by the Goddess Hera, or the War God Ares to bring about the destruction of the Greek Thebes, most likely for some half-remembered offense.

Once She came to Thebes, She became the guardian at the gates. She would pose a riddle to each traveler and when they were unable to successfully answer Her, she would kill them by various means, usually by strangling and eating them. Could she have been related to underworld guardian Goddesses? We don’t know, but the possibility is intriguing.

In the story of Oedipus, he was traveling and came upon the Sphinx. She posed her riddle to him, “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?” Oedipus answered her riddle correctly, whereupon she destroyed herself as her reason for existence was no longer viable. Oedipus, of course, resumed his travels, fulfilling prophecy by killing his father and marrying his mother, but that’s another story.

Sphynx3

(Image Credit: greekmythology.com)

 

However, you choose to see Her, She bids us to rise to the challenge that She offers. We can look into our deepest selves and see the question she poses for us, or we can refuse. She challenges us to look at our Shadow and respond to Her challenge, to learn more about ourselves, to use this energy to be our more authentic, sovereign selves.

***

The Goddess: Yeshe Tsogyal

SHE WHO IS ALL – THE GODDESS AND THE DIVINE FEMALE

Yeshe Tsogyal

YesheTsogyal1

(Image: Wikipedia)

Yeshe Tsogyal was born a princess of Tibet in the year 777 C.E. She was born in the same way as the Buddha; a mantra sounded and her mother bore her painlessly.

Her clan name was Lady Kharchen but she is known as Yeshe Tsogyal, which means Wisdom Lake Queen, as when she was born, a nearby lake increased in size. They are the waters of enlightenment. She is also called “Mother of the Victorious Ones”, meaning the Buddhas, as well as “Lady of the Lotus-Born”. She is considered the Mother of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the ultimate wisdom needed for enlightenment.

YesheTsogyal2

(Image: tsemrinpoche.com)

While she was married to the Tibetan Emperor, she was also revered as the spiritual consort and disciple of the 8th century Tantric Master, Padmasambhava.

She isolated herself and, in solitude, she began to meditate. She lived through scorn, hunger, torment and rape, as she struggled to live in a male-dominated society. She was transformed by these hardships. She became a fully enlightened Buddha in the form of a woman.

YesheTsogyal3

(Image: shambala.com)

It is said that she is both an incarnation of Vajrayogini, as well as an emanation of Saraswati.

Embodiment is the deepest bliss. My body was made for enlightenment.

YesheTsogyal4

(Image from The Divine Feminine Oracle by Meggan Watterson; photo by Susan Morgaine)

Supplication to Yeshe Tsogyal

Mother of all the victorious ones, dharmadhatu samantabhadri,

Very kind, only mother who protects the subjects of Tibet,

Bestower of supreme siddhi, chief among the dakinis of great bliss,Yeshe Tsogyal, we supplicate at your feet.

Grant your blessings so that outer, inner, and secret obstacles may be pacified.

Grant your blessings so that the lives of the gurus may be long.

Grant your blessings so that this kalpa of disease, famine, and war may be pacified.

Grant your blessings so that the casting of curses, spells, and sorcery may be pacified.

Grant your blessings so that life, glory, and prajña may increase.

Grant your blessings so that our wishes may be fulfilled spontaneously.

(From shambalatimes.org)

YesheTsogyal5

(Image: Pinterest)

***

Summer Solstice 2021 Newsletter

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SUMMER SOLSTICE 2021 NEWSLETTER

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Summer Solstice blessings.


Welcome back to the Mystical Shores Newsletter. I hope that you are well and have weathered the pandemic lockdown with ease and good health.

There is much going on here at Mystical Shores, new ideas, new ventures that I am happy to share with you.

Obviously, I have not been teaching any kundalini yoga classes and, truthfully, do not know if in-person classes will be something I do in the future, although I am open to the idea if you know of a studio that might be interested. I am, however, available for private and semi-private zoom classes, this includes meditation-only classes. If this is something that you would be interested in, please email me to discuss.

I am available for one-on-one Zoom/FB Women’s Empowerment Coaching. I am working on a new course entitled “A Woman Empowered”, based on a combination of my Imagine A Woman certification and my own extensive study. This course will be available before the end of the year. It will be a self-paced course, to include .pdf’s, mp’3 and a Monthly virtual meeting with me.

In addition, I will be receiving my Traditional Herbalist certification by mid-summer and will be available for herbal consultations starting Winter ‘21-22. My herbal product line will be coming back with some exciting additions to the line.

In February, I published a book of poetry, which is available in hardcover and kindle. If you have an interest, you can find it here:

It is with great sadness that I let you know that I am no longer using my kundalini yoga spiritual name Devta Kaur, a name that was given to me by Yogi Bhajan. Over the course of the past year, many sexual accusations have been made against Yogi Bhajan, most of which came to light with the publication of a book by one of his victims. An independent organization was hired to investigate and these accusations were found to have merit. While I love Kundalini yoga and meditation, and have faith and belief in the benefits of the practice, which I will continue to do, I cannot, in good conscience, use the name given to me by someone who has betrayed so many. My business and writing name will continue to be Susan Morgaine, with Morgaine as my spiritual name.

Please feel free to email me at MysticalShores@gmail.com and watch MysticalShores.com for further updates.

Goddess Blessings

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Copyright (C) 2021 MysticalShores. All rights reserved.

The Goddess: Sheela-Na-Gig

SHE WHO IS ALL – THE GODDESS AND THE DIVINE FEMALE

Sheela-Na-Gig

 

SheelaNaGig1

(Photo: bbc.com)

Sheela-Na-Gig. Who is She? What is She?

Carvings of her abound in Europe, with the bulk of them being in the British Isles, most commonly Ireland, and dating back to the 12th century. Her image, carved in stone, has a grinning face, knees bent with legs open, holding open her vagina with both hands, for all to see. Every time I see Her, I smile.

Archeologists, scholars and theologians all have varying theories of Her origins. Some say She is a warning against lust, in general, and women, specifically. It is theorized that is why she is on many ancient churches, as a warning of the evil of women.

Others say She is protection *against* evil as the folklore would indicate that a woman showing her genitals could scare a demon away, as this photo from Wikipedia portrays.

 

SheelaNaGig2

 

Her name may possibly come from the Irish “Sighle na gCloch”, meaning “old hag of the breasts”. It’s worth noting, but most carvings do not show Her with breasts at all, or very little. The etymology seems to center around the word “hag”, and “gig” may have meant “a woman’s bits” in Britain.

 

SheelaNaGig3

(Photo: visualizingbirth.org)

 

Some believe that she is an ancient Goddess of fertility and child-birth, which seems self-evident based on Her appearance. It is said that brides were made to look upon Her on their wedding day, to increase their fertility, and to bring about a successful labor and delivery.

 

SheelaNaGig4

(Photo: theguardian.com) (thanks to BR)

 

Present-day women, or at least those who have not forgotten the Goddess, see Her as an empowering figure, Her exaggerated genitalia representing the power to give life and claiming our own sexuality on our own terms. Georgia Rhodes, who wrote “Decoding the Sheela-Na-Gig” believes that She represents the Crone or Earth Goddess, “she who gives birth and takes us back in death”.

Since 1999, John Harding and the Sheela-Na-Gig Project has been collecting and collating information on Her carvings throughout the UK.

 

SheelaNaGig5

(Photo: bbc.com)

 

Currently, in Ireland, Irish feminists have reclaimed Her sexuality as empowering for women. Unknown artists are crafting new Sheela’s out of clay and placing them covertly at places that are important to women and their struggles. It is called Project Sheela and you can follow their Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/projectsheela/?hl=en

 

In 1992, an indie performer by the name of PJ Harvey came out with a song that she called “Sheela Na Gig”. The lyrics are:

I’ve been trying to show you over and over

Look at these, my child-bearing hips

Look at these, my ruby red ruby lips

Look at these my work strong arms and

You’ve got to see my bottle full of charm

I lay it all at your feet

You turn around and say back to me, “he said”

Sheela-na-gig, Sheela-na-gig

You exhibitionist

Sheela-na-gig, Sheela-na-gig

You exhibitionist

Gonna wash that man right out of my hair

Just like the first time, said he didn’t care

Gonna wash that man right out of my hair

Heard it before, no more

Gonna wash that man right out of my hair

Turn the corner, another one there

Gonna wash that man right out of my hair

Heard it before, he said

Sheela-na-gig, Sheela-na-gig

You exhibitionist

Sheela-na-gig, Sheela-na-gig

You exhibitionist

Put money in your idle hole

Put money in your idle hole

Gonna wash that man right out of my hair

Just like the first time, said he didn’t care

Gonna wash that man right out of my hair

Heard it before, no more

Gonna take my hips to a man who cares

Turn the corner, another one there

Gonna take my hips to a man who cares

Heard it before, he said

Sheela-na-gig, sheela-na-gig

You exhibitionist

Sheela-na-gig, sheela-na-gig

You exhibitionist

Put money in your idle hole

Put money in your idle hole

He said “wash your breasts, I don’t want to be unclean”

He said “please take those dirty pillows away from me”

He said “wash your breasts, I don’t want to be unclean”

He said “please take those dirty pillows away from me”

He said “wash your breasts, I don’t want to be unclean”

He said “please take those dirty pillows away from me”

He said “wash your breasts, I don’t want to be unclean”

He said “please take those dirty pillows away from me”

 

 

 

 

***

The Goddess: Tawaret / Tauret

SHE WHO IS ALL – THE GODDESS AND THE DIVINE FEMALE

Tawaret/Tauret

 

goddess1TAWRET

(Photo Credit: www.commons.wikimedia.org)

 

Tawaret is the ancient Egyptian Goddess of fertility and childbirth, a protector of women and children and the Goddess of the annual Nile flooding, which brings with it, its’ fertile soil, which brings life to the Land. She is a Goddess of female sexuality.

Originally seen as evil and associated with the Northern sky (Nebetakhet), which was cold, dark and dangerous, She was known as the Mistress of the Horizon.

Over time, She became to be seen as nurturing and protective, with a ferocious streak when it came to protecting women and children.

She is also a Mother Goddess, who was associated with Hathor, as can be seen by Her wearing of Hathor’s solar disk, representing protection and life.

In ancient Egypt, hippos were seen as symbols of chaos and were killed in royal hunting parties. Female hippos, however, were seen as protection against the evil eye, turning away evil and misfortune.

Tawaret, whose name means “She Who is Great”, is depicted as a hippopotamus on two legs. She has the limbs and paws of a lion, the back and tail of a Nile crocodile and the body of a pregnant hippo. She is sometimes seen with human hair. As mentioned, She wears a solar disk headdress topped by two cow horns and Hathor’s solar disk. She carries “magic knives” to help ward off evil during labor. These daggers were made of ivory and carried depictions of the Goddess. She is sometimes seen holding scrolls of protection.

Amulets of Tawaret were worn by women, especially during pregnancy and labor. These amulets date back to 3000-2600 BCE.

 

Tawret1

(Photo Credit: ancientegyptonline.co.uk)

 

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Tawaret is mentioned as a guardian to the mountain paths in the West, that led to the Otherworld.

Eventually, Tawaret became known as a household diety, but was still held as sacred by women and children.

Tawret2

(Photo Credit: museumofmythology.com)

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The Goddess: Nanshe

She Who is All – Goddesses and the Divine Female

Nanshe

 

(Photo Credit: wikipedia)

Nanshe – Goddess of water, Goddess of fertility, Goddess of Prophecy, Goddess of Social Justice, Lady of the Storerooms.

Nanshe was worshipped from the 3rd millennium BCE to the advent of Christianity, throughout the history of Mesopotamia.

She was born to Enki, the God of wisdom, magic and water and Ninhursag, a Mother and Earth Goddess.

Being most strongly associated with water, she is the Goddess of fishing. The fish is one of her symbols, as s symbol of life; her other symbol is the pelican, who sacrifices itself to feed her young. She is often depicted as a woman dancing above the water. Her father gave her dominion over the waters of the Persian Gulf, and all living creatures within it.

(Photo: Pinterest)

She was known as the Lady of the Storerooms, making sure all measurements and weights were correct.

As a Goddess of Social Justice, she was a defender of those in need; She nurtured orphans, helped widows, and gave advice to those in need.

Nanshe 3

(Photo: ancient.eu)

Her main festival was on the first day of the year, held at Her main temple, “Sirara” in the city of Lagash. A large parade of boats was held, honoring Her as a Water Goddess, the largest of the floats held a sizable likeness of her, that was brought to the temple.

She was a wise Goddess, who handled disputes between her peoples, as well as court cases. She judged the behavior of the people in the preceding year. She also gave oracular messages, and interpreted dreams.

)O(

The Goddess: Cernuna

She Who is All – Goddesses and the Divine Female

CERNUNA

Cernuna

(Image Credit – Deviant Art by Kendigo)

I had a special request to do a column on the Horned Goddess Cernuna. As it turned out, there is not much available on Her. As per usual, She seems to have been superseded by the Horned God Cernunnos, who is represented by his torque, holding a snake and surrounded by animals.

Cernuna

It would/could be assumed that all representations are of Cernunnos, however a small bust of a Horned Goddess was found in Kent, UK. Two others have also been found; one rests in the British Museum of London and the other at the Musee de Clermont-Ferrard in France. (Please see above photo from these museums). As you can see, both of these show her holding a bowl or cornucopia and a patera, which is an ornamental circular disc.

The information I was able to come across shows Her as a Horned Goddess that embodies the seasons. She is a Goddess of transition, change and growth.

The cornucopia she holds in the above photo also shows that She is a Goddess of abundance, fertility and the harvest.

Before the Winter Solstice was changed to the Christian holiday of Christmas, it was the female reindeer, the Deer Mother, who drew of the sleigh of the Goddess at Solstice. It is the female reindeer that keeps her antlers. She was honored as the life-giving Mother. This very well could be Cernuna, not a female version of Cernunnos, not his consort, but the life-giving Mother Goddess, a protector of, and personification of, the land.

Cernuna

(Image Credit; Motherhouse of the Goddess)

She could be seen as being related to Flidais, the Irish Goddess of cattle and fertility, the Cailleach, the deer protector, and some see her as Elen of the Ways, sometimes seen as a Horned Goddess.

Wishing I had been able to find more information on this almost-forgotten Goddess, I do firmly believe that she is an ancient Mother Goddess, protector of animals, abundance and the fertility of the land

The Goddess: Sekhmet

SHE WHO IS ALL – GODDESSES AND THE DIVINE FEMALE 2ND EDITION

 September 1, 2020

Sekhmet

“I am pure strength. I honor my anger by

giving voice to it”

(Photo and Quote from The Divine Feminine Oracle by Meggan Watterson)

Sekhmet, the lion-headed Goddess of the Egyptians, harnesses the destructive powers of the sun. She is also known as “One Before Whom Evil Trembles”, “Mistress of Dread”, and “Lady of Slaughter”.

She is the Goddess of the sun, war, destruction, and, oddly enough, healing. She is also a protective Goddess, as seen by the lion headdress she wears. The lion is a strong animal with protective attributes.

Her solar disk shows that She is a solar deity, in Her case, one who is connected with the burning, destructive heat of the sun. Her breath created the desert.

As befits one who is also called The Red or Scarlet Lady – red being the color of blood – She is often seen wearing a red dress. She is sometimes portrayed as holding an ankh, the symbol of life.

In some mythology, She is the daughter of Ra; in others, She is the daughter of Nut, the Sky, and Geb, the Earth.

She felt that humankind was not living up to the

principles of Ma’at* (justice/balance). Her rage overcame Her and She began to slaughter them. Ra mixed beer with pomegranate juice and placed it in Her Path. Thinking it was blood, She consumed it all and became drunk. When She awoke, Her rage was gone, thus saving humankind once again.

Sekhmet is truly a warrior Goddess. Rituals were held at the end of wars and at the beginning of each New Year to tame Her anger.

As women, we are told that showing our anger is not becoming, it is not lady-like, but anger, as every other emotion, is valid. Sekhmet represents the sacred rage that is ours, our true strength as women. Our anger is sacred and holy; it is the anger to change worlds — think Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks. Anger forces us to action.

“I burn and fume

and shoot daggers from my eyes

I erupt and roar

(though you’ve not pulled my tail)

my edge are sharp

and I cut deep

my energy is strong and fierce

and my displeasure

needs to be expressed

Though sometimes mild

I can be very intense

Once incited

I am difficult to put out

I am always appropriate

always needed

Don’t try to get rid of me

I need to be acknowledged and heard.

I am anger”

(Photo and quote from The Goddess Oracle

by Amy Sophia Marashinsky)

The Goddess: Mira Bai/MiraBai (1498-1546 CE)

She Who is All – Goddesses & The Divine Female

September 1, 2020

Mira Bai/MiraBai (1498-1546 CE)

(Image Credit: learnreligion.com)

Mirabai, also known as Meera, is a Bhakti poet and mystic from India. She is the central poet of the Bhakti movement, a path of spirituality that focuses on a personal love for the Divine, and that one is able to have direct access to the Divine through this intense devotion. She became a symbol of the suffering and persecution of her people, of all castes.

She was born into the Rajput aristocracy. Legend has it that when she was a mere four-year old, she and her mother witnessed a wedding procession. She seriously looked at her mother and asked who her bridegroom would be. Not knowing how seriously her answer would be taken, her mother pointed to a statue of Lord Krishna and said he is your bridegroom.

In 1516, Meera was made to marry the Crown Prince of Mewar, much against her will. She felt that the Lord Krishna was her true husband.

She refused to worship her husband’s family’s Goddess, due to her vow to Krishna.

She did not fulfill the duties and expectations of a dutiful and obedient wife. This continued until the death of her husband, when she refused, as custom demanded, that she throw herself on his funeral pyre.

(Photo Credit: feminisminindia.com)

Her husband’s family tried several times to have her killed. Once she received a basket of flowers designed to hide a cobra; when she opened the basket, she discovered a garland and an idol of her beloved Krishna. Another time, as an offering, she was given a cup of poison; as was her habit, she offered it first to Lord Krishna. When she drank the contents of the cup, she was not harmed.

Mirabai’s love for Krishna surpassed all other. In doing this, she forsake a life of luxury and began her non-violent fight against persecution.

After her husband’s death, her husband’s family, due to their disapproval of her, tried to lock her in the house, and ultimately, turned her away. She returned to her own family, who also disapproved and turned her away.

She began to travel, write her devotional poetry to Krishna. She sang and danced in her intense devotion and began to gain many followers. There is a temple to her in Chittorgarh, not far from where she was born.

(Photo Credit: tourmyindia.com)

What Meera or Mirabai tells us is to do what it right for us, to stand up for what we believe and for what we know is best for us, and not what someone else thinks is best for us. Be sovereign; be authentic.

(Photo Credit: The Divine Feminine Oracle by Meggan Watterson)

The following is a sample of Mirabai’s poetry:

MINE IS GOPAL

Mine is Gopal,

the Mountain-Holder;

there is no one else.

On his head he wears the peacock-crown:

He alone is my husband.

Father, mother, brother, relative:

I have none to call my own.

I’ve forsaken both God, and the familys honor:

what should I do?

I’ve sat near the holy ones,

and Ive lost shame before the people.

I’ve torn my scarf into shreds;

I’m all wrapped up in a blanket.

I took off my finery of pearls and coral,

and strung a garland of wildwood flowers.

With my tears,

I watered the creeper of love that I planted;

Now the creeper has grown spread all over,

and borne the fruit of bliss.

The churner of the milk churned with great love.

When I took out the butter,

no need to drink any buttermilk.

I came for the sake of love-devotion;

seeing the world, I wept.

Mira is the maidservant of the Mountain-Holder:

Now with love

He takes me across to the further shore.

The Goddess: Blodeuedd/Blodeuwedd

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 July 1, 2020

Blodeuedd/Blodeuwedd

(Image: The Avalonian Oracle)

Flower face. Innocent. Delicate. Brought into being without consent, without question, without knowing.

Arianrhod swore that her son would remain nameless, unless given a name by her. She swore that her son would never get arms/weapons, unless given them by her. She swore that her son would never have a wife from the land.

Her son got a name, Llew Llau Gyffes and was armed by his mother through trickery and deceit. When he wanted a wife, one was made for him from oak, meadowsweet and broom, among other herbs and flowers. Blodeuedd, as she was originally named, was made by the magician, Gwydion and Math of Mathonwy, the king of Gwynedd; made by charms and enchantments.

Other than his wanting a wife, he cared nothing for Blodeuedd; his goal was to defy his mother and break her curse. His feelings were what mattered and what he concerned himself with. She was wanted only to make a point to his mother and to do what tradition dictated in having a wife.

Brought into this world without a thought to her, they are married. She was then left alone. Think of how she must have felt, brought into existence and left in a life and a world that she did not comprehend.

(Image: Pinterest)

While Llew Llau is away, the castle is visited by a neighboring lord, Gronw Pellyn, whom she invites in. They both immediately fall in love, one with the other. Gronw Pellyn, *sees* her, really sees her, as a woman and not just a means to an end.

The invites him to stay and stay he does, for three nights, bonding and consummating their love.

Gronw wants Blodeuedd and they hatch a plan whereupon she will find out how her husband can be killed. She gets the information from Llew Llau and lets Gronw know where he should be hiding, which day and which location. Gronw hits Llew Llau with a poisoned spear; he turns into an eagle and flies away. Gronw took possession of the land and was with his beloved.

Gwydion, the magician who was Llew Llau’s uncle, searched high and low until he came upon his nephew and he was transformed back into a man and brought back to health, whereupon he wanted revenge.

His wife, Blodeuedd, fled with her maidens, who because they kept looking back, all fell into a lake and drowned. This lake is Lynn Morwynion, Lake of the Maidens.

When they caught up with Blodeuedd, they did not kill her. Instead, Gwydion turned her into and owl and renamed her Blodeuwedd, which means owl. Llew Llau got his revenge upon Gronw by killing him at the same location where Gronw tried to kill him.

When Blodeuwedd is thought of now, she is almost always remembered as a traitor, betrayer and cheat. But is she, truly?

I think not. I believe she was, ultimately, a woman, faced with a choice of being stuck in a world she did not know, a life she did not choose, with a man to whom she never gave consent, and being her own authentic person, choosing her own Sovereignty, choosing what she wanted instead of being told what she wanted.

How is that even a choice. You choose your path or, eventually, you wither and die. There is no other choice for her to make, and so, she does. She shows courage, and the strength of her convictions and confidence in herself. So should we all.