Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kali Goddess of Empowerment

Kali, Hindu goddess for empowerment, is possibly the most misunderstood of all the Hindu goddesses.  Her association with death has led to the belief she brings violence and destruction.  What is true is she brings change.  She is the one who roots out what is slowing or injuring our growth and sometimes that isn't pretty.  But Kali is mother love.  When you think of Kali, think tough love.

She is a liberator.  She will bring about those events that force you to make a choice.  You can't pray for strength and then refuse every opportunity to show how strong you are and still ask Kali to make you strong.  Either you're willing to do what it takes to be strong or you choose to be weak.

She opens your eyes to what is holding you back.  She brings truth to the table and when she is finished you will not only own your role in what is slowing you down, but you will have a road map to getting yourself out of the quagmire you find yourself in and the strength to pull yourself out.

I am so tired of hearing people whine about how bad they have it, how they just never catch a break, or how being what ever gender, race, age, or religion they are has cursed them.  For every person who bemoans the fact they can't get ahead because of circumstances beyond their control, I can show you hundreds who succeeded under those same circumstances.  Successful people often climb over the heaps of people belly aching about not being able to get ahead to get ahead!

Kali wipes the haze from in front of the eyes and exposes the truth; you are what is keeping you down.  Your own negative thinking has placed you where you are on the ladder of success.  Until you see how damaging your thinking is to how you approach obstacles, nothing and no one can help you for very long.  You are your own worst enemy.

Is it hard work to get where you want to be?  You bet.  But it's worth every drop of sweat.  The secret successful people have shared for centuries is this; do what you love and you'll never work a day.  It's not about trying to DO WHAT OTHERS DO.  It's about FINDING YOUR OWN PASSION.  The amount of success you achieve depends on the amount of sweat equity you're willing to put into it.

Be honest with yourself regarding what you really want out of life.  Some people shudder at the idea of being in the spotlight.  I do.  The last thing I want is to be the one making the speeches, posing for the photos, giving the interviews.  I want recognition, but on a seriously dialed back level.  I am most happy making things happen from behind the curtain.  Isn't that where the Wizard was most comfortable?  That's me.  The one keeping all the balls in the air from behind the curtain.  I do not envy the high profile achievers because I adore my privacy.  But to others, it's the heat from the lights that warms their souls.  More power to them because it takes a team to keep them looking spotlight-ready.  I want to be on the team...not under the hot lights.

Kali has unwavering judgement, strong willpower, and penetrative insight.  Once she gets you in her cross hairs, because you've asked, she won't give up on you until she's broken through the walls you've built up around yourself.  She will bring to the surface your attachments to people, possessions, and more importantly how you react when you're threatened with losing them.  It's these kind of adjustments that bring most people to their knees.  It's the source of the warning Be Careful What You Ask For...You Just Might Get It.  Even though what we think will be the end of us usually ends up being what frees us.

When things seem out of control, or coming at you all at once and any change in routine feels like a root canal without anesthesia, this is Kali telling you that you're out of balance with life.  I've gone through stretches of time where one thing after another hit me to the point I was in tears.  That stupid tree that cost me money I didn't have to spare to have it removed in late summer was likely the very tree that would have been on my roof when the now infamous October Surprise downed thousands of trees all over the city when the ice storm hit.  I sat in my cozy house, listening to limbs crack and fall so thunderously they shook all my windows, but not one tree that fell under the weight of thick ice was near my house.  I reflected on how badly I had acted over one more thing hitting me in the checkbook.  In reality, I was being protected.

Right now I am in the midst of a blitzkrieg against my savings because of an error in a tax return from a couple years ago, a plumbing issue that won't quit because apparently there were no code inspections when the house was built, and unexpected car repairs.  It's one thing after another and I'm trying really hard not to panic.  I do know, all the changes that these issues are bringing about are necessary.  I know that eventually, somewhere down the road, I'm going to see how everything that happened fits perfectly with what I needed to learn or where I'll need to be at some point in the future.

I also know that life ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes, and eventually things will even out and, if I'm right to expect, start climbing out of the pit I find myself in currently.  I've learned not to get too cocky about things when I'm on the top because life is about balance.  You can not live your entire life at the top or the bottom before opportunities for change happen.  But you have to be in the right attitude to make those opportunities a reality.  If you insist on stinking thinking, don't be surprised when you have a constant run of disasters to fuel that thinking.

Life gives us what is most consuming our waking thoughts.  It is happy to give you more of what you insist on filling your mind, whether it's gratitude for what you have or whining over what you've lost or don't have enough of right now.  It's totally your ship to sail.  You captain the vessel and your smooth sailing or rouge waves are your own choosing.  I firmly believe in the theory of fake it til you make it.  At first this looking for the good in any situation is painful, but the sooner it becomes a habit the better for you.  When things are on the right path, life is full of positive energy and you're alert and secure, but it's even more important to hold tight to your attitude of gratitude when things aren't going smoothly.  Kali is at work.  Trust in the knowledge that life is about change and balance.  Learn to hold on to those things you cherish, whether it's people or possessions, with open hands.  Life held too tightly fights to be free.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bast Goddess of Pleasure

Bast, from her home in Egypt, ruled leisure and was the official protector of cats.  The daughter of Re, the sun god, and according to one myth, the personification of the soul of Isis. She seemed to have two sides to her personality; a playful and gentle side, and an aggressive and vicious side when she was in full on defender mode.

Egypt adored cats. Cats held honorary positions in Egypt.  It should come as no surprise to learn cats were often treated better than people. The wisdom the goddess imparts regarding cats is uncomplicated, if you're a woman.  Women relate easily to cats, even if they don't consider themselves 'cat' people. Throughout herstory, cats have been there to witness the goddess’ triumphs and tribulations. It was patriarchal jealousy and fear that linked the cat to woman during the witch trials in the 18th Century. Cats were thought to be a witch's portal to the craft and just having a cat welcome a woman with a lusty purr was a threat to the woman's life. Who could have imagined cats could fall from such a lofty existence in Egypt to being persecuted and feared centuries later? 

Cats are as much fun to watch as they are amused by us.  Cats will entertain themselves with anything that catches their eye.  It's the movement that intrigues them. This is their playful side coming out to play. I love to watch bodies in motion.  So long as the body moves gracefully or with great skill, I am a captive audience. Being an artist, I look for inspiration as I watch ice skaters, swimmers, athletes, dancers, and people at play.  I love photographs that capture movement in runners and yoga poses.  The human body is a marvel but the healthy female body is nothing short of poetry. From the curve of a woman's neck, once thought to be the seat of seduction, to the arches of her feet, a woman's body is a sensual playground. Cats are equally intrigued with their own bodies.  The flexibility cats have when it comes to grooming themselves is enviable. For cats, it's all about them when it comes to comfort. I feel the same way when it comes to my own grooming rituals and little deters me after a tiring day.  I need my time to unwind and inhale intoxicating scents on my way to a hot bath.

Cats are also known for being aloof, but I would suggest what we mistake for being aloof could just be catching them in some transition between nap and ready to be seen.  I need more time than the average person to ease into my day.  I'm awake enough to dress for the day but I'm not fit for human interaction until I've had at least 30 minutes of quiet time with my coffee/tea and something to read. Demanding too much before then could force my claws to come out.  I know a lot of people who have their own patterns for entering into a new day. I know of one co-worker who takes the scenic route to work even though it's an added ten minutes to the trip.  They feel it's worth it to start the day less stressed.  I have to agree. Cats and stress just don't go together.

Cats, will, on the other hand, defend their territory or hiss when they feel something or someone is just not right. As women, we've been teased into submission over the mention of our intuition.  This is too bad because our intuition is the trade off we got for not getting the upper body strength men have to knock a predator into next week.  Is it any wonder they make light of it?  It puts us pretty much on equal footing if we keep it sharpened and ready at all times.  That intuition is your guiding light, that nudge you get when you feel that really nice man that offered to carry those bags to the house for you might not be so nice after all. Pushing it down and having that internal dialogue that reminds you how silly you sound for thinking the worst of someone so nice will have you asking yourself later why you didn't listen to your intuition.  Pay attention and don't be afraid to bring out the claws and hiss if you sense danger.  Cats don't slink around feeling ashamed because they caused a scene.  
Cats, like women, are in the world to enjoy what life offers. It's about making the best of each day, taking what comes, and looking our best as we make our way through life.  Enjoy the company you keep, enjoy the meals you take, make time to rest and groom yourselves because you never know when opportunity will knock.  And if you have to, bring out the claws to let the world know you're no push over.

Bast was protector, entertainer, and companion to those who understood the power of the cat. Cats, like the vast majority of women, are graceful, confident, and demand  their own space. Cats don’t want to be treated like dogs because they have the ‘cat thing’ down pat. Cats know what they like and how to get it. Women are on the same wave length. So make time to be alone with your own thoughts and dreams.  Purr when you’re happy and feeling secure.  Hiss and let the claws come out when your instincts tell you to be careful.  Bast would be so proud.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Juno Goddess of Unions

Juno, named for June, was a fierce protector of her marriage. She was
prepared to go to any length, and did, to keep her marriage afloat.  She took violent revenge on her husband’s mistresses and while we can admire her loyalty, fidelity, and passion toward her husband, we should also try to learn from her most obvious mistakes

According to legend, Roman goddess Juno, daughter of Saturn, sister (and wife) of Jupiter, and mother of Mars and Vulcan, was protector of marriage, pregnancy, and birth. In Greek legend she is called Hera.  Her strengths were loyalty, faithfulness, and devotion.  Her weaknesses were jealousy and vindictiveness.  

No where does it indicate she ever held her husband accountable for his unfaithfulness.  No where does is it recorded she got fed up with him and simply left him to fend for himself.  She took all her wrath out on his victims, which they became as soon as he wooed, won, or just took them.  Her service to her husband, the authoritative figure she vowed to support, was unquestionable. And this is what any decent, hard working man wants in a mate. right?  Who doesn't want a woman who never questions his role in infidelity?  Who doesn't want a woman who defends her spouse's behavior as nothing short of angelic and under attack by haters who just want to see perfection destroyed? Who doesn't want a help mate who never questions strange phone calls and hang ups, questionable body fluids on garments, and a noticeable lag in passion when he is at home....resting? Juno never questioned her own saturation points in her promise to be a loyal, devoted wife and mother.

It's one thing to be loyal and it's a whole different thing to be tied to someone who doesn't respect you for that loyalty.  It comes down to asking yourself why you should devote your life to someone who obviously doesn't feel you are all they need to be happy in the relationship. When someone is in love, they aren't looking for the next best thing around every corner.  If a partner has begun wondering if they settled for second best, it's time to re-evaluate the relationship.  My thinking is why hold someone to a vow if they aren't going to be happy enough to do the same for you.  

At any time someone feels they might have been trapped in a relationship with you is the perfect time to remind them life is short and shouldn't be spent trying to force any relationship into submission. However, make sure they understand they can't share your bed, your bathroom, your kitchen, or your heart while they search for their treasure.  Wish them well, wish them happiness, but send them on their merry way.

The other part to Juno's legacy was the wrath she reserved for the women she caught cavorting with her man.  The wrath was over the top and cruel.  She felt justified in her jealousy because she was so devoted and loyal.  In her mind because SHE was faithful, she would hold her husband guiltless by destroying any one who came between them, no matter how unimportant that sexual romp was to her husband. By establishing SHE was worthy, she felt justified in whatever cruel and destructive measures she took on his conquests.

This kind of thinking, of course, ignores the same truth that a happy man will not constantly seek sexual romps with other women on the down low.  If a woman's mate isn't going to be held accountable for their role in the infidelity then their union is not a union in the marital sense of the word. It's nothing more than a working relationship, a corporation where one partner handles the needs of raising the children and providing the necessary comforts of that home and the other maintains the financial strength of that union needed to support all the members dependent on that partner in the corporation.  It's not based on personal devotion or sexual/emotional intimacy. This is what most people refer to as being divorced.

Bottom line in this whole 'do you take' business is both partners have to be on the same page if the relationship is to move forward and remain healthy.  If at any point it becomes clear one partner has lost sight of or willfully disrespected the vow, the other needs to be prepared to say good bye.  No burning of clothes, no keying of cars, no stalking and criminal mischief of those who participated in the infidelity.  Your heart will be broken, but your integrity needs to stay in tact. Send the cheater away with the knowledge that they have quite possibly hurt the one person who would have stood firmly at their side in sickness and health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer up to and beyond the grave.  Sucks to be them now.  But you deserve to have someone at your side who feels the exact same way. Don't short change yourself just because you believe vows are meant to be kept. They are, but they won't be taken seriously unless both partners take them for what they are....promises written in true love.