WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH, WRITERS GET TOUGHER
Monthly Tough-it-Out Corner for Insecure Writers
I like to think that we (Insecure) writers have a little extra ball of energy we hold in reserve for exactly that moment when the rest of our world is collapsing or about to do so.
Now seems a good time to remind ourselves that, however insecure we may feel about the work we continually produce—the writing we LOVE—if we continue to brave it out through any storm, the rough seas will eventually bring calm.
And we may live through it!
ENTER GRACE—Or in Aegaean terms, THREE GRACES, daughters of ZEUS and EURYNOME
In Hellenist mythology Three Goddesses called the Graces represented grace, charm and beauty. Other qualities associated with them—
Aglaia represented elegance, brightness and splendor.
Thalia embodied youth, beauty and good cheer.
Euphrosyne encouraged mirth and joyfulness.
The KHARITES were conceived in Greek mythology as goddesses who brought festive joy and enhanced mortals’ love of life though their refinement and gentleness. Gracefulness and beauty in social intercourse are attributed to them. They are usually seen in the service or attendance of other divinities, as real joy exists only in circles where the individual gives up his own self and makes it his main object to afford pleasure to others.
“The less beauty is ambitious to rule, the greater is its victory”
Qualities embodied in the Kharites. Graces, are that the less homage beauty or grace demands, the more freely is it given.
Interestingly, these same traits were imported en masse into the Christian ethic and named Hope, Faith and Charity—from Gk.KHARITES—Catholicism in particular emphasizing ‘charity’.
I mention these lovely beauties at this time as, in the midst of world events where ladies’ sovreignty is paramount, it may be our GRACE which will see us through the storm.
Moving Beyond the Masque to Face Reality
Also, coincidentally in traditional Roman Catholic calendar—still calculated by the Moon—we have only just emerged from the Fire Festival of Fat Tuesday—Mardi Gras—Festern’s E’en. We are now entering a time of human restriction—in Church timing 40 days of Lent—where our resources and resourcefulness will be called on.
We IWSG-ers know how to pull in our belts, don’t we? If our Cap’n.Alex can do it, so can we.
Therefore, Angels of Grace, Beauty, Patience, bless you—we are calling for just a little help from our friends. Thank you for being here.
©2017 Marian Youngblood
INSECURE WRITERS’ SUPPORT GROUP CORNER
PAYING IT FORWARD—Whatever the Weather
More chill—just one more plod thru the snow and I’ll make it, if…
Such a scenario, I hope, should not happen to a single one of you in Alex’s band of Insecure Writers.
Februarius mensis, after all—even for the Romans—was their “month of purification”. Adopted freely by the medieval Roman Catholic church, it morphed into Candlemas—Purification and doorway to Lent.
“The Feast of the Purification, otherwise known as Candlemas marks the end of the Season of Christmastide” according to Roman Catholic Latin Mass Society
Februarius mensis “month of purification, cannot conceivably have been named for anyone frivolous, one imagines.
Blame it on Celtic Fire Festivals
Yet, long before there was a church hierarchy, pagan/country people worshipped cycles of the Earth, relating sun and moon movements to life and daily work. In pre-Celtic Europe Candlemas was Feast Day of Bride—mermaid birthed by the Ocean with dramatic increase in daily light, Brigantia in Roman Britain, Brigid/Brighid in Irish lore, some identify her with great warrior queen of the Iceni, Dark Age winged monarch Boudicca.
Brazilian CARNAVAL, German Fasching, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Bahamian JUNKANOO all have the same roots.
‘First come Candlemas
Syne the New Meen
The niest Tiseday efter that
Is aye Festern’s E’en.
That Meen oot
An’ anither at its hicht
The niest Sunday efter that
Is aye Pasche richt.’
Ancient Scots Easter calculation. Anon
Cosmically, last night’s full moon, parading across the heavens with Jupiter and Regulus in harness, like celestial sundogs borrowed from daytime frolics to dance a nighttime mazurka, gave a little more pizzazz to February darkness.
Magnificent. And in the U.S., they call this Groundhog Day.
It may be short, but sadly, those twenty-eight nights of February are often a crucial month to the human psyche.
Healthcare vs. Warfare
Americans may deplore lack of national health and welfare systems, as in Europe, but where poverty lurks, conditions remain identical. Homeless people worldwide—their numbers grow every year—suffer. For some, there is no welfare check, no food stamps, no heat. And when winter returns with a vengeance, bringing an icy blast, street people—no matter which culture dominates—are marginalized.
Pay It Forward: the NewAge Way*
One solution to life’s stresses is in the mindset of our Youth.
Reverse psychology had it only half right.
By projecting our loving thoughts, or acting forward-in-kind, we anticipate—and receive in advance—the reward of giving another pleasure, and feeling his/her gratitude
GRATITUDE—winging on a love vibration—certainly makes the world go round.
In Pay It Forward (2000), U.S. film drama based on Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel, child star Haley Joel Osment launches a good-will movement—almost by accident in doing research for his social studies class. Helen Hunt, his single mother, and Kevin Spacey, sociologist-mentor are stunned when Angie Dickinson turns out to be his real-life street-wise ‘consultant’ for his school project.
Octogenarian and proud of it, Angie Dickinson—my heroine, 83 this year and counting–is one of Hollywood’s hardest working gals. No sign of slowing down, either.
Born Angeline Brown, September 30, 1931 (age 83) in Kulm, North Dakota, her family moved to Glendale-Hollywood, where she graduated in business studies, aged 15. Briefly married to football player Gene Dickinson (m. 1952–60) and longer to composer Burt Bacharach (m. 1965–81), her only child Nikki Bacharach (1966-2007) committed suicide.
Portraying a homeless cohort to young do-gooder Joel in Pay It Forward, Ms Dickinson helps him regenerate other lives which might have floundered. This simple act of anonymous giving, in frame of mind of seeking no comeback, does produce small miracles.
To give, and not to count the cost
To fight, and not to heed the wounds,
To toil, and not to seek for rest,
To labor, and not to ask for any reward,
Save that of knowing that we do Thy Will
― Ignatius of Loyola
And as we know: miracles—and love—make the world go round.
*inspired by a friend & co-believer in humankind
Post Scriptum: THE WAVE
In context of leaving anonymous gifts without seeking acknowledgement—as someone we all know around here does every month—ahem Ninja Cap’n Alex: this a trait which has carried our little group of IWSG-ers through some hard times. I have complete faith that Alex’s own brand of Paying it Forward will continue to support us. And I know I—and loads of my writerly co-travelers—will dig in with both feet as we reap greater and better life rewards!
Let’s enter that Consciousness, New Age IWSGers—go with that Flow, er Wave.
©2015 Marian Youngblood
INSECURE WRITERS’ SUPPORT GROUP CORNER
Thanks to our (non-mutant) Ninja Capn. Alex, I make a seasonal appearance as last rays of summer flash, to say hi to my fellow IWSGers, but also to share the pathos of impending equinoctial changes: seasonal, earth-related, celestial and beyond—
Ancient Lughnasadh Festival of Light
I try to celebrate the end of summer, lasting—as all Druid-lore-lovers know—from mid-July to September equinox, plumbing sacred depths of fire festival season centered on:
Lammas Day, August 1st, the Glorious Twelfth.*
Yet I feel pathos and sadness engulfing a season’s end, a dying earth. Our Mother Earth, especially, has suffered much this year.*I am not sentimental about the killing of grouse; I never liked the practice, however fashionable and smoothly operated it’s supposed to be. I shall not change my view; but my attitude to what goes on in the ‘Old Country‘, now that I’m an ex-pat, has softened.
I know this doesn’t sound remotely like a writing moan—as our monthly corner is supposed to be—but there is a connection:
Ancient Lammas, Lughnasadh primal fire festival of the god Lugh, [‘Light’] is known across the indigenous cultural spectrum as First Harvest, Harvest Home, a time to STOP, give thanks and celebrate with offerings—bread from our table. Rejoicing in Mother Earth’s bounty, we share and celebrate her fruitfulness with good food and friends. Traditionally, harvest tables were decked with red, gold, orange, yellow, bronze, citrine, gray, and green: colors now associated with wild dress-couture-masquerade extravaganzas—particularly in U.S.
Corn dollies have been replaced by macho/Ninja? [!!] sickles, scythes, iMax giant scimitars, over fresh veggies & fruits, bread, and sun-wheels. But drumbeat rhythm focuses joy, seeps between the volcanic cracks into the Earth, honoring her cross-cultural daughters of Lugh: Freya, Demeter, Ceres, Pandora et al.—goddesses of fruitfulness,carers of the Earth thru her seasons. In this sense she (Earth Mother) and Hathor are one and the same: primeval Eve, Brittonic Bride, Norse Auohumla, great cow-giant goddess, and ancestor of the Norse gods. She is also Gaia, Sumerian Antu: who became Ishtar, goddess of love and procreation.Summerend, in all cultures—ancient Lammas, now-generation Virtual.world and future Turtle Island—with deference to our Sci-Fi Cap’n’s focus—is always a good time for a celebration.
Now is time to enjoy drinking, eating fresh food, indulging our hedonist within— dancing, expressing joy, getting back to our roots—being oneself.
For a light-deprived northerner, I am grateful for long days of warmth, time in the garden, maybe occasionally, I think about writing…lol. But I digress.
The Caravanserai Headed East
In current Western culture, Burning Man takes precedence. Trailers are rented at great expense, shared rides go East thru the Nevada desert, to pitch camp in an awesome congregation of festival-goers—almost medieval in ethos—with singing, dancing, beating and celebrating the earth, the sun, and being alive— through music, masque, dance and new connections, made over five days.
But, because Forties Field oil pipeline runs under the tarmac, Scots (financial and) Government agencies started yelling ‘health&safety’, so 2014 was its swan song. T-in-the-Park 2015 will migrate to the former boarding school of Strathallan, twenty miles West in Perthshire.There follows the majestic three-day wonder of Reading-Leeds Music Festival, at the height of Lammas: August 21-24, 2014. It would seem the Brits are following the U.S. lead in widening the window of music sent heavenward in sheer joy of numbers.
Americans wowed by Nevada desert’s five-day Burning Man festival have yet to experience the booze-quotient of a Brit music venue: comparisons of liters/pints of beer drunk at Glastonbury vs. Leeds/Reading shock American/Canadian drinkers who, by law, have to put tankard to lip behind closed doors. Ah, the contrast.
As Britain closes for the summer, the American continent opens. Festivals ripple like musical arpeggios across barren, dry (over-watered) southern states, Austin, Dallas, Nashville. As the earth gets hotter—most of continental U.S. is in grill-bbq grip of unrelenting heat, forest fires, drought.
Here is not the place to bring up city water demands from rural salmon spawning hinterland—Eel, Van Duzen, Klamath, Trinity and Navarro— but we all know Earth is shrieking for us to slow down, take a look at what we are doing to our Pale Blue Dot, called home, and stop.
One could liken it to an Apocalypse scenario. But our Ninja Cap’n knowzzzz all about that.
Thank you Alex, always for providing a corner for a moan, a shared frisson and love for Sci-Fi, and a window on tomorrow’s world—and for letting me in under the wire—late. 🙂
SATURN AND THE POWER OF ECLIPSES
April 25: Partial Lunar Eclipse
May 10: Annular Solar Eclipse
May 25: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
October 18: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Novenber 03: Hybrid Solar Eclipse
and Sunday’s total eclipse (November 3rd) will focus world attention, particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere. For a change the Western World will have to bow to eastern mystic tradition. The sun’s strength, however, is being partially eclipsed by Saturn’s influence as it nears conjunction, Western astrochart, right, courtesy Astrotheme.
Contrast is the food of enlightenment. ©2013 Siderealview
I am privileged to be able to welcome my occasional guest blogger Dr Mehal Rockefeller who is currently engaged in bringing a new healing center into being to serve humanity. He is skilled in interpreting Vedic astrology: so his view of eclipses and Saturn during this period gives an Eastern view of as picture including abundance, restriction, self-motivation and blessing. While he wrote in response to my blog Sychronicity of Mind-Miracle in Manifestation, it is particularly relevant today, tomorrow and during the coming manifestation of Comet Ison.
GUESTBLOG by my Vedic colleague, M D Rockeller, M.D.
“GLOBAL SHIFT at this very present moment. The POWER of LORD SATURN”
There is certainly a Global Shift at this very present moment. Around the world, there are organizations, in remarkable numbers, large and small. They all share the same Consciousness for a revolution from the current disconnection, apathy, ignorance, etc.
I agree, that human consciousness is indeed influenced via astrological and/or planetary alignment/energy. Given the rare, spectacular occurrence of a solar eclipse, and some lunar eclipses this summer–I have a KNOWING that humanity is progressively moving forward.
I share your sentiments regarding Saturn and its cosmic power. Yes, we are long overdue for our awakening. Based on the above paragraph, and personal knowledge in astrophysics, in my opinion, we will feel, notice–this influence of Saturn or Shani, in Vedic Astrology.
The planet Shani or Saturn revolves around the Sun in about 30 years, which means it passes through all the twelve rashis or moonsigns in 30 years. Thus Shani Bhagavan spends on an average about two and half years in each rashi or moonsign. This movement of Shani through the moonsigns carries great importance in hindu astrology and horoscope predictions.
Lord Shani is more known for his Blessings than his ill effects. No other graha is comparable with Lord Shani in terms of blessings. He showers with his blessings at the end of his dosha.
Shani is a Deva and son of Surya (the Hindu Sun God) and his wife Chhaya (Shadow goddess) and hence also known as Chayyaputra. He is the cousin of Yama, the Hindu God of justice. It is said that when he opened his eyes as a baby for the very first time, the sun went into an eclipse, which clearly denotes the impact of Shani on astrological charts. He is known as the greatest teacher.
Note: The Sun is always most powerful over planet Saturn. In the very near future the Sun will conjunct Saturn. The degree of influence on an individual will vary; however, globally or cosmically, the effect will be profound.
While many pople are aware of this need for a change in awareness and higher consciousness, I have found that most are reserved to express or accept such. However, internally every individual, animal, rock, particle is essentially the same. We are all composed of the same atoms. Within those atoms, diving deeper, are even more infinitely small particles. Within those nothingness.
There is an empty space.
What is this space between cells, atoms, humans, flowers?—a silence that can be tapped by all in an effort to increase self-conciousness i.e. to reach a higher energy level and to connect with source energy. The result, an infinite feasibility of manifesting miracles on all scales—to create and synchronize vibrational pattern: Globally.Duality of quantum physics.
“If we are made in ITS image,
then I guess that perfect sight of all existence
would mean that GOD spends most of eternity
crying. Of course, I’m probably wrong.
And maybe that will give Him a laugh.”
Bishop of Crayola, 2010
Waves have tops and bottoms, but can never be disconnected, i.e. life and death; you can not have one without the other. This is the nature of the physical plane. There will always be hills and valleys, but be certain bliss will be present.
When Jesus went to a village, his presence changed the consciousness of the populace. Highly actualized and conscious beings as he and such as Mother Teresa, radiate high vibrational energies that resonates upon others—a change in one’s DNA!
The end result, a reconnection to Source and a quantum shift or transcendence of Spirit/Consciousness.
©2013 MD Rockefeller, M.D.
The second crop circle (January 25th) lies in the Bantul district of Yogyakarta, 6km south of the center (and the Kraton Palace) in a rural district which suffered severe structural damage and loss of life in May 27th 2006 when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake tore through the village. Bantul is known internationally as an important artist’s colony which produces posters using a technique called cukil, daren kidul and Dono Kerto Turi.Crop circle followers worldwide are struck by the synchronicity of the crop circle sightings — these are unique in Indonesia; the first time crop circles have appeared — with their closeness in date, design and proximity to Mount Merapi’s seismic field. Even local Indonesians are contemplating the coincidence of the two designs’ choice of location as a warning of further earth changes in this volatile region. Within days, thousands of visitors lined up to walk through the rice fields to experience the phenomenon first-hand.
Many had never heard of crop circles nor read of the phenomenon and several reports described the marks in the fields as the ‘imprint of landing UFOs‘.In a statement from the Yogyakarta Sultanate by Java’s spiritual counsellor, HRH Prince Karyonagoro (Kandjeng Pangeran) the Sultan’s family is ‘taking these appearances seriously’.
However the design of the circles has struck him as very interesting as it appears to replicate the form of the Javanese Muladhara, or the base chakra of the kundalini.
“From the standpoint of ‘Merging with the One philosophy’, the appearance of the crop circle phenomenon in Sleman, Yogyakarta, in the form of Muladhara symbol means that there will be Nature’s selections in this country shortly, because the symbol is related to the genetical mapping when microcosm synergized with macrocosm waiting for a birth in the third dimensional place and time. I hope my brothers and sisters will be all right in welcoming this pending event. Stay alert!…”
HRH Prince Karyonagoro
Several spiritual groups in the city have indicated they believe the appearances are reminiscent of omens predicting an imminent natural disaster.Yogyakarta, once the capital of Indonesia during the National Revolution (1945-1949), is known for its strong Javanese traditions in art, culture, theater and the crafts of shadow puppetry, batik and sublime dance movement originating in the royal Court. Having gained independence in the 18th Century from the colonial Dutch, Yogyakarta has maintained historical architecture from both its colonial past and its Javanese heritage. It is home to Indonesia’s most prestigious state unversity, the Gadjah Mada University, as well as several other private universities which make their home in the region. Yogyakarta is the only province in the country with Special Administrative Region status (SAR) and is alone in being headed by a monarchy. The prince is also head of the spiritual welfare of the people and for this reason a statement on crop circles from the Sultanate is taken to be of great importance. The Bantul crop circle of January 25th (6km S of the city center) also appeared in rice, prompting a rash of local media and news reports linking the appearance to a massive 6.2 magnitude earthquake in the same district on May 27tth, 2006 when much of the village was destroyed and over 1000 people lost their lives.
Bantul is known to international art collectors as the home of an artists’ colony which produces unique poster designs called cukil, daren kidul and Dono Kerto Turi.
As much of the population in Yogyakarta are resident students attending universities in the city, the crop circle phenomenon has been a popular diversion, with much international discussion being generated and shared with the international crop circle community on Facebook and other social networks. The appearances in rice come at a time when the northern hemisphere — in the winter doldrums between the end of the 2010 (English) season and the beginning of the next, around April 2011 — did not expect to be surprised. The appearances in rice — along with similar anomalous layering of crop and gentle folding and tufting seen in Wiltshire crop circles — have triggered much interest worldwide.
Some suggest the timing and synchronous appearance of the designs as presaging seismic activity or earth changes within the next two weeks. Other fears suggest that it presages world shortages in the food supply, specifically rice.Given recent (European) seasonal pointers to sacred places and ancient pyramid structures, along with inter-faith meetings and ‘convergences’, it is tempting to connect the designs with the 8th/9thC Buddhist temple set on its 10-layer step pyramid at Borobudur, 40k NW of Yogyakarta on the other side of Mount Merapi. The temple’s magnificent ornately-carved 8thC structure was for centuries buried under (Merapi) volcanic ash and only rediscovered in 1814. From above, the pyramid takes the form of a Mandala symbolically depicting the path of the bodhisattva (novice aspiring to enlightenment) from samsara to nirvana. The ten steps of the pyramid signify ten levels of ascension. Compare this with the Sultanate’s statement likening the ‘mandala’ of the crop circles to Muladhara, the base, or primary of the seven chakras in Hindu Tantrism,
‘relating to the Earth, the densest of the seven grades of manifestation.’
The temple’s design is thought to be a recreation of Mount Meru, mythical home of the Hindu gods, called Sumeru i.e the “Great Meru” and a sacred mountain in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cosmology, considered to be the center of all physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. It is also the abode of Lord Brahma and the Demi-Gods (Devas).
“Crop Circles are telling you, in a universal language, of coming events, and we are speaking here not only of physical events, such as the pending pole shift, but spiritual as well. In the past, these simple but eloquent messages were left, with increasing frequency and urgency, leading up to the shift.”
A further —third crop circle— has appeared since this post in the Magelang district which draws the other two into geometric alignment not just with Mount Merapi, but also with Mount Tidar, the mountain known as the ‘Nail of Java’. According to myth, If the Nail does not hold, the Island will blow apart.*
These ideas are sparking a following on several continents.. We will be following volcanic activity in the vicinity of Mount Merapi, (Central Java) and Mount Bromo (East Java) which has also been threatening activity lately.
On the seismic and croppie scene, we shall keep you posted.
The formation’s simple lines and clear message to crop circle followers may be overlooked among a plethora of dimensional designs which have dominated the 2010 crop circle season.
Linking its unadorned but glorious glittering shape to a Menat necklace — the symbol of primeval mother goddess Hathor in both the Old and New Kingdoms of ancient Egypt — is not difficult. A ritual curving jewelled shoal of splendour, its form is emblazoned in our collective memory, even as a northern species, derived from classical and prehistoric civilization of Europe and the Mideast.
She is the world’s most ancient goddess, embodiment of the planet Earth herself. It is she who cradles the sun each night as he sinks in the west.
Even the current fashion in heavy female neckware harks back to that classical curve: row upon row of minute turquoise beadwork and beauty created to invoke delight in a child, desire and pleasure in a model on the catwalk.
In present-day Wiltshire, we may not admit to being familiar with Egyptian hieroglyphics, hieratic script or deathmasks and tomb-paintings of the earliest dynasties (Great Pyramid of Khufu, 2589 – 2566 BC). But we have dormant memory banks, our bodies contain suppressed genetic code which probably remembers such a time, can ‘feel’ the weight of such a beautiful collar round our necks, desire the touch of such a ritual necklace.
It belonged to the Earth’s primeval goddess, Hathor: bringer of love, abundance, joy, fertility and regeneration.
As a swan song for the Wiltshire crop circle season of 2010, it seems a fitting statement to place at the height of English summer, when crops of wheat, barley, maize and even oats glorify in eight-hour days of beating sunrays pounding health and vitality into their stems and cells, literally seconds on the cosmic clock before the combine harvesters slice through life, growth and celestial graffiti.
Judging by a pronounced extra-terrestrial bent to this season‘s creations — despite a fairly good supporting cast of ‘plankers’ (man-made designs) — and with Science now firmly convinced of genuine CC enhancement in grain nutrient value and crop size by ET’s ‘light treatment’, I fervently hope someone is buying up Wiltshire wheat to bake into ‘DNA-enhanced’ bread, or wonder-pasta for our general wellbeing!
While there have been many man-made attempts this summer to emulate the light-bent nodes of superluminary crop circles, the Beckhampton message from the goddess appears to be genuine.
But, back to symbolism. Why Hathor? Why choose to imprint English fields — and thereby all of croppiedom — with a blessing from an ancient goddess who ruled heaven and earth before most of the western world could write?Some time in Egypt’s pre-dynastic past the Goddess Hathor came into being, considered a major force in the creation of the world. Hathor was worshipped for over 3,000 years. Alternate forms of her name are Hwt-Hrw, Het-Hor, Het-Hert, Athor or Athyr.
Hathor, frequently seen as Egyptian Cow Goddess whose horns ‘held the Sun’, is probably Earth’s most ancient female deity. She encompassed so many different qualities and roles that it’s near impossible to list them all. She has been known as Sky Goddess, Sun Goddess, Moon Goddess and Goddess of the West. She was known as goddess of Moisture, and of Fertility, Agriculture and Motherhood; Goddess of the Underworld, Mistress of the Necropolis and, in her role as Protectress of the City of the Dead at Thebes, she became Goddess of the Dead.She was worshipped as Goddess of Love, Ecstasy and Beauty, and enriched the lives of her followers as Goddess of Music, Dance, Drinking and Joy. She was patroness of Women and Marriage and Protectress of Pregnancy. Hathor ultimately became special guardian spirit for all women and all female animals, and had such titles as ‘Lady of the Turquoise’ and ‘Lady of the Sycamore.’
The Menat Necklace was a ritual object first seen adorning the neck of the goddess and later used in ritual ceremonies to Hathor. The bejeweled necklace had many strands which ended in a counterpiece that, when originally worn as a collar, would hang down the back of the neck. In later use it had a ceremonial purpose and was wafted and waved as an amulet over the devoted to convey a blessing from the Goddess. The Menat symbolized fertility, and some sources see its offering a mystical union between the Goddess and her followers.
Are we earthlings now ‘followers’ of the wise goddess? Do we rate a heavenly blessing from the most high?
All summer long we’ve been expecting a message from God. Finally, as the year turns to autumn, we get a blessing from Goddess.
Much like the goddess Ishtar, Hathor’s attributes were a complex combination of the sacred feminine, death and the afterlife. It was she who bore bodies of the dead to the Underworld, she who actually took ownership of them. In this role Hathor became Queen of the Underworld.In her association with Sun God Ra, Hathor was granted the title ‘Golden One’, while also sharing the name, ‘Eye of Ra’ with goddesses Sekhmet and Bast. Hathor was Protectress of Horus, the falcon god, and called a wide variety of names in that role. Some attributes appear conflicting and confusing and, as Mother Goddess, Hathor was often confused with both Isis and Nut. What confuses even more is the fact that she subsequently ‘became’ Isis who, in a later period, absorbed and acquired many of the aspects previously attributed to Hathor.
When she governed in her principal place of worship at Dendera, Hathor’s role as Goddess of Fertility, Women and Childbirth was venerated specifically. Her temple there was filled with incense, intoxication and pleasure. At her other temple in Thebes, however, Hathor changed into her robes as Goddess of the Dead, known as ‘Lady of the West.’ In Thebes she cradled in her arms the sun god Ra, as he descended below the horizon in the west.Hathor has represented the erotic in femininity and procreation, and was frequently identified with Greek goddess Aphrodite, Roman Venus. In her role as Goddess of Fertility, Hathor represented Nature’s creativity, and as Goddess of Moisture, she was associated with the annual inundation of the river Nile. In this aspect, Hathor was linked to dog-shaped constellation Sothis (Sirius, ‘dog-star’) which, at its heliacal rising on the eastern horizon — immediately before the Sun — announced yearly flooding of the Nile in July.
Eventually, in a later period, when Hathor’s role began to change, Isis/Osiris (Serapis) cults gained popularity in Egypt and then spread through the Roman empire and Greece. Because of her fertile and life-bringing nature, Hathor was considered capable of reviving the dead; she welcomed them to the Underworld, dispensed water to them from the branches of a sycamore tree, and offered them food. In various New Kingdom tombs at Thebes Hathor is depicted embracing the dead.
In pre-dynastic times, and certainly in the early dynasties, Hathor is seen as the cow-consort of the Bull of Amenti, the original deity of the Necropolis. As queen or ‘Lady of the West’, her mortuary title as Protectress of the Necropolis valley on the west bank of the Nile, in her role as protector she not only oversaw where the sun (Ra) went down, but this choice location for later kingdoms’ burial tombs.
Amazingly Hathor, one of the world’s greatest goddesses, was worshipped for a longer period than Christianity or Islam have reigned. Hathor’s religion of joy and celebration dominated for over 3,000 years. It continued strong throughout Egypt, and through both Greek and Roman empires, where it spread and became assimilated.
Her cult was in its heyday when the first great pyramids were built and used as sacred pharaonic tombs, and lasted until pyramids were no longer used for that purpose, by which time royal patrons continued under her protection on the west bank of the Nile in the great Necropolis Valley of the Kings.
She is the equivalent in Nordic, Celtic and Anglian territories of the Old Goddess of the pagans. She perpetuated in popular speech, in rituals of hearth and earth, in festival custom with its cargo of symbol and myth. She was seen as the source of life, power and wisdom. People prayed to her for wellbeing, abundance, protection, and healing. They invoked her during birth, and the dead returned to her and moved in her retinue.
They say that the Old Goddess, Crone who rode the winds, caused rain and snow and hail on earth, and that she revealed omens of weather and death and other momentous things to come.
In this sense she and Hathor are one and the same: primeval Eve, Brittonic Bride, Norse Auohumla, the great cow-giant goddess, true ancestor of the Norse gods. She is also Gaia, Sumerian Antu (who later ‘became’ Ishtar, goddess of love and procreation).It is significant, too, that the ‘Hathor crop circle’ at Beckhampton appeared on a Friday the 13th.
The superstition held today of Friday the 13th being unlucky may stem from the betrayal of the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13th 1307 (Old calendar) when their monastic military order in France was arrested en masse by King Philip. The Spanish, however, hold Tuesday as their unlucky day; so the suggestion is a tentative one. Perhaps ET used the date merely to get our attention. It’s a familiar technique he’s employed over the years to combine crop images and Calendar.
An alternate explanation occurs: in later European tradition Friday was observed as ‘holy day of the goddess’, beginning with its eve on Thursday night. In that sense she is Norse goddess Freyja. The dark of the year was sacred to Old Goddess. On winter solstice nights, she was said to fly over the land with her spirit hosts. Tradition added that shamanic witches rode in her wake on the great pagan festivals, along with the ancestral dead.
Reverting to the Hathor connection, one ancient tale is retold of a group of goddesses, bearing cow horns and playing tambourines who went by the name the Seven Hathors. These Hathors were able to foretell a child’s destiny; similar in many ways to the weaving of the Tapestry of Life by the Fates, the Norns or the Disir. The Hathors were more than clairvoyants who could see into the future. They were questioners of the soul as it made its way to the Land of the West. In addition to knowing a child’s destiny, the Seven Hathors could foretell the exact hour of his death.
Egyptian mythology held that a person’s destiny was decided by the hour of his death and therefore his fortune, or lack of it, stayed with him throughout his life. The Hathors were known to have extreme powers, and were able to replace a prince, born with a bad fortune, with a child born with a good one. In this way they had the ability to protect both the Dynasty and the nation. The Seven Hathors are presently receiving some attention through the works of musician and psychic channeler, Tom Kenyon. When Hathor’s ‘old’ attributes became overshadowed by those of Isis and new kingdom beliefs, the Hathors were sent into the sky. There they have become identified with the Pleiades.
In more northern latitudes, reverence was paid for centuries to the Old Goddess in planting and harvesting, baking, spinning and weaving. The fateful Spinner was worshipped as Holle or Perchta by the Germans, as Mari by the Basques, and as Laima by Lithuanians and Latvians. She appears as Befana in northern Italy and as a myriad faery goddesses in France, Spain, and Celtic countries (Brittonic Bride). In Serbia she is Srecha; in Russia Mokosh, Kostroma or the apocryphal Saint Paraska.The Old Goddess was commonly pictured as a crone or aged woman, and origins of her veneration are lost in the mists of time. While goddesses of ancient ethnic cultures have unique qualities, they share traits, a deep international genetic root. Old Goddess is like the weathered Earth, ancestor of all, a tangible presence in forests, grottos and fountains. In her infinite guises she manifests countless forms: as females of various ages, she shapeshifts to tree, serpent, frog, bird, deer, mare and other creatures. Surviving the European Reformation, she remained beloved by the common people.
When farmers, and those who worked the land, were less dependent on technology to produce our food, Mother Earth and nature played a much more important role in the annual cycle of life. In particular, the harvest of cereal crops was a major event in the calendar.
We are now three weeks into ancient Lammas, the traditional harvest season.
In pre-industrial times a summertime ‘Lord of the Harvest’ would be given the responsibility of planning the harvest and marshalling the workforce, and when harvest was finally done they would celebrate with a ‘Harvest Home’ feast.The first and last sheaves of corn to be cut had major significance. Grain from the first sheaf (the ‘Maiden’) was made into a sacred loaf of bread while the last sheaf – the Clyack – was reserved for transformation into a corn dolly: symbolic of Mother Earth and the Spirit of the Corn.
Straw from this last sheaf was woven or plaited into the complex shapes of corn dollies, as cornucopiae, horns of plenty, horse shoes, knots, fans and lanterns. Ultimately, shape depended on local tradition, but in every case a symbolic ‘dolly’ graced the top table at the end-of-harvest feast and was then carefully guarded over the winter months. When spring crops were sown, the dolly re-emerged to be carried round the fields to pray that Nature and corn goddess delivered up another good crop.
In Wiltshire they’ve already started the harvest. Even in my native Aberdeenshire winter barley is going under the combine. Three weeks into Lammas (which pivots round August 1st), harvest is in full swing.
Our consciousness these days has become less aware of such natural cycles of food-cultivating-and-cutting; we are lulled into ignorance of the provenance of our daily bread. Perhaps it is this lulling that the crop circle presence wants to jerk us out of: to rekindle in us an appreciation — even reverence — for Earth’s bounty and her unconditional gifts of life and nourishment. More significant may be the appearance of a ritual symbol in the crop to help us understand our civilization’s most ancient ancestral traditions which show respect for (Earth’s) sacred creator gods.
Hathor was probably civilization’s earliest goddess. Her blessing showered on us now from above, five thousand years after the zenith of her devoted following, emblazoned in golden grain for our delectation and visual appreciation (aerial photographs superbly provided by Frank Laumen and Bert Janssen, thank you guys); it sparks our earliest memories of civilization. Are we being given a futuristic jab in the arm, to trigger our DNA? or to learn to appreciate more fully what our ancestors understood?
Our senses are being stroked, honed, we are receiving her gifts again. Not only was she goddess of birth and death, she was goddess of REBIRTH.
It’s just possible she has returned in essence now to show us that — at the end of the 2010 season of remarkable cosmic signs — our species is poised on the brink of rebirth: that we humankind are jointly headed for regeneration.
Dare we hope? As we come together as a race, as we feel joy in our rebirth, may we also see a faint promise of Hathor’s greatest gift? Immortality?