There I stood before the Goddess. As her timeless gaze fell upon me, I shuddered. She was a pure combination of power and gentleness. At once fierce warrior, undefeated, and gentle guardian, bestowing her love and wisdom upon her people. Beyond anything else, in that instant, I realized I was receiving an image of the feminine I had forgotten existed.
As I stared up at the monumental bronze statue, crafted by blessed hands more than two thousand years ago, I wondered what our lives would have been like if we too, as a civilization, had grown up to cherish and worship such an image of woman. Strong and courageous, intelligent and wise, protectress of arts and science, crafts and inspiration… she embodied the fierce strength of nature, the utmost refinement of the mind, and the all-seeing wisdom of an open heart. All in one being. Whole. Continue reading "She of the Brilliant Eyes"
The esoteric philosophy of Helena Blavatsky and Alice A Bailey both advocated the idea of the seven rays. These mysterious rays have been described as “seven great divine Emanations, Aeons or Spirits”1 and “Seven Holy Ones, self-born from the inherent power in the Matrix of Mother Substance.”2 It is said that each ray holds a unique quality which manifests in the universe and throughout all of creation.
Earlier this year my organisation, Goddess Within, produced a ritual performance piece entitled “The Goddess and the Seven Rays”. The aim of the performance was to map the rays to well-documented Goddess archetypes and through their stories come to understand how these ray qualities manifest within human consciousness.
If there ever was an intimate connection between state and religion, we can see it quite clearly in ancient Athens. The very name of the city is attributed to a goddess—Athena, its protectress and guardian. There are different versions of how this came to be as she competed against Poseidon, the angry god of the sea and earthquakes. A fascinating story about this fight comes surprisingly from a Christian writer, St. Augustine:
At the time of Kekrops [legendary king of Athens] an olive tree suddenly sprung up on the hill of the Akropolis and a spring gushed out near that spot. Kekrops asked the oracle for advice and received the response that the spring suggested Neptune [Poseidon], while the olive tree pointed to Minerva [Athena]. Kekrops called an assembly of all the citizens, male and female, to vote on the question; for at that time and in that place the custom was that women as well as men should take part in discussions about the affairs of state.