Called by the Goose

For about the last 6-7 years or so, I've been enamored with water foul, especially geese. Most people think geese are aggressive, mean-spirited creatures. I've never seen them that way and, as the years have gone on, they've brought strong emotional reactions to the surface whenever I see them.

I often feel full of joy and a gratitude for life when I see them all hanging out together, their grey and downy babies wobbling at their sides. The other day I witnessed a graceful adult goose get hit by a car on a busy road near where I live. Seeing the beautiful animal lying on the ground, honking and confused, with its faithful gaggle watching from the sidelines, immediately brought me to tears.

In a most dramatic (and perhaps silly sounding) sense I felt almost like Jim Morrison who, as a child, witnessed a car crash that took the life of a Native American man. Jim lived the rest of his days believing that the man's spirit somehow blended with his. At that moment yesterday, I felt something similar and hope that I can carry the soul of that wounded goose with strength.

So after years of watching and admiring the goose from afar, I decided it was time to accept that this bird was a totem of mine and look up what that meant. What I found seemed meaningful if not full of synchronicity.

"If Goose has flown across your path;

You are being reminded that we often take on the quests of our peers and family without stepping back and discerning whether or not this is something that we ourselves would wish to pursue. Make sure that the path you are currently following is your own and look deeply into your heart to ascertain that the choice is yours and not what someone else has wished upon you.
Alternatively  the quest you are currently on is about to take an abrupt change of course. Know that this is only a temporary thing and that you will soon be back on your chosen path.

If Goose is your Animal Totem;

You are kind, loyal and brave. Family and friends is a high priority for you. You are a clear communicator and a compassionate member of your community. Your focus is always on the community and family as a whole unit and make your decisions (often with self sacrifice) based on what is best for all. You have an innate belief that there is just one special person in the world for each of us and make a devoted and tentative spouse. You are good at setting your boundaries and aggressive at keeping them in place. Your greatest desire is to manifest the “good life” for your family and community. You know how to tap into the Universal Mind to find the destiny and directions of individuals and then relay the stories they need to activate their process of destiny manifestation."
And did you know that geese are monogamous pair-bonders? Like many other birds, they often mate for life and are quite loyal to each other. Strange that the goose began trying to get my attention as I was moving into a new love and a new way of looking at relationships. An entirely new paradigm is what's followed. Hmm...   

Brightest blessing of the goose and happy summer.

Life, Some Worries, and the Erie Canal


I rarely get personal here but there's so much going on lately - so much to worry about. I'm trying not to worry so much since I know as well as anyone that it is one of the mind's most useless preoccupations. But I've been slacking on the meditation a little and that has a way of making my head feel cluttered. Best to just get it all out.

Our dog passed a couple of weeks ago now. It was our decision and I hope the right one. We're moving in a month or so to a village on the Erie Canal and leaving the gorgeous acre and a half of green space we've called home for a decade now. It seems appropriate to have buried our boy on the only land he ever lived.

I'm flooded with questions and concerns about money, my daughter's new school and her education, how much space we'll have, whether our cats will make a bathroom of the new place before we even get settled in, and how much we'll miss our gardens and the openness and the dancing trees.

But we won't miss the obnoxious sounds of traffic flying down past the strip mall that poses as a main drag just up the street. We won't miss the macho motorcyclists who used to wake our baby with their antics at 3am. We won't miss the sound of sirens in this little oasis surrounded by commerce.

No, where we're going will be more quiet, that much is certain. Perhaps we'll hear a stray moo from a randy cow, but no Harleys will clash with our peaceful suppers. Surprising, considering it's a townhome in a circle of townhomes, surrounded by neighbors on all sides. 

In a few years time we hope to buy a home somewhere on the outskirts of the city - about an hour or so away to commute. This is the plan since it's a good way to be sure we won't be paying a mortgage for the rest of our lives (on top of student loans) as the houses are a million times cheaper out there. 

Ideally we'd love a small home, maybe even a tiny one - a 500 square foot castle surrounded by nature. Not much to clean, not much to maintain. Just us and the wild and some time to spare. He wants to grow food all day. I'll help, of course, but I still need to make the art and maybe even get some more of my novels off the ground. If I could set those things in motion, we could live anywhere and he could farm as much as he wanted and be completely set free from computer and cube.

I'm going to make that happen.

In the meantime, I will do my best to stay in the now. Because the now is almost always pretty awesome. I will choose to always be in love and never lose faith. I will strive to live for those I love and be ever brave in the face of fear. I love therefore I am.

Link: Rebalancing the Masculine and the Feminine

unknown artist | source

This is an important read from Goddess scholar, Anne Baring, and one that I downloading into my collection many years ago. 

An excerpt:
When the masculine and the feminine are in balance, there is fluidity, relationship, a flow of energy, unity, totality. This fluidity and balance is perhaps best illustrated by the Taoist image of the indissoluble relationship and complementarity of Yin and Yang. In the broadest terms, the feminine is a containing pattern of energy: receptive, connecting, holding things in relationship to each other; the masculine is an expanding pattern of energy: seeking extension, expansion towards what is beyond. More specifically, the feminine reflects the instinctual matrix and the feeling (heart) values of consciousness; the masculine reflects the questing, goal-defining, ordering, discriminating qualities of consciousness, generally associated with mind or intellect. For millennia women have lived closer to the first pattern; men to the second. But now, there is a deep impulse to balance these within ourselves and our culture. There is an urgent need to temper the present over-emphasis on the masculine value with a conscious effort to integrate the feminine one. [read more]

Anima and Animus Insights

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Anima: the personification of all feminine psychological tendencies within a man, the archetypal feminine symbolism within a man's unconscious.

Animus: the personification of all masculine psychological tendencies within a woman, the archetypal masculine symbolism within a woman's unconscious.
After publishing my most recent thoughts on my current spiritual journey with the Horned God/Divine Masculine, I sent an email to my husband with the link so he could read it and we could discuss it later. This is pretty normal though I didn't really expect the thoughts that came out before I hit send.
This is something I wrote on Panthea today and it's bringing some revelations. I think I can see now that in every man I've ever been attracted to I've been looking for something to heal the wounded masculine spirit within myself. And that (consciously) choosing not to seek that in others, but to seek it in myself and in our relationship, I've finally begun to truly heal it instead of putting fruitless and temporary band aids over it.
I wanted to share that epiphany with you as I think it's universally human and that men obviously do the same sorts of things. It almost makes sense that men would covet and objectify so heavily given that their feminine selves are so deeply wounded in this age - disproportionately so, I would wager, than the masculine in women.
This is sort of like a big "ah ha" moment for me. It seems so obvious now, but I suppose I've never really been able to put the whole idea into coherent language. Even though I've studied Jung and read many times about anima/animus projection, it is just now beginning to make some serious sense. Perhaps it's taken me so long to figure out because the ideas of "masculine" and "feminine" are such loaded concepts in our patriarchal world.

Erich Neumann, a student of Carl Jung, said this in his book, The Origins and History of Consciousness:
It is in this sense that we use the terms "masculine" and "feminine" . . . not as personal sex-linked characteristics, but as symbolic expressions. . . . The symbolism of "masculine" and "feminine" is archetypal and therefore transpersonal; in the various cultures concerned, it is erroneously projected upon persons as though they carried its qualities. In reality every individual is a psychological hybrid. . . . . [I]t is one of the complications of individual psychology that in all cultures the integrity of the personality is violated when it is identified with either the masculine or the feminine side of the symbolic principle of opposites.
"The integrity of the personality is violated" is very profound. What this means is that being forced by our cultural standards to bifurcate our true selves as "psychological hybrids" into one of two narrowly defined boxes called "male" or "female" causes great spiritual and psychological trauma to the individual. Obviously, we would need to develop some coping mechanisms in order to deal with that trauma.

Of the two social classes of men and women, we could easily say that men are more culturally policed to repress their anima natures. Calling a man a homosexual is a far bigger insult than calling a woman a lesbian, for example. In fact, there are many more words used to emasculate men than there are to de-feminize women (if that's even a word). The anima is repressed, scorned, and hated. The projected coping mechanisms created to deal with this violation of the naturally hybridized male psyche include objectification of female bodies, pornography, prostitution, general violence against women, and overall misogyny. Not to mention what men do to each other in order to punish the anima in other men.

Above are some of the more extreme ways in which a man may continue to disassociate himself from his anima (from anything perceived as feminine) as "the other" and therefore reinforce his culturally constructed masculinity. Women project their animus as well, though the outcomes of coping with that trauma seem wholly different and may need their own post. This is most likely due to the imbalance of power within a patriarchy.

So why don't most people feel consciously traumatized by denying half of their own experience as a human soul? Why don't more people do this psychological digging? Because it's oh so normal. It's what we know and the way we think things are supposed to be. We don't know better and so accept the abuses that come from these hidden psychological wounds. And being raised within a patriarchal paradigm, we unknowingly reinforce these stereotypical ways of being on a regular basis without the slightest bit of forethought.

Think about it. We all have pretty concrete ideas of what a man or a woman is supposed to be and behave accordingly. These values are planted when we're very young children with words like "isn't she a pretty princess" or "what a strong line-backer of a boy". What if we began to realize that everything we've been taught is a fabrication perpetuated throughout time in order to maintain social control? What if we really took a hard look at ourselves and saw that deep down, we are who we are, regardless of the bodies we arrived here in?

Masculine/Feminine, Anima/Animus, Yin/Yang... these exist in all of us and are integral parts of our soul's experience. To deny one side or the other is a violation of our innocent humanity, a bifurcation of mind and spirit whose wounds continue to threaten our societies and our very planet.

This is the new paradigm that can move us out of the culture of domination we currently find ourselves in. This is the time of partnership being set into motion by the planets and stars above, most deeply felt since the 2012 Winter Solstice. The question for all of us is, will we take the opportunities the Universe is providing and be brave enough to give birth to something new?

Divine Partnership and a New Leg of the Journey

Perspehone and Pluto/Hades as Divine Couple | source
I find I am becoming increasingly disinterested in accepting the concept of the Goddess as being a lone creator. This is unsettling in some ways as I've been a fairly devout priestess of the Goddess for nearly 20 years. But in other ways it feels like a liberating time of epiphany.

You see, I've come to understand that creation never happens in a vacuum, never without a partnership of some kind working under the surface (at the very least). This is true for my art and in the unfolding of my relationships.

In some ways, I am beginning to understand that holding (or grasping) onto the Goddess while dismissing the God was a way that I was trying to control my world through identifying with her. The image I created of her fed my ego, made me feel vindicated, and stopped me from truly being vulnerable enough to love. While I will never lose my faith in the Great Goddess, I do believe I have been attached to a self created image of her that she never intended. Now she's asking me to reevaluate and look at her lessons more closely so that I might heal some old wounds and rebirth myself anew.

The one thing I keep coming back to with these new insights is the Horned God and his ancient archetype that continues to echo throughout time. I have been realizing for a little while now that I had him pegged all wrong and purposely ignored his voice for far too long due to my own personal issues.

"The Sorcerer" is perhaps up to 32,000 years old.
Starhawk has said that the Horned God is "the power of feeling, and the image of what men could be if they were liberated from the constraints of patriarchal culture" and "If man had been created in the Horned God's image, he would be free to be wild without being cruel, angry without being violent, sexual without being coercive, spiritual without being unsexed, and able to truly love".

The above sentiments and others like them have struck a metaphorical chord in my being and they seem to refuse to stop ringing with realizations of pure truth. I can't let them go now, as if I've been called to walk down a new and uncertain path where I will finally be able to see humanity as a whole, not just the parts that make me comfortable. It is a road of partnership and the bravery to consciously choose to need another soul no matter the inevitable pain. It is understanding the relationships (with our world, other humans, and ourselves) that perpetuate change and birth our souls into something far greater than our current understanding of ourselves.

I'm simultaneously eager and frightened though I truly believe the time has come for the God to stand beside the Goddess as he was always meant to be; void of patriarchal mores and power struggles. They are true partners, hand in hand, facing the same direction in the service of a love that can save humanity from itself.

Men need him now as do women. Not the thunderbolt throwing gods of domination, but a whole and complete masculine archetype to teach and lead in peace by example. They remember him. We all do. Now it's time for Mama to introduce him to us in all his original innocence for the first time in many thousands of years.

For my son, my husband, and for the wounded masculine within myself, I choose this journey with open eyes and a willing heart.

Being Human is Good for Guys But Gross for Girls

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I had an interesting non-conversation with my mother this morning after I did a little stretch and yawn while wearing a tank top. I've been letting my armpit hair grow out a bit just to see what it's like since I've never even actually seen it. Honestly, I've been shaving since I was 12 and have no idea what my body is naturally supposed to look like with hair. I let my legs grow out once during a particularly long Upstate, New York winter. But never my pits.

Anyway, my mom goes "Gross" as I stretched up my arms.

"This is how I'm naturally made so why is it gross?" I asked.

"It just is," she said. "Armpit hair is gross. But I don't mind it on guys."

"Okay, so the human default for women is gross then? But on men, nature got it right?"

"Pretty much."

So women are naturally gross and men are just fine the way Nature made them. Men are the superior model of humanity then and women are just there to conform to certain beauty standards to live up to the expectations of other women and be sexually appealing to the real humans of the world: men. WTF?

This all left me puzzling how in the hell I was born of this woman but then made me realize that she had helped shape some of the more patriarchal ideas I once held about the world. My mother is a patriarchy sympathizer. Or apologetic. Or whatever. But it's not like she knows any better.

So I've already been pondering shaving today since I'm feeling that bit of female peer pressure bred on disapproval. Those few words were able to leave a mark on my psyche enough to rethink my hair experiment in about two seconds even though the larger part of me really doesn't give a shit at all. This is just experiential proof of how strong the cultural scripts we were raised with really are. It's all so pervasive. And commercial. And exploitative. Ugh.

We'll see if I can fight the urge to conform since that's really all it is. My beliefs are not in line at all with that conformity but the urge is still there. Acceptance or fear of not getting it is a huge factor in the choices we all make in life.

Growing out my natural body hair is me trying to get just a little more free. If I can do it and not care what others think or say, maybe I'll be an inch further from being a hapless sheep. Then if I choose to shave it will actually be a choice and not an act of slavery to gain acceptance from a culture that I basically believe chews people up and spits them out for a profit. 

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