Greek Goddess Artemis, Roman goddess Venus

Goddess Gift Newsletter

The  Goddess of Willendorf & the Virtue of Fat

We're hard at work on the Mothers Day edition. Lots of goddessness in that one . . . and it will be coming to you soon!

Tell Mom She's a Goddess . . .

Here are some gift ideas for making this a memorable Mother's Day for her (though macaroni necklaces always worked  for me!)

Mark Twain once quipped, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully. This is a chance to make your mom immortal. Imagine her pleasure when she gets the message that she is always a Goddess to You!

Gift certificates to take the Goddess Quiz will do just that.
Order at: 
My Mom's a Goddess!

Or let her know your love is eternal
with one of the
Pendants or Pocket Goddesses
 
from the Goddess Glass Art Collection by Colin Heaney.

All this thinking of motherhood naturally put me in mind of the Great Mothers, those great goddesses of antiquity -- the ones who, like all great mothers, not only give us life but banish chaos and help us create order in our lives.

When Woman Was Whole
(adapted from Goddess Gift: Discover Your Personal Goddess Type)

Life was simpler in ancient times, back when God was a woman. Harder, no doubt—but simpler.

Woman had only a handful of roles to play in life: gathering food, being a sex partner (willingly or not), giving birth, caring for her young, getting someone (most often a man) to bring her protein and to protect her and her offspring while they were vulnerable.

No wonder the oldest goddesses, the Great Goddesses, usually belong to a category we call ‘fertility’ or ‘Mother’ goddesses!

But soon human females were to take on additional roles, becoming midwife, herbalist and healer.

Woman proved so adept at multi-tasking that new responsibilities just kept getting added to her list.

Today it is typical for a woman to play well over a hundred roles on any given day – chauffeur, cook, waitress, laundress, photographer, children’s hairdresser, personal shopper, florist, gardener, concubine, and much, much more.

The life of a modern woman is a delicate and tricky balancing act.

My inner voice keeps telling me that the changing roles of women and the increasing complexity of their lives also had a lot to do with why the Great Goddess has virtually disappeared. It goes a long way toward explaining how she got dismembered, carved into such tiny pieces that we can barely discern a glimmer of her former radiant self. Only fragments of the myths of the Great Goddesses remain.

How did woman cope with such a rapid expansion
of her job description?

By specializing, of course. . . by becoming psychologically adept at doing just a handful of things at which they could truly excel.  At the same time the goddesses were becoming more differentiated, their powers more limited . . . and more distinctly human.

And what has been the consequence of all this role expansion and specialization, you might ask? The development of the female psyche has fragmented as well.

Over time, women have ‘evolved’ to such a degree that it is sometimes hard to find a contemporary woman who feels she has created a wholesome balance in her life.

The Warrior Woman is busy climbing the career ladder and generally being insensitive to everybody’s feelings, including her own. 

The Lover's latest shopping spree has just pushed her family to the brink of financial catastrophe. The Mystic Maiden has withdrawn and is off in her own world while the Matriarch is wearing herself out being a martyr to everyone else’s needs.

What is going on here?

Though we are proficient and productive (or trying hard to be) , though we are mindful of our bodies (some would say obsessed), and though we are organized (or feeling guilty about not being), something is missing in our lives.  

Every woman comes to a point in her life when it is time to grow up and face the sad fact that nobody is perfect, not even a goddess.  We are too often crippled by neglecting those parts of ourselves that would give us balance. 

We have learned to 'do'. At the same time we have forgotten how to simply 'be'.

Can we relinquish the need for power and control in our relationships? Can we relearn how to be both humble and compassionate? Vulnerable and strong?

Can we learn to dream a better life? Can we let ourselves be filled with joy for the infinite beauty of every sunset, every curve in our bodies?

I think we can.

Can we learn a new way of finding peace and grace?

There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it . . . but make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.

 ~ Monique Wittig, Les Guérillés

Book : Goddess Gift

Click here to order the book.

The Venus of Willendorf

The Goddess of Willendorf, great-bellied giver of life and great-breasted source of nourishment, was a small statue discovered in an archeological dig in Austria in the early 1900's.
 

She is both the earliest depiction of the human form (currently estimated at circa 30,000 - 25,000 BCE)  and the first known image of the Mother Goddess in all her raw and fertile splendor.

Art historians debate the sophistication of her detail, her unknowable face, the dynamism of her braided hair, and her profoundly regal posture.

One scholar described her thus:

She "exhibits... a physical and sexual self that seems unrestrained, unfettered by cultural taboos and social conventions. She is an image of "natural" femaleness, of uninhibited female power."

 

Goddess of Willendorf Venus

Read more about the Goddess:
Venus of Willendorf
and why she's called Venus

 

Well, it seems to me that he neglected to mention another very important point. She also exhibits an abundance of adipose tissue (commonly known as fat) and this is part of what's so wonderful about her. 

So let's back up a minute and give some thought to what that really means . . .

So given all that, here's what we can assume about the Venus of Willendorf:

  • She was an important woman in her culture, so valuable to her "tribe" that she managed to be well-fed . . . not an easy thing to manage in a pre-agricultural civilization.

    That ample cushioning gave her quite a competitive edge in the survival sweepstakes . . . for herself and her children (born, unborn, and yet-to-be conceived).
     

  • Whether it was because of her wisdom, her leadership of the clan, her fertility or all of the above,  we can be certain that this was a woman of power and influence. No doubt about it . . .  all the other women envied those gorgeous curves and wanted to be shaped just like her.

    This was a woman with goddess power!

My how times have changed! Womanly fat is now despised and its value disregarded. 

A woman cannot be too rich or too thin.
        ~ Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

So why was the Goddess of Willendorf also called the 'Venus of Willendorf'? It was, say some experts, a degrading jest about her weight -- an ironic statement reflecting that "civilization in the figure of the Classical Venus later sought to curtail and bring under control."

In plain English that statement translates as "the patriarchy has managed to stamp out the raunchy sexiness of this sort of woman and will honor only the slender Venus we see in our statues and paintings of the Classical Era where she behaves as she should, i.e. 'modestly', covering her important bits with her hands or with scarves."

Or as Esther Kane once so brilliantly remarked:

"You see, the difference between the divas/queens [goddesses] in question and myself is that they have given up the terrible habit of second-guessing themselves all the time and “shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around them” (a fabulous line from a famous Marianne Williamson poem). To put it simply, THEY OWN THEIR POWER AND USE IT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. "

The Goddess Virtue of Fat

Yes, you heard me correctly . . . I said the "Virtue" of fat!! 

Bet you've never thought of it just THAT way . . . neither had I until my friend brought me this wonderful article in a recent issue of Spirituality and Health magazine.

The author is an anatomist/energy healer who describes his wife as a goddess (gotta' love a man like that!) The essay detailed his newly acquired understanding of the positive value of adipose tissue (aka 'fat') and its important functions in the body. . . storing vitamins and hormones (including the sensual/sexual ones),  insulating the rest of the body from harmful toxins, and brace yourself for this one-- serving as the organ of intuition!

A PARABLE OF FAT’S CREATION
by Gil Hedley, Ph.D.

And creating them in Her own image and likeness, Goddess says, “Let there be fat.””

And there is fat, to envelope and warm the whole bodies of the man and the woman. To both of them are given this great gift, in different measure, according to their particular perfections.

To the woman, in greater measure is fat given. A mantle of sensitivity and sensuality Goddess grants her in this luminous fleece beneath her skin.

The lines of her form are thus distinguished from the man’s, augmenting her breasts and hips and belly and bottom, rooting her thighs like trunks to earth’s molten core, rich stores of yellow sap just below her surface.

Here she finely attunes her perception of everything and everyone around her — the movement of the animals, the sounds of the night, the order of the stars, sun and moon, the cycling of the seasons, and the echo of every beating heart, rippling subtle waves of feeling through the delicate, wise web of listening flesh.

Demeter Statue
from the
Goddess Glass Art Collection



Goddess Statues: Artemis

Here she embeds the wisdom of “Her will be done” with all that she senses and knows.

Adorned with her bright yellow dream coat, the woman dances; her form flies, undulates, and rolls, mapping stories in space, stirring the hearts and minds and bodies of all who dare move with every morsel of her now.

Gil Hedley, Ph.D.
~The Parable was excerpted from the article,
"How I Fell in Love with Fat"
Spirituality & Health, Nov-Dec, 2007

Visit the author's blog: Hearts of Service
Read the full article at: Spirituality and Health 

Next month the newsletter will feature that mysterious source of power he is talking about . . .

The Moon Goddesses and The Womanly Art of Intuition

Stay tuned!

Too Much of A Good Thing?

But what if you've created just a bit too much storage space for all that lovely intuition?

You know the health consequences, but, alas, all those quick weight-loss plans have come to naught as usual.  

 According to our guest columnist, Dr. Steve Hodes the Meta-Doc, it is quite possible that you are suffering from an overload of metaphysical weight.  If you are ready to let go of physical and energetic obesity, read on about his metaphysical diet.

Here are the highlights of Dr. Steve's Prescription:

Begin your day with a cup of gratitude. It can be instant, or something you’ve brewed all night by going to sleep with gratitude in your thoughts and dreams. Awaken with the awareness that this new day is a gift to you.  It is an opportunity to transform your self and your life in everyway possible.

Enjoy a plateful of possibility. If you could create a day filled with anything your heart’s desires, what would it be? It begins with an empty plate, brimming with the virtual reality of your intention. Be open to  what will fulfill your true needs.

Realize that the emptiness that you are trying to fill with food is a sign that you need to examine those aspects of your life that are depleting you of energy—is it time to change jobs, relationships, goals?  Or is the problem your attitude about each one of them?  Realize that you will never satiate this ‘hunger’ with food and that it is time to make positive changes and create new intentions.

Fill your bowl with silence. Clear you mind of worries for a moment. Just be still and savor the silence.  Don't speak. Don't turn on the TV or radio or iPod. Don't blast your mind with diverting sounds. Don't be afraid. Allow the time to meditate and still your mind instead of filling your morning with chaos.

Welcome a guest to the table—your spiritual Self.   Your spiritual nature is too often pushed aside by the chaos of your mind. The hassles of existence drown out the still, small voice within. Allow your Higher Self to come to the table and help begin your day with a sense of balance and fullness.

Take each bite with mindfulness. Stay present as you eat. Be aware of each bite, how your muscles move, how your teeth chew. Be aware of the taste. Don’t read, or watch TV or listen to music or even engage in conversation.  Feel the food sliding down your throat, into your esophagus, and toward the abyss of your gut. Visualize life-giving energy in each morsel of food. Be aware of each mouthful—feel yourself filling your inner needs with grace and light. You will become aware of how much less food your really need to be satiated.  Breathe in and out and pay attention to your breath as well.

Add this mindful approach to your health and weight control program and your will find yourself becoming much slimmer--in mind and body.

© Steven E. Hodes, M.D 

Read the rest of the article: Try A Metaphysical Diet and check out his bestselling book,  Meta-Physician on Call.

Till next time,

Love your shapeliness,
Love your self,
Own your power, and
Make the world a better place!

Sharon
The Goddess Path  
     

To Goddess Gift