Monday, January 5, 2009

The Emerging Goddess

Some time ago, I wrote some poems for a friend's book of photography, called The Emerging Goddess. I didn't know much about the history of goddesses at the time he asked me to write the poems, so I did a little reading up. Here's what I found out.

Those Ubiquitous Goddesses

Those mythological girls sure had it covered.
They were everywhere.
Every body of water imaginable –
the sea, the ocean, and all the freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes
even the springs, fountains, and marshes had a goddess.
They were the muses of creativity
inspiring lyrics, music, comedy, tragedy, dance, choral song,
astronomy, poetry, hymns, and epics.
They could have been epics in themselves.

They liked to go around in threes –
the Triple Goddess – maiden, mother, and crone,
the Three Virgins,
the Charities our goddesses of beauty,
the Furies our fearsome crones,
the Fates who controlled the time of birth,
how lives turned out,
and when it was time to die.
It didn’t do to tempt the Fates.
Some of the other threesomes weren’t so nice
or even attractive:
the Gorgons whose ruler was Medusa –
you know the one with the snaky hair,
the wise Gray sisters.
Poor things from Day One
had to share one tooth and one eye,
And those hungry Harpies
went around a half bird and half woman.

But mostly they were protectors
of all creations on earth,
of the moon, the days of weeks, the stars, the light,
the hearth and home,
the harvest and fields.

One goddess protected marriage
another protected prostitutes
another protected childbirth
and another protected young women.
Now figure all that out.
Wherever our goddess of spring walked
flowers bloomed.
But this poor soul
had to live as queen of the underworld half the year
just because she ate one pomegranate seed.
Even her mother,
the goddess of all life on earth,
couldn’t protect her.

Some goddesses were quite independent.
They hunted,
they went to war,
and one so cold and vain
was the goddess of love and beauty.
She lusted after the god of war.
What a combo that must have been.
Still others protected wisdom,
weaving, and the soul.
The soul goddess
married the god of love.
A most fortuitous union.

True, it’s all a myth.
Yet you can’t deny
it’s all about life lessons
and what we’re ready to learn.
So, let’s show those girls
their work was not for naught,
that we’re up to the challenge
to reach our potential,
to claim our destiny,
to protect and rule the world and beyond.

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