AMATERASU

Amaterasu - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Amaterasu is the Japanese Shinto Sun Goddess. Amaterasu means "shining in heaven". After an argument where Amaterasu's brother Susanoo insults her, Amaterasu withdraws and hides in a cave, this plunges the world into darkness and chaos. The Gods decide to try and lure Amaterasu from her cave by holding a party. Uzume, the shaman Goddess does a bawdy dance and the laughter brings a curious Amaterasu to the entrance of the cave. An octagonal mirror is held up and Amaterasu is dazzled by her own reflection and emerges from the cave and daylight is restored. The Emperors of Japan are considered to be direct descendants of Amaterasu.


I did a series of three dimensional boxes, where I painted on the glass front, and on the inside wood panels and added elements to make a shrine. I accidentally dropped the glass when I was painting Amaterasu, and somehow the glass shards seemed perfect as elements in the shrine. Amaterasu is all about reflection, mirroring and the shattering of ego to reveal our essential radiance.

Amaterasu Box Oil on Wood and Glass 12 x 12 x 3


The Oracle of Amaterasu:

Lure me out of my dark cave
With laughter and playfulness
It is too long that I have dwelt without seeing 
The brightness of sunshine
The beauty of the world
As I venture back into the light
My own reflection 
Becomes a mirror to your shining self

The Action of Amaterasu:

Radiate
Let yourself succeed
Radiate your gifts into the world

Amaterasu - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

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GUADALUPE

Guadalupe - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action


Guadalupe is the Mother of the Americas. Between the 9th and 13th December, 1531, Juan Diego, a native Mexican saw the apparition of a young woman four times on Tepeyac hill, just outside Mexico City. Tonatzin - an ancient Aztec Goddess, known as the Mother of Gods, had been worshiped at the same site at a temple that was destroyed by the Spanish. The woman in the visions spoke to Juan Diego in his native language Nahuatl (Aztec) asking to be called Guadalupe and for a church to be built for her in that location. At first the Archbishop of Mexico City - Zumarraga did not believe Juan Diego, after the third apparition Juan was asked to provide proof. Guadalupe asked Juan to gather flowers at the top of Tepeyac hill. Juan gathered roses in his tilma/cloak which were blooming miraculously in December. When Juan met with the Archbishop, he opened his tilma and the roses fell out revealing an image of Guadalupe. A chapel was built on the site where other miracles occurred. The tilma with the image of Guadalupe is now enshrined in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City, the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world's third most-visited sacred site. The words "No estoy yo aqui que soy tu Madre?" (Am I not here, I who am your Mother) are inscribed over the main entrance to the Basilica of Guadalupe.



The original tilma of Saint Juan Diego,  
hangs above the high altar of the Guadalupe Basilica.


When I moved to New Mexico I noticed images of Guadalupe everywhere - I became fascinated with the story, particularly how Tonantzin - the Aztec Mother Goddess became synchronized with the Virgin Mary. I made this painting of Tonantzin shortly after arriving in New Mexico.


Tonantzin - oil on wood 


When my son Noah was seventeen, he finished high school a semester early and went to visit my parents in South Africa. After a few weeks he decided to hitch-hike through Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibia. We lost contact with him for a few months. I was out of my mind with worry as it an extremely dangerous territory. I would visit the Sanctuario de Guadalupe here in Santa Fe and ask Guadalupe to protect Noah. He arrived home safely four months later.



Five of Pentacles - Tarot de St. Croix


In Tarot de St. Croix I painted the Sanctuario de Guadalupe in Santa Fe. The Five of Pentacles is about physical difficulties, whether it is caused by financial concerns, ill health or a difficult environment. Here in Santa Fe, in all sorts of weather, one can see a group of desperate day laborers waiting to be hired. Perhaps they need to send money home to Mexico or earn enough to feed themselves? It breaks my heart to see them rush up to a vehicle who may only hire one for a couple hours of dirty, heavy work. But then I see where they stand beneath the gaze of Guadalupe outside the oldest church in the USA dedicated to her. The five pentacles on her cloak emphasize her message of how she helps us in our time of need. 

Guadalupe - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action


In my deck Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action, Guadalupe says to you:


Am I not here, I, who am your Mother
Are you not under my shadow and protection
Am I not the source of your joy
Do you need something more
I am truly your compassionate Mother
I listen to your weeping and sadness
I cleanse you of your troubles
I nurse your miseries
I remedy your suffering

The Action is:


Healing 
Sink into the sacred heart
Feel the healing power of love.



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KALI

Kali  - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action


Kali, the fierce Indian Goddess - the Divine Ma, is the protector who delivers liberation from our inner demons. She removes complex problems and destroys evil forces.  

Truth is I have always been a little afraid of Kali with her necklace of skulls and vivid red tongue sticking out. And yet, I have also been drawn to her, knowing that the dark mother is needed for balance.  

This is the first painting I made of Kali years ago, shortly after a trip to India where I visited a Kali temple. 


Kali - oil on panel 19" x 11

I painted this Kali as part of a series on Deities in 2008.

Kali, oil on board 8" x 8"

From the deck "Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action"  Kali speaks to us saying:


Feed me your anger
Your complex problems
That which you need to end
Give me your dark thoughts
I will use them righteously
I am the dark Mother
Dancing the dance of death and destruction
Destroying evil forces
I am the protector that delivers liberation

The action to take is:

Destruction
Allow your anger to liberate you
Put an end to that which no longer serves


 Kali - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action


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PELE

Pele - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Pele is the Hawaiian Goddess of fire and volcanoes. It is believed that Pele is the creator of the Hawaiian Islands. Pele is the Goddess of hula, the dance that mimics the movement of the volcano. As well as being extremely powerful, Pele is volatile, passionate and jealous. 

The oracle that Pele speaks:

Feel my pressure build
Heat rising from my molten core
Erupting in a glorious fountain of flame
Flowing , liquid fire
Lava creating new land
Come dance the hula with me
Release your volcanic energy
Wild and untamed

The action to take is:

Energy
Watch your energy rise if something excites you
Use that power as fuel
Flow toward the new


 Pele - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action


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BABA YAGA

Baba Yaga - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Baba Yaga is Mother Nature, the Wise Cone from Russian fairy tales. Baba Yaga lives in a hut on chicken legs deep in the forest. She flies around in a mortar, wielding a pestle. Baba Yaga controls the weather and refuses to be tamed. She represents the paradox of nature.  Baba Yaga is enigmatic, she may either help or hinder those who seek her out. 


The oracle that Baba Yaga speaks:

Deep over the wild, wild woods
Way above my chicken-legged hut
I, Grandmother, old woman nature, fly
Come, ask me a question and I will set you a task
Do you come of your own accord or has another sent you
Be careful, for I may either help or hinder you
Is your heart true

The action to take is:

Paradox
Things may not be as they seem
Open your mind to new possibilities
Take risks

Baba Yaga - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

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THE NORNS

The Norns - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

The Norns - Urd, Verdandi and Skuld are three Goddesses from Norse mythology. They sit beneath mighty sacred tree of life: Yggrasil, weaving the web of fate for all living beings. Urd corresponds to the past, Verdandi, the present and Skuld, the future. The Norns arrive at birth of each newborn to shape it's destiny. Mothers are served Norn porridge shortly after giving birth.

The Norns are very powerful as they even control the fate of the Gods and Goddesses. Every morning they place a rooster at the top of Yggrasil to wake the Gods and Goddesses. They water the roots of Yggrasil, from the well of Fate - Uror, keeping it alive, healthy and green.

In my card the Norns create the Viking rune of Dagaz with their twine. Dagaz  means breakthrough, fruitfulness, and prosperity.

The oracle that the Norns speak:

We Norns, weave your destiny
Urd, your past
Verdandi, what is presently coming into being
Skuld, what shall be
With wise knowing and prophesy
We twine the threads of fate
The Dagaz rune indicates a breakthrough
Awakening your powers of divination

The action to take is:

Prophesy
Use your intuition to guide your actions
Open yourself to messages and synchronicity

The Norns - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

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PACHAMAMA

Pachamama - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Pachamama is Mother Earth, a fertility Goddess who brings nourishment and sustains life. Pachamama is worshipped by the indigenous people of the South American Andes. She embodies the mountains, rivers and waterfalls, the fields planted and the crops harvested. Pachamama also rules over the spiritual life of her followers. She is a supreme deity. 

Through the spread of Catholicism in the area, Pachamama became synchronised with the Virgin Mary as you can see in this image:

The Virgin of the Mountain 


In my deck "Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action" Pachamama gives this oracle: 

I am the Earth, the ground beneath your feet
Mother Nature
I am the mountains, the tilled fields, the flowing waters
My body sustains life
Harvest is my gift
Take care of your Mother
My wrath is earthquakes, fire, flood, and famine
Connect with me in the wild places
I am your home

The Action Pachamama tells us to do is:

Grounding
Feel the comfort of being supported by the Earth
Draw strength from that anchoring

Pachamama - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

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DURGA

Durga - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Durga is the Indian Goddess of protection. Durga is the fierce mother - the slayer of evil. Her many arms with weapons help her to fight evil from any direction. The lion or tiger represents courage. Durga means invincible. Any woman who fights for goodness has the spirit of Durga within her. 

By chanting the following mantra, Durga will remove your physical, mental and worldly problems:

OM SRI DURGAYA NAMAH

Durga - oil on wood 8" x 8" x 4"

In the visual journal page below, I painted myself as Durga, needing to embody courage to fight my own demons. The painting above is actually a small shrine that you can see again on the upper left corner.

I am Durga - mixed media in visual journal

The oracle in my deck "Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action" Durga says:

I am the protective Mother of the Universe
The fierce Mother willing to unleash anger
So that wrongs will be righted
I fight for goodness, for justice
For peace, and prosperity
To remove problems and establish boundaries
I will guard you in times of trouble
Chant to me
OM SRI DURGAYA NAMAH

The action is:

Courage
Use your strength and power
To fight for good

Durga - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action



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SOPHIA

Sophia - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action



Sophia is the Greek Goddess of wisdom. Hagia Sophia is the Holy Wisdom in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. The word sophia means clever, skillful, intelligent and wise. The word philosophy means the lover of wisdom. In Gnosticism - Sophia is the soul. Sophia is often depicted with red wings in a red dress. 

The oracle in my deck "Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action" Sophia says:

Divine Wisdom enfolds you
Merciful tenderness and light
Holy answers come from me
Hagia Sophia
I am your wise soul
Your higher power
Speaking truth through you


The action is:

Wisdom
Know thyself
And you will know the world

Sophia - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

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KUAN YIN

Kuan Yin - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Kuan Yin is the Chinese Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion and mercy. Kuan Yin hears the cries of the world and alleviates suffering. She grants every prayer that is asked of her. Kuan Yin protects mothers and children. Kuan Yin can assume both genders - in this depiction Kuan Yin is androgynous.

Many years ago, a neighbour invited me to a Buddhist sangha, the focus of the teaching was Kuan Yin. I found deep peace in chanting to this gentle Goddess. Shortly after the meeting I experienced terrible backache and sciatica. I dreamt that night, that Kuan Yin came to me and told me not to worry and in the morning my pain was gone. I believe Kuan Yin had heard my cries. This visual journal piece tells the story:

Kuan Yin - mixed medium in my visual journal

Over the years I found refuge many times with Kuan Yin. I have made several paintings in honor of her.

Kuan Yin, oil on panel 8" x 8"


Kuan Yin, oil on panel, 26" x 15"

 In my deck "Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action" Kuan Yin says:

I, who hears the weeping of the world
Can change your fate
Save you from physical and spiritual harm
I grant every prayer
OM MANI PADME HUM
With love
Let a new breeze blow through your house
The way is cleared by virtue, as it always was

The action is:

Mercy
Through sweetness, compassion and kindness
Alleviate the suffering of others

Kuan Yin - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action


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BAST

Bast - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Bast is the Egyptian cat headed Goddess of pleasure, the home and fertility. Domestic cats in Egypt were seen as manifestations of Bast. Cats protect the home from vermin/disease and are very fertile. Bast is a derivative of ba'Aset which means the soul of Isis. Bast was worshiped in orgiastic ceremonies where dancing to the sistrum, a type of a rattle, occurred amongst much drinking and revelry. Bast is a playful, joyous Goddess. The staff she carries has the head of a lotus flower which symbolized the sun, creation and rebirth.

 In my deck "Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action" Bast says:

Shake those rattles, dance and drink
Raise your skirts
Celebrate
I am the cat-headed Goddess Bast
Lighthearted and free
I bring friendship and play
Give comfort and support
Domestic Goddess
I protect your home
Children and women's mysteries

The action is:

Celebrate
Make a celebration in gratitude
For the gifts in your life
Honor the Goddess in revelry

Bast - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action


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PERSEPHONE

Persephone - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Persephone is the Greek Goddess of both vegetation and the underworld. Hades, the God of the underworld, spied the beautiful maiden Persephone gathering flowers, fell in love with her and abducted her. Persephone became his wife, the Queen of the Underworld. Her mother Demeter's deep grief in losing her daughter caused grain and vegetation to stop growing, thus causing the seasons. After a long search aided by Hecate, Demeter found Persephone and brought her back, but Hades had tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds which meant she had to return to him in the underworld for part of the year. 

Each year around the time of Mabon, Fall Equinox I feel as if I am being abducted into the darkness, the shortening days distress me. As a gardener and lover of nature I mourn the loss of vegetation and my time spent outdoors. Yet, the seeds of creativity keep me captive in my studio, and I grow to love that time too. This is a painting I made one winter many years ago.

The abduction of Persephone, oil on wood


In this painting I show the abduction of Persephone based on a sculpture by Bernini. Despite her struggle the room is opulent and luxurious, with heavenly upholstery, poppies blooming on the table, surly she will come to love her time there. Out the window you can see Demeter sowing grain. At the top is the pomegranate. 

In my deck Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action Persephone says:

I move between the worlds
Maiden of the flowering meadow
Spring, and sprouting earth
Queen of the underworld, seeds that lie dormant
Enter my mysteries through trance
In the depth of winter, in the deepness of sleep
In the stillness of death, there is rest
In the sprouting of seed, in the freshness of life
in the flowering of love, there is resurrection
Honor the cycles within you

The action is:

Potential
Plant the seeds of your desires
Nurture and nourish them as they gestate
Taste the sweet fruit of your labor.

Persephone - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

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DEMETER

Demeter - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Demeter is the Greek Goddess of agriculture, grain and harvest. She represents the fertility of the earth, the cycles of life and death. Demeter is the mother of Persephone. When Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter went into grieving and the vegetation died. Persephone spends part of each year in the underworld and returns each Spring. The grieving and joy of Demeter causes the seasons to change.

Shortly after graduating from Art School, I painted Demeter. Today I looked everywhere for an image of that painting which was sold many years ago, looking through hundreds of old photos, contacting the friend I thought who had bought it... nothing. It is as if that painting, that daughter of mine, had been abducted and was now lost in the dark. I even cried when my search proved futile and then I realized it was a perfect metaphor and that maybe in the spring, somehow she will appear once more. 

In my deck Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action Demeter says:

Oh, my daughter
You who have been abducted
Into the dark underworld
I search for you
My terrible grief lays famine in its wake
But then you return, more lovely than ever
The hope of spring
In my joy, the earth flourishes once more
The secrets of the seasons
The descent, search and ascent
Bind us, forever my daughter

The action is:

Cycles
Travel the underworld of darkness
Soul searching
Emerge into the light, flourishing


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MAWU


Mawu - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action

Mawu is the African Moon Goddess who birthed the world and all its creatures into existence. Mawu is generous, nurturing, abundant and creative. She brings balance, harmony and life giving energy. She is the Goddess of motherhood, pregnant with life. 

As a child growing up in Africa, I often witnessed mothers carrying their infants on their backs. As a baby, I too was nestled in a blanket against the back of my nanny's heart, as she worked. This closeness profoundly affected my being and became a recurring theme in many of my paintings.


Mother and child, oil on canvas 36" x 36"


Nanny Margaret - Visual Journal

In my deck - Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action, Mawu speaks to you saying:

I am the Moon, the Mother of Earth
Creator of all life
In the Coolness of night
By the Moon's brilliant light
Make generous love
Be pregnant with inspiration
Give birth to passion
Nurture your Creation

The Action is:

Creativity
Watch the sliver of inspiration 
Wax to the fullness of creation
   



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