Masks of the Goddess

March 8, 2007


I am so excited! On a whim I decided to attend a Masks of the Goddess workshop at Kripalu. Other than driving 500 miles each way – everything about this is making my soul sing! The presenter/guide/wisewoman/leader is Lauren Raine. Her website Rainewalker Studio – Revealing the Mythic Self – is filled with beauty and story and is a feast for my soul. I see in her an incipient me.

During my solo time of fasting – I became aware of the power of masks to serve as portals. Portals to what and where? That I cannot tell you – even if you pester me and keep asking me – it is a mystery!

Every time I say that I think of Shakespeare in Love and the way Will is always saying – I don’t know – it’s a mystery – or something like that. I used to say that all the time – rather flippantly – and with great humor until it happened to me. Now I say it – but with reverence. Flippant went by the wayside about the time uncertainty showed up.

As I approach my sixth decade – (I love how that makes me sound older and wiser than I am! Almost as if I am an emerging crone!) I am allowing and encouraging the unknown to work through me. I hear the words of soul poets like David Whyte who speak of falling into the center of our longing. I know on a cellular level what he is talking about. Yet I am irritated and annoyed with someone who asks me “what does that mean?” “how do I/you do that?” Why can’t I just let the question come? What does my great annoyance about being asked expose about me?

The obvious answer – is that I used to be one of those irritating and annoying questioners – and most certainly at times I still am. But there is something else lurking beneath the surface of that obvious interpretation. What is hidden in the unconscious is truly invisible until we summon it up through imagery, dreams, or using others as screens for our projections. Perhaps in the experience of masking myself – this will reveal itself – perhaps not – Who knows! It’s a mystery!

I love to say “just because it is a projection – doesn’t mean it isn’t true!” How about if I add “just because it is a mystery doesn’t mean it isn’t true?” Just think about Kim Aniteau’s Salmon Mysteries and Church of the Old Mermaids – I know they are true! So where am I going with this? Oh yes! sticking with the mysteries and what that is for me.

Right after my quest – I wrote this in my other blog:

Today (July 17, 2006) I was labeled as:

all drama, smoke, mirrors, and mysticism.

To read the whole story you will need to scroll down to the July 17, 2006 entry here.

I was so angry! On some level I am flattered and if this criticism (I hear it as critical – even though it may be neutral) came from someone else – it wouldn’t sting. Somehow in this label there is an arrow that finds my Achilles Heel. What is that vulnerability?

I wrote about it again on September 29, 2006 in a post called Icthyostega.

I remember early on in my work with Salmon Boy he suggested a book Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics. I read it and wondered what it had to do with me. In re-reading it – I see now why he suggested it. We are surrounded by monks and mystics – who knows there may be some in your very own neighborhood! What does it mean to claim the role of a mystic? Why is that so darn scary?

Last week we (Salmon Boy and I) were speaking of the Orphan archetype and what the gifts of the orphan are. He suggested that an orphan has to make her way alone in the world and isn’t given the parenting and nurturing she needs but she is also somewhat more free of the baggage and influence of family. Perhaps it makes it easier for her to be free and to go her own way. Perhaps it is easier to break free when the ties are not as well developed. In some ways that is true for me. As much as my parents loved me – I was one of those mistaken zygotes that Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s writes of. The ones who wriggle with excitement at the idea of being born and they fall right out of the stork’s basket before they are delivered to the right family. All their lives – their family is wondering where in the world they came from – and how they can be so odd and different!

Yup! that was me. Instead of falling in the courtyard of the sanctuary of the goddess, I fell into a perfect family with a four bedroom ranch style house in sunny, southern California. I have been trying to get back to the sancturay ever since.

In the middle passage I am not struggling much with separating from the values of my family of origin – much of that work was done years ago. Instead my struggle is with my own sense of how to bring my soul gifts out into the world. What if it is enough to just be who I am even if it is seen as drama, smoke, mirrors, and mysticism? What if I can claim that as my own? What then? What hidden powers surface if I allow this to come out of the shadows and into the light of consciousness?

These are my musings nine months after laying Elk Woman, conjurer of the four directions to rest on a ridge high in the Manti-La Sal wilderness. I’ll check in again after I return.


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