Saturday, October 31, 2020

Fingers Emit Sparks

Somewhere in/around 1998 while explaining shoulder rolls/circles in one of the classes I facilitate, an idea came to mind ~ I suggested bringing the middle finger to the outside of the leg with special attention drawn to the middle finger and the circles traced on the leg as we roll the shoulder forward, up, back, and down again to the neutral starting position.  It appeared to be a successful analogy to take note of the circles being drawn on the leg by the middle finger while moving the shoulder in a circular pattern at various tempos. This then became a staple in my teaching technique:  I invite my class participants to bring the hand alongside the leg and to keep their arms long with the hands, wrists, and elbows all “quiet” so as to observe the circles being drawn along the outside of the leg as we circle our shoulders.

In addition, I invite attention to our posture. I was taught to stand tall, spine erect, neck long and that the dance is a celebration of the body we have been given for this lifetime’s journey. Stand tall, proud, and elegant as a conduit between Heaven & Earth. 

I was taught to firmly plant my feet upon the floor and to feel the Earth beneath the floor, imagining myself as a tree with roots extending deep down to Her molten core. I was taught to summon the nurturing energy from Mother Earth.  I was also taught to extend the branches of my tree upward, reaching high into the sky, to raise my arms upward in a gesture of receiving blessings from Heaven Above, a gesture depicted in prehistoric statuary that "survives" to this day.  (See below and also p. 18 of the
history booklet I created for my class participants). 

Years later when visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art to acquaint myself with the artifacts in the exhibit dedicated to Hatshepsut, I was stopped in my tracks when in the center of one of the exhibit rooms I saw a case housing a painted limestone sculpture of Princess Ahhotep.* There she stood in the very center of the room in her own case staring back at me. It was immediately obvious to me that her fingertips were summoning energy from the earth beneath her feet and I was dumb struck by the posture she exhibited illustrating the very posture I was teaching in my classes! What a beautiful affirmation! Later as I became better acquainted with the Goddess Hathor, I also came to treasure this acquaintance with Ahhotep and her beautiful 'Hathor wig'**.

From that point forward I have made an effort to remember to show this picture to my class participants:
Painted limestone statue of the royal daughter 
with her beautiful Hathor wig 
and elongated pronated fingers.  
(c. 1560-1525 BCE)

I hope by sharing this with my class participants they'll sense a powerful connection to  the concept being shared as well as our connection to women in antiquity.  Stand with good posture as a proud, elegant woman of antiquity also stood!

And now here we are many years later.  It is 2020 and we are in the midst of a global pandemic which has forced us into reflective contemplation, and I have begun practicing Qigong under the direction of Deborah Bellaus. I am all the more convinced of our individual as well as collective energetic connection/s, which remind me that although I may be in isolation, I am not alone.  

In one of our recent sessions Deborah invited us to think of our middle finger being like a lightning rod.  This suggestion reminded me once again of the statue of Princess Ahhotep. With my hands alongside my leg, fingers pointing downward like a magnetic lightning rod, I am connecting to and conducting energy from the molten core of the earth transforming and enlivening the very core of my being along the vertical axis that runs from the earth through the soles of the feet to sky bound through the top of the head ~ a ground-to-cloud upward moving energy surge! 

Encourage the energy to flow along the vertical axis, which runs through you up from the earth; the horizontal axis which runs from right to left through you; and the axis that runs from behind you, forwards. Think of this as your personal mandala of space.  

As taught by my dance guru Mini Janislawski I learned Namaskaram, the classical South Indian dance Bharata Natyam ritual opening: A  time-honored sequence of gestures honoring/greeting Mother Earth upon whom we dance, also acknowledging Divinity, our lineage of teachers and each other.

Mimi explained our personal mandala of space is filled with Life Force that also extends out to the very tips of our fingers...and out into infinity... and beyond.

Most synchronistically/coincidentally, while recently listening to a webinar with David Whyte, he shared a quote from William Blake, which I felt beautifully "sums up" this feeling:

My fingers Emit sparks of fire 
with Expectations of my future labors 

 - William BlakeEnglish poet, painter, and printmaker.  
written c.  1800 while living in Felpham on the South Coast of England 

As part of my class opening movements we also raise our arms overhead with palms reaching up as depicted in this clay figurine dating back to c. 3500-3400 BCE.  It has been speculated she represents a celebratory ritual, I imagine perhaps a dance invoking blessings from Heaven Above, from the very Cosmos…

Female Figure, Egyptian


🌟You are a conduit between heaven and earth🌟
May Divine sparks emit from your fingers!


 * I invite you to read more: Go to page 45 of this pdf. version of the exhibit catalogue: www.scribd.com/document/299163102/Hatshepsut). 

** in the above-reference catalogue: "This headdress, which originated in the Middle Kingdom, was worn by royal and common women alike.  Although Middle Kingdom representations of the wig could be quite elaborate, detailing the texture of the hair and jeweled decorations, it is only on those worn by queens that ribbonlike bindings appear. Ahhotep's hair binding, with its back tie... was painted yellow, undoubtedly to simulate gold.  Modest in artistry as this figure may seem, it was clearly intended to portray a great lady."

                                                    

**Namaskaram = salutations/greetings meaning to bow (as in our meaning of curtsy and reverence (as in French, as opposed to being reverent in prayer). Best translation of Namaskaram: To Bow in Salutation/Greetings.”







Wednesday, August 19, 2020

with gratitude, in tribute to Layne Redmond on the occasion of her birth date: AUG 19

When asked by Melissa Deborah and the Women Frame Drummers FaceBook group to create a video in remembrance of my meeting Layne Redmond, I was happy to comply; however, I was asked to keep this video under 5 min which was a HUGE CHALLENGE for me when giving consideration to someone who influenced me profoundly!
Thank you Sister Leo, Divine Feline Layne for all you shared with us during your time here on Earth. We hear you in the Heavens amidst a chorus of angels and when the bees are buzzing.
(Please see video below for my reminiscences of first meeting Layne.)
Layne Redmond (1952-2013) was a generous teacher, glorious frame drummer, director of many healing ceremonies including those she conducted with her ‘Mob of Angels’ (see https://youtu.be/wO4P25-vQiA), recording artist [she produced numerous CD’s and instructional videos (see layneredmond.com/shop/)] and author of the book When the Drummers were Women, A Spiritual History of Rhythm.

Layne inspired me to gather together women in my community to conduct similar percussion processionals & ceremony. We formed the Lehigh Valley Percussion Priestesses (see www.tahya.com/book-a-program/percussion-priestesses), playing percussion as we processed at the Bethlehem Sculpture Garden.

Tahya in the foreground; background left to right:  Donna Haney,
Wanda Finelli, Meg Green, Monica McAghon, Meg Deak
We opened our shows at Musikfest with frame drum, systrum, etc, alongside my son on doumbec, Grant Smith on Tabla, Yodi Vaden on djembe and Ross Brown and, most notably for me, we participated at an event in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Left to right:  Jessica Ballas, Leticia Gutievaz, Monica Mcaghon, Sharon Ettinger, Gloria Leight,
Tahya, Nancy Schaefer, our pixie whose name I have since forgotten :-( and Meg Deak

Writing this post and reminiscing with my friend Susan Meixell, we also recalled a time we presented our processional at the '99 "Unity with a Beat" program.... (read more: https://www.tahya.com/about-tahya/musings)
Clockwise from lower left: Susan Meixell, Tahya, Donna Haney,
 (forgive me I cannot recall your name),
Meg Deak, Wanda Finelli
As I mentioned in my July 2020 post, in 2004 I had the good fortune to travel for two weeks throughout Crete with Layne Redmond. She passed through the veil October 28, 2013, in Asheville, North Carolina, may she rest in power. Her book remains exceedingly important to me. After years and years of studying the history & mystery of movements steeped in ancient matriarchal cultures which celebrated the Divine Feminine, at last I had a resource containing much of the information that had been handed down in oral tradition and now was in print! In turn, I recommend it to my class participants. BTW, if you don’t have a copy of the book When the Drummers were Women, A Spiritual History of Rhythm, I highly recommend seeking it out: layneredmond.com/shop/
Last but not least, it was reading her research about the ancient Egyptian diety Hathor in the book When the Drummers were Women, A Spiritual History of Rhythm that set me on the path of re-emerging the Systrum, a percussion instrument which had been buried by the sands of time. Together with the frame drum it was played in ceremonial temple processionals by priestesses and queens. For more information, please visit www.HathorSystrum.com
Below is the 'short version' of the circuitous route that led me to my first meeting Layne Redmond thanks to my friend Ben Iobst, after hearing Glen Velez in concert at Kutztown University. Mmmmm.... in memoriam to my sister Leo, divine feline, Layne Redmond on the occasion of her birthday: August 19.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Musings on a Sultry Sunday in the Spring and Summer of Solitude

I might have thought ~ my ego may have craved ~ the “idea" that navigating the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders might be nice, easier  if I were able to cook in the kitchen and dance around the living room with a loving partner… and nearly five months into this pandemic season of solitude I am discovering the loving partner I sought is within me…

She beckons me to a chamber, a cavern of creativity, within and so I’m taking a swan dive into the deep end. Now you must understand this was not an immediate appreciation on my part, not by a long shot! I grieved, oh how I grieved, first the loss of a lifestyle to which I’d become quite accustomed and then I was sad about the absence of a loving companion with whom to navigate the terror of a global pandemic. I wished someone would hug me and assure me that we will, in fact, make it through this storm.  In addition now there are waves and waves of civil protests in response to the brutal murder of George Floyd #BlackLivesMatter and Breonna Taylor #SayHerName and far too, too, too many others.  These incidents have awakened those of us who've been operating under unwittingly unconscious and, quite frankly, inexcusable white privilege to recognize we must join forces in the demand for a new paradigm of freedom, equity and justice for all.

Along the way I have lamented, prayed, lamented s'more & cried. Ever so slowly after acknowledging my grief and allowing myself to go through all the phases, I believe I arrived at some level of acceptance with an inkling of how to proceed.  I suppose I could say I am emerging all the more committed to anti-racist dialogue and activism and educating myself on the best practices to behave in anti-racist ways in any given moment and yet I can't trust myself to know what I need to know so imbedded am I in this culture.  Accountability is paramount.


Meanwhile I have been hosting a new moon online gathering in which we chant the Heart Sutra Mantra in an effort to invoke blessings of vibrant good health from Hathor and the Bee Goddess in recognition of the Divine Feminine asking Her to arise, to awaken Her power in every cell of our bodies and into our personal mandala of space and into our homes and out into our communities, across the country, across the planet and out into infinity ... 

Below is an audio recording of our most recent gathering which includes a picture of a signet ring found in a tomb near the temple of Knossos on the island of Crete dating back to approximately 1560 BCE. It depicts a circle of women in a ritual dance BEElieved to honor the Bee Goddess.  By the way, I had the good fortune to visit Knossos when I was in Crete with Layne Redmond, may she rest in power.


The day following our New Moon Zoom 
(after a busy morning of phone calls and emails), I sat in meditation with my eyes closed, focusing on my breath with the intention to calm down ... when a brilliant golden radiant  {{{{{💛}}}}}  appeared.  It calmed me, it soothed me, it inspired me.

Later that same day when I returned to my office, I found my friend Zenta had sent an email with a link about the Birth of the Leo-Aquarius Age, as explained by Maurice Fernandez, 
President, Global Organization for Professional Astrologers. That is, astrologically speaking we are in the age of Aquarius in the northern hemisphere and Leo in the southern hemisphere.  He also mentioned the heart as the locale where the convergence between heaven and earth takes place (the mid chakra, the center) and the lion (Leo) represents the heart, the sun, gold and light.....hmmmm  {{{{{💛}}}}} 

Leo that I am, I am
filled with a lioness’ enCOURAGEment
to BEE the light 

So Hum 
(Sanskrit: I am)

Svãhã 

PS:  My friends I invite you to join me....

IT. IS. TIME. Women, let us gather (even in isolation) and send out healing vibrations of LOVE  around the world....Men who share these sentiments are invited to join as well.  We gather in the darkness of the new moon. PM me for coordinates.

This beautiful painting by 
Nazim sprang to mind when (virtually) participating in a women's self-care for healthcare retreat last month with Diane Hummingbird Larkin, Deborah Belaus and Jan Pavelco, among others. We were invited to envision ourselves as a circle of women and this image IMMEDIATELY came to mind. Thank you Nazim Artist for this beautuful visionary imagery 


Celestial Blessings   sššt sššt sššt sššt 



Femme-Women-Healing-The-World painting by Nazim

Friday, June 12, 2020

Rumi Wisdom for Reflective Isolation


Tahya with Cooperman Glen Velez series hand drum
During isolation brought about by stay-at-home-orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, I've found a little extra time to pick up the frame drum and attempt to accompany myself reciting Rumi. This was a challenge for me, you see, because in the past I've been blessed to have far more talented percussionists accompany me which allowed me to get lost in the words/world of Rumi.... Nevertheless, I thought it would be a good challenge and I've been practicing here and there in between also still working full-time remotely from home. Challenging indeed! It is sooo easy to get lost in the poetry, it's hard to stay focused and grounded enough to sustain the rhythm and play the drum at the same time. At any rate, it turns out it was a good thing I had been practicing it because our local PBS station contacted me thinking that I would be a likely candidate for them to feature on their Friday arts segment. They had looked at my website and specifically asked for me to do something with drumming to which I counter requested if I might include Rumi recitations and they loved the idea. I also mentioned that I have found refuge in the weekly series of exploring 'A Treasury of Rumi* faciliated by Dr. Walead Mosaad, director of Muslim Student Life at Lehigh, in which we gather to discuss the 'Rumi Wisdom for Reflective Isolation.'
So, below you'll find my offering ~ a recording on a webcam over Zoom. The quality's not great but I hope you'll look favorably upon my effort. I clearly have a long way to go in maintaining a consistent rhythm while reciting the poetry. It's quite the challenge indeed because I am mesmerized by Rumi making it difficult to stay sufficiently grounded to play the drum. KUDOS to all the drummers out there who play polyrhythms and sing simultaneously! WOW! Nevertheless, it's a great practice for me and one I hope/intend to maintain. NAMASTÉ For more information, please visit www.Tahya.com POSTSCRIPT: I made this recording on the afternoon of Thursday, May 28, 2020, BEFORE protests erupted over the course of several days and over the course of now two+ weeks in at least 30 US cities, which then extended in Europe too, over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am somewhat embarrassed now to share this video with my inherent cheerful demeanor.... My smile now seems unreasonably and ridiculously unjustified, even disrespectful, under these dire circumstances of unrest and protest 😥 and yet, I have to admit these words of Rumi remain all the more poignant.

~~~~~~

*A collection of translations by Dr. Muhammad Isa Waley retired Lead Curator for Persian and Turkish Collections at the British Library, London. His main research specialisations are the palaeography, codicology, illumination and cataloguing of Islamic manuscripts; and the classical verse and prose literature of Islamic spirituality. The subject of his PhD was Jalal al-Din Rumi’s work and he is an editor for the Mawlana Rumi Review, an annual journal.



Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother's Day 2020 ... in the midst of pandemic

Reflections... Day 56/Week 9 of the Pennsylvania Governor's stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic 😔  ....

It's been a big adjustment learning to stay calm and carry on in the midst of this insidious, wicked virus yet I remain steadfast in my resolve to do everything within my power to...
#bewell #staystrong #staycalm #stayathome #staycreative #persevere #consciousliving #rhythmisthecure #makemusic #keeponkeepingon #bepositive #beempowerd #imagine #manifestnewvisions

Quite frankly, it is easy to slip into a place of feeling overwhelmed and distressed by the numbers in the news and the conflicting partisan politics in our country amidst this coronavirus, which is impacting everyone everywhere on the planet.  The only way I seem to find solace is to quiet the mind, stay grateful for for the blessings (aka privileges) in my life and consider how to keep my immune system functioning at its premium best.  I am blessed/privileged to be able to prepare nourishing meals, exercise ala #livingroomdance (aka living room funkadelics) to a playlist that boosts my spirits, practice my frame drum, return to reading Rumi and, admittedly, binge-watch programming on Netflix, YouTube, etc.

Thankfully, for example, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia has been hosting a weekday "Barnes Takeout" which has provided a nice respite in the middle of the monotony of being home for many, many days....  An in-depth and personal lesson about the artist, the artwork and The Barnes Foundation collection!



All the while I feel deep gratitude for the privilege to work remotely from home.  Luckily, thanks to having set up a home office many moons ago as an entrepreneur and independent contractor teaching nearly a dozen weekly dance classes* at locations throughout the Lehigh Valley, I set up an office in my home many, many moons ago where I organized by class playlists and lesson plans, corresponded with program directors, served as the "webmistress" maintaining my website and then also began my research and development of the Ceremonial Systrum™.  

*Regrettably, one by one those classes lost participants due to the new kid on the block, known as Zumba.  It seems to have distracted my class participants as they shifted their attention in that direction and drifted away from learning movements deeply steeped in women's culture dating back thousands of years availing us to the history and mystery of empowering magical and mythical movements.

ANYWAY, point being, when asked to "go home, stay home and remotely work from home," it was a relatively easy transition for me and with the help of the outstanding Lehigh University tech support staff, it was also a very smooth and easily facilitated transition making my home computer "equipped" to access my university office computer via secure VPN and remote desktop access. Wow!!

I count my blessings...for example, this lil' 2-year old orchid gives me pleasure every day greeting me from her perch in my sun room and for this (and my health and my beautiful home and my loving son, family and good friends), I am grateful❣️

I also give thanks and send waves and waves and waves of love and best wishes to everyone considered 'essential' (and not as lucky as I to be "secure at home") who are "out there" giving us their all ~ the healthcare providers and all the staff in overcrowded hospitals, the people stocking the shelves and working the registers at the supermarket, etc.  DEEP BOWS OF RESPECT.

I'm learning about connecting with others on-line thru Zoom, which has helped keep our Zoellner Arts Center Music Master Mentor Program afloat as well as helping me keep company with others interested in the wisdom of Rumi ~ Thank you Dr. Walead Mosaad for Rumi Wisom for Reflective Isolation.

Wondering if it might be possible to offer some kind of program from the confines of my home, something that would allow joining forces with others in prayers of upliftment and invoking enlightenment, I referred to my notes on the Heart Sutra mantra and presented it in a New Moon zoom gathering....



Allow me now, if you will, to invite you to join me in a Heart Centering practice ~ Place your left hand over your heart and then your right hand over your left and take in a deep 5-count inhalation followed by a slow 5-count exhalation.  Repeat several times all the while noticing the calming effect this has on your heart as you also allow compassion and courage to swell as you bask in the medicine of gratitude and notice the Life Force pulsing within you.  Allow it to then radiate into your hands.

Bring your hands together in Anjali mudra and let them rest momentarily at the space midpoint on your forehead just above your eyebrows known as the "Third Eye' chakra, the center of intuition and foresight. As suggested by many spiritual counselors and visionaries, including women's health and wellness author, obstetrics and gynecology physician Chrisiane Northrup, MD, let us petition our Higher Selves and True Nature to rally in support of the healing and fully restored health of the forces that created and all whom have been infected and effected by this pandemic. Focus on the Divine Love within and send Love and Light to the planet and everyone on it.  Now, bring your hands in Anjali mudra down to the center of your chest known as the Heart chakra and once again focus on the Divine Love within and send Love and Light to the planet and everyone on it.  Svãhã


May our beloved Mother Earth and all sentient beings (re)emerge within the Greatest Possiblities & the Highest Good for all. Svãhã
✨sššt sššt sššt sššt✨


I wish this for you ALLways...

NAMASTÉ

Saturday, November 16, 2019

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT

Back in April 2016, I had the great good fortune to enjoy a tour throughout  the British Museum
with my friend Bernadette Vallely, who was meticulous is making sure I saw each and every one

of her "hand-picked" top selections of representations of the Goddess, including this one known as
 'The Queen of the Night' 
(photo Tahya ©2016)

I am ever fascinated by the interestingly winding road upon which I tread, the spinning galactic floor upon which I dance sometimes in a circle, sometimes in a spiral and other times a serpentine line....

The other day (Tuesday of this week) at the onset of one of the dance classes I facilitate, a few of the participants were exchanging names and one of  the ladies lamented that she had a very "old fashioned name" ~ specifically, Donna  ~ to which I responded another friend with the name Donna created her facebook page as Inanna Donna.  Donna smiled as she liked the sound of that and I encouraged her to do some homework on Inanna (which of course also had me thinking I need to get a "round tuit" and revisit Her tale as well).

Ok, so la de da, la de da, la de da, the next day (Wednesday) my friend Susan informs she has a gifted me a copy of the forthcoming Winter edition of Parabola magazine.  Since the theme for this forthcoming edition is "Goddess" she was certain I'd want a copy and she was 100% correct!

Fast forward to today (Saturday), and in anticipation of arrival of said magazine, I decided to visit the magazine's website and lo and behold (mmmm hmmm, I know you are gonna guess it....) right there on home page is an image akin to the photo I took of the Queen of Night (above) and when I clicked on the link it took to Christine Irving’s essay “Inanna: Relevance and Return.”  (You can also listen to a related podcast)

Ms. Irving's essay reveals a concise retelling of the Inanna myth along with great analogies:

        "At every level this myth resounds with true situations in which humans of every age find themselves. But it specifically appeals to modern women, because in Inanna we find a heroine who predates the extremes of patriarchal culture in which we find ourselves enmeshed today. She acts independently, while remaining in good relationship with men—her father, brother... She has a strong, solid friend and ally in Ninshubar. She is not afraid to face the unknown and perseveres in the face of loss and sacrifice. Like many women she struggles in relationship with her mate.

      But the part of the story with which women resonate most strongly is the journey of relinquishment, the egoic death, and the restoration of power. Using this part of the myth, circles of women have been manifesting and enacting their own rituals of letting go, creating space, and allowing new ways of seeing and being to take the place of what no longer serves them."

Certainly, my journey includes enacting rituals of letting go and creating space for the presence of the Divine to bless/grace me with new ways of seeing & being and those rituals include the shimmering of the Systrum*and an on-going return to the drum, which it just so happens I will indeed be doing tomorrow, when I trek to NYC to partake in a lesson with Glen Velez on the 7th floor of a building on 7th Avenue.  Mmmmm hmmmm, how's that for some symbolism?! I.E., it doesn't go unnoticed by me the correlation to the seven chakras ~ which reminds me to encourage you to listen to Glen's marvelous recording: Rhythms of the Chakras.

*As mentioned at the website dedicated to the Systrum, when referencing The life of Meresamun, Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt edited by Emily Teeter & Janet H. Johnson:

The act of shaking a sistrum
was thought to protect the goddess and her subjects. 
This protection is made clear by scenes
at the temple of Hathor at Dendera that are captioned:

 I have taken the Seshseshet sistrum,
I grasp the sistrum and drive away
the one who is hostile to Hathor, Mistress of Heaven
I dispel what is evil by means of the sistrum in my hand.

Meanwhile, I sent a message to Bernadette today (Saturday) explaining my fascination with this image and that I distinctly recalled taking a photo of the "Queen of the Night" Mesopotamian terracotta plaque which she made a point of showing me when guiding me on her AWESOME tour of the British museum.  However, I could not precisely recall why Bernadette made a point of showing Her to me, I mean, other than the obvious, the plaque is a wonderful depiction of a Goddess.  Nevertheless, according to the museum's info, they are uncertain if She is meant to represent Lilitu, Inanna/Ishtar, or Ereshkigal. The description below the stella reads:

            The Queen of the Night
represents an ancient Mesopotamian goddess.  She may have been Inanna/Ishtar, goddess of sexual love and war, or perhaps Inanna/Istar's sister and rival, the goddess Ereshkigal, who ruled the Underworld. 

I asked Bernadette, What do you think? and Bernadette replied,  I showed you Inanna's sister called Ereshkigal of the underworld.
April 2016:  Me with Bernadette at British Musuem
Despite the gloomy, rainy weather outside, we experienced the grace of Hathor in the museum
& our hearts were filled with joy!
I look forward to my return to UK (soon!) sššt sššt sššt sššt sššt Het-Heru




to be continued...

UPDATE Monday 11/18/19:   Most synchronistically, in the class with my teacher Glen Velez yesterday (Sunday), I met Barbara Flynn with whom I shared my enthusiasm and delight in being able to once again be in class with Glen, returning to my ritual of drumming and then I proceeded to also tell her my tale of Inanna making Her presence known to me during the course of the last few days (as described above). She looked at me with a bit of astonishment and proceeded to tell me that on her train ride into the city to also attend this class she had just finished reading about Inanna in the book "Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women" by Sylvia Brinton Perera ~ Barbara highly recommended the book.
(BTW, here is an interesting on-line review of Perera's book by Elaine Mansfield:
innercitybooks.blogspot.com/2015/12/book-review-descent-to-goddess-way-of.html)

I am fascinated by all this synchronicity and reflect on this "appearance" of Inanna to me over the course of the past several days!  One thought that occurs to me is that here in the eastern U.S. we recently turned back the clocks triggering shorter daylight, a plunge if you will into greater darkness and longer nights which I typically feel sets in motion a time of inward reflection/introspection, a going underground (to the subconscious) and exploring the depths so that I may emerge again in the Spring renewed, refreshed, restored having spent time with my frame drum & systrum invoking the trance states necessary for transformation. 

I feel the Goddess is calling and Her call is unavoidable. She is beckoning me, encouraging me to have courage with Her invitation to keep my inner fires aflame, dare I say burning bright versus the dark of night and right now all the more so in the darkness of our times when so much disregard for the survival of the planet and rampant racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia ~ all have reared their ugly heads in such overwhelming prevelent way.

The Goddess is calling! 

Yes, Her call is unavoidable. She is beckoning you and me, encouraging us to have courage with Her invitation to keep the inner fires aflame and to remember in the story of Inanna, when her minister Ninshubar "beats the drum to petition for Inanna's release (from the the underworld), she is enacting a very old shamanistic rite.  Drumming is the traditional means used by shamans to descend to the underworld and to return... playing of the drum maintains the link between worlds.  Without the sound of the drum to lead the way, the shaman would be lost forever in the underworld." (p. 87 When the Drummers Were Women by Layne Redmond)      


*** YESsss, play your drum, shimmer the Systrum, return to ritual ***
              Fuel the flames to keep your fire burning bright!


But wait... there's more...  UPDATE Wednesday 11/27/19:

My dance colleague/teacher/friend Dalia Carella who also refers to herself as our 'Urban mystic' posted a reading on Facebook yesterday, which I found a rather fascinating kinda "buttoning up" to this "story."


You see, once again I allowed myself to entertain what I considered a sweet romance but now consider may have been simply a dalliance ~ and so I'm (re)learning the choreography of taking two steps back, and then two more in the dance of detachment.  I believe it is no wonder that Inanna came around to reveal the journey of going to the depths and re-emerging strong: The Empress.

YES!!!  
I "may have felt (lost) but it's ... Time to enter a new vibration of self-confidence, creativity, & success..."

Enter a new vibration of self-confidence, creativity & success


__________


Read more about the Burney Relief (also known as the Queen of the Night relief), Mesopotamian terracotta plaque:  

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Roman Isis with Sistrum in hand

Statue of Isis ( Egyptian Goddess of health, marriage, and love ) Sculpture Hadrianic period (117-138 AD) Marble @ Capitoline Museum on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy

My dear friend Toni wrote to me today to say: A friend of mine posted this picture taken some place in Rome ~ he said (this is) a statue of Roman Isis! Thank you Toni sššt sššt sššt sššt
.
...and, coincidentally, the other day
Isidora posted on her blog Isiopolis, "sometimes (the) relationship between Isis and Hathor is so close that it's hard to tell Them apart. Beginning in the New Kingdom, we regularly see Isis wearing the Horns & Disk crown of a Cow Goddess that is emblematic of Hathor. Sometimes Isis also has a small throne on top of the Horns & Disk to indicate that She is indeed Isis rather than Hathor, sometimes She doesn't. But guess what? Hathor sometimes borrows Isis' headdress, too."

Read 
 Isidora's entire post @ her blog: Isiopolis

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...