The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. –Albert Einstein
Image is the dwelling place of mystery and women are the keepers of the mysteries. Image is a portal into the realm of be-ing-ness. Great art draws us closer to the unknown and into the mystery. It is the calling and sacred inquiry of the artist to deepen the mystery. It envelops us in the cloud of unknowing, the place where the deepest parts of our souls reside. Mystery is what draws us back again and again to the sea of contemplation. It is where “The Door of Possibilities” is open to the infinite. Mystery flies to me on wings of hope when my heart has broken with despair. The broken places are also openings where healing can enter in. Mystery is the domicile of the Divine Feminine and the birthing chamber of the Entire Universe. A glimpse back in time tells us more about women’s role in society with regard to mystery.
“In ancient times there were sacred schools, temples and traditions that held women and the feminine principle in high esteem. The most important reason for the existence of these schools was to assist women in understanding and aligning themselves with the spiritual nature of the world around them….An essential part of this knowledge, which we now refer to as women’s mysteries, was learning to perceive and maintain the psychic-energetic-emotional landscape of society, the subtle realms of energy, emotion, vibration and sensation that is recognized by healers and mystics as penetrating reality and linking the spiritual planes with the material. ” * This is what I call the alchemical feminine, the deep inner knowing that spirit exists in matter and that as above, so below. That our physical bodies ARE the link between heaven and earth and thus are sacred.
“To fulfill this crucial function women underwent years of physical, artistic and intellectual training, as well as intensive personal reflection…..These priestesses, temple dancers, yoginis, wise women, and visionaries would perform a crucial role in society by constantly elevating the human condition to one of grace, and aligning it with the essential feminine qualities of courage, elegance, refinement, joy and receptivity. As teachers, guides, healers, mediators, consorts and initiators into the sacred mysteries of sexuality and spiritual transformation, they transmitted the spiritual light that sustained civilzation.”*
(*excerpts from “The Path of the Priestess” by Sharron Rose”)
We are now reclaiming our role as Keepers and Transmitters of the Light for our world. This voyage of enigma and mystery is unfolding and being recorded in the art, images, symbols, stories and poetry that are bursting forth from the paintbrushes, pens and studios of our Cosmic Cowgirl community and those of our students. Mystery is the parent of wonder, the bride of fascination and the sister to intrigue. We are re-membering and re-weaving the psycho-energetic-emotional landscape of society. This is sacred work.
At this time of year as we move into shorter days and longer nights I invite you to honor the season and this sacred work that we are doing by deepening the mystery and entering into the darkness. I invite you to join me on an intentional quest into the wonder of mystery and where and how it shows up in your life. Enter into the dark places of your soul and see what treasures are hidden there.
Some suggestions for entering the quest: Set an intention and set aside time for solitude, contemplation, meditation, prayer and creativity. Shiloh suggests identifying the beginning, middle and end of the quest. Identify practices that will support your quest. Some may wish to set aside time, for instance 2 days and “withdraw” from life to enter in. I find that once I set the intention I can weave in the “psychic space” for my quest in the midst of my life.
For this quest into mystery I set the intention to open to the wisdom, energy and archetype of the dark Goddess, the wise woman crone, the protectress of the remote places and to peel back layers of my inner self so that I may integrate and heal on a deeper level. Healing by utilizing the lens of mystery as one of my tools. My quest began with the sychronistic event of spending last week-end in circle with my cosmic soul sisters at the first Color of Woman alumni gathering. It was a time of deep, profound mystery and spiritual beauty as we honored the spirits of the ancestors and those who had passed to the other side with a powerful drumming circle led by Carmen Baraka and a beautiful altar created by Trish O’Malley.
My practices have included reflective silence in darkness lit only by candles, meditation and prayer to the Queen of the Underworld, allowing myself to feel into the darker emotions and time taken aside to rest and bury myself in the womb of my bed and blankets (even when I have an article due) and intentional creativity exploring the herstory of Hecate and Kali. I have taken time to contemplate art images that call me into mystery, wonder, fascination and intrigue. I continue on my journey of exploring the mysteries of the life of Mary Magdalene. In this mystical realm of darkness that I have given myself permission to enter I am discovering an illuminator of the dark passages, a deep incandescence and radiance that lies at the center. It includes parts of my soul that I split off in times of trauma and abuse. Parts of me that needed and longed to be integrated into the sparkliness and glitter of my legendary self. These parts are rich with power and hidden gifts. In the deep dark of the new moon I encountered within myself a mystery that gave birth to this poem:
Rage of the Unseen Goddess
Are you devoured by the longing to be seen?
Are you the apple that feeds the worm?
The cracks in your heart that come from broken-hearted despair also let the light in
You run from the shadow even as it consumes you
Pray to the midnight Goddess
to be able to see in the dark
God (dess) does not live in a box
Cherish being baffled
Embrace the unknown
Live in wonder
You rage at being unseen
Have you ever considered that perhaps the rage is the fire that lights the darkness?
How long have you felt this burning?
There is a crossroad where the living and the dead meet
It’s on the road less traveled
Most people don’t choose the scary places
They just end up there without knowing why
Open the graveyard of lost dreams
Let the skeletons out to dance
and sing over the bones
That is where freedom lies
Love lives at the center of loss
Where are the people that you have loved and lost?
Burning bright in the smokeless places?
How can there be fire without smoke?
Ask your soul
And don’t come complaining to me if you don’t hear the answer
LISTEN. HARDER. NOW
Blow out the candles on your pity party
That is just another smokescreen
A way of covering up who you truly are
Brilliant SOUL-SHINE. Divine Spark. Illuminator. Heavenly Midwife. Mystical Warrior of Light.
Your rage is not truly hot
It is more like ice
A frozen place that builds walls of coldness around your heart
What will it take to melt you?
Burn your SOUL FIRE brighter. Light up the night
Become the WITNESS to your own incandescence
If you think you have it all figured out you are missing the point
Give yourself permission to rage, to wail, to mourn the lost places within you
Don’t make an OUTCAST of your rage
Ask her to be the heavenly midwife of your reawakening
How many veils do you need to peel away
Before you will Allow yourself to be SEEN?
Don’ t rush the peeling
The cliff doesn’t really know where it ends
It just plunges to meet the ocean
the why of it all is forgotten in the waves
This process of healing is a mystery. It moves in a spiral and is a peeling away of the layers of all that is not truly the divine being that YOU embodied. I invite you into the quest and the inquiry of mystery. Looking at life through the lens of mystery might, for example, help us when someone whom we love is driving us crazy with an annoying behavior. Rather than react we could just say to ourselves, “I don’t know why they do that……it’s a mystery.” Then we might choose to just let it be. No judgment. No condemnation. Interesting thought, hm?
How does mystery show up in your life and where do you embrace it or avoid it?
What practices might you add to your life to deepen the mystery?
What art images draw you into the mystery? When you contemplate them what happens in your heart? Does it feel like expansion or contraction?
What in life causes you to wonder and stand rapt with awe? Can you bring more of these moments into your life?
How does looking at life through the lens of mystery inform your healing process? Allow you to let go of judgment?
I am offering a SOLSTICE PLAYSHOP at the Palace of the Soul in SF with co-priestess Jennifer Mantle entitled “Awakening to the Light of the Dark Goddess” with paint, embellishment and sacred ceremony on Dec. 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Contact me at 415-637-4290 to reserve your spot now. Space is limited
GLITTER W.A.S.P. is a visionary artist and teacher, and an “Art Critic” who champions women artists. She considers it her own personal mission to spread sparkle around the world by celebrating the delightful, shimmering beauty women offer to the world through their gorgeous, artistic creations.
Elizabeth Gibbons is a visionary artist and teacher, clairvoyant healer, priestess of possibility and prophetess of enchantment also known in the Cosmic Cowgirls community as the Bejeweled Baroness. As a teacher, she encourages us to explore materials that awaken our sense of wonder, joy and playfulness. By playing with the sparkle of glitter, beads and jewels, we reconnect with the language of our soul and ignite the divine spark that Elizabeth calls our SOUL-SHINE. As we raise our vibrations, the alchemy of healing, that is part of our natural capacity, is activated.
Elizabeth, a.k.a. Glitter W.A.S.P. (or the Bejewelled Baroness depending upon the day of the week or who you ask), resides in San Francisco at the Palace of the Soul with her fabulously talented children and her revolving extended family. There she runs “The Divine School of Glitteracy” where she guides women and girls on magical adventures and ceremonies that allow them to reinvent their lives to align with more creativity, joy, enchantment, expansion, beauty and love. She teaches transformational art & embellishment classes at “The Palace of the Soul Divine School of Glitteracy.” She is currently adding “Intuitive & Playful Life Guidance & Clearing Abundance Blocks” to her menu. To view a complete menu of classes offered go to www.enchantedeye.net/one-on-one-classes or contact her at 415-637-4290 as new classes are often developed and added before they show up on her web-site. SOLSTICE PLAYSHOP at the Palace of the Soul in SF with co-priestess Jennifer Mantle entitled “Awakening to the Light of the Dark Goddess” with paint, embellishment and sacred ceremony on Dec. 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Contact me at 415-637-4290 to reserve your spot now. Space is limited
“She Who Birthed Rivers of Light” is now available in Fine Art Prints. Please contact Elizabeth at 415-637-4290 to find out sizes and prices!
To shop for Fine Art prints by Elizabeth go to http://www.enchantedeye.net/shop_giclees_on_canvas.html
To view Glitter W.A.S.P.’s Daily Glitterations from May and beyond visit Elizabeth’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWmqNfLiDTnPC-_UJM2oV2Q