Artemis?

Does anyone know of any good resources web-based or otherwise on the goddess Artemis? Not so much the historical info on her cults but rather the psychological/archetypal symbolism connected to her, rituals, dedications, warnings?

And if you’re interested/knowledgable in such things, any thoughts on how She/the archtype might be manifested in a modern culture? ie what figure fictional or otherwise would count as a modern-day Artemis?

It’s something I’m pondering over myself as there is a lot coming up and churning around in my mind/soul lately, and the figure of Artemis seems to capture or contain this somehow..but unlike animal totems, which I suspect I’ve been playing with since a child, I don’t really know what to do with human figures.

I’ve become very protective of my own space, time in the wilderness (I actually ran out there yesterday instead of going to work, so I’m slightly concerned I might get carried away and lost to civilisation..actually it’s more concern about *not* being concerned), and am adamant at the moment that I don’t want to be in a relationship, despite feeling love for some. Also a bit like I am hunting in the darkness,loneliness, catching glimpses of who I am and can be when I am not afraid to stand in solitude. It’s not easy but it’s strangely refreshing; I feel like a tangled piece of string slowly unwinding.

I’m also interested in and working with the symbol of the virgin, in particular the pregnant virgin, and the concept of virginity not as chaste but rather as unattached. Having said that it’s going to be some time before I have sex with a man again..though in perhaps an Artemis like fashion I wouldn’t say no to a harem of nymphs right now 😉

What I REALLY hope to give birth to soon is a glut of drawings..

Beautiful…Ted Hughes, wolf-masks, poetry-shamanism

Just found this when looking for something totally different.

Ted Hughes’ Wolf Masks

“To Hughes, the instinctive, predatory, wild energies that wolves exemplify are part of our own nature: they are part of the uncivilised prehistoric inheritance which is still present in our instincts and emotions10. Such fecund energies connect us with our roots and feed our imagination, balancing our rationality and our “sophistries” (‘Egg-Head’)11, and so, Hughes believes, they are necessary. But suppressed and denied by our society’s mores, he believes they become threatening and dangerous.

It is wolf-energies such as these which inhabit Hughes’s poem, ‘February’ (Lupercal, 13)12, where a ravening dream-wolf is conjured into his protagonist’s world by a photograph of “the hairless knuckled feet / Of the last wolf killed in Britain.” For Hughes, as for his protagonist, the wolf-energies which inhabit this poem exert a powerful fascination. They may “siege all thought”, and threaten to “choose his head” as their home, but their attraction is such that no mythical or fairy-story wolves will now “suffice” him. So, Hughes, creates his own poetic wolf-masks (such as this poem) through which he can more safely allow expression to the powerful energies which fuel his imagination. ”

….I never thought about using poetry in this way….(somewhere at the back of my subconscious, a penny drops)

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the wolf in the last few weeks, have been jotting down some thought which I might put up here at some point.

“In the final lines of the poem, Hughes sums up all that he has ever said about the dangers of caging up the wolf-energies and denying them freedom of expression. In whatever form they exist in our world they are our link with Nature: without them our inner and outer worlds will be empty and hopeless, and our eyes, like those of the young wolf in the poem, will be “Like doorframes in a desert / Between nothing and nothing.”

more links to Ted Hughes

Art commission

Woo!! Just had my first ever art commission completed by sunstamp. Go and check it out here. I love her style, really unique.the wolf-fox character she’s drawn is much more individualistic and stylised than I imagined, but I like it, especially the face markings. I think I’ll need to draw my own versions of this character

What’s really interested to see is an idea I had brought to life by another artist..as I described my original picture to her, I built up an image in my head which is obviously quite different than her interpretation. Fun! 🙂

…the more I look at it, the more I like it. Tha plan is to get it printed up and add to my all new improved room.

sunstamp, send me an email with the cost in, and I will try out my paypall account.

Electrolysis..

I’m now going to go and try some electrolysis. Apparently plucking and waxing hair off your face/chin only makes it worse despite what people might say. So now I am trying the ‘final solution’.

The secret part is that I’m quite intrigued by the pain aspect and I see it as a kind of test – if I can cope with this then I can DEFINITELY cope with getting a tattoo…. don’t tell my mother 😉

trying to learn to use poetry

I only wrote the poem yesterday after a chance encounter with my old science/religion lecturer reminded me of writing poems at all. (he is quite keen on encouraging me) So I took my poem with me and he had a look at it and gave me some tips and talked about poetry in general.

I’d like to learn how to write poetry. But the thing is, aside from this journal I’ve always done science writing(or business reports etc), and this trains your brain to be (a)explicit (b)direct and (c)try to use unambiguous, careful terms. (don’t laugh, I CAN write like that if I really want to). So when I try and write a poem, I can feel two forces at work in my mind; the part that wants to write careful specific prose, to REALLY make sure the message is clear, and the creative bit that wants to play with words and use them to express some inner emotion-imagery. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive but I’ve not quite brought the two into harmony. I want to write poems partly because it’s fun and partly because I think through it I might be able to express something I can’t otherwise do with words.

(Incidently this guy is called Christopher Southgate and is a poet-scientist-theologian and is rather good. I like this:

” I find you used to write poetry
Gave up at sixteen, dissatisfied
At not immediately being Eliot,
I, always the slower one,
Gave up science at twenty-eight.

)

Something else he said about my poem/poetry which is it didn’t really give a sense of the person who wrote it. That by putting in something about a person, even if it’s not YOU, you can kind of ground the whole thing and make it more vivid. I think this is true, or at least interesting, and the thought hadn’t really occured to me. Something like, by putting a personal element into it, at the moment the poem is more abstract, trying to get a message across or just describe an emotion) Also that you can be all kinds of different people and play different roles, which sounds quite exciting.

A general tip was “put blank lines between each line, then you can cover the line up with your finger and see if the poem still works without it.”

The cool thing was he said “it’s a real poem” which is exactly the same thing another mentory guy Michael (the energy/bodyworker guy who may get me more into tantra stuff) said to me when I showed him. I asked them both “what makes a real poem?”. Michael’s comment was “Exactly. When your muse moves you to write your soul opens and out comes the danged thing raw, real and juicy.” Christopher thought for a while and said something longer and more scientific about having some real emotion/life experience that you pull out and can form into a poem.

If you write poems, I’d love to hear how you do it, what the process is like for you, why you do it, and just any general tips.

poem with comments/edits

Meeting people in Dreams

I find it fascinating when you meet people in dreams, especially when they are people you’ve never met in person and you don’t really know what they look like. But you see them in the dream and just *know* who it is. What’s going on here? It’s fascinating because somehow we build up enough of an impression of a person for them to appear visually in dreams, a strange kind of symbolism built up from pieces of waking life. Or maybe it is simply we can and do form bonds with others via the internet and this comes up in dreams??

So for example, in my dream last night lupabitch,teriel and primalfire all came over from America to visit me and the UK. (In reality this is something brankauti is going to be doing in a few weeks, and yes I’ve dreamt about that already as well) We were sitting at night in old style darkwood taverny-pub and trying to figure out where to go for dinner. Terial and Lupa (recently married in real life) were pretty much joined together throughout my dream, Lupa being somewhat intense in a wolfy way..and the two of them both generated a kind of dark energy/sense – not evil, but dark as in mystery, magic, caves. In contrast, primalfire was postively glowing(!), in a kind of child-like enlightened happy way. My mum a brief appearance to comment on “my he is a nice boy isn’t he” which made me laugh 🙂

In the last part of the dream I went to the beach with primalfire, we were like two kids playing about the waves. The sea was quite rough and turbulant and then suddenly calm, then rough again. There were a lot of man-made constructions everywhere, concrete walls, wooden groynes and posts, that all had to be navigated and clambered over to try and get to more open water..but this just added to the fun. It was late afternoon with glorious golden summer sunshine. He went in first briefly and came out with a really cool little glowing starfish-like creature on his left arm which he showed me. I had a real sense of being in the waves, swimming around with them crashing over my head, the taste of salt water… I really MUST go to the sea again soon!

I woke up with all this still as fresh in my mind as my memories from yesterday evening.. feeling really refreshed and cleansed, despite my liver complaining from wine the night before. I can’t quite shake the feeling either that I DID meet these people, somehow.

Perhaps I’ve just been reading livejournal too much. And the message to anyone reading this is “watch out: my subconscious is likely to use you as archtypal material..be careful what you say 😉 “

Music festivals and rockin’ kid

I’m sorry but this kid deserves not to go behind an LJ-cut. He is amazing! A few weeks ago I went to a low-key but very good music festival in North Yorkshire. Three stages playing everything from ska-punk to acoustic to a fantastic old guy doing the blues (who looked as though he had been picked straight out of a smokey backstreet bar). But in my mind, the star of the show was this amazing boy. He appeared in front of the main stage during a rock band performance and just launched straight into some amazing robot-style and metal dancing. No one else was dancing, just him. I mean, how old is he?? 9? But everything else, his solemn-angst expression, the seriousness of it..it all looked like someone much older. He ended up with quite a lot of cheers and applause.

It really struck me how no-one else got up to dance, but the kid did. (perhaps all the adults were too drunk/stoned). There is a fantastic energy to watching children run about, but to see one dance was incredible. I really hope he doesn’t loose that sense of exuberance or lack of inhibition as he gets older.

I am rediscovering the joy of music lately. Ever since stonehenge and the flute playing, I’ve wanted to play some more. Mark (the osteopath guy I was staying with) asked me to play my flute as an introduction to a shamanic journey he ran. It was inside a dark mud-hut with thatched roof, complete with animal skins and a cow skull above the door..very atmospheric. You can just about see me in a photo here, Mark is the bald guy. I actually composed a little tune for this, and it was very scary to play solo in front of people. Once I got into it though I was away! I had to stop though because I wanted to do some shamanic journeying myself..a topic for a different post.

This weekend I went to Sidmouth folk festival with my friend Sue. This festival was effectively spread across the whole seaside town, we wandered into pubs where musicians were sitting together with a pint on the table and playing the violin/flute/mandolin/accordian/whistle. I even saw a guy playing SPOONS which was amazing to watch. It really struck me that this is side of music we so rarely see, used to instant mp3’s or highly polished professional bands/orchestras. But it was truly wonderful watching people getting together, someone starting up a folk piece and the others joining in.

I want in on this, so in the last week I’ve started collecting together people I know who want to play music but don’t feel ‘good enough’ or are a bit nervous, or just generally are more interested in having fun than pretentious showing off. Our first ‘jamming session’ is next thursday 🙂 woo!

Other more general photos of festival here






Intent to Massage!

I really believe if you get your intention focused enough, you can draw events to you. Sometimes the world has a twisted sense of humour; months back I was going on about wanting to have a new romance and now the universe provides such an option just when it’s complicated 🙂

I recognised a while ago that there are roughly three centres in me, head, heart and gut/gonads. Heart is usually quiet unless you learn how to listen and calm down the clamour of the other two. The exceptions seem to be heart-ache and falling in love. My personal feeling is that I can integrate everything together in the heart, and decided to try and use my mind and will to pursue my heart’s desire. Sounds quite romantic and floaty but actually it takes more courage than you think especially in a world so head-orientated. *And* it seems to involve continual pushing of comfort zones. The unexpected bonus is that when I DO something in alignment with my heart I get a rush of joy and child-like enthusiasm for life in general, and I think I’m having more fun now than any point in my life so far.

After taking some time out, I’ve decided that what I REALLY want to achieve is getting to the point that I can make a living as a therapist possibly developing into a teacher. This might sound obvious to everyone else, why else did I do the course?? But in reality as soon as the exams were done, and I took a break, it’s as though I’ve fallen into a kind of quicksand of life, sucking me back in, enveloping me with promises of laziness or just hedonism. I’ve realised that the next step is to make a some final real PUSH, a commitment to following this, to enter it whole heartedly and risk dissapointment, to realise I AM good enough to do it and it’s not an unrealistic notion.

And it helps to have a massage and remember how nice they are. My teacher/friend Sharon and I met up yesterday at a wonderful house where you can rent out therapy rooms by the hour. She gave me a massage (my first ‘professional’ one) and it was bliss bliss bliss mmmmmmm….yes. I particularly enjoyed having my hands massaged. She is quite ‘intuitive’ and can read a lot about a person from their body. She told me my hands are desperate to create something and I REALLY should make time for drawing again. Also that there is an awful lot of change and activity going on in my body and heart, it is like some kind of vortex..again this sounds about right. The best bit is when she said I had a real little girl in me still, full of life and joy.

Afterwards I was telling her about my fears of advertising my massage on the psychology mailing list at the university.. I have a weird complex where I don’t want the academics I’m working for, one used to be my tutor, finding out I do massage. I don’t know why.. I think it’s because I feel they would somehow dissaprove or it would make them realise the truth which is I’m not REALLY thinking of pursuing academia after all. It’s the ghost of the student-me coming back to haunt me. (?)

Sharon told me she was surprised to hear that, as she doesn’t see me as someone who is afraid; actually she see’s me as someone really brave. It’s not the first time people have told me that but I always find it hard to accept. I’d prefer to say ‘reckless’ 🙂 No..to be fair to myself, I HAVE done a lot that involved pushing myself through fear..it helps if you read a lot of DUNE books.

And yes, I am afraid and somewhat skeptical about getting this massage thing going. But I am going to try and marshall everything I’ve got together to make it happen. I don’t have much choice as my job at the uni will terminate next decemeber..and as I said before, I’m not going back to the office!

I’ve made some business cards now and started handing them out, I also have plans to talk to the clinical psychologists in the department and see if they would be interested in reffering particularly stressed people to me for some relaxation..if nothing else I can have a good debate with them about the importance of touch.

….It’s funny, sometimes I think we catch glimpses of our dream life, and it seems too good to be true, so we write it off without even trying. Why is that?

Retreat.. stasis

Wolf finds herself alone again, I watch her move through forest and open landscape, sipping water here taking down small prey there, crossing paths with other wolves..sometimes eating with them, sometimes resting together sharing reassuring contact. But always leaving, moving onwards in her own direction. Hunting in darkness. Seeking a cave, a dark place to rest and hide in for a while.

Her mate has gone, but she is not pining, not yet. He had his reasons, and they were good. Sometimes she catches a distant howl of his on the wind and her heart stirs, hope rising briefly..but even from this she turns away and retreats to the darkness

Another male is skirting the edge of her territory, she watches him sometimes from the shadows of trees, a mixture of interest and a strange sense of protectiveness. Though older he seems driven and almost overcome by a cubbish intensity of passion for her..or at least for a true mate. His howling is full of sincerity and emotion, a near-serenade, enticing her out to dance with him. But no…not now. Not yet. If it’s as true as he says then it will wait..even the rush of new love doesn’t tempt her from the cave. She turns her back on it all and retreats.

..I think my heart is going into hibernation. I’ve never felt anything quite like it. For so long I’ve been chasing love, attention, contact. Relationships of one form or another, bringing joy and pain have been a big factor in my life the last..8 years..?

I also feel as though I’m trying to give birth. I think of cats when they dissapear to find some quiet (and usually awkward place) to do this..indeed I think a lot of female animals do? On the other hand they also do this when it’s time to die.

I think it’s more the first..I feel as though I have small flame which needs some nurturing and building up.

But it’s strange, I don’t feel jealous of happy couples at the moment, if anything I feel distant from all of it and not really interested. It does make me wonder why so many people (including myself) spend so much time obsessing about relationships one way or another. Of course, I’m still thinking about it, especially at the moment since my heart seems caught between two loves…the comfort of an old, ongoing, mellow fire which I’m not sure will ever die, or a new spark which may or may not have any substance. I realised actually my heart is calling for a third option – to just leave it all for a while, be patient, to just watch, retreat..