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The Power of Bear

THE POWER OF BEAR
from A Woman’s Journey to God  by Joan Borysenko

'Bear-Woman' by Susan Boulet

‘Bear-Woman and the Dream’ by Susan Boulet

We were just a tiny bit afraid of bears, Caroline and I. We knew they were here, lurking just out of sight.  And although I knew that bears could be dangerous, I felt disappointed that we probably would not see one rising up on her hind legs to shield the cubs she had borne during the winter’s hibernation.

How clever the she-bear. She goes into winter retreat and has a long, restful Sabbath. She sleeps through the really uncomfortable, cumbersome part of her pregnancy. She comes out renewed with her cubs, who have found their way into the world at winter s end. The bear is mythologically feminine. The name of the Greek goddess Artemis, the huntress, means  bear.  She embodies the wisdom of the wild. She symbolizes the intuitive that relies on its own inner experience rather than patterning itself on the experience of others. The bear walks on a path of her own. She dares to question. And she dares to believe. She fights for her children. She is brave and strong, maternal and defiant. She is a wily survivor. She is also a strong genuine archetype for me

I once had a dream about the feminine. I am riding in a truck with a man who has twin toddlers, a boy and a girl. He tells me that the boy is a joy, he does everything according to the books. But the girl is a little terror. She has a mind of her own and is temperamental and unmanageable. As we speak, the little girl climbs onto the back of the truck and begins to dance. We hit a bump and she flies off, falling into a hole in the ground. We stop the truck and the father comments that she has gotten what she deserves. I look down the hole, which opens into a large cavern. She is inside, unhurt. It takes me a full day to dig down to her. When I reach her she is exuberant and unafraid. Still dancing.

Women s spirituality is as wild and free as that little girl. It is natural, earthy, relational, mystical, embodied, intuitive, sensuous, and compassionate. Slowly but surely, women s poems, psalms, songs, and liturgy are being written and prayed, sung and danced in a way of our own, suitable to a path of our own. We are digging back down to ourselves.

Like the she-bear, we need Sabbath. Most religions include one; Jews on Friday evening to Saturday evening, Christians on Sunday, Hindus on Tuesday, Muslims on Friday. Some American Indian tribes celebrate Sabbath on the day of the week that follows winter solstice, the New Year. Whether our Sabbath is a day or an hour, a prayer, a breath, or a meditation, we relax for a time and listen in the stillness for the inner voice. In the quiet, our intuition rises, sniffing the winds like a curious cat. These are the times when we are awake enough, alert enough, present enough to see the path as it opens before us .  For the truth is, no one has ever walked our path before.

Playing with the North Wind - Susan Boulet

Playing with the North Wind – Susan Boulet

– Joan Borysenko, A Woman’s Journey to God 

Now your part: 

Read the whole thing again, out loud, with a friend.  And stop when you come to a part that inspires you, says what you feel or think, is something you resonate with, or that you just want to talk about.  Where two or three are gathered, powerful, transforming, deepening things happen.  And when we speak, even more so.

Maybe it’s the Sabbath and hibernation part that got your attention.

Maybe it’s the mythology of the bear being feminine, and all the attributes she embodies, that you embody.

Or maybe it’s the story of the man with the truck and the little girl and little boy…and his perception of them…and yours.  Maybe you know a pair like that.  I do; they’re twins.  And I can so hear them being described like that some day.  And the little girl I know is a dancer, too…

Whatever it is that calls to your attention, follow it; talk about it.  Embrace and own the aspects, the powers of bear, that feed and fuel your spirit.

Blessings as we enter the season of winter.  – Anne

Cats, Women, and Goddesses

Hello everyday goddesses!  I suspect a part of me was a cat in a past life, especially when the sun streams through the windows.   I’ve always been drawn to them; their sleek agility; their mix of independence and affection; and their playfulness and personality that endear them so, make me laugh, and wrap me around their skillful paws.   Cat in the sun

It’s been said woman’s spirit is like a cat’s…

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as goddesses.  Cats have never forgotten this. – Anonymous

Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.  – Mary Bly

Cat Goddesses …  more to feed your muse and inspire your inner goddess

BAST

Bast the Cat Goddess

Bast the Cat Goddess

“Bast (or Bastet, or Pasht) was the Egyptian goddess who appeared in cat form.  The Egyptians highly revered cats; the word for cat, mau, also denoted light and was cognate with the word for mother.  The cat is a lunar animal and also a solar animal representing the power of the sun as reflected in nature.  Since the cat is an earth animal, Bast is also an earth mother goddess, a giver of life and abundance.  In touch with her wild, instinctual nature, she also is a protector of women during childbirth.  Like a cat, she is fiercely independent and belongs to no one but herself.  Bast is one of the more joyful goddesses; her elaborate festivals in the town of Babustis were renowned for their joyful dancing.  Embodying a cat’s gentler aspects, Bast is a personification of life and fruitfulness.  The quintessential life-affirming mother, she remains us to be playful and relaxed like a cat and to find occasions to celebrate life.”

Goddesses Knowledge Card (Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust, Text: Michael Babcock)

SEKHMET

  • Ancient Egyptian goddess of divine order
  • Goddess of wrath and a goddess of peace
  • In her mythology, she did not initiate or provoke conflict, but when the divine order was threatened and the gods called upon Sekhmet for help, she responded with the direct savagery of a protective lioness.
  • Besides her wrathful nature, Sekhmet was associated with healing and perceived as having the power to counteract illness.  Her priesthood had a role in medicine…  Her presence was invoked in situations where a patient could live or die, and on the battlefield, where life and death were also in the balance, as a warrior goddess.

Goddesses in Older Women  (Jean Shinoda Bolen)

Did any of that resonate?  What parts?  What fits?  What inspires and empowers your heart?

Breathe in.  Exhale.  Connect with all the purrfection in you it brings to light….It’s all good.  Purrrrfect.

Love your life.  It matters.  Enjoy!

– Anne Wondra