Not long since I was in a group where one told a riddle story about a doctor and a patient. The answer to the riddle depended upon the listener being able to realize that the doctor could have been a woman. The words were carefully spun to take the mind away from that obvious answer.
There was a discussion afterwards about the way the AMA has persecuted midwives, and how healing used to be the woman’s work, and that devotees of goddesses often knew herbs, exercises, rituals and procedures that would bring about a condition of health to a sick person. Over the years the persecution of women in the name of religion altered the focus and now the word doctor almost always brings primarily to mind the vision of a man. When legislators pose for their photo ops about abortion issues you will notice a bunch of black suited men with power ties, legislating and pontificating about the bodies and health of women. Usually nobody on the panel has ever been, or ever will be pregnant.
Personally I think that men should have nothing whatever to do with the birth process and that it should revert back to be a section of the Women’s Mysteries. Men have been interfering in these matters for centuries, and always with bad results.
To offset this slightly I will describe a couple of magickal systems that I was taught, that were named after the goddess who originated them. And then maybe I can enter into the way that mythological stories about women have been spun away from their original context to serve patriarchy.
Warning! None of the following has been approved by the FDA, and is most unlikely ever to be approved by the FDA. Do not take these actions as medical advice. They are pagan activities not allopathic protocols. But as experiments in mental video they may interest you anyway. And that’s how they are offered.
When I was entering into my third year of rune magick work I encountered several members of the Norse pantheon of gods and goddesses during what some call ‘Work in the Inner Rune Realms.’ One divine lady who interested me greatly was Eir. She was the physician of the gods and goddesses of the Norse people, and ensured the continuous good health of her divine charges. When her name was spelled out using runes I was able to use it to get a clue to one of her methods that could be applied to people.
She used to have her human devotees walk in their dream, or conscious trance state through a golden mesh hung over a stone rune named UR or URUZ. It looks like a crooked doorway,with a crooked top piece, and is a rune of healing powers in the rune systems. Here is a verse about it from the Armanen Rune Poem.
UR A second one I know, quite useful to the children of men
Who practice the healing hand:
It chases disease and all pain,
It cures hurts and all wounds.
You can try this out yourself using this little procedure.
Sit down and watch your breathing in fours…mentally count four as you breathe in, hold it for four, breathe out for four and hold it for four. Repeat the cycle of equal time slots while focusing on your breath. Do this half a dozen times and your brain will be in alpha, which is the highest frequency at which this works. Theta or delta would be better but that needs more work than breathing in fours.
Carry on breathing as you imagine yourself on a vast plain. In front of you is a large standing UR of wood or stone. Draped over it is an elegant mesh, of exceedingly finely woven gold.
Think of something in your life or body that you would prefer to be better than it is. Anything that bothers you is probably at a lower rate of vibration than your higher self. Your higher self is easily able to pass through that golden mesh. The clunky stuff of disease or stress or obsession is too dense to do so. It’s stuff added on to the perfection of your higher self. Looking beyond the mesh, you walk through it. People who actually do this instead of just reading about it, often experience the unusual bodily feeling of being painlessly divided into millions of pieces and reassembled on the other side of the mesh. That’s half the process.
Now walk round the leg of the UR to the front of the mesh. You will see stuff clinging to it that couldn’t get through it. All of it was negative stuff from you. At the base of one of the UR columns is a silver basin and a flint knife. Both things have special meanings to the magickal student, but you don’t need to know what they are for this to work for you. Scrape the gunk off the mesh and into the basin with your flint knife.
Now comes the extraordinarily modern psychological insight of Eir. Point the knife at the gunk in the basin and say “Fire of cleansing” The gunk will immediately burst into delicate flames that eventually end in what looks like a cloud of white hot dust motes, like the finest of sparklers on the 4th of July. All that wasn’t yours has been burnt away.
Now you tip the basin upside down over your head and the energy particles return into your body without the stuff they were carrying before. You can do this again and again until there is no gunk on the mesh. Then the work is done at the level of your attainment. Use your imagination and mind and interpret what went on, and what the gunk could be in your psyche. Knowing what you want to get rid of beforehand helps in the process. You are able to feel its absence, or its weakened hold on you, after the Net of Eir work.
That’s the Web or Net of Eir. As long as you have the gold mesh on a frame, the silver basin and the flint knife you can’t do anything harmful. Contemplating the symbolic meaning of the items will only help your visualization.
You have probably seen the Native American version of this in the form of Dream-catchers, which you give to children who are having bad dreams and tell them how the bad dreams get caught in the net of the Dream-catcher and dissolve in daylight. That hasn’t been approved by the FDA either. I’m just mentioning that it works for children whose parents are not petrified by official ways of treatment. Mom’s spit is a wonderful remedy to heal grazed knees, but don’t try to buy it at Walgreens, or have your physician recommend it.
But now, a perceptive reader will have perceived a principle, and will see how to apply it to the Weir of Brigid, the wonderful three in one Celtic goddess whom I have mentioned before. This Weir is like the weir of the Sacred Salmon, except that its job is to hold back the garbage as you come down the stream of Wyrd that represents the stream of your life force, and go through the mesh of the weir unharmed, just as you went through the Net of Eir.
As this is a Celtic thing you do it three times, and then find the silver or crystal cup on the bank on the other side of the weir. The downstream water has been filtered and the garbage of your life removed. The water upstream is your old life. The water downstream is your new life. Drinking the downstream water is drinking from one of Brigid’s wells and starting over anew.
If you have a special place in your inner world that you regularly go to for rest and relaxation you can easily fix up a stream and do this on your regular visits. If you want to you can do a very old gypsy goblet spell. As you take your drink in three Celtic sips. Say “One for magick, Two for power, Three for seeing clear this hour.” Then say “Show me” about a question that you had when you entered your special place.
If you have an inner place like this to go to, as is recommended by hundreds of authors and psychologists, for stress relief, then I suggest that you add a herb garden, an old tradition of the wise women, and learn about herbs. You can plant them when you visit and water them from your downstream section. I don’t grow a mundane herb garden. My top soil was stolen by the developers when they built the house. But I do pick herbs and make my lotions and potions in the Inner Realms. The big advantage is that if your intention is strong you can go from seed to flowering plant in one session.
Knowers of Tarot will recognize the garden of the Empress here. WHATEVER you plant in that garden will grow. It’s the garden of your subconscious mind so only plant good things in it. All the water in the Tarot flows from the robe of the High Priestess, the subconscious that can take the shape of any vessel or suggestion offered to it.
So there’s a couple of female deity oriented good things to try, for fun if nothing else. Now let’s take a quick look at some badly misrepresented, powerful women of ancient times and stories.
Two that always come to mind are Pandora and Eve. Like Judas Iscariot they have had nothing but bad press for centuries. My own view about Judas is that he was the only one of the disciples that Jesus could trust with the mission of apparent betrayal. And he did it, knowing that he was signing his own death warrant with the Zealots. I have written extensively about this in “Who was Jesus Really?” available by clicking on the title on the right of the first screen. And this was done decades before the recent discovery about the rôle of Judas in the story. It’s still in the current story if it is read carefully, and without the poisonous preconceptions taught in Sunday Schools and pulpits.
Let’s throw away the male propaganda and look at the stories of Pandora and Eve again. The story you usually hear about Pandora is that because of idle curiosity she opened a box that she was told not to open. All the evils of the world poured out of it. The only thing left in the box was something called Hope. Another big screw up by a woman. The man who translated the story of Pandora from the Greek was the great Christian scholar Erasmus. But when he translated that story he made a minor, but understandable error, that has been spun into a disaster by good ol’ priestly boys retelling the story over the centuries with a definite anti-feminine agenda.
The clean text of the story says she opened the ‘Pithos,’ and he saw ‘Pyxis ’ in his manuscript. This would not be hard to do with an old manuscript in handwritten Greek, without spaces between the words, and several inconveniently placed fly specks. But Pithos means ‘jar’ and he translated it as Pyxis which means ‘box.’ It probably wasn’t a deliberate stunt, but then, like Dean’s microphonically induced scream, everyone since has heard about the box, but not about the jar or the special microphone Dean was using to muffle ambient noise.
But that jar would have been a funerary jar, containing the remains of a person or to be used in funeral rituals. In that time it would have represented what the Celts now call the Cauldron of Cerridwen, the womb of the goddess that gives birth and receives death. Pandora didn’t open a box of evils, allowing them to escape into the world just because she was the ultimate, dumb, Mediterranean brunette. She opened the womb of the Goddess which gave birth to myriads of possibilities. What Deepak Chopra calls the field of infinite potential. Sounds different doesn’t it?
What about Eve?
In most branches of Christianity woman were considered inferior because of the neurotic ideas of Paul of Tarsus, and the mythology of the Fall of Man as being due to Eve. My own view of the myth is that Eve chose consciousness. Adam was dense in comparison.
Women for centuries were expected to take the advice of the so spiritually superior, celibate, male priests as actually having authority over their married lives as mothers and wives, without any personal experience.
Authority figures such as St. Augustine relegated women to an inferior, or even despicable state in the most debasing terms. Here is an example of his thought, if it can be thus described:
"What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman- I fail to see what use women can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children."
That is a direct, accurately translated quote from the man who is considered a founder of the theology of Christendom, and it still shows. How many women priests are there in the Catholic Church after 17 centuries? Augustine is an authority, a Saint, and honored among the theological greats. As a piece of historical trivia and an inconvenient truth, he also had an illegitimate daughter who doesn’t get much publicity.
When Adam and Eve got thrown out of Yahweh’s little zoo in Eden, because she listened to the wisdom of the serpent, she already had the name Eve. You may remember that one of Adam’s jobs was to name things. And thereby hangs an interesting tale. In the Genesis story the Hebrew word used when Adam was created means ‘formed’ but when his woman was created the word used is ‘built’ both in the Hebrew of course. Apparently God, who at the time hadn’t yet learned English, took more trouble with the woman than He did with Adam. Some would say that still shows too. It isn’t until Genesis 3:20 that she gets the name Eve. Until then she is just woman and wife. And the name Adam gave her was Chawwah, which is Hebrew for ‘life.’ This is usually translated as ‘Mother of all that lives, and became Eve in English Bibles and their derivatives.
Now when we look at Aramaic, the language of Jesus, which hasn’t had the same attention as the Greek and Latin of the Church documents, we find that the word Chiwya means serpent. And even Genesis says how smart the serpent was.
In the creation story in Islam we have Eve being made from the feet of the serpent. This serpent is the Black Goddess, the daemon of Eve, like the daemon of Socrates. In her case the indwelling spirit of Earth. The Greeks called a person’s daemon their genius, the inner voice of intuition. The Pharaoh crown had a serpent on it to show the initiation of the Pharaoh to a non mundane level. Yogis talk about the serpent of Kundalini.
The Gnostic view of the creation business was that Sophia herself, the goddess of Wisdom, shape changed into a serpent to help Eve get out of the indignity of just being a specimen in Yahweh’s animal and plant collection.
You may also like to bear in mind that Yahweh’s punishment for the serpent was to make it crawl on the ground. So what did it do before? Aztecs and Incas had a flying serpent as a major divinity, people all over the world have honored dragons for their wisdom, except in Christendom. Just a dot to connect some time.
How did the genius daemon become the demon used by the Church to persecute every other religion?
Enter Origen (died 254 AD). He was a brilliant scholar, a human concordance, and the first such to point out that the gospels had been altered by editors to accommodate the beliefs of the time. That took courage. There were idiots even in those days who thought that the current scriptures were the unfailing Word of God.
He was a fine man with the courage of his convictions. He proved, using Scripture, that God forgives everybody. Nobody is doomed to eternal damnation. He was convicted of heresy for this some three hundred years after his death, in the kind of fake trial that we are familiar with. The Church needed still needs the dogma of eternal damnation to give it power over the people.
The accomplished and experienced monks in the monasteries of Mount Athos, for example, don’t believe in Eternal Damnation, but they are obliged to preach it, if they preach. The Christianity of the Irish peasant is not the Christianity of the Jesuit scholar. But I digress, as is the habit of the long lived, when they write or speak.
It was Origen who wrote an absolutely masterly rebuttal to pagan criticisms of Christianity. The Church was grateful at the time. In the course of this rebuttal he changed the daemon of the intuition of the pagans into ‘demon,’ something different from the intuition of Christians. It’s been demon ever since. This word thing is still a Jesuit trick. They produce distinctions without differences by skilful word spinning, and then make big deals out of them.
Now Pandora and Eve both wanted to know things. They were curious about the world. We have seen what a mess the incuriosity of our current Presidential ignoramus has given us. Human curiosity is the great basis of discovery of the wonders of the universe. These women had it. As did the great goddess Sophia who came to Earth to find out things.
The Christians disdained the religions of the pagans, from which their own was derived, because so many aspects of pagan Nature were feminine divinities. You probably know of many of them…Cybele, Diana, Demeter, Artemis, Ceres, Rhea et al.
Most of the goddesses associated with the second level of the Mysteries became targets for the Christians because initiates of the Mysteries KNEW. Initiates of Christianity at level one had to BELIEVE.
Take two examples from the very ends of the spectrum. Anyone can believe that piña colada tastes good on a hot day in the tropics. I did too. But when I actually experienced one on a Christmas Day at 80° I had no further need to believe.
People who return after a near death experience don’t need to believe in an after life. And those who have experienced what is called ESP don’t need to believe. They know. They are Gnostics. The most erudite debunkings of the white coated or black cassocked left brainers are just dust and feathers to them. They know that the answer to a fundamental question cannot be a sentence. It is always an experience.
The piña colada example was not chosen at random. Wisdom in Latin is Sapientia and in Hebrew it is Chokmah. They both involve the verb ‘to taste.’ The tasting of Wisdom is necessary, like Eve with the fruit, about which Yahweh lied, and like Gwion with the three drops from the Cauldron of Cerridwen. Nobody can experience a taste from a description. Tasting is a direct experience.
Here we can do what a great and ignored Master suggested. We can learn from little children. Tasting is the sense used by babies to experience their world. What isn’t edible becomes a plaything. Every mother remembers, sometimes with horror, the many things that her baby managed to get into its mouth.
Being long lived I can still remember the old and effective medical test for diabetes. The technician tasted the urine of the patient, and could tell from its sweetness or otherwise the degree of possible diabetes.
As within, so without. I know that some people who read this site are inner realm workers. To them I suggest that you might try some tasting next time you visit your inner place. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind gargoyle.
You might too like to check out my ‘Sophia and Women’s Influence’ posting on July 4th 2006. It contains material pertinent to today’s topic.