Lemurian City of Ladies

A Lemurian City Built in Memory of Christine de Pizan

Archive for the ‘Walking Tour’ Category

Childhood Pictures of My Mami

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Friends, Romans, Ladies…behold, my mother!

~~~*~~~

When around others, she usually prefered to listen instead of talking, but when she talked,  you really listened.

She liked playing with her boy cousins, hated dolls, always wore her hair short and loved to drink Coke (to the very end, even if she was diabetic most of her life.)

So that explains why I don’t like frilly dresses, pink and most of the usual “girl” things.

Could also explain why I like the not-so-usual tv shows, like Buffy, House, Cold Case and Pushing Daisies and other detective and/or non-mainstream shows. (I also like Cagney & Lacey, which she loved before I was born.)

Written by foxndragon

August 12, 2008 at 10:05 am

Posted in Walking Tour

Hall of Remembrances: Divided Identities

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She found herself walking back to the entrance to the catacombs, taking a torch, going past the statues of Jesus, the angels and the gargoyles, wondering if she would be able to find her way back to the Hall of Remembrances.  Walking down one tunnel, Thalia came across a statue of a regal-looking cat on a tombstone. 

 

 

Oh, oh.  I didn’t come this way before.  Must have taken the wrong tunnel.  I would have remembered seeing this sleek cat.  What does it say?

 

BAST–MET

GENTLE FRIEND

FIERCE PROTECTOR

 

No date.  Wonder when this is from?  Wonder about the name—seems like an obvious combining of Bast and Sekhmet, both goddesses in Egyptian mythology, but is it?  Was Bast the name in itself or short for Bastet?  That would say a lot about the date right there.  And both gentle and fierce—how intriguing.  Well, the solid black statue doesn’t tell me why this cat was named a composite name of two Egyptian goddesses generally depicted as lionesses.

 

A faint noise coming from behind the tombstone caught her attention.  She listened, heard it again, and cautiously moved around in that direction.  She almost didn’t spot the kitten curled up on the floor, pressed against the tombstone. 

 

“Oh, how sweet.  How did you get in here?  Are you okay?”  Thalia squatted down and extended out her hand to stroke the kitten… and her hand passed tight through.  The kitten looked up at her and edged closer, obviously wanting contact.  “Why are you still here?  Did you know the cat…Bast-met?”

 

The kitten’s thoughts came through.  That is me.  I’m Bast-Met.  I’m actually the kitten who became Bast-Met.  But I’m still confused.

 

Why are you confused?  You were obviously loved by your owner.

 

Yes, I was.  But people don’t realize how important a name is.  I was confused because I was named after two different aspects of goddesses, even though both were lionesses at one time—Best and Sekhmet.

 

Lions?  I thought they were cats.

 

No.  Bast was the ancient Lower Egypt solar and war goddess and protector.  She was depicted as a fierce lioness while also associated with the sunlight so was called ‘Goddess of Fire’ or ‘Lady of the Flame.’  Later she became Bastet, her role diminishing as Sekhmet , a similar deity in Upper Egypt when Lower Egypt lost dominance in the unification of the Upper and Lower sections.  The feminine suffix of ‘et’ is the diminutive name that applies as she receded and Sekhmet rose to power.  Her gentler aspect as protector of the home and pregnant women changed as her appearance changed to a domestic cat.  Then during the times when the Greek occupied Egypt, she changed again to a goddess of the moon.

 

So Bast become Bastet and took the appearance of a domestic cat.  Why would a cat still be important?

 

Cats were revered highly because they could catch and kill threats to the fragile food supply like rats and mice and snakes.  So much so they were mummified before burial.  More than 300,000 mummified cats were discovered when Basts’ temple at Per-Bast was excavated.

 

What about Sekhmet?  Was she also a lion who changed to a cat?

 

Sekhmet was a warrior lioness goddess of Upper Egypt, the lioness being the fiercest hunter the Egyptians knew.  They thought her breath created the desert and so she was a protector of the pharaohs.  She was also a solar deity and became more powerful than Bast, so was seen as ‘The Avenger of Wrongs.’  Sekhmet was also seen as a bringer of disease as well as a healer of those diseases, with her worship centered in Memphis.  ‘She Who Is Powerful’ was depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness.  Pyramid texts themselves say the Pharaoh was conceived by Sekhmet who was the wife of Ptah, ‘The Creator.’ Other myths say she was created by the fire of Ra’s eye to use her as a weapon of vengeance to destroy men because of their wicked ways.  Sekhmet is the Goddess of the West and Bastet is the Goddess of the East.  Both are shown with heads of lionesses with Bastet wearing green and Sekhmet wearing red. 

 

So that’s why this statue has a jeweled collar of red and green gems.  A while back I even saw a refrigerator magnet with a picture like this statue on it.  Quite a contrast between being considered goddesses and being on a fridge magnet.  But why are you still here?

 

I was always confused as to who I really was and my mistress expected two different behaviors—sometimes I should be like a lioness, the aggressive war goddess, and other times I should be gentle like a healer and docile protector of pregnant women.  Mistress would encourage me to be ‘Avenger of Wrongs’ and ‘Lady of Slaughter,’ both titles of my suffix namesake.  But then would be upset when I caught a rat and brought it home to her to show I was the ‘Lady of Slaughter.’  No, now she preferred for me to be tame like the mummified cats.   

 

And all I wanted was to be me—a kitten needing to be petted and loved and let to develop naturally, not forced into predetermined roles.

 

Would you mind if I write your story down?  Because this also applies to modern day parents and children.

 

It does?  How?  I thought it was because I couldn’t talk to my mistress.

 

No.  Even when children are all grown up and can discuss issues like this with their parents, it usually doesn’t help.  Because parents who try to force children into a mold they want usually aren’t able to truly listen and understand what is being said.  Parents who listen and understand from the beginning usually tend not to force anything on anyone.  They realize each has their own way to grow into their adult selves. 

 

 

By this time the kitten was curled up in Thalia’s lap, purring as she was stroked.  She stretched out, putting her front paws on Thalia’s shoulders.  Thank you for listening and helping me to understand I was not alone in dealing with the expectations of others.  I would be verrrrry happppy for you to wrrrrite my storrrry.  I just wwwwanted to be mmmmme and not torrrrn in two diffferrrrent dirrrrections.  Can you call mmmmme Kitty?

 

 “My pleasure, Kitty.  You’re such a sweet kitten.  And your fur is so silky, Kitty.”

 

The purring increased in volume as Kitty’s substance solidified and matured.  Thalia and Kitty rubbed noses.  Then both Kitty’s purring and her body faded and disappeared as Thalia continued to stroke the empty air while thinking of an anonymous quote she had seen: “Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.  Cats have never forgotten this.”  One more contrast.  Treated as goddesses and important enough to be preserved as mummies but now the likeness is on refrigerator magnets.  She said ‘NO’ to both aspects—she just wanted to be Kitty.

Written by thalia

August 2, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Once Upon a Time in 1964

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My dad and friends performing in a play produced by a nearby girls’ school.

At the time of the picture, he and his friends were around 19 or 20.

Since I wanted to focus on him, I cut out most of the cast and blurred the rest of the nearby people, then enlarged his part of the picture and stuck it on top of the (already cropped) group picture.

my dad, today: http://flickr.com/photos/themagickbox/2679494109/

***

PAGE CREDITS:

Bridget Freebies & Rest: Vintage Charm Kit -> Elements and Paper (as overlay)
Wenchd Grafix: Muted Gift -> Paper (as background base)

Written by foxndragon

July 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Walking Tour

It began with three . . .

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girl and tree

It began with three and ended with three – the old woman who lived by her shoes, the young girl with the tattoos and the middle aged mystery lady who sat by the side of the beach always drawing in her notebook.

The young girl took pride in her tattoos as the emblem of leaving girlhood to enter woman hood. She was so still when the tattoo artist went to work it had scared those watching who were used to at least a slight tensing of nearly every girl that underwent the ritual.

The old woman who had witnessed many girls undergo the ritual had been waiting for this one. She stood in the background and no one really noticed her but it was to her the young girl would turn when she understood her own significance.

The mystery lady simply drew the tattoo and around it other pictures conjured up by the power of the word drew themselves out of her pencil. She could not draw the smell but she wrote in “singed frangipani” to remind her of the day.

Now the young girl made her way to the temple. The ritual was not over but now required supplication, prayer and a period of fasting.

The old woman nodded as the young girls figure grew smaller and smaller.  She was the one, definitely the one. She raised her hands in thankfulness, turned away and began her journey to prepare the way.

(c) image and words June Perkins

Written by June

July 19, 2008 at 8:43 am

Posted in Walking Tour

Tholos Forgiveness

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The sounds of bubbling water enhanced her awareness.  She felt serene in all aspects of herself.  This is a good space in which to live, where one is totally at peace.  And what a wonderful place in which to die—in a hammock in water—not drowning, but just floating in water in the ocean or a lake or, even a pool such as this.  She lay still, attempting to remember her dream, or was it an experience?  So wonderful, but what was wonderful?  Oh, yes.  I was told to prepare to leave at any moment.  Made total sense at the time, but what did it really mean?  That I’ll die so I need to be unattached to the world and centered, or a crisis is coming and so I’ll need to be prepared to leave the house?  The water sounds so happy…bubbling and frolicking in the pool.  Does the water carry the fumes of the oracle to me?

 

I remember reading in the American Book of Dying: Lesson in Healing Spiritual Pain where the authors Gross and Klauser talked of a medieval l’Hotel-Dieu–God’s Hotel–in Burgundy, France.  In the 15th century A.D., this hospice served the social outcasts and was built over a river with a glass floor underneath the beds of the patients.  This way they could hear the soothing sounds of the moving water, as I am now.   I can tell this must be a special place, because I’m not aching from lying on the mossy ground.  This hospice had clean linens, also, almost unheard of in that time, even for the wealthy. 

 

Now I remember, another dream or experience, where someone in high authority asked if I wanted to go back and redo or eliminate some difficult times in my past. My parents were there, too, even though both are deceased for many years.  No, I said to all of them.  I wouldn’t change anything, as difficult as some things were at the time.  For then I wouldn’t be who I am today.  I wouldn’t have grown into the life I have, but still be stuck in the mundane, never having to be forced to have the opportunity to forgive both myself and another I deeply trusted, never having understood the great gift it is to be placed in a situation where one had to learn to forgive a deep wound.

 

The deeper the bond of trust with the person,

 the deeper the hurt and wounding,

the harder it is  to forgive,

 the more precious the gift of forgiveness

for oneself and for the other.

 

 May all  people who have been so hurt

 come to this gift of forgiveness

in the time that is right for them.

 

 

 

Written by thalia

July 18, 2008 at 10:49 pm

The Seat of Wisdom

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I went into the cathedral in the City of Ladies, at the corner of Hope and Despair.

Inside the chapel, off to the left, was a small wooden confessional.  I knocked, opened the door, went in, and sat down.  I was bathed in a soft blue light.  Looking up, I noticed a small stained glass window that said: “Sedes Sapientiae”, Latin for “Seat of wisdom”, one of Mary’s titles, so called because she was the vessel through which we received God’s wisdom incarnate.  I meditated on what “seat of wisdom” meant to me:

 

Being still

Listening carefully

Paying attention

Being thankful

Seeking beauty

Learning always

Forgiving yourself

Trying to understand

Giving yourself another chance,

And another, and another.

Knowing when to let go

And when to move on.

Finding strength deep within.

Amen.

 

As I left the confessional, a priest waved at me and sang out,

“This is the day that the Lord has made,

Let us rejoice and go home.”

I smiled back at him and was on my way.

 

© 2008 Kerry Vincent

Written by kvwordsmith

July 18, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Rainbow from Tholos

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Thalia followed the guidebook and signs to the Tholos.  As she climbed upward, she smelled the pine trees before she eventually arrived at a grove of the trees.  On either side of the entrance path leading into the grove were snakes on the trees.  Their serpentine motions reminded her of the medical caduceus and of the chakra-energy swirls ascending from root to head, weaving in the familiar sine-wave pattern. 

 

When she thought of this energy, and how we are all energy, she became aware of her third chakra starting to knot, quickly slipping into the total wounding of the fourth chakra—the heart.  She remembered her recent flash of anger, quickly turning to hurt and disappointment, and in turn, feeling the tears catch at the fifth chakra—the throat—as the pressure built up before tumbling out yesterday.  For the moment, it didn’t seem fair.  

 

Right now I feel some anger and, by hook or by crook, these snakes won’t keep me from entering the grove.  I stride in, with no fear even as I don’t want to become a woman as obnoxious as many I’ve known as they claimed their power and were determined not to allow a man to control them.   No, I don’t want to be like that even though it seems they get what they want because of their sometimes arrogant, demanding ways.  Maybe I need to change what I want, or better yet, allow for the real things I desire and release the old wants and needs.

 

She approached a clear pool.  I would love to sink into the soothing water.  She hesitated, then slipped off her clothes and melted into the warm water.  So clear… so wonderful…  Finding a comfortable, sloping ledge just perfect for reclining and being mostly submerged, she found, as always, in a warm bath, concerns and heartbreak wash away.  I always feel better in the water.  I really wish I could be gently floating in a hammock in the ocean, or even in a lake, able to view the beautiful surroundings, as I am dying.  Would be easy to drift away with awareness and gratitude for my lives as I leave it all behind and transform higher.  As she floated and closed her eyes, she relaxed easily into a place of peace, of the Oneness of All things.  She breathed deeply, releasing her inner toxins carried on air currents as well as those toxins carried on energy waves.  

 

She lost track of the time.

 

With a start, she climbed out, noticing her discarded clothing had been somehow replaced without her being aware.  Her satchel was gone, too.  Not that I’ve needed anything in it recently.  But it is was a leftover from the “be prepared” days, and frequently something within was helpful.  How much makes sense to be prepared and how much is trying to stay in control?  Always a thought.  As she slipped into the long flowing white gauzy dress—flowing and free—she was aware of a voice nearby saying her clothes and bag would be returned afterwards and to please follow.  The hazy outline of a woman led her into the Tholos. The music is so faint I am not sure if it is coming from within or without.  An altar!  I don’t have anything to leave on the altar, for even my concerns and questions are gone, so I’ll offer my gratitude such places even exist.

 

In respect, she nodded at the altar as she passed and continued to follow the misty outline down the tight, circular stairs, which reminded her of the winding stairs at the satsanghar at Dera.  This memory further centered her as it re-set her priorities.

 

Moving towards a labyrinth, she entered it, walking slowly and mindfully.  Such a serpentine way to walk—with folds undulating this way and then, that.  Perhaps that is why snakes guard the entrance.  This labyrinth reminds me of the first time I walked one—the huge canvas one at the Hospice Volunteer Inservice, so large I had a hard time finding a room large enough to hold it.  Needed to use the auditorium at the Health Department.  That kernel blossomed into the outdoor one at the new hospital built from our prompting.  To walk the labyrinth, tucked down low among the trees and near the fountain, between the overwhelming emotions emanating from the hospital on the hill and the overwhelming frantic-ness of the nearby traffic, seemed surreal.  The hollow the labyrinth was in was outside it all, in its own space and time.  As I am now…     

 

She weaved in and out the folds of the labyrinth, getting ever closer to the center and finally reaching a small pool where water bubbled up.  She realized she was alone, but wasn’t sure when the wraith had disappeared.  Reaching down into the water, she let the bubbles play with her hands.  She drank from cupped hands, then allowing the water to pour over her head and onto her heart.

 

A mossy area on the side of the pool formed by the underground springs looked so inviting.  How comfy looking!  Maybe I’ll just lie down here, I feel so dreamy.  Eyes closed, she listened to the murmuring, bubbling spring, and inhaled a sweet smell.  Is this the effects of the ethylene vapors the oracles used?  Plutarch said it was as if “the adyton was sending forth the essences of the sweetest and most expensive perfumes from a spring.”  Or is this from my being relaxed and un-anxious, everything harmonious… peaceful… our natural way of being…

       

Floating… drifting… She watched facets of her life as if she were in a boat with the people and events lined up along the banks in vignettes of moments.  This isn’t exactly my life flashing before my eyes so I guess I’m not dying.  More like a leisurely stroll through my life.  Maybe I can discern patterns better this way.  Yes, I was such a serious child… don’t make noise… don’t run in the apartment… everything will be better.  Mostly a serious child with bursts of fun. Mostly vigilant with moments of trust… look at the lilies of the field… quietly reading and writing… processing my life, processing me.  The woman over there  looks like Thalia, Muse of Comedy, from the Mouseion.  What is she saying to me?  Oh, “Lighten up.  Ride the rainbow.”  What rainbow?  I don’t see a rainbow.

 

She was floating in the sky now, amidst the stars as comets whizzed by, way above any river of events.  That comet seems close, and it’s coming closer.  I thought the tails of comets contained ice and rock, but this one seemed to sparkle.  Maybe the limited light is reflecting on the ice.  One particularly interesting piece drifted close, so she grabbed onto a natural outcropping on it and rode the comet.  I guess this is what Muse Thalia meant.  What an exhilarating feeling!  Like a roller coaster, but way higher.  What was it that Aristotle called a comet?  Oh yes, a star with hair – kometes – hair of the head.

 

The comet plunged on in the dark sky.  In the distance was a smudge of something. She and the comet drew ever nearer.  It was revealing itself to be a planet, growing ever larger as they approached.  Down they flew.  Are we going to crash?  Maybe I should get off?  Maybe I should wake up from this dream.  an I wake up?

 

Moving through a layer of clouds, she recognized they were going to crash into a rainbow—a huge rainbow.  Before she could duck or hop off—or wake up—she was immersed in the rainbow.

 

Ohhh! So many colors… so beautiful.  Droplets of mist of all colors.  Looks like a box of crayons.  Her ice chunk was melting as comet and rainbow merged.  She was on her own—flying downwards with the rainbow.  As it approached the ground, she could see this part of the rainbow wasn’t made up of mist or water droplets, but what appeared to be, shavings of crayons and colored pencils, of pastel chalk and paints.  Bits of the alphabet were interspersed: letters, words, phrases.  Even snatches of music notes and chords played. 

 

 

This is the rainbow my Muse Thalia meant.  The Rainbow of Creativity—lighten up—ride the rainbow—be creative.  Ram Das said, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”  Lighten up!   Laughing, giggling, enjoying the blend of color and words and music—she couldn’t help but to dance amidst it all.  Swirling, twirling, as the rainbow eased her down to the ocean and the beach.  She saw people on the sand, arms upraised, reveling and dancing in the creativity rainbow, as she gently landed. 

 

What a ride!  The Creativity Rainbow from Tholos.  What beauty!  Do I wake up now or am I already awake?

 

Written by thalia

July 12, 2008 at 1:42 pm