Drawing on archetypes for inspiration is an age old way to build courage, bolster self-worth, and practice self-care. If we are worshipping our inner Goddess and filling our minds with empowering messages then we won’t have room for self doubt or negative self talk! Like any other year, 2019 is sure to be a rollercoaster for many of us and for others more of a gentle stroll, either way it could be helpful to keep an array of goddesses in your mental pocket ready for reference and reverence should the need arise. There is no shortage of deities for nearly every occasion but my intuition draws me to specific energies; this year Brigid, Inanna, Guan Yin, and Athena are four powerful Goddess energies who feel especially resonant and relevant.
Brigid is the ancient Celtic Goddess of home and hearth; she reminds us to care for ourselves, tend to our own inner fires and sanctuaries. The pagan holiday Imbolc, February 2, celebrates the return of spring and is associated with her. There are many ways to celebrate and perform rituals for Imbolc. Brigid is traditionally honored by keeping the home hearth burning all night or lighting candles around the house. One can also imagine a small, perfectly controlled tiny fire centered in your body creating balance, warmth, and fulfillment. Brigid’s energy speaks to nourishment and creating warmth for ourselves and others. Balancing work and home life is no small task in today’s “go go get ‘em girl, multi-task and squeeze every productive moment into waking life” world but Brigid’s spark guides us home, to our comfortable spaces where we have every option to lounge, create, or work without care or compliance to social norms and expectations. Brigid nudges us toward the necessity of regular self-care so we can be restored and resilient, thus better able to care for others and create miracles of goodness in our personal lives, careers and communities.
Guan Yin, the Buddhist Goddess of compassion, provides loving energy for maintaining positivity while we confront the ills of capitalism, racism, sexism, discrimination, and corruption in our society. Focusing on compassion inevitably leads one to love and gratitude which are key for positive psychology and ultimately making the world a better place for all beings. Bearing witness to human and animal suffering is a heavy burden, finding ways to help everyone just isn’t possible. Now I’m not saying thoughts and prayers are all we need to get by but certainly it can be too easy to undervalue the currency of kindness.
Guan Yin encourages us to make time to truly feel love and gratitude in our hearts for clean water, clean air, mother nature, friends, family, furry companions (aka friends and family, ha!), your favorite song, sunshine, moonlight, the ever expanding range of gluten-free vegan snacks, or whatever it is that makes you happy. She is often pictured with lotus flowers which is why I invite the compassion of Guan Yin into my life by visualizing a lotus flower in my heart or mind or hand or sometimes a gigantic lotus flower floating under my feet, and I imagine the flower subtly vibrating soft, healing pink link through and around me. This meditation can be done in a few seconds or you can commit hours to raising that gentle, healing energy. Your effort and intention to be grateful and compassionate, along with sending that energy across existence to the object of your good feelings will actually increase your happiness! Maybe that ripple of love and thankfulness grows and expands, spreading peace and joy in every direction. Maybe if enough of us summon the compassion of Guan Yin and send out waves of love and gratitude, that energy will overpower some of the negative energies currently raging all over our precious little blue and green planet. It certainly can’t hurt to try, more compassion is a healthy choice for all of us.
Born in the cradle of civilization, the Mesopotamian “Queen of Heaven” Inanna is one of the oldest known Goddesses. Later cultures named her Ishtar, and humans have worshipped her for millennia. Her energy carries the specific weight of an age old deity, she is no light hearted Aphrodite even though she is associated with love, beauty, sexuality, and fertility. She is also well known as a Goddess of War and Justice. Inanna holds an ancient, potent archetypal energy—a constant reminder of who you are, a creatress, a destructress, daughter-mother-grandmother, all women, all one. Far from being a traditional Mother Goddess, Inanna shatters gender expectations with her fierce independence, ambition, assertiveness, honest sexuality, and even the occasional bad behavior like being spiteful or manipulative as the means to an end. She is quite the testament to early civilizations perception of the feminine nature and human equality.
When I’m feeling crushed by the weight of patriarchal oppression and I need an infusion of fiercely independent resilient feminine energy, I chant her name mentally like a mantra (as I imagine ancient people used to do) and I envision myself standing strong and healthy in that old world where her temples thrived, wildlands were untouched by technology and raggedly overflowing with natural beauty, life was an ever expansive realm resplendent with possibilities, bliss, danger, and mystery. I center that feeling in my core and bring the Inanna energy into my modern interactions. Lions are a classic symbol of Inanna so I might also imagine being accompanied by a spirit lion or infused by that primal big cat strength in the form of golden light, filling my spirit and warding off any doubt or insecurity. Inanna’s energy is the ultimate grounding force, nothing stands in her way—she is a juggernaut to anxiety and insecurity…and we are all her daughters, stand in that power and fear nothing.
Athena, silver Goddess of wisdom and war is the perfect balance of sage quietude and undeniable fortitude. Smashing the patriarchy since birth when she leapt forth as a fully grown adult from her father Zeus’ cracked skull (after what I imagine was a seriously epic headache for dear old Dad), the ancient Greek deity Athena has reigned for thousands of years as a popular symbol of women’s empowerment. Her energy leads us to balance wisdom and assertiveness in both career and personal life. Athena’s passion is cooled and steeped in knowledge making her an ideal archetype for decision making, conflict resolution, or any time emotions are running hot, and thoughtful insight could lead to an improved situation. I call to Athena daily for help with all sorts of situations and when things really get intense, I visualize wearing her sword on my hip for a quick and empowering confidence boost. Athena is frequently affiliated with owls and I also invite her wisdom and strength by wearing owl jewelry or imagining a spirit owl perched on my shoulder. Seeing an owl in the wild in real life is a sure sign to me that I’m on the right path in life and to keep going. Goddess visualizations, especially with Athena, have been very helpful in recent years with all the random flare ups of toxic masculinity! I don’t doubt Athena’s energy is working alongside many other Goddesses to manifest more equitable systems and help create a culture in which everyone can thrive.
World mythology is rich with feminine divinities who can inspire us to triumph in many otherwise challenging aspects of existence. The internet presents a wealth of information and I invite you to explore Goddess websites and seek out archetypes to support you on your unique journey. Wishing you a magical 2019 and all the Goddess energy you need to follow your heart and make your dreams come true. Please do share your comments below so we can all be stronger and more empowered Goddesses together! Blessed be.
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