Many years ago I was attended seasonal, Goddess-focused revels featuring handmade trinkets, including some by tremendously talented artists who attended. One year, our springtime fete was mercy with spectacular paints, intricately entwine and colorful fabric skill, sensuous carves, and exquisitely coated eggs. I introduced a Peeps diorama depicting the reunion of Demeter and Persephone.( For anyone wondering, Peeps are brightly colored marshmallows in the shape of bunnies, chicks and other molds and are sometimes originated into dioramas for contests in schools and libraries .) The rationalization I wreaked the diorama was partly because, though my own imaginative talent is somewhere between particularly questionable and non-existent, I pictured parties might experience a little bit of whimsy to honor spring’s exuberance. In addition, however, I was likewise going through a age of great personal and professional stress and my being profoundly will be required to be artistic with time a bit outrageous amusing.
To recap the story, Persephone had been abducted by Hades and taken to the Underworld. Her mother, Demeter, stirred the Earth barren until the gods agreed to Persephone’s release. Demeter is the purple Peep and Persephone is yellow, and they are about to be reunited. Hades is pinkly antagonized as he stood at the gateway to Hades. Gummi births are cavorting while lettuce humans dance in a clique. Snow is on the trees to show that winter is giving way to spring as Demeter returns abundance to the world.
This year, for the first time since then, I had the longing to make another springtime diorama, this time illustrating another joyful narrative, that of the Germanic goddess Ostara. In the copy of her narration we used to say to at our spring celebrations, Ostara is cheerfully gamboling in the wood when she encounters a rabbit being shot by a predator. The rabbit begs for Ostara help and so she converts the rabbit into a bird so she can fly away. During the moment when the rabbit is just turning into a colorful fledgling but is yet still a rabbit, she lays many-hued eggs. And, in grateful for Ostara’s act of kindness, each year the fledglings of the forest sit beautifully decorated eggs for Ostara’s enjoyment.
As I thought about why I wanted to make my Peeps spring diorama this year and not so much in others, I “ve learned that” artistic, light-hearted play is an essential form of sacred healing, very much after recent distressing and loss-filled periods for our whole planet. Playful creativity affirms that , no matter what tragedy and trauma we have knew, life is hopeful, the Earth is beautiful, and that we will not let our beings be defeated. It is our message to ourselves that we are, in our most profound being, still in essence who we were in times when we may have felt more easily connected to the animating life-force that spurts through the universe , no matter what list we call it or how we conceive of it.
Sacred play, especially in the form of aesthetic formulation, is transformative and sanctioning. By engaging in it we refuse to accept the status quo or others’ determinations of who we should be and what we should do. Creative exuberance as a behavior towards social right brings to mind Joy to the Polls, a flow this past fall to bring music and dancing to beings standing in line for hours to vote or the beautiful art and music that has been so essential to the objections of the past few years, and, in fact movements against brutality from time immemorial.
The ancient goddesses also knew the importance of sacred comedy and humour. The Sumerian goddess Siduri cautioned Gilgamesh to “dance and play, night and day…make each day a carnival of joy.” When Demeter is wandering the Earth in depth dejection, she comes upon Iambe, who prepares her smile with bawdy jokes, or, in other forms, Baubo, who precipitates Demeter’s laughter by showing her vulva. Uzume made the Japanese goddess Amaterasu out of her cave, to which she had retreated in outraged rage after wrongdoings by her friend, with a comic dance uncovering their own bodies. All these actions join rejoice and playfulness to the source of life, just as being artistic in a playful path does. And I think that Iambe, Baubo, and Uzume all understood that creativity and laughter can be even more effective when they are just a little outside expectations, like bringing Peeps dioramas to spring celebrations.
Incorporating play into spiritual rehearse can, of course, also be more artistry-focused. Some months ago I realized that the tips of the drumsticks I had been using for years had been whittled down by overuse to sharp-worded spots. It was long past time for a new primed. At that time, the world seemed to be especially in need of a little magic, so I covered and embellished the aged puts to be magic rods.
I’ve also been detecting pleasure in composing and recording very short percussion parts about some of my favorite goddess delusions because music can sometimes express what oaths alone cannot. Here is one about Inanna’s descent to the Underworld and her re-emergence into the world. Even though it is not a professional composition, I hope you loved it. You can even dance to it.
And so, I too hope I have inspired you to make some time in the coming daylights or weeks to find ingenuity and joyfulnes, and maybe a little sass, in your rehearsal and their own lives. May we all regenerate and refresh from whatever we have each been through and reaffirm our hope for the future.
Carolyn Lee Boyd is a writer, student drummer, and herb and native flora gardener who lives in New England. Her essays, short narratives, memoirs, scrutinizes, and verse have been published in , amongst other, Feminism and Religion, Return to Mago E-Magazine, Sagewoman, The Goddess Pages, Matrifocus, and The Beltane Papers, and numerous collections. She would enjoy for you to visit her at her website, www.goddessinateapot.com where you can find some of her free e-books to download.
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