I’m wondering how many women have had experiences of encounters with the goddess(es) in some way, in their dreams, meditations, waking life? And how that has informed their lives? I’m sharing my story about there here, but I would love to hear other people’s stories!
My first encounter with Isis came when I returned from living in London. I simply dreamt the word ‘ISIS’ in big letters. That was it, a fairly straightforward dream. But I didn’t even know what or who Isis was. I asked my boyfriend. He didn’t know. I googled, and discovered she was the Egyptian goddess of healing. Soon after I dreamt of the image of the Eye of Horus – Horus being Isis’s son. I commemorated that one by mosaic-ing a pot with the striking Egyptian image. I dragged that pot halfway around the country in its half-finished state for a decade before I shook out the cobwebs from it, and planted it anyway, deciding it was as finished as it was ever going to be, and I should just get on with using it. (The Eye of Horus is often referred to as the Third Eye – our intuition, psychic abilities, seeing ‘beyond’…) I figured planting a succulent in it could only help with my development in that area!
I don’t know why this Egyptian stuff resonates with me, but it does… so I just go with it… I figure, hey, I might learn something here… If I ignore it because maybe it’s a bit out there or weird, or for fear of what other people might think, then the lessons are lost right?
A few years after those dreams, I went to the desert on a Vision Quest. I sat in a medicine wheel I had decorated with cow bones from the dry river bed nearby. Again, I don’t know why they appealed to me… but they did, and I went with it. One night, mid-Quest, I heard a noise in the night – a large animal was nearby. I turned on my torch in the darkness to see two shiny green eyes staring back it me. It was a cow, there in the middle of the desert. I don’t know if it was feral or farmed, but it was a scary powerful moment – for me, and likely the cow as well!
Then one morning mid-Quest, I stood as the darkness shook itself off the land and watched the rising sun. Through the tree I had slept beneath, the disk of the sun became like a cow’s head, with the branches forming perfect horns either side of it. I drew the image. It spoke to me in some way.
I didn’t know what it meant… I asked one of the leaders of the Quest. She said, the cow’s head is a powerful image of the feminine. The head is womb-shaped, the horns are like the fallopian tubes… She may or may not have told me about Hathor – perhaps I came to that later, I don’t remember. Hathor is the Egyptian goddess of the sky, as well as fertility. She is the ‘cow goddess’, and is depicted with horns on her head, with a sun-disk nestled inside.
She, as well as Isis, is sometimes described as the mother of Horus. She was a more ancient version of Isis, so the history books say.
When I returned to ‘normal life’, I had a Tyet tattooed on my hip. The Tyet is known as the ‘Knot of Isis’, a bit like an ankh, and is thought to be an amulet that Isis’s followers would wear around their necks, representing the blood of Isis’s womb. The amulet was for protection from anyone who would harm them. I deliberately had it tattooed on my right hip.
The concept that the different sides of the body hold different energies and relate to the opposite side of the brain has an origin in eastern philosophies like Buddhism, yoga (Shiva/Shakti), and even in ancient Mayan writings. Let me explain:
The right side of our brain controls the feminine, creative aspects of our personality, reflected in the left side of our body; while the left side of our brain controls our masculine, analytical aspects, reflected in the right side of our body.
My hips are uneven due to a slight scoliosis in the spine – years ago, it caused me to tear my pelvic iliac ligament while doing martial arts. I figured it was like my pelvis was flapping in the breeze on one side… the left (feminine). Then I figured it out was time to leave the martial arts, and find a more feminine way forward! All this discipline and training and Japanese stoicism was really not doing me any good.
Anyway, when I got the tattoo, I chose the right (masculine) side to have this very feminine symbol inked on my skin. I knew that my path through life had been quite masculine – university, career, sport, achievement – and I wanted to anchor down my right hip, even things out, find more balance in my life.
Of course, the tattoo artist just happened to be a woman, with thick Egyptian eye make-up, and we shared stories about our travels in Egypt! I had been there when backpacking in my 20s. She had travelled there with her parents as a teenager.
Later, I found that many Pagan goddesses in Wicca embrace these ancient Egyptian goddesses.
Many women, I feel, carry this goddess energy – or witch energy… whether that is through the collective unconscious, or whether it’s due to some ancestral memory handed down our family line, I don’t know.
I had a frozen shoulder a few years back. So have all of my sisters and my mother. Some strong genetic material being carried there…
I saw an energy healer to see if she could cast some light on what might be causing it, because western medicine could tell me little. She told me she saw a drowning in my feminine line, a long way back – a death by freezing. I had seen the same myself in my meditations, so what she said did not surprise me. I started working with this idea more strongly in my meditations and my writing, and the woman’s story began unfolding. Dates, places, events…. She was a woman who was drowned and called ‘witch’. But really, like many such women, she was a powerful, strong, intelligent woman who was close to the earth and understood the nature of things. It was a story that needing telling, coming through my body.
It’s a story that continues to unfold and inform the direction my life and writing takes… Does anyone else out there have stories about the goddess(es) and how they are informing their lives? I’d love to hear them….