Spring has SPRUNG and we’re getting BUSY!
I haven’t been working on the website, I haven’t been making art to sell, and it would seem like I’ve been absent, but I’ve been busy working on art with our community and some upcoming academic events (a bit of a switch from my norm).
Earlier this month, I applied for a grant to take our art programs to schools and communities in our area that don’t traditionally have access to enrichment activities. We will find out by June 15th if we were accepted.
I also submitted two presentation proposals – the first one I submitted and got acceptance for the Fates and Graces Mythologium end of July. For this conference I will be talking about Medusa.
Then – as if that wasn’t exciting enough, I saw a conference in London about Art and Psyche – when I read the call for papers – I knew I had to…
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Reading and Writing with the Archetypes
Today, 5 March, marks the Navigium Isidis, an annual festival seeking the blessing of Isis upon the waters at the beginning of the shipping season. …Navigium Isidis
We did it!
First REAL painting g party in the books – it was fun and everyone had such cool versions of the painting.
Thank you to my Gallamarrs team – including Bernie, my heart is full with gratitude. Thank you also to the friends, family, and new friends that joined us. ❤️🎨❤️
Thanks mom, grandma, Bernie, and kiddos for providing snacks too.
I think we can call it a great day.
Flatlanders and highlanders
Flatlanders and highlanders
— Read on gallamarrs.com/2023/01/28/flatlanders-and-highlanders/
Persephone Myth Retold
Retold by Dr. Tracy
In the time of the Olympians, Demeter lived in eternal sunshine with her daughter, Persephone. Demeter, goddess of agriculture, was an important and beloved goddess to the Greeks and nothing was more precious to Demeter than Persephone.
Persephone was fathered by Zeus, but she was entirely Demeter’s daughter and Demeter guarded her child from anyone who would wish to take Persephone from her. Hades, the god of the Underworld, fell in love with the beautiful maiden and approached Zeus to find a way to make her his own.
Demeter did not want anyone to take Persephone, but the thought of her graceful, sun-loving girl living in the land of the dead would be especially unsettling for the goddess. Zeus and Hades knew Demeter would never consent to the marriage, so they decided it would be best if Hades just kidnapped the girl.
Hades waited until Persephone was away from her mother with only her Nymphs to attend to her. He disguised himself as the most beautiful, fragrant flower and set himself where Persephone would see him – just out of reach of the others.
When Persephone knelt for the flower, the ground opened, and she fell into the Underworld. Once Persephone was below, the ground closed, and no sign was left of Demeter’s daughter.
The Nymphs had no idea where Persephone had gone and when Demeter returned, she was beside herself with the loss.
Demeter searched the earth for her daughter and with her sorrow, came famine. The plants stopped growing and people were dying. Zeus realized he had to do something, so he sent his messenger to negotiate with Hades.
Meanwhile, Persephone had been living in the Underworld with Hades. We do not know her thoughts through any part of the story. What we do know, is that while she is in the Underworld, Persephone ate 6 pomegranate seeds.
In Greece, EVERYONE knows that you don’t eat anything in the Underworld, yet Persephone does and when Mercury attempts to negotiate her return to Demeter and the land of the living, those seeds become a big problem.
In fact, eating six seeds almost got Persephone to be trapped in the Underworld forever, but Demeter was too powerful. Zeus had to appease the goddess or all of mankind would die.
To be fair to Hades and to calm Demeter’s sadness, Zeus declared that Persephone would spend one month for each seed eaten in the Underworld every year and would spend the other 6 months with Demeter.
This is the reason we have seasons today. When Persephone leaves her mother, the plants stop producing and begin to die off. However, in Spring, when Persephone returns, all the plants burst to life, and we have spring and summer.
Falling with Grace into Winter
As a mythologist, I tried to connect this article to the stories of an Algonquin bear hunt that explains why the leaves change colors in the fall or of Persephone’s yearly return to the Underworld that causes the seasons to shift, but I was more inspired from simply watching the animals and trees in our mountain community. The animals are not out as much, but even though I do not see them, they are busy making nests and storing food. Their work is not as obvious as their spring and summer activity, but it is important for their survival. I also noticed that the trees are turning colors and beginning to lose their leaves. Their fruit is a memory of late summer and a distant promise for next year. The animals and trees are focusing resources on the basics and preservation. It became obvious, to me, that I needed to fall back too and reorganize my mindset for the transition of the seasons.
You see, recently, I had been feeling out-of-sorts. I have felt more tired, less productive, and frustrated with myself. Regular seasonal mountain things, like power outages or road closures, felt more challenging and I was losing my patience more quickly than I should. I could not figure out what was wrong with me, but then, I realized – it is fall! Even though I have lived through enough years on the mountain to remember that the seasons are dramatic here, I forgot what those seasonal transitions mean for our day-to-day lives.
I was trying to live my life by summer standards and feeling myself falling short. While I filled my home with fall colors and good-smelling fall foods; I had not prepared myself for the fall. Instead of resisting with frantic attempts to be outwardly productive that is more suitable for summer; I needed to allow myself to do less, to rest, and to embrace the natural, more domestic nature of autumn. We physically retreat inside during the cold, dark days of winter, but we also need to give ourselves time to stop and go inside to ourselves during this time. Fall, and especially winter, are times for restorative stillness, reflection, and planning.
By researching for this article, by quietly watching nature, and reflecting to write – I learned to give myself grace and regain my patience. I learned by watching the trees that it is not only okay to release what does not serve us at this time, but also, that it can be beautiful to observe. The animals showed me that it is proper, not selfish, to focus resources on the home and that activities do not need to be obvious for them to be valuable. I learned to take time to rest, to reflect, and grow the seeds for spring.
Thank you for taking your time to read my ramblings. For more about the Algonquin myth of the bear hunt and the changing of the leaves in fall or the story of Demeter, Persephone, and the reason for the seasons according to Greek mythology, please listen to the links below.