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Minerva’s Owls


Minerva’s Owls Remembering the Divine Feminine to Reenvision the World

Mary Petiet 1

Homebound Publications

Ensuring that the mainstream isn’t the only stream.


© 2017, Text by Mary Petiet All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in critical articles or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publisher: Homebound Publications, Postal Box 1442, Pawcatuck, CT 06379. www.homeboundpublications.com Published in 2017 by Homebound Publications Front Cover Image © Takashi Hososhima | Shutterstock.com Cover and Interior Designed by Leslie M. Browning isbn 978-1-938846-91-5 First Edition Trade Paperback Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Petiet, Mary, author. Title: Minerva’s owls : remembering the divine feminine to reenvision the world / by Mary Petiet. Description: 1 [edition]. | Stonington : Homebound Publications, 2017. | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2017012943 | ISBN 9781938846915 (pbk.) Subjects: LCSH: Spirituality. | Yoga. | Consciousness--Miscellanea. | Feminism--Religious aspects. Classification: LCC BF1999 .P535 2017 | DDC 202/.114--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017012943

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Homebound Publications is committed to ecological stewardship. We greatly value the natural environment and invests in environmental conservation. Our books are printed on paper with chain of custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.


To Niels Minerva’s Owls first fluttered through the edges of our dinner conversation. Many thanks for your gift of philosophy, your keen insight, and unflagging support throughout the writing process. Many thanks also to the librarians at Barnstable’s Sturgis Library for their amazing ability to track down any book requested, no matter how obscure. Many thanks to Sherianna Boyle for the gift of yoga, to all the wonderfully supportive people who appeared along the way, and finally, many thanks to Homebound Publications for helping Minerva’s Owls fly.


Contents 1 • Preface: Only Connect 7 • Chapter 1: Source and the Feminine Archetype 19 • Chapter 2: Severance and the Masculine Archetype 33 • Chapter 3: Golden Age 45 • Chapter 4: Wisdom Tradition and the Hidden Feminine 55 • Chapter 5: Follow the Water Bearer 69 • Chapter 6: Material World 79 • Chapter 7: The Owls of Minerva Notes Further Reading About the Author About the Press


Preface

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Only Connect. –E.M. Forster, Howards End

e are all products of modern society, conditioned to perceive through the five senses. We are enlightened, so we are taught not to believe in what we cannot see. We are taught to exist entirely in the concrete, material world where our perceptions are limited to the five senses. None of this explained how I found myself in a yoga class floating above my body in an ecstatic warm bath of translucently pale light. I had never so fully experienced any moment. I was entirely within the now. I was aware of my body, yet I was outside of it. When my yoga teacher asked us to change pose from the squat we were inhabiting, my consciousness floated back to my anchoring body. At the time I had no reference for the experience. It is hard for a product of modern Western society to explain such an event. But I knew intuitively that we are not alone. Either our own subconscious can be activated in a new way or we can channel higher source. Maybe we can glimpse the universal consciousness. Maybe a little bit of each. I knew I had connected to something. I knew that everything was fine on a much larger scale than I had imagined, that we are of this source light, and when we return to it there is no need to fear. It was my first introduction to my higher self, my first glimpse of the divine wholeness within, and I realized that our job here and now is simply to realize our connection to our source and to each other. Our job is to remember the higher self. We need only remember. By soul choice or coincidence, we inhabit a period of great flux, complete with our own armageddon arsenal. We have advanced medicine, instant communication and previously unimaginable travel opportunities. 1


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Our world is smaller than it has ever been and humanity is interconnected on a hitherto unknown scale. While these are huge, miraculous advancements, they have come at a price. We are a terrified species. We are scourged by anxiety and haunted by atrocity routinely proliferated by the press. We are obese or starving, alternately kind or violent, and we have the capacity to destroy or cherish each other and our planet. We live under the threat of climate change, which plutocratic governments are unwilling or unable to halt, and while we can choose to use the technology that has driven our advances as a unifier, it also has the capacity to isolate. Each office cubicle can be an island apart and each apparently enthralling screen is a potential universe populated by one. These anxieties underpin our daily existence in a post-modern darkness, they are a root cancer eating our society from within. Progressive science has given us daily technological miracles, while simultaneously severing us from and blinding us to the spiritually miraculous. All of this darkness, while we were created by light. The big bang was light on a truly cosmic scale. The sun warmed our oceans, exciting the first micro-organisms and allowing photosynthesis, producing oxygen. Without the light we are nothing. At our best we are of the light, of the energy surrounding us, connecting us, nurturing us and providing our spiritual home, our source. Religions are founded on the search for this light, and organized around controlling access to it. Jesus himself states “I am the light of the world.” Yet we live in a cluttered society and a distracting world, and at times religion itself can leave us unbalanced and cloud our way to source, our spiritual home. We can all too easily lose our innate ability to tap into our highest potential. Minerva’s Owls attempts a retelling of some of our most ancient stories as it ponders our need to reinvent the structures that no longer serve us. It examines how we got here and where we may be going as it suggests new ways of seeing ourselves and our history to support the new mythology we ultimately need to build in order to support new structures that will serve us. Minerva’s Owls asks if we have disconnected so far from the source we are of that we are stuck in a cycle of chaos and fragmentation in a world that


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has lost its balance. It ponders the possibility of a truly golden edenic time of connection, a golden age when we thrived in the light and understood our interconnectedness to each other and the source from which we come. Finally, Minerva’s Owls considers a modern return to that state. When philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, 1770-1831, states that the owls of Minerva fly at dusk, he is personifying wisdom in the classic feminine sense. He is saying that the owls, Minerva’s traditional handmaids, only gain clarity after the event. He is saying, wisely, that an era cannot be defined until it has passed. We stand currently on the cusp of a new era. As the ages shift from Pieces to Aquarius, we attempt definition of the old as we build the new. We stand with the three archetypes, the Great Mother, the solar deity and the sacrificial god. The archetypes are all Minerva’s owls and they populate our universal consciousness while manifesting themselves repeatedly in various ways appropriate to each successive era. Ideally, they balance masculine energy with feminine energy to create balanced harmony, and they are the embodiment of the wisdom needed to find our source as individuals and communities while restoring balance to a world tipped out of alignment. Minerva’s Owls follow our species evolution from the fold of the earth, with its apparently peaceful feminine principle, to its fascination with the expanse of the sky, and the embrace of the masculine war-like sun deities. This centuries long process included the gradual burying of the feminine aspect in the male aspect, which combined with a dualistic world view to create division instead of wholeness, and upset the crucial balance of female and male energies with an unequal emphasis on the masculine part of the whole. Minerva’s owls are the handmaids of wisdom, always pointing the way forward, and if we follow the three archetypes through the ages, through history, art, and religion, we may find our way back to source and balance. We simply need to remove our blinders and see the trail of bread crumbs. Woven into the larger themes of our species evolution, Minerva’s Owls simultaneously explores the individual journey of source discovery from the perspective of the yoga mat. One of the main points to yoga is the awakening of the sacred within. The quiet and introspection of regular


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practice can ignite the chakra energy wheels that line the spinal column from the sacrum to the crown, elucidating both inner and outer divinity as well as our ultimate connection. This echoes the larger collective journey, providing an individual guide back to source. Imagine the energy swirling the planet right now from radio waves and internet connectivity. Each tweet, each Facebook post contributes to the swirling mass of our connection to each other in a way never previously imagined. We have harnessed the energy of source and it has great power. The internet functions as the tangible, worldly universal consciousness; we can all connect to it easily and through it we can connect to each other. Minerva’s owls now populate both the collective subconscious as well as cyberspace. We have made them accessible to facilitate the journey back to source. We need only one law, the Law of Connection, by which nothing stands in isolation. We are here now to reconnect, with our highest selves and with each other. We herald the next age of our own evolution, where the material can be balanced with the spiritual, and the masculine can be balanced with the feminine. We can see the true meaning of the next age, the Age of Aquarius, in the idea of the final tipping point of species awareness as we collectively enter the next plane of consciousness, which connects and balances all of the disparate, violent impulses of previous eras into a peaceful, productive unity. Minerva’s owls seek to reclaim the balance in modern terms, to reclaim the lost feminine aspect, our first mother, and to remember Earth, our first nursery. This is the ballast we need to move forward in any positive way. As a species and as individuals this is our journey.

OM

O

m is the sacred sound, the ancient vibration connecting us to the universal vibration, the energy that is source and links the smallest particle to the largest mass. OOOOOUUUUUMMMMMM, three syllables of a timeless sigh. Om transcends time and space, connecting us to all who have breathed it before, and to all who will breathe it later. Om maps out the internal


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Milky Way, meditate it quietly, sing or chant it with others, until it takes you into the stream and you enter the flow. This is the route to the chakras, the seven color wheels of energy following our spines along our bodies from the sacrum to the crown, each associated with a different aspect of our consciousness. Om is the route to wisdom; this is the quiet path to awareness, the deep look within. Om is a key to both the universal consciousness and the chakras within, and the individual journey echoes the species journey as it takes us deep within. While source connection is as much behind yoga as it is behind religion, it does not make modern Western yoga a religion. Instead, yoga is a way to access source via the quiet gained through deeply meditative poses. Om rattles in your throat and hums through your body. Om can be euphoric and Om can be contemplative. Om is transcendence. Om is the path to higher awareness and a group singing Om is beautifully soaring. When my yoga teacher offered to trade me an energy clearing for editing some of her work, I accepted even though I had no idea what an energy clearing actually was. It turns out we can store old and negative energy, the stuff of a lifetimes’ accumulation, in parts of our bodies. We all do this, and it can hold us back. It was holding me back. I left my energy clearing free of old weight and debris with a new, acute clarity. I became clarity, and that clarity pulled all of the odds and ends collected in my head together and gave birth to this book.


Chapter 1

Source and the Feminine Archetype Our life runs down in sending up the clock. The brook runs down in sending up our life. The sun runs down in sending up the brook. And there is something sending up the sun. It is this backward motion toward the source, Against the stream, that most we see ourselves in, The tribute of the current to the source. It is from this in nature we are from. It is most us. –Excerpt from West Running Brook by Robert Frost

S

ource is our commonality, it is the energy coursing through and unifying everything. Every body, from the tiniest sub atomic structure to the largest life form, to the universe itself is ignited and united by energy. Energy is light, and according to Genesis, on the second day, after God created the heavens and the earth, he created the light: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness� .1 Light is the substance that makes everything else possible. The theme of source, light and energy, occurs over and over in our history and is imbedded in our collective universal conscious, manifesting in the three archetypes that have accompanied us through time; the Great Mother, the sun deity and the sacrificial god. 7


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At the earliest stages of our species evolution, we were connected to source. Now, to be whole, we seek the same connection with our greatest selves and the force that propels all life. Like plants straining towards the sun, we are reaching for the light of source whether we know it or not. The difference is in the knowing. Once we know what we are striving for, we can recognize it. We start by following the first of the archetypes that have accompanied the human journey, Minerva’s first owl, the Great Mother, back in time and back to source. When we see any of the three archetypes, the Great Mother, the sun deity or the sacrificial god, we know that wisdom, personified by Minerva, is guiding us back to source, our connecting energy, our beginning and our end. Life is a shared journey, and we are all on the same pilgrimage back to source whether we know it or not. To get there we must look deep within ourselves and we must follow the three archetypes as they appear and reappear throughout time, from the beginning to the present. They are all Minerva’s owls, leading us to source. Source can be slippery. It has different names to accommodate different times. In the West we acknowledge the five senses, which are concrete and set us firmly in the temporal. We can see, hear, feel, taste and touch. What we experience via these conduits constitutes our apparent shared reality. Source is the quiet thing behind that reality, existing on the spirit level. Source is what puts transcendence into the word transcendental. Source has been called Goddess, God, life force and the subconscious. Source is ancient and we have been separated from it by much that is modern; it can be hard to perceive source through our technology and the grounding of the five material senses. It is the universal conscience built by our species experience; it is our intuition, and it forms the core of the self. Source is the energy that connects all, and when we are at one with source we are spiritually whole. We can see the interconnectedness of what the Native Americans called the Web of Life and we can understand that connection renders all joy and suffering universal. As the entire body feels the loss of a finger, so does the universal whole experience the pain of the individual. While that knowledge can be overwhelming, it can also help us live more comfortably in the world as we tread more lightly according to the


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Law of Connection, which leaves nothing separate, and by which nothing stands in isolation. We know we are at one with source when we can hear our intuition and operate from a position of love. The soul craves unity, which can be found by looking deep within the self, past the ego to the spiritual. This is the premise behind religion and no matter how we choose to approach it, this is the human pilgrimage. It is what we are seeking and why we are here. Eastern thought has the soul returning over many lifetimes to essentially find itself, with each life a learning experience until the soul achieves the wisdom to release itself from the cycle of rebirth. Western tradition gives but one life to achieve heavenly reward. What is common to both approaches and to all humanity remains the quest. Eastern tradition fuels the cosmos with source, the force that creates universe after universe in cycles of birth and destruction. As the creator, the god of Genesis embodies source while infusing his creation with it. For all its labels, which are merely descriptive grasps at the intangible, source is our origin and our ultimate destination. It is the common thread that binds us, and that realization could be what saves us, individually and collectively. Source has always been there, and from the earliest times, as source assumed various archetypal guises in religion and art, the three archetypes have jostled for prominence. At our earliest stage the feminine life-giving principle held sway, followed by the gradual dominance of the masculine as we developed socially. Today the masculine and feminine aspects of our natures remain unbalanced. When we seek source connection, we seek to address this discrepancy by combining the two essences equally. This is the balance required for us to progress to the next level of our evolution, personally and as a society. Source and its archetypes have been understood in various ways which can still inform us now as we attempt a definition. Where we find beauty, we find source connection and where we find source, we find peace and balance. We do not seek to reinvent the ancient state of source connection, as that is a stage we have already passed through. Instead, we seek to encounter source in a modern, energized and game-changing way that enlightens both the individual and larger society. To find source, we must


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follow Minerva’s owls. We start with the era of the Great Mother, the feminine archetype which must find balance with the male aspect. Before our ancestors looked to the sky to find the energy and light of source expressed by the masculine sun deity, they looked beneath their feet to the terrestrial earth-bound places, the dark womb-like caves, to find the feminine. All life starts with birth, and in the remaining traces of our ancestor’s first religious expressions, we can find evidence of the celebration of the feminine life-giving principle of creation. This is expressed by the caves as cathedrals, where paintings, including those depicting human hands, dating to 40,000 bce decorate some of the deepest and most inacessible rock bound places in Europe and Africa. The lack of any evidence of continual human habitation of these caves points to their religious nature, just as today we do not live in churches, as they are sacred, consecrated ground. The cave is mysterious and dark, a womb-like interior recession with matrilineal implications. Its choice as a sacred space points to the feminine aspect. Dualistically male and female are opposites. Male attributes include the warlike competitiveness that advanced us as it ensured our survival, while the feminine opposite is about life and nurturing, which we also needed to survive. The Great Mother is the first mother, the universal mother of us all. Her ancient role was species survival. Her births echoed the Eastern idea of the births of successive universes. They echoed seasonal renewal of the fields, the reproduction of the livestock, and the experience of all mothers. She is the life source, source itself. She could both give life and take it; her nurturing was balanced by destruction. She links us to the earth, and when we revere her, we revere the earth. We meet her in many guises along the way and ideally she balances the male sun deity. As women were of the earth, of nature and the life force, they may have kept track of farming methods, and to ensure the harvest, either liaised with the divine or even become the divine. There are no written records to consult, language had arrived but not writing. What we do have is the idea of the cave and the many, many Great Mother statues found worldwide, dating as far back as 29,000 bce, all pointing to the feminine aspect. As consciousness dawns on the human child, his first word is mother. At life’s end, his last word


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is also often mother, as he finally returns to the earth of the Mother. As we gained consciousness as a species, our idea of self required a nurturing counterpart, a great mother. The Great Mother brings us home. Carved depictions of the Great Mother date to the Paleolithic period, the time spanning 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 bce. By the later Neolithic period, which dates from 10,000 bce, there is abundant evidence of earth mother figures in this early form of sacred art. This is the period of settled farming and the shift to agriculture. Carved depictions of the Great Mother have been found across the space and time of the entire Neolithic era as a common feature and may echo an even more ancient time of matrilineal Female Statuette Samarra 6000 bce religion. She appears carved as the mother, swollen with fertility and birth, and she appears slim, perhaps as a maiden or perhaps as death, stark and stiff. Clearly she embodies the cyclical nature of all; birth, death and renewal. Here she appears as a large and life giving figure in an artifact from Samarra, in Iraq, which dates to c. 6000 bce.2 The earliest Egyptian Great Mother is Mut, who represents the earthen mound from which life came. Later the Egyptians vary the theme over time and place, endowing earth goddesses with animal heads, perhaps suggesting their affinity with animals seen to be good mothers. Isis is a later manifestation, often depicted nursing her son Horus, a template hauntingly close to Christianity’s even later images of Mary as mother. Indeed the trio of Isis, Osiris and their son Horus presage the later Christian trinity just


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as uncannily. A very early holy family (right) forms a trinity wrought in gold from Egypt’s twenty-second dynasty, c. 874 and 850 bce.3 Isis is crowned by the divine sun disk while the feminine and masculine elements of this trinity appear equal as both flank the child in equal size with matching stances. One is not portrayed as lessor than the other, and both were clearly required to produce the child. However, as time endured, the divine feminine would be increasingly buried in the gathering strength of Osiris, Isis and Horus: pendant bearing the masculine, as death overtook the name of King Osorkon II birth as the predominate culture, and fear overcame the life force as the predominant influence. This Isis statue4 is from the late period twenty-sixth dynasty, around the time of ancient Egypt’s last native rule before the Persian conquest of 525 bce. Isis sits every inch the goddess, with the sun disk atop her head denoting her divinity. But she is also a mother in the most mortal sense. She holds her son, ready to nurse. The mother/child image is culturally familiar to us all. The painting to the right, the Benois Madonna painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1475 and 1478, demonstrates clear similarities to the Isis statue. There is similarity between the poses of each mother and child, and the divinity of Mary and Jesus is also implied by the ancient sun symbol, the halos atop their heads. But where Isis is monumental and remote to the viewer, da Vinci humanizes his subjects, capturing a beautiful moment of play between mother and child, reminiscent of Akhanaten’s family scene


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as will be seen in chapter two, and far more life-like than the work of da Vinci’s own contemporaries. Both works are expressions of sacred art, they both depict the feminine essence as it was understood by its particular audience, and they are both drawn from source. Both are mothers in a real sense, while both are simultaneously the mothers of gods. They exist on both the sacred and the profane plane. The essence of the feminine remains unchanged, only the trappings of style change to reflect the audience. Minerva’s owls wear many faces while the feminine Benois Madonna painted archetype remains unchanged. by Leonardo da Vinci In the dualistic West we think of the sun as masculine and the moon as its feminine opposite. If we follow the light back far enough we find that is not always the case. Before Ra, Egypt had sun goddesses, archetypal embodiments of the Great Mother, including Hathor and Isis, both of whom gave birth to gods. Ra’s daughters, who carried the sun as a disk atop their heads in the style of Isis, were certainly divinities with their own cults as well. Cultures as geographically separated as the Norse, the German, the Indian, Hittite and Native American all had female sun deities. Sun gods and goddesses are universal archetypes pointing towards the life energy of source. The light forms a constant thread. The Great Mother appears world-wide across cultures and time. She inhabits the Pacific as Papatuanuku, and South America, where she is worshipped even today as Pachamama. She inhabits Asia as the Hindu mother of all creation, Gayatri, and she was real to the ancient Sumerians and Akkadians, who instituted sacred prostitution and probably influenced Minoan religion and later Greco-Romano fertility cults. In Greek tradition she is identified with Hera and Demeter, the early Romans knew her as


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Terra Mater, Mother Earth, and by the Imperial period she becomes the great goddess, identified with female leaders, including Minerva herself. To Buddha she was Bhūmi, who dwelt within the earth, and in the Christian era she has been venerated as Mary, who kept the mother alive in the Western tradition. She has been with us since the beginning and remains with us now. The period of the stone goddess figures, from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic Ages, is thought to have been peaceful as there remains little evidence of warfare. The Neolithic Age dawned as early as c. 10,000 bce, coinciding with the Astrological Age of Cancer, the sign that includes all of the hallmarks of the Great Mother; the beginnings and the births, the nurturing and the protection. The Great Mother defines a definite time in our past that can be linked to wholeness and mostly positive growth. The time of the Great Mother was the time of our connection to source, as we were at one with the earth and the power of life. Through the ages of the Great Mother, we met ourselves and learned to provide, first through hunting and then, slowly through the domestication of animals, and gradually through settled farming. These were all earth and life centered activities, and we learned to revere nature and the generation of the life force. The era of the Great Mother was long, enduring until c. 2,000 bce with the introduction of bronze tools and, significantly, weapons. The Bronze Age marks the beginning of the Great Mother’s decline, and the beginning of the masculine element’s eclipse of her sway. This too took time, and when the sky-bound war gods arrived, it must have been with a vengeance equal to negating the entrenched life and earth centered emphasis of countless previous generations, and they did ultimately supplant the mother, but not completely. At times we find the Great Mother balanced by male counterparts to achieve some level of wholeness, which points to our understanding of the need to balance the feminine with the masculine. At other times she is barely visible to the naked eye, yet she remains buried in our traditions and deep within our sub-conscious. We can find her in the rebirth of each spring, inhabiting the apple blossoms, we find her in the rich soil that grows our sustenance, and as we find her in the fullness of each harvest, we find


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her in the earth that roots us all. She is in the organic food movement and quietly presides at harvest feasts and farm to table events, she is with each of us who revere the earth and the ecosystems it engenders. She is Stella Maris on the rising tide, and she follows us through history as the personification of wisdom. She is Eve, she is Boethius’s Sophia, and she is Dante’s Beatrice. She is there in the phases of the moon as it turns from crescent to fullness and back again to sickle shape, evoking the maiden, the mother and the crone. She is the goddess of birth and growth and as our species must produce successive generations to ensure its survival, each birth celebrated and each child nurtured takes us back to the Great Mother. The generation of life manifests the Great Mother, and only women can call forth life from themselves. This is a true power and a frightening one, and instead of celebrating it, any patriarchy worth its salt might seek to control it. The sky-bound war gods sought to dominate and bury it in a culture which celebrated death over life, and separated us from the earth and our source, but the Great Mother remains embedded in our consciousness and she remains in the mitochondrial DNA of every woman, a proud lineage going back to the same source, and connecting all who carry it. The divine feminine Great Mother is the first archetype manifestation of source. If we look, we will find her. Today she points us back to source, to the earth and to ourselves. When we understand our internal and societal imbalance and severance from source, it will be time to reclaim her and balance her with her masculine opposite so that we too may find balance. When we reach that balance we will remember the earth and our connection to it, and stop degrading it to near inhabitability. We will return also to source, that sticky wicket which is all around us, as we are in it and of it. Light, life force and beautiful art are source manifest. Source is what inspires us, and while source is divinely attributed, it is also a thing we find endlessly expressed across cultures and freely available to us all. It is the energy of love, the energy that creates beauty, and the masculine aspect of it finds completion when we add its feminine counterpart equally. It is the energy connection to our own subconscious and to each other via the greater consciousness. It is what we need to fully realize ourselves as individuals and as a species. In fact, both balance and source connection are crucial for our species’ survival.


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Muladhara, the Root Chakra5

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he seven chakras, or energy centers, line our spines from our sacrum, or seat, right up to the crown of our heads. The Muladhara chakra is the root, forming the perineum, where, in beautiful imagery, the three and half times coiled snake of wisdom, the kundalini, resides. The Muladhara is the lowest chakra and as such is dense with the secretions of living, connecting us to the earth with earthly associations. Its color is red, recalling the sometimes red of the soil and the red of the blood of birth of that flows through our veins, salty as the ocean. Muladhara is symbolized by a four petalled lotus, and deep in our species past we must have inhabited the Muladhara fully, as we needed both its earthly, bodily connection, and its life preserving fight or flight instinct as well as its crucial reproductive aspect to survive. The Muladhara chakra corresponds to our earliest evolutionary phase, when we were connected to the earth. We still need it today, as a grounder to return us to our bedrock, the earth. This is where our instinct resides and whence our potential comes. As the first chakra, Muladhara is where we start as we awaken each chakra through the practice of yoga, it is where we ground ourselves. Muladhara begins our species evolution and our yoga evolution. We start with the earth we are of, we start with Muladhara. It is where the kundalini is said to first stir and then to raise as we are raising our own awareness. As the kundalini makes its way through the chakras to the crown, we get closer to source. Eventually we find the thing behind the pose, the source energy invoked by the poses. I almost didn’t discover yoga. I went one day on a whim, having been told many times by different people “you should go to yoga.” I had no real idea of what I would find there. There were only two of us in my first class. I was inflexible and carrying extra weight and generally perplexed by somehow not feeling right. I had never met the instructor before, but as I attempted to move into at least a semblance of a pose, she attempted to assist me. She asked if I’d suffered a trauma. I realized I had, childbirth. She told me our culture doesn’t recognize the enormity and stress of giving birth and its aftermath, and that I was fully capable of doing yoga, I


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simply wasn’t letting myself. Now I know that I had severed from source. I was holding myself back physically from healing. This insight energized the root chakra, sending me back to the beginning of my disconnection, allowing me to reestablish my grounding. I could suddenly identify the problem. I realized I had reacted to the pain of childbirth by separating myself from my body. I was not inhabiting my skin in any comfortable way. Body and soul were out of balance. This insight must have been source inspired, but I didn’t understand that at the time. What I did understand, on a deep level, was that I had come to the right place and found the right teacher, and I began to regrow my roots to regain my grounding.

Mountain Pose

A

yoga practice is comprised of a series of poses designed to stretch muscles while relaxing the body and the mind, sometimes to the point that the mind can then stretch itself. Each pose evokes something significant. To ground yourself, assume mountain pose. Stand with your feet at hip width. Spread your toes and feel your feet interact with the ground. Stand tall and straight and grow from your waist. Breathe. Establish a solid foothold. You are connected to the earth as a strong mountain is connected to the earth. Breathe and receive the energy from the earth.


About the Author Mary Petiet is a reporter, writer and story teller. Her work is frequently inspired by her native Cape Cod, where she can often be found walking the beaches and the marsh. Mary has loved books since she learned to read at a young age, an occasion that launched a search party because she had become so quietly engrossed in a book her parents feared she had vanished. Mary is a graduate of the University of St Andrews, where she first thought of writing as a by-product to the study of history. While at St. Andrews she co-founded and edited a student literary magazine called Squibbs and developed a permanent habit and love of writing. Mary has covered the local farm beat for Edible Cape Cod magazine for many years recording the growing farm to table movement, and worked as a local newspaper reporter, covering local school politics and featuring human interest stories. Mary is a contributing author to the anthologies Jesus, Muhammad and the Goddess, by the Girl God Series ( June 2016), She Rises, Vol. 2, by Mago Books ( June 2016), and Wildness: Voices of the Sacred Landscape, by Homebound Publications ( June 2016). She has also published a selection of essays and articles in a variety of journals and magazines, including Feminism and Religion, MotherHouse of the Goddess, The Wayfarer, and The Manifest-Station. Mary is the host of the radio podcast Kitchen Table Mystic, the show connecting inspired women. Mary can be found with book or laptop in hand when she is not cooking, exploring local farms, meditating on her yoga mat, or wandering the beach with her children and her dog.


Homebound Publications Ensuring that the mainstream isn’t the only stream.

At Homebound Publications, we publish books written by independent voices for independent minds. Our books focus on a return to simplicity and balance, connection to the earth and each other, and the search for meaning and authenticity. Founded in 2011, Homebound Publications is one of the rising independent publishers in the country. Collectively through our imprints, we publish between fifteen to twenty offerings each year. Our authors have received dozens of awards including: Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year, Nautilus Book Award, Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, and Saltire Literary Awards. Highly-respected among bookstores, readers and authors alike, Homebound Publications has a proven devotion to quality, originality and integrity. We are a small press with big ideas. As an independent publisher we strive to ensure that the mainstream is not the only stream. It is our intention at Homebound Publications to preserve contemplative storytelling. We publish full-length introspective works of creative nonfiction, essay collections, travel writing, and novels. In all our titles, our intention is to introduce new perspectives that will directly aid humankind in the trials we face at present as a global village.

www.homeboundpublications.com

Minerva's Owls by Mary Petiet  

The first pages from Minerva's Owls by Mary Petiet. Now available wherever books are sold.

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