Friday, December 21, 2007

The Goddess in your Home

To her from whom we derive our strength,
our powers, our vision, our grace,
where does she dwell?
In our dreams, our inspiration,
Our breath, our space?

Who is your Goddess?
Which Goddess are you, in the shape of your beliefs,
in the sweep of your work, in the grace of your home?
I am about to share with you a book which has long been my favourite "Goddess at Home" by A. Bronwyn Llewellyn. This book introduces the seven Greek Goddesses- Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hera, Hestia & Persephone and goes on to explain how you can infuse your home with a divine grace worthy of the Goddess in you. Specific characteristics of the goddesses and their symbolism is explained with examples of ways to welcome her home by adding specific objects, colours, patterns or motifs reminiscent of her.

This is will be 1st of a series of posts where I will share with you in brief one Goddess and how you can honour and represent her in your home. I've been debating which Goddess to post about 1st Athena or Artemis? Athena it will have to be- The Goddess of the Arts, Wisdom & Civilisation. "Legend has it that Athena sprang out in a shower of gold from her father Zeus’s head resplendent in gleaming armour, brandishing a spear and emitting a fearsome war cry. Immediately she won Zeus’s favour- she was without question her father’s daughter and some say his equal. Only to her did he reveal the secret hiding place of his thunderbolts. Although clothed in accoutrements of war Athena is not warlike. Instead she represents a just and compassionate strategist, mediator and protector.”

“There is no better place to attend to the affairs of the mind than in the office of Athena, because she stands for focused attention and clarity of thought.”

“Architecture falls under this goddess’ domain, with its combination of precision, mathematics, science and beauty. Add classically inspired molding columns or a pediment to a room or doorway for a note of dignified grace. Place a potted violet on your desk to connote wisdom.”

Bring order and brightness to your workspace with neat and colourfully organised storage devises.
“Crafts and handiwork were of special importance to Athena. She taught cooking and weaving to Pandora the 1st woman. She taught the craftsmen how to make chariots of bronze.” We may not all be artists but we can surely appreciate the beauty in a beautiful painting or a sculpture and notice how it changes in lamplight and daylight.

“Athena was often called grey eyed or ‘owl eyed’ goddess. The greeks believed that the owl had a magical inner light that enabled it to see in the dark. Call on this bird of prey’s powers to hunt down those elusive ideas that scurry in the corners of your imagination.” You can find owl motifs in artwork or use a small figurine to invoke these powers.

From Aggstatic’s flickr photostream

“Even the mightiest of heroes of Greek legend felt their courage falter in the face of terrible monsters and insurmountable obstacles. In those times Athena allayed their dread and gave them heart. She replaced their anger with reason and their fear with determination. Make a place for pictures quotes or other reminders of your heroes, whoever they maybe”
“Athena illuminated those she protected by clarifying their thoughts or quite literally lighting their way along a dangerous path. Her insight and intelligence pierced doubt and ignorance like a beam of light in darkness. "

from Alexix Wheeler’s flickr photostream

"The symbols of Intellect: Crow, Crystal, Flute, trumpet, music, Loom (productivity, strategy, intricacy of thought), Owl (nourishment, victory, peace, well-bein, honour), Thunderbolt (flashes of inspiration, power, realisation, ideas.

The colours of creativity: Blue (imagination, truth), Orange (communication), Turquoise (insight), Yellow (wisdom, power, illumination)

Women who have exemplified Athenian focus and accomplishment include Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Margaret thatcher and Erin Brockovitch. "

And among Indians I would include Indira Gandhi, Shabana Azmi, Arundhati Roy and Sania Mirza- who can you think of? And I'd love it if you could share with me how you already do or intend to bring in the Athenian spirit to your home :)


Vinita said...

Hi Vineeta,
Every post of yours comes from your heart. As a reader I can feel how much work you have put in your well thought out posts. I liked your post on colors so much that I had come a second time to see what the other readers had wanted to say about it and I agree with Anil who says that with villages becoming urbanised are we on the verge of losing those colors which truly represent Indian culture. Good collection of photos on this current post and the book is a great read too.

vineeta said...

Vinita, Thanks a lot for saying what you did. Its great for me to bring to you'll various things that I've been reading that inspires me. Blogging really shows one the joy of sharing.
I too was curious about what people will have to say about the Indian art post- because its not your typical tasteful-safe fare :)

gunJan said...

what a wonderful theme, and what a thoughtful thing2showcase it thus for us - i specially love the effort behind the little owls that u have gathered from different fotostreams. and even more than that - all those bits that u have penned urself are touching and warm - m really looking fwd2 other goddesses:-)

vineeta said...

Gunj love u for noticing :) I think I took a decent time on this post searching for appropriate pics. And I had written another beginning to this post- which was no fun. I wrote this and felt much happier :)

Elisa Day said...

What a lovely post. I look forward the others posts about this fantastic book.
I want to wish you a great christmas!
I have been thinking about to write in english in end of my posts.
The last post is about the image(a close picture of a tree) it looks like the map of the world. I see africa, europe, asia etc in that picture. Maybe its just me :)
Yes I took the sun-washed images on the beach I had a backpack with things I wanted to take pictures of. Glad you liked them!

vineeta said...

Elisa, Thanx for the christmas wishes :) Ah a map?? what an observation. And such a beautiful and colourful map too :)It takes an artists eye. And I can imagine you on a beautiful sunny day, packing your treasures in to your bag early and eager- what fun! you must live by the sea?

studio wellspring said...

how very interesting ~ i like this concept very much. plus the way you gathered so many excellent examples to help illustrate it is just wonderful. and who knew, i am already utilizing much of the athenian spirit in my home & designs....but now i can see how much more there is to enhance it. thanks so much for sharing this!

Smita said...

Have a very happy new year!

vineeta said...

Angie, you completely got the point :) Its amazing how we can identify so well with some of the Goddesses and already celebrate her spirit in our homes. And Athena would just be so completely identifiable in all our homes, with our love for design and the arts. Wish u a Superb new year and I can see you've got some REALLY interesting posts lined up!

vineeta said...

Smits Happy New Year to you too! I havent made my resolutions yet! But I know I will keep this years :)

Bhavna said...

Beautiful post Vini! I keep coming back to it..

vineeta said...

Thanx a ton Bhavna :) There's more of it on its way!

Pacchai Milagai said...

Hi Vineeta,
What an interesting post. Happy New Year to you. I have been reading all your posts and I think your blog is great! Best wishes

vineeta said...

Pacchai milagai, :) Thank you :) I was hoping you guys will like it too, cause I found the book really unique. And Im pleasantly surprised to hear you are a regular reader :) Wish you a SUPER New Year & keep reading cause I will write, hopefully better this coming year :)


Blue is my favorite colour. This post is magnificent! Thank You!

vineeta said...

Liberty post editor, now you know :) it is the colour of imagination & truth :)Im glad you liked it :)

Jennifer R. said...

This POST is great, love all these amazing picture and that violet looking table is divine.

Jen Ramos
'100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards'

vineeta said...

Jennifer, Thanx! I have long been an admirer of your work! Im so happy to see u stop by here :)do drop by more often!

Peggy said...

Vineeta, I read this post with rapt interest. In my youth (when I was too rebellious and angry) I read a book called "Goddess Within" by Roger and Jennifer Woolger. I should probably reread it. I was attending the Yoga class of a very dogmatic teacher. She insisted that I was a Persephone and she used this book to "prove" her point. I became very angry, indeed, at this phenomenon in English to label.

I remember adamantly thinking, I don't want to be a Persephone and promptly put my goddess books away. Maybe it is time to resurrect them (like Persephone in Spring? ha, ha). Your approach is so much softer. I did not feel like you were banging me on the head with ideology. I felt you were sharing in a very loving way as I read this post. I look forward to other posts in this regard.

Perhaps I don't have to be one or the other goddess, perhaps I just invoke who I need by incorporating the proper elements. Thanks for bringing a new perspective in my thinking.

P.S. - I love the wall of YES! I will check out that flickr set.

Dr. A said...

Hi Vineeta.

Thanks so much for your lovely comments about my phtographs at Calie's blog . She gave me a wonderful gift by posting them.

I love your own site and especially the pics of the doors!!! Beautiful. I wish we had them in south florida.

By the way, I strongly suggest that you get a Canon Rebel XTi. It is a superb camera and very easy to use for a SLR.

I send peace. Matthew Anderson

vineeta said...

Dr. A, Im privileged that you like my photoraphs & this blog.
And than a million for the suggestion on the camera. I think Im really going to check this model out.
And thanx for the peace :) I could do with some of it :)