Mermaid Tree

Exploring the complex, celebrating the simple

Goddess Temples of Malta April 24, 2012

Island of Gozo, Malta

In the Mediterranean Sea on the small island of Malta, some of the oldest Goddess temples exist.  I was fortunate enough to visit some of the temple sites during my stay in Malta and experience their powerful and ancient energy.

Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and the Tarxien Temples are some of the larger and more well-preserved sites.  Archeological investigation has placed the construction of the first temple complexes between 3600  BCE and 2500 BCE, making them the oldest remaining standing stone structures in the world!  It was determined that these structures were used as places of worship due to the statues discovered in and around the complexes.  The figurines are made of stone and depict fertile looking women with generous proportions – the Mother Goddess.  These figurines are reminiscent of other statues found in Europe such as the Venus of Willendorf, which dates much further back to 24,000-22,000 BCE.  Some of the depictions are quite large in scale, such as the “Fat Goddess” statue which was discovered at the Tarqxien Temple.  The part of the statue that has survived through the years shows the lower half of a female body that is abundantly proportioned with large hips and thighs, giving it a sturdy appearance.    Although only the lower half of the statue remains, it has been determined that the complete statue would have measured around eight feet tall.

Statue of the "Fat Goddess"

Seeing this statue was an exquisite experience that reminded me of how long mankind has been able to look to the Mother Goddess for guidance, help and protection.  The icon of the abundant goddess continues to serve as a promise of her ability to bless our lives with all that we need.  Despite the overwhelming size, tourists and pilgrims cannot help but notice the simplistic beauty and sense of comfort that seems to emanate from the figure.  This is true for not only the statues, but for the entirety of the Temple site.

At first, the complexes can easily appear to be a jumble of same-colored rocks, heaped together over a large expanse.  But once the visitor enters into the area the maze of stones sorts itself out into an orderly structure.

Tarxien Temple

The layout of the Temples themselves are designed to signify the body of the Mother.  The passageways lead to rounded inner chambers, small and intimate in scale, that represent the womb of the goddess.  Red ochre stains that are believed to signify menstrual blood can still be seen on the walls.Walking through the passageways of the Temple ruins created a meditative quality in me.  I could actually feel something in my consciousness shift as I traveled through the passages.  I became…relaxed, centered.  My heart chakra opened more fully and my root chakra was firmly balanced.  The energy of the Temples and the presence of the Mother was so pervasive that I released worries and tension without even trying.  I explored the ruins with my roommate and she said something that truly struck a chord.  She said we were returning to the mother of us all.  And it was so true.

As I stood in the Temple chambers and absorbed the sacred energy I realized there was no need for me to struggle.  I let go of all the constant worries I carry around with me and sank into the comfort of the Mother.  I could feel her presence all around me.  As I surrendered all my concerns to the Divine Mother I felt blessings taking their place.

Before leaving each of the Temples my roommate and I made discreet offerings to the Great Goddess to express our thanks.  We poured water from our water bottles and crumbled up some of the crackers we had brought in our bags as snacks.  It was a small gesture but completely sincere.

Exploring the Temple ruins of Tarxien, Hagar Qim, and Mnajdra was a wonderful experience.  Although we do not know exactly how worship was carried out in the Temples, it is obvious that they played an important role in the people’s devotion to the Goddess.  And just as importantly, these sacred sites have survived – serving as a bridge connecting us to our brothers and sisters in the past who looked to the same Mother we still turn to today.

(I wrote this article for Circle Magazine and it was published in their Fall 2009 issue “Labyrinths” under the Sacred Sites section.  And of course, the roommate that I was traveling with was Mermaid, who I thank for the amazing pictures of the Fat Goddess and the Tarxien Temple!)

A meditation suggestion: Tap into the energy of these temples.  In a meditative state, see yourself walking through their paths.  Connect with the Great Goddess.  How do you feel?

Share your comments and experiences below.


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Speaking Consciously

Tonight is World Book Night and it got me thinking about the power of all the words we say–to each other and ourselves. Whether they are written, typed, spoken, or simply (and powerfully) thought, words carry with them a vibration that radiates outward into the world. They influence those around you as well as the world in which we live in ways you may not even realize.

When I was a little girl, my mother once observed that in describing people and things, I would never use the word “hate”. Instead, I would say things like “dislike” or “really don’t care for”. She asked me why that was and my simple answer was that “hate” is a strong word and that I didn’t like using it; I didn’t like how it felt to say it. At the time, I didn’t know anything about metaphysics or spiritual significance of words, but I still felt that the word itself wasn’t one I wanted to put out into the world. As I grew older and studied energy and vibration and the power of thought, this moment came back to me in a different light. They say that children are much more spiritually aware because they haven’t been corrupted by societal norms just yet–no one has told them that what they think or feel is crazy or abnormal. This may explain my aversion to “hate”.

Maybe it is because I have been journaling since I learned how to write, but words–and word choice–have always held special significance to me. I have also been an avid reader all my life, loving to lose myself in a world beautifully composed of artful diction. All of this makes me very aware of what I say outloud and how my words affect those around me. The saying Every thought is a prayer is common throughout the metaphysical community, but I think sometimes we focus on the conscious thoughts that we try to put out into the Universe, and then overlook the ones that just pass through–however damaging they may be. You know the ones…

I wish I was _______ .(smarter, skinnier, taller, shorter, better, faster, etc)

She/He doesn’t deserve ___________; I do. (that job, that money, that relationship, that vacation, that life, etc)

I’ll never be able to _________.(get organized, become financially stable, get a better job, be loved, etc)

The ________ cause is hopeless–this world will never change. (hunger, poverty, religious freedom, gender equality, etc)


And the list goes on into eternity…

We may think that since a negative thought is against ourselves that we are not actually hurting anyone, but even this kind of “victimless” negative thinking still sends negativity into the world. Saying words like “can’t”, “won’t”, “never”, “always”, and “hate” sends that negativity into the collective potential energy that is forming our present and future and creates those worlds that we predict. Ironically, this just makes us more displeased and then we say more negative things and the whole thing is just one big negativity spiral downward. We need to start saying things that lift us up. I know this is all old stuff that people have been saying for decades, but it seems as though this message has been shouted from the highest mountain and still is not heard. Or, at least, it has not been taken to heart.

The point is not to feel guilty or like a failure when you do have negative thoughts. When they happen, instead of wallowing in the negative thought or wallowing in the guilt for having the negative thought, just recognize it and come up with a solution and move on. If necessary, write down your solution, or use a smartphone app to keep track of all of them. That way, if the thought dares interrupt your day again, you can look at your solution and know that you have already handled the situation. If there is absolutely nothing you can feasibly do about it, there is no point in thinking about it anymore. This is a statement that I need to tattoo onto the inside of my hands. Why the inside of my hands? So that when I find myself being brought to tears for the umpteenth time about the same situation and I’m covering my face because I don’t want to deal with the world, I can read this phrase and snap myself out of a potentially dangerous thought process and save myself from a completely pointless night of sadness. I am not suggesting that you get a tattoo, but I do recommend writing this statement out somewhere accessible to you throughout the day or repeating it to yourself when you start to veer into pointless negative thinking territory.

Random thoughts aside, you do have the power to consciously choose the words you use for your inner and outer dialogues. When speaking to yourself, writing in your journal, and conversing with other people, choose your words carefully. I am not saying do not fully express yourself or pretend to be something that you are not, but rather to choose not to add to the negative flow of words that is already out there. We all know there are ways to make a situation sound way worse than it really is in order to gain sympathy from others, or to feel sorry for ourselves. Make the conscious decision to stop this cycle. Set achievable goals to change those things with which you are unhappy and make realistic plans to help you to get there. Is there a cause that you think is being neglected? Do something about it instead of complaining that no one else does. Feel burnt out because no one seems to care about something the way you do? Take a break to recharge and remember that everyone has their own purpose on this planet–they may not be meant to dedicate their lives to your issues. That doesn’t make anyone unrealistic or heartless.

Perhaps the most difficult thing to do is avoid others who are content in their negative moods. I have been one of these people myself from time to time. Do not let them lure you into complaining about life for extended periods of time with no clear discussion of solutions. The old adage Misery loves company is very true and those that aren’t in a peaceful state most often try to bring down those around them in an effort to make themselves feel better. If there is a friend in need of a sympathetic ear, oblige them, but do so without contributing your own complaints. The best way to help is by demonstrating unconditional love, not by encouraging negative thought.

Remember, you are a spiritual being and a contributor to the continuous creation and unfolding of our world. Do not take this responsibility lightly. The beauty and love of Spirit is within you, and so your words–your impact on the Universe–should come from this sacred place inside.

For some practice in feeling the impact of words, try choosing different positive words to meditate on (love, acceptance, tolerance, health, equality, truth, etc). Start by centering yourself and visualizing the word in your heart or crown chakra. Feel the energy and emotion that comes with the word. Feel that energy flow through your whole body and radiate outward in waves. Repeat the word over and over in your mind or even aloud. Feel the energy continue to radiate outward and visualize its reach growing farther and farther with each repetition or breath. You can also visualize the earth and send the energy to the earth, or visualize the energy of the word flowing downward into the earth. However you choose to do it, I suggest trying different words and feeling for subtle (or significant) differences. The more you do this, the more you will find yourself feeling the energy of the word as you think or say it throughout your day.

Please share any stories or experiences you have had in the replies below.

 

Hopi Creation Story April 22, 2012

Filed under: Author: Tree — Mermaid Tree @ 11:29 pm
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The Hopi Creation Story was used in the introduction of a book I read last year.  It has stayed with me and I read it often.

The Creator gathered all of Creation and said,

“I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it.  It is the realization that they create their own reality.”

The eagle said, “Give it to me.  I will take it to the moon.”

The Creator said, “No.  One day they will go there and find it.”

The salmon said, “I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean.”

The Creator said, “No.  They will go there, too.”

The buffalo said, “I will bury it in on the Great Plains.”

The Creator said, “They will cut into the skin of the earth and find it even there.”

Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, 

“Put it inside them.”

And the Creator said, “It is done.”

It’s all within us…  Powerful, yes?

 

Updates

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mermaid Tree @ 11:09 pm

To all you beautiful co-creators,

Sorry we haven’t posted anything new is some time.  We’ve missed it greatly and thank you so much for your messages (on here and via our personal Facebook pages) letting us know you were looking forward to us getting back to it!

The pause has allowed us to integrate a lot of new experiences, and we’re ready to share them all!  We’ll be updating here on a regular basis, and you can also check out The Mermaid Tree page on Facebook.  And please feel free to follow us on Twitter @themermaidtree for spiritual inspiration throughout the week 🙂

We cherish your comments and look forward to sharing and growing with you!

Love and Light,

Mermaid & Tree

 

Spiritual lessons found in the movie Avatar January 11, 2010

Filed under: Author: Tree,Uncategorized — Mermaid Tree @ 8:30 pm
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“Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world and in here is the dream.”

~Jake Sully, Avatar

The movie Avatar is action packed, drama filled, and best of all has an excellent story line with meaning.  I didn’t know anything about what the movie was based on, but it looked intriguing so I decided to go see it.  And, man was I impressed.  If you haven’t seen the movie then this entry might be a little confusing to follow, but I hope you give it a read anyway!  I don’t want to give the whole story-line away, so I’m not saying what specific characters do.  Honestly this entry only grazes the surface, but I wanted to point out some of the things that stood out most profoundly to me.  (My favorite part is the Soul/Body discussion.)  Please comment and discuss your views of the movie.  I’d love to hear what you think! (It’s fine to discuss specific events and characters in the comment section since other readers can just skip reading the comments if they haven’t seen the movie yet).

Focus on the Planet as a Mother:  One of the most obvious spiritual dynamics in Avatar is the native peoples’ belief in their deity.  The planet of Pandora is inhabited by the Na’vi people and their deity is Eywa.  Eywa is the living consciousness of the planet, the energy that permeates all things, creatures and people.  The Great Mother.  Eywa connects all things and keeps the balance of life.  

The roots of the plants and trees have an advanced network of roots that allows them to communicate with each other.  Most amazingly, the Na’vi can literally “tune in” to the planet through a physical link.  Every Na’vi has what looks like a sea-anemonea like extension that comes out of the end of their hair braid.  They can connect this extension to certain trees that act as “download” points on the planet.  Two such tress mentioned in the movie are the Tree of Voices and the Tree of Souls.  At the tree of Voices the Na’vi can hear the memories and voices of their ancestors.  Even though the bodies have passed away, their spirits return to Eywa and therefore never truly leave the Na’vi People.  The Tree of Souls is the place where the People can connect directly to Eywa.

The Na’vi are also able to connect with animals in the same way.  The animals have the same tentacle extension that the Na’vi do, allowing them to form a bond.  When the bond is established between Na’vi and animal, the Na’vi is able to communicate telepathically with the animal.

Soul/Body Differentiation:  Now this is the part that I LOVE.  The movie Avatar clearly illustrates that we are a soul, not a body.  The body houses the essence of who you are and allows you to have the experience of talking, moving, etc.  But that is not who you are.  YOU are a soul.  When you leave your body you do not cease to exist, you merely leave behind your physical form.  

In order to properly discuss this, I’m going to have to give some of the key points of the movie away!

First lets look at the significance of the movie name.  I’m taking the definition from Wikepedia because I like how it’s explained. “In Hinduism, Avatar refers to a deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth, and is mostly translated into English as ‘incarnation’, but more accurately as ‘appearance’ or ‘manifestation'” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar).  In the movie an avatar is a body that has been grown with a mixture of Na’vi and human DNA.  A human can then “go into” his avatar body through a mental link.  His human body lies immobile while his consciousness inhabits the avatar.  

Of course this link is done through extremely advanced science.  BUT THEN….the power of Eywa is used at the end of the movie to actually transfer the life of one person from their human body into their avatar body.  The human body dies and soul moves into the avatar body.  

This was just amazing for me to see in a movie.  The differentiation between body and spirit couldn’t be made clearer!  

There are so many other wonderful aspects of this movie that I’d love to discuss.

Please share your thoughts!

 

New Years 2010: Blue Moon, Venus and the Number 3! December 31, 2009

Good bye to 2009 and hello 2010!  I have a wonderful feeling about 2010 – how can I not when there are so many wonderful things lined up to usher in the new year (and the new decade)?!  

First off, tonight is a Full Moon which means that there is a lot of energy bringing the new year in.  But EVEN BETTER is the fact that it is the SECOND full moon of the month – a Blue Moon!!!  Blue moons are very rare and are extremely powerful.  Blue moons bring luck and create an atmosphere filled with Magick.  You can use this energy to manifest a year that is wonderful beyond anything you can even imagine.  

Looking at the year numerologicaly we see that 2010 is a 3 year.  (2+0+1+0 = 3)  Three is a very significant number of cycles and completion.  It is the first number that has a beginning, middle and end.  Think of the spiritual significance attached to the number such as the Holy Trinity and the Triple Goddess – Maiden/Mother/Crone (each phase of the goddess signifies the human life stages of Birth/Life/Death).  

3 is also a number that relates to creativity.  

Now lets take a quick look at the significance of the day of the week.  January 1, 2010 is a Friday!  The year begins on the day of the week that is ruled by the planet Venus!!!  The year (and decade) begins on a day whose properties include love, friendship, peace and harmony.  How wonderful!

The Universe is giving us a great start to the year and decade – let’s make the most of it!  Lot’s of blessings )O(

 

Yule music! December 21, 2009

For your Yuletide enjoyment I am listing the following link.  The artist is in no way associated with this blog; I just happened to be searching for Yule music and found this online! The lyrics in this song really embody the significance of Yule.  I hope you enjoy!  Blessed Yule!

LYRICS:

Chorus:
Enter the night and you’ll find the light,
That will carry you to your dreams.
Enter the night, let your spirit take flight,
In the field of infinite possibilities

On the longest night we search for the light,
And we find it deep within.
Open your eyes to embrace what is wise,
And see the light of your own soul shining.

(Chorus)
Wrap up in the cloak of starry darkness my child,
And you’ll find the center of all things.
For from this space of the deepest dark place,
Life Eternal does spring.

(Chorus)
So when you find that spark
When you dream in the dark,
Hold it close to your heart and know.
All that you see is all that can be
When you give birth to the dreams of your soul.

(Chorus)

Music by Lisa Thiel