Monday, April 4, 2016

The Warp and Weft of Old Europe

Almost exactly a year ago-- one journey around the sun-- my dear friend Asia Suler (of One Willow Apothecaries) and I began the collaboration that would become WEFT.  In the mountains of Appalachia where Asia lives, the wild violets and irises were up, and she dreamt and then brewed up a potent violet elixir, purple with the medicine of those dark petals, stirred over the stovetop to the hymns of Hildegard Von Bingen. With the intuitive dreaming unique to her old heart, Asia then began adding essences of flowers and stones to the elixir, weaving a medicine that spoke back through many millennia. She sent a small phial to me and I began to take drops of it as I wrote, allowing its own mysteries to unfold inside, in the way-down-dark places where stories come from. She didn't tell me anything about what plants and stones comprised the elixir. The very first image that came to me as I let the elixir settle into my body was of the old island of Malta; of an ancient village made of stone; of a woman in deep purple robes; of snakes. 


I visited Malta and one of its very ancient matrilineal temples six years ago and was very moved; but still, when this of all images came up upon first taste of the elixir, I was a little confused! I was expecting to write something set in California, as I tend to do, something rooted here, relating to the plants, animals and stones that I know. And yet each time I took the elixir, and wrote, and daydreamed, it was all sandstone walls and snake priestesses, caves deep in the earth, the smoke of bay leaves, an old grandmother or aunt telling a young girl that it is women who keep the world whole, who weave the filaments between things. Back then, the image in my mind was of lace, of generations of lace makers.

(Only very recently did I learn that some believe the islands of Malta and Gozo might have been schools for priestesses. The islands, after all, are literally riddled with Neolithic temples and there are legends of extensive labyrinths below them. "Such island-schools are common in legend," writes Barbara Mor in her incredible book The Great Cosmic Mother. "Ancient Celtic myth tells of sacred islands inhabited and ruled by women, where the mysteries were kept and taught" (113). Well... perhaps this is why Malta came up!)


This was in the summer. A very, very dry summer after three years of serious winter drought. Inside, I was experiencing my own kind of drought. Not writer's block, but a terrible sun-baked kind of overwork. Old intense patterns of anxiety returned, suddenly and in full force. Without proper winter, without water in and on the land, I realized I was having a very hard time watering myself; giving myself rest, nourishment, green. Over the previous three years, I had written four novel-length manuscripts (Tatterdemalion, The Gray Fox Epistles, The Leveret Letters, Elk Lines).  They were a joy to write, but the well was beginning to look rather dry. More than that. It was starting to feel a bit abused. Untended. We cannot be in bloom always. In California, many of the creeks go dry in summer, and no one expects them not to. In every landscape there must be rest, dormancy, quiet. The true sort, not a false promise of rest and then suddenly, two weeks later, another project! 

So I tried and tried with the elixir to create a story, but in truth, I was at the end of my rope. I wrote bits of something set in an imagined world-- partly Crete, partly Malta, partly a future California-- about a girl, a temple of snake priestesses, a sacred shroud dyed with saffron, an island and a garden full of fennel. But it wasn't right. It didn't work. And the elixir seemed to know it. To tell me-- now is not the time. And rest rest rest. And take to the waters, take to the springs. Replenish, replenish, replenish. 


I know now that it was the Grandmothers (of Asia's Grandmother's Elixir) talking. I know now that this was part of the medicine for me. That this collaboration was not just about creating a project to share with the world, but also about beginning to tend to old patterns. After all, who was I to think that I, too, didn't need healing from that medicine? That perhaps I, most of all, needed it— not to write from but to remember with? 

Female figurines, Cucuteni, Draguseni Botosani County Museum, Botosani, from The Lost "The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC," NYU Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
Back in the summer, hearing those voices, I took to the hot springs. I soaked in the old lava waters. Asia and I decided to let the project rest for a time. She revealed to me the names of the plants and stones in her elixir, and her descriptions sent a shiver through me. (Here is an example of what she wrote about one of the stones in an email: Feldspar is considered the "grandmother" of many stones. Over time Feldspar will become Labradorite, Sunstone, moonstone, and Amazonite (among others). Feldspar is like the first grandmother is a long matrilineal lineage. In Daoist medicine Feldspar represents the broth of our life, that thick nourishing beginning from which any variation can happen. It is a stone that helps us to locate ourselves when we are in the process of becoming and encourages us to simply surrender to the light that wants to flood through us so we can become aware of the the large Shen (or heart spirit of the divine) that we are a part of. From there, is it so much easier to value and give voice to our little shen (our own individual spirits).

The whole elixir is comprised of violet syrup, wild iris essence and an elixir of aquamarine + feldspar stones, and Asia describes it as "an elixir to invoke the initiatory magic of the womyn ancestors and our collective matrilineal line. Once upon a time we were all born from women who understood the mysteries of herbs and roots and death and beginnings. This elixir is a gateway to help remember our place in this continuum of hedgewitches and healers."

Cucuteni vessel

Well, it certainly opened that gateway for me, in unexpected and beautiful ways. The best part about the process of experiencing this medicine was that it seemed to work first like an old undercurrent, taking matters into its own waters while I wasn't looking. For after the hotsprings, I went to England to at last meet my dear friend Rima (that is a whole other story, one maybe you have already read), and the old seed of Tatterdemalion at last began to bloom. When I came home, rejuvenated by my time with Rima and Tom and Dartmoor, I was full of this fresh energy to research, to study, to take to the books. Weft was still on the back burner, simmering. I wasn't ready to work on it yet, I told myself. I asked myself a question, like I do in the world of animal tracking-- a sacred question to hold and carry through to its end-- what stories did the Bronze Age people of Grimspound (which we visited on Dartmoor) tell around their fires?


A page from Marija Gimbutas' The Language of the Goddess 


This, unexpectedly, led me back before the Bronze Age and into the work of the inimitable Lithuanian-American archaeologist Marija Gimbutas. There I dwelt all autumn and winter, reading The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, pieces of The Language of the Goddess and The Civilization of the Goddess, and then a related book called The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology and the Origins of European Dance (by Elizabeth Wayland Barber), not to mention bits of Andreas John's Baba Yaga: The Ambiguous Mother and Witch of the Russian Folktale.

My spring office under the apricot tree, entirely hidden by shoulder-high wild radish
I seemed to be following an invisible thread-- Gimbutas' controversial Bird Goddesses of Neolithic Old Europe connected themselves to Barber's exploration of Eastern European vilas/ willies/ rusalki and their connection to seasonal agricultural rituals of death and rebirth and Andreas John's treatment of the numerous Baba Yaga theories, many of which connect her with ancient snake and bird deities, female initiation, underworlds, the rebirth of seeds. Meanwhile, I was taking a ceramics class and hand-building a veritable menagerie of creatures and vessels inspired by the artifacts Gimbutas dug throughout Eastern Europe and documented in her magnificent books.

Bird-shaped vessel 

Marija Gimbutas
I had first discovered Gimbutas back in college, in a small used bookshop that served as a sort of sanctuary for me. I saw her enormous The Civilization of the Goddess displayed prominently on a front shelf, and wondered why on earth I had never heard of it before (being a bit of a nerd for the ancient world). I paid $50.00 for it with only the smallest moment of hesitation (it was a very, very big book, hilariously heavy to carry in a suitcase home!). What I found inside absolutely staggered me. Not only was it the life work of an incredibly intelligent woman who had personally excavated many of the artifacts she wrote about from village sites all across Eastern Europe and the Aegean, and through them and her 30 some years of deep study reconstructed a vision of a matristic and deeply earth-based culture she named Old European. It was also a deep exploration of ancient feminine spirituality and the worship of what she called the Great Goddess, who was really just a manifestation of the cycles of creation, death and rebirth found in the natural world, cycles that have been both sacred and intimate to the daily lives of human beings all over the world for most of our history as a species.

As Gimbutas explains in The Language of the Goddess, "it seems [...] appropriate to view all of these Goddess images as aspects of the one Great Goddess with her core functions—life-giving, death-wielding, regeneration and renewal. The obvious analogy would be to Nature itself; through the multiplicity of phenomena and continuing cycles of which it is made, one recognizes the fundamental and underlying unity of Nature. The Goddess is immanent rather than transcendent and therefore physically manifest" (316).

Source here
However, soon after discovering Gimbutas' work when I was 20, I also discovered the intense controversy around it. I will admit that for a while, that controversy kept me away. Attacks on her work were loud and strong, consisting of assertions that she had made everything up, that she had absolutely no grounds for much of what she was claiming about the symbolism she read into on pots, figurines, vases, that it was a load of feminist hogwash, etc., truly startled me.

I have a deep, old adoration of the ancient world, of goddesses at their most primordial and earthen especially, of grounded witch lore and mythology, of the sacred rhythms of women's crafts, of the moon and my own bleeding, but I have a rather equally strong aversion to what can feel like ungrounded New Age goddess-stuff.  I got a little concerned for the sake of the latter, and I backed away. I fell for what I see now as a culturally ingrained prejudice against not just feminism but the feminine (say the word "god" and no one bats an eyelash; say "goddess" and immediately the eye-rolling begins). We are all, to one degree or another, held under the sway of the scientific, linear-minded, masculine patriarchy in which we live.

(As an aside before I go further, I will just say now that I have nothing whatsoever against men; I love men. I don't, however, love a totally out of balance patriarchal system. I don't think any of us do. As women we are just as complicit as men in this system. Sometimes the re-iteration of patriarchal structures and ways of thinking by women upon other women is in fact the most intense and damaging rhetoric of all.)

I've since discovered that the vast majority of criticism for Gimbutas' work in fact amounts to little more than slander. Frighteningly effective slander absolutely inextricable from a subconscious and fearful sort of misogyny. I'm not trying to say here that her work contains no flaws--whose work, especially in the field of archaeology, is perfect? That's a complete unreasonable concept. But the intensity with which Gimbutas was debunked speaks to something beyond reason and fact...

What really riled people up about Gimbutas (men and women both) was that her approach to the material of a matrilineal Old Europe and its religious system was interdisciplinary, and that it had to do with a "goddess"-oriented religion. (Gimbutas herself found the term "Goddess" limiting, but used it for lack of a better word to describe an intensely potent feminine power inherent in the earth itself, both nurturing and terrifying and very much revered by Neolithic agricultural peoples, as well as indigenous cultures across the world and traditional peasant folk to this day.) Before she wrote The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe and things began to get sticky for her in the academic world (in part because feminists took to her vision whole-heartedly, with good reason), Gimbutas was highly regarded in her field. She received numerous fellowships and awards. Her work on the Indo-European Bronze Age, on Lithuanian folk customs, on the prehistory of Baltic and Slavic peoples, was highly respected. Her book Bronze Age Cultures of Central and Eastern Europe was ground-breaking and praised. She, after all, had been the one to personally excavate much of the material she studied.  Whatever she hadn't excavated, she had read the reports about in their original languages, something few others in her field could do.


Her knowledge of Lithuanian folklore, art and songs informed everything she did. She had, after all, received her doctorate (from the University of Tübingen) in archaeological prehistory, the history of religion, and ethnology. When digging an old Neolithic village across Eastern and Central Europe, she sometimes recognized patterns on figures or pots that were still in use in her native country among the peasant people. No one else had a comparable grasp of languages, folklore, mythology and religion. Her blending of disciplines was tolerable in the academic world until she shifted her focus from the patriarchal, highly stratified, war-like Indo-European cultures which arrived in ancient Europe around 3500 B.C.E. (the ones from which our own culture is still directly connected) to an older strata (beginning around 7000 B.C.E), the Old European peoples who had been there before the horse-riders swept in from the eastern steppes and changed the world. 
What she observed across Old Europe was a village-based culture with virtually no social stratification (no highly ornate burials, no obviously elite dwellings), no weaponry or military fortification and therefore little or no war. She observed that neither sex dominated the other (as in either a patriarchy or a matriarchy) and so she called what she saw "Matrilineal" because clear importance was given to the female line, to the burials of old women and young girls in particular. Because virtually all of the little clay figurines found by hearths, by looms, by temple altars, were of big-hipped women. And because the language of symbols that Gimbutas interpreted from the thousands of pots, spindle whorls, shards, figurines, vases and vessels she dug and documented over 30 years was all about the regenerative powers of the earth, whose womb-dark soils and amniotic waters have been considered "feminine" by most human cultures throughout all time. 

A vessel, when cut in half, was found to be full of small female figurines. From Ghelăiești. Photo by Cristian Chirita

She interpreted an intensely spiritual culture from the vessels and figurines she dug up from the ground. (She was in fact the first archaeologist of Neolithic Europe to focus on religion at all, in a post World War II archaeological era intensely concerned with economics and materialism.) Many of the vessels she found seemed to be left as offerings—in pits dug beside houses, layered over the centuries; in temples beside sacred hearths. These vessels were women's work, as was the weaving of cloth, the gathering of fibers and seeds. So much creative potential lay in the hands and bodies of women, and was honored as such. She never claimed matriarchy or utopia, as many of her later critics somewhat hysterically claimed that she had; rather she noted a culture oriented toward the feminine inherent in the earth, but honoring of both genders. 

Double-vessel, Cucuteni culture

Image source here

The backlash against her work began during the last years of her life in the early 1990's, as she battled lymphatic cancer, and came first from within the old, established patriarchy and archaeological monarchy that is Cambridge University, initiated by a colleague/friend Colin Renfrew (a Baron and Lord). I won't go into all the details of his attempts to undermine her work, nor what followed. Charlene Spretnak has written a fantastic and infuriating overview ("Anatomy of a Backlash: Concerning the Work of Marija Gimbutas" in the Spring 2011 issue of the Journal of Archaeomythology) of the erasure of Gimbutas' work from the archaeological canon over the last two decades. However, I will repeat here a quote of great relevance that Spretnak uses in her essay, written by Dale Spender in Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them: "techniques [of control] work by initially discrediting a woman and helping to remove her from the mainstream; they work by becoming the basis for any future discussion about her; and they work by keeping future generations of women away from her."

Goddess vessel from the Cucuteni culture,  Collection of National History Museum of Moldova 

This is precisely what happened to Gimbutas. The sweeping, scathing, slandering criticism of her work (which, when you actually read it, often sounds more childish than academic; more defensive than constructive, like "goddess" and "feminism" are dirty words, but "god" and "patriarchy" are entirely neutral, objective, reasonable and sane) effectively removed her from the archaeological world. Almost no professors, except the brave, teach her work. I didn't really believe this kind of thing still happened. I do now. I have been warned. 

This is the reason I wanted to take the time to get into some of the details here. Because it is an act of radical re-storying to bring her back into the archaeological forefront, back into the dialogue about what is possible for human cultures, back into women's hands. What a shame, what a loss to all of us —not just womankind but humankind—to have Gimbutas' work hidden away, buried. Most of the criticism of Gimbutas comes across to me as semi-hysterical, and mostly propagated (with intense vehemence) by people who haven't even studied her work with any great care, but rather have heard second hand of this archaeologist who "pandered" to new age Goddess- worshippers and obsessed over "matriarchal utopias" (neither of which she did in any way). 


Gimbutas was a brilliant woman. She worked very much within the scientific structures of the archaeological discipline. Many call her the "grandmother of the goddess movement," but this was entirely by chance, not of her own doing. She did not overtly seek out either goddesses nor feminism; she simply sought to see what she thought was truth, with her whole heart and mind. Her work is an incredible gift to all of us, and worth taking the time to read for ourselves, in order to form our own opinions. 

You can see that all of this has me deeply inspired and also furious. Seriously, furious. So furious it's actually hard for me to even gather my thoughts. So furious it might appear I've gone a great distance from Weft. But I haven't, not really. Because you see it was Gimbutas' work that stirred Weft out of me. I didn't even realize it at first. 

Around midwinter, I saw what was going on. I realized that all of this reading and research about Old Europe was the warp (the vertical threads in a weaving, the structure) for my collaboration with Asia. I was feeding the creative well, yes, but in feeding the well I was feeding the story that needed to be told, the gift born of Asia's Grandmother's Elixir. It was still at work. It was filling me up. It was apprenticing me to the archaeology of sacred vessels, of ancient women's work—the warp weighted looms, the spindle whorls, the earliest gardens, the pots shaped like bird goddesses, bears, deer. 

Symbols carved on a Romanian spindle whorl, 5th millennia B.C. Vinca-Turdas culture (Photo from "Signs of Civilization")

I believe that over the decades of her research and deep observation of the village sites and artifacts of Old Europe, the vessels and spindle whorls and temple ruins whispered their stories to Gimbutas. This is thoroughly un-academic of me, but I believe in intuition, in magic, in voices speaking across centuries, in some knowing that is in the blood or the soul. I believe that when this kind of knowing is in balance with the powers of the mind, the intellect, deep study and careful thinking, very, very powerful things can emerge. The likes of Lord Colin Renfrew would take me to the stake for this kind of talk, or more likely in this day just laugh me off the stage; but don't we know it, as women, to be true? That the world is far more mysterious, and the knowing in our bodies far more ancient, than we are taught to believe? That when the very ancient knowing of heart and womb is in balance with a sharp, clear intellect, great beauty of thought and action is possible? Gimbutas never claimed anything of the sort, and yet after over thirty years of study, she said that the symbols carved on all of the artifacts she had written about and poured over just started to coalesce. To come together as a language of mythopoeic dimensions. I believe that all of her work was an act of magic; or, in other words, of communication across great distances of time, and the very small distances within the soul. 

And isn't is the point, in the end, of all true study? 
Old European Vessel
It felt like something similar happened inside of me when I encountered Gimbutas' work for the second time this autumn, embracing it with an open heart and mind. The story came out in a rush, and yet in pieces. Like an ancient pottery vessel, dug up in shards. It has its own archaeology, its own warped loom, waiting for the reader to pick up the weft threads and weave it all whole. 

At its heart, Weft is the tale of a girl, a drought, an underworld, and the most ancient roots of the Baba Yaga, set in partly historic, partly imagined Neolithic Transylvania around 6500 B.C.E. At this time, settled agriculture brought by small bands of Mediterranean travelers (and their grains, goats and sheep) was taking root across southeastern Europe, woven relatively peacefully into the framework of indigenous Mesolithic hunting and gathering tribes. 

A reconstruction of Neolithic wattle and daub houses, based on archaeological findings and the structures of traditional Romanian peasant dwellings, from the  Câmpiei Boianului Museum 
I dreamed into my own version of Old Europe, rooted as much in research and fact as possible. Reading about these ancient village sites full of offering jugs and sacred ovens, their houses of wattle and daub, perched at the edges of mountains and woods, felt like indigenous ground in me. On a pathway of my own ancestral blood through Austria, through Hungary, through Poland, through Russia, I felt that in working with this material I could follow a part of myself back to a source, a place of balance, a set of ancient lifeways to look to for wisdom, for strength, for wholeness. 

Vessel from Cucuteni culture, in the Cucuteni Neolithic Art Museum

For you women who are of European descent, this is indigenous ground. This is a place to put our roots, to drink up, to learn from. Gimbutas' Old Europe represents to me a culture, a set of stories, that were in balance with the cycles of life around them. A narrative of living to re-learn, to re-member. We are in desperate need of this wisdom today; in desperate need of places to source our own stories and sense of connection, not appropriating those of the indigenous people who still survive and flourish today, but seeking our own rootings, groundings, retellings. 

Weft is about that which tips us out of balance, and that which brings us back again; about ritual and the sacred and how we make such things manifest with our very hands. It is a celebration of the deep beauty and power of ancient women’s work: weaving, spinning, pottery, child-bearing, plant-tending, medicine gathering. It is a hymn to the dying we undertake every moon in the underworlds of our own bodies, even if we no longer bleed, and the process of being reborn.
 
I want to dedicate this work not only to all the women of my ancestry—back to the very beginning of time, when women weren't women at all, but birds, or perhaps deer, bears or even the roots of the plants which cleanse and heal—but also to Marija Gimbutas, whose work has been pushed into an underground current over the past twenty years, but whose wisdom we sorely, sorely need. 

I read yesterday that by the year 2050, the weight of plastic in the ocean will outweigh that of fish. I really hope that this fact isn't true, but I fear that it is. Please, may we have the courage and the strength, both women and men, to defend other stories, older stories, stories of rootedness and the immanence of the natural world, before it is too late.  In some ways, it is already too late. But not entirely. For aren't all of these female figurines, these patterns of line and triangle and diamond, about rebirth? "There is no simple death, only death and regeneration," Gimbutas writes (320, The Language of the Goddess.

I will leave you with this wonderful film about Marija Gimbutas' life and work. It is well worth watching, perhaps with spinning, knitting, weaving, mending, in hand...


12 comments:

  1. i am SO glad that you wrote this...i've been saddened for years by the onslaught of mostly unmerited negativity about gimbutas' work, and, yes, suppression of it is not too strong a word. this is what a patriarchy such as we live under does to anything that threatens its hegemony. as you say, so much of her description of old europe rings bells in the souls of those who read it...beautiful bells of recognition and hope for some; alarm bells for those too vested in the current structure to respond with joy. her work may indeed have some flaws, but all work does. some pots will always crack in the oven, but most will stand. but she was a rigorous archeologist and a brilliant---realistic, grounded, not fantasy making---interpreter of what she found. she nearly single-handedly gave us back a heritage so obscured by millennia that we couldn't see that what we felt in our bones was true...

    her work has enriched me intellectually and inspired me artistically. she is truly a grandmother figure, worthy of respect. i believe that we will need the wisdom of our best thinkers and especially the wisdom of our ancestors if we are to find our way out of the labyrinth of ecocide in which we are lost...and i look forward very much to reading your story that will weave daydream into delightful substance.

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    1. This is beautiful, thank you so much for sharing these reflections here. I just love hearing about all the women she has touched over the years, it gives me such hope!

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  2. oh wonderful! thank you for writing this! You and I have a very similar outlook on things -your writings so often blow me away in that regard and I find them so inspiring for my own work and art
    I've heard Gimbuta's name so many times through the years and yes, the negativity surrounding it....but haven't actually read any for myself so you have definitely inspired me to have a hunt for some copies and sit down and read them :) Thank you! xxx

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    1. Oh I am so glad!! Yes, do find a copy of a book and enjoy. And also I very much recommend watching the above film about her too, it places her in such an important context.

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  3. Oh Sylvia. Weft Voices in my ears this cold gray morning. Your words feeding my eyes and mind. My little heart up at the mailbox, ever so eagerly awaiting my own little vessel of Grandmother's Elixir. Thank you for the work you are doing. Tatterdemalion and now this. Rich and juicy and so desperately needed in the world right now. Bravo! Going now to track down some to Gimbutas' work and dive further and further in. Many blessings, ~amy

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    1. Bless you for these sweet words Amy. I so hope you have enjoyed the story and the elixir, and Gimbutas' work too! xo Sylvia

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  4. I enjoyed very much reading this post - in fact spent some 15 minutes cleaning spilled coffee after missing the windowsill while being completely absorbed in your writing. I remember going with the sorcova (a branch decorated with paper flowers) on new year's when being a kid in eastern Europe, wishing health and fertility. There are plenty of customs there that could be echos from way back in time. While your words led me on a path to what might have once been, I cannot see a future where women (and men) return to the wisdom of those old times. Maybe the only thing we can do right know is trying not to forget. Maybe when we finally realise that the road we're now on leads nowhere we can take all those stories and memories and bits and pieces and try to heal what's left of the world and ourselves.

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    1. I know, I agree that it is very hard to see this as a possible future right now, and that perhaps all we can do is keep the stories alive ... maybe one day there will be enough little stories like this that the big one will change. And I love your reflections about the sorcova-- how beautiful! Thank you for visiting and sharing. x

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  5. Ah, Sylvia, I can hardly express how glad I was to read this journey of yours. It resonates with me on so many levels. I've followed your work for quite some time, but this moves me to contact you. I too have been deeply affected by Old European artifacts and the work of Marija Gimbutas. I devoured all of her books when I first discovered them in 2002, and what I read rocked my spiritual and creative world. I went into making artists books from there, and my first one, The First Writing, is dedicated to her. I have revisited that inspiration many times, and always feel like I am coming home to my first love. A whole world of ancient lore opened up to me, one I had dipped into since I was a young woman traveling in Europe, and though felt strangely called to Malta, went to Crete instead. There is much, so much, in the ancient world that we do feel in our blood and bones. I invite you to visit me at my website where you will find a long article I wrote called Sacred Script. At the bottom of the page are many of my sources and links to some of my work inspired by this rich world. Blessings on your work! Thank you so much of sharing it with us.
    http://cariferraro.com/library/sacred-script/

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    1. Cari! What a lovely web of connection! I've loved your piece about the Sacred Script. I am honored you have been visiting my blog and so glad you commented here. Thank you for sharing all these thoughts and reflections, they are precious. I am looking forward to perusing your work more !

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  6. These dreams came to me too in December, of women sitting around the edge of a red field, holding jars of ferments and un fired clay pieces, waiting for a man to come and "fire" this field. The path from and between yourself and Rima and Asia is beautiful and intriguing to follow. I was aware of Rimas work first, having met her three years ago and bought one of her prints. Her blog led me to you, and you led me to Asia, and all of you found each other, now bringing forth such strong, feminine creations.

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    1. What an interesting dream! And yes, Rima and Asia are pretty wonderful, aren't they! Bless you for your kind words. x

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