culture

MEDITATION & PRAYER BEAD SHRINES

Many of us can string beads or create amulets, but I’ve learned it is often beneficial to have an objective observer/designer help us along. We often get mired in symbols.  I am fortunate to have met the creator of Rhiannon Restoration who is able to intuit what will work best for each individual, based on her broad knowledge of not only Celtic deities but also those of many different cultures,

For example, it never would occur to me to use an owl because there was something about them that made me uneasy (despite their being a symbol of wisdom). But she used it as a symbol of darkness moving to lightness or, Eostre (April, Goddess of Dawn) moving toward the dawn of Spring, and I understood and related to that particular journey. I was now able to redirect my meditations toward the movement of all life cycles. She also has invocations that can be used for each deity, or, of course, we can use our own.


This is what she says about her “PRAYER BEAD SHRINES”

”These are strung on sturdy wire so it’s strong, good for people who like a tactile and visual meditation or prayer focus. I work with them to make it something useful for their needs. If they have some bead or pendant they want included I can do that. If they want examples of ones they can buy with prices I can do that because I don’t have any images of deities unless I’m doing it special for that deity. We can discuss symbolism, how color feels, size.  Basically they can be as involved as they want. As a psychic I had to help clients form the best questions so I’m used to helping people clarify if they don’t know. And if they say ‘Hathor. Go for it’  I certainly will and it’ll be a blast! And my sources are solid, no pop culture. It will honor that deity accurately.


For more information, please email her at:

RhiannonRestoration@gmail.com

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KEEP ON DANCING MEMOIR

 

*scroll down for a YouTube video*

 

Little sun-struck cloud

Floating on a tutu

Ballet shoes held on

By an elastic strap

She pirouettes

Dreaming of dancing as

The Nutcracker princess

Some day

Suddenly, “No money”

She is told

For lessons

 

Here are little girls

Strolling through school halls

Twisting, Cha-Cha-ing

Across a new decade’s

Boundary line

Ponying, monkeying, limbo-ing

Waiting for the boys to join in

Suddenly almost-teenagers

Arms wrapped around each other

Softly believing

“We could get married

Then we’d be happy”

Oh those boys of the beach

They knew the secret of life

 

Suddenly the dancing stops

As a new genre

From an older time

Takes hold acoustically

Words of protest

Arising from the smoke of weed

Shuttered eyelids

Heads nodding as

Young men and women agreed

 

And then incredible colors

Splash over us, waking us up

As Sgt. Pepper changes rock and roll

Changes us all

And suddenly the world alters

Letting in the Blues

Jazzing us up

Alcohol takes hold

And once again we dance

So close, not even a straw can pass between

And we move across another borderline

Pea coats, bell bottoms, boots

Replaced by Sci Fi platform shoes

Polyester clothes that

Researchers insist cause cancer

And we smoke

And we dance

And we drink

And we do whatever feels good

In this new decade of peace

 

And our faces become pierced

Bodies become a canvas for art

Good and bad

Clothing deliberately torn

Dancing is the banging of heads

Lots of lyrics involve the word “dead”

But we dance

 

Until suddenly, the dancing stops

The music stops

The rhythm stops

The melody stops

There is absolutely nothing

But a horrible chanting

An ending to the sounds we once knew

And loved

Little girl’s hair

Turns to gray

Wondering if

There is a way

To keep on dancing…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Degas, Dancer With a Bouquet of Flowers

 

The Gentrys, Keep On Dancing  https://youtu.be/HhqX_VdQT10 YouTube video

 

 

BOARDWALK

 

Frog trap contains a surprise

‘Possum sitting amid dog kibble

Take him to the Preserve of James Grey

Re-homing works well

As he struts into the wild woods

 

I go to the Boardwalk

Winding my way

Through scrubs and pine

Palm and bush

Hearing DeSoto and his men

Clanking in armor

Ninety-five degree summer

Humidity drenching their

Proud mustaches and beards

 

A narrow but magical boardwalk

Taking me from gulf to ocean

Spooling across the Bermuda Triangle

As I hear

Creaking oars and rusty motors

Of ghost ships and planes

Caught in the mysterious vortex

 

I walk until the boards

Under my feet

Pass haunted abbeys

Destroyed by the Eighth Henry

Who changed the face of religion

Merely because he could

Woe to the women

Witches, so was claimed

When it was really about sex

And male progeny

Although we now know

The XY chromosomes of males

Determine the gender

Not the XX of women

 

The Boardwalk continues

Across ranges of mountains

Quiescent volcanoes

Pyrenees, Vesuvius, Alps

Carpathians, Himalayas

And I hear Hannibal

Urging his men and elephants

Through rain and snow

They must conquer

As I must walk

To quell the need for change

The greed to live one’s desires

 

I pass above lands of dynastic tyranny

Exotic islands and animals

In a different hemisphere

And I meet no one

See no one

Only those ectoplasmic shapes

Hearing voices in the language of Babel

Burning oil rigs, and the echo of screams

As terrorism clashes with soldiers

Mere teens

 

Then suddenly the walk

Is spanning the Pacific

A word meaning peaceful

And I continue

As whales and dolphins

Fight the fish nets

Imprisoning them along with

Other food of the sea

Supply and demand

For a horribly over-populated land

The land called Earth

As organized religions

Insist on the outdated

Be fruitful and multiply

Stop it!

We’re already overly-fruitful!

 

I walk, so tired now

Breathing deeply

Wanting to feel

Negative ions that comfort me

As the Boardwalk approaches

The other smog-shrouded coast

Of my homeland

 

And I walk

And I breathe

And I smell

And I hear

The fear

Of the world

And oh

I just want to be alone

Because

All this distills down to

A coarse social media acronym

Burned on my retinas

From overly-surfing

And I say it aloud:

WTH????

 

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: James E. Grey Preserve Boardwalk

 

NERDY BLOGETRY

 

*scroll down for a Joan Baez YouTube video*

 

A friend did send

An article about

Thracian deities

Thrace part of

Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece

Just south of Romania

My father’s birthplace

My friend did send

When I complained

That her Celtic gods and goddesses

Were so much more interesting

Than the Romani ones

Of course, the Romani ones are from India

But there is the Eastern European part of my blood

That calls out to other deities

 

So being a Fire sign

I was interested in the Fire goddess

Later to become St. Marina

Daughter of Domna (Queen)

Who comes with her own folk song:

“Oh, Domna, Domna, Domna queen!

Domna queen and swallow!”

And the nerd in me

The wannabe folksinger in me

Can suddenly see

Can suddenly hear

The high trilling of none other

Than Joan Baez

Singing and strumming

“Dona, Dona, Dona, Dona”

A song claiming to be a Yiddish folksong

Even though the words

Match up with the Thracian mythology

Of a black sheep being sacrificed

To the Domna

And a swallow, like the swallows

Of San Juan Capistrano

Are elements echoed in the song

“On a wagon, bound for market

Is a calf with a mournful eye…”

And

“Why don’t you have wings to fly with

Like the swallow so proud and free?”

Most interesting of all

After the Eastern European countries shifted

Joan Baez performed her song in

The new country with

The old name of Czechoslovakia

Many of the people saying they were

Long-familiar with the myth

 

So I apologize to some of you

Wading through my nerdy piece of blogetry

But hoping that my fellow nerds

Will feel the delight

Of discovering cultural insight

Of history repeating itself

But in a lovely way

Not a doom but a boon

Of the beat going on…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Swallow (Pinterest, no attribution)

 

https://youtu.be/BqzGZ5AaeSs   YouTube video, Joan Baez singing Dona, Dona, Dona (spelling changed to Donna somewhere along the years)

THE STOCKHOLM OCTAVO: A NOVEL

My Book Review (Amazon and Goodreads)

When I saw the illustrations for Karen Engelmann’s The Stockholm Octavo: A Novel, I tore open my bedside drawer.  Yes!  There was my obscure deck, bought from an online historical games site several years ago.  As a long time cartomancer, I thought this would be an interesting deck to use.  I must confess, however, that I did not have the imagination that the author has and tossed them out of my sight.  Descriptions of the plot and characters are available from the other reviews.  I will just say that the story is Magical and Wise: a cauldron of History, Culture and best of all, Sacred Geometry.  I quote from the book:  “The Octavo is the architecture of relationships that we build ourselves, and with which we build the world.”

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R17WMKSKX4QV6K/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B006SJCKVE

(Image: my personal copy of the 1588 deck by German Renaissance artist Jost Amman)

 

 

 

 

GIPSY KINGS CONCERT

 

(Mahaffey Theater 5-2-16)

*Scroll down for video*

 

Stranded

In a perverse time and place

DNA sings to me

In crystal-breaking tones:

Find the forest

Where your people camped

Among the trees

Guitars and violins

And percussive seas

Remember the dance

Slow movement among embers

All to the backdrop of music

Inhaled, with the smoke,

Then released

With the vanishing of pain…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

https://youtu.be/mifnMC_Kn1Q