Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An Ode To Body Hair And The Great Unwashed

Now if you've studied history, and the tales of the conquerors and colonialists, there are two parts to colonising a culture and territory.  It's only the first part where there's a big war and killing with death machines, and after that comes the real strategy of utmost import, if the land conquered is to remain so.  Which is large scale divide and conquer, on every level, through every strata of the society or culture to remain colonised.  The disease of separation spread like a virus, through families, communities and peoples, based on age, belief, body type, look, profession, possessions, you name it, it can be categorised into a million different splinter groups, unlikely to ever form again into a glorious whole of connected, acknowledged, diverse and conscious parts. 

So as Australians, conquered how many times removed now?  From the Romans, to the Roman Catholics, to the English, to the prison colonies on supposed Terra Nullis…….we've been collectively divided and conquered within an inch of our long and tangled ancestral paths.  Split into billions of divisions and separations, some of the worst being within the splinters of the splinter groups, that fight each other for moral worth.  Divided and separated from our families, our bonding in our family groups, our connection to our larger communities, and extended families, our food, our water, our lifestyles, our works, our art, our clothes, our music, our homes, our animals, our authenticity, our bodies, our birthing, our body hair, our sexuality, our mammalian selves, and our smells.  

As a result of my birth, family life, religion and schooling, I was turned out into the world a bit disgusted by my own body and its emissions, and entirely grossed out by the thought of anyone else's.  I shaved and waxed and make upped and permed and wore dozens of products all over my body.  On my skin.  The most sensitive and large organ we have on our bodies.  I had sprays for my female bits, and sprays for my underarms, and shame for wherever my hair was that it wasn't 'meant' to be.  I had soaps and special face scrubs, and shampoos and conditioners, and body creams and scented panty liners, and a rigorous body hygiene that saw any body juice or smell, as something to be cleaned up and away, and the appropriate 'better' smell applied.  

Till I hit the lesbian world that is, where womens bodies were a representation of the goddess, and divine, and perfect as they were, and make up and shaving and all those other things were CHOSEN to be done, or not done at all…..PROUDLY!  I started to chill on my rigorous hygiene, and started to relax into some body smells and juices.  There were some women who had turned their back entirely on 'the system', and had amazing body smells, as they eschewed all corporations.  And then when I left that world for the other places where rare humans dwelt, I found quite a few scenes with a love for the human body in it's natural form.  Activists, anarchists, punks to be precise, are often members of the 'great unwashed', who have pushed off from the shore of chemicalised smells and shaved hair, into love and lust of the hairy, smelly, juice creating bodies we were born with.  

But my Currawong was the port where I set sail into my body in its natural form, so intoxicated I was by the sheer smell and feel and hairiness of him.  I'd reduced my money spent on corporate beauty products by a lot by the time we met, but still held onto aluminium free roll on deodorant under my arms, and a jolly good soaping and washing on a regular basis.  If I went for a few days without washing I'd start to smell in a way I didn't like.  And if I did sweaty work or sex, I'd often smell a little bit rancid after, and race off to the shower as soon as I could.  I'd become one with my bleeding, and the various smells that come with that time, but I was still seeing my body odour and flora as something to be tamed.  

And he hit my senses like a tidal wave.  An olfactorial wash that made me want to dive into him again and again.  His clothes, his bedding, his body…….the sweatier and sexier the better.  A totally intoxicating mix of musk and skin and warmth and hair and himness.  That can never be replicated or turned into a product, because it's his unique signature scent.  When we were first courting interstate, I slept on the sheets and pillows we'd slept in for weeks, wallowing in the remnant smells of him.  15 years down the track I still find his scent the most delightful aroma in the world.  

You know how all the other mammals smell each others noses, and bums, and bodies?  Sniff them all  over?  From dogs and cats to horses and elephants, us mammals know that there's a lot to be learnt from smell.  How a creature is feeling, when it's sick, when it's stressed, when it's fertile, when it's turned on, when it's angry, all of these things can be smelt.  And are translated through our signature smells.  The smells that identify us.  The smells that are our birth right, inherited in our bodies.  

So when we first got together, Currawong and I, a bit of fuss was made about his body smell.  More heady than any cologne or aftershave that had ever wafted past my nose.  Even the scent of our intermixed loving was an olfactorial orgasm.  And I was curious about his superior smell, and why I didn't have one of my own.  He told me to stop washing under my arms with soap.  And to stop using all deodorants and products of any kind.  And when I said that I'd tried that before, but I always ended up smelling rank, he said that was because the soap knocked out the ability of my underarms to regulate it's own microflora.  And to just stop soaping and wait a while.  Shower with whatever regularity I wanted, and keep soap for bits if it was really necessary, but just leave the rest alone.  Wash with our pure rainwater only, rubbing and washing my skin with the roughness of my finger pads.  

And blow me over with a feather he was right.  After a few weeks of no soap under my arms, I started to smell like me.  A signature scent that to this day, I can stick my nose in my armpit, and happily offer it to anyone to smell, with great pride and pleasure.  I smell hot.  I smell earthy and ripe and musky and sweet and it's all mine.  A result of the foods I eat, and the emotions I feel, and the sex we set sail in, and the things I do.  I've learnt that just like mens balls, when my underarms or boobs are constricted, or wrapped in polyester or plastic, they smell quite intense.  They like to be free and be connected to the breeze so my underarm hair can do it's job of regulating and spreading the scent.  So I wear clothes with no sleeves, or wide armpit holders, so there's no conqueror in my armpit.  Cause underarm hair is a large part of the smell.  Sometimes there's naturally formed salt crystals on them, and they just intensify the smell.  And underarm hair, like boobs, and pubes, can definitely be completely left alone.  To waft and move and jiggle and groove as they choose.  Like many of our ancestors from time immemorial.  

Not just communication, and not just sexual, our natural body odours are also great aides in bonding.  And comfort.  And creating a sense and smell of home wherever you go.  I've had more than one child who has buried their head into my armpit when they're upset.  And more than one person on whom I've casually left my scent in a hug, who has told me how good I smell.  We had one friend who told us we were the strongest smelling humans she knew, and that it was a really good thing.  We had friends who said they could smell us as soon as they entered a supermarket in Mt Barker, above all the air ducted smells, and they sniffed us out till they found us.  We spent a night in a perfumed bed, and Spiral-Moon baby cried and cried and cried until we went out to the bus, got our sheets, and remade the bed with our bedding.  Only then did she finally sleep.  And at markets back in Maccy a bit down the olfactorial track, when more than a few had sniffed our whiff, we'd meet up early in the pre market dawn, and give each other a snuffle of our pits.  Many a friend has vowed to stop using soap on their underarms, and told us later they were delighted with the results.  Most of our birthing experiences have revolved around bonding, and wanting our baby to be born into the smells and feelings of home.  To stay quietly with me and be welcomed to the world slowly and gently.  To soak up the heady perfume of birth, that once you've smelt it you'll never forget.  To bond closely, skin to skin, heart beat to heart beat, with no bras and deodorants and factory farmed smells intruding.  If you look into early human practices, there was a time when we licked the perineum of our babies after they were born, like the other mammals.  And the smells of birth were considered an integral part of a bonded birth.

Because to be totally honest…..after spending so many years with real smelling humans, doing all the communicating and hugging and sniffing that we do, the cloy of a factory farmed scent is quite offensive to my nostrils.  There's been so much fuss over the years, that some folk have even fronted me on, about the offensive smell of B.O.  So many mainstream people seem assured that the best thing to do in the face of an authentic human animal smell is to disinfect it and cover over the scent with the same smell as a million others.  At least.  To hide it.  Smother it.  Get rid of it quick.  I remember one night, in the height of our summer of love at the market, when there was a circus tent full of opera goers on the oval beneath our hippy camp.  We walked down to check it out, and were assaulted by a tsunami of chemically toxic perfumes and colognes.  I ended up holding my breath.  Grieving for the olfactory sensation I'd been robbed of, had I been able to swim through an ocean of signature smelling humans.  And Currawong and I both fondly talk about the events that we've been to full of human smelling humans.  On summer evenings, with sweat drenched bodies singing their aromas to the wind, many moments of connection and bonding occurred.  Our sex life revolves massively around our body odours.  We communicate so much with the way we smell.  One day I met Currawong at the door after a hot day away armpit first.  And it made him melt to the point of almost collapsing.  His knees instantly went from beneath him. And all the different zones on him, and how they smell, never cease to entrance me and stir me from stupor.  He's my Pied Piper, and I'll follow his scent to the ends of the earth.  

I'm only writing this, cause I was set to think by an article about underarm hair sent to me by a friend.  It really tripped me out that, like the fella said…

Mr Hopper sees his project as a 'type of protest' against the beauty industry.
'Although armpit hair is a natural state it has become a statement. Why is that?' he writes.
'For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal. Natural Beauty could be classified as a type of protest. 
'By creating a contrast between common "fashionable" female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair, thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made,' he explains.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2600074/Body-hair-natural-NOT-gross-Striking-images-women-unshaven-underarms-protest-conventional-standards-beauty.html#ixzz2zUurRJyT
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

It really is quite bizarre that we find the natural state of our bodies that we were born with…..abhorrent.  One of the models even pulled out of the project, cause she was so 'grossed out' by her body hair.  I just don't get it.  In a society ruled by many religions and spiritualities, collective in their belief that we are made in the image of God/ess, in whichever form that takes…….how have we got so far from loving ourselves exactly as we are?  Aren't we meant to be a reflection of perfection?  It doesn't occur to me much to talk about, as it's so completely and intrinsically part of who we are, but when I read this article I thought I should post out a view from one of the many alternatives to the beauty industry.  Cause I know when I was enthralled with it, I never stopped to think that there was any other way.  It's a great big arsed multinational corporation regime that has many dancing to the beat of its drum.  

I love my underarm hair.  And I don't have to be part of a project to do so.  It's one of the sexiest things about me I think.  Currawong concurs.  And there is the odd human around who has kept a love for natural smells despite the mainstream.  I remember once Hairy Dave back in Maccy, telling Currawong rather sheepishly that he wasn't trying to cut his lunch, but he saw me lift my arm, and the sweat glistening on my armpit hairs was glinting in the sunlight, and he couldn't help it mate, but he barred up!  All said with a big grin and laugh of course.  Love it.  And I love every inch of hair on my man.  Incidentally, I don't think I've ever shared mine and Currawong's theme song with you on here.  I knew it from my lesbian days, and thought it was a hoot, and never expected that the song would go on to prove quite prophetic……except we obviously missed out a bit on the birth control :)  But here it is nonetheless.  Our theme song.  'I spent my last $10 on birth control and beer' by Two Nice Girls.

And I can't talk about body hair without a specific mention of pubic hair.  It's another amazing part of our bodies, that doesn't necessarily need taming.  And a rather special part in my experience.  One thing I particularly love about my pubic hair is that with every pregnancy I've experienced, it's grown really long.  Like a hairy protective measure to keep what's inside safe.  It also can perform a rather miraculous alchemical role in the collection of juices that can happen around there.  And I've only ever shaved it off completely once, and by gawd it hurt and was itchy and scratchy when it started to grow back.  How do you all go through that?  And of course…..if I'm talking about pubic hair, I'm going to have to share with you Amanda Palmer's song 'Map Of Tasmania', cause when I saw it I really fell in love with her.  Both the cheekiness and creativity of the whole clip and song about the map of Tasmania, but also her complete abandon for flashing her hairy pits.

Currawong and I totally agree, that the only humans that ever really enter our attraction radars, are totally hairy and smelling like themselves :)  Let your hair and body be what they're meant to be!  And at least run an experiment, to see whether there isn't a sexy smell lurking on your body, once it's had the chance to regain it's natural ecosystem…….

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sometimes It Feels Like I'm Living In Narnia

Anyone who's tried community living in Australia, whether it be formal or informal communities, like we have for our entire relationship……..knows that there's usually some form of rules on every single one of them about animals, and what sort are allowed there.  Cats and dogs are usually forbidden, for the damage they do to the environment, and other animals are negotiable.  Even on the informal communities we've lived on, there have been other folk who owned it or had been there before us, who had their own animals, and requirements for what sort did and didn't come.  So we've been pretty animal free for years.  We had a cat called Fuzznut who ended up getting old and really over babies, and let us know that she chose to retire to my mothers and daughters house, and a dog called Scratch who couldn't be with kids after she broke her pelvis and retired to my mothers too, till she died.  Little Scratch came everywhere and got snuck into places she wasn't meant to be, cause she was so small and inoffensive.  

But for 7 years pretty solidly now, we've had no pets except for the rats that we got at Billen.  And we've dreamed about getting others, but been on communities up here in the Rainbow Region that wouldn't allow them.

So in moving here to our (mostly) private rental, we decided that the time was now.  It was starting to break my heart, that Griffyn, who'd wanted a cat all his life, was 12 years old without ever having his own animal.  I figured it was just time to let some animals in our lives, and that the relationships you can only form with other animals was a really important part of childhood that my kids were missing out on.  Not to say that they weren't finding and connecting with as many wild species as they could……they find creatures in the weirdest places, and hang out with them as long as is safe, and then let them go.  Lilly who loves all animals had a hard time getting to love leeches, but all of them have quite a large respect for leeches now, and will let them feed till they drop off.  We're usually asked to take photos of the creatures we come across, and here's just a few, but there's lots more of them peppered through our photos.

I so love how Lilly manages to pick up bugs with stings at the front and the back gently, without hurting them, and then releasing them after she's admired them….

We even had a wild duck follow us home and hang out for a night.  She hung out in the house for the afternoon, and at night she sat on the lounge next to me, moving step by step closer until she was sitting on my lap. In the morning she went on her way, but we loved her visit….

But what really got us started on the animal collecting, was when our neighbours were away, and their rabbit had been ripped apart by a goanna, and had left 5 little babies that were too young to survive really.  It pulled on all our heartstrings and maternal instincts, and we did our best to save them.  I even crocheted them a handspun rabbit fleece blanket to lay on.  But they died one by one, and we buried them with many tears.

And then 'stuff it!' I thought.  It was time for us to invite animals into our lives.  The first animal that came along was a beautiful rabbit called Nimue, or Nim. And in the process of meeting Nim, we also met the gorgeous Rhea and John of R&J Pets and Aquariums in Lismore, who have totally impressed us with their love for all animals as well as people, and their true integrity and compassion in how they run their pet shop.  The first time we went in there, I was in the small animal room, and there was a bunch of younguns talking over the rats, and one of the girls was talking about how they wanted a big fat one, so they could see it in the belly, and I realised they were gonna feed one of these little hand raised rats to a snake.  Rhea came in, and they picked their rat, and they all filed out and it was just Rhea and me for a minute.  I told her what I'd overheard, and she walked out, coming back a few minutes later with a triumphant smile, and released the rat back in with his brothers, saying 'they're not feeding one of my hand raised rats to a snake!'  I was so impressed.  And just a wee while ago, John told a story on Facebook, about how an elderly lady was there one morning as he opened his shop, asking him to find her budgie another home, as she wouldn't be able to feed herself with the new budget, let alone her beloved budgie.  His answer was to give her a stack of feed, and to publicly tell folks that pensioners now had 20% off all animal food to help out.  I love those two.  We find any excuse we can at all to go in and hang out and swap stories.  

But back to Nim,  Griff and her really loved each other.  We'd never had a bunny before, so we tried to let her be a house living bunny, but that didn't work out.  So we made her a big enclosure, and had a cosy bunny house for night, and all fell in mutual love with each other. 

And cause we found R&J's, it was a great excuse to fulfil a bit of a life long dream for Currawong, as well as a huge desire of Mr B's, to get an aquarium full of fish.  We knew we'd found the right people to advise us on it too.  For example, I didn't know until John told me, that goldfish need a huge amount more room than most people give them.  He won't sell goldfish unless you have a massive tank or pond.  Cause if they don't have the space, their internal organs keep growing to the size their meant to be, even though their body can't grow any more, and they end up getting suffocated by their own organs.  He created an underwater garden for us, and gave us incredible information and advice, and our little boys (and the rest of us) are totally mesmerised….

We also got some chookies, but they were very young too, and one died a few days after we got her, and the other one ate something under the house and choked.  So we had just the one chook for quite a while, and we called her Storm Chookie.  

Being the only chook for a while led to some rather…..interesting……behaviours.  Cause she thought she was one of us.  She fast became one of my favourite friends.  And comes inside to visit us, and threatens me with laying her eggs on my printer, unless I provide an adequate roost for her.  There's lots of Chookie stories that I've told on Facebook, but to get to all the animals, I'm going to have to keep it concise.  Enough to say that I love my Chookie.

And we got a cat for Griffyn called Dreamer.  You can see her on the chair in front of Storm Chookie.  They tend to hang out together.  She was a kitten who was born into love at a friends of ours home, and raised with the utmost bonding and respect.  And she's quite unique.  Currawong and I were both a bit dubious about how other animal friendly she'd be, and were prepared to build her a large cat cage off the house if she proved to be a killer.  I've had cats all my life, and know that they usually disappear off for a while every day, and who knows how much they kill in that time.  But Dreamer is different.  

She was given her name by our friend from her birth, and we all assumed we'd change it when we got to know her, but ended up realising that the name suits her completely, cause she spends most of her time sleeping.  We always know where she is, every moment of the day, cause she's always within sight of us, and she cuddles with Griffyn every night, and gets the shits if he sleeps away too long.  She puts up with the little boy pack being rough with her, and laying on her, and carrying her around (we do our best to minimalise it) and seems to just love all of us.  The kids the most though…..

But the most amazing thing about Dreamer is her love for the other animals.  Like I said before, the relationship between Storm Chookie and Dreamer is quite cute.  Dreamer spent a lot of still and silent time winning Chookie over.  Convincing her that she was a friend.  And we quite often see them hang out together.

And then came Pixel.  Lilly's been wanting a dog for ever so long, and another dear friend had puppies that needed homes, and we brought a little boy pup home the night before christmas incidentally, and it didn't take long till he chose Lilly as his person.  We call him Pixel.  And if he gets fat when he's old, we can call him Mega Pixel :)

And like Dreamer, Pixel loves all the other animals, and they all get along.  He was only 6 weeks old when we got him, and his mother got sick and her milk dried up, so he was just a baby when he came to us.  And we attachment parented him, not out of any ideology, but because we couldn't leave him on his own, and there was always so much going on around him.  So now Pixie is convinced he's one of the kids.  He's a cheeky and sweet little thing.  

So we were in pet heaven for about 3 months I reckon, and everything was sweet, and we learnt all sorts of things about the animals we have, and how best to look after them.  And then Death came to town.  Our neighbour has a habit of leaving her rabbits out of their cages, though most of them have met untimely deaths that way.  And even though we asked her if she could put her male bunny away while we were trying to housetrain Nim, she refused.  Inevitably, they got together, and we didn't realise it at the time, but that meeting was fatal.  The male was far too big for Dwarf bunny Nim, and when she went into labour, a baby got stuck (it was never going to be able to get out), and we took her to the vet hoping a caesarean or something could help her, and were devastated to hear that rabbits really don't do anaesthetic well, and the chances of her surviving were minimal, and very expensive.  I was in tears, and prepared to get a loan to pay for it, and had to ring Griff up on the phone and break the heartbreaking news to him, and in the end the best solution for everyone was to put our dear Nim down.  

It was horrendous from top to bottom.  My eldest daughter had come for a visit the day before, and it was a shock for all of us that such a tragedy had happened.  Jess was awesome in helping and comforting, and we were all glad she was there.  On the night after she died, Griff went to bed and cried and cried and cried, and it totally broke my heart that my firstborn son was going through his first big heart break.  Dreamer cuddled so close to his face that we knew she was totally tuned in.  And I got very angry at our neighbour.  Threw a lot of judgement at her.  And the very next day, after changing the procedure for the rats, trying to be extra careful that they got more shade on a hot day…….I quite stupidly put them in a place where they got full sun if we were away for too long, and in the process of that mistake, Lilly's favourite rat Snuggles died in the heat. We managed to save the others, even though they were thoroughly heat stressed, and Jess was amazing again in her calmness and assistance.  

We were beyond distraught, and I wailed and said sorry over and over, and instantly thought that my judgement had come back to bite me on the bum.  It seemed a harsh lesson for us all to learn.  And was so very very sad.  We all cried a lot.  And built some graves for our loved animals.  

But the next morning, after we'd lost two of our most loved animals over two horrible days, Lilly and I sat and talked on the verandah.  She said that in a horrible way, she was getting used to death, and to the grief and loss, and that maybe in a way, that was actually a good thing, as we knew we were going to love lots of animals in our lives.  She was also the first to notice in the following days, that there was a change in me.  Up until these traumatic events, I'd been nice at arms length to Lilly's rats, and really didn't realise how much I'd come to love Nim.  And it cracked my heart open to such a degree, that I felt like I pushed through that arms length approach, and reverted back to the full hearted love I had for animals when I was younger.  I vowed to honour the demise of our loved ones by being a better animal carer.  And went into full sook mode with Lilly.  As much as it was awful, it also helped us appreciate the animals that are left in our circle even more.  I took on the remaining rats with Lilly, and fell head over heels in love with Dusty, who is in the photograph with me and Storm Chookie up above as well.  

And even though Griff didn't want to replace Nim, and knew that it would never be the same as it was with his first love, he fell for a bunny in R&J's again, and helped by Jess, who so wanted to help him heal, and bought him a beautiful bunny habitat, we ended up bringing Fleur home.  She's not the same as Nim of course, but she's delightful.  And very cuddly.

Zarra and the other little boys love her to bits, and visit her first thing every morning to feed her and pat her.  She loves a pat more than any other rabbit I've met, apart from Nim.  And she loves to lick their hands and faces.  He can't resist getting in for a visit sometimes. 

In fact…..lots of critters love to steal into Fleur's cage and hang out with her.  Between her little home here and the big bunny cage outside that she's busy creating an underground home in, she has a pretty busy and loved life.  Her and Storm Chookie were even timesharing her little night home for a while.  Chookie decided for a bit that the bunny cage was the only place she was going to lay an egg.

With all the equals and opposites and ups and downs I must admit to being utterly thrilled by having all these animals in our lives.  It does help us get used to death, and work out how to deal with it.  And it also helps all of us to develop relationships with species that aren't only our own.  There's so much we learn from all of it in fact, that we're always on the plan for more.  But the best thing is the love.  The huge amount of love given and received by us all.  Not to mention the relationships between all the animals and how they all inter relate and get on!  Sometimes I feel like Fern in Charlotte's Web, sitting outside just to watch and observe the interactions all around me.  Not to mention the wild animals that come into and around the edges of our existence.

So much to learn.  So much to love.  So glad that we finally got to this place where we can explore this most important dimension, of the truly deep and human love and need for animal friendship.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day

When I was 21, I'd just had my first daughter, and woken up to a whole other world where my experience didn't fit with the mainstream, and I searched for where it did fit.  One of the things I did to see what I'd woken up to but didn't understand yet, was to engage in a healing therapy called Prebirthing, with a woman who went on to become my mentor, and teach me many things.  

In our very first session, where she was asking all about me, and where I'd been and what I'd learnt, she sent me off with the homework of a candle meditation.  I was still relatively fresh out of a very complete religion, that considered just about everything to be potential tools of the devil to sway you from your righteous path, so even the thought of staring into a candle as I went to sleep was a bit oo er to me at the time.  I was living with my mother and daughter in the house I'd grown up in, and after tucking my baby in to sleep, went to sleep myself while staring at the flame of the candle.  And I kept seeing this triangle with a cross underneath it, and rubbing my eyes, and then seeing it again, and wondering what the hell that meant, and it was my companion the whole time I was awake.

My mentor had also invited me to a psychic fair the next day, held in the local RSL hall, and seeing all the tie dyed and velvet skirts swishing round the space made me fairly nervous.  And there was this fella who hand carved wood in all different symbols, and lo and behold, there was the triangle and cross that I'd been seeing the night before! So I bought it as a necklace, and wore it always, and only found out later what it meant.  

It's the symbol of the Greek Goddess Athena, also known as Athene and Pallas Athene, and also sometimes the symbol used for Sulfur.

And then a year or so later, I lent the necklace to my sister in law to be and never saw it again.  Further down the track again, I had a lover who called himself a Yowie, who was a Kali devotee (he spent all his money on incense every week for the 'Black Darling' cause she was a 'jealous Goddess') and Archdeacon of the Church Of No World Order, as well as introducing me to Bob Dobbs and his head….who was horrified when I told him the story of the symbol.  He couldn't believe I'd been given a magical alchemical symbol and then given it away.  He was so distressed he went out straight away and carved me another symbol from pine bark, and instructed me to wear it till we went and got it tattooed on me in the proper respect and fashion.  Which we did.  

I drew it myself in my diary on the train down to Sydney, and when it was freshly done, it looked very similar on my skin to the bark that I'd been wearing.  I went on to slowly find out all sorts of things about Athene over the years since then.  She turns up in all sorts of ways through all sorts of myths and permutations, as explained surprisingly well by Wikipedia, but the bits about Her that have always appealed to me were from before She was born out of Zeus's head, and when She was a goddess in Her own right as Athene, and Pallas Athene.  And I only found out She was also the patroness of spinning 6 years after I started spinning myself, which was pretty kooky.  To me She's become the Goddess of Passion and Logic, Administration and Warfare, Spinning and Weaving.  At least that's what I tell folk when they ask me what my tattoo means.  I love the paradoxes, and the shadow, and just about everything I've heard and read about Her.  And always considered that She was my personal Goddess who had picked me way back in that candle meditation.   

And last year, I had a Kahuna Massage and met Her.

I really don't know how to describe it without sounding like a new age tosser, but happen it did, and no matter what opinion you may have about me and how whacky I am…….I don't make shit up.  I do my best to relate the stories of my life as honestly and authentically as possible, and just lately, I've realised that all my favourite stories of mine and other people's……are the stories that we all find it hard to tell each other, for fear of being laughed at, or disbelieved, or having our sanity questioned.  And let's face it, most spiritual and religious experiences seem totally whacky unless you experience them yourself.  

I'm not gonna go into every detail, cause for that you'll have to come over and stay the night so we can tell each other our real stories around the fire, but suffice to say I really met Her.  Lots of people had been asking me about my tattoo, and I was finding myself telling the story often, and feeling like it was a distant magical experience that had become a bit dim over time, and then as soon as Kahuna hit my body She was there.

Have you ever had a Kahuna??  I've only had one, and it rocked my socks completely.  I've done quite a few rebirthing therapies over the years, and they've been powerful and potent experiences, but this was a full body mind-blowing trip.  In a Kahuna massage, a healer dances round your body, stripping your flesh with their oiled hands, and dragging what feels like the earth and mountains of your flesh down and out and through your body.  The first thing I thought was 'Here's Birth!', as my body totally recognised the whiff of birth and surrendered instantly to the well known energy.  The woman doing the massage knew I'd had 8 babies, and figured I could hack the intensity, and went as hard and strong as she could, squeezing my flesh in exquisite agony.  My body moved the same as it does in birth, and I was making the same sounds.  The next thing I thought is that THIS was a REAL rebirthing experience.  The last time I felt that kind of moist pressure on the whole of my body, was when I was getting my body squeezed in the birth canal on my way down to earth.  And there She was.

I started crying and snotting with grief and relief as knowing tumbled and gurgled out of me from the tips of my toes, and realised that She'd always been there for me and always would.  She was there with me as I squeezed into life, holding me and helping me be born.  She was there with me through every one of the births I've experienced with my babies, and I felt Her there with me as I die.  I felt and saw and experienced my death, and it was into Her arms and Lush and Soft and Embracing body.  My biological mother and me as a mother and everything I know about the energy of mother is wrapped in Her arms. She is my real mother. She's always been there, and always will be, Her eternal and all encompassingly unconditionally loving self, is with me at the core of my being.  All of this was happening within me as the Kahuna stripped the muscles of my body, and stripped me to my insides.  

I was a bit surprised that it was Her after all these years, and after the story of Her had almost become a cliche.  But it also made complete sense.  I was thinking it was going to be some kind of lofty quantum realisation, or a pagan birth/death goddess, but of course it was Athene all along.  As it was all happening, and I was feeling the waves of Her wash all over me, I thought to myself that this is the kind of spiritual transformational experience that can set a person off on a pilgrimage or quest, and was wondering to myself whether I should get another tattoo in honour of it, or wear certain colours, or set up an alter, or some other kind of ritual to signify the event, and I got the most profound sense of peace.  That my form of worship was my life, and every single thing I've done has been my quest and pilgrimage, and I'm already doing everything I need, and a big and overwhelming knowing that everything was happening as it should.  

And then She channelled through my body.  The only way I can describe it, is if you could contain the energy of solar systems and galaxies into a beam of energy that was about the circle of my linked arms, and rush that energy through my body in an electrical pulse that had me stretched out like Sigourney Weaver in Ghost Busters, where she's being electrocuted by spirits on a pedestal…….  The healer was a bit disconcerted, as my body took over and this experience overshadowed everything.  I felt the tunnelling of energy powering through my body, and then my arms raised up towards the skies, and I felt the energy rush through me and into the atmosphere.  As it charged through, I eventually felt the end of it, and felt the end move through me and up through my body until at last I was holding Her hands, and crying and grinning with the absolute beauty of Her.  And the Love.  I was trying to explain it to the healer standing by with her hand on my heart.  Trying to explain, while caught up in an ecstatic union, that I was holding the hands of my Goddess, and She was so utterly beautiful.  This whole event was a kinaesthetic feeling experience as well as a visual and external one.  And those last moments of holding Her hands were divine.

And She hasn't left me since.  I've had fights with Currawong, and a rather intense journey through my personal fertility since then, and every time I've been on my own and would normally feel lonely, She's there.  Every time I sink just a little below the surface She's all around me.   When I'm feeling sorry for me, I can nestle in Her warm Belly and Breasts, and She'll hold me.  And She shows up in all sorts of ways around me.

It's changed everything and nothing.  It's been who I always was but more of it.  It's made sense of my personal story.  It's connected me with my personal version of the divine.  That makes sense to me.  And it's real.  To me.  I've believed enough things in my life to know that this is all that really matters.  I take her literally and not at all in the same instant.  She is the ancient Greek Goddess, as well as more ancient versions of the Divine Feminine, as well as a metaphor that can come together under the umbrella of Quantum Physics.  She's my personal metaphor that makes sense to me.

I don't need anyone else to believe me, and I don't want to start a church or cult, in fact I don't need anybody else to believe what I believe at all.  But it works for me.  And I think that's all we're really meant to find.  Our own version that works for us.  Makes sense of our own personal journeys in a unique way that powers our spirit.  That can be the same story that a lot of other people share, or a totally individual and inner honed one.  

So Happy Mothers Day.  To me, and to Her, and to my biological mother, and all the mothers of the world wherever they be, and in whatever state.  To the divine feminine within us all, male and female and whoever lays between, and all the ways She shows up through all of our metaphors.