Sunday, March 07, 2004

When I was about 5 years old I had this book on ancient man. You know, neanderthal and such. It had this picture, might have been a drawing, but it described this sculpture found in a cave. It was this mound of clay carved into a bison mounting another bison. It described the knee marks in the floor near the sculpture and the fingerprints. I used to stare at that picture and then dig out my clay and make things. I got excited that something I made might be around in 12,000 years. Turns out plasticene doesn't last long. I used to bury boxes of things in the back yard near a telephone pole and then dig it up and see what I found...I'd wait a year.

There is a lot of clay in the ground around Phoenix, I guess because it used to be under a shallow ocean. I'd find shells in the desert and shards in the sand from the Anastazi. Leaving stuff behind became a fascinating concept for me. I would dig up clay and make statues. Most of the statues would be little female forms. I would just let the clay make it's own form and often it would be little women. Then I would try to fire up the pieces in a small bonfire. They'd usually blow up, and I thought that was exciting. I never thought why I always made these little women statues, but now I read about all these little goddess statues found in the Aegean peninsula, thousands of them and wonder. Was I being directed by a divine force to make images of the Goddess? I mean, why not?

There is a project going on in the pagan community. They want people to make as many images of the Goddess as possible. The idea is the more we get, the stronger she gets. I don't think that myself, I don't think you can get any stronger than a goddess, but the idea is good. So it makes sense that someone marked as a shaman would be compelled to make magical items like images of the Goddess.

When you are doing something like sacred art you have to open yourself up to compulsion. I close my eyes and handle the clay and then open my eyes to see what I've made. Then I detail the object. Sometimes I can do a lot with closed eyes and it makes me glad that blind people will see things in my pieces that sighted people won't. Now I have a kiln, or several kilns actually, and my work can be fired up to over 2000 degrees. That insures that parts, at least, will survive 12,000 years or so. Someday a young kid can be handling my goddesses with closed eyes and seeing what I saw with my hands. They may become inspired to make some goddesses of their own.

Someone once criticized my wooden pieces because I always left a small area unsanded. They claimed it was because I was incompetent. I told them it was for the blind people to feel the texture of the wood, but they didn't believe me. Everybody who does woodwork sands it smooth, nobody would deliberately leave a patch rough. That seems so odd to me. How else do you show the process?

People are like that. The goddess has left rough patches on all of us. We fart, belch, scratch, we have scars and freckles. None of us were made smooth, not even babies. How else do you see the process? As we walk in the mud flats watching the volcano erupt, we leave behind footsteps in the clay. The ash lands in the imprints of our feet and the sun bakes the clay. Thousands, millions of years later a young boy places his foot carefully in the imprint and feels a warm rush as he explores the process. Left foot, right foot...

Kingship, sainthood, all leave thin remnants. Feet remain. Feet from a saint preserved in a wooden box, rough on the inside, shiny from thousands of hands touching the box with the foot of the saint. Yet years ago someone put that foot into that box and somewhere in the hereafter a saint is hopping about on one foot. Such irony.

There is a book called "Genesis" edited by Bill Moyers. He has this group of experts examine the symbols and history in that part of the Bible. They don't compare it to Sumerian scripts, nor pagan myth, nor do they even think to examine the minds of those mentioned in it, not really. they don't drift away from conventional thought. They mention that the snake told Eve the truth, but fail to mention that Eve was not her name, nor was it a snake in truth. It was a servant of the Goddess reassuring those people that knowledge of Good and Evil was a good thing, to live in ignorance was foolish. The experts mentioned that the snake was a fertility symbol and represented Eve's knowledge of sexuality after eating the fruit. Such nonsense. The snake is never a fertility symbol, and only since Freud was it a phallic symbol. It is ever a symbol of rebirth, of life everlasting. It represents the seeker of knowledge flashing up the Tree to attain enlightenment, of kundalini power emerging. And Eve shared that knowledge, because to deny knowledge is foolish. There is no esoteric knowledge in the Goddess faith, despite the men in the history game trying to describe the Mystery Religions.

So the first statue I saw was a bison humping it's mate. That was a symbol of fertility. People wonder why someone made it, but the Goddess likes to share knowledge. How to make a bull out of clay, not why make a bull. The easiest thing to make from clay is a serpent, it's what every kid does with a piece of clay, roll it into a snake. But there are no clay snakes until you start finding temples dedicated to the goddess, and then you find not only snake statues, but holes in the walls for real snakes to travel from room to room, like a hamster habitat.

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