This “Mountain Mother” painting is an ode to women’s earth wisdom and is my prayer for reclaiming of that wisdom to heal the earth and all her beings.
When I am inspired to paint I can think of nothing else, the desire to put brush to canvas takes over every ounce of my being, and it is difficult to be present in everyday life. There are other times where I’ve wanted to create but inspiration was lacking: I would start a painting and have no desire to finish it. I would often get quite frustrated at myself. It’s only recently that I’ve had the realisation that down time is just as significant as the up time. Rather than get anxious about not creating a masterpiece, I have learnt to go with the flow, take pleasure in the time of rest, because I know it’s all part of the cycle. My inspiration always returns with abundance. Presently I am bursting at the seams with creativity, and I can’t find enough hours in the day to let all this inspired energy out. I am overcome with a sense of urgency I can’t explain. I am committed to paint and write with the intention that my personal message becomes part of the global message for change as our sacred feminine wisdom is being called forth. I am determined and full of courage to be part of the movement that brings about a shift in all aspects of life.
My present state of inspiration can be attributed to my recent Goddess pilgrimage to Crete with Carol Christ. I am sure that anybody who has attended such pilgrimages will attest that these experiences are life-changing. Travel alone is profound, but to share the experience in a circle of twenty amazing women is even more so. We sang, danced, trekked through the Cretan countryside, delved deep into caves; the womb of our great mother, climbed mountains and cleansed in the sea. We prayed and communed with the goddess daily, participating in rituals that were meaningful, un-contrived and safe. While I have always known that the goddess is everywhere, within and without–encountering her ancient past in a present day context is a feeling I’m not sure I can adequately describe with words, hence my desire to express some of these feelings through my art.
My latest piece “Mountain Mother” was inspired by a chant we sang to the tune of Ancient Mother in a cave high on the Idean Plain.
Mountain Mother we hear you calling us.
Mountain Mother, we hear you cry.
Mountain Mother, we have come back to you.
Mountain Mother, we hear you sigh.
The continual process of layering, thinking, singing, and intuiting led to this creation.
One of the most poignant moments in Crete was learning to read the language of the goddess deciphered by Marija Gimbutas. I have been painting the spiral for many years; however I had an epiphany in Zaros, and I knew then that I had to help keep this language alive.
The spiral, found in many Neolithic sites throughout Britain and Europe is placed on Mountain Mother’s abdomen, representing the cycle of birth, death and re-birth. There is a large serpent in Mountain Mother’s hair, symbolic of the feminine. Since seeing the snake goddesses found at Knossos on Crete the snake appears to me everywhere. I was once very afraid of snakes and living in a country with some of the most venomous snakes in the world validates my fear; however I believe it is also a metaphor for the fear I had of expressing my inner wisdom. Mountain Mother’s pubic triangle is gold, symbolic of its sacredness and it is overlayed with red dots. Marija Gimbutas tells us that dots are most often representative of seeds, here they are the seeds of life. Her hair faintly spirals into the ocean/sky which represents the spiral of life and becomes the tentacles of an octopus, four fish appeared on their own and they serve as a reminder that all life began in the sea. Some of the tree spirits who are returning to Mountain Mother are pregnant like the full moon whose light they are basking in. The owl represents sacred women’s wisdom. If you look at the painting vertically you will see that mountain mother is also the universal symbol of the goddess. This painting as a whole is an ode to women’s earth wisdom and is my prayer for reclaiming of that wisdom to heal the earth and all her beings.
Travelling to Crete was an affirmation that the spiritual path I am taking IS right for me, I will never again be fearful of being persecuted or ridiculed for my beliefs. I feel like I’ve not only found a constant source of inspiration for my art, but for my life as a whole and for that I am forever grateful. Blessed Be.
Jassy Watson, who lives on the sub-tropical coast of Queensland Australia, is a mother of four, a passionate organic gardener, an artist, and a student of ancient history and religion. She runs a small business “Goddesses Garden.”
Below is the painting in 3 parts – “Mountain Mother” Jassy Watson – it is not originally in parts but to show it clearly I here offer panel details.