On a recent journey within, guided by drumming and visualisation I encountered my Muse. Her Native American Indian appearance surprised, even bewildered me, as I know so little about North America’s indigenous cultures.
As I painted her into being I listened closely to what she told me, stating clearly “I am Ancient Spirit Wisdom,” the wisdom of our ancestors passed on through story, image, sculpture, word, song, dance, ritual, prayer and ceremony. The closer I listened, the more my Mysterious Muse reminded me that I had a story within, one of my very own, yet one shared by women everywhere. I too am a container of Ancient Spirit Wisdom, more precisely, Ancient Women’s Wisdom.
From the beginning of time, the wisdom of our ancient female ancestors has imbued everyday objects with stories of ordinary yet extraordinary women. Women crafted, weaved, cooked, collected herbs and berries, made pottery vessels, created potions and perfumes, tended the fire, gave birth, living in tune with the cycles of nature – all essential to daily life, all fundamentally sacred tasks – acts of creation and self-expression that shaped both human and divine relations. My Muse reminded me that the tasks and crafts I partake in daily: baking, planting, weeding, tending, nourishing, nurturing, loving, sharing, painting, connecting, creating, writing, and should I dare say, cleaning, are not only mundane tasks, they are sacred acts of creation and self-expression that connects me to the earth, to source, to spirit and to my ancestors. Each one carries Ancient Women’s Wisdom.
I feel it is essential for women to explore, reveal, and reclaim the beauty and inspiration of ancient feminine crafts, for it is the forms of expression that carry symbolic and sacred meaning. It is these everyday tasks that mould the stories of women – of our mothers’, and our grandmothers’. The Hopi people call it, ‘grandmother wisdom’. The Hopi people call it, ‘grandmother wisdom’.
I often imagine going back in time and listening in to the conversations my Nanna, Ailsa, had with her mother, my Great Nanna Ruth, while sitting at the kitchen table shelling freshly picked peas from the backyard veggie patch. Even in silence, the very act of shelling peas, this sharing of sacred kitchen wisdom, enriched their lives, perhaps without their knowing it.
I sense that women today are being invited by their feminine ancestral spirits to reclaim this ancient wisdom. It is essential that we unearth this long forgotten knowledge, essential that we re-tell, re-member, re-claim and re-write the age old stories so that women and their communities become modern wise women who pass on sacred hearth wisdom, creative wisdom, birth wisdom, moon-time wisdom, medicine wisdom, earth wisdom and spirit wisdom to our children, grandchildren and all those who come after us.
I intentionally share little bits of wisdom with my children as often as I can so that they stay innately connected with themselves and all that surrounds them. I tell them about their heritage and stories about my own childhood. Of course sometimes they pay no attention, but their time will come. They will remember particular things I have said and showed them and it will become their experience and their story to tell, their bit of sacred women’s wisdom to impart. I believe this wisdom, these stories, confessions, creations, expressions, prayers, rituals, and ceremonies can, heal our connection to the earth and our connection to the Feminine.
I wrote this poem after my encounter with my Muse while painting her and listening to her ‘Ancient Spirit Wisdom’. Creating a muse dialogue profoundly awakened my intuition and overflowed my wellspring of creativity. My poem and painting follow:
I am Ancient Spirit Wisdom
I am ancient spirit wisdom
Cosmic Creatress –
all knowing, all seeing, all being.
I am Medicine Woman –
healer, visionary, guide
I am past, present, future,
journey with me
into the dark, vast interior…
She is ancient spirit wisdom
swathed in the mantle of life –
earth, air, fire, water.
She is soul rhythm
drum beat, heartbeat
rattle and hum, rattle and hum.
She is shapeshifter,
spirit bird emerging
from thick smoke spirals,
She offers me the lapis mantle,
I am afraid.
Self-doubt lurks in the shadows.
She wraps the mantle
over my bare shoulders –
warm, welcoming, familiar.
Have I been here before?
She embraces me.
Her gentle knowing and
accepting gaze beckons me.
I am transformed.
we unite in Her cosmos,
my wise eternal companion and I.
I Am ancient spirit wisdom,
of all that was, all that is,
all that will be.
By power of word, symbol, image,
my story will be told.
Jassy Watson © 2013
Jassy Watson is a mother of four from the Sub-Tropical East Coast of Queensland, Australia. She is a passionate Organic Gardener, Visionary Artist and is currently completing a Bachelor program with majors in Ancient History and Religion through Macquarie University Sydney. She is also completing Teacher Training in Colour of Woman through the Cosmic Cowgirls University founded by Shiloh Sophia McCloud. Jassy is the creatress of ‘Goddesses Garden & Studio’ a space that promotes ‘Earth Connection, reative Expression’. Workshops and events are held seasonally. From early 2014 Jassy will be teaching her own regular creative workshops, beginning with ‘Meeting Your Muse’, taken from her series of painting Vision Quests, ‘Journey Within’.