How do you speak about someone who not only rocked your own world, but those of countless others? Whose fertile imagination and generous nature inspired and transformed so many lives? My friend, teacher, and mentor Rachel Pollack died in April. It’s hard to wrap my head around what a huge loss this is, not only for me, but for the world. She had an encyclopedic knowledge at her fingertips of mythology, tarot, historical trends, cultural trends, ancient civilizations. She was a storyteller at heart, using personal stories, universal stories to teach. She encouraged and guided each of us to discover and tell our own stories. Her stories won both the Arthur C. Clarke and the World Fantasy Awards. I call her the Grandmother of the Tarot because her work in that area has been so ground-breaking, far-reaching and depthful.
I write JIA, instead of RIP, special for Rachel. JIA means Journey In Adventure. Rachel was adventurous to her core. Rather than resting in peace I see her continuing her immensely adventurous journey just now on the other side of the veil. I see it as a continuing wondrous, magical ride that she has earned.
Continue reading “In Memoriam, Rachel Pollack JIA (8/17/45 – 4/7/23) by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”
In 2020, I began writing my biography because some weird things were happening in my life including some which were time-bending. To help make sense of it, I wrote up “conversations” with the mythical characters of Persephone, Inanna and the Norns of the Norse. Throughout my bio, I speak to the Norns as an out loud meditation on the nature of time, fate and energy.
The three Norn sisters are Urd, Verdandi and Skuld. Their names come from Old Norse which is not a spoken language. The actual translation of their names is open to speculation. In general, here are their common meanings.
- Urd – past
- Verdandi – happening or present
- Skuld – future or debt.
By mythological tradition, they show up at a child’s birth and then weave their “fateful” decisions about that child’s life into a tapestry. They are considered more powerful and fearsome than the gods because even the gods are ruled by the hands of fate (or Norns in this case). They were also treated as oracles where kings and warriors went to consult them much as was done in Delphi Greece.
Continue reading “The Norns, Spiritual Mystery and Me, Part 1 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”
There have been a few intriguing posts recently on creating new narratives (by Carolyn Lee Boyd, whose ‘dollops of mud’ inspired the title of this post), and reinterpreting existing ones that are deeply embedded in the fabric of our cultures (such as Moses and Rambo by Janet Rudolph). I distinguish re-creating personal and collective narratives as two aspects of this fascinating task.
The first aspect addresses our capacity to rewrite our personal narrative. What story do we tell about our lives? One of my teachers, Ya’Acov Darling Khan, says ‘we humans are story tellers by nature, so we better tell a good one!’ This doesn’t mean ‘making up’ a story, embellishing the facts, or putting sugar over shit, but exploring our own hero/ine’s journey, overcoming obstacles with courage, seeking help from allies, daring to go into the darkness and emerging with new insights, and most of all, what I call the skill to ‘harvest the wisdom gifts’ of life’s experiences. I look forward to writing more about this another time.
Continue reading “9 Ingredients for Building New Narratives by Eline Kieft”