Athena Erupts

May, 1996
Oils on Masonite
18”x 24”

Joyous cleansing – taking the action to heal.

In the spring of 1996, I had the first really fierce eruptions from food allergies – hives and boils that came and went, swollen eyes (see Slap Upside the Head), a protesting stomach, and a tongue that swelled and bumped when I ate things it didn’t like. It was a healing crisis that demanded attention. I began regular massages with Dana Zia (thank you, thank you!) and rounds of attention to various MD’s and natural practitioners to learn to deal with food issues that continue frustratingly to this day. It is life-style threatening, rather than life threatening (at least in the short term). Yet despite all the discomfort and angst of the process, it often feels glorious to be taking action to heal ancient wounds. Empowering. It was especially joyous then when I thought it would be soon over and I a new woman!

Athena Erupts Altar

Athena Erupts Altar

I often feel like Athena – the Greek Goddess of Wisdom who I first met and loved when I acted her in a fifth grade play. She was originally a black Mother goddess from Africa who was borrowed by the Greek patriarchy. She became like a man in order to survive and is often depicted in full armor with her patron wise owl on her shoulder. Think of the women today who wear “power” suits with padded shoulders and are very good at the men’s “power over” game.

Today it seems like Athena is undergoing a purifying process – taking her true female power back, woman by woman. I am honored to be a part of that process, however long it takes. Welcoming both the good and the difficult days. The new moon and the full.

Written for Out of the Ashes Show, North County Rec District, January 2004