Last night in the New Moon Shakti Circle at Bija Yoga, we discussed “Goddess Archetypes.” Our facilitator Lisa Kazmer had printed out several pages of pictures we’d uploaded to the Facebook invite for the night, grouped by theme or archetype. We had a page for mother goddesses (Gaia, Oshun, Mother Mary), a page for warrior/chaos/transformation goddesses (Kali, Oya), a page for lunar goddesses, a page for the triple goddess/crone, and so on. We looked at the photos and explored our reactions to each, wrote down keywords or phrases that came up as we discussed each archetype, and talked about how we related to each (or didn’t), and what energy we felt we needed more (or less) of in our lives.
The title of this blog came about in our discussion of the warrior/chaos/destruction/transformation goddesses, namely Kali and Oya. One of the participants (and a friend of mine, and fellow yoga teacher) relayed a funny story about how the intense energy of warrior goddesses can sometimes have unintended consequences.
I’ll her refer to her by her first initial. A., with her trademark awesome sense of humor, told us how her intense energy can sometimes be overwhelming. She “grabs the cat.”
“Whenever I go to my brother’s house, I look for the cat. I just love that cat. But it always tries to get away from me. Maybe it’s because I grab it…and then pet it real hard.” We were all cracking up at the image of this poor cat, being overwhelmed at being grabbed at with A.’s strong desire to show love.
This is a real thing, tho! How many times, in your enthusiasm, have you ever knocked something over, tripped over something, or even hurt someone because you just HAD TO show them how you felt? That’s the energy of Kali or Oya, coming in like a hurricane force and literally tearing sh*t up.
How often have you tried to “grab the cat” in your yoga practice? We weren’t really talking about yoga, per se, but we were mostly yoga teachers in circle last night, so my mind went to how many times I have “grabbed the cat” in my practice and ended up hurting myself. Injury is one of my teachers in the infinite lesson of getting softer, but it’s a lesson I keep repeating as my practice and my awareness gets more subtle.
As above, so below. So when we see our habits and tendencies in our yoga practice, it’s very likely these tendencies come about in our off-the-mat lives too. This is one of the ways to use Goddess archetype work in your yoga practice (and in your off-the-mat life). Where could you use a little more Moon Goddess energy and just receive and reflect? How about the wisdom of the crone or the nurturing energy of the Earth Goddesses?
As women, we have all these energies within us. Some of us are naturally more Kali and others naturally more Gaia. Working with the archetypes helps us identify these primal energy patterns within ourselves and others, and in our life’s unfolding story.