In the Castillo de Chapultepec, on the top floor, is a gallery of floor to ceiling stained glass, depicting 4 Roman goddesses in verdant formal settings.
Diana is the goddess of the hunt and the moon. She is associated with nature, animals, and woodlands. "The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connection with light, inaccessibility, virginity, and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. Diana therefore reflects the heavenly world in its sovereignty, supremacy, impassibility, and indifference towards such secular matters as the fates of mortals and states."
The Roman goddess Pomona is goddess of fruitful abundance. She cares for fruit trees, gardens and orchards. This prim 19th century representation of her contrasts with a 17th C. Peter Paul Rubens painting of Pomona with her husband Vertumnus, the god of seasons and change, who tricked her into marrying him.
In that painting she sits almost topless, both breasts exposed, surrounded by luscious fruit. No wonder he's interested. The painting hangs in a private collection in Madrid, I can only imagine what the rest of the house must look like.
Flora is the goddess of spring and flowers, fertility and youth. She has origins in the pre-Roman Italic Sabine tribe and likely has roots in an even earlier goddess. The Romans honored her each year in late April with a festival that ironically sounds like it was a bit like BurningMan, only with gorgeous spring weather. Festivities included dress up, plays, games and lots of flirting. Lots.
I should have saved this post for spring but I think we can use a little shot of Flora energy anytime of year.
I'm 53 and only now appreciating the many wonderful feminine archetypes we have to draw on. Western culture has no festivals celebrating feminine energy, they were all co-opted by the rise of patrimony, nationalism and Christianity.
That doesn't mean we can't resurrect and celebrate these lovely female archetypes in our own ways and lives. I'm not one to dance naked around a Maypole - although you certainly could and I say go for it if thats your Bliss!
We can travel and learn, bring nature into our homes and lives. We can share experiences with children outdoors and at the kitchen table cooking food or creating simple crafts.
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