Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gentle Arms of Eden (Dave Carter)

My friend M has a lovely ritual on her blog, whereby she refers to each of the people in her life by a fictitious name (either self-chosen or christened) of gods/goddesses, figures in novels/movies or even Disney characters - it preserves anonymity and it also provides history, mystery and more than a touch of romance/color commentary... :-)

I've been curious as to just which mythical persona I'd choose for myself and this morning went googling for something appropriate, typing in the keywords of "goddess of music" (duh!) - I came up with the following, which seems to fit perfectly, not only for the harmonic part of the equation, but for my love of verse, discovery, creativity, the ocean and kids (I taught/directed preschool for 10 years). Plus I'm drawn to anything Asian, whether furniture/decor/art style or Zen/Buddhist philosophy - to paraphrase MCC, I think I'll keep her!

"BENZAITEN or Benten
Goddess of Music, Poetry, Learning, Art
Goddess of the Sea, Protector of Children

The sea goddess Benzaiten is the sole female among the
Seven Lucky Gods of Japan. Her temples and shrines are almost invariably in the neighborhood of water -- the sea, a river, or a pond. She is the patroness of music, the fine arts (dancing, acting, visual) and good fortune in general and is often shown carrying a biwa (Japanese mandolin) or playing a lute. She is often represented as a beautiful woman with the power to assume the form of a serpent or shown seated on a dragon or serpent and playing a lute. In fact, the snake is almost always associated with Benzaiten, who was originally a Hindu deity (Sarasvati) who represented learning, music and poetry. Such artistic learning and wisdom often bring prosperity, hence her inclusion in the Japanese group of seven luckies. She also has a jewel that grants desires. Some say it is a jade, while others say it is a pearl.

Images of Benzaiten often show her with eight arms, holding objects such as bow, arrow, wheel, sword, key, lock and sacred jewel; sometimes two of the hands are folded in reverent prayer. She arrived in Japan soon after the introduction of Buddhism to this island in the 6th century and her worship was based largely on her attributes as described in the Sutra of Golden Light."

P.S. I've often spoken of my technoweenie self and, through investigation and trial/error, blogging has helped me overcome so many cyber-roadblocks - today I learned how to hyperlink (what a concept, eh?... :-) so I'll be using that form to provide further information from now on and, when I have/make time, will go back to edit past posts (zippity!).

Gentle Arms of Eden by Dave Carter

BOOK: The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark by Sera J. Beak

POEM: Security by William Stafford

Tomorrow will have an island. Before night
I always find it. Then on to the next island.
These places hidden in the day separate
and come forward if you beckon.
But you have to know they are there before they exist.

Some time there will be a tomorrow without any island.
So far, I haven't let that happen, but after
I'm gone others may become faithless and careless.
Before them will tumble the wide unbroken sea,
and without any hope they will stare at the horizon.

So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:
to be a discoverer you hold close whatever
you find, and after a while you decide
what it is. Then, secure in where you have been,
you turn to the open sea and let go.

QUOTE: "I, the fiery light of divine wisdom, I ignite the beauty of the plains, I sparkle the waters, I burn the sun and the moon and the stars, with wisdom I order all rightly. I adorn the earth. I am the breeze that nurtures all things green. I am the rain coming from the dew that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life. I call forth tears, the aroma of holy work. I am the yearning for good." ~ Hildegard of Bingen


  1. Benzaiten suits you perfectly, my friend! When I make my official introduction that's the name I'll be using as well! ;-)

  2. Hey, M ~

    No rush, no pressure - I will be honored to be included when the time is right... :-)

  3. first visit and love your blog, the bit about who you are is wonderful !

  4. Hey, Patty -

    Thanks for your visit... and your kind words - this blog has been quite a journey of discovery (self- and technology-wise... :-)

    I see you are also a Leo/Horse, so we have much in common already - I look forward to perusing *your* blog later today!