Thursday, October 1, 2015

More About Goddesses: Pachamama, Incan Goddess (New Essay)

More About Goddesses: Pachamama, Incan Goddess
by Tim Kavi 

Pachamama is the Incan goddess of the Earth and the goddess of fertility, specifically harvesting and planting.  Her name means “mother of space and time” in English.  As a deity independent from others, she is able to, on her own, sustain life on the planet for animals and plants alike.  She also presides over the Andes Mountains and has the power to cause earthquakes.  

Most artist conceptions show Pachamama as a goddess capable of ensuring a prosperous harvest for potatoes and coca leaves.  In Inca mythology, there are four cosmological Quechua principles, namely Earth, Moon, Sun, and Water, and all trace their primordial origin to Pachamama.  

A Goddess of Agriculture

One of Pachamama’s main manifestations is as the Incan goddess of agriculture.  Incans had performed daily rituals in tribute of her, with women in particular going to the fields to pray to her, occasionally sacrificing an offering of cornmeal.  The Incans compared the mountain peaks of the Andes to her breasts, the rivers to her milk, and the fields to her womb.

Beware the Wrath of Pachamama

While considered to be a good and benevolent goddess, it is believed that Pachamama can also get angry in a significant way.  If she feels that people are not honoring her like they should, she reminds them in the form of earthquakes.  She is also said to be close to the Incan gods of thunder and lightning, and can wreak havoc accordingly when she is not worshipped or thanked.  

Pachamama in Modern Times

Even in today’s modern, post-Christianity society, Pachamama is still worshipped in certain parts of the Andes, whose people see her as a “good mother” and offer a toast to her prior to meetings or special events.  Her worship day, Martes de Challa (Challa’s Tuesday), involves people sacrificing food and incense and throwing candies.  There are even some worship celebrations where yatiris, or traditional priests, follow the ancient rites and go as far as sacrificing animals such as llama fetuses and guinea pigs.  This celebration takes place at the same time as Carnevale and Mardi Gras in other parts of the world.

In August, worship to Pachamama reaches fever pitch, as this is the coldest winter month in the southern Andes.  As a result, people are more susceptible to illness and believe that this is a time when evil spirits play tricks on them.  To ward these spirits off, Andean people burn plants and wood, and drink the South American beverage mate for additional good luck.  The first of August is when Andeans cook all night long, and offer a plate of food to Pachamama before anyone is allowed to eat.  Leftover food is also cast to the ground, prefacing a prayer to Pachamama.

One interesting way in which today’s people pay tribute to Pachamama is the Sunday parade.  Since 1949, Andean women, especially seniors, take part in this festival, where the oldest woman in a community is named the Pachamama Queen of the Year.  This is because elderly women are thought to epitomize tradition and wisdom, as well as reproduction and fertility.

About the photo: The image 'Pachamama' is drawn by Adam Ketelsen.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Voices of the Silver Winged Fathers (new poem)

Voices of the Silver Winged Fathers
by Tim Kavi

voices of the
silver winged fathers
your voices
sing like snowbirds
across history and time

instructing me
as a child
guiding me
as an adult
surrounding me
even when wise

there is only
spoken truths that linger
that shine
even in prisons
of my mind

the sadness
the sorrows of your passing
have all faded away

in thinking that longs to be free

guidance to
all that will be
voices of the fathers
still speak to the young
if only they take
the heart to listen

where not one moment
is lost;
we still live
and where life is
there's always remaining
a hope

that we can still
save ourselves
from weapons
from war
from streams of
flowing blood

you see?
your storied regrets
are not unheard
high and low

from mansions
of perceived greatness
to the crumbling
erosion of beating
waves against sandcastles
of faithless Divine
cast into the sea

we gather their
muddy clumpy remnants
to new vistas
new shores
and a faith in time

oh breathing
breathes of silver winged
fathers; yet you breathe!
we need
to listen
to sing your refrains
to not forget
the ways made plain

'lest it all be lost
we ride your heavenly
angelic wings

we won't forget what
you taught us
nor how you shined

for in your voices
never silent
and never silenced
echoes across generations
reaching but never

voices of silver winged fathers.

Poet's Comment: It has been a little over a month since my father passed away, still I hear his voice and feel his angelic wings. ~~TK

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Towards the golden Light, Unknown Goddess (new poem)

Towards the golden Light, Unknown Goddess
by Tim Kavi

When in all your going
you had escaped
freedom's grasp
slavery seemed your undoing

the country was collapsing
farms and crops dust
food was rotting on the docks
your neighbor's fields a battlefield

there was hurrying and scurrying
hiding and fleeing
you taught yourself
in the darkness
no man was there seeing

you had no rights
where governments
led you to paths
of new meanings
always ignored

but you are
the truest goddess
your ego smashed
and destroyed
ruined temples unexplored

it was then
after you woke up
that the weapons all broke
that the all knowing
were silenced

and you walked down
the road
your golden light
revealing yourself as the
Goddess you always knew
you really are.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New Column: More About Goddesses: Athena: Queen of the Air and Breath of Inspiration by Kelli M. Webert, guest blogger

More About Goddesses: Athena: Queen of the Air and Breath of Inspiration
By Kelli M. Webert, MA*

Athena is commonly known as the goddess of wisdom, but in her early inspirations she was associated with wind and storms. Like the wind, Athena was portrayed as being cool and clear, which later led to depictions of her being clear, rational and objective. As a goddess who was focused on the strength of mind rather than the strength of body, she eventually lost her association with weather and became a figure associated with inspiration.

In Greek culture, it was believed that the organs which were located higher on the body were more important. This meant that the brain or the mind was the most vital organ in the body, making a goddess like Athena especially important to their culture. Mythology reveals her to be the favorite daughter of Zeus, one of the most powerful characters in the religion. She would often show favor to those who were shown to be shrewd, industrious or moral. These associations made it natural for her to be used as a symbol of inspiration for thoughtful members of Greek society.

Athena was often known to teach the Greeks about aspects of technology which would help improve their society. One of the most well-known examples of this was the creation of a navy which helped the Greeks win many important battles to help preserve their land. This type of work combined her role as a goddess of inspiration and the wind, since both were needed to create and power the vessels.
Athena is often portrayed as an owl, due to her association with wisdom. Owls are known to be very shrewd and cunning animals, making it the ideal fit for a goddess thought to offer battle tactics, philosophy and other bits of inspiration to those she favored. The owl was also a creature known for soaring quickly to hunt and maneuver, which once again ties in the original idea of associating Athena with wind or storms.

This goddess, among many others, is associated with battle due to her tendency to offer tactics to the sides she favored. Because of this, Athena is often depicted as a strong woman, more often than not a warrior watching over her people. Her goal was often to restore peace to troubled lands so that society could continue to grow and prosper, creating beautiful works of art and inventing new forms of technology. She would also act as a muse for artists and craftsmen. It was not uncommon to associate those who did especially well at their craft with the work of Athena.

Above all, Athena would always strive to bring order where there was none. Like the wind, she would gently cool the chaos around her by ushering in a gentle, cooling breath. Though Ares is in charge of war, she would often step in to calm the wreckage his battles left behind by creating viable strategies for the soldiers to use to end the war. These divine tactics make her an incredible inspirational piece as well as a fierce contender in Greek mythology.

*Guest blogger for this column. Reprinted with permission from the Foreword of: Athena Queen of the Air by John Ruskin  ( I (Tim Kavi) also have a piece on Athena in the same book).~~TK

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Farewell My Father--A Farewell Poem to my Dad

Earlier tonight I found out that my father has just passed away. He was born on March 7, 1927. He was a wonderful man with a very kind heart. He was 88 years old. Cause of death was acute renal failure. My wife, my sister and I were recently at his bedside, my Father looked at all of us there and said: "I LOVE YOU."


Farewall My Father
by Tim Kavi

Farewell my father!
You taught me well with your kind heart
you led me to remember compassion
you brought me your smile
as a baby, I was born too early
but you held me as soon and as long as you could,

then just a short time ago
I held you with my smile
joined hands with my sister and my wife
all holding hands with you
we prayed together
while the light was still in your eyes

and yet, now I see a bright light
and know that You are still with us
guiding us
teaching us as a father always must
his Young

I love you my Father

and will miss you
but today I celebrate You and all You have done

I am proud to be YOUR son
Farewell my father  ~~TK

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring, the Birthing of Hope (new poem)

Spring, the Birthing of Hope

By Tim Kavi

little flowers
time to wake up again
little birds
sing your songs
the snow is melting
the rivers are flowing
great again

oh you who despaired
fly again
you who journeyed
climb again

driving to the centre
of all that is

is the greatness
of all existence
yours and mine

again and again
Spring is a flying
winged creature

of a nurturing universe
bringing life
where once
decay fell

nurturing the earth
out of this soil
troubles of birth
are forgotten

travailing souls
found again
in all mercies

of the coming Spring

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stumbling into the Gathering Mist (Poem)

Stumbling into the Gathering Mist
by Tim Kavi

Gathering your tools
and wits all about you
heart beating circular messages at great speed
time is never silent
and never stops the onward assault

to senses
and bodies
across decades centuries
and spaces
where entropy does creep

some dark cobwebbed corner
where memories
seem forgotten
resurrected in unsure moments
instructing in choices
to be made

guided by the unseen

how can the infinite be contained in the finite
unless Spirit becomes body
embodied physical tents
wrestling destinies 
on faraway planets

that others might not know
there they are too, the flickering images
like holograms in the dancing light
made plain what way we should
go; and the chocies to be made
are well versed stories of meaning

until the songs are played
and the images gathered in the grand narrative
of all that is revealed
to be known and grown
in the code that builds all things

from where does the code come from?
what life is this that knows
such pondering manifestations
of who and what to know?

until the embodied spark
leads to the fire that burns
throughout all time
outside of it
and in it
guiding lights to the branches
of knowing what we dare to call home

or even to make an unshakeable history

there is only the calling
to know more
to ask more questions
some which seem
to never be answered

in this realm of existence
we have to just be 
authentic to the message
and the code
that is always so obscure

in the challenge of the absurd

it is just now
gathering into the mist
of human to human
heart to heart
face to face
hand in hand

there is the grasping
of the stumbling