The Masks of the Goddess (1999-2008)

"Amaterasu Omikami" (Mana Youngbear)
"Bridgit" (Linda Johnson) '''

"Myth comes alive as it enters the cauldron of evolution,
itself drawing energy from the storytellers who shape it."


Elizabeth Fuller,  The Independent Eye Theatre (2002)

Visit this link to read about Sacred Masks

"Sophia" .(Ann Waters)


I've always been fascinated with masks in traditional societies, where they are viewed as “vessels for the archetypal powers ”. With a mask, the Gods and Goddesses can visit for a while, tell their stories, give their blessings, heal or even give prophecy. Masks were sacred, and treated as powerful transformative tools. In Bali, for example, special "Temple Masks" are kept in the Temple, and carefully treated with holy water before and after each performance.

After going to Bali myself to study mask arts, I returned to the U.S. to create 30 masks of Goddesses, representing mythologies from around the world. Inspired by Balinese mask traditions, I wanted to offer my own collection as contemporary "Temple Masks", devoted to celebrating, exploring, telling and invoking the universal stories of the Divine Feminine. 

"Pomona"

 

 

Masks have so much transformative power. One might say that they are like cups, waiting to be filled.  The Masks of the Goddesses were created to  tell, re-claim and re-new these important universal stories, as well as empowering the women who invoked each Goddess in order to to explore each archetypal presence within herself. What does the story of Sedna , ocean mother of the Inuit,  have to teach us about balance and ecology?  What is the "Mirror of Sophia", goddess of wisdom?  How is the "Descent of Inanna" a potent story of seasonal, and psychological, death and rebirth?   I and colleagues used the collection to produce community performances and workshops, making  The Masks of the Goddess available nationally.  They traveled throughout the U.S. until 2008, when they were sold through a Benefit auction.

.............................."The masks of the goddess workshop was a pivotal event in my life. I have been
.......................................feeling the Goddesses waking up ever since.... they were there, definitely there."

.......................................................................Lorraine Hogan, Kripalu Institute (2007)

To view the entire Collection: .....

SAMPLE PARTICIPANT COMMENTS:

 

"Lilith rules the liminal landscape between the subconscious and the conscious mind, and can help make that information conscious and usable in your life.  Lilith is the bridge, and "What you believe" is just a shell that keeps you imprisoned.   Lilith is about breaking the shell, because sometimes you have to fall apart to be put back together, that's the only way to be re-integrated."

David Jeffers

"Corn Mother is about the wealth that comes from the hard work of forgiveness.  How can we create peace, if we cannot learn the lessons of forgiveness?  That is the beginning we will need to evolve into a Rainbow Nation. The Rainbow as actually a circle.  Half disappears into the ground, into an underworld realm, where it exists beneath the Earth, dark and hidden, but at the foundation  Like Corn other."

Christy Salo

"I remember lighting a candle to symbolize my commitment to my journey through the despair I felt at menopause.  That's Hecate to me.  She will not help you to avoid a thing, but She will bear a light for you on the path, which is really the path to mature empowerment."

Damira Norris

  "Persephone 's myth is about moving into a new state of being.  All the soul riches, the knowledge, the art, everything was running down the drain into Hades and it stayed there.  It stopped circulating.  This was the myth of the descent of Inanna as well; everything went down to Ereshkigal, the keeper of the Underworld, and got stuck there in the universal unconscious which could be said of our collective predicament today.  We can see that they are pathfinders to the unconscious.  That's a very important myth for our time."

Elizabeth Fuller

 

"Selu" (Kathy Huataluata, 2004)
To view the Book:

 

The collection appeared at:

The University of Creation Spirituality,   the Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors,  the University of Syracuse Matrilineage Festival, the Health and Harmony Festival, Nations Hall Theatre at the Muse Community Arts Center,  the New College of California,  Sebastopol Community Center, the Masks Symposium at Southern Illinois University,  the Spiral Dance (1999 and 2006) in San Francisco. And other venues.

Cast of "A Thousand Faces" (2003) Directed by Mana Youngbear Tara "

 

With Gratitude to all those who brought the Goddess to so many:

With special thanks to Macha NightMare Mana Youngbear, Ann Bridgit Waters, and Abbie Willowroot , for their collaboration and inspiration. And to: Serene Zloof, Diane Darling, Barbara Jaspersen, Starhawk,  Shelly McHugh "Valley High", David Jeffers & Benad Hasche, Monika Mann, Kelly Nelson, Flynt Garner, Silk, Duncan Cook, Celestine Star, Evelie Posche, Lilla Luoma, Will Clipman, Jeff Grienke, Isobel Amourous, Kathy Huataluhta, Ileya Stewart, Morgana Canady, Valerie James, Quynn Elizabeth, Katherine Josten, Erica Swadley, Grey Eagle, Ann Huggins, Celestine Star, Kala, Eleni, Alan Moore, Drissana Devananda, Elizabeth Fuller, Conrad Bishop, Ann Beam, Paloma Hill, Jim Hewes, Arjuna & Tuva Space, Jo Odessa & Buka Creati, Deborah Scott Gren, Mary Kay Landon,  Sabina Magliocco, Farida Fox, Tara Webster, Willow Kelly, Dawn Marlowe, Juan Pablo Guiterrez, Kala Levin, Amadae, Vibra Willow,  Amy Luna Manderino,  James Lovette-Black, Amie Miller,  July Lewis, Stacy Kalkowski, Lee Hendrickson, Adrienne Hirt, Barbara BBC,  Freya Anderson, Morgaine Harris, Laura Janesdaughter, Tansy Brooks, Willow Kelly, Damira Norris, Maria Wahlstrom, Fontain and FONTAIN'S MUSE, Kendra, Copper Persephone, Eleni Livitsanos, Jamra, Cypress, Cris Ferreira,  Christy Salo, Melusina Gomez, Maritza Schaefer, Journey, Nada Khodlova, Stessa, Angela Blessing, Rachel Morgain, Catlin & Reggie Williams, Ingrid Aspomatis, Annie and Phil, Carlin Diamond, Alan & Audrey Smith, Lea Bender, THE VEIL, Sammi Alijagic, Paul Fisher, Toker Johnston, Linda Johnston, Motherbear Scott,  Ashley Wallace, Melissa Penn, Laura Dubois, Dorit Bat Shalom, Jeanne Koelle, Karina McAbee, Navaab Munirith, Charlie Adams, Sharon Kihara, Nettie, Corinne Levy,

At "The Spiral Dance" (2006) Courtesy the San Francisco Chronicle

Judy Foster, Dina, Amanda Allison, Wendy Cornelius,  Kendra Stone, Bombshell Betty, Heaven, Ariel, Shanel, Carrie Adams, Kim Arnold, Nadirah Adeye, Thallia Bird, April Taylor, Dailey Little, Rhonda, Marisa Scirocco, Jonette Ford, Lyndzee Dava, Ayelen Liberona, Carolyn Lucento, Pythia and the Temple of the Goddess …………and many more.

And thanks to Thomas Lux, Peter Hughes, Ann Beam, and Ileya Stewart for the generous use of their photographs.

 

"What the audience saw when a dancer looked through the eyes of the mask was the Goddess herself, ancient and yet contemporary, looking across time, across the miles."

Diane Darling, Director, Playwright , 2001

Morgana Canady weaving "Spider Woman's Web" (2004)

"Our group's work was not to just tell the ancient myths,
but to re-invent them for today. Artists are the myth makers."

Katherine Josten, Founder of The Global Art Project (2004)

Mana Youngbear as " White Tara "

Valerie James as "Sophia"
Diane Darling as "Bridgit"
Macha NightMare as "The Morrigan"
Christy Salo as "Selu"

 

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