Monday, July 16, 2018

Josephine Wall - Mother of Fantasy Art

shared from original post in La Vie Sirene

I thought to start off this month’s issue with information on Gaia, the Greek goddess considered to be the personification of earth itself.  In searching for Gaia art I was thrilled to find a few breathtaking Gaia images by one of my favorite artists, Josephine Wall.  Her paintings are a perfect example of how pictures can convey more meaning than words could ever hope to.  Or so I thought.  Reading her descriptions of Gaia filled me with as much wonder as her evocative imagery, and I realized no research or historical explanation or new age narrative could better express the concept of Gaia than Josephine’s own brief captions. 

I craved more Jospehineness and was delighted to find an online video interview with her. Upon watching it I was so overcome by her humility and nurturing kindness that I dashed off an email to Josephine asking her if I could send her a few brief interview questions about Gaia.  Her email response was more intimate and meaningful than any interview could be.  I am so humbly grateful to share her words and art with you here today.

~J.S. Devvre
Josephine’s image of choice for both her website banner & Facebook page cover image

Hello Joy,

        So lovely to hear from you, and I am honoured that you want to interview me..!!  I am always amazed that people want to do this, as all I am doing is 'playing' every day, and fulfilling my heartfelt desire to be creative..!!  I am very happy that you like my work, and thank you for your very kind comments.  I will do my best to answer your questions.

Breath of Gaia
“Gaia, the Greek Goddess, is Mother Earth, the bringer of life and beauty.  Where Gaia breathes, she brings new life to a sleeping earth.  Renewal springs forth along Gaia's every path.”
    I am not sure which interview you watched, but I am always an optimistic, and happy person which you seemed to have picked up.  I am never happier than when I am standing in front of my easel with a painting underway, a brush in my hand, and a selection of my favourite colours to choose from.  I do however enjoy time with my family - following my second marriage I now have 5 children and 11 grandchildren which give me great joy.  I also have a source of models beyond my wildest dreams - little ones to put wings on, and to be riding mythical animals such as unicorns..!!  I also love countryside walks ( I find nature a source of inspiration ), dancing and gardening are my other hobbies amongst others.

        I am a great believer in the power of nature, and Gaia as the Earth Mother is symbolic of most of what I hold dear - that there is a power beyond mortal control, and I hope that she will make sure we will take care of our precious planet - the Earth will endure despite man..!!  She hopes that we will learn from our mistakes and repair the damage we have already done.

Sadness of Gaia
“The Earth Goddess looks on sadly, aware that our human weaknesses will mean many years of education to prevent the ruin of our precious world.”
        I am very fortunate to have my own gallery ( a dream come true..!! ) and very often I have young , and not so young artists visit me, sometimes for tips and hints on the techniques I use, but most often for advice on how to take their careers forward.  I always say to them that all you can do is be true to yourself, enjoy every moment of creativity and share your gift with the world - the world needs more artists..!!  I always say that I paint the world as I would like it to be rather than how it is.  As an artist you are able to create images that portray a world of opportunity, optimism and hope for the future.  Our aim should be that when people view our images they are uplifted and transported to a place that gives them peace, and understanding of what is really important in our lives - 'imagination'..!!  It is what has made man so successful as a species.

Light & Peace,


The Presence of Gaia
“As a new dawn approaches Gaia emerges from our sleeping planet. The radiance of her aura lights up the heavens and her 'presence' gives confidence to the birds and animals to venture forth, secure in the knowledge that she will protect them. A river of life flows out to all corners of the earth, renewing and restoring. What greater 'present' could she give us!”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

When Hades smiled

an untitled retelling of the myth by Lyle Dagnen, originally written for the former Siren Lagoon 
and published in La Vie Sirene

Artist unknown
Persephone, goddess of spring, wife of Hades, sat playing with two smooth jewels that her husband had recently given to her. She so loved the fields of yellow jonquils in the spring; the stones were amber. Clear and golden. The cold months on earth had frozen the surface of the planet and it was time for her to return to visit her mother Demeter so that she would bless the earth and make it fruitful once again. When she was first brought to the underworld by her love struck husband she had cried of loneliness and she did not like the dark world. She had thought that her heart might break.

Slowly, day by day, she began to recognize that Hades was remorseful for kidnapping her but that he could no more let her out of his sight than he could shut down the dreary place he lived. The first thing he had ever given her was a pink stone that was the color of the flowers she had worn in her hair when she was captured. It was warm because he had held it closed in his hand. When she touched his hand to pick up the stone, she noticed that the mighty god held his breath, closing his eyes, enjoying the sensation of her touch.

He worked daily to provide tasty morsels for her to eat. She had not eaten a thing since she came to the underworld. Finally, she ate five ruby red seeds of a pomegranate. He smiled. It was such a lovely smile, she began to see the depth of the man that she at first thought she hated.

On earth Demeter was so grief stricken that she did not care for the earth and it had become barren. Zeus, king of all the gods, asked what could be done. Demeter wanted her daughter Persephone back. Zeus went to speak to his brother, but he soon recognized that Hades loved Persephone so much that he would never give her up. Finally it was decided that if she had not eaten anything she could come back to earth. The five seeds seemed to doom her to an everlasting life in the dark world and the earth itself would perish. It was decided that she could spend one month for every seed she had eaten with her mother; the rest of the time was to be spent with Hades. Neither Hades or Demeter particularly liked the bargain; however, they agreed.

As Persephone sat playing with the amber stones she realized that Hades, too, had been thinking about her time on earth. He had walked away rather than sit with her. She had come to know and love this dark, brooding man that was her husband. She loved her time on the surface, but she never regretted when it was time to return to him. She was frustrated because she could not make Hades or Demeter happy.

“Husband” she called as she walked up behind him. “Thank you for the lovely gift.” She placed her hand on his strong back waiting for him to face her.

“Carry them with you,” his deep voice rumbled “Think of me when you are away.” He looked over his shoulder at her.

She smiled up at him. “I always think of you. I miss you while I am away.”

He turned, wrapping her in his mighty arms, holding her as close as he dared. “It tears my heart so when you leave me.”

“I will always come back to you,” she whispered as she kissed him. The dark god gentled at her caress and her touch. 

“Come,” he whispered as his hands held her gently “I'll take you back.” 

Persephone knew deep in her heart that this was a gift he was giving her. He would carry her up the long passage way in his black chariot pulled by four mighty black horses that thundered when they ran.

Persephone held tightly to her husband as they began their journey. As soon as she appeared on the surface, the snow and ice began to melt, spring was on the earth, the growing season at hand.

Demeter was frowning when she saw her son-in-law. For the first time in forever, he did not speak harshly to her. Stepping from the chariot he reached up to lift Persephone to the ground. Before he sent her to her mother, he once again kissed her deeply, pouring all the love he felt for her in his kiss. “I love you, wife” he whispered, which was a gentle roll of thunder.

Persephone, caressed his face. “I love you, husband. I will return to you, my heart already longs for you.” 

Hades smiled.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Raise a Pom for Persephone's Potion

reposted from the original in La Vie Sirene

Persephone's Pomegranate Martini
submitted by her hubby, Hades (Ruler of the Underworld) via Sanndi Thompson of the mortal realm

My soulmate, Persephone makes a mean martini! I am sharing the recipe with you because my beloved is in the Upper world right now, visiting her mother, Demeter since it's Spring. 

Anyway here is the recipe:
  • 1 oz.Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau orange liqueur
  • 3 oz.pomegranate juice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker that's 1/4th filled with crushed ice
  2. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass
  3. Garnish with 3 pomegranates seeds

Green Goddess Cafe, serving diving breakfasts & lunches
Goddess Cafe - A weekly hour long Cafe where women and men get together to discuss all things Goddess. Two women walking other's through what they've been through

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Artful Artemis

shared from original la Vie Sirene post

Artist unknown
Artemis was the greek goddess of the hunt, the moon, virginity, childbirth, animals, the wild, and archery. She was the daughter of Zeus, the god of the skies, and Leto, a titaness daughter of Koios and Phoebe. She was almost the exact opposite of her twin brother, Apollo, who was the god of the Sun, truth, healing, music, and poetry. He was very wild and had lots of affairs with other mortals, nymphs, and gods while Artemis was more serious and was a virgin goddess. 

In ancient art Artemis was usually depicted as a girl dressed in a short knee-length chiton and equipped with a hunting bow and quiver of arrows.

Some of the best known myths featuring the goddess include:
  • Her birth, immediately following which she assisted her mother in the birth of her twin brother Apollon;
  • The Trojan War where she was beaten by Hera in an angry contest of the gods;
  • The hunter Aktaion who encountered the goddess whilst she was bathing and was turned into a stag;
  • The Aloadai giants who attempted to storm Olympos but were tricked by Artemis into killing each other;
  • The sacrifice of Iphigeneia whom King Agamemnon offered to her for the passage of the Greek fleet to Troy;
  • The giant Orion, a close companion of the goddess, who was slain by the goddess or her jealous brother;
  • The Kalydonian boar sent by Artemis to ravage Kaldyon;
  • The nymph Kallisto, a companion of Artemis, who was seduced by Zeus in the guise of the goddess.

[sources: &]

Monday, July 9, 2018

Embracing the New Moon with Lore Raymond

by Lore Raymond
[shared from original la Vie Sirene post]

The New Moon calls on you to energize your dreams into big, BIG and BIGGER! Consider the following ritual to be like taking a MANIFESTATION aerobics class~ but without the huffin’ and puffin’. You are sacredly invited to stretch spiritually and laviesirenely (a new word?!) to don the spiritual mantle of your “inner goddess”. Yes, you heard me. Blasphemous? No way! Because YOU ARE DIVINE. And your inner-goddess job description is to share, serve, and most importantly, to love, bless, and know abundance!

  1. What does the word “inner-goddess” conjure up? After you’ve thought about this, and before July 8, find a Greek restaurant and feast there with a goddess friend and chat about your answer! (And there’s no calorie counting this night because Athena, Nike, and Aphrodite never did.)
  2. Explore your closet and drawers for items that make you feel powerful, possible, and peaceful. Look for clothing, shoes, and jewelry that are white and silver. Now’s the time to get blinged out and diafanous! And since Archangel Haniel reflects the sensitive, watery moon energy, use a moonstone to also connect.
  3. Gather up supplies for your New Moon Energy Ritual: a tray-size mirror (see notes below); sparkling water and 2 bottled waters; Epsom salts; natural sponge; white and silver candle(s); matches or a lighting wand; hand held mirror


Create your Inner-Goddess Altar using a mirror; it needs to be flawless, have a sturdy frame the size of a serving tray. (Check out thrift stores for inexpensive finds to be used for future moon rituals.) Using a mirror-tray makes it portable for the outside ceremony, and then inside as a home altar.

A 44-minute Ritual: Clear. Connect. Protect. Celebrate. Close.


The Inner: Breathe. Drink Water. Clear you inner heart space with forgiveness work. Ask yourself: Is there anything or anyone I choose to now forgive for my highest goddess? Forgiveness heals and clears out your lower energies, and makes room for new energies to be seeded, the purpose of a New Moon ritual. The Ho ’opono Ono Prayer is a powerful spiritual took to support you. Click here for the Ho’ opono ono Prayer video.

The Outer: 

Step 1: Breathe. Drink Water. Take a purifying moon bath using Epsom /sea salts and a natural sea sponge. Not a bath person? Take a shower or even an outdoor shower. Go swimming. Anoint yourself during and after word with an essence that can be also be used in the cleansing of your sacred space. It’s been said that the scents of lavender, lemon balm and calamus are all associated with the new moon. Choose only one or two scents.

Step 2:  Go outdoors if at all possible for your ritual. “Plan B” would be to find a place indoors without distractions. Then, clear whatever space you’re in using a sage stick or by lighting incense.

Connect: Breathe. Drink water. Ask yourself: What do I seek to manifest in my life right now for my highest goddess? The answers become your intentions for the ritual. With the New Moon looking like a dark, circular chalkboard, she invites you to perhaps: write a new story; to make a new beginning; to ask for a new love; a healing and; a renewed commitment to a previous resolution. It is important to write down your intentions, even a few words because these words support thoughts, which then become things. 

Protect: Breathe. Drink water. Light your white and silver candle. Visualize a ring of powerful women, “goddesses” who have loved you, all surrounding and protecting you. When you have seen them in your mind’s eye and greeted each one with the word “Namaste”, ask each one for a gift to add to the circle of protection. See these “gifts” being symbolically placed on your Inner-goddess Altar. Feel the gathering power of these loving gifts, and the New Moon…her darkness and ancient mystery.
Continue absorbing this energy as you read and say out loud, each one of the goddess affirmations as you look into your hand held mirror:
I AM peace, I AM. I AM possible, I AM. I AM powerful, I AM. I AM potential, I AM.

Celebrate: BreatheDrink some sparkling water. There’s nothing to do. Breathe.

Close: Breathe. Sit in silence. Feel. Allow your mind to wander. Float. Finally, visualize your original protection circle of goddesses transforming as angels, who then float across the night sky, gently disappearing. You will intuitively know when you are complete. Extinguish your candles, saying a prayer in gratitude with each breath. 

How has your Inner-goddess been energized?
Lore is the Founder & Chief Inspirator of Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond Magazine. Connect with her and share your experience via her magazine and group pages on Facebook:

Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond Facebook page - like a “spiritual CNN” to empower women through the wisdom of nine gifted contributors; each shares inspiration, information, and resources.

Women as Visionaries Facebook group - a vibrant open space for Divine Dialogue where a daily VisionQuestion is asked.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Athena - from books & for cooks

[reblogged from la Vie Sirene]

In Greek religion and mythologyAthena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.
law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.

Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.

Athena's veneration as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from the earliest times, and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. The city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name.

The more famous myths featuring the goddess Athena include:
  • Her birth from the head of Zeus, fully-grown and arrayed in arms;
  • Her contest with Poseidon for dominion of Athens in which she produced the first olive tree and he the first horse;
  • The War of the Giants in which she buried Enkelados beneath Mount Etna and made her aigis from the skin of Pallas;
  • The attempted rape of the goddess by Hephaistos, who spilled his seed upon the earth and produced Erikhthonios, who she then adopted as her own;
  • The assisting of Perseus in his quest to slay the Gorgon and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece;
  • The assisting of Herakles with his twelve labours;
  • The weaving contest with Arakhne who was transformed by the goddess into a spider;
  • The blinding of Teiresias for viewing her naked in the bath;
  • The Judgement of Paris in which she competed with Hera and Aphrodite for the prize of the golden apple;
  • The Trojan War where she sided with the Greeks in battle, but attacked their ships with a storm when they failed to punish Oilean Ajax for violating her Trojan shrine.
[sources: Wikipedia &]


Though courageous Athena was a far warrior’s cry from being what one might call a ‘chicken,’ she sure knew how to cook one.  Here’s the Greek recipe created in her name.  

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted Greek olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. 
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until a thermometer reads 170°. 

Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Facts: 1 chicken breast half equals 237 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat),         94 mg cholesterol, 467 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 36 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges:  4 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Wrestling with Excellence

A timely repost from la Vie Sirene

Going back nearly 2800 years the best athletes in the known world have gathered to compete and prove their skill as Olympians.  The ancient games featured athletic events as well chariot racing and tactical sports such as wrestling and the Greek martial art pankration.  Yet, despite the substantial number of female athletes participating in sports once labeled 
for men only, the respected millennia-old sport of wrestling has seen relatively few women competitors.  U.S. Olympian Kelsey Campbell intends to change that, while earning Olympic gold in the process.  La Vie Sirene is proud to feature the story of this extraordinary athlete and humanitarian.
You have been a major trail blazer in your sport, including being the only female wrestler at your university. How have your challenges improved your performance and vice versa?

I think that the different adversities I faced shaped my appreciation for the sport. Every practice had to mean something because it took everything I had to get to it. The long bus rides, borrowing wrestling shoes, the fundraisers to raise money... And then, you get there and you realize-I represent women's wrestling. I'm this team's only look at what my half of the sport is all about. If I complain, if I slack off, if I quit, that means all women's wrestling do. It was important to me to represent the sport the best I could. I wasn't trying to break barriers-at the time-I was just trying to string two good days together. But then I look back and realize what that did for the sport, but also what it did for me. I don't think I'd honestly be an Olympian today if my journey had taken any other course.

Being an Olympian is something akin to being an astronaut. So few of the world's population will ever have that experience. What was it like? And what did it teach you about yourself?

It changed everything and it changed nothing. Once again, there is a responsibility that comes with the title "Olympian." On the other hand, I'm still me and I still have a lot to attain in this sport. A lot of unfinished business. The difference is, I'm the only one at my weight right now that has gone there and done that. That's it. Everything else is up for grabs. I fought with all my heart to do what I did before, and now I'm digging deeper to do it in 2016, but with a medal to follow. I learned mostly that it doesn't take a super human to be the champion. It takes a human making a decision everyday to put themselves in the best position. It takes humility to learn from those around me that have accomplished what I have not. It taught me that any day can be my day (to God be the glory), but that it may or may not be. I love wrestling. I loved it when I wasn't winning. I loved it when I was winning.

Clearly, you are a woman of faith. How does your spirituality drive your decision-making and your attitude towards competition?

It drives me because my motivation is about pleasing God. Honestly. I feel awesome when I see success and accomplish goals. But there's no fooling myself: I truly believe if God does or doesn't have it in the cards for me to go to Rio, then I won't be there. It's not an excuse or a cop-out. It's the reality of what I believe. But I love God so much that I'll live every day, doing my very best to allow that relationship to drive me. To work the hardest. To do my best. To admit my mistakes. To continue to be a student. To not neglect what the Bible calls me to do in being evangelistic and committed to Godly people. I think that sums it up.

I love that you refer to yourself as a 'music maker.'   What can you tell us about the role of music in your life?

The first thing I ever wanted to do as a young girl was be a famous recording artist. I wanted to write and perform my own music, and choreograph routines for it. I started at a young age and have even recorded some songs. What I have on YouTube is from high school, but that has always been my dream and what I believe to be my true natural "talent."

You've had so many huge moments in life already. Which have meant the most to you and how have they affected you?

Making the Olympic Team, of course. I loved giving that victory to God and to those around me that helped pave the way and create the path. There were many involved in that dream realized. Becoming a Christian was the single most important thing. It changed my life. It changed my heart. I forgave and repented and committed my life to something that would dictate every single decision I would make. Having my Dad at the Olympics to watch me on the biggest physical stage in Sport. There are so many. Meeting Kobe Bryant ;)

One of your various philanthropic pursuits is work with the Big Brother / Big Sister organization. What do you hope to impart to future generations and what draws you to working with kids?
Keep tabs on Kelsey’s quest for Olympic gold 
via her Facebook fan page or website

I literally want to mentor my Little Sister into a woman that is bent on changing the world. I love the hands-on approach of investing real and constant time into an individual. These youths come from situations where every single adult they know has been to jail or is in jail. It doesn't have to be that way for them. I'm incredibly passionate about mentoring youth and would also someday love to start a Foster Care/Orphanage for displaced youth.

What are you looking forward to next?

I am training to be America's first Olympic Gold Medalist. Whatever else happens along the way, I try to be opportunistic. I'm currently completing an internship with eBay, and coaching on various levels from developmental to elite level wrestlers. I'm also looking to once again pursue my performing side. I would love to get into acting and music again. It really is where my heart is at.