Goddess Wisdom for Today’s Woman: Embracing Her Powers in Contemporary Life.

Interview with Dr. Judith Greer Essex -Wes Chester, MA, CAGS, Director, Expressive Arts Institute

Why the goddess workshop? Why now? 

Since the last election, I have witnessed a rise in overt sexism and misogyny in our society. It was hard time to hold my head up for a while. Women in my practice and community sought me out with symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, and a sense of powerlessness. As I regained my footing, I decided to take action by enlisting the inspiring myths of ancient goddesses. Their metaphoric and imaginal reality supports me. These images ignite my imagination and give me hope, courage, laughter, and focused my passion.  They suggest new attitudes, new thoughts and suggest ways to act in the world. I wanted to revive my workshops of so many years ago so I could share this recourse with other women. 
The myth of the Goddess Aphrodite suggests themes of love, natural beauty, creativity, independence and erotic power. Photo by Wes.

The myth of the Goddess Aphrodite suggests themes of love, natural beauty, creativity, independence and erotic power. Photo by Wes.

The myth of the Goddess Aphrodite suggests themes of love, natural beauty, creativity, independence and erotic power. Photo by Wes.

How might this be helpful for a modern woman? Who might benefit?
Activating the imagination, moving in a new way, seeing yourself in relation to something larger than yourself, can stimulate change and growth. A new image can bring new hope, and set your thinking and behavior on a new path. Any woman interested in images or imagination can benefit. Today women are burdened with responsibilities and pressures in every area of life: family life, professional life, social life, health, finances, sexual health, you name it. Meanwhile there is more need for self-awareness, self-advocacy and connection among and between women than at any time in the past 30 years. The workshop is available to women of every age and level of experience, as a means of self-care, nourishment, communal play, sharing and fun. It is a beautiful experience, based on the power of stories, enactment, and art.  Self-care can be more than a mani-pedi date with friends, or a glass of wine. Yes, I enjoy those things, but I also need to cultivate and enrich my inner life. The resources I build there are the ones to carry me through the too busy days, and the emotional challenges of being a woman at this time. 
 
Can you describe a typical Goddess workshop?
The workshops are art making for the purpose self-discovery, renewal, and the examination of our relationship with culture and nature through these images and myths. I introduce the particular Goddess as image, myth and metaphor, exploring her powers, resources, strengths and teaching. I want to give my participants a working knowledge of Her, although no one can know everything about a Goddess.
Then we take on the creative task of investigating these aspects: we move as She might move. We create costume to more embody Her. We create images and poems to celebrate Her and ourselves as mirrors of Her qualities. Each woman does it in her own way, with the body she has, with the energy she has. We all work from the same resource material. Of course, we share what we have found and bring it home to our own lives.  Goddess work works for me, and I’d love to share it with you.
In myth Artemis is the goddess of the moon, a huntress who defends the wilderness as her own territory, and protects her own person, giving ground to no one. Image by Wes

In myth Artemis is the goddess of the moon, a huntress who defends the wilderness as her own territory, and protects her own person, giving ground to no one. Image by Wes

Check our events page for the next Goddess Workshop